31 August 2010

What Rules You?

Top: Anthropologie Edme & Esyllte - Rose is a Rose  (worn here, here and here before)
Skirt: Ann Taylor Loft tie-waist denim (worn here and here before)
Belt: cheapie Ebay
Shoes: Vince Camuto (worn here, here and here before)

Labor Day is less than one week away, ladies, which means two things are numbered - only only week left to enjoy free shipping at Anthropologie (egads!) and only a few more days where it is appropriate to still wear white.

Or at least that's what my mom always told me.

I think as young ladies growing up, we get inundated by entities telling us what is considered fashionably proper -  from our well-wishing moms, grandmoms and big sisters that want us to look like "ladies"; fashion mags that want us to "buck the norm" and then proceed to tell us exactly what they think that means; Tim Gunn who wants us to dress for our shape and "make it work"; Stacy and Clinton who don't want things to match but to "go" - and then you throw in the million little dos and don'ts for office and special occasion dressing and it really starts to get confusing.

I am pretty sure if you list down all the different varying fashion rules that exist in society now, they will all pretty much contradict each other and tie your brow into a permanent knot. So how do you sort through all the muck to find what works for you?

What are your personal fashion rules? What/Who do you think were some of the influences for some of them?

I try not to be swayed by outward influences but it's often a losing battle. Who knows why certain things have stuck with me, but here are some fashion rules that I notice myself following:
  • Business attire is any combination of a blazer and trousers/skirt - suits don't need to match (in fact I prefer not matching and only own two matching suits which I never wear together)
  • Nude pantyhose is only OK if you plan to rob a bank (though this could just be because I can't ever find a shade that works for me)
  • For no known reason, I don't think navy and black (or navy and grey) go together
  • I can wear white whenever I want, but I am a random ketchup squirt magnet 
  • Even in a more casual office environment, I wouldn't wear flip flops, thong sandals or shorts that are not bermuda length 
  • Leggings and I are not friends - we're cordial in social gatherings, but we don't hang out alone

30 August 2010

Brief Gingham Meeting

Top: Lands' End Canvas gingham poplin (worn here and here before)
Skirt: Delicia eyelet via Alloy (worn here, here and here before)
Shoes: Mossimo by Target wedges (worn here, here and here before)
Belt: cheapie via Ebay

Late last week I got my Brief Meeting blazer in from Anthropologie. I typically have to be really tempted to buy anything for full price at Anthro, but the overall good reviews from other bloggers and seriously dwindling online inventory got my mouse-clicking fingers too itchy and I finally had to scratch.

Oh boy, I had no regrets on this purchase, ladies. What a great basic-but-not blazer that would be great for work and play. I love the shape it gives me (a full skirt is probably not the best blazer companion though) and the ruched sleeves. I do recommend sizing up if you plan to wear anything underneath though - I tried my usual size in store and though it fit perfectly in the shoulders, it was too tight across the chest to close even just the top buttons comfortably (and I am not exactly ample in that area). I ended up purchasing one size up and though it is a wee bit loose overall, I am definitely happier with the fit.

If any of you gals are considering this jacket, don't wait too long - they seem to be going fast!

Now we'll see how much my resolve can hold out before I "have to have" the Alma Mater jacket and Peppered & Striped skirt, because I don't think those items will ever make it to sale either!

Any new fall arrivals from Anthro, J. Crew or any other retailer seriously tempting you?

27 August 2010

Other People's Blogs

Welcome back, lovelies, to another edition of cool stuff from other people's blogs. Whew-eee, there are like a million-billion blogs out there!

♠  Can't be glamourous in a regular over-sized tee? Think again - via Sakina at Saks in the City:

♠  I'm slow in the pick up, but major props go to this gal, who not only took on a style challenge for herself, but got a ton of other gals to reassess their closets, their creativity and their shopping habits - via Kendi at Kendi Everyday:

♠  Want to be comfortable in a gorgeous frock? Fake it - via Stylized:

♠  All I can do is drool over this. Bestill my trembling credit cards ... via StockholmStreetStyle:

♠  An ice cream-filled meringue treat that is perfect for now but manages to bring about the warm fuzzies of the holidays? Yes, please! via Lorraine from Not Quite Nigella:

♠  Yes, Aimee's got awesome style. But she's also got an awesomely angry wee dog - Check out him mean-mugging the camera! via Aimee at Song of Style:

♠  Making grabby hands at these shiny sparkly shoes! via J at Fatshionable:

Tons of awesome cool new contests this week:

♠  Kelly at Fashion Fuel DC is giving away a $25 gift card to Anthropologie. Contest ends August 29.

♠  Ashley from Ashley Getting Dressed is giving away a medley of girly goodies from Sephora, Forever 21, and more. Contest ends August 29.

♠  Revanche from A Gai Shan Life is giving away a $60 gift certificate to CSN Stores. Contest ends August 31.

♠  Bobby from A Vision to Remember is giving away a pair of Bohemian earrings from Linkel. Contest ends August 31.

♠  petiteasiangirl from Extra Petite is giving away your choice of jeans from Allison Izu. Contest ends August 31.

♠  Lindsey from The Modchick is giving away a $100 gift certificate to {intimacy}. Contest ends August 31.

♠  Kara from Kara's Party Ideas is giving away a Silhouette Craft Cutter machine. Contest ends August 31.

♠  Megan and Kristin from BonBon Rose Girls (here and here) have two giveaways from Adornments Boutique. Both contests end August 31.

♠  Tippy from Tres Tippy is giving away a $45 gift certificate to CSN Stores. Contest ends September 1.

♠  Jessica from Breakfast at Gigi's is giving away a $50 gift card to Anthropologie and a beautiful bracelet from there. Contest ends September 1.

♠  Animated Confessions is giving away a £50 gift certificate to Daniel Footwear. Contest ends September 1.

♠  Carrie from This Free Bird is giving away a $40 gift certificate to CSN Stores. Contest ends September 1.

♠  Elaine from Clothed Much is giving away a set of hair pins and headband from Love, Honeybands. Contest ends September 2.

♠  Debby from Inspired Design is giving away a $25 gift card to J. Crew. Contest ends September 2.

♠  Diana from OneCraftyFox is giving away a $50 gift voucher to Vintage by Lou Lou. Contest ends September 2.

♠  La Historiadora de Moda from Fashionable Academics is giving away a pair of We Love Color tights to celebrate their blogiversary. Contest ends September 2.

♠  Chiara from The Blonde Salad is giving away a Balenciaga wallet. Contest ends September 3.

♠  Sarah from Mocha-Soy...Whippy! is giving away a DKNY clutch. Contest ends September 3.

♠  Diana from OneCraftyFox, Roxy from Effortless Anthropologie, and Fabulous Florida Mommy are all in the running for $1,000 from Polyvore. And if any of them win, they get to pick one of their readers to win an additional $1,000 - just for playing virtual paper dolls. Contest ends September 7.

♠  Lynzy from From Skirts to Skillets is giving away a gold oragami swan necklace from A Box for My Treasure. Contest ends ?

♠  Jessica from What I Wore is giving away a $400 credit to your Beso store of choice for your best outfit pairing. Contest ends ?

26 August 2010

Pinkies Up, Please!

I can take myself seriously in my pics for about a minute. Then I look like this.

Top: Anthropologie Little Yellow Button Curated tee
Skirt: Banana Republic (worn here and here before)
Shoes: Sofft Giovanna (worn almost every day)
Necklace: Anthropologie Double Torsade (worn here, here and here before)

After a recent post from the fabulous Melissa regarding commenting, I got to thinking about blogger etiquette. There are a lot of new technology and social media platforms that are being embraced all over the place, and because of that, loads of people have questions around about the right way to interact with others through those tools. I too, am one of those people, especially because I feel like a lot of us tend to forget our general social graces when utilizing these tools.

I think it is awesome that blogs exist for people to share ideas and interests in a fairly informal forum that is easily accessed and distributed. But when was it OK to start leaving snarky anon comments to complete strangers or to steal pics and entire posts from other people just because they aren't in your same blog circle?

I've never tried passing myself off as an expert in anything, so take the below with a grain of salt and understanding that these are my personal views. Here are my unofficial rules for blogging:

1. Be prepared that folks won't agree with you
(If you're going to come out with a personal editorial about your feelings about the folks who run the government or just who makes the better brand of lip gloss, understand that not everyone is going to agree - and that's OK)

2. Be respectful
(As an add-on to #1, disagreeing with someone doesn't mean it is alright to not be polite just because you can hide behind your computer while doing it)

3. Acknowledge your sources
(We get ideas from other bloggers and other sites all the time, what's the harm in sourcing them to give them proper credit?)

4. Responding to comments
(I feel like if someone's going to take the time to read and comment on a post, it should be reciprocated in some way. Do I think that means every comment should be responded to every time? Heck no, who has the time? but personally blog banter is one of my fave parts of blogging!)

I intentionally left this post short (my version of short?) because I'm interested in hearing from you lovelies. What are your ideas of blog etiquette? What do you consider your major blogging Dos and Don'ts?

25 August 2010

Golden Neutral Shrimp

Thanks for all your comments to my post yesterday, ladies! Wow, I'm not sure whether or not to be glad so many of you can relate to my difficulties with the homely responsibilities, but I guess the general consensus is that most men are babies. Alright, they just need a little guidance, but we still love you!

(Those excluded are Pamela's hubby, Sharon's hubby and Cindi's fiance - those men sound like they belong in the Hubby Helper Hall of Fame!)

Simple outfit today - and really kind of cheating the getting dressed thing by throwing on a comfy tee and wearing the skirt equivalent of a pair of cotton chinos.

Top: J. Crew metallic stripe tissue tee
Skirt: A/X cargo pencil (worn here, here and here before)
Shoes: Nine West Temani wedges (worn here and here before)
Necklace: Anthropologie Jahara (worn here and here before)

I've always been kind of afraid of frying, due to fear of burning splatters and not wanting to waste oil. But it's a deceptively simple way of cooking, and you actually need very little oil, as long as it's hot. Inspired by a recent dinner post from Sydney, I looked up a recipe to make simple fried shrimp using Japanese panko crumbs.

The panko was the key as it yielded a very crispy coating for the shrimp. And I poured only about half an inch of oil into my pan, which was more than enough for these delicious little lovelies. Just get all your shrimp coated and ready to go as the actual frying takes only about a minute per side, so super-quick!

The keys to frying: make sure the oil is hot and don't over-crowd the pan.

All my little "scrimps" ready to be eaten!

We had the traditional cocktail sauce as a dipper, but also made an apricot-horseradish dipper as well. The dipper is some apricot-pineapple preserves (regular apricot preserves or jam is fine as well) - a few tablespoons heated up for 10-15 seconds in the microwave mixed in with some creamy horseradish sauce to taste, and that's it. It is a sweet, savory and spicy dipping sauce, and "mm, so yummy good" you'll want to try it with everything.

24 August 2010

The Navy Household

Here's me today, copying a recent look from myself:

Top: Ann Taylor cotton voile ruffled (worn here before)
Skirt: Zara elastic-waist (worn here and here before)
Shoes: Indigo by Clarks Edamame (worn here, here and here before)

I'm currently a little miffed at the BF. And I'm probably too passive aggressive about it, because I doubt he knows I'm kind of upset with him. What's the reason, you ask?

Something completely ridiculous, of course - household chores. Meaning I do them and he doesn't. We're both adults who've been living together for a few years now and both have full times jobs. However, I think he subconsciously believes that it is my duty to do the chores (partly because he grew up in a traditional southern family where his mom worked full time, raised two kids and did all the home chores and the cooking - and partly because I am a little uptight about keeping the house clean and figure it is easier for me to just pick up the socks than to have to ask someone else to do it).

So what's the best way about things when you've got two people with two different ideas of responsibility and neatness? We've talked about it, but I don't think anything sticks on his side. A tidy home is just not a priority for him. And I do believe I am just as much as fault because I do baby him by doing all the chores and I am a wee bit anal about how the chores should be done.

And rationalization of things aside, here's me whining: if I don't initiate the cleaning, we may very well end up in a sty because there will be dirty glasses all over the place, the floors will be crunchy and sticky to no end, the bed sheets will never ever be washed, and the laundry will be done only when every last sock and pair of boxers are dirty ... and he's got loads of socks and boxers. When the BF lived alone, his kitchen trash can was a 55 gallon rubber bin, his clean clothes lived in a pile on top of his washer while his dirties lived in a pile on the floor in the bathroom, and he wore shoes or slippers all the time because he didn't want to touch the floor. Oh come on!!!!!

Hopefully I'm not alone in this predicament. Do you and your significant other have problems regarding how to run your household? How do you gals work around these issues to find a happy medium?

23 August 2010

Checkered Floral

Ugh, I think my hair is officially getting to gnat's nest stage, which means I'm a few weeks overdue for a hair cut. How is it my hair can go from "great cut and color" to "what the-?!" seemingly overnight?

I usually hate to go to the salon because sitting in a chair making small talk for two hours is booooring, plus I feel guilty because recently I've been "cheating" on my stylist with another stylist from the same salon. So yes, I do plan my appointments on the days when my original stylist is off so I can see the new gal. I feel bad because my original stylist and I had kind of bonded - I know all about her family and goings on, and we always catch each other up when we see each other ... but let's face it, the other stylist does better hair. Is there some sort of salon etiquette for changing stylists?

Anyway, here's my today (yes, I wore almost the exact same outfit before):

Shirt: Lands' End Canvas poplin gingham (worn here, here and here before)
Skirt: Ann Taylor (worn here before)
Belt: J. Crew metallic skinny
Shoes: Sofft Giovanna

Here was me all casual'd out for some weekend shopping. Can you believe I didn't buy anything at the mall? OK, I did go home and order the Brief Meeting blazer online - what am I going to do once free shipping at Anthro ends?! (I seriously refuse to pay shipping for anything clothing-related. I know I'm weird, but it bugs me out!)

Top J. Crew Island paisley perfect (worn here before)
Shorts: Banana Republic cotton chino
Shoes: DVF Lush flip flops
Bag: J. Crew quilted tote

And below was my dress for date night out with the BF over the weekend. I had already made a mental note that this dress is a wee too short for work - well, I have added another note that it may be a wee too short for cocktails too, especially after cocktails! 

Dress: Forever 21 silk solid flora (worn here before)
Belt: J. Crew metallic skinny
Shoes: Kenneth Cole Reaction Swim n Fool (worn here before)

21 August 2010

And the Winner is ...

Thanks for everyone who participated in my J. Crew giveaway! I really appreciate your support of my little blog and hope you all continue giggle along with me as I chatter about my wonky fashion sense, food and life!

Using random.org to pick a number from 62 entries (I removed one for an e-mail correction), the winner of the J. Crew Crystal Web necklace is ...

Congrats, Alicia! I'll be sending an e-mail your way. If you gals haven't been on Alicia's blog yet, you must pay a visit when you get a chance. Alicia is newly engaged and has a fierce sense of chic casual street style and enviable photography skills.

Thanks again to all you other gals for participating! I hope to have other goodies in the works again shortly!

20 August 2010

Other People's Blogs

More blog excitement abounds in this week's edition of cool stuff from other people's blogs:

♣ Let your imagination soar - via please sir:

♣  There are very people I know who ever dream of owning a vintage RV and rumbling around the country in it. And only one person I know of who is making it a reality! via Elizabeth and her Winnebago Brave from Delightfully Tacky:

♣  The Holy Moly of fat food sites. And don't lie and say that at least some of the items don't have you licking your chops - via This is Why You're Fat:

♣  Apples and Pencil Skirts first blogged about this and I thought it was too cool not to re-share! Think thrift stores harbor vast amounts of unflattering and ridiculously cut clothing items? Not if you don't limit your imagination - and use scissors! via Marisa from New Dress A Day:

♣  This house brings a strangely fantastic new meaning to rustic - via Rachel at Black Eiffel:

♣ Cheeky chic vintage style and fantastic old English backdrops? I'm in! via Sarah from Mocha-Soy ... Whippy!:

♣  Summer in a glass, via Deb at smitten kitchen:

The cool contests of the week are ... (drum roll) ...

  MINE! This is the last day to enter my giveaway for some gorgeous J. Crew bling

♣  Keira from a pretty penny is giving away an Antonio Melani purse. Contest ends this morning!

♣  Kristin and Megan from BonBon Rose Girls are giving away a $80 gift card to CSN Stores. Contest ends tonight.

♣  Monique from Curves and Chaos is giving away a $50 gift card to Lingerie.com. Contest ends August 20.

♣  Ashley and Becca from Free Honey are giving away a pair of Sa Sa Jewelry padlock earrings. Contest ends August 21.

♣  Carlotta from My Way is giving away a Foxy Original Mallorca necklace. Contest ends August 21.

♣  Little Me, The Queen Bee is giving away a  Tervis bumblebee tumbler. Contest ends August 22.

♣  Dionne from City of Dionne is giving away your choice of a Shabby Apple dress. Contest ends Augst 22.

♣  BLC from The Company She Keeps is giving away a Devon Baer jewel-encrusted belt. Contest ends August 23.

♣  Everton Terrace is giving away a $40 gift card to CSN Stores. Contest ends August 23.

♣  Debby from Inspired Design has two give ways - she is giving away a pair of Taylor Made earrings (ends August 24) and also giving away a gift card to CSN Stores (ends August 25).

 Alana from The Good Girl Gone Blog is giving away a pair of Lucky Brand Daisy Chandelier earrings from Designer Apparel. Content ends August 24.

♣  Tiffany from I am Style-ish is giving away a Shabby Apple Sophistique dress. Contest ends August 25.

♣  Andrea from Andrea's Kitchen is giving away a $50 gift certificate to her online jewelry store. Contest ends August 25.

  Kelly from Alterations Needed is giving away the Audrey dress from Sweet Velvet. Contest ends August 27.

♣  Audrey from Audrey Allure is giving away a collection of goodies from Misikko. Contest ends August 31.

And remember to check back to last week for any other contests you may have missed!

19 August 2010

Giving the Boot

Dress: Banana Republic (worn here before)
Belt: J. Crew embossed
Necklace: Anthropologie Double Torsade (worn here, here in coral and here before)
Shoes: Sofft Giovanna (worn a million zillion times before)

Well I got my new Steve Madden boots in yesterday. And I love them. The color and leather are spectacular (richer brown in real life) and the little brass details are "just" enough. Too bad I'll be returning them.

One thing people always forget to tell you is that when you're short, knee-high boots are too tall for you. Meaning a 15"+ tall shaft (typical for most knee-high boots) usually ends right at the bottom of the knee, so if you think about bending your leg, you get the leather rub right in the back of your knee. Plus there's usually an unflattering gap at the top of the boot because the part that is supposed to be covering the widest part of your calf isn't (because I'm short). So I'm usually stuck looking for mid-calf boots (mid-calf for you regular-heighted folks), that typically have a 13"-ish shaft.

But you're tricky, Mr. Madden. You incorrectly labeled these lovely boots as a 13" high shaft - and even when Lulu's got the boots on their site, they listed them as a 13.5" shaft. So "pooh" to both of you. And just my luck, as of yesterday, Zappos and Piperlime now also have these boots - except only Piperlime has the shaft height right!

Rambling story short? If you're normal height and looking for a casual brown boot, the Madden Olsters are gorgeous and worth a try. But if you're short like me, you may be SOL.

18 August 2010

Run Around

The BF and I did the impossible this morning - we both got up early (I guess that makes it two impossible things!) and then went outside and jogged!!!!

Now I am sure eyerolls are abounding because a lot of you gals do this as part of life every day. Well, ladies, in all the years the BF and I have known each, I have never ever seen him run on purpose before (connecting flights at airport terminals don't count). And lest you think I'm all high and mighty, I honestly may have jogged once or twice on a biz trip about two years ago, but I haven't literally pounded the pavement regularly since college.

This momentous occasion (momentous for us non-running sad sacks) was spurred on by us agreeing to turn over a new leaf last night while gorging ourselves on carne asada tacos with rice and beans.  We've both become way too lazy folks who are not active enough. He's goes to the gym a few times a week to "pump it up" and I do yoga/pilates regularly, but we've been avoiding feeling the real burn for a while now (and my weekly Yoga Booty Ballet sessions with my friends ain't cutting it - sorry ladies, but we yammer more than booty shake).

So how was our first run? Well, we ran around the block. Once. And when we passed our house the BF didn't skip a beat as he ran right up the steps and back inside. And despite my protests, I shamefully followed suit. So we probably did about 0.000051 mile. Lame ... but more than we've done before!

To all you runners out there, how do you recommend for novices to get started? And what keeps you gals motivated?

And here's my OOTD:

Dress: Anthropologie Floreat Castle Lake
Sweater: Anthropologie Guinevere Roaming Frills
Belt: J. Crew metallic skinny
Shoes: Sofft Giovanna (worn a million times before)

BTW, some of you gals may have gotten a new post blip from me on your Google Readers yesterday that didn't have a post attached. Well, I tried to get "arty" with my non-existent photography skills and ended up with some lame too-dark pics - so I posted briefly before thinking the wiser and taking the post down. But here's what I wore yesterday (inspired by a recent outfit from Fallon - thanks for blogger inspirations!):

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