Monday, January 31, 2011

Double Up — OOTD (Outfit Of The Day)

A co-worker's recent lament: "Winter clothes are exponentially cuter than summer stuff, and we get such a short time to wear them."

True dat.

Still, I wouldn't ever want to deal with shoveling snow or black ice or, well, any of the yucky things that happen below 40 degrees.

My solution — which works to use more of my winter things in our shortened time period — has been to pile it on. I love that J Crew hoodie-beneath-the-blazer thing, but I'm not such a fan of blazers. So, voila, hoodie under a cream denim jacket.

Outfit: J Crew jacket; Haute Hippie silk-cashmere blend hoodie; YFB long-sleeve tee; Tag jeans (they're new! soooo soft) and Simple "Satire" sneaks.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Layers and Dressy Uggs

This whole climate change thing is killing my ability to dress.

It's hot, it's cold. What's a girl who goes out and about in public supposed to do?


My magical denim vest (Now it's a jacket! Presto chango — snip, snip! Now it's a sleeveless vest!) adds the right amount of warmth in between this racer-back dress and knit moto jacket.

The crowning touch, though, is these tricked-out Uggs.

Earlier, (here) I'd mildly bemoaned their lack of 'zzaz. Well, those 2 Riders bootstraps went on sale, and, as I always tell my husband, I was right. The straps do add just the right amount of polish and edge to the old girls. Gussied up with the chains, they look like Fryes.

The bootstraps are impressive, quite well made. You can't tell from the photo (hey, my photog is 10!), but the silver chains almost look like they're actual rope. They have a matte finish, which makes them look more expensive than the gold version.

Outfit: Splendid moto jacket; hacked up Gap jacket; Daftbird dress; Forever XXI silver necklaces; Uggs.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Wuv....Twue Wuv....

An actual exchange between Middle Child (9) and Youngest Child (a very wise 6):

MC: "When you get married, do you keep the same husband for the whole time?"
Me: "Well, not always....."
YC (in an irritated voice): "NO! Sometimes people grow apart."

Great googly-moogly.

So, of course I asked him where he got that from, and he'd remembered hearing it at a recent wedding we'd attended. Another reminder to watch what I say — those little boogers soak up everything.

Photo: That would be hubby and me on our April 1 wedding day. We haven't grown apart. It's been 15 years.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Rainy Day Friday Shoe Haiku

Rain, rain come today
I am ready with mah boots!
Splish, splash — no wet feet.

Women's Femme Power Rain boots ($8.74). I know, I know. I live in the desert, do I really need rain boots?

Heck, yeah!

They are WONDER WOMAN boots. They aren't even $9. And, on those two days a year that it does really pour, I always wish I had something to keep my tootsies dry. I really hate wet feet.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Stuff I Just Don't Get...Melissa Shoes

OK, so there's no denying that Melissa shoes are pretty darn cute.

But, here's the thing — they're plastic. Oh, excuse me, they're MELFLEX, a trademarked plastic that "offers improved elasticity, impermeability, and resistance to water." The stuff is apparently also hypoallergenic, odorless and recyclable.

Cool, but they're still PLASTIC.

I'm not going to pay more than $100 — which most Melissa shoes cost — for Jellies. Remember those from the '80s? And, I'm sorry, but I remember the main problem with those regular plastic kicks was a horrible sweating issue. Didn't see anything about MELFLEX preventing your tootsies from sweatin' and slidin'.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Healing Heart

It's been a few weeks since the terrible tragedy outside a local Safeway that killed six people and gravely injured Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Those of us who live in Tucson are still kind of shell-shocked, trying to come to terms with what happened.

One of the great things about this community, though, is how badly people want to help in any way possible. A way to show love and support — and to channel grief — is through art. So a local artists' cooperative and gallery are planning an art auction to benefit different victims' funds. The event is called A Piece of Peace.

One of the pieces already on sale is this sweet gem by Michelle Spanyard of Banana Seat Jewelry. I've been wearing it daily since I bought it Friday at Bohemia, one of Giffords' (and my) favorite places to shop. It sells for $68 and also comes in a square. A portion of the proceeds go to the Gabe Zimmerman Memorial Fund through Child and Family Resources.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Watch This

I've tried to rely on my crappy cellphone for the time, but I really don't like to. Mostly because it's really hard to find it — my cellphone, that is. Not the time.

That said, I'm kinda getting tired of wearing watches. But, I have this pathological need to know what time it is — and the timepiece must have an actual clock face. Digital doesn't cut it. I need some context, some sense of what has come before and what will come after.

Clip-on watches could be the ticket.

This basic Avon clip-on watch ($13) should arrive any day this week. But this Tokyo Bay DJ robot ($16) is kinda irresistible.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Shoe Review

A short, sad shoe story: I ordered these Mossimo "Pilar" wedges. They came, I returned. The end.

Yeah, they weren't so good.

The wedge is a dead-ringer for Dolce Vita "Pela" sandals, and I've only lusted for those through the screen. Haven't seen IRL. The Pilar, a wallet-friendly $29.99, definitely had that plastic-ish, faux leather look. In a bad way. Remember Cynthia Vincent's Target collab last spring? That was faux done right.

The zipper back worked well, and the shoe fit perfectly through the toe and top of the foot. The dealbreaker was the baggy ankle strap. It wasn't adjustable, and it seemed like it would bug. So, Pilar went to a new home at the local Target store. Sigh. Isn't it time for Cynthia Vincent to do an encore Target presentation?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Boom Boom Pow!

Anyone can spend two months' salary and buy a diamond. That doesn't take much imagination.

At least, that's what I'm gonna keep telling myself. Plus, diamonds are bad! They're causing bloodshed and funding terrorism, and, really, who wants to support that?

It's infinitely cooler to have something unique, like this clamshell necklace by Laughing Raven Design. Artist Jamie Bichler even uses recycled silver and copper in her designs (good shopping — you're helping the Earth!), which are etched and stamped.

My sister-in-law gifted me with almost this very same Wonder Woman necklace for Christmas. Love.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Not So Wild, but Wooly

Hey, look! I'm a yeti!

Who knew the abominable beasts could be so stylish?

Last fall/winter and even into spring, several light coats and jackets made it into the closet. Makes sense — this is the desert. It's usually pretty freakin' warm. Winter is balmy here (evidence: temps in the 70s this week). But in recent mornings and in the evenings, stuck on the soccer field sidelines, I found myself wishing for something warmer and heavier. This fits the bill. Plus, it was on super-duper-luper sale.

Outfit: Unif shearling coat (since sold out on; the one non-hoochie, loose tank in the Victoria's Secret catalog last spring; J Crew "Minnie" pants; Marimekko sneakers.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Shoe Haiku — Splurge v. Steal

Can you tell the diff?
For sure at the register.
I'll take the cheapie.

Shoe n' Tell: My eagle-eyed friend spotted these strappy "Pilar" wedges on and told me I needed the pink pair. How well she knows me. Several times I'd nearly purchased a more expensive Dolce Vita version (yes, in pink), but I just couldn't pull the trigger. They were pricey, reviews said sizing was tricky. Too iffy of a purchase for that much money.

OK, so the top photo is from Saks and the real Dolce Vita "Pela" wedges. Sticker price: $170.

The bottom photo is Mossimo's non-leather version. Yeah, it costs $30. Guess which pair I'm gonna get.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

If Kermit Wore Makeup.....

I'll bet if that flipper-footed muppet was a cross-dresser, he'd reaaaaally think it was hard to be green. It can be tricky to find "clean" cosmetics, a topic that has become near and dear to my heart since reading "No More Dirty Looks." In fact, the book's had such a big effect on my life — and makeup bag — that I decided to write about it for my day job.

If this is a topic that interests you, click here.

A Travelin' Bag

When I run away from home — and it could be any minute now at the rate things are going — this is the bag that will accompany me. And my iPad.

It's positively ginormous — I can easily stuff all my essentials inside, plus a fair amount of nonessentials. Just today, I unearthed an extra soccer jersey that was forgotten over the weekend.

Love the carpet bag-ish styling and the deep brown color that gets an even better patina with each passing day. It was an Anthro sale piece, a few years back, by a line called Corsia.

The rest of the look: Sauce T-shirt and studded blazer; J Crew "Minnie" pants and Stuart Weitzman boots.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Matte Men

We just started watching "Mad Men." Sure, we're a few years late, but we are speeding our way toward the most recent season. Ah, the joys of Netflix.

Aside from feeling like I'm beginning to lapse into a depression (is anyone happy on that show?), I do appreciate the period clothes, furnishings and, especially, the makeup.

Betty, Joan — their skin just looks so perfect and powdered. The puffy pouts, in particular, are immaculate — and so flat. Not a lick of shine or shimmer to 'em. Tarte's Lipsurgence Natural Matte Lip Stain ($24) offers that perfect "Matte Men" look. The shine-free finish comes in a variety of shades from deep red to a pale mauve. Now, I like my red lips glossy (even though plenty of beauty types complain that's overkill), so for my money Exposed, a cocoa-tinged nude, is a great way to go matte.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Everyone's got a childhood story involving hair — and a pair of scissors.

I've actually been OK when two of my three children played Beauty Salon. It is only hair. It grows.

Sadly, Oldest Child took the scissors to the mane of the beautiful Pottery Barn pony. How I'd wish she'd attacked her own hair since the pony's 'do was so much more expensive.

I'm guessing the adult version of Beauty Salon involves a coloring kit. One afternoon last week, I was completely unsupervised — just me, a Garnier Nutrisse highlighting kit and 40 minutes before the repair guy was due to arrive and fix the stove.

Ta da.

Not bad. I think. I hope.

I've been coveting that beachy, ombre look for some time now. This was my third — and best — attempt. If you're brave enough, slather the lightening potion (probably with more care than I did) heavy on the ends; wrap in foil (supposed to speed up the process) and then rinse out. But, you should be brave. It's just hair. Easy enough to re-color — or, chop off.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Shop Spotlight: Uncommon Goods

Cool store that I kept meaning to shop at for Christmas, but then I didn't and now I'm sorry: Uncommon Goods.

There's so much to love in this online store, so many things I never knew I needed. Such as....

• Creepy/cool face mug ($18). You can stuff food into the mug's mouth. I'm sorry — I think that is simply awesome. Products that unite beverage and food components into one are flat-out brilliant.

• Vintage-y looking sock monkey mittens ($20). If it's got a sock monkey on it, I want it.

Scarf made from reclaimed t-shirts ($25). Those of you who were reading this blog from the beginning know what an incredibly selfless person I am and that I do everything I can to help others (read it here if you are one of the unfortunate few late to this party. The title of said post: I am a selfish bee-otch).

Because of my completely altruistic nature, I asked for a scarf made by disabled people. Hey, I didn't force them to make it. They were already churning 'em out as part of an independent living program. I just asked for it and a purchase would have helped them learn more job skills. Sadly, I did not get the scarf. I will make sure and ask for it as a gift again this year, since it's still available.

Roboostas ($10). Seriously, I would like this even if it was fossilized wooly mammoth poop simply because of the name — Roboostas. Say it with a Spanish accent and really roll that 'r' and tell me that doesn't sound utterly cool. Rrrrrrrroboostas! I believe I have found my next pet name. Just kidding, kids! No more live animals. Ever. From now on, only ZhuZhu pets. Roboostas turns out to be candy made of coffee and chocolate, so it sounds much tastier than decayed doodie.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cheap Thrill: This Balm is The Bomb

EOS had me with the round packaging.

Lip balm shaped like a sphere? Sign. Me. Up.

First I had summer fruit, which I waxed — ha! — poetic about. Then, I tried the sweet mint, which has that awesome tingly feeling. Now, I have a new favorite — lemon drop.

It's as sweet-smelling as lemonade and rolls on as smoothly as the others, but — and this is a huge bonus — it adds a slick of shine to your kisser. This is as perfect as lip balm can get. And, it costs less than $3.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Grim Anniversary

It's been a week since the tragedy. Seven days since six people died. Several more were mowed down by gunfire. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, still hospitalized after a bullet passed through her brain, continues to make amazing progress, responding to doctors' commands and opening her one, unbandaged eye.

Memorial services are underway. There's a sense of normalcy slowly returning, along with the feeling that the country will never be the same. Today's a good day to read the Ms. magazine blog. It's written by our former babysitter, a dynamo who has a way with people. And with words, too.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Shoe Haiku — True Love

Better than Reese's
Sneaks plus wedge equal awesome
But, how to style them?

Shoe n' Tell: These Ash buckle wedges are, well, I really don't think perfect is an overstatement. Forget chocolate and peanut butter — tennies plus a wedge are a true match made in heaven.

They're fun, high enough to keep my jeans from dragging and incredibly comfortable. I can't explain why Ash wedges go for exorbitant amounts of money on assorted Websites (Karmaloop, Neiman, ASOS). Oh wait, maybe I just did.

Found these on eBay (they started off life as samples) and got 'em for a song. My only problem — aside from pairing them with jeans or shorts, I'm not quite sure how to maximize their potential.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Free Stuff is Cool

A sure sign that I am old (aside from graying strands), I sure do love me the free stuff.

It doesn't matter what it is, if it's free — even if it's completely mundane like a pen or feminine hygiene products — it's cool.

So, I've become completely addicted to All You. I signed up for daily e-mails and each day I get another, usually irresistible freebie — a coupon for a free avocado, Lactaid, some lemon flavoring for water. I did pass on the Cinnabon Cream of Wheat. I discovered long ago that even adding chocolate cannot help that breakfast product.

Even better — things arrive in the mail. You get a package that you didn't pay for. Awesome.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Most of my little projects end the same way — in frustration.

I get these awesome ideas, figure, how hard could it be? And then I'm off — buying supplies that will later be abandoned to the guest closet, i.e., The Island of Half-Done/Half-Baked Projects. DIY usually ends up DI....why?

And yet, I persist.

Stubborn? Stupid? Mmm, mostly cheap.

My latest quest — a charming tulle underslip, a la Free People. They suckered me in. The peek of chiffonish wisp beneath a too-short skirt? How cute is that? And, how freakishly expensive.

I figured this was one I definitely ought to be able to tackle. I mean, how hard could it be?

This time, not bad. I got a cheap slip from Target and some tulle trim, with ribbon already attached, from the fabric store. I handstitched it on. And, there ya have it, well, I have it, for about $12.

Outfit: Revolver dress and Michael Michael Kors "Brookville" zebra heels.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I don't have obsessions, so much as oddsessions.

They're exactly like they sound — fixations on things that are, well, odd. Like tops with thumbholes and clothing with cupcakes. The latest oddsession: wedge sneakers.

I know, right?

Hear me out — they look ultra cool and they have to be comfortable. I mean, they are tennis shoes after all.

Further validating my oddsession — and possibly catapulting it into more worthy obsession status — Prada makes them. Those hipsters over at Nylon frequently use 'em in style shoots, too.

The Adidas SLVR store has these maroonish ones. The idea of height paired with the foot-friendliness of tennies is pretty much irresistible.

I just bought a pair of much lower Ash sneaker wedges off eBay. Stay tuned — they'll likely be this Friday's Shoe Haiku.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Inspired by Madewell

Cool label I have yet to try: Madewell.

J Crew's snappy sister line leans toward trendier looking basics, and I've liked a lot of stuff. But I have serious hangups about high shipping costs. Plus, who knows what the heck that sizing is like? Many dress hemlines look as if Madewell's cribbing from Forever XXI (read: crotch level). J Crew's sizing is notoriously schizo since adding an "XXS." So while I've liked a lot of stuff, I haven't taken the plunge on anything Madewell yet.

Then I realized, I can probably pull off the Madewell look with stuff I've got already. Behold, my first attempt based on my lust for Madewell's chiffon cascade dress (at a too-rich-for-my-blood $148): Johnny Was silk dress layered with a tank dress beneath; Splendid cardigan; tights and Daniblack clogs.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Must-Have Accessory

And now for some much-needed levity.....

Here is this season's much-needed accessory for the superhero in all of us: an actual, real cape.

Even if you never put it on, this $16 Toddland piece is impossible to resist based on the packaging alone. From the back of the box: Be just like everyone that you look up to — superheroes, not so super heroes, magicians, lawyers, crazy people, larpers (Internet search it. lightning bolt!), rulers of parent's basement kingdoms.

It even comes with instructions on how to tie it on. Funny. Funny. Funny.

Come for the cape, but mosey around the Toddland site for all the funny stuff (I think I need the furry Yo Gaba Gaba wallet).

Saturday, January 8, 2011

No Words

This blog focuses on fashion, food, frivolity and well, whatever else strikes my fancy. Hey, it's my forum and I'll spout what I want to.

Because there's already so much pain and sadness in the world, I intentionally keep things light and fluffy. It's nice to have a break from heavy-duty reality. Let other people rail about politics and actual issues. I wanna talk about shoes. Usually.

But not today.

My heart is heavy. That's true of most people in Tucson, Ariz. At a Saturday meet-and-greet with the public — outside of a grocery store — Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head. Several people were shot, including my friend's father. Apparently a 9-year-old child, an innocent bystander, was killed.

My own 10-year-old has attended events held for Giffords. She idolizes the congresswoman. It was one of the biggest days of her life two years ago when she had the chance to finally meet Giffords, who was incredibly gracious and posed for pictures. Perhaps that 9-year-old was there for the very same reason.

We live in a society in which people are demonized for what they believe in. Sarah Palin puts up gun crosshairs on her Website, targeting democrats who voted for healthcare reform. She took it down today. Still. What kind of message does that send?

If I were Aaron Sorkin, I'd write this wonderfully eloquent "West Wing" worthy diatribe. But, I'm not Aaron Sorkin. I'm just a mom who has to explain to her child why someone shot her idol. For no reason.

Biker + Babe

Life — and fashion — are all about balance.

You keep things from tipping into too-extreme territory with a healthy system of checks and balances.

Now, I love a good moto jacket — it adds just the right edginess. But a moto plus leather boots plus leather pants? Tooooo much.

So, you balance out that toughness with something girly, say, a newly acquired, on-sale VPL tank. Oh, and you totally skip the leather pants and boots.

Back to the top.

I've long had a thing for the VPL line because of its cheeky initials (visible panty line — ha!) and its lingerie styling that's sexy but not overly so, like say, Madonna in the '80s. This tank's got a bralike upper half with thick, orange straps that add a pop of color and keep it from being too feminine. The flowy bottom is a bonus for those of us battling an ever-present food baby.

Outfit: Splendid moto jacket; VPL convexity breaker tank; Tag ankle jeans; Jeffrey Campbell buckle sandals.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Friday Shoe Haiku — An Exceptionally Useful Shoe

Scotch tape is useful
But not really that stylish
Unless it's a shoe.

Shoe 'n Tell: A decorative shoe tape dispenser by Scotch. Personally, I prefer stilettos in tape-dispenser form, rather than on my feet. Here's one dispenser I'd wear, though. Much easier on the tootsies.

If there is any cooler gizmo for a shoe lover, I cannot think of it. My friend J (who finds the most amazing fashion steals and is ultra creative) gifted me with this. I have banned all the tape hogs* in the house from even touching it.

* No joke, on a weekly basis I have to buy jumbo packs of tape from Costco. Where does it all go? Even my children can't lose things that completely. The tape never turns back up. Never. Either they're blowing through the tape while secretly making pig noses (a la Pee Wee Herman) in the bathroom or... eating it.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cheap Thrill/New Product Alert: Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm

This stuff is so new, Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm doesn't even show up on its own Web site yet. But, I did just find it at Ulta. And if it's at a store in Tucson, you know it's got to be out and readily available everywhere but Antarctica (you can never find anything cool and new here).

So, ta da.

At $6.99, it is a cheap thrill as far as natural cosmetics go. It's got more (and better) oil than a BP spill — coconut, vegetable, olive, sunflower seed, castor seed, canola. Plus, it's got shea butter. As you can imagine, this is one of the most hydrating balms around. The balm feels smooth, slick and not the least bit goopy. It lasts, too.

Make no mistake — the tinted balm wouldn't cut it on the set of "Mad Men." Contrary to the "Rose" color's packaging, you don't get a deep, Joan Holloway-worthy red. This balm is among the sheerest of the sheer. It's a very subtle tint that just enhances your own color. The lip tint adds a nice hint of shine, too, which is why I'll cut the sheerness some slack.

Burt's Bees also gets bonus points for the eco-friendly, recyclable, cardboard packaging (makes up for my guilt over three babies' worth of disposable diapers still mucking up the landfills). In fact, the outer tube is cute enough to keep around.

Colors included nude, a pale pink, even a burgundy-ish color deeper than the Rose.

If you're one of those gals who prefers to go light with the lips and likes some shine, you'll definitely want to hunt this down. I like it so much, that after not even a full day of wear, I am going to declare it my new absolute favorite. (Read about previous favorite here.)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

It's A Wrap

Some of my friends typed themselves silly, extolling the virtues of wrap dresses in e-mails.

I didn't believe them. Until this DVF dress.

Wraps are simple, versatile (depending on what kind of cami you wear beneath) and they look elegant.

This basic black Banana Republic needed a little sumthin' sumthin', though. I think the Cruella de Vil coat tops it off nicely.

Outfit: Oxford and Regent (Penney's house brand?) coat; BR dress; random red cami; Diego di Lucca patent mary janes and sheer pantyhose that continued to slip-slide down to my knees as the evening wore on, necessitating a knot in the waistband to hold 'em up. And there lies another positive to the wrap — the knotted pantyhose were completely hidden by the tie at the waist.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Flared For Spring

Heads up — flared jeans will be back for spring.

At least, that's what anyone who's anyone is saying. I believe 'em. The skinny thing has gone on for several seasons now. Time for the denim to widen.

Yippee because I have a looooooot of flared jeans stuffed into a drawer. These are my most beloved jeans. They're Fins, not made anymore. I fell in love with 'em at a local boutique and saved up my pennies and dropped pounds (it was post baby) until they went on sale. They're flattering and soft and have these cool flap pockets. They were even more flared until I recently took 'em in to the tailor.

Outfit: J Crew tuxedo shirt; Majestic cashmere tank; Fins jeans; Dr. Martens "Marlena" mary janes.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Not-So-Silly Bandz

Maybe you've heard of Silly Bandz.

They're these pliable bracelets, most likely made of toxic plastic, that are all the rage among the kiddos. I have stepped on — or my vacuum has sucked up — a heart, a scorpion and a car. And that's just today.

Slipped onto the wrist, these goofy bands look like nothing. It's only when you take them off that you can see the true shapes.

Truth be told, I've never felt strongly about them one way or the other. But, the kids like 'em, they're cheap, so whatev. Then I discovered they make WONDER WOMAN ($3) and PEEPS ($5.50) bands.


Two of my favorite characters.

Naturally, I'm now a fan. The Wonder Woman bands were gifted to me for Christmas (thanks, Kiera!) and I have my sights set on those Peeps. Oh yes, they will be mine.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Great Keychain Conundrum

OK, so it's not really a conundrum. I just like alliteration.

But, I do really need a new keychain. Actually, I don't. I want a new one, though.

A darling, mini Paul Frank "Julius" monkey is currently attached to my jingly janglies. It's big enough to make keys more visible in those cavernous purses, but it's been hanging there for quite awhile now. It's time to change up. First I searched for a cupcake keychain, then one with a shoe.

Nothing has seemed quite right.

Now I'm completely smitten by outrageously expensive accessories. On the one hand, an $82 Jimmy Choo keychain is much, much cheaper than an actual pair of Choos. But then, is that the sartorial equivalent of carrying around a Porsche keychain when you really drive a Buick?

Even crazier is this See by Chloe "Spike" coin purse/key chain. Holy cuteness. Could that hedgehog be any awesomer? Get this — not only is it $135, but only has two left. How can that even be possible? I want to meet these people who buy keychains that cost triple digits.