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Signet Rings

gold-signet-ring Vogue

With my impending nuptials just 37 days away, my monogram has been on my mind a lot. That may seem weird, but I am one of those closet prepsters that loves to have her monogram on bags, trays, jewelry, you name it. With my initials changing shortly, I have been contemplating dropping my middle name and making my current last name my new middle name, or maybe not. One thing is for sure, I never expected to be sad about losing my last name. I am excited to take my husband’s name, but there is some sadness saying goodbye to the one I’ve had for 32 years too. Anyway, all this monogram talk got me thinking about signet rings. I have been wanting one forever. A gold one or rose gold one only. Maybe now is the time to get it and it can me a reminder of my old name?

signet-rings SheRa Jewelry|Adult Runaway|Junam Jewelry|Ralph Lauren|Pinterest

I like them kind of chunky, not too dainty – a fit that is more like a man’s ring. Choosing what script to use is difficult though. They are just so beautiful and can be personalized which I love – not to mention, they are a great conversation piece and something you can pass down to future generations as an heirloom. These are a few of my favorites – prefer the circle or rounded version best, but the square one is pretty unique and statement-making too.

signet

Moon and Lola|Sarah Chloe|Ginette NY

xoxo

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Posted: 10th July 2014 | by: ashley | in: Fashion Inspiration, Pretty Things | Leave a comment
 

Grace Ciao Flower Illustrations

grace-ciao-illustrations

I recently stumbled on the fashion illustrations from Grace Ciao, a business student in Singapore who does freelance illustrations in her free time. I love fashion illustrations. I have an entire folder on Pinterest dedicated to the fashion illustrations I want to frame and put on the wall in my fabulous dressing room someday. These ones are special though – Grace uses real flowers to create the most magnificent dresses made of real petals. It is so artistic and so incredibly creative. I am in awe of the pieces she creates with these flowers. They would make truly stunning dresses in real life.

grace-ciao-flower-dresses

Lillies, irises, carnations—it’s the perfect kind of artwork and imaginative design that every woman who wanted to be a fairy princess as a little girl would delight in. I hope she goes on to be a designer once she finishes business school. The girl clearly has talent.

grace-ciao-petal-dress

xoxo

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Posted: 30th May 2014 | by: ashley | in: Designer Spotlight, Pretty Things | Leave a comment
 

A Little YSL Love

Tres charmant! A little YSL lipstick love for your Thursday. I adore these pretty dancing tubes of lipstick.

xoxo

Via Rene Hauser

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Posted: 29th May 2014 | by: ashley | in: Hair & Beauty, Pretty Things, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
 

National Stationery Show

national-stationery-show-2014 Parrot Design Studio

This past week the National Stationery Show was held at the Javitts Center in NYC. I’m not a designer or graphic artist, but I know this because as a die-hard paper lover and fiend, I follow a lot of different stationers and paper people on my Instagram feed. All week long, I saw updates with darling cards, beautiful notebooks, charming pads of paper, and creative wrapping supplies. It may sound ridiculous to some, but things like that really get my blood flowing. Pens and paper have been some of my favorite things to shop for since I was a kid and it was time for back-to-school supply shopping at the local OfficeMax. I only wish my desk was big enough to hold a never ending supply of cards and paper supplies – I dream of having a whole closet full of paper goodies in fact – so I always have the just the right thing for any given occasion. I am a firm believer in snail mail and handwritten notes to just say hello or thank you. They have so much more meaning and love infused into them.  In any case, check out some of my favorite Instagram snaps from the week at NSS.

KateSpade-NSS-2014 Kate Spade and Shindig Paperie

Kate Spade is always one of my favorites. She has the snarkiest, most clever and creative sayings on her designs, and they are always bright and colorful. A winning combination in my book! The calendars from Shindig Paperie are darling as well – I find it hard to pass up a good gold polka dot print – don’t you?

nss-2014-nyc-javitts-center Think and Ink Studio, Sarah J. Champion, Lili Koi, Benchpressed, Egg Press, Grey Moggie

These colorful wrapping papers are anything but boring and work for any occasion, and the card about the peonies? It couldn’t be more true! Of course, I have a special soft spot for the cute bride card!

sugar-paper-nss-2014 Sugar Paper

But, my favorite paper people by far? Sugar Paper. I’ve never seen a design of theirs that I didn’t want to buy and immediately run home to use. Perhaps it’s the ample use of gold polka dots (I told you how I feel about gold polka dots, people), but the products are also so well made with such quality – and the fonts are always spot on. Paper lovers notice these things, you know. I can’t wait for these collections to hit stores. My stash is running a little low….

xoxo

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Posted: 23rd May 2014 | by: ashley | in: Pretty Things | Leave a comment
 

How to Style a Bookshelf

how-to-style-a-bookshelf Via Chloe Rose Boutique

Have you guys heard about the new “shelfie” trend? Essentially, it involves taking photos of your awesomely arranged shelves. I admit, I have a penchant for beautifully merchandised and organized shelves. I even have a board on my Pinterest page dedicated to stunning displays and it takes me days of arranging and rearranging to get my bookshelves the way I want them when I move. When I get something new like a candle, book, photo frame or piece of artwork, I then rearrange the bookshelf display all over again. And I enjoy it! So, here are some of my tips for putting together the perfectly styled shelves.

how-to-style-a-bookshelf The Coveteur

Don’t worry about making sure all the books are lined up going the same way like on plain old bookshelves of yester-year. Play with stacks of books that are done both horizontally and vertically, and try putting them together in a triangle formation – from biggest to smallest.

how-to-style-a-bookshelf Danielle Oakey Interiors

If you’re on Pinterest, I know you’ve run across those bookshelves that are grouped entirely according to color — dozens of books lined up according to color, like a rainbow. While you don’t have to go all out and colorize each shelf, you can try groupings that are all within one color scheme.

how-to-style-a-bookshelf Julie Leah

Do you collect Precious Moment figurines? Shells from your beach vacations? Pez dispensers? Add them to your bookshelves and proudly fly that freak flag. I personally love the idea of adding a few pairs of shoes to a bookshelf – I mean, many of them are true works of art, and if you have a bookshelf in your boudoir, it will look just right.

how-to-style-a-bookshelf Stylish Bird Blog

Add some artwork to the shelf. A print propped behind a stack of books can provide a fun backdrop that jazzes things up a bit. You can also throw in pieces like bowls, vases, sculptures and more, to add keep things interesting.

how-to-style-a-bookshelf Centsational Girl

Layer things one on top of another in varying heights. It doesn’t look right when things are all the same height, and it gives you a chance to display some of your favorite pieces so that people notice them. Pretty little bowls on top of storage boxes, plants on top of stacks of books — even photo frames in front of a row of books.

Do you have any tips for organizing your bookshelves so they stand out? I would love to hear them!

xoxo

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Posted: 8th May 2014 | by: ashley | in: Places & Spaces, Pretty Things | Leave a comment
 

The 2014 Met Ball and Costume Institute Gala

reese-witherspoon-met-ball-2014 All photos via The New York Times

My favorite red carpet event of the entire year isn’t the Oscars or the Golden Globes. It’s the Costume Insitute’s Met Ball. The fashion caliber here is unbeatable. The designers are there, the models are there, the actors and stars are there – and everyone always seems to take more of a risk than on the usual red carpet. Not to mention, each Met Ball has it’s own theme and some attendees get very into the theme, making for some prime fashion viewing. This year definitely did NOT disappoint. It was hard to pick a favorite—and there were plenty I didn’t care for (I am looking at you, Maggie Gyllenhaal – I don’t care if it was Valentino)—but I think Reese Witherspoon’s Stella McCartney gown was the one that gave me the most fashion envy and truth be told, total goosebumps. The color is bold and that neckline is unbelievable.

I was also a huge fan of the big ball gowns that seemed to be so popular this year. Massive sweeping skirts reminiscent of the golden age of Hollywood glamour. Karen Elson in the blush pink gown reminded me of an Old Hollywood movie star like Rita Hayworth or Katherine Hepburn. I marveled at the architectural sculpting of Karolina Kurkova’s navy gown, and surprised myself by really loving Hayden Panettiere’s full skirted ball gown. It could easily have gone either way and I am sure it is one of those love it or hate it gowns, but I think the print is gorge.

2014-met-ball-costume-institute-gala

Aside from Reese, my top three picks went to Blake Lively (duh, I’ve had a massive girl crush on her since the pilot of Gossip Girl…or maybe it was Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, but I’m not ready to own up to how many times I’ve seen that particular movie), Emma Stone and Taylor Swift. Emma Stone’s dress was so fresh and different from all the others, and the colors looked so stunning on her. Taylor’s style I am usually so bored with – the same bejeweled frocks time after time, but this pale pink embroidered column with the train was just lovely. Again, it was old Hollywood glamour all the way – same with Blake’s deep golden mauve beaded dress. A throwback silhouette with modern updates. Honestly, that girl would look good in a sheet.

costume-institute-gala-met-ball-2014

Who were your favorite picks at the Met Ball this year? Tell me what I missed!

xoxo

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Posted: 6th May 2014 | by: ashley | in: Pretty Things, Style Icon | Leave a comment
 

Spring Trend: Lilac

Lilac

One of my all time favorite things about spring is lilacs. I wish they bloomed year round – their fragrance is intoxicating to me. I can’t get enough. I’ve even been known to take long walks around my neighborhood with scissors trimming the ones that happen to encroach over the borders of the sidewalk. Fair game, right?! I hope someday I have a dozen lilac bushes in my yard. Anyway, it clearly delights me that this spring, the shades of lilacs are trending across all areas – from eyeshadow and nail polish to clothing and accessories. And you better believe Lilac Path from Aerin is on my list of fragrances to add to my ever-growing collection.

How are you wearing lilac this season?

xoxo

Scarf|Nail Polish|Clutch|Perfume

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Posted: 5th May 2014 | by: ashley | in: Now Trending, Pretty Things | 4 Comments
 

Palm Springs Style

palm-springs-style

One of my dear friends took a trip to Palm Springs a couple weeks ago, and I must say, I wish I could have gone with her. I am ready for some sun and heat and Seattle is just not quite there yet. Maybe in a few months. I am just feeling so inspired by the Palm Springs style right now – bright colors, wedges, palm trees, fresh manicures and pedicures that actually get seen…it all sounds so delightful. Here’s hoping I can visit soon! Until then, I’ll keep painting my nails bright colors and waiting for the sun to come out long enough that I can slip into my Chanel sandals.

xoxo

Shoes|Swimsuit|Necklace|Dress|Nail Polish|Clutch

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Posted: 26th March 2014 | by: ashley | in: Places & Spaces, Pretty Things | 1 Comment
 

Slip On Sneakers

slip-on-sneakers

I am totally obsessed with the new spring trend of slip on sneakers. As much as I love fashion and style, I love to be comfortable just as much. When the two worlds collide, I’m a happy camper. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this idea sooner, really. My fiance is the world’s BIGGEST Van’s fan. Literally, he doesn’t own any shoes that aren’t Vans—except flip flops and one pair of dress shoes. Vans are like the original slip on sneaker — I should have taken a cue from his closet earlier and stolen the look. The fact that I am now interested in having a few pairs of slip on Vans sneakers, is probably his proudest moment.

They are such perfect weekend casual shoes. I pair my leopard print ones with skinny distressed jeans or cropped black skinny jeans usually. Last week for a party, I paired them with a blush silk button down from Everlane, and my torn up J Brand skinnies and a statement necklace – if I do say so myself, it was a perfect dressed-up and dressed-down look.

slip-on-sneakers-1 Madison Muse|Not Your Standard|La Cool & Chic|Stella Wants to Die|Unknown

Check out a few of my favorite pairs — I think I may need to add the gold Vans to my closet soon. Or maybe the dark denim ones. Or maybe ALL OF THEM.

slip-on-sneakers-2 Polka Dots|Gold|Camo|Leopard|Chambray Polka Dots|Denim

xoxo

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Posted: 15th March 2014 | by: ashley | in: Fashion Inspiration, Pretty Things, Retail Therapy | Leave a comment
 

My New Emily Ley Simplified Planner

emily-ley-2014-planner All images via Emily Ley

Happy New Year, lovelies! I am so excited for 2014 – I’m getting married to the man of my dreams this year, and I cannot wait. With every new year, I get to shop for one of my favorite things – a new planner. Yes, I know I could keep all my meetings, dates and other important info on my iPhone, but I am old-school. I like a paper calendar that I can flip the pages in and write in with a real pen – somehow, having something tangible that I can hold, feels more organized to me. We’re a dying breed those of us that love the paper calendars. This year, I found my new favorite yearly planner OF ALL TIME. Before this Emily Ley planner came along, I was a Moleskine calendar devotee, but Emily Ley just blew all of that out of the water with her colorful, cheerful, oh-so-pretty, beautifully organized calendar.

It’s big, and spiral bound, and there is room for To-Do Lists and notes, a pocket in the front for stray papers, verses and inspirational quotes on most pages, even a spot for meal planning – something I am determined to get better about this year. And there are tabs – non flimsy, bright ones that make flipping to future months super easy. Truth be told, I also ordered her wedding planner. I couldn’t help myself – her planners are just too pretty.

I am in love with just everything about them. You should get one if you’re one of those non-digital calendar keepers, too.

emily-ley-planner

So, how many of you keep written paper calendars these days?

xoxo

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Posted: 6th January 2014 | by: ashley | in: My Life, Pretty Things, Retail Therapy | 3 Comments
 
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