Pretty, Polished, Perfect.: September 2012

Sunday, September 30, 2012

31 Days of Pro-Styling Tips: Get Out of Bed and GET DRESSED!

Last October I participated in a 31 days of challenge (hosted by The Nester.)  We pick a topic and write about it every day for the month of October (which has 31 days.....juuuuuuust in case you didn't catch that.*)  I feel obliged to give you this link to last year's 31 days, but I also feel obliged to let you know that you can feel obliged to not go laugh  at my one-year-younger-self.  Especially Day 6 - I keep that picture up and refer to it every time I tell myself I want bangs again or whenever I'm tempted to take a picture on a remarkably bad hair day.




This October is still going to touch on your wardrobe, but I thought I would give you some of my professional advice opinions.  I'm curious to hear your feedback or if one of my opinions doesn't work for you personally (I swear I won't take it....personally,) so please leave your two cents (or however many cents you have.........)

And yes, I sometimes start my sentences with grammatically incorrect conjunctions, I abuse commas like they were fruity cocktails, and I tend to overuse parentheses and the dot, dot, dot, dot.......


*and for any of you brainiacs, it will actually be thirty days of opinions advice because today's post contains no opinions advice.  But who's counting?



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Friday, September 28, 2012

Four-Eyes

First, I need to get this off my chest: to all those who have the luxury of wearing "fashion" frames (20/20s,) I am helluh jealous!  I've got coke-bottle glasses eyesight.  I'm not even joking.  I can try on a cute pair of frames, but once you add the thick lens, the distortion is awful and I end up hating them.  So go on with yo' bad self if you don't need script lenses.

Back to the real topic at hand - buying glasses.  I hate glasses (see above paragraph) and I hate paying wads of cash for them.  Even with insurance (I have VSP) I still end up paying anywhere between two and three hundred dollars.  Of course, I buy the special coatings (you don't want to see them without those, trust me) and I buy the highest index lens possible (but I still have that coke-bottle thing going on!)  I also grew up in an era where frames were limited, and so were the places you could buy them.

I'm more than pleased about all the online options, especially their pricing.  I was recently contacted by Firmoo, an online retailer specializing in prescription glasses and sunglasses.  Would I jump at the chance to save money on a new pair of glasses?  Heck yeah!



I've decided in my wisdom old age that if I'm going to geek it in coke-bottle lenses, they might as be aslarge and geeky as they get.

Do you know what else I love about online retailers?  They always seem to offer a special to suck you in shop with them.  Firmoo actually offers your first pair FREE!  I will have to add, that the "free" only gets you the standard 1.5 index lenses, but even after paying for the upgrade out of pocket - it will still be at less than half the price of my previous glasses!  Firmoo also has the highest index lens I've seen available yet (1.74 aspheric.)

I will admit, there is a certain convenience factor to being able to try frames on in person (although once you put my thick lenses in, it wouldn't have mattered!) but Firmoo does offer two things I have found very useful: the dimensions of each individual pair of frames and the virtual "try-on" tool.

Which are you: a fashion or function wearing four-eyes?  Do you prefer buying them from a brick & mortar retailer, or online?

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Blow-Outs


Is it sad that when I hear the word blow-out I think of babies and diapers, not brushes and blow-dryers? 

I stopped by Kansas City's new (and very first) beauty bar: Parlor.  If you find yourself on the Country Club Plaza, stop by even if it's only to see the perfectly decorated interior. 
 
It's bright, clean and the perfect-shade-of-yellow chevrons (and comfy chairs) are the perfect mix of trendy and classic styles. I was scheduled with Caylee (another recent graduate) and chose the Voluminous from the menu.
See their website for a full listing of services, including special deals on packages.
Parlor stocks Sachajuan and O&M products for use and sale
The finished 'do (I swear I was happy, I don't know why I didn't smile!):
I had a chance to chat with Meg Haas, the owner and entrepreneur behind Kansas City's first beauty bar.  She's a local MBA graduate who thinks Kansas City's women are so fashion forward, despite the usual two-year wait for current trends to arrive, and they (we) deserve this!
The carry Becca and have a make-up artists available for appointments

Stop by 608 ½ W. 48th Street on the Country Club Plaza tonight (September 27th) from 7-9pm for their Grand Opening party!  Maybe I'll see you there?

I'm excited for the endless opportunities a fun beauty bar can offer besides a single blow-out: sisters' night out, girls' night out, wedding parties.....the list goes on.....)  

p.s. don't forget to tip your stylist - word on the inside is 20% or more (you know, if you really love the 'do!)
p.p.s.  the thought and opinions in this post are mine and only mine, though the services were provided to me free-of-charge.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Art Fair via Wi-Fi


This past weekend was the annually-much-anticipated Country Club Plaza Art Fair.  I look forward to this event every year (the parking, not so much – thank you Time Warner Cable, for the free VIP parking pass!)  Friday night was spent in the TWC (Time Warner Cable) VIP Media Lounge with many of Kansas City's finest bloggers.

L to R: Sarah's sister & Sarah, Kat, Michelle, Ellen & Jamie, Lisa, Meg, EmilySarah and yours truly.
Sorry Sarah!  This picture was just too cute to pass up:
We talked shop, life and free wi-fi (thank you again, TWC!) while gorging delicately snacking on appetizers (the Tuna Rolls are my new fave) and desserts from Seasons 52.
After the group went their separate ways, Lisa and I participated in the TWC sponsored Tweet and Go Seek.  I was completely shocked by how much fun we had running around the Plaza, seeking out these hidden tiles!  Of course, we ran into a few problems (you know how much I love math problems, right?): 

Sprint network + thousands of people in a three block radius = no coverage.  

TWC's free Country Club Plaza's wi-fi + their courtesy iPad* = problem solved. 

Lisa, me and our prizes
The Mr and I took our sons up to see the art, peruse the booths and generally bask in the fun atmosphere (and face-painting, courtesy of the TWC booth.)  We also fell in love with some new favorites (the Asian Pig Wings at Gram & Dun are to die for people, even the boys liked them…..and that’s HUGE!) 
Photo of Gram & Dun courtesy of  The Pitch
We met up with Lisa for a little bit more Tweet and Go Seek, and our last tile of the afternoon brought us face to face with the pretty-cool guys behind the game.  We found a total of 21 tiles (the word tile hardly does these post-recycled-material, multi-purpose masterpieces justice!)

Gear up Kansas City, Time Warner Cable is about to spoil their customers with innovative technology (and free wi-fi of course,) great customer service, and even better community presence.  Are you a Time Warner Cable customer yet?

*Did you know that TWC has an HBO app that lets you watch every single show, every single episode?  I wish TWC was available in my neighborhood, darnit! 

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Monday, September 24, 2012

KCFW Student Designers and The Emmy Goes To.....

Best Dressed Emmy's goes to Alison Williams in a green (the most stunning shade of the evening, in my opinion) peplum and origami-esque Oscar de la Renta.  What dress(es) made your Best Dressed list?

Photos Courtesy of MSN WonderWall
Honorable mentions: Heidi Klum wins best color (Alexandre Vauthier), Tina Fey is on trend with oxblood, and only Padma could get away with this color. 
Photos Courtesy of MSN WonderWall
Worst Dresssed contenders include: Glenn Close' dress might be the most unflattering dress I’ve ever seen – it’s a still frame from Edward Scissorhands, with lace.  There was a time when it was absolutely imperative that your handbag match your shoes; there was never a time that it was imperative that your hair match your dress (cough*Kelly*cough) (Zac Posen)

MHMG (Most Horrid Maternity Gown) goes to Claire Danes.  She was quoted as terming this gown "bump- friendly."  She's right, and the bump is the only thing this dress is friends with!  Fire your stylist or hire one I say - it can be a long nine months.

 p.s. Is Kat Denning pregnant or is that another ill use of pleatery/gathering (J. Mendel)? The worst styles are the kind that ask the question, "Is she or isn't she?" 

Photos courtesy of MSN WonderWall
Speaking of best dressed (and worst), the last day of KCFW was the student designer Runway Show.  There were some amazing collections that made it down that runway.

Little Shell Designs, by Michelle Kleineweber used dramatic styling to feature her designs:


Kendra Morgan of AML Designs, gave us edgier more contemporary wedding apparel including this amazing pant-suit-jumper!



Designer Kaity Rathman brought architectural lines, varying textures and a feminine edginess to Kansas City with her line inspired by The High Line Park near the Hudson River.


Student designer Elise Lammert impressed attendees with a line full of attitude, creativity and what must have been pain-staking hours of sheer patience.




15 year old "student" designer Kate Walz (her age alone speaks volumes) brought us gowns suitable for prom and the Emmys.  Granted, these prom-goers would be the most fashion-forward in the country club.  Kate's dresses were both modern and feminine (and had me wishing I had one for my own prom years ago!)






Katie McKenna of Pink Sheep Heiress made me wish for summer and the boardwalk with her sorbet colors  and polka dot patterns (not to mention my first love - stripes!!)  Youthful with a tinge of the 50s, I can't wait to see what Katie comes up with next.


CW Couture designer Caroline Williard showed pieces that were ultra-feminine with edgy details - like this softly draped velvet romper lined with sharp tooth-like details. 


LaTonya Jones of Senoj brought us street-punk style with feminine twists in shiny metallics and prints, and shoulder pad details.


To end the afternoon, we were treated to a show greater than any Toddlers & Tiaras yet.  I'm not sure where Hollie Hanash of Ruffled Runway found her models, but those girls could work it!  Surprisingly enough, the atmosphere was fun and playful, rather than tragic and heinous (come on, you know that's how you feel when you watch those pageant shows!)


There is some real talent here, and with a little bit of fine-tuning (we all get better with age, right?) and experience, these designers might make it big.  Kate Walz still has a ways to go (at least legally) but I wouldn't be surprised if all of America sees more of her in the future!  

Congratulations to all the student designers at Kansas City Fashion Week on a job well done!

More photos from the KCFW Student Designer Showcase can be found here.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

We Gonna Pahty Like It's Yuh Buthday

Did you get the email this morning?  Old Navy has their Rock Star Jeans & Cords on sale for $19.  My thighs weren't built for skinny jeans or corduroy, but these ones actually fit (as for that flint-like spontaneous combustion of rubbing corduroy - that remains to be seen, lol!)  They come in denim and corduroy, and lots of color - the debate over colored bottoms being in still is open for debate.  What do you think?  In or out?


Jacket: Old Navy
Top: Forever21
Corduroys: Old Navy
Sandals: Forever21 (similar here and here)


This is my classic afternoon, watching the boys cycle their little hearts out.......
It is my buthday (you have to say/sing/rap/whatever-you-want-to-call-it like 50 Cent or it doesn't count.)  And we are going to party......next month.

October 11th through the 17th, come back each day to earn entries to win:

Fall Fashionista pictures courtesy of Shelley,  Jamie Allen, eShakti and a surprise sponsor

Fall Fashionista 400 2

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dreaming of the Red Carpet

How many of you love to see the amazing gowns worn by artists and actresses for awards shows?

How many of you secretly fantasize about your own opportunity to rock a ball-gown??


Dress: Adrianna Papell 

photos courtesy of Megan of Chasing Davies (thanks Meggy!)

Do it I say, do it!  There are several reasons I chose this dress (and loved it!) for the KCFW Red Carpet Event.  First - I didn't have to wear constricting undergarments (think satin, no thanks.)  Second, I didn't have to shave my legs (I'm kidding - I shaved my legs, but on a normal day......)  Third, it was in my price range (for a special occasion dress I would only ever buy once, okay maybe twice.....besides my wedding dress.)  Fourth - I loved every moment of wearing this dress.  More often than not, my daily activities are more suited for tennis shoes.  You better believe I take every opportunity to dress up as often as I can.  After all, you only live once!* The list could go on and on.  It was comfortable, the sequins didn't bend or break off (surprisingly,) and it was manageable (again, shockingly enough.)

A few snapshots from the evening - I love the way the sequins sparkled (is that even the right word??)

With  http://www.chasingdavies.com/  before the show started, and with Hilari afterward.
pleated poppy

*I refuse to the acronym for that - maybe I'm too old or not cool enough, but I think it's the stupidest acronym I've heard yet! - no offense to those of you who use it and love it, of course.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Falling Off The Wagon (and the best photo ever!)

The beginning of September brought us fashion shows from around the world.  I've been lucky enough to attend Kansas City Fashion Week (and all its' parties,) and have gotten to experience the good, the bad and the ugly.  I've seen the KCFW team under stress and under the influence. 

What I remember most is how much fun they are.  They sing, they dance,
they strut their stuff on the runway..........

 
and that, my friends, is why I'm never tempted to take my turn on the catwalk, lol!

Photo courtesy of Kris Hanke, KCFW and DJ Preston Jeffrey Parsons.

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Black + Blue (Plus a Fabulous Giveaway!)

The Fall Fashionista Giveaway is next month, and I'm wearing this dress to celebrate!


Dress: eShakti
Jacket: Thrifted (Old Navy)
Necklace: Forever21
Belt: Gap
Bracelet: J. Crew
Shoes: Enzo Angiolini

I love this colorblock dress from eShakti.  It's perfect for pairing with a jacket in fall and winter, and perfect alone during the spring and summer months (I'm a huge fan of versatility!)  I'm also a big fan of eShakti.  I love that I can customize the sleeves and hem lengths.  I have no waist (and don't even get me started on my lack of a chest) and so usually dresses don't ever fit me quite right, but with eShakti's customization, I can get  a perfectly tailored dress.  It's also nice that they have a step-by-step guide on how to take your correct measurements!  


Want to see how fellow bloggers styled their dresses?


Would you like to win an entire years' worth of dresses from eShakti?  


Fall Fashionista 200

*Disclaimers:
Fashionista Giveaway Event bloggers are not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes.
 This dress was provided for me to review by eShakti in collaboration with the Fashionista Blogger group hosted by Still Blonde After All These Years and ModlyChic

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Social KC - Fashion's Night Out

I was asked to style an outfit for Halls Kansas City, specifically for Fashion's Night Out.  Hmmmmmm.......a chance to create a look using anything from within Halls' four walls?  Yes please.  
Of course I couldn't resist this Oscar de la Renta sequin top, or these Alice + Olivia leather side-strip leggings.  Paired with this ultra-luxe Max Mara coat, Tory Burch cross-body, gorgeous necklace and chic flats, and I was more than happy to put my name on it.
Kelly of Twenty Six East and I snapped some pictures of our styled mannequins before meeting Halls' President, Kelly Cole:
Photo courtesy of East Second Street
Mr. Cole saw my mannequin and  joked, "This one must be yours.  You do like color."  I do like color.  Does anyone else feel that wearing black always looks........the same?  You can throw in some stripes, patterns, or polka dots, but those outfits stand out as.......black (and sometimes white.)

Met up with some of the lovely KC bloggers:

From top left: Megan, Emily, Kelly, me, Sandy, and Shea.
Halls kept the party atmosphere alive with drinks from Snow & Co.:
Chocolate chip cookies and Gucci (my conciliatory party since I don't drink alcohol):
Chanel pop-ups (and the lovely Louise LeMans):

Photo courtesy of Halls Kansas City
And we ran into Suzanne and her Charming Man (actually at J. Crew but this picture works):

Photo courtesy of  Halls Kansas City
I had to include a picture of my favorite Bobbi Brown make-up artist, Susan (on the left.)  I highly recommend her the next time you go in:
Photo courtesy of Halls Kansas City
I tagged along with some fellow bloggers to check out the other parties to be found on the Country Club Plaza.  We hit the red carpet:
I think we were supposed to be going for "funny" but I call this "awkward."  Gee, thanks Robbie ;) Photo courtesy of
J. Robert Schraeder  and Ink Magazine.
Stopped by The Parlor (coming soon to the Country Club Plaza!) pop-up shop, where I got my make-up re-touched and my hair de-frizzed (note: how is it not supposed to be insulting when you ask someone, "Oh, would you like me to add some de-frizzer to your hair?"  I mean, what are you trying to say?  Is my hair frizzy or something?? Just kidding, I know my hair is frizzy.......) and was too busy to snap a picture.

We hit J. Crew which was, honestly, very quiet compared to Halls.  Halls had the best environment for shopping, socializing and fun, hands down.

I headed to the Power & Light District and caught the tail-end of the party at The Garment District Boutique (which was an another great party), where I ran into model Jasmine Moore and new friend DeAundre Kurney:


Next we headed over the The Gallery for the Kansas City Fashion Week FNO party.  Photographer Kris Hanke's "photo booth" idea was a huge hit (really, who doesn't like having their picture taken, especially after a few cocktails??"

This guy, who also happened to be the official KCFW DJ. Photo courtesy of Kris Hanke and KCFW.

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