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What I wore: Holiday edition

7 Jan

xmas party photo

We had my husband’s holiday party to attend before Christmas. The dress code was described as “business casual.” I’ve done my fair share of over-thinking and over-shooting the holiday party attire in the past, so this year, I went with what I already had: a festive top picked up at The Limited before the holiday season, my trusty, black ankle-length dress pants (that I’ve worn in both summer and winter and every season in between) and my signature cardigan, which kept me warm in the overly-air conditioned ballroom, where the party was held. I was comfortable, felt dressed appropriately and stylish all at the same time. Cheers to shopping your closet before hitting the mall!

p.s. Please note our dog, Angie, photobombing like a boss.

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Wit and Wisdom jeans

29 Oct

When I met with the personal shopper at Nordstrom over the summer, she picked out these jeans for me:

Wit and Wisdom skinny jeans–$64 at Nordstrom.com

They probably aren’t the jeans that would have caught my eye, if shopping alone, but I tried them on just to be nice, since she was the expert and all. They fit like a glove and are super comfortable. I’m the type who, as soon as humanly-possible after returning home, changes back into the standard house uniform of yoga pants, sports bra and t-shirt (meow!). However, when I’m wearing these jeans, I’ve caught myself still wearing them at home…hours after having returned home!

They’ve got a ton of stretch and feel like you’re wearing leggings instead of stiff denim. They also seem to be universally flattering. I recommended them to a friend, (who has a different body type than my own) and she loves them as well. The rise is slightly higher than many of the denim options out there–just high enough to cover your junk, but not so high as to be classified as “mom jeans.” The best thing is that the price is certainly right and, if you get lucky and catch them during Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale, you can score them for less than $40 a pop, like I did! Another great perk is that they run at least one full size large, so you get to stroke your ego a bit by sporting jeans in a much smaller-size than you usually wear.

Have you ever given Wit and Wisdom denim a shot?

NYX Eye Makeup

23 Sep

I went to Ulta on Friday because I hit the trifecta: I was near it, I was by myself, and I had free time. My plan was just to admire the Benefit blushes and ogle Stila’s In the Light eyeshadow palette (which I am going to get as a reward if I ever lose another 5 pounds- so I’ll probably get it in February, aargh).

As I was wandering, I stopped in the NYX section because eye makeup was buy 1, get 50% off. (You don’t need to buy an even number of things. They were actually taking 25% off everything, which I wish they would just tell you.) I have heard good things about NYX, so I bought two Jumbo Eye Pencils, a Retractable Eyeliner, and an eyeshadow.

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(Dental floss pictured to keep everything else from rolling off the counter.)

The Jumbo Eye Pencils are great. They are really creamy, easy to apply, and simple to blend. I would buy these again.

The Retractable Eyeliner is really similar to my go-to eyeliner, Cover Girl Perfect Point Plus eyeliner. The NYX eyeliner is softer and applies much nicer. It also comes in more colors. The downside I found is that it runs a bit by the end of the day.

The eyeshadow was really soft, but I ended up not liking the color, so I returned it. The return process at Ulta was very easy.

Here’s how the makeup looked yesterday.

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And here’s today.

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Things I’m Loving Now

11 Sep

Fall is upon us, people! Let’s get excited!  If you want to showcase your autumnal enthusiasm, might I recommend this polish?

Fall Sparkles

Fall Sparkles

This is OPI “DS Indulgence” which I randomly picked at a pedicure and fell in love with.  It has just the perfect amount of sparkle without being gloppy or over the top with glitter and is a little more orange than the photo shows.  I love it.

As Labor Day is behind us now, I decided it was time to bring out my new beauty, purchased during the most recent Kate Spade surprise sale:

Hello, my pretty.

Hello, my pretty.

I’m currently 21 weeks pregnant, and I’m trying to navigate the exact opposite seasons than I experienced during my first pregnancy.  Last time I was at my largest during the summer, so I wore a ton of skirts and dresses.  This time I needed some serious work pants, and I caught a Gap friends and family sale (that included maternity!) recently and had some success.  I picked up these and these.  I highly recommend both of these pants in terms of quality and fit, especially because they come in both ankle and long.  Last time around I made do with a pair of black full panel pants from Target, and while they did the job, the panel and the length were both too long.  Which probably  means I just needed a tailor, but I never got around to that.  Plus they attracted pet hair like whoa.  Anyway, these pants are super fantastic.

I’m also thinking I’ll have to layer to get the most out of my wardrobe this fall and winter.  Key in this endeavor is comfortable pieces in bright/interesting colors, like this top, which I just picked up on sale at Old Navy:

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I wore this to work today with black pants and a long silver necklace and I think it worked out pretty well.  I’m also in love with this dress, which is easy to throw a cardigan over and I will probably pair with tights and boots this fall/winter if I ever find any black boots FOR THE LOVE. I have a similar one in black, also purchased at the Gap F&F sale.  They are both very “Hi! Here is my belly!” clingy, but, they are in dark colors and I’m trying to embrace the belly this time around as much as possible.  I mean, there’s really no avoiding it, right?

I know I’ve mentioned my problem with gold shoes, but I found these Born gold flats in the clearance rack at Macy’s this summer (I think I got them for 40% off of the sale price of $45) and they were the only pair and they were in my size so be quiet, I had to have them.  They are SO comfy and I will likely wear them a lot this fall.  Maybe even with conservative tunics and leggings if I am brave enough to try that at work.

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Have you scored anything you are loving lately?

Vacation: All I Ever Wanted

9 Sep

My husband and I spent the weekend in Las Vegas with my best friend from college and her husband. My plan was to get uninterrupted sleep, laze around, eat a lot of good food, and be goofy. My plan was a success!

No matter what you wear in Las Vegas, you’re going to be more dressed up than some people (tank tops with the whole side cut out to show someone’s entire bra) and not as dressed up as other people (designer dresses that cost thousands of dollars).

On our first night there, we all went to see Jerry Seinfeld perform, and then we went to dinner at a fancy-ish place at the Wynn. I wore a dress from Lands End Canvas, a cardigan from J Crew Factory, a belt by Vince Camuto, and a necklace by Kate Spade. The belt and necklace were from TJ Maxx. I also wore glittery eyeshadow because, duh, Vegas.

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The next day we had brunch at Mesa Grill. This is what a Vegas breakfast looks like.

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I wore a Lands End Fit and Flare dress and a Target cardigan.

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During the day we saw a billboard for a Boyz II Men concert, and I easily talked my husband into going with me. Our friends went to see a Cirque de Soleil show. They really missed out because H and I had a terrific time at the concert. Boyz II Men (who should probably just be called Men at this point) sang and danced for over 90 minutes. They sang new songs, old songs, Motown songs, and a cappella songs. It was AWESOME.

I wore sequins because, duh again, Vegas.

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What’s that? You want to see other random photos from my trip? Ok, twist my arm.

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Tees at Loft

22 Jul

I keep waiting for these tees to go on sale before I recommend them, but it seems it’s never going to happen. Yes, I actually paid full price for something at Loft. That’s how much I likes these tees. I bought two colors: white and lollipop red.

The tee is the crochet neck cotton tee. It’s $24.50, but I wear mine ever single weekend. It’s thin enough to be cool but not thin enough to be see-through.

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I also love the embellished tee at Loft. Full price again! I know! I wear brightly colored camisoles underneath because the cutouts are sheer. I get compliments every time I wear this.

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My New Ginorm Beach Hat

5 Jul

So, hey, I’m at the beach right now!

In preparation for this trip, I was on the hunt for a hat. Specifically, a giant one. However, because I have no spending money to speak of, I was limited to shopping at Amazon and LOFT so I could use reward points or a gift card, respectively. I ended up buying the San Diego Women’s Ultrabraid X Large Brim Hat in the Toast color from Amazon:

Also available at Zappos

So, going into this, I knew this hat would be big. I read the description, I measured out the dimensions, and I thought I was prepared for a hat of this bigness. And then this box arrived.

Ginorm hat box!

Holy crap. And then I tried on the hat.

Ginormous hat

Hmm. I wasn’t sure. Was I just too small for this hat? Did it smack of rice paddies? My husband took one look at me and said, “That’s … kind of ridiculous.” But I kind of liked it! And it was exactly what I was going for, that is, GINORM HAT.

I took the only logical course of action and posted the picture on Facebook and Twitter. The responses (including the joke-y ones) were unanimously in favor of KEEPING IT. So I did!

In the wild!

I love how light and floppy and foldable it is. There were plenty of jokes from the rest of the family, but WHATEVER, I am perfectly happy not getting sunburned, thank you very much.

The only down side to this hat is that it can easily get blown away in a gale, so I safety-pinned a strip of fabric (a canvas belt from an old pair of shorts, actually) inside the brim to act as a neck strap. As if I needed any more reinforcement of my senior citizen status, right? But no, I refused to lose this hat in the wind. So far, so good.

View from under The Hat

Update on the Over-the-Shoulder-Boulder-Holders

3 Jul

I decided to order a bra in my new size, which I thought was 32H. I got this one in that size.  It fit pretty well, but the band was just a little too snug.  So I exchanged it (by the way, Amazon is doing a free month of Prime right now) for a 34H.  However, you may have heard that lawyers don’t do math, so I forgot that if I went up a band size, my cup size would also have to change.  Naturally I thought about that after I ripped the tags off, so sure was I that this bra was going to be right.  Be ye not so stupid.

It turns out, even though I have some space in the cups, this is a really well-constructed bra, and it still looks decent and works pretty well.

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Obviously I will be ordering 34Gs from now on, but this one does give me some needed lift and it really cuts down on the bounce factor.  The only negatives are obviously the extra space in the cups, and that because of that, it tends to form a little wide on my torso, and rubs my upper arms a bit.  I’m pretty sure going down a cup size would solve that problem.  (My husband’s input:  it is very Mad Men.  Take that as you will.)  I will say, after wearing this bra for the day, putting on one of my old bras felt almost supportless.  I’ll spare both you and my pride a picture of that.

Interestingly, I was at a major discount retailer picking up dog food one day, and I wondered if they had any bras in sizes over DD.  Guess what?  No dice.  So I picked up a Hanes t-shirt bra in a 38D (I could not find D or DD cups in less than a 38 band size), just to see how it would compare, because on the rack it looked about as huge as the one I ordered.  It actually fits okay.  Definitely not as structured or well-made as the Le Mystere, so I guess you get what you pay for.  I’m not sure what is wrong with the bra manufacturing and marketing industries in this country, but at least now I feel like a more informed shopper.

Things I bought recently

26 Jun

So, Anthro is having a summer sale and I succumbed.

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The top skirt has a slight high-low hem, which I’m on the fence about, however, it also has pockets, an elastic waist and a hem long enough that I don’t have to worry about flashing people if I wear it to a playground. Seems like the perfect weekend skirt. The bottom is the latest attempt to find a denim pencil skirt that doesn’t look woppy on me. (That’s a technical term.)

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This Vera for Target ladybug scarf is my other, much cheaper new acquisition. It was an impulse buy. I had no idea who Vera Neumann was, but the print was pretty and whimsical and I am a sucker for ladybugs. They’re lucky, you know, and I figure I always can use a little luck. They also seem cheerful to me, so this scarf is the perfect thing to perk up a day — much like a pair of shiny red shoes.

What have you bought recently?

Do you use clothes to improve your mood?

 

Old Navy Active tanks

25 Jun

Back when I used to write for (the now, sadly, dormant) Style Lush, I did a couple of posts on Lululemon. Going into it, I was hoping to expose Lululemon as grossly over-priced and pretentious. Turns out, I ended up really loving the pieces that I got from there and vowed to forever abandon the cheapy workout wear of my past.

Lately though, I’ve been finding myself in need of more workout tops. What I was looking for, Lululemon wasn’t really delivering on. I just wanted something simple, comfortable and that didn’t touch me too much. Also, I was having trouble working up the nerve to drop more than $50 on one workout tank. So, this led be back into the arms of my old workout wear lover, Old Navy. I bought one of these:

Old Navy Semi-fitted Tank $10-$14.94

Old Navy Semi-fitted Tank $10-$14.94

It was immediately what I’d been looking for, so (while the Active sale was going on) I went back and scooped up one in every color. Now, don’t get me wrong, as far as workout bottoms go, I’m still devoted to Lululemon. I really think that you get what you pay for in that department, but if you’re looking for some non-fussy, flattering and comfortable workout tops, you might want to check these out.