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    Welcome to vmac+cheese. Here I'll share with you my love for all things food, interiors, design and style. I like to think of it as musings on a life worth living.

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It Girl: Hanneli Mustaparta

Are you following Hanneli Mustaparta’s self-titled blog? I wasn’t. In fact, I didn’t even know who she was until I spotted her fresh face on WHO WHAT WEAR last week. “Who IS that girl?” I thought to myself. A quick Google search, and I had stumbled upon one of the most gorgeous street style and inspiration blogs I’ve come across in a while. But apparently, I’m waaaay behind the times (like, embarrassingly so), because Hanneli is hot. In more ways than one!

Hanneli is a blogger, photographer, and of course, model. She contributes to Vogue every now and again. And she has style. Oodles of it. And it’s attainable. I’m loving seeing how she mixes fairly basic pieces throughout the seasons:

Click through to see even more Hanneli fabulousness…and a familiar surprise I came across on her blog (Austin friends, this may interest you): Continue reading

Splurge/Save: Jason Wu

Which one would you choose? And PS, are you going to be shopping the Jason Wu for Target capsule collection, which hits stores February 5? I’m loving sooo many of the looks (this one, this one, and definitely this one)…but after the Missoni for Target madness, I’m a bit leery. You?

{Image Credits: Nordstrom, Fashionologie}

The castle behind Downton

Are you watching Downton Abbey? If not, you should be. If the fact that it picked up 6 Emmys last year, and was nominated for 4 Golden Globes (it took home best miniseries/television film) doesn’t sway you, then trust me, the gorgeous costumes, lush interiors, and compelling story line should.

The background is this: the series opens up in April of 1912, on the morning after the sinking of the Titanic. This sets in to motion a series of events that carries us through the whole of the season. In the second season, currently available to watch for free online, the story is set during World War I. Downton Abbey is a period drama, to be sure, but it also takes a look at how the elite and the help interacted, with their own class and with each other. I LOVE IT.

I was curious to learn more about the gorgeous house that has such a big roll in the series. Here’s what I learned.

Downton Abbey is actually ‘played’ by Highclere Castle, a large home situated in Hampshire, UK. Like in the series, it has belonged to one family for generations, and major building of the house began in the late 18 century. One fact that I thought was very interesting: the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, along with Howard Carter, discovered the tomb of King Tut in 1922!

[spoiler alert] Similar to the series [seriously, if you don’t want to know anything, just skip to the next paragraph], Highclere was converted into a hospital during the First World War, although the lady of the house, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon, was a bit more willing than Cora to have wounded soldiers under her roof, and was well-remembered for her efforts in caring for these men.

Check out the mini-Highclere tour, after the jump! Continue reading

Loving Les Composantes

I’ve been a little obsessed with Les Composantes ever since Erin blogged about it last summer. When I read that post? Immediate subscription to the LC blog. They don’t post too terribly often, but when they do…holy gorgeous photos.

Les Composantes is a French fashion label that makes classic handbags, pretty shoes, and I think clothes too (some parts of their website can’t be translated, and my French is definitely not good enough to tell!). I’ve had their Nola bag pinned for, like, ever, but as best I can tell, they make limited quantities of everything, announce it on their blog when new items are available, then once they’re sold, they’re sold. They also have a section called “Selections,” which includes a unique shop of 100 vintage and contemporary items, only available for 48 hours. You’ll know when new selections are coming, because the LC blog will announce their “prochaine selections” (or next selections). Way to build up demand!

Whether or not I ever get my hands on one of these gorgeous bags, I’m happy to drool over their photos in the meantime. Just lovely, right?

It’s becoming more and more apparent that I should’ve been born French.

Psst — get more Les Composantes goodness (who doesn’t need a little inspiration on a Tuesday?), right after the jump! Continue reading

Brighten up…

…with a bit of yellow! I’ve always heard that listening to certain songs, smelling certain aromas, and seeing particular colors can help lift you up and brighten your mood. In case you’re stuck in the midst of the Thursday doldrums (and let’s assume with limited access to your favorite song, or a delicious smell — whatever leftovers your co-workers will microwave notwithstanding), here’s hoping this dash of yellow will cheer you up. It’s almost Friday, after all!

Satchel, Cambridge Satchel Co. | Sweater, J.Crew | Tote, Balenciaga | Shoes, Christian Louboutin | Trench, Old Navy | Tee, Anthropologie | Lamp, Jan Showers | Sweater, Anthropologie

{Image Credits: Lemon Bars created and photographed by Treats, Street Style via Easy Fashion, Bike ride via Olivia Compulsive Disorder (originally in Vogue China)}

New finds from the summit

Alt was full of inspiring bloggers, to be sure. But you can’t IMAGINE how many unbelievably talented artists you’ll come across while you’re there. Lucky for us, most all of them offer gorgeous products that you can call your own. I love supporting these savvy, creative business people, so be sure to check out the following:

1. Sycamore Street Press. I got to meet Eva during an intimate Wednesday night dinner at Lugano. She is sweet as pie and her letterpress cards are adorable. So adorable, in fact, that I’ve seen them in my local Paper Source!

2. The Lugano dinner was sponsored by Joel and Greg from Visual Supply Co. VSCO film is a new software that allows you to give digital photos that highly coveted “shot with film” look. For not a lot of money, you can one-click your way to stunning, Pinterest worthy photos. See what all the fuss is about here.

3. I was delighted to meet Meg Biram from the blog Mimi+Meg. Have you guys ever checked out her artwork? Girlfriend’s got talent! I’m loving the colors she uses — they’d brighten up any room!

4. Via Tobe, I was lucky enough to meet the Kansas City ladies behind Ampersand Design Studio. Check out this bright pink ampersand print. I’m pretty sure you’re digging it.

5. On Thursday, Cargoh sponsored our lunch and was kind enough to work with their sellers to leave a little gift on every single seat in the banquet hall. Each gift was different. Mine was from Meeralee Illustration & Design, and I couldn’t have been happier. Meera Lee even hand wrote notes to go into all her gift boxes. Love it.

6. Friday evening before I flew back home, I met Jessica, the jewelry designer behind the gorgeous pieces at Dahlia Lynn. You’re going to be hearing more about this girl for SURE.

7. Also at Lugano, I met Karina, an artist and the founder of Cluster, an online resource that allows you to group your favorite pieces of art together into a single, unique piece. You can use patterns and graphics from Cluster’s gallery, or upload your own photos.

8. These hand painted beauties are the work of Courtney Khail, who I ran into over and over again throughout the conference! Based out of Georgia, Courtney spent hours handpainting hundreds of her gorgeous cards to be included in the Alt welcome boxes. A true labor of love — and it shows!

PS — Today I’m filling in for Irene over on designstILes, while she galavants about Central and South America. Pop on over to see what travel essentials I can’t fly without!

In Maiden Meditation

Absolutely fell in love with this photoshoot from the über talented Jamie Beck and Kelly Framel, and just had to re-post. Though it had been dubbed ‘Shipwrecked,’ I liked the idea of a mermaid singing her siren song even better.

PS — Fret not, Friday Link Love will be up in a bit!

{Credits: Images from Jamie Beck’s posts Awakening Beauty and Back to the Sea; poem from William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream}

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