Thursday, September 30, 2010

Channeling Jasmine (See Jane Shrug)

Just when I thought harem pants were fading away into oblivion, my trip to Paris last month totally proved me wrong.  Not only were the très chic Parisians donning these silky, billowy bottoms, but they wore them in an array of prints.  Now, I have a pair of harem-esque (emphasis on the esque) black Theory pants that I wear to work, but, I'm not so sure.  Not all trends work for everyone and I just don't think I could pull these off.


...but not for me.  For you?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Salted Caramel Brownies (See Jane Bake)

I'm admittedly not much of a baker.  Given the choice, I'd much rather cook a dinner than bake a batch of cookies.  I think a lot of that is due to the fact that I don't have much of a sweet tooth.  When I was little, all I wanted was sugar and ice cream but as I got older (I blame college), I switched teams and am now a salt addict.

I put my own spin on the uber-talented Brown Eyed Baker's recipe for Salted Caramel Brownies (i.e. I made brownies out of a box) and essentially just followed her instructions for the caramel glaze.  They were super easy and the perfect combination of salty and sweet.  Sometimes I just need a break from my salt lick, you know?

How do you feel about salted caramel?

Don't forget, tomorrow is the last day to enter my CSN giveaway!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wanted: Stunt Double (See Jane Search)

I love everything about these shoes, except two things: the price and the platform.  I understand the need for extra heel height, but being the pragmatic girl I am, I know it'll be hard for me to get around in these kicks.  I'd also prefer not to be 6'5" in my shoes.

I'm pretty good at scouring the internet for viable alternatives but have come up completely short on this particular task.  Aren't there any suede black pumps out there with an ankle strap that aren't $380 (and won't make me look/walk like Frankenstein)?

P.S. Don't forget to enter my giveaway that ends on Thursday night!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Per-suede Me (See Jane Ask)

I'm in some dire need of some styling tips.  I bought these boots at Zara in France (i.e. returns unlikely) and while I really like them, I'm not sure how to wear them.  In fact, a friend even noticed them in my closet and said that she liked them but wasn't sure if I'd wear them.  That scenario tends to happen once in a while and I'm determined to get some use out of these shoes.

So I ask my loyal readers, how would you wear these green-brown, suede, wedge booties?

Friday, September 24, 2010

CSN Giveaway (See Jane Give)

I'm happy to announce a giveaway with CSN stores to all my readers.  Up for grabs is a $35 gift card to any of their sites!

I've checked out what they have to offer and it ranges from bed sets to shoes to Missoni home (seriously!).  As most of you know, I spent a good part of my summer looking for the perfect items to decorate my new apartment and I can honestly say, look no further than CSN's furniture and decor sites.  They have a huge array of upholstered headboards that I wish I would have found last spring.  I also have my eye on a few throw pillows...

To enter:  Become a follower of my blog via Google, check out what CSN's sites have to offer, and leave me a comment so I can enter you!

Extra entries include (please leave a comment for each extra entry so I may count it):
Good luck everyone!  I will announce the winner next Friday, October 1.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Birthday Wishes (See Jane Sing)

Happy Birthday to my best friend in the whole world.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

First Day of Fall (See Jane Change)

When I got this tan leather jacket a few months back, I hung it at the front of my closet just waiting for the day it would be cool enough outside to wear it.  That's the blessing and the curse of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale--you can buy fall items for a significant discount, but unfortunately, you won't get to wear it for awhile.  The wind blew in a chilly day this past weekend and I finally got to wear my new favorite jacket. 

Kenna-T jacket, H&M dress, Kate Spade shoes

It's officially fall!  Time for layers and all things pumpkin (speaking of, check out my friend's pumpkin recipes--I've tried them and they're delicious).

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cheap Thrills (See Jane Save)

I could easily spend an hour of my Sunday in Walgreens.  Wandering the aisles, looking for more useless stuff to cram under my sink--yes, there's nothing quite like it.  I do have the typical drugstore staples that I buy every few months, but this time it's different.  Recently, I've found a couple items that I can't live without...for a few weeks at least.  Here are the products that (probably) won't disappear into a black hole and remain undiscovered until I move from this current apartment in a year or so:

Maybelline Falsies.  I buy cheap mascara--I see no difference between Maybelline and Dior when it comes to lashes.  L'Oreal Voluminous is my normal staple, but post-eyelash curler, I'm quite pleased with Falsies so far.

Maybelline Lipstick in Coral Crush.  Fact:  I've never purchased a lipstick before this.  I'm generally a balm or gloss gal, but when I saw that it was one of Emily Schuman's staple lipsticks, I had to give it a whirl.  I'm sloooooowly easing in this whole lipstick thing, so for now a light layer or dab under gloss is it for me.

Any cheap thrills that you've discovered?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Baby's First Chanel (See Jane Smile)

When I was in Paris, my boyfriend fiancé (if I must..) bought me my first Chanel item, aside from perfume and makeup.  It was an eventful day for me and the stars must have been aligned.  Also, the cost of Chanel products is cheaper in France and with the VAT you get back, it turns out to be a much better deal than if you would have purchased it in the states.  I have no pictures of the the ballet flats yet, but I think the display of the box is almost as impressive as the shoes themselves.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fingers + Toes (See Jane Painted)

I received my first fall-themed manicure and pedicure after work in San Francisco today.  I scanned over the dark colors with excitement and glee but ended up passing over favorites like Essie's Wicked for a more transitional color.  I have all winter (and in Chicago, it's very long) to wear dark, vampy colors.

The perfect taupe-gray and muted lavender are all mine...until they chip, at least.  Chinchilly by Essie on my fingernails (left), and Island Hopping on my toes (right).

What are you wearing on your nails this fall?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Last Chance (See Jane Hold On)

This is what a desperate last attempt of summer looks like.  Tank tops + sandals.  Actually, I'm lying...these photos are from Rome and it was quite toasty for our time there.  As much as I love fall (ex: I bought $40 worth of socks today), I'm always sad to see summer leave.  Do I really have to wait a whole year to walk outside in shorts and sandals?

H&M tank + sandals, J Crew skirt, Joes Jeans bag

Are you holding onto anything that represents summer?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Quickie Quinoa (See Jane Cook)

I really love to cook but don't get much of an opportunity to do so.  I travel constantly for work and am only really at home on the weekends (remember my sob pet story?).  Because of this schedule, I find it a tad pointless to go to the grocery store to loads of fresh (and perishable) food when come Monday morning, I'll be on the road again.  This past weekend, I had a different tune.  I went to the grocery store and picked my produce carefully, ensuring that I would use what I bought.  Long story short, I bought some quinoa and wanted to make it even healthier by adding fresh veggies.  It was one of the easiest things I've ever made and would make a quick dinner or health

To cook, bring 2 cups of low-sodium broth to a boil (you can use water, but I find broth gives it extra flavor) then add the quinoa and reduce to a simmer, cooking for 15 minutes.  Once cooked (no draining necessary), add ingredients of your choice.  I made up the recipe as I went along, just adding cherry tomatoes, garlic, basil, red pepper, onion, and parmesan.  I seasoned to taste with sea salt and fresh black pepper.

I feel healthier already.  What do you make in a pinch?

Monday, September 13, 2010

NYFW (See Jane Envy)

We're now in the thralls of New York Fashion Week and I'm enjoying reading up on the daily happenings.  I know many of you ventured out to the events (some via plane, others via cab) and I couldn't be more jealous.  The onset of Fashion Week has almost reminded me of the fact that not only summer is definitely over, but fall is now in full swing...and now I'm fawning over clothes that won't be out until Spring 2011.  Where does the time go?

Some of my favorites:

Alexander Wang

Ports 1961

Peter Som

I'm seeing a lot of updated 90s styles along with minimalism (and I love it).  Have you been reading up on any of the shows (or have you been lucky enough to attend)?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Have a Wonderful Weekend (See Jane Relieved)

Work weeks following a three day weekend (and 12 day vacation) are extra tough.  Cheers to the week being almost over and a nice, relaxing weekend ahead.

Random bits from my trip:

Wishing you all a fantastic weekend.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

American Girl in Paris (See Jane Speak French)

The weather in Paris was refreshingly cooler than the other cities on my trip.  I welcomed the sunny, 68 degree days with open arms.  Finally, the one jacket I  packed (but almost forgot) came in handy.  The weather in Paris also convinced me to buy these gray booties at Zara--I ended up wearing them almost every day while there.  I especially love that they remind me of boots that John Lennon would wear circa 1965, or "Beatles Boots" as my dad calls them.  Happiness is a new shoe.

H&M jacket, socks + scarf, J Crew tank + skirt, Zara boots, Rebecca Minkoff bag

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Five Lands (See Jane Hike)

I've never claimed to be athletic; in fact, some (naysayers) may describe me as downright uncoordinated.  Nevertheless, I went on a five-hour hike in Cinque Terre, Italy and it was easily one of my favorite outdoor activities...ever.  I'm sure the breathtaking views played a hefty part in the overall enjoyment of what would have otherwise been a daunting task, but I also found it very rewarding to finish up the hike.  Maybe there's a triathlon in my future after all...

The hike was a mere blink of what I really did in Cinque Terre:  eat and lay on the beach.  While the area was chock full of tourists, it didn't take away from the sheer charm of this sleepy coastal beach town(s) and it was easily the favorite part of my trip.  The best parts of Cinque Terre:

Swimming in the Mediterranean

Layout out in Monterossso

The scenery

 The hike

If you ever head to Italy, I highly recommend paying a visit to Cinque Terre--it's one of the most beautiful places I've ever visited.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Among the Ruins (See Jane Roam)

While I often hear that Rome a must-see among European cities, I get the feeling from visitors that it's not a favorite like Paris, London, or even Florence.  Yes, Rome may be dirty, loud, and busy but it's a also a huge city that has housed inhabitants for thousands of years.

While a thoroughly modern city, Romans still live among the ruins; everyday they may pass by a 2,000 year old crumbling structures every day as if it's commonplace.  When you roam the streets, you can't help but wonder stepped on these cobblestones years before you.  Julius Caesar?  Michaelangelo?  Russell Crowe?

I find Rome to be a magical place and thousands before me would seem to agree.  I would love to see what it's like in another thousand years.  Watch me roam one of my favorite places...

Ciao ciao!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Back At It (See Jane Return)

Gosh, it feels good to be back.  I have so many pictures to share, but naturally I lost my USB cord that connects my camera to my computer somewhere in Italy so it's they're on hold until I receive my new one (it's in the mail).

Until new favorite place on Earth:  Cinque Terre


I'll also be catching up on all of your blogs and can't wait.  Oh, and I can't believe it's already September.