Sunday, November 25, 2012

Saturday Shopping: Village of Merrick Park

Hi everyone! I hope all of you who celebrate Thanksgiving had a great holiday and were able to spend time with family and friends. I'm grateful to have had a couple of extra days off from work to relax and catch up on reading and movie watching. I even managed to put up my Christmas tree and indoor holiday decorations yesterday, and I just finished putting up the outdoor lights a couple of hours ago. I'm so relieved to be done so I can sit back and enjoy the results!

Earlier in the day I stopped by the Village of Merrick Park, an outdoor marketplace in Coral Gables, Florida that is home to upscale shops like Burberry, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Tiffany & Co., and Neiman Marcus--in short, a place full of temptations where I can all too easily end up doing some serious damage to my budget, very quickly! But it is a pleasant place to do some window shopping and it's never too crowded, so I like to go here rather than the bigger malls when I want to avoid post-Thanksgiving shopping madness.

"Paraiso - Otoño
Bronze, by A. E. Ted Aub III

Sculptor: A. E. Ted Aub 

To Eunice 

"Brown eyes of fair Hispania
Black hair of India Isle
Inheriting of old Britannia
- Not your languorous Latin smile, - 
But your stubborn willful spirit, - 
Your spunky saucy style..." 

from "Valentine to An Island Love'
Songs of The Wind on a Southern Shore
By George E. Merrick

"Snail and the Angel
Bronze, conceived in 1977 and cast in 1984, Salvador Dali

"The Spiral"
Bronze, base of Roman Travertine Marble, wood and iron, 1993, by Vatican artist, Enzo Carnebianca

L'Occitane always has pretty holiday packaging! 

Shabby chic planters and bare branches, outside Anthropologie

Pottery Barn window display

Every year I like to add a few new ornaments to my tree. I like modern trees and themed trees, but most of all, I love a tree that tells a story--those adorned with an eclectic assortment of ornaments passed down from one generation to the next, or collected and saved over a period of many years. You know the ones--the glazed gingerbread man you made in second grade, now faded and maybe even missing an arm (nothing a little strategic tree branch maneuvering can't hide!), or the old sequinned and beaded hand-made baubles from grandma. 

But it's still OK to buy new ornaments without any history or meaning, if for no other reason than they're just really cute! All the pretty ornaments below were photographed in Pottery Barn

Aww, look at that face!

Owls seem to be popular this year


One of the things I like most about this time of year is seeing all of the holiday decorations and lights. I especially look forward to Nordstrom's decor, as they usually come up with something unique and eye catching. And they're one of the few retailers that has a policy of waiting until after Thanksgiving to put up their Christmas decor, while so many others start early, sometimes even before Halloween is fully over. It might be a little old fashioned, but when it comes to the holidays I'm with Nordstrom--I like to celebrate them one at a time.

Holiday topiaries at Nordstrom 

This year's trees have interesting silver & gold chain link garland

Did you brave the crowds on Black Friday or do you prefer to do your shopping online at this time of year? 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Nails of the weekend: Tom Ford Minx & Henri Bendel splurge

This weekend I've been wearing Tom Ford's Minx from the recent fall collection. Minx is a deep, dark brown with a subtle silver sheen. It reminds me of the color of espresso beans. (I noticed it tends to come across as plum toned in photographs, but in person it looks mainly brown.) I fell in love with the second shade from this collection, the dark metallic purple Dominatrix, but was at first undecided about Minx. Now that I've worn it for a while it's definitely growing on me! I don't have another brown quite like this. I think it is a nice alternative to burgundies and plums for fall, but is the type of neutral shade that would also work well year-round. Dominatrix and Minx are the only two Tom Ford polishes I own and I realize the price point of Mr. Ford's polishes is verging on unconscionable, so I plan to get as much use out of them as possible!

The weather is so beautiful right now I decided to do some outdoor photography. I love the way the dark branches and thorns look foreboding, like something that might be found on the pages of a Grimm fairy tale. 


Bendel Bow Pave Ring and Deco Strap Bracelet 
Tom Ford's Minx
Henri Bendel had their friends and family sale last week and I picked up a cute little jewelry box and some bangles that I've had on my wishlist for a very long time. The bracelet shown in the photos above is the Deco Strap Bracelet, which was featured in the holiday catalog. It has an adjustable strap with a buckle (like a watch strap) so it fits snugly. I think it would look equally nice worn casually with jeans or dressed up for a formal occasion. Ironically, I love jewelry but rarely wear it. I am often in a hurry and just don't bother with it. This is one of the reasons I bought the jewelry box--so I could keep everything in one place and easily accessible. Most days I'll put on just a watch and earrings, but lately I've been making an effort to wear rings and bracelets to the office, and when I do it definitely makes me feel more put together!
Hot For Dots Jewelry Box 

The Henri Stack Ring Set

What do you think of Tom Ford's Minx? Are you a fan of brown for nails? 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Lancome Happy Holidays Collection Nail Polish

Left to right: Flirty Red, Bubbly Gold, and Ginger Swing

In their holiday collection this year, Happy Holidays, Lancome brings us a well-edited selection of three new Le Vernis in Love nail polishes, all beautiful and classically festive shades. 

Flirty Red is a bordeaux red with shimmer, not unlike Chanel's holiday shade, Malice. The Chanel seems to dry a bit shinier and I prefer its formula, but the shimmer in Flirty Red is slightly more apparent. To my eye, Malice comes across as a bit more sophisticated and refined on the nails than Flirty Red does. But I love them both! I do think they are similar enough that it would not be worth picking up Flirty Red if you already have Malice

Bubbly Gold is a flattering, shimmery golden shade. Some golds can be too yellow-toned or brassy, but Bubbly Gold strikes a nice balance between warm and cool. I'd actually say it's more of a pale bronze than a true gold. It may not be all that unique, but for some reason I really like this one and so far it's my favorite of the bunch!

Ginger Swing is the shade that really stood out to me at the counter. It's a pretty platinum-taupe with tiny flecks of gold shimmer throughout. It made me think of shades like OPI's Designer, de Better! where you have a base color with a contrasting shade of shimmer mixed in, except in Ginger Swing the contrasting shimmer particles are so small that there is no discernible difference in shades on the nail, it just serves to make the color more interesting and sparkly. 

Ginger Swing alongside Fil d'Argent eyeshadow and Taupe Brilliant eyeliner
Left to right: Bubbly Gold, Ginger Swing, and Flirty Red

Sorry for the gigantic macro-fingers! I think the shot above in low light shows the colors most accurately. 

In sunlight 
In shade 

The shimmer really comes alive in bright lighting

What are your favorite nail colors to wear during the holiday season?