Pretty, Polished, Perfect.: June 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Romantics

I am such a romantic.  At least I think I am.  I love old movies, black white or color, Cary Grant, Gene Kelly or Audrey Hepburn.  I love the old James Bond movies too.  No one, and I mean no one, has been able to replicate Sean Connery as the ultimate "shaken, not stirred" martini-drinking epitome of 110% male testosterone.  Doris Day and Rock Hudson in Pillow Talk? Yes, please.  And the singing.  I am such a sucker for singing!  It's the reason I love musicals and theater and opera.  Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.....I dream of dancing like that one day!  Remember my last opera skirt?  I have found yet another perfect one (and now it's 50% off!)

I did mention my love for all things vintage, right?  What kind of lover would I be if I didn't have a classic vintage cruiser bicycle??

I love grosgrain ribbon.  I seriously have a spool in every color.  It's perfect for so many things, wrapping gifts, bracelets, belts, hair accessories, handbag accessories......did I mention how cheap it is??

Just another example of sentimentality, my parents brought this necklace home from them on a trip to England.  Yes, it's an English pound.  And I love it.  Mostly because it's from my parents ;)

Top: JCrew
Jacket: Old Navy
Necklaces: c/o The Parents, George
Belt: Hobby Lobby
Ring: c/o The Mr. (he likes to give me jewelry, what can I say?)
Skirt: JCrew
Shoes: George
Bicycle: Walmart
Photographer: Aurelia Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!
Babysitter: Jubal

At the beginning of this post, I mentioned that I'm a romantic at heart (no pun intended, really.)  I love vintage movies - anyone remember the opening credits for the sitcom The Wonder Years?  That old 8mm film that didn't record sound, and the colors are so "vintagey?"  I love that.  If I could have recorded all my films like that, I would have.  But I haven't and I probably never will.  But, because I love the 8mm, here is my technologically enhanced "8mm-feeling" short film, dedicated to Irving Berlin (a favorite composer from several Fred Astaire movies):

(it's a very short film, I promise!  And music - so turn your volume up or down.....)

I Used To Be Color Blind from Erin B. on Vimeo.

If you're interested, here are a few of my recommendations:


Pillow Talk
To Catch A Thief
North By Northwest
Thoroughly Modern Millie
Pirates of Penzance (with Angela Lansbury, only the film with Angela Lansbury!)
Top Hat......the list could go on.


Pirates Of Penzance
Movin' Out
Phantom of the Opera
Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker
The Marriage of Figaro.....the list could go on

Watch the films and get back to me, ok?

Yellow | Everybody, Everywear

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Pluck You!

The 'self eyebrow plucking' debate


A good pair of tweezers (no really, the good kind.)
Brow shadow
Digital camera

Do you debate plucking your own eyebrows? Have you made a plucking
disaster in the past? Do you stand in front of the mirror wielding
tweezers and don't know where to start? Eyebrows are important, they
frame our face and express emotion. It's important to get it right.
I'm going to show you how to be a professional self plucker!

First! Do not start plucking! We are drawn to symmetry; it's a
basic procreation instinct. With that said, our brains will try to
create symmetry in our own faces when we look in the mirror. I used to
work for an orthodontist. After adults had their braces removed you
could see the ways their mind tried to balance their features. If one
side of their teeth were higher, their lips would compensate by
crooking the smile. When their braces came off that lip would still be
higher even though the teeth were straight. We do this with our
eyebrows too; we cock our heads, raise a brow or both. We get very set
in our ways and don't see what's really there. The very first step is
take a digital picture of your face. Make sure your face is relaxed
(we have a tendency to make faces at the mirror) and square with the
camera (using a touchscreen phone with dual cams helps a lot!), and
the eyebrows are not raised nor pulled together. Find your inner zen
and shoot. Because the image is reversed from our mirror image your
brain will see the faults.
Step 2!

Still no plucking; we see that pic and want to jump in.
Don't! If you are growing out your eyebrows or you are unfortunate
like me and have very unsymmetrical eyebrows you must lightly shade
them in before you start plucking away. I don't care what the makeup
counter lady tells you, even if you have black hair, black eyebrow
pencils are a no-no! There are only 2 exceptions: if you have very
dark skin or if you put it on your hand first and use a brush to
gently shade, not draw, shade in where needed. We don't want lines! We
want shadows! Eyebrows should have a slight arch, begin slightly
before the inside corner of our eye and end at approximately a 45
degree angle from the end of the eyes. Once you're shaded bliss; you
think you have them where you want them, take another pic. Repeat
until relatively even.

Step 3!

Once you are happy with the shaded brows it's time to be
brave; let's pluck! You need a good pair of tweezers with a flat
angled tip (no skinny pointy tips!). Only pluck where you haven't
shaded! Grab each hair individually close to the root and yank with
the grain of the hair. Don't forget between the brows and near the
temples. When you are done if your skin is red you can place a cold
wash cloth gently against the bothered area.

The most important thing about DIY plucking; walk away! If you are
frustrated or feeling obsessive, walk away! It can take a long time to
grow back over-plucked eyebrows! Go slow, take pics and don't strive
for absolute perfection. Our faces our not symmetrical. We want to get
as close as we can but they won't ever be perfect. So, know when to
walk away!

Be patient, don't over pluck; You are on your way to better brows!

~ Nicole

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Over Exposed.

I'm referring to the photographs.......

I've got a busy weekend ahead, guests, wedding parties, lots of family, no sleep.  After today's post, I'm out.  Nicole will post a beauty article tomorrow, and I'll try to be back with an absolutely fabulous post courtesy of my little sister Aurelia. 

This is what I wore to the movies with The Mr. the other evening:

This photo......Bahahahaha!

Top: Thrifted
Pants: Kenar
Bag: Kohls
Shoes: Kohls

See you all after the wedding (hopefully with some fun photos!)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Longest Day of the Year.

I love summertime!  It is my most favorite season of all - even when I'm dripping sweat.  I love being outside, letting the children stay up late.  As a young girl, we used to play Cat & Mouse on the street until the sun went down.  For many years, my family participated in a pageant (not of the beauty kind) whose productions started at dusk.  We would all fall asleep driving home after midnight.  There were mulberry trees and we'd gather up armfuls of them and eat, eat, eat.  We'd have picnics in between sets; sometimes it was fried chicken from a bucket, other times it was homemade mini cheesecakes in the foil liners (well, we were served something else as well, but all I can remember are those cheesecakes!)  I loved the costumes - the story was set in the 1800s, and we had full-skirted dresses (I wasn't old enough for the petticoats or hoops yet) and we'd braid our hair and wear bonnets.  There were live horses, which meant live manure that we were always careful to avoid. 

Needless to say, I love summer; always have, always will. 

In celebration of the longest day of the year, I give you this:

I had to add this picture because you can see the slight swing that was caught by the camera! I think the hardest part about blogging is narrowing it down to just a few pictures; each picture has this or that and I would love to use them all.

Headband: JCrew
Shirt: JCrew
Bracelets: Vera Wang + c/o The Mr.
Dress: JCrew
Shoes: George

shoes: H&M

There is nothing quite like a white cotton dress to make me feel like summer is officially here.

  Happy First Day of Summer!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

I know, you've seen a thousand photos of Dads today, but I love, love, love this photo of Nicole's Father.  Seriously, if only I could have met them when they were still young hipsters!

Not even kidding.  The dude's carrying a man purse (ok, so maybe it's a camera bag, but still!)  Major props to Nicole's Father, my ultimate 70s hero!

p.s. I do have a father, and I love him, but he'd rather not be on my blog.  In fact, he'd rather not be in pictures.  Especially if he's smiling, lol!  Love you, Dad!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fruits of the Gods

Raspberries.  Strawberries.  Kiwis. Peaches.  I love fruit.  I love vegetable as well, but this post isn't going to be about that......

I recently made three different cheesecakes.  It was a lot of cheesecake.  I had to call in extra family members to help us eat it all.  The winning recipe is (drumroll please):

Chantal's New York Cheesecake

  • 15 graham crackers, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch springform pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Press onto bottom of springform pan.
  3. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Blend in milk, and then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 to 6 hours; this prevents cracking. Chill in refrigerator until serving.               
The next time I make this, I will attempt to gently release the sides of the cake from the pan, with a knife.  Another recipe recommended this after letting it cool for about 20 minutes, and it really helped with the "non-cracking" issue.

I love cheesecake - best served cold, in my opinion, never room temperature.  Actually, I think what I love best about cheesecake is the toppings, especially the fresh fruit.  I had stopped by the Cheesecake Factory and begged for some of their mixed caramel and nut topping, which they gave me.  For free!  What do you want to bet that won't ever happen again?!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Is the Glass Half Empty?

Or is it half full?  Which came first: the chicken or the egg?  To be or not to be? Is this t-shirt dressed up, or is everything else dressed down?  Ponder these seriously important questions while you scroll through the photos, please.  There may or may not be a quiz......

Necklace: Target + c/o The Mr.
Top: JCrew
Bottoms: JCrew ($29.99!)
Shoes: F21 (old)

I really wanted  a fabulous pearl statement necklace, but haven't been able to find one that I really liked (or that was Triple P worthy.)  I woke up one day and it occurred to me that if I just twisted two of my favorite necklaces together, Wah-lah!  A Triple-P pearl statement necklace.  The Mr. couldn't be more pleased that this one didn't cost him a single dime ;)

Did you think I would forget?  I really want to know: is this t-shirt dressed up, or does the t-shirt dress down the rest of the outfit??

On yet another side note, this is my Bloggers Do It Better post......I know that gray isn't quite the "khaki-ish colored neutral" that most refer to, but I find myself not really enjoying khaki (except for the shoes.....loving the nude colored shoes that are so in right now!)  Why khaki when there is black, gray, white, and everything in between?

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Jedi Knight?

Only if I added sleeves and a hood, haha!

I bought this dress when it was still cold out.  I love it.  After spending an afternoon in the sun, I realize that black isn't going to work during the least not when the sun is shining!  Otherwise, I love this.  It may very well be the equivalent of a sweatsuit.  Minus the ugly, lol!

Dress: Marshalls
Shoes: Kohls
Belt: Maurice's

On a side note, yes, I am fully aware that my rib cages stick out further than my actual chest. Some people have third nipples (at least that's what I hear.....)  Bahahahaha!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Cleavage. The good, the bad, the ugly.

Admit it.  The only reason why you are reading this post is because the title sucked you in.  Right?  It would've sucked me in, lol! 

“I have the advantage of study,” he [Manolo Blahnik] told Colin McDowell. “I’ve been studying the art of the shoe… for over twenty years. I know every process. I know how to cut and cut away here (the side of the shoe) and still make it so that it stays on the foot. And the secret of toe cleavage, a very important part of the sexuality of the shoe. You must only show the first two cracks. And the heel. Even if it’s twelve centimetres high it still has to feel secure – and that’s a question of balance. That’s why I carve each heel personally myself – on the machine and then by hand with a chisel and file, until it’s exactly right.”

{shoes JCrew}

Oops.  Does this make me a toe cleavage bearing whore??  Haha!  If I could ask Manolo Blahnik one question, it would be, "The first two cracks from the right or from the left???"  Just kidding.  The question would be something more like, "Will you come live in my home and make me a new pair of shoes daily?" 

p.s. Jen (pronounced Yen) doesn't like the word "thrifted", which is great, because these shoes weren't exactly "thrifted."  They were consigned.  So I bought them.  For $25.  I know, it isn't impressive, but I gotta tell you, I really love these shoes.  And $25 beat the original price (which was $178 if I remember correctly.)

Thrift | Everybody, Everywear

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Yes, I shop at Kohls.

A lot.  I'm busy and Kohls happens to be 1.5 miles from my house.  Located right next to our favorite grocery store.  Located across the creek from my favorite craft store.  Located across the street from my favorite beauty supply store.  All conveniently located 1.5 miles away :)  Which really means I can stop in when I only have 20 minutes (and they've come soooo far with their selection and quality!)

Fun shoes found recently at Kohls:

I love these!  Who doesn't love glittery, shiny goodness??  Like a Bedazzled flat sandal, lol!

I love the nude shoes that are in right now.  Do these remind anyone else of those little plastic containers of knee high panty hose, found in those large crates in the middle aisles of grocery stores?  No?  Right, I think that was an eighties thing.  But they were only $.25 and they were the same plastic containers those toys from the vending machines came in!  Didn't that mean they were a prize of some sort? LOL!

Ruffles.  Find me a girl who can refuse a good ruffle............

Red with studs?  Yes, please!

The End.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Biker Chic.

Everyone knows that chic is pronounced SHēk, right?  There was no typo.  I meant chic, not chick.  Biker chic is the first thought that went through my head when I first saw this necklace.  Did I let that stop me?  No!  I don't own a bike, I will never own a bike (gosh, I could think of a million things I'm going to buy before I buy that.)  I've only ridden on one a handful of times.  Cross that off my bucket list (ok, it was never on it, but whatevs.)  The more I walked around with this necklace, the more it grew on me (not literally, of course!)

{top H&M necklace Vera Wang}

Do you like it?  If you do, head to Kohls immediately - they are on clearance for $4.80!  Don't like it?  Buy it for the sister you might be mad at.......just kidding.  Don't do that.  That's mean.*

*I've got a lot of sisters.  Older and younger.  I feel like that is qualification enough for sister jokes.  Haha.

p.s. Is my font too big??

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Baseball and Pregnant Ladies

Ok, so there was only one pregnant lady.  A few weeks ago, I found myself in a fashion-challenging situation: baseball game in the heat straight to a baby shower for friends I hadn't seen in well, years!  Why was it a challenge?  I wasn't going to be able to change, and what could I possibly wear to sit on the bleachers in the blazing hot sun that I could then wear to a baby shower where, chances were, everyone would be dressed up to some degree?  I also have to mention that I have been pregnant three times.  I went through this vicious cycle the first time, where I couldn't wait to wear maternity clothes for two reasons: first, I was looking chubby, but not pregnant (and I really wanted people to know that I wasn't just getting fat, I was growing a baby!) and second, it felt like it would really make the whole thing real (and people would start lying to my face about what a cute pregnant person I was.)  The desire to wear maternity clothes lasted about two weeks.  By then, it was too late.  I had to wear them because nothing else would fit.  I had to do this two more times, but those last two times, I tried my hardest to squeeze every last centimeter out of my non-maternity clothes before conforming!  Where was I?  Oh, yes.  My point.  Out of compassion for pregnant women everywhere, baby showers should be like weddings - no one, NO ONE, should look better than you.  Yeah, that's a tough one.  Pretty much all non-pregnant woman will look better than you, if for no other reason than they have far more wardrobe options than you do;  I spent the last few weeks of every pregnancy was in dresses, or if I was really lucky, my bathrobe!

Now that I've built up the suspense (read: bored you to death) here is what I wore:

{dress RL shoes Steve Madden bracelet, necklace Target}

Obviously, I now see the error of my ways.  I won't ever try to take a picture of a yellow dress inside, next to a yellow wreath.  Lesson learned.

p.s. She's expecting a girl (any day now!) and I just about died trying not to buy everything in the store!  Wish they had this in my size:

{dress Target sold out}

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sometimes it just doesn't work out!

Have you ever had this great picture or idea in your head (or on paper) and when you try to execute it, it's all wrong??  Lo and behold:  In my head, this worked.  These pants weren't so ill-fitting.  The shoes were cute. 
In the pictures, this didn't work.  The pants were ill-fitting. 
The shoes were swallowed by grass.  

 Here is what not to wear, by Pretty, Polished, Perfect.:

There are no P's here!
{shirt Zara pants H&M shoes old necklaces BR & Walmart (say what?!?) purse JCrew}

All is not lost, however.  Crop out the pants, and it's really a cute shirt:

The bag itself it charming, minus the outfit:

I once followed a link to a blog out of sheer curiousity: the title read "Shots You Never Saw."  I was really hoping for some entertaining photos full of bloopers and wonky faces, and maybe unflattering shots of one's derrierre.  Fortunately for the blogger, they were just more beautiful pictures full of great style.  And no laughs.   How did I finally accept that these pants were too tight and ill-fitting?  The Mr. complained,  "They're too tight!  I can't even grab your butt!"  My husband doesn't care what I'm wearing.  So when he complains, I listen.  Bahahahahaha!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Casual Friday

Often times I purchase great articles of clothing, statement jewelry and excessively large hats.  I love them.  Sometimes they love me back.  Sadly, my "job" and day to day routines aren't really meant for beautiful couture, dripping diamonds or hats that you can't-wear-while-driving.  I celebrate every moment that my $13 pair of sunglasses are still intact.  I weep every time my children break my designer sunglasses, usually within hours of purchasing them (it's like a cosmic novelty, I swear!)  If I wear white, my kids will smear raspberry something on it.  Or dirt.  Or boogers.  Or anything sticky and containing some form of dye.  My wardrobe is like a cosmic chasm for these kids.  I roll around on the ground, I throw baseballs and frisbees (it's the frisbee that's the nail-breaker here,) I do chores.  I'm like my own Molly Maid, and I just can't wear a Dior gown to do the dishes or vacuum in!  I also live in Kansas City.  There are probably about ten whole days when the weather is gorgeous enough to rival L.A.'s 335 days of perfect weather (that was a guesstimate, maybe its 365!)  It's really cold - the arm candy I wear might as well have been stored in the freezer; it's really hot - even nudity isn't going to be comfortable! 

Why am I telling you this?  I just have this crazy urge to justify why on earth I would wear a linen sack (with pockets!):

{dress Zara shoes Old Navy necklace H&M clutch DIY}

I would actually have preferred that this sack dress be another inch longer.  The older my legs get, the more inclined I am to cover them up!  The color of the dress really is beautiful, and I am so happy to have found H&M's knockoff of JCrews necklace - you'll probably see it alot - I love it!  One more thing before I leave you for the weekend - those espadrilles (featured in this previous post) are striped, but I'm not a professional photographer and I have no idea how to photograph tiny stripes!  Hope you all have a good weekend!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I have no idea what to title this post

My brain still hasn't woken up for the day, so I have no witty comments, no sarcastic stories, and no awkward photos to show you. I do have pictures of this Zara top and shoes in the most gorgeous colors:

{shirt, shoes Zara pants JCrew necklace Vera Wang clutch DIY c/o moi}