Wednesday, October 22, 2014

3 Literary Inspired Halloween Costumes

Megan: What I love most about Halloween (aside from the peanut butter cups) is that it affords us opportunities as adults to play dress-up! I love the whimsy of donning a costume and embracing an entire persona. My favorite costumes are the ones made of items from my own closet; they feel more authentic (and less flammable) than the pre-packaged costumes from Halloween shops. This year I found inspiration right on my book shelf and created three costumes of some of my favorite women in literature: Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany's, Alice from Alice in Wonderland, and Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby. I pulled the main pieces from my wardrobe and picked up a few accessories from a costume shop to complete the looks. Happy Halloween!

Holly Golightly

Megan: The Givenchy outfit Audrey Hepburn is wearing in the opening scene of Breakfast at Tiffany's is one of the most iconic costumes of film, which made recreating the look fairly simple: all it requires is a classic little black dress, black elbow-length gloves, pearls, and sunnies. I tucked a tiara into my top knot to recreate her bejeweled updo, and you could certainly carry a danish in a little paper bag for authenticity and snacking purposes, darling.

Dress: Kate Spade, similar Erin Fetherston frocks here and here | Necklaces: J.Crew, pearls and similar crystals | Bracelet: Banana Republic, similar J.Crew version here and here | Shoes: C.Wonder, similar Ted Baker version here | Sunnies: Ray-Ban, but Audrey Hepburn really wore these Oliver Goldsmith's

Alice in Wonderland

Megan: Alice has always been my favorite heroine in the Disney oeuvre because she isn't a princess and her story didn't involve finding a prince. Plus, her outfit is three easy pieces, so she makes for a quick costume. I layered a short sleeve button up shirt under a simple blue dress, and I found a seller on eBay who makes custom pinafores, and - ta da! - we have Alice. I completed the look with a black satin ribbon headband, some ruffly white socks, black round toe pumps, and a teacup which makes for a convenient drinking vessel for any party you might find down a rabbit hole.
Dress: Forever21, though these ASOS styles here and here will do, too | Shirt: Loft, similar Gap version here | Pinafore: Custom ebay order | Shoes: Ann Taylor, similar J.Crew version here

Daisy Buchanan

Megan: Daisy Buchanan is an incredibly identifiable character in her own right, but she also represents the Roaring Twenties era, so there are lots of fun period elements you can pull from and incorporate into your own rendition of Daisy. I paired this gold beaded Sue Wong cocktail dress with art deco inspired jewelry and topped it off with a flapper-esque headband. And to really pull together the costume, I tucked this Great Gatsby clutch under my arm for a night of large parties (because they're so intimate, of course).
Dress: Sue Wong, similar style here | Necklace: J.Crew, similar here | Bracelet: J.Crew, similar here | Shoes: Ann Taylor, similar J.Crew version here | Bag: Kate Spade

All images on this post are by photographer Kristin Lance.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

5 DIY Projects for Grown-up Halloween Parties

As I've already mentioned, Halloween is my favorite holiday. But figuring out the proper way to celebrate during these past few years has been tricky. My friends and I are obviously too old for trick or treating, and the days of wearing tiny costumes in a crowded bar with an all-you-can-drink package are also (sadly) behind us. Yet we're not quite at the stage where we have kids to dress up and celebrate with. Why did no one warn me of this awkward in-between Halloween phase?! I'm determined not to ignore the holiday, so I've been searching around for more adult-appropriate Halloween party ideas. The projects below are perfect for that. (As is my Halloween bar cart!) And if you need more general Halloween inspiration, check out my Trick or Treat board on Pinterest.

Free Printable Calligraphy Invitations via A Fabulous Fete

Poison Bottle Flower Vases via Camille Styles

Pretzel Broomstick Appetizers via Sprinkle Bakes

"Cockroach" Martini Olives via Julep

Even grown-ups love treats!
Iron-on transfer for treat bags via Oscar & Emma

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Halloween Bar Cart Design

This is my first Halloween bar cart! How exciting. I repurposed the Susty Party Black Collection from last month's masculine bar cart design, which worked beautifully in this black, white and orange Halloween design. More sources listed below. My favorite new element is the gold cube terrarium that I used as a candy holder. And the rat candleholder couldn't be cuter. Sources listed below:
Cube Terrarium | Black and White m&m's and Orange Gumballs via Dewey's Candy | Rock Candy via Chocolate WorksSusty Party Bowls | Rufflewood Cocktail Napkins | Susty Party Plates | Striped Favor Bags

Monday, October 6, 2014

4 Free, Pretty October Downloads for Desktop & Mobile

Emily Ley Lockscreen & Wallpaper
It really feels like I was just posting our monthly check-in for September - though, I suppose it's no big surprise that birthday month was a bit of a blur. This month I'm looking forward to Halloween (obviously). I'm repurposing Susty Party's black collection (seen in this masculine bar cart design last month) and featuring it in a black & white Halloween bar cart design. By the way, you have until tomorrow to enter to win the black collection! I'm also busy this month prepping for our second annual Friendsgiving celebration, which is happening early in November. I've been revisiting my notes from last year while trying to make sure this year's tablescape and details are fresh and unique. I'd like to say an early thank you to Lauren Chism Fine PapersRufflewood and Reed & Barton for being so wonderful to work with! Here are my favorite tech downloads for this month. It's hard to choose a favorite! As always, the captions link to the designers' sites. Happy Halloween month!!

Maya Bee Illustrations
Oana Befort
Sugar Paper

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Desk to Dinner Style

I hope you're as excited as I am that our Megan is back from summer break! Here she is...

Megan: Every September, as the days grow shorter and the evenings cooler, I find myself wondering how summer could possibly have flown by so fast. I hang up my sundresses and put away my swimsuits for another season. As vacations (and summer Fridays for the lucky ones!) wind down and the schedule returns to a more regular 9-5, my calendar once again starts to fill up with post-work happy hours and dinner parties. Special events during the work week require outfits that can transition from desk to dinner with a swap of a shoe and a swipe of lipstick, so I’ve pulled together three looks perfect for week night festivities and celebrations.
Megan: If you’re headed straight from a day at the office to a date with a special someone, I love the idea of a long sleeve little black dress with some extra embellishments. The gems and metallic accents make this Kate Spade number special, while the ponte fabric and shift style keeps it from feeling too formal. For day, I’ve paired it with pointy-toed flats and let the neckline be the main accessory; for the evening, I’ve turned up the glamour by swapping the flats for a great pair of hot pink pumps and added a few more bangles and baubles and a sparkly clutch!
Dress: Kate Spade, similar Cynthia Steffe version here | Flats: Kate Spade | Watch and Bracelets: Kate Spade, similar bangle here (on sale!), similar bow bracelet here, watch here | Heels: Banana Republic, similar metallic version here and Kate Spade version here | Bag: Vintage Whiting and Davis

Megan: My love of fancy pants cannot be overstated, in part due to their ability to be dressed up or down. They are just as appropriate in a professional setting as they are at a dinner party with friends, and just a few swaps in styling can take them from day to night quite easily. I've paired this pair of blush-colored satin pants with a nautical striped top and a leopard belt. For the office, I've paired them with a simple, classic black d'orsay pump, and for the evening, I've paired them with a bolder gold cap-toe pump. It feels fancy without being fussy.
Pants: J.Crew, similar here | Top: BCBG, similar here, similar Gap version here | Belt: J.Crew, similar Factory version here | Black Pumps: J.Crew Factory | Gold cap toe pumps: J.Crew Factory | Jewelry: J.Crew; pearl bracelet, similar necklace here

Megan: If you work in an office where you can get away with jeans on Fridays (or Thursdays or Tuesdays, as the case may be), try dressing them up with a few special pieces to take them from the workday to drinks with friends. This outfit couldn't be simpler - essentially just a white button up shirt and a pair of jeans - but the embellishments and accessories make it festive. I've paired it with sparkly flats for day and a great pair of leopard d'orsay heels for the evening. A few extra crystals, and you're ready to pop the bubbly!
Shirt: J.Crew Factory | Jeans: J Brand, similar style here | Flats: Zara, similar here | Heels: Halogen, similar J.Crew version here | Bracelet: Banana Republic, similar J.Crew Factory version here | Necklace: J.Crew

Friday, September 26, 2014

Weekend Links: The Latest in Fall Celebration

Watch the artist hand letter the beautiful calligraphy above on Antiquaria. It's mesmerizing.
Fall is, without a doubt, my favorite season. It contains my two favorite holidays - Halloween and my birthday (yes I just called my birthday a holiday). Plus it's back to school time! Is there anything better than a fresh notebook and new pens?! (More to come on glam office accessories soon.) Here are your links for the weekend!

Bon Appétit put together a list of 15 Pasta Recipes to Make this Fall. I can't wait until I've lost the weight I gained during the summer of rosé & burrata so I can put it back on with this strozzapreti

A chef & master sommelier from Provence are touring America this fall, and you can hire them to put on a wine tasting and dinner party in your home. They'll even ship wine to you from their cellar in Chateauneuf du Pape in advance. What an amazing night that would be!

Speaking of the French, apparently there's a calendar featuring nude French wine harvesters. Only 100 copies were made to be given as gifts and it's a major coup to get your hands on one. No I didn't make that up.

Just one more thing - next week, MEGAN is back with desk to date looks!!

Happy weekend!