Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ring in a New Year

Happy 2012!

Sources: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Friday, December 30, 2011

Storing Shoes

My shoe storage situation was bothering me for a long time, and I finally took action!

Not terrible, but I felt it could definitely be improved. I wanted it to be more along the lines of these inspiration images:



Here's where I wound up:

Better, isn't it? I was searching for a really long time for something just like this, just plain white wooden shelving for shoes-it was surprisingly tough to find! Container Store came through for me though, with their 2-Shelf Storage Stacker (say that five times fast). It was pretty easy to assemble too. I feel like it has much more of a boutique look now, and that makes me happy. It's the little things, people.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Birthday Tradition

As I'm sure we all know, the difference between store-bought and homemade is substantial when it comes to any baked good. However, when it comes to the traditional yellow birthday cake, the difference between the stuff you bake from the Betty Crocker box and the made from scratch variety really cannot be overstated! My mom is awesome and bakes yellow cake with chocolate frosting, all from scratch, for all of our birthdays (with just a little insistence from us kids). It always comes out different-(that's the fun of homemade!) but it never fails to be magically delicious. And I never fail to eat way too much of it!

We use the recipe from our old Williams Sonoma Dessert cookbook.

We do a double layer cake with my Mom's vintage heart shaped cake tins.

Chocolate frosting, which is basically just butter, melted chocolate, corn syrup, powdered sugar, and vanilla-the ratio of easiness to deliciousness is juuuust right!
Homemade frosting is seriously amazing and surprisingly easy/quick-even if you didn't have time to make a cake from scratch, but  you just put homemade frosting on box-made cake, it would seriously take it up a notch.

Happy birthday to me!

When birthday girls attack.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Casual Carryall

I had been searching for a good tote bag for the last few months-something really lightweight, large enough to hold stuff like a newspaper, a book, some purchases if I was shopping- but not as large as the one I use for groceries. Just something I could use while out and about around the city running errands or shopping. Then I came across this interesting article in a recent New York Times Sunday Styles about how cotton tote bags are replacing designer purses as the newest "It" bag. As the article points out, with a cotton tote bag you can make a statement about something you're interested in-whether it's a philanthropic cause like Lauren Bush's FEED bags, or a MOMA bag like SJP sports above. Like a lightbulb going off, I realized a simple cotton tote was just the thing I was looking for! These bags are just so casual and un-pretentious, plus they're strong and they hold a ton, making them the perfect urban accessory.

When I saw this cool Penguin one I just grabbed it up on an impulse. I love Penguin classics and I just like the simplicity of this:

And when my sister went to Scotland last year, she picked up this cool Marks and Spencer organic cotton Twiggy tote for my Mom:

Unfortunately, my Mom is not likely to give that one up anytime soon!

And look, the head of the most fashionable design house in the world was even seen rocking one with a very important message:

How funny is that? Nice to know he doesn't take himself TOO seriously!

What do you guys think of cotton totes?

Sources: 1, 2&3 by Jackie for York Avenue, 4

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011


How understatedly sexy are all of these shoulder cut-outs? Sultry without being obvious about it-a perfect mix of alluring and modest.

Asos body-con dress
Asos Oasis Top
Anthro top

Anthro slung slash tee

Sweaters with a Smile

How cute, cute, cute are these Asos sweaters? They just make me smile!

Bonjour sweater

Bow Back Top

Monday, December 26, 2011

Sittin' Pretty

Did everyone have a wonderful Christmas? I hope so! For now, let's take a break from the green and red and feast our eyes on a different color-pink!

I remember reading somewhere about how a room isn't a room without some kind of offbeat or wacky chair. So I say, why not a pink chair? It's an easy way to inject a pop of color into an otherwise neutral space, and it awakens a room with a happy jolt of fresh, modern personality. The rooms below feature pink chairs that are eye-catching and refreshing while still blending seamlessly with the rest of the decor. Check out the images and just imagine them without the pink chairs-they would still be beautiful and nice, but they would just be missing that one pop that really ties it all together. Like a (pink) cherry on top!

The color and shape of this chair are spectacular. The perfect modern counterpoint to that FABULOUS Victorian looking fireplace and mirror. Then that disco ball is just a dash of glam on the shelf. The mix, it's all about the mix!

See how this room would almost be too serene and neutral without the addition of that bright magenta?

These are such an interesting shape, and the subdued shade of pink just works so well in this space. I love the matching throw blanket, the faded rug, and the whole casual, relaxed vibe of the room. Also, the electic art lends a unique touch. 

Clearly this whole room is TO DIE FOR. That chair looks so pretty with it's traditional shape, yet comfortable at the same time-I want to plop down in it with a book! The matching rug is great, and I love how those are the only pops of color in the room, while everything else is totally subtle and neutral. The pops of magenta take it from "pretty" to "WOW!"

I love the combo of bright upholstery and white wood. And oooh a mirrored vanity! Love it.

What an amazing, modern chair. I'm in love with the way the same soft shade of pink is repeated in the chair, the lamp, and the throw pillow. Add that to the textured, cozy rug, modern bookshelf, and gigantic wall photograph, and it's pretty much an all around amazing room.   

Sources: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Very Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday.

Sources: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Friday, December 23, 2011

Glam Letters + A Winner!

I want to give a big giant THANK YOU to everyone who entered my first blog giveaway! I appreciate all of my readers and followers SO much and I think you guys are the best-and I hope to have more fabulous giveaways for you in the new year! So without further ado, the winner of the gorgeous CC Skye feather pendant is......

Amy, of the wonderful Tastes Like Red! Woo-hoo! Amy, look out for an email from me!

Now a great Etsy find for your Friday, which I discovered via Glitter Guide:

I am OBSESSED, over the moon obsessed, with these letters from Etsy shop Twisted Twig. The sequins are hand-applied and you can choose any letter, word, or shade of sequins! Here they are in gold, which is equally amazing (I'm just partial to silver):

I absolutely need these in my life ASAP. I'm thinking of just getting a "J," so as to not break the bank on a full word. The only question I'm pondering is whether to go for the silver, which I love, or hot pink, which would be super glam and girly. I should probably go a little more low-key and do the silver. Decisions, decisions!

I'll be posting over the weekend, so be sure to check back in between unwrapping gifts and sipping eggnog!

Photos via twistedtwig on

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Look What I Found!

Ta-da! My obsession deepens.

Imagine my surprise when I popped into Le Pain Quotidien to grab some breakfast (I'm super lucky to have one just a short walk away from my apartment!) and saw THAT sitting there oh-so-casually on the shelf. After I blogged about it just a few short weeks ago! I had no idea Le Pain Quotidien made their own Speculoos, but I didn't hesitate to snatch up a jar. I've previously fallen in love with (and over-indulged in) their Noisella and Noir spreads:

I've yet to try the Blondie (white chocolate spread) or the Brunette (praline spread), but the dark chocolate Noir and the hazelnut-chocolate Noisella are delish. Now Speculoos is added to the party! I'm clearly way too excited about this. By the way, they also had Speculoos cookies. Do you think I bought them?

Here's the apple tart I got:

What, you guys don't eat pastry for breakfast? Well, you should.

Le Pain Quotidien is one of my favorite eateries in the city. It's a wonderful soup/sandwich/pastry shop, with a rustic, casual atmosphere, tons of homemade menu items, and a big, communal table for dining (along with smaller seating areas). It actually originated in Brussels, so it makes sense that they should be selling Speculoos, which is a Belgian treat! They sell wonderful coffees, olive oils, and spreads that they make from organic ingredients, and the amazing pastries and crusty breads are baked fresh daily (hence the name-Le Pain Quotidien=the daily bread). I love this place and I'm so happy I have one right in my neighborhood!

Sources: 1, 3, 4-Jackie for York Avenue, 2, 5, 6


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