Monday, October 31, 2011

To Have & To Hold On To

I would love to dub it "common sense", but it was truly "classic sense" that drove me to purchase this jacket as soon as I saw it.
That was back in August, before I decided to make my big life decision.
After I did, I debated returning it again and again.

My wardrobe was seriously lacking a camel coat as my last one succumbed to moths.
As silly as it might have seemed to add yet another wool topper to the closet, this one exemplified perfection in every way.
So I kept it.

Boy, am I glad I did!
It's simplicity and minimalist design paired in a timeless shade like camel will make this coat a wardrobe workhorse.
While it seemed smart to simply return it and get my money back, it is such a classic item that breaking it down into those cost per wears will bring this little number down to sheer pennies. 

When I wore it over the weekend I knew I wanted the coat to be the focal point of my outfit.
Wearing all black underneath made perfect sense, but to add a black boot would have just seemed like overkill.
 Suede boots in a delicious cognac color are all together another story.
This is one of those looks that I find myself most comfortable in.

Have you held onto something you should have/could have returned because you knew it was simply too good to part with?

coat: express
turtleneck: talbots
pants: express
boots: coach
sunglasses: adrienne vittadini

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Procrastination Street

Much like my favorite domestic diva, Martha Stewart, Halloween is a BIG deal around here.
Every year we throw a child friendly costume party for our friends and family and every year we are competing to outdo each others costumes.

With my sister coming up from Virginia and my brother coming down from New York, the whole weekend is essentially one big party as our home will be filled to the brim with loved ones.
Meals have been planned from today through early next week and I ran around this morning completing all of my errands.
With pantries now stocked, our costumes just need a little bit of tweaking...but we are just about ready.
There is just one small problem.

Our home office doubles as a guest room and it has been completely dismantled since August.
When we were preparing for our new furniture arrival late this summer repainting our family room and such, we tore apart the office to paint it as well.
We just never did it.
The new family room decor involved swapping the area rugs in both rooms and we took the hubby's leather recliner from the office and moved it to the living room.
With all that swapping, makes perfect sense to repaint?
Except we didn't.

I'm not a procrastinator...not at all.
(except maybe this one time...)
I meant to get to it...I even bought the new paint color when we purchased the one for the family room! 
We both just loathe painting and we didn't want to spend our whole week off together in August doing such a dreadful task.
Of course, I've been home for exactly one month now and I pick the week I need to have guests sleep in there to paint it.

My sister and her family arrive Friday around lunchtime. 
Until then, I will be up to my eyeballs in paint and mess trying to fix what I should have done weeks ago.
So I leave you with some photos of Halloween Past...and some of the costumes we've worn.
See if you can figure out who we're supposed to be....





Wait until you see this years....!!!

*sorry about the awful, small pics...had to send them from pc to laptop etc. and they are too grainy expanded. but you get the idea! *

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Second Time Around

Nothing delights me more than having the good sense to hang onto something that ends up becoming relevant once more.

I would say, "on trend", but the truth is I simply hang on to the things I love.

Ponchos and capes are a perfect example.

I haven't been able to part with them because I see them as timeless and classic.

Some years I may just favor wraps instead.

I bought this cable knit poncho a very, very long time ago and have kept it in storage for almost as long.
The first time around I wore it exactly the same way...with a button up and jeans.
A repeat performance for the second time around.

As the days get a little bit chillier, it is truly the perfect topper.

poncho: limited, old
button up: jcrew
jeans: express
boots: enzo angiolini
sunglasses: banana republic
ring & bracelet: tiffany's

Monday, October 24, 2011

Body Double

This past weekend I did a fabulous job of messing up my sleep pattern.
After standing outside for two hours to take a Haunted Hayride at our local golf course, we went to our neighbors where we drank way too much red wine and indulged in some fantastic conversation.
We barely realized when it was 1 am and the children had all fallen asleep in various rooms on assorted pieces of furniture.

After sleeping in well past my usual time on Sunday morning, I woke feeling quite under the weather.
I dodged the hangover bullet, but I still felt lousy.
My runny nose, sneezing and chills had more to do with having been outside for hours than all the wine I had consumed.

I took a nap in the late afternoon which was a foolish idea, because by the time I went to bed at 10pm, I was wide awake.
Sometimes I do my best thinking in those restless hours and as I laid there staring at the ceiling, I thought back to this outfit that I wore on Saturday. 

It was comfortable enough to get me through errand running early on and layered enough to keep me warm for our evening out.
All of these pieces were pulled from the archives of my closet ~ true Shopping The Closet ~ the blazer is from a suit that is almost a decade old and the turtleneck has been around almost as long.
The scarf was purchased when I knew I needed a great leopard accessory and the satchel was a splurge that I knew would stand the test of time.

I have always worked hard at keeping myself at the same size, but as I get older and older it is becoming harder to do.
No longer can I overindulge, eat salad for penitence and have the sun, moon and stars all align properly again.
It just doesn't work that way anymore.
If I dream about eating a cupcake, it is most likely that one will appear on the sides of my thighs.
While I am grateful that I can still wear the same blazer I have had for almost 10 years, I am too frightened to try the pants for fear they will not fit.

In my younger years I was very rigid and unbending in my eating habits.
Most food items were barred from my mouth, and for the sake of my figure there were many years where I didn't eat much at all.
As I have gotten older, I have decided that I would rather work out extra hard and more often in order to enjoy that fabulous meal or indulge in that extra glass of wine.
 I am over fighting with my husband over whether or not he may have put butter in the vegetables.
Because those arguments have happened.

Husband and I have become passionate cooks through the years and nothing makes us happier than sharing that love with friends and family.
Is there anything as heartwarming and relaxing than gathering around a table with your favorite people?
However, as gravity starts to do it's thing and pounds creep on faster than you can say pumpkin pie, I find myself searching for the perfect balance.
Because sometimes even working out cannot keep up with a {few} very naughty eating spree{s}.

With the holidays approaching, how will you balance the season of overindulging so you don't spend January fasting??

blazer: part of a suit (old)  from limited
turtleneck: limited
scarf: ny&co
jeans: those skinny jeans from express again!
boots: style & co
satchel: coach
sunglasses: banana republic

Friday, October 21, 2011

Silence Is A Virtue

My family finds it strange that I never, ever turn on the tv after they have left for work and school.
I don't put on music either.

I prefer complete silence in the house.

I didn't used to feel this way.
I used to play music as I milled around the I just prefer quiet.

It's the same for me in the car.
I used to listen to cd's or my iPod or even a meditation cd for the days I knew road rage would strike on my commute.

Music has influenced so much in my life, yet I find that the only time I listen now is when I am cooking dinner and I throw on the old iPod or some Pandora.
And the TV is only watched when,
1. I can't fall asleep
2. House Hunters is on and I am going to bed (but I always miss the last house and the decision because I usually fall asleep!)
3. Jersey Shore or the Kardashians are on...what can I say...after being alone with my thoughts I need some comic relief!

Do you prefer silence or do you need a little background noise?
Happy Weekending!

jeans (different ones!): express
sweater: express
turtleneck: jcrew
clutch: express
boots: enzo angiolini (old!)
ring: charlotte russe
sunglasses: limited

Thursday, October 20, 2011

All I Need

This morning as I dressed and found myself throwing on, yet again, the same exact pair of jeans I have been wearing almost every single day for weeks now.
 I consciously thought to myself, "All I really need is this one pair of jeans."

Yet my closet is stuffed with close to 30 pairs.
Once upon a time this never bothered me.
Now I find it actually embarrassing. 

I bought this skinny pair over the summer because I "needed" a pair to roll up just like this to wear with heels.
In the meantime, I have also tucked them into boots and worn them uncuffed with ballet flats.
A true multipurpose pair of jeans.

Still the closet is brimming with boot cut, barely boot cut, jean leggings, and flares in all different washes and stages of destroy.
Yet I grab the same pair over and over again

Last night I couldn't sleep and found myself watching Extreme Couponing.
I've seen bits and pieces of the show but never really watched an entire episode.
At first I felt sheer amazement at the huge amounts of money these people save.
Then as episode after episode played out I became more and more disillusioned.
Why in the world would you WANT 47 bottles of mustard?
Or 250 boxes of rice?

Or 30 pairs of jeans?

This new chapter of my life means my days of mass consumption are gone.
Other than rewards I previously earned from my favorite places to shop, or being gifted, there will be nothing new finding a home in my closet.
That is what made deciding what to spend our rewards to Pottery Barn on so hard.
It is no longer within my thought pattern to continue to buy more of the "same" kinds of stuff.

Truthfully, I am more than ok with that.
In fact, I spent my last few weeks working returning purchases I had recently made that deserved no justification.
Sure, it was hard to part with the most perfect red and camel Tahari dress I had found on sale and the newest color of my favorite Michael Kors sandals but I kept my resolve and did it.
Now as I dress I look at a few other things that really should have gone back too...but their receipts have expired and they are mine.

I know there will be times when I just want to shop...and some thrifting here and there is in the budget.
But when those times inevitably come that I just want to grab my wallet and run to my favorite retailers, I think I just need to look at this pair of jeans I'm wearing and remind myself that they are really all I need.

jeans: express
stripe tee: thrifted, jones new york
denim button up: jcrew
puffer: jcrew
heeled loafers: jcrew
necklace: old limited
bracelets: old limited and express

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Surprise,'s raining again here.
I took a run this morning to my one of my favorite places on earth, Pottery Barn. 
It was the last day of  their friends and family discount and a wonderful blogger (who I love to pieces ~ you know who you are and thanks ever so much again!) mailed me a coupon!
Hubby and I have been in there quite a few times recently wandering around looking for a way to spend the rewards we earned for buying our new sofa
We don't need another piece of furniture, rug, mirror or other big ticket item.
Of course, could find a way to use it up on the things I love best like dishes, serveware etc.
But who wants to waste it away?

After much deliberation and knowing I could combine it with the 20% F&F deal, I decided to use it on new bedding for our bedroom.
I bought our last duvet, shams and toss pillows from Pottery Barn about 7 years ago and they are just now starting to show some well earned wear and tear.
Seven years ago the children were only 10 & 2 ~ young enough to reak havoc on everything.
For the past year, our adorable, little Brussels Griffon has made our bed her bed and honestly I don't mind the extra laundering since she is just so darn snuggly at night. 
Point being, Pottery Barn might not have the most inexpensive bedding out there, but it is well worth the price.
Everything is always easy to care for and launder at home.
To me, I look at it as an investment of sorts.
You might spend a little more, but when something lasts a long time it is well worth it.

Like these boots I am wearing today.
I was strolling through Marshall's with my mom a long, long time ago when I spotted them.
Coach boots for what seemed like a song.
I grabbed these and another pair in brown suede.
Mom was shocked that I was splashing out on two pairs when one pair alone seemed like a splurge.
"Mom, I know it seems like a lot, but I will have these boots forever!"
And I have.

Have you made an investment in something that you know will stand the test of time?

sweater & jeans: express
tee: gap
necklaces: (2 sep.) express
boots: coach
ring: limited
umbrella: jcrew

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Finders Keepers

There are finds.
And then there are FINDS.

The kind that deserve to be regarded in all capital, bold italics.
Like the Fendi and LV bags I've uncovered in the sea of pleather and garish bags that permeate the local thrift stores. 

In the decades I have been thrifting, I have slowly trained my eye to detect the treasure among the trash.
I am no professional, and after many, many years of redonating purchases that were so very wrong, I made a few decisions.

I limit myself to only purchasing the obscure, or the impossibly fabulous.
A true blue vintage gem will always have room in my closet, where the polyester tops that populate the racks like baby rabbits in a meadow (that fabric is so indestructible ~ these tops will be around forever!) are barely even glanced over.

Experience makes us wiser in so many ways.
Wise enough to know when I spotted this maxi dress yesterday that it had to come home with me.

maxi dress: vintage, thrifted (made me squeal with delight and call my sister from the parking lot!)
necklace: express
sunglasses: adrienne vittadini
ring: vintage heirloom

Monday, October 17, 2011

Who Am I?

I'm having an identity crisis.

Transitioning from full time working mom to stay at home unemployed mom is harder than I thought.
I thought for sure that gathering up my nerve and bravado to say the words "I'm quitting" was going to be the hardest part.
As it turns out, it was the easiest.

I only stayed home for the minimum 6 weeks after each of my babies before heading back to work.
When my oldest was born, the boutique I ran was relocating and even though it had only been a couple weeks since his birth I toted him in his carry seat almost daily to help with the move.

I like to work.

I just recently realized that I had come to hate my current position and resent the way it tapped into my personal life.
When Hurricane Irene came tearing up the coast towards us, I had to work the day of her imminent arrival.
I watched in awe as people shopped for clothing as if it was any other day.
Arguing about coupons, knocking stacks of folded clothing off of tables, and then making their way to the cash registers asking the cashiers "Will they let you go home early?"
All the while I wanted to scream at them, "If you weren't here then MAYBE we could go home!"

I was dumbstruck that the mall I worked in insisted they wouldn't announce a "closing" and getting my boss to authorize an early close was like pulling teeth.
When my boss finally gave the ok the rain was already torrential and customers were actually complaining that we were closing.
My main concern became getting the kids who worked for me out of there and home.
Then I had to face almost an hour drive home SOUTH which was where the storm was coming from.

That was the turning point for me.
I felt like a puppet whose strings were manipulated by my employer and employees when they should be in the hands of my husband and children.

But now that the clock only dictates the times my husband and kids come and go, and every morning instead of thinking: 
"What the hell am I going to wear today?"
My brain scrambles with:
"What the hell can I do all day in order to feel wholly satisfied and know I am contributing to this household?"
I love having the time to cook and bake and keep my home in order and I know that matters most to my family.
But deep inside the ambitious, working girl is wondering what's around the corner. 

blazer: vintage, thrifted
tee: jcrew
jeans: express
heels: thrifted jcrew

Friday, October 14, 2011

Weekly Wind Down

Day 3 of rain and dreary weather in NJ.
I spent the day in an over sized sweater, jeans, baseball cap and my old school Kangaroos.
Not very blog worthy.
So instead I leave you with the most beautiful maxi skirt in the world ~ thrifted by moi.
Isn't she divine?

Happy Weekending Everyone!

button up: jcrew
necklace: express
maxi skirt: vintage, thrifted