Friday, February 21, 2014

Aminda, Angie, Lizzie, Gabby, and Hayley!
(winners drawn 2/24/2014)

I'm doing something crazy! My first giveaway! I've designed five prints and so I will pick five winners and send them a glossy 8x10 print! You can use these for your gallery wall or bedside table, anywhere really! The frame is not included in this giveaway and I will pay for postage to send it to you!

The only thing about the giveaway is that I only have one of each print and so it will be random which print you receive!

How it works:

You enter the contest and on Monday (Feb. 24th) I will assign all of the entries a number and will then use a random number generator to select five winners. I do require that you live in the United States. If you're under 18 you should probably make sure it's okay with your parents if you enter since if you win you'll be receiving a package!

How to enter:

You can enter on multiple platforms to increase your chances or you can just enter on one, it's up to you!

You can retweet this tweet on Twitter! You do have to be following me on Twitter for this entry to count!

You can reblog this post on Tumblr (I will contact you via ask box if you win!). You do have to be following Prim and Preppy on Tumblr for this entry to count!

You can share this post on Facebook (I will send you a message!). You do have to like Prim and Preppy on Facebook in order for this entry to count!

You can comment your e-mail address on this post.

If you are selected as a winner but did not abide by the guidelines you will be disqualified and your print will go to someone else. :( After all, the purpose of me giving away these free prints is to try and expose Prim and Preppy! :)

Why I'm doing this giveaway:

The main reason is to increase traffic on the blog! So I hope that in entering this giveaway you'll see the blog and follow it. Of course you don't have to but that's the goal of it! :)

Thanks and good luck!


Put Some Spring in Your Step!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

With a new season just around the corner, it only seemed right to do a fun little collab! These items aren't exclusively Spring pieces but they're definitely great pops of color to consider! I always love the bright hues of Spring and I hope you do as well!

I'm currently working on my blog a lot and one thing that might, possibly, be coming: a name change! I have a few names in mind and I'm just waiting to make sure I have the one. I love La Privé, of course, and so I might not end up changing it at all. We will just have to see! If I do change it I'll make it clear and have re-directs and everything so it won't really affect too much. I just figure if I do want to change the title of the blog it's best to do it early on in the game!

Also if you follow me on Twitter you know that I'm going to be doing a giveaway! I have these lovely images that I have designed (see above) and I'm going to be giving away 8x10 prints! As soon as they arrive in the mail (hopefully in the next day or two) I will compose pictures and post about how to enter. I'm planning on making it multi-platform so that you can enter via retweets, FB shares, reblogs, comments, etc. :) Stay tuned because that giveaway will be beginning very soon!

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy the pieces I listed and be sure to check back for news about the giveaway!


Getting to Know: Mackenzie Horan

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

It is with a great amount of excitement that I present this interview with the fabulous  Mackenzie Horan ! Mackenzie, a twenty-four year old living in New York City, writes  a wonderful blog  where she shares her style obsessions, inspirations, wishlists, and any other creative thoughts. Along with her blog, Mackenzie is the owner of  Design Darling , a boutique for beautiful accessories, decor, and even pet products! I find Mackenzie's classic style and daring entrepreneurship are incredibly inspiring and I was beyond stoked to get to do this interview.

Mackenzie in a pair of J. Crew Everly pumps!
I thought it would be great to start off with a fun question and one I think will truly be a fabulous introduction. If you had to pick a single item from each of the following, what would it be? J. Crew, Kate Spade, and Tory Burch. Such wonderful, bold companies and I can't wait to see your top items. 
J.Crew: Everly pumps, preferably a pair in every color ;)
Kate Spade: I just bought the navy Stergis trench and I'm 
Tory Burch: I've worn my Robinson middy satchel to death!

Do you remember your first big clothing/accessory purchase? Or do you remember a piece you think helped define your style?
I remember splurging on my first Ralph Lauren cashmere sweater when I worked at their store on Nantucket. I was 16 and haven't stopped collecting them slowly but surely ever since! 

You graduated from Bucknell with a major in French. Did you always know what you wanted to study? It's always difficult choosing a major and a job and hobbies and trying to make them all interlock. What advice do you have for college students interested in writing, design, etc? (Aka me!)
I studied French because I loved it, I was good at it, and it gave me the flexibility in my schedule to take classes in other departments that interested me (art history, management, etc.). No one knows what they want to do when they're 18 years old. I'm 24 and I still don't know! Find something you love and be the best at it. That, more than any particular class or major, will be your best preparation for the real world.

Did you always want to live in NYC? What was it like to move?
I grew up in Connecticut so New York has always been the city in my backyard. I'd love to live in another city at some point in my twenties or thirties but for right now there's absolutely nowhere I'd rather be. 

What kind of advice would you give yourself four years ago when you were just starting Design Darling?
I would have told myself that the best is yet to come. It always is! :) 

A variety of products are available at Design Darling
What was the process like when you decided to open a boutique? Do you remember the first item you listed?
There was a lot of research, a lot of self-doubt, and a lot of fun. Sourcing products is still my favorite part of the job — there's nothing better than stumbling upon a candle or a necklace that's perfect for Design Darling. I started out with a really small assortment, mostly jewelry and matchboxes. A lot of those items became best-sellers and are still on the site almost two years later!

Describe the process for selecting the items you sell at Design Darling.
I contact independent designers I discover through blogs or on Etsy, I get a lot of emails from designers looking to bring their work to a larger audience, I collaborate with the small businesses who sponsor my blog, and I visit trade shows a few times a year to look for new vendors! It's a lot of work and there's a lot out there that's not a good fit... but I live for the thrill of the chase! :)

What sort of goals do you have for Design Darling and your blog?
Design Darling will always be first and foremost my creative outlet, a place where I share the people, places, and things I love. In the next couple years, I intend to round out my blog with career content, city guides, interviews with women who inspire me, more offline events, and video features, and more. As far as the boutique is concerned, I'm starting to design my own products to offer in addition to those of the artisans and brands we already work with.

Do you have any rituals or techniques for gathering ideas or inspiration when you have writer's block?
Writer's block is the worst! I think a quick walk around the block usually works wonders. If it's possible, I try to schedule lots of content when I'm feeling extra inspired so I'm not super stuck on the days I feel a little off.

Being an entrepreneur in NYC must be insane! How do you manage to stay organized and energized? 
My iCal is color-coded to excess but I could definitely be more organized. Someone come help me?! :)

If you could only have one magazine for a year, which one would you choose and why?
I usually only read magazines at Drybar or the nail salon. The ones I tend to gravitate to are House Beautiful, Lucky, and Marie Claire... Does a three-way tie count?

Can you spot the stripes?
Of course you love hot pink and navy. I get the sense you like white and gold, too. What about patterns? Which patterns are your go-to choices?
I love white and gold! I'm not a huge pattern person but I love gingham and stripes. The simpler, the better!

Here's a purely fun question! Assign each type of shoe a label:  Covet ,   Burn , or   I'll Pretend You Didn't Say That.  Birkenstocks, Creepers, or Wedge Sneakers. 
I hate to say it but I'm burning all three :-/ (I'm with you on that!)

What is an item or occasion which would prompt you to choose polka dots over stripes? And vice versa?
Stripes will always be first in my book!

What's a trend or item you see a lot and wish you didn't?
Nail art. Maybe it's because I still can't give myself a proper manicure but I can't stand all the flowers, neons, and patterns. I'll take solid navy or pink any day :)

How do you decide what items are worth buying and which ones have to wait? I used to be terrible about impulse buys. Now I'm awful about committing to buy anything. The happy medium seems difficult to find!
Pinterest really helps me monitor what I'm coveting at any given moment. I'll pin something I like so I don't lose the link (I shop almost exclusively online to avoid impulse buys!) and, if I'm still pining over it a couple weeks later, I'll let myself splurge. I also tend to think about purchases in terms of cost per wear, which is why I have a dozen pairs of jeans and very few dresses. The jeans I'll wear every day whereas the dresses I'll wear once or twice a year. It helps me see where it makes sense to stock up and where I should probably save.
"Literally anything is possible!"

What are some of your favorite parts of living in Manhattan?
An endless list of restaurants to try. Friendly cab drivers. My friends. Mornings at the dog park. Picnics in Central Park. The skyline at night. Weekend brunches. The feeling that literally anything is possible!

I just did a write-up of the way the 80's are popping up in the styles we see from day to day. Is there a decade of style you particularly love?
Shift dresses from the 1960s. Jackie O... Need I say more?

What's the most obscure item you've monogrammed?
My shower curtain. 

Top three items you own in hot pink?
This dress: http://www.mackenziehoran.com/2013/07/outfit-hot-pink-maxi-dress.html

Thank you again, Mackenzie, for this lovely interview! It was a real treat for me and I'm sure my readers will agree! 

If you haven't already, be sure to go and check out all of the lovely finds at Design Darling!!

Thanks so much for reading!


And Isn't She Pretty in Pink?

Friday, February 14, 2014

I couldn't let Valentine's Day pass without putting together a list of amazing pink and red items! They're random but fun and fabulous!

Oh, Valentine's Day. A day when your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife/whatever showers you in love. You drink champagne and eat chocolate and have a delicious meal. You watch each other's faces light up as gifts are received and you feel so connected. You feel like nothing can stop you or your love.

That's what they say Valentine's Day is, at least. I wouldn't know. It has been eighteen Valentine-less years and I'm still working on figuring out the details. As I pop another dark chocolate truffle I wonder if Valentine's Day is worth all the fuss. I made sure to get my mother, sisters, and grandmother gifts for the special day (my favorite was a bright orange Kate Spade wristlet for my mother). We ate dinner together and enjoyed each other's company. All of the chocolate, pink, and red made it different than other days but in most sense it was a familiar scene. 

For part of my day I sat on a bench at the World Golf Village. I saw it as I was driving down the interstate and I couldn't help but pull off onto the exit. It's probably weird how strong my connection is with a place that houses only an IMAX theater, a few places to eat, and golf courses (also, to be noted, many beautiful homes which house mostly retirees). I suppose the connection could be traced to happy memories with my grandfather. Any memories with him are ones that bring me joy. 

As I sat alone on a bench being comforted by the shade of the trees, I suddenly was entirely too aware of how alone I was. Even the elderly woman who I felt empathetic for as she looked on at the lake alone-- even she had a husband who eventually joined her, matinee tickets in hand. A young couple kissed as sturdy hands guided gentle ones in an attempt to instruct on a putt. Couples walked by hand in hand, birds chirped love songs, and I had to build myself up with reminders of my family and friends. I had to tell myself that I have so much time ahead of me. 18 Valentine's Days without a Valentine was nothing, I told myself. The more I repeated it in my mind the more it stung, the tougher the truth rang. Two old women passed me by and gave me sympathetic smiles like I was terminally ill or something. I didn't want their sympathies, I didn't even want my friends' or my own. I guess after all of the insanity I'd been through and even though it was evident I would go through many more, I just wanted love. 

It was as I was leaving, enjoying the air's crisp touch and the scent of spring that I stopped for a moment and smiled to myself. I realized I'm happy; I'm surrounded by people who love me and who I love. So maybe I understood the point of Valentine's Day after all. I had to go through the back door to figure it out but I finally got it. Whether it's a boyfriend or a best friend, a sister or a mother, Valentine's Day is about recognizing the love that's all around us and focusing on it-- celebrating it. 

This year, 2014, I'm going to make a vow to myself to never sulk over Valentine's again. I never really took it out on the holiday, really, but I probably have to admit I'd harbored negative emotions over the whole 'single' thing. From now on I'm going to make the best of the day, realizing it's one day out of 365 that we can focus on love in our lives and applaud it. And with the realization and vow, I'd like to try and remind myself that Valentine's Day isn't the only day I should remind myself of how much love surrounds me and how much love I want to give. 

I'll leave you with an image I saw on Tumblr and really liked. When it comes to Valentine's Day, there's one message we all have to remember:


Ready or Not: Express Yourself

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

(This post brought you (in part) by inspiration from The Carrie Diaries...)

I once read that people in the fashion industry 'pick a decade' in one sense or another. Whether it's for sheer inspiration when planning shoots and styles or to have something solid to revisit when designing a line. Either way, it dawned on me that picking my decade would be easy.

It might have all started when I saw 13 Going on 30. I think I was the only fourth grader trying to teach his friends how to do the Thriller and chewing Razzles. I definitely was the only one who had chunky neon shoestrings for my converse. It could have been the endless I Love the 80's specials on VH1 I watched with my mom. When Lily Van Der Woodsen was re-imagined in Valley Girls I think it was sealed; in eighth grade my best friend and I declared our theme song for the formal was 'Dancing With Myself'. (And I mean who doesn't love Heathers or Sixteen Candles?) The decade was a true stepping stone in the fashion world. It was the emergence of the true Caddyshack prep; powder blue chinos and fresh pink polos, bright greens and purples.  The eighties are the best: anything goes and everything was tried at least once.

All of that being said, I don't think I'd be ready to live in the decade. I couldn't abandon my iPhone for a phone with a cord or anything! And what would I write with? A pen and paper? Ridiculous notions in this age of technology.

The purpose of this post is to show my favorite things that are strikingly reminiscent of the eighties trends. It's funny how things come back and tug at nostalgic heartstrings while making their mark on the impressionable ones.

You all already know I love statement necklaces and Kate Spade but this necklace screams eighties! It's a modern upheaval of chunky jewelry (notably the earrings which were huge, literally and in the common sense of the word). It also touches on a trend I'll include further down.

Quirky patterned tops aren't anything new! I personally love the repetitive patterns that are showing up all over Lookbooks. 

For the record, printed leggings have grown on me. I didn't really care for them when they were first popping up but the more fun they become and the more I see them done so well, the more I can see them as a positive force in the fleur de fashion. These printed bottoms are not unique to 2014. In fact, in the 80's they paired even crazier styles with often-times crazier tops!

Forgive me for posting pictures of Spring 2013 (forever ago, right?) J. Crew NYFW but this a part of the eighties I love and will be having more fun with come summer. I'm beginning my collection of fun colored chinos and tops. I think the most fun part about the eighties was the ability to be bold with colors. Prints and colors were played with in such a way that was truly innovative and fresh.

I'll leave you with an image of my friends and I during senior week (decade day). Looking back I should have been more bold! At least I made sure to have my Ronald Reagan t-shirt and denim on denim. (Stick to the topics I mentioned above when going for an 80's vibe...)


Our House Was Our Castle & Our Keep

Friday, February 7, 2014

I found myself on a browsing rampage; endlessly scrolling through way too many fabulous blogs. I may or may not be trying to distract myself from stupid young adult (so much better sounding than teenage) problems (isn't it always grades, work, fashion, or 'romance'?) and I'm determined to distract myself in a way that won't too harshly affect my bank account. Seriously, how did I not come up with the title Confessions of a Shopaholic first?!

Anyway, during my browsing sesh I found a really adorable blog that I found myself basically stalking. The blog belongs to Tiffany Leigh a "Toronto based Interior Design major and blogger" (Check the blog out here, it's magnificent!) and it got me thinking I should make a post about my interior design dreams. I don't claim to have the fantastic eye required to actually take up schooling or anything but I, like many, have a Pinterest board for my Dream Home. I'm quite good at escaping into dream-world so naturally I have my main apartment in the Upper East Side, my summer house in the Hamptons, my house in Florida for when I want to visit my family, my house in London, etc. etc. All very realistic and attainable, of course.

(DISCLAIMER: I'm not really stupid, I know this isn't going to end up being my apartment! It's just some fun! Also the pictures are all directly linked so you can find where they're from super easily!)

This post is probably going to be more of a mundane spluttering of photos than anything too intriguing or even useful. 

Our story begins in Manhattan. A twenty-something year old from Florida has finally found his big break as a Stylist, Creative Director, or Editor of a huge magazine (leaving room for the possibilities, duh). Zoom into the Upper East Side and we find a lovely brownstone. It's traditional and elegant, the perfect place for dimly lit dinner parties and budding friendships and romances.

When you walk in you're hit with a burst of color! There's gotta be flowers and some sort of preppy-fun print on the walls or lampshades or vases. There has to be a splash of my personality the second you walk in or I've failed as a decorator and a host.

In the living room there's a gallery wall, of course. A brushstroke edition of a Chanel or Dior perfume is residing in one of the laquered frames. Maybe an original Italian piece, too. A few gorgeous prints from Design Darling also light up the room (the top knot is my favorite and I'll definitely have some gold foil quotes in there, too). On an opposing wall there's a lush painting that just draws in all the colors and makes it that much more fun!

The office is beautiful, bright, white and inviting! Who wouldn't mind spending their extra hours writing their blog and editorials from this space? (I'm still deciding between a few layouts...)

The bedroom is sophisticated and orderly, everything has a place and it just feels like home. That's how beds are supposed to feel, aren't they? Swap that pink for turquoise or chartreuse and we're in business.

Even the bathroom is chic! And last, but certainly not least, the dining area is extremely refined and stylish. It's simple and ready to be adorned with beautiful dishes. (Did I mention that I absolutely cannot cook to save my life? So it'll be takeout or someone else's masterpiece lining the plates!)

There you have it. It's been lovely giving you a tour around my dream apartment! Obviously I didn't include my kitchen because it probably will be the messiest room in the apartment and the oven will be inevitably full of sweaters (obvi). One day maybe some portion of this can come true... Thanks for reading (well, looking at pictures) and I hope you're off to check out the lovely Tiffany Leigh's blog and work on your 'Dream Home' board on Pinterest!!


Pursuing Perfection

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Not even Blair Waldorf can stop the rain. The best we can do is adapt to it.

I’m writing this in the college library between classes and I’m pretty sure some of these other students are watching me. Not awkward at all. However, when inspiration strikes it doesn’t wait for anything or anyone and I thought of something I wanted to share. My own struggles with the voracious life of perfectionism. (Disclaimer: I'm in no way qualified to give this advice but I think it makes sense so I'm going for it.)

When being raised, many of us are told to “always do our best” and not to settle for anything less. Personally, I can’t blame my parents, I don’t think. They’ve always been supportive and try and actually talk me down from my controlling episodes. Maybe if you have tiger parents you know who to point the finger at. Maybe you know who is responsible. Responsible for what? The sadly unrealistic pursuit of perfection.

Perfectionism, on my worst days, becomes a term utilized by my support system to try and soothe me and justify my borderline-psychotic behavior. “You’re just very particular” they say. “You just expect the best!” Well who am I to expect so much, anyway?!

I always wondered why anyone else would even try to dictate someone else’s happiness. I found myself wondering if maybe I was one of those people: not happy until my friends said the right thing when giving advice (which defeats the purpose of asking them, obviously), trying to obsessively plan and coordinate everything and everyone. It was only when I realized that I was letting my own happiness be determined by others that I truly understood it all. In school (well now, let’s forget high school), work, relationships, I was always striving for perfection! First of all, perfection is a manmade myth. Second, even if perfection suddenly becomes achievable, it’s not something I can control or talk my way into attaining.

Somewhere along the line I heard the common mantra of successful, assertive masses: “If you want something, you have to make it happen.” Emphasis on the whole ‘your destiny and fate aren’t really destiny or fate they’re completely determined by your actions and decisions but no pressure’ from society. The mantra is true, though. It’s true that if you want a promotion or you want to go to a good university, it’s up to you to put the work in. The only problem was that I forgot an important step: realizing what I could make happen and what I couldn’t.

There’s no guarantee I won’t still try to achieve perfection. The perfect moment for my first ‘I love you’. The perfect statement rug in my Upper East Side apartment-to-be. The perfect macarons and bubbly at my wedding (maybe!). But hopefully I can try and remind myself that life’s short and we only get one shot at it all. I hope to remember to save my designer armor for the battles worth fighting for and choosing to let the insignificant ones go unconcerned.

Salvador Dali said it best: “Have no fear of perfection—you’ll never reach it.” That quote is via a google search so let’s assume it’s accurate. I like it. I’m probably still going to be obsessively overachieving and determined but let’s all try and let ourselves remember to be happy with the reality of things every once in a while.