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I Love a Challenge

Holier than Now had a post about a pink and white polka dot dress here.  I played the game because I have this blue and white polka dot dress.

I've had this dress since 1995.  I was probably 15 pounds lighter when I bought it.  But I love it because it's so flattering and so forgiving.

When I told Holier Than Now about my dress, she urged me to post pictures.  I just asked last week if women over 40 should wear polka dots.  What do you think?


More Jewelry Obsessions

Another type of jewelry that I just continue to buy more and more of is any necklace that has an element of black ribbon in it.  Here are a few of my pieces.

I've just been starting to look at pieces with cord or rope incorporated, but the silver heart on a thin, satin cord is a necklace I've had for years.

Kind of 80's Madonna...

I can't resist when I see a piece.


Date Night Saturday Night

All the kids were busy on Saturday night, so my husband and I planned on cooking a pork roast and relaxing while watching a movie.  But when my mom, my sister and I were together that afternoon, we stopped into The Cheese Store of Pasadena.  I couldn't resist picking up Gruyere, Hodigan, Fourme D'Ambert, and Fromager de Meaux thus changing our dinner plans.  The pork roast was great as dinner on Sunday when the girls were home.

And at some point on Saturday, a cigar was consumed; however, not by me, and it was left outside overnight for a spider to begin weaving a web around it.

I guess that spider likes strongly scented tobacco products.


Latest Eye Colors

I've been playing with these two Bare Escentuals eye colors for the last few weeks.

The pink on the left is Heart described on their website as a light violet rose glimmer.  It has a tiny bit of shine, and I've been using it as the lid color.

The other shade is Nob Hill which they describe as a dark, smoky grey matte.  I've been using it in the crease and on the outer corner.  I think you can tell from the photo that it actually has a hint of green.


Purple Shoes, Necessity or Not?

I have two pairs of purple shoes.

I paid very little for either pair because I didn't think I'd get a lot of wear out of either of them, and I didn't feel I could justify spending the same amount I would spend on a wardrobe staple.

The flats were so cheap from Forever 21 and are so comfortable.  It's crazy.

I know I don't really need another pair of purple shoes, but these are so pretty, it's making me think twice.

I love the delicate straps forming a cage around the foot.

But these are just making me crazy.


Fresh Fruit

We moved into this house a few months ago and found out that there is a farmer's market about two blocks away every Saturday morning.

When my sister picked me up this morning to go to a luncheon with our mom, she gave me guilt for not having gone yet.

I swear we will check it out next weekend.

All  photos : Pinterest


Love These

Teenage boys who like carpaccio

Cranberry Martinis on Father's Day

My Ann Taylor shoes that are the perfect combination of color and textures

My white DKNY watch which is the perfect summer accessory

Jewelry as art

Photo: Pinterest


Something New

Not really sure how this is going to work out, but...

I've written before about how much I like JewelMint.  I think they've done a really good job at establishing the brand and providing good quality jewelry at a reasonable price.

This week the company behind JewelMint announced a new collaboration called StyleMint with the Olsen twins.  The first offering in July will be for tee shirts with the line possibly expanding to knitwear in the near future.  I put myself on the pre-opening mailing list, and you can too by using this link

I have no idea what the products will look like, but if this turns out to be anything like anything else they do, it will be gold.


Big, Chunky, Yellow?

I can't wait to get my new Kate Spade Hot to Trot Long Necklace.

I never wear yellow, but I'm trying to get some brights into my wardrobe with accessories.  I like the longer length and large clear beads too.


Family Dinner

Last weekend I made polenta with bolognese sauce.  I made more than we could possibly eat, but since I eat low carb during the week, I didn't get any of the leftovers.

That's goat cheese peeking out from under the bolognese.  I'm told it was better the next day.


Don't Really Love These

I've been trying two products that I'm honestly not crazy about.  The first is La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Body Cream which is...wait for it...$390 per jar.

I wanted to love it.  People rave about it.  Why else is it $390 per jar?  To me, it has a weird fragrance which I catch a whiff of on myself throughout the day.  I haven't noticed any amazing improvement in my skin texture, and if I had paid for it, I would be really upset right now.

The other product is Kat Von D High Voltage Eye Primer.

Maybe I'm just not the right demographic for this product, but I didn't like the dry texture, and the applicator with the sponge tip is very old-fashioned (ironically).  Also the way the tube is designed and because the product is so thick, you'll never get the full amount of product out of the tube.


New Shoes

I'm in the market for some new strappy sandals, and I'm almost set on these from Diane von Furstenberg:

Pandora Wedge Espadrilles

I've never been a huge fan of the wedge, but with the cord accent, these look perfect for summer.


What I'm Reading

This week I'm really enjoying Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell.  Here's the blurb from Publisher's Weekly:  In his first appearance in English, Swedish bestselling author Mankell combines thriller-quality entertainment with a depiction of anti-foreigner prejudice in Sweden, painted here as a very chilly place indeed. Since his wife walked out on him, Kurt Wallender, a middle-aged cop in the small town of Lenarp, has drowned his sorrows in opera and far too much liquor. Such consolations can't help him absorb the scene at the Lovgren farm, where elderly Johannes Lovgren has been brutally beaten and stabbed to death and where his wife, Maria, is found barely alive with a noose around her neck. Rydberg, a police force old-timer, says the noose's unusual knot and the word foreigner, which Maria uttered before she died, are important. Wallender puts those clues on the back burner when he learns that Johannes, ostensibly a simple farmer, had a secret life involving wealth and connections unknown to his wife. However, a leak to the press complicates the investigation by arousing anti-immigrant feelings, some of which are expressed in anonymous threats. Mankell is clearly a skilled writer, and his portrait of Wallender (who periodically slides beneath respectability) is effective. But he provides essential information only at the last minute, which makes the solution feel more like an appendix than a conclusion. Also, American readers may find odd Mankell's bundling of his upright anti-racism message with broad notions of what constitutes acceptable social control. (Mar.)

Wallender is abrupt,  but I enjoy the way his mind works.  I will probably pick up the next in the series, The Dogs of Riga as soon as I'm done with this one.  

From Barnes and Noble: On the Swedish coastline, two bodies, victims of grisly torture and cold execution, are discovered in a life raft. With no witnesses, no motives, and no crime scene, Detective Kurt Wallander is frustrated and uncertain he has the ability to solve a case as mysterious as it is heinous. But after the victims are traced to the Baltic state of Latvia, a country gripped by the upheaval of Soviet disintegration, Major Liepa of the Riga police takes over the investigation. Thinking his work done, Wallander slips into routine once more, until suddenly, he is called to Riga and plunged into an alien world where shadows are everywhere, everything is watched, and old regimes will do anything to stay alive.


Love These

A seashell charm I've had forever strung on a bright, orange cord.  Perfect with whites for summer.

Rosebud Salve

A candle that smells like sweet lemons.

The candy I remember from when I was little which Whole Foods stocks.

My daughter who is a ham with a side of bacon.


Dotty for Dots

I love polka dots.  But I'm starting to wonder if I'm too old to wear them.

Probably not the French school girl I think I am anymore.

Survey says?


Mom's Stuff

I think one of the reasons I like vintage costume jewelry so much is because my mom used to let me play with her jewelry box when I was little.  I still have a few pieces of hers that I wear.

I'm probably way too sentimental for my own good.


Something Yummy

Mini BigMouths from Xan Confections -  "organic crisp brown rice and marshmallow base with a layer of signature caramel and natural peanut butter covered in milk chocolate."

The box actually contained two pieces covered in milk chocolate and two pieces covered in dark chocolate.

Really good.  They did leave me wondering if there is actually a full-sized BigMouth instead of a Mini because I just don't know how you can eat more than this.


Estee Lauder, I Think You're on to Something Here

Three weeks ago I began using a new Estee Lauder product, Cooling Eye Illuminator which they were kind enough to send me to test.  After a week of using it, I posted this picture which is me un-retouched first thing in the morning. 

Yes, I'm still puffy and dark, but since I didn't take a before picture, you'll have to take my word for it that this was already a huge improvement from before using the product.

Two weeks have gone by, and this what I look like now first thing in the morning.  One small disclaimer, we stayed up watching TV until 4:00am before I took this picture, so just imagine how much better it would be if I had a normal night's rest.

I think the change is pretty remarkable, and I'm extremely happy.


Comparison Shopping

Some months I simply don't have an extra $500 - $1000 to spend on new shoes or a bag.  So in those months when I see a style I really, really have to have, I look around for a more affordable version with the same aesthetics.  I've had really good luck going to brands like Nine West, BCBG, and Sam Edelman to find what I'm looking for.

Based on this philosophy, I wanted to check out ShoeDazzle and Sole Society.  Both are monthly shoe "clubs" similar to the jewelry of Jewel Mint which I've mentioned here before.  Shoedazzle is $39.95 per month while Sole Society is $49.95.

ShoeDazzle is fronted by Kim Kardashian while Sole Society is part of HauteLook which is owned by Nordstrom where I've been making the majority of my shoe purchases for years, so I might be biased.

Sole Society is purely shoes while ShoeDazzle offers monthly suggestions of shoes, bags and jewelry.

This week I received this pair of navy flats from ShoeDazzle.

They are all man-made materials and are a little stiff because of it.  The detail on the toe is cute though,

but overall, the shoe is not well-made and is hard, brittle and uncomfortable.

This is the Sole Society pair.  Probably not a fair comparison since it's a pair of heels.

This is a really well-constructed, comfortable shoe with a leather upper.  For $10 more, this is the clear winner to me.

Since ShoeDazzle also offers jewelry, I thought I'd check out one of their pieces in comparison to JewelMint.

This is one of the JewelMint rings I've shown before.

It has a lovely, matte finish and for $29.95 for three rings, JewelMint is the clear bargain of the bunch.

This is a necklace and earring combo from ShoeDazzle.

No real complaints, but it's a pretty generic piece for $39.95.

I give the lead to JewelMint purely based on marketing.  JewelMint has some lovely packaging and each piece comes with a descriptive card.  Since they are focusing only on jewelry, they've done a good job establishing the brand.  The jewelry from ShoeDazzle seems like a last minute add-on: "Hey, let's do jewelry too."  This piece came in a cellophane bag inside of a cheap, plain white box.  I feel like I could have bought this piece with no frills from Forever 21 for about $7.99.

I do like the bag I received from ShoeDazzle though.

It's a really soft fabric with a good shape and construction.  Of course, I don't have anything to compare it to though...