Wednesday, October 31, 2012

City Guides: San Francisco

The Palace of Fine Arts

One of the most common questions I get, aside from post requests, is what to do and see when in San Francisco. There are so many wonderful things to do here in the city that people are looking for insider help navigate the options. Of course, there are a million things ways to go about it so fair warning, these are just my favorites :)


Some of my favorite haunts for a romantic date night:
  • Isa - Delicious California French food with great service. Very intimate.
  • Cafe Des Amis - Wonderful, high-end French food. The decor isn't too shabby either.
  • Amelie - Lovely little French wine bar with super yummy, inexpensive tapas.
  • Kokkari - High-end Greek/Med food.
  • DOSA - Amazing Southern Indian food. Seriously, I never liked Indian food until I ate at DOSA.
  • Le Colonial - French Vietnamese spot right in Union Square.
DOSA on Fillmore

Some of my favorite more casual eateries: 
  • Delarosa - Delicious Roman food (pizzas, salads, etc) with fantastic cocktails. I highly recommend the El Diablo.
  • Tacolicious - Great Mexican food and ever better cocktails. However, they don't take resos so try to get there early!
  • Sandwich Spot - I recommend getting a sandwich here and walking over to the Palace of Fine Arts for a picnic.
  • Foreign Cinema - Great for brunch!
  • Pesce - Italian seafood restaurant, causal and affordable.
  • Tony's Pizza - Some of the absolute best pizza I have ever had! A must-visit if you're in North Beach.
  • Out The Door - Beyond amazing vietnamese food and the wine comes in beakers- pretty cool!

Some of my favorite sights to see:
  • Palace of Fine Arts - This is hands down my all-time favorite place in the city. Absolutely stunning as seen at the top of this post.
  • Golden Gate Bridge/Chrissy Field - Plan a picnic (dress warmly)
  • Chinatown - Great little shops and sightseeing. 
  • Fillmore, Union and Chestnut Streets - Great shopping.
  • Union Square - This place is a madhouse but has pretty much very shop you'd ever want to visit!

I'm sure there are places I'm forgetting, but these are my current faves right now! Let me know if you come to visit and end up checking out one of these places!! Xo J

PS check out our guest post today on A Bit of Sass. We're sharing our favorite shoe stories :)

Monday, October 29, 2012

New iPhone Case Needed

While Allison is walking around like a boss with her iPhone 5, I am still chugging along with my iPhone 4. The combination of me being DI-challenged and trying to decide if I should switch from ATT to Verizon means I'm stuck with my iPhone 4 for a while longer. Bleghhhh.

Last week I was browsing Dominique's blog, Comfy Cozy Couture, when I spotted this post on iPhone 5 cases. Knowing I didn't have an iPhone 5 didn't stop me, I knew the gold sparkly number needed to be mine! I clicked on the link and what did I see? An iPhone bonanza!!! Literally hundreds of amazing iPhone options and guess what- they have cases for the iPhone 4! Cure to my iPhone 4 woe discovered!

After clicking through all 100 pages of cases (yes, it really happened), I have narrowed down my favorites. My favorites meaning basically anything involving sequins/sparkles, flowers or watercolors. Check out the options!

As a summary, here they are all at once. Which one do you all like best?!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

SF Chronicle Story

For those of you who don't follow me on Instagram or us on Facebook, I have some VERY exciting news to share with everyone today! No, I'm not pregnant. 

But you know what I am? FEATURED IN THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE! My fiance and I are in an article with another of my two friends in a story about how people living together work together on the design and decor of their home. You know, how do you fuse two styles together and build your own style together, that sort of thing. 

It was a fun article to be a part of because, as you will read, it didn't exactly go smoothly :) Click here to read the article and then let me know what you think! I can't be the only one who banished a fighter jets poster to the closet!

Xo J

PS. The story isn't completely accurate- TC and I never lived together, we're engaged, etc, but still exciting nonetheless :)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Girl Crush of the Week: Britt Berger of skinnyBLING

Total top model! Photo Credit: Lina Akgul

One of the main reasons why we started the Girl Crush of the Week series was to celebrate other badass chicks doing what they love. What I really love about the series is that we get to share their stories with you all and hopefully those stories inspire you in any way. It makes me so happy today to be able to feature one of my best friends, Britt Berger, as our Girl Crush of the Week.

Mark, myself, Britt and Laurel.

Britt and I met in the freshman dorms at Miami University. She signed for my laptop when I was at swim practice and after one look up and down of each other, this LA girl and that NYC girl were fast friends. We shared in our fair share of debauchery and drama, but always came back to what we loved - going to Forever 21 hungover and buying the most obnoxious items in the store. If a set of matching white faux fur jackets doesn't say friendship, I don't know what does.

Britt and I have stayed good friends since college, seeing each other as much as we can given we live on opposite coasts. On my last trip to NYC a few months ago, I noticed Britt rocking an awesome ring. When she told me it was just something she and her boyfriend Chris whipped up, I was shocked! FF a few months later, Britt and Chris launched their jewelry brand, skinnyBLING and set up an Etsy shop. They graciously sent us some amazing monogram necklaces, which we styled here

skinnyBLING large monogram necklace.

Obviously I am very proud of what Britt's accomplished, but I'm also proud to be her friend. Get to know why I think she's so awesome in today's Girl Crush of the Week!

  • Style icons? Sarah Jessica Parker, Rachel Bilson, Blake Lively, Blair Eadie
  • Design philosophy? I’d like to think that it’s clean and simple with a hint of beachy shabby chic, but the truth is that I have way too much stuff. I need to work on de-cluttering in a major way.
    Some of Britt's favorite places in Nantucket.
  • Favorite book of all time? If I had to pick just one it would have to be The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. But I also love Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, The Time Travelers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld, and Blame by Michelle Huneven. Girls in White Dressesby Jennifer Close is amazing and the funniest thing I’ve ever read. Oh, and how can you forget the classic beach reads My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult and Summer Sisters by Judy Blume?
    Donnie, Britt, Shar-Dog and Lacey in Nantucket.
  • Best advice you've ever received? You can do anything you put your mind to, from my #1 supporter – my mom. This advice has worked very well for me over the years.
  • Favorite stores? I think of shopping as a competitive sport and nothing makes me happier than getting a great deal. Some of my favorites are Zara, Bloomingdales, Shopbop, Piperlime, and C. Wonder.
  • Dream place to live? Right now I’d be quite happy in an apartment in either the West Village or Tribeca (with lots of closet/storage space, of course).
    Britt and I with some of our other best friends since freshman year at Miami.
    We featured Brandi's (next to me) home as part of our Design Envy series!
  • The one product you're obsessed with right now? Carols Daughter Chocolat Smoothing Blow Dry Cream. GO BUY IT NOW. My frizzy, overly highlighted, perpetually dead, not straight but not wavy hair is the bane of my existence. This is completely embarrassing, but in 2010 I was on an episode of Rachael Ray’s talk show about people with damaged hair. I can’t even begin to list all the products and treatments I’ve tried, and nothing compares to this truly miraculous hair cream. Trust me.
  • Biggest indulgence? The past two years of my life. Feeling completely unfulfilled, I quit my job in finance in 2010 in order to pursue a Masters degree in nutrition and become a Registered Dietitian. Don’t get me wrong, going back to school after four years was not easy, but during this time I’ve learned so much about myself and what I want out of life. I was also able to make two of my dreams into realities: I spent summer 2011 living and working on Nantucket, and this summer, me and my boyfriend Chris started skinnyBLING, an online jewelry shop. Chris is the best friend, boyfriend, and business partner I could ever ask for and we’ve been having the time of our lives building our business together.
  • Girl crush? Blake Lively. Completely gorgeous, great style, hot husband, and yet seems very down to earth. And it doesn’t hurt that she’s on the best show ever.
  • Favorite song? That changes almost daily. Two of my favs in the current rotation are Colder Weather by Zac Brown Band and Free by Graffiti6.
Mishca on her throne.
  • Prized possession? Three things immediately come to mind. My grandfather’s Notre Dame class of 1945 ring that I wear on chain as a necklace, my sweet and funny cat Mishca, and my men’s Cartier Roadster watch. Ok, the watch isn’t really “mine” in the literal sense (it was Chris’s college graduation present from his parents), but he’s been kind enough to let me borrow it for the last several months.
Photo Credit: Lina Akgul
  • Current hangout? The library, skinnyBLING headquarters (aka my desk), and the post office. Glamorous, right?

  • Motto? If you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen. (Motto borrowed from Conan O’Brien).
  • Best place on earth? Nantucket Island. I truly believe I’m the luckiest girl ever, as I’ve had the opportunity to spend a few weeks with my family every August since I was a little girl on this magical island. Nantucket is only 25 miles off the coast of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, but once you get off the ferry it’s like you are in an entirely different world. I’d try to explain, but I could never do it justice.

  • Favorite drink? Anything you can add a squeeze of lemon to – iced tea, seltzer, vodka :)
Photo Credit: Lina Akgul

Super cute no?! Check out Britt's fabulous jewelry at her Etsy shop, skinnyBLING!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

How We Style It: Leather Jackets

Photo Credit: TJC
Ever since I saw Sandy rock a leather jacket at the end of Grease as part of her 'bad girl' makeover, I've wanted a leather jacket. The thing about leather jackets though is that they are expensive of course, but also elusive. Finding the perfect one takes some serious searching, but once you've found it, your life will never be the same. Sort of like finding 'the one,' but in fashionista terms :)

Go on with your bad self Sandy!

I found my leather jacket back in LA about four years ago. After months of searching, my friend Noelle and I walked by Ann Taylor and there it was. I could hardly believe my eyes- I mean Ann Taylor? Hmmmm. But Noelle urged me to try it on so I did, and it fit like a glove. The leather jacket has been mine ever since. 

I just love how versatile the jacket is. I've styled it below for both date night and daytime shopping with friends. I love how Allison has styled hers as well- I mean GOLDDDDD?! She is now the second person I have seen with a gold leather jacket from F21. Sounds like I need to start camping out there!

Ann Taylor Leather Jacket (similar), F21 Pleated Tunic (similar), Express Liquid Leggings (similar), 
Banana Republic Clutch (similar), DKNY Booties (similar)
Photo Credit: TJC
Photo Credit: TJC
Photo Credit: TJC
Ann Taylor Leather Jacket (similar), J.Crew Sweater (similar), BDG Jeans, Dorothy Perkins Ankle Boots
F21 and Rachel Zoe Necklaces
Photo Credit: TJC
Forever 21 Gold Faux-Leather Jacket, Ann Taylor Leopard Top (similar), J. Crew hunter green cords (similar), 
Michael Kors Odin Flats (similar), Marc Jacobs Quinn Bag (similar), Chanel Sunnies (similar) 
Photo Credit: Ben McDonald
Photo Credit: Ben McDonald

Here are some fab leather jackets out there right now, you know, for whomever is looking :)

Now that I've got your shopping for a new leather jacket, let's shop for some ankle booties! Check out our guest post on The Now today!!

Xo J

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Oversize Sweaters

Cheap Monday Sweater, Valentino Leopard Scarf, Louis Vuitton Neverfull, Hollister Jeans (similar from BDG, my favorite denim brand), Woolrich Parka, Celine Bracelet, Dorothy Perkins Boots, Tom Ford Nail Polish

In the winter, I have a pretty standard uniform- scarf, oversize sweater, skinny jeans and boots of some sort. I have to walk/bus/walk to get into work, plus it's cold in my office, so bundling up is totally necessary. As such, I've been collecting oversize sweaters through the years, adding a few each season. Since it's cold and rainy on this very day in SF, I feel compelled to begin my search for this years acquisitions :).

One big watch-out for me though is that, while I want the sweater to be oversize, I don't want it to be bulky. The bulky look may work for a model, but on someone with a chest, it's simply not cute.

I've pulled together some of my favorite options to share with you today. It's interesting to see the styles I gravitate towards- cowl neck, draped cardigan and boxy. I find these to be the most comfortable and flattering given my body shape. Check them out!

Cowl Neck




Draped Cardigan



Hive & Honey






Which do you all like?! 

Xo J

Friday, October 19, 2012

Girl Crush of the Week: Julia Bayard (aka moi)

Photo Credit: Christy Lottie

When Allison featured herself as a Girl Crush back in March, she asked me if I'd like to do one on myself as well. At the time, we agreed that I would have one ready to go in case someone had to cancel at the last minute or if we messed up on the scheduling. Well my friends, that day has come. Thought you knew everything about me? Well okay, you do know A LOT about me but there's always more to share. So sit back and enjoy the ride as you get to know yours truly even better in today's Girl Crush of the Week.

I suppose I have quite a few shoes...
  • Style icons? While it should come as no surprise that I love the styles of Olivia Palermo, Nicky Hilton, Gwyneth Paltrow and Lauren Conrad, but I also really love my blogging friends' styles. I think being able to see real women translate trends and styles is even more inspirational. My favorites are Allison of course, Julia of Gal Meets Glam, Brooke Wise of StyleWise, Bethany of BSOUP, Elizabeth of The Now, and Sarah of Classy Girls Wear Pearls. Last but certainly not least, I love my mother's style. Every once and awhile, I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and think 'wow, I am my mother's daughter.' Don't tell her that though ;)
    My mom and I in the same Miami tee. 
  • Design philosophy? I want everything in my home to have a purpose and a story. Otherwise it's just clutter.

  • Favorite book of all time? Besides Harold and The Purple Crayon? (best kids book ever) I guess I am revealing my past as an angsty teen when I say The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I am so thrilled that they made a move out of it and love that the writer is also the director. I can't wait to go see how he brought the characters to life. You know, me and all the other 17 year olds ;)
    My fiancé, TC, and I at a friend's rehearsal dinner.
  • Best advice you ever received? Someone once told me that it's important to be nice to everyone. I wasn't the nicest person growing up and I still am not perfect, but I really do try and be nice to everyone. Unless you've caught me before I've been caffeinated. Then all bets are off.
  • Favorite stores? Well it should come to no surprise that J.Crew tops my list. I also love Zara, Urban Outfitters, Kate Spade, Piperlime to name a few. I'm realized recently that I do almost all my shopping online so I'm trying to bring some brick and mortars back into the rotation. My neighborhood has a ton of great spots!
  • Dream place to live? The south! Everyone is so charming and the food is SO GOOD!
    Sorry I'm not sorry for being ADORABLE!
  • The one product you're obsessed with right now? I am going to have to say my EYEKO eyeliner that I got in my Birchbox. It's a liquid liner that legit goes on like a marker. It's so easy to use and lasts all day! I highly recommend it to everyone :)

    This photo was from my first blog photoshoot. It was raining, we were borrowing a camera and TC wanted to kill me. Welcome to the glamorous life of a blogger!
  • Biggest indulgence? I'd say shopping. I by no means am a shopaholic nor do I really buy anything that's super expensive. But I do think that I am very lucky that even when I am saving for my wedding, that I still have the available funds to buy a few things a month. There definitely was a point when I was starting out in advertising that I had to work two jobs just to make due. So now that I've worked my butt off to get where I am, I like to be able to enjoy the fruits of my labor.

  • Girl crush? I'd say that while I have a ton of style icons, my girl crushes are my friends. Wonderful, sweet, honest, hardworking, I love my friends!
  • Prized possession? My engagement ring. And my iPhone. Is that weird?
Photo Credit: Nayomi Ho
  • Current hangout? Probably the pilates studio! I grew up swimming and working out in a gym but I found myself getting really bored with it. As you all know, I've been trying to get in shape so I decided to start going to workout classes with my friends. Maybe six months ago my friend introduced to a pilates studio in our neighborhood and I got hooked! I never thought I'd say this, but I actually miss it when I'm out of town or sick and can't go. 
  • Motto? Go big or go home. I believe that if you're going to do something, you give it your all. 
    Stealing a kiss in Paris
  • Best place on earth? My bed :)
  • Favorite drink? My go-to is usually white wine, like a chardonnay from Markham or La Crema. If I'm drinking cocktails, my new favorite is the Hemingway Daiquiri! It's ingredients include maraschino liquor which only comes in a massive bottle. So I have a crapload of that to work through. Sounds like I have a lot more Hemingway Daiquiris in my future!