Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Let it Snow!

Hello!! I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas if you celebrate the holiday.  I had an amazing week.  My birthday is just a few days before Christmas and my husband was out of town for nearly two weeks before the holiday.  I know that two weeks isn't a long period of time, but I was going CRAZY without him.  He surprised me by not only coming home a couple of days sooner than planned, but also taking me away to spend my birthday in Las Vegas just the two of us.  I accidentally forgot my camera at home, but to be honest, it was so fantastic to just unplug.  I very rarely get my love to myself and it was incredible to sleep in and just spend some much, much needed one-on-one time with him.  My actual gift was tickets to see "O" by Cirque Du Soleil at The Bellagio and it was incredible! It really was a great weekend!
We came home to reports of inclement weather and spent Christmas Day with Mr. Fantastic's parents.  In the afternoon, the rain and sleet turned into a beautiful snowfall and it was great to wake up today to still have snow on the ground.  We picked up my sister at the airport this morning and because I knew she would not be prepared for the cold, I brought her Christmas gifts with me to greet her at the airport.  She loved this hat by The Gap and also the Marc Jacobs for Target + Neiman Marcus scarf that I bought her.  I mentioned in my last post that I picked up a few things for gifts last week and this scarf was one of those items.  My sister-in-law loves Marc Jacobs, but really dislikes the high price point.  I was not thrilled about the cost of the scarf originally at $69.99, but now that everything is 50% off $34.99 seems much more reasonable, so I bought one for her and one for my sister.  Then my sister read the label and the scarf is 90% wool and 10% cashmere, so we promptly went back so I could get one for myself as well. :)
Hat: Gap (great dupe); Coat and Gloves: old
Hat and Gloves: Banana Republic; Coat: old
So, here we are with snowy photos, although I wouldn't really call these "Outfit Photos" either. I am very fortunate to have such loving friends and family and the highlight of the week was getting to spend quality time with people I love.  I hope all of you were able to spend time with your loved ones, too!
Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Why the Target & Neiman Marcus Collaboration Failed

The collaboration between Target and Neiman Marcus in conjuction with the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) was one of the most anticipated events in the fashion industry in years.  The list of designers participating like Tory Burch, Diane Von Furstenberg, Derek Lam, Marc Jacobs and Altuzarra sent everyone into a tizzy and fashionistas everywhere tried to make their camping plans for December 5th.  So why did this collaboration fail so spectacularly that the entire collection is now 50% just a mere two weeks after the launch?
I've talked to a few people and I believe the number one reason was that Target failed to take into account their base shopper.  I love Target and I shop there frequently, and I'll take it over Wal-Mart any day.  I also love fashion and I love being able to buy a quality garment at a great price.  However, when I am shopping for clothes at Target, I am not looking to spend $99 on a dress or $80 for a top regardless of who designed it.  I was talking to Morgan and a few other friends and they mentioned the adorable Marchesa dresses for girls. Imagine their sticker shock when they saw the $99 price tag for the toddlers' dress pictured above!  As Morgan put it, "No matter who designed it, I am not paying $100 for a toddler's dress at Target!"
Altuzarra Cocktail Tray, Shaker and Tumblers
All I wanted was the Altuzarra cocktail shaker and glasses.  The glasses were $50 and the shaker was another $50.  That is not a reasonable price.  I didn't even go to Target on December 5th because while the look of the collection was very aesthetically pleasing, there was no way I was going to fork over $50 for a yoga mat. A yoga mat! Cost $50! So when I finally went to Target during the regular shopping trip on December 9th and both the shaker & cocktail glasses were still there, I went ahead and bought them.  I kept them in their box with the receipt and figured I would wait for everything to go on sale after Christmas and see if I could get a price adjustment.
Today, Tiffany over at I Am Style-Ish blogged that the entire collection was discounted by 50% so I stopped by to check it out.  I don't know about your Target, but mine is still fully stocked.  Some items that weren't there a few days after the collection launched are now back in stock.  My store would not do a price adjustment on my previous purchase so I just bought them again at the discounted price and then returned the items I bought just over 10 days ago for a full refund.  I also grabbed a couple of other items for Christmas gifts.  I still think even $50 for a toddler's dress is on the higher side, but at least it's now approaching reasonable pricing and $50 for BOTH the shaker and the glasses is definitely within this shopper's price point. I think my yogi friends will love the DvF Yoga Mat for $25!

Do you agree with me? Why or why not? Are there other factors I am not taking into account?
All images found via Google Images and are the property of Target + Neiman Marcus

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Very Tropical Winter

We've had the best weather this month.  I wore this to run errands and finally mail out our Christmas cards because Christmas is next week and I couldn't seem to push through those. The weather has been so mild that I didn't even have to wear long sleeves.  Fortunately, we got home from dinner just as thunder started.  It poured down so much rain that within minutes our street was flooded, but we managed to secure our grill before it blew over.
Top: Saint Tropez West (very old)
Skirt: T by Alexander Wang (last season)
Earrings: no label (old)
Cuff: So Good Jewelry (old/2011)
Purse: Balenciaga First (old/2006) (buy current)
Shoes: MICHAEL Michael Kors
Christmas will be here before we know it and in just a few days, it will be my birthday and my husband will be home!  I am really looking forward to the kids having a break because that means I finally get to sleep in!

What are your holiday plans?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Neutral Citrus

This past week has been rough at our house.  I know I shouldn't complain, but Mr. Fantastic has been out of town all week and he won't be back until next week. The kids are really feeling it and after the events of Friday in CT, we are all really affected.  Since it's their last week of school and they both have semester exams, I decided to take advantage of early release and take them to lunch today.

Cardigan: BCBGMaxAzria; Tank Top: Target
Skirt: Banana Republic (on sale)

Earrings: Banana Republic (old)
Necklace: Gorjana c/o Dallas Tidbits

Purse: DKNY

Boots: Frye Jane Stitch (buy)
I found this sweater earlier this summer on the clearance rack at Marshall's.  It was marked down to $10 and while it was brutally hot at the time, I knew I'd be able to layer it later in the year.  I really didn't expect the temperatures in December to still be in the 70s, but here we are.  I love it because it's a great neutral and while the tangerine pieces seem really bright on their own, the brown cardigan and boots really make them look more neutral.  The bright pop of color is only from the cobalt tank.

Sharon at The Tiny Heart and Tara at The Penniless Socialite host a link-up to show off when you find a good deal, so I thought I'd jump in with this post.  I hope I am not breaking the rules because I got this back in July or August. :/

How do you tone down your brights?

Friday, December 14, 2012

There are no words...

There are no words to adequately describe the terrible tragedy in Newtown, CT.  We've been glued to the TV all day and I actually drove to the boys' schools today to pick them up, because I really could not wait for the bus to drop them off at home.

My heart is broken for all the families that lost a loved one today. I send heartfelt prayers and hugs to all teachers and students alike, wherever they are.  I've never had children, but I have two wonderful boys at home and I know full well that they are our brightest hope for the future.  We will never know what those young babes in Newtown would have grown up to create, improve or cure.  This is truly a huge loss to everyone, but especially this community.  The innocence of their youth has been shattered and the course of their destiny has been forever altered.

I saw a post on Facebook that was attributed to Mr. Rogers.  It said that when he was a child, his mother always taught him to look for the "helpers" when terrible things happen.  I was so grateful to have something to grasp at and talk to our kids about.  I told them that they must never focus or remember the cowards who take lives from others, but remember the heroes who help and try to save the innocent.

Today, no words will provide adequate comfort to parents who lost their babies.  I think of Christmas toys that we ordered for our kids and I can't imagine this or any other Christmas without them.  I think of our nieces and nephews and I want to cry all over again.  So much promise, so much joy, so much laughter...and it could be gone in a flash.  So tell the people you love, that you love them.  Tomorrow is not promised to any of us.

My heart, thoughts, and prayers go out to the community of Newtown, CT tonight.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Employee Rewards

It's a misleading title because it was my husband who received a small reward to celebrate that he had been with his company for 5 years.  It was really more of a token than a huge gesture and he decided to spend it on his team and hosted a happy hour for them on Friday.  I was lucky that he asked me if I wanted to join them!
Tank Top: c/o Kelly Wearstler (similar); Hooded Sweater: Vince (old)
Pants: Zara (old); Scarf: old; Necklace: Monet (old)
Cuff: So Good Jewelry (old)
Tote: Calvin Klein (old - buy here in cream)
Booties: Stuart Weitzman (last season sale)
We still have very mild weather here in Dallas, although it is expected to freeze overnight and be cooler this week.  This weekend however, a thin sweater was still just about all you needed.  I wore this cashmere hoodie because the evenings tend to be brisker.  Everyone else is deep into winter and here in Texas, we just hit Autumn.

I really wanted to thank everyone who reads this blog on a regular basis.  Last month was pretty awful as far as a posting schedule goes and I know it was bad to have no updates for over a week and then multiple ones on the same days.  We just installed more memory on my laptop and I am the proud owner of a new external hard drive.  It really seems to help and I am glad that I think I am finally caught up.

THANK YOU for putting up with last month! Believe me, I know that you have many, many options out there in the blogosphere and I am truly grateful that you return to my corner from time to time.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Winter White Whiskey Dinner

Last night, my sister-in-law and I were invited by our future sister-in-law to celebrate an early birthday dinner since she will be out of town on my birthday in a couple of weeks.  She invited us to Whiskey Cake, a fabulous organic restaurant that sources all of its food locally.  I had never been there before, but everything was great and of course, we tried the Whiskey Cake for dessert and it was soooo delicious!
Camisole: AEO; Sweater: Gap (2010)
Denim: Citizens of Humanity (via Nordstom Rack)
Scarf: Target (old) ; Earrings: Banana Republic (old)
Necklace: Gorjana c/o Y&I Boutique
Bangles: Kendra Scott Lila; Purse: Tory Burch (old)
Flats: Guiseppe Zanotti (old)
I am really lucky because my husband's sister is so awesome and we've really gotten close over the years.  We never introduce each other as "sister-in-law", we always say, "This is my sister..." and really, how many people can say that? I know that not everyone has the same situation so I am immensely grateful that this is my case.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Ornaments and Leopard Spots

Mr. Fanstastic and I went to Vetro Glass Blowing Co. this weekend in Grapevine to make our Christmas Ornaments.  We were invited by friends who go every year and it was fun to pick our pattern and watch our glass ornaments being made.  The only downside was that red and green or only one color was not an option for the ornaments.  I thought that was odd because they are Christmas ornaments.
Sweater: BCBGMaxAzria (old);  Jeans: Old Navy (old)
Scarf: Zara (last season);  Necklace: old (gift from my dad)
Bag: Chloe (borrowed)
It was a gorgeous, gorgeous day and I am so excited that all I need is a thin sweater and we are in the first week of December! Some days I love living in Texas!
Do you have the same theme for your Christmas tree each year? Or is it different every year?