Thursday, June 30, 2011
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
If the Nordstrom Anniversary sale is any indication, poncho is the word for fall.
In any and all forms — thick and wooly, thin and drapey, hooded, faux animal, real animal (shudder) — ponchos blanketed the catalog and the early access online sneak peek for cardholders.
Capes were all over, too, but I just can't help but think that in fashion and in life, they'll lead you down the wrong path. No good comes from capes. Remember in "The Incredibles"? Edna warned "no capes!" and sure enough, one led to the bad guy's demise. Capes = bad news.
• Hinge Stripe Pattern Poncho ($58.90)
• Beatrix Ost hooded red poncho ($79.90)
• Curio Mixed Knit Poncho ($89.90)
Monday, June 27, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
High price? No big deal.
A bad association?
You are dead to me.
Shoe n' Tell: Once upon a time, I adored these See by Chloe High-top wedge sneakers. Sure, their new-car-payment-sized price tag made them completely unobtainable ($345). But hey, who says a girl can't dream about a 99-percent off sale? I thought about what outfits I'd pair them with, how comfortable they'd be, how they looked even cuter white with striped accents, I read the fit info, wondering what size I'd be. Then, I spotted them as part of a blogger's outfit. She said a friend dismissed them as "bowling shoes." She didn't care, she liked them. But now, I had a bad association — bowling shoes. Smelly dark bowling alleys, bad pizza, finger holes that many, many, many people before you had thrust their thumbs and fingers into. Even worse, butt-ugly shoes so many people before you had used that they had to be sprayed with disinfectant. Ew. Like that, they were dead to me.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
I am not the best housekeeper. I try, but I'm not. Aside from lacking motivation, the odds are stacked against me: I have three messy kids, two sheddy and dead-thing eating dogs and a husband. This is not a winning combination for cleanliness.
In fact just recently, during a play date, as the mom and I wandered around the house trying to locate her son's shoes, we came across not one, not two but three pairs (one of which belonged to the hub — gee, where do the messy genes come from?) lying around the house.
So you can see why cleaning is an uphill battle.
But, as I said, I'm trying. I got a Shark Steam Pocket Mop, which has been a lifechanger. Mopping is soooo much easier and faster. More importantly, sometimes my mom takes pity on me and comes over and cleans the bathrooms and any dishes left around. It's very sweet of her — even if I have to rewash the dishes. My mom is not the best dishwasher.
So this lengthy preamble is the set-up to this story:
Months ago, two neighborhood girls came over to play. Both dutifully take off their shoes the minute they enter the house, which is not a practice I encourage. In fact, I hate being barefoot in my own house. So anyway, 6-year-old walks up to me and says, "When I take my shoes off in your house, I feel like there's dirt between my toes."
To which I think I replied, "So pretend you're at the beach."
The girls are back, and my floor is wicked clean, not eat-off-it clean but certainly respectable. In fact, my whole house is pretty darn respectable, the result of a recent, unplanned day off from work. I am just dying — DYING — to ask Miss Thang, "Doesn't my floor feel CLEAN?!?" But I don't because part of me suspects that I might not like the answer.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
One of my very favorite things is Fresh's Sugar Plum Tinted Lip Treatment. It's perfect for giving that barely-there kiss of color. It's also supremely delicate, as in the temperature goes above 78 degrees, and that sucker'll start to melt. This can be a problem in the desert. The tint gets confined to home and office during the blistering furnace that is summertime.
But, this nifty Cool-It Caddy means the balm can travel! See the world! Or, at the very least experience the joys of Tucson, Ariz., in the summer — Target, movies, Trader Joe's.
The caddy ($24.95 and up) is insulated and after it spends the night in the freezer (with some tissue paper stuck in it to keep it from collapsing in on itself), you can stuff it with delicate cosmetics or medication or even snacks — anything that you don't want to melt into oblivion in triple-digit temperatures.
The caddy comes in some sassy patterns and colors as well as plain ones for dudes. There are four different styles. Totally cool idea.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
This T by Alexander Wang ruched skirt ($110) looks awesome..... on the 6-foot-tall, 90-pound model.
But, how would it look on a real-life ass that doesn't get as much exercise as it should? There is the $110 question.
In theory, the all-over rucheing should cover up problem areas. It would definitely camouflage a belly pooch. But with wider hips, this skirt might look like it's working pretty hard to stretch that far. Hmmmmmm.
Yay or nay?
Monday, June 20, 2011
Friday, June 17, 2011
I tried so, so hard
To wax poetic 'bout shoes
But, I got nuthin'.
No Shoe n' Tell: At work, when we're lacking ideas, we always joke about doing the White Album, a reference to the Beatles' nearly blank cover. Yeah, well, this would be my version. Except, while I don't even know what's on that Beatles record, I'd guess it's pretty amazingly fabulous while I really, truly am blank as a sheet o' paper. I could talk about my friend's wicked cool, studded Valentino heels, but that's about all I've got. And quite frankly, I'm too jealous to do that. More than that, I'm tired. And even more than that, I am hot. Yup, I am ready for a real, true day off from everything — which will never happen because I have kids and dogs and a husband with short- and long-term memory issues.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
My "shopping" bookmarks bar now takes up two entire screens. Scrolling through can take forever, so my favorite stores sit at the hallowed space at the top. One of them: C & C California.
The brand boasts good, solid basics (100-percent cotton tees of all sleeve lengths) and lately has been dipping into fancier designs, like sherpa-lined jackets and dresses with nice detailing such as pleats and ruching and overlays.
You won't find anything ground-breaking, but clothes are consistent and well-made. The fabrics are sumptuously soft and wear very, very well.
I end up shopping here again and again.
More reasons to love: Shipping is lightning-fast Fed Ex, and — even better — C&C is supremely generous with codes and promotions. In fact, you shouldn't ever pay full price (unless the piece is so fabulous you can't imagine life without it) or even bite at the first sale price because a good code is sure to come along. Sign up for C&C's emails, and see for yourself.
My 2011 unspoken New Year's resolution was not to purchase any more T-shirts (even when they drop to $10) because my wardrobe overfloweth, but this classic tank dress ($44.90 — but an extra discount and free shipping knocked this to $29) could not be passed up. The neckline is perfectly placed (no worries about popping out), and the cut is slim but not va-va-voom clingy (perfect for muffin tops). It falls at a modest knee-length. The dress also comes in a great range of colors, which means you can — and probably should — stock up.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Summer dressing is most definitely not a cakewalk. Especially not when you live in a place where triple-digit temps are the norm — for about four-five months.
Anything denim is out — too thick. Anything tight is out because, well, it's too tight. So, you've got to aim for natural fibers that breathe and flowy pieces that don't make you look pregnant. Tricky.
Here's one casual solution: And Cake T-shirt; J Crew gauze skirt; Simple peep-toe skimmers; random plastic bangles.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
When H&M opens its latest Tucson outpost, about 6 miles from my house (infinitely closer than its current store), I will be in big trouble. Huge. Thankfully, that won't happen until fall. I have months to save up.
Outfit: H&M striped dress with rope detailing ($14.95); Cynthia Vincent for Target wedges; random bangles; further accessorized with a rollerblading scab on my shin.
Monday, June 13, 2011
The hunt for the perfect hair product that creates beachy waves has been long and arduous. Many products appeared to be The One, only to end up being just a little off.
But now I've found it: Pre Game Texturizing Spray.
With only a handful of ingredients (salts, argan oil and aloe among them), this coconut-scented spray (bonus!) manages to impart a better-than-the-beach look.
Honestly, true beach hair is always just a little too matte and flat. This is the best of the beach. My hair sports nice waves, is matte but not overly so, and spritzing it on makes me feel like I'm on a vacation because of that gentle coconut smell. Fear not, smell haters (I'm one of them — I love anything for about 10 minutes before the jig is up), the scent doesn't wear out its welcome.
Pre Game is available on a few different sites for the same price ($22), but Lock & Mane offers free shipping.
Friday, June 10, 2011
Oh, be still my heart.
Leopard boot with a cool heel
This could be The One.
Shoe n' Tell: My shoedrobe is pretty complete. There aren't a lot of holes. I got the sneaks (plain, patterned, even polka-dotted), wedges, bad-ass buckled sandals, motorcycle boots, flirty flats, a good but not shit-kickerish pair of blond cowboy boots.
But, I am missing these lovelies.
From Rachel Comey, the Sazerac (forget that it sounds like an over-the-counter cold med you could make drugs out of) is perfect: It's got that foxy leopard print and high-ish heel (fat so it's walkable but with an inverted shape so it doesn't read granny). They would really go with everything — skinny jeans, flared jeans with just the sassy toe peeking out, a basic black tank dress. And, they're timeless. Solid purchase, right?
I ordered them. We shall see if they are indeed as perfect as they seem.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
I'm always amazed at the press kits companies put together. LL Bean once sent the cutest, purple toddler shoe. Another company — can't remember which — sent a single, gold Converse shoe. I use it on my desk as a tissue dispenser.
Ann Taylor Loft puts out hardcover lookbooks. Simple, elegant, to-the-point. Sums up its approach to summer 2011, too. The catalog features pretty, chunky statement necklaces, watercolorish florals, simple cotton blouses and tasteful animal prints.
Here are a few — and only a few — looks because I am an idiot and had technical difficulties with the photo uploading, downloading, scanning (hence the headless body):
•Nautical Girl graphic tee ($34.50); eyelet pencil skirt ($69.50); turquoise and stone bib necklace ($74.50); metallic webbed belt ($29.50); espadrille ($69.50)
•Sailor canvas jacket ($79.50); watercolor floral shift dress ($79.50); three-row diamante tie bracelet ($19.50); large clear stretch beaded bracelet ($12.50); sequin espadrille ($69.50)
You could put together a pretty swanky summer wardrobe if you won one of the $1,000 gift cards available each week this month if you like Loft on Facebook.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Who What Wear Daily (love those girls) says you can mix stripes. Check out the lower right pic of this uber chic blogger lady.
Inspired by all that mixin' and matchin', ta da — my own stripe-y version: Forever XXI shirt; Current/Elliott biker vest; Pleasure Doing Business skirt; leopard cuff; Harajuku Lovers shiny, plastic wedges (you can't see the inside of these kicks, but there are stripes).
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
An odd movement is afoot in the fashion industry. A downward movement — as in, necklines keep plunging lower.
Has that "Girls Gone Wild" producer gotten out of the pen and started designing clothes?
It seems like everything I put on is daringly low cut, as if designed for a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model. Of which, I am most definitely not.
I am an "A" cup. I've had three kids. There just ain't much to see up top. Shirts sliced to the belly button make me feel like I need to apologize. "I'm sorry — genetics were just not on my side. There aren't boobs in the family, and I'm just not into plastic surgery.... So, this is all there is. Again, I am really sorry if you were expecting more."
Second Base Demi Camis are the perfect way to get that R-rated shirt into more family-friendly, G-rated territory. A quasi cami, it slips on over your bra.
Styles include racerback and lace-edged, but my favorite is the "Tricia" ($38), which has dressy satin edging. It would look cute beneath a basic tank or a fancy, v-necked frock.
Monday, June 6, 2011
Oldest Child just got braces.
Like a prisoner sentenced to the chair, she had just one last wish before the silver was slapped on.
"Can we get some caramel?"
Oh, yes, we can.
I took her to See's and let her pick out some sufficiently sticky stuff, including one of the
A mere 70 cents, no other candy gives you more bang for your buck than one of those suckers. It offers the long-lastingness of hard candy with the satisfying, ultra chewiness of a break-your-braces-right-off caramel. They're the best of both worlds.
Rich and buttery, it's like a high-class Tootsie Pop.
Chocolate is by far the best, but the new rootbeer flavor is pretty awesome — it's almost like a float with a snappy beer taste mellowed with a buttery caramel flavor.
Friday, June 3, 2011
Saw these in real life
Pretty and comfy — for heels,
How oxfords should be.
Shoe n' Tell: Meet Sarra. She is one fancy shoe, for sure. With a nearly $400 price tag, she doesn't mess around. I tried on Kooba's sumptuous shoe in a cream canvas and was quite smitten. I'm not a fan of regular oxfords, but throw on a platform heel and skip the laces and it's a cool, versatile kick. Alas, not one in my price range, but I appreciate its awesomeness nonetheless.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Put together, those letters make the sweetest acronym — Random Act Of Kindness.
And that is what this Target bracelet is — a RAOK from my pal, Desert Flower.
Made of leather and a near ringer for an atrociously expensive Hermes cuff, ladies who recognized the resemblance snapped this sucker up faster than you can say "lawsuit." I missed out. My friends did not. Occasionally I'd check the Target site, only to be disappointed. But Desert Flower is tenacious and she tracked one down. It's quite fab.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
So. Have you heard that Net-a-Porter's got a sale going?
Now, if your last name is, oh, Trump, you could have some real fun.
I looked and it made me sad because I am not one of those bloggers who swishes around an Alexander Wang Darcy bag because either she can afford it because she can do what she darn well pleases because she has no children or grown-up responsibilities or because it was gifted to her*. I have a mortgage. And bills. And, thanks to summer and a lack of school (damn you, you outdated agricultural calendar!!) that means I have to pay for summer programs to keep my kids out of juvie or CPS custody. Oy.
So, if I wanted to buy some of this stuff, I'd pretty much have to sell my body. And, quite frankly, I don't know that there'd be a lot of takers. Well, maybe Arnold. He seems to have a fairly low bar.
What I'll be wearing this summer in my dream life:
•Preen Line asymmetrical skirt.
•Isabel Marant lace-up cotton dress.
•Isabel Marant leather-trimmed poncho.
•Elizabeth and James faux bustier dress.
Oh, and my deepest apologies if you now have "If I Were A Rich Man" stuck in your head like I do.
*The truth about this blog: Yes, I think it's a good writing exercise for me. Yes, it's fun. And hell to the yes, I would love to actually have enough followers that designers would deem me worthy enough to bestow upon me awesome swag.