Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Garden Gal:

      For some, August may feel like the end of summer. However, Summer seems to last a bit longer in Northern California. It seems like the air is still hot and the heat continues well into the evening here in Santa Cruz. I've been lucky enough to enjoy a few more meals in my backyard while the weather holds up too! After posting this polyvore set featuring a pair of red shorts, I couldn't resist putting together a similar look for myself. Crisp colored shorts and a practical (and easily washable) denim vest bib, make for a stylish and simple outdoor dining ensemble. 

(Although I took these photos a few days ago, I actually harvested and pan fried this bell pepper today and it was delicious. The smell of bell pepper was so prevalent in my kitchen the moment I sliced it!)

Hat- Marshall's Men's Department, Sunglasses- Ray Ban, Pretzel Brooch-
Vintage, Denim Vest- Moschino, Bag- Coach, Tank-Gap, Shorts- The
, Watch-Michael Kors, Shoes- Delman

How are you savoring the last bits of Summer?


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Fall Wardrobe: New Additions

Authentic Coach Willis Bag. You can find a new one here for $298 dollars.
I was lucky enough to score this one at the local Antique Fair for $25.
The Antique Fair is open in downtown Santa Cruz each month on the second
 Sunday, I like to go towards the end of the day to get the best deals before closing. 

     As I mentioned in this post a few days ago (sorry for the late response), I have been building my fall wardrobe with second hand items. Recycling is a concept that should not just apply to empty bottles and paper products, but also to our wardrobes. I love that you can find treasure in unexpected places, like Salvation Army, Goodwill, and Antique shops. Not only is shopping for second hand items more budget friendly, it is also helps reduce our carbon footprint. But I think my absolute favorite aspect of thrift shopping is finding a high quality item that I would otherwise never be able to afford with a shockingly low price tag attached. Here are a few hidden gems that I have been able to unearth here in Santa Cruz. If you are local to the area, I hope the links I have included in this post are especially helpful in finding new (second hand) shopping experiences. However, if you happen to live elsewhere, let this be inspiration that you can find lovely items in places that you might otherwise overlook!

I have found some of the most amazing authentic turquoise and silver jewelry recently at this local pawn shop. They already offer ridiculously low "price-by-weight" silver items but they are also open to negotiation as well! 

These dazzling pink earrings were unearthed at Mr Goodie's Antiques for
 a mere $5. Another one of my favorite places to find jewelry is in the
Collector's Corner in the goodwill on Union Street. The Collector's Corner
 is run by volunteers so it operates at random hours, but if you are lucky
 enough to stop by while it's open there are so amazing and inexpensive items
 to be rescued and taken home with you. I found this Betsey Johnson necklace
 for 50% off the tagged price, it was $3.50! 

!00% Silk dresses from left to right: Red Dress- Ellen Tracy $4, Black Dress- Laundry by Shelli Segal $7, Pink Dress- Christian Dior $10. Not all of these dresses from Goodwill fit perfectly initially, but with some inexpensive alterations I now have plenty of party dresses for next season. 

Another way to add new items to your closet is to trade garments with your
friends. My friend Katia lent me a few items to borrow while she is abroad
for several months. I'm excited to wear this robe around the house during lazy days. 

These crazy pants are another temporary addition to my wardrobe from
 Katia. I'm not sure I have the guts to rock these Versace pants....
but they are going to sit in my closet encouraging me to try!

100% silk blouses, $1.50 each found at Salvation Army.
 With a few nips and tucks they will fit perfectly!

Fully sequined silk tank with no wear or tear, $7 at Salvation Army. 

My growing collection of second hand cashmere in a rainbow of colors.


PS: Just so you know, I didn't go on a mad shopping binge over the last weekend. I collected many of these items carefully over time. In the summer months, it's typically easy for me to find inexpensive fall/winter I stock up! Get better deals on clothing by looking for off season items, they are typically less expensive!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fall Favorites:

Fall Wardrobe 2012

Fall Wardrobe 2012 by nsaich featuring leopard print handbags

      As summer comes to a close, I have begun collecting my fall wardrobe. I use the word "collect" rather than "purchase" because I have been scouring flea markets, vintage fairs, and my local Salvation Army and Good Will locations for the perfect additions to my cool weather wardrobe. Yes, I am still buying new things for Fall... but I am doing my very best to purchase carefully curated items at a very low price points second hand (I can't wait to show you some of my budget friendly fall finds tomorrow!). However, there are still some gaps in my closet and there are a few things I really need. Like water resistant boots for galavanting around a muddy campus this semester or a pair of sturdy ballet flats (my previous pair have gone past the point of needing a simple resole). And if money weren't an option at all, the above photo accurately demonstrates what would be on my most wanted list for Fall. Warm fabrics like soft cashmere and buttery leather top the list as well as versatile prints like leopard and stripes, what are some of your Fall Favorites?


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Small Morsels:

Kitschy lipstick pens perfect for stashing in my purse.

      This week has been full of challenges and the need to reflect on the small pleasures in life became apparent very early on. A close family member ended up in the hospital, and to say that I've been upset is kind of an understatement. Although it can be easier to surrender to sadness, instead I'm trying to focus my attention on the positive. Here are a few seemingly insignificant things that really played a part in brightening my mood!

I had never seen fresh dragon fruit before and I adore the unusual shape.

My boyfriend and I had a housewarming party recently, here was the buffet table.

Edible lolli letters from a local candy shop downtown.

New baking extracts in unusual flavors.

Taxi cab chocolate candies perfect for munching on. 

A housewarming present brought back from Mount Madonna, his and hers tea cups. 

New entertainment from Streetlight Records, Yoshi's
Island for Super Nintendo and Carrie on DVD.

Lusting over yellow with Converse and Coach. 


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Saturday Grilling Day!

Saturday Grilling Day!

Saturday Grilling Day! by nsaich featuring colored denim shorts

      Summer feels like it's just getting started here in Santa Cruz, the weather is finally warming up and that means grilling in my book! Today I'm gonna be spending as much time as possible out doors cooking up some amazing food inspired by this post and catching up with my closest friends. While rifling thru my closet I couldn't decide what to wear today so I logged onto Polyvore to piece together my perfect Saturday Grilling Day outfit. Crisp shorts, a classy peplum top, and a panama hat to finish would be perfect for an outdoor soiree. 
      What are you up to this weekend?


PS: Click the link below the photo for a full description of each item plus a link to the online store where you can purchase the garment or entire outfit yourself!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Baked Crispy Chicken:

      Recently I invited my best guy friend, Sean, over to taste test a new recipe. We both ended up gobbling the entire serving down in just minutes and soon afterwards, Sean was asking if we could make more. I thought to myself... why not? This is an excellent opportunity to see if this recipe for Crispy Baked Chicken really is as simple to prepare as I think it is. After Sean and I purchased ingredients and put the whole meal into the oven to finish cooking he said "That's it?" This recipe really is that easy! Not only that, but this chicken comes out of the oven tender, juicy, and with a perfectly salted crust. Minted Magazine featured the full post on their blog and you can view the entire recipe by clicking this link! I hope that the next time you are in a pinch for a week night meal you try this out!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Remix Sweater:

      Sadly, the Missoni for Target collection was mostly sold thru by the time I reached my nearest Target location the day the collection launched. I was lucky enough to stumble across this sweater dress at Crossroads Trading Co for $7 several months ago and I have been wearing it constantly ever since (see evidence here). I like that I can wear this piece alone as a dress/beach cover up now, and later I can pair it with tights and boots for a winter look. Whenever I shop I try to seek out items that can be worn thru out the year. 

      I love pairing sporty converse with girly dresses for easy Summer time fashion. Sneakers are comfortable, adorable, and I've been able to find Converse at Ross all the time for unbelievable prices! I'm also hoping that my bright converse will add a pop of color to dreary rainy day ensembles as Fall begins to approach. 

Hat- Target, Sun Glasses- Coach, Dress- Missoni for Target,
Bag- Kate Spade, Watch- Michael Kors, Shoes- Converse

       What are some of your favorite remix items? I'd love to know!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Small Morsels:

A crystal ball display at my favorite downtown Santa Cruz antique store, Jessie May's.

      Just a small glimpse into my life the past week. Lots of little snapshots from here and there. I was lucky enough to do some entertaining this past week, as well as take a nice stroll to downtown Santa Cruz to do some serious window shopping (just looking of course!) and to get some exercise. What were you up to? I'd love to know!

Chocolate chai cupcakes with cinnamon and nutmeg frosting, seriously amazing.

Lots of green dishware at Bunny's Boutique, I wish the juicer came home with me.

Thrifty manicure: Borrowed the nail polish from a friend and
painted my nails myself. I love this mousy neutral shade.

Just a reminder...

Serving platter transformed into a kitchen chalk board with a little paint. 

Vintage cash register at local sandwich shop, Zoccoli's


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Countertop Coffee Bar:

      On the weekends, I love to relax and really enjoy a cup of coffee. The kind of cup that seems to last well into the afternoon as you plow thru stacks of newspapers, periodicals, and fashion magazines. On the flip side, I also need a cup of caffeine during those rushed and chaotic days. My early morning coffee ritual starts in the kitchen, so I try to make the experience as appealing and stream lined as possible by creating a countertop coffee bar. This caffeinated vignette is perfect for those early mornings when you need your daily dose and you're eyes aren't alert enough to sift thru your pantry and cupboards for all the essentials. I try to keep mine stocked with everything I need for the ideal mocha, latte, or espresso, here's how you can too:

*I found these inexpensive cups at Ross and I love them because they make me feel like I'm in a quaint and stylish coffee shop, except I don't have to pay $4 for a cup of joe. They have the added bonus of being used as juice glasses, just remove the handles!

*I made this simple piece of art using construction paper. I just free
handed the letters, cut them out, glued them to paper, and framed!
*Having pieces of chocolate near your coffee bar is essential for making mochas. I received these gold chocolate hearts as part of a party favor from a recent wedding and have been adding bits to my coffee ever since.

*Everything you need to really get your day started right!

       I hope that your weekend can spare some time for a least a few relaxing moments with a cup of freshly brewed coffee like I hope to do tomorrow morning. Remember to try and enjoy the small daily pleasures of life!


Friday, August 10, 2012

Multiple (Style) Personalities:

Mouse Ears- Disneyland, Sunglasses- Random Boutique in LA, Scarf- The
 Limited, Shoes- Kate Spade, Nail Polishes- Deborah Lippman, OPI, Chanel

Bag- Kate Spade, Gold bracelet- Givenchy, Scarf- Missoni for Target,
 Watch- Michael Kors, Nail Polish- Chanel's "Holiday," Sunglasses- Coach,
 Green Bracelet- Banana Republic, Shoes- Miu Miu

Bag- Kate Spade, Shoes- Prada, Pearls- Gifted, Scarf- Vintage
Oscar De La Renta, Nail Polish- OPI, Lipstick- Chanel

Bra- Victoria's Secret, Hat- Gap, Nail Polish- Chanel's "Peridot," Sunglasses-
 Chloe,  Bracelets- Gifted, Watch- Michael Kors, Shoes- Max Studio

      Just a few odds and ends from my accessory wardrobe. It was fun to group everything into different categories. I'd like to think of each vignette as a different side of my personal style, which one is your favorite?