Currently Craving: Graphic Black and White

July 30, 2013

Last month I spotted Bella Heathcote in Mary Katrantzou's "Sandeep" dress from her fall 2013 collection. Obsessed! I've been lusting over MK's pieces since way back when and even blogged about it here in 2010. Been hunting down similar dresses in her iconic black and white prints. Here are a few that I've been craving!

Hope you are having a great week so far!


Style File: Leopard

July 28, 2013

Yes, at the peak of summer I am rocking a coat! It's actually one of the things I love about living here in the Bay- we get so much use of our coats and jackets throughout the year. It makes warm summer days feel that much more special.

Coat: Zara (on sale now)  //  Shirt:  J Crew  //  Boyfriend jeans: Gap  // Heels: Aldo  
Purse:  Celine  // Sunglasses: Celine


DIY: Vintage Brass Chandelier

July 23, 2013

Did a quick, easy and very affordable DIY recently! Updated our current chandelier that we've had for quite some time. It's got a classic contemporary style, but I felt it needed a little refresh. Gave it a vintage modern look that works much better in our current dining nook!

I'm obsessed with Arteriors lighting - their vintage brass pieces are the perfect blend of simplicity and glamour. But of course, they all come with a hefty price tag. Similar pendants and chandeliers I've been eyeing at a few local dealers are also pretty expensive. Decided a DIY was in order. One way to make sure it wouldn't turn out too horrible was to pattern the project after something similar to our current chandelier. The Auburn Chandelier seemed perfect since it shares almost the same simple lines as the one we already have:

 Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover in Gold
1 1/2" Wooster Pro Brush (White China Bristle for Oil Paints)
Sandpaper (optional)
Painter's tape (optional)

1. Clean the chandelier. Remove shades and bulbs. Make sure both the light switch and the main circuit breaker are off. Place drop cloth. Open all the windows. 
2. When it comes to DIY - I'm always trying to find ways to do things the quickest yet best way possible. I need to get it done fast or I get really impatient and then I don't end up finishing it (yes I know, I'm bad). That paired with the fact I have no electrician skills made me decide to paint the piece while still suspended from the ceiling. Because of that, I had to brush paint on instead of spray (way less messy).
3. I took off the decorative glass balls found on the middle section of each lamp. Since the arms couldn't be taken apart, I had to break the glass to remove them. I wrapped each one in a bag, and hammered into it so the pieces would just fall and collect in the bag- no cleanup and nobody got hurt.
4. I attempted to sand the metal but felt it wasn't really necessary so I actually skipped this step - the paint still dried perfect and smooth. You may want to sand if you are working with rust or an extremely shiny surface.
5. Paint away! The brush I used is amazing! It left absolutely no brush marks when the paint dried. And the paint - I highly recommend as well. I actually like the finish better than the sprays I have used in the past. It dried to a perfect antiqued brass patina. Work with quick long and short strokes - the paint dries super fast. Just one coat did the trick for me. I didn't use a clear top coat - not necessary for this kind of project.
6. I let the paint dry, then screwed in round clear candelabra bulbs. Initially I wanted to keep the shades, but ended up loving how it looked with the bulbs exposed.

This project cost less than $30 and I'm really happy with how it turned out!

Thoughts?! Thanks for dropping by! ;)

Style File: Linen

July 21, 2013

I scored this vintage linen blazer recently at a thrift store (seriously, I'm on a roll). Really love its over sized casual fit! It's pretty lightweight but keeps me considerably warm. Perfect SF summer staple!

Thanks for dropping by! Hope you had a fab weekend!

Blazer: Vintage (thrifted)  //  Top: Zara  //  Shorts:  Cotton On  //  Sandals: Zara  //  Tote: Gap  //  Sunglasses: Celine  //  Cuff: CC Skye


Style File: Black on White

July 19, 2013

I've spent the last two weeks battling yet another horrible cold. That plus the fact my hubby (aka photographer extraordinaire) works long hours during the week means I haven't had many chances to take outfit photos. I really have to hand it to all those veteran fashion bloggers out there. It's no joke documenting these OOTD's!

Scored a couple amazing thrift store goodies these past two weeks, and I'm wearing one of them here. Can you guess what's thrifted?! The pants ;). They were of course, a steal and perfectly over sized for the look I wanted. On the rack, they looked like the bottom half of some sort of unglamorous uniform straight from the  early 90's. However, it's all about the pleated fronts and tapered leg. Rolled the hems up for a casual look and to expose a bit more skin (just an added hint here and there takes an over sized look from dowdy to cool). I've been experimenting with comfortable, voluminous, and exaggerated pieces these days. Love freedom of movement, easy and no-fuss ensembles. I've learned that when it comes to loose-fit anything, keeping the top and bottom monochromatic makes the outfit more flattering. Added the black blazer for contrast (and an added slimming effect) and metallic heels to dress up this pajama-chic look!

Thanks for dropping by! Have a wonderful weekend :)

PS- Shop the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale for some amazing deals!

Blazer: HM  //  Tee:  James Perse  // Pants: Thrifted  // Heels: Zara  // Necklace: Forever21  // Sunglasses: Celine  // Purse: Gap


Thrifted: Vintage Carafe

July 18, 2013

I am now itching to have some friends over for a hot chocolate party! Just scored this amazing set at a thrift store. It's a mid-century vintage Colony carafe, and coordinating tumblers.  Love it's Jetsons-gone-glam vibe!

Found a similar one on Etsy if you are on the hunt for something just like this! :)

**PS- UPDATE: I keep on forgetting to mention this. While I enjoy thrifting, safety and health is always a priority. Since most of the items I find are vintage - some from more than 50 years ago, I make sure to do some research with regards to lead and other chemicals that may be present (and not regulated back then).

When using vintage glassware and dinnerware: 

1. Avoid storing liquids for long periods of time (like weeks to months) in containers that may have lead. It can leech into the liquid. Otherwise, it's pretty safe to have a drink or two in a glass that may contain lead. I save most of my vintage ware for special occasions.
2. Avoid using plates or glasses that have cracks or breaks in them.
3. When in doubt, buy a lead test kit in the hardware store (very inexpensive). 
4. If you really don't want to risk it, save your pieces for decorative purposes.

I'm pretty sure you have some vintage goodies inherited from grandma and family members. It's always a good idea to check the condition and composition of your wares.

Hope this helps! Thanks for dropping by. :)

Postcards: Glamping Getaway

July 14, 2013

I'll be the first to admit that roughing it wouldn't be my first pick when it comes to planning for weekend getaways. However, there is something about camping that (with enough advanced notice for me to get my head into it) I really look forward to. I think that getting down to the basics and escaping the day-to-day is the most exciting part. I love cooking simple meals outdoors, s'mores, being so close to nature (the scent of the trees, the sound of the air in the morning), and how the whole experience brings everyone so much closer because of the shared responsibilities. Once in a while taking a breather from all the technology and all the modern day conveniences (ok most, not all since we had wi-fi, electricity, and running water) is a really really good thing. No matter what degree of "roughness" - whether you enjoy the gritty type of camping (survived and actually enjoyed it), or glamping it up like we just did - simple summer escapes are a must for the mind, body and soul. 

(1) Sunrise at camp
 (2) Table setting with our Threshold for Target Outdoor dinnerware and cups
 (3) Denim on denim
(4) Adorable little camp cabins at KOA
(5) Happy campers

Just wishing we remembered to take more photos! 

I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Thanks for dropping by :)

Thrifted: Tabletop and Decor

July 09, 2013

Latest home decor scores! 


Black vintage dinnerware
Large brass bowl
Nate Berkus vase (ok from Target, but on clearance so it's considered thrifted!!)

Hope you are having a great week so far!

**Trying out the mobile Blogger app for the first time! Photo and post via my iPhone. Curious to see if it's doable - I'm a little crazy about posts being cohesive in layout and design. ;)

Our Home: Dining Nook Update

July 08, 2013

It's been a while since my last home post so I'm sharing what little update we've done to our space. I'm horrible at remembering to take before shots of anything, but I am working hard digging up old photos from our pre-DSLR cameras. Planning on a couple of proper before and after features of every room in our house, but like anything these days - that won't happen for a while.  

A little background on our home: we are living in the same house my hubby was born and raised in. It was built in 1979 and I guess you can classify it as "ranch style". We moved in and started cosmetic upgrades in 2008, right before Natalie was born. Five years later, and we are still fixing up parts of the home. All I can say is - any total remodel can be completed in a snap if you have an unlimited budget. But for us, we had neither the budget nor the time to do everything at once. Not to mention the irony of designing spaces and weddings - you kinda end up neglecting your own pad! We got the most important stuff out of the way before Natalie arrived: ripped off the wall-to-wall green shag carpet all over the house and replaced it with blonde hardwood ( all done by our uncle Romy!), replaced cabinets in the kitchen, painted walls, replaced appliances and windows...etc.

Just like every other newlywed out there, it was a bit hard finding our "couple style" or marrying two totally different aesthetics. I'm happy to say that after 5 years of marriage we have figured it out ( or  maybe hubby has just learned to let me take the reigns!). This house was filled with outdated furniture from top to bottom - left untouched from the early 80's retro glam era. To be honest, I hated it all. I wanted to throw everything away and start from scratch. But, I realized certain things had way too much sentimental value for my hubby and we compromised and kept a few. I have not only learned to like some things that used to make me cringe - I really love them now. Sometimes you just need to mix things up with some fresher pieces to see its potential. I'm actually sad thinking about the items we sold or donated. Most would have been so on-trend right now (aka brass anyone?). If we only had a huge storage space to keep all the "what ifs and "maybes".

Over the years I have been collecting bargain finds I'd come across at Target, Home Goods, flea markets, thrift stores, Craigslist, and consignment shops. I prefer buying what I love over time, rather than instantly decorating a space with one trip to Ikea. This house is pretty big for our needs (at the moment) - 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 2 living spaces. It's got a very open plan considering its age. There is no formal dining room, so our only eat-in space is a nook in between the kitchen and family rooms. Like I said, I will work on a proper before and after post of what this home looked like before all the upgrades, but for now - here is what this nook looked like before and after my current refresh (only revealing a tiny bit since we are still working on the adjacent kitchen!):


Pardon the iPhone photo. The dining table is vintage and the only piece in this space that we kept in place after the remodel. It was my mother-in-laws and has a lot of sentimental value to  my hubby. While it all looks fine, it sort of just ended up neglected and whatever bargain finds I'd collect (ghost chairs, Restoration Hardware chairs, World Market banquet - all on sale of course) ended up here. Since this is the first space I look at when I enter the house, it constantly bugs me. I've been wanting to do four things: 

1. Find mid-century modern chairs 
2. Change out the rug (this one is super old from Target - first rug I ever bought)
3. Have a custom oval white marble top made to replace the glass, and 
4. Update the chandelier (not shown, coming soon I hope!)

Well, I have done 2.5 of all that:


The wishbone chairs are amazing reproductions, a Marshall's score. The rug is Threshold from Target - a great affordable alternative to a Beni Ourain rug that I've been lusting for years (it had me at "stain resistant"). And the table got a super bargain update with a white lacquer top from..... Ikea! Yeah, no budget for a custom oval marble top at the moment. 

Hubby and I are still debating on whether we like the "lacquer" over the glass. I'm leaning towards the white.  However we may just keep both and switch them out depending on our moods ;)! What do you think?

UPDATE: Here's a photo of our newly refreshed chandelier. It was a quick DIY - make sure to check out the post for details.

Take a peek into the other spaces in our home here.


Style File: White and Blue

July 05, 2013

Keeping this short and sweet since I have an awesome to-do list filled with absolutely nothing :). Started the long weekend right and celebrated America's birthday doing some window shopping, a casual dinner with friends, fireworks, and a lot of lounging. Thanks for dropping by, I hope you are having a wonderful long weekend!

Top: Zara (on sale now!)  //  Jeans:  Wet Seal (Super old, but love them because they aren't see-through!)  //  Sandals: Zara  //  Purse:  Gap  //  Sunglasses:  Celine


Thrifted Fashion Finds: June

July 03, 2013

I've gotten a lot of great feedback and comments about my recent thrift store scores, so I decided to post a monthly update of  my finds! It'll be fun to document all these bargain additions to my closet, and hopefully it will encourage you to shop used. Check out last month's finds as well as some thrifting tips here.


1. J Brand jeans (You heard that right! And already featured here.)
2. Vintage silk shirt 
3. J Crew wool and cashmere blend sweater

4. Denim pencil skirt
5. Vintage silk button down shirt
6. Old Navy zip-up knit sweater

Total for these 6 items: $30

Have you checked out your local thrift stores lately? Thanks for stopping by and have a fab day!

Style File: Fresh on the Fourth

I've been in a festive Fourth of July mood this entire week. I keep unconsciously reaching for stripes and anything red, white, and blue. While I enjoy dressing to a theme, I try to avoid cliche outfits (say, flag bikinis and star spangled shorts!) - not that there is anything wrong with that, I just prefer subtly embracing the occasion! I think it's fun to at least look like I didn't put too much thought into an outfit (even if most of the time it's hardly the case)!

These Zara wrap skorts have been a summer staple in my closet (I have it in two colors). They are my happy medium between a skirt and pants (my choice of bottoms). Yes, they are everywhere these days - but I love them! Can't believe I got  white though. It's so hard to keep anything clean when you have kids. What compelled me is the fact I actually have a tan from all the fun in the sun we've been having!  The sandals are by Bronx - they have a minimalist vibe, very Celine. Great quality, and such a good price!

I hope you have a great Fourth of July with friends and family! Thanks for stopping by. :)

Sweatshirt: Zara (old)  // Skorts: Zara  // Sandals: Bronx  //  Purse: Celine  // Sunglasses: Celine