Current aesthetic: Atlantean shipwreck

My current obsession seems to be anything that looks like it was pulled up from mystic Atlantis, or maybe a shipwreck nearby. Give me green patina’d everything, mottled ceramic finishes, molten gold and pearls and amphorae. A touch or two to your home décor or personal adornment can lend a hint of mystery, sophistication, whimsy, intrigue, antiquarian finesse… the list goes on. I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite picks below, from a mysterious woodsy-incense-y perfume to golden baubles and vessels that look like they’ve been pulled right from the depths to your doorstep. Enjoy!

Five fun things: spring handbag edition

Welcome back to a Friday of five fun things! This week I’ve rounded up a sweet crop of spring-perfect handbags for your shopping enjoyment. Fresh picks, right this way!

Kate Spade’s adorable watermelon top handle is the novelty bag that will carry you all the way through Labor Day. Juicy, puffy, squishy perfection.

Mansur Gavriel’s M frame baguette is beautiful in every color, but I am partial to this springy petal pink. Goes equally well into demure lady-who-lunches or bright Barbie-core territory — you choose!

Rebecca Minkoff’s celestial spin on their Edie crossbody is just darling. Neutral but special, and easy to carry all year round. An easy way to make yourself smile, even during Mercury retrograde season. IYKYK.

Coach has introduced their new Coachtopia concept line, and I am absolutely here for it. Stuart Vevers is pushing toward sustainable luxury with this line made of innovative post-consumer materials as his latest, and this strawberry print Wavy Dinky has my heart. The Coachtopia products have been selling out fast, but keep an eye out for periodic restocks!

Clare V.’s Grande Fanny has long been on my radar, and the fact that it now comes with a longer strap option was exactly what I needed to push me over the edge. Bravo to Clare V. for finally including us larger gals! This cuoio leather will only get better with age.

Happy spring and happy shopping!

Every day is Earth Day

With Earth month coming to a close, I had a chance to reflect on the Earth-friendly products and habits I’ve been gradually swapping into my household routines — and it turns out there are quite a few! Over the past year or two I’ve tried to make small changes here and there, and I am super proud that they have added up to a much more eco-conscious home. None of these are particularly arduous changes, mostly just products swaps, but all together they can make a big difference!

Conscia is an all-natural shampoo and conditioner brand that makes their luxurious cleansing stones without water or plastic. Their products are cruelty-free, smell amazing, cleanse and nourish beautifully, and come packaged oh-so-sweetly in furoshiki cloths rather than plastic. Eco-friendly, salon-grade, and luxuriously pampering haircare all in one package is actually possible! Conscia has done it! Luckily for you, they are offering 20% off your purchase with code EARTH at checkout through the end of the month. With the bar soap I talked about here, you’re well on your way to a plastic-free shower experience.

Suri toothbrushes are one of the more recent items we’ve tried, and I could not be happier so far. I was using a Quip brush before, but the need for a new battery every few months started to feel wasteful, even though their packaging was recyclable and it was only the brush head that needed replacing rather than a whole new toothbrush. Enter Suri. Their brush heads are made from plant-based corn starch and their bristles are made from castor-oil, which are bio-based rather than plastic, they recycle the heads for free in the UK and US, and the body of their brushes are made from long-lasting, easily-recycled aluminum. Plus their batteries are rechargeable, and their brushes are repairable for life! Of course, all that would be moot if they didn’t work well, but I can honestly say my teeth have never felt cleaner from at-home brushing. Sold! Also, get 16% through this week for Earth Day.

After using typical 5-blade razors my whole adult life, I was extremely skeptical of a single-blade safety razor. BUT, Oui the People’s beautiful rose-gold iteration, made in Germany and weighted to perfection, has made me a true believer. I have never had such a smooth shave! My legs feel like silk, I really do have fewer ingrowns, and I might actually have to shave a little less often? I am amazed. The fact that the blades are recyclable and the razor is built to last with zero plastic components is icing on this silky-smooth cake. Yes and please.

I have yet to be able to live the dream of an in-unit washer and dryer. Ever since I went to college I have schlepped jugs of laundry detergent and big loads of laundry out to coin operated washers and dryers. Earth Breeze detergent is the eco-friendly laundry detergent I have been waiting for my whole life. No joke. Their vegan, animal-friendly formula comes in sheets rather than a liquid in heavy plastic jugs, and they really do get my laundry clean. A slim envelope of eco-sheets is delivered to my door, I have them on auto-ship so I don’t have to remember to buy more, and they have a fresh scent that doesn’t linger in a cloying way. No plastic jugs = a happier earth, plus every purchase of Laundry Detergent Eco Sheets donates ten washes to distressed and displaced families in need. Free shipping and 100% money back guarantee means this is a no-risk option to try. I use these with wool dryer balls instead of dryer sheets. No chemicals in my clothes AND they are cheaper and more sustainable!

Reel toilet paper was an easy swap to make. It is available at Target so I can just pick it up with my usual sundries, has 100% plastic-free packaging, and is made of bamboo so it is entirely tree-free, biodegradable, and sustainable. Not linty at all. Very absorbent. Just a really good toilet paper that is kinder to the Earth in the process.

Also available at Target are Grove cleaning products. I tried and liked them years ago but struggled with Grove’s website and their subscription model, so buying what I need at Target works great for me now! They work well, are formulated with mostly plant-based ingredients, come in reusable bottles and concentrated refills, offer great scents made with real essential oils, and make for a healthy home. Yes to all!

Ilia makeup is one of my go-tos. I love their Super Serum Skin Tint with SPF 40 — it gives just the right amount of tint along with clean, skin-loving ingredients. Also, their ethos for clean, skincare-powered makeup is one I appreciate wholeheartedly. Not only do they make clean beauty products in sustainable packaging, but they do so with an eye for women’s natural beauty, in every shade. Bravo!

I hope this list of tried-and-true products helps inspire you to make some of your own eco-conscious purchases. Happy Earth Month!

I ❤️ Maison Midi

While exploring LA with my partner a couple weeks ago, we stumbled on a stylish, magical block on La Brea featuring the combined shops of American Rag Cie. We checked out the fun vintage shop at the far end first, but when I walked into their home and decor outpost, Maison Midi, it was as though the clouds parted and angels sang just for me. I wanted — no, needed — one of everything.

Maison Midi’s beautiful selection of glassware
Virtually any style of Parisian bistro chair you could want at your fingertips.

A California mainstay for over thirty years, American Rag began with a few containers of vintage clothing from Marseille and has since blossomed into a well-curated clothing mecca for men and women complete with a denim bar and vintage shop, and the aforementioned homeware heaven, Maison Midi. Every Mediterranean bit of gorgeousness you might desire, from their perfectly Parisian bistro chair selection to their beautiful Portuguese pottery, south-of-France table linens, Moroccan tagines, Italian glassware, French country flatware, Egyptian cotton napkins… the list is seemingly endless.

The angel, er, sunlight on that pineapple lamp — glorious!

On my short list were these super-extra, super-chic light turquoise pineapple lamps with pleated floral shades, the faux malachite lacquer serving trays, some striped linen napkins, and tumblers in every candy hue imaginable. I also had to stop myself from snapping up every quirky bit of artwork I stumbled upon. Oh, and peep that stylized leopard rug under the table! *swoon*

Table linens galore.

Did I mention they carry furniture as well? Beautiful ceramics and dishware? Baskets and rugs and cutlery, oh my! I seriously couldn’t get enough. If a perfectly eclectic, perfectly colorful, classic-yet-current decor shop exists, it is Maison Midi.

A decor lover’s wonderland.

A smattering of their wares can be found online, but for the full kid-in-candy-store experience, visit their shop at 148 South La Brea Avenue,  Los Angeles, CA 90036. I promise you won’t be sorry.

Bonus: Visit Neighborhood across the street, a lovely little coffee shop with wonderful service. Enjoy!

Grab a latte at the sweetest Neighborhood coffee shop.

V-day picks with heart

It’s that time again! Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and there are countless beautiful ways to tell your loved ones they are special. I’ve rounded up some of my favorite picks from small, indie, B-corp, and sustainable brands below. Enjoy!

Local fave Blockshop just restocked their stunning, oh-so-soft Flock throw, plus debuted two new colorways. Perfect to cuddle up under with a special someone.

These versatile and beautiful matchstick hoops from Baleen make a sweet wink-and-a-nod gift for that hotter-than-hot person you want to spoil this V-day. Plus they are 20% off with code LOVE20 for Valentine’s Day.

For the Goth-but-girly John Derian-esque aesthete in your life, the In My Dreams necklace is the perfect way to tell them you’re dreaming of them. Plus, it is HUGELY marked down right now!

When you and your partner are weird in all the right ways together, it’s magic. Tell them so with this quirky-sweet card from indie printmaker Pier Six Press.

For something intimate, you can’t go wrong with a massage candle from Maude. Hand-poured with cruelty-free ingredients, there are three scents to choose from (I’m eyeing no.3) plus an unscented option if you’re unsure of your lover’s preference. Mood lighting can turn to pampering, and then who knows? *wink wink*

These gorgeous disc chimes are handmade by female-powered Pigeon Toe Ceramics, perfect for the tasteful homebody or décor aficionado in your life. Hang them indoors as a decorative object, or outdoors for a soft, modern windchime. They’ll think of you fondly every time they look up.

Bluebonnet soap from A Wild Soap Bar is my favorite shower indulgence right now. Responsibly wildcrafted and organically grown botanicals, certified organic oils, and a company that gives back — yes and please! Plus it smells heavenly and lathers beautifully. Pick up a couple and get down and dirty.. err… squeaky clean with a partner, or stock up to share with your favorite pals who deserve some self-care.

And finally, a gift of poetry to ponder alone or to share with a loved one. Kate Baer’s newest collection is on my short short list to read, and I’m looking forward to her signature blend of pathos, humor, and razor wit with bated breath. Consider it an unorthodox bouquet of flowers for your valentine that will last and last.

The gift

“… burn this candle to embrace your entire spectrum of identity and bloom like never before.” — Boy Smells

Just before my birthday last summer I was out shopping and eating with friends in LA, and I stumbled upon a candle in a little shop that I kept coming back to. The vessel was a bright, shiny gold, with an artful label of all text. The scent was deep and woody, and the name? “Polyamberous.” The quip made me smile, as I always love a good wordplay. It took me a bit to decide between it and another candle I liked as a little gift for myself — I was apprehensive about making it mine, to be honest, in more ways that one. I finally said “yes” to it in my head, and as soon as it found a home on my nightstand, I felt seen. Yes, I was – I am – polyamorous. I wasn’t out to anyone but myself, and I wasn’t seeing anyone yet. But I felt like I had finally embraced this part of me.

The smell of amber and tonka bean is heady and rich, much like my life these days. I’m grateful and scared and learning and growing every day. What I am not doing every day, though, is asking myself, “what’s wrong with me?” Not anymore. And that, more than anything, is the true gift — a gift to myself that was long overdue.

Wish list 2021

Welcome to December, land of colder weather, warmer sweaters, and visions of sugarplums. Here is my wish list for this year – lovely items to give that special someone on your list, or maybe even yourself! After all, YOU are definitely a special someone.

Coach”s new Studio bag in green is everything I’ve been craving – an evergreen shade that takes me right back to the 90s (in the best way) paired with a sleek shape and classic brass hardware. Love love love.

Speaking of love, Pamela Love’s designs hit just the right sweet spot between edgy and classic, with an undertone of mythos I adore. My favorites are these pomegranate studs and heart-in-hand huggies, each sold singly. They’d be the perfect additions to my earring mix right now, plus they are made from recycled (and recyclable) materials. Style AND substance!

And speaking of the 90s, I am fully on board with the the chunky loafer resurgence. These are well-priced, beautiful, and this Alpine green shade would go with just about anything.

If you have someone in your life you’d like to spoil with incredible sleep, may I suggest one of these gorgeous velvet weighted blankets from Bearaby? Their eco-velvet is 100% upcycled, GRS-, STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® and Fairtrade International certified, perfectly cozy, and oh-so-soothing to sleep under. Trust.

I couldn’t possibly do a December gift post without including my favorite winter candle of all time. This gilded white ceramic iteration of my beloved Frasier Fir candle is calling my name.

At the top of my list are gifts that do good, and you can’t go wrong with any of the gift items featured in the ACLU’s shop. My personal picks are this excellent civil rights calendar and this minty soft reproduction rights tee. Every purchase made supports the ACLU and allows the fight for our civil liberties to continue.

For the beauty lover in your life, a clean beauty set like this one from Ilia is oh-so-nice. I can’t get enough of their Balmy Tint hydrating lip balm these days, and this pretty set will have your mom or bestie looking glowy and holiday-festive in a flash.

Ideal as a stocking stuffer, cool-aunt gift for a teen (hello!), or hostess gift, these super-stylish bubble candles are scented with grapefruit – if you can bear to light them.

And finally, for the chocoholic in your life, this tasting set from San Francisco small-batch maker Dandelion Chocolate is everything. They visit each origin, work closely with their cocoa producers, and use only ethically sourced beans and organic cane sugar to make their confections. Indulgent deliciousness, beautifully packaged and ready for gifting.

Vintage inspiration

Lately I’ve gotten sucked into the addictive black hole that is Facebook Marketplace. There is a LOT of random stuff people have for sale! It’s like thrifting, with the ease of search terms and the comfort of your own couch. Sometimes you’ll find a gem, sometimes you’ll find something quirky that appeals, and sometimes… well, you never know what you’ll find!

Last week I drove down to La Jolla to acquire a set of Postmodern Italian white lacquer dining chairs for my mom’s apartment, a find that she said “gave her all the feels!” They are beautiful and look great in her space. I (unfortunately?) have no need for new dining chairs. What I do need is about 5 extra rooms in my own house to satisfy all the designing and decorating I’d like to do. Not exactly an option at present, so instead I’ll do it virtually here with you.

I had to fight myself for days to keep from buying this pair of leopard print chairs. I. Have. No. More. Room. I debated what I could move or get rid of. I strategized. I planned and moved furniture around. I conceptualized. Then I sighed with regret and a little relief once I saw they had sold. Goodbye, beautiful chairs. We would have been good together.

This floral armchair is being sold as a pair, and while the print might seem a little dated, how cute and fresh would it be paired with a modern checkered pillow? And that funky table and chairs gave me pause as a set (and not in a good way), but how gorgeous would the table be painted glossy white? Major Kara Mann for CB2 vibes. It would make for a beautiful desk.

I also stumbled upon an L.A. listing for ten (!) William Morris dining chairs. At first glance, the cobalt and yellow with the ornate two-tone wood seemed like a lot of look, if you know what I mean. But if I had a big, stately dining room (and infinite money)? Green lacquered walls, a graphic Jonathan Adler rug, a modern/glam chandelier paired with a Milo Baughman burlwood table, and some abstract floral art with a sleek Danish vase? Now we are talking! This combination makes for a striking, bold, and eclectic dining room setup I’m swooning over.

art chandelier xl vase vintage table rug

It just goes to show you that a little imagination and a little bit of digging can yield some beautifully unique pieces for your home. Happy hunting/thrifting/digging/shopping, friends, and good luck!

Mint julep

It’s April, the month of spring sunshine and mint juleps, and right now I am super inspired by soft minty hues with pops of orange. It is such an invigorating color combination, don’t you think? The grounded calm of mint green with an energetic little (or big!) zing of orange, bronze, tangerine, rust, or terracotta is just what I’m craving. These gorgeous interiors do it so well! Swoon, sigh, yes and please.

If you’re as inspired as I am, here are some beautiful picks for your home to get you going, from total bargain to splurge-tastic. Helle Mardahl’s Bon Bon vessels had me at hello, but a poppy orange tray on your coffee table would have the same visual impact. Of course, Rothko’s color juxtapositions are spot-on, and how cute is that microwave? (I have it so I’ll answer — it is adorable.) Happy shopping, and enjoy!

Loving right now

You know when the stars align and there are just tons of things out there making want to open your wallet? Here is a mismash of items I’m loving right now:

I’ve had all the heart eyes for Jonathan Adler’s Ripple mirror for ages, and as of yesterday it is HANGING IN MY HOUSE. Guys, I am so excited. It is exactly what I wanted for our space – fun and modern, a little quirky, and the perfect foil for some of the more traditional elements I’ve incorporated into our decor. Here is a little peek at how I styled it, if you’d like to see. I couldn’t love it more!

Right now Kate Spade is knocking it out of the park with playful, beautiful summer accessories — exactly the kind we need after such a dismal year. I kind of want one of everything. The Catch bag in that perfectly brilliant shade of blue came home with me, but I am equally smitten with the sweet Buoy wicker bucket bag. And how perfect would that ocean-inspired wave card holder be paired with Shelly crab crossbody? Adorable! We can all use a little kitsch right now, no?

I haven’t talked about it here on the blog much, but coffee is a pretty serious undertaking in my household. My husband used to be a barista, so he (and now I) really appreciate a good cup of coffee. Enter: the Fellow Ode brew grinder. I can absolutely see why the Specialty Coffee Association named it their best new product of 2021 — it is just that good. Super quiet, super stylish, and by far the most consistent, even grinds we have gotten on a home grinder. If you love coffee and like to brew it at home, I highly recommend putting your dollars toward a good grinder. It makes all the difference.

Of course, the pandemic is still on my mind these days. Please allow me to also share some great reads on it as related to women, expectations, and realities:

I have long admired LaTonya Yvette and her feminine, resonant representation of Black womanhood and community. Her blog series Sex Stories is an honest, raw, heartfelt look at sex and relationships (or lack thereof) during COVID times. Savor them individually or binge them all right now. Trust.

COVID-19 has disproportionately affected women. Some info on why and how to help women rejoin the workforce after the devastation of the pandemic, right this way.

And finally, “Celebrating the beauty of motherhood and failing to acknowledge the significant work mothers do every day without any meaningful systemic support (while their bodies and reproductive rights are still treated as debate fodder) is not a benign action.”

Happy Friday, friends!