Back from the U.S.S.A. (United Shopping States of America)

Posted 31 August 2011 at 11:11 PM | Comments (0)

Being in the U.S. feels a bit like a supply run. Since I don’t usually have access to a Target, a TJ Maxx, nor an air-conditioned, floral-scented, jazz-playing department store where people talk quietly and salesclerks are not only willing to help you find an item but also carry your diaper bag and find something for your baby to play with while you enter the fitting room, I go a bit crazy. Every retail experience feels like Christmas Eve shopping: I’m frantic. Everything in sight feels like the last item on the shelf. Every possible purchase feels like my last chance.

That said, I knew that my shopping time on this trip would be limited. Not only did we have more important family commitments, I also have two small kids who don’t have the patience for shopping, and I didn’t want to feel rushed. So in the weeks before our holiday, I ordered items online and had them shipped directly to my mother-in-law. The shipments mostly included clothes for my husband and myself, the most important being a dress.

As in the dress, the one I’d wear to my sister’s wedding.

I ordered five dresses (all free shipping plus in-store returns—man, I love America!). But this is the one I was really, really hoping to wear (from J.Crew*):

J.Crew Washed Crepe Nanine Dress in Desert Sunset

Not only was the peachy hue right-on with my sister’s color palette, but it felt really appropriate for an afternoon, late-summer wedding. Unfortunately, the dress, although gorgeous, pulled strangely around the bust and waist and creased too much for my taste.

This dress (also from J.Crew) looked much better on me. I was disappointed that it didn’t fit the color palette as perfectly and that the fabric was a bit too evening-ish, but with very little time to change course I didn’t have much choice and just went with it:

J.Crew Silk Organza Soiree Dress in Ornamental Pink

Deep down, I still would have preferred the first dress, but overall it turned out okay.

Wearing J.Crew Silk Organza Soiree Dress in Ornamental Pink

Allow me to segue into the next topic: J.Crew. Um, HELLO. Not having shopped there in nearly ten years, I had forgotten how beautiful their product is. And since then, it’s gotten more beautiful and edgy even. It’s very possible that I might be obsessed with them.

After buying my dress (at 40% off final sale, by the way, for a total of $60! HELLO!) I went on to do some serious damage in their online final sales and am now at home swimming in their finespun cotton. Yay, me.

*Dresses, top to bottom: Washed Crepe Nanine Dress in Desert Sunset, Silk Organza Soiree Dress in Ornamental Pink.

Five Weeks Came and Went

Posted 30 August 2011 at 11:25 PM | Comments (0)

We’re back from five wonderful, and slightly insane, weeks in the U.S. of A. The majority of those five weeks were spent either with our families or in shopping centers (not blogging, apparently, which surprises me—I mean, come on, all that free time! NOT), and of course everything led up to the highlight of the trip, my sister’s wedding.

Which was beautiful. My goodness, everything was perfect. The waterfront location, the weather, the dress, the ceremony—every detail from that day deserves way more than one adjective, but all I can think to say right now is “perfect.” Sorry to be such a tease!

Anyway, before I crash, let me just finish up my wedding-design entries by posting an image of the program:

Coral and Pink Floral Wedding Program Design

as well as some of the other print collateral, such as the “guest book” (which was actually a poster that guests stamped with their thumbprints, choosing from peach, coral, pink, or fuchsia ink—cute, right?):

Fingerprint Bouquet Wedding Guest Book

and the letter-sized signs that were affixed to the back of front row chairs for the wedding ceremony:

Wedding Ceremony Reserved Seating Signs

and finally, some of the other various signs that were sprinkled around the venue:

Coral and Pink Floral Miscellaneous Wedding Signage

I’m so tired from the thirty hours of travel (I think I fell asleep sometime between uploading the last image and writing this sentence), not to mention the worst travel experience of our lives (think: two kids on a red-eye flight, barely sleeping a wink but with enough energy to whine or cry for a full ten hours) so that’s it for tonight. It’s good to be home. More tomorrow.


Posted 3 August 2011 at 5:23 PM | Comments (0)

I love some of the short hairstyles that were on the fall runways! Especially the third from the left, shown at Barbara Tfank.

Short Hairstyles on the Fall 2011 Runway

Unfortunately my hair is completely wrong for short styles—it’s thick, curly, and unruly. It would take so much product to make it cute and hip (and I don’t use product). Also, the growing-in stage would be hideous.

But if I could rock it, I would. And I’d do it in that gorgeous black lace dress with the deep-V, from Blugirl.

*Runway images from Left to right: Betty Jackson, Blugirl, Barbara Tfank, and C’N’C Costume National.

Sophisticated Florida Living Room

Posted 2 August 2011 at 10:32 PM | Comments (3)

How did I ever live without HGTV?

Seriously, of all the things I miss since moving overseas 4.5 years ago, HGTV is at the top of the list. So the past ten days of our vacation have been filled with a lot of eating, relaxing, and HGTV-watching.

I’ve seen a couple of Florida-centric episodes that got me thinking about Florida design in general. A home should reflect its environment, but so many Florida homes look too “theme-y.” And then I saw this living room online by Lisa Krul DeFrances:

Sophisticated Florida Living Room by Lisa Krul DeFrances

I love how DeFrances’ room feels tropical, yet there are no palm tree fabrics or pineapple prints. The colors—with the punch of lime green—feel beachy without being obvious, and the style is absolutely timeless.

I’m saving this room in my tropical/beach/Florida inspiration file (yes, I have one).

Sophisticated Florida Color Palette

Alright, back to HGTV!