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Summer


Coat: Target
Dress: Style Mint
Shoes: Shoe Dazzle






It is officially my summer of the stripe.  I can't tell you how many different striped things I own, and only a day or two goes by without me falling back on something.  I've said before how hard I find it to figure out what to wear during the summer, but somehow, stripes always seem right.

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Picnic


Blouse: Anne Klein
Pants: Old Navy
Shoes: ShoeMint
Bags: Coach
Necklace: Forever 21 (but similar from Bauble Bar here)







So many crazy things going on here. First, how many pictures of me sitting on a rock laughing do we need?  Apparently, five (I'm laughing and trying to avoid looking at hub who was making me laugh,  See fourth point below.).  Second, it's a picnic; however, the only item consumed: a Lo-Carb Monster (note to family: you all ridiculed me when I started drinking it.  Now you all drink it too. The laugh's on you.)  Third, this wasn't really a picnic, but quick shots in the park down the street after work on a Tuesday.  Fooled you.  Fourth, as the hub pointed out: product placement (Monster please take note.  The whole family is drinking my stash now.  Every time I go to the store, more is purchased.  If you'd like to send us a case, I'll use it in everyone of my posts until it is gone.  That would be every post for about two days.).  Finally, I'm not even sure this is an outfit.  I think I could have gotten away with it if I had worn the blouse, pants and the shoes only.  But I threw on a green necklace, the blingy ring and bracelets and then couldn't be bothered to change out the casual Coach bag.  What a mess.  Now do you see why I'm sitting on a rock and laughing?  But I had a great time, so what else matters?

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Patriotic


Sweater: Tommy Hilfiger
Pants: Loft
Shoes: Bebe





Well, the fourth will be here before you know it.  I'm not usually the type of person who dresses thematically for holidays, but when I was pulling this together, it just came together naturally as red, white and blue.  Luckily, it happened two weeks before the holiday, and no one seemed to notice or think I was doing it intentionally.  Will it be repeated now that I've realized it?  Heck, no.

Linked to: Visible Monday

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Cami


Cardigan: Forever 21 (Similar)
Eyeshadow: Bare Escentuals High Shine Glisten
Shoes: Loeffler Randall
Bag: YSL







There is nothing better than being home in the middle of the week when everyone else is at work.  I did all the things that I normally have to do on the weekends.  Grocery shopping is amazing on Thursday afternoon.  Who knew?

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Mint and Coral (Sort Of)


Necklace and Earrings: Bauble Bar
Dress and Bag: H&M
Belt: Marni
Shoes: Shoe Dazzle
Lipstick: Lancome Pink Sapphire







It's there but hidden.  But if you really want to make a case for it, it really isn't coral.  Look closely at the earrings.  It's more tangerine than coral, but honestly when I started looking for something, anything coral because Kristina at Pretty, Shiny Sparkly posted a Bloggers Do It Better to pair mint and coral, I realized that I've been much more accepting of orange than of it's more pinkish cousin.  Hmmm, wonder what I'll find now that I've spotted a gap in the wardrobe?

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Questionable


Bracelet: Bauble Bar (Similar)



I am the ultimate product junkie.  I have so many things floating around the bedroom, I had to devote some closet space to clear shoe boxes to attempt to reign it all in.  In my attempt to stay orderly when we moved into this house a year ago, I swore that if something new came into the house, it would find a living space out of sight immediately.  This is great in theory, but now I have a whole bunch of stuff sitting in boxes in a closet that I forget to use.  I've made it my mission to begin pulling things out of boxes, using them, and tossing them if they don't work.  The primary reason it will be easy to toss them?  I have more samples that I never use than is responsible to discuss.  I don't know about you, but I seem to gain samples just for breathing.  I buy something, they give me a sample.  I walk through the mall, someone hands me a sample.  And I get them for having a blog.  I try to use the ones that come directly to the blog first, but if I'm going to keep stockpiling these things, I need to make an effort.  First out the box was a sample of Nuxe Nuxuriance Anti-Aging Re-Densifying Cream.


 I have no idea where I got this.  I had never used or heard of Nuxe before, so before opening the sample I went on-line to find that this cream is intended to "replump and restore radiance."  Sounds great, so I was off and running.  My first reaction to the cream was that it felt greasy, and this only intensified as I applied it to my face.  I have dry skin at this stage of my life, and this cream just would not sink in.  It sat on top of my skin like an oil slick.  I decided to give it a few minutes before continuing on with my routine and went and got myself another cup of coffee.  When I rubbed my skin a few minutes later to see if it had sunk in, I got peeled skin on my hands.  Not pleased, I stopped rubbing before more layers came off and realized applying makeup was going to be a pretty tricky situation.  I guess the method for restoring radiance is to exfoliate layers which I normally think is amazing but is something I want to do before putting on my moisturizer.  I am a glutton for punishment, so I applied it again the next morning and had an almost identical experience.  Thankfully this was a small sample or I probably would have continued to put myself through the abuse for as long as it lasted.  I can't say that I would recommend Nuxe's products based on this one.  Sorry Nuxe but at $65 a jar, somebody must like this stuff.  If you think my skin looks good in these pictures, thanks, but they were taken several days after the Nuxe use.  I guess you could make an argument for it prepping the way, but I don't think so.  Note to self: I need to make sure I take pictures AS I'm trying something.

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Happy Father's Day!





My mother has been telling me for years that I am the worst person in the world for whom to buy a gift.  She believes I have simply everything; therefore, there is nothing left to buy me.  If I do think of something that I absolutely need, I am more likely to immediately go online and buy it for myself than to tell someone I would like to have tangerine flats for Christmas this year (which came this week, and I wore today, so please don't buy me any, but thanks).  I now know exactly what she means because my husband is exactly the same way.  I came home one day, and he announced over dinner, "Oh, by the way, I began taking flying lessons today."  So much for a great potential gift.  Last year for Father's Day, I scored a coo and began having cigars sent to him every month.  He's happy with the variety, and the giant humidor which lives on his dresser is always well stocked.  As we approached the event this weekend, my anxiety began to grow.  How to live up to last year's success.  In a happy accident, I ran across the sight Bespoke Post.  I'm always curious when I see someone else using the term Bespoke, so I clicked over and discovered it to be a unique club type thing set up for men.  I live for these surprise package type services; they remind me of the grab bag presents when you are a kid and the majority of the excitement comes from the surprise.  They make every day things birthday and Christmas presents all rolled into one.  The box for May included luxury shaving items, so I thought they would be a great introductory month in preparation for Father's Day.  Now, we receive boxes on a daily basis in our household, and so my husband is used to setting things in the place for me to open when I get home.  Ironically, I was home the day the "Box of Awesomeness" arrived (literally that is what the packing box has on the outside.  In a fit of unusually prompt tidiness, the box was thrown away before these pictures were taken), so I got to set it aside for him for a change.  When the box was handed over, an awfully big grin was on the receiving end which made my choice worth it before it was even opened.  Everything was packaged inside of this wooden cigar box, making him think it was actually a box of cigars.  I almost lost him at that point because he wondered why I was having even more cigars delivered.  Then he opened it and realized it was just a masculine packaging device, and the grin was back.  What happened when he saw what was really inside?  He said, "I do need a shave right now," and off he went to try everything out.  The reviews are glowing.  He loves the products, and when he found out that he'll now be receiving a new box of something awesome every month, he's anxiously awaiting the next.  Bespoke Post does let you know in advance what is in the next box if you absolutely must know.  The hub has decided not to peek even though I keep looking.  You can skip a month at any time, and the boxes ship for free.  I think it's an excellent way to keep showing the man in your life how much you appreciate him month-after-month.

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Rework


Dress: H&M
Coat: Target
Shoes: Pour La Victoire (Sold out but similar)
Sunglasses: Ann Taylor
Bracelets: Bauble Bar (Sold out but similar)







I'm making a concentrated effort to shop my closet instead of trying to go out and buy new summer clothes because when I go out to buy summer clothes, I end up buying the same things I already have that would be more suited to fall.  If I'm going to buy another black or grey dress, I might as well just wear the ones I already have.  We've been in the low 70s again for a few days which has allowed me to pull out the light coats one last time.  I think we are truly over that now, so they will be saying goodbye until October at least.

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Golden


Tank: Tinley Road via Piperlime
Belt: ASOS (Still available in blue)
Lip Gloss: Estee Lauder Molten Honey Pure Color Sequin Finish




When I started blogging a little over a year ago, it was a personal thing.  First and foremost, my husband told me I needed a hobby because I was way too engrossed in work and spent way too much of my own time dealing with it.  I had very little work-life balance.  His hope was that if I started focusing on something I enjoyed doing at home, it wouldn't be so easy for me to be on my Blackberry, laptop, phone, etc. constantly.  Prior to blogging, my biggest hobby at home was cooking, eating and drinking, hence reason number two for deciding to blog.  All that cooking, eating and drinking had led to some body changes that I was not very comfortable with.  When we started to take pictures, I quickly came to the realization that my body looked very different from how I thought it did.  This led to me exploring new styles, shapes and colors I probably would not have chosen before.  I discovered how easy it was to fall into the "I'm over 40, I don't like my body, so I'll wear a sheet" phase of life.  The last year has helped me discover new ways of dressing and to also get back to better eating choices and acknowledging that exercise has to be part of life.

Now that I think I've fully embraced that light bulb moment, I'm moving on to the next, and for me, the far more unnerving part.  I have fine lines, wrinkles and facial sagging.  Since there is not a face lift in sight for me (due to the fact that I live in Southern California where we supposedly have the best plastic surgeons in the country, but I've never seen a woman who looks natural after a face lift), I have to embrace what I have.  I've decided to do more blogs about beauty because let's face it, we use different products than those lovely young things, and if we do use the same color products, we may have to apply them differently.  So here, up close and personal is me.  I go back and forth between mineral powder and liquid foundation, and I'm currently using mineral powder.  Am I the only person in the world who feels like I stop getting the results I want from something after a while, so I need to make a change?  I have only found one product I consistently return to time and again because of that, and that product is Rosebud Salve which is the only thing that keeps my lips conditioned.  I have a love/hate relationship with blush because of suffering from rosacea.  It's really hard to find a shade that adds the right kind of color.  I turned to nude lips several years ago.  I've always felt that I needed a lot of color on my eyes and to balance that out, I like a softer lip.  I will say that I'm starting to question if a dark eye is appropriate now, so I've switched to something lighter.  I'm not sold on it yet, but we'll see.  I'm currently a week late on my hair coloring.  I don't go in until Saturday, so there will be no parts in my life for the rest of the week.  I'm also way overdue on my brow wax, so if you simply have to express your opinions on that, please know that you can't be any more critical of them than I already am.  I cannot do my brows by myself to save my life; therefore, there will continue to be two angry caterpillars on my brow for a few more days.  Let's hope they don't decide to meet in the middle.

I'm choosing to give you the good, the bad and the ugly about the products I choose, and in life (as my family and my employees will be sure to tell you), I tend to have no problem saying when I don't like something.  I hope to have a good balance here on the blog with goods vs bads.

Today I'm wearing Estee Lauder's Pure Color Sequin Finish Lip Gloss.  I've been an Estee Lauder devotee for years.  It was the first department store line I started using when I began working and wanted to have grown up lady makeup.  All of the colors in this line are infused with subtle sparkle from glitter.  I thought that this would be a great place to start because how age inappropriate is glitter?  The Molten Honey shade is actually a lovely nude with gold flecks.  I'm wearing it here in two layers over the ubiquitous Rosebud Salve.  I really quite like the effect.  The product has an amazingly soft texture out of the container; it felt soothing and rich going on.  Like most gloss, it had to be reapplied in about an hour, but since I find those products that have the sealant in them way too drying, I'll deal with reapplying.  I highly recommend the Sequin Finish and found it entirely age appropriate and a great way to get some sparkle in my life.

Linked to: Visible Monday
                 Monday Mingle

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