October 2015 – A Little Leopard
October 2015 – A Little Leopard

October 2015 – A Little Leopard

I’ve always loved BaubleBar’s guest bartender collections, where they partner with a celebrity on a capsule jewelry collection. Blair of Atlantic-Pacific and Olivia Palermo are some past favorites of mine (because of course they are). The latest, though, is particularly great: blogger Julia Engel of Gal Meets Glam.

This is a little more than the usual “Guest Bartender” gig, too. Julia showed off her San Francisco home and incorporated coordinating home accessories into the collection – and I pretty much want them all. Yeah, sure, my apartment already has plenty of trinkets and tchotchkes, but I’m a sucker for just this sort of thing. I’m loving the brass and soft pastel accents, and I can totally see that rabbit ears display case on my shelf. Of course, this being BaubleBar, there are perfectly pretty jewelry pieces in the collection as well. It’s all perfectly in line with Julia’s aesthetic, and as romantic and, well, glamorous as you’d expect.

It’s pretty budget-friendly, too – the most expensive piece might be those $85 bookends (which are agate and really, really cool). And can we talk about those adorable coasters and wine charms? I have no need for wine charms, but when they’re that pretty…maybe I do.

Some of the pieces are unfortunately already sold-out, but I feel like BaubleBar does a pretty good job of restocking, so it may be worth putting your name on the wait list. Shop some of my favorites from the collection below:

All images: Gal Meets Glam

I remember my first “designer collaboration” item – a pair of Isaac Mizrahi for Target (probably circa 2005 or so) oxford-style heels that have remained in my closet to this day. One of my absolute favorite prints in my art collection is an Isaac Mizrahi sketch also from, you guessed it, Target.

Target was one of the forerunners in the designer collaboration game, leading the way in bringing designer fashion to the masses at a more affordable price point. Now, you’ve got Balmain x H&M pieces up to $500, begging the question – why collaborate with a high-street/fast fashion brand at all?

That’s why I was thrilled to hear that Target is creating an ongoing collaboration with one of my favorite sites, Who What Wear, in the form of monthly capsule collections inspired by street style. The absolute best part? Everything in the collection is under $50. Now that’s a price-point that would actually allow me to refresh my wardrobe with trend-friendly pieces each season – which, based on the monthly capsule collection – sounds like exactly what Who What Wear and Target have in mind.

“We created everyday essentials and a handful of trend-driven, more directional pieces,” Who What Wear co-founder Hillary Kerr told Business of Fashion. “We want the shopper to be able to mix and match and pair pieces with what they already have in their closet.”

The first collection doesn’t officially hit stores until next February, but this is one I’ll be counting down to. Check out the video below for more on Who What Wear x Target’s first collaboration:

Image via Refinery29

I don’t have a bike, but every time I stop into Heritage General Store in Lakeview, I end up wanting one. (It helps that Beyonce loves them…) Luckily, this super charming spot focuses on both bikes and coffee, giving me an excuse to pop in. And the coffee? It’s good.

The spot is run by a husband-wife team, integrating “bike and coffee culture.” But let’s be real – I’m there for the coffee culture, and here, the coffee culture involves homemade lavender syrup. While the coffee now only accounts for 35% of the store’s profits, it’s so popular that they are opening three more coffee-only locations: two in Uptown (one of which is open now) and one in Fulton Market.

Since I don’t have $800+ to drop on a custom bike right now, I’ll have to content myself with the amazing Stumptown coffee and Southport Grocery food served here. (Seriously, guys, have I mentioned the lavender syrup? Lavender-vanilla cold brew might be one of the best things I’ve ever tasted.) Plus… just look at the place! Sure, it’s exactly the sort of spot Socality Barbie would love, but that’s kind of what makes it so great. The seating is limited, but if you visit when it’s nice out, grab a seat on the adorable patio complete with airstream trailer.

Heritage General Store is located at 2959 N Lincoln Ave in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood.

I’m kind of obsessed with utility jackets – they can be worn so many different ways. In fact, I’ve worn mine so much that there’s now a giant hole in the left elbow. My temporary solve is now to only wear it with the sleeves rolled up, but I’m definitely in the market for a replacement (I am leaning toward this guy or this guy).

Military jackets are truly wardrobe workhorses . They’re great as light outwear during the beginning part of fall, or an additional layer in lieu of a cardigan as it gets cooler. You can even layer them over a cardigan. There’s clearly a reason 90% of the outfits on my “wear” Pinterest board involve a field jacket.

That’s a made up statistic, but the point stands. These babies are great. Why do you think I loved that Banana Republic trench dress so much? Because it’s basically a utility jacket in dress form, that’s why.

In fact, my only real quibble about utility jackets is they have so many names. Utility jackets, army jackets, field jackets, military jackets. Can’t we just all agree on a single term? It’d make online shopping for them far easier. (And that, my friends, is what they call a first-world problem.)

Take my holey elbow story as a warning: this is a piece worth investing in. I’ve rounded up some of my favorite options under $150 below:

Images: The Sweetest Thing, Atlantic Pacific

Apartment hunting is one of those things that sounds really fun, in theory – it’s like your own personal episode of House Hunters! However, I think it’s apartment browsing that’s the enjoyable activity. Then, you are free to imagine yourself in the apartments you’re viewing on Craigslist/wherever, without the hassle of actually having to, you know, move.

Well, I am in the beginning stages of actual apartment hunting, and it’s significantly less fun than its browsing counterpart. Mostly because now I have to contend with things like practicality, staying within my budget (ew), asking the right questions about the space, and dealing with leasing agents (also sometimes ew).

Yes, I am moving on from my beloved little Lincoln Park studio, which I swear I will do a “house tour” of one of these days, before I move out. There are a few plus sides to the search for a new apartment, however:

  1. Getting to explore other neighborhoods. I’d love to move to Wicker Park, but there’s not much in my price range/size out there (not this time of year, anyway). I’m looking in Wicker Park, Bucktown, East Village, Ukrainian Village, and also north in East Lakeview. If you’re going to move, might as well go somewhere new, right? Also, Lakeview has some bomb coffee shops. Priorities.
  2. Saving money, ostensibly. Wicker Park and neighborhoods to the west tend to be similarly priced to my current studio, if not more expensive. However, the goal is to find an apartment that is either the same price or, ideally, cheaper than where I live now.
  3. The best plus side… decor dreaming. Which I do quite a bit of, anyway, but now getting lost on websites like My Domino, Design*Sponge and Apartment Therapy seems that much more productive.

Speaking of Apartment Therapy, I’ve talked about my love of Apartment Therapy’s Small Cool Contest in the past, but somehow one of my absolute favorite entries this year slipped by me when writing that post. And that would be Amelia’s First Home.

What really jumped out at me about this space is how it’s incredibly thoughtful and well styled, but also totally accessible. Amelia is dealing with a spacious (nearly 500 square feet!) but awkward studio layout, where the kitchen is in one corner of the main living area. She uses the nooks and corners to her advantage, though, as you can see in the floor plan. I’m kind of obsessed with her wallpapered “bedroom” area that uses the tried and true “IKEA Kallax as room divider” trick.

That is the other thing I really love about Amelia’s space – she’s used some very common IKEA pieces in new, interesting ways. I also have a Karlstad loveseat and 2×4 Kallax shelving unit, but have arranged and styled them pretty differently. It’s inspiring to see how even these basic pieces can grow and transition with your style.

I’m also loving this dark, moody gallery wall, especially in contrast to the other side of the apartment – I’d love to see her place in person and how it all works together! There’s quite a bit going on, with the different chairs and furniture, but it all works. Proof that studios can be just what you make of them…which is a reminder I think I will need as I start to go see apartments in person.

Digging Amelia’s vibe as much as I am? Shop pieces inspired by her apartment below:

Get more small-space inspiration here – and I’d love if you shared some of your interior crushes in the comments!

All images: Apartment Therapy