Striping into the Weekend

It’s no secret that I love anything monogrammed.  “JAE” adorns most of my bags, t-shirts and even bandanas.  I had these striped bags monogrammed for holiday gifts this year and filled them with goodies.  I decided to monogram a couple for myself.  This one has “J+J” and I have been using a lot as my husband and I approach our ten year wedding anniversary.

The bag now comes in camo!  My eight year old son has requested one (with monogram of course) for some upcoming travels.  I may “need” one too…They are affordable and durable to boot.

I grabbed my striped bag on the way out the door for errands.  I styled the look by doubling down on both stripes and denim.


Denim Shirt

Striped Bag with monogram (also available in Camo here)


Striped shoes (similar here, here and here)

Sunglasses (similar here and here)

Hermes Scarf (similar here, here and here)

Happy Styling!




Mani Monday – Spring Flowers Edition

“On Tuesday it will be spring!” said my son.

“What are you most excited about?’ I ask.

“The flowers will bloom, and the days are getting longer.  And it is closer to summer” he replies.

I smile and think to myself that I am glad he is learning about the seasons in school.  California has never really delivered seasons on time and definitively, but this year feels particularly challenged.  As it was unseasonably cold on the West Coast a few weeks ago it was uncharacteristically hot on the East Coast.  Now everywhere seems colder than usual, so let’s bring on spring.

I love spring fashion right now.  In last week’s post I picked several options for spring.  That list has since grown to include this perfect cross body (aptly named the gosee), this striped cross body , these shoes and this jacket.

I am still making my shopping decisions carefully since my shopping detox that lasted 73 days more on that here, here, here and here.  For now, I am enjoying spring flowers on my nails.

The manicure and nail art are by Olive & June.  The color is “Sit Me in the Front Row“, by Essie Gel Couture.

Items in the photos include:

Rugby Shirt

Gingham Shirt

Striped Clutch

Navy and Rose Gold Kicks

Moynat Bag

Happy Monday!



Patience is Rewarded

What a difference a day and an almost three month detox makes. The pressure to figure out what to do with my hard earned J. Crew rewards card (if you are a J. Crew shopper, check out their program).  I ordered a couple of things online and planned to spend the reward card on my growing eight year old (who actually NEEDS new clothes).  I stopped into J. Crew last Saturday night in the rain to make the online return that did not work out and was still not that inspired to buy (I can be stubborn when I’m set on a goal).  I returned on Monday with my son (so he could try on pants) and the Spring arrivals were out.  I decided that seventy-three (73!) days was long enough for my detox.  Now I must continue to use my strengthened resolve and curating skills to choose only a few pieces.  J. Crew is making this hard.

I picked up this shirt and these striped sandals (as well as the leopard print). I styled them with white denim, this hat and one of my favorite clutches.


Panama Hat / Ratti Print Top / Striped Slides / Clare V Clutch / White Denim

I have my eye on these rugby dress.  I featured two of the  rugby shirts (which are still available and also available in so many color new options like this and this) in Rugby Soft and Vintage Stripes.  The shirts are part of the Heritage Collection of looks brought back years past and are inspired by the 1984 shirts.  More on that here.


Pink and Navy Dress / Navy and White Dress

Here are a few more items I have my eye on.


Blithe Silk Blouse / Seersucker Pumps /Striped Sweater / Gingham Mules

Leopard Perfect Shirt / Ratti Print Coverup / Camo Bomber

Happy Styling!



Mani Monday – Non-Linear Edition

“Is that all there is?”,  I ask myself when the path seems too linear.  The non-linear path is both uncomfortable and full of possibility.  Linear you can count on, measure and predict, but it can also feel stifling.   Life lately has been anything but linear.  Computer problems, iphone challenges and life getting in the way prevented “Mani Monday” from going out on time today.  I have been able to produce my blog on time, scheduled and consistent since the beginning.  This weekend I had to let that go for a bit.

At the same time that technology was slowing me down it also allowed me to be more present.  As my child experiences a challenge in one area he blossoms in another.  There is a lot of growth in my household right now and it’s messy, uncomfortable and inspiring.

This week’s mani is the opposite of Drawing Lines from a few weeks ago.

The manicure and nail art are by Olive & June.  The colors are “Perfect Posture”  and  “Surrounded by Studs” both my Essie Gel Couture.

Items in the post include:

Balmain Dress

Camo Bomber

Floral Dress

Happy Monday!



Love and a Jean Jacket

“You were wearing a jean jacket when I met you. It was your signature look.  Your hair was much longer.” said my husband as we bump into each other in our kitchen.

“That’s right I had them in a few colors.  Was I wearing denim or colored denim?” I replied.

“The first date was denim and then you continued to wear different colors.”  I do remember him commenting that I had a lot of little jackets and a lot of shoes.  I think his MBA brain was calculating what I must have spent on clothes (more than I do now actually) and wondering if this would be a good investment.

Here we are almost twelve years later, and I have been wrestling with how to end my shopping detox.  This denim jacket was technically a gift from by husband for Valentine’s Day.  He returned one of the jeans I picked up for him (that I mentioned here) which were subject to a store credit and insisted I get the jacket.  I have been searching for the perfect jean jacket for a while.  I have had a couple from J. Crew that I love like this and this, but I am 5’9 and they are just a tad short with certain looks. I also like this one from Madewell.

So now I have to ponder, if I have broken the detox with his gift?  I feel a certain pressure to make this first purchase count.  As I have mentioned, I am coveting this bag and a few others have joined the short list like this one and this one.  In the meantime I am pulling out a few bags from my closet again.  From a financial perspective not buying a bunch of little stuff to then make an investment in a bag may or may not pencil out, but in terms of being more conscious of my purchases it does.

I have created a new uniform with my new jean jacket.  Add stripes, shoes and a scarf and voila.  The uniform has taken me to all kinds of events this past week.


Jean Jacket ( I found it here on sale!)

Saint James Striped Shirt

Hermes Scarf (similar here, here and here)

Camo Clutch (also in this fun stripe)

Orange Driving Shoes

AG Navy Jeans (also here)

Sunglasses (similar here and here)

A couple of other options that I wore last week.

Pink Sunglasses (similar herehere and here)

Pink Striped Shirt (similar here )

Hermes Twilly (similar here)

Pink Loafers (similar here and here)

Leopard Flats (similar here and here)

Orange Hermes Twilly (similar here and here)

Happy Styling!



Mani Monday – Wear Red and Attack Edition

“I am sorry Mademoiselle, it is not ready for you.” says the gentlemen at Bruce and Scott  in the 8th arrondissement.

“You said Tuesday, my flight is tomorrow.” I reply in my slowest and clearest English.

“Can you return before your flight?” he responds.

“No, my flight to San Francisco is in the morning.” I say as calmly as possible as I curse myself for not finding the suit earlier in my 10 day solo trip to Paris.

“Let me see what I can arrange today for you.  You looked so lovely in the suit.”

“Merci.  It was just a few alterations at the waist and the length.”

I rush off to gather my other purchases and will return in a few hours.

I had boldly decided to use the bulk of the airline miles I had earned traveling back and forth to New York and Chicago for my first employer, a consulting firm. I was the National Recruiting Manager.  The trip was in September after a busy summer managing the summer associates from the various MBA programs.  I grabbed one seat in first class with my miles right after Labor day.  The trip fit my schedule perfectly before the onslaught of campus recruiting in the fall.

I had ended up staying in a gorgeous apartment that belonged to the American mother of one of the summer associates.  I had called her after staying in a hotel on the Champs Elysees as she was weekending in Portugal at the time.  I was having trouble with the phone card system for a pay phone and an American actor passed me on the street.  I knew he would speak English, so I asked for help.  I reached her on the phone and made arrangements to move to her apartment in the 7th on the third day of my ten day trip.  I climbed many stairs with my luggage and enjoyed the fitness challenge.

On my last evening my host was able to clear her schedule, so I could take her to dinner.

“So what did you buy?”, she asked.

“A red suit for work.”  I proudly replied

“From where?”, she asked

“Bruce and Scott”

“That does not even sound French.”

“Well I love it and it was a great price.  There was a small issue with the tailor’s schedule, but I picked it up in time.”

Back home in San Francisco,  I was wearing designer clothes that I could not really afford.  I always believed you need to dress for the job you want.  On this trip I focused on things you could only get in France on a limited budget.  I tallied my receipts each night and organized them, so I could file for the refund on the VAT at the airport.  My purchases did require that I buy a large suitcase for the return trip.

I could  not wait to wear the red suit.  I flew home in the jacket with jeans and some new shoes I bought on the trip.  Whenever I was a sleep deprived, had a stressful meeting, or I had to stand up in front of the room and facilitate a big decision, I put on the suit to bolster my confidence.   It had magic powers.

When I was invited to “Wear Red and Attack”, a Chanel lipstick pop up event last week, I jumped on it. (If you would like to see moreof the event check out my highlights on instagram ).  Memories of Paris came flooding back.  I am still figuring out how to wear a red lip, but I tried the rouge allure ink in luxuriant and the double intensite in daring red was a runner up (I wear the double intensite all the time in light rose).

This weekend I reached into the back of my closet to find my red suit and was so happy it had not been lost in a closet purge.  I bravely tried it on and presented it to my fashion court, which includes my eight year old son, my husband and puggle, Cupcake.  Since the suit was expertly tailored to my 27 year old waist, I can’t zip it, or tuck a shirt or wear a belt as I had done then.  But I did get it on and the jacket might make it back into the rotation.   I will spare my readers a photo of me in it currently.   My fashion court was honest and mostly kind.  My son was quick to point out that the jacket fit better than the skirt.  My husband was impressed that it fit as well as it did.  It was thrilled to see it again, no matter how it fit.

This week’s mani is classic red with no art.  The color is “Rock the Runway” by Essie Gel Couture.  The manicure is by Olive & June.

Denim Jacket also here

Leopard Pumps (similar here and here)

Leopard Rain Boots (similar here) – I also like them in matte camo here

Happy Monday!




Don’t Forget to Smile

Don’t forget to smile

The corners of my mouth lift and everything is elevated. I return to my breath and the present moment. I’m wigglier than usual for this meditation, my second one today. It’s the days when it is the hardest that I need it the most. Again, the teacher says:

Don’t forget to smile

Giving a smile to a stranger is like spreading love and happiness. It’s unusual not to be met with one back. And when you are not, just like the hard meditation, that person probably really needed the smile.

Don’t forget to smile

There must be some mistake. I’m certain I booked this flight/class/reservation. Despite thinking for a moment that it must be the fault of the airline/studio/restaurant,  I realize that being right and angry won’t likely get me my way. Being nice, just might. Stay firm, continue to pursue what you want with a smile.

Don’t forget to smile

It excludes confidence and disarms the other party in a negotiation. It’s easier to reach common ground with someone you feel positive about.

Don’t forget to smile

Never let them see you sweat. Why not, just keep cool and not sweat on the first place? Easier said than done, but a smile gets you halfway there. When I’m put together I feel better. I’ll even go out of my way to wear a bright color or favorite outfit when I’m stressed or sleep deprived. A smile is the best accessory.

Don’t forget to smile

This look is making me smile.  Also making me smile is the Staud bag I mentioned in my Mani Monday post, except that it keeps selling out in various colors while I make my decision. I love the pink (also available here), but the red would be so fun with stripes.  There is always this perfect neutral brown.  I am thinking very consciously about my first post shopping detox purchase, but his bag may be the one that gets away….As I said in this post, there is always another bag, but I think this is the ONE.


Striped Top (similar here, here and here)

Striped Clutch

Hermes Maxi Twilly Scarf (similar here, here and here)

Denim (similar here and here)

Shoes (similar here, here and here)

Sunglasses (similar here and here)

Happy Styling!



Mani Monday – Evil Eye Edition

I still have not broken my shopping detox,  but I have my (evil) eye on this bag for summer.  I feel like when I finally buy something it will be significant.  This bag is a contender too.  I love the denim.  I also love this limited edition year of the dog clutch.

My son had last week off school and we visited my parents in San Diego.  The week included trips to Legoland and Old Town.  It also included a quick shopping trip.  My mom was amazed that I left empty handed (a first!).  I do have a J.Crew reward card that will expire soon and I have my eye on this western chambray shirt (a lighter shade than the one I have and wear ALL the time), these flats, and this jumpsuit.  I have been holding off spending the reward card (it does have an expiration date) to keep the detox going.  I am deciding if spending the reward card counts.  It seems silly to let it go to waste.

The manicure and nail art are by Olive & June.  The color is “Don”t Bossa Nova Me Around” by OPI.

Items in the photos include:

Tartan Wallet

Embroidered Chambray Top

Heart Pouch

Pink and Camo

I’m staying in the pink after my Pretty in Pink mani.  I love the contrast with my tropical clutch and my Wit+Wisdom camo jeans.  They are so comfortable! They come in these great colors and I love this demin version, all for under $100.   If you have not tried Wit+Wisdom check them all out here.



Gingham Shirt (similar herehere , here and here)

Camo Jeans

Shoes (similar herehere and here)

Sunglasses (similar here and here)

Happy Styling!



Mani Monday – Pretty in Pink Editon

This pink, “Haute to Trot”, instantly lifted my mood and brought out more pink in my wardrobe.  It’s definitely bolder than a light pink, but still reads neutral.  I kept the art simple with some fun white lines.

My son was head over heels for his birthday mani last week and suggested that I always get something related to Star Wars.  I just might have to incorporate a Porg (the adorable birds in the latest movie).  I learned that there were so many puffins on the island where they filmed that they decided to write them into the story and then animated their eyes.  I think I love them even more now.  We could not resist a stuffed version this weekend that had to come home with us.

The manicure and nail art are by Olive & June.  The color is “Haute to Trot” by Essie Gel Couture.

Floral Top

Star Convertible Clutch

Patchwork Kimono

Liberty Skirt and Sleeveless Top

Striped Sweater Dress

Floral Cardigan

Floral Mule

Logo Mule

Striped Sweater

Floral and Striped Top

Striped Shirt

Heart Sweatshirt

Rainbow Ark Bag in Small and Mini

Camo Hoodie

Happy Monday!