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I want to love every beauty product.  I fully expect every time I get something new that it will be the ultimate, greatest product I have ever used.  I savor the package and read every word on the outside.  I oh-so-slowly, break the cellophane/cell and peel it back.  I hold my breath as I open the box.  The moment when I open the lid is full of hushed anticipation.  Then I actually get to smell and feel it.  Too often lately, I've had a moment of, "What? You're kidding. Right?"  What a let down.  When I've made a purchase, and I have that reaction, that's the moment when I know it's going back.  I'm very picky about scents and textures.  If it doesn't smell or feel right, I'm never going to be a convert.

Blazer: Vintage Casual Corner; Dress: Unknown; Shoes: Steve Madden; Belt: Marni; Tights: Ann Taylor; Earrings& Bracelet: Unknown; Ring: JewelMint; Necklace: Joan Rivers 

I was recently sent some sunblock and a lip balm courtesy of Ocean Potion and Allure Magazine.  I don't generally like stand alone sunblock but prefer it mixed into my moisturizer or foundation.  I've gotten so used to wearing Bare Minerals foundation, I really never think about applying standalone sunblock anymore, so I was already skeptical of the Natural Faces SPF50 sunblock.  I do consider myself fair about product testing, however, and I always give the product a fair number of trial days even if I don't like the smell or texture.  The morning I was going to begin the trial on the products was the first I opened either product trying not to have prejudged them.  As soon as I removed the vial of sunblock from the packaging, I felt like something was wrong.  This was either going to be the smallest amount of product inside the container ever, or it had disintegrated.  As I started to unscrew the top, I realized that the package had not been properly sealed, and the vial only required a minor twist for the top to come off.  Inside the product was like rubber.  Writing the sunblock off, I moved on to the lip balm.  Unlike the sunblock, the tube had a seal which was thankfully unbroken (or so I thought).  I opened the tube and applied the lip balm which felt dry and chalky as though I was rubbing very dry wax over my lips.  My lips instantly felt dry as though all of their moisture had been removed.  I applied it several times throughout the day always with the same dry, tight feeling.  My lips were so dry at the end of the day, they were painful at bed time.  I woke up the next day with them dry and cracked.  Four days later, I'm still trying to get them back into condition.


Frame Up

The thing I look for consistently when I'm shopping for a new piece is a quirky detail.  I love it when a collar or stitching is unique.  It makes even inexpensive pieces feel special.  It also makes things stand out from a trend.  Unique details are much more eye-catching and comment worthy then trends.  But even if you are going for a trend piece, try to find one that is different from what everyone else will have.  I remember being in high school and always being drawn to this concept.  Then at school everyone would have the same shirt, and mine would be different, and I would feel like I was odd man out.  It took me a long time to realize that I had a unique eye, and the ability to capture a trend and make it your own is a good thing.

 Blazer: Forever21; Dress: H&M; Wristlet & Bracelet: Coach; Shoes & Tights: Ann Taylor; Earrings: ShoeDazzle; Ring: JewelMint; Bracelets: Unknown; Hair: Wella System Professional Startup (C/O: Wella & Allure)



After several days of stepping out of the fashion comfort zone, I moved firmly back into it by pulling out a tried and true variation of my uniform.  Sometimes you just have to go for the no brainer.

Dress: H&M; Blazer: Forever21; Shoes: Naughty Monkey; Tights: Ann Taylor; Earrings: Unknown; Necklace: Brighton (Gift from Sis); Bracelet & Ring: Vintage 



Sometimes I am a complete airhead.  Usually it's around my hub, and he long-sufferingly, gives a little laugh and shakes his head at the wonder of his wife who a Fortune 500 company has actually made a senior manager but who says such dumb stuff sometimes.  My parents used to say, "Book smarts," and I swear laugh at me a little.  I have good common sense; I just talk before I can use it sometimes.

Embarrassingly, I have been saying that the maker of this ring which I love and wear constantly is other than the true maker Sabine.  I am truly sorry and hate when I do that.  It was only after scrolling through prior purchases at Piperlime, that I got my act together.

Jacket: H&M; Tank: Target; Shirt: Unknown; Jeans: SaltWorks; Shoes: ShoeDazzle; Earrings: The Limited; Necklace: Joan Rivers; Bracelet: Unknown; Ring: SABINE; Eyeshadow: BareEscentuals Moonlit; Eyeliner: Benefit Mr Frosty; Masacara: Buxom



I don't want anyone to pass out, but it's true.  That's me - in bright orange pants.  I set out on a mission to find a pair, and J Crew was happy to oblige with this pair.  Look at me wearing color.

Sweater: Unknown; Tee: Target: Pants: J Crew; Shoes: Kenneth Cole; Bag: Kate Spade; Earrings Vintage; Necklace: Cookie Lee; Bracelets: NY&Co & Betsey Johnson; Ring: Vintage; Eyeshadow: Bare Escentuals: Antique Pearl



Sometimes life is so good.  I literally did a happy dance in the middle of an aisle at Nordstrom Rack when I found these boots.  There's nothing better than finding a $1900 pair of boots marked down to $299 the day of the 50% sale.  Using a gift card and a Nordstrom note, Givenchy out the door for $79.

Cashmere Sweater: Wendy B; Skirt: Unknown; Belt: Calvin Klein; Boots: Givenchy; Wristlet: Coach; Tights: Ann Taylor; Earrings, Bracelet & Ring: Unknown; Sunglasses: D&G; Lips: Bare Escentuals Mango Smoothie eyeshadow & Rosebud Salve 


Casual Day

After realizing that there are so many places around us that we always say we are going to visit but never get around to, we made a list to visit four in one day.  I had personally been to three of the four, but it was great fun to drive the kids around to see their reactions to parts of the neighborhood they had not explored yet.  We made it to the Pasadena Central Library, an old walking bridge in South Pasadena, the Cobb Estate and the Gamble House.  We were very lucky because just as we were leaving the Cobb Estate, the skies opened, and we would have been completely soaked.  We spent the evening in the warm, dry house with delicious cheese and steaks.  A perfect day.

Top: H&M; Trench: Forever21; Jeans: H&M; Shoes: FS/NY; Necklace: Unknown (Gifted); Bracelet: Vintage; Earrings: Unknown; Rings: Tiffany & Bespoke by Sister 



I grew up hearing about the beef dip sandwiches at Philippe's, but since I don't like soggy bread, I never made an effort to go.  Like so many people here, there are so many things that we never get around to doing.  Just this morning, I realized I hadn't been to the Griffith Park Observatory since I was in the 5th grade, and hub has never been.  We have to put that on this list soon.  A few years ago, a work friend took me to Philippe's, and we've been going back ever since.  Somehow they dip the bread just long enough to pack it full of the flavorful juice without getting soggy.  No matter what time of the day we go, the lines are always out the back door.  I always have mine with blue cheese, a pickle and coleslaw.  Waiting for you on the table are squeeze bottles full of their famous hot mustard.  I put a puddle on my plate and dip while others squirt it directly on their sandwiches.  But beware of the mustard grimace if you take too much in a single bite.


Black and Blue

I've always liked to pair black and blue and black and brown.  Maybe it's because most people don't think they go together or at least learned somewhere that you shouldn't wear them together.  I'm not a big rule breaker, so it always makes me feel like I'm walking on the wild side when I do this.  Next thing you know, I'll be j-walking.  I've recently gone back to my natural color on my hair (darker) and a bit shorter on the cut.  Please let me know what you think as I'm still going through the "I love it/I hate it" stage.

Blouse: Gap; Blazer: Forever21; Skirt and Tights: Ann Taylor; Shoes: Etienne Aigner; Earrings: Unknown; Necklace: Bauble Bar; Bracelet: H&M; Ring: Vintage



I took these shots on one of our rare rainy days.  It felt good to finally have some weather.

Coat: Liz Claiborne; Vest: Unknown; Blouse: Albert Nipon; Skirt: Spiegel; Shoes: Target; Headband: Unknown; Earrings: ShoeDazzle; Necklace: Forever21; Bracelets: Coach; Unknown; Ring: JewelMint