Let’s get back to this… About Me

I’ve been away from this blog for quite some time – thank you crazy, hectic life! But enough is enough and I have literally reached my breaking point in life.  I am a creative at heart and need some type of outlet and with my life the way it has been lately, I haven’t had that outlet. I can feel that crazy panic start to set it.  What has been going on with me lately, you ask? Well, my mother was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of breast cancer at the beginning of the year (she just finished her last chemo treatment and heads into surgery soon!).  Everything that could go wrong – started going wrong! Work has been more demanding and has started adding a new level of stress (plus have I mentioned the hour drive to and from work? Fun times! 2 hours of my day wasted 5 days a week, lovely).  Sales are up and of course everyone wants them to continue to go up and up but you know, sometimes, just sometimes, sales follow a pattern! That’s a rant for another day and someone else!

So to start this blog again and well, to start blogging again, I thought I would share some details about me!


About Me:

Hmmmm, you know, I have sat here and sat here, wasting minute after minute, trying to think of something clever and witty to say.  Well it just really isn’t coming to me.  I suck, plain and simple, maybe, not really? At least in my little world, maybe I don’t suck too much.  In a nutshell, I’m a 30 something female that is just stuck.  I want to go right but I keep getting pulled to the left, if that makes any sense.

So I’m happily married, have an ok job, a crappy house and 3 lovely dogs.  Sometimes my husband can be annoying and he will say the same about me. My house isn’t great but it will do… for now! Its certainly not magazine worthy, hell I’m beginning to think it might be demolition worthy with all these little “issues” that have appeared recently. My job, ugh, well it pays the bills? Some of them at least, so that is something, right? And ok, so what if one of my dogs has MAJOR anxiety issues, the other is a complete diva (she will shank you if you stop petting her) and well the youngest, she is just a big ball of love.  It all comes together to form the American Dream, in some form or fashion, I think?

Like most people I have a love affair for all things that are pretty but are not affordable.  I dream about making it big – hello lottery winnings – of being someone that calls all the shots, I am over 21 so technically I can call some! Har, har, right? I think I have come to realize those things aren’t really what is important though.  No, I am not going to go into a spiel about how important love, life and family are.  You should know that already and you should also know that some family members are extremely annoying, life can be exhausting at times and love, well, oh boy, that’s a tough one and always will be.  I’m not really sure what I dream about anymore. Actually no, I take that back, I dream about doing something every day that brings happiness into my life. I also dream that in a few years, I can look back and say to myself I didn’t waste any time and I actually did something.

My twenties were a waste, how does that saying go “Youth is wasted on the young”, if that isn’t the truth, I don’t know what is.  Ok, ok, maybe not a “total” waste. I did meet my husband, finish undergrad, and make some really good friends. I feel like my twenties were more of waste in the sense that I didn’t experiment with what I actually wanted to do WITH my life. I just accepted what was put in front of me as what I should be doing and I never questioned it.  Now, I am sitting here every day asking myself, “Is this REALLY how I want to spend the rest of my life?!” and the answer is “No!” I want to be out there doing something, making a difference somewhere, doing anything other than sitting behind a desk 8 hours a day, making a company profitable and with only a sliver of window to see the outside world.

This just isn’t me and basically, that is what I want this blog to be about – me finding me. Finding my happiness, my drive, my inspiration, my style, myself.  Balancing my love for all things Preppy and my love for all things not so preppy! So basically this may start out very random but hopefully it will being to take some form over time. I apologize now if I bore you but I do hope I can connect with some of you and maybe over time we can help each other out.

~Nikki

farewell loves!!

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I am sure you’ve noticed that I haven’t been posting overmuch lately.. we’d been trying to work out a schedule and life has gotten in the way, so on and so forthesis (did I spell that right??).. but in the end, I have decided to move my parts of blog life. Yes, I have cleared this with my blog mistress Nikki who has had chaos descend upon her life and so we are hoping at some point we may revisit the idea in future. However, I am so not good at the preppy side of things and it would just not be fair for me to even try (again.. khakis.. shudder, lol) and so I have been building up a boho site (if you guys are interested in the boho side), thinking I could use it to catalog, as a backup, for all that spillover.. so on and such.. anyhoos, I will be moving my stuffs over there past this post. Nikki and I are still in like with each other.. she is a wonderful amazing blogger that just has had the universe busy her up too much of late this year.. show her some love, you guys have always been in her thoughts.. I know, we speak of it on occasion. I will hopefully be able to get to following most of you guys still, it may take time to move that part all over so bear with.. thanks for giving us this opportunity and do come visit me if you are still interested.. http://www.blueboho.com
xox
michelle

march of the easter eggs

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Pastels are just not my thing, despite them being on trend right now. Here is my (slight) not.. it’s a far as I am willing to venture outside of my box. I kinda liked it once I held down and strangled the overwhelming urge to add a color pop.

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The jacket is from Loft, as are the jeans.. I love the cut of both. Even though I always have to wear heels with the wider cuts (i.e. pigmy), I still favor wide legs over skinny. I brought in one of my ebay finds, a Talbots top in a pale rose shade.. see, I do have some paler bits in my regular rotation. image image

failing at the 36

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I finally decided to throw myself into Project 36/365. I really wanted to pare down to a year long capsule and our climate here, although sometimes all over the place, is pretty mild. My thinking was that it was doable. Basically this is a spinoff of Project 333, same rules but with 3 more items.  Over the weekend, I dived full into my closet purge. I planned on following the how to make space method, but abandoned it pretty early on as my closet wasn’t as overwhelmed as I originally thought (yay, go me!). I opted instead to pin down a relative number of tops that I felt would give me a comfortable amount of rotation, not to mention fit into the laundry schedule. My original number was 10.. I figured that would give me two work weeks of no repeat.

Since I was already working within a group of capsules, most of my items already fit into a workable color scheme and were mostly well loved items.. my challenge was picking 10 that would move seamlessly (more or less) between the seasons. I decided my course of action would be to lay out the chosen tops, adding/subtracting what other pieces (bottoms, accessories, layering pieces like sweaters to warm up, etc) I would need to fit it into each season. I started with what I thought would be the most difficult season to work – summer, as it gets really hot outside and thus very much freezing in the office. I wound up adding a few tops in the end, a couple of lighter options and a couple to vary a bit. I didn’t need as many bottoms. Most of my trousers could be worn all seasons, so at my most minimal I had 5 bottoms.. not too shabby. I did pop in an alternate trouser, two pairs shorts, a pencil skirt, and my GAP coated jeans (I just love them so much). This gave me more options but did bump up my number a bit.

I had a really hard time paring down my dresses (my goal being three.. I didn’t meet it) and jackets (I just love a good topper). It was at this point, I think, that I realized I was not going to meet that 36 (even not counting heavy outerwear, shoes, and accessories) but managed to make peace with it. I wound up with 46 pieces, give or take the two faux fur vests I am still debating to keep or not.. this not counting my ratty pea coat and the before mentioned other items. I also kept any dupable pieces to store in the back of closet, but only if they could replace one of the rotation if it were to fall to ruin. I figured this would save me future monies in the even of garment tragedy. I stashed a very few ruinable tops for vacation days. I still plan to sift through my accessories & footwear to fine tune. And the pants I grew small of?? I decided to alter one pair and box the rest for future in case of too much chocolate. I plan to ebay those not chosen and put the money away in case of any necessary tweaking along the road. Even though I missed my overall goal number (maybe next year?), I was still able to substantially cut down from where I started. I also now have a more or less seasonless wardrobe and so I am happy with the end results.

farewell, my love

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The Spring cleaning has begun! I started my inspiration board with the intention of bringing on the bold.. leopard as a focal instead of an accent. I am one of those people who love a good leopard print, consider it a necessary neutral, and always try to work a bit of it into my wardrobe.

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Last year, I fell in love with this coat. I bravely wore it (big girl panties, I say) to work on a very few occasions.. got to keep them on their toes and all that. I still love it. My intention was to revisit, as it’s not so heavy that I can’t still wear it in early spring.

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Once on, though, I realized that my time with it had past. I think that somehow I had moved firmly into the touches of leopard comfort level when I wasn’t looking. I just felt out of sorts. This was one of those loved pieces that I originally opted to keep due to my mad love for it.. now, I think it’s time to part.

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judi dench is my homegirl

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I cannot even begin to describe how hard my heart beats for Dame Judi Dench. I think she is probably one of the most gorgeous, most stylish women around.. not to mention amazingly talented. I came across this picture by accident but it is by far one of my favorites of her.. I don’t know how I missed this movie but it’s now on my list. I love the shocking pink background against the stark black of her outfit and I love her plum smokey eye. Since the husband would most likely not be a fan if I were to paint a random wall in the home bright fushia, I opted to try the plum eyeshadow instead. I also love, love her hair.. but that would probably go over even less well than the wall. Once, I had an old school Mia moment – chopped all the hair off, blonded it, and I thought he’d stroke out.. so.. baby steps.. baby steps.. but now I am off topic.

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I picked up (as part of my trying out less expensive alternatives) the NYC HD Trio Eyeshadow in Central Park Plums. First I lined with MAC Smolder eye kohl. Next, I used the grey in the trio on the lid to crease, pink packed on the ball of the eye and in the inner corner, then the plum on the outer corner blending a bit into the outer crease. The colors did muddy a bit, they weren’t as true as I hoped in the layering but they blended well and stayed all day over my eye primer.. not bad for $2.99.

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I found myself thinking of my blue dress friend, who I recently lunched with.. she is also my homegirl. She is gorgeous, intelligent, and has it all together in life. Just being around her makes me feel all zen. Everytime I see her for girl chat, I come back with a much better perspective on life. I was bemoaning the big 4-0, creeping up on me this month during our visit. About how I wasn’t bothered at first, but then one of my friends referred to me as a “mature woman”.. yeah, she’s still alive. However, after conversing with her on this and that.. I came home and it hit me – why am I so hung up on this over one little comment? I’ve earned every year on this body, I am a product of my life experience, and I should be thankful to have so much richness in my life. Just her energy made me realize how silly I was being about the whole thing.

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moody winter floral

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imageWhen I first saw this Schiaparelli article in WWD, I immediately thought of my Loft floral shift. I love the palette of grey, plum, black, and white as well. I added in my skinny grey cardigan to balance out the looseness of the shift, then some ankle boots and tights (for winter).

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I also liked the idea of the pop of orange, so I tried belting it with a skinny orange belt. This gave it more shape, but I lost the fluid feel of the shift that I really wanted to keep. I finally decided to add in my Kenneth Jay Lane horn necklace (I’d switched out the chain for a much thinner one purchased at Walmart) which turned out to be perfection.

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mama’s got a brand new bag.. of makeup that is..

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I decided to start my pare down off all things in life in my train case region. I had way too much stuffs and was using very little. I finally opted to keep enough items (other than my holiday booty) to do both a smokey and a nude look, two foundations (one for sheerer coverage, one for a more finished look), my miracle powder, mascara, bronzer, brow pencil, and my workhorse concealer.

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Burberry eyeshadows in Trench, Almond, & Rosewood

Burberry Lip Cover in Rosewood, Lip Glow in Nutmeg

Lancome Le Crayon Poudre in Taupe

Mac Smoulder Eye Kohl, Eyeshadow in Saddle, Blush in Tenderling

MAC Pro Longwear Foundation, Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua

YSL Faux Cils mascara, Bobbi Brown eyeshadow Caviar

Urban Decay Primer Potion, bareMinerals Ready foundation (not pic)

These are the items I normally wear most days give or take, and it has cleared up considerable space. I really could pare down a bit more since i rarely wear the bronzer and only occasionally the smokey. However, I wanted to have options. I figure if I get the urge to try something wild then I might try playing around in the drugstore to save a bit in future.

when smoke gets in your eyes

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It all started with a new lipstick, innocent enough… then a couple of basic eyeshadows… no big deal, right? After all, eveyone needs basics. Next thing I know, I am thinking again of a smokey eye. I don’t generally wear a smokey eye (covered that) but the seed was planted. I found myself googling Taupe Brown, Rosewood, Midnight Brown–my Burberry Beauty obsession spiraling out of control.

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That’s when I saw it–a picture on Makeup Alley of a FOTD using Rosewood on the lid and MAC Saddle in the crease. I wants it, I thought… I needs it, I murmured… my precious. I don’t think I’ve ever looked at Saddle eyeshadow before but I was now convinced I could work a wearable smokey eye out of it. I went with less peachy and more nude tones for the rest but I think I’ve finally managed a smoked out look I will actually wear.

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I pressed Burberry Beauty Rosewood on the lid and smudged some thickly under the lower lashline. Then I blended MAC Saddle into the crease– it’s hard to tell in the picture but it gives a very warm contrast to the Rosewood.  I drew a thin line of MAC Smoulder eye kohl on upper lashline with my MAC 266 brush and then blended out slightly and then smudged a little on the outer corner of my lower lashline. I went over the kohl with Bobbi Brown Caviar eyeshadow, smudging lightly on the top and heavier on the lower lashline. I then pressed more Rosewood onto the ball of my eye. I used Make Up For Ever Aqua Smoky Lash mascara after curling… my lashes have gotten super long since taking Biotin.

fashion challenges.. polarity in the workplace

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I am not a great lover of the buttoned up, pressed to perfection, ladies who lunch look. Yes, I am stating the obvious – you will never see me roaming the countryside in khakis and a polo. The thought makes my skin itch. That said, I do work in an office environment, probably 90% of my wardrobe has to be work friendly.. there’s just no way around it. As such, I cannot just show up in my macked out faux fur vest and motorcycle boots (although sometimes I do) without a second glance. I am thankful that my workplace doesn’t have a hugely strict dress code, so there is a bit of creative leeway. My fellows definitely lean more khaki than fashion forward but I do try to make a bit of effort to balance. The challenge for me has always been trying to marry the polarity. How do I work in my inner bohemian tendencies in with my daily grind? That is the struggle.

Luckily, I can wear denim in the office and so I can mix wearing the more casual some days with my more dressier on others. I generally wear dark denim washes (more office appropriate) but in wider leg cuts like trouser or flare (more boho in feel). If I wear skinnies, I try to pair them with a more flowing top or one of richer color. If my outfit leans more prep than I am comfortable with, I try to balance that with accessories like an oversized scarf or a longer drapey cardigan. I pile on the layers of jewelry or wear funkier shoes. I rarely wear earrings but lately I’ve been thinking a pair of big gypsy-esque earrings would be kinda cool with my oversized scarves. I might just have to break my box and give it a go. I’m often still tweaking but these little things make me feel more myself in the day to day. In my dream wardrobe, though, I would have endless flowy anthropologie tops to pair with my more structured pieces.

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