February 27, 2013

Menswear Wednesday: General Knot & Co.

I'm a sucker for a good looking tie. I think I've already done at least a couple of posts on men's neckwear since A Pop of Style's beginnings, but I have a knack for finding small, independent businesses who've dedicated their career to creating a genuine, well-made product.

General Knot & Co. is my latest find... a company out of New England that has such an interesting founding story: two guys that met while waiting for a train to New York, and decided to start a business. Here's how you know their products are "the real deal:" every tie is made in limited quantities, and each tie comes with a numbered card that designates its place in the collection. Talk about one-of-a-kind.

February 26, 2013

Sugo di Pomodore (Tomato basil sauce)

The bad thing about making your own sauce from scratch: once you do it, every store-bought jar of sauce tastes horrible. Such is the case with this recipe below. But the upside is, it's super easy to make (and not all that expensive!) This recipe is from a restaurant cookbook, that hopefully I'll get to make more dishes from in the near future. 

Sugo di Pomodore (Tomato basil sauce) makes two quarts

- 3 24-oz. cans chopped tomatoes, preferably Hunts
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 6 medium size garlic cloves
- 1/3 cup tomato puree
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, loosely packed, coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 tbs. coarse salt
- 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbs. honey or pinch of sugar (optional)

In a food processor/blender, puree the olive oil and garlic. Pour the mixture into a medium size sauce pan and heat over medium heat. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Stir in chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in honey and fresh basil. Makes about 10 cups.

February 25, 2013

A Pop of {cheap} Style: Triangle strand necklace

Although I love Bauble Bar and all of the beautiful pieces they offer on their site, splurging on $30-$50 necklaces isn't exactly within my budget right now. I've been a fan of their Pave Tab Strand since it first came out, and was surprised to find something very similar to it at Forever 21. Of course, I gave in to it's $13 price tag almost instantly, and although it may not be as bright, big and shiny as the Bauble Bar one, it works nicely as a layering piece, or as an easy way to glam up a simple t-shirt! 


February 20, 2013

Menswear Wednesday: The new 'it" lunchbox

So long, metal lunchbox, you're just not cool anymore. In fact, you haven't been "in" since the days of 10 cent milk cartons and lunch periods in my school cafeteria where I'd trade my Snack Pack for a Fruit Roll-Up. Apparently, graduating to paper bags just doesn't cut it anymore either.

Let me introduce: the reusable waxed canvas lunch bag. 

I guess you can assume these lunchbags are suitable for both men and women, but there's something about the look of them that calls for men to stop buying their lunch (or attempting to pack it in a blue grocery bag) and start bringing it in these. Its constructed of waxed canvas, so you can bet its durable enough for heavy tupperware, bottled drinks, etc. 

Whats even better is that it's reusable (aka, great for the environment!) and even has a stylish touch to it. 

Find them at the Etsy store PegandAwl, along with a few other really neat things.


February 19, 2013

Flat out gorgeous

Since I really only ever wear my flats or riding boots to work each day, I've spent good money on my one pair of black flats (more about that later in a future post!). Because I spent way too much on my one pair, I'm semi-reluctant to splurge on a new pair or two of new flats for the spring. However, J.Crew's new line has beyond impressed me. How adorable are these new arrivals? My favorite are the scalloped ones!

February 18, 2013

Happy Monday!

Since I had a crazy-busy weekend, I thought I'd start the week off with a few blurbs of Monday inspiration from my Words to Live By board on Pinterest. For those of you who have the day off for President's Day, I envy you!

Happy Monday.

February 15, 2013


As I turn 23 today, I guess I can no longer sing T.Swift's "22" and have it directly relate to my age-- 23 just doesn't have the same ring to it! But I am excited for the third year of my twenties, as I'm hoping to cross a few things off of my "101 in 1,001" list this year (Hopefully numbers 2, 3, and 32!) Tonight, I'm gong to a wine bar with a bunch of friends, and we'll see what tomorrow night brings (it's the best when your birthday falls on a weekend!)

Here's to 23.


February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

"Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds. It is an ever fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken. Love alters not with time's brief hours and weeks, but bears it out... even to the edge of doom."                                                                                               --William Shakespeare

February 13, 2013

Menswear Wednesday: {American} Made Collection

I have a sweet spot in my heart for US Companies dedicated to making products in America. I've seen a growing trend in start-up clothiers in the US, one of which is Made Collection. Based out of Boulder, CO, each product listed (which includes apparel and accessories for men and women, as well as home goods) shows you how many US workers you'll support by purchasing that product. In addition, you can boost your 'boom score' with each purchase, which gives you a running tally of your positive impact on America.  

I loved the heathered gingham shirt, the Canby wooden sunglasses (because who else would have these??) and the reversible prairie bow tie, among other items. Check this place out, you'll automatically feel better knowing you're buying American-made!


February 12, 2013

How-to: DIY iPhone charging caddy

Whenever I charge my phone, it's either sitting on the counter somewhere in my house or on the ground in my bedroom. Since I don't have a nightstand table to rest it on when I charge it each night and I hate leaving it on the floor (mostly because I trip over the cord and rip it out of the wall), I decided to create my own little iPhone caddy. Using an old lotion bottle and a little paint, it was an easy little project to finish over the weekend! Follow the steps below to make your own.

1. Rinse out an empty lotion bottle with soap and water


2. Trace an outline of where you want to cut (I used an eyeliner just in case I messed up). Cut out with scissors.

3. Then trace a rounded square (for your charger). I used a razor blade + cutting board to cut it out.

4. Because I wanted to paint it with a chevron pattern, I used masking tape to measure the lines of where I would spray paint.

5. Then using gold spray paint, I painted the entire caddy with two coats.

6. Let it dry for at least 3 hours, and then take off the tape. It may not look perfect, which is where the paint + paintbrush come in!

Next, fill in the rest of the space with paint (just be sure to keep a steady hand!)

February 11, 2013

Valentine's Day must-haves

Single or taken, there's something about a day devoted to love that makes me love Valentine's Day. Ok, maybe it's because my birthday is the day after Valentine's Day, but I still love the candy hearts, valentines and cheesy/lovey-dovey things that occur on the 14th. For all things devoted to sappy love stories, hearts and shades of red and pink, here are a few must-haves for V-Day. 

"Love" bookends: Sure, they may be from the kid's section of Pottery Barn, but what 20-something wouldn't want these holding her book collection together?

"Somewhere in Time:" For anyone who hasn't seen this movie yet, run (do not walk!) to your nearest Target/Walmart/online Netflix subscription so you can watch this movie on Valentine's Day. You'll be swooning over Christopher Reeve's performance, and planning a trip to the Grand Hotel in Michigan, where the movie was filmed.

"Love Story:" Another classic love story, it began the phrase, "Love means never having to say you're sorry."

"Fall in Love for Life:" I originally saw this book in Anthropologie, and stood there for at least five minutes indulging in its first few pages. It tells the love story of a couple married for 73 years.

Heart Tray: Use it as decor, or for a tray to serve fruity pink drinks on Valentine's Day.

Butter London Nail Polish: Spending over $10 for nail polish is a little crazy, but these two colors are not only perfect for the 14th, they're also perfect for the spring!

Doloris Petunia one-of-a-kind earrings: I have had my eye on many things from this Etsy shop since I saw this designer on Cupcakes and Cashmere, and these earrings are at the top of my list. 

February 8, 2013

Prabal Gurung for Target

After the Target + Neiman Marcus collaboration this past holiday season, I blogged about how disappointed I was with Target's designer collections. Most of them are too good to be true when you go from seeing the pieces on a commercial to in-store on the hangers, but I'm going to keep my fingers crossed with the new Prabal Gurung for Target collection. With all of the bright colors and floral designs, how could this not be gorgeous in person! Plus, how cute is the commercial? And just in time for Valentine's Day. :)



February 7, 2013

Leather-sleeved jackets

When I was a sophomore in college about two years ago, my mom bought me a coat from BCBG that I had been swooning over for over six months. Being the sale stalker that she is (I learned from the best!), it wound up under the Christmas tree after she'd found it on super-sale for almost 60% off. To this day, it is still one of my favorite coats for many reasons, but one specifically: its faux leather sleeves.

In 2010, I remember getting strange looks on campus. Here I was, wearing an all black long peacoat with leather sleeves among other students clad in sweats and Uggs, because I dressed up for class more often than not. I called it my "Matrix" coat because I was surely channeling Keanu Reeves, but I loved it because it was something no one else had.

Now, almost everyone wants a coat with leather (or 'pleather') sleeves. The look can dress up or down an outfit, depending on what you pair your jacket with.

What would you wear a leather-sleeved jacket with?

                                                              Clockwise from top-left: {1} {2} {3} {4} {5} {6}

February 5, 2013

Wallpaper accent wall

Just when I thought everyone was swearing off wallpaper for good, the blogosphere and interior design magazines are making us all run out to our local Sherwin Williams to sift through the pages of numerous wallpaper books in search of the perfect pattern. This time around, we don't have to worry about A. spending a lot of money, or B. hours of frustration over wallpapering an entire room, because the trend is only wallpapering one wall.

This seems a bit silly, but it allows you to make a contrast between your paint color by choosing something to decorate one wall with. It adds of pop of flair to a simple room. Here are a few of the spaces that use this idea well.

February 4, 2013

Hey Macklemore, can we go thrift shopping?

I've blogged about Cleveland's vintage scene in the past, but never have I put together a piece on Cleveland's Flower Child. Flower Child is a chain vintage store, but I've been partial to Cleveland's for many years. When you enter, it's like walking into a time capsule, as the boutique has items dating back as far as the 1930's. Most of the prices are a bit too high for me, but it's always fun to browse through the many rooms of clothing, accessories, books and decor.

Do you have any vintage stores in your city that you frequent?

{A super vintage Kate Spade NY bag. Would you checkout those handles!?}

{As soon as I put this coat on, I realized why so many women buy fur coats-- it's like wearing a furnace it's so warm!}


{I've had my eyes on this suit for a while, because it was made in for The Higbee Company in Cleveland, circa 1960s/1970s. Also, it reminds me of Jackie Kennedy's Chanel suit from 1963. Is $65 too much?}

{The original "Rock'em Sock'em Robots" by Mattel}

February 1, 2013

The tutu trend

Whenever I see a girl in a tutu who's not on stage for a performance, my mind goes directly to Carrie Bradshaw and that iconic pale pink tutu from Sex and the City's opening credits. Fun fact: the tutu was actually fished out of a bargain bin at the last minute by the show's designer, Patricia Field, according to this article. While it may seem outlandish to wear a tutu in broad daylight if you're not SJP, it seems to be something of a trend lately. With a statement necklace and a laid back shirt/slouchy sweater, would you try out this look if you weren't a ballerina?