Saturday, March 31, 2012

Mirror Feet

I was kicking myself when I didn't snatch these metallic brogues up at Zara when they were on sale a couple of months ago. So I had to pay a higher price to get them on eBay. But I love them. They are unique, unexpected, and not for the faint of heart. Definitely an acquired taste. Husband turned his head away from the brightness of them this morning saying, "Well, they're not my favorite but I don't know fashion." And when I first got them and tried them on, they felt quite narrow. However, once I laced them up and wore them out of the house, they felt just fine.

So this is what I'm wearing into the city, minus the shiny shoes. I put on some boots and added a rain coat today. I also tried my free Zoya nailpolish in Mitzi and I have to say it's the most hidious puke/gang green color I've ever seen. I'm so not impressed with Zoya nailpolishes. They go on very matte and look gummy. You have to put a topcoat on to get any shine.

{Jacket: INC at Macy's | Lace Tee: J. Crew. Buy it here. | Jeans: Old Navy | Shoes: Zara | Necklace: J. Crew | Lipstick: Nars Dragon Girl. Buy it here.}
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Friday, March 30, 2012


I have to give props to the peeps across the pond. They really know how to create unique clothing that is cut generously to fit my curves. I'm loving this River Island skirt I got through I'm seeing all kinds of summer possibilities with it (blue cardigan, white tee, and white heels). I don't, however, like England's sizing as a US 14 is a UK 18. Yikes! Makes me feel like I'm back to where I used to be. Luckily has a US website in which all the sizes are shown in US standard sizing. I've bought a few River Island items from asos, but never from the River Island site because they charge a pretty hefty shipping fee, whereas asos does not (free shipping!). And every item of clothing (and accessories) I bought from asos I have kept. However, I will never buy their brand of shoes ever again. Cheap, flimsy, and they run huge!

I've had this JC Penney faux leather jacket hanging in my closet for the last month or so. It's such an odd shade of toffee brown that it isn't really pairing up as well as I had hoped. Good thing I only paid $40 for it in store. It's completely sold out online. Sorry, ladies. But I found a slew of them in the store.

I'm heading back into the city tomorrow. And this time I don't have a set agenda. I was thinking this might be more of a food trip, rather than a clothing shopping trip. But you never know. I might come home with an armload of stuff. J. Crew on Madison is calling my name. Seriously, I hear it. "Niki, come buy the new polka dot dress..." Actually, I might be on the lookout for a pair of brown pumps as I don't own any. Nude pumps were my only "brown" choice for today's outfit.

I do plan on carrying an insulated backpack I bought in Chelsea awhile back so that I can take home some cold items (Junior's cheesecake!). I'm also not staying the full day while husband is in class. I wore myself out last time, which is why I think I'm taking it easy on my planning this trip. But I will have pictures for you on Monday. And look for my post tomorrow on what I'm wearing into the city.

{Jacket: JC Penney | Tee: J. Crew (Warm Henna). Buy it here. | Skirt: River Island. Buy it here. | Belt: Lands End Canvas | Shoes: Nine West Sharina. Buy them here. | Necklace: Ebay | Lipstick: Nars Heat Wave. Buy it here.}
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Thursday, March 29, 2012


What started out as a very sunny and slightly warmer (50 degrees) day, went downhill fast. I'm staring at black clouds and a heavy downpour. Even heard a rare thunderstrike.

I bought this snake print top recently on my trip to NYC at Joe Fresh. As you recall from my first NYC post, I wasn't all that impressed with the store and the selection. I'm going to give it another chance at their newly opened flagship store (opens tomorrow!) when I go in again on Saturday.

I am, however, digging my new hot pink pants from Ann Taylor. I can see all kinds of possibilities with these pants. I'm even thinking of doing a tone-on-tone post but it might bring on heart attacks at work with something this bright.

And thank you to my readers who suggested I get a new bra. Although the girls aren't quite standing at attention, they are perkier. I had to go to three department stores before I found a little old lady at Macy's with a tape measure around her neck willing to measure me. The first thing she said to me, "You need lift." Yes, I know it. Went from wearing my saggy old heavy girl bras (40DDD) down to a fairly normal 36DD. I absolutely hate bra and jeans shopping. But I know that undergarments are essential to tying a look together. I even bought a pair of new underwear to appease my Ms Victoria Secret worshiper sister.

{Jacket: INC at Macys' | Pants: Ann Taylor | Blouse: Joe Fresh | Shoes: Nine West Andriana. Similar color here. | Lipstick: MAC Girl About Town. Buy it here.}
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Come Back to Me

My all time favorite movie is Somewhere In Time with Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve. I love the storyline, soundtrack, and beautiful Grand Hotel setting in Michigan. I originally referred to this Zara blazer, that I just got in NYC, as the 'Conductor,' but the more I think about it, it reminds me of what would have been worn at the turn of the century (by men of course). I love the hi-low aspect of this blazer, as well as the asymmetrical sleeves. I don't love that it itches a bit as I suspect there's some wool in the mix.
It was a good choice for my outfit this morning as Old Man Winter has reared its ugly head once again. Temperatures have plummeted back into the 20s and 30s at night, barely making it into the high 40s during the day. And the pictures below were taken while fighting some fierce winds. So in honor of our lost Spring weather, I quote a line from my favorite movie, "Come back to me."

{Blazer: Zara. Very similar here. Shorter version here. | Tee: J. Crew Factory. Buy it here. | Pants: JC Penney Worthington. Buy them here for $22. | Shoes: Nine West Andriana | Lipstick: Nars Schiap. Buy it here.}
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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New York City - Part 2

So in the first part, you got to see where I went in NYC this past Saturday. Now I'm going to share with you what I bought.

First up - Zara blazers. I've been eyeing this black and white floral blazer for about two months now. I know floral is in and I'm starting to embrace it. Keep an eye out for my Asos floral skirt I bought that I'm having altered (it's too long). I finally grabbed this blazer in the store, along with this awesome, black structured blazer. I'll call it my Conductor Blazer since it looks like something I should be wearing to lead an orchestra. When I was in line to buy the Conductor blazer, the woman behind me asked if she could feel the fabric and then said, "I thought I was done shopping until I saw your blazer." At which point she dashed up the escalator where I told her she could get it.

{Zara floral blazer. Still available here.}

{Zara blazer. Very similar here. Shorter version here. And those are my husband's guitars showing under the blazer.}

After Zara, I ventured across the street to H&M. I like the H&Ms in New York because they carry items that you can't find in your local H&M at the mall. There's a small section in the front of the store on 42nd Street that has more upscale, sophisticated pieces, such as this black shift dress. Are you picturing it with the floral blazer? I am.

{Dress: H&M. Guitars: Husbands. ;-)}

When I was in the Macy's shoe department, I spotted these cute, white Nine West heels that will be perfect for warmer weather. Other than some Keds tennis shoes (or sneakers as they refer to them up here), I don't own any white heels. Oh wait. I do. I own a pair of Tory Burch slides that I almost wiped out in at Chick-Fil-A before my cousin's wedding in Orlando back in 2009.

{Nine West Seenoevil shoes. Buy them here.}

While on the lower level of Macy's, I spotted these cute bracelets out of the corner of my eye. How adorable are these? They're Marc Jacobs rubber bracelets and they are $28 each. They come in black, hot pink, and blue as well as the ones I bought. I just might have to get the entire set.

{Marc Jacobs Turnlock bracelets. Buy them here.}
Next up - Joe Fresh. Or maybe Joe Stale. It just wasn't all that exciting. I really was hoping for more. Huge store on 34th Street but tiny, tiny circular dressing rooms. Think shower curtain Halloween costume from The Karate Kid movie. Hang a mirror and a hook and we're done. I ended up getting these two shirts. I originally went in for the yellow and thought the blue was cute as well. Really disappointed I didn't find the orange dress I was looking for. Of course there's always the flagship store that is opening on Friday near Zara and H&M.

On to Eataly where I picked up a couple bags of pasta and a loaf of classic Rustica bread. I had the bread tonight with some rigatoni and Three Cheese Pasta sauce from Trader Joe's. It was delicious! What will I do when we move back to Florida and I no longer have my beloved Trader Joe's?

Time for cookies!!! I and another woman in the small cookie store bought the last of these bagged mixes. I throw the mix in my Kitchen Aid blender, add one stick of softened butter and one egg. I bake them for 18 minutes on my Pampered Chef stoneware. So yummy. They taste like a cross between a chocolate chip cookie and an oatmeal cookie.

{Milk & Cookies mixes. Buy them here.}

And lastly, Sabon. I just love the subtle fragrance in their liquid soaps. I've tried the Lemon Basil and Ginger Orange shower oils, but keep coming back to their Rose Tea. It's light and sweet without being overpowering. It's not, however, very moisturizing. But I use their Sweet Summer Butter Cream and their light Tal fragrance. I just love this store.

{Rose Tea Shower Oil. Buy it here.}

So do you think I'm done? Nope. I'm going back into the city this Saturday as well. Husband's class is a 3-day class spread over two weekends. Got any suggestions of where I should go in the city? I try to stay away from the touristy areas like Times Square and Rockefeller. However, I would like to try the Quiche Lorraine from Bouchon Bakery across from where they film the Today Show (It used to be Dean and DeLuca in that location. Not sure what happened). The quiche was featured on an episode of "The Best Thing I Ever Ate."

Hmmm. Maybe I will venture up to the Upper East Side this Saturday. Bloomie's is calling my name.
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Monday, March 26, 2012

New York City - Part 1

Since I took roughly 200 pictures on my recent trip into the city, I figured I'd do a two-part series. The first will be the places I visited. Tomorrow's post will be about the things I got!

We got into the city around 10:30am. After a quick bite with the hubby (nothing fancy - just a Starbucks Artisan sammie), we walked to 5th Ave, kissed goodbye, and I headed two blocks to Zara. I've been to a couple of Zaras in NYC, but my favorite is on 42nd Street. It feels more boutique-y. I scored a couple of great items that I'll share with you tomorrow.

{Waiting on our train at Milford station.}

{Grand Central Station}

There's a Magnolia Bakery inside Grand Central Station. I took pics while waiting for hubby. I tried the cupcakes from the original location in the West Village four years ago when I came up to Connecticut for my interview with my current employer. I have to say, I was not impressed with the cupcakes at all. They were dry and I didn't care for the sugary sweet frosting. In all honesty, I think a box of Devil's Food cake mix is better than these. But that's just my opinion.


{New York City Public Library. "I knew you would do this" - Carrie to Mr. Big}

After visiting Zara, I headed down 5th Ave to 34th Street for a little shopping at Macy's.  I bought a couple of bracelets and a pair of shoes. Waiting for the shoes was an ordeal. Women's shoes are on the 5th of 7 floors. However, you have to go through another corridor to get to the shoes. I circled all around the 5th floor and finally asked an associate (who wanted me to come back and let her try to sell me Chanel makeup in exchange for her helping me find the shoes - uh, no.).

When I tracked down an associate for a pair of Nine West lovelies, she checked the stock on her handheld inventory thingy, took my name, and then told me to go wait in another section of the shoe department and she'll come find me when 'they' tell her my shoes are ready. It took about 15 - 20 minutes for her to come back with the shoes. In fact, now that I'm thinking about it, I pretty much waited in lines all day at stores. It was quite busy on a beautiful spring day in the city.

{Original wood escalator still in use on the 6th and 7th floors of Macy's.}

After Macy's I walked a couple of stores down 34th Street and found Joe Fresh. This was the one store I was really looking forward to visiting. Unfortunately, it was a disappointment. I did end up getting a couple of items (orange dress was no where to be found). Most of their items are very casual (a lot of workout gear). The sizes are similar to H&M. Bottoms go up to a size 12 and shirts go up to XL, although the sales woman said shirts go up to 2XL. I didn't see anything over an XL. They do have a grand opening at their flagship store on 5th and 43rd Street next Friday.

Sometimes I forget to look up when walking around NYC and I end up missing some of the best shots. Luckily, I looked up for this one right as I was leaving Joe Fresh.

Somehow after visiting Joe Fresh, I ended up on 32nd Street, which was entirely Korean. I've been to Chinatown, didn't know there was Korea town (or maybe it's just Korea block). A lot of restaurants displayed their food wrapped in plastic wrap on metal shelving right outside the restaurant. I have no idea what this is. Showed it to my husband on the train ride back and even he didn't know. Looks like a fish dish (I think). It's colorful and unique and quite interesting.

There was an adorable French Korean bakery that I just had to pop into. I didn't buy anything but it looked delicious. Croissants, cream cheese sticky donuts, and beautiful cakes. Yum!

{Paris Baguette on 6th Ave and 32nd Street}

Next up was Eataly. I've been looking forward to going to Eataly for months. And I was not disappointed. But I started feeling my shoes rubbing on my feet and knew I needed to start cabbing the rest of my trip if I was going to keep going.

When I first entered Eataly, I thought it was tiny and crowded. However, it twists and turns into restaurants (7!) and a marketplace. I stumbled into a general piazza where people were standing at long, marble tables having wine and eating cheese and meat off cutting boards. Even though my feet were killing me, I scooted up to the end of a table and asked the table in front of me for a menu. My waiter came over and said that usually groups of people will come here and order several meat and cheese dishes off the menu. Since it was just me, he recommended a prosciutto and mozzarella platter. He informed that they make their own mozzarella on site. We also went over the wine list. I told him I like big, bold spicy reds. He recommended a lovely red (couldn't even tell you the name but it was $19/glass!).

{Since I didn't get a photo of this nifty little part of Eataly, I borrowed this one from}


I couldn't decide if I wanted gelato or the new Bacon Smack cookie from Milk & Cookies when I was done at Eataly. I chose cookie. I hopped in a cab and headed down to Commerce Street. Good thing I got there when I did. They were almost sold out of the cookie mix I usually buy. The Bacon Smack cookie was fine after one or two bites, but then the bacon hit and it was just too much. I ordered a glass of whole milk and a chocolate chip cookie and had a nice conversation with a man and his sister from Hoboken. Turns out he used to work at Waldorf years ago and was a culinary baker. He rolled his eyes when his sister bought Milk & Cookies' cookie mixes as he is a 'bake from scratch' man.

{Milk & Cookies}

After woofing down my cookie, I still had about two hours to kill before hubby was done with his class. I decided to head to Soho and check out Topshop.  Although I didn't take any pics, I will tell you this. If you are in your 20s, adventurous with your clothing options, and aren't over a size 12, this store is for you! That's all I have to say about England's Topshop.
Hubby's class got out an hour early, so I took a cab and met him at Stand 4, a burger joint on 12th Street. We opted to try the Kobe burgers (pretty good - lean - but not sure if they are worth $18/each) and tator tots. Of course the main attraction was my Toasted Marshmallow Shake I've been wanting to try for quite a while. I think I can compare it to roasting marshmallows over a fire. The first one is awesome, the second one is still good, and the third one I just shouldn't have gone for. I'm glad I ordered a small glass because after three sips, I was done.

{Stand 4}

When I picked my outfit for our trip, I was channeling this Vince Camuto look. Unfortunately, the shoes were not so comfortable by 4pm and I have a ton of blisters. I was stopped in Eataly by a guy and his girl friend who said, "I love your outfit." To which she replied, "Your lipstick is beautiful as well." That's always nice to hear. I had on MAC's Girl About Town lipstick, Gap pants and tee, and my vintage velvet blazer.

Stay tuned for Part 2 - my haul!
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