July 22, 2014

The Easiest-Ever, Seriously Foolproof Pedicure Idea (For Last Minute Sandal-Wearing)

I apologize in advance for all of the close-up pictures of feet.

Also, if you are looking for manicure tips, you’re going to be sadly disappointed.  (Yes, I see the glam mums on Instagram with the coordinated nail polish and I have no idea either.)

So, duly warned, let’s continue.




I know you are probably (certainly) underwhelmed, and if there is any sort of perking up at this photo it’s likely because of the fab sandals (which, BTW, are made in Greece of the softest leather).  Yes.  I feel you.  But here’s the thing:  I can’t seem to squeeze in a real pedicure.

IknowIknowIknowIknow.  Lecture all you want, stand atop the mountain and scream about Mama Me Time and how we’re all Worth a Little Pampering and I won’t argue.  But it doesn’t solve my pressing problem:  Sandals on, pedi gone.

One would think, if pedicure time was such an issue (#firstworldproblems) that over the years I would actually have developed a steady hand.  From all of that “practice”.  To those I say:


My pedicure skills are embarrassing.  Like, Raines-once-gave-me-a-pedicure-that-was-better-than-my-own-pathetic-attempts-and-he-was-four-at-the-time bad.

I blame my mother.  She’s no better (in both the making-time and steady-hand departments),  but she’s developed a genius nailpolish technique to make up for both lack of prioritization and skill.  It involves painting your toenails with wild abandon (seriously, paint everything – nail, skin, whatever.  Just cover those toes good.) and then, once they’re dry…take a shower.  It turns out that nailpolish will slide right off your skin in the shower (with only a bit of scrubbing required).  Seriously – try it.  You’ll be amazed.

So.  My problem, however, is that Mom’s technique requires a shower.  And I only seem to remember my naked toenail problem as I’m stepping through the doorway - fully prepped and primped –  and then CRAP.  I look down. And there they are.  My naked little piggies on their way to market.

So the other night as we were about to leave, in desperation I grabbed a random bottle of nailpolish from my basket of many (seriously why so many?).  I was determined – DETERMINED – not to eff it up.  I was going to paint the piggies with a steady, STEADY hand.  I was slow breathing, I was giving myself a Jack Handy-esque pep talk, I unscrewed the cap, cleaned off the brush a bit – OK too much you need some polish on the brush, S!! And then carefully….caaarreefuuuulllyyy….applied it all over my big toe.  GAH!

But here’s the thing:  It was glitter polish.

Do you have any glitter polish?  Not metallic nail polish, but glitter.  The clear polish with glitter floating around?   Yes. That.  And I do realize it is typically worn by 8 year old girls.  BUT!  BUTBUTBUT!  The clear polish part makes it rather foolproof.  So you can just kind of glop it all over and then scrape off the bits you don’t need.  Like, right there on the spot, no waiting for it to dry and then shower, and no nail polish remover required.  (I mean it’s better if you try to stay in the lines, but if you go over, no big deal.)

And because the glitter is so reflective, even if you only have time for a single coat, it’s fine.  It’s not great (as evidenced in my photo above) but I’ll give it the big ‘ol GOOD ENOUGH.  Especially if you are peering down at feet from up high.  (Ahem.  Let’s skip the short jokes.)

I was so enamored with this speedy little glitter trick, that I dug through the nail polish basket and UNEARTHED – yup – MORE GLITTER.



This blue glitter nail polish was bought at Target that one day when both boys had been driving me crazy “Can we get legos?  Can we get pokeman? Can we get soop-hero?  MOM WHAT CAN WE GET?” that by the time we were making a beeline back to the checkout and passed the Essie display and even Raines was like, “Mom, if we can’t get anything FUN can we at least get that sparkly blue nail polish???” I was all SMALL PRICE TO PAY FOR TWO MINUTES OF COOPERATION BOYS, FINE.

And then we got Starbucks and painted our nails and Pax fell asleep in the car.

And now?   I have another glitter polish for last-minute pedicure emergencies.  So there you go.

I hope you enjoyed this recent installment of BEAUTY:  MEH. GOOD ENOUGH.









By July 22, 2014 28 No tags Permalink
July 21, 2014

Summer Gamine in Black and White

There’s this combo I’m obsessed with.  Perhaps you’ve heard of it?  It’s a little thing I like to call black and white.

IknowIknowIknow.  No points for originality.  But here’s my latest twist:  contrasting collars




A collar, all buttoned up and offset by a contrasting neckline….it makes me feel like Twiggy or something. (Granted, I’m like half her height and twice her age but let’s just go with it for a sec.)






Shop This Look

sweater:  Missguided Mesh Jumper – currently half-off!  ($23) BTW, I’m wearing a size 8

top:  Bradamant Fixer (silk) Bodysuit, $94 (size S)

shorts:  Blank Denim cut-offs, on sale for $42

shoes: Naot Tahoe 

sunglasses: Madewell Hepcat Shades, on sale for $38

backpack: Makr Farm Rucksack

bracelet: Bauble Bar, $28




And because the line between a rut and mom-uniform is blurry….I’m basically wearing the same thing out on date night.  Swap a short skirt for the cut-offs, then add heels.

Hunh.  That’s a pretty good rule of thumb for just about anything, dontcha think?  Swap for skirt.  High heels.




As I type this, I’m still eyeing a large pile of Nordstrom bags, trying to calculate cost-per-wear vs. what-I-already-may-own-that-is-almost-identical with little clouds of need-vs-want raining on my shopping parade….but these heels?  An easy in.  I love the complicated details and nude color.

Shop The Look


lace shell: old from Madewell, but the new Madewell Starstitch Eyelet shell is almost identical.  $78

topBradamant Fixer (silk) Bodysuit, $94 (size S)

skirt: old from Target, but Forever 21′s Striped Mini is pretty close.  And $6. Seriously.

shoes: Sam Edelman Palma Suede Sandals, $99 at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!

clutch: old from Madewell, but I’m loving this colorblock envelope clutch at Nordstrom.  $48




ps.  My sister?  Had her baby last night!!!  I’ll post pics soon, but wanted to share the name:  Greenlea Marie.  Isn’t that amazing?  Lovelovelove.


By July 21, 2014 10 No tags Permalink
July 18, 2014

Dressing Room Selfies: Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, Shoe Edition

Ok gang.  I’m back at it.  Now that the sale is open to all, let’s start with my very favorites (which also happen to be the ones that may sell out quickly).

 My Favs

First up?  The Rag and Bone Moto Boots, $389 down from $595






I know these are pricey.  But…they’re the kind of boots you can walk everywhere in, go to the playground in, and otherwise mess up.  They’ll just look better with some wear and tear.  And moto boots are a classic – notice that sort of in-between shape?  Not tall boots, but not exactly short boots either?  Yeah.  You could wear these for years.   Rag and Bone also nailed the color.  They’re listed as “gray”, but in reality they are sort of a grayish moss with really dark brown leather detailing.  Which means…these boots would look just as good with browns and navy as they would with black.  They would literally go with everything without being matchy-matchy.  So.  For these reasons, despite the $$, the Rag and Bone Moto boots make the top spot in my recommendation.  (You have to calculate your own personal CPW cost-per-wear to see if they make sense for you.)



Next?  Louise et Cie Andora Over-The-Knee Boot, $134 down from $199.



Ummm…these are FABULOUS.  They’re comfortable, shockingly lightweight, flat and they have a similar stretchy back panel as the Stuart Weitzman boots I’ve been coveting.  (For $635.  And if you remember my rule from earlier, I’m a “NOT $600″ kind of girl.)

Here’s my “yeah….these are gooood” face:



I can pretty much promise that these Louise and Cie boots will sell out fast.  They look too much like the Weitzmans not too…and now that I know how comfortable they are?  Yikes.


Ok, moving on to Steve Madden’s Munch Military Boot, $112 down from $169.



If you recall, I wore boots like this all Spring and L-O-V-E-D them.  These are a solid buy.



Be a little leery of color.  I loved the black (which in reality is actually a cool, slightly distressed gray as pictured)…but the tan colors?  Not so much.  It was a bit too construction worker for me.  Observe:



Next!!  I somehow missed these the first time, but reader Rachel pointed them out.  Hunter’s Short Moto Rainboot ($129 down from $195) is a very welcome update from the norm, and so practical (yet chic!) for rainy day worm hunts.



And now we have the  Steve Madden Snake Embossed Slip-On Sneaker, $60 down from $90.

Holy cow I love these shoes.




These are slightly higher than medium comfortable.  I did find the back of the heel a bit stiff, but I suspect they would soften over time.  The shoes I really wanted, however, are the Vince Bowen Slip on sneakers.  I have it on good authority that those are shockingly comfortable.  And they must be –  as of Friday, Nordstroms at King of Prussia had only one (!!) left.  In size 10.  In any case, whether you go with the Vince slip-ons or the Steve Madden snake slip-ons, this is THE new sneaker shape for Fall.


Ok, let’s move on to the heels!!  The next two pairs of shoes surprised me by being both comfortable AND hothothot.  Voila…

Via Spiga Jaffa Wedge Sandal, $150 down from $225

These sandals are every bit as comfy as I’d hoped they’d be…but surprisingly sexy, too.



Now the Sam Edelman Palma Heels, $99 down from $160 are obviously sofreakinghot….but also soft and padded, making them…comfortable?  Yes.  (warning:  That heel is pretty darn high.)  And that IS a mirrored heel, BTW.



In Debate

Ok, now let’s talk about those Frye’s.  Specifically, the Anna Shortie Leather Boot, $218 down from $327.

So.  I’ve tried this boot on several times (like seriously 10)…and I…like…it.  It’s not true love, but I like it.  For some reason, these boots don’t make my heart beat fast.  Maybe that’s just me.  The good news is that the initial stiffness I noticed was already starting to give after the 6th or 7th try-on, so my concerns with comfort have been alleviated.  And if you are looking for a wear-with-everything kind of boot, this rich camel is one of the most versatile colors (goes well with brown, black, navy, etc.).  So IDK.







Now compare these to the Hinge Sheldon Boots, $99 down from $150:



It’s…close, right?  I mean I like how the zippers (on both sides of the boot) allow you do make the opening bigger or smaller.  I think it looks kind of…nonchalantly cool, you know?  But the Fryes will hold up better in the long run (and probably be more comfortable to boot.  Get it?  “To boot?”)



Ignoring, for a moment, that the Hinge boots are roughly half the cost of the Fryes…which would you pick?

And then to further complicate matters…for the same price point as the Hinge boots, DV by Dolca Vita (another fav brand) has the Ferin buckle boots.





Soooo….yeah.  To make your head hurt further, my Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Shop has a few additional boot/shoe picks for those interested.

Happy Shopping!


ps.  I’m wearing a striped waffle knit scarf from Gap, fishnet jumper from missguided and rag and bone skinnies.

By July 18, 2014 23 No tags Permalink
July 17, 2014

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks – MAN Edition

Gang, I plied Mike with booze and (uh, we’ll just leave it at that) to get him to sit down and take a close look at the Nordstrom sale.  Here are the pieces he’s loving:



The Suit

Hugo BOSS Trim Fit Suit, $599 (down from $895)

These are, hand’s down, Mike’s favorite suits.  They’re slim cut but not overly slim (you can hail a taxi, for example), and Nordstrom has several on sale.  Mike already owns this seriously cool update on navy, but also likes the traditional dark gray and black.  I’m really intrigued by this bright blue cotton suit.  So perfect for summer, right Mike?  Mike:  [silence]

I don’t have any #dressingroomselfies (that would require a whole lot more than I was willing to offer on a Tuesday night), but I did take a quick photo of Mike in one of the Hugo Boss slim-cut suits.


The Shoes

To Boot New York Plain Toe Leather Derby, $209 (down from $325)

Out of the four almost-identical looking pairs of shoes I showed him,  Mike scoffed (scoffed!) at three of them then declared this one, “Effing ligit right there!”  Alrighty then.

To Boot New York Brennen Wingtip Boots, $299 down from $450

GQ once featured boots like this, claiming that they’re perfect for wearing under suits in the winter.  Mike’s on board.

The Ties

Ted Baker London Woven Wool Tie in blue, $56.90 down from $85

Me:  Babe, do you want a tie with a yellow stripe?  Something to go with all of your navy suits?

Mike: No.

Me: Do you want…hmmm….maybe…..dots to go with your striped shirts?

Mike: No.

Me:  Do you think that this one-

Mike:  Babe.  [gives me a look] You can’t be serious.

[stony silence as we scroll through]

Mike: BAM – there it is.  Blue.

Ok – I’ll hand it to him – this tie will look sweet with gray, black and maybe even navy suits.

1901 Woven Wool Tie in Burgundy (striped), $25 down from $40

Mike [excitedly]: That one!

Me: Really?  It looks like something my Dad wore in the 70′s.

Mike:  I know, right??

Me:  Uh. OK.




The Shirts

1. Volcom Short-Sleeve Button-down Shirt, $32 down from $50

Out of everything, this shirt was the piece Mike was the MOST excited about.  In the summer, he swears by layering a short-sleeve button-down shirt under his suits.  HOWEVER, it’s been tough to find ones that are both long enough to tuck in (check) but where the sleeves aren’t that long, dorky, old-man-short-sleeve OR that tragically hip man-cap-sleeve.  This one looks juuuust right.

2. Vince Double Layer Hoodie $99 down from $150

This is the date-night version of a hoodie.  Or, as Mike pointed out, a “hoodie that covers a beer gut”.   Ahem.

The Shoes

1. Timberland Chukka Boots, $189 down from $295

There are a bunch of Chukka boots in the sale, but these were the ones Mike found “interesting….with jeans.”   We’ll take it.

2. TOMS Sabados Linen Slip-Ons, $50 down from $78

Me:  “Mike, how about these with a pair of shorts?”

Mike:  “Nah.”  [page loads]  “Oh wow.  Wait.  Yeah.”

So I think that’s good.  Probably.

The Hat

Gents The Directors Baseball hat, $31 down from $48

Plain, plain, plaaaaiiiiin.  Just the way Mikey likes it.


There are also a ton of plain, slim-straight jeans for guys in the sale (jbrand, ag), as well as–

Mike:  “Babe!  I also need underwear!”

And then there’s that.

Poor guy.

But you know what it is when you have one of those long days at the office and you come home really tired and are met by your (adorably??) crazy wife who snaps a picture of you to share on the internet for all to see and you let her?  Know what that is?


It’s LOVE is what.


Lastly, thanks for all of the feedback on the redesign.  I know a few of you have noticed items “disappearing” from the boutiques.  It turns out that there’s a limit to the number of pieces I can add. SO.  For the sale, I broke it out into two shops:  The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Shop contains links to all of my picks for women…and a the newly created Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks – Men and Kids contains…yeah.  Self explanatory.  (Besides, it’s nice to get all of that boring man-footwear out of the way.  We can then focus on the important stuff.  Which reminds me: Has anyone ordered these cool boots?  They’re online only, but I’m DYING to hear how they look or see a pic….



ps.  And for those of you who aren’t Nordstrom card holders, the sale opens to the general public TOMORROW.  And I may or may not have more #dressingroomselfies. (I KNOW.  But I bad-mouthed those Frye boots and had to give them one more chance.  More later.)







By July 17, 2014 3 No tags Permalink
July 15, 2014

Outfit Math: Graphic Tee + Pretty Pencil Skirt



Get ready for some big, cheesy smiles.  I couldn’t help myself; Raines – my six year old – took these pictures.  (I set everything up, it’s not like he’s figuring out ISO settings or anything, but still.  I couldn’t believe how well these turned out.)



Remember my old graphic tee + bandage mini outfit?  (Of course you don’t but just nod politely I do have a point here….) anyway, if you (don’t) recall, I wore that outfit to the Franklin Institute’s Spy exhibit and ended up with a wardrobe malfunction due to lack of skirt.  So….yeah.  Mental note: Find longer skirt

A year later, I think I’ve found it.  This pencil skirt is done in a soft jersey (similar to the ones Target had a while back) so it feels like you are wearing a t-shirt on your legs.  (Actually, that sounds horrible scratch that.)  WHATEVER.  The skirt is comfortable.

My last remaining issue was the pencil skirt + flats combo.  It shortens the legs, your know?  For a small girl, it’s pretty tough to pull off.  But I found that half-tucking the tee (to show off a higher waist) helped to elongate the legs, making up for the flats.  Thoughts?



Shop The Post

And just in case the widget doesn’t display properly…I’ll do it the old-fashioned way, too.

skirt: Weston Wear Sandee Skirt, currently on sale for $72

tee:  Madewell linen tee (now sold out)…but try a few of their other linen tees – such insanely amazing drape.  Paris tee, Comme Ci scoopneck tee, or this sporty tee

bag: Marc Jacobs pretty nylon hobo (old)…but the Marc Jacobs Pretty Nylon Sasha is pretty close

shoes:  old Stylemint…also loving DV by Dolce Vita’s Bodhi Sandal (currently on sale for $46 at Nordstrom)

sunnies: Ray-ban

on Pax: Mini Rodini sweatshirt and shorts, Saltwater sandals  (Actually Yoox has a ton of Mini Rodini on sale…I’ve updated the Babies and Kids Shop (I’d link directly to the Mini Rodini section on Yoox, but their search is a disaster.)



And even an artsy shot.  Nice one, Raines.



ps.  I sat Mike down tonight to help me cull through the Men’s section of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  I’ll talk about it more tomorrow, but you can get links to our favs now in our Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Shop.

By July 15, 2014 16 No tags Permalink