Holiday Hysteria

I remember being consumed with the idea of Santa when I was younger.  Obsessed with him.  I mean, this guy didn’t even really know me… I stopped buying into that ‘good girl’/’bad girl’ threat at the age of four when I stole a classmate’s fruit roll up, lied about it and still got Christmas presents that December.  The physical reaction that took place on Christmas mornings for me were like what I only assume dropping Acid in a room full of cash, while simultaneously being cheered on by your closest friends and family would be and just like a drug, it happens in stages.

First?  Anticipation.  The nights leading up to Xmas day were filled with angst and high hopes and around the 20th, sh*t got real.  Sweating, the shakes, scenarios running through my head… I needed it.  I needed it to be the 25th.  This hit a high point at the end of Christmas Eve dinner when I knew it was really in sight.  We got the goods.  To describe the night’s of 12/24 between the years of approx. 1992-1999 would basically be similar to a multiple personality, caged animal with a bad case of tourettes breaking out in random laughs, cries and keywords from my Christmas list.. “KABOODLE!!!?!?!??”, “TOMAGATCHI!?!??”, “CASH REGISTER!!!?!?”.  I really don’t have any recollection after this, so I can only assume my parents had to step in and slip me some kind of sleep aid and for that, I am eternally grateful.

I wake up, deceived.  HOW did this happen?  I fell asleep.. impossible.  No time for thoughts – C$H$R$I$T$M$A$S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Later in life, I learned the only way to describe this moment is…

mind_blown

taken from here

The sad reality is that this process, although traumatic, is magic and as we get older, it fades.  You learn that not everything you believed in was true (in my case, I found out when my Jewish best friend asked me when I found out that my idol, my beloved, my rockstar, Santa Claus didn’t really exist.  I responded confidentently and carefree, “HA, seriously.. I’ve known for ages………  I must be going now”, quickly turned my back and cried the entire way home).  But, then you fill the void with the memory of innocence and with appreciation for your parents going through all kinds of trouble to make the day as mind blowing as it was… I mean, my Dad once drove three hours north to meet a woman in a parking lot in the freezing cold to exchange a sold-out-everywhere Furby for more cash than than that loud, needy toy (that doesn’t turn off, by the way) was ever worth.  And yes, I still love Christmas.  Some part of me reverts back to that selfish, bratty, unappreciative eight year old every year and the spirit of children lives on.

*Reference to drugs was used for humor’s sake.  Don’t do drugs.  Just love Christmas.

Top Items On My List (in no particular order)

1

Prada 0PR 23OS Sunglasses $245

2

Proenza Schouler PS1 Wallet $165

3

Gorjana Alphabet Coin Bracelet $60

4

Vince Camuto ‘Tipper’ Boot $179

5

Lulu Guiness Blush-Perspex Lips Clutch $390

 

6

 

Etsy’s Naomilingerie Black Satin and Cotton Cat Eye Mask $23.07

 

 

 

7

 

 

Nixon Time Teller Watch $99.99

 

 

1

 

 

Coach Legacy Leather Large Wristlet $108

 

 

2

 

 

Urban Decay Naked2 Palette $50

 

 

1

 

 

Rebecca Taylor Giselle Leopard Zip-Around Wallet $78

 

 

2

 

 

Too Faced 3 Way Lash Lining Tool $22

 

 

3

 

 

T by Alexander Wang Inverted Pleated Dress $129

 

 

4

 

 

 

Nars Night Flight Nail Polish $18

 

 

 

5

 

 

Current Elliott Stiletto Jean in Day Glow Pink $65

 

 

6

 

 

Boutaugh Bow Tie in Pink $68

 

 

7

 

 

J Crew Vintage Short Sleeve Pajama Set $78

 

 

8

 

 

Anthropologie Kismet Knit Turban $48

 

 

9

 

 

Ka’Oir Wifey Lipstick $15.99

 

 

10

 

 

MAC Pro Lip Palette $40

 

 

1 1

 

 

Kate Spade Colorblocked Silicone iPhone 4 Case $35

 

 

2

 

 

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray $19.50-39

 

 

3

 

 

Nespresso Latissima Plus $399

 

 

4

 

 

Sephora by OPI Gelshine At Home Gel Colour System $159

 

 

5

 

 

Jiffy Steamer $58.12

 

 

6

 

 

Frends Taylor Rose Gold Headphones $199

 

 

7

 

 

 

Ciate Mother of Pearl Caviar Manicure $27.95

 

 

 

9

 

 

Nikon 1 J1 10MP Digital Camera $399.99

 

 

10

 

 

Current Elliott Stiletto Jean in Camel Leopard $198

 

 

11

 

The Little Dictionary of Fashion $19.95

12

Paige Denim Edgemont Ultra Skinny Jeans in Cheer $167.30

Robes

When I moved to Southern California, I pictured myself tan, waking up early to skateboard down to the coast to surf for an hour before work, and basically just accidentally slipping into a super toned and slender physique a la Kate Bosworth, which seemed pretty easy according to my research of watching Blue Crush over and over.

First of all, I’m of Irish decent.  I’m pretty sure the only step between pale and burnt is blistered, which I really should know by now.  Also, it’s my 5th year in and the only thing I have to show for my skateboarding skills is a permanent scar and to be honest with you, I’ve not come as far as shoulder deep in the Pacific, so surfing isn’t working out so well.  I also moved here just before June, which sent me into a deep depression once I learned of the phrase, “June Gloom”.

Living by the beach… it’s actually cold.  Not in terms of snow or single digit Winter weather, but let’s just say leaving the house without a sweater is 9 times out of 10 a big mistake.  Also, almost like clockwork, when each June rolls around, the sky turns dark and remains overcast for the remainder of the month.  I’m convinced this is karma for all the egos and bad intentions that fill this town (half joking).

I take a personal protest by using the weekends to stay in bed, watch movies and order cheap Chinese food.  My attire?  Can’t live without my comfy robes.  Whether I’m sick, relaxing or even getting ready to go out – it’s my go to.  I also never travel without one.  I’ve managed to acquire quite the collection ranging from my favorite warm and cozy (pictured 1st) to a light, short sleeved printed wrap (pictured 2nd) to use while straightening my hair and doing my makeup.

Robes:

Kashwere Adult Shawl Collared Robe $135

*First heard of this from my friend Courtney (THANK YOU). 

Josie Interrupted Floral Short Robe $52.80

Kiku Cotton Kimono in Kyoto Floral Print $156.56

Lacoste ‘Smash’ Robe $69.99

Topshop Rose Robe $45

Oscar de la Renta Pink Label Heavenly Lace Long Robe $79

Splendid Soft Luxurious Robe $82.60

Hudson Park Boxed Robe $99.99

Marc by Marc Jacobs Serpent Nightwear Robe $81

Victoria’s Secret Long Terry Robe $44.99

In Bloom by Jonquil ‘Blossom Bouquet’ Wrap $68

Gilligan & OMalley Women’s MixMatch Robe $21.99

Lauren by Ralph Lauren Sleepwear Stripe Spa Robe $64

Calvin Klein Underwear Essentials Satin Short Robe $56.25

In Bloom by Joquil ‘Animal Patch’ Wrap Robe $58

Natori ‘Sapa’ Robe $170

Gap Stretch Jersey Short Robe $44.50

Anthropologie Blooming Rose Robe $78

Forever 21 French Terry Sleep Robe $15.80

 

Framed

One of my favorite things to buy for myself and to give as gifts is a unique picture frame.  They contribute to the overall aesthetic of your home, while also providing an opportunity for a personal touch as you fill them with pictures that mean enough to display before your guests.

I usually gravitate towards fun shapes and designs, but also appreciate the simplicity of a nice neutral style.

Here Are Some Frames I’d Post Around My Home:

PBteeen Bone Frames $25-29

Urban Outfitters Rose Frame $19

Twos Company Patterned Frames $36 each

Jonathan Adler Charade Studded Frame $78

Anthropologie Round Inset Stripes Frame $28

Urban Outfitters Handpainted Frame $11.99

Kate Spade Sullivan Street Frame $35

Jonathan Adler Enamel Brackets Frame $68

Elizabeth’s Embellishments Gold Print on Bone Square Photo Frames $26.95

Olivia Riegel “Asbury” Frame $75

Anthropologie Repurposed Frame $20

Fringe Cambridge Foil Frame $37.50

Urban Outfitters Four Corners Picture Frame $19

Anthropologie Epicene Frame $24

Twos Company Set of 2 Muntaz Bone Frames $100

Elizabeth’s Embellishments White Ornate Picture Frames $21.95-36.95

Novelty Watches

I’ve gotten used to wearing watches everyday.  I normally stick to a classic over-sized gold Michael Kors style, but think it’s fun to mix it up every once and a while with a fun, bright alternative.

Novelty Watches:

FUNBOY Watches in Red Crush $25

Timex Original Camper Gloss Watch $60

Flex Yellow Watch $30

Anthropologie Viscid Watch in Sky $58

Neff Flava Watch in Cyan $20

Neff Daily Watch in Purple $30

O’Clock Analogue Mirror Silicone Purple Watch $60.88

Timex Multicolor Easy Reader Watch $65

Multi-Color Block Brick Style Wrist Watch $8.39

Mirrored

One of my favorite home accessories is mirrors.  They make rooms look bigger, they’re easier to find than art (I’mveryparticular about art and have serious commitment issues when it comes to buying a piece) and they also provide convenience when checking out the proportions of a new outfit or beauty product.

Mirrors I’d Like To Accessorize My Home With:

West Elm Stephen Antonson Mirror $179

Anthropologie Amersham Mirror $498

Horchow Demetrius Mirror $525

Inside Avenue Silver Leaf Starburst Mirror $530

Etsy RecycledBrooklyn Salvage Floor Joist Monster Mirror by Matt Loftice by $450

Horchow Aster Floor Mirror by Lilly Pulitzer Home $1099

Restoration Hardware Iron and Rope Mirror $650

Horchow The Uttermost Co Adalina Mirror $675

Inside Avenue Silver Leaf Antique Mirror $1135

West Elm Convex Mirrors $29

Z Gallerie Omni Leaner Mirror $599

Neiman Marcus Windowpane Mirror $525

Horchow Coddoa Mirror $575

Inside Avenue Larkin Mirror by Cyan Design $80

Pottery Barn Arched Door Mirror $399

Neiman Marcus Silver Deco Mirror $395

                         

Horchow Ginosa Mirror $185

Pottery Barn Eagan Multipanel Large Mirror $699

Horchow Janice Minor Porcupine Quill Mirror $699

Horchow Amiel Large Arch Mirror $695

Printed Shorts

Integrating new colors and prints into your wardrobe will maximize the use of everyday basics.  I’m trying to be really conscious of buying things I don’t have anything like in order to mix up my looks.  With Summer right around the corner, a great way to create easy outfits that are fun, but still allow you to run around, is to layer your staples on top (that you already have) – T’s, blazers, lightweight sweaters, and invest in some printed shorts.

Shorts have a bad rap because they can be a disaster if you buy the wrong type for your body.  Know that your shorts should hit just below the largest part of your thigh.  Also, make sure they are not too small (looks all kinds of wrong) AND not too big (usually looks really sloppy).  When all else fails (even though I love wearing shorts with strappy, colorful sandals) – wear them with a wedge or some type of comfortable heel – it instantly takes 5 lbs off.

That being said, it’s a great way to mix up solid colors and allows you to use a lot of pieces you probably already have.

Printed Shorts to Sport this Summer:

Madewell Side Cinch Shorts $175

DVF New Boymuda Circle Stitch Jacquard Short $285

ASOS River Island Leopard Print Denim Hot Pants $43.49

Sass & Bide I Been Around Shorts $122.50

Anthropologie Loveburst Shorts $148

Aqua Floral Printed Shorts $58

Anna Sui Printed Silk Crepe de Chine Shorts $330

Maison Scotch American Flag Shorts $103

Rachel Antonoff Annie Shorts $188

Forever 21 Zebra Print Shorts $15.80

DVF The Best Selling Rolled Shorts $236

Free People Daisy Shorts $98

MIH Jeans Star Print Shorts $240

Topshop Aztec Printed Shorts $60

Old Navy Dolphin Print Shorts $8

Treasure Blue Cuzco Shorts $72

Forever 21 Smocked Floral Hot Pants $14.80

Tibi Layla Ikat Printed Shorts $250

Alice and Olivia Butterfly Shorts $198

Dear Fieldbinder Tegen Shorts $176

Burberry London Jacquard  Shorts $325

Jen’s Pirates Booty Sunny Surf Shorts $110

Old Navy Striped French Terry Shorts $16.94

Anna Sui Printed Silk Shorts $325

Madewell Striped Junie Shorts $60

Delia’s Floral Printed Shorts $29.50

Joie Layana Ikat Print Silk Shorts $158

Forever 21 Floral Print Cutoffs $19.80

Joe’s Jeans High Rise Cutoff Shorts $128

 

My Favorite Online Shopping Spots

I do a lot of online shopping.  It’s super convenient and I like to be able to scour different sites to make sure I’m getting the best deals and sort through sales without feeling like I’m digging for gold amongst designer thirsty style enthusiasts in my way.  There are also a lot of free shipping incentives, along with discounted departments every day.  The easiest way to find out about deals and savings?  Sign up for the website’s daily email.  Yes, this can be incredibly annoying and as someone who wakes up each day with a minimum of 50 new emails all saying, “Indulge on _____ today, you deserve it!”, I get it.  That person definitely does not know my life.  If she did, she’d probably say “OK, Taylor, you can probably pass on your fourth pair of strappy sandals, don’t you think?”.  BUT, if you can develop a level of self control, it’s a great way to look out for things you are looking for.

I narrowed down my long list of online shopping sources below to include my very favorites.

Department Stores/Specialty Stores:

Bloomingdales.com

NeimanMarcus.com

Nordstrom.com

Barneys.com

SaksFifthAvenue.com

ShopPlanetBlue.com

Zara.com

Designer Websites:

BCBG.com

DVF.com

MichaelKors.com

AliceandOlivia.com

RebeccaTaylor.com

Online Retailers:

Shopbop.com

RevolveClothing.com

Net-A-Porter.com

ShopTheTrendBoutique.com

Refinery29.com

Asos.com

Topshop.com

IntermixOnline.com

FarFetch.com

Piperlime.com

Couture.Zappos.com

Madewell.com

PinkMascara.com

LesNouvelles.com

Specifically Shoes:

Zappos.com

SteveMadden.com

FryeBoots.com

DolceVita.com

Jewelry:

FavorJewelry.com

RachelRoy.com

Handbags:

ELuxury.lm

Look for Less Spots:

Forever21.com

DorothyPerkins.com

AE.com

FredFlare.com

Sale Sites/Daily Mailers:

Gilt.com (I belong to all of the off price sites, but I find Gilt features the best products for the best prices)

LastCall.com (Neiman Marcus Off Price)

LuckyMag.com (Sign up for their deal of the day)

DailyCandy.com

PopSugar.com

OpenSky.com

LuxeYard.com (You can sign up for their clothing and home goods mailers)

OneKingsLane.com (Home Goods)

Beauty/Hair:

Sephora.com

ElfCosmetics.com (great deals!)

Beauty.com

Drugstore.com

DermStore.com

RickysNYC.com

SkinStore.com
MACCosmetics.com

Home Goods/Office Supplies:

Amazon.com

RussellandHazel.com

KateSpade.com

Williams-Sonoma.com

WestElm.com

CrateandBarrel.com

CB2.com

ZGallerie.com

PotteryBarn.com

RestorationHardware.com

JaysonHome.com

FishsEddy.com

Anthropologie.com

WorldMarket.com

GretelHome.com

GandGWebstore.com (artificial flowers)

LindaandHarriett.com

DesignPublic.com

SeeJaneWork.com

Tech Stuff:

FreshlyPicked.BigCartel.com (love their mouse-pads)

AhaLife.com

AplusRstore.com

ThinkGeek.com

CoolestGadgets.com

Entertaining with Ease

One of my favorite things to do on the weekend is to have people over for dinner.  It can often times save money by foregoing restaurants and bars, gives you a reason to clean up the house and more than anything, provide for a night of good conversation with people you love.  When it comes to entertaining, I like to have pieces that are easy to use, but still have character.

I like to mix and match my pieces to create a unique feel, which also allows me to trade out new finds with ones that may have broken (I have a clumsy streak) or add in a new piece I don’t have yet.

Here are some Serveware options I’d love to entertain with:

Chalkboard Cheese Tray  from West Elm $34/medium board and Cheese Knives from Jayson Home $28/knife photos taken from websites

Printed Bowl from Jayson Home $42 and Five Section Bowl from Neiman Marcus $50 photos taken from websites

Butter Dish from Williams-Sonoma $19 and Two-Toned Wood Spreaders from Anthropologie $18 photos taken from websites

   

Soda-Lime Pitcher from Anthropologie $28 and Banana Bark Three Section Dish from Neiman Marcus $36 photos taken from websites

   

Chip and Dip Tray from Williams-Sonoma $49.95 and Madras Caddy from World Market $14.99 photos taken from websites

Beverage Dispenser from Anthropologie $298 and Round Chalkboard (to hang on the dispenser) from Pottery Barn $22.50/set of 4 photos taken from websites

   

On Ice Condiment Set (keeps them cold) from Crate & Barrel $16.95 and Wood Circle Server from Crate & Barrel $21.95 photos taken from websites

Multicolored Salad Bowl from Crate & Barrel $26.95 and Green Tiered Stand from World Market $29.99 photos taken from websites

Farmer’s Market Baskets from Anthropologie $14/basket and Patterned Trivet from Anthropologie $24 photos taken from websites

     

Flower Market Tray from Neiman Marcus $140 and Metal Rolling Party Bucket (see the bottle opener on the side?) from Pottery Barn $199 photos taken from websites

Straw Dispenser from Fishs Eddy $12.95 and Striped Straws from Fishs Eddy $4.95 photos taken from websites

Polka Dot Cake Server from Fishs Eddy $14.95 and Pink Cake Stand from Fishs Eddy $56.95 photos taken from websites