Friday, July 30, 2010

bowl me over

i'm a firm believer that bowls are one of the greatest inventions ever. perhaps i feel this way because i always have stuff that needs to be put somewhere, and i can admit that sometimes a bowl just asks to be filled, and that can cause clutter and other problems. but when i see a beautiful bowl i simply can't resist, and anthropologie has them in spades right now.

my number one favorites are the ikat bowls above, which at $14 each are a very affordable way to glam up any table, particularly because of their gold rims. but i also love them as a standalone tabletop item for a desk, a vanity or a nightstand if you're not in the market for a set of bowls. i'd love one for my key table.

i love the atom art bowls in green and red...

and the inside out bowl in all four colorways...

and i love the idea of mixing them all together with the river delta bowls and the dot and dash bowls too.

what i love most of all is the idea of getting several -- no two alike -- and sprinkling them throughout our home. i know they would add such a grounded, worldly charm to wherever they found themselves - as a morning cereal bowl, a catchall for keys and cat toys or an empty vessel waiting to be filled.

some honey living you might have missed:
how's this for incredible ikat?
some favorites from anthro,
here and here

Thursday, July 29, 2010

another face of target

as most of us would agree, target (the best of the big box stores in a major way) has, in the last couple years, become synonymous with bringing high-style to the masses through their designer collaborations, and god bless them.

the newest of these collections is with isabel toledo, the harlem designer michelle obama loves, and the collection premiered a few days early, as i learned from SHEfinds yesterday. i particularly love the faces she creates - on the towel above (could i love it anymore?) and the t-shirt below. they're so artful, don't you think?

i love the idea of having really gorgeous beach and bathroom towels - why not have artwork in the most mundane of places?

who wants to go to target? let me rephrase...who doesn't want to go to target?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

baby soft

with baby gifts, it's always hard to decide (at least for me) which route to go - sweet and cute or functional? and then i discovered aden + anais's muslin swaddles, which are both. these impossibly soft and cozy blankets are so lightweight and natural feeling that they stopped me dead in my tracks when i was visiting with a new mommy and her baby last summer. add to that adorable prints and color schemes and before you know it, you want one of each set. for you! forget the baby!

these come in four-packs, two-packs and singles and in addition to the classic collection, they also have an organic collection, a bamboo collection, and a cozy collection, which is double layers of muslin for the colder months.

i recently told a mom-to-be about these, and when i saw her after the baby was born, she told me she has 24 of them and that she and her husband constantly marvel at their softness and comfort. DONE.

buy buy baby carries slightly different variations on the sets of four for less than the aden+anais webiste, so they're worth checking out, though i think the website itself has the cutest prints.

images from aden + anais

Friday, July 23, 2010

in the bag

old navy is really pleasing me with accessories as of late. first it was these great duffels, then the terrifically beautiful scarves and crossbody totes i wrote about here. add to that the bucket bags and straw totes i wrote about on shefinds, and i'm basically a bag hoarder.

but there's more. i seriously love these graphic rope totes. i feel like they're pretty much perfect for a wide array of summertime activities - they're great for the beach, obvi, but they're also good daytime totes for daytrips or parties where you need to pack a little more than usual - a towel, a change of clothes, a large bowl of pasta salad...anything, really. i also love them because they're a nice alternative to a leather or otherwise heavy commuting carryall.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

a simple evening glow

does this not look like a dream? if i could fashion a summer evening meal out of the corners of my imagination, this is what it would look like. i prefer this so much over the very produced, very "sexy" beach dinners you see on resort websites.

here, it's the natural world that comes along with the beach, and a few well-chosen human additions -- soothing, simple candlelight and the sound of the ocean and its breezes to accompany whatever farm-fresh dinner awaits. even the gauzy tablecloth blends perfectly with its surroundings.

i love the relaxed vibe i feel just looking at this - it's what summer evenings are made for, don't you think?

image from boum blog

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

this one's a keeper, part 2

around the holidays, i wrote about a reusable iced coffee cup from starbucks as part of the honey gift files, and although it was a great find, this one is even better because it doesn't have the starbucks logo plastered on it. i love the fact that it has a "jacket" built in so your hands don't get wet from condensation on these days where it's so hot you feel like you might burst into flames.

and it's half the price, less than half if you remember your 20% coupon.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

the gift of paper

now that my sister is engaged (yay!), my brain is on all things wedding and i came across this idea that i more than love. artist kristina bailey does ink and watercolor sketches of a bride's dress so she can have it forever, in a compact and beautiful 8 by 10 form.

i love this because all brides know the pain of wearing your perfect garment once and then it's over. this is such a great way to immortalize the dress and have it as a lovely reminder in a special spot - a vanity, a dressing area, a bedside - forever, long after the preservation box in your closet has been forgotten. and you could even take it a step further and donate the dress, once you have a sketch like this as your forever memory - there are wonderful organizations like brides against breast cancer and the bridal garden which sell the gowns at a huge discount and the proceeds go to breast cancer and children's charities, respectively.

to me, $140 (which is the starting price of kristina's sketches) is a worthy investment (moreso than the several hundred dollars spent to preserve a dress that will never be worn again). of course you could also dye your dress black and wear it again, like i did.

i think giving the gift of one of kristina's sketches is a particularly sweet idea as a shower gift - different, unexpected, and cherished forever.

all images from kristina bailey

Friday, July 16, 2010

vintage HL: i'll bring the bubbly

i have to introduce you to the sofia mini, the adorable bubbly in a can, from francis ford coppola winery. yes, a can. i know, people are still getting over the idea of wine in a box. but i have to tell you, you won't be disappointed. and i think i'm speaking mildly here...the introduction to sofia on the coppola website could make a girl blush:

born from a celebration of love, sofia blanc de blancs began as a gift from a father to his daughter. our sparkling wine, as bright and effervescent as the woman who inspired it, along with the charming and stylish sofia rosé, are a tribute to the romantic, ebullient spirit of women everywhere.

MY MY. excuuuuuse me.

really though, i loved it too.

so, a blanc de blancs is a sparkling blend of white wines...basically american champagne. what's different about sofia is that while most blanc de blancs are made from all chardonnay, this one uses mainly pinot blanc and then adds sauvignon blanc and muscat. it's crisp and refreshing and according to the coppola website has notes of pear, apple honeysuckle and citrus. and for the oenophiles...apparently sofia is "elegant in character...lightly textured and vibrant through the finish." yeah, what they said.

i was introduced to sofia around sunset on a friend's fire island deck and it was perfect - convenient, compact and extremely tasty...refined enough for evening, earthy enough for the casual outdoors. i found it to be fuller and more complete tasting than many champagnes and sparkling wines i've had before. is it the absolute best champagne i've ever had? no. but it was really good, and it's one of those things where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts - if i were served a glass of this champagne at a party or a restaurant, i would think it was very good and i'd enjoy it fully. but being handed this adorable can with its attached retractable straw in my favorite place in the world at was elevated it to a simple kind of perfection.

the nicest thing about it is that everyone can have it in their favorite place in the world and at sunset, or any other time, because the size and portability factor make these minis perfect for picnics, concerts, the beach, and really any situation where individual servings of bubbly would be called for. the size is just right and the can keeps it nicely chilled for just the amount of time it takes to drink 187 ml. also, not that you'd be trying to hide the fact that you were drinking (it's always afternoon somewhere), but they're subtle too - the snazzy hot pink cans look more like an energy drink than anything else...way classier than a brown paper bag.

it's nice, even at home, to have some on hand to be able to offer the equivalent of a glass of champagne without popping a bottle. the minis are available in 4 packs for $16 or individually for $4, making them pretty reasonably priced, especially considering that they're the type of thing you wouldn't really go through cases and cases of.

they also sell a standard 750 ml bottle for $20, but if you're going to buy a whole bottle, i don't know that i'd buy this one, per se... for me, it really is a combination of the packaging, the concept and the wine itself that make the appeal of the sofia blanc de blancs. you can buy these on the coppola website, and even at some whole foods locations.

no matter how you buy it, the outcome is the same -- cute, individual, tasty bubbles to go. drink up! love!

originally posted 7/27/09

Thursday, July 15, 2010

vintage HL: the second time around

so you know how your wedding dress is something you only wear once? well i move to strike that notion from the record. i'll cut right to the chase - i dyed my wedding dress black. and wore it saturday night.

to be clear, my wedding dress was very simple, as wedding gowns go. it was made of silk crepe and had no embellishments like beads or lace or tulle. the main attraction of the dress was the center knot and drape, which the whole dress was built around. and it was literally the only dress i have ever felt totally comfortable in, not surprising as it was made by a very talented designer, nancy sinoway.

for two years, the dress laid in anonymity in my closet. and i thought about it from time to time, especially as i struggled to find other eveningwear that i liked as much - and that i didn't require a pashmina or shawl or some other messy, matronly accessory. that was one of the things i loved most about my wedding dress - it had sleeves, which i require. because it was made for me, they weren't an add-on or a makeshift solution, they were actually a part of the dress - and a nice part of the dress, at that.

i wrestled with the notion of dyeing the dress - but nancy warned me that the fabric might not take right and then it would be a waste. i took it to heart, but over many months, kept revisiting the idea. finally, after consulting many friends and relatives, all with varying sensibilities about things, i arrived at a choice. clearly, i would never wear the dress again, and i could think of no good use for it as is - i'm jewish, so my children won't be christened, making the popular idea of a christening gown a no-go. the fabric and style of my dress really didn't lend itself to a basinette ensemble. and as my friend kim said so plainly, "people don't wear their mothers' wedding dresses." point taken.

with all those ideas in mind, and the fact that i loved my friend liza's idea that the dress could change and evolve with me, i decided it was a risk worth taking. if it didn't come out well, i'd be no worse off, i'd just have a not-white wedding gown, no less wearable, in my closet. but if it did, i'd get to amortize my parents' investment over several wears and i wouldn't need to search out a dress (or a pashmina) for an upcoming black tie wedding.

after a quick internet search, i found metro custom dyeing, a fabric dyer in the garment district here in NYC that dyes samples for designers. after a few phone calls back and forth, i was instructed to bring my garment in and have one of the dyers take a look. if they could be reasonably sure it would work out, they'd do it. when i arrived at the building, dress in hand, i had little flutters of anticipation...were they the predecessors to regret? i blocked it out and marched in to the warehouse.

the space was very industrial and commercial feeling. what i was doing felt less fashion-esque and more...factory-esque. but i definitely felt like they knew what they were doing.

it was actually a very cool place. they had all kinds of garments from dresses like mine to bedding to draperies and winter coats. clearly though, the majority of their work is commerical.

i saw them working on a few different fabrics for the straps of bras for a "large retail" client of theirs, and saw them doing all kinds of color-matching - clearly a more exact endeavor than my desperate, non-specific plea for "black."

i will say, my most nerve-wracking moment came when i saw the area where the dyeing happens - it looked like a ratty laundry room, and i felt my first true wave of fear. here i was, handing over my precious wedding gown -- expensive, custom-made, memory-laden wedding gown -- to a glorified laundromat.

with chemicals. fabric changing, unreversible chemicals.

my dress lay on the table like an unwitting victim to what was a very uncharacteristic experiment on my part. the dyer asked me to confirm that the dress was 100% silk, because "if it's polyester, it won't work." as far as i knew, it was silk. i ordered silk. i paid for silk. it BETTER be silk.

he explained that it would look okay if it was not, but it wouldn't be black. it would be gray. he showed me what the gray would look like, and in that moment, i decided i was on the right track in doing this. even if it was gray and not black, i could wear it again! so i forked over my $50 and held my breath.

well, it was 100% silk, and it turned out black. i love it, even more than i did in white. and i could not be more thrilled.

it is true that i could never have worn it again in white. and it is true that daughters don't wear their mothers' wedding gowns, and that having a dress that can evolve along with me rather than stay suspended in time is a wonderful thing.

but the thing i could not have possibly have known before now is not logistical or economical in nature - what i couldn't have known before is the way i would feel wearing it again - and that turns out to be the best reason of all.

one of the most special things about being a bride is the way you feel. and i felt that way again saturday night when i wore the dress - pretty, excited, at ease and comfortable in my own skin.

note: check out this story featured on glamour's wedding website!

originally posted 11/11/09
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