Sweet, Sinister Dreams with Alexander McQueen.

My adoration and fascination with Alexander McQueen is long-standing.  A talent and visionary that was lost far too soon, his right hand and now head designer of the brand, Sarah Burton, has done nothing short of a miracle carrying on the label and everything it has always stood for.  Though the controversial statements and showmanship may have subsided, the dark beauty of Alexander McQueen still never fails to show up and amaze.

Though the show was WEEKS ago, I wanted to share the collection because it's freaking gorgeous.  Sarah Burton managed, in this show, to keep a balance of sweet femininity, dark romance and structured heaviness flawlessly, when those elements truly should never work together so effortlessly to create a single statement.  

And because she's a complete powerhouse, it's worth mentioning that this show was a mere TWO WEEKS before the due date of Ms. Burton's third child.  Let's all take some notes from her and her badass-ery, shall we?  

Thanks to the amazing McQueen Instagram account, let's also admire all the incredible details, too.

(Images c/o WWD)

#BeBulova with Seoul Sausage.

In January, I got to fly out to LA with three of my closest friends, who I am lucky enough to get the chance to do actual real-life adult work with, to create one of my favorite videos yet!  Spending two days with Ted, Chris and Yong, the genius dudes behind Seoul Sausage, was both fun and freaking delicious.  

The story these guys are able to tell is amazing.  Two brothers and their friend, they moved from San Francisco to LA, starting their lives in ways that may not have been completely within the hopes of their Korean-American upbringings.  Making sausages after their 9 to 5 jobs in Chris' apartment and spending their weekends at different markets and events hawking their delicious food, the guys took a chance and applied to the Food Network's Great Food Truck Race on the night before submissions closed.  With a desire to bring their Korean culture and flavors to the masses in a way that was a bit more familiar (sausages, tater tots, burgers, fries, rice balls), they made it on the show and knocked the competition out of the park.  

Now with two restaurants, two food trucks and a product line on the way, it's safe to say the guys are doing what they really love and inspiring a lot of people along the way.  Myself included.  Chef Chris has opened more restaurants on his own celebrating his eclectic tastes and background, and can even be seen on the new Bravo show Recipe for Deception.  Did I mention that these guys are just the coolest and nicest dudes in the game?

If you're in LA, make sure to head to Seoul Sausage.  It's some of the best stuff I've ever gotten the chance to eat and the atmosphere will make you feel cool by default.  And enjoy their story!

Delightful Bouffants & Broken Hearts.

I've been on the hunt for quite a few things recently.  Existential things.  Inspiration, peacefulness, a little bit of simple delight.  And I'm finding them, slowly, surely and on a more regular basis.  For the record...I'm fine.  But sometimes life finds a way to take over and rattle things a little beyond your control.  Sometimes you just hit a wall.  And I hit a wall.  I was spending 3.5 hours in my day commuting to a job that wasn't providing a positive atmosphere.  My home life was falling into a routine that we were forcing ourselves to fit into, instead of feeling like we could put ourselves first (which is mostly down to that commute and work exhaustion). I was dealing with some pretty big loss over the holiday season, including my beloved great aunt who took us on a roller coaster before passing away on Christmas Eve.  And I was starting to struggle to manage my Crohn's Disease after a very long stretch of managing it like a champ.  So I slammed into that wall pretty hard.  

And this is all some pretty deep talk for what I'm about to focus this post on, because it isn't about all that disruption.  I started to take more control and take myself off auto-pilot to find that inspiration, that peacefulness, that delight in the moments that I would allow.  So it's starting small.  And when I came across Kendra Dandy's Instagram account, Thee Bouffants, there was something so charming and joyful about her work that reminded me I was starting to see those moments.  An Instagram post is enough.  It's a great place to start.  And it's a great place to continue to appreciate even when you start finding it in bigger ways, too.

I'm still a work in progress.  I quit my job.  I accepted a role closer to home in a situation that I was a lot more comfortable with.  I started to trust myself to make these decisions and to allow myself to see wonderful things in the littlest places without over-thinking it.

What Kendra creates is gorgeous.  It feels organic and silly, in the most complimentary way.  It's bright and doesn't take itself seriously.  Her prints embody that 'no holds barred' side of your brain that we all work so hard to never really let go of.  What's even better...you can get her prints on all types of things from Society 6!  Mug, pouch, rug, print, phone case, whatever you fancy!  Bring some of that delight with you on the daily  :)

So thank you, Kendra, for helping me start to feel that touch of glee as I find my feet again.  Let's hug.

(All images c/o Kendra Dandy)

How Do You See Me?

Today is World Down Syndrome Day.  And I felt like I just had to share this video to mark this important day and strives, hopefully succeeding, to change the way we look at people with Down Syndrome.  This is all about what AnnaRose has to say as an individual and for the community she represents, so I'll stop there and just let this beautiful video shine as it should. 

It's Almost Valentine's Day, Lovelies.

I love Valentine's Day.  Not in the way that I hope to be showered with roses (my least favorite flower, btw) or go out to some fancy dinner (home cooked meals are always more meaningful to me).  But in the way that I love the charm that comes along with this holiday.

It always seems to sneak up on us all as we have just started to see the dust settle from Christmas and New Year's...and though I won't be properly celebrating this year for a couple of reasons (none of which I am mad about), there is a part of me that wishes I was throwing some sort of adorable soirée.

So get excited about some of these cutie patootie Valentine's Day party ideas:

I love you.  Shut up.  I love you.

I'm a Barbie Girl.

Truth is, I'm not...I never was.  I remember getting Barbie for my birthday as a kid, but I remember being a lot more drawn to my Gem & the Holograms doll and the skill of playing Oregon Trail.  Oh, and My Little Ponies, mostly because I was drawn to the colors and their butt tattoos....or icons...or whatever the hell those were.

But Barbie has been making a lot of news this past week.  Changing body shapes of the dolls is a smart move when it comes to changing culture and realistic perceptions, but also it's a genius marketing and PR move and I have to applaud that.  Apologies for tarnishing those positive changes with the notion that it was a bit calculated, but it's important to 1.) not kid ourselves and 2.) to know that regardless of motives, these changes come from a good place.

What really touched me about all the Barbie news was this incredible commercial that was released about Barbie being able to teach young girls about the power of pretend and the impact of being able to dream.  Creating scenarios with our little ones and their dolls may just seem like an exploration of imagination...but isn't that what got us all to where we are now?

It's beautiful and it's inspirational and if this doesn't make you smile, even if it's on the inside, you need to go jump in a ball pit and get over yourself.  We all started somewhere, you sarcastic jerk.  And I mean that lovingly  :)

Nate Berkus for Target.

Straight up, I am having some major issues with Target at the moment.  I had been waiting weeks for the Who What Wear collab to hit the site and, even with alarms set, Target let me down.  I won't bang on too much about it but they really messed up their online presence for those of us who don't live near a store that carried the collaboration.

ANYWAY, what they HAVE done right recently is the new Nate Berkus Home collection.  The new series from Nate Berkus has this seriously cool, geometric, tribal look to it, and though terms like 'geometric' and 'tribal' may not be something I usually would relate to my home decor style...everyone has the ability to change  :)

Check out some of my favorite items:

And shop the full collection here.

(Images c/o Target)

#BeBulova.

You may know, or you may not know, what I do for my '9 to 5'... I put that in quotes because working in social media rarely allows you to actually operate within confines of set hours.  As the Social Media Manager for Bulova, I've spent the last year being the only person responsible for bringing the full social media program in-house for three brands.  So I do everything from community management to analysis to creating content concepts/seeing through full execution to managing paid campaigns for the US and all our international markets.  So, it's a lot.  But it also means that I get to create a lot of things that drive the brands in ways that I am incredibly proud of...I get to be a storyteller for brands that DESERVE to have their stories told.

And that's how #BeBulova happened.  I spent the last year creating content for Bulova that told the stories of our incredible products and how they relate to the history of the brand.  But it was time to create content that spoke to the DNA that I feel the brand stands on, with a stronger focus on lifestyle.  It has been an incredible project that allows me to show the personality of the brand and product without any kind of hard sell, through the stories of cool people doing incredibly cool things that embody everything Bulova stands for: creativity and innovation.

Our first chance to tell these stories was with the awesome guys from JANE Motorcycles in Brooklyn.  Adam and Alex are two friends who decided to create a place that blended their shared interests (motorcycles, coffee, lifestyle apparel) and, in turn, a comfortable community and place to just be able to hang out.

Out second story is a feature on Christopher Lee Sauvé, an artist who blends pop and punk elements for a style all his own.  

And we have more programs in the works!  I literally JUST got back from LA shooting our third video of the series with the badass boys of Seoul Sausage, winners of the Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race III.  We had an absolute blast on our whirlwind trip and cannot say enough amazing things about the Seoul Sausage guys, their story and their food.  Seriously though...their food.  

I'll be sure to share the new video when it's ready but in the meantime...do you know anyone who knows what it means to 'be Bulova'?  We love to hear stories, wherever they come from!

(Special thanks to LushPOP Productions who help me make all my visions come true.)

Reality of Instagram.

Recently, there seemed to be an influx of articles and posts across the world wide web speaking to the bizarre world of Instagram.  Especially working in the world of social media, I know how curated any presence there is (whether we know we are doing it or not).  Admittedly, since I started commuting 3.5 hours a day, I've become a little more of a homebody when I get the chance and many of my posts these days are either work or home and not a lot in between.  So when I was visiting my parents and a family friend came to tell me how fun my life looks with all the parties I go to...I was incredibly confused.  I racked my brain to think of the last time I was even at a cool looking party, especially one I posted, and I was at a loss.

But my life is curated on Instagram. Not intentionally, but of course I'm not going to post any pictures of me doing laundry, cleaning the kitchen or sorting bills.  So in the sense that fashion magazines have gotten a bad wrap for portraying something not realistic, Instagram does the same on a more realistic level.  Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere made an incredible point about the curation of Instagram.  When she takes a cool picture of her shoes on a beautiful new rug, it looks like a snapshot into a beautiful world where everything has its place and is always stylish.  When, in fact, right behind her, the shelves in her closet have fallen down, her laundry hasn't been folded and she hasn't done the dishes. We curate perfection that may exist in moments but not in a full reality.

This article from Fast Company titled 'Your Friends Are Liars' is an awesome read on the whole thing, so make sure to check it out. And just make sure to remind yourself every now and then that a peek into someone's life never tells a full story.

(Images c/o Fast Company)

Ain't No Christmas Tree To See Here.

With both myself and my other half away for Christmas (not to mention being gone 14 hours a day), we thought getting a tree this year would be a lot more hassle than it was worth.  To help give me that sense of the holidays, my lovely man surprised me with a wreath for our front door and my mom packed up a few of the smaller holiday decorations from her home for us. 

It makes a difference.  There is a nice little holiday feel here, helped by a yummy little simmer pot of holiday potpourri.  Maybe next year, if we decide to not get a tree again and we have the time, we can do one of these awesome alternative tree ideas.  Too cool.

(All images c/o Pinterest)

What I Want. What I Really, Really Want.

Though the weather may still be kicking around in a very temperate Autumn style, Christmas is a deceptive 2.5 weeks away.  I still have a few gifts left on my list to pick-up but I have been as proactive as possible this year and can't wait to putting lovely little bows on things for my friends and family.  As I won't be ruining any surprises by showing things that I've bought here on the blog, I thought maybe I would share my own little wish list (with the understanding that I am probably quite late in the game and I'll likely be purchasing all these things for myself).

I tried to make this as glamourous as possible and left off things like 'new sheets' and 'Lasik'.  You're welcome.  

 I have been on the hunt for a new bag for ages.  This may not be the answer to all my handbag prayers but I'm pretty in love with it.  Studs and stars...well done,  Zara .

I have been on the hunt for a new bag for ages.  This may not be the answer to all my handbag prayers but I'm pretty in love with it.  Studs and stars...well done, Zara.

 It may not be real turquoise (someday...someday...) but this is a hell of a cool  statement necklace . And at a price that I find hella cool, too. 

It may not be real turquoise (someday...someday...) but this is a hell of a cool statement necklace. And at a price that I find hella cool, too. 

 I have loved  Warby Parker  from the moment that they hit the scene.  I love the pair of specs I have now but would love a second pair...and a pair of prescription sunglasses so I can wear glasses more than I do now. 

I have loved Warby Parker from the moment that they hit the scene.  I love the pair of specs I have now but would love a second pair...and a pair of prescription sunglasses so I can wear glasses more than I do now. 

 And in other things that I want more of...I have had the pink version of  this poster  for AGES. But my bedroom doesn't have time for pink and I am not about to put this poster into hiding.  So I would love to have it in grey and save the pink version for when it has a proper place to shine.

And in other things that I want more of...I have had the pink version of this poster for AGES. But my bedroom doesn't have time for pink and I am not about to put this poster into hiding.  So I would love to have it in grey and save the pink version for when it has a proper place to shine.

 Though my other half may hate to hear this, I am on a bit of redecorating wave. Or at least trying to be. I think our place is lovely but could do with some refined updates as we get just a little bit older and more refined ourselves. And  this black leather pouf  is pretty incredible...

Though my other half may hate to hear this, I am on a bit of redecorating wave. Or at least trying to be. I think our place is lovely but could do with some refined updates as we get just a little bit older and more refined ourselves. And this black leather pouf is pretty incredible...

 Black leather  moto gloves  from Banana Republic. I'm in.  I'm so in.

Black leather moto gloves from Banana Republic. I'm in.  I'm so in.

 Grace Coddington is as big an icon as Vogue itself (sorry, Anna) and I am so excited that this  book  was just re-issued. Gimme.

Grace Coddington is as big an icon as Vogue itself (sorry, Anna) and I am so excited that this book was just re-issued. Gimme.

 I love basically everything that the incredible  Grey Malin  does and would love to have some of his photography in my home. I don't know if this llama is it...but this llama may be TOTALLY it.

I love basically everything that the incredible Grey Malin does and would love to have some of his photography in my home. I don't know if this llama is it...but this llama may be TOTALLY it.

(All images link to source.)

Somewhere Store Scarves (and a SALE).

Opening her store only last year, Heidi of Somewhere Store is making a name for herself with silk scarves and illustrated paper goods.  After studying fine art, Heidi knew she wanted to do something with her hands and began creating laser cut wood jewelry.  Increasingly exploring drawing animals, she decided to experiment with silk and her artwork.  With such a luxury material, she was drawn to the vivid colors she was able to produce and began manufacturing her scarves near Lake Cuomo, Italy.

There is a beautiful color block aesthetic about Heidi's work and I love the edgy touch of the unusual animal choices.  Scarves from Somewhere Store would make a stunning addition to any wardrobe...over and over and over again.

(Image c/o Somewhere Store)

A Colorful & Peaceful Home in Maine.

I wouldn't say I am scared of using color in interior design...in fact, I love it.  But I have found myself increasingly nervous about committing to the use of color.  And then I saw a beautiful article on Design*Sponge about the Maine home and studio of potter Ayumi Horie.  Now I want to paint everything a bright color and have flowers everywhere and find myself wondering why I didn't take more furniture from my parents' primitive Colonial home when I had the chance.  Also, there is a disco ball.  I really need a disco ball.

You can check out the full article here.  It is as beautiful a read as it is to look at.

(Images c/o Design Sponge)

The Cinespia Shop.

Classic movie posters are hella cool.  I have been accused more times than not for having too many prints/too much artwork in my home.  But screw it.  If something is cool, something is cool and I'm gonna want it.

When I saw the amazing movie poster interpretations created by illustrator and artist Alia Penner for the movies they show, I had a pretty bad case of the 'I Wants'.  Featured in the new Cinespia shop, you can check out your favorite movies or even your new favorite movies because you just really love the artwork.  

Check out the site here.

(Images c/o Cinespia Shop)

Therese Kuempel Jewelry

When ladies do badass things that you may not expect ladies to do (which, by the way, I will love never having to say at some point in my life)...but when ladies are BADASS, those ladies need to be talked about.  Well, Therese Kuempel is a metalsmith.  A super awesome metalsmith who studied sculpture at college at the Art Institute of Chicago, and who now makes incredibly unique and powerful jewelry by hand.  She's awesome and she has been able to make a full-time career from making her gorgeous pieces and selling them on Etsy.

So not only do I love her work, but I love her story and drive.  Keep being badass, Therese.

Explore her shop here.

(Image c/o Therese Kuempel)

Liesel Love Jewelry (and FREE shipping)

When an artisan is local, prides themselves on creating affordable jewelry with the best quality materials, and names their shop after their grandmother, you basically have a recipe for awesome.  Based in NYC, making her beautiful jewelry in a shed in her backyard, designer Heidi sources almost all of her materials in the legendary Jewelry District in the city.  

Delicate, darling and just a little unexpected, Liesel Love is the perfect place to find special treats for yourself or as a meaningful gift for someone you love hugging.  Use the code 'FREESHIPPING2383' and get free shipping on your order.  Explore the shop here.

(Images c/o Liesel Love)