Monday, March 23, 2015

Easter Basket Inspiration

I took advantage of the boys being in school this morning to put their Easter baskets together.  I have said in prior years that I like to keep the baskets pretty simple, we just don't have the space for more plastic toys and knick-knacks, so I try to treat them to something small and fun that they've had their eye on, a few sweets, and usually a book.  I bought this one for Charlie this year and I can't wait to read it with him - it looks sooo sweet.  Since their baskets aren't filled to the brim, I do like to package everything up in a pretty way to make it even more special.  Truthfully, I probably get more joy out of the packaging + presentation than they do, but that's ok.  Here are my basket packaging essentials this year...

Easter basket from Williams Sonoma//dot paper from Target// bunny tags//kraft bags//bunny stamp on muslin bag from Michaels last year//ribbon on spool - vintage//ribbon on packages 

^^ To make the bags I typed a regular document in Pages (you can do the same in Word) and then found an bunny image online and dragged it into my file.  I googled "vintage bunny drawing" for my search.  I thought he was rather handsome for boy Easter baskets and he went well with the other bunny tags.  I printed on the bag exactly the same as I would a sheet of paper.  I was worried it would jam up the printer because this was my first attempt printing on a bag, but it went through without any trouble.  The paper source bags are very thin and designed to run through the printer, I'm not sure all treat bags would work as well.  I put a big chocolate bunny inside the kraft bag and chocolate eggs inside the muslin bag.^^

^^ here is the basket all packaged up. (the natural colored grass is also from Williams Sonoma)  I wrapped it up in clear cellophane, tied it with lots of the green vintage ribbon and another bunny tag! ;)^^

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Fashion | The Classic Trench (When Burberry Isn't an Option)

Well.... I said to myself a while back that I wasn't going to do any more fashion posts.  They are by far my least favorite to write, the most awkward to photograph (oh, hello neighbors!  Just me standing in my driveway while my husband takes photos of me.  I mean, really.) and just all around not the best.  But.... I felt this find was worth sharing, so here goes... (fashion bloggers, how do you do it?!)

I tend to only add a few new clothing items each season to my closet.  I really try to find pieces that will have some longevity, at least those that are more than $50.  Every spring and fall, for the last several years, I've been on the hunt for the perfect classic trench coat.  Not too short, not too long, fitted but still roomy enough to layer over a sweater, just the right color and so on and so forth.  Yes, I'd love a Burberry and no, it's not in my budget.  I've tried a number of more reasonably priced designers and sadly I typically end up swimming in the coat and humming the theme song from Inspector Gadget. Until this spring, thanks to J.Crew.  (This is not a sponsored post.)

I ordered the J.Crew Factory Trench and the J.Crew Icon (the name alone made me hopeful) Trench and then compared.  There is about a $150 difference in price between the two coats.  After receiving them, I still couldn't make up my mind.  Having Jimmy take pictures sealed the deal and I knew right away which one would stay in my closet.  (Cue the awkward photo session...)

^^I know you are scrolling up about right now because you don't see a difference, right?  Well, there are a few minor differences.  The collar on the Factory Trench is a bit rounded and has tiny pleats in back so it needs to stay down, the Icon Trench has a pop-able, straighter collar, which I prefer.  The Factory Trench color is a bit warmer versus the Icon Trench.  The buttons are a different color and the Factory Trench has the slightest flare versus the very straight lines here.  They are identical in length, hitting high thigh for me, the ideal length because it looks equally good with a dress as it does with jeans or pants.^^

They are both really pretty coats.  If I'd only ordered one I would have been super happy with the cut and fit for the price, but after comparing the two, I actually found the Factory Trench to be more flattering on me.  Mostly, I prefer the color.  So there you have it.  Why I waited this long to try J. Crew for a trench coat, I don't know.  Add the perfect classic trench to my wardrobe, check. :)

(For reference, I'm 5'7", wearing a size 0 in both jackets.  The cut in the shoulders is very narrow and small across the chest.  I probably could/should have gone up a size, but feared it wouldn't be as fitted.  I'm wearing it with a thin sweater and still found it very comfortable, any thicker though, and it would have been snug in the shoulders. If in doubt, size up one from your usual J.Crew sizing.)