Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Happy long weekend! I hope you're all driving off to a loong, relaxing weekend at the beach! While we're city-bound, I'm hoping to get in some R&R, organizing & a little picnic in the park this Labor Day weekend.

To send you off, a few fab links from around the internet:

+ Loren Hope's Fall lookbook (featuring some of my favorite bloggers) & jewelry line debuted this week, and I am obsessed! 
+ The fox seemed to be a trend this week, popping up here, here and in my foxtrot post over here ...
+ Found this adorable polka dotted chambray top ... for just $25. Talk about cheap chic.
+ Some basic, but helpful reminders to help those of us who are experiencing a "quarter-life crisis."
+ Still can't get enough of the gorgeous details in this lakeside wedding.

Photo by Slim Aarons


Tweed ♥s Leather

Tweed & leather ... such a perfect pair. I love that tweed always feels lady-like and pulled together, while the leather (or faux!) can give any look a little bit of an edge.

(shop from top right, clockwise) 
Look No. 1 {Baggu Bag | TOMS Shoes} Look No. 2 {J.Crew Jacket | ASOS Gloves} Look No. 3 {French Connection Jacket | Topshop Top} Look No. 4 {J.Crew Top | ASOS Bag}

It's very possible that you'll catch me wearing this combo every day come fall. What do you think ... will you give it a go?


The Foxtrot

Normally I don't go for critters on my shoes, but these Tory Burch loafers are pretty chic, don't you think?

Loving them too? Pick a pair up right here (and maybe take up some foxtrot lessons while you're at it ;). 


Tough Love

You know when everything feels totally ... unsure/unbalanced/chaotic? I'm having one of those kind of weeks. Just in case you can relate, I figured I'd share one of my favorite "tough love" quotes from Ms. Elizabeth Taylor.

What are some of your go to "get through it" quotes? Okay, I'm off to start the week in my favorite shade of lipstick!


The Arm Party

Just a few pretty baubles that will definitely be invited to mix and mingle at my arm party this weekend ...
No. 1 {J.CrewNo. 2 {J.CrewNo. 3 {House of Harlow 1960No. 4 {Forever 21}
No. 5 {Ettika VintageNo. 6 {Kate Spade ... the perfect watch!}

Have a fabulous weekend!


Seasonal Shift

Although summer is still going strong, I can't ignore the earlier sunsets, the milder weather, and the daily emails about fall fashion arrivals signaling that fall is on its way. With this seasonal shift, I'm looking to embrace a little change ...

My hair has been very blonde for quite a few years now, and I think I'm ready for something a little different, but not too different. I've become somewhat of a wimp when it comes to my hair do (read: I know what works and I stick with it). Blame it on the endless "pinspiration," (my Pinterest board covers have even been updated for fall!) but I might just be returning to a darker color. I don't want anything too drastic, but I'm considering a dark blonde ... and maybe even a subtle ombré. What do you think, am I crazy? P.S. If you know a salon that does excellent color in the Philadelphia area, please let me know!

{images via 1 / 2 / 3}

After months of brights and pastels, these deep and moody polishes are a welcome change. I can't get enough of Essie's new hues.

I drink a lot more tea in the cooler months, so I've already started stocking up with some spicy blends. I love a good cinnamon or chai tea in the fall, and this Harney & Sons tea hits the spot.

I've been a blog reader for a few years now, but since I've joined the blogging community about two months ago, I've discovered some amazing new blogs. A few blogs that I've happily added to my daily reads so far:

No. 3 could i have that? }
No. 4 breakfast at toast }
No. 6 Chevrons & Stripes }

 I'm always looking for inspiring new reads so if you have any recommendations, please share! 

Bring on the leopard loafers!

I love that we've already been able to spend some nights with the windows open. There's nothing like cuddling up on the couch after a long, relaxing bath (LUSH makes the best bath bombs) with a cup of tea, some jazz music playing and a candle burning (lit with these flamingo matches from Furbish).

Shop the post here:

Will you be embracing some change in this seasonal shift?


Throw a Girls' Night In

A few of my girl friends are coming over tonight to enjoy some wine & snacks, watch Eat Pray Love, and of course, indulge in some chit chat. Girls' nights in can be so refreshing, especially when you live with a guy ... even on a week night! Think about it: you don't have to get all dolled up, you can watch cheesy movies without any objection, and you get to just talk and hang out with your closest friends. Not much better than that, right? 

The Rule: Have fun! The best part about a girls' night in is that you can be as cheesy & girly as you want.

The Essentials:  No need to decorate – this is a "come as you are" kind of party, but who doesn't enjoy a pop of polka dot? See below for instructions and the link to download the free mini polka dot popcorn box!

+ At least 3 chick flicks (Breakfast at Tiffany's, Bridget Jones's Diary, Something Borrowed, Eat Pray Love ...)
+ Favorite Bottle (or two) of wine, rosé preferred 
+ Rosemary & Ginger Sprinkled Popcorn in polka dotted popcorn boxes 
+ Dark Chocolate Bars (or any kind of candy, really) on a polka dot plate (from Kate Spade)

+ Cozy Throw (this one from Serena & Lily)
+ Lots of chit chat :)

Mini Popcorn Box Directions:  

+ Click and download the free PDF here.
+ Print on a piece of 8.5 x 11 inch white card stock (you can buy this at any Staples or Paper Source) at 100% scale.
+ Cut out along the solid lines.
+ Fold along the dashed lines until it forms the shape of a popcorn box, securing first the bottom flaps (they should be overlapping) and then the side of the box (the flap should be tucked inside) with double sided tape.

+ Ta-da! Enjoy. Oh, and tweet me a picture or two, why don't you?

Any movies I should add to the chick flick list? Hoping I inspire you to invite some of your favorite girls over for a night in!


What's Your Word?

Have you ever read or seen Eat Pray Love? It's become one of my favorites and I've seen/read it more times than I care to admit. In one of my favorite chapters when Liz is in Rome, she learns the theory that every city has a 'word.' One word, that defines the city's vibe ... its people ... that energy it gives off ... what makes it tick. Rome's 'word': sex. Liz Gilbert's word (after much deliberation): attraversiamo, meaning let's cross over.

While one word obviously can't define us completely, it's an interesting concept, don't you think? Your word could be anything – who you are, or who you hope to be. It could change, or it could hold true throughout your life. It got me thinking about what word, if I had to choose, would be my word.

I decided on create. Everything in my life centers around and has been built by my never ceasing want and need to create. Creating isn't only what I do (although I'm lucky to have a job where I am constantly able to be creative), it's who I am and who I've always been. I love bringing beautiful things together; building something out of nothing. Creating.

If you had to choose, what would your word be and why? I'd love to know!

{watercolor by Lauren Vanderbroek for the atelier}


Spend vs. Save: Early Fall Edition

There are quite a few pieces I'm hoping to add to my fall wardrobe this year and I'm facing my usual dilemma: where to spend and where to save. When I know I may only wear the piece a few times (like a peplum top), I have no problem seeking out a less expensive version from stores like Forever21 and ASOS, but when I know I'll wear something season in and season out, I don't mind splurging a little (hello, cost per wear!).

shop it:

inspired by Olivia Palermo here & here
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What pieces are you hoping to add to your wardrobe as the seasonal transition begins? Where will you splurge vs. save?


Happy (Italian Inspired) Weekend!

Happy Weekend! In a few weeks, my best girl friend is jetting off to Italy to have the time of her life, so naturally I've started packing suitcases for her in my head starting with gorgeous Miu Miu loafers and the perfect rouge ...

P.S. Please pardon the atelier's appearance! I'm doing a little rearranging around here :) These past two weeks have been a bit crazy, but I'm hoping to return to my normal posting schedule next week (lots of goodies on deck)! 


New York, New York

A few months back, my friend B and I had a post-yoga epiphany to take a mini vacation this summer. We settled on a weekend in New York City, and I am so happy we did. Although New York is a short bus or train ride from Philadelphia, and I've been there tons of times, I always feel like such a tourist when I'm there. I knew this time I wanted to have more of a "local" experience, so I feel lucky that some of my friends gave me great lists of their favorite places to visit and things to do (thank you Kelly, Sarah & Evann!) when visiting "The Big Apple."

We stayed at the Roger, a lovely boutique hotel on Madison Avenue. I instantly knew it was my kind of hotel when I saw the bow tie logo and black and white striped awnings on their website, and it didn't disappoint. We were able to check in a few hours early, the beds were comfy, the lobby was adorable/had the coolest light fixtures, and it really was in the best location for two girls who were looking to pop around town. The only downside to staying there was that our "wonderful view" was of a brick wall, so if you plan on staying there I definitely recommend requesting a better view (although I have a feeling this may be a common theme in Manhattan hotels).

During our two day stay, we were lucky to have amazing weather and hopped all over the city. The hotel was really close to Madison Square Park so we spent a lot of down time there (AKA at the Shake Shack), and took the train up to Central Park for some people watching and easy access to Ladurée. Of course, we spent plenty of time shopping (where I picked up my new signature scent!) because what girls' weekend is complete without some shopping? The stores in NYC are a million times better than the ones in Philly so we made sure to take advantage. I'm currently on a shoe kick so I stopped at just about every pretty flat along the way ... and to take a picture of the amazing zebra print wall paper in the Kate Spade boutique.

On the recommendations of a few of my super savvy New York friends, we had a late dinner (no wait!) of crostini, rosé and salads at the Gemma at the Bowery. Isn't getting ready half the fun of going out? B wore some killer Sam Edelman pumps and I wore a simple black shift, nude pumps and my favorite statement earrings. Dinner was delicious ... highly recommend. After dinner we grabbed drinks at the Standard and set out to go dancing, which sadly didn't happen, but being in that part of town alone was lots of fun.

While I know there is still so much to see, I am honestly still recovering from our amazing, jam packed weekend. Oh New York, you are exhausting, but endlessly inspiring. Can't wait to visit again, or even better ... finally make the move!

Do you have any favorite spots in New York? When you travel, do you like to fit as many things in as possible or see where the trip takes you?


Signature Scent

Do you have a signature scent? I feel like nearly all fabulous women do. Mine has been Miss Dior Chérie for the longest time (read: years and years), and while I still love that scent, I've been feeling ready to find a new fragrance that better suits me and who I am now.

Finding the perfect signature scent is more than "love at first sniff." When trying a new perfume, I either love it or hate it right away, but I've also noticed it's important how the perfume mingles with my skin, and how it lasts after the top note wears away. Because of this, I almost always buy perfume or  eau de parfum. To me, this scent represents who I am; It is a necessary complement to my wardrobe.

While browsing the beautifully merchandised Anthropologie store in NYC this weekend, I happened upon my newest signature scent: Stella by Tocca. It is exactly what I've been looking for ... the perfect combination of floral, spice and musk, and I am in love with it. It lasts all day and every time I catch a whiff of it I smile. I did opt for the smaller bottle to start to make sure I don't grow tired of it, but I honestly don't think I ever could.

What is your signature scent? Have you decided to make a switch in the past few years or do you think you'll remain loyal to the perfume you've had forever?

"A woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future." - Coco Chanel, creator of the iconic scent Chanel No.5


Day to Night, Styled

When taking outfits from day to night, I prefer simple silhouettes punctuated with playful of accessories. This could easily be my summer into fall uniform ...

For Day
+ Tibi Shift Dress
+ J.Crew Earrings
+ NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Bolero (my current favorite!)
+ Kate Spade iPad Case
+ J.Crew Ballets

For Night
+ Tibi Shift Dress
+ Bobbi Brown Eyeliner Pencil in Jet (for a good smoky eye)
+ Design Darling Cocktail Ring
+ Kate Spade Clutch
+ Jessica Simpson Pumps

And just in case you want to peruse a few more options to get the look...


She Lets Her Imagination Run Away With Her

I'm late to post today so I'm keeping it short and sweet, but have you seen the new Kate Spade arrivals with illustrations by Garance Doré? That brand just always seems to get it right. This photo reminded me so much of those little green tags with those perfect sayings that I love getting with my (too many) Kate Spade purchases. Hoping you let your imagination get the best of you tonight ...


I ♥ Your Style: Back to the Basics

Here we are in phase two of the I ♥ Your Style Project (you can read part one of the project here and see my work-in-progress Pinterest board here). I've finally cleared my closet of all pieces that I should not or would not wear, I've gathered tons of inspiration, read through I ♥ Your Style (the book) and have gotten a good handle on my personal style.

Before you get your "Hooray! I finally cleaned out my closet!" shopping spree on, let's pause for a second and plan (yes, plan). We're planning a style update, so it's a good idea that we don't go shopping only to come home with the same pieces we just got rid of. And I don't know about you, but I like to plan before I shop when I'm looking for particular pieces. I know, I'm probably every retailer's worst nightmare, but I like to know where to look when I'm looking for something specific. Take notice of what you're drawn to over and over again (the shapes, the colors, the fit, etc.) and start to make a list of what you love. I promise, it's worth it.

"Innovation! One cannot be forever innovating. I want to create classics." - Coco Chanel

And then ... it's time to figure out your basics. While shopping for basics can seem boring, we have to realize that these are the pieces that pull everything else together for years to come. You probably won't be able to build this collection over night, it's good to take notice of what you're looking for so if you do come across it, you can grab it and never look back. I've decided, after years of picking up pieces at budget-friendly fast fashion stores like H&M and Forever 21, that I would rather have a few quality pieces that fit me to a tee, than 200 trendy items that fall apart after a few washes. 

Everyone's list will be unique – depending on lifestyle, body shape & taste (if you're looking for a great preppy list, check out Carly's here, and I ♥ Your Style has great lists for quite a few different styles), but here is my basics list:


J.Crew Fall Hues

I can't help looking forward to fall fashion (it's my favorite, favorite season), and I am absolutely loving the palettes in the J.Crew Fall Collection. While I don't exactly have the budget to scoop all of those amazing pieces, I can translate the palette into my fall nail polish collection.

P.S. Everything on Zappos ships for free ... including nail polish! 


Print Perfect

I've been scouting out some prints for my growing gallery wall and I just can't get enough of these four beauties.

counterclockwise from top left:

Do you have any favorite shops for prints? I love finding out about small boutiques and designers. There's something really cool about knowing the prints are coming directly from the designers & artists and are only done in small runs.