Monday, November 12, 2012

New Winter Wares: Native Jimmy Boots

Well, my beloved Tretorn boots finally crapped out, so I've been on the hunt for some new winter weatherproof/waterproof kicks that look cool for NYC (not so much Aspen) and are under $100.  I thought of splurging on some Hunter boots, but decided they make me want to garden or go to a soggy music festival in the UK....not crunch around in the snow.  My fantastic in-the-know friend Shani Silver was sporting a pair of Native Jimmy boots last winter when I visited her in Chicago, so I texted to see if she still loved them (yes), have they held up (yes), and how they fit size-wise (a little big, but perfect for thick socks).  They have a lot of amazing color choices, and they are light as a feather which is abnormal for snow boots.  Fantastic.  Purchase complete. 

Check 'em out!

Image courtesy of

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Living in Leggings

Maybe it's that they make your legs look a mile long, or maybe it's that they make easy to pedal around on a cruiser bike or hop on the back of a motorcycle for a spin (yep, I've done both in them), but I am wearing the hell out of my Uniqlo pant-like leggings.  Not sure about you, but I am so over jeans right now.  I want slim, stretchy, comfy, yet totally pulled together.  I have them in black, oxblood (the new color du jour of fall), and a creamy white--but I am sure a few more will be added over the winter.  And, for the hefty price of $19.90 and the fact that you can now shop Uniqlo ONLINE, there are no excuses. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Bravo for Brasa! Loving This Floor Lamp!

The Ikea 365+ Brasa lamp has probably been my favorite cheepee find during my ongoing apartment redeux.  I've been endlessly frustrated at how expensive lighting is, especially when looking for something modern and sleek.  I wasn't even looking for lighting during my last Ikea trip, but I thought I'd check out the section to stave off the dreaded warehouse portion of the Ikea shopping experience.  This was pretty close to exactly what I was looking for, and for $70 it was a no-brainer.  I was also pleasantly surprised that it has two light levels...a high-end touch that even some expensive lamps don't have.  I normally have it positioned as a desk lamp, but I can easily swivel it around to use as a reading light for my sofa.  

Ikea 365+ BRASA Floor/reading light
Article Number: 901.488.27
Price: $69.99
Availability: In-store only
Colors: Chrome, Black, White

Friday, March 9, 2012

DIY Foam Board Head Board

I've been working on redecorating my apartment and have loved torturing myself over all the details. But, I recently got a new bed and was really overwhelmed with the cost of an upholstered headboard.  I'd been researching going the DIY route, but everything I found revolved around plywood.  Well guess what...I have zero tools and I'll be damned if a cab will pick you up toting plywood sheets, not to mention the putting together of it all.  I had an 'AH HA' moment while wandering around one day and through FOAM CORE!  Lightweight, cut it with a knife, duct tape, staple gun, I'm in!  So here's how it works:

- 1/2" Foam core / foam board - art supplies stores carry this. 
- Fabric - I used two yards of 54" width for a full-sized bed.
- Batting - I got four yards
- Staple gun - I got 1/4" staples, but looking back I should have gotten 1/2"
- Duct tape
- Scissors
- Knife or Exacto knife
- Measuring tape

Measure the frame of your bed and cut foam board accordingly.  Remember the batting and fabric will add an inch.  I purchased 40x30" board which worked perfectly.  Don't tell any of my cook friends, but I cut the board with a serrated knife.  Haha.  

Use a few passes of duct tape on both sides to connect the two foam board sheets.

 Lay down your batting underneath the board.  I used two layers leaving the outermost layer longer for wrapping/stapling.

Use the staple gun to staple all around.  I cut out the overlapping fabric at the corners so they wouldn't be thicker than the rest of the board.

 Drape your fabric so the pattern is level and centered.  I chose a print that did not have an obvious vertical direction so I could lay the two yards horizontally and not have a seam.

 Staple the fabric to the back of the board.  Lesson learned: 1/4" staples were barely long enough to go through the batting and fabric and still stick, so either have the fabric exceed the size of the batting or get longer staples---hence the duct tape for extra protection.

Instructions I found online suggested using 3M Command stickies to adhere the headboard to your wall.  This did not work for me.  The batting made the space between the foam core and the wall too great for good contact.  Still looking for another option, but for now the mattress is holding it in place quite nicely.


Here's the cost rundown:
Fabric: $60 for two yards (from Mood)
Batting: $32 for four yards (also from Mood)
Foam Board: $30 for two 30x40" sheets (A.I. Freidman)
Staple Gun + Staples: $15
Duct Tape: $4
3M Command Strips: $6

Total: $147 and about an hour and a half of actual work.  SCORE!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Weekend in the Chizzle

You know you've chosen the right friends when though you haven't seen them for a year, it you feels like you grabbed coffee just yesterday.  I hit up Chicago two weekends ago to begin a week-long work trip with a few days hanging with my college bestie and Austin soul sister, Shani Silver.  She also happens to be the Chicago editor of Refinery 29, so that means she not only knows the best things to do, but I also get to relieve her of a cornucopia of beauty products, clothing, and footwear---thank you for the boots, they saved my life when it started snowing on Thursday and the oxfords didn't cut it.  Here are the highlights of my little adventure.

Hooray!  It's the weekend!  Shani's lovely Wicker Park apartment complete with well-stocked bar.  Shani made an amazing dinner of goat cheese mushroom crostini, spinach parmesean pasta, and bespoke cocktails.  People cook in Chicago!

On Saturday morning I took the bus downtown where I stopped in at Nordstrom Rack to stock up on fun argyle and striped socks (been on my to-do list forever).  Then I walked along Michigan Ave. to Millennium Park and the new contemporary wing of the Art Institute of Chicago.  Here are a few of my favorite works.

My favorite color: Yves Klein Blue

I'm usually not into German art, but this Max Beckman self portrait was very striking.

Love Alex Katz.

Are we in Austin or Chicago?  Noshing guac, tacos, and margs at Big Star.  Of course, this was followed by a disco nap.

Check out the tiki mugs at Sable Kitchen + Bar.  You can't not laugh when drinking booze from a shrunken head.

Bacon jam.  Jesus.

Spend Sunday in the burbs doing some outlet shopping.  I have to take advantage of a person with a car.

How kind of them to name their line of wine glasses after me!  I never met a grape I didn't like.


Friday, February 10, 2012

The Un-Valentine's Day Card

I love Valentine's Day.  And not in an ooey gooey lovey dovey way (because I can't remember the last time I had a boyfriend over V-Day), but in a love my family, love my friends, life is good way.  I send Valentine's Day cards every year, so I was thrilled that my favorite website du jour, Design Sponge, had a few posts on crafty Valentine's Day projects.  I loved this sophisticated pink ombre card they made with watercolors, and I am in no way shape or form a pink person, but it just looked so cool and modern.  So, last weekend I headed to the art supply store and for about $30 I created truly unique handmade Valentines.  If that doesn't say love, then I don't know what does.

Materials: Watercolors, one wide brush, one thinner brush, watercolor postcards, gold paint marker

Use the wide brush to give the post card a good coating with water.

Load up the brush with red and draw a line across the top.

The water helps the paint travel down the card.

I found it better to help the paint along towards the bottom with the watery wide brush.

Let dry then repeat on the other side.  The cards curled up from the water then flattened out once dry.

Use the paint marker to draw a gold border along the edges.  This was a perfect finishing touch.  Use the gold for writing in a little message and the name & address.
Here's how Design Sponge pulled it off.  But, I though switching to postcards and the paint marker really simplified things.  Happy Valentines Day!! xo

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Completely Modern Holiday Hair

Now that my hair can officially be classified as "long", I am always looking for fun ways to put it up.  I got tipped off by on this completely refreshing, anti rat's nest messy top knot, and curling iron free do courtesy of Guido Palau's magic fingers at the Marc by Marc Jacobs show.  Best of all, you only need cheapy cheap clips from Goody that you can find at any drug store.

Here's what you need:
Two barrettes, one pony tail holder (for the more voluminous mussed-up look), brush, and hairspray as needed.

Here's how you do it:
- Create a medium-to-high ponytail
- Flip the ponytail up and pin it down with one chrome barrette
- Back brush it a bit for volume
- Bring the length back over the clip and pin again to create a voluminous silhouette


Image and instructions courtesy of

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Best Walk of Shame PSA Ever!

Dressing like a woman of the night does no favors for you the next morning.  Best to keep it classy, covered up, and a wee bit conservative.  Thanks Harvey Nics!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Chicest Garage Sale Sign Ever!

Oh, well thank you for the lovely invite to your garage sale.  I would be honored to rummage through your cast-off's dear madame!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Weekend Project: Blackboard Paint

Here's a nifty little weekend project.  I have a wall in my kitchen/living room that needed something.  I could have hung something lovely there, but the front door opens into it, and I was worried it would soon be knocked off.  And, it's a small room, so I'm trying to keep it fairly restrained.  Perfect solution: a painted blackboard wall.  I used Rust-Oleum's version in black, but I found many different colors and brands online.  It's cheap, I can doodle on it or write little notes to myself, and my roommate can draw a choice part of the female anatomy located between the arms (which he said he will most likely always do after he's had a few drinks).  Fair enough.  So, three days and $20 later, here we are.  Note: It takes four hours between the two coats then three days to fully cure, so a little patience is needed for this project.

All you need (+ chalk).
GREAT use for left over Christmas wrapping paper.
My victim.
Measure it out, and tape it off.
Two coats and three days later....
I used three little nails as a chalk ledge.

FYI: My wall is painted Benjamin Moore Jalapeno Pepper, which is unlike any jalapeno I've ever seen, but I love the fresh green just the same.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Left Coast

I fought it for 28 years.  I don't know why I had a chip on my shoulder towards Los Angeles, but I had absolutely no desire to travel there.  Maybe it was too much paparazzi poopoo on Perez Hilton, or one too many episodes of the original 'Housewives' or The Hills/Laguna Beach.  Whatever stereotypical Paris Hilton circa 2002 view I had of the place did nothing but annoy me.  Now I'm gonna eat my piece of humble pie.  I've been in Southern California twice for work this summer, and I'd lie if I didn't admit to taking quite a liking to it.  Weather = amazing.  Food = how I wish I could eat in NYC all the time.  Architecture & interiors = a breath of fresh air coming from stuffy, over accessorized, Elle Decor obsessed NYC.  Not to say I'll be packing up the tenement and going back to Cali, but it's always nice to have a few little slices of heaven to slip away to every now and then.    

Venice Beach
California Republic
MOCA Downtown
Close-up.  Poor Britney.
The Golden Gopher - Downtown LA

Figeroa Hotel Lobby
Figeroa Pool-side
Embassy Hotel Apartments - Santa Monica

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