Thank You.

Thank you all for your kind words on my big announcement yesterday. You have me feeling more confident than ever that I'm making the right choice in moving to San Francisco.
This weekend I'll be spending time with a dear friend who's in town after her semester abroad and celebrating the 22nd birthday of a very special someone. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend — you deserve it!

{photos via Sarah Klassen and Camille Styles}

A Leap of Faith {or} I'm Headed to San Francisco!

Several of you have inquired about my post-graduate plans. The honest truth is that, up until yesterday, I had no idea. I applied to a few design jobs in New York. I lined up a few interviews. I got a few rejections. I still have a few irons in the fire — but I've decided to table those options for now.
A few months ago, Crystal mentioned that she would love to have me intern for Rue Magazine in San Francisco for the summer. (I intern for her now, but everything I do is via my laptop.) I appreciated the offer and assumed it would make an excellent back-up plan to my other prospects.
I had this notion, like so many soon-to-be graduates, that being successful would mean landing a job with one of my dream companies, making enough money to pay New York rent, and having the stability that a full-time job entails. But I had this increasingly nagging feeling that taking a position in New York would mean passing up a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Working for Rue will not be the most lucrative or stable job I could take. Moving across the country, to a city I visited for just three days at age 15, is unsettling. And the fact that there's no way to predict what will happen after Rue's one-year anniversary issue in September reminds me just how big a risk I'm taking.
And yet I know I would never forgive myself if I didn't take Crystal up on her offer. Words cannot describe how much I have loved writing and interning for Rue — and the opportunity to experience the day-to-day operations of an online magazine excites me more than any corporate job could. 
As my parents have reminded me time and again, New York is forever. All my family lives on the east coast, and New York will forever feel like the city in my backyard. But the opportunity to fly to California, live in a new city for three and a half months, and work alongside two inspiring female entrepreneurs is right now. When I redefine success as lifelong learning and personal enrichment, I don't have to think twice about knowing which path is right for me.
From early June through mid-September, I will be living in Crystal's beautiful new apartment and spending my days writing, coordinating photo shoots, planning launch events, making new friends, eating good food, and exploring a new-to-me city. To me, it sounds like heaven on earth.
My life to this point has followed a very average timeline: high school, college, study abroad, intern over the summer. Spending the summer with Rue in San Francisco is easily the biggest decision I have made to date — and I am grateful for the newfound knowledge that it's the best one I could possibly make right now.
I am incredibly thankful to Crystal and Anne for extending this opportunity and to my parents for encouraging me to scratch all my type-A planning and do something totally outside the box. I am grateful to all of you who show up here each day to read and comment and encourage, and I cannot wait to share this adventure with you all. 

{all photos from Rue}

In The Red

Red has never been one of my favorite colors but I'm loving the strong statement it makes in these three very different spaces.
How fun is the striped floor at this hotel bar? White furniture and simple throw pillows keep it from looking too over-the-top.
Modern chairs are a happy complement to a large framed photograph in classic black and white. I swear I will never tire of herringbone floors!
I love the playful use of pink-red in this more traditional space. Velvet upholstered stools and a glossy white ceiling keep my interest piqued.
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Do you have any red in your home? Where are your favorite places to inject a little color?

Cat Eyes

One trend I can get behind this spring is the resurgence of cat eye sunnies. I find them devilishly chic in a playful retro sort of way!
Taking a cue from the always on-point Kate Moss, there are two ways to get the universally flattering cat eye look. I'm loving this winged liner tutorial from Lauren Conrad's new blog, The Beauty Department, for a saucy nighttime look and I love this inexpensive pair of sunglasses from Urban Outfitters for day. 
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What are your favorite trends this spring?

Well-Groomed Gardens

It's finally beginning to feel like spring in my neck of the woods and I'm welcoming the warm weather with open arms. Today I'd like to transport to any one of these impeccably manicured gardens with an Arnold Palmer and a good book in hand. What are you reading these days? I'm so looking forward to having the time to read for pleasure again!

{these beautiful pictures and many more courtesy of Patterson Maker}

For The Soon-To-Be Grad

 When we did the Design Darling Reader Survey a month back, I was surprised to learn that nearly 50% of you are between the ages of 18 and 24, meaning that you're either in college yourself or likely have younger friends and siblings who are.
That's why I'm so excited to introduce you all to my newest sponsor, College Memory Book. It's essentially a blank canvas on which to record the memorable moments of your four years in college, from the friends you made to the parties you attended and everything in between.
It's also a cool way to capture all the things that Facebook doesn't, the day-to-day events you might not have pictures of but that you'd like to remember. Freshman year I attended a lecture by Bill Clinton and I so wish I had written down how moved by his speech I was that day!
I would also use it to make note of major sporting events that I attended. This year Bucknell's basketball team won the Patriot League championship — some of the most fun games I've ever seen!
The College Memory Book features blank templates that you can download and customize with your own anecdotes and pictures so you have space for football tailgates and spring break trips alike! 
The spiral book could also function as a planner for big dates. I always save my past notebooks because I love to look back at what I had on my plate that month! Exciting meetings, fun concerts, stressful assignments that seemed super important at the time...
In short, the College Memory Book is exactly whatever you make it to be — and isn't that true for college itself? The book costs just $25 and I love the idea of using it to catalog your own memories or gifting it to a graduating high school student to keep track of his or her next four years.
How did you (or will you) keep track of your college experience? I would love to hear from you!

Framed Shopping Bags, Part Deux

Do you remember when my friend Kelly sent me this picture of framed shopping bags? The idea was a big hit so when I spotted this collage over at The Coveteur, I knew I just had to share. Kinda cool, right?

Currently Coveting {Tory Burch}

Hi there and happy Monday! I'm starting the week off on a high note as I recently won a $100 Tory Burch giveaway on Linh's beautiful blog La-La Linh. Here are a few things I'm eyeing...

On a side note, the yellow pants and red belt are featured in this stunning shot from Tory's spring campaign. The styling takes my breath away!
On another side note, do you think I could magically look like Blair if I invested in a red leather belt?

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Which of these items is your favorite? Shall I spend it or save it for a rainy day?

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P.S. Did you know that Tory Burch offers 3.5% cash back on Ebates? It's not a lot but it definitely adds up! I've gotten $49 cash back since I joined the site this fall. If you're not yet familiar, sign up here and find out how many of your favorite stores offer cash back just for shopping through their site! Hint, hint: J.Crew is 2%, Shopbop 6%...

The One-Month Mark.

Today is the one-month mark to my college graduation and I'm experiencing a million different emotions at the thought. I'm in disbelief at how quickly these past four years have flown by and it makes my heart heavy to think that next month will mark what is, in many ways, the end of an era. This is the first time in my life that I find myself without a working plan for what comes next and it's exciting and nerve-wracking and scary all at once.
It honestly feels like yesterday that I was standing in the circle in front of my freshman year dorm waving good-bye to my parents, tears streaming down my face at the thought of being away from home for the first time. Since then, Bucknell has become my home away from home, a place where I feel happy and safe and loved. This weekend I'll be reflecting on my favorite college memories and reminding myself to make the most of what's left.
No matter how you plan to spend your weekend, I hope you'll join me in taking a moment to stop and smell the roses. It's important to keep your eye on the prize and to set goals for yourself, but I find that sometimes we could all use the reminder to just sit back and enjoy the ride. 

{photos one and two}

Behind The Scenes.

I've raved about The Coveteur before so this is a reminder that you must check it out if you haven't already. If you love fashion, accessories, styling, and charming behind-the-scenes anecdotes about how some of the industry's most famous names come by their covetable possessions, you will surely fall in love...
Some things get even better with age! I find new photos to add to my inspiration folder every time I stop by and I'm endlessly inspired by the quick success of this admirable blog. Bravo!

Joss & Main $100 Giveaway Winner!

I am so excited to announce the winner of the Joss & Main $100 giveaway! Thank you to everyone who entered! And the winner is...

Rashon of Mr. Goodwill HuntingCongratulations! I'll be putting you in touch with Alexandra from Joss & Main. I hope you buy something fabulous to share with your readers!

Pretty Pretty Pillows.

Anyone who's seen my closet knows that I generally prefer solid colors to busy prints. I do love the color-blocked look but truthfully I just have a hard time finding patterns I like! (Does anyone else have this problem?) That said, with spring and summer allegedly around the corner, I'm finding myself suddenly drawn to preppy punches of pattern...
And any one of these pillows from Layla Grayce would do the trick! I love the bright graphic patterns and think they'd be a lovely complement to all the solid-colored pieces in my current décor. Baby steps ;)

The White Dress Shirt

There are some pieces that every young woman should have in her wardrobe rotation: the little black dress, the perfect pair of skinny jeans, a khaki trench coat... Let's add to the list the classic white dress shirt, which has truly never looked better!
I'd be lying if I said this picture of Cameron Diaz didn't inspire my recent interview outfit: white dress shirt, white pants, brown leather belt, and (because it's not quite warm enough in New York!) a classic navy blazer. Head-to-toe white is a year-round "do" in my book!
The white dress shirt is a versatile piece, easily dressed down for daytime. Wear yours with white shorts for a lunch date or over a bikini as an unexpectedly chic cover-up at the beach!
And when the work week begins again, you'll have your white dress shirt to keep you looking prim and proper in the workplace... Or perfectly professional even on casual Friday!
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What are a few of your wardrobe staples?

{P.S. I'll be picking the winner of the Joss & Main $100 giveaway tomorrow so please enter if you haven't already!}