Little Black Dress

September 30, 2015

A sleek yet playful take on the classic little black dress - The Ella from Modern Citizen. What's not to love about this classic-with-a-twist shift? It's extremely comfortable, the a-line silhouette is figure flattering, the ruffles add the perfect amount of feminine detail, and it has pockets. I was able to eat, move and have fun without feeling frumpy. It's perfectly simple yet still feels special. Pretty much everything you need and want in a LBD that can be worn to any special occasion. With the holidays coming up, this will surely be on heavy rotation. More Modern Citizen must-haves include this dress, these trousers , this sweater and this coat.

I hope you're having a great week so far. Thanks for stopping by!

Modern Citizen Ella dress. Steve Madden heels. Shop Craft and Couture clutch.

More little black dresses I have my eyes on:

Le Boy

September 27, 2015

New in. A little something I've had my eye on for a while now. It takes a lot for a bag to pique my interest. Le Boy immediately caught my eye and went to the top of my wish list when it was released in 2011. I knew it was time to invest when after 4 years I still felt the same way about it and the prices are only going up! I'm drawn to it's edgy, architectural and more minimalist vibe. It's got that rebellious tough-luxe-look, yet still feels like a true classic. The perfect marriage between the boyish charm and feminine allure that Coco Chanel was known for. Some people collect fine art or cars. Handbags are my weakness. They are wearable and functional art in my opinion. Shout out to my SA at Chanel San Francisco, Chris for going above and beyond trying to locate exactly what I wanted.

I've received lots of emails from friends and readers about how to care for leather bags. I make sure all my leather pieces get cleaned and treated with conditioner every few months. This protects them from scratches and stains, keeping them in tip top shape. Using a soft smooth cloth, I gently massage this Cadillac lotion on, let it dry for a few minutes then buff. For in-between cleanings I like to use Murchison-Hume Bag Butler. Suede requires a protective spray and a special brush, available at any leather goods store (I get mine from the shoe department in Nordstrom). It's really important to keep leather moisturized and away from sunlight. I always store my purses in their cotton dust bags (never plastic), so the leather can breathe (tip: old pillowcases work well if your bag didn't come with one).

Thanks so much for dropping by! Don't forget to #treatyoself once in a while.

Chanel Small Boy Bag in Glazed Calfskin, Fall 2015 collection. Tom Ford Lipstick in Indian Rose. Celine Sunglasses.

Photography by Therese Jacinto for Craft and Couture

Shop more classic purses at different price points:

Friday Find: Sweater and Sneakers

September 25, 2015

I feel my best when I'm in sneakers and a soft and cozy sweater. Even way before I had my daughter, I've always opted for comfort and practicality. While I love a good high heel, my everyday go-to has always been sneakers. I move around a lot and need to get things done. Yesterday was a bit warmer than expected for the first day of fall, so I opted for lighter layers rather than full on chunky knits. This sleeveless sweater I featured a few weeks ago has been the perfect transition piece. I've worn it alone with trousers and culottes, and here on top of a classic button down - perfect for the recent drop in temperatures and to combat our extra chilly office environment. For a dressier look during meetings, I swapped out the sneakers for some pumps.

I'm a sucker for clean and simple sneakers. I have a handful of all-white ones, but I feel like each one has a very different vibe. I recently got these Stan Smiths, which I absolutely love (but took forever to find!). However, these ones I'm wearing above are a great slightly more affordable alternative. 

What are your go-to pieces? Thanks so much for dropping by and have a fabulous weekend!

shoes: Adidas |   pants JCREW |   sweater: FOREVER21 |   

Shop This Look:

Friday Finds: Family Room Inspiration

September 11, 2015

When your heart skips a beat and you realize your dream home exists. Featured recently over at Domaine, this stunning space is all about that perfect balance of simplicity, style and comfort. The vibe is exactly what we are going for in our own home. I'm obsessed with every detail - the clean lines, the rustic against modern accents...all the light, all the white...and those sofas. 

My dream sofa has always been simple and sleek with a relaxed yet tailored slipcover- preferably in Belgian linen. Our current family room has a set of custom over sized sofas in a high performance crushed velvet fabric. They still look great and have held up pretty well in the past 5 years considering our lifestyle. It was a practical purchase. I'm thinking for the current room we are decorating, maybe its time to bite the bullet and get the sofa I've always wanted. The designer in me says go for it. The mom in me says "Are you nuts??". 

As always, I'm trying to find a happy medium between these two inner voices. After an intense hunt, I may have found a solution in this sofa that I featured recently in this post. It's got everything I want - the over sized scale, the linen slip cover,  knife edge detailing..... and the cushions are even wrapped in a down blend (I didn't think this was possible for this budget). All for under five times less than what I was expecting to spend for something like this. While I have never purchased a sofa without test driving it in person, the positive reviews give me a boost of confidence. And, at this price point I probably won't flinch if I hear Natalie say "oooops" while siting on it with a cup of juice.  Bonus - all the savings can probably fund weekly professional cleaning for life. Listen to me. Like I really need to convince myself! I think I'm pretty much sold on it. Check it out below, and a few other fantastic Friday Finds that I'd love to pair with it.

Thanks for dropping by and have a great weekend!

Image Via

Friday Finds and Weekend Steals

September 04, 2015

I've been meaning to nail down a series of weekly posts to keep this blog current. It got a major overhaul earlier this year in terms of branding and visuals, and now I'm finally able to tackle the most important part - content.  Since things always tend to get crazy right when I'm on a roll, I've decided to start with something simple that I can crank out quickly - aka short on text and straight to the point. Introducing - Friday Finds. Once a week I'll be sharing a handful of bargain priced items I'm loving at the moment. If there's one thing I love, its a good deal. I don't think I'll ever outgrow the high I get when scoring something that's beautiful yet reasonably priced. While I always believe in investing in key quality items, never underestimate pieces you'll find at fast-fashion retailers. I have jeans and jackets from HM and Zara that are at least 8 years old that I still love and reach for often - and they are still in great shape. 

My bargain shopping tips
The key to shopping high street is avoiding the uber trendy items, sticking to the pieces you are comfortable in that have timeless appeal, and making sure to read the material content and care labels. Stay away from acrylics and rayon (most especially if it says 100%, blends are reasonable for coats and jackets). While clothing made from these fabrics can look and feel high end, they hold up poorly in terms of wash and wear - specially if you are too busy to properly sort out laundry and pay a visit to the dry cleaner. Keep an eye out for cotton, wool, cashmere and silk blends that better stand the test of time. Thankfully, fast fashion brands have been incorporating more luxe materials into their designs and answering our call for affordable quality goods. Also, give polyester a chance. It holds up extremely well in the washing machine, and most of the time does not require ironing. 

Up until a couple years ago, I had always favored shopping in-store. I enjoy browsing through the racks and feeling each item. However, I've had much better luck finding better quality bargains online. It saves lots of time since each item is clearly laid out in front of you, and the pieces are styled  so you get a better idea of how something can be worn. Since most web shops offer extremely affordable or free shipping, it is a much more efficient and practical way to shop - specially when you don't have the time!

Forever 21's contemporary lineAsos White label , And Other Stories and HM's trend collection are a few of my favorite destinations for finding "high-end" looking pieces for a steal. The styles, fit and quality of these elevated lines are much more sophisticated than comparable shops.

Here's a handy set of links to a few great sales happening over the next few days. Thanks for dropping by and have a fabulous Labor Day weekend!

Labor Day sales

Adela Mei  | Extra 20% off dresses, code: DRESSITUP
ASOS | extra 10% off the 70% off sale, code: YAY10
Banana Republic | 40% off entire purchase, code: BRFALL
Bloomingdales | save 20-70% on select items
Bluefly | over 5,000 styles up to 90% off
Club Monaco | 40% off sale and clearance, code: NOTOVERYET
COS  | Holiday treat, select items on sale
Forever 21  | Buy one get one free on sale items, code:BOGOFREE
Gap | 40% off everything
Intermix | extra 50% off all sale items
J.Crew | 30% off your order of $125+, code: GETSHOPPING
Kate Spade | 25% off sale items, code: Delight
Macy's  | Free shipping over $75 plus extra 20% off, code: SUPER
Madewell | 30% off fall essentials and extra 30% off sale
Nasty Gal  | extra 30% off sale
Necessary Clothing | 20 % off everything, code: BACKTOCOOL20
Neiman Marcus | up to 65% off end-of-summer steals
Old Navy | up to 60% off everything
Saks Fifth Avenue |  save up to 75% off
The Outnet |  Free next day shipping
The Real Real  | 20% off select items, code: HOLIDAY
Lorna Jane | up to 60% off

Home and Travel
Furbish | 15% off site wide, code: LABORDAY
Gilt Group | up to 80% off | $50 off when you spend $300 or more (book by 9/7), code:labor50
Pottery Barn | Buy more, save more, code: SAVEMORE
Priceline | save 25% off select hotels when booked by 9/16
Sur La Table  |  10% off, code: GREATDEAL
West Elm | Buy More Save More, code: SAVEMORE
Wisteria | 20% off everything, code: LABORDAY20
Wayfair  | up to 70% off
Williams Sonoma | 20% off one item, code: LABORDAY

This week's FRIDAY FINDS

A few things I've been eyeing lately are outerwear, dresses and tops. Pieces that can easily transition from casual to dressy, summer to fall.

Thanks so much for dropping by and have a fabulous long weekend!

Ranch House Update

September 01, 2015

This past year has been extra busy, and I have been horrible at taking photos and updating this blog with all my design projects! After years of focusing on other people's spaces, it feels good to finally get to work on our own. I'm setting aside more time for our humble abode, and I'll be making an effort to share the home updates we're tackling. Last year it was the master bedroom, which turned out much better than I expected (a full post on that coming soon). 

This year I am focusing on our bonus area - an extra living room off of the garage, that is adjacent to our kitchen and dining nook. Since we already have a family/TV area in place (although it is due for an overhaul soon),  we decided to turn it into Natalie's play space, with room to act as a double-duty casual family and entertaining zone. 

Our home was built in the late 70's. With it, came wall-to-wall shag carpeting and disco-era decor that has outlived its glory days. In the beginning, it completely frustrated me and all I wanted to do was tear it all down. As the years went by, we've made simple yet impactful improvements that worked with our lifestyle. My husband and I are pretty savvy when it comes to spending.  Our goal whether it be with home improvements, clothing, cars, etc - is to spend where it matters, and save where we can without sacrificing style or quality. This means lots of DIYs, buying discounted or second hand, thinking outside the box, and always making the most of what we have. 

After 8 years of living in our home, I can say that I've slowly grown to love and appreciate it's quirks. There's a lot of soul and character in it that can't be found or replicated in a brand new home. While shiny and new is always appealing, there's something about connecting with a home's past, and bringing it into the present. In my opinion, perfection is highly overrated. Perfectly imperfect feels much more approachable, fresh, comfortable and not to mention.....practical. I've discovered the style that feels authentic and natural to the space, yet feels very much like "us"and enhances the way we live. We aren't quite ready for a complete reveal, for now here are a few snaps of our home that I've shared on Instagram:

I have to round up the before photos and share that on a future post, because its a complete dramatic makeover. In the meantime, get a glimpse of what the 70's left behind -THIS. Massive. Lava Rock. Fireplace.


And last weekend, I tackled it head on. It would have cost us at least a couple grand to tear it down, patch up and replace. But for $100 and in two days, I was able to solve the eye-sore problem. By painting it white (which was much MUCH more difficult than I expected), I got it to blend in with the rest of the room. For the paint I used BEHR exterior flat paint with primer, two coats, in a custom   white tint. I highly recommend finding the most dense brush with the shortest bristles to make the job easier.

 I like that it leaves a hint of the past through the rock's texture and form and gives the space a bit of a country house feel. Down the road I may want it completely gone, but as of now I am loving this quick and affordable solution.


Installing the floating shelves (Ikea Lack) was by far the easiest thing I did. And, one of the benefits of being a thrifty bargainista is that I already had a lot of great pieces to fill the empty space with. I am constantly on hunt and gather mode. If I see something I love and the price is right, I collect (to my husband's horror though, since our garage looks like a mad warehouse). 

This original vintage Z chair by Poul Jensen, was FREE. Yup. I picked it up on the side of the road - in immaculate condition. All it needed was a good cleaning and new cushions (oversized pillows purchased from a friend make for a great temporary solution). The brass nesting tables were a Craigslist score - $5. All the decor on the shelves are from flea markets, Home Goods, Target or thrift stores. 

I'm keeping this area clean, cozy and bright. I'll be focusing on casual yet comfortable soft furnishings like a slip covered sofa, over sized floor cushions, and custom linen accent pillows made from fabric I picked up in Japan. More vintage pieces will be joining the mix, along with a rug from Marrakech, and Natalie's kid-sized furniture. Of course, its all neutral. I personally adore light, bright and white spaces, adding interest through layers, texture and a collected vibe through eclectic vintage pieces.

There's still lots of work to be done, but I'm thrilled with the progress so far. For now, I have my eyes on these bargain finds to add to this area. Still on the hunt for some sleek and modern lighting options. Let me know if you have any suggestions!

Click on images to shop each item

Thanks so much for dropping by and have a great rest of the week!

All Photos taken by Therese Jacinto for Craft and Couture