Friday, February 27, 2015

My Room Tour

I teamed up with Kate Spade Saturday and West Elm to finally give you a full tour of my room. I've been meaning to do this forever, but always found a reason not to. I always consider our apartment and studio a work in progress; they're ever evolving, as I find new things to incorporate. But at that rate, I'll be 92 when I finish. What can I say? I'm a collector of interesting things. Warning: There are a lot of photos.

This room is quite a step up from the one in my first Brooklyn apartment, which was 8x9' and didn't have a closet. This one is larger than it looks; it has double doors and its own closet - although mine is separate from the room. Right now, I'm on the hunt for the perfect rug for our room (it would really tie the room together - The Dude knows what I mean). I made that little banner from leftover fringe and some old doilies, and the duvet cover and pillows are all Kate Spade Saturday for West Elm.

The right side of our room houses some of the antique furniture that I have had since I moved to New York. I originally planned on flying to NYC, but ended up borrowing my brother-in-law's truck and packing up my beloved furniture. That's the thing about vintage and antiques - they can't be replaced. I like to mix old and new, to keep things interesting. And yes, that's a fake fireplace, complete with a fake flame. It came with the apartment and it's the best thing, ever. I remember when I used to think those things were the epitome of class and fanciness. But that's just because I'm tacky as all get out.

A close up of our bed, with the Kate Spade Saturday x West Elm Diagonal duvet cover and shams,  Shifting Shapes Pillow,  Splatter Pillow, Signature Zig Zag pillow, and a cat pillow that looks like Kitty Boos. The bed frame is the same one that everyone has from Ikea, and the syroco floral wall hanging came from a thrift store . People ask me about it all the time - they are really easy to find in thrift stores, garage sales, or on Etsy. P.S. we have a full size bed, and I don't know how we fit in it. We need a bigger bed!

A haphazard collection of prints and originals: Cake Party by Kiersten Essenpreis, I bought the "be brave" and arrows wood prints from someone in Nashville (let me know if you recognize them and I'll properly credit), the panda shadow puppets are by my talented friend Peter, crochet Vester is by Nothing But A Pigeon, the Rosamond print belonged to Bobby's mom (and he has it tattooed on his forearm), the "Embrace Messy Hair" print is by Funnel Cloud, the fancily dressed dressed animals are Berkley Illustration, and the "Do What You Love/Love What You Do" print was purchased at the Renegade Craft Fair (again, if you know who made it, please let me know). The trunks were purchased at a local antique shop, the globe and fans were flea market finds, and the hobnail bottle vase is from West Elm.

Left: West Elm hobnail bottle, flea market globe, and that "panda" in the back was made by Tessa, when she was a little girl. You can also spot an old pocket watch, which belonged to Bobby's grandfather. Right: I like to read at night, so this antique lamp stays at my side of the bed. 

We collect old books and photographs. You'll find them all over the place. My first edition of To Kill A Mockingbird was a gift from Bobby, and has moved with me to NYC and between several apartments.

The "fireplace" is the setting for an unintentional theme: it houses a hand, a head, and a pair of legs. I made the banner from some old doilies and bias tape. The candles are from The Burlap Bag, the large frame was a junkyard purchase that we cleaned up and painted white. I was hesitant to hang my own portrait, for years - but being a part of the Coach holiday campaign was such a big deal to me, so I like to have that memory! The 1910 postcard was in perfect condition, so I couldn't resist it. I also love that it has the handwritten note and original stamp.

Left: The head vase was a gift from my mom, the glove mold was a flea market purchase, I got the car cookie jar (which now holds jewelry) on a road trip. I made those cat ears because I'm a crafty son of a gun, and the necklace was a gift from my friend Allister.  Right: The gorgeous matchbox was a gift from my friend Angie, and the cat glasses holder was made by my mom, when she was a kid. The portraits are my favorites - particularly the one in the back. Her name is Irene Shaw Née Cummings and I researched the heck out of her, because the note she wrote was so mysterious and intriguing. 

My ghost bride freaks a lot of people out, but she's one of my favorites (I have a lot). She watches over my shoes, which sit on an old library chair/step stool. It's sandwiched between two antique cupboards. The one on the right holds all of my camera equipment, computer stuff, accessory and makeup overflow, and whatever I'm currently hoarding. I have an ancient medicine cabinet full of my skincare products, on the top left (and p.s. the chipped cupboard does not have lead paint).

Left: more of my ghostly bride photo, and a random disco ball. Right: flea market kitty, Kate Spade Saturday x West Elm jewelry stand, and a unicorn that belonged to Bobby's mom.

The inside of the antique cupboard. I lined the shelves with some cheap contact paper. I use those latte bowls to hold odds and ends (mostly rings), the head vase, hands, and jewelry boxes were gifts from my mom, the little Miku looking stuffed animal is actually a piggy bank that my grandma Kathy made. Top shoes: Kate Spade, Minna Parikka, B.a.i.t. heels from Modcloth. Bottom: Seychelles, Minna Parikka mouse flats.  

The doors that lead to our room, a vintage birdcage on the floor (I've been meaning to hang it, but it has actually housed a couple of injured birds in its time). Lots of onesies because I'm five years old, a vintage pink robe, a Trina Turk robe, and my Saturday Mini A Satchel (40% off with code EXTRA40).

Lots of hats and flower crowns, surrounding the closet. The red flower crown is by Little Dame, the others were made by Kim.

Left: The shutter style dresser was given to me by my mom, when I moved here.  Right: The shelves above the dresser hold an eclectic mix of old and new. Top shelf: cat embroidery from a flea market, panda carving from Tessa. Middle: vintage camera, a bell from my late great grandma (and a rose from her funeral), a broken piece of syroco, old photograph of well dressed boxing men, and a zombie portrait from my friend Eliot. Bottom shelf: "Our Deportment" is an antique book that belonged to my great grandma; I used to read it when I was little. Tiny dress form and sewing machine, Jessica Durrant illustration (a gift from Helena), and a painted panda from April.

Antique books from a flea market in Paris, a portrait of Bobby's dad, more glasses holders (not made by my mom, but they match hers!), a vintage hatbox, and old sheet music sit on top of a vintage suitcase.

I fastened some faux pearl strands together to hang some of my glasses.

My desk area (both the desk and chair are vintage), which holds my makeup to the right and sewing supplies to the left. The mirror was my great grandma's, and the antique sewing machine photo was from my mom. I put my makeup in a cart from Ikea and keep my sewing machine and serger in my closet, so my cats won't attack the thread.

A peek inside the makeup drawer and cart.

Left: vintage hand vase, ModCloth ice cream purse, minnie phone case, and a vintage phone. Right: a better view of my desk area, with an antique mirror that weighs a million pounds, a sketch of Bobby, and a vintage hat.

So, that's my room! Clearly minimalism isn't my thing, but I'll take character over cookie cutter, any day. A big thank you to Kate Spade Saturday and West Elm for my new bedding, and for asking me to do this room tour - I had so much fun sharing it with you!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Gingham and Floral

Outfit Details:
Gingham buttondown shirt in Bubblegum and rose midi skirt - c/o Mindy Mae’s Market (Get 20% off with code KEIKO20

 I just spent the past week in Los Angeles, and it was the perfect time to escape New York. Granted, it did rain and was chillier than normal LA temperatures, but it was nothing like the recent Winter we’ve been having in the city. I’m telling you, it always rains when I’m in LA! I think I bring the rain wherever I go. But I didn’t mind it, because California needs it. Plus, I was with my best friend and we were eating everything and buying all of the things we never knew we needed, like mini piñatas, purple pugs, and pizza pins. On this particularly sunny day, I pretended to be a proper lady and put on my rose midi skirt and gingham shirt, from the lovely folks at Mindy Mae’s Market, a new-to-me, online boutique that has a lot of cute and affordable clothing and accessory options. They kindly sent this outfit to me (and are offering my readers 20% off with code KEIKO20), and it arrived just in time for my trip.

 I have a habit of getting all of my clothing one size (or five sizes) too large, since I usually go for the “I’m wearing a tent” look, so when an outfit calls for waist definition, I cinch the shirt by tying the hem. I was particularly drawn to this floral skirt because I am starting a new floral tattoo with Amanda, next month, and we’re going with roses. If I could cover my entire body in flowers, I probably would. But since that might take awhile, I’ll settle for floral skirts and flower crowns. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Weekend Link Roundup

(photo from my instagram)

Hi, everyone! I'm currently in LA and time is flying by. I'm enjoying my escape from the cold, but I'm already heading back in just a couple of days! While I'm ditching my coat and scarf for bare legs (and apparently an umbrella, today), check out some of the links I've been clicking on.

- I watch a lot of cat videos. Here are two current favorites: thug life and yass kitty. (Thanks for sending, Helena and Tessa!)

- Flashback to last year's trip to The Madonna Inn. We stayed in the Carin room and The Love Nest. I want to go back!

- I love Pineapple Dole Whip, so I'm going to try this [healthier] at-home version.

- DIY to try: knotted pillow cover (requires basic sewing skills).

- I feel like I need The Makeup Light. And by need, I mean want. This is a late night decision that was based on very little research. Anyone have any experience with it?

- Being a card carrying member of the IBTC has its perks. I live in these bralettes.

- Remember JNCOs? (Kimbly sure does)

- Download these Oscar ballots and cast your own votes for the Academy Awards! I have only seen one of the films nominated for best picture, so I'm a little behind.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Brights and Stripes

Outfit Details:
Tribeca knit hat - c/o The 3rd piece
WHiT striped knit dress (c/o)
Levis denim jacket (on sale)
Minna Parikka hot pink elevated oxfords
Kate Spade Saturday Mini A Satchel (40% off with code EXTRA40)
vintage coat
vintage bow tie
Melt Cosmetics "Stupid Love" lipstick

I'm warming up in Los Angeles, as I sit and type this. I had to take a little break from the freezing cold, to visit my friends, and get a little sunshine. I'm really susceptible to the winter blues, so I put together this happy color palette to help lift my mood. Since it was particularly frigid on this day, it did not work. I basically ran from show to show to studio to home. But believe it or not, doubling up on 200 denier tights from H+M (they're my favorite) kept my legs and feet warm. It's my ears and face that were dying!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Makeup Monday: My First Lash Extensions

1. Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer / 2. Urban Decay Naked Foundation / 3. Bare Minerals Correcting Concealer / 4. MAC Isabel and Ruben Toledo Blush Ombre in "Kindergarten Red" / 5. Urban Decay Naked Illuminated in "Luminous"  / 6. MAC Isabel and Ruben Toledo Lipstick in "Tenor Voice" / 7. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Mechanical Brow Pencil in "Dark Brown" / 8. Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade Waterproof Brow Color in "Soft Brown"

(Flower crown by Little Dame

Lash extensions are such a polarizing topic: everyone I talk to either worships at their altar or adamantly dismisses them. Being that most of the latter point to it diminishing the natural lash in length and volume, I felt like I had nothing to lose (except the money, of course). My lashes are short, thin, and tragically straight. I usually don't even bother with mascara, because it shows nothing. They won't hold a curl for more than a few minutes, no matter what I do. In fact, they're so straight, they actually slant downward. 

Now, I'm the type of person who will talk and talk about wanting to get something done while simultaneously putting it off (like getting Invisalign - which has been so worth it), so it's no surprise that I did the same thing with lash extensions. I'll research and bookmark and take notes and get super obsessive about it, and then just find a reason not to do it. I don't know what made me finally take the plunge - there was no special occasion or event involved - but I made an appointment at Bling Lash and gave it a shot. If you've never had lash extensions before, there are a bajillion different options that will make the whole thing very confusing and overwhelming, if you're really bad at making decisions (like I can be) and don't have someone walking you through the process. There are different types of curls, different shapes, different materials, widths, lengths. I went with a very modest look (natural shape, synthetic mink, 10 mm length) , to dip my toes in the lash extension pond. But when asked what type of curl I wanted, I couldn't remember which was which and I panicked, like a weirdo! I ended up with the J curl (natural curve), and I realized that I should have gone with the B curl (curled), since my lashes are so straight. Without that extra curl, the lashes are still not as visible as I would like. So, would I try it again? Absolutely. But I might go for a little more flutter, next time.

Have you tried lash extensions? What are your thoughts? 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Weekend Link Roundup

(photo from my instagram)

- This is a perfect slouchy cardigan for the Winter/Spring transition.

- I'm a lifelong insomniac. I'm trying this trick for falling asleep, tonight. Wish me luck!

- I couldn't pass up this gauzy white dress.

- Instagram user to follow: sleepingplanes. I love the way he sees New York.

- I saw this patterned rug at West Elm and immediately pictured it in our studio. Which reminds me, I have to take measurements!

- An *NSYNC reunion? Can this be true?! And am I invited???

- Speaking of reunions, the Saved By The Bell reunion made my day. I get why Screech wasn't there, but where was Lisa?

- It's grilled cheese and tomato soup weather. This roasted veggie version looks delicious, and is actually something I'm capable of making.

- Notes in the snow by a NY artist.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Valentine's Day Makeup: Get The Look

1. Face: Too Faced Beauty Balm in "Vanilla Glow"
2. Cheeks: Too Faced Soul Mates Blushing Bronzer in "Carrie and Big"
3. Lips: Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in "Rose" (See five of my favorite liquid lipsticks, here)
4. Eyes (lids): Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Eyeshadow in "Rio De Rose Gold" 
5. Eyes (crease): MAC Pigment in "Rose"
6. Eyes: Dolly Wink Lashes
7. Eyes (lower lashline): Too Faced Bulletproof 24 Hour Eyeliner in "Mink"
8. Eyes (waterline and lashline): Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in "Hustle"
9. Brows: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Mechanical Brow Pencil in "Dark Brown"
10. Brows: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade Waterproof Brow Color in "Soft Brown" (see my full brow tutorial for help)

As promised, here's my second Valentine's Day look (see the first one here)! I know it's not Monday, but it wouldn't really be a Valentine's Day look if I posted it after the fact. Plus, it's been so cold that all of my outfits just consist of a coat I refuse to take off and a scarf wrapped around my face. I'm a wimp.

Anyway, this is a super simple look that anyone can recreate; you don't even need the false lashes, if you're unlike me and actually have some of your own. I went with peachy pinks (my favorites!) to create a soft, rosy and romantic look. I think that blush is the unsung hero of a lot of looks, so I made that a focal point. And that rose pigment? That was one of my first cosmetic purchases, as an adult - and by adult, I mean I was 18. I bought a sample from a livejournal community, and forever fell in love. It's one of those staples that I've continuously purchased, whenever it needs replenishing. I've used it on my eyes, mixed with clear nail polish, with lip gloss - it's just a gorgeous color. One little container will last you a long time, so you can split the cost and divvy it up with a friend!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Makeup Monday: Blackheart

1. Brows: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Mechanical Brow Pencil in "Dark Brown"
2. Brows: Anastasia Beverly Hills  Dipbrow Pomade Waterproof Brow Color in "Soft Brown"
3. Eyes: Urban Decay Naked3 Palette  Shadows used: 1. "Blackheart" (all over lid and over lower lashline) 2. "Nooner" (blended in crease) 3. "Dust" (inner corner and dabbed in the middle of the lid)
4. Eyes: Urban Decay Primer Potion 
5. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in "Perversion"
6. Urban Decay 24/7 Liquid Liner in "Perversion"
7. Smashbox Blush Rush in "Heartbreak"
8. Melt Cosmetics Lipstick in "6Six6" (currently sold out, see below for alternatives)

I was supposed to be working on a Valentine's Day look, but found myself going in the opposite direction. Let's call this an Anti-Valentine's Day look. Don't read too much into this; I fully plan on celebrating with hearts and candy galore (and I have another look I'll be posting). But back in the day - oh, half my lifetime ago - I was very anti Valentine's Day. I even had a shirt that said so. So, if you're feeling dark and moody on this polarizing holiday, here's a look for you. It's even complete with appropriately named cosmetics!

Friday, February 6, 2015

[New York] City Guide: Our Favorite Brooklyn Date Spots

On me: hooded denim jacket, Heart and Arrow strappy dress, round sunglasses, and bag, c/o Express. Nine West boots, AA hat.
On Bobby: Funnel neck sweatshirt and cotton jogger pants, c/o Express, LL Bean boots.

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, we teamed up with Express to make a guide to some of our favorite date spots in Brooklyn. Most of my guides are food-centric, but today we’re highlighting our go-tos for quality time and entertainment. Bonus: we’re cheap dates, so none of this will break the bank.

Prospect Park

One of the best (okay, the best) perks of my neighborhood is its proximity to Prospect Park. It’s always beautiful, no matter the season. In the Summer, Miku likes to swim at the “dog beach” (it’s a small area of the lake that’s reserved for dogs), and in the winter, she likes to nosedive into the snow. There’s ice skating, a zoo, organized sports, concerts, and it’s the perfect place to bring a picnic. I always end up stumbling across a path or landmark I haven’t explored, so it never gets old.

Ample Hills Creamery

This might surprise you: when I was younger, I never liked ice cream. It must be hereditary, because Roxy Mae is in the same boat. I later came to find out that I’m just picky about it. Ample Hills Creamery has taken the trophy for my favorite NYC ice cream spot. Their homemade ice cream flavors are unique but not overly complicated. My go-to flavors are "Snap, Mallow, Pop,” “Nonna D’s Oatmeal Lace” and “Sweet As Honey”; Bobby goes for the ultra-rich “It Came From Gowanus.” Oh, and that’s an M&M cone. But I usually go for the kid’s size, and you can still get two different flavors! It’s the perfect serving size.

On me: Pink Trench Coat, "Love" Portofino shirt, striped elastic skirt, and cat eye sunglasses c/o Express, Seychelles shoes. On Bobby: Express v-neck tee


BAM has been around for 150 years, and is home to theater, music, film, art, and more. Whether going to the opera or taking in an indie flick at the lovely Rose Cinemas, BAM always has something to keep you entertained and inspired.

Clover Club

Clover Club may be known for their cocktails (and I don’t drink), but it’s still one of my favorite date spots in Brooklyn. The food and atmosphere are great, whether you’re there for brunch or dinner - but my favorite night is Wednesday, when Michael Aranella and [part of] His Dreamland Orchestra perform. Oh, and they make great mocktails, too!

Jane’s Carousel

 It’s no secret that Bobby and I are kids at heart, so of course there’s a carousel on the list. This one is particularly special because of its history - it was built in 1922 - and location, right between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. What a view! While you’re in the area, you can also head over to Atrium or Almar for a bite to eat, or check out the food vendors that are along the piers, in the warmer months.

On me: "Love" Portofino shirt and striped elastic skirt, c/o Express, UGG shoes. On Bobby: Express v-neck tee, Rocco slim fit skinny jeans, and sneakers.