Monthly Archives: December 2013

Imageone of my fave online retailers (i visited their brick and mortar store during a recent business trip to raleigh and TRUST, the space was FABULOUS) is having a 40% off sale today only on all holiday goodies.

on my shopping list: 

happy holladays cards

mr. and mrs. holiday glasses (so cute for newlyweds!)

brass sitting reindeer (the perfect holiday tchotchke for my media stand)

4taylor-500x666did you see this beautiful first apartment in brooklyn, featured on design*sponge the other week? i fell head over heels for the space, mostly because it’s got everything i dreamed i’d have in my first new york apartment. i moved to the city having very little understanding of what it meant to find (and secure) an apartment in the concrete jungle. i thought crown moldings and hardwood floors (not parquet, yuck) came standard. i thought i’d have lots of light and maybe a little balcony on which to stand and smoke cigarettes in the evenings (i don’t even smoke cigarettes, mind you, but the image is romantic and seems fitting to a new new yorker). i thought i’d have slightly chipping paint in the kitchen, and exposed brick in the living room, and the sort of quaint, early 1900s light fixtures that are so ugly they’ve become cool again.2taylor-500x666

in my first apartment, i got one of these things: a little bit of exposed brick walls. but i also paid way too much for a shoebox of a room with little to no natural light. i awoke each morning to the sound of pigeons cooing. i could not tell what the weather was come daylight; my window abutted another building. it was less romantic than i envisioned, and so when i moved a year later, i looked for two things and two things only: light, and space. i got them both, but with them, i sacrificed character. now, i live in a much larger shoebox, but it’s all angular lines and 1950s finishes (parquet floors, yuck!). it’s modern, yes, and updated, yes, and for that i am thankful. but it has none of the charm, none of the character, that i associate with a new york apartment. i’ve come to believe such apartments are hard to find – a place where you can get space to entertain your friends and family, while still getting original hardwood floors and gorgeous crown moldings and quirky light fixtures to boot.10taylor-500x750

apparently, i was wrong. they might be hard to find, but they are not impossible. case in point: this beautiful crown heights apartment, which belongs to a 25 year old girl named taylor. taylor found and designed the space all by herself, and it’s a beautiful, layered home comprised of flea market finds, hipster furniture pieces, and cozy antique tchotckes. i want it for my own! all of it! this home gives me hope that someday, i can get a one bedroom apartment just for me (and penny, of course), with all the charm and character i want. and maybe the paint will be peeling just a little bit, but it won’t matter, because i’ll have tin ceilings and herringbone hardwoods and all will be right with the world.11taylor-500x333 3taylor-500x666 1taylor-500x750 9taylor-500x750 12taylor-500x750 5taylor-500x333 6taylor-500x333 7taylor-500x333 13taylor-500x750 bathroomhall 14taylor 8taylor-500x375

a girl can dream!


i haven’t had a ton of opportunities to shop for men over the holidays, mostly because my family is comprised of all women, and my guy friends have never been of the gift-exchanging sort. and of course, i’m single, and have been for quite a while. which means i basically only buy gifts for women. that being said, i had a fabulous time putting together this gift guide for gents. let’s just say i am doing some imaginary shopping for my imaginary boyfriend (who of course is the type to make fancy cocktails and use fancy beard oil). hey, if this is imaginary, he can be whoever i want him to be, right?

for those of you with actual men in your lives, godspeed. and here’s hoping you like this handy dandy gentleman’s gift guide.

happy shopping!



shop other installments of the 2013 gift guide:

stocking stuffers

bits and bobs for besties

paper snob

beauty junkie

office space


all that glitters

imageI’m currently blogging live from the tiny little screen of my iPhone out of the beautiful San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. It is pretty, the people have stories to tell, and I’m getting such a refreshing perspective on life. Be back next week with lots of rum and photos.

Hasta luego!

Winter Hats


i’m a gal who loves a good winter accessory. i have an entire dresser drawer dedicated to hats, scarves, and gloves. i probably own around 15 scarves, maybe as many hats, and at least 4 pairs of gloves (and counting). what can i say? i grew up in the northeast. i went to school in upstate new york. i then moved to new york city, a place that is, deceptively, much colder than you think it’ll be. something about all those tall buildings creates a serious wind tunnel syndrome, and let me tell you, it can be positively FRIGID here come december and january.

i remember last year, in the weeks following hurricane sandy, when we had no heat, or hot water, or power. each day, i’d walk home from work, crossing the line between NoPo (north of power) into SoPo (south of power), where i lived. as the lights disappeared and the skyline behind me blended into the night stars, it got cold. like, really cold. and then i’d trudge the ten flights of stairs up to my apartment, which was also dark and cold. for at least a week, every night, i returned home, lit all the candles i could find, and put on two layers of pajama pants, a sweatshirt, a hat, and big wool socks, and sat with my faux fur blanket snuggled around me on the couch, a comforter on top of that. a tweet from last year post-sandy reads: Trying to stay warm sans heat = currently wearing sparkly rainbow converse, faux fur leopard jacket, plaid scarf + hot pink pom hat. So chic

there’s something to be said for the kind of chill that you just can’t shake, and in the days following sandy, i learned firsthand how that kind of cold works. i was lucky to get power back about 10 days after the hurricane, and heat and hot water soon after that. i don’t ever want to be that cold for an extended period of time, let me tell you.*

that kind of cold means you layer with all you’ve got. it means hats are absolutely essential (they keep the heat in, folks). in other words, if you don’t have a great winter hat, it’s time to go out and buy one. maybe even one of the ten above?

*ps: there are many in this city (and probably in your city, too) who go without the cold weather gear they need to get through the winter. if you’re anything like me, you’ve got extra clothing you don’t wear. please consider donating to your local coat drive, or find a shelter in your area that’s accepting donations for hats, scarves, and gloves. new yorkers, you can find information about the new york cares coat drive here. 

Holiday Gift Guide 2013_Covermy mantra for gift giving is simple: give people what they wouldn’t buy for themselves. this varies from person to person, of course, but for most of us, it’s those little luxuries. the things we see and say, “ooh, i’d really love that”, but then do not buy. like the uber expensive nail polish with perfectly oversized flecks of glitter. or that fancy schmancy lip balm. or those cashmere gloves that are oh so soft but not exactly oh so necessary. gifts should give people a little bit of light in their heart, a little bit of sparkle in their step. the best gifts, in my opinion, aren’t necessarily the ones that people will use day to day, but the ones that add a little bit of luxury to their everyday. get them the things they’d want, but would never, ever, buy for themselves.

nowhere is the mantra more applicable than when shopping for your besties. see, besties deserve the best, because they are the best. they’re the girls that you call when you’re crying so hard snot is dripping down your face and you can barely catch your breath. they’re the ones that show up with your favorite kinds of candy and a mary-kate and ashley movie when you’ve had a rough day. they’re the ones who know when to tell you it’ll all be okay, and when to tell it to you straight.

i don’t have a ton of close girlfriends, but i can count them on one hand, and i feel pretty damn lucky to have each and every one of them. here are a few of the things i’m thinking of getting them this holiday season.

Holiday Gift Guide 2013_Bits and Bobs for Besties


fresh sugar lip balm in berry | c. wonder leopard print minauderie | simpatico bubble bath | bop basics cashmere texting gloves | IT by alexa chung | lip print mug | bien fait phone case | pinch mini emergency kit | bobbi brown shimmer powder | the everygirl keep not settling phone case | fresh rose face mask | stretchy hair ties | deborah lippmann glitter polishes | nars cinematic lipstick | monogrammed miniature notebook | tortoise shell phone case