Friday, March 30, 2012

grays for days.

Banana Republic top, Citizens of Humanity jeans (similar), Gap belt, Aldo heels (similar), Express clutch, vintage earrings and ring, New York and Company bracelet, Essie nails in Wicked

I tend to dress to match the weather... A bit of a problem when the skies and temperatures are constantly changing. Instead of pulling out my brightest sundresses, I'm in a frequent state of flux. Tops like this pretty, draped gray tank have been my saviors lately. Sophisticated but still fun with lots of visual interest, this one is perfectly-draped and made a fabulous accompaniment to my favorite trouser jeans.

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend!
xo Josie

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

beauty trend to try -- bold lips.

COVETING: Elizabeth and James Embellished Edith Skirt; $395
Spring skirts always toe a tricky line for me: they should be light and pretty without appearing unsophisticated, and embellishment is always a bonus but often looks too heavy. This charming Elizabeth and James piece lands cleanly on the right side of that division. The light color is perfect for sunny days, and the flouncy, floaty shape is so playful and fun. And the embellishment is bold but still delicate. Fabulous.

I tend to get stuck in ruts when it comes to my makeup. I keep it pretty simple most days, and when it's time to glam things up for night, I can almost always be found adding some dark liner and working a pewter smoky eye. However, the bright colors of spring have clearly been influencing me this year, because I find myself more and more often drawn to bright, punchy lip shades. They're so playful and fun, and some aren't too intimidating even for me. With this kind of inspiration, I can see myself finally laying down my eye pencil and reaching for a lipstick tube in one of these pretty colors.




What spring beauty trends are YOU dying to try?
xo Josie
Thanks to TrishyRose on Tumblr, Cupcakes and Cashmere, and WeHeartIt for the photos.

Monday, March 26, 2012

obsessed -- nanette lepore.

ATTAINABLE: Gap Ikat Canvas Shorts; $49.95
Come warm weather, there's little that can substitute for a great pair of shorts. These Gap ones are absolutely charming. I love the shades of blue and pretty ikat print. Furthermore, the length is perfection -- not teeny-bopper-short but hit at a fantastically flattering point. Brilliant when paired with oxfords or flat sandals and a simple tee or button-down.

Some designers' pieces are instantly recognizable -- Nanette Lepore is most certainly one of them. Her signature pieces are bright, cheery, and always ladylike. Every one of these factors makes them perfect for a lighthearted touch to any spring wardrobe. With pieces ranging from jackets to dresses in candy-colored hues, every look is sophisticated and polished without ever losing a sense of whimsy.

Nanette Lepore Vacationer Dress
Nanette Lepore Vacationer Dress; $248
One of my favorite things about Nanette Lepore dresses is the hidden details -- from a distance, this is simply a pretty, structured dress in a killer shade of green. However, moving in reveals the impeccable seaming at the bust and waist and perfectly-gathered pleats. This is literally the perfect every-occasion frock.

Nanette Lepore Rebel ShortsNanette Lepore Rebel Shorts; $228
I'm absolutely obsessed with the whimsical nature of these shorts. They're such a fun print and are in the greatest colors. The best part, of course, is the beautifully-tailored, perfectly-proportioned shape. These would be fantastic with a simple, floaty top and a pair of sky-high heels for an evening out.

Nanette Lepore Prep School Jacket
Nanette Lepore Prep School Jacket; $398
In the softest shade of lilac imaginable, this jacket takes on pastels perfectly. I adore the three-button closure and charming shape -- the ruched sleeves and detailed back are nothing short of fabulous. This jacket would be perfect with a pencil skirt for the office but would transition beautifully into evening as well.

Nanette Lepore Around the World Lace Dress
Nanette Lepore Around the World Lace Dress; $348
Speaking of ladylike -- it doesn't get more more sophisticated or chic than this stunning lace frock. The shape, though simple, is truly classic and incredibly versatile, and the waist detail is nothing short of brilliant. My favorite part, of course, is the lovely lace overlay, which takes this frock to an entirely new level of luxe.

What are YOU obsessed with right now?
xo Josie
Thanks to Gap and Shopbop for the photos.

Friday, March 23, 2012

good enough to eat -- homemade pop-tarts.

I have an embarrassing addiction to processed food, especially cringe-inducing considering my love of baking. Sometimes there's just nothing quite like biting into an Oreo. But Pop-Tarts aren't quite as delectable as I remember, so I figured that my first foray into pastry should be by way of this recipe for a homemade version. With no food processor (I learned soon after making these that there is in fact a rarely-used one hiding in a cabinet) and no pastry cutter (ditto), these involved removing my jewelry and getting my hands dirty -- literally. But one bite of fresh, warm, flaky, jam-filled pastry that brought me back to a much better version of childhood snacks made it totally worth it -- especially since I couldn't resist topping a few with a simple glaze and a few bright sprinkles.

Wishing you all a very happy weekend -- what have YOU been cooking up lately?
xo Josie

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

get the look -- printed denim.

Shoshanna Frannie Striped Strapless DressCOVETING: Shoshanna Frannie Striped Strapless Dress; $340
When it comes to pretty spring dresses, I always know that I can count on Shoshanna. This frock is nothing short of fabulous. The bodice is perfectly tailored, and I love that the skirt is slightly gathered. The pattern on the top is absolutely brilliant -- I love how it contrasts slightly with the print on the skirt without deviating too much. Perfect to pair with nude sandals for a look that's fantastically long and lean.

I love the idea of printed denim, I really do. I think that it's fun and whimsical and perfect for spring. But when it comes to actually pulling it off, I just don't know if I can do it. Luckily, the trend is hot -- and there are plenty of bold choices, but lots of subtler options for those of us who are a little bit nervous about embracing the look fully.

EXTRAVAGANCE: AG Polka Dot Ankle Stevie in Gray Pin Dot; $178
For the print shy, these skinnies are utter perfection. The tiny polka dots are as subtle as it gets, and the gray tones the print down perfectly. Similar to a Glen plaid, from a distance, this print is barely discernible. Perfect to pair with a bright cardigan or crisp button-down for a fun, easy day look.

DEAL: Forever21 Ditsy Floral Skinnies with Belt in Rust (also in Camel); $27.80
These adorable skinnies combine two of my favorite spring trends: colored denim and a fun print. The little flowers are charming, and the color is true perfection. They'd be so chic with a pair of neutral flats or desert boots, and at this price, there's simply no reason to turn them down.

J Brand Houndstooth Skinny JeansEXTRAVAGANCE: J Brand Houndstooth Skinny Jeans; $229
It doesn't get any springier than white denim -- and the tan houndstooth print on this pair of skinnies takes them to another level entirely. I love how incredibly chic these are; they'd pair as easily with a pair of pumps as with a charming pair of flat metallic sandals.

Low Rider Slouch Shorts by Insight
DEAL: Insight Low Rider Slouch Shorts; $74
Another fun way to take on this trend is in shorts. They're fun and whimsical and with less space printed, feel less overwhelming than a full pair of pants. This Insight pair is charming, with soft colors and an easy shape. They'd be the perfect accompaniment to a silky tank in a bold color or simple cotton blouse.

Are YOU wearing printed denim this spring?
xo Josie
Thanks to Shopbop, Anthropologie, Forever21, and Threadsence for the photos.

Monday, March 19, 2012

inspiration -- spring florals.
ATTAINABLE: ASOS Motel Jet Playsuit; $85.94
Despite my initial hesitation to embrace the trend, rompers don't seem to be going anywhere -- and I can say that I'm quite happy about it. I think they're absolutely darling. For the romper-shy, however, this is the perfect solution: it's about as sophisticated as playsuits get. The pleated cut of the shorts is grown-up rather than childish, and the deep neckline has a fabulous shape. The light pastel shade is perfect for spring, and I think it would be fab with heels for evening or flat sandals for day. Pure brilliance.

While florals for spring are hardly anything new (I'll be honest; I think I've done posts on it the past two years), I find myself drawn to them every time the weather turns warm. With cherry blossoms blooming around me this year, I simply can't resist. There's something undeniably springy and so happy about flowers that evokes the images of sunshine and color. And I always feel as if florals bring a breath of fresh air into my wardrobe just when it's time for an extra dose of life in my closet. From soft pastels to bold, splashy prints, I'm truly enamored by these pieces right now.

inspiration -- spring florals.

What's inspiring YOU today?
xo Josie
Thanks to ASOS, Cupcakes and Cashmere, and EDailyUpdate for the photos.

Friday, March 16, 2012

spring for the type-a.
ATTAINABLE: Gracia Floral Splash Bustier; $59
Given my love of all things floral come spring and my particular penchant for peplums this season, it's only natural that I'd be drawn to this positively charming top. I love the bright print, and the flouncy peplum is just too fun. I think this would be absolute perfection for evening with a pair of dark skinny jeans and heels, but could be totally daytime-appropriate paired with a pencil skirt and cardigan. Absolutely brilliant.

I've never been one of those people who thinks that time flies by -- but the past few months have truly slipped past without my noticing. I find it nearly impossible to believe that it's mid-March already. Though spring has just begun, I'm truly terrified that it's going to disappear before I have a chance to notice it. So I've created a list of things that simply must happen before the season disappears.

1. Stock up on fresh produce at least once a week at Eastern Market.
2. Finally go to Good Stuff and eat outside.
3. Hit the Georgetown boutiques on a sunny day.
4. Spring for a patio brunch and stretch out in the sunshine.
5. Get at least one bouquet of fresh flowers to brighten up my apartment.
6. Bake these springy treats.
7. Master a loose fishtail braid and wear it with all of my breezy spring sundresses.
8. Hunt down the perfect denim cutoffs.
9. Wander the Mall admiring the cherry blossoms.
10. Walk. Everywhere.

What's on YOUR spring to-do list?
xo Josie
Thanks to Chloe Loves Charlie and Cupcakes and Cashmere for the photos.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

get the look -- lace shorts.

COVETING: LeifNotes Scattered Stellata Dress; $128
When it comes to crafting the perfect daytime dress, I'm convinced that Anthropologie can do no wrong. I always feel a sense of playfulness and lightness immediately after entering the store, and that goes double in the springtime. This sweet little dress has such a fun pattern and unique shape. It's pretty enough to wear for a bridal or baby shower but not too precious for running errands on a weekend -- my favorite kind of piece.

As I've spent the week at home on vacation, I've been outrageously lucky weather-wise. Record-breaking heat in Minnesota combined with a lot of sun has made for some truly gorgeous days -- the kind that make me dream of days spent by the lake, sunglasses, and fedoras. And, of course, shorts. Lots of shorts. This season's prettiest ones are made of lace for the ultimate ladylike touch and look amazing with crisp cotton shirts and simple tees but can be dressed up easily with just a few tweaks.$detail-item$
EXTRAVAGANCE: Free People Scalloped Lace Skort in Flamingo (also in Midnight); $78
Don't let the "skort" label throw you -- rather than the shorts-under-skirt terror that plagued even the best of us in fourth grade, these charming Free People shorts are named instead for their floaty cut. I love how easily they could be dressed up with a pair of nude pumps or down with flat metallic sandals. And, while I realize that the black would likely be a more practical choice, I can't tear myself away from this candy-pink shade.

DEAL: Forever21 Tiered Lace Shorts in Lime (also in Aqua); $19.80
Though the color of these tiered shorts is certainly bold, I find myself drawn to it inexplicably. There's something about the shade that's so fun and perfectly in fitting with the flirty tiers of lace. Simplicity is key in making these shorts work, though, so be sure to opt for classics when it comes to the rest of your look.


Monday, March 12, 2012

good enough to eat -- chocolateless desserts.
COVETING: J. Crew Raindrop Lace Top in Apricot Mist (also in Navy and Neon Azalea); $110
When it comes to springtime femininity, lace is always a definite winner. This pretty J. Crew top is absolute perfection. I love the pattern and the gorgeous scalloped hem. I love this neutral shade, but the bright pink is a dangerously close second. And while I'm obsessed with how cute it is paired with shorts, I know it would be darling with a pair of jeans or tucked into a pencil skirt -- pretty and fabulous for work.

One thing that I can say I've truly loved about my time thus far in DC is having a kitchen. Albeit, it's more of a hotel-style kitchenette (think one wall, zero counterspace). Furthermore, I'm lucky enough to have a gorgeous and talented baking buddy who lives downstairs. We've both given up chocolate for Lent, but I don't function well without sugar -- so we've gotten particularly creative lately with peanut butter, white chocolate, and, just in time for spring, lots of fresh fruit. For those who've been on a chocolate overdose lately, peek below for some treats that I can't wait to try.


{Cappuccino Cookies with Espresso and White Chocolate from Joy the Baker}

homemade funfetti cupcakes -- and one of the best buttercreams i've ever made.

{Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes from How Sweet It Is}

{Key Lime Tart from Martha Stewart}

What have YOU been cooking up lately?
xo Josie
Thanks t0 J. Crew, Cupcakes and Cashmere, Joy the Baker, How Sweet It Is, and Martha Stewart for the photos.

Friday, March 9, 2012

in theory.

Theory dress (similar), Aldo shoes and bag (similar), vintage ring and earrings, Merona watch (similar), Essie nails in Wicked

As I've spent the last few months venturing into the DC professional world, I've learned a lot about dressing the part. While careerwear doesn't by any stretch of the imagination need to be black, I have found that it's always classy and chic. This Theory dress is one of my absolute go-tos for work: it's sleek, flattering, and definitely professional. I love the seaming on the bodice, contrasting printed skirt, and -- a true surprise -- even the mock-turtleneck. When paired with my favorite nude pumps and pretty silver accessories, this is my true version of the power suit.

Wishing you all the happiest of weekends!
xo Josie

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

obsessed -- rag & bone.

ATTAINABLE: Old Navy Women's Sailboat-Print 3/4-Sleeve Top in Neutral Combo (also in Navy Blue Print); $29.94
I love all things preppy and nautical, and this Old Navy print top is too sweet to resist. I love that the straight lines of sailboats are a fresh take on nautical stripes, and both the neutral shade and the navy and pink print are perfectly fun and versatile for spring. I'd love this with a pair of jeans and bright flats but am convinced that it would be incredibly charming tucked into a pencil skirt with a pair of pumps.

When it comes to beautifully-tailored casualwear, it's impossible to beat Rag & Bone. Every piece is true perfection, from the denim to beautiful shoes to well-crafted bags. And the spring collection is absolutely killer -- every piece looks easy, light, and perfect for a sunny getaway. Which is exactly what I need right now to inspire me.

Rag & Bone Bristol Fedora
Rag & Bone Bristol Fedora; $175
Everything about this hat is screaming to be taken on a vacation. The white shade is perfect for a tropical climate, and the contrasting aqua hatband is nothing short of perfection. I think I need one of these to wear every single day as soon as the sun starts shining consistently -- I love the instantly laid-back vibe.

Rag & Bone Tweed Tennis Shorts
Rag and Bone Tweed Tennis Shorts; $290
My love for these shorts truly has no bounds. The color. The shape. The perfect little pocket. The fact that they're completely wearable for day or night, when the appropriate accessories are added. And if you have the nerve to rock them with the matching jacket, well, I say you're about as chic as it gets.

Rag & Bone Simple Tote
Rag & Bone Simple Tote; $290
While this pretty bag may seem extravagant, I'm convinced that it's worth the splurge. The colorblocking is modern and the tangerine shade makes it feel fresh, but the shape is undeniably classic. Combined with the beautiful execution for which Rag & Bone is known, I'm convinced that this pretty tote would serve me well for years to come.

Rag & Bone Harlow DressRag & Bone Harlow Dress; $415
When the chilly March weather starts to feel endless, sometimes all I need is a bright, cheery shade to snap me out of a funk. This long-sleeved minidress fits the bill perfectly. I love the retro vibe and fun pockets, and the exposed zipper in the back is positively to die for. Perfect with a pair of neutral heels for dinner on a gorgeous spring evening.

What are YOU obsessed with right now?
xo Josie
Thanks to Old Navy and Shopbop for the photos.