2011 marked my entrance into the blogosphere with SJ’s Style Compass, and one of the most exciting things about my first foray into blogging is all the inventive, inspiring and creative blogs I’ve run across.  There are far too many to list here, but I thought I would highlight a few that may be new to you as well as a few that have been good to us.  I’m so grateful to be a part of this amazing community and hope to share more of my great finds with you in the months ahead.  Happy reading this holiday season!

FASHION

Le Catch From the uber best-dressed Marlien Rentmeester, West Coast editor for Lucky Mag(!), comes Le Catch.  My go-to for fast fashion on a budget, and it even tells me what to wear with it.  J’adore.

What is James Wearing? James Andrew chronicles his life in fashion of the day.  Decked in Tom Ford, Gucci, Etro and the like, he shares his serious stare (why no smiles James?) while musing at the Frick, perusing at Christie’s, and shmoozing at the Ocean Club.   Wouldn’t dream of starting my day without seeing what’s on his style radar.

Blueprint for Style I love image curator Monica Barnett’s enthusiastic passion for fashion, and the blog’s great resources like its alphabetized style dictionary.  I was fortunate enough to be featured here in a designer profile in October.

 

Stripes & Sequins Blogger Grace Atwood is unabashedly girly in her love of all things sparkly, and her bright and bubbly persona shines just as much as the pretty, glittery things she adores.  Added bonus:  the DIY Archives section of her blog is a-mazing, with step-by-step instructions to walk you through tons of super cool projects (love the aptly-named striped, sequined sneakers!)

Closet Vanity Samantha Fodrowski brings you the best of what’s in your closet and on your vanity, and always manages to find and feature beautiful pieces that are so not everywhere.  My favorite reads include her Closet Confidential profiles of up-and-coming and established designers (I was delighted to be featured here Nov. 2), and her Thankful Thursday posts (because gratitude is always in style!).

TRAVEL

Firestone Sisters These twins (o.k., they are not twins), have a passion and love for travel that I can appreciate.  They share a peek into their rooms (for the voyeur in you), recipes for the season (thanks for Paula Deen’s Monster Christmas cookies!), and their thoughts on what to wear.  Daily posts include other posts you may like as well as an interview with yours truly. . . thank you!

In-Flight Insider With over 20 years of experience in commercial and corporate aviation, travel guru Carolyn Paddock offers not only an abundance of practical (and spot-on!) tips, but she makes it her mission to source the most useful and luxurious products to make your frequent flying more comfortable and more elegant.  As someone who logs a lot of time at 30,000 feet, I appreciate her in-flight (as well as pre-flight and post-flight) insight!

BEAUTY

the glossarie O.K., so I’m a little biased as I had the pleasure of meeting and hanging with the delightful Lara Ramos at Lucky Magazine’s FABB conference last September (see the pic of us mugging in the J.Brand booth)!  That being said, her blog is as perfectly pretty as the treasure trove of beauty products she features.  Because a beauty blog should be beautiful, and hers is!

Karla Sugar The next best thing to going shopping yourself, indeed!  Your best friend at the beauty counter, the affable Karla Sugar tests out top brands in easy-to-see swatches (on her own skin!) of makeup and nail polish, so that you can accurately get a sense of color before you buy.  Incredibly useful and practical, there’s no other beauty blog like hers out there.

Beauty 411 Nancy Houlmont has her finger on the pulse of all things beauty, skincare and fragrance and I love her no-nonsense product reviews and makeup tips.  A true encyclopedia of beauty knowledge!

FOOD & ENTERTAINING

What Katie Ate From down under comes Katie Quinn Davies’ photographic food essay and love letter to all things culinary.  Foodies and photogs alike will go gaga for her recipe share.  I only wish she posted more, but alas this blog is done in her spare time which very understandably she has little of.

Anatomy of a Dinner Party Atlanta-based hostess with the mostest and modern day Miss Manners, Patti Davis serves up Southern hospitality with a smile.  I love her down-to-earth musings about food, fun and fetes.  Having been fortunate enough to attend one of her famous dinner parties (held in my honor!), I can certify that she knows how to throw a truly superb soiree!

Lulu Powers LuLu’s blog is clean and direct just like I like them.  Sharing everything from before and after party tables, to party tips (ribbon candy placeholders anyone?), to the perfect hostess gift (personalized enamel bracelets!), she covers your party planning A-Z.  Leaves me wanting more. . . xo 

HOME

Coco+Kelley My hat’s off to designer Cassandra LaValle for this truly gorgeous blog!  From fresh color palettes to fab fashion finds, Coco + Kelley does it all well, but where this blog really shines is its focus on stunning interiors.  My faves are the Room of the Week and Interiors to Inspire series!

Happiness is a Pink Foo Dog Hillary Thomas might be the happiest gal I know.  She’s finally taken her happy design out of the house and onto the web where she shares her secrets and takes you shopping.  Travel with her to Round Top to go antique-ing or to Palm Beach where she gives you the insider view of shopping for her One Kings Lane container sale.  Did I say she’s chic personified?  Oh yeah, that too.

Good Bones Great Pieces Mother/Daughter team Suzanne and Lauren McGrath are so gifted at finding amazing and unique accents for your home.  While they feature their fair share of pricey pieces, I’m endlessly inspired by the treasures they’re able to unearth at flea markets, consignment stores and estate sales.

LIFESTYLE

Very Good Looking A tribute to her late mother, Very Good Looking is just that.  Sally Horchow vlogs about everything from giving, mania, neatness and style, giving them her VGL stamp of approval.  Whip smart, I love her unique posts on everything from how to hang a salon-style wall at home, to how to buy a bra ( a favorite of my 3 year old).  Very Good Looking indeed.

Design Love Fest Inspiration abounds on uber-creative graphic designer Bri Emery’s blog.  Whether she’s featuring fashion finds, home decor, or a peek inside one of her fab Blogshop workshops, you can count on her posts to be fresh, fun, and (a tad) quirky.