hello, autumn

Hello, all!  I hope your autumn (or spring, depending on where you’re at) is off to a nice start.  I’ve got 8 weeks of classes left until I am finished FOREVER, so I am pretty pumped about that.  95% of the work that’s left for this semester must be completed this month, which also means I am in for a long and boring October.  The upside is that November won’t be too bad at all and I can enjoy Thanksgiving.  I LOVE the holidays.  I will be studying for the bar exam in the midst of them, but that’s okay.

To cap off the summer, a few weeks ago we went on a canoeing trip with friends.  My puppy Ella quite enjoyed herself.  She loved fetching the frisbee in the river.  She’s a pretty good swimmer on her own, but I am overprotective so I got her this Ruffwear life jacket.  I plan to go on many more canoeing trips in the summers to come. 🙂

The unfortunate consequence of that trip was that I lost my sunglasses in the river 😦  They were the Ray-Ban Bubble Wrap Aviators.  I loved them, but they didn’t stay on my face anyway, hence their watery demise, so I figured now is as good a time as any to find a pair of aviators that fit my face better.  I ended up going with the Persol Square Top Bar Aviator PO2407S in matte gunmetal.

I saw a lot of good reviews of them online. I love them!! They’re much heavier/less flimsy than the Ray-Bans, and they stay on my face.  I love the tortoise shell and metal detailing on the sides, too, even though you can’t really tell from this photo. Hopefully I don’t lose or break these too soon 🙂  If I do, I swear it’s $5 plastic shades from the gas station from here on out.

I’ve also had my eye on the Michael Kors Runway watch in gold forever.  I love that watch and see it everywhere, and I finally decided to get it, but I went with the less common gold/horn color instead.  The writing on the face was softer and more feminine, and I liked the horn colored enamel mixed with the gold.

Of course, it’s huge right now so I need to get some links taken out, but I can’t wait to wear it!   I think those are enough accessories for me this year.  I ended up getting the watch because I wanted to get a new work bag, but as usual, I am being very indecisive about that.  I figured I’d hold onto the ones I use frequently for a little longer and wait until the spring, and get the watch instead.

Enjoy your week! I’m off to start my marathon month of homework….

closet update

I had been collecting some inspirational closet photos on Pinterest for quite some time. This is what I had to work with – a 4′ by 5′ closet right off our foyer. I wish I had more to work with, but having a walk-in closet, period, is good enough for now 🙂

Peacock Blue

Source: Lonny Magazine

High Contrast Rug ~ Zebra

Source: 4.bp.blogspot.com

Colored Glassware for Makeup

Source: Honey We’re Home

Hanging Scarves on a Rail

Source: Honey We’re Home

Gold-Framed Mirror

Source: Lisa Sherry Interiuers, Inc.

The downside of living with a man is that I can’t indulge in my girly side as much. Consequently, I wanted some color and girly-ness in the one area of our apartment that I can call completely mine. I loved the peacock blue paint on the shelves in the Lonny Magazine photo. I have a vanity table I got from Target in 2006 that was part of their “shabby chic” collection. It was a soft cream color originally, so I painted it Behr Caribbean Current. That’s where I store all my jewelry, makeup, and a few other miscellaneous accessories.

I got the zebra rug from Target. I’ve come to realize that I am not much of a drawer person. I always find myself being really good about hanging things up, but things that go in drawers tend to stay in the laundry basket until I am ready to use them again. As such, I decided that I’d hang as much as possible, and then emulate my laundry basket habit by storing my other clothes – jeans, work out clothes, pjs, etc., in storage boxes from the container store. I got two large linen storage boxes that are a bit sturdier, and two Baroque fabric storage boxes.

I wanted to have a mix of colors and prints. The mirror was one of my parents’ wedding presents in 1970. I love the mirror and it’s super heavy duty, and at the moment, there really isn’t anywhere in our apartment for it. I was afraid it my get broken or chipped in storage, and thought the gold frame would go just fine in the mix of decor in the closet, so I hung it there for safekeeping.

I’d like to get some acrylic shelf dividers to help keep all my bags upright, but the shelves are almost 1.25′ thick, and thus far, I’ve been unable to find any clear dividers that will fit shelves that thick.

I also revived my shoe collection a little 🙂 My navy blue Hunter boots are pretty much shot. No amount of boot shine will make them look ok. I may have to google some other ways to condition them. Since I used them so much the past 3 years, I figured it would be a good idea to replace them. I got some high-gloss black ones in the same style. I’d really like to get a yellow pair as well, but it’s been so hard to find them in stock anywhere!

I love leopard print and have been pretty indecisive about where to incorporate it into my wardrobe. I have a black and grey leopard print scarf, but that’s it. I wanted to get a couple new pairs of flats, and I found these cute leopard flats at Forever 21. They’re cheap and cute and very comfortable. I also FINALLY got a pair of Tory Burch Reva flats in Royal Tan. I have been wanting some for years, but for almost $200 bucks a pop, I wanted to choose wisely on the color. The first summer I wanted them I wanted the white leather with the gold medallion, but those were out of stock. I waited two years to find those in stock somewhere, to no avail. I also liked the black with the silver or gold medallion, but at the end of the day, I only really wear black flats to work, and these shoes wouldn’t be fore work. I FINALLY see some white Reva’s with a gold medallion in stock. FINALLY! and of course, since the summer is winding down, I couldn’t bring myself to buy white ones, which i see as more of a summer-y shoe. I loved these brown ones, though, and though they’d be pretty versatile.

new beginnings.

Hello, all! I hope your summer is going well.  As has been the theme this 2012, I have been distracted by many things and neglecting my blog.  I can’t wait until I can really get back to it.  About a week and a half ago we got a new puppy.  That’s her in the pics.  She’s maybe a year old, or close to it – and about 22 lbs and fully grown.  We named her Ella.  My plan was to wait until after the bar exam to get a new dog, but of course I couldn’t resist.  She’s been so wonderful!  She is a an Australian Cattle Dog mix that we got from All American Dawgs rescue in Newburgh, Indiana.  Someone in Jessup County, KY left her for dead behind a chinese restaurant in late February – she was partially hairless because of mange and very sick.  The animal shelter in that county contacted the rescue because they thought she was a senior dog, so between that and how sick she was, they’d have to put her down.  They could tell she was a cattle dog mix and that All American Dawgs specialized in cattle dogs, so Sharon, the lady in charge, came and got her. Once she took her to the vet they found she was not a senior dog but in fact still had her puppy teeth.

She’s been the sweetest dog and is so very smart.  It’s so hard to believe that someone would treat this dog the way she was treated.   It also makes you wonder what happens to so many great dogs out there.  The shelter found her “unadoptable” and were going to put her down, but she is the best dog.  She is fun, smart, well behaved, and so loving.  We are looking forward to many happy years with this puppy!  She is spoiled already.

I also turned 30 a couple weeks ago.  I don’t like getting older, but the age thing also doesn’t bother me.  Turning 30 had me thinking a lot about my 20s.  I remember my 20th birthday vividly, and all at once it’s amazing how fast it went by, but also seems like such a long time ago.  So much happened in those ten years.  I really enjoyed my 20s.  They were definitely a roller coaster of emotions. I faced a lot of new challenges and had a lot of great new experiences.  I also would not do it over again if I had the chance…I am looking forward to my 30’s!!!  Lots of exciting new experiences to be had.  I just need to get this schooling finished and pass the bar so I can feel like I can move on!

Speaking of new beginnings, 8.5 months after we move in, we’re FINALLY getting around to painting our living room/dining room.  I will be doing that this weekend and will post pics soon!

I also went on an accidental shopping hiatus this year.  We bought a lot of things for the new apartment in January and February, but then life took over.  I know I am busy when I don’t have the time or energy to think about my wardrobe!!!  I did not think that was possible.  I don’t think I’ve gone this long without clothes shopping since before my first job at 15.  What I have found is that I have a whole lot of super worn out clothes and shoes.  As much as I see shopping as a vice, now that everything I own is tattered and worn and looks crappy, both work clothes and otherwise, I am realizing that adding and deleting a little to the rotation each month is what keeps things looking good and keeps the wardrobe supply at a financially manageable level.  Now I feel like I need new EVERYTHING and that’s overwhelming!  Oh, what I would give to have an open-ended budget and a stylist 🙂

Well that’s what’s up with me at the moment.  Have a great weekend, and wish me luck on my painting project !

fall knits

I was looking through my new fall clothing this weekend and I realized how many knits I accumulated…I was pretty pumped Friday evening when it was finally cool enough to wear one of them!  By the way, did you know that Zara now has an online store?  I was VERY excited about this, as I love that store and always visit when I am Chicago. We don’t have one in Cincinnati at the moment, so the online store launch was a big deal to me.  My first purchase was the shearling-collared knit cardigan in the picture below.  My favorite sweater I got was, surprisingly, the cable-knit cream crewneck from Old Navy.  For as inexpensive as it was, I am surprised how soft it is. As long as I take care of it and stick to dry cleaning or hand washing, I think it’ll turn out to be a good purchase. If you are looking for an old navy coat or sweater, be sure to check out old navy.com before today is up! You can enter FABFAVES at checkout and get 30% off!!

Sweaters, left to right – Zara, Express, Express, Old Navy, Old Navy, Express.  Scarf – H&M.

weddings and Gap city flats

This weekend I attended by cousin Annie’s wedding.  In anticipation of lots of dancing, I put a pair of nude Gap city flats in my bag that match the Charles David nude pumps I wore… Have you ever tried these? They’re great.  Gone are the days that I have to call it a night based upon when my feet cannot take it anymore.  These shoes come folded in a pouch, but in instances where you have a clutch, such as I did, they can also fit into a small space laid flat.  They come in a bunch of different colors and finishes, including leather, patent leather, metallic, etc.

I really don’t know what I did before these.  I can enjoy my heels even more now, because as long as I have that backup pair of flats in my purse, I know that I don’t have to worry about that regret that you get when you realize that too-high heels are ruining an otherwise fun evening. I am all for clothing or other accessories (undergarments, for example!) that allow you to enjoy your your wardrobe even more.  I have been collecting these shoes in various colors – call me a bit too particular, but I always try to take ones that match the color of the heels I am wearing that night.

…..see what I mean?

the weekend ~

It’s finally feeling like fall around here!  I got this great cotton blazer at H&M – I love the elbow patches and the fabric is slightly stretchy and super comfortable.  I am loving my new MICHAEL Michael Kors bag, too!  I really have my eye on this MK satchel…it’s $100 more and shape-wise is basically a smaller version of my LV speedy 35 – so, while I do like it and it’s still on the wish list, I stuck with a less expensive MK that is more practical for school.


almost autumn…

It’s about one more week until autumn, and I am really hoping that the weather cools down. My A/C could use a break!  Lately I’ve been shopping for fall clothes (both for work and otherwise), and I’ve found that I am really drawn to loose pleated pants with a matching tie belt, just like in the summer when I liked the same style in shorts-form.  I like these pants because they’re cropped and lightweight.  They seem appropriate for the sometimes warm, sometimes cool weather of September. The same goes for the suede platform sandals. I am also drawn to sequins, and have already bought a sequin cashmere blend tank top that was on sale at J. Crew.  I like this sweater above.  It’s definitely an outfit I envision wearing on a cool evening in early fall, perhaps for dinner or a play.  I really love Reed Krakoff bags, particularly this tote bag that is available in a number of different material and color combinations.  Reed Krakoff if a fairly new brand by Coach – the design has a modern look that’s quite different from Coach bags, and the bags come in at well over $1,000.

I am liking the glitter trend in nail polish right now, but with my job, it’s just not practical to wear that to work, nor is it practical for me to put it on on a friday evening, for example, and then remove it at the close of the weekend. For that reason I will be sticking with plain, old-fashioned solid colors.

a new favorite designer….Rachel Roy

Ok, I dont know if she is “new” necessarily, but she is new to me.  Rachel Roy has a great line of clothes, bags, shoes, and jewelry called RACHEL by Rachel Roy.  Her Fall 2011 RRR lookbook reminds me somewhat of a Free People-type style, although the clothes in general have their own unique feel.  I particularly love the shoes and bags, but I guess I am sort of a shoe and bag nut anyway!  Right now she is offering 25% off all shoes, and if you sign up to get her emails, you get another 20% off.  I ordered a pair of her Pepino heels in Nubuck.

Cute, huh?! Since I just signed up for email AND the sale is going on, I got them for about $66 plus tax and shipping instead of $110!  I am excited to wear these with skinny jeans this fall. They’re suede, so here’s hoping that  it does not rain too much.  I seem to love suede shoes – does anyone have a suggestion for a good suede protector???  Anyway, this particular pair also comes in purple…

Source: http://www.heightmagazine.com

I love the purple, too, but this style seems like a very casual, “every day/wear with everything”-kinda style, so I am going for a more neutral tone that I can wear with everything.  I also love this Quilted Large Satchel – I am not sure, but it seems like it may be big enough for my laptop.  A highlighter leaked all over my leather bag I usually use to carry my laptop to class, so I am in the market for a new bag or two to replace it…definitely keeping thing one in mind.

How about you? DO you have any new designers you like for this Fall??

the pursuit of closet efficiency.

This week starts the second week of the semester. One down, 14 to go!  I am not thrilled about being back, but at the same time I feel more at home with all the extra work to do.  I think I function best when things are very busy.  I have been thinking a lot about how I need to go through my clothes and figure out what I need and what to get rid of.  It may not seem like a big deal, but in the midst of a busy work/school schedule, having a decent set of clothes to choose from every morning and before every night class can really help me in the sanity department.

I find it really tough to figure out exactly what clothes I will need for the upcoming season.  You don’t want to go out and just start buying things you like willy-nilly, because then you may very well have spent a whole lot of money yet have no workable outfits to glean from it.  I always feel like I have to pre-plan my shopping in order to get the most out of my clothes.  I am drawn to neutrals like white, cream, and grey, so luckily I naturally have a fairly coordinated wardrobe.  It definitely makes things easy to mix and match!

One of my favorite purchases from last winter was a dark grey corduroy blazer I got from Banana Republic.  Every time I turned around I was wearing it to work, class, on the weekends, nights out, etc.  In general I have found that I am wearing blazers a lot lately. Even tonight, while it’s 80 degrees out, I happily wore a blazer to class in anticipation of the air conditioned classroom.

With that said, even though I have not come to a definitive “must get” list for the fall/winter, I know a couple things are definitely on my list:

  1. Blazers
  2. Shirts – printed, embellished, something other than my usual boring solid plain ones (to wear under blazers casually)

To start the year off right, I hit up the sales at J. Crew online, really lucked out with the size availability and saved over $300!!!…

I think this is a good start, but it’s just a start.  I really need to clean out the ol’ closet before I really know what I need!

the look for less ~ if you like Anthropologie….

….you will LOVE Ruche.  I look at it as a younger, more affordable, fresher version of Anthropologie. My only complaint is that nine times out of ten, they’re sold out of the thing I want. And by the way, is it just me, or does something seem that much more desirable the instant you realize it’s sold out?!

The Early Summer Lookbook 2011 came out recently, and as always it has beautiful pictures and I want everything in it…

all images via: http://www.shopruche.com

See the eyelet shirt in the last photo?  I ordered that one 🙂 I like the belt, too, but of COURSE it is sold out already.