Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fashion Bloggers Weekly Round-Up

Every week, Fashion Treatment posts the Fashion Bloggers Weekly Round-Up.  It's such a pleasure to be part of a weekly recap of such a diverse group of bloggers.  Please go visit all of them, and if you're a blogger, you might want to consider being part of it next time.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Animal


Cardigan: Loft
Shirt: Old Navy
Jeans: Topshop
Bag: Shoe Dazzle
Shoes: Sam Edelman (Old but similar)
Necklace: Tiffany





When I was little, my grandmother's best friend, my "Aunt" Harriet, had a leopard coat which I lusted after.  She wore it for years.  Every year, she would show up on Christmas day wearing that coat and bearing a plate of molasses cookies, which I also lusted after.  Every year around the holidays, I have a craving for molasses cookies and leopards coats.  I usually go for at least one of the cookies, but I've never had a leopard coat.  I take my animal skin in small doses, but maybe this will be the year I truly go for it.

Linked to Trend of the Month on Marionberry Style

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Oxblood



Dress: Rebecca Taylor via Nordstrom
Booties: Trouve via Nordstrom





Just a quick post since I'm basically writing it in the middle of the night (I came late to the updating the OS game and got my butt kicked), but since I was already late participating in the Oxblood challenge for Bloggers Do It Better on Pretty, Shiny, Sparkly, I didn't want to entirely miss it.  I bought this Rebecca Taylor dress earlier this summer at Nordstrom and had plans already in mind to wear it with tights and flat boots as soon as the weather grew colder.  In my last trip to Nordstrom, I fell in love with the color of these boots, but I showed great resolve and walked away.  I then proceeded to think about them constantly for a week and finally went back and snatched them up.  The following week was the hottest of the year so far here in Southern California, so the boots stayed in their box.  A and I went to see Paranorman (which we loved) over the weekend, and since it had cooled off a little, and I knew we would be sitting in the over-air conditioned theatre, it felt safe to pull them out.  They are so comfortable and shiny beautiful.  My best fall purchase without a doubt.  Some of you have asked, so yes, this is my new hair.  It seems a lot shorter than it was in real life than I think it looks in pictures.  It has a much choppier feel that you can't really see here.  I'm happy with the length but not completely sold on the choppy layers yet.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Dance Mom


Blazer: Forever 21(Old but similar)
Tank: Jaloux via Stitchfix
Pants: Ann Taylor
Shoes: ASOS
Bag: DKNY (Old)
Hairspray: Pantene Anti-Humidity 






I am yet again a dance mom.  I guess I've been a dance mom since A was 4, but I am again a hard core, "my kid competes," dance mom.  It was out of the blue.  A had been asking to join a company again since she hasn't been on one for over two years, but I just couldn't see it fitting into our joint custody lifestyles.  When auditions came around this year during the summer, I hit on the compromise of letting her double the number of classes.  If that worked out, we could build up to company next year.  She agreed, especially when we talked about the first year of middle school being potentially a lot more homework.  Yet last Tuesday I got the call from the director of the dance school.  "We had a girl drop out of company, and we've already choreographed the routines.  Can A do it?"  Silly me, I had the phone on speaker as I was driving in the car and guess who was in the car with me?  We had to do some major schedule rearrangements, but we made it work out.

So Saturday was our first company meeting, and I wanted to be comfortable while preparing to meet the other moms.  I was keeping my fingers crossed that we wouldn't have one of the as portrayed on TV hardcore types.  I was happy to meet a roomful of nice moms one whose daughter was in the same company with A before.  We all appear to be of the "it's about the kids having fun and not the trophy" types.

Putting an outfit together for the day was more interesting because I'm in the weird stage of diet/exercise where I haven't lost any scale weight, but my clothes are fitting differently.  Has anyone else ever been in this stage and experienced clothes now being loose where they fit or were tight before, but now tight in areas where they fit before?  The hub says that things are just shifting, and I should stay positive.  Yeah, okay.  I will say that these Ann Taylor pants which I have lived in all summer are almost too loose to wear now, and I'm actually sad about that because I do wear them so often.  This blazer had been really tight, so I was anxious to see if I could get it buttoned and very happy when I could.  I actually like it better when I can layer long sleeves under it in cooler weather.  The shoes were on sale for a ridiculous price at ASOS, but I do have to say they run big.  This DKNY bag is ancient, but it's a great neutral color in a casual or office ready shape.  I'm not quite ready for all day competition days, but I have until February to prepare.  Wish me luck!

Linked to Visible Monday on Not Dead Yet Style
                 Monday Mingle on Glamamom

Friday, September 21, 2012

Gingham


Top and Bag: H&M
Pants: Ann Taylor
Shoes: Shoe Mint
Necklace and Bracelet: Forever 21





I try to have an All Hands meeting for my staff once a quarter.  In the past, I know they've dreaded it, and something usually happens like executive meetings that I can't say no to which make me late or have to leave early from my own meeting.  I really wanted this one to be different, so I broke all of my previous traditions.  First, I  scheduled it on a Friday.  I usually have them mid-week because more people are in the office, and there is a better chance of getting people to attend.  Second, I made it all day.  They are usually only three hours, but when I'm late or get called away, why even bother, right?  So I had my assistant block out my entire day over two months ago and made sure this time the date was not the same day as the executives' bi-weekly meeting.  Should have thought of that one a year ago.  Third, I brought in someone from outside to talk to us about stress and change management.  The plus of that is I didn't have to talk for three hours.  And finally, I made the managers who report to me give the afternoon presentations instead of delegating to members of their staff.  We have some really talented staff people, but a lot of them are not used to presenting in front of large groups.  This made the managers more involved in the meeting and made the tone more conversational.  The results: I got to actually wear a casual outfit because I didn't have to spend part of my day in the executive conference room, the change management people were really good and make everyone relax, people asked questions because they felt comfortable with their managers, the entire meeting was like a long conversation between everyone, and we laughed a lot.

To break with even more tradition, I'm wearing white after Labor Day, and I paired gingham with even more gingham.  Honestly, I always wear white after Labor Day.  Living in Los Angeles, we will still have another month of heat, so Fall clothes are still a dream.  I bought these shoes early in the summer because I thought they would be fun to pair with jeans and a red shirt.  Since my jeans were all tight around that time, I shoved them in disgust onto a shelf.  Last week I was looking for a pair of blue pumps and found them.  I wore them that day with black pants and this blue blouse, but I like them much more with the white pants.

I owe you a picture with my hair down since I haven't done one since I had it cut.  I think you can tell from the pony in these pictures that it's quite a bit shorter.  I can still pull it back though, thank goodness.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Blues


Sweater: THML via Stitchfix
Necklaces: Bauble Bar & Kenneth Jay Lane
Bracelet: Forever 21
Shoes: ShoeMint
Lip Pencil: Chanel Lip Definer in Rouge






For those of you who work, do you have one person in the office who just drives you crazy if you have to work with them?  When you see his name on a meeting invite, do you just cringe and know it's going to be painful?  Do you look at the other people around you and wonder if they feel the same way when he's talking?  Well, I do.  Some days it's easier to deal with the turkeys than others.  Today was not one of the easy days.  Day two of nothing white to eat has not enhanced my mood, and the fact that I had already banned wine during the week in one of my previous baby steps was seriously questioned tonight.  Thank goodness carbonated beverages, artificial sweetener and energy drinks are still further down the list.  I'm currently drowning my sorrows in a Monster.

On a completely unrelated note, I'm so happy to see pointed toes back for fall.  I'm starting early.  This is my most favorite ever shoe style.  The last time I wore this sweater here, I wore it with these leopard beauties.  The sweater must beg to be worn with the pointy toes.

Linked to Monday Mingle on momtrends

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Patterns


Dress: Viereck via Stitchfix
Bag: Coach
Sunglasses: Gucci
Earrings: Bauble Bar
Belt: ASOS
Shoes: Isaac Mizrahi
Mascara: Cover Girl Lash Blast





I have been really successful for the last three weeks in getting processed foods out of my diet and in working out at least five days per week.  I've mentioned my weakness for 21 Choices yogurt, which I banished from entering my mouth two weeks ago and before that, my last order was for non-fat peach with raspberries mixed in.  Except for the sugar, I'm still trying to feel positive that my choice was a better one than the usual Caramel Churro or Red Velvet Cookie Dough.  Being good for three weeks had made me consider the other things I should do for my diet, break them into baby steps and try to stagger them to start seeing better results.

Some aspects of working out are getting easier, but overall, it has been a real bear to get moving again.  I always played competitive sports when I was a student.  I had practice of some sort or another every day for years.  After I stopped playing sports, I worked out religiously up until A was born 13 years ago.  After becoming a mother while working a more than full-time job, I felt something had to give, and that something for me was the time to take care of myself.  The years of physicality were good to me, and even when I put on weight, I could easily take it off by watching my calorie intake.  I remained flexible and I didn't really recognize any decrease in my overall strength.  Then three years ago, I developed a deep vein thrombosis in my left leg from the groin to the mid-shin after a routine medical procedure.  I couldn't walk for a while, and the doctors weren't sure I'd ever walk without a limp.  I knew I had too many pairs of heels to not get over this thing, and I did, but running which was something I had always enjoyed doing, seemed out of the question with my new decreased range of motion.  I stopped trying to exert myself using the leg injury as an excuse.  I knew that I was losing my flexibility and my strength in other parts of my body because they weren't being challenged.  I had always prided myself on having thin, muscular arms that didn't wobble when I waved at someone.  Suddenly, I saw the wobble appearing.  And more than that, decreasing calories was not enough to lose the weight anymore.

When we bought our treadmill in March, it was an even bigger wake-up call.  I couldn't run on the treadmill at all, and it had nothing to do with my left leg.  I had no stamina, and I had no balance.  It was almost as though I couldn't walk a straight line.  I had to hold on to the sides to stay on the treadmill.  I started noticing that even while wearing flats, I had a balance problem that was probably a lasting after-effect of the DVT.  I've started doing Pilates, ballet-based workouts and yoga, and my balance and the strength in my leg are returning, but I really don't know what normal will be.

Now that I've increased the frequency and variety of my workouts, I've listed the continuing baby steps I'd like to take with my diet.  The first one which goes into play tomorrow is to not eat anything white.  I have been eating only whole grain bread or brown rice, but at least once a week, I will slip up and not be prepared, so I'll eat a piece of sourdough bread or white rice at sushi.  This one will be hard.  After I successfully adapt to that one, I have to cut down on dairy.  I don't drink milk, but I have heavy cream in my coffee.  I've already cut myself down to one cup of coffee a day which was huge, but I'm still pouring in the cream.  Also, I'm a total cheese addict especially when I'm trying to eat less grains.

Why the renewed commitment?  I've been good for three weeks, and even though I didn't see any great movement on the scale or in how my clothes are fitting, I felt better.  I haven't been having nearly as many headaches.  Whenever I eat sugar or have too much bread or potatoes, I have an almost hung-over feeling.  It was so nice to not feel that way when going to sleep at night or waking up in the morning.  And right now, I'm full of that feeling.  I had a totally over-indulgent weekend with two family celebrations.  I ended the binge with a huge piece of cake, and I'm currently aching and fuzzy.  Yuck.  The moment on the lips isn't worth the aftereffects that I'm sure will follow me into tomorrow.  I'll let you know how it's going as I keep taking my baby steps.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Tailored



Blazer, Pants & Bracelet: H&M
Shirt: Gap
Shoes: Mia
Sunglasses: 3.1 Phillip Lim
Rings: Tiffany





If you've noticed, I've been posting a little less frequently lately.  At first it was because of being on vacation, then it was because of being sick, but lately it's because I haven't liked my outfits.  I started the blog a little over a year ago because I had started recognizing the changes in my body that often come when you are a woman over 40, and I felt I was facing some challenges in how I dressed for those changes.  At the same time, I wanted to try some new things by getting away from my usual black, grey, white and beige wardrobe choices.  I've been trying color, I've been trying new cuts and styles, and I've found some wonderful things that were very different from what I've worn in the past, and I've been pleasantly surprised by them.  But more and more lately when I try that something different, I look at the pictures and think, "It's nice.  It's styled, but it's just not me."  I was beginning to be even more insecure about my choices and my body because things were just not familiar, and I think that insecurity was coming through by lowering my confidence in my choices even more.  I was spending way too much time thinking about it instead of it just happening, and I think the best fashion, true style, just happens.  So I've made a vow to return to my old familiars.  It may mean me wearing a black or grey blazer in every post, but I love to wear black and grey blazers.  I will still wear big jewelry because I've always loved big jewelry.  I will still wear crazy heels because I love crazy heels.  But I'm going back to the simple, classic, tailored pieces that I crave.  Once I made that decision, it was like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.  Every day this week, getting dressed for work has seemed easy and carefree.  I will try to throw in the infamous pop of color, but some days, like the day we took these pictures, it's just not going to happen.  Watch for a few days, and tell me what you think, dear friends.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Change


Jacket: BB Dakota via Stitchfix
Shoes: ShoeDazzle
Sunglasses: 3.1 Phillip Lim





When I started writing this post, I was thinking of cutting my hair.  And when I say cutting my hair, I mean more than my usual, it's time for my trim, take off two inches.  I mean really cutting my hair.  I've been vague, I know, when I've mentioned that we are going through a lot of changes at work.  We've had all manor of consultants in and out the door, and it's not just the usual bunch.  This time they are bringing in management consultants to talk to us about everything from how often we leave our offices to how we wear our hair.  That paired with the fact that sometimes having this much hair is just a pain, made me think about cutting it at least to my shoulders today.  I'm not there yet though.  I think I'll have my stylist take six inches off next weekend, and we'll go from there.  Remember, today is Monday Mingle.  Please go visit.