Friday, June 29, 2012

A Madison Summer

[A sunset over Lake Mendota at Memorial Union Terrace]

Summers in Madison, Wisconsin, are nothing if not serene. While the nightlife remains somewhat bustling, it doesn't nearly compare to that of the school year. With most students back home for the season, the campus slows down, and focus shifts from meetings and parties to the littler things, the details easily overlooked during the rest of the year. The clean urbanity of Capitol Square, the strange social order of the ducks on the lake, and the enticing smell of food trucks outside the bookstore serve as the icing on the cake of Monday night movies on the terrace and weekly trips to happy hour. Although I have no idea where in the world (literally and figuratively) I will be in a couple years, I'm certain that my laid-back summer in Madison will be cherished no matter what continent I'm on--even if I find myself dwelling in a Parisian apartment. Hey, I can dream.

[Night stroll near the Capitol]

[First cosmo ever at Paisan's happy hour]

[A duck drying off on a hot afternoon]

[The (in)famous Union pitcher]

xo Heidi

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Collar ID: The Sequel

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
While I almost cringe as I admit this, I'm already wishing for fall (just a little bit). Before all you hot weather lovers scoff and roll your eyes, know that it isn't exactly the end of sunshine and its accompanying laid-back atmosphere that I look forward to--actually I'm really going to miss the whole t-shirt and shorts get-up I rely on daily--but the innovative fall fashion. And the trend I'm most excited for this season is the reemergence of collars. I loved them in December, and I love them now. 
The quaint flaps are essentially details, but undoubtedly mighty ones. Especially now, these mere trimmings have the power to transform a bland outfit into an unparalleled one. They can render an ethereal one more structured and a casual one more polished. But I'm most of all impressed by the scholarly, almost collegiate, air they possess. Because when you make as many stupid jokes and silly comments as I do, you require at least a hint of visual class to pull you from lowbrow to highbrow.

Images via  
xo Heidi

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Little Stripes

Zebra Crossing Scarf, $24,

There's something to be said about those tiny plastic animals I played with as a child. Everything from their smell to their texture switches on a remembering light in my head, and merely picking up one sends me back to an age of extensive journeys to imaginary realms, a place where time seemed to stand still. Too bad it didn't truly stand still, though, because here I am, halfway through college, being hurriedly catapulted into the adult world. The Barbies and Beanie Babies that were once at my fingertips have been suddenly replaced by coffees and a laptop. Needless to say, I'm long overdue for a trip to the zoo. So thank you, Fred Flare, for making the Zebra Crossing Scarf available to all of us speedily aging kids. With one sheer garment, you've enabled a breezy summer evening to become oh-so much more: a trip down memory lane and a quirky-cool reminder to slow down and smell the zebras.

xo Heidi 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Bejeweled Burden

[The sore neck is worth it. A look this bold delivers both mass and magnificence.]
Images via

Land, ho! Are those newly discovered territories or...really big gems? The ladies at Lanvin took on a weighty task for the fall shows and strung on jewels that exercised their earlobes and necks, but not without reaping the benefits. (And each sashayed down the runway as if donning delicate chains, not decadently monstrous pendants.) Art deco-y and baroque, monumental rubies, emeralds, and sapphires brought already luxe fur-encased and glove-bedecked outfits to extravagant new peaks, domains so chic you may want to explore them yourself. Play into this over-the-top lavishness by wearing a pair of earrings and a necklace that match, and juxtapose the chunkiness with a sleek yet relaxed blowout. Et voila! Black-tie (or bar time) ready. 


1. V-Lace Necklace, $26, 2. Ranita Drops, $68, 3. Ranjana Khan Bronze Necklace, $49, 4. Serpentine Drops, $172, 5. ASOS Floral Rhinestone Y Necklace, $33.14, 6. Rhinestones and Spikes Bib Necklace, $12.97,

xo Heidi

Monday, June 25, 2012

Around the World in 10 Ways

TOKYO, in Rochas

Leave it to Hollywood sweetheart Emma Stone to blow your travel pictures out of the water. Over the last couple weeks, the leading lady has been globe-trotting to promote her latest flick, The Amazing Spiderman. And let's just say (since these pictures speak volumes) that she hasn't let her busy schedule affect her flawless wardrobe. From her burgundy velvet number in Japan, to her sleek beaded jumpsuit in London, to her dramatic (and to-die-for) gown a la femme fatale in Paris, Stone's been on a streak so stylish that her ensembles alone make any girl rush to buy pre-sale tickets for the Spidey movie. A streak so stylish that onlookers must forget that there are other actors in the film as well. A streak so stylish that one wonders how Emma was able to stay within the 50-pound luggage limit at the airport. Oh, the perks of being a starlet.

SEOUL, in Jennifer Meyer and Brian Atwood

MOSCOW, in Lanvin

SEOUL, in Fendi

MOSCOW, in Emilio Pucci

LONDON, in Elie Saab

PARIS, in Gucci

BERLIN, in Andrew Gn

MADRID, in Dolce & Gabbana

ROME, in Bottega Veneta

All photos via
xo Heidi

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Case of the Blues

Essie's Bikini So Teeny, $8,
While I'm a sucker for any red mani (the affinity ranges from bright cherry red all the way to vampy brownish crimson), something about the summer, perhaps its abundance of sunlight and the resulting way the world looks more vibrant, urges me to paint my nails unexpected colors. And although neons have hogged spots as the season's go-to nail polish hues, their brazenness that I once loved has grown boring--call me desensitized by brights. 
My new cool drink of water? Essie's Bikini So Teeny. The name makes my stomach drop (please don't make me put one of those on right now!), but the sweet cornflower-y, periwinkle-y shade is nothing less than soothing. While the polish sacrifices no playfulness, I imagine that this little bottle of blue may be the next most tranquil thing after a lounge by the pool. Then again, the polish doesn't require any sticky sunscreen, so Essie just might win this one.

xo Heidi 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Hair Rut: Summer Edition

[Relaxed twist + bun]

While summer hairstyles should never look fussy (especially ones for daytime), it's all too true that the heat is extra hard to beat when my hair's not up. Long locks worn down essentially act as a scarf or thick hat, absorbing heat and sweat. Add in humidity and strands sticking to my face, and I'm already wishing fall were here. And while everyone can toss together a typical ponytail or braid, to me, the basics grow boring by the time July rolls around, and I'm left wondering why I haven't just chopped off my hair already. Here are some looks that have (thankfully) kept me from taking that jump, as they're both refreshingly chic, and well, physically refreshing.

[Tight and messy knot + black bobby pin accents]

[All up + retro bang twist]

[Loose French braid (held together by hairspray and a hidden bobby)]

[Textured pony + hair-wrapped elastic]

[Middle part + wavy texture + thick twists]

[Smooth strands + a sock bun (you can find instructions on how to create one all over the net)]

[Baseball cap + loose knot]

[Sleek + super twisted pony]

[Bouffant in front + bouncy in back]

[Long strands in front + loosely tied pony + delicate headband]

[...or DO cut it all off: the universally flattering "lob" or long bob]

xo Heidi

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Bits & Pieces

[Macchiato & cappuccino]

While days spent lounging at home in Illinois with my family and dog are undeniably cherished, there are few better feelings than the one that comes with exploring independently. I plan to pass time this summer by trying cuisine from local Madison restaurants, hiking everywhere from the city's upscale Capitol area to its more naturally gorgeous settings, and taking advantage of hot days with plenty of fruit and ice cream. So far, since getting here, I've been able to tackle a pile of magazines I've been putting off reading for the last few months, and I even took the time to bake a cake (even though it collapsed in the oven and ended up being a fail of an endeavor). But aside from a culinary slip-up, I have a good feeling about the next few months, and I hope that everyone else is diving into their summers with as much buoyancy and serenity as I am!

[A little piece of paradise in Madison discovered on a hike]

[A key lime coconut cake indulgence (not the failed confection obviously) -- recipe here]

[A new place to stow shades (remember this little guy?)]

[A healthy sweet treat: fresh strawberries]

[Creamy coconut sorbet...from Costco!]

[The 2 youngest members of my family and recent high school grads]

xo Heidi

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Mon Ami Gabi

[The menu whose very sight makes my mouth water]

Although the past week has been overwhelmingly busy for me (I just moved back to Madison for the summer and apologize for my absence...but I'm ready to post regularly again!), I was fortunate enough to have a relaxing dinner with my family a couple weeks ago in honor of my sister's high school graduation. A student of four years of high school French (like me), my sister decided upon Mon Ami Gabi when asked where she wanted to dine. With only 5 locations across the country--2 of which are in Illinois--the French eatery boasts dishes gourmet enough for the adventurous eater but large enough for the hearty one. And since my favorite steak (the melts-in-your-mouth-thin Steak Classique) is served up there, I had no qualms about her pick.

[Steak Classique & frites (a.k.a. The Best Thing Ever)]

[The authentic-looking and Parisian casual dining area]

[Full bar & fancy waiters]

[A baguette, of course]

[My sister's roasted chicken & frites]

[Housemade Country Pate]

[Baked Goat Cheese]

[Giant bottles & a mini Eiffel Tower]

[...and even more bottles around the entrance]

xo Heidi