Thursday, December 31, 2009

memories of 2009..

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!!

as a tribute to 2009,
i went through all my pictures and picked one picture
that was my best memory for each month of 2009.


my life was a whirlwind this past year, it was amazing.
i can't wait to see what 2010 brings

Here's my 2009:

January

skiing with matt, always a favorite in january

February

superbowl 09', a yearly tradition in my house!

March
VIVA LAS VEGAS!!!!
April

what happens in vegas STAYS in vegas
May
my brothers surprise 25th birthday!
June
beach days are my FaVoRiTe

July

this picture was taken on the 4th of july; unfortunatly it was my last month working with
eleanor and angela but i took with me life long friends

August

i surprised matt with a trip to Washington, DC
for his 23rd birthday

September

Eleanor, Angela, and I started something of our own...
a blog called "Shopping The Closet"

October

WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!!

November

GoOoOo GIANTS!

December

a new chapter in our lives have begun...
WE'RE ENGAGED!!
-----------------------------------------------------
and one more thing...a little message to eleanor and angela:
this year we followed our hearts and went for something we werent quite
sure of...we came together and stuck together...and look where it got us!
i couldnt have done it without you ladies. here's to 2010..
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!! love you's!!!!










Post Christmas Treasures

I tried my damnedest to stay out of the stores and pretend the post Christmas sales were not going on.

Unfortunately for me, last Saturday, my boss and her/our boss came for a visit.

They always ask me to go with them to "shop" the competition.

Which is pretty much just scoping out what sales,traffic and merchandise our competition is offering.

I didn't even grab my wallet let alone handbag as we headed out...I just trailed along with them.

What a mistake/saving grace for me when we discovered that Banana Republic was offering an additional 50% off of sale prices until noon!

We immediately went 3 different ways, with me heading right to the jewelry counter.

My eye was immediately caught by an oversized (I'm such a big bling whore)
"statement" necklace.

I asked to see it...and the saleswoman obliged this walletless shopper.



Marked down to $24.99 with an additional 50% off?!?!?

Yes, please!

Lucky for me, my boss had wandered over to me (I hadn't noticed since I am crow-like when I see something shiny) and leaned over and said "Get it...I'll pay for it and you can pay me back later."

Really?!?!?!

Is she not the Best Boss Ever?

Along with calling me Tuesday eve and telling me that instead of rolling over the 7 hours I had left of personal time from 2009, why wouldn't I just take off Wed (yesterday) and be off until next Monday?

I am seriously planning to get her the World's Best Boss mug for next Christmas.



So I got my necklace...and managed to avoid buying anything at JCrew or any apparel at Banana for that fact.

I cracked at work when I was able to use an additional % off coupon my boss gave me in my Christmas card (oh and did I mention what she got me for a Christmas present? No? Only a Coach wristlet. Yes...I said ONLY A COACH WRISTLET. See, I told you she was cool.)

Along with the deep promotional discounts going on, I was able to get an additional 50% at work too.

I picked up a pair of dark rinse skinny jeans for only $9.99 and after my whole unhappiness with my denim washed jeans I need a pair that can work with a dressier top.

Someone returned a tunic that I had bought in an XS but really wanted the Small so I would feel more comfy wearing it with leggings, and as I haven't worn the XS yet, I am able to return it so I bought the small and ended up getting it for about $6 less than when I paid for the other.

Win-win.

And then I bought this:



Don't you just love it?



I love the contrast of the blue gingham with the bright orange.

I fell in love with the gingham when it arrived for early spring, and always loved the bright cardi.

I was able to resist until the markdowns came.

The cardigan came to $7.49 and the gingham button up (which is 3/4 sleeve) came to $9.99.

As to how many times I will wear them, I am not sure...but if you break down the prices to cost per wear...seriously, how could I have not?



I am thinking with my dark destroyed boyfriend jeans...

And now you see why it is so difficult to keep my money in my wallet where it belongs!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Truly Gifted

I posted about Christmas morning, but never mentioned any of the "goodies" I received.

Santa was actually very good to me, even after my whole credit card debacle.

Under my tree I found this:



I can't believe my husband got this for me...he must have looked on the computer to see some of the blogs I read...but how cool! He didn't know I follow the Sartorialist.



Squee! Double Squee!

I wanted this Chanel moisturizer in the worst way....but never thought my husband would actually ever buy moisturizer that could cost that much money! Too bad I will never be able to use anything else ever again lest my skin turn into the Crypt Keeper's...or at least that is what I will tell him when the jar is empty!



I have never owned Uggs...and really hadn't thought about wanting or needing them.
These arrived under my tree in the form of Ugg slippers that were exchanged for these boots.
And no, I will never tuck my pants into them, unless I am running out to the mailbox and my pant leg gets stuck as I throw them on.

I also got WII Active, as I am a big fan of WII Fit, it made sense that hubby would upgrade me.
However, I am happy with my WII Fit and as I upgraded my slippers to boots, I returned the WII Active.

Another time maybe.

There were 3 movies under the tree for me. The Dark Crystal (total childhood fave!), Sixteen Candles (I love you Jake Ryan!!!) and The Secret of Roan Inish (an amazing Irish film - and I adore everything that has hailed from Ireland with the exception of Colin Farell because he is yucky and probably pretending to be Irish anyway).

And my stocking?

A big bottle of Hendrick's Gin!

My stocking usually contains some kind of booze...

Our first Christmas together my husband filled my stocking to overflowing with airplane size bottles of alcohol.

It was truly the coolest stocking EVER!

Not because I have a drinking issue...alcohol is simply one of the most practical gifts - and nothing is cuter than little sweet baby bottles.

I am a gin girl and have mentioned that I want to try Hendrick's but am scared I won't like it as much as Bombay Sapphire.

So this was SWEET!

Although I made out like a bandit, even though I have been somewhat naughty, the best part of my Christmas was this:



me and hubby at my baby brother's for brunch



me and son who is currently much taller than I - little secret,guess who the curls come from?



me and youngest child who is currently working on being taller then I



me and my baby brother Chris who gave me the best gift of all this year:



the apple of my eye!

I hope everyone got to spend their holiday with their loved ones...because that my friends is the best part of the season!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

We've Been Tagged!



Thanks to Justine at Fetching Fashions for tagging us today!

1. My TV is always on when The Office is...I totally heart Jim Halpert! I can also be caught watching House Hunters before bed and if I can squeeze in an episode of The Barefoot Contessa that always makes my day!

2. I am almost 4 years older than my husband, who I met because he was friends with my 2 younger brothers....their "hot" friend who I secretly (ok, I told all the other guys except my hubby and it was a huge joke) drooled over for like 5 years!He couldn't believe that I liked him and I was equally as shocked that he liked me back! My brothers, well, they were just kinda freaked out!

3. I always used cheap drugstore makeup until a year ago when I started using Bare Minerals. Now I will never use anything else. I will only wear one perfume until I die or they stop making it - Chanel's Mademoiselle. Oh, and I spend a small fortune on my hair - but we all have our vices!

4. When I was a freshman in high school I met Whoopi Goldberg in Atlantic City. She told me she loved my style and that I was the cutest thing she had ever seen! Wow!

5. We have a dog. I am not a pet person. Need I say more?

6. I used to dress like a punk rocker - seriously - green, liberty spiked hair, nose ring, the whole 9 yards. I hung out in NYC and at clubs and met many bands like the Ramones,The Damned etc. I made all my own clothes and dreamed of going to FIT in NYC and becoming a fashion designer.

7. Instead of a fabulous rock and roll fashion designer life, I own a beautiful 4 bedroom Cape Cod up the block from my childhood home and my kids go to the same schools I went to...ride their bikes up the same streets...and I am neighbors with a former classmate! (Boy, she was sure shocked to see how I mellowed out!)

Now it's your turn...I am tagging:

1. Pamela at Ginger Girl - because I feel like she is totally a bloggy BFF!

2. Debye at Modestly Styled. Modestly Me - because she a super stylish Mommy
and she works retail just like me!

3. Dina at My Superfluities - because she's so open,honest and unassuming. I also love it when her pics have those little cuties in them!

4. Steph here at Shopping The Closet because she is due to write something here!

5. My Loopy Life - because she is somewhat mysterious and I would like to know more about her!

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Christmas Miracle

Once upon a time, in a land that is known as the Garden State, lived a girl who loved to shop until she dropped.

This girl needed to go Christmas shopping for the 5 lovely managers that work for her.

She wasn't sure what she wanted to get for them so she headed into her local JCrew store.

She shopped in there so much that she has befriended all the employees, and immediately asked them for their help.

They started showing this thoughtful gal all of the new markdown jewelry they had in stock.

What a wonderful surprise!

There were necklaces for $24.99, earrings for only $9.99...it was a treasure trove of good bargains!

She sifted through all these treats and selected a few pieces that she knew her team would love.

An indecision about earrings led the young woman to buy an extra pair...as she was undecided to whom they would go, but they were such a great bargain she could not pass them up.

A few nights later she sat in the glow of Christmas lights under her tree and wrapped the gifts.

She hesitated when she came to the two pairs of earrings.

She knew that her one manager would adore the one pair...but there was a slight problem.

She adored them too!

After much hemming and hawing, she decided to keep the more beautiful pair for herself and give away the others.

Yes, she felt a little twinge of guilt, but she liked the lovely feeling of knowing these beautiful earrings were hers much more than the guilty feeling.

She really isn't always this selfish!

When she woke to blizzard the following morning, she headed outside to shovel the snow at an ungodly 5 in the morning.

She shoveled and she shoveled until she cleared enough to get her car out of her driveway and commute to work.

When she arrived an hour and half later she discovered a dreadful sight.

One of those lovely earrings she had lovingly placed in her ear that morning was missing!

Her heart broke into a million pieces....and she couldn't help but wonder if it was a form of "punishment" for her greediness.

She lamented this loss for days and days...and even tried to chalk it up to "learning how unimportant "things" are"...but no matter how many life lessons she tried to extract from the situation, she was still devastated.

She came home from work two days ago to a driving rain.

Imagine her surprise to see that all the snow had melted!

A little piece of her wondered if her earring was somewhere in her yard where she had shoveled and shoveled.

The following morning she woke to a gorgeous sunny day, and with no more snow on the ground asked her husband to join her for a walk.

She headed outside to wait for him, and lo and behold...glistening in the grass on the edge of her driveway was a delightful surprise!



It was her earring!

It had been in a snow bank...and fortunately hadn't washed away in the rain!

What a Christmas Miracle!

And what has she learned?

That stuff is not as important as the happiness of others....

And that she made the right choice when someone said to her today:

"My goodness those earrings are just gorgeous!!!"

She smiled brightly.

"Aren't they?"

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Holiday Dressing

It has been a whirlwind weekend for me and today will be no exception.

After I posted on Christmas Eve, we went out and run some last minute errands.







My sweater and l/s tee are from Limited as well as my handbag. I wore my taupe Enzo boots. Look how loved they are:



Christmas morning was very exciting - especially for the kiddies.



We have Christmas breakfast here with my dad and brother.



I wore the Jones scarf I scored the other day and a great satin top I scored at TJ Maxx for only $7.99!!!

Yes, I said $7.99 - not marked down, that was the original ticket price.

It is a fantastic teal color which looks amazing with the maize color of the scarf.





Great gold filigree earrings from Limited. Love these earrings!

After eating too many Christmas cookies and making Ginger Girl's Creme Brulee French Toast for my Christmas breakfast (everyone loved it - thanks for the great recipe Pamela!)

I changed outfits.



I put on my husband's sweats and shrunken tee.

Not very stylish, but oh so comfy!

Yesterday I had to go back to work. I had to get up at 3:30 in the morning to get ready since they wonderful mall decided to open at 6am!

The company I work for is allowing us to wear our brand's jeans until January 9th.

Hooray!!!

I love wearing jeans to work.



And look at this NY & Company lace top - from their Red Label Collection



I saw it in the November issue of Harper's Bazaar. It was styled for a photo shoot - and usually you only see NY & Company merchandise in articles regarding affordable "finds".



Ok, so it was styled for an article titled "Cheap Thrills", and it certainly gave me a "cheap thrill"!

Ticketed at $78.00, I waited until the whole store was 50% off and used a $25.00 off of $50.00 rewards coupon to purchase it. That broke the price of the top to about $27.00 or so!

I love a great bargain!



This morning we have brunch planned at my other brother and sister in law's house.

My sister and husband are up visiting from Dina Gideon's neck of the woods.

Later this afternoon/evening my mom will arrive here from NC.

Hooray!

I only get to see my mom every 3 months or so.

She will stay with us until after the New Year, and since I only have to work M,T and W then get a four day weekend off to spend time with her, it will be a real treat indeed!

Enjoy your last day of the holiday weekend!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's Over...Almost!

I am laying here on the couch, laptop on, well, my lap.

Snuggled under a huge fleece blanket with fresh cup of coffee settled nicely in my tummy...

Basking in the fact that I have today off...and tomorrow too...and officially have another "holiday season" under my belt.

I have worked retail since I was 15 and got my very first job ever in a clothing store.

McDonald's (my mom made me apply) called the same day as a local clothing store did...ummmm...let me think for a second...ummmm,no thanks Mickey D's...I'll pick clothes!

And my future, though unbeknownst to me at the time, was set.

I have always worked in apparel, except for a brief stint with a furniture/interior design company (fun, and helllooooo 40% off furnishings!!!) and then apparel beckoned me back.

Sometimes I have a love/hate relationship with my job.

I love clothing (duh) and enjoy being around it 24/7.

I love maintaining the visual aesthetics of a specialty store.

I love that I am invited into NYC by the company I work for to do cool things like attend buy reviews, be a part of meetings as a rep from "the field" etc.

That being said:

I hate customers with no sense of personal accountability (what do you mean my receipt expires?), manners (screaming to you while you are clearly helping someone else),who think they are owed something (don't even get me started)or are miserable sods shopping for gifts that they are putting no thought or care into whatsoever (like a man last night who flat out told me "I could give a crap less if she likes this or not" nice,eh?)

I hate dealing with HR related nonsense (which sadly is 75% of my job in my position)and that is why I love Toby from The Office so much. I empathize with him.

And sometimes I hate how much physical labor and time my job requires from my life.

Especially at this time of year.

I had to work late last night...late meaning to 1am...home by 2am.

But I loved my OOTD yesterday soooo much that it sort of compensated for my exhaustion, mental fraility and near delirium.





I stopped at TJ Maxx the other night to browse for some gifts and saw this beautiful maize colored scarf by Jones New York that I just had to have...as ummm...a Christmas gift for me???

For $12.99 I didn't feel that guilty!

I paired it with this awesome vintage earrings I scored thrifting a month or so ago.



The warmth of the scarf really called for gold jewelry, don't you think?

And big, chunky bracelets...



The other day I popped into ATL while they were running the extra 30% off sale and picked up these navy blue, wool trousers for only $20.99!

Lined and wool and petite so I don't have to have them altered for $20?!?!?

Now that's what I am talking about!

(Please excuse random vacuum laying behind me...I squeeze in cleaning whenever possible this time of year!)

I wore taupe Enzo Angiolini boots and my blouse is a cute top I scored at NY & Company a few years back.

And to top it all off?

Snuggly fur coat, anyone???

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Today I did something I probably shouldn't have.

No, I didn't wear leggings again!

I took my new fur coat for a whirl today since I was off and had some errands to run.

Unfortunately, it has been a bone of contention in this house as I wrote about in my other blog, From A Brookside, which is really about my life as a mom and wife and all the fun things that go along with it.



I love my fur coat...

Isn't it adorable???



Too bad my daughter doesn't agree...

Underneath my jacket I was wearing a sheer plaid tunic layered with a JCrew Perfect Fit tee.





I scored the tunic, which was a redline at NY&Company for only $7.99 + 20% off coupon for like $6.39!!!

Cute,huh?



And look I wore jeans today!

Just a plain low rise bootcut tucked into tan riding boots.

I need to run out this evening and wrap up some last minute details.

Can't wait to snuggle into that coat again!

This time, I'll leave my daughter home so I don't traumatize her!

Monday, December 21, 2009

House Dresses, Sloth and Other Nonsense

First off, I can't tell you how excited I am for my little Steph!

She has been dying to get engaged...and I'm so happy that her dreams are coming true!!!

2010 will be an exciting year for my gal...

Congrats to you Steph...I love you dearly!

While Steph is all sorts of busy, leading an exciting life, I on the other hand should maybe start shaking it up again myself.

I mean my wardrobe.

For instance, look what I wore today:





The marled sweater and white button up are the only "different" thing I have worn other than my current uniform of leggings and boots.

For a girl who refused to join the legging trend for so long...it's becoming a litle much now, huh?

So...enough!

Time to start putting a little variety back into rotation.

I have been wearing leggings for the comfort.

And there are many other things that I can tuck into my favorite boots.



Like my destroyed skinny jeans.

It's just that leggings are so damn easy!

You know, once you get over that "it feels like I am not wearing pants" thing.

They don't need to be ironed.

It doesn't take much creativity to make an outfit out of them.

And how great is it to get home from work, take off your boots and change your shirt and voila!

You are ready for bed!

Or how with the oversized tops/tunics I wear with them, I can eat as many Christmas cookies as I want and not feel like a stuffed sausage!

Oh goodness...does this mean moo-moo's are the next step???

Will I eventually resort to house dresses, sloth, and other lackadaisical nonsense?

Never!

But my sweater...it is sort of like a house dress, isn't it?!?!

Oh dear...

I swore to myself I would never be a "track suit" Mommy...that I would live my life with fashion before function!

What is happening to me?!?!?