Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Color Day: Black, White, and Red

The newest Twilight movie comes out TODAY and we wouldn't be prepared for "Eclipse" without a vampire inspired color day! The covers of the Stephenie Meyer Twilight books all sport the same theme, black with bold white and red graphics.  Black and white can represent opposites, Jacob Vs. Edward or Good vs. Evil for example, and red is the color of love, anger, and, of course, blood.  Now, it's easy to incorporate these shades without going totally Dita Von Teese or having your friends and family thinking you've suddenly gone "goth". These are classic colors and nothing can ever compare to the elegance of simple black and white, think 007, tuxedos, pearls, little black dresses. Choosing red as your accent ensures your space, event, etc. has just the right amount of passion and drama.

Black, White, and Red "Eclipse" Color Inspiration Board

Jen & Saira

Monday, June 28, 2010

Twilight Character Inspiration: Bella Swan

It's Monday, dolls!  And that means Friday, and the release of the newest Twilight movie, is so close we can almost smell that sweet sweet breath of Edward Cullen.  Eclipse (Book 3 of the Twilight Saga), will be coming out the end of this week and, though we may be embarrassed to admit it,  it's really got our blood pumping.  To control our excitement, we created a Twilight inspired character inspiration for this week. Isabella Swan is easily one of the most popular characters out there among tweens, teens, and women everywhere, thanks to the world-wide fame of the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. We are incredibly huge fans of Stephenie and the Twilight series, and have decided to share with you some of the current items out there that we are sure Bella would die for.

Forks, Washington is certainly not known for sunny days or sweltering heat, so a hoodie is a great way to keep cozy, when your wearwolf space heater isn't around. We like these from American Apparel because they are soft, warm, and come in a variety of colors.  Can't choose just one? No problem -- go for the two-pack!

Snuggling up to Edward Cullen would give any girl the chills, so Bella would need a variety of sweaters to get her through the week. Plus, hoods are essential on rainy days! In searching websites for inspiration, we actually happened to come across the exact sweater she wears without even realizing it!  Here is the green hooded sweater that she is seen wearing in New Moon, available at PacSun.  

No tomboy would be complete without a flannel/plaid shirt!  This is perfect for fixing up motorcycles or just hanging around La Push with your pals.

Clumsy Bella always opts for a great pair of jeans!  All that motorcycle riding, tree hopping, and rainy weather is sure to take a toll on your wardrobe, so investing in a well made, versatile pair is essential.  We suggest a classic pair of Levi's, like these boot cut ones.  Plus, these jeans are actually called "Bella"!  Coincidence?  Perhaps.  Either that or they read our minds... but that would just be crazy... right?

Of course, you'll also need a nice parka to keep you warm.  If you want the exact Bella coat, you'll be looking for the blue BB Dakota one.  But, if you don't like the idea of carbon copying, we suggest going for a Bella inspired jacket, like this one from Urban Outfitters.  

Coverse All Stars, like these, are perfect for moody, awkward Bella.  Bella's wardrobe is always casual and understated,  so a simple shoe that goes with everything is important. Chuck Taylors are the best shoe for an offbeat, low maintence girl like Bella.

Bella also wears a Turquoise Cuff such as the one pictured above.  Jewelry, like her wardrobe, should be simple, understated, and nothing that would draw too much attention because that would be sure to make Bella uncomfortable.  This turquoise cuff is delicate and beautiful, but casual enough for every day wear.

We're ready to be dazzled!

Jen & Saira

Friday, June 25, 2010

Young, Broke, and Addicted to Retail

Who doesn't love a bargain?! Serial shoppers like ourselves are always looking for a great deal and a way to keep a little cash in our pockets, which is why we're so excited for today's guest blog post!  Our friends, Lauren and Ashley, teamed up to bring you this fantastic post and share their secrets about finding bargains and the coolest trends at reasonable prices. Thanks ladies, for contributing to our blog!  Readers, we present you with "Young, Broke, and Addicted to Retail" by Lauren and Ashley.  Be sure to leave them some love :)

Like most women, shopping is one of our favorite things to do, but we all know how expensive it can be to stay on top of trends and look fashionable. Since our love affair with retail became a full on addiction we've had to learn to work within our financial constraints. This is a how-to guide on becoming a bargain maven by shopping what we like to call the "discount circuit".  Whenever we are craving a shopping session or looking for a particular item the "discount circuit" is the best way to get started!

TJ Maxx: Price point is clutch and the return policy is very forgiving. This is a great place to find salon quality hair products, designer perfumes, handbags, and sunglasses at affordable prices. Plagued with irregular sizes, it is best to try everything on. Real and costume jewelry selection is decent. However,  it tends to be time consuming to sort through the overstock of Jessica Simpson, Baby Phat, Betsy Johnson and American Eagle (to name a few).  Locations vary in level of selection when it comes to handbags, shoes and accessories.

Marshalls: Again, price point is clutch and return policy is favorable to the customer base.  Typically has a better handbag selection than TJ Maxx, but every location varies in their level of selection (some also advertise a mega shoe section). The same issue applies with irregular sizes, especially when it comes to bottoms, so always try on everything. In our experience, Marshalls has been lacking when it comes to jewelry and perfume selections.

Forever 21Their clothes won’t last forever but this is a great place to go when looking for trends on the cheap. There is always a huge selection and the store is always being stocked with new and different pieces. You can find costume jewelry, belts, hats, and sunglasses under $20 (actually most merchandise is around or under $30). If you're worried about being age appropriate, then be cautious with prints, styles, and lengths of skirts and dresses. Forever now offers a "higher end" selection as well, with slightly higher prices for somewhat better quality. In addition, Forever 21 also has a plus size section in most of their stores.  And if you're a vegan or animal rights activist, then you'll be pleased to hear that Forever 21 locations offer shoes usually in synthetic materials, but are still very cute. The drawback: The return policy is non-existent -- they only offer store credit, and that's if merchandise is returned with a receipt within 30 days, and jewelry is always non-refundable. 

H&M: Another great place to get trendy threads for less. This is a European label, so if you have curves keep in mind that their sizes run narrow. You can find fun and disposable costume jewelry as well as other affordable accessories here.  The layout of the store also minimizes the overwhelming feeling that can take over when faced with racks and walls of clothing.  Typically the front of the store is where you can find office attire and more dressy pieces, and as you progress you will find clothing arranged by trend/age group/gender and color.  It's a great place to build on your wardrobe basics without breaking the bank.

Century 21 Department Stores: If you are looking for long-term quality investment pieces for your wardrobe this is THE hot spot. It doesn’t get any better than an entire department store devoted to deep discounts on designer labelsDiane Von Furstenberg, D&G, Free People, BCBG, Calvin Klein,  Armani, and  Michael Kors to name a few.  Great seasonal selection and a shoe department that carries a wide array of styles (we get excited just thinking about it)!  From casual to special occasion, you are bound to find something, and we promise you will get a lot for your money. Locations are few and far between, but certainly worth the drive.

Loehmann’s: Another discounted designer label store with lots of variety and great for deals on sunglasses, handbags, and jewelry. The perfume selection is very impressive, from Gauthier to Paris Hilton, amuch cheaper prices compared to regular department stores or perfume dealers. Loehmann’s is home to an eclectic mix of international labels like Etienne Aigner and Carolina Herrera and classic finds like Cynthia Rowley and Calvin Klein. With so many labels and so many styles, we promise you won’t leave empty handed, but you will definitely leave with cash to spare!

Daffy’s: If you enjoy unique European designs at discounted rates this is an ideal shopping location. The shoe and handbag selections are hit or miss, but if you are looking for a special occasion dress this should always be a starting point. 

Of course a savvy shopper can save money in any store, just remember the sale rack is your friend! Keep these retailers in mind and you are sure to stay in style and out of debt.

Frugality is fun!

Jen & Saira

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Color Day: Chartreuse and Raspberry

Todays color day celebrates summer with bright and fun chartreuse and romantic raspberry red.  "What the heck is chartreuse", you ask?  Well, it's a fancy little name for "yellow-green".  Not quite lime but not quite yellow, this in between shade is unique and not usually found in most weddings or general decor/wardrobes.  Most people feel this color is too bold but we'd have to disagree! This hue can easily be toned down with neutrals like taupe or white.  We suggest using this retro color in small doses and accenting it with the fresh and feminine shade of raspberry red for a cutting edge, modern, color combo for summer.  

Raspberry and Chartreuse Color Inspiration Board

Jen & Saira

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hairstyle Look Book: The Poof

Happy Monday, Dolls!  We had a crazy hot weekend here in NJ and spending so much time outdoors in this weather  is certainly not doing wonders for our hair.  Even the sleekest hair can turn into a puffy frizz ball in just a matter of minutes, so what's a girl to do? Find a great style that is versatile & keeps the hair off your face! Sky high or slightly teased,  the poof is one of our favorite, most versatile, hair trends for the summer.  This simple look is an easy fix for those of us looking to beat the humidity and looks sleek and sexy regardless of if you're wearing your hair down or up! It's perfect for a day at the beach, a night out with the girls, and even for a wedding (both as a guest and bride!).  All you really need is a couple bobby pins, a comb, and some hair spray and voila! Instant poofage! Of course you could always cheat and get a Bump It (although we haven't figured out how to use ours just yet), but whatever you decide, wear your hair tall and proud like the confident girl you are!

Happy teasing!

Jen & Saira

Friday, June 18, 2010

Showers of Stationary

Today's post is brought to you by our good friend and self proclaimed stationary snob, Hillary.  Hillary, a PR professional from Cranford, NJ,  is the first of the fabulous guest bloggers we have lined up for you this summer and we can't thank her enough for being kind enough to write for us and help us out.  So, without further ado, here's Hillary's first post, "Showers of Stationary".

With summer comes weekends of sunshine, shorts and swimsuits but don’t forget what other season it is – the season of bridal and baby showers! As you look up gift registries and head to Babies ‘R’ Us, don’t overlook one important aspect of your shower gift – the card of course! Here is a handful of classy cards, and notes of where to find them, you might consider accompanying your gifts this season:

These bridal and baby greeting cards by Snow and Graham can be picked up from NJ and NY gift shops including one of my favorites – Perch Home in Maplewood, NJ. If you don’t live near Essex County, NJ take a look at where other Snow and Graham cards are sold in your area here.

This Welcome Baby card by Eggpress is not over the top with ducks and diapers as most baby stationary is! The modern colors and bold print are great!  You can find Eggpress stationary at various shops in your area.

This Wiley Valentine card will shower any bride-to-be with the happy thoughts you send her way. Find this card and others in your area by checking out their website!  

Looking for something a little more magnifique?  This French-inspired new baby card from Smock, the first US Letterpress shop to print on Bamboo paper, is tres bien!

And, finally,this sweet pea letterpress card by Papyrus is both simple and subtle.  Find this card and many of the company’s other glittery, colorful cards at their stores throughout the tri-state area as well as at Target or Borders near you.

Thanks to Hillary for contributing to Paper Doll Romance with this great stationary post!  Leave comments to make her feel loved and be sure to check back for more posts from Hillary in July and August!

Jen & Saira 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Color Day: Sea Green, White, and Khaki

Misty sea green, soft white, and warm khaki come together in this surfer's delight color combo, perfect for your beach wedding, home, or summer time event.  This medley is inspired by sea glass scattered across the sandy beaches and rolling waves, with their white crests, crashing on the shore.   It makes us want to kick our shoes off, dig our feet in the sand, and let our worries drift away with the tide.  A fusion such as this one serves to evoke the calm and carefree feelings that we're sure will keep you cool as a cucumber, even in the most stressful of times.

Sea Green Wedding Color Inspiration Board

Images from: Ashley's Bride GuideShopBop, Juicy Couture,  Debenhams,  BravoBride,   Hampton Jewels,  Minus One,  Beach Grass Cottage,  Giardino,  GreenCycledDesigns, Utah Bride Blog,  BrooklynRehab, David's Bridal

Hang Loose!

Jen & Saira

Monday, June 14, 2010

2010 FIFA World Cup: African Inspired Style

It's no surprise that soccer is the most popular sport in the world -- the excitement, the energy, the good looking men -- there's just nothing like it when it comes to sports.  Now, we here are PDR would not consider ourselves huge sports fans, however, we do make an exception when it comes to the FIFA World Cup.  As soccer (or football, as it is called basically everywhere else in the world except the US) fans around the globe watch the 2010 FIFAWorld Cup this year in South Africa, we've decided to channel a bit of our energy into finding great items and apparel that are sure to strike your fancy.  So, as a tribute to the host cities in South Africa,  here are our picks for traditional African-inspired apparel and accessories available in American fashion (Go USA!).

Welcome to the Jungle. This bold African Graphic Printed Top available at Urban Outfitters would be perfect for your every day safari.

Look radiant while relaxing on the beach or taking a stroll through the plains in this colorful African inspired dress available at Anthropologie

This fun, bright, tribal print skirt, available at Forever 21, is the perfect staple for any summer soiree.

Or, to add a little ethnic flair to your office attire, try pairing your pencil skirt with this tropical-like top, currently on sale at The Limited.

This sequined, tribal print tank, available at Charlotte Russe, will have you relaxing and singing "Hakuna Matata" in no time at all.

This colorful African print hobo, by DellaLA, scores major points with us.  While maybe not large enough to hold your vuvuzela, it will certainly fit your wallet, camera, water bottle and all your regular essentials.

It never hurts to cinch a sheath dress with a belt.  These colorful African Textile Belts, by dsenyo, are not only beautiful, but purchasing them helps to create job opportunities for women in central Africa.

 Ten Thousand Villages, a non-profit organization, has great accessories handmade in Africa. Purchasing these fair trade necklaces above help support artisans and the local economy in Kenya.

While it's true we talk a lot about luxury items on here, it is important to remember that we always must do our part to help support those less fortunate. We like these bracelets, handmade in South Africa, for their style, but we like them even more knowing that every purchase we make goes towards providing food for families in impoverished areas.


Jen & Saira

Friday, June 11, 2010

Renegade Craft Fair - Top 10 Finds!

Hey Dolls!  Last weekend we braved the sun, heat, humidity, and tornado-like winds at the Renegade Craft Fair in search of handmade treasures to share with you. Talented local artists were out selling creations ranging from cards to baskets to t-shirts and handmade children's toys and the quality of the work was seriously impressive! Overall we had a great day, met some wonderful people, and, of course, ate more Italian ices than we care to admit. Although it was very hard to choose just 10 out of the many beautiful things we encountered throughout the day we have managed to come up with a list of our favorite items. So, as promised, here are our Top 10 Picks (in no particular order) from last weekend's Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn, New York.

All you need is L-O-V-E... even if it is only worth 7 points. We L-O-V-E these adorable "Letter Tile" coasters by Yard Sale Press. These wooden coasters are handmade, sanded with care, and then screen printed with letters that you can use to create your own words! How F-U-N!  These babies were so popular that they sold out!  But, never fear, there are more in the making and you'll be able to purchase your own set soon, just send Bryan at Yard Sale Press an email!!  

 To say that we adore PaperPastries would be an understatement! Kittens, cupcakes, and candy, oh my!  You will find these common things on many of their products in colors that just drip with ooey gooey sweetness. Their notebooks and cards are beautiful, but, what we really are enamored with is this customizable address stamp! This stamp comes in your choice of one of 4 whimsical fonts and would be the perfect way to add your own personal flair to your next correspondence.

Calling all hipsters!  We've got just the card for you. This card features a tall emo boy and just-a-bit-too-short gal smooching in their crazy colored pants and classic Converse All Stars.  It is simply perfect and we can't imagine a better card to give your sweetie. Plus, the ladies from the Rubina Designs table were completely awesome and we can't help but love girls with a sense of humor that dig classic literature (the one girl told us her favorite book is Pride and Prejudice, one of our all time favorites, so major props for that). 

These chair necklaces, by Colleen Heineman, really rock! There is just something so fun about taking natural everyday objects and turning them into art. These are hand punched out of a sterling silver sheet and strung on delicate silver beaded chains for a modern, yet still vintage, look.  And, if you think these are great, check out her nautical knots series! We wouldn't be surprised if these were making their way to an Anthropologie near you in the near future but until that day comes let us enjoy this talented local artist while we can.  

What craft fair would be complete without unique prints for your walls?! Jason and Briana over at Brainstorm Print and Design are an extraordinarily talented (and super friendly!) duo with big ideas. We were delighted by their totally one of a kind prints, like this one above, that feature some beautiful graphics, bold messages, calming nature themes, and funky retro colors.  These inspiring and creative prints encourage us to set our worries aside, relax, and take it easy... and we couldn't be more willing to oblige.

There is just something about letterpressed invitations - the look, the feel, the history.  Whatever it is, we can't help but be drawn to beautiful things and the gorgeous stationary, by Sesame Letterpress, certainly got our attention. Sesame Letterpress, of Brooklyn, creates intricate and detailed stationary on 100% recycled cotton paper using old 19th century Victorian letterpresses.  We initially were drawn in by the colorfulletterpressed coasters , but on closer examination we fell in love with just about everything else, even their business cards, which are pretty little works of art all in themselves!!

Regardless of the situation, it's always important to stay classy.  So, if you want to call someone a "jerkface" the only appropriate thing to do is to write it in a formal letter or card, which they can hold in their hands and treasure for a lifetime.  But, in all seriousness, Blue Barnhouse is great and their cards are hilariously funny.  Why buy your average run of the mill card when you can get one with a kitschy letterpressed image and unusual and cleverly inappropriate saying??  We have no idea!  These are the perfect cards to give your girlfriends, siblings, lovers,or really anyone with a sense of humor enough to enjoy them.

 How cute!  These tree branch bud vases, by designer Jennifer Fisher, are some of the most original items that we came across in our shopping.  They are minimalist and modern, but are still semi-rustic and romantic. These bud vases are meant to hold just a couple small flowers, but even with just a few blooms, they have the power to make a huge impression. Display one solo if you're going for sleek and modern but we also enjoy the look of all three arranged as a sort of little collection to add interest and drama.

A gift without a tag is like a cupcake without icing..a total travesty. And in search of a great gift topping, we've found these fun little tags by The Small Object. Who knew that one tiny little tag could be used to serve so many different occasions? We dig things like these that are completely practical and simple but serve to display a bit of our own style and personalities. These are the perfect blend of  old fashioned etiquette and modern, personal expression that says you have a sense of humor but still appreciate the beauty and formality of tradition.

No more pencils, no more books... wait, wait... we like books! And pencils! And folders. And, actually, every kind of school supply imaginable. Call us nerds if you must, but we just love school and organization and that is why Urban Posture will round out our Top 10 picks from the Renegade Craft Fair.  They have great style and we are thoroughly enjoying their fantastic line of eco-friendly, ultra quirky, school (or office!) supplies. Being quirky is a good thing and sets you apart from the crowd, so don't be afraid to express your uniqueness, even in something as simple as a binder or folder.

Get crafty, dolls!

Jen & Saira