Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Shoe Haiku: Anthropoo-logie

When I search Anthro
One thing is certain with shoes
Ouch! Ca-ching! Price-y!

Shoe n' Tell: I heretofore rename Anthropologie, Anthropoologie. It is so named because of its wedgie-esque prices (wedgie? yeah, because they're always creeping up on you). The footwear, in particular, is astronomical. No joke, if I see a pair I like, it's a guaranteed triple-digits. Of course, the same holds true for much of the clothing now, too.

I have me a birthday discount, but even with that whopping 15 percent off, I shall be headed straight back to the sale room, where alas, there are usually very few shoes.

Topping my lust list:
Tack Room Platforms ($498)
The Toile Landscape Wedges ($128) seem downright cheap compared to those platforms. Woof.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cheap Thrill: H&M MEN'S Shirt

It pays to circulate at H&M.

Once when I dared veer from the women's department into girls' accessories, I found a $3 pink, studded bracelet. It fit perfectly.

This last trip, a pass through the men's section yielded this seagreen, button-neckline tee. It was all of $9.95.

Heathered and made of the fabric trifecta of poly-cotton-viscose, this bad boy is soooooft. It reminds me of the great American Apparel tri-blend shirts but without the soul-suckingness of its wacky sizing. Yes, H&M is wildly inconsistent in that department, too, but AA is really bad. It must stop using mannequins made of toothpicks as fit models. C'mon, young women have enough issues let alone thinking that weighing more than 50 pounds automatically deems you "XL." I am most certainly not an XXL, despite all the bacon-wrapped hotdog appetizers I ate last weekend.

Interestingly, while the H&M men's shirts were cut quite wide and boxy, the XS was slim and fitted and looked like it was made for a chick.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What a Bite

So I've been on a "green" beauty bender, buying up products that use natural ingredients and avoid bad chemicals like parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals, et al.

I'm not completely non-tox (still can't find decent eye makeup that doesn't disappear in 30 seconds), but I figure of anything that shouldn't have cooties, it ought to be the stuff you put on your lips since, ya know, you pretty much end up eating that.

Sephora recently rolled out Bite Beauty products and offered a sample of its lip rouge with orders. Normally Bite Beauty Lip Rouge costs ($22), not an inconsequential sum, so I placed an order so I could get a freebie and try it.

The tester was in Geranium, which is actually a bubble-gum pink rather than the deeper rose color it appears to be on screen (damn you, crappy monitor!). Personally, any makeup really should be purchased in person to see what it looks/feels like, but this stuff isn't at my Sephora. Luckily the beauty giant has a killer return policy.

But, back to the review.

The formula is similar to lipstick and is pretty opaque, which is impressive for a natural lip product. Most of the time, green lipwear is very sheer, at least that's been my experience. Bite is thicker, stays on for awhile and feels pretty moisturizing. I still like to top with gloss for a bit of shine, but I have to say I like the stuff. I'd be interested in trying other colors, especially deeper hues.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Leather Bags

This sunny Cambridge Satchel Company ($135) is causing me to second-guess my love of smooshy leather bags. Adore that school-girl vibe.

It's also eerily similar to the Proenza Schouler PS1 — but at a fraction of the price. That sucka is more than $1,000.

Target has a similar messenger that reportedly has pissed off PS because it's too close. But I've seen it IRL, and it smells cheap, looks cheap, is cheap.

But that Cambridge bag.....hmmmm.... Something to think about.

Monday, April 25, 2011

OOTD: Orange You Happy?

All those years wasted. All that time thinking that orange was not a good color.

It might even be a happier hue than yellow. I think it's definitely an easier color for people to wear.

Hard to tell in the photo, but the crinkly skirt has some orange blotches in it that play off the orange shirt. There's also cool, ruched seaming running the length of the back. I choose to think it is butt-slimming. I don't know for sure because, thankfully, I don't see that half of my bod that much.

Outfit: J Crew tee; skirt that's been in the closet so long we'll call it vintage; Stuart Weitzman sandals; Marc Jacobs bag; La Mer leopard watch.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Shoe Haiku: A Two-Fer (there's an outfit, too!)

Complicated? No.
People say Simple is best.
I agree with that.

Shoe n' Tell: I am not a Converse gal. They're too heavy, too flat. But Simple, ah, there's a sneaker. I have amassed quite a collection — plain black, purple silk, checkered, leopard-spotted. Simples have a nice, padded insole that can slip out for those of us who have bionic feet (aka have had surgery to fix genetically crappy, crooked bones) and need freakishly expensive orthotics inside their kicks.

Outfit: H&M vest and dress (shortened but featured in its full maxi glory here); Forever XXI built-in bra cami; Marc Jacobs bag; Simple checkered sneaks.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lusting Over Leather

Never knew I needed — NEEDED — a leather skirt until this Shopbop email arrived. The Dallin Chase "Flynn" skirt is so wickedly cool, that it keeps selling out.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Heroic Accessories

If Iron Man were a cross dresser — or at the very least an accessory-loving metrosexual — I wonder if he might carry a purse like this rosegold Kooba "Gemma"?

I got this on eBad, a great deal although it has some splotchy spots.

Since I'm not a superhero, is it great or granny? I'm still trying to decide. I'm thinkin' with a very barebones basic outfit (white tee, jeans), it'd provide be a fun pop of heavy metal.

I'm pretty sure Iron Man couldn't resist this Deborah Lippman "Boom Boom Pow" gold-dust nailpolish, though. This stuff is awesome. It paints on very sheer with gold flecks of varying size. Alone, it gives nails a subtle sheen.

Layered over another color, say a purple with gold undertones, it would look good, too. Of course, Iron Man wouldn't dare do the bag and the nails at the same time. That would be overkill.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Dorothy-esque OOTD

Gingham always makes me think of Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz." As a kid, I hated that movie — those flying monkeys were freakin' creepy. But, I appreciate the fashion, specifically the shiny red shoes.

Outfit: Shirt, Land's End; belt from a swap party; H&M kangaroo pocket skirt; Me Too slingback flats.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Leopard Goes Casual

Ah, leopard.

Dressy, sexy, sleek.

Now the sassy print is sneaking its way into casual wear. Pretty brilliant. The always-trendy pattern is the perfect way to pep up ho-hum loungewear for comfort and style. Designer Rebecca Taylor seems to have mastered this hybrid with both a sweatshirt dress and a pullover that are pretty fab.

Equipment also has a cotton-twill shirt that would double as an outer layer over a tank or just on its on with skinny jeans.

Have a looksie:

Equipment Gran Torino ($102)

Rebecca Taylor leopard sweat dress ($185)

Rebecca Taylor leopard pullover ($295)

All those are good, good, good. And now for an example of bad leopard....

Doc Martens? As Mercedes from "Glee" would say, "Hell to the noooooo."

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Shoe Haiku: Camilla Love

High with saw-tooth soles
They're futuristic beauties
I heart you, Skovgaard

Shoe n' Tell: Her shoes are edgy. Her name sounds like Steve Martin just made it up. What's not to love about Camilla Skovgaard? Well, aside from the cost, anyway. The Outnet has a decent selection, and its sales are pretty good, too.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Drawstring Denim Drawers

Skinny jeans keep a gal honest.

And, in a much less confrontational way than, say, asking your significant other if you look fat.

You overindulge and your skinny jeans let you know. You slack off on the workouts, your skinny jeans let you know. They feel just a smidge tighter in the hips, become just a little bit harder to button.

Drawstring jeans, on the other hand, are the enablers of the denim world. These would be the equivalent of those boys your parents didn't want you hanging out with late on a Friday night.

"Awwww, go ahead — have another slice of pie," drawstring jeans purr. "You can just loosen up the belt. Go ahead — no one'll know."

They're dangerous, but mighty cute. The bad boys of the denim world — irresistible.

Calvin Klein Explorer Jeans, $55. Cargo-y and loose, they're a good blend o' trends.

Diesel's Peitey, $170. This is the pair in the new ads. The two-tone denim and Capt. Kangaroo-ish pockets are fun.

Victoria's Secret drawstring jean, $59.50. A beacheriffic pant.

Current/Elliott + Marni cropped drawstring. Current/Elliott+Marni=very, very expensive, as in $370.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Retro — An OOTD

This polka-dot Anthro top is one of my most favorite things and yet I, um, forgot I had it.

Found it in the drawer and took advantage of its '50s feel by pairing it with cuffed jeans. The jacket is for modesty purposes; the $20 Payless shoes to funk it up.

Outfit: Monrow jacket; Odille top; Tag jeans; Isabel Toledo for Payless shoes.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Food Porn: Salted Caramel Ice Cream with Pig Candy

Porn doesn't do anything for me. Never has. Never will.

Wait, I take that back. I do get excited for one specific type: food porn. Those luscious, drool-worthy photos in glossy food mags? Mmmmmmmm. Yeah, that's the stuff.

Now, I'm not at all claiming that I have those kind of mad photo skills. This is definitely the more skeezy end of food porn.

But it's not the picture that matters so much as the inspired recipe behind it: salted caramel with candied bacon topping, or, to use its less appetizing name, pig candy.

The sinfully delectable, premium ice cream at a new downtown eatery, Hub, spurred the inner ice-cream maker in me. Hub had an almond praline-bourbon ice cream that was TDF. My heart skipped a beat at another flavor unavailable when we were there — bacon scotch. Intriguing. I became obsessed. But the more I thought about it, I thought wouldn't bacon and salted caramel be a better pairing?

This was pretty darn good — smooth and ultra creamy with a salty-sweet, coffee-tinged crunch from the bacon. But, full disclosure — I loved it because I will eat bacon in anything, even chocolate bars. You can be the judge — if you dare.

The recipe

The bacon vehicle (ice cream)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups half and half
1/2 teaspoon gray sea salt
6 egg yolks

The star of the show
brown sugar
brewed coffee or espresso

For the bacon vehicle: Put sugar into a saucepan and heat at medium-high until it starts to liquefy around the edges. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon.
Once the sugar begins to darken and turn amber, remove from heat and add the heavy cream, stirring to dissolve the caramel. Now, I must admit I have caramel issues and when I made this, the caramel seized into a nasty, hard blob. I persisted, though — just parked that pan right back on the burner and stirred until most of the caramel turned back into liquid. Everything turned out fine.
Whisk the half and half and salt into the caramel cream. Lightly whisk together the yolks and add the caramel cream slowly, add just a little bit at first to temper the yolks. Then, continue to add more in a constant stream.
Strain the ice cream base into a container and chill. Freeze, according to your ice cream maker's instructions.
For the most important part:
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Set a rack over a foil-lined baking sheet and spread an even layer of, drool, bacon across it.
In a bowl, mix together about 1/4 cup brown sugar with about two teaspoons of coffee or espresso. (Honestly, I just eyeball this part. You want a sludgy mixture that's not too runny.) Drizzle the bacon with half of the sugar-coffee mixture.
Cook the bacon for about 10 minutes and then take it out of the oven. Turn the bacon over and slather the rest of the sugar-coffee mixture on the flip side. Bake for about another 10 minutes. If the bacon doesn't seem to be crisping, then broil it until the sugar caramelizes into a crackly coat.
To serve, scoop the ice cream into a bowl and top with the "pig candy." For the wussy scaredy-cats out there, leave the bacon on the side and tentatively nibble it with a spoonful of ice cream.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Slouchy Cardi Smackdown or Under vs. Over Budget

This Ever Adak blanket cardi has been parked on my wishlist even before the price dropped to $171.50. Yeah, I know. Not exactly obtainable in this economy. The airy, open weave and slightly askew sleeves are so appealing, but that price tag.... Ouch.

Enter Minkpink Cocoon sweater. At $26, it's more than a suitable substitute.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Back In The Saddle

I missed it — the blogging.

I realized that while I wasn't actually typing things out, I was mentally blogging. Almost nonstop.

And, instead of spending all my former blogging time doing something productive, like getting my house clean enough to keep health inspectors at bay or writing the book I've always dreamed of penning, I surfed — Ebay. Which, from here on out, shall be referred to as Ebad.

I still don't know where this whole blog thing is going, but I guess I'm not quite ready to stop. Perhaps posting periodically rather than daily will help — and only when I have something "spongeworthy."

Thanks for all the lovely sentiments. I was buoyed (the dorkiest word in the dictionary but it truly describes how I felt) by all the kind comments, some from people I've never met. My heart felt a squeeze when I saw that a few sweet souls actually signed up to follow me after I posted my sorta sayonara.

So, I'm back. For now. Thanks for having me on your computer screen.

Here's what I've been up to:

• Posing for a fashion shoot for local magazine Tucson Lifestyles. This was definitely outside my comfort zone — I prefer being behind the scenes, but it was for a fundraiser for the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, a wonderful organization from whence Beast No. 1 came. (Beast No. 2 came from another rescue group.) I had the pleasure of wearing an amazing Nicole Miller outfit from local boutique Pour Moi and got to be primped by the pros at Gadabout SalonSpas. My only regret — finding out about the shoot at the same time I was sucking down an entire sleeve of Girl Scout Thin Mints. Didn't have near enough time to work 'em off. I have been hitting the elliptical faithfully so that when the runway part of this fundraiser happens at the end of the month, my thighs will be ready.

• Shopping. Meet Bag No. 1. Treesje, from Ebad. It is flat-out fabulous.

• More shopping. This is Bag No. 2. Marc Jacobs, also from Ebad. It's dingy, but smooshy and huge. Any day now, my husband will have one of those site-blockers up to keep me away.

Hope you've been having fun, too. Nice to be back. :)