Monday, June 29, 2009

Transformers: How versitle do you like your clothing to be?

Ok, I have two examples for you. One is not that strange, the other gets into a little bit more options in terms of ability to configure. But how versatile do you want your clothing to be?

I was first introduced to the concepts of clothing filling more than one role in your wardrobe back in the late 80s. There was a store that used to be available in my mall back home. I don't remember what it was called (it had some sort of high-tech 80's sounding name). But the concept was that you purchased different lengths and widths of tubes you could use as clothing. Those tubes could be your top, your bottom, or even your belt. The store also sold a few other items to support the tube concept - leggings, basic tops, etc. I never got them to work right, and the store went out after a few years. But the idea was always interesting. Even if it was an extremely 80's idea and took the idea way too far. Why I thought the clothing was attractive back then is completely beyond me. But I had horrible taste in the 80s. Who didn't?

Anyway, whenever I see clothing that can change itself I think of that concept. Here it is in a much more basic form...

I saw an ad from Express in my email today. It was advertising their 3-in-1 sweater: A sweater you can wear 3 ways. Like so...

Express 3-in 1 Cowl Neck Sweater - $34.50

Hmmm, I approve. Especially since they have "Extended Sizes" which means they have an XL available in the gray-black stripe option. Sure. I guess they're trying.

I'm always interested when I see someone trying to create a garment that can be worn multiple ways. On one hand it can be an extremely economical (and fun) item of clothing. On the other hand, it can look really funny. For instance, I still haven't made up my mind about this knitting pattern from Fall 2008 Knitty:

Image from Knitty, Fall 2008. Versatility Pattern

Versatility is a scarf that has strategically placed buttons and holes. You can change it into a cardigan of sorts as well. I personally love the idea, but at the same time think it just looks a little too... I don't know what. But given the recession, I wasn't surprised to see Knitty put this pattern out. And you have to admit, the idea is kind of cool.

So what do you think? Do you like the multipurpose garment? Is limited versitility like Express better (where it's only a shirt - but a shrit 3 ways), or do you prefer the creativity and origami-like idea of Versitlity? Let me know.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Smitten With Poppy - Coach has a new line

Yes, I realize I'm getting a little old for a line like this, but Coach is finally putting some fun items out again with their new Poppy line. I'm enjoying bright colors and definitely loving sparkle, so I think this collection has come at the right time for me.

How cute is this?

Coach New Patent Groovy - $198

And if I have that, how awesome would it be to have these?

New Sequin Ballet Flat - $148

Apparently, I'm really smitten with blue right now too. But let's not forget how awesome silver is...

Poppy Sequin Coin Purse - $148

And you know I love metallics, even if they are pink:

New Skinny Metallic Belt - $128

And, as if I needed further proof that this collection is not aimed at people my age, take a look at what Coach is offering you as a Gift if you spend more than $200 from the Poppy collection:

Honestly, the gift starts to cross over into Victoria's Secret PINK collection a bit too much for me.

Right now I think all of this is probably a touch out of my budget and they are things I don't absolutely NEED right now, but I think having just about anything out of this line would be enough to brighten mood for a good long while. These are definitely not the most sophisticated pieces, but they sure are fun. And everyone could use at least ONE fun accessory, no matter what your age.

I think I may have to start stalking the Coach outlet...

Thriller Dance - Have You Ever Wanted to Learn?

So, yes... I'm sad Michael Jackson's gone. Since he was sort of a Super Celebrity he never seemed quite real to me. I remember the first time I really knew he existed - I was somewhere around five years old staying at the The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island with my family (as we did every summer back then). I was attending a children's entertainment group one evening and they gave every child a toy. Mine was a Michael Jackson doll (like a Barbie Doll but with a white sparkley glove). I had no idea who he was and thought the toy was just strange. I wonder what it would be worth now...

But I'm sad, because as I've gotten older I've developed a nostalgic appreciation for some of his music. My favs: Billie Jean, Remember the Time, and of course Thriller.

I have always wanted to learn the Thriller dance!

Well that's not entirely true... I really became interested in learning the Thriller Dance back when I was play Guild Wars a couple of years ago. I had a Necromancer (with a killer black-red leather outfit) and one of my favorite procrastination activities was to type in the command for dance. Imagine my surprise when suddenly she started busting out with the Thriller dance.

In case you're looking to spice up your workout routine (as I am) I stumbled upon Thrill The World a couple years ago. It's a group that tries to get a bunch of people around the world every year to dance the Thriller dance simultaneously. Crazy idea but loads of fun, no?

I've never participated in this effort, but I have watched Ines's instructional videos. I think that I shall have to teach myself this dance at some point this weekend, just to celebrate the music of Michael Jackson.

Of course, if there's anyone in Dayton who might want to actually participate in Thrill The World, I would LOVE to do this one of these years. Do you have Halloween plans yet? If not, let's dance!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

For Mom - Who's Always Looking for Hoodie Patterns

My mother also knits. She's also always looking for a hoodie pattern. I remember her asking me of I knew of any adult hoodies about a year ago. This past weekend when I visited her and my father in Ann Arbor I was surprised to find that she was still looking for the perfect hoodie pattern.

Now, I'm not going to say I have the same taste as my mother - I absolutely do not. But I thought I'd share some hoodie patterns I thought were pretty cool just in case they gave her (or anyone else) some inspiration. Here you go:

Vivian by Ysolda Teague
$7 pattern from the Twist Collective

Central Park Hoodie byHeather Lodinsky
$5.50 pattern from Interweave Knits

Riding to Avalon Hoodie Connie Chang Chinchio,
, Fall 2008

Varese Hoodie, by Connie Chang Chinchio
$6.50 for Pattern at PhysicsKnits

I haven't tried to make any of these, but I will one of these days.

Peep Toe Booites? What do you think?

When I first saw this Manolo Blahnik bootie in my inbox (fall collection, available at Bergdorf Goodman) I was a little smitten - I like the metallic leather and the design is quite interesting. That is until I realized it was a peep toe bootie:

Manolo Blahnik Nappa Leather Gathered Bootie at Bergdorf Goodman - $865

Forget the price, and let's discuss. I know that this style (peep toe bootie) has been around for a bit. I have seen it before. But that doesn't mean it doesn't strike me as incredibly stupid every time I see it. There's a HOLE in your bootie!!!

I get the peep toe style for pumps, sandals, etc. I think it's very sexy when you can see the continuation of flesh of the toe, but the bare top of the foot gives it that continuity. Here in the bootie, I imagine myself wearing these with jeans or pants and suddenly... Hello! Random Toe! Maybe I would wear it with a cute dress and then it might make a little more sense. But I still can't justify it (regardless of price). If it's fall, I'm going to be transitioning into potentially nasty weather. It's a bootie - I might want to wear it into the winter. So why the peep toe? It just limits it's versitility in my opinion.

That being said, I still like the metallic leather.

So what do you think? Can you change my mind on this idea?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Nanette Lepore on Ruelala June 25

You know I'm a little bit of a fan, so I thought I'd give any other fans a heads up. She of the Heartbreaker boots (I'm still mad I couldn't get my feet into them) will be on sale on Ruelala tomorrow. Let me know if you want an invite.

Quest for My Pretty - Weekly Weight Loss Report

Guess what! I used the weight machines in the gym this week. Not much, but just enough. The gym was empty so I didn't feel so silly using them. I know, better to have a partner. But some is better than none.

Weight: 189 (no change) - Hey, with the way I've eaten (and been drinking) the last few weeks I am HAPPY with no change.

What I did right this week: Weight Machines. Still continuing the "some is better than none" Idea when talking about the gym.

What I want to improve on next week: Still need to work on the Self-Image thing. I really think I need a hair cut to boost my mood as far as this is concerned. I know that's temporary and minor, but it always helps.

Goals in Progress

Old Goals

Abandoned Goals

MAC Euristocrats 2 Online

Wow, I didn't think this was going to be online for a couple more weeks. Guess I thought wrong:

New lip colors are always a good thing. Check them out!

Oh the Horror! Cropped Harem Pants

They have got to be kidding...

Elizabeth and James Pleated Harem Pant
on Sale on Hautelook for $110

Take a look at the back...

Reader Kara sent me an instant message with a link to this item attached. The message read "This is one of the ugliest things I've ever seen." What's wrong with it? Let me count the ways:
  1. It's a Harem Pant - the crotch is down at the knees. Most Harem pants I've seen are more flattering.
  2. It's Cropped - I don't always have a problem with this (though Tim Gunn seems to based on his book) but usually, I don't think of this style being all that pretty unless it's on something super basic.
  3. It's Also Pleated - wow, there's actually a lot going on here.
  4. It's Pricey - $110 on sale (original price was $225) for something that looks like it should be worn in the gym MAYBE and no where else.
  5. It's 100% Rayon - totally makes the price really over blown. I don't want to pay that much unless it has at least some fraction of a natural fabric.
I get that these probably are meant to just be comfy, and look comfy. And I guess that's ok... if it were on sale for $25. But really what they ended up creating was just an expensive Flabby Crotch Pant. Yikes!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Lippmann's Anniversary Set Available For Pre-Order

Lippmann's Anniversary Set - $35 at Nordstrom

You know I've been waiting for this. Apparently you can now pre-order the Lippmann Collection set containing Superstar, Red Ruby Slippers, and Funky Chunky. You better believe I'm going to pre-order them. I think they look Tacky-HOT! And you know that means fun.

By the way, two of my favorite nail bloggers posted swatches today (I'm so jealous):
What happened to Marquee Moon? Well, ALU answered that as well. It's coming soon! And with a green...

Rescue Beauty Lounge Offers Free Shipping

Ask and ye shall receive... sort of:

Did I just say I wished RBL would do a sale too since Lippmann is doing one? Well, free shipping isn't a sale, but I'll take it. Will you?

It's Another Lippmann Sale! 25% off

Use code june09 at Lippmann Collection and get 25% off. Awesome.

Now if only Rescue Beauty Lounge would do another sale. Then my polish life would be momentarily complete.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Eating at Savona Restaurant in Centerville, Ohio

I recently went to a restaurant I have never been to in the Dayton area. It's called Savona, and it is located on 48 near where 48 crosses 725. Why am I mentioning this? There aren't nearly enough non-chain restaurants in the Dayton area. That, and I totally ruined my diet for the day when we went there.

What's Cool About Savona
  • Every second Wednesday of the month they have a wine tasting. $20 per person. And you get appetizers
  • They seem to stress their "Small Plates". I had the Chicken Pot Pie and it was really fabulous.
  • They take some risks with their food. A risk in Dayton, well that's not saying much really. But you'll know what I mean when you eat there.
  • Wait staff seems very cool - we had the most witty waitress. She didn't bat an eyelash at all when she asked us how many people we had and my husband responded "Two, but we're planning on asexually dividing later." She just rolled with it.
What's Not So Cool
  • Cuts of meat weren't great, specifically chicken - both my husabnd and I had chicken in our dishes that reminded us of the type of chicken you get at mall food court Chinese fast food. It wasn't THAT bad, but it was close. They rely heavily on the flavor of their dish to cover this, we think. And they cover it very well.
  • Very dark atmosphere. This isn't bad, it's just a little pretentious. But the waitress had such a good sense of humor it balanced it very well.

What We Ate
  • Asparagus Tempura - Tempura was a little soggy and the sauce tasted more like a mustard wassabi. Could have been better
  • Chicken Pot Pie - Fantastic! I loved it. Very heavy on the Rosmary. Could have been better if the cuts of chicken were better.
  • Free Range Chicken "Cajun Style" - Very good spice on on this! Again, chicken could have been better. Nice flavor though.
  • Carmelized Apple Creme Brulee - They put apple and carmel on the bottom, then the custard, then burned sugar on top. BEST DESERT IN DAYTON I have had in a LONG time.

Over All
We will be returning. I'm telling you so that if you're local you'll check it out. It's worth a visit.

Yowza! Louboutin Has My Attention Again

My inner drag queen is drooling again. Look what I found in my inbox:

Christian Louboutin Jeweled Platform Slingback $2830

I will never spend that much on shoes but aren't they just fun?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Quest For My Pretty - Weekly Weight Loss Report

Got into the gym yesterday for the first time in a long time. Not long. Just 20 minutes. But my coworker sort of guilt-tripped me into it. He said "Well, if you go, that's 20 minutes better than nothing" or something to that effect. He's right.

Didn't think I'd lose this week, but I guess Disk Golf with my husband has been paying off. We also discovered North Park in Springboro. Great place to just toss the frisbee around. And they have a one mile walking course around the entire venue. Perfect!

Weight: 189 (-1) - good thing I forgot to flip my ticker! It's correct again. :)

What I did right this week: I got out of the house!

What I want to improve on next week: Self-image. I need to learn to let things like someone giving me an XXL t-shirt slide off my back instead of holding it in. I've never been a true XXL. I haven't tried on the shirt either for fear that they might be right. I also need to come up with a better way for measuring activity instead of miles. Any ideas?

Goals in Progress

Old Goals

Abandoned Goals

L'Occitane Sale! Time to Get Some Goodies

My email alerted me today to L'Occitane. They're are having a sale, up to 50% off. No codes, but you can get free shipping on $80 or more. My favorite scent of theirs is the Cherry Blossom scent if you want any suggestions. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bobbi Brown: Does this pic remind you of Grace Kelly?

Just saw this pic over at Temptalia. So if you want information on the Bobbi Brown Nudes Collection 2009 please go look at it there. Here I just want to talk about the picture:

So this image immediately reminded me of old school Grace Kelly pics. Why? Well, other than the hair looks like it has an iron clad Aquanet treatment, this young lady is also doing the ever popular over the shoulder high school photo pose, is wearing white, the earings even look a little retro. And Holy Airbrush Batman! Wow.

Just in case you're not familiar, here's Grace Kelly in a similar pic. Wasn't she a goddess?

Image from FabSugar

Can you see what I mean?

Either way, "nudes" from Bobbi Brown I won't pay attention to. Now if they had slapped "The Grace Kelly Collection" on it then they'd have my attention. But in the mean time, Nudes... Bobbi Brown... blah, blah, blah. Snore.

Someone needs to randomly thwack her over the head with a salami. Maybe that will putenough interest in her day to give us something unexpected.

MAC Friends and Family - 25% off!

Starting today, MAC will have their Friends and Family Sale 25% off. WOW! Temptalia reported this a while back. Use Code SUMO at checkout. Offer should be good through June 18th. Get there early - the good stuff WILL sell out.

By the way - this is absolutely a great time to get brushes. I love my MAC brushes. Everyone should have a 197, an angle brush (which ever size you prefer), 249. and a 219 pencil brush. Seriously, the pencil brush is SO useful.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Caution: The Innocent "See you in a week!" Posts and What Can Happen While You're Away

This is not makeup/fashion/nail polish related, but I felt it worth mentioning on my blog. A co-worker of mine recently came back from a vacation to find her house robbed. Her two dogs were there at the time. How did I know she was on vacation and find out that she was robbed when she returned? I see her posting her status on Facebook.

That got me thinking - Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, etc are all great ways to make yourself a little less safe when traveling. Who knows how these people who robbed my co-worker got her information about her trip, but if it ever happened to me I wouldn't want it to happen due to an innocent post.

I just went on vacation. I posted about it everywhere. I could have been her.

My Co-worker has a great attitude about the whole thing - "it's just stuff, right?" I don't think I could be nearly as laid back about it.

Please don't increase your chances of having something happen to you. Please be safe this summer. Please take care of what you post publicly. A nice "See you in a week!" could be an invitation for bad things to happen while you're away.

Note: I have no proof that whatsoever that whoever harmed my co-worker's property found out anything about her itinerary via Facebook. Her story just made me think a little about my own practices and how unsafe I myself have been.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Shoe Shopping in California is Super Fun!

My first day in the Bay area of my vacation I ended up at the Nieman Marcus Last Call store in the Great Mall. Last Call, of course, is the super clearance discounted outlet store of Neiman Marcus, similar to Saks Off 5th. Let me just say first that the selection at the Last Call is WAY different than the selection at a Saks Off 5th. That's not to say you can't find good stuff at both - you absolutely can. But Saks Off 5th doesn't have Manolos.

Yes, I tried on a pair... a few actually. But I only got pictures of one.

Yup, the first pair of Manolo Blahniks I have ever tried on. Even on sale at Last Call, they are still too pricey for me. Looking at the selection of what they had, however I came to some conclusions:
  • In Manolo Blahnik terms, my 8.5 shoe size probably translates to a 9 or 9.5.
  • These suckers are WAY narrow.
  • The design did not impress me as much as the price tag would dictate.
  • I will probably never own a pair of Manolo Blahniks because the sizing is so funky and the design does not justify the price at all (after all, the above shoe is basically a heeled jelly).
So on to the slightly cheaper shoes but arguably cooler styles:

These Rock And Republic shoes were just yummy. Sadly they were not comfortable enough for me to consider taking them home. They were quite high, to put it mildly. But I love the color and the combination of the patent and suade.

Now, I did almost walk away with these:

Aside from some Ed Hardy flats these were the only shoes I tried on under $100 on sale. The Sam Edelman Mariella's felt great my first night there but not as much the next day when I went back to check them out again. I decided the size was just a little small. However, they can also be purchased for slightly more money at Zappos. I may end up getting them there because at least with Zappos I can return them easily if I decide they aren't worth it. I'm holding back, though. I did just get those Born shoes - though I am in need of a different pair of silver dress shoes. And these ones had a slightly purple cast to them making them just that much more ME.

Is it strange that the shoes I liked the most are actually the cheapest and most attainable?

Almost forgot...
Yes, the L.A.M.B. Tammy shoes I was stalking were there as well. But now that I have my Chinese Laundry Love Me knockoffs I didn't even bother trying them on. What's the point? I already own the true bargain.

On a non-shoe related note, the same trip to Last Call also was beneficial: I discovered that those Salvage shirts I liked actually do fit me - but would definitely fit me better if I were just a bit smaller. Therefore I will wait.

The one I'm wearing in the above picture is a size "L". See how the tummy is just a bit too obvious? 10 to 15 lbs... that's all. I'm sure. And another sale on Hautelook.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Most Awesome Article by Nia Vardalos

I just happened to find this on CNN - it's Nia Vardalos talking about her weightloss on the Anderson Cooper 360 blog. You remember who she is, right? The awesome woman who did My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Well now here she is talking about how she's a bit fed up with people asking her about her 40 lb. weight loss. What's the big deal? It's 40 lbs. She lost it with diet and exercise over the course of a year. You know what that is? Normal.

While I agree with Ms Vardalos in principal, and I do wish for her sake that people would ask her about something other than her weight loss. There's much more to her than that. But I still have to say: As a person who is trying to lose weight through diet and exercise (and struggling at doing so) I am GLAD people ask her about her weight loss because when I read it it reinforces to me that yes, I'm trying to do the right thing the right way and yes it will take a LONG TIME and I shouldn't be discouraged about it.

So Nia, I get it. They should ask you about other things. But please understand that I love to hear about your weight loss accomplishment because I just need to. It's encouraging. It may not be the first time you've addressed the topic, but it IS the first time I have read about it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Quest for My Pretty - Weekly Weightloss Report

Well, time to face the music. After 6 days of not eating my normal food, having many more carbs than usual, drinking a freaking ton of beer and wine, I'm back from San Francisco. Whatever I gained can (and will) be dropped. I know it. Seemed like everywhere I went it was difficult for me to get in my veggies and fruits. But chowder in a sourdough bread bowl at Fisherman's Warf is awesome.

Weight: 190 (+1) - I expected this. Honestly, not as bad as it could have been after my trip.

What I did right this week: I did stick to my usual breakfast, I did more walking than usual. I left food on my plate when I was full.

What I want to improve on next week: Get back on track! Just go back to the old routine. Vacation always makes things hard.

Goals in Progress

Old Goals

Polish - China Glaze TMI

I apologize for the messy application. I was watching hockey and drinking beer while applying- a combination that doesn't mix too well I guess. This polish is one of the OMG collection by China Glaze. I was really lucky - I won the warm half of this collection from All Lacquered Up and I still had some untrieds. This was one of them.

The Color: Pinky coral color. The holo is so very subtle it might as well be non-existent. Maybe some other bottles were better.

The Formula: Opaque in two coats.

The Wear: Pretty chippy on me, as you can see. Partially this is just my nail, but I'm getting way more chips than I usually do.

The Bottom Line: It's discontinued. If you missed it, you didn't miss much.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Surfers and Sea Lions! I'm Going on Vacation!

I needed an extended weekend visiting a far-away land. So if you're reading this, then I'm probably in the air on my way to San Francisco. Due to time constraints and poor planning you will most likely not be getting posts from me until I return next Wednesday for my Weekly Weight Loss Report. I may check in now and then via Twitter, though.

Have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Zappos Saves the Day - The Born Haze Shoe Saga

If you recall, I was questioning whether more Born Haze Size 9 shoes were fitting me correctly. I had received those from Ruelala at an incredible price. I also ordered the Born Tarts - which really were too big (my mother will be taking those). But I wasn't sure about the Haze.

So I took advantage of my membership to Zappos VIP and got Born Haze in Size 8 sent to me overnight. Here they are:

I am really a true 8.5. Poor me - Born has to be in whole sizes for this shoe. I chose to keep the 8s. The shoe doesn't slide around on my foot quite as much. The foot bed on the 9 was so much wider that the 9 was more stable to walk in - but the 8 wasn' t bad and I could see my foot getting a lot of blisters from rubbing if the leather stretched out in the 9s. Yes, I'll end up having to pay full price and get a credit at Ruelala, but oh well. I know I'll buy something else from Rue at some point.

Seriously, based on this experience - if you are a half size then you probably want to size down on Borns. The difference for one size was just so much!

What do you think? Right decision?

Squeezing Into A Smaller Size - The Wonders of Smocking

This past weekend I went to the wedding of my good friend Kara. Once again I was faced with the problem of "what the heck do I wear?" I ended up pulling out a Moulenette Soeurs dress from Anthropologie. I purchased it a couple of years back for a Holiday party at my husband's work. Guess what - 20 lbs heavier I can still fit into it:

Now I'll admit, this is the best fit on me, but it's not horrible. Especially considering the dress is a size 14. In "model sizes" you know that means Size 12 (at least). So I feel pretty good about being able to zip this thing up, all things considered. How can I pull off this amazing feet of magic? SMOCKING!!!

This wonderful little technique turns your fabric into a virtual accordion, able to expand and contract as needed. Most of the time I see smocked-front dresses which seem more style than function, but here it's all function I'm sure. Thank goodness for Smocking. I can squeeze myself into all kinds of shapewear (and did before putting this dress on) but you just can't compete with a dress that allows the design to expand with the size of the wearer. I consider this dress one of the best purchases ever because I know I'll be able to wear it through at from size 18 down to size 12 without much problem - so long as I don't wear it out.

You know what's even better about this dress? The straps are removable. It can be strapless!

The moral of this story - if you shop Anthropologie and are a little larger (like me) check out Moulinette Soeurs. I've tried on several dresses belonging to that brand/name/designer and I can get away with a LOT more than I can in any other designer's dress. I believe appropriate use of Smocking to be the reason

By the way - I'm currently in love with THIS dress and yes, Moulinette Soeurs also uses smocking on the back:

Quest for My Pretty - Weekly Weightloss Report

Don't you hate it when you're ready to jump into the gym and you start having pain? Any kind of pain. For me it's the left leg again. I do think there's some nerve involvement. And yes, I know - I need to strengthen my core.

Because of these other concerns (the need to lift weights, core strength) I am going to have to change up my "goals" and work out a routine. I'm thinking about doing a weekly crunches count, and scaling back my running. I need to develop a good balance, whatever that may be.

Weight: 189 lbs (-2) - Oh my gosh! The 180's!!! I had to try my scale on several surfaces before I was sure. The first two times it said 188 lbs, so I thought the scale was lying.

What I did right this week: When I went to Cold Stone with my husband we walked instead of taking the car. That was fun! Also continued to try to cook. The more I learn, the more (hopefully) healthy and good tasting meals I can make at home.

What I want to improve on next week: I will be in San Francisco on Vacation. I need to watch the food because I tend to eat too much when I'm in strange places. The plus side is that I usually end up walking more too. We'll see if my strange leg injury hangs me up too much. Hopefully not!

Goals in Progress

Old Goals