Off Season Shopping

No Comments   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Bargains, Fashion, shopping

Thanksgiving is behind us, Christmas is before us, and winter is (unofficially) all around us. Here in the PacNW the temperature is dropping and we always seem to have rain somewhere in the five day forecast. To offset the urge to hitchhike down to Palm Springs and start my career as a cocktail waitress, I indulge in retail therapy like buying boots and sweaters (Shopbop sales, anyone?).

In addition to deals on winter goods, there are currently lots of great summer shoes on deep discounts all over the place. These two beauties were all over the bloggy-sphere last spring, and I nearly pulled the trigger on both of these a number of times, but my fear of paying full price always stopped me. The temptation may just be too great now that some of these shoes are more than 50% off.

Do you make a habit of off-season shopping? I guess the one thing that holds me back is wondering if the style will still be “in” next year. Well, that, and I seem to have the memory of a fruit fly and can’t conceptualize strolling out of the house in shorts once it drops below 70.

Shoes: Loeffler Randall Inge Ankle Wrap Clog, and Swedish Hasbeen Braided Sky High (Both on sale right now!)


Bedroom Makeover on the Cheap(ish)

No Comments   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Home Decor, shopping

I’m thinking the bedroom is looking a little blah. Maybe adding some bold colors and stripes will brighten in up a bit.

I don’t have a big budget, but I do have a bunch of West Elm gift cards I’ve been collecting with credit card reward points, so I’m thinking I’ll head there for some nightstands and new pillowcases. The foot of the bed would look great with the classic Pendleton Glacier Blanket, and it will keep me warm in the winter, too.  The left wall really needs something- like a giant piece of art, and Ikea has some affordable options. After adding so many other graphic elements, I think my current curtains will look wonky, so I’m looking for some white curtains, or something with the same colors as the blanket and pillowcase.


Have you ever planned out a room in advance? I tend to just buy things when I see them, but I’m trying to be more mindful of what I bring into the house, for design and budget reasons. I’ll let you know what the end result is!




The Shops at Target Fall Collection- My Picks

No Comments   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Fashion, Gifts, Home Decor, shopping

I always get excited when a new collaboration with Target is announced. Who doesn’t love the chance to grab a limited edition piece at a good price? I’ve gotten swept up into the madness that has surrounded their higher profile designer collaborations (like driving 70 miles round trip to a small town Target to buy Missoni, or dragging Brian out of bed so we could divide and conquer at Jason Wu). The Shops at Target seems to be less about tapping into an already existing fan base, and more about bringing small business owners into the national spotlight. The benefit to all of us regular Target shoppers is that we probably won’t be faced with a long line of folks who showed up at the bull’s eye before dawn, and there are some really beautiful items to add to your home and wardrobe.

The fall collection of The Shops at Target comes to stores September 9th. Here’s what I’ll be looking for:

From New York City boutique Kirna Zabête, I’ll be picking up pieces that should transition nicely from summer to fall. We all know the maxi dress isn’t going anywhere, and I love how it is styled here, with a bit of an edge, but I can also see it looking great with my favorite gladiator sandals and a fedora. You can’t tell from the photo, but the dress in the middle has long sleeves, which is always a great option for fall, and the abstract grey and white pattern makes this a great piece to pair with this season’s brightly colored sweaters. I’ve been contemplating faux-leather pants for a while, and $30 seems like an easy way to try the trend.

Patch NYC has nice selection of soft goods as well as some ceramics. Who wouldn’t want to wake up to cute little bunnies every morning on your comforter? The neutral palate keeps the sham and comforter set from looking too juvenile. So many cake stands are white, I just know the black base on this one will stand out in a good way with my collection (and the bucks illustration on the surface makes for a nice surprise as you hand out cake slices). This serving tray has classic lines and just the perfect amount of detail with the feather impression on the handles.

The Curiosity Shoppe has some fun 50’s style old west kitchen and serving items. The arrow feather detail on the serving spoons brings the salad bowl set from basic to quirky. These tea towels would make a great hostess gift, and could even be framed for some simple art. While I don’t usually blog about menswear, the New York men’s shop Odin has this elegant soy candle (not sure about the scent, but I’ll be checking it out). And while I’m not holding my breath, perhaps these desert boots will come in a small enough size to fit me (or I’ll just get them for Brian and live vicariously through him).

What’s caught your eye from The Shops at Target?

All images from Target


Cover Inspiration


This Elle Decor cover from March 2007 still feels so fresh and interesting:

So I looked around to see what I could put together for a similar vibe and a more reasonable price point:

Tapestry ($183), Embroidered Pillow ($15), Ikat Pillow ($36 for 2), Sofa ($2,199)

For anyone out there that is feeling stumped about putting together an area of your home, try browsing the covers of shelter magazines. Most are available online, or you can check out a bunch from the library. Once you find a look you like, spend an hour or two browsing the interwebs to find similar pieces from the major retailers, Etsy, and E Bay. You can even break it into small chunks of time and just search for a particular item. If time is on your side, check out your local thrift shops. It is possible to take the expensive looks featured in magazines and translate them to a regular-person budget, you just need a specific focus and some time to looks.


Gift Guide, Part 3

No Comments   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Gifts, Inspiration, shopping

Are You Being Served? Gift Guide

No Comments   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Gifts, Inspiration, shopping

We all have our guilty pleasures, and one of mine is the British TV Comedy Are You Being Served? The premise is simple: on the first floor of the London department store Grace Brothers the ladies’ undergarments and gents’ ready-made suits departments share a space, and the employees in those departments manage to get in to different situations every week. The show is a bit silly, and I’ve yet to meet a British person that didn’t roll their eyes when I confessed my love of the show. But what can I say, I’ve been watching re-runs of this show for the past fifteen years on PBS and it’s like comfort food!

Hands down, the best part of the show is the distinctive theme song, where the lift operator sings out all of the departments on each floor to a groovy 70s bass line. Which leads us to the gift guide I’ve put together based on the theme song. There are three floors at Grace Brothers, so I’ve rounded up three days worth of ideas. Enjoy day one (the ground floor)!

Perfume, Stationary, Bag, Wig, Garland*, Braiser, Pie of the Month Club

*In the UK Habidashery is thread, buttons, and ribbons, but I just couldn’t get excited about sewing supplies!


For the Barbie Dream Kitchen

934 Comments »   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Food, shopping

If I were 20% more impractical, these would both be taking up space in my kitchen right now.

Images via Target (here & here).


The Price Tag to Prove It!

1,667 Comments »   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Bargains, Fashion, shopping

I was cruising Target the other day to pick up, oh, I don’t know… toothpaste or something, and I spotted this fun little pair of flats.  The shoes and toothpaste are nowhere near each other at my local Target- I confess to taking a lap of the store just for funsies.

It’s been a while since I’ve bought shoes from Target- cheap shoes usually leave my feet with blisters and an ache- but considering these shoes cost just a bit more than the two-pack of toothpaste I was there to pick up, I threw caution to the wind and bought these as well.

I wore them out shopping, and they did rub my feet a bit red, but I also own more expensive shoes that have done the same.  I’ll file this away under “bargains”.


Four Months Later…

1,200 Comments »   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Fashion, shopping

I bought this dress at Old Navy back in February, and the weather around here has been so cold and rainy that it has just sat in my closet with the tag on.  We actually had a warm, sunny day this weekend; I knew what I had to wear.

The B. Makowsky sandals are new, I just got them at the Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale.  I’d never heard of this brand before, but they are really comfortable, and the leather is really soft.  The sunglasses are Ray Ban, and the purse is Coach.  The necklace is from Claire’s; I bought it back in college, and is the most complemented piece of jewelry I’ve ever had.  Rope bracelet “on loan” from my momma.

Photo: Gretchen Lilly


Moccasins On My Mind

No Comments   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Fashion, shopping

So, my favorite pair of shoes is actually my slippers.  Don’t worry, my favorite pair of pants isn’t sweatpants, I just have a thing for comfortable shoes.  My moccasin-style slippers are strictly in-house, though, so I’ve been looking for something to wear when I hit the streets.

These Moccasins from Manimal are the most traditional looking, and I love the ribcage detail on the front of the shoe.  I also like how soft and flexible they look; most moccasins I’ve seen in stores are like suede penny loafers, with a hard, inflexible sole.

This Trail Boot from Arrow Moccasin Company is nice and sleek looking.  I can see it paired with shorts or leggings.  I also like the shine of the leather, and think it would wear quite nicely.

So, I only learned about Quoddy because of their partnership with J.Crew, but I totally dig these Ring Boots.  There is just this awesome mix of rugged traditional and edgy contemporary.

All of these shoes are handmade in the USA, which at a minimum, helps justify the cost.  But, it’s also nice to know that these shoes were made with skill and attention, when so many shoes fall apart quickly.