lusting for fall…for less

So I know that we still have planty of summer left. Weeks, in fact.  I can’t stand when I see Halloween merchandise in stores when I’m still hanging at the beach. And don’t get me started on how ridiculously early Christmas stuff comes out. But I will say, that right about now, I start to get excited for fall. I’m not trying to rush things; I’m hanging onto every last summer minute, but I can’t help it. Fall lines have started to show up, and it’s hard not to get excited about all the wonderful things to come. There are always a few things that I’m coveting for a new season, and this upcoming one is no different. As usual, many of the things I lust after are unobtainable for me. Boo. So I included more reasonable options that are totally do-able. Here are a few things I’m loving.

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This leather jacket by Annie Bing has had me drooling for quite some time. But at $999, I’m more likely to grow a third arm than be able to buy it. It’s just not happening. What I love about it is that it’s a little rock and roll, and a little lady like. The shoulder quilting is the perfect detail. And I can only imagine how buttery soft it is. Le sigh. Head over here to check it out: (and check out the rest of her line-it’s amazing) http://www.aninebing.com/

However, there are some reasonable options out there. Here’s my favorite:

Oh hey, awesome Topshop jacket that looks just like the awesome Annie Bing. Ok, so it’s faux, but the design is fantastic. Buckles? Check. Zippers? Check. Quilting? Check. And for $85, it’s within reach for average gals like me. Available here: http://us.topshop.com

Awhile back, I was seeing these great d’orsay flats everywhere. Every fashion blogger I follow had them, and I instantly wanted them. Here’s what they were wearing:

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These flats are from Jenni Kayne. I’ve been a fan of hers for quite some time, and I would love to get my hands on these. They come in many different colors and materials, and each one is beautiful. However…..this particular pair is $595. Not gonna happen. My husband would lose it. But if you’re a lucky gal, you can find them here:http://www.shopbop.com/

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Zara to the rescue! Whenever I want a trendy item but don’t want to shell out the cash, I go to Zara. And they never disappoint. These d’orsay flats are PERFECT. And they’re $35.90. !! I tried them on in the store, and they’re just what I’ve been looking for. These will be my go-to shoe for fall. I think this shoe will be huge for fall. You heard it here first. (ok, not really….) Find them at: http://www.zara.com/us/

This last lust/less duo may be the biggest one. Like ever. I am big fan of bags. I am, after all, a female. And when the Pashli came out, I joined millions of women around the world who shed some tears because we knew we’d never have it. (you think I’d be use to that feeling by now…) Here’s the 3.1 Philip Lim beauty:

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Isn’t she a beauty? At $895, however, well, just, no. I have one “it” bag that I carry as much as humanly possible (it’s a DVF) and I’m pretty sure that’s my allotment. And I’ll probably be buried with it. But what I love about this bag is that it’s beautifully made, is versatile, and is a classic. I’ve picked it up a few times in the store and checked myself out in the mirror carrying it. And I might or might not have uttered “Daaaaamn I look good with this…” Find here: http://www.shopbop.com/

Now hold onto your hats, here, because it’s Pashlis for everyone!!!!!

34.95

So this little nugget is a preview for the 3.1 Philip Lim for Target line. And do you see what’s front and center? It’s a mini Pashli. Guess how much. Go ahead. It’s $34.99. The problem is, unless you’re prepared to slap/bite/punch a few ladies to get your hands on it, this pic is probably the closest you’ll get. Unless you go to ebay the day after the collection launches and are willing to shell out hundreds of dollars. (That drives me crazy) I think I just might be willing to go to such measures. Don’t judge me, but I think I’m asking my sitter to come over on September 15 for a few hours so I can camp out and hopefully come home with one of these little gems. Did I mention it’s $34.99? Meet me at Target in September. I’ll be the one pulling someone’s hair. Don’t judge. Or get in my way.

3.1 Philip Lim for Target photo courtesy of http://fashionista.com/.

How a navy blue sofa turned into a whole house.

I’m so over my sofa. Like really over it. I want a re-do. It’s a chocolate brown sectional, and while it’s not butt-ugly, I’m just ready to move on. It didn’t wear very nice and the middle cushion has become quite thin-so when you sit on it and you expect to sit down on pillowy softness, you actually sink into this uncomfortable pit. It sucks. We’re not actually in the market for a new one right this minute, but I’ve definitely started thinking about it. And what I want-what I’m a little bit obsessed with-is navy blue. I think I just might trade my dog for the perfect one. (Ok, not really, but he’s still having accidents so I have moments of weakness when I just might…) I’ve been searching the internet/blogs/Pinterest for awhile looking for the right one, and hadn’t quite found it. Then today, I was checking out West Elm, and voila!! There it was. Navy Blue. Velvet. Chesterfield. Have lovelier words ever been put together? It’s perfection. And here it is:

Isn’t it lovely? I’ve been building rooms around it so much that my head is spinning. And the price point, just like everything at West Elm, is great. It’s Chesterfield (which can be very formal), yet it’s casual, and the color just gives it so much character. I gotta have it and I can’t wait to give my lumpy ol’ P.O.S. the heave ho.

While I was online, I found a bunch of other great stuff (as I usually do), and I thought how I could really build an entire room right from the same place. And then it went on like that. I pretty much planned out almost an entire house from West Elm (so much fun), and then collected it all and put it here. And no, my kids were not being neglected while this was going on. They watched a 30 minute show about some bear detective (totally educational, though, I’m sure), and mommy got a little inspirational break. Here’s what I do in my (very sparse) spare time: (Don’t judge.)

West Elm living room

Sloan Upholstered Chair / Souk Wool Rug / West Elm Mongolian Lamb Pillow Cover– Pebble (24″ Sq.) / West Elm Stackable Chair / West Elm Diamond Dot Crewel Pillow Cover – Slate / Andalusia Dhurrie Pouf / West Elm Parsons End Table – Natural Grass Cloth / West Elm Origami Coffee Table / West Elm Agate Bookend / Chester Tufted Upholstered Sofa / Abacus Table Lamp Mercury

So here’s where it started. The navy blue sofa was the jumping off point for the room. The rug is something I’ve been lusting after for as long as the sofa, and it must be mine at some point. I love the cool lines of the coffee table and also love that the upholstered chairs bring such a great pattern to the room. I also threw in another wooden chair, because I love having an odd chair in the room. I just do. Throw in a pouf for extra seating, a couple of Parsons side tables and lamps, some textured pillows and some agate (love natural elements in every room) and you’ve got yourself a pretty fine living room.

Moving on…

West Elm dining room

West Elm Mobile Chandelier / West Elm Sculptural Spheres / West Elm Dumont Buffet – White / Cast Metal Table w/ Patched Metal Top / Kasbah Wool Rug Steel / Scoop-Back Chair White

Here’s the dining room. The table top is hard to see, but it’s metal. Love the wood/metal combination. And that chandelier is beyond.

West Elm bar cart/gallery wall

West Elm Woven Wall Art / West Elm Framed Bird Wall Art – Flamingo / West Elm Mirror Trays / West Elm Papier-Mâché Animal Sculptures / Gallery Frames White / West Elm Framed Print – When Crystals Form

To me, a house wouldn’t be a home without art. And booze. So here’s both-the bar cart/gallery wall area. You’re welcome.

West Elm office

Industrial Task Table Lamps / West Elm Zigzag Wool Rug – Iron / Swivel Desk Chair / West Elm Framed Print – Polyglot II / West Elm Parsons Desk with Drawers – White

Step into my office. I didn’t really plan on it being all black and white, but I like it. I have seen that exact Parsons desk in a gazillion spaces, and it looks good in every single one.

West Elm entryway

West Elm Scribble Wallpaper / West Elm Umbrella Stand – Umbrella / West Elm Sculptural Spheres / West Elm Multi-Panel Foxed Mirror / West Elm Sculpted Geo Console – Parchment / West Elm Martini Side Table – Antique Brass / West Elm Indigo Geo Cotton Dhurrie / Spindle Back Armchair | west elm

Here’s the entryway, which I probably should have started with, but whatevs.  Can we take a moment and discuss the console table? Oh. My. And I would totally wallpaper my next entry-and I would go for something bold and graphic, like the gray one here. A few accessories, a runner and chair and boom. Cool, modern entryway.

Every interior designer alive would probably lose their lunch at the thought of decorating an entire house from a catalog, (gasp!) but I happen to think it can come out great. And if West Elm would like to send me any of the above items, I would graciously accept.

All items be found here: http://www.westelm.com

One last hurrah at the beach

Since I last posted, my family and I have taken two mini-vacations to the beach. My husband has declared that he is officially “beached out.” (For me, there is no such thing. What a weirdo.) Our trips were filled with family, friends, long beach days, swims in the ocean, outdoor dining, and some serious lack of sleep. While that last part I could do without, the trips were really quite wonderful. Our most recent trip was to a place called Stone Harbor, which is about 30 minutes (and a world) away from Atlantic City. It was my first time being there, and I can say that I’m a huge fan. It is such a charming and chic town. We obvoiusly went for the beach, but I really fell in love with the downtown. The flower and tree-lined streets are filled with great boutiques, cafes, bakeries and bookstores, and the people are as friendly as can be. Truly, a quite picturesque and lovely place. Here’s a look at our time there:

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It’s a good thing that that I didn’t have my wallet when I stumbled upon a few of these places. Zoe and I spent some time browsing around a boutique called Skirt (how cute is that?), and it really was a practice in self-restraint. That was followed by finding some delicious mararons (thankfully by then I was reunited with my wallet) and treats for all (my son is covered in his.) I hope to visit this charming town again soon.

Until then, I plan on enjoying the rest of our summer at home. We’ll spend lots of time at the pool and our backyard, go the movies and the park and enjoy NOT packing our suitcases again.  I love going away, but I love coming home just as much. But man, the laundry sucks.

A day fit for a princess

Yesterday, my baby girl turned four. She’s growing up so fast right before my eyes, and it’s both amazing and bittersweet to see. I long for the days when I could cradle her in my arms for hours, yet I marvel at the things she’s learning to do and at her growing independence. We were at the park the other day, and she mastered a piece of playground equipment that in the past, she always needed help with. She turned to me and said “I don’t need you anymore, mommy!!” I told her how wonderful that was, and then turned away and cried a little bit. Watching your children grow up is so amazing, yet at every step you long for them to stop growing.  It’s quite a mixed bag.

This was the first year that my daughter was pretty specific about the kind of birthday she wanted. In the past, I could decorate with whatever I thought was cute and buy her some sweet gifts, and no matter what they were, she would be happy as can be. However, this year, she was clear. She wanted princesses for her birthday. And a tea party. And princess balloons, and princess streamers, and princess cups and plates, and well, you get the idea. It’s really funny just how  much a girly-girl she’s become, and it’s not like these are things I really introduced or pushed onto her. Since my children were newborns, I went about dressing them/decorating their room/buying toys in a rather unisex way. I didn’t go crazy on pink or blue with anything, and bought things that could be enjoyed by either a girl or a boy. Yet despite all of those things, my little girl is crazy about all things girly-princesses, dolls, anything pink/purple/sparkly, ballet, and dresses. And my little boy is all about cars, trucks, dinosaurs, superheroes, and anything that has a motor. It just happened naturally.  So yesterday, along with my parents, we had a lovely tea party at a place called Alice’s Tea Cup in NYC’s upper east side. It is a charming little place with a sort of Alice in Wonderland theme. (my favorite Disney movie) It was absolutely adorable and everyone loved it. It was my first time sampling different types of tea; I’m more of a coffee gal, but this was delicious. There were also yummy little sandwiches and scones, and a little birthday cupcake for Zoe. Tea was followed by dinner, cake and presents at our house with family. It truly was a day fit for a princess.

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The day truly was a success as Zoe told me it was her “most amazing birthday ever!!” I can’t wait to see what this coming year will bring for my amazing little princess.

Check out Alice’s Tea Cup here: http://alicesteacup.com/

flowers and popsicles

I’m struggling this week. Getting back to normal after vacation is difficult. I can’t seem to catch up on cleaning. I haven’t really cooked much this week and I just finally got back to the gym today. It’s not like I flew to Europe and have major jet lag. I’m just being lazy and want to be sitting on the beach, and not doing that every day just plain sucks. Sigh.

I did do a couple cool things this week. Sort of. Well, I did a couple things. I finally made one of the 3,000 recipes I have pinned on my Pinterest account. (I always pin these awesome looking recipes thinking “I’ll totally make that”, only to never, ever do it.) But I didn’t set my goal too high-I made popsicles. They’re something I thought my kids would love, so we went out and bought the popsicle molds and all the fixins. They were so excited and the chant of “posicles!!! popsicles!!” went on all day. However, I had forgotten that a blade from my blender had broken, and I don’t own a food processor (gasp!), and the popsicles called for pureed fruit. So….first I tried doing it with a hand mixer. Ever do that? Well, don’t. Fruit basically flew everywhere, all over me, and both kids. The option I had left was to hand mash all the fruit. That’s 2 cups of blueberries and 2 cups of strawberries. Not fun. Not fun at all. But whatever, they came out cute and here’s the results:

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That happy face is because I told the kids they could have popsicles for breakfast. They weren’t ready until this morning, and there’s only strawberries, blueberries, yogurt and honey in them, so totally appropriate, I thought. And fun. But after only 3 licks, Brody decided he didn’t like them. Zoe took about 7. Fail. Well, I liked them. You can find the recipe here: http://www.thenourishista.com/2012/06/red-white-and-blueberry-popsicles-for.html.

One of the first things I did this week was to make a beautiful flower arrangement. When I’m kinda feeling like I’m in a funk, I like to buy flowers. They just make me happy. So I bought some mums, hydrangeas, and lilies, all in white. I usually cut the stems down pretty short and make several short arrangements, but this time I wanted to make one tall one. DSC_0289

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I love that my daughter has taken such a liking to flowers. She always asks to have some put in her room, which I think is so sweet. She can also identify many different types. (Much like my son can do with cars. So funny.) I really wish I knew what I was doing when it comes to arranging flowers. I’ve read a few little things, but would love to get really good at it. I’ve been considering taking a class at some point with all the free time I have. (Please note sarcasm.) I just found this one and love the idea of doing it from home: http://nicolesclasses.com/portfolio/floral-arranging-101/

Other than that, the kids and I went to the movies, went swimming, and did lots of little things. This weekend is my daughter’s 4th birthday, and it’s the first year when she’s had a real wish list. And it all involves princesses. So I’m up to my eyeballs in princesses. I’m really looking forward to it and cannot wait to see how much she likes everything we have planed.

Until Monday!!

Please give me strength…

This time of year is really tough for me. There are end of season sales going on everywhere I look, and I lack the strength to resist. Every day my inbox is overflowing with sale notices. I even lack the strength to unsubscribe from those. What am I to do? Every year my husband gives me that look when the credit card statement comes in- and I truly am sorry. But I can’t seem to stop myself. I try, I really do. And there are certain sales that I just cannot resist. They’re just too good. I picked up a couple tops from JCrew and Madewell (two of my favs) that were so cheap, they were practically giving them away. I would have been a fool not to buy them. (When you get emails from JCrew and Madewell that say 40% off final sale items, you take a look. I’m no fool.) And now, two other places are having sales that are off. the. hook. Hello, Zara and Shopbop. (I can hear every man that follows this blog rolling their eyes and leaving this page now-except for my husband, who wants to know what I spent.) Nearly everything at Zara is on serious sale, both online and in-store, and I have browsed both. It’s insane how good it is. And Shopbop is offering an additional 25% off their sale items until tomorrow. I’ve already taken advantage of both. I picked up a pair of sneakers from Zara that I’ve been drooling over for months for $29.99 (normally $130). They’re pony hair leopard sneakers with spikes. Because what girl doesn’t need those in her closet? And I picked up a cute cover up/dress from Shopbop for $20. (was normally $75 and has since sold out.) But that hasn’t stopped me from continuously stopping by both places. I was in Zara tonight, and just actually left the Shopbop site. And with that, I just thought I’d share with you some of my favorite things that are out there right now.

Here are my Zara picks:

printed trouser with side stripe 29.99

I love me a funky trouser. This is the printed trouser with side stripe. $29.99

boho linen skirt 19.99

I really wish this fugly sweater wasn’t covering up this skirt, because it really is gorg. And would have come home with me tonight if they had sizes bigger than a 2. It’s the linen boho skirt and it’s $19.99.

leather effect horts 19.99

Leather effect shorts. $19.99. Bam.

29.99

These are my new loves and I got ’em for $29.99. Buy them so we can be twinsies.

And now over to Shopbop:

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Free People Lacy Day Tank | SHOPBOP

Isn’t this the sweetest little summer tank? It would look so cute over a bandeau or bikini top. Love. $54.60 (And remember, if you buy today or tomorrow, take an additional 25% off.)

185.30

Tory Burch Multi Straw Tote | SHOPBOP

I do believe Tory Burch has perfected the beach tote. This one is $185.30.

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Young Fabulous & Broke June Drizzle Stripe Maxi Dress | SHOPBOP

I really love Young Fabulous & Broke-their pieces are so cool and casual.  This maxi dress is just perfect. $117.00

165.60

Young Fabulous & Broke Montauk Maxi Dress | SHOPBOP

Another YF&B maxi. This one also comes in black. $165.60

93.20

Rachel Pally Preetma Maxi Dress | SHOPBOP

Rachel Pally is a go-to for beautiful, easy and timeless pieces. Her dresses flow so beautifully. One of my favorite dresses that I own is by her and I reach for it time and time again. You’re bound to love anything RP you buy, and with this sale, now is a good time to do so. This beautiful one is $93.60.

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ONE by Marna Ro Shirred Waist Dress with Leather Bodice | SHOPBOP

I have to tell you, I really, really want this dress. I am so in love with the leather bodice. (and anything leather, really) This dress would get serious, serious rotation in my closet. $171.50

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Diane von Furstenberg Lips iPhone 5 Case | SHOPBOP

How cute is this case? I’m a HUGE DVF fan, and a huge fan of her lips print that was everywhere the past couple seasons. It will look really great on your phone, too. $24.00

137.50

Dolce Vita Valentina Lace Dress | SHOPBOP

I think I love lace just as much as I love leather. This little white number is so, so sweet. And we all need a LWD in our closet. $137.50

Seriously, I could go on and on here. There are so many beautiful things to choose from. I just can’t stop looking. I think  may need some help.

Buy above items here: http://www.shopbop.com/  Additional 25% off until 11:59 tomorrow with promo code SALE25. And here: http://www.zara.com/us

Happy shopping!

Back to reality

So, we’re back from our vacation. Every year, I’m excited yet hesitant about our trips. Historically, they’ve been a bit rough. There have been a lot of sleepless nights, tantrums, unfortunate swim diaper incidents and much, much more. But this year, we didn’t pack one bottle or diaper. Both of my kids have dropped their naps (which means no trips back to the house, but a mixed blessing), and both kids are out of cribs. So I was pretty excited. But still hesitant. However, this week turned out to be really, really nice. Every year, my family and I go to Long Beach Island, which is part of the Jersey Shore. I have been going there all my life, as has my mother. It makes me so happy to now bring my own children there. Despite the wonderful time had by all, it was hard not to notice how Hurricane Sandy affected the island. We saw many closed businesses, and the island almost seemed deserted compared to how it normally is. On the flip side, it was nice to see how LBI rebuilt and came back. As the saying around here goes, “We are stronger than the storm.” Seeing this rebuilt community made me proud to be a Jersey Girl.

We had a week full of beach time, ice cream, great food, rides for the kids, bike rides for all, and runs and long walks on the beach. Coming home sucked. Just really, really sucked. I always get a little down after coming home from vacation. And because of crappy planning, my husband and I had a triathlon planned for the following day. Although the race went great, we are nearly comatose right now and I’m really not even sure how I’m able to type at the moment.

I just wanted to share one of my favorite nights from our trip. We went onto the beach around sunset, which is actually my favorite time of day to be there. The sand is nice and cool and feels so good on your toes, the beach is deserted, and the light and colors are spectacular. There was a nice breeze going, so we took the kids down to fly kites. Try as we may, the kites didn’t stay up for too long, but the kids were thrilled. So naturally, so were we.

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Batman and Barbie may not have had a lot of flight time, but it was  pretty fun while it lasted. But now, it’s back to reality. Sigh.