The Goodwinn Purse


J Crew

I'm in love with the newly released Goodwinn purse by J Crew! Available in pinot noir stone, black navy and orange camel, the bag can be cleverly zipped and unzipped at the sides- it is two bags in one! Bravo J Crew!

Guest Post: Design, Passion, Dreams – My American Architectural Favourites


I'm delighted to share this great guest post on American architectural favourites by the fantastic Andrea Morgan! Andrea blogs at Trying to Balance the Madness, a great and inspiring blog about architecture and design. She has also recently set up Citrus Content.  Read on to find out more about her American architectural favourites!


I have been a fan of Laura’s ever since I heard her speak at ‘Women Doing Digital’ event about her online journey.  Since then we have become friends (although I am a little jealous over her handbag collection!)

When she asked me to write a post on my favourite American architectural styles I was honored.  I started my twitter journey a couple of years ago and launched my blog Trying to Balance the Madness just over a year ago.  I love blogging and sharing my passion for homes and interiors, especially Dream Homes from around the world.

On choosing my top architectural favourites I knew straight away what my choices would be.  I love the space homes in the America encompass, the real thought in layout and the envious closet sizes.

The Brownstone

I fell in love with the Brownstone after visiting New York and Boston.  They are so forebodingly dramatic yet elegant and the staircases to the main door always seem inviting.  The Brownstone has also been a popular choice for TV and Movie producers and I can understand why.

Cape Cod Cottage

I can feel the warmth on my cheek, the slight breeze in my hair and a pure feeling of relaxation.  When I see a Cape Cod Cottage this is the picture that it breathes. The style originated in New England in the 17th century and is symmetrically designed round a front door. The modern equivalents keep some of the main themes but they tend to have a dormer and a garage.


When researching for my blog I come across the most amazing contemporary homes.  Their design juxtaposed on the scenery behind them. Their angles and shapes are extraordinary, and their use of space inspiring.



One of the cities that fascinates me is San Francisco, with its wealth of eclectic Victorian architecture.  The seemingly vertical streets are decorated by beautiful homes and when colour is added it becomes mesmerizing.

Seattle House Boat

Sleepless in Seattle is where I first discovered the Seattle House Boat.  I remember the scene when Sam first stepped out onto the terrace at the back of the house and the water was shimmering in the evening air.  The earliest house boats in Seattle were recorded in 1905. I love their uniqueness in design and adore their closeness to the water.  I always imagine it being so calming living on the water and amazing within the electricity of a storm.


Log Cabin

Crisp winter air, roaring fire, luxurious rich fabrics to snuggle up as you warm yourself inside the lodge.  The log cabin seems synonymous with American history and a favourite with the American Pioneers.  Since their humble beginnings they are now built on a grand scale and are often surrounded by breathtaking scenery.



It wouldn’t be right to do this post and not include one of the post popular architectural styles in the USA, Colonial.  The Style can trace its influences to England and as architecture evolved through the years, designers have put their own stamp on the classic design.  The Colonial style just embraces the words “family home”, they have such warmth about them that is so welcoming.

Which are your favourites? 

You can follow Andrea on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook.

White House Week


This week, President Obama delivered a speech from Knox College, Illinois about his vision of growing the economy from the middle-out and how he plans to rebuild the cornerstones of middle-class security.

The cornerstones of his plan are: 1) job security with good wages; 2) a good education; 3) a home to call your own; 4) a secure retirement; 5) affordable health care; 6) more opportunity and less inequality.

You can watch the speech below and also find out more information here. 

There was good news on student loans, as Senators from both sides of the aisle came up with a plan to reduce the interest rates on student loans. 11 million borrowers will save money once it becomes law.

Find out more about the plan here. 

Make sure you check out the White House White Board, an interactive feature that is explaining how the Senate's bipartisan immigration reform bill would work if it were signed into law. 

Discovering DC with DC Celine


In this weeks Discovering DC, we explore Washington DC with the fabulous Alison from DC Celine! DC Celine is one of my favorite blogs so it is an absolute delight to team up with Alison and find out her favorite spots in DC!

What's your history with Washington DC?
I came to the DC area way back in 1992, when I started at the University of Maryland, College Park. I lived in College Park, Takoma Park, and Silver Spring until 2004, when H and I got engaged. I moved in with him in the Van Ness neighborhood. We love our condo, and are now married with two "Beans," 6 and 3 1/2. Our 'hood is a fantastic place to live, metro-accessible and walkable to all sorts of other neighborhoods. We keep thinking about moving to the 'burbs, but can't bring ourselves to leave a place where we can walk literally everywhere we need to go.

Discovering Washington DC- what are your favourite places to shop/eat/go with friends/people watch?
Our area is so very green - literally. Connecticut Avenue and the side streets are tree-lined with old oaks, maples, and ginkos that make a gorgeously lit "alley" arching over the streets. We stroll up to Politics & Prose, a DC institution of an independent book store (with a fab subterranean coffee shop, Modern Times.

For shopping, we'll hoof it over to Friendship Heights and hit the discount retailers like Nordstrom Rack and the new DSW. I've scored some amazing deals in that neighborhood because of the range of retailers from high to low. Even the Beans (the 6 year old, especially) love to shop, and if we buy too much, we treat ourselves to a "fancy car" home, via Uber. It's been a lifesaver for a mama with two Beans laden with packages.

That is, if we don't hit Frosting for the. best. cupcakes. (and coffee) in the area, first. Really. Forget all of the other cupcakes. And go. NOW.
To eat? What's not to eat? With the Beans, we're lucky to have a couple of places blocks away. Most of the city knows about Comet Ping Pong and Buck's, where H and I will go to get one of the best steaks in the city. With the Beans, though, we love the local "chain" Italian Pizza Kitchen and the new Boiler Room at Jake's American Grill. If we're alone, H and will steal a walk to Cleveland Park for a quiet dinner at Dino which does an amazing job of accommodating our sometimes strange diets.

Then, if we're lazy, we "hit" our absolute favorite: Masala Art via delivery. The food is phenomenal, unlike other Indian places, and well worth the (unfortunately) super long delivery times. As long as we plan for it, we can survive until the delivery guy rings our bell. We've gotten pretty close to him.

Perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon in Washington DC?
Our newest discovery - and one we're kicking ourselves for not making sooner - is to walk a whole 2 blocks south on Connecticut to the Soapstone Valley trail . It's an easy trail (less than a mile) that wanders along a Rock Creek tributary. It's cool, even in the heat, quiet, and there are rocks and logs to climb. And bugs to investigate. Then we indulge in some homey Italian at "IPK," as we call it, just around the corner.

Alison Santighian by Amy Carmichael Smith

Check out more posts in the Discovering DC archive here. 

The perfect biker jacket



What's not to love about this perfect black biker jacket from DKNY? 

Interview with Emily Sussman, Policy Fellow at Campus Progress


As the former Chief Executive of the Young Democrats of America, Emily Sussman has been involved in some of the most exciting and galvanising campaigns that American politics and society as seen. In her role as a Policy Fellow at Campus Progress, Emily is continuing her passion for public service.

I was delighted to interview Emily for Political Style, and carry on reading for her insight into the 2012 Election campaign, the key issues facing America and if Secretary Clinton will run for President.

How did you become involved with politics and what encouraged you to support the Democratic Party?
In college, I became very involved with the fight for reproductive health rights for all women. I didn’t want a bunch of male lawmakers deciding what women could do with their own bodies! The Democratic Party is a natural fit for me because they are the party that supports policies that reflect my values of respecting people’s self-worth and justice, including women’s rights.  At the time, President Bush was gearing up for his reelection campaign. I wanted to make sure he wouldn’t appoint Supreme Court judges who could threaten Roe v. Wade, so I decided to work for John Kerry’s presidential
campaign. That was my first step into politics, and after that, I was hooked!

How did you become involved with YDA? 
Following my work on the Kerry campaign and law school, I became involved with repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell at the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.  At SLDN part of my job was to run a coalition of youth organizations, including YDA, to put pressure on Congress to repeal the law. One day I was having lunch with the President of YDA and found out that they were looking for a new Executive Director. In Washington D.C., it’s all about meeting the right people at the right time!

What was your role and responsibilities as the Executive Director?
As the Executive Director of YDA, I ran a membership based organization of 200,000 Millennials in almost all 50 states. I created and ran electoral campaign programs, as well as represented young progressives in the media. Millenials are so smart, sometimes the older generations forget to ask for our input, particularly when debating issues that heavily impact us.  We are changing the shape of democracies, abroad and in America. The huge recent shift in support in America for same-sex marriage can be credited with strong support among young people. When Freedom to Marry launched a campaign to get the Democratic Party and Barack Obama to formally endorse marriage equality, I am proud to have been the first group leader to sign on. Young people are leading Americans on this issue, and we need our representation to reflect that.

What were your highs and lows of the 2012 Election campaign?
There were so many great moments of the campaign, but one of my favorites was on the very last day. I spent Election Day answering phones at the Obama call center in Des Moines, Iowa. So many people called in wanting to vote, and I was able to help them by directing them to their polling place and
advising them on what documentation they needed. Iowa has great voting laws, where you can register on the same day, so basically everyone who wanted to vote could cast a ballot. It felt incredible seeing our democracy in action!

A low point would definitely have to be how some of the national conversation played out. I was very disappointed when the definition of rape became part of the national narrative. I couldn’t believe some of the beliefs I was hearing and was surprised that rape was a legitimate debate. People need to know how the government is going to stabilize their lives and society, and now legislate on morality.  Another high point was that none of the people who took these extreme positions were elected!

You're in a new role as a Policy Fellow at Campus Progress. What does this involve?
At Campus Progress, I work to engage millenials on the issue of gun violence. Young people are disproportionately affected by the violence,  so we are the generation that is excited and motivated to mobilize for better gun laws. I teach young people how to advocate for gun laws that will keep them safe and figure out how to strategically create a national infrastructure on the issue. There is so much tragedy, with thirty-three Americans being killed by gun violence every single day, young people are pivoting off the high profile situations like Sandy Hook Elementary and Trayvon Martin to create a national revolution.

How would you encourage politically interested young individuals to become involved in politics?
There are so many great ways for young people to become involved, but the first step is to find the issue that you’re passionate about! No matter what the issue is, there will be other people around you who are passionate about it too. Find those people and go to a meeting or start a group of your own.

Write about the issue for a local blog or newspaper to get your voice heard. Volunteer or intern with an elected official to see the political process up close. There isn’t a right or wrong way to get involved, so do what you enjoy!

How can young individuals make a real difference in their local communities? 
Young people have the power! We are here to stay, so elected officials want to know what you have to say and what you care about. Make your voice heard!

What do you think are the key issues facing America in the next five years?
Before we can tackle any specific problem, we need to figure out how to work together. Our nation is becoming more and more divided, so we have to see the humanity in each other and find the common ground. Otherwise, we won’t be able to solve the most pervasive problems facing us, like our lack of
jobs and struggling economy.

Do you hope that Hillary Clinton will run for President in 2016? 
I recently stumbled onto an episode of Saved by the Bell, a television show from the early 1990’s about a group of high school students.  In the episode, characters complained about our lack of a female president. It’s now twenty years later, and we still haven’t had one! We need politicians who represent
the American public, and women have never been represented in the White House. It’s long overdue for a woman president, and more than just a woman, Secretary Clinton is incredibly well qualified to be President.

What are your plans for the future? Do you think you will run for political office?  
I’ll continue to figure out what issues will be important to the next generations of Americans and lay the groundwork for those fights. I’m very interested in transgender and gender nonconformity issues, voting modernization, and many others. Although I have no plans to run for political office, I will do everything I can to ensure that all Americans are fully represented by our government and always encourage young people to run. If you don’t have a seat at the table, there is a good chance you are on the menu.

Emily Sussman

GIVEAWAY: Onefourthree Decor


Onefourthree Decor
I'm delighted to be teaming up with Onefourthree Decor to offer three lucky readers to win a print of their choice!

I sat down to chat with owner and design Jen on how she got started!

How did you first become interested in creating art?
I believe I've always had a somewhat crafty side, making my own decorative canvases when I moved into college and making greeting cards for friends. I took on a campus marketing position the past year that allowed me to become adept at using graphic design software, which soon became a creative outlet and inspired the decor business.

How did you establish your business?
I didn't actually start Onefourthree Decor with the full intent of establishing a business. I tried to find a unique gift for a friend's birthday and was really unsatisfied with the options, thus I decided to design her a print and simply frame it. Other people saw the finished product and encouraged me to design more of them and make them available to the public, and the business was born! After all the legal aspects (copyrights, business registration) a website was created, promotion was initiated through social media and it's been taking off!

What’s your background?
I was born and raised in a seaside town just south of Boston, triggering an immense amount of love for my city, sports teams, and of course the beach! Currently, I'm a rising senior pursuing a business degree at Babson College, which inspires an entrepreneurial mindset among all its students. Additionally, I've worked at Talbots for several years, providing a strong foundation for business management and customer satisfaction.

How does New England inspire the creation process?
As a lifelong New England resident, I'm incredibly passionate about where I come from and everything about it. I create a lot of the New England pieces with the idea that someday I may be living somewhere far away, but still wanting to show off where I come from and having a little piece of "home".

What’s the best thing about running your own business?
The best thing is being able to pursue my own vision, creatively and commercially.

What challenges have you faced?
One of the biggest challenges has been connecting with retailers to sell the prints in their respective shops. I'd love to see them sold in retail establishments so trying to acquire B2B clients is a huge goal that has also been a bit of a challenge. Additionally, navigating through the challenges of frame suppliers and kicking off e-commerce have been difficult as well.

What are your most popular items?
The "Sail Away With Me" sailboat print has been very popular, as well as the location prints.

What inspires you in the creative process?
I believe my inspiration derives from my own passions. I would never create something that I wouldn't be proud to hang in my own home, thus I find myself inspired by nautical pieces, New England memorabilia, etc. Additionally, in creating other location pieces I'm continually inspired by the idea of making a piece someone would want to show where they come from and remind them of home, no matter where they are.

Which other artists inspire you?
Local artisans offer a lot of inspiration. Whether it's a hand-painted oar, wood-carved "Beach" sign or another designed print, I'm inspired by seeing others create art based on what they love and looking to share those passions with others.

Where do you hope your business will be in five years time?
In five years it would be great to have a much larger selection of designs and products that are accessible in a variety of retail locations. Having a few employees would be helpful as well!

What advice can you offer those seeking to establish their own business?
Find a way to distinguish yourself - how can you establish a dramatic difference from your competition and be preferential to your target market? Give your customers a concrete reason to purchase your product or service in place of another.

Also, make sure you have a grasp on accounting to accurately calculate costs and your net profit. Know how to complete an income statement, balance sheet, etc.

Enter the giveaway using the widget below! This giveaway is open for all readers.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Behind the Scenes at the White House: June 2013


The White House
For more behind the scenes images from The White House click here.

New tech accessories at Kate Spade Saturday


If you're anything like me, I am always looking at new cases for my iPhone. I currently have a great one from J Crew that I utterly love, but still, that doesn't stop me from looking! These from Kate Spade Saturday are cute and quirky, and you'll certainly be able to locate them in your bag.

The impact of the Affordable Care Act


The White House

Find out more here.

West Wing Week


The White House

This week former President George H.W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush returned to the White House to present the 5000th Point of Light award. The Awards recognize volunteer service at home and abroad. To find out more about the awards click here. 

The White House is spearheading the mental health of veterans and along with the Department of Veterans is directing 152 of its health centers to conduct Mental Health Summits. These will be held with community partners including government officials, community based organizations and Veteran Service Organizations starting this month. Further information can be found here.

On Thursday, the Senate confirmed Richard Cordray as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB has enabled students and parents to receive a simple report with the information they need before taking out student loans, easier credit card forms and veterans and seniors are better protected from dishonest lenders and get rich quick schemes.

Discovering DC: Washington


In this weeks Discovering DC we are treated to where's great to visit in DC from Jana of The Jane Tales!

What's your history with DC?
Born and raised in the South, I moved to the DMV area after completing undergrad in 2008. I worked in pancreatic cancer research at Johns Hopkins University for 2 years before deciding to pursue a graduate degree. I'm currently a student at George Washington University, using my off time to explore and enjoy everything DC has to offer.

Discovering DC- what are your favourite places to shop/eat/go with friends/people watch?
Hmm.. there are so many distinctly different areas in the city that I don't think I can choose! I really adore Oldtown Alexandria, Georgetown, and Dupont Circle but, if I had to choose one spot, it would probably be the U Street Corridor. From Busboys & Poets to El Centro to Masa 14 to Ulah's Bistro, there is such a wide variety of delicious food spots and bars littered all around the corridor. Between the different bars, clothing boutiques, and book stores, there is always a ton to watch and do on U Street.

Perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon in DC?
Saturdays are my time to unwind and spend as much time with friends as much as possible so my perfect Saturday afternoon would include a picnic lunch, visiting an art gallery, and snapping pictures. An art gallery visit can be changed to a visit to Eastern Market or people watching in Georgetown. One of my favorite things about DC is its buzzing and inspiring art & culture scene; there are always tons to do and explore.

Jana from The Jane Tales

Check out more posts in the Discovering DC archive here.

Tory Burch Pre-Fall Collection


Tory Burch

Tory Burch's Pre-Fall Collection really is the stuff that dreams are made of.  Pared down silhouettes, embroidery, beading, classic knits, military influences and modern bags, boots and smoking slippers. Drool.

I'm crazy for the Alexandra coat and the Suede Sabe Bootie!

Check out the inspiring lookbook here.

Hollywood Glamour at Kate Spade


Embrace Hollywood Glamour with new dress arrivals at Kate Spade! Our favourites include...

Kate Spade

Shop new arrivals here. 

Philanthropic: Interview with Elizabeth Kane, founder of CharityChicks US


For the first feature in Political Style's Philanthropic column, I'm delighted to feature an exclusive interview with Elizabeth Kane, founder of CharityChicks US. Read on for an insight into how the charity was founded, the work it carries out across the US and top tips for starting your own philanthropic mission.

Why did you want to start a philanthropic group in the DC area? How did you found CharityChicks US?
I began CharityChicks US out of frustration; frustration at a lack of opportunities for smart, young, educated people to be able to get involved with charities in exciting ways that aligned with their skills, passions, and interests. As a college student at GWU involved in philanthropy, I saw a lot of room for improvement on the level of respect and confidence that non-profits gave young people. What most non-profits do not realize is that a majority of the time young professionals are not interested in one specific cause, they are interested in feeling connected to their community, meeting new people, networking, gaining leadership experience, and feeling fulfilled. The successful charities realize these driving forces and have responded by creating junior boards, event committees that host marvelous parties (aka fundraisers), and continually creating new ways to engage this audience through social media.

Which existing charities did you seek inspiration from?
There was no specific charity that inspired me. It was dynamic people, shaking things up and following their inimitable vision, who truly inspired me to continue building CharityChicks US. When I connect with someone who understands me and is just a little bit “too much” it is exciting, and makes me want to continue being exactly who I am, and taking every opportunity to grow.

How are you unique from existing philanthropic missions?
Most often people think of charity work as something that is good and that they should do, but comes last on their to-do list. We are unique because we are changing the way people think of “giving back.”  We connect, engage, and inspire young professionals without working for or on behalf of one specific non-profit or corporation. Put very simply, we connect. Another facet of CharityChicks US that sets us apart is the fact that we want people to copy us! We share our ideas, contacts, and events with the public because everything we do is either helping individuals feel more connected to their community, or furthering a charitable mission we believe in.

How are you serving the DC area, as well as having an impact further afield? 
We are located in Washington, D.C., but also have a team in New York City. The primary way we serve D.C., NYC, and other areas of the world is by building lasting and mutually beneficial relationships. We function in three ways. The first is connecting individuals to non-profits, the second is connecting corporations to non-profits, and the third is connecting the communities to non-profits. We receive requests from individuals looking to become involved or more involved in philanthropy, corporations looking to sponsor, fund, or partner with a non-profit that aligns with their mission, and non-profits requesting help in a variety of areas that assist with.

What are your upcoming fundraising projects and events?
We definitely believe in “funding the change!” Our top three events this year are the VIP Pink Party supporting The Children’s Inn at NIH, Charity:Water Birthday Bashes in order to fund clean water wells in remote areas of the world with lack of access to clean drinking water, and Cycle for Survival which benefits Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

  • The VIP Pink Party - Our annual garden party to benefit a different local cancer treatment center each year. Last year we supported Inova's Life with Cancer Center. and this year, on July 27th we will be supporting The Children's Inn at NIH with an "Art, Culture & All Things Pink" theme. Our goal for this event is to increase visibility for The Inn among young professionals and create a fun garden party for some very deserving little girls from NIH. Tickets can be purchased here:
  • Charity: Water Campaign - We are dedicated to funding a clean water well for the New York -based non-profit, charity: water. On July 11th, we held a birthday bash/fundraiser for our DC group at The Huxley and will be hosting another event this August in NYC to finish funding the well, which will most likely be in India.
  • Cycle for Survival is annual event that we fundraise for in Washington, DC, which benefits Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, one of the premiere cancer research centers in the United States. This February, we raised nearly $12,000 - more than large firms like The Carlyle Group! Next year we will have teams in two states (Boston and NYC) and one in DC. Next year will be our third year participating. 

How can potential volunteers interested in making a difference take inspiration from what CharityChicks US is doing in DC?
The message I would like potential volunteers to take away from what we are doing is that they should also focus on what they want to do, not what they think they should. Remain true to your passions, and if what you want to do doesn’t exist, then create it. You can also contact us and we can help point you in the right direction for what you want to do. Follow us on twitter @CharityChicksUS, or email us at We also have an internship application on our website:

Where do you hope CharityChicks US will be in five years time?
Evolved into an even more impactful organization, and achieving our mission on a much larger scale.

Which philanthropists do you admire and seek inspiration from?
Two come to mind immediately; Margaret Thatcher and Alexandra Stoddard. Thatcher was a smart, strong, and driven woman who also had a love for causes related to children and cancer, two which I find myself continually involved in. She was also fearless and knew how to protect her inner energy, which I find inspiring. I always try to remember what she said, “If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise at anytime and would never achieve anything.” Alexandra Stoddard, although not known as a philanthropist truly is. It is my belief that philanthropy does not only encompass the good deeds you may do for others, but rather the way in which you view yourself and the world around you. Stoddard is a woman who loves the world, and as she says, “What we do today, right now, will have an accumulated effect on all our tomorrows.” What is more philanthropic than teaching people the art of self-love? After all, you can’t change anything else if can’t change yourself.

What advice would you give to other individuals thinking about setting up their own philanthropic organization?
Research. First, make sure that your mission is not the same, or similar to another organization. If it is, then I would highly consider joining forces in order to create the most impact. I would also look within and really think about the reasons you want to establish the organization, and make sure you have the following: time, mentors, and lots of coffee!

Elizabeth Kane

Do you have a charity that you would like to be featured on Political Style? Send me an email! 

Jacket Heaven at J Crew


I'm always on the lookout for nifty little jackets that I can wear to work in the day, and out in the evening. I'm loving these two great pieces new in at J Crew- they really are perfect!

This black ivory boucle jacket will look great with black pants, as well as jeans for an off duty smart casual look.

J Crew

Similarly, this black denim jacket is different, and it's down to its non-traditional black color! Whilst I would never do the double denim, this could look really good with a pair of colored jeans (that don't look like jeans!) 

Tory Burch: Making of a Show (Fall 2013)


Such a great video short from Tabitha Denholm!

Slipper Style at Coach



I'm rather partial to a smoking slipper, and Coach is definitely one place to look for some unique designs!

Why not add a splash of silver to your wardrobe with the Catrin Flat? Or go wild with the black and white Malika flat! The options are endless! 
One Beat Designs Mlekoshi playground