Yesterday, I got to do a fun thing where I commandeered the Illume Candles Instagram feed. If you missed it, here's what happened (and don't miss the coupon code at the end of this post!):

I took a bubble bath surrounded by all of my favorite Illume body products, plus iced coffee. Their Anemone bath salts and triple-milled bar soap (in Cactus Verde) are a powerful, delicious combo. I still smell amazing RIGHT THIS SECOND.

Cactus Verde bar soap close-up. My soap dish is a vintage flower frog, and you cannot have it.

One of my new favorite products are the Gallery Glass candles. Y'all these are seriously beautiful. They look like some sort of a tropical ombre cocktail. (Please do not attempt to drink candle wax.) Also, their oversized matches are extremely cute.

 The new Boho Jar design is so good, and is perfect for staging a vignette with one's favorite Pyrex science vase, and yes, another vintage flower frog. I may have a tiny problem.

I think I grossed some people out when I suggested that these Color Block Tins could be used to store old fingernail clippings after the candle had burned down. Just be glad I didn't go with my original choice, in which I advised using the tins to store the teeth of spurned lovers. What?

And, of course, the day ended with Anemone and Blue Coral candles (mixing fragrances is fun!), and the new episode of Scandal. Giant bowl of popcorn not pictured, because I ate it all.

Also, also, also! If any of these delightful items strike your fancy, you can get them over at Illume's website, AND take 20% off any order over $40 with code AB2014 through March 7. Yay! And thanks to the fine folks at Illume for all the fun and for this generous offer. Go be lovely, y'all!

AuthorAB Chao
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Calloo, callay! Here's another Clementine Store giveaway!

Emily, the owner of Clementine, attended my NYC design camp, and we became fast friends due to her unwavering awesomeness. Her store has an amazing selection of handmade, vintage, and locally-made (in Vermont!) goodies, and I frequently would like to have them all. Today we are giving away several products with a "Be Brave!" theme. Are you the winner? First, check out the adorable items in the giveaway:

Be Brave Decal by Shanna Murray

Go Get 'Em Tiger Card / Leopard iPhone 5 Case / Proud of You Card / You Are Awesome Card

Emily even put together a little video on how to apply your Be Brave decal! Look: 



1. Go to Clementine and look at/squee over/purchase all of the adorable items.

2. Check out (and like!) the Clementine Store page on Facebook.

2. Leave a comment here telling us about a brave thing you did recently.

One (1!) winner will be randomly chosen next Monday, July 8. Open to US residents only.

ALSO! Get 15% off all Clementine orders with code BEBRAVE at checkout, through 7/9!

We can't wait to hear your stories. GO, GO, GO!

UPDATE, July 8: Contest closed -- winner is #27, DriverB! Congratulations and thank you to all who entered!

AuthorAB Chao
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Hello, hello. I have a special treat for y'all today. Remember the black wrap skirt I was obsessed with? The one that sweet Lucia made for me, exactly to my measurements? Yes. Well. We have collaborated to present a giveaway! And I think you're going to like it. Lucia -- who has a new website that you should immediately go visit -- kindly mailed me the giveaway piece to model for y'all, and I am happy to say that I love it. Like, LURVE it. LOAVE it. It's a black off-shoulder mini dress, made of the softest jersey, and sewn to your own custom specifications. The dress is loose enough to feel modest, with that one drapey side, but then there's that exposed collarbone on the other side that gives it some edge. (My mother would die if she knew I said "sexy" on this here website, but let's be honest: it is.)

I also love it because it is so comfortable, and so versatile. 

You can wear it as a t-shirt, with jeans and tennies:

Top/dress: Larimeloom / Jeans: Madewell / Shoes: Converse

Or as a dress, hiking it up as high as you dare (I didn't really dare very much):

Dress: Larimeloom / Sandals: Missoni

I have also been known to wear it as a bathing suit cover up, in my yard, when it's 75 degrees out and I'm pretending it's summer.

ANYWAY. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment here (don't forget to enter your email address!) and then go hit "Like" on Lucia's Facebook page, located here.

I will choose a winner at random next Tuesday. Hooray!

Oh, wait, there's one more thing: Lucia is offering a 10% off coupon code in her Etsy store for the duration of the giveaway, so go get your shop on! Use the code ABCHAO10 at checkout. Hooray, hooray, extra hooray!

UPDATE: The winner of the giveaway is commenter #27, Anastasia! Please look for an email from me soon! Congratulations, and thanks to Lucia and to all who entered. 


Happy Valentine's Day, all you sweet valentines. Congratulations to Rachel, upon whom saw fit to bestow the winning comment for the "Honey, Be Your Own Valentine" giveaway! Here is Rachel's entry:

Hooray, Rachel! Now you and your sparkly Toms can enjoy this valentine together. I'll be emailing you with details on how to claim your fancy goodies. 

Thank you to all who entered! And another big thanks to Emily at Clementine for this great giveaway! Hope today is filled with love for all of you.

AuthorAB Chao

What's that you say? You hate Valentine's Day? Hey, I feel you. It can be such a jerk sometimes. But today I've teamed up with the awesome Emily at Clementine for a giveaway that is going to make you want to pour a glass of champagne, put on some Joni Mitchell, and romance YOUR OWN SELF. What we are saying is, honey, be your own Valentine.

This giveaway contains such queenly items as a mini milk & honey soap, a slate & gold geometric notebook , a felt Clementine bookmark, a letterpressed "Hooray For You!" card, a hand-built gold leaf paper dish, and of course, a wishing bracelet.

Oh, and just some amazingly indulgent and beautiful honey caramels, infused with grapefruit essence, enrobed in milk chocolate, dusted with bee pollen and sea salt, and wrapped in pistachios. NO BIG DEAL.

I know. It's the best giveaway ever. I wish I could win it myself. So y'all get to entering! All you have to to do enter is comment here and tell us what you're wearing. What? It's my website, I can do what I want. (Also, please remember to enter an email address.)

I'll choose a random winner and announce it on February 14. And go visit Clementine in the meantime -- there is lots of other way good stuff over there. 

Thank you so much, Emily! And, Happy Valentine's Day, Honeys!

AuthorAB Chao
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