And if you don’t know…now you know.

We’ve all seen them… the pins, posters, notebooks, t-shirts and mugs with the now famous slogan “Keep Calm and Carry On”.  But did you ever wonder where this slogan came from and why it’s now so popular? Because I did and had no idea what it was all about until recently…

This poster/slogan was first created by Great Britain’s Ministry of Information in 1939 at the start of World War II. Its purpose was to strengthen the morale during war and in the event of a wartime disaster. (The designer of the poster is actually unknown). Because the Crown Copyright expires on artistic works created by the UK government after 50 years, this image and slogan is now open to the public to use.

In 2000, some reprints of this poster were found in a second hand book shop in Northumberland called Barter Books. The owners then began recreating this image onto clothing and other paraphernalia, which eventually got picked up by Americans leading to the many  parodies you see now.

Here are a few cute ones I found:

So if you don’t know…now you know!

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More Than Just A Manicure

Remember the days when getting a manicure only required the simple decision of french vs. wicked? Getting a bright blue or even pink sparkles was considered childish and tacky. Now, a french manicure is boring unless there is some sparkle or other color besides pink/white involved.

Over the past few years, manicures have become so much more than just a plain color on your nails – they are true expression of who you are and they are even considered a fashion accessory. I believe this new fad first started with the simple act of painting your ring finger a different color than the others. That eventually spread into “ombre nails” or having each nail painted a different shade of the same color. (I also give Lauren Conrad full credit for this).

After that, all bets were off. Sally Hansen created Salon Effects – nail polish stickers that are easily applicable and last 10 days. And for those people with a little more time on their hands, salons have been offering all types of nail designs – from cheetah to lace to floral – you name it.

Although I tend to err on the side of caution and prefer traditional polishes, I do especially like these patterns and designs:

If this is too much glitter for you – try doing only one nail:

Newspaper print- how creative!!

I personally LOVE this black matte.

Although I don’t think I will ever take it to Katy Perry lengths and get a picture of my husband etched into my nails, I would definitely experiment with a few of these styles.

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2012 New Year’s Resolutions

1. Go the gym!

Yes, this is the most obvious and common New Years resolution but it’s a task I have been putting off for months so I’m hoping 2012 will help motivate me. (And my new Living Social voucher for 1 month at New York Sports Club).

2. Stress Less!

I tend to stress out a little (okay, a lot) about stupid little things that don’t really matter in the long run. So to save me (and those who have to listen to me freak out) some time I’m attempting to minimize my stress level. How? I’m not sure yet… ideas are welcome.

3. Write more!

I started this blog in September and have only written 11 posts…FAIL! It’s hard work keeping up a blog (especially with good content) but writing again makes me realize how much I missed it. My new goal is to write 2x per week.

4. Read the news!

I will admit that after graduating college I have been slacking on my news reading. Without the motivation of weekly quizzes on current events, I began to check my go-to news websites less often. A few weeks ago I was embarrassingly called out for not knowing about a pretty  important advancement in a widely known event. Let’s just say it had something to do with occupying a famous street that rhymes with “hall”.

Happy New Year everyone!

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LBD of The Week 12.26

Rare Opulence (The Outnet) – $330

I am completely obsessed with this dress. It’s simple and chic with just the right amount of flair. (Also a little black swan-eqsue). Perfect for NYE!

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Midnight in Paris Cheat Sheet

If you have ever been to Paris you will definitely appreciate this movie. The opening scene itself (showing all the different streets in Paris during the course of a day) made me nostalgic for the city. However, I’m not ashamed to admit I had to google a few of the artists/writers that were mentioned. Yes, I know who Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Picasso are… but Modigliani? Belmonte? Gauguin? Call me ignorant but these names weren’t ringing a bell.

For those of you that may have felt a little in the dark as well… here is a short cheat sheet on some of the names you may not recognize:

  • Gertrude Stein – American poet, writer, and art collector who spent most of her life in France. Stein was a mentor for many Cubist and experimental artists and writers including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Georges Braque,  Juan Gris,  F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ernest Hemingway.
  • Cole Porter – American singer and songwriter. His wrote many musicals – his most famous being “Kiss Me, Kate”.
  • Juan Belmonte – famous Spanish bullfighter and considered to be the greatest matador of all time.
  • Amadeo Modigliani – Italian painter and sculptor who spent most of his life in Paris. Primarily a figurative artist, he became known for paintings and sculptures in a modern style characterized by mask-like faces and elongation of form. He was also the epitome of a starving artist – living most of his life in poverty and with drug and alcohol addiction.
  • Paul Gaugin – leading French post-impressionist artist.
  • Zelda Fitzgerald – wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Because her husband was such a success, Zelda was constantly struggling to find her own passion in life – from writing to painting to ballet dancing. Zelda and F. Scott’s marriage was tumultuous and rocky; she was later diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Also, in case you were trying to google her as well, Adriana (Owen Wilson’s love interest) is actually a fictional character and never really existed…that we know of..

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Tibi Fashion Week

Thanks to New York Magazine, I had the privilege of attending the Tibi fashion show in New York City last week. One thing I LOVE about Tibi is the way their clothes fall – the fabric really accents the body perfectly. I also love their use of patterns. The designs are beautiful and incorporated into the pieces so well.

Below are a few of my favorites from the new collection. There were multiple pieces with this black and green color scheme and pattern which I thought was just gorgeous.

Be sure to check out Tibi’s blog which features inspirations as well as celebrities wearing Tibi.

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Lookbook Favorites 9.16

I love this pairing of jean shirts and maxi skirts – especially because the charcoal grey looks great against the light blue. This is a perfect transitional outfit into fall. 

Fall is here! That means oranges and  browns are coming back. I love burnt orange – especially with gold accessories. 

I think mary jane heels and rolled up jeans are a truly classic look. Want something a little more edgy? Try boyfriend jeans instead.  

My favorite fall/winter piece: over-sized cable knit sweaters! This is a perfect example of how to dress up  a large comfy sweater. Booties would also be a great substitute.

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Fall Wish List: Harem Pants

My first reaction when I saw harem pants was “Why is she dressed up like Jasmine?” I refered to them as “genie pants” forever – not knowing what they were really called. Now, not only do I know the name – but they are on the top of my wish list for fall.

After much deliberation, I still can’t decide if I want black cotton or silk slacks. I tried on cotton ones the other day and they were so comfy but looked kind of grungy at the same time.  Silk would look much nicer and you could dress it up a lot easier. When paired with a blazer, harem pants are great for work – especially with a cute pair of heels.

Here are some of my favorites I found while shopping around online:

Staring at Stars (Urban Outfitters) – $59

Joseph (Net-a-Porter) – 306 Euros

River Island (ASOS) – $43

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It Girl of The Moment

Ellie Goulding is one of my new favorite artists. It’s hard to describe her music – it’s definitely electronic but different from other types in that category because she is actually a good singer. Europe really does get everything first – as Ellie was huge in England before anyone even knew of her in America. She even won the Critic’s Choice award at the 2010 BRIT Awards.

Major claim to fame: She was the only live performer at Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding reception.

It’s Ellie’s newest album – Lights – that has been getting so much press over here. I definitely recommend giving it a listen on Spotify. My favorite songs include:

  • Lights
  • Starry Eyed
  • Under The Sheets
  • Salt Skin

Warning: You definitely cannot sit still when listening to her CD – you will find an urge to dance always! Her songs are also very easy to accidentally sing along to…

Ellie also has the cutest style – it’s a little on the punky/hipster side but she is always very girly. She should be the spokesperson for Urban Outfitters as her style would fit right in.

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To See: A Heroic Life

As a devout fan of all things French (especially music and film), A Heroic Life is a movie on the top of my list. Documenting the crazy life of singer-songwriter, actor, and director Serge Gainsbourg, it tells his story from start to finish.

Gainsbourg was such an inspiration because he covered all different types of music – from jazz to pop to reggae to mambo. Known as a playboy (and often had very suggestive lyrics) – Gainsbourg’s girlfriends included Brigitte Bardot, Juliette Greco and of course, Jane Birkin). He was the epitome of a French man and this film covers it all:

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