Don't you adore Elizabeth Taylor's sweet swimsuit with ruffles and a sweetheart neckline? Inspired by this photo, I found six swimsuits which we could rock the beach/pool with this summer...which would you wear?

How lovely are these heart shaped coffee scoop and tea strainer? I love that they look like Cupid's arrows! I know it's not anytime near Valentine's Day, but these would make an adorable bridal shower gift, wouldn't they? I would love to put these out when company comes; it would add that extra perk of loveliness to any tea (or coffee!) party.

I've been in a crafty mood lately; maybe it's because we were making favors for the wedding, or the lack of quilting in my life, but my hands have been itching for a new project. When I came across this awesome Hula Hoop Rug project, I knew I had to add it to my list of crafts to do. You use old t-shirts to create a lovely little rug! What a great project to do in summer when the little cousins are visiting, or for babysitting, or just to keep your hands busy on those long and lazy summer weekends. Rugs aren't your thing? Check out this tutorial on making a great t-shirt quilt (these make wonderful gifts!).

PS. How could you not want to try any project revolving around a hula hoop?!

Gosh, wasn't Ms. Elizabeth Taylor just the most beautiful all-American looking woman? I love the innocent, yet stunning, style in this photo of her. She looks ready to unpack a picnic, stick her feet in the water, and dish the dirt with the ladies by the pond. I adore the fact that her outfit is so playful and young, yet her face is sultry and serious. As I have summer on my mind (don't we all, always?), I wanted to see how we could wear her outfit this wasn't so hard to do, as gingham shirts are a iconic style, and I'm a huge fan of white pants (after Memorial Day, of course... ;) Where would you wear this outfit? Beach? Shopping? Hamptons?

PS. I love her red lipstick and loose wavy hair!

So, I've been putting one thing off lately: getting my veil. I have the dress, shoes, hair, everything else...just not the veil. It's not that I don't know what I want, because I do; but, I've just been having this mental block against my veil. Last Monday, right before my birthday, I saw that Love and Lavender was having a giveaway with the gorgeous headpiece/accessory/VEIL store, Tessa Kim. I loved the romantic designs of the veils, thought why not, and threw my hat in the ring. Well, low and behold, guess who won the giveaway?! That's right! Me! What!? I know. I was shocked too! I won an $100 credit to the store. I already picked out the one I want!

Speaking of giveaways, I wanted to take a second and get you all excited for Springtime at Lovely. In honor of the big day in June, we're hosting three months of giveaways, one every week! Yes, you heard me right...that's 12 giveaways this April, May, and June! Some of the amazing stores hosting their giveaways with us are: Wedology, Go Rustic, One Day at a Time Jewelry, Just Made Jewelry, Live Adorned, and Spundy! Those are just a small fraction of the giveaways this Spring...can you tell we're a tad excited?! Get pumped, Lovelies.

(photo via Love and Lavender)

TFNC Cotton One Shoulder Frill Dress; White One Shoulder Panel Dress; One Shoulder Bra Top Dress

Did you all see Top Chef last week? The one where the chef'testents had to swim under water to find conch? Anyway, the food was cool and all, but did you see Padma's white, one-shoulder dress? LOVE. We all know how I feel about Padma's style, so when I saw the dress on TV, I knew I had to search for lovely equivalents we could all wear! Which one of these styles is your fave?

Well, shall we? Let's pack some of Ina Garten's Lobster Cobb Salad Rolls, a half dozen Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes, a bottle of sparkling cider, the newest New York Magazine, and some suntan lotion (safety first, kids!) and head out to a park (find a park near you with this handy website!). Let's hang out all day, talking and not talking. Maybe someone will bring an instrument. Maybe there's a lake or a creek or a fountain nearby, someone should take a dip. Let's take photos washed out by the sun. Let's head home sleepy and full, smiling and giggling about the lazy outside day which just passed before our eyes and over our heads. Let's have a picnic, lovely.

One of the reasons we love working on Lovely at Your Side is that we adore searching for the most classic, timeless, and loveliest items we can find. Sometimes a girl's just got to have a little blue box waiting for her...whether it's under the Christmas tree, under your pillow, for your maid of honor, or as a special treat for yourself. I've been searching endlessly for the "perfect maid of honor gift" for Jenny, so I thought I would turn to a classic store. My two favorite items, which were not outrageously priced were the Tiffany Notes Round Letter Pendant Necklace and the Cupcake Charm and Chain. I love that the pendant can be personalized, and be worn every day, with any outfit. The cupcake charm is simply charming (ha. ha.), and is feminine, pretty, and would make a very special gift. Do you wear anything from Tiffany's? Which necklace would you wear?

When I was in college there was this fiery redhead who lived on my floor. She was the friendliest girl I had ever met and seemed to immediately know everyone in the school. We quickly became friends, and that summer she invited me to spend the 4th of July with her family. I had known before visiting that Melissa's mother was an artist, it was something we bonded over. However, when I stepped into Melissa's bright and sunny bedroom I was totally and utterly blown away by the painting above her bed. "Who made that?!" I exclaimed. Melissa proudly looked at me and told me it was an original silk painting by none other than her mother. I was in awe. I had seen watercolor paintings my whole life, but this was a whole different genre of art. This was miraculous. The colors just swerved in and out of each other, the detail was immaculate, and the precision was almost spiritual. I couldn't take my eyes off of it the entire visit.

When I found out that Judi was going to be selling her work on Etsy, I was more than a tad excited to feature it on Lovely. Judi's work is 100% one of a kind. It's the sort of paintings you would see in movies, or in a museum. It's the sort of art that you design a room around. I can't even begin to describe to you how breathtaking these original silk paintings are.

Check out Judi's full portfolio on her website! Want to see out Judi's work in person? She's currently showing work at Images Gallery (Briarcliff Manor, NY), The Framing Gallery (Hawthorne, NY), and Framings (Armonk, NY). However, lucky for us Lovely readers, Judi is now selling prints of her work! Talk about affordable artwork. Judi's work is the perfect price for anyone; give it as a Mother's Day gift, design your new Brooklyn apartment around her colors...whatever you choose, you're getting an amazing deal: one of a kind art for an incredible price! And even better, Judi is offering Lovely readers a special deal...10% off everything in her store! All you have to do is type in the code "Lovely" at checkout! Thanks, Judi!

While browsing the Kate Spade website for an iPod case (which they don't have, unless you have the Nano, and seriously, who has the Nano?), I came across the loveliest shoe for a wedding. It was classic, simple, looked pretty easy to wear, ivory, and...wait a second, I have that shoe! It just wasn't $298 and wasn't from Kate Spade. Months and months ago, while stopping into Payless after a Marshalls trip (we have a Payless and Marshalls in the same shopping's not good for my credit card), I stumbled upon the Nathalie Shoe (on the right) from the Unforgettable Moments wedding collection at Payless. It was comfortable, white, and had the most adorable bow in the front...a bow that is not disimilar in any way to the Keeden shoe (left) from a one Ms. Spade. I loved these shoes so much that I even wore them in my engagement shoot! While I love the Kate Spade shoes (and everything involved in the Kate Spade world), I just don't have that money to spend on a pair of heels. This is why I love the Unforgettable Moments line from Payless; the heels are easy to wear, affordable ($49.99), and come in 64 colors. Perfect for any event.

(I felt so girly and beautiful wearing these retro looking heels at my engagement shoot; photos taken by Hart + Sol Photo)

In honor of today being my birthday, I thought I'd contemplate the last year for a few minutes and share where the year between 25 and 26 has taken me. What have you done in the past year which has made you smile/proud/think twice/jump for joy? Do share, as a present to me! :)

When I was 25, I...
(in no particular order)
So, share...what have you learned about yourself in the past year?!

poster courtesy of

Our hearts go out to all the affected in Japan, all their families and all those still left searching. We urge you to stay informed, and if you can-- text message Red Cross to 90999. You can also donate to the Japanese relief and other causes (Unrest in the Mideast and Africa, etc.) by heading over to the American Red Cross website. Other donation options include Doctors Without Borders, and Oxfam. We have Japan, Russia, Oregon, Hawaii and those affected in our thoughts and prayers, we urge you to too.

Here at Lovely we love when we come across stores run by strong women. Second best? Stores run by generations of strong women in the same family. This is why, when I heard of Mother8Daughter, I knew I wanted to share them with all you lovelies. Inspired by her grandmother, Jess and her mother create beautiful accessories using her grandmother's findings and special vintage pieces. Each piece is so lovingly created, right down to every detail. Based in Nashville, Mother8Daughter (also the owner of the vintage shop, Sweet and Dandy Vintage) "create timeless treasures inspired by infinite generations of women laughing, loving, and creating." How unbelievably lovely and beautiful! Lucky for us, Mother8Daughter is excited to give away a very special accessory to one Lovely reader! You could win a boho inspired fascinator, perfect for those summer parties and events!

The Liberum Avis Fascinator: boho chic shell applique atop pheasant feathers on alligator clip. Measures approximately 4.75 inches across.

How can you win this fascinator? It's so easy! Head over to Mother8Daughter and take a look around. Then leave a comment on this Lovely post telling us which piece is your favorite. You may enter as many times as you like. Make sure you include a way to contact you in case you win!

For additional entries: Friend Lovely at Your Side on Facebook and comment again letting us know; for yet another entry, Friend Mother8Daughter and comment again, letting us know. The contest will end on March 20th, at 12 PM EST. A winner will be randomly picked and announced the next day. Good luck!

PS. Even if you don't win, you are still winning out--Mother8Daugher is offering a 10% discount on items to Lovely readers! Just enter the code LOVELY10 at checkout!

Yes, I just made up that term. You love it, stop. Check out these lovely Spring accessories. Do you think I'm pushing this whole Spring business a bit? Yes? Yes, I thought so too.

  • I am excited for my midweek stay-cation next week!
  • Oh, and some Lovely's birthday.
  • And to sleep in, all I wanted to do this morning was stay in bed!
  • I'm looking forward to noshing on my Monkey Bread, which was a terrible, terrible thing to make when your going to have approximately 4,587 pictures taken of you in just 3 months time.
  • Thinking of a green outfit to sport for St Patrick's day- check out Olivia's posts on being-dressing Green for St Patty's here and here.
  • Also, did you know it's FRIDAY? Any great plans these weekend, Lovelies?

Lovelies, I'm so digging the idea of the solid colored dresses right now; so, in honor of the coming of Spring (almost...there...!) and St. Patty's Day, here are some very affordable, versatile, and lovely green dresses you could wear almost all year round.

Lovelies, I have to admit: I don't step out of the color box all too often. For example, if I saw the hibiscus summer love d'orsay pumps from Ruche, I would automatically pair them with a pale pink dress. I see roses, I think pink. However, look at all the other bold and gorgeous colors in those shoes! You have mustard, navy, grays, greens...which means you could use so many more colors than pink to match with these shoes. Like, the Ruffle Front Shift Dress in sea-green from Asos. I love shift dresses, and this color is classic, subtle and lovely. If you wanted to go a little darker, and perhaps more casual, I'm a fan of navy, especially in this citrusy sweet blossoms applique dress from Ruche. I love the detailing around the neck; you wouldn't even need to wear jewelry with this! And last but not least is a dress I am swooning over: the Tailored Fit and Flare Dress from Asos (inspired by Victoria Beckham). I love the cut of this dress, the neckline, the flare of the's a true classic! So, which dress would you pair with these shoes?

In honor of Women's History Month (March), I thought I'd introduce you all to one of my idols, and personally and professionally: Tennessee Celeste Claflin. Tennessee (Tennie) and her sister Victoria Woodhull were, just like Olivia and I, partners extraordinaire- they were the first female Wall Street brokers, and owned their own investment firm, Woodhull, Claflin & Company. After the brokerage closed, the sisters reinvested their money and on May 14, 1870 began publishing a news paper, Woodhull and Claflin's Weekly. The paper was controversial and published stories on sex education, free love, women's suffrage, short skirts, spiritualism, vegetarianism, and licensed prostitution-- and some say even, gasp, birth control! The paper is also known for it's breaking of the Henry Ward Beecher scandal, and the first English translation of Marx's Communist Manifesto.

This March/Women's History Month/International Women's Day, I'm thinking about the women who came before me and paved the way, broke the ceilings and joined the boys clubs. A big thank you to them all, and to you all for being such strong, independent and thoughtful women, readers and feminists (even you faithful male readers out there! I see you!).