Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Celebrity Chef Dine Around

Just wanted to share a few pictures from the Celebrity Chef Dine Around at Mohegan Sun Casino this past Saturday night. Husband and I had such a good time and Robert Irvine was so down to earth and fun to be around. Food was delicious and the dessert area was incredible! The event lasted 3 hours as we made our way from station to station trying different wines, beers, and food from all over the U.S. We tasted Bobby Flay's potato chip burger sliders and avocado/lobster salad, Robert Irvine's mussel salad, meatballs, bacon-wrapped scallops with blue eggs, fried chicken and grits, and a to-die-for brownie sundae! Oh, and I tried foie gras for the first and last time. Not my cup of tea! Unfortunately we couldn't bring the SLR camera, so we had to make due with our cell phones and our Sony Cybershot.

Pin It!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Consignment Store Finds

I have a consignment store near my house that takes my last season cast-offs (okay, I wish I could turn over clothes each season, but it's usually clothes that I've worn for a couple of years and then consign). I never know what I'm going to find but I usually find something. So before the husband and I went to meet celebrity chefs, I headed to the consignment store to see if I could find some black heels that were low and fairly comfortable as most of my black heels are not. And my cute polka-dot DSW shoes won't arrive until Tuesday. I ended up finding a pair of black, strappy shoes with a cute bow in the clearance section ($7.50!). They looked like there were worn maybe once. And after last night, I can see why. My feet are screaming. Yep, I walked around a casino with strappies in my hand after the main event. Thank goodness for carpeting and a staff that picks up the tiniest crumb.

I wrote a post not too long ago about finding the perfect bauble pearl necklace. Well, I haven't found it yet, but I did come closer. And at $8, how could I not get this necklace? In addition, I also found a funky, mesh necklace with grosgrain ribbon. Best part about consigning my things is the money I end up building in my consignment account to use for new purchases. In total, I ended up shelling out just over $4 on Saturday for two necklaces and a pair of barely used shoes. Not bad!

Pin It!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Saturday Night Fever

For our first wedding anniversary, my husband surprised me with a wonderful culinary gift - two tickets to Mohegan Sun's Celebrity Dine Around. We didn't really know what to expect when we got there but were completely blown away by how much fun it was. More on that later and my pictures with Bobby Flay and Robert Irvine (who was a delight to meet).

Here's what I wore for the event.

{Dress: Asos. Buy it here. | Jacket: Forever 21. Buy it here. | Shoes: Consignment store | Purse: Esty}
Pin It!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Orange Mini

I've been wanting either an orange skirt or pant to wear with all my leopard tops (went a little overboard on the kitty cat prints). However, I was feeling a bit man-ish today with my pinstripe vest and faux patent leather oxfords. Thought I would punch it up with a fun colored skirt that I purchased from Land's End Canvas. Here's what I came up with today:

{Shirt: J. Crew Factory Camp Shirt. Buy it here. | Vest: Gap (old) | Skirt: Land's End Canvas. Buy it here. | Tights: Hue | Shoes: DSW (old) | Watch: Guess | Necklace: Claire's Boutique | Lipstick: Nars Heat Wave. Buy it here.}
Pin It!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

This Week's Lust Item

I measure most of my food when I'm at home. I have to. Keeps my daily calorie count on track so I don't gain back the 30lbs I painstakingly lost since last May. It also gives me a visual of what a portion size looks like so that I don't overeat when I don't have my measuring cups, spoons, and scale nearby. I use my measuring cups for things like pasta, rice, and potatoes. My scale is primarily used for weighing 3oz of meat. It's also used to measure 5 - 8oz of No-No juice (i.e., wine). And my measuring spoons help keep my fats in check (butter, oils, and sauces).

Although I have decent Williams Sonoma measuring cups and spoons that I hang from a rack in the kitchen, I came across this ingenius little milk bottle that would look o-so-cute on my kitchen counter (hubby thinks so, too). Each cup is color coded with fill lines indicated on the inside. I find that I'm constantly washing my measuring cups and spoons so to have another {adorable} set, would be most helpful. Too bad I already used my 15% off birthday card discount this month (shame you can't use it on multiple purchases).

{Milk Bottle Measuring Cups: Anthropologie. Buy it here.}
Pin It!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Oxford Pumps

When I was shopping in the shoe department at Bloomingdale's in New York in December, my eye immediately was drawn to the cutest little saddle shoe pump. As I got closer, I noticed it was made by Bass. I love Oxford pumps and all through high school I wore my little brown suede classic Bass Bucks. Pair them with rolled, acid washed denim shorts and you were the shiznit back then! But I had never seen the classic saddle shoe turned into a pump. Oxford pumps? Sure. But Oxford saddle shoe pumps? Nope. And in pink with adorable, Lanvin-esque laces!

However, at the time, I didn't feel like paying the $109 price tag. While browsing DSW's site yesterday, I came across the last size 8 Rachel Antonoff Lady Oxford Pump on sale for $49.95. Sold! These are going to look precious with my Forever 21 Rory Beca blouse and capri jeans. Spring is only 2 months away!

{Shoes: Bass Rachel Antonoff Lady Oxford Pump. Buy them here. | Blouse: Rory Beca for Forever 21. Sold out online.}
Pin It!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Heart Shaped World

About a month ago, I saw this Heart Shaped Mesh dress on Krystal's blog. I thought it would be the perfect Valentine's dress. And of course I loved her Christian Louboutin studded shoes, but CL is a bit out of my price range. Today I came across a much cheaper alternative ($39.95) on DSW's site.  How cute are these shoes?!

I may just have to wear this outfit this Saturday to meet Bobby Flay at Mohegan Sun's Winefest that my darling husband got us tickets to for our first wedding anniversary.

{Dress: Asos. Buy it here.}

{Shoes: Lulu Townsend Romy Pumps. Buy them here.}
Pin It!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Laser Cut Tomato

Here's today's outfit with the new Canon Rebel T3i DSLR camera. I know I have a lot of reading to do on taking portrait pics and obtaining the correct balance of light (and learning how to pose for sure!), but I didn't want to take anymore outfit pics with the iPhone. I'm only going to learn as I keep taking pics with the new camera, so might as well jump in feet first. The camera is set on a 10-second self-timer and I have a small, wireless remote that I'm using. For these pics, no flash was used. The image stabilization is turned off and I set the focus to automatic (AF). I set the Mode Dial to Aperture Priority (AV). I also used the lens that came in the kit (18-55mm) as I found the 50mm f/1.8 lens didn't provide zoom capability. I have a small room upstairs where I take photos and need the ability to zoom out in order to get my entire outfit in the frame.

I know most fashion bloggers don't provide technical details of camera settings for their shoots. However, I think this information can be useful and why not share what I learn along the way?

{Blouse: J. Crew. Buy it here. | Skirt: Asos. Buy it here. | Necklace: J. Crew | Shoes: Steve Madden. Buy them here. | Watch: Guess | Lipstick: Nars Dragon Girl. Buy it here.}
Pin It!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

New Camera Ready!

So I didn't get through my entire Canon EOS Rebel T3i/600D for Dummies manual this weekend but I did get through enough to start using it for outfit pictures starting tomorrow.  I still want to get through some chapters on exposure, lighting, and color balance. I don't have the luxury of taking pics outside this time of year due to freezing temps and shorter daylight times. So I'm going to have to be a little creative with the lighting in my upstairs bedroom. The overhead light fixture casts an undesirable yellow tint to my pics. However, sweet husband bought me filters to help with that. I also get a lot of great morning sunshine through the windows. So bear with me as I continue learning and trying different techniques to perfect my picture taking.

Pin It!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Snowy Day

Today is the type of day where I stay in my pajamas and read. It's the first big snow storm New England has seen all winter. Up until last week, we hadn't seen a single flurry (unless you count that freak snow storm over Halloween weekend that I managed to escape by flying back home to Tampa to visit family).

I am determined to get through my new camera manual so that I can start taking some cool fashion pics. I've got new clothes in the closet that I'm eager to show you. I am also on the lookout for a macro lens so I can take some food pics as I love to cook.

I took this video this morning on my iPhone. It's definitely an indoor day!

Pin It!

Friday, January 20, 2012

This Week's Lust Items

I looked in my closet this morning and although I have colorful skirts, all my pants are drab neutrals.  Pretty much just black, gray, and white.  When you have an ample bottom half, the fun colored pants just aren't available in larger sizes. From the time I can remember, I have always had a stubborn stomach pooch. Even when I weighed 98lbs in high school, I had a tummy pooch. Couple the pooch with baby making hips (I have no babies, don't need the hips), and it results in skirts riding up higher in the back and having to go up 1-2 pants sizes larger than my top half (and there's no shortage up there either).

Luckily, J. Crew makes a few of their fun, spring pants in ample bootie sizes.  I'm currently lusting after this green Cafe Capri (shown with my Wildcat blouse I got last week):

I'm also lusting after these beautiful Waterfloral Cafe Capris. But at $228, I need a huge sale!

Pin It!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

SLR for Dummies!

So as I keep mentioning, my sweet husband bought me a wonderful Canon Rebel T3i for my 40th birthday last week. I finally had a chance to sit down last night and go through the manual. I only made it through about 20 pages before being overwhelmed. I've never had anything other than a smart phone camera or a simple point and shoot.

I'm the type of learner where I don't need all the detail at once. I want a few basics up front and as I get comfortable, give me some more information. Too much all at once and I can't remember much of anything. I also need a lot of visuals and examples. I need to see someone do something, tell me why, and show me how it applies to what I want to learn. I also need the big picture up front and to slowly ease into the details. And if there's a Step A and Step C, there sure better be a Step B. Maybe that's why I've been a technical writer for so long. I can get someone from Step A through Step D without skipping or assuming Steps B and C.

So I did some research today on finding a better way to learn about my new camera. I came across a couple of books and finally decided on a "Dummies" series. Since I know nothing about aperture, exposure, ISO, etc., I needed to find a book that didn't assume I had basic photography knowledge. I also needed to find a book specific to my camera, with loads of visuals and examples. This book was highly rated on and it's waiting for me at Barnes & Noble after work.

I'm pretty determined to be up and running with this camera and get some great fashion shots by the end of this weekend.  Wish me luck!

Pin It!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Got Lucky at Sam's Club

You never know where your next great item of clothing is going to come from. It could be a thrift store, a speciality store, bargain basement, or a major warehouse chain. As my husband and I were making our usual monthly trek to Sam's Club for essentials, I spotted a section of men's Lucky Brand t-shirts. Lucky Brand at Sam's?! Usually Lucky Brand t-shirts run anywhere from $35 and up. Sam's was selling them for under $15. My husband and I each scooped up a tee. I couldn't decide how to wear it until this past weekend when I found my Forever 21 black blazer. And even though we are in the heart of winter, today is sunny and warmer (37 degrees) so I paired my tee with my white capri pants from Kohl's. And of course my $6 leopard pumps from JC Penny.

(Black Jacket: Forever 21. Buy it here. | Shirt: Lucky Brand | Pants: Dana Buchman - Kohl's | Necklace: J. Crew | Shoes: JC Penny. Buy them here for $11!.}
Pin It!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Birthday Retail Therapy

So I got an amazing SLR camera for my 40th birthday but I have yet to learn how to use it. I'm going to spend the weekend learning, setting up the tripod, and taking test shots. Unfortunately, I don't live in a warm climate anymore and can't post pics outside like other fashion bloggers do. So I'm going to have to experiment with indoor shots.  Until then, here's a little retail therapy I did over my birthday.

{Black Jacket: Forever 21. Buy it here. | Rory Beca Blouse: Forever 21. Sold out online. | Denim Shirt: H&M | J. Crew Wildcat Dress. No longer available online. | Striped Blouse: Loft. Buy it here. | Leopard Blazer: Forever 21. Buy it here. | J. Crew Wildcat Blouse. No longer available online.}

I bought a few other pieces from H&M but unfortunately couldn't find pictures of them online. I really hope H&M considers launching an e-commerce piece so that we can all shop online!

I do have to say that I'm really impressed with J. Crew's "We Will Find It For You" service. I couldn't find the Wildcat blouse or this Tartan shirt in the stores or online. I emailed and was able to get the sale pieces I wanted (40% off!) shipped to my house for a flat $8.95 fee.

Pin It!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Perfect Pearl Necklace

I'm in search of the perfect collar pearl necklace. Ever since following atlantic-pacific blog (I love Bee and her wardrobe!), I've been on the hunt for a similar multi-strand twisted choker pearl necklace like hers. Unfortunately, Bee's necklace is an old Banana Republic choker. So I have a few options that I'm contemplating.

{This is a J. Crew twisted pearl necklace that I found on ebay. Buy it here.}

Bee recommended this necklace from Lauren Elan. However, it's $150, whereas the J. Crew necklace above is approximately $40.00.

{Elena twisted pearl necklace by Lauren Elan Collections. Buy it here.}

I'm now starting to think a little outside the box and am looking at pearl collar necklaces on Etsy. I love my Asos collar and get compliments on it, why not get the same effect in a little pearl number. However, it would limit the number of shirts I could wear it with.

{Vintage White Ruffle Pearl Collar Necklace. Buy it here.}
Pin It!

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Great Birthday

I had the most awesome birthday today! I woke up to see how much rain we got and freaked out when I saw this...

My sister, mom, and 18 month old nephew flew up to see me. First stop after picking them up from the airport - Red Robin - YUM! My sister loves Red Robin but there is only one location in the Tampa Bay area. Of course they brought out all the wait staff to sing happy birthday to me. My newphew was mostly interested in the balloons.

My wonderful husband gave me the best gift a blogger could ever want - an SLR digital camera. He surprised me with this as we were supposed to buy it together. He said he told me that just to keep me from buying one. He bought a remote, extra lenses, filters, reflectors. So stay tuned as I learn my way around this wonderful camera. My pics are about to enter a whole new level of fantasticness!

Pin It!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I'm just going to cry all day. Because today is the last day I will ever see my 30s. I've never had an issue with getting older. Turning 30 - whoo hoo bring it!  Turning 35 - I'm older and hopefully wiser. Maybe that's just being a Capricorn. But man, this turning 40 stuff has been bothering me for months. Maybe it's because I've never actually felt the age I was turning. But this year, I've had to pull out the reading glasses, I've noticed the lines in my forehead, and it's harder for me to get up from sitting Indian style on my area rug while cutting coupons. And now I just noticed a "40"% off coupon from Banana Republic staring at me on my desk.

What I should be doing is thanking my lucky stars that I got my blood pressure under control (weight loss and meds), married a wonderful, adoring man that I can grow old with, am about to have a visit from my beautiful, sweet nephew whom I love as if I had given birth to him, have a good-paying job and a cute, little New England house. Yep. I'm pretty lucky.

Hmmm, maybe turning 40 is the new 30!

Pin It!