Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hello Dorothy!

Who wouldn't want a glamorous pair of ruby red slippers? Okay, how about just ruby red platform heels that make your legs look uber sexy? I've had my eye on these beautiful sandals since I first discovered

What's Zara? Think J. Crew's high end selection (you know - the $200 silk blouses and $300 blazers) only at much more affordable prices ($60-100 blazers, $30-50 blouses). Zara is a Spanish company with stores worldwide. I've been to two Zara stores in Manhattan and it felt like I was walking into a high end boutique with the sophisticated lighting and Domino-esque glass (and rather snobby sales associates). And maybe that's just their NY stores. There's a Zara in my hometown in Tampa that I haven't visited yet and another one in Stamford, CT that I plan to visit in the next couple of months. Maybe these stores don't exude such posh atmospheres. If going to the stores isn't your thing, hop onto their website that's only been in operation for a few months. A word of caution, though. I tried to shop via my tablet and wasn't able to complete my transaction. I had to use my laptop instead. Their site just can't support mobile devices yet.

If you follow other fashion blogs, you'll start to notice that key pieces of their wardrobe are from Zara. I found the quality of their products to be comparable to J. Crew's, but the uniqueness far outweighs J. Crew's sometimes boring Jackie cardigans and vast array of novelty tees. Their sizes do run small. An XL shirt is equivalent to a size 12-14 (closer to a 12). Even their shoe sizes run small. Normally in a peep toe heel or open sandal I can wear a 7.5. With my new ruby reds, I ordered an 8 (European size 39) to be on the safe side. So glad I did as they fit perfectly. And although these shoes are beyond my normal, comfortable 3.5 - 3.75" heel height (the heel is 4.6"!), they have a nice, high platform to compensate making them feel more like that of a 3" heel. Did I mention they were on sale for $69.99?!

{Zara Wide Heel Sandal with Stones. Buy them here.}
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Friday, December 30, 2011


If you aren't familar with Britain's online shopping sensation,, go there - straight away (as the merry 'ol English would say)! I recently discovered this awesome website (think H&M, Urban Outfitters, Zara, and Forever 21 all combined) and now I'm totally hooked. I've ordered a few things from them and although it takes about 1.5 - 2 weeks to get to your house (it is after all coming from the other side of the pond), the quality is well worth the wait. I'm so impressed with the items I've received thus far. You can still take advantage of their 10% discount as well (use code "LATE10"). caters to all sizes, which I love. Their US site allows you to sort clothing up to size 22! They even have a special plus size "Curve" section.

Another cool feature is their 'Runway' views. Most of the clothes have several pictures and zoom capability. However, if you click "View Runway" under the image, you can actually see a model strutting the catwalk in the item. This has been very helpful in my decision making so that I can see just how an item drapes the body.

One thing I don't like (other than the long shipping time and lack of detailed tracking - limbo anyone?) is their search bar. Sometimes you see sale items show up in your search, other times you don't. It's hit or miss, unfortunately. For example, I typed "collar" in the search bar expecting to see the jewelled collar I ordered below and it didn't appear in the results. I panicked at first and thought they were all sold out of it.

Overall, I love and will continue to peruse and buy their items for decent prices. And did I mention free shipping?! Both ways! That's to and fro, Joe!

Here are a few things I've ordered from

{River Island Metallic Scallop Edge T-Shirt. Buy it here.}

{Pencil Skirt with Laser Cut Detail. Buy it here.}

{Metallic Metal Keeper Super Skinny Belt. Buy it here.}

{Metallic Metal Keeper Super Skinny Belt. Buy it here.}

{Jewelled collar. Buy it here.}

{Green necklace with Rope Tube Tassle. Buy it here.}

{Lace Shell Top in Green. Buy it here.}

{Pencil Dress with Heart Mesh. Buy it here.}

{Paul's Boutique Betty Black Skull Zip Top Shopper. Buy it here.}

*Please note that I am in no way affliated with and am not being paid to write this blog post about them. I wish I was!
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Thursday, December 29, 2011

This Week's Lust Item

Now that I have a lace skirt and am looking to acquire a gold sequin skirt, I'd like to roughen them up with a denim chambray shirt. I think chambray shirts are so versatile - like jeans only for your top half. You can pair just about any bottom - from a fancy skirt to black or khaki pants - with a denim chambray shirt. So these are the two I'm deciding on. I think I'm leaning toward the Madewell shirt since it has more of a fitted structure. And the quirky buttons and cool fading in just the right spots makes it a little more unique than the J. Crew shirt.

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Cold & Cold

It was 20 degrees this morning when I took our dog outside. Yesterday I was in bed all day with a head cold. Doing better today but still not enough to warrant makeup and high heels. However, I did manage to leave the house without any elasticized pants whatsoever. And I still maintain some level of fashion dignity with my footwear.

{Sweater: Old Navy | Shirt: Gap | Jeans: Old Navy | Shoes: Juicy Couture | Watch: Guess}
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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

DIY Blue Glitter Shoes

While searching on the Internet for "DIY glitter shoes," I came across mostly gold-toned shoes. I wanted to do something different. I wanted blue shoes. The kind I could wear with a dark navy jacket and black skirt. Something that adds a little sparkle to an outfit but could still be daytime wearable. I have to admit that I did pick up the Martha Stewart Fine Glitter in Smoky Quartz as I thought I would duplicate what I had seen others do. However, the Azurite glitter is what I was drawn to and what I decided would be the color of my new sparklers.

Unlike other bloggers, I didn't have the perfect pair of pumps where the heels were jacked up. You see, I've only been wearing heels on a regular basis for a couple of months. At most, I could glitterize a pair of Bass oxfords. So I had to buy the shoes. I had a Groupon for and searched for the cheapest pair of low-heeled pumps that weren't atrocious. I decided on these Corso Cormos in Silver. They ended up costing me $13 with a holiday sale + Groupon.

I found there were two methods to glitterizing your shoes. One - you could mix the glitter with the Mod Podge or two - you could apply the Mod Podge to your shoes and then dump the glitter all over the glue. I went with both methods. The first method just wasn't producing that lovely blue color that was in the bottle. When the glitter/glue mixture dried, I was left with light blue/white-ish/milky nastiness. So after applying two coats of the glitter/Mod Podge mixture, I then went with method two and got exactly what I was looking for.  I applied two coats of glue and two coats of glitter. I think they turned out lovely and can't wait to wear them. I have to apply a sealer so that the glitter doesn't flake off all over everything and then I'm good to go.

A few things to keep in mind:
  • The glitter gets EVERYWHERE. Make sure to do this project on newspapers and in an area you can easily clean up. I did this project in the unfinished side of our basement.
  • I also used the same paint brush but made sure I put plastic around the brush when I was done so that the brush wouldn't dry out.
  • Buy the matte Mod Podge, not the glitter one (like I did), unless you want to add other colors of glitter.
  • Lastly, I let each coat dry 24-48 hours. This was a week-long project.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Horizontal Stripes!

I don't normally go for horizontal stripes. As a former heavy girl (and still working on it), I don't need the added width. However, my mom sent me this cute Tommy Hilfiger sweater for Christmas in a size smaller than I used to wear. I didn't think I could pull it off but I like the combination I came up with this morning. And of course I didn't realize the dark stripes in the sweater were actually navy and not black until I was driving to work. Navy or black, it still works.

{Sweater: Tommy Hilfiger | Shirt: Old Navy | Skirt: Banana Republic | Belt: J. Crew. Buy it here. | Tights: H&M | Shoes: Liz Claiborne Carletta. Buy them here. | Lipstick: MAC Girl About Town. Buy it here.}
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Monday, December 26, 2011

Bargain Shopping Before Christmas

Last Thursday I took an extended lunch hour and headed to the mall for some browsing. Lord & Taylor were having an additional 40% off sale on their clearance shoes. I found these burgundy Arturo Chiang suede beauties in my size and snatched them up for $30.

Aren't they purty?

I then browsed J. Crew but didn't see any must haves. It's a small store in my mall with limited inventory. However, I scored big across the way at Banana Republic. I had also just earned a $20 credit in my Gap credit card statement. I picked up two taffeta mini skirts in cobalt blue and hot pink. They are so cute and ended up being $18 each! I also grabbed a yellow, wool sweater and a hot pink silk blouse that was on sale for $13. Sadly I couldn't find any of the items online and most were final sale in the store (no returns). My total after my $20 credit was around $52 for all four items. Not bad. Not bad, indeedy!

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

DIY Felt Hair Clips

I started making little felt hair clips a couple of months ago. I buy the felt and ribbon supplies from JoAnn Fabric and Michael's. At first I was just using a rough template of circles that I drew. Then I came across this template from I made three of these little Christmas hair clips (two for a co-worker's daughters) the other night. I cut out four circles total, each one smaller than the next, for each clip. I align the circles off center and use a dot of fabric glue to glue each circle together. I typically glue on rhinestones on the smallest circle to glam the hair clips up a bit, but found these cute self-adhesive red sparkle circles at Michael's that I thought would be perfect for Christmas.

I get my duck bill clips from Ulta. For gluing the ribbon on metal clips and the rhinestones on the felt, I found the fabric glue wasn't strong enough. I had a small bottle of Super Glue that works just fine. For the clip, just cut enough ribbon that will cover the entire front side of the metal clip, around the hinge, and partially down the back. Apply a layer of Super Glue to the clip and place the ribbon onto the clip. You'll need to hold down the ribbon over the hinge portion for a few seconds as it tends to pop off otherwise.

Using the Super Glue, apply a layer on the top of the ribbon (adhered to the clip) and then adhere the felt circles to the clip. Let dry for a view minutes and voila!, you have a cute hair accessory in no time!

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Friday, December 23, 2011


I'm a sucker for all things plaid, has skulls, and is shiny/metallic/sequined. On Thanksgiving evening, I made my usual trek to the Outlet mall in Clinton, CT for some get-in-the-Christmas-spirit shopping, fight-the-crowds-at-mid-night shopping, shopping. My first stop is always the J. Crew outlet store where I picked up an adorable Scottie tee. How cute is this?!
I've been trying to come up with solutions for the lower half to make this tee an even more adorable outfit. I wanted to pair it with a plaid skirt. But too much plaid and I'll need bagpipes and a Craig Ferguson accent. I scoured ebay to no avail. Lots of women looking to sell their long, wool family crest-wear.

I ended up ordering this skirt from in a Large. But when I got it, both the husband and I agreed it wouldn't make it past my ankles. Bluefly - take note. Please include waist and hip measurements for us curvy gals.

I then saw this gorgeous Alexander McQueen skirt while searching the net. But at $540, and way too short for an almost 40 year old (14" barely covers my junk), I knew I needed to continue my search.

{Tartan Alexander McQueen}

While not as adorable as the McQueen, this Anne Klein skirt was the right length, the right color combination, and a heck of lot less expensive. I plan to pair the shirt and skirt with some black sweater tights and my Chie Mihara ruffle shoes.

$89.99 with an extra 5" to cover my assets.}
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Thursday, December 22, 2011

This Week's Lust Item

I've mentioned it before - I'm a sucker for all things that have skulls. In the next couple of weeks, I plan to order this awesome skull bag from You will be mine before my birthday!

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Preppy Panther

It's no secret that I can drop some major coin on shoes and handbags. I look at them as little works of art for my feet and arms. So I'm really stunned that I'm reaching for my el cheapo, but cuteto faux suede leopard peep toe shoes three days in a row. They're incredibly comfortable with my freakishly larger right foot (heel issues, surgeries). I got them on clearance from JC Penney over the weekend. I had a $10 coupon and they ended up costing me $6.50! That's right, the decimal is after the 6, not the 0. And I'm surprised that they are blending in so well with a lot of my outfits. Usually I pick out my outfit the night before so that I'm not standing in front of my closet, mouth agape, wondering what magical combination will tumble out. It's been unusually warm the last couple of days (and still no snow on the ground). So I'm taking advantage of not having to cover up from head to toe in winter garb. I'm gonna milk a sockless look as long as I can.

My jacket is vintage J. Crew. Okay, it's probably about five years old. I love the little pink pinstripes on the sleeves when you roll them up.  Haven't worn this blazer in awhile because of the 27lbs of extra weight I'd been carrying for the last three years. So glad it finally fits once again.

I've never been one to don a belt around my natural waist for aesthetic reasons. Belts to me have always been...well until I lost weight they've always been just hanging in my closet. But now I realize I need them to hold my jeans up. But I'm starting to embrace the trend of just wearing them as an accessory. The belt I have on today is also from my weekend bargain shopping. Got this one and a black one for $5 total!

{Jacket: J. Crew | Cowl neck tee: Gap. Buy other colors here. | Jeans: Gap | Belt: Claire's Boutique | Shoes: JC Penney. Buy them here. | Watch: Guess. Buy it here. | Bag: Coach Sabrina | Lipstick: Covergirl Hot Passion. Buy it here.}
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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Bargain weekend shopping!

I found some fantastic deals at the mall this past Sunday. I had a JC Penny $10 off $10 coupon expiring this week so I thought I'd find some earrings or a necklace. I stumbled into the shoe department and hit paydirt!

On the clearance rack sat this lonely leopard peep toe cutie begging to come home with me. It was on sale for $16.50 (down from $55). After my coupon, I paid $6.91 including tax. Whooo hooo!!! Score!!!

Next up - Claire's Boutique. The store was full of tweens and all things Bieber, but I spotted this awesome necklace on sale for $5.75. I also got a belt duo for $5!

Final purchase was from Payless. Normally I don't go into Payless as I find their quality and styles rather repulsive. But they actually have a couple of high end designers making some pretty fantastic and affordable footwear. And I had a 20% off coupon!

I originally went in for these but they run big and my usual size 8 was slipping off my heels. Size 7.5 and most other sizes are sold out in stores and online. Boo!

{Lela Rose Women's Allerton Laser Cut Shootie. Buy them here (if you wear a larger size - sold out online and in stores in smaller sizes).}

So I got these instead.

{Lela Rose Women's Gerlinde Chop-Out Shootie. Buy them here. $29.99}
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Monday, December 19, 2011

DIY Blonde Highlights

I don't have much time to blog today as my paying job as a technical writer is quite chaotic this time of year (accounting firm, 1099s, 'nuff said). But I was a busy bee this weekend and I just wanted to show off my DIY highlights.

Saturday was spent making chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal cookies. The oatmeal cookies were fantastic! Me and Toll House - we just haven't ever clicked. That's usually why I just order or buy Milk & Cookies bags of chocolate chip cookies when I'm in NYC. Add a stick of butter and eggs (I think) and they turn out perfect every time!

After cookie baking, it was time to color the roots. For years I've been going to various salons to get my roots colored every four weeks. I'm tired of paying $50+ to get that done. So now I do it myself (I may do a post on how I color my hair). I use Wella Color Charm Level 7N + 20 Vol developer for 40 minutes. Best part is I can do my roots whenever I want - even when just a slight amount of my gray stripe is coming through. It also costs me $5 a bottle at Sally Beauty Supply.

On Sunday I decided to tackle my highlights. I've pulled my hair through a cap before and fried it with Revlon Frost & Glow. I don't recommend this kit. I decided to do my highlights with foil this time. I was petrified that I would end up like that 13 year old girl who had to have blonde bangs in the 7th grade with dark, curly hair everywhere else. Ewww. But I was tired of asking for white blonde highlights from four different salons since moving up to Connecticut, only to end up with warm, honey highlights. I have cool undertones. I need brighter highlights. Again I bought everything at Sally Beauty Supply (foils, bleach, Vol 30 developer, highlighting comb). I mixed up the bleach and developer and let it "proof" while I tackled the foils. Kind of a pain but halfway through I found a method that worked (I take a clip to hold the weaved hair while I get the foil ready. The added weight helps the foil stay in place while I apply the bleach to the regrowth).

I only tackled the front and sides. I wanted to see if I could pull this off before adding highlights to the back. Was afraid I'd have to hunt down a salon today to do a color correction if this didn't work.

Here are the results...

I added three foils on each side and about six on top/front. After getting all the foils in my hair, I headed upstairs to my hooded dryer. I sat under it for 12 minutes and then checked the progress. Orange. Just as I thought. I kept checking every 5 minutes until I had the desired color (pale, pale yellow). Total processing time was 30 minutes under the dryer.

I removed the foils and washed and towel-dried my hair. I then applied toner. This is key. Without toner you will end up with some nasty orangy-yellow highlights. The toner is violet based and counteracts any ugly gold tones. I left the White Lady T18 toner on my hair for 10 minutes and then showered.

Once my hair dried, I noticed that I had a little patch on the side that needed to be touched up with my root color. I didn't get that first foil close enough to the scalp. So I just reapplied my level 7N to my roots in the front and sides, waited 40 minutes and ended up with what you see above.  It was a lot of work but my husband said how good my highlights looked this morning.
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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Bacon and pancakes on a diet?

Heck yes you can have bacon and pancakes on a reduced calorie diet! I have this combo almost every weekend. And I'm not talking turkey bacon, but full fat Oscar Mayer greasy goodness.

But how? If you are on a reduced calorie diet, as I am, then it's all about moderation. Did you know that 2 slices of bacon has 35 calories?! Let's talk about the pancakes and syrup. I measure and weigh almost all my foods when I cook at home. I have to. I don't trust myself otherwise. It's too easy to go overboard on portion size when you eyeball your food.

The pancake mix I use is Fiber One Complete. It's filling and tastes yummy. I measure 1/2 cup, mix with water, and pour 2 blobs into my Pancake Factory (for the pancake flipping challenged).  A 1/2 cup of Fiber One pancake mix has 180 calories.

You can't have pancakes without butter! I've tried a lot of light butters and the one that I think tastes as close to the real thing is Land 'O Lakes Light spreadable butter. I use 1/2 tablespoon. I use it on toast, veggies, dinner rolls, etc. I don't, however, use it when making Holiday cookies. You gotta use the real stuff when baking. Period.

I've never been one to slather my pancakes with syrup. I'm more of a dipper because I don't like soggy pancakes or waffles. So I measure 2 tablespoons of Hungry Jack Lite syrup into a small container and warm it in the microwave. This syrup can be hard to find in grocery stores as a lot of stores carry Hungry Jack Sugar Free syrup, which tastes like garbage. I've thrown away a full bottle of the sugar free stuff. I'm not kidding. It is foul! But the 'lite' version - neither my husband nor I can tell the difference between the lite and full sugared versions. Two tablespoons has just 50 calories! So slather away. I have found the Lite version at Target.

Total breakfast calorie count - 290.

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