venus iphone power!

I think Ive realized exactly why I like my iphone case so much... having a little cat-shaped robot who can tell me all about everything I want to know and who keeps me organized makes me feel a little like Sailor Moon Venus walking around a fictional, water-color-y downtown Tokyo with her magical little know-it-all cat companion. Minus the flowing golden hair, of course... though I am on the lookout for a bow barrette, if you happen to see any. Obviously, neither Luna nor Artemis were robots, but its the closest Ill ever get--unless I, too am a missing interplanetary princess waiting to discover her true identity in the past of an alternate universe. But what are the chances of that?! Sigh. 

Also, please disregard the dirtiness of this mirror I swear its not my fault and Im working on it...

If you want your iphone to look like a sailor-moon accessory but dont care for cats--or relate more on a personal level to Sailor Mercury, say, or Mars (neither of whom have pets, as Im sure you were already aware) then how about one of these most ridiculous iPhone cases. You know, if you want to. 

I swear Im not iphone-obsessed, you guys. I dont even like mine all that much when it isnt in costume. I just dont know know whats come over me of late. Also, its good to know theres a wikimoon out there, right?

top and bottom images via here & here, respectively. 


ps: did you notice my new gloves?

I got them at target for $3.00 right before christmas--think how much they might cost now! Theyre just those ordinary knit gloves you can buy at supermarkets and drugstores during the winter--only the fingertips you use on a phone are touch-screen capable, which is all you need. Not that Im on my phone that much anyway, you guys... I bought them more for aesthetic reasons, honestly. I think they have them in purple as well but the combination of grey marl and red so bright its almost pink is so lumberjacks underwear and perfect for winter. I never can get on board with purple, anyway.

While youre at it, you might notice my new leather tassel keychain which I made myself! Its true! It cost me less than five dollars (1 piece of leather for $3.50 at hobbylobby + 1 keychain at the local lumber yard for $0.85 + some hot glue) and was so easy to make! If youre interested, you can follow this tutorial I found on pinterest. It truly was so easy!

ps: speaking of knit gloves and DIY tutorials, how sweet (and so so easy) is this idea for embroidered knuckle-tattoo gloves? I realize its a little late for christmas this year but you can keep it in mind as a last-minute gift idea for next year, if you have the wherewithal. 


snow baby the sequel

Well, it happened, Felix, dressed in his brand new, adorably tiny snowpants, went out for some winter fun. Watching that little one walk out into the snow oh so gingerly was one of the sweetest things. And then, busy boy that he is, he got right to work! I was only there for the beginning--Chase and I had errands to run and Felixs Yia Yia and Aunt Amanda were more game than either of us anyway. Its been a long few days. But he built with the little snow-castle molds he got for christmas this year, and got a sled ride on his baby toboggan that he got last year. They even built a snowman! What a sweetie!


on gifts

Speaking of toiletries... I dont know much about christmas and sometimes (rarely) I dont even know what I want for christmas, but for me, gifts of beauty are some of the best. Like, for example, the NARS lipstick I just ordered myself with a gift card from my grandparents; or the sweet, shiny little hair ties I got from my sister-in-law; or the yummy, handmade and adorably-wrapped peppermint soap that my friend Jennifer gave all us girls at the christmas party last week (nice packagine or cute wrapping adds to the whole christmasy vibe, even if its something you order for yourself). Theyre not big and theyre not exceptionally fancy but having little treats like these is such a nice thing, especially in the winter when its not as easy to feel pretty about yourself. You know what I mean?

heaven SCENT (get it!?)

The scent of fresh soil, deep forests and campfires. Thats exactly the most perfect fragrance description I can imagine, and belongs to Gypsy Water eau de perfum, by Byredo, the chicest and most compelling perfume house of which I am aware. Usage of the term Gypsy as a means of branding a product is something Ive studied academically and which always sort of irks me... although here they do state that the parfum glamorizes the mythic Romani lifestyle... and you cant really blame them for the sentiment, as Gypsies are some of the most romantic and intriguing people, literarily speaking. The combination of pepper and juniper berries, incense and pine needles, amber and sandalwood, all housed in this simple, sophisticated, chanel-but-not-chanel bottle is all you could hope for in a fragrance. 

If it sounds a little too earthy for you, dont worry, because their every single creation sounds so deliciously sophisticated and understated and perfect. Take Seven Veils, for example; a mix of carrot, pimento berries, vanilla flower and sandalwood. Doesnt that sound divine? I tend to hate it when people say divine and Im not trying to sound dramatic or ridiculous, I just truly cant think of a better word. Or how about Oud Immortel: lemoncello, cardamom, papyrus, tobacco leaves, and moss. How amazing! Now, no endorsement of mine is complete without a price tag, and unfortunately, these babies will set you back a pretty penny ($145 for 50ml, actually). And what a bummer it is too, because I cant stop thinking about a single one of them, but probably will never own a single one of them, either!

Sidenote: what a babe is Ben Gorham, the founding perfumer??

images via here & here

Happy Boxing Day!

Christmas with a baby toddler is so fun, you guys! Felix had the best time ever and got SO many presents. Like, a ridiculous number of presents. But he loved every single one of them! And we had such a lovely time. Only today were feeling a little weary...

We better get in gear after nap time, though, since its snowing quite a bit. It seems a shame to waste such weather, especially when you have a baby child around; you feel obligated to do your parental duty and show them a proper winter wonder fun time. But also, its cold out there!

Is it snowing where you are? Did you have a jolly christmas? I hope you did! One of the highlights for me (from a linguistic if not religie standpoint) was when Felix came home from christmas eve mass with his yia yia and said 'peace,' and then proceeded to tell me, 'good news, baby jeez is borned.'

Can you imagine anything sweeter?!


well, its ruined.

So maybe you will think this is the dumbest thing ever, but I was reading this article in the October issue of Vogue--which, hot-tip-alert, I bought out of date for 70% off the suggested retail price at my local dollar general--and it sort of blew my mind. No, thats a huge overstatement. But it did make me relax. Because it was all about this new trend, if thats the right word, of women machine washing their dry-clean-only garments. Its a laundry revolution! You see, I have this most gorgeous, dry-clean-only tunic that I bought at a Zara in Budapest a few years ago:

I dont know why I always mention that it came from Budapest when really, Zara is Zara... I guess it just makes it sound more exotic? Im a loser. Anyway, the following winter this big stupid lovely cat named Maggot Brains came to stay at our house for a little while and peed all over it. Right on the middle of the front of it; that cat has remarkable aim. I had it dry cleaned, but theres still this dingy stain right in the middle of it, that you maybe dont notice until I make the mistake of mentioning it. Ive been so scared of washing it properly, even though Ive always had this feeling that I could do better than those dry cleaners, who didnt really seem to know what they were doing. 
This guy knows what Im talking about. 

So the article gave me heart because, if some lady is willing to wash her thousand dollar black Chanel boucle jacket, I should have no qualms about washing some rayon shirt dress that cost me 30 euros at Zara four years ago. Right? So, Im going to try it! Ill let you know how it goes. Im also going to wash the cashmere sweater I got for christmas last year that has never been washed. For a whole year! Dont be grossed out!


just window-shopping my dream kitchen

 One thing about city life to which Im looking forward is the possible presence of those bougie, up-scale (over-priced?) home-goods stores. Like The Foundry Home Goods, located in downtown Minneapolis, which has the kind of beautiful, hand-crafted wares I would love to own and could window shop for all day. But the nicest thing about buying lovely wooden and glass kitchen tools and storage containers is that it encourages what they call a 'non-disposable lifestyle,' as using them is inherently more sustainable than continually stocking your kitchen with junky plastic that needs to be replaced more frequently, and looks cheap. Which could possibly justify the price of said wares. Now I dont know much about Pittsburgh yet, but if you can find stores like this in Minneapolis--somewhere similarly blue-collar--then Im sure Ill have some luck. Because the whole point of sustainable shopping is that you tend not to be able to do it on the internet. 

Look at those wooden measuring spoons! And I bet they have the most beautiful cutting boards, too. It seems like they would.
Oh, shopping!

images via here


imlovinit: BONES

 The nice thing about having a little boy to dress is you can focus all of your juvenile sartorial fixations on his wardrobe, instead of yours. Along with glow-in-the-dark stuff, another dorky, 5th-grade-boy-ish obsession of mine is stuff with bones and skeletons on it. Not skulls, mind you--thats a little played out for me, and a touch too literal besides. You know what I mean? But I do love a good halloweeny rib-cage t-shirt.  But as much as I like them, I think Felix can pull them off a little more effectively than my soon-to-be-thirty-year-old-self (though actually I wont be 30 for another two and a half years, which is practically forever, just so you know). For example, this little gem doesnt even come in my size:

Which, probably, is for the best. However, according to my newly established rule of accessories, anything goes. Especially when it comes to jewelry, to which bones are so perfectly suited; When isolated to a single skeletal element, bones shed some of their costume-y tackiness and become just another beautifully organic, abstract design element. Take, for example, this beautifully intricate, somewhat sinister spine bracelet:

So lord-of-bones it is, and so precious. And thats the nice thing about bones as a design element: theyre almost too old, too primal, to really be tacky, in their own right. Its just all in the way you use them. Like these wishbone studs, for example, which you may recognize from gift-guide-week-2012: 

Theyre too little and golden and sweet to look cheesy. When it comes to jewelry, when in doubt, the tinier the better, thats what I always say starting right now. And what about this most subtle golden ring that I saw on pinterest but which, despite my top-notch internet sleuthing skills, I cant seem to track down. Harumph. 

If you do happen to know where or what this is, tell me! I want it!

images via here, here, here & here

oh, my brain

I had a really fun time last night at a party with a bunch of fairly new friends who, probably because of how long theyve known my husband, already feel like old friends. Please excuse my saying this, and try not to be shocked, but a beer-filled friend christmas followed by a pub crawl in downtown Granville (where, embarrassingly, there are about four places that could possibly qualify as a pub) have left my brain feeling a little fuzzy this early felix-filled morning. And its so snowy and cold outside, and theres nothing to eat here but coffee and frozen waffles (I know, it could be worse) and I just want to be someplace else right now. Like, Venice through the eyes of Mario Testino, for example. This is an old editorial--seven and a half years old, to be exact--and one of the best! It seems that all my favorite photo stories star Natalia Vodianova. Can you imagine anything or anyone more perfect? Maybe one day Ill have three dark-haired, straw-hat-wearing be-striped boys of my very own. Oh, summertime!

images via here



 Am I a huge nerd? What is it about stuff with cats on it--scratch that (har har): things that look like cats. Whenever Im starting to believe my taste is anywhere near sophisticated, I see some bullshit cat-themed accessory and it all goes out the window. Take my adorable san-x iphone case, for example:

I know. But I cant help it! Cats are cute! Preferably the Japanese kind. But you know what? A kitty theme can be sophisticated, if you do it right... specifically, by keeping it to one accessory per outfit. Thats the real key, I believe: kooky themes are best when isolated in the accessories arena of your sartorial world, and preferably done in monochrome. All in black, this black felt cat-ear beret is at once understated and adorable:

Or if, like me, you cant afford Eugina Kims $231 price tag, how about this strikingly similar Pochi coin purse?

I know, it isnt quite the same. And Im trying to decide if that beret could be recreated, DIY style, by yours truly, and not look completely ridiculous. I havent worn a beret since the 4th grade, but Id be willing to give it another shot. Thoughts?

images via herehere & here


simply splendid!

Just this morning, my friend and former Sparkys colleague David was kind enough to take Felix and me on a personal tour of the Jenis Ice Cream factory in Columbus! Having worked in the ice cream business, it was really cool to see the scale of production at Jenis, which far surpasses that of the charmingly low-scale set up at our beloved Sparkys. I also didnt realize that they ship all over the world, but I understand the demand; its some of the best ice cream Ive ever had, ever! The salty caramel is my--and apparently everyone elses--fav, but the goat cheese and red cherries is a close second. Everyone we met today was so friendly and sweet (and happy to see Felix), and it was such a splendid way to spend the morning. The Jenis Ice Cream cookbook has just shot right to the top of my Christmas list (that, and an ice cream maker...) but for now, I think Im set; just take a look at our freezer! 

Thanks again, dave!

french hens

Animals have long been a staple of jewelry editorials and advertisements, but they typically tend toward the exotic: tigers, cobras, peacocks... think kirsten dunst draped around a lion in her 2011 Bvlgari campaign. But this editorial, shot by Peter Lippmann back in July for Marie Claires accessories insert, Marie Claire 2, sidesteps the unnecessarily glamorous movie stars and cuts right to the chase. The best way to wear fine jewelry, in my opinion, is to be casually unaware of its finery. And theres nothing more un-self-aware(?) than a goofy, weirdly surprised-looking chicken. Plus theres something about plumage that looks somewhat couture-y, you know what I mean? Maybe I would have known about this sooner if Id been aware that Marie Claire 2 was even a thing. Anyway, Im sorry to be so behind the times. 


gimme that!

In order to re-affirm whatever faith you may have had in my taste in anything, let me share with you some of my favorite new spring fashion. I dont particularly care for the pimped-out platform sneaker/stiletto hybrid, I could do without the camo, and the taxi-cab-yellow, while jolly, is a touch too literal for my taste. Nevertheless, Im a big fan of this new-york-inspired DKNY spring ready-to-wear collection; the relative tackiness of the aforementioned is largely abated by breezy white separates, slouchy suiting, and, most of all, perfectly faded, cornflower-blue denim. And luckily, apparently, tying things around your waist is in again. So 90s! (And, arguably for the first time, so are bermudas. Questionable.)

images via style.com