Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Shoe Haiku: Goin' Geriatric

I am gettin' old
It has to be official
Because I like these.

Shoe n' Tell:
These Dansko clogs are starting to look good to me. They do have the leopard print, so maybe they're less stodgy? Not as Nurse Ratched?
All I know is that cold weather is maybe, possibly, coming and I don't have any closed brown shoes with a little bit of heel to wear with my many, many pairs of jeans. When it comes down to it, I don't wear (or like to wear) high heels that much. Seems the practical thing to go with a mid-heel. Plus, everyone swears these are the most comfortable thing ever.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Very Personal Accessory

So get this — you can have your very own bespoke scarf made.

That seems a touch classier than an image slapped on a mug or a mousepad, doesn't it?

Hayden-Harnett offers the service. You can create a customized wisp of goodness in a sheer silk chiffon or a sandwashed silk. Sizes range from 20-by-20 inches up to 40-by-40 inches. Prices range from $110 to $198. So, it's not cheap.

But, what a cool way to commemorate an exotic vacation or get a chance to to play fashion designer with your own artwork. Just no faces, please, because that just seems creepy.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Site To Love: Refinery 29

So, I have to give some serious Web love to Refinery 29.

I surf a lot and several times a day, I land here — for an extended period of time. Especially if I'm procrastinating. Not only is it an excellent time suck, it's a useful one. For instance, a recent post was devoted to oversize tops. Hello, that's my favorite thing!

Especially grand is the Street Style feature, which always provides plenty of inspiration. These are from a Sept. 14 post, "50 Street-Style Looks from Fashion's Finest." They're from fashion week, of course.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Food-Baby Friendly Tops

Jacquelyn of Musings by Jacquelyn had a great post about body image (Sept. 18 "Body Matters") and how it's important to accept who you are and to be healthy and happy in your own skin rather than fitting into society's image of the perfect body type.

Amen to that.

I, too, spent years trying to reshape what I thought were fat thighs and obsessing about my nearly concave chest. That pic right there at the top — that was the body that needed fixing. If I could go back in time, I would kick myself — and wear a midriff-bearing crop top, every freakin' day.

How did I not appreciate that flat stomach?

Those abs I will never, not after three kids and not without the help of a very skilled plastic surgeon, have again. And I've come to terms with that. I is what I is. That doesn't mean, though, that I won't disguise my current, most-hated body part. Creative dressing can work wonders, so I've been snapping up tops that conceal my pooch.

Call it "tummoflage."

Ruching and draping are my new best friends. Tops can be body skimming without being Saran-wrapish. To wit:

• Alice + Olivia draped vest. Scored this off eBay, but Neiman Marcus has the gray version on kinda, sorta, but not really sale (still $105). Tobi has a more wallet-friendly ($32) Comme Toi Grecian Grace top that does the same thing.

What's so great about the A+O vest is its versatility — button the long placket and drape it around your neck and you have the result you see in the second pic. Or, you can wrap around the back and still get a very tum-slimming look.

• Elizabeth and James Eddy top. OK, this is just the best. With all that ruching, who can tell you're packing a 5-month-old food baby? And, with a sexy, draped back like that, no one's really paying attention to the front anyway. Even better.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Marvel-ous Bra

I'm fairly certain that a gal could fight crime wearing a bra like this.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Shoe Haiku: Insanity

Someone take my temp.
I think I might be quite sick.
Bewitched by these sneaks.

Shoe n' Tell: These Isabel Marant sneakers are insane. Insane. I can't even type the price because it makes me pee a little every time I see it.

I am inexplicably drawn to them because every celeb I've seen in them (Kate Bosworth, Julianne Moore) has this cool, insouciant vibe. Yet, I know if I slipped them on, first of all, my feet would look ginormous. Then, people would probably expect me to break out into an old school rap song and say, "Yeah, boooooy." They are so, so wrong, and yet every time I see them I think, "Hmmmmm, what if....I sold a kid to buy them." And then I remember that none of my children would bring high three figures. Ha. I kid, CPS! I kid!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Linen Pants Replacement

OK, so first off, is that not a great band name? The Linen Pants Replacement? LPR, for short. I am trademarking that now.

An earlier post detailed the summer search for linen beach pants. That search failed miserably. Then I wised up. Hey, who wants light-colored linen pants anyway? The overly long hems will get frayed and in mere seconds the white would no longer be white. So instead I went for denim pants that give off that same beachy vibe — without the high maintenance. These Textile Elizabeth and James drawstring jeans are every bit as soft and lightweight as linen pants and infinitely more styleable.

Outfit: Project E T-shirt; Textile Elizabeth and James "Collins" slouchy jeans; Simple "Satire" sneaks.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Strange But True: A Pillow For Your Boobs

Now, I'll admit I have some weird concerns when it comes to my appearance. I'm worried about my hands looking old, a double chin and jowls and the skin on my neck looking like a 150-year-old tortoise's. I worry about my ear lobes getting saggy.

This is all aside from the usual butt and gut issues, which I obsess about constantly.

But I've never, ever worried about the effects of aging on my almost non-existent chest. Perhaps I should. Check this out. It only looks like a stuffed uterus. This gizmo is really..... a pillow for your boobs.

The Intimia Breast Pillow ($59.95) is meant to be worn at night and straps around your neck and upper chest. It's supposed to prevent dents in the decolletage. If you ask me, it just gives your spouse an easier way to kill you in your sleep when you piss him off. Just wrap that top strap tight around the neck and hello, second wife and golf every Saturday!

Now, if you'll please excuse me, I need to go check my chest in the mirror.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Tale of Two Skirts

I shop online. A lot.

So you'd think I'd be, well, smarter.

For instance, this cute, uneven hem skirt looks pretty darn adorable. It was $14.80 at Forever XXI and there was a free-ship code, so I snapped it up. Trouble was, I didn't pay attention to the fabric content — 100 percent rayon.

Now, in a drapey, oversized shirt, 100 percent rayon is a beautiful thing. In a clingy skirt, it can be — no exaggeration — tragic. When I turned around and looked at my butt in the mirror, I could identify each of the 13 mini Oreos I'd eaten two days before. Yikes.

Back it went. In its place, I found this great knee-length, cotton skirt (Product code 2000026852) for $7.50. It has a wide waistband, plenty of give and is thick enough to conceal any and all mini Oreos.

Outfit: Elizabeth and James top (an example of good 100-percent drapey rayon); Forever XXI skirt; H&M wedges.

Monday, September 19, 2011

If Money Were No Object....

...then I would have the best-dressed iPad on the block. Although, I'm not sure how I'd feel if my accessory was better dressed than I.

Shown: Jagger Edge Suede Fringe case ($198).

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Shoe Haiku: Lusting for Leopard

So, can a girl have
Too many pairs of leopard?
Can't be possible.

Shoe n' Tell: I have two pairs of leopard flats (one cream based; one straight dark brown); a pair of KILLER leo boots; teetering Michael Michael Kors leopard platforms; pink leopard sneakers and strappy leopard wedges. Do I really need another pair?

Um, yes.

Here's what's caught my eye:
Toms Snow Leopard flats ($54)
House of Harlow 1960 Kye haircalf flats ($188)
Born Kai sneakers ($95 )

Thursday, September 15, 2011

RMS "Un" Cover-up

Years ago, I purchased my first real, expensive "big girl" foundation. It was from Estee Lauder and I went to the makeup counter and got complexion matched and everything.

I wore it proudly to work on Monday only to have a coworker (male) ask me if I felt OK.

"Yeah, why?"

"You look kinda pale," he said.

Damn. So much for that.

Ever since I've been obsessive about matching my foundation perfectly. I check in the nasty makeup counter lighting (Why does it always suck? Don't they want you to buy stuff and be happy with it?) and go outside to make sure it really, truly is the right shade. This is trickier now that I'm doing the green cosmetics thing, and most of the products I order are online. Try color-matching off a monitor. Tough.

The nice people at RMS Beauty, though, happily sent me samples of its "Un" Cover-up ($36) in all shades to see which best suited me.

If you're not familiar with this line, this is the makeup that Gisele wears. Yeah, I spread some on and I didn't look into the mirror and see a luscious supermodel staring back. Still, I love this light foundation.

You use your fingertips to smooth on the smallest amount. The warmth of your skin helps the makeup melt in and blend. You really only need a teeny amount to cover up any imperfections. The result is your skin — only better.

Don't let the small container scare you, this stuff lasts a long time. I got some major mileage out of my mini samples.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Splurge vs Steal: A Wrap Sweater

Months ago, a darling Alice + Olivia wrap-around cardi called my name from a mannequin. I ignored it.

I still think about it.

The problem then — and now — is the price tag.

Look at this beauty — it's a cashmere blend, so it must be wonderfully soft. The drape-front cardigan looks fab and gets major points for the buttons along the long placket — this means it can be fastened and draped around the neck, as seen in the photo, or you could even loop it around the waist for a different wrap look. It also costs $330.

Boo hoo.

The Forever XXI version (technically Love 21, Product Code: 2084877882), though, is a mere $29.80.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Smashing Sweater Dress From A Most Unlikely Source

The Sochi Sweater dress ($138) may well be my dream winter dress.

It's simple and straight-forward, but that drapey neckline really adds some oomph. It's from — are you ready for this? — Athleta. Yup, the Gap's sporty sister.

I couldn't believe it either when I saw it in the catalog. Yes, that's another weird, noteworthy item — I am on the Athleta mailing list.

It surely isn't because I'm athletic. Most of the women featured in the catalog look like they could go a few rounds with The Rock and come out just fine.

That is not me. In fact, just this weekend I stood in the kitchen, fiddling with my iPod. I had on my red Nike baseball cap, grungy sneakers and a workout shirt and shorts. Not one, not two, but all three kids systematically asked, "Where are you going?"

Each time I said, "I'm going for a jog."

"You're going for A JOB?"

Did I mention it was 7:30 on a Saturday morning, and they thought it more realistic that I'd be going to a job dressed like that than actually going for a run?

Yeah, maybe I don't exercise enough. But I know one thing, I'd rock that dress — even if I wouldn't ever dare wear half the sporty, clingy workout clothing featured in that catalog.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sugar Passion Tinted Lip Treatment: A Sheer Red For Wusses

So, if I were a spy, and I got captured by some foreign baddies, the way to torture me would be to threaten to withhold my beauty products and one in particular — tinted lip balm by Fresh.

I first fell in love with the Rose Tinted Lip Treatment (a lovely deep pink). Then I adored Plum (a sheer, deep berry). Now the new fav is Sugar Passion Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15 ($22.50). This is a true red for people who, to kinda quote Jack Nicholson, "can't handle a true red!"

A swipe of Passion leaves the most perfect sheer red wash. It polishes a day look and is still black-tie appropriate, too.

The best thing about Fresh's tinted balms is that they're freakishly moisturizing, more so than any other tinted balm I've tried. If I put Rose on before bed, my lips feel hydrated in the morning. It's true. Another added bonus, is that you can apply any of these mirror-free — no worries about looking like the Joker.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Shoe Haiku: Taking A Pass

Shoes should be pretty.
Why look just like Frankenstein?
Creepers are...creepy.

Shoe n' Tell: A lengthy pass through Asos' shoe section yielded several versions of these uglies. Seriously, what is the attraction? The sole looks orthopedic, and the whole thing just comes off as clunky.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cheap Thrills: A Sweet Treat

Everyone has a happy place.

Mine, sadly, no longer exists. It was at a restaurant called Le Bistro. My sweet spot, my idea of heaven, was planted in front of Le Bistro's revolving dessert case, very smartly and strategically located mere steps from the entrance.

The multi-tiered case revolved slowly, bathed in a gentle glow. All kinds of fabulous cakes and sweets twirled in that case, but I only had eyes for the Concorde.

A towering, dusky cake, the Concorde was layers of shatteringly crisp chocolate meringue alternated with dense, rich chocolate mousse.


Once, my husband bought me an entire Concorde for my birthday. This is why I've kept him around all these years even though he never remembers to put anything away.

When the restaurant closed years ago, I tracked down a cookbook with a Concorde recipe. It was, to put it indelicately, a pain in the ass. You whipped egg whites and baked meringue discs at a low temp for a long time on cut-up paper bags. The mousse turned out not ethereal but runny, like unset pudding. The whole thing together was just off — too much meringue; flat, liquidy mousse. Such a disappointment.

When I spotted this cake in the freezer case at Trader Joe's, my eyeballs nearly popped out of my head. Could it be? Oh, yes, it could. And for only $6.99.

While not as triumphantly tall as the Concorde in my memory, this version still has the same light, crunchy meringue with a decadent mousse. As an added bonus, a band of dark chocolate rings the cake. With some fresh raspberries, it was perfection.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Stiff Stuff

On a daily basis, approximately 213 emails flow into my inbox.

I always tap my name onto those email lists — especially the expensive online shopping sites — because who knows when an amazing code may come through that might make it possible to buy that overpriced item I can't live without.

One site — very well curated — never fails to make me laugh when its emails come through. Ssense has all these fancy-schmancy designers with crazy price tags, so you'd think they'd want their stuff to look appealing so that people would, ya know, cough up the credit card and buy it. But they manage to make each and every clothing item, even the flowy boho stuff, look so stiff. Check out those poses — it's like the models graduated from the Rigor Mortis School of Modeling.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Uptown Sweatshirts

Nothing is snugglier than a sweatshirt.

But sweatshirt doesn't mean plain and boring PE gray. The latest generation of tops is uber hip. So even though fall is still, sadly, weeks and months away, a girl can dream....of thick, soft sweatshirts and chilly nights.

If that nip in the air ever comes....

Dolan Reversible Shearing sweatshirt ($163)

Gypsy 05 Connect off-the-shoulder sweatshirt ($121)

Dolan Slouch Sweatshirt with split sleeves ($80)

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Labor Day Cocktail

I'm not a drinker. Just don't like the taste of alcohol and much prefer to consume my calories in chocolate form.

Every once in awhile, though, a cold icy drink that causes a little buzz hits the spot. In fact, I'd love a drink right now — at not even 8 in the morning — because I've already been up since 5 a.m., thanks to a kid; have an extra two loads of laundry, thanks to another kid who peed the bed; and there is nary a drop of coffee in the house. Apparently no kid has any clean underwear either. Oh, and did I mention my husband is out golfing?

Um, yeah, I think some tequila might hit the spot.

Here's a recipe for a Margorita. Yup, you read that right — MargOrita. Named for a coworker who used to bring these sweet, frothy drinks to parties. You might wrinkle your nose at the whipping cream, but trust me, makes allllll the difference in the world.


•8 ounces defrosted limeade
•8 ounces club soda
•at least 8 ounces ice (I usually end up with twice that amount)
•8 ounces tequila
•2 large dashes Triple Sec
•whipping cream

Mix first five ingredients together in a blender. Then, add about an ounce of whipping cream and whir it up again. Pour into glass and enjoy. Don't worry if you start to see double the number of children normally in your house. Just keep drinking — maybe they'll disappear.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Shoe Haiku: The Returned One

Darn you, too big toe!
These shoes would have been perfect
Were you not so fat.

Shoe n' Tell: So, I have this supersized big toe. Really. When I was a kid, I spent an entire afternoon stepping off the ledge of a public pool over and over again because my dad told me that with wide big toes like mine, I could walk on water.

Turns out I really can't.

These Miista "Ripley" mesh booties had been sitting in my Urban Outfitters cart for weeks when a sale and free shipping forced my hand. They look like the kind of edgy kicks Alexander Wang would design, don't they?

Alas, the sole wasn't as padded as the product detail professed it to be and my damn big toe was squeezed into that leather strap like a size 12 butt trying to sneak into size 8 jeans. So, I sent 'em back. They do look really, really cool, though.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Recession-Proof Clothing

So, we're in a recession. That's what everyone keeps saying. If that's true, really, really, true, then how come there is only one nearly $800 Vince leather boatneck dress left in stock at (My bud Desert Flower has the Vince leather top. I've seen it, touched it. It's indescribably wonderful.)

And why is there only one nearly $600 Haute Hippie silk Gypsy dress left in my size?

Clearly some things are recession-proof.