"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm."

--Winston Churchill

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Artist Spotlight: Bella Pilar

Years ago, I discovered Papyrus greeting cards and let me tell you, it was love at first sight. The reason why I fell so hard for their cards was because of the incredible artist Bella Pilar, who's stylish and beautiful illustrations adorn many of the company's greeting cards, as well as journals, gift bags, and stationery sets. I have since tried to track her down and was overjoyed when I found out on her Facebook page that she was starting a blog called Juniper Valentine, which features her new artwork with cute little captions underneath that add to the illustrations' overall flair. I envy her talent and just adore the chicness of the women she illustrates. I can't pick favorites because I would have too many, but here are several of her illustrations that stood out to me just to wet your appetite:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Looking Fabulous

Hello my fellow fashionistas and faithful followers. I realize that I have been quite inconsistent with my blog these days and I apologize for my lack of posts. To be honest, I have lately felt uninspired and in a bit of a rut. You may have seen my previous post about my grandma's sudden death. Needless to say, it has definitely rocked my boat and made me less inclined to write about fashion. However, I can now say that I am ready to start off again, this time with a more conscious attitude about the things that really make me happy, and to be quite truthful, beautiful style always does.

I am always on people.com, looking at this weeks style hits and misses. I love checking out the star's latest looks and voting whether or not they hit the mark. I find that I often get a lot of inspiration for my looks that way. So, without further ado, here are a few of the celebrities who I think are looking top notch right now:

Lea Michele

Nicole Kidman

Eva Mendes

Marion Cotillard

Zoe Saldana

Jessica Alba

In addition to People's style section, another site I frequently visit to check out the latest star looks is instyle.com, which features the look of the day. I love how up-to-date they are, often posting multiple looks in one day.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Perfect Boyfriend Shorts

Well, I finally found the perfect pair of boyfriend shorts that I have been searching high and low for at H&M. The perfect boyfriend shorts actually mimic the perfect boyfriend: They are relaxed and give you your space, and make you look great and feel comfortable.

I wanted shorts that were a relaxed fit without falling too far down my waist, which often happened with jeans that were too big. These were exactly the fit I was looking for. I actually went a size up to get the exact loosness I wanted.

The shorts are so casual that I wanted to dress them up by pairing a nice tee with my nude platform pumps that I've been living in this summer.

I fell in love with this studded tee from Urban Outfitters. I love the zipper embellishment especially. I almost wish I bought it in grey too...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

In Memoriam of My Beautiful Grandma: 11/3/1936-7//16/2010

Last Friday, my family received the devastating news that my grandmother, my mom's mom, passed away suddenly. The tragic event was very unexpected and shocking to the whole family. I am still suffering from shock, but as I look through photos and read some of the many messages, letters, cards, and notes she wrote me, it is all starting to sink in. My grandma was an incredible woman with the hugest heart. I don't think I've ever known anyone with as many causes as she had. Her death is a loss to so many people who were blessed to have her in their life. I am so glad I got to spend my graduation weekend with her and that she got to be a part of it. She was so happy to be there and was so proud of me. I'll carry that last memory I had with her forever. I will miss her so much, but I am comforted to know that she is spending eternity with the Lord she devoted her life to.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mad Men Style

I just finished the first season of Mad Men and I can now say that I am officially addicted. Even though the morals are all over the place and everything is so hush hush that it makes me want to scream and punch someone, I absolutely cannot stop watching it. I find it almost refreshing to go back to a completely different era, where things we wouldn't even dream of were considered the norm, and everyday was an occasion to dress up. The costume design is exquisite and the hair and makeup is equally impressive. I already have the first 2 discs of season 2 that I can't wait to start up tonight!

I love character Joan Holloway's simple yet sexy sheath dresses. Being the confident siren, she proves that a little goes a long way. If you notice, she wears this same gold pen on a chain throughout the show and works it into every outfit magically.

Character Betty Draper's style is more elegant and refined. She paints the perfect picture of the ideal housewife at the time. Even when going to bed she always looks flawless and Grace Kelly-esque. This look is from an upcoming season and I cannot wait to see it on screen.

This beautiful burnt orange brocade dress I bought at Anthropologie years ago reminds me of something they'd wear in Mad Men. To complete the look, I'd add a pair of my new vintage clip on earrings and a pretty clutch and some pumps and I could transport myself into the show.

Unfortunately, the back is missing a button, which is why I have put off breaking it out, but watching the show has inspired me to find a solution so that I can rock it Man Men style soon!

If you're a Mad Men fan or just want to read up on the amazing style featured in the show, check out the Mad Men fashion file blog on http://blogs.amctv.com/mad-men/fashion-file/

Saturday, July 10, 2010

My Vision Board

This week has been huge for me. I learned that my dream of living in South Africa for a year has become a reality and that I leave next January to teach art and culture and possibly history to kids ages 12-18 in an incredible boarding school! What perfect timing to work on my last assignment in a 5-week money management class of creating a vision board for my life. We were each given poster board and were told to past pictures and whatever else we wanted of things that we vision for our life, whether they be things that inspire us, intrigue us, or things we have been dreaming about since childhood. I was dragging my feet at first, looking at it more as homework than a fun project, but soon after I got started I found myself having so much fun tearing things out of magazines and printing things out and pasting them all together on my board. I have always been a huge dreamer, so finding things to put on the board came very easily. In fact, what I struggled with the most in the end was not having enough room to squeeze in a few more dreams and visions. At least I know that my future isn't contained in a little poster board.

Africa is the start of my dreams coming to life, so I thought it appropriate to place my Africa cluster on first.

Then the hopeless romantic in me was unleashed when I pasted all these things on, which include my dream husband, Robert Redford (unfortunately it's several decades too late for that), and my dream wedding gown, and a lavender field which is my dream location for my wedding. I told you, I'm a big dreamer.

Stay tuned for part 2 of my vision board.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Turquoise for a Hot Summer Day

Top: H&M, skirt: Forever 21, belt: Urban Outfitters, shoes: Guess.

Reminds me of...

Remember that scene in The Devil Wears Prada where Andy comments that the turquoise belts look exactly the same to her and Miranda then gives her a big lecture about her cerulean sweater?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Double Vision

Months ago I saw this photo of Sarah Jessica Parker in this amazing Marchesa masterpiece and saved the image just because I loved it so much. Just recently, I spotted Taylor Swift in the same dress in this month's issue of Marie Claire. Who do you think rocks it better?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Patriotic Expression

"Free at last; free at last; thank God Almighty we are free at last." --Martin Luther King, Jr.

Happy 4th of July everyone! For the 4th I decided to pull put my Zac Posen for Target blue dress with snap details.

I went all out on my nails this year. I achieved this patriotic look by alternating every other nail with blue and red, and then taking a nail art white and using the thin brush to paint horizontal stripes across the red and small dots on the blue. I was actually surprised how well they turned out, given how clumpy the white polish was.

Right now I am watching The Patriot, my recommendation for the perfect 4th of July movie. Enjoy the beautiful fireworks and stay safe!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Floral Dress

In my opinion, everyone should own at least one floral dress for spring and into summer. The look is classic and can be worked with different accents and accessories depending on the season. This week I decided to pull out my floral dress, which is actually sheer lingerie that I got from Victoria's Secret a few years ago. I put a black slip underneath and sinched the waist with a white studded waist belt from H&M and voila! I had my own floral look for summer.

I paired this gold layered chain necklace and white studded belt to give the look a more modern edge.

Here are a few recent floral dress looks I've been loving: