Bonjour it's Jinah!

Sunday, January 31

Sunday Etsy Love 01.31.10

I have an ever-growing list of Etsy favorites, and I thought I would share them with you! In fact, I think I will make a new post once a week sharing a few of my favorite finds. I'm feeling extra inspired lately, and browsing wares made by amazing creative people really puts me in the mood to make things! I like to use exclamation points!!

This week's theme: L'Amour. With just enough time for purchase for Valentine's Day!

Things for yourself or your hunny bunny.

Clockwise from top left:
  1. LOVE Languages Typography print by jenniferramos, $25. I really adore Jennifer's prints. I stumbled upon her blog and shop this week and stopped in my tracks at this print. The subtle twist with the grey letters is so perfect. Her customizable ABC posters are also really sweet. Great in a kid's room or for your creative/designy man/ladyfranz.
  2. Regency Valentine with Swallows by hellohandmadepaperie, $14. How could you not love Betsy Dunlap's romantic calligraphy? Her site is chock full of yummy eye candy--I want her beautiful script styles all over everything I own. But I can settle for a personalized, handwritten love letter. Can you believe how pretty these are? Very Jane Austen. I know at least one lady that would have her socks knocked off from receiving one of these lovely letters. Send one to your penpal abroad, or someone you secretly admire. So romantic.
  3. How to Marry a Millionaire bra and knickers set by gildapearl, $110. These are the most beautiful pieces of lingerie I have come across in ages! This set even beats the pants (har har) off of Agent Provocateur's wares. This is a great self-indulgent gift that can be your little secret.
  4. Vintage herkimer flower ring from EarthVisible, $28. I loooove herkimer diamond rings. The jagged, weathered rocks are a stark contrast from your everyday bling. If you need to put a ring on it, this vintage piece is a lovely choice! I keep looking at it and am itching to get it for myself. It looks like there's only one, quick before someone else snatches it up!

Speaking of crafty people, I had an excellent ladies' crafternoon on Friday. Will post the resulting project in the next few days.

    Neopolitan Zigzag Dress



    Outfit details: Milly Zigzag Dress
    Rebecca Minkoff MAM in Dark Brown (in royal w/brown basketweave trim here--
    various browns available on resale sites such as eBay and Bonanzle)
    Cream knee socks from Urban Outfitters (similar style here)
    Mixed bangles from Anthropologie (similar sets here)
    Frye Lisa T-Straps (this year's version here)
    Polish: Essie Greenport

    Despite the how frigid it was today, I thought it was time to take this dress out for a spin! I am at a total loss most of the time on how to appropriately dress for the winter chill, and today was no exception. Insulated layers? Puffer coats? Layered legwear? These things don't exist in my wardrobe, yikes!

    I even decided to forgo tights since the only pairs I have are black and white and neither color seemed to work here. Luckily the sun came out during the course of the day and made up for my lack of winter wardrobe.

    I have always loved bright pops of color and jazzy patterns on things. This Milly dress was one of those purchases that just felt meant to be. It reminds me of warm weather and yummy ice cream flavors! And it's the perfect excuse for serious color-matching. I was really happy when I realized my nails could match my dress exactly.

    And thanks to Rosa, I ended up pulling out my Frye t-straps! I had totally forgotten that I owned these until I saw them on her blog recently. How silly am I?

    Today I had an early meeting at work (one of the perils of working retail--weekend shifts) and a full on girls' day with my sisters, involving a Forever 21 scavenger hunt and a Target excursion. Has anyone seen those sideways cross two-finger-rings that F21 carries (that are very Taylor of Rachel Zoe fame)? I saw them last week and hesitated since I am not sure that is part of my "look" or lifestyle anymore, but all of a sudden I just really really needed one. So I made the trip up to the suburbs, excited since it was a $8 or less piece. To no avail, sadly.

    The Target store in question still had racks upon racks of Rodarte looks left, and it was all 30% off! Seeing as I'd done most of the damage I needed to back in December, I passed it on by. If any of you are still trying to find a sequined ribcage dress, the little leopard number, or the tulle black bow dress, the North Point store still has a decent selection of sizes left!

    Friday, January 29

    The Girl in the Purple Dress



    Outfit details: Lisa for LOFT necklace (similar here and here)
     Bailey 44 Center of Attention Dress (here for pregs ladies and a spendy lookalike here)
    Frye Sunny Multi Strap boots in Fog (similar here and here)
    Forever 21 $4.90 leggings

    This is what I wore to class yesterday. It is intermittently frigid and warm outside, and the building where all my classes are held is much the same way. I end up layering and erring on the side of cold since it's always a gamble whether the heating or the A/C will be the reigning unit on any given day.

    I love these boots for in-between weather. They're lightweight and go with every color in my wardrobe. I love them (as with all of my Frye boots) but they don't get enough love from me because they are so light-colored and have a leather sole. Does anyone else do this? Not wear their favorite things so that they don't get ruined during...wearing? I like to think that it makes my special things last longer, by not using them. I don't know why I do this.

    Also a few administrative things:

    I added a link to my account if anyone has any questions for me! I try my best to respond to most comments, but I know that not everyone sees the responses or thinks to check certain posts to find my response.

    I also added the ~followers~ widget to my blog after resisting for months. I had felt like it didn't belong anywhere in my current layout, but was starting to feel like I was missing out on a lot of fun! So if you're interested in adding my blog to your Google Reader or seeing your sweet face on my page, please click away! It's temporarily (maybe permanently?) at the very bottom of the page.

    One last thing--I'm about a week behind in my blog-reading. If you haven't heard from me lately, that doesn't mean I'm not reading your amazing posts! Hopefully I'll be able to catch up with each and every one of you very soon.

    Have a great weekend!

    Thursday, January 28

    Handmade Valentines!

    Lookie what I made!

    This was my secret project going on in the background. I like to mail out cards for random occasions, and I happened to sign up for a Valentine's Day card swap, so I decided it was perfect timing to flex my creative muscles.

    The design of these was heavily inspired by Dana of MADE and her simple Valentines she posted a couple days back. I  had a couple of sizable pink and red scraps leftover from my quilt project to cut out a bunch of little hearts!

    The shimmery cardstock is sold by the sheet in the scrapbooking section of most craft stores for less than $1 per sheet. I decided to buy big sheets and cut them down to size to fit the red envelopes I bought. With my rotary cutter and Hera marker I was able to cut very exactly sized cards that just fit into my envelopes.

    The hearts themselves I just cut freehand from scraps of fabric I had lying around. I chose beige thread so the colors wouldn't clash with either the paper, envelopes, or patterns, and got busy sewing. Since I couldn't pin or glue the hearts to the cards beforehand, I carefully placed them while sewing slowly.

    All of the different patterns were made up on the fly. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out! I hope my sassy pen pal ladies love them!




    Something about sewing through paper is very satisfying. It makes a really neat THWOMP sound as the needle makes it through the cardstock.

    I think in-between working on my giant quilt blocks, I want to make some garlands. This heart garland is the most adorable thing ever ever, and looks like it would be a perfect little touch for my Alice tea party if I have it.

    Actually that garland reminds me of a paint chip mobile I made a few years ago sewn in much the same manner. It was made with varying colors of paint chips (you know, the kind you can pick up for free at the Home Depot) and cascaded in long rows. It might have even been inspired by an Anthropologie display? Maybe I will make one of those too. Whimsy for everyone!

    Repeat Outfit, Wuh-Oh


    Outfit details: I 'Heart' Ronson Dress (check your local JCP, or similar here)
    (the remaining pieces from this collection are available here!)
    Cartonnier Boyfriend Blazer (this one looks identical, down to the buttons and trim!)
    Target Katherine Engineer Boots

    I wore this exact outfit on my birthday back in October. Actually, I just realized I never posted that back in the day. So don't you wag your finger at me, Secret Fashion Police!

    This dress was the primary reason I stepped into a JCPenney for the first time in years.  I think I saw it in Teen Vogue last year and had to have it. The fit and styling of this are so me, and the peacock feather print is both sweet and edgy at the same time. I felt like this belonged in Urban Outfitters, and not on the half off rack at Penneys!

    Anyways, I like it. It was only $34.99 or something full price, and when I bought it, it was on sale. All in all, a satisfying purchase. The end.

    Oh, and note my craft party going on in the background. I will discuss that with you shortly.

    Tuesday, January 26

    Tea Party Perfect



    Outfit details: J. Crew Silk Frances Cami
     Cardigan with beading and parasols by Guinevere--
    from Anthro a few years ago (similar feel here and here and here!))
    Twilit Skirt (similar in leopard here)
    Longchamp Tote in Lime Grey
    Hunter Original Wellies

    I really love a great special little cardigan sweater. This was another piece that I stalked at Anthropologie until it got marked down. Apparently that's my thing, special cardigans. That plus any dresses that are ladylike I can grab.

    I've joked with my friends, I'm always prepared for a fancy dinner, wedding, tea party, bruncheon, but feel like otherwise I have nothing to wear. So I end up being overdressed a lot of the time. That's not so bad, though, I guess.

    This is another backlogged outfit. I met Fallon for a girls' day while all the mans stayed in on a rainy day. And I guess I did have a cup of tea, so it was actually very appropriate. All this talk about tea parties makes me want to throw another tea. Perhaps with the new Alice movie coming out this Spring, it is the perfect time...

    Garden Wall Quilt, Part 1

    These are the pieces for my quilt blocks.




    Man, I think I took on an overly ambitious project for the second quilt I've ever made. The instructions claim that cutting may take even longer than sewing the project, and boy was that true! Cutting out a bajillion little squares and rectangles took several hours over two days. I was just glad I had found my rotary cutter (it's like a pizza cutter for fabric) and didn't have to use scissors for this madness!

    I had to separate all the like colors and shapes into baggies since there are literally hundreds of pieces, and I knew I would lose my mind trying to create the pattern from a huge pile of scraps. I haven't decided on what the back will look like or what shades would be nice for the sashing (border around the blocks) and binding. So far, I think a minty green would best tie the three color schemes together, but I think I'll have to see after some blocks are done.

    I started piecing the blocks today, and besides the constant ironing required with so many pieces, it's going pretty quickly! The only thing is that the colors don't seem to quite work. Such a shame, since they looked fine in the baggies and stacked up together in neat rows!

    The fabrics are a mix of selections from Amy Butler's Love collection and Alexander Henry's Good Earth collection.

    Monday, January 25

    Sequin Tiered Ruffle Tissue Tank



    Outfit details: 
    J. Crew Sequin tiered ruffle tissue tank (similar here and here
    Wrap Cardi by Moth from Anthro (see similar here and here)
    Joe's Ex-Lover Cropped Boyfriend Jeans
    Anthropologie Triple  Strand Headband
    Forever 21 Tubular Beaded Necklace
    Seychelles booties (similar here and here)
    Aldo Varble oxfords

    It seems I keep taking photos and then forgetting about them for a few days. This is what I wore on Friday to run errands and stop by the Atlantic Station boutique sale. It's been pretty warm this week, so I was excited to show a little more leg (har har) and be able to wear something that didn't completely cover my arms!

    Friday was another shoe shuffling around day. I wanted to wear something comfortable since I knew a lot of waiting during errand-running would be involved, but needed to look nice enough in case I got called into work during the day.

    As far as the comfort level goes, these jeans are amazing. They are so soft and broken in that it almost feels like I'm in pajamas when I wear them. And the tank-- I hadn't jumped on the ruffled jersey tank bandwagon yet. Then this fall, J. Crew had this fun little piece with added sequins. I diligently waited for it to go on sale (I mean, it's a $50 tank!), and managed to snag it for less than $20. I'm happy with it and understand the fuss over this shape now.

    Friday, January 22

    Outfits I Wish I Wore Today



    Outfit details: Forever 21 beaded cardigan in teal
    Corey Lynn Calter Mona Beaded Tank (Anthro calls it the "Snowscape Tank")
    Old Navy grey/white stripe sailor top (much superior rendition here)
    Idra cropped pleated pants (similar here and here and here!)
    Anthro's triple strand headband in carbon
    Jeffrey Campbell Haley flats in pewter (black studded here and similar-ish here)
    Nine West satin flats (similar here and here)
    Chie Mihara silver maryjanes--1 pr left! (same feel here)

    Okay so I posted three variations on the same outfit. None of which I actually ended up wearing today. Sigh.

    I sure do feel like I talk about the weather a lot, but to be frank, the weather is an important component of planning what to wear, atleast for me anyway. Atlanta can be extremely fickle weather-wise, and not to mention humid or wet or hot a majority of the time. Today was another freak weather day. I got up this morning, looked outside, checked my weather widget and got dressed. When I took these photos, soon after, it was still sunny out!

    When I headed out for class a few hours later, it was drizzling and grey. Since it is atleast a 5 minute walk from anywhere I can park to get to my classes, flats were out of the question if I wanted my feet to stay dry. So were the Chies. I ended up running back upstairs to change into my wellies and called it a day.

    Anyway, I got this little cardigan at Forever 21 on Tuesday. It was even on sale, and I totally didn't realize that they do markdowns, so it was only $13.99! The weather put a damper on pairing it with my Snowscape Tank too. Silk + rain = no way. So I threw on this stripey Old Navy top instead.

    I threw in the silly picture with the mary janes because this is what I would have liked to wear ideally! Sometimes I wish that I had the option of changing shoes upon arriving at my destination or was willing to trek concrete blocks in heels--it's not my feet that complain, it's the shoes. My shoes get trashed so quickly when I am walking urban blocks! And I didn't time the pose right and fell over immediately after I snapped this picture.

    I can't wait until tomorrow so I can embark on my new sewing adventure!!

    New Upcoming Project: Garden Wall Quilt

    So bright and fun!

    My next project is pretty ambitious: this wonderful quilt designed by Anna Maria Horner. I have amassed a large collection of fat quarters, and this seems like the perfect project to incorporate most of them without planning an elaborate color scheme. I love that the squares seem randomly incorporated, but upon closer inspection, you can see there is a clear method to the color planning. This will look great on the foot of my bed (no more chilly toes!) or draped over my white sofa. I can't wait!! I plan on picking up some cutting supplies tomorrow after I visit my girl at the warehouse sale.

    I also want to take a beginner's quilting class at Intown Quilters starting either this month or next so I can figure out how to assemble the quilt layers once I finish the top! The atmosphere is really wonderful there, and I think it would be really inspiring to be around some new crafty people.

    Tuesday, January 19

    Back to School Spring 2010



    Outfit details: Scottie Dog sweater by Field Flower (Anthro circa 2006? 2007?)
    (similar vibe here and here)
    J. Crew Toothpick Ankle Cords in Brown
    Frye Bonnie Tall Riding Boots in Red/Black (Black, brown, and grey here.)
    Longchamp Le Pliage Large Tote in Lime Grey 

    I just realized this set of photos has been sitting in my Flickr since Wednesday! Whoops!

    Anyway, this is what I wore for my first day of classes last week on Wednesday. I've been slowly branching out into wearing what I really want and feeling less self-conscious that I'm not as conservative or business-y as many of my classmates.

    This sweater was an Anthropologie piece for which I'd been holding out for a sale. When it finally got marked down to $69.95 (half of the asking price!), I snagged it. And then I was stumped on what to wear with it. I really like the idea of mustard yellow or primary red (maybe even burgundy!) with it, but in reality I felt like a box of crayons with so much color when I tried them on together.

    I really love that the detailing with the wooden scottie dog buttons feels very schoolteacher. You know, sort of like the classic applique teacher sweater?

    Example. Actually I kind of like this one. 
    OMG I just noticed the "scarf" tassels.

    Maybe that's why I felt inspired to pull this out for class? I'm glad it isn't red in the body, because I'd feel a little too much like Santa.

    Hope you all had a restful MLK Day! And I also hope you had a moment to reflect on the meaning behind today. 

    Sunday, January 17

    Atlanta Boutique Bargains Clearance Sale

    It's that time of year again! It looks like there is going to be a solid lineup of old favorites and new goodies! I'm definitely going to stop by for a visit. Things I'll be keeping an eye out for: Leifsdottir F/W pieces from Kelly's Closet, the yummy Italian leather shoe selection from Pella (I spotted Prada flowerstem heels last year for 50% off!), anything A.P.C. at DrewLewis (heck, anything I can get my hands on at DL!),  French Connection dresses at Boogaloos, and finally finding and making good friends with which boutique carries Hayden-Harnett in this city.

    I'm also very interested to see what the OTP boutiques carry to see if it's worth a weekend excursion. And if you're not shopping for yourself, there is usually a sweet selection of MENS clothing. Valentine's Day will be upon us before you know it!

    I also like to work the sales for graduation gifts and things to add to my gift stash. I feel weird saying this because I know all of my besties read this, but there is always (always!) a stockpile of gifts for my best girls that I pick up whenever I see an awesome deal on something they'd love.

    Boutiques participating:

    Friday, January 22 through Saturday, January 23. 10AM-6PM both days.

    231 18th St. NW (in the space above Z Gallerie)
    Atlanta, GA 30363

    Complete information here.

    Thursday, January 14

    Help Haiti

    By now you have heard about the earthquake in Haiti on the 12th.

    A 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck near the capital of Port-au-Prince Haiti, devastating the city and leaving millions injured, homeless, and hundreds of thousands dead.

    For those of you yet unaware of the scope of destruction the incident has caused, The Boston Globe's The Big Picture sums it up pretty succinctly in photos. I scrolled through the entire set as soon as it was posted yesterday at a loss for what I could do to help. (Also see 48 Hours Later)

    Very soon after, Twitter and Facebook and many of the blogs I keep up with turned up many ways to donate. I donated the balance of my Paypal account to Yele and am currently calculating what I can spare to donate to the following organizations.


    Wyclef Jean's Yele Haiti site has aligned itself with the relief efforts. You can now text "YELE" to 501501 to donate $5, which will be added to your next cell phone bill, or go to the site itself to donate a different amount.

    The American Red Cross has gone high tech as well. You can text "Haiti" to 90999 to donate $10, which will be added to your next cell phone bill.

    Doctors Without Borders is an international organization offering medical assistance to fill the gap in over 60 countries. DWB is already in Haiti, and is overall a very inspiring organization.

    InterAction, which is a US-based coalition of international NGOs, has a compiled list of organizations you can give towards the cause.

    MSNBC has an excellent list of charitable organizations currently active in Haiti.

    In addition, many Etsy sellers are donating part (some even 100%!!) of their sales to Haitian relief efforts. My girl Molly K. is even giving away a small crocheted gift to those that donate to any organization involved in the cause. See the list of additional charitable etsy sellers here at her site.

    This website along with the accompanying Facebook page has a very comprehensive list of links. The URLs are even specifically shortened so you can add them to your Twitter or Facebook status.

    Tuesday, January 12

    The *Jeggings*




    Outfit details: J. Crew printed cotton lawn popover shirt from 2007 (similar here and solid here.)
    J. Crew Velvet Blazer from 2007 (this year's version here, on super sale!)
    AG The Tights Denim Leggings in Rosebud (buy them here, here, or here.)
    Frye Bonnie Tall Riding Boots in Red/Black (in black, brown, and grey here.)

    I originally planned to wear this purple shirt with matching purple corduroys. When I put on the jacket too, I felt a little too Willy Wonka and changed into these. Yes, these are the horrible fashion faux-pas--denim leggings.

    I appreciate their utility as today was a very long day of sitting and waiting, and wearing leggings that look like pants are a nice little comfy alternative to jeans. Sometimes I have to fuss too much with my jeans, occasionally doing the belt loop hoist or deep knee bends to accommodate for weird stretch or fit issues. These don't do any of that weirdness, hooray!

    Also, I think these are a little more socially acceptable as they are thicker and actually made of denim. And they are produced by a *real* denim brand. There are rivets, and pockets, and even stitching at the (sewn shut) fly. Not to mention the waistband is 100% more comfortable than any pair of jeans I actually own.

    Anyway, these won out because they're the most convenient for tucking into tall boots. The boots with the jacket turned out semi-equestrian, I think. And the shirt and the jacket was just enough purple to satisfy my original plan to go monochromatic for the day.

    Kaleidescope Decatur Sale!

    I lurrve my new Milly Dress!

    I'm blogging because I heart Camille and support independent local independent boutiques, so here goes. Due to these *hard economic times* Kaleidescope Boutique in Decatur is clearing out their inventory. One of my besties tipped me off and so I headed over there last night to check it out. They had yummy snacks, Stella, and first dibs on everything left--at 50% off!! Excluding denim, which was 40% off, but hey, that is still a killer deal.

    There were so many delicious things left, including: sequined 50's cardigans, gorgeous maxi-dresses (perfect for the oh, 9 months of summer down here!), a good selection of Fidelity jeans (which are super flattering on), edgy jersey tops with chain detailing, perfect little cocktail dresses, frilly date-night dresses, and not to mention men's clothing! Oh, and even one or two of the red dress as seen on Lar of Asian Cajuns!

    I picked up this Milly sweaterdress, which is 2010 RESORT COLLECTIONZ, and still FULL PRICE at Neiman's and Bergdorf's! They still have a bunch of Tulle coats, Joe's jeans (including current season jeggings!!), Modern Amusement shirts for your mans, Heavy Rotation graphic tees (so much cuteness!), and many other amazing current Milly pieces, including:

    This amazing Cascade Mini Dress in Brown.

    I lurrved this too, but couldn't afford both (darned budget!). The little ties on the side are so freaking adorable and clink like little bells. The whole look was very chic roller disco on. See it in papaya at Net-a-Porter. It also came in white, but that seems to be sold out at most e-tailers. Hmph.

    Sequin Sparkle Merino Wool Dress in Black at Net-A-Porter

     This little number was so. darling. in person. But sadly they were out of my size. I see this as perfect for one of my girlfriends...(ahem paging Kat to this post!). It's so glammy glam but ladylike, ugh, love it. I first spotted this in November and was dying to have it for NYE. Ugh ugh, someone get it so that I can live vicariously.

    The sale should continue through Thursday, with extended opening hours. I left around 10:15 last night, and the sale-a-palooza was still going strong!

    252 West Ponce De Leon Avenue
    Decatur, GA 30030-3269

    Monday, January 11

    Wind-Rippled, Indeed



    Outfit details: RicRac Wind-Rippled Tee at Anthropologie
    (3/4 sleeve version--may be available in stores!
    Try customer service with style #910266!!)

    Silence and Noise Boyfriend Blazer

    Madewell Skinny Low Cords in Black (similar at the Crew here)
    Target Katherine Engineer Boots (restocked online! Go now!)
    Rebecca Minkoff Studded Devote in Black/Gunmetal
    Gap initial pin from 2006 (maybe 2005?)
    Pearl ring borrowed from my sister

    This is what I wore to grab lunch with my sister and patiently be chauffeured around town. I recently rediscovered this little "J" pin I bought a couple years ago! As I don't seem to own any other brooches, I think that a little pink initial is a nice touch to girly-up my trusty boyfriend blazer.

    My car is currently out of commission, and Atlanta is unforgivingly car-centric. Sure, there is a bus stop right at my street corner, but Maps tells me that it would take unendingly long periods of time to get to destinations I want to reach.

    Additionally, there is still snow on the ground here and I don't much want to wear anything other than flannel pajamas and fuzzy socks! Not going to lie, I wore hideous (but warm!) chenille socks inside of my boots today. I keep trying to read all of the "winter chic" style articles I can find, but I fail to be incredibly inspired when the weather itself isn't so inspiring.

    I go back to school on Wednesday and hope I can pull something together that's warm and business appropriate by then! The walk from the bus stop to my classroom is mighty long when it is pitch black and freezing. What are your go-tos for winter style? I'm feeling bewildered. Isn't it supposed to be 50 degrees here this time of year?
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