Topshop LA

I can still remember the first time that I shopped at Topshop on Oxford Street in London – I was just twelve years old. The five story location was overwhelming and mesmerizing. There was nothing like it in the States, especially back in Boston where I grew up, and I couldn’t wait to share the beautiful fashions that I had found with my friends. From then on, every trip to London included an afternoon at Topshop where we would get lost in the endless racks of cutting edge fashions.

Topshop eventually started shipping to the states, so I would occasionally purchase things online. I remember being so envious of New Yorkers when they got their first store in Times Square a few years ago. When I heard of the LA store opening, I was thrilled and couldn’t believe that it would only be a short drive away (without traffic). So this past weekend I finally made it up to the Grove to check it out! I have to say, it’s definitely NOT Oxford Circus, or anything close to it, but it still did the trick. I was concerned that the store would be packed and picked over, but that wasn’t the case. The racks were well stocked and there was no elbowing our way through crowds. I spent some time sifting through different sections and came across their special edition dresses that run from $200-$300+, which seemed a little high considering the quality. I wasn’t blown away by the accessory section, and I have a hard time paying $90+ for faux leather shoes. I was really hoping to find some Maternity pieces to bring home, but the small section left little to choose from, so I’ll be sticking with online shopping.

Overall, I was slightly disappointed with my first experience at the LA store, but it’s hard when comparing to the flagship store in London. Fast fashion has really changed the industry and made trend items accessible to the masses without paying huge retail prices. It will be interesting to see how Topshop grows in the states while competing with the likes of Forever21, H&M, and Zara – all of which offer on-trend styles at lower prices than Topshop. Here’s hoping that the Summer/Fall seasons will bring new and exciting fashions to Los Angeles.

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2012 Family Photo Session

Every year, we have a professional photographer come out to capture photos of the family, and it has been well worth the investment. I have worked with many photographers (mostly in fashion) and have a pretty good idea of what  it takes to be considered truly GREAT. Our photographer, Ginette Sundin, has been photographing our family for 3 years now, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the results of each session. Not only are her technical skills spot-on, but her composition and creativity are really what makes her stand out!  Her style is unique, and she likes to capture real-life images as opposed to those typical arranged family photos. Plus, she is amazing with our kids; they feel very comfortable with her and she has clever ways about encouraging their natural fun behavior.

Ginette has also become a friend over the years. We have similar tastes in art and decor, and we both share a love for gardening. Her gardening skills have far surpassed ours, and we are treated with fresh produce and EGGS after each session!!

For this particular session we decided to take the kids to the beach and have a classic family photography session… minus the blue jeans, white shirts, and hand holding (well, we might have slipped one of those in). We couldn’t possibly go to the beach without splashing around in the water, our kids are little fish; so I mentioned to Ginette that I wanted to try something a little different and here are the results:

To view more photos from our session, you can visit Ginette at her blog, or click here for part 1, and here for part 2. Thank you Ginette, for another wonderful session and for braving the surf! We had a blast hanging out and getting wet!

Summer Highlights

I decided to take a couple of weeks off from blogging to enjoy the last few days of summer and get ready for the start of a new school year! Our summer was a blast, and it went by too fast. We spent almost every day at the beach or pool with friends and family… it was SO nice to have a couple of months without any obligations. Our days consisted of swimming, sand castles, burgers and ice cream (which I am paying for).

School has now started, and we will miss our summer days; but Adella is happy to be back, and looking forward to dancing again.  Luckily, September brings some of the best beach weather without the summer crowds, and with Adella’s three-day school schedule, we’ll still have a couple of good beach days each week! Here are a few highlights from our summer c/o instagram:

Here is the big girl (and boy) on her first day back at school. In case you were wondering, Nolan insists on wearing his helmet everywhere, including school. Notice the pose she taught him, too.

Cheap Chic Find

I am always on the hunt for quality items at low prices; especially when it comes to clothing, shoes, and home furnishings. Discount shopping isn’t something I necessarily have the time for these days, but I love coming across a good bargain! I found this skirt at the end of last year’s summer sale, and I was immediately drawn the the bright colors and fullness of the fabric. The best part… it was on sale for $4.99!! It’s proven to be one of the best purchases I’ve made; the skirt can be worn in many different ways, by dressing it up or down, depending on the occasion.

Zara Skirt, Mona B Blouse, COOP Platforms, House of Harlow 1960 Sunglasses, Gifted Bracelet

May Gray

We are in the midst of the dreaded Southern California “May Gray”. The months of May and June bring gloomy weather with an occasional hot day to remind us of what is just around the corner. It is depressing. I had hoped we got away from such weather when we moved from Boston, but being so close to the ocean has it’s price. This time of year I usually look forward to wearing vibrant prints and light weight fabrics, but those will have to wait until our much needed trip to Palm Springs next week. Instead, I found this beautiful new blazer that is the perfect layering piece, and will carry well into the fall/holiday season. I love the cropped and contoured fit with a shorter hem in the back. It’s the attention to detail which really makes Helmut Lang stand out from the rest.

Helmut Lang Tux Blazer, Ambiance Tee, Zara Leggings, Helmut Lang Asymmetrical Bra, J.Crew Necklace, Thrifted Bracelet, Low Luv Armor Ring, Cooperative Shoes

Don’t forget you have until May 9th to enter in our Flowers In May giveaway!