Throw a 'Hello Fall' Party

Can you believe last Saturday marked the start of fall? Me neither, but I can't think of a better reason to celebrate. Inspired by the idea of a DIY S'mores bar, I've put together a fun fall-inspired fête that you can easily pull together this weekend or next ... or well into November!

The Rule: Bring together all of your favorite seasonal flavors & give your childhood treats a grown-up twist.

The Menu:  Choose things that can be made ahead of time or fun DIY foods. Bonus: Make it potluck style and have friends contribute their favorite fall treats!
+ Spiked Warm Apple Cider
+ DIY S'mores Bar
+ Candy Apples ... or maybe have some fun bobbing for apples
+ Pumpkin Pie
+ Pumpkin Ale (Blue Moon's Harvest Moon is delicious)

The Set Up & Decor:  Since this is a casual party, set up a large table with different stations for guests to help themselves. Decorate with pumpkins or maybe make a fallen leaf garland – keep the decor natural and easy.

+ Marshmallow Roasting Sticks
+ S'mores Maker (city friendly version :)
+ Napkins
+ Paper Plates
+ Beverage Tub
+ Mugs
+ Diecut Leaves (for making drink tags)

Happy hostessing! 

Images via 1, 2, 3, original source unknown


Home Sweet Home

Is there anything like being home after a few days away? We had an amazing vacation (more to follow), but it left me really inspired to come home and spruce up our place.

Right now, I'm loving a mix of industrial elements like metal + glass + wood, dreaming of a cream colored espresso machine & my favorite Illume candle. Here are a few things that are on my wish list for my apartment this fall ...

And if I had an unlimited budget, one of these classic sofas would definitely find a home in our living room.

What's on your wish list for your home this fall?


Chic Spaces: Bold Black Paint

Usually I favor white and light walls, but lately I've been drawn to bold black paint (as documented by my Pinterest board). I love that in these spaces the black walls read as calming, classic and bold, but not dark and dreary. While I'm not sure that I would use it in a nursery, I could definitely see myself going for some sleek glossy black walls in a powder room or office. Maybe in this hue from Farrow & Ball ...

Would you ever dare try dark walls in your own space or do you prefer to admire them from a distance?


Five Things Yoga Has Taught Me

When I entered my yoga studio a few short months ago, I didn't know what to expect. I had heard great things from people who started doing yoga to combat stress, get in shape, and just be more in tune with their bodies, and as great as it all sounded, I wasn't sold. I'm definitely someone who has to figure things out for herself ... so I decided to give it a try.

I've only been practicing yoga for about 6 months now, so I'm still a newbie as far as yogis go, but I've experienced such a great change in my every day life that I had to share. One of the things I like most about yoga is that you really get to spend time with yourself, to figure things out and just be (while getting in a great work out). Though the teachers are there to guide you through, it's not an hour of someone else's thoughts and opinions telling you how you should feel or think so you really get to figure things out for yourself. Over these past few months, yoga has really taught me/I have figured out some important things:

1. Honor your body
Listen to what your body is telling you. If on some days you can't nail a pose, pause and acknowledge it instead of constantly pushing through and injuring yourself. In life, it's okay to not perfectly do things all the time (a.k.a. the hardest phrase to hear as a perfectionist). I can get stuck on things that I don't feel are perfect and think about them for hours (designs, blog posts, etc.), and always end up driving myself crazy. Lately I've been able to acknowledge that some days, it's just not going to happen. And that's okay.

2. Let go of things that no longer serve you
This is definitely my favorite bit of advice I've picked up and it really can apply to so many things. Whether it's unnecessary tension in your downward dog, a relationship that does you no good, or extra clutter around your apartment, if it's no longer serving you, let it go.

3. Breathe
Simple, right? Not so simple for someone who can get pretty easily stressed out. Nothing beats the post-yoga buzz I have after leaving class, which is mostly due to consciously and deeply breathing for over an hour. It feels amazing, and when I get stressed now the first thing I look to change is how I'm breathing.

4. Be present ... and okay with it
If you're physically somewhere, mentally be there, too. It's not fair to you and the people around you if you're constantly obsessing about the future (or the past). To have a good yoga practice, you can't be somewhere else. You need to focus on your breath and your body to feel the benefits (and not hurt yourself). I've been trying to apply this "mantra" to my daily life.

5. You can achieve more than you think
A few months ago, I could barely hold plank pose for more than a few seconds and I've steadily worked my way past that ... to be able to hold a headstand (still so thrilled!), which is something I didn't think I'd be able to accomplish for at least a year. Lesson learned: if you really put in the time and effort and believe in your work, what you can accomplish is limitless.

While it may not be for everyone, I love it. Have you ever tried yoga? What did it teach you?


Off we go!

We've packed up and headed on a leisurely road trip to Newport, Rhode Island. 
Be back next week relaxed, refreshed & inspired!



Lauren VanderBroek Illustrations


Have you noticed the lovely watercolors at the bottom of my blog (and the leopard shoes on my Twitter)? Back when I knew I wanted to start a blog, one of the first things I did was ask Lauren if she would be up for working up some custom illustrations for me. Collaborating with her is always great (we've worked together on a few projects since we met in college); she is extremely talented across the board!

She was amazing to work with on this project and extremely patient (let's just say we as creative people can have very specific visions ...). She honestly was able to perfectly illustrate exactly what I had in my head. 

Thank you again, Lauren! I still can't get enough of them (and I still think you should open up a little online print shop :)

P.S. You've also seen some of her water colors in past issues of Sweet Lemon Mag!


Borrowed From the Boyfriend

On Sunday, my guy and I went to a football party. I feel like I never have anything to wear to any kind of game-day party, so I decided to snag something from his wardrobe and try it on for size.

I went straight for this great navy v-neck sweater he has from J.Crew, and even though he is not my size, I was able to scrunch and tuck and make it look pretty cute. So naturally I had to share.

Aviators {Ray-BanSweater {J.Crew Cashmere | J.Crew Cotton CashmereNail Polish {EssieJeans {J.CrewLoafers {ShoemintWatch {Marc by Marc Jacobs}

Let's just say he's probably not getting that sweater back any time soon (sorry babe!) ...


Sweet Lemon Magazine Issue No.6

In case you hadn't heard, the latest issue of Sweet Lemon Magazine Issue its debut on Saturday ...

Just a few highlights ...
Featuring the talented Inslee Haynes of Inslee by Design was so exciting, especially because her illustrations served as some of the original inspiration for the Sweet Lemon brand. Honestly, though, how gorgeous are those water colors??
See what Carly, Paris and I are coveting for fall (it's pretty cool how each of our different styles & personalities come through on these pages) ...
See Evann's picks for enjoying New York City like a local (she gave me some seriously great tips when I went up there in August!)

Head on over to the website to read the issue from cover to cover & let me know what you think!

P.S. You can purchase some of Inslee's illustrations by clicking right here for about $20 a pop. Go ahead, you know you want to!


A Breakfast at Tiffany's Weekend

It's officially the weekend which means my little getaway to Newport (we've never been and I can't wait) is officially one week away! If you have any favorite spots around town, please share! We're going up with very little planned and I would love any advice on places to go, things to see & do.

This weekend, I plan on breaking out one of my favorite classic movies, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and watching it on repeat (it's also on Netflix instant, in case you didn't know!). I know I'm not the only one, but I can never get enough of the flighty, but charming Holly Golightly. Even though the movie was created over 50 years ago, I would still wear every single outfit that she wore today.

Pulled from a few of my favorite scenes in the movie, here are a few fun pieces that will make you want to hop in a cab right down to Tiffany's ...

(shop, clockwise from far left)

P.S. Wouldn't this be a great Halloween costume?
P.P.S. Don't forget to check out the latest issue of Sweet Lemon Magazine (with cover girl Inslee Haynes of Inslee by Design)! It debuts on Saturday morning over on the Sweet Lemon Mag website.


The Camel Coat

One item that is definitely on my fall shopping list this year is a chic and classic camel coat. Of course, I've already found at least 50 perfect options, most that are on the higher side of what I'd like to spend, but I always have to remember how many years of wear I'd get out of this piece (trust me when I say to never buy a cheaply made coat & expect to get more than one season out of it ... and it adds up!). It never hurts to look, right?

(shop, from left to right)
No.1  |  No.2  |  No.3  |  No.4

P.S. how amazing would these coats look paired with this deep green polish by Essie?


Marissa Webb, The Debut Collection

Each year, New York Fashion Week leaves me feeling endlessly inspired. I love seeing the latest of what my favorite designers have dreamt up, and I love discovering amazing new designers.

This season, I can't take my eyes off of Marissa Webb's debut collection. The silhouettes, the pops of color, the tailoring (can we talk about that white suit??) ... even the styling is perfection. It's classic, it's cool, it's the perfect mix of feminine and masculine, it's flattering and completely fresh. And I can see myself wearing all. of. it.

Congratulations, Marissa on an amazing first collection! I can't wait to see what's next.

All photos via Style.com


City Love

About 6 years ago around this time, I moved to the city of Philadelphia. And every year around this time, I fall head over heels with city living all over again. I call it my "city love."

It's not specifically Philadelphia that I love (though don't get me wrong it is a great city), but I just get this feeling of excitement (hello, birthday month!) and nostalgia every fall I spend living in the city. I love strolling around downtown in my light jacket and boots with a hot latte in hand, seeing the leaves change, and reading on my couch with the windows open. Maybe it's partly because I no longer stick to the seats in the subway ... but the weather is just ... perfect. And everything else seems to fall into place.

Each season, I come up with a playlist that sort of sets the tone/plays as a soundtrack to my life. In the fall, I'm drawn to blues-y, jazz-y, indie rock kind of music, so I decided to put together a little playlist that captures my "city love" mood. While you're listening, you should pop over and check out the latest Emerson Fry collection – it is the perfect pair to the playlist.

Have a lovely weekend (and let me know if there are any songs I should add to this list)!

P.S. I meant to go dark blonde, but accidentally became a brunette!


Denim Vest ♥s Burgundy Lip

I'm not usually one for burgundy anything (or vests of any kind), but when I saw Alex's post a few weeks ago, the color suddenly looked fresh, and I've decided to give it another chance ... and to pair it with a denim vest.

I've mentioned it before, but I'm pretty picky about the seasonal trends I incorporate into my wardrobe. While I think it's great to experiment and find out what works for you and what doesn't, the one thing I can't stand is not feeling like myself in an outfit. There are tons of amazing ways to pull off these two fall essentials, but I definitely feel like I've pulled together a look that could work for me (and any of you out there with what I call "classic with a twist" personal style).


the hair: Top knotted. Simple and chic.

the lips: NARS pure matte lipstick in Volga. When trying to pull off a bold lip, I go straight for NARS. The colors are always on point, the lipstick is perfectly matte and never sticky. If you're trying to find your perfect shade of burgundy, head to a Sephora – this way you can test out the colors and brands on your skin tone before buying. 

the tee: James Perse white v-neck. Classic, simple and well cut. I could sing the praises of well cut tees all day.

the vest: I like that this one is a light wash, without having "trendy" holes or rips in it. (You know what I mean, though? When you go to pick up the perfect piece and it has beading or studs or rips? So frustrating.) I'd definitely wear this unbuttoned.

the trousers: To make the outfit feel "me" I'd stick with a classic black trouser and maybe cuff them at the bottom ...

the satchel & the loafers: ... and accessorize with a satchel in a neutral color & a simple loafer.

Will you be trying out either of these trends this season? How would you style them?


Hello, September.

If you haven't already been able to tell, fall is my very favorite season, so I am welcoming this September with open arms. In celebration, I've whipped up a little computer desktop calendar to share.

To download, right click on the image & open it in a new window.  Save the image to your computer and set it as your desktop background.

So many exciting things are already on deck for this month alone, including the 1st anniversary issue of Sweet Lemon Mag, some fun side projects and a vacation with my guy.  Lots of little adventures.

Cheers to the new month and all the adventures it brings!