Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Haute Mama

It's no secret- most maternity clothes are ugly.  In case its not difficult enough to blow up like a blimp, then you have to dress your bump in clothes you'd normally refuse to leave the house in.  Sure there are designer maternity clothes- but seriously, I'm not spending $190 on a pair of Jo's maternity jeans.  So if you have a bump, or are about to get one- check out this sale quick!

Destination Maternity has an additional 40% off all clearance items- including the new Heidi Klum collections;  Loved and Lavish and all A Pea In The Pod clothes.  The sale goes until 9/5 so no time to waste.  Check out the maternity coat I got for a cool $25!

Hey- I'm going to get fat, but I don't have to be fat in a sweatshirt!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Love The Chubby!

I have great teeth- they are one of my fav features (thanks again mom, for the orthodontia) so I am always on the hunt for great lid color.  Right now, I'm obsessed with Clinique Chubby Sticks.  Great sheer color in a lip-liner-esque tube.

They contain extra moisturizing shea butter and mango so they are great even if we are in the high-dry Sierras for the weekend.  They come in great shades (dare I say- they look good on everyone?) and they aren't sticky so no worries about lip gloss in my hair.  They come in eight shades- I wear Richer Raisin every single day- I thought I lost it last weekend and was planning to go the very next day to replace it.  I think my next color is going to be Chunky Cherry- nice low maintenance red for Fall!

And with one color I absolutely love, I can downsize the purse easily for a night out with my hubby.  Gotta love babysitters!

Friday, August 26, 2011 comes the sun burst

Part of my desire to bust out of boring suburbia means buying more furniture from consignment and antique stores.  Honestly, it's more my taste anyhow.  But every once in a while I have to let that go and venture into a "big box store" (I mean Target, not WalMart, a girl has to have standards)

I  have to admit, with the rotating guest designers, and all Target is kinda living up to it's French name "Tar-jay".  One example is a gold sunburst mirror like this one for a cool $89.99

I am still obsessing over blue couches... imagine it with this amazing sofa at Danish Modern L.A.

...or these white leather chairs from Groovy Girls Etsy Store  (someone had the same idea with the sunburst)

Hi Groovy Girl, I noticed someone beat me to these, but have no fear... I'm sure I'll be buying from you in the near future...

EDUN: wearable rocker style?

Ever the activist, Bono (yes, U2's Bono) started fashion line EDUN with his wife Ali Hewson in 2005 to encourage trade with Africa.  Their brain child is a surprisingly wearable rock star styled clothing line with amazing global influences.  Seriously, this is fashion I could pull off!

STYLE ICON: Thank you, Joan Holloway

It really wouldn't matter if I lived on arugula and broiled chicken, I am just not the waif-ish type.  I am much more Sophia Loren, and much less Audrey Hepburn- in spite of my Sabrina fantasies.  This should be an asset- Sophia Loren could reduce men to puddles simply by walking by, but it also means that in 2011 I often feel frumpy more than voluptuous.  Frankly, there is a shortage of "regular" sized women to look to for fashion inspiration.  That is where Christina Hendricks comes in, excuse me- I'm sure she sashays in- bringing with her the figure flattering style that made the hourglass figure enviable.

Baggy shirts be damned- this is how you dress!  Ample bosom, roundly feminine belly and full rear- all highlight- each one a "best feature" maximized.  This is how a woman looks. 

Here is my challenge: how to pull this off in maternity wear?   I'm fairly sure we won't see Joan Holloway in maternity clothes because the same era that brought us the body conscious look above also said pregnant women had to wear housecoats.  But I don't want to relegate my self to six months of sweat pants and my husbands shirts.  Lucky for me, stylish maternity wear is become more available... you still have to wade through oversized shirts and elastic waistbands but companies like Motherhood Maternity are letting women (even the dangerously curvy ones) make pregnancy look downright sexy.  Check out this pencil skirt and blouse- perfect to show of the legs (which might not gain weight) and the bigger better cleavage.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fall Centerpiece

A few weeks ago I found this great wooden platter at a consignment store near our home- $8 and loos great on our table.  Problem is now we have this empty black tray on our table.  I had experimented with placing some fruits in it- apples were pretty, and the first green pears of the year look great (I'm sure some Anjou pears would be really beautiful a little later in the Fall.)  But honestly, if I leave fruit on my table like that, its going to rot.  Suddenly I'll have fruit flies and weird smell in the dining room and I won't know why... yes- that is embarrassing to admit.

Liking the nice round organic shape of the fruit, and not really wanting the nice flying organic accompaniments of the fruit flies, I started looking at decorative balls- there are lots out there... although they can be pricey.  These are beautiful, though the matching bowl isn't really for me

I found some great options while I was at Lamps Plus yesterday buying my new lampshade!  A whopping $2.15 each... and in colors I love with my Southern Spanish influenced runner.  By the way- a tip from my tears at an art gallery- unless you are using pairs of something for impact (lamps, candlesticks etc) decorate with odd numbers- it feels more organic. 

Light it up

If I had to describe my design philosophy, I would probably say contemporary Hollywood regency.  I love the mid-century modern basics with touches of Chinoiserie.  My great-grandma gave me some of her furniture and housewares when we moved her out of her home.  I was in my early 20’s, and needed to furnish an apartment.  She needed a good home for a lifetime’s worth of belongings.  At the time they were just hand-me-downs with emotional attachment, but now I see them as mid-century treasures; a great china cabinet with solid clean lines, a leather ottoman and these fabulous lamps.  This is one half of a pair- the other one is tucked away until I have some tabletop space for it.  My husband thinks my attachment to these is a symptom of pack rat behavior but with new lampshades I think I have converted this into a centerpiece of our living room.

  My favorite part?  Check out how the base lights up- perfect to leave on if we are out for the evening, or a little mood lighting.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Stick it to 'em

We are getting ready to move our two year old, Peanut, out of the nursery and into a big girl room.  I don't know who is more excited, Peanut because this means she is really not a baby or me because I have an excuse to create the pink girly haven I wanted when I was little.  I am thinking bright pink with an accent wall of pink and green stripes.  Something like this:
But I'm not delusional, and I know I'm not as creative as that mom, so I'm keeping wall decals as a fall back.  If you haven't discovered them yet- check them out  NOW.  Here are a couple cute options I'm toying with for Peanuts room.
Parisian chic 

Or this tree with friendly critters

I actually think I might get this one for my blue bathroom:

Thank god someone finally took mercy on those of us who think sticking giant stickers is a craft!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Never one to shy away from a challenge...

Yesterday I made a resolution to buy something unexpected for my house and my closet.  Not the kind of girl who lets a challenge go unanswered- yesterday afternoon I went shopping.  Locally we have a few out door shopping centers beautiful ones with fountains, flowers and not necessarily anchored by a major department store the way more traditional malls are.  One is walking distance from my office, another is about mid-way on my commute home- easy to get to for a quick shopping trip.  I had decided that I needed something new this weekend- and I was pretty sure it needed to be a lime green sweater.  A color that no one I know would think of me wearing.  My idea was, if I bought a cardigan or other simple silhouette it might ease me into the color.  Here's what I had in mind:

The thing is, I didn't go to to the lovely outdoor shopping center- I went to the mall.  The actual mall- Sears at one end, JcPenny at the other.  I do recognize the irony that in my effort to break the suburban mode I found myself in the ultimate mainstream playground.  I even realized it once I was there- but set on a retail experience and with only an hour until day care closed- I had no choice.

The thing with "our mall" is that it really consists of Macy's, Ann Taylor, The Gap and about 150 "thug wear" stores- not exactly the urban look I was going for.  So I hit Macy's.  I hate to say this, it actually causes me pain and a deep deep sorrow- but when the hell did Macy's become the home of middle aged housewife fashion.  Seriously, I love Macy's- even if I won't shop there I love it.  And honestly, they have a couple of cute brands- I like I.N.C., I like Alfani-  what I don't like is flowered capri pants and Bedazzled t-shirts.  I walked the whole store before I decided that if I want to break the mold, I'd have to start by leaving the mold factory.  Luckily, an Express just opened up.  Not exactly couture, but definitely more sophisticated.  I bought a long flyaway cardigan in a color called Venetian Teal- not exactly lime green, and it doesn't count as my something unexpected... but it is the color of that sofa I love.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Does this make me a wallflower?!

When my daughter was first born, I found my self watching a lot of late night TV.   One of my staples was HGTVs Design Star- and ever since then I always stop when I see it on.  The 2010 Design Star champ, Emily Henderson, has a show called "Secrets From A Stylist."  The principle is that your wardrobe should inspire your decor.  Makes perfect sense, right?  The good news is, I think I've got this down- my home ties right into my wardrobe... the bad news?  They are both kind of boring; neutral color pallet, minimal risk, no surprises.  In this case I am certainly the before:

Not bad.  But not memorable.

Oh to be the after...

Check out that sapphire sofa... if I die and come back as a piece for furniture I want to be that sofa.  Maybe my husband can be the chandelier and we can live happily ever after together.

Okay, here is the plan.  I'm going to return the black sweater I just bought at H&M.  Its cute- kind of a funky sillouette.  It's also the fifth black sweater I own.  Then I am making a resolution to buy two somethings totally unexpected.  One for my home and one for my closet.  Maybe a little inspiration can give me a jump start.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The best hour of my day

I cut out of work early today to get a pedicure.  I am thinking they should just offer one early day a month for personal maintenance.  I, for one would be much more productive if I wasn't wondering if my roots are showing or checking out the chip in my nail polish.  In addition to being a better employee- I'd be a better mom.  Honestly, nothing gives you patience with two year old quite like an hour in the massage chair.

So here is my shout out to the last few weeks of sandal season, and most perfect nail color ever.  I know, in my effort to bring back the cool I should have painted my nails midnight blue or gun metal gray.  But honestly- I am madly in love with O.P.I.'s "I'm not really a waitress" quite possibly the perfect shade of red... I don't see the romance ending anytime soon.

Not the most flattering picture of my feet, but freshly "done" they still make me happy.

ps- love the toe ring?  (Or hate it?) I can't part with it.  I bought it in Portugal the summer after I graduated from college and it hasn't come off since.  Hey, every girl needs a reminder of who she used to be. 

Suburban Rebellion

I know the vast majority of people live in the suburbs.  I'm one of them.  This is entirely by choice- when my husband and I first moved in together he lived in the city and I lived in the suburbs.  We had a conversation about whether we were going to be hip urbanites, or quietly raise a family in my hometown.  We chose the suburbs.  It was a practical decision; they are quiet, safe, lots of parking, we even have an actual backyard... with a garden.  Honestly, I have exactly what I always wanted.  But secretly... I envy those hip urbanites.  Sure, their kids can't play outside, they schlep their groceries four blocks home, they live in flats the size of my garage... but you know what?  They never have "mom" haircuts, they don't drive mini-vans and they actually realize flea markets are cool.

This is my attempt to infuse a little ultra cool into my suburban mom life style.  This is my suburban rebellion.