Christmas Dish and New Year's Resolutions

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Hi friends! It's officially New Year's Eve and I'm getting my work done and thinking about how I kind of hate NYE. It's like there's too much pressure to dress up and fall in love and kiss someone (Thanks a lot, When Harry Met Sally) so we kind of just opt out. We're taking the kids to a little party, seeing fireworks and then we're dunzo. I can't handle that kind of pressure otherwise.

But for now, let's dish about Christmas and a little on what I'm planning for 2015, shall we?

So this Christmas was actually a little more stressful than usual because we had to keep pressing pause to be up in Salt Lake for the whole citizenship thing. I did have the sense to buy up stuff slowly, but I felt like I was in a mad dash the last two days. 

I'm also way into Christmas Eve. We host the family party here, so it's crazy and loud and fun and then everyone leaves and it's magical and quiet. We tidied up and did pajamas before heading over to the local outdoor light display. 



Also, my pajamas were these and I might be still wearing them now because the pants are so friggin comfortable I want to be buried in them. I know that's macabre, but I really love these pants. I'm buying more because they're on sale. 

Our kids actually fell asleep at 8:30 because they had been up the night earlier. Like, Andrew actually fell asleep during the reading of The Night Before Christmas and I was like shut up, this is like TOO picturesque. 


Of course, that just meant Justin and I were only up until 12 getting stuff ready and crying over It's a Wonderful Life. And the kids woke us up at 5:30. Thanks, kids. 

Also, I should point out that I go crazy over Christmas because my kids overreact to everything. This is Andrew opening a pair of socks and losing his everloving mind. 


And me? The ol' ball and chain is a good gift giver. I usually give suggestions throughout the year and he stores them like little acorns until Christmas and I'm like how did you remember this? 

My main present was a new bag. I hate buying new bags. I get reallllllly comfortable with the ones I have and it's hard for me to make the switch. But my black bag, while in really good shape, had started to fade after two years of use. So Justin bought me this one, which he picked out on his own and I love because he remembered I have to have a crossbody strap to even function (mine is the chalk color). Also, the front cell phone pockets are totally brilliant. 

Also, he bought me this Dior Addict Lip Glow and I'm obsessed. It's perfect for a lipstick avoider like myself: It's a balm that just enhances your natural lip color. It's a really pretty rose on me. I love love love it. 

I also got this amazing Urban Decay Naked On the Run palette, which has basically everything you could ever need while traveling in one compact – eyeliner, mascara, gloss, bronzer, blush, highlighter and eyeshadow. Perfect for weekends away. I must plan one immediately. 

This is me only wearing stuff from the palette. The lip gloss is aaaahmazing, as well as the Dive eyeshadow shade. It's a golden rose with sparkle. Shut. Up. 

I also got some electronics: A new Kindle Paperweight since I used and abused mine heavily during the past year, as well as a completely new desktop. I know I'm old school, but I'm obsessed with my desktop. Laptops cannot hack it for someone like me. Justin bought a tricked out one with tons of memory for my computer packrat tendencies. Very smart. 

Anyway, that was my Christmas. Now, share with me in the comments on yours. Get any awesome beauty products? Or shoes? I will say that I went shopping the day after Christmas and bought myself a pair of high top Nikes. Because: 


Okay, now onto my New Year's Resolutions:

So, here's a little story. In the summer, I started noticing that my migraines were ramping up. I have migraines with aura (and have for years), which means first, I lose my sight and then I'm hit with pain, light sensitivity and then 24 hours of lie-on-the-floor-and-die nausea. Which sucks, but last year it was only like, one every other month and that was doable. But suddenly, they were once a month. And then once every two weeks. And then, by July, I was having one a week. 

Finding myself basically incapacitated for a day a week was crazy to me. Like, it was summer: Kids home, working, trying to keep up with them and then BAM I'd be in my room with three pillows on my head and telling my husband he had to come home from work because I thought I was dying (migraines also come with a lot of drama and emotions for me, too. Hooray.)

Finally, I made an appointment with a new doctor. To be honest, I'm the type of person who is mortified to ever need help, so for some reason, I couldn't bring myself to talk to my usual, friend-of-the-family doc. 

Anyway, I was so stressed out about the appointment that I almost backed out like, six times. Finally, I put on some big girl pants (Calvin Klein, natch) and saw him. I explained the frequency of my migraines, along with a long family history of the same. 

First thing he asked me? "How are you sleeping? How do you feel when you lie down at night?" I thought about it and answered "Like I could probably run a marathon every night at 11 p.m."

After some other questions about my lifestyle and general state of mind, he came back with the question "Are you ever anxious?"

I won't get into the discussion we had, because you know, patient-doctor privilege, right? But in the end, after 30 minutes of talking about social situations, sleep habits and my overall personality, my doctor (very) gently suggested that I might be suffering from an anxiety and sleep disorder, which was triggering my migraines.

To be honest, I was first like "WHAT? I am not one of those people. I'm capable and responsible and dependable and on top of everything. Anxiety is for crazy people. I just have headaches sometimes." But see, here's the thing with that line of thinking: Believing that I had to be capable and had to be on top of everything was exactly what caused my sleepless nights and daily anxiety. I was literally making myself sick proving to everyone that I could do it all. 

I'm not even a perfectionist; it's much worse than that. I'm someone who has to be THE BEST at all times. And when you're constantly worried about being THE BEST, you can't ever relax, since there's a lot of self-evaluation and improvement happening. What if you stop and someone else becomes THE BEST? Being THE BEST at work, life, friends, style, everything was a huge factor in my lying awake at night and wondering if I was doing enough and what more I could add to be THE BEST.

Women get a crappy end of the deal sometimes. Call us the Pinterest Generation: We're obsessed with measuring up. Social media just offers a more palpable way to further assess our success based on others'. "Yeah, she's prettier – but my house is cleaner." "Sure, she's a great cook, but I heard her son is a hellion at school." "She's skinny – but it's like, 'skinny fat.' I have more muscle tone."

What the heck is up with that? We totally stand on someone else's shoulders to put ourselves ahead of the pack. It's some serious girl-on-girl crime, which I'm totally guilty of, too. We all do it as a way to justify someone else's talents and take her down, notch by notch.

We get it: No one's perfect. But I've learned that consistently "placing" yourself on a scale of other women is what leaves you feeling inadequate. Sometimes, I think women are the worst anti-feminists at all, because it's SO HARD to be happy for another woman. She has success, and we all think of ways that she's probably failing. 

I had an experience this year when I was on the receiving end on that girl-on-girl process. I was succeeding in one area, and someone had to point out somewhere that she thought I was failing. And seriously, not to be braggy at all, but it was an area in which I had worked really hard to be THE BEST. And I still had someone saying "Yeah, but..." And to keep it short and sweet, it sucked. Hard.

You guys. That's crappy behavior. Because everyone is just trying to do their best, right? Not a single one of us is just like, coasting through life and tripping into hyperbaric gold mines that cause us to be simultaneously rich and skinny. We all have kids and husbands and bodies and homes and not all of them will be perfect. All we really can do is work on being enough and acknowledging that it's the same thing every woman you know is trying to do, too. 

There's a wordy New Year's Resolution for you: To be OK with not being THE BEST and being happy for the person who is. 

I've worked with my doc and have a treatment plan in place. I didn't want to type that, because anxiety has a pretty crappy stigma and like, admitting to everyone that you're medicated isn't super cool, but it's true and it's been a total lifesaver. My migraines have gone back to being a once-in-awhile affair (I went all December migraine-free what what!) and I actually sleep. Every night. It's glorious. 

So basically, I'm THE BEST at anxiety treatment.

(KIDDING.)


Thanks again for another great year, guys. 

xo,
Jae 



What I Wore: Drizzly Christmas

Monday, December 29, 2014

Yay! Christmas is over and my house is totally wrecked, but I'm exactly where I want to be: Logging some special personal time with my computer and recapturing my usual routine. I'm not quite there yet, since the kids are still home, but it's some semblance of normalcy. As always, I love the holidaus, but I really super love normalcy. And being at my computer. And not interacting with other human beings except through email.

I swear I'm a really nice person.

The week before Christmas I was in full-throttle errand mode, but it was rainy and drizzly and generally awful the whole week. This hat saved me from having wet hair all week long, and for that, it's become a cherished addition to my closet. I am fiercely loyal to accessories that save me from frizz.

This was me headed out for a day of Costco-ing and erranding. While in the checkout lane at Costco, there was another mom with two kids about the same age as mine in front of me. She was like "Okay, so you have two, and I have two, and yet you're the only one out of the two of us actually dressed today." I laughed and told her "Hey, it's all relative. Any other day it could be the other way around!" She was actually adorable and I wanted to hang out with her if that wasn't totally weird.

Hat: Kate Landry (I went on a hat-trying-on rampage in the fall and this is the only one that actually looked decent on me. Dang you, heart-shaped face that looks weird in anything but trucker hats!!) (similar) (similar)
Top: Suzy Shier - Canada (similar) (plus)
Jeans: Calvin Klein (here)
Boots: White Mountain (here) Yup I basically wear these every day, everywhere. 
Also I'm not wearing any accessories because it was like, the 23rd and I don't need an arm party to go to Costco. 

After our super drizzly pre-Christmas week, we promptly got about two feet of snow on Christmas Day, which was magical at first and now it's already like "Yeah you can stop being magical now." Good thing I moved to a state that is specifically known for its snow, right? 

Anyway, check back on Wednesday for the annual Christmas Dish and some resolutions for this year! For instance, I ate an entire loaf of Kneaders cinnamon bread on Christmas because, and I'm quoting myself talking to my husband here, "I'll regret it if I don't." So I resolve to not do that again. 


What I Wore: Making it Official

Monday, December 22, 2014

Ack! There's only three days until Christmas, people. I have a lot to do. I have to go to Costco today, for goodness sake. COSTCO. I have an unnatural fear of Costco as it is, so Costco during the holidays practically brings me to my knees.

So I'll make this short and sweet and then make myself scarce until things calm down.

I had my swearing-in ceremony on Friday for my citizenship and it was actually a pretty cool experience. No offense or anything, but I was less interested in swearing to bear arms for the United States, and way more interested in the people who were in the room with me. There were 35 naturalized citizens from 19 different countries, and the person officiating called out each country in turn, and all those from that country stood up. For Utah, the diversity was pretty astounding: There were people from Burma, Sudan, Vietnam, South Korea, Honduras, Russia... and three of us from Canada (for some reason, I thought there'd be more). I sat next to a man from Alberta and we chatted with our other seatmates, who were from Mexico and Vietnam, while we waited. By the time the ceremony was over, I honestly felt like they were all my new BFFs, despite age and language barriers.

I'm now the very proud owner of a handy naturalized citizen certificate, and a bunch of new friends that I met over the past couple of weeks. They separate the immigrants from their families for the ceremony, and there's a lot of waiting, so mostly you just sit and talk with the other people there. And everyone is super nice and friendly and humble, and really, isn't that just the kind of person you want immigrating here? I'm probably prouder to identify with that group of people than anything else. 

Also, the oath they make you take is very long and I think I screwed it up. Otherwise, it was very interesting and I'm very very glad I never have to deal with immigration ever again.

I wore this. For obvious reasons.

Top: PattyBoutik (here) (similar)
Pants: Calvin Klein (similar) (plus)
Scarf: David & Young (similar) (cheap)
Jacket: Guess...sorry I basically wear it every day (similar) (love this one!)

Aaaand one without the jacket so you can see the adorable buttons this shirt has down the side. I just tucked my scarf into the cowl of the top. It ended up being kiiiind of perfect. You know, if you were looking for outfit ideas for your naturalization ceremony. 


Man, this $15 David & Young scarf (I got it from Nordstrom a few years ago) has really come in handy. You know, if you're part of that strong ex-pat living in the United States market. 

Alright, I'm signing off for the holidays. Thanks to everyone's kind words during this whole weird process and thanks for being readers that I consider friends. Find me a blogger who a has a cooler reader base and I'll show you a liar. I win that contest forever and ever.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, guys! Check back next week and we'll dish about it all. 

xo,
Jae 

How to: Create the Perfect Holiday Uniform

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I sat down to write a post on festive wear, but to be honest, I've written it like every year since I've had the blog. Here are some of the past things I've had to say about dressing up for Christmas:

5 Ways to Rock a Holiday Party Like it's Your Job
Non-Scary Festive Party Wear
Dressing Festively Without Looking Like a Christmas Tree Barfed on You
Reader Question: Frigid Fashion

This year has been uber busy. And really, who isn't busy right now? Yesterday I went to read a Christmas story to Andrew's class, and when I came in, the teacher was like "Let's all thank Mrs. Curtis for coming in when she could have been out shopping" and I wanted to scream because if it were only shopping, I would be a happy camper. Instead, it's shopping and baking and working and party prep and food and shuffling around to various children's programs and oh yeah, I have to be sworn in as an American citizen on Friday.

So it's probably not all that surprising to find out that instead of doing the whole "OH CRAP what am I gonna wear?" to everything, I've created a basic uniform. This uniform has – thus far – been perfectly appropriate for every holiday-related event and errand I have to run, so I'm feeling pretty smug about how easy getting dressed has been this time around. Of course, you can talk to me next week, when I'm sick of wearing it.

The thing about having a basic uniform isn't that you wear the same thing to every event, but that you have a general template in mind. It's stuff that looks good and walks the line between dressy and casual, especially with simple swaps that can dress it up and down. Here's what I'm living in this season.

Start with a chiffon top. They're pretty universally flattering, a little dressy and can be worn tucked or untucked. If you're like me, you already have a bunch kicking around your closet anyway. Also, they're looser, which means you're not wistfully looking at the bacon-wrapped scallops all night.


Once you have that, you can (obviously) add pants. Dark jeans are usually kosher for anything casual or dressy casual, but I'll admit my leather pants are getting a workout too – they're a nice bridge between casual and dress. Not into leather? A pair of cropped skinnies are pretty perfect for parties, since they look great with heels or flats. If you prefer a straight leg, just remember that length matters: If you're wearing heels, the pant leg should fall an inch or two above the ground, not above your shoe.
Now, it's time to add a jacket. For day, I wear my fave leather jacket as a standard. For night and parties, I'm wearing blazers. These are not the same as coats, which are for warmth. Jackets are outfit toppers. I just make my husband go warm up the car first. Also, if you're doing a pretty standard black jacket, you can have more fun with color in your top, shoes and accessories. Also, lazy.



Yay, it's shoe time! I'm positively living in these White Mountain boots that I bought after my friend snagged them on Black Friday. They're uber comfy and have been perfect for errands and kid stuff (and they have actually grippy soles, so I'm not sliding all over the place).

For parties at people's houses, I always default to heels, because if you wear boots and the host wants you to take off your shoes, it can ruin the whole outfit. If you're doing a low heel, your outfit will look pretty much visually the same if you have to take them off.

I do wear my trusty black Fryes for casual events where there's a lot of standing, since they're super comfortable. Otherwise, have fun with shoes! The best part about this uniform is that it's pretty standard, so you can add pattern and texture with your footwear, booyah. Also, you should have one pair of entirely ridiculous pumps to wear to at least one event where you're sitting down. Please, for my sake.


Finally, top it all off with your accessories. You have free reign because your uniform is pretty basic. I'm really into my tassel necklace right now, which I've worn for EVERYTHING. It's interesting without being gaudy or too trendy. But a big pair of earrings, a cuff or a sparkly clutch will do, too. Just remember that if you're wearing multiple accessories, you give a little visual space: Wear earrings and a huge cuff, or a necklace and cocktail ring, not earrings and a necklace. I like gold for the holidays, just because it's out of the ordinary for me.

If you're more into dainty jewelry, just layer it up for a more festive look. So pretty!


Super easy, right? By making a basic holiday uniform, it takes a lot of the guess work and stress out of all of the events you have to juggle. Instead of coming up with a new outfit each time, you tweak your basic uniform and away you go.

Loose top, skinny pants, structured jacket. It's my Christmas present to you.


What I Wore: Early Bird

Monday, December 15, 2014

I would just like to take this moment to announce that I am officially done Christmas shopping. It might not sound like a big deal to people who are actually organized and have a plan, but for me, it's major. I was having lunch with friends last week and they were pointing out my weird way of Christmas shopping: I literally just throw things in my cart and sort through them when I get home. 

I also get really surprised when I order things online and then forget about them. On Saturday, my husband and I made our last big purchase and declared ourselves done, and then I went through my bank account and was like "OH CRAP I forgot we ordered snowboards for the kids." 

Of course, despite finishing Christmas shopping early on Saturday, I slept until 8:20 and was very late on Sunday. I can only do so much, you know? I was so glad I had an easy dress to throw on as I dashed around and shrieked at my family. 


Dress: Tribal (similar)
Jacket: Guess (similar) (similar) I had rolled up my sleeves to keep them out of the way while I put something in the oven and forgot to roll them down again. Let's pretend it was on purpose. 
Boots (I had planned on heels and then we got like, six inches of snow) Dollhouse (here) (similar) (if you prefer a wedge)
Earrings: From my mama (similar)

My main goal was to get shopping done early this year so I had a week to unwind before Christmas kicks in, but I just looked at my calendar and it doesn't seem like it's going to happen. Plus, my husband routinely has an episode on December 23rd when he becomes convinced that we haven't gotten our kids enough and will go and get more. 

Ah, t'is the season! 


Before and After: Immigration Edition

Thursday, December 11, 2014

 I know this really has nothing to do with fashion, but you guys are my friends and I thought you'd want to know that I officially passed my citizenship test yesterday. Go me!! I'll be sworn in next Friday, after which I'll be a very proud dual Canadian/American citizen.

It kind of made me nostalgic for a few different reasons. I was super nervous about the interview and test, just because I have a generally pretty nervous personality. Talking to the guy at the post office makes me nervous. I get freaked out when the cashier at Walmart wants to make small talk, especially when I'm buying feminine products.

When I handed in my appointment letter at the USCIS office, I had nearly chewed off all my nails and spent a half hour focused on all the other applicants in the waiting room with me. And then, the immigration officer (IO) called me back and I followed him through the winding halls back to his office and when I sat down in the chair and looked at his desk, I seriously almost started crying.

See, like, 12 years ago I started the process of getting my Alien Resident Card (green card) and it was the longest, most awful and frankly, degrading process of life. Not only are you (and your relationship, if you're obtaining residence through marriage) put under a microscope, but you're basically treated like a criminal from day one. The old INS building was also mostly glass, so you would be sitting in the waiting room and watching people being escorted out for deportation, which was horrific. There were many, many times I left the USCIS offices in tears because it was scary and mean and I felt like I'd done something wrong and I hadn't.

Until my actual green card interview. The IO who issued my interview was the sweetest, kindest IO I'd ever worked with. He was a Russian refugee and knew I was nervous and he cracked jokes and even gave me a temporary green card to use to travel when I told him I hadn't been home in a while so I could book a trip immediately. Seriously, I loved him.

So, when I sat down for my citizenship interview and read his desk plaque, I realized that it was the very same officer. After 12 years! He automatically started in on the jokes and I was totally fine for the rest of the appointment, even when he said I reminded him of Homer Simpson because I had made a huge, dumb mistake on my paperwork. A Russian IO that watches Simpsons? How could I not love this man to pieces?

Anyway, I just thought it was very full circle: The only person who made me feel calm during the green card process was the same person to issue my citizenship. Doesn't that just make you feel fuzzy and warm and like, American?

I also dug out a picture I snapped of myself going through the immigration process 12 years ago and couldn't believe how much I'd changed (and learned my angles) (and dyed my hair).


Now that it's all over with, I can get back to focusing on shallow things like shoes and what eyebrow pencil works best. I apologize for being deep and distracted for the last couple of weeks. Getting your citizenship is very weird, especially when you're from a very similar country. It's like, can I just have this waived because I'm Canadian, even though I'm pretty sure I spelled "Columbus" wrong on the test? 

So there's my news. I promise that my posts with still have a hefty Canadian theme, especially if they include the word "cheque" which I completely refuse to ever spell as "check."

I still have my dignity. 

What I Wore: I'll Have a Faux Christmas

Monday, December 8, 2014

My family is all over the world right now: I have one brother holding down the fort in our hometown (watching the familial dogs, natch) one in Japan with his wife and her family, one in England for school (and complaining about the food) and one in Vancouver. And unfortunately, no one is going to be home for Christmas this year, so my parents came down to pre-game and throw a faux Christmas with my kids for the whole last week.

We used to call it "fake Christmas" but my mom didn't like it. 

It's funny, because I feel like it should be like, December 24th already: We've done all of our holiday traditions in one week so I'm confused. Yesterday, we did a full present exchange, complete with the part where I fall asleep on the couch while my mom cooks an enormous ham dinner. It was glorious. We've also seen lights at Temple Square, done a crazy amount of shopping and played with my kids' Zoomer Dinos (from Gigi and Poppy) for roughly eight hours yesterday. 

One of them nuzzled me and I've developed feelings for it. Her name is Zoe.

Anyway, this is what I wore for our day of faux Christmas merrymaking on Friday. We headed up to Salt Lake to shop at City Creek, have dinner and see the lights. And remind myself why I live in the middle of nowhere because I don't like people or public bathrooms.

It was blissfully balmy, which was new: Usually you're rubbing up against strangers in Temple Square in an effort to stay warm. I only wore a green military jacket over this at night; otherwise, I got to go coatless and it was lovely for December. 

Top: kensie (here and on sale!)  (I really wanted it in leopard but everything I own is leopard so my friend bought it instead and I can still love it from afar. That's a good friend.)
Pants: Calvin Klein (here). I lost a couple sizes and my beloved H&M leather pants don't fit anymore so I had to buy new ones because life without a pair of leather pants basically isn't worth living. Also these have an elastic waistband. AN ELASTIC WAISTBAND.
Shoes: Call it Spring (sold out, sad) (similar) (similar)
Necklace, yes I'm wearing it again I can't stop: Cara, via Nordstrom (here) (cheaper option)
Watch, on sale!! 

My parents go home tomorrow and I guess we'll go back to celebrating mainstream Christmas which is like, a hipster's nightmare. And THEN!! I have my citizenship interview this week, because nothing says holiday spirit like getting grilled on questions Americans don't even know the answers to. After the 10th, I'll either be primed to be American or being deported, so get ready for that.

Hey, I might be home for Christmas after all. 

Freaky Friday: Deck the Halls

Friday, December 5, 2014

I've got family in town, so I'm reposting. Please forgive me. Let's pretend it's still funny a year later?




 The more I look this picture, the more I laugh. It's not so much the sweater, but the "I have no idea what I'm doing" look on Rudolph's face.

 Ugh, who even started the whole "Team" thing? You don't need to be on any team. It's the holidays. Can't we all just get along?

 How can a festive sweatsuit make me feel so sad inside?

PS I can't see the bottom of these pants but I just KNOW there's elasticized cuffs. 

 Oh... OK, that's cool.


 .....
 This is my favorite festive sweater of ALL TIME. Look at those happy dreidels! They're all like "You don't have to celebrate Christmas to have a good time" and I'm like "You're right I totally want in on this Hanukkah thing!"

 I love these mopey teenager "Things I love" pictures. They are so freakin' specific. Wearing sweaters around the house? Are we just naming things we do every day that aren't special at all?

"Paying bills."

"Waiting in line at the grocery store."

"Pumping gas."

"Breathing."

Wow. So true.
 Aw, look! You get loneliness for Christmas!


 That's one way to spread Christmas cheer.

 OK, the cat's paws look like saggy boobs and now I can't unsee it. It's like how my husband says that Sara Bareilles song "Brave" sounds like it's saying "I wanna see you pee-pee" and I can't unhear it EVER.

 Feeling festive? Do some pattern mixing, wear your husband's socks and then look reeeeeally unimpressed and you can spend Christmas alone.

From the "Every 2nd grade teacher ever" collection.

Speaking of which, the other day my little brother was sending me pictures of my first grade report cards and they said things like "Jacqueline is an excellent galloper" and "She reads from the dictionary and wrote a story about blisters."

I was a really cool kid is what I am saying.

 Let's finish strong and not forget that leaving out cookies is like, soooo mainstream. If you really want to impress him, leave some indie music on the record player and Santa might leave you a corded phone and some bangs.






Gift Guide Refresher

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I am still in the throes of gift shopping right now. This is the time of year when the mail girl hates my guts because I have something coming to the house every day. Also, I'm terrible at keeping track of everything that I order, so it's like a tiny Christmas for me each time a box shows up at my door because I don't remember what it could be.

So, since I'm in RoboShop mode right now, I thought I'd link up to last year's gift guides. Since I focus on specific types of gifts (rather than a specific product) it's kind of an easy way to match the right person to the right prezzies.

For Coworkers and Neighbors
For Your BFF
For Your Husband 
For You
For Your Kids 

Hopefully that helps narrow down choices and relieves a bit of the stress that comes with gift giving. And hey, it's only the 3rd: You have plenty of time to drive yourself crazy for the next three weeks. Enjoy!

What I Wore: Burnout

Monday, December 1, 2014

How was everyone's Thanksgiving week? I'm not gonna lie, I was in pure burnout mode last night. After five straight days of family festivities, all I wanted to do was hide in a quiet room and read a book by myself. Which I totally did, by the way. 

I also came down with a cold over the week, which means I have a man voice low enough to impress Barry White himself. I have three conference calls tomorrow and I can't wait for my client to be like "No, I needed to talk to Jae the woman." 

Shopping-wise, I did OK. I'm already Cyber Mondaying it up but I don't feel as prepped as I usually do at this point in time. My parents are flying in the day after tomorrow, so I plan on dragging my mom around to every store in the valley until I feel like I'm done. Or burned out. 

Top: Adrienne (local boutique) I'm obsessed with this green! (similar) (similar)
Skirt: Arden B. (from like, three Christmases ago) (cute and cheap!) (plus omg so cute)
Shoes: Steve Madden can you tell they're blue? (similar) (similar)
Necklace, which I bought Saturday and am super excited about (here)

I looked polished and put-together yesterday, but never fear: Burnout has a way of finding me in my husband's pajama pants, a bun and glasses come Monday morning. I just need to get my hermit on for a couple of days and I'll be fine.

Tis the season, right? 

What I Wore: Snow Leopard

Monday, November 24, 2014

My husband's an architect, right? So sometimes, I tag along when he has to go meet with clients on consults or whatever. Not all the time, because that would be weird and clingy, but on Friday night he had to go meet with someone about restoring an old cabin like, 90 miles away so I went with.

We met the guy and then followed him up to his place. We drove. And drove. And drove to somewhere I didn't even know existed. Then I started to become worried that the guy was an axe murderer. And it was snowy and cold and we'd get stuck at his cabin and he'd put us in his freezer or something.

I'm typing this now, so obviously it didn't happen. In fact, he was a very nice man and not an axe murderer at all, despite the fact that he did pick up a hatchet near his fireplace to move it over and I was worried for a second there.

Also, it was COLD. I was very happy to be wearing a fat leopard scarf that I could burrow into while my husband was talking about support beams and other riveting stuff.


Top: Kensie (similar) (similar) (plus)
Jacket: Absolutely & Faith (similar) (cute and cheap!)
Boots: Frye (here) (pretty!) (cheap)
Scarf: Croft & Barrow (from my friend, T) (similar) (similar)
Studs: F21

 This week I'm happy to not have been chopped into bitty pieces, but also stressed about the craziness coming up. Thanksgiving, amiright? Posting will be light around here, but I'll put up some greatest hits on what to wear and how to shop this week, k? YAY! Happy Thanksgiving week! 

Freaky Friday

Friday, November 21, 2014

You guys: I went to a midnight showing of Hunger Games with some friends last night and I am like, mom hungover today. Luckily I just have everything to do so I can't even have a nap. My daughter's school is having a big program today and she was so excited she was up at 6 am sounding like Buddy the Elf and pinging off the walls. 

I'm just sitting here nursing a Crystal Light and talking in a man voice. I'm too old for this stuff. Also, the movie was good, although I felt like it was a little slow and then jammed every piece of action into the last five minutes and I was overwhelmed and regretted the Cherry Coke I drank because I was super twitchy when I got home and tried to go to sleep. Now that is an excellent movie review if I ever heard one.

Also, there was a preview for a Gwyneth Paltrow movie and I felt like the universe was punishing me for being annoyed at her gold juicer. 

On to Freaky Friday! 

Where exactly does one wear a gauze, see-though, floor-length, sleeveless duster? That is too many descriptive words for one garment. 


Tansy sent a snap of these to prove that we're just like, not even trying anymore.

Also, I know this is from H&M because I shop there on the reg, but isn't it like, a store for 20-somethings? What person of that age is like "Oh yeah, I so want to look like a census demographic I AM NOT." 

Thanks for sending this shoe, Julie. I'll wear it the next time I'm playing a game of pickup basketball in the woods. 

Brenda sent this dress, which is Yoko Ono levels of WTH.

YEAH I SAID IT Yoko Ono is crazy. Come at me, weird commenters!

Can I just say I reaaaaaaally dislike when people wear shorts over tights? Especially in the winter? You put those shorts away like a normal human being. Pants are punishment for living in cold climates. 

But then you go too far in the other direction and end up looking like a faaaaabulous Jon Snow.


This 80s sweater owns my soul. I want to wear it with spandex and scrunchies all day while whispering secrets to my PJ Sparkles doll. (It was my only doll that survived the "My older brother just learned how to do graffiti and scrawled all over my dolls' faces" epidemic of 1989.)


So, when I was in elementary school, there was a teacher there (who I am almost positive was named Mr. Blakelock though my mind is a little fuzzy there) who grew a beard each year and then raffled off the rights to shave his face to the students in a lottery called Beardo 649. And it wasn't until I was much older that I realized that it's a little creepy to raffle off shaving rights. 

Also, rumor was that he took the beard hair home and made it into pillows but I can neither confirm nor deny. 

Anyway, I feel like he would have really enjoyed this face hat in the interim while growing out his beard for the next child face shaver. 

I'm not making this any less weird, am I? 

I'm sure the ruffle on this dress is really nice IRL but online it just looks like an unfortunately placed triangle and/or uterus diagram. 


Aaaand with that said, I'm going to go jam a full day's work into two hours and pack for a weekend at the cabin and somehow carve out a few hours to go watch the back of someone's phone as they film their child DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF MY FACE.

It's my favorite part of school programs, really.

Deciphering Gwyneth Paltrow's Annual GOOP Gift Guide

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Gwyneth Paltrow doesn't know why everyone hates her, but Gwyneth Paltrow also suggests that we purchase solid gold juicing machines (I WISH I WERE KIDDING) so I take her feelings with a massive grain of salt.

Yes, it's the time of year again. When GP reminds us how rich she is with upper-crust gift ideas that literally no one wants. Seriously, I would be like "You are a millionaire and you gave me something other than money? PLEASE LEAVE."

It occurred to me, as I was rage-paging through the gift guide, that some of the gifts might be a little confusing for anyone who makes less than $15 mil a year and who people actually like, so I took it upon myself to decipher some of the gifts, what they mean and who would actually enjoy receiving them.

Because this blog is just helpful like that. And guess what? I'm affiliate linking the crap out of them. One day I'll be a nasal-y millionaire too.

The Smythson Currency Case: $285
Best for: Your friend who just learned how synonyms work.



"Wallet? No, it's a CASE for CURRENCY. I am truly captivated by your election to purchase me this endowment."

The Angel Solid Gold Juicer: $4,739
Best for: Anyone who dumped you in high school


















It says "I'm rich now, but still juuuuuust trashy enough to own something with 'Angel' stamped across the side."


The St. Louis Tommy Glass: $495 EACH
Best for: Anyone with small children or butterfingers. 

















Gift idea: Pre-smash it and give it to them in a box so they don't have to wait for the heartache of breaking their prized $500 pimp cup.


The Tina Frey Champagne Bucket: $300
Best for: Your fisherman dad


Because he still uses a cooler on his boat and that's friggin' embarrassing.

The Atsuyo et Akiko Wand: $44
Best for: Your Rambunctious 4-Year-Old
















Because it makes getting jabbed in the eye with a wand while you're trying to nap on the couch just feel more luxurious.


The Artemare Longboard: $495
Best for: Your teen who doesn't mind getting beaten up at the skate park.
















Because let's be honest. He's kiiiiiind of a douche and everyone knows it.


Hermes Myths and Constellations Trading Cards: $125
Best for: Your friend who would rather actually flush money down the toilet than donate any excess to charity. 


















Because they're designer trading cards. For adults.


The Anito Ko Singular Safety Pin Earring: $2,584
Best for: Your 80s-obsessed brother.


I mean, we all agree those are the only people still wearing singular earrings, right?


The Charlotte Olympia Kinky Clutch: $1,295
Best for: Your Mom, who really got into 50 Shades of Grey this year. 


And told you all about it. And you didn't want to know.


The Preppi Earthquake Kit: $345
Best for: The posh doomsdayer. 















It's like, do people expect you to survive without Perrier?! It's an earthquake, not the end of CIVILIZED SOCIETY.


The Tom Sachs McDonalds Plate: $115
Best for: I don't even know. I'm sitting here and pinching the bridge of my nose in disappointment at the entire human race right now.















Art doesn't usually make me crave a Big Mac this bad.

The Row Rina Cape: $3,190
Best for: Yourself


You've finally done it: Reminded everyone how wealthy and special you are. Enjoy cozying up alone on Christmas in your Row Rina Cape because no one likes a show off.


Of course, there are many other confusing items on the list, like a $500 travel backgammon set (you know what else has travel backgammon? My phone) and some such, but I have a limited amount of time and patience to deal with this.

Just remember as you do your Christmas shopping this year: How much you spend is directly related to how much you care about a person. That's how it goes, right?

What I Wore: Back to Black

Monday, November 17, 2014

Aaaand just like that, the color is gone. We'll have to settle for a pop of leopard this time around. 

This was also the picture that left me scrabbling for a hair appointment because I could see how bad my roots were. I cut off a few inches and am back to buttery fake-blonde gloriousness, as seen here. Sorry, this picture is like, four days old. 

Tee: Abound (via Nordstrom Rack - I practically buy these in bulk) (here) (plus)
Blazer: F21 (pretty darn similar - mine is old) (similar) (plus)
Pants: Calvin Klein (here) (similar) (plus)
Shoes: Mossimo (similar) (similar) (omg I can't stop)
Earrings: F21 (similar)

This is probably the last of the cute heels for a while: We were the gracious recipients of like, four inches of snow today, so it's going to have to be boots for awhile. 

I am not ready for this. 

9 Tips for Wearing White in Winter

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Wearing white in winter is like, blogger fodder, amiright? They get to act like those pesky fashion rules don't apply to them and tee-hee what a pretty rebel and they eek out another post.

Unfortunately for them, wearing white in winter has been a thing like, forever. And, when done properly, you won't look like a demented blogger but a lady.

The difference between summer and winter white is completely tonal. In summer, white has a blue cast and looks amazing with like, pastels and even neons. I find that summer white is totally minimalist: It looks better with simple outfits, like a tee and jeans.

But winter white -- oh, winter white! I love the golden-toned white that starts appearing in stores come October. It's way richer and looks amazing in chunky knits and luxe layers. But even if you love white and want to wear it all year around, there's a way to wear white in winter so you don't look like a) a Laura Ashley model circa 1993 or b) a rave baby. Keep these outfits and tips and mind and you'll look ah-mah-zing.

winter white 1


1. Choose WINTER white. We know this. It's a yellow-toned white that pairs best with deep jewel tones.

2. So duh, go with jewel tones. Mulberry, plum, turquoise, jade, cognac: All of these look crazy good with a gold-toned winter white.

3. Add some texture. I love a leopard with winter white, but I love a leopard with literally anything. But any texture works: Add a little snakeskin or leather, go for something sequined: The white can handle it in the winter.

4. Speaking of sparkle, let winter white and gold have a love child on your body (ew). Gold accessories will look so riiiiich.


winter white 2


5. Not sure about winter white? Tone it down with a ton of black. I love the idea of a sweet skirt paired with a tough jacket and tights for a winter party. It's also a great way to bridge those white pieces you own that could be for both summer and winter.

6. Load up on winter white accessories. A scarf, a coat, some gloves, whatever. I especially love winter white with dark red... it's festive without being like, hey Santa's here!

7. Choose the right footwear. It's winter, so put away the open-toed anything. Instead, go for boots and you'll be warm and super luxe. I'm super obsessed with these over-the-knee ones. Ugh. I think I need to shop.


winter white 3



8. Look for knits. While summer white is best for sleek looks, winter white is meant to look cozy. An oversized sweater or wrap coat? YES PLEASE.

9. When in doubt, layer up. Winter white looks great over deeper colors, so go for a sweater or jacket over jewel tones.

See? Winter white is actually super easy, once you know what to look for. I love it for like, a work party or Thanksgiving dinner. It's pretty and cozy without being schlumpy, which is hard to do despite the fact that "schlumpy" is a word from my imagination.

So, what do we think? Yay or nay to winter white?


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