Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Anthro Lovin'

Raindrops on roses?
Nah, I like hydrangeas better.

And whiskers on kittens?
I'm allergic to cats.

But give me an Anthropologie catalog, and I'll show you a few of my favorite things.

Though I haven't been in a very Anthro mood lately, a sumptuous new catalog came yesterday and got me all worked up. I actually called the local store, my face flushed, trying to find out if it carried certain things. Is that like the shopper's equivalent of drunk dialing? I dunno. I didn't buy anything...yet...I was just scouting.

Blacklight blouse ($78). This season's version is polka-dotted, as opposed to the recent all-black. There's a kicky floral version, too, but I absolutely heart the dots. I adore the architectural-like structure of the top. Maybe it makes a flat girl look...chesty? Please? This is what my closet needs — a supremely sophisticated but coquettish strapless blouse. Throw a cardi over it for a casual look, and it becomes like the Type-A, Cup-A, Button-down girl's dirty little secret — only she knows it's a hoochie strapless numbah.

Made to Measure Skirt ($138). Wool-blend is a scary phrase to us desert dressers (too hot!), but look how incredibly this skirt drapes. And, how creative to pair it with the polka dot top. As a student of Remedial Pattern Pairing, I bow down before this ensemble.

Every Which Way Cardigan ($148). Stripes and ruffles on a cozy blanket-type cardigan? Had there been a hood, my head would have popped off. Still, I'm adding it to the wish list, and when a sale hits, I shall strike.

Levade Clogs ($148). These could be THE ONES. At any rate, they are the ones not yet in my arsenal of wooden-soled shoes.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Style Smackdown: Missoni-like top

OK, so neither one of these is a real Missoni. One top is Forever XXI and $25 while the other is a much pricier BCBG Max Azria $168 top.

Can you tell which?

Give up?

The one in shades of gray is the cheapest version (product code 2079526322). The top with the orange accents is the more expensive of the two. Either way you're a winner, both give the look of Missoni without the no-groceries-for-a-month price tag.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Crazy-Cool Collaboration

Yeah, back in the day people probably thought chocolate and peanut butter would make a weird combo. Look how great that turned out.

So while Hello Kitty and Doc Martens might initially seem like an odd collaboration, they make a pretty wicked team. Check out these limited edition Docs.

The two iconic companies — one all sweetness and light and the other the symbol of grunge — are both celebrating their 50th anniversaries. The result is the perfect mix of girlishness and edge. Love.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Magazine Junkie

Question: How long do you keep magazines?

I ask because I recently spent a good couple of weeks pawing through 10 years' — an actual entire decade — worth of cooking magazines.

Glossy periodicals are my guilty pleasure. I adore them. Subscriptions range for everything from Teen Vogue (which I got for free when I bought something from Wet Seal and then I ended up springing for the $6 subscription because I, um, like it) to Elle and Harper's Bazaar to People Stylewatch and Lucky. W arrives at my house, too, although for the life of me, I don't get that thing. Us magazine even started showing up. That I'm not proud of, but it was free. My husband says that was too much.

Most magazines, I hang onto for a few months and then pass along with two exceptions: I keep a year's worth of Lucky and Stylewatch. It's fun to look back and see what I had to have and what was en vogue months ago. Interestingly, I just was thumbing through 2009's Lucky mags for November and December, and guess what? Not a lot has changed from then to now. Lace-up boots popped up as did thigh-high boots. Ponchos were featured along with chunky sweaters. Even asymmetrical hemlines showed up last year. It's all stuff we're seeing right now, looming on the fall/winter horizon.

So now I'm thinking I'll pick a month of a particular publication and hang onto that same month from year to year as a fashion experiment. It'll be interesting to see first-hand just how cyclical fashion is.

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Disturbing Friday Shoe Haiku

We interrupt our regularly scheduled shoe programming (normally the kicks are from my closet) to bring you a photo of this so-hideous-it's-not-to-be-missed "boot" — and that word is used very loosely.

Yo! U-G-L-Y
You ain't got no alibi
You be ug-ugly.

Shoe 'n Tell: I'm on a desperate quest to find the most perfect, inexpensive lace-up wedge booties. I stumbled across these MM6 Maison Martin Margiela "stretch zori boots." They are horrible. Even worse, they are sold out in all but two sizes. Worse than that, they are $190. On sale. As my 5-year-old would say, "What the HECK?!"

Thursday, August 26, 2010

All Hail, H&M!

First, In-N-Out, now H&M.

Yup, Tucson has arrived.

Our city's very own H&M opened last Thursday, so it's the store's one-week anniversary today. I saw lots of stuff perfect for winter (which won't arrive here for months) and lots of stuff that would have been perfect 30 years ago. Please, '80s revival, go away. Now.

What I'm Wearing: Fei button-back shirt from Anthro (just like the pricier Elizabeth & James version), H&M skirt ($14.95), H&M belt ($17.95) and H&M wedges ($12.95, imported from the Scottsdale store).

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Obsession: A Lipstick Case Keychain

An obsession is a funny thing.

A lot like love, you just can't control it. You want what you want. My friend is currently lusting after an Yves Saint Laurent postcard wallet. My holy grail: a lipstick case keychain. Yup, totally weird.

Now, I've had hundreds of these cases over the years and usually ended up giving them away. Why do I need a special case for my lipstick? I always thought. Then, I spotted this See by Chloe version with an attached keychain. Because I have not (yet) completely lost my mind, I did not buy the $56 keychain, which proceeded to sell out.

Yet, something about the idea of the two linked together fundamentally changed my opinion of the lipstick case. Of course, now I can't find even one around the house that I could trick out with a keychain. And truth be told, I probably wouldn't even attempt it. How could it look as good?

So the hunt begins.

I squandered a fair amount of time trying to come up with a cheaper substitute. I found stuff like this one. Yeah, it's what you think. Yeah, it's pretty strange.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

All Tarte-d Up

I never thought I'd go for cream-type blush. It always seemed too....creamy. Old lady. Overly pigmented.

But non-powder blushes have really improved in the last few years, so much so that my Mac powder has been abandoned altogether for Tarte cheek stains.

The stains come in these cute chubby sticks, kind of like if the super-sized Bonne Bell Lip Smackers went on a Twinkie bender. The stains go on pretty sheer. The most famous — and popular — is Blushing Bride, which gives this lovely, plum-y spot of color. I got a little tester of that sucker years ago — years — and still have it. Use it pretty much every day, that's how long it lasts. Well, I'm guessing I might die before using up the full-size Tarte in "Ten," a special limited edition color to celebrate the line's 10th anniversary.

OK, OK, the special blingy packaging first grabbed my attention. But the shade — a pure pink that gives a natural flush like you've just been exercising — is quite lovely. It'd work on a lot of skin tones, too.

The stuff is also free of nasty parabens, phthalates and other things I can't spell. Nor did I see any mention of troll spit.

It's $30 and available at Sephora. Since it's a limited edition, snap it up while you can. Seriously, though, you'll be using it — and loving it — for a long time.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Target says, Take that, J Brand Houlihan!

Everyone seems to have gone bonkers over J Brand's Houlihan cargos.

They do look cool, I admit. But $231? For what might be a one or two year trend? Well, sadly, I am not one of those bloggers who gets paid six figures to blog. I don't get graft, either. Boo.

So when Target Addict
ran side-by-side photos of the Houlis along with Target Mossimo Supply Co. skinny cargos, challenging people to tell the difference, I decided to check 'em out IRL.

At $21.99, they're a darn good alternative to J Brand.

The fabric content of both cargos is the same — 98 percent cotton and 2 percent stretchy stuff (lycra for the J Brand, spandex for Target) — and the Mossimo material is lightweight, which is good for us peeps who live in Hades. Though one of my co-workers griped the other day that everything is skinny, skinny, skinny, these have stretch and aren't clingy. There's enough give to keep one's arse from looking Saran-wrapped. Really.

Plus, the Mossimo pants have two more things going for 'em: They have actual pockets on the back, which is more butt-flattering (the Houlihans have only a flap), and they're longer, so they're more versatile. Roll 'em up or scrunch 'em down.

The Mossimo pants are junior-sized, which makes ordering online tricky, but Target lets you return to the store. The waist seemed big, but hey, just cinch it! Don't be all sad that the green color is sold out online, you can still get tan and black. At least one of our local Targets had every color and many sizes.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Groupon Shout-out

Hey, if you haven't already, you should get your Groupon.

Heard of it? Basically Groupon offers good deals in specific cities. Doesn't mean you can't buy other cities' Groupons, though. Just this past week, a New York Groupon offered a $50 Gap gift certificate for $25.

I joined several months ago, but hadn't been moved to actually purchase a Groupon until this week. See these lovely nails? A local salon, Great Waves, offered its CND Shellac manicure, the one that doesn't chip for at least two weeks and can stretch to three (I wrote about it here). Normally this costs $41. The Groupon cost $19. A steal.

All you do is turn over your e-mail. A Groupon actually works like a gift certificate. You just print it out and go. The only hitch is that you're limited to buying one for yourself. BUT, you can buy gift certificates for friends, which is what, ahem, my friend and I did so we could get extra manicures out of the deal.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Cheap Thrills — Shiny Red Gloss

You wouldn't think it'd be that hard to find shiny red, glitter-free gloss.

You'd be wrong.

I'm kinda over the glitter-in-the-gloss thing, but that's mostly what I have. Seems like that's how most glosses are. But Maybelline's New York Shine Sensational gloss in Cherry Kiss is the perfect glisteny red. No glitter allowed.

Despite its name, the stuff actually has a watermelon-y scent. It's a pale red on the lips, so it would work with other lipstick colors, too. It squirts right out of the tube for easy application, and it's not too sticky, either. The price is easy-on-the-wallet, too — under $5. Look for it at — where else — Target.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Shoe Haiku, An H&M Tribute

Pretty kitty shoes
They might look a little cheap
Hey, they were 13.*

*Yup, as in dollars. Dinero. So while I think they may look borderline cheap up close, that teeny amount of moolah is worth the risk.

Shoe n' Tell: These easy-to-walk-in, on-trend-zipper-cage wedges were imported from the Scottsdale H&M. We visited about a month ago and since at that time there was still no word on an exact opening date for our local Tucson store, I hit it. Hard. Sure I mostly bought kids' clothes for school (a sale in which everything was $1 or $5!!!!), but I couldn't pass these up as were leaving.

Yesterday, H&M opened a two-story outpost at the Tucson Mall. Yes, it about killed me not to be there since I made the two-hours-one-way trek to the first Scottsdale store the night it opened in November. It was a glorious, glorious trip. Now that it's in my own backyard, I'll likely ignore it. Yeah, right.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Shopping Tip No. 132: Use Caution When Trying On Rings

I never went to medical school. So, I won't save someone's life by performing open heart surgery. Nor will I cure cancer.

I never went to law school. So, that means I can't ever represent some innocent victims who've been wronged by a big, nasty corporation and then proceed to win them a ginormo, life-changing settlement.

I do, however, shop.

And I do it enough to know some snappy tricks. I know where the good deals are, how to track down coupon codes, how to hunt for the perfect knockoff of the unobtainable $900-each-hair-plucked-by-hand alpaca/chinchilla blanket coat and just pass along good shopping advice in general. This is how I give back.

Today's nugget of wisdom: Forever XXI rings run really small — exercise extreme caution when trying on. Oh, the tag may say 7, but it's sooooo not a 7.

I nearly had to buy this $3.80 ring and then pay a $50 co-pay at the ER to have it cut off my middle finger. That would have sucked. I was pulling and twisting (and my finger still hurts, by the way) when this nice woman leaned over to me and said, "Just put a little saliva on your finger above the ring. Bend your finger and it'll slide off."

She was right.

So, there ya go. Happy shopping. And I'm not going to tell you that immediately after getting that ring off, I nearly got another one stuck.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fall into Target: a Peek at Accessories

I've about given up on Target's designer collaborations — they always seem to disappoint.

And actually, Target doesn't even need those hot-shot designers; it does just fine on its own. On tap for fall are lots of fun accessories and shoes, in a hoarder's price range ($7.99-$49.99).

Highlights from the new lookbook (some items are already online but not the necklace):

• Multi-chain necklace with fringe ($14.99). This looks a looooooot like a necklace I was contemplating on Madewell's website. This one, though, is infinitely cheaper.
Mossimo distressed tall buckle boots ($34.99). These have all the hallmarks of fall — they're tall, have buckles that add moto edge. Of course, you should always withhold judgment on cheap shoes until you can see (and more importantly smell) in person. But on paper, these look good.
Mossimo Suede Studded Clogs ($24.99). I don't know if I can resist this pair. Just what I needed, yet another pair of clogs.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Snuggly Fall Trend

It's 100-plus degrees with about 120 percent humidity. My sweat is sweating.

How do East Coasters (and Southerners) do it? I have had quite enough, thankyouverymuch.

Pictures of autumn clothes keep falling into my e-mail, like leaves off a tree. I'm soooooo ready for a nip in the air. The trend I long to wear most — the blanket/cardi/wrap thingie. You know what I mean — long, most likely an asymmetrical hem and, of course, unbelievably soft. I feel pretty smug because I snapped up a couple of these bad boys late in the winter (the gray Sauce striped one and Southwestern-y cream one), when things were just rolling. Now, it's full steam ahead as many designers trot 'em out.

Some to love:
Twelfth St. By Cynthia Vincent ($495). Seriously, nearly $500. I'm guessing it comes with a couch, a necessary add-on for something so snuggle-icious it demands to be worn while cuddling on the sofa for the all-new, must-see TV season.
BB Dakota Branson Fringe Sweater Jacket ($85). All that fringe hanging off, paired with the color, kinda reminds me of a buffalo, but in a good way. I dig the rustic charm — and that it pays homage, with the name, to that country music mecca of Branson (my grandparents went there every year, back in the day).
Goddis Linsey Hooded Sweater ($215). Goddis owns this look. Love the crisp, ocean colors on the hoodie.

It's still too hot to wear them, but by the time the temperature drops, I'll bet the prices have, too.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Clothing Malfunction Chronicles, Back-to-School Edition

Today's the first day of school.

Just when I was getting the hang of summer, too.

Back to being a drill sergeant, barking out instructions. Back to carpooling. Back to homework. Back to packing lunches. Sigh. I'm tired already.

This is a biggie, though, because today, Youngest Child starts kindergarten. My baby. I hope I can keep it together when I walk him to school.

Adding to the difficulty level this week is my husband's absence. He's on a mancation, so I have no co-pilot. So far, issues have been small and wardrobe-related, like discovering that Middle Child had her shirt on inside out. She is her mother's daughter (earlier this year, I, um, wore my dress inside-out to work).

Youngest Child stomped into the kitchen, top button still done, demanding to know, "Now, how am I supposed to get dressed?!"

Everything's under control now. Well, everything but my emotions.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

In Search of......The Perfect Moisturizer

Sephora snookered me.

Normally after I rack up enough points to earn a sample-sized prize, I half-heartedly select some product I don't really want and toss it into the drawer where I keep travel-friendly products on the off chance I might go somewhere. Snicker. I didn't have particularly high hopes for the teeny bottle of Dior HydrAction gel moisturizer. After all, what does Dior know about skincare?

Well, lo and behold, I used that clear not-too-thick and not-too-thin gel and loved it. Loved it. And, the stuff lasted nearly three months, impressive for such an eensy-weensy sample size. When I went to hunt it down at Sephora, though, Dior had reformulated. The gel moisturizer morphed into Hydra Life Pro-Youth Protective Fluid SPF 15, at a higher price, too — $56. But, the salesgirl raved, said her mom loved it. I decided to give it a try since Sephora has such a great return policy.

The moisturizer is super-fragranced. It's not an unpleasant smell, it's just weird for a moisturizer to smell like perfume. The scent wears off quickly, though.

No longer a gel, this "fluid" is a very light cream. It contains plant extracts that would be good 21st century kid names — Jisten, Centella and Black Rose. The Sephora website says the stuff also "offers the powerful benefits of Cellular Bio-Exaltation." I have no idea what this means. I'm guessing it's better than Cellular Bio-Crapination.

While I don't like the new formulation as much as the previous incarnation, this isn't a bad choice for someone with normal to oily skin who just needs a little light moisturizer. And isn't afraid of the price. I like to save money as much as the next girl, but I won't skimp on good face products since down the line I'm not planning on Botox injections or face lifts.

Though the moisturizer touts itself as SPF 15, I doubt most people would use enough of it to provide true protection against the sun. Also, the active sunscreen is avobenzone, which my dermatologist says isn't strong enough protection in extremely sunny places. The best blockers are physical ones like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

So, I'm glad I tried it. This isn't THE ONE for me. But, I have a little something from Komeunka Bijin, a Japanese line that uses rice bran (supposed to be, as Rachel Zoe would say, ah-MAZE-ing for the skin), waiting on deck in the medicine cabinet. Maybe that?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Shoes On The Brain

If I had to describe my style, I'd have to say schizophrenic.

I don't at all mean that in a disrespectful way, it's just the best way to describe my look(s). My wardrobe is really, truly all over the map. It looks like three people share my closet. Stuffed inside are classic J Crew pieces, frilly Anthropologie-wear and edgy stuff like studded jackets and a top with cut-out shoulders.

For more proof, just look at the shoes I'm currently loving:

DV by Dolce Vita "Taiz" wedges ($93). These serve up a double-whammy, dipping into two of the biggest trends: military and tribal. The rugged look is so cool.
Dansko "Rae" clog ($150). I went through a brief, sensible shoe phase during which time I rotated through four pairs of Keens. Yeah, I'm over that. Danskos are supposed to be incredibly comfortable (health professionals and people who spend entire days on their feet swear by them) but they're so....clunky. I *heart* these clogs, though, mostly because of the wicked zebra print (there's even leopard). They look more streamlined than the full-back Danskos. And, of course, they're clogs, which I cannot get enough of these days.
Ash "The Gun Sneaker" ($120). These are just plain fergalicious.

Yes, the one consistent thing — as you may have noticed from the price tags — is that I always gravitate toward the pricey stuff.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Time for the Friday Shoe Haiku

Just found these — surprise!
Oxford heels? Perfect for fall
Thinner feet, no go.

Shoe n' Tell: I was so excited to find these Jessica Bennett "Gamut" leather heeled oxfords from a few years ago. I'd forgotten all about 'em.

They're perfect for this fall's trends. I slipped the shoes on and alas, things have gone awry.

Now, they were roomy when I first bought them, but it was the last pair and I loved them so. Heel pads helped.

After foot surgery though, my feet aren't as wide as they were, and now the right shoe is really too big. Interestingly, the tie on that foot hits a weird spot and makes my nerves tingle with every step. D'oh. Guess they'll end up in a giveaway pile for the next swap party.

And, I also guess I got me some shoppin' to do.

Outfit: Neal Sperling for Urban Outfitters dress; Gap cami; leopard belt from a swap party; Forever XXI necklace; assorted bangles.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The First Thing To Go

Several parts of my body are currently duking it out for the title of "The First To Go."

The rods and cones are coming out ahead so far, although the back is stiff — ha — competition.

I am having such a hard time deciphering colors. The other day, I pulled on a patterned top — had these outlined ovals all over it, kind of a chain-link print. The middle was definitely a turquoise blue, that was easy to see, but the outline? Black? Dark brown? Inside the house, I decided it was brown. Out in the sun, it looked black.

Navy gets me every time.

The other day, I spy this zebra-print scarf in a second-hand store window. It's the perfect neutral — kinda khaki, kind of tan. I get it home, and I'll be darned, I have no idea if it's tan or gold or greenish or what. I think — think— the stripes are a purple-y brown.

Well, it's definitely neutral.

I also don't know if the skirt on this Patterson J. Kincaid dress is purple or bronze or some kind of deep gray. I think this all goes together, though. Black shoes (these are from Me Too) go with everything, right?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What To Wear For A Throwdown, Food Network-style

So, this is what I'm wearing on the Food Network's "Throwdown with Bobby Flay" huevos rancheros episode. It airs tonight. I'm pretty sure I won't be able to watch it — hate seeing myself on TV, hence why I have not auditioned for "American Idol." Plus, I can't sing. Plus, I'm too old for them. Stupid age limit.

Celeb chef Flay and his entourage blew into town a few months ago for a showdown with Teresa's Mosaic Cafe, owned by the lovely Matias family. A Phoenix chef and little ol' me were judges for the dining duel.

Things came together pretty quickly — and I was sworn to secrecy — so I had to agonize on my own about what to wear. TV's hard — so many rules. No black. No white. No patterns. So, I went safe — J Crew, baby, all the way. I'm fairly sure this outfit's something Emma the OCD high school counselor on "Glee" would wear. At least it's not a Sue Sylvester track suit, although truth be told, no one would have blinked had I shown up dressed that way. Everyone was way casual.

So anyway, I am optimistic that my screen time will be mercifully brief. I'm pretty sure I sucked, this despite a lengthy TV station internship and assorted appearances over the years on news segments and even a now defunct talk show. Not only did I need several takes every time I opened my mouth, I walked briskly past the star of the show himself when I was supposed to stop and shake his hand. Really. You can read the whole sordid story here.

Rachael Ray is safe. For now.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

HUGE Fashion News Flash

Hold onto your wallets — H&M along with Zara are allegedly launching online shopping in September.

Hot. Damn.

This incredible tidbit comes via Refinery 29 via Guardian.

September? Why, that's practically NOW. I think I may have just drooled on the keyboard.

"Nina Garcia's Look Book" Review

Initially, I laughed out loud at some of the scenarios fashion guru Nina Garcia proposes in her new book "Nina Garcia's Look Book: What to Wear for Every Occasion" (Voice, $23.99), which is available today.

What to wear to therapy? What to wear to meet a potential surrogate?

Then I realized, hey, this is life. This is the world we live in today. And, if I were in those situations, I could see agonizing over what to wear. I sure could have used Nina G a few months back when a cable TV show came calling (more on that in tomorrow's post. I know, what a tease.)

Garcia — fashion director of Marie Claire, a judge on Lifetime reality series "Project Runway" as well as the author of other style books and Target's 2010 Style Expert — has a nice, easy tone. She really, truly hits on pretty much every scenario in a modern woman's life — what to wear to meet the boyfriend's parents and his kids; a Netflix date (not a Snuggie) and even what to wear when you work at home. For this last one, Garcia warns that style is a muscle. If you don't use it, then it might fail when you need it most. Use working from home not as a time to wear sweatpants 24-7, but as a way to experiment with different looks, including for hair and makeup.

The book is organized into categories: day, night, dating, work, life events, holidays, etc.

Ruben Toledo (if you're a Nordstrom shopper, you know his whimsical art from catalogs) provides the fun, colorful artwork. His sketches of stylish women are fun, but I would have liked actual photos of the pieces and looks Garcia suggests. But, that's just me — I really like things spelled out for me because I have trouble visualizing.

It's a fun, quick read filled with good tips (including on how to mend a broken heart). Garcia spells out the rules, but then takes time to point out incredibly chic rule breakers. The book is available in stores and look for it on Amazon.com.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Tales from the In-Box — Lovin' the Look of Fall

This just popped into my in-box, courtesy of Bloomie's.

Love the prints on the new DVF wrap dresses, especially the one on the far right. Yay, fall!

Monday Musing

Recently re-watched "The Muppets Take Manhattan" and I was struck by two things — how much Colin Ferrell* resembles Animal (probably in behavior, too) and how much Seth Rogan sounds like Fozzy Bear.

Well, actually I was struck by three things, if you add in that I was bemused that there would be smoking (Dabney Coleman was puffing away) in a children's movie. Ah, the '80s, a gentler, simpler time — except for hair.

*Starpulse.com image. I have no idea what the site is, but I figured I ought to credit it.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Very Personal Cake-Wreck

It's all how you spin it.

Doesn't matter what it is in life — you can change how people view something, if you can slap a nice title on it and market well.

Case in point:
Me to the kids: "Let's walk the dogs!"
Kids: Groaning, moaning, general grumbling and displeasure.

Let's try it again, putting a better spin on the request.
Me, using a dramatic announcer voice: "Time for an Adventure Walk!"
Kids: "Huh? What's that? Let's go!"

So, when the first month of summer at a camp with really cool activities was ending and staying at home with Mom beginning, I dubbed it Camp Mommy. One of the more popular activities was Kitchen Crafts, which involved baking because it's cheap and easy, if quite messy.

Some things were an instant hit, like the cake lollipops (crumble a cake, add some canned frosting; roll into balls and freeze and then cover the whole shebang in melted chocolate). After a trip to the pet store for guinea pig food turned sour ("Mom, we want goldfish! Plllllease! They're only a dollar! We'll take care of them!!!!" Me: "Oooh, but I'm allergic to goldfish."), we came home and made blue Jell-O in a plastic goldfish bowl and stuck Swedish fish in it. Goldfish forgotten.

Things, however, did not go as well with this cute 3-D bear.

Oh, I knew it wouldn't look like that Santa Bear on the box, but I didn't think the heads would snap off as they were being unmolded. It was all downhill from there. Despite our efforts to "glue" the bead onto the body, it kept falling off. At least the kids took the mishap in stride and laughed at the goofiness of it all.

In the end, my daughter turned the bear into a butterfly. And, it tasted just fine.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Some Bad-Ass Pants

Madewell — J Crew's sister site — touts these slouchy sweatpants as its latest obsession.


Aside from the fact that they're $49.50 sweatpants, does anyone at Madewell know what horizontal stripes do to a badonkadonk? Even one that belongs to a model?

Well, take a look. It ain't pretty.