Friday, March 29, 2013

Fabulous Friday

I need some advice! I got some lovely gifts for my big birthday this past week. Now, those gifts are burning a hole in my pocket. Are you surprised? I thought not. Is this not the perfect summer outfit? If you have a card, which I do (of course), J.Crew is offering 30% off. (If you don't have a card, it is 25% off!) Should I pull the trigger? Ah! I can't decide.

Fabulous, no? What would you do! Hope this marks the beginning of a terrific weekend. 

Thanks to vmac + cheese for the new terrific graphics!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Happy Birthday, Baby!

I can't believe this day has come, but this little blog is one year old today! While that it still quite juvenile in blog years, it is quite an accomplishment in Meredith years. What better way to celebrate a birthday than to think about all the things you love, all the things that make you smile. I've had my actual birthday and my blog birthday in the same week. Pretty great, huh? So, let's pop some Veuve, eat some candy, and celebrate!

If we were all coming together for a party, this is how we'd roll:


P.S. If you live in the Connecticut area, you must try these cupcakes!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What to Wear to a Wedding: One Dress, Four Ways

My friend, Rachel, recently sent me an email with the subject "Accessory Crisis." In two weeks, she will be attending a wedding in Australia for one of her best friends. The location is quite casual (a surf club), but Rachel wants to look appropriate for the event  and pulled together enough to represent the significance of the day. She already bought this dress from the Gap, so it was the base from which I was working. I put together a few different sets of accessories for her to choose from that won't feel too formal or stuffy, but will feel respectful, beautiful, and fun. Which look would you choose?

LOOK ONE: This look takes the neutral approach. It is classic and classy.
B-LOW THE BELT belt - C.WONDER necklace - NINE WEST sandals - BANANA REPUBLIC clutch

LOOK TWO: This look incorporates the mint that is so popular with a great pop of red.
J.CREW belt - JEAN-MICHEL CAZABAT wedge - C.WONDER earrings - CLARE VIVIER bag -

LOOK THREE: This look is more colorful and whimsical.
ELVA FIELDS necklace - J.CREW belt - ANTHROPOLOGIE clutch - J.CREW wedge

LOOK FOUR: I based this look around the belt, which I saw at Anthropolgie the other day and loved.
J.CREW clutch - ANTHROPOLOGIE belt - C.WONDER studs - UGG wedges

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What's On Your Vanity?

I am so pleased to welcome Jennifer Klee to the blog. Remember that amazingly lovely email I got long ago? Well that was Jen, and we've since started a virtual friendship. (One of the perks of having a blog.) She writes the blog The Elizabeth Letter, and she has a very high end (and extensive) collection of makeup that I can't wait to share with you!

Jen writes, 
Approximately 500 years ago Meredith was nice enough to ask me to contribute a "What's on your Vanity?" post to her blog, but because I do not actually have a vanity, I dragged my feet on this until I realized I could just dump out my make up bag, arrange the contents neatly, and take a picture of it. So, without further delay, here are my most treasured cosmetic items that I would most definitely put on my vanity if I had one.
Armani Lasting Silk Foundation: Looking at this entire collection, I guess I spend wayyyyyy more than I realize on cosmetics. But I'm worth it, right? Anyway, this foundation and my Cle de Peau concealer are the two things that I think are most worth spending money on. My skin is oily and acne prone and this covers everything up nicely, lasts a long time, and looks natural.

Cle de Peau & Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat : I've started doing this weird but brilliant thing where I use the brush from the YSL to brush on the Cle de Peau. The two formulas mix together and form this perfectly thin yet very 'concealing' concealer. If it's a good day acne-wise, I'll skip foundation and just use this under my eyes and on any noticeable spots. The Cle de Peau lasts a super long time. Years, in fact, which is a probably dermatological no-no, but I mean, come on... it's only life.

Bobbi Brown Blush in Apricot: This stuff is really not what I'd consider "apricot" at all, but rather BRIGHT PINK, and it mimics the look of a real flush or sunburn - in a good way.

Bobbi Brown Eye Shadow in Nude: I've had this forever, and I only use it once in a while. I don't really know a lot about eyeshadow, but this adds a little definition when I feel like I "should" be wearing more make up. 

Chanel Lip Pencil in Nude and Eyeliner in Espresso: This was a "Merry Christmas to me" splurge and I'm pretty sure I would not spend the extra $$$ on lip liner and eye liner again. The colors and formulas are nice, but I think drugstore brands make suitable counterparts. However, I do love to see the teeny tiny little splash of Chanel peeking up at me from my make up bag every morning.

Brushes from Bare Minerals: I've never had much luck with Bare Minerals makeup, but I think the brushes are the absolute best and are relatively well-priced.

Mason Pearson Brush: Super spendy for a hairbrush, but I've had this since college, and my daughter uses it also. It's basically a magic wand.

Supergoop Sunscreen Serum: I cannot be without this stuff. It's the first and only sunscreen I've found that leaves no trace of chalkiness or greasiness after you put it on. It's far and away the best thing I've gotten from Birchbox.

Jo Malone Grapefruit: Did you know they stopped making Honeysuckle Jasmine? I did not know this. This made me very sad. I used to combine honeysuckle with grapefruit, but now I just wear grapefruit. It smells clean. I alternate it with Fracas by Jean Patou and, once-in-a-blue-moon, a VERY small spritz of COCO by Chanel. 

Essie Mademoiselle: In an effort to save money, I've been skipping manicures and just painting three coats of this every Friday. Does the trick.
Guerlain Meteorites in Teint Beige: These are those little pastel colored pearls that look like candy. I'm pretty sure that my younger daughter thinks they really are candy because it seems like I don't have as many of them as I used to. This is like a soft-focus lens for your face. I have even insisted that my husband wear a little bit of this for family pictures because it makes your face un-shiny without looking like you're wearing makeup. Shhhhhhhh.... 
Cover Girl Lip Gloss in Tulip: The best for last. This is the most perfect light pink/ shimmery/ not gloppy/ not smelly/ not sticky makes-every lipstick-look-good lip gloss. And it's like $5.

Not pictured: Lancome Mascara & Shu Umeura Eyelash Curler. I'm not very brand-loyal when it comes to mascara, I think the key is to get a new one every three months because they get old, dry out quickly, and stop being awesome.  I buy new pads for the curler from the drugstore and replace them in the metal part.
I hate love doing these posts because they just make me want to spend money! Thanks, Jen. You're the best!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday Musings: The Dirty Thirty

Donuts and birthdays are synonymous in my mind. I always eat donuts on my birthday.

Well, it's finally happened. Thirty has descended upon me. I made it through alive. Barely. If your birthday is supposed to set the tone for the year ahead, then this one is going to be a doozy. Let's just say, it was an interesting weekend...

On Sunday when things had quieted down, I thought about the list I made when I first started the blog, the list of things I hoped to accomplish in the year leading up to 30. Here it is:
1. Pay off credit card debt.
2. Get pregnant! (Exclamation point warranted.)
3. Finish my novel.
4. Keep a blog. (That means regular posting, lady.)
5. Take a class in interior design.
6. Work out. (And actually push myself.)
7. Stop obsessing. (Impossible, but hey, why not put it on the list?)
8. Turn my shopping obsession into something productive or profitable (What would this thing be? I have no idea.) (By the way, do I actually have a shopping addiction? If so, get treatment.)
This was the first post I ever wrote, and I wrote it four days after I turned 29. So, I thought it might be time to recap on how I did this year on my to-do list.

1. Slow and steady...making progress and getting finances under control in a grown up way. I would say progress is moderate on this front.
2. No. (I'll leave it at that.)
3. Extra super no. Haven't written a page since last year. Great. Way to go.
4. Yay! I did it! I accomplished this goal, and I, if I do say so myself, did quite a good job of posting five days a week all year. Rocking on with my bad self.
5. No. Actually, I have kind of lost interest in taking a class in this area. I'd prefer to simply experiment with things that make me smile.
6. Well, it's complicated. Yeah, I go to the gym...and every fifth or sixth time, I push myself.
7. No. Failed. Never going to accomplish this, but will continue to obsess over it and put it on every list until the end of time. 
8. Haven't found a way to make a profit from shopping yet and haven't had addiction diagnosed, but have tried to be a little more reasonable and restrained despite the few times I've fallen off the wagon.

Not too impressive on the check list front, but 29 was a good year. I worked at a job I enjoyed, I explored a terrific city, I traveled to Paris, my brother got married, my husband's company was funded, friends got pregnant, friends had babies, friends got married, I made new friends who are the kind of friends anyone would be lucky to have, I wrote a blog and people liked it, and I learned that people can like me just for being myself. Maybe that was the best thing that happened in the 29th year.

I didn't really like being a teenager. I was awkward, and angsty, and miserable much of the time, painfully self conscious, and wondering if life would always be that way. My twenties were so much better. I found out that I was competent at my chosen profession, I married a person who was exactly right for me, I started to travel, I moved 3000 miles away from the people I thought I couldn't live without (and we all survived), I learned that taking risks can open up your world and your life in unexpected ways, and I grew up. I would say that I loved a lot of my twenties. And, because we are now on an upward trajectory, I believe that my thirties will be even more fun than the past ten years have been. While a year ago I think I may have referred to "thirty breathing down my neck like a beast," today, thirty feels okay. It feels like the beginning of something. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Fabulous Friday

I saw this post on Liz's blog, and I thought I would join in the fun.  Because I love to know personal things about people, I think this little exercise is quite fabulous. So, here are five things on Fabulous Friday that you might not know about me...

1. I like to say that dermatology is my "hobby." If you have a big zit, yo I'll pop it. (Sing that line to the tune of Ice Ice Baby.) Got an in-grown hair? I'm all over that. Pores a little clogged? Don't worry, I can take care of that too. Oh, and I like to tweeze stray hairs (my own and other people's). And basically I obsessively groom myself and my poor, poor husband. He does not like this quality of mine. Actually, this is not really a secret. If you have ever met me, you have probably seen this in action. Sorry.

2. One of my biggest regrets is that I did not study abroad in college. The truth is I was too scared to be that far away from home. Now, I wish I could just pick up and move to a different country for a while. Wouldn't that be lovely?

3. There are very few things in life I enjoy as much as I enjoy watching tv. I don't discriminate. Give me Honey Boo Boo, Breaking Bad, Downton, Wife Swap, it doesn't matter. I love them all. Of all the amazing things this life has to offer, television, a passive, unhealthy, sometimes mind-numbing activity would be up there with any other of the more sophisticated pleasures you can imagine. I am coming to terms with the fact that this is kind of sick now that I've actually confessed it.

4. I spend a little (okay maybe a lot) of time each day obsessing over the size of my thighs...and I eat chocolate anyway.

5. I still have to force myself to do social things that intrinsically make me uncomfortable. I spent the majority of my adolescence deeply afraid that if I showed who I was, no one would like me. So, I didn't really talk to many people. These days, my husband keeps me in check. He reminds me to make plans with people, extend myself, to have confidence, and to be open to new experiences and making connections. I appreciate that he gets me and does this (even though I often resent it in the moment). When I know you and am comfortable, I don't shut up. But, throw me into a party situation where I don't know people, and I am a hot mess. Remember this little incident?

You know what's really crazy? There are actually not that many things I keep secret. I am kind of an open book. Huh. Maybe I should work on that?

As I am turning 30 on Sunday, it is a perfect time to reflect on just how far I've come (in regards to number 5) and how I still have some annoying habits I would like to shed (like number 4--the obsessing over the body parts--not the chocolate eating part). I was at the grocery store last night buying a bottle of wine, and I got carded. When I told the cashier I was about to be 30, she said "Geez! You must use some really nice cream." Thanks, lady at Andronico's, you made my Friday, Saturday, and Sunday fabulous.

Hope you're doing something amazing this weekend! And, if you are a blogger, by all means, tell us five things!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

I Just Can't Quit You

I know. I have sort of an obsession/freakish fixation with and on my rug. And I know I've already waxed poetic on this subject. But, in my defense, the state of my rug plagues me in the way I thought only mini-blinds could plague me. But, my quandary is that I both love my rug and hate it. I just can't quit it. I just can't. Let's examine why I love my rug. It is very bright. My apartment is very white, and having a colorful focal point really pulls the whole room together. It is pretty, too. It is a lovely woven Anthropologie purchase that I got at a terrific price. Now, let's talk about why I hate my rug. It will not lie flat. It is so dang stubborn. I cannot blame this on the rug itself. To recap, the rug is on top of wall-to-wall carpeting, which I also don't really like, but that isn't going anywhere anytime soon. I previously wrote about layering rugs, and I keep coming back to this notion. I have come across two pictures recently (Jamie Meares's home and Erin Gates's home) that reignited my desire to get my layer on. My only hesitation is whether three rugs on top of each other is a little excessive (because we are starting with a rug as the base).

Basically, the spring cleaning bug and the potential demise of my rug have me thinking about possibilities for changing up the living room. The quickest and easiest way to do that? Change the pillow covers! Here are a few I think might make for a lovely spring makeover.

 From Left to Right: 1- 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Keeping It Clean: Caring for the Clothes You Have

First, a disclaimer: Long Post Alert!

As promised, I am writing to give my two cents on taking care of the clothes you have. I have lots of clothes, in case you hadn't heard. If you are going to invest in a nice wardrobe, I think it is imperative that you take good care of it. I am no expert on this topic, but this is how I take care of my clothes.

A Few Tips for Keeping Your Wardrobe in Tip Top Shape

USE NICE HANGERS: They keep your clothes from stretching out. I have beautiful monogrammed wood hangers that were a wedding gift, and I love them. I have also read that soft, padded hangers are best for jersey and silk to prevent stretching.

REMOVE DRY CLEANING BAGS: Your clothes can't breath if they are covered in plastic. To keep your clothes in good condition,  they need ventilation. I have also read that clothes can get discolored if left in those bags. I am not sure if this is true, but I always take them off.

YOU HAVE A FEW ALTERNATIVES TO DRY-CLEANING:  If you have a lot of clothes that need to be dry cleaned, I recommend two things: a steamer and Dryel. If you wear lots of Dry Clean Only items to work, when you get home steam and hang them immediately. You can purchase a steamer for a reasonable price at many department stores or on online. I also swear by Dryel. The kit comes with a bag, sheets, and a spray. You spray your Dry Clean Only items, toss them in the bag, throw in a sheet, and pop the bag in the dryer for 30 minutes. Your clothes come out smelling and looking fresh. I do it for all my winter sweaters that have been lightly worn to ward off huge dry cleaning bills. Dryel is not recommended for silk, so those items will probably still have to do to the dry cleaners.

STORE SEASONAL ITEMS: While SF doesn't have "seasons" per se, I pack up all of my winter sweaters around this time of year as I will not wear them no matter the temperature in this land of the fake summer. Clean all clothes before putting them away for the seaons. Wash them, dry clean them, or Dryel them. I store my sweaters in a Tupperware bin, and, though I don't do it, I have read that it is advisable to wrap each sweater in acid-free tissue to separate the sweaters from one another and to absorb any moisture. I actually put my clean sweaters in Ziploc bags and leave the bags open.  I've read conflictings things about storing in plastic in this way, but Martha Stewart says it's okay, so I'm sticking with it.

TREAT STAINS IMMEDIATELY: If you have a stain on an item that you can launder at home, treat it immediately. I am a fan of Shout and Spray 'N Wash, which seem to take stains out most of the time. If a stained item needs to be dry cleaned, take it to the dry cleaner as soon as you can. Last year, I wore a white blouse and white skirt to an event and poured a cup of coffee down the front of my outfit. I literally changed that minute and ran down the street to the dry cleaners. It all came out!

CHECK YOUR TAGS: This is key. I bought a shirt in Paris, thought it could go in the dryer, and ruined it on its first wash. Check your tags, and believe what they say! That being said, some sweaters that say "Dry Clean Only" can be cleaned with a gentle hand wash. However, I am not big on hand washing. Sometimes I think the shape of the item gets funny. But, items like lingerie benefit from being hand washed instead of bumped and stretched in the machine.

To supplement my anecdotal advice, I've located some experts for you to consult:  

If you buy things you love, you should care for them accordingly. Well cared for clothes can last for ages.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What's On Your Vanity?

I couldn't be more exicted to welcome Hollie Hill to the blog. I discovered Hollie when I saw her amaze-balls home on The Everygirl. (Check out my post about her here.) I immediately came down with a very severe case of house envy, which is a condition that is not easily curable. Hollie is also the writer of Home with the Hills. Today she gives us a sneak peak at what's inside her very lovely vanity. 

Hollie writes, 
I am thrilled to show you what's on my vanity right now...
1. Make Up For Ever HD Foundation - I have been a fan of this foundation ever since I used it for my wedding. I love the coverage and look it provides in photos. It also lasts a long time! I even spotted Kyle from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills using it on the show! 

2. Palmer's Coco Butter Lotion - This is a fairly new addition to my vanity. Since I have been pregnant I have been using this lotion to help ensure there are no stretch marks coming with the baby. 

3. Essie Nail Polish - I have always been a fan of Essie nail polish, but I am loving this Tangerine color for Spring. It looks great on your hands or feet. 

4. Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Tonic - Ahhhh! I love this product. It feels so good to put on and smells like a trip to the spa. I am not sure if it does anything for my skin, but it is an immediate mood booster in the mornings. 

5. Philosophy Purity Facial Cleanser - I recently started using this face wash, and I like how light and gentle it feels.

6. NARS Blush in Orgasm- I know this is a popular one, but I like the peachy pink color this gives. 

7. AVEDA damage repair serum-  I was talked into buying this at my last haircut, and I like it. Being Aveda, of course it smells incredible, and it is not heavy on my hair. 

8. Too Faced Bronzer - The thing I like so much about this bronzer is it doesn't have glitter or sparkles in it. I love to wear it everyday and I don't want my face looking like I am ready to party. It is brown, not orange and is made with coco powder so it smells divine. 

9. Peter Thomas Roth Sulfur Masque-  Along with pregnancy came breakouts. UHHH! Unfortunately, there are not a lot of products out there you can use while pregnant. I found this sulfur masque and have loved using it at home. My face feels so tight when I take it off, and I do think it is helping dry up those unwanted blemishes. 

Thanks for having me!
Thank you, Hollie. I feel the same way about bronzer, I may have to go back to the Orgasm blush I used in yesteryear, and I am excited to try that foundation. Sephora, here I come! 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Monday Musings: Cleaning House

There is nothing like sunshine to illuminate all the dust (metaphorical and literal) that has been collecting in my home. J. sometimes says he thinks it would be nice to have friends over for brunch. My response is always, "No! Our apartment looks better by candle light." I have a neurosis about dust. I see it lurking everywhere, and I have to whip out my trusty Swiffer duster and hit it where it hurts. That is why I prefer a good dinner party any day.

The last few weekends in SF have been dreamy. Sunny, warm, breezy. Love it. And the beauty of this weather has exacerbated my deep hatred for my mini-blinds. I know--this is a strange reaction to have to beautiful weather. Most people would think, "Oh, let's go to the park" or " Let's sit outside in our yard and have a coffee," but not this girl. I think "Those bad boys are going down." Mini-blinds are the world's most powerful dust magnets. Living in a rental is tricky because you want it to be pretty, you want it to be homey, but you don't want to put money into things that you can't take with you.   I have been complaining about these blinds since we moved in. Besides being a horrible crime against tasteful home decor, they love to dance with the dust. When the windows are open, them seem to welcome the dust and grime from the street inside to visit. Finally, today, we decided to kick those mini-blinds to the curb. I am quite sure that this decision stemmed from the cost being offset by the potential for silence on my end of the subject of said blinds.

Taking care of this home update spurred me to start cleaning out my closet. Wowzah. Girl's got some clothes. I decided, in the spirit of spring cleaning, that I was going to perform a serious closet purge. The ten dollar tee-shirt with pit stains that I bought five years ago no longer needs to be transitioned in and out with the seasons. Because I spent the majority of my life on the east coast, I still have a seasonal wardrobe, but I don't need so many seasonally specific items any more. I also used to work at a place where I wasn't allowed to wear jeans, but people really did not dress up for work either, so I am the proud owner of a large number of "mom-capris." Now if you are thinking, what is wrong with capris, I say, nothing is wrong with a "cropped pant," but a wider leg, cuts you off at mid-calf kind of capri is not appropriate attire for a 29 year old (for one more week, baby) gal who fancies herself relatively up to speed with style in the year 2013. Out they went.

A few bags of clothes to sell and a set of new plantation blinds later, I feel quite liberated. I think a good clean is akin to meditation, massage, a beautiful glass of wine, the laughter of babies, the scent of a cake in the oven--in other words, CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO GODLINESS.

Tomorrow, I have a vanity post for you!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Fabulous Friday

Hello, everyone. Just in case anyone was nervous after my brief encounter with blog related insanity yesterday, I offer you these words:

Hater gonna hate. Likers gonna like. And bloggers gonna blog. And blog I shall.

Thanks to the fabulous readership that is already on board this blog. Let's forge ahead, shall we? And now for a fabulous find on this fabulous Friday. I have tried a number of different mascaras of late, and I have found a favorite: Clinique Lash Power mascara. You do not need eye make-up remover to get this off. Wash with warm water, and the little tubes of mascara come right off in your fingers. No smudges, no flaking, just beautiful long lashes. Plus, the price is right. At $16.00, it's a bit more than a drugstore find, but significantly less than some of the other luxury make-up brands. Buy some.

And, now for something completely different. My sister-in-law gave my husband a gift certificate to a fabulous San Francisco restaurant, Foreign Cinema, for Christmas, and we are finally getting around to using it. Date night on Saturday. Check out the menu. Go there.

Hope you have a fabulous weekend with fabulous lashes and fabulous eats. Catch ya on the flip side.

And yes, I am aware that this post is rather random. Must mean it's Friday!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Blog In Crisis

I have been dealing with a lot of questions about this blog here, and I thought it might be time to open up the discussion. In a few weeks, the blog will be a year old. I made a commitment to post five days a week for a least a year to document the final year of my twenties. And (unless something CRAY happens in the next few days), I will have stuck to that promise. When I started, I was happy to have ten readers a day. But, as people started reading, I started to get greedy. And I started to care. Yes, I do pay attention to the stats on this blog, and I have had a great deal of growth each month until this past month (which was February, and there are less days--I know). I feel like I have really hit a plateau. I started reading a lot of articles about what makes blogs successful, and I began contemplating things like post titles, SEO (if you don't know what that is, don't bother knowing because it is boring), the way I utilize social media, how to make Facebook posts go viral, and a whole host of other blog related things. People have said, "Have variety!" And in the same breath, "Have consistency!" That is pretty much how all this advice fell on me, and what I discovered is that there is a lot of useful information out there, but for every person who says, you should have a title (for instance) that is x-way, there is someone who thinks it should be y-way. And, essentially I am left no wiser than I began. Some people said to examine your content and see what's popular. Well, you know what's the most popular post I've ever written? A post about rainboots! What does that tell me? I have no idea. Apparently lots of people like to know about rainboots. That post was created before I learned Photoshop, before I knew how to create graphics that reflected my style, and really, at the very beginning of my journey. No insights to be had there.

I was musing about all this over dinner last night, and I thought that perhaps I could tap the one resource I haven't yet tapped: YOU. I was hesitant to acknowledge that I wanted to grow a readership, and hesitant to admit that I wasn't where I hoped I'd be, but I have always tried to maintain honesty and openness on my blog, and I hope that the readers who come and stay will be the ones who appreciate that honesty.

And, to be honest, I don't even know why I care. I started this blog as a way to keep me, a lapsed writer, writing. If that was the goal then I have been wildly successful. But, I think I care because I have put so much of me into this blog that now it is more to me than just a place to go and write. That is what journals are for, am I right? Writing for an audience is actually what keeps me honest, and what I love about blogging. Because I write with this audience in mind, I now defer to you, audience. Can you give me some insight? What am I doing that you like? What am I doing that you wish you could see more of?

My friend told me today that she would like me to write a post about how to care for clothes. I appreciate that she took the time to give me a suggestion. I will write that post. I am excited to write a post I would not have otherwise been so excited about because I know that it will mean something and answer some questions someone has (not that this is rocket science or an answer to the questions of the universe here--trust me, I have no delusions of grandeur).

Anyway, if you've made it to the end of this long, crisis driven post, I ask you, what makes, or could make, this blog a place you want to come back to everyday? (And now we have a new comment system, so it should be much easier for you to answer--See, I do listen!)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Dazzle Me With Diamonds

...okay not diamonds, but I have been keeping a pinboard of jewelry that catches my eye, and I thought that I might take this opportunity to share some designers with you with whom you might not be familiar.

MARGARET ELIZABETH: I have definitely posted about her before (because I'm obsessed), but these are two of my favorite pieces: ring & necklace

TORY BURCH: Everyone knows TB, but I just love this bracelet.

ELVA FIELDS: Her necklaces will take your breath away. 

ARCHIBALD: I met the lovely designer of this line in Paris. Her work is beautiful, and she is so sweet. I bought the sun pendant necklace, and I love it. Some of my favorites of hers: headband (really cool) - ring - bracelet - necklace

LOREN HOPE: Always excited to see her new work. I adore these three pairs of earrings from her spring line: Petra - Leda - Starburst

MIGUEL ASES: Love the combination of hot pink and mint on these drop earrings.

NOBLE HOUSE DESIGNS: This designer has moved from her Etsy shop to a new site that showcases all of her amazing, colorful, statement making designs. These are my three favorite necklaces: Dallas - Morningside - Addison (my absolute fave)

ASOS: Yes, they have jewelery. Love these earrings. And the price? Oh yes.

HYLA DEWITT: The shapes of her gold pieces are so beautiful. I adore: Lexi - Ava - Grace

All of these pieces are perfect for spicing up your spring wardrobe. I also happen to have a birthday coming up on the 24th. Just saying...

I definitely operate under the assumption that if i post/say/pin/mention something enough times, the universe will send it my way. That's how it works, right?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

After the Final Rose: Bachelor Recap

Catherine - Sean - Lindsey

Today I'm speaking for #bachelornation. Alright, it's official. Sean has chosen his lady... it was the hardest thing he ever had to do...he means it...harder than the last hardest thing he ever had to do...and the winner is...drum-roll....trumpets...roses...just trying to replicate the experience of watching the THREE hour finale of The Bachelor...oh yes...the winner... in the most emotional season's

Let's talk about tonight's cast of characters. You are getting a full recap:

The dark horse of tonight's episode? Jay, Sean's father. That man is a lady killer. Mothers, lock up your daughters. I was a little creeped out when Jay said that ever since Sean was a baby he had been praying for his future wife. But, when he told Catherine that if she married Sean he would love her like she was his daughter, Catherine wasn't the only one welling up. Weird moment forgiven.

Lindsey was really cute and sweet, but I can't take her baby voice. She is a good reminder to me if I ever have the urge to talk to my own hubs in a baby voice that it is not cute. Not even a little. Only babies and people speaking to babies should speak in the baby voice.

Then there's Neil Lane. He just happens to be stopping by Thailand. What a terrific traveling ring salesman. Too bad he's sold out and now does ads for Kay Jewelers. Come on, Neil. I thought you were better than that.

(At this point J. chimes in from his spot on the floor where he has suffered through this marathon, "What does one wear to a potential engagement/dumping?" Oh, he was paying attention after all.)

Now we are back in the studio with Chris and some of the rejected bachelorettes. AshLee is back. I had originally picked her for the winner, but she let her cray-cray hang out and it wasn't so pretty. I wonder if she will leave the wild world of professional organizing behind for the wild world of Hollywood. Something (perhaps her black leather cat woman suit) tells me she has her eye on that prize.

And then came THE LETTER...dun dun dun...cue ominous music. Will the letter break Sean's heart? Wait...It's nice and complimentary and read in an amazing voice over by Catherine and Sean? The Bachelor soars to new heights.

The actual proposal was probably one of the sweetest I've seen on the show. Catherine is so dang cute. I'd marry her! And her quote  ("I'm so addicted to you")? Adorable! She is so much cooler than Emily. Dodged a bullet there, Sean.

But wait! It's not over! Now there is another hour for After the Final Rose. So many reference to God and prayer I thought I accidentally sat on the remote and flipped to the evangelical channel. And who knew that Chris Harrison was an ordained minister? Golly.

In conclusion, I actually think these two might make it. Could I have been hypnotized by all the tears and roses and candles at the live viewing...maybe, but I believe! And this is when J. turns off the television declaring, "Enough crack for you."

Next season's bachelorette is...

Monday, March 11, 2013

Monday Musings: S***

Yup, that sums it up. Sunday night rolls around and all I can say to that is s***. Today, I am reserving the right to have crappy ideas. This weekend's crappy idea was that I could catch up on all the work for the "real" job on which I am behind (millions of hours of work--perhaps I exaggerate, but there is nothing like a deadline to kick your butt into gear.), enjoy the beautiful weather, and take care of planning my blog for the week. I overestimate myself sometimes. Wildy.

Needless to say, all of the aforementioned did NOT happen. Sunday night saw me sitting at my desk covered in a mound of paper and books, papers shooting out of the nearby printer as though I were running a national newspaper up in here, mugs of tea and cups of water everywhere, spandex needing to be get the picture. So, I apologize for thinking there were more hours in the day than there were. Actually, this is literally true this weekend as we lost an hour. I am still in mourning for that tragedy.

Today, I crapped out on you. And I'm sorry. But, you better believe this girl is going to get her s*** together and be back tomorrow with something fantastic. Hope your week is off to a smoother start than mine!


Friday, March 8, 2013

Fabulous Friday

I know this is jumping the gun a little bit, but we don't have Fabulous Sunday, so I wanted to make sure this fabulous moment got its appropriate air time! My mom is turning <ahem> forty (or something like that...) on Sunday. It's a big birthday, and she doesn't want anyone making a fuss about it because that's how she rolls. And, you might remember, we did take a little trip to celebrate. But, as far as I am concerned, you can never have too much birthday, so I just had to call her out and tell ya'll how great she is on her special day. Look at this foxy lady just chilling in gay Paris!

You may remember that I am kind of (ok, fully) obsessed with my mom. When J. and I started dating (almost twelve years ago), I said to him, "I just want you to know that if you want to date me, you have to understand that everything you say to me will be repeated to my mother." Because he agreed to that relatively (ok, fully) insane condition, we have been happy ever since. I realized in Paris (and many times before and since) that there is something amazing about becoming an adult who actually gets along with her parents, not because they are my parents but because they are interesting, smart, passionate, driven, accomplished people who make excellent friends. There are few people in this world with whom I would rather spend time.

So, I am sad that all my siblings will get to celebrate with my mom this weekend while I am stuck in the land of spandex and patchouli. I will miss eating cake and toasting my BFF. "Forty" never looked better. Love you, Mom. You are truly fabulous, now and always.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Spring Style: For The Guys

My brother, Christian (who goes by Kip), is here today with some spring style picks for the guys. Christian works in the tech industry. In other words, fashion is not a top priority. But, that doesn't stop him from spending 70% of his monthly income on clothes (rough estimate). He took it upon himself to institute "Formal Friday" at his office, but I think he might have been the only one who actually dressed up. More power to him. In case you hadn't noticed, the Whitehouse boys love their fashion.

1. GANT button-down:
This spring/summer version of plaid is a wardrobe staple with brighter colors for the warmer weather.

2. SCOTCH & SODA Grandad shirt:
Henley's are pretty much perfect for everything and can definitely go with jeans or shorts. I like the stripes to break up what could be a rather plain look. (Sidenote from Mere: This store opened on Fillmore in SF, and I saw one in Paris. Must be cool!)

3. BONOBOS B's Knees Shorts:
Bright shorts are a must for the summer. Generally, the shorter and brighter the better. (Mere again: I completely disagree about the shortness, but my brother has some unusual ideas about men's fashion.)

4. J. CREW Sueded Fleece Sweatshirt:
Sweatshirts are great. Sweatshirts with some kind of neck embellishment are popular right now and are pretty cool looking, so pick up a colorful option for summer nights when you want to be comfy.

5. RANCOURT & CO. Beefroll Penny Loafers:
A fancier shoe that can replace your run of the mill boat shoe. These ones look amazing and will work with your colorful shorts and madras button up shirt or henley.

6. MIANSAI bracelets:
Miansai has awesome accessories. These are rugged and manly enough to not be hard to pull off, while being interesting and letting you spruce up your wrist. (Mere here: Even the men want an arm party!)

7. J. CREW leather laces:
New laces can transform shoes, and leather laces on some casual sneakers dress them just enough.

8. NIKE for J.Crew Killshot sneakers:
White sneakers are a perfect summer shoe when your fancy loafers are a little much. The gum sole on this helps it stand out. 

Thanks, Kip! Come back real soon now.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Spring Style: My Wish List

Spring inspires me to get colorful, and the warmer weather makes me excited to infuse my style with patterns, pastels, and jewels!

Here's what I'm loving this spring:
The Kate Spade and Keds collaborations is adorable! Love all of them, but I particularly love these sneaks and their little pointy toes and polka dots. How cute. 

J. Crew knocked it out of the park this spring. I can't get enough. I want everything. Seriously.

I have a thing for watches, and this Kate Spade watch feels kind of grown up to me. I am digging the leather band.

There is never a wrong time or occasion for a Tory Burch bag.

Are you familiar with Hyla Dewitt's jewelry? It's stunning. Love this lavender piece.

KATE SPADE for Keds . DRIFTWOOD INTERIORS watercolor . KATE SPADE bracelet . J.CREW sweater . J. CREW classic flat . KATE SPADE watch . J. CREW eyelet top . TORY BURCH bag . J.CREW Quorra flats . J. CREW "darling" sweater . HYLA DEWITT necklace

Tune in tomorrow for some spring picks for the guys!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I Have a Crush: The Boys of "Catfish"

Okay, this is kind of embarrassing, but I am seriously digging this MTV show "Catfish." Am I too old to watch MTV? Regardless, I discovered this show after watching the documentary by the same name. A catfish is a person who uses social media to hide who they really are and pursue virtual relationships. Nev Schulman and his friend, Max Joseph, now host the television show where they help people locate their online loves and determine their sincerity.

In the interest of full disclosure, I once "catfished" someone. This illicit act took place when I was in seventh or eighth grade. I went into a chat room with my friend, and we sent the lyrics of "If you Like Pina Coladas" to our unsuspecting victim. We thought the lyrics made for a pretty irresistible pick up line. After watching this show, I realize that we could have been breaking hearts left and right all for our own amusement. Those lyrics are powerful words that should not be thrown around lightly in internet chat rooms. But, of course, hindsight is always 20/20. 

Now that I am older and wiser, I do not "catfish" people any more. Instead, I like watching it happen on tv. I enjoy seeing the "romances" and the truths unfold, but what I really like watching is Nev and Max. Actually I really like Max. He is dreamy. If I were going to resurrect my catfishing ways I would catfish Max. Hey, Max. Call me.

If you love Max too, there's a t-shirt for that.


Monday, March 4, 2013

Monday Musings: Is The West Coast The Best Coast?

This week, I read a hilarious article, "Mirror, Mirror," in the San Francisco magazine 7 x 7. The article's author, Wes Turncoat (who writes under a faux name), compares the sartorial philosophies of New York and San Francisco. He writes:
In contrast to the eye candy that is New York's street fauna, flora-loving San Francisco serves up eye Tofurkey. Why must every cubicle dweller in town be clad in technical outerwear, as if eternally prepared for a camping emergency? And ladies, what is this devotion to Lululemon? Must a girl always be ready to bend over the moment someone barks out "downward dog?" And I can't even fathom what's going on with the hipster crowd. Unlike the Brooklyn variety, Mission dwellers dress as if they were trying to look ugly. Show me a guy or girl in the Mission wearing a thoroughly considered ensemble, and I'll show you the black Uber car that transported them from the Marina.
My husband wears technical outerwear almost everyday to work. If I ever have a camping emergency, he's my go-to guy.

Turncoat says that while New Yorkers truly care about appearance, San Franciscans give more credence to a person's "inner-splendor." While that sounds nice, I think it's actually an insult. And I also think it might be true.

In our family, we have an ongoing debate about the particular merits of each coast. My brother likes to denigrate the great city of San Francisco. He is sure that New York is far superior in all ways. I think New York is great, but I do think that San Francisco has a lot to recommend it. You can drive for ten minutes and be at the beach. Twenty minutes across the bridge and you can hike the beautiful hills of Marin. A train ride downtown will land you at some of the country's best restaurants, and, frankly, I LOVE the fact that I can wear a spicy spandex ensemble whenever I feel like it. But, I think that this trend might be dangerously infectious.

While in Paris, I found myself scoping the streets for "comfortable" clothes, like sweatshirts. That is crazy. Seriously. I think I drank the athletic-wear Kool-Aid of SF. This past weekend, we went hiking in Marin and ended at a terrific spot on the trail called the Tourist Club, which is a German biergarten. We had actually hiked in to the spot, but it was possible to park nearby and wander down. I was amused at the bevies of young women who certainly hadn't been hiking anywhere and were clearly wearing their "fancy" workout clothes and full make-up to come to this outdoorsy location.

So, maybe we don't wear as much Gucci and Prada as the fashion elite of New York, but here in SF we not only have casual workout wear, we also have dressy workout wear, and that's pretty sweet. While the jury is still out on which coast is best, I enjoy our city's sartorial flexibility because sometimes I want to wear sweats and sometimes I want to get gussied upand take a black Uber car to the Marina, and in SF that's just fine.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Fabulous Friday

I was so happy to be able to share the pictures from my trip with you this week. Thank you for indulging a whole week of Parisian beauty. In case you couldn't tell, I will confirm that I would like to linger in the memories forever.

This week it was both hard to come back to earth and hard to get over jet lag! But, this weekend is shaping up to be quite lovely. I have a hike planned for Saturday and a picnic in the park with a girlfriend on Sunday.  Late winter in San Francisco certainly has its perks.

Many of you commented this week that you would like to go to Paris. This is my new motto in regards to travel:

When I was a little kid, I didn't like to travel. I have no idea why. I think I took the idea of being a homebody to a whole different level of weird. As an adult, I would probably be happy to go on almost any trip. Seeing different places, experiencing different cultures (and eating...gotta love the eating), these are some of the great joys of this life. Yes, travel is expensive, but I do think that is almost impossible to regret money spent on an amazing trip. It is so fabulous to be able to travel, and I plan to go whenever and wherever I can!

This weekend, if travel is not in your plans, you can always take a staycation! Sometimes when I force myself out of my routine, I am excited and surprised by how much there is to do all around me that I don't always think to seek out. 

If you were taking a vacation (or a staycation) where would you go?

Wherever this weekend takes you, I hope it's fabulous.