Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Monochrome: the Red Version

Hey, what goes well with red? More red!

And if you think that is too much red, add a belt! 
I got this belt for something ridiculous like $2 from Forever 21.
Sweater: Ann Taylor | Skirt: Target | Flats: Ulli (?!) viz Zappos | Wedges: Target
Disclaimer: I actually wore the flats to work even though I believe the wedges are infinitely superior.  It was extremely slushy and icy that day (even in the parking garage).  If I was going to take a tumble, I would rather fall from 5'4" than 5' 6.5". Who knows, the extra 2.5" may translate into a smushed nasal bridge.

This picture is silly for 2 reasons:
1. I look like a weirdo.
2. The dwarf Christmas tree lives on...well into late January!!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Target Melinda Wedges and Sparklies

OMG, my hair has been utter ridiculousness lately. Should I list the woes that befell it? 1) In the spring of last year, literally half of my hair fell out after my thyroid died. Luckily I started out with tons of hair to begin with so it did not look obvious. It was extremely awkward when I went for my wedding hair trial appointment and my hairstylist kept having to shake my hair off his mousse-y hands...OY. 2) Then the baby hairs started to come back. By Christmastime, the baby hairs were so dense they  looked like I was attempting to have bangs but doing a really lame job (see picture to right). At least I did a somewhat nice job curling it. 3) I was forced to cut bangs deliberately, which was absolutely NOT in the plan. 4) Now in the dead of wintertime, my hair is super staticky and gets tangled like crazy. I get arm cramps trying to brush it out all the time! But conditioner makes it all greasy. What should I do??
So now, I have bangs, unruly hair, and another necklace from Forever 21! Fun, fun, fun. Necklaces are great for distracting a viewer from one's slovenly coif. 
Top: from Vietnam | Sweatshirt: J.Crew | Pants: Forever 21 | Shoes: Target
Remember when I ranted and raved about these Target wedges in teal suede and proceeded to wear them with everything I own? Turns out, the red wedges embody the same magical ability to look good with everything!
Pros: comfy, flattering, go with everything. Cons: comes in too many colors. Must. Buy. All.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Casual Weekend French Hen

A quick recap of a recent weekend outfit. I recently thought I wouldn't be able to fit the French Hen Sweater over long sleeves, but aha! I did.

Sweater: J.Crew | Top: J.Crew | Jeans: Lucky | Belt: LOFT | Shoes: unknown!

Anyway, I have no further comments besides general remarks about the bitter wintry clime.

I sort of love bow belts so I now have three: this one from LOFT, one from J.Crew (debuted here), and my first bow belt which was from Gap sort of broke but I have devised a makeshift repair out of velcro pieces.  I did not say it was pretty.

In case you didn't get a good look at my new bow belt.

In Lieu of Valentino Rockstud Pumps

Valentino 'Rockstud' T-Strap Pump

These famous shoes which cradle one's feet in tough girl studs have captured the hearts of many a lady, including me. They intrigue us with their paradoxical savage elegance. But how does one wrestle with the exorbitant price tag?  I suppose if some feel it worthwhile to collect nonessential opulent frillery such as Monet paintings, why should it not be acceptable to hoard beautiful footwear and clothing as lovingly and artfully crafted as paintings? Of course, this assumes that one is of opulent which case should one not consider investing one's moolah in a more profitable area--both morally and financially speaking--than shoes? Obviously, I digress from my original point that 1) these shoes have totally crawled under my skin, 2) I can't help wanting them and 3) I can make no rational argument as to why it is ok to pay this much for them. Rational is definitely not the keyword when it comes to this slippery matter.

Happily for me, my agony ended when I found an alternative studded shoe that was neither knock-off nor DIY.  I have nothing against successful DIYers of shoes, but in my current state, I possess no ability to work with leather, pliers, super glue, or studs which aren't iron-on.  In my search for the perfect studded pumps, it was very important that the studs were sufficiently pointy.  I saw too many a shoe whose studs fell flat, (literally.)

My meticulous search of the internet yielded a new find in a familiar realm:! Behold, Lola Cruz Studded T-Strap friends:

I have not heard of this maker of shoes before, but when I found out this was a Spanish brand, I hyperventilated a little, reminisced about my time studying abroad in Madrid, then proceeded to buy the brown shoes since they were two-toned (like the Valentinos) and half the price of the black shoes.

In other news, check out the Lola Cruz website! wow, such exciting music and really pretty shehs.

Is it bad that these shoes cost less than the TAX on the Valentino shoes? I had a great time opening the shoebox to find them lovingly packaged. They came with a dust bag and everything, aren't dust bags a sign of opulence? I feel like a high roller now.  And oh the new shoe smell....can't get enough of that :)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Different Iterations of Neutral

I've been camouflaging to match the weather/how I feel about said weather.  Thus, one may find me in grey, tan, beige tones. Gone are the days of jewel tones. Enter: Neutrals.
Ok, ok, I exaggerate about my greige sentiments toward the weather. But seriously, I love these pants, this shirt, those shoes, and that sweater. They go well with everything else I own, so why not put them all together even if I was trying to match stripes with checkers with leopard?
Shirt: J.Crew | last seen here
Sweater: gift from my aunt
Pants: H&M | last seen here
Belt: J.Crew
Shoes: Fashion Bug

These days I am rotating through Rheumatology. Tonight I will settle the score between me and Behcet's disease. I have managed to survive 3 years without ever really knowing what this entity entails. I hope my reading activity will prove as much fun as putting together an all-neutral outfit. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Chambray to Work, Chambray to Play

When I decided it was ok to wear chambray to work, I sealed the deal by topping it with a gaudy necklace.
I suppose I took a rather roundabout approach to dressing that day. Typically, chambray shirts are worn to tone down overly dressy bottoms.  Sparkly baubles, conversely, spruce up casual clothing.  So what did I want to achieve? Dressy or casual? We may never know. Oy, my brain hurts trying to understand why I dressed this way.
Well, you see, there's more to it. I started out wearing boring work trousers.  Happily, my day ended early, catapulting me into my beloved Pixie Pants. There was something odd about wearing skinny ponte black pants with black socks (as though I was wearing no pants!) that I felt the need to don my Hunter boots instead of those cute bow flats. Plus, it was slushy outside.
 Shirt: J.Crew Factory | Turtleneck: NY&Co | Blazer: old | Pants: J.Crew | Necklace: Forever 21 | Earrings: Thrifted | Sunglases: via TJ Maxx | Boots: Hunter

Boots last seen here
Pixie pants last seen here, here

I am quite impressed with the necklaces Forever 21 has rolled out recently. In addition to this pink one, I found myself interested in its mint counterpart as well...I will proceed to stalk it over the next few weeks for signs of price reduction..

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Lumberjack + No. 2 Pencil Skirt

This year, I resolve to accessorize better--more deliberately and creatively.  Starting small, I rummaged through the jewelry that I've forgotten about and looped this Forever 21 necklace into my lumberjack outfit.
Shirt: Old Navy | Skirt: J.Crew | Shoes: Target | Earrings: via Francesca's | Necklace: Forever 21
Oops, I forgot to wear a fun bracelet or rings.  I usually overlook hand jewelry because of years and years of playing the piano. Even now when I sit down at the piano, I take my wedding ring off because it keeps banging against the keys.  You know, when Herr Beethoven gets stormy, better pack up your bangles and rings, lest he unleash his musical fury upon ye.

I am very happy with my J.Crew skirt after letting out the hem.  You can still see the old hem because I can't seem to iron that out completely.  Oh well, serves as a reminder of the inch of length that I gained, muwahaha!  More outfits with the J.Crew No. 2 skirt in heather acorn here, here.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Watching the Matzo Ball Drop

Happily, I got today off. Naturally, I made matzo ball soup to celebrate the dawning of 2013:

This is a pretty easy soup to make. Ingredients include, but certainly are not limited to:

chicken bones (we used a chicken carcass!)
2 onions 
salt, pepper, dill
pinch of curry powder

1. First I cut up the chicken carcass, then filled the pot with water to cover the bones. 
2. Then I plopped in the onions with the skin on--this imparts a golden color to the broth. 
3. The mixture was simmered for a loooong time until it tasted like broth and not chicken-water. I believe this took about 3-4 hours but I was not watching the clock.  Remember to skim off the scum and excess fat!
[Using chicken carcass actually cut down on a lot of fat, compared to in the past when I used chicken pieces. Fact.]
4. Then I (actually I made Mike do this) fished out the bones, stripped off the chicken pieces and returned that to the broth.
5. The onions get stripped of their skin, and by this time they are soft so I smushed them into bits.
6. I tossed in the seasonings to taste and added chopped parsley, which was the only green thing still left in the fridge. (Had I carrots, parsnips or celery, they would have joined the party, too.  But alas, we ate those already on another occasion.)
7. Then Manischewitz came and provided a matzo ball mix which I diligently made as per instructions.  

Brrrrr, thank goodness for hot chicken soup. In the grand astronomical scheme of things, humans lamentably exist in a pitifully narrow spectrum of temperature.  Just 5-6 months ago, we were installing air conditioners in our windows and melting in the sun. Now we are quaking and shivering every time we set foot near a window and protecting ourselves in layers of down when we venture outdoors.

Anyway, long-winded but I need to explain why I am wearing all these layers, and leggings, and knee socks! All this so that I can wear a skirt to work on New Year's Eve day.

Sweater: Valerie Stevens cashmere (hand-me-down from my mom) | Shirt: H&M s/p studding by moi | Skirt: Anthropologie Trench Coat Skirt | Socks: Gap | Shoes: unknown brand
I am happy to say I remained well-insulated in this get-up. Mission accomplished.
Well...Happy New Year!