Thursday, December 22, 2011

Last Minute Lucy

I am sure there are still holiday shoppers out there searching frantically for "the gift"...and with the clock ticking, it can be stressful!

Let me give you a few tips for power shopping:
- Gift cards are not impersonal. Not when you elect to get one from a store he/she frequents a lot (for me, that's Target) or a store you love, but can't usually afford (hellooooo Kate Spade).

- Buy a quality all-time winner: cashmere sweater (black v-neck or crew neck), leather gloves (get a cashmere lining or something cozy), or a cashmere pashmina/wrap (I can't wait to use mine on the cold airplane!)
- Think services: anything you usually feel badly buying for yourself...massages (my local favorite Cortiva Massage Therapy School- GREAT discounted services by students), manicures, pedicures, or home cleaning services

Gift giving is about thoughtfulness, not about the "it." My most favorite gifts are when people know me well enough to understand my likes and dislikes, and that to me, is priceless.

Blessed Holidays, my "last minute lucy" friends.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Boot Lovin'

When you live in New England, you (or is it just me?) accumulate a few pairs of boots. And I admit that I may have a few more than most, but they become an essential part of my wardrobe when the temperatures fall.

I have always struggled a bit with the storage of my boots. It's key that they keep their shape both on and off season, so the inevitable "shove and slump" of my collection starts to wear a bit on them. Especially as I have started to buy better quality, it becomes necessary to find ways to protect them properly to ensure their "price per wear" makes them worthy!

So here's what I discovered, Bed Bath & Beyond makes these handy little boot shapers, that I find to be pretty good. I liked the feature of choosing shapers for short or tall boots, as well as the hanger to utilize closet space. I happen to store them in my walk in attic on a dowel rod :) I bought the white ones, but standard black or hot pink make things a little more exciting!

I also liked the inflatable kind, which are easy to store and keep the shape of the shoe well. I also found a shaper that is essentially a flat piece of plastic (flexible) that you can bend to insert appropriately. Both were at BB&B, but can't seem to find the second online anymore. Sorry!

I also bought cedar lined cloth under-the-bed storage bins to lay the boots inside when it's warm again. Just remember to love your boots year round!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Stylin' Maps

A few weeks ago, I ordered this stylin' map from Ork posters (thanks to a tip from a blog I read)- LOVE that it brings me back to my New Orleans days! Still waiting on the Dallas one...

My newest find (thanks again to Design Sponge!) is this great little number from "These are Things"...similar idea, and a fun twist on the idea for a city map:

Spoiler alert...a friend along the eastern seaboard may be receiving this little number as a Christmas gift- I couldn't resist the ode to Boston! They are PERFECT holiday gifts for friends who may have moved away, or simply love their city. Happy shopping.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Star Struck

I simply adore this Advent calendar of falling stars!
Check out Design Sponge for the DIY directions :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Preparing for Christmas

Each year, as I decorate for Christmas, I wonder why I don't own a nativity set. Growing up, my parents used to display this porcelain set with brown paint accents (which I think were hand painted by my aunt or grandma). Mom would display it, and I always had a fondness for it. Now that I think about it, I used to have a small set of my own, in frosted glass. I loved that set...wonder what happened to it?

As an adult, I own my own home and decorate with my own select pieces. And it seems like this should be the year the nativity set makes a home with me. I have a few criteria about nativity sets that perhaps I should share:
  • I don't want it to look old fashioned (i.e., like 1950's prayer cards)
  • I want one that is classic enough that if I have kids, they will remember my set
  • It can't take up a lot of space- my home is "petite"
  • It should be tasteful in its use of color (if any- I may be somewhat partial to white or glass)
  • The 3 wise men should be included. I am always drawn to those figurines.
Olive wood is attractive:Crystal or glass catches my eye too:This also appeals to me for wood:
(I have asked Santa, but if he's too busy getting other things, then I shall hunt on my own!)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Free Shipping For All!

I've blogged about this before, but it deems a reminder:
Free Shipping Day is coming!

Friday, December 16th

After we just celebrated Cyber Monday (I am happy to say I didn't fall prey to the pressure, although there were a LOT of deals), you may have already maximized your online shopping. But I do tend to save a few things for this Free Shipping day, as not every merchant has it regularly (thank you LL Bean and Nordstrom for always having it, no matter what!).

Also, check out the website to see what deals may be revealed to entice the order even more! I'll be checking out Barnes & Noble, the Container Store, Philosophy, and a few more hints for holiday purchases!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

To regift? Or not to regift?

I have been the recipient of my own gift twice in my lifetime. I'll never tell who or what (it's embarrassing when you've been caught!), but it happens. And to me, I find it humorous. Has that ever happened to you??

So, you just shopped your little heart out on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. And now we are upon the holiday shopping season in full force! But what if you received a gift, while super thoughtful and kind, just never was used? Or perhaps, isn't really something you care to keep?

I hate to admit it, but it happens. I once remember receiving something from a very special someone and thought to myself, "Really? You picked this out for me? I'll never use this." But immediately thought of someone ELSE who would enjoy it. So is it wrong to regift?
I'll simply say that it's become enough of a topic for National Regifting Day to exist on Thursday, December 15th. (I'm serious!) The idea around this day is that the 3rd Thursday of the month is often used for an office holiday party, and evidently 41% of us target coworkers for regifting.

What made me laugh even more is that MY OWN OFFICE is actually hosting a divisional holiday party this day! So, there's truth to it after all :) So maybe we should all regift with more courage and confidence (the recyclers of the world are cheering now!).

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Smart (phone) Shopping

I'll be the first to admit I can no longer live without my iPhone. Apple successfully brainwashed me into thinking my whole world must live in the palm of my hands. And in fact, when I upgraded to the new iOS5 software, I had several hours of trepidation when my contacts went suspiciously missing...but I digress...

Google, like all things Apple, are also ruling the world. And in my weekly reading on trends in fashion, shopping, etc. I came across the Google wallet concept (although a part of me remembers reading about this months ago...perhaps my "blogger" hat wasn't on at the time). In any case, let's share what this is all about:

You've seen those hand held devices some restaurants are using to allow servers to swipe a credit card in front of the consumer (to help address identity theft when a server takes your card out of your sight, perhaps copies the number, then brings it back to you). Well, in some ways, Google wallet goes one more step: Follow along...

Google made a mobile app where you can have your credit card info stored (secure? yes- but I understand your hesitation), and then at select locations where Google wallet is accepted, you simply tap your phone on the reader in the store, which then receives your credit card info to quickly pay for the item(s) of choice. Here's the trick, presently the app only supports two forms of cards: Citi Mastercard credit card or the Google prepaid card. And how do you know where you can use this little trick: check out the location search.

Ultimately, I'm thinking ahead a bit when it may support other major credit cards (I don't have a Citi MC) because imagine Black Friday shopping when all you have to do it tap a reader and be on your way...lines at the checkout vanish!

So, friends, as you venture out to do some shopping this week (don't forget Small Business Saturday!), may you also pause for a moment of gratitude for all you've been given. Even this little consumer appreciates the bigger picture-with my iPhone in hand of course. :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Layaway,,,Uh Oh

Have you noticed the onslaught of television commercials about layaway coming back? I have, and let me tell you, this is not a good sign for the current economic state, nor how people should be saving for their holiday shopping.

3 major stores, Walmart, K-mart and Sears, have all spent some serious advertising money to remind the public that you can buy all the holiday shananigans you want, (you should check out these links- it's almost impressive) but the trick about layaway is that you don't receive the item until you've made all the payments. You literally "lay" the item "away" until it's paid. Sounds smart?

Well, folks, I'm not so sure. I guess I get nervous when retailers know that the economy is so bad, that now we have to go back to paying for items in installments. No longer do we even have the credit or the cash on hand to be able to buy something. That doesn't seem to indicate economic recovery is on the rise...

And for some people, layaway may be the only feasible option to afford buying certain items for holiday gifts this year, but perhaps we should consider supporting Small Business Saturday on November 26th (oh the irony of this after we have gorged ourselves on Black Friday sales at the major retailers!).

It's one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year, so what would happen if we decided to support the small businesses instead of the megastores? I, for one, am taking the challenge :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

All Wrapped Up

Well, kids. It's getting cold. Case in point, last weekend the east coast got hammered with our first snowstorm (October 29th!) which resulted in a slew of power outages and damage across multiple states. Goodness, you know what that means...

It's COAT SEASON! Woohoo!

I'm back working a little retail for the holiday season, and I have been selling coats like crazy. Last night, I worked with these two women to find the most perfect coat. They hemmed and hawed about whether THIS was the year to finally quit spending money on coats that were "cute" but simply lacked the quality and warmth factor to sustain multiple winters. Lucky for me, I was armed with ample suggestions :)

So, if you're on the hunt for the winter coat you need, let me share a few tips:
  1. Buy quality: look for strong reinforced seaming and details that won't rip off, tear or pull
  2. Know what you wear underneath: I talk with women all the time about how they want a coat to "fit"- but realistically, they aren't considering how heavy of a top that may be worn under the coat. If you tend to wear heavy sweaters or layer a lot, buy a coat that gives you a little room in the arms and bodice.
  3. You don't have to pay a lot for a good coat, but yes, if you want a coat to last 10-15 years, you should pay a little more. Think price per wear!
  4. A few designers to look out for: Hilary Radley, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Guess and Laundry make a really great coat. If you are willing to spend more for one that may last longer, it's true- Burberry, Mackage, and Moncler will reign.

    How fabulous is this puffer coat? I'm obsessed :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Design Sponge

Ironically, when growing up, I wasn't the creative, artsy one. I have several friends who were way more deserving of that title...they studied art in college, had a hand in printmaking, jewelry or painting, even sold some of their pieces. That definitely surpassed me.

I think I started to embrace my creativity as I got older- maybe looked at it differently since I wasn't the standard artistic person, but I knew that I loved design, clothing and all things color related! So, when my dear friend K shared this GREAT website with me, all the artistic, creative juices in me have really started to flow. Design Sponge is amazing!

Here's a sampling of my favorites...

My mom (a seamstress and lover of all things in the sewing world) would love knowing that I actually paused for a few moments and considered embroidery after seeing this little gem. It's a tea towel calendar, with the "2012" stenciled in for an easy to follow pattern- love it!

K and I swooned over this couch reupholster project- I want a yellow couch now too! Although my cute little condo could never fit this beauty. Hope you enjoy the design world :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Great White Shirt 2

Many moons ago, I wrote on laundering best white t-shirt and since then, I have also discovered the best white button-down for ladies.

I've been on the hunt for a new white button down for over a year. I wanted several specific things: thickness (hate when it's too thin and you can see everything underneath), softness (clearly cotton, but want it to feel like you have owned it for years), no-iron (b/c honestly, I hate to do it), and appropriate pleating (so it actually fits me, rather than bags out).

Perhaps too ambitious? I was beginning to think so, until Banana Republic released a line of no-iron blouses that are PERFECT! I went in, tried it on, and it was as if the heavens opened up at last.

If you happened to receive the Wednesday coupon deals at BR for the month of October, you have the option to shop for one full price item at 40% off. So, now that $59.50 is down to $35.70. And just like that, the search is over.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Who's Next for Target?

Remember Michelle Obama's inauguration dress?

Remember the designer?

Remember how Target partners with famous designers?

Jason Wu...welcome to Target on February 5th!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

13 Pieces, 31 Days of Style!

Do you read LUCKY magazine? If not, you missed a really terrific insert in the October issue that paired up with Banana Republic.

Somewhat reminiscent of my last post on Project 333, Banana Republic has created their own twist: they show you 13 key pieces (naturally from this Fall's collection) that you can wear 31 different ways! I was thrilled when I discovered that my own closet already contained more than half of the suggestions above, which positions me well for this little experiment.

This isn't a particularly novel idea, but I do like how manufacturers are thinking about the consumer. I mean, we can't all purchase 13 new pieces of clothing at once. I added it up: their total wardrobe for all 13 pieces totals $1332.50. But here's the reality: They are banking that you probably have 4-5 of their suggestions, and then will maybe purchase 2-3 more to complete the look. Still money in the bank for Banana. And you (and me) will be able to create 5-10 new outfits with those few additional pieces.

So, I'm gonna try it. This will be good practice for my 33 items for 3 months challenge when the cold weather sticks.

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Project 333

Honestly, I'm pretty good at "cutting back"- I play a little game with myself if I buy something new, then I must give away something that hasn't been worn. It helps with maintaining space for my collection and has added tax write-off benefits :)

I also recently took on a new job, with an (ahem) adjusted salary, which has created some budgeting work to be done. Naturally as I seek resources to assist me (remember this post on, I have also discovered a few other techniques to scale back. Thanks to CJ who forwarded a great article my way that mentioned this idea: Project 333.

Here's the premise: You select 33 items to wear for 3 months. That's it. Wedding rings, sentimental jewelry you never take off, underwear, sleepwear, lounge wear at home, or work out clothes don't count.

Here's the goal: You learn to scale back, wear your best/favorite items (it forces creativity!), and simplifies the "what will I wear today?" question every morning.

I like that she states this isn't a project in suffering, but helps us identify our best clothing (forcing us to acknowledge what FITS best, too). Even more so, I like that this creates a realistic time line. 3 months isn't forever, but it's long enough to ensure commitment.

So will I do it? I am considering it when the weather is a bit more consistent here in Boston. Once the cold hits, it's here for more than 3 months, so that feels like a reasonable goal. I'll check back in on the idea in November or December...and happy to report back on what I find about myself and my wardrobe.

You want to get started? Read the tips created by Courtney. I'd say give it a go!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Missoni Madness

September 13th may not mean much to the average person, but Target sure won't forget that day in history!

For years, Target has been pairing up with high end designers to deliver a discounted line for those whose budget simply can't afford a $1500 dress. A few from the past: Isaac Mizrahi (my mom, sister and I still mourn the day he stopped designing for Target), Calypso St. Barth, GO International Designer Collection (which featured Proenza Schouler- in fact, they re-released the most popular dresses from this line in early 2011), Liberty of London, and McQ Alexander McQueen. The most recent to that line of big names, Italian designer, Missoni.

If you haven't already heard: This. Was. Big.

The morning of the 13th, shoppers were lined up outside of the stores ready to pick up any of the 400 item collection from Missoni for Target. In fact, the demand was so high, actually crashed for several hours both Tuesday and Wednesday. Many Target officials reported 9/13 was bigger than most Black Fridays, traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year.

eBay now is selling pieces from the collection for some 3 or 4 times the amount Target sold it for. I tried to buy a Missoni scarf on eBay, sold for face value at $19.99, and in the last 20 seconds of the sale, literally saw the price jump up $30! Madness.

So, if you were lucky enough to get a piece from this collection- hang onto it! That may be the "it" piece of the season. Score one for Target!

Monday, September 12, 2011

New York, New York

In honor of all that still holds true, strong, brave, and good: Here's to you, New York. You've endured much in the past decade, and while I root for the Red Sox rather than the Yankees, I hold the events of 9/11 dear to my own heart.

So, as a tribute to the city and my favorite designer, Kate Spade New York, I found a little treasure for the New Yorker who boasts "city love" or someone who adores KSNY as much as I do. This cosmetic case would be the perfect gift, and not to mention could serve as a map in a pinch :)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Manage Your Mint

We all have our favorite methods for managing our "mint"~ finances often bring out the worst in me, but I am committed to making sure I spend and save a little smarter these days.

Here's the trick: I refuse to deny myself shopping trips (after all, where would the blog be??), but I do have to track my monthly intake and outtake with a closer eye for detail. And since I'm already trained for subtleties (fashion is all about that), I was pleased to discover a personal finance software that helps me manage my mint better: (click here to see the overview video) really gave me a comprehensive understanding of all my assets and how I spend. The main page features, especially for visual learners like me, gave me a clear sense of where my money goes and suggests ideas for smarter spending. I also liked that it evaluates my total worth, including my home and car.

Some people may struggle with the security of providing all your personal account information into one site, but I researched the security measures, and it's top notch. While internet security may make us all a little uneasy (identity theft is just too prevalent these days), I rested easy knowing this is a "read only" system, where you cannot move monies. They equate the safety measures to those of banks, and 90% of us utilize online banking sites for personal accounts. Watch this video for their security information to help ease your mind too.

In the end, I'm smart enough to know shopping also involves money management, so be smart shoppers out there and protect your mint through knowledge and organization!

Monday, August 29, 2011

So Long, Irene

After talking with my sister, who lived through Hurricane Katrina in 2005- thinking of all of those impacted 6 years ago today- I didn't mess around about hurricane prep. She was very calm, patient, and clear about how I needed to prepare well- not to freak me out, but to say this COULD be bad. And if bad was the name of the game, then I was going to beat Irene!

(N.B. Irene did little to no destruction to little ol' Brighton, MA- but prayers for those who were very much impacted!)

Hurricane Kit 101:
  • Have cash on hand ($100-$150 recommended....banks could shut down)
  • Fill up that tank of gas (even if you aren't driving, use the power to charge your cell phone!)
  • Buy water (don't go crazy- 1 case per person is fine)
  • Flashlights & batteries
  • Non-perishable food/snacks (think protein to fill you up, don't just get carbs)
  • Have a First Aid kit handy
  • Bring valuable documents in a waterproof folder w/ you
Needless to say, much of this probably was common sense, but since it's STILL hurricane season, I'll keep this list handy in case Tropical Storm Jose blows up to something noteworthy!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Right on Point

Thanks to my good friend, S- I came across a spectacular find today at Williams-Sonoma: free knife sharpening! Evidently, once a month, a rep from Wusthof (fantastic knives, people- definitely one of the best things I ever bought myself) comes to WS and offers free knife sharpening for a couple hours. I know it sounds like such simple pleasure, but let me assure you, we picked up some great tips while waiting for the very kind rep to sharpen away!

Here she is doing her magic...

And she showed us the technique called the "pinch grip" to help utilize larger knives, like the chef knife shown here: It allows for the knife to remain stable while you push through the item being cut. So simple, but really brilliant.

And a few short minutes later, my knives were like new again!

Just a few key points: they have to be Wusthof knives, and there is a limit of 3 per sharpening session.

Check out your local WS to see when your sharpening workshops are available! If you live here in town, the Natick store is hosting one Friday, September 16th from 12-2pm, Saturday, October 8th from 2-4pm, and Saturday, November 19th from 11am- 1pm.

This little tidbit was just a gem of a find, thanks S!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

No Tax? Yes Please!

It must be back to school time because the Tax Free Weekends are starting! When I lived in Texas, this was a huge incentive to shop, as that whopping 8.25% was a big savings! Or even now, in the great state of Louisiana where I went to college, that 9% hit hard. Clearly, those states who offer tax free weekends (hooray for Massachusetts) are helping out a bit.

Which states offer the tax free weekend, you ask? Well, allow me to share! And if you want the specifics on what items (usually under a certain dollar amount) are discounted, check out this site.

New Mexico
North Carolina
South Carolina

For those of us in MA, check out the sales on August 13th and 14th. I'll be ready to hit the outlets :) And the rest of the US really should get on the bandwagon...

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Thank you SELF magazine...

SELF readers, check out page 101...

And this is in print, people, so don't think I forged it:

"The key to a long life: Hit the mall! Women who shop at least five days a week outlive equally healthy nonshoppers, the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health finds. Whether you buy anything is immaterial! Credit the exercise, stimulation, and companionship. Browse on!"

Need I say more?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Moms Need These...

While I may not be a mom, I must say, I have plenty of friends who are. I most recently visited some of my closest friends in Texas, who are all amazing moms...watching them inspired me! So, when I received this little token, I immediately thought of them!

So, evidently, this is Mom's Summer Essentials for Kids (guess it depends on how old your little one is, but still...I love the idea). The list is 19 items long, but here's my favorite 3 since they look fun and necessary!

1. The 5 piece garden tool set: the colors alone look fun and engaging, but then what a great way to get kids interested in the yard!

2. The printed I really need to explain to you my love for Boden (Mini Boden shown here)?

3. Chuck Taylor for KIDS! While I can fully appreciate the kids' Crocs, I do kind of like these: easy slip on, canvas, neutral colors...looks like a great item overall.

Enjoy, mom readers- I know summer is nearly over (yikes!) but let your kids savor these last few weeks and grab your essentials!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

One for One

I know I have posted a lot about shoes, but I discovered something fun in my latest shopping trip to Nordstrom (it's their anniversary sale, people- shop now for fall preview until August 1st!). My sister and I were strolling the shoe department (it was a hot Texas day, what more could we do?) and I came across these:

Very cute, basic canvas wedges with the espadrille look- reasonable price, very comfortable on. They are made by TOMS, but honestly, I don't care for their traditional flats (some people adore them- to each, her own). BUT, the wedge is great for summer w/ the peep toe. In any case, the more I researched about TOMS, I found out they do a "One for One" campaign with every shoe they sell...they match every shoe sold with a shoe provided for a child in need. How great is that?

I can appreciate when a company finds an avenue to give back- and it gives me a chance to contribute in a way larger than just feeding the economy. Job well done, TOMS!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Initially Interested?

In my monthly perusal of O magazine, I came across the coolest idea, but fair warning...this is for the deluxe readers (my friends Jeannette and Ron come to mind), so I recognize that this may not appeal to the masses.

Monogram and personalization of items is trendy these days. You can get your name inscribed on the back of your iPod...You can get personalized license plates...OR you can get your Prada sunglasses monogrammed. WICKED COOL.

If you are going to get designer sunglasses (protect those peepers, people!), usually there is some kind of insignia on the side frame of the glasses. Chanel or Dolce & Gabbana are known for more overt branding here. Burberry or Prada are among the more subtle (more my taste) which give you the designer label, but you'd have to look closely.

But better yet...the monogram. I'm obsessed with my "MD" on accessories or home decor. You can see the picture here of Prada's Private sunglasses, which feature small discs of your initials that can be placed along the side bar of the glasses. The "PN" featured below demonstrates the subtle coolness of this idea!

So when you're ready to take the plunge of spending $365 (yikes) for sunglasses, you really should consider how precious your initials are to you!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sperry-ed Away!

The good thing about shoes: they always fit. So when I feel annoyed because I'm between sizes or some clothes feel better than others, I tend to hit the shoe stores to reignite my happiness factor while shopping.

Upon a friendly recommendation, I hit up a local West Newton shoe store called "The Barn Family Shoe Store"- which honestly, I had low expectations about what I would find inside. True to its name, it houses a ton of different makers and styles. That particular day, I was on the hunt for some new Reef flip flops (which I did happily find the BEST selection here). But the best part was discovering some other fun styles that would complete the shopping experience.

I love when shoes make a come-back. As early as the 1930's, we saw the Sperry top-sider make its way into the homes of men across the US. I remember these being super popular in the mid-80s, and now, it's as if everyone under the age of 21 owns them again.

Well, since the college kids keep me on my toes (pardon the pun), I stopped to peruse the Sperry's at The Barn. I came across a pair that not only is as traditional as the very first style, but also adds a splash of fun....definitely my style. I have written many a time about the metallic shoe and it's neutrality, but this takes the cake. No doubt these little puppies made their way into my collection. Welcome shiny Sperry! (and did I mention The Barn sold them for nearly $15 less!) Done.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Suit Up for that Summer Wedding!

I attended one of the loveliest weddings I've had the good fortune to attend last weekend- Congrats to S & P! They celebrated their marriage on Cape Cod (Hyannis and Sandwich, MA), which just BEGGED for a blog on wedding attire.

Let me start by saying, the guests at this wedding did it right.

The fellas in seersucker suits and bowties (including the little ones!)
The gals in hats and summer colors everywhere (really terrific jewelry and wraps, too)

It was apparent the guests realized they were going to a wedding on the Cape, so they TOTALLY dressed the part. I saw the Vineyard Vines ties making their debuts, as well as seersucker in every shape and fashion...dresses, suits, ties, even shoes. The fashionista in me was in heaven!

Vineyard Vines at their best!

So, when you choose to suit up for that summer wedding, think about the vision...whether on the Cape, the beach, Vegas, wherever...use the opportunity to play into the atmosphere and have fun! I loved that the guests capitalized the chance to wear traditional New England summer gear, especially as we dined on a clambake- Quintessential perfection!

And for those of us blessed enough to witness the marriage of our two dear friends, S & P, it was nothing short of a fabulous weekend all around. :)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Soludos: A Summer Solution!

A few weeks ago, my friend B, introduced me to a lovely summer shoe that I have officially fallen for! When your tootsies need a much needed break from the flip flop rub (ahhh, blisters at the beginning are rough), the solution will be clear: Soludos.

I've seen them in a variety of places, somewhat scoffing at them for looking so flimsy and in part like I am trying too hard to appear that I live along the beaches in the Mediterranean. But I thought the slightly nautical look to some of the styles was cute enough for a try.

B got hers in red (one of my favorites), but I opted for the light blue seersucker print. Here's a few things I learned about these little treasures from their website:
  • They have a natural, eco-friendly espadrille bottom (rubber soled to protect against wetness) that are soft and flexible for easy movement. Although, they suggest to keep these in the dry summer sun, rainstorms may cause some damage!
  • They have a terrific light, breathable fabric which stretches to fit your foot. The website recommends buying them to FIT, so as a size 7.5, I ordered the 7 (38), which was perfect.
  • And as B commented, they are a terrific alternative to ballet flats for the summer!
And for you language lovers, I wanted to know where the name came from...
Combining the clink of a glass ‘Salud’ and the heat of the sun ‘sol’, Soludos was born.
What a summer solution!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Inspired by N

It is no secret my love for fashion is in the jeans (ahem, I mean genes). And in honor of Mother's Day 2011, I shall share 3 things my mom taught me about fashion that perhaps you, too, can appreciate:

1) Stick with what works: Mom is a classic dresser through and through. She uses elements of the latest trends, but rarely does she stray from what she knows looks good on her: color around her face (she favors olive green to pick up her eyes), skirts over pants (pants are hard on short legged ladies), and anything nautical (the woman simply can't get enough of it). Know your things that work, and STAY.

This is right up her alley from Boden

2) Always get dressed: From when I was a child, my mom always got dressed. And I mean, she wouldn't take care of her children, run errands, volunteer, etc. in sweatpants and a t-shirt. She made it a point as a homemaker to always get dressed in something she liked (again, the skirts). She would say that it made her feel better and ready for the day. To this day, a mom of three grown children, she's still holding strong.

I fancy this one for her.

3) Dress age appropriate: She's big on this. My mom is blessed with a good figure and strong fashion sense, but you won't find her trying to look like she's in her 30s. She embraces her age, and likewise is attentive to her clothing fitting appropriately, falling long enough, or highlighting her best assets (her arms are quite good). I have NEVER have walked in someplace embarrassed of something she's wearing- in fact, I'm usually quite proud :)

She would like these, but would want them slightly less high. GREAT color combo.

Happy Mother's Day, momma- you inspire me!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Royal Wedding Bells

I admit it, I tuned into Lifetime's "William and Kate" movie last week (a bit of a mistake)- but I was trying to gear up for the big wedding on April 29th! Over the course of this past week, I asked a variety of people if they remember the 1981 wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles, and each time I heard a story of families coming together to watch and experience the fairy tale.

I was a little too young to remember the big day for Diana, but I do vividly recall her death in 1997. It was an incredibly sad day, and probably unbearable for her sons.

But with the wedding of William and Kate (Catherine) later this week, I thought it would be appropriate to post a few things I'm curious about for the big related, of course :)

The Dress: Everyone wants to know whether she'll go classy and figure flattering, or more bet is on a more form fitting dress with an eye toward detail. She's a woman of fashion, after all.

The Hairdo/Make-up: I'm actually curious to see if she wears her hair up or down. I tend to appreciate when brides look like the best version of themselves on their wedding, not an impostor with crazy hair and make-up. Kate is often shown with her classic blown out do, sleek and full of volume. (how great does she look below?!) I'd hate to see it too harsh or sleek.

The Shoes: I have to believe she's thinking about comfort (walking down the aisle of Westminster Abbey is something ridiculous like 100 feet?). But let's hope the princess is considering two pairs: one for the ceremony and one to dance in!

The Veil & Train: Princess Diana's were recorded at 25 feet long- wow! I would bargain that Kate will want to fill the aisle space similarly, but again, I'm thinking classy, not frumpy.

And if you're just itching to be there (if you're not among the 2,000 invited guests), I heard there's an Abbey 3D app so you can experience the walk down the aisle from the Great West cool! I know my sister (who shares her birthday with this royal experience) will be excited about that :)

May they have many beautiful years together.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Reveal A Better You

When it comes to pampering, I've always been more of a massage girl, than a facial. Maybe it comes with having super sensitive skin (thanks, Mom for the redhead genes), but until recently, I never really appreciated what a good exfoliation can do!

My sister discovered this little treasure: The Olay Professional Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System. Sounds WAY more intense than it really is...this very cool little rotating brush and a lovely cleanser combo uncovered a new woman! I actually used my favorite Philosophy cleanser (Purity Made Simple) instead and let the little brush do its trick. There are two speed settings: and the higher one is quite nice (even for this sensitive gal), and the lower one is perfect to go over your eyes. You can even use it in the shower, and I am loving the reveal!

I wouldn't recommend using it daily-but once a week will be a lovely treat. And as we prep for that summer skin, I'm excited to wear little makeup and let my au natural shine!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Big Hair, Big Nails

Texas readers, listen up! Such a fun new product to share...OPI debuts this spring a new line of nail polish for us TEXANS...fantastic fun colors with names to snicker at:

Don't You Think I'm Tex-y? (I'm currently wearing this)
Big Hair, Big Nails (very fun coral/pink)
Totally Ft. Worth It (my sister currently owns this)
Suzi Loves Cowboys (fabulous chocolate brown)
and 8 more to choose from!

And until it decides to warm up here in Boston (we're getting closer!), I'll take a little comfort in things that remind me of warm, I'm a fan that the cowgirl in the advertisement is a redhead :)