Tuesday, December 6, 2011

c. wonder-ful

Sometimes, I dream of living in New York City, especially around the holidays. There is so much to see, to do and to enjoy. I'm talking about admiring the holiday window displays at famed stores, checking out the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in person, ice skating at Rockefeller Plaza or Central Park, enjoying a hot chocolate at Serendipity...I could go on.

But of course, what would living in NYC be without access to all the amazing stores? One I've been dying to check out has now opened their e-commerce store and I couldn't be more excited. C. Wonder is a veritable wonderland of things I covet {all moderately priced}, and I can tell you that my checking account is going to become best friends very familiar with the shop.

I'd be happy to find any of these under the tree on Christmas morning.

Monday, December 5, 2011

best friends

After a busy day at work, I attended the Nordstrom private holiday shopping event. I got to pick up a few things {including this gift for one of my besties}, shop with my one of my best friends, help her select her Christmas outfit and enjoyed some sweet treats {tray-passed hors d'oeuvres, wine and martinis!}.

While we were browsing, I stumbled upon these cute iPhone cases from Rebecca Minkoff. I absolutely love the new twist on the old best friend necklaces.

~it even comes in pink!~

And now I'm more obsessed than ever to upgrade to an iPhone...c'mon iPhone 5!

A side note: I have never seen so many Louis Vuitton handbags in one place before - except for an actual Louis Vuitton store. It was crazy!

Monday, November 28, 2011

i'm dreaming of a white christmas...

...a white Christmas coat, that is. I popped in to Anthropologie and fell in love {it's too easy to do in that store, don't you agree?} with this winter white coat. As I mentioned before, I have an unhealthy obsession with coats, and this one is so gorgeous. That neckline? In the words of Rachel Zoe, I die.

Have I found my Christmas present to myself a little early this year?


I think so, yes.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

spotted | kneepad tights

How cute! I spotted these kneepad tights over on A Cup of Jo. Aren't they adorable? I'm totally lusting after them.


Get your own pair here or here.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

happy birthday

Hello, lovelies! So yesterday was my birthday {the first as a wife and a homeowner - eek!} and I quietly celebrated the day with coworkers during the day and my mom in the evening {Mark is traveling so we'll be celebrating later}. And at Banana Republic, who feted my day of birth by offering 50% off up to five full-priced items {ok, I'm sure it wasn't exclusively for my birthday, but I took it as an excuse to add some pretty pieces to my collection!}. They promoted the special one-day sale via coupon on Facebook. You really should like them; they have the best deals.

Care to see what I picked up?

~how sweet are the elbow patches? i can't get enough!~

~an easy lbd that fits like a glove~

~i love a good v-neck t - it's the best for my shape~

~a little glitz - and it's on sale~

There were a couple of other things - like this black dress and a bright pink taffeta skirt {that I can't seem to find online...curious} - that I would have loved to have made mine, but even a birthday girl must use restraint. However, they are on my wait-til-they-go-on-sale watch-list!

A little something extra : Markdowns at the store usually happen on Wednesdays!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

tweet tweet!

Are you following me on Twitter? If not, you're missing out! I'm always posting fun little tidbits and photos.

And since life has been pretty hectic lately, it's a quick way for me to keep up with sharing fabulous finds and updates with you!

Find me @modern_lovely

Thursday, November 10, 2011

some of my favorite {new!} things : beauty products

I've been testing lots of new and new-to-me products lately and I am loving all the results.

My new favorite dry shampoo is by Suave. Yes, Suave. It smells citriusy fresh, absorbs oil and doesn't leave any of that dreaded white powdery residue.

For those days when a power pout just won't do, my go-to lip color is Fresh's Sugar Passion tinted lip treatment. It gives just enough color and moisturizes like nobody's business.

As I mentioned here, I'm obsessed with long eyelashes, but I've been hesitant to try a growth serum to help make them longer and fuller. After some research {and thanks to a HauteLook Deal of the Day - let me know if you want an invitation to shop}, I picked up a tube of Rapid Lash and have noticeably longer {although not exactly fuller} lashes with none of the scary side effects some simliar products warn about. It's one of the more reasonably priced options - I've seen the price hovering around $30 - and can be found at most national drugstore chains.

I have sensitive, combination skin, so I make sure all the products that I apply to face are gentle and oil-free. Still, my face {especially my t-zone} is shiny shortly after my morning makeup routine. I recently acquired Boscia's No Pores No Shine T-Zone Treatment and found it works wonderfully! It helps minimize my larger pores and keeps me shine-free nearly all day.

Friday, November 4, 2011

fondant and f&b

On Wednesday, Jenny and I met up for a fondant decorating class {remember our baking day and our holiday cookie/cupcake decorating class} at Icing on My Cake in Scottsdale. It was the first time either one of us had worked with fondant, and I have to say, I think our cakes looked amazing.

~jenny's sunny yellow theme~

~mine: lavender and white~

Afterwards, we met up with one of Jenny's friends for a luxuriously long dinner at FnB Restaurant in Scottsdale. The food is delicious and uses seasonal ingredients from lots of local sources. I highly suggest making a reservation {the place was packed - and it was a Wednesday!} for the bar where you get to see chef Charleen and her crew in action.

Our conversation and spread of food and wine was so engaging I didn't even think to take photos of all the deliciousness that was happening. I did, however, have to capture the sweets that capped off the most amazing meal.

~caramel pudding~

~flourless chocolate cake with housemade vanilla ice cream and huckleberries~

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

a view from the {semi} top

Our new house is nestled in the foothills of our community, which means we have access to some really great hiking trails. In fact, there's a trail head two houses down so there is really no excuse not to get moving up the mountain.

So when I wasn't able to sleep in on this past sunny Sunday morning {don't you just hate that?}, I filled up my CamelBak, clipped on my iPod and started on a little hike. My effort was rewarded with some gorgeous views and friendly exchanges with other hikers and their pups.

This weekend, I plan to go a little further and see what's at the top of the next peak. Care to join me?

Monday, October 31, 2011

happy halloween!

This weekend, I spent time with Superman and Bumblebee. How lucky am I?

~my nephews in their costumes at their school's fall carnival~

This year, I didn't dress up myself - or my house, really, since we're still unpacking - but I'm loving this festive look. And with Halloween decorations on sale now, I can stock up on items at a discount. Who doesn't love that?


Happy Halloween!

my favorite olsen

Lots of people think Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen are the bee's knees when it comes to fashion, but I'm enamored with their younger sister, Elizabeth {great name, don't ya think?}. She's currently staring in her first major role in Martha Marcy May Marlene and has been receiving great reviews. The film is on my list of must-sees, but my review is in - when it comes to her style, at least.

I love it - easy, effortless and always pretty. I say we keep an eye out for this up-and-comer. I know I can't wait to see her style evolve.  




Friday, October 28, 2011

smitten kitten | seeing red

I'm having a red moment. I'm smitten with vibrant red hair and am especially loving Bryce Dallas Howard's fiery mane.


And how lovely is Jane from Sea of Shoes?


I'm equally smitten with red lips {of course}.



I'm so happy that red is around in a big way. What are your thoughts?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

generationally defined

I came across a great article a couple of days ago and I wanted to share it.

It's called Generation Catalano: The generation stuck between Gen X and the Millenials and it really resonated with me. I feel the same way as Doree, trying to identify wholly with Gen X and/or the Millenials and finding that neither group feels right.

It seems apropo that I would stumble upon this article, since earlier this year I wrote about my love of and excitement over finding My So-Called Life on Netflix, and feeling nostalgic for hand-written notes {instead of texts} and flannel + combat boots and awkward high school moments.

So if you're like me, stuck in a micro-generational gap the author refers to as Carter babies {those of us who were born between January 1977 and January 1981}, you'll probably find this article particularly comforting, like old episodes of ThunderCats or Jem and Holigrams. It seems we do have a place.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

long distance shopping

My friends and family are spread out across the country, so I can't always swing by someone's house and ask them to grab a bite to eat or do a little shopping with me. So my dear friend, Mari, and I have a way to go shopping despite living in two different cities.

Phone shopping. Meaning we take photos of our finds and get the other's opinion.

PS: Each of these was a yes. And please note, the similar nail color. Yes, we're super connected.

How do you keep close with your loved ones when they're far away?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

weekend recap

This weekend was hectic, but we're {nearly} all moved in to our new home.  And in between the madness, we still managed to have some fun {Friday night, I went to a little dive bar with my friend, Diana, to see her boyfriend's band play while Mark had hockey games two nights in a row}.

~officially changed my last name at the social security building in downtown phoenix~

~painting the inside of the pantry a dark grey~

~my handy dad {along with mark} painting one of our guest rooms a lovely lavender~

~good morning! the view from my bedroom~

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

interior inspiration

Remember when I mentioned that Mark and I were looking to buy a house and get married and go on a honeymoon? Well, we are officially married, had a crazy honeymoon and now own our first home together! We're in the process of really putting our stamp on it {fun before-and-afters coming soon!}, but marrying our two styles is tough. We're obsessively watching HGTV and searching for projects and advice on DIY websites.

A few nights ago, while watching House Hunters International - a personal favorite - a commercial for Ethan Allen popped up. I remember Ethan Allen being the store full of the stuffy classic furniture that fills my parents sitting room {you know, the sofas you don't actually sit on but once a year}, but things have changed. I checked out their website, took a fun Signature style quiz and found some great inspiration.

PS: I made Mark take the quiz, too. Not surprisingly, his style is modern. Mine is a mix between romance and vintage - I took it a couple of times.

~modern for mark~




Which is your favorite style? And how do you mix up two styles to create one seamless look?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

an apology and a style shocker

Between fighting a cold, nursing a rowing injury, finalizing details on our new home and packing up our old place, I've been slacking on posting. I hope to be back on my regular schedule really soon!

And now - a brief story on how I surprised myself by actually liking a shoe line I said I'd never wear...

I can appreciate that TOMS shoes are socially conscious. In fact, I really like that about the company. What I don't like? The shoes. I know they're comfy and supportive, but they look like they belong on prisioners' feet, not on fashionable men and women.

But TOMS may make a wearer out of me yet. Look what I've spotted!

The ballet flat line is launching next spring and I'm excited to try a pair or two on. I'm loving the pink and blue ones. Which is your favorite?

Friday, September 23, 2011

elsewhere in the country...

...people are all about autumn, but someone forgot to tell Phoenix that it's time to cool down. It's supposed to be 108 degrees today. Ugh.

So instead of wearing something like this



I'll still be wearing something like this


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

make a statement

Big, chunky statement necklaces are a staple for fall and can instantly take your ensemble from ho-hum to fabulous with just the click of a clasp. Pair them with your favorite jeans and a t-shirt or mix them into your work wardrobe for some punch to complete your look.

~chic, affordable - a must have from Spike the Punch!~

~from Anthropologie~

~from J. Crew~

~oh, Kate Spade, how I love thee~


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