monday links

It seems like Spring has finally arrived throughout most of the country this week. Everyone seems to be in the mood for spring cleaning - I did a bit of it myself this weekend. Little Green Notebook has a great round-up of homemade natural cleaners (that don't smell like vinegar!). And if those don't work, there's always Plan B

Did you do anything to celebrate Earth Day last week? It's always a great time for making resolutions to be more green. Check out this list of tips for 10 ways to be less wasteful everyday. I'm going to try to implement a few of these into my routine, like using cloth napkins on a daily basis and buying some re-usable mesh bags for produce. And recycling all our cardboard toilet paper rolls- it makes me crazy to think about how many millions of those must get thrown away. 

Have you noticed food prices rising lately? This article in Bon Appetit spells out all the foods expected to be in short supply and more expensive this year- scary stuff. So many delicious things: beef, pork, shrimp, coffee, and limes (which have tripled in price!). It's a good reminder that all our abnormal weather is affecting more than just our moods- time to get serious about those Earth day resolutions! 

Anthropologie has a new collection of ceiling medallions that are making me wish I lived in an old house with high ceilings and crown molding. The smaller options are quite affordable, but even the bigger options seem worth the price for the huge impact they could make in the right room. 

[Vintage woman via The Darling Housekeeper, Napkin photo from West Elm, Shrimp photo from Bon Appetit, Ceiling Medallions from Anthropologie]


orla kiely cosmetic bags

I'm pretty sure that Target is trying to bankrupt me. Every time I turn around, they seem to be launching another amazing designer collaboration. The other day I stumbled upon the Orla Kiely collection of cosmetics bags in my local Target and was suddenly overwhelmed with the need for a new makeup bag (or five). I love Orla Kiely's beautiful retro prints, and these do not disappoint.

The line at Target is called "Orla Kiely etc". After examining these in person, I was impressed with the quality. The details (like the zippers) don't seem quite as nice as those on her eponymous line, but at less than half the price, it seems like a good trade-off. Most of the bags are made from durable coated canvas and are lined with all sorts of mesh and zip pockets to organize your brushes and accessories.

The collection is available in three groups of prints- most of which feature fun bright orange accents on the zipper pulls and handles. The only problem is going to be deciding which ones to buy. Fortunately, the collection is pretty inexpensive (the pieces range from $10-$30), so I may be able to justify more than one...

[All photos from Target]


monday links

Arg, Mondays. amiright!?

Hey friends, its been a craptastic weekend, so naturally I've turned to Kids in the Hall and cute animal videos... enjoy!

Is this puppy part Easter bunny? Watch videos of his crazy hopping here.

Video of an extremely ferocious baby elephant here (you may want to turn the sound off for this one).

And now I must be off to watch my new favorite show, Call the Midwife. Here's hoping for a better week ahead!

[Puppy photo from his Vine,  Elephant via Imgur]


monday links

Happy Monday! Have you finished your taxes yet? Better get on it, procrastinators! If you're in need of a little break this afternoon, watch this silly video featuring Superheroes as the Golden Girls.

Who wants to see Only Lovers Left Alive, Jim Jarmusch's new movie starring Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston as hipster vampires? I'm intrigued by the idea of vampires using their hundreds of years of immortality to read and listen to music rather than being scary ghouls (or sparkly permanent highschoolers, I'm looking at you Twilight). It actually makes the idea of being a vampire sound kind of appealing- imagine having all the time in the world to read every great book there ever was!
Check out the NY Times review, and an interesting interview with Tilda Swinton.

Have you seen Coral & Tusk's new line of embroidered fabric? The first collection features three whimsical prints on upholstery weight linen. It's only available to the trade (arg), but if anyone wants to send me one of these pillows, I'll happily accept.

I recently came across GUDRUN SJÖDÉNa Swedish brand of clothing and home textiles. They have some really fun floral prints for Spring. A lot of their clothes are a little too older hippie lady for me (think flowing tunics layered over skirts over pants), but there are some gems to be found- like these printed sneakers, asymmetrical jacket,  and boatneck dress.  They just opened their first US store in NY, but I think their next shop should probably open in Berkeley (the ladies of 4th street would be all over this). They also have gorgeous prints for the home- I love everything in the Gökotta print.

[Super Golden Friends photo from L7World, Only Lovers Left Alive photo from Sony Pictures Classics via Buzzfeed, Coral & Tusk photo by Geoffrey Sokol via Daily AD, Girl in garden photo from GUDRUN SJÖDÉN]


i hate perfume

I love perfume, and I hate perfume. I love the idea of capturing the scent of a flower and being able to carry it around in your pocket. I am fascinated by the art and history behind perfume. I love the idea of having a personal scent that people associate with you. But too often, I do not like the reality of perfume. With most perfumes, I am disappointed that the scent doesn't live up to its fanciful name and description. Many times I am left with a pounding headache from over-powering, musky colognes or cloyingly sweet florals. One encounter with a spray-happy employee at Sephora and I'm ready to swear off scent forever.

Enter CB I Hate Perfume.

Christopher Brosius created his line of perfumes as a response to many of the (horrible) mass market perfumes available. He recognized the powerful and personal role scent plays in our lives, how it can evoke memories and transport us back to a specific place or time.

As he puts it in this interview:

“In terms of how my perfumes smell they are often not at all what people expect when they pick up a bottle and smell it. The world has become conditioned to expect a number of qualities from perfume: it’s pretty, it’s abstract, it’s sexy…God knows what that means…but my perfumes actually smell like real things, real places, real experiences."

CB has a huge selection of what they call "single accords"- scents that capture one very specific smell- everything from soaked earth to crayons or roast beef. Though you might not want to smell like roast beef, being able to smell it perfectly captured in a bottle is a wondrous and magical experience- I was instantly reminded of my Grandma's kitchen at Christmas. I have a bottle of Ginger Ale accord, which not only captures the scent, but also somehow the effervescent nose-tickling fizziness of soda.

In addition to the single accords, Brosius has developed a collection of ready to wear perfumes (which happen to be some of my favorite perfumes ever). Each perfume has a story behind it; they are all based on a specific place or memory. My personal favorite is Russian Caravan Tea, which is described as "smoked black Indian tea, bergamot and the hint of shelves full of old books". One sniff and you'll be longing to curl up in the library with a big cup of Earl Grey. I also love At the Beach 1966, which perfectly captures the scent of spending a day at the beach- including the Coppertone sunscreen. My husband's favorite is Winter 1972, which is masculine without any of that heavy Drakkar Noir-esque scent I usually associate with cologne (and hate). Rather, it conjures up "a field of untouched new fallen snow, hand knit woolen mittens covered with frost, a hint of frozen forest & sleeping earth". The description may sound a bit over the top, but it really does smell like all that, and I absolutely love the scent. 

A selection of Brosius' perfumes are available on his website, though you'll have to visit the gallery for all the individual accords. If you are ever in Brooklyn, I highly recommend a visit to his gallery- the selection of scents is truly astonishing. Even if you are not normally a fan of perfume, you can easily spend an hour there experiencing the magic of all the scents. Plus, he doesn't use any of the chemicals that turn many people off perfume, and none of his scents have given me a headache so far. 

CB I Hate Perfume just celebrated it's 10th anniversary with a limited edition box containing the full collection of Brosius' perfumes. If you've got an extra $6500 to burn, how fun would it be to own such a wide range of scents?! My ultimate perfume dream is to commission a custom scent from him though. I don't even know what that costs (I'm guessing not cheap), but whatever it is, I'm sure its worth it. A custom scent blended just for you, that no one else on Earth will ever have- ultimate luxury! While I'm saving my pennies, I'll be dreaming of what kind of a scent I would choose...

[Perfume bottle photo via The President Wears Prada, Brosius photo from Interview Magazine, Perfume photo via CB I Hate Perfume, Gallery photo via Humans Invent]


monday links

It's my husband's birthday today, so I made him a batch of his favorite lemon bars- but made with key limes for a new twist. I always use this recipe for the Ultimate Lemon Butter Bar. It's a fairly involved recipe, but it yields the most delicious bars with a serious punch of tart citrus. Consider yourself warned: I brought these to a bake sale at work years ago, and two older ladies in my office literally begged me every day until I agreed to bring in more! This recipe doesn't make a lot, so I usually double it and make them in a 9x13" pan. Well, more specifically, I double the shortbread base and triple the lemon curd topping. If you want to try them with lime juice, I recommend using 2/3 lime juice and 1/3 lemon juice so they still end up nice and tart.

The Selby featured a home tour of John Derian's NYC apartment, and (not surprisingly) it's filled with an amazing assortment of unique and lovely things. If you're not familiar with John Derian's decoupage, visit his website and prepare to empty your bank account. 

Have you ever ordered from Golden Tote? It's a fun concept: you fill out a questionnaire about your style, pick out one or two pieces you like, and then they surprise you with up to five other items in your tote. My friend Kait is obsessed with it, and has got me thinking about giving it a try. The tote for April was released today, and some pieces are already sold out, but I've got my eye on this sundress for summer.

[Lemon bar photo by Carl Tremblay via Leite's Culinaria, John Derian home photo by The Selby,  sundress photo from Golden Tote]


trendspotting: florals on black

Floral prints have been big for some time now, but lately I've been noticing floral prints with black backgrounds cropping up everywhere. From clothing to art and accessories, the bright flowers really pop against the dark background. These prints seem great for this early spring time of year- the black background means you can still pair them with your darker cold weather clothes, but the flowers give you a punch of springy color. 

Here are some of my favorites:
Clockwise from top left: photo from fashionsaladetiephone casehat, photo by Justina Blakeneydress, pants
This trend seems to be part of the resurgence of 90's grungy style- taking Grandma's floral prints and toughening them up to make them more current. The florals can range from classic cottage garden floral prints to more modern photo-realistic florals. These prints are showing up in menswear as well (remember when I said men were wearing florals?).

Clockwise from top left: girls photo via Genny Wilsonphone case, journal, Doc Martensjacket,

As a devoted lover of all things flowery, I'm liking this new take on floral prints. What do you think?
For even more floral prints on black backgrounds, check out my Pinterest board.

[Top photo via Where Did U Get That]