Thursday, February 2, 2012

Lilly in Bloom!

After much anticipation, Lilly revealed the spring 2012 collection last Saturday!  One of the themes for the first delivery is cherries:  cherry trees, cherry blossoms, and fruit.  They are so lovely and such a sign of spring when they bloom in May.  My husband and I actually planted four cherry trees in our backyard last fall and cannot wait to see them blooming:

I think I have narrowed my selection down to these two items.  First, the Somerset dress in Bright Navy Cherry Picker:

It is an easy t-shirt style tunic dress--but the ruffles on the 3/4 sleeves add a feminine, slightly dressier touch.
I am also loving the print Lilly's State of Mind Patch--I am sure that everyone has already scrutinized it to find their state!  I really like the new Mariana shift with the lace cutouts.  Very vintage:

 I plan to pay a visit to my local Lilly store this week to check everything out in person! 

Kayce Hughes--Huge Sale!

I have mentioned Kayce Hughes Pears & Bears before but I just had to post this--there is a fabulous sale going on right now, with fall 2011 up to 75% off!

I had purchased the Party Skirt in Pink-O Geometric on the last sale but at $35.50 (down from $142.00), I had to go ahead and get the Basic Button Down dress too:

The website address is
I love pairing prints with prints and am hoping this dress will work with my Murfee in It Can Be Arranged:

I highly recommend paying a visit and stocking up for spring! 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Iced Pastels Part II: Real Life Version

Louis Vuitton and Chanel provide beautiful inspiration for what to wear this spring but in terms of my "real life" wardrobe, I will be looking at J. Crew.  I found this shirt earlier this season and have been saving it to wear in late winter/early spring:

I plan to pair it with icy pinks:

This cool blue cashmere sweater would also look perfect with this ensemble:

I am finding so many ways to interpret this trend--"the look for less!"

New Gas Stove Part II

The new gas stove is finally installed and we love it!  It was installed on Monday and fits so perfectly into our house, it is like it has always been there.

Sadie also likes it though Jed seems a bit wary of the flames...
We are off of work next week and are planning on spending a lot of time relaxing and enjoying our new stove!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Iced Pastels for Spring

I received my February Vogue in the mail the other day (which always makes for an exciting day.)  As soon as I opened up the magazine, this beautiful spread caught my eye:

Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton is showing the most delectable iced pastels for this spring.  I have noticed that several other designers are also showing this trend, including Chanel and Ralph Lauren:

These delicious sorbet colors and sheer fabrics bring to mind another of my favorite things--Laduree, anyone?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Preppy Outlet--Under New Ownership

I was pleasantly surprised to find an email in my inbox this morning from the Preppy Outlet, announcing that it is under new management.  I immediately checked it out and found many Lilly Pulitzer (and other) goodies!

This site carries lots of different lines, including Cape Madras (a new favorite of mine) and Vineyard Vines as well as lines like Rebecca Taylor, Tracy Reese, and Shoshanna.  The markdowns are 50% off of retail--for example, Lilly's Whitaker dress in Skip on It is going for $129.00.  I have not seen this print on sale yet anywhere else!

Their web address is
I will be checking back!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Fur Collar

I have a fabulous new accessory that I have been incorporating into various outfits this winter:

This fur collar adds a retro touch and nice bit of texture to jewel-neck dresses, and works well with cardigans and over turtlenecks too. 

Mine is real fur and is actually an infinity scarf but I have seen many faux variations this season, as scarves as well as with ties.  I like this vintage look with a jeweled pin.  The possibilities seem to be endless in terms of outfit combinations.  I think it will also look good over a blazer or light jacket. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Pink Swap!

I am participating in Hopsy's Pink Swap on Monograms & Manicures.  The swap is a fun excuse to shop for cute pink items to cheer up someone's day! 

I am mailing my gift to my partner in Wyoming this afternoon!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Kayce Hughes Part II

I posted the other day about Kayce Hughes and her line "Pears & Bears" and since then I have made my first purchase from her line--the Party Skirt in Pink O Geometric:

I learned about this line from Maryland Pink & Green and as I have done more research on Kayce and her designs, I have been feeling more spring inspiration coming on!
I am loving the combination of retro gingham prints with tiny florals.  This is definitely a look that I plan to incorporate into my wardrobe very soon!

My New Perfume

I am definitely a perfume person.  I love fragrance and believe in pairing a specific perfume with an outfit or occasion.  I also enjoy collecting the bottles themselves and displaying them on my dresser like little works of art.  My mother gave me my first perfume in junior high (Cristalle by Chanel) and it remains a favorite.  Over the years I have branched out and other past favorites have included Fendi (I was inspired to wear it after a trip to Italy when I was 18), Infusion d'Iris by Prada, and Castile by Penhaligon's.  I also love Wink by Lilly!

Lately, Paradiso #19  by Tokyo Milk has been my perfume of choice.  The scent is light and pretty but not too sweet--their website describes it as "magnolia, jasmine, sheer citrus, and white musk."  An added bonus is the beautiful glass bottle it comes in with a peacock that is visible through the liquid. 

Tokyo Milk makes many other perfumes and products.  I can't wait to explore this line a little more...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pears & Bears

I recently came across a new designer named Kayce Hughes, who designs the line Pears & Bears.  She began her career in fashion at Ralph Lauren, and started her own line beginning with nightshirts for her daughters made from vintage fabrics.  Pears & Bears now includes clothing for ladies as well as children, accessories, and decorative homeware.  Her classic American styles are often inspired by vintage silhouettes:

(This image is from Kayce's blog ( and is a preview of a new dress she is designing for fall 2012.)

Kayce also incorporates vintage-style fabrics, some of which are reminiscent of Liberty of London (another favorite of mine).  Here are two current designs:

This is her Basic Button Down dress, in Blue + Green Loire Floral.

This one is the Long Sleeve Ruffle Shirt Dress, in Pink O Geometric.


My Re-Lilly Find

Sometimes, for some reason, I get a certain outfit or item stuck in my head and I cannot stop thinking about it.  I picture all of the different ways I could wear it and I see myself wearing it to different events and occasions.  This just happened again with Lilly's Kelsi dress in Jumping the Line, from summer 2011. 

I purchased several things from the summer collection (of course!) but for some reason this one did not catch my eye at the time.  Once I realized that I really wanted/needed this dress, I went on a hunt to track it down.  It appeared briefly on Lilly's New Year's sale but they were out of my size before I could move my mouse.  I was about to buy the next size when that one disappeared too.  I then began searching for it on ebay but no luck.  There were several Kelsis available but not in this print...

Over the weekend I was browsing the Re-Lilly page on Facebook and I found my dress!  I sealed the deal and it is now on its way to me. 

I think that at this time of year, I start to dream of spring... The nautical blue/white stripes + gorgeous pink and green flowers will be the perfect way to transition into spring and the cap sleeves and gathered waist are feminine yet still work-appropriate. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Elizabeth McKay in Watch Hill, RI

My  husband is from Rhode Island and years ago he introduced me to the delightful beachside town of Watch Hill.

  Imagine my excitement when I learned that Elizabeth McKay is opening a boutique there!  It will be located at 101 Bay Street, which is just down the street from one of my favorite restaurants, the Olympia Tea Room:

The Tea Room was opened in 1916 as an icecream parlor and still maintains the 20's look, with ceiling fans and black/white tiled floor. One of my favorite dishes is the "Avondale swan"--a fantasy of a puff pastry cut in half and shaped like a swan, filled with icecream and floating on a pool of chocolate!
The Elizabeth McKay store will be just down the street.  Here is a sneak peak of the new facade:

I can't wait to visit!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Preppy: Cultivating Ivy Style

As I was perusing the Re-Lilly Facebook page this weekend (more on this later, as I also found a dress I had been searching for!) I came across a mention of this new book, by Jeffrey Banks and Doris de la Chapelle:

I can't wait to order a copy of this book--an added bonus is the foreward by Lilly Pulitzer herself!  The book charts the evolution of the "preppy" style, complete with photographs and vintage ads, with a focus on influential and iconic designers like Lilly and Ralph Lauren:

I love getting new ideas and inspiration for outfits and looks. I am sure that this book will give me lots of new material to work with!  (The above ad is from Ralph Lauren's Tweed Run in NYC this fall and I am actually going to duplicate this look this week, with a long Lauren black floral chiffon sleeveless dress over a black turtleneck and black tights, and under a tweed Blue Label hacking jacket.)

Friday, January 13, 2012

New Gas Stove Part I

My husband and I have always wanted a wood stove...the look of the stove would fit beautifully into our 1795 home and would help create a cozy haven in the winter.  (I know that our dog and cat would appreciate it too.)  We began looking into getting one last year but sadly, due to clearance issues in the old house, we soon found out that a wood stove would not be possible.  However, the stove we wanted is also available in a gas version so we decided to go that route instead.  The look will be the same, and it will actually be cleaner and safer too.  The stove is the Jotul Allagash, in Majolica brown enamel finish:

The saga of having it installed has taken longer than we thought but we are almost there.  (We actually have two fireplaces in the house but cannot run the gas line through the larger one because our gas heat is already vented through it.  The second fireplace opens into the dining room but we want to have the stove on the opposite wall so it will be in the living room.  This means that a chimney contractor had to open a hole in the wall to access the chimney, so the gas pipe can be run from the living room.)  ANYWAY, the contractor came yesterday and here is the result:

The room is ready for the stove to be installed!  I will keep you posted on the results!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Charlotte Taylor

I love printed fabrics and recently came across a fabulous new designer at Anthropologie named Charlotte Taylor.  Like so many of today's top designers, she graduated from Central Saint Martin's in London.  After working briefly for Luella,  Charlotte started her own label in 2009.   According to her blog,  "Charlotte's collections are tailored to all aspects of everyday life, laid bare ready to be grasped by the individual and transformed into their own story. Strong tailoring, bold silhouettes and sculptured shapes provide canvases for dashes of colour, textures and prints. Charlotte's vision subtly emphasises the female form, juxtaposing androgynous tones with effortless elegance."

The designs featured at Anthropologie are part of a diffusion line that Charlotte has created especially for the store.  These are the two dresses that I purchased recently:

The styling on both dresses is classic and flattering, and the whimsical patterns of fire ants and dromedaries just make me smile!  I cannot wait for the next wedding (fire ants) or cocktail party (dromedaries) to debut my new dresses!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Best Lip Balm in the World...

...that I have found so far is Caswell-Massey's almond and aloe lip balm.
In terms of makeup, I have always been a lipstick person.  (I will do a separate post on my favorite lipsticks and colors in the future!)  I remember my first lip smacker duo from Bonne Bell (Grape and Cream Soda flavors) and have not looked back since.  I soon moved on to "real" lipsticks but have never stopped looking for the perfect balm to use as a lipstick base and instead of lipstick (on those rare occasions that I don't want to wear it, like when I'm sleeping.)

I am a fan of Caswell-Massey's almond and aloe line and regularly use the body balm and talc (this is especially refreshing on a hot summer's day) but amazingly, had never tried the lip balm--until I received one in my Christmas stocking this year. 

It has the same light almond scent as the other products (and slight flavor too!).  It is creamy without being greasy, and provides a light shine to your regular lipstick if used as a base.  I plan to stock up and keep one at work and in my purse as well as at home.  Move over, Burt's Bees!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pink + Orange = Pure happiness!

Lilly recently announced Pantone's color of the year for 2012:  Tangerine Tango!
It is a perfect complement to last year's shade of Honeysuckle Pink:
Pink and orange have always been two of my favorite colors and the combination is even better.  It is so fresh and yet fabulously retro.  Here is one pairing that I am looking forward to putting together:
Elizabeth McKay's Lindsay dress in Mascot Orange + Lilly's Pink Fallin' in Love Murfee scarf.  I also love the way the prints work together:
These colors are also great pick-me-ups in the middle of winter, and always feminine and flattering!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Back to the Gym ( or, Holiday Hiatus is Over)

I have never been an "athletic" person though I did enjoy taking ballet lessons and performing with my ballet schools from ages 5-13.  In high school I did the Jane Fonda workout before school and I did take tennis lessons in college, but that is about it for me in terms of organized exercise...

About 6 years ago I started going to my local gym and I have not looked back.  Due to my work and commuting schedule, I can only attend classes on the weekends but every weekend I go to a weights class and a step aerobic class, both Saturday and Sunday.  It is not easy to get up early every weekend (especially in the heart of winter) but the class format is a great support system and I love the energizing power of the music.  Of course, I missed class the weekend my husband and I went to my parents' for Christmas in Annapolis and I was sick over New Year's so this weekend was my first time back in a few weeks.  Boy am I sore today!  My mother calls it "muscle awareness" and it is a good feeling to know that I am getting back in the swing of things.  Tip: when the going gets tough during class, and I feel like I can't do any more reps, I visualize one of my summer dresses or a new outfit that I want to fit into and that is my incentive!  I have my eye on a few pieces from the Lilly resort collection!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Keep Calm and Have a Cupcake

My husband and I went to our local Barnes & Noble one evening last week and I found this little item that I had to have.  I love the British "Keep Calm and Carry On" theme and thought this was a cute reinterpretation of it!  I always carry a note pad in my purse for shopping lists, ideas, etc. and my current pad is almost used up so I actually needed this...

I have a Nook and so does my husband so it had been a while since we browsed in an "actual" bookstore.  We checked out all of the best sellers and new releases on the front tables, the after Christmas bargains in the sale bin, and even the 2012 calendars.  We ended up having a light dinner at the Starbucks in the store which was surprisingly good.  I had a panini and a cup of Harney & Sons tea and we shared a sugar cookie.  Afterwards we browsed the magazine racks.  Remember the days pre-Internet and pre-E-readers?  We had forgotten how pleasant such a simple activity can be!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Premiere Post and Elizabeth McKay sale!

I have been a follower of several blogs over the last few years and have decided to join in all of the fun by hosting my own blog!  Please bear with me as I try to figure this out.  I will definitely be working on the graphics!  In my very first post I wanted to mention the Elizabeth McKay online sale.  I was introduced to this line via some of the aforementioned bloggers that I follow and have become a huge fan.  I ordered the Scotland dress in Red Dancing Elephants to wear on Christmas Day at home in Annapolis and it was a huge hit.  I ordered a short-sleeved Scotland from the sale and cannot wait to get it!  If you are not already a fan of Elizabeth McKay you should definitely check out her timeless, classic styles, fun prints, and flattering details (ruffles to frame the face are a favorite of mine.)

Stay tuned as I try to get more tech-savvy!  I'd love to hear from you!