chic or geek

a mildly aspirational blog of my life, times, and taste

J. Hannah Does Nail Polish

beauty, shoppingAnna KellerComment

My Instagram feed is full of beautiful accounts from stores, designers, and crafters that I can't even begin to think about affording. I like to look at beautiful things, OK? The dark side of always scrolling through such lust-worthy posts is that I start to rationalize spending my grocery budget on pinky rings, but so far, I've been able to control myself and not purchase anything too crazy (maybe this will all change when Instagram finally integrates shopping into the app, but until then, I think my bank account is safe).

One such account that makes me double tap on every single post is that of J. Hannah, maker of Fine Jewelry for Fine Ladies. Her creations are the perfect mix of minimal simplicity with sculptural elements and a sprinkling of old school glamour - her Form Ring ($195) and Demi Signet ($198) are two of my favorites. 

Jess Hannah, the force behind J. Hannah, obviously has impeccable taste, and she's curated her own line of nail polish to go along with her selection of handmade jewelry. Each color is as sophistacated and timeless as her designs, and they all feel seasonless. They're seven-free and not tested on animals, and since they're only $18, they're the perfect entry level purchase to her products.

http://www.jhannahjewelry.com/polish/

faux greenery

inside, shoppingAnna KellerComment
all images are from the Crate & Barrel botanicals section

all images are from the Crate & Barrel botanicals section

I go crazy for a home with fresh plants growing in it. They're gorgeous, help keep the air clean, and add a fresh vibe to your decor, no matter how dusty everything else is. However, I can't keep plants alive (I killed a cactus once and my succulents are mostly brown), plus my cat has a penchant to snack on anything green that comes into our apartment. While I made the very expensive and scary mistake of having a toxic bouquet in my kitchen once, I'll never take that risk again. 

So, fake plants it is for me! I make it a habit to peruse HomeGoods, IKEA, and other local stores for affordable faux greenery, but usually, the options look terrible and too plastic-y, or they're way too expensive. Enter Crate & Barrel's new line of fake indoor plants. Each petal, leaf, and stem is hand painted and cut, and their curation is incredibly Instagram-friendly, with a single fan palm leaf as an option.

While I'm not ready to drop $300 on a faux banana tree, I think I'm going to spring for an under $20 option. It'll breathe some new life into my apartment for 2017 without breaking the bank too aggressively. 

http://www.crateandbarrel.com/special-features/indoor-plant-decor/1

farewell, 2016

lifestyleAnna Keller
my top 9 Instagram posts for the year

my top 9 Instagram posts for the year

oh, 2016 - what a year! 

It's easy to fixate on the bad that has transpired over the last 365 days, but I can absolutely say that 2016 had more ups than downs for me.

It gave me a new job that has given me the opportunity to travel and pursue a career track that I can actually get passionate about. I moved into a new apartment with a washer & dryer (LIFE CHANGER). New job = more money as well as a pledge to myself to manage it better. I continue to have a healthy cat, family & boyfrind. There's no shortage of so much (maybe too much?) good food. 

So long, 2016. We're ready for whatever comes next.

NYE FOMO? Not here.

lifestyleAnna KellerComment
see this and other festive decoration inspiration on my Pinterest

see this and other festive decoration inspiration on my Pinterest

There are few events that can give people more FOMO than New Year's Eve. As a society, we're hooked on the idea that an elaborate evening of shaken champagne bottles, fireworks, and reflective outfits will ensure that the best year yet is on its way. However, anyone who has woken up with one hell of a champers headache on 1/1 will tell you that the hype isn't real, and that a dress covered in sequins is actually more scratchy and uncomfortable than festive.

So if an over-the-top celebration isn't the best way to usher in 2017, what is? In my opinion, it's a small party at home with some of my nearest and dearest. You don't have to pay a cover to get in, the drinks are almost free, and you can spend the evening in your slippers if you want to.

Here are my tips to throwing a small, at-home bash for NYE - I'm ready for you, 2017:

  • Add a little bit of sparkle via decorations. While there's no need to get messy with confetti that will stick around for months, a well-placed garland and a few metallic balloons will give the night a party vibe.
  • Keep the guest list small. Invite people that you genuinely want to spend the evening with, and keep in mind people who might not otherwise have plans for the night. Not everyone wants to spend the evening at a crowded bar, but I bet far fewer people want to spend the evening solo at home.
  • Encourage people to BYOB, but have champagne and beer on hand to toast at midnight. You could even plan a signature drink if you're feeling creative, but keep the recipe simple and something you can easily prepare in bulk ahead of time. You don't want to be tied to your kitchen all night!
  • Turn the TV on mute and keep an eye on the clock for midnight. I love watching the ball drop at midnight, but also want to keep people entertained with games and music (grab a top 2016 playlist from Spotify) over the course of the evening.
  • Have snacks on hand. People should have eaten dinner before heading over, but your guests will inevitably get the urge to snack as the night gets later. I like to stock up on Trader Joe's frozen goodies (mozz sticks, lemongrass chicken sticks) for when the buzzed munchies strike.

And that's it! Don't be afraid to make a mess, get a little loud, and enjoy being warm and surrounded by friends as you welcome 2017. 2016 was a little rough (especially towards the end), but a fresh start in the new year will definitely help us all be a little more optimistic.

https://www.pinterest.com/chicorgeek/festive/