Sunday, January 25, 2009

Eat Your Vegetables

I just discovered the most amazing healthy snack ever! It's no longer a chore to try to get your servings of veggies in each day with Alive and Radiant Foods Kale Chips. Located in Berkeley, this company makes other raw cookies and snacks.

I have only tried the, "Quite Cheesey" flavor so far and they are incredibly addictive. They definitely taste like a good cheddar (although they do not contain cheese) with a satisfying crunch to them.

I found these chips at Whole Foods Market, but on Alive & Radiant's website you can also search for other stores that carry them or order them direct from the manufacturer. I'm anxious to try the other kale chip flavors: Thai High, Pleasing Pesto and Very Terkiyaki. Even if you think that you don't like Kale I guarantee you will like these.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Watch This!

I love watches, but I'm really cheap when it comes to buying one. I also like durable watches that I can wear in the shower and pretty much never take off--so that crosses off a lot of watches right there! Here's a few with high fashion plus functionality--all under $250.

Nixon

I've blogged about Nixon watches before. This California company designs products for surfers, skateboarders and snowboarders. I usually prefer men's watches over women's because I like larger faces, but Nixon has a women's style that I actually like a lot--the Kensington ($99). This watch comes in gold or silver and is available with several different watch face colors. I like the bright blue shown here, but I also like the brown/orange face with a silver band. Available at boardco.com (among other places).

IKE

This watch was on my Christmas wish list, but Santa did not bring it so I'll keep dreaming! The Gommato Watch by IKE ($225) comes with three different colorful rubber straps (red, green or white). The watch features a stainless steel bezel and an enamel face. Water-resistant to 30m. Imported from Italy and available from vivre.com.

TKO
This fun, oversized watch from TKO ($125) is also from Italy, also water-resistant with a stainless steel bezel and rubber strap but cheaper than the IKE watch. Available in turquoise (shown), purple, fuschia, yellow or orange. This watch is available exclusively from shopbop.com.


Tokyo Bay
Tokyo Bay makes fun fashion watches for both men and women. I like the unisex Barber watch which comes with a canvas striped band in different colors ($75). I don't think I can wear these in the shower, but maybe I can make an exception.

Swatch

Swatch watches were such an obsession in the late 1980's that I haven't really paid much attention to them since. However, this brand does have some pretty cool fashion watch styles. I like their men's line better than the women's like this water-resistant Sundown watch ($110) with a rubber strap. I also like the Spymaker Blue watch ($165) with a stainless steel band.

Which of these do you like the best? Vote for your favorite on the right or leave me a comment below.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

B'Sbee

I just bought the most amazing, comfy, and eco-friendly plaid shirt from the Italian line B'Sbee. This line makes clothing for men and women out of organic cotton, hemp and recycyled plastic bottles. Wish I had a picture of this shirt to show because it's such a great color of green and blue, but instead here is a sweater jacket from the line at left.

I love the designer's philosopy of travel and exploration and respecting the earth and other people. B'Sbee takes it's name from a turquoise stone found in Arizona and in fact the tag for each article of clothing includes a small turquoise stone.

This line is a bit hard to find online, but you can check out the Italian online store at madeintheshadeshop.com. There are also a few items on yoox.com and revolveclothing.com.

If I ever go to Milan I definitely want to check out the B'Sbee boutique (at left). If you live in San Francisco you can find this line at August (in Oakland and Mill Valley).

Recycled Lighting

Recycled Mason Jar Lights

I love these Antique Mason Jar Lights ($198) from Napa Style. The lights use authentic mason jars from as far back as the turn of the century. The jars are gathered from all over California and then repurposed into their new form by a talented artisan. Lights come with a 41” cords with ceiling hardwire mounting. Lights use a 40w bulb so they are not going to throw a lot of light, but I'm thinking they would be great on the back porch of my country house or maybe the small downstairs bathroom.

Recyled Metal Globe Lights
Another great recycled light option are these hanging lights from Viva Terra ($174 or $244) . They are made from recycled metallic bands to form a delicate lattice that lets ambient light shine through. The lights look a bit morroccan., but could easiy fit in a more traditional setting as well. Currently 30% off so get one while they last!
Recycled Film Lamp Shades

These film lamp shades ($35) from Etsy artist emkpainter are created with movie trailer film strips. The lamp shades look almost black when unlit and you can see the images on the film when lit up.

D.I.Y. Lamp
There are several great DIY project ideas for making your own recycled lamp in the project archives of ReadyMade magazine. I like this modern styrofoam cup lamp.
Or, purchase a kit to make your own lamp like this one from Bulbs Unlimited (39,95 €) that provides you with little snaps that you glue to ordinary light bulbs to transform them into interesting table lamps or chandeliers.


Or, follow these detailed visual instructions from artist Anneke Jakobs to create this cool recycled cardboard chiquita lamp.

If you know of other cool recycled lighting or recycled lighting projects post a comment!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

By Invitation Only

There are a few sites I've discovered recently that offer designer clothing and accessories at deep discounts. New designers are featured daily and there is a set time limit for each sale. Some of the sites offer earlier access to sales with a paid membership. I can give out invitations to any of these sites so email me or leave a comment if you want one (you get a $25 credit for referring someone).

HauteLook

I tend to favor HauteLook.com and have actually bought a few things off this site. HauteLook features men's and children's clothing in addition to women's and you can preview upcoming sales and see what is releasing soon.

Ideeli

Ideeli is another membership site that tends to have a lot of purses, jewelry and other accessories. They also do giveaways of great stuff like Prada bags or high-end jewelry which you can enter regularly (which I do, but never win). This site has a "1st row membership" that you can pay for in order to get early access. I find the best stuff is usually gone by the time I get to it, so it would probably be worthwhile to sign up for a paid membership.

Gilt Groupe
Then there is GiltGroupe which has the most men's clothing of the three of these and usually releases a few sales at the same time so there is a lot to choose from. This site also releases sales that feature several designers at once. I've found a lot on here that I love, but have not bought yet.


If you know if any other sites like this leave a comment! Would love to know about them.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Deals and Steals

One good thing about the economy is that there are so many great sales! It's hard to resist some of the prices. Here's a couple outfits I put together recently all with sale merchandise (except the black Vince pencil skirt which I already owned).


Faux Leopard Jacket

This cropped faux-fur jacket from What Goes Around Comes Around looks like a great vintage find, but is actually new. Shorter sleeves and a very boxy shape which looks great with something fitted like a pencil skirt. Originally $495 you can find it on shopbop.com right now for just $148.50!


Blouses

Victoria's Secret and Newport News have the occasional blouse or jacket that looks more expensive that they are. This gauzy Victorian-inspired blouse from Newport News has a great shape and for $39, how can you go wrong? Only available in black now.

This tie-neck blouse from Victoria's Secret in a rich raspberry color looks amazing in the photo. Not quite this nice in person, the fabric is definitely on the cheaper side. However, not a bad basic--expecially under a jacket or sweater. Marked down from $79 to just $19.99!. Note, it runs a bit big so I recommend ordering a size down.


Pencil Skirt

This dark denim skirt from J. Crew has a hint of stretch for a perfect fit. The skirt has a high waist and a small slit in the back. Originally $98 it's on sale now for $49.99.

I've blogged about this Vince pencil skirt before. This is just an outstanding basic and I can't recommend enough that you get one. Originally $250 you can find it onsale at Bloomingdale's for $120 or Barney's for $185.


Shoes

I could do a whole separate posting on shoes deals. These fabulous green boots from L.A.M.B. have been marked down from $625 to $312 now on shopbop.com. Unfortunately as of this posting they only had them in size 9. However, there are also these great green Mary Janes ($200) that have a 7.5 and an 8 left!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Thrill of the Hunt

I checked out the the Alameda Antique Fair this weekend and was surprised how high-end this event has become since the last time I went years ago. There are still deals to be had, but you've got to hunt for them. There is great furniture and home decor items, lots of vintage clothing & jewelry, art, rugs, vintage fabric and much more. Glad I limited the amount of cash I brought!

One of my favorite vendors was Big Daddy's Antiques from Los Angeles. They had great big pieces of furniture, large reproduction French bird cages (picture above), apothecary jars in green, this fantastic mirror covered in twigs, metal tables... I loved everything they had, but didn't walk away with any of their stuff this time.
I did walk away with a few things, though...Like this great silver and black moon bracelet ($20). Not sure if it's sterling or not, but just loved the design.
I also got some amazing sari fabric and velvet pillows stuffed with down. These were newish, but at $25 for all 3 who could resist?
I was searching for a vintage wool blanket and although they had some, did not find one I liked. Instead I bought this mexican wool shawl ($35) which I will use as a throw or wrap.
The find du jour was an amazing hand blown blue light ($85). I absolutely love this light although I'm not sure where I will use it...Would be great in a hallway or I might put it in the bathroom of the country house.

Finally I had been on the hunt for paintings for Paloma's room. Saw a bunch, but they were all priced out of my range. I did pick up this piece of religious art for $35...It's a start!
Alameda Antique Fair
Held the 1st Sunday of every month
early admission at 7am, regular admission at 9am
Goes until 3:00pm

Friday, January 2, 2009

Hammer Time

That's right, the harem pant is back. MC Hammer rocked them in the eighties and in the spirit of trends coming back around they are now the Spring '09 must-have item.

I have to say, I am actually coveting these khaki silk harem pants from Diane von Fursternberg ($195) shown in the latest issue of Lucky Magazine. Don't think they are available yet, but will update my posting with a link when they hit stores. I plan to dress these down and wear them in place of jeans with a tank or jean jacket.

Less dressy and bit more edgy these knit Silence and Noise harem pants ($58) would be a great alternative to this season's leggings. Available from Urbanoutfitters.com.