Wednesday, November 30, 2011

girl crush: melanie laurent

You know how they talk about the "bohemian revolution" in Moulin Rouge? Melanie Laurent reminds me of the modern version of a woman who would live in that world.

The Parisian actress is the daughter of artists, granddaughter of film poster editors (how romantic does that job sound?) and a regular ol' Renaissance woman. She acts, directs, writes and sings.

I wish I'd seen Inglorious Basterds and discovered her loveliness earlier. However, her role in The Beginners, with Ewan McGregor, absolutely stole my heart. I'm pretty sure my boyfriend was concerned about how much I was obsessing over her. She has such a sweet, goofy demeanor and seemed like a really good actress. Not to mention she has the most unique, beautiful face, and the best hipster hair. I love the picture of her breaking it down on the red carpet at Cannes next to Diane Kruger, who's sort of this stone-like pillar of elegance. P.S. Is it embarrassing that I dance exactly like that?

When I read that she was spotted out with Mr. Sexiest-Man-Alive Bradley Cooper, I wasn't surprised. But can't you almost imagine her as being just his super-chill, artistic, lady acquaintance who doesn't know anything about pop culture?

proper presents: manly man

Presents for guys can be challenging. There are a bunch of things out there that scream GIFT FOR MEN! but whatever you give should still be personal, useful and special. These gifts are all super-manly but aren't cliché.

1) Dean and Deluca St. George Absinthe Verte
2) Brooks Brothers Black Fleece Buffalo Check Button-Down Shirt
3) Woolrich The Cordura Field Jacket
4) Michael Kors Chronograph Watch
5) Jack Spade iPhone Cases
6) Tereforma Whiskey Stones
7) iBright iPod Docking Station
8) Bed Bath and Beyond Coasters with Holder
9) Land's End Mariner Knit Throw

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

knee jerk reaction

I already alluded to my attraction to over-the-knee socks with knee high boots when I thought about wearing them with a plaid mini.

The latest trend I've been noticing, and loving, is high boots with higher socks over jeans, pants, leggings or tights. It's a cool way to layer without adding bulk or being uncomfortable. I think the outdoorsy/preppy look is darling and it's practical for the cold weather.

The easiest way to emulate this look seems to be gray socks with brown riding boots. I also love the more risky versions, like black boots and pants with white or gray socks, mixing in colorful Hunter boots and playing with neutrals.

peace at the palace

Look at Kate Middleton! Throwing us a curveball. I'm liking it! Despite my love-hate relationship with Pippa, I usually find her the more adventurous of the sisters. However, I really admire Kate's high level of taste and, as I mentioned, enviable tailoring. So imagine my delight when I saw that Kate wore a dress that combined those things with a look that is actually age appropriate for a 20-something.

She wore this amazing green Mulberry dress to a media reception at Buckingham palace and it's my favorite thing I've seen her wear in a while. First of all, it's trendy without being tacky. It's a jewel-tone, pleated, midi, shirt dress, with a peter pan collar, all which make it totally runway ready. On top of that, it's jacquard, which is awesome. The icing on the cake is the understated peace sign pattern. If William and Kate are supposed to represent the modernization of the monarchy, this is absolutely the way the Duchess should be dressing. Bravo, Ms. Middleton!

Monday, November 28, 2011

first fashionistas

Michelle Obama has been hailed as the White House's fashion savior, and while I don't deny that she gives me serious closet envy, I think the crown(s) actually belongs to the first daughters, Sasha and Malia.

Check out what Michelle and Barack's girls wore to the turkey pardoning (sounds weird out of context) last week. I don't even know where to begin. Is Sasha's dress Marc Jacobs? And Malia's blazer and booties? Nope. Just too freaking cute to be true. They're turning into mini sartorialists and I am loving it.

picture perfect pumpkin pie milkshake

The last thing you want to see after last week is more food, but you have to check out this recipe. If, for some crazy reason, you have any pumpkin pie left, this is the perfect way to finish it off.

I made A Cozy Kitchen's pumpkin pie milkshake on Saturday and it garnered quite a few fans. I didn't even mess around with the whole pumpkin puree and pie crust thing. I literally just stuck a piece of pie in the blender. It was awesome!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

eat, drink and be merry

Happy Thanksgiving! I'll be spending all day eating and drinking with about 50 of my loved ones. Today, I'm thankful for all of you! Hope you're enjoying your holiday with friends and family.

a thanksgiving matchbook girl

I love this little list from Matchbook. They always have the sweetest little graphics and images to go along with their whole vibe. I don't know about the whole "rising early" thing, though...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

he drinks a whiskey drink, he drinks a vodka drink

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, but for many, tonight is the big night. These cocktails may be a little heavy for a November night of drinking, but how delicious do they look?

The Jack Daniels slushie, featured on Sweet Peach Blog, is from Victory Sandwich Bar in Atlanta, Georgia. The vodka rootbeer float, on Creative Culinary, comes from Laau's Taco Shop in Boulder, Colorado. Liquor-inspired road trip, anyone? I can see it now: The Booze Crusade.

I'm salivating over these cold concoctions. Out of all the frozen Thanksgiving drinks out there, this pumpkin pie milkshake may be my favorite and I think I may have to spike it. What liquor do you think would go best with it? Whipped cream vodka? A splash of bourbon? Mmmm.

let's talk about black friday

Black Friday is pretty unappealing to me. First of all, the commercials. Shudder. Shopping for me is therapeutic, creative. It's either great alone time or a way to bond with friends or family, bouncing inspirations off each other. It isn't a time when I want to feel stressed, hectic or claustrophobic. Shopping is one of my favorite activities! I'd rather not hate myself, and everyone else, while doing it. And I have more respect for my clothes than to make purchases simply because I can't stand being in the mall any longer and what I really wanted was sold out but I can't leave empty-handed because I've Just. Sacrificed. Too. Much. But who am I to turn down such amazing sales? Certainly a shopaholic like me must adhere to the longstanding tradition of Black Friday.

When Black Monday came along, I finally found solace. When Black Friday/Monday became Black Seven-Days-Starting-On-Wednesday, I felt like the consumer gods had answered my prayers. Now, I can embark on my bargain hunting before the food coma, but with momentum from anticipation for Thanksgiving, and all from my own bed.

There's a lot of... well... crap, out there. I narrowed it down and here's a list of the sales I'm actually interested in!

1) Kate Spade: Starting today, 50% off select handbags, clothes and shoes
2) Asos: Starting today, 30% off winter styles
3) Gap: Starting today, up to 60% off everything
4) Banana Republic: Starting today, 30% off entire purchase with code BRJUMP30
5) Old Navy: Starting today, 15% off with code ON15OFF only today!
6) Shop Bop: Starting today, 20% off new items, and save up to $500 with code BIGEVENT
7) Steve Madden: Starting today, 25% off with code TURKEY plus Thanksgiving specials. On Black Friday, 30% off everything with code STUFFING
8) Forever 21: On Thanksgiving, save up to 75% off everything. On Black Friday, save up to 90%
9) Saks Fifth Avenue: On Thanksgiving and Black Friday, save up to 70%
10) Rachel Roy: On Cyber Monday, 40% off 

semi-formal thanksgiving

For me, Thanksgiving isn't a time for messing around. All that delicious food? And those drinks? I don't need something silly like clothes getting in the way of my feasting. At my house, it's not formal, but dressing up is encouraged. Especially since my parents host everyone, I have to adhere to stricter guidelines (read: I'm more prone to disapproving glances).

There are tons of jeans-based outfits that would be appropriate, but tight waistbands and fitted shapes are not what I'm looking for. A-line dresses, slouchy sweaters and boyfriend trousers are right up my alley. And, since I'll be in the kitchen "helping" (or sampling... whatever), and will inevitably gain five lbs. at the table, dark colors work better. It's easy to punch up with vibrant accessories.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

proper presents: beauty babe

This installment of Proper Presents focuses on gifts for the girl who loves to get gorgeous. These presents are all under $150! Giving beauty gifts can be difficult because every gal has their own routine, but these are all universally helpful items that any girl would be happy to have in her get-glam arsenal.

1) Bliss Fabulips Treatment Kit
2) Crabtree and Evelyn Rosewater Age Defying Hand Remedies
3) Clinique Total Moisture Set
4) Lancome Powder Blush Maison
5) Estée Lauder Compact
6) Bobbi Brown Mini Brush Set
7) Butter London Holiday Collection
8) Sedu Revolution Pro Tournaline Ionic Hair Dryer
9) Clairsonic Mia 2 Next Generation Sonic Cleansing System
10) Forever 21 Cosmetic Bag

Monday, November 21, 2011

hello, heidi

Heidi Klum can have some interesting outfits, and other people may have a mixed reaction to this one, but I love it! Ms. Klum wore this hot, laser cut silver dress to the American Music Awards last night and I can't get enough of it. Sure, Heidi's only affiliation with music is her husband, Seal, but as far as I'm concerned, she can walk any red carpet in a dress like this.

The cutouts aren't modest, they definitely reveal a lot, but I kind of love the way they're a reflection of the silhouette of her bodysuit underneath.

I'm not crazy about her hair, but I love the plain, old-school black slingbacks. And check out that plum nail polish! Perfection.

Way to go, Heidi, for taking the metallic trend to another level. The dress is from English designer, Giles Deacon's Spring 2012 collection, which is filled with more to-die-for skirts and dresses. Check out my favorites below!