January 31, 2011

Knot Clothing & Belt Co.

Knot Belts are phenomenally, hand-crafted, custom products... They show a unique outlook on where preppy fashion is headed, and ingenuity of a young generation to get there! These products are made not only for fashion, but durability. They're made with high-quality material right here in the good-ole U.S. of A.

I recommend that you CHECK IT OUT! These are perfect for fratastic adventures or tailgate or cocktail party!
They're currently doing their New Years sale, making these items not only preppy awesome wardrobe additions, but AFFORDABLE!

You can find more at http://knotclothing.com

Me and Barnes & Noble

I ran several errands after work tonight in anticipation of the coming (Northern) Snopocalypse....

- Bank to deposit money from Mom & Dad
- FedEx to mail packages to the cousins & Sister
- Jimmy John's (because their Turkey Tom unwich is only 245 calories and AMAZING!)
- Barnes & Noble (for books in case I get snowed in and lose power)
- Grocery store (to pick up reserves and chili ingredients)

I must say I was fully impressed that I could do that all in two hours... especially since I spent almost half of it in Barnes & Noble... I've come to the conclusion that I typically look for pink, pale blue, or lite green covers to find new books... how sad is that?? I pick my literary inspiration based on the color of a book cover. HOWEVER I found some fun ones. Check it out below:

Any thoughts?? Have you checked these out??

Daily Prep: Preppy Companies on My Radar

The Daily Prep blog did an incredible marketing analysis of companies' rise and fall in the preppy industry. I highly recommend checking it our for any marketing/communications connoisseur as well as anyone interested in understanding the lifecycle of new/current/old preppy favored designers. It's truly intriguing! Enjoy!


January 30, 2011

College Prep- KJP giveaway!

Have you signed up for the College Prepster Kiel James Patrick give away?? I love these bracelets and gave one to my sister last year for her birthday. It's amazingly comfortable and I wear it work all the time!

Check it out!

Chinese New Year

This year the start of the Chinese New Year takes place on Feb. 3. Which also happens to be the day before my birthday. This past weekend my mom was visiting to celebrate my Aunt's 50th birthday, my other Aunt birthday, and my own. We made a stop by Jungle Jim's is just an insane amount of any thing you'd ever need, which happens to include super cheap, super big bags of Fortune Cookies:

Needless to say, I am well prepared to help those at work celebrate. This is all in good fun, and I should preface this with I am not of Asian decent. However it does have a pretty interesting history, and I am fully FOR learning new things about everyone. So below is some neat mythology I picked up on Wikipedia (forewarning: my dad fully believes that Wikipedia does not necessarily make things true or accurate, however it's a quick reference and typically well moderated, in my opinion).

According to tales and legends, the beginning of Chinese New Year started with the fight against a mythical beast called the Nien (Chinese: ; pinyin: nián). Nien would come on the first day of New Year to devour livestock, crops, and even villagers, especially children. To protect themselves, the villagers would put food in front of their doors at the beginning of every year. It was believed that after the Nien ate the food they prepared, it wouldn’t attack any more people. One time, people saw that the Nien was scared away by a little child wearing red. The villagers then understood that the Nien was afraid of the colour red. Hence, every time when the New Year was about to come, the villagers would hang red lanterns and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. People also used firecrackers to frighten away the Nien. From then on, Nien never came to the village again. The Nien was eventually captured by Hongjun Laozu, an ancient Taoist monk. The Nien became Hongjun Laozu's mount.[5]

I highly recommend reading further to understand all the festivities and background. HERE Enjoy!

Matchbook Magazine

Matchbook Magazine published their first edition of the online print this week! I'm so excited because they offer a wide array of preppy decor ideas and fashion!
They have in incredible sense about what a 20-something, fashion forward, preppy lady is looking for! I have now found my new duvet cover:
By Rikshaw Design

They have some pretty incredibly 'zen' designs but also, they just look super comfy! See more here!
And an Ice Bucket for my annual Derby Party!
By Dabney Lee
They are customize able and bring something unique to the party! See more here!

The fact that this is a monthly, TOTALLY GREEN, magazine, with the promise of future ideas is just that much more enticing about the publication! It's overall a mix of 'Things to know' for the working gal, with a a little bit of international travel, fashion, and home decorating all rolled into one. It's witty, well written, and just FABULOUS! CHECK IT OUT!

January 27, 2011

Preppy Girl Green: Eco-Friendly Valentines

Preppy Girl Green: Eco-Friendly Valentines: "Valentine's Day is right around the corner! But before you buy all of your cards and valentines, make sure that they are coming from good so..."

This is such a great blog and I love the ideas!

January 26, 2011

Lilly Pulitzer - Spring 2011 SNEAK PEEK!

The wonderful people at Lilly were ever so generous to share a sneak peak at their Spring 2011 collection with me. AND BOY AM I EXCITED! They're taking a turn back to some of the Classic 50's & 60's designs complete with head-kerchiefs. It puts me in the mood for lemonade stands, sunny beach days, and afternoons on Worth Avenue!

These three dresses classically emulate spring fever. Their daffodils are so cheerful, and the colors are just wonderfully balanced with the cuts of the dresses as well as the fabric and accenting details. LOVE the head-kerchief! I'm sensing a tough choice for Easter this year...

 The below necklace, although it would perfectly coordinate most of these ensembles, would set off the design of the pink dress so perfectly for an afternoon of shopping!
This blue flowered design afternoon cocktail dress is wonderful with it's gold braiding. It might just be perfect for an evening at Testa's! I love the pink dress paired with the side pony tail. Add some gold bangles and maybe some long pearls or a gold chain necklace and you're ready to hit the town! (per our Accessories entry). And last, but certainly not least, the off the shoulder: HOTT! This trend has been going strong since last spring, but this sleek Hyacinthia print, with the slight billowed mid-arm sleeve is so chic! These three are perfect for day, but throw on some of the Silver or Gold platform wedges (as seen below) for a quick evening look!

Additionally, I'd like to add the below Lilly accessories:

Sea & Be Seen Tote
Resort Chic Wedges

Overall, amazing prints paired with superb cuts, equating to another history making collection! I will be checking the website daily in order to get mine!

Oscar- FEVER

They announced the Oscars yesterday morning, but all I can think about is "WHAT WILL THEY WEAR!?". That must sound so cliche...

However, after the Golden Globes, it was all such a teaser... Although some didn't disappoint:

Best Picture
"Black Swan," Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers
"The Fighter" David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers
"Inception," Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
"The Kids Are All Right," Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers
"The King's Speech," Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
"127 Hours," Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers
"The Social Network," Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceàn Chaffin, Producers
"Toy Story 3" Darla K. Anderson, Producer
"True Grit" Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
"Winter's Bone" Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers

Actor in a Leading Role
Javier Bardem in "Biutiful"
Jeff Bridges in "True Grit"
Jesse Eisenberg in "The Social Network"
Colin Firth in "The King's Speech"
James Franco in "127 Hours"

Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale in "The Fighter"
John Hawkes in "Winter's Bone"
Jeremy Renner in "The Town"
Mark Ruffalo in "The Kids Are All Right"
Geoffrey Rush in "The King's Speech"
Actress in a Leading Role
Annette Bening in "The Kids Are All Right"
Nicole Kidman in "Rabbit Hole"
Jennifer Lawrence in "Winter's Bone"
Natalie Portman in "Black Swan"
Michelle Williams in "Blue Valentine"

Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams in "The Fighter"
Helena Bonham Carter in "The King's Speech"
Melissa Leo in "The Fighter"
Hailee Steinfeld in "True Grit"
Jacki Weaver in "Animal Kingdom"
Animated Feature Film
"How to Train Your Dragon" Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
"The Illusionist" Sylvain Chomet
"Toy Story 3" Lee Unkrich
Art Direction
"Alice in Wonderland"
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1"
"The King's Speech"
"True Grit"
"Black Swan," Matthew Libatique
"Inception," Wally Pfister
"The King's Speech," Danny Cohen
"The Social Network," Jeff Cronenweth
"True Grit," Roger Deakins
Costume Design
"Alice in Wonderland," Colleen Atwood
"I Am Love," Antonella Cannarozzi
"The King's Speech," Jenny Beavan
"The Tempest," Sandy Powell
"True Grit" Mary Zophres
"Black Swan," Darren Aronofsky
"The Fighter," David O. Russell
"The King's Speech," Tom Hooper
"The Social Network," David Fincher
"True Grit," Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Documentary (Feature)
"Exit through the Gift Shop," Banksy and Jaimie D'Cruz
"Gasland," Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
"Inside Job," Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
"Restrepo," Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
"Waste Land," Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley
Documentary (Short Subject)
"Killing in the Name"
"Poster Girl"
"Strangers No More"
"Sun Come Up"
"The Warriors of Qiugang"
Film Editing
"Black Swan"
"The Fighter"
"The King's Speech"
"127 Hours"
"The Social Network"
Foreign Language Film
"Biutiful," Mexico
"Dogtooth," Greece
"In a Better World," Denmark
"Incendies," Canada
"Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)," Algeria
"Barney's Version," Adrien Morot
"The Way Back," Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
"The Wolfman," Rick Baker and Dave Elsey
Music (Original Score)
"How to Train Your Dragon," John Powell
"Inception," Hans Zimmer
"The King's Speech," Alexandre Desplat
"127 Hours," A.R. Rahman
"The Social Network," Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
Music (Original Song)
"Coming Home" from "Country Strong," Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
"I See the Light" from "Tangled," Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
"If I Rise" from "127 Hours," Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
"We Belong Together" from "Toy Story 3," Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
Short Film (Animated)
"Day & Night," Teddy Newton
"The Gruffalo," Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
"Let's Pollute," Geefwee Boedoe
"The Lost Thing," Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
"Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)" Bastien Dubois
Short Film (Live Action)
"The Confession," Tanel Toom
"The Crush," Michael Creagh
"God of Love," Luke Matheny
"Na Wewe," Ivan Goldschmidt
"Wish 143," Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite
Sound Editing
"Inception," Richard King
"Toy Story 3," Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
"Tron: Legacy," Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
"True Grit," Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
"Unstoppable," Mark P. Stoeckinger
Sound Mixing
"Inception," Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick
"The King's Speech," Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
"Salt," Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
"The Social Network," Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
"True Grit," Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
Visual Effects
"Alice in Wonderland," Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1," Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
"Hereafter," Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell
"Inception," Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
"Iron Man 2," Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick
Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
"127 Hours," Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
"The Social Network," Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
"Toy Story 3," Screenplay by Michael Arndt; Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
"True Grit," Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
"Winter's Bone," Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini
Writing (Original Screenplay)
"Another Year," Written by Mike Leigh
"The Fighter," Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson; Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
"Inception," Written by Christopher Nolan
"The Kids Are All Right," Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
"The King's Speech," Screenplay by David Seidler

My picks are highlighted in yellow. Who do you think will win??

Agendas & Planners

For the past few years I've been living with a dark secret... I'm addicted to my planner....

It all started in Middle School when they trained us with School-issued planners to assign our homework and schedule our tests. Throughout the years they gave us big ones and small ones, thick ones and thin ones, spirals and rip-outs. They came in all shapes and sizes, but the logic remained the same: Schedule your assignments or DIE! Well, maybe not that dramatic, but that's what I imagine my subconscious saying... (What would Freud say about that??).

In College, the Mortar Board chapter sold agendas at the University bookstores, and the cycle continued. So it was only natural that after college, I would have my work issue me a Franklin Covey. I held on to this thing for 3 long years, only to discover that once I moved on to a new position, it was no longer the norm. However, I have since been craving a sense of control and 'normalcy' provided by my neatly organized, typically cute, scheduling device. This year, since my new company does not provide schedulers, I am investing in one myself. I contemplated the likes of Kate Spade, Coach, and Lilly Pulitzer (as seen below).

But I decided upon: (drum roll please) SARAH PINTO! She is a small designer out of California and created her company out of similar values, but also to aid in the financial need brought on by her son's illness. Check her out here! Below is my 2011 planner!
What are you doing to help stay organized this year??

January 25, 2011

Accessories are a Girl's Best Friend!

I am a strong believer in accessorizing... and the right pair of shoes (but that's another entry all together)! On the plus side, they never change sizes making them all the better, and giving them more longevity in your wardrobe (if not in modern fashion). Additionally, with fashion on a 20-year time warp, they always come back in style. Extra Extra Plus: then they're VINTAGE!

Bottom Line: Accessories = AMAZING

Key things to know:
1.) Your natural colors. These are based on your skin tone and typically can be found with your local cosmetician at the mall.
2.) Minimal with prints, maximum with solids. Too much isn't necessarily a good thing when it comes to accessories. Ex: too many necklaces on a print can actually make you look bigger than you are; not exactly what we're going for. On the flip side, too little can leave your look lacking.
Potentially "Too Much", but with Bohemian, it's a tough call. & I'm really digging the head band
3.) Don't be afraid to mix color schemes.
This is a GREAT example of a wonderful printed skirt, and a combo color in the necklace.
4.) Don't be afraid of Belts, Headbands, cuffs, watches, and others! I am partial to jewelry, but if Blaire Waldorf "Queen of Headbands" can manage it once a week on GG, then you can certainly add some flair!

A couple places to get some great price-conscious jewelry are Old Navy, Etsy, & Forever21. But I'm not completely leaving out my fashionistas. I'm also a huge fan of Kiel James Patrick, Lilly Pulitzer, Coach & Hermes.

January 24, 2011

Midwest Football

This weekend was full of sports... I'll be honest, what weekend in the Midwest isn't? Or weekday for that matter? I will try to continue kidding myself it's different else where, and back home they really do spend Sunday afternoon/evenings on the front porch drinking iced tea.

I was once emailed a chain, listing the differences between football in the North and South. To prevent repetition or just to remain unique, I'm choosing not to scour the trudges of the Internet looking for it to post here. The gist of the comparison is this, the author believes that everything about football in the South is more intense than in the North... And I will concede that to some extent for NCAA fall sports, however the NFL is quite a different story. Being in the middle of the melee of the war which can only be titled "Bear-Cheese fest 2011" was quite the experience. My BF and the rest of Chicago might take a little bit of exception to that title, however I believe it's very accurate.

BF and I spent Sunday at his parent's house in the Burbs. His dad got a last minute ticket to the game, thus meaning we were sans one less mouth to eat his mother's AMAZING cookery (I don't care if that's a word, it describes the perfect mix of Italian finesse, and incredible mixing knowledge equating to the most fabulous tailgating buffet ever!). I also made a seriously amazing cake (see pictures below):

But back to the fashion...

In case you've been in a cave (which might be a good thing in this case), it's been record low temperatures across the country, but especially in the north. Any sane person would cover up and include warmers to prevent frost-bite, however there WERE crazy people in attendance and did paint their chests... I question their health today, as well as attendance at work. So while these crazy people at the game, I had picked up one of the last remaining Chicago Bears t-shirts in the city on Friday night. I additionally had to accessorize accordingly.

I would include pictures, however apparently they are not available on the website. Needless to say, I make a t-shirt look less plain Jane, and more Chicago-chic!

Did you have any good stories from this past weekend's football (or any other sporting event)? Do share!

January 17, 2011

Tottie Recipes: L.A. style

Additionally, I made friends with the bartender on Saturday and discovered some traditional LA Drinks:

Cactus Cooler (This I fell in love with and ended up drinking all night!)
     4 ounces Red Bull
     1 splash Orange Juice
     3/4 ounce Mandarin Vodka
     3/4 ounce Triple Sec

The below is a take on a Long Island Iced Tea. I guess the theory is it looks like what LA tap water does...

1 1/2 oz Absolut® vodka
1 1/2 oz gin
1 1/2 oz white tequila
1 1/2 oz white rum
1 1/2 oz triple sec
1 splash sweet and sour mix
1 1/2 oz Midori® melon liqueur
1 1/2 oz Chambord® raspberry liqueur

 The first is super taste, the second has kind of a bite.

West Coast Edition

This past weekend, I flew out to Los Angeles to meet up with the BF. His company is based out there and generously hosted significant others for the weekend's celebration of this year's performance.

BF and I took the opportunity to explore; he had been out there before, but it was my first time on the ground (with the exception of an hour lay-over from Hawaii a few years back).

I got in late Friday night, but Saturday morning we got up early to try to find a fun breakfast place. The concierge recommended we google 'side walk cafe' in Venice Beach. Funny enough, that happened to be the exact name of the local. This place we PERFECT! It was sunny and 70, we were on the patio overlooking the beach front path. Below is a picture of our view:

This place had amazing food!
We started out with their Mimosa, splitting a bottle of champagne over  a mix of orange, grapefruit, and pomegranate juice. It was incredible!

I had the Georgia O'Keefe omelet, which was HUGE! It consisted of avocado, bacon, mushrooms and Jack cheese. Delicious! BF had the Fiasco omelet: mushrooms, onions, jack cheese, guacamole, and their special Spanish sauce. The overall menu looked incredible and the portions were huge at a very reasonable price.

You can check out their full menu here: www.thesidewalkcafe.com

We even got entertainment while we dined! The boardwalk at Venice beach is filled with pan-handlers and 'artists' requesting 'donations' for their works. We got to experience a guitar and piano player as we ate, which was just right for our total experience.

After breakfast, we walked a bit up and down the boardwalk, as BF was determined to see the muscles of Muscle beach (only some-what creepy ;)  xoxo). Sadly there was only one somewhat muscle-y character using the weights, and the Governator was no where in sight.

As we walked, there was plenty of beautiful art an shops along the way. The really weird part about the experience was the amount of 'medicinal' marijuana that was offered... it appears that just about anyone can prescribe the stuff in CA... neither BF nor I have ever done drugs, so it wasn't an issue, so much as weird as it was so 'out in the open'.

After our jaunt on the boardwalk, we made our way to Hollywood. We drove down Rodeo drive: BF very kindly refused to park the car anywhere near this area... I think he was afraid of the stores... like the lovely shop keepers might bight off his hand to get to his wallet or something. ANY WAY, I've now 'been there, done that'. We drove through all the beautiful neighborhoods, and made our way to the not-so-beautiful Hollywood Blvd. Talk about SKETCHY!

I insisted we park in order to view Man Grauman's Chinese Theater. I have ALWAYS wanted to place my hand near Shirley Temple and the like. I even got to fist bump John Wayne! (pictures below). I was not, however, impressed with the fact that police allow street performers to run rampant in the area. I'm sorry, but I don't care how much you feel that that is part of the 'atmosphere' and 'experience'... it's sketchy.

 We also had the fun experience of the McDonald's protesters: BF is strongly opposed to McD's, due to an incident over a year ago when the one in Lincoln Park booted his car for leaving the parking lot... Needless to say, he insisted on getting a supportive flier and taking a picture with them. By the time we returned from Grauman's, they had been dispersed, and replaced by 'friendly' McDonald's employees handing out 'organic' samples.

BF and I then  made our way up to Griffin park, the best to view the Hollywood sign from. We drove all the way to the top, near the observatory. It's pretty neat only because of how iconic the sign is, otherwise, it's just a pretty park.
We then began to make our way back to Manhattan beach (that's where we were staying). I hate to be a spoil-sport at any time, but my shoulder was doing weird cramping/pain and I was overall getting cabin fever in the car. Dan was nice enough to drop me off at the hotel to rest, and he went and got us In & Out Burger as a late lunch dinner; I guess last year, there weren't many hors d'oeuvres at the event, and we wanted to be prepared...

After a relaxing afternoon, we met up with his fellow co-workers down stairs and made our way to club. (I preface this with, I forgot my camera for the evening, so these are stock pictures from the venues' websites)
BF's company rented out the club, Eden. Apparently it's a new up-coming place (LA Times review: www.latimes.com )
It was definitely a beautiful facility. All dark woods and low lighting. The company had the entire place to themselves, complete with open bar and buffets (mashed-potato :) ) and serving staff with hors d'oeuvres. They had a DJ who was just 'alright', but it got fun later in the evening when they started launching confetti! Overall, it was a gorgeous night, but it didn't end when we shut down the club at 2am... No No No....

Instead, we made our way over to the Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Blvd, where the owners had rented out the Penthouse suite and rooftop terrace! How they managed to do this the weekend of the Golden Globes is beyond me!
Although I didn't see any celebrities, it was so nice to get away from the cold of winter, if even for a weekend. LA was definitely an experience, and I have though of a ton more things I'd like to go back and see, however I DEFINITELY wouldn't want to live in LA (the traffic was AWFUL!).

I hope all of you enjoyed your weekends and are staying warm in this next impending snow storm.


Post-Script: I meant to describe my In & Out Burger experience... I don't see what the big deal is... it's a giant Crystal's (White Castle) Slider with Italian dressing. Definitely not the best burger I've ever had, and the fries.... Five Guys is way better.... End of Story...