Pretty, Polished, Perfect.: November 2013

Friday, November 29, 2013

Perfect Fridays: Family, Fun & the Hollywood Wax Museum

A few weekends ago, The Mr and I met up with my sister (The Bio-Statistician) and Her Mr (The Personal Trainer.)  Try to keep up, okay?  Just kidding.  We hit the main strip in Branson, Missouri to check out the Hollywood Wax Museum.  I had no idea what to expect.  First, it's called a museum; but that doesn't mean you can't hop right up their with the wax figures and goof around while (and this is so completely anti-museum I felt like I was breaking rules) taking photos.  

Let me introduce you to The Personal Trainer, the biggest ham you will ever meet.

The Personal Trainer and Their Golden Child had visited the Hollywood Wax Museum previously, and he was pleasantly surprised to see that their were many new figures being represented; he also warned us about the scary hall of monsters that I pretty much raced through (I do not do scary.)

We had quite a few laughs as we hit up half of Hollywood's celebrities.  And this is how The Personal Trainer feels about this guy:

And this guy:

And this guy too:

Obviously I felt the same way, lol!  At almost every single vignette, I wished I had something to dress up in.  I was rewarded here:

And here, right before I bathed in hand sanitizer:

Beam us up, Scotty:

Before Carly Rae Jepson made it cool:

And finally, this one:

I'm not sure we ever stopped laughing (or taking pictures.)  It was fun, and maybe next time we will take the boys (though I'm not sure they will even know who half these characters are.)  Many of the wax figures at the Hollywood Wax Museum were incredibly life-like (and a bit creepy) and others seemed......not quite like they do on screen.  A word to the wise, the lighting isn't perfect so be prepared to use those flashes (that I can't stand using!)  For more information on tourist attractions (like wax museums) visit

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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Sunday, November 24, 2013

TripleP Guide to Surviving Cyber Monday

*This Guide to Surviving Cyber Monday post is a Fashionista Event.  I was provided a promotional item by to inform you of their Cyber Monday Sales, Cyber Monday giveaway and our Cyber Monday $500 giveaway.  But never fear, all opinions are always my own.*

Monday.  December 2nd.  2013.  Just one short week away.

There's been a lot of debate about this year's Holiday Shopping Season.  I will be perfectly frank with you here, I both love and loathe shopping this time of year.  If you've been following along (thank you for your support, I truly appreciate you!) on the blog, you might have figured out how much I love a good deal.  This makes Black Friday and Cyber Monday very enticing for me.  Of course, retailers seem to start their Black Fridays earlier and earlier, and this year friends and families across America are putting up a stink about it.  I've seen numerous pledges on Facebook, urging us to stand against retailers because their employees deserve to be at home with their families.  Perfect frankness here: I'm irritated by this change because I want to be at home with my family eating pie, darnit!  In my defense, when I was in high school and working retail, working holidays was a pretty sweet package; I had completely different priorities then and didn't mind working on a holiday.  Employers can't force you to work a holiday, yet I don't envy them their jobs this time of year.  All this drama (combined with the crazy hoards of shoppers and general elbows-throwing atmosphere) makes Cyber Monday my best friend.  From the comfort of my own home, my own cozy, comfortable and super-warm bed in fact, I can shop some pretty sweet deals with a few clicks of a button swipes of a finger (how apropos to use my convenient little device (a birthday gift from The Mr and my sons) to shop electronics deals.)

Yum, hot chocolate.  
In other news, can I use a parenthesis inside a parenthesis?  Haha.

Who's ready for a giveaway to make Cyber Monday even sweeter?  Not only can you find hundreds of Cyber Monday sales on, but they are also offering 2 (two!!) opportunities to win amazing gift cards.  The first giveaway is here, with 2 winners receiving a $250 Amazon gift cards, and the second is the Cyber Monday Sweepstakes they are hosting on their site; both giveaways run now through December 2.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Perfect Fridays: The Perfect Print

The Mr and I were invited to attend the first annual Bell Tower Bash at The Arts Asylum in Kansas City.  If you've been a long-time reader of the blog, you may remember the fashion show I attended there last summer.

The event included a gallery full of the artwork these children have made during their time in the Kids With Crayons program (in collaboration with reStart.)  This particular piece brought tears to my eyes (I dislike public displays of emotions, I really do.)  I rapidly tried to blink back my tears and made sure I avoided eye contact with everyone (I seriously dislike public displays of emotion - did I mention that already?)  A simple 8 x 8 sheet of white drawing paper, black ink, and a child-size handprint.  That's all this is.  Thousands of parents across America (and probably around the world) have these hanging from their refrigerators or framed and placed on desks or walls.  I've helped my own sons make artwork with their handprints, as have their school teachers.  We've given them to grandparents, Christmas gifts we watch them unwrap in the warmth of a heavily decorated home.  They are then proudly displayed on bookshelves, walls, keychains and more.

But this print isn't being displayed as a gift, it didn't originate out of your usual home, with the usual supply of paper and inkpads.  This print came from a child who does not have a home like mine or yours;  he or she may not even have a place they call home.  This child doesn't have the same privileges I had growing up, nor  does he or she have the privileges my children enjoy (and take for granted.)

I was so moved by this handprint and all that it signified, I wondered if it could be purchased.  Upon reflection, when I think about raising my children, I don't think about giving them money or opportunities to make money.  I think about giving them opportunities to learn and grow, to know peace, love, happiness, anger, sorrow, and everything in between.  I try to give them a sense of safety and security, a place where they can express themselves and become the people.....they will become.  That's what these children whose artwork was so proudly displayed need.  Money helps, but so does time and resources.  And love.

I left that evening, in awe of the children who managed to win over the hearts of the volunteers who have worked with them, in awe of their bravery in trying to express themselves through art.  These kids were so excited to have their artwork displayed in a gallery - and their excitement over it made me realize all that I've been taking for granted.  I have so much gratitude for Courtney Perry and her husband, the amazing members behind The Arts Asylum (whose names I do not know), and for Kat Mansur - for sharing a small portion of the amazing experiences they have had with helping these children.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Polished Wednesdays: Plaid Scarf Style

The latest trend (and the easiest) this season is plaid scarves.  If you're lucky, you snagged the under $10 Forever21 scarf I blogged about two years ago (follow that link for some totally awesome pictures I keep around to remind me why I should NEVER EVER GIVE INTO THE URGE TO ROCK BANGS AGAIN, hahahaha; it's okay to laugh, I'm laughing right along with you!)

If you didn't pick one up (or you just didn't read my blog back then) here are four options to keep up with the trend.

First up, Zara's plaid scarf (you know, the one all the bloggers have?)

Next, my good blog friend Meg's favorite choice for fall 2013, the buffalo check scarf:

A good waffle stitch infinity scarf that is also all the rage (and no fancy tying instructions needed!)

And last, but never least, the Burberry scarf you should save up for and gift to your daughter one day.  I saved up for mine, and I love it.  I use it as a scarf, as a wrap and it's the perfect in-flight blanket.  It's also guaranteed to never go out of style.

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Pretty Mondays: Red Dress Edition

Every woman needs a red dress. I truly believe that. I was beyond excited to find this perfect red dress at H&M for.....wait for it......under $20!! Don't forget this fabulous bead necklace either.  In honor of this great find, I bring you two fab options that should convince every single one of you that dress belongs in your closet (they have it in black if this specific shade of red doesn't compliment your skin tone.)

The Red Dress
Dress: H&M Satin Dress
Necklace: H&M Bead Necklace
Denim Jacket: Adriano Goldschmeid; Black Fur Shrug
Clutch: Leopard; Beaded 
Shoes: Gold Ballet Flats; Black Gold-Tipped Pumps


Monday, November 11, 2013

Pretty Mondays: Diana, The Movie

This past week, I was invited to preview the film Diana (released this past weekend.)  I invited a girlfriend along for some good company (this was very important.)

The film covered a part of her life I was not expecting - the years after her split and divorce from Prince Charles.  The film was slow at times, and used copious amounts of cinematography - long shots of emotions playing over the character's faces.  This is where the good company comes in to play.  There were plenty of scenes in which Hilari and I shared "looks" that spoke volumes, and sometimes caused smothered laughter.  Even the woman next to us, a complete stranger, got in on the good times.  At one point, the camera is panning a clearly-used bed, and we hear (but cannot see) Diana saying something to the effect of, "Mmm, I just love your hand there."  The woman next to us muttered, "I bet!" and we all giggled like silly school-girls.  Haha!  Where was his hand, you ask?  Well, you will just have to see the film to find out (wink.)  In the end, the film only left me with more questions about Princess Diana.  Was she crazy?  Was she just like the rest of us (minus the obvious differences, lol!)?

still photo from the film, Diana
One thing I do know - Diana was a style icon.  She embodied beauty, a demure sexiness, and quiet grace.  She (or her stylist) knew how to rock a color that would bring out the blue in her eyes.  In the film, she is repeatedly referred to as "the most famous woman in the world."  The most famous woman in the world, beautiful and sexy, beloved by many, a devoted philanthropist.....and she never felt the need to flaunt herself (think Angelina Jolie and her ridiculous leggy show-stopping stunt.)

still shot from the film, Diana
 I think that is why woman everywhere respected her, admired her and an acceptable role model to young girls everywhere.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Perfect Fridays: Apple Pie

I'm not a pastry chef.  I'm not a baker, not a cooker; I'm just a girl who loves a good dessert.  The Dr (my little brother, recently graduated and returned home) invited us over for a BBQ.  If you ever get the chance to meet The Dr, you will understand how this all came about.  He's fun, he's adventurous, and when he gets an idea in his head, there is no stopping him.  We planned the menu (he decided to grill one of every single kind of meat - in every cut as well - in existence.)  We had salmon, lamb, four different types of steak, and glazed carrots (and some others I'm sure I am forgetting!)  My contributions were black bean chipotle burgers and the dessert.  Remember when I said I wasn't a cook?  I mistakenly thought I could use half a can of chipotle peppers in my burgers..........people bravely ate it (saved by the Lamb sauce, sigh.)  I threw mine away.  Lesson learned.

The Apple Pies though.......(capitalized to show my deference and pride in creating, lol!)

Triple P Apple Pie

8  apples, washed and dried, room temperature
1  lemon

½ C brown sugar*

½ C walnuts*, finely chopped
2  tsp cinnamon
½ oats*, chopped
4  T butter, cut into small pieces

Combine the sugar, nuts, cinnamon and oats in bowl and mix thoroughly.  Cut-in butter pieces.  Being sure not to puncture the bottom of the apple, core the center and make a nice little space for the filling.  Squeeze a little bit of lemon juice over/in each apple.  I don't have a melon baller, so I used my Pampered Chef grapefruit knife and a spoon.  Fill the apples to the brim with filling, place on baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes (depending on the tenderness of the apples.)  I grilled mine (laying down a piece of foil), at approximately 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

*I used ½ cup coconut sugar instead of brown sugar the second time around - it worked well.
*My favorite is pecans. After all, no one has ever heard of Walnut Pie.......
*Oats are optional, of course

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Polished Wednesday: Zales

Yes.  To all of this. 

Friends, family, countrymen (and everyone else.)  Jewelry as a gift is the best thing ever.

*This is a Fashionista Events Opportunity

Monday, November 4, 2013

Pretty Mondays: The New Denim + Tennis Shoes

I was finishing up a cycle class last week, when my cycle instructor told me she loves my Facebook posts about fashion.  She then said she needed ideas on what to wear after the gym - where she primarily picks up her son from school and then does the "mom" thing (the "mom" thing is not a bad thing, nor is it an insult - but if you happen to be a mom, you know this does not usually entail pencil skirts and high heels.......)  She mentioned wanting stylish shoes to wear with her jeans (because it's just too cold for flip-flops now.)  Normally I would recommend an amazing pair of flats (like leopard print) with jeans, but I'd like to offer up an alternative to jeans entirely (but don't forget - leggings are not to be worn as pants!)  I told her about my as-of-that-morning unpublished post featuring this outfit (that I want to wear everyday, to be perfectly frank with you.)

Jacket: Kohls (old) see similar here
T-shirt: H&M
Earrings: H&M (old)
Necklaces: J.Crew Tassel, Forever21
Bracelets: J.Crew (old)
Shoes: Puma (via Nordstrom Rack)

I may or may not have told her that these leggings are basically the less shiny version of our work-out pants (#oops) but it's true.  I actually wore this outfit to the last night of shows during KCFW, but wore tennis shoes to meet some friends for dinner beforehand; I had a pair of wedge booties in the car, but Meg (also the lovely photographer) convinced me to wear the sneakers (does the term 'sneakers' sound more cool than tennis shoes?!)  I've come to realize that all tennis shoes (of varying styles) are not created equal.  For anyone who has bought running shoes, you know that they range from cool and sleek to ultra-comfortable clodhoppers.  Some make our feet look normal (streamlined and accentuate our ankles) while others make us look like we are wearing geriatric shoes (though there's nothing wrong with that either - comfort!!)  I recently had to buy a new pair of running shoes, and I kid you not, I ordered twenty different pairs (polka dots!) looking for a pair that was both functional and flattering.

I personally love Puma brand tennis shoes - they seem to work best with my foot type.  I look for shoes that are cut farther away from the top of my foot and ankle - they seem to help with my "cankle-like" appearance, lol!

What brand of shoes do you prefer?

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My Secret Name (that's not so secret anymore, ha!)

It's Sunday night, and while The Mr watches football, I'm piddling around on the internet.  In my over-the-knee socks.  Because I'm too lazy to change out of my Church-going skirt (but that's another story.)  I've finished catching up on social media, I've checked the weather forecast, I've scoped out all the new arrivals on my favorite shopping site, so I decide it's time to get back to work: I find myself entering my birthdate, awaiting the answers they advertise will be revealed on the Secret Language Name website, awaiting answers I may or may not want to know, haha!

I hit the reveal button and......

I'm a Structured Manager.  Oookkkkaaayyyyy.  That's not bad, right?  I start reading the description of those people born on that day, and it's not bad.  They aren't calling me a Mildewed Donkey (seen Top Hat anyone?) but my ADD means I'm cursorily glancing in the right-hand column at a  list of other Managers.  But there descriptions are a bit more.....enticing.  Like Influential Manager, Empowered Manager, and Articulate Manager.  I'm feeling like maybe I got the short end of this Manager stick, lol!  And then I reach the beginning of a soul-crushing paragraph, "September 20 people often allow their emotions to run away with them..."  Yep.  That just about sums me up.  Just ask any one of my siblings.  Or my Dad.  I'm not sure that I'm up for this form of internet self-realization.  But that doesn't keep me from continuing to scroll down.  Because there's more.  Much more.

Ugh, snobbish?!  The truth hurts sometimes, doesn't it?  I'm just kidding (but feel free to tell me I am not, in fact, snobbish....kay, thanks.)  But it is a little crazy how spot-on some of these descriptions are.  Now for the fun part, checking my sister's secret names.

Ouch - one of my sisters is a Reformed Career Concerns.  Sounds like an insult right?  I'm dying laughing.

Then there is my brother - Compassionate Transformation (doesn't sound like him at all,) but when you get to his Week of Intensity - that is him to a T.  Poor guy :)

What's your secret name?  Do you identify with what it says about you?  And what do you do on a Sunday night?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.