The Sabah House

November 23, 2015

Right around this time last year, I met Mickey Ashmore in Dallas Texas when he was having a trunk show for his shoe brand, Sabah. I wasn't just intrigued by the look of the kicks - leather slipper-espadrille-style slides that are as simple as they are cool - but also his story of leaving finance/strategy to pursue selling the handmade-in-Turkey shoes. I was lucky enough to walk away from the trunk show with a black pair of Sabahs with painted lips by artist George Venson on them (see my shoes here and check out George's wallpaper line Voutsa).

Since then I have worn my Sabah shoes many, many times and have come to rely on them as a year-round style that's ideal for my casual sensibility. But I wasn't satisfied with just having one pair...I wanted another. Sally stopped by a trunk show Sabah was having in San Francisco two weekends ago and got a silver/gold leather version for herself, but by the time she got there they didn't have any colored options left in my size (do other sisters shop for each other via texting and FaceTime like this?). Boo. Lucky for me, Mickey told Sally at the event that he would be back in New York at the same time I would be visiting.


So while I was in New York last week (Wednesday-Friday, very short trip) I made a point to get to the East Village to visit The Sabah House. There are only a few ways one can get their hands on some Sabahs: catch a trunk show (announcements made via @thesabahdealer and if you sign up on the mailing list) and shop what stock Mickey was able to bring with him, email an order with size and color preference to, or getting an appointment to stop by the Sabah House in New York’s East Village by emailing Mickey is a big traveler so it felt like the stars were aligning that he was in NY while I was.

The Sabah House is a combination of showroom, stockroom, and personal apartment. The front door literally opens onto the street and if you can’t tell from the photos I snapped while I was there, it’s a welcoming, eclectic environment that’s a combination of personal and travel mementos, books, and art. It’s definitely the ideal spot to find the perfect pair of Sabahs because the space evokes Mickey’s wanderlust and authenticity that brought the brand to life.

I knew I wanted a pair of blue Sabahs (this was determined after following @thesabahdealer and seeing various colors available for the better part of a year) and I got to choose between bright blue leather and a blue suede version. Other hues I love: camel, mint, magenta, leopard…really, all of them are great and very wearable. The deliberation was tough but I ended up with the blue leather and have been skipping around with them on my feet since leaving NY.

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What’s a girl to do when she carries a small bag or clutch and a regular wallet won’t fit in the minimal space? Rather than have our IDs, cards, and cash float around and risk getting lost, we employ cardholders when bag space is limited. There are a lot of options in the market (luxe ones like this, this, and this) but we like the price point, simple look, and personalized option of the cardholders by Cuyana.



Holiday parties and fêtes are nearly upon us. As girls who typically opt for dressy-casual attire, we love the idea of pairing a top like this Tulle and Jersey Tee by REDValentino with some dark denim or colorful cropped pants. The dotted tulle lends a festive feel and we like how flattering the sweetheart necklace looks. Just bring your host or hostess one of these and you’re good to go.  Top also here!!



Experiencing Target’s Beauty Concierge Program

November 20, 2015

Makeup and skincare products are really at the top of list when it comes to favorite things to buy. Years ago someone (a fellow female) gave me the advice that spending money on these products didn’t make you vain, it made you practical - the beauty products you put on your skin and face is as essential to your everyday routine as putting on underwear (another thing worth splurging on) so why not invest in what makes you look and feel your best. Makes sense. Aside from buying items that help me maintain healthy skin and look like the best version of myself, it’s also just really fun to try new types of beauty products, formulas and shades to see what personally works best.

What makes shopping for beauty products a little tough is that when you do it online or in various retail locations you can’t try before you buy. That means your depending on advertising, packaging, word-of-mouth or web and print reviews, or you’re just browsing and winging it. Target - a favorite of many including myself for beauty buys - recently realized how tricky it was for customers to shop their beauty aisles when they couldn’t ask an expert questions or try products before buying them and came up with a Beauty Concierge program. If if sounds great to you already, it should. I tested out the program myself at a Target location in Houston and am sharing my experience here!


A quick Google search with “target beauty concierge” took me to this landing page on Target’s site which allowed me to search for a store in my area with the participating Beauty Concierge program. Something to note: all locations have specific hours of when there’s a concierge specialist in the store. Easy enough. I needed toilet paper, socks, coffee/tea, and my favorite mascara was starting to get dry so I headed to my closest Target.

The beauty aisles of any Target are like beacons that call me home. Something about the lighting and neat rows of packaged products puts me at ease. But besides beelining it to the Maybelline mascara that’s my tried-and-true favorite, I had no idea what else I wanted or needed. I was just about to look around for a Beauty Concierege when I heard, “Hi, can I help you find something or answer any questions?” Behind me was Claudia, friendly and competent in a crisp black button down and name take that stated she was the Beauty Concierge specialist and licensed cosmetologist.

“I’m not sure what I need, but I want to try something new. And I’m not into the idea of contouring.” This is all I gave Claudia to begin my test of the program. Poor thing, I wasn’t trying to make things hard but what I was asking for was the real truth! I’ve got basics like foundation, concealer, powder, and blush I wear every day but I was really up for trying trying some trends that weren’t too far out of my comfort zone. Below is the beauty journey we went on…

Strobing is the biggest trend I’m seeing people want to try right now.” – Claudia. She explained that the method was similar to contouring because it highlighted areas of the face, but no dark shading was used. The basic technique is to apply highlighter to all the “high” areas of the face (the ones that naturally catch the most light) and create a super radiant glow. Claudia suggested I start with some L’Oreal’s True Match Lumi – a liquid glow illuminator – and pat the formula on my cheekbones, continuing to the sides of my eyes, then down the bridge of my nose, right above my lip and on my cupid’s bow, and then just below my brows. She also advised I use a powder formula (I got Physicians Formula Mineral Glow Pearls Powder Palette) and gave me an awesome trick: using a fan or multipurpose brush (I got this one), sweep the brush through the powder but make sure what it picks up is barely a dusting of luminizer, then spray a setting spray on the brush before sweeting the brush on the same areas of the face where the liquid laminator was applied. Besides helping me pick the two products for strobing, Claudia also recommended the shades – icy pale blush hues – based on the pink undertones in my skin.

Matte Lips. – Claudia. I heard those two words and was very quick to say that matte lipsticks always make my lips look like they are flaky and dry. Claudia didn’t even blink, she just led me to a lipstick (the Mattlelustre by Pixi and explained that it contained hyaluronic acid that nourishes and hydrates the lips (helping to prevent flake) while still giving a matte look. She picked out a pretty mauve pink saying that the medium hue would make any flakiness that could happen less noticeable than a heavy red or super pale pink. She also showed me some Color Riche lip pens by L’Oreal Paris, one with a super matte look and one that had a hint of shine but went on and stayed put like a matte formula. I went with the more glossy of the two, La Lacque, and went for a pale pink/nude and a berry red.

“Everyone is into brows and bold lashes. – Claudia. Now we were getting into my makeup love language…mascara! I showed her the Maybelline Mega Plush already in my basket and told her I preferred Maybelline to Covergirl mascaras because they never seemed to flake off in the waterproof formulas I always buy (the length of my lashes and shape of my eye makes it impossible for me to wear anything but waterproof). Claudia said that if I liked Maybelline that I needed to try The Falsies Push Up Drama because it produced a crazy curl without a lash curler and gave really good volume and lenghth. Sold. I explained that I currently used brow powder and brow brush to fill and shape what little eyebrow situation I had. She suggested trying Maybelline’s Brow Define + Fill Duo – one end of the stick had a small pencil for precision lining and the other side had a powder applicator that the dispensed color as it moved along the brow line and between the edges already lined by the pencil. Her reasoning was that the hybrid product would be similar to what I was already using but that I’d have the option of more control if I wanted it with the pencil aspect.

Skin products that work for everyone.” – Claudia. While makeup products and hues need to be picked for each individual person, there are several new skincare items that are designed to work on all skin types. Claudia’s current obsession is Pixi’s Glow Tonic. Used with a flat cotton round in place of a toner after cleansing your face, the tonic doesn’t contain any alcohol but does have 5% glycol acid which exfoliates and brightens without drying or abrasion. Claudia tole me she loves that even after she’s washed her face she still sees makeup left behind by her cleansing routine come off on the cotton round. The other item she recommended was Laneige’s Water Sleeping Mask. The mask contains highly concentrated ionized mineral water and ceramics which when applied and left on before bedtime, deliver moisture to stressed, parched skin. I was convinced to try it after Claudia told me that other ingredients included aromatic scents that helped lull one to sleep.

Overall I left Target as I usually do: feeling stoked to get home, rip open packages, and start using what I bought. The only difference is that this time – thanks to Claudia and the Beauty Concierge program – I was able to find new products that I’m excited to try and wouldn’t have been able to find without expert guidance and advice. Being able to visit the beauty aisles with a request (even one as vague and open ended as mine), getting to ask questions, learn application techniques/trends/tips and tricks, and be told what shades were best for me was a hugely helpful experience. And one that I’m going to be all too happy to repeat in the future.

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Heart Flats

Flats and loafers are having a major moment right now. And we love that these Clement Heart Flats by Isa Tapia are kind of a hybrid between both shoe styles. The heart-shaped toe and scalloped heel are sweet but mix of patent leather and high-shine patent keep them cool. If the brand doesn’t sound familiar, we suggest taking a look at their inspired offerings. Kitten heels are really our thing but these Snakeskin Pumps are pretty fabulous.

Interiors + Decor

Matchbox Car Series

If there’s one person we love to stalk it’s our photographer friend, Leslee Mitchell. Based in Nashville, Leslee is an amazing wedding photographer who always seems to be tied to the coolest projects in her sparse free time. One such project: her Matchbox Car Series of prints available on One Kings Lane. You can see how great the cars look hanging in grouping in this inspired home feature of Pencil & Paper founders Gen and Ben Sohr (shots by Leslee, of course!).

Sporty Tory

November 19, 2015

I'm in New York! A few months ago one of my best friends invited me to a black tie benefit for a great not-for-profit organization (more about it in another post to come) and I said I'd love to come in for the event. Fast forward and here I am...staying with my blog bestie Grace (who's also going to the event) and her puffy kitty Tyrion. In an attempt to pack very light and save suitcase space for my short trip I decided not to bring a coat or jacket and instead packed thick sweaters for my two days in the city. This oversized sweater from Tory Sport came with me and it's what I'll be wearing today.


Even though the long sweater is part of Tory Burch’s new sport line, when I first got it I immediately envisioned it with a pair of heels. Even with its oversized design, the knit is so luxe and heavy I wanted to put it with a sleek pump to juxtapose the weight of it. I love how it looks dressed up but today I’ll be wearing it with the same J Brand jeans and my new loafers. I should have brought sneakers – not only because the sweater would have looked great with a pair but also because sneaks are the practical footwear for stomping the concrete jungle of Manhattan – but you know, suitcase space.

Side note: as someone who isn’t very athletic but believes in being active, I’m very into wearing a Fitbit. I had the Fitbit One and really liked it because it could be clipped under clothes and tracked steps even if you weren’t swinging your arms (ex: when you’re hauling in groceries, pushing a shopping card, etc.). But after losing that tracker while changing in a dressing room (so sad) I decided the Flex version might be a better option for me because wearing a bracelet is somehow easier for me to remember (and not lose) and than a clip-on. So far so good…I like seeing my steps add up each day and high-five myself when I rarely make it to the 10k goal. And I really love my Tory Sport for Fitbit Bracelet. It’s a sleeker home for the little bit I wear when I’m not working out. The stripe grosgrain bracelet is only available here but you can shop the rest of Tory’s FitBit accessories right here. I’m eyeing the double-wrap black + shiny brass version!

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The Everyday Tote

It’s no secret that we love (love, love) Truffle. We could live without our collection of clutchespouches, and cases if we had to, but we certainly wouldn’t want to. A few months ago the brand added a new addition to the Truffle family with this wristlet, and now they’ve released The Everyday Tote. We both have one of these tan leather beauties and they are even more perfect, practical and pretty in person!


Nightlight Drops

BaubleBar always gets statement jewelry so right. And they always have pieces that are perfect for the season. There are more than a few things that have caught our eye recently (hello, Olivia Palermo collection and Afterlight collection!) but these Nightlight Drop Earrings have to be favorites. The design is simple but also festive and the larger size (3″ long) means they’ll back a punch no matter what you style them with.

Walk of…

November 16, 2015

When I first tried on this dress version of the infamous Frank & Eileen button-down silhouette my immediate thought was: wait, is this a guy's shirt? It is not in fact a men's shirt - and I knew this because the Eileen shirt style for women doesn't have the first several buttons from the collar down (a genius way to make a shirt more feminine) and this was a dress length of that style. But really, the relaxed fit of the dress sort of made me feel like I stole a shirt from a guy for a walk of shame fashion moment. And I didn't hate it...


Called Mary, the dress hits a few inches above the knee but is longer in the back. It has a baby breast pocket (which is adorable) and the brand invites fans to wear the shirts and dresses with wrinkles because really, what 100% cotton shirt or dress doesn’t wrinkle a little?

I’ve worn the dress with heels for a heightened walk of shame juxtaposed look and also with sneakers and with a striped shirt tied around the waist (what’s better than stripes on stripes?). It’s seriously versatile and comfortable. And I think I’ll be layering thick sweaters over it and wearing it over skinny jeans and leggings as a tunic style once it’s too cold for me to sport bare legs. I’m also crushing on the Mary in this flannel version…envisioning it with some tall boots!

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