Monday, February 28, 2011

Rendezvous on the Red Carpet

We'd like to thank the academy.. .for inspiring us to write this post.  While we couldn't do live blogging during the event, we can't simply let the Academy Awards pass us by without a comment (or seven) on the fabulous apparel that adorned the red carpet. It was easy to spot the trends this year, from the color red, to loose wavy hair, to shimmering dresses, etc. etc.  Walking the red carpet with all eyes on you can be stressful, but some of these celebs make it look effortless. Here's a look at some of our Oscar night favorite's:

Swan Queen and "Best Actress" winner Natalie Portman looks super pregnant and super stunning in this elegant, plum colored dress by Rodarte.  We might consider leaving those tassel earrings at home though. (Photo Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty) 

It's no surprised that the ballerinas took center stage. Mila Kunis looks absolutely gorgeous in this lacy lilac dress by Elie Saab. (Photo Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty)

Glowing Gwyneth Paltrow looks as radiant as "Oscar" himself in this metallic dress by Calvin Klein.
  (Photo Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage) 

Red was certainly the popular color this year and Jennifer Lawrence wore it best as she showed off her curves in this simple and chic dress by Calvin Klein. (Photo Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage)

Saying that Michelle Williams looks amazing is an understatement.  Her figure alone deserves an award but the elegant Chanel dress and perfectly polished hair show she's come a long way since Dawson's Creek. (Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty)

Reese Witherspoon takes classic black and white to a new level with this retro look.  This Armani dress is simple and elegant and we especially love her very mod ponytail. (Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty)

And, finally, Amy Adams looked beautiful in a navy sequined dress by L'Wren Scott. Although she sparkles like a jewel we do think the necklace was a little much and she could have looked even more elegant had she gone without it. And we think an updo would have worked better with that high neckline, but that's just us!  (Photo Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty)

Loving James Franco's grandma.

Jen & Saira

Friday, February 25, 2011

Minimalist Wedding

Minimalism is a way of life, philosophy, art, and fashion that strips everything down to its most fundamental features. We know a lot of brides who find wedding planning overwhelming, and not exactly their cup of tea. So why not get rid of the clutter and opt for a more simple, discrete style? We're not talking about renting a blank white room and adding no decor (although that's always an option!) A minimalist wedding can be modern, chic, and elegant without going over the top. Take a look!

Gold brocade, textured linen, ornate florals... are we turning you off? Announcing "Somebody's getting married!" doesn't have to be elaborate. In fact, it can be as simple as you like. Rather than covering your invite with patterns and designs, just stick to text only, like this minimalist letterpress design. It includes all the important information, and creates a very modern and clean look.

Many wedding venues come with brocade curtains, giant chandeliers, and hideously patterned carpets (Can we say visual overload?). Instead, choose a wedding venue that will provide you with a lot of wide open space. While not exactly a blank canvas, an art gallery can be a wonderful venue for a minimalist couple, as it usually involves bright white walls, smooth floors, and built in decor.  Don't add too much of your own decor (just some candles and well placed flowers) and you'll have a very modern, edgy space to work with.

Elaborate table settings can be beautiful, but they can also take up too much space! Unclutter your wedding with a simple vase of flowers, maybe few candles, and cut back on the number of cutlery and wine glasses. This will provide for an aesthetically pleasing table that is straight to the point and, did we mention, budget friendly?

Speaking of budget friendly decor, how about the place card table?  Make your place card table look sleek and modern by keeping it totally natural and simplistic.   We love this arrangement of small pebbles and plain white cards.  It may seem plain but it packs a punch as the pebbles and clean straight lines make it striking.

When we say minimalist, we don't mean dull. You can have a colorful, vibrant wedding bouquet, but still stick to the basics. Personally, we think a bouquet of just tulips or orchids creates a very fresh, modern look for a wedding that can still be upbeat and colorful. Tulips are also perfect for spring weddings, and taking out the filler flower just brings the focus on the long, elegant stems.

Okay, so maybe a "true" minimalist wedding wouldn't have wedding cake... but let's just ignore that tiny detail. A simple wedding cake can mean different things, such as less layers or less floral decor. Add subtle decor, such as colored ribbon and a simple topper to create a very chic and elegant dessert.

Choosing bridesmaids dresses can be overwhelming. Will everyone like the style you choose? Will they all fit? Will your best friends look absolutely ridiculous in the photos? One of the best ways to play it safe is to keep it simple. A very simple dress, such as the strapless satin pieces pictured above by Lynn Lugo, are wonderfully low maintenance and classy. Of course, depending on your bridesmaids you may need to go with a different cut, but the basic idea still works.

 Looking for an elegant dress with a no frills kind of look?  A cotton dress like this would be perfect for the minimalist bride with its crisp white and clean lines! Ditch the lace, beads, and taffeta and opt for something a little more suited to your style and overall tone of your wedding. This dress is casual but sophisticated and features just a tiny bit of pleating to make it interesting but not distracting.

Jen + Saira

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Color Day: J'Adore Paris

Bonjour, dolls! Let's take a little vacation from all this snow and think of springtime.  When it comes to spring, few places compare to the allure of Paris.  The romance (and the food) never fail to make us swoon. When you think French, you think sophisticated, elegant, sexy, and very cool. A Parisian inspired wedding can be very literal (stripes and berets), delicious (crepes, fondu, and steak frites), glamorous (ruffles and Chanel everything), or kitschy (mini Eiffel towers, anyone?).  Lucky for you today's board has a little bit of everything so let's explore!

Paris in the Spring Time Wedding Inspiration Board

Au Revior!

Jen & Saira

Monday, February 21, 2011

Wedding Guests Dos and Don'ts

With spring comes wedding season, so we thought it was high time we talked a little about wedding etiquette. Now that we're in our mid-twenties, we're finding that all our friends are getting paired off and there's a wedding every other month. To ensure that you continue to receive wedding invites and are not the dreaded "Guest Who Is Always Late" or "Guest Who Dresses Inappropriately", here are some dos and don'ts for attending weddings:

Don't Forget to RSVP:  This sounds like an easy one but there are always a handful of people who think that whether or not they RSVP'd doesn't really matter.  In fact, it matters for a variety of reasons from how much alcohol to buy to how many tables you need set up to how big a cake to get, and overall how much is needed to budget.  Also, forgetting to reply makes extra work for the bride and groom who then have to call/text/email to find out your status.

Do Respond Early:  We know many of you are not sure of what you'll be doing tomorrow, much less 6 months from now.  But, replying early is a great way to get on the bride's good side and show the happy couple how totally excited you are for their wedding!

Don't Ask to Bring a Date:  Or, worse, don't just assume and show up with one!  There are many reasons that couples choose not to allow people to bring a date or to bring children. Some may have to limit due to budget reasons, and some may just not have a venue large enough.  Others may not want to look back on pictures and think, "Who the heck is that?!" But, whatever the reason, the bride and groom probably feel bad about not allowing it and asking will only make things worse.  If your name is not written on the invitation with a guest, it is safe to assume that you were not invited with one.  If there is some situation where you must ask, be sure to do so tactfully.  It is possible the bride and groom weren't aware of your new fiance so don't take offense without checking first.

Do Accept the Facts and Make the Best of it:  If you weren't invited with a date, don't wallow in your sorrows.  Team up with another single wedding attendee and go together.  Or, go as a group! Weddings are romantic and couply so it's a good idea to have someone or someones there to break up all the mushy stuff and some girlfriends to dance to "Single Ladies" with.  Hit the bathroom during slow dances or laugh it up as you dance in a circle Romy and Michele style.

Don't Text/Email/Call the Bride or Groom on the Wedding Day: Or, actually, the whole week if you can avoid it. The week leading up to and the day of the wedding are so stressful and hectic that neither of them are likely to have time to sit and chat on the phone.  In fact, even the smallest question could be cause for irritation so it's best just to let it go until after the wedding. Of course, if it's an emergency we think that is acceptable.  But, if it's any questions, concerns, requests for directions, hotel information, etc. those things are best resolved by checking the invitation, wedding website, or calling someone like the maid of honor or other bridal party member or parent who is likely to know the details.

Do Plan Ahead:  Know where you are going, how you will get there, and where you are staying before the day of the wedding and if you have a question, ask it early!  Don't know where to stay?  Often times the bride and groom will reserve a block of rooms for their guests but this is a courtesy and it is certainly not their responsibility to find you accommodations.  Also, be sure to plan your transportation.  The bride and groom may have provided maps online but is up to you to figure out the best route to take and to work out the details.

Don't Show Up Late: Planning a wedding can be very hectic, and most couples have everything planned to the last detail. One of the most irritating things can be having your guests show up late, interrupting your ceremony! The rule of thumb is to arrive 30 minutes before the time on the invite, which gives you plenty of time to find parking, use the bathroom, freshen up, and score excellent seats.

Do Make a Subtle Entrance: If you end up being late, don't barge into the church during the middle of the ceremony. Hover near the doors or grab some seats near the back so as to cause as little interruption as possible. If the wedding venue is a particularly small space, we would suggest even waiting outside, as even your entrance can distract from the happy couple.

Don't Not Show Up:  This is even worse than being late. Although it should be common sense you would be surprised at how many people RSVP that they are attending and then, on the day of the wedding, they are totally MIA.  Where are they? Who knows?  They obviously have something more important or, even worse, they forgot.  And don't for one second think that the bride and groom won't notice or care about your absence because they spend hours making the table arrangements perfect and are spending a pretty penny on the meal that you are not there to eat.

Do Notify of Emergencies and Send a Gift Anyway: If something went down that prevented you from appearing, let the bride and groom know after the fact, or send a text to a friend or family member at the wedding to explain your absence. Not everything can go as planned, but explaining your absence is much better than being a no show. And even if you didn't make it, you should definitely still send your gift. Your seat and meal have already been paid for, and in all likelihood you already have a gift / card planned out, so you should follow through.

Don't Give a Boxed Gift if the Invite Says "No Boxed Gifts": Whether you approve or not, many couples will expressly write on their invite "No Boxed Gifts". It may seem a little forward, but it makes sense. Rather than having people gift you with things you don't want, most couples would rather use that money on larger purchases for themselves. Moreover, a lot of couples are already living together before they get married, so gifting blenders and the like doesn't make as much sense anymore. With that said, if the invite says No Boxed Gifts... then please don't show up with a gift box, gift bag, or anything else other than a dainty little envelope.

Do Pay What You Can Afford: Weddings can be expensive, even if you're just a guest. You end up buying a new dress, get your nails done, get your hair done, etc. and then you need to give an appropriate wedding gift. The rule of thumb is to cover the cost per head, so you usually estimate about $100 per guest. However, the amount you give will vary depending on the size of the wedding, your relationship with the bride and groom, whether or not you bring a date, and your own personal budget. We're not saying you should short change the bride and groom, but couples understand that not everyone can shell out $200 per wedding. So be generous, but don't go overboard.

Don't Reveal Too Much Skin: Choosing a dress to wear at a wedding can be tricky. Much of it depends on the wedding style -- a beach wedding is more informal, while a gathering at an expensive hotel can call for something more fancy. Just be sure that you dress appropriately, as you're going to be around peoples grandparents and nieces and nephews! This is especially the case if you know the couple comes from a more traditional family. Not only would it be awkward to show up in a backless, high slit dress, it could even be insulting. So yes, look smoking hot, but remember your audience.

Do Repeat Dresses: While it's fun to buy a dress for every occasion, it's financially impractical. No one will think less of you if you show up wearing the same dress. In fact, the only person who will notice is your Facebook stalker. We're not saying wear the same dress to all your college friends' weddings, but definitely double dip if you have a wide group of friends who don't necessarily interact. It's not the end of the world if people see you in the same thing twice, we promise!

Don't Be Known As the "Drunk Wedding Guest": It's great to cut loose and relax at weddings, and super easy to do when there is an open bar involved. But, open bars should not be treated like all you can eat buffets. When people think back to the wedding they should remember how much fun they had, not how they had to carry you back to the hotel and hold your hair for you while you prayed to the porcelain gods.  Plus, think about the pictures!!

Do Have Some Fun:  It's a party so of course you should have fun!  Dance a little, laugh a lot and really enjoy yourself.  It's certainly ok to relax and have a great time with friends, catch up, and have a memorable evening... just be sure you are doing so responsibly.

Mind your manners!

Jen & Saira

Friday, February 18, 2011

Blushing Blooms

We love to inspire people so when Sally Thompson of Blushing Blooms (Sydney, Australia) said she'd love to feature our Brown and Cream color inspiration board on her blog we were thrilled!  Be sure to head on over to check out her blog and floral creations.

Thanks, Sally! Keep inspiring.

Jen & Saira

Hairstyle Look Book: The Big Bang

Cutting bangs can dramatically change your look, for better or worse. While this look isn't for every face shape, it can be very flattering and stylish. You can make them blunt and dramatic or soft and gentle, depending on your style. The length of your bangs really depends on your personal preference, but those with longer faces can pull off shorter bangs, without looking like a school girl. If this is a new look for you, then we definitely suggest going for some long, side swept bangs, as you can easily pin them back if you change your mind. Here are some fringe styles for you to try:

We just couldn't resist that Chace Crawford and his sexy bangs.

Fringe is your friend.

Jen & Saira

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Testing, Testing, 123

ATTENTION: Paper Doll Romance is experiencing some technical difficulties this morning (and by technical difficulties we mean Jen's computer is broken and Saira is Photoshop illiterate). While we know you can't get through your Wednesdays without your weekly dose of color, unfortunately there's no color post today. Don't fret, we'll be up and running on Friday!

Jen & Saira

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Congratulations to lucky reader "amc", the winner of our Valentine's Gift Giveaway!  "amc" has won a fantastic "Love Potion #9" candle from our friends Liz and Olivia over at Melo Studios, in Ardmore, PA.  This 6oz. soy candle is hand poured in a recycled red glass cylinder and will burn for up to 18 hours, giving you lots of time to enjoy its sensual aroma.

Thanks to Olivia and Liz for the generous gift donation.  Be sure to check out their great etsy shop online and order one of these for yourselves!

"amc" - Congrats and thank you for commenting and reading our blog!  Unfortunately, we couldn't access your information from your Blogger profile so please email us with your contact information and shipping address by Friday so that we may ship this out to you.  If we don't hear from you by then we'll have to choose another winner.  

Jen & Saira

Monday, February 14, 2011

Have a Heart

Happy Valentine's Day, dolls! Valentine's Day means hearts and cupids, and since we're not that into naked babies with wings, our focus is on heart shaped everything!  While hearts are representative of Valentine's Day, we think they're appropriate all year round, as they represent love and happiness. So this Valentine's Day, wear your heart on your sleeve... and ears, body, etc. Take a look!

Carry your heart with you, along with your lipstick, cell phone, car keys, and maybe a tiny mascara. We love this heart shaped bag from Modcloth, which is a perfect compliment to any Valentine's Day ensemble.  Wear it with a black dress, Mary Jane pumps, and a sweet smile for your sweetie.

Another option is this sweet heart patterned clutch from Etsy seller blota. It can be used as a quirky clutch for a spring wedding or even as a very stylish cosmetics bag. We particularly love the inside lining of the bag, which makes it fun and fresh -- perfect for spring time!

 We love this elegant pressed heart necklace by Kathryn Cole. Made from sterling silver, the necklace is carved, hammered flat, and polished to give it a nice little sparkle. The necklace has a distressed but delicate quality, making it perfect for the urban girl.

Decorate your home with this simple heart shaped screen print from  mengseldesign. The design is handmade with tiny leaf detail, ensuring that your print will be one-of-a-kind. It's also available in pink, but if you're going for decor you may want to stick with the blue... otherwise your guy may end up vetoing the pink heart.

If your girl likes to get organized, then these heart shaped nesting boxes from Urban Outfitters
are perfect for her. It'll add some glitz to her dressing table, plus it will be useful storage space for those delicate pieces of jewelry that always seem to get lost. 

If your girl has a sweet tooth, then set her up with these heart shaped measuring cups. We suggest making it part of a larger gift bundle. Throw in a cute apron, some gourmet cupcake mix, and you can even throw in the matching measuring spoon set as well!

 Give the key to your heart this Valentine's Day with this gorgeous brass skeleton key necklace from our friends Gypsy Warrior. This is a perfect gift for a girl with laid back style who doesn't want too much fuss.

You're allowed to have a sense of humor, even on the most "Romantic Day of the Year," which is why we recommend this heart design pillow from tadaboutique. Sure, it may be taking the heart theme a little too literally, but that's the charm of it! This way, your lady can cuddle up with your heart any day of the week.

 Show your sweetie where your heart resides with this customizable print from Lily Gene. It's a very touching way of putting your love "on the map" (so to speak), and you can customize it by choosing your country, state, etc. and by selecting your own color scheme to match her home decor. 

Jen & Saira

Friday, February 11, 2011


We have one "Love Potion #9" candle to give away to one lucky reader!  The lovely ladies at Melo Studios were so excited to share this with us and for good reason - it smells amazing!  Plus, all of their candles are all natural and are made with recycled or reclaimed glass so you can feel even better about it!

Want to win this candle? Just send us a comment on this message or any February post.   We will pick one winner at random on Monday afternoon.

Good luck!

Jen & Saira

Money Can Buy You Love

Okay... maybe money can't buy you love, but it can help you show someone how much you care! Valentine's Day can be pretty cliche with the roses and chocolates (which isn't always bad) but usually you won't buy roses for you man. Here are some fun and romantic gift ideas for the men in your life.

Gifting tickets to a Broadway show is a lovely and very popular gift for Valentine's Day. Frankly, this may be preferable to trying to attend a show on Valentine's Day, which can be more hectic. Plus it leads to one more special evening! There are over 40 Broadway shows to choose from and, while us ladies surely love Wicked, there are choices that your guy is bound to love too, like Rock of Ages.

 Making your girl a mixed tape is a classic Valentine's Day gift (in our opinion). Of course, technology has advanced, and now even mixed CDs seem a bit archaic. Now you can make an MP3 mix and save it on a USB, and present it inside a "cassette tape" to give an authentic feel to your tech savvy gift. You can also write your own little message on the tape, such as "Love Songs" or "U + Me = Us". The best part about this is that you can store 900 minutes of songs, so now you won't have as much trouble sifting through all your favorites.

This is a little bit pricier, but what good would an MP3 mix be if you didn't have a good way to charge your phone?  These wooden iPod docks are so unique and interesting, adding a little old fashioned vibe to your most modern technology.

A cozy pair of moccasin slippers would be a great gift for the guy who enjoys lounging around and unwinding after a long day of work.  Minnetonka makes durable, high quality products and these, with their fleece lining, look extra comfy.

Guys enjoy a little pampering too sometimes.  Does your guy love the feel or a really close shave?  Or, do you just love how soft his skin feels after?  Well, treat your man to a luxurious shave with this all natural, vegan, kit. Complete with old fashioned brush and beer soap!

Clothing is always a safe choice! Thanks to websites like Woot and Threadless, there are so many awesome t-shirts out there to choose from at such incredibly reasonable prices.  Bonus: some are even printed on American Apparel t-shirts - good deal!

And, finally, if you're really cutting it close and can't find the perfect gift, what about a magazine subscription he can enjoy throughout the year?  Jen's husband loves to build things, so Make Magazine is one of his all time favorites.  There are basically magazine for ever type of topic or activity so you're bound to find something to suit your guy.

Jen & Saira