Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Still trying to incorporate more brights into my winter looks... this look is suuuuuper typical of my work style. Classic navy trousers, white button down - funny how I put on this patterned scarf and bright orange bag and thought 'oh good, not so boring anymore!'  Then I look at the pictures and think 'nope, still pretty boring' haha. :)  What can I say?  I can't exactly pull off cutting edge fashion in my office environment (at least without getting looked at like some kind of freak), but I try to make the best of it. :)

Ann Taylor Loft blouse and pants; NY&Co scarf; Banana Republic belt (similar); Zara shoes; Cynthia Rowley bag; Michael Kors watch; WHBM earrings (old); Charming Charlie's ring and bangles; Francesca's sunglasses; L'oreal Colour Riche lipcolor in Volcanic (similar)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Winter casual prep

Seems like forever since I've done an outfit post. Winter outfits are just... complicated. For starters - the fact that this outfit has no black in it makes it an exception to my typical winter wardrobe. Note to self: stock up on more brights during the winter months when you hardly get to see the sun.  On top of the drab colors that leave zero motivation to take pics of the same boring outfits over and over, there is the super unflattering pale skin, extra pounds, and inability to smile (and mean it) when it's cold and dreary outside.

But this weekend was sunny and beautiful outside.  It was chilly, but it almost felt like the first hint of spring.  And I took the time to put together an outfit that wasn't black or grey (serious accomplishment).  I got past a bad migraine, got tons of things done around the house, relaxed, and even got a massage.

Woo. Hoo.  Now let's see how long I can keep this mood going!  I'll venture to say it will last until roughly 8am tomorrow. ;)    

F21 blazer, plaid shirt, and ring; Target t shirt (old); NY&Co jeans and earrings; BCBG boots (similar); Michael Kors watch; AT Loft bangles; D&G aviators; Louis Vuitton 'Sarah' wallet 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Surviving your work week: It's the Little Things

I sort of failed this week.  I failed at surviving the work week.  The irony of having this series of posts about surviving work... then getting a horrible migraine because of work and not even being able to post anything is classic.  All better now finally - and thankfully in time for the weekend to get some much needed rest and good habits back under control.

A few things in my life that I think everyone should make time for (and I should have made more time for lately):

1) Exercise.  I cannot stress this enough (ha - stress... funny subject).  I worked out with a trainer for 10 months and then took about a month off.  After the month I've had I can tell you this: it will never happen again. Countless studies have documented the benefits of exercise and I'm no health nut or expert, but I am an expert on what makes me happy and exercise does the trick.  We do 2-3 one hour sessions (30 mins strength/30 mins cardio) per week.  I also love yoga, and need to make more time for it.

Source: google.com via Sarah on Pinterest

2) Indulge in your guilty pleasures.  Once in a while you just have to zone out on mindless things that make you happy. Pinterest is one place where I go to look a beautiful images, inspire creativity, and refresh my imagination when I'm feeling stifled.  I don't watch much TV anymore, but when I do - it's mostly reruns.  I love putting in my old Friends DVDs just to laugh.  I also LOVE The Rachel Zoe Project.  I know, such a cliche for a fashion blogger to love RZ.  But it's her unapologetic, unfailing love for all things fashion that gets me every time.  Plus, you see THE MOST amazing clothes, shoes, and accessories on her show.  The same type of inspiration I get from visiting other fashion blogs, I get from that show.

Source: google.com via Sarah on Pinterest

I also LOOOVE fashion books, magazines, and fashion photography.  I could get lost for hours....

3) Relax and Recharge.  Everyone knows what works for them to wind down, decompress, and recharge their batteries.  The extrovert in me loves to go out for cocktails or dinner with friends and laugh and talk for hours.  But if I'm in a really exhausted, run-down state, I go for some more serious down time.  Getting a relaxing massage is a great way to detox... and I plan to do exactly that this weekend :)

Source: google.com via Sarah on Pinterest

4) Get your priorities straight.  To get back on track, I try my very best to remember what's important after getting lost in the hustle of work/life for a while.  I need to exercise and eat healthy food.  I need to stress less.  I need to CALM THE EFF down.  I also need to be thankful for all of the gifts I have and the amazing people in my life.  (all of this is much easier after the above massage, by the way)

Also, I could work harder on being nice to people :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Surviving your work week: Office to Happy Hour

With as much time as I've been spending at the office, I thought I would write series of posts dedicated to powering through a tough work week with style.  For me, part of surviving a brutal week at work is having at least one night for going out with friends after hours, having a few cocktails and a nice dinner.  The only catch to this is that at around 5 pm every evening -although I don't do any physical labor as part of my job- I look like I've absolutely been through hell and back.  We're talking flat hair, dark under-eye circles, chapped lips (from obsessive biting/chewing/licking lips when I'm stressed), red eyes, wrinkled clothes, etc.  All I really want to do is come home, take a shower, and crawl into bed... but I always have such a great time when I actually go out and socialize.  I know myself well enough to know that if I come home to change clothes or get ready, I won't resist the urge to cancel plans and stay in for the night.

My solution for this is twofold: 1) Start with a fab, comfortable outfit that can easily transition from work to happy hour:

           Office: Kate Spade necklace / Reed Krakoff tote / Valentino pumps / Chanel sheer gloss
Cocktails: Morgan Ashleigh necklace / Belle Noel ringBCBG clutch / Stella McCartney pumps / Nars lipcolor

... and 2) prep your work handbag/tote/desk drawer with an arsenal of key beauty products to help refresh yourself AND your appearance before your night begins.

1) Colgate WISP spearmint mini-toothbrushes. Need I explain?
2) Bobbi Brown blotting papers. Use these to blot any oily spots or residue from your face. Psst... in a pinch, toilet seat liners work well, too ;) 
3) Caudalie Beauty Elixir.  This revitalizing mist feels amazingly refreshing on your face at the end of the day.  Radiance in a bottle.
4) Kai Body Glow.  This body splash/dry oil spray smells amazingly fresh and clean and is great for moisturizing tired skin after work.
5) Ojon Full Detox rub-out dry cleansing spray.  Spritz a bit of this at the roots, flip hair over, shake out excess, flip back over and voila!  It's like you just fixed your hair (and it smells great, too).
6) YSL Touche Eclat.  If you have been living under a rock and haven't tried this yet, please do so immediately.  YSL has managed to formulate and package a good night's sleep in a handy little click-pen.  Genius.
7) Benefit Dandelion.  This universally-flattering color is perfect to freshen up tired makeup at the end of the day.  It isn't a shade that I typically use in my morning makeup regimen, but when I plan to wear a bold lip color (such as the Nars one above), this is a great product to liven your cheeks just a bit.
8) Lancome Hypnose Drama. I use this religiously -morning and night - an extra coat is crucial to make lashes pop for an after-work outing.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Bangles: my love/hate accessory

I have to admit that as much as I LOVE the look of bangles stacked on my wrist, I have issues with wearing them.  I have my reasons.  For starters, most often I have trouble even getting out of the house with them on because of the noise they make.  I am constantly brushing my hair out of my face, motioning with my hands/arms, or something else that inexplicably causes bangles to make an irritating amount of noise.  Then let's say I do get out of the house... to the car.  Where I usually put on my makeup in the passenger's seat while The Photog drives to work in the morning.  Again, more arm movement/more noisy clanking and jingling of bangles. (Alas, we can all understand The Photog's frustration with the cup holder shortage, as that's where they end up.)  I've even made it all the way into the office, to my desk with bangles on and sit down to work.  I usually can't make it for a whole 5 minutes before I take them off and put them on my desk so that I don't clank against the keyboard/desk the entire time I'm typing emails/etc.  So why do I keep wearing bangles?  Why do I shop for them and buy them as if they are not optional?  Why is probably my favorite go-to accessory? Because they're pretty.  And for the $, I think they're the best accessory to add instant impact and polish to an outfit.  They're also versatile... you can wear one as a simple accessory or stack several different widths/colors/textures together for a more dramatic look.  Did I mention that they're pretty? :)

Just a few of my favorites at the moment....    

                                                                        1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Guest Post by The Photog: Life with a Fashionista - Day 5

Yes, I'm still here.  Yes, I know you've been waiting for this.  The time has finally come.

Congratulate yourself, gentlemen.  I applaud your fortitude in making it this far.  We've endured 11 hour shopping excursions.  We've surrounded yourself with other crazies fashionistas.  We've even pulled a muscle or two lugging heavy bags around.  Why in the world would we want to go any further?  Before I answer, let's recap.

Day 1 is the disruption.  In an instant, we have nothing.  No closet space.  No money.  No cupholders.
Day 2 is the agitation.  Whining from our fashionista that she has no clothes.  No money for clothes.  And wants you to buy her some clothes.
Day 3 is the recognition.  Accepting that this is how it is.  Learning the basics of their language.  Having to shop with them.  And how to keep from dying.
Day 4 is the cooperation.  Being surrounded by fashionistas.  But more importantly, putting ourselves in those situations on purpose.
Today is the capitalization.  Today is the 'why.'  Today, we take back control.  Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!!!

And so I conclude this 5-day training session on Life with a Fashionista with Day 5: Touche.

Session 1: Marketing your fashionista (formerly titled 'Pimping your ho')

I am confident all guys are born with at least one common superhero attribute - being a ninja.  And yes, I'm referring to those kung fu movie characters dressed in all black who sneak around nefariously undetected and continue speaking after their mouths have stopped moving.  Ninjas.  Why do all guys have this attribute?  Because we're awesome.  And we have Chuck Norris.  'Nuff said.  To the untrained eye, us guys appear as pushovers.  Spineless drones forced into a life serving the almighty diva fashionista.  I scoff at your naivety.  We have actually been channeling our inner Bruce Lee waiting for the right moment to strike.  That moment is now.

Time to take all of the notes - both mental and documented on our smartphones - and get to work pimping marketing your fashionista.  Get on Facebook.  Get on Twitter.  Create some business cards.  Contact publications and media outlets and businesses.  Tell everyone you know about your fashionista.  Send her to fashion shows.  Send her to grand openings.  Send her to fashion/beauty events.  Reach out to those store managers you took note of on your smartphone to tell them that your fashionista would love to help market their store announcements.

The Super Bowl will be here in a few weeks.  She will be busy for the next 9 months  Time to sit back and enjoy the game in peace, my friend.


Session 2: She can buy you clothes now.  And alcohol.

Black Friday.  Cyber Monday.  The day after Christmas.  The 40% off sales event at Ann Taylor.  Your fashionista already knows about these discount events.  We (unfortunately) all know about these.  No need to dread these days as much anymore.  She's already so plugged in with department stores and boutiques and online outlets that she's getting discount codes and deals before the store owners even realize they have products to sell.  And to top it off, she's getting things at such great deals she doesn't have to spend your money!!

What else does this mean for you?  Not only does she pick up a purse, 3 pairs of shoes, 2 sweaters, a scarf, 5 tops, 2 skirts, and a 5-gallon bucketful of rings, necklaces, earrings, makeup and other crap accessories (anyone see a reason why you have no cupholders?) for herself, she is also buying you 2 sets of workout clothes and a nice winter coat that you've needed for 10 years.  Obviously there isn't quite the same balance in purchases, but hey, you've got no closet space anyways.

After spending 15 minutes loading up the car with all of said purchases, your dear, sweet fashionista turns to you and says, "There are several of my friends going out for dinner and drinks tonight.  Let's go with them."  Your head spins as the flashbacks of you stranded with a room full of fashionistas hit you wave after wave.  As your breathing returns to normal, you realize you've got this.  "Sure, babe.  But you're buying."


You're welcome.  I accept Paypal.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Designer Obsession: Jason Wu

My obsession with Jason Wu began last July.  As I was shopping for a birthday dress, a sales person convinced me to try on this dress (although it was roughly $1K above my price range)... and I remember thinking, 'why not?'  People, let me tell you why this was not a good idea: 1) I felt like a million bucks in this dress. I mean - like a 1950's bombshell siren as soon as I put it on.  2) no matter how it looked, I still couldn't afford it. 3) I later saw Revenge character 'Emily Thorne' wear this on the 4th of July episode and was SO GLAD I didn't buy it. Really, no one looks like a bombshell next to this girl. Dodged a bullet there.

Since trying on that dress, I've been stalking all Jason Wu designs.  Seriously, the man is a genius at dressing women.  Just look at these styles... so classic, chic, and even perfect for work.  In. Love.

                                                   1 - 2 - 3 - 4

Based on this obsession, you can imagine how THRILLED I am that the Jason Wu for Target collection (read: the Jason Wu collection that is actually affordable) will be launched Feb 5.  I've picked out a few of my favorites from the look book already - love, love, LOVE all of these looks:

images via Huffington Post

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cozy and Classic

Apparently it's boring outfit week on Pencil Skirts & Lattes. As much as I love fun colors and patterns, sometimes I just prefer a simple, classic look... like this cozy, camel-colored sweater and black skinny trousers. I added a statement necklace and a bright lip. That helps, right?

TJ Maxx sweater, Banana Republic pants, Michael Shannon ankle boots, Aldo bag, Michael Kors watch, Anna and Ava ring, F21 earrings, Charming Charlie's necklace (similar), Francesca's sunnies, L'Oreal Colour Riche lipcolor in Volcanic 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


This Karen Millen trench coat is one of my absolute favorite purchases ever. I bought it last year at the beginning of summer (when it had been steeply discounted - yay!) and I knew I would get lots of use out of it in the fall/winter. It is just the perfect weight for nasty weather without being overly bulky or heavy. I also love the details and cut, I always feel a little bit like The Duchess in it :)  As an investment piece for your wardrobe, I highly recommend an amazing quality trench that is well tailored.  You get countless uses out of it, and it is a great way to add instant classic appeal to almost any look.

Karen Millen trench (similar style here 40% off), Francesca's blouse (similar) and clutch, AT Loft skirt and necklace (old), NY&Co Earrings, Hue tights, Michael Shannon ankle boots, Charming Charlie's ring, Michael Kors watch, Nars velvet matte lip pencil in 'Damned' 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

First blog DIY - Guest room wallpaper

So when I moved into this loft, one of the most aesthetically-challeneged rooms was this guest room. The walls are at an odd angle, the 'headboard wall' is about 20 ft fall (not an exaggeration), and the room is rather small. A small guest room doesn't bother me all that much... not like guests really need a full dresser or chest to house weeks worth of clothes or anything. The oddly angled exterior walls do add a bit of interest and dimension to what would otherwise be a very boxy shape. But that 20 ft white wall. Gah, did that keep me up at night (I want to act like that is a joke, but sadly, I did lie awake at night - on pinterest, mostly - trying to figure out the best way to make that look better.)  At first, I thought I would just compensate with a tall upholstered headboard in an interesting color or print fabric. Insert my fear of commitment pertaining to furniture and that idea got tossed pretty quickly. I knew I would tire quickly of whatever color/fabric choice I made and didn't want to re-do the room 80 times. So I researched and studied and browsed and merged several bits of inspiration to piece together this DIY. I am so, so pleased with the way this turned out.

Side note: this room is FAR from finished.  Please ignore the tragic lamps, side tables, and poor lighting.  

First, I saw this post on another blog (actually I saw the pic on pinterest first that led me to the blog - which I LOVE, btw), and read all about the Sherwin Williams removable wallpaper that they used in their apartment. I absolutely LOVED this pattern. After deciding to go with the wallpaper method, I looked through so many wallpaper books... and always went back to this as my favorite. Obviously, wallpapering a 20 ft tall wall was out of the question (for me, at least) - but I wanted to create interest behind the neutral oatmeal-colored linen headboard. I decided that measuring and wallpapering a section of the wall behind the headboard and framing it with some black painted trim was the best idea.


The only thing done at this point was that the exterior walls had been painted a dark blue/navy color.  It doesn't really show that well in these photos, but if anyone is interested in knowing the exact color just shoot me an e-mail.  Unmade bed and all, sigh (sorry Mom).  


After measuring, we drew with a pencil on the wall where the molding would go.  Then we put the wallpaper up.  It took 5 cut strips of this for us to do this much of the wall.  This part took less than an hour.

Then I painted the trim/molding strips that were cut to the size that we needed.  I used a Behr semi-gloss primer and paint in one.  Yes, that is parchment paper underneath the painted boards.  


Once the paint dried on the trim, we put it up around the border of the wallpaper and trimmed any excess paper.  I also made the bed.  You're welcome.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy Pants

I got these slim, cropped blue pants at AT Loft last weekend and I was SO happy to have found them there. I love the color, can think of tons of looks to put together with them, and they are NOT GREY OR BLACK!!! I was instantly cheerful (obviously so cheerful that I put a yellow sweater with them!) I love finding things (on sale) that I've been looking for, especially right now when I desperately need to have some bright-colored basics added to my otherwise drab winter wardrobe.

Moral of this post is: expect to see these pants quite a bit. I have lots of spring/summer looks in store for them. :)

AT Loft pants and sweater; J Crew blouse, Michael Kors watch, NY&Co bangle, Studded ring from Posh Boutique, old earrings, Charming Charlie's necklace, DG sunnies, Zara heels, Expressions NYC clutch from TJ Maxx

Monday, January 2, 2012

Here we go

To say that I am not looking forward to going back to work would be SUCH an understatement.  It's not the work or job that I mind, it's just that I've really enjoyed my time off.  Being able to relax, run, shop, cook, and get some home projects squared away has been complete bliss.  Not having to set the alarm has been awesome, too.  Want to know what the very best part of being off work is at this time of year for me? DAYLIGHT.  I hate that it is still dark when I wake up for work and dark again by the time I leave the office.  The good news is that it will start to stay light for a little longer each day, and in less than 10 weeks (yes, I'm already counting) we gain a whole extra hour!  Bring.It.On.      

AT Loft cardigan and jeans, Old Navy shirt, Banana Republic belt (old), Michael Kors watch, Zara heels, Francesca's sunnies, Charming Charlie's ring, Anna and Ava elephant ring, F21 earrings, Louis Vuitton 'Sarah' wallet