Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

We are traveling to Southern California this holiday weekend to spend it with some of my family as we celebrate one of my niece's 15th birthday with a QuinceaƱera this weekend.  To be fair, we also got to spend a day with one of my husban'd aunts yesterday as she was in town to spend the holiday in Napa with her son and daughter.  In the meantime, I will leave you with this Throwback Thursday of a new fave maxi by Old Navy. I wore this to dinner with my husband and another couple in the city back in late August.
Maxi: Old Navy (similar); Scarf: Marc Jacobs (Neiman Marcus x Target 2012) (similar)
Diamond Hoop Earrings: Estate Sale (Splurge | Steal) Diamond Mini-Cross Necklace: Blue Nile
Snakeskin Embossed Clutch: c/o BCBG MaxAzria 2012 (Current)
Snakeskin Embossed Pumps: Diane von Furstenberg (similar)
We met at Epic Steak on the embarcadero and I have to admit that I fell head over heels for the fantastic views of the bay and iconic Bay Bridge. We sat on the patio and ate a delicious meal while we watched the sunset. I loved it so much that when my friend, Moni, came to visit me a couple of weeks ago, I brought her here, too and treated her to dessert and drinks as we watched the same sunset.

Hope you are all having a great Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Ball Belle

I was out this week for our annual charity ball, back home in Texas.  While it was a great weekend for my husband and me as well as our orgnanization, we were very disappointed that my mom and sister couldn't join us for what would have been their first ball, due to airline cancellations. I spent the majority of our Saturday trying to get alternate airline tickets and trying to get them re-routed to no avail. I left our luncheon immediately after I ate and wasn't able to take any photos or preview my favorite part, the silent auction.
Ballgown: JS Collection; Clutch: Vintage ODLR; Shoes (not shown): Jimmy Choo
On Him - GrosgrainTuxedo: Vera Wang c/o Men's Warehouse; Tux Shirt: Ralph Lauren; Shoes: Hugo Boss
I loved, loved this dress. The first photo is a tad overexposed, but I love that pic of my husband and me. The color in the other pictures is the best representation of the real color. If a giant ball of pinkish plum tulle doesn't scream Southern Belle, I don't know what will. I found this dress at Nordstrom Rack a few weeks before the ball for $56! I tried to look over the dress and as much as I looked I couldn't figure out what was wrong with it. I was happy that it fit right off the rack. It was the most comfortable I've ever been in a strapless dress and I got many compliments on it.
Hematite Earrings: c/o BaubleBar (2012) (similar)
Black Spinel Bracelet: Tiffany & Co. 
I wanted to keep the focus on the dress so I kept my jewelry minimal and purposely did not wear a necklace and had my hair swept to one side. This black spinel bracelet is a recent purchase and it sparkles much more than I expected. While I think you COULD wear it casually, it was a very delicate touch for my evening gown. I think stacking a few of these would be perfect.

The best part of the evening is that our charity once again raised a significant amount of money and toys and we did it all while having a ball with our friends.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Golden Girls

I mentioned this weekend that I had a friend in town and was playing tourist most of the weekend in the city with her.  She had come to see me, along with another friend, back during Labor Day Weekend and we had just had a blast, but didn't get to spend much time in the city at all. So she spontaneously booked a trip for us to spend in the city and our third Golden Girl wasn't able to make it on short notice.  We call ourselves the Golden Girls because we love that show and also because we are starting to show our age! Although we always argue about who is what character.
Thermal HoodieUniqlo Down Vest; GapFit Capris c/o; Sneakers: Asics; Bag: Rebecca Minkoff (current)
Sunglasses: Ray-Ban; Blue Nile Earrings and Necklace (option)
As I've been dealing with my urgent need to lose weight for various health reasons, my friend has been a great "health buddy" and we follow each other on both FitBit and MyFitnessPal to stay accountable for staying within our calorie goals and making sure we move around enough during the day.  One of the things she asked me if we could do during her visit was to walk the Golden Gate Bridge.  I initially thought the walk would be very daunting and kept trying to figure out if we should park on the San Francisco side and take an Uber back after our walk, or if we should park on the Sausalito side and Uber to the start. Once we realized it was 1.7 miles in one direction we just decided to go for it and walk both ways. It was a tiny bit scary, but really fun and it gave us a great chance to just walk and talk.

Afterwards, we headed to the Fisherman's Wharf for lunch and then to one of my favorite dinner places, Epic Roasthouse, for a late afternoon dessert and drink to celebrate our walk and watch the sunset.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Date Night Printing

Last weekend, my husband invited me to meet him in the city after work for dinner and a date. We had a long overdue sushi date followed by an Open House at the 1890 Bryant Street Studios. One of his co-workers is married to a paper-maker/book binder and we were so fascinated by everything from the antique manual printing presses to her handmade books and artwork, we barely got around to visiting some of the other artists.
Cashmere sweater: Banana Republic (current); Leather leggings: Paige; Scarf: Zara (dupe)
Earrings: Blue Nile; Necklace: c/o Julie Vos; Ring: Custom (steal option)
I love this garnet ring. We bought multiple loose garnets last year during our trip to Prague and commissioned a few pieces I wanted. This ring is one of them. I wasn't sure what I was going to get because they didn't have the setting I wanted and I tried to describe how I wanted the oval set in yellow gold and the jeweler made me a basic drawing and described what he could do. We paid for everything including shipping upfront and came home. I thought he said I would have the ring in 3-4 weeks and figured it would make a great anniversary gift. It turned out he meant 3-4 months and I didn't get my ring until December. I love how delicate it is and how many compliments I get on the vintage feel of it.
Bracelet: c/o BaubleBar; Purse: Rebecca Minkoff (current); Flats: Giuseppe Zanotti (Splurge/Steal)
We had a great time in San Francisco and it was a much needed break for us.  It was fun to get away by ourselves for a bit.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Extending an Olive Branch

The move has been hard on everyone in our house. Our youngest is really struggling with many behavioral issues that have been exacerbated by allergies and colds. A couple of weeks ago he invited me on a date to watch a musical at his school and he begrudgingly allowed my husband to join us. It was the first of the cool weather and I had just been shopping for a ball gown when I saw this cozy-looking sweater. It feels amazing on and I think I wore it 3 days that week.
Sweater: Harlowe & Graham; Coated Jeans: Paige Denim; Sunglasses: Ray-Ban; Bag: Rebecca Minkoff (current)
Free Script Monogram Necklace: Jane Basch
During our road-trip back in March, we stayed at a hotel one night and I took off my Jane Basch monogram necklace so that it wouldn't get tangled in my hair. In the rush to get on the road, I left it behind on the nightstand. I called immediately and asked if it had been turned in, but of course, no one had turned it in.  I thought I would just forget about it, but over and over, I kept reaching for it only to remember it was gone. I finally got around to replacing it when I got a Mother's Day gift card and even though I thought about getting something else because she has such cool designs, I kept coming back to this simple monogram. I still love it as much as when Jane Basch gifted me the first one!
Bracelet: J Crew (similar); Earrings: Blue Nile 
Satin Espadrille Flats: Splendid (current) (similar splurge)
We had a great time and I will say that all my flats have seen a huge increase in use as we walk all over town.  Living in Texas we used to drive everywhere.  When we moved here, we traded in my husband's car for an electric FIAT500, and it was about 3 full months before I needed to put gas in the other car. It was then that I discovered I didn't even know where the nearest gas station was. We even walk to the grocery store sometimes!  It has been a really great change for us. And I am excited because one of my high school buds is here visiting me this weekend.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Formalizing Things

For our charity summer formal, I literally took a page from my fashion icon, The Duchess of Cambridge. I found these Jimmy Choo's on eBay about two weeks before the event and I was a tad skeptical because they were new in box for a ridiculous price. However, after emailing the seller, she told me that she had bought them for her wedding and all the reviews and everyone told her to size up because of the narrow vamp, but when she received them, they were too big and she should have ordered her regular size. She had bought them on final sale and couldn't return them, but was selling them for what they cost her. I quickly snatched them up and was happily surprised when she included the original receipt. I then recycled a dress I had previously worn to our friends' wedding and just wore all new accessories.
Dress: BCBG MaxAzria (option); Necklace: Gioielli by Nikki Baker (option); Earrings: Plata (similar)
Bracelets: Fossil and c/o Julie Vos (option); Mason Ring: BaubleBar; Clutch: Anya Hindmarch (option)
I found this clutch at The RealReal, which quickly became an out of control obsession for me over the summer. I thought it would be a little more gold, but it photographs a bit bronze.  I do love that Anya Hindmarch and I share the same initials because there is a cute bow engraved on the clasp with her (and now my!) initials.
Shoes: Jimmy Choo Vamp via eBay (current wedge style)
We had such a great time. I think it was highlighted by the fact that we don't get to see everyone as often as we'd like now that we are so far away. I was also pleasantly surprised that my shoes were so comfortable and I was able to wear them all night. It was unbelievably (or maybe not so much) humid and I forgot to take most photos until after my hair had curled back into itself.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Summer Hen Day

One of our first trips "back home" was to attend a charity dinner in Dallas. I took the opportunity to call up my friends and see if they missed brunching with me, and they DID! So we went to brunch. My husband said my French hen dress was very appropriate for me to go hang out with my girls and cluck away like little hens.  I know in some areas they call them "Hen Nights" but since ours was over brunch, I called it a Hen Day and I was happy I found the perfect dress.
Dress: LOFT (similar); Earrings: Blue Nile (old)
Necklace: c/o Julie Vos 
Bracelets: Ralph Lauren & Fossil (similar); Handbag: Sam Edelman (steal/splurge)
Wedge Sandals: Prada (current)
This is right around the time I meant to take up blogging again. I originally wanted to come back after the summer, but these photos are what prompted me to see my doctor. I usually can wear clothes to disguise or camouflage my "full-figure" but even though this dress technically "fit" I couldn't believe how much bigger I looked than the image I have of me in my head. No matter how much I restrict my calorie intake or kill myself exercising, I can't seem to lose any weight.  Coupled with a couple other concerns, my doctor and I started looking at the possibility of a thyroid disorder. It has been such a stressful situation. I still haven't lost any weight, but I do feel like my clothes are finally starting to fit better and I feel like I have more energy now that we have implemented some changes.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Getting a Bit Cool

This is a recent outfit. I wore this late last week to run some errands around town. I had to mail out a care package and pick up my ball gown from the tailor for our annual ball in two weeks.  I wore this because the heel height is the same as the shoes I will be wearing, and these Spanx tights give me the same shape as my regular Spanx, but keep me warm in the cooler weather here. Plus it's easy to get into and out of.
Dress: BCBG MaxAzria (current want); Cardigan: Trina Turk (old) (steal/splurge); Tights: Spanx
I love this sweater dress. It has short sleeves so I can wear it in the spring by itself like here, or add boots when it's cooler in the fall like here, or just a pair of tights and a cardigan like this outfit and still be comfortable.
Diamond Hoop Earrings: Steal/Splurge ; Sunglasses: Cynthia Rowley (similar)
Bracelet: Tiffany & Co.; Tote: Calvin Klein (old) (current) (option)
Suede Booties: Prada (current)
I got these booties for a steal at The Real Real earlier this year and I love them.  I've wanted a basic pair of black booties for a long time, but I hadn't found something that didn't cut off my already short legs at the ankle and I really dislike the entire "shootie" concept of having a boot with open toes.  When I saw these in black suede I knew they were perfect for the colder fall and winter weather.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

A Little Wining in Black & White

When we made the final trip out here in June, my sister made the road-trip with us and stayed with us for a few weeks.  One of my first order of business was getting her up to wine country to give her a taste of our future adventures. Of course, I wildly underestimated the time it takes to get from Sonoma to Napa and back. In the past, I'd never planned any winery tours, just went along, so I was a horrible wine hostess and we ended up spending the one day we drove up there, mostly in the car.  She is always a great sport and said at least we weren't trekking all over San Francisco's hills looking for a freakin' trolley! Which, I did make her do well as hike in the Muir Woods. I learned that I was an awful hostess and needed to improve my skills ASAP!
Top: Signorelli (option); Cardigan: Gap (old); Coated Jeans: Paige Premium Denim
I went with an all black and white basic outfit to be comfortable during the trip. I'd picked up this shirt at Nordstrom Rack while we were in the city and thought it would be cute to go drink wine. Silly me. I spilled coffee on it as soon as we got in the car for our drive. Luckily, there was a restroom at our first stop and I was able to wash it out and pat it dry. My beloved Gap cardigan that was a second anniversary gift from my husband (cotton) also came to a sad demise this day after getting caught on a nail.
Striped Tote: c/o Kate Spade Saturday (Lucky Fabb 2013) (current KS Stripe option)
Sneakers: Converse All-Stars
We still managed to have a wonderful time and it was a very valuable lesson in wine planning that I would need just a couple of months later when I took a couple of my high school friends out to Napa for Labor Day weekend.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Fancy Dinner in an Airport Hangar

Last April (I KNOW!) we attended a really nice dinner for our favorite charity in Dallas.  The event was hosted at a small, but well known airport museum in one of their hangars and it was a really neat experience.  This was right after we had already "moved" and I was basically living out of a box of clothes. Most of my make-up was in a box because of my failure to plan, so I took the opportunity to go get my hair and make-up done even though it was really not a formal event.
Maxi Dress: Diane von Furstenberg (current print on-sale); Shawl: Zara
I had bought this dress way back last summer when I spotted it on sale at TJMaxx for $149, and I still had a little left over on an old gift card. Unfortunately, I tried to scrimp on the alterations and instead of heading to my trusted, albeit farther away and more expensive tailor, I went to another tailor. The tailor I tried accidentally cut the straps of this dress just about an inch too short in the back and it brought the armpits up very high and gave me much more cleavage than the dress was meant to have for a casual summer maxi. So I took a shawl with me to keep covered during the event.
Tiffany & Co. Earrings: c/o The Real Real (current); Carolee Necklace: old bridesmaid's gift (option)
The Tiffany & Co. pieces are both new to the blog, but the bracelet below was a birthday present from my husband in December of last year. The earrings above, I got in March after I received a gift card from The Real Real. I was really excited about them because everyone knows I am obsessed with everything Kate and while these are nearly identical, hers have diamonds where mine have pearls, and I couldn't have afforded hers regardless of a gift card or not.
Wallet: c/o d'Andrea (LuckyFabb 2013); Bracelet: Tiffany & Co. (B-day gift from my husband)
Since I mentioned it wasn't formal, but I was going out with hair and makeup as well as some nicer pearl and sterling jewelry, I thought a nice leather clutch and wedges would tone it down just a tad. I still reach for this d'Andrea wallet over and over again, and I've grown to really love it. I am thinking of getting another color, but I haven't been able to decide between the red or the trusty black one.
Wedges: Dolce Vita (old) (current) (option under $30!); Nail Polish: OPI Do You Lilac
These shoes I've had for what feels like forever, but that is what made them perfect for this event because I ended up on my feet a big portion of the time as we greeted friends we hadn't caught up with in a long while.  Here is a pic of us at the event. While I think I looked dressy, I still felt casual throughout the night and I was able to comfortably walk around the hangar looking at all the cool vintage planes.
Mr. Fantastic is wearing: Calvin Klein suit (his fave); Banana Republic shirt; Bostonian shoes.
It's so great to blog again!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Happy November!

Hello & Happy November! I've been gone for a while, but I really miss blogging and I hope to return to this space on a more regular basis.  I've been wanting to return for a long time, but it felt like something kept coming up every time I felt "ready" and then the time just never felt right.  It seems like our move to California took forever and that is because it really did.  The last time I wrote, back in December! we were house-hunting and I was in a panic over the absolute sticker shock. My husband had already started "commuting" and we thought it would be just a few short weeks before the rest of the family could join him. That was a fun plan and not at all in line with our reality.
We immediately discovered that the San Francisco Unified School District left so much to be desired. They operate on a full lottery system and you can't even be entered into the lottery until you have moved. So our plan to enroll our son and get him assigned to a school so we could look for a place nearby did not pan out. We then decided to look in the Bay Area where we could pick the school and then look for a place nearby. It took many hours of research into the different school districts and many nights spent on conference calls with the grands laughing about some of the reviews. We finally picked a school we felt very comfortable with and found a tiny condo that barely fit us and our Baby Bear and we decided to make the move in March during the Spring Break. We packed up our home, put it up for lease and thought we would just rip off the band-aid in one clean sweep.
Except not. We drove our U-Haul and towed our car to California and when we tried to transfer our son to the local middle school, it was not at all what we expected. The woman at the front desk of the local middle school gave me what was apparently a lot of incorrect information about the courses that were or were not offered for our child. In Texas, he was taking advanced courses for High School credit, but I was erroneously told that none of these were available to him and he could not get credit unless the courses were completed prior to his transfer.  So we had to figure out an alternate plan.
I had to cut most of my dad out of this picture because he said, "Don't be putting me all over the internet!" LOL
That plan included the boys and me staying with my in-laws for the last 10-weeks of school so that our oldest could graduate High School and the youngest earn his credits before moving.  Since we didn't expect to do that, my clothes situation was a disaster. I had 3 pairs of leggings, 4 tank tops, 2 jeans, 2 tees, and a cardigan and I looked and felt a mess. Mr. Fantastic continued to commute and I came out to visit a couple of times, but it was a truly stressful time for all of us.  We were so grateful for my husband's parents and their generous hospitality, but by the time June and graduation rolled around, I think everyone was ready to have their own space. So we loaded up a second U-Haul with the remaining items, clothes and the other car to make the trek out to our new home.
Once we made our move, we had a few health issues that came up both here and back home. We spent a great deal of time figuring out how to get our friends and family out here and how to get to see them back home, too. I feel like we are finally in a place that I am comfortable talking and writing again!  I've discovered I love to hike even though I am terrible at it.  So I hope to post more frequently again.  I miss y'all!