Thursday, January 28, 2010

Spring is Sprung....the J Crew Nico Skirt

Spring is sprung
The sun is riz
I wonder where
The birdies is.

And that concludes my very poor attempt at poetry. ('s a fave of my dad's.) And today the new arrivals are online at J Crew, and I'm headed in to my B&M to check them out...assuming I get my work done this morning. Speaking of online at J Crew...did you see that the 30% off sale was extended through Sunday. I've been so strong so far....

But first, I wanted to share one of the pieces from the earlier release that I really haven't seen in bloggy-land. (and if someone has posted it, please let me know and I'll update here)

Presenting - the Nico skirt (#22994, $59.50) in faded black, vintage gray, and sandalwood. Also now available in the black blossom print. I do think this is a really cute skirt. just did not work on me.

This is the size 8. The problem on me is the length. This skirt is 18" and that's way too short on me, at 5'10" with my long femur. As you can see on well as the models.

Speaking of proportions...I will refer you all back to JCAUNCMom's excellent post on skirt length. Are you a short shinner or long shinner? I'm a short shinner and that's why this doesn't work. JCAUNCMom also had great posts on short vs. long waisted and the skinny bits trick. Definitely worth a read, whether you've never seen them before or you have - good time to refresh the memory.

Back to the skirt...Ok, 18" isn't as short as some of the minis, spite of JC's assurance that you can wear this low on the waist, unless you have about 5% body fat or size way way up (ok, I did do the way size up trick when I got the wool shirred skirt, but that sucker was on sale for $35, not FP) that's not going to work. Why? Because the waistband is one giant piece of elastic. I cringe at how awful this looked when I tried to tug it down a couple of inches. It created muffin tops and bulges I didn't even know I had. Not a fun experience.

Also, this skirt really works best if you're a tucker-inner. And I don't tuck anything in (see info on short vs. long waister above - I loved these posts because they validated the way I've always dressed - hemlines above the knee and sweater/shirts always untucked - now I just have the technical info to back it up). As you can see in my dressing room pic, it's cute with a top tucked in, even if that top was just the cami I was wearing under my sweater. (btw, it looks shorter on me IRL, more like the online pics. I think the angle of the camera made it look a bit more substantial than it actually was.)

So why am I recommending this skirt? Because it's really cute. I love the shape - just a bit of fullness, but not too much. What fun summer skirt, with a tee and sandals or sneakers. And with a bit of pressing, it can be dressed up easily. So I am really bummed that it didn't work on me. But I don't want you to miss out. Unless you are tall & short-shinned like me, chances are that it will look great on you. I would grab it in a heartbeat if it had 2 more inches of fabric on it (or 15 years younger) and just wear my tops untucked anyway. But my loss is your gain...more of the skirts out there. Enjoy!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Out of the Shadow with Black and Blue

Ok, I get it...much like wearing white after Labor Day, the navy and black combo is no longer the fashion taboo it once was. Done right, it's actually very, very chic. But it's not a combo that I find easy to pull off, unless the black & navy are combined in a single garment. But I think jeans make it work pretty well. And so does the J Crew color "shadow". You know I am a huge fan of navy blue. And I love J Crew's dark grays. Shadow falls kinda right in the middle. It's a navy, but a grayed actually reminds me exactly of the OPI shade from this fall, Suzi Skis in the Pyrennees - dead-on match. Someone asked the every-stylish & wise A Bigger Closet about it on a recent post which reminded me that I hadn't posted this outfit yet. (like so many others...)

A couple weeks ago, I met dinagideon for lunch and a little Crew time. New DC JCA Rachel joined us - and it was lots of fun. Her kiddies are adorable and she was so great. We look forward to seeing her at DC JCA outings to come. And I enjoyed being the only one without kids.

Um yes, I did just say that...hey, I shopped with my 2 darling angels for quite a number of years until I unloaded, I mean sent, them to school. don't shoot me. My kid-shopping triumph will always be the time I went bathing suit shopping with both of them and actually came home with a suit - and it was quite fab if I do recall. Ask my mother about the time she took M shopping and warmed up the bottle under the hand dryer at LL Bean. Which, incidentally, is a great place to feed a baby because they have those really comfy rocking and Adirondack chairs. And I look forward to E being able to shop with me on a regular basis soon - she's almost there...

Actually, when I do these outings during the school day, I end up being like the grandma since I get to do fill-in kid-less adult tasks. Or I'm the really cool aunt. I think I like the aunt title better.

So back to the whole black & blue thing. I wanted to (a) wear the Winnie since dinagideon was, of course, the kind soul who found it for me at the clearance center and (b) show off the new BR chain necklace since she is such a fan of BR jewelry herself. For a chic background, I went with my Chicos ultra slim leg jeans and the JC shadow perfect fit long sleeve tee (size L, which I always take in the perfect fit since I don't like them toooo tight, picked up for $10 at post-Xmas sale) for the blue and a black cami and boots for the black. and blue altogether. I think the shadow really knits it together. And it was great for showing off the necklaces (BR mixed chain with JC antique finish constellation locket) as well as the Winnie jacket.

Really, with that you need anything complicated underneath? Or at least that's been my excuse all winter. And then this pic shows off the supercool fun new scarf-trying trick (hacking knot) that I picked up from Cate's blog - Confessions of a Shopoholic Medical Student...she had picked it up from Sweet Tea in Seattle who tried it with a wrap as well as an Hermes scarf (which I had somehow missed even though it was just the day before, but she is one of my fave blogs to read). Bottom line...vlog instructions for scarf tying here - and I love how she showed it with the skinnier scarf, too.

So yes, I wore my Woobie/Blankie that day, too. This BR cashmere wrap is addictive!! And speaking of cuddly's been a while since I posted a Lucy pic (she's 13 months old today), so here you go...this is the "are you seriously bothering me with that camera?" look.

And this is the "oh, am I not supposed to play with this?" look. And *that's* why I get my FUggs at Target. (FUgg - Fake Ugg. Get your mind out of the gutter. Ok, your first reaction may have been accurate, but they are the best bus stop shoes ever.)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Banana Bracelet

Ba-Ba-Banana, Ba-Ba-Banana.... yes, I'm back to singing my favorite Elmo Banana song. This was yet another piece uncovered earlier this month while jewelry bin diving, as I discussed in this post. It's a double strand gold chain bracelet (all gold-toned, the silver-ish look in the pic is from the flash), and the clasp is actually just a loop of the bracelet that hooks over the flower at the end. So pretty. This will be a great layering piece, but also works well on its own. And it's pretty neutral in that it will mix with many pieces. was $15.99. Oh how I love you, Banana jewelry!

So that will be the thread that ties together this outfit post since I wore it for the first time on Thursday and then again today. And of course, it's so on sale, it is nowhere to be found online, so I used yet another sub for PV.

Thursday...pulled out the dream taffeta sash cardigan, size L - i'd probably get an M today, don't shoot me, dina. (or at least that's what PV calls it - this was just before I joined the cult and became a JCA, so I wasn't so up on the names). I really need to wear this sweater more often, it's just so darn cute with the ruffled neck and the ribbon. And it is warm too. Like the canvas atelier jacket last spring, it has that mod swingy shape I love. So perfect with jeans and a tshirt. That would be Chicos slim leg jeans (size 0.5)and a JC open crewneck painter tee (size L)

And then of course, the cute new BR bracelet - and my grandmother's pearl/crystal necklace that I swiped from the junk jewelry passed to E and the JC twisted crystal necklace. And then the Me Too cap toe ballet flats. I'm not sure they really worked IRL with the cardi but they work in the picture, so let's just pretend that they were that good in person.

Polyvore from Thursday:

And then today...started with the gray Minnies, put on a white short sleeve perfect tee, changed cami underneath and got lipstick on tshirt, switched to long sleeve gray striped Flora tee, decided that original choice of light gray Jackie-esque cardi from BR wouldn't work with all the gray so switched to black cashmere Jackie. (did you get that?) Gray Minnies...gray striped cashmere cardi. Ok, we're caught up.

And then, gold hoops, new BR bracelet, and black flats. Oh my black flats are in really, really sorry shape. I need a new pair. They are so sorry-looking, even when I polish them. But shopping for the basics can be the hardest to do. But that's for another post...

I felt very Parisian chic in this outfit. As I commented in my PV set, I felt almost gamine...and when you're 5'10", you don't usually feel gamine, that's for sure. By the way, this looked AWESOME with my yellow Winnie when I ran out to do a couple of errands with M earlier today. And if it had been chillier, I could have just thrown on my black boots. Easy.

But speaking of my Polyvore it is:

By the way, the divine Gigi and others are noting that BR has 40% off sale items in store. A great time for jewelry bin diving, no?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Warming to Dresses in Winter

True confessions...I did spend a lot of this weekend in sweats. 3-day weekend? Oh yeah. Not really Saturday since I had to get up and out the door to pick up E at her cousin's (bday party and sleepover the night before) and get her to basketball not-too-late. She loves it...who knew?

And p.s....those of you like me with older boy and younger girl who don't get to pass much down other than snow's amazing what a little elbow grease and new laces can do to athletic shoes. E voluntarily wore M's soccer cleats this past fall, with new sparkly silver laces. For basketball, she's got his Nike Air's from last winter, outfitted with black/white graphic shoelaces as well as the promise that she can decorate them with stickers this week.

So I did shower and get dressed that day - but I spent a good portion of the weekend working (house-working and real-billable-hours-working), so I felt justified in sweats. Love love love the 3-day weekend!

I did have to get dressed in normal-ish clothes Sunday evening for church since it was my turn to do Vestry welcome. So I got to try out an outfit I had been contemplating ever since I got this dress dress at the Loft last spring (size M)...but didn't have the black turtleneck to do it.

I just love this dress. I always feel chic - whether with bare legs and sandals or tights and heels. It is so stretchy and comfy. And I loved it layered - much like my Christmas Eve outfit with black tights & turtle as a backdrop for one stand out piece.

So...J Crew black merino turtleneck sweater, size M - the important thing here is not to go too large, you really want something fitted, but not tight, otherwise you lose the whole comfort thing. Then silver hoops, black tights, black boots. And a ponytail so the neckline isn't too cluttered. And by the way, not only was this insanely was warm! I will definitely do this again.

Polyvore of Sunday(evening)'s outfit:

I really do love dresses in winter. Well, let's be honest...I love dresses all year long, but summer and winter are easiest. (I always have a hard time with bare legs when it's not quite warm enough.) Yes, you aren't wearing pants, but tights and boots are usually pretty warm to me. And when you've got a sweater dress...that's just about as cozy as you can get. And it helps get me out of the jeans/Winnie rut.

Let me tell you about this dress that I stalked last year at Banana Republic. I think it started out around $98. I kept trying it on in the store realizing that alone, it was just blah and really needed the right piece to bring it together. I wanted it. Stripes...sweater dress...gray and tan...But I just couldn't justify it. I believe I even ordered it twice from BR (free shipping, natch), once at FP (when I kept my black BR sweater dress - yes, I was on a major sweater dress hunt last year) and then again when it was further on sale for about $35 or $40. But again, returned it. Finally, I found it again in store in late January or February, I think, marked down to about $15, so then I snagged it. Patience does occasionally pay off, ladies.

But I still had the styling issue. Just plain, it's a bunch of big old stripes. Not great. What it needs, is a great big old scarf to cross those big old stripes. And that's how they usually had it styled in their print ads. Just a necklace, even some of my chunky pieces weren't enough. When I went to put it on last Tuesday, I realized that the BR cashmere wrap that I got this year was the perfect color to go with the dress...and it had the visual impact the dress needed.

Especially since I've lost weight and the dress is looser than it used to be...definitely need something to cut the horizontal of the stripes. Considering that I was absolutely miserable on Tuesday with that icky "starting to come down with something because of lack of sleep" think, I believe I did pretty well. It perked me up and kept me warm.

Other than the big old scarf and a pocket watch necklace, I just had my dark brown boots and tights. I think brown works with this better than black. If I had lighter boots, I would probably try them. And next time I wear it, I might even have a Polyvore since I'll be clipping the pic above.

How often do you wear dresses in the winter? And how do you make them work for you?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Join the Fun... with Purse Pals

Blog Update - after my personal success of Peace for the Holidays, I am attempting to incorporate that more into my life. Unfortunately, blogging ends up shuffled to the side sometimes. My top priorities continue to be Health (including adequate sleep) and My Family. Work comes in second since it does help pay the bills be honest...I just can't do a crappy job on something because I really hate to let people down. Oh, the guilt. And work has involved some busy hours lately. But I only have so many hours I have on this project and I won't keep up this pace forever... It will slow in time, and I will blog as I can because I do love it and I do miss it. But no more excuses from me...just wanted to let you know that's the new norm here and now I will stop my whining because I am boring myself.

Couple of news-y items to discuss today. It seems like everyone else is catching up with us, fellow JCA & PV fans.

First, Robin Givhan, our Pulitzer Prize-winning (seriously) fashion editor at the Washington Post, penned the Fashion Moments part of the Post's Best and Worst of 2009. 2009 Best Fashion Moment #4?

J. Crew and its creative director, Jenna Lyons, show the world modestly priced fashion that's good enough for an audience with Queen Elizabeth II.

Works for me! Don't think I would go with the Vintage Slim jeans in worn-in wash for that occasion, however. (BTW, yes, that article was from December 20. At least I'm within 30 days.) (Jenna Lyons photo credit - New York Observer)

Although, if you are hiking in Arizona, jeans are probably a good idea. Did you see this? Denim may thwart rattlesnake venom? But again...maybe the worn-in wash isn't the best for that outing either. Go for something without holes. But when you mom/DH/SO starts hassling you about those expensive designer jeans, you can tell them it's just for your health (see note at top of post on health being a priority).

Next, how many of you get Rachel Zoe's daily email newsletter- The Zoe Report? (Love her show!!) Her style and mine don't exactly mesh 100% (duh), but she's always lots of fun to read and it's interesting to get a different perspective. And if I don't have time to read, I can always hit delete. You can sign up for the newsletter on her website.

But here's the fun part - did you know that RZ (or one of her staff) looks at Polyvore? Ok, she might not be a Poly-whore like some of us, but quite a few of her newsletters on different trends refer readers to Polyvore. For example, a 12/30/09 post on "Warrior Princess" - i.e. embellished headbands - the email included this Polyvore link and tag: "See how embellished headbands completed the always fab looks on"

Granted it was just a search on headbands, but hey...someone in Camp Zoe is watching. But um, yeah, I'm pretty sure she's NEVER hit on one of my PVs...ya think? (Rachel Zoe photo credit - - this was the preppiest pic I could find. If you want the prep, you go with Brad.)

And know, you can always find J Crew in unexpected on the shoulder of your daughter's friend's dad when you drop her off for a soccer birthday party. Yep, my new Purse Pal, Mr. snaphappy was sporting his wife's Selby satchel. (She ordered her own after coveting mine and fantasizing about stealing it. *That* sure would have been awkward at the bus stop.) just goes to show never know where you'll find J Crew.

I did have to show Mr. snaphappy how to hold the purse correctly - most men are just not born with the knowledge ingrained, apparently.

(photo credit to the talented and always fun snaphappy who has promised to try to join us at our next DC JCA outing)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Back on the Chain Gang...

I posted a few days ago on my continuing Banana love...I continue to live in my BR cashmere wrap. Threw it on this afternoon while working at my laptop again. But there's a point I missed about BR - they have some really, really fab jewelry. And not only do they have really, really fab jewelry, but their really, really fab jewelry gets marked down on quite a regular basis unlike other (ahem, "hey you") retailers we frequent. (Was it AppGal who came up with the "rhymes with 'hey you'"? Still love that, hehehehe.)

When I returned the striped sweater to BR, I picked up this necklace for $28.99 (plus 2 other things on sale that I'll eventually fess up to). Mixed metal chains...2 matte silvers, 2 matte golds. So not only is it a very cool necklace but it totally works with my J Crew constellation locket that I got in the antique gold - ok, that was an even better bargain at $9.99, but I am *loving* this combo! I love the locket, but wanted something to amp it up a bit. And this necklace is perfect - and it will be great on its own as well. I like the slightly tougher-chic vibe about it.

I wore it today with {yawn} sweater and jeans tucked into boots.

Ok, details...J Crew merino turtleneck in black (size M). Did I even question if I really needed this when I got it? Talk about a gaping wardrobe hole...been wearing it tons, and always feel great in it. And I even had gotten it on sale...bonus.

And then the Chicos Ultra Slim Leg jeans tucked into my black boots. Isn't that what we're all wearing around here? When I was at the mall on Tuesday, all I saw were slim jeans tucked into boots. I guess weather does that. We did have 2 inches of snow last night, enough to give us a 2-hour school delay. So I got to sleep in a wee bit.

And of course, topped off with the yellow Winnie, black bucket hat, and black leather gloves when I went out for a meeting at school and to grocery shop as you'll see in the Polyvore below. (True confessions - I did put on a down parka for bus stop pick up, but our bus stop is actually a bit away from the house and do you know how cold it is? Way too cold for a wimp like me.)

Of course, the down side of sale bin diving for jewelry is that, Polyvore, being the evil mistress that she is, only shows items that are currently for sale on the store website, and once things get marked down they often disappear form the website, so you usually have to find dupes for PV...unless you want to go ahead and clip the entire jewelry section, but I've been trying to clean out my PV closet, not clog it up. Need to get to the real closet sometime... So here is today's Polyvore, with necklace dupes...but still works pretty well, I think.

1/8/10 by HeidiGblog featuring J Crew

And say hello to my little (winter) friend...

Yep, the humidifier. Longer-time readers may remember my post from last March on Getting, um, Misty in the Bedroom. But for those of you who are new, let me just share this:

1 - very good if you have a cold (please make sure you clean it religiously, however)
2 - totally helps you breathe easier
3 - white noise helps you sleep better

.....and the absolute best, but clearly most shallow reason to use it....

4 - your skin will look AMAZING. Seriously. I am always amazed at the glow I get after using it for a day or two. Maybe it's just that I'm sleeping better. Maybe it's that I am getting enough sleep. Maybe it's just the increased humidity in the air. Maybe it's some crazy combo of both...I don't really care...I just love that it works!

Award Season is Upon Us...

Ok, so the People's Choice Awards were in December. Golden Globes are next Sunday (Go Glee!! and no school on Monday, yay!!) So it seemed to be a good time to do some bloggie awards. Oh, I have (as in other areas) been so slack here...

Thank you to the always lovely dinagideon for the Beautiful Blogger Award.

Thank you to the amazing Summerilla for the Happy 101 Award. (A full month hasn't passed, so I'm not totally behind)

And finally, thank you to the fabulous *and* generous drewablank for both!

For this award, I have to list ten things that make me happy:

1 - hugs from my kiddies
2 - when my husband makes me laugh
3 - when Lucy curls up under my desk while I'm sitting there, like she is as I write this (I put a small fuzzy blanket under there just for her)
4 - the smell of fresh mulch because it means someone is gardening
5 - a cozy blanket
6 - the feeling of the warm sun on myback
7 - finishing a puzzle - jigsaw, crossword, sudoku
8 - a really cold beer on a hot day
9 - a mug of hot tea on a cold day
10 - a really great deal on something I'd been coveting...usually from J Crew

And for this award, I need to divulge 7 things that you all might find interesting to find out about me.

1 - My favorite color is ivory/cream/tan. Except when it comes to walls - I can't stand unpainted walls. Instead of waiting a year after we moved into our current house, I had all the walls painted within that year.

2 - I may be tall but I'm so *not* athletic. I do love to walk. And I'll even run - but only with Lucy. I never thought I would be a runner, but for my dog, I'll do it. She distracts me. Then again, that's why I always loved Step Class back in the day.

3 - I love dogs and cannot watch any movie where bad things happen to them. This started at an early age. Apparently I was absolutely despondent after watching Snoopy Come Home. My mom still talks about it. I will never ever see the movie Eight Below. (sled dogs, Antarctica...) because I was in tears just watching the trailer at the movie theatre. I cried at Dances with Wolves when they shot Two Socks because by then he was a dog to me. When Helen Hunt's aunt was in the collapsed house in Twister, I was on the edge of my make sure that beautiful golden retriever was ok.

4 - I call my parents by their first names. Always have. My twin sister does too. Apparently, it was because my parents told the kids in the neighborhood to call them by their first names so we picked it up, too. I don't ever remember not calling them by their first names.

5 - I cannot stand being cold. And I run cold. So I always love to throw on the layers, add the sweater, add a scarf, whatever. I even keep a blanket at my small living room desk so I can put it on my lap if need be. I religiously carry a sweater everywhere in the summer because I know I will be cold inside anywhere I go. (JC Jackie...I love you!)

6 - I have developed quite an interest in WWII, specifically the European theatre. It probably started with Band of Brothers. The first time I saw it (the Bastogne episode), I found it difficult to watch. Then I realized that as hard as it was to watch, it was so far beyond my comprehension worse to actually experience it, that I should make myself watch it and maybe learn something. Any time it's on TV, I watch. The current book I'm reading is "My Father's Son" by Farley Mowat (of Never Cry Wolf fame). The previous book I read was its predecessor, "And No Birds Sang." Both books about his WWII experiences, as a Canadian infantryman. The books are definitely entertaining. As Amazon said, "he describes the agony and the antic humor of the soldier's existence..." And then last night, after hubby went to bed, I stayed up to finish watching Patton. Clearly a pattern emerges here. No idea why...maybe because my dad is such a WWII buff.

7 - I am a very tactile person. Comfort is paramount, with the possible exception of special occasion dressing, and then I aim for as much comfort as possible. There are so many clothes that are comfy that look good, why should we walk around in clothes that don't feel good? Because of this, I did end up returning that ATL sequin shell. I actually brought it with me to wear NYE with my gray BR Michelle-twin and jeans, but I put it on and took it off about 3 times. Those sequins are attached *really* well. And all those threads just irritated me. In spite of the great price and how gorgeous it was, it wasn't worth it to keep. When I keep fidgeting after I put on something, I know it's not the piece for me.

So that's my 411. And for the 7 bloggers I nominate.... I always cringe when I do these because I really do want to list everyone, but you all can see who I read by my sidebar. And shucks, can't do the 3 above, although you all know you are tops in my heart! I don't think you 7 here have posted - so hopefully I'm early enough to catch you.

The Rest of the DC JCA Posse:

Slastena of About All or Nothing at All - I know you don't usually do these, but can't leave you out, honey. If you all think she has such a glow in her online pics, you should see her IRL - she is positively radiant.

3-Penny Princess - Such an amazing amount of chic in such a petite package. She just oozes it.

Cloggsy of English Tea - Who literally has the most amazing head of hair - just gorgeous. And I always love seeing pics of my hometown, Richmond.

Suzy of BichonLuvr's Closet - Because she has a Lucy, too. One of these days you'll make it up here for an outing but I'm so glad we got to meet for lunch & shopping that time you came up to MD. I swear the other DC JCAs are much nicer than I am!

Two of the Most Fabbie Canadians who always make me laugh, smile, giggle, or at least titter:

Lady Buttons of Lady (Buttons) Sings the Blues - Because any lady singing the blues needs a pooch named Della.

Post-Fab Princess of Pudding and the Post-Fab Princess - As a math major, I wish they had taught a class in J Crew math...but then I never would have left school because it would be too much fun.

And finally, from quite a few time zones due east:

Jemma Ruby from Diary of a Wonder Woman - I know you already did yours, but had to include you because I was so lame about responding to the last award you gave me. And your Open-Toed Shoe Pledge will live in infamy. Please re-publish this a public service. Someone in the magazine trade should adopt this.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thanks for the Mammogram, Ma'am

I still need to catch up on blog reading in a BIG way, and have several posts to do, but thought this was important enough to trump both of those. On Tuesday, I had my first mammogram.

Yay. I know...funny word. It usually conjures up funny cartoons of metal vices and all that. But let's get real, ladies. It's important. A lot of my friends (via request from their doctors) are starting to get an initial baseline mammogram before they turn 40.

I realize there was all the hoohah and what not about the "study" (I use the term loosely) that came out this past fall from the U.S. Preventative Studies Task Force (don't get me started on that name) that women don't need mammograms until age 50. Now, speaking as a math major and former actuary, I can relate an old saying...there are 3 kinds of lies: Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics. (I love math humor, don't you? It's just so ridiculously dorky.)

Conveniently enough, a new study from the Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) and the American College of Radiology (ACR) came out (oh, you mean the people who do this for a living?) - the day before I was scheduled - affirming that the original guidelines were correct, that the screenings do save lives, and that the previous November study was flawed. You can read all about the newest/original guidelines here.

Gigi had a fantastic post back in mid-December on health, especially on women's health. I assume most (all) of you read her blog religiously - but if you don't, you should read this. Now, I'm not a doctor and I don't pretend to be in spite of years of viewing ER and Grey's Anatomy. But I do trust my doctor. And if she recommends it, I'm going to do it. As Gigi discussed in her post and the resulting enlightening comment thread, and as I'll say here today - you need to take care of yourself. You need to be your own advocate. If you don't do it, who will? Don't let fear stand in your way, whatever your issue or issues may be. Sure some of these tests aren't as fun as a Saturday afternoon picnic, but they're ALL better than the alternative.

So you want the nitty gritty on the mammogram? Really, not that bad. (I understand the curvier ladies may disagree, but you all actually fill out your bathing suit tops, so we're even.) I will say that going to a Radiology center that uses digital imaging made for a less unpleasant experience. The tech (so nice, so kind, lots of explanation, very gentle) told me that with digital, you have 10 lbs less of pressure. I didn't ask how many pounds of pressure it actually was. The other advantage to digital is that they were able to read the images right there and give me my (all ok) results, so I didn't have to come back. Those of you in the DC area, I highly recommend Shady Grove Radiology in Germantown.

Honestly, I think getting dental Xrays is worse - ugh, those little rounded but sharp cardboard corners digging into my gums? I always have to ask for the numbing gel. Not that this is an excuse for neglecting your dental health. Links between gingivitis and heart disease...and all that.

What did I wear? Well, you keep your bottoms on, so it was boots for warmth and boyfriend jeans for comfort. Like I said, it wasn't *that* bad, but still...comfy bottoms help. And then a nice cozy cashmere turtleneck on top - yes, it feels just like a hug. This is the divine dark charcoal or dark slate? J Crew cashmere turtleneck (#99166, orig $158, got on promo for $99, online $119.99, some on FS+20% off in store for $99.99) that I got with some birthday money from my parents. Love love love this. I've probably worn it about 4 or 5 times in the last month (yes, I know, I've been bad on posting and on pics, but getting better now that the holiday are fini). I do love this charcoal/slate color that J Crew has.

Sizewise, I got an M. When I was at my B&M on Tuesday ( yes, errands after mammogram - lots to post on that soon), I tried a light gray on in store - I don't think it was the light heather gray that appears online - it seemed a good bit lighter than that, but I didn't look at the tag. Anyway, I felt the much lighter M in the cashmere turtleneck looked, er, lumpy on me...even with a cami. So, at $99.99, plus 20% off but FS, I left that one there. However, the dark gray is just fab. One of my fave JC colors. And I am so happy I got it. I know I should have done more accessory-wise that day, but didn't feel like it with the mammogram. Plus, with a yellow Winnie on top, who needs more? (I will note that it's a great backdrop for just about any necklace.) sum up...take care of you. Lecture over.

And Polyvore from Tuesday...
01/05/10 by HeidiGblog featuring J Crew

Monday, January 4, 2010

On the Banana Train...Banana Boat...Banana Fan...

Happy New Year to all! I admit I enjoyed a nice long break, pretty much everything. Very little blog reading or Polyvoring, no blog writing, lots of away time from the electronic devices over the was a good thing.

So...remember that fab Banana Republic tee I got WAY back in mid-November (the cute white tee with the screen printed necklaces)? Of course you do. Yeah right, whatever, you have better things to do, I know. Well, apparently it made its way into Lucky magazine for January. Yes, I just went through my January magazines - I was saving them for the out of town trip to see in the in-laws. I love to have lots of reading material on trips. And maybe I'm a bit behind since they've been out a while...but seriously? My BR trompe l'oeil beaded tee from EARLY November? In a January magazine?

Ok, it's a bit fun to go "oh, so you like it, too, huh?" But wow, pity the fool who falls in love with the magazine pic only to go looking for said item in store in vain. Not that everyone needs my shirt, or that I want everyone to have the same shirt as me, but haven't you had that happen where you fall in love with something in a magazine only to be utterly unable to locate it? Not that I can argue with the cuteness of the tee (for me at least). I guess if you were reading the magazine when it came out about mid-December, you might have a shot of still finding it in the store, but I don't know...

And continuing on the Banana train...I have utterly fallen in love with a 12/26 purchase. Yes, I went to J Crew the day after Xmas when all sale stuff was 30% off (final sale, too, but that's so much better when you can try on). All I got at J Crew was a tshirt...long sleeve perfect fit tee in shadow for about $10 that I've already worn twice and thus it was a great buy, but still...not so enthused with the other offerings. Then we went to Banana Republic because I needed to return a sweater.

And I got this...the Cashmere Wrap. On 12/26, all in store sale items were an additional 50% off, so I got this beauty for $30. But I swear, it's still a great deal at the current sale prices. I ordered the Cocoon (ivory) for a friend when it was additional 20% off online. Because I love love love love love love love mine. I got it in a light heathered gray. It says "oatmeal heather" on the website, but I think that must be another color since mine is definitely not a tan. It is so soft, so cuddly, so luxe, so yummy... I think the wrap is very versatile and it's very generous in size (for a scarf, I guess). Let's see, I got it on 12/26, it's 9 days later, and I've probably worn it 5 times, including the day I got it. And most of those involved all-day wear, not just outside with a coat. (Although light gray cashmere + yellow Winnie = love)

Today I had my monthly chiro visit. As an update - my neck and shoulders and back and arm are SO much better than they were in August. I credit the therapy, but I also credit (1) learning the right stretches for my neck muscles, including the one to try to restore spine curvature, and (2) relocating my laptop from its usual spot at the kitchen table to the living room desk, with its keyboard tray, so that I am more ergonomically correct. And whether you see a chiropractor or an orthopaedist, I don't care, but if you are having neck/spine issues, please go see someone and get it checked out and fixed - this stuff only gets worse, especially with age.

Ok, off soapbox. So chiro...comfy clothes, warm clothes...J Crew gray/white striped tissue tee and gray BR Michelle-clone cardi, with Chicos slim leg jeans tucked into black boots. I think my outfits for the next few weeks are going to be "___ sweater with ___ jeans/pants tucked into ___ boots." We have an "Arctic air mass" that has descended and seems to be hanging around for a while. This is why I don't live any further north. I do love my sweaters, but I'm just NOT used to this.

So as an outfit, it was ok, but the scarf really made it. Maybe it if was warmer, I would have gone with major jewelry or fun shoes or something, but it's just plain cold. Scarf, please. And truthfully, when it's brutally cold like this, or even when it's just a bit chilly, I love the feel of a large wrap/scarf bunched up around my neck - it just works better for me that a thinner scarf.

I wore it today wrapped around the neck as more of a scarf (as in 1st picture), but when I was wearing it with the JC shadow perfect tee and jeans, I ended up using it as more of a wrap (as in 2nd picture). And it works both ways. And it was so so so nice for the road trip to and from in-laws this past week. Really, let's be honest, it's a socially acceptable blanket.

(Note: Northern US & Canadian bloggers, yes, I know, I'm a big old wimp. But that's what happens to us here in the Mid-Atlantic)

I picked up 2 other pieces at BR on 12/26. A fab black skirt, yet to be photo'ed, and this sweater here, which I'm still on the fence about. What I love about it: Price (ended up at $18). I love the feel of the large turtleneck, or is it a cowl neck? I like that it's cotton - sometimes, even at these temps, even I can be a bit too warm some places in cashmere and wool. I like the shape of it, because it's fitted. And I love the color gray in the stripes - it's almost a warm charcoal.

What I'm not sure about: Do I need another sweater? (or do I just need to go through what I have and clean out - wore my JC Cambridge cable tneck from last winter and realized that it's too wide or too short or both, and my JC Wellesley cable tneck from several years ago is really starting to show its age a bit). Do the stripes work? Does it actually look ok with jeans, or am I just limiting myself to black pants? Would be pretty fab with the Minnies, though, no? But even thought it's a great deal at $18, am I only going to wear it a couple of times this year and be bored with it next year? In which case, it's not a great buy. Cost per wear, more conscious purchasing...but more on that topic tomorrow. Isn't this post long enough already??

Fyi - just tossed on with today's jeans/boots - made no attempt at styling...but who are we kidding...I'd probably wear it this way anyway.