Thursday, October 28, 2010

Color me Good.

Without fail, the dawning of each new season brings with it the same devastating realization – I have nothing to wear. This Fall is no exception. Apparently, the ugly fairy came and doused my closet with some heavy sprinklings of “old” and “boring”, because all my sweaters are all nubby and everything else is just, I don’t know, blaaaaah.

Unfortunately, there is not much I am going to be able to do about it unless I also get a visit from the better-paying job fairy, the property tax fairy, and the toilet paper fairy (the men in my house have digestive issues- it adds up). Were this not the case, I would be all over this season’s color-blocking trend and would be infusing my wardrobe with some big, bold colors like these:

Madewell Silky Scoopneck Tee, $48
Anna Molinari Twill Pencil Skirt, $97
Stella & Dot Fringe Hoop Earrings, $44
Juicy Couture Brogue Duchess Bag, $398
Topshop Emerald Tights, $12
Modcloth Hours at the Library Heel, $155

and for those who can't handle a combination of chartreuse and aqua, here's something a little more subdued:
Rose to the Occasion Top, $37.99
Malene berger Gray Melange Pencil Skirt, $125
Vince Camuto Amber Suede Booties, $80
Missoni Infinity Scarf, $194
Black Tights, We love Color, $12.50
Madewell Chain Necklace, $38
DKNY Quilted leather Bag, $345

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sweet Dreams are Made of These

Just in case you were curious as to where my ingenious brain recharges every night-  feast your eyes:

This is the master bed here at Casa Haute Mama. Nothing particularly special or glamorous, but it looks cozy, calming and relatively put-together.  Right?

Well, let's have a closer look, shall we?

Yeah. Not so much. 

In case you were wondering, I do not have moths, but I do have a husband who thinks he's nine months pregnant and feels the need to use only the pillows with decorative shams between his legs while he sleeps furiously and apparently simulates some sort of cricket mating call every night because his flippin' knees have done a real number on my linens.

So, long story short, I think Mr. HMD owes me some new bedding in the near future, and he better believe it's going to be total chick bedding. It was to my fortuitous surprise that I happened upon the news that Kate Spade will be launching their new line of linens and other home wares this Spring. Bingo! Let's have a peek: 

 cute, but not for me. 


I mean- right?

In other bedding news, I caught a glimpse of the latest Dwell Studio crib bedding collections by way of Oh Happy Day! and contemplated wrecklessly seducing hubs in foolish attempt to produce unlikely daughter that will sleep in both this ridiculously expense but perfect crib and gorgeous zinnia bedding:

maybe one day. Dana?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sock it to me

Over the knee socks. Let's consider:
Saggy-crotched tights unnecessary. Warm Knees. Fun colors and textures. Cute layered over said saggy-crotched tights- if you ask me, it's a win-win people and they are officially on my fall shopping list. I'm digging the selection at Urban Outfitters..and the price:

However, should I decide to splurge, I will be doing so with this pair of cable-knit cozies from Madewell :

loves 'em.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

HMOM- Lindsay Brier of Anyon Design

The Gorgeous Brier Family

Once again, my Haute Mama of the Month is long overdue, but I assure you ladies, this one was worth the wait. I have had the pleasure of knowing this month's HMOM since I was 15, and even back then she was much cooler than me. Despite being infamous in her high school years for an impeccable Axl Rose impersonation, the lovely Lindsay Brier is, and always has been, the epitome of classic style and grace. These days, she's channeling that style into her successful business as owner of Anyon Interior Design.

When the Brier's welcomed the handsome little Hawken into their lives this past spring, I knew I would be in for a real treat when the nursery was unveiled- and I was not disappointed. The room exemplifies Lindsey's knack for clean, elegant interiors into which she often incorporates a healthy dose of ecclectic flea market treasures, while simultaneously managing to make Hudson's nursery here at casa haute mama look like the tacky monster came and blasted it with a rainbow spraygun (ok- so I have a little bit of design envy- I'm dealing with it).

Anyways- check it out:

 Lindsey's "first born", Cashew, breaking in the space.

Hallway with contrasting stripes. Genius.

Photos taken from their honeymoon in South Africa. Yeah, I know, I told you she's cool.

HMD asked Mrs Brier some questions.

HMD: What was your inspiration for the room?
AD:  I had it in my mind the I wanted the nursery to have an aqua blue and raspberry color palette which I remember telling you about ages ago. When we found out we were expecting a boy i tweaked the raspberry  to more of a deep orange (my husband's favorite color) then I added in some gray, honey khaki and white which are found throughout our home. 
I wanted it to be fresh but also a calming space. I tried to achieve this by having some modern pieces but warming it up with some vintage finds. I also wanted it to be fun but not overly "babyish". Actually none of the furnishings in the room besides the crib are from children or baby furniture collections. I think rooms should be able to easily grow with children.
HMD: Your favorite aspect of the room (if you have one), the one thing that turned out the best?
AD: I love the striped walls, they are super fun without being overbearing and they guide your eye around the room. Also love the roman shades, the small graphic color print compliments the larger scale of the more neutral striped walls.
HMD: What design trends did you incorporate into the room?
AD: I always mix things up - just like getting dressed, if you have one nice piece you can pair it with some less expensive items and it elevates the whole room. I also always have something old in a room, it gives a space soul.  You and I are big fans of flea markets. It's in my blood, my mother had an antique store when I was born and is still passionate about collecting.  The things you dig up at a market are usually both old and relatively inexpensive so they do double duty. The items that catch your eye at a cluttered market become character pieces in a room. For Hawken's room I found a circa 1950 tin wastebasket decorated in collegiate pennants  and orange vintage toys that were perfect accessories for the room. 
Also for my clients with kids, I am a huge fan of using washable outdoor fabrics. The glider in Hawken's room is upholstered in a Perennials outdoor fabric. You'd never know it, it's soft and looks like a velvet mohair!
HMD:  It's not just your rooms that are looking good- you're always looking pretty hot yourself- what is one of your personal style must-haves:
AD: Shirt Dresses 
My work style varies greatly day by day. Some days I am working from home, other days I am shopping at the San Francisco Design Center and the next meeting at a dirty construction site. For this reason I love the versitiality of shirt dresses, I have several by Diane Von Furstenburg. I don't have the right curves for her wrap dresses and I feel more tailored in these.  They can be dressed up or down, require minimal thought in the morning, are fun to accessorize and even work for breastfeeding.

HMD: And for your little man- what couldn't you have lived without? 
Ninna Nanna Bassinet
I splurged on the Ninna Nanna Bassinet and am so happy I did. It's clean and modern and easy to move. It looks great in any room of the house when Hawken is napping. I can see filling it with toys when he is too big for it and hopefully we'll use it again someday for baby #2:)
Our HM mutual friend Sara got one and I had to follow suit. It's super streamlined which is perfect for the city and the car. My husband laughed at me at the baby store trying to breakdown some of the other larger, more expensive strollers. the City Mini folds down with the pull of one strap and invariably I have something else in the other hand..usually baby, coffee, and iphone. 
HMD: Looking for some inspiration? Check out more of Lindsay's impeccable handiwork here.

Monday, October 18, 2010

All That Slithers is Gold

 Max's snake obsession seems to be on the wane. Lately, he's been channeling his interest into stingrays, potty talk (especially his use of the newly discovered word "butt-hole") and germs (don't ask- he's just really into them). It appears, however, that I've picked up right where he left off, because I can't seem to get enough of the snake skin lately... as long as it is of the gold-metallic variety. I mean, don't you just die a hundred deaths for these boots?

Kara Ross 14-karat Gold-Plated Knot necklace (Musty Versions here & here)
Pour La Victoire Blakke Metallic Snakeskin Booties
Rachel Roy Snakeskin Kimono Dress  (Lusty version here)
Max & Chloe Odette Serpent Knot Earrings (Musty Version here)

Thursday, October 14, 2010


So, I have a confession. For some time now, I've been developing an obsession with this home by interior  designer Angie Hranowsky that is bordering on unhealthy. I will be mid-spreadsheet at work and feel the sudden and uncontrollable urge to stop control-c-ing and stare at this home at least twice daily. It's just that good.

Anyways, because I am always on the look-out for some good enablers to share in my addiction, here are some pics of the living/dining area:

I have dreams that one day, when I've got the time and a little spare green, I'll get all Design-on-a-Dime on this bad boy, so I'm always on a vigilant craigslist watch for some awesome vintage, Angie Hranowsky goodness-inspired pieces. I had a few scores today. For instance, slap some neutral/graphic upholstery like this affordable lovely by Premier Fabrics (Angie used La Fiorentina by David Hicks for Lee Jofa) on this awesome  Danish arm chair being given away at $50 smacks (sure a pair would be ideal, but you're off to a good start):

Next up, I would throw a coat of black lacquer paint on this mid-century two-tone dresser and use it as a credenza:

or, my heart-be-still, THIS ONE (though it might be a pity to paint this)

So anyways, I've got a ways to go. But seriously, someone should buy this dresser. It's awesome. And, when you have some time, check out the rest of Angie's portfolio- it's even more awesome.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Shoe Monster

This Sunday, Grandma Cath was feeling  generous, so we lugged the boys around the mall on the hunt for some new Fall duds. New tennies were on the list, and being the focused shopper that I am, I headed straight to the Chuck Taylors with velcro, because that's typically how we roll. Max, however, had other ideas. He found this pair of Pumas in black-on-black:

I had to admit they were pretty cool and we were actually looking for black shoes since he already had a pair of  blue sneakers. When we discovered that the little green puma lights up to reveal a neon green puma skeleton, we were SOLD. Sadly, they were out of the black in his size, so Grandma Cath, with good intentions, says to the sales lady:

"He really likes the light-ups- why don't you show us some other styles that light up?"

Cut to me, with panic in my eyes, doing a slow-mo head shake while mouthing an exagerrated "Nnnnooooooo." I may have had my eyes on the prize with the Converse, but I did do a thorough enough scan of the boys' shoe tables to know that nothing good would come of us seeing any additional light-up styles, and once Max laid his eyes on these hideous beauties and their cascading blue lights, I would be sorely defeated:

Yep, these are in our closet now just waiting to make their debut at Noah's Ark preschool, along with Max's new "skinny" jeans, which should accentuate their giantness nicely. I tried putting my foot down, but Grandma, and her almighty Nordstrom's card won this battle. I did however, manage to talk Max off this ledge, but it was a close one. 

Anyways, I bought the Converse, which are like chopped liver compared to the Sketchers Super Z Hot Lights and Huddy, my little clothes horse, snagged the black Pumas. Now all we've got on the list in terms of Fall footwear would be some cozy new boots and lordy-B, it doesn't get any cuter than these:

And check out what they've got for little ladies: 

A little pricey, but honestly, have you ever seen anything cuter? Plus 15% off and free shipping at isn't too shabby. Someone's getting a visit from the shoe monster...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Folk Industry

I've mentioned on several occasions that I am surrounded by some majorly talented ladies. Among them is one of my old roommates from college, Sharon, who, along with being published for her sustainable product designs, speaking several languages, contracting as a freakin' Disney Imagineer, and just being all-around cool and stunning, also happens to whip up gorgeous handmade pieces of jewelry in her spare time. You may be asking yourself right now, "Hmmm, I wonder what Jesse was doing while all these creative geniuses surrounding her were sharpening their skill sets and mastering their crafts?" Excellent question.

So, anyways, I've been on this girl's case to set up shop for some time and the day has finally come! Sharon announced the opening of her Etsy shop "Folk Industry" today and her pieces are incredible!

I'm kind of having a heart attack over this bronze, silver and silk corded bracelet:

And, there's a good chance I might die if I don't have these gold hoop earrings:

I would wear both of these pieces with this  supes fun military jacket and this absolutely perfect dress from Queen's Wardrobe and pretty much everything else in my imaginary fall wardrobe. Check out the rest of Sharon's genius Folk Industry collection here, let me know which piece is your fave and share the love!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Can we be friends?

Dear Talbots,

I do believe I owe you an apology. Although what I am about to say will be difficult for me to admit, I like to consider myself a woman of integrity and honesty.

I treated you badly for many years. I branded you as a seller of mom jeans, bad tweeds and frumpy office  wear. I may, or may not have called you "Tal-butt-ugly's" and used you, along with the likes of Coldwater Creek and Dress Barn whenever I needed to reference someplace at which I would never be caught dead shopping. But (and this may just be a irrevocable proclamation of my descent into middle-age, but I hope not), I take it all back.  You seem to have changed.

You see, I happened to be innocently perusing the web today when I came across your banner ad featuring this leopard jacket and, OH MY GOD IF I DO NOT OWN THIS JACKET SOON I AM GOING TO DIE. You know? But it seems that sizes are limited online and I don't really have $299 to spend on things other than nitrate-free hotdogs and ridiculous amounts of orange juice. So, anyways, Talbots, if you've got some of these beauties in a size 4 or 6 lying around somewhere that need a little good publicity- just send one my way and we can put our past behind us. Kay?

Oh, and Talbots, nice work on these and these:

And I'd also like to commend you on all of these (very MJ):

Talbots, keep up the good work and when someone, someday, decides to pay me the big bucks for talking about myself and shopping online all day, I'll be back to see what you've got.

I hope you can forgive me.

Warm Regards,

TO THE READERS OF HMD: for those of you who liked the old Talbots-  firstly, I apologize and not to worry, they've still got the signature fit.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

to the hautest mama.

It has come to my attention that rumors of my disappearance, and/or possible death are circulating, so I suppose that means it's about time for me to start tickling the plastic ebonies again and fill you all in on what   I've been up to. The good news, is that I am alive and well. I did, however, almost die from the excruciatingly long days spent in record breaking heat at the the happiest place on earth, or as I now like to refer to it, the center of the sun.

Anyways, despite the fact that my mom and I crafted sweat rags to shove under our boobs as we were riding through the air-conditioned heaven that was It's a Small World, and that I tore the butt of my favorite jeans this weekend thanks to numerous buckets of D-land popcorn, I still relished in the time with my family, was pretty impressed with the almost negligible number of melt-downs,  and was reminded of some of the happiest moments of my own childhood.

I was a quiet kid, kind of shy and cautious, but I was a really happy kid. Almost all of my childhood memories are happy ones. This is mostly because I had amazing parents and probably the world's best mom. 

She wasn't one of the loopy moms that every other kid thinks is so awesome because she gives you candy bars for dinner and lets you color on the walls. Although she definitely is her own brand of crazy, she was, and still is, just one of the kindest, most lemonade-out-of-lemons people you will ever meet.

She didn't work until I was in junior high, but she was always on the go- soccer mom, hot lunch mom, solid gold dancing mom (she's got the leotards to prove it)- you name it, she was the mom on the scene.

She was my shopping companion from day one. "Hide the bags," was a phrase I heard often in my youth, but she didn't have to feel guilty for long, because when her time came to return to the workforce, CB approached her career the way she did everything else in her life- with tireless energy and a  positive attitude. It seems that whatever makes for a good mom, may also make for an amazing business woman, because my mom is the very best at what she does.

Despite the fact that she never stops working, she somehow still manages to fit in being there for her kids and her grandkids every single day. She is a little bit nuts, always late, somehow manages to slurp something audibly at every meal which drives me completely insane, overfeeds my overweight dog,  lets my kids watch too much tv and has a terrible habit of laughing uncontrollably whenever anyone falls, but, at the end of the day, all I can ever hope for is to one day feel really certain that my kids love me as much as I will always love her. She is, without a doubt, everything I strive to be in a mother, a wife, a friend and a woman. Oh yeah, and she still looks pretty hot.

Happy Belated Birthday Grammy Cath. We love you. xoxo