Thursday, May 27, 2010

Memorial Weekend beach picks

This weekend is the unofficial start of summer. I always go to the Outer Banks with my family. Here are some of my must-packs for the long weekend...[]

-Easy cover-ups:
Unfussy swimsuit cover-ups are always nice at the beach. I like this 'Tie-dye Beach Dress' from Victoria's Secret. It comes in purple, pink and green for $39.99. []

-Havaianas: These are the only flip-flops I will wear. They're comfy, colorful and classic (how's that for alliteration!). Nordstrom has some solid colors on sale right now for $11.90. The 'Fun' pair pictured is $22. I also often find them at Ross or Marshall's.[]

-Tote: An indestructible tote is a must. Anthropologie has two totes on sale for $9.99, 'Hardy Camellias Tote' and 'Go Green Tote.'


-Straw hat: Covering my face at the beach is crucial. This 'Side Bow Fedora' from Forever 21 is a steal at under $9 and it's very chic.


-Shorts: I bought these slightly loud bright kiwi '3" Chino Shorts' ($40) from J.Crew when they were having their shorts sale. This is their shortest length.


-Sunnies: Sunglasses are a beach must. Actually, they're an everyday must. Seriously, I am blind in the daytime without them. I'm obsessed with these Dolce & Gabbana 'Goldtone Frame Sunglasses' from Saks. I love the shape and the gold-tone brow. Plus, I don't think they're too unreasonably priced at $260.

-Swimsuit: No, I don't own this swimsuit yet, but I will be buying it before my honeymoon. The 'Tulle Underwire Top and Retro Hipster' (top $60, bottoms $56) from J.Crew are inspired by French swimwear. Who knew you could have tulle on swimwear? It's available in buff pink, dusty baltic and black.
My beach read of choice is The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. Now, if someone could just invent sand-proof nail polish I'd be all set!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sequins + nautical?


I was in J.Crew yesterday and fell in love with this 'Striped Sequin Boatneck Tee' ($78). I've come to the realization that I buy way too many dresses and not enough tops. The classic striped nautical tee is given a cool update with sheer sequins. It's available in neon rose and black. I love how it's shown with a brown skirt. J.Crew mixes colors, prints and textures so well!

They had some bargains on t-shirts and tanks in the sale section, too. My mom also found the cutest silver sparkly flats there yesterday for half off.

"Robin Hood"

My fiancé and I saw Ridley Scott's Robin Hood this past weekend. I newly discovered that he's a Robin Hood aficianado, so naturally this movie was a must-see. I wanted to see it as well because I'm a fan of Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett. Unfortunately the film was a bit of a disappointment (OK, maybe I was slightly annoyed to begin with after they wouldn't accept my free movie pass!).

Crowe plays Robin Longstride. Most of the film takes place before he was given the nickname Robin Hood, which was actually quite interesting. He's fighting in the war with King Richard the Lionheart. After the king dies, he discovers the knights carrying the king's crown being ambushed in the woods. The traitorous Godfrey (also the villain in Sherlock Holmes, Mark Strong) and the French carried out the attack.

Robin assumes the identity of Robert Locksley of Nottingham to take the crown back to England. Once in Nottingham, Locksley's wife, Marion (Blanchett), becomes his new "wife" as his father insists that he pretend that he is Locksley, which was a little weird.

As we all know, he and Marion fall in love, but their relationship wasn't developed well enough for it to be believable. He tells her he loves her rather suddenly. The whole film is very dark too - yes, I know it was the Dark Ages but still!

I was surprised to learn that an unrecognizable Matthew Macfayden, a.k.a. Mr. Darcy in Pride & Prejudice, played the Sheriff of Nottingham.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lust: Christian Louboutin Oxford Lace-ups

[all photos]

Pre-fall items are starting to arrive in stores. Fall fashion is my favorite, and it's looking like oxfords are still in for the upcoming season. I've been enjoying wearing my oxford flats and heels for the past several months.

I got an e-mail from Bergdorf Goodman featuring the Christian Louboutin 'Oxford Lace-Up Booties.' They are gorge. Sheer mesh panels mean that they could be worn now without getting sweaty feet. They're also available in black and are $965. Oy!
There are some other Louboutin oxfords available. The colorful pair, 'Colorblock Cutout Oxford Booties' ($875), are quite wild.

SATC2 premiere


I'm so excited about Sex and the City 2 on Friday that I'm getting my tickets tonight! The premiere was held in NYC last night. I think the best dress is going to have to go to Carrie Bradshaw herself, Sarah Jessica Parker.

The neon yellow color of her Valentino Couture gown is fabulous. I love the asymmetrical hem and train. It's also a more fitted look than we're used to seeing her sport on the red carpet. She wore a black, lingerie-inspired Elie Saab frock to the afterparty that I'm not as big a fan of.

Second best dressed goes to Kristin Davis's hot pink Jean Dresses vintage gown. Maybe I just prefer the bright colors. Cynthia Nixon wore Carolina Herrera, and Kim Cattrall wore Naeem Khan. I have the SATC theme song in my head now.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Shoe bling


There's nothing wrong with a little foot bling (as long as it's not in the form of a toe ring). Tory Burch's 'Percy 2 Sequin High Wedges' ($350) have my name written all over them. These ultra-glam 5" wedges have gold suede, a metallic strap and sequins. What more could you want? Actually I know, these need to go on sale then I'll be happy.
If you prefer a shorter heel, there's the 3" 'Declan 2 Wedge' with pewter suede. If that's still too high, Burch offers the classic 'Sequin Reva' flat, which comes in silver, gold and terracotta.


If these aren't blinged out enough for you, there's always Steve Madden's new 'Snookie' shoe in all it's jerseylisciousness. It comes in black glitter, glitter multi and glitter gold ($109.95).

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tiffany & Co. Marrakesh collection

[all photos]

Paloma Picasso's Marrakesh collection for Tiffany & Co. is stunning. I'm a fan of Picasso's, and not just because her father, Pablo Picasso, is one of my favorite artists, but I've always liked her designs for Tiffany's. Her 'Marrakesh' collection is "inspired by the intriguing patterns of Morocco," according to Morocco is already a must-see on my travel bucket list.

My favorite three pieces are the gold earrings, bracelet and necklace above. Gold is, of course, very expensive at the moment. The 18k bangle is intricate yet simple ($4,950). I've been wanting a go-with-everything gold necklace. This pendant on a 16" chain is a bit more affordable than the bangle at $825. The earrings are priced at $1,475. Ahh, but they would go well with just about everything!

Here are a few of my other favorites in the collection...Sterling silver ring ($425)
Turquoise and diamond 18k gold band ring ($1,800) - wouldn't that make a pretty wedding band?

18k gold tassel earrings with lapis lazuli, turquoise and round brilliant diamonds ($16,000 - yowza!)

Check out the rest of the Marrakesh collection here.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lust: A luxe beach bag


Every summer I use those beach totes that you get from Victoria's Secret for free with a swimsuit purchase. Sure, they help haul all of my stuff down to the beach for one season, but after that they're kaput. I would love a sturdy and slightly luxe beach bag this year.

I love the vibrant Marc by Marc Jacobs' 'Misty Pool Mabel Tote' ($188) from Zappos Couture. Plus, the Marc Jacobs logo on the straps reminds me of his graffiti collection for Louis Vuitton. This tote is made of beach-safe canvas and has a zip top which helps keep the sand out.

Another great option is the lemon-printed Juicy Couture's 'Beach Tote' ($148), also from Zappos Couture. It also comes with an accessory bag - perfect for lip balm and a snack!

I just found out about Zappos Couture. I had no idea that had a more upscale sibling! They sell women's and men's clothing, shoes and accessories with brands including Alexander McQueen, Delman, Ports 1961, Prada, etc. They also offer free shipping, which is always appreciated in my book.

I also like Kate Spade's 'Take a Dip Tote' ($195) from It's a bit steep for a canvas tote (hellooo, L.L. Bean), but it's a classic bag, and the hardware is 14-karat gold, afterall.

Lily Pulitzer's 'Original Tote' ($88) from Piperlime is the ultimate Palm Beach-chic. It looks like something Pulitzer could have created in the '60s.

Methinks I need one of these for my honeymoon!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Splurge vs. bargain gladiator flats


I'm a heels kind of girl, so finding a pair of flat sandals that I like and don't think make me look too short is a challenge. I am loving Diane von Furstenberg's 'Kula Sandals' from Saks. The go-with-everything chocolate and gold colors make them a good investment. Still, at $245 they're a bit much.

Deena & Ozzy's 'Patent Leather Cage Sandals' from Urban Outfitters ($28) have the same shape as the DvF sandals for a fraction of the price. Obviously they're not real leather (polyurethane, synthetic sole), but they'll still be fun to wear for spring and summer. I can't decide if I like the bright pink/orange or grey/ivory pair better - and at this price, I don't really have to decide.

"Letters to Juliet"

I saw Letters to Juliet last night after seeing the trailer for what seemed like ages. I was excited to see it, and the film was just as I expected.

Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is on a pre-honeymoon in beautiful Verona, Italy with her fiance, Victor (Gael Garcia Bernal). Victor is opening up a restaurant in NYC, so he is spending his time there with food and wine vendors. While attempting to explore the city alone, Sohpie visits Juliet's (as in Capulet) balcony. Women come from all over the world to leave letters about their love problems. She meets "Juliet's secretaries," who collect the letters daily and reply to the women.

While helping the secretaries collect the letters, Sophie finds one hidden in the wall written by Claire (Vanessa Redgrave) 50 years before. She writes about not going to be with her true love, Lorenzo Bartolini, because of her parents' disapproval. Claire, who is now a widow, comes to Verona with her handsome grandson, Charlie (Aussie actor Christopher Egan), in hopes to find her long-lost love. Charlie is more the practical than romantic type, so he is doubtful.

Sophie embarks on the journey to find Lorenzo with Claire and Charlie. There are lots of Lorenzos, but they can't seem to find the right one. Meanwhile, Claire and Charlie fall for each other.

The trailer does show most of the film's highlights, but the movie is very sweet, and it has an always-appreciated happy ending. The best part about the movie is the amazing Redgrave and her real-life and movie "Lorenzo" Franco Nero. I also loved seeing Verona and Tuscany. They're definitely must-sees on my next trip to Italia.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Summer leather?


Who What Wear just had a post on Go Buy Now "All Weather Leather." I was skeptical since I generally stick to leather purses and shoes in the summer since anything else makes me sweat just thinking about it. I know that leather shorts are in too, but I just don't know if I would do it. However, I'm in search of a dress for my bachelorette party, and I like the one that they featured.[]

Elizabeth & James makes the 'Stiletto Sheath Dress' that's similar to the leather-and-mesh Veda version on WWW for $385. The E&J dress is on sale for $327 right now from $528 at Saks Fifth Ave. It's not real leather either (nylon/polyeurethane) - it just looks like it. I think it could stand to come down in price some more though. []

I also love E&J's yellow 'Zip-Back James Blazer' ($395) over the fun 'Juliet Dress' ($465). The blazer is such a fun color. It's almost getting too hot outside to wear anything like that though. Perhaps by the time they're affordable, I will be able to wear them!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The quest for neutral shoes


I love neutral shoes, but it's hard to find a good and affordable pair. I found the best bargain at Marshall's last year on a pair of Delman neutral wedges for $39. I've worn them so much that they've gone from a peachy tan color to dingy black. Needless to say, I'm on the hunt for a new pair of neutral, wear-with-everything heels because in the summer neutral is the new black.

I've found a few pairs of somewhat reasonably priced heels like Seychelles' 'Card Shark' ($90) from The heel isn't too skinny that it couldn't be worn to work, but the metallic pieces make them dressy enough to be worn at night. I also like the back zipper.Lara Striped Platform Sandal in sand ($168)
Vicky Cage Platform Bootie ($168)

Shawna Suede Cutout Wedge ($158) is carrying this brand ROSEGOLD that I was unfamiliar with. They have a lot of fabulous neutral pairs. The top pair is the beige 'Marni Lattice Pump' ($158). My problem is which pair to choose!

New Orleans!

I went to visit a friend in New Orleans this past weekend. It was my first time there, and I wasn't sure what to expect because of the mixed things I'd heard in the five years since Hurricane Katrina. It was a wonderful trip though. New Orleans is a great city, rich in history, culture and delicious food.

Though NOLA isn't best known for its shopping, we went to some really cute boutiques on Magazine Street. My favorite shop was Fairy. I found two dresses that I will probably wear to wedding events. Their prices are reasonable, and the customer service is great. We then had a fantastic lunch at St. James Cheese Company.
We also walked around the Garden District. The homes in this area are gorgeous - they have these huge windows and gas lamps. The house used in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is there (above), which happens to be right next to Sandra Bullock's house. The famous Lafayette Cemetery is also in the neighborhood, where many movies like Interview With a Vampire have been filmed.
Obviously The French Quarter is a must-see at night. We walked by the Lalaurie Mansion, which is supposedly one of the most haunted places in the country. Nicholas Cage bought it before he knew its history then couldn't sell it.
There's an art market at Jackson Square on Sundays. It's also near the St. Louis Cathedral and Cafe du Monde. The cafe has delicious coffee made with chicory and beignets (French for powdered doughnut/funnel cake-like things). A can of their coffee is a nice souvenir. There's also a great restaurant for brunch around there called Stanley, a nod to A Streetcar Named Desire, of course.

One of my favorite places that we ate there was John Besh's restaurant August. The French cuisine is superb, and they use local ingredients. We also happened to be seated in between Mos Def and Jonathan Vilma, a Saints player. Then in walked Tim Robbins, who is filming The Green Lantern there.

I'd definitely like to go back to N'awlins again!