Pretty, Polished, Perfect.: September 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

That Old Hollywood Glamour

This is my first review of the Jennifer Lopez collection for Kohls.  I think it really helped that I had just come off the disappointment of Missoni for Target.  Next to that, Jennifer Lopez's new collection is like a gold mine!  Okay, not really, but at least it doesn't look and feel like it's cheap.  It's also just about the same price point (keeping in mind that you almost never have to pay the price listed on the tag.)  Kohls describes the collection as:

The Jennifer Lopez collection channels the timeless allure of old Hollywood in a contemporary interpretation of classic, sexy glamour.

This is just one of the outfits I tried on and loved (though I will need to take the pants to the tailor.)

This outfit is actually on the forefront mannequin in the store.  I hate feeling like I am copying something so completely, so I thought I would tuck the shirt in and add a ribbon.  Of course, a few days later, I saw a promotional picture of Jennifer Lopez in this outfit, with the shirt tucked in!  So much for making it my own, lol! 

I wanted to show you this shirt in close detail.  In the first photo, the sequins are great, almost like liquid iridescence right?  That isn't what they look like up close:

I love this vintage necklace!  It's from my Father's Mother and if I had a daughter I would've passed it on to her (I can only hope my daughters-in-law are worthy of this piece.)

And that was the outfit, untucked.  I love the pants (except for the fact that they are so high-waisted, they totally give me mom-jeans-butt.)  Even my husband was freaking out about the butt issue.  I love the shirt (except that my hair keeps getting caught in the sequins, and just about everything and their dog keeps getting snagged in the mesh fabric.)   But I still love it.  Stay tuned for more reviews (there are some great dresses!!)

Necklace: gift c/o Grandma Z
Top: Jennifer Lopez (via Kohls)
Pants: Jennifer Lopez (via Kohls)
Shoes: Prada

What do you think?  Do you think this outfit is classic Hollywood Glam?

Scarf Tying Tutorial

Plus bloopers!  I can't even begin to express how nervous I am to be doing my first vlog.  Will my readers love me or hate me?  Will they laugh or will they cry?  Will they learn something or will their brains go into active comas?

Let's find out:

I had to add the bloopers.  Because everyone loves a good laugh, right?  Especially at my expense!

I hope you enjoyed the videos, and maybe even learned something, lol!

What's your favorite way to use a scarf?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Holidays + A Giveaway!

The Holidays are here (whether we like it or not.)  Walk into any store and it's guaranteed you will find something "Holiday-ish" (and I'm not talking about Halloween!!)  This is the time that I start watching for the great deals that can be found for some of my most basic needs (i.e., return address labels & free customizable cards.)

Growing up, my Father would always get his Holiday cards together, with his address book (oh yes, he uses a DayPlanner.)  He would set up shop at the dining room table and invite anyone who was interested to join him in signing the cards.  He would address it first, adding personal touches and then pass it around the table for us to sign.  We would often ask him questions about who this person was, and how did we know this person - I have really fond memories of this; it was one of the rare occasions I had to bond with him.  Now I'm all grown up (let's at least pretend I am) and I now mail my own Christmas cards.  I've seen the traditional foldable cards with a thematic pictures, humorous Santa Claus's, the 4x8 picture cards, and more recently the postcard photos.  Last year I chose the 5x7 postcard (online printing, delivered right to my door) for two reasons. First, it seemed so much more tenable as both a card and a photo.  Secondly, it allowed me the freedom to write my personal messages on the back side and that is by far my most favorite part of Holiday cards. This is the card we sent out last year:

These were pictures from a photobooth at a Fall Festival we had attended (courtesy of Dr. Klein, the greatest orthodontist ever.)

I was really pleased with how the cards turned out and will probably go the same route again this year. 

Which brings me to the Triple P's very first giveaway:

Details include:

100 5" x 7" postcards on 14pt Cardstock Gloss (no folding, front only,) with free shipping.
This giveaway is open to US residents ages 18 years old and above and you must have a US mailing address.

Feel free to make up a mock postcard on their site (I did, and I didn't have to log in first or anything.)  I'm impressed with what I saw and can't wait to see how my order will turn out!  I have thought about using these for "Thinking of You" cards, "Save-the-Date" cards, "Thank You" cards (the list goes on and on!)

There are three ways you can enter this giveaway:

1. Leave a comment.
2. Follow @ebtweet (that's me) on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway (with a link back to it.)
3. Like Pretty, Polished, Perfect. on Facebook
4. Don't have a twitter or Facebook?  You can also follow/subscribe via Google Reader, Pinterest, Bloglovin, and/or RSS feed.
Tips for entries:
1.  Make sure you leave an email address - I need to know how to contact you!
2.  You can find and follow/subscribe using the buttons located on the right side of this blog.
3.  Don't forget to leave me a separate comment for each option you choose!

This is going to be a quick giveaway (I am that impatient!) All entries must be submitted by 12Noon Central Standard Time on Friday, September 30.

Disclaimer: This giveaway is sponsored by UPrinting, no monetary compensation was given.

Red Shoes + Red Carpet? Bad Girl, Bad.

Here is the full outfit from Fashion Night out at the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City.  I'm thinking there's a really good reason why the photographer didn't take a full body shot.......classic feet amputation:


Top: Old Navy
Necklace: H&M
Bracelets: Target, I can't remember
Clutch: Gap
Pants: JCrew
Belt: DIY Grosgrain Ribbon
Shoes: Banana Republic

Here's a fashion rule that cannot be argued with: Don't wear red shoes on the Red Carpet.  Period.  Haha!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Work + DVF

My husband had his "office party" and yes, the dress was business casual.  Of course, nearly everyone dresses above and beyond the basic "anything but shorts/denim" criteria.  Not to be outdone, I pulled out one of my favorite (and when I say favorite, I mean I would cry if anything happened to this dress.)  Oh yes, it's one of the things I splurged on back in my single days; when I had no cares and spent my money frivolously because, well, I could!

I know this one looks nearly the same as the above photo, but check out my ponytail!! My ponytails are rarely so neat looking! 

Go ahead and laugh. Something is missing right? Yes, I do have two legs. This is the result of me trying to take an "artistic" photo; I amputate a leg.

Dress: Diane Von Furstenberg
Belt: H&M
Shoes: Daisy Fuentes (via Kohls)
Earrings: Vera Wang (I LOVE these earrings!)

Last week DVF launched the new perfume Diane.  A large group of woman converged on Manhattan, dressed in signature wrap DVF dresses, passing out samples of the new fragrance; New York, you make Kansas City look like a cow-town.  I'm just saying.

Though I haven't had a chance to check out the new perfume, I do think her dresses are divine.  I think every woman should own at least one in their lifetime!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fashion's Night Out, Kansas City

I talked my sister Catherine into going to Fashion's Night Out on the Plaza in Kansas City.  Actually, I asked her about it and without hesitation she said (read: practically screamed) yes.  To be honest with you, I occasionally (read: rarely) remembered to document the evening with photos:

Bo Ling's Almond Cookies.  It's good Chinese Food.
 My favorite store.  I call this shot: Dessert at Tiffany's.  Seriously, they were the best cupcakes (especially the frosting) and this was probably the only store offering non-alcoholic lemonade. 
My sister and I walking the Red Carpet (see the original photo.)  We aren't famous, no one cares what we were wearing, but for 15 seconds, we felt really special.  For free.  Can't beat that, right?

Some of the stores we hit: 

The new Micheal Kors boutique
Tiffany's (how do they make it feel like a home away from home?)
Hall's (it was crazy packed in that store!!)
Betsey Johnson (if I ever find the photobooth pics, I will share them - it was so fun to try on those outrageous dresses!)
Panache (free European Style Truffles, now I'm hooked!)
Burberry (greatest employees, ever!)

That was all we made it to before the stores started closing.  There were people, music, the sounds of laughter, shopping bags, was so much fun - a party in every store!  What could possibly be more fun than friends, parties and shopping??

Monday, September 19, 2011

Diet Coke Ad, Part Deux

I'm going to be perfectly honest (not that I am not always honest, lol) when I read the email that I would be featured on the Times Square billboard, I danced like a crazy woman around my living room. Jumping up and down ensued.  Any passersby may have been tempted to call an ambulance. Of course, my son was taking a nap, so it was a quiet dance, with soundless screams of delight. Really. That's how it happened. 

There I was.  For 15 seconds!  My name was even on there!  Yes, I did another happy (or crazy) dance.  I have never aspired to have my face or my name on a billboard.  To have it actually happen?  Well, it's fun and I will get to tell my grandchildren about it one day and they won't believe me, lol!

Sadly, I did not win the trip for two.  Which I wasn't really counting on, so hey!  We're all happy, right?  If you are interested in seeing the submissions who did win the trip, you can view them on Facebook.  I am not sure if there is a compilation of those who were chosen for the billboard, but I will add it if I find one. 

I'd like to give a special shout out to The Mr who patiently photographed my ideas and to Hallie of Corals + Cognacs, whose blog post motivated me to enter the contest! 

I rarely win anything.  Have you ever won anything?

Wondering what the arrow is pointing to?  Head over to Dress With Courage, where I am today's guest blogger!

p.s. tomorrow is my birthday.  I am going to be 22.  Because I can.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Mr.

I am not sure if I've ever explained FBFF, so I will do so now.  It's just a friendly community that fashion bloggers have joined on Google.  Every Friday, there is a specific topic we are invited to discuss through our blogs, and we can link our posts here.  This Friday, the topic is advice.

The best piece of advice I was ever given was from my parents.

I'm going to be perfectly honest here.  I was dating the now Mr. 

Religion differences is one of the top 10 reasons why people get divorced.  The Mr. is not religious - in any way; he simply has no beliefs on that front (i.e., he's not atheist either.)  Concerned that a future with him might be too difficult, I left him.  Fast forward just a bit, and I met a man who at least shared my religious beliefs (and that was about it.)  It was a whirlwind kind of thing - that beginning of a relationship excitement.  Fast forward a few months, and we were engaged.  Fast forward another month and I had broken it off (I swear, I do NOT have commitment issues.)  During that short engagement, I think I counseled with my parents every night.  I think what I was really hoping was that they would just tell me what to do and I would just do it; irony in it's greatest form, considering the fact that I had just spent the better part of 20 years trying to not do what they told me to. 

My parents kept saying the same thing: You should marry your best friend; the person you marry should be your best friend; the person you will marry will become your best friend. 

I returned the ring.

The Mr. forgave me for leaving him. 

Fast forward 11 years and here we are.  My parents were right!  I married my best friend, and it's a good thing.  Are we perfect?  No.  Has our relationship been perfect?  No.  And I wouldn't have had it any other way, with any other man.

p.s. The Mr. has been wonderful about religion.  He has no problem with us raising our children to my religious beliefs.  He continues to support me with religious traditions because he knows how important it is to me.  He is such a good guy, and I love him!  Take that, divorce!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Quickie.

I woke up on this particular day (it was a Sunday,) and really wished I could get away with wearing sweats.  The next best thing?  A cotton skirt and cotton v-neck tee.

Necklace: F21 ($1.50)
Top: Target (on sale through Saturday - $6)
Belt: H&M
Skirt: F21
Shoes: SO (via Kohls)

I love these two colors together!  What are your favorite color combinations?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Missoni for Target: A Review

It is my humble opinion* that this collection was all hype.  Nothing else. 

The clothes were poor quality (100% polyester, come on!)  At least the scarves were 100% silk (a surprising choice because I think the shirts should have been silk as well.)  The maxi dress that was in my local store was too short.  I don’t want to buy a printed bicycle (though I did like the seat and basket.)  I also don’t want to pay $400 for a printed bicycle.  I already have a bicycle and I can think of a few that I would rather pay $400 for. The floppy hat was cute, but apparently my head isn’t as large as I thought it was (I think it’s my hair.)  I did like (and buy) the cute notebooks for $7.99. 

I bought one of the silk scarves.  I bought an infinity scarf, but I really feel like they are a dime a dozen, in every color or texture you could imagine (so why did I pay so much for this Missoni for Target one?) 

I really wanted to love those suede heels.  My favorite part of them was the wooden heel.  Oh wait.  Take a closer look at those heels.  What do they call that? Oh yes, veneer.  It may have been plastic that was supposed to look like wood.  For $40?  I love cheap shoes, but I don’t love cheap-looking cheap shoes. 

I also checked out the luggage - loved it actually.  However, I already have perfectly good luggage and am not in the market for new pieces.

Sorry Target.  Sorry Missoni.  The two of you do not go together like white on rice.  I still applaud Target for their designer collaborations!  Please don't stop.

It’s so easy to love something from a lookbook.  Everything about that picture has been manipulated to tell us a story that will appeal to us.  Buy it, get it home, snap a picture.  It’s rarely the same:

All that hype and the above is all I bought (and not because everything else was sold out.)  Wearing the shirt and sweater, all I kept thinking was, "I wish I hadn't paid so much for these."  

p.s. I don't know if you can tell by my facial expressions, but I was not excited about these photos.

p.p.s.  I hope people aren't actually buying these items on eBay.  They aren't worth it. 

*Please note that Missoni is less my style than say, Isaac Mizrahi.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Diet Coke Ad.

I entered a photo (ok, two photos) to the Diet Coke contest on Facebook.  If you have time, feel free to pop on over and give my photos 5 stars (you might have to like the page, you might have to hit the "enter to win" button, but have no fear, you don't actually have to enter anything to view the gallery of photos!)

This is also my debut of how I style the-oh-so-hot trend of green (or colored) pants.

Top: JCrew
Belt: H&M
Pants: JCrew (high-waisted, if you can believe it!)
Shoes: Daisy Fuentes (shocking, I know!)
Bag: F21

Which picture do you think I should have submitted?

Colored Pants | Everybody, Everywear

Monday, September 12, 2011

Guest Blogging and Cinemagraphs

If you want to see me wink at you, head over to Relatable Style for my very first guest post! 

I love cinemagraphs! 


I found this sweet one at Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg's blog.  You have to check out their photos.  You will never want to have another still photograph again!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Mi Familia

That's about all the Spanish I know. 

Ten years ago today, I was heading into work when I heard the news on the radio.  I got to work (and though the idea was to keep working, to let terrorists know that we would not let them stop us - no one in the office was actually working) and sat there, close to tears.  All I really wanted to do was to go home, get together with my family and feel safe. 
Me with my older brother and sisters.

My heart goes out to those who lost loved ones and were truly devastated by these heinous acts of terrorism. 

I am proud to be part of this great country, and relish the many freedoms that I have.  No one will ever be able to take that away.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I am a Swinger.

Well, not me personally, but my jacket is. 

Yes, this is the jacket from this post.  I can't get enough of it!

I found these shoes for $8 (Candies via Kohls), and I really wanted to love them, but (and this is why I love photographs) after seeing these photos, I'm digging the nude patent pumps (Elle via Kohlsfar more.  I also changed my necklace.  I stand by my first choice (Banana Republic) and will save the link necklace (Nordstrom) for other outfits.

Necklaces: Banana Republic, Nordstrom
Top: F21
Jacket: F21
Skirt: F21 ($7!!)
Shoes: Elle, Candies

I love this $7 knit pencil skirt.  I think I stood at the table for a full ten minutes, debating which color to get (I was trying to talk myself out of getting one in each color!)  I also want to point out that this top (none of the pictures gave it justice) buttons up in the back, like a backwards button up shirt!  I love it too!

Are you ever tempted to buy an item in more than one color?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wildflower Weddings

Last week I attended the final wedding of the summer.  It was a warm 94 degrees with plenty of wind (which usually equals a ponytail in my book.)  The affair was mostly outdoors, and I decided to go casual; yes. Those are flip-flops.

Necklace: Borrowed from my sister
Dress: WetSeal
Sandals: NY&CO.

The Bride was beautiful, the wedding was beautiful,the day was beautiful.....the whole thing was just, for lack of a better word, beautiful! 

p.s. I've owned this dress for years and I usually wear a cream colored camisole under this dress, but I couldn't find it anywhere!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I Hate Mustard.

Not the color, the condiment.  Hate is also a bit strong, so let's just say I really, really, really dislike the condiment.  Which may or may not be the reason why I wasn't smiling in these photos:

Actually, I think the reason I am not smiling is because I finally realized that I don't actually like these shoes.  At all.  Every time I wear them, I wish I had chosen a different pair! I think it's time to say goodbye to these shoes. 

The only thing I like about the above photo is that it captured the skirt in motion.  There is nothing more fun and girly than a twirly skirt!!  Am I right?

Consider the photo below as a gift.  Because I know you have always wanted to see a ginormo photo of my feet.  And proof that I often make poor choices.  Like blue zebra print pedicures. 
*laugh with me here*

Necklaces: F21
Sweater: F21
Skirt: F21
Shoes: Kohls

Darnit! I've done it again! My entire outfit (minus the shoes) is from the same store!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fall Trends 2011

Think 60s, feminine, soft, classic (NOT Amy Winehouse, may she rest in peace.)
Want to hear a funny song from Dr. Dememto?  Google "Bulbous Bouffant" – I love it (macadamia!)
Pictures courtesy of Google Images

Brightly colored pants 
In all textiles, shades, textures. 
In my Shopping Cart:

would it be wrong to have the same pant in two different colors?



If you aren't into wearing tartan or plaid, you could always trend it out in accessories:
Jade dresses:

Ann Taylor

I know this isn't a dress.  I probably won't buy a dress in this color, but this belt?  To quote Rachel Zoe, "I die."

Swing Jackets/Ponchos/Capes


 What's in your shopping cart?

p.s. This post is part of FBFF