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!





Ace is the Place

“Ace is the place with the helpful hardware man”.  Some jingles from my childhood will never leave my memory.  This Ace Hardware, Hillcrest Hardware in the Hillcrest section of San Diego, is the place with so much style.  I have never seen such a well curated collection of housewares, hardware, cards, gifts and so many things I did not even know I needed until visiting.

I bought several stocking stuffers for my husband and picked up a few ornaments before Christmas.  If you are in San Diego, it is worth a visit.

For the outing I styled a plaid shirt with a favorite new jacket from the Gap, denim, tweed shoes and my Moynat tote.



Plaid Shirt (this would work great too)



Moynat Tote (this or this would look great)

Happy Shopping!



Leaving Paris

“Monsieur and Madame, your car is here.”  My heart sinks it is fifteen minutes early and I just don’t want to leave.  “Are you ready?” , my husband asks.  “No” I reply sadly.  I soak in the last seconds of our charming hotel lobby.  The Hotel Thoumieux did not disappoint in any way.  “I’ll help get the bags down.  Take a minute.”  I take a last photo of the lobby with its’ perfect leopard print accents and I reluctantly head down the stairs to the car.  We ride silently to Charles De Gaulle as I continue to breathe in Paris.  Right before we arrive, I get organized.  I have a big job to do, filing my VAT paperwork.

“Does this really work?” my husband asks.  “Yes, just wait.  You will see a lot of credits on our credit card.”  As I wait my turn I watch a couple rifling through their luggage madly to present their proof of purchases.  My heart beat hastens.  I know I organized everything with the purchases at the top, but it still makes me nervous.  I go up to the window and hand over my documents.  “Where are you traveling to?”  “Los Angeles”.  My twelve forms are stamped and now I must place each in an envelope and mail them.  I am moving at a fast speed, all efficiency.  My husband snaps a photo.  We can now check in and we are on our way home.  I am distracted by my mental calculations of my refunds for a few moments and forget how sad I am to leave.

It has been three years since our last trip to Paris and I think about it all the time.  Facebook has been serving up daily memories.  I don’t have our next trip planned, yet.  In the meantime, I continue to enjoy these fun travel based t-shirts from J. Crew.  I styled this one with denim, a cashmere cardigan and my new favorite shoes.



Cashmere Cardigan



Happy Shopping!



New York in Pebble Beach

Growing up on the Monterey Peninsula I longed for a more urban life.  My dream was to live in New York or San Francisco and I did live in both places as an adult.  It was hard to appreciate the relaxed lifestyle and natural beauty as a teenager.  I also hated the fog and lack of “summer”.  Visiting mid summer this year was refreshing for a week.   It was nice to break out a sweatshirt and bring a little New York to Pebble Beach. This sweatshirt has quickly become a favorite.  The sleeves are a little shorter which allows for cuffs and bracelets.







Shoes (similar here and here)

Happy Shopping!



Horsing Around in Carmel

“You have to keep it”, said the VPS when I tried to return this sweatshirt to J. Crew.  I had gone on a bit of spree and was editing my choices.  It it sold out soon after and I ended up wearing it a lot (and I am still wearing it several years later).  There is nothing better than a well worn and loved item of clothing.  There is another sweatshirt (linked below) that I picked up in Carmel and have already worn on repeat.  I will feature it in Fridays’ post.  I styled this one with tweed mules, denim and a button down.


Liberty Print Shirt older style (this  and this would work well)


Horse Sweatshirt older style (this and this would work well)


Vintage Crop Jeans (similar here)

Happy Shopping!



Please note: The shopping event at J.Crew at The Grove will now be on September 16, 2017. Details to follow. 

Blending in at the Aquarium

“Pack like it’s winter” I told my Los Angeles based travel mates for our week on the Monterey Peninsula. When I lived in New York City and traveled home in the summer I had to remind myself of the fog and cold despite having grown up there.

The weather was a refreshing change and a chance to start wearing a few of the recent fall items from J.Crew. I love this camo sweater and it’s the perfect weight for late summer and into fall. I styled it with a gingham shirt, navy denim and pops of pink with my shoes and sunglasses.

The fog lifted our second day and we had a sunny afternoon at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It was fun to see it through my seven year old’s eyes. I vividly remember when it opened when I was in high school and I even had a chance to work there one summer during college.

For more fall style inspiration stop by The Grove in Los Angeles on August 26, 2017 from 11 am – 2 pm. I’m co-hosting an event with Amy (@howtojcrew). Details to follow.



Gingham Shirt


Navy Denim

Prada Shoes – older style similar here and here

Moynat Tote (this or this would look great)

Happy Friday!



Mani Monday – Golden Gate Edition

“Just one more cable car ride, Mommy” said my seven year old on our last morning in San Francisco.  We had a hard time leaving “The City”.  A one night stay at the Fairmont was extended to two nights and then we were having such a great time we extended one more to make three.  I had been reluctant to visit San Francisco with my son.  I spent the first nine years of my post college, professional life in San Francisco before moving to New York City.  The city is filled with memories of my twenties.  Good memories, but I had felt finished with the city.  My son and I have started a tradition of taking mother son trips to new cities that neither of us has visited.  San Francisco meant returning to my past.  I ended up having a completely new experience and it was such a treat to see “The City” through my seven year old’s eyes.

On our last night we went to the Tonga Room at our hotel, the Fairmont, and had a blast.  The cover band was amazing and it was so much fun to watch them as they played in a boat that cruised around the plunge pool.  Every twenty minutes rain falls (with lightening) around the pool and my son was quick to put up his drink umbrella.

This week’s manicure commemorates our trip and was my son’s idea. The color is “Lace Me Up”, by Essie Gel Couture.  The manicure and nail art are by Olive & June.

Items in the photos include:

A.L.C. Leopard Print Dress

Burberry Plaid Blouse

Burberry Printed Skirt

Zadig & Voltaire Plaid Shirt

Gucci Mule

MSGM Track Jacket

J. Crew New York Sweatshirt

New Balance for J. Crew Palm Print Leggings

New Balance for J. Crew Sneakers

Legend of Lido Clutch

“A Life of Adventure and Delight” by Akhil Sharma

“You’ll Grow Out of It”, Jessi Klein

San Francisco Travel Guide

Happy Monday!




At the Beach in Italy

I love this Marel George painting of an Italian beach scene on this t-shirt.  Just like with last week’s Andiamo tee,  I am living vicariously through my clothes.  While I thoroughly enjoyed a recent getaway to the American Riviera (Santa Barbara), but I still dream about the long days in Europe.

I styled the tee with my go-to seersucker blazer, jeans, sunglasses, Legend of Lido clutch and Stuart Weitzman heels.


J. Crew Stretch Blazer

J. Crew Marcel George T-Shirt

J. Crew Sunglasses

Legend of Lido Clutch c/o

J. Crew Denim (on sale!)

Stuart Weitzman sandals

Lipstick Queen Chinatown Glossy Pencil in Pink Bluff

Happy Shopping!




Let’s Go, Weekend!

Ready for the weekend, again?  I am!  I have serious summer wanderlust.  This summer will include a few domestic trips.  I will have to rely on my wardrobe and imagination for international pursuits.

I styled this “Andiamo” tee with a white denim skirt, sunglasses, New Balance sneakers and my bag of the summer (which is in stock!).


J. Crew Andiamo Tee (on sale!) and here for more sizes

J. Crew Piper Sunglasses

Cult Gaia Ark Bag (in stock!)

New Balance 620 Sneakers

J. Crew Skirt (similar here)

Happy Shopping!




I brought a little Florida sunshine to San Diego recently (not that San Diego needs extra sunshine).  This Florida Jackie cardigan was fun to style with my paint splatter slim boyfriend jeans, Piper sunglasses and cork flats.


J. Crew Florida Sweater

J. Crew Piper Sunglasses

J. Crew Slim Boyfriend Jean (similar here)

J. Crew Shoes (older style these and these would look great)

Lipstick Queen Chinatown Glossy Pencil in Pink Bluff

Happy Shopping!