Thursday, December 31, 2009

Roooooxanne, You Don't Have to Put Out the Red Light

My bedroom is a red-light district.

See that alarm clock on the nightstand? The one with the 2.5-inch tall numbers? Yeah, that puts out a heavy red glow to rival the Kenny Rogers Roasters neon sign in that old "Seinfeld" episode. I'm fairly sure that planes passing overhead can tell what time it is.

The clock was supposed to be a gag Christmas gift from my parents, but I love it. You see, (I really don't) this was purchased from a Web site for the hearing and sight-impaired, which I am. I'm woefully nearsighted and have worn glasses since first grade. The numbers on this clock are big enough that, if I squint, I can tell what time it is even with the clock pushed to the nightstand's edge.

That was cool Christmas gift No. 1.

The second? Well, this rockin' bike from my Spousal Unit. I've been pining for a beach cruiser with a big-butt seat ever since we went to San Diego two years ago, and I enviously watched those carefree girls cruise down the strand. I named it Pinkie Bikeadero. That would be a "Happy Days" reference to Pinkie Tuscadero, for those of you whose golden age of TV wasn't in the '70s.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Best Buys '09

I shop.

A lot.

For me it's a hobby, sport and therapy all rolled into one. Of course, when I stop and think about what I've spent over the past year on everything from stretchy, tie-dyed hair ties to shearling-lined boots and tinted lip balm, it kinda makes my tummy hurt. At the same time, few things make me feel happier than a package waiting on my doorstep or a super-sale dress I've scored at a local boutique's sale.

And — this is so not normal — but I kind of panic a little as the year winds down, and I think about all the things I bought for a song, thinking I won't ever find such bargains again. (I've been known to save the price tags on especially marked-down items.) It's the same creepy feeling I get when I realize all the Christmas presents I've carefully shopped for year-round have been given away and I have to start all over again.

Anyway, I thought I'd take this opportunity to highlight my Best Buys of the past year:

• Haute Hippie short-sleeved poncho. I saw this in a few places and fell in love. It's a silk-cashmere-cotton blend, which sounds so yummy. The sticking point was the $139 price tag. Yikes. But, I just wanted to feel it and, with the power of online shopping (and free returns), I bought it just to see if it was worth obsessing over. It was. Amazingly, it popped up on eBay for about $40. I snapped it up. I love this so much that when a long-sleeve version came up on eBay, I bought it, too.

• J. Crew Chalet shearling-lined boots. They were a splurge, but they are so amazingly soft and cuddly inside that I may have them welded onto my feet.

• Good-to-Go bag. From one of my favorite sites — — this purse organizer is awesome. It has tons of little pockets around the outside and a big drawstring pouch in the middle. Makes it so easy to switch purses.

• NYC In A New York Minute express nail color. Sure the best things in life are free, but paying $1.72 for nail polish that really, truly dries in about a minute is pretty sweet. This stuff is awesome, has a great range of colors and you can't beat the price. Look for it at Target and drug stores.

• Clarisonic. I may love it as much as my children. Maybe more because it doesn't talk back or leave messes around the house AND it makes my skin glow. The kids give me wrinkles and gray hair. I really don't know if it makes me look younger, but my skin feels soft. My face just doesn't feel clean if I don't use it. Again, a splurge but since I never, ever have time (or money) to get facials anymore, this thing is a godsend.

• Sam Edelman "Flora" driving mocs. These feel like slippers but look soooo much chicer.

• Current/Elliott boyfriend jeans. Believe the hype. The jeans that touched off the slouchy, comfortable look are the best. The best. Amazingly soft denim and such a cute look. You've got to be careful with oversized jeans to make sure they don't make you look, well, oversized. The big, low-placed pockets are incredibly flattering to the ol' badonkadonk.

• Patterson J, Kincaid striped Greenwich top. This recently made the list for "cool new brands I've discovered." The top, purchased on crazy super-sale at Neiman Marcus's online shop (another previous posting) was such an incredible find. The material is exquisitely soft. The styling — slightly oversized with big arm holes — is very current. Outfit perfection: I throw an athletic-type bra or bandeau bra underneath and pair with skinny jeans and a moto jacket.

Here's to a 2010 filled with lots of great shopping.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Fleece-y Goodness

Since I was a little kid, people warned that living in the desert thins your blood.

What does this mean? Well, it means that once the temperature drops below 70, you're cold. Freezing. It feels like arctic temps. Whether or not that's true about the blood, there's no doubt that plenty of us desert dwellers are seriously wimpy about the cold. I would be one of these people.

I love winter clothes even though we have fake seasons. But, I'm perfectly happy living in a place where even in the 50s, with the sun out, it feels much, much warmer. If I were ever faced with real, winter weather, I don't think I'd survive. So, I pretend, buying things like shearling-lined boots and — my latest discovery — fleece-lined leggings.

"Won't those add an inch to your legs?" a friend asked when I mentioned the Plush leggings.


They're warm and snuggly and paired with those boots, my bottom half will be invincibly warm.

Monday, December 28, 2009

'Bye, bye Mini Skirt

Good-bye mini skirt, hello middle age.


Last year, I had to have — HAD to have — a denim mini. I'd had 'em in the past and gotten rid of them. But, I needed one to go with my increasing collection of leggings. The other night, I pulled it on over some leggings to go out to a casual dinner with the family. It looked awful. It felt awful — too short, too young. I remembered the intro to "What Not To Wear, which features a sign reading 'No mini skirts after 35.'

I tossed it into the giveaway pile.

Yet another fashion trend that I have grown too old for. Double sigh.

It's tough realizing that my fashion clock is ticking. There are just some things and styles that I shouldn't wear for much longer. I adore graphic T-shirts. That might start to look silly soon. I also never pay attention to hem-lines and regularly go well above the knee. That, too, has an expiration date. I fear it is soon.

Of course, Hollywood types ignore such rules regularly. Look at Demi Moore. She totally bucks style convention — long hair past age 40, short skirts, va-va-voom necklines. Of course, she's Demi Moore. And, I feel fairly confident in saying that she doesn't come with all her original parts. Also, Hollywood types run in different circles than I. So, maybe it's not so bad that I shouldn't wear something super-tight and super-short for a premiere since the only premieres I attend are elementary school talent shows and the dress codes are fairly lax.

And, I guess I could also not buy the Splendid vintage fleece hoodie that went on sale for an extra 20 percent off at and instead save up for my own, um, body upgrades. If no one can tell how old you are, how can they tell you what to wear?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Yes, Neiman Marcus

For years I disparagingly referred to the high-end department store as "Needless Mark-up."

Two times I tentatively wandered into the Scottsdale outpost. I bought one thing — Bobbi Brown lipgloss.

But, now I owe Neiman Marcus a consumer mea culpa. While all these other fancy stores were trying to get my business this holiday season with special offers, only Neiman Marcus consistently offered free shipping and super-duper discounts. Nordstrom never did that. Neither did Bloomie's. Saks did offer free shipping, but its prices are so high that it didn't matter much.

So, I'm a convert to And, I'm happily awaiting this Patterson J. Kincaid micromodal tank (super soft!!!), which was a whopping 75-percent off. Yay me. Go, Neiman.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Shoe Haiku

Pictured: Me Too "Locket" pumps

Hey, Santa Baby
Oh won't you bring me a pair?
In size seven, please.

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Fabulous Finds

You don't spend as much time online as I do and not come across some cool things. A Christmas gift to you: brands to shop for if you love quality and incredibly soft fabrics:

• Patterson J. Kincaid (white long-sleeved tee). Basics that look anything but because of the flow-y fabrics and easy styles.
• Torn by Ronny Kobo (plaid, drapey top). A little edgy with of-the-moment styling and prints. This is a line I'm going to keep my eye on, even if Taylor Momsen's been spotted in the stuff, too.
• Haute Hippie (gray, long-sleeved hoodie). True to its name, Haute Hippie features very boho-looking stuff at Paris Hilton prices. I'm addicted to the blend of cashmere, silk and cotton used in many of its cardigans. I managed to acquire two HH items (long-sleeve and short-sleeve hoodies), and they're exquisitely soft. And, I got them on eBay at about a quarter of the triple-digit-price tags the stores sold them for.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Seasonal Jewelry

This cinderblock necklace is supposed to symbolize the foundation upon which ideas and cities are built.

To me, it more symbolizes how I'm feeling right now: that I have this massive weight around my neck.

It's my daughter's birthday, Christmas is a mere two days away, and I have a closet's worth of stuff to wrap.

I think I need to go shoe shopping.

Friday, December 18, 2009

That Friday Thang

Plaid, Ked-like wedges from crazy-cheap line Volatile.

Friday before Christmas Shoe Haiku

Oh so seasonal
Plaid and sneakerlike, they're cute
Good to walk in, too.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What the......???

I've completely lost control.

I admit it, and I've even almost come to terms with it.

Black tufts of dog hair are building up along the hallways. My countertop has disappeared beneath an avalanche of Christmas cards, pencils, lunch boxes, and some weird green cornstarch-and-glue sculpture that I'm going to discreetly sneak into the trash first chance I get.

This is how I live -- with three kids genetically incapable of putting things away, a husband (who passed along that gene) and two shedding, black puppies.

I accept that nothing I own will go unstained, unchewed, un-peed upon. My house is.....a frat house. Without the Greek-lettered clothing and beer-swilling but still with all the unruly behavior, puke, burping and weird secretions smeared across furniture.

As further testatment to how un-in-control I am, I just reached down to roll down the uncomfortable waistband on my Christmas jammies and discovered a piece of masking tape stuck to my ass. I have no idea how long it's been there or how it got there.

Don't remember it in the shower this morning, but I only slept four hours. I've forgotten to use soap even when I've had a full night's sleep.

Anyway, there was enough stick left in the tape to hurt when I pulled it off my upper left cheek.

That's as bad as the time that we got new computers at work, and we were instructed to leave a Post-It note in the spot where we wanted our monitor. After work that day I stopped in at Safeway and the woman behind me gently tapped me on my shoulder.

"Excuse me," she said. "You, um, have something on your behind."

I reached back and pulled off a yellow piece of paper. "Put computer here," it said.

At least I know how *that* got there.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

New Holiday Dress

I haven't been to a dress-up holiday party since before Y2K, when we were waiting for the world to end. Or, my water to break.

Neither happened that night. But, impending parenthood (for us and many of our friends) dealt a crushing blow to our fancy-schmancy social engagements.

In a throwback to the old days, when I used to always buy a new dress for New Year's, I bought this. On a whim, I tossed in a bid on eBay. No one else wanted this Patterson J. Kincaid bubble dress, so I scored it for $48. It retails for $148.

Still can't figure out what color that skirt is. The brand calls it "crown." Is it bronze? Pewter? Honestly, I can't tell, even in person.

Perhaps I will get to wear it to work one day.

Friday, December 11, 2009

If It's Friday....

It's time for a Shoe Haiku!

Can shoes be hoochy
Yet still sweet? I do not know.
Let us ponder that.

Diego di Lucca "Patty" Mary Janes. The last time I wore them, a lady stopped me in the restroom and asked me where I got 'em.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

When Baking Goes Bad

That coffee cake was not dropped on the floor.

Wasn't stepped on.

It wasn't harmed or molested in any way by my two, obnoxious, counter-surfing puppy mongrels that will very soon be looking for new homes. Anyone want two black Lab-Chupacabra* mixes?

Nope, this cake flopped onto the plate just like that. Could not tell you what I did wrong. Well, actually I suspect it was all smooshy — but still wonderfully tasty — because the stewed fruit probably didn't thicken as much as it should have. It was as runny as juice and I think that prevented the Argroves Manor Coffee Cake from Melissa Gray's new "All Cakes Considered" cookbook from looking anything like the lovely photo in her book.

Gray's cookbook (Chronicle, $24.95) came out of her love of baking. The producer for NPR's "All Things Considered," she started baking, from scratch, and bringing in cakes every Monday to take the edge off the work week. From that grew an entertaining book that is easy to follow with lots of good pictures and entertaining anecdotes.

Now, I am a complete and total NPR nerd. I've been known to troll the Web site like a stalker because I need to see what these people look like. At one time, I was going to name my next pets Snigda Prakash and Kojo Nnamdi. Whatever happened to those guys anyway?

But, back to the cake.

I wanted to make something out of Gray's book and the Argroves cake, with its butter and vanilla yogurt batter, sounded promising. I nearly lost my mind when it flooped out of the tube pan and started to ooze. By this morning, it had set up much better and the crunchy, sugary walnut streusel married beautifully with the moist, heavy cake dotted with apple and blackberries.

I love cookbooks, and this one is such a pleasure. It's a double-winner because it also has all these fun stories about the people I listen to on the radio every day on my endless drive to work. My favorite story, though, involved a behind-the-scenes guy, who took over cake duty one Monday when Gray was out. The bottom fell out on his cake carrier, sending his coffee cake to the floor. He served it anyway, saying it had extra "fiber," as in carpet fiber. Now that's a story I can relate to. If this guy writes a cookbook, I'm gettin' it.

*According to Mexican urban legend, a chupacabra is a sort of mythical beast. The literal translation is "goat sucker." Every once in a while, someone will claim to have found a mummified chupacabra and it always turns out to be a hairless coyote.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

10-Minute Hair Color

The holidays are enough to make anyone go gray.

Of course, I can't blame seasonal stress alone for the silvery strands atop my head.

They were already there.

I stopped having my hair colored in a salon after a disastrous incident. Nothing weird happened to my hair. It didn't turn green or fall out, but I consider paying $50 for slapped-on color and near complete abandonment to be a big, fat waste of money. So, I started handling it myself after What's-Her-Face flaked out on me. For the most part, things have gone well, but finding a good 20-30 minute block of time to do my own hair is hard to come by. Plus, I'm brutally impatient. Enter Perfect 10 from Clairol.

This hair color might be more expensive than most (I've seen it anywhere from $10-$13), but it covers the gray in 10 minutes. Ten minutes. Even I can spare that.

You just squirt goop into a tube with more goop and slather it on. This stuff doesn't even have a noxious smell. And truly, in 10 minutes, the gray was covered. The dark golden brown gave my hair a cool, Kristen Stewart-after-she-dyed-her-hair-to-play-Joan-Jett look.

And did I mention it only took 10 minutes?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Yet Another Friday Shoe Haiku

These may look like shoes, but they're actually a story about patience. And my lack of it.

You see, I'd loved these Simple peep-toe flats for MONTHS. They went on sale, and there was free shipping. A few weeks later, a friend was admiring them and I gave her all the details. She got them — for even less than what I paid.

••••• Shoe Haiku •••••

Another pair of dots?
How many pairs does one need?
Hmmmm. Well, at least three.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Worthwhile Hand Cream

If you've ever flipped over a bottle of lotion and read the ingredients, then you've probably noticed something peculiar: The first ingredient (or, at least one of the ingredients) is always water.


Seems kinda counterintuitive, doesn't it? Your hands get dry and cracked and abused from over-washing. Yet right there in the lotion you're slathering on, is water.

Well, that bugged this dry, wrinkly-handed girl enough that I shelled out $35 for a lotion I heard about that not only doesn't have water, it has only seven ingredients. Seven. Rice bran, rice oil, glycyrrhiza (apparently a plant related to licorice, if Wikipedia is to be believed), jojoba oil, aloe, sweet basil, silk extract.

The brand name is Komenuka Bijin, a Japanese line. The name means "rice bran beautiful person" in Japanese. Beauty lore has it that someone realized the women who worked in a sake factory had these amazingly soft hands from working with the rice all day.

Due to its indulgent price tag, I restrict its use to my hands, although it is billed as an all-over body cream. The lotion barely has a smell, a good thing in my book. It rubs in silky smooth and sinks in, leaving no overly greasy residue. It just feels....pure. And, it's a must this time of year.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

$12 Well Spent

I don't believe in spending a lot of money on trends. In today, destined for the Goodwill bin tomorrow, ya know.

But, it's still fun to give 'em a spin. Pyramid studs — and in particular on jewelry — are way in right now. I just picked up this Free People leather, snap bracelet.

Because the raised studs blend into the leather, it's subtle — from a distance, it looks just like a cuff. It was only $12 (free ship!).

Of course, when I snapped it up there was only black, which is edgy and versatile. Now there's a chocolate brown on the site, which gives the studded a look an earthy vibe. I might need that, too.

Monday, November 30, 2009

You know you're just an old, mother of three when...

a "booty call" means that a driver from your 9-year-old's carpool sits on his phone -- and it dials your house.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Screw Black Friday

Yeah, I'm a little bitter because I had to work. But, really, I'm not so sad about missing Black Friday.

Did I want to get up at the butt-crack of dawn to stand outside in the cold with other shoppers willing to run for the good deals?


Was there really anything that looked worthwhile to get up that early?


Plus, I didn't need to be out. I shop year-round, so I'm mostly done and was able to concentrate on Kristen shopping instead of Christmas shopping. Two of my favorite Tucson stores — Sigi's and Stems — A Shoe Boutique started sales early, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I got myself a Hapiru shirt I'd been lusting after forever (it looks much cuter in person than it does on the mannequin) and Sam Edelman driving mocs that I'd also wanted ever since I found out Stems was gettin' them in.

I'm a happy camper.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday Shoe Haiku

A treat for the feet!
They feel like squooshy slippers
Driving mocs rock hard.

Sam Edelman "Flora" mocs just purchased from Stems. So unbelievably, incredibly comfortable. And cute, to boot.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Pants

I'm auditioning Thanksgiving pants. This isn't a job to be taken lightly.

Choose wrong — too tight — and your pants cut off your circulation at your waist line, making you horribly uncomfortable by the time the pumpkin pie rolls around.

Choose wrong again — like, say, a loose-fitting T-shirt dress — and you'll be sorry the next day, when you can't button your jeans because you've overeaten.

Moderation, food and fashion-wise, is key.

The trick is to find a happy medium. I'm thinking either my new drawstring Norma Kamali sweatpants that don't look frumpy when properly rolled and paired with peep-toe booties. OR, jeggings. Again, elastic waist but still tight enough to keep the second helpings in check.

I'm leaning toward the sweatpants.

No matter which eatin' pants you choose this holiday, happy turkey day!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dream 'Drobe

Stupid Olsen twins.

Growing up, I endured endless teasing — thanks to my younger brother — because my family thought I resembled the Olsens when they were toddlers on "Full House." (I'm fairly sure it was the puffy bags beneath the eyes.)

Now I don't like them because they're all effortlessly skinny and make these fabulous clothes under their Elizabeth and James label at unconscionable prices.

I mean, really. Who can buy this stuff? People are — this fabulous faux fur cocoon coat (which costs more than $500) was snapped off of superquick. But, me with my discounted newspaper editor paycheck, cannot afford such luxuries. But, I so love it. I've also fallen for other oversized poncho-ish cardigans and coats from the EJ line. I think part of me thinks I'll look dainty and demure if I wear the stuff.

Today, I scoured Gilt Groupe ( because it had Elizabeth and James clothing on close-out prices. Alas, no cocoon coat. Maybe Forever XXI will get into knock-off mode; I really do love that fur coat. Cuz, ya know, I'd sure get a lot of use out of that in Tucson, Ariz.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday Musing

As I was scrolling through the phone numbers on my pay-as-you-go Target cell phone, I came across the number for Costco — specifically the number to order pizza.

Hmmm, what does that say about me that I have a pizza hotline programmed into my phone?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Shoe Haiku

OK, today's pair is an oldie but goodie — Marimekko sneakers purchased for $20 (down from about $70) at Anthro! Yes, Anthropologie. They're a good few seasons old, as you might guess if you've seen the current catalog. This pair doesn't look like anything the store would carry anymore.

The 'ku

Is there anything
Cooler than polka-dot sneaks?
Yes, when they're on sale.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Get Organized

I crave organization.

Yeah, good luck with that one.

My car is littered with abandoned schoolwork, empty food wrappers and pencils, so many pencils.

The house? Same story. Backpacks left wherever. Shoes and socks stashed behind the sofa (so the kids don't have to take them alllll the way to their room). Strips of rope from chewed dog toys litter the carpet. Today, I found gnawed-off fingertips from latex gloves, which gave the house a very sweet, "CSI" touch (the pups had been pulling them out of the box like Kleenex*).

And the backyard? Looked like a polyester fiberfill snowstorm after the devil dogs attacked an innocent chair pillow.

Luckily, I can control my purse. This Good-go-Go bag is a life-changer. I can stick it into my cavernous Mom bags and can still easily find my keys, my phone and even my hit of emergency chocolate-covered espresso beans. Gotta love it.

My beloved sells the fabbo organizer bags.

*No, I don't do proctology exams on the side. I have germ issues. The gloves are for raw meat handling purposes. Although sometimes I think I should slide them on before I touch my 5-year-old, who enjoys a good dirt bath.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ga-ga for Gray

For years, I dismissed gray as a non-color.

Too gloomy, too blah.

But this summer, I did a 180. Nothing specific happened to change my mind; it just did. All of a sudden, I felt like the Grinch, with my heart growing bigger every time I pondered the warm, cuddly color.

Gray isn't dingy PE clothes; it's drizzly winter skies, snuggly puppies, cute clothes.

It's the ultimate neutral — it goes with everything (even brown and tan) and isn't as harsh as black.

I've made up for lost time by — over the course of the summer — adding a dress, tank top, two long-sleeved knit shirts, a cardigan and a vest. Everything in a light or medium heathered gray.

Now I need to boost the shoes.

These are what I'm lovin'. The Ugg Lo Pro Drawstring boots are a light-weight cotton, which really is the smarter choice for this desert girl. They're waiting for Stems. The only thing keeping us apart is that credit card cycle. But, the new one's gonna start any day now. Hot diggity.

So, the Uggs are the practical choice for a place where winter daytime temps rarely dip below the 60s, and yet,
the shearling lining of these J Crew chalet boots has me in their tractor beams. I think I feel a shoegasm just imagining slipping my toes into that fluffy, soft lining first thing in the morning.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Dirty Shopping Secret

Forgive me, fellow shoppers, for I have sinned.... I shopped at Walmart.

Well, technically, so that's not as horrible as actually setting foot in that store, which skeeves me out on so many levels and for so many reasons.

Yet, I shopped there.

I did it for, gulp, a pair of sweatpants. Not just any sweatpants, though. These are $15 Norma Kamali sweatpants that can only be found at Walmart. They were singled out in the December issue of Lucky magazine. They look decidedly sweatpant-y in this picture, but in Lucky, the gray pants were jauntily rolled up — a la boyfriend jeans — and paired with a black blazer, white tank and peep-toe ankle boots. So cute. I can't think of a more chicly comfortable outfit for a girl on the go, especially for day-after-Thanksgiving shopping.

The pants have a drawstring waist and pockets in front and back. They're comfy, fit true-to-size and, dammit, I really like them. And, shipping only cost 97 cents. My package arrived a mere three days after purchase. Damn you, devilish Walmart.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Shoe Haiku

The Shoe 'Ku is back!
You know the drill....
These are Uggs "Rime" skimmer flats. Bought 'em a few months ago. Have not worn even one time. C'mon cooler weather! C'mon!

Sassy, woolly black flats.
Like rubbing my toes on sheep.
Cuddly comfort. Ahhhhh.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Jewelry, Part 2

I'm feeling nice today, so I'm going to let you in on a little secret. OK, ready? I'm going to tell you how to get the chicest, cheapest, custom earrings ever.

Go to Krisybird's shop. She makes these Swarovski crystal stud earrings that are to die for. Just $3.50, you can get pretty much any color. At that price, you can afford to buy every color.

I have a brilliant blue and a pale opal blue (plus a black diamond and pale red on the way). Whenever I wear them, people comment on them. The crystals sparkle like a TV soap opera star's teeth and are big enough to be noticed but not so big they're overpowering.

Buy a pair. You will love them.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Jewelry, Part 1

When it comes to jewelry, the blingier, the better.

This has been The Year of the Rhinestone, based on my jewelry-buying over the past few months. Which makes me wonder, how many fake crystal bracelets and necklaces should one person have?

So, this low-key tan with gunmetal studs bracelet is most unlike me. An understated neutral? I don't go for them. But this bracelet just seemed right.

When my search for something studded started, I thought I'd go for the Linea Pelle purple leather studded bracelet. But when I was scrolling through, this little number stood out. Tan AND gunmetal, so it would go with browns and blacks. AND it would look smashing with these unbelievably cheap chain bracelets purchased on super-sale from Urban Outfitters. They play together nicely, don't you think?

The bracelet's edgy but still feminine, thanks to the thin leather strap. The tan is a really flattering mocha shade.

It's a great wear-everyday piece.

Coming tomorrow: cheap, gorgeous earrings.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bad Jeans

My jeans are making me fat.

Well, maybe I can't blame it all on them. But, at the very least, they're lulling me into a terrible sense of complacency. You see, I've been living in boyfriend jeans (not this exact Current/Elliott pair, but I own four pairs of a similar slouchy style. Yup, I'm a hoarder.)

Anyway, I pull them on and they immediately slide down. Hmmm, I'll think, perhaps those two cupcakes yesterday didn't do as much damage as I thought. As the day goes on, the drawers get droopier. Huh, maybe I should have a full-fat caramel macchiato, I'll think to myself.

To make matters worse, I've found an end-run around the horror of skinny jeans — an elastic waist. This pair from Forever XXI (a mere $20) is unbelievable. First of all, not only does the stretchy waist, although maternity clothing-like, make wearing such a style infinitely more comfortable, but the stretchy denim is strong enough to cinch in bulges and lumps. AND, I bought a size 26! I am so not a 26. But pair vanity sizing with easy-to-wear jeans and I'm your customer for life. One day, I will use my walker to toddle into Forever XXI. That will be the day that they change the sign — You're Not Really 21. Stop Kidding Yourself.

Until that time, I've got some darn good options for Thanksgiving pants.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tales From the Bad Parenting Files

And this time, I'm not the bad parent! I'm the victim. Well, one of them, anyway.

OK, so I promise to get back to frivolous fashion tomorrow, but this is a story that begs to be told. Needs to be heard. For those of us out there who doubt our parenting abilities on a daily basis, who regret things we may have shouted in grumpy, crazed fits or just need some validation that we really, truly aren't doing that bad of a job....This one's for you -- proof that there are already clear winners for Lame Parents of the Year.

So, today Youngest Child celebrated his upcoming Fifth Birthday (yikes!) with his three best buds at a golf/amusement park. Now one of the invitees is a perfectly nice kid but has parents I really just don't care for. They're pleasant, but complete flibbertygibbits. Once, they sent their kids to school with a bag of pistachios -- for breakfast. That's bad.

Yeah, it's a nut-free daycare. Worse.

Still, I want my little boy to be happy, so this kid got an invite. As usual, didn't hear from them, didn't hear from them. Youngest Child had really worked himself into a lather, worried his friend couldn't come. Finally I needed to call on another matter and I got my RSVP.

Today, husband is getting ready to head to the birthday spot (I'm already there, setting up), and the phone rings. Mrs. Flibbertygibbet can't believe how the time got away from her and her husband took the car, could Joe please come get her son?

Kinda rude, but Joe is nice. He did it.

The boys all arrive, and Son of Flibbertygibbet isn't looking so good.

"Are you tired?" I ask.

He nods. Says he stayed up late.

He pokes at his pizza and just seems out of it. I mention this to my husband. "Yeah, he's kinda sick. His mom said he has explosive diarrhea, and she gave me this bag full of stuff in case we need to clean him up."

As the hip kids would say, OMG.

Poor kid continues to look miserable, he's moving funny. I ask if he needs to go the bathroom. No, no, he insists. Joe kneels down and talks to him, tells him he knows he's not feeling well and it's OK if we need to go get him a new Pull-Up. Kid just says he wants to go home.

Joe does. It's an hour round-trip. He misses critical parts of the party, i.e., the ones in which I want to pull my hair out because I'm chasing after three 5-year-old boys, an overly-excitable 7-year-old and one 9-year-old drama queen who can barely hold it together after her go-cart craps out in the middle of the track.

After we get back home, I pump Joe for details. Were they apologetic? Act chagrined?

Nope and nope.

I'm just stunned. I want my kids to be happy, too, and no kid ever wants to miss a party. Still, you're a parent first and foremost. Your child's health and welfare come first. Aside from that, to be willing to palm off a diahrreal-kid and send him along with a package of diapers, just in case, like we're hired help (Oh, and I should mention that these people have also asked the lovely, accommodating daycare folks to meet them in the parking lot with their kids because they're in a hurry)....

Well, the karma in the story is that Son of the Flibbertygibbet went home packin' a load. Poo-etic justice? I think so.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bad to the Binge

I'm not bad; I just shop that way.

It's not even noon and already I've been on a jewelry bender at and I may need this B. Makowsky leather purse from

Think of it as retail retaliation.

And what am I retaliating against? Oh, let me see... feeling unloved, unappreciated, unimportant and incredibly tired after a late night in which husband and at least one oversized puppy snored; cricket — strategically placed somewhere behind my head — chirped ALL NIGHT; Middle Child kept screaming about eyeballs in her sleep.


AND husband was mad/worried because he forgot I was two cities and two hours away last night for an event, hence my 11:30 p.m. arrival, hours past my bedtime. This a.m., I had to follow sweet, but oh-so-challenging Middle Child around the house, barking orders like a drill sergeant. Same thing I do every day, all day. Then Youngest Child complained about the lunch I lovingly packed for him.

Once again, I'm persona mom grata.

Oh, and I lost the back of the automatic door lock for my keys, so I act like I'm living in the 20th century, unlocking doors by hand. Ugh.

See? I needed some shopping.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Keeping Cold Cooties At Bay

My husband is sick.

This means a few things: 1, he's a pill to be around and 2, it's only a matter of time before I get it. Bad.

AND the other night, he rolled over and EXHALED right into my face. My cold clock is now ticking.

It's bad when the daddy is sick, don't get me wrong, but it's positively catastrophic when the mommy gets sick because I'm the one who feeds and runs the household and most importantly, chauffeurs everyone everywhere. Not only would I still have to do this if I'm sick but I'd be a complete bitch at the same time. So when I felt that familiar tickle in my throat last night, I broke out with the Airborne.

Everyone has a cold remedy to rely on. Old-fashioned types swear by chicken soup. My husband downs the Cold-Eeze like no one's business. Me, I go for the Airborne. It really, truly does seem to lessen the severity and length of the average cold. Problem is, the stuff is nasty. I tried "zesty orange" and "pink grapefruit." Blech. Then, I bought Target's generic version because it was even cheaper. It tastes worse — like Tang that spoiled on the moon light years ago. So today at Target, I ponied up for the actual Airborne and was intrigued to see there's now a Very Berry flavor.

It's probably the best cold medicine I've ever tasted. Really. Makes me think back to my childhood days when I thought that the thick, pink antibiotic I'd been given for an ear infection was as delicious as candy. This flavor Airborne tastes kind of like Kool-Aid, and while I'd never make it my first choice for dessert, it will definitely make the battle against this cold much more pleasant.

Wish me luck.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Shoe Haiku

These heels looks Pucci.
But they're not. They look soooo tall
And, oh yes, they are.

This spectacular pair of Sergio Zelcer cork wedges will likely be part of my Halloween costume tomorrow when I am the perpetually stressed dresser-of-the-stars Rachel Zoe.

True story — the last time I wore them (on a movie date night last year), I completely fell on my face in front of a police officer. Good thing they don't do field sobriety tests for walking.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I am a selfish bee-otch

My parents ask for a Christmas list every year.

It kinda makes me feel like I'm 12 again, but it's sweet and I always dutifully comply because they are Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Seriously.

Pretty much everything that goes on the list shows up under the tree. I've never tested the limits of their generosity by asking for, say, a car, because I'm not that kind of girl. But I really think they'd go for just about anything because even though they never want gifts and complain about the commercialization of the holiday, they still really want to buy for people and make them happy.

Since my mom's a planner, this is the time of year she asks for the lists. I had already been thinking about mine for months and had been jotting down things that I'd like to add to my arsenal of stuff.

My husband also sent in his list — yeah, he asked that donations be made to a charity that benefits local school kids.


My parents were most impressed by that and told me how mature this was. Talk about feeling 12 again. Somehow that seems more generous than me requesting a scarf made by disabled people.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cool Discovery #53

I let the kids pick out the bath soap, anything to make at least one job easier. So when my little dude selected Spider-Man "Grime Fighting Blast" body wash at Target, that was fine by me. What I wasn't expecting was that I'd become absolutely intoxicated by the smell.

The Marvel people must've been screwing around that day, trying to decide how to throw parents for a loop. I mean, the container is decorated with Spider-Man and Doc Ock, the soap is neon-pink, but it smells like something you'd find in an upscale bath shop. Amazing.

The pink gel is fresh like cut grass, clean like rain and with a subtle, subtle hint of powder. It's reminiscent of one of my favorite, favorite scents — The Thymes Fig Leaf & Cassis, which has been discontinued. Ah well, this stuff might be even better and it's infinitely cheaper. I'm totally stealing it from the kids. They just got some SpongeBob stuff anyhow. It smells exactly like kid soap usually does — overly fruity and slightly medicinal. Spidey's all mine.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Calgon! Take Me Away!!

The squares on my calendar are just not big enough.

Since it's Monday, I was looking at the week ahead and jotting in all the things I realized I hadn't entered into my old-school Blackberry — birthday party, doctor's appointment, day off from school. Then I flipped ahead to the next month and the next. Holy crap, the year's almost over. And my little, teeny squares are so very full.

I wish I could just hit the pause button for a breather. When my kids play together — or even sometimes in the middle of a conversation with them — they'll shout "Pause!" so that everything stops while they do what they need to do, go to the bathroom, swat at a fly, look at a flower.

But, I think I need more than just a momentary pause.

Some people (those without children) might say I need a vacation. Once you have kids, though, that word is no longer applicable. When you bring children with you, it's called "taking the show on the road." There's no vacation. No relaxation. Just the same ol' same ol', but even harder. No, what I need is a comacation. If I could just slip into a light coma, just for a few weeks, I think that would do the trick. Well, that is if a coma is like a deep sleep.

I don't want to be in one of those comas where you're completely aware of everyone and everything going on around you, and you just can't respond. That would suck. That might be more maddening than being awake and having people constantly tugging at you and screaming and crying and shouting, "Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom!"

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Shoe Haiku

Pink and checkered sneaks
Orthotics fit inside! Yay!
Happy podi'trist....