Sunday, September 28, 2014

Last Days of Summer

Every year here in Texas, we anticipate the Fall with enthusiasm normally reserved to remind the entire planet that the Dallas Cowboys have FIVE Super Bowl Rings unlike our other Texas football team.  We relish the opportunity to pull out our sweaters and are supremely jealous of everyone in the Northeast that gets to pull out the Uggs and snowboots which we have little use for outside of the December-February timeframe.  And even though we welcomed the official start of Fall last week with a brief cool breeze, we immediately went right back to the sweltering heat of Texas.  I have not had a chance to put away my linen pants quite yet.  In fact, I wore them again last week to go to happy hour with my husband.
Top: DvF (similar); Pants: Victoria's Secret (colors on sale for $14.99!); Necklace: Gorjana; Earrings: Blue Nile
I found this top at Neiman Marcus Last Call a couple of weeks ago and I really should have tried it on, but I couldn't control the compulsion to buy it when I saw the price was $75 and it was marked down an additional 65% during their Columbus Day Clearance.   As you can see by the weird pooling of the fabric, this top will require a trip to the tailor to make the draping work on my short torso. The upside was that many people kept asking me if I had lost weight, but I attribute that to the amount of loose fabric and not to any changes on my scale.
Clutch: c/o D'Andrea Handbags; Chain-Link Strap: borrowed from my Susu Handbags Clutch
This clutch was a gift from D'Andrea Handbags at LuckyFabb almost two years ago and it very quickly turned into a staple in my closet.  I love the neutral color and the supple leather.  The one drawback was that I had to constantly hold it in my hand during events.  Then this year, Susu Handbags, generously gifted us each a bag from their collection and their clutch came with a separate gold-link chain for it.  I took the gold chain and draped it around the D'Andrea bag for a hands-free happy hour.  I know it's cliche, but this was one of those "a-ha!" moments for me and it is a bit embarrassing that I hadn't thought of it before!
Wedges: Lauren Ralph Lauren (also love these Elliot Luca wedges on sale)
Have a wonderful weekend, it's almost October!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Last Minute LBD

One of our favorite charities hosts an annual Little Black Dress party.  Since we had a busy weekend with a happy hour Friday and then our "Fun Run," we weren't sure if we were going to be in shape to go this year, but we went ahead and bought tickets because it was for a good cause.  After we came home and took a nap, we woke up and decided to go ahead and head out to the party and to see our friends.  I went to my closet and pulled out my trusty LBD, previously worn here and here.
Dress: MICHAEL Michael Kors (old) (current on sale)
Earrings: Nadri (sold out) (similar); Necklace: Eisenberg (vintage)
I've previously written about Facebook "Yard Sales" and my cool finds from there and this Eisenberg vintage necklace is another piece I bought on Facebook for a steal.  Initially, I didn't know that it was an Eisenberg piece, the seller just posted the photos of it and said that she didn't know the brand, but she knew it was costume and her mom had it for years before it passed to her 15-20 years ago. Considering the age, I was impressed that all the stones were still in tact and there didn't appear to be any tarnishing, so I met up with the seller and gave her $20 before getting the necklace home.  I was thrilled to discover that this is a well known Eisenberg piece in limited production from the late 50's. This was my first chance to wear it, but it won't be my last!
Bangle: Nadri; Minauderie: DIY (via this old tutorial)
Shoes: Brian Atwood (old) (bargain option) (spendy option)
Blurry photo from event. Mr. Fantastic is wearing his favorite Calvin Klein suit and a Neiman Marcus perfect shirt.
We ended up having a great time even though I was outbid for a wine basket I wanted and we arrived well after the food was gone.  The main purpose was to raise money for children in the metroplex and that goal was achieved. :)

Monday, September 22, 2014

What Was I Thinking? Fun Run Edition

Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I don't run.  My friends always joke that in the event of a Zombie Apocalypse, they only need to outrun me.  In the past, I've tried jogging, I've bought personal training packages, and last year I got serious about pilates.  While I loved pilates and it was the one thing that I was not only able to stick to, but got to the point where I was going every other day.  However, at the end of the day, I could not justify the expense of pilates classes. Last year, I took some classes at my old university and I could use a student discount, but that still put the cost at $150 a month.  Without the discount, the cost was $300 a month! Even at $150, I had to give up small luxuries that add up and without the student discount, it is just way more money than our budget could allow.  The result has been that I've gained back all the inches I'd lost and I just don't feel good about my body.  Recently, my husband and friends signed up for a charity 5k.  I knew I couldn't do a full 5k, especially since I've barely even jogged in the last months, but I decided I could run/walk the one mile Fun Run.
Toddler who lapped me.
I know I should be embarrassed that it took me 14 minutes to finish, but I'm kinda proud that I finished.
Beers after the run were the perfect touch.
While it was fun and it was even better to get a chance to stay and get to enjoy the Oktoberfest tents before the general public was allowed in, I think next year we are going home to shower and change because baby wipes are NOTHING like taking a shower.  On the bright side, I decided that next time I do want to join everyone for the 5k and preferrably not get lapped by a toddler in a tutu, so I've downloaded a free "Couch to 5k" app.  I don't mind paying for one, if it will be a good one.  

Any recommendations for a good 5k coaching app?

Friday, September 19, 2014

What's Brewing? Nothing New

We had a great cool breeze come through this past weekend and everyone took the opportunity to pull out our sweaters and layers.  Unfortunately, it didn't last long at all and we were back in the 90's in the blink of an eye.  My husband and I joined a bunch of friends down at the all new and improved Dallas Farmer's Market for the Annual Brewfest celebration.  I am not normally a beer drinker, but it was great to taste all the seasonal beers and taste many I'd never even heard of.  My favorite was Woodchuck's Fall Harvest because it tastes just like apple pie, even though all the pumpkin beers were more popular with the crowd.  Unfortunately, I still can't find a single retailer that sells the Woodchuck Fall Harvest anywhere in the metroplex.
Sweater: Gap (identical dupe); Tank: H&M (similar); Scarf: Zara; Jeans: Paige Premium
Flats: Renvy via Gilt (Splurge Option | Steal Option)
The nothing new refers to the fact that I am wearing all old, and in some cases very old, clothes with nothing new to show.  This Gap sweater is at least three years old becasue Mr. Fantastic bought it for me on our second anniversary (cotton) and it's still a favorite even though it now has two small holes.  The jeans and the scarf are at least a couple of years old and the newest item is the shoes that I bought back in March.  I wish I had known how much I would love these shoes because I really think I would have bought a duplicate pair.  I knew I was going to be on my feet the entire day and didn't want to risk even a small heel.
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sale Shopping For Fall

Banana Republic is having an additional 50% (code BREXTRA50) off on all sale items and it inspired me to finally buy a pair of the petite chinos I've been wanting to try (pictured above).  Mr. Fantastic shops the BR sales quite frequently because the GAP brands and JCrew are two of the very few places that offer a significant portion of their catalogs in men's tall sizing.  However, from time to time, he will have to return something to a local store if it doesn't work out.  He had forgotten that he had a gift card from the last return when we misplaced the receipt and had to take a store credit.  It was a sweet surprise when he saw me browsing this morning and remembered his long-forgotten gift card.  I ended up buying a white oxford and light sweater in anticipation of the cooling temperatures in the coming weeks, in fact last Friday we had a great preview of Fall weather that is soon to come.  Too bad it didn't stick around!
Banana Republic Soft Washed Oxford Shirt
Banana Republic Drop Shoulder Pullover
After saving some money at BR with the gift cards, I browsed the LOFT website and saw that their Lou & Grey essential leggings were also on sale for $14.99 and were discounted an additional 50%, so I bought both a pair of black as well as charcoal leggings!
LOFT Lou & Grey Essential Leggings
I feel like I still managed to come out on top, but my husband reminded me that it was just money we had already spent.  Happy Shopping nonetheless!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Third Blogiversary

I can't believe that it has been three years since I first clicked on that publish button on an interview outfit.  This blog has gone very far from work attire, which was the main goal when I started, as my "direction" in life changed as well.  I haven't had a corporate job in nearly two years and I have to admit that when I first started blogging, I never imagined that I would still be blogging three years later.  While there are definitely times that I feel like I have nothing to add, most of the time, I love blogging.  I love that this is the place where I can forget about the day to day stresses of helping my husband raise two teenage almost-men, and dealing with our frenetic calendar.  Blogging about what I wear gives me the chance to not take myself seriously when everything else is about being a serious grown-up.  Besides meeting Coco earlier this year, these are some of my favorite outfits of the last three years.  The images will take you to the original posts if you are interested.
First outfit ever published. Interview outfit (2011)
I accidentally shrank this sweater and I miss it every time it's cold! (2011)
I still love this photo from our trip to New Orleans. (2012)
$15 dress paired with $1000 shoes for Gaultier After Dark (2012)
Date Night at the Getty (2013)
Casual at the Ft. Worth Stockyards (2013)
My First DvF Wrap Dress! (2014)
Vineyard Wedding, love the wine country! (2014)
I feel really fortunate that I get to share this space with those of you who visit regularly.  I know it's not many of you, but I am truly grateful for the moment you take of your day to come and read this space. I know how lucky I am to be able to travel and work with brands that I love and discover new ones that become old favorites. Most of all, I am thankful for the friendships I have made in the last three years both in person and in cyberspace. I have a long way to go before I consider myself any kind of authority on fashion, but I feel like I have come a long, long way from 2011.  I hope to continue to find my sense of style here in the coming year and once again:


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Summer Stripes on Repeat

Earlier this week,  we had a birthday celebration.  Since I was organizing the festivities, I threw on a simple outfit that had garnered me a few compliments the other two times I wore it earlier this summer, so that I could get everything done and still look like I tried.
Tank Top and skirt: Banana Republic; Earrings: Blue Nile; Necklace: BaubleBar
Purse: DKNY (old) (current); Wedges: BCBGeneration (old) (splurge option)
The first time I wore this outfit was early this summer when we went to the horse track with friends.  Since we were up in a box and I knew it gets cool in there, I threw on a lightweight cardigan over everything.  This week, I would have passed out of a heat stroke if I had attempted to wear a cardigan!  Supposedly, we will have a cool front come through tomorrow, but we have yet to feel any relief from this heat!
Cardigan: BCBGMaxAzria (current); Necklace: c/o Jane Basch Jewelry
Have a great weekend!!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Late Summer Lake Day

While all our blogging counterparts around the country are celebrating the return of Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte, we are still melting in the sweltering Texas heat.  We escaped to the lake this weekend with friends to give summer a proper send off.  When I was in college, I made a huge mistake and took a parasitology class.  As a result, I don't drink water from the tap and I don't swim in lakes.  On the rare occasions that I make an exception, my anxiety always gets the best of me and I end up at my doctor's office.  Instead, I just enjoy being on the boat out on the lake and being around our friends.
Dress: Cynthia Rowley (similar); Sunglasses: Lucky Brand (dupe); Earrings: Blue Nile; Necklace: BaubleBar
Bracelet: Fossil; Tote: Calvin Klein; Scarf: c/o AG + Liberty of London; Beach Towels: Nicole Miller
Wedges: BCBGeneration (old) (similar by Cole Haan)
At the lake with my guy
It was great to relax even though this marks the official end of our summer schedule.  From here until January, every single weekend is booked with activities for our kids, families, charities, or just us.

How do you mark the end of summer?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Date Night: Transitioning Linen

We had a rare date night yesterday and since I've never cared about the "No White After Labor Day" rule, I took it a step further and wore these white linen pants for our date.  It is still in the 100's here in Texas, even at night, so these flowy pants and striped tank top were perfect.
Tank: Banana Republic on sale; Linen Pants: Victoria's Secret Beach Pant
Earrings: Banana Republic (old); Necklace: Michael Kors via eBay
Bracelet: Panacea; Clutch: c/o BCBG Max Azria (2012) (current glitter version)
 Since we were going to have dinner and drinks, I dressed up this very casual outfit with gold, blingy jewelry and a sleek clutch.
Wedges: Christian Louboutin Miss Boxe (old) (similar by J Crew) (bargain option)
My concessions to the time of year were to wear black closed toe wedges and all neutral colors. I managed to stay cool and comfortable in the steamy heat all night.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Labor Day Filler Food

We were supposed to host friends at our house for Labor Day.  I got as far as mixing my fruit salad, making my dip and had my veggies roasting in the oven when our friends arrived and immediately had to leave due to a medical emergency.  We didn't feel like celebrating much of anything after that, and we ended up eating only fruits and veggies with dip for our Labor Day meal.  Fortunately, everything seems to be on the upswing for our friends now.  I call these "Filler" foods because while they are never the main dish, they always go very well with whatever is cooking and each make a great "side" dish on their own for pot-lucks.

The above fruit salad is so easy, it hurts. I took a container of cut pineapple and then I rinsed and cut the stems off a container of strawberries and mixed them together.  One of my friends loves this with mangoes instead of pineapple. For Memorial Day or Fourth of July, I like to add blueberries and blackberries instead of pineapple and I add a dollop of whip cream on top.  One year, I made a kiwi and pineapple salad for St. Patrick's Day.  As long as you have a pretty dish and the fruit is fresh, it can be anything.
The Cilantro-JalapeƱo dip is one of my favorite dips to make because it can double as a salsa when poured over pulled pork tacos or carne asada!  I originally found the photo & recipe for this dip on Pinterest, but I tweaked it a bit and this is what I use:

-5-6 mature jalapenos, chopped
-1 packet of dry Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning
-8 oz. of Sour Cream Lite
-half a bunch of cilantro
-Substitute 8 oz. of Philadelphia Cream Cheese for the mayo (We prefer cream cheese to mayo)
-Add the juice of half a lime

Blend it all together and then add a sprig of cilantro for garnish.  It tastes best with Ruffles potato chips, or Ranch Dip Doritos, but it will be just as gone with regular tortilla chips!
Finally, I stole this roasted veggies idea from a friend and fellow winer.  Our boys love roasted veggies and it is the only way that I have ever fed them brussel sprouts and they don't even blink.  Here is how I make them:

-Take all your veggies and chop them up into small slices
    In this case, I used broccoli,  carrots, and mushrooms (I've added pototoes, brussel sprouts, squash, even apples before)
- In a gallon ZipLock bag add:
- 1/4 cup of Olive Oil
- 4 Teaspoons of Italian Dressing
- Lemon and Pepper to your taste
-Add the veggies to the ZipLock Bag and shake well enough to coat the vegetables.
-Place the veggies on a baking pan and add some cloves of garlic
-Roast in oven at 400 degrees for 40 minutes

This is another recipe that works with any vegetables that you want to roast.  I sometimes remember that I want to do roasted veggies for dinner the next day and will prep everything until I add the veggies to the ZipLock Bag.  Then I let them sit in the bag overnight in the fridge to marinade them very well.  More often than not, one of the kids will ask for veggies while I am contemplating dinner and I will just drizzle the olive oil, italian dressing, lemon juice and pepper right onto the baking pan where I've laid out the vegetables and it still turns out great.

I hope you all had a great and safe Labor Day Holiday!