Monday, June 30, 2008

deal of the day: gustto sample sale

i know at least one of you lovely readers was looking for "the perfect orange bag" for summer. i think this gustto just might be it - great summer size (holds your summer reading, your huge sunglass case, etc), the color is fantastic, and the price ($258) is definitely right if you snag it (or any of its lovely siblings) during the gilt groupe sample sale. it started this morning, so snap to it!

as always, if you need an invite, just email me - shoppingsmycardio at - and i'll take care of you!

site of the day: whimsy press

there is literally nothing i don't adore about whimsy press. from their completely gorgeous wrapping paper and notebooks to their tongue-in-cheek greeting cards, it was love at first sight.

honestly, there aren't enough places in the world where you can buy a card that says "sorry i fucked up." or, the fabulously punny "you crack me up", illustrated with a soft-boiled egg (yes, i realize that my sense of humor is right up there with your average second-grader). ah, so many goodies to choose from - i want one of each for my ever-growing card collection.

i've raved about their darling tote bags before, but now i'm on to something to put inside them. these gorgeous matchbook notepads ($8) are absolutely perfect for toting around - they have a surround cover that opens and closes like a giant matchbook, so no crumpled pages when it's shoved down at the bottom of your purse. and the prints are adorably retro and fun. my fave is palm beach, but paper invaders runs a very close second.

oh, and then there's the gift wrap - i get a little freaky-freaky with my gift wrapping (i secretly dream of a whole "gift wrapping station" in my house). whimsy's collection indulges every last one of my perfectionist impulses. the designs are so hip, the colors are so cheerful, and the quality is so exceptional that it's all i can do not to buy up their entire stock. i love all of them, but i have to admit that the 'best friends' set is my favorite - how could i resist those doggie silhouettes?

best of all, the fabulous people over at whimsy want all of you to get a chance to check out their goods, so they're offering a 20% sitewide discount to shoppingsmycardio readers! just use code CARDIO at checkout - but it's only good for 30 days, so stock up now!

head on over to whimsy press's website, which i guarantee will suck you in before you've even realized what's happened. happy shopping!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

etsy search of the day: "anemone"

since i love both the flower and the spiny sea creatures, i decided to see what would happen if i just searched for "anemone" on etsy...

anemone photo pendant, $35, adornjewelry

"an enemy or an anemone?" original photograph, $40, janeofalltrades.

not exactly an anemone, but so cool nonetheless. "charming creatures 12", $100, by lisa congdon.

and now i'm just completely digressing...because these are sea urchins, of course. this is what etsy does to you. sea urchin stationery, $9, by pixelimpress.

i sort of can't believe this amazingly detailed piece of glass is only 2" across. anemone gazing orb II, $95, by zenartglass

Friday, June 27, 2008

what i want today: r&y augousti clutch

i am just in love with this bag. i think it's because the designer started with a style that was so popular it's now almost overdone (the foldover clutch), and took it to a new level with the exotic skin and that fabulous deco zipper pull (trimmed in stingray, incidentally).

or maybe i love it because, yet again, augousti has the market cornered on affordable exotics. you can score this beauty for less than $500 - which is downright amazing, if you ask me.

if you're in the market, this clutch will make a fantastic addition to your bag stash - the styling is casual enough for jeans, but the exotic skin dresses it up for evening. pick it up at barneys, and make all of your friends jealous.

or, if you're looking for something a little more classic, barneys just restocked that gorgeous park clutch i've mentioned before. it's a much more traditional clutch option, but stunning nonetheless. and only $395...i honestly have no idea how r&y does it.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

what i want today: studded bangles

aren't these just lovely?? bangles really are all the rage this year, as are punk-inspired studs. but, in both cases, most of the styles out there are a little too predictably trendy for me.

so i was thrilled to find these lovely bangles from gorjana. they manage to incorporate both trends seamlessly...and tastefully. naturally, i couldn't resist - and it's all worked out beautifully. these have been a near-perfect addition to my jewelry wardrobe this season - i've worn them constantly since they arrived. individually, the style is delicate enough for everyday. but combined, the differing size and shape of the stud accents make these the perfect statement piece.

pick them up (separately, here and here) at gorjana's website - i love the yellow gold vermeil, but they're also available in silver. you're sure to get a lot of mileage out of either.

deal of the day: kate boutique

i'm losing steam on sale posts this week, but i couldn't resist sharing this one. kate boutique has just finished some serious spring markdowns that are well, well worth your browsing time. kate really emphasizes drape in absolutely everything she buys, and the results are exceptional - i can visualize myself wearing every piece in her store.

this cashmere turtleneck by inhabit retails for $350, but is marked down to $150.

or this delectable grey leather tote by abaco, marked down from $600 to $180. yes, really.

nearly every piece in the "sweater bin" has me swooning...i know it's not sweater weather yet, but i'll be so glad when it is, because i'll be cuddling up in this gorgeous cardigan by souchi and keeping toasty warm.

and if you're in the market for a fabulous leather jacket, well, i don't even know where to begin.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

and one more....

because the sigerson sale has me obsessed, and because these amazing flats are just too pretty not to share. if i didn't have literally the exact same shade of gold in a tory burch reva flat, i'd snap these up in a new york minute. in fact, it's particularly distressing because...i like these better (shhh....).

deal(s) of the day: sale shoes - designer edition

i was spending a little too much time over at notcouture last night, and found there a number of deals much too lovely to keep to myself.

juicy couture continues to surprise me. if they keep this up, i'm going to have to stop mocking them entirely.

these sandals ($101) are a great way to bring a little ombre to your summer...and on sale, too. i love the yellow, but if you're feeling extra girly, pink is the perfect choice. nab either at bergdorf goodman, where you'll also get out tax-free (unless you live in NYC).

for a more understated style, i love these t-strap beca sandals from gryson. yellow and grey IS definitely the hottest color combo du jour, and these little flats make it clear why. nab them for $225 at funky lala.

and last, but certainly not least, more sigerson morrison love. these beauties ($145) are absolutely everything i've been looking for in a casual black flat - love the modern mary jane styling, the intricate detail on the strap, and that thick elastic around the top is going to keep these comfy in any weather. they're lovely in black, but that fabulous bright gold would be oh-so-fun too. decisions, decisions.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

what i want today: bloom tote by jessica jensen

lately, i'm really into bags that aren't from the big design houses - i'm craving style a little different from those that everyone else is carrying, and i love the attention to detail that you get from most of the smaller designers that comes without the hefty pricetag.

this ivory appliqued tote by jessica jensen is just what i'm after - the craftsmanship is amazing, i love the pink suede lining, and the lambskin exterior is stunning. this might just be the perfect warm-weather handbag. after all, how excited would you be to bring this out of the closet every spring?

pick it up for $758 from jessica jensen, but through the end of july, there's a lucky magazine code for 25% off. so, with code "luckybreaks7", you can take this beauty home for just under $570, putting it in the price range of a kooba or botkier - but i like this one so much more.

deal of the day: the elusive shopbop code

today only, kids, so jump to it - 20% off at some rules, of course - only on tops, bottoms and dresses (no shoes or bags, sadly), and not good on sale items.

but still, if you've been waiting for a little break to justify picking up a really fabulous tank or a lovely new summer dress, now's your chance. or, you could think of it as a sign that you're supposed to update that denim collection with something truly exceptional.

the code is HEATWAVE08, and i don't think they're kidding about it expiring at midnight (PST). post and let us know what you buy...i'm still trying to figure out how to maximize the benefit!

Monday, June 23, 2008

deal of the day: barneys spring sale

how could i have forgotten this most fabulous of spring occasions? so much to show, i'm just going to get right to business.

this pleated shell is an absolute must for the coming fall trends you'll be seeing. trust me: structure, sculptural detail...this piece has it all, and for under $200 (one of the challenges of an "impeccable tailoring" trend is the high pricetag of perfection). the neutral tone keeps it seasonless and really sets off the detail.

this tunic ($199) is the ultimate universally flattering piece. that raspberry color is fantastic on all skin tones, the belt creates a waist, and those wide kimono sleeves disguise any arm pudge. all in all, it's just about perfect.

true, this tee by splendid doesn't look exciting. but it's one of those rare and coveted closet staples you'll turn to time and again...and it's $39. so, you can afford to trust me on this one.

i absolutely loved this dress when it came out this spring - and i love it still. by vince, an old favorite of mine. love the ombre, love the twig print - this is just a gorgeous, effortless summer look...especially for $119.

and i had to include this silk daisy print dress ($279) just because i love the print so. that grey color is right on trend, and the pattern keeps it from fading into the background. darling for work or weekend.

last but not least, don't miss the denim. seven's classic "ginger" cut is on sale for $119, along with all sorts of other lovely denim options.

i could go on and on....but this is a sale worth exploring yourself. happy hunting!

Friday, June 20, 2008

fashion quandary: so near, and yet... far.

these fabienne boots had my eye the instant i saw them in j.crew's new pieces for fall. i had such high hopes that these were, in fact, the perfect fall boot - that elusive cool-weather staple.

alas, that black trim that was all set to make these the perfect fall boot has instead turned them into something sad...for that trim is not regular leather, but patent. i don't think that pulls these squarely into the realm of streetwalker...but it's not a positive thing.

what do you think? can you overlook the shine for the overall chic?

SMC gift guide: babies and the parents who love them

if you, like me, have several friends getting ready to spawn this year, you'll probably appreciate the fact that i've at least managed to do all of the baby shower-shopping for you.

check out the guide over at the daily obsession. (oh, and that pic above is a print by matte stephens called yaaka hula hickey perfect is that for a little boy? it's like where the wild things are meets the jetsons)

ooh, and while you're there - i keep forgetting to point out the fantastic contest going on there now! if you're in the market for a truly gorgeous handbag, the daily obsession has it up for grabs, gratis! don't forget to enter while you're there...the contest ends sunday!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

cheap thrills: summer skirt

we're long overdue for a cheap thrill, don't you think?

quick fashion confession: i hate shorts. sure, i have a couple of pairs lying around. but i just never love the way they fit. so, in the summer, it's skirts and dresses all the time. if nothing else, it's a good reminder to be more ladylike...nothing reminds you to cross your ankles and bend at the knees ;)

i find myself checking out the selection at skirt spot periodically, and wanting them to get just a bit more fashion-forward, because the style options are endless and the prices are fantastic. looks like they've finally granted my wish! i absolutely love this two-tone pleated skirt, and it's definitely a cheap thrill at $44.

alone, i realize it's as preppy as it gets, but bear with me. throw on a colored tank and a contrasting menswear vest, add a cute little sandal, and you've got a darling summer-friendly look.

just remember: this is one of those ensembles that gets its chic by mixing things up - keep it anything but matchy-matchy, and you're set!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

SMC how-to: the poor man's pedicure

it's hard to believe, but there was once a time i was completely convinced there was no reason to get a professional pedicure. thankfully, those days are well behind me - now, i'm about as high-maintenance as a girl can get.

however, the reality is that sometimes we need a little DIY action...maybe an event is coming up and you can't get to the spa, or maybe you just look down at your toes one day and realize you can't possibly leave your house wearing those gorgeous peep toes, because everyone will be doing just that...peeping at your less-than-perfect pedi.

fortunately, i've unearthed a few products that make the DIY version simple, seamless and - my favorite - quick.

first things first, the hardware: i just got the most perfect thing in the mail - it's a summer staple if there ever was one. it's a 10-piece pedicure kit from kiss that comes complete with literally everything you'll need for perfect summer toes. pumice stone, scrubber, clippers, cuticle pusher (the good, metal version) and nipper, buffer, and even toe separators for the polish. for $9.99 - seriously, that has to be the ultimate cheap thrill.

now, my pedi solution is cheap and dirty - after i remove my old polish, i just sand my toes down with a sugar scrub in the shower...that'll get you close enough, especially if you're not hunkering down for serious cuticle time. i happen to completely adore this version by airplus - and their foot lotion is literally the only thing that heals my heels after months of sandals.

i think everyone knows the sand/cut/file/buff routine, so i'm going to skip that and get to the polish. traditionalists will run for the OPI, and with good reason - i do love the staying power, and the colors are lovely. but i just tried out a new polish by bourjois that may have surpassed my OPI obsession. i love it because it's infused with vinyl, if you can imagine. translation: it dries superfast, and sticks without chipping like nobody's business. plus, what their color selection lacks in quantity, it makes up in quality. their rose vamp is the ultimate hot pink for hot days, and rose escarpin may just be the elusive 'perfect red'. definitely a toe must-buy.

so, start with some OPI nail envy, slap on that bourjois polish (remember the toe separators...that'll save oh-so-much time in touchups alone), and top it off with sally hansen's hard as nails, and you'll be sandal-worthy in no time!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

deal of the day: 25% off loeffler randall!

sigh. must they get more expensive every. single. season??

gorgeous nonetheless...and 25% off a new fall style is just about unheard of. i love that these shoes are having such a massive identity crisis that they'll end up going with everything. punk chic? sure. dressy business garb? why not. pencil skirt and ridiculously bright tights? definitely.

so, on sale, these beauties can grace your fall wardrobe for about $335...still heinously expensive for most of us, i realize. but i'm going to be coveting these every second until i own them, so there may be some wisdom to ending the torture now.

use code LOE25 to score this lovely deal from our friends at barefoot tess.

what i want today: stella!

is it possible? has stella mccartney finally ditched her crunchy, boho vibe in favor of something more sophisticated and upscale? i just got to check out a preview of her fall line, and i have to admit - i'm already calculating how many pints of plasma i'd have to sell to score any one of several pieces from the collection.

that gorgeous tweed coat ($2,195), for example - i think i could even suffer through the chills of winter with a smile if i had this to keep me warm. love the classic toggles, and the modern take on a tweed pattern...just fantastic.

or check out this stunning silk pleated dress ($1,595) - a definite nod to the more structured styles ahead for fall. i am just smitten. that gorgeous grey silk, the fabulous detail on the sleeves and

and then there's this beautiful green-and-black silk top ($1,095) that is just the statement-making piece i'm dying for this fall. for those of you that were loving the ombre trend we talked about last week, this takes it to a whole new level. the technique is called dégradé, and gives you the feel of ombre while incorporating multiple colors. don't say i never taught you anything ;)

i'm thrilled to see such gorgeous things coming out of mccartney's line this fall - here's hoping it only goes up from here!

Monday, June 16, 2008

haute or horrid? marc jacobs mouse flats

i've always loved the marc jacobs mouse flats...but i'm starting to think i've outgrown them. i think i love them for my 20-year-old self...not so much for my 30-year-old self, who i'm pretty sure can't pull them off any more than she can successfully pull these off.

but then, my 20-year-old self was so not buying $250 shoes. so, what do you all the price point proof enough that these are cute for grown-ups, or are they still a little too "reclaiming my youth"?

fortunately, i'm not completely out of luck. i can definitely pull off these lovely suede boots, which are high on my list for fall. as are these gorgeous navy and salmon heels, which have that 1940s vibe i so love.

hurray for piperlime starting to carry great shoes like marc by's about time i had an option other than zappos (who i'm boycotting ever since they suspended their free overnight shipping).

Saturday, June 14, 2008

what i want today: hookmaker by design glut

i swear, the next time i renovate a kitchen, a pair of these fantastic teacup hooks is going in. i can't say enough about these fact, i'm wondering if you can commission someone to successfully remove a single tile from a backsplash, so that it can be replaced with one of these. or, heck, just attach it to a blank's still incredibly sleek, stylish, and the type of design that borders on art.

i love the multi-use potential of this hook, but from a purely aesthetic perspective, i think this would be so darling filled with teabags, with another teacup dangling from the hook below. or, run a series next to a stovetop, and fill with fresh herbs or flowers. the possibilities are endless.

pick them up for $30 each at design glut, and heck, maybe grab a pair of egg pants while you're there.

Friday, June 13, 2008

what i want today: giorgio brato pintuck satchel

this pintuck satchel by giorgio brato has absolutely everything i'm looking for in an investment-worthy handbag for fall (which, oddly, is just around the corner). giorgio brato bags are notorious for being impeccably made, so it makes sense to splurge on a style that will stand the test of time.

on this beauty, the styling is classic (the handles remind me of the givenchy nightingale that's been hot for the last year), but it still has plenty of detail to keep it interesting. the pleating is subtle, but oh-so-luxe. and i love that gorgeous grey color. plus, if i decide the grey is too big, there's a lovely cognac version available in a smaller size, which i love.

save your pennies, and nab it at shopbop for $1,197. or pick up its little sister for $400 less.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

art i want today: new jen corace prints

much as i love to ooh and aah over the fantastic prints abounding on etsy these days, i'm trying to abstain. i'm following design*sponge's excellent advice in her SMC interview, in which she suggests saving up all of that money you'll blow on cheap prints and splurging on one gorgeous original from an artist you love.

but then i hear from jen corace that she has three lovely new prints available, and i have to seriously reconsider all that willpower. jen's style isn't normally the art i go for, but there's a vibe to them i just love. they remind me of being a kid - when you had this ability to make a completely different world for yourself with your imagination. i particularly love the print above - you know that girl's mom is going to walk in that room any second and wonder why on earth her daughter is sitting in the middle of the living room floor, having a conversation with the wall. art that instantly creates a story in my head: that's what i love.

and it's limited edition, so it's not like 5,000 people will have this in their home - only 50 people, actually. for $80, that's not shabby at all.

if you're so inclined, you can pick it up (or one of its sister prints) at art star. or check out more of jen's lovely work at her website or at tiny showcase!

deal of the day: san francisco sample sales!

ah, it's that time of year again for my bay area gals - appel & frank is tonight! for those who aren't already devoted fans, appel & frank is a very serious sample sale at which all manner of designers, both local and national, sell their wares at ridiculously low prices.

case in point: those rebecca ciccio bags i adore will be a crazy 50% off, if you don't mind a color from last season. even my beloved benefit cosmetics will be there...undoubtedly touting fabulous discounted wares as well.

so, snag tix online for you and a friend for $15, or at the door for $10 each (don't worry - it includes a cocktail!), and get there early - the first 300 people get a gift bag full of party favors. and who doesn't love swag?

if you can't juggle your busy social calendar that quickly, make up for it by hitting genart's shop SF event on saturday instead. tickets must be purchased in advance (tip: use code "Designer" for discounted tix). the list of participating designers is equally impressive, and you can rest easy knowing that proceeds from the event go to help people who really need it. check out the genart website for all of the details and ticket info.

ladies, these SF sample sales don't come along often - i strongly suggest taking advantage!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

what else i want today: bellbottom trouser jeans

wow, how long has it been since the gap actually had cute, fashion-forward denim?? seems like forever! so when this bellbottom trouser jean landed in my in-box this morning, i was floored. hurray for patrick robinson, is all i can say - maybe we're finally headed for bigger and better things from the ultimate mall retailer.

these bellbottoms look to have the perfect fit for this style - long and lean, just relaxed enough at the thigh, and not too terribly wide at the bottom (no channeling farah fawcett required). i love the flap pockets in the back, and the wash is perfectly faded - bellbottoms shouldn't be too serious, after all.

best of all is the price - $59! now that's worth a shot, don't you think? just make sure to splurge on the tall size, so you can get them tailored to the right length...unless you're short enough to pull off a 32" inseam with heels.

so, what do you all think?

what i want today: cascade ring by christa reiners

now this is the ultimate right-hand ring, for those of us that aren't in the diamond-buying phase of our lives. i love the amazing impact it has, but i also love the incredible detail when you look at it closely. plus, it'll give me something to fiddle with when i'm at the office! and, it's actually affordable in sterling, at 330 euros (not so affordable in yellow gold, at 2800 euros, but hey, my wedding ring is platinum anyway).

pick it up from the very talented christa reiners, who will ship you anything you like from her studio in brussels via fedex, at no charge. while you're there, take a look around - every piece really is incredibly unique and gorgeous. i even love the (amazingly expensive) keychains!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

can it really be true? latest target lines announced...

it's like they raided my closet - both real and fantasy. reports have surfaced that the newest designers for target's cheap/chic accessory collections are anya hindmarch handbags and sigerson morrison shoes. here's hoping they're less disappointing than the last few have been....because if the target versions are even half as fabulous as these designers' high-end lines, i'll be beside myself.

both collections are set to debut october 12 - mark your calendars! and in the meantime, stay tuned for more details - i promise to keep you posted.

what i want today: retro jacquard diamond skirt

i adore skirts - they're so fabulously girly, and perfect for most any occasion. but sometimes i get a little weary of the same styles over and over again. pencil, flare,, white or a big, bold pattern.

so, i'm thrilled to pieces by this sassy little retro number from marc by marc jacobs. i love just about everything here - the chic pattern, the button detail (and i love that they're faux - i detest buttons on skirts, which only ever lead to unflattering bulges), the seasonless styling...everything. it's like chanel meets gogo girl. this will be fantastic all summer, sure, but also fab with tights in cooler weather. plus, with the retro vibe, this beauty isn't going out of style any time soon.

oh, and did i mention it's on sale?? $117 at bloomingdales, but buy quickly - their site is notorious for the eternal backorder.

Monday, June 09, 2008

what i'm gifting for father's day: kiehl's jesse james dopp kit

father's day is always one of those really tricky events for me - men are just tough to buy for in general, but i happen to have a lot of people in my family who, well, lack those "fatherly" hobbies (football and golf) that make for surefire gift solutions.

so, i was thrilled to come across this option from kiehl's, which feels like the perfect gift solution for a dad that's impossible to buy for.

in general, unless they're certifiably metro, most dads aren't into grooming products as gifts (the annual bottle of cologne notwithstanding). that's why i love this limited edition "jesse james" gift set from kiehl's. it's a compilation of their very best men's toiletries (my hubs is completely addicted to the ultimate man body scrub soap it contains), wrapped up in a rugged, manly west coast choppers (read: harley davidson legend) dopp kit.

so, he'll love it for the hell's angels vibe, and the body products will just feel like a bonus. fortunately for you, that bonus means a much better-groomed dad/granddad/husband/babydaddyfor months to come. i love a gift that gives back.

pick it up exclusively at kiehl's boutiques or online for $66, while they last.

Friday, June 06, 2008

deal of the day: velvet sale at hautelook

better late than never...if you can catch these deals before they're gone, you'll be able to restock your tee drawer for a song (or, in more concrete terms, about $25-40 each).

head to hautelook, and if you need a referral (downside: it's invite-only), just drop me a line at shoppingsmycardio at, and i'll hook you up!