Monday, May 30, 2011

Outfit Triage Resuscitated: Yellow Skirt at Night...

Way back in February, I assaulted hundreds of eyes when I went outside dressed like this:

In this Trainwreck:
Shirt: (via Marshall's)
Skirt: Circle the Globe Skirt (Anthro) (4)
Tights: (Anthro)
Booties: Bright Horizons Booties (Everybody for Anthro) (40)
Belt: High Prairie Belt (Anthro)
Headband: Budding Hues Headband (Anthro)
Earrings: Jellybean Bow Earrings (Anthro)
Necklace: Gifted/Thrifted
Watch: Fossil
Bracelet: Blakely Bling Bracelet (J.Crew)
Clutch: Coach

What could I possibly do with this bright, highlighter-yellow skirt in the dead of winter?  I was utterly and completely stumped, and you all chimed in with a mixture of winterizing suggestions and outfits that looked forward to warmer months.

One of the things I love most about this Outfit Triage Feature is that it prompts me to try on combinations I would NEVER have thought of on my own.  One of the things I hate most about this feature is that it takes FOREVER to take the photos and by the time I'm done my room looks like my closet barfed all over it after a night of heavy drinking.

All this to say, it took a long time for me to finally take these photos.  I'm so glad I did, though, because I'm already noticing how much easier it is to wear this skirt in the spring/summer (in fact, you'll see an OOTD with it very soon)...not only did your suggestions give me some great ideas for the coming months, but your winterized looks miraculously worked (dare I say, you made it look easy).

Looks like I'll be getting my money's worth out of this $7.50 skirt after all!

Tons of your looks after the jump...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Reminder: Inspiring Interpretations

Hey, YOU!

Don't forget to submit your Inspiring Interpretations photo to me via email by Wednesday, June 1st!

For more information, click here.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sale Haul - In Three Parts

Anthropologie continues to chip away at my Tag Sale Wish List, but it does so slowly and without the expected gusto (read: free shipping online or an extra %-off promotion).

Sale Haul

Brickwork Tee, $30 here.

This is a good, basic tee shirt.  I had to size down from a small to an XS and you can tell that it's still a little loose.  If you're normally an XS, I think you'll be sized out of this one.

Lining-the-Field Scoopneck, $40 here.

I love the colors of this shirt.  It's very loose and breezy, but the colors seem to add the illusion of shape.  Either way, it's another nice easy piece.  I'm wearing my usual size small here since the stores in NYC didn't have any XS's in stock and I didn't care enough to buy it online (it's now sold out in XS, anyway).  I'm okay with the baggy fit.

In an Instant Dress, $50 in stores.
(PS Anthro: WAY too confusing to give this piece a name so similar to another yellow-skirted of yours, the In a Moment Dress.  Agree/Disagree?)

I reviewed this dress here two months ago and found my normal size six to be a bit big, but the size four to be a great fit.  Sadly, when I tried it on after it hit sale this week, I found the size four to be tight around the gut, but the size six to still be a bit big on top.  I attribute this to the two pounds I gained this month (graduation festivities and the like), which puts me about five pounds above my goal weight, which would certainly affect my in-between sizing.

I absolutely love this dress and couldn't wait to rip the tags off, but I can't commit to a size until I get down to my normal weight and see whether I need the six or the four.  In the meantime, I bought both sizes and will hang onto them until I am where I want to be, weight-wise.

Thatch Palm Blazer, $50 in stores.
Another one reviewed here in a size eight, which was one size too big.  The emerald green color is vibrant, if not a bit leprochauny, but I could barely resist purchasing it before flying off to Israel in March; I probably would have done if the Philadelphia store had a size six in stock.  Upon my return, this jacket had seemingly vanished; I held out hope that it would reappear magically once it went on sale, since it seems that Anthro hoards miscellaneous pieces in their backstock only to take them out once the prices are cut.  That was exactly the case here!

Frozen Globes Necklace, $10

I bought this necklace because it was only $10.  I don't know if I will keep it.  On the one hand, if I wear it twice then I'm satisfied that I got value out of it.  On the other hand...big green beads that rest obtrusively between my boobs?  Is that doing it for anyone?

Jumping Jade Necklace, $10.

See above about my weakness for $10 necklaces.  This multi-strand necklace is almost offensively absurd because it's so huge and gaudy, and WTF does this frog have to do with anything?

On the other hand, it's the biggest, most ridiculous necklace I own, and don't those come in handy sometimes?  Could it come in handy twice?  Perhaps to distract people from the fact that I haven't taken a shower (again and again)?


I bought these items, but intend to switch them out for different colors/sizes.  I'm fervently hoping free shipping at comes back soon, since the items I need are still available in big quantities online but I had trouble finding them in my stores.

Amplified Stripes Blouse, $50 here.
I bought this in orange (my normal size four), but as I was about to put it away in my color-coded closet next to the SIX OTHER SHORT-SLEEVE ORANGE SHIRTS I OWN, I realized that perhaps the blue and white striped version of this shirt would be a better investment.

As of this moment, there are more than 50 left in my size online, so even if I can't make an even exchange in stores I know it's available to me.

Lush Amalgam Tank, $40 here.

This blouse fits TTS.  I need a small and couldn't find one in NYC, but there are about sixty left online.

Light As Air Pullover, $40 here.

What is it with me and Anthro pullovers lately?  First the heat index (worn here), then the airy weave, and now this one.  I caved and bought a size large, but it's really way too big in the armpits.  There are about thirty mediums left online, so I might as well get the correct size.


I went to the Coach outlet in Atlantic City today with the most limited of intentions: find a replacement for the wallet that was stolen a few weeks ago.  I don't know what it is about the Coach Outlet, but it's sort of a black hole of rationality for me.  I walk in there and I lose all concept of the value of money.  While I hem and haw about a $140 dress (here) or an $80 cardigan (here), I plunk down almost $200 on a bag with only a few minutes of deliberation.

It's not even that Coach bags are my Kryptonite or anything...I can't think of a way to explain it other than to say that money has no value in that store.  Does that make any sense?  Perhaps it's a matter of relatively...a $175 purse at the Coach outlet is more than 50% off...if I'm saving over $175, isn't it sort of like someone is giving me this purse for free?

Coach Madison Leather Sabrina bag in Cinnamon.

...No?  That's not what it's like?


Here's the stuff I bought while I apparently blacked out after getting a 30% off coupon at the door:

Approximate costs: $175 for the bag, $27 for the umbrella, $87 for the wallet, $20 for the watermelon keychain, $20 for the blue wristlet.

Please note that the watermelon umbrella is unbelievably frigging adorable (that black teardrop-like marking is a "seed"!  And it's got a green trip around the edge like a rind!  Squee!

[Edit: photos of the umbrella open!]

Also, the purse is really, really cute.  And the color is fabulous.  And I don't have anything like it.  And I sat down to play some poker after buying it and won $168 while fantasizing about wearing the purse around town, so I think that means it only cost me $7.

Right?  RIGHT?

...No?  Not right?


What did you guys pick up in the sales this week?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

OOTD: Verdantly Afraid

Yesterday, I took the plunge and committed to the Verdant Slip Dress. 

Those of you who have been around these parts for a while may have noticed that I RARELY buy items at full-price, even when I absolutely love them (see, e.g., here).  I had been waffling about the Verdant Slip for a few weeks, mainly unsure about whether I'd wear this dress when I usually eschew spaghetti straps.  I suspected I might be more open to it when the weather got warmer.

We had a sunny, warm day yesterday and this dress, with its light silk, airy cut, and floral pattern was screamingly appropriate.  Furthermore, Anthro has just ordered a new batch of these dresses that won't come out until July, so I know it's NOT hitting sale any time soon. 

What really sealed the deal, though, was the fact that I'm about five pounds above my goal weight right now, and this dress still made me feel beautiful.  I NEED more pieces in my closet that can flatter me at both ends of my weight range, and not only is this dress gorgeous, but it is also stretchy enough to be forgiving.

Not only that, but it also performed admirably as I biked around Manhattan today!  I realize it was crazy to tempt fate by wearing this lovely frock on a bike, but fortunately it made it through in one piece.  I think I may have flashed half of Manhattan while riding around, though.  Whoops.

The one bad thing about this rare full-price purchase is that I was TERRIFIED while walking around yesterday.  I was so afraid of ruining this dress, of getting anything splattered on it, of smog, of unidentified street smoke, of random drops of water that looked like stains...I'm hoping that fear goes away once I realize that dry cleaning actually WILL make it clean, but until then I'll just have to do my best to stay calm.

Am I the only person with this paranoia?

For indoors.

In This Outfit:
Verdant Slip Dress (6) (here)
H&M Cardigan
After the Rain Earrings (Anthro)
Lavandula Heels (Anthro)
Rock Candy Ring (Anthro)
Anthro Hairtie

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Middle East Recap: Days 13 and 14

[Catch up: Days 1 & 2, Day 3, Days 4 & 5, Day 6, Days 7 & 8, Days 9 & 10]

March 19, 2011

We woke up early this morning and my awesome friend Abby drove me and Becky to Petra.  We checked into our hotel in the adjoining town of Wadi Mussa (cleverly named "The Cleopetra"---get it?).  After drinking our welcome tea, we had a shwarma and then went to an AWESOME local bakery named Sanibel.

At Sanibel.  Pitas fell from the SKY!

We got to Petra around 11am and spent the day exploring the ancient city and snapping photos of the buildings carved into the sides of the mountains.  We rode horses into the Siq (the long entryway into the city) (horses are included in your entry fee!) and marveled at the treasury and tombs.

Along the Siq.

Emerging from the Siq to face the Treasury.

The Treasury.

Without knowing where we would end up, we walked up a seemingly endless series of stairs leading up to an area called "The High Place of Sacrifice."  We actually stopped about twenty feet from the place of sacrifice, disheartened after reaching the top of the mountain without seeing the site.  Then a Bedouin woman showed us a hidden path between a few large rocks and suddenly we were standing in the middle of the sacrificial space, feeling very thankful that she'd been there to show us where to go.  The path down was interesting and dotted with random tombs.

Steps to the High Place of Sacrifice.

The High Place of Sacrifice.

The High Place of Sacrifice.

The path down from the High Place of Sacrifice.

On the path down from the High Place of Sacrifice.

On the path down from the High Place of Sacrifice.

On the path down from the High Place of Sacrifice.

Trying to leave things nicer than I found them.

You want me to walk across WHAT?!

We watched the sunset (frankly, underwhelming) and then rode donkeys back to the entrance at the end of the night with a duo of young Bedouins, one of whom rode with me and inched up a bit too close for comfort.  That'll be the last time I share a donkey with a stranger!

At sunset.

The Siq is one big fault line; you can see at certain points where the earth on each side of the path would have fit together.

The day of walking and climbing in the hot sun left me totally wiped out, and the knowledge that we're going back tomorrow to climb the 800 steps up to the Monastary is currently drawing at my eyelids.  Somehow, I stayed awake long enough to make a return trip to the bakery (snacks for tomorrow!) and to walk around Wadi Mussa for a bit before my sister picked a great place for dinner (Jordanian buffet!  So delicious!).

The appetizers!

We fended off a VERY persistant Bedouin guy who followed us from the pastry shop around town to our restaurant.  He wanted us to have a drink with him and wouldn't take "no" for an answer.  Every corner we turned, his car was there.  He even waited for us outside the restaurant while we ate and then came inside once our check was paid to plead with us again to have a drink with him when we were done.  Hilariously, just as we'd gotten him to realize that we were NOT going out for a drink with him, he asked us---as we were halfway down the street---whether we'd have a drink with him tomorrow.  My sister, trying to be nice, called back, "Maybe!"  This of course prompted him to get in his car and follow us for several more blocks before we convinced him that she didn't actually mean "maybe."  (I had a similarly "doh" moment when a guy stopped his car next to us to ask whether we spoke English.  He looked lost, so I said "yes."  My sister immediately shouted to me, "NO!  IT'S A TRICK!" at the same time as the guy in the car perked up that he'd found some American girls and started trying to cajole us into getting into his car.)

Neither of these guys were threatening, but it was annoying and a bit intimidating to keep saying "not interested."

March 21, 2011

Our second day in Petra was exhausting.  We ate cheap breakfast in our hostel (scrambled egg, some pita, and coffee for 2 JD (about $3.50).  We got to Petra around 9am with one mission:  walk up the 800 stairs to the Monastary.  The trek was tough cardio.  As with our walk to the High Place of Sacrifice the day before, the steps often leaped in height, narrowed in width, or utterly smoothed to a slope in depth, so walking required great attention.

We were indeed wowed by the sight of the magnificent monastary.  The structure is beautiful and eerily, abondoned-ly ancient.  We hiked up the mountain a bit more to enjoy a beautiful view of the mountains, then made our way down with only mild harassment from a begging/whining Bedouin child who wanted some of our Sanibel pastries.

The monastary.

Becky looking down on the monastary.

A Bedouin advertisement.  I chuckled because "letail petra" is supposed to be "little Petra," but "letail" is almost an exact phonetic spelling of the way the Bedouins pronounce the word "little" ("LEE-tail").  (PS: kind of sad that the word "Israel" has seemingly been defaced)

After a quick stop for lunch---day-old pastries whose relative staleness since yesterday matched our moods---we walked up to a few more sights (the Blue Church and Byzantine Church) and then made our way back to the hotel.  A horseback ride to and from the entrance to the Siq (the long road into Petra) is included in the ticket price, so Becky and I rested our tired legs on horseback after merging from the Siq.

The Blue Church is so named because of these blue marble columns.

Tile work on the floor of the Byzantine Church.

At the Byzantine church.

This camel was just as tired as we were.

Amazingly, we ran into one of our Birthright companions and her sister both days in Petra.  After Becky and I retrieved our bags from the hotel and relaxed outside with a cold drink, we met up with our Birthright friend (Jess) and her sister (Sarah) and headed for the bus to Amman.  Jess parted ways with us there to go snorkeling in Aqaba.  The bus ride was uneventful---although I discovered "Tomato Ketchup" flavored Lay's chips at a rest stop.  Didn't try them, though.

Once in Amman, Becky and I met up with my awesome friend Abby, who coordinated almost all of our Jordan trip and THEN let us stay with her overnight.  We went to a nice restaurant called Cantaloupe, where we enjoyed fun cocktails and girl talk.  After dinner, Abby took us for a quick sugar rush at Habiba, a hole-in-the-wall specializing in an utterly mindblowingly delicious dessert pastry called Kanafeh, which is basically like a cross between a mozzarella stick and a cheese blinz, wrapped in filo dough, deep fried, then soaked in honey.  It is HEAVENLY.  Becky and I devoured an ungodly amount of them sloppily in the alley in front of Habiba.  Then we picked up a few bootleg DVDs ($1.40/1 JD per disc) and made our way back to Abby's apartment to rest for the night before crossing back into Israel in the morning.


The Jordan-->Israel crossing took place at a more complicated border, apparently, since it took us almost two hours to get from one side to the other.  Add an hour transportation on each end (Amman-->King Hussein Bridge/Border; Bridge/Border-->Jerusalem) and we were both road weary upon arrival.

Still, we were determined to buy a few last treats from the Jerusalem market at Mahane Yehuda, one of our favorite "shopportunities" on Birthright (blogged here).  We ate falafel for lunch and then bee-lined to our favorite vendors for Halvah, bageles, pita with zaatar, delicious and melty-doughed rugelach (best I've ever had in my life).  After the market, we took a public bus to the central bus station (which was bombed two days later) and then took a shared cab (like a minibus---13 passengers) to Tel Aviv.  The trip from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv is about an hour; although both are on opposite sides of the country, Israel is quite narrow and so the distance is relatively short.

Ongoing Purim celebrations in the market as people in costumes dance in the middle of the street.

More halvah than you could imagine.


Returning to Tel Aviv felt like breathing a relaxing sigh.  The city reminds me of Miami Beach, close to where I grew up in the suburbs, and after being surrounded by totally unfamiliar Arabic for four days, the Hebrew signage was almost comforting.  While neither my sister nor I can understand much Hebrew, we can read some of it.

Before our flight, we returned to our Birthright leader's apartment to pick up our bags and reunite with a few other Birthright friends who also extended their trip until the 21st.  We had a delicious sushi dinner at a restaurant called Japoniko and then hightailed to the airport.  We didn't leave much time to spare (the security lady suggested we may even miss our flight, despite the 25-odd people waiting to check in for the same flight.  Of course, we made it on the plane, but only after spending an hour at security and then racing through an improbably long series of gates and terminals.

My sister and I settled into our airplane seats in ecstacy.  Far from our pre-flight nerves, we were both thrilled to be boarding a comfortable flight that promised a chance to sleep.  We've had enough travel; we are both ready to go home and lay in our own beds.

Becky wasted no time cracking open the rugelach, and I'm currently eying my bag of Bamba (a snack that's similar in texture to cheese poofs, but coated in peanut butter powder instead of cheese powder).

Image of Bamba courtesy of My Jewish Learning.

I'm sure I'll be processing this trip for a while to come, but for now I feel happy and grateful to have had such an exciting adventure, but also equally excited and relieved to return home!
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