And here it is…my contribution to Sienna Ray & Co.'s [wander]lust project. For those of you not familiar with this endeavor, the designers behind the gorgeous line of handbags have selected bloggers from across the country to spend a week or so with their soon-to-be released SS12 "Makayla." Part clutch and part cross-body, I had so much fun using and styling this versatile studded purse.
I love maxi skirts for so many reasons. Besides their fun silhouette, they can be transformed with accessories–flats or heels, tanks or sweaters, etc.–and in doing so be made to suit almost any occasion in any month. A normal New York winter would never allow for bare legs and sling-backs, but when the weather got unseasonably warm this past week I took my chances, putting together this look and getting an early start to a date night with my boyfriend. I built the outfit's color palette around the buttery yellow of the "Makalaya," layering nudes and neutrals for a look that suited the pale lighting of a somewhat spring-like January day.
I've left out one last but super exciting part of the [wander]lust project: in March of this year, Sienna Ray will gather the participants' posts and let all of you–our fabulously stylish readers–vote for your favorite look. The winner will get the chance to design their very own Sienna Ray handbag with the brand's founder and creative director, Natalie Kathleen. I'd die for the opportunity to work on my own bag–every girl's dream right?–so if you love my look, please let me (and Sienna Ray) know in the comments below! As always, thanks for your support! x
Skirt: Chiffon Maxi Skirt in Taupe, h.i.p. [was $42,
Sweater: Heavy-knit sweater in Cream, American Eagle Outfitters [similar style available here]
Shoes: Aria Platform Sling-backs in 'Nude Patent,' Pour La Victoire [were $250, available here]
Bag: 'Makayla' Bag in Mimosa, Sienna Ray & Co [not yet available]
Jewelry: Beaded expandable wire bangle, Alex and Ani; Channel-Set Diamond Band [gift]; Thin Gold Band with Bezel Set Diamond, Jennifer Meyer [$175, available here]; Luxe Titanium Druzy Ring, c/o Manu [$295, available here]
Nails: "French Lingerie," Rimmel
[Photo from Sydney Evan - $8,140, available here]
"Champagne" and "diamond"– the pairing immediately has me thinking swanky and sophisticated, adjectives that would also do well to describe a good cocktail ring. Case in point: this oversized bauble from Sydney Evan. Its designer is famous for her glittery evil-eye creations–all of which I adore–but the line has so many other lust-worthy pieces to offer. This black-rhodium finished ball pavéd in sparkly amber-colored stones is definitely one of them, and I can just picture how fabulous it would look accessorizing a dress and heels. I love that this ring with its round feature is from the cleverly named "sticks & stones" collection: it's one pricey pebble.
p.s. if you've been following me on Twitter & Facebook, you've seen that I've been talking about my collaboration with Sienna Ray & Co. Handbags and their [wander]lust project. One handbag–their "Makayla" in a gorgeous "Mimosa" color–is traveling the country to spend a week or so with a select group of bloggers. Check back tomorrow to see a post dedicated to how I styled their bag! (and in the meantime look at this sneak peek!) x
[Photos from Just Jared]
Tank tops and jeans–oh how I'm counting down the days until the weather gets warmer here. Jenna Dewan–wife of Channing Tatum, who very sweetly said at the Golden Globes that his secret to marriage is never spending more than two weeks apart from her–looked wonderfully spring-like while out and about in West Hollywood, California. I love the high-waisted, slightly wide-leg jeans (they had me thinking about my outfit post from this week) and the way that the dark denim sets off the pale beige of her bag and shoes. Most of all I love her scarf: a bold print in complementary colors, it took the look from average to extraordinary.
p.s. be sure to enter my current giveaway here to win products from mark cosmetics.
SHOP THE LOOK:
[Photo from Theodora and Callum - Olive Multi Diamonds Tie All Scarf, Theodora and Callum - similar style, $175, available here]
[Photo from Bergdorf Goodman - Rockstud Shoulder Bag, Valentino - was $1595, available here]
[Photo from Shopbop - Fairfax Sunglasses in Black, Elizabeth and James - $185, available here]
[Photo from Zappos - Diane Fit & Flare in Everest, Dylan George - were $168, available here]
To be completely honest, I've never liked cranberries. They pop when you bite into them, are tart in most cooked things, and are so unexpectedly bitter when raw. But all that changed this year when I bought fresh ones around Thanksgiving to make a homemade sauce for our turkey. I was a bit overzealous with the purchasing–I hate the thought of fruit going out of season and being unavailable–and wound up with a few extra bags in my freezer. This meant one thing for me: baking. The resulting dessert makes the most of its cranberries: paired with sweet apples, brown sugar, and orange, they're just ever so slightly tangy. Don't have cranberries or just not a fan like the old me? No problem. The spongy cobbler with its crunchy top would be perfect over just about any combination of fruit.
12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries, rinsed and picked over for stems
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and medium-diced
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange zest (about 2 oranges)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup of canola oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. Combine the cranberries, apple, brown sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and 2 teaspoons of the cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.
3. Beat the eggs on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of the granulated sugar, the oil, vanilla, and sour cream and beat just until combined.
4. On low speed, slowly add the flour and salt.
5. Spread the fruit mixture evenly into a 10-inch pie or tarte plate. Pour the batter over the fruit, covering it completely.
6. Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Sprinkle over the batter.
7. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until a tooth-pick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean and the fruit is bubbling around the edges. Serve warm.
I was pretty upset this past week when I learned that Godiva chocolates contain a whole host of artificial ingredients and hydrogenated oils–oh how I'll miss their truffles. It got me thinking about candies I've enjoyed for ages and whether or not they're all hiding some not-so-good-for-you additives. As an Italian-American, these adorable citrus-y "Bombottini" –or little bonbons–by the confectioner Cedrinca seemed to always be around my house. Eating one is a unique experience: the soft shell breaks in your mouth to reveal a center filled with a sand-like fruity sugar that dissolves slowly. I picked up a package in a local deli–you really can find anything in New York–and sure enough, no artificial ingredients (the filling is all-natural concentrated fruit juice). It's refreshing to have lemon, lime, and orange flavored candy that hasn't been dyed to match the color of their wrapper.
What do you think? Do you read labels for healthy ingredients, or would you rather not know when it comes to treats? And do you have a favorite candy from your childhood too?
[Photo from Net-A-Porter - $2865, available here]
Some things I covet–a +$4000 tote bag, a +$2000 dress, a +$700 coat–though extravagent, do at least have the veneer of being somewhat practical. However this skirt–not so much. I don't know why I want a leather skirt. Where exactly would I wear it? How would I accessorize it? And I could just imagine the dry cleaning bills. Blah, blah blah…I'm already distracted again by its gorgeous A-line cut and that cute thin belt around the high waist. Yep–I'm back to thinking about how much fun it would be to have a skirt just like this one hanging in my closet.
What do you think? Would you ever invest in a leather skirt, designer or not?
[Showcase Color & Clutch To Go, mark, $20,
[Mixed Media Necklace, mark, $18, available here]
When I find products I like, I love nothing more than to share them. I'm a big fan of mark cosmetics (how cute is that palette that turns into a clutch?) and as you saw earlier today, I love the brand's chain tassel necklace too. I was so happy when Amanda Goodhue, a very sweet mark "Mentor" (you can check out her online shop here), offered to share the above items with one lucky reader.
To enter this giveaway:
After this mandatory entry you can complete one or more of the following for extra entries.
Just be sure to leave an additional comment for each!
[Friend Amanda on Facebook and leave your Facebook name]
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#Win a @markgirl cosmetics clutch and tassel necklace from @markgirlmanda & @beautifulthngs – enter the #giveaway here: http://tinyurl.com/72sce7e
good luck xx
The giveaway begins on January 23, 2011 and will end Saturday, February 4, 2011 at midnight. Open to domestic readers only.
While every look every day can't be inspired by someone as characteristic as Rachel Zoe, sometimes it's fun to borrow style ideas that work. I was in fact thinking of her–read: fur vest, wide-leg pants, and platform shoes– when I threw together this outfit. If your clothes themselves are going to be eye-catching, it's a good idea to keep your accessories more subdued. I love this necklace because it's just subtle enough to keep from clashing with everything else. By the way, although most of my these pieces look like they could possibly have come from the seventies, only the vintage clutch actually does.
p.s. As I'm sure you've realized by now, I adore makeup. I put together this eye and lip combo with some gorgeous mark cosmetics (see below) courtesy of the lovely Amanda Goodhue. And guess what? You can win your own amazing mark products right here on The Beautiful Things! Check back later today to enter to win x
Pants: Wide Leg Jeans, Levi's [similar styles available here]
Vest: Fur Vest in Brown, H&M
Shirt: Perfect-fit long-sleeve tee, in Black, J.Crew [$24.50, available here]
Shoes: Tifanni in Black Suede, Steve Madden [were $129, available here]
Bag: Brown leather clutch [vintage]
[Photos from The Fashion Spot]
Oh, I've been there Lea Michele. I can't tell you how many times I've headed out the door in head-to-toe black: boots, accessories, and the biggest sweater I can pull from my closet (confession: I have at least three in this shade that fit the bill). I honestly thought it was a New York thing–this article makes me giggle–so when I saw Lea wear this outfit in California I immediately perked up. Apparently it's possible for the fabulously chic on the opposite coast to also keep things moodily monochromatic. Color aside, Lea's bag and boots are just gorgeous. And needless to say, I'm quite jealous she didn't have to throw a winter coat on top of the whole look because of a certain city's dropping temperatures (I'm looking at you again New York).
What do you think? Would you normally put together an outfit in such a limited tonal range? Is wearing lots of black truly exclusive to NYC–or is it just a very persistent myth?
SHOP THE LOOK:
[Photo from Bag, Borrow, or Steal - Quilted Caviar Accordion Flap Shoulder Handbag, Chanel, was $2560,
[Photo from Shopbop - Buckle Cardigan in Charcoal, Brochu Walker, was $445,
When it comes to home decorating, there is nothing I love more than filling my shelves–and end-tables, dressers, walls, etc.–with knick-knacks that have interesting stories attached to them. I hope to eventually share all of my best pieces with you and while this repilica of an iconic Alexander McQueen shoe was probably my first of such posts, its rival for my affections has to be this colorful porcupine statuette I picked up in Mexico. The piece is an alebrije, or painted carving made in the Oaxacan Valley from local sun-baked copal wood. Such representations of fantastical animals are thought to possess the spirit of both the creatures they represent and the artist that invents them. My favorite part? No two pieces are ever alike and to prove it, an authentic alebrije bears the signature of its maker–just like this one does on its reverse.
[Shop an online selection of Oaxacan Wood Carvings here]