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Purity facial cleanser

18 Feb

I’ve still gotta talk about beauty products around here because I’m in a fashion slump for sure. This extreme winter weather that we’re having (yes, you can snort at my definition of “extreme winter weather” but for Texas, it has been sort of an extreme winter–I mean my kid had a snow day off from school…that never, ever happens!) has squelched my appreciation for fashion because I’ve been hibernating in my house, wearing glorified pajama bottoms, fleece hoodies and giant, fluffy socks. Not a good look–trust me.

So, I’ve been frequenting Ulta, here in my new town and finding interesting things. Now, I’m the last one to hop on the Philosophy bus here and I know this. My only experience with Philosophy products was the rollerball of one of their fragrances that I purchased on a whim at Sephora one day, a hundred years ago. I ended up not enjoying the fragrance at all, so that left a bad taste in my mouth for all Philosophy products.

Recently, on an outing to Ulta, I spotted the Philosophy Purity Made Simple facial cleanser that I’d heard good things about. I decided to give it a go, with the winter weather leaving my face feeling dry and miserable. I loved it from the first use. My face felt so soft and it removed every trace of makeup that I threw at it. It caused me to immediately abandon my Cetaphil and now I have my eye on the other products that Philosophy makes.

purity cleanser

Does anyone have any recommendations for Philosophy products that I should try, now that I’m officially riding the “Philosophy bus?”

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.

Favorite Things gift exchange

10 Dec

For the third year in a row, my five girl friends and I have done a “Favorite Things” gift exchange. Very similar to Oprah’s “Favorite Things” shows of the past, (except not at all like her multi-million dollar gifts) we assign a price-per-gift limit ($10 this year) and buy 4–of the same–of one of our favorite things to hand out at the gift exchange. I love this idea because there’s something really fun about sharing something that you personally love with your friends. In my circle, we each have sort of different styles and degrees of high-maintenance but somehow, this gift exchange just works. With me being the self-professed most high-maintenance in the group, I find it entertaining to push my less high-maintenance friends a wee bit out of their comfort zone with my gifts. At least this year I didn’t hand out thongs (you think I’m kidding, don’t you?).

So, while it’s not necessarily style-related, I thought you might get a kick out of seeing what we gave and received in our “Favorite Things” gift exchange this year:

First up is the gift that I gave everyone: My favorite mascara for bottom lashes only. The brush is perfectly sized for reaching the tiny lower lashline and the formula is super smudge and water-resistant, so that you don’t end up with clumps or “raccoon eyes.”

Available here: Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara

And, here are the gifts that I received…the favorite things of my friends:

First up, from my friend, Sarah: the marvelous baker and lover of all kitchen gadgets…a spatula that doesn’t touch the counter when you set it down! Brilliant!

Joseph Elevate Spatula

Available here: Joseph Elevate Spatuala

Next up, from my friend, Elizabeth–her favorite fragrance–that even her fragrance-averse husband (not only) tolerates, but loves:

Available here: L’Occitane Verbena Frangrance

And, last but not least, my friend, Stacie who (along with Sarah <above>) has reignited our interest in jigsaw puzzles–and caused quite a neighborhood trend of puzzle-exchanging–gave us each one of these:

Puzzle

Available here: Eurographics 1000 piece puzzles

At our Favorite Things exchange brunch

At our Favorite Things exchange brunch

(Our friend, Katie was sadly ill today and couldn’t attend, hence the missing favorite thing from my list.) 

This is my favorite way to exchange gifts. It’s so much easier than trying to guess what someone else might like and it’s fun to try something that you  might otherwise not have tried. Do you have any fun ways of exchanging gifts with your friends?

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?

Winter Coats in April

16 Apr

Today is the first day without rain in….dare I say, almost 10 days. I didn’t think to snap any pictures of my soggy self and I wouldn’t want you to see my scary cry face anyway. Don’t worry though, snow is expected at the end of this week.

So since it’s still winter…..

This winter I found myself without a winter coat. A dressy winter coat. I have a dressy fall/spring coat but that was not cutting it. I didn’t really want to buy a new dressy winter coat because I didn’t know if I would really need it next year and sometimes I’m just weird like that. I was talking to a coworker about it back at the end of December and she asked me why I couldn’t just wear my regular winter coat. Ah, what?

I liked that winter coat but it’s too big, poofy, and worst of all, it’s short. It bothered me because I like to wear long cardigans and the cardigans would be flapping around out the bottom. I know, I know. I am strange.

I’ve always secretly had my eye on this coat:

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The website did not have the exact style any longer.

Here’s what I love about this coat; it’s warm for winters in Michigan, it can be dressy or casual, it’s long, but mostly it’s WARM. It fit all of my needs. But it IS pricey. So here’s what I did. I sold my old NF jacket and I searched this puppy out on eBay. I got it for a little more than half the price (and it’s not fake, if ever purchasing something like this off of eBay make sure it’s not fake!) and with the sale of my coat, I spent about only about $100 dollars on this coat. I am not sorry.

But I am sorry I’m still wearing it in APRIL.

Moving on.

I’m always curious how people feel about dressy trouser jeans and how you feel about wearing them to work. I was researching them so hard I came across this blog that has three good examples. The middle example is my favorite but of course not available (bummer!) but I think they look are work appropriate, yes…no?

I was only able to really find this one pair at Express (sorry, won’t let me save or share the picture), but I didn’t like how wide the waistband was with belt loops. If they didn’t have belt loops I could probably deal with it and the price…eh, they were having buy one get one 50% off but I don’t really need any more pants. If it was scarves that would be different.*

So where did I head off to? My trusty eBay. And I found a pair from Express! For 24.99. I got them in the mail yesterday and the only difference is they do not have the wide waistband which I didn’t like anyway.

Here they are:

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They are much darker in person.

How do you feel about eBay, do you ever use it for things like this? I have used it to buy several things and I’ve never had an issue.

*Now I’m obsessed with summery scarves and do you know the most random place they have cute scarves? Hallmark. I would’ve never guessed!

 

 

 

Weekend Casual

2 Apr

Friday we spent the day out as a family. First stop was the mall which was actually my husbands idea. I was shocked. Often times I struggle with the casual look. I feel like I can pull off two looks; the dressed up for work look (read business casual) and the outdoors look (read fleece, jeans, Merrill’s, fitted tee, yoga pants). The casual looks make me uncomfortable…boots, skinny jeans, cardi, scarf….I don’t know why this is. I have no answers to my madness. I think it looks fantastic on others.

Anyway, I had recently picked up up two cute casual sweatshirts at Target & I decided to give them a go.

For the family outing on Friday I went with this:

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Like I said the shirt is from Target. I love it. Very flattering & comfortable. The jeans are from Gap (this year) & the shoes are from American Eagle circa 2010. I love those flats. I felt good in this out fit. Comfortable but stylish.

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Saturday morning we did an egg hunt with the kiddos & their cousins in our yard. I decided to go a bit more casual but this other sweatshirt I picked up from Target was perfect.

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I definitely sported my Merrill’s (my favorite shoes, to be honest) for this backyard event. And these are by far my favorite jeans from American Eagle (2012). My only wish is they were not so destructed but while I might not wear them out for anything important, I absolutely wear them a lot. I love them for the way they lay over my Merrill’s. Some jeans are just not the jeans to wear with athletic or hiking shoes but these are perfect. I’m very picky about how the bottom of my jeans rest on particular shoes (flats, hiking shoes).

Anyway, I love this sweatshirt. I especially love the length & how it fit.

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Let’s be honest though, I am ready to ditch these sweatshirts for warmer days. We are still quite chilly & frosty for Michigan this time of year. Come on, Spring!!

Craving Spring?

5 Mar

I know we’ve only just met and yet, I hate to be that annoying person, gloating (again) about living in a place where winter lasts for a maximum of two weeks (however, you’re free to contact me personally, to brag about your weather during the months of June, July, August, September, October and sometimes November too.). It’s tricky dressing, not only for the temperature, but also for the season–does this make sense? Case in point: Right now, we’re experiencing highs in the upper 60’s under sunny skies–even though it’s technically still winter. Although temperature-appropriate, it just doesn’t feel right to wear my brightly-colored shorts and sandals. Also? I know that neon is hot right now, but the neon, translucent-bluish-white-color that my legs currently are? Totally NOT hot. So, until I can get myself to ye olde Sephora for some self-tanner, shorts ain’t happening.

So, my challenge, living where I do, is to incorporate pops of color into my wardrobe, without looking like I’m just off the plane from a weekend in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Here are some photos of outfits that I’ve been wearing lately, that help scratch my itch for spring, but also are seasonally and temperature-appropriate (for where I live):

L-R: Bright yellow-green capris in heavy rotation; Pop of hot pink cardigan; Mint green button-down under (dorky) Valentine's Day sweater

L-R: Bright yellow-green capris in heavy rotation; Pop of hot pink cardigan; Mint green button-down under (dorky) Valentine’s Day sweater

L-R: Bright aqua blazer to brighten drab outfit; re-purposed asymmetrical tank from last summer, worn under black cardigan; ever-popular neon green/yellow capris, toned down with navy tunic top.

So tell me, how do you incorporate fun color into your wardrobe during the dreary days of winter?

Advice needed – too big boots

7 Feb

I have been in need of some new boots for a long time. You can only cover up so many scuffs and nicks with a black Sharpie and the heel was starting to wear out. I probably could have gotten the heel fixed but the cracked and peeling pleather that is conveniently covered by my jeans was really the tipping point. I needed new boots. Bad.

But I was too lazy to shop in store for a new pair. Well to be honest, I glanced around when I’d go to the mall. But I didn’t need knee high boots, and I didn’t need booties with metallic spikes on the stiletto heel.  So needless to say, I wasn’t seeing what I wanted in the stores, and I turned to the internet. When I saw these Naturalizer Boots on sale online, I went ahead and bought them. Depending on shoe brands, I wear an 8.5 or a 9, and they only had a 9, so I went with it. They felt ok when I tried them on so I promptly threw away all the paperwork. And I even wore them out to dinner that night. But when I wore them for a full day, I realized that they were indeed a tad too big, so I spent the whole day cranky that my boots were loose and were eating my socks.

I did wear them once successfully and comfortably with 2 pairs of socks (a thin dress sock, topped with an athletic crew sock), but ended up rubbing holes in the outer sock layer, and throwing a pair of socks away every time I wear the boots isn’t an option.

So what do I do? Is there anything that will help me with the size issue?

What Do You Wear on the Coldest Day of the Year

21 Jan

The windchill this morning was -30 degrees F. Negative 30. I can’t repeat that enough: NEGATIVE 30.

So obviously I was really excited to put on my favorite cute outfit today. Ha! Just kidding! I am more like how many layers can I wear at one time? Could I BE wearing any more clothes!*

Here’s what I decided on. Keep in mind that I have to be at work today, but I knew a lot of people (including my boss) took the day off. (My boss is in San Francisco today, and I hate him a little bit because he is playing golf, while my face actually hurts from walking outside through the parking lot to my building.) (I don’t actually hate my boss; he is an awesome boss.)

Outfit!

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I am wearing:
– flat, ugly hair due to crazy weather and sucky shampoo at the gym
– huge, unattractive sweater from Old Navy 4 years ago that I never wear but keep just in case of… I don’t know
– a Chaus 3/4 sleeve wrap shirt (similar here: Amazon
– Lands End starfish pants
– Cole Haan Air Margot Pump from Off Fifth ( Saks Fifth Ave’s outlet) – if you want them in red patent, which I highly recommend, they’re $75 today! (down from $248)

Winter Boots

16 Jan

You guys, the black boots didn’t work!  My third time was not a charm, unfortunately.  This time I really liked the boot itself, but they were super gapey around my calves (and I have some serious calves, people.)  They wouldn’t work with tights, and they wouldn’t even work with jeans.  My black boot mission is officially a bust this year.  Sniff.

However!  I do have some boots that I love and I want to tell you about.  My snow boots!  I have been lacking a good pair of these for awhile, which is really pathetic given we are avid skiers and, uh, live in COLORADO.  I mean, I was wearing Uggs and Merrell slip ons in the mountains.  So this year I was determined to get a great winter boot and you guys, I love these boots. They are warm, but not too warm, really soft inside, and are slip ons!  No maintenance whatsoever.  And, they aren’t terrible looking, given the moon boot-laden selection that’s out there this season.  I actually wear them to work on cold commute days, too.  Even though I only have to walk a block to my building from my parking garage, I like to save the heels of my work shoes when possible.  Anyway, I highly recommend these boots!

North Face Shellista Pull-On Shiny Winter Boot

North Face Shellista Pull-On Shiny Winter Boot