Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Travelogue: That Sweet, Sweet Southern Style

First off, all I can say is "wow."  I checked my e-mail yesterday morning, after neglecting it this weekend, and was completely floored by all of the encouraging words and support you guys have given me over the last few days.  I realize that generally when I'm writing there is that tinge of sarcasm seeping through my words, but consider this pure sincerity.  I am amazed, honored, blessed, and grateful you took the time to stumble on this little blog, and promise I'll probably tell you over and over again what beautiful people you are on your respective blogs.  Until then, let's talk about southern things... before I evidently pass out or resign myself to more emails from work (huzzah).

Top-Left:  Terrapin Brewery; Bottom-Left:  Coach Watch and Swell Caroline Friendship Bracelet; Top-Right:  Atlanta Cupcake Factory; Bottom-Right:  Grasshopper and Lemon Cupcakes from the Atlanta Cupcake Factory

The last couple of weeks have been tough, with balancing between a new project at work and flying between Boston and Atlanta every week.  Fortunately, I got to spend my weekends at home this month, which meant the potential of rekindling some friendships that had been severely neglected but documented over Instagram.  Alas, the life of a technological nomad.  I attest to my Northern friends and colleagues that the South really isn't as po'dunk and hick as the media portrays it to be.  Yes, we have fun here. While that fun may be a bit southern tinged, it makes it all the more exciting.

For the sake of time (to read all your lovely blogs!) and the fact that I in fact do have a lot of emails to send out tonight, allow me to break down the last month in Georgia in three simple steps.  I call it, "Eat, Drink, Shop"  -- all the cultural fun, with less yoga-driven religious epiphanies and more alcohol.  Click to read what these pictures actually talk about.  I promise that the words might be as delicious as the pictures show.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Weekend Deals & Steals 7/27 - 7/29

What up lovelies?  How have your weeks been?  Been following up on the latest in Kristen Stewart and RPattz drama?!  Good, because I haven't!  (oh no I di'int).  Instead, I've been working and studying... and also bringing you the best in sales this weekend right at your fingertips!   Also, Crafts and Love (which I briefly wrote about earlier this week) is being featured as one of the products of the day at Scoutmob's Shoppe!  Select pieces are 20% to 30% off of their original prices.  Hurray, while jewelry is still available!

Left:  Fringe Necklace for $25; Right:  Morocco Necklace for $21.


Online
  • Athleta - Up to 60% off
  • Banana Republic, GAP, and Old Navy - Extra 30% off all items online, with the code JULY2012, ends 7/26 at midnight.
  • C Wonder - Extra 50% off sale items, with the code HOTHOTHOT, ends 7/30.
  • Diane von Furstenberg - Extra 20% off all sale and final sale items online with the code SUMMERSALE, ends 7/29.
  • Intermix - Extra 40% off of sale items online, ends 7/31.
  • Piperlime - Extra 20% off of everything with the code TWENTY.

In-Store
  • Athleta - Up to 60% off
  • Bergdorf Goodman's - Up to 75% off.
  • Nordstrom - Anniversary Sale
  • Patagonia - 50% off of selected items, ends 7/31.

Sales - Atlanta
  • Boutique Bargains Clearance Sale - Up to 50% to 75% off of designer clothing from 24 boutiques throughout Atlanta at one location, Atlantic Station next to Dillard's.
  • Festivity - Sidewalk Sale, up to 75% off, Powers Ferry Square, ends 7/29.

Sales - New York City
  • Bit + Piece - Summer clearance sale, up to 90% off of designer merchandise including Elizabeth and James, Joie, Theory and Hugo Boss, 246 Mott St., ends 7/31.
  • Jenny Packham - 50% to 80% of selected pieces, 226 W. 37th St. between 7th and 8th Aves., ends 7/31.
  • JF & Sons - Closing Sale, ends 7/28, 56 University Place, New York, NY 10003.


Have a tip-off or recommendation for next week?  Shoot me an email

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Lookbook: Red, White, Blues in the Sky

I've been on a project that allows for a little more lee-way in the work outfit department with it's business casual dress code (with more emphasis on the casual).  I read a book once on business etiquette that suggested dressing ever so-slightly more professional than the rest of the office, but not enough as to be too distracting.  The conundrum for me last weekend was to find a way to break from the droll black pencil skirt, black cardigan, and random blouse combo and try a more summer-friendly work look.  

Banana Republic Red Sheath Dress (similar), J. Crew Metallic Gold Leather Belt (old), Madewell Scarf, Madewell Contrast Mail Mini Bag, Nine West Caress Patent Heels, Fendi Black Framed Glasses

In the spirit of experimentation, I switched out my cardigan for a scarf combo with my new sheath dress from Banana Republic.  I'll admit, I stole this idea from a mannequin I saw at J. Crew last year and still have a bit of mixed feelings on the look.  Yet, it was a great look to go from desk to dinner in Portsmouth.  In a way, it feels a little bohemian with the bold colors of the patterned scarf and the red dress mixing together, which is further intensified by the hipster black frames.  However, the skinny belt and the nude patent heels (in my mind, a professional woman's must-have) helps tie down the work-appropriate aspect of this outfit.

Left:  Close-up, Right:  Banana Republic Earrings (old)

A big shout out to my friend and a talented photographer himself, Feras, who helped pick the perfect Portsmouth location to snap a few photos at.  Not to mention, I think the old town church mixed with the red, white, and blue are kind of spot-on in the Americana department.

What you think?  Do you like it or should I go ahead and permanently remove this look from my suitcase?  Do I really look like a rabbi-lady?  I'll give you a nickel if you can name what song the title is from.  Holler at your girl down below.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

4 Beats to the Bauble Drum

Generally speaking, I'm quick to admit my obvious deficits (i.e. my lack of musical talent, athletic prowess, putting clothes together that look anything remotely fashionable without a large amount of thought and time behind it).  However, the very one thing that I'm capable of is jewelry shopping.  Give me a store filled with costume jewelry, and I'll whip up some sartorial dreams to make my mother proud.  As such, here are four online jewelry stores with excellent style, service, and prices that you should be on the look out for.

Suede Chain Cuff and White Link Drops Earrings (Images courtesy of Bauble Bar)

BAUBLE BAR
Alright, so most likely of the four, you've probably heard of Bauble Bar.  If you haven't, you should know that it's pretty much a productivity trap if you like things big, shiny and glittery.  Bauble Bar's wide variety of pieces include lanyard friendship bracelets, colorful statement necklaces, and personalized @Twitter pendants.  If you have heard of it, it's probably because Bauble Bar has been worn and covered by the likes of InStyle Magazine, the Today Show, and countless other celebrities (Jayma Mays, Emma Roberts, and Tina Fey just to name a few).  Prices range from the affordable at $20 to the luxe at $120.  Not to mention, for nomads like myself, Bauble Bar has a Jet-Setter collection featuring jewelry for any location.  My personal (and somewhat appropriate) favorites so far are from the Maine collection, as shown above. 
Note:  The White Link Drop earrings are free with any purchase of $30 or more from the Maine collection until 7/23.

Adebe Gold Bib Necklace and Mira Triangle Charm Earrings (Images courtesy of Crafts and Love)

CRAFTS AND LOVE
One of my Facebook friends posted this amazing Etsy store after modeling some of her pieces.  I'm a complete sucker for handmade jewelry, and this one definitely stands out for its unique pieces.  Combining earthy colors with edgy cuts, Crafts and Love  has an amazing array of stone- and gold-based earrings, bracelets, rings, and necklaces.  It also doesn't hurt that the designer has a 100% feedback rating.  My personal favorites are some of her gold plated pieces like the Adebe Gold Bib Necklace and the Mira Triangle Charm earrings, which are simple enough to wear to work or out on a night on the town.  Pieces range from $20 to $45.

For the rest of the entry click the next page!  I promise it'll be pretty and sparkly filled with big jewels and good prices!  Scout's honor!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Weekend Deals & Steals 7/20 - 7/22

It's plane-time again!  You know what that means?  That my hair is disgusting and I look like a grisly raccoon from lack of sleep and fading make up? No, it means it's your weekly round-up of sales up and down the East Coast!  This week features some sneaky sales online and high-end boutique sales in NYC and Atlanta.  Let's get started.

Online
  • Banana Republic - Extra 25% off of purchase of $125 or more with the code BR25OFF, ends 7/21
  • Barney's - Online warehouse sale, date to be announced, for a one day preview register here.
  • Madewell - Extra 30% off sale items, with free shipping with the code LOVEIT, ends 7/23.
  • Tory Burch - Extra 20% off with the code EXTRA20, ends 7/22.

In-Store
  • Ann Taylor - Semi-Annual sale with an extra 40% off on suit separates.
  • Banana Republic - Up to 70% off on final sale items, with an additional 25% off.
  • Madewell  - Extra 50% off sale items.

Sales - Atlanta
  • Festivity - Up to 50% to 70% off final markdowns, multiple locations.
  • Les Nouvelles - Yard sale, up to 90% off of designer merchandise, on 7/21 from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m, 1320 Ellsworth Industrial Blvd, Buckhead.

Sales - Boston
  • Sucarra Jewelry - Sample Sale up to 85% off, on 7/25 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., 48 Charles St., 3rd flr., Beacon Hill. 

Sales - New York City
  • Playdate Bike Club x NMRKT Pop-up Sale - 20%-50% off merchandise, 379 Broome St. between Mulberry and Mott St.
  • Theysken's Theory & Helmut Lang Sample Sale - Up to 70% off merchandise, and an additional 10% off if you check in on Foursquare, 93 Mercer St. at Spring St., ends 7/22

Eats & Treats: Tapas at Cava

I've been ignoring you, readers.  Nay, I've been neglectful of you.  Sometimes it's easy to forget that I have a real job outside of this gig.  Not to mention, that job requires as much tender loving care like writing does.  I wish I could tell you that this will be the last time that we are separated like this, but realistically speaking, I'd be lying to you if I said that.  Lying of course would put such a strain on our relationship, so can we just forgive and forget?  I promise I'll indulge you with talk of delicious tapas, which were -- dare I say it?  -- better than any I had had in New York City?!

In the few spare moments for the week, I got to grab dinner with some coworkers earlier this week, which meant an rare opportunity to explore Portsmouth some more.  If I could imagine what living during the Revolutionary War was like, it would probably be a lot like Portsmouth, minus the sushi restaurants, yoga studios, and the lone Banana Republic.  We finally settled on this tapas place called "Cava" hidden away in a quaint street alley downtown, after the hostess tempted us street side with the tasting menu. 

Cava on Commercial Alley and Market St. in Portsmouth, NH

We in turn ended up completely ignoring in favor of the a la carte menu, which proved to be an incredibly wise decision.  My group, consisting of a person who eats anything, a person who can't eat spicy food and a person who can't eat pork, proved a little selective, but Cava's menu provided something that pleased everyone.  My absolute favorite part about the north east has been the wide variety of both sea food and organic food options, as compared to the options in New York which could be described as delicious junk.  With cocktails and wine glasses in tow, we ordered everything from tapas staples (patatas bravas) to locally raised/grown dishes (spring lamb and hummus) to mixtures of the two (gazpacho with a locally grown corn puree).  The neat part about dinner was that all of the greens were grown in-house in a tiny patch next to the window.  While a majority of the food, in my mind, was a tad over seasoned, the restaurant really hit it out of the park with the flank steak drizzled in garlic and corn, which combined the right bit of crispness fit for a late summer meal.

Top-Left:  Flank state with corn and lime; Bottom-Left:  Patatas bravas; Top-Right:  Ceviche; Bottom-Right:  Spring lamb and hummus

To top off the entire dinner, one of my coworkers requested one special item on the menu, which literally had us on our knees in foodgasm-ing.  Just call me the Meg Ryan of foodgasms.  Click the next page if you want to see what it was.  The photo is as delicious as it actually was!  

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Travelogue: To Portsmouth and Beyond

Sunset at Downtown Portsmouth

Seeing as I haven't been out of work quite yet, I think it's safe to say that I am and will be located for an indefinite amount of time in the cozy little sea town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  Now, I know what you're thinking.  "Gee Vivian, New Hampshire?  Really?  Might as well stop reading now."  Not so!  According to a quick scan of Wikipedia, Portsmouth is the fourth-largest community in New Hampshire's Rockingham County, and once home to a key naval port in the Revolutionary War!  If that doesn't do you in, then I can say that it's absolutely adorable, filled with some great little boutiques and amazing high-class restaurants, all bathing in the fresh salt air of the summer.  In all seriousness though, I feel like a Kennedy here, with it being just an hour away from Boston.

If cozy little Northeastern towns aren't quite your scene, then fret not.  I've got a good amount of adventure still left in me.  In the next month, look out for an inordinate amount of trips to New York City, a road trip to Bristol, TN for the Mumford and Sons concert, and finally the coup de grĂ¢ce, a trip to Spain.  See!  The "JET" part of the name is actually coming into play!

If you guys have any suggestions of what to do in Portsmouth, NYC, Tennessee or Spain, feel free to holler down below.  Suggestions are always welcome.

PS:  Apologies about the mess.  JET SET GO is going through some work.  It'll be fully pretty soon, I promise.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Weekend Deals & Steals 7/13 - 7/15

I'm on a plane right now, and can't sleep/ need a break from work.  Apparently since Fourth of July sales are over, online sample sales from small designers and big department stores have flooded the Interwebs.  Check them out.  Let me know what you think, since I'm on shopping sabbatical.

Online
  • Ann Taylor - Semi Annual Sale, up to 70% off.
  • Ann Taylor Loft - 50% off select styles, code NOW50.
  • ASOS - Up to 70% off
  • Banana Republic - Thank You Event, extra 25% off purchase with a Banana, Gap or Old Navy card, code BRTHANKYOU, ends 7/15. 
  • Barney's - Summer sale, final markdowns up to 75% off.
  • Bloomingdales - Summer sale, 25-50% off with an extra 15% off with your Bloomingdales card, ends 7/15.
  • Minnie Mortimer - Online sample sale, 60-80% off, ends 7/26.
  • White & Warren - Online sample sale, ends 7/13.

In-Store
  • Ann Taylor - Semi Annual Sale, up to 70% off.
  • Banana Republic - Thank You Event, extra 25% off purchase with a Banana, Gap or Old Navy card, ends 7/15
  • Bloomingdales - Summer sale, 25-50% off with an extra 15% off with your Bloomingdales card, ends 7/15.
  • Barney's New York - Summer sale, final markdowns up to 75% off.

Eats - Atlanta
  • Atlanta Street Food Festival - Piedmont Park, 7/14 noon to 8:30 p.m.

Sales - New York
  • Zero & Cornejo - Sample sale, 60-75% off retail price, ends 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Travelogue + Lookbook: Unplugged in the Park

I feel like it's been a while since I've last wrote, but then again, that could be either extreme exhaustion or withdrawal from a clear case of writing addiction.  I'm sorry, I love to write.  Can you love a fool?

Part of the exhaustion could probably be attributed to the amazing and horrible decision to go to 99X's Unplugged in the Park concert series at Park Tavern in Atlanta on Sunday.  99X, which is a local rock station in Atlanta, puts on a free concert series from May through September at the gorgeous Park Tavern, which  is located on the southern tip of Piedmont Park (our own little version of Central Park).  Last Sunday, the Tavern played host to mine and my friend Coleen's (half of the incredible duo responsible for Cass and Cole) favorite singer Katie Herzig.  More on our ridiculous antics can be found on the next page.  Being fashionistas (or in my case, an unstylish poser), we dressed in our best bohemian summer dresses and skirts and hightailed our way to the park.

J. Crew Vintage Cotton Cowlneck Tank; Zara Accordian Pleated Skirt (similar)

Prior to my Neiman Marcus shopping spree, I had gone on a Zara binge during their semi annual sale.  The result?  A lovely little lace dress and this gorgeous mint pleated skirt, which was made for twirling and dancing like a mad woman.  Again, more on the dancing like a mad woman a little later.  To top it off, I paired it with a slouchy tank from J. Crew that I had gotten from $8 earlier this weekend (so much for giving up shopping).

Left:  Kate Spade Enamel Garden Drop Earrings (similar); Top-Right:  Second Hand Banana Republic Leather Sandals from Pony (Brooklyn, NY, similar);  Bottom-Right:  Sam Edelman Leather Clutch (similar)

Being that this was a party in the park, I accessorized with some Kate Spade gold drop earrings, that I had purchased on sale earlier this year.  Seriously ladies and fabulous gentleman, I had so much trouble figuring out what to pair those earrings with up to this point.  If you have any suggestions, this lady would love to hear it.  The concert also brought out two other blog-documented purchases of the leather sandals from Pony and the leather clutch from the Sam Edelman sample sale.  I personally would like to consider this a homage to my time in New York, but in all honesty, it's probably more indicative of my growing shopping problem.  Alas, we move on.

THE CONCERT WAS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!  One, because it was free and two because... well, you're going to probably want to click the next page?  What am I?  A girl that kisses and tells?  Absolutely not.  Fine Southern ladies make others work it.  Click the next page and I'll make it worth your while by proving some lovely Instagram-bastardized pictures.

In all honesty, one of them is my favorite pictures I've ever taken at a concert.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Travelogue: Saturday at the Symphony

Is it sad that in the five months I've been living in my apartment that this is the first full week I've actually stayed there?  Ah, the life of a wandering nomad.  It's really glorious, isn't it?  I wish I could tell you that I did some exciting things back in Atlanta like rappel down the side of Stone Mountain or wrestle a panda, but alas, instead I decided to do boring stuff like go to BBQs and hang out with friends and family.  We can't win 'em all, now can we?

Yesterday, my friend Kathryn decided to shake up my normal Saturday night in Atlanta routine of Pinteresting and solo wine drinking by inviting me to see the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra with her.  As a former stereotypical Asian American high school student, I was happy to oblige.  Now, Atlanta is surprisingly more culturally and artistically diverse than the average tourist might believe.  The orchestra, along with Atlanta public radio, puts on a free general admission show once a month.  Tickets are first come first serve when the show is announced on the symphony's website.

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

The show proved lovely, opening with Wagner, intermittently incorporating gossip and catching up, and finally closing with Stravinsky's "Firebird."  Kathryn wore a black Banana Republic maxi dress with gold accessories, and I wore a yellow lace Zara sun dress with nude heels and a nude Sam Edelman clutch.  Unfortunately, the downside to traveling all the time for work and running a style blog is the fact that you have to rely on a cell phone to take all of your pictures, because nice cameras and tripods are too big and hard to transport.  As such, blurry pictures are never fun to look at.  I reiterate again, we can't win 'em all, can we?

In any case, have any fun girl dates you'd like to share, dearest reader?  Or are you a Saturday night Pinterester and Wine-drinker like myself?  I'll give you a cookie if you can give me a good answer.  Scouts' honor!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Bargain Hunting at the Neiman Marcus Sale

If there's one thing my mother taught me right, it was how to find a bargain.  This isn't your let's-go-to-Marshall's-and-see-what-turns-up kind of bargain.  Though for the record, Marshall's is AWESOME.  I mean, home decor at low, low prices?  Yes please.  No, this is fabulous, designer clothing and accessories for as low as you can get.  While my shopping budget was almost done with for the month, my sister dragged me to Neiman Marcus' Fourth of July Sale (everything an additional 40% off).

Neiman Marcus sale rack Lenox Square Mall in Atlanta, GA


At this point, you're probably thinking, "Vivian, you stupid idiot, you're trying to save money.  What the hell are you doing at Neiman's?"  Why, I'm glad you asked, rude questioner.  Bargain hunting can be easily done at high-end department stores (not even the off-rack places like Off Fifth or Nordstrom Rack), at prices comparable to H&M and Forever 21 retail.  You just need to know how to attack it.  Allow me to explain with 5 easy tips.  Now you're probably asking, "Why would you ruin it for yourself by telling people this?"  Well, persistent questioner, if you look at it this way, you will help me save money by taking all of the wondrously cheap designer clothes away from me.  We all win in this situation.

Click the next page to read on.  There are way too many pictures and words that the aesthetics would drive me insane looking at it on the main page.  Much of it is common sense, so if I'm pontificating then just tell me to shut up.  Spoiler alert, I ended up buying two pieces that were:  1) Killer and covered in rhinestone, and 2) Under $100 with tax in total.  Click away!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Holiday Deals & Steals 7/04 to 7/08

Looks like no one was interested in buying my good friend Lu, which is fine because I'm not a huge proponent of human trafficking.  Hopefully these little gems will amuse you better.

Online


In-Store
  • Armani Exchange - Up to 70% off, ends Sunday
  • Anthropologie - Sale clothing an extra 25% off
  • Bloomingdales - 25% to 60% off, ends Wednesday
  • J. Crew - Extra 30% off final sale, ends Monday.
  • Neiman Marcus - Extra 40% off, ends Thursday
  • Ted Baker - Up to 40% off, ends 7/22


Sales - Atlanta

  • Festivity - 30% to 70% selected mechandise, multiple locations


There's pretty much a sale going everywhere.  Hopefully one of these will tickle your fancy.  Happy Fourth of July, ya'll.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Travelogue + Lookbook: East Village Street Styling

Travesty of travesties, this weekend marked the last bit of my four-month stint in New York City. What's up next, you may ask?  Next in a few weeks is the exotic and mysterious land of "New Hampshire", where I will in no doubt fight an army of lobsters with my bare hands.  Just kidding.  It will probably be more blog posts about food, travel, and fashion.  In any case, this weekend proved to be jammed packed with East Village culture, much needed girl time, and necklaces with dinosaur robots attached to them.  To celebrate my last full day in New York City, I met up with my friends Nicole and Jodi to explore East Village through cookies, coffee, and clothes (clearly the three most important C's in my life).

Zucker Bakery at Avenue A and E. 9th Street

Fully caffeinated with some 9th Street Espresso coffees and ice teas, Jodi and Nicole insisted on trying out Zucker Bakery a couple blocks away.  Funny note, 9th Street Espresso is actually on 10th Street.  Who would have thought?  Zucker proved both adorable and delicious, with light powdery confections that weren't too sweet and brought foodgasms all around.  Not to mention the decor was simultaneously quaint and fabulous.  I can't imagine that a single person would hate a stuffed moose with bedazzled sequin antlers.  We fully approved of the honey almond fingers (essentially Mexican wedding cookies, but in stick form) and the alfajhores (dulce de leche short bread).

Cloak and Dagger on Avenue A and E. 9th St.
Down a couple stores was quite possibly one of my favorite boutique finds, Cloak and Dagger, which was filled with flowy tops and dresses in bold prints, blues, reds and neon yellows.  The store itself was a tad pricey for on-a-budget me with  pieces from $60-$120, but it was definitely somewhere that was getting a second visit in the future.

To see me "awkwardly" pose through some photos in a "summer look", click the next page.  If that doesn't convince you to click the next page, there's a pretty sweet photo of a dinosaur robot necklace.  Trust me, it's worth it.