Archive for August, 2012

Internal Monologue

In Accessories, Beach Wear, Brights!, Gifts!, Gym Gear, Home Decor on August 24, 2012 at 11:18 am

Let me tell you a lil story about the gamut of human emotions, and how I displayed each and every one of them over the course of 45 minutes in an innocuous sounding exercise class — Bardio at Barre Bee Fit.  Now.  I am not a jock.  I am petite and worthless at sports.  But I exercise regularly, have been known to get just a wee bit competitive, and can be very disciplined when it comes to breaking a sweat.  I’ve tried lots of trendy fitness classes (except for zumba — no m’am can I do that — and I’ll explain why later) and have even enrolled a few times in boot camps.  However, nothing prepared me for bardio.  Let me explain.  I showed up decked out in my usual gym duds: neon sports bra ($15), tee ($22), and yoga pants (I don’t own the LuluLemon Groove Pants, but apparently everyone else and their mom does…must own whenever I adjust to the idea of dropping over $100 on yoga pants), and Nike Free Runs ($100):



My essentials were dutifully stowed away in the locker.  (The cool clear pouch is from One Truffle — available in a variety of colors for only $38 — and the hair tie is from Mane Message.)  My water bottle ($14, Water Bobble) was filled.


Then, this happened:

Minute 1: Pleased with self.  YES.  I made it to the class, I’m feeling good, and these other chickadees don’t look super intimidating.

Minute 3: Happy.  Rihanna is blasting, and I’m doing jumping jacks.  How bad can this be?

Minute 5: Competitive.  Why is that other chick doing everything twice as fast as I am?  That’ll do, that’ll do.  Just wait and see what this little magpie is capable of.

Minutes 6-8: Feverishly active.  {Brain is dead while my beady eyes keep their eyes on the prize.}

Minute 9: Smug.  Ha.  I knew I could be faster and better than she was.

Minute 10: Ill.  Uh-oh.  I probably shouldn’t have eaten those gummy bears an hour before class.  I feel barfy.

Minute 11: Confused.  What the beep?  Why does the clock say 11 minutes have gone by, when I’ve clearly been doing this for an hour and a half?

Minute 12: Angry.  No, really.  It’s only been 12 minutes?

Minute 14: Amped.  OK, I’ve been distracted by the promise that we are ending these quad exercises and will now be doing things on a mat.  And I really am kicking ass — that girl over there took 3 breaks during the last set, and I’m still dominating.

Minute 16: Regretful.  The mat is NOT better than the quad exercises.  One word: plank.  Well, three words: poopoo caca plank.

Minute 18: Ill again.  Whoever invented the mountain climber move should be forced to wear dhoti pants for the rest of her life.

Minute 20: Hopeful.  The amazing girl wearing Lululemon who was killing it during the first 10 minutes seems to be struggling as much as I am.  Phew.

Minute 22: Furious.  Where does this instructor get her energy?

Minutes 23-24: In serious pain.  Who knew leap frogs were so deadly?

Minute 25: Laughing maniacally.  Caught sight of myself in the mirror and thought someone was enduring an epileptic seizure.  But no, it was myself, trying to be coordinated.

Minute 26: Focused.  Trying really, really hard to ape the slick moves of the instructor.

Minute 27: More laughing.  {Failed miserably.}

Minute 31: Frustrated.  Hey, no one said you had to be a member of Riverdance to join this class.  I don’t see why I should be expected to move my legs back and forth one way while moving my arms in circles another way.

Minute 33: Enthusiastic.  There MUST be only 2 more minutes left, because there MUST be a ten-minute slow-down/stretch period.

Minute 36: Dejected.  Nope, guess we’ll be doing a full 40 minutes of this torture.

Minute 37: Writhing in pain.  {Too focused on burning thighs to notice anything else.}

Minute 39: Flailing.  I can’t control my muscles anymore; I guess this vague excuse for arm movements will do.

Minute 40: Exhausted.  Enya comes on, as if the voice of an angel.  Winding down.

Minute 43: Proud.  I did it.  I did something.  I did a real thing for 45 minutes.

Minute 45: Ecstatic.  I probably burned 5000 calories in the last 45 minutes.

9 hours later: Wincing in pain.

So — tell me.  Has anyone else experienced this in their workout regimens?!  I feel like I need Bengay to make it through the day.  Otherwise, I’m waddling around like a penguin, trying to avoid bending my legs.  And don’t even talk to me about putting a shirt on.  It hurts to lift my arms.

And at the same time, it’s amazing.  I feel so energized and accomplished.  To ride this wave of excitement, let me share with you my top picks for purchases right now (random and disorganized, as per usual):

First, this killer tribal-inspired necklace ($88).  I love love love love love love its chunkiness.  And the price is reasonable.

I for some reason want to wear it with this cheetah print bikini.  I know that bathing season is quickly coming to a close, but it’s on sale ($135)…and it’s Mara Hoffmann…and as evidenced by yesterday’s post, I am into animal right now.


I’d wear it with these simple brown Tory Burch flips ($115) to lengthen the leg and fully show off the results of Bardio, and would carry my essentials in this simple, sporty tote from Clare Vivier ($160).


The cheetah print reminds me that I’m seriously digging some of the stationery over at By Kollection, including the leopard print below ($25 for 20):

But what I really want from them is a set of their darling, customizable little note cards ($15 for 50)!  Loveee the poodle outline in particular, but you can pick from dozens of icons.

Love writing in style.  Speaking of, I keep my days organized by jotting down must-dos on my Jonathan Adler “Crack the Whip” pad ($8):

Oh, Jonathan.  You’re such a wit.  PS I also want one of these big MacBeth Collection “to do” note pads ($28), but I think Mr. Magpie will punch through a wall if he sees one more girly desktop accessory cluttering our shared desk space.  All right, that’s all she wrote this Friday!  Have a fab weekend!


Hey, I Heard You Were a Wild One

In Accessories, Black, Fierce, Fur, Jewelry, Leopard, Pop of Red, Shoes on August 23, 2012 at 11:13 am

My sassy little sis and I have a very serious commitment to Mr. Flo Rida’s “Wild One.”  It’s pretty much our song.  When I hear it on la radio, I remember dancing all out with her (you know the kind — eyes closed, body jumping up and down, voice straining from screaming the words as loud as you can, hair whipping back and forth, Willow Smith style) at one of the seediest bars in the D.C. area, Rhino.  (Rhino is a dumpy dive for Georgetown undergrads…and my high school classmates were able to get in at the age of 16, if that says anything.)  So, little C, this post is for you, even though I’m sure you’ll cringe at all of the animal prints.  (Little C is a surrrrious New Yorker.  She’s one of those cool people who wears black, doesn’t bat an eye at a 13-story walk-up, and could probably navigate the NY subway in her sleep.)

But anyhoo.  This post is actually only incidentally about our song, and more about the fact that when I went on my run yesterday, I saw a zebra, a cheetah, monkeys, and a rhino.  In downtown Chicago.  Ha.  I was running through Lincoln Park and I decided to jog through the zoo.  Bad idea; I think I spent more time stalling in front of the animal cages, marveling over the cheetah in particular, than I did burning calories.  But how amazing is it that on a random Wednesday, I saw a zebra standing about three feet away from me?!?  This in turn made me even more excited for the print I recently ordered from Etsy artist The Aestate ($25 and up, depending on size) to arrive:


I ordered it in a larger format (16×20) so it will really make a statement on my wall.  Isn’t this little gal perfection?!  Eee.  I love, I love.  Pretty ah-mazing paired with one of those hide rugs ($650) from ShopFurbish I’ve been drooling over:

For wearing?  Um, yes to these Valentino Rockstud zebra print flats ($845).   I’m also smitten with the clutch collection from Gift Shop Brooklyn, like this style ($58) and KJL’s classic double leopard head bracelet ($198)




(My other favorite is this lovely lilac iPad case.  So darling.)  For a more daring look, check out these Brian Atwood puppies, on sale at Intermix for $259, plus an extra 30% off!:

Wow.  Loves.  Almost as much as I dig this snow leopard print dress from DKNY ($185), which I’d wear with this Beth Lauren necklace ($110):


I’d finish with these Marc Jacobs heels, 70% off for $268!

Love that quilted heel!  OMG.  I’d wear this look with a clean little roll bag / bowling bag ($89 — or get the high-end variation from Anya Hindmarch for $1,360 here):


Or.  Drumroll: how about this amazing leopard maxi skirt, on sale for $122?!  Perfect with a simple black tee or tank and a tassel necklace (what a find — $36! — OR get the name brand version from KJL here for $143):

I like it with these Michael Kors flat sandals ($595)

And I’d finish with a pop of color in the form of one of those Blair Ritchey clutches ($85):

Other animal picks?!  These pricey shades from Prism ($430) and these inexpensive Gap sloafers ($50, cannot get enough…I want one in every print!)


I think they’d look great with this statement necklace ($35) — not exactly of the animal print variety, but it just goes.

Happy THURSDAY, my ladies.  One more day to the weekend.  Woot woot.  And I’m going home to D.C.!

Horsing Around

In Accessories, Americana, Denim, Dream Wear, Pop of Red, Shoes, Tweed, Winter Weather on August 22, 2012 at 10:28 am

“Oversized blouses are pretty much all that matter to me.”

-Rumi Neeley

HAHAHA.  I read this quote from esteemed fashion blogger Rumi of Fashion Toast (recently featured in The Coveteur) and literally guffawed.  I know she was being sarcastic here, but after I regained composure, it did make me pause and think about priorities.  And how sometimes the most important thing isn’t scurrying over to J. Crew to snap up the last pom-pom blouse they have in your size, but making sure that you take the time to tell your husband that you are running that errand so he doesn’t freak out and use iCloud to track your whereabouts with Apple’s GPS, thinking that you may laying dead in a ditch somewhere.  (True story.  That actually happened.  Poor Mr. Magpie.)  I don’t know why I feel compelled to shell out this PSA today, because Lord knows this blog stands at cross-purposes with that agenda, but perhaps it’s good to come back to center every now and then and remember that fashion isn’t a religion, and that taking it too seriously is a big no-no.

Actually, I do know why I feel this compulsion today: a good cause.  Now, I promise not to clutter this blog with various personal causes, but this one is near and dear to me because one of my nearest and dearest friends, Lady S. we’ll call her, is very closely involved with it.   Lady S. spends her spare time teaching disabled individuals to ride horses as a form of physical therapy through the Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program.  Her heart is ginormous, and just hearing her talk about the work she does — with such dedication and modesty — is enough to restore your faith in the universe.  If you live in the D.C. area, you MUST attend their annual fundraiser, a polo match!  (It’s coming up soon — September 8th.  Buy tickets here.)  It’s pretty much the ultimate Magpie treat — supporting a seriously amazing cause and being able to get all dolled up for a classy, outdoor affair.  Win all around.

If you do end up going, let’s talk equine fashion.  What screams fall more than a tweedy equestrian look?  Accomplish with this affordable blazer ($55), some skinnies, and some cap-toed flats ($150):


Perfect with my beloved Alexander Wang Emile ($970) — (I own it in the toffee color with the rose gold hardware…to die.)

Now, I kind of live for (ha, bordering on Rumi above) this feathered collar necklace ($598) from the one and only Lizzie Fortunato.  OMG.  I’d wear it with an LBD for a big statement.

Bof.  Now, a more traditional tack on the equestrian look might call for this classic wrap watch ($125):

And then some gold, glossy accents, like this chain link necklace ($60), a signet ring from Sarah Chloe ($98 and up, depending on shape and metal), or this horsebit bangle ($150):

Or, of course, a classic monogrammed necklace would be a nice addition to the fall look ($58 apiece):

Loves.  Other accent pieces?  I dig this cute horse-print scarf ($32 — though Gap has a similar version in navy or red for $30, and they’re running a 25% off coupon code!), and how beyond precious is this horse-head necklace from Tory Burch ($265)?!



(PS — If that’s too bold a necklace style, check out this longer style for $175.)  Now, the dream closet addition would be this ridiculous two-tone tweed blazer from Givenchy ($2,740):


Lovely, lovely, lovely.  (J. Crew has a solid red flannel style that can approximate the look available for $198.) Imagine pairing it with the ULTIMATE riding boots from Hermes ($2,475)…be still my heart.

But we all know that riding boots have been a staple in the fall fashion scene for the past few years or so, and are plentifully available at multiple price points.  These Tory Burch puppies ($495) are perennially popular.  I own and love a pair of Loeffler Randall Mathildes ($695) — sleek lines.  Meanwhile, I owned and ran into the ground at least two pairs of Steve Madden Intyces ($150) in my post-college years.  They get the look down pat, but they get destroyed rather quickly.  Perfectly tied together with a leather-and-gold wrap bracelet ($40 apiece).

Another look to love?  A crisp white oxford (the one below is from Gant for $190, but we all know Polo’s classic oxford, $89, is the prepster’s staple) beneath a vest (loveee this J. Crew excursion vest in herringbone! — $138), paired with those embroidered flats I just snagged ($40):



Very sleek.  You might accent the look with this cape/scarflet ($440)…

Pair with the CLASSY Marc Jacobs Bowery tote ($1,295) and you’re made.  Keep personals in this pony-hair pouch from cool line Hare & Hart (LOVE. — $145):


Speaking of bags, let’s get back to the equestrian look at hand with a classic brown leather saddle bag from J.W. Hulme ($470 — and you can get it embossed!).  (Or, check out this cute colorblocked mini style, available for $238.)  Perfect with a classic Hermes-inspired silky scarf ($100).

Of course, the ultimate riding/hunting gear?  A Barbour coat ($379).  My oh my do I want one.  Mr. Magpie rocks his, and so does Lady S.

Now, if this post didn’t make you wish for fall, I don’t know what will.   And if I were you, I’d look into attending the polo match!  Thanks lovelies!  Have a great day!

Come and Go

In Accessories, Beach Wear, Brights!, Cocktail Dresses, Fresh Combos, Glitter, Jewelry, Nautical, Shoes on August 21, 2012 at 9:41 am

I know that neon will eventually lose its effervescence on the fashion scene — it’s the textbook flash-in-the-pan trend, and it’s already dwindling.  (Don’t fret — your mini magpies will one day l.o.v.e. your neon Cambridge Satchel when it comes back into vogue in another decade or two.)  I already see it being phased out in favor of richer, more royal hues for fall.  And yet.  There are still some pieces that flag my attention and make me sit up straight, happy that we’ve been enjoying this warm embrace of color.  I, for one, would still happily sport this citrine-and-nude concoction from Mason by Michelle ($530) —


It’d look pret-ty fantastic with a glitzy necklace ($138) —


— and some serious shoes: behold the holy grail, ladies.  5.5″ inches of sparkly Charlotte Olympia perfection ($975).  Swoon.

Alternately, how fun is this affordable glam slam of a necklace ($58!)?!  I like it with a minimalist white blouse ($188), white skinnies (not for long!  Labor Day is just around the bend…), and some patent sandals ($98):

Perfection with this tasseled clutch from Blair Ritchey ($85), which would easily make the transition to your fall wardrobe:

Other affordable neon necklace options?  One of these collar necklaces from T+J Designs ($42 apiece) —

Alternately, check out the goodies at Elm Elm or Love Obsessed on Etsy — both shops are brimming with bold baubles that you’ll flip over.  Or, this rip-off of the House of Harlow station necklace, available for only $39 (boo ya):

Or, go nautical/preppy with the neon look by sporting this rugby stripe tunic ($198) from Sail to Sable over a white bikini ($215) —



— and of course a beachy tote (LOVE Dermond Peterson’s designs!!! –must buy all of his prints!!! — $115) and some gold sandals ($44):


For in-home decorating, go big with this lovely armchair from Stella Dallas (oh, how I love faux bamboo…$750):

To die accented with one of these fun little leopard lumbars ($165):


Or, accent a side table with one of these neon-hued foo dog lamps ($535 for pair):

Amazing, eh?!  Finally, keep the look relatively low-key by reserving the neons for small pops in the kitchen.  Consider these wooden spoons from Nicole Porter Design ($25 for set of 6), or these painted wooden pinch bowls from Wind and Willow Home ($21 for set of 2):


Finally, this set of salad servers ($33).  Too good.  (Or pick from one of the other shades below.)


Anyone else still on board with this, or am I the last woman standing?!  P.S. My apologies for yesterday’s truly A.D.D post.  I was really a little scattered yesterday…


In Accessories, Denim, Florals, Home Decor, Jewelry, Neutrals, Pastels, Shoes on August 20, 2012 at 4:23 pm

WHAT.  How is it Monday.  (Grumble, grumble.)  This weekend flew by in a millisecond, though it was full of fun and shenanigans.  First, I dropped some mah-jor cash on outfitting our new apartment here in Chicago.  My favorite find?  The least expensive one — this stately little steed ($39), which is now gazing into our fireplace, though it may make the trek to our coffee table, as I fully intend to copy the look below from my new favorite read, The Everygirl:

Yes.  Yes.  I need those green mossy poufs, too.  So I shelled out some bones on new home accents and the apartment is sloooowly coming together.  I know this is a good problem to have, but our new spot is about 2x as big as our old one, and there’s just a lot of space to cover…so.  Mr. Horse was my favorite new addition to the magpie nest, and I know he’ll enjoy being outfitted seasonally with various accents.   Mr. Magpie and I also enjoyed a boozy night in on Friday.  He made Zuni roast chicken, the most legit roast chicken recipe you’ll find in the universe.  (Zuni

is a famous restaurant we visited in San Francisco when one of my besties lived out there…and it is scrumdiddly-umptious.)  Cook caveat: you need to salt the chicken 1-3 days in advance of cooking, so plan ahead.  Mr. Magpie and I like to let it sit/dry for 3 full days, so this is a week-long process.

Mr. Magpie and I are pretty formal when it comes to dining — we sit down at a set table most nights of the week and eat off of our wedding china with relative frequency.  (We both love cooking and eating well, so why not make every night a little more special?!)  Friday night, we ate off of our china (Kate Spade’s June Lane collection in platinum) and a be-linened table (placements — $98 for 4; napkins — $48 for 4):

We enjoyed a California pinot noir with our chicken.  Pinot + roast chicken = match made in heaven, and we felt pretty slick since we were drinking Iron Horse pinot, which is a short drive away from San Fran’s Zuni.  We really kept it local.  Mr. Magpie’s mom had gifted us the pinot along with the “wedding cuvee” champers as a two-year anniversary treat, so we enjoyed it and celebrated our wedding (again…)


Yum, yum, yum.  Plus, the horse emblem brings it full circle — maybe the label was what inspired me to purchase Mr. Horsey?  Saturday, I got a true taste of the “Midbest” when we drove up to Milwaukee to tailgate and attend a Brewers game.  I had previously (mistakenly) thought that the further south you travel, the more serious folks become about their tailgates.  I was mistaken.  These Wisconsans have made an art of it.  (Or they are at least comparable in intensity and scope to those I’ve seen in the Deep South, where tailgating is often more important than attending the actual game.)  I saw families deep frying things in the parking lot (blblblblb?  Dangerous?).  I saw many, many large tents and several coolers large enough to sleep in.  My plot, because it was manned by well-intentioned but decidedly masculine bachelors, however, featured a “grill” that was probably under 6″ in diameter; zero utensils (and therefore, a makeshift “fork” forged out of a flattened Milwaukee’s Best beer can that one brave “grillmaster” used as an extension of his hand in order to flip bratwurst); and about 3498983498 beers that were probably “frat cold” (i.e., at room temperature) and promptly guzzled by the group.  (Meanwhile, I inappropriately sipped a mimosa and probably stood out like a sore thumb, especially since I was also wearing a blouse — on sale for $68, plus 30% off! — jeans, and spiffy flats ($135), and should have been sporting a t-shirt.)



I even wore some bling (LOVE THESE EARRINGS and have already gotten a ton of mileage out of them — $75):

I wore a cross-body, but this clutchski (personalized!) has been on my wishlist for a few weeks and would have been equally perfect.

If I don’t snag that puppy, I at least need one of K. Slademade’s tassel keychains ($18 each):

Oh, and I also wore a Nats hat.  Just because — can’t forget my D.C. roots.  Probably another reason why I didn’t quite fit in.  All jokes aside, it was a blast.  I had my first bratwurst on a “Sheboygan hard roll” (ketchup is a no-no in these parts, FYI); met some very kind, absolutely hilarious Wisconsans (with very, very strong accents — “doooon’t ya knoooo”); ate lunch at Comet Cafe, which Guy Fieri raved about on “Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives”; and got to see one of Mr. Magpie’s best buds, who recently relocated to Madison, WI.  All in all, a great trip North.  Then, Mr. Magpie and I drove home and enjoyed a lazy Sunday of TV, laundry, a late dinner, frozen yogurt at StarFruit (yum), and online shopping.  I placed these “gurgle pots” ($46 each) in my proverbial shopping cart about 3498 times before realizing that there were probably more pressing ways to spend our money, like buying the new bed we need in order to put up guests.

They would look so good accenting my coral-and-green themed bathroom, which prominently displays this rad vintage canvas poster of seaweed I found on Etsy from Arminho ($70):

Le sigh.  So instead I put it into my basket, took it out, put it into my basket, closed my laptop.  Thought about it while eating fro-yo.  Took it back out.  Etc.  Then we watched BREAKING BAD.  HOMYGOD.  Does anyone else watch this joint?!  It is delicious, edge-of-your-seat programming.  All in all, a fab weekend, but…where does the time go?!

Hope y’all are off to a great Monday!


Black, White, and Chic All Over

In Accessories, Beauty Products, Black, Denim, Fresh Combos, Home Decor, Ikat, Jewelry, Leopard, Shoes, White on August 17, 2012 at 9:34 am

Every time I see a chic pea in clean black-and-white, I think, “I must emulate that look ASAP.” Some eye-candy:

SO sophisticated, SO pulled together.  Such cool restraint.  I’m determined to get the look with a couple of additions to the old wardrobe.  First thing on my lust-list?  This Pierre Hardy tote ($875).  Yes, a bit of a rip-off of Goyard, but hella cool all the same.


Pretty rad paired with simple black skinnies and some black accents, like these Gap sloafers, which I just snagged earlier this week (love the crest! — $39, plus 25% off today! — or if you’re a label luster, grab a pair of covetable Stubbs + Woottons) and the classic House of Harlow station necklace ($75 — own it, love it):


A spritz of Chanel’s beautifully packaged new fragrance, Chanel Noir (released TODAY! and available here) would be ideal:

Some simple gold-trimmed shades ($230) are the perfect street chic addition, and would look PRETTY amazing displayed in the home beneath this adorable sunglass print from SugarPaper ($40):

Very cool with a clean-looking, collarless/buttonless blouse ($115) and some printed pantalons ($88).  I like this look with a heavy piece of jewelry atop — this $825 Shourouk necklace is beyond:


Then, all you’d need is a pair of simple black flats ($56) and a simple black bag (loooove this Reed Krakoff style — $590):



Other items I love?  This affordable, juged up tank ($32) with black skinnies:

Perhaps this fun and affordable dalmatian print clutch ($50) and these simple black sandals (on sale for $35) would round it out nicely!?

For home, how amazing is this Katie Maennle chair ($1,650)?!

If a chair isn’t in the cards, just add some printed pillows ($50 each) or this lettered pillow (a steal at $28 from Etsy storefront Comfy Heaven Pillows!)

I’m also loving (of course) the packaging of a Diptyque candle ($60)…


And P.S. — this graphic alphabet/dog print from Weavers of South Sea is right up my alley ($19):


Happy Friday, y’all!  Have a great weekend!  Lovesies!


In Accessories, Beauty Products, Bombshell, Champagne!, Jewelry on August 16, 2012 at 1:24 pm

I’ve mentioned this in the past, but when I was little, my sissies and I “played Barbs” (played with our Barbies) every Saturday and Sunday morning.  We developed our own vernacular in this game-playing, and one of our most oft-used terms was “richie” or “richer,” an adjective signifying “ritzy” or “well-to-do” most commonly applied to Midge, one of the Barbies that consistently played “grandmother” in my Barbie household.  Midge was a total snot.  I always had her wear silky paisley pants and a scarf around her neck, and while we didn’t care if the rest of the Barbs pranced around barefoot, Midge always wore tiny pink stilettos.  What a piece of work.  Most of the time, Midge had a vague muddled British/European accent (hey, I tried my hardest to mimic Mary Poppins, but an 8-year-old can only parakeet so well) and would lavish gifts on the Barbie grand-children in my Barbie family while acting snotty to other Barbs that she encountered.  I have no idea where this character came from — clearly, from our over-stimulated imaginations — but Midge was “richie” and I detect this trait in people I meet to his day.  I enjoy categorizing them as “real life Midges.”  Only my sissies would get this reference, but that almost makes it better.  I write all of this as a prelude to the fact that I observed a real life Midge the other day while exploring my neighborhood here in Chi-Chi.  She was emerging from her ginormous house on a nearby mansion-lined, tree-covered street, and she was wearing paisley and had a full head of brownish-red hair.  Midge.  I looked down, expecting pink plastic stilettos, but instead saw the pop of a red Louboutin sole.  Holy moly, she’d out-Midged Midge!  I couldn’t help but let my imagination wander about this well-heeled woman and all of the ridiculous accoutrements in her life.  So here, the Midge life I envisioned for this woman:

A classic whip to tool around in.  Something of a step up from Midge’s mint green Chevy ’57 (we owned this exact Barbie car, and it was all Midge’s).  She would have approved of wardrobe accents like these vintage Chanel driving gloves ($353) and this lovely pearl necklace ($145)

She’d throw on this Giambattista Valli eyelet coat (WOAH.  WOAH.  WOAH.  — $2,800):

And, of course — the Pigalles ($625):

She would have loved wrapping this Tory Burch fox-print scarf ($165) around her voluminous locks while driving around town, and of course a pair of retro-styled cat-eye sunnies ($98) would be a must:


And would finish it all off with the swipe of red lipstick (Tom Ford, $48):

For the board room (Midge sat on a lot of boards…when she wasn’t busy with that, she did a lot of lunching), Midge would sport something like this pearl-trimmed LBD ($548) from Moschino Cheap + Chic.

She’d wear these flats ($150) — love the chain-link detailing!

This chain-handled carry-all ($200) would make for a lovely accent:

Some oversized pearl studs from Miriam Haskell ($220) seem about right:


Back home, Midge would unwind in silky hot pink pajamas ($200) and some bling bling (yes, pajamas deserve gems — $138):

— and a white fur throw ($179) and an eye mask ($26) would always be at an arm’s reach —

Coordinated perfectly with her hot pink Katie Maennlae birdcage chair ($2,150) with a pink and white rug (hey, she’s Barbie, remember?! — $134 and up):


At her side: a lucite trunk (FAB — $1,350) with a glam gold lamp ($693)

A split of champagne (or several, depending on her day) would be chilling for her in a gold ice bucket ($45):


She doesn’t need crystal for these bad-boys.  She’d sip right out of the bottle via a straw ($5.95 for package) —

Dinner?  Bon bons.  {Napkins from ShopFurbish — $12 for pack.}

Falling into Place

In Accessories, Dream Wear, Fresh Combos, Jewelry, Neutrals, Shoes, Winter Weather on August 15, 2012 at 9:40 am

I always get “frost-bite” this time of year — that hankering for colder weather, the smell of autumn, and all of the fun holidays fall brings with it.  (Mr. Magpie and I have a dear set of friends who have celebrated “Octoberfest” with us for several years in a row — we carve pumpkins, down spiked cider and brewskis, watch scary movies, and eat homemade pretzels and schnitzel.  It is the best.  I just can’t imagine fall in Chicago without them — it’s sort of heartbreaking…miss you, B + M!)  To stave off the homesickness, let’s focus our energy on something positive, i.e., the amazing fall wardrobe I have planned for myself.  (Sorry, Mr. Magpie.  You might want to avert your eyes at the financial catastrophe this blog post might yield.)  The strangest thing has happened as I’ve been filling e-shopping carts with goodies for the cooler climes — I’ve been gravitating towards forest green.  Now this is a strange moment.  I normally turn up my nose at any dark, “burnt,” colors — no rust, browns, maroons for me.  And now — forest green?!  It just feels right, y’all.  I mean — what can be wrong about this Vanessa Bruno capelet ($1,090)?!  So yummy and refined.

A slam dunk with other fall must-haves, like this darling brown leather watch from Kate Spade ($215) and this chunky link bracelet (slightly menswear-inspired — me likey — $78):

And this signet ring ($98 and up depending on metal) finishes the look with panache:

Other top picks?!  This unbelievable statement necklace from Beth Lauren ($132),  these Croc-effect burgundy loafers ($56), and this Phillip Lim clutch ($427):

This would all look spectacular paired with a chunky Peter Jensen waffle knit sweater ($295)


A scarf with an edge (this McQueen puppy — $445 —  just never goes out of style) adds the perfect slouchiness to the look:



Now, the ultimate closet addition would be this Marni dress ($1,070), which I’d wear every day of the week and twice on Tuesday.  I just love it.  Love the frilly sleeves, the print, the length.  It is the perfect transitional item.  And it would look oh-so-fetching with these Beth Lauren drops ($132):

I’d wear it with nude flats (these are perfection) and then with boots (love the nude color of these Loeffler Randalls — $695)…and would, in a dream world, finish with the Reed Krakoff Atlantique bag ($1,995):



Might be perfection with this Rachel Zoe pendant ($350 — loving her entire new collection) —

— AND these sloafers will definitely make their way into my closet at only $39!  I think I’ll snag the denim or black ones, though…

Finally, ending on a high note — OMG.  The YSL Cabas bag ($2,150).  TO.DIE.

EEEEP.  Fall!


In Accessories, Fur, Gym Gear, Intimates, Pop of Red, Shoes on August 14, 2012 at 3:26 pm

When “The Royal Tenenbaums” first came out (while I was in high school), it was lost on me.  I didn’t like the deadpan, styled “cool” it projected, and I felt annoyed by friends who flocked to its quirkiness with a certain smug sense of understanding, as if by liking the movie, they were joining some cultured club of movie-goers.

{Poster by Etsy storefront British Indie — available for $16}

While I still shy from its stand-off-ish, flat texture, many years of watching terrible movies has led me to appreciate the Tenenbaums‘ novelty, creative scripting, and attention to detail.  But moreso than anything, the movie is exquisitely styled, and Margot may well be the most distinctively designed character in recent movie history.  So today, an ode to Ms. Tenenbaum.

Flat-ironed bob and all.  Gotta love her.  Let’s begin with the major character coordinates.  First: a big white tub.

You’ll need a nude slip ($195), a mess of bobby pins, and a pink rotary phone to complete the look ($59):

A long fur coat ($2,500) is a must —

— as are gloves ($280) and an Hermes Kelly bag (ha — or something comparable, like this $985 Alexander Wang “Pelican Bag,” available for pre-order…MAN, does Wang put out a nice handbag!):

Of course, it wasn’t all mink and Hermes for Margot.  She had an incredible preppy New York look going on in her downtime — Lacoste polos ($89) and leather loafers galore (Tods, how I love thee — $495 — but…these leather variations from TopShop might do the trick in a pinch for only $90).  Plus, this sporty tote has Margot written all over it.

And isn’t this Olympics-esque bathing suit by Moncler (ps, I need to invest in one of their down coats for these Chicago winters) a natural fit for her ($218) to boot?!

She’d totally rock it out.  This kitschily-designed table tennis set also seems appropriate for her (available by haunting around on eBay…)

And, for casual daywear, don’t forget a throw-and-go polo dress (Carven, on sale for $172)!

Of course, terry cloth wristbands ($12 for set) and a classic Gucci tote ($1,090) would be the perfect additions:

Finally, I’ll end this little imaginative fashion romp with this INCROYABLE SPREAD (!!!!) of Anouck Lepere by David Burton that may or may not have inspired this post.  I came across this series several months ago, and it’s sort of haunted/inspired me since, especially as we head into fall.  So many of the silhouettes and 70s shapes make me want cooler weather, even if the subject is a summer sport.

It’s SO well-styled.  And SO Margot Tenenbaum.  Lovesies.

Clearing Things Up

In Accessories, Brights!, Fresh Combos, Gifts!, Home Decor, Ikat, White on August 13, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Lucite.  As you may have gathered from my post last Friday, I’m sorta smitten with it.  (I think it’s a requirement of the consummate bloggerina — must own a lucite chair, write on a Macbook, and prominently display well-styled trays in all rooms of the house.)

Lucite, lucite, and more lucite.   Love, love, love.  Items currently living on my lucite lust list (how’s that for alliteration?)?  This pair of vintage lamps (homigod — imagine one at either end of a pristine white desk, bureau, or dresser) from Lobel Modern (no price listed…aka, terrifying):

Or, juge up your surfaces with a well-decorated tray ($29 for high-gloss white; $39 for acrylic):


Perhaps a colorful bowl or two displaying trinkets / candies ($48 for set of 4):

Or maybe a monogrammed plate ($38) with some baubles on top?

I’ve also been cooing over a pair of Staffordshire dog statuettes, and think one of these would make an excellent addition to any well-styled tableau ($160 for pair):


These trays would of course look equally fabulous atop a gold bar cart ($295), especially when arranged around one or several of these glass cloches ($50 and up):


Or, imagine this x-based side table ($250) next to your bed with a fresh bouquet of flowers and a happy-hued lamp ($166):



What a happy treat in the a.m.!  I have to add that my dream would be to further accent this room with this ridiculously delish daybed ($1,800).  I know that Mr. Magpie is wincing uncomfortably at the thought of this puppy living in our house, but…a girl can dream.  And I’d further girlify with this kiss print by the talented Sara Singh ($200):

No but really?!  Is it real?!  I love.  Other add-ons to this dream room?  A lucite trash bin ($19), naturally.


And a trio of acrylic/lucite desk accessories — a box full of mini quip cards ($28 for set of 100), a tape dispenser ($12), and a stapler ($18).


Of course, the lucite trend needn’t be just for home.  Consider a crossover trend in your wardrobe.  I love, for example, this Vanessa Mooney necklace ($100), especially layered with neon or sparkley baubles:

To my mind, the necklace above goes hand in hand with these edgy Jeffrey Campbell sloafers ($170), which are all the rage this season:


Alternately, any of the lovely baubles below…perhaps a long crystal pendant from Dara Ettinger ($253), a sparkly bangle or two from Alexis Bittar (did you know Alexis is a man?! — $255), or a casual watch ($60)?

…or maybe a pair of acetate sunnies by The Row ($445)?  If you can’t fathom dropping nearly $500 on a pair of clear shades, get the look for far, far less with this $32 TopShop pair.

Finally, one of my favorite bloglets, A Piece of Toast, ran an interesting post on the blogger-chic trend of clear clutches and recommended this affordable Minusey style ($78) for those of you wishing to get the look for less.

I like the idea…but would much prefer the good ol Phillip Lim Pashli ($650) in the clear fabrication.  TO DIE.  I know I’ve featured the Pashli in every possible size, color, and formulation over the past week or so…but it’s really that good.  I must own one.

Any must-haves from this post?!  Tell me what’s tickling your fancy…and have a great week, dolls!


Some Tings

In Accessories, Brights!, Home Decor, Magpie Nest, Neutrals, White on August 10, 2012 at 12:36 pm

When my girlfriends and I visited the Bahamas for Spring Break in college (errr what?  Spring Break, you say?  Now that I have a Costco membership, I’m too old to understand such jargon), we came across a ginormous PSA poster promoting safe sex that read: “Protect Ya Tings, Mon.”  Of course, this meant for the next 2-3 years, we would sporadically tell one another to “protect ya tings.”  This thought came to me in a flash the way useless tidbits do yesterday while brushing my teeth and it’s been floating in the ether since.  So.  Here are some TINGS to brighten ya Friday, mon.  (Miss you, girlies!)

First: a Jill Rosenwald vase ($76).  Ugh.  I’ve wanted one of her pieces for a long time (I love you long time, mon) but for some reason just can’t bring myself to take the plunge.  I wish the pieces were just a *leeeetle* bit cheaper to justify their purchase, because I feel as though you can find this sort of thing on the cheap from Anthro…but then again, they aren’t Jill Rosenwald.  Wahhh.

Yes, you, little guy!  I want you on my desk with some white peonies.  Thanks.  While we’re talking desktop, I’d also like the entire 6-book series of notecards from Russell + Haze ($22 each)l.  I think they look so feminine set up top on a desk:

Of course, use a Le Pen (get a set of 18 for $25 here) to craft any meaningful note:

I can daydream about myself working in a glamified girly office, sitting in a lucite desk chair ($410) behind my pristine white desk (the Jonathon Adler Channing…dream…$1,700), writing letters in style…

Beneath my tootsies?  Some sort of animal hide or fluffy sheepskin rug.  This Furbish find is to die ($700):


I can guarantee you Mr. Magpie is rolling his eyes right now because he says I only like to decorate in neutrals — white, beige, crystal, etc.  I must admit that this accusation holds true.  The proof is in the pudding: check out my Pinterest “Magpie Nest” board.  Oops-i-doodle.  I swear I like color, but white just looks so serene and classy…

Is there a problem here?!  Fiiine, I’ll add some color.  I will say I’ve been dreaming about stockpiling a few of these inexpensive and brightly colored bud vases from Design Darling ($16 each):


Oh, and maybe this fun phone plug-in ($29):


One other random (and colorful) item I’ve had my eye on lately?  These scented drawer liners from MacBeth Collection ($12/roll):

Genius, n’est-ce pas?!  OK, fronds — have a great weekend!  See you next week, and please forgive me if the next few weeks of posts are a little nest-centric.  We’re designing some of our new rooms here in Chi-town, so all I can think about is interior decorating at the moment.  We need to buy a new couch, a new bed, a new dresser, and a million other new things…soooo.  Get ready.

{Placecard from SugarPaper — buy it in paper form at $14/pack of ten.}


In Accessories, Americana, Denim, Neutrals, Shoes, White on August 8, 2012 at 12:05 pm

I spotted Julia Engel of Gal Meets Glam sporting this easy denim dress ($66), and a grush (girl + crush) was born.

I’m not as cray cray about the chevron front, but that back is to die.  I love the easy breeziness of it all — perfect against a great tan while traipsing around town.  My to pick for getting the look?  This A.P.C. number ($290):

With a dress this girly, avoid any frou-frou accents and stick with some simple brown t-straps ($100) and a perforated clutch from Cleobella ($118):



Or, how about this blousy tunic top (on sale for $39) with some white cut-offs (on sale for $107 — from my fav denim line, J. Brand…duh) and a pret-ty amazing tribal necklace from Lizzie Fortunato ($710):

I’d pair with simple flips from Tkees ($48) and a worn-in leather tote from Louise Goods (the one shown below has sold out, but check out this style):


Yes m’am.  So European and well-worn.  Love.  Or, how ah-may-zing is this gradiated amber necklace ($36) with a white dolman tee ($62) and some lived-in jeans:

Finish with either easy-on flips or — now, I know I’m leaning for fall — but these incroyable leopard booties (Alaia, on sale for $700…DIE.):

And…finish with the Phillip Lim Pashli in the mini size ($650) — I mean, I just die.

Ahhhh.  Fall.  Stupid, it’s now in my head, and we’re still bajillions of years away.  Only, not really so much for me anymore — I bet I’ll be regretting this post in about three weeks, once it starts snowing up here…so let’s shift back to summer, and the airiness of this lightweight caftan ($195), layered over a taupe bikini ($23!) —



I’d add a simple necklace ($68) — but check out the entire Palomarie collection while you’re at it!  Love it all.


And, finally, a simple straw tote  ($109) stuffed with lots of pool/beach essentials (in my book, this means trashy magazines + a mimosa with a straw)…and barefeet:


Oh, and just for kicks?!  one of these chambray bras ($59) from Atelier Delphine.  Totally impractical, but…I want.

The Big Two.

In Accessories, Bombshell, Champagne!, Cocktail Dresses, Jewelry, Romantic, Shoes on August 7, 2012 at 11:45 am

Two years ago today I married Mr. Magpie.  The entire day was a dream, so hazily and deliciously infused with happiness, love, and warmth.  I think back on it in the way you look out across a lake on a bright summer day and see glints of sun beaming off the wave breaks.  A shimmery surface above life-filled depths.

The engagement, the wedding, the honeymoon were all exclamation points — so thrilling, so dramatic, so romantic — and then came marriage, and it’s been the most deep and true thing I’ve ever experienced.  It defies any parse you might foist upon it.

The main ingredient to all of this is, of course, Mr. Magpie.  And though I feel that I could write an entire post about him and all the charisma and strength and intelligence that come so naturally to him, I will save y’all from a cheese-fest and instead just say: I love you, Mr. Magpie!  Cheers to two great years!

And now, we will delight in some bridal-inspired looks just perfect for commemorating the occasion.  First up: a lace housedress by Alice by Temperley ($570).  How darling and retro is this little guy?!  I’d wear it with a sparkly necklace ($135):


I’d finish with these twinkling tootsies (ah, a girl can dream — $775):


I’ll be greeting Mr. Magpie at the door all dolled up with a tray of champagne in hand (lucite tray — $39; coupes — $60 for set of 2):



Or check out the lucite trays from Etsy storefront Tilly Maison — love all the cute patterns!  I’ll be hanging this little banner from Etsy storefront Michie May ($25) above the door — just like mistletoe:

Alternately, I’m smitten with this pearly clustered necklace ($338), which would have made a fantastic rehearsal dinner piece, especially when layered over this glittering Gatsby-era dress by Alice + Olivia ($550):


Finish with some simple, strappy heels from Rupert Sanderson ($725) and this beyond fabulous shell clutch ($569) from hot handbag line Kayu:

You’d be the #1 stunna with that getup!  For day, I like this simple, boxy dress ($285) and a lovely blush stone necklace from Loren Hope ($140):


I’d finish with this monogrammed pouch/clutch from K. Slademade ($48!  What a steal!) and these metallic t-straps from the one and only K. Jacques ($240):


Finally, one last option — a breezy caftan ($150) with white jeans and these awesome studded Zanotti sandals ($595):

Perfect with these Iradj stunners ($345):

I’d ideally finish the look with one of these Sydney Evan love necklaces (swoon — $795 and up, depending on metal):

Oh, and this Alexander Wang tote in the yummiest shade of heather gray ($685):


Happy anniversary to us!  Mazel!  (? Been watching too much Andy Cohen, apparently!)

New Beginnings

In Accessories, Champagne!, Fresh Combos, Leopard, Shoes on August 6, 2012 at 11:06 am

HELLO, MAGPIES!  I’ve missed you something awful.

No, I am not pregnant (received lots of queries on this front), and yes — I am alive and well.  Thanks to all of you for your sweet notes of inquiry and concern!

The big news is that Mr. Magpie decided to move on from his entrepreneurial endeavors, landed a seriously awesome new job (so happy for him!), and moved us across the country (well, half-way or third-way across anyhow)!  Yes, this little Magpie is now a Chicagoan!  And I dig it so far.  We live in a lovely neighborhood in Lincoln Park, and I am happy as a clam (with Louboutins on…what?).  Shopping galore, and everything within walking distance (or if not — a short El ride away).  Hello, big city!  I feel as though we’re going to be fast friends.

In retrospect, it seems rather dramatic that a move would require a month-long sabbatical from this little bloglet, but the unexpected magnitude of it all caught me a little off guard.  Endless nights of packing (yielding 90 boxes + furniture…sick), emotional goodbyes to our families and friends, a long car ride (filled with lots of annoying, not fun, adventures, including a broken-down car; a terrible set of storms that led to 6″ of “ponding water” in the highway; and Mr. Magpie choking on some trail mix…while driving 60 MPH…no bueno), and the overall stress and frustration of moving in general.  We’re excited to be embarking on this new adventure and this amazing new city, but my Lordy Lord, the move here was pure adrenaline and nerves.  Below are the key lessons I’ve learned in this entire process:

1.  Marry a Mr. Magpie, or at least find one to date while moving.  I seriously hope you all find someone as awesome as mine, because he did all of the heavy lifting (ha, pun intended — but also in the figurative sense).  He arranged everything — quotes from the movers, loading permits, purchase of boxing supplies, stopping our Internet/cable back in D.C. and starting it up here, etc., etc.  He is the man.  I look at him with a new level of respect.  Girl, you should have seen the detailed Excel spreadsheets he had going in order to account for each and every item we were packing for our movers.  (B, I know you approve of this.)  Mind-boggling, overly-organized, and oddly attractive.

2.  Buy a billion and ten boxes.  Or better yet, a google plex of boxes.  (Remember when we used to say that all the time in elementary school?)  And lots of packing tape.  Like, more than you ever think you could possibly need in your whole life.  We had to make so many online orders and treks to Home Depot, we couldn’t believe it.  Buy more than you need; you can always return the extras.

3.  Invest in a couple dozen bottles of wine to facilitate the moving process.  Packing becomes much more tolerable with a glass of fruity red wine in your right hand.  (It could also explain why I packed a total of 10 boxes, while Mr. Magpie managed the other 80.  Ha.  Joking.  But kind of not.)  My girlfriends came over one afternoon with wine spritzers in hand, and it definitely eased the ol’ nerves.  (Thanks, Tini!)

4.  Beware of hidden moving costs.  We’d set a large budget for the move to account for movers, security deposits, etc., but there were lots of pesky unexpected costs that caught us off guard.  First, we had to eat out for like a week and a half straight because we’d packed all of our cooking ware and plates and then because we were on the go.  We were both grumpy about this because we prefer to cook in, but even moreso when we realized the amount of $$ we’d spent on food in seven days.  Second, Costco.  We  bought our own membership up here, and we looked at each other, wide-eyed and slightly impressed with ourselves, and said, “We are now adults.  We have done it.  We’ve turned the corner.  Now, we must quickly go and pre-set the radio to NPR and subscribe to Consumer Reports.”  Then we dropped several hundred dollars on boring adult things like Palmolive, saran wrap, and paper towels.  Boo, boring, dumb.  See ya, $$; see ya, youth.

I have lots of other tiddly bits to share with you, but I am quickly realizing that I’ve been typing for a long time and have not yet made mention of clothing, which is the main reason why you all are here.  And it’s also a much-needed escape from all of the unpacking/moving talk.  So, I’ll share with you what’s on my radar, clothing-wise: NEUTRALS.  Yes.  After a summer of neon, I’m looking for a vacation of easy, airy whites, almonds, taupes, and creams.  Tell me you don’t love the understated sophistication of these looks:

That raffia Chanel bag?!  SHUT up.  I love.  Oh, and P.S. — a lot of this emphasis on neutrals has to come up from this snap Mr. Magpie took of me moving into our new apartment:

Ha.  Right.  I was actually the greezy little grump ball wearing a top knot, a frumpled white throw-and-go sundress, and worn gold t-straps.  Uber chic.  But one can dream.  And so we will imagine that instead, I was wearing this little leopard pullover (it got chilly in the car — Mr. Magpie = polar bear) from J. Crizzle (on sale for $30!) and these linen shorts (on sale for $92) with a pair of slick ombre Stella shades ($225):



An Olympic finish?  These ankle-wrap flat Givenchies (to die — $890):

Or, score the look for less with this $235 Rachel Zoe pair.  I’d finish with the newest member of my covet dream team, the Phillip Lim Pashli ($875).  This will be mine by year’s end.

I also love it in the oh-so-impractical stark white color.  Dreamy, and very Rachel Zoe.  Who I also have a renewed passion for — have you seen her new jewelry collection?  As Ms. Zoe would say, “Shut the front door.”  Holy moly.  But anyhoots. I’d round out the entire look with this gold ram bracelet ($95):


Another outfit I’m looking to roll out some time soon?  A voluminous cream dress ($100) with a funky neutral necklace (love the rope accent — $25):


For work?!  Get outta here.  Chic, chic.  I’d finish with a pair of glittery flats ($195):

I’d add a little edge to this tres Audrey look with the Balenciaga city tote in yummy camel brown ($1,895):

Cha-ching.  For more casual fare, check out this buttonless blouse ($73) with some white jeans, some cool gal perforated leather flats (only $45!), and a chunky tassel necklace ($85):



The Anya Hindmarch “Tiny Tim” bag ($1,500) finishes the look with an exclamation point:

Love the medley of cocoa and cream colors there.  Another lovely concert of neutral hues?  This pinafore dress ($96) paired with chic horn-style shades from hot line Illesteva ($260)



Finish with these funky “Greek” sandals ($245) — my little nod to the Olympics.  So fun.

Also loving the idea of a long, chiffon maxi skirt (See by Chloe, $395) paired with a sleeveless white blouse ($160), this embellished tortoise-link necklace ($128), and some t-straps (on sale for $45!):


I’d finish with a little sunshine, in the form of this sunny Edie purse from J. Crew (on sale for $190!):

Two other accents at the top of my list?  This chunky Sara Designs necklace ($330 — wear with ANYTHING.) AND this studded cross-body mini from Zara ($100 — loves.)


…and we’re back up and running!  MISSED YOU ALL.  Loves.