For The Luxist: The Vintage Chanel of Her Dreams...

I don't think words are needed here. Quilted lambskin Chanel perfection. If you are a fan of Vintage luxury goods (and aren't we all?), this beauty is up for grabs at Nasty Gal. While I've still never placed an order at the #girlboss's site, it's clear I am n the minority. Sophia Amoruso has created an in-demand online platform for fashion ranging from the rare to the supremely popular. But let's get back to the topic of this Coco-approved beauty... for a handsome $3450 this vintage drawstring bucket bag can be yours. See all of today's vintage Chanel here. Caution: pricing not for the faint of heart. Chanel is one brand that doesn't sink in value over time. While vintage will net you a savings over new, you are still investing (yes, investing) in a hand-crafted luxury good with an equally luxe price. Happy hunting, luxe lovers! 

MORE COVETABLE VINTAGE CHANEL



For Her: Adorn Her in Uncommon Gifts from the Heart...

Jewelry is unique in that each acquisition comes with a story. Perhaps it is a ring your grandmother once wore. Or maybe it's a bracelet from your first boyfriend. Each piece then becomes a connection to another person, a story, a rich history. Artisan jewelry, then, comes not only with a store shared between the giver and the recipient, it comes with a story to be told of the creator as well. If richly layered history appeals to you, Uncommon Goods may offer just the jewelry box you need to plunder. 

While it's easy to get caught up in the many sparkling rings, bracelets and baubles available, I've been on a hunt for something incredibly specific: heart pendants to share with my daughters. As my very young girls begin to turn into sweet young ladies, I've had the idea to gift them their first pieces of meaningful jewelry. Something significant that expresses my love for them and represents their place in my life. It took only moments to discover the spectacular pieces aligning with those goals. 

These beautiful heart-shaped accessories are the incredible work of artists Tulianna And Alejandra Garces. The detailed pendants are actually pieces of lace that have been masterfully transformed into wearable art. Selections of lace are individually are cut and sewn before being dipped in wax to seal and reinforce their structure. A layer of copper and 24k gold or sterling silver is applied to deliver that lustrous metallic finish. Pieces are then brushed by hand to reveal the marvelous feminine detail of the lace. Finally, lacquer is applied to preserve that stunning finished piece for years to come. Amazing. 

My idea? To wear the gold & silver combo necklace myself and convert the matching earrings into individual heart pendant necklaces for my girls. My youngest is not quite ready to wear hers on a daily basis, but when she is, this lovingly selected and handcrafted piece will await her. My oldest is very excited to wear a piece of me so close to her heart. This sweet gesture is a reminder that even while apart we are connected on so many levels, in so many ways. 

But these pretty pieces aren't just acquisitions. Uncommon Goods is here to do good in the world at large. The company itself gives to many great causes. Each artisan involved also makes an impact in their community. Tulianna And Alejandra Garces, the makers of these pieces above are using their sales to impact their homeland Colombia. 

Produced through a fair trade organization, these handmade pieces as well as the others in the collection provide stable income for economically struggling or displaced communities of Colombian artisans (85% are women and heads of households). The site says it best: "The resulting pieces are glittering tributes to the traditional art of lacemaking, and gorgeous statements to add to your accessory collection." If that doesn't warm your heart, nothing will.  

I hope you've enjoyed this very personal post. If you're feeling the urge to give handmade gifts to friends and family, consider necklaces here, earrings here and bracelets here from this marvelous site. Don't miss their backstory which reveals not only the brand's origin story, but also their deep commitment to sustainability, survival and the future. The pieces shown above are the My Heart Within Yours Necklace and the Mini Gold Dipped Lace Heart Earrings

{Photos in this post are by yours truly, Franki Durbin}

For Mom: Garden-Inspired Gifts Blooming with Love...

If I didn't "get it" before, now I am officially in the club. Believe me when I tell you that your mom deserves the sun, moon and stars this Mother's Day. Truly, she does. Giving your all to your children everyday is a selfless act that requires considerable personal compromise, patience and effort. My children are the two small humans I love more than anything else on Earth. But they also require the most from me. It's a lesson in giving and growing. 

It's the growth aspect of motherhood that makes those pretty gardening gifts such a natural fit for gift giving. Like a garden, your mother nurtured you and protected you from the moment you were created - tending to your needs and protecting you. As you grew, you establishing your roots and began to flourish. With her love and care you grew to be the well-established individual you are today. Surely just the sight of you makes her beam with pride and joy. 

With that... these beautiful garden-inspired gifts will keep her smiling and thinking of you, her finest creation.  

GARDEN-INSPIRED MOTHER'S DAY GIFTS

Abstract Pansies Scarf // Hunter Floral Boots //  "I Love You, Mom" Journal // Scattered Hydrangea Necklace // Fresh Bouquet from The Bouqs $40 // Leather & Linen Floral Gardening Gloves // Cherry Blossom Napkin Rings // Pink Floral Shears // Herb Duo Pot & Snips

Most of these are from Shop Terrain, but I absolutely adore the idea of a fresh bouquet from The Bouqs for $40 flat. You can double it or triple the bunch for a mere $10. Delivery is free and (best of all) you can set your sweet, giving mommy up on auto-delivery. Imagine her getting a fresh bouquet of roses, lilies or whatever her favorite bloom is every month for a year. Now that's a gift that keeps on giving - just like her unwavering love for you. See their amazing story here and feel inspired to give the gift of love. 

For Her: Pretty Valentine's Day Gifts She'll Adore...

It's just around the corner, you know... Valentine's Day! A day to show love, share love and be the embodiment of generosity in the world. It doesn't have to lend itself exclusively to romance. This is also a holiday when you might want to honor your girlfriends, your mom and anyone else who makes you happy. Perhaps even a gift for yourself is in the cards. It's up to you. But I do encourage you to get into the spirit of sharing your appreciation for those around you. It can be a small token of appreciation or a generous surprise that makes them blush. It's entirely up to you, the key is to do it with heart and without expectation of anything in return. Gifts from the heart are the best gifts of all! 

HEARTFELT GIFTS SHE'LL ADORE






For the Jetsetter: Valentine's Day Gifts for the Girl (or Guy) On the Go...

Technology. I don't know what I'd do without it. If you're like me and like to take my gear on the go (wherever that may be) some of these sleek new market introduction are just what the cupid ordered. Want to see what's new? Here's a look at a few modern innovations designed to make your high-tech life a bit smoother and certainly more chic. 

The HeroDock: No more packing a bag of cords and adapters. The HeroDock is designed to hold all smartphones and tablets including iPhone 6, Android, Windows tablets. And, HeroDock accommodates most cases and covers. Nice, right? Only $49.95 and it solves a multitude of tech compatibility issues. A thoughtful gift and, if I do say so myself, a sexy & sleek design. 

Decades pass and nary an improvement has been made upon the lowly tweezer, razor or file. Until Klhip, that is. Imagine surgical grade stainless steel and modern ergonomic design. These are eye catching to behold and luxurious in attention to detail. Wow him with a fresh blade and her with tweezers so precise she'll never lose a battle to a stray hair again. Give them the world's best and satisfy their need for fastidious grooming on the go. Priced $35 and up. 

Get out of a jam (or into one, as the case may be) with this Swiss-made all-in-one tool. I may be all girl but when I read "palm-sized, heavy-duty tool. Features an LED flashlight, #2 Phillips screwdriver, flat screwdriver, 6 hex drivers, T25 star driver, English flat wrench set, metric flat wrench set, nail puller, and pry bar" I get a little weak in the knees. At $30 bucks this wondertool is the kind of gift you give yourself AND the one you love. 

Old school is cool again with the Instamax instant camera. This is hi-tech meets low and offers instant satisfaction. What I love? The beefed up flash settings (better lighting matters!) and that built-in macro setting. Perfect for those coastal road trips and overseas journeys you're going to take this year. Best part? It's tiny! At 3.5"W x 2.25"D x 4.25"T this cutie will soon become your fave accessory. Comes with two packs of film and it's ready to party. Just like you! 

For Him: Hi-FI Speakers with Low-Fi Heart...

Have you seen these little cuties? Handcrafted bluetooth speakers made from sustainable wood. We have two bluetooth speakers in our home and LOVE them. My only wish is that we had more of them to pepper around so I could pump my jams in every room and enjoy the accoustics that only high quality devices can produce. The only hiccup (usually) is that high tech is often an eyesore and doesn't lend itself well to a stylish interior. 

Well... these handsome little Q speakers are every bit as much modern works of art as they are technological advancement. Sorry to gush, but how adorable are these handsome fellas? I'm thinking one for the Mr. for Valentine's Day is a nice way to add a little ambiance to his office while giving him a cool conversation piece. Frankly I can't decide which version is better looking, but I imagine the sound they produce is impressive relative to their scale. 

Fortunately for you the Q's site lends more substantive info than my gushing on about their appearance. From what I can glean their handsome appearance is almost overshadowed by their amazing sound and sustainable manufacturing process. Good looks and a heart... an irresistible combination. Just like the man in your life who'd probably love these. :) 

For Tots: Imaginative Toys to Awaken the Imagination...

Consider me a fan for life now that I've paid more attention to their offerings for kids. While the assortment is limited, Anthro's concept of presents children will love is spot on. No Crayola colored madness here. No blinking lights or battery-operated nonsense. Think: hand-crafted play things that inspire creativity in kids of all ages. I want one of everything. Seriously. They've done such a marvelous job this year curating fun books, pretty plush animals and well-made toys that will spark any child's imagination. I can't wait to see their faces when they open my favorites! See them all here

For Everyone: Thoughtful Last Minute Gifts They'll Adore...

Please tell me I'm not the only one still shopping. Fortunately for all of us I've rounded up some shockingly fabulous last minute gifts - for everyone on that list of yours. Ready? Let's go! 

The gourmand in your life with oooh and ahhh over this unique kitchen accoutrement. A faceted slab of marble makes brie presentation a much chicer affair, woubldn't you say? 

For the coffee lover in your life, wow them with by enabling their greatest passion: breathing in scintillating aroma of freshly made coffee. An elegant candle scented like a delicious, full-bodied espresso will lift their spirits and give them every reason to stay inside on a cold day. 

If note taking is his or her thing, look no further than these thoughtful journals. Lined and unlined pages inspire and encourage free expression of their thoughts and creativity. I love pairing a few of these with a spectacular pen and tying them all together with ribbon. 

For that difficult to please recipient, might I suggest this embossed brass pitcher? Beyond its obvious beauty, this gleaming vessel will add glamour and a conversation piece to her entertaining arsenal. She'll use it for myriad uses, not least of which will be as a visual reminder she should be thinking fondly of you. 

I'll admit to being a bit of a pillow junkie. There, I said it. It's the designer in me. I believe every room can benefit from a few more feather filled objects to add warmth and comfort to the vibe of a space. Grab a pair of these cotton velvet embroidered beauties and give them something to cozy up with on a cool winter's eve.  

For those of you - like myself - still squirreling away gifts under the tree, Anthropologie is offering free one day shipping. Use code ONEDAY at checkout to get those gifts home before the big day arrives. 

For Her: Furry & Fabulous Fingerless Gloves...

A flip-top glove outfitted with shearling trim? Don't mind if I do. Especially in ivory white wool. The best part? Aside from their price tag, I absolutely love the hint of silver woven in to give a very subtle shimmer. These babies allow your digits to run free for texting and taking those après-ski selfies. Move these well-designed (and super fabulous) Ugg mitten-gloves to the top of your wish list, ladies. They are fabulous. 

For You: The Valentino Arm Party of Your Dreams...

Hotter than hot. Valentino Rockstud cuff in black & gold. Helloooooo, must-have stocking stuffer. Since I love a good mix on my arm, I suggest you pair this beauty with its sister, the multi-wrap bracelet (with smaller golden studs & a tawny leather strap). The finishing touch, however, it the prized bracelet I long for... the fully golden Rockstud cuff you never knew existed until this moment. Stunning. The VIP arm party you of your very stylish dreams. 

For Me: All I Want For Christmas...

My rather eclectic list of "wants" might surprise you. Yes, there are pretty shiny things, but this girl always has a few household desires on her mind that round out the honest-to-goodness wish list. Ready for a peek inside my personal "please, can I have it" list? Here goes...

Milly's flawless faux fur coat. Hello, outerwear nirvana!

This fiercely feminine Blush Marabou Jacket...

This chandelier for my closet as well as this amazing medallion...

Neiman Marcus's exclusive Ken Downing NEST Fragrance candle (incredible scent AND that amazing tiger box!) // Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia Diffuser (because it smells DREAMY, people) // the amazing Japanese Black Currant candle from NEST (perhaps best ordered in bulk as I burn them daily!)

Not one, but two of these beauties for behind our bedside tables...

This insanely pretty duo. The super luxe iced mink faux fur blanket is lovely, but it's the dusty pink Mongolian PILLOW I covet so much. A pair will do just perfectly, please. 

A pair of these Scalamandre pillow covers....

The mini food processor I've had on my kitchen essentials list for evah...

Super luxe fantasy gifts might include this YSL crepe de chine blouse... this monogramme clutch...

However I'll gladly cast all of these desires away for these two ridiculously chic Hickory Chair Alexandra chairs (Suzanne Kasler pieces). Yes, I love my glamorous chairs! Thank you, Hickory Chair Dallas showroom for the ultimate wish list items! 

If you're a bit shocked to see things I've posted in previous posts... you shouldn't be. Everything I ever post is always (always) going to be something I genuinely adore. I hope you're getting what you want for Christmas. What should be top of mind (and centerpiece of list) for all of us is a full heart, a happy spirit and a healthy body. May your season be joyous and filled with love. xoxo

For the Epicurean: Kitchen Accoutrements They Crave...

If the way to a man's heart is his stomach, the way to my heart is through overflowing bags fro Williams-Sonoma. Sorry, it's true. Just walking through the marble slab & butcher block adorned space is enough to make my knees weak. Like the sirens calling out to sailors from eras past the gold-lettered signage above the doors seduces me from far away in the parking lot. I simply cannot pass one of these shops without just "peeking inside for a moment" in hopes of sampling some freshly baked cranberry bread or perhaps (on luckiest days) an espresso. Ahhhh, sweet American consumerism at it's finest. And. I. Love. It. 

A good gift for a kitchen enthusiast and Giada wannabe like myself? Anything from Williams-Sonoma. It's true. For all my highbrow sensibilities and Chanel preferences, the idea of seeing a white paper bag with that iconic green logo on it tells me Santa was indeed good to me this year. 

What do I want? The short answer is: everything. The longer answer is a rich medley of culinary accessories almost assuredly designed to put me on the path to greater kitchen mastery. 

Perhaps the iconic KitchenAid Pro countertop mixer is all I need to whip up baked goods in a flash. Is the lack of silver-plated ice bucket what's keeping me (and my equally absent bottle of champs) from channeling my inner Beyonce? What about those Shun knives demonstrated at the private cooking class? Is the perfect fillet of fish eluding me due to insufficient cutlery? What about a monogrammed salt keeper? The mere possession of one would impress any Alton Brown fan. Could a proper bar cart be all that's holding me back from unleashing my inner hostess with the mostess? Probably. 

I suspect the answer to all of this is a resounding yes. Why? Because each time I've invested in any of the quality instruments at this culinary haven it's been life-altering in some way. We no longer use the microwave thanks to the use of our Breville Smart Convection Oven. These pans are seriously boss and I've now reduced my pan collection to JUST one of each size. Amazing. How do I calculate my love of Nespresso? Instant espresso in seconds whilst still wearing your jammies is an undeniable life boost for the caffeinated crowd. These aren't material acquisitions so much as confidence builders and repertoire developers. New tools mean new methods. New methods results in more practice. Experience builds expertise and that expertise in turn wants to shine. Yes... the arrival of new cookware and spatulas very well will unleash your inner 

My point is... quality investments in the kitchen have paid off for me tenfold. Selecting quality equipment. tools and utensils for food preparation has repeatedly been a sound and pleasurable choice. Preparing meals is more enjoyable, easier and certainly more luxurious thanks in no small part to choosing better methods and means for prep. I'm not saying shopping is the cure, I am saying quality accoutrements in every area of your life - especially the kitchen - is a fast way to refine your cooking mojo. 

How do you make the luxury lover in your life swoon this holiday season? Neiman Marcus never fails to please, but don't overlook the opportunity to give him or her the indulgences they crave from Williams-Sonoma. Your stomach will thank you almost as profusely as they will.

FOR THE GIADA LOVER IN YOUR LIFE


For You: Fab Finds (Under $30) at Lulu & Georgia...

dwell-studio-urchin.jpg

It happens every year. Always does. So very easy to shop for myself versus anyone else. Are you with me? It's hard to deny the allure of the amazing deals everywhere. Tonight's discovery was Lulu & Georgia's 25% off sale (yes, go get some of that) and the realization that for less than $30 you can have your choice of pretty pickings. Here are just a few of the lovely accents for the home you should consider ordering for that certain someone (perhaps that's you!). And don't miss the entire shop on sale. Happy (guilt free) holiday shopping ;) 

SWEET GUILT-FREE BARGAINS

For Her: Fab Five Gifts Under $50...

Have you checked your calendar? Like it or not you're coming down to the tinseled wire in terms of shopping. Yes, it's only the 8th, but December seems to be on fast forward for me and I'm going to assume the same is true for you. I'm here with five fab gifts under $50 for the sweet friends, besties, sisters and other awesome women in your life. These are thoughtful gifts dripping with chic that won't leave your wallet dusted. 

BONUS: These amazing slouchy socks with just a hint of sparkle (thanks to fabulous Lurex) from Kate Spade. At only $26 per pair I suggest you toss a set into your own stocking as well ;) 

For Her: Gifts as Colorful & Vibrant as Her Personality...

This Saint Laurent monogrammed shoulder bag will be the only gift she remembers. Wow her. Dazzle her. Delight her. This is "THE" gift she craves. 

This colorful compact from Estee Lauder is as functional as it is glamorous. Concealed within it's colorful enamel case is the solid version of the brand's best-selling Pleasures perfume. Portions of profits support the ongoing battle against breast cancer. 

Set the stage for lively dinners and festive appetizers with these cheerful tabletop pieces from the Novogratz

Drop some color on her lobes with these Jose & Maria Barrera filigree clip earrings. These opulent beauties feature 24-karat yellow gold plate filigree and pave crystals in a range of shapes, sizes and colors. Wow factor guaranteed. 

 

Bring the noise with this portable speaker in the most delicious of pinks. Designed to go wherever she does, this faceted gem offers 12 hours of continuous usage. Brace yourself for the party. 

Get a warm Texas-sized "thank you" when you treat them to this playful Jonathan Adler needlepoint pillow

Neck seeming a bit bare? Fix that fast with Oscar de la Renta's resin statement necklace in stunning emerald and gold tones. Sure to perk her up right away. 

For You: The ONLY Gift You Really Want...

Let it be known... I'm willing to forgo all other presents for just this amazing item. Nina Ricci's faux fur leopard belted coat. Umm.... wow. The defined waist, the above the knee length, the super soft faux fur, fabulous. I promise you'll wear this classic piece for years and years to come. You'll be overly tanned in your Palm Beach condo in your 90's still rocking it. Trust me. Perfection, ladies!!!! 

Nina Ricci Belted Leopard Jacket via Neiman Marcus

For You: Spoil Yourself...

Sorry. I can't risk a Christmas without carefully chosen goodies under the tree. Neither an you. Don't wait for someone to surprise you with those amazing goodies you desire. Indulge in a little luxury with personal gifts only you could think to give yourself. An edgy-chic keychain, a fab little set of ruffled undies, a spectacular fragrance guaranteed to liven up any winter day, a Saint Laurent leopard scarf (I die!) and the coffee table book you've been coveting for ages. Just get them. Enjoy them. Make sure you spoil yourself this holiday!  

SHOP THE POST

Louboutin Book // YSL Keychain // Saint Laurent Leopard Scarf // Diana Creeland Outrageously Vibrant   // Stella McCartney Knickers

For You: Luminous Lobes...

Have I mentioned before that I love glamour? Perhaps once or twice? Ahh, yes. I thought so! Well these earrings from Alexis Bittar are super fabulous and - frankly - some of the most reasonably priced Swarovski adorned jewels I've see of late. I love the light-as-air look (much easier on the lobes) and the attainable price point (easier on the bank account). Don't you? The pave design and gorgeous golden tone metal will help you skip into the holidays in style. 

Alexis Bittar Pave Swarovski Earrings $175 via Neiman Marcus

For You: Gorgeous Brass Desk Accessories...

Put this entire collection of brass desk accessories on your the "Instagram essential" list. A golden ruler, clever oversized paper clips, that amazing pencil case (who cares if you actually use if for jewels instead?) and even a pencil should you choose to make a list of stylish to-do's for the day. Each desktop accessory is so photo-ready you might need to grab an entire set. Your legions of double-tapping fans will thank you.   

Lucent Desk Collection $24-68

For the Art Lover: Les Femmes 2015 Calendar...

Who doesn't covet this calendar featuring the illustrated works of artist & street style blogger Garance Doré? Yes, it serves a utilitarian purpose of telling you how many days until your next soirée (it's tomorrow, by the way), it serves as eye-catching art above your desk. I love Garance's signature style and fuss-free illustrating techniques. You'll love flipping the page each month to see which street style femme is featured next. 

Les Femmes 2015 Calendar $28