Everyone Loves a Mod 60's Block Party!

color block h&m dress (similar here) - what makes this mod 60's? for starters: the color blocking, the length (above the knee), the darting in the chest, and the sleeve length....
 the 60's feel is in the details: exposed back zipper is gold... black wedge booties...so comfortable and elongate the legs when worn with black tights (similar here)

 black diamond patterned tights add a hint of modesty (similar here)

 paired with a killer handbag, yellow gold jewelry (esp. a long medallion pendant like my "K" monogram from Julie Collection which screams mod 60's), and....
 ....let's face it - a big, wavy, high pony tail!
the inspiration....stolen from InStyle Mag! a special thanks to my boss - Ms. Debbie Riley for being so into the photo shoot, for supporting my blog, and for exuding palpable excitement over this post idea! thanks DR!!


Giving Back Makes You Feel Good!

 I am having a 31-year-old crisis. I need a change. I need to give back. and it needs to happen now. when I was at Hearts On  Fire University a couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of learning about a company called Hands Up Not Hand Outs. a friend of the Rothmans (owners of HOF) started this company with his family. Rwanda and Palestine women hand make bracelets, clutches, and earrings to sell and in turn get income to build their lives and create opportunities. I received this beautiful orange/cream/green knit bracelet to add to my growing collection.....
these bracelets and earrings range anywhere from $35-$45 and go toward an amazing cause. Check out the website for additional information: http://handsupnothandouts.org/. it's also worth giving a shout out to our friends at Pura Vida as I have clearly taken my original stacking of the bracelets from last spring and added over the months. they are a special company that offers fabulous resources to Costa Rican artisans! if you didn't check them out the first time I posted, now is the time - they only cost around $5!!!
these earrings are made of sea grass and can be purchased at Hands Up Not Hands Out 

obsessed with this clutch for $45 also made by a beautiful Rwanda woman.

lastly is a grass roots organization called krochet kids. three best friends started the company and I love their motto: Buy a Hat. Change a Life. so cool....so honest....so raw. they use their hats as a vehicle to inspire social change and give women in Uganda the power to rise above poverty. hats are approximately $30 and each woman signs the inside - as a consumer you can THANK her on their site! love this.

anyway as I struggle with what I want to do with the rest of my life I hope this gives y'all the incentive to open your hearts (and wallets) to improve this planet we live on.


Uncommon Phone Covers in a Common Phone World

 yes, we all are obsessed with technology...our iphones, our droids, blackberries, ipod, ipad, and the list goes on.....but how do we make our common old phone into something uniquely our own? how do you tell it apart from that of your co-worker or your best friend? in comes Uncommon. this is no ordinary website, no it's not common at all. over the summer our cousin Brooke introduced me to this website and ever since I have been playing around with options.....and for $39.95 if I don't forever love the one that I pick at least it's not breaking the bank for future changes!
there are plenty of fun artists to pick from, but if you so choose you can upload a high res image from your own picture library. you can stretch it, crop it, zoom it....make it your own! there are also several types of cases you can pick from to fit your life style and comfort level....
so help a kiki out - which of the designs that I have put together do you like? I am thinking more toward the blue/orange poppy cover, but would LOVE input!
get Uncommon today! so fun!

Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and a Citrus Vinaigrette: Part of a Well Balanced Wardrobe

This salad really should be part of one of my "Stolen Idea" posts because I stole the idea! Duh. Well, at least it's my modified version, so perhaps it's a partial steal! Regardless it's delish and a great accompaniment to any meal. My friend DJ and his wife Angela had me over last week to meet their beautiful daughter, Lila (3 months old) and also cooked for me! A treat on both accounts. Which is why I will dedicate this post to my friend and his magic salad......

DJ's Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and a Citrus Vinaigrette


Arugula (I buy Olivia's Organic from Whole Foods)

Goat Cheese - a mild variety in log form

Walnut pieces

Beets (LOVE BEETS brand from Whole Foods, they are pre-made and so easy)

For the Dressing:

1/2 cup orange juice (or 2 oranges squeezed)

2-3 small shallots, peeled and diced

1 tablespoon EVOO, plus 1/4 cup EVOO

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/8 teaspoon of sea salt


For the dressing:
Dice your shallots. Saute until transparent in the 1 tablespoon of EVOO over medium-high heat. Set aside off of the heat. In another saucepan, bring the orange juice to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the juice by about half, or until it thickens. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, combine in the Cuisinart with OJ, red wine vinegar, and salt. Mix until well-blended. With the Cuisinart running, slowly add the olive oil and emulsify! Set aside.

For the salad:

Ahhh the goat cheese! Roll the goat cheese into balls about the size of a large truffle. Place your nuts onto a plate. Take your goat cheese balls and press down until a little "patty" forms and the nuts get stuck into the cheese. Do this to all sides and don't skimp. Set aside. Take your pre-packaged beets and slice them. WARNING: they will turn your fingers pink, so be prepared with a good hand-soap to do a little scrubbing afterward! Assemble your arugula on a plate, add the beets and put the goat cheese bites of heaven on the side. Drizzle (don't douse!) with the Citrus Vinaigrette. Serve it up!

I have eaten this salad with a chicken dish and also as a compliment to homemade pizza. It's versatile and for those people who love goat cheese the nuts really kick it up a notch. Additionally, the light citrus flavor of the dressing cuts the bitterness of the arugula and enhances the taste of the beets. As usual it's all about the components marrying together and complimenting each other!

This will be a perfect and quick salad to bring to that special Labor Day BBQ!



Stolen Idea: Pura Vida

Bryce (my husband) and I took our honeymoon in beautiful Costa Rica where the locals all greet and say good bye with the same words.....Pura Vida or "Pure Life" or "Life is Pure". It's such a romantic, simple way of looking at the day to day. Recently I was reminded of this when looking at Lucky Magazine. It mentioned these fantastic (and super affordable at $5 a pop) bracelets called Pura Vida Bracelets. Not only do these look ridiculously cute, but your purchase is also going toward a truly philanthropic cause.....every single one of these woven beauties that is sold 1% goes toward the Surfrider Foundation. These guys are helping to clean up the ocean one piece of trash at a time. Additionally, Pura Vida Bracelets helps support local Costa Rican artisans by supplying a job, food, clothing, and shelter for as many as they can! The more we help this great organization grow the more our oceans will be pristine and we will be able to provide Costa Ricans with a better future!

Stacked w/ leather bracelets, I have two Pura Vida bracelets on. One has cool little beads, and the other is just crazy fun colors intertwined and held together with a little "P" charm. They come in one size and adjust accordingly.....

I ordered a couple extras as giveaways - these two helped support a breast cancer foundation.

We spent the last couple days before the hurricane on the boat - the calm before the storm as they say - and it was lovely. As you wear the PV bracelets in the ocean, the pool, or the shower, they just look better and conform nicer to the wrist......

I even got Bryce to wear one! I love it!

Good luck to all those riding out IRENE....

xoxo and Pura Vida,


A Stolen Idea: Monogram Pendant

My birthday was at the beginning of July and my parents and in-laws were kind enough to give me gifts of the paper kind (thank you parents!). Some of it I did practical things with....and some of it, well, some of it I spent on the "K" Monogram pendant from a fabulous little company called the Julie Collection. I did not arrive at this idea myself....it was absolutely stolen from a New Yorker.Last week I was at a product presentation for Hearst Company in Manhattan. Hearst owns all of the big books: Esquire, Harper's Bazaare, Cosmo, and the list goes on. One of the editors had this unreal pendant on and of course I had to comment! After walking her through our product line and marveling at her pendant, I realized I could not let her leave without finding out where she got it. First let me set the scene: she was super cute with a fantastic navy top on, skinny cargo pants, and fantastic wedges. Her pendant (a "J" for Jessica) was sitting just below her bust line in yellow gold on that perfect navy backdrop. So I asked her where it came from.....and she told me that she stole the idea from a friend. I knew that the "pay it forward" theme would continue after I purchased the pendant and posted it on here.

So, let me tell you about the Julie Collection Monogram pendant. This company is very special and really shows you how happy they are that you purchased an item from their line. When I opened the package today I was pleasantly greeted by this sweet orange and green Asian inspired pouch. Enclosed was a thank you note showing their deep appreciation as well as a care card explaining the genetic makeup of the pendant. Hanging from a 28 inch chain was the simple, yet chic 24kt gold plated "K". Listen, I know that the monogram look has taken its trip around the block, but I still think it is relevant and when the look takes a trendy twist on a long chain it truly is a step toward cool! I can't wait to wear this as a stand alone piece or stacked with other pendants/chains! Check back later this week to see the necklace in action!!