Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ahoy Mate!

Seem to have accumulated a lot of nautical themed and colored pieces this season.
I should have done a skirt outfit today since I am with my husband (which means less bending and running and picking up kids) and we are not going anywhere that is going to involve sitting on the floor. But I was too cold in the morning for our 7:30 AM breakfast at Broken Yolk that I went with this ensemble instead.

Also, have you noticed the face lift I gave to the home page. Changed the colors a bit and added a slide show and some fun lists. I am looking for a cool image to display on top but have not found any yet. Work in progress...

Anyway, back to the outfit. I am now fanatic about dressing in layers because I am always cold in the am and late afternoon and hot in between. I will post at the bottom two action photos where you see in mid day I ditch the jacket and the scarf. The pants are super comfy, thin material that looks like denim but it is not. The tee has little rolled up cuffs held with tiny buttons. Cute tiny details. And these shoes are pretty comfy despite the wedge heel. I love how the tote adds some color, patter and overall fun to the outfit. Of course I only got to use it first part of the morning when I only had my son. Later in the day with both kids I only use my diaper bag and trusted coach wallet purse I wear across my body.

My mom took the photos right in front of our neighborhood restaurant we had breakfast at.

Denim look slacks - F21 - $23
Red Tee - $12
White Cardigan - Banana Republic - Mom bought it from a thrift store - $15
Red Scarf - Charlotte Rousse - $10
Wedge Sneakers - Roxy - $60 (very old)
White with rose gold watch - Michael Kors - Nordstrom Rack - $60
Purse - Gucci- Ebay used item (old) - $100

Activities: Breakfast with Mom and Step dad out with kids, took son to dance class, met hubby and daughter at the park and visited parents for a little while (all before lunch and naps). In the afternoon went to Coronado Ferry Landing for some beach fun with the kids. Dinner at home followed by a short trip down the road for frozen yogurt! Yumm!

Here I am with my daughter. The one on the left is in the morning right after breakfast. The one on the left is in the afternoon at the beach. My son is in the background by the water. He could not be stopped from his water play to pose for any photo.  She is on her 2nd outfit of course. Crawling and white leggings only lasted an hour or so...

TIP OF THE DAY: If you are going to browse fashion magazines choose ones that have realistic clothes that you can afford and wear. Vogue and Elle are great mags but my gosh, the outfits are not only outrageous due to mega designer names but also makes me wonder who is wearing these where? I do like looking at photos and what great clothes I can't afford are being made by top designers. But when it comes to truly getting ideas and inspiriation I turn to mags like Lucky, People 'Style Watch' and In Style. Allure is OK as well. Do you have a favorite magazine?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Animal Instinct

I can't beleive I am wearing my old maternity top again! Granted it is not really a maternity top but the cut worked great for me when I was pregnant.  I realize now, I can just tuck it in and continue to wear it. Today I was a good girl and wore a tank underneath so it was more comfy to move around without worrying about flashing somebody. I like to pair animal prints with un expected colors like this light lime green pants. This is also a great example of using my old work clothes as these were work slacks once upon a time. To add some interest and sparkle I decided to go with a bronze glitter belt, gold flats (another 'need a dressy shoe without heels' purchase during my first pregnancy) and my new bib necklace. I looked everywhere for the right bib necklace. And what I mean by 'looked' is of coursed 'searched online' as that is the only way I can shop since the only time I have is after kids go to bed. After googling 'bib necklaces' and looking at  huge selections I found one at a great price and saw it was at Kohl's. I had recently gone there to purchase some clothes for my son and had a $10 coupon too. So, I was ectstatic when I found this one on sale. I like that it has both silver and gold but it is not to sparkly like the ones wth actual stones. I have great plans for it.

Ah, I wish I had more time and someone to help me with the photos. By the time I put together the outfit, get everyone dressed, snacks and lunch packed and house tidied up, I have about 5 minutes I can spare for photos. So they are always rushed and fast and never that good. But, oh well...
If and when my daughter naps I have more time but she is 14 mos old now and getting ready to drop that morning nap I so depended upon.

Zebra Print Top - Express - Hand me down from mom who got it from my sister
Black tank underneath - Closet - $4
Green Pants - Ann Taylor - $80
Gold Shoes - Dolce Vita - $100
Bronze belt - F21 - $5
Bib Necklace - Kohl's - $12 (after my coupon)

Today's Activities: Kid concert (Hullabaloo) outdoors followed by picnic style lunch with another mommy and kids outside. Since it took my son 1 hour 45 minutes to fall a sleep for his nap he didn't wake up until late afternoon. All we had time to do was grocery shop at costco in the afternoon. But, two sets of grandparents came to visit back to back so they had fun.

Just because you wear dressier clothes during the day does not mean you have to act differently or constantly worry about your nice clothes. Also, do not worry about what others think or the fact that you are dressier than most etc... Just have confidence in yourself and your outfit and act natural and normal.

After dressing up everyday for coming up to 2 months now and not wearing any sweats or yoga pants I am realizing I feel just as comfy and act just as I would in more casual clothes. I never worry about my clothes during the day. I put them on, look in the mirror before going out but that is about it. All day long I never have time to even think about them. I sit on grass, kneel down in sand and dirt, lug kids, stroller, bags, pretty much do everything just as I would if I was wearing sweats and sneakers.  Hence when someone compliments me I almost have to look down to see what was I wearing again. But it is nice to know that I don't look like I feel which is SUPER HAPPY but also tired, exhausted, a bit stressed and overwhelmed at times.

Here is a photo of us today during the outdoor concert. My son who screams bloody murder when I try to get him to wear sunglasses (we live in SD and it is hard to function without sunglasses) demanded he wears them after seeing a pretty little girl next to us wear them! Go figure. My daughter is on the right chewing on a rattle as usual. Also note my black with pink trim juicy diaper bag in the background. :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pretty at the Play

So, today is a two day outfit...  The title goes with my night outfit...

Day outfit is on the left. These shorts are a new purchase. I call these the mommy lenght shorts. They are at least 3 inches longer than all the shorts in my closet. Since it is not hot hot yet, I can get away with wearing a long sleeve blouse topped with a vest. The shirt and the shorts by themselves are too preppy, but the vest adds interest and the chain decorated denim sandals brings style to the whole outfit. This necklace has been sitting in my jewelry cabinet forever. Never wore it before. It is a bazaar purchase from Turkey.  I felt it went great with this outfit. Simple but cute.

Today's Activities: Outdoor Mommy and Me Toddler class which included an egg hunt in the morning. In the afternoon my wonderful mom and step dad took the kids to music class and park so I can get manicure and pedicure which I needed so badly.

Shirt - Gap - $20
Vest - Forever 21 - $24
Khaki Shorts - JCrew - $40
Denim Sandals - Steve Madden - $80
Necklace - from Turkey (can't remember but I am sure it was cheap)

Here is the Night Outfit...

This dress is a great base to any layering outfit. It is flowy and timeless. The colors of the design seems to go with everything from a yellow, orange or purple cardigan to black blazer jacket or a utility shirt. Unfortunately I couldn't get the belt and shoe combo's to work with any of that so went with the same navy vest from this morning. The coral belt is a great color, it looks brown when worn with brown shoes, or red when worn with red shoes. Ah, and these shoes. I absolutely love these shoes. I have a few pairs like this where the shoe is a piece of art. The flowers are hand stiched over the cork wedge heels. They are about 7 years old but look brand new. Which is what happens when you have as many shoes as I do. When I topped off the outfit with a classic khaki trench, the linen color of the shoes really complimented the coat.
Since the outfit has a lot going on with layers and design on dress and shoes I went very simple with jewelry. This cascading bird necklace is one of those purchases where in a style magazine in small font they list what the model is wearing with websites of where the items are sold. Unfortunatley I do not remember the website but I love the necklace. It is very subtle and interesting.

Dress - Anthropologie - $80 on sale
Vest - F21 - $24
Belt - Anthropologie - $30
Shoes - Betsey Johnson - VS catalog - $200
Necklace - website I can't remember - approx $40
Trench Coat - Banana Republic - $100 on sale (10 or so years ago)
Purse - Chloe - Nordstroms - lets not even talk about the price, it is a much older purchase at full price which is too high too admit.

Activity: Out with best friend, $5 Margs and $2 tacos at a happy hour in a cozy mexican cantina followed by Sweeney Todd play at a small production theater. She got the tickets from Goldstar for $11 per person. $30 total for a night out is not bad at all....

If you are a type of person who likes to dress in style but likes to shop from discount, thrift and second hand stores, you need to know what is in style so you can search and find those items in such stores. These stores carry too many items some in style and some not. If you have a good handle on what is in now you can find great deals. You can also be the type who buys what looks good and what they like regardless of fashion, which is cool too.  I go with what is in style and looks good on me and suits my current lifestyle. 

My goal is to have a list on my website with a list of what is 'in' right now with hopefully links to some magazine sources. I just need the time to do that. But a short list of what is 'in' now:
1.  Denim clothes - from dresses, to skirts to shoes and purses
2. Fringe - Purses and shoes with fringe detail, fringe necklaces
3. Mini skirts in full or A-line style
4. Rose colored metal - shoes or jewelry or purses
5. Clear - in jewelry, shoes or purses
6. Tribal or Flowery Patterns and mixing patterns
7. stripes
8. Silky shorts
9. For the bold ones out there:  80's neon colors!
The list goes on but I must go to sleep as my little night walker will start his routine of 'I am up for no reason just need to be tucked back to bed' , which will repeat every 3-4 hours until 7 AM when we give up.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Walking over the clouds...

So, went with all white outfit today, which could be scary with kids. But, as I have said before white is easy to clean actually cause you can bleach out any stain. Both the linen pants and the top are machine washable. Plus it was 'wear white' day at my son's mommy and me toddler class, so I had a good excuse.  I saw a similar look in 'People Styel Watch' isse months ago on Beyonce. Normally this is not an outfit I would go buy the pieces for. But it inspried me because I owned a very similar wrap around cardigan that I always wore over jeans with boots. Seeing it over a white ensemble was inspiring. This is also a good example of browsing magazines to come up with looks with stuff you already own in your closet. I wore it with flats of course but it looked much nicer with heels which you will see in the photos.

Wrap Around Cardigan - F21 - $25 (last season)
Vintage Lace Top - La Redoute Catalog (old)
Linen Pants - Target (old)
Belt - Can't remember where this is from or the price as it is quite old as well
Necklace - Off Fifth (Saks Fifth Avenue's discount store) - $50 (old)
Shoes: Flats are Cole Haan ($200), Heels are Boutique 9 (TJ Maxx $60)

So, today was frozen lasagna day which gave me time off during kids' nap time. Of course my son did not nap but at least stayed in his room (trying to fall a sleep) for an hour or so. I should have been paying bills but instead I started trying on clothes, meanning trying out outfits on my list. It was so much fun for me. I realized if I had time I would come up with amazing outfits but I never do. Hence the point of the blog how to stay in style with no time. But it sure is fun, especially when an outfit comes together and looks great. I also tried on the items I recently ordered from VS catalog. I already knew some would be a send back since they were risky. The funny thing was the items I thought would be slam dunk are the ones I am returning and keeping the risky ones.
I even ordered peep toe booties from two different websites knowing I will return one. I just don't have time to shop any other way it seems. Much easier for me to shop online and return what doesn't fit. Can't wait to show off the new outfits in the days to come.
My husband asked if my closet had enough to sustain this blog. I showed him that I had over 70 outfit ideas just for spring/summer. To which he replied 'why did I even ask?'

Today's Activities: Indoor mommy and me toddler class in the morning. Taking kids to swim class in the afternoon. Hosting mom, sister and cousin for dinner at home.

TIP OF THE DAY: Get to know your (new) body type and what styles/cuts look good on you. Which might not be the same as your pre kid(s) days.  After I gave birth to my son, I realized the super tight, ends right at my waist t-shirts no longer worked for me. Rather the tunic length and my fave the blousan type was my new style.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Mommy in Stilettos oh my...

So, today happens to be one of those unique days where both our morning and afternoon activities consists of house (backyard) playdates. Which means no walking, which means I can actually get away with heels. Not that I tried to wear heels.  Let me explain.. I found these pants in my son's closet which is where I store some of those 'good brand but does not fit or not in style' items. They used to not fit but they do now. I was excited and tried to make an outfit only to realize they are super long and have to be worn with heels. And that is how I ended up in my stiletto boots which have not been touched for the last 1.5 years! The top is another F21 find. It is from their couture line. I know they have a couture line (!?) It is a cotton tank topped with an attached sheer vest with a removable flower pin. It also came with a bone color chain belt but I didn't use it for this look. Topped it off with a cardigan because as you can imagine I am too cold in the mornings. The coral necklace picks up the coral stripes in the pants. The boots were an amazing find at what used to be my favorite store when I lived in NYC: Century 21.
The cuff bracelet is a gift from my Grandpa who found it an antique bazaar in Turkey. The ring is my mom's who gifted it to me when my daughter was born when I named her middle name after her.

Pants - BCBG - BCBG store on sale - $80 (very old)
Tank Top - F21 - $20
Cardigan - La Redoute catalog (no longer in US) - $30
Boots - Escada - from Century 21 in NYC - $400 on sale (from the days I had no kids, good double income and a small mortgage)...
Necklace - Charlotte Rousse - $10

Today;s Activities:
Mommy group playdate at a friend's house in the morning. Egg coloring and decorating playdate at another friend's house in the afternoon. [I have a big group of mommy friends with kids same age as mine, makes it easy to do lots of playdates].

This is a photo of my daughter in an outfit a family friend bought from a boutique in San Clemente. It is pretty funky and unique...

TIP OF THE DAY: Don't be afraid to utilize your old work clothes...
If you are like me and have been holding onto your work clothes, don't just cast them aside. The silk blouses look great when paired with jean shorts, dressy cardigans over cargo skirts or a-line skirts, suit pants can be worn with other more casual items and  of course the suit jackets (blazers) are great to layer on top of summer dresses and skirts and even shorts. Obviously they are not very practical as they need dry cleanning but  it is better to use them then let them sit in the closet. I have added a couple outfit ideas to my list the other day with such items so can't wait to showcase them soon.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Casual Fun

Going very casual today... It looked like it is not going to be that warm of a day and I don't have that many activities today so wanted to be casual and comfy. But of course added a bit fun to it. Love the pop of pink under the teal zebra print hoodie. And necklace is just one piece of jewelry that goes with an outfit like this. Found it at an Oktoberfest last fall. It is a real betsy johnson. My kids love to look at the monkey, bone and the hearts.

Pink Tunic top - PINK by Victoria's Secret  - catalog purchase - $25
Zip-up Hoodie - H&M - $30
Black leggings - Forever 21 - $10
Classic Ugg short boot - Nordstrom's - $150
Chunky charm necklace - Betsey Johnson - Encinitas Oktoberfest - $40

Today's Activities: Much needed car wash (not a simple task when you have 2 kids, about 20 bags, a double stroller and two car seats you have to all empty get it vaccumed and put it all back). Followed by playtime at Kid Ventures (indoor play area) before lunch and naps at home. Playdate at a friend's backyard with mommy group in the afternoon.

TIP OF THE DAY: Last couple days we covered how to come up with outfit formations and if you want to be super organized you create a list of these ideas so you don't forget. Back in the day when I didn't have kids and much  more time, I used actually create spreadhseets of these outfits, categorize them by 'work' and 'weekend/casual' and by season. To this day my friends still give me a hard time about this but that is just me. :)

So, TODAY'S TIP is when to figure out what you are going to wear for the day.
Here are some suggestions when to think about it the day before:
1. After you go to bed before you fall a sleep
2. After you are awake but before you are out of the bed
3. While you are in the shower
4. When doing something mundane, like cooking, making beds, cleanning the house etc...
5. When rocking a baby to sleep, or laying next to a toddler to make him go to sleep

If you are a stay home mom that likes to pretty much spend majority of the day out with the kids except for naps, you don't really have time to think about your outfit in the midst of getting ready rush hour in the morning. So, I recommend coming up with what you are going to wear the day before. Hopefully you already know what you are going to do therefore you can pick accordingly. Mostly I think about this when I go to bed before falling a sleep, or after I am already awakend by my dear 2.5 year old and am trying to fall back a sleep or fake resting before our wake-up time. Sometimes I also think about it when my son insists I 'sleep with him just a little bit' when I put him down for a nap. I have to keep my mind occupied otherwise I would fall a sleep too and since I do all my dinner cooking while they nap that would be a big 'no no' I think about what I will wear the next day. Hence by the time I wake up and am getting dressed I already know and do not waste any time standing naked in the closet staring at my vast selection of clothes. Hope this helps...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Flashy Fringe...

So, I thought today was going to be warmer like past few days and wore a very summary casual outfit at first. Only to realize it was quite chilly especially in the morning so switched all together. I had this outfit on my list with cargo pants at first but when I tried it on it didn't really work. The top underneath is a top I wore when pregnant. But when cynched with a belt or tucked in, it still works. The sweater again looks navy although it is a purple hue. The whole goal was to wear the new fringe necklace. I saw from a few magazines that fringe was totally in, and metal fringe necklaces were hot. All the references of the examples they showed of course were at prices $100 and up. I was very happy to find mine at H&M at a price I would like to pay. Matched it with the silver leather belt with silver studs. The black and grey hues in the to get picked up by the dark grey skinny jeans and black over the knee boots. My mom was over so I can actually take photos at spots I can't put a tripod. And of course my son loves to pose with me.

Zebra print v-neck top - one of those permenant loans from my mom
Purple Sweater - Gap - $14 on sale
Dark Grey skinny jeans - CLOSET - $30
Over the knee suede boots - Steve Madden - $100
Silver leather belt - Target I think (can't remember it is quite old)
Silver fringe necklace - H&M - $10

Today's Activities: Breakfast with mom and step dad at our house, grocery shopping while they played with the kids at home, Nobel Park (all before lunch and naps). Balboa Park zoo train and carousel with family, brother, sister-in-law, dad and family friends. Dinner at home.
So, it actually got quite warmer in the afternoon but still no sun. I took off the sweater and tucked in the zebra top and belted it through the belt loops of the pant. It looked pretty good. If I wear this top again I will add a tank to underneath. The v-neck does open up too much at times as I pick the kids up and move around.

Tip of the Day: 'Coming up with outfit ideas'...

You can get outfit ideas in many ways: When browsing magazines, reading other people's blogs, other women on the street, store fronts and even catalogs can all be inspiration. Don't just look at photos for items you want to buy or wish you can buy. Look at the in terms of do you have items that are similar and can you create a similar look with what you already own. Or possibly create the look with just buying one item. I get very excited when I see an outfit where I have all similar pieces that I have not worn a while. I immediately jot it down and add it to my list of ideas. This might be too much for you (I know I am way too organized and obsessive especially about lists). If it is a magazine you can just tear out the page or dog ear it. Or just remember it. Same thing with catalogs. You can browse them not with the purpose of shopping but to get ideas. This is not fashion related but I always used Pottery Barn catalogs for decorating ideas. The more you do this, and come up with new and different ideas the more choices you will have when you can't think of what to wear.