When the temperature climbed to unseasonable heights this week, I was excited to tuck away my bulky knits and morose dark clothing and accessories for the light and fanciful. Lately I've been combing stores and blogs in search of my key spring acquisitions, and I'm thrilled to share my covets with you!
My affection for lavender knows no bounds. Sometimes I imagine myself running through a field of wildflowers, getting tangled up in the brush, collapsing into a spray of fragile blooms. Lavender is fresh, soothing and unequivocally feminine. Most of my bath, body and home collection is comprised of lavender-infused scents, and I never anticipated a deviation, a scent that would be at turns daring, woodsy while staying true to its proverbial ultra-femme roots.
Enter Chloe Eau de Fleurs Lavande. Perfumer Domitille Bertier crafted this daring aphrodisiac with the mystery of cosmic fruit and florals. A slightly woody lavender, the scent is at turns nocturnal, smoky and dark, while fresh, soft and undeniably covetable. The notes feature bergamot, violet, tea, lavender, iris, musk, vetiver and ambergris. Lavande will convert the anti-lavender and will make those ardent believers, like me, fall in love with this complicated flower and fragrance all over again.
Over the years my impression of Coach has been lukewarm. Brand associations include elderly matrons and their brick-heavy bags, swinging from their arms like pendulums, and Williamsburg hipsters sporting '80s classics in all their wretch-inducing irony. Although I acquired my first Coach handbag as a college junior and felt proud carrying the expensive, rich leather, my affection for the brand has since waned considerably due to the hideous logo bags and the stretch of time when Coach attempted couture. At the end of the day Coach is a heritage brand, a quality American staple and should be marketed as such. I thought that I'd never set foot into a store again until this season. Until I saw a splay of delicious, utilitarian-chic bags, sandals worthy of a double-take, and a collection of jewel-toned gems worth coveting.
The Kristin Collection is extraordinary. For a moment we'll ignore the cringe-worthy logo satchels and focus on the utter glory that is the Kristin Leather Clutch in Turquoise and the Leather Hobo in Brass. These are quality leather done in delicious hues that will age gracefully over time.
So if you're resistant to Coach, I implore you to reconsider. Check out the delish sandals from their Spring ad campaign and quietly weep over the ultraviolet silk scarves.
Now, from the easy accessories to the horrific world that is denim shopping, which is a cruel and unusual punishment. Frankly, it's my Chinese torture. It requires patience, a full work-out, stilettos in the bag, and a healthy dose of self esteem. When you're trying to wiggle your way into the jeans you know should fit but don't, who wants to hear a chipper salesperson inquiring about additional sizes? And when the rotating carousel of salespeople toss jeans into your fitting room, knock on your door, chirp, chirp, chirp, all you want to do is shout, GO AWAY!
In an effort to reduce my time in fitting rooms and save my sanity, I tend to buy good fits in bulk. I've stockpiled on the Old Navy Diva Jeans, hoarded the Gap and J. Crew curvy fits, and now I'm obsessed with the Hudson Signature Pocket Jean Leggings. Crafted with a healthy dose of Lycra, these super-soft second-skin denim are perfection for the curvy girl. Ordinarily pockets are a pox to the curvy girl's humanity, however, the Hudson Jean Leggings curve, lift and slim. The dark denim wash is a must and the whiskering and minor distressing infuses city-girl cool. Simply put, these jeans feel like the coziest pair of pants you'll ever own.
After the weeping, one needs the calm and solitude of a candle. I've sampled spicy and tangy versions, and my latest au du jour is the Nest Wasabi Pear Candle (50-hour burn time). A luxe blend of Anjou pear and ozonic watery notes infused with the special essence of wasabi, the subtle spicy scent warms my abode and I'm thrilled to relay that the candle is free from the cruel funneling situation. An even, long burn and a luscious soothing scent make this delicious illume one worth coveting. In celebration of the warm week, which ushered in unseasonable weather I lit Maison Francis Kurkdjian's APOM candle, allowing for a slow, easy distillation of orange flowers while I cozy up with a cashmere blanket and the remote. The Interior Fragrance collection is a pure sensory experience -- from the warm citrus hue to the subtle yet deep fragrance perfuming my living room to the teardrop flickr of light, the APOM candle feels utterly decadent and perfection after a week of unyielding chaos. Each candle sits on a base of zinc with an underside of felt which allows the candle to be set without damage or sound, even on fragile surfaces. My only gripe is candle funneling, which allows for an uneven burn.
If you're short on cash and seek to wake up your look, lipstick has always been my accessory du jour. Right now I'm obsessing over the luscious orchid pink that is Loreal Colour Riche's Sea Fleur, and it is beguiling and eerily flattering. For a woman who sports red lip color, the shift to pink was unnerving but liberating as it softened up my complexion. Another must-own is MAC Cosmetics' Petals & Peacocks, which is a wash of daring fuchsia on your lips.
An ardent prep, I was overjoyed to learn that oxfords have made their triumphant return. My favorite of the season are from Madewell. Prepster-chic, masculine and utterly refined, the styling options for Madewell's brown oxfords are limitless. I'll pair them with a black legging and voluminous top cinched with a cardi and belt. I can rock them with cuffed or skinny denim and a crisp white button-down or ultra-femme top, and clearly I should be wearing my oxfords with the sweetest of frocks, as I'm always seeking the unexpected.
And sometimes the best accessory are the moments you photograph and savor. I often write about food and my gastronomic feats in the kitchen, and I'm always looking for ways to convey my passion for food to my readers. Recently, I acquired an incredible camera, Canon's Rebel XS 10.1MP. Initially I was nervous as I've only owned and operated point-and-shoot cameras, however, this lightweight DSLR is simple to use and takes incredible photographs. From friends to pistachio gelato, as a blogger it's wonderful to translate my adventures with brilliant pictures.
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