Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve Fantasies (What I Would Wear, If I Could...)

Hi everyone! Happy nearly-the-end-of-2010! It's so incredible to me that this year has sped by so quickly - and that the iconic year, "2010," is soon to be in the past and relegated to history, rather than hovering in the distant and tantalizing future, as it's been for so long. I'm not really sure what to make of it (I think I'm supposed to now make some profound and insightful reflection on the human condition or some such, but I'm buzzing on a sugar high from too much cake, and can't seem to gather my thoughts sufficiently, so...) but I do know this.

The end of the year means...New Year's Eve Parties!

And New Year's Eve Parties means, party dresses!!!


At least, for other people. For me, New Year's Eve is actually going to be just hanging out at my sister's house, with the husbands and kids and Dick Clark's New Year's Eve countdown in jeans and a sweater or some such. But, since a girl can fantasize that she's actually going to be attending a swanky soiree somewhere, replete with falling glitter confetti and a live 20-piece band, well...in that case, I'd wear this (because in this fantasy, I also have a fairy-godmother who waves her wand and makes these beautiful things materialize):




NYE Set #1

NYE Set #1 by Carol-prettythings featuring a fold dress
Adam Sequin Silk-Organza Dress
Valentino Bow Trim d'Orsay Pump
J. Crew Bracelet
Alexander McQueen Clutch
Serena Gold Sequin Scarf

Hmm...you know, maybe I'll dress up for my sister's house anyway. Only, with things I actually own, hahaha (sigh...holiday bills coming home to roost. No more shopping for a while...)



NYE Set #2m

NYE Set #2 by Carol-prettythings featuring bow necklaces
Joie Lace Blouse
Mimetic Skirt, Anthropologie (similar here and here)
Lanvin Ankle-Strap Chain Link Pump (similar here and here)
Cara Bow Necklace

I know, I know, totally excessive for a night in at my sister's house, especially with a 17 month old crawling all over me, but what's the point of having pretty clothes if you don't wear them, right? ^_^

Hoping you all have a fabulous, fun, and safe New Year's Eve! May 2011 be the year of our dreams!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Lists of a Year-End Variety

Greetings, all!

Welp, it's the end of the year, as we know it. And I feel...fine?

It's been a fun year, and I've truly enjoyed discovering and being a part of the bloggie-world. I feel like I've "met" so many fun and interesting and stylish people over the past year. I love my closet 1,000 times more than I did at the beginning of the calendar year, even if my wallet - and possibly my husband - hate me 1,000 times more than they did at the beginning of the year.

And I have all of you to thank for it. *smileyface*

Anyway, while catching up a little on my blog-reading, I've been noticing a lot of lists floating around the blogosphere, and it's got me all nostalgic and stuff. So I thought I'd catalog a few of my "best of" lists, from the past year.

Kind of like...high school yearbook-style, if you will.

I hope you all don't mind.

So...here we go! End of 2010 lists, "Pretty Things" style!


Kathryn's Five Favorite Purchases of 2010:

1. Two-Wheeler Shirtdress

I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say I've worn this dress to death in the six or so months that I've had it. I don't regret this purchase one bit, and as many times as it's been washed and worn it's held up remarkably well.


2. Field Game Cardigan

Ah, how I love this cardigan. I'd largely ignored the previous blue and red colorways of this cardigan, but when the oatmeal/grey version came along, I was smitten. I also wear this beauty to death and wash it on delicate. Win, all-around.


3. The Mullany Dress

I can't emphasize my love for this dress enough. I've managed to make it work beyond just an "event" dress, too. And every time I wear it I get tons of compliments. Victoria - if you're out there reading this - thank you SO much again for making this dress part of my life.



4. Blooming Lattice Cardigan

Was there ever a more versatile and wearable cardigan in my arsenal than this one?



The answer is no.


5. In a Twinkling Dress

I actually wasn't going to get this one at first, due to the itchy factor. However, I lucked out and found one on sale that didn't itch too much and the rest is history. It was my go-to white summer dress, and it dresses up or down perfectly. So glad I decided to get it after all.


The Five That Got Away:


1. Dried Leaves Dress

This one went on sale and flew off the racks and off the website before I could snag it. I'd tried it on back in August and liked it, but wasn't ready to pay full price for it. Now that it's December and cold I wish I had it in my closet to pair with tights and the Arid Season Button-up (which I did manage to grab). Sigh. Maybe I'll find something else like it again, someday.



2. The Two Paths Trench

It still boggles my mind that I actually found this puppy on sale and in my size, and I still put it back. Ugh. File this boneheaded mistake under, "WTF was I thinking?!" Maybe it had something to do with it being summertime (note the sandals on my feet), but gosh darn it I wish I could go back in time and tell myself to buy this one when I had the chance. Silly Kathryn.



3. Babergh Dress

I think this one went on sale at a time when I'd already splurged on so many other things that I needed to give my wallet a break. It was hard to let this one go.



4. Traced Twirls Dress

This one took forever to go on sale, didn't it? And by the time it finally did go on sale, I didn't think I wanted it anymore. Only the more I look at it now, the more I think I might've wanted it after all.

As a woman, I reserve the right to be fickle.



5. Drifting By Dress

Ah, the dress that I adored in the catalog, hated on myself, but abso-freaking-lutely loved on other people. This is a dress that makes me wish I could change my entire complexion in order to get it to work on me. Unfortunately, as you can see from the photo, it just completely washes me out. I loved it on Tien, Tara B, Kristina J and of course on Kim. Everytime I see it pop up on someone else on the internet, I get a little sad. I'd really wanted this dress to work on me. I won't lie - I still watch for this beauty on eBay, "just in case."

Dress, why couldn't you look good on me?

Hi everyone! Okay, so following Kathryn's queue, here I go with an attempt at my "Top Five" Lists.


Carol's Five Favorite Purchases of 2010


1. The Reed Shirtdress

This dress is one of my best Anthro purchases ever. I've worn it so much to so many things and received so many compliments, it's amazing. I always feel pretty and lady-like and perfectly comfortable yet well-pulled together when I'm in it, which is great. Not to mention, it's low maintenance too. It's the Mary Poppins of dresses - practically perfect in every way.


2. Harvested Honey Coat

See that look of glee on my face in the photo above? Yep. A picture is sometimes worth a thousand words...


3. Blooming Lattice Cardi

Believe it or not, I was actually waffling on whether or not I should buy this cardigan, until Kathryn convinced me, with her "Blooming Lattice Four Ways" post. I bought it at full price and never looked back. It's just terrific - one of the true workhorses of my closet.


4. Konnichiwa Sweater

Another great sweater and what's become a major workhorse in my closet. I used it in my truncated 30 for 30 Remix challenge, and it seriously went with everything I put on. It's a total go-to piece and yes, I've purchased it in the red color too (on sale and an extra 25% off! C'mon, you can't beat that!).


5. AG Stevies

Quite possibly the most comfortable and cute pants I own. I've literally slept in them (if only for naps). They go with so much and provide warmth and added bonus - I haven't even had to have them altered (the extra length bunches in a not-too-bunchy way at my ankle). I own them in the wine and the gray. I'd keep the brown pair I'm returning, if I could afford to.


Carol's Five That Got Away


1. Tyndall Coat

I wanted this coat terribly, but it was too pricey. Then it went it on sale at the same time as the Harvested Honey, and I chose the Harvested Honey, hoping I could find this later. It's now gone, gone, gone in the size 0. It makes me dreadfully sad to think about it. Why didn't I buy it when I saw it?


2. Choreographed Dress

I actually had this dress in my hands, in my home, and I convinced myself it wasn't a practical choice and I'd be better off letting it go back to the store. What was I thinking??? I feel a twinge of regret every time I think about it, which makes me realize that there was real love for this dress. Real and abiding love.


3. Sugar and Cream Dress

I still wish I had got this dress while it was available. I'm not sure what held me back, but when I see other bloggers wearing it, I always let out a wistful sigh. 'Tis pity, 'tis pity...

4. Safekeeping Necklace

This necklace has been on my wishlist since it appeared on the website, last summer. It's now sold out online and I saw it in the store as late as last week, but couldn't buy it, because of budget constraints. And now, with all my holiday bills coming home to roost, it's pretty much totally out of reach.


5. Kate Spade "All Typed Up," Clyde

I waited on this bag, because there were quite a few in inventory at Nordstrom at the beginning of December, and I thought it was such a unique piece that there'd still be some around by the end of the month. WRONG. It's sold out there, completely!!! I'm devastated, because I'd hoped to use some Nordstrom notes and giftcards I received to purchase this. It went on sale at Kate Spade a few days ago, but it's still pretty pricey and my aforementioned budget restrictions are prohibiting me from pulling the trigger on it (I'm trying really hard to be good. Really, really hard.) and inventory is very low. It seems highly likely that I won't be able to buy this, no matter how much I want it. So sad.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Holiday Greetings, Pretty Things Style

Greetings, Everyone!

I hope that you all had a very nice Christmas!

Just a brief post today, to share the greeting cards that Carol and I sent out this year!

Here was Carol's, which she ordered from one of her favorite places, Minted. She ordered a folded "yearline" card, which opened to show a time line of significant events from the past year, all with beautiful photos:


Cover

Inside


Such fun!


Here's the holiday greeting my husband and I sent out this year from the lovely Katie over at EITAK Design - a 5" X 7" folded card, printed on metallic silver, with the photos printed on white cardstock and mounted over the silver cardstock. The theme played off of our Halloween costumes from this year.


The image on the left is the cover, the image on the right is the inside

...yes, that is our cat, photoshopped up as "Guy" of Daft Punk, to round out Husband's Daft Punk duo since I'm Darth Vader.

I kind of think that about 90% of our friends won't understand our card, but hey - it makes us happy!


I'll leave off today with a "bonus" image from our "Merry Little Christmas" shoot - Carol and I, using improvised "gang signs." The "Anthropolo-Gs." Because we're hard like that, yo.


Hope you're all having a wonderful holiday season!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Santa Arrives Early (Sale Haul and OOTDs)

Hi everyone! Hope you're all doing well these last few days before the holiday. Kathryn and I thought we'd report back on what happened when we encountered the Anthropologie Tag Sale (oh, it's bad - very, very bad) and hear from you what you indulged in too. Here's my list of reasons Santa is putting me on his "naughty" list...(though, as my husband glibly told Rowan the other day, "Mommy's actually hoping that Santa will bring her coal." Rowan: "What?! Seriously? Why???" Husband: "Well, specifically, she's hoping she'll get the highly compressed kind." Rowan: "Huh?" Me: "Hey--! Oh, hmmm....")



You know how I love my AG Stevie cords in the wine color and when these went on sale, I jumped at the chance to get another pair - especially since they're an extra 25% off! These pants are SO comfy, I wish I could live in them. Now that I have a couple pairs, I might actually end up doing that. I couldn't decide whether I wanted the gray or the brown more, so I brought home both, to try and figure out which I need more. And um...I think I might need them both.

I grabbed Saturday's Favorite Henley just to try on with the Stevie cords, because I was wearing a dress that day (see OOTD below) and it was so cute and comfy, I brought that home too (extra 25% off! It's killing me...).

Promises to Keep Cardigan:


I was a little horrified when 1) I saw this had gone on sale as I was hoping I'd have more time to save for it and 2) I saw it had sold out by the time I got online in the morning (one of the major drawbacks of being in Pacific Time is that the east coast Anthro shoppers get a three hour jump on you!). Fortunately, when I called Heather (Fashion Valley Anthro Personal Shopper) and asked if she could find me one, she was able to track it down for me in the store, in a small (all the extra smalls were sold out everywhere, sadly). I tried it on, and while it was a touch big in the shoulders, I decided I could make it work. I won't lie - this cardigan has a LOT of fabric in it - I was a little taken aback by how much fabric has to be scrunched under the belt - and it does create some volume around the waist, but I love the print and colors and as Heather pointed out, it's meant to look like that when you wear it. My lovely mother said she'd buy it for me as my Christmas gift, so it's getting wrapped and going under the tree.

My OOTD:

Last week, when the first announcement of an extra 25% was made, I picked up the Mary Shirtdress as an alternative to the D'Armee Dress which is still not on sale. This cute little cotton shirtdress hasn't gotten much love on the blogs, and I'm not entirely sure why. Maybe everyone's military-ed out? It's got functioning buttons all the way down, along with two hook-and-eye closures at the waistline, to prevent pulling, and these delightfully oversized pockets, which I just love. And unlike the D'Armee, it's machine washable, which is totally a plus. Anyway, I tried on the purple and this green, and I decided on the green, because I thought it brightened me up a bit more than the darker purple. For $45, this dress is a great buy and I highly recommend. It was raining here in San Diego, so I had on my Burberry rain boots from last year (similar here and here and some less expensive but equally cute plaid rain boots here and here), which I scored on sale at Nordstrom (yay!). I know, it's a little silly to have nice rainboots when you live in a place that rains so infrequently, but I loves 'em anyhow. ^_^


TAG - you're it!

*slaps knee*

*ahem* Sorry, I couldn't resist.

It's almost Christmas, which means it's almost the end of the calendar year...which means TAG SALE TIME at Anthro and time for me to try and schedule some doctor appointments in order to maximize my benefits.

It's all about efficiency, you see.

Thing is, it's hard to do anything efficiently when your left arm is completely beat to crap from a tetanus shot (the nurse lied! He said it wouldn't hurt!) and then that same arm is subsequently bruised by a lab assistant who was unable to find a good vein from which to draw blood for tests.

Freaking ow ow OW.

Didn't stop me though:

Sawtooth Myrtle T-Straps and Pretty Yellow T-Straps from Seychelles That I Don't Know the Name of


Any of you that happen to follow me on Twitter might have seen me tweet my shoe dilemma. I had the hardest time deciding between these two pretty pairs of shoes. I'd missed out on the Anticipation heels, but I spied the Sawtooth Myrtle T-Straps and fell in love. I also loved the Seychelles heels, as they're insanely comfortable. Both of these shoes are slightly different for me; but, in the end, my budget only allowed for one pair so (after about...oh...an hour of deep thought) I went with the Sawtooth Myrtles because they felt more "me."

And if it ever stops raining in SoCal, maybe I'll actually get to wear them!

Speaking of the rain, it really has been raining nonstop here for about a week. A week. Here. In Southern California. Ugh. Getting dressed this past week, I couldn't help but notice that I have a shortage of outfits in my outfit arsenal that make me want to say, "Hey, you know what? This will look great when it's raining cats and dogs outside!" And by "shortage," I mean to say that I don't have
any outfits that make me want to jump for joy and say, "You GO girl!"

Anyway. this was the best I could come up with, for my OOTD. Nothing like a few sequins to glam up a rainy, rainy day:



Forever 21 Sweater
h.i.p. Sequin Camisole Tunic in Mocha (from Nordstrom, buy here)
American Eagle Skinny Jeans in Grey Destroyed (buy on sale here)
Forever 21 Necklace
Anaheim Ducks Santa Hat (available at the Team Store)
Children's Hunter Rain Boots in Light Pink with Cabled Welly Sock


I sort of wish I could've styled the Sawtooth Myrtles with this outfit, but the rain wouldn't let me. I pretty much love my light pink Hunter boots - they've saved me this past week, and I've gotten a ton of inquiries and compliments about them from random people. The sequin tunic was my poor (wo)man's version of J.Crew's Drapey Sequin Tank - ah Nordstrom, I love thee. And as for the Anaheim Ducks Santa hat...well, that one's self-explanatory. (...as in, I love Christmas and I love the Ducks, therefore I have a Ducks Santa Hat.)

My Ducks were briefly featured on the latest episode of HBO's 24/7: Penguins/Capitals. They extended the Caps' losing streak to an unfortunate 7th game, and Capitals coach Bruce "F-bomb" Boudreau spelled Ryan Getzlaf's name wrong on his little whiteboard. Woo!

Seriously, if you get a chance to watch 24/7: Penguins/Capitals - do it. It's
very well-made and incredibly entertaining.

That's it from me for now. What'd the Tag Sale bring to your happy homes? Tell!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

A Holiday Greeting from In Pursuit of Pretty Things
Photos by Sean Estipona


Have yourself a merry little Christmas


Let your heart be light


From now on, our troubles will be out of sight


Have yourself a merry little Christmas


Make the Yule-tide gay


From now on, our troubles will be miles away


Here we are as in olden days


Happy golden days of yore


Faithful friends that are dear to us


Gather near to us once more


Through the years we all will be together


If the Fates allow


Hang a shining star upon the highest bough


And have yourself a Merry little Christmas now


Happy Holidays! May you be blessed with much love and joy!

Love, Carol & Kathryn