Friday, February 27, 2009

un-mom no. 7 | mono handmade lady

Huh? Let me explain. I recognize that the last few un-mom posts were high on color, so I decided to come up with something more subdued this month. I also wanted to shake things up a bit by seeing if I could source items made by independent designers--nothing mass-produced. I also realized that although we are mom's we are also women, even ladies sometimes, and occassionally we like to (or have to) dress up a bit--perhaps for a lovely lunch with a girl friend or our mom. Enter the monochrome handmade lady...

Most of the items sourced here have been created by independent designers and, in most cases, made by hand. Some of these are one of a kind, so the idea here is to go with the look.--find a ladylike blouse that suits your shape. Also, remember, if you can't find new handmade items think about checking out vintage items.

1. Ladylike blouse :: I found this blouse on a terrific Korean website with some beautiful clothes--only problem is I forgot what it is called and I can't seem to find it. As soon as I locate it, I will update the post. However, a lot of designers are making lovely vintage-inspired blouses like this one. Remember, part of un-mom is making it your own.

2. Vintage Polyester Skirt in Tweed :: Orangyporany :: $65.00
Why it works: Orangyporangy is one of my favorite indie designers. I love that the materials they use come from recycled clothing. As a result you can get some great one-of-a-kind pieces. Most of the fabrics they use tend toward the colorful, but I love this tweedy, textured skirt with just the tiniest fleck of orange. Another plus to their skirts is the amazing elastic waistband which helps to customize the fit.

3. Astrid Brooch :: accessoire :: $19.00
Why it works: This little gem could go on the blouse, the bag, your coat or even the waistband of your skirt! I love that it's jewelry but it's fabric too, so everything in this outfit is soft and calming but still pretty. I really want this (you may have noticed it on my greedy slob list).

4. Empress Earrings :: Opus Muse :: $31.00
Why it works: The dangle lends itself to the ladylike but the materials give a little edge of the exotic. Plus, I had to throw in a little color and the calming blue blends with the earthy browns and grays keeping our look tranquil and quiet.

5. Gray Square Tiles Basic Tote :: DrikaB :: $69.00
Why it works: An item that I am completely obsessed with. DrikaB is another one of my favorite indie designers--every piece in their collection is amazing. This works because the colors stay in our palette but the fabric and the shape are very modern and even a little industrial keeping our outfit from being too demure or dated.

6. Scallop Heel Pump in Clay by Seychelles :: Urban Outfitters :: $59.99
Why they work: Okay, I admit I had a hell of a time finding independent shoe designers. They are out there but they can be (understandably) incredibly expensive. My advice here is to look for vintage shoes or a pair like this. I love that this shoe is very neutral so it will go with almost anything and that the shape is classic but with a slight twist, again keeping us modern and not granny.

favorite moment | peace

Monday, February 23, 2009

trina turk for spring

I don't normally go in for haute couture because it usually isn't very wearable and is almost always expensive. However, one designer I've really grown to appreciate is Trina Turk. The inner preppy girl in me is in love with these looks (click on the image for a larger view). Way out of my price range, but worth trying to copy. I feel an un-mom post coming on. Actually I already have one for March (coming Friday!) so I may save this one for April. Oh those colors...she rocks. You can find her collections here.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

pacific grove mini-break

My men and I are off for a long holiday weekend at the coast. I'm looking forward to long walks, doing some cooking, reading, maybe a couple of crafts and possibly some wine tasting. I hope you have a great weekend, too!

Photo from here.

happy valentine's day (+ a gift for you)

Need something fun to wrap your sweetie’s valentine’s day gift? I have just the thing. Check out my etsy shop, jubilee paper studio, for this printable gift wrap—2 sizes, 2 colors, 2 dollars. More to come. Have fun!

(psst...dear reader, leave a comment and I'll send you one for free!)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I am determined to have open upper shelving in my kitchen--I just love the lightened look of it and I think it would be great (and cheap!) in my house since you see the kitchen as soon as you walk in the front door. It requires lots of organization, which I am prepared for, and some visual unity. In order to achieve that I am thinking I want all of the dishes that will be displayed to be white. I love the look of lots of white--you can mix traditional and modern lines together and still have a cohesive look.

I have white dishes now, a really cheap set I got at the grocery store when we bought our house almost five years ago, and I still like the look of them but they are stoneware and they have those silvery flatware marks all over them. Plus the cereal/soup bowls are enormous and I don’t like that. I hesitate buying anything new because I am trying not to accumulate more stuff. I think I might go through all of the myriad serving pieces I have that I never use and put them on craigslist and put whatever money I make towards a new set of dishes. Now it’s just deciding which ones to get. Lots of options at all different price points. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far.

Top Row
Wedgewood Eternity
Pottery Barn Great White
Crate and Barrel Madison
Denby Bone China

Second Row
Gibson White Elements
Crate and Barrel Essential
Rosenthal Loft

Bottom Row
Martha Stewart Montmartre
Pottery Barn Caterers
Macy’s Cellar Whiteware Rim

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

ryan bingham

New to me...this guy is super talented. And rather handsome as well. See him here.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

gung hay fat choy

The Chinatown New Years street festival.

Jackson with a lucky lion at the gate into Chinatown.

Lunch at House of Nanking.*

The streets filling up with anxious parade-watchers!

Year of the Ox.

Lion dancers.

The four of us spent a beautiful day in San Francisco enjoying the sights, sounds and tastes of Chinatown's New Years festival and parade. We had a blast.

*Photo by Mary Tsao.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

treats for your sweets

I know it hasn't been that long since the gluttony of Christmas came to a much needed end, but I have Valentine's Day on my mind and that always conjures images of sweet treats. I love a box of See's as much as the next girl, but I thought it might be fun to see what else is out there.

The pretty chocolates at my hometown chocolaterie look amazing and come in interesting combinations like fleur de sel caramel, yirgachefe white coffee and orange jasmine tea. Ginger Elizabeth is a formally trained American chocolatier offering an array of chocolate confecions and pastries at her Sacramento boutique. Boxes start at $6 for 12 pieces.

I've become obsessed with homemade marshmallows and these lovelies from Brooklyn-based bakery Whimsy & Spice sound delish in flavors like chocolate, caramel, cardamom and maple. Yum-ski. Mail order available. $6/dozen.

If you're looking for some decadence but trying to stay on the nutritional straight and narrow try these low fat beauties from Holey Donut! That's right, I said "low fat" and "donut" in the same sentence! Just in time for Valentine's day, this all low fat bakery is offering these hot pink numbers--Low Fat Pink Velvet Strawberry Frosted donuts. $12 for 6.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

favorite moment | playing hooky

Sometimes you just need to play hooky from work and take your boys to the beach. On the spur of the moment, Matt and I took the day off and the boys out of school and drove to my favorite place on earth--Pt. Reyes National Seashore. This is Limantour Beach, the perfect beach for long, long walks or just sitting in the sand and soaking up the sun.

There's something about chubby ankles peeking out from underneath rolled up jeans that warms my heart. And the way number one son looks like he is on a mission to do some diggin', with the little one trailing behind trying not to miss out on any important discoveries.

It was the perfect day.

savona bri...too much for me

I love this bag. And even though it is on sale for $224 (marked down from $375) it's still too rich for this girl's blood. Oh well.

Monday, February 2, 2009

fabu blogs

Photo from Pure Blog
I admit it. I'm a blogaholic. And I am convinced that I am going to get fired from my job for over-blogging despite the fact that any url with the word 'blogger' or 'blogspot' (not 'blog' interestingly) is blocked. This has caused me to venture into new territory and find new blogs...ones with the words 'typepad' and 'wordpress' in them. I've added some of these gems to the "blogs i love" section and I thought it would be fun to highlight a few from time to time. "New" only indicates that they are new to me and/or new to the blogroll. Most of these beauties have been around for a good while and have a very faithful following.

First up: Pure Blog

This wonderful online notebook penned by noted British designer and author Jane Cumberhatch is exquisite in its simplicity. The images are so calming. I'm addicted.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

un-mom no. 6 | singing in the rain

Okay, I will be the first to admit that not every woman can pull-off this ensemble. I also admit that I have been slightly obsessed with color lately and that the last two un-mom posts have been, shall we say, especially vibrant. But any of these items on their own would add a fun boost to your winter outerwear wardrobe and might even put a little pep in your step.

1. Fab Printed Coat in bright green :: :: $198.00
Why it works: I loathe the tan trench rain coat. Nothing says blah quite like that. And when it is rainy and gloomy who needs more blah. This is instant cheer.

2. Rain boots in orange/lemon :: :: $17.49
Why they work: Keep those pigs dry in style. Plus, come summer they make great gardening boots.

3. Eco-friendly Fabric Umbrella in green :: :: $42.49
Why it works: Nice and big to keep you and the kiddos dry at once. Again, the green makes me smile.

4. Kashmere cashmere fingerless gloves in orange :: :: $30.99
Why they work: The luxury and warmth of cashmere while maintaining your surgical dexterity for last minute shoe-tying, lunch-making or necessary digital gestures during rush hour (just kidding...don't do that)

5. Patent-trimmed Canvas Tote in electricity :: :: $16.50
Why it works: Waterproof but cute. Come summer it goes to the beach and the farmer's market.

6. Coach Tara rain hat in white/green :: as seen on :: $128.00
Definitely pricey for "un-mom" but timeless and cute as a button. Even though it's for the rain, I could see this coming in handy year-round.