Friday, August 28, 2015

Three Ways: Sexy Strappy Heels

I fell in love with these shoes the moment I saw them. Ultimately I passed on them (I'm working on not just blindly satisfying every whim and desire -- it's not the most fun thing ever), but I did spend some time contemplating them and dreaming up lots of great ways to wear them:

Late Dinner Out

This was really my first instinct. I just love the idea of that sexy peep-toe platform peeking out from under a pair of super long, super slim flared jeans. These MiH Marrakesh flares are my absolute favorite denim silhouette ever. Legs. For. Days. I'd keep everything else simple -- a pretty white blouse, a classic bag, a cool necklace, and this funky tortoise ring.

Dancing All Night

I am always drawn to things with a sexy 70's Halston vibe. This wide-leg jump suit is perfect -- not too costume-y, super flattering. You don't really need too much else: great earrings and a little clutch with a touch of gold. Add a quick swipe of sheer red lipstick and you're ready to go.

(Very) Casual Friday

I don't think I would wear these shoes to work, but could you? Yes, I think so. You just want to shift the vibe from sexy to kind of mod, and a graphic shirt dress like this one from Boden is fantastic. Add some layers -- opaque tights and a good blazer. Finally, some office-friendly jewelry. I love this delicate necklace and a pretty rose gold watch. A sheer pink gloss like NARS Turkish Delight keeps it all very soft and sweet.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

August Budget

What a difference a month makes...

Last month was a bit of disaster that included a pricey splurge and a big Zara haul that put me way over budget. (A quick update there: I ended up returning the beautiful J. Crew shoes. It was a little sad because I did love them, but I couldn't justify the price when I really looked at the quality of the shoes). This month was the polar opposite -- almost no shopping at all. I had other priorities, and sometimes that's just the way it goes: I had a number of boring household-type expenses (new MacBook battery, new glasses, fresh highlights, etc.), I've been putting money away for my vacation, and I wasn't really interested in fall clothes because it's just too hot in Florida.

Here's how my August spending looks:

Starting Budget: $200

August Budget

J. Crew Factory Tipped Linen Blazer ($50, on sale) -- I actually haven't received this jacket yet, but assuming I keep it, I'll be counting this towards my August budget. I've been wanting a sharp white blazer with black piping for a while and caught a fairly rock bottom price (it's back to almost $100 now!). 

a.n.a Stella Thong ($18, on sale) -- I've loved these sandals all summer, and I picked them up during a nice end of summer sale. They're fun and add a nice pop of color to a lot of outfits.

J. Crew Factory Photo Collector Tee ($10, on sale) -- just a cool little tee. 

Total: $78 ($112 under budget)

I'll be tucking this $112 away in savings, but I'll reserve the right to dip into it in September or October when I might be tempted by great fall pieces.

I have been doing a lot of window shopping fall fashion (and I'll be starting a fun fall shopping series next week). Since this is a pretty short post, I thought I'd share some of the things I'm eyeing for September:

I really love this Zara blouse. It pushes all of my buttons: black and white, pretty piping, sheer flowy shape. I'm hoping to see it in store rather than ordering online because I am concerned it might be a little too short for my long torso.

How sexy is this mermaid-like swimsuit? I still have a lot of swimming months ahead of me, so it seems like a good buy.

Thakoon x Kohl's launches this month, and the preview images look great. I love this cozy marled sweater, among other things.

I fell in love with this blouse a few years ago, and I'm glad Kate Spade re-released it this year. It is marked down from it's original overinflated price, but I'll need another round of reductions before I can pull the trigger. But it's so pretty, right?

This bag looks amazingly chic in photos -- can you believe it is from Old Navy? I definitely want to check this out in-store. I've been let down by the quality level of ON bags in the past, but if this looks as good in real life, it would be an excellent fall buy.

Anything you have your eye on this season?

Linking up with Fran and the budgeting bloggers -- go check out all of the great buys this month!

PS - New here? Welcome! Check out my most popular posts this month:

Wednesday Wishlist: So Bright

Pack This: Summer Vacation

Three Ways: Cashmere Cardigan

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wishlist Wednesday: The Perfect Silhouette

The wrap dress gets a lot of love. It's simple, it's versatile, it has a nice feminine shape, and everyone loves the woman most associated with the wrap dress, Diane von Furstenberg (can I get a "YASSS Queen"?). But here's what I think: the wrap dress is overrated.

Go on, clutch those pearls.

If you're looking for a flattering, feminine dress silhouette, I'd like to make a case for the shirt dress. A classic shirt dress is super flattering. It can be demure or sexy, subtle or incredibly bold. The belted version, my personal favorite, instantly creates that sleek, feminine silhouette, but without the fit issues that a wrap dress is prone to. How many of us spend time trying to figure out how to prevent the gaping and shifting that inevitably happens with our favorite wrap dresses? Maybe you wear a camisole, maybe you add a hook or snap, maybe you just safety pin that bad boy and call it a day. If you're standing still, a wrap dress looks great. But if you need to move and bend and generally behave like a normal human being, a wrap dress can be a real bitch.

The shirt dress is a fall staple, and one of the few fall fashions that can be enjoyed in just about any climate (like, for example, sweltering Florida!). Here are some of the versions that I'm loving this season:

1. Mango Cotton Shirt Dress ($43) -- a very streamlined version available in several traditional colors, and also this pretty pale pink. This isn't the color that comes to mind when you think fall, but how great and fresh would it look with all of those autumnal shades like plum, oxblood, forest green, and navy?

2. Boden Silk Shirt Dress ($198) -- I am in LOVE with the mod feel of this print. I want to layer it up with tights, a blazer, and chunky heels for cool days, but it works just as well with bare legs and sandals if you just need to wear it right away (no judgement!).

3. Alexa Chung for AG Jeans Denim Mini Shirt Dress ($325) -- this is how the downtown girl does a shirt dress: very slim, pretty short, all denim. One of my favorites, for sure. 

4. Samantha Sung Audrey Forest Stretch Cotton Dress ($585) -- I love this print, because it is almost identical to the wallpaper I had in my childhood bedroom. If that's not enough to sell you, think about how flattering a bright, pretty print is around your face. 

5. A.P.C Shirt Dress ($325) -- the very chic, very French way to do a shirtdress. Fit is so important in this style, and you know the tailoring on this one will be impeccable. 

6. River Island Gray Check Shirt Dress ($70) -- I'll be honest, I'm not a huge fan of Buffalo check, but this gray and white version is kind of intriguing. Add a long, chunky cable knit cardigan and ankle boots for a super cozy fall look. (*linking to Polyvore because River Island's site seems to be down)

7. River Island Beige Color Block Shirt Dress ($100) -- the color blocking is cool, and the black ribbon belt gives you a very teeny waist.

8. Dorothy Perkins Black D-Ring Shirt Dress ($59) -- my favorite of the bunch. A perfectly fitted black dress is heaven, and you can't beat the price.

A few fit tips...

*I think the belted version is most flattering (particularly if you are curvy), but the boxier/drapier cuts look great if you want help creating a shape
*Watch the length -- people should not wonder if you just, in fact, belted some old button-down shirt
*A fabric with a little weight is best -- a light fabric can get too floaty and reveal the lumps and bumps, but a fabric with some heft will make sure the dress lays perfectly

Monday, August 24, 2015

Weekend To Do List

weekend to do

This post is coming to you from 30,000 feet over the Gulf of Mexico (love JetBlue, love FlyFi!). I'm no longer California dreaming -- vacation is finally here! I have a few posts scheduled for the week, and hopefully I'll have some trip photos and stories to share next week. Here's what my pre-vacation weekend looked like:

1. Cobb Me

I started my vacation a little early by taking Friday off. It's hard to leave for a week, and I thought it would be nice to have a "day off" before leaving town so I'd be around to check email and answer last minute questions. I also made plans with my friend Jen for a few hours of Friyay fun and headed over to Hollywood Studios for lunch. It was hot as balls and we didn't have much of an agenda other than stuffing our faces, but we did a little shopping, a little people watching, a little dancing with Olaf, and a few rides. The main attraction, however, was lunch at The Hollywood Brown Derby. If you are planning a trip to WDW, try to get a reservation at the Brown Derby. It is one of my favorite Disney restaurants and it serves my absolute favorite Disney meal, the classic Cobb salad (the original Brown Derby is where this bowl of heaven was conceived). Honestly, I come here at least once a month and always order the same thing. In addition to the salad, you get a basket of the best warm, crusty rolls and sweet butter topped with sea salt -- perfection. Jen ordered another basket of rolls the moment the first one arrived. And this is why we are friends.

2. Getting Pretty

I spend Saturday afternoon taking care of some getting pretty errands -- hair cut and color, trip to Sephora to pick up a few items (I love their On the Go section), and a DYI mani/pedi. I'm really overdue for a good salon pedicure (runners do not have cute feet), but when I looked at my trip budget and realized boarding my dog was going to cost $500+, I decided i needed to cut a few corners. 

3. Just a Little Shopping

This is an expensive month (in addition to my trip, I need to order a new pair of glasses, I am desperate for a new battery for my MacBook, and I need a new pair of running shoes - why can't those things just be free?), and I really haven't had much time to shop. But I did place a small J. Crew Factory order to take advantage of some great end of summer prices. I snagged this fabulous linen blazer (a wishlist item!) for less than $50 - hope it is as great in person as it is in my head.

4. (Almost) Out of Office

Even with my semi-vacation day, I still had some work to take care of before putting up that out of office message. I had a very exciting Saturday night that involved laundry and spreadsheets. Glamorous, I know.

5. Sunday Funday

The Parent Trap was my FAVORITE movie when I was a kid. I'm talking the original Haley Mills version, not the inferior (and at this point, depressing) 90's-era remake. I've seen it a million times but never on the big screen, so I was thrilled to see the local art house theater had a Sunday matinee. I convinced my man friend to accompany me, promising him a delicious brunch as a reward. It was fantastic -- there's just something about sitting in that dark theater and immersing yourself in a little piece of your childhood. We stopped at a local favorite, Se7en Bites, for a decadent brunch. Two words: S'mores Waffle. Hell, yes.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Pack This: Summer Vacation

Who has two sequined mouse ears and is ready for vacation? This girl!

It's been a while since I've had a proper vacation and I'm about ready to burst. A little tip: if you can avoid it, I'd say don't wait until the last week of August to take your summer vacation. I've been SUPER jealous as I scroll through everyone's vacation snaps on Instagram, and I'm more than ready for some summer fun. The next best thing to being on summer vacation is planning for it, so I thought I'd share my packing list for this trip. 

Here are the details:


I'm headed to Southern California for a week -- a few days in Disneyland and a weekend visiting friends in Orange County (reallllly wanted to add a few days in LA, but it just didn't work out. Next time!) 


Mix and match options that will work for sightseeing, eating corn dogs, and having fun. Don't overpack. Don't overdress. Don't overthink.

The Plan:

Neutral tops + fun bottoms

I'm taking 5 sort of neutral tops and tees that all mix and match with 3 pair of shorts and a pair of jeans. I love that I'll have the flexibility to put together outfits based on my mood, the weather, our plans, etc. I'm making sure to include some layering options as well -- this thin, lightweight Zara sweater is perfect for cool nights and aggressive air conditioning.

Easy evening options

We have some nice dinners and a few grown-up type evening activities planned, but they'll still be relatively casual. My beloved romper and this cute dress (similar) are easy options that will fool people into thinking you made an effort.

Cute but comfy shoes

I promised myself I'm only bringing comfortable shoes, but luckily I have plenty of cute ones. These slides are chic and great for hitting the parks or just floppin' down to the pool. These sneakers are sporty/preppy perfection and one of my best buys ever (this color combo isn't available anymore, but there are other cute options). 

Not too many accessories

Sunglasses are essential -- I'm bringing one sporty pair and one glam pair. Two black and white bags will go with everything. A cute and flattering one-piece bathing suit is great for a quick dip in the pool. And I'm not bringing any jewelry (except maybe a watch) -- it just feels too fussy. With ears like those, who really needs more bling?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wednesday Wishlist: Going, Going, Gone

Right now your favorite stores are desperately trying to move old merch out to make room for all of the fall goodies. This is a great time to snap up super deals on some cute summer-y pieces. Maybe you still have a vacation coming up (me), maybe you still have a few weeks/months of warm weather (me), maybe you just want to have a few new things to pull out next year (sure, why not?) -- sizes are limited but most items ring in at $50 or less, so get them before they're gone.

clockwise from l to r:
J. Crew Factory Racerback Stripe Maxi ($18) -- a classic that would be perfect for layering well into the fall.

H&M Round Earrings ($5) -- simple, versatile, sparkly.

J. Crew Factory Striped Photo Collector Tee ($10) -- I love the slim cut and cool graphic -- perfect with white jeans for a casual chic summer look.

Rock, Flower, Paper Lobster Jute Tote ($20) -- the quintessential summer tote

Anthropologie Pilcro Linen Trousers ($50) -- super flattering, and quite a range of pretty watercolor shades to choose from (I'd pick up white for sure).

Boden Espadrille ($62) -- happy shoes for your warm weather adventures.

J. Crew Factory Drapey Shorts ($9) -- easy pull on shorts with a sporty vibe.

Zara Printed Camisole ($20) -- love the cheery print and drapey fit.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Weekend To Do List

weekend to do

This weekend, I ate food and wore shoes. Good times.

I've come to a bit of a realization: I kind of suck at weekends. Here it is, the end of the weekend, and I'm feeling a bit frazzled. I just spent the past 2 days just go, go, going and I'm both tired and frustrated that I didn't quite get everything done. New goal for September is better weekend management. That said, here's how I (badly) spent the past 48 hours:

1. Sweating

I've been a bit frustrated with my fitness situation of late. After a winter and spring that saw me missing too many workouts while suddenly remembering how delicious Oreos are, I've been trying to get back on track and drop about 15lbs of extra cushion. Lately I've been pushing myself with some intense workouts (lots of cardio, body weight exercises, and Shaun T kicking my ass in 25 minute clips). I started out my Saturday off with a long interval run and hit the gym again this morning. I feel sore, but somehow still don't feel like I'm making the progress I want. I'll be glad to start half marathon training this fall, somehow it just seems to fall into place when I have a goal and a good training schedule to rely on.

2. A big bowl of happiness

I've developed a bit of a Chipotle habit on the weekend...sometimes it is really the little things that make you happy. I don't go crazy - brown rice, veggies, chicken, lettuce, and guac is enough of a reward after a hard workout without totally undoing the calorie burn. My lunch was the perfect thing to fuel me for tackling my to-do list, including a few errands, house cleaning, laundry, and the like. So glamorous.

3. Rain for days

The weather this weekend was a total downer. Scary, house-shaking thunderstorms each day with buckets of rain falling at the worst times. I got talked into picking up an extra shift at Give Kids The World and spent Saturday evening driving around the Village in a very soggy golf cart. The kids make it all worthwhile, though, and good rain boots make splashing in the puddles almost fun.

4. Fall fashion scouting

Hey look, more shoes! Sunday morning involved a quick trip to the mall -- I had a few things to return and I took advantage of relatively empty stores to do a little scouting. It's always fun to see fresh looks hit the stores, even if plaid flannel shirts don't seem particularly inviting right now. I checked out a few things that I'd been eyeing online, and I discovered a few new potential must-haves. 

My favorite are these simple, sexy heels. The come in black, bright pink, and (my favorite) a pretty light beige color. I'll confess that I am not the biggest fan of Forever 21 shoes -- they are of dubious quality and comfort, and I am trying to limit my consumption of fast fashion. But I am definitely considering these. They seem fairly sturdy, and while likely not super comfy, they're not shoes I would plan to do a ton of walking in. I think they'd look great with a pair of long and lean flared jeans, a relaxed button down shirt, and a cool necklace.

5. Easy Sunday dinner

Rain, rain, rain. The weather continued to suck into Sunday afternoon and I was feeling a little bummed about not making a lot of time in the weekend for fun. After another shift at GKTW, I headed to one of my favorite neighborhoods in Orlando for a satisfying dinner -- Mamak serves Asian street food in a cool, trendy space. It was really perfect -- the food is delicious and the vibe is fun but relaxed. Just buzzy enough to feel like I was "out" without worrying that I'd be judged for my comfy jeans and rain-frizzed hair. Tacos, spring rolls, and a few bites of roti canai (amazing fried bread) were a nice way to finish the weekend.

Does anyone else struggle with finding balance on the weekends, or is it just me?

Friday, August 14, 2015

Three Ways: Cashmere Cardigan

Current status: daydreaming about fall 

Even though I may not be partaking in the usual fall shopping frenzy (at least right away), I love seeing what's hitting the stores and I'm putting together a little series of posts with the must-haves on my fall shopping list.  Nothing says fall more than a cozy cashmere sweater, and Uniqlo does affordable cashmere well. I'm really digging this pretty Elsa-esque blue color -- it's unexpected for fall (and would easily transition into winter and spring), and it's the kind of shade that's almost universally flattering.

Late Night Ice Cream Run:

Last night we enjoyed a rare treat in Central Florida: a clear, cool evening. Now that summer is starting to wind down, you may find yourself needing an extra layer once the sun goes down. Throw on your new cardigan over a cute tee and relaxed shorts for a late evening stroll (preferably right over to the ice cream shop). I don't always like to drag my purse everywhere, so a cute wallet is perfect here. And I love the combo of bright pink with bright blue -- these sandals are almost sold out, but you should absolutely grab them if your size is still in stock.

Best in Cubicle:

Some days, you just want everyone to take notice. These wide-leg red pants are very bold and super awesome. Pairing two bold primary colors might feel a little Kindergarten-esque, but a patterned blouse in a softer color palette is the bridge to a sophisticated and very grown-up look. I'd stick with accessories that are simple but not at all boring: a chic, sturdy shoegold studs, a totally practical gray satchel, and my favorite chunky gold watch with a black dial.

Gallery Hopping:

This funky librarian look is perfect for low-key evening plans -- checking out your friend's show at the local art gallery, perhaps. This printed shift dress is so timeless (a great little wardrobe workhorse) though perhaps a bit short for a tall girl, so I'd wear with tights to avoid endless fidgeting. This peacock colored necklace is really pretty and different. A cute mini satchel backpack is a fun twist on a classic style. And finally, my beloved chunky sandals would be just darling here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Wednesday Wishlist: So Bright

On loving that thing you hate...

If you were to stop me on the street to ask my opinion about neon colors (because, why wouldn't you?), my answer would always be the same: Ugh. No way. The worst. And I've been amazingly consistent about this feeling. I hated them as a child in the late 80s/early 90s, when they were literally everywhere; I hated them as an adult as they popped up in the 00s in wacky Harujuku looks. It's just one of those trends that I could immediately say "pass". But still...

Sometimes there is just something appealing about that thing you hate. Is it just me? I don't know, I've been looking for ways to freshen up some of the summer clothes that I've been wearing for months, and a little pop of neon is feeling really interesting right now. I'm talking a splash. Just a hint of eye-searing brightness. Accessories are perfect -- punchy shoes, a bright bag, or bit of bold jewelry can be just the thing to perk up your warm weather clothes as we make the long, sweaty march towards Labor Day.

I really love all of these pieces, and I'm seriously considering adding a few to my wardrobe. But what's crazy is that if you asked me how I feel about neon today I'd still say, "Ugh, hate it." Except when I love it.

from l to r:

Maisy Handbag ($133) -- I love this traditional satchel shape in an unexpected color. I think it's perfect for work in all but the most conservative of offices.

Neon Knot Bib Necklace ($22) -- inherently cool simply because it comes from Furbish, the little jewel-box of a design/decor shop run by the fabulous Jamie Meares. The mix of bright pink, blue, and yellow is almost too much, but somehow it works here.

Loren Hope Triangle Cuff in Neon Pink ($78) -- perfect if you just want to dip a toe in the neon pool. And possibly share your alle Illuminati.

Rebecca Minkoff Ginny Mesh Espadrilles ($49) -- these are on super sale and you should snatch them up. Throw them on with your bathing suit to hit the beach; just as good with white jeans and a simple top for late-night dinner and drinks.

Nada Sawaya Python Zip Top Pouch ($390) --  the perfect summer clutch. Me likey so, so much.

BaubleBar Festival Tassel Drops ($32) -- these come in a rainbow of bright colors, but the sunny yellow are my favorite.

Hello Holiday George Sandals ($15) -- easy chic sandals in the perfect Creamsicle shade of orange. 

Amrita Singh POP! Necklace ($10) -- I have this in pink and I adore it. Simple and sexy, perfect with a little tank, or perhaps peeking out of a collared shirt.

DROPS Neon Orange Square Unisex Watch ($130) -- I love a good boyfriend watch, and this bright rubber version is just fun. I'm pale all year long, but this would look amazing on with your summer tan.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Weekend To Do List:

weekend to do

Happy Sunday, kids! Not going to lie, I kind of wish I could have another few days off. This week was a bit of a killer, including a business trip on Thursday that I was dreading. You know what's not fun? Getting up at before dawn to leave for your 7am flight and realizing at 4:45 that you can't find your car key. Whoops.

Anyway, here's how my weekend played out:

1. My endless Thursday trip seemed all the more painful because all I really wanted to do was be home watching The Daily Show marathon leading up to Jon Stewart's final episode. Mother Nature, air traffic control, or other annoying forces conspired against me and I didn't walk through the door until 11:30, but through the magic of DVR I was able to get caught up. It was a beautiful episode, though more than a bit heartbreaking. 

Maybe one day I'll write more, but you would be hard-pressed to find a bigger fan of the show than me. I've been watching since episode one and while I quickly grew tired of Craig Kilborn (turns out the asshole character wasn't really a character), I was so excited to see Jon take over and I watched as he turned the show into one of the most important forces of news and social commentary in the world. Save for one power outage and a couple of DVR mishaps I've never missed an episode, and for a long time, I never shut up about what a brilliant show it was (by the mid 2000's everyone else seemed to figure it out). I've been to TDS tapings, and I took an Amtrak train down to DC for the Rally to Restore Sanity because Jon asked me to. I've never really been an adult without Jon Stewart helping me make sense of the world, and I am incredibly sad that I will not have that 11pm therapy session to look forward to anymore. 

2. So, about that lost key. After about 30 minutes of panicked searching, I got the sense that my keys were truly not in my house. I needed to get to the airport, so I dug up my spare house key and called a cab (oy, my bank account was not happy about that). When I got home on Thursday night I resumed the search, hoping that I'd just overlooked them in my bleary early morning condition, but no luck. By Friday morning I realized they weren't coming back, so I called a locksmith to come out and make a new key for me (sadly, this is not the first time I've had to do that...). I'm lucky that my key doesn't have a fancy security chip and is (relatively) inexpensive to copy. Still, between the cab rides and the pop-a-lock service, this little mishap cost me about $350. 

And where did my keys end up, you may be asking? My best guess is that I accidentally threw them out with the trash the previous night (because they were definitely in my house on Thursday night, and I didn't go anywhere). That probably sounds ridiculous, but as someone who has thrown her cell phone down the trash chute and lost an ATM card by throwing it in the garbage at the mall, that is actually the most logical explanation. I am now the owner of lots of sets of extra keys.

3. I was feeling super lazy on Saturday so I slept in and then ran a few easy errands. One was a Target run, which was surprisingly dangerous thanks to the hoards of back-to-school shoppers. I did have fun browsing and picking up some fun new supplies for myself (who doesn't love highlighters and cute notebooks?). I can remember spending hours searching the stores for just the right supplies as a child because all of the options were so ugly and plain. Target has aisles and aisles of the cutest, most glittery school supplies you've ever seen. Super jealy.

4. Saturday night I rallied and made myself look relatively cute for a fun birthday dinner. The food was great, but the cake did not have nearly enough sprinkles on it/in it.

5. Finally, a fun bit of news -- I am a member of Yelp Elite for 2015! (If you aren't familiar, the Elite Squad is a kind of fun perk for active Yelp members -- they plan all kinds of fun events at great restaurants and hot spots around town). I have lots of friends who are Elite and they have a blast -- Orlando is a huge town, so I love getting to explore and play. If you're not a Yelper, you might want to consider it -- Yelp can be an incredibly helpful resource and also a great little community!

I'm finishing off the evening with a little quality time with my couch, my DVR, and my furry friend -- see you on the other side!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Wednesday Wishlist: Swim on Sale

As the final weeks of summer slip away, this is a great time to stock up on some summer clothing essentials at super reduced prices (gotta make room for the wool!). Since I still have a warm weather vacation coming up (and I live in a year-round summer climate), I'm going to grab a few of these cute suits for a steal.

clockwise from l to r:

Old Navy Halter Swimsuit ($12) -- pretty damn sexy for Old Navy, and you can't beat the price.

J. Crew Metallic Gold French Bikini ($75) -- does your dude have a Star Wars thing? Surprise him with this (which also happens to be a perfect for a day by the pool)

Boden Knot Front Taniki ($43) -- you may find some odd separates left over in the sale section. A striped top like this would work well with just about all of solid and print bottoms you already have.

ModCloth Anchor Values Swimsuit ($27) -- a perfect mix-and-match option for the striped tankini top, and lots of other fun tops in your closet.

Kate Spade Georgica Beach Striped Bandeau ($121) -- simple and stylish.

Beth Richards Taylor One Piece ($182) -- I prefer one-piece suits, and I love how sleek and sporty this one is. Perfect for when I want to run around the beach reenacting Mariah Carey's "Honey" video.

J. Crew Ikat Print Bikini ($75)-- a great classic print that you won't soon tire of.

J. Crew Hibiscus Ruched Bandeau One Piece ($100) -- punchy print, flattering style.

Kate Spade Georgica Beach Jewels Bandeau Maillot ($121) -- a little skin, a little sparkle.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Weekend To-Do List

We finally got the rainy weekend that was threatened last week. It put a wrench in some of my plans and my hair generally looked terrible, but I made the best of it.

First, some time at Give Kids The World -- have I mentioned how wonderful it is? You should check out this video to learn a little more and maybe even participate in the #GKTWChallenge -- it involves ice cream and Kevin Bacon, so it is obviously awesome.

Next up, some of the usual Saturday routine: gym, errands, lunch date at Chipotle. I am a total sucker for a good burrito bowl and waited in an insanely long line to get one.

But really, the bulk of my weekend was spent KonMari-ing the hell out of my apartment. So many trash bags, so much joy sparking. I've filled about 5 big trash bags so far and I have plenty more to do. It seems strange to say, but I do feel a bit a change in the apartment. It feels lighter, happier, and there a noticeable shift in energy flow.

You've probably heard some things about Marie Kondo's book (The Life Changing Magic of Tidying), but if you haven't actually read it, I'd recommend giving it a peruse. It is a very concise little book, and the way she explains her process really made me think about things quite differently. A few quick takeaways...

I hold onto things out of guilt -- the KonMarie method was kind of refreshing in the way it gives your permission to get rid of things that you just don't want or need. I think a lot of us have a block when it comes to getting rid of things that are useful or functional, even if we don't like or want them. It seems wasteful, but it's best to just let those things find their new home (off to a new owner, to a donation pile, or to the trash).

I overbuy certain things and I need to stop -- one of Marie's rules when tackling a particular category is to gather all of those items together, pull them out, hold them, and make decisions. Doing this opened my eyes to the fact that I have unknowingly become a "collector" of the weirdest shit:

*birthday cards (I'm a sucker for the pretty ones they sell at HomeGoods for just $1)
*ultra-girly notebooks and notepads (HomeGoods again...guess I need to stop going there)
*pretty pouches (I love these for makeup, travel, etc.), and strangely enough,
*packages of moist wipes (you know those ones you use on your face and hands)

These are all things that I use very often, and so I guess that's why when I see any of them I immediately think, "oh, I should grab one/some, I don't want to run out". But it turns out I don't use them nearly as fast as I restock them, so I need to lay off. Or find like 50 new best friends to send birthday cards to.

I have a paper problem -- one of my chronic problems is paper management. For years I have always had stacks of paper, bills, magazines, etc. stashed all over the place. I know I need to shred/file/recycle and just get too lazy, so I stuff everything in bag and hide it in the closet. Marie says that paper has to go, so I bought a shredder, I packed up a bag of newspapers (ok, 3 bags) to bring to the local animal shelter for the crates, and I'm going to make sure I go paperless with every bill, statement, and newsletter possible.

If it isn't working, change it -- I don't really know why, but as I was reading the book I had a realization that some areas of my apartment are just not working. I need to get rid of a few pieces of furniture that just aren't useful for me and find a few new things. When you can't make it work, make it better.

I just need to throw shit out -- Are Marie Kondo and Elsa the same person? Possibly. The KonMari method can be summed up as such: LET. IT. GO. It doesn't mean not holding on to some things that have sentimental value or are don't get used every day, but it does mean letting go of some of the excuses you have for keeping things that you just don't need. Bye, Felicia!

Treating myself to an episode of Mad Men and then heading to bed -- here's to a great week ahead!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Three Ways: Denim Skirt

Well, it's August 1st, so you know what that means: time to think about fall. Bathing suits in March, turtlenecks in August; it's a wonderful cycle, isn't it? Sigh.

I'm working on a fall fashion post, and one of my must-haves for this season is an A-line denim skirt. My favorite so far is this one from Alexa Chung x AG. It feels a little retro, a little pouty Parisian girl...but it's timeless enough to be a good closet workhorse for years to come.

It's way too hot in Florida to break out any of these looks just yet, but here's what I'm dreaming about for fall:


I've always worked in offices where denim was fine all week long, so I love the idea of this skirt for long work days that lead into happy hour drinks, dinner, and more. Black with a few pops of color seems right here. A pretty pussy bow blouse, tights, and a good bag are the base. Sheer red lips, a chunky watch, and some funky gold slides add the personality.

Harvest Festival:

When I lived in New York, I inevitably ended up trekking out to Eastern LI for some kind of fall fun activity: apple picking, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, etc. Basically a chance to enjoy the brisk fall air, eat something delicious, and appreciate the fact that nice farmers grow awesome produce for us. Thanks, farmers!

Literally every other woman there will be dressed in a standard skinny jeans/flannel shirt/puffy vest fall uniform, so why not try to stand out bit? I love this relaxed take on a fisherman's sweater, and these boots are perfect for stomping around in the dirt. I'd add a tote in a rich fall color, a scarf in case it gets a little chilly, and some classic shades.

Sunday Funday:

This skirt is totally perfect for all of your lazy Sunday activities: brunching, flea market-ing, window shopping. A good striped shirt and chunky sandals (love these so much) are perfect for those unseasonably warm fall days. I'd just add a caramel colored cross body bag (do black and brown go together? Yup.) and stacks of rings. Easy.