Stuff We Love: Frill up your closet with bold, bright shoes


I think it’s frilling to use your shoes as the accent piece of your outfit. I do it a lot lately. What shoes MAKE your outfit?

Shoes from Zara. Try to ignore the constipated look on my face here. I’m NOT a model, and I may or may not have actually been constipated…

Antonio Melani wedges from Dillard’s. They’re on sale right now, just saying. 

Blowfish yellow flats. I purchased these last summer. I’m amazed I was still able to find them online. They are one of the most comfortable pairs of shoes I own.  I love, love, love them. 

Target sandals. I realize you can’t see these very well in the picture, but trust me – they were worth the 15 bucks. 

- Aurelia

July 21, 2011 9:00 AM | Comments | Categories: Fashion, Outfit posts | Tags: , ,

Stuff We Love: Red Lips


I have never (well ok there is an exception or two in there) worn red lipstick.  I mean really red, not wine or fuschia or terra cotta or berry.  But this season I’ve been inspired by the many vintage-wearing ladies out in the blogosphere as well as those thoroughly-modern gals who are wearing red in a fresh, vivacious way.  And I am LOVING it.  Usually I tend toward richer lip colors for autumn and winter, and nude-ish or coppery, shimmery ones for summer.  But not for 2011!  This is the summer of red lips!

Just look at Anne Hathaway sporting red lips at the 2011 Oscars.

And this look on Jessica Hart is perfectly daytime-wearable.  Not fussy or over-done, just fresh and carefree.

And, have you seen J.Crew’s newest looks?  Red lips look oh-so-casual, oh-so-summery, and oh-so-effortless. Notice how they keep the rest of the face very natural, very simple; some mascara, a hint of eyeliner, a touch of blush.

I think it’s a fabulous look.  So, feeling inspired, I broke down and purchased a bright red, very saturated lip gloss, Zuzu Luxe lipgloss in Caliente…

…and I am rocking the red. I love it.

(disclaimer: this photo was taken by yours truly with photobooth, and was clumsily edited by yours truly to erase evidence of early mommyhood in the form of dark under-eye circles)

The Zuzu gloss is vegan and free of icky ingredients.  I picked it up at my local natural foods co-op.   Do you dare?  Don’t think about it, just put it on and walk out the door.  You’ll be FRILLING.


May 16, 2011 10:05 AM | Comments | Categories: Cosmetics, Fashion | Tags: , , ,

Stuff We Love: Style Basics: Fran’s Picks


Happy Monday! 
After reading Friday’s links about wardrobe editing, it’s got me thinking about the basics, and what makes the bones of a functional wardrobe.  Aurelia already shared some of her picks for basic pieces, and we’ll both be sharing some of our favorite wardrobe frills soon.  Here are some of my favorite basics: 

Land’s End Canvas Heritage Cardigan.  This cardigan is a great basic.  It goes tons of places and comes in tons of colors.  It’s cotton with just the right amount of stretch, and it always holds its shape.  I have a pet peeve about cardigans that get all stretched out in the elbows, and this one never does that. I have two, one in a bright limey yellow, and another in an oatmeal cream; and I wear them all kinds of ways, with all kinds of things — all buttoned up, open front, belted, over tanks and tees, under jackets, with jeans, with skirts, I could go on and on.  Classic styling, great quality.  Hurry, you can get them on sale now for $22.99.  Cardigans are an essential wardrobe staple.  For a longer version, I also like Land’s End Canvas Boyfriend V-neck Cardigan.  And speaking of, my super-stylish hubby has the men’s Heritage Cardigan. I think cardigans for men are sexy and smart-looking; he wears his over a button-up shirt, with maybe a tie.  Love.

I cannot tell you enough how much I LOVE my Bettona Jeggings from Athleta.  Seriously, I wear these nearly every day.  I have both colors, the gray and the black.  Comfy leggings with jeans styling.  You can even do yoga in these babies (Translation, you can play in the floor all day with your baby in these babies)!  I can dress them up or down, and, did I mention these are comfy?  They are perfect. 

So I guess it’s no secret that I like jeggings; I know I should get on this season’s flare bandwagon, but I haven’t found a pair of flares that work with my proportions, or that aren’t just bootcut jeans labeled as flares. When I’m not wearing my Bettona Jeggings, I’m wearing these Gap Legging Jeans.  One thing I love about these is that the waist is higher, but not too high, which is nice for camouflaging the postpartum pooch.  These are an all-round great jean – they have stretch for comfort and shape, a great fit for multiple body types (even the kind with, ahem, a flat butt), and the fabric is still thick enough to actually be a pair of jeans. I have them in petite size, which for me means “perfectly cropped at the ankle”.  Gals, its time to wear those jeans a little shorter — show off some ankle!  I think everyone should have a pair of great skinny jeans in her wardrobe, and I can’t rave enough about these.  But don’t take my word for it; read the reviews.

Maybe it’s cheating to claim this pick as my own, cuz I took a page right out of Shana’s book on this one.  She convinced me in this post to give this jacket a try, and I love, love, love it.  It is perfect for San Francisco weather.  It gives an outfit a fun pop of (papaya!) color, and it’s so on-trend with tiered ruffles.  Awesome pick, Shana, but I already told you that. 

And of course, I can’t help but mention Glamourmom Nursing tanks.  I like the long ones better than the original.  These are a must-have if you’re nursing.  I have mentioned before that they can make any top into a nursing top, providing tummy coverage and easy boob access.  I wear them under tees, button-ups, and cardigans.  Actually, I wear them most days of the week, since I find them to be more comfortable than a nursing bra and just as supportive. 

It occurs to me that I don’t have any shoe picks here.  It’s because I’m so “meh” about all my shoes right now.  For me, living in San Francisco and walking so much (while carrying an 18-pound child), shoes have to be comfy. But it seems like all the comfy shoes are meh-to-ugly.  Got any favorite cute-yet-comfy shoes?

Also, what makes your wardrobe functional?  Is it the perfect pair of black slacks, or a great pencil skirt?  Do you have a LBD (little black dress)? 

April 4, 2011 4:56 PM | Comments | Categories: Fashion | Tags: , , , , ,

Stuff We Love: Cosmetics: Fran’s Six Picks


Happy Monday! 
Today I’m posting the beginning in a series Aurelia and I are calling “Stuff We Love”, where we share with you some of our favorite things

In general, my picks for cosmetics are going to be on the all-natural, artificial fragrance-free, non-toxic side.  You can read my article on why I avoid synthetic fragrances here

PeaceKeeper Cause-metics Chocolate Dream Lipbalm. This stuff is like the grown-up version of LipSmackers, and it is indeed a dream to smooth on — it tastes like cocoa!  Because it contains real cocoa!  Nice, clean ingredients, a moisturizing formula, and a portion of the profits from the sale go to a good cause. I love this stuff.

When I found out on GoodGuide that my favorite Maybelline Great Lash Mascara doesn’t score well on the ingredients list, I had to find a new favorite: Physician’s Formula OrganicWear.  Goes on smooth, separates nicely, good volume, doesn’t flake.  I’m perfectly happy, and non-toxic to boot.

Love this Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer.  This stuff makes my skin feel so good, and keeps my mineral makeup in place all day, smoothing out blemishes and fine lines.  Free of nasties like parabens, pthalates, and mineral oil, and has non-toxic mineral-based sunscreen.  Light and lovely to wear.

I am, and have always been, a lover of bar soap.  I mean, I really love bar soap.  I can get sidetracked for way too long shopping for natural soaps in Whole Foods.  My husband shares my fetish, so we always have nice, all-natural, preferably handmade soaps in our bathrooms. One of our favorite souvenirs to buy wherever we go is locally handmade soap. But my favorite of favorites is Nag Champa Incense soap, fragranced with the special Nag Champa essential oil blend.  The fragrance is just the way I like it: spicy, yet herbal and floral; and the soap is soft and creamy.  Mmm, I think I need to go sniff it now…

Non-toxic nail polish from Diamond Cosmetics.  They have TONS of colors, and the polish doesn’t contain toxic ingredients like toluene, formaldehyde, dibutyl, camphor, and pthalate.  You can order them online for $2 a bottle.  Apparently Diamond Cosmetics is a private-label manufacturer of brands like Soleil and No-Miss, which you can find in natural foods stores.  I had mostly given up nail polish until I discovered that the non-toxic stuff wears just as well as any OPI I’ve ever used.

And to round out my picks, one for the curly girls:

Shea Butter Curl Activating Cream from Beautiful Curls.  I am elated to have discovered this stuff. I have a long history of using products meant for African hair, ever since I was 13 and started using Bone Straight, which is no longer manufactured.  It is lovely and creamy, handmade, all natural, smells wonderfully shea-buttery, and smooths into my hair elegantly.  The Alaffia company is a fair trade organization in Togo, West Africa, whose mission is “to help West African communities become sustainable through the fair trade of indigenous resources”.  This stuff is, in a word, awesome.  My curls are soft, frizz-free, and moisturized; the shea butter gives them just the right amount of weight and moisture to keep them under control without being too oily.  This is my new favorite hair product, and I plan to try their shampoos, conditioners, and other styling aids as I run out of what I currently have. They have a range of products for different types of curl, from wavy to curly to kinky (I use the curly-to-kinky formulation).  If you are a curly/kinky-haired girl (or guy, or kid), you should check this company out. 

And there you have them, all my current favorite cosmetics.  What are your faves?

March 28, 2011 11:20 AM | Comments | Categories: Cosmetics, Fashion | Tags: , , , , , ,

fran & aurelia

Fran likes knitting, cooking, reading design blogs, curating her home, and wearing chunky jewelry.

Aurelia likes baking, fashion, hosting lovely dinner parties, and laughing at clever and witty things.