New Dress @ Banana Republic

My January 1st closet organization project left me feeling embarrassed (there were at least half a dozen things I forgot I bought in there, including new items with tags. Sigh) and overloaded.

But.

This dress from the newest collection at Banana Republic is pretty cute.

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This bracelet would also look good with it:

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Must. Resist.

Merry Christmas (To Me)

Did I mention that I needed to start my holiday shopping?

Spouse and I made a list last night of all the people we needed to gift, plus what we’d already accomplished.

Summary: The list spanned more than 50 people and the fait accompli section was a mere 20%.

Yikes!

Yet, despite all of this, the same this happened as does every year: the accounting showed that I had purchased some pretty sweet gifts for myself.

Seriously, the deals this time of year are impossible (for me) to resist.

(I know, I know).

I spent a portion of last night opening the mountain (yes, fair descriptor) of packages piled at the front door of Fancy Pants Ranch and discovered two items that were just for me.

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The first was an ice-blue cashmere scarf from Banana Republic that I got for 40% off and the second was a tee shirt from Bombas with a motivational message.

Since my resolution for 2015 is to be authentic, this shirt hit home with me.

Bee better.

So true.

 

 

 

Holiday Shopping

Ugh. I really, really need to get in gear with my holiday shopping.

I haven’t even started on the easy people yet (my Lego crazy 7 year old and “Frozen” crazy 5 year old; I mean these are total softballs), not to mention the challenging recipients who require rare acquisitions that demand sourcing, prep work and occasional trips to strange stores that don’t even have signs out front.

I think I’m also going to need to select some type of emergency rush shipping option that involves uniformed butlers hand-delivering the goods to my front doorstep.

That should be cheap.

Meanwhile, I’ll dream of strolling through New York and viewing the fantastical window displays . Here’s a roundup of 2014’s best holiday windows, as per the “Today Show.”

 

 

 

Hawaii Recap: Fighting Eel

Fighting Eel is a Hawaiian clothing brand made up of easy pieces that look great with everything from flip flops to heels.

I went nuts at their Waikiki Beach boutique, so much that I had to go back three times to take it all in.

Fighting Eel’s stores are stocked with their namesake items as well as other cool clothing and accessory brands. Much of their jewelry is made in Hawaii.

I bought two tees, one with a palm tree that says “Aloha” (couldn’t find a picture online) and this one:

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The cotton is soft and perfect.

The third trip yielded this LAmade striped jacket (also available at Nordstrom):

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They had some great canvas pouches with beach prints: tumblr_inline_ml2j7q5cIq1qz4rgp

The jewelry was spectacular! I bought two beaded necklaces and one delicate one with my initial.

I can’t believe I missed this one on my first visit, but my friend P. spotted it and sent me back to check it out:

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Stitch Fix

Have you tried Stitch Fix?

My friend D. recommended trying it out after I recently posted about my new fascination with subscription box services.

You develop a style profile and Stitch Fix will send you five clothing recommendations to try on at home. You keep the things you like and return the ones you don’t. The website says that the average cost per item is $55. You get a discount if you keep all five.

You also schedule the frequency of shipments, ranging from every 2 weeks to every 2 months.

Creating a style profile was fun. I said that I liked this overall style:

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But not this one:

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The second one skewed a little too Grateful Dead concert in ’89 for me. (Coachella? I guess that is probably a more contemporary reference. I’m really showing my age here, People).

I also said I was game for animal or critter prints, polka dots, and most colors except burgundy, red and purple.

I just scheduled my first shipment. Will post when it arrives! 

 

 

 

 

Subscription Boxes

Well, I just discovered a new addiction.

One of my coworkers recently had two boxes of interesting snacks on her desk and informed me that they were from subscription delivery services.

I’ve seen this idea around for a while, but I’ve never bitten. Yet.

However:

  • I love to shop
  • I love surprises
  • I love presents
  • I love to get packages
  • I am a sucker for so many things, so why not these?

 A quick perusal of My Subscription Addiction (yes! This is a real site) showed that there are subscription boxes for just about anything: vegan snacks, whole meals, artisinal chocolates, retro candy, socks, craft kits, entire outfits, cosmetics, etc, etc, etc.

 These caught my eye:

  • Graze.  This is a healthy snack site. You choose the snacks you want delivered and how often. This is one of the boxes my coworker had, and I have to admit, the snacks look good. She gets one box per week. The portions are small (Ok, they are appropriately sized for a snack but I could eat all four at once). This is also an inexpensive site since each box is about $5.
  • Nourish Snacks. This is another healthy snack site. For $12.50 per week, you get five healthy snacks, each less than 200 calories.
  • POP Sugar Must Have. it’s hard to describe this box, but it’s full of random trendy items like candles, jewelry, books, home decor, fashion accessories and cosmetics. It’s $39.95 a month, with a discount if you pre-order several boxes at a time.
  • Birchbox. This is one of the original companies in this area. For $10 a month, you get deluxe beauty samples.
  • New Beauty Test Tube. This is another cosmetic/skin care sampler, but it focuses on anti-aging products. Which, sadly, I really need.

 I think I’m going to sign up for Graze, POP Sugar and New Beauty, at least to give them a whirl.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Beauty Deals

Oh, how I love the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! 

Spectacularly sad but true, I look forward to this event with no small amount of anticipation every year.

The Beauty Exclusives are particularly hard to resist.

Yesterday I got my hair done at a salon that happens to be a mere 10 minutes away from the only Nordstrom around, and mysteriously my car navigated there on my way home.

This year did not disappoint.

First up, this Kate Somerville set.

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While this set is still pricey ($98), it’s worth $191, making it one of the best deals of the sale. The Age Arrest Anti-Wrinkle cream is worth $90 alone. And if you haven’t tried it, the ExfoliKate treatment is one of the line’s star products. 

Next, AERIN Beauty’s ‘Lilac Path’ perfume:

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This was a wild-card that I did not anticipate purchasing (and also not an official Beauty Exclusive), but I got swept up in the scent and had to have it. There are five fragrances in this line, and it was difficult to pick out the one I liked best. I was waffling between this one and two others, ‘Ikat Jasmine’ and ‘Evening Rose.’ They were all really sophisticated and a little more perfume-y than what I normally wear (either Bobbi Brown or Jo Malone). This picture doesn’t do the bottle justice; the cap has a lovely lilac stone on top.

With the AERIN perfume, I received an Estee Lauder gift with purchase. I chose the cool colors for the lipstick and eyeshadows. You also could select a moisturizer in a generous sample size. The other items were a cleanser, mascara and serum, all packed in a navy blue bag.

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These Voluspa candles were a steal! I bought two sets, one for myself and one for gifting. I’m not sure if I’ll keep them together or break them up, since they make such great hostess gifts and are easy to wrap in colorful fabric, furoshiki-style.

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The last thing I purchased was a bit of a beauty risk, at least for me.

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Since I’ve been maintaining my fake eyelashes, I’ve been wearing almost no eye makeup, which means my lips need a little more attention lest I look completely washed out. 

Once again, I’m late to the party, but I love the modern look of a nude eye and bright, matte lip. Except up to now, not on me.

This M.A.C. set came in pink, coral or nude. It still feels outside of my comfort zone, but I went for the pink. Bright, shocking pink.

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Besides the gloss and lipstick, there’s a brown eyeliner (full-size) and eyeshadow trio with two champagne-y colors and one that is a sparkly plum. All are pretty.

Here’s me trying out the lipstick:

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Still not sure if I’m ready to go out like this. Baby steps.

In the end, I got another bag of beauty samples, which I love to save and use for traveling.

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The blue bag is the Estee Lauder one from the gift with purchase, and the purple nylon one contained the samples above. There were two Jo Malone perfumes (score!), plus samples from Kiehl’s, Lancome and Laura Mercier.

I was embarrassingly excited over this haul.