October 23, 2011

Ain’t Misbehavin’

I know it’s been like a month! But I have been doing really well. I have traveled to New York, LA and just booked a trip to Barcelona in the last month! A high fashion model with runway bookings you may ask? I’m just lucky enough to have a husband that travels for work and I couldn’t pass up the opportunities to check out what the coasts like to wear.

I mentioned it before but one of the things I notice most about fashion in NY and LA is the ability to be fearless in their choices. It’s a rule I am trying to live by on a daily basis. Pick something you would not normally wear and don’t look back. I have been having a ton of fun mixing and matching new and existing pieces. I have a shoe collection that I am finally in envy of and I spend wisely and only buy quality pieces that will last years to come.

One of my latest experiments is with all the new nail design kits that are in the local drugstore. I love, love, love doing my nails. I had my own nail polish-a-day challenge a few weeks back and while I loved adding that difficult to remove glitter to my fingertips I have been really curious about the Sally Hansen Nail Effects. I have read mixed reviews, with a 50/50 success rate. My cousin Marissa had used them earlier this summer and while her blue glittery fingernails came out flawless, you would never suspect she does her own nails by the way they look. She does but she’s a ton more patient than me 🙂

I thought I’d give it a shot and it wouldn’t take long to figure out if it would or wouldn’t work. It costs $10 for a pack of 16. That’s high if you think it claims to last 10 days. That’s a little less than a manicure and there’s no guarantee it is going to work. I bought the color Misbehaved, which depending on the way you look at it, is either reptilish, lacy or even New Orleans ironwork-y on a glittery gold background. Perfect for Halloween or a little Who Dat football!

Preparation is key. You want your nails as smooth and clean as possible. No hang nails, pushed back cuticles, you need it to be as flawless as possible to get started. The kit comes with a nail buffer, the little wood stick to push back cuticles, and 16 strips. You apply at the cuticle and just push it down and smooth it out. Once it is smooth and you feel that it’s sticking, you use the handy little file provided and file the excess off. I didn’t think this step would work as well as it did. You can also use the stick to help pull it away from the edge of your nails where it overlaps on your skin.

I have really small hands so I was a little worried since the strips are pretty wide. The application is a very slow process!!! Patience is key so set aside some time. I would say the entire process took me about 45 minutes. Part of that has to do with the obvious, that whatever hand you don’t write with is going to be painstaking! The strips are very easy to apply once you get the hang of it. I was concerned it would be really sticky but I did have to pick one back up after I applied it wrong and with a little care, it’s more durable than you think.

I really do love them and it came out much better than I expected. I have had them on for a few hours and I was even knitting some hand warmers. They do catch a little bit and one of them has chipped a little. However, I decided to add a clear base Sally Hansen top coat and I can tell that has sealed them a bit. I also know that because I use my right hand much more than my left, it’s going to get beat up a little bit. More to come on the wear and tear over the next few days. Not sure I’ll make it to 10 days but I didn’t think I’d get this far.

I’d definitely do this again, but not on a weekly basis. I bet feet would be pretty cute actually!!! (Ah good thought, Christina!) I give it two cute misbehaved thumbs up!

I’ll be checking in a little more regularly so thanks for sticking around! Stay tuned. With Halloween on the way, I have purchased a ton of cute new brightly colored stockings thanks to the Spirit pop-up shops all around town. Compared to the $12 that the Hue stockings cost, I have managed to get some hot pink, red and bright kelly green stocking for about $5 a pop. The fearless fashionista in me has some plans to experiment a little this Halloween week!

October 3, 2011

Dress Like a New Yorker – New Challenge

It’s Monday and I’m here with a 3 day challenge that I think will be fun. My previous post, on New Yorkers and fashion, have lead me to my latest challenge. I enjoy challenging myself to be a tad fashion forward and I admire the fearlessness of New York women and their fashion choices. So this week, I will dress based on each of the observations. Let’s recap so we all know what I’m in for.

– New York Women are Unafraid to Experiment

– Their wardrobe is a host of unique, one-of-a-kind pieces

– Fashion should be effortless

So with that being said, today I am attempting to be effortless in my fashion choice. Today we are experiencing some really cool temperatures. I don’t love the cold (50 degrees is cold for me!) but I love dressing for the cooler months. I’m kind of in love with this look and it was extremely comfortable to wear all day! The best part was that the stockings have the same chevron pattern as the dress! Subtle but noted! (still getting used to having my pic taken)

Already have tomorrow’s look ready. It’s going to be my Unafraid to Experiment Look. I’m a little nervous because it will be trés bold! Stay tuned.

October 1, 2011

The ABCs of NYC

New York City and Fashion go together like peanut butter and jelly! Like Princess Kate and William! Red Beans ‘n’ Rice!! I have been meaning to share my New York experience and I apologize for the long delay. In fact, I have started this post numerous times at a loss for words on how to describe the lifestyle of New Yorkers, but I think I have finally figured out a way to put it all together. I’ve broken down a few key observations that I’d like to share.

1. New York women are unafraid to experiment. You want to wear a pair of green tights and pair it with orange shoes, a motorcycle jacket and a short dress? Go for it. No one cares. The pace of the city is overwhelmingly fast so unless you are a visitor like me, there’s no time to stop and stare.

2. Shop unique one-of-a-kind pieces. Fortunately for New Yorkers there are hundreds of street markets, resale boutiques, thrift shops and sample sales (We walked right into a Michael Kors sample sale on the street!!) to fill 100 closets on any given day. You know how you can often spot someone wearing a top from Ann Taylor or Banana? Well, I think New York women make the effort to find the only top in the world that exists and add it to their wardrobe.

3. Fashion should be effortless. I don’t know how they managed to do it but everything looked effortless. If I eventually walked out the door in a loose fitting sweater, skinny jeans and riding boots, complete with a newsboy hat and layers of gold necklaces, I probably would look like I’m going to a Halloween party. I just can’t think like that.

My trip to New York was a real eye-opener for me fashion-wise. I realized that I need to be unafraid. Not concerned with with what people may or may not say and if something feels right, go for it!

In another note, I had a rough fashion week. I eventually wore that Saints shirt I’ve been meaning to leave for Sundays this past Tuesday, I wore a lot of grey and my nails were not perfectly polished. I feel like New York had this strange effect on me, where I was so exposed to a world that I’m very unfamiliar with. Maybe I’m not cut out for the cutting edge. I like to believe that I have it in me to be this savvy fashionista, but seeing some real fashionistas, and fashionistas who aren’t even trying, sort of crushed my spirit about this whole thing.

To get myself out of that slump, I headed out on this gorgeous cool sunny day for a little retail therapy over to one of Atlanta’s exciting outdoor shopping experiences: Atlantic Station. It’s really just an outdoor mall, but it’s lovely and never crowded. I’m so happy to share with you, my latest purchase! I walked right into a super shoe sale at Dillard’s and look what I got for $15!!!! Who doesn’t need a pair of hot pink pumps. I may not be ready for the Big Apple, but I’m always available for a Big Sale!

I am heading to the West Coast next week to visit my brother and sister-in-law in Los Angeles. I’ll also be heading to a conference with my husband, at the Culver Studios. Whew jet-setting to the opposite coast to see how the California girls like to dress. Hmmm…We’ll see! Should be interesting to say the least!

September 27, 2011

New York State of Mind

I have been away for the past few days but wanted to check in and say hello. I spent the last few days roaming the streets of New York City. I have a ton to report to you but I need a New York minute to process the experience. In the meantime, enjoy some non-fashion related pics of the Big Apple.

September 22, 2011

It’s Not A Sprint

Have you ever heard the expression, “Old habits die hard?” or “Slow and steady wins the race”? Well, in my fearless attempt to dress a little better and this week’s challenge of wearing a pair of heels, I am listening to these brilliant words of wisdom. I did not wear heels today, but my favorite pair of Steve Madden Kingdom flats in cognac. I even put on that new Saints shirt again this morning, but had I worn it today, I might not have written a post and would be seeking a hiding place over the next few days. Only yesterday I bragged how unchallenging the ability to wear heels was only to be met with a comfortable pair of flats on this overcast and rainy Thursday. I feel like I did a terrible thing and let myself and the challenge down. But then again, only three months ago, I was a mess of cheap logo tees, ripped jeans and $2 Old Navy flip flops. I was whining a few posts ago that Cost Per Wear was silly and that expensive things were just that, expensive. Part of the growth is recognizing the problem and while I could have opted for some of my cheaper teenage-style clothes, I still managed to put together a nice outfit of tailored jeans, a structured top from Anthropologie, a bit of makeup and my hair straightened and pulled back into a sleek ponytail.

I also know that I probably won’t be wearing the heels tomorrow, but on a more upbeat note, I am heading to New York City this weekend for a fun trip to visit my sister-in-law and her husband and to do some major field reporting of true New Yorker style! Holy Moly!! I cannot wait. What is it about New Yorkers and their effortless urban chicn style? I just finished packing and tried to look as toned down as possible in my wardrobe choices. I have the same feeling when I went to Cannes a few years back. I shopped at JCrew prior to the trip and purchased a wardrobe that I hoped wouldn’t scream American. It didn’t scream American but it did scream librarian next to the fab high fashion ‘drobes of the French Riviera locals. I’m hoping I have a little more sense this time around. Expect a full report and hopefully a bunch of Instagrams of New York street style at its finest.

While I may not have followed through on today or tomorrow’s heels challenge(I will be walking through some of the largest airports), please note that my suitcase is packed with heels, flats, skinny jeans, a fab scarf and hopefully I will blend in and not feel so librarian this time around.

September 21, 2011

The LBD of shoes

It’s Wednesday and I’ve made it through three fairly painless days of heel-wearing to work. I honestly didn’t expect this to be quite so simple. (Which I am sure now means I will take a nice good tumble tomorrow!) I rebounded from my wedges yesterday and wore my go-to black heels from BCBG. I honestly do not know how long I have had these but I have worn them to numerous weddings, gallery openings and probably a holiday or two. They are my most comfortable pair of heels ever! In fact, when I had to do a few pick up shots today from yesterday’s photo shoot, I did not even care that I was going to walk around our studio setting up lights in them. I really do love the feeling I get when I walk around in my heels and I’m feeling less and less self conscious about making THE LOUDEST NOISE walking through our studio. It’s like ‘Hey! I’m walking around! In heels!’

I did not do you honor of taking a photo of myself today. My photographer is MIA for the evening but I’ll try and get one up tomorrow. I did photograph the shoes and put together a quick little graphic. I will say this, while I do love the heels, it is really hard for me to put them together with jeans. I know I need to get over that, it just feels like I’m dressed for the opera. (Or how I would dress for the opera) I felt like my trousers were so dressy with the heel that I toned it down with a basic Gap tank. I guarantee you, a year ago, I would have worn this with flip flops, which I still love cute flip flops paired with wide-legged trousers. I love the look of having no feet. Weird I know and this blog is therapy for that. Happy Wednesday

September 20, 2011

Making the Who Dat Nation Fashionable!

Crazy day! Okay, so I know they are not technically considered heels, but I wore my really cute ankle bootie wedges today. I learned a lot this morning before I even got out the door and I have been dying to share this with you. I knew today’s dress had to be fairly casual. I was helping with a photo shoot which required me to be really mobile today so testing out a pair of high heels that I hadn’t worn in a year wasn’t really an option. I could still run down the street to our main studio when the camera charger went AWOL. I wouldn’t have been able to do that in a pair of 4 inch heels.

My brand new Saints shirt came in the mail yesterday and I was dying to wear it today. I put it on and even ate breakfast wearing it when I came to my senses and realized that a shirt like this was better meant to be saved for game day. Of course I am a fan, but it’s Tuesday for pete’s sake. If I really feel the need to be sporting the black and gold, I can do it in other ways. So I changed out of my cute Saints tee and opted for a basic white t-shirt but with a little bit of sparkle and my new Missoni velour hoodie, skinny jeans and wait for it, a glittery gold belt, black and gold Kate Spade bangle and a tiny little New Orleans Saints charm. Hellooo! I just made being a member of the Who Dat Nation fashionable. I get all my black and gold in and it’s subtle. I do feel like I cheated myself out of a day of heels but I promise I’ll make up for it tomorrow. It’s like when you miss a day at the gym and you know you’re going to have do an extra set of lunges! I’ll wear some good ones tomorrow!

I’m so not liking the photos but I don’t know what other way to do it.

Skinny Jeans – Levi’s, Wedge Ankle Booties, Blowfish – DSW
White Sparkle Tee – Banana Republic, Glittery Gold Belt – ebay, Kate Spade Bangle

Detail of my New Orleans Saints charm

September 19, 2011

Like Ridin’ A Bike

One day down, four to go! If you can get through Monday, the rest of the week is usually cake. (For some people. I am not one of those people.) Today was the first day of my weeklong challenge to wear a pair of heels to work. I seriously had butterflies about this challenge. What if I fell down, or tripped? What if I flew down the stairs to my basement office. I’ve fallen up and down those stairs numerous times and I was wearing flats! It was similar to that feeling you get when all your friends say they are going to come to class dressed like Madonna and then you are the only one that actually does it. I live in flat shoes so wearing heels was like playing dress up!

Well, let me tell you! It was like riding a bike. I walked all over my office today and only once I left my shoe a few stairs behind, but I didn’t fall! I chatted my co-worker Stacey early this morning and told her, “I want to get a second cup of coffee, but I wore heels today and I don’t want to go up the stairs.” Of course she laughed and that made me feel better so I went up those stairs and grabbed another cup. After that, I couldn’t wait to find an excuse to leave my desk and run up the stairs!

Scarier than wearing the heels though, was the challenge of finding what to wear with them. You can wear flats with almost anything, but I don’t think that applies to wearing heels. I think I dressed up more today than I ever have for a day at the office and it felt comfortable. I put together an outfit with pieces that I’ve had for years and had never put together before. Another big first, is that you will see me in a photo. Heavens above! I really am not a fan of being photographed but I did my best to get beyond that. Ugh! Still wearing jeans, but it works for my casual office.

Heels – Zara, Jeans – Ann Taylor Loft, Cardigan and Top – JCrew
Necklace – Express, Nail Polish – Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Sonic Boom

I’m already thinking about what to wear tomorrow! Gonna dress you up in my love!

September 18, 2011

Fashion Challenge #2

Another week, another challenge. I hate to say it, but I have to suck it up and do it, this week is heels! Yes, you heard me correctly! I’m going to attempt to wear heels each day this week. Monday through Friday. My office better be ready. I am ready to strut around the loud concrete floors of my office standing 2-3 inches taller than normal, which for me amounts to 5’2″! The flats will take a mini-vacay for a few days.

I don’t know why I am so afraid but I am. In college I sported some of the tallest Kiss boots to my 8 hour retail shifts, climbing through the 3 floors of the Virgin Megastore. I ran through the streets of the French Quarter after a cocktail or two, wearing the cutest Carlos Santana pink polka dot high heels you can imagine. I can do this! It’s time to break out the heels and walk up the studio stairs to pour myself a cup of coffee and slowly walk back down that flight and sit at my desk and animate. I just imagine myself falling down or looking like a girl that doesn’t know how to walk in heels. Okay, I’m fired up! I’ll show those heels who’s boss!

Here’s a quick survey of the shoes that will go into the rotation. A bit outdated of a collection, but not wearing heels ever, I have refused to spend money on them. I’m also not convinced I’ll be wearing the almost 4″ blue Badgley Mischka heels. I wore them for my wedding and swore that was the last time ever. We’ll see how this week goes and maybe I’ll buy a new pair or two!

Off to paint my nails. I haven’t touched them since Friday and they need a little TLC! Who Dat for the Saints fans! Big win over Chicago

September 16, 2011

First Challenge = Success!

Whew! I’m not sure who is happier that the first challenge of painting my nails a different color everyday for a week is over, me or my nails! The exciting part was that I pulled out some bottles that I had never used and my polishing skills greatly improved. The downside was that I think the remover was a little tough on my nails. They feel a little raw. They really took one for the team! I have one last shade to share with you, but first a recap:

Nice variety, dontcha think? And yes, I spoiled it for you with the last image. Today’s shade is not really a shade, but some therapy for the nails. I couldn’t help myself. I was staring at my 40 bottles trying to decide what to do, but I gave my nails a little rest today.

I went for some Sally Hansen, Hard As Nails, in Natural Tint. Yes, tint, not shade!

It’s already got me thinking about what next week’s challenge is going to be. I am going to New York City next weekend for a fun quick trip, so I definitely need to take that into consideration. Maybe I should do a NYC Weekend Challenge? hmmm…lots to think about. Stay tuned and have a great weekend!