Thursday, September 27, 2012

elegant email

i love beautiful stationery, and there is nothing better than receiving a handwritten note in the mail. unfortunately, if there are no stamps around, i have been known to let handwritten notes sit on my desk for months collecting dust (oops.)

the solution? paperless post. it has made jotting off a birthday card or a thank you a snap, and party invitations are a breeze!  they have cards for every occasion, and all of them have a beautiful, letterpress quality that make them so much more than your average e-card.

as you might imagine, i was thrilled to find out that kate spade has collaborated with them to bring dozens of new, adorable designs! 
i didn't even bother showing you the holiday designs - so many to choose from, and i am not quite ready to think about december yet! check all of the kate spade cards out here.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

a modern apothecary

the more things change, the more they stay the same!
1 / 2

i love sephora as much as the next girl, but i have a new store crush for all things beauty: blue mercury.
there are two locations (across the street from one another!) in westport.
i popped in to pick up some new concealer, and i was blown away by their inventory!
moroccan oil. diptyque. laura mercier. nars. acqua di parma. candles. cosmetics. fragrance. skincare.
just to name a few.
i should probably mention that i am not being compensated for this glowing review; i was simply that impressed and feel compelled to share!

i walked out with the concealer i came for, which came highly recommended by the sales lady: she told me that the entire staff uses it almost exclusively, and that it's the best. so far, i agree!
laura mercier secret camouflage - $28 ($2 less than sephora!)
i also spied the moroccan oil display, and caved to buy the styling cream that tames my wavy locks (mentioned in this post about rainy days) that i have been out of for a few months.

they have a great website, so if there isn't a blue mercury storefront near you, you can still get their great selection of products!

Monday, September 24, 2012


one classic piece i have long wanted to add to my wardrobe is a camel coat.
ann taylor had a gorgeous version last year, and i am kicking myself for not snapping it up while it was on sale! emerson fry also had a beautiful one, pictured below (top left):

 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

 it doesn't matter what you have underneath - the camel coat ties the whole look together, making it effortlessly chic (though i am particularly enamored of 1 and 4!)

Friday, September 14, 2012


happy friday! what a week!
a little morning snapshot - polka dots and leopard and some crispy fallen leaves!
(and i am getting one step closer to doing a real outfit post...) 
shoes - old talbots, similar here / dress - madewell (my first madewell purchase ever!)

this is a bit of a departure from the weekly wrap-up; i know i accomplished a lot of things this week, but writing them down feels daunting, so i will talk about the upcoming weekend instead!
here are a few things i am looking forward to:

see after the jump for a few links i loved this week!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


the always chic sarah of classy girls wear pearls

one of my favorite parts of fall is pulling on a pair of tall boots. whether paired with a dress and tights, or with jeans and a cozy sweater, the look is quintessential to the season, and classic to boot (ha - see what i did there? i'm sorry.)

as i mentioned yesterday, an exciting part of my weekend was a long-awaited investment in some new boots! i have had a fabulous pair of tall brown leather boots from banana republic for about five years now, and they are simply the best, though they are starting to get a little worn, which i love for weekends but not as much for work.

i am a bit picky about boots: i have muscular legs, thanks to years of rowing, so i am always concerned about how the calf area fits, and i really don't like lots of hardware. i also prefer boots that pull on and don't have zippers, and i prefer flat boots because i walk so much. as you can see, i had some very narrow criteria, and i didn't even mention that i would prefer not to spend half of a month's rent on the right pair!

after (literally) years of searching for the perfect pair of tall black leather boots, i have finally found them:
behold, the booker buckle boot from j.crew!
i love the delicate hardware detail, they pull on, and the styling is clean, classic equestrian.
of course, they are only available online so i had to find a j.crew store that had tall boots in stock (a harder task than i thought!) to try on the regular booker boots to check on that pesky calf sizing issue. turns out the fit is great, though i did order a half size larger to better accommodate thick socks and tights.

the best part? i had a 25% off coupon :)
i can't wait to wear them with, well, everything this fall! after i waterproof them, that is!

Monday, September 10, 2012

weekend recap

happy monday! apologies for the spotty posting last week, things have been busy and i have not been alloting enough time for the blog! my workdays have been jam-packed, and my nights have been spent doing bikram followed by delicious late dinners with the boyfriend (and titus, too!) i am proud to say that i have been back on the 4-5 times/week exercise regime for a month now!

given my full schedule, i am really relishing my weekends. here are a few snapshots of how i spent this past saturday and sunday:
mani-pedi with some autumnal colors (i am LOVING the burgundy on my toes - it's from essie, and i think it's called bold & beautiful - and sand tropez is always a favorite.)
an indulgent ladies' brunch after sunday morning yoga.
movie marathon - i am always struck by how well they adapted tolkien to the screen!
homemade pizza with sausage, artichokes, red onion, and basil from our garden.

stay tuned: tomorrow i will be filling you in on a wardrobe investment piece that i have spent at least two years searching for!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

kitchen essentials

un-barefoot contessa from inslee by design (and no, i don't cook in heels!)

cooking is a frequent topic on crossed & dotted. the boyfriend and i cook dinner at home almost every night, and we have streamlined our kitchen arsenal to make any recipe easy to attempt.
i talked about some of my favorite kitchen tools in this post, but i wanted to do a follow-up that covers other essential items, like mixing bowls and pots and pans.

pots and pans: 
i love all clad because the quality is great, it lasts forever, and it's easy to clean. 
the downside? SUPER expensive (that 8 piece set retails for $999. OUCH.)
our solution? the kirkland tri-clad set from costco! for $199 you get 13 pieces and after over 5 years of heavy use, they are still in great shape!
cleaning best practice: use bar keepers friend for tough, stuck-on residue!

non-stick frying pan with cover:
essential for things like eggs, stir fry, and grilled cheese, i love my non-stick frying pan and i really do use the cover a lot.

necessary for draining pasta; also doubles as a unique serving vessel for bread!

mixing bowls:
we have used both glass and plastic mixing bowls, and i always come back to glass because it can go in the oven, the microwave, the refrigerator, and the freezer and they are so durable.
the ones that nest one inside the other are best for maximizing storage space. you can find sets like this one at bed bath & beyond or target, but flash sale sites also have great deals on basics: i just got this 9 piece duralex set from one king's lane for $25!

measuring cups and spoons:
pyrex is my go-to brand for liquid measuring cups, since they are glass, durable, and come in multiple sizes (1 cup, 2 cup, and even 2 quart!)
for dry measuring cups, i love this set from rubbermaid because the cups are tapered instead of round, making it easier to dip into canisters.
measuring spoons in every size make baking so much easier.

baking sheet and muffin tin:
i use baking sheets for many things, like toasting crostini under the broiler, roasting potatoes in the oven, and baking cookies. a muffin tin is also great to have, since it works for both savory and sweet baked goods!

shopping tips: check out stores like homegoods, tj maxx, and marshalls (and tuesday morning, which exists in florida and probably other places, too) before you head to bed bath & beyond. i have found over half of our kitchen essentials at those places. also, flash sale sites like joss & main and one king's lane frequently have kitchen items, and costco is a wonderful resource for appliances and pots and pans.