Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Blue and White

I adore this J. Crew skirt. There are some items that J. Crew creates that are just spot on. I liked this skirt so much that I bought the strapless dress as well (on sale of course). And it's been hanging in my closet for months just begging me to wear it. And of course like a lot of my outfits, the obvious was just hanging in front of my eyes all this time. Never though to pair this sleeveless tee with the skirt.

When I got to work my boss said, "Oh I'm looking at your outfit. You always look so put together." Well that was a nice compliment. As I sit here writing this blog post, I'm watching SATC re-runs and realize just how incredible Carrie's outfits were. At the time, I was in a very different time in my life. Sex and the City was my escape. I dressed quite boring and mixing and matching prints, stripes, spots, etc. were just weird combos that I never would have attempted. And had I not lost weight almost two years ago and became interested in fashion again, spending my evenings studying top fashion bloggers, I still would have dressed just like most every other woman does at work and in general. And I said to my husband the other night, "Can you believe I've been blogging for more than a year?" For someone that doesn't stick to things for too long, this is one thing that I'm still passionate about (hubby is on that list, too).

{Skirt: J. Crew | Tank: J. Crew | Blazer: The Limited | Shoes: Nine West Andriana}

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

J. Crew Lace

So I spent the better part of Sunday in the mall as I was overdue on my haircut. After a couple of months, I have to get my hair thinned out. I don't have thick hair, I just have a lot of it. And it's actually pretty fine. So getting it thinned out is like losing 10lbs off my head. I told her I want to keep the length, as I'm lazy and like to pull it back some mornings, but to chop the heck out of the layers as she saw fit. I'm really digging having layers in my hair. Keeps it interesting and from looking like an 80s news anchor.

I was surprised to find this J. Crew sweatshirt in my size in the Tampa store as it has been sold out online. It was pretty cheap ($26) as it was hanging in the clearance section. I thought about pairing it with green or cobalt blue pants or skirt but wasn't crazy about where this sweatshirt hits on my arms. For a lot of women, cap sleeves are an issue, for me, it's the sleeve that hits right above my elbow. I feel that's the chunkiest part of my arm. So I had the idea to pair this sweatshirt over a dress. I love how this one came together with the bell sleeves peeking out from under the sweatshirt.

I also popped into Talbots as they were having a 60% off clearance sale. Got this necklace for $16! Kind of reminds me of my silver mesh necklace that I got from the consignment store last year. I have yet to find a good consignment store where I live. I may have to venture into Tampa around Hyde Park.

I was up early Saturday morning as a lovely siren went off at 6:00. Seeing as how I wanted to be in downtown St. Pete for the Saturday Morning Market by 9, I just decided to stay up. There were a couple of things I wanted to get and try at the market: mozzarella from a guy who owns 19 water buffalo, fresh hen eggs, and scallops from the only fish guy at the market. Although the scallops
were good and big (they were from up north), they handed them to me frozen. Was really hoping for fresh scallops. Not a big thing in FL as shrimp and lobster are more prevalent down here. I also bought some organic broccoli and other veggies from another vendor and the broccoli was out of this world! So flavorful. The eggs? I think I got bamboozled. Supposedly, and from what the owner said, "Once you taste fresh eggs, you'll never buy store bought again." Well, unless I was swindled and just given brown and white store eggs, which is what I think happened. Couldn't tell the difference in taste or yoke color from the fresh eggs and the eggs I just bought at Publix the night before. Personally, I think the woman stopped by the Publix up the road, cleared out the shelves of brown and white eggs, and rolled them in a little dirt to make them seem authentic.

And the buffalo mooze? Salty. So I then headed to my favorite Italian market, Mazzaro's, where I bought fresh (still warm) mooze, Montasio, and Manchego cheese, along with some Pinot Grigio salami. Made hubby and I had a little Saturday afternoon spread using some of the fresh honey my sister gave me for Christmas. It was a delicious snack. Afterward I headed to Sam's Club for our usual necessities. Tip - go to warehouse clubs (we belong to Costco as well) about two hours before they close. Although you won't get to sample everything, the crowds and women with big backs will have dwindled (probably cause the free food is gone).

I was also longing for some good Pizza today when I walked into the breakroom this morning and saw Lombardi's and Pepe's on the Food Network. Must find good pizza down here. I think that's my next mission.

{Sweatshirt: J. Crew | Dress: Ann Taylor (old) | Necklace: Talbots | Tassled Loafers: Zara. Buy them here.}


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Friday, January 25, 2013

Oh Yes it's Ladies Night and the...

...feeling's NOT SO right. Ugh. Have you gone to any group events on Well, I gave it a go tonight. My attempt to make more female friends was a total bomb. So I go to this dinner at a really nice seafood restaurant in St. Pete. Luckily I brought my friend from work with me. We split a bottle of wine and chatted with the 24 year olds with the perpetual Valley Girl meets Canadian inflection voice. "I'm into golf and rock climbing and tennis and yoga and I work for holistic medical sales companies and you must, oh you must stay in a hostel when you visit Switzerland and I'm allergic to gluten and meat and air." Good god, pour me another glass of wine and bring me the check, please.

So once they all got up to do 2 truths and a lie, I snuck off to the bathroom and then pretended to have a fake conversation on the phone where I proceeded to take the call outside all the way to the valet. I then ended my fake call once I couldn't be seen, handed my ticket to the valet guy who asked me how my evening went. I said, 'Ugh' to which he asked, "Oh bad date?" and I replied, "Yeah with a group of women." He then said, "Let me guess, you get along much better with men, don't you?" You guessed it buddy. If women could act more like dudes, sign me up. And the woman next to me went on and on about another meetup group she went to where they were sooo old, like 45! To which she then proceeded to ask the four of us our ages and was stunned when I looked her in the eye and said, "I just turned 41."

There really has to be better groups out there. I'm still hopeful and will continue to look.

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Thursday, January 24, 2013


Decided to show you another button-down blouse. This one is a little better but still has some issues. I like that it is slightly stretchy and has the side slits for my hips. That makes it easier for me to button the last button. The fit is fine in the sleeves and through my shoulders. However, this one has the typical big breast problem in that when I sit down, it gapes open around the third button, which is right where I need the bulk of the material. So there was some bra and skin flashing at work today. Thank goodness I sit in my little closet of a desk.

This blouse is also my attempt to buy a little more high end. I love Tibi clothing. I find the styles and patters so unique (really want the lobster pattern next). It's also the first thing that I've purchased from The Outnet. Usually I can't find a thing that isn't a size 2 from the online retailer. This blouse is a size 12. And again, other than the typical gape at the breast, I actually really like it.

{Blouse: Tibi | Jeans: Target | Shoes: Michael Kors}

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

First Lady Style

In honor of Michele's to-die-for Thom Browne coat at Tuesday's inauguration, I decided to break out my Neiman Marcus/Target Thom Browne blazer. Not quite the same as the first lady's but it will do. And I couldn't quite decide on tucking in the shirt or leaving it out. It looked a bit weird tucked in with the short jacket. I think this is the kind of blazer that needs a longer shirt underneath. I love the color combinations of this outfit but the shirt just doesn't fit over my baby-making hips (hence the last button being undone). I have that problem with a lot of button-downs, which is why I don't wear them that often. I have narrow, small shoulders, large breasts, an hourglass waist, and apple dumplin' hips.

But this blog is all about finding what works and showcasing the good and the not-so-good. I'm also hoping that I'm on the tail end of this sinus infection and can start working out again. Last night was actually the first time I felt like going to the grocery store in about two weeks. And I'm usually a twice-a-week grocery shopper. The unfortunate thing is that I came home from work tonight to find husband coughing up a lung.  Poor thing. Now he's in for a two-week bout of feeling like crap.

{Blazer: Thom Browne for Target/Neiman Marcus | Blouse: Marshall's | Pants: Gap | Shoes: Zara}

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Monday, January 21, 2013

I wore this outfit to work on Friday. A bit dressed up for my usual Friday looks (and I don't typically take pictures on Fridays for that reason), but since being sick and looking like death most of last week, I felt compelled to erase any memories in my co-workers' minds of Zombie-girl. Yes, I had one co-worker refer to me as a Zombie. He's no longer living.

Friday was super cold for FL (43 degrees), although sometimes it does get even colder. We've had a bit of a warm streak here lately. I was wearing a sleeveless dress on my birthday last weekend when it was 82 degrees. I'm not complaining, though. Anything is better than 2 degrees, gray skies, and slipping on ice. So I decided to get as much wear out of my long, leopard jacket as I can. It's so weird how some things can hang in my closet for months and I never see the obvious combination. And then it's pretty cool when I do! Stripes and leopard always go together in the same color family. Always. So break out of your comfort zone and go for it. People will compliment you on it. And just remember - red, black, and gold/tan are very complimentary colors. Even better if you have warm skin tone.
I also had a bit of a relapse with my sinus infection on Saturday. And had very weird feelings while on my steroids. I stopped taking the steroids immediately once I read the side effects include 'psychotic manifestations' and 'weight gain.' No thanks. I'll keep on my Amoxicillin and get better with time.

{Coat: Zara | Blouse: Asos | Jeans: Old Navy Rockstar | Shoes: Zara}

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Friday, January 18, 2013


I'm back! Did you miss me?  Thanks for all your wishes for a speedy and healthy return. Turns out it wasn't the flu, it was a sinus infection. Haven't had one in about a year and a half but when I do get them, they take me down to paradise city for a week.

So the walk-in clinic gave me the usual penicillin concoction with a Lance Armstrong bonus - steroids! Holy crud! I started feeling better the very next day. Steroids are da bomb and Lance Armstrong can cycle anytime he wants in my hood. Bring the dope, buddy. You're A-OK in my book! Hell, everyone take prescription drugs. They're lovely! Last night I bench pressed my husband and then shaved my beard.

Soooo. Now that I'm feeling about 75% back to normal, thought I would take some pics before the rain came. You all loved this jacket and so do I. Take note, baby sister. You do harm to this jacket when you borrow it and I will seize your first born. Until he cries or poops, then he's gotta go.

And for some reason, I'm in a loafer stage. Not the kind where I want to eat boxes of donuts and watch 'Catfish' night after night on a bean bag. Although that sounds kind of good, actually. The kind that I wear on my feet to feel like a preppy 14-year old member of the Breakfast Club. I'll be the princess eating my sushi in the school library while on detention. My loafers are Michael Kors from DSW and were on super clearance.

{Dress: Joe Fresh | Jacket: Forever 21 | Shoes: Michael Kors. Similar, taller version here. | Necklace: Ann Taylor | Lipstick: MAC Rebel}


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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Flu + Fashion

I don't know if it's the flu, but whatever I have doesn't need to be captured in pictures. I'll see y'all back here in a few days once I cough up my other lung.
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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Birthday Tea and Bike

I had a wonderful birthday today! I feel so loved by my family and friends. I share a birthday with my friend from high school and we hadn't see each other since my wedding in 2010, which we didn't get to share much time together. And before Facebook, I lost touch with her after high school.

I invited Wendy, her mom, and sister to join my family at a tea room in Brandon, FL. They have the best scones, although we all agreed they weren't so great today with little caramel pieces in them. Usually they are white chocolate and shaved fruit. Today, apple and caramel. But between the chicken salad croissant sandwiches, scones, and chicken and wild rice soup, we were stuffed when our limo driver, Aaron, came to get us.

Wendy's mom went all out for our birthdays and got us a limo for the ride to and from Brandon (about an hour away). We drank some wine over and back, although I haven't been feeling well. Have a bit of a head cold, which derailed our Thursday evening plans for a nice dinner at a swanky downtown St. Pete restaurant. We'll try again tomorrow, along with a movie.

When I came home, husband had my bike all put together, laundry done, porch blinds hung, and my birthday cake made. I married a truly wonderful man. I'm so incredibly lucky.

Hope your day was as wonderful as mine. And how about this perfect pairing of my dress to my bike on my 29th birthday? Oh, and did I mention it was 82 degrees today in Florida and 45 in Connecticut?

{Dress: Zara | Necklace: eBay | Shoes: J Crew | Bike: Alice & Olivia for Target}

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Thursday, January 10, 2013


I've stated before that I don't get freebies. I buy all my clothes unless they are gifts. And my shoes, I'm happy to report, were a gift! So Shoes: Zara | c/o MOM! Yay! Go Mom!

Aren't they beautiful? Who doesn't love a black, patent leather loafer? Even better when it comes with tassels. And I'm happy to report, no blisters or pain of any kind with these Zara shoes (not always the case with their shoes). So major home run on these shoes.

The shirt is also from Zara. Love the gold detail zipper that runs the length of the shirt. And the faux leather sleeves - well that's like the shoes. Who doesn't like fake baby cowskin on their arms? Moo.

{Shirt: Zara. | Shoes: Zara. Buy them here. | Pants: Target | Necklace: Forever 21 | Lipstick: Covergirl Hot Passion}

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Women Friends

As I approach 41, I'm doing a little soul searching. Not the 'Where is my life going? Will I ever find love?' type of searching. I'm good with that. I'm talking more social interaction soul searching, such as 'Why don't I get along with most other women?'

I recently switched desks at work and it was a good move. I now sit by myself in a little hole and I love it!

And I can honestly count on one hand the number of female friendships I have. And the weird paradox is that most of my followers on this blog and ones that follow me on Bloglovin' are 99% female. But I only share snippets of my life with you. You've never met me in person. We share a common interest - fashion, although many of you have told me how much you enjoy my writing style and that I make you laugh. Am I like this in person? Yep. But I'm even raunchier. I'm skeptical, goofy, and pissy. I will give you my honest opinion even if you didn't seek it out. I don't have time for sugar coating things with people. I'm also shy and introverted and typically won't say hello unless you've addressed me first. A lot of people mistake that character flaw as conceited or bitchy. I'm quick to criticize but hate it in return. I'm also fairly intelligent and think most women I come into contact with are missing a few bulbs. I'm a quick talker and jump to different subjects and will often finish your sentences before you realize it's what you were going to say. I don't make time for mindless dribble, slow talking, and people that can't rise to the challenge of bettering themselves. If I'm in a conversation with a slow talker, I lose interest. If it's superficial babble, I'm already in my head entertaining myself with my own thoughts.

And don't get me started on women liking football and beer. Paleeze! Do you really? Or is it just a carryover from sorority days or an excuse to bond with men? I detest cliques and sororities fall into that realm. I don't play games at parties (yawn) and I really can't stand talking on the phone.

Wow! I sound like a dude.

So as you can see, not a lot of bonding opportunities for me with other females. I have no qualms of doing things by myself. Eating at a restaurant alone? No problem. Going to the movies alone? Sure. Going shopping alone? Fine with me. I don't need the company of a pack of women to go to the bathroom. That's actually a big pet peeve. I'm not going to the bathroom to talk and there is no need to sit in the stall next to me and keep me company. Distance yourself, please. I have business to do.

And yet after all this, I'm actually going to tea with a lovely friend from high school who happens to share the same birthday as me. It's a mother, daughter, sister thing and the six of us are driving to the tea room on Saturday in a rented limo, drinking vino on the way over and back and catching up on what's been happening in our lives after 20+ years. And next Friday, I've been invited to an after work dinner party with three other co-workers (all female). Not to mention lunch today with those same three co-workers.

So I guess my personality isn't totally repulsive. Otherwise I'd be a complete hermit. And I think that I hold the women that come in and out of my life at high standards. If you say you will be somewhere, if you invite me someplace, if you say you are going to do something, then do it. I've had too many females completely flake out on me.

The other aspect at this age that I don't share with other women is children. I don't have any so I can't really relate to those that do. It was a personal choice as I don't believe it's the natural course of life for everyone (marriage, children, etc.). I love my weekend sleep, I love being able to just pick up and go without having to find a babysitter, I love that I can spend money on myself, read a book or magazine whenever I want, and enjoy a hot bath in the evenings. I have adorable nephews and one niece that I like spending time with, but not necessarily 24/7. I see how frazzled parenting makes people, how restrictive their wallets get, and the strain raising children cause on a marriage. I also see the joy of it, but it's just never been a looming want. If it were to happen, I'd embrace it with open arms but I think that ship has definitely sailed at my age.

If I offended anyone today with my words, I apologize. Sometimes I hold back on what I really want to write about for fear that some of you won't like what I have to say and will therefore find someone else to follow. But I have to say that as much as I like seeing Chloe's outfits from The Chloe Conspiracy, what really draws me in is her writing. I love that she doesnt' hold back. She spits out whatever is on her mind and it's flippin' refreshing, thought-provoking, and entertaining. And if I lived in Colorado, I'd stalk her until she agreed to be my friend. No, I'm kidding. Sort-of.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Birthday Bike Arrived

Sorry for the lack of pictures. "I'm in the midst of a trauma. Leave a message, I'll call you back. Leave it by the bed." Along with some cough syrup and cough drops. Yeah, I went all old school Jane's Addition on you.  I'm actually a bit under the weather. However, my day brightened up when my husband told me my new birthday bike arrived.  He said I couldn't miss the box when I opened the door to the living room. Boy was he right! The thing arrived in a heavy, huge box. Hubby had to use the dolly just to get it in the door as UPS dropped it off, knocked loudly, and then ran.  He obviously didn't want to get stuck helping hubby lug it indoors.

I will warn you if you ordered this online and will put it together - you will need some special tools (Allen wrenches, tire levers, tire pump, etc.). So while hubby got some of it assembled, we need to get the right tools to finish the job.

And are you ready for this? I have a Zara dress I ordered last spring that looks almost exactly like the flowers on the bike. Oh my I am so excited to take photos of me in the dress standing by the bike in the FL sunshine. I'm even more excited to ride it and put Miss Woozie in the basket and watch her freak out observe her surroundings.

I'm also petrified that my beautiful bike will become the object of someone else's obsession and will therefore be marching down to the local bike shop for the best bike lock I can buy.  I just can't risk this beautiful work of art taking a ride under someone else's butt.

Ignore my messy living room and the iPhone-quality pics.

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Burgundy Gone Wrong

Ugh, just ugh. Balmy day, bad choice to switch out the camera lens from my usual 50mm, shirt that shows my unattractive arm fat, and greasy, matted hair. Just disaster. All of it. But you learn from your mistakes and you move on trying different combinations until you get it right. Cause you know what? It's just fashion. It's easier to play with fashion than to make a hair change. Don't like an outfit? There's always something else hanging in the closet that you will like.  And sometimes it takes us a lifetime to figure out our style. As you can see, I'm still trying to figure it out. If you don't take fashion risks, how will you ever get to the point where you know what works? And even if you do figure it out, part of you may still want to try a style that you admire, a style you've seen others wear, a style that looked good on a body you wish you had. So you try and make it work. One thing I do know is that this blog and its daily photos have opened my eyes to what no one else can tell me. It's one thing to have a friend or relative tell you, "That color looks so good on you." It's another to see how the fabric drapes on your body, how the colors play off of your skin tone, and how all the pieces come together to form a cohesive look that you imagined. A look so perfect in your mind, so great on the hanger, but just didn't measure up when worn.

So how would I do this one over again? One simple thing could have turned this all around - a blazer. A structured blazer that isn't boxy - one that hugs my curves and provides the slim hourglass look that flatters my figure. I often think that J from J's Everyday Fashion has fallen into a blogger's rut with her whole skinny jeans look. At times I just want to unsubscribe to her blog because I know she'll never spend the money on good, quality pieces. She'll always buy fast fashion so she has something new to show you. Only how much new can you show when new is only a color swap on the same item? I don't want to fall into that rut. I don't want to show you work clothes punctuated by blazers in every color of the rainbow. I don't want to burn out on fashion or stop trying to find what works for me. Blazers are the easy way out. And I thrive on challenges.

{Blouse: Ann Taylor | Pants: J. Crew | Shoes: Nine West | Necklace: Ann Taylor}
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Friday, January 4, 2013

Early Birthday Pressie

Guess what hubby is getting me for my birthday? Oh yeah, the Alice & Olivia Neiman Marcus/Target bike (orig $500, now $149.99).

Wednesday night when I was putting together yesterday's post, the bike was not available online. It was only by chance today when I came back into my pod at work and one of my cube mates was on the Target website looking for socks, that I told her about the 70% off deal. I was showing her some of the things I bought and she was telling me about some of the blouses she tried on. Next thing I see - THE BIKE! I practically crawled over my desk and hers to get a better look at the price and availability. I told her, "Quick - add it to your cart to see if it's available." Sure enough it was!

So I sent hubby a text asking if it was okay to make such a purchase for my birthday. Normally I don't ask my husband if I want to buy things but seeing as this was a pretty big item that would be coming to the house and it was over $100, I thought I would ask. To my surprise he responded, "No...but I can buy you one." I felt guilty and quickly replied with, "Noooo." He said, "Sorry but those are the rules. Send me the link." I love my man. He's such a sweetheart. He actually thanked me after for making a great suggestion for my birthday gift. After I triple thanked him, I told him that I'm pretty easy to buy for and that Zara is always a good fall back if he's ever at a loss.

So here it is and I can't wait for it to come. I can't wait to ride it along the waterfront in downtown St. Petersburg. If you are ever down there on the weekends and see a fashionable woman riding a colorful bike, it's probably NOT me! Chances are the bike will be more fashionable than me since I tend to only dress up during the workweek.

Go and get this bike online. It ships for free. It got 5 out of 5 stars in reviews. Other not-so-glamorous bikes will set you back at least $100. This one is just too cute to pass up!

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Neiman Marcus/Target Collection 70% Off!

Ack! (Yeah that was a bad Cathy reference.) I'm turning 41 very, very, very soon. Ack! Okay I'm done.

Okay ladies - if you've haven't visited Tarjay in the last couple of days and are wanting some cute designer clothes for 70% off, run, run, run to your nearest Target. On New Year's Eve, my sister sent me a text stating the collection was 50% off. I had to run in to get some hooks for an apartment patio makeover hubby and I started on New Year's day and wowza - the collection is now a whopping 70% off, which kind of pisses me off since I paid full price for the Skaist-Taylor vest that I plan to wear on my bday weekend.

And I keep trying on that damn Prabal Gurung cape. Even at $24, it's still itchy and Sherlock Holmes-y.

So what did I get? Hello Marc Jacobs scarf. I don't care that I live in FL and never wore a scarf until I moved to Connecticut. This one is lightweight. There. Justified. And $20.99! Boom! Justified again.

And it is wool and itchy but I love this Thom Browne Women's Blazer. And I thought I would need an XL but was surprised that it was too big in...wait for it... the chest area. I know, I know.  It's a freaky miracle.

I'd still like to get the Jason Wu Christmas ornaments and I'm debating on the Lela Rose Top. I tried it on in a L but wouldn't wear it on its own. It needs a blazer as the fit is a bit weird. Tight in the back but loose in the front. Business in the front and party in the back? No, no, that's not right.

Some of the pieces are just ridiculous and cheap. The Brian Atwood sunglasses. Paleeze. Band of Outsiders cookie cutters. Really? Wait. Let's not get too hasty. They could be good for Father's Day.

Too bad the Alice and Olivia bike is gone. Now that would have been awesome at 70% off.
And I have a feeling that since Jan 5 is their cutoff return date, prices might go down even more after that.

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