Friday, June 29, 2012

Girl Crush of the Week: Jessie Short

Jessie Short and her adorbs pup Hank.
So I consider myself as someone with fairly good taste when it comes to interior design. While my home is no where professionally designed, I think its coming along nicely. I think that until, well, I come across photos of one's home that looks like it belongs in a MAGAZINE. Then, I feel like a wannabe with a Pinterest account :)

Enter Jessie Short and her blog The Long and Short of It. Jessie chronicles her favorites in everything from interior design to ensembles to weekends with friends. One of my favorite recent posts featured before and afters of Jessie's kitchen remodel. See what I mean about belonging in a magazine?!?! And get this - she's not even an interior designer full-time, its just a hobby. TALK ABOUT TALENT. Yes, Jessie is that awesome.

So its pretty ovbs that Jessie is major Girl Crush material. Get to know her even more here... 
I meannnnn.
Style Icons? Olivia Palermo, Elin Kling, Hanneli Mustaparta, Jacqueline Kennedy, Lauren Hutton

Design Philosophy? I have the same philosophy with my home and my wardrobe. Invest in the classics and then layer with fun statement pieces.

Favorite Book? East of Eden

Best Advice? I do not know if you would consider this advice but I saw this quote and I feel like the older I get I can really relate. Surround yourself with people who make you happy. Negativity seems to be contagious. 

Favorite Stores? My favorite online stores are Asos, J Crew, and Shopbop. 
For Raleigh locals, I am a huge fan of Monkees, Furbish, and Studio 123. 

Dream Place to Live? San Francisco

Product Obsession? YSL Touche Eclat and L'Oreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara

Biggest Indulgence? We always have fresh flowers in our house. 
Gorg peonies on Jessie's coffee table and don't even get me started on that tray!
Girl Crush? Gwyneth Paltrow and Lauren Santo Domingo

Favorite Song? I hate this question. Some of my favorites include- The Talking Heads, The Cure and The Judds. 

Prized Possession? My little family. My husband and 2 pups, Roy and Hank. 
Roy and Hank- how cute!
Current Hangout? Fox's Liquor Bar and Calavera Empanada and Tequila Bar, both in Raleigh NC.

Best Place on Earth? So far Ambergris Caye Belize 

Jessie and her hubby Doug.
Favorite Drink? Jalapeno and Cilantro Margarita

Pretty cool gal eh?! If you dig Jessie like we do, feel free to follow her via the following:

Thursday, June 28, 2012

How We Style It - 4th of July

Y'all, I just love the 4th of July, which I'm sure comes as a massive surprise, since you've seen the massive vintage American flag which adorns my living room seen here and here and I went off earlier this week on how much I love July (my birth month). My husband is from Upper Arlington, Ohio, and I love how everyone our age still makes it a tradition to go home for the 4th.

Now, I obviously love a good hometown 4th (a rager at someone's parents' house, where everyone brings delicious food that their moms obviously made for them, beer pong, and sparklers), but I'm actually a little excited to celebrate the 4th in Newport this year. Let me tell you a little story. Last 4th of July, Ben had to work nights all weekend (he's in his medical residency), and we really hadn't made friends in Newport yet. And the area where we live, Balboa Peninsula, is party city over the weekend of the 4th. And our neighbor with whom we share a garage went out of town and let his late teens-early 20's cousin stay at their place, and said cousin promptly commenced a 5 day binge with 50 of his closest (and most annoying) friends. Let's just say, I was not in a good head space

This year is going to be totally different - for starters, Ben's not working, and oh yeah, we have an awesome group of friends now! Julia and I got in the spirit of the holiday and put together some options for how to style our red, white, and blue! Enjoy and let us know what you're planning on wearing for wherever your festivities may take you!  
Old Navy jean jacket (similar), J Crew Natasha top, J. Crew White jeans, Old Navy sandals
Louis Vuitton clutch (similar), Flag necklace purchased at Put-In-Bay, circa 2006,  
which I actually found here - scroll down to buy 
and make sure you're buying the American Flag necklace, not the Confederate Flag necklace right next to it!:)
Photo Credit: Ben McDonald

Old Navy jean jacket (similar), Target dress (similar), 
Vintage cowboy boots from Swellegant Vintage (similar), Grandmother's vintage bag 
Photo Credit: Ben McDonald
Kate Spade Nera Coat, J.Crew Silk Blouse (similar), J.Crew Minnie Pants, Flats, 
Coach Purse, J.Crew and Spike the Punch Jewelry
Photo Credit: TJC
Photo Credit: TJC
Target Aviators, J.Crew Dress (similar), J.Crew Bubble Necklace, Sperry Gold Top Siders
AV Max and Spike the Punch Bracelets
Photo Credit: TJC 
Photo Credit: TJC

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Product Review: Suave Dry Shampoo

Last week I did a beauty post on dry shampoo. I highlighted KMS as my favorite brand, but in the comments section, several of you strongly recommended Suave dry shampoo. Knowing what beauty mavens you all are, I decided to give it a try! Plus the Suave dry shampoo only being $4 didn't hurt :)

I instagrammed a pic of my just-purchased Suave dry shampoo, posted to Facebook and immediately received even more comments- you all were in love with the product! I couldn't wait to try it.
I have been using it for the past several days which I feel is enough to pass judgement. Based off my criteria outlined in my previous post, here is my assessment:
  • How well does it absorb the oil and dirt? As in, can you go the whole day grease-free?
    • When used lightly on roots only, it worked great. However, if you spray your whole head, as one reader commented, it left my hair sticky and waxy. I sprayed it on 2nd day hair hoping to get a 2nd day of wearing my hair down out of it and no dice. My hair has been in a bun since 10am :(.
  • Is it light and invisible? Or is it heavy and leaves a chalky residue?
    • Depends on the volume you use. When I used just a quick spray on my roots- fine. But with a heavier application, it left my hair feeling waxy.
  • How does it smell?
    • It smells great! Very light and doesn't compete with my perfume.
So as you can see, I'm giving Suave dry shampoo a mixed review. I'll keep using it for light usage but not for heavy usage. That being said, there is one important thing I'd like to note. Everyone's hair is different and reacts differently to products. My hair is extremely fine so that may have been the reason for the reaction. Perhaps for ladies with thicker hair, its perfect :)

I think for my next experiment, I'll try another reader suggestion, Oscar Blandi dry shampoo :) Any other ones out there I should try?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Exciting News!!

Soooo this post was going to be about lash tinting. Which, will be awesome and interesting, but will come at a later time. For now I have the MOST amazing news I'd like to share with you all.

On Saturday morning, after two years of dating, my wonderful boyfriend got down on one knee and proposed!! He completely took me by surprise. I, of course, said YES and we couldn't be more thrilled! 

So now that my fiancé (I can't believe I'm saying that!!) has done his work, its time to do mine- PLAN THE WEDDING! So ladies out there who are engaged or married, I need your help! Where do I begin?! My head is spinning with excitement and I have no clue where to begin!

Xo J

Friday, June 22, 2012

Girl Crush of the Week: Chelsea Sallee

Isn't she just the epitome of cool?!
When we first came across the blog A Bit of Sass, we were drawn in by the fabulous eye of the blog's founder, Chelsea Sallee. Through her blog, Chelsea curates for her readers everything from chic tablet bags to gorg interior design. As something she started to express her creativity when she was looking for a job, A Bit of Sass is a force to be reckoned with :)
I mean hello, GORG!
Chelsea recently moved from LA to San Francisco with her boyfriend which is a move I made myself a few years ago (sans bf). She also works in marketing/pr and as I work in advertising myself, I sort of felt like we were soul mates. So when it came time for us to choose our next Girl Crush, Chelsea was a natural fit! Please join us in getting to know the chic lady behind the blog!

  • Style icons? Kate Moss, Kate Hudson: Both have style of their own and are chic with a rock edge.
  • Design philosophy? Your home should be a reflection of yourself. Fill it with things you love and your design style will find you. 
  • Some of Chelsea's favorite things: Starbucks and cake pops (her cure for a hard day), Pilates SPX reformer (she has been obsessed for the past 3 years: in the Bay Area she goes to Core Studio in Palo Alto and in LA she go to Pilates Platinum), Sunset from her mom's porch, the tuna tartar from Morimito's in Napa (the best thing EVER), Pinterest (She knows she's not the only one obsessed), etc.
  • Favorite book of all time? Does Vogue count? I hate to admit this, but I read so many magazines and news articles for work I rarely relax by reading a novel anymore. 
  • Best advice you ever received? “The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life” - I found this quote on Pinterest and I couldn’t agree more. Now I just need to figure out how to make a living by online shopping!
  • Favorite stores?, Zara, Barney’s, Sephora
  • Dream place to live? Santa Barbara, CA. My boyfriend lived there for years after college and we visit often. The weather is beautiful, the beaches are plentiful, wine tasting is around the corner, and you’re close enough to L.A. to jet down for a day of shopping.
Chelsea and her main squeeze Blaine. They just moved up to San Francisco together from LA in October!
  • The one product you're obsessed with right now? Nars bronzing powder in Laguna has been a must have for me for a couple years. I don’t tan my face at all so it is essential for me in order to avoid looking like Casper.
  • Biggest indulgence? Parking in San Francisco! I currently live a bit outside of the city, and after a month of taking the train and a bus to work I had had enough. Now I pay a pretty penny to park near my office, but being an LA girl, it’s essential for me to have my quiet car time to mentally get ready for the day ahead and conversely to decompress in the evening. 
  • Girl crush? Erin Wasson. I had the pleasure of meeting her a couple of times when I worked at a boutique in Santa Monica. Besides having phenomenal taste, she was probably the coolest most down to earth customer I had. I love her line of jewelry (Low Luv x Erin Wasson), it adds the perfect touch of rock’n’roll to an outfit. 
Chelsea at Coachella this year. Aside from the music (obvi) she loves the creativity 
that people use when dressing for Coachella. She's even already bought tickets 
and booked her house for next year!
  • Favorite song? This is a tough one. Currently I love anything by Kaskade. All time favorite would probably be “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight” by The Postal Service. 
  • Prized possession? My 8 year old Lhaso Apso mix, Chopper. He is like my child- it is borderline unhealthy, lol. He ha had two back surgeries in the past 2 years but he is a tough little guy and is as feisty as ever. 
Chelsea and Chopper in Dolores Park. Love that skirt honey boo boo!
  • Current hangout? My boyfriend and I just moved to SF in the fall, so we don’t have a  “hang out” yet. I will say though that we love a little Dolores Park action on the weekends now that the weather is nice. Mimosas and people watching on a Sunday just never gets old. 
  • Motto? When all else fails, just laugh. -- Have you ever had one of those days/weeks when everything that could go wrong did? You can wallow in your misery or you can laugh about it and try again tomorrow. I do my best to see a silver lining and make light of the bad times so I am ready to welcome in the good. 
Chelsea and her homey Wally!
  • Best place on earth? My mom’s front porch in San Diego, CA. There is nothing like drinking a glass of wine, watching the sunset over the ocean and knowing that you’re “home” 
  • Favorite drink? Well I do love a glass of bubbly, but my go-to drink is Kettle and soda with a splash of cran. 
Get to know Chelsea even better by following her on these social media channels:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Product Review: Dry Shampoo

I mean this is totally second day hair right? Via
My life was revolutionized a few years ago when I heard of an amazing product- DRY SHAMPOO!! For those of you who don't know what dry shampoo is, its a powder or spray that absorbs oil and dirt in your hair. I know- AMAZING RIGHT?! You know those mornings when you look in the mirror and you're on the fence as to whether you need to wash your hair? Welp, throw on that shower cap and call it a day. Dry shampoo is here to the rescue!
I miss the old Jessica (and her fabulous hair!) Via
Like most beauty products, there are a ton of options out there for dry shampoo. You want to ask the following questions of your dry shampoo:
  • How well does it absorb the oil and dirt? As in, can you go the whole day grease-free?
  • Is it light and invisible? Or is it heavy and leaves a chalky residue?
  • How does it smell?

KMS California KMS Hair Play

I've tried several dry shampoos (Klorane, Tigi Rockaholic, etc) and none of them perform nearly as well as KMS California Hair Play. This light spray absorbs oil and dirt and leaves your hair feeling volumized and airy. It doesn't leave that heavy white reside that most dry shampoos that do. It also has a fresh scent that doesn't smell like hair spray or complete with your perfume (one of my pet peeves). Just spray some lightly on your roots and in the body of your hair and you're good to go. Watch out Denise Richards, we're coming for you :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Girl Crush of the Week: Rachel Mulherin + Rachel Mulherin Necklace Giveaway!

This week's Girl Crush, Rachel Mulherin, first came on my radar in February, when I came across her amazing Etsy shop (Rachel Mulherin Handmade Jewelry), featured one of her necklaces in that week's Quick & Dirty post, and bought myself the necklace I featured before the post went live just to make sure no one else snatched it out from under me. My Rachel Mulherin necklace is still my favorite, and scholars maintain I've worn it over 500,000 times since February! Once I bought my necklace, I started following Rachel on her social media handles (listed at the end of the post) and was so impressed by what a talented, fun, gorgeous gal she is.

Rachel, a business lady by day and jewelry maven by night, lives in Baltimore, Maryland, and makes all of her pieces herself. Her model in the pics below is her best friend Nicole, and I love how you can tell in photographs how tight they are and how proud Nicole is of Rachel's line!

Not only is she spilling her style secrets and fave hangouts, Miss Rachel has also graciously offered to give away one of her unbelievable necklaces to a Tartan & Sequins reader! Read through to the end of the post to find out how to enter, and have fun getting to know the lovely Rachel! 
  • Style icons? Rosie Huntington Whitley is always bohemian-chic.  Taylor Tomasi Hill always looks amazing.  Emmanuelle Alt because she’s so effortlessly cool. Rachel Bilson.  My grandmother.  She is 86 years young and she still properly accessorizes every outfit.  With her, more is more. She may very well be the reason why I love jewelry so much.
  • Design philosophy? I like classics. But with an edgy twist. I never like to look too serious. Fashion should be fun. I usually wear basics. T-shirt or blouse and jeans, and then accessorize with big statement jewelry.
  • Favorite book of all time? I’m not sure I have a favorite. I will eventually be reading Fifty Shades to see what all the hype is about. I like to read about people- Biographies, autobiographies, business books.  I also religiously read Marie Claire, Vogue, Bazaar, and Elle. 

  • Best advice you have ever received? 1. Treat others how you want to be treated 2. Live life to the fullest 3. Follow your dreams
  • Favorite stores? Zara, H&M and J.Crew. I love Gilt Groupe and the Outnet. I’m also a big fan of vintage. I’m beyond obsessed with everything that American Archive and Maki Maki Vintage have to offer on eBay. 
  • Dream place to live? New York City
  • The one product you're obsessed with right now? Iredale Mineral Cosmetics Bronzer in Sunbeam. It’s the best bronzer. Ever. Sephora Collection tinted self tanning body mist. Stila liquid liner. 

  • Girl crush? I have a couple. Rihanna because she’s the sexiest woman alive. She’s beautiful and she does whatever she wants, whenever she wants. I love her wild side.  Kelly Cutrone because she’s such a power bitch. Diane von Furstenberg. MKO. Leandra Medine of Manrepeller. I’m all about the strong, independent woman.
  • Favorite song? Too many.  Anything Rihanna, Kanye, Jay-Z, Drake, or Wayne. I’m liking Katy Perry post-divorce.
  • Prized possession? Diamond earrings from my aunt. She bought them for herself when she beat breast cancer and gave them to me for my 25th birthday. They’re very special.
  • Current hangout? Lately it’s been my bedroom where we make jewelry all hours of the night. When we do get out, our new favorite place is Talara in Harbor East. Great food and great drinks.  I think about the Jimmy roll every single day.
  • Motto? Everything happens for a reason. I strongly believe this.
  • Best place on earth? Ocean City, Maryland the third week of July.  Every year since I was born, my entire family, including extended family and family friends, all spend a week together at the beach. It’s the only time I see my parents and brother for more than a few hours. I look forward to this trip every year.
  • Favorite drink? It’s a tie. Hubcap Margarita’s from Nacho Mama’s in Baltimore (it’s literally a margarita in a hubcap), or mango martinis. 
Here's the gorgeous blue ombrĂ© Rachel Mulherin necklace 
we're giving away!
 How to enter to win: you can get one entry for each follow - just leave a separate comment below this post for each follow, and we'll use a random number generator to choose the comment # of the winner. So, for example, if you already follow or add follows to all six Tartan & Sequins/Rachel Mulherin social media outlets below, you'll add seven separate comments on this post letting us know about each separate follow. Make sense? :) You can enter to win today, Friday, June 15 through next Friday, June 22, and we will announce the winner of this amazing necklace on Saturday, June 23! 

Tartan & Sequins on Twitter
Rachel on Instagram: rmulherin

Many thanks to Rachel for allowing us to profile her and for giving away such an amazing necklace to one of our Tartan & Sequins friends! Be sure to check out Rachel's Etsy shop as well! 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Healthy Snacking

My BFFs and me at the beach. Its like whatever. Via
Alllllllright so this quest of ours to look like the models above be healthy (or whatever) is not without its challenges. Exercising is one part of the challenge but for today's chat, I'd like to focus on eating right. Specifically, snacking right.

As you can see here, I love me some junk food. Well to be fair... I love all food. Period. So no sort of "starvation diet" is going to fly for me. No, I want a plan that is satisfying and sustainable. What that means to everyone is different, but to me, I want to be able to eat foods that are good, good for me and foods that fill me up. This philosophy very much applies to snacking as well as full-on meals.

Healthy can be delish too- I swear!
I have always been a big snacker. While my snacking used to be less-than-healthy (read: fun-size Snickers and Cheez-Its), I'm trying to substitute healthier options as part of my quest. There are of course many theories out there as to whats best but I've found for me, a diet low in sugar and complex carbs and high in protein (and the "good" fat) works best. Since I don't eat meat, most of my meals aren't high in protein so I love having snacks that do that heavy-lifting for me.

Hard-boiled egg and avocado mash. I legit look forward to having this every day!
I've tried a variety of options and I find these snacks to be both healthy and delicious. 
  • Hard-boiled egg and avocado mash (if you don't like avocado you can just have hard-boiled eggs)
  • Edamame (in shell)
  • Carrots and hummus
  • Cottage cheese, blueberries and slivered almonds
  • Raw almonds (just a handful)
  • Celery sticks or an apple with almond butter
  • Greek yogurt (beginners add a little bit of honey, pros add stevia to sweeten as its bitter at first)
  • Strawberries, raspberries and blackberries (I know these are sugar but its a much better alternative to reaching for a couple of candies)

UPDATE: Since you all shared so many wonderful ideas with us, I wanted to make sure everyone benefited from your wisdom. Here are the reader submissions for even more healthy snacks!

  • Boar's Head honey roasted ham or turkey roll-ups
  • Grilled Chicken in BBQ sauce
  • Cottage cheese and cherry tomatoes
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Chocolate smoothies: avocado, banana, cacao powder, almond milk, and dash of stevia
  • String cheese
  • Tuna mixed with avocado, feta and lemon juice
  • Avocado with pepper and feta
Thanks again for all your contributions! Feel free to share any other ideas in the comments section below :)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Hair Help Needed

Yes, the joke IS on me that my hair isn't as awesome as yours Lauren.
For those of you who are just getting to know me, my shorter hair is a recent development. In December, after years (probably like 10) of having really long hair, I chopped it. Here is the evidence:
When I first got it cut, I was thrilled. After years of having long hair and not really doing ANYTHING with it, I was ready for a change. Not to mention the years of shall we say "treatments" had left my hair mangled and dried out. So it was great to have all the damaged hair cut off and a new sassy shape.

But the thing about the new 'do was that I found myself having to style it everyday, which for a gal like myself (one that isn't really "good at hair"), that became a bit of a challenge. I couldn't pull it back into my old friends the pony tail or sock bun anymore. I tried a few of the styles pictured below but alas, I knew what needed to happen. I needed to grow my hair back out. Maybe not as long as before, but def longer.
Middle part side twist, Curling wand curls, Straight and pulled back side, French twist
So what to do with my mid-length hair in this period of transition? My hair is long enough now that I can rock a bun and pony tail but I'm not quite ready for a braid yet. So what are some more styles that I could try? I'm intrigued by the following options:
Jessica's Bardot-inspired bang+bun combo. via
Gwyneth's tight but messy curls. via
Debra's messy low side bun. via

So I need you all's help! Are there any other hairstyles I should be trying? Let me know in the comments section!

Xo J

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Follow Us on Pinterest!

Hey honey boo-boos, did you all know that we have a Pinterest page? I'm guessing you did not since we only have 26 followers ;). Join in the fun and follow us here!

Xo J & A