Friday, July 29, 2011

barely boho.

Sanctuary top (similar), Citizens of Humanity jeans (similar), Vince Camuto heels, Tory Burch clutch, Gap belt, Banana Republic bracelet, American Eagle earrings, Essie nail polish in Clambake

There are a lot of words that I'd use to describe my style: classic, girly, sophisticated, preppy. "Boho" is not, and never has been, among this collection. However, I occasionally feel a need to loosen things up a bit when the weather turns warm. This little Sanctuary top is perfect for helping me slip out of my comfort zone thanks to its gorgeous sequin detail and pretty tied shoulders. When paired with my favorite hippie-esque wide-legs and a pretty gold bangle, I can sufficiently say that my bohemian tendencies have been satisfied.

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend!
xo Josie

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

gift guide -- hostess gifts.
COVETING: Milly Ikat Butterfly Sleeve Dress; retail $387
I'm more than kind of in love with everything about this dress. To begin, the light fabric is incredibly flirty. The shape is easy but still very flattering, and the colors are sweet enough for summer but rich enough to transition seamlessly to fall. This would be fantastic with a colorful pair of flat sandals and big bag for day, but could be easily amped up with the addition of sky-high nude heels and a metallic clutch.

One of my favorite things about summer is the fantastic number of warm-weather events to attend. From housewarmings to dinner parties to barbeques, there seems to be something going on at least a few times each week. I always like to bring a little something for the host or hostess -- and while fresh flowers are a favorite of mine, I like to try to get a little more creative when the occasion warrants it. From a pretty candle to a jewelry tree to a vase for all those flowers that other people are bringing, there are plenty of options which are both playful and sophisticated at all price points.

gift guide -- hostess gifts.

What are YOUR favorite hostess gifts to bring to events?
xo Josie
Thanks to RevolveClothing for the photo.

Monday, July 25, 2011

good enough to eat -- lemon bars.

There's something about lemons that simply screams "summer" to me. I don't know whether its their sunny color, bright citrus flavor, or simply the fact that they evoke memories of sipping lemonade on hot days, but they're easily one of my favorite warm-weather treats. I figured I'd better work on perfecting my lemon bars before the (rapidly-approaching) end of summer and this weekend seemed to be the perfect opportunity. By use of this recipe, I wound up with a pan of refreshingly tart treats that lasted only a day in my house and were perfect to top off a hot summer weekend.

What have YOU been cooking up lately?
xo Josie

Friday, July 22, 2011

too hot to handle.

Anthropologie top, Forever21 skirt and ring (similar), Dolce Vita sandals (similar), Aldo bag (similar), American Eagle earrings, OPI nail polish in Chapel of Love

It's really hot outside. There's not a more eloquent way to say it. After a heat-advisory-warning that's lasted all week, the last thing I was about to do was wear something that was even the slightest bit fussy. This easy tribal-print skirt was just the ticket thanks to its light cotton fabric and floaty shape. When paired with the little Anthro tee that has quickly become a summer staple for me (I'm slightly addicted to the tie-back keyhole), a bright bag, and turquoise jewelry, the simple piece was the only thing helping me keep my cool on an incredibly hot summer evening.

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend -- stay cool!
xo Josie

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

tips and tricks -- summertime sparkle.
ATTAINABLE: MM Couture Blueberry Bow Dress; retail $98
When it comes to summer, I like clothes to stay simple -- no matter how dressed-up I'm getting. This pretty little cocktail dress is easy and breezy -- my two summer musts -- but the little details make it feel so unique. I love the cutout on the shoulder and the darling little tie, and the chiffon skirt is embellished so beautifully with little teardrops that taper slowly as they fall down. Absolutely stunning, especially when paired with a strappy pair of silver sandals and a pair of chandelier earrings.

It's hardly a secret that I'm a big, big fan of anything involving sparkle (see here, here, and here, for example) -- at least, when it's done tastefully. And I'm quite the lover of this detail year-round. However, it can be tough in the summer to break free of the "sparkles-are-for-the-holiday-season" rut. There are plenty of fun ways to add a little glitz and glamour to warm-weather looks -- it's all about having a light hand and keeping the rest of the textures in your look simple.
J. Crew Raindrop Bubble Skirt; sale (now) $79.99
It doesn't get much more sweet or subtle than iridescent sequins on a neutral, crinkled bubble skirt. I'm obsessed with the hint of sparkle and playful shape of this skirt. It would be so chic paired with just a white tank and ridiculously high nude heels, but adding accessories in a bright accent shade would also be truly fantastic.
Aryn K Open Front Cardigan; retail $85
Raise your hand if you carry a sweater EVERYWHERE in the summer, regardless of how ridiculously hot it may be outside... Yep, that's what I thought. For some reason, restaurants and movie theaters tend to crank up the air conditioning to Arctic levels. Not that I'm always complaining. And with a cardigan with subtly hidden sparkles like this Aryn K number, I think I'd be happy to wear the simplest of sundresses underneath. I love how the sequins are layered so that they accent rather than overtake this charming cardigan.
Madden Girl Monikah Sandal in Gold (also in Black and Silver); retail $19.95
I'm also a big fan of sparkle in small doses -- namely, by use of accessories. And, really, how can you go wrong with shimmering shoes? These little Madden Girl sandals are flat and fun. In three pretty, glittering shades, they'll add a punch of fun to any look, from a simple skirt and tee to jeans.

Parker Cami Dress
Parker Cami Dress in Khaki Dotted Sequins; sale (now) $126.50
If you're going to do an allover sequin piece in the summer, I always say that a light neutral shade is the way to go. It allows for endless accessorizing options (just keep it simple with the jewelry!) and feels fresh without seeming heavy. Better, this pretty Parker dress is a light silk chiffon, meaning that you'll definitely be able to keep your cool when temperatures turn steamy.

How are YOU wearing sparkle this summer?
xo Josie
Thanks to Chloe Loves Charlie, J. Crew, Tilly Boutique, DSW, and Shopbop for the photos.

Monday, July 18, 2011

seasonal love -- transitional scarves.

Elizabeth and James Curled Wishbone RingCOVETING: Elizabeth and James Curled Wishbone Ring; retail $95
As far as I'm concerned, one can never go wrong in using wishbones as a jewelry motif. I just love the sentiment of being able to make a wish at any time simply by glancing down at your finger or wrist throughout the day. Elizabeth and James has put out a beautiful line of wishbone jewelry, and this ring is easily my favorite piece. I love its sweet simplicity and miniscule size but know that it would definitely add a special touch to any look.

It's hardly a secret that I'm a big fan of pieces which can transition easily from one season to another. Pretty, soft scarves are just such items. I'm a recent scarf convert and am quite legitimately obsessed with them now. They're such a fabulous way to add a shot of color or print to any look, and when you find a style that can move between seasons seamlessly, snap one up.
J. Crew Leopard Print Scarf; retail $59.50
Accessories are my savior when it comes to wearing animal prints -- any more than a small dose of such a bold pattern makes me feel overwhelmed. I fell in love with this scarf after seeing it over at Annie's blog. I love that the print is light enough to work for spring and summer when paired with a simple V-neck and denim cutoffs but will be equally pretty come fall with skinnies and boots.

What are some of YOUR favorite transitional pieces?
xo Josie
Thanks to Shopbop and J. Crew for the photos.

Friday, July 15, 2011

it's electric.

Banana Republic dress and belt, Vince Camuto booties, Curly in the City clutch, vintage earrings, bracelet, watch (similar), and ring, Juicy Couture bracelet (similar), Essie nail polish in Funny Face

There's just something about midsummer that makes me want to break out dresses in ridiculously bright shades. This pretty little cobalt blue Banana Republic number is one of my current favorites. It's a bold color that can transition easily from a professional setting to a casual one and the simple shape is set off perfectly by neutral accessories. When paired with my new favorite summer booties (a massive thank-you to Kathryn for introducing me to them!) and an excess of gold jewelry, this look was perfect for a friend's birthday celebration.

Wishing you all a fantastic weekend!
xo Josie

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

obsessed -- lucy in disguise.
COVETING: Aldo Scherff in Bone Misc. (also in Gray Misc.); retail $110
My love for nude heels has no bounds. They're ridiculously flattering thanks to their ability to make legs look as if they continue for an extra four inches -- and who doesn't love that? These Aldo ones have the same superpower, but the mixed tones add an extra oomph that would certainly spice up any cocktail dress or pair of wide-leg jeans.

There's a fine line between fashion lines that are quirky and those that are just, well, weird. Lucy in Disguise is the former -- and in the best way. Blending vintage style with modern elements, each piece is named after an era or idea of the past. Rather than seeming kitschy, though, quality fabrics and beautiful designs ensure that the looks are pretty and sophisticated... Without sacrificing an irresistibly fun quality.

Lucy in Disguise Jitterbug Dress with Tiered SkirtLucy in Disguise Jitterbug Dress; retail $350
This little black dress is ridiculously ladylike. I love the swingy, tiered skirt, and the bow at the waist is too cute for words. The vibe is perfectly in fitting with the modest neckline and of course the charming dance for which the dress is named. How fun would it be to add a bright pair of pumps to this frock for a perfect cocktail party look?

Lucy in Disguise Promenade Belted DressLink
Lucy in Disguise Promenade Belted Dress; retail $230
There's nothing more charming than a little fifties-style frock... Except, perhaps, for a little floral fifties-style frock. I'm obsessed with the big box pleats on this one and the pretty, demure neckline. My favorite feature is the perfectly-coordinated belt, a detail which you have to look carefully to note but makes a major impact on the dress' look as a whole.

Lucy in Disguise Speakeasy Dress
Lucy in Disguise Speakeasy Dress; retail $630
Something about this super short, flirty dress makes em think about mermaids... Maybe it's the color; perhaps it's the sequins. Regardless, I'm utterly enamored by it. It's the perfect little number to pair with a pair of nude heels and a simple bag and jewelry for a fun summer wedding look.

Lucy in Disguise Honky Tonk Dress
Lucy in Disguise Honky Tonk Dress; retail $230
Cute, cute, cute. I love this bold, punchy color; it's absolutely perfect for summer. Even better is the pretty deep V neckline and the fantastic pleated skirt. This would be so fun paired with a pretty pair of flat sandals for a brunch date in the sun.

xo Josie
Thanks to Aldo and Shopbop for the photos.

Monday, July 11, 2011

get the look -- denim dresses.
ATTAINABLE: Banana Republic Azalea Petal Bracelet; retail $45
My love for Banana Republic jewelry truly has no bounds. I love that the simple, chic styles and the classic color combinations allow costume jewelry to feel timeless and expensive. This pretty turquoise-and-gold piece is exactly what I'm looking for this summer: it's bright, chunky without feeling indelicate, and has lots of visual interest thanks to the mix of turquoise and stones but doesn't appear overly complicated. Perfect to pair with white dresses, denim shorts, and everything in between.

Oh, the denim dress. 12-year-old Josie was a big fan of this trendy item, and it seems that 20-year-old Josie is headed down a similar path. I love that trends cycle through the years, and I love it even more that I can reminisce about the last time that I participated when I slip into the 2011 version of a past favorite item. Unlike the Limited Too rhinestone-encrusted and fringe-laden denim dress that I wore in my preteen years, however, I'm currently drawn to ultra-soft chambray frocks with simple, clean lines and beautiful details.
EXTRAVAGANCE: 7 for All Mankind Shirt Dress; sale (now) $89.00
I've said it many times, but I have no problem with that -- 7 for Mankind does denim so well. This little denim shirtdress is no exception to the rule. The length is perfect, and I love the shirttail hem, which elongates the legs beautifully. The classic shape is beautiful, and all this dress needs is a killer pair of nude wedges, a popped collar, and rolled sleeves to transition easily throughout the day.
DEAL: Lulu's Louisiana Afterglow One Shoulder Chambray Blue Dress; retail $34.50
Lulu's is my go-to source for all charming dresses. This one, with its fun ruffled neckline and slightly tapered skirt, epitomizes why I love the site. It's young without sacrificing sophistication and would work well for anything from errands to a barbeque to a dinner date. It's absolutely screaming for a pair of flat metallic sandals, a wide belt, and an armload of wooden bangles, no?

Dallin Chase Weekend Denim Matteo Dress
EXTRAVAGANCE: Dallin Chase Weekend Denim Matteo Dress; retail $177
What draws me to this dress in particular is its stunning detail. The bustier-style top is ridiculously chic with its contrasting panels, which add a level of visual interest to the dress that almost crosses into textural. The contrast stitching throughout the frock is another tiny detail which makes the dress feel incredibly unique -- a major plus in any wardrobe, as far as I'm concerned.
DEAL: Modcloth Sweet Jeans Are Made of This Dress; retail $47.99
This sweet little A-line dress is simply too pretty for words. I love the exposed zipper and the floral tie-back, both of which ensure that this frock is as pretty going as it is coming, where a wide V-neckline reveals just enough skin. Added to its swingy shape, there's no reason not to be totally enamored with this dress -- especially if it was paired with a tall pair of wedges and a bright bag.

Will YOU be rocking the denim dress this summer?
xo Josie
Thanks to Banana Republic, 7 for All Mankind, Lulu's, Shopbop, and Modcloth for the photos.

Friday, July 8, 2011

eye candy -- summertime treats.

California Poppy Burnt Orange Dress  - Click Image to Close
ATTAINABLE: Lulu's California Poppy Burnt Orange Dress; retail $63
If you're lucky enough not to be stuck in sweltering temps right now (or work in a heavily-air-conditioned office), I'm highly jealous. Not only because you're not sweating it out with me, but because you have an excuse to purchase this darling little dress. The punchy color is perfect for summer, but 3/4-length sleeves will keep you from shivering in an overly chilled room. Bonus points to this frock for its swingy shape and retro feel -- I think I'm in love.

I always feel a slight sense of melancholy after the 4th of July. Though summer is still in full swing, it's nearly half over. As excited as I am for thick knits and booties come fall, I'm hardly ready for them now. Luckily, I have plenty of summer left, and I'm determined to make the most of it. Here are several of my current favorite summertime treats that are making me very happy right now -- honorable mentions go to my tangle of Old Navy swimsuits, bright scarves, and the copious amount of fresh fruit in the refrigerator.

{new shoes -- Vince Camuto, Seychelles, Vince Camuto, BCBG}

{favorite summer nail shades -- Clambake, Big Spender, Tart Deco, Chubby Cheeks, Chapel of Love}

{new cookbook + cookie scoop}

{a light, sweet scent and pretty, no-fuss jewelry}

What's making YOU happy this summer?
xo Josie
Thanks to Lulu's for the photo.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

good enough to eat -- cinnamon french toast.

Brunch may be my greatest vice. There's something about digging into a tall stack of pancakes or cutting into an egg white omelet filled with colorful vegetables that feels so incredibly indulgent (especially if bacon is involved in some way). My current weakness when it comes to this morning meal is cinnamon French toast. I don't know whether it's the slight hint of spice or the lure of fresh fruit as a summer topping, but I was craving it like none other this weekend. Thanks to this recipe, I was able to whip up a batch without too much trouble and, when topped with berries and powdered sugar, it made a perfectly patriotic breakfast.

What have YOU been cooking up lately?
xo Josie

Friday, July 1, 2011

a pop of sunshine.

Sam and Max dress (similar), J. Crew sweater (similar), Steve Madden sandals (similar), Curly in the City clutch, American Eagle belt (similar), vintage earrings and ring, Free People bracelet, Essie nail polish in Clambake

Apparently Minnesota has decided to overcompensate for the weeks of nasty weather by giving us heat and sunshine -- excessive heat and sunshine, in fact. Regardless, I've decided not to complain. Instead, I'm taking full advantage of the 90-degree-plus days by wearing crisp belted sundresses and simple sandals, eating ice cream and dipping my toes into lakes and pools. This easy little frock, with its fun color, cool fabric, and pretty details, has become my go-to, especially when paired with bright jewelry and my current favorite clutch.

Wishing you all a very happy and safe Fourth of July weekend -- see you on Wednesday!
xo Josie