Monday, April 29, 2013

Bachelorette Party Dresses

Prints, prints are more prints at Saks this weekend :)

After seeing this post, it should come as no surprise to you that I have been on a major mission to find the most awesome dresses ever for my bachelorette party. I started out by ordering a ton of options online. I found some okay options but sometimes you just have to go try things on! So this past weekend, I ventured out to some shops with a couple of girl friends to try some dresses on. 

Pretty much anything goes in Palm Springs so I wanted bright and fabulous options. Here are some of my favorite dresses:

Pattern Party

Clover Canyon Prism Desert DressMara Hoffman Open Back DressAlice + Olivia Y-Back Dress

Bold Brights

Shoshanna Melaney DressAIR by Alice + Olivia Tank DressASOS Plunge Skater Dress

Short Skirt, Short Sleeve

ASOS Crochet DressTorn Floral Dress, Alice + Olivia Goddess Dress

Any other options I should be considering? :)

Xo J

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Recent Acquisitions

Surprise, surprise, it was a windy day in San Francisco.

If you have followed this blog for awhile, you know that I am, at the moment, disposable-income-challenged due to my upcoming wedding. As a result, I haven't done much shopping. However, I have recently come across some REAL STEALS that I just couldn't resist picking up. Then, like the 6 year old I am inside- I wore them all at once! Hey, you know what I say- if you buy something and don't want to wear it immediately, you probably shouldn't have bought it.

I actually just picked up the moto vest last Thursday at Urban Outfitters. Not only is it amazing because, well, it's a moto vest, but get this- it's made out of SWEATSHIRT MATERIAL! I mean, there are no words. I knew I had to have it and since it was on major sale, I swooped it up. #score

The pants I ordered from Old Navy a couple of weeks ago. I ordered a couple of dresses from Piperlime for my bachelorette party and threw these into the shipment for good measure. It's funny because all of the dresses went back but I kept these. Super comfy yet chic, these can be dressed up or down depending on your mood. Oh and they're $30 so, like, go buy them. Just order a size up from your normal size.

Ya I wear my zippers undone, I'm a badass.

Finally, while these Sam Edelman leopard booties may not count as a 'recent' acquisition because I picked them up at the Shopbop sale over the holidays, it is their first appearance on the blog so I'm pretending they're new. While the booties may have bruised my feet the first couple of times I wore them, I powered through and now they are broken in and fabulous.

And here is a photo of my arm party featuring my fairly new Kiel James Patrick bracelet. I can't tell if it's navy or black so I just pretend it matches whatever color I'm wearing. Don't tell my mom (she has very strict rules about these sort of things).

So what about you all? Any great scores you want to share? Did anyone do any  damage at the Shopbop or Saks Friends and Family Sales?

Xo J

Thursday, April 25, 2013

In The Kitchen: Radicchio Salad with Avocado, Quinoa, & Goat Cheese

As you all know we are trying to be healthy and try new recipes. This past weekend we tried a new salad that I came across on Pinterest. I thought all of the ingredients sounded good but was a bit on the fence about how all of them would come together. However, I gave it a whirl and guess what? IT WAS DELICIOUS. Super light, fresh and yummy. While we had the salad by itself, it would be great paired with some grilled chicken or fish. Here my version of the recipe in case anyone is interested in giving it a whirl too!

Radicchio Salad with Avocado, Quinoa, & Goat Cheese
Serves 4 

For the quinoa: 
1/2 cup quinoa
1 clove garlic, smashed
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the vinaigrette: 
1/2 lemon, juiced (about 1 1/2 tablespoons) 
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon honey
Freshly ground black pepper

For the salad: 
1 head romaine lettuce
1/2 head radicchio
1 large shallot
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 large ripe avocado, thinly sliced
Flaky salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook the quinoa: Heat 1 cup water in a saucepan. Stir in the quinoa, garlic clove, and salt. Bring to a boil, then turn down to low, and cover. Cook for 15 minutes, then turn off the heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes. Spread the cooked quinoa on a large plate to cool. 

Make the vinaigrette: With a whisk, mix the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, honey, and black pepper. 

Make the salad: Finely chop the romaine into ribbons. Core and cut the radicchio into quarters, then slice each into thin ribbons. Finely shave the shallot into thin slices. Toss the romaine, radicchio, and shallot in a large bowl, and toss with the cooked quinoa. Toss with the vinaigrette, and then with the almonds and the goat cheese. Season to taste with generous amounts of salt. Serve topped with remaining slices of avocado. 


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Not So Mellow Yellow

Photo Credit: TJC

I would be lying if I said the this outfit didn't start with the shoes. We all know how that goes, a new pair of shoes changes EVERYTHING right? When I picked up the suckers for my upcoming bachelorette party, I couldn't wait to rock them.
Zara Blazer (old), Ella Moss Tank (similar), BDG Jeans, GiGi New York Clutch, LAMB Heels
Photo Credit: TJC

Imagine my surprise when I was thumbing through my closet looking for something to wear to a client meeting this week, and I happened upon this yellow Ella Moss tank I have bought years ago. While not meeting appropriate, it definitely needed to go on a date with my new shoes. I try not to be too matchy-matchy, but I figured that the shoes didn't have too much yellow so I went for it. I know, I'm wild.

Photo Credit: TJC

Photo Credit: TJC

*Full disclosure, the shoes are extremely high and with no platform, they are not super comfortable. Not that one buys 5in heels for comfort, but I just wanted to be honest. I'll just have to drink myself some flats for the bachelorette party ;)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Design Envy: Palm Beach Retreat

As you all may remember, I recently featured Christin Carron of the Luxe Report here as part of our Design Envy series and promised that you would be seeing her partner's palace soon too. So here today I am sharing with you Lauren Kukkanaa's Palm Beach digs. Christin and Lauren have such similar styles, it's great to see that translated into two separate homes. I'll take one of each please! Please join me in a tour of Lauren's stunning Palm Beach Retreat!

  • When did you all move into your home? July 2008, hard to believe almost 5 years!
  • How did you two approach the design? Was there a vision? Did one of you take the lead? Luxe Report Designs is about embracing old Palm Beach glamour, while maintaining a current sophistication by incorporating clean, modern lines and a bold, but simple color palette.
  • Did you have to undertake major renovations or was the home move-in ready? We were fortunate to purchase the home preconstruction so it was brand new! Our home was built in the Key West style, with a metal roof and a huge front porch!
  • Were there any major challenges you had to overcome? Yes! Unlike Christin's amazing Mediterranean abode, our preconstruction home equated to a severe lack in character. We've made it our mission to slowly bring character into the home through wood floors, tile backsplash, custom island, moldings, etc.
  • Were there any things that one of you said ABSOLUTELY NOT about? Not really, except I did recently put the kibosh on a tv for our outdoor living space. The space is right next to our indoor family room, which meant two tvs side by side! And as nice as it would be to watch tv outside (golf in my husband's case), it is really nice to not have a tv on while we enjoy that space! And would you believe, I think my husband now agrees!
  • What were the mandatories? Wood floors were top on our to-do list. Our contractor actually beat us to the house after closing to start ripping up all the carpet! We were hesitant on the pool at first because our community has two pools, but now we couldn't imagine our backyard without it. 

  • What are your top 2 favorite things in your home? 
    • Again, the backyard. When we moved in, it was just a small patch of grass that would never really serve any purpose. There's nothing like having outdoor living in Florida and the redesign of our backyard gave us a new dining and living space. Not to mention a great little pool and a deck to take sun! 

    • Second would probably be my son's nursery. It was so much fun to design, and the room has such a cozy peacefulness to it. I love hanging out in there.

  • Any design tips? Don't be afraid of white walls! There's nothing we love more than starting with a crisp, clean white palette and adding color from there. Sometimes through paint and wallpapers, but usually through fun fabrics.

Lauren's Looks for Less - Sienna Miller

Black lace - when worn wrong, it can either make you look like a stripper or like you're on your way to your funeral. But, in Sienna Miller's case, it can also make you look adorable. I love Sienna (homewrecker or not) and the way she took a fabric that can be very heavy/overwhelming and made it look fresh and light is awesome. 

I think it's mostly the shape of the dress and the bare legs - gives me inspiration to try the look at one of the many fun weddings I have this summer. Here is a a steal of an option I found online:

Express Lace Fit and Flare Dress: $88

Wearing this dress with a peek-a-boo open toe shoe makes it totally appropriate for warmer weather. Might have to get my credit card out for this one (as if it's not saved on 99 different websites...tricksters make it so easy)!

French Connection Dream Pumps: $130

Interested in more Lauren's Looks for Less? Check out the rest of her features here :)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Girl Crush of the Week: Kat Pummill of The Fit Girl's Kitchen

Kat Pummill and I go way back. We actually were both athletes at Miami University (Kat ran track and I swam) and I'm pretty sure we were in the same "how to not sound like a moron when interviewed" aka "public speaking for athletes" class. We've come a long way since those days and now are both queens of the internet bloggers. Kat is the creative force behind The Fit Girl's Kitchen, the every-girl's guide to living a fit, healthy and fabulous life. 

Kat's super-yummy recipe can be found here.

For me personally, Kat's blog has motivated me on my quest to be healthy. She shares delicious recipes for everything from juices to salads and not to mention her secret to looking so chic while breaking a sweat. I would be lying if I didn't mention that Kat has even inspired me to pick up yoga.

And so it is with great pleasure that I formally introduce Kat at today's Girl Crush of the Week and invite you all to join me in getting to know her even better!

How cute is she? And why don't I own that trench?

  • Style icons? I know it’s been said, but Gwyneth Paltrow always looks so effortlessly chic and pulled together. I love how real and honest she is about how hard she works to look the way she does and it’s so refreshing to hear someone say it. I am also totally crushing hard on Marissa Webb right now for her casual chic style on Instagram and of course the fabulous Blair Eadie of Atlantic-Pacific for style inspiration.
Kat's adorable pup Banks.

  • Favorite book? The Loved Dog by Tamar Geller is hands-down the best book I’ve read about training and understanding your relationship with your pup. I used her methods to train my almost 2 year old Goldendoodle, Banks, and I go back to it all the time for reference.
  • Favorite perfume? I absolutely adore Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel. It’s definitely very “fancy lady” smelling but whenever I wear it, it just makes me feel so fabulous – and that’s the whole point of a perfume, right?
Kat and her hubby Chris.

  • Interior design philosophy? I’m a big fan of southern-costal meets French-country meets contemporary-traditional. So I guess that means I am a fan of blending decorating styles J My husband and I just purchased our first house so I’m in MAJOR home d├ęcor mode right now…like staying up way past my bedtime pinning different paint colors and surfing the latest flash sales on Joss &  Main and One Kings Lane.
  • Best "hidden gem" store? I travel a lot, so I’m a huge online shopper. I’ve recently been buying some great stuff through Joyus, which is an online “collection” of name brand products that has short videos instead of product descriptions. I thought it was kind of weird at first, but I’ve gotten everything from a fab new lip color, to this adorable blue blazer by Greylin (that I get complimented on ALL the time) to my new juicer, which works great and for $75 - is a steal.

  • Must-have beauty product? Right now I’m currently obsessed with my Bobbi Brown Luminous Moisturizing Foundation. It’s a step up from a tinted moisturizer, but not as thick as typical foundation and gives my skin this amazing dewy glow.

  • Favorite song? Crushing hard on anything and everything Ellie Goulding right now. I did all of my triathlon training to her new album last summer and she’s going to be running the Nike Women’s Half Marathon with me next weekend (major girl crush!). Also loving local Chicago band Gemini Club (check out Nothing But History).
  • Secret addiction? Friends re-runs on Nick at Nite. I have seen every episode so many times I know many of them by heart, but there is something so comforting about having it on in the background while I’m doing blog work at night. Also, it’s fun to see the “fashions” of the late 90s. Ahhh crop tops and bad jeans.

  • Motto/quote to live by? “Sweat once a day.” That, and – you can never be in a bad mood if you’re wearing neon.
  • Favorite drink? Pre-run drink: Mean Green Juice Smoothie. Post-run drink: Champagne Cocktail (champagne with bitters)

  • My bracelet stack isn't complete without... My Tory Burch gold and tortoise shell cuff. Love gold and tortoise, goes with everything!
This is totally what I look like when doing yoga too.
  • I get my sweat on by... Right now it’s running; normally I would say yoga, but I’m doing the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in DC next weekend so that has been my main focus lately, with a few weekly yoga classes thrown in to balance it out. I am definitely looking forward to getting back to more yoga and Pilates once the race is over!

Totally motivating right?! If you're interested in more, follow Kat via the following social media channels:

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Summer Bridesmaid Styling - The Dress

Dress 1, Dress 2, Dress 3, Dress 4 (no longer available), Dress 5

Recently, one of my friends hired me to style her for her brother's summer wedding. The June Chicago wedding will be a casual affair with the ceremony being held in an old church and the reception will be in a vintage furniture warehouse. Sounds amazing right? 

Well here is where the plot thickens. My friend was chosen as the one and only bridesmaid and asked to wear cherry red. Now red is a color not everyone can pull off. As someone with very similar coloring as my friend, I knew that finding just the right shade would be key. 

My friend and I worked together on a mini-brief for the assignment which included things like sizes, budget, watch-outs, etc. Although she gave me very clear guardrails, I find that it helps to see options to narrow the focus. I mean, I cannot be the only person whose wedding dress is completely different than what they had in my mind originally ;)

Here are some of the dresses that I virtually pulled for my friend (above and below). As you can see, they are all classic in their pursuits as that is very much my friend's style.

Dress 6 (no longer available), Dress 7 (no longer available), Dress 8, Dress 9

Dress 10, Dress 11, Dress 12

After seeing all of the options, my friend decided on the dress below. Very elegant and fun a la the incredible Audrey Hepburn! 

Up next are the shoes. Check back in in the next couple of weeks to see the options I pulled and which she chose!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Bachelorette Party Bikinis

As you all are aware, my bachelorette party is fast approaching. I am literally counting down the days until I am with some of my favorite people in the oh-so-fabulous Palm Springs. As part of the prep for the weekend, my friends and I have been doing some SERIOUS outfit planning because, well, just any old thing will not do for Palm Springs.

I'm going with these bottoms, they are reversible to match the pattern on the top.

Now this may sound silly, but a major part of the outfit planning is the pool attire. I’ll be there for 3 full days of pool time and while I’ve been working to get my body somewhat presentable, I want my bikinis to look awesome too. Of course I have tons to choose from already, but hey, it’s MY bachelorette party and I want something new.

Last week one of my friends send me the following email “what style are you going for in Palm Springs? Slim Aarons? Jessica Alba and Nicole Richie in St. Barth's? Coachella?” I had to laugh because of course I had the look all planned out and my friends knew it.

I was really inspired but the photo above. The perfect balance of boho, classic and glam, this girl exudes carefree style. How did I plan to achieve this look? Well, it should come as no surprise to anyone here that I immediately turned to LSPACE. To me, LSPACE embodies the exact look I am going for – chic, carefree, glam.

I couldn't decide between this one and the snake print so I got both.
I know, I'm a lunatic.

After browsing all of the stunning LSPACE bikinis available, I have narrowed my choices down to the bikinis shown here. I'll mix these bad boys with some of the pieces I already own and I cannot wait to thrown on my aviators and stacks of bracelets. Now for the flat stomach… well, we’ll just have to see about that…

Monday, April 15, 2013

Vintage Robin Egg Blue

Photo Credit: Lindsey Kessler

A couple of weeks ago when my mom was in town, we stumbled into this little vintage store while antique shopping. I was just casually browsing while my mom checked out the gloves when I came across this robin's egg blue coat. Imagine my surprise when I pulled it off the rack to find a DRESS underneath. I begged my mom to try to on for my wedding, threatening to try it on myself if she didn't. 

Photo Credit: Lindsey Kessler

My mom appeased me by trying it on but something about it just wasn't right. Sure enough though, it fit me like a glove. Did I need it? NOPE. Was I going to die without it? YES. That sucker was mine.

Photo Credit: Lindsey Kessler

I'm still waiting for the right occasion to bust out the dress and make you all jealous, but in the meantime, I just had to show you the coat! I paired it with a simple vneck and jeans (BIG SURPRISE), nude heels and my tan GiGi New York Clutch. It's all very fancy lady brunching with friends no?

Photo Credit: Lindsey Kessler

Photo Credit: Lindsey Kessler

Photo Credit: Lindsey Kessler

Photo Credit: Lindsey Kessler

Photo Credit: Lindsey Kessler