Monday, February 27, 2012

Book Mark

I'm happy to introduce a new series at Luxe & Fresh - Bookmark! Growing up, I was definitely a bookworm - I loved getting lost in an adventure - but the past few years I haven't done as much reading for fun. Maybe one book a year, tops. So I put an end to it this past summer and got a library card and have been carving out more time for curling up with a book ever since. I thought I would start featuring ones that I've enjoyed and maybe you will too. So without futher ado, here's some recommended reading:

1: The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
I just finished this last week. It's by far the darkest read in this selection, but I couldn't put it down nonetheless. Having recently watched Midnight in Paris and with a trip to the Met on the horizon to see the Steins exhibit, I thought this would be an apropos read. While fiction, it's based on the true story of Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley. The author did her research and kept dates, places and names true-to-life, only taking liberties with dialog, I imagine. It's simultaneously depressing and inspiring. Sidenote: It piqued my interest in Sara and Gerald Murphy, another Lost Generation couple, and I'm currently searching for a book to read about them - fiction or not. Any suggestions?

2: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
HILARIOUS. In her autobiography Mindy talks about how she wants to be friends with Beyonce - well, I want to be friends with Mindy. She is my kind of girl and I love her take on life, her cheeky advice, and her awesome sense of humor. Now I wait with bated breath for her to have a scene on The Office. Love her. You will too, promise.

3: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos
Not a recent read, but I had to feature my all-time favorite book, ever. I recommend it to all of my girlfriends. I picked it up a few years ago at a bookstore when I was on vacation in California and embarrassed myself (and my husband) more than once with uncontrollable public laughing fits while reading it. It's that good. Written in the form of a diary (spelling errors and all!), it chronicles the adventures of the charming gold-digger Lorelei and her witty best friend, Dorothy. Watch the movie after you've read it - it's a classic for sure, but as always, the book is better. Both pair well with champagne.

4: Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart
Marjorie's memoire of the best summer of her life is so sweet - and happy - and, best of all, true! She moves to Manhattan with her best friend, works at Tiffany, and falls in love. What's not to like here? Having taken place in the 30's, it reminded me of my grandparents, so I finished the book and brought it directly to my grandmother, who also loved it.

I think it's worth mentioning that none of these books are super long, in fact, each one only took me a few days to read. They're great if you're plan on doing some traveling soon. You could devour a good portion while on a plane.

So, now that you know what I've been reading, do you have any recommendations for me? You wouldn't know it from this list, but I really love a good mystery. Dan Brown, if you're reading this, please write something new.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Happy Weekend

I love the awards season - and the Oscars are my favorite! I plan on cracking opening the requisite bottle of bubbly while rooting for George Clooney (hello Georgie in a tux!) along with The Help and Midnight in Paris, both of which I really enjoyed. I'm thinking of renting Hugo and Moneyball tonight so I'll have seen most of the top contenders. And, of course, I'm looking forward to the highlight of any award show - the red carpet! What girl doesn't love playing Hollywood's best fashion critic while sipping champagne?

PS: How adorable is Audrey in this photo? It was taken in 1953 at the 26th Academy Awards after she had just won her Oscar for Roman Holiday. It's hard to believe that over her entire career as an actress, she had only won this single Oscar.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Modern Classics: Accessories

My brain is fried, people. I tried a million times to write about how I'm a classic girl and how I view many of these pieces as investments that will work with anything you currently - or will ever - own. About how the French so effortlessly pull off a simple red lip, how every girl needs some Jackie O shades, that a little leopard and a little Louboutin never hurt anyone, and that Chance is the modern young lady's No. 5, but it just never seemed to read right. So instead of putting this off one more day to see if I could make it work, I'm posting it - and hoping you will love it.

Perhaps a follow up is needed - modern classics: clothing? I'll tell you about how I, to my complete and utter horror, saw myself in the mirror wearing a bubble skirt and espadrilles a couple years ago and had a revelation - I look like an idiot and that a classic silhouette is how I will keep from appearing as though I escaped from some kind of crazy circus. Thank goodness I didn't leave the house...

1: Chevron Reversible Gold Clutch, Hammocks and High Tea, $199 | 2: Classic Pave Link Bracelet, J Crew, $118 | 3: Golden Oversized Runway Watch, Michael Kors, $250 | 4: Nars Jungle Red Lipstick, Sephora, $24 | 5: Gumdrop Stud Earrings, Kate Spade, $38 | 6: Simple Pump 100 mm, Christian Louboutin, $625 | 7: Skinny Calf Hair Belt, J Crew, $49.50 | 8: Michael Kors Wallet Clutch for iPhone 4, Apple, $79.95 | 9: Adelle Dark Tortoise Sunglasses, Coach, $158 | 10: Sam Edelman Beatrix Flats, Piperlime, $130 | 11: Chanel Chance Eau Tendre, Macys, $68

Friday, January 27, 2012

Gift Guide: For the Guys

Finding the perfect gift for someone is one of my favorite things. But guys are notoriously hard to shop for! My anniversary is in a few months and to avoid launching into full-on crisis mode just weeks before, I'm starting the hunt for the perfect gift now. A tad early? Perhaps. Necessary? Entirely.

If you're also searching for a man-present, consider these guy approved items - I've had success gifting many of them. There's something here at every price point, for every type of guy, so you can't go wrong!

May I suggest the square aviators? They're hot.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Is it too late for this?

Nah. It's still January...
The Criminels du Monde calendar from Mr. Boddington's Studio has been rolling around my head for a couple months now. I love the cool, 60's Euro vibe of the hand-drawn illustrations and, of course, anything with a spy theme has my full attention.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pocket Full of Sunshine

Every couple of weeks I pull 17,234,584,828 sticky notes out of my purse and pockets with design sketches (and sometimes random ideas and grocery lists) on them. I consider this a serious problem, people. Then I discovered this Moleskine pocket notebook that's designed for graphic designers - solution! The boxes are the perfect size for sketching out ideas for my stationery, wedding suites and baby announcements! And as if it couldn't get any better - Campo Marzio has a line of mini pens and this one is the perfect shade of cherry red. I can never seem to hold on to a pen, but this one is just too cute to lose! My purse is about to get a whole lot less cluttered...