Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Polka dots & lace

Hi all – between a nasty exam this week and preparing to speak at a conference in two days on a topic that I knew absolutely nothing about until two hours ago, things have been pretty stressful. So I’m going to keep this short.  I think the exam went alright.  I predict the conference will go something like this:

(And if you don’t read Hyperbole and a Half, you must start.  She doesn’t have a bazillion followers 
and a book deal  for nothing). 

And amidst it all, I changed out of my coffee-stained/dog-hair-covered pj’s to put this on. Just for you. Enjoy.

 Top: Polka dot blouse (thrifted)
Cardigan (old – not so similar, but love here
Purse: Gift

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille

I am currently a miserable, exam-weary stressball clad in ratty jeans and tennis shoes, 
slaving away at the computer … 

See? Oops. How'd Pinterest end up in my browser? 

… so today instead of clothes, I give you a review of Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille, which is without a doubt my most favorite and special winter fragrance.

Despite having loved fragrances since I was little, I didn’t fully understand the really special and transcendent nature of perfume and scents in general until I first smelled Tobacco Vanille, which is self-described by the perfume house as “a modern take on an old world men’s club.”  My gender, generation and a dislike of brandy probably prevent me from fully identifying with that reference, although the main notes in the perfume are uncomplicated pipe tobacco, vanilla and cocoa.

I was born in a sleepy little town in northwest Germany, but moved to the United States when I wasn’t quite 2 years old.  I thought any recollection of those first two years had been lost to the blurry recesses of infant cognition, although this scent brings back a memory of that town so vivid, and so completely unremarkable, that I don’t think I’ve invented it; mainly, a snowy street at dusk, lights from small shops spilling out onto the sidewalk, and the unmistakable scent of sweet tobacco, no doubt drifting on the cool air from the pipe of an older gentleman passing in the street.

(This is not my actual memory, but is rather a picture
I found on the internets here.)

Regardless of the strong memory association it has for me personally, it is also a gorgeous fragrance generally. The tobacco and vanilla are well blended, and a spicy note, which to me smells mostly of clove, is a perfect, sweet compliment to the tobacco. On my skin the fragrance is very linear and unchanging, and one spray lasts an entire day. This definitely isn’t a perfume that will be universally loved by everyone, but if you find anything pleasing or nostalgic about pipe tobacco smoke, then it would definitely be worth giving it a try. 
Full-sized bottles can be found at Nordstrom here, and small decanted samples can be found through The Perfumed Court here.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Fabulous Friends & Shop Mapel

I am lucky to have some fabulous friends, and if style were contagious, then I’d be set. Staci, who I met in college at Oregon State in the late 90’s, (go ahead - do the math) is one of these. While the rest of us slummed around in polar fleece, Beaver-embossed orange t-shirts and hemp accessories (What? That was just me? Oh ok.) Staci organized her closet in color blocks and carried a Kate Spade day planner.   She was and is, fabulous!

Today, Staci and her business partner, Jenelle, own and run the stylish Mapel boutique in Tigard, Oregon. They carry a good selection of designer denim and well-known brands, but also mix in original pieces from independent and Oregon-based designers that you won’t find anywhere else. I haven’t had the opportunity yet to visit their brick-and-mortar store, but you can browse, shop and see pictures of the interior on the Mapel website here:

And for a little sampling of the kind of merchandise they carry, I give you the following outfit. The top can be found here (and is currently on sale!) And don’t miss the “happy hour specials” that run from 1-7:00 p.m. every day.

Bottom: F21 Colored denim capris (not available online anymore - similar here)
Shoes: H&M Coral wedges (old - similar here

I also played around with the high chignon look and while it may be all over the runways, I don't think it's a style I'll wear often. Or ever again.  However if you're interested in trying it, you can check out this tutorial that I kinda sorta followed. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Black, white and green all over

Happy Friday, everyone!   For those of you planning to engage in activities generally regarded as “fun” in the next couple days, I hope you enjoy them immensely.  I’ll be locked in my office, trying to elicit a little coherence and clarity from a brain that is currently incapable of focusing on even the simplest of tasks for more than a few minutes at a time. Oh look - a squirrel!

So I leave you with a few pictures I took when I should have been doing other things, and wish you all a great weekend.

Cardigan: Banana Republic (old - similar here
Shoes: Zara faux snakeskin (old - similar here
Clutch: old - thrifted

Thursday, February 23, 2012

So you think you can style this shirt?

Of all the attributes I may be known for, being a person who thinks things through thoroughly before doing them is probably not high on the list.  Or on the list at all.

Clothing purchases are no exception. Which is how I ended up with this Anthropologie top that I loved in the dressing room, but that goes with absolutely nothing that I already own.  Except maybe these jeans and white shoes that I luckily happened to already own.   

Edgy, ¿no? 
But I’m not sure.  I wore this to work, but then got sceered and hid under a coat all day.

So how would you wear this top?  I’d love some suggestions.

Also for your viewing/reading pleasure - random puppy photobomb and confession.  

1. This is Oscar, whose exemption from the natural selection process is due solely to the fact that he's cute.  When he's not destroying things and pissing on people's shoes. 

2. The rest of the "shoe room", except for the 12"x12" snippet I show you in photos, is kinda messy.  Shocker. 

Shoes: Enzo Angiolini (these were a gift – similar here
Necklace: F21

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I did not wear gym clothes to work today.

                                                       Instead, I wore this:

“And why should this mediocre outfit impress me?” you might ask.  Well, I’ll tell you. Because I’m pretty sure a couple people I see on a daily basis didn’t recognize me, and another asked if I was “feeling ok”, if that’s any indication of the normal state of affairs.

The dress code at my place of employment is extremely … non-existent.   So is my desire to run around campus all day wearing uncomfortable crap.  The significant interaction between these two factors generally results in me looking something like this (sans Louis Vuitton suitcase):

 But I’m trying, you guys.  And I will NOT let my readers down!  All 10 of you. 

Dress: Banana Republic (old)
Belt: F21
Top: H&M (old)
Shoes: Zara - Spain (old)
Coat: Lauren Conrad Trench (sold out at Kohl's, but can be found on ebay)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Leggings are not pants ...

... but you know what they are really good for? Serving as… leggings.  Preferably under something that completely covers your ass.  (I’m looking at YOU, undergrad girls at the large institution of higher learning where I teach.  And I can see the outline of your thong).  Further reading, for those interested.

This would-be-a-top-on-normal-people-but-looks-like-a-dress-on-me that I picked up on the sale rack at Anthropologie right after Christmas does that job nicely.

In hindsight, this ensemble could have benefited from more colorful shoes.  (Bright green, perhaps?) And probably some jewelry.   And maybe a real photographer, instead of me balancing the camera on a down pillow stuffed in an open dresser drawer, then pressing the self-timer button and running across the room 100 times.  Moving on …

… to my hair.  This ombre effect that I’m trying out. ¿Yea or nay?  I think I might want to go even a little darker at the roots. 

Top – Anthropologie – no longer in stores
Leggings: Express (so worth the money - they're thick and opaque)
Belt: F21 (similar Here
Shoes: Mudd nude pumps (Target – old)
Jacket: Bebe (old – similar Here

Saturday, February 18, 2012

"Is that supposed to match?"

Mr. MM's reaction to this recent outfit.  He may have a point, however it was inspired by something the lovely Lilly over at Lilly's Style wore, so it must be ok regardless.

Top: H&M striped t-shirt (similar Here)
Skirt: thrifted
Scarf: H&M (old - similar Here
Jacket: Bebe leather (old - similar Here)

Also, I have 5 followers now!  Four are good friends, and one is my mom, but whatever.  I'm somewhat computer illiterate and it took me 2 hours to figure out how to change the title font, so that this thing even exists on the internet is nothing short of a miracle. 

Valentine's Day

Conversations between Mr. & MiniMe in the days leading up to Valentine's Day tend to go something like this:

Mr. MM: “So what do you want to do for Valentine’s Day this year?"

Me: Sigh. Eye roll. Some smartass comment along the lines of this:

Mr. MM: “You know what’s way more annoying than Valentines Day? People that make a big deal out of hating Valentines Day”.

Me: Sigh. Eye roll.

(Fast-forward to the evening of 2/14, both of us sitting on the couch in our rattiest pajamas watching Modern Family reruns.  And drinking wine out of a box.)

So this year I decided to not be such a ball of V-day hate, and let Mr. MM plan a night out.   I even dressed up!  In red and leopard print!  

 And I did my hair!

As it turns out, I WAY overdressed for the eat-with-your-hands Ethiopian restaurant  Mr. MM had picked out.  But that’s ok, because as it also turns out, they don’t accept reservations and the wait line snaked all the way around the parking lot.  So in traditional fashion we ended up back at home watching TV and drinking boxed wine. (FYI – Fisheye makes a mean Shiraz).

One of my besties gave this image in coaster form.  Does it hold if the wine is from a box? 

I’m still dying to try the restaurant, though. (Wearing jeans).

Dress: Bebe ruched assymetrical (old) - similar Here
Black ruffled clutch (old) - similar Here
Coat: Drop waist belted (Delia's - old) - similar Here
Hair - followed this tutorial
Legs: For the benefit of those around me

That podiatrist was full of s*** ...

Lookie lookie at the comfortable AND stylish shoes I found on the sale rack at Macy's for $24.99! (Originally priced at $75.00).

Naturalizer isn't a brand that I generally seek out.  In fact, the very name gives me flashbacks of these, the only sorts of shoes that at the tender age of 8 I was told I'd ever be able to wear.  As a child I apparently did not walk normally, which eventually warranted a trip to the podiatrist's office.  He wiggled my ankles, had me run up and down the hall a few times and stand in a foam-like substance, and concluded that my feet were so screwed up, that if I didn't resign myself to a life of hideous footwear, I would most definitely "have to have foot surgery by the time I was 30".  So like the obedient insolent child I was, I summarily dismissed the advice and wore heels as high as I could get away with and lived happily ever after.  That 30th birthday has come and gone and I've kept surgery at bay, although my current job requires that I walk and stand quite a bit, so comfort is somewhat of a concern.  These are INCREDIBLY comfortable.  The heel height is just under 3", and the round toe and slight platform make them all-day wearable.  And they're cute.  And they're $25 on the sale rack at your local Macy's.

(Can also be found online here, although not on sale). 
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