Pretty, Polished, Perfect.: April 2011

Friday, April 29, 2011

Love Spring, Love Ruffles

BR find #3:

{jacket BR tee JCrew jeans 7 for all Mankind shoes Elle belt GAP handbag Marshall's}

I love the ruffles on this jacket!  I thought they would make my waistline or hips look bad, but I was wrong; they were super-cute!  Those jeans?  Just found them at Sam's Club (I'm that cool, I know) for $50!  They were still there yesterday......

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Love Spring, Love Stripes

BR find #2:

Remember this cute jacket from F21?  This jacket ended up being the same price!  I love sales!

{dress Old Navy jacket BR necklace F21 shoes JCrew}

Yet another side note:  I bought this dress years ago - when I was huge as a house pregnant with my second child.  Stacey and Clinton always say to buy clothes for the size you are right now.  Being the rebellious (and moodily pregnant woman I was) I am, I bought this dress anyway.  It was way too small, but I vowed to fit into it one day; plus is was some absurdly ridiculous price, like $2.99.  Five years later, I finally fit into it.  Take that, WNTW*!

*What Not To Wear

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Love Spring, Love Jackets

It's been disappointingly cool here.  The upside?  I get to wear cute jackets; after a long winter, I am so over sweaters.  A few days ago, I stopped by Banana Republic (BR) to pick up some pants for the Mr.  When I was informed that all sale items were an additional 40% off, I couldn't help but look for some great finds.  My first find:

{jacket BR* skirt Marshalls tee BR necklace F21* shoes Vera Wang}

On a side note:  Catherine called as I was leaving Marshall's and when I mentioned I was buying a denim skirt, she scoffed.  "A denim skirt?" she cried, "Why?"  Why not?  Aside from my movie ticket peeking out of the pocket, what's wrong with it?  Did I mention it was only $12.99?

*BR - Banana Republic, F21- Forever21

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Book Club + Bad Hair Day

'Nuf said.  Right?

{fedora Forever21, cardigan JCrew}

Monday, April 25, 2011

Austin, TX

I decided to surprise Nicole by showing up at her house for her birthday!  The look on her face was priceless - from annoyance (I had my fat thumb covering the peephole, lol) to sheer delight!  She says it was the best present possible.  The decision to go was a bit last minute, so I wasn't as prepared as I would have liked to have been.  I think we made do with what we had though! 

We took some time to explore the city (so much better than Kansas City - oh, wait.  Any city is better than KC!) and I tried to remember to snap pics for the blog.  First stop - Goodwill.  I know.  Goodwill. 

I have to admit something.  This is the first time I have really "thrifted" since I was a teenager (which I'd like to think wasn't that long ago.)  Stop thinking it's because I'm too snooty to shop there.  The reason I don't do it?  I may be a bit ADD - it is super hard for me to push through looking at every single piece of clothing they have on those endless rows that seem to span the entire twenty miles of store.  Forever21 is almost as bad, except that I would like to think that each rack contains at least 5 of the same item, rather than 200 extremely random items.  But I did it.  Maybe it was because I didn't have any children with me.  No wait.  I did.  I babysat while Nicole and Her Mr. went to dinner.  I'm still offended that they were worried about me being able to dominate love their children ;)  Just kidding - we totally survived (um, that's right, I am a mother!) 

Back to the story - here is a sampling of some of my finds:

Yes, you may or may not have noticed the bottle of Resolve.  I love couture, but the reality of motherhood is slightly less glamorous ;)

Next we hit Buffalo Exchange (after a few wrong turns.)  How have I never heard of this store??  Oh, right.  I live in Kansas City.  Again - racks and racks of endless clothing, tightly packed with hangers that broke at your mere touch:

We needed some sustenance after those long hours of rifling through racks of clothing (I really wanted to try on this ridiculous Elvis costume, be we just didn't have the energy, haha!)  I was introduced to another local trend:

Torchy's Tacos.  You. must. eat. here.

I had the Fried Avocado Taco, a fantastically superb taco I hope to be able to recreate in my own home.

I can't end this post without mentioning my stop in Dallas - to see my Grandmother.  I could hardly believe my eyes when I arrived in Dallas.  Hail.  Lots of it.  Ice?  In my beloved and warm Dallas?  Say it wasn't so!  I had to snap this picture of the doll that has greeted me every time I have been to my Grandmothers house since before I could even remember:

It was hard to leave.....

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Bunny

This is the Easter Dress I spent days searching for (read: I stumbled upon it cutting through the women's clothing to get to the Toddler clothing section!)  Tweaked the hemline just a smidge, added a skinny patent leather belt, and wah-la:

{dress Apt. 9 belt Chaps shoes Kate Spade jacket Banana Republic necklace c/o the Mr.}

p.s. These are my most favorite shoes evah!

I love my dress, it reminded me of this dress (but in pink):

Gallerista party dress
and the new Coach Madison handbag (scroll down a bit) in the floral print! 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Colorblocking: Black and White Edition

Who said black and white weren't colors? If there are two vices I haven't been able to shake, it's my rebellious nature, and my inability to turn homework assignments in on time! Here's my picture essay on colorblocking/bold stripes:

I know.  Shocking, my use of colors, lol!  I call this "How to wear black & white without looking like the waitstaff (or a checkerboard!)

{dress A.B. belt Nordstrom shoes Enzo Angiolini bracelet Vera Wang}

I've seen this style knot in several stores now, and I love it - it's edgy and feminine all in one ☺

If this isn't enough colorblocking for you, check out my JCrew trip or yellow trenchie.

The Marriage of sequins

This past weekend my husband and I attended the finale to a great season of Opera at the Lyric Theater - The Marriage of Figaro.  I love the opera for two reasons; first, I love the music and second, I. love. dressing. up.  It was a bit cool in Kansas City, which was actually perfect for my newest "opera" skirt. 

This skirt is like liquid luxury.  I admit I was trepadacious about wearing it when it first arrived, but as soon as I got it on I could not stop smiling.   My husband wasn't able to take pics, so I sequestered my little sister to take the shots.  My smiles were super contagious, because even she couldn't stop smiling (and her idea of fashion is sweats and a t-shirt!) 

This picture is for my sister Aurelia - the skirt is dedicated to concert pianists and music conductors around the globe!
{skirt & tee JCrew, belt GAP, shoes vintage, pashmina wrap NY street vendor}

This skirt gets a Triple PPP rating!  I love it, and hope to wear it to pieces ☺

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Big Bang Theory

DIY- When and how to bang

  If you can answer yes to any of these questions then you need
bangs; Thin hair? High forehead? Uneven hairline? Forehead wrinkles?
Uneven eyebrows? You need bangs!  And you can do it yourself if you
follow some simple rules;

1. Most people don't look good with even bangs that cover the whole
forehead. Start with a longer swoop cut first! You can always cut it
shorter later.

2. If your face is round you absolutely don't want bangs across your
whole forehead! They need to be swooped. Pick a side and part!

2. Never! Never cut above the bottom of your eyes when swooping bangs!
Add another half inch when cutting wet hair. Cut it dry until you get
the hang of it. Go slow!

3. Always cut at an angle at the sides. Unless you are under 10 yrs
old, cutting straight across is a big fat NO-NO! The sides should
always be longer than the middle!

4. Never pull them straight when cutting. Brush them straight and let
them hang as you cut.

5. The most important rule is to start longer, style it and then cut
more if needed. You need time to get used to having bangs and decide
what exactly to do with them.

  I know it sounds counterintuitive to cut bangs when your hair is
thin but shorter hair looks thicker, it's a fact. And oddly, bangs can
thin out thick hair when done right. If your hair is thin like mine
and your bangs don't  like to swoop; try lightly teasing a thin
underneath layer. That's right find your inner hair-band and then tame
it by brushing the top layer over and holding it with hair spray.
Spraying underneath the bangs helps hold them even better. Do not over
spray; crunchy, shiny bangs we do not want! I never thought I would
want bangs but the difference is drastic in a fabulous way! When done
right bangs can: thin your face, take years off while adding
sophistication and don't forget thicken flat hair! Bang you can!

~ Nicole

Friday, April 15, 2011

Ugly is in the Eye of the Beholder

No, really.  It is.  Some days I can't decide if I think this dress is ugly or not.  I'm looking for opinions here:

(and please excuse my plant that keeps trying to get in all of my pictures! 
He thinks he photogenic, lol!)


Regardless of the dress (and the fact that they are completely unflattering to my legs,) I am in love with these are these called anyway??

dress Vera Wang, cardi vintage, shoes Elle

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Casual Tuxedo?

This post is tough for me.  I've debated posting it.  This is life however, so here it is:

My little family was all set and excited to see the Angels vs. Royals baseball game.  I actually thought long and hard about what I would wear - I wanted it to be something comfortable and functional - I would most likely find my outfit accessorized with drops of ketchup and mustard with a sprinkling of Coca-Cola (c/o of my three sons.)  With that much thought, I figured it should also be blog-worthy. 

dress JCrew, bracelet JCrew, sandals Kohls

I originally started with the shoes below (Chaps, for $7!) but it only took me three seconds before I remembered climbing the stairs at the stadium......yeah, not so much.  I decided the black sandals would be more comfortable.

We were going to stop by the store before we left, and as we pulled into the parking lot, we received a phone call from my momB (the B is silent.)  It was not a pleasant phone call. There is no easy way to say it, so I'll just say it: she has lung cancer, and it's spreading; she starts chemo on Wednesday. 

Our plans changed.  My outfit suddenly wasn't important.  At all.  In fact, I changed into jeans and a t-shirt, donned some sneakers and we were off.  We spent the day with her, painting her bedroom (and like a magnet, that paint was attracted to my jeans, not even kidding), bbq-ing, and generally lazing around on a perfect spring day, enjoying each others company.

I know that you can't quite understand what it means to me personally that my mother-in-law has cancer.  I know this may come across petty to those who don't find joy in fashion.  But sometimes, sometimes, the only thing that can bring a small ray of sunshine into a girls' life is to look better than she feels.  It may not be a suitable substitute for real therapy, but I'll stick to donning a cute hat or wearing my favorite shoes around the house, because if nothing else, I can at least try to feel pretty.

p.s.  If our eyes are the windows to our souls, I could use a good pair of dark, over-sized sunnies right about now.  I just don't want anyone to see all the questions, the what-ifs - the immense sorrow - eating away at my soul.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Chevron Move Over

What can I say?  I love this skirt. 

skirt Forever 21, tee vintage, jacket vintage, bracelet Vera Wang, sandals Steve Madden

In my book, this skirt gets the Triple PPP rating :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Wheels and Fields Charity Event

The event came and went.  It was fun (but honestly, automobiles really aren't my thing,) although I do think the vehicles of the late 19th century and early 20th century had so much panache. 

I had stopped at a few vintage/consignment stores looking for something of the 20s flapper variety, but gave up before finding the dream outfit.  Interestingly enough, I was at Kohls to buy a shirt for my son, when I saw this dress hanging on the end of the clearance rack (for 90% off - $7.80, not even kidding.)  I loved the color and was absolutely surprised to find that I actually. like. the. dress.  It is actually sleeveless and with my preference for sleeves I created a cap sleeve pattern...........and was impressed by my resourcefulness as well as my symmetrical abilities :)  I checked the accessories next and found a fun Vera Wang necklace (again, on sale $8.40,) and my search for the dress ended (though don't think this is the end of it - I will find my flapper dress!)

Of course I forgot my camera, but I convinced the Mister to take some oufit shots. 

The necklace had a "ribbon-tie" closure.  Not sure I liked that.....
This is the jacket I would have worn.....if it hadn't been 83 degrees!
I just added this jacket because I loved the blue and yellow contrast!

My hair stylist had shown me how to create a "bob" effect.  I didn't pull it off very well, but I actually liked how it turned out!  I love these shoes - they are my favorite, and I don't think I will ever let them go. 

dress Simply Vera Vera Wang, fur jacket LC Lauren Conrad, necklace Vera Wang, shoes JCrew, raincoat Daisy Fuentes