Monday, December 31, 2012

A Year of Fashion: 12 Looks from 2012

snow, winter, fashion, beret, blonde, short hair, fur, vintage
It snowed

blonde, short hair, wedges, spring, fashion, vintage, fleur d'elise
We had a strange warm spell. It was very pleasant.

neon, short hair, polka dots, spring, chambray, vintage, fashion, fleur d'elise
My dark haired days were numbered

fleur d'elise, blonde, short hair, spring, fashion, polka dots, seattle
Back to blonde!

fleur d'elise, blonde, short hair, pixie cut, boho, leather, maxi dress
My hair was almost purple here. I loved it.

fleur d'elise, seattle, street style, hilo, dress, summer, fashion, wedges
I did a local photo shoot!


My cousin got married.

fleur d'elise, pattern mixing, leopard print, blonde, short hair, coach, vintage
Probably my favorite look from the whole year.

fno, summer fashion, macarons, blonde, short hair, flats
What I wore to FNO

fall fashion, 2012, in style, denim, madewell
A nice homeless look for Autumn

obama, seattle, leopard print, forever 21, fall fashion
Election season comes to an end.

christmas, party, winter, fashion, rivet and sway, holiday, beret
Finished off the year with another local photo shoot

What a year!! I hope yours has been filled with love and happiness and I hope 2013 is no different! Here's to the New Year!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Recipe: Mona Kay Cocktail

Cocktail, recipe, nye, new years eve, bitters, DIY, homemade, grapefruit
My experiments with homemade bitters have met with success. How do I know? Well, they're delicious. So delicious that I'm having trouble writing this. Hashtag buzzed.

I decided to try out a version of the recipe I saw in Martha Stewart's Whole Living. I used tangerine and grapefruit peel in place of the orange and lemon zest. My spice mix varied just a little, too.

To make sure my version turned out okay, I developed The Mona Kay. Why the name? While browsing old city documents, I discovered that my apartment building was christened The Mona Kay upon it's construction in the early 1940's. Since the drink and the building are a similar peachy-pink, I thought the name would fit both.

Here's a quick recipe, using store-bought bitters, just in case you're short on time:

-The Mona Kay-
8oz. grapefruit juice, preferably fresh squeezed
½ tsp sugar
2oz. vodka

Mix the sugar and bitters in a low-ball glass, or whatever you have. Add vodka, juice, and ice. Stir. Garnish with grapefruit zest

Optional: Try a sugared rim instead of mixing the sugar into the drink. It's prettier that way.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Look of the Day: black+blue+fur

fur hat, seattle, street style, winter fashion, in style, fleur d'elise, blonde
What day is it?? Where am I? I feel so out of it! I guess it always like this after the holidays, but I think it's even worse because I've been gone so much. I spent Christmas in California with my husband and our friends. We stayed in San Jose for the most part and then Napa Valley for one night. I ate so much good food and got to spend so much time with some of my favorite people. I wish I could have had my whole family around for Christmas, but there's always next year. I'll post photos from the trip in the next couple days.

How was your  Christmas? Wonderful and magical, I hope!

fur hat, seattle, street style, winter fashion, in style, fleur d'elise, blonde

fur hat, seattle, street style, winter fashion, in style, fleur d'elise, blonde

fur hat, seattle, street style, winter fashion, in style, fleur d'elise, blonde, pixie cut

fur hat, seattle, street style, winter fashion, in style, fleur d'elise, blonde, pixie cut
Rabbit fur hat (similar) - H&M blazer (similar) - vintage sweatshirt - Uniqlo HeatTech shirt - BDG pants - H&M bag - thrifted flats

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Look of the Day: Core Strength

blonde pixie cut, rivet and sway, seattle, fur, vintage, fleur d'eliseblonde pixie cut, rivet and sway, seattle, fur, vintage, fleur d'elise
As many of you readers may know by now, I've been working with a local eyeglass company, Rivet & Sway. A few weeks back, I got my wits about me and did something smart: I went to the Rivet & Sway pop-up shop at U Village and did some "networking". It's something I rarely do, because, honestly, I'm pretty shy in person. I'm very happy I did because all the people at Rivet & Sway are just as lovely in person as they were over email. The icing on the cake? They asked if I would want to help out with their Holiday campaign!

blonde pixie cut, rivet and sway, seattle, fur, vintage, fleur d'elise
I said yes, of course, and now have these gorgeous photo to add to my portfolio. We had an amazing photographer, Barbara Kinney, and the fact that she has photographed Hillary Clinton just makes me swoon.

It's sounds funny, but I am the official face of their newest frames, The Core Strength. If you follow the link, you can see what the frames look like from different angles and in different colors. Scroll down for a little mouse-over thingy where you can make me turn my head back and forth!

blonde pixie cut, rivet and sway, seattle, fur, vintage, fleur d'elise
This image was used in the Rivet & Sway mailer a couple weeks ago. I love their branding so much. Gorgeous typeface, simple colors, and all-around excellent graphic design.

Now to find a camelhair coat like the one Britt let me borrow!

Monday, December 17, 2012

DIY: cheap + chic packaging

diy, packaging, christmas, holiday, gifts, fleur d'elise

Here in Seattle, I'm lucky to have access to shops like Zenith Supplies and Packaging Specialties, both purveyors of nice packaging supplies. I realized, though, that not everyone has access to shops like these and may be at a loss as to wear to find packaging for their homemade gifts and Christmas presents. So last month I set out to find bottles, labels, jars, etc. fit for gifting. I'm happy to report I only had to make one stop at Target to find all I needed!

diy, packaging, christmas, holiday, gifts, fleur d'elise
I turned the above bits and pieces into the festive vessels you see below.

diy, packaging, christmas, holiday, gifts, fleur d'elise

Products I used:
Jars, bottles, and containers (usually found with the travel sized stuff)
Decorative tape or stickers (scrapbooking/crafts aisle)
Good pens (scrapbooking/craft aisle)
White address labels (office supply aisle)

Also useful:
Markers, ribbon, pencil, good eraser, ruler, scissors

I filled my jars with lip polish (get the DIY recipe here) and plan to mix up some bath oil to fill the bottle. Here's a good recipe if you want to make bath oils and here's a recipe for bath salts. I recommend storing bath salts in a bigger container than the ones shown in this post, simply because you use more of it. A recycled jelly jar works perfectly!

Use the tape and stickers to decorate and seal your containers. For the labels, you can either hand-write them or design a label on your computer. The package of labels should have directions on setting up your printer to correlate with the labels. If you like the look of my labels, use your scissors to carefully cut the shapes. This is where a ruler and pencil might come in handy.

diy, packaging, christmas, holiday, gifts, fleur d'elise

If you have any questions on how I did something or where I got a product, please leave a comment and I will get back to you :)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Product Review: The North Face Hoodie

the north face, hoodie, seattle lifestyle, product review, winter fashion
GigaSavvy sent me this North Face hoodie to review, just in time for my trip to England! I was very glad to have it, because it was pretty cold there. 

This is not your run-of-the-mill sweatshirt. This one is heavy duty and perfect for winter. Its stand-out features are the fleece lining and quilted exterior. Throw a North Face jacket over top and you have no excuses for avoiding exercise in the winter! One other thing I like about the hoodie is the subtle branding. I hate having really noticeable writing on my clothes, so the gray-on-gray emblem is perfect. The second emblem on the back is unnecessary, but doesn't ruin the garment, so I'll let it slide. 

As for construction and basic features, this sweatshirt seems to be satisfyingly standard. The zipper works well, the sizing is accurate, and I haven't found any loose threads or seams.

The biggest selling point is just how cozy it is! I think I've worn it every day since I got it!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

In Photos: Oh, England.

I'm back! I flew into Seattle on Thursday night, and I must admit, I'm still a little jet legged. I fell asleep at 7:30 last night, woke up at 6am, was up for an hour, then slept till 9:30! My poor internal clock; it's so confused.

Crab apples in Winchester.

My trip was wonderful. Thanks for asking! I really lucked out with the weather. It was incredibly cold, but sunny and mostly dry. I did wake up to a dusting of snow on Tuesday, though.

I don't know if I've mentioned this, but I lived in England in 2006, and my dad works over there a lot, so it's like a second home. I stayed with my dad in Farnborough and my friend Abi in Basingstoke. I got to see so many wonderful people that I haven't seen in years! My old neighbor Claire took me to the Christmas Market in Winchester (where Jane Austen is buried). It was fun seeing England at Christmas time. I sampled many Christmas puddings and brought back Pimm's to make a Winter Pimm's, which I discovered at a pub in Surrey. It's a hot drink that involves brandy, apple juice, and fruit & spices

The day before I left, I made a trip into London to see my friend Mike. We wandered around Liberty's, which is quite overwhelming; full of so many beautiful things. Afterwards, Mike gave me a little tour of Soho and took me to lunch at Soho Joe. They make great burgers, if you're ever in the area.

Carnaby Street

My only regret is not being able to meet up with my friend Erin over at 365. We've been friends and penpals for more than 10 years, and have yet to meet up in real life. One day, though!

Marmite Christmas lights in Oxford Circus

Now for my next trip, I want to see Iceland for more than a couple hours! It's so beautiful. IcelandAir has an entire music channel for Sigur Ros, so I listened to it as we flew into Reykjavic around sunset. Sigur Ros really is the soundtrack to Iceland. Flying over the frozen plains and spectacular volcanic land-forms, it just made sense.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Look of the Day: Winter Neutrals

fleur d'elise, seattle, winter, fashion, blonde, pixie cut
 The pace of life has really picked up. I have a horrible head cold, so am having trouble keeping up with everything. For instance, I should be packing right now, because I leave for England tomorrow! Instead, I'm blogging and listening to NPR and hoping this grogginess will go away.
fleur d'elise, seattle, winter, fashion, blonde, pixie cut, coach purse
Last week I had the chance to do some modeling for a local company. I'm usually a total wreck when someone else is taking my picture, but I like the ladies of Rivet & Sway so much that it just felt like hanging out with friends. I was pretty surprised with how at ease I felt. (There may or may not have been prosecco involved.) One of the photos is up on the Rivet & Sway website now. I'm the face of their holiday sale!

fleur d'elise, seattle, winter, fashion, coach purse
I have a question for you guys. Does anybody know what style of Coach this is? I bought it last week from Crossroads Trading Company in the U District thinking it was the Court Bag. It is not. It has a center pocket and is much wider at the base. I'm curious to find out what style it is!

Before I go, I wanted to give one more shout out to the generous souls at Vivilli. They gifted me this gorgeous white jacket. I love how structured it is, and all the zipper detailing is right up my alley. It come in 2 other colors as well and is a total steal (only $36!).

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

And the winner is...

I'd like to introduce you to the winner of my Rivet & Sway Pin-To-Win: Tori Radday!
It was a hard decision; there were so many great Fall Focus pinboards! In the end, it was Tori's unique taste that won me over. 

Thank you so much to all who entered. I hope you had fun!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Holiday Gift Guides: Everyone + Gifts under $5

I tried my best to make a gift guide for everyone, but it turned into more of a guide to hostess gifts. Once again, everything is under $20 and most of the items are from small, American businesses, so shop away! The "Stuff Under $5" list is much more suitable for all ages and genders, but isn't as small business oriented, with the exception of the Theo chocolate.

Gift Guide: Etc.

1. Cardamon-Clove Royal Rose Syrup $15
This is the perfect gift for a foodie or someone who loves entertaining. Or maybe just someone who loves drinking. Either way, it's really fancy and really delicious, without costing you a fortune. Also comes in Raspberry or Lavender-Lemon.

2. Spicy Apple Tea Lights from Terrain $12
These candles are 100% beeswax, made in the USA, and smell delicious. They're a steal at $12!

3. Decorative Matches ~$3.50
You know what always goes great with candles? Fire. Bundle a decorative box of matches with those tea lights, and you've got the perfect hostess gift. I usually buy them at gift stores, but they're also available on Amazon in packs of 3 for $9.99.

4. Cupcake Royale Bacon Crack $9.50
This bacon brittle is handmade right here in Seattle and makes an extravagant ice cream topping. You can also sprinkle it on cupcakes or just eat it straight outta the fancy Weck jar.

5. Paperwhite Bulb Garden $16
Bring some sunshine to someone's post-Holiday slump. These fragrant white flowers are perfect for forcing indoors and bloom in about 3 weeks. You can buy them already potted or put together a kit at your local garden nursery.

Gift Guide: Under $5

Gift Guide: Under $5 by fleur-d-elise featuring lip treatments

These fun and functional moist wipes are available at Target, as well as directly from the Motif website. They also make matching hand soap in pretty scents and equally pretty packaging.

This decadent bar of chocolate is sooo much better than those chocolate oranges. It costs way less and is made from organic, Fair Trade chocolate. Plus, chocolate is good for you, so buy lots. Available through the Theo website and at Whole Foods.

This is my favorite lip balm. It's all-natural, has a subtle flavor, and doesn't contain any of the drying ingredients, like phenol and menthol, that can lead to "lip balm addiction".

4. LePen pens $2 each 
These are great little pens. They come in 12 smudge-proof colors and perfect for crafting or just general writing purposes. 

5. Satsumas, tangerines, mandarins and clementines 
Don't forget to put a couple of these glorious little citrus fruits in each stocking! They also make great, last-minute hostess gifts as they're usually pretty cheap this time of year. Just head over to your local grocer and pick up a pound, or maybe a whole crate!  

Hope all my American readers have a wonderful Thanksgiving! And to my foreign readership, be thankful that you don't have to deal with Black Friday.

UPDATE: I can't believe I forgot to include these! May I recommend Bergamotes de Nancy? They're very hard to find as they're only made in one place: a quiet city in the Lorraine region of France. When I was seven, my mom visited family in Nancy and brought these back for me and my sisters. I've been dreaming of them ever since. They're similar in flavor to Earl Gray tea, but happily lack the bitterness of black tea. The tin is a little pricey, so I would recommend the sachet, which is available on Amazon for $14.95

Friday, November 16, 2012

Holiday Gift Guides: Girls & Guys

It's that time of year again! Like me, you're probably already flustered and overwhelmed with holiday plans (or the process of making those plans). Well, I've got a few posts that will hopefully make your holidays a little easier and maybe even a little cheaper. For instance, all the gifts in my Chicks Gift Guide are under $30! The gifts for dudes are even cheaper!

Gift Guide: Chicks

1. Bobby Pins by Kate Spade $18
I'm a sucker for cute packaging, and these bobby pins come all decked out like matches. They even have red tips!

2. TokyoMilk French Milled Soap in Waltz No. 14 $11
Now, this doesn't happen very often, but all of TokyoMilk's soaps smell gorgeous! They last forever and aren't as drying as most bar soaps. This bar smells delicate and clean and features notes of Linden, Honeyed Rose, Wisteria Petals & White Musk.

3. baggu® duck bag tote from Madewell $24
It's covered in polka dots. What other reasons do you need?

4. Face Stockholm® for J.Crew lipstick in French Martini $20
This bright, daring shade was custom-made for J.Crew. It's a great gift for the fashion-forward ladies in your life.

5. Striped Merino Hat from J.Crew $29.50

Warm, soft and on sale! It also comes in two other color combos.

Gift Guide: Dudes

Gift Guide: Dudes by fleur-d-elise featuring beanie hats

Maybe this will encourage a certain dude in your life to do his own laundry. Other reasons to buy it: nontoxic, biodegradable, dye and allergen free. It's also not tested on animals!

This book, by the creators of the blog Fuck Yeah Menswear, is fashion satire at its most hilarious. If you know a man who has any sort of interest in fashion or dressing somewhat presentable, get him this book. It's on sale for $11.62 at Amazon right now and will bring some instant crispiness to your holidays. (My husband is the archetype on page 23.)

What guy doesn't like new socks?

Practical and warm and made in the US! And it comes in 24 other colors!

Friday Fashion Facts:
You may already know this, but bobby pins were named for the bobbed hairstyle that was popular in the 1920's

Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 9, 2012

DIY: Pumpkin Spice Syrup

pumpkin spice, homemade syrup, gift ideas,diy

I love pumpkin pie spiced anything, but with one exception: I hate pumpkin pie. I think it's the texture. Anyway, I found a nice, cheap jar of pumpkin pie spice at Trader Joe's and have been putting it in everything. I used it to flavor apple jelly, sprinkled it on cereal, and put it in my coffee. This morning, I had the thought to make pumpkin pie spiced syrup. It turned out delicious. I used it to sweeten 2 cups of coffee today and have my mind set on pumpkin pancakes tomorrow morning! I will let you know how they turn out.  For now, here's a recipe for the syrup.

pumpkin spice, homemade syrup, gift ideas, diy, 3 ingredients


2-3 medium-sized pillars of piloncillo sugar
2 cups brown sugar

1 Cup water
2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice

A clean bottle

1. Sanitize the bottle in the dishwasher. If you don't have a dishwasher, wash the bottle with hot, soapy water and sanitize in a pot of boiling water.
2. Place the water and sugar in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir frequently.
3. Once the sugar is completely dissolved, check the syrup's consistency. It should be thickening by now. 
4. Mix in the pumpkin pie spice and remove from heat.
5. Use a funnel to carefully fill your bottle. Enjoy!

pumpkin spice, homemade syrup, gift ideas,diy
This makes a great gift! It's easy and cheap!

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