Year: 2014

Holiday Gift Guide: 25 Under $25

gift guide

I know that just about every blog has done some holiday gift guide at this point (or is bound to do one soon), and I hate feeling clichéd, but what’s the good of having a blog if you can’t make a gift guide? It’s kind of fun for me, anyway, to pull together some stuff that I wouldn’t mind receiving, along with things I think it’d be fun to give. And the gift guides I see on other blogs are sometimes a little ridiculous – a $200 purse, a pair of shoes…maybe it’s just me, but when it comes to gift giving, I’ve always liked the idea of giving a bunch of smaller, fun gifts that the person wouldn’t normally buy for themselves (and that don’t leave me broke – because I love my family and friends, but it’s the thought that counts, not the price tag). Here are some of my favorite ideas – and, for your convenience, they’re all $25 or less.

1. Unique, architectural ornaments to brighten up your tree.
2. I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t appreciate being given cool art.
3. The quintessential stocking stuffer: tiny, luxurious nail polishes.
4. Bright, quirky pencils for the friend who has everything.
5. You can’t go wrong with Clinique’s black honey – it’s beautiful on everyone. (I swear by it)
6. Cute? Check. Functional? Check. Everyone could use one of these kits.
7. Rich leather gloves, just because.
8. Pigmented, light, definitely not sticky – plus, this gloss just looks pretty.
9. Simple, personalized stationary is thoughtful and useful.
10. Doesn’t washi tape make everyone happy?
11. The softest drapey, pale pink sweater that’ll work well into spring. (I’m wearing it as I type this!)
12. Glitzy earrings to bring a little sparkle to anyone’s life.
13. Simple, pretty, gold-plated studs that you could give to anyone on your list.
14. A cool, minimalist purse that works year-round.
15. This hand creme is beautifully scented and a total luxury.
16. You can brush up on your French with this seasonally-appropriate classic.
17. Pretty pens are always appreciated.
18. A thick magazine is a unique (and aesthetically pleasing) gift.
19. Glittery bangles are perfect for holiday parties.
20. bobby pins are just the best.
21. 2015 is fast approaching – surprise your friend with a cute calendar for her desk.
22. For those who love to cook – even if they already have one, this recipe box is too pretty to pass up.
23. Delicate, pretty and for a good cause? This bracelet is a perfect stocking stuffer.
24. I just bought this book and can’t wait to read it – great for the bookworms in your life who’ve already read just about everything.
25. Rifle Paper Co. journals are just so pretty – and since I already have enough notebooks to last a few years, I’ll have to satisfy my addiction through buying them for others.

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Little Black Dress (with sequins)


Altuzarra for Target dress | H&M Heels | Vintage Clutch | Vintage Ring | old sunglasses

I’m trying to do more outfit posts – and while I think (or at least hope) I’ll get better with time, starting out is kind of rough. Mostly because it’s super awkward to have random people walking by and staring at you. But no matter. This dress is one of my favorite purchases this fall. I wasn’t planning on getting it when I stopped by Target to shop the Altuzarra sale (or, rather, hunt down the embroidered crane sweater) – but I was smitten the instant I saw it. It has so many little details that make it totally perfect – a swiss dot pattern, tassels on the ends of the neck ties, gold sequins and pockets – yes, pockets. And, it’s seriously comfortable. Win-win.


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Baltimore, Part One: Hampden

If summer is the season of traveling to new places, then fall is the season of exploring your own city. These past few weekends have been nothing short of perfect – brunch at the Hopkins’ Club, a trip to the farmer’s market, a day spent shopping in local boutiques, hitting my favorite annual flea market, hoarding books from what’s probably one of the coolest bookstores I’ve ever been to, dinner at The Helmand after a Shakespeare play…and then, of course, returning home to cook and read and rest. I thought I’d share some of my favorite places in Baltimore, from recent discoveries to old favorites.

Cafe Hon


It’s a Baltimore landmark, of sorts – and featured in a (somewhat) recent episode of Kitchen Nightmares. Cafe Hon is filled with an eclectic mix of decor – from retro to rustic – with lime green walls and leopard wallpaper in the bathrooms to top it off. The menu features plenty of crab, but there’s lots else – I had a seriously delicious black bean burger with guacamole.




I learned about this shop at the Baltimore Farmers Market – there was a booth set up selling wide array of goodies, including ornate pillows, one of which I immediately knew would be perfect for my studio. The vendor told me about their shop in Hampden, and, knowing I’d be in that neighborhood soon, I decided I’d have to make a stop. The store is nothing short of amazing – jam-packed with exotic treasures from all over (an employee told me that the owner is going on a buying trip to India this week). There are Mexican sugar skulls, Moroccan tea glasses, Indian eye liner, racks of patterned coats, tunics and pants, exotic teas and incense, bowls full of colorful beads, and fair-trade bracelets made of PVC pipe from Nambia – just to name some of it.

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David’s On the Avenue


This used furniture shop is chock full of mid-century modern pieces at affordable prices – I swooned over the set of chairs below and a few marble and brass tables. In the front of the store there are crates of copper framed reproduction vintage posters – I picked up a Lanvin perfume ad.

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Trohv is one of those stores that’s thoroughly gorgeous, inside and out. The products are perfectly curated and organized, and the whole space is beautifully styled in a way that’s somehow slightly rustic and slightly modern at the same time. Products include enviable home goods and accessories (including Rifle Paper Co. coasters, striped paper straws, and glasses and mugs of all kinds), beautiful books and magazines (among them Kinfolk and Anthology), and a little collection of succulent terrariums up front.

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The Mill Centre


Once a textile mill, The Mill Centre now holds studios for artists, graphic designers, photographers, and architects. From time to time they have an open house, where you can peek in some studios and talk to artists about their work (and buy it).


{A cheeky sign out front…I just had to include this}

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I’m Back!

tolstoy perfection

Image Source

just realized that I haven’t posted since August. August! Is is just me or did September fly by? I feel like Labor Day was just last weekend.

September was a bit of a whirlwind. For me, fall always brings lots of work (and this year, change) – which is understandable because summer’s over, along with vacations and extra-long days. And this blog got shoved to the bottom of my to-do list, because I had a serious lack of inspiration, and an even greater lack of time.

And now, I feel terribly guilty for not writing. Especially because one of my goals for this year was to post 15 times a month (not doing so well on some other goals either…). It’s kind of crazy that I’ve been blogging for over two years and I still don’t have a system down. But right now I’m feeling really motivated to work on one.

So, I’m mostly writing to check in and let you all know that I’m still alive. And that I’ve got lots of things to post – my fall wardrobe had expanded exponentially, so expect lots of outfit posts. Plus, my studio (remember that?) has made serious progress – walls painted, trips to IKEA made, and there’s a continually growing list of things I still need to get for it. You can bet I’ll be sharing pictures!

Well, here’s to blogging. And to fall – because life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall (thanks Scott Fitzgerald). See you tomorrow!

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Showcase: Altuzarra for Target


All, Target

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I always get way over-excited about the Target designer collaborations (here’s looking at you, Peter Pilotto and Philip Lim). I’ve yet to encounter one that I dislike, and the latest – Altuzarra, if you haven’t heard – might be my favorite yet. Any piece would fit in perfectly with my existing fall wardrobe…because come fall, all I wear is neutrals (yes, burgundy is a neutral too). This collection is a great mixture of texture and color, of basics and prints, of chic and relaxed. I’ve pulled all of my favorites from the collection – from the quirky crane-embroidered sweater, to the classic-with-a-twist snakeskin pencil skirt, to the elegant orchid maxi dress (I do love a good maxi).

Are you a fan of the collection? What’s your favorite piece?

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