Friday, December 31, 2010

happy weekend...the last of 2010

well, it's the close of the last week of the year. last year at this time, most of us had very little idea what was in store in 2010. i know i had no idea. i remember my father, at a low moment in life where the uncertainty was all but killing me, wisely told me that my whole life was ahead of me, and the not-knowing of it all really was the most exciting part. though i certainly didn't believe it then, i'm starting to understand.

for us all to feel like our lives are mostly ahead of us is really the secret, and the blessing. and i find that feeling that way is, like most other things, a choice. i wish you a 2011 full of everything you've always wanted and needed, and a few things here and there that you don't yet know you want and need.

since it's still so messy out, light some candles and choose something different to watch or read. i can't say enough good things about jonathan franzen's freedom, but i'll keep trying. according to my kindle, i'm 94% done with it, and i'm none too thrilled about it. you know that feeling like you're losing a friend when you finish a book? i feel like i'm losing 4 or 5 with this book...4 or 5 very flawed, human, sometimes less than likable friends, so the sadness really speaks to franzen's mastery. i plan to read an excerpt of his last book immediately after i finish to stave off depression and decide if i want to read that one.

on HBO on demand, check out public speaking (about fran lebowitz who you'll get a kick out of) and good hair, chris rock's hilarious and extremely smart documentary.

and laugh all you want, but my snuggie has been my favorite thing this winter in the most non-ironic, utterly cozy way. you might seriously consider procuring one.

as you reflect on the last year, which is almost unavoidable from where we stand, listen to this song and this song and watch the montage of moments that passes through your mind...friends, loved ones, triumphs, disappointments and a full range of feelings.

happy new year, and i'll meet you back here in 2011.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

keep on sequin on

well, i'm a real sparkle whore, this is true. and i've been flirting with daytime sparkle over the last year - i used to have a hard and fast rule against it - seemed like a walk of shame or something. but sequins are everywhere, and indisputably, new years eve is a good time to wear them. and then once you have a sequin piece or two, they're easy to mix with other pieces year-round, high and low. here are my favorite pieces...i've been saving tattered magazine pages for weeks for this very moment.

i love the whole sequined t-shirt look because it automatically removes the fussiness factor - it makes it look like you just happen to be wearing sequins. feel me? i love the short-sleeved one from talbot's (on sale) and the 3/4 length sleeve one from j. crew. think they would both be gorgeous with everything from jeans to a full ball skirt.

and though i don't know about wearing the gap short-sleeved sequin pocket T (on sale) to a ball per se, i could think of lots of other places you could wear it. again, that whole casual "oh, this old sequin thing?"

j. crew kills me with this swinton sequin cardigan (on sale), especially in the unexpected navy. navy sequins? brilliant. it's the perfect meeting of played down and scintillating. if i were accumulating a forever wardrobe right now, this would be in it for sure.

for a more tailored cardigan silhouette, i love the sparkle cardigan from ann taylor, and i can't decide which color i prefer. they're both so perfect.

another navy sequin option! the sequin blazer from victoria's secret (on clearance). the possibilities for a sequin blazer are seriously endless - amazing with great jeans and a casual tank, but also could be worn over a simple tank dress to immediately amp up an outfit.

also in sweaters, and also from vicky's, the sequin tunic (on sale), lovely either in nude or black. i apologize for the racy picture - you should have seen the other option.

this velvet by graham & spencer pullover combines sequins with another passion of the moment - ikat. love.

if you're into different, the butterfly sequin top from forever 21 is kind of awesome. and at about $22, it's safe to try out your sequin wings.

for some really easy to mix in pieces, i love this simply vera sequin top which, at under $50 is a great deal.

also, the sequin twist neck tank from banana (which happens to come in navy too, btw) is a great little addition.

and this sequin vest from eileen fisher is a great way to try out the look with more subdued pieces under and/or over it.

if i WERE to try full-out sequins during daylight hours, something like this sequin sweatshirt (on sale) would be a good foray.
from talbots, this black sequined skirt (on sale) is such a perfect foil for an otherwise toned-down outfit. perhaps with a white button down (either tailored or loose-fitting) or a straight black blazer.

and i mean, what can one say about a brown sequin bell skirt? nothing much to say, just...look at it.

sequin harem pants? yes, sequin harem pants, in gold too. if i had the "sequins" to wear harem pants, these would be them.

for one-stop sequin shopping, talbots' sleeveless sequin sheath is pretty much perfect.

and the merino strobe sweater is described as "sequin-drenched." done...

and done. the lumiere dress from j. crew might be the sequin piece to end them all.

avenue, the plus-size retailer that regularly toes the line between cheese and much-appreciated variety, has gone all in with sequins this season too. love the sequin stripe legging (2 for $20!):

and the wholly enjoyable sequin sheath dress, skirt and cami, all on sale and all available in black (dress and skirt in silver too). they actually did a really nice job offering some good sequin basics at really good prices, and i can say because i've seen them in person, the black is a really good gunmetally, very metallic black.

for a toe-dip in, even old navy is getting its sparkle on with this sequin tote, perfection in all-season olive green and bronze.

of course H&M is a bevvy of sparkle too, but since you blasphemously can't shop on their website, you'll have to stop by.

a pretty glow

looking for a great potion for your reveling? try this pear, pomegranate and prosecco cocktail - festive, beautiful and delicious. to prep ahead of time, mix the pear nectar and pomegranate juice beforehand and keep chilling in a pitcher. then add the bubbly right before serving for crispy carbonation.

other new years eve options include cranberry spice champagne, spiced hot apple toddy, and mistletoe margaritas.

make whatever libation you serve look as lovely as possible, because people feel light and fun when the drinks are pretty. and swap out your regular lightbulbs for soft pink ones since everyone looks alive and happy in blush light. and pretty, happy people make a party spectacular.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

shower the people you love with love

isn't this a sweet idea for tables at a bridal or baby shower? i love the thought of threading the "showering with love" theme throughout, starting with an invitation like this one...then you could accessorize all the drinks with cocktail umbrellas (i love the retro charm of these), and give out seed packets like these with a note that says "shower these with water (and love!) and they will grow into beautiful flowers" (or something like that).


Monday, December 27, 2010

snow day

i hope you're somewhere warm and cozy, as in either a tropical island or at least a heated interior. in yesterday's snow, between racing, bundled, from the house to the car to the corner store back to the house, i stood under an awning for a few moments and deeply inhaled the smell of snow and wind and still winter air. it was beautiful.

Friday, December 24, 2010

visual cheer

i love this idea for an easy sprucing of a christmas stocking - just adding a vintagey brooch to the corner. and the idea of using ornaments on a tiered or otherwise lovely tray to show off their spherical sparkle.

here are some other christmastime images i love.

for more visual christmas cheer, see here and here.

images from pottery barn, martha stewart, country living and better homes and gardens
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