Pretty, Polished, Perfect.: May 2013

Monday, May 27, 2013

Datevitations: The Coupon Book

Little kids and home-made coupon books are synonymous in homes across the country.  If the little kids can do it, why can't I?!

"Let's pretend you're right....You Win!"
"Do I really need to explain this one?!" (don't worry, this wasn't an x-rated option - wink)
Why do I love this? Let me count the ways (haha.)  First, I am NOT crafty.  Everything I make looks like a kindergartner, so I have no problem letting someone else make this for me.  Second, my handwriting is usually illegible; at least The Mr will be able to read this.  Third, there are some hilarious pictures and options here!  The image of a stick-figure dancing on a stripper pole will forever be burned into memory, lol!  Fourth, kudos to them on the packaging - the gold foil and brown paper packaging for the win!

Check out the fun pictures that accompany the over 350 fun date ideas (don't worry, only a small portion is dedicated to rated x options!)  Text is completely customizable, so you can be as funny, specific or inside-jokey as you wish.  

Datevitation would like to offer one lucky reader a free coupon book!

Don't want to wait?  Use code POLISH to get $10 off your first coupon book in May or June (book start at $10, so this is a great deal!)  Just be sure to order yours by June 6 for delivery before Father' Day (June 16th!)

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Sweet Made Sweeter: Baseball Edition

It was a Saturday, and we got to sleep in (those 8am basketball games were killing us!)  Basketball season had ended and baseball season was in full swing (see what I did there?)  In one of those rare aligning-of-the-planets, my sons didn't have conflicting schedules.  We spent the day lazily watching one baseball game after another; even my sons were getting along, bonding with male athleticism (eye roll - where's a girl when I need one?!)  Was it a perfect day?  No.  It's May and the wind chill (it's always one-hundred times worse at the ballpark) made the temperature feel right about 33 degrees Fahrenheit.  I was wearing a jacket for goodness sakes (this one, if you're wondering,) and many parents were wrapped in blankets! It was my son's birthday, and I hadn't planned anything but their regularly scheduled ball games; his team had lost the game.  Our faces were showing the effects of the wind, and our noses were starting to turn pink (it's like I can't remember sunscreen until after the first big burn of the season.....)

It wasn't perfect (it rarely is,) but this is our life, and we love it just the way it is.  Would it have been nice if we hadn't needed our jackets?  Sure.  Would it have been sweet if we had won all our games?  As sugar.  But in the end, I wouldn't change these moments (sitting on a cold curb, laughing) for anything in the world:

Friday, May 17, 2013

TGIF: Dreaming of Vacation

Summer starts for my sons next week, and I'm already dreaming of vacation:

Where are you dreaming of going?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

ShoeDazzle and Summer Neutrals

You know I'm a die-hard shoe fan, right?

Meet ShoeDazzle.  An online shopping experience with hand-picked choices just for you.  Take a quick style quiz and be shown a smattering of shoes that fit your profile.

Meet my favorite picks:
Fave picks from ShoeDazzle

Meet my favorite summer neutral picks:
Summer Neutrals from ShoeDazzle

Need I say more?

Go take the style quiz and tell me which shoes are your favorite.

*Thanks to ShoeDazzle for sponsoring today's discussion.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Fit and Flare in Stripes (for the win)

I haven't posted an outfit in awhile, but I am dying over these stripe dresses.  Found in luxe boutiques, mass merchandisers (like Old Navy and Forever21,) and everywhere in between, these dresses are worth every penny you spend (or don't spend!)

Dress: Forever21 (in pink)
Cardigan: JCrew
Belt: JCrew
And yes, even my son is rocking the obnoxious neon trend, sigh.

While we're on the topic of hot trends (or cute classics, as the case may be) I can't leave out the metallic heels that abound this spring!  Whether they are barely metallic or mirror-like, you will love wearing these (I don't want to wear an outfit if they won't match these darn shoes, lol!  p.s. theses particular ones come in a rose gold, yes rose gold, people.

What do you think?  Are you rocking stripes and metallics this season?

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

"Eye Got You Covered": The Man, The Vision, The Gift

Meet my little brother Morgan:

He's in the prime of his life; he's lived his life as a good, upstanding young man.  Always a gentleman, the modicum of politeness and selflessness.  Volunteering first, leaving last, always with a smile on his face and a good sense of humor.  A young man who's always served as a positive role model for everyone he meets, the unrealized mentor.  I've loved him since he was born, held him up to impossible standards since he started talking, and support his most recent decision to serve a mission - devoting the next two years of his life to serving God and his fellow man.

As the older and inexplicably wiser sister, I am constantly looking for ways to look out for him.  No longer a student protected by statutes, he is no longer covered as a dependent under his parents; yet he isn't an independent either - with no sustainable job, and no sustainable benefits, about to depart for Ghana, a country far different from America.  When presented with an opportunity to gift a one-year vision insurance  plan from VSP, several people came to mind (my father who suffers from glaucoma as well as bad eye-sight, any number of my siblings who have all been cursed with poor eyesight.......) In the end, I wanted to give this to my brother, but I also didn't want it to be some lame handing over of a piece of paper, or a quick explanatory phone call.  In an effort to capture the essence of my brother, I asked him if he would mind me photographing one of his Schleuderball games.  What young man could refuse his sister, and pass up an opportunity to ham it up on camera?

I didn't let him know why I was doing it, or what I was going to do with the footage, and he didn't seem to particularly care.

Every Sunday, my brother comes over for Sunday dinner; I asked him to stay afterwards so I could give him a special gift.  I handed him two pieces of paper and we sat down (in the kitchen, because that's where everything good happens in a home, right?!)  Watch this quick, yet very entertaining short film to find out what happens (and adjust your volume accordingly, please.)

Gosh I love that kid, and there isn't anything I wouldn't do for him.

What was on those pieces of paper I gave him?

A handwritten note (yes, I asked him if he could even read it!) with words that express that I have no words.....
A screenshot summary of the Insurance Plan I gifted to him (that fist pump action?  when he read the "Contacts" portion, and exclaimed, "I can play sports wearing contacts?!"  He has only had insurance that covers eyeglasses.

Wondering what VSP can do for you? “Eye” got you covered. VSP Direct costs as low as 41 cents a day and is a great way for individuals and families to have vision insurance, even if it's not provided through work. Learn more about VSP here.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Cruzan Rum, or TGIF!

Just a quick video to say TGIF and hello to the weekend, right?

I'm ready for vacation, are you?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Could Someone Please Define Punk?!

Last night was the annual Met Gala.  I grew up thinking it was an evening when people wore couture and were really there just to be seen, photographed and generally look pretty - in stunning couture.  I still don't know what the gala's purpose is specifically.  I know it kicks off the season, but does it raise money?  Awareness maybe?  Up until this year, I didn't even realize attendees were matching their looks to any art themes! How does one dress for Punk and the Met Gala?  The two ideas are complete contradictions.  You can take the literal definition of the term punk (which leads you nowhere I assure you,) or you can take it to reference the punk culture.  Unfortunately for couture, punk culture was generally about eschewing excess and pretension, and often took on a "rub it in your face" sentimentality.  In other words, you can't wear couture - even if it's created in a "punk" fashion - simply because couture, even all safety-pinned (think Versace and Elizabeth Hurley) is the anti-thesis of what punk represents.

Why the long speech?  I was dying to see how stylists would style their clients to achieve punk, while still maintaining the ballgown/couture stigma of the Met!

Technically, most of the people on the worst-dressed list actually hit closest to home on the punk part.  Sadly.  Then there was Madonna, who just. won't. go. away.   Seriously - she looked like she was just trying to re-live her glory days (although I don't know why she would want to do that......)

There was lots of excessive black eye liner, a few very strange looking and in my opinion always awful mohawks, and edgy hairdos.  It was almost as if people didn't know where to find a Met-Punk dress, so they tried to use hair and make-up to get the Punk across.  It didn't really make sense for most of them.....

Alien meets Cleopatra meets Sid the worst way possible.
Then there were a few who seemed to make understated statements (which is really what Punk was about, right?  Sending a message?)  My favorite (because I would wear this, in its' understated elegance) is Cameron Diaz.  Amazing color and understated elegance with just a touch of something different.  She didn't look like they were trying to hard; she didn't look like she was trying to own "Punk" as if it were her own (ahem, Madonna.)  Kudos to Cameron (or is it kudos to her stylists?!)

Who's on your best-dressed list?

 all images courtesy of

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Monday, May 6, 2013

Triple P Giveaway: Mother's Day - Gift Card

Chasing Davies // The Mrs. & the Momma // Sandy a la Mode // TfDiaries // Jessica... Who?
Casey Leigh // Chioma's Evolution of Style // Pop of Style // GBO Fashion // Pretty Polished Perfect
Camp Patton // The Other Side of Gray // Chic on the Cheap // The Serena Saga // Lemons, Avocados, and the Bay

A Beautiful Ruckus // the daily dani // Crowley Party // Wild & Precious // the Freckled Fox is kind enough to bring you this giveaway today for not just one lucky winner, but TEN!  Five winners will receive a $50 Target e-gift card and the other 5 will receive a $50 Macy's e-gift card ($500 value)...just in time for Mother's Day! Make sure to check out for great Target and Macy's offers!

My Mother was a talented seamstress.  I have many memories of her sitting in her sewing room, covered in threads, with one of us impatiently waiting to see the final creation.  Oh my gosh - I can't even tell you how many photographs I have of me and my younger sister wearing matching jumpers and outfits, lol!  The 80's.....such good memories.  Anytime my clothing didn't fit right, I would run straight to my Mother, expecting some sort of miracle.  She was overly patient as she taught me all that she knew about textiles, garment design and alterations.  Even when she had to point out the impossibilities, she never hampered my creativity or my love of fashion.  She taught me to be resourceful - you don't always have to be in an authentic Oscar de la Renta to feel like a princess (or look like one.)  

In the spirit of mother's day, make sure to leave your mom's best advice she ever gave you (about anything!) in the comments below!

You can enter this giveaway through Rafflecopter now through Sunday, May 12th on any of the participating blogs.  Good luck and Happy Mother's Day to all your mamas.

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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Triple P Giveaway: Mother's Day Gifts - Jewelry

What never goes out of style and always fits?  Jewelry.  If you are thinking of getting your mother (or other significant women in your life) something along the lines of a say, vacuum.......don't do it.  Not only does Blue Nile have an amazing assortment of gifts for under $100, they are offering one lucky reader this pair of earrings:
Leaf Chandelier Earrings in sterling silver $40
Aside from the classic pearls (which they have for under $100), Blue Nile also has a fun collection of charm bracelets (not just for little girls anymore.)  The best part is, my kids (or The Mr) can get me a new (meaningful) charm every year that I can add to it.  It's not unlike the gift that keeps on giving.....
Sterling Silver Charm Bracelet $49

A few charms to get the bracelet started:
Wedding rings ($39) (the significance should be obvious here,) La Tour Eiffel ($49) for our honeymoon, and the camera ($59) to represent my love of photography.

Blue Nile would also like to offer you all a special discount, good through Mother's Day (don't forget MAY 12th!)  Use code MOMGIFT13 to receive 10% off your purchase of fine jewelry today (order soon for delivery before Mother's Day!)

Please follow the link if the giveaway form does not show up.

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

LBDs, WDs, and PDs

I have been a long-time fan of dresses - anything flirty, super-feminine, and fun (or cheeky) - and I don't think any girl can ever have too many dresses.

Let me direct your attention to, a newly revamped website (much easier to navigate, and cleaned up) bursting at the seams with dress selections.  They offer thousands of dresses, from $100 LBDs (the little black dress) to $6400 wedding gowns.  After perusing the wedding gowns, I think it's time for The Mr and to renew our vows......

Throw in prom dresses for teenagers, showcase gowns worthy of the diabolical (or maybe delusional is the more appropriate term?) Kenya Moore, shoes that range from slippers costing $20 to fabulous heels in the $400 range, undergarments and last but not least - handbags, and you've got a (not to be cliche) one-stop-shop.

Featuring over a hundred different designers, you can find gowns from Alyce Paris, Mac Dugall, Sherri Hall and Jovani.  

Where is your favorite place to shop for party dresses?