Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Little Help From My Friends...(Anniversary Sale Accessory Picks and a Request for Help)

Hi everyone!  Hoping you're all doing well.  Did you grab anything fun from today's new Anthropologie reductions?  I'm trying really hard to be good and not do it.  I decided a while back that while I love the fit of the Tiny Windows dress, I just didn't love either color on me, so scratch that.  The other thing I'm trying to resist (and may fail in doing so) is the Field Game Cardigan (I didn't call CS to check the stock of my local Anthros on that one...no, not me...).

What I did call CS for, however, is what I need some help with.  I am (now, a little desperately) searching for the Flares and Fountains Fabric Letters in an E.  CS had a couple stores listed as having several of these letters in stock, but when I called...no luck.  We all know that Anthro's inventory can be woefully off sometimes, so I'm holding out hope that the power of the collective Anthro Blogosphere might be able to help me.  I need these letters to spell Kate's name (I have the K, A, and T) on her birthday "dohl" (Korean celebration of a child's first birthday - more on that later) table that Kathryn is designing.  If any of you are in store, would you mind terribly doing a quick scan of the sale section or asking a sales associate if they have the letter E in stock?  If you do come across them, could you put them on hold under my name (Carol) and email me (see sidebar) to let me know?  I'd be eternally grateful.

But to the main gist of this post! Yesterday, I got a chance to swing by and meet Kelly for a preview of the Anniversary Sale.  We'll be doing some of our sales picks for the sale, and we're going to try to be organized about it...but there's so much stuff that it's hard.  We both tend to go to the sale at least a couple times, just to have a chance to process, organize, and sort what it is we've seen, want and actually decide to buy.  Just a note - some of these items are not yet available on Nordstrom's website, so I've linked to other stores' websites, but the prices are only at Nordy's.  Also, the Anniversary Sale (AS) prices aren't in effect until July 16th.

This is a Betsy Johnson leather hobo, regularly priced at $298, AS priced at $198.90.  It comes in this taupe (the bag is slightly darker in real life, as well as more gray, than in this photo) and a brick-red.  I love the sweetness of the rosettes offset by the edgy studs.  There's some fun hardware that attaches the leather handle straps (comfortable) to the body of the bag.  Super cute!  Also, the bag is light - not too heavy (there was this beautiful Badgley Mischka handbag that we all beelined for, until we realized that it was heavy enough to have a bowling ball in it...sheesh) and roomy to boot.  I liked the way it rests under the arm - just for reference, my friend, who is modeling it in the photo above, is smaller than me - she's about 5' tall, and slimmer to boot, so petite women don't need to be worried about the size.  I think it's a really doable, even practical size (especially if you have to lug around baby/kid stuff like I do).  I really don't need another bag, but every time I look at this picture, I keep thinking, but maybe I do....  Wishlisted for consideration.

This necklace (I think the brand is Sequin, but I can't remember exactly - will confirm for you later) is regulary priced at $68 and AS priced at $44.90.  This is something that's on my "definitely take home with me" list.  It's actually one very long necklace, which I've looped, to create the two-layered look.  The little bows and accent beads on this necklace are a pale pink, which are so sweet and actually more neutral than most people would think.  However, if pink isn't your cup of tea, it comes in other colors as well, including a taupe and gray (I think).  Loved this!  

Here is the Effe, from Hobo International - a darling patent leather wallet (that could act as a clutch in a pinch) for which I've neglected to get the prices (Gah.  Bad blogger, bad!  I'll get them and update for you later tonight).  It comes in several fall/winter colors (which I will also update later).  Its interior (see photo below) has lots of card slots, slots to hold cash and receipts, a zippered change pocket, and visible ID slot.  Also, the flap has a zippered compartment in it, in which you could stick your lip gloss, a couple keys, and the new iPhone or something equally slim and streamlined).  

I love the Lauren - an emobssed leather Hobo International wallet/clutch!  It's regularly priced at $118, but it's AS priced at $78.90.  This shape is a familiar one for Hobo Int'l wallets, and I can tell you straight off that this one almost surely will be able to hold your cell phone (my friend carries her blackberry in hers), a small key ring, and lipgloss.  I have to admit, I love this wallet, and if it weren't for the fact that I'm a one-wallet-girl (I have a hard time changing out handbags, let alone wallets) I'd buy this in a heartbeat.  The fact is, I have a really cute green Kate Spade wallet (also a Nordstrom purchase) which I love and which is holding up beautifully well into its second year of use, so I don't know that I can justify this purchase.  However, if I needed a wallet, this would be it.  It also comes in lots of pretty colors (see the bone-white color peeping out behind the orange one in the photo above).

Here is Ted Baker's Bobble Kisslock Large Patent Clutch, regularly priced at $110, AS priced at ??? (Sorry, forgot to note this one too.  Will update tonight).  This wallet/clutch is being released in several new fall/winter colors (see two photos down) and is a veritable Chic-but-Organized woman's dream!  Look at the interior - tons of card slots, ID window, and all those big pockets.  I'm pretty sure you could easily fit your checkbook into one of those slots if you so desired.  While you definitely can't fit lipgloss, cell phone, or keys into this, it's got a crazy cute floral lining (I'm such a sucker for pretty linings inside wallets and bags) which you can see in the photo directly below.  There's also a coin-purse version if you so the big wallet isn't your thing.

Ah, MJ...and I don't mean Michael.  I mean Marc.  Marc Jacobs, that is.  What's an amazing Nordstrom sale, without a few designer goods?  This gorgeous quilted satchel is the perfect mushroom gray color.  It's got all the classic touches - quilted leather, chain handle, structured frame and lots of compartments on the inside.  I love the large pleat on the front and really think this is the cutest rendition of MJ's quilted leather offerings to date.  This bag is regularly priced at $1375, and is AS priced at $919.   Just a note - it has a very wide base (I'd guess around 6 inches?) so it doesn't hang off the shoulder very gracefully - at least, not on smaller-framed me.  However, it looked great, on the crook of my arm.  ^_-  

If larger handbags aren't your thing, and you're looking for a cute, small, and distinctive designer crossbody, than this little Marc Jacobs bag (it's very similar to "The Single" quilted crossbody - maybe even the updated Fall 2010 version?).  It has a lot of features similar to it's larger cousin - quilted exterior, chain detail handle, helpful compartments on the inside, but it's much smaller and the price adjusts downward accordingly.  This one is regularly priced at $695 and AS priced at $464.90 - too dear for my blood, but darling, no less.

Sigh...what is it about Chloe handbags that keep making me look at them, over and over again, as if they were something I could afford?  It's silly, but when I'm in the store, sometimes I'll just go over to the Chloe handbag display, gaze fondly, and try one or two on, just to pretend.  This year, Nordstrom is offering the Chloe Heloise Large Hobo bag in four colors - these three (the one to the right is actually a dark chocolatey brown, though it looks almost purple in this photo) and "Ash," which is a brownish-gray color, for lack of a better description.  For you Chloe acolytes, you're probably already familiar with this bag.  It's a good sized bag that's surprisingly light for its size - 15" tall, 14.5" wide, and 6" deep - perfect for hauling your laptop around, as well as some file folders, and snacks for your kids.  Oh, and the diapers and wipes.  And wallet, cell phone, and keys. And hand lotion and hairbrush and kitchen sink.  Did I get it all?

Now this last little thing is not an Anniversary Sale item, but a dress I decided to try on while at the store.  It caught my eye because ever since I put on the In a Twinkling dress and loved how it looked but hated how it felt against my skin, I've been keeping an eye out in hopes of finding an equivalently cute but much more comfortable dress.  I think I found it!  It's the Halogen Jacquard Dress (just went on sale today!) which I picked up in the eggert color (a creamy white).  Just an FYI - if you decide to try this one out (and I highly recommend - so easily styled - you can literally wear any color cardigan with this, except maybe a very stark white, and any number of belts! Love!!!) it runs a little big.  I usually wear a 2, but had to take a 0 in it. Photos of me in the size 2 are below and you can that see it's touch big on me (sorry about the ghastly lighting).

Anniversary Sale shoe picks coming soon!

Monday, June 28, 2010

And the Readers Chose... (OOTD)

Hello, Everyone!

I hope you're all doing well!

I wanted to thank everyone for their input with regard to my wardrobe choice for the wedding! The leading choice at the time I was getting dressed was...*drumroll*...the Veronica Lake Dress by Matrushka Construction!

(of course, I see now that the Vappu Dress ended up pulling ahead ever-so-slightly, but I based my decision on what was leading the pack, at the time!)

I didn't regret the choice! This dress is super flattering and ridiculously comfortable. It's also machine washable and doesn't wrinkle, so it's perfect for traveling! I'm wearing a size Small, but Laura Howe (owner and designer of Matrushka) can custom make her dresses to your exact measurements. Her slogan is, "Size is relative." She makes all her dresses by hand in her shop, so I could also rest assured that no one else would be wearing the same dress. (no need to bring extras in the car! Yay!)


I opted to go with a pair of gold Bernardo sandals in order to stay comfortable and to keep the overall look "light." Also, they were the "quietest" shoes I had...which I thought would be important as I ran around snapping photos. I needed the ability to tiptoe without making noise. ^_-

So thank you, dear readers, for picking a comfy dress for me to wear for a long day of celebrating and shooting.

Veronica Lake Dress (short style) by Matrushka Construction (birthday present from DH in March 2010)
Oh, Hello Friend Earrings (detail of which can be seen here)
Tarina Tarantino Butterfly Filigree Ring (similar here)
Bernardo Sandals (circa 2004? similar style here)

I'll leave off with a couple of photos from today's wedding. These photos are straight from the camera and completely unretouched, so they're not "finished" yet. (gotta do color corrections and fix out-of-place hairs, etc.) But I thought it'd be fun to show a couple shots. I heart weddings. ^_^

Congratulations to the beautiful Bride and Groom!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I Dream of Dresses...(Fitting Room Reviews)

Hi everyone!  So, our time with the new blogger template (pretty pale green with cherry blossom silhouettes drifting into a less pale but still pretty green and eggplant accents) went the way of the dinosaur, when blogger vomited (quite literally, it felt - did any of you catch the ugly brown header?) all over our blog.  So back we are, to the old tried and true, and thanks to my DH for helping us restore us to the way we looked before.  And booo! to blogger's new template designer for being mean to us for no reason.  Hope others have better luck with it, though, because it was really fun for the day and a half it lasted. 


Anyway, I have a few more fitting reviews to share.  Oh, and I know how much you love them - and we're sorry we haven't been able to get together to do them for you in a while - but this coming weekend,  Kathryn and I will be getting together to do some side-by-sides.  Also, the week following that is the first week of pre-sale for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!!!  Kathryn and I have an appointment with Kelly (whoo!) first thing on the morning of the 5th, so you know we'll be reporting back to you from that, with our picks. This sale is the highlight of our shopping year (and if you know us, that's saying quite a lot) - so much so that both Kathryn and I have earmarked several items of interest from the new pre-fall offerings from Anthro, but have agreed that we won't buy anything (except for the Rensselaer T-straps for me, and well, I already explained why I have to have those) until after we've shopped the Anniversary Sale.  For those of you who've never shopped the Anniversary Sale before, imagine what it would be like if Anthropologie sent you the July catalogue and said, "These things are going to be on sale now.  Not four months from now, but now for a period of 2 weeks.  Then, they're going back to regular price."  

Yeah.  Exactly.  That's what the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is!  Okay, enough rhapsodizing.  Here are some more Anthro dresses!

The Phosphorescent Dress ($138) was one of the more flattering strapless-sheath style dresses I've tried on at Anthropologie.  I'm wearing a size 2, and this dress is TTS.  Usually, I don't look very good in them at all, being short and short-waisted, but when I zipped this one up, I found myself genuinely pleased with how it looked on.  At least, that is, until I turned to look behind me.  If you take a look at that second photo (above right), you may notice that this dress is bunching a little underneath the sash.  I'm not sure why it's doing that, but it's really not cute.  I tried tugging and pulling the skirt down, but that didn't seem to help a whole lot.  While this aspect of the dress's cut is somewhat camouflaged by the busy print, it did bother me.  Also, the sash, being made of the same type of cotton poplin as the dress, had a tendency to fold and scrunch up, instead of laying flat and smooth as it does in the product shot on Anthro's website.  The dress has a smocked back, side-zip, pockets, and is machine washable.  It's also available in petite sizing.

This is Tracy Reese's Choreographed Dress ($278), and what a pleasant surprise!  I wasn't sure whether I'd like it or not, and from the product shots, I was totally prepared to be uninterested in it, but when I put it on, I was really delighted with this dress's fit.  I'm wearing a size 2, and found it very true to size.  The bodice is really a work of art - the twisting gathers in the chest and the ruching in the waist - I found it to be wonderfully figure flattering.  I also loved that it had adjustable straps - a must for petite, short-waisted women like me. I'm usually not so into bubble-hemmed skirts either, but this one was really well cut - it had volume, but not too much - the skirt seemed to hang really nicely and didn't get weirdly bunchy as bubble skirts sometimes can. And look at the inside of the dress:

Can you believe how beautifully finished it is, on the inside?  Look at how that mesh lining is seamed so carefully!  I really think us small-chested women could totally get away with not wearing a bra with this, and the construction of the cups and lining make me want to think that better-endowed women might be okay too, to some degree....  You could probably turn this dress inside out and wear it that way, if you wanted to, with a lining like that.  Anyway, I really adored this dress, but ouch, that sticker price!  I would totally wear this to Kate's birthday party, if it was anywhere in the range of a normal Anthro dress (under $200).  I think this dress could totally work in my office, with a cardigan thrown over it, and in the fall/winter, I could easily pair it with tights, for warmth. So, one can argue for its versatility...but yeah...that price... Still, I think I love it, so it's definitely on my wishlist for further consideration.

This is the Echoing Dress ($148).  I'm wearing an XS, and I can't say whether it's true to size or not, as it's such a strange garment, but my guess is that it runs a little big.  To begin, I literally felt like I was wearing a pillow case.  I'm not sure if the asymmetrical sleeves and the oddly-placed gathers are artsy or ugly...this dress is a pull-on style, and as you can see, hits me a couple inches above the knee, so will be even shorter on taller women.  Maybe it'd be more attractive on someone with a more womanly shape?  An hourglass figure, perhaps?  I don't know.  Definite pass for me, but if you have more luck with it, please send a photo, because I'd really be interested to see how it fits other body types.

This is Nathalie Lete's First Dance Dress ($168).  I was excited to see this in-store, because I've been intrigued by all the bits of marketing Anthro's been doing about their collaboration with this artist and I admit, I like the idea of wearing art.  Especially when it's so pretty!  In the fitting room, I did not like this dress on me at all, despite the gorgeous skirt.  There was something about the dark bodice making me look too small on top, compared to the fullness of the lighter skirt - it just seemed to set all my proportions off the wrong way, though in these photos, it doesn't seem quite so bad.  The dress is short-waisted, but not qiute empire-waisted...so, an awkward length on short-waisted me.  Perhaps on longer-waisted women, it might look more like an empire waist, than not.  I thought, in the fitting room, that maybe the dress might look better with a belt, so asked the fitting room attendant to bring me one - she brought me this dark gray one, as well as a cream colored one, and neither really go with the dress particularly well.  I think a rich brown - like the Looping Lanes or the Acquainted Bands might have served this dress better.  Anyway, you can get a sense of what it might look like, with the right colored belt.  The dress has a side zip, removable straps, and pockets. I'm wearing a size 2, and I'd say this dress is true to size.  I might consider this one on sale, but I don't love it enough for full-price.

Here's the Stemmed Sweet Briar Dress ($168).  This is another one of Nathalie Lete's dresses, and another dress that I hated on me in the fitting room, but doesn't look awful in the photos.  Weird, isn't it?  I'm wearing a size 2, and would say it's TTS.  It has a true empire waist, a side zip, pockets, and the halter neckline ties in the back.  There's a little embellishment of fabric, in a tiered, accordian fold, on one strap, which is both interesting and distracting.  I almost feel like it doesn't need to be there, but it wasn't a deal breaker.  Here's my problem with this dress - the surplice bodice has a tendency to gape a bit - in fact, when I was trying to take a side-view photo of this dress, I had to take multiple shots, each time positioning the dress carefully, in order to not flash everyone.  If I were to buy and wear this dress in real life, I might actually take it to a tailor and ask him/her to put a few well-placed stitches in the bodice to close the surplice opening.  Either that, or I'd make judicious use of safety pins or wardrobe tape.  The severity of my problem may have had a lot to do with my small chest size, but this doesn't necessarily mean that those who are better endowed won't have issues of a similar but different nature.  If you're trying this dress on, be sure to do a side-view check, while you're raising your arms forward, as though you were reaching for something in front of you.  I honestly didn't notice it, until I tried to take the photo.  The dress is very pretty, but a pass for me.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Party Planning for Baby Kate's 1st, an OOTD and Uh...What Should I Wear?

***Just a note: Blogger's template designer seems to be mad at us. Please bear with us while we try and get it worked out.***

Hello Everyone, and happy Saturday! ^_^

I hope everyone's having a great weekend so far!

I have quite the action-packed weekend ahead - I've got a wedding to go to on Sunday and I've had a lot of running around to do today, scoping out and picking up things for Kate's first birthday. With my mind completely filled up with party planning, I was hoping I could ask for your advice on I should wear to this wedding on Sunday. (Tomorrow, haha!) The attire wasn't specified on the invite, but the ceremony will be by the beach on a deck, and the groom will be wearing flip-flops. I've heard through the grapevine that the dress code is, "dressy beach casual chic." Or something.

I should also mention that I've been asked to be one of several photographers for the event, as the bride opted not to pop for professional photography. I'm really nervous about this, because I'm pretty much a newbie when it comes to photography, and I really want to do right by my friend.

What does one wear, when they're a wedding guest and a wedding photographer?

(And before I go on, I should mention that I don't own any tropical print dresses. Jussayin'.)

Should I go for something airy and light, like the Vappu Dress? Or should I pull out the gorgeous Time Gone By Dress again? Or what about the pretty green Beda Dress? What about my Matrushka Construction "Veronica Lake" Dress? Or do you think I should I stick with a simple little black dress, so that I can be understated while "working?"

Or (and this would be so very me to do this)...should I just bring them all with me in the car and decide what to wear after I see what everybody else is wearing?


(This poll is now closed)

What Should Kathryn Wear to the Beach Wedding?
View results

(Don't forget to vote on Sara's poll too!)

Thanks for your input! I really appreciate it!

So, as far as party planning goes, Carol and I were extremely excited to receive the proof of the adorable invitations she ordered from Minted.com for Kate's "Dol" :

We decided to design the theme of the celebration around this invitation. Cute little birdies! Here's a preliminary sketch I drew, to help myself kind of gather ideas of what I'm imagining for the big display table (sorry if it's confusing - it makes sense if you're familiar with Korean tradition):

(Er. Messy sketch, but there's the general idea of the look and feel for what I was going for)

(Wow, I drew really deformed-looking fruit, hahaha!)

(Oh, and note the Flares and Foundations Letters that Carol wants to use, from Anthro!)

Here's a sketch of an idea for an edible tabletop arrangement which could function as decoration and party favor - round-shaped rice krispy "trees" surrounded by birdie cookie pops iced in Royal icing:

There are also several other little details I've got to iron out (doljabi stuff, etc.), but that's what I've got so far!

So, as you can imagine, I've got my work cut out for me this weekend as I run around buying all the supplies I'll be needing for the crafting and decorating and baking marathon that will be going on for about the next month or so!

Carol here: Can I just say that Kathryn is awesome? And that my children's birthday parties would always be a shade paler without her intervention? Seriously, her creativity and resourcefulness blows me away. I really think she could do this professionally, don't you? I'm always amazed by what she can accomplish. And then - get this, she thanks me for letting her help. Sigh...I'm not sure what I did in my past lives to deserve a friend like this, but wow, I must have been good. ^_-

I'll leave off with my OOTD from Friday. Ah, I love my Vappu Dress! I've been dying to wear it again since I wore it a few weeks back, and seeing Jinah's OOTD inspired me to reach for it yesterday morning. This dress is just so easy and comfortable!

(pardon the awkward hand positioning, I was trying to show off my ring!)

(...I must confess that I briefly considered flashing gang signs in the photo and decided against it. Because I'm mature like that.)

Detail of my cameo ring from - who else? - Oh, Hello Friend:

Anthropologie Vappu Dress in Dark Yellow (buy here)
Nordstrom Brass Plum 3/4 Sleeve Jersey Cardigan in White (buy here)
Anthropologie Looping Lanes Belt
Oh, Hello Friend "Take Time to Breathe" Pocketwatch Necklace (enter to win here!)
Seychelles Bette Flat in Vacchetta (buy here)

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Friday, June 25, 2010

What's in a Name? ("But I Lived There!" and Other Rationalizations...)

Do you ever come across a piece that you feel was destined or meant to be yours, somehow?  Like, it was calling your name, because it actually bore your name (you know how designers sometimes name their pieces after women?  The Kristen sandal, or the Margaret pump, or the Genevieve wedges).  Things are rarely named after Carols (I think the name evokes old lady-ness? After all, it was at its peak-popularity as a name back in the 40s and 50s...) so I don't often have this problem (though there will be no hesitation on my part if Anthro ever puts out a "Whispering Rushes" dress).  However, the other day?  When all those new arrivals showed up and Roxy put up her post with the July catalogue previews?  Yeah, you all know the one...well, I spied with my little eye a pair of shoes on one of the models, which I then tracked down on Anthro's website, only to discover to my glee that they were called Rensselaer T-Straps.

Do you know who Hendrick, Kiliaen, or Stephen Van Rensselaer were?  Yeah, most people don't.  But I do, because I happened to have lived in a part of upstate New York, where this family has been memorialized in the names of academic institutions (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) - where my husband earned his Ph.D.), businesses, organizations, and locations. As mentioned, DH attended RPI, and for four years we lived in (and my first son was born in) Rensselaer County, and yes, our address included the city of Rensselaer.

Surely this means I can have these shoes...right?  Right?  I mean, they're practically an artifact of my adult life as a young married woman and first-time mother!  It would be...very sad if I didn't get them.  These shoes...well, they are already a part of my life...or something.

And while I'm rationalizing the need to purchase and own certain and varied items, may I mention that the Green Thumb skirt would make a very timely addition to my life right now?  I am, after all, trying to get my yards and gardens in order - and with admittedly limited success.  I could really use whatever help this skirt and its name might afford me.  Obviously, I'm sorely lacking in those attributes.

Also, my DH and I actually developed our friendship over years of writing letters back and forth to each other, some of these Epically Long (yes, they do merit capitalization).  How appropriate then, is it that I wear the Folded Mementos Tee, in honor of those letters which carried our thoughts, experiences, and feelings back and forth across oceans and countries?  (We have them all saved, to this day, in special acid-free boxes).  

And who wouldn't benefit from finding some Lost Time (skirt)?  I can attest, that as a wife, mother, full-time employee, and blogger, I never have enough time.  I really really could use some more.  And uh...this skirt...um...might have super powers? (Yes!  The super power of cuteness!)

When I was a girl, I adored the Anne of Green Gables books.  I read them so often, the covers have come off some of my older copies and even now, about once a year, I'll read through the whole series again, just for fun.  I also own nearly all the other books ever written by L. M. Montgomery, including the Emily books, the Chronicles of Avonlea books, the Pat books, one-offs like Jane of Lantern Hill, etc.  You get the picture right?  And if you also loved Anne, you know how she loved Kindred Spirits (sweaterdress).  I have no idea how she felt about sweaterdresses, but I think she would have approved of the ruffled collar, and we all know the moss color would have set off her red, er - auburn hair beautifully.

As I've mentioned on this blog before (I think?) my husband and I are enormous So You Think You Can Dance fans.  We've never missed a season.  How perfectly appropriate, then, that I wear the Choreographed Dress, while watching?  Really, this one needs to be in my closet...

And really, who doesn't want to find a Secret Treasure (dress)?  Goodness knows, when it comes to affording all these beauties from Anthropologie, I could use some... 

What are the Antho items whose names have called out to you over the years?

Don't forget to enter our giveaway for a chance to win a lovely pocket-watch necklace from Oh, Hello Friend, and a $25 gift card to Anthropologie!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Summer Days Giveaway! (Winner Takes All...)

Hello, friends! A couple weeks ago, we posted our 100th post, and just a couple days ago, we gained our 200th follower! To thank you for reading our little blog and supporting us by following, we're celebrating with a Winner Takes All giveaway, and wow, we're so excited about the prizes!

So, if you hadn't noticed, Kathryn and I are always wearing necklaces from the Etsy vendor, Oh, Hello Friend, and this pocket-watch necklace is one of our absolute favorites. We really wanted - from the very first conversation about this giveaway - to give one of these away as a prize. So, the winner of our giveaway will receive this wonderful (and totally functional) pocket-watch necklace (thanks so much to Danni of Oh, Hello Friend for working with us on this giveaway!):

But that's not all! (Hahaha, I feel like an infomercial.) The winner will also receive a $25 Gift Card to Anthropologie:

(Disclaimer: this giveaway is not sponsored in any way by Anthropologie.)

You knew our giveaway would involve Anthropologie, right? ^_-

So, here are the details:

To be included in the drawing for this giveaway, this is what you have to do:

1) Be a public follower of our blog, and
2) leave a comment on this post, letting us know how you might spend this giftcard.

To get extra entries (up to 2 more!) you can

3) blog about this giveaway on your blog, and leave a comment with the link, and/or
4) tweet about the giveaway, with an @raphaela235 or @kathrynshops, and leave a comment telling us you did.

On July 1st, we'll do a random drawing from the entries and we'll send the prize out to the lucky winner! Just a note - please don't leave your email in the comments. We want to help you protect your contact information. When we draw the name and number of the winner, we'll post it on our blog on July 1, 2010, along with directions for that winner to contact us. If for some reason, the winner doesn't get in touch with us within 48 hours, we'll redraw, and announce a new winner, etc.

Good luck to everyone!

The Summer Days Giveaway entry period has closed. Thank you for your interest!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hump Day OOTDs


I hope you're all doing well!

Ah, how I love The Girliest Boy Mom.

Today's OOTD was stolen er, inspired by one of the beautiful Jan's recent Polyvore sets.

I owe her a big thanks, because I'd completely forgotten I had this J.Crew Tissue Tank buried in the back of my closet until I saw her sets featuring the Billowed Bow Tank in Rose.

Does that ever happen to you? Do you ever see something totally cute and suddenly remember - "I already have something like that"...?

Anyway, behold - the lazy Kathryn OOTD (before I changed into shorts and a tee so that I could cook bibimbap for dinner - Carol's recipe!):

J.Crew Tissue Tank (Fall 2009, similar here and here)
Anthropologie Openwork Vines Skirt (Winter 2010, similar here)
Brass Plum 3/4 Sleeve Jersey Cardigan in White (buy here)
Michael Antonio Rhinestone Heels (similar here, a fun option here and another one here)
J.Crew Necklace (similar here and here)
Rhinestone Hoop earrings (similar here)

Carol here - okay, so Kathryn's outfit is so super cute and mine is, um, styled for comfort:

Tank: Favorite Tank, J. Crew
Shoes: Beverly Feldman Beaded Sandal (Summer 2009, Nordstrom, similar here and here, cheap option here)
Headband: Anthropologie (similar here and here)

Kathryn here. Sheesh. Carol's so silly - her outfit is awesome! At least she didn't rip off I mean...borrow her outfit idea from another blogger! *wink* (I hope you can forgive me, Jan!)

So I pretty much gave up on asking the DH to take photos of my OOTDs a long, long time ago. (he's about as proficient with a camera as Chloe's husband, whose skill she so humorously showed here) These days I set up my camera on a tripod with a self-timer in our little patio and run to get in place. (note to self: consider buying the remote...) While I was breaking down my little setup, DH came outside to spend quality time with the one he calls his, "Sweet Love."

Was he talking about me?


DH's outfit:
American Apparel Unisex Tri-Blend Ribbed Cardigan
Muse T-Shirt (acquired at the show in Oakland, California, but can find here)
Levi's Capital E Matchstick Slim Fit Jeans (similar here)
Tretorn High Top Sneakers (circa 2008? Low Top version here)

Cat: Our pretty little calico cat we call "Drosie" (pronounced like "Josie," but with a "dr" sound at the beginning)

I know I'm biased, but DH is a pretty stylish dude. I'm not one of those wives that buys clothes for their husbands, either - the boy is one picky dude, and he picks out everything himself.

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is a favorite of his, because he always manages to find great pieces for himself. Cool tees for $15.90 (or so...ever notice how Nordstrom sale prices almost always end in $0.90? One of these days I'll have to ask someone why...) Last year he picked up a non-Burberry-looking Burberry polo for himself for $65.90 (retail $110). But his favorite pickup last year were the Levi's Matchstick jeans he's wearing, which I think had a sale price of $119.90 (retail $175).

So I tell myself that I'm not just shopping at Nordstrom for me...I'm doing it for him.


Nordstrom, I love thee. What have you got in store for us this year?

Alta Vista (Fitting Room Reviews)

Hi everyone!  Hoping you're all doing well - and benefitting from the sale this week.  I admit that my curiousity was piqued when I saw Kim's report from her store last night, and that this morning, when Kathryn sent me a text telling me to check out Roxy's list on EA, I got...um...excited.  But!  I didn't run right out there!  ...Because I was working.  I waited.  Didn't dash over during lunch.  Finished my work day, fed the kiddos, and then went to Anthropologie.  I was rather hoping for a Torsade tee and thought I might try on the Tecolote tank, but found when I arrived, the Torsades had sold out (if there were any to begin with), and the Tecolote, though really pretty on, was impossible to style with a cardi, because of the height of the flowers on the tops of the shoulders.  So, I tried on a couple new arrivals and an older but still full-priced top instead.  Those photos are included here with all the other tops I've tried on in the last few days.  Here are some "views from the top" (apologies for the varying photo quality):

This pretty top is the Tambour Blouse ($98), which I'm wearing in a size 2.  This one is TTS, and really so delightful!  For some reason, when I saw the product shot on the website, I thought, "Meh."  But in the store, it seemed so much more interesting, and on, it was really lovely.  There's an incredible amount of detail on this blouse, from the ruffles to the covered buttons, the lace at the waistband and the eyelet flounce-y/peplum-y bottom half.  The little cap sleeves are adorable, and the lightness of the cotton fabric (I'm pretty certain it's lined) make it great for summer heat, but with a cardi thrown over it, it would be just as nice for spring, fall, and SoCal winter.  I find the price rather prohibitively high (you could buy a dress for that much...maybe) but if you're in the market for a top like this, I highly recommend it.  I've wishlisted it for a sale.

During one visit to the Fashion Valley Anthro, Sandra introduced me to that store's selling manager (oh, I can't remember her name!).  She was this ridiculously cute woman (reminded me of Chloe) and she was styling this orange Lariat Laced Tank ($58) under the Hello Sunday Blazer with a pair of dark skinny jeans.  I loved the entire look, and while I don't think I have the panache required to pull off the Hello Sunday, I thought I could definitely work the Lariat Laced Tank into my wardrobe.  So, after thinking about this top for a few days, I decided that I'd go in, try it on, and if it worked well, I'd take it.  I think it looks all right, don't you?  ^_-  This knit tank is a really nice, orange - not too bright or neon-feeling.  It's a good grounded color, and it's machine washable, which I adore!  Just a note - I'm wearing a small in these pictures, and I bought the small, because I preferred the way it sort of wrapped and draped, in the slightly larger size.  The XS kind of hugged me weirdly, and the asymmetrical straps seemed highlighted in a less attractive manner in the smaller size.  This may just be the way it fit on my body - Kim wears an XS here, and it looks just fine on her, so I don't know.  

The Once and Always Tee ($58) is another top Sandra thought I should try out, as on Friday, when it had arrived, it seemed to be moving pretty well.  While working the cashwrap, she'd sold at least a few of them.  I'm wearing the XS, and it fits TTS.  It's certainly eye-catching - but to be honest, I had glanced at it on the rack, and decided it was a little much for me when it came to the embellishment.  The accordian-pleated ruffles made me think of some exotic insect's wings (have you seen Theo Jansen's kinetic sculptures?  If not, check out the video at the end of this post, and you'll understand where I'm going with this), and while the top has good bones, (nice fit, flattering neckline, fun ruching on sleeves, etc), I ultimately decided I couldn't do it, as 1) the top was way too sheer, and I'd have to wear a cami underneath it) and 2) there was something almost...funereal about the way the whole thing is so - overly ruched.  I apologize to those of you who love this top - I'm really quite certain there will be at least one, if not a few bloggers who get this and rock it and totally make me change my mind.  But until then, this one's an absolute pass for me.

This is the From the Meadow Tank ($98), which I have on in a size 2.  This little cotton top has a side zip, a nicely nipped in waist, and seems to be an easy, flattering piece to wear.  As you can see, there's a little room in the bust area, for me, but that makes sense, as I'm a smaller-chested woman.  I liked the color of this top, and might have considered wait-listing it for sale, but I just can't get past the giant flowers - they made me think of the tissue paper flowers we used to make in grade school, during art.  You know the ones I'm talking about?  In fact, in my mental notes, before I knew the name of this top, I was calling it the "TP tank" or something like that (TP standing for...well, you know).  If I look at these photos from a certain angle, I feel like there's some strange, calcified growth sprouting from my left breast and shoulder.  Which is...not the look I'm going for.  So, yes, pass for me.  Again, I'm sure other women will look amazing in this.  I may just be too small-boned to do it.

This is the Craft and Creation Top ($58), which I tried on in an XS.  I've been wanting a decorative ivory-colored shell, ever since trying on the Leifsdottir tank with Kelly all those months ago, but haven't been able to find anything that quite fit the bill - or me for that matter.  This one falls in the latter category.  As you can see from the photo above, right, this top is really long.  Tunic-long, even.  It was similar to the Climbing Cowlneck in that it has a cowlneck, and then it fits more snugly across the ribs and belly.  The loops of fabric (chiffon, satin, and jersey, according to the website) that sweep across one breast and shoulder are pretty, but I think in my case, overwhelm my narrow-shouldered/short-waisted frame.  This top will no doubt be gorgeous on Kathryn, but for me, it's a pass.  My search continues....

When I saw the Secret Garden Blouse ($98), I was immediately drawn to it.  The colors, the dainty details...I had a good feeling about this one, and I think my hunch proved correct.  I'm wearing the size 0 in these photos, so I'd say this top definitely runs a little big, as I wear a 2 in most other tops.  It's strange, because this top is made by Floreat, who also made the Tambour Top which has a similar sihouette (reviewed at the beginning of this post), yet, I wear a 2 in that one.  I'm afraid smaller women will definitely be sized out of this.  Fortunately, I just make the cut-off, because I love this.  I feel like there's a timeless, almost vintage quality about this top and the way it's been embellished.  The colors are so pretty, with the use of melony-reds (they're not quite orange nor are they quite pink or salmon...) in the flowers and the waist band.  It just makes me happy to look at it.  ^_^

Last, but not least is the Flowering Pasture Blouse ($128).  Obviously, this one has been around for a little while, and I'd been wanting to try it on, ever since I saw it on Jan here.  I really loved the color of this top, but it's very sheer.  So much so, that I'd definitely wear a cami under this, in just about every circumstance.  The billowy, blousy fit is very romantic and summery, and I see it working well untucked over jeans and tucked into a skirt for the office (see photo, above right).  I do feel the price is too high, but when it goes on sale (soon, I hope?) I'll definitely snap it up, if at all possible.  Wishlisted!

My kids were with me today, as you can see in the photos above (Kate's hanging out in the infant carrier at my feet in a few of these shots) and Rowan begged me to take a photo with the two of them in it.  They're noisy (I'm sure the customers in adjacent fitting rooms wonder who let a troop of monkeys loose inside Anthro and if you're ever one of them, I apologize for the disturbance!) but they're good sports and I love 'em a million times more than my clothes (this is in case they ever read this, when they're older).  ^_-

Theo Jansen's kinetic sculpture: