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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Lobster

I originally wanted the blue J. Crew lobster sweater that's going for $89 on eBay now. Uh, I think not. So although it's not blue and red, this sweater was only $20 at Forever 21. And can you believe how well this tank looks under the sweater? Remember it? It's the one I wore for my Carrie Bradshaw post last June? Hmm. Hair's a bit different. I was a about 6-8lbs thinner too. That I can work on.

I really do like how this outfit came together. And I had so many compliments on my hair today. I was taking Woozie out after dinner and this girl (20-something) just stopped me and said, "I love the color of  your hair. I'm such and such (yeah I'm bad with names)" as she extended her hand to me. People that have never talked to me at work are paying me (or rather my hair) compliments. Both men and women are doing double takes. So it makes me wonder if a big part of the appeal of Gwen Stefani is her hair? I personally like the total package (voice, hair, looks) but I wonder if a lot of women would love to go completely blonde or platinum but just can't make the full commitment so they go for highlights instead. I mean that's what I did for years. I've had highlights since 1998. I got highlights to help blend with my gray hair. I've been gray since I was 22. My mom too. It's no fun seeing your racing stripe a week after root touch ups.  And as I have gotten older, the gray has now started showing up along my temples and on the sides of my head above my ears in massive proportions. I asked my stylist on Saturday if she could tell percentage-wise how much gray I have. She said 70% in the front and 25% in the back. Wow! Just wow! So hopefully this new color will really help blend the new gray growth cause 41 is just too young for all that gray.



{Sweater: Forever 21 (recent) | Tank: Talbots | Skirt: Old Navy | Shoes: Nine West Andriana | Lipstick: Besame Cherry Red}
 

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Toto Too

Taking pictures during a tornado watch. Real good, Niki. Today is the first day I'm fully embracing the new do and I'm loving it! Using my purple shampoo every day to keep the brassiness away. And it's so weird how I can already see regrowth. I have naturally dark brown hair, peppered with gray. So I'm seeing these little dark brown dots along the hairline and scalp. My hair grows pretty quickly so I'm thinking root touch-up might actually happen in 3 weeks instead of 4. But we'll see how it goes.

I purchased this dress online (and on sale) at Anthropologie. It didn't get great reviews. Some people thought the t-shirt part was chintzy. Others didn't like the lace band across the bottom - they felt the hem should be longer. Well, I saw this dress on a woman who was bigger than me. I was standing at the meat counter at Whole Foods when I looked over and said, "That dress is adorable!" Hmm. Wonder if she thought I was picking up more than meat. Figuring she wore an XL (wild guess), I ordered it in a Large. I guess the only thing I don't like about it is the waist rides up so I have to pull it down throughout the day. I also threw a blazer over it for work. Blazers are my security blankets at work.


 
{Dress: Anthropologie | Necklace: Forever 21 (recent) | Shoes: Zara}



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Monday, February 25, 2013

Blonde... Niki Blonde

Although my cuticles have not settled down yet from the bleaching (still a bit Puff-Daddy looking), they are a little more calmed down than yesterday's nest.  Too bad the weather tonight is humid and yucky. To my surprise, I received a ton of compliments on the color and cut today. Those that didn't like it did the awkward, "Do you like it?" to which my co-worker and I make fun of. We don't know if it's just an American thing where if you feel awkward and can't find something nice to say, you have to pose it back as a question. Both of us are honest when someone asks us a question about their looks. And if we don't like something, we'll say so but we will say it with tact. Why can't everyone just speak their minds? I mean, heck, if you don't like my hair, just tell me. I'd rather you say, "You know what, Niki? I really like your hair longer (me too) or darker." I'm a big girl and I can take it. And it's just hair. It's an easy change (color-wise) and takes me two months to grow out. Keep in mind this is stage 1. When I go back for regrowth, I'll be platinum. Don't want to fry the hair.

Oh and did I say I'm hungry? Yeah, 1200 calories is a bitch. I'm hungry. When I was on Weight Watchers in 2011 I figured (through complicated mathematical equations - NO) that 29 WW points = 1380 calories. I've been pretty good for the last few days, but man oh man am I hungry tonight. So I'm going over my calorie count today cause sometimes you just gotta listen to your body. If not, I know I'll be snacking later.

And I'm thinking this might be an unofficial blue theme week.

 
{Blazer & Tank: Zara | Pants: Talbots | Shoes: Nine West Andriana | Lipstick: Nars Heat Wave}

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Weekend in Review

Got the 'ol hair did this weekend. Was extremely nervous about it and I am still getting used to it as it has taken me by surprise. This is the first pass. Couldn't get it all up to a platinum level but will next time when I visit for root regrowth. I also kept the front a little longer than I thought I was going to. I'm thankful to my stylist for that. I've gotten a lot of support over this new color and cut. Can't believe my sister said she liked the color. She doesn't like the back and wished I had just kept the back the same length as the front. But my hair grows like a weed so I'm not worried.  Plus I've cut the trying time in half. So here are the before, during, and after pics.

Ready to Go...


Processing...



Finished



Before going to the salon, my mom and I were supposed to go on a food tour in St. Petersburg. We had difficulty getting the organizer to respond to our emails and phone calls. We showed up at the location we thought the tour would be at. The tea company ended up getting a hold of the woman who said she emailed everyone the night before of the new location (a 20 min. walk from where we were). This was a Living Social deal and a Christmas gift from my sister. I gave the woman some choice words and will call Living Social tomorrow for a refund.

My sister and I met up briefly today at FitLife Foods. We had vouchers for some free meals. It's a nifty little concept in that they prepare healthy, but tasty, packaged meals and snacks that run anywhere from 200-700 calories per meal. I scooped up the Cashew Chicken (490 calories), Mac-n-Cheese (250 calories), and the Miami Beach Mixed Grill (420 calories). The food was actually pretty tasty. Not cheap, but perfectly portioned. I finally weighed myself this weekend. Since moving back to FL, I've gained 6 lbs. So I'm on a mission to get about 12 lbs off by mid April.



Did anyone try to take advantage of Joe Fresh launching in JC Penney this weekend? I did! And here's what I encountered on the much advertised opening day. Bastards!



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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ska


So this is my take on California Ska/Rocksteady/Punk (think No Doubt, Fishbone, etc.) modified for work by adding a blazer and loafers. I love this style of dressing but it's not exactly workplace friendly and I was afraid I'd get sent home for the t-shirt. You know, cause you can't possibly be productive in a tee and this one might offend seafood eaters.

Aren't the pants awesome? Love tartan. I'll wear it year round because I don't think tartan should be reserved for winter months, holiday parties, or Scottish balls (not those Scottish balls). They are a little tight but I'm not attributing that to my lack of gym participation, king size Kit Kats, or the increased intake in a special red adult bevvie. They are just cut wrong. Actually they have no give and that's always a problem for me as when I sit, I spread like Texas.

And I'm so wanting to do something radical to my hair. I've had this lackluster blonde for too long. I want to go platinum and I want to go short. Last night I ordered some truffle mayo from Brooklyn as I want to attempt Tuscan fries like the ones I used to have at happy hour at Il Palio in Connecticut. They were served with black truffle mayo. I was going to attempt my own mayo but black truffles are expensive! Pre-made white truffle mayo was a less financial commitment and time. So check out the hair on one of the business partners at Empire Mayonnaise. Her hair is rad and I want it. Both the cut and color. What do you all think? Well it's gonna happen on Saturday. I'm working my way to being Gwen Stefani's short, pudgy sister.



{Tee: Fishbone concert | Blazer: Zara | Capris: J. Crew. Buy here. Mine were 40% off. | Shoes: Zara}
 




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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mod Squad

The tax man cometh and the tax man taketh. I spent about five hours on Sunday cursing TaxACT and then giving up. I've been using TaxACT for years and have been rewarded nicely. Something has changed with this software this year. No longer was I led by the hand down the scary tax path watching the numbers go higher, then lower, then finally settle into a comfortable, soothing, and acceptable amount. I was very much in discomfort on Sunday. So last night I tried TurboTax. A little more expensive but I felt like a little guiding angel was sitting on my shoulder, gently stroking my hair and telling me "It will be okay, Niki. They'll make it right." While the move from CT to FL did put a dent in our usual return, we ended up owing a lot less than I thought we would. Federal yielded a small return that will be used to pay Connecticut for robbing me blind of state income tax. Hint, don't take a savings distribution in a state with state income tax. I'm just grateful FL does not have state income tax. And our moving expenses were entirely deductible with the time and distance test. Whoo hoo!

I didn't want to add any color to this outfit because I didn't want to take away from the Mod look. And if I wait any later to wear this outfit, it will be Spring and I will look like a buffoon. We had a couple of cold snap days but it's supposed to be 80 degrees by Friday and according to the weather lady, "we're done with cold weather." Not sure what she's been smoking from her crystal ball to be able to glimpse the future, but okay, I'll go with it. Typically March is a warm month in Florida.

Did you all have a nice weekend? Hubby said I wore him out this weekend with the concert on Friday night and several hours at Oxford Exchange. I enjoyed OE but not sure it's a place I'll keep returning to. Other than eating at the restaurant, there's really not much to do unless you are just hanging out at the
tea or coffee bar area. But I'll do a review with pics later.


 


{Blazer: Zara | Top: Ann Taylor | Pants: The Limited | Shoes: Michael Kors}



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Friday, February 15, 2013

Lazy Friday Mint

Unfortunately the rain derailed any possibility for pictures of Valentine's outfit #2. Sorry about that. I did have a nice lunch at a local Thai place with my girlfriend and then Bonefish Grill takeout for dinner with hubby, followed by Craigslist Joe documentary. We decided that Valentine's Day should only fall on a Saturday as it's just too exhausting to do anything during the work week.

On Saturday, hubby and I are venturing to a new place in Tampa that I'm so excited to go to. The Oxford Exchange is a bookstore/coffee/tea/boutique/breakfast and brunch place that was opened late last year in a rennovated, 24,000 square foot horse stable across from the University of Tampa. Just looking at the pictures online makes my mouth water.

We are also going to a concert tonight in downtown St. Peterburg. Fishbone is playing at a small concert hall. I feel rather old going to see a band I listened to in college. But tickets were cheap and we might have to temper our hearing after by going to hear jazz or blues.

I picked up this sweater in Target for under $5 this past weekend while having sister time. It's thin so I had to put a tank top underneath. And who really wants to do their hair on Fridays? It's finally long enough again to barely pull it back into a sad excuse of a ponytail.

Hope you all have a great weekend! Oh, got my Prabal Gurung stuff in the mail last night. The floral crush dress - keeping, the white tank with black lace - big time keeping - love it! The shorts - oh hell no. And I'm realizing my body just isn't made for flared skirts. Why widen an already wide part of my body?


And let me talk about the shoes. I saw almost the exact same pair in Coach for over $125. I then went to Banana Republic and at the back of the store, these were in a small bin, along with orange pairs at the back of the store for 40% off. And went I got up to the register, 50% off. Yes, please!


{Sweater: Target | Jeans: Gap | Shoes: Banana Republic. Buy them here. | Necklace: Claire's | Lipstick: OCC Queen}




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Thursday, February 14, 2013

I Heart You

Sorry for being MIA for the last few days. Sometimes life just gets in the way of being able to do fun things, like blog. Everything is fine here - just a lot of running around this week at lunchtime, which is typically when I come home and take pics if I don't have time in the morning before work.

So I have two days of Valentine's outfits for you. Two, two for the price of one. This first one is just full of girly pink lusciousness (hmm - sounded a little borderline porn there - well it is Valentine's Day). I just think this sweater from Old Navy is so cute and I wanted to wear a few shades of pink with it.

Tomorrow's outfit will be a little heart pattern mixing and more winter-esq as it's supposed to cool down here again. Unless I go with another option, which my friend is pushing me toward. We've been lucky with our 80 degree, sunny weather for the longest time. Makes for beautiful trips to the St. Pete Morning Market on Saturdays where I scoop up tasty organic broccoli, dried pasta, fresh-baked bread, and other goodies.

Once again, hubby and I are doing a Valentine's floor picnic. Over the years of dining out on V-Day, we've come to realize that it's just not worth the hassle. When we dine out, we like to enjoy our wine and the whole experience. That's hard to do when you are squeezed into makeshift tables while a stressed server shoves the prix fixe menu in your face and then exclaims, 'We've run out of such and such tonight.' We've had too many V-Day meals with steaks that were  disappointingly over cooked that we just gave up going anywhere on Feb. 14.

Instead, we're having cheese, salami, wine and then steaks from Bonefish Grill takeout. My sister introduced me to Bonefish's steak special, which is so tender and tastes like a fillet. I usually get the Gorgonzola butter on the side. No muss, no fuss. Sorry, CT, no Bonefish up there.

This past weekend hubby got a new toy - Roku. A small device that lets us stream TV shows and movies from Netflix, Hulu, and HBOGo. Not only can you stream them on the TV the device is hooked up to, you can also stream them on your iPhone or iPad. After being on the computer Sunday evening, I looked up and realized I had missed HBO's Girls.


So I streamed it on my phone before falling asleep. We signed up for Netflix and Hulu as Bright House cable just doesn't offer the same variety and quality of programs we were used to having in CT via AT&T Uverse (when you live in an apt. complex, you have to use the complex's cable company).

Hope you have a wonderful day and evening, little Valentines.




{Sweater: Old Navy. Buy it here. | Pants: J. Crew | Necklace: Kate Spade. Buy it here. | Shoes: J. Crew}


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Monday, February 11, 2013

Prabal Gurung for Target

When designers paired up with Neiman Marcus and Target, I was pretty excited about some pieces of the collection. And even more excited when a few weeks after the debut, everything was marked down to 70% off. After all, that's how I got my beautiful Alice & Olivia bike, which I love but have only ridden once so far. Once I get a bike rack on my car, I'll be able to take it more places. One of the main pieces I wanted from that collection was the Prabal Gurung cape. I tried it on with disappointing results. It was extremely scratchy and I looked like a detective. Even my sister made a point to tell me about it when it was reduced to 50% off as she knows I like capes.

I pretty much get excited over any Target/designer collaboration. And to own a piece by Prabal Gurung is no exception. Love, love, love all his clothing. Can't, can't, can't afford any of it. Until now. It's almost 4am on a Sunday morning. Have I been up all night waiting with baited breath for the collection to show up online like I did in year's past? Well... no. I was going to, but I ended up going to bed around 10pm (a rarity on a Saturday night) just out of pure exhaustion of running around on Saturday to the local farmers market, helping hubby get his car fixed, and not one, but two warehouse shopping trips. Why is Costco so much tamer than Sam's Club?

I guess I have the laughter of strangers to thank for my online purchase early this morning. Our apartment faces the pool and every so often, a group of people think it's fine to go hang out in the middle of the night and laugh and talk loudly. I think it's rude, but for the most part we actually live in a quiet complex. But good going strangers (yeah, bad Madonna reference). Because of you, I woke up, logged on, and bought a few pieces that were only for sale online, or so it displayed "Out of Stock" at most local locations. I"m sure a trip to my local Target will probably yield the entire collection.

So which pieces did I get? Behold!
{Lace Overlay top}

{Meet the Parents skirt}

 
{Floral Crush Print dress - this was the main piece I wanted from the collection}
 
 
 
{Flora Crush Print shorts)

Even though I typically wear shorts that come down to my knees, these were too cute to pass up. Once I have a nice tan on my legs, I won't care about my dimples).



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Friday, February 8, 2013

Narciso Colorblock

In typical Niki fashion, I've kept this dress hanging in my closet for over a month. I actually forgot about it. It got wedged in between other dresses (not hard in my closet). It's a walk-in (yay!) but not very big. I can get all my clothes in the closet (well those that aren't in storage) but just barely.

And off subject but my necklace organization has been pinned 74 times in the last week since converting my personal Pinterest account to a business blogger account. 74 times! Holy cow!

I love this dress. It reminds me of my Vince color block goal dress. It's from the Narciso Rodriguez collection for Kohl's. I truly believe that this is my best look - shift dress with fitted blazer. It covers my knobby, dimply knees and arms, hugs my curves, and pulls in at my natural waist. Just a good look for me. And although I would love to dress like this every day, I just like variety. I like trying new styles and exploring what else might work for my body.

On a different note (yes, when I drink and write I tend to go off on tangents), I have removed some content from the last few months of my blog posts. Although I won't go into detail, it's to protect my privacy. Some of it was pretty good humor and food for thought, but I can't take any chances. I may be able to explain this later, but for now - sorry.

Oh, and don't forget, on Sunday Target teams up with Prabal Gurung. Take a look at the collection here. I have my eye on a few pieces.



{Dress: Narciso Rodriguez for Kohl's | Blazer: Zara | Purse: Zara (c/o Mommy's gift card). Buy it here. And it now comes in a mini version! | Shoes: Nine West. Similar here.}
 


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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Short, but cute

No, the title of this blog post isn't describing me, although it totally could! Just kidding, I'm not that vain. Oh who am I kidding? I take pictures of myself daily in different outfits. It doesn't get much vainer than that!

Actually I was referring to this dress. The length is barely acceptable for work and that's standing up. Sitting down, I scooted all the way under my desk as the dress rose to mini skirt proportions. But I just love the pattern and Kelly green is one of my favorite colors. But drop-waist dresses are not curvy-girl friendly. And since we are on the downward trend with our cold (cool) weather, I wanted to bring The Conductor jacket out one last time. By this time next month, it will be beach weather. I kid you not, we start hitting the beach in March.



{Dress: The Limited | Blazer: Zara | Shoes: Zara. | Necklace: Thrifted}


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Monday, February 4, 2013

Blog Sale is on!

Okay, so here are the things I'm ready to part with. I know some of you want my blazers. Tough! I'm just kidding. But seriously, no. Just can't part with them yet. Maybe in another blog sale. But I do have some goodies. Some of these things you've seen, some of them just didn't work for me and are still new (many with tags still attached).

So here's how it will work. If you are interested in something, please email me at foodandwinegal@gmail.com. Prices are reasonable and set. No refunds so please ask questions if you are interested. I don't want this stuff back once I ship it. :-) Gotta make room for new stuff.

Shipping - I will purchase flat envelopes for the clothes to keep the shipping costs to $6 for the clothing. However, the shoes will ship in a USPS medium box and shipping will be $12 for all shoes. I believe medium boxes flat rate boxes ship for around $11.50, so I'm just rounding up to make it easy. Not trying to make a profit.

I've sold on eBay for many years and Paypal is the preferred method of payment (100% positive feedback). However, some of you have expressed issues with Paypal. I will take personal checks but they must clear before I can ship your item.

I think that's it for the details. I covered shipping, contacting me, not wanting the stuff back, and payment. Email me with questions. First come first serve.

Fine print - if you are allergic to animals - you probably won't want my stuff. Although Woozie is a 5lb Chihuahua and can't reach my clothes even if she wanted to wear them, I do pick her up sometimes with my work clothes on.

International followers - sorry sweeties - this sale is for US followers only. It just becomes too complicated shipping overseas with customs.

If you want to see how I wore these items, please check out My Outfits on Pinterest (search Fashion at Forty).

 
{Dress: Modcloth | Size: XL (fits more like a L) | Price: $15}

SOLD! {Lace Peplum top: Zara - NWOT (new without tags) | Size: L | Price: $10}
 
 
{Vest: Rachel Roy - NWT (new with tags) | Size: 12 | Price: $20}
 
 
{Mini Skirt: J. Crew Origami - NWT | Size: 12 | Price: $20}
 

{Cream skirt: Banana Republic Factory (NWOT) | Size: 14 (fits snug) | Price: $5}

 
{Dress: Zara (worn once) | Size: XXL | Price: $15}


{Laser cut skirt: Asos (worn once) | Size: US 14/UK 18 | Price: $15}
 
 
{Lace top: Urban Outfitters (NWOT) | Size: L | Price: $5}
 
 
{Silk Blouse: J. Crew | Size: 12 | Price: $20}



{Orange blazer: Worthington | Size: PL | Price: $10}


{Capris: NY&Co | Size: 16 | Price: $10}
 
 
{Mini Skirt: Ann Taylor (NWT) | Size: 14 | Price: $10}
 
 
{Sequin skirt: Gap (new) | Size: 12 | Price: $20}


{Mini skirt: Gap | Size: 14 | Price: $10}

 
{Tank: Karen Kane | Size: L | Price: $10}
 

You know how much I loved this one and hunted it down on eBay. It just didn't work for me. Hopefully it will work for you.
 
{Tartan blouse: J. Crew | Size: 12 | Price: $10}

 
{Neoprene top: Joe Fresh | Size: M (runs large) | Price: $5}


I'm going to be picky with this one. I bought this size M on eBay before I found the L in store. I paid $60 and will sell it for $40 as that is the going rate on eBay and I'd like to recoup some of my money.
 
SOLD! {Lace sweatshirt: J. Crew (NWT) | Size: M | Price: $40}
 
 
{Boucle top: Asos | Size: 12 | Price: $10}


 
{Dress: Jason Wu for Target | Size: L | Price: $15}
 

{Lace print skirt: Jason Wu for Target (NWT) | Size: 14 (runs small) | Price: $15}
 
 


{Pants: Asos - NWOT | Size: 14 | Price: $10}
 

{Espadrilles: Gap - NWOT | Size: 7 (runs large) | Price: $10}

 
{Gold sparkle shoes: J. Renee (NWOT) | Size: 8 | Price: $20}
 

I love these Zara shoes but they are too tall for me. 5" heel with 1.5" platform. Bought them new for $70. Tags still attached. Will be picky on these.
 
{Red rhinestone heels: Zara | Size: 8 (feels like 7.5) | Price: $40}

 
{Laser cut booties: Lela Rose for Payless | Size: 8 | Price: $20}

 
{Sequin espadrilles: Guess - NWOT | Size: 8 | Price: $15}

 
{Heels: Christian Siriano for Payless (worn once) | Size: 7.5 | Price: $15}

 
{Metallic silver heels: Zara | Size: 39 | Price: $15}



I have an extra Paul's Boutique skull bag. This one is still wrapped in the original packaging.
 
{Bag: Pauls Boutique Asos | Price: $30}







 



 
 
 
 



 


 




 


 


 


 


 


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