Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Anthropologie's Master Class in Imprompu Marketing

BRILLIANT.  I love it when companies react to current events with clever freebies like this.  Way to build loyalty, Anthro!

Everyone weather the storm okay?  I've still got power and internet, although I haven't been outside to assess the damage yet.  Instead I watched Paranormal Activity 2 and 3 on Netflix and chased it with The Descendants on HBO On Demand, while making chili in my pressure cooker and baking butter-less cookies (for lack of butter, not for health reasons).

Can we call a day "productive" if you don't produce anything?  Except chocolate chip cookies, which you then ate four of?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Blog Sale (plus a pre-Hawaii OOTD)

One of the items on my to-do list for the last four months has been to list a pile of new items for sale on my "Stuff Jewish Girls Aren't As Fond of Anymore" blogsale blog. This past week, after cleaning out my closet and added even more items to the pile, I finally went through the (four-hour) process of putting them all online.
Yeah, it was a mission.
The items are sorted by type. There are a bunch of Anthropologie items (ctrl+F to find them quickly) and lots of J.Crew as well. Most items are $10-$20 except for an Armani Blazer, a pair of Italian boots I'm trying to recoup the cost of, and two popular Anthro dresses and one popular Anthro cardigan.
Check it out at my sale blog here...all proceeds are going towards my student loans!
Also, here's a quick backlogged OOTD -- before I show you my new haircut, I want to get through the backlogged outfits! I wore this to work shortly before leaving for Hawaii and the only thing anybody noticed was my glasses!
Old Navy 3/4 Sleeve Button Tab Blouse
J.Crew Royal Paisley Pencil Skirt
Seychelles Password Pumps
Michael Kors Chronograph Watch
Classes c/o Firmoo (here) (reviewed here)
Coach Necklace
Sara Aghili Ring
Kate Spade Rhinestone Studs
Are any of you in storm-affected areas today? Our office is closed, but I am still expected to work from home! So far it just looks like a lot of rain, not much wind.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Working Wednesday: How Do You Do Your To Dos?

Although there must be hundreds of productivity applications available for my desktop, iPhone, or iPad, I love the simplicity (and frugality) of a paper To Do list. At the start of each day, I write down a list of tasks to accomplish. If something new comes up during the course of the day, I can add it to the list without worrying that it will get lost in the shuffle of my email.

This is not rocket science.

A few months back, I bought this cute mouse notepad at (where else?) Anthropologie. The notepad has a little calendar on the top and lots of space to write.

(Similar: for $6 in purple polka dots; for $11.50 with birds on it; and more structured versions for about $9 each here, here, and here)

Having my To Do list on my mousepad means that my list is always literally right underneath my writing hand. It's always visible and something about constantly touching it seems to refocus me a bit. (A BIT. I still could use an internet outage now and again to further improve my productivity.)

A few of my favorite To Do List habits:

  • If I feel completely overwhelmed by a task, I break it down into smaller tasks until I feel confident with the steps (e.g., "Open a word document and save it as 'Deposition Memo.'" Okay, I can do that.)
  • Write down tasks I've already completed just so I can cross something off.
  • Use different colored ink for different days. That way I save paper by combining lists but can easily distinguish the tasks that have been sitting idle for a while.
How do you keep your tasks organized at work? If you use To Do Lists, do you have any fun tricks to share?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

OOTD: Skirt Panting the Issue

Well, I guess it's about time for me to tell you about my almost two-week trip to Hawaii.

But since that will take a while and I'm getting crushed by work today, instead I will just show you this outfit.

In this Outfit:
Old Navy Horizontal Stripe Shirt (here)
Anthropologie Cuffed Tweed Crops (6) (shrunk in wash) (similar-ish; splurgier)
BCBG shoes (old) (similar (with bow); or similar (with buckle))
Michael Kors Chronograph Rectangular Watch (similar in gold; similar in gold but also on sale for $185; not similar except in rectangular shape but only $30)
Bracelets from Madewell and Payless (similar to Madewell arrow bracelet; similar to Payless knot bracelet)
Initial Necklace (gift from great-aunt) (similar)
Kate Spade Studs (similar)

I was a bit afraid to try on these pants again because the last time I wore them, I realized I shrunk them in a misguided effort to save money by machine-washing dry clean only items. I am several pounds heavier and quite a bit less fit than that day, so the odds seemed never in my favor.

But fit they did, and thank goodness because we are getting into wooly pants weather.

Look at that smug grin.  Also I swear I am not pregnant.

Also, although we're having a bit of a warm week this week, last week was cool enough to whip out my favorite grandpa coat, purchased for something like $35 last year at Anthro.

My love for this coat was (and maybe still is) a bit irrational, but I can't deny that I felt a bit justified upon seeing this photo on The Sartorialist the other day:

I am just SO AHEAD OF THE CURVE, YOU GUYS. I mean, I am so far ahead of the curve that I am behind the curve.

Have you ever purchased or loved something a little nutso only to feel justified later?

Friday, October 19, 2012

30% off at Kate Spade!

In case your entire RSS feed has not already told you this, Kate Spade is having a 30% off Friends & Family sale (in stores and online, although not in outlets) this weekend!  Use code F12FFUS.  (And don't forget to sign up for eBates for an extra 3.5% cash back.)

The sale is good for both full-price and sale merchandise.  Incidentally, if you've been thinking about taking the plunge and getting one of Kate Spade's famous book clutches, now is the time because they never, EVER go on sale.  At least, they haven't in the last two years that I've been watching them.

The Pride and Prejudice book clutch I got during a prior F&F sale (here, now $228) (see full outfit entry here)

I mentioned that I've been faltering with my budgeting lately, and I just could not resist indulging in this sale.*  Anyone have some self-talk strategies for situations like this?  (Really, my biggest problem lately has been violating my own rule and clicking on links.)  My financial/budget situation is somewhat unmotivating in that I can AFFORD to buy purses at Kate Spade once in a while, and I work hard enough (and have zero-enough kids) that I feel like I want to sometimes just stupidly enjoy my money, and it only means my loans may take another quarter-month to pay off.  (Those quarter-months, of course, add up.)  I need to refocus and keep my eyes on the prize:  full repayment within four years!

I know, I know, #firstworldproblems.

*  I will admit to having a special bee in my bonnet WRT Kate Spade.  I passed up the Typewriter Clyde (pictured at right) in the F&F sale two years ago, even though it was reduced down to just under $200, because the bag seemed a bit too kitchy for daily use.  I have regretted that decision consistently since that day, and now that bag doesn't sell for less than $450 on eBay...and it only appears once a month!  The sting of that regret is still strong and perhaps biases me towards buying Kate Spade things when in doubt. :-(

Anyway, because I know you want to know, here's what I bought:

Kate Spade F&F 10/2012

1.  Kate Spade Baxter Street Priscilla (now $140 here)
2.  Kate Spade Wordsmith Dictionary Clutch (now $250 here)
3.  Kate Spade Desert Stone Bangle (now $27)
4.  Kate Spade Doodles Pencil Necklace (also comes in purple and green) (now $38, here)

Any fun weekend plans?  Is it as (relatively) warm where you are as it is in DC?

(PS:  Thank you for all of the advice on my haircut...the appointment is Thursday, so if you happen to stumble across any photos of short haircuts you think I should see, please feel free to leave them in the comments!)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cut my Hair! (or don't. whatever.)

It's happened.

Once every year and a half or so, I am overtaken by one urge and one urge only:

Maybe not quite this extreme, but I just want to cut ALL TEH HAIRZ.

But I always chicken out of getting something super-short, a la:

And end up with an above-shoulders bob, like so:

So I decided to crowdsource my next haircut.  Let me know in the comments what you think I should do, and know this:  I hate spending time on my hair in the morning, I hate styling products, and my unmanaged hair currently looks like this:

Yes.  Please help.

Friday, October 12, 2012

OOTD: Welcome Back (to me)!

Usually if you don't hear from me for a few days, it's because I was suddenly inundated with work. This time, it's because I spent the last week and a half in Hawaii!
I'll post some pictures next week, but in the meantime, here's the outfit I wore on my first day back to work yesterday.
In this Outfit:

Women's Roll-Cuff Blouse in Bright Nite (M, initially a bit tight in the shoulders but it's gotten more comfortable) ($20 here) (Note: after washing the first time, I noticed a patch of fabric in the back that seemed to be heat damaged. I don't think I did anything wrong in washing it...cold water only, although I can't remember if I ran it through the dryer...I don't think so? Anyway, there's a chance I disregarded care instructions and put this through the dryer and damaged it myself, but in any case you should know that I had this issue! The shirt is still wearable, and the mark was less noticeable after its second wash, but this is obviously annoying.)

Banana Republic (outlet) Paisley skirt (6) (machine washable!) (bought in Vegas!)

J.Crew factory beaded bib necklace

Kate Spade Lever-Back earrings

Seychelles Password Pumps (9)

Michael Kors chronograph watch in rose gold

Although adjusting to the change of pace between a Hawaiian vacation and working on a very very busy case at a big law firm has been a bit abrupt (the case started heating up while I was gone) it's actually kind of nice to be back. I feel like I got off-track in a lot of areas of my life in September (work ethic, eating, shopping...), and this vacation was a good way to hit the "reset" button and come back ready to kick all kinds of butt. More on that another day, I'm sure.
This is my "time to get serious" face. Or maybe it's my trepidation face.
So, what did I miss while I was gone?

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Weekend in (Old) Vegas

My boyfriend and I spent the weekend in one of our favorite U.S. vacation destinations:

You've heard me talk before about the charm of Atlantic City (see, e.g., here, here, here), so I hope you'll indulge me in a bit of Vegas chatter now! This weekend marked my fifth trip to Vegas. This time, we decided to do something a bit different and stay off the main strip in Downtown Las Vegas (aka "Old Vegas"). We had an AMAZING time! Here are a few highlights:

The Freemont Street Experience

Old Vegas is the area from whence Las Vegas originally sprung. Downtown is steeped in rich history and resembles the crazy neon playground many of us think of when we imagine Vegas. The casinos bordering the downtown strip are covered in neon light and flashing bulbs.

There are tons of fun happenings on Freemont street...

Free concerts...

Haunted house! (temporary) (freaky. Haunted houses scare the you-know-what out of me, so why do I keep going in them?)


Every night between dusk and midnight, there is a laser light and music show on the overhang protecting Freemont Street (the main downtown strip).

One of the nice things about downtown Vegas is that all of the casinos (especially those on Freemont Street) are extremely close together. Although casinos on the new strip are next to each other, you often half to walk half a mile to get to the next door casino!

You can take your photo with "a million dollars" at Binion's (and they print it for you for free! You don't even need to give them your email address!)

The Heart Attack Grill

Okay, so we didn't actually eat here*, but this landmark of downtown Vegas is definitely a sight to behold. It is a monument to obesity in America, serving butterfat milkshakes, fries cooked in lard, and a "quadruple bypass burger" that contains four burger patties and up to twenty slices of bacon. If you finish one, the waitresses wheel you out of the restaurant in a wheelchair.

Did I mention that every customer gets put in a hospital gown upon entry? And that the waitresses are dressed in sexy nurse outfits?

The best (and simultaneously worst) part? If you are over 350 pounds (and weigh in on a public scale) you eat free.

No free burger for my boyfriend.

Ironically (and sadly) two people actually had real heart attacks in this restaurant a few months ago. In the first instance, the tourists inside thought it was a show and asked him to turn a bit while on the floor so they could get a better picture! (source)

* Hash House A Go Go

In case my claim that my boyfriend and I did not eat at Heart Attack Grill sounded superior, allow me to mention that we DID eat at Hash House A Go Go, which has a new location in The Plaza hotel in downtown Vegas.

Our breakfast looked like this:

Sage fried chicken eggs benedict (also featuring bacon, mashed potatoes, cheese, buttermilk biscuit, and chipotle cream). Thanks, watermelon. This plate must be healthy now! (source)

The Golden Nugget

We stayed at the Golden Nugget, which was perfectly nice and had an incredible pool!

OMG, that slide! Tragically I never even got to ride it; I saved it for the last night, but then there was a "biohazard" that closed the pool. Any guesses on the nature of the hazard? Poop in the pool?

While at the nugget, we sampled many of the restaurants at the casino (the italian place (Grotto) and The Grill...meh. Lillie's Asian cuisine and Vic and Anthony's steakhouse...DROOLSOGOOD). We also partook in a few poker tournaments. Although they had a very quick structure, we did pretty well in them. Amazingly, you can buy in an hour and a half late with a huge chipstack. I took first place in one small tournament and my boyfriend cashed in the same one.

The Mafia Museum

As you might imagine, the history of Las Vegas is steeped in the mafia. There's a very interesting museum downtown called the Mafia Museum. It gives you an interesting look at the role of the mob in America, and particularly in Las Vegas. Also, there are tons of fun photo opportunities!

I thought this quote was hilarious, spoken by a mafioso who suspected his house was bugged (and it was):

I live by these words with regards to the information I publish on the internet---nothing I wouldn't stand behind in person!

Pinball Hall of Fame

This destination was my boyfriend's idea and it was a HUGE hit. The pinball museum is a nonprofit that collects and restores pinball machines (some as new as this year, some fifty or sixty years old) and vintage arcade games. It doesn't cost anything to get in and all of the machines cost between a quarter and 75 cents to play.

Remember Paperboy? Does anyone remember the name of that tv show on Nikelodeon that allowed you to play in virtual reality inside paperboy?

I learned that I am HORRIBLE at pinball, but I had a lot of fun anyway. (hey, not my fault---I wasn't allowed to have video games as a kid!) Did you know that you can actually aim that metal ball so that it gets somewhere? Or that there are missions to accomplish in a lot of pinball games? Or that you can keep the ball in motion for longer than two minutes? I didn't!!

Me struggling with pinball. In case you couldn't tell from my in-the-mirror outfit photos, my boyfriend (while amazing at many things) is not a photographer.

The Outlets

Las Vegas is home to two outlet malls: one in the north, one in the south. I prefer the north outlets because they are open-air (the south outlets are in kind of a dingy mall). Plus, the north outlets have a Kate Spade! And it's only a mile from downtown Vegas!

Somehow I managed to escape Kate Spade with only two pairs of earrings (despite a 50% off everything sale AAAKCCKK purses). I did buy a few other things, though....budget, I promise I will be faithful to you after vacation!

Michael Kors iPad folio

Ah, Vegas, I only just left you and I already miss you! We will DEFINITELY stay in old Vegas again!

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