OOTD: James Stripe Henley

So....we're in Atlanta! Okay okay, we're not really in Atlanta -- more like a suburb within about an hour's drive (give or take - technically only about 20 miles away, but with traffic...) of the city. It's doubtful we'll make it into the city proper on this trip -- but if the last two days are any indication we'll be too busy to even think about what we're missing.

Yesterday's adventures included a trip to the dog park where poor 'lil Edmund was chased and tackled by some sort of pitbull mix -- to which his owner said "aw he's just playin' he ain't gonna hurt nobody." Um, growling, chasing, biting....that's not playing. Bad dog owner! Bad! Bad! Then we went for ice cream, and then over to downtown Marietta, GA where they have the most precious little town square. I stopped into two antique shops and left with a few holiday albums on vinyl (that I may or may not already have.....must remember to catalog Christmas records when we get home....). Then it was off to Pappasito's Cantina for dinner (Pappasito's is the Mexican version of Pappadeaux -- and even though it is a chain restaurant, I'm willing to giving them a free pass because they have the best lobster bisque ever. EVER. Seriously, it's that good.)

Today included a trip to the Tellus Science Museum, where we panned for gold (erm, "precious stones" - whatever), dug for dinosaur bones and watched a story of the "Christmas Star" in the planetarium. Alright, so I fell asleep during the Planetarium Show -- I can't remember being in a planetarium that I haven't fallen asleep in. C'mon, planetariums are a little boring. Admit it.

My IRL pic from today comes from the museum, because I forgot to take photos while we were still at the hotel.....and because the "fun mirror" took off about 20 pounds. Fun indeed!

What I'm wearing:

The James Stripe Henley (B&M only, #19905, $98)
-- which I requested via Personal Shopper after seeing on Heidi and Summer (so grateful for the IRL pics!)

Perfect-Fit Tank in Black
High-Heel Flare Jeans
Juliet Midheels in Blanched Almond

And it looks like (though it hasn't been made official yet) - I've won second place in the JCA Spending Turkey Day With J.Crew Polyvore Contest! I only wish I'd brought along the clothes from the set in my suitcase to actually wear them -- I'll be dressed in black tomorrow, as a result of my "simplifying the color palette" packing strategy for this trip down south. But thanks to all who voted for the set -- I can't say how excited I am to have placed in the top three! You're all so sweet. :)

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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OOTDs - Thanksgiving Road Trip!

This year for Thanksgiving we're hitting the road to visit my husband's family (and yes, 'lil Edmund is coming too!)

For some reason I thought Atlanta would be warm (probably because everyone I know refers to it as "Hot-lanta" for reasons I cannot understand), but according to the Weather Channel Georgia's temperatures are going to be very similar to Ohio for the next week (60's during the day, 30's in the evening). So that makes packing a bit more of a challenge. Harder still, because we're taking along Edmund Fitzgerald, who will need to be walked and played with at fairly regular intervals throughout the day (difficult in heels - trust me - I've tried). Add to that the majority of the time there will be spent sitting around my sister-in-law's house, with the occasional possibility for venturing out into the world and panning for gold (seriously?) with the niece and nephew or out to a "nice" (oh let's be honest, "family-friendly") dinner. All said and done you've got what promises to be a very unruly suitcase.

Here's what I'm taking. Or what I currently *think* I'm taking -- the suitcase has yet to officially be packed.

I did the best I could here - I've heard before that when you travel you should pick a simple color palette and stick to it so you have more options with less clothes. Unfortunately the more I look at it there really isn't much cross-over -- I've still packed a completely separate outfit for each day of the week! And maybe I could've found a better "I'm driving for 10 hours with a dog on my lap" option, but the Jaspé Sweatshirt and Hoodie are really the most comfortable things I could think of, and they don't particularly show dog hair.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

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OOTD: OSU v. Michigan/Housewarming Party

Traditionally, I am not a football fan. I would say 9 times out of 10 I go shopping on game day (because the malls and highways are empty!), and my only motivation for actually attending a game in person is to get the nachos. For those not familiar with the absolutely nutso crazed OSU fanbase, if you live in Ohio you ARE a Buckeye, no questions asked (and no excuses accepted -- though I still maintain that I couldn't care less and I would rather be poked with a sharp pointy stick than be forced to sit through an entire game on TV). But today I was actually excited for "The Big Game." Not because of the football, mind you, but because we were hosting our very first party at the new house.

Here's what I wore (no Polyvore today....I never could find the Boyfriend Tissue V-Neck Tee in Red, but if there's any question, that's what it is):

J.Crew Jaspé Zip-Front Hoodie
J.Crew Tissue Boyfriend V-Neck Tee
Converse James Purcell Distressed Sneakers for J.Crew
GAP Sailor Jeans

I truly enjoy hosting parties -- especially the part where the host gets to make the food. I'm not really sure why because I've never been a particularly good cook. Mind you -- I do alright, but I've still(!) never used a food processor and I'm incredibly intimidated by my KitchenAid Mixer. And let us not forget -- I did almost catch the kitchen on fire just a few months ago. But when it comes to parties I seem to have found something I can do rather well -- making appetizers (and simple appetizer-like desserts). Most of which do not require any reducing or deglazing.

One of my favorites (which disappeared as soon as they hit the table) were the "Perfect Brownies." The original recipe can be found at "How to Cook Like Your Grandmother." I haven't tried these with anything *but* Ghirardelli chocolate, but I'm going to take Drew Kime's word for it and say if you choose to use another brand then you'll have to change the name. Maybe you could call them "These Would Be Perfect But I'm Too Cheap To Get The Good Stuff So They're Just Sort of Okay Brownies." Not as appetizing, is it?

Perfect Brownies

1-1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa powder
3 eggs
3/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, eggs and melted butter and mix. Do this by hand, until the dry ingredients are just incorporated into the wet, and stop. You don't need to beat it -- you'll want to avoid over-mixing or the brownies will be too chewy.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment.

Pour the batter and spread it out.

Bake at 325° for 20-30 minutes. It's done when a toothpick inserted in the tallest part comes out clean.

Carefully lift the parchment out of the baking dish. Peel the edges and let cool for a few minutes before slicing.


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OOTD: Tuesday Trench + Kate Spade

My gosh, what a day. I have a Google Alert set to um, "alert" me every time a news article pops up about the company I work for. Today would've been a good day to turn that alert off. Did I really get 57 alerts today? 57!? Just today?! Lordy lordy.

Anyway.....we got to go to the insurance agent this morning. Wooboy! It would be nice if all this information was easily accessible online so that we could make our own decisions instead of getting the upsale around every corner. That sure would be nice!
"For just $1 a day you can have the piece of mind that, should you inadvertently burn down your house, the insurance (assuming all of your claims aren't denied) will prevent you from going bankrupt when your landlord sues you for burning the aforementioned house down. For just $1 a day! It's your piece of mind! Isn't that worth a dollar a day? It's just a dollar!"
"Just".....bah......at least our insurance policies are up to date now. That's what's important, yes?

So, back to today....as a friend of mine aptly put it, "it's as if Friday the 13th decided it didn't get me the first time and reincarnated itself as Thursday the 19th." Oh my, so true! Maybe I should've picked an outfit I didn't like for today, seein's how it wasn't a day I particularly would like to remember. But I'm making it sound worse than it really is...I got a new project at work (good!), picked up the new Christmas CDs I had on reserve at the library (more good!), and we went to the grocery store to stock up for this weekend's big game and I came home with a food processor! A FOOD PROCESSOR! Necessary to make the Jalapeño Popper Dip and the Pepperoni Dip that I plan to make on Saturday (I've never made either before, due to my prior food processing inabilities). I don't know how we've made it this far without one. But you could say that about a lot of things, I imagine. Like a leaf blower. Or a paper towel holder. Don't know what you don't have until you, um, have one? Is that how it goes?

Today's outfit was basically centered around one thing -- the handbag. I got this Kate Spade brown & red patterned bag sometime last spring (summer?) NWT from eBay -- thinking I could pair it with one of the many chocolate brown sweaters I have. Then I realized I really don't really have many sweaters in that color. (I obviously need more. HA!) Here's the Polyvore (sans handbag photo):

Didn't I say yesterday that tomorrow is a new day? Sheesh. I'll try again.....tomorrow is a bright shiny new day. The last day before a week of much-needed vacation. HOO-RAY!

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OOTD: Jackie Cardigan

I was having the hardest time trying to figure out what to wear this morning, and I decided it was finally time to take the Jackie (item #85613, in Antique Stone - a color which I LOVE) out of the closet. I've had it hanging side by side with the Slub cotton shirred ruffles tank (item #17329) ever since it arrived last September, but it seemed I could just never find the right occasion to wear it. That, and I loathe the Slub cotton shirred ruffles tank. I hate it with every fiber of my being, and it single-handedly represents all the reasons why I swear never to buy during Final Sale. Ever. Again.

The saddest part about all of this is that I also have the Slub cotton shirred ruffles tank in Shadow -- also never worn, also bought during Final Sale. I know, I know....what was I thinking! It looked super cute in so many photos of so many other JCAs. But this tank and I just do not see eye to eye. When I put it on this morning, my husband even remarked that overall the outfit looked "nice" - but something just seemed off. It sure did. Darn you, Slub cotton shirred ruffles tank. You ruin everything.

Items in this set:
Jackie Cardigan in Antique Stone (item #85613)
Slub cotton shirred ruffles tank (item #17329)
Juliet patent-leather midheels in Blanched Almond, (item #96716)
High-Heel Flare Jeans (item #96949)

Thankful that tomorrow is a new day. A ruffled-tank-free new day.

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OOTD: Navy Schoolboy Blazer

I went back to the mall today. Yes, since you asked, I was just there Tuesday. But I had to go back. Had to! As I was leaving the other day I noticed some new (in-store only, I believe?) bracelets out of the corner of my eye. I was already on my way out the door, so I figured I'd just have to come back another time. Of course, my fears of "oh no, they'll be sold out! They'll be gone!" took over, and -- and since today was fairly slow and I actually had time during lunch -- I decided I'd make another jaunt over to the mall, just for kicks. (The fact that I had more returns had nothing to do with my decision. Okay, that was totally my reason for going, but let's not get distracted from the pretty bracelets.)

The bracelets came in a range of colors -- two different metallics, a snowy white and a clear amber. It was the amber I was most excited about -- it matches perfectly with the dangling beads necklace I bought back in May (or was it April?) The necklace was also an in-store only piece -- I had to get them to take off a mannequin at the time since it was the only one they had. The item number for the amber-colored bracelet is #099101969959, retail $29.50.

Lookit! They match!

Here's what I was wearing today (I've since changed to play with 'lil Edmund):

Items in this set:
Wool Schoolboy Blazer in Navy, (item #17072)
Juliet patent-leather midheels in Blanched Almond, (item #96716)
Perfect-Fit Tank, (item #92098)
Perfect Shirt in Light Blue (in-store only) (item #17410)
High-Heel Flare Jeans (item #96949)


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OOTD: Paisley Perfect Shirt. And Mustard.

Today was back to business as usual (thank goodness!)

I had a lunchtime appointment, and I was back to feeling colorful today -- I really wanted to wear one of those Warm Mustard sweaters I'd been hoarding. I've had the Paisley Perfect Shirt since it was a B&M-only item sometime last summer. I believe I wore it to a baseball game in August I think(?) and it was really too hot to be wearing long sleeves. So all I really remember about the Paisley Perfect Shirt is that I was sweating a lot while wearing it. And I think I got confectioner's sugar on it too....darn those funnel cake fries.

Anyway.... I wasn't sure about this combination, but it turned out super-cute! I made the last minute decision to wear my Tenley High-Heel Midboots in Vachetta (again, I know) -- what color are you supposed to wear with a gray, purple and mustard pattern? It seemed to work okay, and my handbag also matched the boots so I figured if that's the best I can come up with - it works. (*Yup that's me - Miss Matchy Matchy. Hey, at least I wasn't wearing a matching belt. I would've if I had one, but that's beside the point.*)

IRL (Goodness sakes what is going on with my camera? I seem to have gotten better at the focusing...but now the colors! That *is* a yellow-colored cardigan. I swear.)

Oh, and I'd already made up a Polyvore with the soon-to-be-arriving Anton Sweater -- if only i could've held out another day. Inspired by Tres Tippy in this post. She always has the cutest outfits!

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OOTD: BR Monogram Wool Trenchcoat - Black

If Monday was Mohair Day, Tuesday was... Layoff Day. Or as it's known in our world, "Just Another Tuesday At The Office." This is one of those times I'm really glad I don't have to go into an actual office, even though I'd love to be there to support my co-workers as they pack up to leave - it's just so painful to watch and I never know what to say.

In honor (or despite?) of Layoff Day, I decided to wear all black. Just wasn't feeling particularly colorful, for obvious reasons. And during the lunch hour, I also took myself shopping. What else can you do in these situations? I'd read on a few of the JCA blogs that the Sherpa Puffer Vest (item #17950, regularly $118.00 marked down to $69.99) may or may not be on sale in the B&M, so I was on the hunt. I'd already ordered (and received) the vest in dark slate, but SO many of the Polyvores I'd been seeing here, here and here all featured the vest in Chocolate. When I first entered the store I went straight to the vests on display, but they were all full price and not in the shade I wanted. I'd almost given up when I walked to the other side of the store to look at the sale items (not visible from the regular women's section) and there it was - the Chocolate Sherpa Puffer Vest - on sale and in my size! (YAY!) Another fun surprise when I went to check out, the SA asked if I wanted to keep my shoebox (I was returning the Tretorns I ordered because I just didn't think I'd ever wear them). Well of COURSE I'd like to keep the box! Just that morning my husband was asking me for a shoebox - why I have no idea - but he really really wanted one. I tell ya, that SA made my day. A sale Puffer Vest AND a box toboot! In all honesty, it wouldn't take much to brighten my day, considering - but still - I was super excited (yes, about a shoebox.) I stopped off at Starbucks on the way to the car and got my first Gingerbread Latte of the season, and with that my retail therapy was complete.

What I wore: I couldn't put together a Polyvore set for this since I can never seem to find the Serengeti Juliet Midheels in my Polyvore "closet" -- and I definitely couldn't find the trenchcoat. I was a little hesitant about purchasing this when I did - even with the 40% off code I "borrowed" from my friend Pixelant (thanks Alisa!) it was still more expensive than I usually spend on my coats. But shortly after I placed my order, it vanished from the site. And I've gotten so many compliments on this coat -- makes me think back to a time when Banana Republic was my "go-to" store -- they had it all: fit, quality and style. (Oh, erm, that was like all of one year ago.) Ah, thems were the days.

BR Monogram Wool Trenchcoat - Black


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Monday is (was) Mohair Day!

The minute I saw this cardigan in the last rollout I knew I HAD. TO. HAVE. IT.

Mohair retro-stripe cardigan (item #18661)

It's the most ridiculously adorable cardigan ever -- so adorable I can't believe it's not already sold out! Well okay, I actually can believe it - mohair doesn't seem to have many fans. It's ridiculously itchy. But I LOVE this cardigan. I love it so much I would marry it, if it were possible to wed itchy yarn.

So what's the occasion for today's momentous showering/dressing/leaving the house? I had to go to the doctor. (Woohoo.) No worries, just a routine yearly annual exam. I even got there 10 whole minutes early. You heard that right - EARLY! And I'm never early. The thought was, I get there early and I'll wait less. (Didn't they do a Curb Your Enthusiasm episode on this same theory? Or maybe it was Seinfeld...) Anyway, I don't know how I could be so naive. Because, you see, when you get there you sign in with the reception area and they check you in, then send you off to a waiting area with (or without) your particular doctor's name on the door. Except this time they sent me to the wrong waiting area, and the wrong door. I sat there for 45 minutes before someone finally came out and told me I was in the wrong place. See, I should've just gotten there late, and it all would've equaled out in the end. Had it not been for that unfortunate mix-up, I would've been in and out in ten minutes, fifteen tops. While those annual exams might not be the most pleasant thing in the world, my doctor makes 'em quick! And now I don't have to go back for a whole 'nuther year. YAY!

Here's the Polyvore:

Items in this set:
Mohair Retro-Stripe Cardigan (item #18661)
Tissue Boyfriend V-Neck Tee (item #11657)
High-Heel Flare Jeans (item #96949)
Juliet Patent Leather Midheels (item #96716)
Owen Hobo Bag (item #95601)

I think this look could've done with some sneakers, but all my short pants are in the wash. "Short pants".....that just sounds silly.


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OOTD: Floral fan placket perfect shirt

Over the weekend I ventured out to the local B&M to do some (much needed!) returns. I was a little miffed when I got to the store - my real-life Personal Shopper was there talking to another SA, and didn't even so much as acknowledge my existence. Normally this wouldn't seem so out of the ordinary - it's not like we're bestest friends who've known each other for ages. But the last time I was in she greeted me by name at the door, chatted me up and ran around the store to find things for me to try on. Maybe it's because since then I haven't been back or scheduled an appointment with her - I do most (nearly all) of my shopping online, so the only reason for me to visit the B&M is to do returns. Sad, but true. So on this trip, I didn't even feel like looking around - everything's the same old same old since the last rollout anyway. And I'm trying (trying!) to make an effort to wear the many many clothes I already have that still have tags on them. Probably for the best!

Here's the Polyvore:

Items in this set:
Floral Fan Placket Perfect Shirt, (item #19981)
Perfect-Fit Tank, (item #92098)
Cashmere Cabin Popover Sweater, (item #12525)
High-Heel Flare Jeans (item #96949)
Tenley High-Heel Midboots in Vachetta (item #86194)

Some of you might remember the Floral Fan Placket Perfect Shirt from my little rant in this post. I've since written my online PS -- to which she responded:

It seems as though you have received an incorrect style. As far as I know this shirt is not supposed to have any blue tones in the pattern. It does have some grey tones along with the white and black. If you feel that you have received an incorrect item I would be glad to order you a new one.

Yeah.....nah. I don't want to try and explain how "grey tones" are not the same as "blue tones" -- we've already established that I have keen sensibilities (at least according to me) when it comes to things that are blue and things that are not blue. So I kept the shirt. And see? It does go nicely with navy!


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OOTD: Frances Stripe Ruffled Tuxedo Shirt

In that I was attending a gathering of my female friends Friday night I had reason to get dressed AGAIN! Sure, we were just sitting around someone's house, but it's always fun to get together, and it gives me an excuse to put on real clothes.

I wore my Frances Stripe Ruffled Tuxedo Shirt with the Schoolboy Blazer in Charcoal, and my new "pearls" I scored from Banana Republic for just $42.50 (30% off coupon, plus my 15% off any-day-you-choose coupon I'd forgotten I had, plus $20 in rewards cards + free shipping). I like to think they're real pearls, but somehow in my head I keep thinking real pearls would cost more than $98. Maybe? I don't know -- I've only ever had faux pearls. But anyway, super excited to get to wear these out and about.

I have no idea why this IRL photo is so blurry. I even used the "good" camera! Doesn't that mean it's supposed automatically to automatically take good pictures? Goshdarnit, it's a year later and I still seem unable to focus that thing.

To this particular women's gathering, I also brought a snack to share -- a Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Ball! I wish I'd taken a photo -- but as usually happens when there is food around my camera wasn't handy. I found the recipe over at Monograms and Manicures and adapted it ever so slightly by rolling the ball in crushed/chopped chocolate chips to coat so it would look more like a traditional "cheese ball." It was a hit!

Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Ball

1 pkg. (8oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup Butter, softened
1/4 tsp. Vanilla
2 Tbs. Brown Sugar
3/4 cup Confectioners Sugar
3/4 cup Nestle's Mini Chocolate Chips
Annie's Homegrown Bunnies Graham Snacks (Variety Box, Chocolate or Chocolate Chip)

Combine cream cheese, butter, & vanilla until creamy in a medium-sized bowl. Add in sugars and mix until blended. Stir in mini chocolate chips.

Cover with saran wrap and chill in the refrigerator 1-2 hours.

Remove and form into ball. Cover with saran wrap and place back in the refrigerator another 1-2 hours.

Dump remaining mini chocolate chips into food processor and pulse until mostly broken down. Remove ball from fridge and roll in chocolate chip "dust" to coat. Cover the ball tightly in saran wrap and return to refrigerator (If the ball seems overly soft at this point, place in freezer for 1-2 hours, then return to refrigerator prior to serving).

Serve with Annie's Bunnies.

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Colorblind: Black or Blue?

Alright, I can't be the only one who's had this question, but perhaps I'm just a tad obsessive when it comes to color differentiation. I did get a failing grade on my Little Red Riding Hood booklet in kindergarten because I could tell the difference between purple and blue -- apparently kindergartners are only supposed to know red, yellow and blue (no orange, no purple). Oh and there was that other time in the second grade when we were supposed to color the picture by number, and rather than just selecting one blue crayon I used every shade of blue in my Big Crayola Box to fill in the "blue" spots. I got an 'F' on that too. Talk about stifling a child's creativity! Geez.

Anyway, here's the deal -- you all remember the cover of the November catalog:

The shirt the model is wearing under the Textured jersey bouquet tee is clearly....CLEARLY....a black and white floral print. I just assumed it was the Floral Fan Placket Perfect Shirt (item #19981). The only color this is available in is "black." Black....and white. Yes?

Here's the online close-up:

And a SUPER online close-up:

Now take a look of the fabric in real life:

It's black, white and blue! BLUE BLUE BLUE! Where was the blue in the online photo -- or in the catalog? It's on the freaking cover - and I SEE NO BLUE! I thought perhaps it was a random snaf-crew, but while at the B&M last night I saw the same shirt -- in the same BLUE, black and white pattern as mine. This is madness. Am I crazy? How has this not come up before? Audrey over at jcrewaficionada did mention it in the comments section awhile back, but otherwise I haven't heard boo about it.

I can't decide whether to keep this shirt or not. It's cute and it would pair wonderfully with a navy sweater, but it certainly wasn't what I was expecting. Do any of you have the "true" black and white floral print?

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After seeing the navy striped tees seemingly everywhere (here, here and here) I decided to get a couple myself. What I don't know now is what I'm going to do with them!

Long-sleeve stripe captain tee (item #17262)

Classic-stripe tissue tee (item #20019)

I'd really like to recreate one of those fantastical crazy looks from the catalog (and granted, this is one of the more subdued looks this season, but it's still a bit much for my taste):

But....I have no plans whatsoever to buy the "clown" Kelsey top (item #19064). And while I like the Professor Blazer (item #17375), I like the Schoolboy Blazer I already have a lot more. So maybe I could find a happy medium and use some pieces I already have to recreate.

And taking a page (and a photo) from Head to Toe With Heidi, she reminds us of Glamour's Fall 2009 Preview with this sophisticated look.
Here's my version. It looks more like the ombre scarf in the photo, but I just never really warmed up to that one.

So what do you all think - got some suggestions of how to wear the navy striped tees?

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OOTD: Field Jacket & Cotton Check Shirt

I got dressed today!

I realize this doesn't sound like that big of an accomplishment for most (normal) people, but when you consider I rarely venture out in the world*, other than spending a large amount of time muddying myself up playing ball in the backyard with the dog, the days I get dressed are exciting days indeed. (Speaking of dogs, I'm WAY impressed that Heidi from Head to Toe With Heidi manages to get dressed every day -- in stylish clothes no less! And take care of a dog! How she does it I'll never know...)

**I don't want to make it sound like I don't interact with people at all. I do actually work every day, though rather than chatting face to face with co-workers over the cubicle wall my preferred methods of communication are the AIM Instant Messenger Client, Twitter and Facebook. Oh, and let's not forget about all those conference calls. I LOVE me some MeetingPlace. The music makes me seat-dance every time. For real.

Today's outfit was totally inspired (i.e. stolen) from another polyvore by cdp. I hadn't even thought to pair the Men's Check Shirt (you can also see more IRL pics of this shirt at Gigi's Gone Shopping and Ginger Girl) with the Field Jacket - neither of which I'd worn until today, but I'm very happy with the combination! . And no, sadly I do not have the Campo bag. If it ever goes on sale.....just maybe....

Oh, and layering. Could someone please explain the *proper* way to layer? My problem with layering has always been the lack of mobility once the layers have been, uh, layered. Shirt + Jacket = Can do. Shirt + Jacket + Cardigan = all the sudden I'm doing the robot because I can't move my arms. One can only imagine the torture those poor J.Crew models must be going through during the photo shoots -- what with the tank, layered with a cami, layered with a henley, layered with a button down shirt, layered with a cardigan, layered with a blazer, layered with a vest, layered with a winter coat.....and topped with 20 pounds of costume jewelry. No wonder they're always in such strange uncomfortable contorted positions!

Here's the IRL (my version of the constipated model pose):

Items from the IRL photo:
Downtown Field Jacket (item #19034)
Perfect-fit Tank (item #92098)
Cotton Check Shirt (item #23050)
Cashmere Jackie Cardigan (item #97072)
High-Heel Flare Jeans (item #96949)
Tenley High-Heel Midboots in Vachetta (item #86194)

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About that extended hiatus.......we've been in the process of moving to a new house for what seems like weeks, and I've worn old jeans, t-shirts and hoodies (at least they're J.Crew hoodies) every day. EVERY DAY. I can't remember the last time I actually got gussied up to go "out" -- it almost happened this past weekend, but then we had more moving to do (my computer still wasn't hooked up and I was scheduled to return to work on Monday. The horror!) Rest assured it'll happen one of these days. I don't know when, but sooner or later I'll have to put on real clothes and go out into the world. Seriously. It has to happen eventually, right? Oh, the perils of working remotely.

Did you purchase anything from the Sephora Friends & Family event? I did. For shame, I know -- there wasn't one single thing I could think of that I actually need. The Benefit Lipsticks I normally use were mysteriously out of stock, and I just couldn't justify the cost (even with a discount) of the Clairsonic Skincare Brush because thanks to (or no thanks to) my dermatologist my face is currently a train wreck. Saying "it will get worse before it gets better" only makes sense if it actually does get better after getting worse. Not just worse after getting worse. So I need to stick with my prescribed facial care products for the time being. But anyway....about Sephora....I couldn't help myself! After reading on Heidi's blog about the new "212" exclusive OPI Nail Polish - only available at Sephora, of course - what was I supposed to do? Oh, well that's true, I don't normally wear nail polish - ever - but maybe now I will. Suuuuure.

Well anyway, one $9 nail polish isn't going to get you to that magical $50 free shipping mark, so I *had* to pick a few other things to fill my cart.

After Chloe mentioned it on her blog (and because I'd forgotten how much I love the stuff), I ordered another bottle of the Ojon Shine & Protect Glossing Mist.

**Fun fact: While using the bathroom at a friend's Christmas party, I sorta kinda maybe nosed around to see what kinds of hair products said friend was using because her hair is GORGEOUS and I would do anything to have smooth shiny hair like hers. And no, I wasn't rooting through her cabinets - the bottles were out in plain view. Honest. :)

I also purchased a tube of the Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Cream, something I'd read about on one of the "what are they wearing on TV" blogs a year or two ago. It was listed as a product Mary Louise-Parker used in her hair on Weeds. And of all hair-care products, this one ranks right up there as possibly my favorite. It really works.

So there you have it. My totally unnecessary Sephora Friends & Family 2009 purchases. I might've felt better about it had I actually *needed* at least one of those items, but hey, the F&F sales only come once a year. Must take advantage, no? :)

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I <3 Mustard.

Apparently A LOT.

Does someone have a slightly unhealthy obsession with Warm Mustard? Why yes. That someone would be me.

Ever since I got that ruffled button down shirt from the GAP last year -- in a similar, let's call it "mustard," shade -- I've been on a mission. A mission to get more of this mustardy yellow color into my closet. I don't even know why really - prior to that yellow shirt from the GAP I was convinced that yellow + my hair color + my skin tone just spelt (is that a word?) awfulness, but my husband disagrees - which may be the reason I've convinced myself I just must have all the Warm Mustard items I can find. At some point last spring - probably on a popback - I found myself buying a Sherpa Hoodie in Warm Mustard. Which I took back to the mall to return no less than four times, carried into J.Crew and then had second thoughts and decided to keep. Okay, one of those times I changed my mind before I got it out of the car, but still.

Oh, and Honey Glaze just won't do -- it HAS to be Warm Mustard. And I have to say, I think I've done a quite admirable job of it so far, even if I haven't actually worn ANY of the Warm Mustard sweaters I've recently purchased. All in good time, my bloggy friends. I actually just ordered the cashmere turtleneck in Warm Mustard this morning (using the FBFREESHIP free shipping w/no minimums code). Why? Because I. Must. Have. All. Things. Warm. Mustard.

There is a similar color in the latest rollout called "warm maize" which I thought (still think?) I might like better. It's up for debate, since I haven't actually seen this shade in person, and I'm not going to pay full price to find out what it looks like. Regardless, I really LOVE fall colors - and if you were to venture inside my closet (looking past all the black, gray and navy) you'd see most, if not all, of the colors that comprise my clothing fall into the same spectrum of colors-you-might-find-on-a-tree-in-October.

So here it is -- my Warm Mustard Collection -- with a little gray thrown in just for contrast. :)

Items in this set:
J Crew sweater, $158
J Crew sweater, $158
J Crew sweater, $145
J Crew top, $78
J Crew sweater, $60

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Someone on another blog somewhere Sharon from Sharon Loves This (thanks Amy!) posted this cute soup and sandwich tray from Uncommon Goods a few weeks ago, right about the time we were packing up to move. In our household "moving" means purging and getting rid of things.....and getting rid of old things means more room to sneak in brand new things! Don't you just love my logic? And of course I just had to have this adorable tray in my kitchen (comes in a set of two, how handy!)

Within just a few days (maybe only two?) it arrived on my new doorstep. What a nifty invention.

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