Monday, August 31, 2009

Flats Fun at Target

Let me start by telling you about these way cute little shoes I got for E last spring from Target.

Girls' Xhilaration Flora Ballet Flats ($12.99) Adorable. And they literally go with *everything*. E had a pair last spring that she lived in. And I got her another pair this fall because, yeah, like I said, they work with everything in her closet. Did I mention how darn cute they are on her? And I've always kinda thought, hmmm, I wish they made this exact shoe in my size because it would be oh-so-versatile. Love the color, especially - that pewter is fantastic.
So, lo and behold, what did I spy with my little eye when as I wandered the Target shoes aisles today?

Why, it's the "grown-up" version of E's cute little flats. Mossimo Vlasta Snip Toe Flats ($24.99) So to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak, I did get a pair. They fit very TTS - I got a 9, not too wide, not too narrow. Love this!!

As I continued to stroll along the shoe aisles (did I mention the kiddies are back at school? first solo trip to Target in weeks)...I looked for those cute purples suede flats I posted on a few weeks ago. Not in my size, of course, (guess I'll have to go with the Steve Maddens instead, darn it), but I did see my size in Mossimo Odell Ballet Flats in the cheetah print ($12.99).
Narrow feet, stay away! It is definitely meant for those of us with the fat feet. And I sized up to 9 1/2 because the 9 felt a bit short (which never happens). That 9 1/2 does feel a bit wide, even for me, but I am hoping that an insole will make it work. For $13, I don't mind doing a little work to it.

A good start to fall, I think.

ups delivery (in small letters since it wasn't big)

Ok, it was a small JC delivery - 2 sale items, plus a FP dress that I never got to trying on at the Tysons event, so I was above teh $150 for free shipping. Seriously, J Crew, why do you make us play these games? At Chicos, once you have spent above $500 at the store/online (Passport member), you get FS - period. At LL Bean, you get FS and free monogramming with the LL Bean Visa (thanks, Mom, for letting me use your card to order from there).

So...I have realized that I need a good standard white shirt. My other one, from ATL a few years ago is a bit too....stylized. I need a very basic, simple (you know, plain) one. And they were on sale - Slim stretch shirt (#87699, orig $59.50, sale $49.50 - currently $39.99 - so I guess I need to go argue that one. Will a B&M give me the credit, or do I need to call CS?) And the Cafe Capris are still on sale (#10492, orig $79.50, curr $19.99), so I picked up a pair in golden hickory. My 3rd item is the Dressy Jersey Ruffle-Neck Dress (#17881, $88). It gave me free shipping, so I figured I would try it on at home and just return the next time I hit the mall if it didn't work.

Here is the Polyvore of my order...since clearly I have WAY too much time on my hands:


Shirt is a yes. Love this. Perfect, simple, keeper. (size M) Think I may have buttoned up 1 too many though, looking at the pic - but seriously - this was open the box, throw on the clothes real quick, take pic and then change back. There was zero styling done other than making sure I wasn't pant-less or anything.

Cafe capris? Well, what do you think? They were a deal at $20 (size 8, btw, like my others). I am wondering about the color - since they are fairly similar to the British khaki ones I have. But I think it would be a great not-quite-khaki to pair with navy, white, cream, gray, black. Any thoughts on golden hickory? What do you pair it with?

On to the dress...I don't know what to think. I mean, I know I don't like it. I feel very thick in this dress. Like tree trunk thick. Is it that the dress is too big? Or is it just a bad design on me? Would love some feedback as I am actually headed to the mall tomorrow, I think. Thank you for your help!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bangs Are Back

Oh yeah, the bangs are back. I've gotten pretty good at trimming my own bangs, and I just couldn't take it anymore. I really don't love how my forehead looks with its horizontal wrinkles (from the usual raised-eyebrow "seriously?" look I often sport) and dark smudges of melasma (thanks hormones). It's not THAT bad, but I do really like myself so much better with bangs. So mid-day Thursday, I actually trimmed them. Happy dance!! Most important key to trimming your own bangs - always leave them WAY longer than you think you should.

I loved my outfit on Thursday with the dark slate Frances cami and so I thought I would go with a dark top/light bottom combo again on Saturday. Then again, speaking of dark things on top, maybe I was inspired by seeing this out my back door Saturday morning....

The scary part is how quiet she was about it - we hadn't heard a thing. M noticed, showed me, so I of course grabbed the camera, opened the door, took a pic, and hollered "OFF". Guess we can't "hide" the plastic yard toys up on the patio table anymore... Did I mention Lucy's insane vertical leap? 44 lbs of it.... Go ahead, laugh through my pain.

Anyway, I had another appointment at the chiropractor on Saturday morning. (quick story - you know how I always talk about having neck issues? Well, I'm finally taking it seriously and seeing a doctor, and making changes - so here I sit at my "new" desk in the living room since working/blogging at the kitchen table was doing bad things to my body) And for those appointments, you really do need to wear pants. And it wasn't going to be hot, so I thought "hey, let's pull out the white jeans!"

I do miss the white jeans...although we are supposed to have highs in the low 70's this week, so I will be able to bring them out again. And, like I said, dark things on top on my brain, so I pulled out my navy bf tissue tee. I always love a bf tissues tee - I feel like I've hardly worn them lately since I've been so sundressed out. Hello, old friend!

Fiinish off with pinky accessories - pink peeptoe Clarks (which gouged out the skin on my heel when I walked Lucy), fireball necklace, rope rose-gold bracelet, and the omnipresent Dina hoops. Loving my Suzi Skis polish with the outfit, too.

Polyvore early Saturday:

Speaking of walking Lucy...later in the day, in the early afternoon, I took Lucy on another nice walk. Walked puppy = happy puppy = happy owners. (I did change shoes first though, since I didn't want to lose the skin on the other heel - seriously, it was so uncomfortable that I quit the earlier walk part way through and walked home barefoot.)
But I was finally forced to cry uncle and submit to the humidity. It was just way too hot and humid to keep wearing jeans, even white jeans. The air was so thick, it was insane. So I kept to the navy/pink theme, and swapped out to the dressy jersey strapless dress with the blush Danielles. Wise decision, my friends, very wise.

I also immediately came in from the walk, turned on the A/C and bumped it down to 75 degrees. And I *never* turn down the A/C - in fact, I try to put off turning it on as long as possible. But I was dying!!! As soon as I changed, I was a happy girl. So happy that I threw a white cable cardi in my bag in case I needed it while we were out at dinner (which I did, since I usually freeze everywhere).

Polyvore later on Saturday:

Bangs are back...happy me.

Friday, August 28, 2009

J Crew Frances cami and more gray nails

The J Crew Silk Frances Cami (#17428, $88)...this year's Victoria. Honestly, I do not own a Victoria (gasp... I know...). I tried it on once and it just wasn't great on me, but I may have had my sizing off. Anyway...tried on the Frances last Sunday in the dark slate and love love loved it...and brought it home. And I realized that I really don't have anything like this in my closet - since I almost never have to be in full professional dress, and in dressy occasions like to go with an actual dress or a sweater, I just don't have much in the way of dressier blouses. Ok, I'm sure a large part of it is that hate to iron.

Many other bloggers have reviewed the top and most seem to be fans. I love the dark slate - this color works really well with my complexion in summer or winter. But it comes in other fab colors, too - ivory, deep rose, light sage, autumn sun, misty lavender. The other reason I love the dark slate is that it is not sheer at all - not sure if I could say that about the other colors.

I sized down to a 6 because there is plenty of room - and with it being sleeveless, I don't need the extra room for my shoulders. There is just enough room at the hem to be able to wear it untucked without grabbing. I love the ruffles - so soft, so pretty.
I wore this on Thursday with my khaki cafe capris. And then added black sandals, Dina hoops, and garden pearl bracelet. I put up my hair to show off the hoops and the collar on the Frances - I think it works better on me with hair up. And this is the last picture of my bad old-lady forehead. I couldn't wait until my next hair cut/color, so I went ahead and re-trimmed my bangs on Thursday afternoon to bring them up to regular bang length. So much better!!

Exciting day on Thursday - Open House at school so the kiddies got to see their classroom, meet their teacher, see all their craziness there! Later in the evening, I had book club at a friend's house, so I just added a black cashmere Jackie for warmth (you know, A/C effect). I anticipate wearing this exact outfit - Frances, Jackie, cafe capris with my black patent heels when the weather cools off a bit.

And in more dark gray news...on our Tysons outing on Wednesday, I picked up a bottle of Suzi Skis in the Pyrenees - also from the Coleccion de Espana. What a gorgeous deep blue-gray. And out come the fall nails, because I've got it on tips and toes. Yes, my fingernails are officially ready for fall! I anticipate wearing this a lot this fall, and can't wait to pair a Skis pedi with Essie Chinchilly on fingers - should be a good mix.
Isn't fall nail polish fun? It's my favorite season - for clothes and makeup. And I still have a couple more fall nail polishes to share.

Polyvore for today:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

J Crew Embroidered Flowers Tee, Minnie Pants, and Linen Cardi

New Outfit day! I love new outfit day...when you wearing all new things and not just 1 piece. All 3 of these pieces were part of my apparently cream-gray-themed purchases at Tysons at the Sunday JCA event. Lots of wordiness here, but that's what happens when I wear 3 new things at once. Bear with me...

First up, the Slub Cotton Embroidered Flowers Tee (#18527, $42.50). First of all, with the design, I love that there is enough "space" at the top of the tee to wear necklaces with this tee. You could also easily wear a great scarf. I love that the design is not perfectly symmetrical - I think that makes it more interesting. A lot of other JCAs have reviewed this tee. I would like to thank RatsOnParade, because I think I first saw it on her blog, and as soon as I did, I thought "Mine!"

I got the tee in champagne, which is what is available on the website. AppGal got it in both champagne and buff pink at her B&M. I only remember seeing it in the champagne color at Tysons - although, like I said, when we had our shopping event, I had not been at the Crew since July, so I was a bit overwhelmed in trying to take in EVERYTHING. I will say again that this tee does not look like that great just laying on the table. It just looks kinda ok. But pick it up and try it on, because it looks so much better on, I promise.

I have included my front and back pics so you can see that you really do need to wear a cami underneath this as it is quite sheer, unless you are pairing with a jacket/cardi that you swear you will not take off. With a jacket/cardi, I think the flowers give you enough coverage in front.

Fit-wise, I took an M, so I would size down-ish in this. Usually in sheer tees, I size up a bit so I don't get the bulgies, but this one was just fine without doing that. I wore with the linen short sleeve cardi in natural yesterday and it was a perfect match. I will be wearing this with my black cashmere Jackie, my black BR swing jacket, my charcoal BR Michelle-look-alike on top, and jeans, Minnie pants, black cafe capris, stone linen pants, black skirt on bottom. Lots of options.

Next up...the Stretch Twill Minnie pants (#18850, $79.50). Given the feedback in blogland (some major fans and some non-fans alike), I was a bit apprehensive about the bulgie, sausage-effect in these pants but I loved them. I think the key (much like the pixie pants, and this is so counterintuitive to how I usually try on sizes, but I swear it's the key) is to get them so they are truly fitted. If you get them too small, you get the extra fabric in the crotch and it is just awful. Fortunately, I had Dina in the fitting room, so I didn't even bring in a size 10/L (except for the sherpa hoodie, but that's another post). I took an 8 and the fit is fab. The fabric has a nice weight to it to help with smoothing.

I got the pants in coal, since I have been wanting gray pants. Can't wait to wear with my tangelo cambridge cable turtleneck, putty library cardi, star cable popover, cream cashmere cabin popover, plus all the other assorted random cardis/jackets. I believe I will be living in them this fall and winter. When it is not as cold, I will wear them with flats and when it gets colder, I will actually put on socks and tuck them into boots.

The pants are also available in black and british khaki (both of which I have in cafe capris, so that helped the decision to go with the coal). But I will probably be looking to add another pair later this fall. Summerilla and I were discussing whether or not you could wear them for work and decided that it was definitely possible, depending on your environment, with a jacket and sweater/shirt. So they are potentially office-worthy. (Isn't she adorable in them?)

Last item - the Classic Linen Cardigan (#15131, orig $69.50, curr $39.99). Dina has this piece and loves it. I had seen before and never got around to trying it on, so glad I did now. I got it in a medium. I love that it has short sleeves, so it's a great layering piece for summer. I can picture wearing this with many summer ensembles for little warmth, since I almost always freeze inside if there is A/C. Can't wait to wear with just a white tee & matchstick jeans when it gets a bit cooler with some fab shoes & jewelry. Great piece at a great price (plus that 20% off, of course).

And here's my actual outfit for the day. Flowers tee, linen cardi, and minnie pants. Had no idea the cardi & tee were the exact same color until I happened to hang them on the fitting room rack right next to each other. Love the pieces separately, but I really loved them all together. I actually felt kinda hip in this ensemble - a bit more downtown that I usually skew. I think it's the pants. Anyway, just added my usual Kenneth Cole black flat sandals, stud earrings, and the cha-cha bracelet I made several years ago. And the Cocteau tote, which I really need to snap for Polyvore one of these days.

If you have seen Summerilla's latest blog post, you know what I did yesterday (other than physical therapy/chiropractor in the evening). Kiddies & I met Summerilla, Dina, and Dina's adorable kiddies at Tysons to Starbucks and play. Yes, I am using Starbucks as a verb. Don't you? So it was our last chance to hang out before Summerilla departs for NYC, given everyone's crazy schedules this week. And then we headed to Pure Beauty to play with (and buy, of course) nail polish. Dina had to go and 3-Penny Princess joined us for lunch at Nordstrom Cafe where M went through 2 bowls of tomato soup and E loved coloring with Summerilla. What a fun day we had! M & E were really good. They loved Dina's kids (who doesn't?) and they are totally bummed that Summer is moving away. Summerilla - we will miss you!!

Polyvore for Today:

Monday, August 24, 2009

DC JCA Tysons Shopping Event

What a fun day on Sunday! The fabulous 3-Penny Princess and AnneG arranged a J Crew shopping event for the DC-area JCAs at Tysons Galleria for the 2nd wave of the fall rollout. We had the store to ourselves from 10 am to 12 noon, with lots of helpful SAs and some yummy munchies & drinks, and oh yeah, the 20% discount. (Yay!) We had fabulous, gorgeous, and kind JCAs from north of Baltimore to Richmond joining us for the event. Such lovely ladies - as nice as they are in the blogosphere, they are actually even nicer in person. So many new faces - but I was unfortunately way too focused on snagging clothes to try on to do much chatting since I hadn't been at a B&M since July. And we had the fantastic Pilar helping us with outfits, accessories, sizes and all that.

And then those of us still standing at 12:15 wandered over to the Daily Grill for brunch.

(Yes, I actually remembered my camera this time)

What to wear? I was really wanting to go with a dress, but decided to go practical instead (but pretty, I hope). Bf tissue tee + cami, since I live in them and need to make sure sweaters, etc., work over them. Jackie cardigan to make sure tees work under it. And a pair of cafe capris since you need a decent pair of pants to test out tops in case any of the ones you brought back to the dressing room don't work.

Acessories were minimal in number but max in visual effect - a chunky necklace and ring that come off easily to toss in my purse while trying on clothes. Oh yeah, I was doing some serious shopping. And the spring daisy cocteau tote since it's lightweight, holds everything, and, um, matches the cardi perfectly. And peep toe Joley flats. I'm telling myself that it's not boring, but tonal with textural variation. Don't shatter my illusion, please.

Polyvore from today:

Wearing Today - 8/23/09
Wearing Today - 8/23/09 by HeidiGblog featuring J Crew

What did I get? Polyvore below. In spite of the fact that I was sharing a dressing room with the colorful dinagideon and Summerilla (so they could yell at me when I was trying on too-big sizes), I actually went all neutral - everything ended up being cream and gray.

Tysons JC Purchases-8/23/09
Tysons JC Purchases-8/23/09 by HeidiGblog featuring J Crew

Unfortunately, I only came home with 1 bottom piece even though I feel like that's what I really need. Of course, tops are just so much more exciting. A few quick notes, as I will be posting IRL pics later this week as I wear things. And that's another thing - I tried on some great pieces for later in the fall but well, you can only buy so much at one time, and I have found that if I buy pieces too early, I just don't end up wearing them. Check out Ema's post on her Rules for Fall Shopping - very true, all of them.

So to the notes - The ocelot cardigan is so fab IRL - great weight - not too heavy and not too thin. I know other JCAs love some of the thin cardis, but I like mine to have a teeny bit of thickness, otherwise I'll just wear a shirt. The Sherpa hoodie is so delightfully cozy - but I did size up on this one. The floral embellished tee is so pretty on - better than on the table display, I think. The linen vneck sweater is a great piece for now and into early fall. Loved the Frances cami in the dark slate. And the Minnie pants are perfect.

What did I love but decided not to get? Polyvore of the to-purchase list:

Today's Non-Purchase Wish List
Today's Non-Purchase Wish List by HeidiGblog featuring J Crew

The Nottingham boots are to die for - the leather is so soft, you could cuddle with them - and I thank Pilar for bringing them to me, since I doubt I would have picked them up on my own. And they were way comfy, too. The Winnie jacket is just fab - and size down on this one, the size 8 gave me plenty of room in the shoulders, even with a sweater (see Ema's Fall Shopping Rules for the note on buying fall/winter jackets). I would have gotten the cadet funnelneck if they had it in the gray, but they only had cream in store. The pencil skirt is fab, but it would be a few months before I would wear it. Loved the necklace and the ring, but felt like I was getting enough - and if they aren't around later, they weren't meant to be.

All in all, a lovely day. Thanks to the wonderful 3-PP & AnneG for organizing and to my wonderful hubby for not minding that I ditched the family most of the day for some fun girl time!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

As Seen On TV...Outfit Inspired by the Disney Channel

So when you are a 37-year-old mom, it's always fun to be watching TV with your 2 cute kiddies...Disney Channel...Jonas, and go "I have that shirt!" Yep, sure enough, on the "Love Sick" episode on Jonas, Stella Malone (played by Chelsea Staub) has on the J Crew Bon Voyage tee.

(photo credit to - thank you, I felt the need to prove it)

Gotta say - not loving the cardi with it so much. But love love love Stella on the show. Not that I watch it *that* often. Oh wait, who am I kidding? I have a 7 y.o. daughter and 9 y.o. son - Disney and Nick are on all the time. I mean, not all the time, but when it is on, it is often on those 2 channels. I still can't stand Fairly Oddparents and try to prevent that one whenever possible - gotta pick your battles.

So here I am wearing Stella's shirt. Not sure if this gives me any street cred with the early elementary crowd, but a mom's got to do what she can. Now if I went out and bought the tee *after* seeing the show - that would be lame.

Honestly, though, seeing it last night (JoBro marathon, how lucky am I?) reminded me that I hadn't worn it in a while - well you know, it's been hot, sundresses have been the rule of the day. So I decided to pull it out of the tshirt pile and give it a go today.

With a pair of rolled up khakis, Danielle sandals, and the Dina hoops. This is the last weekend before the weekend before school starts. So the kids got to stay up late, we're chilling out...and DC JCA Tysons shopping event tomorrow - so looking forward to it - I haven't been in a B&M since July and I can't wait to see all the fab JCAs.

Still have to figure out what to wear, but it's pretty much going to involve cafe capris, bf tissue tee or rose tee, and cardi (Jackie or otherwise). Not too much jewelry, nothing too fancy because tomorrow is about serious shopping - and some major trying on, so it has to be easy in & out - but also have the basics to see how everything works with the capris, with the bf tissue tee, etc. Wish me luck!

Polyvore from today:

Wearing Today-8/22/09
Wearing Today-8/22/09 by HeidiGblog featuring J Crew

The Nail Files - You're "Aragon"-na Love It

Here's the picture of what I was wearing on Friday. Quiz - What is green in the outfit?







Give up? My toenails. Ok, it's not that green of a is rather dark, and quite frankly, this was the best I could do to get the color.

OPI Here Today, Aragon Tomorrow, from the Fall 2009 Coleccion de Espana. ("Discover this dark emerald before it says adios") I love this color. Fun, fun, fun fall color. I actually put Tickle My France-y back on my fingers as I just wasn't sure I was ready for dark tips, but as soon as I did my pedi, I sighed and thought "wow, this would kick a== on the fingers". Eh, maybe next time.

Interestingly enough, I have been seeing green polish everywhere. Allure actually cited this specific shade as their Color of the Moment in the September Issue. I also saw green polishes in People StyleWatch and Marie Claire (and haven't even made it through all the September mags yet). See Suzi's Beauty Blog for her comments on it. (That's Suzi Weingarten, the creator of OPI, in her Aug 13 entry "Green is the New Black".) This particular one, as dark as it is, would be a good "starter" green since it skews closer to black, so it's not as much of an in your face green.

Coverage was pretty good. And you know I love the OPI formula + brush. I will admit that I actually didn't remove my prior pedi because I was way lazy, so I just slapped on 2 coats of Aragon and a top coat. I wonder if the color would read as a little more green on a bare nail. I'm sure I'll figure that one out soon, because I will be wearing it a LOT this fall and winter. And Christmas? Oh yeah, right in the holiday spirit with the green nails. If my mom is reading this, she is probably rolling her eyes - I did get her to do a pedi with the Essie Looking for Love pale lavender, but that's as far as she'll go into wacky territory - she is *not* a fan of the dark colors. Speaking of holidays, know of anyone going as the Swamp Creature for Halloween, the first coat of Aragon would be perfect - it's a great streaky swampy green with just 1 coat.

Back to the outfit - yep, it's the posture dress from ATL. Always stand up straight! (We should do that anyway.) Plus black sandals, stud earrings, and this cute little bracelet that I made a few years ago on a Moms Night Out. My first and probably last foray into jewelry making, but I love the colors of it, it's got a fun little cha-cha thing going I can clip it to Polyvore. The only downside is that, given my very amateur beading skills at the time (and, um, now), the twists on the pin-things is not the greatest and it occasionally catches on things - so, much like the good old twisted crystal necklace, it's best not to wear it with a sweater.

Polyvore from Friday:

Wearing 8/21/09
Wearing 8/21/09 by HeidiGblog featuring J Crew

And speaking of Polyvore, somehow I lucked into being featured on the Polyvore blog again, just below "How to Pack for a Winter Mediterranean Cruise" - I wish - but useful info, check that one out, too. Thanks, Polyvore!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Heidi's Beauty Bag - Best. Eyeliner. Ever.

I finally found my HG (that's Holy Grail, as well as my initials) of eyeliners. I have always been a fan of Bobbi Brown's gel eyeliner. I have used Black Plum (so pretty) and more recently tried Caviar Ink (very nice dark brown). And I love her eye shadows. One of my favorites is the Forest Metallic Eye Shadow. So when I was at the BB counter back in July and the SA mentioned that the gel eyeliner would be coming out in Forest Shimmer in August, I practically swooned. And since the kiddies are home and I haven't really been shopping, my fab friend Sherry picked up a pot for me (same trip where she got the fabbie Dior polish for me - a true friend she is).

What does the color look like? Well, I'll let the marketing geniuses at the BB website tell you:

A fresh, new spin on Fall’s strong eye: Forest Shimmer Ink Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner. For a look that’s equally of-the-moment and an Ivy League classic, Bobbi’s blended deepest green with golden pearls to create a liner that really makes eyes pop.

What else can I say? Perfection. Gorgeous. Love love love. I actually think the color is more like a khaki-ish, olive-ish color than just a straight green. But it's sooooo preeeeeeetttttttttttyyyyyyy.

And the formula - this eyeliner wears like iron. Fab friend Sherry actually has freakishly oily eyelids and therefore is my absolute true tester for any eye shadow and eye liner - and this stuff stays put in a miraculous way (fyi, the Chanel waterproof pencil failed her test). I find that it takes a teeny bit of practice, but not much...and I'm so not patient about getting ready in the morning, so anything difficult gets tossed out the window.

I use both their ultra fine eyeliner brush and a lip brush for application, depending on the effect I want. Yes, I said a lip brush. The eyeliner brush deposits more gel for a deeper color and you can vary the line from very fine to a little thicker. I use the lip brush when I want a smudgier effect - it works quite well. It doesn't deposit quite as much formula and the line is thicker, so it needs a little less precision - and on some mornings, that's a good thing. (I also use a foundation brush for my BB pot rouge, but that's another conversation).

I give it my highest recommendation possible. Just don't ask me to choose between this and the Dior polish.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wearing Today and Lucy Update

Here's today's outfit. The halter is an ATL top from last summer. The pants are the linen-cotton seaside pants to which I added the darts yesterday. They worked quite well today, so I can't wait to try the harbour oxford capris again (since I added the darts *after* wearing them yesterday). Finished off with gold hoops and brown sandals.

Love this top (it was my 4th of July top last year and it's another bra-not-necessarily-required, so perfect for hot weather, although I am well aware that it would look better with a little, ahem, support) but the knot at the back of the neck makes my neck ache after a I just retied the straps in a bow at the front of the top and wore it strapless. Of course, I didn't do this until after the morning errands...which was an outing to Petco with the kiddies...and Lucy. Miss 4-cups-a-day needed more kibble. And the cleaning ladies were here, so Lucy came along. And um yeah, 41-pound puppy who loves everybody and everything...the top definitely needed some reinforcement...strapless came later.

Cutie-pie Lucy pic...

Awww, how adorable... Up close it is...Until you see the collateral damage. Ever seen irises growing sideways?

No Lucy, it's a FLOWER bed, not a DOG bed. To offset that visual, here's another pic. (She's ready for her closeup.)

Polyvore for Today:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Harbour Oxford Capris, Some Sewing To Do, and the Ponytail Trick

Let's get right to my outfit for today so I can get on to the other parts. Harbour Oxford Capris (love these - so summery!!), white bf tissue tee, and Danielle sandals. Fireball necklace and rope rose-gold bracelet. I felt very pastel today.

E had a follow up doctors appointment for some warts on her hand, poor thing. But that gave us an excuse to stay home from the pool today, so I got my laundry room cleaned out and organized. Oh, I've been dying to tackle this project and it looks so nice now. All the nicely, neatly organized shelves... Lots of stuff cleaned out. Hubby needs to go through the baseball hats and golf towels, and then we are 100% done. Yay!

That left me a bit of time for some sewing work this afternoon. Specifically the harbour oxford capris from today and my linen-cotton seaside pants. Both of them fit when I first put them on, but after about an hour (or less), they start slipping and give me saggy butt. Solution - sew a couple of darts in the back waistband so they stay up. (Seriously, you didn't think I was actually going to wear a belt, did you??) And since I plan to wear them with tees, shirts, sweaters untucked, it's a good interim solution. But what I really need to do is to stop trying on the size 10 pants...unless something is really TTS or not vanity-sized, I think I actually need to size down at this point. (Yes, I hear you cheering, Dina.) Although, in my defense, I did purchase the seaside pants back in April, pre-most of the weight loss. The harbour oxfords...well, they fit when I first put them on.

And here's the ponytail trick... I read this in one of the August or September magazines over the past 2 weeks. (August mags at the beach, September mags at the river the following week. We need to have a magazing talk, but I'm not there yet.) Anyway, I can't remember which magazine had it, but it was the Chris McMillan column - to get the messy/full ponytail look - put in a low ponytail, divide in half, and pull on 1 half with each hand. This will tighten up the middle & side pieces but leave the top pieces fuller. I've been trying this out (and did today as well, not sure if you can even tell), and it does work pretty well. I've used it to move the ponytail a little higher up to get a bit more fullness at the top. Have at it and have fun!

Polyvore for today:

Monday, August 17, 2009

It's a Gray Day for Me...but that's not necessarily bad

I'm back. And this time I think I really mean it. After being at an off-site for work all day Tuesday, I postponed my trip to the river and didn't go until Thursday because I was just totally wiped out. And I had every intention of keeping up with blogging, Polyvore-ing, reading blogs, etc...until I got there and realized that I left my connection cord at home that hooks the BlackBerry to my laptop so I can get to the Internet. Doh! So I had to download my work desktop application onto my parents' laptop so that I could actually get some work done. So no blogging fun at the river. And I just pretty much stayed off the computer for the entire rest of the weekend. Actually it was nice to take yet another break, as unintentional as it was. Thanks for bearing with me over this crazy summer and not just dumping me. I appreciate it, I really do. :)

So, yep, it's a gray day here. Weather? Nope, actually weather-wise, it's sunny, hot & humid. So a perfect day to pull out the doesn't-really-require-a-bra trusty dress jersey strapless dress. I think I wore this last Monday....but the accessories are a bit different. Actually looking at the pic, I probably won't choose the gray bracelet next time (too matchy-matchy?), but it's easy to pop on and off, and I wore the garden pearl bracelet last Monday with the dress. And I actually have the ATL cardi on in the pic, just to change it up a bit, and because I wore it this way to Target. I will say that this dress was definitely worth the FP less 25% Mickey card price to me because I have worn it that much. I've actually worn this one more than the navy one, I think.

And it's not a gray, sad day because my former across-the-street BFF neighbor is visiting today and I'm very excited to see her and her 4 cute kiddies. And another neighbor who had the gall to move across the river (you don't do that in the DC metro area, folks) is coming over, too. Afternoon pool time and Pizza Party in the evening. Yay!!

So why is it a gray day? It's all about the toes....

I pulled out the bottle of Essie Chinchilly on Saturday (which, interestingly enough, isn't even on Essie's website yet, even though I got my bottle 2 weeks ago - and because I am so A-R, that really bothers me). I know 95% of you will probably think it's awful and that's ok. The other 5%, enjoy! :) I like the color. I was actually pleased with the application, and you know I am iffy on a lot of Essie's polish applications - streaky, etc.

I think it's a fun color for fall, as long as it doesn't make you look like a cadaver (let your skin tone decide). It would be great on fingers paired with a dark pedi. In fact, I will probably wear this more on my fingers than my toes this season. A lot of polish companies have a gray in their fall line and it continues to be a hot color. And gray eye makeup has been featured in a lot of magazines for the fall. So instead of matching you nails to your lips, match them to your eyes!

I like fun and funky nail colors because I think they spice up my usual neutral, classic clothes. To me, this reminds me of my gray patent flats and the gray beaded bracelet...that I'm wearing today (not to match the gray dress, but to match the toes - I am a sad, sorry case). It's not as crazy as a bright blue or green or yellow, but still with some edge. Or that's my thought. If it's not your thing, no worries. Wait till I post on the new OPI Here Today Aragon Tomorrow, with its perfect eyeliner complement (let me tell you, I am in love with my new eyeliner). I will probably tire of the gray in a couple of days since I am dying to try this new OPI shade. And will post on it asap, of course.

Polyvore for today:

Wearing Today-8/17/09
Wearing Today-8/17/09 by HeidiGblog featuring J Crew

Signing off now. I promise to catch up on blog reading, even if I'm not commenting as much as usual. I have really missed seeing what everyone is up well as the fun JC fall purchases, natch. Which reminds me, I still haven't put together my fall wishlist...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Beach Recap

Leave it to me to post my best beach tips in the middle of August when most people have actually gone to the beach already, but well, I guess I’ll go back to this post next year to remind myself. Here are my best bits of wisdom accumulated over last week’s beach vacation:

Backpack chair – (Ours are by Rio.) Greatest invention ever, totally worth the money. Kids can carry their own. I was actually smart enough to have the kiddies (age 7 & 9) test this before we cut the tags. These are brilliant. You have the backpack straps, so your hands are free (for the sand toy bag, the cooler, etc.). The seat back has a huge pouch, so you can stow your towel, sunscreen, book/magazine, even a few toys in there. And, equally important, the cup holder is attached to the arm of the chair to keep your water, soda, or other beverage of choice out of the sand (yeah, these were great for happy hour on the beach). And…as we discovered this week, you can strap a boogie board in the outside of the pouch sideways, so the kiddies have 1 less thing to carry. They did look like a herd of turtles walking down to the beach, though. So sorry I didn’t get a picture of this because it was pretty comical to walk behind them at watch.

Test out your sunscreen in advance – Spray sunscreen is my 2nd favorite invention for the beach/pool/whatever. But I have to share what happened this year. I have used Coppertone Sport before with no problem whatsoever. And I love my usual Neutrogena spray sunscreen, especially the Cool Mist. But I was tempted by the “25% More Free” on the bottles of Coppertone Sport spray at Target, since we were going to the beach for an entire week and I needed it several cans for 3 of us and I was thinking the Sport formula would be great for staying on the kids. (Hubby is strictly a rub-on sunscreen dude, not a spray fan at all.) No brainer, huh? Yeah, not so much… By the end of the week, my skin had reacted to the Coppertone Sport spray and I had little tiny itchy red bumps on my arms and legs. So not fun. Kids were totally fine with the spray, though, so they will continue using. And I’m back to my Neutrogena.

Drink lots of water – Duh. Plus this helps flush your system from all the junk you’re eating. C’mon, I know you do, what’s the beach without a carton of Whoppers in the fridge and a baggie of frozen Snickers in the cooler? Ok, maybe that’s just my version of the beach.

Sunglasses – (again, duh)

Get a big, floppy hat – ok, you’ve all (or mostly) heard my diatribe on sunscreen. And equally important is a hat at the beach. Outside of the skin benefits, it is amazing how much a hat does – in combination with the sunglasses – to reduce glare and therefore reduce the eye strain & headaches. I used to always get a headache after a day at the beach or pool and I almost never get them now. Yes, I do need to get that J Crew headache tee as I am so prone to them. (plus if you do anything color-wise with your hair, this will help save your color, too)

Pedi pointers – Nothing like a beach vacation for showing off your cutely polished toes. But I do have a few tips:

1 – Sand is a great exfoliator, so get out there and walk, walk, walk. Plus a walk on the beach combined with the water you are drinking (see tip above) will offset the Whoppers and Snickers, or at least that’s what I was telling myself.

2 – Colors can fade in the sunlight, particularly bright cool magenta/pink colors. I’ve seen this happen across several polish brands, including Chanel (Organdy) and OPI (Strawberry Margarita). Funny story about Strawberry Margarita – a couple of summers ago we popped down to Richmond to visit my sister for a couple of days and I was admiring the lovely pale Barbie-pink polish on her toes and inquired about the shade. It was SM, just faded from a week or two at the pool! Essie makes a UV top coat, but I have never tried it, so I can’t vouch for it one way or the other.

3 – Some sunscreens can have a weird effect with some polishes and top coats. I don’t really want to know why because I assume it is some weird chemical reaction that would totally freak me out. Just know that it can happen. You may want to bring top coat with you. Me, I don’t mind if I have to change polish mid-week since I love changing up the colors, but I realize that not everyone wants to deal with that on vacation.

And finally….Carry Corona under the case, not by the handles. Remember when I mentioned that I dropped a 12-pack in the driveway and then had to dig a piece of glass out of hubby’s foot a few days later? I didn’t get it all. There was another piece that he got out Friday afternoon. Sigh…. My sister-in-law, with whom I had gone to the grocery, mentioned “you know, I’ve seen signs before with Corona saying to carry it underneath, but I never understood why.” (I still like my sister-in-law though, since she’s the one who introduced us to the backpack chairs.) Guess Harris Teeter didn’t have their signs up. And we didn’t sweep the driveway well enough.

And leaving you with a pic to explain why maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing that Lucy had to stay home and not come to the beach with us (from the kiddies sandbox, one of her fave chilling out spots in the backyard):