Ready for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is one week away.  I wanted to share a few fun gift options.  Last year I treated myself to this envelope clutch (monogrammed of course).  There are a bunch of fun options (below) from Parker Thatch.

I styled my clutch with red and pink for a casual look.

Striped Shirt

Denim (on sale!)

Envelope Clutch

Shoes (similar here, here and here)

Sunglasses (similar here and here)

A few more fun options at great price points.

Love & Kisses Clutch / Navy Lips /Love Clutch

Eye Mask/ Bucket Bag / Market Tote

Happy Shopping!

XO,

JAE

Mani Monday – Valentine Edition

My son finished addressingh is valentines for his classmates this weekend.  Next weekend is his birthday so we will be in full party mode.  It was nice to get them done.  I decided to get a subtle heart mani as next week I will have something 8th birthday party themed.  Whether you celebrate Valenitne’s Day or Galentine’s,  love is always in style.

 

The manicure and nail art are by Olive & June.  The colors are “Touch Up” , “Style in Excess“, “Dress call” and “Berry in Love” by Essie Gel Couture.

The clutch featured is by Legend of Lido.

Happy Monday!

XO,

JAE

Rainbow Set

Rainbow sweater set?  Where have you been?  Folded nicely in a pile of sweaters I have been ignoring.  I am almost done with my closet clean out.  The best part has been discovering old favorites, now if I can just find that pot of gold.  This sweater set sold out right away so I only featured the shell (here).  I linked several other fun options at various price points below.

I styled the sweater set with denim, a striped clutch and my favorite pink shoes.

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Rainbow Striped Sweater (similar here, here, here and here)

Striped Clutch

Shoes (similar here, here and here)

Denim

Happy Styling!

XO,

JAE

Mani Monday – Burgundy Tiger Edition

“I don’t want to hurt her feelings, but that cough is giving me a headache.” said my son to my husband as they were headed to bedtime.

I wish I could say that I fought my recent cough and cold like a tiger, but it’s more like the cold was the tiger.  I have never been so exhausted and debilitated for this long or coughed for this long.  I think I am finally on the mend and ready to join the world again.

So when I finally got our for manicure I went for something dark and bold.  Negative space tiger stripes fit the bill.

The manicure and nail art are by Olive & June.  The color is “Model Clicks” by Essie Gel Couture.

Items in the photos include:

Floral Dress

Striped Shell

Embroidered Top

Heart Shirt

Batique Blouse

Floral Dress

White Floral Top

Lilleth Bag

Orange Driving Shoes

Happy Monday!

XO,

JAE

That’s a Wrap

That’s a wrap on 28 days.  It went fast.  My detox efforts were distracted by a nagging cough, so I was home bound and away from shopping. I did resist the online shopping option urge and instead devoured the whole first season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”.  If you don’t have Prime Video you can start a free trial here.  The show is beautiful to watch and so inspiring.  I also read P.S. From Paris which was a fun easy read perfect for my bedridden and exhausted state.

My closet purge is underway but not complete as I rested far more than I ever thought I could.

I’ve considered going much longer without shopping, perhaps until my birthday in June. As I thought about that idea, I became concerned that it’s not balanced. I will likely continue not shopping at least another two weeks to hit around 40 days. I would like to be done with the closet purge before adding anything new.

One thing I do need to replace is white shirts.  I had to get rid of four that had served me well for several years, but white shirts do eventually yellow. I have my eye on a few including this one with the fun stripe detail inside the cuff.


And shoes. I always seem to need/want shoes. Here are a few I’m considering.

Bow Flat / Denim Flat / Gingham Mule / Striped Flat

I have been enjoying my pre-detox sample sale Luna score with just about everything. I love the hands-free ease of it. I styled it with denim, leopard flats and gingham.

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Shirt (similar here, here and here)

Bag (also here and here)

Denim (on sale!) this wash and this wash are great too!

Shoes (older style –  these, these and these would work great)

Sunglasses (similar here, here and here)

Happy Styling!

XO,

JAE

 

A Little Leopard

East Hampton, 1997

“Jenni, what did you buy? I left you for 10 minutes. That’s a big bag”. Elizabeth exclaims as she crosses Main Street with our iced coffees.

“A couple of bags. Great sale.”

“Let me see. Let me see. Oh Zadig & Voltaire. Nice. I love the black one and the duffle is great. A leopard print handbag? Really?”

“Yes, I love it. It adds a little something and says I’m a risk taker. “

She laughs.

“Just wait. I’ll carry it on the flight home to San Francisco. You never know who I’ll meet.”

“Well if anyone can pull it off, it’s you”.

My first leopard print purchase.  It was followed quickly by a belt and adorable pair of sandals (that have survived many a closet purge). Back then leopard was a simple embellishment mixed mostly with black and white. I had yet to embark on pattern mixing.

Los Angeles, 2017

“Hi I’m home.”

“Hi do you need help with anything from the car”. says my husband from the family room.

“No I’m good. I race up to the closet”.

I quickly hang up my new jacket.

“Hold on what’s THAT?”

“A new jacket. Do you like it?”

“It’s a bit much.”

“I think it’s just the right amount of much.”

Leopard is now in most parts of my wardrobe and even in my home decor (in shades of blue of course). This jacket is more leopard than I usually wear, and I love it. I styled it with my ark bag, denim, sneakers and a white tee. There is even a leopard pouch hiding in my ark (for a pop of print and to keep the Ark tidy).

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Jacket (similar here, here and here)

Linen T-shirt (similar here, here and here)

Ark Bag (also here and here)

Leopard Pouch (inside Ark) here, here and here

Denim (on sale!) this new wash and this new wash are on my list

New Balance Kicks

Sunglasses (similar here, here and here)

Happy Styling!

XO,

JAE

Mani Monday – Both Sides Edition

I glance at the clock on a warm July morning in the Valley.  It’s 9 am.  I would just be getting here now.  What would I have missed?  A lot.  Very little of it scheduled.  Ugh.  How am I going to do this? “ I’ll just figure it out” I’d say to myself most days during the summer before my son started preschool.  When I signed my contract in June, we verbally agreed to my dropping my son off at school twice a week.  But I was now beginning to question how feasible it would even be and my anticipatory stress was growing. The summer went on and I did this internal check in most mornings.  Gathering my own data as to which days of the week would work best.

Drop off and pick up are not big moments.  A performance is a big moment, I would make it to those.  The big revelations happen in the little moments.  The thing he blurts out about his day when we are waiting for the carpool line to move.  The teacher that catches me just as I pick him to tell me about something that happened that day.  My presence is important for him to feel the stable force of his mother at the start and close of his day, or at least the start.  It was even more important for me.

On the days I could take him to school, I felt like I had stolen a precious moment and was filled with happiness as I went about the rest of my day solving problems, making presentations, hiring, firing, making decisions, sitting in long meetings, all 25 miles away.  The days I could take him were very few.

So, my heart broke a little each day.

As I put my son to bed one night during the first year of preschool he said “Mommy let’s both get up early tomorrow so we can see each other” as he hugged me tight.  He had started sleeping a little later and some mornings I had to leave without even seeing him awake.  I smiled and tried not to cry.

“Thank you for coming to back to school night we are off to a great start of the year. OK everyone we have a fun activity.  You will see photos of hands and answers to questions.  Please find your child based on the two.”  I glance down and spot what I think are my son’s hands.  I read the accompanying questions and answers

What makes you happy?  When I see my mommy.

What makes you sad?   When my mommy goes to work.

My heart is beating out of my chest and I can barely read the next two questions.  This was the second year of preschool.

I am home now.  I left my job at the end of the second year of preschool.  I have since started this blog.  I need a purpose and something to do.  I have treated it like a business publishing on a regular schedule that I have kept to.  It is not yet a business, but it is growing and I love the challenge.  Most importantly, I am at drop off and pick up 99% of the time.  I appreciate it every single day and yes, there have been a lot of big moments and revelations in the little moments.

But I do miss working.  My son was home last week for five days sick.  I felt privileged to be able to be home to care for him, but I also went a little stir crazy.  I was thrilled to be home and dying to get out. I see both sides.  I enjoyed both ways of life for different reasons.  Working in a big job and working for myself.  I wish I did not have to choose.  I also don’t appreciate the pressure, the judgement and the need to categorize.

I can see both sides so well that it throws me off my center at times.   Taking sides is killing society.  But there is a comfort in decision and I have never looked back.  Life on this side is good and I am grateful, but I do want more.

This week’s mani has both sides and is balanced.

The manicure and nail art are by Olive & June.  The colors are “Surrounded by Studs” and “First View” by Essie Gel Couture.

Items in the photos include:

Camo Jacket

Tweed Flats

Custom Canvas Pouch

Embroidered V-Neck Top

Animal Print Blouse

Welcome Top

Denim Flats and here and here

Women T-Shirt

Moon and Stars Top

Calf Hair Driving Shoes (on sale!)

Embroidered Tunic

Red Top

Striped top

Tunic (on sale!)

Happy Monday!

XO,

JAE

Home Stretch…

The detox on shopping has led to more time at home, which has been nice.  I have also been battling a cold off and on for the last month, so the at home timing has been good.  In fact, I am beginning to wonder if 28 days will be enough.  Last year my husband and I did our “Whole 30” plan that morphed into the Bulletproof plan (more on that here and here) for much longer than 28 days.  Our habits are far from perfect, but detoxing food-wise for that long did make some permanent changes.  We continue to consume far less sugar than we used to and really don’t have the same taste for it.

There have been a few things that have been tempting with all the January sales.  My resolve is still strong, but these sales are really good.  Several items I have featured recently are on the J. Crew website at rock bottom prices like this bomber jacketshirtshirt, shoesshirt, pullover, bell-sleeved top, and  blazer.

In another week I will be at 28 days.  I will see how I feel then. In the meantime, the closet clean out continues with several new things on Poshmark this week.  My dog, Cupcake, is my constant companion and is loving more time at home.  She insisted on crashing this photo shoot where I styled these adorable striped heels (that I picked up this fall pre-detox) with gingham, a sweater, denim and I could not decide between my camo clutch and my custom canvas pouch.

Shirt

Sweater (similar here)

Denim (on sale!) I love this new wash and this new wash too.

Shoes

Camo Clutch (also available in this glitter stripe version)

Custom Canvas Clutch

Happy Friday!

XO,

JAE

Grab the Detox Like a Tiger

I’m over halfway through my 28 day shopping detox.  I may extend it beyond the original 28 days.  It has been easier than I thought it would be.  It has been a relief to not agonize over decisions, as is my want.  It has also had some unexpected benefits.  I have been sad.  Not sad that I could not go shopping or even feeling that compelled to do so.  I think I had underestimated what a distraction shopping was.  They don’t call it retail therapy for nothing.

I remember when I first got back into J. Crew.  I had a hard week at work about six years ago.  My husband suggested a drive to Malibu and some lunch on a Saturday.  We headed to the Lumber Yard and had a great lunch at Café Habana.  There used to be a beautiful J. Crew next door to the restaurant that was a collection store and organized like a boutique.  He suggested a little shopping might cheer me up.  I bought two chiffon sleeveless blouses and two cashmere cardigans (I am wearing the pink one with my Paris destination t-shirt as I type).  The cashmere coordinated with the blouses but did not match exactly. At the time I was COO of a large school and the educator discount was a plus.  I did feel better and I had fun new clothes to wear to work.

Now that I have turned my love of shopping and fashion into a blog, I can’t imagine my husband suggesting retail therapy.  If retail therapy works, it is a good value compared to actual therapy (unless you are buying expensive handbags… and I admit, I do have a few of those).

Last week I was feeling a bit blue, stuck at home with a sick kid for days on end.  I realized that shopping was not necessarily providing retail therapy, but it was providing a distraction.  I had a week of feeling more emotional than usual and just down.  Removing the distraction allowed me to experience more

I have also been spending time seriously cleaning my closet using my own version of the Kondo method.  I hold each item and decide how it makes me feel. I associate many of the items I hold with  great memories. These items stay. Or, they spark joy – I am happy to see them again now that they’re  not hidden by the sheer volume of stuff.  Others make me feel guilty for buying so much, these like others before them, go to Poshmark to be sold to people they will make happy.  I got so caught up in wanting new looks for the blog all the time that I stopped focusing on buying only things I loved.

I fell in love with this tiger shirt immediately. The day I bought it was strange and memorable.

I had just dropped my son off at a camp on the Monterey Peninsula and my high school friend and I were convoying to meet for coffee.  I was tired, I had not yet had coffee.  I spotted what I thought was a dead leopard on the side of the road.  I thought I was hallucinating.  My pal saw it too.  Later that day I saw the t-shirt. Surely, it was a sign. I  had to have it    I originally styled it here in Carmel Valley (with photos shot by my high school pal). There were so many outtakes because we were laughing so much.  I wear it all the time.  T-shirts with a fun design or destination are so fun to pair with blazers or sweaters.  The tiger tee holds memories.  Memories of the trip to my hometown, last summer, the odd sighting on the side of the road.

I styled it with a velvet blazer (another item from last year that sparks joy), denim (on sale!) , leopard flats and I am holding my favorite pom-pom key chain.  My keys are never hard to find.

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Tigers T-Shirt (similar herehere and here)

Denim (on sale!) this new wash and this new wash are great too.

Blazer (similar here and here)

Shoes (similar here and here)

Pom-pom (similar here)

Sunglasses (similar here and here)

Happy Wednesday!

XO,

JAE

Stars and Denim Three Ways

“Mommy, I am too sick to go to laser tag.” said my seven year old from the back of the car.   He woke up counting down the minutes to his classmate’s birthday party.  After six days at home he finally went to school.  It has been a long week of being cooped up and taking care of him.  I feel so lucky that I have the flexibility to be home with him, but I was definitely in need of some “me time” as he headed back to school.

It also provided a distraction from “not shopping” which is getting easier and easier.  I am not sure 28 days will be enough.  I am in the midst of a closet clean out and have developed my own version of the Kondo method that does not involve emptying my closet onto the floor and utilizes the color navy blue.  More on that soon.

In the meantime, I have had fun shopping my own closet.  I love this cashmere sweater.  It is lightweight and a great layering piece.  When I lived in colder climates I was always too warm inside with heavier sweaters.  I styled it with the same favorite denim and different handbags, shoes and jackets.

Star Cashmere Sweater

Denim

Camo Clutch

Sequined Shoes (similar here, here , here and here)

Camo and Striped Jacket

New Balance Kicks

Moynat Tote (similar here)

Faux Fur leopard Coat (similar here, here and here)

Striped Clutch

Red Shoes (similar here, here and here)

Striped Tote (in background)

Happy Friday!

XO,

JAE