Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Party Perfect

glamorous holiday party outfit dress the population gold lace dress gold black and red holiday party outfit holiday party dress gold and black lace dresspartyperfect2  chinese laundry red heels
Dress:  Dress the Population via Lulu's c/o  |  Clutch: Lulu's c/o  |  Heels: Chinese Laundry via Lulu's c/o  |  Belt: Forever21 (old-similar)  |  Earrings: Tory Burch

Every time I have an event coming up I feel the overwhelming need to buy a brand new outfit for said event -- do you guys ever do that?  It's like nothing in my closet is good enough - I have to get something new.  I think it definitely gives you a renewed sense of confidence when you're wearing something that you haven't been staring at in your closet for months. 

I've been asked on numerous occasions where my go-to place is for dresses and it is hands down Lulu's.  As far as selection and price go, they really can't be beat.  As you can see by my head-to-toe Lulu's outfit, they really are a one-stop shop, which is great if you're a last minute shopper.  I hate buying my shoes from one place, my dress from another, and then they don't all come in on time and if something doesn't work together, I don't have time to get a replacement. 

I fell in love with this gold lace number the second I saw it.  It's flirty yet conservative.  I paired it with red shoes and a red lip, but I'm definitely considering wearing it for New Years paired with blue instead. 

Do you guys have a go-to place for when you need to be party perfect? 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Rosemary Ginger Champagne Punch

J and I entertained for the first time in our new home over the weekend and it was such a fun night!  I wanted the theme to be very festive so when I came across this rosemary champagne punch on Pinterest (pst, follow me!  I post good stuffs :), I knew I would have to have it for our guests.  I love rosemary in cocktails, especially around this time of year because it feels like you're drinking a Christmas tree. 

I always get a little nervous when trying a new recipe off Pinterest because it is either going to be amazing or nothing like you anticipated.  Luckily, this one turned out amazing - it's very refreshing while tasting like "Christmas" at the same time.  The ginger adds a tiny spicy kick (I could have definitely had more ginger in it, but I love ginger).  It was gone within the first hour of our guests being there and I immediately kicked myself for not doubling the recipe. 

Read on for the recipe, and let me know if any of you try it!

holiday champagne punch christmas champagne punch easy and delicious champagne punch rosemary ginger champagne punch

Rosemary Ginger Sparkling Punch
Serves 15
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 two-inch piece of ginger, thinly sliced
  • 2 bottles dry sparkling wine (such as brut champagne or cava)
  • 2 cups ginger ale
  • 2 cups fresh-squeezed orange juice ( I used bottled tangerine juice from Trader Joe's and loved it.)
  • Orange slices and rosemary sprigs, for garnish
1. Combine sugar, rosemary leaves, and ginger in a small saucepan with 1 cup of water. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Set the syrup aside to steep for at least 1 hour.
2. Strain the syrup into a punch bowl or a pitcher, and add the remaining ingredients. Mix well, and garnish with orange slices and rosemary sprigs, if desired.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Dining Room Progress

I am awful, awful, awful at sharing home progress updates.  Even though the point is to show the "progress" and not the final result, I never feel like anything is ever ready to share with you guys.  I don't know why I feel that way but I really am going to attempt to share more home updates with you guys as we go. 

You may remember my pink velvet Craigslist chairs from this post.  I got six of them for $100 and was so happy to find something with brass legs.  (It is actually quite difficult to find dining room chairs with brass legs on Craigslist in my area, and forget about buying brand new brass dining room chairs - you'll spend $600 on just one).   J and I ended up driving to LA for them in rush hour traffic (eep!) but it was worth the trek. 

I had originally planned to recover them in white ostrich vinyl but after living with the chairs and table for awhile J and I both decided it would be too bright for the room.  The dining room is open to the living room but separate form the kitchen so it has a very "formal" feel to it.  I wanted the feeling to be moody & sexy, and white with light walls wasn't going to give that feel.  We went with a navy vinyl that has a slight texture and print to it, but nothing too loud. 

My mom is an interior designer so we were able to get the fabric for around $100, and we could have easily gotten away with $50 worth of fabric because we have so much extra.  Before getting fabric through my mom I did get some samples from Online Fabric Store and would have definitely considered ordering through them. 

I actually started to try to reupholster the chairs myself (remember this project?) however, I quickly learned that vinyl is a whole other ballgame.  After one attempt I realized it was going to turn out wrinkly and not as clean as I had hoped it to be.  We decided to splurge on having them professionally re-upholstered, which is not cheap.  Especially if done well.  But we figured since we had already barely spent any money on them it couldn't hurt to pay a little more for the re-upholstery. We still saved a ton of money even with the re-upholstery.

navy black and gold dining room
navy blue and brass dining room chair blue and brass dining room chairs

We are so so pleased at how they turned out.  I wish I took a picture of my "trial" chair so you could really get a feel for how it so worth it to get professional re-upholstery if you don't know what you're doing or aren't familiar with the fabric. 

Next on the hit list for this room is to hang the art (we are going to hang the art you see up against the wall for now, until we find something we like better), set up a bar (I'm thinking doing one on a console table this time around), and look at possibly adding a rug of some sort underneath (not sure though). 

Do you guys like bars on an actual bar cart or on a console table better? 

P.S. The chandelier is from Lucent Lightshop and you can read more about it here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wednesday

vero moda black and white collared dress alexander wang rocco bag in oyster collared shift dress asos black and white collared dress shoedazzle davos
Dress: Vero Moda via ASOS  |  Belt: Thrifted (LOVE this one)  |  Tights: Target  |  Shoes: Shoedazzle (similar)  |  Bag: Alexander Wang  |  Earrings: Forever21 (similar)

A very Wednesday Adams inspired outfit for a Wednesday -- how appropriate!  I love dresses with a collar...  I think they are the perfect mix of masculine/feminine.  I also love the look of black tights, black shoes, and a black dress.  It's extremely elongating and flattering.

On a random note - can you believe we are just a few weeks away from Christmas?  It has really snuck up on me and I am afraid I will be doing some hectic last-minute shopping.  What about you guys?  Are you done with your gift shopping?


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Camo

camo sweater camo5 camo6 camo2 camo4 camo3
Camo Sweater: Target (on major sale!)  |  Button Up: Target  |  Trousers: H&M (old - currently want these)  |  Bag: Alexander Wang  |  Sunglasses: Prada  |  Shoes: Shoedazzle (similar)  |  Necklace: Vintage (obsessed with this one)

I've been stocking up on sweaters for a few reasons - one, I love layering in the fall and two, it's freezing in my new office!  I am always cold so it's better for me to wear too many layers than not enough.  Target recently had an amazing sweater sale so I snatched up a few without hesitation (this one is still on super sale).  I haven't jumped on board to the camo train until now - and I feel like this sweater is a good way to ease into it.

While getting this sweater I realized I didn't have a plain white button up shirt.  I have white button up blouses, but I love the crispness of a cotton button up and the price was right with this one.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Alexander Wang Rocco Bag

alexander wang rocco duffel alexander wang rocco duffel in oyster and gold studs on bottom of alexander wang rocco bag alexander wang rocco duffel alexander wang oyster and gold rocco alexander wang rocco oyster & gold

I've been eyeing the Alexander Wang Rocco bag for the longest time now (years).  I love that it is a classic silhouette that can go just as well with your casual outfits as it does your more formal ones.  

If you've been a reader for awhile, you know that I believe in investing in quality bags and shoes before anything else in your closet.  (Here's my 'Building Your Wardrobe' breakdown from awhile back.)  Because of that, I choose to save up for nice bags before spending less on a bunch of lower quality bags - I'm sure you've noticed I wear the same bags over and over in many of my posts.  It's definitely a personal preference but I do see so much value in buying a bag that will last you decades rather than a few years, as well as a bag that you can sell for close to the same value you paid for it. 

My bag is the oyster & gold color which is actually reading a bit more beige on camera than it is in real life.  In real life it's a pretty greige - a nice mix between grey and beige.  The gold studs on the bottom are honestly stunning and look so pretty as they shimmer and shine as you swing the bag around. 

I love that it comes with a longer strap - it's not quite long enough to wear as a crossbody but it is nice to have it to drape over your shoulder if you don't feel like using the small top-handles.  The leather is pebbled and is extremely thick and high-quality.  I can tell this bag could withstand a lot of rough and tumble, although I'm not going to test it.  The inside is a silky type lining with one small separate pocket.  The one downside to this bag (in my opinion) is that it only has the one pocket - so unless you're freakishly organized inside your purse, chances are you are going to be digging for your phone or keys a lot.  Other than that I am so in love and so satisfied with my purchase.

I was able to find mine on eBay for a little less than retail.  I suggest if you are buying on eBay to do your due diligence as far as the bag and seller are concerned.  I have not had a problem with buying designer items on eBay (knock on wood) but I always research the seller and know the product like the back of my hand before committing. 

You can find the bag for full price here.