This Post Has a Secret Crush on Her Math Teacher

Interior design and pet wrangling by Victoria Smith of sfgirlbybay, who is a lovely host. It’s possible I was not sober when I did this on Instagram. (Speaking of which, my favorite thing about this photo Victoria took is how I might as well be naked and people would still only notice Victoria’s rug. Internet, you are weird.)

Lucy is so proud of your progress. | Mighty Girl

Lucy is so proud of your progress.

The hand soap dispenser is a stickler for details. | Mighty Girl

The hand soap dispenser is a stickler for details.

The apron made cookies for the Science Olympiad team. | Mighty Girl

The apron made cookies for the Science Olympiad team.

The sewing machine goes to bed at 8 pm on a Saturday. | Mighty Girl

The sewing machine goes to bed at 8 p.m. on a Saturday.

This Catherine Holm saucier never knows what to say when people ask what she does.  | Mighty Girl

This Catherine Holm saucier never knows what to say when people ask what she does.

This Vermouth is living in his parents' rec room. | Mighty Girl

This Vermouth is living in his parents’ rec room.

This throw pillow feels overdressed. | Mighty Girl

This throw pillow feels overdressed.

This cheese plate is tired of discussing Satre. | Mighty Girl

This cheese plate is tired of discussing Sartre.

This chalkboard can barely admit how he feels. | Mighty Girl

This chalkboard can barely admit how he feels.

This air fern is secretly in love with the West Elm vase. | Mighty Girl

This air fern is secretly in love with the West Elm vase.

This George Nelson lamp was afraid of you in high school. | Mighty Girl

This George Nelson lamp was afraid of you in high school.

This task lamp is busy right now. | Mighty Girl

This task lamp is busy right now.

This egg isn't sure about being born into this world. Not like this. | Mighty Girl

This egg isn’t sure about being born into this world. Not like this.

These antlers don't really like cocktail parties. | Mighty Girl

These antlers don’t really like cocktail parties.

This foot scored higher on the SATs than you. | Mighty Girl

This foot scored higher on the SATs than you.

This glass of wine is unimpressed. | Mighty Girl

This glass of wine is unimpressed.

15 Influential Design Blogs

Someone on Quora asked about the most influential design blogs, and many of the responses had to do with professional web and product design. I have a much more colloquial view of what it means to be a design blogger, so almost none of the blogs I consider influential were on the list. I added these with a notation that I wasn’t including fashion or wedding sites, which have some overlap in the community, especially because personal sites can be so tough to classify.

I’m defining “influential” as folks with large audiences (upwards of 10,000 visitors a day or so) with dedicated readers who really care about the information presented there.

Who am I forgetting?

DesignSponge founded by Grace Bonney
Home, DIY, entertaining, products

Design Milk founded by Jaime Derringer
Design magazine on art, architecture, home, fashion, tech

Swiss-Miss by Tina Roth Eisenberg
Professional designer and aesthete

Apartment Therapy founded by Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan
Home design/products with sister sites for tech, green and kids as well

NOTCOT founded by Jean Aw
Products, fashion, tech lifestyle, with sister sites

Poppytalk by Jan and Earl (Husband/Wife)
DIY, Home, Handmade

Decor8 by Holly Becker

Oh Joy founded by Joy Deangdeelert Cho
Products, fashion, interiors, inspiration

SF Girl by Bay by Victoria Smith
Photography, interior design, product

Design for Mankind by Erin Loechner
Art, fashion, home

Not Martha by Megan Reardon
A one-woman consumer reports on a range of products

Oh Happy Day by Jordan Ferney
Entertaining, diy, stationery

Making it Lovely by Nicole Balch
Home, DIY

Design Mom by Gabrielle Blair
Designer who focuses on good design for parents and kids

A Cup of Jo by Joanna Goddard
Style, products, fashionable parenting

What design sites do you love that don’t seem to have large readerships yet? There’s so much professional-level content out there right now, it’s tough to keep up.

And So it Begins – Christmas Cards

Peace Snowflake Holiday Letterpress Cards in Blue and Silver
from Letterpress Delicacies

These letterpress Peace cards are so good I’d like to bite them.

I know it’s obscene to be shopping for Christmas cards already, but I get discouraged if the holidays pass us by without sending cards and hanging a wreath on the door. It seems like a low bar, but I can’t tell you how many years have gone by that I haven’t managed to accomplish those two things.

What’s your “it’s not the holidays without” tradition?

Mighty Closet: Our Wedding

Our photojournalist wedding photographer showed up at the hotel at 7 a.m. I was wearing a silk robe that I got at Thrift Town in Sacramento for $10. It’s still one of my favorite things.

I changed into one of those horrifying velour tracksuits that was very popular at the time, and one of our groomsmen remarked that I looked like a movie star trying to go incognito. Mostly I just wanted a zip-front something to wear all day so I could change out of it without ruining my hair and makeup. Also I might have wanted to practice a cheerleading routine or something. You never know.

(That kissable bundle is little Evan Frasier; I was his nanny briefly. He is 43 now.)

My dream wedding dress was Audrey Hepburn’s bridal dress from Funny Face:

I’ve mentioned before that I have clothing nightmares. We were on a tight budget when we were married, and I was accordingly horrified by the idea of spending $1,500 on a dress.

I was set on a short dress, which I thought would be easy to find, but absolutely no one wore them at the time. When I say no one, I mean I went to every bridal salon and department store in San Francisco, and found exactly one short, white dress, for $1700 dollars. It was not cute.

Three months before the wedding I still didn’t have a dress, and I was beginning to hyperventilate and have tooth-griding nightmares. For those of you who’ve never been married, lots of women order their dresses a year out, and many bridal salons look at you like you’re nuts if you expect less than a six-month turnaround.

Bryan finally had enough of my whimpering and rocking in the corner. He said, “We are going to the Gunne Sax outlet and buying something.” We ended up buying two dresses, one that would become the bodice for $80, and a size 14 tulle monstrosity for the skirt, which was about $100. I asked my dear friend Lisa (Hi, Lisa!) from Stitch Bitch if she could lop off the skirt and smush the two dresses together. She did it for less than $100, because she loves me. This is how we ended up spending less for my dress than we did for the bourbon at the wedding. Fact!

Lisa didn’t want the dress to be too heavy, so instead of using 300 layers of tulle, she put some horsehair ruffs under the sides of the skirt to make them stand out. This meant that the skirt was nice and poofy, but I could still use the restroom withoutout aid. Bonus.

I got a satin headband at Britex, and my mom-in-law sewed a circle of tulle to a metal hair comb the night before the wedding. I’d hoped for a cage veil, but this was in the hours before Etsy, and they were impossible to find. I thought about skipping the veil entirely, but when my girlfriends pinned my veil in my hair, it was the moment I realized I was really getting married.

I grew up with a gardenia bush in the backyard, so I had a gardenia in my hair and one for each of the bridesmaids. They wore them in their hair or pinned to their shirts as they chose.

Thanks to tequila and vigorous dancing, my hair flower fell out, and no one mentioned it because they didn’t know I had 14 more in the back. Word to the wise brides, extra hair flowers ladies.

I also wore red shoes, which was strange at the time. One of our guests mentioned that he particularly loved my shoes because his mother always said red shoes were for little girls and whores. I like to think I fall squarely in the latter camp:

Later, I pulled on a red sweater with a rhinestone brooch, because it gets cold on the docks in San Francisco. The sweater was a merino Bennton cardigan, and I still wear it.

Bryan’s suit was a striped Donna Karan cashmere blend on sale at Nordstrom Rack. His tie was Calvin Klien. My maiden name is Berry, so the boutonnieres were Eucalyptus leaves with unripe blackberries, all collected on the wedding site. We asked our groomsmen to wear black suits, and we got them matching ties.

My bridesmaids were from size 0 to size 14 and were 4’11” to 5’10” — we even had a pregnant attendant — so I had to find something that would be flattering for everyone. I chose white cotton wrap tops and red wool skirts from Foley’s, which I asked the bridesmaids to wear full length or have hemmed to the knee as they chose. My bridesmaids actually did wear the pieces again, and the whole outfit was $70. Separates!

Pro tip: When you’re getting married, it’s helpful to have girlfriends who are all knockouts. I love you, girls.

Old? A penny in my shoe. New? My dress. Borrowed? My lipstick. Blue? My engagement ring, which is a giant ’60s era cocktail Aquamarine. Oddly, I do not have a close up photo, but it is lovely.

For the rehearsal dinner I wore a red, heavily embroidered shift, of which I also cannot find a single photo. By the end of our wedding I was so through with red that I could barely look at a tube of lipstick without shuddering, but seven years later I’m coming back around.

Mighty Closet: Jaime Chen, Outfit 2

Apologies for the post delay, yesterday was one of those days. Thanks for checking back.

Don’t mind Jaime, she’s just stepping out for a stroll through the open-air markets of Cuba.

It’s so easy for hats to look forced. Who throws on a fedora this effortlessly? Urban Outfitter models and Jaime, that’s who. Jaime does low-key sexy better than anyone I know.

Her hat is a Stetson, but was purchased in Copenhagen. Jaimes likes to shop when she travels — she worked as a consultant for years and is a travel enthusiast, so she has lots of trips under her (weathered leather) belt (purchased in Zambia).

Her J necklace was a gift from her sister Nancy, who wears the same necklace but with an N on it. Aww. Wearing matching necklaces is pretty much the best reason to have a sister.

Her black tank top is Banana Republic, purchased in a NYC Soho store circa 2001. Can anyone else believe it hasn’t acquired a giant stain in the last nine years? Clearly Jaime doesn’t eat spaghetti. The green cardigan is JCrew.

Her split skirt has a subtle stripe, it’s by waukerhaus and was also purchased in Copenhagen at a store called Sabine Poupinel.

The bag is Hermes.

Thought I’d just let that settle in for a moment. Jaime says she gets her more expensive clothes on sale, but the Hermes bag was an exception. She fell in love the first time she saw it, and worked up her courage (and presumably savings) for two years before laying down the cash. Now she sleeps with it and bottle feeds it.

By contrast, she bought her sandals from Ann Taylor twelve years ago and has had them repaired three times.

And that’s a wrap. Tune in tomorrow for a little more Subtle Sexuality. Jaime, take us out:

Yep. That’s still working for you, girl.

Lifescoop: Gadget Case Roundup

We have a drawer at our house with a collection of slightly broken things — a fully functional iPhone with a shattered screen, a point and shoot that sometimes deletes entire memory cards on a whim, etcetera.

Looking in the drawer, it occurs to me that the convenience of throwing gadgets in my bag is perhaps outweighed by the cost of replacing them when they bang into each other and break. But cases offer the best of both worlds — relatively free-floating gadgets that still work when you turn them on. Here are five stylish options to protect your gadgets without adding too much bulk to your bag. Read more…