Friday, November 30, 2012

Mako Blouse by Anna Sui + festival blue pencil skirt

Mako Blouse by Anna Sui:  Anthropologie, 2010
Double Serge wool No. 2 pencil skirt in festival blue:  J.Crew, here
Boots:  Ann Taylor (old)
We all have items in our closets that we love but that don't get nearly enough play, don't we?  This blouse is one of mine.  I adore it but rarely wear it because...well it's just kind of  blousey and difficult to style.  But it's such a perfect match for J.Crew's festival blue color that this outfit was a no-brainer.  Which is what I need for a Friday.  (Also see the lovely Molly of Anthromollogies rock this blouse here.)  I always feel like I should be going to a Mexican fiesta or something in this top.  Or maybe a folk dance.  Whatever.  I made it work for the corporate world, right? 

How do you make difficult to style items work for you?  Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

J.Crew Lady Jacket in berry...delicious

Lady jacket in double serge wool (bright berry):  J.Crew, other colors here
Leigh dress:  J.Crew Factory, here
Bow heels:  Mojo Moxy (DSW)

Today is a crazy-busy work day which started with an early morning mass with my second-grader and kindergartener.  My second-grader read one of the petitions so of course I was so proud of him.  Going to their school mass is always such a peaceful, beautiful way to start the day. 

I love this lady jacket so much.  For around $70, it was a steal!  Typically I have to stay away from this style jacket at J.Crew, as they are normally too short on me.  But this one seemed to hit me at a decent length and looks fine with dresses.  Did you grab this at a steal?  This berry color is sold out but the spicy gold is really pretty too! 

Gotta run...thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hacking jacket in turquoise + coral scarf

Hacking jacket in turquoise:  J.Crew, fall 2011. This year's version here
1035 pant in stretch wool, heather flannel:  J.Crew, fall 2011.  This year's version here
Pumps:  Vince Camuto
Cashmere scarf:  T.J. Maxx
So I have this love/hate relationship with winter coats.  I love how stylish they can be, but I hate how hot I get, with being in and out of my car and in and out of offices all day long.  So typically during the cold months, unless it's below freezing, snowing, or raining, I am much more likely to be wearing a wool blazer and scarf rather than an actual winter coat.  In fact, that was the big purchase I was considering making yesterday from J.Crew, a new winter coat.  But I just couldn't justify the need to spend more than $200 right now on a coat for myself when Christmas is right around the corner.  I am sure I will purchase a new one in the near future, but it's still just not cold enough for me! 

It's my second day this week in a turquoise/coral combo.  And amid all the black and gray coats you see all day long in Ohio, I definitely stood out. Here's a picture without the scarf, I wore my retro jade Tippi underneath.

Hmmm I could use a necklace but I wore the scarf for most of the day. 

Thank you for reading! 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Some old and new J.Crew: Chimera Jacket + retro jade cafe capris

Wool pleated-silk chimera jacket in dusty blossom:  J.Crew, fall 2009
Wool cafe capri in retro jade:  J.Crew, here
Silk leopard top:  Ann Taylor, 2011
Heels:  Joan & David
Happy Cyber Monday! Anyone get some good deals?  I'm still debating a big J.Crew purchase but I'm just not sure I'm ready to pull the trigger today.  I still have a few hours left to decide!  Wouldn't it be awesome though if J.Crew would have offered a really exciting deal, like 50% off the sale price?  I'm just not that excited by either J.Crew or Anthropologie's Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals. 

I'm loving these retro jade capris and especially how they paired with this older jacket from J.Crew.  I'm wearing a 6 Tall and they fit great, and don't seem to be stretching out as badly as the ones from last year .  As far as the jacket goes, the chimera has always been a favorite of mine.  For my working mom lifestyle, blazers and jackets make the best investment pieces. I wear them for years, and if they're good quality they last forever and hold a good resale value too.

Going back to the grind today after 5 days off was tough but yet a relief at the same time.  A relief in the fact that we were back on our regular schedule and I wasn't stuffing myself with food I don't normally eat.  I need to detox this week! 

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Schoolboy + Tippi + bubble featuring turqoise and coral

Schoolboy blazer in heather coral:  J.Crew, 2009
Tippi sweater in retro jade:  J.Crew, fall 2012 other colors here
Coral silk blouse:  J.Crew, 2010
Skinny jeans:  Banana Republic, 2010
Boots:  Coach, 2009
Handbag:  Kate Spade, summer 2012
Lil' Bubble necklace:  J.Crew Factory, other colors here
Sunglasses:  Coach, old
Although I'm sad to see Thanksgiving break coming to a close, I'm feeling pretty content right now as I sit here in front of the Christmas tree sipping a glass of Pinot Noir, writing this blog entry while the kids watch iCarly. (Hey, I'l take the 30 minutes of peace.)  We had a great day today, visitng the aquarium and eating at our favorite pizza place.  This picture was actually taken at Newport on the Levy in Kentucky, which is right across the Ohio River from Cincinnati.  It's a pretty view of the Queen City.

Coral and turquoise is my second fave color combo after pink and green.  It just feels fresh to me.  And really, where would we be without the Tippi sweater?  One of the best classics to come out of J.Crew, ever. I may not stop collecting them until I have every color in the rainbow. 

I did zip, zilch, zero Black Friday shopping.  Instead I slept in until 9:00 AM.  Because while there may have been deals to be had, beauty sleep is priceless once you hit your mid-thirties, ladies.

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Updated: Plaid trousers 2 ways, my only thrifted closet item

Black ruffle neck cardigan and black silk cami:  J.Crew Factory, 2008
Plaid wool trousers: J.Crew, thrfted!
Bow pumps: Tahari

Chambray shirt:  Banana Republic, summer 2012
Plaid wool pants:  J.Crew, my only thrifted closet item!
Red wedges:  Me Too
 I think it's awesome when people can find amazing treasures at thrift stores.  But as much as I love a good bargain, I just don't get into thrift shopping.  I don't really have the time it takes to dig and find the good stuff.  However, I do have a dear friend that does a lot of thrifting, and she has found countless deals.  She even runs a little eBay business, selling much of what she finds at a great profit.  One day last spring she texted me a picture of these J.Crew plaid pants and said they looked like me.  She found them in a Goodwill in Cincinnati.  Of course I ran right over and bought them...I think they were $4.99, and in perfect condition.  I'd always wanted a bright pair of plaid pants, like these, but I didn't want to spend a lot because I knew I'd only wear them a couple times a year around the holidays.  So I was happy to find these!  They're great wool material, fully lined, and a size 6.  I had to take them to the tailor and have the hem let down, and now they're perfect on me.  I'm happy to see so many plaid pants at J.Crew and Factory right now, the trend, (which is actually more a classic), is still going strong.

I admit, it takes some guts to wear these babies.  At least for me.  And I struggled with what to pair with them to not look like a clown.  As you can see I tried them out two ways.  I like the black top better, but I first tried chambray, since that is the style answer to everything isn't it?   When I came down the stairs in this outfit, my husband started humming the Brady Bunch song and my 5 year old asked me why I was wearing pajama pants to go out.  Hmmm...not the biggest confidence booster.  But then I decided I didn't care...I love my plaid pants!  I wore them to go Christmas tree shopping (only real trees for us) and enjoyed every minute of it. 

Anyone know what year these may be from at J.Crew?  The fit is called "favorite fit."  I tried to find them online to no avail.

Thanks for stopping by!  Which way do you like these plaid pants? 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Allie dress in aqua abstract floral:  J.Crew, summer 2012
Bubble necklace in kelly green:  J.Crew, fall 2012
Pumps:  Seychelles
Happy Thanksgiving to all my blog friends!  I am so thankful to be a part of such a wonderful, kind, inspiring community.  Blogging has given me so much more happiness than I ever expected, and I have loved "meeting" every single one of you!

This Allie dress has been quite a player in my fall wardrobe.  I ordered it in late September and have already worn it three times...the sign of a true winner for sure!  I changed it up with a bubble necklace (that you can hardly see!) and darker pumps for this gorgeous Thanksgiving Day...I don't remember a Thanksgiving EVER being this warm in Ohio. 

That's all I have time for today...I promise I will respond to yesterday's comments tomorrow!  As always, thank you for reading and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Green jeans: Who knew?

High Tea blouse by Floreat:  Anthropologie, 2010
Toothpick jean in garment dyed twill:  J.Crew, other colors here
Cece ballet flat in tortoise:  J.Crew, summer 2012
Headband:  Anthropologie, summer 2012
I'm taking a quick break from planning, preparing, and cleaning for tomorrow's feast to do a fast blog post.  Today was the most beautiful autumn day and I was happy to have it off to spend with my boys.  The high tea blouse has always been one of my favorites for its vintage inspired feel.  Anthro, please bring back more tops like this!  Speaking of Anthro, will you be getting up at the crack of dawn to hit Anthro's Black Friday sale?  I am considering depends on how tired I am after hosting 8 adults and 5 kids for Thanksgiving!

Who knew how versatile and awesome green jeans could be?  These from J.Crew have quickly become my favorites.  I hope colored denim remains "in" for a long time.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

French hen silk blouse + cafe capris

French hen silk blouse:  J.Crew, fall 2012
Wool cafe capris in maraschino cherry:  J.Crew, fall 2011
Colette heels in reptile:  Tahari
Necklace:  J.Crew, 2009
Ahhh, a 2 day work week, pretty nice isn't it?  All day long I waited for someone to ask me if I had turkeys on my shirt so I could say "why no, they are French hens!"  But no one did.  Booo.  You can see that from any sort of distance, it's nearly impossible to tell what this pattern actually is.  But up close...Lordy these little hens are so cute. 

So I have a little trick for anyone who is dealing with sagging, stretched-out wool capris.  These red ones were driving me bonkers with how huge they had gotten.  So I took a chance and washed them with a tad bit of detergent in warm water, then let them air dry.  They totally snapped back into shape and now fit me so much better.    Washing them really helped shrink them just the right amount.  The only downside is it took forever to iron them... I'm rather picky when it comes to pressed clothes, and I like a sharp crease.  Do I just look for ways to make my life more difficult?  I can't help it...I like the crisp, clean look of freshly ironed clothes!  I even iron my  boys' school uniforms every night...what can I say, I am old school like that.

Hope everyone is having a fantastic week! 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Electric plaid + pencil skirt

Collection bow blouse in electric plaid:  J.Crew, fall 2012
No. 2 pencil skirt in double serge wool, festival blue:  J.Crew, here
Cap toe heels:  Tahari
Handbag:  Kate Spade, summer 2012
Aren't Mondays so much better when you know it's a short holiday week AND the weather is beautiful? 

I am loving this bright blue pencil skirt, especially for the $42 price tag I snagged it for in-store.  What a steal!  I have so many tops it will match.  I have decided my winter uniform this year will be a wool pencil skirt and a long-sleeve silk blouse in a fun print. Easy yet still interesting and chic.  What will be your go-to winter look?

One of my customers said today,  "That top is's like, electric."  And of course I had to say  "That's what the print is called, electric plaid!" He kind of looked at me like I was crazy but whatev... I always think it's cute when a man notices fashion.

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sequins + garment dyed twill toothpick jeans

Sequin colorblock tank:  J.Crew, summer 2012
Toothpick jean in garment dyed twill:  J.Crew, other colors for a steal here!
Nude pumps:  Max Studio
Before I get started, anyone know what I'm doing wrong with our silly little point and shoot camera that I always come out so blurry in night shots?  So highly annoying.  If you know what I can do differently please leave a comment.  I'm in such desperate need for a decent camera, but I just haven't gotten around to researching and finding the best one for my money just yet.

Anyway, we had a great night out last night.   My husband and I started the night with a nice sushi date, just he and I, which was lovely.  Then we met some friends at this dive bar where a few pals were playing live music.  So fun!  I wanted to keep it casual but still girly, and what better to do that with than sequins?  I've had this top for several months and this is the first time I wore it.  Now I wish I would have bought it in the ivory/navy combo too, because I LOVE it.  And who would have ever known how pretty mint and red look together? 

These jeans are a steal right now, at $49.99 + an additional 30% off.  They are so soft and more comfy than regular denim.  I have them in green, blue and red now...highly recommend! 

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend too!  I can't believe Thanksgiving is on much to do!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Flair skirt in floating rose: A J.Crew favorite

Silk pintuck blouse in charcoal:  J.Crew, other colors here
Flair skirt in floating rose:  J.Crew, fall 2011
Double-strand seahorse necklace:  J.Crew, summer 2012
Black boots:  Ann Taylor
It's Friday, and I feel like I started my weekend out right already.  Somehow, some way, I found myself with an extra 30 minutes to myself this afternoon.  I parked myself at Starbucks with a salted caramel mocha, and even though I was going over work information, it still felt like a relaxing luxury.  Afterward, I felt totally recharged for the remainder of my work day, and ready for the weekend!  Maybe it was the caffeine talking...but still.  It was awesome. 

I adore the flair skirt in floating rose from last year, but I have a really hard time styling it for some reason.  I settled on a charcoal top today but thought the result was just so-so.  I'll keep working at it through, because this skirt is too pretty to sit in the closet, especially around the holidays!  I did find some great styling ideas on one of my fave blogs, Shopping with M, I think I will try her chambray look with it next time.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Adding more polka dots to my collection, and healthy habits

Collection cashmere polka dot in caramel/dusk:  J.Crew, other colors here
Double serge wool No. 2 pencil skirt in vivid jade:  J.Crew, here
Boots:  Coach, fall 2010
YES.  I am insane.  I cannot resist polka dots or cashmere, so when you put them together it's futile for me to resist.  I caved and purchased ANOTHER collection polka dot sweater, this time in the caramel color. (See me in the green version here).  But...but...but...I have a good reason!  I do not have many neutral tops or sweaters at all, and I have a lot of bright I thought this would pair nicely with many skirts I own.  (Do you reason away excessive purchasing like I do?  This is a problem.)   As far as sizing goes, I again purchased this in a small.  You can see I have extra room in the torso.  That's OK by me, because I hate when sweater arms are sausage tight, and that's what an extra-small would do to me. can just be sure that I fully, 100% endorse this sweater in every color, so if you see it in-store or it pops back online, and you're considering it...I say go for it!  It's very nicely made and well worth the sale price. 

As far as the skirt goes, I originally ordered this color in the Tall 6.  I figured I'd try it out, I was really curious about how it would compare to the regular 6.  Turns out the Tall size was frumptastic on me.  I took it to my local J.Crew to get a second opinion, and all of the wonderful sales associates and the personal shopper there agreed.  The Tall length was just too long for me.  So I exchanged it for a regular 6.  (I'm 5'10".)  Just wanted to share my experience in case you're a tall girl like me.

On another note, we leave for Florida in 5 weeks for our annual Christmas vacation.  I start to panic around this time every year, knowing I have to be in a bathing suit, on the beach, during the fat season.  So I'm trying to cut back and adopt a few more healthy habits between now and then.  I think my current healthiest habits, besides exercising daily, include drinking 80 ounces of water per day, and a cup of green tea every afternoon.  What is your healthy habit, and can you share it with me?  I'd love some new inspiration.  Thanks for stopping by! 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Shifting into neutral with a black suit

Victoria silk blouse: J.Crew, 2008.  Factory version here - why oh why polyester?
Black suit:  Ann Taylor, 2007
Leopard heels:  Banana Republic Mad Men Collection, fall 2011

As much as I love color, once in a while I like to shift it into neutral gear with an outfit.  However I think I startled some of my customers today with my black suit, as they're used to seeing me in brights.  But I needed to look extra corporate-y today so a suit it was.  Today during work, someone I had a meeting with kept lamenting about my youth.  He must have mentioned three times how young I was.  The whole time I was thinking, either he thinks I'm way younger than I really am, or age is all relative.  Mid-thirties isn't that young.  But perhaps to someone in his fifties, it is?  I remember when I was in my mid-twenties I thought I had all the answers.  Now I realize how young and naive I was back then, and now I know I'll never have all the answers.   But I feel like I know a whole lot more about how the world works at this point, than I did back then.  That's probably the only thing I like about getting older:  the wisdom that comes with it.  One fashion blogger  that I read on a regular basis mentioned the other day that at age 27, she was almost officially old.  My thought was:  Seriously?? Oh honey, you have no idea. 

How do you feel about getting older? 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sometimes (fashion) dreams come true: J.Crew Collection Crepe Shawl Blazer

Collection crepe shawl blazer:  J.Crew, fall 2012
Black lace top:  Banana Republic, holiday 2011
Gray pinstripe pants:  Banana Republic, fall 2011
Leopard heels:  Banana Republic Mad Men Collection, fall 2011

My friends, sometimes fashion dreams come true.  When I first reviewed this blazer of pink awesomeness, here, I never thought I would be lucky enough to own it.  The price, $350, is way out of my price range for a blazer.  Plus, my local J.Crew didn't have my size, a 6, and it sold out online in size 6 very quickly.  It popped back now and then, and even got marked to $249.99, but that was still too much for me to pay.  Imagine my delight when I was stalking my local J.Crew (a bi-weekly occurance), and I found one shawl blazer, on the sale rack, size 6, marked to $199.99 plus the addional 25% off.  I literally gasped out loud.  I even had several returns to make, so really this blazer was all mine for only an addional $39 to what I was already returning.  Happy day!  I kept the rest of my outfit simple (and conservative) because I wanted to let it shine today, but I will definitely mix it up next time. 

I know I will love this blazer for years to come.  Some things are just meant to be.  Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

I heart the Heart-Me Tippi

Heart-me Tippi in peacock/pink:  J.Crew, fall 2012
Jeans:  Juicy Couture, 2007
Wedges:  Coach, 2010
Necklace:  Anthropologie, fall 2012

I've got the Sunday evening blues, what about you?  Such a great weekend with friends and family, I don't want it to end! Back to reality tomorrow.  By the way,  my 7 year old took this picture of me.  I think he did a fine job, don't you? 

I'm not gonna lie, I love my Heart-Me tippi soooo much.  Even after wondering if it was too young for me... (And you awesome ladies reassuring me that NO, it was not too young looking...THANK you for that).  I'm so glad I bought it, as I've worn it several times now and I just think it's darling.  With critter sweaters and heart sweaters being all the rage right now, it's also on-trend, and it's fun to take part in that trend.

Speaking of trends, it's so weird to see myself in flare jeans!  Rarely do I wear jeans, and when I do they are skinny jeans.  I guess I wanted to A.) Make sure these old Juicy Couture jeans still fit me and B.)  Try something different tonight, for a cookout at a friend's house.  They do still fit but they defnitely felt tighter...time to jump back on the low-carb bandwagon I guess.

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend! 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Striped tippi + Double strand giraffe necklace

Tippi sweater in burgundy/pink stripe:  J.Crew, here
Double serge wool No. 2 pencil skirt in berry pink:  J.Crew, here
Password pumps:  Seychelles
Double-strand enamel giraffe necklace:  J.Crew, fall 2012
Friday turned out to be such a busy day I didn't even have time to post.  I had work, volunteering, and dinner with the family, so I wanted something relatively simple but still fun.  I swapped out my heels for metallic flats for my volunteer hours, so this outfit was pretty comfortable throughout the day.  This tippi was marked so low in-store, I think I paid $29.99 for it.  Who else grabbed it at that price?  Online it's still $59.99...go figure! 

Any new arrivals catch you eye at J.Crew?  There are a few things I am wanting to see in person... I'm drawn to shiny, sparkly things like a moth to a flame when the holidays approach. 

Have a fantastic weekend!  It's gorgeous weather here...hope it's nice where you are too.  Get out and do something fun!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Violet Gloaming Dress: An Anthro Favorite

Violet Gloaming Dress by Moulinette Souers:  Anthropologie, fall 2010
Looping Lanes Belt: Anthropologie, 2010
Pumps:  Seychelles
Necklace:  Anthropologie, fall 2012

Eden Blazer in apricot:  J.Crew, fall 2010

Greeting everyone!  So I've mentioned before how I plan my outfits the night before...there's just no time in the morning, with trying to hit the gym, get the kids ready and to school and myself to work.  But in the evenings, while my husband supervises bath time for a few minutes, I have the chance to sneak off and stare into my closet for a luxurious 5 minutes or so and decide on what to wear the next day.  While I was standing at my closet last night, contemplating my selection, I found one of my old favorite Anthropologie dresses half hidden in the back.  Oh, Violet Gloaming dress, you had me at your name.  Could there be a more perfect name for a dress?  So romantic and mysterious.  I topped it with a velvet blazer and it felt perfect for a warm, sunny late-fall day.  This dress also brings back wonderful memories, as I wore it to explore the city of New Orleans one fine day in February 2010 with my of my favorite trips ever.  Don't you love when an article of clothing evokes fond memories?

Thanks for visiting! 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tippi + Tweed + Bubble

Tippi sweater in crushed grape:  J.Crew, here
No. 2 pencil skirt in multi color tweed:  J.Crew, fall 2012
Pink silk blouse:  J.Crew, summer 2009
Passcode pumps:  Seychelles
Bubble necklace in neon pink:  J.Crew, fall 2012
Happy election day!  I hope you all exercised your right to VOTE!

This could be my FFO so far!  What is FFO, you ask?  Favorite Fall Outfit of course!  I love making up my own acronyms.  So I've been dying to jump on the Peter Pan collar bandwagon, and when I was going through my pink tops last night to wear under this sweater, I found this little top from a few summers ago... with a Peter Pan collar!  How much do I love when I can find a passing trend already in my closet? 

So I'm not really an "untucked" kind of girl...I'm too structured and conservative for the look, usually.  But for some reason I really liked how this top looked untucked with the sweater and skirt.  Do you usually leave layers untucked, or are you like me, and like everything all buttoned up? 

Someday I am going to write an ode to the Tippi...there is nothing with which this little powerhouse sweater won't work.  I want it in every color!  And really, even though we complained at the beginning of the fall how it had gone up in price, I have bought almost all of my Tippis for great prices in-store or online, when they are marked $39.99 + an additional 30% off.  You can't beat that price with a stick, can ya?

Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Winsome dress in floating rose + Floral ruffle astrid jacket

Winsome dress in floating rose:  J.Crew, fall 2011
Floral-ruffle astrid jacket:  J.Crew, fall 2008
Colette pumps in reptile:  Tahari
Hope everyone's week is off to a fantastic start!  It's amazing how much brighter Monday can be after a beautiful 8 hours of sleep and a sunny morning!  Add to that an outfit that I felt like I could conquer the corporate world in, and I'm all set to start the week off right.  I'm still crazy about this floating rose/blurry rose pattern from last year.  (Why 2 names for the same print?  Still trying to figure that one out.)  It's just so pretty and feminine.  I never would have thought to top it with the astrid jacket before I started  blogging ...but don't they pair nicely?   I love when you can take two items that you've had in your closet and put them together to create a new look!

How did your Monday go?  Any ups or downs in your world?  Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Liebster Blog Award!

Thanks so much to the awesome Egyptomaniac and the lovely Laura F for nominating my little blog for the Liebster blog award!  How fun and what an honor!  So the first thing I will do, in accordance to the award, is post 11 facts about myself!
1.  I am the youngest of four children, and I firmly believe in the theory that birth order affects not only your personality but how you parent your own children.  The subject fascinates me. 
2.  I am in sales now, but throughout most of my 20's, after graduating from college, I worked as a television news reporter.  I still miss my television career a great deal, but it's a really tough field to work in when you have young children.
3.  I am a political junkie.  Some of that stems from my reporting career, and some of it comes from my years working in the press office of a governor.  I love debating political topics, and I think it's a shame when people chose not to educate themselves on the issues and candidates.  Whatever your political affiliation may! 
4.  I have three little boys, but for years I longed endlessly for a little girl.  I still get those pangs now and then but I love being a boy mom more than I ever thought possible.  And boys love their moms!
5.  I love to cook!  I don't believe in bottled salad dressing or any kind of bottled or canned sauce...everything is better homemade!  I love to host Thanksgiving...there's nothing better than a big crowd at my dining room table, enjoying food, drink and conversation. So cozy.
6.  My grandma always used to dole out this advice to my mom, my sister and me: if you're feeling down, go buy a pretty new lipstick.  To this day I swear it cheers me right up to purchase a bright new lip color!
7.  I LOVE using coupons when I grocery shop.  I haven't become a crazy stock-piling lady yet, but I usually have about $60 worth of coupons each week when I shop.  Hey, I look at it as more money to spend on fun stuff like clothes!
8.  I don't have much of a sweet tooth, I have more of a salt tooth.  I try not to keep bags of chips in the hourse or they'd be gone in a day or two. 
9.  My favorite place to be on Christmas Day is on the beach with my family.  We vacation in Florida every Christmas, and I can't imagine being any place else for my favorite holiday of the year.
10.  I come from a long line of left handers, I am left handed, and my middle son is a lefty too.
11.  And this one is for Egyptomaniac, who mentioned a similar fact for her #11:  When I had my third son, it was a natual birth, no pain killers whatsoever.  This was NOT my choice, he was just determined to arrive into this world as quickly as possible, leaving no time for me to have an epidural or any pain killers.  He's been just as stubborn and determined ever since the day he was born!  And I can say I conquered my biggest fear and lived to tell about it.
And now, for the second half of the equation, I will answer the 11 questions posed by Egyptomaniac:
1. What is that one special  item(clothing/accessory) you never leave the house without? Why?
I never leave the house without wearing a great-fitting bra.  It completely transforms how clothing fits! 
2. If you could only wear one pair of shoes for an entire year, what would they be and why?
No one who reads my blog will be surprised that my answer is nude pumps!  They go with everything and lengthen the leg line, what's not to love?
3. What's your biggest fashion 'Don't' or trend you avoid at all costs?
Leggings.  Hate them. I remember wearing them in 4th and 5th grade.  That will be the last time I ever wear them.  I also don't get why so many women wear workout clothes as real clothes.  Yoga pants are not real pants!    
4.What's the most expensive item in your closet?
The Gucci bag my husband bought for me as my "push present" after our 3rd son was born.  (See Fact #11 to explain why he felt I deserved an awesome gift...)
5.Ok, now what's the most treasured item in your closet--the one you wouldn't sell for a million bucks?
My Elimovna Coat by Tracy Reese, Anthropologie 2009.  See it here.  I get compliments every single time I wear it, and it still feels so special to me.  Also my Louis Vuitton Speedy bag...a classic.
6. Honestly now, do you dress for yourself or dress for others?
Both!  I genuinely adore fashion, clothing, classics, and trends, so in that regard I dress for myself.  I also take a lot of pride in looking my best, no matter where I go, so in that regard I guess I dress for others.
7.  Let's be catty for a moment: Any public figures you'd like to nominate for 'What Not to Wear'?
Jessica Simpson.  A beautiful girl in need of some serious fashion help. 
8. What's the best piece of fashion advice you were ever given?
When I was much younger my mom told me not to depend on black all the time.  To wear color and stand out.  Clearly I took that advice to heart!
9. What is your favorite season to dress for? Why?
Spring.  I adore the feeling of coming out of winter hibernation, with all of the beautiful colors and shapes of dresses.  I also like that it can still be cool enough to layer a bit, so you can really mix up your look.
10.Got any pet peeves or phobias? What kind of crazy do you try to hide from others?
My pet peeve is chipped nail polish, on fingers or toes.  So unprofessional and sloppy. 
I can be insecure sometimes.  I try to hide that side of me at all times.  I like to come across as a confident woman.
11. The holidays are coming up! It wouldn't be the holiday season for you without:
Sparkly items!  I love shimmer, sequins, and sparkly trends for the holidays!  Who doesn't?
Bonus Question: (cause it's a good one!)
12. I'm assuming we're all fans of J Crew here (or just insert your favorite retailer). If you could give one suggestion/idea/demand/restriction/vent to the designers for future seasons what would it be?
Ahhh I wish J.Crew would ask its customers this!  My biggest complaint is so many J.Crew dresses are made way to short!  Either lengthen your dresses or offer more "Tall" options, J.Crew!  Most professional work places do not approve of thigh-high dresse!  (IE: Allie and Jules dresses!)
Ok, now I get to choose other bloggers to pass on this great award, and ask them a few questions!  I am supposed to pass the award on to bloggers with less than 200 followers, so I tried to do that as much as possible. But there are some on here with a few more than that.  I'm such a rule breaker, aren't I??  I am passing on the Liebster Blog Award to the following blogs, in no particular order: 
What I Bought Today
Chocolate, Shoes and Debate
The Judicious Shopaholic
The Fresh Equation
Sparrows and Sparkle
Apples and Pencil Skirts
Musings on the Mountain

Shopping with M

Ok, here are my 11 questions ladies: 
1. What is your favorite place to get fashion inspiration? Magazines, blogs, pinterest?

 2. Cold, gloomy winter is coming.  What winter item or trend are you looking forward to wearing , to brighten up your days?

 3. What is your favorite all-season clothing item, that you can wear in the heat of the summer and the dead of winter?

 4. What trend did you say "NEVER" to, and ended up loving?

 5. On the other end of the spectrum, what trend did you love at one time, and now you say "I can't BELIEVE I wore that!"

6. What is the craziest thing you ever did in pursuit of an item you had to have in your closet?

7. Do you set a monthly budget for clothing purchases?  How do you decide upon a number?

8. Do you have any items in your closet that have lasted 5 years or more, that you still wear consistently?  If so, what are those items?

9. Have you always loved fashion, or is it something that became more interesting to you as you grew older?

10. What is your opinion on vanity sizing?

 11. How closely do you tie self-acceptance and self-love to how you present yourself?
Looking forward to your answers!  Thanks for the opportunity! 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Casual featuring polka dots and Ugg Lynnea

Collection cashmere polka dot sweater:  J.Crew, fall 2012
AG Stevie skinny jeans:  Anthropologie, fall 2011
Boots:  Ugg Lynnea in cinnamon burnished suede:  Here
Bubble necklace in brilliant blue:  J.Crew, fall 2012
Hope everyone's weekend is off to a great start.  I'm wearing just a casual but colorful outfit for a day filled with soccer and basketball games and friends coming over for dinner. It's much colder outside than I anticipated so the Ugg Lynneas were really cozy.  You can turn them down like this, or turn them up and wear them under bootcut jeans...they're very versatile.

The first time I wore this sweater, here, I told you I had really considered buying it in the poppy color too.  I didn't, because it just seemed ridiculous to buy two of them at such a high price.  Now, since this has become my favorite sweater of all time,  I am kicking myself!   I can't believe I had the poppy color in my hands, ready to buy, and let it get away!  I hate when I do that, don't you?  Hoping for a popback!  I've worn this sweater four times now in the month that I've had it, and it hasn't pilled, pulled or stretched out at all.  Horray for J.Crew cashmere being brought back to the quality we expect! 

If anyone sees the poppy color polka dot sweater in a size small, at your local J.Crew, will you leave it in the comment section?  I'm greatly appreciate it.  Many thanks! 

Friday, November 2, 2012

J.Crew Collection bow blouse in electric plaid

Collection bow  blouse in electric plaid:  J.Crew, here
Wool cafe capri in bright dahlia:  J.Crew, fall 2011
Cap toe heels:  Tahari
Bow belt:  Gap (old)
I'm trying to maintain my balance in the little raised flower bed around our big tree in the pitch dark and just when my husband takes the picture... I lose my footing.  I thought the picture was kind of funny compared to my normal stiff poses.  Plus you can better see my straightened-to-within-an-inch-of-its-life hair.  It's actually a little too stick straight for my taste but's a nice little change for the weekend and the end result of my salon visit today. 

You know how I know an internet order is a keeper?  When I take it out of the bag and instantly cannot wait to wear it.  That's how I felt about J.Crew's bow blouse in electric plaid.  I knew I loved it after seeing Gigi's helpful review, but I hadn't seen it in person myself so I felt I was kind of taking a risk by ordering it.  It was a good risk, because I absolutely love everything about it, the colors, the shape, and the nice silk material.  When I first put this outfit on, I thought, now this is pretty bright, even for moi...but it turns out it was a big hit all day, and I received compliments everywhere.  Doesn't that make you feel awesome?  Everytime I receive a compliment, I make it a point to pass one on to someone else...keep the kindness alive.  Because everyone appreciates more kindness in their lives.  Anyway, I digress...I took a size 6 in this top, the 4 would have been too short in the sleeves.  The 6 is roomy but it drapes nicely.  So depending on your height, you can either take your normal J.Crew blouse size or even size down one. 

What do you think of the electric plaid pattern? 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

J.Crew Factory floating rose scarf + navy schoolboy blazer

Navy schoolboy blazer: J.Crew, 2010, this year's version here
Floating rose scarf:  J.Crew Factory, fall 2012
Wool cafe capris in maraschino cherry:  J.Crew, fall 2011
Colette pump in reptile:  Tahari
Merciful heavens, as my mom would say, this is a terrible picture of me.  Mama's tired today folks.  Have you watched American Horror Story yet?  I watch it every Wednesday night, and then every Wednesday night I cannot sleep!  I really do not like scary movies and the like, but for some reason this show is like a train wreck I can't turn away from.  But then I toss and turn all night, as I get so disturbed by it!  So excuse the tired face and terrible hair today!

Can we just sing some praise to J.Crew's schoolboy blazer?  I have them in so many colors and fabrics, and I love them all.  They are just so versatile and chic.  Navy is a must color, though.  There is nothing it won't go with!  I'm really still considering the festival blue one that's currently on sale for 129.99, but I am hoping it will get slashed again to $99.99. 

I found this scarf randomly during one of my seldom Factory was $19.99 + an addional 40% off.  Since I love the floating rose/blurry rose pattern so much, I was thrilled to find such a bargain. 

 Note of random:  I have a hair appointment tomorrow and it can't come soon enough, I am LONG overdue.  But honestly, I am one of the few women who actually hate getting their hair done.  I hate how expensive it is, and I hate how long it takes to for me to get a color and cut/blowout.  I have a ton of hair so it's a 2.5 hour, $200 ordeal.  But I've put it off way longer than I should have!   To use another one of my mom's favorite terms, I am looking like the last rose of summer. 

Thanks for stopping by!