Preppy Love

L-R, T-B

Women's Authentic Original Two-Eye Boat Shoe, Whales by Enormous Champion at Heath Ceramics, Lands' End Canvas, Route 63 Canvas Leather Trim Bucket Bag, J. Crew Vintage Bateau, Kate Spade's Letterpress "Hello" Calling Cards via Crane's, Lacoste Polo Shirtdress, Ray-ban Aviators, Modern Monogram Stationery from Etsy, Mikimoto pearl stud earrings.

Ever since my trip to Boston I've been releasing my inner preppy. I grew up in the Midwest but had a strong sense of the prep aesthetic...mainly because I grew up in (Lake) Minnetonka where all things Muffy and Buffy were worshiped. I had monogram sweaters, Sperry Top-Siders (in both navy and brown), "duck" shoes from L.L.Bean, a "powder jacket", and pink and green Izod t-shirts that I proudly wore with the collar UP. This, and I made braided barettes for a little side income. I experimented in junior high (it was ugly...) and went back to my tried and trues in high school. Only then it was J.Crew and Ralph Lauren, and my uniform consisted of a men's oxford in plaid or chamois, and blue jeans.

My style has thankfully evolved past the full Muffy stage. I'm loving my West Coast punch bright colors and Palm Springs happy tunics with a little NorCal bohemian mixed in. Still though, to this day, I cannot walk by a sailor striped T without stopping. I still wear my Mikimoto pearl studs most days of the week, and I really love a good monogram. Admittedly, I nearly bought myself a new pair of boat shoes on the recent east coast trip. They'd look so cute with my dark blue skinny jeans and...almost. I may settle for the super chic and utilitarian bucket bag from the Lands' End Canvas collection--a special treat, in honor of my new job.

Wish List

This Christmas couldn't go by without a little's tough because I love so many things!

From the Top Left and Around Clockwise: GIANT PHOTO in San Diego...there are a few images of my own that I'd love to BLOW up HUGE, get mounted, and hang in the house. I'm not sure if they have gift certificates, but bet they'd accommodate if one asked...

Tiffany & Co. monogram pendants. What could be wrong with a little blue box? I love this in both silver and gold. Very classy.

Domino, alas, my favorite decorating magazine went under this year. Thankfully, before doing so, they published this book- Domino: the Book of Decorating. Love love.

Next up, my Belkin car adapter bit the dust, and I thought maybe I should kick it old school with this Monster tape adapter which with also play tunes off my iPhone. Whoo Hoo!

I know I've said it before, maybe on the TFD blog, but I really dig this 20X200 idea--which makes editions of artworks affordable for all. This work, Vogue JUL07:pg145 (Ripeness is All) is by San Fran artist Lauren DiCioccio. This and the other Vanity Fair MAY08:pg269 (and, incredibly, looking not a day older) are two together that would be LOVELY.

What gal doesn't need a good steamer to save on dry cleaner and make ironing easier? Just thought of it. Rowenta Ultra Steam Model, it even comes with the GoodHousekeeping seal of approval.

Something for writing just had to show up on this list. Keel's Simple Diary. How cheery is that yellow? It comes in a rainbow of colors and I'm quite sure it's available at Anthropologie, among other fine establishments.

Though I've never used one, the Yudu seems like a super cool and easy way to do screenprinting at home. I first saw it at Michaels then noticed it's major tele-shopping site. Weird, but so cool.

Rounding out this list is the ever magical Jo Malone cologne. Lime Basil Mandarin is soopa fresh, Jasmine Mint is a soft romantic note on my skin, and the special edition Dark Amber Lily and Ginger is so seductive. Yum, and yum. Saks, Bloomies, Nordstroms (online, but maybe not in the store).

I also really like pedicures, Starbucks, super dark chocolate, art supplies, time at home to myself, and someone to fold the laundry and clean house. I'm easy. Merry Christmas Santa!

Mrs. Meyers

I am obsessed with my sample of Caldrea's dishwashing liquid that sports the scent "Ginger Pomelo".  Of course it's by the same company that created my favorite Mrs. Meyers Clean Day products. Although I thought that Mrs. Meyers was already a bit of a "designer" cleaning product that only sometimes will I splurge on, Caldrea is the high end line. Seriously? Yes. And I'm hooked. Not only do these companies have beautifully designed labels, they have sweet smelling scents. Ginger Pomelo is grapefruit, Asian ginger and and sweet basil. I want to wear this smell. It makes me so happy! Former blue chip marketing exec Monica Nassif pays homage to her mom, Thelma Meyer in this fabulous midwest success story. Celebrating the season, Mrs. Meyers is offering an Iowa Pine Holiday Hand Care and Candle Set. You betcha! A female owned business with ties to Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, this entrepreneurial endeavor is a great inspiration.

Green Fresh Florals

I am thrilled to say that Green is on board for their re-order and I've just stocked their shelves with holiday goodness from Truly Fine Design. Carlos Franco has rocked his new space, and I'm ever so proud to be their featured paper designer. Love, love, love their store decor and can't wait to see what they do for the Museum's holiday trimming...

Flea Market Finds

One of my favorite activities in the world is thrifting. Mainly resale shops like AmVets or Salvation Army, because I am not organized or flexible with my time enough to do garage sales. But I love the thrill of hunting for and finding special treasures. I've found still life paintings, funky ceramics, mercury glass, kid's clothes, linens, notions, dishes, clocks, you name it. I love finding quality ribbon and bias tape for a steal. I've also taken to finding dorky old coffee mugs like Camp Tookalusa 1971 or a subverted FedEx logo reading "FedUp".

I always keep my eyes open for old office supplies. That's why I was so jazzed to find some airmail envelopes on last weekend's hunt. I also found this fabulous vintage map chalkboard. LOVE it! Just finding the right spot for it now...There are a few friends I have had that love this, just like me. Right now, none of my pals would tolerate the dirt and grunge and weirdness of the process. My mom and my sister get it, but they are miles away. What do YOU hunt for?

What I Didn't Buy Today

I don't believe I've mentioned Simply Lovely, a gem of a site that I discovered in some of my blog wandering. Again, on the theme of consumption, author/hostess Joslyn has this little thing going called "The Spending Hiatus." I've joined the support group, so now I can post things like "What I Didn't Buy" which will still serve my consumption drive (in a virtual sense) and inspire me to spend some time reflecting on all the things I'm doing, instead of buying. Like experiencing the WiiFit while my whole family sits there and watches me...doing a tree pose...getting soccer balls and shoes thrown at me...crashing on a ski slope. Yeah, that's quality family time baby. Welcome to unprecedented times.

But dammit, Paper Voodoo would have come in really handy today...

What Did You Buy Today?

I heart my SIGG water bottle too. Illustrator Kate Bingaman-Burt has the most fabulous and eccentric project going on. She has created Obsessive Consumption. Bingaman-Burt began to document all of her purchases in 2002 and subsequently created a brand around the related illustrations and images. She is hand drawing all of her credit card statements until they are paid off, and illustrates a purchase a day which is displayed tenderly on her blog, aptly named What Did You Buy Today?. Totally quirky, a bit psychotic, and a truly original take on consumerism. Love, love, love.

Trim the Fat

Yee Hah! Again, I'm trying to be more thoughtful about my (our) spending. We need to cut back (wallets and waistlines), and I have lots of room to improve in this area. Especially, I find it very easy to justify extras at the grocery store. Okay, yes, I'm a foodie. And I can be a real food snob. And I'm really conscious of organic, trans fats, HO's, bleached flour, refined sugar, whole grains, etc. etc. etc. But since it's FOOD, it's okay. I was taught, if you are going to eat it, then fine, buy it. No crap. And don't waste it. I seem to put food (all kinds) into a "needs" category rather than a "wants" category. Especially briney garlicky olives, creamy goat cheese, dark chocolate... Very creative, huh? I came across this tidbit, and it seems like a nice place to start...

Supermarket impulse buys: Put any items that are not on your shopping list in the shopping cart's child seat. Before checkout, choose just one item from the child seat. If you find a great bargain, take something off your list to accommodate the good deal.

Are you cutting back? How?

Happiness is...

Happiness is...Coffee, Best Friends, Responsible Ecological Choices, and Great Design

I had the pleasure of spending great BFF time with KT in Minneapolis last weekend. While my original gift idea was to locate a quality version of the old "Best Friends" necklace, with the charm split in two, we found something better. In our shopping excursions we located a sophisticated, yet utilitarian item already on my holiday wish/give list:

I Am Not A Paper Cup James Burgess, 2007 An eco-friendly alternative to disposable cups, this double-walled porcelain version with a pliable silicone lid keeps beverages hot and doesn't burn your hand. Found in a variety of, found these at Paper Source in Uptown Minneapolis. I heart mine.


OMG and Double Yikes. I'm not not talking about being green or environmental impact, I'm talking about The Economy. I have my own form of eco-friendly changes I'm making, which will hopefully make an impact on the bottom line of our budget.
Here goes...
#1 Make-up
In my quest for affordable mascara I tried out this futuristic tube of LASH BLAST Volume Blasting Mascara by Cover Girl. I love the orange and silver packaging and the high tech wand. Best of all, it works! And it's less than half the price of my total favorite Too faced Lash Injection mascara. Still love Jo Malone scents and haven't found a decent replacement for Nars bronzer...
#2 Food
Did you know that two packs of extra firm tofu costs a total of 3 bucks? AWESOME. So much cheaper than organic chicken. Jarrod said he'd eat it at least once, maybe twice a week at that price. Bring on the ginger broccoli stir fry!
#3 Library
I have a book weakness. I love to buy the boys new books. Me too, actually, but I try to only buy them at thrift stores. This month we got a library card. I'm not sure why it took me this long...we only read three of the 8 books. Still, it felt right.
#4 Thrifting
This is not new for me. I love it. In fact it's like Eco x 2. Anyway, I buy a lot of the boys clothes at thrift stores...of course this gets balanced out by their bi-annual Nordstrom shoe trip. Can't have it all I guess...
#5 Cancel Stuff
We really don't use the Y, except for swim lessons 3 times/year. In fact working out there made me depressed and everytime we took the boys there for recreational swim someone had pooped or vomited in the pool. DONE, and more DONE.