From the skyline to the runway: Chicago architecture and fall fashion

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Architecture meets fashion

After taking an architectural boat tour along the Chicago River this weekend, my iPhone was jam packed with stunning photos of the city’s inimitable skyline. Inspired by the buildings’ beautiful shapes and daring designs, I decided to pair them with their fall fashion counterparts.

Check out my architecture-meets-fashion couplings below and let me know which is your favorite in the comments!

1. Scalloped Edges

as Kate Moss for Top Shop Scallop Tank, $68

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2. Grid work

as Helmut Lang Micro Grid Pullover, $345
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3. Spired Rooftops

as Stella McCartney Falabella Iguana Textured Tote, $1280

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4. Elevated Elipses

as Giuseppe Zanotti Cutout Sandals, $1495
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Giuseppe Zanotti

 

5. Curved Reflections

as Vika Gazinskaya Metallic Wrap Midi Skirt, $1105
photo (5) vika gazinskaya skirt

 

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Dancing (& renting my way) down the last wedding aisle of the season

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A dress made for dancing at a wedding made for eating

Chris and I just returned from–wait for it–our LAST wedding of the year in beautiful Chicago! It marked the conclusion of an epic wedding season that included nearly a dozen destination weddings (because everything is a destination wedding when you live on the West Coast). We couldn’t have designed a more perfect celebration to conclude our 2014 wedding tour.

The bride was Chris’ beautiful cousin and the groom was a celebrated Chicago chef. The two met in culinary school, so the food was completely out-of-this-world (think sushi roll push-pops, a charcuterie and apple cider tasting bar and lobster roll sliders)!

Then there’s the city. I’ve only been to Chicago twice, but each time I’ve been absolutely blown away. It has all the markers of a major metropolis (high rise buildings, world class arts, wild politics, booming industry) and the unmistakable friendliness of the Midwest. From cab drivers to fellow wedding guests, everyone we met was kind, warm and welcoming.

Now, to the outfit…

As you can imagine, it’s hard to keep your wedding attire fresh when you have double digit weddings (damn facebook for exposing my repeat looks!); thus, I have turned to my longtime relief closet: Rent the Runway. The week before we left for this wedding, I panicked at the lack of appropriate and fresh feeling frocks in my closet, so I ordered a couple dresses from Rent the Runway. I placed my order on Wednesday, they arrived on my doorstep Thursday evening and flew with me to O’Hare Friday morning.

Since we didn’t know any guests other than family, I rented the super playful Nha Khanh Karla dress. With its lovely high-neck lace bodice and tutu-like layers of coquettish tulle, it seemed like just the conversation piece starter I needed to sashay my way into chatter with new friends. I paired it with my own accessories; a pair of Pour La Victoire Hiro Sandals, with criss cross straps evocative of point shoes, and a classic Chanel quilted flap bag and a pair of large, cushion cut CZ studs.

The dress proved to be the ice breaker I needed, but I was surprised at the reaction I received when I told people where it was from. Rent the Runway has been around for years now–I was one of the first customers in 2009 when the site was still in beta–yet there are still so many people who haven’t heard of the service or are reluctant to try it.  It seems like many have trouble with the borrowing factor. Case in point: the number of women who were shocked that I was so quick to admit I rented the dress.

“You could’ve left out that you rented the dress, and I would’ve just thought that you had a killer closet,” a woman told me well-meaningly. Sure, I could’ve, but where’s the fun in that? I have this killer closet because I’m clever about sourcing my fashion, and I’m always happy to share my style “secrets”!

Look Details

Nhn Karla Dress / Pour La Victoire Hiro Sandals (old style, similar here) / Chanel Classic Quilted Flap Bag / Cushion-Cut CZ Studs (similar here)

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3 Sexy Subscriptions

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Please hold on the line to place your erotic order!

After receiving an endless stream of bills, advertisements and letters addressed to previous tenants (ah, the joys of renting), I’ve been craving more from my daily mail delivery. I want something a bit more sensual than a money solicitation letter from my alumni association. I want a delivery that has me running to check the mail each day.

Enter these three steamy subscription services….

1. Enclosed

A posh panty of the month club

A new luxury knicker chosen to match the receiver’s individual style preferences (tanga’s or thongs, pink or black) is delivered to your door each month. You can chose from a one-time gift up to a 12-month subscription, with prices from $47-50/month depending on the length of your subscription. I would do this just to treat myself–and to avoid fighting the tourists at Victoria’s Secret in Union Square–or forward onto my husband (hint hint), but it would also make a charming gift for bridesmaids to go in on for the blushing bride!

2. Spicy Subscriptions

A box of sexy products that claim to heat up your relationship

Curated with couples in mind, this service sends you a monthly box filled with 3 full size products, one or two toys and a few trial products to experiment with. Think oils, candles, vibrators, bath products and sexy accessories. The website even boasts stats claiming the service has improved customer sex life and customers feel their partner is less likely to cheat. With a $19.95/month promotion going on, it’s certainly worth checking out.

3. Blush Box

A customizable lingerie and toy subscription service that  aims to keeps it classy

The name says it all, doesn’t it? Designed for the more demure customer, Blush Box offers several types of subscriptions; you can hone in on one monthly product (toy, panty, condom) or go wild with monthly teaser boxes or quarterly gift boxes stuffed with all varieties of goodies, from massagers to lubes and costumes to boudoir jewelry. There’s even a specialty box series for brides! Best of all, the products are sure to please even the most snooty of sex kittens, with brands like Eberjay and Hanky Panky.

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Glowing Nude Beauty for Fall 2014

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fall’s luminous nude hues make a surprisingly big impact

Soft peach lips, luminous bronze skin and subtle ballet pink nail polish exemplify the au naturale beauty look of the moment. Stars like J.Lo and Diane Kruger have perfected nude beauty on the red carpet, and now you can too with these fabulous products.

Check out all my favorite beauty buys below and the best celeb nude beauty looks in the slideshow above.

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1. Bobbi Brown Brightening Finishing Powder / 2. Clarisonic Sonic Radiance / 3. Emi-Jay Pearl Hair Ties / 4. Chloe Perfume / 5. Bobbi Brown Long Wear Creme Shadow Stick / 6. Stila All Over Shimmer Liquid Luminizer / 7. Too Faced Perfect Lips Lip Liner / 8. Sephora Flatter Yourself Contouring Brush Set / 9. Christian Louboutin Nail Color / 10. Urban Decay Naked3 / 11. Laura Mercier Lip Color

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17 Chic Halloween Decorations

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halloween home decor - halloween home decorationsProof that halloween decor doesn’t have to be tacky

Go stylishly spooky this year with these 17 spectacular Halloween decorations.

1. Wire Spiders
2. “Beware” Banner
3. Black Martini Glass
4. Fall Wreath
6. Skull and Crossbones candlestick holder
7. Spider Placemat
8. Bone Cocktail Jigger
9. Halloween Medallion Dish Set
10. Pumpkin Cocotte
11. Cat Pillow
12. Stacked Pumpkin Topiary
13. Morelia Cocktail Napkins
14. Fall Garland
15. Cashmere Throw
16. Tombstone Slate Cheeseboard
17. Morelia Rico Plates

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Scented Memories + Solid Perfumes by True Nature Botanicals

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True Nature Botanicals Solid Fragrance - TNB solid perfume

A coming of age story by the nose

I’ve had a tempestuous relationship with perfume since purchasing my first bottle in the 6th grade; it was Calvin Klein’s unisex hit cK One, and it spilled all over my L.L. Bean backpack during an Alaskan cruise my family took that summer. To this day, I associate the
ck one kate moss man or a womanambery scent with icebergs.

The next year, a little older and a little wiser, I upgraded to Donna Karen Woman. I read about it in Vogue and had to have it. At $60 a bottle–outrageous compared to the Limited Too’s rollerball glass tubes of scent–it was my big birthday present that year, and I spayed it on copiously in an attempt to make myself more attractive the opposite gender. Needless to say, I was single throughout middle school.

Onto high school where weekend trips to the mall were spent scouring Bath & Body Works for the best body splash to spritz on after gym class or deciding which of GAP’s sextuplets of perfume was my “signature” scent. I went with the optimistic Dream, but secretly wanted to be an Om girl. When it was time to be picked up, we would pile back into someone’s moms car reeking of sickeningly sweet lilac, eau de artificial raspberry and Plumeria (is that even a real flower?).

bath and body works body splashWhen I left for college as mature coed, I decided it was time to forgo the body splash for a grown up eau de toilette. I turned to Chanel Chance, but the girly scent quickly came to recall bad freshman parties and even worse boyfriends, so it was switched out for Coco Mademoiselle during my final years as an undergrad.

It wasn’t until after I graduated that I finally admitted all of these scents were a too overpowering for my nose, and, more than making me smell good, gave me a headache. Frankly, I don’t like super sweet smells–or super sweet anything. I drink my vodka with soda water and wash my clothes in unscented detergent. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that the next scent I fell for wasn’t floral and sweet, but woodsy and fresh…and, I later found out, made for men.

creed green irish tweedI received a sample of Creed’s Green Irish Tweed while working at a posh boutique right out of college, and I was instantly hooked. It was spicy and sophisticated, and most of all, it didn’t give me a headache. It wasn’t until I went back to buy the full bottle that I learned the scent was originally designed for Cary Grant. At that point, I didn’t care. I loved Cary Grant, and I loved Green Irish Tweed.

Fast forward to present day. I still break out the Green Irish Tweed on occasion, but most days the only thing I smell like is shampoo.

So, when True Nature Botanicals, the brand behind my can’t-live-without face oil invited me to try out their new line of solid perfumes, I had no doubt that it would be of the highest quality, but I was skeptical that I would actually like the smell.

I was pleasantly surprised when I received a sampler of hand-dipped scent sticks in the mail. In fact, I struggled to determine which of the three scent I liked the most. Noble Citrus was refreshing with notes of cypress and Bergamot orange. Noble Floral was warm and romantic with rose and jasmine. Noble Woods was rich and sexy with amber and earthy vetiver. While each scent was thoughtfully crafted and complex on the nose, the Noble Citrus was clean, easy to wear and exactly what I was looking for.
true nature botanical solid perfumeA few days after making my choice, a palm-sized metal compact arrived in the mail. Inside was the solid scent generously gifted to me by True Nature Botanicals. I had never applied a solid scent before and was fascinated by how easily it warmed up beneath my swirling finger tip and smoothed onto the pulse points on my wrists and neck. Unlike liquid perfumes that create a fallout zone when sprayed, the solid allowed for a controlled application, creating a delicate hint of smell where applied. Best of all, the beautiful compact tucked easily into my purse, so I could tote it with me and reapply throughout the day.

It’s safe to say that I’ve found a scent for the next phase of life!

True Nature Botanicals Solid Scents


Want to learn more about solid perfumes and True Nature Botanical fragrances?

Check out my Q&A With True Nature Botanicals Director of Community Relations, Kevin Dooley below…

TE: Are solid perfumes new?
TNB: No, solid perfumes have been used since the days of Cleopatra. Kings and queens wore unguents, or ointments, scented with precious essential oils, to bring beautiful scents found in nature to everyday moments. They were seen as the ultimate luxury and inspired the perfume industry that followed.

TE: How are solid perfumes superior to liquid scents?
TNB: Solid perfumes hold natural scents far longer and interact with the warmth of your skin to reveal a fragrance’s complexities. Best of all, they’re easy to carry, allowing you to bring luxurious beauty to everyday moments.

TE: What is unique about the True Nature Botanicals solid perfumes?
TNB: Our scents were created by some of the most respected and experienced perfumers, working at one of the oldest, most prestigious fragrance houses in France. By blending the best of California innovation with the art and tradition of French perfumery, we uniquely capture the true nature of scent in all its complexity and simplicity the way it exists in nature without synthetics or toxins.

TE: What are “noble” oils?
TNB: Every scent is crafted exclusively with an abundance of 100% natural “noble materials”—known to be the purest and most precious in the world. We use the highest concentrations of noble materials, like orris, tuberose, and liquid amber, so every scent is pure and authentic. And just like in nature where no two roses are ever identical, no two solid perfumes will smell or look exactly the same. That’s the beauty and complexity of True Nature.

TE: Anything your perfumer wants to add from France?
TNB: “For a perfumer, being able to work without price restrictions is really a dream. It not only allowed me to work with the most precious raw materials, but also to select the best quality for every essential oil or absolute. This is taking me back to the roots of the fragrance history, when perfumes were created for a very few exclusive royals and only the quality was something to consider. This is the real essence of luxury.”

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