Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Portrait

After a wonderful Easter service and a mimosa filled brunch, Makai decided he wanted an Easter portrait...

...welp, we tried. Happy Easter, friends :)

Unfortunate Update: And later, my brother and I discovered him eating a baby bunny he caught in our yard. A real one. On Easter of all...! We are not on speaking/belly rub terms.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Who rules the world? According to Southern Living Magazine (and Beyonce)- Girls.

Honored, humbled, giddy, grateful-- For so many reasons, aside from the obvious, I'm finding it impossible to articulate the below feature in an eloquent manner, so I'm going to defer to Haskell Harris, the inspiring woman who produced this new Southern Living column that will cover female entrepreneurs (!) across the South...

"The subject is one I hold close and my hope is that each month it will inspire and empower my fellow female creatives to go out and do what they love. And give readers great sources to feather their nests (obvi)." 

If you've read the Live Sparkly section of My Cup of Te, you'll know that I started this blog back in 2010, newly unemployed, before Society Social was even a thought, lost, confused, (like I said, flailing) and simultaneously hoping that writing about the things that inspire me would help me find a clear path back to a career that I love. It was scary, and so fun financially, but life's too short to not be doing what you love, whatever it may be! 

I'm incredibly honored and grateful to have been given the opportunity to stand (on tables) behind that powerful message, and of course to bring it back to my home state of North Carolina y'allll!

Also, can we give a standing ovation to the entire Southern Living team for putting a spotlight on such a positive message? 

p.s. Did I mention I literally sleep with this issue? Yes, in my bed. It has its own pillow. I am so excited. If y'all come over, I will give us each a table and a bottle of champers to dance on. And if you want more funny deats, here's a few behind the scenes from last October...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

My Business Tips & Advice

Yesterday I was over at my friend Meg's sharing the method (if you can call it that) to my madness. I share the apps I use on my phone (Uber if I'm lucky enough to skip the subway!), the websites I visit often (Dropbox is just as vital as Manhattan Wine Company ;), the programs I use to keep Society Social looking presentable, and a few words of advice I always go back to. Just click the image!

I receive more inquiries that I can field for free business advice (last month it was over 60!) so head over if you're looking for quick and easy tips to get 'er done. I would highly recommend heading over as Meg has hosted quite the variety of power women that I feel lucky to call my peers.

p.s. I LOVE the overwhelming response I got from yesterday's post. Thank you for all your comments and emails! We're all in it together y'all:)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What Extremely Successful People Were Doing at Age 25

Dad sent me this article from Yahoo Finance yesterday. Apparently most of these extremely successful people were still "finding themselves" at age 25. There is still hope for me, after all. At the age of 25 I was on the brink of being unemployed for over a year; my path has been anything but "linear." Actually, the key word for my mid-twenties would be "flailing." Think this gif of Marnie on Girls.

Martha Stewart was a stockbroker.

Mark Cuban was a bartender in Dallas-- sleeping on the floor with six guys in a three bedroom apartment.

Monday, March 25, 2013


My friend Becca launched her new gorgeous website today, Rebecca Atwood Designs. She's such a talent and her handmade, even some hand-painted, pillows are not to miss. She sells her original artwork, too!
I'm telling you, down to the details-- hello, gold zippers, Becca thinks of everything.

The site was designed by a friend as well, the ever-chic Erika at Small Shop, and I'm so excited to see the end product of their collab. Design heaven on both ends!
Another super talented design friend, Caitlin Wilson, launched her new site over the weekend with lots of pretty pretty eye-candy. The new photography stopped me in my tracks. 
Caitlin was also the winner of Society Social's Project Sofa contest at Style Me Pretty (you may have also noticed her Gold Fleur Pillows in my apartment featured in HGTV's April issue) and I can't wait to see what she does with her new Mrs. Lilien bar cart!
Here's a little peek of the Mrs.!
I hope you check out both sites and perhaps support small biz:) Congrats Becca and Caitlin!

p.s. Check out Society Social pillows, too, if you please!!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Weekend Picture Book: What To Do in NYC

Kick off the weekend with a boozy lunch at the bustling La Piazza at Eataly. You might have to hover around to snag a spot at the standing tables, but the communal atmosphere always produces a good time.

We suggest the Grande Piatta Misto Di Salumi & Formaggi, at least two glasses of the Prosecco NV Flor and making friends with the chatty group situated beside you. Then head to the shops around Flat Iron. Cheat on your shopping diet at Zara and blame it on your best friend.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Instagram Contest with StickyGram + A Giveaway

If you're addicted to Instagram and love a freebie you're going to love today's post. I'm teaming up with Stickygram to give one lucky reader their very own pack of StickyGrams!
StickyGram is a personalized printing service that turns your special life moments aka Instagram images into darling little magnets. Pick nine of your favorites to display just about anywhere! I would choose these smile-inducers to scatter around my home and desk:

Snow in NYC / XO at Astoria Beer Garden / My precious family
Peonies for me? / A breezy bike ride in Central Park / Our West Village Favorite
Snuggle butt Makai Te / My Dad and I:) / Engagement Weekend!

Birthday or anni coming up? They would make such a fun and thoughtful gift, too!

To enter you must do two things (Easy, I promise!):
1. Be a follower of My Cup of Te OR follow Society Social on Facebook 

then to make this even more fun...

2. Leave a link (just snag it from your!) in the comments below to an image you would want on a StickyGram. I can't wait to see all your little moments:)  

A winner will be chosen on Sunday, March 24th. Good luck!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

BB Creams

I had to get back on Proactiv y'all, for the first time in 10 years. My skin has been consistently breaking out and consistently getting worse since 8/17/2011- the exact launch date of my business. Coincidence? I believe it's the sure reason I am prematurely aging while simultaneously looking like a hormonal, acne-faced teenager. HOT. 
Fresh-faced Karlie Kloss at Paris Fashion Week
Aside from reverting to an old go-to, I've started using BB Cream, too. Supposedly BB creams are all-in-one miracles meant to replace serums, moisturizers, primers, foundations, and sunblock.  I chose Smashbox Camera Ready that says it can "visibly reduce fine lines and wrinkles after only four weeks" and love it so far. We'll see in four weeks ;) Here's a mini round-up of the highest rated BB Creams at Sephora-- 

Have you tried anything new lately? Do share! I've making it  more of a priority to take care of myself, and I need all the help I can get. xo!

p.s. A few BB Cream round-ups and reviews for ya:

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Our Apartment: HGTV "Little Spots, Big Ideas" April 2013

Welp, come on in y'all! 
The grand tour of our Manhattan mansion encompasses a sprawling 400 square feet, so we had to get creative: furniture is strategically scaled, a bar cart doubles as an end table, a dead wall is transformed into a functional counter top, a flea market find is repurposed as a nightstand, and somehow we squeezed in a home office. I hope you enjoy our apartment tour and find inspiration in our small living ideas, even if you have a little more space:)

Furniture (All my own designs, yay!): Quinn Sofa, Society Social | Draper Bunching Tables, Society Social | Sedgewick Bar Cart, Society Social | Dinner Party Folding Table, Society Social Archives 

Accessories: Orangerie Rose Pillows, Society Social | Hustle Pillow, Michelle Dwight at Society Social | Cutout Design Lamp, | Ginger Jar & Brass Pig, Vintage | Lacquered Tray & Box, Gracious Home | Rug, Custom Overdye | Anemone Vase,  Anthropologie

Gallery Wall: "Matisse, Picasso, Circus Animals on 33rd," | "Deeply Madly in Love," Made By Girl | Asian Needlepoint, Gilded Mirror, Monet's "Woman with Parasol," Vintage | Letter "A," C.Wonder

Double Duty Bar Cart/End Table
Furniture: Sedgewick Bar Cart, Society Social | Quinn Sofa, Society Social
Accessories: Cutout Design Lamp, | Anemone Vase,  Anthropologie | Carved Bouquet Vase, Anthropologie | Gold Tray, Pier 1 | Bar Tools/Gold-rimmed Glassware/Turtle Lamp/Ice Bucket, Vintage

Makeshift Countertop aka Former Dead Wall
Wallpaper: Red Chairs, Thibaut
Furniture: Acrylic Bar Stools,
Accessories: Lacquered Initial Box, C.Wonder | Chevron Frame, Anthropologie, Gold and White Vase/Ginger Jar/Books/Asian Art, Vintage

A Mini Home Office Area
Custom Duchess Desk Chair, Society Social | X Desk, World Market | Pineapple Lamp, Vintage | Billy Bookcase, Ikea 

Freed-Up Floorspace Bedside
"Nightstand," Vintage, Spray painted gold | Bead Vase, Frances Palmer Pottery | "This is Forever," SS Print Shop | Modern Clip Lamp, Land of Nod 
| Ingraham Clock, Vintage | Gold Fleur Pillows, Caitlin Wilson | Bedding 

Wallpaper: "Gold Leaf Peonies," Tempaper

To read all about our "big ideas" pick up the issue on newsstands now or read it online here. Photography courtesy of HGTV by the super talented David A. Land.

Thank you again for all the lovely notes and for sharing your excitement with us. It's everything:) And once more, thank you to the entire team at HGTV for this "never would I have dreamt" opportunity. We are still pinching ourselves! If you have any questions or simply want to say hello, I would LOVE to hear what you think!

3 Things


I read this post at Cup of Jo this morning and wanted to share as counting your lucky stars is a great way to start your day. For some reason, no matter how great my day goes, like described in the post, I am overcome with anxiety at night about everything an' all! I wake up feeling silly because the prior night's worries, that never fail to plague me in those few minutes or hours before bed, always seem way less scary in the morning hours.

So last night while trying to fall asleep, and as I felt the worry start to creep in, I made myself think of three things that had happened during the day that I was grateful for.  My list included: a spur of the moment gelato date with Alan at an hour in which we would normally be getting ready for bed (I know, get crazy:), an unexpected phone call from my brother who lives overseas, and finally, nailing down a new bar cart design that I'm truly excited about-- a task that has been making me nuts!

What are three things you're grateful for? Share below and let's get on with this day! Happy almost weekend, guys:)

{Illustration by Inslee}

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Outfit Post: Details

The shoe line-up.
Coconut Wedge | J.Crew Etta | Forever21Black Pump | Calvin Klein Bootie
The wide leg tuxedo trouser.
Angela at work!
My 15 year old Abercrombie denim jacket that, right or wrong, I still wear:)
After look 1 and 2, which you can view here and here if you've missed them and would like to see, Angela put together three more outfits using pieces, the majority of which are at least 1-2 years or older, and all of which I have worn differently in the past. We not only had a great time, but she really inspired me to hold on to my pennies and work with what I've got. No shame in LY, y'all!

To see the rest of the outfits from the "Shop Your Closet" series, visit Angela's blog and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


For the second look, (here's the first if you missed it!) Angela put together a well worn stripe knit and my favorite harem pants from Zara. The overall look is casual so we dressed it up with pointy heels, also from Zara, and a statement malachite necklace from Elva Fields. Out of all the looks of the day, this felt the most like me, and Angela and Amen noticed it in my mood as soon as I stepped out of the dressing room.

Isn't it funny how clothes can directly affect your demeanor? All the more reason to get it together, meaning be the best version of yourself everyday in every possible aspect!

I hope this little exercise, "Shop Your Closet" series, inspires you to re-imagine a few of your favorite pieces:) More looks coming tomorrow!

{Photos courtesy of Amen at Rare Module}

Monday, March 11, 2013

Something New: Outfit Post

A few weeks ago my friend Angela, founder of Style Closet Life and a successful stylist here in the city, came over to "remix" my closet. I'm pretty settled into my comfort zone (it's just easy!) and truthfully try to limit the shopping so it was really fun watching Angela work her magic on some of my favorite pieces, many of which I never would've thought to put together. It was such an interesting exercise!

Angela and I happen to be from the same small town in North Carolina with many mutual friends from high school and college, but we've never actually met in person. It was great catching up over clothes and a brilliant stroke of luck on my part that a stylist who has worked with major Hearst mags and many a celebrity bring new life to my tired outfits. (Isn't she the cutest? :)
The sheer polka dot blouse and lounge-y stripe knit from her first look get lots of wear on their own, but I really never thought to layer them up. I was unsure of the ensemble as soon as I put it on, but it immediately became one of my favorite outfits of the day!

Who needs to shop when you have Angela? Have you recently shopped your closet for "new outfits?" Outfit posts are not a common thing around here-- I would love to hear what you think. More looks to come!

**Big shout-out to Amen of Rare Module for all the photos (I told him to make me look skinny) and video!!**

Friday, March 8, 2013

Shopping List

First off, thank you guys so much for all the sweet notes yesterday!! Alan and I excitedly read all your comments-- we hope you love our place and find lots of inspiration when the full issue comes out. Your support means the most! Cocktails chez Owens anytime! :) Now on with regular programming! My latest shopping hit list...

1. Has anyone else been shopping (more like window shopping) for spring shoes like a maniac? I'm smitten with Marais' new arrivals and pretty campaign.
2. Tonic water upgrade. A syrup to make my own. The latest edition to my bar cart! I can practically taste that G&T, and it's not even 7am yet.
3. Placing an order to myself today! Thinking Crest in red?
4. Perfect pops of pretty in Loren's latest spring line-- the shopping cart is getting dangerously full.
5. Meg's ManifestoT's- be a lover, not a fighter y'all.

What's been catching your eye lately? Do I need to add anything else to my shopping cart? Spill it!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Our Apartment in HGTV Magazine

I'm totally freaking out. The article looks amazing but I can't help but to be riddled with feelings of insecurity. Will people like our place? What if they don't? Will they have expected more out of me? Is it good enough? Am I good enough? Does that shirt make me look fat? Can I redecorate now?!

If you didn't already think of me as a little crazy- welcome, nice to finally meet you. Trying to chill out and enjoy what was truthfully a dream come true, thank you so much Team HGTV:) The April Issue hits newsstands on March 12th.  Go out and get ya one!! Meanwhile here are some in process and before pics below. xo!

(yes, that is my mother. no matter how old you are, sometimes you just need your momma to tone your crazy down:)

Retro Rattan

The snow is falling in New York, another storm's a brewin', and I can't stop thinking how wonderful it would be to skip away on a tropical little vaca. This fabby retro round-up, featuring my Lolita rattan chair, is not helping. If you could jump on a plane right now and hop into a bikini (and cocktail!) where would it be? Go!

{Rattan round-up by Sarah for Society Social}