Pretty, Polished, Perfect.: July 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I Love You, But......

I just can't remain faithful when others are selling the same thing for a quarter of the price.  Wait, don't take that the wrong way.  I'm talking retail fashion here, people. Sure, it's lesser quality, but it looks the same, performs the same function and honestly?  I will be done wearing it by the time it's lifespan has run its' course.  I'm a huge advocate of spending good money on quality items, but only if those said items are something you will wear/use for years to come.  If it's something trendy and I'm only going to wear it for the season?  I don't mind buying the cheap version.  Assuming there is a cheap version.


Belt: JCrew $60 - 1/2" wide, Italian Calf Hair

Belt: Target (Mossimo) $17, 11/16" wide (just under 3/4"), Totally Fake Fiber That Looks Like Animal Hair Which Means No Animals Were Harmed (in case you were worried about this.)

Granted, compared side by side, you can see the obvious difference in quality.  Wrapped around my waist (unless you like to inspect people's belts up close,) all you will see is the perfect leopard print accent.

So, if you were wanting a skinny(ier) leopard print belt for the fall (or right now,) here are two choices (Target isn't the only place I've seen cheap versions of these) to try!

p.s. I use the term "version" because I don't think this is a "knock-off".  First, how can you knock-off something when Target had this one at least a month before JCrew's new fall line came out?  Second, a leopard print belt is hardly a new or original idea; when haven't there been leopard print belts available? Third, it's always nice to have the fake-fur option for those who try to avoid the real thing (or don't want to pay the price.)

Friday, July 22, 2011

What's In My Bag?

This post is exactly what the title implies it's going to be:

Sadly, I don't have a magic bag.  Which is really disappointing because I could use one when I travel!  Of course, I could also do with a magical flying umbrella......oh, wait!  I have got one of those:

And you can have one too!  I was at Target last night and this magical flying umbrella is now on clearance!!

Back to what's really in my bag:

Pretty small purse for a mom of three (one of which is still in diapers) you exclaim!?  More on that later.......

The contents:
1. Magic Wallet from JCrew - it's totally worn looking, but I love it too much to replace it.
2. HTC Evo.  No, it's not 3d like The Mr.'s.  It's still the next best thing to an iPhone (and only because of Instagram, the one app I don't want to live without, curse you Apple!!)
3. Burt's Bees Chapstick Original Beeswax Lip Balm - I've tried many lip balms, and this one beats them all!
4. Burt's Bees Cuticle Creme - smells like lemon grass.  It works well and smells great!  It's the easiest way to fake a manicure in 30 seconds!
5. Crest Glide floss (I get one of these travel size every six months from the dentist - perfect!)
6. Wrigley's Doublemint.  'Nuf said.
7. OPI's Avojuice lotion in Crisp Apple Juicie.  No grease, smells delicious!
8. Loreal Lip Gloss in #578 Adoring (the cheap stuff works just as well as the expensive stuff!)
9. Keys - no explanation needed, right?

About the bag:  This little patent beauty was one of those rare steals that I'm always envious of other people finding.  I stopped into a Coach outlet, was offered an additional 20% off coupon as I walked in (this seems to be standard now - it happens every time!) and found this one lone wristlet in the clearance section.  For $79.99.  That's not really a steal.  However, the clearance was an additional 50% off, and I could still use the 20% coupon.....for those of you who don't want to do the math, it came to $31.99.  Sure, it's no thrift store $2.99, but I love these little wristlets (sadly, I have one in pink and one in red.)  They are the perfect size to hold my wallet, phone and seven other essentials I refuse to leave home without.  The wristlet is small enough that it fits in almost every single one of my purses (except, of course for other wristlets and clutches.)  It fits in the glove compartment.  It dangles from my wrist when I need to use both hands, and feet, and all ten toes, and sometimes elbows (sample sales.)  The perfect wristlet in all its glory:

If you eat small children for breakfast, stop reading here. 

That was a joke.  I know you don't eat small children for breakfast.  You eat them for dinner, duh!  Seriously, if you don't like to talk mom stuff, stop reading here.  I may or may not be mentioning poo.

Back to the "me being a mom" and all that jazz. (I did warn you.)

I do have a diaper bag.  I made my own (that's right, I took matters into my own hands, which is why I am using this blog post as an opportunity to brag.  It's okay to brag as long as you openly admit to it, right?)  I tried to make it as manly as possible, because The Mr. also gets to carry this beauty around  (thanks, Darling.)

What's in it, you wonder with crazed excitement??

That's right.  Two diapers (has anyone else ever had their child go poop twice in one hour??) wipes and diaper rash cream.  Anyone else notice my loyalty to Burt's Bees?  What can I say, I love their products! 

(Just another friendly reminder that I did warn you.)

I almost forgot!  This post is part of the FBFF group and this week is being hosted by Marie-Eve.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Long, Long Time Ago

I found these outfit photos from back in the early days of this blog.....well, earlier days.  I can't believe I forgot about them!  It was the first time I had tried styling my hair in the "Carrie Bradshaw" messy bun.  Anyway, most of the photos didn't turn out well (anyone else have a hard time looking good in white - especially in photographs?  Is there a secret I don't know about?)

Aside from the strands that I just. cannot. get. under. control., I think I did a pretty good job with the hairstyle.  At least I was proud of myself for trying something new (I have curly hair and I HATE backcombing it!  HATE. IT.) 

Headband: JCrew
Earrings: c/o The Mr. (has anyone else noticed my husband's go to gift is pearls.  He likes to play it safe, apparently.  I'm not bragging, really, I'm not.  I'm just saying a girl could use a new diamond (or any brilliant gemstone) every once in awhile, am I right??)
Top: F21
Necklace: c/o The Mr. twisted with Target
Bracelets: Vera Wang, F21
Belt: H&M
Skirt: Banana Republic
Shoes: George

Wait, did I really just use parentheses within parentheses?  I think my High School English Teacher is probably slowly dying......somewhere.  And why is there a singular for the word parentheses?  Has anyone ever come across a random ( ?  Except for, of course, the common :) which wasn't around when they first named the symbol?  Or was it?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Moto Chic

Again.  Truly.  But without the motorcycle.  Again.

Yes, I know half my body is missing.  This photo shoot was originally full of motorcycles, helmets and a few laughs.  Sadly, the photographs themselves were full of fuzz, poor lighting, awkward moments and other bizarre things.  So, if a picture is worth a thousand words and I've just cropped 2/3 of it..........

Jacket: Old Navy
Top: Thrifted
The Earrings That Didn't "Make The Cut - Literally": F21
The Bracelet That You Can't See: JCrew
The Ring That Was Cleverly Disguised By "Pocket Hands": Banana Republic
Pants: JCrew
Shoes: F21
Motorcycle At The Curb: Aurelia
Photographer: Aurelia
Babysitter: Jubal

This photo shoot was more of a lesson in photography, props, procrastination and its consequences more than anything else.  I think it needs a do-over (just like in the 3rd grade.)

On a positive note, these are by far my most favorite shoes.  I think I will actually mourn their loss when they have worn through (and the last time I wore a pair of shoes until they were worn out?  The 3rd grade.)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Labels, Warnings, Signs.

As a someone who writes/blogs about fashion, have you placed yourself into some sort of blogging category?  No.  This blog is so young I'm not sure I would even know what category to put it into!  Is sarcastic a category?  Humor?  Lighthearted? Typos?  Incorrect Usage of Grammar?

What keeps you from or encourages you to label yourself as a certain kind of blogger?  I label myself as a fashion blogger, but it's less a label than an explanation.  If someone asks what I blog about, I'd say "fashion." 

When picking blogs to read and follow are you drawn to ones that indicate a certain group or way of thinking/being?  No.  I'm glad you asked.  I read an article more recently that seemed a bit whiny to me.  The article claimed that the most successful fashion blogs were those whose writers were thin and beautiful.  I obviously disagree.  For me, if I find your blog and I don't relate to your style, I don't get your sense of humor (if there was humor involved,) I don't relate to your stories, etc., I probably won't consistently read your blog.  I read blogs whose writers are extreme feminists (and I don't always agree with what they have to say) and I read blogs who have 25 followers and blogs whose numbers are in triple+ digits.  I follow blogs whose posts have less than two sentences, and blogs whose posts are practically a novel.  I read the blogs that I like, and what makes me like your blog, varies.

Do you think there are benefits in labeling yourself or others?  I do - the same way I benefit from labeling my spice jars. 

Agree or Disagree - We're all just people; we don't need all the labels.  By labels, I assume you are speaking of judging others - like judging a book by its cover?  Again, labels are useful - like labeling a bottle of wine.  There are times when no label is needed; I don't need to label my oven.  If I can't find my oven, I've clearly got bigger problems.

p.s. I found this funny post while googling "funny label pictures."

p.p.s I almost forgot to mention this blog post was brought to you by FBFF.

p.p.p.s. (if there even is such a thing) That's why I always forget to label my posts.  Or why they have an 8 tag limit on Pinterest.


A few weeks ago, a fellow blogger - Kenzi from The Cardi Queen - suggested we do a Blogger Style Swap. We decided to do Polyvore boards (gulp, I know I've tried to avoid these before, but this was fun.......)

Heidi from The Closet Coach asked for "more color, more accessories, more overall funkiness." I know she tends towards classics, so I took her 5 Levels of Working Moms Outfits and added color, a bit of funkiness, and still kept it classic. The true test will be if she actually incorporates any of this into her wardrobe in the coming months (for which I will take full credit, lol!)

First Level - Weekend Casual:

The Closet Coach: Level One - Weekend Casual

Featuring a classic necklace every girl should have - it can be fun, flirty and casual. I love these Puma sneakers, which are the perfect mix of not-quite-sneakers, not-quite-flats. I also traded in those well-worn jeans for a "well-worn" denim dress. Cool weather? A camo jacket adds the perfect touch of personality to the outfit!

Second Level - Weekend Chic:

The Closet Coach: Style Swap - Level Two, Weekend Chic

Color. That's what I love about this one. Let's forget the classic dark denim jeans - these wide leg trousers are universally flattering and are the perfect color to showcase your colors (which you are going to wear, right??) These pops of color are bright enough to be seen, but neutral enough that they aren't screaming. Bangles are the only accessory you need for this one!

Third Level - Casual Friday:

See Second Level! Think of all those co-workers you didn't run into while shopping at the mall! Everyone should see you looking this chic.

Fourth Level - Client Meeting:

Style Swap work

I thought this dress was perfect for Heidi - she tends towards classic pieces in neutral colors. Which is great - you know you will wear that dress for years to come. The fun part is accessorizing with bold(er) shoes, rose gold watches, funky necklaces - although the cowl neckline is almost enough to forgo a necklace. Belts are the perfect way to add a pop of color.

Fifth Level - Date Night:

date night

Let's assume that you had a late business meeting and were meeting The Mr. for a date right afterward (and had a love for art deco - which Heidi has.) Change the shoes (Christian Laboutins are sooooo worth the splurge in my opinion) add a fun headpiece, long pearls and a vintage clutch and I think The Mr. will appreciate what he sees (wink, wink.)

Let's see what Heidi will do with these ideas (or if she just thinks I'm crazy!)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

When I Say Maxi

Don't say pad.  Am I the only one who wishes we weren't calling them maxis?  I am?

It's hot.  Beyond hot.  I try to wear as little as possible.  I put a maxi dress on over my swimsuit the other day, took two steps and stepped back out of it.  I swear the visualization of me walking outside in that long skirt started to make me sweat!  Why am I telling you this?  It's just my way of justifying why today's Bloggers Do It Better is a recap of some of my favorite maxis (read: old photos, recycled.*)  I also want to point out that these photos were some of the very first posts on my blog.  I'd like to think I've come a long way since those first days.......

Aside from being named "maxi", I do love these skirts.  They are great for hiding pale legs, hairy legs, big bruises, cellulite, bags of candy, knives........and of course they are great when you don't have anything to hide either.  You know I was just kidding about the knives, right?  I've got maxis in sequins and silk, chiffon, satin, knit, more knits and cotton.  I love them.  Long live the maxi!  Although I wouldn't mind a name change :)

*click on the photos for more details and the post they originated from

Monday, July 11, 2011

Full Disclosure

A few weeks ago (I know, this is reeeaallly late, forgive me) we attended a family wedding in Louisville, KY.  That's right.  In cheesy fashion, on the heels of possibly the most watched wedding of the century (is anyone really capable of beating out Kate Middleton??) we just had to play with hats.  Cheap hats, expensive hats, man caps, top hats and birds' nests.  That's right, I said birds' nest.  Anyone who can spot it gets a prize!

Meet my family:

Aaaannnddd more of my family:

Aaaaannnnnndddd a bit more of my family (did I mention there are quite a few of us?)

In this post, I mention my "sister joke" credentials.  I mean, I have a lot of sisters.  And we like to have fun.  What's the point of there being so many of us if we can't have a bit of fun now and then, hmmm*?

p.s. we call this the Concrete Catwalk jump (the inventor of the photographic jump shot, lol)

We had a blast, and it's always so much fun to capture it on film!

By the way, just in case you were wondering, I am wearing the dress from this post.......

Do you ever get together and take fun photos with your siblings?

p.s. wondering why there aren't any photos of the bride and groom?  We don't have them yet.  That's why.

*p.p.s. for the sake of full disclosure, my sisters and I don't always get along.  We just opt out of photographing it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

It's Hot.

I am referring to the weather.....

I think I wear my hair up 99% of the time when it starts to get hot.  And humid.  Which also means my hair looks the same 99% of the time. That's right, you can always count on me to not change. 

Amazingly enough the camera somehow failed to capture my halo of frizz in this picture. That HOF?  I've lovingly dubbed it "mini-me."  There's nothing quite like an Afro in the summer time!

The HOF "mini-me" is conveniently being concealed amongst the foliage.

The HOF "mini-me."  In all its' glory.  Haha!

Shirt: JCrew
Necklace: H&M
Pants: JCrew
Shoes: Elle
Ring: Vendor

*HOF = halo of frizz, a constant summer companion.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Red Velvet

No, I won't be wearing red velvet. 

I've had far more not-up-to-par red velvet cupcakes than I have delicious ones.  In fact, at this point I'm not even sure what they are supposed to taste like, so different are they!  Tired of paying between $3 and $6 for cupcakes that taste like pure sugar (which I can eat at home for more like ten cents, thank you very much,) I've decided to find the ultimate recipe for Red Velvet Cupcakes (including the only suitable frosting for such a delicacy: cream cheese!)

I made this first batch in honor of the Fourth of July (and my love of cake, lol!)

I didn't want to make a full batch, so I decreased both recipes by one-fourth.....and used one egg white.  This recipe was suggested to me by @HowSweetBlog.  She also has a recipe for Red Velvet, which will be used in Trial #3. 

I have a feeling that this first recipe is going to be tough to beat.  It tasted a bit like this:

(photo courtesy of my 5 year old)

Have you got a recipe for Red Velvet you think I should try?

Hope you had a great Holiday!

Linking up with fellow bloggers for a Red, White and You giveaway!
See this year's Fourth of July post here.

p.s. Have you seen the Seinfeld episode in which George decides he is going to wear velvet every day? 

Friday, July 1, 2011

-4x + 3x = -x

This weeks questions brought to you by Modly Chic:

What’s your go-to outfit formula?  Simple: (s+t+s) + p = c and (b+d+h+p+c+r+s) + p = d.  Oh wait, you don’t read Algebra, lol?   striped t-shirt + pants = casual.  Button down, half-popped collar, rolled sleeves + pants = dressy.  Pearls, pearls, and more pearls = PPP*

How did you come about this formula: AH + JO + GK + x = classic American women.  Audrey Hepburn? Jackie O.?  Grace Kelly?  Take any classic woman (especially from those old movies I gushed over in my last post) and that is where my inspiration comes from. 

Do you have different formulas for different occasions in your life?  Why, yes I do, thank you for asking.  My formula looks something like this: tmf + bbq = wc or The Mr.’s Fam + BBQ = washable clothing.  Theorem applied: if dogs and cats are present, then clothing will get dirty.  If clothing will get dirty, clothing must be washable.  If clothing is washable, then clothing must be made of cotton, linen or polyester.  If clothing is made of cotton, linen, or polyester AND washable, it must be casual.  I call this the washable theorem.  Can you see where I’m going with this…..?

Ok, so this was at the beach, not a bbq, but you get the idea, right?
Has it morphed over the years?  Good golly, I hope so!  Have you ever seen someone who still seems to be sporting that 80s hairstyle (and not because it’s come back in style??)  Or someone who’s worn stirrup pants for the past 30 years?  I don’t ever want to get stuck in a style.  I like to think I’m adaptable, flexible, and capable of change (and courageous enough to try new things.)  Like a fine wine aged cheddar, I only get better with age, right?  Bahahahaha!
I could really go for a good fondue right now.  Math makes me hungry :)

Which other blogger’s outfit formula would you like to swipe?  If there were any math class I would like to take, it's Beth Jones of B. Jones Style.  Is there anything she can’t do?  Or doesn’t do?  I just don’t think I could ever work up the courage to really think outside the box! 

Hope everyone has a great Holiday weekend!

p.s. I love math.  Even calculus.  I'm a math nerd and I'm proud of it, lol!