Thursday, April 26, 2012

A few things I'm loving right now.

I have to come clean about something.

For the last few weeks, I've been having an irresponsible love affair with J.Crew.

I know it's no good for me; I'm trying to save money (in general, and also maybe for a folding bike). But I just can't seem to help myself; between the recent percent-off promotions and an impromptu weekend trip to Atlantic City (read: outlet shopping), I found myself submerged in a sea of button-downs and pencil skirts and friends, I simply did not want to emerge.

Here are a few of my favorite buys, both J.Crew and not-J.Crew (some of which are still available online):


Factory Multi-Bead Bib Necklace in Sea Foam:

($49.50 online, $30 in stores; purchased this weekend with an extra 40% off)

Doesnt this necklace remind you of Anthropologie's popular Stormy Seas necklace? The resemblance didn't jump out at me online, but it's doing the job in person.

(Anthro's Stormy Seas necklace; photo from Little Gray Pixel)

Factory Pencil Skirt in Double-Serge Cotton:

(Between $50 and $75 online; one purchased for $35 online, a denim one purchased for $13 or something similarly crazy online, and this gorgeous Kelly green color purchased for $65 in the store).

Yes, you read that correctly; I bought this skirt in three different colors/fabrics. Online I purchased the classic black and a denim variety, and in the store I nabbed the above green colorway. Seriously, how gorgeous is that skirt?! Don't even answer that, because if you don't agree with me on this we may need to stop being friends.

I will say that the fit on this skirt may not be for everyone; as you can see from the cut it does poof a bit below the belt, but does so in a flattering and not a FUPA way, if such a thing is possible. There is seaming on the back that creates a very slim silhouette. Overall I'm completely in love with this thing!

(The denim variety, no longer available)

And other non-clothing loves...

International Delights Almond Joy Coffee Creamer

Thank you,, thank you.


Laser Hair Removal

I invested in about eight laser hair removal sessions over the past year and a half at Satori Laser in NYC (they really deserve their own post, because they are fabulous). This is what my leg looked like after not shaving for nearly a month. Before...well, let's just say that it wasn't like this at all.

SO WORTH IT. Hellloooo summer!


Incredibly Thoughtful Readers

You may have heard me rave about incredible rugelach I had in Jerusalem last year from a bakery named "Marzipan" in the Mahane Yehuda market. Well, periodically I get emails from readers who are on their way to Israel for birthright and would like advice of various sorts. I am always happy to oblige, and it's fun to hear about how their trips went when they return.

Amazing reader Nicole actually BROUGHT ME BACK several pieces of delicious Marzipan rugelach. It was so good that I couldn't get a picture of a piece that hadn't already been half-eaten.

The rugelach was probably about a week old at this point and was still and delicious and wet; it's that gooey moistness that makes the rugelach taste so good!

*dies many times*. Thanks again, Nicole!


Cute Office Gear

I finally got my business cards delivered recently (how does one survive at networking events in DC without these?) so I started hunting around for a business card holder to place on my desk. I was so excited to find this one!

($7 here)


How has your week been going? I've been pretty busy at work, but I just booked my next trip to Vegas so I've got a nice vacation to look forward to in June!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

OOTD: A Whirlwind

If you don't hear from me for a while, it's probably safe to assume that I got buried under a mountain of unexpected work. This week, I had a fun surprise when I learned on Tuesday that I would be traveling to Chicago on Wednesday for an assignment. I was only in town for the day, but I had a few spare hours to walk around (and, naturally, to grab a slice of Chicago pizza with a friend).

ALL TEH NOMS! (At Lou Malnatis)

And of course, I could not avoid visiting one of the Chicago Anthros. I was so desperate to get out of my business suit that I succumbed to a $20 sale skirt that was immediately wearable. Although this skirt was a popular item, it didn't particularly appeal to me at any point during its lifetime. But for $20, and at a time when I was desperate to change, it worked.

Stuff like this always makes me chuckle when I hear people say that Anthro is too expensive.

This skirt impressed me. It's comfortable, and it's a lovely shape with a flattering silhouette. I was surprised at the amount of attention it got; could it be the contrasting colors at the waist?

1/4 suit, the rest emergency casual wear (roll-up Gap city flats and my $20 Anthro skirt)

In any case, I wore the skirt immediately to work the next day.

Sadly, I noticed that the fabric is already pilling in the rear. I don't know if it was like that when I bought it or if sitting in the airplane killed it, but at the very least it's not horribly noticeable.

I love traveling for work. I enjoy seeing new places and it's fun to feel like a jet setter. My friends are pretty spread out around the country, and thanks to Facebook it is easy to figure out which of my friends live in the cities I am visiting. And since I don't have kids, I don't mind being away from home. Plus, I love hotels!! Getting to stay somewhere overnight is a huge bonus :-)

Do you get to go on business trips? To where? Do you like it? Dish!

In This Outfit: Anthropologie Wreathen Blouse, Anthropologie Field Game Cardigan, Anthropologie Colorblocked Sweater Skirt, Anthropologie Engulfed Effulgence Posts, Necklace from my great-aunt (custom made out of one of her old gold earrings, with my initial on the front!), Thrifted Timex watch, Thrifted Oscar by Oscar de la Renta sling back pumps.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Two Ways: White Blazer

(My work schedule often leaves little time for blog posting but more than enough time for blog-picture-taking-with-my-iPhone. One of the advantages for you, dear reader, is that my accumulated backlog of posts often includes one item worn multiple ways. That's interesting right? RIGHT? Anyway, that's where this "Two Ways" idea came from. See others {here}.)

It doesn't take much more than Suri Cruise telling me it's white shoe season {here} for me to start playing around with my white clothing items. I bought this blazer from H&M a month ago in NYC {here} and so far it's treated me reasonably well.

I couldn't tell you why, but I generally seem to find myself struggling with the color white. Something about it is difficult for me to wear, and yet I'm drawn to it like a masochistic moth to a sartorially sadistic flame. Whenever I spot myself saving images of (other people's) outfits I like, it's almost always an outfit involving white.

In any case, the lovely spring weather makes the color white feel easier.

Look One: Ahoy, Blazey

I got a reprieve from work last weekend and spent the day in Annapolis with my boyfriend. I often feel the need to wear some kind of nautical costume whenever I go to seafaring towns, hence this contrasting duo.

H&M blazer (10), Anthro Slubby Tulip Dress (M), Nine West Loafers, J. Crew belt, Anthro Spotted Satchel, Kate Spade "It Takes All Sorts" necklace, earrings via ideeli.

Look Two: Working It (Out)

OMG, what a cheesy title. Go ahead and unfollow if you have to; no hard feelings.

In this outfit: Anthropologie Sketched Danios Dress (4), H&M blazer, Anthropologie Pirouette Flats, Forever 21 necklace (old), Kate Spade studs, Ripplio watch ({here}, no longer available in this color scheme), Anthropologie Bold Strokes Satchel.

This is today's work outfit. I rarely wear this dress because it's pretty unflattering around the tummy section. Also, the pattern is a bit...unusual. (previous outfits {here} and {here}.) However, I've been noticing the positive effects of {my commuter-cizing regimen}* and feeling more confident in my clothes, so this is the result. I feel springy!

* One downside to the regimen: stupid injuries. I slipped in the office gym last week and fell knees-first onto a rough plastic grate, tearing up the skin on my right knee (I.e., a day off running). Today, my kettle bell workout was sidelined because I aggravated a muscle in my shoulder while riding my bike yesterday with a heavy load slung over my arm.

The gym fall was gory.

Stepping down my workout to account for injuries reminds me of how much I have come to rely on the morning energy expenditure for balance throughout my day! Also, Ann over at My Own Little Spot never fails to get me pumped for pumping iron (see, e.g., {here}).

How was your weekend? Is the weather warming up where you are? It's supposed to hit NINETY in D.C. today!

Friday, April 13, 2012

J.Crew Sale: I apologize in advance

I'm sorry to be the one to tell you guys this, but you are probably going to have to spend a lot of money on today.

1)  There's a 30%-off sale goods promo ending today (use code SHOPNOW).
2)  J.Crew factory just put nearly their entire inventory on sale for 25-50% off.
3)  The SHOPNOW code applies to J.Crew factory, so you get an EXTRA 30% OFF the sale prices.


Sorry.  Truly.

A few of my purchases (of which there were MANY):

Jersey Maxi Skirt - $28 with discount

Factory Dorrie Skirt -- $17 with discount

Factory Pencil Skirt -- $35 with discount (or in denim for $13!)

And one that I didn't get, but wish I had:

Factory Polka Dot Crosstown Tee - $7 with discount (also available in mint-on-white and white-on-blue)

I made a BUNCH of other purchases, which I will probably share with you once I receive them and decide what I'm going to keep.  Amazing, nothing I purchased from Factory was final sale, although my J.Crew jersey maxi skirt was final sale.  I love that you can indulge in these deep discounts and still return the things that don't work out.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sunday Runday: Commuter-cizing

Since running the D.C. St. Patrick's Day 8k, I've been trying to maintain my short-distance running ability. It was difficult for me to maintain a fitness regimen during the winter, but now that the weather is warming up, I'm trying to develop routines that will solidify and carry me through next winter out of habit.

One thing that has been working for me lately? Commuter-cizing.

I live about 4 miles away from my office, so I've been alternatively running and biking to and from work. My commute on the metro takes 25 minutes door-to-door; it takes 45 minutes to run to work and 25 minutes to bike ride. Perhaps commuter-cizing appeals to the discount-loving part of my brain, since I'm essentially getting 25 minutes off each workout with the time I would have spent commuting anyway.

On run days, I pack my clothes in a specialty running backpack. (like this one.) It lies close to my back and two chest straps buckle it into place. I keep my cosmetics and blow-dryer in a duffel bag in my office, and I pick it up from my office once I arrive and then go downstairs to take a shower in the gym showers in the basement of our office building.

On bike days, I do an extra workout in the gym. Lately, I've been working through Jillian Michaels' "Shred it with Weights" (buy here) (this is the kettle bell I got in the 15-pound size).

I love having my workout done in the morning, and sometimes I'll even run home if I feel the need to burn off steam after a long day! Usually, waking up earlier in the morning is the main obstacle to finishing an early workout, but it helps me to know that I'm not really losing much time since I have to get my body to work at some point anyway.

Have you ever tried commuter-cizing? Any words of wisdom?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Friday Funday: Jewish Girl Stars in Her Own Memes

This afternoon, Facebook informed me that several of my friends had read an entertaining article on Yahoo called, "'Ridiculously Photogenic Guy' Image Goes Viral."

Caption this picture

According to "Know Your Meme," this guy just happened to be running a 10k over the weekend, and a spectator was struck by how collected he looked amidst the crowd of runners and took a candid photo.

He was dubbed "Ridiculously Photogenic Guy," and all of a sudden the meme took off:

Now, I love myself a good meme. Not only are they funny, but I find them intellectually interesting as well. What causes an image or an idea to take off and resonate with all of us to a deep degree? What do these memes say about our society?

(See here for a good analysis of this one.)

So all of this got me thinking: if I inadvertently became a meme, what is it mostly likely to be?

Not Surviving The Apocolypse Girl

Format: This meme would be structured around the many things needed for apocalyptic survival that would not fit in a small purse.


Clueless American Traveler

Format: a play on totally obtuse Americans out of their element.


Precariously Close to the Grand Canyon Girl

Format: Top line references danger or emotion that could result from a fall into the Grand Canyon. Second line indicates that first line was about something unrelated to dangerous proximity to certain death.


Truly Concerned News Follower

Format: news follower expresses a valid political opinion, which is then totally disregarded because she looks absurd.


Are you a fan of Internet memes? If so, link to your favorite one in the comments! The Bill O'Reilly meme (mentioned earlier) and the Bear Grillis memes never fail to make me LOL.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend for those celebrating Passover and Easter!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

OOTD: Throw a Black Blazer on it, Part 2

Last week, we explored the ability of the black blazer to pull together disparate and perhaps borderline-professional outfit elements (here). Well, get ready for me to stretch the limit of the black blazer to (past?) its breaking point:

This "dress," which Anthropologie called the "Art of Parties Maxi Dress," is one of the most comfortable items of clothing I own. It's so comfortable, in fact, that I have decided it is more useful to me as amazing Amish sleepwear than it is as a dress to wear out of the house.

Yes, you heard me. These are my pajamas.

I put a black blazer over my pajamas and then went to work.

(Um, am I the only one ever to have done this? Please say no.)

In my defense, I'd sprained my back a few days before, and this particular day was my first day back at the office despite the fact that I was still in a lot of pain. The only way I could inspire myself to roll out of bed was if I didn't have to change out of my comfy PJs.

Of course this is not a recommended work outfit. And although I don't think I'd repeat this unless I were once again significantly under the weather, I actually don't think this outfit looked INappropriate for a day spent sitting in my office and not meeting with clients or partners. And I think I owe it all to the black blazer.

What say you? Am I delusional, or was this *not* *un*acceptable for a sick day in the office? We surely can agree that the black blazer is doing a bang-up job regardless, no?

In this Outfit:
Anthropologie Art of Parties Maxi Dress (S)
Ann Taylor Black Blazer (6)
BCBG shoes (circa 2008 or so)
Kate Spade Doodles Pen Necklace
Banana Republic Black Belt


PS: I just started watching Downton Abbey, and that show has made me badly crave several structured maxi skirt suits. This is my new fashion mission and I WILL make it happen by year end. (True story: I initially typed "maxi it happen." Yes, my head is in the game, people.)


Monday, April 2, 2012

OOTD: No Natural

(it's unfortunate that this shirt photographing so bulkily; it doesn't seem like it looks that way IRL...But maybe it does...)

I went on a bit of a fast-fashion spree last week, indulging in a few trends via cheap purchases at ASOS, Forever 21, and Zara. I generally shy away from artificial fibers and cheap prices, as I often find them indicative of low quality, short wearability, and thus a high cost per wear.

But sometimes I just feel like rolling the dice buying a lot of cheap potentially-crap.

Does this make any sense? Maybe not. I just know that I still have a few pieces I bought for $10 or $20 at Charlotte Russe and the like while I was in college, and it's the promise of potentially great pieces like those that keep me coming back for more.

(I got this vest in both blue and brown in ~2004 and it has served me well!)

As far as the elements of today's outfit, I'm sold on the ASOS pants, which already withstood a day of wear and a machine wash (along with a 20 minute tumble dry) looking no worse for the wear. The ikat print top may be a different story. The sheer fabric feels delicate, and I foresee a fatal snag in its future. Hopefully I can wear it two or three times before it dies.

Ikat Print Button Up (Forever 21, here) (M - runs pretty big)
Undertank from Zara (M)
ASOS Low-Slung Peg Pants ($55 here, but I bought them on sale a few weeks ago for $35 somehow?) (8)
Nine West Shoes (thrifted) (because of the rich blue color, these seem to get lots of attention!)
Michael Kors Chronograph watch (on sale here for $187!)
Coach black pave earrings
ALDO necklace (circa 2010)


PS: I got a haircut! I've been seeing the same stylist in NYC (Julie and Jude and Me Salon) for three years and I refuse to switch if I can help it! She's never given me a bad cut, and she has that wonderful ability to adapt what you are asking for into a combination of what you want and what will actually work for your hair/face. I was hoping to debut the cut in a better photo, but I've been "commutercizing" lately, so I am not showered or dressed when I leave the house anymore. More on that another day!

PPS: I saw Hunger Games this weekend, and now I find myself predictably re-reading the second and third books. I very much enjoyed the movie, although I think you miss some of the backstory and significance if you haven't read the first book. Those who have seen it, would you agree with that assessment?

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