30 November 2012

ModCloth holiday shopping.

I was SO. EXCITED. to get the mail today!  I ordered my long-coveted Coach Tour Dress from ModCloth during last week's Black Friday extravaganza.  And those ModCloth boxes are just so exciting--so festive and happy!  Like pretty much everything else on their site.

I sometimes get angry at ModCloth because everything they sell is so darn cute and I'm always crushin' on something.  Even when an item I really, really want is sold out, I can add it to my "let me know" list and they'll send me an e-mail the minute it's back in stock.  LOVE!

My next ModCloth purchase is going to be a fancy party dress for the annual holiday cocktail shindig that I co-host with my friends.  I think my biggest problem is going to be choosing just one... can I get some feedback from y'all on which one is "hostess with the mostess" appropriate?  Because otherwise, I might end up with at least five dresses... and I don't think my wallet can take it.  Besides, I need to save up for when these shoes are back in stock!

If you're searching for a holiday party dress yourself, ModCloth also has a great new lookbook for just the occasion.

Oh, and someone mentioned to me the other day that this is the season of giving or something?  I'm always hunting ModCloth's accessories and "apartment" sections for great gift ideas, so scoot on over for some gifting solutions to your already-has-everything best friend.

Worst-case scenario, they have gift certificates, too (totally on my stocking stuffer wishlist, if anyone is interested... hint, hint...).

Happy shopping (and, seriously, help me pick a dress!) and have a wonderful first weekend of December!  Yippee!

29 November 2012

home decor DIY for making an apartment a home.

I am way excited to share a tour of one of the coolest spaces I've seen in a long time.  Lizzie from The Hip Soiree won the photo shoot giveaway in August, so I cruised to her place in west Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago to take some lovely boudoir shots!

We had a great time hanging out and I simply fell in love with her home.  I took tons of photos of all its details while Lizzie was getting her hair and makeup for the shoot done in the next room.

I was so excited about all the attention to detail and care that Lizzie and her husband put into their cozy space that I asked Lizzie to write a little something for the Anna Delores blog, and lucky for me (and you!), she agreed!  Without further ado, allow me to introduce Lizzie so she can introduce you to her fun, full-of-great-ideas, lots-of-personality home!

From Lizzie: When moving to LA from the East Coast, I knew I was probably giving up any chance to own a home.  It’s expensive here.  I couldn’t afford a house in the ghetto.  For serious.  I figured it wouldn’t be the end of the world because I’d just find an apartment with some charm and hunker down.  Well… finding a “charming” apartment in Los Angeles isn’t that easy.  Unlike back East, there aren’t a lot of duplexes or old Victorian homes that have been converted into several apartments.  Apartments here are usually housed in giant and generic complexes.  They usually consist of beige carpeting, off-white walls, and no view.  Well, a view of another apartment building, but I don’t think that’s much to write home about.

About six years ago, I moved from one of those typical apartment complexes into another slightly different (and a little less generic) apartment complex.  I had to downsize.  This apartment is about 600 square feet.  It’s basically one long rectangle that acts as the living room, dining room and kitchen and then has one bedroom and a bathroom.  It was pretty much the perfect size for little old me.

Then I got remarried.  Hurray!  One con: 600 square feet is tight for two people.  You are constantly in each other’s business. One pro: my husband can pretty much do any kind of handyman work, and is able to make all my DIY/redecoration dreams a reality.  It’s amazing.  If I can dream it up, he can build it.  Or at least tweak it so that he can build it.  So then it began: the hunkering down and making the apartment of, not so much my dreams (let’s not get crazy), but one I could live in for a long time.

The first project was the covering up of the wall heater.  They.  Are.  Hideous.  Downright unsightly.  If you’ve never seen one, it’s a giant box that sticks out from your wall.  On top of it, you don’t even really use them THAT often as you live in Southern California where it’s pretty warm most of the time.  So, we covered that hideousness up and designed shelves around it.  Half of the people that come over have no idea what’s there.  It’s wonderful.

The second project was the cat shelves.  No carpeted cat tree in our place.  Blecht.  We decided to take a slightly more modern approach and built different-sized wall shelves and covered them with Flor carpeting.  The cats love it.  And so do we.

Next, room dividers.  These things are awesome.  Not only do they block out the sun when we’re watching TV, but they make a perfect privacy curtain when people stay over.  That way I can sneak into the kitchen to make coffee without waking them.

All pillows were handmade by Lizzie!

Finally, the penny wall (featured on Design*Sponge, too!).  The pièce de résistance.  Yep, an entire wall covered in pennies.  I won’t lie.  It’s pretty awesome.  It took us weeks and weeks (more like months) to finish, but it’s pretty amazing.

Best. Idea. Ever.

So pair all those things up with all my non-construction DIY projects and some kitsch (hopefully not too much), and we’ve got an apartment that I can see us living in for a long time.  Emily was nice enough to take some pictures for you all to see, so check 'em out.  (It might be a little dusty, so please forgive me for that…)

Cruise by Lizzie's blog and follow along for regular doses of home decor DIY and party planning genius!

28 November 2012

wear // time for tights.

Let's get to the point here: I. Am. OBSESSED. With. Tights.

As soon as September hit and I felt like it was legitimately permissible to wear tights, I unleashed my stash.  I had at least four or five pair that still had tags on them from last year's winter clearance sales.

I really, really hope that tights aren't going out of style anytime soon.  Not only because I've invested, but because I LOVE them.  They're comfy but a little fancier than leggings, they allow me to keep wearing dresses throughout our California version of winter, they look darned cute with boots and booties and flats, and I don't have to shave my legs every day to wear them.  I know, too much info.  Whatevs.

In honor of tights, here are my favorite looks for what's left of autumn, and for our west coast winter, too.  :)

Way to wear 'em #1: bright pops of color (center of attention, anyone?)   Bold-hued tights can completely change the mood of any outfit.  I love the way these ladies have used bright colors to transform their looks in ways I wouldn't have imagined.  I'll be pairing this navy dress with bright pink next time, thankyouverymuch.

Way to wear 'em #2: über-neutral (a.k.a. my comfort zone)   Mmmkay, so maybe this makes me a little boring, but I like to play it safe (or I'm just lazy) and 90% of the time, my tights are black.  To be fair, this is in part because I'm often wearing tights to a wedding for my photography work, and bright turquoise just isn't my thing for worky-work time (I don't want to take any attention away from the bride!  Turquoise camera bags are as far as I'll go, heehee!).  Anyway.  I think these examples of how to rock neutral-tone tights are spot on and, really, not so boring after all.

Way to wear 'em #3: pretty patterns.   The availability (and variety) of patterns now available for tights-lovers like myself is almost overwhelming.  Almost.  I have the basic sweater-texture varieties and some lacey friends, too, but I could use some floral print or heart-patterned or something, too.  And I think I need to try this out immediately...

Way to wear 'em #4: do the polka.   My absolute favorite look this year has been POLKA DOT tights!  Everywhere I see polka dot tights, I must buy them.  And when they are "one size fits all," I generally get frustrated.  ModCloth has been guilty of this.  But I can also appreciate that plenty of women are smaller than I, and thus "one size fits all" is not a problem.  So, ModCloth, no hard feelings.  I've also had good luck at Forever 21 and Madewell.

What's the verdict on your end?  Are you a tights-wearer?  And if so, what's your fave?

27 November 2012

ornament swap

Early this month, I signed up for Dawn's ornament swap for the holiday season.  I was paired up with Meghan of The Magpie Blog.  Not only did I develop an immediate crush on Meghan's sense of style (for example, here, here, and OMG SHOES here), but also on this awesome photo of her announcing the arrival of the holiday season:

Um, hello?  Adorable much?  I'm definitely Meghan's newest fan.

As if she hadn't already won me over, Meghan scored some serious points with this right here:

I felt so spoiled opening up the package Meghan had packed for me!  It was just so pretty and carefully crafted.  I'm always so happy when someone takes the time to make the presentation of a gift special.  I almost didn't want to open it.  Almost.  And Fanny (below) was obviously jealous.

Here is an excerpt from the poem that Meghan enclosed for me, titled "The Gift":

A poor orphan girl named Maria
Was walking to market one day
She stopped for to rest by the roadside
Where a bird with a broken wing lay
A few moments passed till she saw it
For its feathers were covered with sand
But soon clean and wrapped in was traveling
In the warmth of Maria's small hand.

She happily gave her last peso
On a cage made of rushes and twine
She fed it loose corn from the market
And watched it grow stronger with time...

Maria brought the bird as an offering to the altar on Christmas Eve, embarrassed by her modest gift.  When she opened the door of the cage, however, the bird soared to the rafters of the church on his healed wing...

Now Maria felt blessed just to listen
To that cascade of notes sweet and long
As her offering was lifted to heaven
By the very first nightingale's song.

Thank you so much, Meghan!  I adore my ornament and was truly touched by the care and effort that you put into sending me such a lovely package and equally-lovely gift enclosure!  It was a sincere pleasure to swap with you and get to know you -- many thanks to Dawn for partnering us together and for organizing the entire ornament swap!

I consider this an excellent beginning to a happy holiday season.

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