Wednesday, August 29, 2007

what i want today: "the ex" knife holder

not much to say about these, except HA! this is completely fabulous, you have to admit. plus, it's dirt cheap - only $69 (a price point you have to get a little laugh out of), and it includes the knives!

i can't think of a better gift for a BFF whose rotten boyfriend just broke her heart.

Monday, August 27, 2007

what i want today: conscience tees

head on over to TDO to check out the goods on this amazingly fabulous company and their darling designs. and best of all, five lucky readers will win a conscicence tee of their very own, just by dropping a comment on the TDO post. though these tees are so darling that you may not want to leave owning one to chance.

check out the details here, or, to buy one of your very own, head right over to conscience tees. my fave is the adorable yellow "conserve" tee, which i couldn't resist picking up, but all of their designs are just about the cutest environmental statement a girl can make.

good luck and happy shopping!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

designer of the day: r & y augousti

so, lately, i've been craving two things: clutches and exotic skins. the problem? clutches don't hold enough. and exotic skins are way, way too expensive.

but, the girls over at TDO put me off on a bit of a tangent today by showcasing this yummy bronze snakeskin clutch by rafe, and i started poking around on the web, and i stumbled upon the new handbag collection by r&y augousti, who have been designing stunning home objects for quite a while, but have recently ventured into designing bags. while i normally wouldn't look to a homewares designer for couture, this team has really done an amazing job. their pieces are every bit as amazing and luxurious as they should be for exotics, but are actually reasonably priced. well, you know, as exotics go.

this first one is really more of a wallet than a clutch, but it's so fabulous that it gets to be included here. had i only known that i was going to find this wallet, i never would have bought all of the other wallets i've purchased in the last few months. and, now i'd have a fabulous snakeskin wallet in the yummiest butter color, lined in even yummier suede, and, at an ultra reasonable price of $195, it would have cost me less than all the other wallets i bought along the way. sigh.

for a more traditional clutch, they have a gorgeous eelskin number that's all ruched and fabulous on the outside, suede-lined on the inside, and has a gorgeous, asymmetrical antique-brooch-looking thing as a closure. this clutch just goes way beyond fabulous, and even though i don't use clutches as often as i'd like, this is definitely a buy that would be in my closet 50 years from now, when i'd be the coolest little old lady on the block, sporting my gorgeous vintage eelskin clutch. the size is just about perfect, at 10" x 5" - it will actually hold all of your evening needs. this one's pricier than the wallet, at $385, but that's still a helluva deal for an exotic skin with this degree of design and attention to detail. i mean, really, even a lauren merkin clutch is $200, for heaven's sake. i want this little cutie sooo badly that i'm just hoping and praying the birthday fairy is paying attention, because this would make a completely perfect gift for me.

if you're a little bit more of a badass than i am, you could certainly pull off the vintage punk vibe of this yummy ostrich clutch - only $285, with all of the same lovely features as the eelskin, plus a stingray accent on the clasp. or you could check out this completely gorgeous snakeskin version, in the yummiest coffee color, for $440.

truly, if you're at all considering the value of a classic clutch, these are well worth the investment - they're impeccably styled, have incredible attention to detail, and will be the talk of any event they get to attend. and really, you just can't put a pricetag on the intense jealousy of your friends and colleagues.

what i want today: free stuff from illume

the fine folks over at illume candles were nice enough to give me the heads-up that they're giving away a huge basket of goodies next's a tough offer to pass up, given that their candles are not only gorgeous, but smell amazing, last forever, and make completely fantastic gifts. to enter, just go to illume's website and sign up (bottom right corner of the home page). good luck!

PS...if you win, feel free to send me one of your fabulous new candles as a thank you! i'm especially coveting the mission fig, fresh water and violet rose (just because the glass is so gorgeous!).

Thursday, August 23, 2007

what i want today: fragrances by elizabethW

i was roaming through one of my favorite san francisco boutiques recently, and stumbled across a new-ish perfumerie i just have to share: elizabethw. to be honest, while i generally like the idea of new fragrances, i almost never switch...the novelty just always seems to wear off quickly. but the moment i started sniffing elizabethw's fabulous fragrances, i threw caution to the wind, and found myself spritzing samples on my wrist left and right. the scents are all incredibly well thought out - they have this amazing blend of simplicity and sophistication. too often with fragrances, i feel they're either so simple and light they're not worth the trouble, or they're so heavy that they just aren't practical for everyday wear, but the elizabethw options were, well, not to get too goldilocks about it, but they were all "just right." their website puts it slightly better: "clean, simple, sophisticated, elegant, and totally original" thoughts exactly! plus, i love that they're a san francisco-based company, and they're really taking the time to design every fragrance by hand.

of the scents i got a chance to sample, the ones i'm still thinking about are vetiver (a spicy, citrusy scent that reminds me of cinnamon, pine cones and orange peel), leaves (a clean, light, almost grassy scent that had me wishing for spring), and magnolia (a scent i've always adored, but never been able to find a perfume to recreate it...until now)...but really, i loved just about all of them. of course, if you want to know the actual contents of each scent, you can always check their official list...i sort of prefer to go with my gut on these things.

as you've probably guessed by now, i'm pretty well smitten with everything elizabethw has to offer (i can guarantee you there will be some items from their site on my holiday gift list!), but if you're not ready to take the fragrance plunge, try starting with one of their fabulous candles ($30), or the body cream ($28), which takes 'luxurious' to a whole new level. trust whiff, and you'll be addicted too!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

what i want today: summer sale items perfect for fall

just dropping off a couple of pieces i've run across this morning from the summer sales that i think would work fabulously for fall.

first, if you happen to be a size 2 (ahem, j), you should snatch up this darling jersey dress by james perse for $77 in the saks sale immediately. it's only available in black, but this would be a completely excellent work dress, and could even be easily jazzed up for cocktails. plus, nothing is as yummy soft and comfy as james perse cotton. truly fabulous.

same goes for this gorgeous (not to mention flattering) dress by vince, down to $110 in the sale. love the marine blue color, love the cut, and again, looks super comfy and perfect for work.

for some unknown reason, zappos has marked a ton of l'autre chose boots down by 40%just in time for fall. i love these grey foldover boots, which i think would actually be pretty comfy with that nice platform on the toe (you can also snag them in beige, which would be equally fabulous for fall). or, if you love the riding boot look, these are a great choice (i love that they have the riding boot style, but still have a much more versatile!). check out the rest of the goods here.

and, last but certainly not least, this minidress by julie brown would be just so hot with a long chunky cardigan and heathered tights in a couple of months...for under $60, that's about the best deal around.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

tuesday rant: fug aplenty from louboutin

been a while since i really ranted about something, but i recently discovered that one of my favorite shoe designers, christian louboutin, was about to venture into the already-well-populated field of handbag design. naturally, i was thrilled....the house of louboutin is right up there with manolo blahnik and jimmy choo when it comes to footwear, so i would expect nothing less than fabulous from the designer's foray into bags.

so, imagine my total and utter disappointment when i clicked over to check out the new goods for fall, and found all of this fug. seriously, there's no other word for it. i mean, every designer has an off collection, but for his debut? there's just no excuse. worst of all? not only am i expected to love this, but i'm expected to pay almost $4,000 for it?? hello?! i could practically buy a kelly for that price. and it wouldn't look like i mugged a chinchilla in the parking lot.

but hey, everyone's entitled to one bad apple in a good barrel, right? no, no...sadly, ALL of the bags are this bad. seriously, i mean, how many alpacas died to make this nightmare? (yes, i realize you don't actually have to kill the alpaca...i'm making a point.)

truly, it boggles the mind. how could the same genius mind came up with these gorgeous pieces of art have also concocted these monstrosities? it just doesn't seem possible.

okay, rant over....

Monday, August 20, 2007

what i want today: chunky cardigan double-take

so, remember this cute little cardigan that i just loved, but (a) not for $300 and (b) not by juicy couture (sorry to the juicy fans out there...)?

i stumbled across this clone, by land's end, of all places, and i have to admit that i like it just as well...and maybe even a tiny bit better than the juicy version (the longer sleeves really do make more sense for fall, as does the darker charcoal grey color). plus, at only $119, it's less than half the price...even better. skh, this one's for you!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

what i want today: fabulous, ageless skin!

confession time.....i'm all-too swiftly nearing one of those birthdays that ends in a zero. and it has me just a little bit freaked out. so, lately, i've found myself trolling new aisles at sephora - specifically, the ones dealing with anti-aging, anti-wrinkle, botox-wannabe products promising all sorts of unattainable ideals. and i'm completely ready to buy in, even if it means mortgaging my house to save my skin. seriously, the pricing on some of this stuf boggles the mind. but i diligently toted home sample after sample, and product after product, convinced i was going to find something really amazing...eventually.

as it turned out, the more products i tried, the more annoyed my skin got. and the more convinced i was becoming that none of them actually do anything at all. my adventures in high-end beauty products were just serving to make me a cynic...and a depressed, wrinkle-bound one at that.

so, after all of this sampling and testing and guinea pigging the newest, latest thing, imagine my surprise when i decided, just for kicks, to give that old drugstore standby, olay, a try. the oldest trick in the book, right? but wouldn't you worked!

seriously. now, i'm not saying i'm suddenly this amazing, alabaster-skinned goddess. the lines are still there. but they're a wee bit fainter. and after all of those really expensive 'miracle' products, my skin was really grouchy at me for my indecision...but within a week of trying out the olay magic, my skin is happier than i ever remember it being. no dry spots. no blemishes. and even the under-eye circles are getting a bit better.

what i've been using: olay regenerist UV defense (SPF 15, thank you) in the morning, deep hydration regenerating cream at night, and definity illuminating eye treatment morning and night (i'll confess that i'm still looking for the perfect eye cream...but if there's no miracle cure, this one definitely is closer than anything else i've tried). and, of course, still using the juice beauty serum day and night as well - i'm so addicted to this stuff, it's silly.

seriously, it's worth tossing a couple of these lovely products into your basket the next time you're at the drugstore. added bonus: it's much easier to sneak these products into the joint household budget, since you can pick them up right alongside the toilet paper and tampons! don't tell my hubs, and i won't tell yours....

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

channeling kate hepburn

after more than a year of 80s fashion running rampant on every runway, i'm beyond thrilled to see the roaring 40s make a sharp comeback this fall. finally, we're allowed to wear flattering, put-together ensembles, instead of a random hodgepodge of ankle boots and leggings.

as the fall lines are starting to trickle out to a retailer near you, my thoughts keep returning to katherine hepburn, a fashion icon that you just can't go wrong idolizing. she had such a way of making her style unique and ladylike, but still modern and fabulous. talk about a fashion icon.

if you're feeling the urge to channel kate as i am, here are a couple of early season picks to get you started - oddly enough, both from banana republic (who hasn't been impressing me lately, but perhaps they're about to redeem themselves).

i'm loving banana's new spin on an uber-feminine suit. love the detailing at the neckline, love the sleeves, love the pinup girl silhouette....i just think you can't go wrong.

and, in true kate fashion, high-waisted, full-bodied trousers are everywhere this fall. while it's true that we've been hip-hugging for a few years now, there's something very flattering about these high-waist trousers, if you style it right. remember, pleats are never your friend. you want a streamlined silhouette. i'm generally opposed to cuffs on these flowy pants, but as long as it's a larger cuff, i think it works - as on these martin fit trousers by banana republic. make sure that if you're going high, you go all the way - this style works best when sitting right below your rib cage. remember, they flatter by hitting you at your narrowest point, not by cutting your tummy in half. highlight your waist with a belt, and remember to tuck in whatever you're wearing on top - this is all about flattering the feminine, so hourglass it up!

Monday, August 13, 2007

what i want today: grecian flats

i know summer's almost over, and paying full price for sandals in august is usually something i'd mock in others, but i saw these and it was so love at first sight! every single thing: the styling, the blueberry color, the fish me crazy, but i absolutely heart these. plus, i'm thinking a very easy-to-justify purchase...after all, the grecian sandals have been in style for 2 summers now, and they show no signs of departing. so i can wear these for at least another 6 weeks this year, and i'll have them to look forward to in april '08.

in the interest of full disclosure, they're $5 more at zappos than they are at dolce vita, but i think the free overnight shipping at zappos (hello, instant gratification!) makes up for it. plus, you can always get that 110% price guarantee thing from them, if you're willing to spend 10 minutes on the phone.

Friday, August 10, 2007

what i want today: "aesa" ring by randi mates

as i said, i'm on a jewelery quest these days. so, things are catching my eye that are normally a little outside my comfort zone. take the "aesa" ring by designer randi mates, for example. there's something about it i just love - maybe it's the incredibly organic design (according to the designer, it's inspired by tree and cloud shapes), mixed with the very modern medium of laser-cutting the gold to create this piece. or maybe it's the fact that it seems incredibly practical and wearable, being as flat and slim as it is, while still clearly making a statement, which is what i'm looking for in an accessory, after all.

if you love it too, buy it for $200 at my new favorite website, auto. talk about a time-sucking website...i linked over innocently enough, and an hour later, i realized i wanted just about everything they sell. sigh.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

designer of the day: milly

i got a lovely little email from shopbop today, letting me know they're going to start carrying designs by milly. now, truth told, this is a label whose name i've known, but i haven't spent much time looking at their stuff. until now. just about every piece shopbop is carrying is something i'm dying to own. everything just strikes me as so functional, but mod and fun at the same time. sadly, i don't quite have the glamazon legs i'd need for most of their darling shift dresses. but the mod floral twill sweater? oh my. i can completely see the sweater becoming a staple in my closet (the collar and cuffs detach, leaving you with the most fabulous basic - a black cashmere crewneck sweater). at $270, not cheap, but certainly fair for something with such classic styling - it'll certainly be in your closet for years to come.

i'm also coveting the basket weave button jacket, though i'm a little wary about it being out of style sooner than it's $550 pricetag will let me justify. but the cut is impeccable, the styling is perfect - this is definitely a piece that would see a lot of wear in my closet.

and, last but not least, as i said - their mod dresses are where milly really seems to shine. if you have the gams for it, the belted shift dress is a no-miss choice, again with impeccable tailoring and style, that will undoubtedly become a long-term love in your closet. or, pick up the hexagon jersey dress, which would be the ultimate choice for the worst of the "i have nothing to wear" days. throw it on with tights and platforms, and you're instantly the cutest thing on the block.

check out the well-pruned options at shopbop, or you can head over to tobi, one of my favorite online haunts, where they've known about milly for a while already. or, for even more options, take a virtual stroll through the racks at bergdorf - you'll be in milly heaven in no time!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

what i want today: serena flats by tory burch

remember the 'reva' flat? if you haven't seen it out and about, you've undoubtedly seen one of its many cousins running around out there....let's just say tory burch has a lot of, um, admirers. well, the knockoffs make me crazy, but i still love the shoe. i have them in gold and wear them absolutely everywhere.

anyway, meet serena - the latest from tory. i'm absolutely loving this shoe. it's like someone took the iconic chanel flat and gave it a nice facelift for the 21st century. i love the cap toe and the contrasting colors - this is definitely a shoe i see getting a lot of wear.

you can go classic with cream and black, or have some fun with the cream/silver version or the purple tweed (my personal fave).

they're not cheap, running $225-250, depending on style, but this is one of those buys that i use my handy-dandy "cost per wear calculator" to justify. if my gold reva flats are any indication, these cuties would see plenty of rotation at my house.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

what i want today: gorjana jewelry

it has recently occurred to me that, while my shoe and bag collection are pretty rounded out at this point, i'm woefully lacking in the jewelry and other accessories department. the truth is that i've just never been that great at picking pieces of jewelery that were designed to really accent an outfit...i'm much more of a "wear the same necklace every day" kind of girl.

but, i'm determined to change that. the truth is that i really am starting to think the accessories make the i need to get to work! lately, i've been eyeing several pieces by a designer called gorjana (who i've featured before), who does really stunning pieces at very affordable prices.

from their current line, i'm gaga for the coin wrap necklace, which i think would be just a fabulous staple piece. at 40 inches long, i can see it double-wrapped as a chic daytime look, or worn as a single strand for a night on the town. it just strikes me as incredibly versatile piece that would definitely be in regular circulation in my closet. at under $200, that's a cost-per-wear i can get behind. this is the only piece here that i can't seem to find at gorjana's official website, but looks like you can buy it here instead :)

i also really love the 3-petal necklace, which i think would do wonders to improve the neckline of a boring v-neck top or an open blouse. plus, it's definitely the bargain of the bunch, at $95. i also think this one would make a perfect gift - really, can you think of any woman you know who wouldn't look fabulous wearing this??

and, if money were no object, i'd buy up a handful of their 'regal' bangle bracelets and layer them for a really fun, eclectic look. at $170 each, you might not be able to buy several....but they're so classic and unique that i may just have to splurge and buy at least one.

definitely worth taking a look over at gorjana's website, where all of these lovelies are available for purchase - you're sure to fall in love with at least three or four pieces.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

what i want today: wine glass decals

mea culpa....i'm totally idea-stealing from daily candy today, but the truth is that i've been looking for just this sort of thing for the longest time, and they've managed to stumble across it for me. so, maybe it's less blatant plagarism as it is, um, spreading the word? erm....anyway.....

the truth is that i sort of hate wine charms. and by "sort of," i mean a lot. they're just a little too...cutesy for my taste (to each their own, of course....but it's my blog and i'll hate if i want to). but then, you have the obvious dilemma of having a handful of your closest boozers over for a few drinks, and before long, you're drinking your margarita out of a glass with a lipstick rim...and you didn't wear lipstick to the party. my previous solution has been to just buy lots of different glasses, and mix it up...but that's a hard plan to maintain with limited cupboard space.

so, i'm loving the 1980s sticker collection (ooh, remember scratch n' sniff stickers?? those were so cool! ....but i digress) charm of these little decals, called clinqs. at about $5 per sheet, you can pick up a few....i love the kitsch of the gnomes, but i have a feeling i'd get the most use out of the little life series (i call the eiffel tower!).

pick up a sheet or two here, and remember to invite me over for drinks....i'll know which glass is mine!