Friday, May 31, 2013

Chuckie 2

So here is the 2nd pair of Chucks I bought. Weird thing is that they are the same size as the neon pink ones (size 7) but fit about a 1/2 size smaller. They are still fine as Chucks run big but they are pretty much true to the size I need. I just loved the washed denim look. And speaking of denim, I now get to wear jeans to work on Fridays w/out a company shirt (not even sure when the company shirts will arrive as I placed the order 5 weeks ago). Can you believe I've been at my new job for 5 weeks now?

Sorry I've been MIA (no, not the rapper) for the last few days. Hubby and I have been busy for the last few nights and our little "project" has been consuming waking and sleeping hours. Not to mention throwing off the whole Weight Watchers counting. I'm trying but it's been a little difficult right now as we are preoccupied with some things that hopefully I'll be able to share with you next week. A bit nerve wracking right now, though. So just bear with me. Things happen in life that put blogging on the back burner.  For now, I must get some sleep. Tomorrow is another day to gather documents and start playing the "will they, won't they" game again.

{Shirt: J. Crew | Jeans: Old Navy Rockstar | Shoes: Converse Shoreline}

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Alice in Nordstrom Wonderland

I'm finally able to buy nice shoes again but without going extremely crazy. After getting my protein hair treatment last night and talking about adding in some level 8 and 9 low lights next time (bye bye Gwen Stefani hair. I love it but I want to keep the rest of my hair from here on out), I walked on over to Norstrom and straight into the half yearly sale on shoes. I've been eyeing these Alice and Olivia shoes online for a couple of weeks now. Love the flowery detail and was going to get them online last week. So glad I didn't. They run incredibly small. These are an 8.5 and normally I wear a 7.5 - 8. All my pointy Nine West pumps are size 8.

Aren't they adorable? They are entirely leather (even the soles) and weirdly hit the same area at the top of my foot as those painful cobalt blue J. Crew flats I wore recently. But they don't hurt. Yay! They also have a clever piece of elastic in the inside heel to reduce slippage. Genius! No more of those sticky heel liners that I've put in a lot of my shoes. I just love the craftsman ship of quality shoes. Don't get me wrong, I'll still buy the cheapies but every now and again, I'll invest in some keepers. Too bad the lace Valentino espadrille wasn't on sale.

I got this neon dress (and its matching bright yellow sister) at Gap a few weeks ago on mega sale ($30 with 25% off). I love comfortable shirt dresses. When I was a bit lighter (160lbs) and younger (35), I wore a black Ralph Lauren shirt dress to death. I still have it folded neatly in my closet for when the pounds drop from a mysterious illness or the miracle "I'm never hungry" pill.

{Dress: Gap | Shoes: Alice and Olivia | Necklace: Banana Republic}

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Here's a good one I heard today. Went a little something like this: "I grew up in a trailer park but it's not there today. Well it is, but now it's all nice manufactured homes in a gated community." As a girl who grew up in Pinellas Park, FL (the trailer capital of the Tampa Bay area), but has no personal experience with trailer parks per se other than the 55+ community my grandparents lived in, can someone educate me on this statement? Aren't they the same thing? Glorified trailers? Or are they the modular homes that you see strapped to big semi trucks driving down the highway? "There's goes the the back half of our house, Rose."

Okay, a little off topic. Let's get back on track. I am loving this double peplum outfit. It's in my top 5 outfits (although I don't know what the other 4 are right now, but it sounds pretty impressive). Awhile back, I saw Atlantic-Pacific do a double peplum but didn't think I could pull it off. Turns out I just needed the right kind of peplum (a top that has a longer flounce and a pencil skirt where the peplum covers up the problem areas and looks slimming).

And how ideal is the color scheme? Yellow and purple are exact opposites on the color wheel, which means they are complimentary colors (think about how pretty an Iris flower is). And boy did I get some compliments on this one today from my co-workers. The shoes? Well they still hurt so I made sure I stayed at my desk during my lunch hour instead of running errands. Explored some Sea World options for my nephew's birthday. Yeah, even Floridians like to visit theme parks every few years (unless you are a die-hard Disney fan with a closet full of Mikey Mouse clothing). In Tampa we have Busch Gardens. It's fun to go during gator mating season when the males make an ungodly loud noise thinking that's the way to go. I go for the ice cream. It's incredible. Soft serve vanilla in a large waffle cone drizzled with hot chocolate. I'm not a huge ice cream fan but that is my absolute favorite combination. I'm a simple-eating ice cream girl. About the only time I won't visit a FL theme park is during the months of August and September. Unless you want to walk around in misery, go ahead and book a FL trip during those two months.

{Faux leather peplum top: Inc | Peplum Skirt: Target | Necklace and Shoes: J. Crew | Lippies: MAC Rebel}

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Double Take

Hmm. Where have I seen this outfit before? It looks vaguely familiar but not exactly the same. Oh, must have been similar to this one, one of my favorite looks on my blog. Love everything about that post. And what a difference 6lbs makes on me! It really does. Cindy asked how tall I was the other day. I'm 5'4" or slightly under. So I'm a squatty little thing and 5-10lbs makes a huge difference in my face, stomach, arms, and thighs. These green pants still fit, albeit a bit tight at the waist. But I'm working on it and will hopefully get into the 160s over the next few months. I have a feeling it's going to be a slow road as I've been used to eating lighter for two years. I'm hoping an increase in workouts will help whittle down the lower half, even if the pounds don't melt off.

Shall we talk about hair? I think I've reached my platinum threshold. I had breakage this past bleaching. I waited 5 weeks before getting the roots touched up and still had breakage. So I'm taking that as a sign. Getting a protein treatment at the salon to try and help rebuild my strands. And what I'm thinking is that I'll go a little darker at the roots for a few times since it's less damaging and then get platinum highlights. Might be a better look on me as well. I'm kind of wanting my darker roots back to add some balance. But I do so love being this blonde. I also know it's probably not the most flattering on me so I'll find a happy medium. Now if it will just grow faster.  Although if you saw the back of my hair in that other post, you would have seen how much damage I did to myself by trying to highlight it. But it didn't take long to get it back into shape once I moved back to FL.

{Shirt: Michael Kors | Pants: Worthington | Shoes: Zara | Tassel necklace: Asos | Lippies: Nars Schiap}

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

White Eyelet

I was waiting to wear this dress once I got a little bit of sun on my arms. Cause sun makes a fat arm look thinner, right?  I also had this dress lined up for something that I haven't told you all about because I'm not sure if I'll be featured. About a month or so ago, I got an email from Redbook asking me to provide them with pictures of either a white dress or patterned shorts for either the July or August issue. Seems like they are featuring a lot of fashion bloggers lately, which is great! They ended up asking for patterned shorts. So husband and I went to Sunken Gardens in April (on a humid day - blech), where we took several shots of me in different shorts. Hopefully they will use them. If not, it was flattering just being contacted. And if I'm not featured, then I'll post a shorts theme week with the pictures from the shoot.

I also ended up buying this dress in green cause it's just so cute and reminds me of the wide eyelet pattern a year or so ago from Louis Vuitton.

{Dress: INC | Necklace: Banana Republic | Shoes: Pour la Victoire | Lippies: Nars Luxembourg}

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Prison Break

Quick post tonight as I'm getting sleepy after a long day celebrating my mom's birthday on the water in Dunedin. My sister rented a little 2-bedroom villa overlooking the intercoastal. One of mom's favorite local bands, The Black Honkeys, was putting on an afternoon performance by the pool. It was just a nice day lounging by the pool and then celebrating her milestone birthday with friends and family.

I went off WW for one day. But I am down 1.2lbs from a week ago. Picking it right back up tomorrow and not getting down on myself for some drinks, hamburger, and cake.

Starting weight this time: 178
Week 1 weight: 176.8

I'll post more on my food when I have a little more time. Sister and I ended up wearing matching colors, even down to our gel manicures.

{Husband liked the cool effect of the stairs with my dress on this one
Dress: Target | Scarf: J. Crew Factory Outlet | Barrette: Target | Necklace: Sam's Club | Lippies: Nars Dragon Girl | Sunnies: Ray Ban}

{Excuse the quality - taken with a phone}


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Friday, May 17, 2013

Weight Watchers

Had some good response yesterday to my question about my next Weight Watchers (WW) journey. So I'll do one post today that talks strictly about that and then I'll address it a little in each post. Sound good? Good. Here we go.
If you've been on WW before, you know about the Points or Points Plus format. If not, basically everything you eat is assigned a point value based on fat, fiber, carbs, and protein. It's not about calories. You don't track calories. You track points. Things have changed slightly since I was on the program two years ago in that you can adjust your points values. I'm only going to speak about my experiences as I know nothing about the Points values for men on WW. For me, last go around, I was assigned 29 points for the day and 49 extra points for the week that could be spread out daily, all in one sitting, or for splurges. This go around they assigned me 26 points. Since I don't eat fruit (0 points), I found that 26 points was just not enough so I bumped my point value up to 29 points since I know that value worked last time. I will say that I always go over. Every day. Always. That's just me. So that's points in a nutshell.
I'm not going to advise you to see a doctor, blah blah blah. Does anyone really do that? Hmm. Well, actually I did last time and it was only because I was diagnosed with high blood pressure. The very next day I went on WW per my doctor's advice. I clocked in at 202lbs when I started this program and have been in the 170s ever since. But if you have any concerns about your health, do what you feel is best before starting WW. There - that's my disclaimer. I'm not being paid to do this post, I'm not sponsored by WW (have I ever been sponsored by anyone? No). So no legal mumbo jumbo here.
So now on to the fun part. What do I eat? Everything. WW is really about portion control. I will advise you to purchase (if you don't already have) three things:
  • Digital food scale
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
These are invaluable tools on WW and keep you honest in portion sizes (if used). Don't eyeball anything. You will overeat. The other advice before I get into my food is to download the WW app on your phone. When you are in a pickle in the grocery store and can't decided between the WW brand light string cheese (2 pts) and the Laughing Cow Light Babybel (1 pt), you'll wish you had the quick calculator on the app. If you join and go to physical meetings, I think you get a calculator and other junk. I do all of this online. I don't like meetings and rah-rah feel-good sessions. I'm  accountable to myself and the only way this program works is if you are completely honest about your food and activity.
Okay, so the food. This can get long so what I'll do is list my food and points used each day that I post on my blog so you can see what I'm eating. I like to cook so I make dinner a few nights/week. Here's a good starter recipe for dinner that I based off a Pinterest recipe (baked chicken foil packets).
Remember - measure everything!
4 servings, 11 points per serving
1lb boneless skinless chicken cutlets
1 box low sodium Stovetop stuffing
4 cups (or however much you want) broccoli florets
1 cup chopped carrots
4 TBSP light Ranch dressing
1 cup shredded cheese (you can use light cheese/fat free/or full fat). I used Trader Joe's Swiss and Gruyere - full fat
Pour stuffing into a bowl and mix with water until moistened. You aren't cooking the stuffing. Just getting it moistened. Spread in a greased baking dish. *Note - you only get a 1/2 cup of stuffing to keep within the point limit. There are 6 servings in a box. So make sure to measure only a 1/2 cup when this dish is done baking. Place uncooked chicken cutlets on top of stuffing. 3-4 oz is the normal serving size for meat. 4 oz is what this recipe is calculated on for points. Top chicken with uncooked broccoli and carrots. Load up on the broccoli - it's 0 points! Top veggies with the light ranch dressing and then the cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour at 425 degrees. Yum!
Could you lighten this dish up even more without the stuffing? Absolutely! Could you use other dressings? Of course - light Caesar works great, too! Fat free cheese - ewww - doesn't melt well but go for it. I prefer light cheese over FF.
Okay, so that's an example of one dinner. So here are some things I buy and keep handy in my fridge/pantry:
  • Land 'O Lakes Light Butter with Canola oil - the best light butter there is in my opinion. Tastes just like regular butter. (1 TBSP = 1 point)
  • Fiber One Pancake mix - love this stuff and eat every weekend. Have to order it now as I can't find it in stores since moving back to FL. (3 pancakes = 1/2 cup mix = 5 points).
  • Any brand light sour cream. (2 TBSP = 1 point)
  • Egg beaters or egg substitute. Almost every work week morning starts with egg beaters. I combine 1/4 cup of regular with 1/4 cup Southwest. (1/4 cup = 1 point)
  • Hungry Jack Lite Syrup. Tastes like the full sugar version and I've tried a lot of syrups. If you want gross - buy the sugar free version. Blech. I typically dip my pancakes in syrup, rather than smother them. I use 2TBSP on my pancakes. (1/4 cup = 3 points)
  • Skinny Cow Chocolate and Caramel Divine Filled Chocolates - oh my new favorite treat. Comes in a package of 3 squares. (1 square = 1 point).
  • Sugar free Handi-Snacks Vanilla Pudding (1 cup = 1 point)
  • Deli-sliced honey ham (2oz = 2 points)
  • Thomas's English Muffins (1 muffin = 3 points)
  • Smart Food White Cheddar Cheese popcorn. You get more bang for your buck if you want something crunchy and salty. I typically have 1/2 serving. (1 serving = 1 3/4 cup = 4 points)
  • Laughing Cow Light Mini Babybel cheese (1 piece = 1 point)
  • Wheat Thins (16 crackers = 4 points)
  • Al Dente Carb Nada Low Carb pasta. The best tasting low carb pasta. I don't waste time with that Shakira/Shitaki fish smelling crap. Yeah, let me rinse the fish smell off my pasta. That's appetizing. (2oz = 3 points)
  • Minute Brown/Brown & Wild Rice Cups. There's an Asian beef stir fry WW recipe I use over brown rice for dinner quite often. (1 cup = 4 points)
  • Jimmy Dean Reduced Fat Pork Sausage. My eggs need a little meat in the mornings. I add 1/4- 1/2 oz for 1 WW point.
  • Caramel mini rice cakes. Sometimes you need just a little something to get through the afternoons and these are eh but accomplish the task (8 mini cakes = 2 points)
  • Kraft Singles Reduced Fat 2% American Cheese. I put a slice on top of my eggs. (1 slice = 1 point)
  • Cheerios. A little high in points in my opinion so I eat about a 1/3 serving if I'm still hungry in the mornings (1 cup = 3 points).
  • Smart Balance Fat Free Milk. This one tastes like 2%. And it's organic, which to me means nothing more than it will last for more than a month in the fridge (8oz = 3 points)
  • Diet Coke/Pepsi. I'm a diet soda junkie. Can't give it up. Luckily it's 0 WW points.
  • Hot tea. My favorite is Bigelow Earl Grey Green. A must try if you've never had it. I may have two cups/day with 1 equal each (0 points).
  • Chicken sausage links. I get Trader Joe's. They are great grilled or pan fried. I also combine them with a few potatoes and roast with bell peppers and onions. (3oz chicken sausage = 3 points)
Okay, so those are a few staples. Now for eating out. Don't! No, I'm just kidding. You can eat out, you just have to plan. This is where the iPhone app comes in handy. Look up restaurants before you go. Load up on veggies. Stick with grilled meats/seafood that aren't drowning in butter. Ask for sauces on the side.
Subway has slimy meat but they are great for WW folks, especially for lunch or a quick post workout dinner. I typically get a 6" ham and Swiss sandwich on wheat or 9 grain oat for 8 points. I get a very little bit of honey mustard and that's it. But you could load it up with veggies as well or skip the cheese altogether.
  • Bang Bang shrimp - eat half and it's only 6 points! Add a glass of red wine (5oz) for 4 points more for a little splurge at Bonefish Grill.
  • Chick-Fil-A is another good one when it comes to WW points. 8 nuggets = 7 points. Skip the waffle fries.
  • Need a Five Guys hamburger fix? (Eat there sparingly) Get the Little Burger for 13 points.
  • Panera - I usually get the You Pick Two and get an Asian Chicken Salad and a cup of Broccoli Cheddar soup (Total points = 11).
So those are a few of my dining choices. Another good tip is to order kid's meals. They are portioned correctly.
How many points do I typically use in a day - about 32-33. Yes, I go over. Every day I go over my 29 allotted points. Every day I pull from my 49 weekly points. I like food. I get hungry. I eat. Will I have rapid weight loss? No. But slow and steady will help later on with maintenance.
Do I exercise? Yes. Blech! I may want a donut on a Saturday morning. Maybe two. I exercise so I can get activity points. I aim for two days/week. Sometimes three. I don't really like exercising so I take group classes at my gym. Spinning or RPM is the most beneficial to my body type. It tones my lower half like no other exercise. And Body Combat (kickboxing) is just fun but can is hard on my body. So I go at my own pace with both activities.
Okay, I think that's enough for this post. I'll write more with each blog post. And if you have any questions, just ask. I'll give weekly weigh-ins as well.
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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Pumped Up Kicks

All the other kids with the pumped up kicks, better run, better run, outrun my 41-year old ass.

Oh wait. That's not how the song goes. But I love, love, love my new Chucks. I've never, ever had the desire to own Converse All Star Chucks before. I always thought they were a poor-boy Duckie-Pretty-in-Pink shoe with a very long, "duck" bill. They never appealed to me. Until now. How cute are these Shoreline sneaks? They have less shoelace holes, which already gives them a shorter appearance, and an elastic back. They also seem narrower than other Chucks. And after walking around briskly at lunch today, they did give me a little blister on my pinkie toe. So if you have wider feet, these may not be for you. I also had to size down to a 7. I'm normally a 7.5 in sandals and open-toed shoes and an 8 in close-toed shoes and boots.

So not only did I get these in pink, I also got them in dark denim. I tried on the pink ones at Nordstrom and ordered the dark denim ones online. The dark denim seem a bit smaller than the pink ones. So we'll have to see how those work out as the pink ones give me just a little wiggle room.

So I need to ask you all a question. Are you interested in knowing anything about my second Weight Watchers journey? I already lost most of my weight before I started blogging. This is my second go around after being off the program for two years. Would you like to know what I'm eating? What my typical meal plan looks like? Type of exercise? Daily points that I use? Weigh-ins? If not, I'll keep this to myself.

{Shoes: Converse All Star. Pink and Dark Denim. | Pants: Old Navy | Button-down: Ann Taylor | Lippies: Nars Luxembourg}

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tropical Cherries

I've had this Asos skirt for a bazillion years. Well, maybe just a year. Somehow nothing ever seemed right with it. Until I popped these.... oh no. That's just wrong, Niki. Don't talk that way about this cute sweater. "What are you doing wearing a sweater in FL in May?" Would you believe we had a cold front come through last night? Me either. It was the most perfect morning/day with low humidity, a nice breeze, and a cloudless sky.

These shoes are also pretty old. A Target find several years ago that don't get enough love. But they're not the Converse shoes I was alluding to the other day. Oh I just love my two new pairs of Converse shoes and can't wait to show you. Stay tuned my little fashion bugs.

Oh and a very happy birthday to my mom today. See you on Sunday for your big milestone birthday party. This is also the day my husband proposed to me in NYC three years ago.

{Sweater: Old Navy | Skirt: Asos | Shoes: Converse | Lippies: Nars Heat Wave}

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Who says you can't wear plaid/tartan year round? I says yes, you can! And this sweater, with two of my favorite colors, can be worn with just about anything. White jeans, pink pants, blue jeans, etc. Keep it casual or dress it up. I'm just not sure it's very flattering on my big busted self. Looked darn cute in the magazines on flat-chested waifs and was even better hanging on the sales rack. But maybe when I lose a little weight and possibly pair it over another shirt, it might look a bit better.

So this will be a quick post as I'm needing to take a nightly walk. Weigh ins are on Wednesdays. I'm hoping for a good start = 4lbs.

Oh and I have to talk about my new favorite lipstick. Love, love, love this Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Luxembourg.
{Skirt and Sweater: J. Crew | Shoes: Nine West | Lippies: Nars Luxembourg}

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Monday, May 13, 2013

I'm Baccckkk!

So no outfit post today, just ramblings. New outfit posts tomorrow. I have a few new things to show you. I have a new interest in Converse Chucks, neon, eyelet, and more peplum. Gonna be some fun upcoming fashion days.

I've also had to acknowledge that I've gained some weight since moving back to FL. I can see it in the pictures as I'm sure you can too. As much as I didn't really want to do anything about it, I know it's for my own good. So back on Weight Watchers I went last week. One thing that's new is the Points Plus allotment. They've lowered the level from 29 points to 26 points each day (you still get the extra 49 points/week to use however you want. I usually borrow a few points each day). I was finding after two days that 26 points was leaving me very hungry. So I logged onto my laptop rather than the iPhone app and discovered that you now have the ability to set your daily points within your settings. Anywhere from 26-29 points. With 29 points, I was losing an average of two pounds each week and had hit a 20lb weight loss in three months last time. And after rigorous mathematical calculations (yeah, I went on a website and did some simple math), 29 points equates to 1380 calories, which is about as low as I'm willing to go without chewing random people's arms off.

Here's the thing with needing the extra points. I take full advantage of some of the free veggie points (broccoli, cauliflower, etc.), but I detest fruit. Yes, your response is normal and the typical response I get, "YOU DON'T LIKE FRUIT? ARE YOU CRAZY?" Uh, no. Not crazy. My taste buds are just whacked. I don't taste sweet with fruit, I taste bitter. It's also a texture issue. Bananas make me want to gag. Grapes only taste good when fermented and bottled. Strawberries are furry, have seeds, and only taste good when blended with lots of rum. So while a lot of people can be below or just meet their daily point allotment, because they mix in a few pieces of fruit for snacking, I have to find alternatives - like sugar free jello.

It's also kind of ironic that two years ago, I started WW at roughly the exact same time. Although I don't plan to lose 30lbs this go around, I would be happy with about 12-15lbs. Seven pounds would bring me back to the weight I was when I moved back to FL, 15lbs would probably get me into some beautiful J. Crew pants that have been hanging in my closet as a reminder that I can eventually get there.

My trip to Connecticut went well. The first two days were sunny and warm and then the typical days upon days of chilly rain set in making me long for sunny and warm FL. We did manage dinner in New Haven one night as there's not much to eat in the Meriden area. And while it was tempting to do a drive-by to the old house (less than 10 mins from New Haven), I just couldn't justify it to my co-workers. Plus it's not our house and CT is not my home anymore. I have to say it was nice to see the tulips, cherry blossoms, and other spring flowers that I can't grow here. I got some good content (although not enough) sitting with the Default department and made some good connections to enable me to do my job a little easier. I have a lot of work ahead of me, though. So off I go.

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Monday, May 6, 2013

Girl's Day Out

I lied. I'm posting this week. Okay, just today's post as I took these pics on Saturday and I'm on my way to Connecticut today.

Mom, sister, and I went for makeovers, lunch, and shopping in Clearwater. We started at one of my favorites - PF Chang's. It recently opened in Countryside Mall (there's been one in Tampa for years). This one is a little different as it's a concept restaurant. There's no giant Trojan horse outside. At least put up a pony, guys! Or maybe a little kitten door handle. It's a smaller restaurant with one wall of sliding glass doors that open all the way (although in FL, not sure when bug free, humidity free days would justify those doors staying open for more than 2 minutes. Eh, maybe in January.) They're calling this a "signature bistro dining experience" as it's only 6,000 square feet and will serve as a concept that will possibly be used to open other PF Chang's. That's a good thing.  A lot of states don't have PF Chang's. When I lived in Connecticut, there was one in Stamford that was 45 minutes away from where I lived. Granted it was in the same mall as Zara so it was a no brainer making the trip. But heck, if I was gonna go that far, might as well add 30 minutes to the trip and just go into NYC, right? PF Chang's did eventually open another location in West Hartford, but again - 45 minutes away. While mom and I stuck to our normal lunches (lo mein and Mongolian beef), sister wanted something light. She went for the chicken noodle soup, which came in a huge toilet bowl that serves 4! I had to get a picture of it as it was fodder for our loud joking (sorry ladies sitting next to us). While mom and I were enjoying our salads and ginger beer (lemonade + ginger - no alcohol), exploding ceramic shrapnel flew into my side and my mom's leg. Hello? What the heck just happened? A server dropped a plate and a few pieces hit us. No injuries, but we did end up getting new drinks. As my sister said, "Oh no. I feel a letter coming on." I've been known to write letters to companies that fail to live up to my dining expectations. But they made it right and no letter is needed.

So back to the makeovers. It was held in Macy's at the Estee Lauder counter. I'm not a huge fan of Estee Lauder, as I prefer Make Up For Ever, Graftobian, Dior, and MAC. I don't like to feel makeup on my face. And in Florida, any makeup put on my lids, under my eyes (eyeliner), etc. just ends up smearing after a couple of hours (we were in air conditioning all afternoon and my makeup still smeared). A Largo-based salon provided hair and nail services.  For a 5,000 square foot salon trying to promote their talents, they brought in their flunkies. I sat down to get my nails done expecting a little soak, some filing, etc. Instead, I picked a color and she started painting. I said, "my nails probably need to be filed as they're all different sizes." She did a little bit of filing and then started painting (yes, without wiping the dust off my nails). Then she wondered why she wasn't getting clean results and ended up redoing a couple of my nails over again. So I just sat still, waited for it to be over, and removed the bad manicure when I got home.

As I was getting my kindergarten paint-by-numbers done, my sister Rachel was getting Bo Derek braids by a male student afraid to touch her locks. Let the eye-rolling begin.  Mom was in the hot seat with beach bunny head makeup artist. When I first saw the woman that was going to work on my mom's makeup, I recoiled in fear. This so called traveling big wig looked like she didn't miss a day in the sun and her streaks of neon peach blush could have guided little kids at crosswalks. Mom said all neon beach bunny could talk about while spackling mom was remembering to pay her Victoria Secret bill. And sure enough, she was in there when we were.

So here are the results of our makeovers. Couldn't get a picture of mom. In fact mom couldn't be found when I was done getting my "beach glow" and outfit-matching makeup (I gave my makeup artist free reign). Turns out, mom made a beeline to the bathroom where she washed off her new look and reapplied her regular makeup. 

{Seahorse shorts: Old Navy | Top: Tommy Hilfiger | Shoes: Keds | Necklace: J. Crew | Belt: (bought in Italy)}

Ugh, no color correcting, no eyebrows, no highlighting. And I will never understand matching eye makeup to an outfit.  Lipstick? Yep. I do it all the time. But eye makeup is not a purse or shoes. It needs to compliment your skin tone and eye color, not your frocks. The one redeeming aspect of my eyeshadow? She used an orange shadow on my lid. I have blue eyes and orange really makes my eyes pop. Why? It's a complimentary color. Blue and orange are directly across from each other on the color wheel. When put together, orange and blue compliment each other just as red and green, and yellow and purple, I'm a huge fan of consulting a color wheel for makeup and clothing and wish more makeup artists understood the importance. So here's your "complimentary" breakdown of what will make your eyes pop:

  • Green/Hazel eyes - lavender and pink shadows
  • Blue eyes - golds/bronze, peach, and browns
  • Brown eyes - oh you have it made! You can get away with any shade! Jewel tones (blues, greens, purples) look amazing with brown eyes!

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Friday, May 3, 2013

So Pretty, So Painful

Dear J. Crew,
If you are going to make absolutely adorable shoes, please find a footwear designer that knows the proper techniques in aesthetics and comfort. You have the ballet flats down pretty well. Now you need to work on your heels and other hard patent leather shoes.

I lusted after the pink suede Mona heels back in 2011. I bought them. They killed my feet after the first hour. They ended up on eBay. The proportions are all wrong with the height, arch, etc. I don't think I've ever had a pair of shoes that I couldn't walk in from the parking garage at work to the elevator (not a very far walk). I then moved on to the hot pink Drea that I wear on occasion. Again, the slope of the arch isn't quite right. And my 'oooooo ahhhhh' factor overshadowed my common sense when I ordered these puppies on sale last month. The arch is fine - it should be, they're flat. But the fit is terrible around the top of my foot. They cut right into my skin. So I'm thinking since we've had so much rain and humidity, that these shoes may have to take a backseat until winter. But I'm just over the ill fit of most J. Crew shoes. Now that the house is gone, it might be time to save a little and invest in some good quality shoes and give the cheap ones a rest.

This is my last post for a week. I apologize but I will be on a business trip to Connecticut with my boss and another manager. No one at work knows about my blog and I plan to keep it that way. So I'll see you all back here after May 10th.

{Shoes and Necklace: J. Crew | Pants: Talbots | Shell and Blazer: Zara | Lippies: Hourglass Fever}

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013


$0.00 that's what I saw early this morning on our lender's website for our principal balance. It's done. The Connecticut house is gone, gone, gone. And we are so happy and relaxed. Our plan is to spend the rest of the year in the apartment, paying off debt and saving, and then we'll start looking for our forever home. In the meantime, we are able to start doing some of the things we love. For me, it's going out to eat. That's really high on my list of must-dos. I love eating and drinking wine with my husband and my family. And this weekend, I'm spending Saturday with my mom and sister getting makeovers and having lunch. Should be a fun day that I'm looking forward to before jumping on a plane on Monday to Meriden, CT for a business trip. Hopefully some of my girlfriends will come get me Wednesday night for a nice dinner out and to catch up since I haven't seen them in almost a year.

For the last 8 months, I've felt stifled and guilty for spending money on myself. I no longer feel that way. Four of my credit cards will be paid off this week and I'm on a roll. When I'm able to contribute to my 401K, I'm putting in as much as I can. My plan is to be debt free in the next couple of years. Life is good, job is good, lady luck is on my side.

I struggled with these pants, though. Peach is about the least favorite color I like to wear. I think it signifies all things old lady Floridian. Want peach pants? Go to Beall's, Macy's, or Steinmart. Heck, add a few flamingos or palm trees for the full effect. So these Old Navy lobster pants hung in my closet for about a month. And I love, love, love lobster clothing. So cute, so New England-y. I knew I didn't want to wear a peach shirt or anything light with these pants as I didn't want to appear old lady-ish. And I wanted to dress this up for work today. And get this. Some of the women in my office are abandoning their company logo tops in favor of better looking work clothes. I might be starting a trend! One girl said, "Those are J. Crew pants!" I replied, "Actually, they're Old Navy but look like critter pants, don't they?!"

Excuse the hair. We've had about 5" of rain over the last two days.

{Pants: Old Navy | Peplum: Inc | Shoes: Nine West | Necklace: H&M | Lippies: Revlon Fire & Ice}

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