Friday, September 30, 2011

Wish Design Shop Giveaway Winner (and a bonus for the rest of us!)

Happy Friday, everyone! Thanks to all of you who entered the Wish Design Shop giveaway. Without further ado, the lucky winner of a $50 credit is:

Nicole Elizabeth! 

Congratulations, Nicole Elizabeth! Keep an eye out for an email with your gift code - it should be there soon! ^_^

And just to keep things on the up and up, we compiled all the entries in an Excel spreadsheet (here) and drew a number at random to determine the winner:


But guess what! We're all winners today! (I feel like an info-mercial: "If you call RIGHT NOW, we'll double your order to include NOT ONE BUT TWO Acme Widgets! *giggle*)

In all seriousness, though, Wish Design Shop is offering a special promotion for readers of In Pursuit of Pretty Things

20% Off Your Entire Purchase!
Use promo code: PrettyThings20 when checking out.

So, yay! Hope you're able to score some pretty jewelry (be sure to tell us what you got - or better yet, send us a pic once you get it!). And thanks to Wish Design Shop for sponsoring such a fun giveaway. 

Have a great evening, everyone!

Made For Good (Jedidiah and an OOTD)

A couple of weeks ago, I won my first Twitter contest - hosted by Jedidiah, a local San Diego clothing company. What did I win? This adorable t-shirt, featuring an equally adorable illustration of a glasses-wearing-woman (whoo!) accompanied by the phrase, "all dolled up."

Can I digress for a second here? The illustration has a suspicious resemblance to blogger, Keiko Lynn, if anyone were to ask me. Not that anyone is. Just sayin'.


Okay, so back to the topic at hand. Which is Jedidiah, and humanitarian-based companies who practice social entrepreneurship - basically, the principles of working to advance social and environmental causes through the use of entrepreneurial practices. There are a lot of companies, like Nordstrom and Anthropologie, for instance, who espouse particular causes and make an effort to run campaigns or promotions that support those causes. And then, there are whole companies, like Jedidiah and TOMS, whose entire purpose is to support a cause or specific non-profits. In the years that Jedidiah's been on my radar (brought to my attention by Nordstrom, who hosted a custom screen-printing event in the Fashion Valley store a couple years ago, and who also sells Jedidiah merchandise in their stores), I know that they've worked a lot with youth-related charities and organizations - in fact, they're currently partnering with Stand Up For Kids, an organization that works to help homeless teenagers and at-risk youth. The proceeds from the vast majority of their merchandise will go directly to this organization, to support their important and necessary work.

Pants: Minnie in Stretch Twill, J. Crew
Shoes: Suede Platform Pumps, Miu Miu (similar here, here, and here)
Necklace: Hang in There Glasses Pendant, Kate Spade

I love the idea that I can leverage my shopping dollar to kill two birds with one stone - 1) find and acquire cute clothes and accessories and 2) help bring about positive change in the world. I don't know about you, but I'm often conflicted about prioritizing my wardrobe over helping those in need, and am always enormously grateful when I find companies like Jedidiah, who make things super easy for me. Check out their online store - there are some great tees and jackets for guys (there's a jacket I've got my eye on for my DH) and tons of cute graphic tees for women.

Oh, and speaking of cute graphic tees - I've heard it said that women in their 30's (and older) shouldn't wear graphic tees anymore. What do you think? Yes? No? Maybe? (I'm straddling maybe, myself...).

Thanks for reading, and hope you're having a great Friday!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hep...Kat (a Modcloth Purchase)

Hi there!

Just a borin' little ol' OOTD post here.

So I have a confession: I'm a Modcloth n00b.

I've looked at their dresses many times in the past, but I've always been a bit leery when it comes to ordering due to sizing issues and whatnot. Their stuff just seems so teeny tiny!

However, the Hepcat Dress is a particular dress I'd been eying from afar (haha, it's a shirtdress - of course I like it!), but they always seemed to be out of my size. So when the size Medium popped back in stock awhile back, I decided to take the plunge.

I've already worn it twice so far, and I like it...

worn with last year's Diamond Stitch Skimmers


worn with:
Anthro Precious Materials Cardigan
(totally different but totally cute cardigan here)
Target Merona "Myka" Suede Wedges in Black
(similar here, here and here)
Target Headband (similar here)


(apologies for the weird lighting in the photos...didn't have a chance to tinker with white balance before I uploaded, and then I got lazy and...yeah.)

(...and don't even talk to me about the soft focus. GAH.)

*ahem*

Anyway, I found the ordering process from Modcloth quite nice. When my package arrived, they included a cute little headband with my order as "thanks." That was a fun surprise!

While I miss having the pockets on this dress (I'm so spoiled by other shirtdresses, aren't I?), I find I've been such a sucker for polka dots lately. In fact, if I wanted to make an outfit challenge for myself, I should see how many consecutive days I could force myself to wear polka dots.

Hmmm.

I bet I could go for awhile.

Okee doke, y'all. Happy Thursday, and thanks so much for reading!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

So September (Wishlist Updates)

Can you believe we've come to the end of September? We have. It's true. And I am in disbelief. With October right around the corner, it's time for Kathryn and I to do some assessing and updating on our shopping wishlists. And I've gotta say, after the hard work I did, chipping away at my lists in the last month and a half, I think a shopping break/ban looms on the horizon for me. (eep!)


Carol's Full-Priced List
1. TOMS wedges (still on my list - I'll get them eventually but not in any real hurry. In gray, I think...unless I get them in red...or the striped.)
2. Still want some Boyfriend Cardigans (of varying colors - I haven't yet decided which specific ones, but these are in the running: Tory Burch Simone Cardigan, Eden Cardigan, Cocoon Cardigan, Grandfather Cashmere Cardigan)

Carol's Sale-Priced List
1. Button Regalia Boots (currently on sale...but still pricey. Still deliberating...)
2. Colette Dress (Future:Standard - now on sale, but have I waited too long? Is this something I can successfully transition for cooler weather? Not sure...)
3. Sophia Dress (On sale now!!! A future:standard pick that I love! Review here)
4. AG Stevie in green (waiting, waiting...)
5. Seeing Spots Shorts (still waiting, but interest is seriously waning at this point. How many more days of warm weather are left this year? Not that many, Anthro!)
6. Drybar 12-Pack of Blowouts (erm...this counts as a "sale" item, because I get a discount by buying in bulk...right?)

Carol's List of Things She Already Has (and needs to remember when wanting new things)
1. Take Action Dress (in the blue)
2. Marc Jacobs Karlie in Blush (Nordstrom Anniversary Sale exclusive: sold out, but similar here and here)
3. Trina Turk Ponte Knit Boot Skirt
4. Trina Turk Dame Blouse (ended up returning it to the store, due to sizing issues - even the size 0 was too big for me.)
5. Printed Boy Tee, Stripes (in the green motif. Scored on sale! Yay!)
6. Gull Wing Dress (picked this up on second cut! Wore it a couple times, but didn't have time to take OOTD photos...)
7. Trench Coat Skirt (decided to return this. Because I ended up getting...)
8. Unconditional Osier Dress ('nuff said.)
9. Tod's Leather Bootie (was able to get them price-matched, which took the edge off and used up my stash of Nordstrom Notes on them too. Phew!)
10. J. Crew Skinny Calf Hair Belt
11. J. Crew Minnie Stretch Twill Pant (in vibrant flame - love these!)
12. J. Crew Tippi Sweater (in viridian green)

Hmm...I don't know about you, but I'm thinking I could use an "austerity regimen" for my October and November shopping, haha. Though, I may need to pick up that Sophia Dress first...(and then a shopping break, honest! After all, the holidays are rapidly approaching...)


Hey look, it's another wishlist!

It's funny, things get cyclical don't they? I remember this point last year it was like everything I wanted had a full skirt and now...this year? Not so much. Which is fine, it leaves room for other things. And we are ever-evolving, eh? ^_-

So I think for this fall, my buzz word might be "pencil"...inspired a bit by this look here:

Angelina Jolie in The Tourist

...what a lovely look, eh? Oh my goodness, I love it. I didn't grab a great full-body shot of this, but she's sporting a slim silhouette here and I'm in love with it. I'm determined to recreate this sleek look for myself this fall...somehow.

Kathryn's Full-Priced List
1. Whatever the Heck This Coat Roxy Is Wearing Is Called (seriously, what is this? Does it even exist?)
2. J.Crew Teddie Dress (so classic - I feel like I could wear this forever! )
3. J.Crew No. 2 Pencil Skirt in Vintage Tweed (backordered forever, but it's pink and I WANT! )
4a. J.Crew No. 2 Pencil Skirt in Vibrant Flame (if I don't go for red jeans, I'll go for a skirt instead?)

...or wait, do I want...

5. Pointy-toed nude flats, either these REPORT Grover Flats or these Me Too Paige Patent Leather Flats (just been obsessed with the idea of pointy-toed nude flats lately)

Kathryn's "Shoot for the Stars" List (intended for daydreams, not necessarily reality)
1. Christian Louboutin Pigalle (it's ridiculous, but I've lusted over that red sole for awhile now)
2. Herve Leger Zip-Front Bandage Dress (I really want to own a Herve someday)


Kathryn's Sale-Priced List
1. Free People Floating City Cape (I've made it this long without it, I can make it longer?)
2. Trenchcoat Skirt (I've yet to try this, but I'm still intrigued)
3. Quantum Blouse (in the red motif...still intrigued)
4. Vince Camuto "Jordy" Boot (should've probably picked these up earlier, but...)
5. Arden B. Bandage High Waist Dress (an alternative to buying a Herve)

Kathryn's List of Things She Already Has (and has to remember when wanting new things)
1. Jimmy Choo Phoenix Espadrilles (we all know I caved in on these awhile ago and tried to wear them every chance I got before fall hit, right?)
2. Modcloth Hepcat Dress in Black Licorice (grabbed when my size finally showed up!)
3. Hinge Cowlneck Poncho (Anniversary Sale pick-up)
4. Nordstrom Collection Knit Ruana with Faux Fur Collar (Anniversary Sale pick-up)
5. Ivanka Trump Asteria Sandal (what's funny is, like #3 and #4, I've yet to wear these! )

...so there you go. Those are the wishlists for now. I may need to pick up something for myself soon, as I'm feeling a little blue over my little-guy-hockey-player-crush Dan Sexton being sent down to the minor leagues. I don't imagine I'll be seeing him in an Anaheim uniform anytime soon. Not the most surprising development ever, but I'm still a little sad about it.

At least I got to say "bye" to him before he left...

Sexton, working the concession stand as a "celebrity employee" prior to a preseason game (and smiling at me in the process *swoon*)
Photo courtesy of Krystle Suetani


Well...sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes they get sent down to Syracuse instead.*


*girlish sigh*

Oh, and for those of you who happen to be wondering - yes, I do plan on selling my Rensselaer T-Straps. So stay tuned!

And as always, thanks so much for reading!

*apologies to Adele for the lyric butchering

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Two Pretty Dresses (Anthro Fitting Room Reviews)

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Hope you're all doing well. Here are a couple fitting room reviews from my short visit there, this past weekend, with Vida. If these two dresses are any indication of the direction in which Anthro is headed for the latter half of fall and winter, well...my pocketbook could be in a bit of trouble....



This is the Unconditional Osier Dress, and I'm wearing it in an XS. The dress was one of the first that arrested my eyes, when I entered the store and began my quick scan for new arrivals. I couldn't remember seeing it online, but the silhouette and the pretty lace-like quality of the fabric seemed very promising, and I quickly pulled an XS to try on. Once I had it on, I seriously didn't want to take it off. The dress fit really beautifully. It consists of two layers - a lacy outer layer, made of what resembled a brown burnout felt (sort of like burnout velvet, only...not) over a black slip. The neck is a sort of scooped boat-neck (cut wide, rather than low) and the bodice is fitted, with a side zip. The skirt is slightly shorter, stopping an inch above my knee - taller women may want to take note when considering this dress.  I'm short-waisted and 5'2" and I can only imagine that on a taller woman, both the waist and skirt might hit higher than they do on me. The drawbacks of a dress like this? Well, it isn't a particularly child-friendly dress. I might worry that things could snag and damage the mesh backing of the lace. There are no pockets, and it's dry clean only. Did these things deter me? No. The dress came home with me that day - it was love, and it didn't hurt that I had an event to attend later that evening. (More to come on that.)

Detail of the flocked lace overdress.

Glinting Persica Sweater Dress:


I picked up the Glinting Persica Sweater Dress on Vida's recommendation, and really, she didn't have to try very hard to persuade me - after all, what's not to like about the pretty, soft colors, simple shape, and work-appropriate length? I'm wearing this in an XS in these pictures. This dress is made of a substantial knit wool-blend, allowing it to lie smoothly against the body, unlike some sweater dresses that seem to want to show off every unfortunate lump or bulge (you know, the kind that sends you scrambling for your Spanx?). I had absolutely no complaints about this one. It's a pullover style, so there are no zippers or buttons to fuss with. I don't remember any pockets (booo!), but the dress is hand-washable, which is nice, if you're trying to keep your dry cleaning bill in check. There's a little cut-out in the back (check out the product shot if you want to see it), to add interest to the dress and the fabric has a fairly subtle metallic thread woven through the floral print. The skirt hit directly at my knee and the waist hit me at the very top of my hips (as I've mentioned, I'm short-waisted), but I found the fit flattering, if not completely perfect. Overall, this is a lovely dress, and I'm definitely wishlisting it for sale time.

So, what do you think? Did you pick up anything at today's sale? I know Kathryn's torn over the Across the Lands Dress. Or, do you find yourself lusting after the new arrivals instead?

Monday, September 26, 2011

"Make It Work!" (Tim Gunn Comes to San Diego!)

This past Saturday, the very delightful Tim Gunn made a personal appearance in San Diego, hosting a fashion show at Fashion Valley Mall.

Horribly, I missed it. The fashion show part, anyway. However, Vida, a reader and really-lovely-human-being-in-general, saw it and reported that it was amazing. And my very good friend, Tom, snapped this photo on his cell phone, while passing by: 

Photo credit: Tom Ross

The show featured fashions from Kate Spade, Juicy Couture, and Lucky Brand - three brands that seem pretty disparate and an incongruous combination, until you realize that they're all owned by Liz Claiborne, Inc. of which Tim Gunn is the Chief Creative Officer. 

Despite missing the fashion show (*sob*), I was able to make it to the meet-and-greet portion of the event, and also meet up with Vida. It was such fun! Mr. Gunn (who insisted on being called Tim) was as gracious, authentic, and kind as he seems on television, and really engaged with every person who approached him, leaning forward, shaking hands, smiling, and making small talk in a way that put everyone at ease. The meet-and-greet was really more of a photo opportunity, with every attendee being allowed a minute to talk with and take a picture with Tim. The entire operation was beautifully coordinated, with the staff quickly and efficiently assisting attendees with their bags, their cameras, and other gear, in order to allow guests to greet and be photographed with Tim, without being burdened by whatever they happened to be lugging around the mall that day.

The fashion show stage - also where attendees met and were photographed with Tim Gunn. 

Guests were offered touch-ups by make-up artists, as they neared the front of the line. Bare Escentuals products were provided, so no one had to get their photo taken with a shiny nose or faded lip if they didn't want to:

Make-up artists provided touch-ups to guests waiting in line to meet Tim.

A professional photographer snapped a photo of Tim and each guest. Photos were printed immediately and handed to guests as they stepped off the stage!

I was so thoroughly overwhelmed by my excitement, I could barely do more than introduce myself and grin like a goof for the camera. I will say though - Tim's energy was very calming, so I was able to keep all the squealing, bouncing, and excited hand-clapping inside, while meeting him (thank goodness). I do wish I could have put together a couple sentences though, and told him that he's the major reason I enjoy Project Runway (if he was to leave that show, I might still watch it because of the design and fashion elements, but I don't know that I'd enjoy it as much as I do now); that I really enjoyed the book of his I read a couple years ago; and that I wish his column in Marie Claire wasn't limited to just one page. 

Myself with Tim Gunn (snapped by a staffer, using my camera).

If I ever meet him again, I'll be sure to tell him those things. Or maybe, I'll just say that I'd never have thought to put a purple gingham shirt with a pinstriped navy suit and patterned tie together - but wow, it totally works. (Note to self: find a purple gingham shirt to wear under my navy pinstriped blazer...)

Me, Tim Gunn, and Vida!

I have to say, the afternoon was about fifty times more fun, because I was there with Vida. She's the one who drew my attention to this event, held a place in line for me since I was arriving late, and in what I quickly realized was typical-Vida style, she'd made friends with all the women in the line around her, which made standing in the heat while awaiting our turns so much nicer. (And how cute is she in her Kate Spade Kit Sweater, Zara skirt, and Burberry handbag?) Thanks, Vida, for providing such wonderful company at such a fun event!

The very lovely Vida, after we met Tim. 

Meet-and-greet guests received a gift bag, along with a print of their photo with Mr. Gunn. In each bag was a box of holiday cards - all featuring a sketch of Tim Gunn and some Gunnesque holiday observation or advice...(and yes, there were actual squeals and gasps of delight, when we discovered those cards - so fun!) - along with a chic matte silver photo frame. 

One of the Tim Gunn-themed holiday cards we received in our gift bags.

After the event, Vida and I did a tiny bit of browsing in Juicy Couture and Anthro. I tried on a couple things at Anthro and will share those items in another post. The Juicy Couture boutique isn't really one that I've ever been into before - mostly because I feel like their things are a bit too young for me and at a high price point to boot, but after having realized that it was a sister-company to my much beloved Kate Spade, my curiosity was piqued, and we made our way over. Our expectations were mostly on the mark - generally, we felt the merchandise in the store was for a slightly younger demographic than ourselves (we're both professional 30-somethings and mothers of young children), but I will leave you with these two things we came across (and sorta loved)...this adorable lace top and this vintage-feel blouse (on sale in Juicy Couture stores).

Have a great Monday and thanks for reading!


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Random Chatting (OOTDs, Some Flashbacks & Friendship Fun)

We're not sure if this will be funny to most, or if it's just funny to us (probably the latter), but this bit of random chatter illustrates beautifully what probably composes about...a full third (okay, okay, maybe closer to a full half) of our daily "conversation":






Yep. That's us. J. Crew wishes (No. 2 double serge pencil skirts) , an Anthropologie reference (the Ensnared Peasant Top), and careful analyses and characterization of daily outfits (no offense intended to anyone of northern Native American descent, or commercial sex workers at that - but bonus points for those who caught the other reference) - all happening at the same time. As you can see, Kathryn and I are very fluent at instant-messengerese.

It's along the same line of chatter we had when we were in our 20s...(chatting via instant messenger between California and New York):

Carol and Kathryn in NYC

And also the sort of thing we talked about in our teens (though, admittedly - and we're probably dating ourselves now - we didn't have instant messenger when we were in high school. We wrote notes to each other. On notebook paper. And folded them elaborately. And passed them to each other during passing period, between classes):

Kathryn and Carol, snapped in high school - BIG bangs were obviously a trend back then...

Okay, I admit. In our high school years, we weren't talking about J. Crew or Anthro. I don't think I really discovered either until college. In fact, I don't think we talked a whole lot about clothes. Some, but not a lot. I think back then, we mostly talked about boys. And music. But mostly boys.

Seeing as we're both happily married now, we naturally had to find other things to talk about. ^_-


Sweater: H&M (similar here and here)
Pants: J. Crew Minnie in vibrant flame (in the size 0 - which is mysteriously bigger on me this week than they were last week...)
Shoes: Givenchy Platform Clog Sandals (similar here, here, and here)


Hello!

Ha, what a fun trip down memory lane, eh? I can't say it enough - I feel very blessed to have such a great friend in my life.

What follows is the aforementioned "eskimo hooker" - I mean, prosti - I mean, sex-worker outfit in question...

Club Monaco Sweater (super old...circa 2005? similar here)
Hinge Plaid Flannel Shorts
Lovequotes Scarf in Raspberry (also old, circa 2008? new colors here)
Nordstrom Wool Socks (similar here)
Frye Tall "Jane" Boots
Anaheim Ducks Foam Finger

Wow, I didn't realize until I uploaded this photo how much it makes me look like I need to pee.

(I didn't need to, by the way. I just
looked like I needed to. Because I'm awkward like that.)

So you may recognize the shorts from my Nordstrom Anniversary Sale haul and Carol's OOTD post from the other day. Truth be told, I'm not entirely sure this outfit works, though my friends seemed to like it well enough. I'm still undecided - I think I'll like the shorts more with some tights. My bare legs just felt so...bare. And styled with boots...well, that's what made me feel like this outfit was kind of "eskimo hooker"-ish.

Anyway, this is what I wore to the Ducks game the other night. Yay! It's preseason, and hockey is back! The players that weren't scheduled to play for that particular game were scattered about the arena where fans could take pictures with them and get autographs. So yes - this is the outfit I was wearing when I got to meet this little cutie again:

with Ducks winger Dan Sexton

I got to thank him for the puck he flipped over the glass at me for my birthday several months ago. To my surprise, he said he remembered that night (gah, how embarrassing) and that it was the very least that he could do for me.

What a sweetheart.

Apparently a few of my friends didn't realize I'd be at the game that night, so they wanted to make sure I had a little something special to remember:


Have I mentioned lately how grateful I feel to have such wonderful friends?

Many thanks to all my friends who make my life brighter. And many thanks to Mr. Dan Sexton, for being such a good sport, haha.

xoxo
Link

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Feeling Like Fall (OOTD)

It's not actually cold here, in San Diego...at least, not yet. We are getting some cooler mornings and evenings, but the days still manage to climb up into the mid-70s range. It doesn't stop me from wanting to feel and dress for a true autumn, though. But as I can't, I'll be satisfied with pretending.

Sometimes, textures and fabrics can take you a long way to feeling like it's fall. Even when summer is extending its stay.



Sweater: Sweet Cables Pullover, Anthropologie (similar here, here, and here)
 Shorts: Hinge Plaid Flannel Shorts, Nordstrom (similar here, here, and here)
Sandals: Givenchy Platform Clog Sandal (similar here, here, and here)

I just wanted to take a moment and thank everyone for leaving us so many kind words of encouragement and sharing your thoughts on the Anthroholic scandal as well as the nature of blogging. Kathryn and I, for better or for worse, have decided to keep plugging along here, and as you may have noticed, we've started implementing some structural, formatting changes, that will help us turn this blog into one that's got more room for topical posts that have less to do with pursuing pretty things and more to do with other issues that may concern women, life, or whatever else happens to catch our fancy (unicorns and rainbows and sunshine?). These changes are coming gradually (as the blog comes third after "family," and "jobs" on my life lists - and, to be totally honest, fourth after "hockey" on Kathryn's ^_-), so bear with us while we make our transition. Don't worry - overall, the blog's content isn't going to change much. We just want to re-organize things so that people who don't really want to know about the latest book I read, the latest hockey win Kathryn experienced, or the latest social issue we've been mulling over, don't really have to.

That being said, there's a lot going on here, so I need to list some reminders and requests now:
  1. Don't forget to enter the Wish Design Shop giveaway HERE. There have been very few entries so far (and I'm confused as to why - the necklaces are so pretty!), so enter! Your chances for winning are really good!
  2. San Diegans and other SoCal locals - RSVP for the Thread Show shopping event coming up in early October. Kathryn and I will both be there, and we'd love to meet and shop with you (seriously - have you ever been shopping with a group of women who really love it? There are very few things that can be more fun, in life). 
  3. I'd like to set up our next book club "meeting." If you have a book that you think we should read and discuss together here, please let me know in the comments below, or shoot me an email.
I'm super excited for the stuff we have planned and in the works. Thanks for hanging in here with us!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It's Over (an OOTD and a breakup)

Shirt: Old Navy Button-Down (similar here)
Skirt: H&M (it includes the belt! similar-ish here)
Necklace: Bedecked Brooch Necklace (2010, similar here)
Shoes That I Am Breaking Up With: Rensselaer T-Straps (Fall 2010)



Greetings, Readers.

I wanted to announce that I am officially separating from my Rensselaer T-Straps.

I tried. I really tried. But sometimes things just aren't meant to be.

I really wanted to make it work, too. The pretty chocolate brown color. The little flowers. The top-stitching. The not-too-high heel. The pink lining! Everything about them said, "Yes Kathryn, YES!"

But...no, Kathryn. No. The suckers hurt me. And abusive relationships are bad. And I've finally decided enough was enough.

I don't know if I'll ever really be able to get over them. Should I give these a call? Or is it too soon? How about these? Or *gulp* these?

So, this is it. It's time to let go, my friends. You know what they say...if you love someone, let them go. And it's time to let go.

No regrets, RenT. Maybe one day I'll be strong enough to move on. In the meantime, I'm going to get another Hello Kitty bandage to put over the blister you gave me today. Rude.

Before I go, a gentle reminder to say there's still time to enter our Wish Design Shop giveaway here. Please do enter. I'm fairly certain I can promise their jewelry won't hurt your feet like SOME things have been known to.

*ahem*

Signed,
T-Strap-less in Orange County




Monday, September 19, 2011

Thread Show, San Diego 2011 (A Reader Event & an OOTD)

Happy Monday, everyone! Hope this week has gotten off to a good start for you. I just wanted to announce our next In Pursuit of Pretty Things Reader Event (aka reasons-for-us-to-get-together-and-have-way-more-fun-than-you'd-imagine-was-necessarily-possible): a group outing to the Thread Show which is coming to San Diego on October 9, 2011.


So, for those of you who haven't been to an event like this, it's a shopping event that promotes and showcases the work of emerging artists and designers, as well as vendors with an interesting perspective (such as my own favorite Future:Standard - who is confirmed to be there, yay!). This particular show will be featuring fall/winter collections and the Thread spokesperson, Danielle Gano described it as, "an opportunity [for locals] to meet the designers face-to-face, feed the local economy, be kind to the environment and ensure the gifts they give are locally-made and ethically produced."

In addition to the shopping, there's going to be live music, a pop-up local art gallery, Style Lounge, Nail Bar, Live Style Series, THREAD Well Lounge, live screen printing and giveaways all day. 

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Kathryn and I will both be attending, and would love to meet up with you! Entrance to the event costs $10 at the door, but if you RSVP at least 24 hours in advance of the event, you can get a discounted admission of $5. And even better, we've been given six free passes to give away, so, the first six readers to email me (carol.prettythings [at] gmail.com) will get in to the event, completely free of charge.

I'll be posting some of the details of the meet-up here on the blog, prior to the event, but if you let me know you're planning to come, I'll be sure to send you updates on details regarding times, locations, etc, directly.

So, to sum it all up, you're invited to join myself and Kathryn for a shopping get-together/outing!

What: Thread Show
When: Sunday, October 9, 2011 from noon - 5 PM
Where: Horton Event Space - 4th & Broadway
324 Horton Plaza
San Diego, CA 92101
 RSVP: Here (Thread Show's website)
and to me (carol.prettythings [at] gmail.com)

and

the first 6 people to RSVP to me will get a free pass!


We really hope you'll be able to come. Our last event in June was so much fun and we're looking forward to meeting you/seeing you again.

And now, my OOTD. I admit it. This isn't what I'm wearing today. It's not even what I wore yesterday, or the day before that. This is an outfit I wore maybe...two, three weeks ago? But between a hectic work schedule, and an even busier home life (not to mention the mental/emotional toll of our little blogosphere's recent drama), I've been woefully lax about getting photos of my OOTDs. So here's one from the archives. Yes, I wear this skirt way too much. No, I don't really regret it. Except that...well, on the blog, it looks like it's all I ever wear.






Top: H&M chiffon blouse (similar here and here)
Skirt: H&M mesh midi skirt (similar here, here, and here)
Shoes: Givenchy Platform Clog Sandals (similar here, here, and here)
Belt: Mossimo leather studded belt, Target (similar here and here)
Necklace: J. Crew (not online; similar here, here, and here)
Watch: Michael Kors Crystal Chonograph (now on sale!)

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Our Sisters' Keepers (Some Thoughts)

This has been a rough week for us, hasn't it? Most of us are now well acquainted with the details of the scandal surrounding the now defunct blog, Anthroholic and its author, Kim (if not, read here and here). Neither Kathryn nor I were personally involved with Kim's personal shopping service, so can't speak from experience, but as is true for many of us, we liked Kim and her blog (and we're willing to admit it - she had cute outfits), and even though we didn't really know her and had only limited interactions with her (via blog comments, the occasional tweet, and one or two emails), we thought we knew her, and as such trusted her.

It's a little devastating, and queasy-in-the-stomach-making, to know that one of us (is there still an "us"? I hope so...) could do this to others of us. I have no idea what Kim's motivations were, so will make no statements regarding those. I am really and horribly disappointed, though, and if I'm being totally honest, very put-off by all of it. In light of what's happened, I've come to the realization that I really perceived our little niche blogging community, bonded by our shared love of pretty clothes, as an anomaly in an otherwise very catty, snarky, and often aggressively harsh online reality. I really valued the fact that we were so nice. In fact, I have repeatedly explained the appeal of the Anthro-blogging community to non-believers (haha) by describing a group of women who were supportive of each other, non-demeaning, kind, caring, trustworthy, intelligent, and appreciative of the variety of perspectives we could offer each other regarding style, body shape/size, and life experiences.

This week, has, unsurprisingly, totally shaken my perception of who we are as a group. And I wouldn't be completely honest if I didn't tell you that both Kathryn and I have both wondered whether we should just stop. Blogging that is. What's it for? What's it worth? Why is it important? Are we nuts to be doing this (the peeps on GOMI seem to think so)?

And the fact is, that as much as part of me wants to just hit the "delete" button, and pull out, the truth remains that the community we have here is real. It's not virtual. It's not make-believe. It's people and shared interests, affection, and respect. Those things are all important. We've all invested lots of time, effort, and work in building this fun, creative, sharing place, and that's a worthwhile endeavor.

I love that when I started this blog with Kathryn, a few months after giving birth to my second child, still carrying post-pregnancy weight, awkward and eager and (very often) silly (something that hasn't changed much), no one said, "You're ridiculous. Your body is soft and pudgy, and you're badly in need of a haircut."(haha, something else that hasn't changed.) Do you know what people said instead? "You look great in that!" "Thanks for sharing these reviews!" "I loved this post!" "You made me smile today." "You two are great."

There are so few places in life where we can feel safe, respected, and valued this way, by other women. So often, women and girls can be really adversarial with each other - snarky and cutting and critical and exclusive. Working in education, particularly with topics surrounding school climate, bullying, and safety, I never fail to notice how common the problems with "mean girls" can be. For whatever reason, girls (and women), intentionally or unintentionally, tend to create hierarchical, exclusive (meaning we select who's in and who's out) social groups. We also tend to use social-emotional tactics to punish each other, when we feel someone has broken a group norm. Hence, the "mean girls" behavior and typing.

I'm not entirely sure where I'm going with this, except to say, we are our sisters' keepers. We owe it to each other to hang in here, be more mindful, more supportive, and more reflective about the way we interact, the way we motivate each other, and the way we speak to and about each other. We should continue to be inclusive and welcoming. We are a real community, populated by real people with real relationships and shared interests. We should be able to offer help to each other and feel able to ask for help when it's needed.

With a title like, "In Pursuit of Pretty Things," it's hard to be more than a blog about shopping and style. But when I wrote the very first post for it, over a year and a half ago, I rather hoped that it would be more than that. And maybe there are some structural changes that can be made here to help facilitate this. However this may happen, we want to say that we hope we all come through this, somehow the better for it.


Hi. Kathryn here.

I'm not really sure what I can say about this whole situation that hasn't already been said so eloquently by Anjali, Jess, Tara, JG, Carol and seemingly countless others. I'm a little tired of thinking about all this, to be honest.

I agree with Carol - this whole incident is a good reminder (to me, at least) to be mindful of my own behavior. There are times that my words get away from me, and I know I need to take a good look in the mirror and make sure my own behaviors and attitudes are encouraging and that I'm mindful of the snark. Sometimes I do okay, other times I don't. I need to fix that ratio.

Anyway, this isn't meant to sound flippant. But I feel like my feelings about this entire incident can be summed up though an ending of a particular episode of Firefly.

{If any of you haven't seen this episode in the 9 years since it first aired, I guess I should warn that there are spoilers ahead. Sorry, but I need to spoil the episode to make my point.}

In the episode, "Ariel" - Jayne betrays fugitives Simon and River to the Alliance, even though Mal has already agreed to keep them under his protection on his ship. Interestingly, Jayne ends up confessing that he did it for the money:

"The money was too good," he said. "I got stupid! I'm sorry, okay?"

Mal's speech to Jayne at the end of the episode is the kicker, to me. Even though Carol or I or several others have never used her personal shopping services and even though our limited experiences with her were largely pleasant, this next interaction illustrates how I feel about what she did to others:

Jayne, to Mal: "What are you takin' it so personal for? It ain't like I ratted you out to the Feds!"

Mal: "Oh, but you did. You turn on any of my crew, you turn on me!"

Mal concludes: "You did it to me, Jayne. And that's a fact."

This blogging community - you guys - are kind of like Mal's crew, to me. As...cheesy...as it may sound, you're my little bloggie family. And anything that's done to you, whether we know each other or not, is done to me too. And I think that's why I'm so bothered by all of this. And it makes me realize how important it is to treat everyone with respect, acceptance, and trust.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Jimmy Choo > > > __________ (OOTDs)

Hello!

How are you all doing, the day after Black Friday, I mean Missoni For Target Day?

Today's post is an exercise in apologetics. Well, sort of. Except instead of defending a religion, I'm defending my recent shoe purchase.

Though I suppose an argument could be made for shoes being a religion. *shrug*

Anyway, I love these Jimmy Choo Phoenix Espadrilles:

  • they go with just about everything!
  • they're extremely comfortable, and I've got moderate to severe hallux valgus
  • the quality is fantastic
  • they're pretty

I've actively tried to work these shoes (which I still like to refer to as shooz) into every outfit lately, because...well, what better way to justify a purchase of espadrilles in late August (and attempt to assuage my inevitable guilt associated with the price tag) than chip away at that cost-per-wear factor?

(if for no other reason than to make myself feel better)

So, here we go!


Let's see, they go with florals and blushes... (I'm a fan of my new faux-leather gold rhinestone cuff, by the way...so sparkly it's ridiculous!)
Zara Blush Blouse ($$$ version here, another version here)
Anthropologie Apothecary Skirt (similar here and here)
Anthropologie High Gloss Belt (one that costs more than the entire outfit combined here)
Nordstrom Necklace (similar here and here)
Francesca's Collections Dazzling Diva Cuff (similar here)



They go with white!

Tracy Feith for Target Dress (similar here)
Anthropologie Field Game Cardigan (Spring 2010, similar here)
J.Crew Metallic Leather Skinny Belt (similar here)
Nordstrom BP Bow Necklace (similar here and here)
Hello Kitty Band-aid (yes, I cut myself shaving. I'm an idiot like that.*blush*)


They go with olive-toned shirt-like dresses!
Anthropologie D'armee Dress (similar here, really cute version without sleeves here)
Anthropologie Idesia Necklace (similar-ish here)
Rope Belt from Anthropologie Triumvirate Belts Set (similar here)


I think they even look good when pondering major life issues. Like, "Hmm...what do I feel like eating for dinner?"

Liberty of London for Target Dress (similar-ish here)
J.Crew Jackie Cardigan (similar pink cardigans here and here)
Anthropologie Looping Lanes Belt (Spring 2010)
Nordstrom BP Bow Necklace


Comfortable for...dancing?

Old Navy Button Down Shirt (similar here and here)
Anthropologie Heat Wave Shorts (Spring 2010)
Rope Belt from Anthropologie Triumvirate Belts Set


Or in case of zombie apocalypse...?
Nordstrom BP Jersey Dress (pretty version here!)
Anthropologie Looping Lanes Belt


Or walking like an Egyptian or doing yoga...
Anthropologie Pezza Dress (Spring 2011, similar here, kinda here)
Anthropologie Looping Lanes Belt


Kickboxing or just general shenanigans...

Anthropologie Vappu Dress (Spring 2010)
Rope Belt from Anthropologie Triumvirate Belts Set


Forgive me, readers. For I'm nothing if not silly. (italicized and everything)
Anthropologie Sun Shades Dress
Oh, Hello Friend Ruffled Cardigan
Nordstrom BP Bow Necklace



And I am willing to go out on a limb and say they look good with hockey jerseys and jeans. Because that's how I roll.
Suomi (Finland) Olympic Jersey (1998, autographed by Teemu Selänne)
American Eagle High-Rise Flare Jeans
Easton Hockey Stick (autographed by Dan Sexton)


Well, I hope I've made my case for these shooz. They are my new favorite shoe.

Again, many props to Carol, for inspiring me to bite the bullet and grab these babies. Needless to say, I highly recommend them. They really do go with everything. If not for this year (because we're heading into fall now), there's always next year. They seem to be a staple shoe.


So, as we all know, yesterday was the day that the highly anticipated Missoni for Target collection hit stores and the Target website. I'm sure you all are already well aware of events that transpired throughout the day so I don't want to belabor the point. But I figured I'd share what I encountered in my store:


...yeah.

I got nothing.

I had really wanted the ballet flats in fuschia, or one of the infinity scarves (and maybe the umbrella and that stupidly cute espresso set!), but I refuse to pay an exorbitant amount for this stuff when I feel like I can go and buy actual Missoni-Missoni at those prices. So yeah. Screw that noise.

No Target for Missoni for Kathryn. *shrug* Oh wellz.

As always, thanks so much for putting up with my wacky antics. And thanks so much for reading!

xoxo