Friday, May 27, 2011

Expect the Unexpected

In the last few years, I have been a bit obsessed with pairing red and gray in my outfits. I think I like how the red makes a relatively drab outfit pop with color. I also think it also comes down to the fact that these colors look great together.

During the Fashion Challenge, I never took a picture when wearing this dress, so I decided to post one when I wore the outfit on Thursday. I can't believe I have not worn this dress since August of last year!

The dress is from the Bloomingdale's brand, Chequer, and it is a gray sheath dress with black seams and zippers. It's a simple dress, but it looks so professional, and I will get random compliments when I wear it. I once wore this outfit on a plane, for example, and the stewardess exclaimed how cute I looked. I definitely think the shoes (Stuart Weitzman Low Key Red Patent Flats) and the bag (Nine West Follow Me Clutch) help, which are both in a bright red. I usually wear bright red lips to match as well. My shoes are actually so shiny that you can see the reflection of the white baseboard in the photo.

You can also see in this photo that my nails and toenails are painted a navy blue. Blue is one of the "in" nail polish colors this season, and I think they look so cool. Maybe I will try a lighter blue shade next time. Lately I have been getting gel polish on my fingernails. This so-called two-week manicure lasts for about two weeks without chipping. It's difficult to get the polish off, but I think two weeks of chip-free polish is worth it. Usually my nails chip about an hour after I leave the nail salon. The trend started a few years ago, but I only tried it for the first time this year, and I'm hooked.

My metrosexual husband getting a pedicure
I actually took Chapin for his first ever pedicure this past weekend, and he sure did enjoy it. It's been almost a week since our visit to Passion Nails on North Highland, but Chapin is still commenting about how shiny his toenails look (the pedicurist gave his nails a good buffing). His overall comment on the experience: "It was quite pleasant."

It is actually not uncommon to see men in the nail salon. I guess the boys like to be pampered, too!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dress Like a Princess

One thing I admire about the Duchess of Cambridge (Princess Kate) is her flawless style. As a business woman, I know it's hard to look both elegant, classy, stylish and sophisticated all at once. Somehow Kate pulls it off, and -- hopefully -- I do at times at well.

Today, Kate (I can't call her anything else!) and her new husband met with President and Mrs. Obama at Buckingham Palace. I love Kate's dress, so --of course -- I had to find out more about it.

Kate is wearing the REISS Shola Bandage Dress, which is available in beige (seen above on Kate) and marine blue. It retails for about $340, but it's already selling out fast.

I was not familiar with this brand until Kate wore a REISS white dress for the couple's engagement photo session. It's not surprising, though, since it's primarily available in the UK only. You have to give Kate props for supporting her country's designers.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


One of my least favorite pictures from the Fashion Challenge was the photo of me in this BCBGMaxAzria black and blue ponte knit dress taken back in November 2010. I don't know what was up with me that day, but something just wasn't right. So I decided to re-take the picture when I put the dress on today.

You can see that I look pretty tired, and that's because I was up at 5 a.m. so I could get in a short workout before heading to the office for back-to-back conference calls. My company is growing so quickly that every day goes by in a blur because I have so much to do. A rare treat for me these days is when I can actually take a lunch break and run home to walk George. I live so close to the office, that if I can spare the time, I like to give him that mid-day relief.

I am so glad that today is Thursday, because I have some "big" plans for the weekend. Saturday night I am going out with some friends for dinner, dancing and maybe even some improv theater. Sunday, I am going to a baby shower for my friend, Jeanne, who is due with a little girl this summer. I still need to wrap her gifts, but here's a sneak peek at one of the items I got her: Mary Jane Socks. Are these not the cutest things ever?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mambo Italiano

Chapin and I finally celebrated my 33rd birthday this past weekend with an evening out at one of our favorite suburban restaurants: di Paolo. We don't usually venture outside the perimeter, but I wanted to stop in and see my parents.

This year, my parents bought me the Amazon Kindle, one of the leading e-book readers, as a birthday gift. I could not wait another day to play with it and try it out. (That's what she said. Ha ha.) They also offered to hang out with George while we were at dinner, which worked out great, since an art exhibit was going on in the loft next door, and I didn't want the noise to disturb George. My mom was only too happy to spend an evening with her first grand-pug!

Chapin and I first discovered di Paolo back in 2000, during our first year of dating. At this point, we had already gotten jobs and moved into our first apartment, so we didn't usually eat dinner out in the 'burbs. One weekend, my parents went out of town, and asked us to take care of Laura, who was then only 16. They felt Laura was still young enough to need some supervision, and I am not sure she was even driving yet. So Chapin and I took her to dinner at di Paolo and stayed overnight at the house in Alpharetta.

One of my favorite things about this restaurant is the bruschetta of the day. It is always fabulous, and the portions are huge, with three pieces for each of us. Believe me: we eat every bite!

For our special evening out, I chose this purple and black Cynthia Steffe dress. It's not that sexy from the front, but turn it around, and...BAM! Open back! I also love that my purple sandals match the color almost perfectly. Is it too matchy-matchy, or do you think I did okay?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

They Say It's Your Birthday

I recently celebrated my 33rd birthday, which means I am growing ever closer to that huge milestone: 40! For now, I guess I will just have to enjoy being in my "early 30s." I do feel like I have accomplished a lot in my life up to this point, and I am definitely very happy with my career, marriage, family and friends. I know I have a lot to be thankful for each and every day.

Wearing my new birthday dress on my birthday!

If you are young, though... enjoy it while you can. The old adage, "youth is wasted on the young," is so true. Here are some things I miss about my 20s:

Sleep, sodium and wearing it on your face: One thing I am noticing more and more as I age is that if I don't get enough sleep, or don't drink enough water, or eat sushi dipped in soy sauce or other high sodium foods, then I wear it on my face the next day. I hate it. It has definitely forced me to drink more water, especially at night, since I am usually so busy during the day that I forget.

Wrinkles: I have been stressing about the lines on my face literally since I was 13 years old. Ask anyone who listened to me whining in 8th grade. I didn't know how good I had it. Although I try not to let the sun touch my face - I wear sunscreen everyday, and a sun hat if I'm at the beach or pool - I still have wrinkles around my eyes and on my face that are getting deeper with each year. I recently heard good things about Lancome's Genifique, so I have added that to my arsenal of skin care products. Some general tips:

  • Get facials when you can to clean out your pores
  • Add a vitamin C serum to your morning skin care routine
  • Add a vitamin A serum to your nighttime skin care routine
  • Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
  • Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen

The Baby Question: During the last few years, I have started getting this question more and more... from my parents, friends and other people who find out my age, then raise their eyebrows when they realize I don't have kids. I am definitely judged for not having them! At least when I was in my 20s, I didn't get the question so often.

But there are definitely things I DON'T miss about my 20s: being the inexperienced one at work, still trying to figure out my career goals, not having any money because Chapin and I were both starting out at the same time... I am definitely older, but wiser, as the saying goes.

Although I hit 33, I definitely enjoyed my birthday. My family always makes a fuss, getting cake and singing to me. (My dad leads.) I loved getting so many birthday calls, cards, texts and Facebook messages... I felt so loved.

My staff surprised me with a book and card they all signed, my business partner took me out for sushi, and my husband came home from a long business trip out of town. That was probably the best present, though I did love everything else I received from my family. I am wearing two new things in the picture above: the dress (from my parents and sisters) and the silver hoop earrings (from my in-laws) that are not too big and not too small... but just right.

The dress is from Shoshanna (the "Shoshanna Scoop Neck Tulip Dress"), and I've been lusting after it for awhile. It makes a wonderful addition to my wardrobe.

The silver hoop earrings from my in-laws were a surprise, and I love that I can wear them with anything. They are just perfect for me. I think my mother-in-law picked up on my style after reading my blog everyday.

I also love my new Kate Spade iPhone case, new Blu-Ray DVDs, and I am getting ready to get the big present from my parents: the Kindle! I can't wait to check it out.

Mom's the Word

My mom was very blessed to have three beautiful daughters, with two out of three born near major milestones in her life. My sister, Laura, was actually born on my mother's birthday, and I was born near Mother's Day. Some years my birthday actually falls on Mother's Day, and as I grow older, I realize the value in sharing this special day with her.

My mom is a great lady, and when I think of having children myself, I often think of how patient she was with us growing up, and how she never bought anything for herself so we could have the best of everything. When thinking of her and her selflessness, I also think: I could not do that! I feel like I'm a pretty selfish person. I like spending money on myself, as you know since you have seen my extensive wardrobe. I like having time to myself to read, watch TV or just veg out. I definitely like my sleep.

I like working and have aggressive career goals for myself that don't really fit in with taking time off to have a child. I also see my friends with children constantly having to use up vacation days or leave early for doctor's appointments and other emergencies. I also see how much they have to spend on daycare just to continue going to a job everyday.

As more and more of my friends become mothers, I realize how much they have to give up for their children, and I'm truly in awe of them. I really don't know if that's what I want for my own life, but I respect them and have one question as I listen to stories of sleep deprivation, day care issues, snotty noses and the like: How do you keep sane? I don't know if I could.

I'm glad we have a day to celebrate moms around the world, because they are so truly special. Saturday night, we took my mom out to dinner for an early celebration. Although my sister, Gail, was out of town for a wedding, here is a picture of my mom with two out of her three daughters.

Mother's Day Celebration 2011
I love my mommy!

Since you are reading a fashion blog, and since I haven't worn this dress before, here are the details on my outfit:

Monday, May 2, 2011

Be Kind, Rewind

Although the Fashion Challenge is over, there were still several outfits from the first few weeks that I never managed to capture on film. I was still figuring things out back then, and did not even own my handy tripod yet, so I thought I would let some outfits get their moment on the blog.

I originally wore this outfit for the Challenge on August 17th, 2010. It's amazing how far my posts have come since then!

Outfit details:

Dress: Cynthia Steffe

Shoes: BCBGMaxAzria