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Loving Lately

5 Apr

Loving Lately LayoutAlthough my daughter doesn’t need anything new for spring, it’s hard to resist the beautiful stuff I’ve been seeing in my shopping travels both in-stores and online. Fortunately, since I buy so much of her wardrobe secondhand, I don’t feel too guilty picking up the occasional new piece when I really love something so I thought I’d share a few of the items I’ve had my eye on for her so far.

Clockwise starting top left

  1. Floral Jersey Rompers, Old Navy, $27
    I adore the ease and comfort of a romper for my daughter who loves to dig in the dirt out in the garden with me. These wash so well, are incredibly soft on the skin and if I want to dress them up a bit, I can just add one of my daughter’s many cute sweaters, vests or a jean jacket before we head out. I’m definitely a floral fan too.
  2. Cotton Bubble Romper, Egg/by Susan Lazar
    (*SOLD OUT* so I linked to other items by this designer)
    I can’t resist anything with flutter sleeves. They’ve always been my go-to for Emilia and again, I love a romper for the easy of wear and casualness. This is such a beautiful material though — it dresses it up a bit — which makes it perfect for a weekend brunch with mom or a other semi-formal special occasion.
  3. Eyelet Set, Gymboree, $15
    When I think “spring,” eyelet is one of the first things that comes to mind. (Also, gingham, seersucker and chambray.) Aside from the beautiful eyelet detail and flutter sleeve, the color is what caught my eye. Coral on anyone is a favorite of mine since it really pops against that bright, early green of the trees and gardens. The flutter sleeve on this is adorable and those little shirred shorts just kill me.
  4. Floral Set, Gymboree, $15
    Loose, flowy tops (again, with flutter sleeves!) are my go-to for keeping my daughter cool and comfortable in the spring and summer so I couldn’t resist this pretty, blue floral top and shorts.
  5. Tulip” Sandal, Stride Rite, $44
    I’m a committed Stride Rite-devotee and feel strongly about providing quality footwear for my daughter as she grows. I’ve been very lucky guessing at her sizing for future seasons when I’ve found amazing deals at the Stride Rite outlet but I recently happened upon a store the day it offered a closing sale and scored multiple pairs of summer sandals.

    Naturally I stocked up for the next three years and was very pleased to find an almost identical, closed toe sandal to the  “Tulip” style which is one of my favorite, classic styles for kids. I don’t particularly like crazy colors — just a simple white sandal that I’ve found will easily wipe down. It goes with EVERYTHING and the closed toe protects little feet from the scrapes and bumps that come from the non-stop movement of active toddlers.

  6. Anchor’s Away Moccasins, Sweet & Swag $20
    L-O-V-E!!!! I’ve always been a fan of black and brown combined, though I know this is a divisive topic among the fashion community. But once you add some stripes I’m basically swooning and reaching for my wallet. These break my rule or neutral-colored footwear for kids (for ease of matching) but I consider these to be such a cute statement piece that I’d probably build an entire outfit around them for my little girl so the matching is a moot point.
  7. Striped Dress, Gymboree, $15
    “Ponte” is a somewhat stiff material a bit that’s on the heavier/hotter side of ultra-breathable cotton, but for someone like me who is allergic to ironing yet endlessly drawn to a really structured, prim, neat look of perfectly pressed everything, ponte is worth seeking out in a few pieces for your child — or for you.

    For my adventurous, active toddler, this dress won’t wrinkle and will perfectly with leggings or just bare legs. I think the combination of scallop trim, French blue stripes and the little heart buttons just kills me. Even though a semi-formal dress like this isn’t the most practical, I’d make a point to put my daughter in it because it’s just too sweet.

Loving Lately: Patterns

17 Feb

Now that I’ve got my daughter’s dollhouse completely primed inside and out, I’m looking for some fun wallpaper ideas. Since I hoard inspiration on Pinterest, I immediately turned to my “Pretty Patterns” board and oohed and ahhed over all my selections before I culled them to my favorites, above. To see the sources of each, please visit the Pinterest board.

Clearly, I’m drawn to florals. But pulling all my favorite patterns together into the above helped me realize that I’m into abstract and more organic shapes too. For example, look at the cover of that Rebecca Atwood book, Living with Pattern.  Gorgeous! That’s a coveted coffee table read I’m adding to my book wish list stat coincidentally, cough::Mother’s Day:: cough. I’ll always love anything with a Greek key or a Moroccan trellis, but this exercise opened my eyes to a softer, more feminine way of bringing in some of the more graphic patterns I’m drawn to.

I mention this because right now, the headboard that I upholstered myself just before I gave birth to my daughter, now nearly two years old, is begging for an update. I’m so glad I didn’t both with batting and plywood to make it — it’s just a cardboard template that I stapled a beautiful floral fabric to. I actually used the PotteryBarn Kids box that my daughter’s crib came it to make it. How’s that for recycling?!

Anyways, since installing some simple DIY framed Rifle Paper Co., calendar art in our room, finally potting up my faux fiddle leaf, and hanging curtains from actual curtain rods, our bedroom is starting the feel like the sanctuary I’d always envisioned. Except for that floral headboard that I’m tired of looking at.

I think an update is in order and so far, I’m thinking of a more neutral headboard with some beautiful, graphic toss pillows. Which I want to make myself of course. Hah! But I’m also considering framing out the headboard in some sort of wood to make it look a little more substantial and also bring in some natural texture to the room.

What are some home decor updates you’re itching to make? 


Vintage Embroidered Handkerchiefs

30 Sep


As a rule, I try not to “collect” things unless they serve some useful purpose. Ok… and I like them to be pretty. For sentimental reasons, I like to pick up art, postcards, and Christmas ornaments when we travel, but one of my favorite and more useful collections is my embroidered handkerchiefs. I probably should have been born in the Victorian era because I really admire traditional women’s craftwork, like needlework, but I also hate waste and love any opportunity to make green choices, and well, a handkerchief is a beautifully practical alternative to Kleenex!

When I read that Lauren Conrad scoured thrift shops looking for vintage monogrammed handkerchiefs to gift her bridesmaids, I was so impressed (and a little jealous that I hadn’t thought to do the same for my own bridal party). My something borrowed for my wedding was actually a gorgeous handkerchief with butterfly crochet work done along the corner. It killed me to return it back to mother-in-law, it was so beautiful and special.

Handkerchiefs might be considered old-fashioned today, but were once an indispensable part of any stylish woman’s wardrobe. Material was symbolic of the social and economic class of the user. It was an important favor to gift to another, commonly carried by all, and often used by young women to signal a young man across the room. I’ve found most of my handkerchiefs at thrift shops all over New England, but I especially appreciate the art and sentiment behind them. I love to imagine my great-great grandmother embroidering on hers, turning something basic and functional into something beautiful.  Most cost less than a dollar and the embroidered detail on each is just exquisite. That’s probably why my favorite aspect of this “collection” is just looking for them whenever I can.