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!




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!




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

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!




Mani Monday – BB-8th Birthday Edition

This weekend we celebrated my son’s 8th birthday with a Star Wars themed bowling party.  He loves the droids especially BB-8.  It was fun to watch him bowl with all his buddies and he even got a strike!  After the party he wrote all of his thank you notes after opening his gifts before playing with anything.  He and his friends are a joy to be around (even with a few disagreements over the favored ball).  The server at the bowling alley commented that they were the most polite and well behaved group of boys she had ever served.  Of course that made me so happy to hear and I must share with each of their parents.

The manicure and nail art are by Olive & June.  The colors are “Looks to Thrill” by Essie Gel Couture and “Cream Puff” by CND Vinylux.

Items in the photos include:

BB-8 Clock

Star Wars Favor Bags


Star Wars Pencils

Star Wars Pencil Sharpeners

Star Wars Jelly Bellys

Star Wars Bouncy Balls

Happy Monday!




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!



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 out for a 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!



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!



Mani Monday – Drawing Lines Edition

Drawing lines seems so limiting sometimes and yet critical for change.  I have drawn a big line around shopping.  I am not reducing or limiting it,  I am eliminating it for a period of time.  I am in the first quarter of my 28 days and it has been exhausting in some ways.  The truth is, I enjoy shopping.  I love hunting, curating, styling and finding the impossible.  If I get a great deal ,as well, it’s a huge win.  So sitting out is hard.  I am also not completely out.  I have not purchased anything, but I am still linking items on my blog, so my eyes are not covered with “shopping blinders”.  My plan was to spend the time I was not shopping doing other things like writing.  I have done more of that, but I want to do even more writing.  My son and I are both fighting colds right now, so it’s hard to tell if I really have a “shopping detox” headache or if I just have a head cold.  Either way, it has turned my thinking around and made me feel like am waking up from a dulling sleep.  Gaining consciousness can be uncomfortable, but I am ready.

This week I wanted something simple and almost went with just the subtle pink.  I decided to add the lines (in my favorite navy) and I love the result.  I visited some of my favorite clutches and still kept my resolve while snapping a few photos.

The manicure and nail art are by Olive & June.  The colors are “Lace Me Up” by Essie Gel Couture and “La Notte” by Nars.

Items in the photos include:

Snow Leopard Clutch

Pink Eyelet Top

Ballerina Pajamas

Black Leopard Print Jeans

Gold Puffer Jacket

Snow Leopard Small Pouch

Sequin Kimono Top

Frenchie Sweater

Camo Star Wars Pants

Striped Clutch (on sale!)

Yellow Calf Hair Clutch (on sale!)

Striped Clutch

Happy Monday!



Mani Monday – Navy Sparkle Edition

“What is he doing?” I think to my sleepy self.  “Is he putting away Christmas?” I consider with both delight and frustration.  I want to put it away myself, my way, but how nice would it be to wake up and have it done.  I need more sleep.  I try to rest and finally get up.  I descend the stairs and I am awash with memories.  The dining room table is set with our wedding china and place mats I was not even sure would work with our new table (they do).  “I just thought we should head into 2018 and our tenth anniversary by going back to our foundation.”  We have not used our china much since having our son, (who is quite careful with things).  I head into the kitchen and put my coffee into a breakfast cup and saucer just like when we were newlyweds, and everything just feels a little more civilized.

My pre-detox is going well, more on that this week.  My New Year’s Mani is full of sparkle and I am ready to close out 2017 and welcome 2018.

The mani is by Olive & June.  The colors are “Surrounded by Studs” by Essie Gel Couture and Essie Luxeffects top coat in “Summit of Style”.


Items in the photos include:

Plaid Tray (on sale!)

Plaid Flannel Pajamas (on sale!)

Velvet Coatigan

Velvet Mules

Leopard Velvet Blazer

Black Sequin Cami

Bow Sweatshirt

Sparkle Sweater

Black Silk Top

Sequined Tee

Tapestry Blazer (on sale!)

Camo Jeans (on sale!)

Happy New Year!