Thursday, November 29, 2012

Blushing while reading

I have been shopping my closet recently. I have nothing on the wishlist, despite it being a wishlist season. I have not been to the store for a couple of weeks and I have only received a couple of packages, including the Everly shoes and Macalister wedges. I don't even check the sale section and I feel much calmer because of that. Instead I have been wearing many of my old favorites. This should be the goal of all that shopping after all, enjoying the clothes you have, rather than stressing out due to the constant hunting for the newest and greatest. 

Another thing that calms me down is reading. When I read more, I shop less and feel more at peace. My current read is The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. I just started, but it looks good. Have you read it?

This Blush Tweed pencil skirt is one of my reliable outfit makers. It goes with many colors because of the multicolor tweed but I love it best with black. That seems to be one of my outfit formulas. Wear a colorful skirt or shirt and everything else black, it never fails. Add some pearls to bring the reflect some light on the face.

My blouse is one of the very oldest items in my closet and I am always looking for worthy replacement. It was a cheap buy from Style & Co many years ago and one of very few items that I actually regret not getting a back up.

My shoes are a similarly old buy from Nine West, I like them for their slightly vintage vibe even if they are not the most flattering or sexy but somehow the slightly clumsy effect adds to their charm, at least in my mind. 

We got some snow here yesterday, but today it is back to beautiful fall weather. I actually don't mind the cold at all, as long as it is sunny. How about you?

That's all folks!

Do you feel calmer when you shop you closet more?
Do you own Blush Tweed skirt?

What have you been reading recently?

Please share, it would be no fun without you!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Booker Midheels

It may seem strange, but with all the shoes in my closet, I am missing a pair of tall black boots. I do own a pair of 'black' Glenbrae boots from few years ago, but they don't really read black to me, more like dark gray and I wanted a smooth deep black. I also have a pair of black Ryder boots that I love, but they are shorter and motorcycle style. And I have black high heel Noelle booties, but no tall boots.

I liked the Harper boots in the pictures, but they were disaster when I tried them on (see HERE). Anyway, I preferred a midheel, since I have many other flat boots.

Booker Midheel Boots  looked like something that may work for me, so I ordered them on sale with additional 30% off, which brought the price to reasonable level, especially with 5% rewards and 10% shopathome cashback.

Few days later a huge box arrived.... I  opened it impatiently...

Rest assured, they were better wrapped, I took this picture later...

Well, they were black boots, alright... I am not sure what I expected, but they were just blah. If I spotted a pair of boots just like these on the shelf in department store (or Marshalls), I would not give them a second look. The leather is not stiff, but it isn't exactly soft of luxurious. It is just... black leather...

They will definitely scratch easily, in fact there seemed to be indentations just from trying them on. Are you supposed to try them on wearing soft cotton gloves?

I have a high instep and most flat boots with no zipper are a no-no for me. I can never pull them on. But heeled boots are easier. Not so with these. They were very hard to get on. I finally managed and once on, they felt TTS and comfortable. Not sure if I could walk in them all day, but for a few minutes I had them on, I was fine.

They do not have any shaping at the top so they have a gap between the top of the boot and my leg. It wasn;t as bad as with Harpers but it did not look great with a skirt. They will definitely be better with pants tucked in (if you can manage pulling them on, I did not even try). My calves are average width, so it will be worse if you have skinny legs. I decided I prefer boots that have some shaping or elastic at the top. Also, they should come with some tabs to pull them on. I probably just have to reconcile myself with the inevitability of zippers.

They are rather high and when I sat down they were rubbing off my tights and since they are pretty stiff it was bothering me.

All in all, nothing grossly wrong with them, no imperfections, no extra glue etc, but also nothing special. Maybe if they were close to $100?

That's all folks!

Do you own Booker boots or ever considered them?

Do you have other similar black boots recommendations in similar price range?

Please share, it would be no fun without you!!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Black Friday in the park

We had a beautiful weather on Black Friday and last thing I was thinking about was shopping. In fact, I never go shopping on Black Friday and I avoid malls between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The crows and the difficulty of parking scare me away. Anyway, I don't quite believe in so called 'special deals'. Somehow, I never had regrets and when I hear about what people bought, I rarely, if ever, wish that I had gone, after all.

Don't take me wrong, I love a good sale like any other woman but I just don't need a big screen TV and the stuff I like is never particularly discounted, or at least no more than at the other sales. I also never clip grocery coupons because I feel they make me spend more, not less. I do use those 20% off coupons at Bed, Bath and Beyond but that's about that.

I spent the Black Friday morning sleeping it off, after eating and drinking too much over the Thanksgiving. My friend made wonderful turkey and thousand side dishes. I brought mozarella and marinated peppers salad, sweet potatoes casserole with pecans and another casserole of roasted vegetables. I finally figured out that roasted vegetables need a marinade made of olive oil, balsamic vinaigrette, fresh thyme and rosemary.

I used this recipe and I will now swear by it. I roasted mine for 45 minutes, stirring the veggies after 15 and then 30 minutes. I bought all organic vegetables and added some carrots, just because I had plenty on hand. There was not a single bite left!


In the afternoon we went to the park. It was very warm and I had to take my coat off. I walked quite a distance in my new navy McAlisters and they were still comfortable.

I love this chambray polka dot shirt (review HERE) but the only issue with it is that it does not go with jeans. Everytime I put it on, I wish I had a pair of red or orange denim. I did wear it to the office with a wool pencil skirt in persimmon, it was a great pairing.

Cashmere sweater and necklace from BR

But the sexy boyfriend cords (review HERE) worked too. I love the combination blue, gray and yellow, it is one my favorites.

After the sun started setting, I needed to put on my peacoat, it suddenly got so cold...

I really like this time of the year, it is so beautiful! We probably only have couple more weeks before the leaves fall completely and the cold weather will settle in. Boo... 

I am wearing the Majesty peacoat from last year. The cut seems identical this year but this year's version has a beautiful pink lining (see my review HERE). I had to reinforce the buttons before I could wear the coat because they started to come off. I hate sewing buttons on coats but I managed somehow.

The last picture was styled completely by my daughter, she is bossing me around these days. You should hear her yelling 'Don't make a sour face! Turn to the side! Look away!  Unnatural!'. Then we argue about selection and she complains 'So I took all those garbage can pictures for nothing???' 

How about you?

Did you go shopping on Black Friday?
Or are you waiting for Cyber Monday?
Please would be no fun without you!!!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

MacAlister Boots Review

As you may know, I love blue and navy. So when I saw that the navy MacAlisters were available on sale with an additional 30% off I could not resist them. I have two other pairs of MacAlister type booties and I love them both. I have almost bougth the brown MacAlisters from J.Crew two years ago but then I found the pair from Coach that I liked better at the same price, so I returned them.

Cute navy shoes are always hard to find. These only come in half sizes and I am 8.5 so I originally sized up to 9. But the 9s were way too big even with socks and my feet were sliding. So I reordered them in size 8 and they are perfect with tights. If I wanted to wear them with thick socks I think they will still stretch.

The color is very pretty medium navy that definitely looks blue and not black.They are comfortable and I actually  think I could walk some distance with them. They are not as comfortable as my Coach wedges but they are blue!

They do stick out a little bit in the back of the heel. I like the contrast of the darker shoe with the lighter sole.

Overall, I really like them and I can tell that I will wear them a lot. I loved how they looked with my Gallerista skirt and Madewell Academy blazer.

Also, see another review by Shopwithm HERE.

Here are my brown coach wedges that are one of most comfortable shoes I own. I have spend a day walking in NYC wearing them and I can vouch for their comfort. I am wearing them with my 2007 Gramercy coat in Alpine Green. I have since sold the coat because green is just not for me.

Contrary to J.Crew MacAlisters, Coach wedges are lined and padded and that definitely makes the difference.

Another pair of MacAlisters that I own is the Shearling vesion that they also offer this year. I have bought mine last year but they seem to be identical. I also sized down in these. They felt a little tight at first but they have molded to my feet. They are also very comfortable and warm.

Below is the picture of my first outfit without the blazer. Many time I would take of the blazer at work so whatever I wear under it has to work on its own. I decided to go for a plain blue perfect crewneck and I like the almost monochromatic look.

That's all Folks!

Do you own a pair of MacAlisters? How do you wear them?

How do you like the navy ones?

Please share, it would be no fun without you!!!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Ghosts of the Shopping Past

There was a time when J.Crew was just a store in the mall selling rather unattractive critter chinos, silly belts and overpriced polo shirts. I was shopping in different stores then. I wasn't buying anything online. My basics came from places like Banana Republic and Ann Taylor, but overall, I was wearing much bigger variety of brands. Somehow, it seems to me that I was a happier shopper then, rarely returning anything and choosing clothes based simply on how they looked on me and how much I wanted to spend.  I did not worry about borrowing from the boys and I did not obsess over sweaters coming from top secret mills and too short polyester dresses with exorbitant price tags.

Of course I made many shopping mistakes but since I was much more discriminating  and shopped much less, many of my clothes from that time period are my favorites. 

Everything in this outfit is at several years old and comes  from "inspired by your daughter" phase, aka Raising Little Fashionistas period. The top is made by Oilily, a brand mostly known for their children's line but they made wonderful clothes for women as well. They are pricey but their quality is impeccable and if you feel like splurging on something 'boho', their stuff is better made and more original than anything you could get at Anthropologie. 

The skirt is from Janeville, another store owned by children's brand, this time Gymboree. Their stores were only open for a few years (I think between 2003 and 2008), so I guess they were not a success story, but I quite liked them and bough a few things from them that are still my favorites.

My boots, to continue the theme of children's brands, are from Boden and I featured them previously here. Well, Boden did not really start out making kids clothes, but this is how I came to know them Before I bought anything Boden for myself, I bought a lot of Mini Boden for my younger daughter.

My bag is not that old, maybe 3 or 4 years and it is by (totally adult) Coach. I suppose there are not that many children's purse designers

I think I prefer this fuchsia bird to any French hens.

That's all Folks!

What are the ghosts of your shopping past? Or have you been always been shopping at the same stores?

Please share, it would be no fun without you!!!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Start each day with a grateful heart

I am forever grateful to be living the life I live...

I am rather healthy and so are my dear ones
My children are kind and smart and funny and I am grateful for many happy years I have spent with my husband
I have wonderful friends that have become my family and support system far away from my actual family
My job let's me utilize my talents and education and my boss is understanding and flexible
I laugh often and easily and don't consider anybody my enemy
I live relatively comfortable and sheltered life in a country which makes big dreams possible

I could look at my life quite differently...

I have had my share of the sadness, sorrow and misfortune
I have known abuse and lived in poverty
I have become pregnant very young and struggled working minimum wage jobs
Both my children had some serious issues at some point and my marriage has been rocky at times
I have once been diagnosed with life threatening illness 

But I choose to think I am incredibly lucky and should count my blessings twice

I am incredibly grateful to my parents and ancestors, for the combination of genetic makeup and upbringing that made me an eternal optimist, a dreamer and a believer in the best that is still to come

This a greatest gift I ever received and I hope I can pass it on to my children


This is not my actual Thanksgiving outfit since I am writing this post ahead of time, but I love orange and green around this time of year.
colder day version
I am wearing almost all J.Crew: cashmere shawl popover in heather agate, Surf tweed charter skirt, Nottingham boots in Pony Brown, herringbone tights and garden floral wool scarf.

The green pumps are by Jeffrey Campbell.

I will be spending the Thanksgiving with my friends in their house and again, I am very grateful for being invited and therefore having it easy this year.


What are the things you are most grateful for?
Where are you spending your Thanksgiving and what will you be wearing?

Please share, it would be no fun without you!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Everly Pumps Or Talk Me Out Of This

I loved the Everly pumps from the minute they showed up on the website. I tried to convince myself that they are not worth it and that I can certainly get a cheaper version of them from some other retailers, but eventually (after I saw them on Tabitha) I relented and I ordered them with one of the 25% off promos, 'just to try them on' and put myself out of my misery...

By the time I ordered them, they were backordered  forever, but finally, one cold November day, they showed up on my door steps. I gently lifted them out of their black box. They looked just like I was afraid they would.

Oh-oh, I knew I was in trouble. But I still hoped they would be awfully uncomfortable or better yet, too small!

Nope, they were fine. I ordered my regular J.Crew heel size and they are perfect. Even quite comfortable. OK, lets qualify it. No narrow, stiletto type over 3" heel is actually comfortable, in my experience. We are not talking strolling over NYC whole day long here. But I would say they are just as comfortable as a pair of leather (not patent) Valentinas. That is, if the Valentinas were .75" higher. Does it make sense?

As you see, I tried them on one of those shoe bags that came with them, since I know I should return them. I don;t need them. They are still expensive. And I can probably get something similar cheaper.

I know.

But I cannot help but love them. They are freaking gorgeous. It is killing me...

Oh, wouldn't it be perfect Thanksgiving outfit??? But that will make that return gate shut and I did not have enough time to think about it. I often take the whole 60 days...


Capped toes...

These are evil!


.Help!  Talk me out of this, please...


What do you think???

Monday, November 19, 2012

This one is for my mother

My mother is an avid knitter and on her last visit here she knitted me this wrap/poncho.

It took her about a week. I saw something similar when we were browsing through a magazine and she said 'Oh, I can do that!' So we went to the local yarn store and picked the wool in three colors.  It is super warm and easy to wear. It is basically a long and wide rectangular shawl, where one end is sewn together to make a sleeve, and the other end attaches to it by a single button.

Easy to say of course, I would never attempt it, even if I know how to knit, theoretically at least.  Thank you Mom, you are the best!


This winter I wanted to get a pair of off white cords.  I would not wear white jeans in the winter but cords are another story. Btw, I was looking through my recent posts and I realized that I wear cords a lot. There is something about the texture of cords that make them super appealing when it is colder. I was for long partial to J.Crew matchstick cords, but this year I discovered that their midrise toothpicks fit me even better. This was a surprise to me, because when I tried toothpicks in the past, they were a disaster: too short and too wide in the hips, while giving me a muffin top and cutting off the circulation to my calves.

Midrise toothpick cords

These are size 28. I am in between 27 and 28 in most denim. I wear 27 in J.Crew matchsticks, both jeans and cords, but these fit me perfectly in 28. The length is also perfect, right down to my ankles. There are super soft and extremely comfortable. I like the higher rise and the fit in the rear.

The color is called sea salt, which would  make me think they would have gray undertones, but that's not the case. They are definitely more 'creamy', which I prefer.

Here, you can see the pattern of the poncho better. I love this color combination, it just soothes my soul.

I loved how this outfit turned out and I got quite a few compliments. The cords would also be great with a longer camel/gray/blush/charcoal sweater. I am on the lookout for a perfect slouchy turtleneck to wear with them when it gets even colder, do you have any tips?

That's all folks!

 Do you wear cords? Do you own J.Crew matchsticks or toothpicks?

Do you knit or have somebody knit for you?
Please share, It would be no fun without you!!!