Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What I've Been Up To

Hello Gorgeous! Long time, no see! As you probably know, my schedule has been extremely busy lately, but I wanted to take a few minutes to share some of the fun things I've been up to. Of course, most of my time has been devoted to school (I defend my masters in just 8 days), but here are some of the highlights from the past month!

My fiance and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary!

And I wore this little number to our celebratory dinner. This Free People dress was also featured in a post back in May. Here I styled it with my new boots by Nicole and a tan cardy.

I also went to Seattle for a conference!

And drank an average of 2.5 lattes each day...

And found this huge ass leaf. :)

And this past weekend I took my etsy shop on the road as I participated in my first craft fair! I made lots of new designs in preparation. Here are just a few:

Paracord Survival Bracelet - $10
Braided Triple Wrap Bracelet - $20
Beaded Adjustable Macrame Bracelet - $18
By the way, Black Friday & Cyber Monday are just around the corner and I will be offering some great deals! On Friday, you can get 10% off plus FREE SHIPPING with code BLKFRISHIP! There will be other deals on Shop Small Saturday and Cyber Monday as well, but the deal on Friday will definitely be the best, so be sure to shop my etsy store, Tara Lane Designs, on Friday!

So that's what I've been up to! What have you all been doing lately? I've been missing you!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Clothing Made Just for You at eShakti!

Hello Lovelies! Sorry I've been away so long this time. I was out of town for a bit and unfortunately am now sick again (I blame it on all the school stress), but today I'm back to tell you about an awesome online shop I recently had the pleasure of working with!

As I'm sure is true for many of you, ordering clothing online is somewhat risky for me. I'm not super skinny (by any means) nor do I have normal body shape, so ordering something without trying it on usually doesn't work for me. However, eShakti has helped change that with their awesome range of sizes (0-26W) and more importantly, custom sizing! When I first heard about eShakti I figured custom sizing had to cost and arm and a leg, but I was totally wrong! The clothing and accessories they sell are not only stylish, but affordable, and having any item made into a custom piece just for you is only $7.50! Amazing! I had this lovely dress custom made for me and have gotten so many compliments on it!

I love that it's somewhat sheer, but still appropriate for fall, as well as the Grecian cut and braided detail across the waist! And of course, I love the gorgeous bird pattern!

After receiving so many compliments, I can definitely say I will be ordering more dresses, skirts, tops, etc from eShakti! Plus, you can sign up for their emails and get great special offers and discounts!

If you've never purchased anything from eShakti, I recommend you do so ASAP! Right now they have a deal where first time customers get $20 off and free custom sizing on their first order! Shipping is also free for all orders over $100, so be sure to shop soon! Here are some of the gorgeous pieces I am thinking about buying next:

Fall Quartet of Hues Dress - $89.95

Cotswold Crochet Wrap - $24.95
1000 Blue Moons Skirt - $59.95
And if you want a dress like mine, but notice that they've already sold out, check out this option, which is a similar cut and color:
Grecian Grape Dress - $54.95
So have you ladies ever had a custom made dress or other item of clothing? Would you be more willing to buy clothes online now that there is an affordable option for custom sizing via eShakti? I'd love to hear your thoughts! Also, be sure to check back soon for a bit of a "life update" to see what all I've been up to!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Review: Rivé Glass Water Bottles

Hello Lovelies! Recently I received two amazing Rivé glass water bottles that I have been using constantly ever since. While I have always been a big supporter of reusable water bottles, I have never had any that were as gorgeous as these! On top of that, these fabulous bottles are made of glass and are 100% BPA free, so they don't impart any unwanted flavors into the water (which is one of my biggest complaints with plastic bottles). They also come in different styles and designs.

The Elan is the original design and the one I've been carrying around because it's smaller than the other bottles. While I have it in lime, it comes in a variety of colors and even in a Chicago cityscape design for all you other Chicago gals (or Chicago lovers)!

I've also been using the Savoy in Peacock, which is my absolute favorite. It holds 16 oz and is great for the office! I've been getting tons of compliments on it since I started using it last week and all my office mates are just as in love with it as I am!

While at first I was a bit worried that I would break these bottles since they are made of glass, I have quickly found that they are very durable and can withstand me knocking them over on my desk multiple times (though hopefully that is the worst that will happen to them). I also love that the cap seals tightly so I don't have to worry about my water spilling out into my bag or worse, on my computer! I am totally impressed with these bottles and totally recommend them for anyone who wants a functional and stylish bottle! 

Rivé bottles are just $20-$25, and right now you can get free shipping if you order any two! Also be sure to check out Bottle Banter, a cute style blog written by Rivé founder, Jillian Craig. So do any of you have one of these amazing bottles? If not, which one do you like best? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
*These bottles were provided to me free for review, but the opinions expressed are completely my own.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Friendship Bracelet Swap 2.0

Hello Lovelies! I hope you all have been well. I came down with the flu this week, so I haven't been doing much other than lying around, reading, and watching TV. Still, I have some gorgeous arm candy to share with you all today! Meggy over at Chasing Davies put together a Friendship Bracelet Swap in which bloggers are partnered up and make friendship bracelets for one another! I was paired with the gorgeous and super sweet Bex from Bex...A Style Diary! She not only made me a super cute friendship bracelet, but also bought me a second one made of fabric and leather! Lucky me! I love them both and have been wearing them a ton since I received them last week!

Bex made the pastel colored chevron bracelet (so cute) and also bought me the awesome wine colored double wrap bracelet (perfect for fall)! I adore them both!
Be sure to check out Bex and Meggy's blogs! They both have amazing style and wonderful personalities that shine through in their posts! If you're interested in seeing the bracelet I made for Bex, click here. She also mentioned it in her Thursday Latelies video, which is super adorable, so be sure to watch it! Thanks to Meggy for making this possible and Bex for my awesome bracelets! I love them so much and have also loved learning more about Bex via emails and her blog!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Jezzy Belle's Vintage Giveaway!

Good Morning, Beauties! I have some great news for one lucky reader today! The winner of the Jezzy Belle's Vintage $30 store credit is...

Congrats to Paula G.! She loves the Grecian dress pictured above (as do many of us)! Even if you didn't win, Jezzy Belle's has lots of amazing vintage pieces available that are both gorgeous and affordable, so be sure to stop by and check this store out! Thanks to everyone who entered and thanks to Jezzy Belle's for offering such a wonderful prize!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

More Wedding Ideas

Good Morning, Gorgeous! I have been procrastinating on my work this morning by browsing Etsy for some great wedding ideas! I created a list of some of my favorite finds, and wanted to share them with you!
Click here to see my original list and check out each gorgeous item!
I love the idea of having lots of personal touches, and the contrast of nature and luxury. What do you think of these finds? Which are your favorite? I'd love some feedback!

Also, don't forget- there are only a few days left to enter the Jezzy Belle's Vintage Giveaway!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I Miss You...

Hello Lovelies. As I'm sure you've noticed, I've been on a bit of a hiatus since last week. I'm sure you've missed me (right?!) and I've missed you too (like the deserts miss the rain). Unfortunately, I can't guarantee that I'll be back to posting daily anytime soon.

If you have been a reader of Haute Lunch for a while now you know that I'm a grad student and sometimes my work load can be pretty heavy. This semester has been particularly intense and I don't see a break heading my way until I defend my master's in late November/early December. Until then I'm hoping to be able to post every other day or so, but there might be weeks like this past one that I just have to put the blog on the back burner while I burn the midnight oil reading, writing, grading, and analyzing data. I hope you all will stick around and know that I'm still reading every one of your comments and love hearing from all of you!

Check back tomorrow for a brand new post and don't forget to enter the Jezzy Belle's Giveaway! Thanks for all your support!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bracelets & Necklaces & Earrings... Oh My!

Hello Beauties! Over the last couple weeks I have added a lot of new items to my Etsy shop and wanted to share a handful of them with you! While bracelets are still my primary business, I've been trying to add more necklaces and earrings as well. Plus, I decided to sign up for a craft fair in November, so I need to have lots of baubles ready by then! Here are some of the most recent additions to my Etsy store, Tara Lane Designs:

I hope you all enjoy being periodically updated on the progress of my shop and love my creations just as much as I do! I really love having a creative outlet and making things with my own two hands. I think the gratification received from creating something on your own is some of the best there is, and I am glad I can share this passion with others!

Also, if you're in the Chicagoland area and are interested in coming to the craft fair I'll be participating in, it will be Sunday, November 20th from 10:00am-3:00pm at the Holiday Inn North Shore which is at 5300 W. Touhy in Skokie, IL. Admission is just $3 if you purchase tickets in advance, or $5 at the door. I'm a little nervous about the fair, but also really excited to try out a new avenue for selling my designs. I love talking to people both online and in real life, so I'm sure I will enjoy myself. Stop on by if you're in the area! I'd love to see you there!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

September Birchbox Review

Hello Gorgeous! I recently received my September Birchbox in the mail and have tried out some of my samples, so I'm ready to share it with you! If you haven't heard of Birchbox before, it is an awesome monthly  service that sends you 4-5 personal deluxe beauty samples for just $10/month! So far I have been quite happy with my selections and think Birchbox is a great value for the price! If you're interested in seeing what I have received over the last few months, check out these previous reviews: June, July, August.

This month's box is a celebration of the one year anniversary of Birchbox! The samples inside were supposed to be highly personalized based on each member's beauty profile, but I can't say that I was in love with everything I received (but hey, that's what samples are for, right?). Here's what came in my September Birchbox:

Clockwise from upper left: Birchbox Friendship Bracelet, Jouer Lip Enhancer Balm, Harvey Prince Eau Flirt Perfume, Blinc Mascara, Incoco Nail Polish Appliques, Lash Card, Product Description Card.
I know a lot of people were thrilled with the contents of this month's box, and although I like it fairly well, I can't say that it's my favorite (that still has to be June's box; It was amazing). Now that I've had my box for a few days I have had time to try everything except for the nail polish appliques, but I'm sure they will look just as cute as the Sally Hansen ones I posted a how to for back in April.

My favorite item from this box so far has to be the Blinc mascara. It's different from most because it doesn't just paint your lashes, it encompasses them with little tubes (once it's dry) that can only be removed with the combination of water and pressure. This means that your mascara will never run if you get stuck in the rain or have a good cry, and that you don't need eye makeup remover to take it off. I just removed it while I was washing my face before bed by gently pulling my eyelashes with my wet fingers. The little mascara tubes came off easily! I must say, this is a pretty cool invention and the only negative I can think of is that it tends to smear before it's dry.

My next favorite item is the Jouer Lip Enhancer. It is supposed to soften, moisturize, and plump your lips all at once. I like it because I can put it on by itself and my lips still look nice, even thought they're lipstick free. Not sure if I would buy the full size, but it's only $14 so it might be my next lip balm purchase.

The other two beauty products I tried so far were the Harvey Prince perfume and the Lash Card. Neither of these blew me away. The perfume says it's supposed to "inspire desire" but my fiance said it mostly inspired him to sit farther away from me. :( I must agree though, and definitely wouldn't ever consider paying $98 for this fragrance. The Lash Card, which is supposed to be used behind your lashes to keep you from smearing your mascara during application, was effective, but I don't usually smear my mascara so it isn't a product I would normally use.

So that's what I got in my September Birchbox! Happy birthday to the Birchbox team, and thanks for keeping the high end samples coming! Are you a Birchbox member yet? If so, what has been your favorite box thus far? If not, what are you waiting for?! Sign up now! :) I'm sure you'll love the monthly surprise just as much as I do!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Jezzy Belle's Vintage Giveaway!

Hello Lovelies! I have some exciting news! My newest sponsor, Jezzy Belle's Vintage, is giving away $30 store credit to one of my fabulous readers! Jezzy Belle's has amazing vintage clothes, shoes, accessories, and house wares, so everyone will be sure to find something they love! Here are a few items that are $30 or less that I would love to have (in addition to everything I featured last week)!

This blue suede skirt ($27.50) would be perfect this fall! Not only are leather skirts popular this year, but bright jewel tones are also in, making this skirt doubly trendy!
This genuine eel skin handbag would also be great for fall and is just $12!
This khaki smock dress ($30) is actually a rare plus size vintage find, and I love the neckline detail!
Of course, I might not limit myself to just $30 since there are so many gorgeous treasures at Jezzy Belle's! If I were to spend a little more, I would love to have this:
This mod mini dress is yet another double threat as it is both color blocked and features colors like mustard yellow that are super trendy this season!
So those are a few things that I would get, but since I can't win, I want to know what you would get if you won!!! This is an international giveaway, so all are welcome to enter!

Here's How to Enter:

Mandatory Entry- You should be a public follower of Haute Lunch via Google Friend Connect (see sidebar) to enter. New followers are welcome!
Additional Entries-
  • Add Jezzy Belle's to your favorite shops on Etsy (1 entry).
  • Follow Jezzy Belle's on Twitter and leave your twitter name in your comment (1 entry).
  • Follow Jezzy Belle's blog, Fancy NoPants via Bloglovin' (1 entry).
  • Like Haute Lunch on Facebook and leave your user name in your comment (1 entry).
  • Follow Haute Lunch on Twitter and leave your twitter name in your comment (1 entry).
  • Tweet this message and leave a link to your tweet in the comment: "Enter to win a $30 Jezzy Belle's Vintage Store Credit from @haute_lunch! #etsy #vintage #giveaway" (1 entry).

*Please leave a separate comment for each entry. You can submit up to 7 entries total. See below for contest rules and deadlines.
Rules: Only one of each entry method listed per person/family/household. No entering on behalf of others, using extra identities or others identities, no automated program entries, etc. This giveaway is only internationally, ages 18+. All entries must be received by 11:59 pm Central Time on Monday, October 3, 2011. Three winning entries will be chosen using and winner will be contacted via email.  Winner will have 48 hours to claim the prize. If no response, a new winner will be chosen. Good luck!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Missoni for Target Woes

Hello Gorgeous! So today is the big day! The Missoni for Target line is now available in stores and online, but apparently that doesn't necessarily mean buying a Missoni designed piece is going to be easy. This morning, I had one of two options. This...
Photo of Harlem Target Tweeted by NYC Shopping Guide
or this...
Since I hate lines and giant crowds of people, I opted for shopping online, or at least attempting to shop online. Unfortunately, the Target website ended up crashing just as I was checking out, so now I have to wait to make these Missoni for Target flats, as well as I set of mugs that I can't even access a photo of right now, mine:
Did any of you checkout online before the crash? Or perhaps you braved the lines and actually went to the store? What did you get? What would you get if you could actually do some online shopping? Honestly, at this point if my items are no longer in my cart when Target comes back online, I'm just going to forget the whole thing and do without. I don't think any material item is worth me being stressed, so I'll just keep the target tab in the background and see what happens later today. Good luck to the rest of you trying to score a Missoni for Target treasure!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sponsor Love: Jezzy Belle's Vintage

Hello Lovelies! I’m happy to announce that Haute Lunch has a fabulous new sponsor, Jezzy Belle’s Vintage! Jezzy Belle’s is a carefully curated vintage shop on Etsy that sells lots of gorgeous vintage clothing, shoes, accessories, jewelry, and much more! There are even some plus size selections, which are usually impossible to find in vintage shops! On top of all that, you can shop Jezzy Belle’s vintage no matter where you live as international shipping is available (just be sure to send a message first to get a shipping quote)!

Deborah, the shop’s owner, clearly has an eye for style and I found lots of beautiful treasures while browsing Jezzy Belle’s! I highly encourage you all to take a look for yourself as there are so many amazing vintage items! Here are some of my absolute favorites currently for sale:

While Jezzy Belle’s primarily sells clothing, shoes, and accessories, there are also some housewares and other trinkets I’d love to own! This mod cream and sugar set is absolutely adorable, and the red cocktail ring would add elegance to any ensemble! Of course the nerd in me would love to have this retro abacus as well!
I love these vintage sun glasses, which are perfect for a 70’s inspired look! These 60’s era pumps are also gorgeous, but unfortunately a tad small for me (I’m totally jealous of those of you who can wear these size 7 shoes)!
I couldn’t do a feature on Jezzy Belle’s without sharing a couple of the gorgeous dresses for sale! I love this yellow shirtdress, which would work perfectly for the fall as well as this elegant white Grecian style dress that is simple yet amazingly chic! I also could not resist these lovely rhinestone earrings from the 50’s, which I think would look great paired with the white dress!
Be sure to follow Jezzy Belle’s on twitter for coupon codes and early notifications of upcoming sales! Deborah also has a blog called Fancy NoPants (love the name) where she talks about her shop, her life, and her love of food and anything fabulous!

So, what are your favorite items from Jezzy Belle’s? Don’t you just love how the vintage styles in this store work so easily into the current trends? Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering September 11, 2001

Today, the 10th anniversary of the horrific terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, is a sad day for our country, but also a day of hope and remembrance. I encourage you to take a moment to remember those who have fallen and think about the impact this tragedy still has on our country and the world today.
Photo courtesy of Time Magazine

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Guest Post: Top 10 People to Follow During Fashion Week

Hello Lovelies! In celebration of Fashion's Night Out and the beginning of Fashion Week, I have a guest post for you today written by the lovely Sarah Ellis from Handbag Heaven! While you might remember her for her fabulous Thirsty Thursday Drunken Grapes recipe, today Sarah is sharing with us her top 10 picks for tweeters follow during fashion week! Thanks so much to Sarah for putting this fabulous list together! I know I found a few new twitter folks to follow after reading it! So now, without further ado, her are Sarah's picks:

It’s here! Fashion Week, the most anticipated event of the year in the fashion industry. While front row seats to any shows at Bryant Park are reserved for industry professionals and celebs, social media outlets like Twitter have provided HUGE insight for us “regular” fashion devotees. During September 8-15, Twitter feeds are abuzz with up-to-the-second updates with what’s coming down the runway. But if you want to be in the know, you’ve got to following the industry’s best!
I’ll give you the 411 on the Top 10 People to Follow during Fashion Week. Let’s start with the who’s who:
1. Joe Zee @mrjoezee: Creative Director for Elle Magazine, this guy has the best connections out there! With front-row invitations and exclusive behind-the-scenes access to designers he offers rare insights into the craziness that is fashion week. AND he tweets tons of pictures. Can’t beat that! He’s also one of my favorite “personalities” and gives GREAT insight and personal narrative!
2. Women’s Wear Daily @womensweardaily: In need of little explanation, women’s wear daily is the only daily publication totally devoted to the fashion industry. They are serious about fashion and VERY serious about fashion week. Their coverage is hard to match.
3. Vogue @voguemagazine: When anyone hears the name, “Vogue” they know it means fashion. One of the most trusted and revered fashion magazines, they’re another obvious follow for fashion week. And, of course, Anna Wintour, the most-watched fashion editor, is a highly prized asset at any show. Because designers know, if Anna loves it, the world loves it.
4. The Moment @themoment: The New York Times coverage of culture and style mixes both fashion show coverage and the after-hours happenings. After parties feature the cream of the crop when it comes to big names in the industry - and they’ve got the press pass.
5. Jessica Stam @Jess_Stam: Quickly rising in the highly competitive world of high fashion modeling, Jessica Stam is a highly coveted runway model. Not only seen on the runway, but in front row seats as well as many after parties. You’ll get coverage from every angle with her!
6. Bryan Boy @bryanboy: Popularized as an offbeat fashion blogger, Bryanboy has quickly gained a name for himself in the fashion industry. With tons of photos and commentary on shows and parties, you’ll get a unique perspective on the week.
7. Oscar PR Girl @oscarprgirl: A great one to follow all year round, Oscar De La Renta’s PR girl tweets about the fashion industry in a new and personal way. Get clever commentary on the happening’s of fashion week and a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how the week is pulled off!
8. Nina Garcia @ninagarcia: There’s only one Nina! Another personal favorite, Nina has a classic eye for fashion. As fashion director for Marie Claire magazine, and a long running judge on Project Runway, she knows what works and what doesn’t. Her personal insight is highly valued!
9. Mercedes Benz Fashion Week @mbfashionweek: The official New York Fashion Week twitter coverage. Need I say more?
10. DKNY PR Girl @dkny: In the same vein as Oscar De La Renta, comes another personal view of fashion week via Donna Karan New York’s PR gal. More people, parties, and photos! Plus humorous looks at the craziness that is fashion week.
There you have it fashionistas! Follow these people and you’ll be living in fashion heaven this week and next!
Author Bio: My love for fashion runs deep, as does my affinity for hoarding handbags. As a writer for Handbag Heaven, I’m looking forward to fashion week where fashion celebs gather to show off the best of their style so I can get great ideas for ways to pair fall and winter handbags! With my wedding around the corner, fashion week will keep me from stressing out too much :-)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Favorite Fall Trends

Good Morning, Gorgeous! Unless you live in some of the southern most states, the weather yesterday was no doubt a signal that the seasons are changing! The air was crisp and cool and smelled so clean, which is definitely one reason why I love fall so much! I also love fall fashions and can't wait to break out my sweaters, jackets, and boots! This fall it seems some of the trends of summer are carrying over, but there are new looks on the horizon as well. Here is a list of some of my favorite fall fashion trends so far:

Maxi Skirts & Comfy Sweaters - from Glamour
70s Inspired Working Girl Dresses - from Glamour
Jade Green Galore - from Glamour
Bright Colored Pants - from Glamour
As you can see, at least two of these trends (the maxi skirts and bright colored pants) are continuations of looks we have been sporting throughout the summer. However, these looks have been warmed up for fall with darker hues and comfy, textured fabrics.

So what fall trends have you noticed lately? Which ones are you most excited about? Which would you prefer to ignore? I'd love to hear your thoughts!