The Gift Every Fashion Friend Will Love

clutches for christmas
Photos via ShopBop

It’s holiday gifting time and I’ve been racking my brain about what type of gift guide to write. Just like it’s difficult to pick out a gift, it’s difficult to pick out gifts for a guide. Plus, women who love fashion are the hardest to buy for. They have very specific tastes, and the stuff they want they tend to buy for themselves.

The more I thought about it, the more I thought about the clutch, that little bag you carry and put a few things in, usually when venturing out in the evening. It’s an excellent gift for a style-obsessed woman for several reasons:

1. If she doesn’t like it she can use it as a makeup bag.

2. If she doesn’t like it, it’s impersonal enough that she can re-gift it.

3. Clutches don’t take up much space, so even if she only likes it a little bit she can tuck it into a drawer or closet without resentment.

4. It’s not the type of bag she’ll use every day so it’s OK if it’s slightly outside of her typical style.

5. If you buy the right size, it can double as an iPad or computer case.

6. If she doesn’t like it, she can use it as a travel case for jewelry.

7. Clutches are less expensive than normal handbags.

8. You’ll have bought a fashion gift for a fashion person, and that’s a brave endeavor. You might even get lucky! If that’s the kind of relationship you have. Or are hoping for. Onward for the clutches!
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What if Molasses Cookies Were an Outfit?

Molasses cookie outfit

This week I’ve been experimenting with molasses cookies. I made one batch after finding a recipe via Pinterest via the image below. It was so pretty how could the recipe be bad? But they didn’t turn out great. So then I found that the recipe had been altered from this Bon Appetit recipe which had additional ingredients including brown sugar and cardamom. The result tastes much better, but they were quite thin and flat didn’t do that crackle thing on the top. How do I get the crackle?? More flour perhaps? Anyone? I think I’ll try this recipe next.

In the meantime, while I try to get the cookies right, here’s an outfit to enjoy. The faux leather dress is on mega sale, btw! Shop everything below.
heart of gold chewy molasses cookies 1

Photo by Allison of Heart of Gold

Seven Practical Ways to Use a Moroccan Pouf in Your Home

pouf outdoors

On an outdoor patio. Photo via Cush and Nooks

I bought a white leather Moroccan pouf the other day at the Serena and Lily outlet,  and I’m so into it! First it was the hanging rattan chair, and now once again S + L has fulfilled a years-long dream of mine to own a particular furniture item. They’re both pieces that the husband resists spending money on because they don’t seem practical. But both the chair and the pouf were acquired thanks to collaborations with Serena and Lily, so he couldn’t argue. Plus, *I* would argue that the pouf is totally practical. You can easily move it from room to room and it can double as a table. Check out a six more ways to style one below!

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Cover Your Roots With This Powder That Doubles as a Dry Shampoo

root touch up

Madison Reed, the non-toxic, non-damaging option for hair color that I wrote about for 7×7 back in August, now has a new product for last minute root fixes called Root Touch Up ($30, available online-only). It’s a lightweight powder compact that comes in eight shades from platinum blond to jet black. It brushes on dry, blends in with your color, and stays put until your next shampoo. Awesomely, it serves as a dry shampoo too—it’s a fine, micro-milled powder so it absorbs oil, adds volume, and has a light, lovely fragrance that revives second- (or fifth-) day hair, so it’s extra great for dirty hippies like myself.

See before and after below:

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French Braids: When You Need to Get the Hair Out of Your Face

french braids111
Photo by Richard Philipkoski
My mom has been telling me to get my hair out of my face pretty much my whole life. When I was in second grade, my hair reached past my waist, and my mother hated combing it. She informed me that she’d tolerate it only until after her wedding that year, in which I would serve as “junior bridesmaid.” After that, I was going short whether I liked it or not. I cried in a corner of the playground during recess at the prospect.

At 8-years-old, my hair was already my security blanket.

Now, a few decades later, it’s still is. I almost never wear my hair up. Shrouded behind hair, my imperfections are less evident, or at least they feel that way from beneath the mane. So it was kind of a big deal for me to be out in the world with French-braided hair. But I knew even without my mom telling me that I needed to get it out of my face for travels from Pennsylvania back to San Francisco with a toddler. Having my head exposed to the general public may have been disconcerting had the extreme volume and energy of my child not dominated every last one of my senses.

But the experience got me thinking of all the hairstyles I sported during my school years post-shag: I had a Dorothy Hamill cut circa 4th grade. That grew into a “feathered” style up until 7th grade when my older cousin from New York taught me the magic of a curling iron. The tool transformed the flat feathers into barrel curls that I then brushed into two big wings, one on each side of my face, until they met at the back of my skull in a vertical line that resembled a butt crack.

Then came the mullet. We called it “ears cut out.” It felt very cool. The following year or so I let it grow in to a shoulder-length bob with bangs and a perm. In my senior year of high school, I had it all chopped into an extremely short-in-the-back style that was longer on the top. I swooped that long part onto one side and sprayed it stiff. In my first year of college, I let one side grow longer than the other for an asymmetrical hairdo. Eventually it grew longer, possibly because of limited access to my stylist and/or lack of funds. I let it grow super long and got my first spiral perm circa 1988. I’ve had nearly the same hair, minus the spiral perm, ever since.

What I’d like to know is: where did I get the confidence to chop off all of my hair my senior year of high school? I remember boys in my class looking at me with wonder asking “why?” “Because I like it!” I said. I didn’t feel one bit self conscious and I didn’t regret the cut for one second. I only wish I could have bottled that confidence so I could take a dose of it now!

snowy vertical edited_Fotor_Fotor_Fotor

I did enjoy the French braid for a change though. My hair didn’t get caught under my bag strap and Frida didn’t get food in it. I could also see when I searched for diapers and toys and tranquilizers (just kidding) in my carry-on.

I wore this particular outfit the day before our travels following a French braid test-run. The jeans are Gap, booties are c/o Freda Salvador, I bought the jacket at the Alameda Vintage Fashion Faire, and the turquoise earrings are from the Susquehanna Trading Post.

What Rocker Alison Mosshart Wore at Art Basel Miami Beach

alison mosshart art basel
Photo by Robyn Ross

I’ve attended Art Basel Miami Beach nearly every year since 2006 with my bestie Robyn. But I couldn’t make it this year, and so of course this is the year when she runs into my favorite rocker chick Alison Mosshart. If you’re not familiar, she’s one-half of The Kills with Jamie Hince, aka Mr. Kate Moss. I’m not going to mope, because I only would have turned into a pathetic giggling teenager, not the cool kind with a cute mugshot. I’m just going to talk about her rad outfit OK?

When Robyn approached her for a photo, Mosshart was checking out this insane sculpture of Salvador Dali. She happily agreed and said, “Oh let me go over by the Iron Maiden painting.” Not only was Robyn lucky enough to run into Ms. Mosshart at the Scope Art Fair, one of many satellite fairs that happen the same week at Art Basel, but she was lucky enough to run into her in the vicinity of an Iron Maiden painting. What could be more perfect? Also, OH: “Can you put Alison Mosshart plus nine on the list?” Aah, to be a rock star.

Update: Mosshart is exhibiting her paintings at Scope with Joseph Gross gallery.

Right this way to get Alison Mosshart’s outfit for your own self:
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Why I Love My $50 Stroller

The First Years StrollerWhen I first became a mom, I was positively stunned by the price of strollers. Did you know they can cost more than a thousand dollars? I mean what the hell. The variety of functionalities was also intensely confusing to the point where my brain rejected all stroller information. Luckily we had received a hand-me-down from some generous friends, and I happily used it for nearly the first two years of Frida’s life. Then I panicked before a cross-country trip on my own with Frida and bought a CityMini jogger stroller I found on Craigslist for $120 because I read that they were easier to navigate using just one hand. It turned out the front wheel was a nightmare to fold up, and the stroller was awkward and heavy. An incident in which Frida toddled rapidly down the jetway away from me as I struggled to fold up the stroller sealed my distain for traveling with that monster (though I still use it for walks at the beach).

So for my Thanksgiving visit home last week, I decided to by a cheap, lightweight stroller that folded up super easily. I bought “The First Years Jet Stroller, City Chic” for $50, and it’s perfect. Folding it takes two seconds, it weighs 11 pounds, it’s black, and it comes with a (kinda flimsy but that’s OK) cup holder. It’s not from Germany or Sweden, it doesn’t have a mysteriously cute name with double vowels, and I don’t care. It was easy at the airport, it tolerated my hanging various objects from it, and Frida fell asleep in it. So, hallelujah.

The Toms x Target Collab Is Almost All Gone! Shop It Now

Toms x Target
Photos by Richard Philipkoski

Like I said, the poncho is a must! I literally snatched the very last one from the shelves at the Target at the Tanforan Mall in San Bruno. And I am very sad to tell you that they are now completely sold out (sad face). But there are still a few items available online and in stores (I would hurry!).

I’m so excited to be partnering with Target and TOMS on this holiday gift collection. Each time you buy something from the #TOMSforTarget collection, the brands will give a gift to someone in need: either a blanket via American Red Cross or a week of meals via Feeding America.

I took the poncho out for a test drive while I was visiting my parents in Pennsylvania. My dad is a pretty amazing photographer and I was grateful that he was up for taking these snaps.

Toms x Target
Wearing: My dad’s cable knit sweater knitted by my mom.

Toms x Target
Also wearing: DL1961 Nina in Salt Lake high-rise dlpro skinny jean, read all about them here.

Toms x Target

Toms For Target: One-for-One. For All. Starting November 16th, for every Target+Toms limited edition gift you buy, we’re (Target) giving shoes, a blanket or meals to those in need. #TOMSforTarget

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Target via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Target.

Nope Life Sure Isn’t Perfect

So mom I just flew across the country and you want me to pose? Nope.

So mom I just flew across the country and you want me to pose? Nope.

So everyone already knows that, really, but Instagram and Facebook feeds suggest the opposite. And research has shown that it makes people feel bad about themselves. And I’m totally guilty… I like posting happy photos of me and my family. Those are the memories I want to keep, and I figure no one wants to see my toddler throwing a tantrum.

Nevertheless, I’m excited to be participating in the Seleni Institute’s #HolidayCardCut, an effort to show the real moments in life: the one’s that won’t be featured on your holiday card, like the one you see here. I really wanted to get a photo with Frida with his headboard as a backdrop because it was my Nana’s bed and I love it. But as you can see she was having none of it.

See below for a bonus #HolidayCardCut pic. Nope, life isn’t even close to perfect. But it’s still pretty awesome.
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My Mom Made This Cable Knit Sweater and I Love Her

cable knit sweater leather jeans rick owens booties

You may have noticed last week over at The Coveted or on Instagram that Jennine and I showed up for a date to take each others’ outfit photos wearing exactly the same outfit: a cable knit sweater with leather pants. We laughed in her hallway for about 10 minutes before we could do anything about photographs. Here I am in the photo Jennine captured with my idol Frida Kahlo.

My mother knitted this sweater. Can you imagine how much time and work that took? And every ring on my fingers was gifted to me: my engagement ring (obviously), the floral silver ring was my mom’s, the knotted one and stackables with it were a gift from Fiat Lux, and the blue topaz ring was my grandmother’s.

leather jeans, foley + corinna bag rick owens booties

I bought the Rick Owens boots when I was having a pretty serious life crisis which is my excuse for spending that much money on footwear. The t-shirt is my favorite V-neck from Marine Layer, the leather pants are from Madewell, and the bag is Foley and Corinna.


I had no idea what I was going to wear for this photo shoot fifteen minutes before I walked out the door. And then all that happened. Who can say what you wear has no meaning?