Saturday, December 29, 2012

Fur and Leopard - An Obvious Choice

You know those items you totally forget you own? Welp, I have a black faux fur vest I COMPLETELY forgot about. I purchased it maybe 3 years ago, at the height of the Rachel Zoe moment. I wore it endlessly for a season and then sort of forgot about it. Okay, I featured it once in this How We Style It but that was way back in March. 

Coach Boots (on major sale here in black), BDG Jeans, Forever 21 Leopard Sweater (similar),
Faux Fur Vest (similar), Forever 21 Ring, Vintage, AV Max, and Spike the Punch Bracelets

Anyways, as I was packing for LA last week, my faux fur vest beckoned to come with me. You know what else beckoned me? My leopard sweater. It's "cold" in LA right now so I thought both would be great layering pieces. I ended up pairing them together (go big or go home with the animal theme) and threw on my new riding boots to head to breakfast with my mom. I might need to repeat this look back in SF no?

Sans vest for slightly warmer days.

The usual suspects- statement ring and chunky arm party.

And with that, my dears, I am off on my two week blog vacay! I'll still be updating my Instagram and Pinterest so follow me there for updates. Otherwise, have a GREAT time with Allison and her assistant Clementine!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Bedroom Project - Part 1

Our bedroom in it's current state (what you can see of it :))

I think that I have mentioned before that my interests center around three main topics- style, cooking and home decor. After spending the last year in style land, I've recently begun to refocus my efforts on our home. It probably has something to do with the wedding registry, and spending hours in the stores at which we've registered, but I find myself wanting to complete some of the rooms in our home.

As you all know, our living room is pretty much done. Our bathroom is also done and the entryway is almost there so that just leaves our bedroom and the kitchen/dining room. While I made some major headway last year when I scored the curtains seen here and made pillows and runners for the whole room, it still felt unfinished. I wanted our bedroom to be a casual, luxurious retreat, but it just wasn't there yet. Here are some of my inspiration photos, via Pinterest, of course:

We had been searching for headboards for awhile and finally found one we BOTH liked. I got some liquid courage earlier this week and pulled the trigger. I'm so thrilled we found something that worked for both us and the room. I think this light velvet headboard will really anchor the room. Here is what we got. 

I also picked up some fabrics during my trip to LA. If you follow me on Instagram, you already got a sneak peek. If I survive sewing them, I'll post the finished product :). That'll be Part 2!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Maaaaaajor SHOPBOP Sale

Oh you know these are sitting in my shopping cart right now...

If you read the subject of this post using your Oprah voice, we're on the same level.

As with most major retailers this week, one of my favorite stores, Shopbop, is having a major sale. Considering I refuse can't afford to spend $350 on a sweater, Shopbop's sales are when I scoop up most of my goodies. Here are some of the items I have my eye on:

Rebecca Minkoff Becky Jacket - $257.60

Pencey Standard Snaps Henley - $56.00

Dolce Vita Suede Oxfords - $39.50

Joie Yoko Draped Cardigan - $229.60

Koral Stretch Skinny Jeans - $119

Dolce Vita Halle Zip Booties - $109.50

Also, if money was no object, this lovely number would be mine:

Mackage Leather Coat with Fur Collar - $945.00

What about you all? Know of any majors sales we should all be checking out? 

Xo J

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!!

As today is Christmas Eve, Allison and I would like to wish you all the merriest of Christmases. We have a lot to be thankful for this year and one of the things we are most thankful for is all of you! You all are so wonderful, you truly make the late nights and the weekend shoots worth it :). We are so glad to know that you enjoy our content that we want to work even harder for you in 2013.

2013 will bring a few changes here at Tartan & Sequins. We really want to focus on bringing you the best content possible, so that may mean a couple of less posts but each post will be amazing. At least, that's what we're aiming for ;). Another thing we'd like to try out is a 'How You Style It' series where we share a trend or style with all of you and then you all submit your pics for posting. You all have such great ideas/comments, we'd love to see what you all are wearing. Would that be something you'd be interested in?

We want to make Tartan & Sequins a retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life but also want it to be a place for ideas and inspiration. That's what we look for in our favorite blogs so we want to be that for you! Please let us know if there is anything else you would like to see in 2013- more recipes, home ideas, makeup, etc.

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Xo J & A

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

This One Time I Wore a Dress

I mean, you guys know, I don't really wear dresses that often. Not that I don't own like 1000, I just am going through a phase where I don't really wear dresses. Kind of like when I went through that phase where I only wore J.Crew v-necks otherwise known as, the last two years.

Anyhooooo, the holidays are here and that means tons of fabulous soirees. When an invitation says "dress: festive" to me, that means a dress. On Saturday night I had two such occasions to wear a dress so I did what any gal would do, pulled out the three or four dresses I thought would work, tried them on, took pics and sent them to Allison to weigh in. Don't pretend like you don't do that with your friends too. Here is what I landed on:

Not too bad eh? Given the neckline, I just couldn't resist pulling my hair up into a sock bun. I threw on some pageant earrings (similar 1, similar 2, similar 3), a smokey eye and some attitude and called it a day. 

What are you all wearing to your holiday soirees? Xo J

Monday, December 17, 2012

In The Kitchen: Peppermint Bark

I had to get creative for this year's work Christmas gifts. You see, my agency is pretty small so I work with everyone there on a daily basis. Which means gifts for everyone. And since I am a bit disposable-income-challenged at the moment, I decided to make something sweet for everyone. Something sweet that wasn't too hard to make either. Enter the delicious and festive PEPPERMINT BARK.

With just five ingredients, peppermint bark is super easy to make. I found this recipe online that I've reposted below.

1 pound high-quality semisweet chocolate, broken into pieces
1 pound high-quality white chocolate, broken into pieces
2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1 teaspoon mint or peppermint extract, divided
7 candy canes

  • Line a cookie sheet with WAX (not parchment) paper. 
  • Place the semisweet chocolate and 1 teaspoon of the canola oil in the top of a double boiler over just barely simmering water, stirring frequently and scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula to avoid scorching. When the chocolate is melted, stir in 1/2 teaspoon of the peppermint extract. 

  • Pour the melted chocolate into the prepared pan, and spread evenly over the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle half of the crushed peppermints over the chocolate layer. Refrigerate until completely hardened, about 1 hour.

  • Place the white chocolate and the remaining 1 teaspoon canola oil in the top of a double boiler over just barely simmering water, stirring frequently and scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula to avoid scorching. When the chocolate is melted, stir in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon peppermint/mint extract. 

  • Pour the white chocolate directly over the semisweet chocolate layer; spread evenly. Sprinkle the remaining crushed candy over the top and gently press in. 

  • Refrigerate until completely hardened. Remove from pan; break into small pieces to serve.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

My New Babyliss Hairdryer

RIP Hot Tools purple polka dot hairdryer.

Last Sunday night, I was going about my business and blowdrying my hair when all of a sudden, THE THING STARTED SMOKING! The smoking turned into sparks and that turned into a small fire in my hairdryer. Needless to say, it was time to get a new hairdryer!

It was a Hot Tools hairdryer and while nice, I wondered if I could do better in my next purchase. So I did what any sensible woman with a Facebook account would do and I posted it to Facebook. 

As you can see, the vote was pretty unanimous. Clearly I needed a Babyliss. I turned to Amazon and after a quick search I found one that looked good. Two days later (obviously this was an urgent need) my new Babyliss hair dryer was here! And let me tell you- it is awesome!!

My new BFF.

In true Julia Bayard fashion, I was too busy to make a blowout appointment for our engagement photo shoot until it was too late and they were all booked. So I watched a couple of videos, armed myself with my new Babyliss and some velcro curlers and got to work. I have to say that it turned out really well! You can judge for yourself when you see my engagement photos, but I think the Babybliss hairdryer did 90% of the work! I highly recommend it to anyone in the market!!

Happy shopping! Xo J

Monday, December 10, 2012

Wedding Planning 101: DIY Banner

Remember back in this post when I said I wasn't really a DIY-er but that necessity was the mother of invention? Welp, it happened again.

In the craziness that is work + blog + wedding + relationships + whatever else a woman needs to balance, it only occurred to me one week before our engagement photo shoot that we might want some props. I scoured Etsy but it appeared I had waited too long to get anything in time for our shoot. You see, I wanted one of those adorable banners with our wedding date on it that, because they are custom, take at least two weeks. Undaunted, I said to myself, I bet I could make one of these myself.

Just like before, I hiked it over to Paper Source to get my materials. Can I just say how helpful the staff is at Paper Source? Sure, they totally try (and succeed) to upsell me every time, but they are saints. This is now the second time where I have walked in with an idea and NO CLUE how to execute it and they save the day every time. Bless their hearts.

I wanted the banner to be rustic with some sparkle (our theme IS Southern Charm right?!) so I chose to use the backs of the flags so that the background would cardboard and then I used silver tinsel and glitter.

First I measured and marked the height that each letter should be so the sizing would be uniform. Then I looked up one of my favorite fonts in Word and blew up the numbers to like size 150 (yes, they can go that big- who knew?!). I then eye-balled the font and sketched out the numbers lightly with pencil. The key here is to have a good eraser!

I then took the PVA and filled in the numbers. The PVA was very easy to work with and I only had to fix it a couple of times.

One at a time, I dumped the hell out of that glitter onto the wet PVA. The PVA dries very quickly so as soon as I was done with the third flag, I went back and started cleaning up the first one (aka I dumped all of the excess glitter from the first flag onto the fourth flag).

I cleaned off all the flags and let them dry for a few hours. I then strung the tinsel through the flags and TADA!!! Our fabulous wedding date banner is complete :)

If I can do it, anyone can!! I can't wait to see how it looks in pictures!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Girl Crush of the Week: Chelsea MacMeekin of Haute Child in the City

A woman with a love for tartan and pink? A woman on the brink of losing it between her job, her family, her blog, her friends? A woman who keeps it together and still manages to look fabulous? Obviously we're spirit animals (or at least we'd like to think). 

We first discovered Chelsea MacMeekin of Haute Child in the City as a commenter on our blog and, after checking out her blog, we fell for her. Chelsea's honesty and realness shine through in each of her posts in a genuine way. Then of course, there is her love of shoes, anything monogrammed and the color pink and well, we know we had to feature her. Please join us in getting to know the fabulous Chelsea MacMeekin, our latest Girl Crush of the Week!
  • Style icons? Coco Chanel, Jackie O, Audrey Hepburn, Diane Von Furstenberg, Sarah Jessica Parker
  • Design philosophy? Never take yourself too seriously; Design is something that you should have fun with and is always evolving.  I love integrating the unexpected and quirky into the everyday- my rule is 80% classic, 20% trendy.  Don’t be afraid of color or mixing pattern and never say never.
  • Favorite book of all time? My favorite book of all time is “The Little Prince”; I grew up reading the book and I love how depending upon the point that you are in your life it can mean something different to you. I think there’s something really special about a book that can span multiple generations.   I also collect the book in different languages from my travels -although I can only actually read it in French.  And the first book we got for my son’s nursery was a pop-up version of “The Little Prince”.  I really look forward to sharing the book with him.
  • Best advice you ever received? You get what you pay for in shoes, purses, haircuts, and bikini waxes.  (Trust me, if you’ve had a bad one of any of these, you’d agree!)

  • Favorite stores? Nordstrom is my go-to because they have just a great variety of brands and price points and simply amazing customer service. I’m also doing a lot of shopping at JCrew.  Their clothing is spot on these days and I work with a personal stylist in our local store-she is great because she has an amazing sense of style and helps me think outside my box.  And for arm candy, Kate Spade makes a great bangle.
  • Dream place to live? If I were to live anywhere stateside it would have to be Chicago.  I adore that city; gorgeous architecture, great food, really amazing shopping.  If I were to move across the pond it would either have to be in Paris – it’s where my husband and I spent our first Valentine’s Day together as a couple (totally cliché, right?! I love it!)
  • The one product you're obsessed with right now? As I get older (sigh), I fully understand the importance of taking better care of my skin.  Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair is an amazing serum. I wish I had listened to my mother a decade ago and started using it sooner.
  • Biggest indulgence? Shoes and sequins have to be my biggest indulgence; I tend to never deny myself a good heel or anything that has sequins on it. (My husband may have to stage an intervention sometime in the not-so-distant future). And Brie…I am a sucker for anything with Brie in it.
  • Girl crush? Blake Lively – she dances on tables with Florence from Florence + the machine, rides scooters in Paris with Christian Louboutin and is Karl Lagerfeld’s muse.  And yet despite all of that she seems so down-to-earth and has a great sense of style (and an incredibly attractive husband).  It would easy to hate her, but I just can’t!
  • Favorite song? I love Van Morrison and “Into the Mystic” is my hands-down favorite.  My mother used to listen to Van Morrison nonstop when I was growing up and so I have a soft spot in my heart for his music.
  • Prized possession? My wedding set – now it includes my engagement ring, wedding band, and push present.  Each piece is so near and dear to me because it represents a different phase of my relationship with my Husband.  I also love that they weren’t made as a set, but complement each other so well. And our fur daughter, Coco – I actually think she owns us, but she’s been around since we moved in together and is such an important part of our family.
  • Current hangout? For a good burger and chill atmosphere, I love Chuck’s in Raleigh.  The owner has two other really fantastic restaurants in the area (Poole’s Diner and Beasley’s Chicken + Honey) – they are all really amazing.
  • Motto? ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world.’ I firmly believe that the smallest voice or gesture can start change..maybe that’s the optimist in me, but I love to believe in the good of people.

  • Best place on earth? Despite my penchant for heels and sparkle as well as out-of-control social calendar, I do love being home on the couch with my two guys, Hubs and Peanut and our dog, Coco.
  • Favorite drink? I start out my day with a strong cup of coffee, sip mint tea throughout the day, and end my day with a glass of cabernet.  If it has been a really long day, a Moscow mule (such an under appreciated drink). If I drink soda, it’s only Dr. Pepper, but usually just drink my full 64 oz of water a day.
Adore Chelsea as much as we do? Follow her here:

Thursday, December 6, 2012

HWSI: Winter Vests

J.Crew Quilted Vest, Zara Dolman Shirt, J.Crew Minnie Pants, DKNY Booties
Photo Credit: TJC

I never really "got" winter vests. It seemed to me that they never provided enough coverage. Like, why would you not have sleeves if you could? That was of course, until I moved to San Francisco, where it is perpetual fall. Let me tell you, the winter vest has some in raaaaather handy.

As you know, I recently picked up this number and have styled it again for you in today's How We Style It. Just in case one quilted number wasn't enough, I also picked up the faboo black winter vest below from J.Crew. It comes in several fun colors and even in HERRINGBONE. However, since I only really had the tan one and this sporty blue one, I figured I needed a more versatile piece that would go with more options.

Photo Credit: TJC

While I have a moral opposition to white pants after labor day, I do love Allison's cream and white ensemble featuring her Patagonia winter vest. Total cozy/chic combo!
Patagonia vest, L.L. Bean little boys' fisherman sweater, J. Crew white jeans
Michael Kors Odin Flats, Louis Vuitton Speedy 25 
Photo Credit: Ben McDonald

Photo Credit: Ben McDonald

I would like to formally apologize for the frizz ball hair you see here today. My hair dryer exploded this weekend and didn't get a new one in time. You're welcome for usually hiding this from you.
Kate Spade Necklace (similar), J.Crew Leopard Perfect Shirt (similar), J.Crew Quilted Vest

Photo Credit: TJC 

Here are some of our favorite vests out right now:

PS if you haven't already, check out our guest post on the Eventbrite blog - From Drinks to Decor: Picking Your NYE Theme!