9.16.2014

Moto Boots


There were four requests last week for moto boot options. So clearly you ladies are into them. I love mine so much and they really stand the test of time. Because of the easy on/easy off and comfort, they make a great alternative to those furry Uggs you cannot let go of (guilty!). 

They can be an investment piece, which can be hard to pull the trigger on. Below are some designer options that have higher price tags and some much more budget friendly ones. Either way, there is the perfect pair for you.  

1. This pair by Chloe are elegant and edgy. Hard to find. $1175
2. These Fendi  have a chunky base for the snow $990
3. A refined version with great studs Tod's $995 
4. Jimmy Choo Own them, love them $995

And some much more down to earth pairs...

1. Love the worn in look of these Frye $298
2. These H by Hudson would be great in the snow $275
3. Still pricey, but these Rag & Bone are so cool $698
4. Love this pair by Topshop $125
5. These Kate Spade even have a charming bow on the back $398
6. This Steve Madden pair is very similar to the Choos above. Great shape $169

xo
Erin 


9.15.2014

Gilted

How was your weekend? Our child-less one was unreal. So relaxed and fun, but it was great to see the kids last night. 

The temperatures are definitely on the way down and cozying up to the fireplace sounds so perfect. And though the actual fire is usually the star of the show, what is on top of it needs to make a statement too. My Pinterest has been filled with ornate and gilded mirrors on top of mantels and my gut says it is time for one at our house. 

Gold mirrors on mantels feels so Parisian to me. And while you usually think go ornate mirrors going in ornate rooms, the juxtaposition of a gold mirror in a more modern or traditional room can be awesome. Plus, there are options that are not so ornate, just gold and lovely. 

Love the height of this mirror and how it reflects the light fixture. 


 Blue grass cloth and gold is such a gorgeous statement


Eclectic yet modern 


Love the scale of this skinnier mirror in relation to the narrow fireplace. 


Plain and round is an easy option that would work in any room. 


And then there is what my apartment in Paris would look like. Swoon. 


These types of mirror are an investment, but could always be moved to another room or given new life in a hallway. But really, a gold statement piece over the mantel is so chic. Here are some options. 


1. I can't even handle this mirror, so in love with it. Chairish $455
2. A pretty scrolling shape by Uttermost Co. $199
3. Straight out of Paris apartment. Chairish $950
4. Love the lattice pattern of this Surya $459
5. This Uttermost Co. mirror has great line and great adornment on top. $509
6. A thick banded gilt mirror is so classic. Uttermost Co. $309
7. This is a gorgeous mirror by Howard Elliot, great for lower ceilings $545 
8. This bamboo mirror is such a gem and so fun. Zinc Door $530
9. The pretty line of this mirror gives it an ethnic feel, but simply Uttermost Co. $309

xo
Erin 

9.12.2014

Home Alone

(Me, this weekend. Minus the limo add an uber)

Matt and I are celebrating our sixth wedding anniversary this weekend. Kind of surreal. 

My parents just left after a long visit and even just a couple days from their departure, I am mourning the company and the round the clock assistance with the kids. They truly are present when they are here and the kids had a ball with them. 

And to prove that my kids have the best grandparents ever, my mother in law is taking care of the kids this weekend at her place. Which means we have an empty house for 48 hours. 

We have never been home for an extended time without both kids under our own roof. It is going to be glorious. No schedule, no wake up call, no nap time to work around, or nannies to hire. Just whatever we want to do and I do not have to vacate the house. 

To say I am psyched is an understatement. 

Hope you get some glory out of your weekend too. 
xo
Erin 

9.11.2014

Tomato Basil Soup

It is actually cold today. Not super cold, but just enough to put a 

sweater on. I love it. Although I will mourn the summer days 

(which might not actually be over), I look forward to cozy days

 inside and football season. I make this tomato soup all the time

 when it gets cooler. It is quick, requires few ingredients, and is the

 ultimate comfort food paired with a grilled cheese. I stick it in a

 sippy cup for the kids for easy eating and less mess. 



Tomato Basil Soup

Forks & Amusement 2011

serves 6-8


3 tablespoons olive oil


1 onion, chopped


3 carrots, chopped


salt and pepper


3 cloves of garlic, chopped


crushed red pepper to taste (optional if you like a bit of heat)


2-48oz cans diced tomatoes


2 1/2 cups chicken stock


1/2 cup half and half


5 large basil leaves, chopped




Place a large pot on the stove over medium heat. Add the oil and


once hot add the onion and carrot. Sprinkle with salt and pepper

 and sweat until onions are translucent and carrots soften, about 10

 minutes. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper, stir and cook for

 1 minute. Add in the tomatoes with their juices and the chicken 

stock. Season with salt and pepper generously and bring to a boil.

 Turn down heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and 

allow to cool slightly.

If you have an emersion blender, blend soup in the pot. If not,


 place small amounts of the soup in a blender and puree to desired 

consistency (I like a little chunky, but go as smooth as you like it).

 **Be careful not to overfill blender and to let the soup cool a bit. 

Otherwise you will have tomato soup all over your kitchen, trust 

me I did it** Return soup back to pot once it has all been pureed.



Warm soup up if needed, add in the half and half and 3/4 of the 


basil. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve warm with a bit more basil

 sprinkled on top.


Enjoy!


xo


Erin

9.10.2014

The Secret Lives of Moms: Nap Time


Today I am kicking off a new series that highlights the Secret Lives of Moms. We all share a lot of information with our Mom friends, but there are some things we never talk about. I have asked some other Moms to help me out and will highlight one question a couple times a month. This is just a fun way to see what is on other Moms minds or what they are doing when they are home with the kids. 

This week I asked what everyone did at nap time. Nap time is sacred at our house. The day I lose it, I might cry. No, I will cry. Until then, this is how I and some other Moms use nap time and the results are amazing similar…

9.09.2014

Fall Essentials

Thank you so much to everyone for all the positive response to the new Styling Services. Helping all of you be happy shoppers and gorgeously dressed gives me more satisfaction than you know. Keep the emails coming (erin@imperfectpolish.com)! 

As I start to assess my own closet for the coming season, it is nice to see my old fav orites hanging in there ready to be worn. In Fall and Winter I tend to wear a bit of uniform, switched up by a few trendier pieces of the moment. Here is what I gravitate towards Fall after Fall. 

1. A long plaid shirt that can be worn tucked into super flared jeans or as a tunic over skinny jeans is such a mainstay for me. Madewell $74
2. Moto boots are an investment piece, but mine have lasted for three years and I still wear them every other day once the weather gets cool. Jimmy Choo $1150
3. A Burberry trench is such an investment piece that you can feel confident will last season after season. This is on sale $798
4. I have this Asos sweater dress in a few colors and will be ordering more this year. At $24 (on sale) you cannot go wrong. 
5. I raved about these leggings last year and they still are the best I have found. Spanx $68
6. Lightweight sweaters that can be layered over tees, under blazers, and are soft enough for snuggling on the couch with the kids from J. Crew. Other colors available. $79
7. I buy these J. Crew vintage cotton tees in bulk. They come in so many colors and are on sale right now. $24
8. Minnetonka moccasins feel like slippers and go with everything. $42
9. This is the updated version of the Alexander Wang crossbody bag I bought a few years ago. Fall always makes me go a little edgier. $795

What you your Fall essentials? 
xo
Erin 

9.08.2014

Exciting News

Over the years of writing this blog different opportunities have come up that I have been so fortunate to be a part. From hosting parties, to writing for other publications, to helping readers with anything they need fashion and home wise. All of this is because of the support I have from all of you, and for that I am so so grateful. 

I have been getting more and more requests to help with individual fashion needs and decided to add styling consultation to my online presence. The best part is all it takes is an email to me with a few details and you will have your own personal stylist (me!) to put together whatever you need. 

              

If you ever need help for a particular event, a trip, or maybe a certain area of your wardrobe (i.e: casual clothes for Fall, breezy summer dresses, pieces to spice up your work looks) simply contact me at 


Include in the email what your needs are, your size, your time frame, and your budget. Try to give me a bit of an idea of what your personal style is like and what you are most comfortable in. 

I will then send you back your own personal style board with options for what you are looking for and links to the items to purchase online. 

The best part is that there is no additional cost for my help. I am compensated through the retailers (much like a consultant in the store), so you have your personal shopper in me. Great, right? 

              

I truly love helping all of you and and so excited to hear form you when you need help. I have added a page to the header at the top of the homepage with all of this information, so you can access anytime. 


 None of this is ever possible without you and I hope you ask for help when you need it! Also your referrals are everything to me, so spreading the word is much appreciated. 

Here's to happier closets. 
xoxo
Erin 


9.05.2014

A Pause for Joan


Though Joan Rivers did not always have the nicest things to say about people, she did it to make us laugh. Which when you think about what is going on in the world, makes her someone we really needed all these years. 

I did not know that much about her besides what she has done on the Red Carpet and Fashion Police until I watched the documentary about her, A Piece of Work. If you have not seen it, I highly recommend it. The stories of her comedic start and the way she paved the way for so many female comediennes that followed her is inspiring. As is her incredible work ethic. Clearly, the woman worked on dozens of projects and she was in her 80s. 

But what I took away from the documentary and her perspective on life the most was not to apologize for who you are. She was snarky and crass and everything people wanted to hate, but she did not care. She was exactly who she wanted to be. The funniest gal in the room. 

As women we often apologize for so much because we feel the need to, but we should take one from Joan and remember to forget what anyone thinks and do what we want. We are who we are and that is what makes life great.  

I am going to miss this dame, especially on Fashion Police. Her one liners always made my week. 

I hope you have some laughs this weekend. 
xo
Erin 

9.04.2014

Soft and Slouchy

While we all love a good skinny jean, sometimes a girl needs some room to breath. This fall there are a ton of options for what I like to think are fancy sweatpants. Super comfortable, well draped, and in a material you could even pull off for dinner or the office (with the right styling). Here are the new fancy pants I am loving right now. 


These are Joie and I want to live in them. I will pair them with a drapey silk shirt for dinners out and chunky cropped knits for running errands. While there are patterned options out there, you would probably get more wear out of a neutral pair. Here are some great options. 

1. I tried on these at J. Crew and kind of want another pair. They come in a ton of colors. $98
2. Go a size down in these Joie pants. they run a little big $168
3. A sand color like this is so chic. Splendid on Sale $82
4. This pair is made of jersey and so so soft. Bop Basics $102

Happy lounging ladies. 
xo
Erin 

9.02.2014

Mary's First Birthday


Though first birthday parties are never remembered by the person being celebrated, there is something really special about completing that first year. Plus, I cannot resist getting Miss Mary dressed up and the house all decorated, even for a small event. 


I had some pom poms I had never used when I was decorating her nursery and attached them to the chandler over the buffet. It was a very fancy meal delivered from the local barbecue restaurant that we love. There are times that you want to cook and times you do not, this was my best decision of the day. 


My mom was once again in charge of the cake and dessert (see her other work here). She never fails to impress everyone with her skills. Not only was it pretty, it was delicious. 


I knew my mom had also gotten some flowers at the market and while I was getting ready, she whipped up these arrangements. I came out to beautiful blooms strewn around the house and tables. They were gorgeous and would have never happened if she had not been here. 


The birthday girl wore a dress I wore as a child, which makes it even more special. The flower crown was a fun idea that was made by Barrington Flower Shop. Surprisingly she kept it on all evening and was upset when it was time to take it off. Love this girl. 


Someone was really excited about blowing out candles and it was not Mary. Tommy really enjoyed "his party." 


This is such a classic picture of Mary. This is how she looks at everything. She studies whatever is in her path before figuring out how to approach it. And after some serious thought, she decided she was not interested in cake at all. She did not want to mess up her pretty dress. 

We went a little overboard for this little lady, but so fun and worth it. It was a great day. 

I hope your long weekends were fun and full of love like ours. Here's to a short week before another hopefully beautiful weekend. 
xo
Erin 



8.29.2014

Celebration: One Year

It is kind of unfair that in only one year's time your sweet baby can go from this


to this. 


The time warp is a little cruel, but the journey is also quite the ride. Nothing can prepare you for that first baby's arrival. And just when you think the second time around will be cake, it kicks you right in the ass. But keeping life interesting is what kids do every day. And what we love them for. 

My sweet Miss Mary is one today and we will be celebrating this little lady all weekend. The joy she has brought to us is immeasurable. I love her spunky, no fear attitude and the way she does not let her older brother run the show, at all. 

I am wishing my darling girl another year filled with belly giggles, tons of bananas, extra splashing in the bath tub, couch gymnastics, and endless smooches and snuggling. 

Stop growing up my love. 
Happy weekend. 
xo
Erin 

8.28.2014

Ballerina Beautiful


Though my ballet days are behind me, I can't help but gravitate towards it as inspiration. It taught me so much in how I approach my life, even now. Anyone that has trained or rehearsed intensively knows that it lights a fire in you that never burns out. I would like to think I could still pull out some of my old tricks, but I think sticking to Pilates is probably best for this old (in ballet years) lady. 

Ballet is such a beautiful inspiration for  fashion, too. I love a great ballet flat year round, specially the ones that actually look like ballet slippers. Here are my current favorites. 

1. Bloch $83 / 2. Sam Edelman $78  / 3. Yosi Samara $74 / 4. Melissa $85

Pale pink always brings everyone back to their time on the barre, but so does delicate lace (that costume), spaghetti straps (your favorite leotard), and full skirts (tutus at every age). 


1. Gorgeous way to rock a tutu-esque skirt. findersKeepers $170
2. A classic pink dress. Asos $113
3. The front of this dress is even more gorgeous. For Love and Lemons $194
4. Pretty and casual dress from House of Harlow 1960 $68
5. Usually I am not a huge fan of the high-low, but this leather version is so pretty. BCBG $268
6. A full skirt brings you back to the tutu and this has an amazing open back. One by Saunder $198
7. The lace on this BCBG is so femme $298
8. Thin spaghetti straps and pale pink is the perfect combo. Rory Beca $229

Are you doing pliés yet? 

xo
Erin 

8.26.2014

Best & Worst Dressed: Emmy's 2014

So the Emmy's have always been kind of the forgotten step child of the red carpet scene with the Golden Globes and Oscars taking the much deserved spotlight. 
But let's get serious, there are maybe three movies a year that I actually get excited about seeing, and my DVR and Netflix are full of every tv show I can possibly devour in the shortest amount of time (current obsession: Damages). 
So while we missed the Great Cate and Lupita's swagger last night, let's give the ladies of the Emmy's red carpet some props and be glad that they dressed up to be judged. 
There were a lot of amazing looks, let's start with those… 

I know this will be controversial, but I love Lady Mary's Rosie Assoulin. The color combo is so different and pretty. Allison Williams looks perfect. Worship that dress so much. Zooey chose a a great color and swayed from her usual too retro look. Lizzy Caplan, aka Janis Ian, was unreal. This is the back and this...

Is the front. Donna Karen perfection. 

Only Julia knows how to pull off a short dress, which I normally hate at event like this, but since it is so embellished it works. This two piece Christian Siriano set on Sarah is lovely. I know a bit prom 99, but I think that is what I love about it. It looks great from all angles. Velvet, oh what a tough one, but this dress on Allison Janney was beautiful. This pic of Gwen does not do this Versace justice, the girl rocked it. Two piece, Swarovski crystal encrusted, amazingness. 

Heidi is so hit or miss and I love this caped Zac Posen. Although she is looking super thin, even for a super model. Juliette was stunning and her hair looked pretty. Sophia's usual mermaid look got a slight modern update that really worked. Loved the lack of sequins, so chic. Taylor looked relaxed and pretty. Doesn't she always kind of look like she is having a good time? Which has got to be hard at these events. 

Amy glammed it up, not her best look, but I love her. This pretty frock on Amanda Peet looked better on tv, she is pregnant and this was just so feminine and sweet. The half up bun is up for serious debate.  Kiernan, man I love this girl. This was a bit heavy, but I love her wiliness to take a chance. Debra Messing has been a hot mess in the last few years, this dress was modern, flattering, and she looked beautiful. 

Now the not so beautiful…

I actually loved this dress from Peter Som on the runway, but the blurriness does not translate well on the red carpet and the mock turtleneck is killing me. I do not think I have ever liked anything Kelly Cuoco has worn. The girl bugs and this can just be added to the list of cheesy and not cute. Sarah Silverman's dress is unflattering and wrinkled. This frothy tulle number on Sarah Paulson could be really great and fashion forward, but it went too far. Like three layers of tulle far. 

While I love the color of this Prada on Kerry, it was ill fitting and the fake shorts underneath, um no. While I actually like this on Kate Mara, it is too similar to Anna Kendrick's Oscar gown. And her hair is awful. You have got to love January Jones for her fashion forward eye, but those bangs are unforgivable. You know when you have bangs and just wash them instead of your entire head before going out? Well she did that, but then never blew them dry. The Prabal Gurung dress is gorge though. Jessica Paré is so pretty and this is SO unflattering The necklace was weird too. 

Claire is so great, this just has too much going on for me. I also really want to love this DSquared number on Julianna Hough, but the bow is strangely placed and she should be in something more fun for her age. What is this gold pleated awfulness? And lastly, I actually really love this dress on Kristen Wiig, but the fit of this is unfortunate. 

These are pretty much the worst of the worst...

I feel like Katherine Heigl got like one last shot to be a part of a tv show, because she is so widely speculated to be a total a-hole, and she showed up wearing a dress she found in her attic on her farm in Utah. Just when you think Blossom couldn't get any worse, she decided to go grandma glam. Too much lady. While I appreciate Lena's quirkiness, I cannot get behind this combo. It is like she has been such a naked grown up on her show she wanted to wear exactly what a ten year old girl would pick. And her hair cut. There is so much wrong with Lauren's dress, that not much needs to be said. Those dark eyebrows are so rough. 

What did you think? I know that we don't always agree and I kind of love that about red carpet picks. 
xo
Erin 





8.21.2014

Cozy Cardigan



 

We are headed to the North Woods tomorrow for a wedding. It is going to be a high school reunion of sorts and watching a dear friend get married is always the best. While the usual wedding attire is being packed, the addition of some comfy separates for late night bonfires is required. I am realizing that though my closet is filled with cozy knits that I am psyched to start wearing, there is still room for one more in gray. These are on my radar and I wish I had one for this weekend. 



1. Free People $128
2. Gap $69
3. Asos $106
4. Soft Joie $228
5. Three Dot $144
6. Oak $135

I hope you all have a great rest of your week and weekend. Hopefully I can share some of my trip up north next week. 

xo
Erin 


8.19.2014

Black Tie Affair

With wedding season pretty much never ending for us twenty and thirty somethings, the black tie dress code can be a monthly affair. This dress code can be the hardest as the dress cannot be worn to many other functions and you never know just how dressy people will get. The trick is to find something classic that you can switch up with accessories for different weddings. I recently put together some options for a friend and now I am hoping for a fancy event in my future as well. 



This simple, but stunning dress would look gorgeous with gold accessories and a statement shoe. $250


A romantic, pleated dress gets an edge with a metal gold belt. This dress comes in many colors. So pretty. $106



If you go all out with the jewelry, shoes, bag, hair, and make up, short is totally doable for black tie. I love that all of these have an interesting architectural element. 
The pink peplum would look fab with a blingy statement necklace ($116). 
The halter dress would be gorgeous with chunky gold cuffs and a drop earring ($63 on sale). 
I am obsessed with this flutter detail on the skater dress. The ultimate way to make a statement with a LBD. $106

And if you really want to make a statement, the jumpsuit would be so fab. Both the deep v with the mesh version and this killer black and white would be a show stopper. Just make sure you do it up with the rest of your look. 

xo
Erin 




8.18.2014

Chicken & Sweet Potato Asian Lettuce Wraps

With the addition of sweet potatoes, the usually too light for an entree lettuce wrap becomes a filling meal. Crunchy water chestnuts and a sweet and salty sauce made this a hit with the adults and the kids at the dinner table. 


Chicken & Sweet Potato Asian Lettuce Wraps
Imperfect Polish 2014
Serves 4

For Filling: 
3 large sweet potatoes, diced
olive oil
salt & pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ground ginger (this is how you do it or buy this in produce section)
1.25 lbs ground chicken
1 can sliced water chestnuts (Asian food section)

For Sauce: 
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar (Asian food section)
1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil (Asian food section)

For Serving: 
Bib or iceberg lettuce leaves 
chopped scallion
chopped cilantro
hot sauce like sriracha

Place sweet potatoes on large sheet pan and toss two coat with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until tender, about 30 minutes. Set aside. (Can be done a day in advance)

In a small bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients. Set aside. 

Place a large skillet or wok on the stove over medium high heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Once hot,  add the onion and bell pepper and sauté until just starting to get tender. Then add the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds, add chicken. Cook and stir all ingredients together, breaking up the ground chicken as well, until chicken is done. Add the water chestnuts, sweet potatoes, and sauce cook until warmed through and well combined. Turn off the heat. 

To serve, place lettuce leaves on the plate and scoop some of the meat mixture inside. Top with scallion, cilantro and hot sauce to taste. 

Note: You could make the filling in advance and then reheat later. 

Enjoy! 
xo
Erin 






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