Friday, August 31, 2012

Should I?

I have been wanting to grow my hair out for over a year now. But it always seems to get too big and too voluminous, and it just takes so long to style it. I saw this picture this morning from the fabulous Habitually Chic via Glitter Guide, and it made me want to call my hairdresser right now and make an appointment. Is long hair just not in my future? Should I get the lob (this long, cooler version of the bob)? Even if I did, could I ever make it look this effortlessly hip and sexy?

Shoot me a comment!

Fabulous Friday: On Being Home

This week went by simultaneously insanely slow (like a snail with a broken leg) and insanely fast (hooray!).

Let's recap the week. I noticed that I truly am growing up. (Say what?) And I appreciated new good things in my life and the beautiful sunny San Francisco fall (summer). And, in case you were nervous, the watch has really grown on me, and I am starting to love it. So, you can stop your fretting. All is well with the world, and I am happily over my guilt and on to lusting for new things. Whew. For a moment there I wondered if I was going to need a lobotomy.

But, staying with the theme of growing up, beyond my more conservative approach to money and my newly developed desire to make more practical and wiser decisions, I have also come to appreciate having my own space. While I would consider myself to be an introvert by nature and someone who has always liked "alone time," I do really like to be around family. A lot. Like really. A lot. I remember being in the car with some friends a few years ago, and they were saying that they had finally gotten to the age when they realized that their parents' homes were no longer their homes, that the homes they had established for themselves had become home, and the places they grew up that once felt essential were now places where they felt, ostensibly, like guests. I listened to the conversation without interjecting because I completely and blatantly disagreed. My parents home still felt very much like my home, and I believed it always would, which it did for quite a while.

When I moved out here, though, I really did start to feel like I had a space of my own. While J. sometimes gets annoyed at my nesting tendencies, I have made a home that really feels homey. Aside from my damn annoying rug (which has been behaving better as of late), I feel snuggly and peaceful and happy inside my home, and, though I hesitate to even admit this, my parents house no longer feels  as much "mine" as it once did. (Don't worry, Mom. I still love you just as much.)

The last two weeks have been an insane whirlwind of having family with us and starting a new job, and it made me realize how very much my home has become my own. We have figured out our own way of doing things. We have gotten into routines, and we have habits that make us comfortable as a couple. And that is so fabulous. It is so grown up. I just love and adore it. But, more than the home I've created, I love the person I'm sharing it with. (Even though he isn't as neat as he might be. And even though sometimes he spends the whole night sleeping on the living room floor because he just fell asleep there and decided not to get up. And even though he sometimes leaves the dishes on the counter longer than I'd like.) The place we've made together wouldn't be a home without him. This Friday, I am thinking about the fabulousness of being with the person I love in the place I've grown to love. No one else. Just us.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Eye Candy

Sometimes you just want to look at something pretty. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Watch and Learn

I have never been good at denying myself things. I just think that life is too short for delayed gratification. My poor mother has probably been trying to teach me this concept since I was a very small child. When I say that I am not good at denying myself things, that is not entirely true. I am okay at denying myself important things sometimes, but I am not good at denying myself trivial, superficial things. Yeah. Go figure.

Anyway, I bought a watch maybe eight years ago, and I have loved it everyday since. But, the battery died a while back, and it has been replaced a few times. The face is a bit scratched, and, long story short, I decided that I needed (aka wanted) a new watch. A gold watch. Everyone has them. Blair Eadie has one. Therefore, I must have one too.

I wanted it for Christmas last year, but, J. and I decided not to give each other gifts in an attempt at fiscal responsibility. And I have consistently told myself not to spend that money many times since (though I have probably spent it in different iterations, but not all at one time, not all in one transaction). Get to the point. Yes, I know. I recently got a little extra money, a double pay month, and I decided that I was going to buy the watch. Why not? (I can actually think of quite a few reasons why not, but no need to elucidate those here and now.) And I did. I went into Marc Jacobs because I had decided that was the watch I wanted, and I purchased it. (I know this is not the watch-of-a-lifetime kind of purchase, but nonetheless, it was more than $100!) It didn't fit quite right, but I was sticking to it, goddammit.

When I walked out of the store with the watch on my wrist I expected to feel elated, like a baller who can just walk into an overpriced store and buy a snazzy, gold watch. I have wanted this watch for so long. I have posted various versions of this watch on the blog and my Pinterest. And now I owned it. But what did I feel? I felt terrible! I felt like I should never have spent the money, like that money could have bought me some peace-of-mind, and I wasted it on a watch. I felt foolish and irresponsible. No trip to Spain? Guilt over a watch? Is this what they call growing up?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Smoke Show

Smoking slippers are all the rage for fall. I happened to get a pair last fall, so I was glad to see that they are still on trend. While I have never in my life let a cigarette touch these virgin lips, I don't mind a little smoke show on my feet.

Stubbs and Wootton makes the quintessential smoking slipper. And there is nothing like a $400 pair of embroidered velvet flats to tell someone to screw themselves. Did you know that they are currently collaborating with J. Crew? Nice.

If your price point and sense of humor is a little more moderate, here are some other options.

And if you are a gal who likes a good knock off...check out the Target versions of these high priced kicks!
pink tassle . cheetah . burgundy . glitter . snake . neon

Get smokin'!

Monday Musings: On Beauty

I think it's funny how a change of setting can sometimes change your state-of-mind. I am a highly self-conscious person. Henry James said, "A writer is someone on whom nothing is lost," and I ascribe to this theory, and so I try never to let anything be lost on me. When it comes to people, I love to watch them, analyze them, pick them apart, dissect them, criticize them, study them, write and talk about them. (Just ask my husband as he is often the subject of my "deep observation.") But there is no one with whom I am as harsh as I am with myself. I anazlye, pick apart, dissect, criticize, question, and, while I hate to admit it, sometimes really berate myself. And usually all this nonsense comes in the form of obsessing over my physical appearance.

Anyway, this weekend while I was in Point Reyes, I noticed something. I didn't really care. I didn't really care that I had a massive, volcanic zit in the middle of my forehead (even though J. did mention he was looking at it throughout dinner). I didn't really care that I ate half a brick of cheese at the creamery. I didn't really care that I was pretty much solely rocking fleece, stretchy pants, and Tom's. Being in the presence of amazing, expansive, breathtaking natural beauty kind of makes those mean little in-side my head voices shut up for a while because they're busy taking in the scenery. What's a zit in the face of a coastline as far as you can see, or a mountain covered in trees that look like they've grown in conjunction with the movement of the winds?

Whenever I get nervous about something, I cope by obsessing over my appearance because it is something very near, very concrete, and tangible. The thinking goes, if I look good enough, am thin enough, dress well enough then all those external stressors will either go away or be easier to handle. And, while I am fully aware that I do this, and I am also fully aware that it doesn't work, I have been going 100 miles per hour in the self-criticism lane as of late. Even though when I got back to the city, I thought, "Girl, put some cover up on that thing. You look like a hillbilly," it was nice to have a few days to kick back, move into the slow lane, put on some stretchy pants, and take in the view.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fabulous Friday

This week has Kicked. My. Ass. Fatigued Friday of last week doesn't hold a candle to this one. But, as is the case every week, we must focus on the fabulousness around us.

Here's the countdown:

1. My husband made an amaze-balls dinner for me last night. Keeper? I think yes.

2. We are going to Point Reyes this weekend, and if you are from Northern California you know what that means. Cowgirl Creamery! Holla!

3. A new baby came into the world! My oldest friend (since first grade) gave birth to a gorgeous baby boy yesterday! Welcome, Hunter Holland!

4. New clothes. Thanks, Mom. You rock.

5. Being too busy to watch TV. This means that at the end of the week, you have a full cue of reality TV. Score.

6. Getting back in the gym. Don't get me wrong. I absolutely (like top ten things I hate) despise exercise. But it makes me feel good. With one caveat.  More than 45 minutes (on my best days) is for crazy people. 

7. My new job. People are rocking. I guess people want to make it to the big leagues really is better.

8. We went to the most stunning wedding last weekend. Still thinking about that beautiful event. Aside from my own wedding, I think this one was my favorite.

9. Manicures. Wow. They make me so happy. It's kind of weird how happy they make me.

And last, but certainly not least...

10. It's the weekend, baby. Isn't that the most fabulous part about every Friday? So much promise. So much time for sleeping. So able to restore hope to the world. Oh, how I love weekends. They are what makes every Friday a fabulous one. An anthem in honor of this most beautiful day: Cheers!

Make it count, kids. Make it count.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

If I had $50...

It's really amazing the beautiful things you can find for $50 or less. This is my favorite category (pocketbook wise), and I actually own a number of these goodies! Check it out...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

If I had $200...

This was the easiest category for me to fill. Lots of lovely things come in the $100-$200 price range. Some of these great finds are actually under $100! So, let the list commence...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

If I had $500...

This week, I am going to be featuring some things I would pick out if I got an envelope of money in the mail and had to spend it on myself (it would be so hard to do, but those would be the stipulations (sarcasm alert)). I'll start with $500 (all of these items are under $500), then $200, and finally, I'll end the week with some options under $50. Enjoy!
Today is for big spenders...

The first thing that comes to my mind when I have money to blow is obviously clothes. This jacket is perfect for San Francisco's unpredictable weather, as is this stunning Vince sweater that can be a great layering piece. The tunic seems like it would work for at least three seasons.
Pink loafers? Um yes, please. Tory Burch flats have been on my lust list for years. It might be time to just buy those bad boys already. The pumps are L.K. Bennett, Kate Middleton's signature shoe. Anything to be more like Kate the Great. This necklace is totally impractical and totally gorgeous. Since, fictitiously, I have to spend the money, I would buy it.
I need this. I will buy it. Maybe not this week, but I will be the owner of this ottoman. It is from Target. How big of a splurge can it be?

A few pretty accessories (watch and clutch) will round out my list. 

What would you buy with $500?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Musings: On Happiness and Shopping

Does anyone else spend an inordinate amount of time dreaming about what they would do if they suddenly had an endless disposable income? It occupies a great deal of my brain power. What a silly thing to think about! I know that I should be thinking about how to end hunger, or get clean water to rural third world villages, or why there is suffering in the world, or how one person can make a difference, but, and here we are moving into confessional territory, I think a great deal about what I'd like to buy.  And, yes, my family chastises me for this tendency regularly, so I am well aware of my issues.

I defend this proclivity to myself by saying that I appreciate beauty, and because of my deep aesthetic sensibility, I must think of decking out myself and my home in beautiful's the artist in me, or something like that. So, I was wandering around over the weekend thinking of what I would want to buy if some money were dropped into my lap, and I decided to make it a feature this week. I will have three price points and various and sundry items that would, theoretically, satisfy my urge to shop (although everyone knows it does not work like that because buying one things simply begets a desire to buy more things.)

I watched a movie last week entitled Project Happiness. The film has become an educational initiative, so I am quite sure that most of you will never see it. It isn't a "get some popcorn and a gallon of soda and get ready for some laughs" kind of film. It talks about the nature of happiness and includes perspectives from people all over the world, including the Dali Lama. One of the moments in the film that stuck with me occurred during an interview with George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars. He explains that his theory of happiness is that there are two aspects to it: pleasure and joy. Pleasure occurs when we are the recipients of something. Shopping would fit in here...intimacy...receiving gifts. These things do make us happy, but the feeling of happiness is not sustained. It is temporary and particularly marked by being needed to be constantly supplemented. Like a drug, you are always chasing that first high. Joy, on the other hand, occurs when we do things that are self-less or that create benefit that is not solely personal, and that kind of happiness is the lasting kind.  His perfect analogy is that there is nothing more pleasureable than creating children and nothing more joyful than raising them. I wholeheartedly believe George Lucas's theory. And, (because at my last job I was told to always frame statements as "yes...and" instead of "yes...but") I still can't quit you, J. Crew. I wish I knew how to quit you.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fabulous Friday: Take me to bed...

This week it is more fitting to call today "Fatigued Friday." In that spirit, I celebrate all things bed related. There is nothing more fabulous than climbing into a freshly laundered bed. Seriously. It is one of my greatest joys in life. (Pathetic I know, but fresh out of the dryer sheets, tight hospital corners, and a clean set of pajamas = heaven.) Here are some sheets that would that would make that beautimous experience all the better.
And now, for the crowing glory. A Matouk decked bed is my ultimate dream...pun intended.

As if the monogramming and colors didn't take your breath away, these babies are soft as all get out. Buy me some, okay? Thanks.

Have a terrific weekend. Sleep late, snuggle in bed, and tell your friends about this awesome new blog you've been reading!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Classically Chic

tory burch boots . asos tote . jbrand dress . stuart weitzman boots . ferragamo flats . tory burch belt
I love the combination of this rich cognac color and a chic black dress. Mmm mmm fall.

Throw on some tortoise shell accessories...
sunnies . bracelet . claw clip . headband . watch
And a sexy red lip, pour yourself a Manhattan, and call it a day!

tom ford . nars . chanel . jouer . tom ford gloss. tortoise glasses

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Brighten up!

Twitter is the best. After trying to avoid getting an account because I knew it would be another rabbit hole down which I would likely disappear for hours (or days) on end, I caved in the name of growing this blog. And boy am I glad I did! Yesterday, I got a retweet from Ms. Erin Gates! Thanks, Erin. Appreciate ya!

One of the other amazing things about establishing a Twitter account is that I have come across people and companies I never knew existed. The other day, I gained a follower in Bright Lily. When I followed her back, I got a personal message from her that prompted me to visit the website, and wasn't I excited by what I found! Beautiful jewelry for amazing prices! Check these out.
Or how about a necklace?

I ordered that chunky, gold beauty and I was terribly impressed when it came on Monday. The packaging was lovely, and the necklace was light as air, so even though it looks substantial, it won't put me in a neck brace. Thanks, Twitter. You da best.

Colors are a little off because I Instagrammed this bad boy.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Office Update

Someday, I hope to have an office where I do all things creative that looks something like Erin Gates' office featured on Sous Style. (I actually do have a lucite chair with a sheepskin throw a la Erin.) But, alas, I do not need nor do I have an office even close to that caliber. But, I do have some big news! We are getting our guest room back! My brother is moving on out to his own place just across the park. In anticipation of this new space, I bought a new desk. You may remember that I was talking about finding a little writing nook in this post, but now I can fit a full size version of the desk I wanted. Thanks to The Everygirl, I found this absolute steal with the exact same look as the West Elm version I intended to purchase.

The one perceptible difference (from the pictures) between the West Elm and the Home Decorators version is that the latter has only one drawer. But, for 200 dollars less, I can certainly deal with that. That being said, very little storage space in the desk demands beautiful storage on and around the desk. I still love all the things I previously posted about for desk decor, but I came across this new-to-me office supply site See Jane Work, and I picked some new favorites! 
And then I will need somewhere to put all my very important (very, very important) files, so why not in this great box!

Then, the other day I was, of course, researching Jenna's picks over at J.Crew, and I came across this fabulousness. 

These ColorWare keyboards are awesome and come in a ton of colors. Perfect thing to add to the ipad. I am partial to pink.

And, to top it all off, I will add this perfect piece above my new desk. 

Can't wait for the new desk to arrive. I'll be sure to review when it does!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday Musing: Ahhhh!

I almost took today off, hung an "out of office sign," and called it a wash. But, I decided that I couldn't do that because there are some people who actually tune in to read these Monday Musings! So, here I am despite my pervasive anxiety about all things new and the blog not being on the forefront of my mind today.

This weekend was the perfect culmination of summer. On Saturday, I headed to Healdsburg for some wine tasting and a great deal of eating. Sunday I started the day with treats from my favorite bakery and then hit up the farmer's market, the Marina for lunch (where there was a Ben Flajnik spotting--my sister almost had an aneurysm) and a walk on the water, and coffee and book browsing in North Beach. There is nothing like having guests to make you take in the city in a way you normally wouldn't.

Tomorrow I am getting busy at work for the first time since mid-June! I think that waking up at 6am will be rough, and the anticipation of ending my blissful routine of late morning reading, naps on the couch, and afternoon strolls through the park has given me slight indigestion. So, I decided to approach Sunday evening with the perspective of the great Elizabeth Taylor. I am sipping my cocktail, picking out the perfect first-day-of-work lipstick, and pulling myself together. Wish me luck!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Fabulous Friday: To New Beginnings

First things first: This is my 100th post. HOORAY! Pretty freakin' fabulous!

And now for the serious stuff...
You may recall that I landed an awesome new job some months ago. And now it is almost time to start working at that job. As in I only have this weekend left...As in I start on Monday. I was offered this job a year ago and turned in down in exchange for what I thought could potentially be a different kind of good opportunity. It turned out to be the year from hell. Oops. So, when this job presented itself again at my doorstep, I was not going to be foolish enough to turn it down twice. And I didn't.

But, now that it is time to get going, I am having masses of insecurity and anxiety over whether I am going to cut it. Let's put it this way, I am always having masses of insecurity over something (usually my appearance, or my ability to make small talk at parties, or dust), but my professional competency and brain power are not two of the things that usually get my panties in a bunch. In fact, I generally feel that I am good at my job and know what I'm doing. This time, I feel like I'm playing in the big leagues, with the big boys and girls, at the level I always wanted to play. That being said, playing in the big leagues means higher expectations, higher standards, and more people who are exceptionally competent and possess exceptional brain power, which should be a good thing because who wouldn't want to surround themselves with those kind of people? Surely I have been wanting to. So, why the cold feet, I ask myself?

Because I am a perfectionist. And I am competetive (even with myself). And I want to rock it. When I think about why I am nervous it is ultimately because I care so much. Because I want to become one of those exceptionally competent people. And, I do know that the only way to push myself to that level is to dive in with other people who are doing it. In fact, this whole train of thought could be applied to this blog as well. When I started the blog, I thought that I would never show it to anyone and that my mom, and grandma, and husband (most loyal fans) would read it, and I'd give them some laughs. While I am in no way in the big league in the blogging world, I have been amazed at how much I have been able to teach myself just by studying the people who are really good at what they do. I am going to apply that same approach to  my "real" job. I have made this blog a million times better than it was when I began, and I plan on making it a million times better in the months to come. I am just going to approach Monday with the same attitude. If I approach a new situation caring deeply, wanting to be successful, and willing to work hard and learn from the talent that surrounds me, ultimately, it would seem,  I can't fail. I am starting a fabulous new job, and I want to enjoy where I've gotten. Whew. I just talked myself down. Way to go, me!

In other fabulous news, my family is here. No one can make me feel calmer (and sometimes more insane) than they. Let the weekend of fun commence!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Look For Less

If you find something you love but you aren't sure you want to spend the cash, you may be able to find it at a more reasonable price point. These are some of the comparable pieces I've come across lately that satisfy the look for less. While there are always differences, and you might truly prefer the more expensive version, the internet provides ample opportunity to find almost anything your heart desires for a few less bucks!

cc skye ($125) vs. cartier ($5,575)

furbish ($36) vs. talbots ($79)

design darling ($38) vs. furbish ($75)

fabricadabra  ($55) vs.  anthropologie ($328)

ballard ($179) vs. zhush ($440) vs. jonathan adler ($695)

etsy ($32) vs. confetti system ($130) (etsy is half as long...)