Monday, April 30, 2012

eye candy -- bidding farewell to the district.

{quintissential DC photograph -- the Capitol and cherry blossoms}

My semester in Washington, DC has easily been the best of my life.  I love everything about the city -- the pace, the vibe, the fact that people walk as fast as I do but someone will stop their cab in the pouring rain to hop out and let me take it when my umbrella turns inside-out.  Among many, many other things, here are just a few of my favorites that I'll miss about the District:

- my internship at the best magazine in DC
- accidentally stumbling on history every time I turn a corner
- complaining about tourists because "I'm a local"
- near-weekly visits to Eastern Market for fresh produce, flowers, and so much more
- the incredibly easy-to-understand Metro system
- visiting the National Mall again and again
- visits to the CapMac truck that literally made my day
- long strolls up and down Connecticut Avenue
- sunny days wandering between Madewell and favorite Georgetown boutiques
- lemon cupcakes with raspberry filling (my favorite indulgence) from Baked and Wired
- "Top Chef"-owned restaurants popping up all over the place
-  the outrageously overpriced market down the block that received dozens of "emergency" visits from me (usually for peanut butter and chocolate chips)
- obsessive, excessive brunching
{the Lincoln Memorial at night}

{makeup setup from the photo shoot I assisted with}

{flowers blooming all over the Capitol Hill rowhouses}

{DC-esque street signs everywhere}

{vintage bright pink bicycle outside my favorite Georgetown bakery}

Sad as I am to be leaving the city that's given me so much, I can't WAIT for what's next!
xo Josie

Friday, April 27, 2012

good enough to eat -- blueberry boy bait.

I am an unapologetic sucker for a good marketing technique.  I buy beauty products based on the packaging.  I purchase kitchen appliances because they're cute.  A great ad campaign makes me want to visit the store.  And yes, I occasionally bake based on recipe name alone -- and thank goodness for that.  Enter: Blueberry Boy Bait, the absolutely heavenly, buttery, cinnamon-sheathed, blueberry-infested cake that completely stole my heart -- and that of my all-time favorite boy, my dad (to whom I'd like to wish a very happy birthday today!).  Though blueberries aren't quite in season yet, I can't think of a better way to welcome spring than by whipping up another one of these cakes.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend full of fresh produce and delicious treats!
xo Josie

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

beauty trend to try -- spring braids.; $178
 Living in a city with weather that's outrageously unpredictable has taught me a lot about dressing appropriately.  And the biggest lesson I've learned?  After a particularly embarrassing experience with a day that turned suddenly from 80 and sunny into a thunderstorming mess, I discovered that light layers are key -- lightweight, waterproof coats are the best.  I'm obsessed with this bright J. Crew trench.  The color is killer, the classic shape is flattering, and I love that it has a hood.  Perfect for getting me through the worst of rainstorms.

As the humidity index rises slowly, I've started noticing some less-than-attractive changes in my hair -- it doesn't hold straightening as well, and the frizz is slowly seeping in.  In my recent attempt to shake up my hairstyles, my favorite solution right now is pretty braids.  From loose fishtails to Lauren Conrad-style bang-braids, these keep my locks under control and look totally effortless -- perfect for warm, breezy days.

Monday, April 23, 2012

obsessed -- current/elliot.; $395
There's little not to love about this charming Rachel Zoe frock.  The wide neckline.  The full pleated skirt.  The creamy white hue and super subtle chevron pattern.  The cap sleeves.  The fitted waistband.  And of course the beautiful, brilliant open back.  It all comes together so nicely in this gorgeous dress that's crisp, chic, and perfect for spring.

When it comes to denim, let's face it: Current/Elliot knows their stuff.  I love that the denim pieces churned out span such a huge range of types: skirts, boyfriend jeans, skinnies, dresses, shorts... The perfection just keeps coming.  The brand brings old and new together effortlessly, with classic techniques and perfect fit juxtaposed with fresh, pretty silhouettes -- and I want one of everything.; $188
When I picture a denim skirt, it's always the distressed American Eagle minis worn by my entire eighth grade English class -- never anything this charming or chic.  I love the swingy shape and smocked waist, and the buttons down the front are absolutely genius.  I'd love this with a great pair of flat sandals and oversized tote bag -- the perfect vacation wear.; $168 
Denim shorts are such a tricky, tricky piece.  Finding the perfect pair, as far as I'm concerned, is like searching for the Holy Grail.  They have to be short but not too short.  Relaxed without looking too sloppy.  Just washed-out enough.  Naturally, these have nailed it: the wash is brilliant, the fraying is perfect, and the pockets sticking out the bottom make them just relaxed enough.; $398
As if Current/Elliot didn't have enough going for it, a recent collaboration with Diane von Furstenberg has pushed my love for the brand over the top.  While the other pieces in the collection (printed shorts, jeans, and skirts) are whimsical and fun, I love that this piece combines the classic DVF wrap dress with Current/Elliot's signature relaxed style.  Talk about a perfect couple.; $308
My delight to realize that Current/Elliot's expertise goes beyond denim was, to be honest, a little embarrassing.  This gorgeous black jacket takes the brand's brilliant tailoring to another level with its lovely shape and unique lapels.  This would be so chic over a white dress for evening or, naturally, with a great pair of jeans.  Isn't it nice how that all ties together?

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

Friday, April 20, 2012

good enough to eat -- homemade marshmallows.

I realize that I'm pushing things a bit regarding s'more season (especially considering that I made and photographed these goodies sometime around Christmas), but the gorgeous DC weather has me dreaming of summertime.  While I'm perfectly aware that marshmallows are sold in bags, I took on the messy project of making them from scratch one day and was convinced that they weren't worth the time or the effort... Until I tasted them, that is.  Using this recipe (and this helpful tutorial -- thank you, Alton Brown), the flavor was so bold and the hand-cut shape too charming to resist.  I can't wait to make them again when bonfire season officially hits -- despite the sticky, sticky kitchen.

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend full of delicious treats!
xo Josie

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

inspiration -- neon.

ATTAINABLE: Banana Republic Heritage Ikat Skirt; $98
I'm a little obsessed with this chic little pencil skirt. The crisp cotton is so pretty, and the pleats are perfection. But best of all is the lovely ikat print. In shades of chocolate and cream, it would be so pretty with brights or neutrals, and is incredibly versatile: it would wear as nicely for lunch with friends as it would as a fantastic work piece for the season.

It's been said that everything old becomes new again -- and when it comes to style, this is certainly true. Rompers. Aviator sunglasses. Platform pumps. Of course, each of these trends cycles in and out with a new spin each time, and I like to hope that they get less tacky as the years wear on. Enter: neon hues. Bold and bright, these colors swept the world of fashion in the 1980s and early 90s... And it's done so again now. Of course, I prefer it with neutrals and rich textures rather than teased hair and legwarmers -- but I leave that entirely up to you.

inspiration -- neon.

What's inspiring YOU today?
xo Josie
Thanks to Banana Republic and A Little Sparkle on the Side for the photos.

Monday, April 16, 2012

pretty things -- cobalt.

Lattice Lace Tank
COVETING: Madewell Lattice Lace Tank; sale (now) $134.50
Every once in awhile, I come across a piece that truly epitomizes a season for me. This tank top does that this spring. It's fitted but not too tight, it's lacy and feminine and white and soft. Everything that a spring top should be. I love the intricate detail and that it would look great with skinny jeans and a great pair of flat sandals but would be so pretty tucked into a black pencil skirt for work. This tank truly takes spring chic to an entirely new level.

While I do maintain that flirty white pieces are perfectly light and crisp for spring, I also find myself drawn to bold colors at this time of year. The sun pops out and my wardrobe wants to shine. I'm a big fan of a single, bold color statement while keeping the rest of a look simple, and cobalt is just the shade to help me do that this season. While I love the color in fabulous twill jeans and clean-cut dresses, I've found all kinds of other pretty, unique pieces that would definitely be at home in my closet.

Aldo Epperley in Blue Misc.; $80
I have an admitted obsession with cobalt pumps. I think that they're such a fun way to add a shot of color to an outfit. For example, these would pair beautifully with skinny jeans or a fantastic white or blush-colored skirt. For the bolder fashionista, hot pink would make a pretty and unexpected accompaniment.

Rebecca Taylor Eyelash Bustier Top; sale (now) $164.50
I'm officially enamored with this pretty little bustier. The shape is so flirty and darling -- perfect for warm evenings. The sweetheart neckline is charming, and the lace detail on the tiers is perfectly feminine. This would be brilliant with denim, but I think it would pair perfectly with a pencil skirt and pumps for a cocktail party.

Milly Batik Print Dickies Shorts; $204
While I am a fan of a solid, bold shade, I've found myself totally enamored with this fun print. In cobalt and white, these crisp shorts are so ladylike and chic. The tab waist and clean cut are sophisticated and I'm convinced that with the perfect pair of nude pumps, a white blouse with cuffed sleeves, and a sparkly statement necklace, these shorts would shine perfectly all on their own.

Banana Republic Leather Market Tote in Cobalt; $120
I love this tote for adding just a touch of bright color to a simple spring look. Living in DC has caused me to want to drag big bags everywhere to avoid the nickel tax on plastic, and I'm convinced that this classic bag would be brilliant for carrying around everything that I need. Roomy and neutral with just a strip of bold color, this is the ideal everyday bag.

Are YOU wearing cobalt this season?
xo Josie
Thanks to Madewell, Aldo, Shopbop, Revolve Clothing, and Banana Republic for the photos.

Friday, April 13, 2012

all in the details.

Ralph Lauren shirt (similar), 7 for All Mankind jeans, Club Monaco jacket, Aldo pumps (also seen here), J. Crew earrings and belt, Forever21 necklace and rings (similar), vintage bracelet and watch (similar)

I love the classics. Audrey Hepburn, red nails, little black dresses. Florals for spring, chocolate chip cookies with milk, John Hughes movies. Pearl studs, white roses, aviator sunglasses. Are we seeing a pattern here? When plagued by fashion brain freeze before work one Friday, I turned to my favorite pieces: a classic boy-style white button-down, well-fitting skinny jeans, a black jacket, and nude heels. A look that could easily be boring -- but thanks to perfect tailoring, corset and pleat detailing on the back of the jacket, and an excess of pretty, delicate gold jewelry, turned out to be just what I needed to snap me out of my rut.

On another note, I hope you all enjoyed my really classy workplace-bathroom shot. I feel so grown-up. Wishing you all the happiest of weekends!
xo Josie

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

obsessed -- ali ro.

ATTAINABLE: Zara Gathered Dress; $89.90
There's simply nothing that I DON'T love about this pretty, flirty spring dress. The pretty pastel shades are to die for, the silhouette is incredibly sweet, and it's fantastically versatile. In the simplest of shapes, it would certainly help me keep my cool all through summer, paired with anything from flat sandals to tall espadrilles.

Ali Ro epitomizes everything that I think fashion should be: fun, fresh, flirty, bright, feminine... With a focus on dresses and jackets, this line is so chic and sweet. There's a look for every occasion and I think that my favorite part is that every piece is just so effortless. There's nothing simpler than tossing on a dress, and when it's one as perfect as these pretty pieces, well, that's just a huge bonus.

Ali Ro Dress -- Scalloped Lace; $278
Lace is one of my all-time favorite fabrics for the warm seasons. It's so light and breathable and feels incredibly delicate. This pretty lace frock is so charming but doesn't feel at all contrived thanks to the unique silhouette and fabulous dot-style print -- a far cry from the expected floral pattern.

Ali Ro Graphic-Print Shift Dress; sale (now) $136
I'm completely crazy about this colorful little shift dress. The hues, print, and shape are so fun and retro. The length is fabulous, and it would pair beautifully with tall nude pumps -- perfect for work. AND it's on sale. Brilliant.

Ali Ro Basic Short Sleeve Anorak; $275
I can't imagine a more charming spring coat than this adorable little anorak. I love the orange shade; it's so cheery and sure to brighten dreary days. The short sleeves are cute and unexpected, and the shape is so unique. I'm particularly enamored with the perfect length and the funnel neck is too sweet.

Ali Ro Sequined Lace Minidress; sale (now) $127
I. Must. Own. This. Dress. I'm totally enamored right now with long-sleeved mini dresses, and this is such a great representation of them. It's short and sparkly and lacy and chic, all at once. What a perfect evening frock, especially when paired with killer black heels and a tangle of incredibly sparkly baubles.

What are YOU obsessed with right now?
xo Josie
Thanks to Zara, Bloomingdale's, and Neiman Marcus for the photos.

Monday, April 9, 2012

beauty trend to try -- prettied-up ponytails.

ATTAINABLE: HD Hanalei Buttondown, Strawberries; $78
Fresh produce easily tops my list of all-time favorite things about spring -- right along with pretty, crisp blouses. And this top combines the two beautifully. It's a simple white shirt in a classic shape, and the layering possibilities are nothing short of endless. It would be so sweet under a V or crew-neck sweater but is equally charming on its own when paired with boyfriend jeans. What a perfect boy-meets-girl look for spring.

While I love looking at pretty hairstyles, I have to admit that my daily M.O. is pretty basic: blow dry, flat iron, and go. Something about the cherry blossoms and warm breezes, however, has inspired me, and I think it's time to switch things up a bit. I've been particularly drawn to pretty ponytails lately. Whether a braided element is added or a lock of hair is simply wrapped around the base for a more polished look, these styles have a sophistication to them that I'm particularly drawn to without taking me too far out of my comfort zone.

{twisted and teased pony via}

:: side stunner ::
{perfectly curled side pony via}

jennifer aniston messy pony tail
{straight and just-messy-enough ponytail via}

Knot Your Average Pony
{outrageously easy knotted side pony via}

What beauty trend are YOU inspired to try right now?
xo Josie
Thanks to Anthropologie and credited sites for the photos.

Friday, April 6, 2012

entertain me -- spring brunch.

Mini delicious apple short

ATTAINABLE: J. Crew Mini Delicious Apple Short; $54.50
There are few prints with which I'm more enamored this spring than the fun apple one that J. Crew has put out for the season. Whimsical and unique, this fruity print feels so fresh for the season. These shorts make me want to do all kinds of warm-weather things: visit farmers' markets, pick flowers, go on picnics -- and when clothing inspires you to do all of those fabulous things, I think it's a crime not to own that piece.

Brunch is undoubtedly one of my greatest vices. There's just nothing bad about it, especially in the spring: pancakes are fluffy, the sun shines down in high rays over picturesque brick patios, and orange juice comes served in the prettiest of glasses. As brunch is basically an institution in DC, I'm a sucker for going out for a great one -- but hosting can be just as fun, and I've been collecting my favorite inspirational ideas so that as soon as I have a few minutes, I can throw a fabulous one for my closest girlfriends.

{whimsical centerpieces with sophisticated flowers via}

Easy dispensing!
{surefire way to get perfectly-shaped pancakes via}

Love a french toast kebob!
{berry-filled french toast kebabs via}

watercolor name cards
{watercolor nametags for champagne flutes via}

{cinnamon roll pops with dipping glaze via}

How have YOU been celebrating spring?
xo Josie
Thanks to J. Crew and credited sites for the photos.