Friday, April 30, 2010

Just a Placeholder...(Quick Note)

Hi everyone!  So, usually, Kathryn and I have something up by this time, each morning - and wow, we have lots and lots to share with you - the winner of the giveaway, "Pretty Friends" outfits and photos, fitting room reviews of new spring arrivals, to name a few.

Unfortunately, I am completely buried in work (I have already worked 13 hours in the last 24 hours...and will probably continue adding to that figure) and Kathryn similarly has been pretty busy.  So, I'm here to ask you to bear with us, while we get some stuff taken care of so that we can get back to what's important - this blog and you.  Hopefully, we'll announce the giveaway winner sometime today or by tomorrow morning at the latest - swearsies!

Thanks, and we'll be back soon!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Inspired by Chloe - Another Shameless OOTD Rip-Off

I was debating whether or not I should actually start turning my OOTD posts into games of "Guess the Blogger!"

Today my inspiration was the beautiful and impeccably-dressed Chloe, of t h e (c h l o e) c o n s p i r a c y. And really, who wouldn't want to look like Chloe? Of course, my little tribute pales in comparison to her actual outfit. I can only aspire to be a shadow of her absolute fabulousness, as she's approximately a million times cooler than I am. That face! Those legs! That hair! Those clothes! THAT HANDBAG!!!

A little more detail:

(Oh my gosh, what happened to my face...?!)

  • Cardigan: Cashmere by TSE (circa 2003) (a pretty lightweight linen option by J.Crew here)
  • Top: Armani Exchange (similar here)
  • Pants: Cartonnier, from Anthropologie (similar pair from Anthro here)
  • Belt: Oh, Hello Friend
  • Shoes: JS by Jessica Simpson Oscar (droolworthy nude pumps here)
  • Earrings: Oh, Hello Friend

I didn't have Chloe's Editor Pants, nor do I have any light-colored pants. Me + light-colored pants = blech. So instead I subbed in the pair of Cartonnier pants I'd scored for $19.95 from Anthro earlier this year. The Editor Pants have never particularly fit me well, as I'm pear-shaped and have some serious thighs. These Cartonnier pants fit me like a dream.

After I wiped the drool from my mouth upon seeing Chloe's Nanette Lepore Ladies Night Corset in a couple of her recent posts (not to mention that Paraty in Rosewood...gaaaah WANT!!!), I suddenly remembered I actually had a similar white corset top hanging in my own closet. I'd picked it up about four years ago, in an effort to mimic a look I'd seen in Mr. & Mrs. Smith:

Well, I don't have the boobs to fill out my corset top the way Angelina fills hers out. Nor do I have the money to buy the boobs to fill out my corset top the way Angelina fills hers out. And honestly, if I had the money to buy the boobs to fill out my corset top, I'd probably more clothes.

I'd never really worn my corset top with anything other than with one of my flowy white skirts, so it was nice to find another option for it! The cardigan was something I'd forgotten about, so I was more than happy to dig it out of my closet to give it new life. TSE cashmere is simply to die for. This might not be the most exciting outfit ever, but overall I was just happy to put together an outfit from a collection of super-old pieces I already owned.

It was actually quite cold when I left the house this morning. (And when I say "quite cold," keep in mind that it's from the perspective of a girl from SoCal...which really just means "below 60-degrees." Don't people back east break out their shorts when it gets to that temperature?) So I needed a little something to throw over my outfit so that my wimpy butt didn't freeze.

This is quite possibly my favorite clothing item that I own:

Coat: Marc Jacobs Coventry Coat (Spring 2004) (brighter pink option here)

I heart these little details:

Sleeve detail:

So I must admit, much like Sara, I feel a little bit of guilt each time I copy an outfit. I hope all you girls out there don't mind. I know that my outfits tend to be homages more often than not.

Don't forget - you still have time to enter our Birthday Giveaway!

Oh, Hello Friends! (Etsy Treasures in Real Life and an OOTD)

Hi everyone and happy Wednesday! I hope you're all doing well.  Yesterday was my birthday and I'm now solidly in my mid-30's.  Sigh.  For my birthday, my husband took me out to dinner, but he also gave me some Carol-time, which is super awesome - it means I got to go out, shopping, without one or the other of my kids.  Yay!  I spent those precious couple hours seeking out an Etsy vendor and fellow-blogger, Danni, of Oh, Hello Friend!, who I knew to be at the UCSD vendor fair on campus.  I was originally introduced to Danni's beautiful jewelry creations by Kathryn, who had come across her booth at the UC Irvine vendor fairs about a year ago.  Ever since then, Kathryn has been faithfully seeking her out at every vendor fair, and carrying out my commissions for items I would scope out on Oh, Hello Friend's Etsy site.  I knew Danni also sold her wares at the UCSD vendor fairs, but until this week, have never been able to work out my schedule to get there in person.

Until now!  Her booth is pretty small, but good things come in small packages (speaking of which, Danni is super cute and tiny!  As Kathryn says, she could fit in your pocket!).  I think for those of you who enjoy the whimsy of Anthropologie's style aesthetic, her jewelry and accessories are a terrific fit!

Pretty necklaces!  (You can find many of them here).

Seriously, how do you choose?

Look at this darling little owl-watch pendant!  I passed on it, and now I'm really wishing I hadn't!

Pocket-watch style pendant necklaces.  Kathryn picked up the one on the far left for me a few months back, and she liked it so much, she asked me to get one for her too, if I saw it this time around.  Done!  

Birdcage pendant?  Pretty watch pendant?  I went with the birdcage, but next time, I'm totally getting that watch one too...unless, of course, I get the little owl watch pendant...

Earrings!  Once Kate's past the grab-and-pull-dangly-objects stage of her babyhood, I'm all over these earrings!  I feel like these photos don't do them justice - they're just lovely.

Rings!  I got a super cute cat-ring (which amusingly, made me think of the Botanical Stroll Dress) and a really lovely pink-and-gold cameo ring (see below).  Love!!!

Bin of super cute earrings!

Can you believe these darling clutches?  I think they were around $20 each!  I got the ivory one - so adorable!

So, for my fellow-San Diegans, Danni and her fabulous accessories will be at UCSD for the rest of this week (until April 30th), but from what Kathryn tells me, her stuff goes quickly (and really, I'm not surprised - her booth was one of the more popular ones, late Tuesday afternoon), so try to get there sooner than later.  I parked in the Gilman Parking structure and then walked towards the Price Center - the booths are lined up along the walk that fronts the bookstore.  If you live in Orange County, you're also in luck, because Danni will be at the UCI vendor fair, which Kathryn will also be checking out, next week.  I'm not sure where on campus that one's located, but if you're interested, leave a comment, and Kathryn can get back to you.

Here's my birthday OOTD - which was a total knock-off, erm, homage to Tara B.'s Openwork Vines outfit, and probably something Kim wore as well.  The darling mint-green necklace was a birthday gift from my sister and brother-in-law:

Cardigan: Featherweight Cotton Bling-Button Cardigan in Sea Mist, J. Crew
Tank: Caslon Tiered Ruffle Tank, Nordstrom
Skirt: Openwork Vines Skirt, Anthropologie (sold out online, but still available in stores in very limited quantities)
Necklace: Mint-green floral necklace, Nordstrom (not online, but available in stores, $38)
Shoes: Cynthia Vincent for Target Strappy Ring-Heeled Sandals

I think this outfit would look much better with pumps, rather than these strappy sandals, but I threw them on for the photos, and wore flats when I went out, because a good, comfy, wear-them-to-work-all-day, pair of pumps are on my "Shoes to Buy" list.  

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Wild Roses and Mint (J Crew and a couple OOTDs)

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Hope you made it through your Monday okay. Work has been obnoxiously stressful for me, so yesterday, when I turned to my husband with work-induced anxiety painted all over my face, he gently suggested that I make a trip to Fashion Valley with Kate. I decided that I really did need to find myself a mint green cardigan (my sister and brother-in-law got me the most beautiful mint-green necklace for my birthday, and I obviously need the perfect thing to wear it with...), so loaded Kate into the car, and made for Fashion Valley - and J. Crew in particular.

So, I didn't take a lot of fitting room photos - mostly because Kate was trying very doggedly to climb out of her stroller, but I thought the Strapless Chambray Wild Rose dress was so darling, I took Kate out of the stroller, set her on the floor, and took a couple quick shots. I missed out on the Bold Boutonniere dress, and I thought this was J. Crew's very nice take on that look:

I don't know about the rest of you, but generally speaking, I find J. Crew's sweaters expensive but lovely, their jackets well constructed and a good buy, their tops and tees pretty and girly, but their dresses...uninspiring. So, you can imagine I was really pleasantly surprised by this one, and when I was looking it up on the website for this post, I saw a few more that I'd really love to try on, if they ever show up in a local store. For instance, how adorable is the Garden Ribbon Shift Dress? Another cute one that wasn't in the store is the Chambray Cara dress, though that one might be a bit short for me. It's a good option for someone who'd prefer straps - and to be honest, that's usually me (as I don't have a lot to hold up a strapless dress, strictly speaking), but I really love the rosette on this one, so I think I'll go for it, anyway. The Degrade Seraphina dress is gorgeous in its subtle coloring and shape, and makes me think it's a softer-hued Cooling Magma dress.

Anyway, I'm wearing a size 2 here, and I think most women who are less-flat-chested would have no problem with this dress - so it's true to size. I might actually size down to a 0 because of the strapless factor, if I decide to buy this dress. There's a hidden strap, sort of like the straps that fasten behind your back on a bra, inside the dress, to give you a little extra support on top, which is nice. I was really good and didn't buy the dress today, as I reminded myself that I was only there to buy a mint-green cardigan (I bought the featherweight bling bling cardigan in sea mist). Imagine my delight when I got home, and found a $25 gift card for J. Crew in my mailbox! Whoohoo! (And virtue is rewarded...or something...)

Okay, so onto some OOTDs. Kathryn's is, of course, perfect and adorable. Mine, though, needs a little work - I'm not sure quite what to do with it. This is me in the Maeshowe dress, and I love it - but I bought it back in the fall, when I was still carrying about 10 more pounds (post pregnancy weight) so it's a little bit big now, and also, when I found it really easy to style it with dark gray tights, a long gray cardigan, brown belt, and knee-high brown boots. You can see Kathryn in pretty much the same outfit here. Now, 10 lbs. lighter and 15 to 20 degrees warmer, I'm trying to figure out how to style the dress for spring and summer. Here, I tried it with a belt, and without:

So, if you don't mind, I'd like to draw on the collective wisdom and good taste of our wonderful readers - namely you - to help me decide whether I should wear it with the belt, or without. I've already decided that the shoes need to be changed - I love these shoes - they're Beverly Feldman sandals (similar here and here and here) that I picked up at a Nordstrom Salon Shoe sample sale for $59.90! - but I think they're too light for the colors in this dress.

Here's Kathryn's fabulous OOTD:


I'm back, with yet
another blogger-inspired outfit of the day. Today's outfit was inspired by looks I'd seen on Amber of Amber's Notebook and Rosa of Love at First Shop. The blogosphere never ceases to inspire me! I was really digging the whole menswear-inspired look on those fabulous ladies, so I thought I'd try it for myself. I can't wear open-toed shoes at work anymore, so I subbed in the Diamond-Stitch Skimmers to add a bit of color to the look, and completed it all with an old Forever 21 belt I'd picked up for $3 several months back. It was fun, being clean and tailored for a day.

Don't forget - there's still time to enter our Birthday Giveaway!

Monday, April 26, 2010

I Had a Dream... (Nordstrom Fitting Room Reviews, an OOTD, and a song)

Hello, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful, happy weekend and that your Monday is at least bearable. There are times when I feel like I've packed my life so full of things to do, that I'm not doing any of them very well. It can be pretty rough to be holding a full-time job, being a mom to an infant and a preschooler, a wife, and a compulsive shopper (haha) and blogger. But then, I remember that these are all things I chose (except maybe the compulsive shopper part) and smile that I'm fortunate enough to have all these things I sought out. 

 Bless my heart. Be careful what you wish for...

 Anyway, when I was at Fashion Valley this past Friday for Anthropologie's Earth Day event with the kiddos, I also stopped by Nordstrom and decided to try on some dresses for good measure. For some reason, the majority of these dresses aren't on Nordstrom's website right now, so I linked to other web retailers who are also carrying them. I did list the Nordstrom item or sku #'s though, just in case you wanted to call up Kelly or some other Nordstrom sales associate to help you track these down in their stores.

This is a Hype "Honey Office" Dress (item # 7369090) from TBD (a department inside Nordstrom) - and I included the second photo to the right, so that you could see the detail of the lace on the bodice, behind my hand. That lace is what caught my eye in the first place, and while I don't love the way the dress looked on me, personally, I didn't hate it. If it was on sale, I might pick it up, and throw a cardigan over it for work. Very sweet, and good for the short-waisted. Otherwise, if you follow the link above, you'll see how it looks on a woman who's taller and more boy-shaped.

While I was perusing TBD, I sort of drifted into Savvy, and noticed all these fabulous Diane von Furstenberg dresses that were made of the most amazing, flowy prints.  I picked up three of them, to try on:

This is the Zora Dress by DVF. This particular one is a size 2, and while the waist fit comfortably, everything else was too big. I realize I should have taken a detail photo of this dress, so you could see the colors up close - the print is so gorgeous, resplendent in shades of brown, cream and gold. The chemise that comes with the dress is black, and has a sort of animal-print burnout effect on it. I'm sure on a taller, more willowy woman, this dress drapes beautifully. Sigh...just not on me.

This is Diane von Furstenberg's Mademoiselle X Dress in Tribal Daisy Bands Blue (sku # 663231091874).  I had high hopes for the dress on the you can see, the end result wasn't great on me.  I think I'm just not tall enough or too petite overall to wear DVF's dresses.  It's so disappointing, because her things are so lovely!  This dress is another instance of gorgeous fabric, incredible print, careful construction, intriguing drape potential...alas, I'm too short, too narrow in the shoulders, too pear-shaped to pull this dress off successfully. Booo!

This is DVF's Kasi Dress in Tribal Daisy Bands Yellow (sku # 663231087303). The print sort of obscures the details of this dress, so you can see a plain black version of the Kasi here - you'll be able to see how this dress is structured, more clearly.  I really liked this dress - of the three DVF dresses I tried on, I thought that it fit me the best.  Still, looking at the photo, I realize that the dress definitely makes me look more pear-shaped than I'm comfortable with, so phew, my bank account gives a sigh of relief.  Again, gorgeous fabric and print, incredible construction, just not the right cut for my figure. 

Okay, and this last one - I was actually too harrassed by the kids by this point to actually get the details on this dress (which I sort of liked the best, though it too was a bit too big for me).  I included this final, uncropped photo to illustrate the dangers of trying to shop in any meaningful way when accompanied by an almost 5-year-old boy and a 9 month-old girl.  Yep.  Life is good.  =) 

Kathryn:  Hi! Just a quick OOTD. Nothing exciting, really. I threw this on, for a lovely morning breakfast at Disneyland. I'd been waiting for nice enough weather to wear this top from H&M's Garden Collection, and this was perfect for the warm, yet somewhat breezy weather:

I loves the price, too!
I really dig the sleeves on this top. They're so full and frilly and fun, I got a little carried away...

Hm. Looking at the photos of this outfit now, I think next time I wear it I shall include a long necklace. The look just feels like it's missing something. Oh well. I was still comfy and happy, wearing this top! Pardon the silliness. That's just how I roll.

I just wanted to leave you with this last little bit of happiness - I don't know if you know Priscilla Ahn, but I discovered her through my younger brother, who shared a link to this song on facebook, once upon a while ago...and I found that her music really resonates with me.  I enjoy all kinds of music, but there are a handful of songs and artists that feel like they "fit" my life.  Simple, pretty, tunes.  Good lyrics.  Lilting voice.  I hope you enjoy it! 

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Every Day is Earth Day! (Anthropologie Children's Gardening Event)

Hi everyone!  Hope you're all having a great weekend and things are well for all of you.  As you probably know, this past Thursday, April 22nd was the 40th annual Earth Day.  A lot of businesses use the opportunity to try and promote their various socially conscientious products, projects, and initiatives.  As Anthro fans may be aware, Anthropologie has always had very environmentally-friendly promotions such as their honey bee awareness product line last year, their contracts with vegan shoe lines such as Beyond Skin, and their gorgeous window trimmings made from repurposed water bottles.

This year, for Earth Day, they invited customers into their stores to participate in gardening-related projects, helping to fundraise for local gardening organizations in support of the locavore movement.  The Fashion Valley Anthropologie here in San Diego hosted a children's gardening event, and I was able to sign up for it when I met Sandra, (thanks, Sandra!) a reader and Anthro employee, in the store a couple weeks back.  I took my both my kids, though only Rowan was old enough to actually participate.  Kate happily munched on a strawberry and then a plastic cup, while Rowan got his gardening on.

Organically and locally grown fruits and veggies offered as snacks to guests.  Some of the items on this table, such as the flower seed bombs (I picked up a bag of these) were designated as fundraiser items for a local community gardening organization.

The Fashion Valley Anthropologie store's event benefitted Suzie's Farm, which is a local organic farm with a CSA (consumer supported agriculture - basically, you buy a subscription to whatever is being grown, and receive a box every week with freshly harvested produce).

Rowan at the worktable for kids.  In front of him is a plastic bottle with the top half cut off, which will become his "planter."  There are also bowls full of stickers and markers with which he can decorate his planter.  You can get a glimpse of the large metal bin of cut plastic bottles ready for little guests right behind Rowan's elbow.

Getting to work...

Another refreshments table with fruit, cookies, and juice for participants as well as informational materials about Suzie's Farm.

Bowls, mugs, and little pots were on hand for purchase and use as a planter if so desired.  Also, little signs answering questions like, "What are worms?" and "What is dirt?"

"Rowan, look this way for a picture, sweetie!"

Lovely Anthropologie employees helping Rowan get his chosen flower into his new planter.

We had a great time, and would like to thank the staff at the Fashion Valley Anthropologie for a wonderful time and a job well done!  

And, all this talk about food and locally grown produce makes me hungry, which makes me think of a blog that is being written by some friends, which you should absolutely check out, if you also want to feel hungry, or if you just want ideas about what to make for dinner tonight - Perfectly Edible makes even the kitchen-phobic like me want to roll up my sleeves and whip up a little tasty something.  Mmmm...

Don't forget to enter our giveaway here!

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Postman Always Rings Twice (and a Bright Seaside OOTD)

I love getting packages in the mail.

This past Tuesday was a clothing sale day at Anthropologie, and I took the opportunity to pick up a couple of pretties that I'd had my eye on for awhile.

For some reason, Anthro decided to send my items in two packages. Which is just great, when you're trying to be inconspicuous about your shopping habits in front of your husband. On top of that, my backordered Snakebite belts had arrived yesterday, in their own package. Which means I had three different packages arrive for me from Anthropologie, in two days. The whole episode felt similar to what happened to Jan of The Girliest Boy Mom.

Like I said, I love getting packages in the mail...just...maybe not like that.

But I digress. Let's get to the pretties, shall we? I haven't seen this dress on anyone in this color yet, so I thought I'd share it with all of you! (Please pardon the wrinkles...I ripped the package open and tried it on, without bothering to steam it. Yes, I was that excited.)

Beda Dress
(Style #030033, shown in a size 4)

...oh, I forgot to mention that I didn't necessarily stick to sale items, while shopping the Anthro sale. Whoops. But what do you think? Is it a keeper?

I'm hoping you'll all ignore the overgrown weeds in my patio...

The husband actually liked this dress alot. I tend to trust my husband's judgement on these things (it was he, who wisely steered me away from the Drifting By Dress, thank goodness!), so it was reassuring when he said this dress was, "cool-looking" and that I could, "maybe wear it on stage sometime."

Hm. I wonder how it would look, on stage...let me try playing Hysteria, by Muse...

Yeah, I'm not that great at the bass guitar. I still stare at the neck, as I try to figure out what the heck it is that I'm playing.

Aaaaand now I start to go a little nuts...

I rock a mean A#, lemme tell ya.

Well, even if I'm not a great bass player, maybe the audience will still like my dress?


For the content of package #2, the Openwork Vines Skirt (Style #023030, shown in a size 6):

I already owned the Vanilla Bean Blouse, so when the Openwork Vines Skirt went on sale this week, I knew I had to have it. This was a look I'd seen on Kim of Anthroholic and also featured on Roxy's blog, at Effortless Anthropologie.

I have to say, I have no idea where I would wear this outfit. Then again, I don't even care - it's so pretty. I'm sure I'll find something! I really hope Kim isn't creeped out, as this is like, the 3rd or 4th outfit she's inspired me to piece together. I'm not sure what (if anything) to do about the black loopholes on the Vanilla Bean Blouse. I guess you just...let them be? It's not like you can cut them off, right?

The Beda and the Openwork Vines weren't my only splurges, this week. Inspired by Tara B. (yet again!) and Anthroholic Kim (yep, yet again!), I stopped by J.Crew on my way home mid-week to try and find myself a pastel-y, mint-y colored cardigan. I told myself it's "okay," because I don't really have anything in my closet in that color. Unfortunately, I'd missed out on the BP version from Nordstrom in the mint color. But lo and behold - the Jackie Cardigan was on sale for $39.99 in Bright Seaside. Woo! So, that's "okay," right?


(...what was I thinking, in this photo? "Hm, I should really dust the mantle...")

So, here was my outfit of the day:

  • J.Crew Jackie Cardigan, in Bright Seaside
  • Anthropologie Whirling Ruffles Dress, by Moth
  • Anthropologie Snakebite Belt, in Grey
  • Nordstrom Tights
  • Steve Madden Kitten Heel Shoes (a few years old...can't remember the name now, but similar options here and here)
  • Sparkling Sage Earrings (picked up for a steal at the OC Fashion Co-Op, circa 2006?)
  • Brooch - Unknown, birthday gift from Carol six or seven years ago!

My accessories:

Detail of the brooch:

Closer detail of the earrings:

Okay - must conserve my energy and get some sleep. I have some work to do this weekend. I'm excited, yet scared - I get to work on a proposal to design reusable bags to promote sustainability! I'm excited because I love to play with design, but I'm scared because I'm afraid people won't like what I decide on. I'm so lucky to have talented graphic designers to work with, and I love the logo they've come up with, so far:

...okay, so it makes more sense if you're familiar with UC Irvine.

Anyway, wish me luck! I'm very passionate about the environment (much like Scott Niedermayer, my favorite hockey player), so it's exciting to work on a project like this. I'm looking forward to the results!

Have a great weekend, and don't forget to enter our Happy Birthday Giveaway!