We <3 Instagram
Recent blog posts
- Gifts for Your Girlfriends - $50 & Under
- Gifts for the Bad Boy
- Black Friday Online Favorites
- Happy Thanksgiving to You & Yours
- Dip Your Gifts in Gold
- October Weekends
- Holiday 2013 Wish List: Monogrammed Handbags
- Sunday Brunch: Neutral & Black Edition
- Collaborations Worth Losing Sleep Over
- My Autumn Uniform
- Holy Chic Pillow from Dormify - $39
- Wishbone Bottle Opener from Anthropologie - $12
- Fuzzy Ascot from Anthropologie - $48
- Personalized Enamel Purse Mirror from Red Envelope - $29.95
- Cable Beanie with Fur Topper from C. Wonder - $38
- Organic Body Scrub from S.W. Basics - $22
- Custom Yoga Mat from Dormtique - $40
- S'well Riot Collection Water Bottle from Nordstrom - $48
- Colorblock Leather Passport Case from J. Crew - $45
- Monogram Cory Pouch from Rebecca Minkoff - $50
- Light up the Room Candle from Kate Spade - $30 *on sale at Nordstrom now!
- Monogrammed Embossed Python Coasters from GiGi New York - $37
- Vestige Lipstick Holder from Anthropologie - $28
- Paris: An Inspiring Tour of the City's Creative Heart by Janelle McCulloch - $27.50
- Ohh La La Sweater from LC Lauren Conrad - $40
- Exotics Truffles Collection from Vosges Haut Chocolat - $40
- Sugar Cherry Charms Gift Set from Fresh - $32
- I Love Your Style by Amanda Brooks - $19.99
- Every Occasion Notecard Set from Anthropologie - $22
I know it's cliche to say, but men can be impossible to buy for (even for me). We're all haunted by memories of Christmases and Father's Days past with ties and sweaters galore, but it's time to throw the standard gift ideas out the window. What do they really want? Once you figure out what it is they're truly interested in, gifting will become a breeze. In this spirit, instead of listing gifts that every man will like -- let's go genre by genre.
The "bad boy" -- likes leather, rock n' roll, and being a little bit controversial. All quite stereotypical I know, but it will help brainstorming, I promise.
- Leather High tops from John Varvatos + Converse - $120 (on sale now)
- Alcohol, Caffeine, Nicotine T-shirt from Print Liberation + Fab.com - $24
- For Your Eyes Only Leather Bracelet from Leather Made Nice - $22.50 (This bracelet may look tough on the outside but can be all sweet on the inside with your customized, hidden message to the recipient. I've given it and have one myself, they're perfect!)
- Johnny Cash - The Life by Robert Hilburn - $20 (just released in late October & perfect for the music lover)
- Williamsburg Beard Balm from Brooklyn Grooming - $26 (for that sexy full-time beard or the ones left over from Movember)
- Skull Ice Bucket from Gent Supply Co. - $29.50
- Rock in Fashion by John Varvatos - $60 (The designer's first book will look great on even the manliest of coffee tables)
- Leather Fingerless Gloves from Marc by Marc Jacobs - $98
- Black Square Sunglasses - available in a wide range of prices & styles
I walked through Soho this afternoon and it was complete mayhem. As someone who lives in the neighborhood, I've always appreciated the quiet Soho moments when half the city isn't even awake yet and you can browse the wide range of stores basically uninterrupted. But today was not that day, so I went home, cozied up in my office, and started browsing online.
Black Friday isn't my favorite shopping day, because I put a lot of thought into gift giving and don't like to leave it to chance or sale racks. One of the biggest holiday gift giving rules - you shouldn't let the bargain dictate the gift. That being said, many of my favorite retailers are offering discounts site-wide today that I'd be a fool not to apply towards great gift choices. As always, I wanted to share just a few of my favorites (both discounts & gift ideas). Happy shopping and good luck out there! xo
- Tinyprints: The entire site is 30% off - in addition to photo gifts, I love the customized self-inking stamps. Perfect for new homeowners and / or newly weds.
- Banana Republic: All merchandise is 40% off, be sure to browse the women's accessories because there is a wide variety from brigh, candy inspired items to sparkly holiday goodies.
- Ann Taylor & Ann Taylor Loft: All merchandise is 40%, so be sure to browse for gifts & that perfect holiday party outfit.
- MayBooks: All custom products from May Designs are 50% off today - these are in my gift carousel every year!
- Pottery Barn: While not everything is on sale, these luxe faux fur throws are 30% off and far too cozy to pass up.
- West Elm: The more you spend, the more you save! We spotted these mercury glass decorations a few weeks ago and now the tea light holders are just $3 and under! Great for a stocking stuffer or dinner party centerpiece.
- BaubleBar: There is a vault of on-sale baubles today but pay close attention to today's "Buried Bauble" - an initial pendant in silver, gold, and rose gold tones for just $10!
- Red Envelope: We're obsessed with Red Envelope on every holiday, but in love with these new custom chalkboards which are 30% off today!
I love gold accents - especially when part of home decor. Next to black & white, gold is one color scheme that will never go out of style. When gifting this holiday season, consider adding some metallic flair to traditional home gifts. Not only will it up the luxe factor, but it will add something special to the recipient's home space for years to come. And remember -- it doesn't need to be bright gold - for those with more classic styling, go for an antique brush.
Just a few of our must-haves this season -- happy gifting! xo
- Faux Deer Mount from WhiteFauxTaxidermy - $48 (they also have many other gold styles)
- Dart Pinboard from Pottery Barn Teen - $99 (unique & perfect for the collector)
- Mini Appetizer Plates (set of 8) from C. Wonder - $48 (also perfect housewarming gift)
- Moroccan Leather Gold Pouf from Leather Poufs - $89 (also available in other colors)
- The Emily & Meritt Wish Box from Pottery Barn Teen - $59 (obsessed)
- Gold Playing Cards from Gent Supply Co - $15 (for the proper gentleman or coffee table)
- Mercury Spheres from West Elm - $16 (gold available in large, silver in small)
I cannot believe that this was the last October weekend. Where did the month go? Most importantly, I cannot believe how much the temperature has dropped this past week. It feels like we went from Summer to early Winter without any Autumn in between! The biggest issue? All the cute Fall weather outerwear that patiently sat in the closet all Spring & Summer now has a small window to shine. I'm trying to make the most out of these multi-layered outfits before the heavy down coats take over.
This week, I've been getting a lot of use out of my Blarney Wool cape. We were lucky to visit Ireland over New Years and I've only been able to wear it once since. It is so warm and luxurious and brings me right back to the Irish countryside. I have a number of capes in my collection and I love them because I think they're chic alternatives to traditional jackets and can bring elegance to the most casual of outfits. In example -- yesterday, I mixed my wool cape with black leggings and a long-sleeved t-shirt with cute flats, gloves & bag and voila, an outfit was made. Not to mention, I was very warm running errands downtown! What a perfect weekend -- hauntingly beautiful! Some of my favorites -- xo
Cape: Blarney Woolen Mills (Not available online, but this one is similar); Glasses: Marc Jacobs; Gloves: Old (Brian Atwood x Target); Ballet Flats: Old Navy (on sale now in stores); Leggings: Old Navy; Handbag: Michael Kors (Fall 2012).
My very first Banksy! One of his latest NYC installments, this friendly ghoul spins around an empty lot (conveniently located around the corner from my hair salon, Arte on Elizabeth & Houston) on a bumper car. We stopped by too early and he wasn't up & running for the day, but I was excited to see it nonetheless!
A mid-afternoon stroll through the Elizabeth Street Garden, a serene space filled with imagination.
Pink balloons for a Stella & Dot pop-up shop in Soho benefiting Breast Cancer Research.
'Tis the season! We're just about two months away from the holiday season and that means it is time to start brainstorming! I opened my master gift spreadsheet today and started to think about who's on my list and if they've been naughty or nice this year. Lucky for you, I also started thinking about gifts across the board and cannot wait to bring you my favorite goodies for the season.
First on the list? Monogrammed leather. Personalization isn't just for luggage and toiletries anymore -- feel free to flaunt your initials on everything from clutches to large totes. On the gift front, a monogrammed bag is both thoughtful & a fabulous surprise. It shows some serious thought and these are great options for all ages! Keep especially in mind for those friends who have gotten married this year and have a new monogram that deserves celebrating.
Now for some of our favorites -- timeless classics that will be in style for years to come! Happy shopping! xo
- Printed Stripe Zip-Top Clutch from C. Wonder - $48 (Monogram appears on the back)
- Monogram Fold-Over Clutch from Mimic Design - $85
- Classic Leather Tote from iomoi - $400
- Louis Vuitton Neverfull GM - $1440 (The Holy Grail!!)
- Opera Wallet from Mark and Graham - $75
- Embossed Python Uber Clutch from Gigi New York - $130 (check out their instagram to get some amazing inspiration - these are a favorite of many fashion bloggers)
I was very fortunate to have a fun-filled Sunday in the West Village yesterday. On how many occasions can you say that you were able to sip cocktails with both your first friend from college and first friend from real-life all in one afternoon? Sprinkle in some new friends and you've got the makings for an excellent outing.
I was really inspired by my newly highlighted locks and played up different variations of nude & gold with black. I really had to dig deep into the wardrobe and was proud how I ended up leveraging old pieces like this four-year old Target dress and at least five-year old chunky belt. Accessorized with INC leather blazer, platform sneakers, and vintage Chanel jewels - I felt funky, comfortable, yet polished. And as most of us know, a ballerina bun is a perfect way to dress up that second day hair.
ps. My Grandmother's earrings were a perfect match for this outfit -- I hope I did them proud!
If you haven't been to Commerce, tucked away on Commerce Street (appropriately), I highly recommend you put it on your list. The pecan cinnamon rolls & mimosas were enough to make anyone happy, but all the entrees looked divine. I had the homemade Fettuccine in a red sauce with ricotta and it was delicious! Thank you to Jonathan, Lesley, Leah, Kate, and Helena for a fabulous brunch party with lots of laughs.
After Jonathan and I said farewell to the girls, we headed to Murray's Cheese Bar on Bleecker for an after brunch drink (or three). What an excellent addition to the neighborhood - chic & charming. Enter Beau, my new friend & beloved server who made our afternoon such a fun experience, filled with sparkling rose and delicious meat & cheese. After a few hours at the bar, we were filled with bubbles and loving life. So happy to spend time with Jonny, who has been one of my closest friends since we interned together in 2005. I would have never survived my twenties in Manhattan without him! xo
This next week has a spectacular outlook for those looking to shop some of this season's hottest collaborations. There are two that I'm especially looking forward to -- that will treat your closet to tastes of high-end fashion & celebrity.
3.1 Phillip Lim for Target - Sunday, September 15th
The Phillip Lim collaboration is being said to be the hottest thing to happen to Target since Missoni. And while the last few collaborations like Neiman Marcus and Prabal Gurung haven't flown off shelves as fast as they would have hoped, this collaboration is a big one. The collection takes the best elements of Lim's street style & flawless accessorizing to provide fashionistas everywhere with the opportunity to flirt with high end styling.
A few quotes from the designer from an interview with the Daily Beast that provide a glimpse into his inspiration & process (music to my ears) --
What was the biggest challenge designing the collection for Target? How was the experience different than designing the 3.1 Phillip Lim line?
One word - bags, bags, bags. With his Pashli totes & satchels in the $800-$900 range, he's effectively created his own knock-offs, providing an opportunity to get your hands on the highly coveted leather goods for $55. What I love is that he truly carried the spirit of his designs throughout this collection and all of the items reflect his aesthetic without being caricature. I literally want to buy every bag and integrate them into my rotation of my favorite accessories, from inexpensive to designer.
images courtesy of target + phillip lim
I also die for this BOOM sweatshirt, which is an amazing replica of the $425 Ka-Pow piece from pre-Fall 2012. I pretty much die for everything, so won't bore you - but click here for the look book.
Tips & Tricks
I'll share my secret with you - so far, I've been very successful shopping Target collaborations online right around launch time. Historically, it has been around 2:00 - 3:00AM (EST) and I've never had an issue. I take that back, as I don't want to jinx it (the great Missoni crash of 2011, anyone?). My back-up plan is to have my Mom wake up at opening time and drive to Dayille, CT in search of my goods. I haven't told her yet, but I'm sure she'd be up for the challenge.
This article from CNBC also has some good tricks for shopping both in-store and online.
I'll keep you posted on Twitter (@giftlovecharm) with my progress - be sure to tweet me with what items are on the top of your list or in your shopping cart!
Eva Mendes for New York & Company - Thursday, September 19th
Growing up, New York & Company was one of my favorite places to shop. I think wearing pieces from there made me feel like a real New Yorker. And I still buy items there, a few even that have stayed staples in my wardrobe for years. They are stepping it up with this collaboration, bringing in celebrity influence. The good news for us is that it happens to be the influence of the very stylish Eva Mendes.
Citing that her Mother and Sister are fans of the brand, she wanted to create items that were "affordable and accessible to women". Well, we thank you, Eva. The pieces are graced with romance, vintage inspiration, and femininity. That coral dress...
images courtesy of new york & company + eva mendes
Happy Shopping! xo
Autumn weather inspires the best out of my wardrobe. Combinations of jackets, scarves, and boots make me feel especially put together on those crisp Fall days. After three long months of summer, I've gleefully put my summer wardrobe essentials away and started to play dress up by layering cool weather pieces. I also feel inspired by the buzz of Fashion Week and the beautiful fashionistas who have flooded the city to showcase their diverse street styles. It's amazing what a little curling iron, red lipstick, and assembled outfit can do for the soul -- it's worth 30 extra minutes every morning to put your best foot forward.
ps. I am obsessed with my new Kate Spade 2 Park Avenue Beau bag (an early Christmas present) and had to debut it for you! xo