Wednesday, May 30, 2012

beauty trend to try -- peach.

ATTAINABLE: ASOS Blouse with 3/4 Sleeve and Pintuck Bib; $55.66
I'm incredibly drawn to sweet, sheer blouses this spring.  They're so pretty and versatile.  I love this ASOS one, with its sharply contrasting black and white fabrics and all of the perfect little details.  From the pintucked bib to the Peter Pan collar to the chic black trim, everything about this particular piece is so fabulous and Parisian.  Perfect with anything from high-waisted shorts to dark denim.

It's no secret that I adore warm-weather produce -- the freshness, the flavor, and, of course, the color.  I particularly love how bold lemon hues, lime shades, and strawberry reds add a much-needed punch of color to my wardrobe each summer.  When it comes to makeup, however, I like to keep things a little simpler.  Peach hues are so pretty and fresh-looking, even in extreme heat and humidity.  I'm enamored by the pretty pink color and its many, many applications beauty-wise, from lips to cheeks to nails.

Friday, May 25, 2012

inspiration -- americana.; $248
I'm still hunting for the perfect summer pleated skirt, and this little Nanette Lepore number is a serious contender.  I love the simple, sweet shape and that it would pair as nicely with pumps as with espadrilles.  The color is what really takes the cake, though.  The tangerine shade is so punchy and truly fantastic for the warm, sunny days ahead.

Forget the solstice; as far as I'm concerned, summer officially kicks off this weekend.  And I plan to be hopping from place to place, celebrating every way I know how.  I'm all about being appropriately dressed for an occasion, but red, white, and blue pieces can look cheesy easily.  My wardrobe musts for Memorial Day weekend?  Pieces that are easy, light, and flirty, festive without being overkill, and can mix perfectly with my other summer clothes to take me from the lake to parties to fireworks. 

inspiration -- americana.

Wishing you all a beautiful, safe weekend -- see you Wednesday!
xo Josie
Thanks to Shopbop and Atlantic + Pacific for the photos.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

get the look -- loafers.

Elizabeth and James Crawford Dress
COVETING: Elizabeth and James Crawford Dress; $365
It's rare that a piece intrigues me quite as much as this pretty little Elizabeth and James frock -- but I finding it to be truly enamoring.  I love the sweetheart neckline and flirty length.  The pockets are perfection.  But the true artistry is in the bodice: the draping and ties are so gorgeous, and the little sliver of skin is daring and unique without being overt.

I adore my favorite metallic sandals and boat shoes for summer -- but I'm all about mixing it up once in awhile.  Enter my new favorite variation on summer shoes: the loafer.  I have a pair of metallic J. Crew driving shoes that I'm absolutely obsessed with, and I think that my collection needs to grow.  Exponentially.  They're so comfortable and chic, and there are so many varieties -- from the classic penny loafer to glittery slip-ons, I'm convinced that a full wardrobe of these is truly necessary for my summer well-being.

Wanted Rant Blue Snake Penny Loafers  - Click Image to Close 
DEAL: Wanted Rant Blue Snake Penny Loafers; $39
I love this fun spin on the classic penny loafer -- while the shape is simple and familiar, the color and texture are anything but.  I think that this pretty blue shade would be the perfect complement to a crisp white dress or simple khaki shorts and a pretty blouse.; sale (now) $89.50
Though the suede may appear to be more of a cold-weather staple, I still love these sweet little Jeffrey Campbell loafers for summer.  The tassels earn major bonus points, as do the perforations and perfect stitching -- all slightly masculine details that make this charming pair of slides a definite must-have -- immediately.

DEAL: Steve Madden Madee in Glitter Multi (also in Black Velvet, Burgundy Velvet, and Dalmation); sale (now) $79.98
It doesn't get any easier for summer (or any other season, for that matter) than a pair of simple slip-on shoes.  These sparkly little Steve Maddens have all the glitz and glamour of heels but are sure to be infinitely more comfortable and perfect to add a touch of glitter to any everyday look.; $116
There's just nothing that isn't awesome about these loafers.  The sheen.  The color.  The shape.  It all combines to create the perfect shoe -- which, incidentally, would look AMAZING with a pair of denim shorts and simple, crisp white button-down.

Will YOU be wearing loafers this summer?
xo Josie
Thanks to Shopbop, Lulu's, Steve Madden, and RevolveClothing for the photos.

Monday, May 21, 2012

good enough to eat -- lemon cake.


Since taking my first bite of the Razmanian Devil cupcake at Baked & Wired in Washington, DC, I've had a very serious goal in mind: recreate it.  Perfectly.  In layer cake form.  Months of perusing recipes, settling on a slight adaptation of Magnolia Bakery's lemon cake and buttercream layered with this raspberry filling, led to my attempts last week, and I must say that I was incredibly pleased.  The result was all that I could have hoped for: a light, citrusy cake topped with the brightest of lemon buttercreams (which I couldn't stop tasting) and with layers coated in a raspberry filling that can only be described as delightful.  Pure, unadulterated, summery bliss.


What have YOU been cooking up lately?
xo Josie

Friday, May 18, 2012

sequins and sparklers.

 J. Crew top, 7 for All Mankind jeans, Longchamp bag, Coach scarf, Dolce Vita heels, Merona watch (similar), vintage earrings

My true ardor for all things sparkly flared up immediately when I spotted this little J. Crew top.  As comfortable and easy to slip into as any long-sleeved tee, this top is bold without being overly ostentatious.  It paired perfectly with the simplest of jeans and pewter heels for an outdoor dining experience at one of my all-time favorite restaurants and kept me warm despite the fact that I'd completely jumped the gun on the whole patio-dining scene for the summer.

Wishing you all a beautiful weekend of sparkly things!
xo Josie

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

obsessed -- thayer.; $68
There's something about pale, creamy shades for spring and summer that really gets me.  They're just so light and feminine.  This charming top from Anthropologie would be perfect with a chic black pencil skirt or dark denim and pumps.  The draping is perfect, and the waist-tie is sure to flatter and adds a little extra visual interest.

Speaking of femininity and perfect draping, I'm totally enamored with pieces by Thayer right now.  These flirty dresses are totally filled with little details and perfect for the warm weather and playfulness that are bound to come along with spring and summer.  They're designed by a woman and for women -- clear through the way that the designs are intended to make the most of curves.  Suffice to say I'm totally obsessed.

Thayer Multi Strap Weave Dress; $264
I always love a great navy dress for spring.  This one, with its hi-low hem and pretty draped detail, is so unique.  The way that the straps cross at the back is nothing short of stunning, and I love how this would pair as beautifully with simple sandals for day as with sky-high heels and a sparkly clutch come evening.; sale (now) $192.50
How perfect would this gorgeous gray dress be to wear to a wedding?  Ideal for transitioning from a day affair to evening, this dress is just so light and flirty.  I love the layers, and both colors are so chic and sophisticated for spring.  Of course, the best part is that it's on sale... Brilliant.; sale (now) $224
As I mentioned, I love cream tones for spring.  Since it could double as outerwear, this crisp blazer is the perfect piece to top every spring look in my wardrobe -- from jeans to floaty dresses to chic, slim skirts.  I most definitely need to pick up one of these.  Stat.; $301
The print on this tiered dress is so sweet that it rivals the silhouette for my favorite thing about it.  With pretty tied straps and in the lightest of chiffon fabrics, it's just so girly -- exactly what I've been craving lately.  Thank you, Thayer, for being amazing.

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

Monday, May 14, 2012

summer for the type-a 2.0.

The Crisscross Boardwalk Sandal 
ATTAINABLE: Madewell The Crisscross Boardwalk Sandal in Glam Pink (also in Bloomsbury Blue and English Saddle); $59.50
I don't think that it would be a stretch in the slightest to say that these are the perfect summer sandals.  Flat and chic, they're sure to be comfortable.  The shape is classic and they're outrageously versatile -- perfect to pair with literally anything, from dark skinny jeans to crisp white dresses.  I love the punch of pink in this pair, but the all-brown version is even more classic.

With temperatures rising rapidly in Minnesota, it officially feels like summertime.  And I'm beyond ready.  I've spent the last several months absolutely dreaming about sunshine and warm weather.  I'm enticed by sunglasses, beachy waves, bright nail shades... Everything that screams "summer" to me.  I'm determined not to let the season slip by without fitting in several of my favorite activities to celebrate the best of what summer has to offer.

1. Take on homemade ice cream for the first time (this is a definite contender)
2. Carry spare change and stop at every lemonade stand I pass
3. Whip up a batch of these and make some extra-delicious s'mores
4. Explore the Twin Cities dining scene
5. Walk around as many lakes as possible
6. Remember my SPF every day
7. Take a mini-roadtrip to my very favorite Minnesota summer dining spot
8. Learn to cook a really great dinner
9. Build up the confidence to wear colored denim
10. Host a dinner party complete with patio seating
11. Find an easy summer hairstyle to make my signature
12. Expand my collection of nail shades to include less conventional summer colors
13. Discover a new talent

What's on YOUR summer to-do list?
xo Josie
Thanks to Madewell and Tire Swings and Summer Dreams for the photos.

Friday, May 11, 2012

lady lace.

H&M dress (similar), Aldo pumps (similar), J. Crew belt and earrings,vintage clutch, watch (similar), and bracelet, Forever21 rings, nails in Essie's Tart Deco
I knew that my birthday called for a pretty dress -- and when I spotted this one, I was certain that I'd found it.  Light, crisp, and perfect for spring, this lace dress is so ladylike, but the exposed zipper keeps it feeling fresh and young.  With a sparkly belt, nude pumps, and a handful of gold jewelry, this festive look was the perfect thing to help me celebrate a milestone.




Wishing you all a weekend full of beautiful things!
xo Josie

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

beauty trend to try -- spring manicures.; $179.50
Club Monaco has a knack for bringing new life to old pieces, and this chambray dress is such a great representation of that.  I love the silhouette and charming waistband, and the tailored bodice is absolute perfection and perfect in contrast with the drapier skirt.  This would be brilliant with a blazer for breezy summer evenings or on its own with flat sandals for a lunch date.

When it comes to giving myself manicures, I'm truly, truly hopeless.  Until a year ago, I could hardly even stand to keep my fingernails painted (I found it distracting and chips to be incredibly painful to see) -- but then I realized what I'd been missing.  An entirely new way to express myself with color, be it bold or neutral.  Though this, this, and this are three of my personal favorite punchy spring shades, I think it's time to branch out a bit and explore some new, simple, and very sweet nail trends for spring.

{easy single-nail ombre via}

{simple sparkling pastels via}

{pattern-mixing and a single sparkling nail via}

{allover sparkle via}

What beauty trend are YOU dying to try right now?
xo Josie
Thanks to Shopbop, The West Street Journal, and Cupcakes and Cashmere for the photos.

Monday, May 7, 2012



I love birthdays -- other people's birthdays, that is.  So many people get excited about the cake and candles and all of the attention, and I'm always thrilled to coordinate and plan such activities, but as for me?  I'm just thrilled to be keeping it a little low-key today and to discover that I have the same birthday as one of my all-time favorite bloggers.  I've already been inundated with calls and texts that remind me just how lucky I am to have such fabulous family and friends.  And as it's the first year in quite awhile that I won't spend the day studying for finals, I decided to ring in my birthday with several of my favorite things: a little lace, a lot of texture, and, of course, a touch of sparkle (photos to come).

Wishing you all a beautiful start to your week!
xo Josie
Thanks to WeHeartIt for the photo.

Friday, May 4, 2012

constant search -- denim jacket.

Gorjana Viceroy Bracelet; $48
I'm incredibly drawn to super delicate jewelry for spring.  It's so light and feminine, and even the tiniest touch adds to a look beautifully.  The sweet little chain bracelet from Gorjana is exactly what I've been craving.  It's light and simple and the details are simply perfect.  I love the interlocking rings -- such a simple detail but so pretty.

I couldn't even begin to guess how many denim jackets I've owned over the years.  From classic shapes to chambray blazers, they've been a staple in my closet -- but they seem to mysteriously disappear.  I get tired of them or they stop fitting or the shape goes out of style.  However, I think it's time to invest in a great one.  A denim jacket in a classic silhouette is an incredibly versatile piece: it's perfect over light spring dresses or with bright pants or shorts, and the durability is perfect for chilly mornings or going out at night.; $265
Though the price makes it clear that this is an investment, I think that a well-made classic can't be beat.  Everything from the wash to the buttons to the shape of this jacket ensures that it will withstand the test of time, but the fun pockets and slightly cropped sleeve length keep the look modern.; $158
When it comes ot chambray, J. Crew knows what it's doing -- and this little jacket proves it.  Though not as classic as the 7 for All Mankind piece, this blazer is so light and flirty.  It would be perfect with a pair of colored shorts or tossed on over a chic summer dress.  It's so pretty and polished and would be perfect with a pair of pumps for lunch in the sun.

Wishing you all a very happy weekend -- what are YOU constantly on the hunt for?
xo Josie

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

good enough to eat -- spring produce.; $225
These shorts are everything that a spring wardrobe piece should be.  They're light, feminine, and in a fabulous color.  The pleats are charming, and the bow is absolutely adorable.  I'm especially fond of the extra-sweet scalloped trim.  With these pretty shorts, all you'd need would be a simple white tee and pair of flat metallic sandals to let them shine.

One of my very favorite things about spring (this is aside from the occasional appearance of sunshine, bright nail colors, and breaking out my sandals for the season) is the fresh produce that comes along with it.  I find everything about it so beautiful and inspiring: the colors, the smells -- and, naturally, it makes me want to get into the kitchen immediately.  I'll certainly be repeating my favorite recipes this year, but there are several that wormed their way to the top of my "to do" list immediately after my weekend farmers' market trip.


{Blueberry Crumb Pie Milkshake from food + words -- best way EVER to save a failed pie}

What are YOU whipping up this spring?
xo Josie
Thanks to Shopbop, Joy the Baker, How Sweet Eats, Cupcakes and Cashmere, and food + words for the photos.