Sunday, June 30, 2013

Style Sunday: String Lights on my Balcony

I entertain on my balcony as much as I can. I love dining alfresco with a dinner date. As a hostess, I hope to create a nice ambience. My friend Kate (the blogger behind Une Vie Chic) snapped this photo from the Saturday night before last...

We ended the evening with (decaffeinated) espresso.
Also Milano cookies and strawberries.
Cheap white votive candle in an antique clear punch glass on the right.
Emptied red wine glasses!
On handmade placemats by my friend F.
That red geranium always seems wildly in bloom!

The string lights draping twice across the front of my balcony railing are clear spherical glass globe lights from Target. I love them. I think of them as Italian outdoor lights, but I believe Kate referred to them as "cafe lights." I can picture them strung across an open space for an outdoor party or hanging from a leafy pergola for a meal at the table.

I switch them out every once in awhile with my string that remind me of carnevale because of the iridescent quality like the carnival antique glassware my mom sells and they're very similar to ones depicted in cover art of a book- an anthology of travel narratives on Italy. Behind the lights in the photograph is a canal in Venice.

Stumbled across these lights of mine in a slideshow from Real Simple,
which inspired this post.

Here's a closeup...

Available at Target.
I bought them years ago, before they were part of the line Threshold.

I probably only have a couple of strings of both. I should purchase more and hang them all over my beloved balcony! I certainly use them.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Style Sunday: New Metal Bed Option

I've wanted a metal bed for awhile now and have stumbled upon another option I really like...

In my research, I keep favoring ones with straight lines embellished with some scrollwork. Not overly feminine. I also prefer finials. I have been choosing pewter ones before I found this one. ...I could deal with a dark brown, especially when it's described as a "French Roast finish." This particular bed is affordable (or at least it was until I dropped nearly $400 on a car repair today).

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Style Sunday: Summer 2013 Capsule Wardrobe

I am pleased to reveal my summer capsule wardrobe on this Style Sunday post.

sheer + scalloped = summer sexy

My summer capsule wardrobe is very similiar to my spring one which you can view here. It ended up being 30 items, down from 32 for spring. In changing seasons, I've only switched a few pieces, pieces that will better show off my summer tan. Like I said for my small spring collection of clothes, I am interested in only owning what I truly love and actually use. The capsule wardrobe fits my lifestyle which is run on a shoestring budget. I truly believe that less is more. Anyway, this is what I'll wear this summer...

Michelle's Summer Capsule Wardrobe:

1. white wrap short sleeve top by Banana Republic Factory Store

2. white short sleeve shirt from Ann Taylor

3. dark pink sleeveless tank with vertical, central pleats from Ann Taylor Factory Store (ATFS)

4. printed pink short sleeve wrap top from ATFS

5. vibrant pink short sleeve shirt with pockets from New York & Company

6. white short sleeve shirt with lavender vertical stripes from Ann Taylor

7. cobalt blue sleeveless cotton top with scalloped design on sheer fabric from ATFS

8. blue ruffled neckline sleeveless shirt from ATFS

9. charcoal gray and white stripe short sleeve shirt from The Limited

10. sheer black with white polka dots vertical-pleated button-down top with flutter sleeves from JCPenney

11. black lace cross-over sleeveless top from ATFS

12. black sleeveless cotton top with sheer scalloped design from ATFS

13. black short sleeve top with extra fabric on v-neck and at waist from ATFS

14. black tailored top with sheer short sleeves and attached scarf from White House Black Market

15. black sheer v-neck short sleeve top with extra fabric around waist from JCPenney

16. dark gray pants from ATFS

17. black slim ankle pants from New York & Company

18. black bootcut pants from ATFS

19. dark blue Levi's jean capris from JCPenney

20. dark blue Levi's 515 jean capris with the bottoms folded up once from Macy's

21. white capris with vertical line texture by Bandolino Blu from Macy's

22. black dress capris with vertical line texture from The Limited

23. dark blue knee-length jean skirt by Liz Claiborne from JCPenney

24. white eyelet A-line skirt from ATFS

Only wore this to a party and a first date so far.
I hope to wear this summery skirt like once a week this season.

25. ivory and blue printed pencil skirt from ATFS

26. black and white printed pleated skirt by INC from Macy's

27. black pencil skirt by Banana Republic from a thrift shop called Second Time Around (Philadelphia)

28. black flirty skirt from The Limited

29. black wrap dress from Ann Taylor

30. black and white printed knee-length sundress with straps and a black bow detail from JCPenney

That's 15 tops and 15 bottoms or dresses.

New Shoes
Black Ballet Flats from Nine West
I like a classic cap toe and a delicate bow.
The main part is black leather,
but it's detailed with patent leather, some shine for summer nights.

Among extras like camisoles, accessories, sunglasses, bathing suits and shoes, here are my summer tees (down from 9 in my spring wardrobe):

1. white scoopneck tee from ATFS

2. black scoopneck tee from ATFS

3. another black scoopneck tee from AT LOFT

4. black v-neck tee from Target

So many of these pieces are black and I'm fine with that. I can throw on a black item and feel pulled together. A black top is a go-to for late summer nights out.

I haven't owned a pair of shorts in years as I prefer more coverage. Instead, I wear capris or cropped pants and knee-length skirts often. My blue jean skirt gets a lot of use. Hopefully, I'll get into the habit of wearing my dresses more often this season.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Summer Reading

Check out what's currently on my night stand...

I cannot wait to read each of these three books!

Here's a closer look...
From the top to the bottom:

I loved Bonjour, Happiness! also by the author, so I know I'll love this! This is what I'm reading first.

I waited for my library to have this collection of essays.

Inferno by Dan Brown.
I devoured The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons and The Lost Symbol,
so I am sure I will love the latest from this author, certainly since it's set in Italy.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Style Sunday: Chic Container #2

Mi dispiace [Mee dis-pee-ah-chay] ("I'm sorry" in Italian) that this Style Sunday post is nearly five full days late! It's still difficult working so much plus doing what I need and want to do. I still manage to keep my home clean and do beauty treatments on a weekly basis, even if I have to get out of bed earlier, but, alas, sometimes a thing on my list falls behind. My busy season at my full-time job has definitely begun. I work late all the time recently plus I am now scheduled to work until 6:30 every Wednesday. It's not all workworkwork, I'm now dating! I would love to update on my life soon, so please stay tuned.

Onto the subject of style, I purchased yet another container from HomeGoods. This rectangular wire basket with two handles is something I've looked at every time I'm in the store over a long time. ...and I finally made it mine. I love it, just like I do every other little thing in my home.

I could use it to hold margarita ingredients during summertime...

...or I could allow guests to easily find items in the bathroom...