spring fashion fantasy

It has been a busy week (what’s new) and I am feeling under the weather, so I decided to have some fun today compiling some of my ideas and fantasies for my spring wardrobe…

Why is it that even in my fashion fantasies, all my clothing is casual? I guess this would be the REAL fantasy… my Oscar gown by Jason Wu!

I’d never make it in Starfleet…

So…. I read this article today. It is sort of about “mommy blogging,” but more specifically about a subset of female bloggers that happen to be Mormon and sort of happen to be perfect in every way. Perfect in every way on their blogs, any way.

I don’t really care for the predictable arguing that results from this type of article and plays out in its comments (“religious people are simple-minded” “nuh uh. liberals and feminists are jerks” …that sort of thing), but I can relate to a lot of the feelings expressed in the article, like how some more mainstream parenting blogs “make parenthood seem like a vale of judgment and anxiety,” and if the more perfect bloggers can “help women like me envision a life in which marriage and motherhood could potentially be something other than a miserable, soul-destroying trap, I say, ‘Right on.'” But that is not what I wanted to post about… I wanted to post about my low self esteem.

Do you think some people are fundamentally just better than others? I know that a blog is a curated view of a person’s life and that no one’s life is perfect, but some of these blogging women are just too much to handle. (And not just cheery mormons — the perfect woman comes in all types! Like her, and her, and her, and her, and her, and so many more I must stop myself before I go crazy.) Their perfection makes me depressed. How can they have a beautiful house, perfect clothes (some of which they make themselves and others that they carefully collected from adorable vintage boutiques), beautiful children and/or a fab career, home baked cakes, cute crafts, peppy parties, hipster husbands, and cute thick-rimmed eyeglasses, etc etc etc… plus, the lovely design sense, writing skill, and photography prowess to make it all look fantastic on the internet? I mean, I try. I’ve been blogging for over seven years, but I can’t make my life look that good.

It’s like on Star Trek — everything in life relates back to Star Trek, obvs — only the best got into Starfleet Academy. And everyone in Starfleet Academy was uniquely perfect in their own way. Of course, they were all physically and mentally superior to their peers, but they also had unique and intellectual hobbies, like horticulture or playing concertos on the violin, and they read Shakesphere or did Tai Chi in their spare time. I know, I know. Star Trek is just a tv show. But that is how I feel about these perfect lady bloggers. They are in Starfleet and I am just some lame colonist trying to scrape out an existence on some distant desert planet. ugh. I’m nearly 30. Shouldn’t I have grown beyond all of this self doubt and jealousy?

Speaking of turning 30, what else do I need for my party? These are the things I have planned so far:

Sounds like a party to me! (whew. That cheered me up a bit.)

eye candy

Above is a screen shot of my profile on Pinterest.com. It is a new visual bookmarking site that I just started using last week. It is very well designed and many of the blogging cool kids use it, so there are plenty of lovely things being “pinned” all the time. I’ve created a few “boards” (i.e. categories) and have been slowly adding images that catch my eye.

Previous to Pinterest, I was using Imgfave.com to bookmark my favorite images. Imgfave is a fine site, but I think I am going to transition completely over to Pinterest… It allows for more options and is just more user-friendly and pretty. I also use my tumblr blog, ilovecutethings.com to post quick items that are either on my wishlist or that I think are interesting. I am definitely going to continue posting to it (hopefully daily) with “high interest” items that don’t quite fit on my main blog (rljart.com), while using Pinterest for things that I just find visually inspiring.

Speaking of visual inspiration, one of my current favorite websites is Artessen. It is an aggregator of the top visual and design blogs and there is always tons of beautiful photography to be found just by visiting the home page. It actually kind of makes me sick with jealousy every time I visit (every day), but I keep going back hoping that some of the beauty and awesome design will rub off!

What sites do you use to keep track of your favorite images? There are so many cool blogging platforms and bookmarking sites that it is hard to stay on top of the best methods… How do you organize all of your different online presences?

happy distractions

happy distractions

I am in a mood. And not a good one. Negativity has been getting under my skin today and I needed a distraction, or seven. So, I am watching the Wendy Williams show and compiling all the fun & frivolous things in my life… Enjoy

  1. As soon as I work up the courage, I am going to the DVF store and buying myself a classic, black, wrap dress. I need adult clothes!
  2. And, I think these shoes would look cool with the new LBD.
  3. Yep, we are going to the rally! I can’t wait.
  4. Candy Corn shower gel is admittedly a little weird, but so Halloween-y! I do love candy.
  5. The majority of my earrings were stolen from my suitcase during my flight home from Florida over the summer – boo! – and I am trying to re-build my collection. I just bought these gorgeous hoops from the BabetteWorld Etsy shop.
  6. My new favorite blog: Bake It in a Cake. It is all about cupcakes with crazy fillings, like marzipan rainbows (seen above) and mini pumpkin pies!
  7. This isn’t really frivolous, but it should be fun: I’m running the Staten Island Half Marathon on Sunday. (That is the course map you see above.) It will be my first time on the Island!

Please help me out. Leave more happy distractions in the comments. Anything fun, silly, cute, funny, or pretty will do!

fall shoes… where else, but J.Crew


J.Crew slays me every season with their beautiful new stuff. It never fails. Every three months, here I am, writing about my undying devotion to the retailer. It is getting more than a little repetitive, but I can’t help myself! Have you seen their new fall shoe collection? I feel like I could fit each and every pair into my wardrobe and be totally, but subtly on trend for fall. Above are some of my very favorites:

I can’t buy them all… which style would you choose?



I stole the idea for this fun exercise in positivity from a really lovely blog, Calico & Co, and thought it was appropriate since this is my 30th year of life on Earth…

Enjoy my list of 30 things I :

I candy.
I coffee.
I sunshine.
I snail mail.
I my iPhone.
I Photoshop.
I sleeping in.
I the internet.
I my husband.
I pretty paper.
I video games.
I funny people.
I art museums.
I baby animals.
I Team in Training.
I tasty sandwiches.
I pre-war buildings.
I exploring NYC on foot.
I my little chihuahua dog.
I exercising and seeing results.
I parties and party decorations.
I ultra fine point Sharpie markers.
I real, delicious, healthy, whole foods.
I cupcakes! (Really, any cute dessert.)
I finishing a task and/or reaching a goal.
I my family (extended & in-laws included).
I fantasizing about my future dream house.
I sparkling water (acqua frizzante in Italian).
I uncompromisingly friendly and optimistic attitudes.
I chatting & laughing with friends (usually at inappropriate times).

…and just one more for good measure…

I the magical universe – hey, we exist!

bright side


So… I am not really sure I want to tell you about this lovely website that I recently found. You see, it is a giveaway site that has really fantastic daily giveaways that you can enter just by leaving a comment. If I tell you about it, then you will enter all the giveaways and it will reduce my already miniscule chances of winning… But, I’m a nice gal, so I’ll spread the love…

You must check out TheBrightSideProject.com! It has really pretty posts featuring the best in style and design, and every day they give something nice away. Sadly, I haven’t won anything yet, but the site has turned me on to lots of lovely things, like the stuff seen above:

The daily posts are a quick read and I almost always leave a comment to enter the giveaway… It doesn’t hurt!

summer sandals


I know that chunky wedges with thick leather straps are more on trend this season, but I am really enamored with this less substantial style of flat leather sandals. They are sort of sexy, but also completely practical. The blue accents make them even more lovable!


Of course, I like the most expensive pair the most, but I can compromise…

shop windows and airmail


katespadedisplayWhen we ventured out to Soho on Saturday, one of my intended stops was the Kate Spade flagship store on Broome St. I had heard about a cool neon tape art installation by Rebecca Ward and wanted to check it out in person. Rebecca Ward is an installation artist who creates colorful, site-specific environments using mostly tape. (btw: I loved the installation in the store, but it wasn’t as extensive as I had anticipated.) The Kate Spade brand sometimes feels a little too ladylike for my current style, but I have always loved its playful use of color and pretty designs. For a long time, Kate Spade was my very favorite designer, mostly because she is from Kansas City, like me, but also because her designs were always so simple, but unique. It is exciting to see the brand supporting such a hip, young artist in such a public way! In addition to the cool installation, I also loved all of the corresponding displays throughout the store – so beautiful!


After the stop at Kate Spade, Travis and I continued our stroll over the the Madewell store. (my favorite!) I was totally caught off-guard by the awesome airmail-themed windows and displays there.


madewellstoreVintage airmail envelopes and mail packages were everywhere! I think that they were all reproductions – not actual old letters – but I was still tempted to swipe one to take home… I love anything mail related because it reminds me of Swap-bot. Don’t worry, I didn’t end up stealing any of the envelopes, but I couldn’t resist taking a few photos of the displays. Three cheers for snail mail!

And in a serendipitous turn of events, Gilt Groupe was having a sale on Kate Spade accessories on Monday! With my “free shipping” coupon, I scooped up this airmail-themed cosmetics case at a nearly-free price. I am going to use it to carry my Swap-bot arsenal to crafty events. Who knew that fashion and the postal mail went together so well… Swap-bot is so stylish!


abc carpet & home


New York City is dangerous, and it has nothing to do with crime. In NYC you can buy anything. Anything you have seen in magazines, anything you have seen on tv, anything you want, anything you can imagine, anything your heart desires!

…if you have the money, of course…

The streets are lined with designer boutiques and if you stumble into the wrong neighborhood all of the women are wearing Christian Louboutin shoes and carrying Prada handbags.

The Whitney Museum is in one of those neighborhoods – exclusively a place for ladies who lunch – and it was intimidating. After viewing the Georgia O’Keefe exhibit on Thursday I quickly made my way to a “safer” part of town, only to find myself suddenly standing in front of the most sparkly, most beautiful, most gloriously cluttered store windows I have ever seen! It was ABC Carpet & Home, one of Martha Stewart’s favorite stores and previously on my list of things I needed to see in NYC.

My photos above (which were taken with my iPhone while pushy sales people hovered around me) and the website do not do the store justice. The first floor (out of six total) is artfully CRAMMED full of amazing vintage and glittery christmas ornaments and trees. A fancy salesman named Edward (like the vampire), who had his shirt unbuttoned WAY too far, followed me around the whole time pointing out “fabulous” and “special” $60 ornaments that he was “in love with” and that I “needed” to take home. And, even though I knew I could never justify buying a tiny, purple, $85 papier mache santa coated in glitter, I wanted it! And the little clip-on mushroom ornaments for $25 a pop. And the small wooden containers of vintage glass glitter for $25. And the $120 tiny, delicate, blown glass menorah – even though I am not Jewish. And the $2,500 “petite” chandelier that they had displayed over a vintage baby crib. And the jewelry, and the furniture, and the carpets… And on, and on… forever and ever…

And, the horrible desire for “things” does not stop at ABC Carpet & Home. There are thousands of more stores with thousands of more sparkly things just waiting to catch my eye!

I am scared. I have tried to fight the good fight against my materialistic nature, but New York City may be my undoing. I did not know I could be so easily corrupted.

I blame the glitter.