Statement on Top

“I am putting blinders on.  I only need a dress.” I say to my mom as we head out for a quick shopping trip.  I don’t need anything else.  “Famous last words.” she says under her breath.

We head over the hill and to a relatively large Nordstrom for Los Angeles.  I make a beeline for the dresses and find this one (and it’s navy!).  It fits like a glove, but it is a tad too formal for the event I have in mind.

And then I see them…an amazing selection of statement blouses and it’s hard to choose just one.  Luckily, I find some companion pants on the sale rack (including this amazing dark navy that can play navy or black easily).

I found ensembles for not one, but two events.  A few days later I find this gorgeous blue top (below).  The color is much deeper than the online photos.

Here is what I have been up to lately…

Top (also here) / Pants (on sale!) / Shoes (similar here)

Top / Sunglasses / Sandals (similar here) / Kicks (on sale!) / Denim / Bag (similar here)

Top / Pants (on sale!) / Shoes (similar here)

Happy Shopping!



Tropical White

I have been beating the heat in white and sandals.  I picked up this embroidered tee in Paris and my new sandals (I have linked some more affordable options below).  My Legend of Lido clutch is the perfect hot weather accent.


T-shirt (also here)



White Denim


Hermes Shoes (similar here and here)

Happy Styling!



It’s Finished…

The sales person at Le Bon Marche sighs as I try them on again.  It’s 7:45 pm and the store closes at 8:00 pm.  My birthday is tomorrow.  They are extravagant, but I do love them.  I am not 100% sure about the comfort and after the pair I bought in Amsterdam last week gave me blisters,  I am a little hesitant

“Shall I wrap them up?” she says with thinly veiled annoyance.

“What time do you open tomorrow?  It’s my birthday.”  I say with a smile.

“10 am.” she says as she sets the box down and gestures to put them in the box.

“Ok.  I am going to think about them and I will come back tomorrow.”  I say as I take them off and hand them to her.

She just stares at me like I am a crazy person, boxes them up and walks away.

The next morning I wake up with the sun and my first thought is of the shoes. They are perfect and will go with everything.  Prada mules with rainbow bands.  It is my 36th birthday.  I head out for coffee and a croissant at Cafe de l’Esplanade.  I enjoy the view of Les Invalides while keeping an eye on my watch.  At 9:15 am I pay my bill and head over to Le Bon Marche.  I arrive at 9:45 and wait for the doors to open.  I can’t stop thinking about the shoes.

The doors open and I head straight for the third floor.  I find the display shoe and pick it up.  I look for a sales person.

Finally one greets me “Bonjour, Mademoiselle.”

“Bonjour, I would like these in a 39.”  I say with a smile.

She smiles and goes to get them.  The wait goes on and on and seems to take an hour.  She returns with a scowl on her face and she is empty handed.

“I am sorry.  We don’t have it.  It is finished.” she says.

“But, I just saw it last night at closing.  Are you sure?” I plead.

“It is finished.  I am sorry.” she says again.

Defeated, I leave the store.  I walk aimlessly on Boulevard Saint-Germain.  How could I be so cautious and let them slip through my fingers.  I must have them.  I jump on the metro and head to Prada on Rue Saint-Honore.

I head into the store and look around and don’t see them anywhere.

“Bonjour, Mademoiselle. ”

“Bonjour.  I am looking for the sandal with the colored straps.”

“Ah yes, we only have a 35 left.  Very popular.”

After I returned to the states I continued to try to find them.  InStyle magazine featured them a few months later, but they were no where to be found.  I still think about them from time to time.


Fourteen years later, I was lucky enough to celebrate my birthday in Paris, again.  This time with my husband and son.  I was very determined not to hear “It’s finished” while still being cautious about my purchases.  I did not buy that many little things, but I did go for a couple of bigger things like the shoes below and a handbag (coming soon).

I had my eye on this Veronica Beard blouse (below) before I left.  I was saving all my shopping for Paris, so I held off.  Imagine my delight when I learned it was on sale and still available in my size upon my return home.  I styled it with denim, a striped clutch, my new sandals and my sunglasses (which were perfect in Paris as I could leave them on going in and on the metro and still read signs and be chief navigator for my family).


Blouse (also here )

Striped Clutch



Hermes Sandals (similar here, here and here)

Happy Styling!



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

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!



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!



Seeing Stars

My son can’t stop singing “City of Stars” after watching the Oscars, so I have stars on the brain.  These star print jeans from J. Crew are a great way to add a little dimension to a neutral look.  Just like my other J. Crew Western Chambray shirt (that is on sale), my new one in Vintage Indigo is already on heavy rotation.  It has the perfect amount of stretch and I love the snaps.  I completed the look with backless loafers (J. Crew Charlie Slides), J. Crew Piper sunglasses, a Legends of Lido Clutch and an Hermes scarf.


J. Crew Western Chambray Shirt

J. Crew Star Print Jeans

J. Crew Charlie Slides

J. Crew Piper Sunglasses

Legend of Lido Clutch c/o

Hermes Scarf (similar here and here)

Chanel Rouge Double Intensite Ultra Wear Lip Color in Darling Pink

Happy Shopping!



Eight Years

A lot can happen in eight years.  Eight years ago I was a newlywed in a job that was not a good fit. My beloved and I were struggling to conceive and were given a discouraging outlook on our fertility.  A neighbor had arranged a meeting with the woman who would become my future boss in a new career in Education, but we rescheduled so everyone could watch the Inauguration of Barack Obama.  We met the next week.  She had hundreds of candidates for a Director position and only agreed to meet with me as a courtesy to our mutual friend.  Luckily, we hit is off and I started on a three month, ten-person committee interview process.  During the long interview process and wait we ran over a rock in a rain storm and caused substantial damage to our car.  I managed to burn my leg after a spin class with a heating pad (Don’t ask.).  One day I said enough is enough.  I burned some sage to clear out all of the negativity energy and as the flame was going out, the phone rang.  It was my job offer.  Things started to change.  Miraculously – our odds were just five percent – I was pregnant by June.

Eight years later.  Our son is about to turn seven.  We built a house.  I reinvented my career.  Again.  We have traveled.  We lost my father-in-law and Grandmother.  A lot has happened. A lot has changed.  I felt hopeful eight years ago, despite all the obstacles we faced as a family of two.  I remain hopeful now, even though it is more challenging.  In another eight years, I will have a teenager who will likely be taller than me.  We will be using technology that is only someone’s great idea currently.  The world will change, I hope for the better.  In the meantime, I am grateful for all the opportunities my family and I have.  I am wearing red, white and blue because patriotism is not determined by our country’s leadership. It is in the system that enables a peaceful transition of power for the 44th time.


J. Crew Shirt (on sale plus 60% off)

Hermes Scarf (similar here and here)

J. Crew Ryan Sunglasses (on sale!)

J. Crew Shoes (similar here and here and both on sale!)

AG Prima Jeans

Here’s to being hopeful.



Favorite Color

The favorites of many unify into one.  This mural, “Favorite Color” by Roy McMakin, was created by asking people their favorite color.  He then presented them with of 4 to 6 swatches and asked them to choose the one that was closest to their favorite color.  You can read more about the mural and the process here  and here (including some controversy about if blue really is the most popular color).

It is so bright and cheerful and I love the grid.  I decided to highlight orange (even though blue is clearly my favorite color) as I loved the pop.  I styled my J. Crew cuffed striped shirt, Hermes Maxi-Twilly, J. Crew Signet Bag in Bright Sea, J. Crew Black Toothpick Jeans and Tod’s Driving Moccasins in orange.  I am walking into 2017 inspired by the full spectrum of color.


J. Crew Top

Hermes Maxi-Twilly similar here and here

J. Crew Signet Bag in Bright Sea

J. Crew Black Toothpick Jeans

Tod’s Shoes

Happy Shopping!



Basic Black

I almost never wear black.  I lived in San Francisco for nine years after college and wore it quite a bit.  When I moved to New York I was determined not to be an all black cliche, so I embraced color.  This tuxedo inspired long sleeve t-shirt  comes in navy as well, but I decided to go with a non-basic (for me) and go for the black.  I styled it with my lace pants, glitter heels, blue velvet clutch, Ryan Sunglasses and an Hermes scarf for my son’s school holiday program.


J. Crew Top

J. Crew Lace Pants

J. Crew Velvet Clutch also available in Black Satin

J. Crew Shoes

J. Crew Ryan Sunglasses (on sale!)

Hermes Scarf similar here and here

Happy Shopping!



Easy Elegance

Another blue and white striped shirt?  Yes!  This one has built in cuffs.  I love the look of a button down shirt under a striped shirt, but sometimes don’t want the extra layer.  The best thing about this one is that it has the cuffs and not the collar so that I can wear one of my many silk scarves.  Many of J. Crew’s latest offerings are at what they call a “Freak out” price.  This top is only $45 and I think should be on J. Crew’s “Freak Out” List along with the items here.

I styled it with what have become my favorite got to basics: J. Crew Toothpick Jeans in Black, Ryan sunglasses and Leopard Flats.  I added one of the scarves from my collection.  It is an instantly pulled together look that still has the comfort of a striped long sleeve t-shirt.


J. Crew Striped Boatneck T-shirt with Built-in Cuffs

J. Crew Ryan Sunglasses in Blush

J. Crew Leopard Gemma Flats

J. Crew Toothpick Jeans in Black

Lipstick Queen Medieval Lipstick

Hermes Scarf, but this bandana from J. Crew would look great too

The custom water color portraits are by Sophie and Lili.

Happy Shopping!