Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Who Wore it Best?

After a particularly bad day last week, I treated myself to a new dress. Yes, retail therapy definitely works for me. The dress in question was this BCBGMaxAzria Striped Shift Dress, and I found it for about 70% off at a nearby Dillard's store. I have been watching the dress for awhile online, because I love the color combination of the navy and beige, and it just seemed like the perfect work dress for a more casual summer day. By the time the dress went on sale, it sold out very quickly in my size (xsmall -- BCBGMaxAzria runs big).

The reason, I later learned, was because Pippa Middleton was also spotted in the dress.

The recent royal wedding has made Pippa into the favorite little sister celebrity. She is also a budding fashionista, and I guess we have some clothes in common.

So that begs the question... Who Wore it Best? Ha ha... don't answer that.

While Pippa paired her dress with navy blue espadrille wedges and a little fitted quilted jacket that matched her laptop case, I tried to dress up a little more by wearing pumps (Jimmy Choo Izzy Pumps). Shoes and jewelry can quickly turn a more casual dress into an outfit more appropriate for work or an evening out, and I think that discrepancy is apparent here.

Our bags are actually quite similar. Pippa is carrying the Mondalu London satchel in Shark, while I am using my new Coach purse, a gift from my parents. The Coach Kristin Leather Zip Top Tote is perfect for carrying everything a girl needs during the day. I love how professional it looks, and the color goes with everything (it's a mushroom-y gray).

I know I look tired in the photos, but that's because I was up late the night before at the Britney Spears concert. Hopefully I can catch up on my sleep this weekend.

Wearing BCBGMaxAzria and Carrying a Coach Tote

Britney Spears and the Deathly Hallows

Wearing Max & Cleo This Weekend
Weekends are definitely my favorite part of the week because I get to spend so much time with the people who mean the most to me, like Chapin, George and the rest of my family. Plus, I get to sleep! Here are some highlights from this past weekend:

Saturday, July 16th

My mom and dad came into town to have lunch with me, and I treated them to some of the best pizza in Atlanta, which you can find at Antico Pizza near the Georgia Tech campus. The place was packed, as it usually is on any day of the week. We ordered the Pomodorini Pizza, which features basil, garlic, buffalo mozzarella and fresh cherry tomatoes. It is wonderful, and my parents -- who are both from New York and know good pizza -- enjoyed it as well. My dad was surprised at the prices, though; one pie will set you back $20... but I guarantee, it's worth it.

Chapin and I went to the movies on Saturday night to see the final chapter in the Harry Potter saga: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II. We are both huge Harry Potter fans, and while I understand why they needed to break the gargantuan last book into two movies, it has been torturous waiting so long for the second film to be released. Although none of the movies ever seem to live up to my imagination, the film version was still entertaining and a fitting wrap-up to a decade of story telling. We are planning to see the film again in the theater -- this time in 3D!

Sunday, July 17th

My little sister, Laura, and I had tickets to the Britney Spears concert at Philips Arena on Sunday night, so that was the highlight of my Sunday. Laura came over early, and Chapin and I took her to dinner at a new burger place we wanted to try: Grindhouse Killer Burgers. It felt like the times when Laura was still in high school, and Chapin and I would take her out for dinner or a movie. I don't think she could even drive back then, and now she is a married woman. Oh, how times change.

The Two Sisters on the Night of the Concert

Our meal included burgers, sides (fried pickles and fried green tomatoes) and a "Boozy Milkshake" for me. I am not usually one to get such a fattening drink, but I had to try the Puddin' Out, which features pinnacle cake vodka, banana schnapps and nilla wafers. It did not disappoint, and was oh so delicious. In my book, that means it is worth the calories, guilt and extra time on the treadmill. Even after staying up so late for the concert, I was still up at 5 a.m. on Monday morning for my normal workout. The thought that my ass would be jiggling for a week made me bolt upright out of bed. I am not one for a jiggly ass!

After our meal, Chapin dropped us off at the concert. I always find it difficult to choose what to wear to a concert. Normally, I get really hot in crowds, so I like to dress lightly. I chose this Max & Cleo silver pleated cocktail dress because it is comfortable, cool and goes with my Frye Margot Studded Sandal Flats. Since I only own a few pairs of really comfortable and cute flats, and I since definitely didn't want to be in heels all night, that kind of sealed the deal. I even painted my toes silver to match. Ha!

The show was almost completely sold out, and it was amazing to me how many people dressed up for the occasion. And I don't mean "dressed up" as in wearing dress. I mean, people were dressed up like Britney Spears, with many people sporting the school girl look from the "Hit Me Baby, One More Time" video.

We caught the second half of the opening act (Nicki Minaj), and then waited around until 9:15 for Britney to start her hour and a half set. Although I'm positive she only sang a few songs live, the lavish sets, outrageous costumes and beatific tunes made the evening so much fun. 

Although most of the songs she performed were from her most recent album, Femme Fatale, she did do some old favorites like "Hit Me Baby One More Time" (just one verse) and "Toxic." I'm not normally a fan of such cotton candy pop music, but I like to work out to these tunes; with their strong beats and simple lyrics, these songs are perfect for motivating and moving.

Laura and I both agreed that our favorite number was the one that ended the show: "Til the World Ends." All in all, it was a great night spent with my little sister.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Stars and Stripes

July Fourth is such a fun holiday, usually lasting over several days and marked by lots of food, drinks, outdoor fun and, of course, the fashion. Who doesn't own red, white and blue clothing of some sort? I also love feeling such camaraderie with all Americans celebrating in the U.S.A. Like Thanksgiving, the Fourth of July is not a religious holiday, so everyone is able to get in on the fun and celebrate the birth of the greatest country in the world.

George & Chapin lounging after dinner on the Fourth

Chapin and I celebrated America's birthday, and the three-day weekend, with a lot of rest and relaxation. Chapin has been working so much lately that he wanted a quiet weekend at home, so I was quick to oblige. With my husband traveling so much, I have definitely been sleeping less, and it was great to catch up. Here is a rundown on our other holiday activities:

Saturday, July 2nd: 
Pure and Pedicures

Saturday morning, Chapin and I slept in and had a late breakfast. After catching up on True Blood -- as fans of Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse books, we are shocked at the events so far this season -- and a quick workout (just for me), we finally left the house around 3 p.m. We went first to eat lunch at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants: Pure Taqueria in Atlanta's Inman Park.

My nail salon is directly across the street, so after our late lunch, we headed over to get pedicures. Chapin enjoyed his second pediure, although he complained that his pedicurist didn't make his toenails "shiny enough" (I laughed and laughed over that one), and I had my toenails painted a brilliant blue. The color is OPI's Teal the Cows Come Home if you're interested. Blue nails are very "in" this season.

After our salon adventure, we went to Whole Foods to pick up food for the weekend, which included: organic blueberries, watermelon, salad fixings, fresh guacamole fixings, fish and other healthy foods. Since we ate lunch so late, we didn't do much for dinner, but I did find room for dessert: a cupcake from CamiCakes! Chapin picked up several for me on Friday afternoon as a special treat for the long weekend. He sure knows the way to my heart.

Sunday, July 3rd
Good Food, Good Wine, Great Friends

Sunday, Chapin and I spent most of the day lounging around. I finished reading the $0.99 book I purchased on my Kindle (Miranda's Big Mistake -- a cute, if fluffy, beach read) and bought a few more for the upcoming week. I am only 15% of the way through my current book, J. Courtney Sullivan's Commencement, but I am already hooked.

I also bought A Pug's Tale, by Alison Pace, and Labor Day, by Joyce Maynard. I love reading! Labor Day is going to be made into a film starring Kate Winslet, whom I adore and who reminds me of my sister, Gail, and Josh Brolin, who will forever be Brand from The Goonies. I also spent the weekend reading the last few issues of Entertainment Weekly.

Sunday night, we met our good friend, Rahul, and his girlfriend, Vinnie, for dinner at our favorite Atlanta Greek restaurant: Kyma. We go to Kyma several times a year, and always request the same waiter: Marko. He is great and always brings us glasses of free Greek wine to try and impresses us with his knowledge of his homeland. He is also quite a salesman! We went through two bottles of wine plus several cocktails and seven different appetizers during our three and a half hours at the restaurant. We got so full on the appetizers -- I loved the zucchini fritters -- that we ended up splitting the fish special (Marlin). Vinnie, a vegetarian, was so full she didn't even order an entree! Suffice it to say we always have a unique dining experience when we go to Kyma.

Since this blog is focused on fashion, I have to mention the fabulous dress I wore to Kyma. It is the Black Halo Megan Ruched Halter Dress, and it was originally a birthday present for my sister, Gail. Since she didn't want it, I decided to keep it for myself. (Gail is so hard to buy presents for... she is getting a gift card for her birthday from now on!)

I love the cut of this dress because it is definitely designed to show off a woman's curves. Since it is a body hugging dress, the ruched detail is perfect for helping mask any imperfections. The dress is no longer available -- the style is about a year old -- but here are some similar dresses to try out if you like this look, and they are all available at different price points for any pocketbook!

 I paired my Black Halo dress with sandals from Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B. brand: the L.A.M.B. Women's Dakota Woven Sandals in Black.

Monday, July 4th
Happy Birthday, America!

One of my favorite July Fourth traditions is watching the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest on ESPN. It is ten minutes of utter horror and shock as you watch the contestants eat up dozens and dozens of hot dogs and their accompanying buns. The most disgusting part for me is watching them dip the buns in water and eat the soggy bread. Gross! Joey Chestnut from California took the title (which includes the Mustard Belt and $20,000 in cash) for the fifth year in a row, eating 62 hot dogs and their buns in the time allotted. I don't know how he does it, but it's nice to have an American on top so consistently.

Chapin cooking dinner on the Fourth
 We didn't do much during the day but hang out. Chapin made fresh guacamole and opened one of our most expensive bottles of wine (from the Alpha Omega brand) as a snack while we waited on dinner to cook. Chapin makes the best guacamole I've ever had. He uses all fresh ingredients: cilantro, tomatoes, onions and avocados, along with lemon and other spices and things I probably don't even know about.

We have a fabulous stone mortar and pestle that we really only use for making guacamole, but it was worth it. I think it gives Chapin's guac that little something extra.

For dinner, Chapin was going to grill some fish and corn on the cob, but it ended up raining for most of the late afternoon and into the evening hours, so he baked our dinner in the oven instead. He made crab topped Halibut that came out just perfect. He improvised the recipe, so I can't even link it. We also treated George to a little crab. He loved it!

It was raining by the time the sun set, complete with lightening that lit up the sky as brightly as some fireworks, so we didn't end up walking to Centennial Olympic Park as we had planned. (Centennial Olympic Park and Lenox do some of the city's best fireworks displays.) But all in all, it was still a wonderful weekend. I hope you had a fun and safe Fourth of July as well!