Monday, November 15, 2010

OOTD - Playing Dress Up

Did you ever have to dress up every day for work?  That question is almost like asking how old you are for everyone except a few people.  I did have to dress for my first two jobs, in suits.  We're talking skirts, hose, heels, jewelry the works.  In 1998 I went to work for a company that was casual and we could wear jeans.  My jobs since then have all been business casual. I do try to dress appropriately for my position and profession, so it ends up being somewhat nicer than most other folks.  However, I don't always dress professionally or conservatively (even though I probably should) because I enjoy embracing trends in an age appropriate way.  I also think female professionals can have an issue with approachability.  I want people in my company to feel like they can talk to me about their issues, and I think that if I'm too dressed up I can seem intimidating.

I have to dress professionally for certain meetings and events a few times per year.  For this particular meeting, I didn't have to get "all the way" dressed up due to the people who would be there.  I was also facing five hours round trip in the car.

It's a bit hard to see, but I opted for black work pants, a black silk ribbed sweater, blazer and scarf.  The outfit is built around flats as I had injured my foot the previous weekend. I am sporting my black patent Rockport loafers. I bought them at Marshalls several years ago but they keep going strong. I would definitely pay full price for another pair!

 Talbots petites blazer in taupe, Charter Club black silk sweater, Ann Taylor Loft "Julie" black pants and Jerry Garcia scarf.  The scarf is oblong and silk. I have it knotted at chest level with the ends hanging down.  Nails are Sonia Kashuk's Taunting Teal.  Kinda pushing the limit for a professional setting!

Do you dress professionally very often?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

DIY Jewelry Creations - Mommy Bracelet

Those of you who are moms (or grandmothers) probably either have or want a bracelet with your angel's name on it. I have seen many of these, but I could never decide on one.  I almost asked DH for one, but of course I wanted to pick out my own.

I finally decided to make one.  I used all sterling silver and Swarovski beads  The dark sapphire beads are my son's birthstone.  The rest are clear beads.  The materials for the bracelet cost around $35. This is much less than comparable bracelets I have seen for sale, and I was able to make it exactly how I wanted it, and also the size I wanted.  You can see by the size of my wrists that I really am big boned!
 It is very sparkly in real life.  I wish my photography skills could capture it better.

Do you have a mommy bracelet? Have you thought about making one?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Serious Stuff - Cancer Patient For A Day

Every once in awhile I'll digress into more serious topics.

We have a mammogram truck that comes and parks outside of our office, right outside my window.  It makes it really easy to get your mammogram.

I got mine a week ago Friday.  No biggie.  They also do a physical breast exam.  Fine.  I'm not overly embarrassed or prudish about any of that.

I took the following Monday off, nursing a cold.  Oops, forgot to check my voice mail.

On Tuesday, there was a message from "Sue from the mammogram truck. Please call back."

When I returned her call, she said they saw something on my mammogram which wasn't there last year.  "An enlarged node." She couldn't tell me much more than that.  "We need you to come to ____ (the special cancer hospital in town) for an additional mammogram and possibly an ultrasound.  If they see something you will need a biopsy.  We can see you this week."  So I scheduled the appointment for Thursday.  And then I deliberated who to tell.

I knew my husband would be very upset.  I am supposedly the rational one; he is the emotional one.  But  I had to tell him.  I tried to tell him not to be upset until we had something to be upset about.  He said he would come with me to the appointment.  I was relieved.

I didn't tell anyone else.  I am very close to my mom.  However, my dad has been ill, my sister just had a baby, and she was dealing with a lot.  I decided I would't tell her about this appointment, but if it turned out to be something, I would tell her then.

Then the agony began.  I tried to remind myself that it was probably nothing. But I couldn't help but think about what would happen if it wasn't.  I knew that being of European Jewish descent put me into a high risk group for breast cancer, even though no one in my family has even had breast cancer (thank G-d).

There's nothing like a possibility of cancer, even a remote one, to make you think about your life.  I told myself that breast cancer is no longer a death sentence.  I thought about what it would feel like to have my breast removed.  If I had to do it I would.  I thought most about my little boy and my husband, wondering how they would make it in this world without me.   I thought about my step sons and my impact on their lives.  But I especially thought about my son, who is such a joy.  What would losing his mother, the person who he loves the most in the world (as he glowingly tells me every day), do to him? How would it change the person he would ultimately be? Would he persevere through the adversity or would he become a bitter, sad person?  If it was cancer, how would I make the most of my time with him, and why wasn't I already doing that?  I had the same thoughts about my husband.  We are constantly juggling, rushing around, trying to meet all of our work and home commitments.  We feel like we're working all the time.  We vow to make more time for  each other, but somehow we can never manage to do it.  I thought of all the petty things I waste time focusing on.  And I was mad at myself for not consistently making good choices for my overall health, especially my diet.

Long story short, we went to the appointment, they took another mammogram (this time with much more compression, ouch) and everything was fine.  They told me they call back a lot of people for a second look and often the angle or compression of the first Xray is off a bit and that's all there is to it.  They showed me the first Xray, and the area they saw barely looked like anything - just the white part of the Xray was a bit whiter than the rest.  I was impressed they caught that.

So we walked out, I kissed my husband goodbye, and I drove back to work.  I vowed that all of that thinking about life and such would not go to waste.  That I wouldn't take my life and my family for granted.  That I would make the effort to focus on the important things and let go of the trivial ones.  That I would be more attentive to my existing health concerns.

That I would try to live every day as if I had cancer.

Shouldn't we all?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Weekend Wear - Skinnies

It took me awhile to adopt skinnies.  As a busty hourglass, they aren't my number one silhouette.  However,  I finally caved.  After seeing my self in them in photos from last Hanukkah, I left them in my closet for awhile.  However, I think my weight lifting routine has made a difference.  For the first time ever I have done a lot of leg exercises: squats, lunges, dead lifts, step ups.  More on the weight routine later.  I also think that the mirror at our new Marshalls (where I took these photos) is perhaps more flattering than the mirror in my 1965 bathroom at work.

Old Navy Sweetheart skinies; NY and Co. cami, ON cardi, Gap flats. Coach bag,

Do you like skinny jeans?

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Havianas On Sale At Gap - Sizing Tip

Have you tried Havianas?  I think they are all right.  They are definitely stylish and some have great patterns, but they aren't my most comfortable flip flop.  That honor goes to the Teva Mush.  I really don't wear flips that much.  I think they are terrible for feet and I mostly limit them to the pool and around the house.  I hate to think of the future foot problems of the flip flop generation!  Tell your college student to go into podiatry for a lucrative career. . .

Back to the Havianas.  The first two pairs of Havianas I bought were way too big.  That is because the U.S. sizing listed on them is totally wrong.


The white shoe on the left is too big. The black one is the right size. It's hard to tell from the pic.

It says "USA 7/8." I wear an 8.  So why is it huge? Look at the European size: 41/42.  I know that my size 8 is usually a European 39. 41 is way to big, and so was this shoe.  I have no idea about the Brazilian size.  Now look at the one that fits:

It says "USA 6," but no way is this a 6.  Note "EUR 39/0."  Now that's my size.

So disregard the USA size when buying Havianas and go with the European size.  No wonder  Gap had so many left.  Everyone thought they were really a size 6.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Outfit of the Day - Winterizing

Talbots Petites jacket, Gap tank and belt, Old Navy skirt and tights, Sofft booties.  The skirt is cotton from this summer.

I think many attempts at winterizing summer items with black tights and shoes just look stupid.  It's saying, "look at me, I'm edgy and fashiony."  When really the person is probably just cold.

I think summer pieces can be winterized if they are darker colors and have some weight to them.  I won't wear this skirt in January, though!  Common sense figures in here somewhere.

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Outfit of the Day - Black to Black

I rarely wear all black, but I was feeling under the weather today.  Wearing black makes me think of the Smith's line, "I wear black on the outside 'cause black is how I feel on the inside." Yeah, Morrissey.

So here is the outfit featuring the black lace Casual Corner blouse:

 It was hard to photograph in a bathroom mirror, but this is the black lace blouse under a black denim military jacket from Old Navy.  Gunmetal Coach outlet bag.  Ann Taylor Loft Julie pants and Nine West wedge boots (not pictured).  You can also see my DIY charm necklace.

Do you do all black sometimes?  Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Blast From The Past - Shopping In My Closet

Remember Casual Corner?  During my early working years, it was my go-to place for well priced business wear.  The quality varied, but I had some really nice pieces that lasted for years.  I mourned when it went out of business.

The past few years I have been ruthless about purging my closet.  Yet one item, brand new with tags from Casual Corner was never voted off the island.  This is it:

You can't tell from the first picture, but the subject of this post is a black lace "shell" with a black lining. Do you remember wearing tops like this under your suits?  Pretty basic right?

So what made me keep this top?  I credit it to my goth streak.  That's right, goth.  As in the dark music of the 80s, to which I still listen.  Black. Studded things. Lots of eye makeup. Vertical hair.  The epitome of which is are these style icons:
That's Siouxsie Sue of Siouxsie and the Banshees and Robert Smith of the Cure.  More on how they inspire me in a future post. But I draw the line at skulls, with all due respect to Mr. McQueen. I think they are morbid and I especially hate them on little boys.  But I digress.

Black lace fits right in with the love of Goth music.

So yes, the woman you saw wearing the preppy yacht skirt and polo shirt in a previous post also loves all things gothy.  It's the Gemini in me, I guess.

And it causes me to keep a black lace top until it comes back into style.  Stay tuned for an outfit post with said blouse.

Do you have clothes you keep for some odd reason?

DIY Jewelry Creations

I want to share with you now and then jewelry I have made.  I started beading when I couldn't find jewelry in the colors and designs I wanted.  I have a big stash of beads and findings on hand for those moments when the spirit hits me and my son goes to bead early. (So far he has not found the treasure box full of jewels.)  I also keep a file of magazine clippings showing jewelry that inspires me.  Finally, beaded jewelry makes great gifts for teachers and co-workers.

I am a silver person.  I usually use sterling findings, but sterling can be soft and I have lost a few charms that have broken off of a sterling wrapped hairpin.  So if it's something I don't remind replacing I will use base metal findings. I keep my jewelry in ziplock bags and so far nothing has tarnished.

So here is the first installment and my favorite piece:

This is a charm necklace.  I already had the long sterling chain.  I used a larger O ring and onto that I added three charms.  The pearl is for me (June birthday) and the dark sapphire Swarovski bricolette (teardrop)  is for the most wonderful boy in the world (September birthday).  I purchased these beads on ebay.  I made them into a charm using a sterling headpin which I threaded through the hole and twisted into a wrapped loop with a jewelry tool.  The middle charm is the Tree of Life.  In Hebrew it's called Etz Hayyim, and it's an important Jewish symbol.  It represents the chain of life over generations as well as the immediate family tree.  I bought it from a lovely Celtic lady on ebay.  In real life the necklace is really shiny.  The chain is I think 24". It's a bit shorter than most you see on this type of necklace, but I have a big chest, and those longer chains just don't work for me.  That's the beauty of making your own; you can make it to fit you however you want!

Do you make jewelry? Would you like to see more?

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Jewish Girl's Holy Grail(s)

When one finds that certain makeup item that always looks great, many refer to it as one's "holy grail."  I haven't come up with a Jewish equivalent of the thing one searches for but which only the most righteous find (other than HaShem his/herself), so I'll go with it. : )

A few of mine:

Nars Sin blush.  I know Orgasm is the most popular, but the beautiful berry of Sin suits my fair (NC20) skin perfectly.  It has just a touch of shimmer, but not to much for an older lady like me.

MAC Sophisto lipstick.  Again a berry, but not a dark one.   My lips are very pigmented and I can't do the nude lip at all.  I need something at least as dark as my lips.  You'd think I wouldn't even need lipstick, but I look totally washed out without it.  Sophisto oxidizes on me to a pinkish berry.

Do you have some special beauty products you can't live without?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Back After a Busy Break With an Outfit Backlog

Hi everyone! I know it's been awhile.  I have had some personal and family stuff going on this last month...a big birthday for my son,  holidays, an ill parent, a new niece -- it's been crazy. But I'm still here and I still have a lot to say.

Believe it or not, it's still not fall here in Missouri.  It was close to 80 degrees today.  Growing up, I do remember occasionally wearing shorts on Halloween.  And also winter coats.  Crazy midwestern weather is always a challenge for dressing.

I'll share with you some last outfits of summer.

The point of this outfit is that real people have to repeat their clothes.  I don't always have something new to wear.  I've worn this black and white sleeveless Merona dress for you before.  I have a Tahari flowy cardigan over it. However, what made this outfit were some snappy red accessories.

Red lips. A great accessory.  This is Revlon Colorburst Lipstick in Raspberry.

Red crystal bracelet. It's brighter in real life.

Not red, but Nine West gladiator sandals.

Red beaded statement necklace, from JC Penney.  It's a brighter red in real life.

Piece de resistance: Hayden Harnett Lorca in Ruby. Bought during one of their super duper sales.


I love purple, especially against neutrals.  NY and Co. tank and cargo pants.  Gap cardi. Payless wedges.  Rebecca Minkoff Mantinee satchel (purchased from someone on a blog).  Do you wear rolled cargos? I never thought I would and now they are one of my most favorite trends.


Random work outfit. Loft cardi, pants and scarf with the RM bag.  My preciousssss.  In winter I tend to wear black pants to work several times a week. I'm trying to break out of that this year.

I wore this outfit to one of my sister's baby showers.  The aforementioned NY and Co. gray cargo pants, a Talbots Jacket, J Crew silk cami and Coach outlet bag.  I have on a chain necklace from Forever 21. I think I wore the purple peep toes with it.  The shower was at a chic dessert restaurant in St. Louis and so much fun.

Another nod to my preppy heritage.  Talbots yacht skirt and kelly green flats, Lauren polo shirt, J Crew Tartine sweater and vintage Gucci courtesy of my mom.

Tucker for Target blouse, black linen pencil skirt, Old Navy belt (it had a bow on it that I cut off) and Coach outlet bag.

Well, I guess we're all caught up! Thanks for stopping by.  How are you transitioning to fall?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Outfit of the Day - Diamond in the Rough

Do you have a store you check out every time you're in the area, but where you rarely find anything?  I do.  It's H & M.  There is one in the mall by mom's house in the city.  I don't buy much (with the European sizing not much fits me), but what I do buy there, I love.

Case in point, today's cream linen motorcycle jacket.  After my white watch from Target, it is my favorite purchase of the summer.  I haven't worn it that much because it is cream and most of my summer wardrobe is "white white."  I'm working on wearing it more often because I feel so cool when I have it on.

Linen motorcycle jacket, H & M.  Dress, NY and Co.  Bag, J Crew. Sandals, Clarks.

I do love me some leopard with red.  I'm glad leopard is on trend for this fall.  I have loved it for awhile and already have bag, belt and flats ready to go. (Of course not all together).  Can't wait to wear leopard with other jewel tones.

Do you shop at H & M, or do you have other stores where you occasionally find a diamond?

Do you do leopard?

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Friend Chuck

Occasionally I digress into matter of food and wine.

When I was single I was a great cook.  I'd host dinner parties where people would beg to be on the A list.  I made something delish for every office event.  I'd cook all day on Sundays, setting myself up for a week of tasty leftovers.

And then I got married, became a step mom, had a dog and kid of my own.  And I stopped cooking.

Dr. Kvetch loves to cook and does a great job.  Plus, he just does it faster than me.  Single girl cooking is not the same as getting dinner on the table on a Wednesday night.

We recently renovated our kitchen (another post), so now there is room for both of us to work in the kitchen at the same time.  Plus it's just nicer.  So I'm cooking more.

But even if I don't cook, I do consume.  And we consume a lot of Charles Shaw wine, known affectionately in Trader Joe land as "Two Buck Chuck."  Really it's three bucks but worth it.

We live just over an hour and a half away from Trader Joe's. Fortunately it is just a few miles from my parents' house, which I visit every six weeks or so. Or when we run out of wine, coffee and peanut butter.

When it comes to Chuck, we like the Sauvignon Blanc and the Shiraz.

Do you like Two Buck Chuck?

Outfit of the Day

Another rushed morning, another dress.  This one is a wrap by Max Studio. It's hard to tell but it's a turquoise print.  Vintage turquoise native american ring.  And a slip underneath. I've mentioned don't do Spanx type garments for everyday wear.  I just suck in my gut when I'm walking by someone and let it all hang out behind my desk. 

Do you wear shapewear on a daily basis?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Outfit of the Day

Hi everyone, sorry I've been gone the past few days.  Here are some recent outfits.

I think you either want fantasy in a blog, or you want reality.  I love looking at some of the high fashion and high end blogs, but in the end, I'd much rather see what real people who are kind of like me are wearing.  And I hope you like that too.

Jacket - Gap. Shirt-ANA at JC Penney. Skirt - Ann Taylor via ebay.  Bag- Sak Silverlake Flap in Teak. Gap flats.

I found this jacket tagged $7 at my local Gap. Must have been a return or something.  The belt actually hit at my waist.  I'm short waisted so things with a self belt normally hit me too low, below my waist. It breaks one of my fundamental rules: no pockets on the boobs. These are pretty flat and placed high so they are passable.  One thing about rules is that they are made to be broken!

I think Sak leather bags are way underrated.  I got this one from Overstock, but you can find them under $100 on similar sites like QVC and Amazon as well as in department stores.  It is a well made bag with soft but substantial leather.  The Teak is a great cognac color.  I can't believe I chose brown for this but I am trying to branch out from my usual black.  I now have quite a lot of brown for summer.  And it's true, cognac does go with everything, even black.  I like the cross body style to give my shoulders a break form big heavy bags.

Do you have "rules" for yourself about clothes? Do you break them?'

Have you tried cognac yet?  Boots are next on my cognac list.