Anxiously Awaiting Spring

A detail from Cornelis van Spaendonck’s Vase of Flowers on a Stone Table with a Nest and a Greenfinch, 1789. The Louvre

I am desperately craving everything spring.  Crocuses.  Tulips.  Daffodils.  Longer days.  Cool breezes.  Light layers.  Skin-warming sunshine.  Open windows.  Digging in the dirt.  GreenI want green.

Daffodils exploding on Martha Stewart’s Bedford Farm

Is anyone else sick to death of wearing heavy knits and of boots as the only option for your feet?  Sadly, it is going to be awhile before we can pack them away here on the Third Coast (the Weather Channel is pushing a winter weather advisory as I type), but there are ways to bring elements of spring into our lives and wardrobes now.

Pale pink hyacinth.
Pale pink hyacinth.

A high impact/low cost must is to grab a bunch of spring flowers from the market.  I bought the above bouquet at Trader Joe’s for a mere six dollars.  The fragrance was amazing and they lasted for an entire week!

The next easy way to get a spring fix is to inject color into your wardrobe.  Almost every shade of colored denim (above pair available here) looks fabulous with grey, black, or winter white, so wear your spring hued jeans with a chunky neutral sweater (don’t you think the above outfit is crying for an oversized grey cardigan?) and throw on a pair of ankle boots.  Done.  I’d add a messy updo and a thick chain link bracelet but that’s just me.

Bold black and white was a heavy hitter on the Spring 2013 runways.  This body skimming number (here) is a great transitional piece.  Wear it now with tights, booties and a jacket, then bare your arms and legs as the mercury rises.

This soft and flowy iris print blouse (available here) will look perfect peeking out from under a blazer and paired with rolled up boyfriend jeans.

I was thrilled to see ultra-feminine lace return as a spring trend.  This dress (available here) would look chic with a loose blazer or a hip length jacket now.

Spring stripes and pastel button downs are a breath of fresh air for men and women.  This cotton cashmere sweater (available here) will transition beautifully through the next three seasons.

I’m crazy over this silk tie with its pale pink back ground and graphic chain-link print (available here).  Justify it as an Easter Sunday splurge and wear it all spring and summer.

Let’s ignore the fact that the above model looks like an extra from Less Than Zero and focus on the fabulous floral prints from the Prabal Gurung for Target collection.  Run, don’t walk – it’s flying off the shelves (see the entire lookbook here).  If you’re on the fence about investing in florals, this ultra-reasonable line would be a good place to start.

J. Crew’s spring collaboration with Liberty of London showcases the latter company’s famous floral prints on everything from the above collared shirt to shoes, pajamas, swimsuits and pocket mirrors.

A spring inspired pedicure will make you smile every time you glimpse your toes.  Mint green polish (above available here) is on every beauty editor’s hit list for spring, but I say choose whatever cotton candy color makes you happiest.

My daughter has this light purple on her fingers right now and I am a little jealous.  Must copy.

Uniqlo is finally available online, and this ultralight down jacket (available in several colors here) is a steal at $69.90.

Leather is another huge trend this spring, and this muted metallic cap-sleeved top from Skaist Taylor (available here), while definitely not a steal, would be a fabulous layering piece now and an absolute stand out when the weather breaks.  It truly makes me weak in the knees.

So from now until sunshine coaxes the first crocuses through the snow, I will plan my gardens (finally getting to the landscaping this year), watch spring training games on mlb.tv (the Cubs, of course) and shop like it’s already here.  You?

Image one via The Louvre, image two via The Martha Blog, last image via The Gifts of Life Tumblr.

Dream in Sea Green

J Crew Swimsuit

Do you always gravitate to the same color?  This is it for me.  Thank goodness it works on brunettes.  I’m loving the above swimsuit from J Crew, though I’d rather cut off a small appendage than put it on after the holidays.  Seriously.

Equipment Sweater

Now this is more like it!  Throw this oversized cashmere beauty from Equipment on with some leggings or skinny jeans and the sins of overindulgence are washed away.

Fishing, summer 2012
Fishing off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard this summer.
Tumblr image – lost the link /:

Lou Piccadilly Demi-Cup Lace Bra

Lace and Satin Boyshort

What girl wouldn’t want these gorgeous underthings?  Lace and satin bra and boyshorts, available at Journelle.

Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Perfume

Tom Ford does everything right. Including this wallet-emptying perfume.

Living Room
A corner of our living room – custom ottoman in Lee Jofa’s Mallard velvet.

Hermes Enamel Bracelet

Hermes Clous en Tromp l’oeil enamel bracelet

image via http://meganthology.tumblr.com

Bounkit Earrings

Love these Onyx and Amethyst Earrings from Bounkit.

Barneys Fur Vest

Ridiculously indulgent, mildly impractical.  But this vest from Barneys would be warm and toasty.  Which DOES makes it practical.  Kind of. Okay, I’m reaching.  But it is sooo cold here!

Agate Costers

My favorite agate coasters.  I bought them at the amazing Megan Winters Atelier in Lake Forest, but similar available here.

Mulberry Bayswater Bag

Mulberry’s Petrol Snakeskin Printed Bayswater bag available at Stylebop.  Sigh.

Dining Room
Dining room detail – wallpaper is Schumacher grasscloth in peacock.

Tory Burch iPhone case

A cheeky little iPhone case from Tory Burch, on sale here.

Lafco Game Room Candle

I’ll admit it.  I have a Lafco candle addiction.  When you are done burning one completely, you can pop it in the freezer to get the remaining wax out and use the beautiful glass as a vase.  How’s that for being green?

A favorite painting.

Claus Porto Soap

Crazy over Claus Porto’s Brise Marine shea butter soap, available here.

Giuseppe Zanotti Suede Pumps

Dreamy suede pumps by Giuseppe Zanotti, on sale here.

J Crew Grand Stone Bracelet

And finally, the beautiful (and budget friendly!) Grand Stone bracelet from J Crew.

All images via me unless otherwise noted.

fall cravings

fall craving - leather leggings

Cream cable knit sweater
tedbaker-london.com

Isabel Marant smock top
net-a-porter.com

Valentino studded sandals
net-a-porter.com

Isabel Marant earrings
monnierfreres.co.uk

Silk shawl
lindex.com

The Top Ten (May Edition)

Ten things I am loving this May…

1. The gorgeous color and heady scent of lilacs in bloom.

2) Nars Super Orgasm Illuminator.  I have never been a big make-up girl, but when I tried this and saw the nice (ahem) glow it gave me, I was sold.


3) My Garmin Forerunner 310XT.  Attractive it is not, but essential to my current life as it keeps track of rides, runs, and swims.

4) J Brand Luxe Twill Skinny Jeans in soft lilac.  AMAZING.  They look great with navy, grey, white, aqua, blue chambray, heels, sandals….pretty much anything you pair with them.

5) Paris in Color is a magical, fresh, cliche-free voyage through the most beautiful city in the world.  Fair warning: perusing this book will induce pangs of desire to travel immediately.

6) Farrow & Ball paints.  We are planning a major color change for our home’s exterior, and we love these high quality, naturally derived English emulsions.  Right now I am thinking a light stone/cream on the wood siding to match the stonework, and a deep, rich, dark green on the trim, windows, frames and sills.  But check back because I have already changed my mind at least half a dozen times!

7) Siggi’s Icelandic style yogurt (skyr).  It has a blissfully low sugar content and is super thick and creamy.  I do not love it plain, but doctored up with granola, almonds, chopped dried fruit or fresh berries and a good dose of honey or agave, it is luscious.

8) My snakeskin iPhone case from J.Crew.  (I found it in a fabulous French blue not available online anymore, but it is still in stores.)

9) Stripes in any form.  It’s an obsession.  My favorite is the one below from chance co.  It really is embarrassing how much I have worn it.

I also fell for this one because she looks amazing, no?  So somebody please tell me why, when I wear it, it reads Seussian rather than sexy?!

10) My new summer fragrance, Hermes un jardin sure le toit. It is light, summery and undeniably sexy.  Kind of like the girl in the striped shirt.

What to Wear

What to Wear

Designers have created a riotous sartorial garden this spring by splashing floral prints across every imaginable article of clothing and accessory.  The trick to working this trend successfully into your wardrobe (i.e. without appearing too prim or too matronly) is balancing the overt femininity of the print with structured, substantive pieces.  Resisting the urge to coordinate the other components of your outfit with the sweet colors in the print is also key.  Opt instead to pair it with sophisticated neutrals or a stand-out stripe.  And if wearing a floral blouse, denim, or dress is too much print for you, consider incorporating just a touch with a piece of jewelry or a scarf.  Below are some outstanding options for those who want to dip their toes in the garden and those who choose to take the plunge:

I

Items from image one:

Saturday Styling

Saturday Styling


Most women fondly remember the shopping trips we took with our mothers to pick out Easter dresses each spring.  It is still great fun!  Using the Hermes scarf as inspiration for the color palette, I pulled the crocus purple and daffodil yellow as a nod to the beautiful bulbs blooming everywhere this season.  The scarf would be gorgeous as an obi-style sash cinching the waist of the yellow dress or tied around a sleek ponytail in either outfit.  Or my favorite way, knotted nonchalantly around a handle of the bag.