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

Can’t Live Without Makeup: Daily Essentials

This Summer was filled with back to back commitments.  I’ve managed to fill in every spare second with visits with close friends and trying out new local restaurants.  What I haven’t been great with, however, is ear-marked!  No worries though, long flights and non wi-fi locations have left me with piles of magazines with turned down pages and as we head to Fall, I’ll be preparing posts in advance to be sure you’re getting your daily fill!

All the travel also forced me to minimize my daily essentials to only what I absolutely need, which is always a challenge for me.  I listed below some of my favorite products, and although I definitely like to switch things up, I know I’ll be ok if these items are packed in my purse!

Can’t Live Without Makeup (in order of how I apply):

Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream $38

Smashbox Photofinish Luminizing Facial Primer $38

Laura Mercier Moisture Supreme Foundation $43

Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit $33

*I like how this one has two colors – not all skin tone is the same and it’s also useful when you’ve gotten some Sun or in my case a faux tan 😉

Korres Wild Rose Mineral Foundation $28

Smashbox Fusion Soft Lights $30

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush $25

Stila Eyeshadow Trio $28

Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner $15

Benefit Cosmetics BADgal Lash Mascara $19

LORAC Cream Lipstick $19

Tory Burch Dash Large Brigitte Cosmetic Case $75

Weekend Bags

Summer inevitably brings on spontaneous trips that don’t involve a lot of planning.  They’re exciting and a great way to reconnect to that thrilling feeling that came during childhood in between School years.  Whether it’s a night away at a local hotel offering a great deal or an impromptu decision to drive a couple hours along the coast to a great vacation spot, I like to be able to get out of the house within an hour before the idea of actually doing it fades.  Some of my favorite daytime purses are actually larger weekend bags that are perfect for these occasions.  Big enough to fit the essentials for a different climate, but small enough so that it is easy to carry.

Weekend Bags:

West Coast Wardrobe Todos Santos Weekender $46

Urban Outfitters Ecote Bizarre Backpack $59

Rachel Zoe Weekender Belted Satchel $464.90

Gypsy 05 Lohri Gypsy Hobo $265

Rebecca Minkoff Woven Bright East/West Tote $425

Deux Lux Putty Woven Faux Leather Bowery Weekend Duffel $82.99

House of Harlow 1960 Dakota Bag $506

Urban Renewal Baja Weekender Bag $29

Diane von Furstenberg Vintage Collection Duffel Bag $115

Forever 21 Vibrant Print Backpack $34.80

Cleobella Lolita Studded Satchel $473

Topshop Large Washed Clip Backpack $72

JADETRIBE Sammi Stripe Small Beach Bag $86

Wildfox Couture Roadtrip Bag $114

Longchamp Paris Le Pliage Travel Bag $155

Rebecca Minkoff Striped Wheelie Bag $346.50

Madewell The Leather Transport Rucksack $248

Intiq for J. Crew Mochila Bag $295

My Fourth of July Bathing Suit

Just got this L*Space top from hip’tique on Main St in Santa Monica for the 4th!

As long as I load up on sunblock to avoid funny tan lines, I’m very excited for this fun alternative to a typical suit.  Get it here!

Other bathing suit tops that are perfect for your BBQ parties:

Shoshanna Beach Club Stripe Twist Bandeau $143

Beach Bunny Swimwear ‘We Found Love’ Triangle Top $88

Tori Praver Swimwear Lily Bandeau $59

Zinke Kristen Bandeau $88

Tyler Rose Swimwear ‘I Got Lucky’ Bikini Top $91

Marc by Marc Jacobs Tie Front Halter Bikini Top $89

Beach Bunny Swimwear Balconet Top $147

Splendid ‘In Bloom’ Bikini Top $55

Tyler Rose Swimwear ‘Mama Didn’t Lie’ Mesh Twist Bandeau $93

 

Amazing Shopbop Sale

Shopbop is one of the best curated online shopping sites for trendy pieces and often times good prices on brands that are quality.  It’s probably the site I shop on most because I can generally get a good idea of what the product is by the given information and multiple photos and are rarely disappointed.

They also provide amazing lookbooks that keep their readers up to date on unique ways to put things together and styles that are all the rage.  Today I got an email from them that made me very happy.  15% off on ALL sale items for the next 3 days by entering “Extra15” at checkout.  Happy Shopping!!

photos from here

Summer Dresses Under $100

Everyone knows I love a good deal.  I’m talking any sort of discount whatsoever… $1 off, throw in a free gift, some sort of upgrade… it makes me giddy inside.  There’s a constant battle of splurging vs. saving in my head and I probably think about my purchases (both past and future) every 5 minutes.  I knew I had it bad when I once saw a sign while passing Old Navy at age 13 for .34 cent shirts.  I swear to you I remember nothing – like a total black out.  I came to, hours later, in my closet sifting through about 15 of the same exact shirt in every color they had.  I mean, I cleared out the racks.  Upside?  I still only spent about $6.  Low?  The shirt was horrible… like, really, really ugly.

There’s something about a deal that condones the purchase.  It’s a trap.  But, I’ve realized at the time it was so I’d have something to back up my argument when my Dad would get my Visa Buxx card statement (a pre-set limit debit card made for teenagers to teach them how to manage money which I BEGGED my parents for).  Being able to say, “YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND.  This was a once and a lifetime opportunity!  It would have been stupid NOT to have bought it!!” was just so much easier than flat out breaking the ‘no more clothes’ rule.  It got so bad that I used to buy things, hide the bags at my friends houses and then smuggle them into my house days later when my parents weren’t home… but that’s another story for another day.

In all reality, I’m still using the sale signs as a crutch for my chronic buyer’s remorse and the proof is that I wanted a really expensive pair of jeans last year so I flagged the website to let me know if any discounts/savings were happening.  A week later I got an email from them saying, “Free Shipping Until Midnight”.  Deal was done.  I saved $5.  Problem.

Summer Dresses Under $100 (Better Than The Alternative!):

           

Motel Rosie Dress $63

              

ASOS Midi Slip Dress in Floral Print $40.60

                         

Funktional Tunnel Midi Dress $98

                      

DV by Dolce Vita Cullen Shirt Dress $68

                        

Zara Linear Dress $79.90

                          

Joie A La Plage Mayan Printed Collie Dress $98

                          

Velvet Keenan Dress $68.60

                   

MM Couture by Miss Me Printed Strapless Dress with Tie Waist $94

          

Sam & Lavi Dextra Shift Dress $98

                  

MINKPINK Wishful Thinking Sundress $83

              

Zara Lace Print Dress $89.90

               

ASOS Skater Dress in Heart Print $24.86

              

Backstage Nikki Dress $70

           

Zara Silk Tunic with Lace at the Sides $89.90

            

River Island Chelsea Girl Spot Lace Dress $41.43

          

Indah Yang Cold Shoulder Tunic $54

       

Hive & Honey Floral Blousant Dress $39.99

            

C&C California Smock Tank Dress $98

          

ASOS Animal Print Swing Dress $46.40

       

Forever 21 Sheer Floral Dress $17.80

             

ASOS Bandeau Dress with Strawberry Print $40.60

                  

TopShop Fluro Dip Hem Dress $96

               

Michael Stars Belted V Neck Cami Dress $59.99

           

Forever 21 Vibrant Tribal Dress $19.80

                        

River Island Denim Shirt Dress $49.71

                 

Zara Printed Dress $79.90

                    

Asos Knitted Shift Dress $52.20

                         

TopShop Crochet Shirtdress $80

              

Forever 21 Dotted Peter Pan Dress $19.80

Summer Scarves

There are times when I love trying on what seems like my whole wardrobe, testing combinations to find the perfect outfit for an event, and then there’s my normal reality when I have 15 minutes to pick out what I’m wearing.  For those days, I usually go simple (printed pants or jeans with a solid top).  I always like to top it off with something more noticeable though, like a big statement necklace, an embellished headband or my latest addiction – summer scarves.

There are so many ways to wear them (around neck or head are my favs) and they can instantly amp up what would be a pretty plain look.

Summer Scarves:

Urban Outfitters BDG Pop Stripe Scarf $24

Modcloth Mint To Be Scarf $17.99

Les Nouvelles Askilio Scarf by Malene Birger $150

Zappos Echo Design Polka Dot Wrapping $34.99

Urban Outfitters Kimchi Blue Crosshatch Printed Eternity Scarf $29

J. Crew Lemlem Hilansha Gauze Scarf $125

Marc by Marc Jacobs Jacobson Stripe Scarf $178

Etsy ESEHandMade White Shawl Scarf $13.50

Boutique To You Wildfox Starshine Scarf $64

Shopbop Theodora & Playa Scarf $175

Forever 21 Bold Stripe Scarf $9.80

Urban Outfitters Deena & Ozzy Shredded Square Scarf $29

Scarves Dot Net Tess Striped Loop Scarf $12.71

Diesel 2-SLOO Scarf $88

Lori’s Shoes Bohemian Blossom Scarf $22.95

Tee-Zone Plush Love Scarf $86

French Connection Union Scarf $88

Urban Outfitters Studded Scarf $39

Gypsy 05 Joni Scarf $50

Shopbop Brightly Twisted Scarf $98

Madewell Seastripe Sarong $41.60

Forever 21 Geo Rainbow Pom Pom Scarf $10.80

Asos Heart Print Snood $16.57

Madewell Spot Dot Scarf $49.50

 

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

 

Hair Accessories

Summer promises lots of events to attend.  In preparation, I always keep my eye out for accessories that enhance a basic solid dress or something that allows me to reinvent things I’ve already worn.  There are so many great hair accessories available that scale from subtle to conversational.  A simple beachy wave or an undone high bun and one of these added touches is my favorite way to conquer effortless Summer hair.

Hair Accessories I’m Gushing Over:

Tigerlilly Olive Comb $40

Ban.Do Mini Ban.Do Heart $10

Jennifer Behr Multichain Headwrap $98

TheHoneyComb Cherry Blossom Headband $55

Free People Mixed Thread Hair Wraps $14

Tigerlilly Sinara Comb $60

Deepa Gurnani Crystal & Pearl Headband $44

Tigerlilly Tuesday Headband $120

Ban.Do Chiffon Pom Pom Duet Set $25

Jennifer Behr Rosita Tiny Crystal Scallop Headwrap $168

Free People Flower Braid Halo $58

Tigerlilly Bianca Headband $140

Ban.Do Contrast Headwrap $35

Tigerlilly Delfin Headband $200

Forever 21 Beaded Feather Bobby Pin $4.80

Deepa Gurnani Floral Crystal Embellished Comb $105

GiantDwarf Constellation Crown $98

Forever 21 Two-Tone Braided Headwrap $2.80

Jennifer Behr Fluoro Plastic Orchid Comb $198

Free People Tonal Ribbon Flower Headdress $48

Summer Skirts

I’ve mentioned before that Summer dressing, to me, should be easy and effortless, but still polished.  There’s nothing better than being able to pair a great pair of pants or a bright silk skirt with your favorite tee or tank top.  It’s the perfect balance of appearing casual, yet like you still care about your appearance.

Lately I’ve been stocking up on skirts of different lengths in preparation for warm months.  I’m going for bold colors, interesting prints and fun hemlines to wear with my best simple solid colored tanks, layered with denim shirts or a light sweater.

Summer Skirts That Transition From Spring To Summer:

Monrow Tucked Skirt $98

Lucca Couture Pleated Floral Skirt $64

Helmut Lang Wrap Skirt $185

Motel Ditsy Floral Skater Skirt $60.88

Michelle Jonas Long Hippie Skirt $299

Gypsy Junkie Studio Skirt $43

Rebecca Minkoff Femi Skirt $228

Pim + Larkin Striped Tie Skirt $44

Club Monaco Alice Skirt $149.50

Guess by Marciano Tipton Tribal Maxi Skirt $138

Antipodium Checker Skirt $154.50

Brandy Melville Cameron Hi Low Skirt $57

C & C California Zephyr Tie Dye Tube Skirt/Dress $54.60

Stem ‘Tube’ Midi Pencil Skirt $34.90

Daftbird Angle Maxi Skirt $99

Blu Moon Bias Hi Low Skirt $120

Plastic Island Chiara Skirt $74

Michael Stars Highline Stripe Maxi Skirt $98

Charlotte Russe High Waisted Stripe Skirt $24.99

Trouve Colorblock Skirt $78

Sanctuary St. Lucia Skirt $128

ASOS Collection Skater Skirt in Large Spot $48.71

French Connection Southern Summer Skirt $147.99

ASOS Collection Flippy Skirt in Animal Print $52.19

Patterson J. Kincaid Nixie Long Skirt $74

West Coast Wardrobe Scuba Skirt $36

Something Else by Natalie Wood Metamorphis Maxi Skirt $156

ASOS Collection Cotton Skater Skirt in Paisley Print $66.10

Forever 21 Maxi Length Lace Skirt $29.80

Marc by Marc Jacobs ‘Night Bird’ Silk Taffeta Skirt $348

Torn by Ronny Kobo Ronnie Skirt $168

Patterson J. Kincaid Ziggy Skirt $168

Kate Spade New York ‘Melody’ Print Silk Skirt $219.90