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.

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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!

XO,

JAE

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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.

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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!

XO,

JAE

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

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

 

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

There is always another bag…

“I’ll just open this one,” I think as I scan quickly through multiple SALE emails.  I have been deleting the sale emails before opening them. The detox has begun..  But this one just cannot be ignored.   I open it. There they are, the runners up of my other Christmas gift, a Clare V fold over clutch.  I stop, look and think for a second that just one won’t hurt. Besides there are three clutches that work perfectly with my rope bag including this striped one, this yellow calf hair and this blush shearling. What is more important? Being a purist and not buying anything for 28 days or making ONE very conscience purchase? The fact that I am even thinking about this so deeply seems counter to my mission. The idea was to spend less time and energy on shopping. Sure, I want to spend less, but that is not my primary motivator. I desire a higher level of consciousness about my purchases. I reach out to a couple of friends. The responses range from “Stay strong, you can do this”. to “That sounds like a great deal”.

There will always be another bag (or two or three) and I WILL want them. Maybe something even better and more perfect is just around the corner.  I admit, if I was not on a self-imposed shopping detox, this would be a great time to scoop up a bargain, but expect I will have an even better idea of what I really want in February.

I’m celebrating this small victory with a little sparkle. I styled this t- shirt with black denim, a black sweater, tweed shoes and a silver clutch.

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T-Shirt

Sunglasses (similar here, here and here)

Cashmere Sweater (similar here, here and here)

Black Denim

Tweed Shoes (on sale! also here)

Silver Clutch (older style, but I love this, this and this)

Happy Friday!

XO,

JAE

Pre-Detox Sample Sale

Beads of sweat drip down my neck.  It has only been 10 minutes. There are 20 more left.  I peak in the window trying to spot a Luna. I see one. I overhear someone say, “There is one Luna and it has an imperfection.”  The person ahead of me is more Arc focused.  I focus on the Luna. It will be mine.  Someone walks up and stands at the front of the line with a fresh coffee from Alfred and starts complaining about the sun and heat.  “She was here first.” I say as casually as possible about the Arc-Woman.  “Actually, I was here first,” the Coffee-Bitch replies.  “Ah, yes, I considered getting coffee but did not want to lose my place.”  We start talking about the bags she is interested in and sample sales in general. We continue to discuss the heat.  I say, “Suffering in this heat will make us feel like we earned it.”  My husband’s parting words keep going through my mind “I thought you were on a detox?  Isn’t this like an alcoholic going to a bar?” and “If you are going to go, you better leave early.   There will be a line.”  I have yet to decide when exactly my shopping detox will start.  I did not shop yesterday.  Instead my son and I enjoyed a Winter Vacation Pajama Day, we built Legos and cooked all day.  So, I have a decision to make; do I start fresh January 1 or a few days before?   Stocking up seems counter intuitive to my mission, but it’s not like there are sample sales every day and this brand is unique.  And…

At 10:02 we finally go in.  I head straight to the Luna.  There is, in fact, only one in acrylic.  It was the runner up to my Christmas gift this year, the Lilleth.

Cult Gaia Lilleth bag in Tortoise

Cult Gaia Luna Bag (also here and here)

Denim

White Blazer

It is half off, with only a singular, minor flaw, which only makes it unique, I tell myself.  My eyes scan the room and stop on an array of colors of the Arc in acrylic.  Two shades of blue.  I pick up both small sizes.    I have the large bamboo Arc (which I love).  I head to the mirror to check them out.

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Part of me wants all three.  Part of me wants to just leave with nothing and feel like the strongest person in the world.  I deliberate.  I seek opinions from other shoppers.  Most say, “At these prices get two or three bags”.  Three different people come up to me and say, “if you change your mind about that one, I’ll take it.” pointing to the Luna.  Finally, I decide.  While paying I talk with another woman who says, “I tell myself that my daughters will have them someday, especially the Chanel which will be worth more”.  “It’s a good investment.”  We both laugh and talk about how we can talk ourselves into anything.  But, in reality , Chanel  or perhaps Cult Gaia (the market for them is new) will be worth more someday.  I hear my husband’s voice, “They hold value for you, but it’s not a very liquid investment.”

I walk out with my Luna and a smile on my face.  I then head into Frame where I look around and realize that this detox is going to be harder than I thought.  I leave Frame empty handed, but not before snapping a few photos with my fresh mani (featured here).  Victory.

I styled the Luna with my go to camo jeans, denim shirt and navy sequined shoes.  You’ll be seeing a lot of this Luna… once my detox begins…. And it will.

By the way, I have thoroughly enjoyed both the Luna and Lilleth in the short time I have had them.  They are so unique and have both been conversation starters.  I have only given the two blue Arcs that got away a few second thoughts.  If I am still thinking about them after the detox, I will know they were meant to be and I will find them.

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Cult Gaia Luna Bag

Denim Shirt

Camo Jeans

Navy Sequin Shoes (older style similar here, here and here)

Happy 2018!

XO,

JAE

 

Oui to Detox, Non to Shopping

It’s time for a change.  And a detox.  As 2017 comes to a close and I write my last post of the year, my thoughts turn to 2018.  I am reviewing my goals and setting new ones.  Last year I quietly set out to improve my diet and only wrote about it after the fact. I was not sure I could actually give up dairy, sugar, grains etc. I proved that I could and that it had the longer-term value of changing my taste buds.  This year I am considering a different type of detox challenge.  A friend talked about a 28-day shopping challenge and my ears perked up.  Obviously, I love shopping and clothes. But, I also love dairy and grains.  So, I’m going to begin 2018 by challenging myself to NO BUYING for 28 days.  I am defining it loosely to include clothing, cosmetics and any non-essential items. Just like not having sugar for a period of time changed the way I crave it, I want to see what it’s like to just not buy anything.  I have cleaned out my closet with feng shui (this is a great book for that) and started the Kondo method many times.  That process does make you think about purchases differently and instead of just an impulse buy, I consider the life of the item.  I seek to reinforce that idea over the next 28 days.

I will clean out my closet (before and after photos to come) and also shop my closet. I expect to find things I have forgotten.  I will still be blogging and featuring outfits that I curate from my current inventory.  Full disclosure, Santa was good to me and I have picked up a few new things at end of the year sales, so there will be some new items featured.

This look includes a sweatshirt that my son surprised me with (and I love that it is yes and no!), my leopard coat (thankfully it has been just chilly enough to wear it in Los Angeles in the morning and evening), a new favorite clutch that I found under the tree, denim and my plaid shoes (see you can wear them after the holidays!).

Stay tuned – I hope the initial detox is not too rough. I wish you success in all of your January resolutions.

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Leopard Coat (other options here, here and here)

Oui Non Sweatshirt (also available here)

Striped Clutch

Denim

Plaid Shoes (other options here, here and here)

Happy Last Friday of 2017!

XO,

JAE