30 May 2011

Dots & Stripes Forever

Happy Memorial Day, ladies! Aside from the (hopefully) physical and mental recharge we are all partaking in these past few days, let's also spend a few moments and remember the real reason we celebrate this day - to commemorate all the US service members who have fallen while in military service.

I've had a great long weekend of eating, cooking, park-ing, lounging and generally being a lazy loaf - it's been awesome. So it should come as no surprise that with the great summer-y weather, I've spent my days in general absolute casual-ness:

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Top: H&M stripe (worn here before - similar here, modern here)
Skirt: UO Cooperative monaco
Shoes: Keds spright wedge (worn here before - similar here, here)
Necklace: White Owl via Etsy (worn here before - similar here)
Bag: Rebecca Minkoff trompe l'oeil mac

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Top: J. Crew factory multi-stripe pullover
Shorts: Banana Republic (similar here)
Shoes: Mossimo by Target wakana (worn here before - similar here)

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Hat: Christy's & Co. (big enough to fit my giant noggin! - similar here, here)
Top: J. Crew max & molly gallery (worn here before - similar here, here)
Shorts: Old Navy pleated (worn here before - similar here)
Shoes: DVF lush flip flops (worn here before)

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Top: F21extended hem dot (worn here before - similar solid here, here)
Shorts: Old Navy chambray tie-belt
Shoes: Sofft woven thongs (similar luxe here, reg here)

What have you gals all been up to? Have any of your partaked in some awesome sales, or other grand (there are no small) adventures?

26 May 2011

Sleeper Style

I had someone ask me a few weeks ago to describe my sense of style. And with that question, the usual blathering outpouring that comes from my lips came to an abrupt halt. I think my brows wrinkled in concentration and my eyes squirted off into looking at something non-descript in the distance.

I blabbed out a jumble of adjectives and changed subject to discuss things I have way more know-how with - cold cuts and Christian Bale (whoops, THE Christian Bale). And granted it was no life-changing deep-rooted question by any means, I did get to thinking more about my style.

What do I think my sense of style is? I know what I would like it to be - classic, timeless, chic. Hint of edge. I want clothes and accessories that defy "labels" (as much as I do love you, Anthro and Crew, I don't want to be head-to-toe anything - I would like to be the _____ girl, not the Anthro or Crew girl).

Where am I now? I still think I'm evolving sartorially and I'm not sure if where I am now is where I want to be. I think if you scroll back through my past outfits (and this will take a while, I document myself well apparently), you will definitely see style evolving - but into what, I'm not sure. I'm honestly not sure what a "Lisa look" is, though I know what kind of pieces I am drawn to.

I've always considered "getting dressed" a little to be like "playing dress up" so if I really truly think about it - am I dressing me or am I clothing my body? And then what does it come across like? Eclectic? Conservative? Frilly? Obnoxiously loud? Pattern-blind? Caroline Manzo, YOU can call ME a clown if you want to.

So I am asking for a wee bit of blogee input - how would you describe my sense of style? And even better yet now, how would you describe your own?

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I already posted my Saturday outfit - here's me last Sunday (aka dressed up jammies, aka Lisa no-pants):

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Dress: Anthropologie Splendid cargo pocket chemise
Necklace: UO multi-stone bib (worn here before - similar here)
Bag: Rebecca Minkoff navajo studs (worn here before)
Bracelet: The PS Boutique via Etsy (worn here before)
Shoes: Mossimo via Target wakana (worn here before - similar here)

I'm still having Blogger comment issues, so I've been visiting your blogs, but I haven't been able to comment on most of them! I am still getting caught up in the endless glitch cycle of login / comment / login / comment / etc. Please fix it already, Blogger! Argh!

25 May 2011

Soft Rock Randomness

Here's my outfit from last Friday. Oldies but goodies that I either never wear or haven't worn in eons:

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Dress: H&M (worn here before - kinda sim here, -ish here, luxe here)
Jacket: F21 knit moto (worn here before - similar here, here)
Shoes: Kenneth Cole Reaction pine a colada (worn here before - similar here, luxe here)
Bag: Nine West crossbody clutch (similar here)
Belt: UO Deena & Ozzy stretch (worn here before - similar here)

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Thanks to AmyK (and Anne) for the blog tag! Without your style and humor, my little blog galaxy would be two stars shy and glow a little dimmer - plus I'd be a scrambling for a topic today.

So what's the tag? List seven bits of randomness about myself. As I am all about the random, it was actually kind of difficult to narrow things down / remove the absolute weirdness to the following:

  1. I am a dominant leftie. Which means rightie is usually relegated to "hold this steady" status while leftie is the brains of the operation. Which also means I am still traumatized by that 3rd grade exercise about segregation my teacher did where she proceeded to tell all the lefties in the room that they now had to sit separate from the righties and couldn't participate in gym or lunch, and in the span of five minutes turned half a dozen 8-year-olds into hysterical sobbing wrecks - got the point of that exercise, still damaged by it, thank you.
  2. When strangers are nice to me, I am immediately on the mental offensive. Maybe it is the NY-er in me, but I've grown up being taught not to trust people I don't know and these gosh-darn-nice-for-no-reason southern folk sometimes freak me out!
  3. I would like to own a bed and breakfast someday. Well, actually I probably don't considering the work involved - but I've read enough soppy love story borderline romance novels in my youth to be in love with the idea of owning one. Where else would handsome young strangers with damaged hearts go to escape from their lives and hopefully find passionate new love with the innkeeper?
  4. I like to eat dinner or lunch foods for breakfast. Like cold pizza, or a bowl of ramen, or a sandwich with chips. I prefer it over eggs or cereal, and honestly I have it in my head that it is better for me if I ate my biggest calorie busters early in the day.
  5. I have probably an unhealthy love for Anthony Bourdain. Now this is probably not news to some of you, but I don't just tune into his show every time it airs (which is like every two hours, so I can't be the only one who is infatuated with the Bourdain) - but I dig him in that I-would-love-to-hang-out-with-you-and-eat-good-food-with-you-and-maybe-roll-around-in-your-sheets-and-rifle-through-your-cabinets-and-sniff-out-your-frig kind of way. So just wee culinary hero worship crush.
  6. I love to stare at my pup. Her face is just full of expression and character - from her happy-go-lucky "I'm going to pounce on you" look to her closed-eye grimace when she is emphatically scratching herself. I can entertain myself for hours just staring at her. Which of course freaks my dog out.
  7. As much as I truly enjoy blogging, I also enjoy not blogging. Weekends are blissful blog-free times.
So instead of just passing this on to one individual, I'd like to virtually tag all of you! Please share in your weirdness here - you gals have any fun, juicy, hilarious bits of randomness you would like to share?

24 May 2011

D'Armee vs. Navy

Oh I wonder how many cheesy military references the inception of this dress' name is responsible for. So of course I totally had to up the smirk-inducing factor by going full-on girly with my ensemble today, including the Shirley Temple-esque curls (still working out the "kinks" with the curling iron, OK - though the bobby pin was all me).

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BF and I watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part I yesterday evening. And though I know the character are supposed to be full-blown teenagers and the actors are even older than that, it was still cringe-worthy to me when I saw Harry help Ginny zip up her dress (really, girlfriend, you're not rockin' a bra or slip or anything?) and {spoiler} even eye-covering in that nightmare scene where Ron saw manifestations of Harry and Hermione totally hooking up. Can I help it if I still envision those multi-millionaire actors like wee little wizards running around in their too-big robes, frizzy hair and squeaky voices?

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Not sure if my hesitation and squeamishness is due to feeling all nostalgic about these characters/actors not being all young tiny children anymore - or if in the way back of my mind, it is just a reminder to me that if they're getting older, than also means I'm getting older.

So apparently I strike out with a head full of "good ship lollipop" curls and a work-appropriate version of a little sailor outfit. Watch out, at this rate after Part II comes out, I may end sporting my version of a baby new year costume.

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Dress: Anthropologie Parameter d'armee (worn here before)
Belt: J. Crew skinny (similar here)
Shoe Clip as Brooch: Lilywinkel via Etsy (worn here before)
Tank: Gillian & O'Malley via Target (similar here)
Shoes: Kenneth Cole Reaction swim n fool (worn here before - similar luxe here, reg here)
Clutch: Rebecca Minkoff pouch (one of a set - larger version seen here)

Is it just me, or has anyone else had difficulty leaving comments on Blogger today?

23 May 2011

This Gingham Walked into an Apothecary ...

Sorry, Kim, my will is weak and I've broken the shopping ban this weekend with a trip to Anthro (though I've sold a few older pieces and had a return, so technically I didn't spend any new money). OK, and I may have visited a few other stores while I was at the mall, but I only made one additional purchase from this one ...

This outfit was inspired by a dressing room ensemble that Liz put together - and you all know how I love to treat gingham and stripes like neutrals, so this look came from the Anthro gods. Good thing the green cissus button-up was not at my local store, or I may have imbibed in that as well!

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Top: Lands' End Canvas gingham poplin (worn here before)
Skirt: Anthropologie Parameter apothecary
Shoes: Xhiliration by Target teanna (worn here before - similar here)
Jewelry: Old Navy ethnic statement (worn here before), enamel bangle (similar here)

And the outfit I wore over the weekend that got me in the dressing room with the apothecary skirt:

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Shorts: J. Crew chino (worn here before)
Shoes: Indigo by Clarks finch (worn here before)
Bag: Longchamp canvas/leather (gift from big sis - similar here in navy, not sim but cute here)

You gals doing anything interesting for Memorial Day weekend coming up?

19 May 2011

Full Disclosure: For the Love of Money

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Back when I graduated college, I decided to move clear across the country to 1) find my own adventure and 2) be with the guy I was in a relationship with at the time. Sure, that in itself in retrospect was probably not the best of ideas, but I would have never gotten to where I am in life right now if I hadn't - so woo hoo for jumping in with both feet and blinders!

Guy I was in a relationship with at the time – let’s call him C for simplicity – lived in NM, so there I went, and we immediately got an apartment together and me a job doing menial marketing drudgery. Ah, the things we do for “love.”

Well it quickly became apparent that C didn’t really know what he wanted to do with his life and flitted from job to job with (apologetic) abandon. I wasn’t making much with my marketing gig at the time but it was consistent – so it wasn’t long before I was taking pretty much the full brunt of monthly rent, bills and out-of-pocket expenditures (plus I had to buy a new car because my old one died). We didn’t budget and didn’t really know how. Money was definitely flowing out faster than it was coming in.

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I think it only took a year or two before I was in serious credit card debt – I think I blanked out a good portion of it, but I believe I topped out near $30,000. And you wonder why I'm even smiling in these pics ...

It was also around that point that I actually started excelling at my job and started having a life outside of C – and with a clearer perspective of things, that was when I decided to end the relationship.

No, money wasn't the only reason I ended things but we won't go into that - let's just say it was amicable. I don’t believe C was purposefully a moocher and didn’t sit back and just “enjoy” not doing anything. He tried to do right and always had a job –unfortunately just not the same one. And there were times where he was in training for a job and no income was coming in on his side.

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But let’s face it, I totally enabled him too by not truly saying anything about the situation and not holding tight to the expenses split we initially agreed to – I am the first to admit that I was young, na├»ve and “in love” and this was my first time really out in the world by myself.

It’s been a long while now, I am a different place in my life with a different job and different person. It took me a few years but I finally worked myself out of debt by paying it back bit-by-bit, month-by-painful month.

(No worries about C, my dearies, towards the end of our relationship, he had gotten a steady gig working with the government, purchased himself a little starter home and even adopted a pup. Good for him and I bear him no ill will – though for a while I did daydream about sending him a bill for his share of my debt!)

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Jacket: Anthropologie Coquille cobbled lanes (worn here before)
Top: Crewcuts ruffle bottom (similar here)
Skirt: Xhiliration by Target smocked ikat (worn here before - similar here)
Necklace: Old Navy ethnic statement (worn here before)
Shoes: Xhiliration by Target teanna (worn here before - similar here, here)

18 May 2011

Dear Anyone Else

I've a got a case of the Help Mes today, so please bear with me. Consider this a reverse Dear Abbie and I am requesting a bevvy of style-related advice from your highly-regarded collective fashion know-how.

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Starting with this dress. I purchased the Anthro blackboard dress from Ebay months ago but aside from my initial glee over its well-fittingness, I haven't worn in. Because I am not sure how to wear it.  The ruched shoulders make wearing it under cardis awkward, and then throwing a jacket on seems to make it loose its nice lines, and with just a belt, it still doesn't seem right.

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You ladies have any ideas on how I can style this? Or have I fashion blogged too much and I can no longer accept leaving a dress on its own - because it seems like a fine piece all by itself? 

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And then way back in April, I fell victim to the Lust for a Yellow Bag and purchased one of those hot-to-trot Cambridge Satchels in yellow. Swallowing the retardedly high cost for shipping anything overseas, my lust for the satchel was so great that I didn't even bat an eyelash when the web site advised that due to demand, blah, blah, blah, it may take up to three weeks before I received anything.


And so I clickety-clicked my way through a purchase and have been sitting on my hands as three weeks came and went. And I've received nothing except an initial order confirmation e-mail. Even after I sent customer service a ping a few days ago inquiring about my status. Whole lotta nada.

Has anyone else purchased a Cambridge Satchel before from the states? Is this kind of wait and silence normal? Was Pippa Middleton spotted carrying this exact bag weeks ago so that the Satchel company has been raided of all its wares by a bevvy of fanatical trend-following London-ites and they're tanning hides as fast they can right now through the dark of night to keep up?

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I know fashion is a cyclical thing and retailers take inspiration from each other and I typically have no probs at all when doppelganger looks pop up from different stores. But I do find it amusing when an inspired-by look clocks in as more expensive than the original. Case in point:

Ramona Buckle Slides - Anthropologie (3 colors - $98) OR Worishofer 251 Sandals (21 colors - $59.95)


What do you think about this style? As a backlash to the sucky Anthro sale yesterday, I bit on the yellow Worishofers and bought them online. I know about the shopping ban ... I know they're comfy as all get and they are kind of IN right now, but I'm still undecided on whether "orthopedic chic" is a good thing?

17 May 2011

Big Hair, Jambu, Smashion

I've got a blog-podge of a post for you ladies today. My blog cup runneth over lately and I am so appreciative of all you great readers for taking the time to visit my little blog. Your comments have provided me with so much good humor and insight - and I am consistently impressed with your unique senses of style, imagination and varied areas of expertise.

So in your honor, I sport ridiculously-big-for-me, I-obviously-don't-know-how-to-use-a-curling-iron-so-that's-why-I'm-smiling-like-a-goof hair today:

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Top: Lands' End Canvas gingham poplin (worn here before)
Skirt: J. Crew dorrie (after a month of being on backorder, it finally came in)
Shoes: Coach ireena
Bracelet: The PS Boutique via Etsy
Clutch: Rebecca Minkoff pouch (1 of 3 from a set, now on sale sale sale)

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First, the nice folks over at Jambu asked for me to try out a pair of their shoes to review. Jambu is a comfort shoemaker that uses partially recycled rubber outsoles, recycled and recyclable packaging. They also have a collection of completely animal-friendly footwear for you Natalie Portmans out there.

I decided to go with the Espy style in grey, which I thought would be a nice casual-day shoe in a fairly go-with-anything color:

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I only look like I am in my jammies. I actually wore and went outside in this entire outfit on Sunday. No, really.

Cons about these shoes? They were heavier than I had expected and felt very "dense" (hello, recycled rubber). Plus the thong part rubbed a bit against the inside of my big toe. And let's be honest, these most likely are not going to be your what-to-wear-when-you're-dressing-to-impress-shoes-of-HAWTness.

Pros about these shoes? Super-duper comfy sandals. I wore these all day on Sunday to run errands and take the dog to the park, etc. and had no breaking-in issues at all. The sandals didn't feel heavy on, the platform and wedge provided me with some needed height and though the toe area rubbed, it never got bad. And the fit is TTS with a thin adjustable leather velcro ankle strap.

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So what do I think? Will I reach for these when I have on my prettiest dress or frilly skirt? Probably not ... but then again, they aren't that kind of shoe or company. However, I'll likely wear these sandals a lot this summer on those casual weekends when I'm running around, and I think they're really cute. Thanks again, Jambu!

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Second, THANKS to Natalya - I won her giveaway! Natalya is a fashion design student chasing her dreams and looking fantabulous while doing it. Check out her blog if you have a moment.
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Third, check me out on the Smashion Lounge - I'm one of their featured interviewed bloggers! If you haven't checked Smashion out yet, it is a social fashion site that is home to a marketplace, forums and outfit gallery for that stylish inspiration. Ah, like a virtual fashion bloggy mecca!

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Lastly, OK, let's get down to it - Anthro's semi-annual tag sale. As my personal shopping ban rules for the month consist of one in-one out, this means I need to work that much harder to put up stuff on my blog sale and sell, sell, sell! However, I haven't bitten on anything online yet and am waivering on whether or not I should take time out to trek to a store. What kind of damage have you gals done, or will you be hoofing it to a store in hopes their offerings will be better?

16 May 2011

Back to the Future

I'm sure we're all feeling a big ole "bah humbug" about the Blogger-out days last week and the scores of now-missing posts and deleted comments. I decided to just stay clear of blogging for a few days while Blogger tries to fix itself right and save myself from frustration.

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I am back from my fam visit in NYC now with a slew of new-to-me pieces handed down from my big sis - and I've been fairly good on the shopping front too (we will not speak of the upcoming big Anthro tag sale set to hit tomorrow). All those temptations in the big apple and all I purchased was a pedometer (woooo weeee, I know) and a hat that is actually large enough to fit my apparently giant-size noggin.

Though I alwaus love the fam, it is always kind of weird to me coming home as an adult but still being treated like the baby of the family, such as:
  • When I walk into a room and my parents are discussing “adult matters,” they still get quiet so I don’t hear them
  • My parents and my big sis don’t let me pay for anything
  • My mom wakes me up in the morning about 30 minutes before my alarm – and she sticks her head into my room to tell me good night (regardless of whether or not I’m already asleep!)
  • My parents don’t trust me to drive by myself – my dad prefers to drive me everywhere and then pick me back up later
  • My mom likes to make the (innocent?) comment about how I look skinnier or chubbier after not seeing me for a while – but then proceeds to shove as much food in my direction as possible
  • My parents won’t let me cook - because of course I can't
  • I get frowny looks when I turn on the TV during the day
  • My mom still calls to ask when I’ll be home, if I have my keys, etc.
  • Fashion gets over-ruled by practicality – because who knows when someone will ask you to go mow the lawn, water the garden, take out the trash, crawl under the desk to plug/unplug something, baby sit the nephew
  • See above – chores still do exist
Do you gals feel weird about going home again after you've left the nest for a while?

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Dress: Forever 21 linen frond blend (worn here before - similar-ish here, here)
Jacket: Juicy Couture knit peplum (similar here)
Belt: J. Crew metallic skinny (similar here)
Shoes: Nine West temani (worn here before - similar color here, peep-toe here)
Necklace: Old Navy ethnic statement

11 May 2011

Pop Ya Collar, Don't Let 'Em Sweat You

Report from the homefront: BF decided to not kennel the pup while he was away at work the other day because he didn't want her stuck in a little box for eight hours. And then completely ate his thoughts when he got home because our pup got up on the kitchen counters and BF's home office desk and apparently ate everything else.

Like a box of stale Krispy Kremes. And a box of baking soda - or rather, the box around the baking soda. A leather portfolio. A notebook, including the notes part. Pretty much all of BF's business cards. A plastic cup. An entire bottle of vitamins. The labels off of the BF's medications. Kitchen towels - apparently all of them. My suede Coach hobo, which was a gift from the BF.

It seems like Pacey may be living in the kennel full-time now.

This is me and we, over the weekend, pre-Coach:

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Top: RL Polo skinny-fit (similar here in classic fit, longer placket here, here with a metallic pony)
Skirt: J. Crew dorrie (worn here before - sim here longer)
Shoes: Seychelles she's got the moves
Bracelets: Sweet Auburn Studio via Etsy (worn here before) / Old Navy enamel bangle (similar here)
Necklace: J. Crew pearl cluster (worn here before - similar ivory here, grey here)

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Special thanks go out to Inkmark from Objects of Desire and Little Miss Fancie Pants for the blog awards! You gals are too sweet - thanks again!

And if you haven't checked out their blogs yet, please do! They are two seriously busy do-it-all moms who can juggle work, kids and still look stylish in their J. Crew and Anthro gear!

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Lastly, if you haven't signed up for Ebates yet, now's the time to do it! I'm sure you've seen the Ebates logo a lot on fellow blogs - well, it's because we are all believers. Ebates is completely free to join, and gives you money back on purchases made online with your favorite retailers - I just got my first check in the mail!

Ebates is now offering a whopping 12% cash back for retailers like Endless, Banana Republic, Gap, Old Navy, Sephora, DSW, The Body Shop, etc. Sign up to join HERE.
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