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Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Favorites: Cravings for the Fall

I've been seeing and hearing more and more about fall gear in magazines and on television and, while I'm not ready to leave summer yet, I thought I'd check out what is out there for myself.

There are a lot of cute things in store for us in the upcoming months so it was really hard to narrow down my absolute favorites but with some effort, I've managed to make do. Below are pieces I would put into my fall wish-list.  The first and foremost being the purple and olive BCBG dress. The colors read fall but the style can be taken into a warmer season.  Also for fall, peplum is not going anywhere so I may actually have to get a peplum dress after all!  I also love the peplum blazer style so I had to include that in my collage as well.

Mustard and cobalt are also big colors in the upcoming season.  The cobalt blue skirt below reminds me of the one in the Zac Posen post I did earlier, this skirt even has a wavy texture like the one in his Fall 2012 collection, but for much less!  The mustard cross body bag would also be a great piece to add to a fall wardrobe if you're not looking to expand your clothing collection at this time. 

Loafers and collar necklaces are also a big fall trend in the upcoming season.  I haven't tried either of these yet but I'm willing to work this look on an experimental basis.  The collar necklace is replacing those statement necklaces we are all so fond of but don't worry, I have the feeling the statement necklace isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

The purple/blue blouse is also something I haven't seen before but I'd love to get a few longer sleeved blouses for the fall.   This one just called out to me as being very chic and flattering on many body types. And that color is gorgeous!

Finally one of my favorite looks for fall is these maroon skinny jeans, flat boots and grey cozy top.  And yes, skinnies and colored jeans are going to stick around for a while.  I love tucking them into a cute pair of boots! These Tory Burch boots have been captivating me for weeks!  They are a bit pricey but I love the simple classic look of them.

Whatever looks you love for the upcoming season, pick your very best of the best and work it!  It doesn't take a whole new wardrobe to be fall ready and "in" for the season, just one great piece like a dress, coat, bag, shoe or piece of jewelry can take you there without breaking the bank! Pick out your own fall favs and rock them out with your own flare!



Fall Favorite Round-up


BCBG Max Azria pleated dress
saksfifthavenue.com


AX Paris cap sleeve dress
$48 - axparis.co.uk


MARELLA long sleeve crew neck shirt
$240 - houseoffraser.co.uk


Dorothy Perkins lace back shirt
dorothyperkins.com


Peplum blazer
$35 - pilotfashion.com



Patterned skirt
allyfashion.com



Flat heels
topshop.com


Rebecca Minkoff genuine leather handbag
$155 - oxygenboutique.com


Sequin necklace
topshop.com



Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Packing for a Weekend Trip

I was recently packing for a weekend bachelorette party in Chicago and was looking for a way to get EVERYTHING I needed packed into an overnight, weekend duffel bag.  Plus my carry on "personal item."

Just prior to my trip, I went to get a manicure and pedicure and came upon this article in Glamour Magazine while waiting for my toenails to dry.





Was this perfect or what??  It's entitled "The 8 Travel Staples Every Girl Needs" and notes they're "mixable, foldable, and adorably patriotic!"

Here's a closer look.




This article lists the eight travel staples, which include:

1.  A casual bright top
2.  Fun sunnies (sunglasses)
3.  A loose, go everywhere dress
4.  A nautical inspired suit
5.  Wear nightly heels
6.  A beachy tote
7.  Colorful shorts
8.  Shoes you can walk miles in

While I agree with those, I also had to make a list of my own.  Well... actually I made lists of my own.  One for things to pack and one for things to do before I go.  Both are very essential for me to have a safe and smooth trip without any snags!


Here's my "to pack" list.




As you can see, it includes:

1.  Jeans
2.  A cute top (hey! it's a bachelorette party)
3.  Shorts
4.  Tees
5.  One to two tanks
6.  Dress for going out
7.  Swim suit
8.  Cover up
9.  Espadrilles
10.  Skirts/dresses
11.  Sweater
12.  Going out heels
13.  Flat iron
14.  Make up
15.  "Bride Kit" with sash and veil -- a surprise for the bride which I bought from Victoria's Secret
16.  Jewelry
17.  Perfume
18.  Clutch
19.  A button down shirt


And of course, here is my list of things "to do" before I leave:




Of course before I left I had to leave the cats with extra food and water for a few days, as my husband was also out of town.  They can go four up to four days pretty well with extra food and water before they start craving attention and human contact!  If we leave for more than four days, I usually have a cat-sitter, also known as Dad, come in every two days to check in on them and feed/pet them.  Also on this list is turning up the thermostat to save energy, checking in online, bringing my folder with my e-ticket, flight info and bachelorette party print outs of places to go, getting cash from the ATM and cleaning out the litter box.

As the night wore on, I continued to add to each list while I packed when I remembered one thing or another to include to pack or to do.  Oh yeah, they went onto a second post-it note.



As you can see, I had originally forgotten to include some essentials in the toiletry department!  While I usually remember to pack these, sometimes there are things like a razor which I can easily forget if I don't write it down.  So the moment I realize I forgot to include them I make a list of things I might also forget.

And here's my amended "to do" list.




Yeah the last minute laundry and rescheduling the cleaning ladies are a must.

After all the lists and pulling out clothes, I was left with something like this.







So somehow, all of this, must fit in that bag on the left... Here's where I take some deep breaths and hope that rolling my clothes up really does save more space than folding.  




Oh yeah, and I have to include the shoes I'll be wearing out as well and my toiletry bag!  I wear my trusty walking flip-flops to the airport.  Those are easy to remove and walk in comfortably!

In the end, I had to take out a few things like the two extra tees I packed "just in case" and the extra swim suit, dress and pair of jeans.  Having to place my toiletry bag on top so I could take it out easily for security screening led to some tricky maneuvering in my bag, but in the end it all fit and, with some elbow grease, I finally got the zipper closed.

I can't forget about my carry on personal item.  I usually keep a travel wallet, lip gloss, earphones, sunglasses, mini Altoids, mini tissues, my phone, my kindle, my phone and kindle chargers and my flight information.  It sounds like a lot but there's plenty of room in there in case I need to carry a pair of flip flops in there to change into when traveling from cold to hot weather or if I need to store my sweater in there to put on during a cold flight.  




Oh and how could I forget!  The ever important plane outfit. The one most important outfit the whole weekend which needs to accommodate comfort, style and practicality.  I went for a casual button down, rolled up skinny jeans and flip flops for easy, stylish comfort!

Flip flops are my absolute favorite footwear to wear when I have to go through the airport security checkpoint!



So there you have it.  Weekend travel made somewhat easy! Or maybe not!

In honor of your weekend travel in the last long weekend this summer, Labor Day weekend, here's a revised list of my absolute must haves for summer weekend travel.

1.  Flip Flops
2.  A pair of summer wedges or open toe pumps to wear out
3.  A great short sundress
4.  A swim suit
5.  A cover up
6.  A pair of jeans
7.  A pair of shorts
8.  Two tee shirts, one white, one another color or printed
9.  Two tank tops, one white, one another color or printed
10.  A cute blouse
11.  A maxi dress
12.  A cute tote
13.  A small cross body bag or clutch
14.  Hairbrush
15.  Flat iron -- depends on if your hair need straightening (blow dryers are usually available in hotels)
16.  Hair thermal protectant
17.  Fragrance
18.  Jewelry - one pair of stud earrings, one pair of dangly earrings, a statement necklace and a cuff
19.  Make up - foundation, bronzer, blush, two eye shadows, eye pencil, mascara and lip gloss
20.  Face wash
21.  Razor
22.  Travel size body wash, shampoo and conditioner
23.  Travel size contact solution and case
24.  Toothbrush/toothpaste
25.  Travel size face lotion with SPF
26.  Travel size SPF lotion for sunny excursions

Just 26 easy steps to easy packing.  Needless to say this list is all inclusive so breaking it up by category, there are 13 clothing/shoes/bags essentials, 3 hair essentials, 4 jewelry essentials, 8 make up essentials and 7 toiletry essentials (broken down, each individual item amounts to 12 total).  Broken down it looks something like this:

THE ESSENTIALS FOR WEEKEND PACKING

Clothing/Shoes/Bags Essentials:

1.  Flip Flops
2.  A pair of summer wedges or open toe pumps to wear out
3.  A great short sundress
4.  A swim suit
5.  A cover up
6.  A pair of jeans
7.  A pair of shorts
8.  Two tee shirts, one white, one another color or printed
9.  Two tank tops, one white, one another color or printed
10.  A cute blouse
11.  A maxi dress
12.  A cute tote
13.  A small cross body bag or clutch 

Hair Essentials:

1.  Hairbrush
2.  Flat iron -- depends on if your hair need straightening (blow dryers are usually available in hotels)
3.  Hair thermal protectant

Jewelry Essentials:

1.  One pair of stud earrings
2.  One pair of dangly earrings,
3.  Statement necklace
4.  A cuff

Makeup Essentials:

1.  Foundation
2.  Bronzer
3.  Blush
4.  Two eye shadows
5.  Eye pencil
6.  Mascara
7.  Lip gloss

AND Toiletry Essentials:

1.  Fragrance
2.  Face wash
3.  Razor
4.  Travel size body wash
5.  Travel size shampoo
6.  Travel size conditioner
7.  Travel size contact solution
8.  Contact lens case
9.  Toothbrush
10.  Toothpaste
11.  Travel size face lotion with SPF
12.  Travel size SPF lotion for sunny excursions 

Whew! That was exhaustive but a great reference for any packing needs for short weekend trips!  UPDATE:  If you've noticed I haven't included sunglasses, phone, kindle, chargers and flight info etc., that's because I usually carry the first three everywhere with me so they're technically no brainers, but remembering the chargers, flight info and miscellaneous items (mints/bobby pins/hair tye) is definitely is a must. So if I had to include a few more things it'd be those small purse items!  

Now, the "to do" list is all your own.  Not all people may need to leave food and water for the cats!

Happy vacationing to all!

Summer Office Glamazon

With  summer winding down, it's time to get the most out of what's left in your warm weather gear before having to trade it in for the cold weather looks in fall.  Take this time to look through your wardrobe and put together your most glamorous summer looks from what you have in there.  I know you can do it !

Why not pull out that summery blouse you've only worn once or twice so far and pair it with a fabulous skirt.  If you have a colorful skirt, now's the time to work it.  I love the cobalt blue and yellow combo below.  Jazz up the look with some colorful accessories, a coral wedge perhaps?  Maybe some cute and colorful stud earrings?  And tie it all together with a structured blazer -- you know, just for wearing inside the cold air conditioned temperatures, and to make that sleeveless top into a bit more professional look in the office.  Pair with your favorite necklace, cuff and bag and you're almost there! Now you just gotta figure out how to wear your hair.  I'm a fain of loose and down but a simple updo, ponytail or bun would look just as fab.  If your updo is a bit messy, that's all the better! The less styled, the more effortless chic you look!

Go ahead and work your wardrobe to the max and pull out some combos you haven't tried before!  You'll be amazed what you can come up with when you release your inner glamazon!  Just a bit of effort a couple of times a week will make a huge difference.  Happy wardrobe hunting!



Summer Office Glamazon


Soaked in Luxury ruffle top
$54 - welikefashion.com


OBJECT COLLECTORS ITEM blazer
$86 - bestseller.com


French Connection lace skirt
lordandtaylor.com


High heels
modcloth.com


Satchel bag
boohoo.com


Pearl jewelry
jewelry.1stdibs.com


Hive Honey wire jewelry
piperlime.gap.com


Dorothy Perkins stud earrings
dorothyperkins.com


Cat eye sunglasses
stefanibags.com

Friday, August 24, 2012

You Down With E.P.P.?

E.P.P. or East Potomac Park is a unique DC urban oasis, located on a small peninsula just by the Jefferson Memorial.  East Potomac Park houses a ton of cherry blossom trees, picnic areas, golf courses, a driving range, putting green, and public pool.  And it's a great place for fishing and running as well.


Map courtesy of Skatedc.org
  


My husband and I frequent here for him to get some practice on his driving and putting before he goes to play golf.  I find it fun just hitting some golf balls, although I'm a complete amateur.  This place is a fun place to spend the day and, the best part is, it's open to the public!

Another plus is that, when it's cherry blossom time, you can park over in East Potomac Park (get there early!) and take a short walk through the park, admiring the cherry blossoms on the way to the Tidal Basin where the rest are planted.  These are a few photos of our cherry blossom trip two years ago.  You can also get great views of the Southwest Waterfront area, where there is a marina, a seafood market and a few restaurants.










Cherry blossoms from 2010!




This is also a great spot to take out a paddle boat and have great views in the water.







Picnicking under the cherry blossoms is also a great way to spend the day.




And a few weeks ago, we went to East Potomac Park to practice our skills at the driving range.  Here I am at the driving range trying to line up my "shot."




This is the view of the range. Gorgeous day!  You can even see the planes taking off and landing from National Airport from this view.  Actually some people hit their golf balls so far they look like they might even hit the planes!




This was the 7 iron I was hitting with!  One of my husband's prized new Titleist clubs.  And there's my Coach bag next to it!  I love that purse.





Here I am ready to go! with Gold sparkly fingernails, cobalt blue toenails and flip flops.  While most people have closed toe shoes, especially for actually playing on the courses, I've managed to make do with my flip flops.  Particularly because I've only been to a small course to play twice in my life.  If this became more of an activity for me though, I probably would break down and get some true gear!  One thing I've noticed is that some people can be very serious with their gear and even stare when you don't look as seriously into golf as they do, but don't let that intimidate you!  I've also noticed that some of those people can't hit a ball as well as I can, and I'm truly a beginner!  So whatever you wear, it's all about your form.





These are some views from the driving range of the Washington Monument just behind us!






This is what a true golfer does when they go to the driving range.  I couldn't resist filming a real golfer hitting his golf balls!



video



And here are some views of E.P.P. on our way home.  That is the DC Southwest Waterfront area which is planned to be redeveloped in the near future.  Many boats dock there and sail up and down the Potomac River in good weather.  It makes us a bit jealous!







These are some really nice boats!





If you're in the area, come check out the E.P.P.  You'll be down with E.P.P. too!