Ask AFL: Fall Handbags

So we’ve had an unofficial “Ask AFL” request. A friend of mine in need of a new fall bag asked when we were going to put up our favorite fall everyday bags (like we did for summer). And even though it didn’t come through official “Ask AFL” channels, I happened to be in the mood for virtual shopping and love my friend C’s sense of style, so I pulled together my favorites (shocking I’m so willing to flaunt the rules, I know). I’m in love with rich colors and jewel tones, and a few black + white bags as well (particularly the animal-inspired polka dots — I really, really want to figure out a way to work that print into Cam’s big girl room — jungle spot wallpaper perhaps?). Have a favorite?!

A Feteful Life: Fall Handbags

1 / 2 / 3

4 / 5 / 6

7 / 8 / 9

Black + White Striped Wardrobe Pieces

My body type does not always lend itself to stripes — it can be hard to find a good stripe that doesn’t accentuate the wrong things. BUT I happen to be so, so in love with black + white stripes right now and I’d love to work them into my end of summer wardrobe. It makes so much sense to me as a print right now — still fresh and clean, but transitional to fall (whereas navy stripes always screams spring/summer to me). Perhaps paired with leather, mixed with camo, or even some leopard print. And I think I’ve rounded up pieces that will work for me. Here’s what’s topping my list ….

A Feteful Life: Black and White Striped Wardrobe Pieces

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

I Want It Now: HR Monitor Watch

 

A Feteful Life: Polar HR WatchI love long distance running, but I go through cycles of training for races and taking it easy. I’m gearing myself up to get back in the game and want a new GPS watch to help, but one that also has heart rate monitoring to help get my butt in gear for cross training. I’m kind of in love with this Polar FT60 — the men’s version, of course, because “women’s versions” are always awful colors. I want it now!

Fete Local: Jewelry by Beth Lauren

A Feteful Life: Jewelry by Beth Lauren

I came to two conclusions after visiting local jewelry designer Beth Silverberg’s 14th St. studio: (1) I want to live/work there; and (2) I would drape myself in her gorgeous geometric brass and quartz designs any day of the week. I might not accomplish the first, but you and I can both make the latter happen seeing as Jewelry by Beth Lauren is available online. One out of two isn’t bad, I suppose.

Beth’s unique jewelry features incredibly interesting tribal and brass geometric elements, and incorporates quartz and crystal in unexpected arrangements. I love that her approach to design is to source materials first, including a heavy dose of vintage, and then use those as inspiration. It’s such fabulous handcrafted design. And while her jewelry is stocked by serious retail stores (such as Barneys Japan and Anthropologie), she continues to maintain a strong local presence by working out of her live-in studio and popping up in boutiques around town.

Her studio, by the way, seems pretty much the perfect place in which to create. From its floor to ceiling windows, to the well-styled living room, to my favorite CB2 candleholders (of which I had an entire dining room table full pre-kiddos), I’m ready to move in. But I digress.

If you’re looking for unique jewelry, from the everyday piece to something really special, we highly recommend checking out her collection. We didn’t even bother trying to cull a top ten — it wasn’t going to happen. We’ll take it all (can’t you just see me in that first pair of earrings below?! … bad pun intended).

A Feteful Life: Jewelry by Beth Lauren

A Feteful Life: Jewelry by Beth Lauren

A Feteful Life: Jewelry by Beth Lauren

A Feteful Life: Jewelry by Beth Lauren

A Feteful Life: Jewelry by Beth Lauren

A Feteful Life: Jewelry by Beth Laure

Ask AFL: New Summer Bag

What’s a girl to do when faced with a sea of choices and no time to sift through all of her options? Well, if you’re our friend Beth, you ask AFL to do the searching and narrowing for you. And because Rebecca and I love to shop, we were more than happy to help a girl out.

We’re here to help the rest of you out as well, so please feel free to send us more “Ask AFL” questions and we’ll do our best to find the perfect pick for you! But before we get to all of your pressing needs, let’s help Beth find her perfect summer bag…

“Dear AFL,
I need a summer bag and I want it now! The problem? I have no idea which one to get. I’d like something casual enough to bring to a bbq or the store but nice enough to bring to a brunch with friends. I’d also like it to be able to hold the regular stuff plus my kindle or a diaper and wipes when needed. Any chance you could do a round-up of summer bags to help a girl out?”

Rebecca
Great question from our most loyal reader and best unpaid intern ever! And I actually have a ton of suggestions because, as I’ve lamented here, I’ve been on the hunt for a new everyday bag almost all year. I finally found one just in time for summer, which sparked my new obsession with cream bags for the season. I tried to give a range of prices and included my new one and two others as suggestions below — which one do you think is mine? Come on, we can be twinsies!
A Feteful Life: Ask AFL Summer Bags

Suzanne
Excellent question, Beth! And, one that I always find myself asking at least once a year. While Rebecca is obsessed with all of those gorgeous cream bags, I’m obsessing over cognac colored leather bags. I love them because they go with EVERYTHING – black, brown, tan, grey, etc. They also can easily go from casual to a bit more refined depending on what you wear. I picked my current favorite tote, bucket bag (which I love, love, love) and a satchel style bag. Now I want all of them. Thanks a lot, Beth!

Fete Local: Trohv DC

A Feteful Life: Trohv DC

At AFL, we’re always on the hunt for interesting gifts or decorative items for our home and that’s what first drew us to Trohv. But we soon found out that they have much, much more to offer.

Trohv got its start in 2006 as a store called Red Tree in Baltimore, MD. It was renamed Trohv in 2011 and luckily for us, they expanded to a second location in DC. They are located in the historic Takoma Park neighborhood conveniently located on the Red Line. The collection of home goods are a mix of vintage, industrial and modern.

While this is a list of some of our favorites, this is no way covers all of the amazing things available at Trohv. So, if you’re in town, be sure to stop by to check it out for yourself or if you aren’t local, you can check out their online store which offers a small selection of what you can see in the store.

Ok, enough reading… here’s our Trohv DC Top 10!

Furniture

A Feteful Life: Trohv DC

1. Beer Table Sets – {S} – Jim and I are in the midst of rehabbing our backyard and I think these tables and benches would be a perfect addition. It would be like my own little beer garden heaven. {$498}

A Feteful Life: Trohv DC

2. Leather Chair – {R} – I love how Trohv artfully mixes together mid-century modern and industrial designs and this gorgeous, buttery leather chair is no exception. It would fit equally well in the home or the studio/office I pretend I have.

Art

A Feteful Life: Trohv DC

3. Vintage German Periodic Table – {S} – It was so very painful to leave this awesome piece of art behind. My son is obsessed with the periodic table right now and he would have LOVED it so much. I only passed on it because it looks a bit fragile and I don’t trust my 2.5 year old not to do some serious damage to it! I will forever be jealous of the lucky owner. {$230}

A Feteful Life: Trohv DC

4. Hand-Printed Monotypes – {R} – These beautiful monotypes of the night sky are made by Claire Harper, a Trohv employee. They’re gorgeous and remind me of geodes. I’d take ’em all. {$40}

Clothing + Accessories

A Feteful Life: Trohv DC

5. Red Polka Dot Pajamas – {S} – There’s nothing I love more in the evening than putting on my pajamas and relaxing on the sofa with a glass of wine and a good TV show. These adorable lightweight cotton ones would be the perfect addition!

A Feteful Life: Trohv DC

6. Gold Handbag – {R} – There were plenty of beautiful accessories in the store, but you know I went right for this one by Hobo Bags. I’m such a sucker for a gold bag and this one was gorgeous and the perfect size — not too big, not too small. Goldilocks right. {$220}

Kids

A Feteful Life: Trohv DC

7. Topozoo – {S} – This is one cool toy! You can mix and match the different sets to make over 1200 combinations of animals. It has all the good stuff you want out of a toy as well… non-toxic, recycled wood, etc., plus I don’t think the kids will get bored with them anytime soon. {$32}

A Feteful Life: Trohv DC

8. I Heart Guts Stuffies – {R} – Um … I wanted ALL of the I Heart Guts stuffies. My daughter would love this aptly-named metallic Heart of Gold. {$24}

Paper Goods

A Feteful Life: Trohv DC

9. I Heart DC Notecards – {S} – Not only do I heart DC, I also love a handwritten note. A match made in heaven. {$15.95}

A Feteful Life: Trohv DC

10. No Regrets Temporary Tattoos – {R} – Hehehehe. If you know me at all, you know that I can be slightly liberal with expletives. Plus pretty typography and kick ass messages? These temporary tattoos are right up my alley. {$6.25/pack}

Minty Fresh Pieces for Spring

I’m not a huge pastels girl. They just don’t particularly suit my personality. BUT I happen to love a good mint accessory or wardrobe piece and Pantone’s Hemlock is one of my favorite 2014 colors. I still take them with a little edge, though. These are the pieces I’m eyeing up for spring. How about you!? Are you a pastels person?

A Feteful Life: Mint Pieces for Spring

1. These skinny mint green jeans would work perfectly with a white tee and a pair of nude flats (good thing I’ve got my eye on several of those, too).

2. I love this super inexpensive mint and gold silicone watch — a great pop of color without commitment.

3. Because obviously I don’t have enough flats, these would be great to pair with netural colors or even a pattern.

4. I’m a big fan of J.Crew jewelry and this darker mint bracelet gives you the color with some (still glam) punk.

5. These mint and gold foil earrings square up perfectly with our love for all things geometric (remember this and this?)

6. Heavens to Betsey, this studded mint crossbody bag is fabulous.

I Want It Now: Metallic Crossbody Bag

A Feteful Life: Metallic Crossbody Bag

 

 

I’m in serious need of a new everyday crossbody bag. I had a metallic Foley + Corinna bag two everyday bags ago (similar to this, but a warmer gold) and have been on the lookout for another since. I love that metallic is neutral, but gives more pop than matte netural colors (I currently carry this Marc by Marc Jacobs, which I love, but I’m over the color and I’ve worn it to shreds). I’ve had such a hard time finding a replacement that’s not $2,000. It has to be big enough to carry the world {aka everything my kids insist on shlepping around}, made well enough to take a beating, and capable of being carried on shoulder or crossbody. I think this Botkier might do the trick — its a little brassier than I wanted, but I’m a Botkier fan and it’s on sale!