Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Amazing grace

Miley, Lindsay, Jon and Kate, Salahis, Balloon Boy, any Real Housewife, and of course the Cheatah-
Do all celebrities and pseudo celebrities believe their fame gives them carte blanche to break the rules, flaunt lewd behaviour, and generally behave horribly?

No not all of them. Not Jennifer Kate Hudson.  

She rose from obscurity to reach the heights of fame,winning an Academy award in her first screen role. Then the worst that could happen did happen. Her mother, brother, and nephew all murdered. Even in the year of Obama her tragedy stole the headlines here in Chicago and reverberated for months. So she disappeared and grieved in private.
And when she returned to sing at the Super Bowl she was strong, brave, beautiful, not bitter, and certainly not asking for our pity.
For being grace personified, remaining true to herself, and coming out the other side stronger then ever, Jennifer Hudson is my style icon for 2009.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

RIP Brittany

Even if she had never made another picture after "Clueless" Brittany Murphy would have left her mark on both the fashion and film worlds. As sweet Tai Frasier, she plays a tragically unhip teen who is madeover and in the process gains confidence and a sense of style.
According to general consensus, Brittany Murphy was just as sweet in real life.
Who knows what caused her to go into cardiac arrest and die at 32? But we do know it was a life cut all too short made all the more tragic for her family coming just days before Christmas.

Trail blazer

This is it, THE must have blazer. One button, shoulder pads, and usually black. It's been popping up everywhere on everyone for good reason. You can get it with the slighter shoulder pads, befitting the less ostentatious lifestyle we've all been forced to adopt, or you can get all Grace Jones with it.
Either way, it's the blazer of the season.
And being so on trend, smart girl, will show everyone what a good head you have on your shoulder (pads).

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tears of a clown

"Well there's some sad things known to man, 
but there ain't too much sadder than the tears of a clown, 
when there's no one around."

To paraphrase Smokey, just substitute "pathetic" for "sad" and "sadder" in the above.
I'll be back with my usual fashion frivolity manana.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Champagne Supernova

Sofia Coppola first came to prominence when she was tragically miscast in her dad's third Godfather saga. Nineteen at the time, she earned scathing reviews for what many considered her “valley girl” performance as Mary Corleone.
Who would blame her if she slunk off into oblivion living off her family name like a Hilton or Kardashian?
But that's not this girl's style. And boy does she have style.
She was married to Spike Jonze, was at one time a muse to Marc Jacobs, and she has collaborated with Louis Vuitton on her own handbag and shoe collection.
She also has a sparkling wine named after her created by Coppola wineries.

And it is delicious.

And it comes in a can.
That's right, ”champagne“ in a can.

Sofia blanc de blancs is a subtly sweet sparkling wine that comes packaged in individual cans with a straw attached.  It's been called almost a fashion accessory, befitting the style icon it's named for.

By the way, Sofia Coppola did manage to do a little film work after her dubious debut.
In 2004 she became only the third woman ever to be nominated for a Best Director Academy Award, and the first ever American woman to receive this nomination.
Champagne Supernova indeed.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Turn the Paige

Here are the Paige Melrose straight leg jeans. This is not a picture of the pair I own. If it were there would be numerous patches on the butt area, well worn knees, and as of today, a brand new rip just above the left knee. I have literally worn these jeans to shreds. There was a point when I wore them 5 out of the 7 days of the week. One of those days off was a Sunday as I'm still old school, no jeans to church. If you've ever owned a pair of Paige jeans then you know why mine are on their last legs. They are ridiculously comfortable and flattering. They make my butt look how it did pre-pregnancy. Hell they make my butt look how it did pre-thirties. And for this forty something birthday girl, that is something worth celebrating.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Suzabelle of the ball

Suzabelle is a beautiful, elegant line based out of Seattle. Founded by Suzanne Jaberg in 2005, she was named "the Seattle Coat Queen" by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. I also consider her one of the hottest indie designers around.
I recently asked her what she loves in a holiday outfit.
 ”I like late 50's to early 60's silhouettes.
I like a high-waisted fitted dress with a pencil skirt
in a stretch wool suiting.
For events, I'd love to see longer dresses in black,
burgundy or dark emerald green matte silks.“ 



For spring, Suzanne says,
”Day dresses will be everywhere,
in bright colours like scarlet, fuchsia and turquoise.
Scarf-neck tops and dresses in loose flowing fabrics
as well as fitted secretary-style dresses.“


And you may be wondering where are the pictures of coats by the ”Seattle Coat Queen“?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Unique Chic

I cannot rave enough about Milda Sedra's jewelry lines; Emunique and Simplemunique.
She handcrafts amazingly beautiful pieces using gold filled and silver wire, semi- precious gemstones, and fresh water pearls.
What's best about her jewelry though is she has several different lines at various price points.
So if you are a recessionista like myself or still want to spend like it's 2006, you'll find the piece that works for you.


Round Stone Earrings $42


Aqua and Smoky Quartz Earrings $145


 Tower Pendant $62


Royal Purple Necklace $180


Blue Bracelet $40


 Blueberry Bracelet $150 

Friday, December 4, 2009

Word of the Day

Who says Bravo rots your brain?
Watching Andy Cohen last night I learned a new word,


Feel free to mosey on over to Yinglish to learn for yourself what it means but I can save you the trouble just by showing you the following:

Here is the Queen of Soul at Rockefeller Center for the lighting of the Christmas tree. Me thinks the Queen should be dethroned for this outfit.
As if the full length fur wasn't bad enough, the mink head bandage/head band was overkill.
(pun intended)

I love you Aretha, but on the freeway of love this outfit is just plain roadkill.

BTW, PETA's not unknown to the meaning of farkakte either.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Carry on my wayward mom

Some might say Lewis and Clark carried more on their expedition than I do carting the twins around. If so, then I run a close second. I typically haul snacks, sippies, pullups, wipes, keys, books, calendar, phone, ipod, yadda yadda yadda, ad nauseam. In fact my purse got so heavy I made the ultimate sacrifice and removed the item I never left home without, my makeup bag.
So when I saw this bag online at less than $150 I knew it was perfect for channeling my inner sherpa.
It's quilted grey suede with an inner cell phone pocket. At 19 in high and 22 in wide, it's the perfect bag to remain functional yet fashionable. And isn't that a discovery we're all hoping to make?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Blow out

In my previous life I owned a small clothing boutique. One of my favorite items we carried were these soy candles, A Scent of Scandal. They come in more than forty scents and boy do they smell amazing. "Gold Digger"with a carat (carrot) cake scent will have you reaching for the nearest fork, or maybe my 7 month pregnant self had some pretty crazy cravings.
Retailing for $15, these stocking stuffers might be NSFW but they're sure to be a big hit with your friends.
In keeping with the season I'll list a few of their holiday scents but you'll want to check them all out yourself.

Hanukkah Bush  (fir and balsam scent)

Ho Ho Homo   (cranberry relish, with hints of fresh ground cinnamon sticks, orange zest, and a faint hint of vanilla and butter)

Santa's Pole  ( candy cane scented with a sweet blend of fresh peppermint and vanilla sugar)

As they say on the Mexican soap operas, "Escandalo!"

Friday, November 20, 2009

And I think to myself, What a wonderful world

Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday.
Every year we pack our bags and leave the
gray skies of Chicago
for the beautiful sunrises of Arizona.
And sitting on the front porch at my parents' house
looking out at the Tucson mountains,
I realize just how much I have to be thankful for. 
And you do too.
So I'll see you in 2 weeks,
and thank you for allowing me into a small part of your world.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Putting on the glitz

I love the idea of the glitzy but not gaudy tee. Fantastic with dark skinny denim, black palazzo pants or a pencil skirt, this one item will get you through multiple looks.

 So when I found these tees on 77kids by American Eagle, I knew I had to snap them up for my girls. Their website has loads of casual but on trend clothes for toddlers to tweens at great price points. I loved these tees so much but there was one glaring problem. True to their name, 77kids doesn't carry items for, ahem, the slightly more mature set.

So I started my search for my own glitzy tee and found it at Laura
Laura worked for Cynthia Rowley and Catherine Malandrino before launching her line of embellished tops, Wifebeader in 2003 followed by the Laura Dahl label in 2006. She has great casual tops and pants, but most importantly, I found my glitzy tee.

At $162 the price is a little higher than I normally would spend on a top, but when you figure my girls' tees were only $5 each, then this averages out to some pretty stylin' looks for the three of us.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

To Sir, with love.

How do I love Sir Alistair Rai scarves?
Let me count the ways........

They come in a variety of rich vibrant colors that work with any outfit.

They are super soft and long and drape perfectly.

They have really cool prints, many with messages of peace and love.

Check them out and I think you'll love them too.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Momma's got a brand new bag.

I love Paco & Lupe handbags. They're handmade bags durable and functional enough to use every day. Plus they're super cute. Check their website to see what's available. All prices are in Canadian dollars ($1 CAD @ $.95 USD

original & trendy
functional & durable
Paco & Lupe
Some things just go together.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Something's not adding up here.

I am not a frou-frou type of girl.
I love dresses and have so many favorite dress lines I want to share. But I love dresses and skirts on other women. My closet is 10% dresses, 5% skirts, 40% tops, and 95% jeans.  Yeah, math was never my strong suit, I know.

However I did buy a skirt recently. Now this was only after this skirt hounded me through 3 states. I first saw the skirt in my favorite local boutique. I tried it on, it fit perfect. It's the skirt to wear when the weather gets cold and the snow is piling up and you are so sick of wearing your jeans for the 10th day running. It was made of flexcel, a knit fabric that made it super soft and stretchy.
It would look absolutely fantastic with a turtleneck and black riding boots.
But I didn't get it. You see my closet is only 5% skirts.

But over the Halloween weekend I went to Michigan to visit friends. On Sunday we drove to lovely Saugatuck to mill around. Walking to a playground so the kids could play in the leaves, I darted in a little shop on the corner.

And there was my skirt.

And she was 20% off!

So there ya go, and now my closet is 6% skirts.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It's not easy being green.

Remember when Kermit sang about hard it was to be green?
Well I discovered how true that was when I saw my 8 week ultrasound and realized I would be changing not one, but two little bottoms for the next 3 years.
I did some quick calculations:
( 2 babies X hourly diaper changes /24 hours in a day-3 hours sleep nightly)
and quickly said goodbye to my plans for cloth diapers.
My guilt over my landfill contribution has been slightly diminished by my discovery of Kate Organics. This relatively new line out of California is made of SKAL certified organic cotton, using low impact dyes, and produced according to fair trade guidelines and a tree is planted for every garment sold through Trees for the Future.
This dress is from the summer line but I think it's beautiful enough to wear for the holidays, alone or with a sparkly cardigan.
Look good and feel good while doing some good.
And I'm still waiting for my kudos from Al Gore.

 Go to “stockists” to see who carries Kate near you.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

2009 is the new 1969.

Check out these photos of Ali MacGraw from the late sixties/early seventies. All of these outfits stand the test of time. Yeah, even Photo #6.

Ain't no mountain high enough

Mountain Hardwear was formed 17 years ago by a group of people in the outdoors industry. Backed by Columbia Sportswear, it develops cutting edge designs and products. It's geared for the outdoorsman, hiker, climber, skier.
Now, the only mountains I navigate are the mountains of laundry that accumulate every week living with a set of toddler twins and a husband who works out twice a day. But living in the Midwest, their clothes are perfect for navigating the weather during Nov-March, when the only time you want to be outdoors is when you're making the walk from the valet to the restaurant for your nice warm bowl of french onion soup!
I have this top in black/grey. I wear it with jeans, skirts, leggings. It's so comfortable and flattering. And I look like the athlete I one day hope to be!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Feet don't fail me now.

This is the Reebok Easy Tone Go Outside shoe. It's supposed to help you burn calories and tone core muscles. Does wearing this shoe mean you can skip the treadmill at the gym? I don't know about that, but I do know I love love how comfortable this shoe is. It may be just wishful thinking on my part, but I swear my legs look leaner and longer when I'm wearing them. Especially with my black leggings and a cute hoodie. (more on that hoodie in the next post)

cool silver shoe

Style means never having to say you're sorry you bought that outfit.

I have reached the point in my life where comfort and fashion should collide. And that collision also better be one of collusion. I want to look effortlessly good, without any one knowing the true effort that went into it. Alas, I no longer have the time to spend hours in front of my mirror trying on different outfits so that when an occasion came up I had the perfect thing to wear. Now I must truly be able to put something on and walk out the door.

My fashion icon has always been Ali MacGraw, particularly in Goodbye Columbus and Love Story. Jennifer Callaverri, oops, I mean Jennifer Cavalleri, annoyed the hell out of me. But she was cool and beautiful and I couldn't look away from her sense of style. Almost everything she wears in this movie would still look valid today, almost 40 years on.
 An effortless, timeless style is what most of us want. This is as true for a 22 year old Radcliffe grad as it is for the 30-40 something mommy navigating the burbs.