Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Charm City Style - Art Project

I love this reminds me of what one of my art projects in college may have looked like after the all the paint splatter dried.  Paired with a vintage piece (found a few weeks ago on The Avenue in Hampden), I couldn't resist the pairing. 

Dress Cynthia Steffe, Tahari tights, suede booties MRKT (Italy), clover leaf charm necklace and leather bracelet both found at Sassanova Baltimore, long necklace and clutch both vintage, gold hoop earrings found at Nordstrom, Michael Kors watch, black onyx ring found at Loehman's, 
"Wicked" by Essie nails with Essie's gold glitter "Luxeffects" on top

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Baltimore Sun Photo Shoot - Behind the Scenes

I was recently asked by The Baltimore Sun to help with an article about "shopping for difficult-to-buy-for individuals."  My interview four people (chosen by the newspaper) and select four different gifts for each personality.  In addition to the story, I was asked to do a photo shoot for the cover of the story.  
Here's a sneak peek at the behind-the-scenes...

LOOK 1) Tracy Reese fringed collar dress, Alexis Bittar earrings, Miriam Haskell cuff all 
from Jones & Jones, leopard print heels from Stephanie's closet

LOOK 2) Parker dress and grey, fur vest by Theory both from L’Apparenza, gold Tory Burch shoulder bag from Handbags In The City, Kate Spade grey suede pumps (with feathers!) from Sassanova

LOOK 3) Vintage sequin jacket from Stephanie’s closet, Alice and Olivia sweater and black leather pants from L’Apparenza, gold Tory Burch shoulder bag from Handbags In The City
snakeskin heels from Stephanie's closet

And "THE WINNING LOOK" (above) was featured in The Baltimore Sun Magazine on 
Sunday, November 27, 2011.  View the entire article online HERE!

Ashley Santana, Design Assistant, Bradshaw Styling (left)
Hair and make-up, Ashley Riddle, Up Do's For I Do's (right) - THANK YOU!
Story by John-John Williams IV, Photos by Lloyd Fox.  

Charm City Style - Gold Delight

I am often asked about my wardrobe, "where to shop," and enjoy helping my clients think outside the box when putting new looks together.  Recently a client asked how to make "a simple white t-shirt and comfy leggings" chic?  I thought this worked well as I was running errands this weekend and getting a head start on my holiday decorating.  It's amazing what a few sparkly accessories can do...

Forever 21 sequined hat and jacket, Calvin Klein white t, beaded necklace (vintage), 
Nordstrom leggings, Cole Hahn boots, Michael Kors watch

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Best Quote of the Year. Hands Down.

I am a huge fan of words in general, love a good quote and do my best to throw positive energy 

out into the world every day.  For me, this quote might just be my very favorite from 2011.  

Cheers to the holiday ahead, ending the year in STYLE and many more "AMAZING THINGS" 

on your horizon...



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Inspiration: Rustic Vintage

For the past few weeks my team and I have been preparing the details for an upcoming "vintage inspired" photo shoot.  Our color palette of soft pink, antique white, and gray (with a little chippy paint and a few sequins thrown in for good measure) has gotten us all a flutter.  With oodles of confetti poms still to assemble, you can guess how we'll be spending our holiday weekend.  Oh, we'll also be adding a few of these delicious treats to our tablescape too.  If you're looking for something yummy to bake post turkey dinner, this recipe will not disappoint...

1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups water
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 egg whites

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour an 11 x 13 inch cake pan.
2.  Stir together the white cake mix, flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl until well mixed. Pour in the water, sour cream, vegetable oil, almond and vanilla extracts.  Add egg whites and beat with an electric mixer on low until all of the ingredients are mixed together and moistened (some lumps still remain, about 4 minutes).
3.  Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake in the preheated oven until the top is a light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean (about 25 minutes). Allow cake to cool before frosting.
Please note:  This recipe is for a cake. For cupcakes, decrease the baking time and watch them carefully. They will be done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

1 lb confectioners sugar (4 cups)
1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup unsalted butter (the Target brand is great!)
3 tbsp milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
Beat half the sugar with the shortening and the butter.  Gradually add milk and continue beating. Gradually add vanilla, remaining sugar and salt until the right consistency is reached.  This recipe makes enough frosting for 24 cupcakes.

Beauty Buzz - Switch Up Your Scent This Season

Just in time for holiday shopping, these 5 delicious new fragrances are making us rethink our old standbys...New season, new scent?  There's nothing wrong with mixing things up every once in awhile!

  1. Notes of pear, ambrette seed and musk keep this sparkling rose & ylang ylang combination elegant. Escada Especially Escada Eau de Parfum, $84, Sephora
  2. Suitable for both day and night, this classic bouquet of violet, rose and sandalwood has us excited for upcoming holiday celebrations. Bobbi Brown Bobbi’s Party Eau de Parfum, $60, Bobbi Brown
  3. Wild strawberry, black cherry and hints of black currant liqueur meet with jasmine, lily of the valley, and sandalwood in BCBG's debut fragrance. BCBG MaxAzria Eau de Parfum, $55, BCBG
  4. The heady mix of bergamot, mandarin and lily is absolutely mesmerizing - peach and lychee just add a touch of sweet - and how gorgeous is the bottle? Dolce & Gabbanna The One Eau de Parfum, $95, Saks
  5. For the cool and composed Girl About Town, Balenciaga's L'Essence combines violet, vetiver and moss for a quiet, clean sensuality. Balenciaga L’Essence, $130, Neiman Marcus

Monday, November 21, 2011

Stephanie Entertains - Floral Centerpiece How To

With Thanksgiving now just days away, I am sure you are beginning to get out your grandmother's china, make a last minute shopping list and prep the table for the big meal.  Stuck on what to put in the center of your spread? Try this...

Step 1:  Select a decorative container and a color palette.  I chose this footed, turquoise piece because I thought it would contrast our color trio of oranges, golds and reds quite nicely...A perfect fit for our Thanksgiving scene. 

Step 2:  Gather your supplies and prep your container. You will need: a piece floral oasis (found at your local craft supplier), floral tape, garden snips and/or a knife, greens, filler flowers and some pretty accent blooms. I suggest placing an inexpensive, plastic container inside the decorative one to protect it from any water damage.  Soak the oasis in water, place the saturated oasis in the disposable container and secure with floral tape.

Step 3:  Fill around the outside of the container with foliage to create a base layer and cover the plastic container. Keep in mind, using a mix of seasonal greens is an inexpensive way to fill your base and you can even gather these goodies in your own back yard.  Here I used oak leaf hydrangea.  It has great color and big leaves.

Step 4:  Place less expensive "filler" flowers (sedum, football mums and abelia shown above) around your container to begin filling in some of the holes.  Don't forget to turn your container around when you are working so you can fill it in from all angles.

Step 5:  Gather pricier blooms (mini calla lilies, mokara orchids, roses and tulips shown here) and continue filling in the holes.  Keep in mind that these are your focal flowers so placing them in clusters throughout the arrangement gives you a great punch of color all over.

Step 6: Now it is time to add your final touches.  Here we added hypericum berries and these gorgeous guinea feathers.  I love their texture and the white polka dots are just so fun!

Step 7:  Step back and E.N.J.O.Y!  Don't forget to continue to hydrate your oasis every day or so to keep your blooms fresh and longer lasting.

On a personal note, a very Happy Thanksgiving to each of you.  Know I am thankful for all of my readers and so grateful to continue to do what I love every day of the year.

Visit our friends locally at: Crimson and Clover Floral Design, Inc., 733 Deepdene Road, Baltimore
There is still time to sign up for their centerpiece class to be held TOMORROW at 6:30 PM.  
Or, REGISTER NOW for their "Holiday Wreath" making classes in early December. 
For more information, visit them online at:

Charm City Style - Special Delivery

Well, it looks like the holidays are finally upon us!  On Friday I was running errands with my interns and received a very "special delivery" for an upcoming holiday decor project. Think it happened to arrive in a bright, red truck?  I thought it made a great spur-of-the-moment photo op...

United Colors of Benetton coat, Saks Fifth Ave leggings and necklace, bracelet from Loehman's, earrings found at South Moon Under, suede booties Vince Camuto, handbag by Aqua Madonna, 
"Power Clutch" by Essie nails, "Russian Red" lips by MAC

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Friday 5

A peek at a few of the pretty things that inspired me this week...

I just found these To.Die.For. Vince Camuto suede boots at Loehman's (for a steal) 
and can't wait to wear them!

My new, gorgeous, gold business card holder from Table Art (found here)...

China pattern to be used this Thanksgiving.

The last colorful blossoms on the fall mums in front of my apartment.

Sunday's unmistakeable sunset.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Charm City Style - Furry Fashion

Well, it sure is windy here in Charm City today.  I had a great working lunch at Baltimore Country Club (in Roland Park) gearing up for the December 2, 2011 Annual Fashion Show.  It was so nice to meet all of the member models and catch up with our boutique owners and vendor partners. 
 Now off to another client meeting...

My best "Chica" even took advantage of the windy photo op...  
No, we haven't turned on the runway fans just yet!

        Blouse Forever 21, vintage belt, Isaac Mizhari for Target pencil skirt, fishnet stockings from Tahari, BCBGeneration platform pumps and necklace, Michael Kors watch, bracelet from Nordstrom, Aqua Madonna handbag, "Power Clutch" by Essie nails, "Russian Red" lips by MAC

Travel in Style

With Thanksgiving exactly one week away, you may, like me, be traveling to spend time with friends and family. With jam-packed highways and flight delays, stressing out about what to pack is the last thing you need. Here are a few quick tips to make sure you don't over pack and still sport your holiday best...

Tip #1:  Make a list.  Without one it's easy to forget essentials.  Don't forget to include electronics like phone, iPad and chargers.  Not to mention, make-up, jewelry and pretty underpinnings.

Tip #2:  Think in layers.  Be sure to pack versatile items that can be worn many different ways.  Check out our layering tips here.

Tip #3:  Bring beauty samples.  Sample size beauty products and travel-sized toiletries are perfect for long weekends and overnight stays.  Grab some free swag from your local department store makeup counters. They're won't cost you a dime and you can dispose of them before you pack for your return home. We are especially loving these.

Tip #4:  Accessorize.  This is a great way to mix up your wardrobe and statement jewelry is an easy way to take your outfit from day-to-night.  Not to mention, it wouldn't be the holidays without a little bling.  Don't forget your sunglasses too.  I've already packed these.

Tip #5:  Have a go-to travel outfit.  Choose one outfit to wear to and from your destination to save precious packing space in your bag.  A pair of leggings, cozy sweater (and/or blazer), boots and scarf combo is a great go-to.

Safe and happy travels to you and yours!
xo, stephanie

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Stephanie Entertains - Perfect Party Place Settings

The holidays are a great time of joy to be shared with friends and family alike.  That being said, I am often asked how to set the "perfect" place setting.  So, here you go...Five simple steps to creating a warm and inviting tablescape that packs some serious style punch with less stress and more time to enjoy the party. 

1. Select a color palette and/or theme. Start with a color trio or perhaps simply a specific holiday (birthday, etc). A pretty table linen (you can rent them locally or have one shipped to your home) provides the canvas on which to begin creating your party scene.
                                                        Illustration by Caitlin McGauley - lover her!
2. Gather your goodies. Knowing where to place china, flatware and glassware can be a little challenging (especially with all those forks involved).  Putting pieces in their proper place makes all the difference when styling your table. Don't forget that mixing colors and patterns feels more modern and playful. Here we paired a decorative, gold charger with a simple, turquoise dinner plate and added a patterned salad plate for instant WOW factor.
                                                                               Images by Meghan Elliot Photography
3. Incorporate personal details. Bringing personal touches to your setting is a great way to make guests feel welcome.  Consider making menu cards (like ours above) at home, or have them printed locally.  Looking to go the extra mile?  Place cards and candy wrappers (for yummy favors) are also easy DIY's.

4. Add accent lighting. Aside from setting a soft mood and creating a welcoming atmosphere, everyone looks great by candlelight (especially when capturing photographs). Here, we spread small, gold, beaded votives around our centerpiece to create a soft, simple glow.

5.  Gather from your garden.  Adding flowers or greenery to your tablescape will create the warmth and festivity that every holiday meal needs.  Here we used all while florals, but seasonal blooms, feathers, pine cones, and branches are just a few alternatives.  Your backyard is a great place to find seasonal greenery and foliage. Remember to keep centerpieces low so guests can easily talk across the table. 

Now, it's time to get cookin'!  Be sure to check back later this week for our DIY floral centerpiece tutorial...

Happy hosting! 
xo, stephanie

Charm City Style - Walk in the Woods

 I needed a little break from the studio yesterday afternoon, so I decided to go to on a short walk 
in the woods (one of my very places to be).  It was the perfect mid-day retreat and 
the fresh air was exactly what I needed.

BCBG Max Azria top, leopard scarf (one similar at TopShop), Nordstrom leggings, braided belt Abercrombie & Fitch, boots Cole Hahn, watch Michael Kors, chain link bracelet Nordstrom

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

GAT Beauty Buzz Give.A.Way

Look what the GIRL ABOUT TOWN is giving away now!
Post a comment on our blog about your beauty product MUST HAVE and be entered to win 
Bobbi Brown's Holiday Glamour Set! We'll announce the winner on Friday...

Haute Couture Baltimore

Last night I attended the Haute Couture Baltimore fashion show at The Pier 5 Hotel put on by the Maryland Academy of Couture Arts and the Baltimore Fashion Alliance.  Here is a little sneak peek...

The mission of the Baltimore Fashion Alliance (BFA) is:  
"To provide professionals in the fashion industry superior education, networking, and resources as well as giving back to the community through charitable programs and contributions."
Click here to see more images from the event.