Friday, April 27, 2012

Girl Crush of the Week - Molly Heffinger Graves

Meet Molly Graves! 
Business lady, gal about town, taste maker, Container Store aficionado, Girl Crush.
It is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to our Girl Crush of the Week, Molly Heffinger Graves of NEAT Method! I met Molly freshman year at Miami when we both pledged Delta Gamma, and have always been impressed by how her self-possessed attitude, enthusiasm for life, and her contagious optimism. Naturally, a few years later, she became the president of DG, and I remember standing with my friend Christina during rush senior year while Molly was doing her speech for each party welcoming PNM's (potential new members) into the DG suite - Christina and I elbowed each other about 15 times per welcome, whispering about how ridiculously good Molly made DG look. She's just that kind of girl - not only does she elevate the room and make everyone feel good, girlfriend GETS THINGS DONE in the process. 

It's no surprise that San Francisco-based Molly started her own super-successful business, NEAT Method. NEAT has been featured by Vogue, and was named one of Daily Candy's Best of San Francisco for 2011 - see below for my proud mommy-type screen shots! :)   
NEAT Method's feature on - I am OBSESSED with this makeup organizer!
NEAT Method is basically a huge deal. Just FYI. :)
Have fun getting to know the adorable Miss Molly, and be sure to check out NEAT's website and blog - NEAT posts some AMAZING organizational tips to their blog, and if you follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, you'll know when the latest " THAT's what a kitchen drawer is supposed to look like" post is up! 

Style icons? 
Even though she is a total man eater I still love Sienna Miller's style, it seems so effortless. Kate Bosworth has got it down too and I figure if she can go from Blue Crush to now, I can make SOMETHING work right??? Zoe Saldana has got it going on too - basically I love anyone that can be a chameleon... sexy conservative one night and bad ass tomorrow? Yes, Please! 
Hi pretty girl!
Design philosophy?  
I really try to ask myself, do you LOVE it??  That goes for home style and personal style. It really does save me from purchasing a bunch of meh stuff from Forever 21 and Home Goods. I love putting on clothes and thinking "I freaking love this thing" or walking in my home and saying, "yup, good purchase."  It also prevents the dreaded, I don't have anything to wear syndrome. Not that it doesn't happen, it just happens less often :) This philosophy spills over to NEAT all the time. It helps me keep to my own NEAT life but also when I am working with clients, I ask them the same thing, "do you love it?" Usually it helps eliminate unwanted clutter.
Molly and her NEAT Method partner, Ashley
Are they cute, or are they cute?
Favorite book of all time? 
I swear I read! I can send you a list to prove it (just finished the Hunger games Trilogy and am on to 50 Shades of Grey) BUT I am amending this to magazine when my Marie Claire comes I read it cover to cover. I swear to everyone that it is hands down the most attainable fashion mag out there. I hate opening a magazine and looking at a bunch of fashion that I cannot even think of purchasing. Marie Claire has a lot of expensive stuff BUT also has items that are totally in my range. Their articles are fabulous too. Okay, I'll step off my soap box now... 
Hi, Molly!
Best advice you ever received? 
When I moved from Chicago to San Francisco, my husband Ryan told me that I needed to stop looking for friends that reminded me of my friends from home. He said that if I wasn't looking to replace my friends from Chicago I needed to look for friends with new qualities. It not only helped me make some awesome friends here, but it helped me get over being homesick for Chicago and embracing SF's opportunities.  
Molly and her husband Ryan
Favorite stores? 
Shopbop (does that count?) CUSP, I have to go to Krista K in Chicago when I am home, and I love stopping by Dish in Hayes Valley.
Always stylish!
Dream place to live? 
Ryan travels a lot so I try to join him whenever I can so I have realized that there are a lot of places I would love to live... Currently I am coming down from my London high so that is topping my list NOW but honestly I am learning that my favorite places are more about the people and less about the location... super cheesy right????? BUT TRUE!
Being NEAT in foggy London town
The one product you're obsessed with right now? 
I have been using Sachajuan Conditioner and it is AMAZING!!! I can't get enough. Game changer for sure.

Biggest indulgence? 
Life. Is that weird to say?  I guess I'm not really known to indulge in one particular thing. Ryan might say clothes but lets be serious, what girl DOESN'T?? I don't always get my nails done or HAVE to have Starbucks. I like to save and then get one awesome thing which is likely clothes or a bag. It all comes back to my design philosophy, do I love it? I love getting up and going on a run, working on NEAT, meeting interesting people, seeing my family, hell, we don't even have cable and one of the main reasons we shut it off was to enjoy life more.  
Girl crush? 
I LOVE my business partner, Ashley. She has qualities that I only wish I could have. She has such a good eye for detail, a hilarious sense of humor, lives life as an open book, and did I mention she is more toned then I will ever be? I am lucky to work with someone day in and out that is that inspirational. Heart. Of. Gold.   
Molly and Ashley of NEAT Method...they make sense of your chaos!
Favorite song? 
I love 90's music. There. I said it. Anything from Third Eye Blind, Oasis, The Wall Flowers, Gin Blossoms, Counting Crows... I could go on for days. In college I insisted we had a 90's party because the opportunity was passing us by. My theory was that 80's nights started in the 90's so 90's nights should happen in the two thousands. Am I right or am I right? If I had to pick one song it would have to be semi charmed life by Third Eye Blind.  

Prized possession? 
It's a tie.... Between this miniature pillow that my Dad gave me when I was born that I still sleep with (his name is baby pillow) OR this bracelet that my grandmother gave me that has all of her best friends from high school engraved on it. I always get compliments on it and I love its sentimental value.  

Current hangout? 
The local German Biergarten by our apartment. I live so close that our friends call me to look out the window and see if it is open. I am a pub girl at heart. I can't really do the club scene unless I have had 16 too many drinks. I love to sit with friends and enjoy a drink so the fact that I can do this outside with warm pretzels is a done deal for me.  
Just a typical Saturday afternoon for Molly, enjoying several half full glasses of wine on the veranda.
Don't take life too seriously. As seen with my Halloween costume. Typically this is the one night where you can do something super sexy and get away with it. I prefer to make people laugh. Hence the "Bee's knees". Note: The pleather pants were a bad idea - totally didn't breathe on the dance floor so I was sweating like crazy and they were falling down all night. Overall, great costume though. 
I can vouch for the fact that Molly is indeed the bee's knees!
Best place on earth? 
Hands down my family's lake house in Northern Wisconsin. It is such a sanctuary for me. Most of my childhood memories are there and to me, nothing beats a day on the lake. People always think it is funny when my family gets together - all we do is talk about memories. My family can play the "remember when..." game all night long. I just think that shows we have had a great life. :)
Molly, her sister Betsy, and their family pup, Moose in Wisconsin
Favorite drink? 
Anything with Bubbles, Bellini's, Mimosas, or just give me the champagne straight up!
Gorgeous Molly and her husband Ryan celebrating with champers on their wedding day!
Now that you're up close and personal with all the adorable-ness that is Molly, follow her adventures in NEAT!  Also, Molly's NEAT Method business partner Ashley has just moved back to Chicago from San Francisco, which means that there are now NEAT Method offices in both cities - just something to keep in mind for you gorgeous Chicagoans and San Franciscans who are looking to get NEAT!

Naturally, Molly's husband Ryan has his own amazing business, Uber, which allows users to request a car service from any mobile phone via text message or via the Uber smartphone app - it's basically the best idea ever. Uber is currently serving the fine people of  SF, NYC, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, DC, Paris, Toronto, and LA - and they're growing fast! Follow Ryan and Uber via Twitter, Facebook, and Uber's Blog.

Many thanks to the amazing Miss Molly for allowing us to profile her! If you'll excuse me, I'll be busy trying to get my closets/drawers up to NEAT Method standards! xx

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Summer Maxi Dresses

Me and my one maxi dress. Homegirl needs to go shopping!
Let's just be clear here- it is not warm in San Francisco. Which is fine because homegirl loves a good sweater. But, growing up in Los Angeles, I love warm weather- at least some of the time. When I moved from Los Angeles three years ago, I was still surprised when I experienced my first real SF summer- it was COLD. So I did as any sensible person would do (I know, I was shocked too) I put away all my summer dresses and stop buying new ones. #lame

But imagine my surprise when last week it was WARM in SF. We are talking 79 degrees people! It was a wonderful surprise and one that I wanted to embrace fully. The only problem? No summer dresses. Okay I had one but one does not make a summer wardrobe. So what did I do? Fired up my computer and went to town. Shopbop here I come!!
Fancy ladies in their maxis.
There are tons of fabulous styles of summer dresses out there but the one I found myself drawn to the most was the ever-so-chic maxi dress. Effortlessly chic and able to hide of multitude of sins (lets be real thats the main goal), I knew the maxi was the one for me. But which maxis would I chose? Lord knows there are so many options out there. I picked out a few of my favorites and styled them:
Rachel Pally Maxi Dress, Tibi Jacket, J.Crew Clutch, Mark & James HeelsJ.Crew Bracelet,
J.Crew BangleForever 21 Bangle, Panacea Earrings 
Young, Fabulous and Broke Maxi Dress, J.Crew Cardigan, J.Crew Clutch, Mark & James Woven Wedges
Kendra Scott EarringsJulie Collection Madeline CuffBauble Bar Ring  
Lilly Pulitzer Maxi DressKate Spade Earrings, Tory Burch Bag, Jack Rogers Sandals, Loren Hope Necklace,
J.Crew Bangle, Kate Spade Yellow Bandle, Kate Spade White Bangle

Where are your favorite maxi dresses' from? How do you style them? I'd love to know! Xo J

Monday, April 23, 2012

Tartan & Sequins Guide to Packing for Paris

I'm a regular Slim Aarons no?
Since starting the blog in January, Allison and I have received so many sweet and supportive comments, texts, messages and emails from you all. I just wanted to take a second and thank all of you for the love. We work really, really hard on the blog so when we are up at 2am jamming on the next day's post, its your support that really keeps us going :)
Speaking of reader love, my friend Rachel sent me a note last week asking about packing for Paris. As you all know, I was just in Pareeeee for the first time in March as part of my West Palm Beach - Barcelona - Paris tour de force. As I had just taken the trip, Rachel asked me about what I found myself wearing the most, what I wish I had brought and what I wore out to dinners/parties. Since I know packing is a challenge for all us fashionistas out there, I though I'd turn it into a post!
You can imagine my bf's dismay when he walked in on this.
What I Wore the Most
Since we really didn't make any plans/resos before our trip, I had no idea what we'd be doing and therefore what to pack. As a result, I ended up packing items that I knew could swing both dressy or casual. Items like black skinny jeans, my J.Crew Minnies, and my trusty J.Crew Vintage V-Necks could be worn with flats or boots during the day and then with heels and a fun jacket for night. These were the items I wore the most because of their versatility.
Do you think I faked 'em out into thinking I was cool with my moto jacket?
In terms of shoes, I actually only brought three pairs (GASP) - a pair of boots, a pair of heels (the ones pictured above) and a pair of flats. The boots doubled as rain boots that kept me warm and dry. The flats were a pair of comfortable dark silver loafers. Because you do so much walking in Paris I highly recommend bringing at least two pairs of COMFORTABLE flats. I know some people cringe at the idea of flats (a former boss once told me flats were frumpy, while I was wearing them of course) but there is just no way around it if you want to really enjoy strolling around the city. And the heels, I just went with a classic black heel that could work with pretty much every look.

What I Wish I Had Brought
I think the two things I wish I had brought more of were flats and light jackets. While I don't think its necessary to have a different pair of shoes for each day, since I only had brought one pair of flats, they began to really wear on me with all the walking we were doing. I wish I had brought another pair to change them out with. Luckily for me, I picked up a couple of pairs when I was there: 
The silver ones are the loafers I packed and I picked up the other two pairs while I was there.
For the light jackets, while I was super cool in my motorcycle jacket, I really didn't have any other options to layer with. I brought two heavy wool sweaters but those suddenly seemed so lame once I got to Paris. Besides, I also wanted more jacket options for nights out; to dress up my looks. I did pick up the little tweed number featured here, but I still wish I had brought a couple more.

What I Wore Out
To me, Paris was very laid-back in terms of dressing-up. I mean Parisians are so effortlessly cool anyways they could be wearing a paper bag and look cool. Me however, not so much. What I wore going out was my motorcycle jacket, my favorite cream skirt featured here, jeans and some blouses with jeans. I had packed a few party dresses but never really had a use for them since we didn't really go out. That being said, had we done more going out, I def would have benefited from having some fun, short, versatile dresses. 

In packing, I tried to chose those specific items that I could re-wear in different ways throughout the trip. To show you what I mean, I've put together a few looks using some pieces in different ways. 
Topshop JacketJ.Crew Minnie PantsSophomore Tank, Valentino ScarfMarc Jacobs BagJ.Crew Ballet Flats, Bauble Bar EarringsMaison Martin Margiela BootiesFoley + Corinna Oversized ClutchHermes H Bracelet
Parker Beaded TunicAG Black Cigarette JeansZara TrenchMarc Jacobs Bag,
J.Crew Leather FlatsBauble Bar EarringsMaison Martin Margiela Booties,
Bauble Bar BraceletTory Burch Clutch 
Alice + Olivia Lila DressNasty Gal Twisted Peplum DressNasty Gal Liberty Dress,
Topshop JacketFoley + Corinna Oversized ClutchBrian Atwood Metallic Fringe Sandals,
Julie Collection Rose Gold BanglesHouse of Harlow Necklace
One interesting thing that evolved while I was putting together the boards above was that its much easier to re-use items when your clothes are all within the same theme or color. Obviously you can see I went with blush tones, but really you could do the same with any color set. I'm not gonna lie, I really wish I had done this post before I went on my trip and bought all this stuff. I would have been so much cooler. Oh well, my loss is your gain :)

Well I hope this post was helpful to Rachel and any other ladies out there heading to Pareeee anytime soon. Have a macaron at Laduree for me!!!

Xo J

Thursday, April 19, 2012

How We Style It: Pastels

A few of my favorite pastel pieces I'll be picking up this Spring: HOUSE OF HARLOW SunglassesLAUREN HOPE NecklaceEQUIPMENT BlouseME TOO Flats, J.CREW Sweater, J.CREW JeansOLD NAVY BeltBAUBLE BAR Earrings,
I know what you all are thinking. In Julia's last 10 Things Every Man Should Own post she was actually.... funny. Did Allison ghostwrite it for her? Welp kids, the truth is that I'm actually that hilarious. In person of course. It's taken awhile for me to get into my groove here with the written word. But now I've unleashed the beast so hold onto your hats, we're going to have a good time.

Back to the actual purpose of this post- for you to gaze lovingly and at Allison and me to talk pastels. Pastels have gotten a bad rap in the past. I mean, hello:

Pastels are one of the big trends of 2012 and I SWEAR they can be cute. From sweaters to scarves to pants to jackets, its easy to integrate pastels into your wardrobe without looking like an Easter egg. Here are a few of the ways we're rockin' pastels for Spring:

J.Crew Pink Sweater (similar), Vintage Dolce & Gabbana Ivory Skirt,
Massimo Dutti Gold Loafers (similar), LV Speedy, J.Crew, Vintage, AV Max (similar)
and Spike the Punch Jewelry
Photo Credit: TJC
Photo Credit: TJC
J. Crew cashmere tee (similar), J. Crew Minnie Pants, Michael Kors Odin Flats,
HRH Collection Ombré Bracelet, Kendra Scott Carlone Earrings in Iolite (similar),
David Yurman 5MM Blue Topaz Cable Bracelet, and Grandmother's clutch
Photo Credit: Ben McDonald
Photo Credit: Ben McDonald
BCBG Pink Trench (similar), Forever 21 Ivory Top (similar), Zara Blush Jeans (similar), 
Steven Nude Pumps (similar), LV Neverfull, AV Max (similar), David Yurman, Tiffany
HRH Collection, H&M and Spike the Punch Jewelry
Photo Credit: Christy Lottie
Photo Credit: Christy Lottie
J. Crew Scarf (similar), J. Crew Back-Zip Long-sleeve pullover, J. Crew Vintage Cotton V-Neck Tee
J. Crew Pixie Pants, Tory Burch Driving Mocs (similar), Clare Vivier La Tropézienne Tote
HRH Collection Ombré Bracelet, Target pearl earrings
Photo Credit: Ben McDonald
Photo Credit: Ben McDonald
So what about you babes? Any favorite pastels pieces you'll be rockin' this season?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Gift Guide: Graduates

With graduation season just around the corner, we know its time for some serious gift-giving. Since there is nothing that we love more than a good excuse to shop, we've put together our top gifts for graduates. Happy shopping!

Kate Spade Gold Coast Lacey Wallet  
You know, to hold that first paycheck in.

Tory Burch E-Tablet Sleeve  
A fabulous floral for the graduate's iPad.

ISeeNoise Eiffel Tower Print 
A beautiful print to decorate that dorm room or first apartment.

Kate Spade Rose Print Thank You Cards
Elegant thank you cards for gifts or after interviews.

Hermes Silk Twill Scarf
The sheer elegance of a Hermes scarf makes it a must-have. 
Not to mention how versatile it is.

Multi Tool Titanium Collar Stay
Keep those collars IN PLACE.

Brooks Brothers Cuff Links
Every man needs a pair of cuff links- and monogrammed ones at that!

Vineyard Vines Lucky Silk Tie
Real men wear pink. And this tie from VV does just the trick.

Jack Spade Navy City Briefcase
Because lets face it, that backpack from college is not going to cut it anymore.

Williams-Sonoma Monogrammed Bar Tools Set
Lord knows the transition into the working world is tough so you may need a cocktail or two.

Target Gift Card
I know gift cards have always been thought to be impersonal,
but I think a Target gift card for a graduate couldn't be more helpful!

Apple iPad
I mean, who doesn't want one of these?

Breville Cafe Modena Espresso Machine
Between the bar tools and this, I don't know which one is more necessary.

We'd love to hear what you all are giving the graduates in your life. Let us know of any home run gifts in the comments section! Xo