Wednesday, April 30, 2008

spring sale at basic boutique

oh, how i love sale season...truly my favorite time of year. today, i'm oohing and aahing over everything basic boutique has just marked's a really lovely mix of spring-friendly items and a few pieces definitely worth storing away until next fall. a few of my faves:

i love the unique styling on this gorgeous silk blouse by twinkle - marked down to $138, this might just be the perfect spring blouse. use it as a shell during the day, dress it up with a pencil skirt at night, or jeans on the weekend.

something about this gorgeous dolman sleeve cashmere sweater by twig just sings to me. not sure if it's the dramatic cut, paired with the incredibly subtle, neutral color, or if it's the way they've made cashmere look light as a feather, and drape just beautifully - whatever it is, pick it up for $129, before someone else does!

if i worked in an office, i'd nab this crisp cotton lantern sleeve jacket by cynthia vincent, and i'd use it as my suit alternative all summer long. the styling has that perfect blend of classic polish and high fashion, and it's on sale for less than $200.

this swing dress by rachel pally doesn't seem like much at first glance, but give it a second look, and the potential really starts to unfold. that gorgeous neckline is perfect for girls with a smaller bust - it really gives you something different to show off, no wonderbra required. the pattern is subtle and chic, and the jersey fabric drapes like silk with none of the fuss. best of all, this baby is 70% off - for $112, you have all of your summer parties covered!

check out all of the finds at basic boutique's spring extravaganza - you're sure to find something you can't live without.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

the perfect gift for mom

for some reason, i am completely and totally stumped about mother's day this year. i just can't get it together to locate The Perfect Gift for my oh-so-fabulous mother.

if only she were going to be in the san francisco area for the big day, my problems would all be solved. thanks to the amazing poppytalk, i stumbled on this truly fantastic gift idea. the lovely people at branch floral design and small stump are hand delivering the above. it's a gorgeous floral arrangement in a birch bark vase (how cool is that?), presented on a bed of wheatgrass set in a reuseable tray, and topped off with a lovely, scented pansy sachet...all for an incredibly reasonable $100.

i think it's the prettiest thing i've seen in a long time, and it literally hurts my heart that i can't find a way to get it chez maman.

what i want today: sigerson morrison shoes

man, 10 minutes on sigerson morrison's website, and i'm as smitten as i was when i first discovered the line years ago. i'm not saying there aren't some definite misses in the collection from time to time, but overall...yum.

honestly, these orange patent heels are just fabulous, though. my favorite thing about all of my sigerson shoes is that they're just a little bit eccentric, but in that timeless way that keeps me going back, no matter what's "in" that season. my green suede d'orsays are still among my all-time favorite purchases. and i can definitely see these beauties being next on the list.

of course, i'd probably get more wear from these lovely patent i live in flats 95% of the time. but the heels are just so fun and exciting. hmm.

check out all of the pretties here or here...happy spring!

Monday, April 28, 2008

deal of the day: sales, sales everywhere...

is it really time for spring sales already? must be...

* bloomingdales is taking an additional 40% discount off most of their sale items, but it only shows up once you add the item to your cart. check out this gorgeous silk minidress by laundry, marked down from $245 to $73. also love this gorgeous tunic by ella moss - it reminds me so much of the iconic tory burch tunics, but for under $40!

* saks just launched the first of its summer sale as well, so you can score this marc by MJ pleated sweaterdress for $214, down from $360. or this graphic DVF wrap top for $126, down from $210.

* the much-anticipated banana republic markdowns begin today, at 30% off. loving this geometric shift dress, down to $50 from $140. and i'm almost sold on the retro fab qualities of this bright green reverse pleat skirt, marked down to $40 - it could definitely be fabulous with the right accessories.

happy sale-ing!!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

deal of the day: 30% off loeffler randall

i love my loefflers, and i love my when the planets align and i get both, i'm one happy blogger!

the kind folks over at barefoot tess are offering 30% off all of their loeffler randall stock, even these gorgeous new rose gold dorrit sandals that i'm coveting like mad for spring. they're the girliest take on gladiators i've ever seen, and that rose gold color just makes me happy. best of all, they're only $275 with this deal. granted, still not cheap for sandals, but these are so hot, they'll supercede trends - you're sure to have these at the top of your list for years to come.

or, if you missed out on those gorgeous matilde or olivia boots, now's your chance. i do love that olivia - it's the perfect spring boot, with just a pinch of gogo style!

so, head on over to barefoot tess and use code LRN30 to snag this deal - you won't see a sale this good again until it's too cold to wear those pretty sandals!

Friday, April 25, 2008

what i want today: joey top by le train bleu

this top just reminds me of everything fabulous about summer. the deep violet color and cheery floral pattern is a little bit bohemian and a little bit tropical, the drape is beautifully relaxed, and the breathable silk fabric is just what i'm looking for as a dressier option when the weather is miserably hot.

i'd pair it with a flared white cotton skirt, short-shorts, denim cutoffs...just about anything, really. it's that fantastic.

grab it for $138 at le train bleu, and use code luckybreaks1 to save 25% on any of the many gorgeous pieces you'll find sitewide!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

what i want today: serious makeup brushes

i'll admit it: i spent the first 15 or so years of my makeup-wearing existence using those horrible, synthetic, mini brushes that come with whatever blush, eyeshadow or powder i may have picked up. to be honest, the idea of spending upwards of $100 just on brushes baffled me.

until i tried a set of truly fabulous, natural hair, solid wood-handled, top-of-the-line makeup brushes by therapy systems. now, i'm wondering how i ever got along without them. seriously, i never could figure out how all of those women were getting that perfectly smudged eyeshadow. now i know - it's by using a smudge brush. and powdered eyeliner baffled me, until i tried a flat liner brush - this one has seriously changed my cosmetic life. and the luxurious, decadent feel of pure pashmina (er, goat hair...) on my skin as i brush on my blush and powder...well, it feels a little like something out of a harlequin romance novel: sort of ridiculously, over-the-top decadent. but in a good way.

it's hard to take the plunge, i know - i had major heartache over spending money on something i'd normally expect to come along with a fun product or two. but just trust me - you won't regret it. grab a few, or a whole set, at therapy systems - of all of the lines i tried, these were my hands-down favorites.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

what i want today: eco-friendly glass jewelry

two eco posts in one'd think it was earth day or something!

i noticed these gorgeous glass necklaces ($60) in the uncommon goods catalog that hit my mailbox a few days ago, and loved them. made by designer kathleen plate, they are the perfect blend of understated but still notable. and the colors are just right to make this piece truly unique.

so, when i found out they were made of recycled glass, i naturally thought to myself "well great! now i have an excuse to spend, and we know how i love those!".

pick one up at uncommon goods, but not before you check out the rest of their lovely recycled jewelry. who knew saving the planet could be this pretty?

what i want for earth day: suki cosmetics

i have to admit that i sort of have a love/hate with suki products. the problem is that i tend to get a little obsessed, and find myself having a hard time parting with them long enough to try any other brands that come my way.

suki just launched their cosmetic line, and i love it every bit as much as i love their skin care products. one of my favorite qualities in a cosmetic is a multi-tasking product, and suki has that in spades.

take their triple cream eye definer: it works as a fabulous and long-lasting cream shadow, eyeliner or even a brow definer. and the colors are fantastic - i tried out the amber, and it's my new favorite shade. the slight shimmer brightens up your entire face, so it gives you that "she did something new, but what is it?" look. and it stays put beautifully all day and night.

same story for their pure cream lip & cheek stain - the colors are gorgeous (my fave is opal), the application is simple, and the results are flawless, without a lot of effort. just what the doctor ordered.

last, but certainly not least, their concealer does a really fabulous job of covering nearly anything - my only tip is to make sure you use it in lieu of an eye moisturizer, as it doesn't get along with my eye creams.

best of all, suki's products are completely and totally natural, non-toxic, and generally designed to make your skin happy. even their (completely gorgeous) packaging is eco-friendly - it's printed on recycled materials, with vegetable ink.

my favorite part is that suki takes the trouble to actually remove the allergens from the natural ingredients, so people with freakishly sensitive skin like me can still partake in the products, without fear of major allergic reactions.

check out the full line at suki's website - you'll love it as much as i do. happy earth day!

Monday, April 21, 2008

shoppingsmycardio interviews: design*sponge, part 2

as promised, here is part two of the interview we did with the lovely and talented grace bonney, of design*sponge. she has loads more wonderful tips, tricks and words of wisdom to help us all demystify the world of home design.

(photo of grace's lovely home, courtesy of d*s)

shoppingsmycardio: with all of the time you spend scoping out new designers, pieces, and artists, how do you restrain yourself from buying one of everything? i guess what i’m asking is, budget aside, what keeps your style consistent?

The nice thing about running the site is that it feels like the things I’ve covered are actually in my home. I know that sounds totally cheesy, but I set up the site to feel, for me at least, like my own personal inspiration board. I even wanted the background of the site to feel like a neutral backdrop on which I could post new colors, fabrics and pieces that I could enjoy for a day or two and then let go. It’s like window shopping without having to actually go anywhere.

In terms of consistency, my style actually isn’t all that consistent - it’s always changing and morphing as seasons change and trends come and go. I tend to always go for something classic and feminine but the details are always different. I think that’s pretty true of a lot of my readers though - we all have a base style we feel comfortable with and add and subtract details on top of that style to fit our moods.

(mixed media, by amy ruppel)

SMC: it can be so daunting to start an art collection – and especially now, with sites like etsy and 20x200, affordable art is everywhere. it’s a good problem to have, but i think a lot of people have a hard time narrowing the field, and being selective. do you have any words of wisdom for younger people that are interested in starting to collect art?

I’m definitely starting to focus on artwork more and more these days. I used to care more about furniture but with the economy being what it is, I can’t really afford to buy big pieces of furniture anymore - so I find myself focusing on prints, small collages and paintings. But when it comes to editing a personal collection I think that it’s something only the collector can decide. Artwork grabs people for different reasons so it’s tough to suggest ways to be selective.

That said, I always suggest that, rather than buying up multiple $25 prints from a popular artist (that everyone else on Etsy can buy), people save up that $25 for a few months and try commissioning a small, custom piece from that artist. It’s a great way to have something one-of-a-kind without totally breaking your budget. Those are the pieces that mean most to me in my home.

(oil on canvas, by zoe pawlak)

SMC: i’m particularly impressed by your ability to pick out artists early on in their careers that are destined for success – jen garrido is an example that comes to mind. who would you say are some of your “artists to watch” right now?

Oh man, there are always so many artists I’m enjoying and trying to soak up before they become so popular I can’t afford them any more. I guess in terms of fine art I’m really loving Zoe Pawlak and Chelsea James right now. And even though Julia Rothman is totally a design star now I still think she hasn’t even begun to have the sort of visibility she’ll have in the next few years. I have my eyes firmly planted on her. She’s wildly talented, incredibly sweet and I think she’s going to be huge. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see big, national companies wooing her in the coming months/years.

(image courtesy of jonathan adler)

SMC: home design can feel really overwhelming for most people – i think it’s hard for most of us to translate the fabulous ideas we see into something concrete and workable, but still our own. individual pieces, or even entire rooms designed by other people might sing to us, but how do you translate those inspiration items into an overall aesthetic, so that you don’t just end up with clutter?

Man, if I had a short answer to that question I’d be a genius. But sadly I’m pretty ‘green’ when it comes to creating an overall aesthetic. Because my style is always changing I’m in a constant struggle to keep things less jumbled, but ultimately I think that’s okay for now - I’m young, I’m sort of all over the place when it comes to life and projects and style, so right now my home reflects that. But I’m sure as I settle down and mature a bit more my style will become more refined.

In more general terms though, I think it’s always great to stick to simple, classic pieces when it comes to big furniture and let smaller decorative accessories like pillows, lampshades, etc. do the talking when you want something fun and different in a room. Those can easily be sold or gifted when you’re ready to try something new and they won’t leave you with a heavy, expensive piece of furniture that feels dated.

(image courtesy of d*s)

SMC: if you weren’t writing design*sponge, what would you be doing for a living? do you have a “back-up” dream job?

I’ve got a few, but they all involve food. I’d love to go to culinary school just to learn and then go work at a specialty food shop. There’s no way I could handle the heat of a professional kitchen (literally and figuratively) but I love food too much to ignore that side of me forever.

SMC: what one design tip do you wish you could teach everyone out there?

Right now it would be to focus on quality pieces and let accessories do the trend-talking. When it comes down to it, we’re all on some sort of budget so it makes sense to stick to classic pieces that won’t go in and out of style quickly and leave the fun, trendy purchases to small things like lighting and pillows. Those smaller, less-expensive pieces will let you play with color and pattern without maxing out your credit card.

i'd like to extend a really huge thank you to grace for taking the time to talk with us. she's a busy, busy lady these days, between the incredible success of design*sponge, her new gig as a contributing editor at domino magazine (my all-time favorite mag, by the way), and the zillions of other projects she's always working on. if d*s isn't already in your top blog reads, i hope you'll change that soon - it's really a fab and inspirational site!

(ps...if you missed the first half of the interview, catch it here!)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

etsy of the day: sarahjanestudios prints

i've had this artist listed as one of my etsy favorites for ages. everything she comes up with just somehow makes me relaxed, happy and mellow. and for a high-strung girl like me, that's something special. so, i'm pretty confident that if i were decorating a nursery (now there's the "if" heard round the world...), the walls would be covered with sarah jane's beautiful prints.

until then, these will just have to be my go-to baby gift - though i'll have to temper that with my general feeling that one should not purchase art for someone else unless you're really, freakishly confident in that person's taste. i can't even get art picks for the hubs right yet. then again, babies don't have i can force mine upon them, right?

wow, digress much? anyway, more of sarah jane's lovely work:

(above is goodnight, friend - which is making me sigh every time i look at it. pair it with i love you, friend, and life is pretty darn idyllic.)

breakfast bunny, $24.

j'aime ma maman, $24 (also see j'aime mon papa, which is equally adorable. and they're available as a set for $40).

what little boys are made of, set of 3 prints for $60.

and one more, courtesy of the lovely poppytalk. the three bears, revisited, $24 (available in girl and boy versions).

Friday, April 18, 2008

and a reminder...

we'll have the second half of design*sponge's fabulous shoppingsmycardio interview first thing monday morning. don't miss it!

cheap thrills: old navy patent t-strap sandals

i am having oh so much fun with the "new and improved" old navy. these lovely t-strap sandals bear a striking resemblance to a pair i've been coveting for at least two years now, but at literally 1/20 the price. not bad for a day's browsing...

i nabbed the white, in the vain hope that my pasty pale skin will be a little bit more tan in months to come. but i'm sort of in love with this fabulous bright green color too. at $19 each, i probably should have just bought both, but i decided to tack these on instead (in yellow...divine!). again, not as cute as the original, but for $14, i'll take it.

ooh, and use code STUFFSAVE for 20% off your old navy purchase through 4/24.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

what i want today: devon leigh jewelry

devon leigh is the latest designer darling to hit the celeb set - her collections are beloved by the kates, kirstens and scarletts of the world, to name just a few. fortunately for the rest of us, her pieces are still accessible to mere mortals, and they're the perfect way to add something really striking and fabulous to your jewelry box.

with loads of pretty eye candy to choose from...i hardly know where to begin.

this amazing turquoise and smoky topaz necklace ($655) is one of those pieces that looks completely overwhelming, but i think you'd find yourself reaching for it day after day. i love the idea of this peeking out from a black collared shirt, or to make a simple black dress really exceptional. i also think it would be just fabulous with a simple, sleek jersey tee layered under a suit.

and this peruvian opal, yellow jade and turquoise necklace ($696) is just the quintessential summer piece - i'd use it to dress up the super casual cotton or linen i stick with religiously when the thermometer climbs above 90 degrees.

these wrapped amber drop earrings ($375) would be amazing for day if your hair was down, but imagine them complimenting a chic chignon for evening - divine!

i love this multi-tiered chain bracelet ($440), which reminds me a bit of my marco bicego, but is half the price, for more than twice the bracelet. not a bad deal at all.

check out the full collection at devon leigh's website - you're sure to find a gem (or several) you can't live without.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

what (else) i want today: amy butler for mikasa

oh, the love...the love is here, it is strong, and it is going to potentially compel me to buy an entire set of china with birds on it (which, yes, i realize is very high on the list of "things i do not need"...and i just don't care).

if you don't know amy butler, you should get to know her - she's a fabric designer and artist extraordinaire. and the decision to do this vintage-inspired collection for mikasa is nothing short of sheer genius.

a big thank you to poppytalk for letting us in on the fabulousness, and to design healing for taking the pics!

what i want today: missoni scarf

i've been coveting a new scarf for positively ages - and the coveting was finally reinforced when even my darling hubs told me he'd seen more than enough of the ancient (but lovely) j.crew version i'd been sporting for the last 3 winters. i know it's not really scarf weather any more, but i continue to covet nonetheless.

for me, the ultimate would be one of the many beauties by missoni, who does an amazing job of making scarves that will go with anything, and in virtually any weather.

the version above ($225) is a cotton blend, so it's never too heavy, but at 9" wide, it's still thick enough to bundle you up when you need the warmth.

and i've been in love with this silk-trim version since i first spied it months ago. sadly, at $660, it's probably not coming home with me...but it's definitely in the "covet from afar" category.

either way, i'm sure to be warm and toasty all summer long. hey, that air conditioning can get bitter!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

shoppingsmycardio interviews: design*sponge

for those who aren't familiar, grace bonney is the editor and founder of design*sponge, the ultimate resource for all things new, stylish and fabulous in the world of home design and accessories. she's also a contributing editor for domino magazine. so, in a nutshell, she's amazing.

i am positively addicted to her site - it's the first place i check for inspiration whenever i'm ready for some changes to the home decor at casa SMC, whether it's a fabulous new serving piece for my upcoming soiree, a new piece of art, or a complete room remodel.

grace is such a sweetheart that she very kindly offered to share some of her expertise and advice with all of us. i loved her answers so much that i'm actually splitting the interview across two days - it's just too much good information for one post. so, look for the second half later this week. and now, without further adieu...

SMC: I think it’s pretty safe to call you the queen of design blogging – design*sponge is such an amazing resource for so many people! Can you give us an idea of how design*sponge came to be? Did it begin through your work with one of the many magazines you’ve written for, or was it more of a personal outlet?

Well, I wouldn’t call myself the queen of anything - except maybe queen of ‘America’s Next Top Model marathon watching’. Design*Sponge has always been such a fun project to call my “job” and I’m just happy that people are still reading and enjoying it.

When I started things in 2004 I was just trying to find a personal outlet for my endless design chatter (my boyfriend could really only handle so much). I tested out a lot of formats and styles and ended up settling on a product-focused blog with occasional personal mentions, because that represented me at the time. But as I’ve changed changed and grown up a bit more I’ve tried to move away from that format and focus on evergreen content- pieces that will be pertinent months or even years down the line (like city guides, product guides, diy projects and home tours). The magazine work was just a really lucky offshoot of the site- it started with a few newspaper pieces and lead to a 2-year stint at House & Garden Magazine. Now I’m a contributing editor at Domino and enjoying having a place to write outside of Design*Sponge.

SMC: Your email inbox must just be a treasure trove of great ideas. What is the most fantastic piece you’ve seen this week?

Oh man, right now I’m so far behind on my email I don’t even know. The good and bad thing about being a one-woman-show (in terms of email and day-to-day operations) is that I have to answer several hundred detailed emails a day. 75-100 of those will be emails with a zip file full of home photos asking for a personalized list of suggestions, a few hundred will be small product requests (great sofa under $500? Dining table in hot pink?), a few dozen will be assignments and correspondence regarding projects we’re working on at the site and then 150-200 of those will be submissions. I love answering everyone’s emails personally but I can fall behind pretty quickly so this week I’ve barely dipped into the submission folder. I did see a few great additions to the ShopSCAD online shop, some new cards from Blue Ribbon Letterpress and some great new furniture makeovers from Knack Design.

SMC: How would you describe your personal design style? And can you translate that into a few key pieces that you have in your house now?

Right now? Chaos. My home is in flux right now and always represents where my head is at the moment. With site projects and wedding planning coming up I’m a big mess of ideas so my house is a big mess of ideas. But right now I think I’m starting to embrace a bit more traditional style with an emphasis on strong wooden furniture and feminine patterns. I’d love to go for a modern-day Dorothy Draper look if I could but I don’t think I could pull it off. I think I’m perpetually the girl who wants to be classy and cool but always ends up a little frazzled.

SMC: One of my biggest design challenges is budget, and another is time. If I had my way, I’d just gut my house and do things exactly the way I want them, from top to bottom. But, of course, that’s not reality for most of us. What sort of baby steps do you start with when you want to start making changes? Say, for example, that you had $100 to spend – what would you do? What about $500?

I guess it really depends on your needs - but I know that’s not a fun answer. If I had $100, honestly I’d save it up and get that to around $500 or $1,000 and then tackle a room makeover. I’m trying to focus on encouraging people to invest in nicer pieces so they end up throwing away fewer pieces each year.

That said, if you have $100, I’d suggest hitting the flea market or thrift shop where you could find a chair, chandelier or maybe even a great dining room table that just needs a little paint/fabric love to give it a facelift. Re-habbing old furniture is a great way to stretch a tight budget.

SMC: If you had to design an entire house, from furniture to knick-knacks, using just 3 online sources, what would you choose? (I know, it’s torture...)

Off the top of my head: Shop SCAD, Orange (a vintage store in LA) and Heath Ceramics. I’m trying to combine crafty with vintage but keep things simple.

SMC: What are your favorite, no-fail home decor tricks to employ when you’re really stuck for ideas?

That’s an easy one - I turn to my trusty staplegun. I have a huge collection of fabric I keep in my utility closet and when I’m bored I redo the seat cushions on my desk chair or any small seats/stools that are easy to swap out. I also love to use gift wrap as impromptu wallpaper in unexpected places like door molding and inside cabinets or drawers.
a huge thank you to the fabulous design*sponge for all of this fabulous advice, and stay tuned for the rest of this interview later this week - grace gave loads of wonderful advice for buying art and restyling your own home.

(ps...i just want to point out that that last tip is a truly fabulous one...i never realized how easy it was to reupholster a chair until i just stopped being scared and tried it. now i'm addicted!)

Monday, April 14, 2008

what i want today: martine sitbon handbags (and a shopbop code!)

this only comes around a few times a year, so it's quite an exciting happening (you know, unlike certain retailers who have perpetual 20% off codes floating around, and inflate their prices accordingly....cough). today through thursday only, at, you'll save $25 on $150, $50 on $250, $100 on $500, and $150 on $750 orders, with code TAXBREAKO8.

sure, i hate those codes that try to trick you into spending more, but hey, everyone's got to make a living. i'm pretty sure they're trying to swipe that tax refund you're hopefully getting, you know, before you wise up and put it into an orange account or something.

so, the real question: how to spend all of this extra cash?? well, if it were me (sadly, the self-employed never get those fabulous refunds), i'd shell out for one of these gorgeous handbags by martine sitbon. i've been dying to tell you about these for months, but now's the perfect time.

sitbon has been an icon of french design for decades, but is finally hitting our shores, and what a smash hit it is. the leather on these bags looks silky soft, light, and slouchy. and the styling has that perfect european "effortless chic" thing down to a T.

my top pick is her gorgeous pleated tote (above, $427). i'm in love with the soft, ladylike pleats matched with the big, bold tote style. the combination makes this the mega-bag you can tote without feeling like you're schlepping your life around on your shoulder. and that pale peachy-pink color is just the thing for summer - light and fun, but not too girly.

or, if you're in the market for a clutch, don't miss this quilted foldover version ($249). the style is perfect for toting all of your daily essentials while still keeping your look perfectly polished.

if the bags aren't ringing your bell, never fear...i have a hunch you'll find something to spend that lovely tax refund on.

Friday, April 11, 2008

cheap thrills: forever 21 jewelry

just found myself stuck on forever 21's jewelry page. granted, the sheer quantity of options can be overwhelming, but how can you not love a collection of hip, fun jewelry when every single piece is under $10?? here are a few of my favorites (listed clockwise from top left).

this feather lucite bangle ($6) has such a modern vibe - it's sure to add polish and fun to a basic jeans-and-tee ensemble.

this cute little cubist heart necklace ($7) is so subtle, but stylish - no one would ever guess the price. and i just love this little owl necklace ($8) - he's sure to be a conversation piece.

enamel bangles are everywhere this spring. at less than $8 for this gorgeous graphic version, you just can't miss.

this art deco pendant ($7) would make any ensemble chic, bold and bright. i'd replace the 18" chain with something much longer, to offset the chunky style of this piece.

speaking of chunky and bold, this graphic necklace ($8) just screams 1982, but in a good way. it's just the thing to jazz up an all-black or all-white ensemble.

studio 54, anyone? i love the retro '70s vibe of these chain mail earrings ($4)...they'd be fab with a white minidress and heels.

fill your cart today - if you can manage to spend $75, the shipping's free.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

exclusive marimekko discount!!

well, dear readers, i have some fabulous news. the lovely people over at - a fantastic one-stop shop for all things marimekko - saw our post about marimekko prints today, and have kindly offered you all an exclusive 10% discount on all purchases over $75. just use code shoppingsmycardio at checkout, through april 25!

this is a fantastic opportunity to pick up some gorgeous accessories, home decor, and all sorts of fun pieces. i love their mini coin purses, those gorgeous scarves i mentioned below, and this fantastic umbrella is high on my list. the aprons are pretty fantastic too. happy hunting!

what i want today: big, bold prints

ever since i read an article in the april vogue about the author's first marimekko dress, i've been craving big a big way.

there's the original, of course, which one can't overlook. this site has more options than just about anyone, and their pricing is pretty impressive. i love this tunic style shirtdress ($219), which gives you the fabulous pattern, but the conservative styling reins it in and makes it office-appropriate.

but then, i think if you're jumping on this look, the "reined in" thing isn't really the point at all. i love this blouse (on sale for $109), which is completely over the top, in the best of ways. wear it with a skinny black pant or pencil skirt, layer a turtleneck underneath, leave it open & call it a jacket, or close it up and call it a blouse - this is a piece i'd never get tired of.

i'm also loving some of the less obvious versions floating around this spring. this version by puella ($176) is a little bit 70s flower child, but the styling keeps it modern.

if adding color on top of pattern is just too much for you, try this big, bold black and white number by mika piirainen ($183). i love the swirling pattern and classic cut - this is a dress that's so classic, your daughters are sure to fight over it one day.

and, if all of this pattern is just a little more than you can convince yourself to try, consider dabbling with a fabulous marimekko scarf ($20), which can give you that splash of crazy color and pattern, without stretching your boundaries too far. for me, if i can track down these absolutely amazing wooden brooches (which seem, tragically, to be out of stock absolutely everywhere), i'll die a happy woman.

(PS...i would also be remiss if i didn't mention the marimekko line for H&M hits stores tomorrow, 4/10. a sneak peek can be found here..enjoy!)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

what i want today: gorjana's new fine jewelry collection

gorjana is always one of my go-to designers when i'm looking for affordable, gorgeous, and on-trend jewelry. so when i saw that they'd released a fine jewelry collection, i couldn't resist a peek.

true to form, the pieces are delicate and detailed - and for 18K gold and precious gems, quite reasonably priced.

my absolute favorite is this trio of grey diamond briolettes on a simple yellow gold chain ($370, above). the grey is so unexpected, and i love that the style is so understated. at first glance, you might not even realize they're gemstomes at all.

also, be sure to check out the petal ring ($370), which would be absolutely gorgeous stacked as a trio, and the hand-sculpted gold bangle ($650), which feels more like a work of art than a piece of jewelry.

check out the entire line here, and let me know what else you find to love!

sale of the day: marc by MJ at barneys

i made a little visit to barneys yesterday, and had to let you all know they have loads of lovely new items on sale...including some fab MbyMJ scores. among them, that lovely graphic print top (above) that i've been coveting since i first spied it. naturally, they're out of my size...but if the tee fits, i hope someone will snag this cutie.

don't miss this fantastic coat that would be well worth picking up, if only to store it away until next fall. and i picked up a fantastic vince cashmere cardigan for $'s a little more fun than this one, but the price is definitely right either way.

check out all the goods here.

PS...random tanget, but i simply do not see how this item of clothing, lovely though it may be, qualifies as a "dress".

Monday, April 07, 2008

deal of the day: TDO anniversary giveaway

why am i always disqualified from winning the very best giveaways?? okay, so normally you might think i'm a little biased, but seriously, the loot to be scored via the daily obsession's giveaway in honor of their two-year anniversary is pretty freaking amazing. i counted 89 products, including everything from beauty and fragrance, to handbags, clothes and underpinnings. total value is right around $3,200. happy birthday indeed!

to enter, just leave a comment about how fabulous this giveaway is, which shouldn't be hard. you can see all of the details here. good luck!!

Friday, April 04, 2008

what i want today: textural tops

this spring, i can't help noticing that designers are returning to some of the tricks of the trade that really make me ooh and aah. intricate pleating, ruffles, and other fabulous details turn everyday styles into something really extraordinary - finally, you don't have to look like every other girl on the street.

this pleated tunic/minidress by jovovich-hawk ($395) would be endlessly versatile for the warmer months. pair it with a slim black trouser now (just swap out the slip for a cami), and wear it solo for a fabulous outdoor party dress when summer's in full swing. the texture is so striking, i don't even think you need to accessorize this - it speaks for itself. hmm, well, maybe just a bold cocktail ring (which would be 20% off with code CYBR20)...

i love the gorgeous slate blue color and the over-the-top ruffling on this silk top by joie ($185). this would be every bit as cute with a white pencil skirt as it is with shorts - and those lovely ruffles are sure to hide the results of one too many frappucinos.

and the pintucked top and bold belt on this girly taffeta blouse by twelfth street ($192) just scream summertime chic to me - again, love this with a pencil skirt, maybe a wide-legged ash grey pant, jeans, tailored shorts...the options are endless. oh, and it's an additional 25% off (today only!) with code 25TODAY.

these are just a few of my faves - if you're in the mood for a little extra za za zoom in your closet, i'd suggest a stroll through shopbop's spring blouse collection - they've done a really excellent job of pulling some unique options together.