Friday, January 30, 2009

Product Review: SKINNY CRYSTAL GARDEN BRACELET


was $75.00, sale $49.99 item 11151


We love the playfulness of this bracelet—with just a hint of sparkling blooms. Hand-casted enamel-painted flowers sparkle with hand-placed rhinestones on a 14K shiny gold-plated brass rectangular chain-link band with dangling acrylic beads. Brass snap-and-box closure. Width: 3/4". Import. Length: 7 3/4".



So my Skinny Crystal Garden Bracelet arrived today. I had purchased it over 2 weeks ago when I was still a Spendanista. If you only knew the real reason why I purchased it, you would surely think that I was crazy.



Insane as it may sound, the reason I purchased this bracelet was so that I could qualify for Free Shipping. Now, that's crazy isn't it? I mean, most normal people would purchase an additional item for say, $15 or $20 so that they could qualify for Free Shipping. Most would not spend an additional $49.99 just to get Free Shipping.



Yes, I was completely INSANE to have done that. But you know what? I'm glad I did it because....



I LOVE MY NEW BRACELET!



I honestly didn't think that I would like it as much as I do. I had expected to like it, (and that's why I purchased it) but I certainly had not expected to be "over the top in-love" with it but I am!



This bracelet is stunning! Despite looking extremely delicate, it does have some weight to it. It is not as heavy as most J Crew Bracelets despite the fact that the width is comparable to most J Crew bracelets.



It has a "slide-in and click close" closure. The bracelet is done in 2 rows of Daisy Flowers. The petals themselves are enamel-painted. The center of each Daisy is a clear Rhinestone Crystal approximately the size of a half carat diamond each. Between the columns of Daisies are clear Rhinestones measuring the same size as those in the center of the flowers. And between the Daisy and Rhinestone Crystal Columns are rows of 3 dangling baubles.



From my description, the bracelet sounds extremely busy and gaudy but surprisingly, the design works and it makes for an amazing looking bracelet.



I purchased it in the Citron shade to wear it specifically with the Silk Dupioni Skirt in Golden Cypress. I had expected that the little baubles on the bracelet would be a perfect match to the Golden Cypress. Unfortunately, the color of the baubles and the skirt do not match. But, the little daisy flowers on the bracelet coordinate beautifully with the Golden Cypress. And as such, I will be wearing it with the Silk Dupioni skirt that I had also ordered to match specifically with the bracelet.



I was originally somewhat apprehensive about purchasing this bracelet. I had read on a different blog that it was poorly manufactured and that when it had arrived for the other buyer, pieces of the bracelet had broken off and sat in the bottom of the box. I'm very pleased to report that my bracelet is perfect! There are no broken or missing pieces or stones. This bracelet truly couldn't be any more beautiful!



The website and catalog pictures do not reflect the true beauty of this bracelet. And while I may have purchased it originally in order to save on the Shipping, I can say that I am very glad to have done what I did. It's one of those pieces that I will be able to wear all year round, let alone, for many years to come since it is very unusual yet would be considered a classic piece!



Unfortunately, the Skinny Crystal Garden Bracelet is currently sold out online. However, should you be intersted in purchasing one, I wouldn't hesitate contacting the WWFIFY desk and have them assist you in locating this beautiful piece!



What do you think of this bracelet? Do you own it? Would you be compelled to purchase it?

Today's Outfit

January 30, 2009
  • J Crew Boucle Flower Jacket in Bright Fuschia (without the Flower only because I'm wearing the Perfect Fit Flower Tank and it already has a flower on it). I'm wearing it for the first time ever - in accordance with my new Recessionista Contract to Myself.
  • J Crew Perfect Fit Flower Tank in Light Pewter (you will want to size down - otherwise, it is very long). I am wearing the Tank over top of my pants so that it shows under the jacket. Also, wearing this for the first time.
  • J Crew Gramercy Coat in Black (I couldn't find a picture for the double-breasted Gramercy Coat so I used one that looked similar)
  • Black Pashmina Scarf
  • Black Pumps
  • Baroque Pearl Necklace
  • Burberry Bowling Style Bag

Thursday, January 29, 2009

RECESSIONISTA FASHIONISTA!


The first time I heard the term RECESSIONISTA was on the Tyra Banks Show. It was a show on how to look like a Fashionista in these unprecedented Recessionary times.


I thought the show was interesting but didn't give it much thought thereafter.


Then Fabulous Florida Mommy's blog on Shopping Your Closet got me thinking about my spending habits. Let's face it, I have an Impulsive, Compulsive and Obsessive personality, when combined with my passion for fashion, is as combustible as gasoline and fire!


When someone says that I can't have something, I want it even more.
When someone else has something I like, I must have the exact thing and nothing will stand in my way to get it.

I can't ever have just one of a certain item; I must have multiples - prime example, the Lea Merino Cardigan. No doubt that wear them lots - this week alone, I've worn them twice in 2 separate colors. But that's not the point! The point is, I spend! spend! spend! when I should Save! Save! Save!


I doubt many would believe that I am in fact frugal. I think I'm frugal. But my husband begs to differ. I guess the term Frugal is subjective. Regardless, I think that I'm frugal ... only because I am a Sale Shopper.


Yes, I am a sale shopper. A die-hard sale shopper. I almost never buy anything at regular price. I don't remember the last time I paid full-price for anything, for that matter. It would be fine if I were to only buy 1 item, ie. a sweater for $24.99, but since I have a problem with buying in multiples, I would normally end up buying ... say, 5 sweaters at $24.99 each, thus spending a total of $125.94. So, frugal? Definitely. Able to control myself? Definitely NOT!


Which certainly explains why I have 7 Merino Lea Cardigans, 6 Perfect Fit Flower Tees and 8 Winter Coats.


So, after reading FFM's blog, I started thinking, what am I going to do to try to save some money in these tough economic times? So, here are 3 things I am going to engage in, effective immediately. I am going to transform myself from an Spendanista to a Recessionista!


CONTRACT TO MYSELF
I've decided to put myself on a self-imposed shopping ban. I have decided to take a break from shopping for the next 30 days. 30 days does not seem like a long time for most, but for me, it is. Baby-Steps here people!


Next, I've decided to Shop My Closet. I am going to wear the things I've purchased. Afterall, I purchased them for a reason, didn't I? Well, it's now time to wear what I've purchased. Come to think about it, I probably only wear about 20% of my entire wardrobe. Sad isn't it? So, until such time I've worn everything at least twice if not more (and I don't mean wearing the same thing 2 days in a row), I decided that I won't buy anything else. This "wearing everything at least 2 times" rule really ought to take me into mid-Spring, at least if not longer but like I said, baby-steps!


Thirdly, since I know how to sew, I'm going to alter at least 2 if not 3 of the skirts that I love but have gotten too small for (I lost 50 lbs). While I know that I won't be able to alter everything I can't wear anymore since I don't really enjoy doing alterations anyway (I have to be realistic here!), and since sending them out to be altered truly defeats the purpose of saving money, I'm going to only focus on altering the things I truly love so that I may wear them again. If I do what I've planned to do, I ought to be able to put 3 skirts back into my closet. That's a savings of $149.97 (3 sale skirts at $49.99 each!)


Let's face it, I shop because, in my mind, shopping is a sport. It's not about what I need, it's about the thrill of the hunt and the victory of a phenomenal score. Unfortunately, times have changed and I must change with it.


The truly sad part is, my J Crew Rewards Card arrived today with a whopping $175 reward on it, further confirming that I must start spending less and saving more. I am committed to my "Contract to Myself". Let's hope that I can wear everything twice before the Reward Card expires!

Are you a Spendanista like myself? Have you considered becoming a Recessionista? What do you have planned to look Fabule$$?



Today's Outfit


January 29, 2009

Lana Polka Dot Blouse in Light Grey - Blouse is being worn over pants
(sorry, can't remember the original color name)
Lea Merino Cardian in Dark Peony - Bottom 2 buttons are unbuttoned
Quincy Tote in Green
Lucinda Stadium Coat in Navy
All of the above by J Crew
Grey Herringbone pants from Zara
Black Ankle Boots from Impo
Silver Scarf (gift)
Crystal Silvertone Jewelry (Earring from HR, Necklace from BR, Bracelet -???)

I quite like my outfit today. It's rather cheery on a dreary rainy Vancouver Day!

Have an Awesome Fashionista Day!!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

How do you store your J Crew Jewelry?


I've only recently started purchasing J Crew jewelry.


If you must know, I've only really started purchasing jewelry again, after being essentially Jewelry Celibate for about 15 years.


In the eighties while still in high-school, I had worked in the retail industry and was a jewelry fiend. But as the minimalist look became popular, I gradually stopped wearing jewelry altogether, with the exception of my wedding and engagement bands, watch and occasionally stud-style earrings, I wore no jewelry.


Then I found J Crew. Although I was purchasing J Crew items and putting them together as shown in the catalog or online, I found that my outfits were simply missing that "je ne sais quoi" quality. It dawned on me that what seperated my outfits from those in the J Crew catalog were really the jewelry. It's like having a birthday cake sans the icing. Without the jewelry, the outfits just didn't have that "wow" power.


So, I started investing in J Crew jewelry. The very first piece of jewelry I purchased from J Crew was the Wood-Bead and Firestone Necklace. It's a stunning piece. Smooth, chocolately brown wood-beads interspersed with Amber Firestones. Just stunning! And like they say, I was hooked and the the rest is history!


J Crew jewelry isn't cheap by any means - regardless if it's on sale or not. I know that there are replica pieces elsewhere for much cheaper prices but somehow, the replicas are just that, REPLICAS! ... and they never look quite as pretty as the J Crew ones.


Today, I own several necklaces, bracelets and bangles from J Crew. I cherish these pieces not only because they're pricey for costume jewelry but also that they're really pretty and I would be hard-pressed to find replacement pieces.


The issue I have is, I'm having a difficult time trying to figure out how best to store them.


I had originally thought of leaving them in their original boxes with pictures stuck to the outside -but let's face it, I would take them out of the boxes and never put them back after wearing. The pictures would fall off and since I would eventually become too lazy to open the boxes each evening to put the jewelry pieces back, it would only be a matter of time before I ended up leaving my jewelry in a huge messy pile and would not be able to find anything easily.


Short of designing and creating a wood board of sorts where I could hang all of my necklaces, bracelets and bangles in a easy to locate and return fashion, I thought that the way I currently have set up, would likely be the best way.


I've essentially used the tops and bottoms of each J Crew jewelry box - you know the ones that the jewelry comes in (leaving the cotton padding in each half) and storing my jewelry in them. Since I don't have to contend with tops, it's easy for me to take the jewelry out, wear it and put them back in its' original place.


I set this up the first week of January of this year and so far it appears to be working. I find it easy to locate pieces and as easy to return them to their places when I'm done wearing them.


But I'm curious, how do you manage your J Crew jewelry? Do you have a custom-made design? Do you use a board of sorts? I'm always looking for a better way to organize my jewelry. I would love to hear your ideas. I hope you'll share!

Today's Outfit

January 28, 2009
Whisper Lame Tank in Burnished Gold, size 4.
Tartine Cardigan in Mushroom, size S
Lille Heavy Wool Coat in Black, size 4
Crystal Snowball Necklace
Gold Enamel Cystal Bangle
All of the above from J Crew
Patent Ankle Boots - Nine West
Coach Hangbag - Coach Outlet
Pashmina Scarf - Duty Free store on Alaska Cruise Ship

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

RETARD!!!

Today's Outfit - January 27, 2009
Victoria Cami in Bright Fushia, size P6
Merino Lea Cardigan in Bright Fushia, XS
NAVY Lucinda Stadium Cloth Coat, size 4
The above are from J Crew
BLACK Pants from Tristan America
Fuschia Pashima Scarf
Black Boots from Nine West
Crystal Earrings and Bangle from Swarovski


Okay, I know I'm not supposed to use that word and I should be using the word Mentally Challenged instead. But let's face it, I'm a Retard. I'm not Mentally Challenged. I'm just downright RETARDED!!!

I'm a FASHION RETARD! Just today and I'm speaking specifically of my outerwear.

Yes, I can sit here and blame it on the weather. ie. I was freaking out because it was snowing yet again and was wanting to leave the house early for fear of being stuck, etc.

Unfortunately, I can't use that excuse. You see, in my little Pea-Brain, I honestly thought that it would be a perfect match.... that is, until I got out of my car and started walking to my office.

What am I talking about? My stooopid Coat! I'm talking about my Stooopid Coat and how it does not coordinate with my pants.

Yes, I'm being pathetic and superficial, blah, blah, blah. Whatever! I just feel downright stupid, that's all.

As you can see from the above Polyvore, I've got on Black Pants with my bright Victoria Cami and matching Lea Merino Cardigan. And to make sure that I had a matching scarf, I traded my Camel Pashmina for a Pink one. And then, as I was about to leave my house, I decided to wear my Navy, yes Navy, Lucinda Stadium Cloth coat - the same one from yesterday. In my little brain, or lack thereof, I honestly thought that it would be a perfect match. Can you believe it? I honestly thought it would be perfect!

What I forgot was, I'M WEARING BLACK PANTS TODAY!!! Black Pants! I own 2 black coats so that I can wear with my black pants. Navy Coat is for Navy pants! But as I was leaving the house, I guess I must have forgotten I was wearing Black bottoms.

URGH! Luckily, it's not like I would have to walk around in my coat all day. Thank God it's hanging behind my office door.

I must sound like some freakazoid to some. I'm sure it's a "no-biggie" for others but I felt downright stupid. What was I thinking????

I mustn't have been thinking, that's what it was!!! URGH!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Dear God...

Outfit for Jan 26, 2009

Lea Merino V Neck Cardigan in Navy, size XS
Lucinda Stadium Cloth Coat in Navy, size 4
Crystal Snowball Neckace
Enamel Dot Bangle
All of the above from J Crew
Straight Leg Trousers in Navy from the Gap
Sleeveless T-Neck Shell in Bright Berry from Zara
Shoes from Nine West
Pashmina Scarf and Coach Bag from Holt Renfrew


I know that we're not quite through Winter yet, but I have had enough of Winter and would like to get on with Spring now.

No, really! I've quite had it with Winter this year. You won't believe the number of times I've kicked myself for not getting Winter / Snow Tires this year. After having difficulty driving up the hill in West Vancouver to pick my daughter up from school one winter evening last year, (yes, last winter - like one whole year, yes, 12 months ago, last winter), I told my husband that I was DEFINITELY GETTING SNOW TIRES, and that NO ONE WAS GOING TO TALK ME OUT OF IT!

So, an entire year goes by and I decide that I really do not need snow tires. After all, is it really going to snow that much in Vancouver that I would need Snow Tires? Really?!

HECK YES! It's not going to just snow, it's going to crap snow all over and stick around forever! So, have I gotten my snow tires yet? Of course not, why the hell would I do something quite so sensible?! Really!

Why get snow tires when I can look good with 7, wait, now 8 Winter Coats? I guess if I get stuck in the snow, I could always look GREAT digging myself out of the snow in one of my amazing J Crew Winter Coats, right?

So, as our plane lands at the Vancouver International Airport, on our way back from our recent Mexican Riviera Cruise in Fog so thick I couldn't see the Tarmac until the plane's tires hit the ground with a bang, I tell my husband that I'm going to get snow tires just in case it snows again between now and the start of Spring. So between the 2 of us and a conversation lasting, oh, a minute long, I end up talking myself out of buying Snow Tires yet again.

How stooopid can I be, really? It's going to freaking snow again tomorrow. That's right. Tomorrow! Snow! 5-10 centimeters they say. The last time they said that, we got 30-40 centimeters and I had to take public transportation to work.

I've come to the conclusion that this is God's ever humourous way of telling me that I need to get my crap together and buy some snow tires. What do you think? He's probably thinking to himself, how many times to I have to make it snow to make her realize that she needs to buy some snow-tires. Reminds me of the story of the man on the roof in the flood.

So, God, I know you're listening, because you listen to me all the time. Can we just be done with Winter now? I've never in all my life seen this much snow in Vancouver ever! We still have snow left over from the first December snowfall and my back yard is looking like a ski-hill minus the Tow-Rope. So, if I go out and buy the snow-tires that you've been hinting I get, will you just make it Spring already? Puuleeeese?

Do I need a Lady Day Coat in Sea Salt?


Should I or should I not buy a Lady Day Coat in White?


I've been dying for a White coat for ages. I originally purchased a Wool-Cashmere Plaza Coat in White. The fit was awful. It made me look like a walking Marshmellow so back it went. Every since then, I've been wanting another White coat.


This decision should really be a simple one, don't you think?


Do I want a White Wool Coat? If the answer is Yes, well, buy it then. If the answer is No, then stop obsessing about it and move on. Simple, right? Wrong!


You see, I'm a bit of a Coat Freak. A Recent Coat Freak, I should add. I used to be one of those people who had 1 coat that I wore all Fall, Winter and Spring long, year after year. And after a couple of years of wearing the same coat, I would buy another coat to replace the first coat and wear the new coat in the Fall, Winter and Spring long, year after year - just like I did the first coat.


Then I discovered J Crew. Wow! It was like, I suddenly came to life!


I was like a little kid who had walked into the most amazing Candy Store in the world for the first time in their life! Where rows upon rows, shelf upon shelf of the most delicious mouth-watering candies laid before my eyes, tempting me with their fantastic colors and their delicious smells and all I could imagine was how their delicious flavours would fill my mouth. Yes, I am that kid. Only difference is, that candy store is J Crew.


J Crew opened a world of colors and new options to me.


What do you mean that Winter coats come in colors other than Black, Navy or Brown?


You mean that I can purchase different coats to match my different outfits as well as my different moods?


Really? Do people really wear different coats for different seasons? Spring Coats for Spring, Fall Coats for Fall and Thinsulate for Winter?


Imagine that??!!


Since having discovered J Crew, I have purchased 7 Coats. Yes, SEVEN! It may not appear much to someone who has had J Crew in their lives forever, but for someone like me, it's unimaginable! I used to own 1 Coat. That's it! ONE FREAKING COAT!!!


Today, I own the Gramercy Coat in 3 colors - Bright Flame, Alpine Green and Black. The Classic Peacoat in Dark Poppy. The Boucle Short Scarf Coat in Bright Fuschia. The Lucinda Stadium Cloth Coat in Navy and the Lille Heavy Wool Coat in Black. I also own the Puffer Jacket in Ivory (but that doesn't really count because it's a Puffer.)


Then the other day, when dressing for work, I wished that I owned a Chocolate Coat for I was wearing Chocolate that day. Note to self....I must look for a Chocolate Coat. Maybe next Fall.


So, what do you think? Do I need the Lady Day Coat in Sea Salt? I've been obsessing over it for sometime now. Like all of my obsessions, until I buy it, they never go away.


What should I do? Buy it or Shelf it?


Friday, January 23, 2009

URGH! I gained 4 %$#%ing LBS!!!!!


Today's Outfit
Lea Merino Cardigan in Golden Avocado, Size XS
Perfect Fit Flower Tee in Golden Avocado, Size S
Lille Heavy Wool Coat in Black, Size 4
All of the above from J Crew
High-Waisted Flared Lined Trousers in Black, size 6 from Tristan America
Patent Leather Pumps in Black from Nine West
Pearl Necklace and Bracelets from Aldo Accessories
Burberry Super Nova Satchel - Holt Renfrew




Despite the workouts on the ship, I ended up gaining 4 freaking pounds on the cruise! Could it be the 3 Appetizers, 2 Entrees and 3 Desserts I was having daily? or was it the fact that the water was gross (I'm spoiled - We have awesome water in Vancouver - right from the Mountains!) and all I would drink in lieu of water was Lemonade? Maybe it was the Low-Fat Yogurt that I ate everyday after lunch and before bed or on the way to the spa. It's Low-Fat so that means that I can eat loads more, doesn't it?

It was one freaking week! ONE FREAKING WEEK OF UNHEALTHY EATING, that's all!!! So, how can 1 week change the way my clothes fit on me? Incredible, isnt' it???!!! It's incredible how my body can change so very quickly from a week of unhealthy eating. I would hate to think what would happen it I were on a 2 week Transatlantic Cruise instead?!

I don't like my clothes to feel tight on me. I like them sorta, hanging somewhat loosely. But today, my pants feel snug (not tight) just snug .... as in fitted around my waist and I HATE IT!!!! (I like my jeans to fit this way - but definitely NOT dress trousers!)

Okay, I must admit, I was wearing my fat clothes the last couple of days and that's why I didn't post any outfits but today, I've got on regular clothes and they feel fitted. They were loose 2 weeks ago! How did this happen? Maybe I need to sew my mouth shut! I have no will-power when it comes to food.



I tried to be good. I really did! I was good the first day, well ... okay. Lunch. I was pretty good at lunch on the day we embarked the ship. And I was somewhat good the first night. I had 2 appetizers, 1 entree and 2 desserts. They had Creme Brulee and Warm Melting Chocolate Cake! I couldn't say no! Really!



Then things just went downhill EXPONENTIALLY after day 1. I couldn't say no to Lobster, Tiger Prawns, Fillet Mignon, Chateaubriand, Rack of Lamb, Ribs, let alone all of the appetizers and desserts that were offered. And you can't forget the wine with dinner. On land, I might have wine say, once every 2-3 weeks. Although I enjoy my Reds, it's certainly not something I have every night with dinner.

Oh My Gosh! No wonder I gained weight!!!


The good thing is, I know that it's a temporary. I just need to go back to eating the way I normally eat while on land and it's only a matter of time before I return to my normal self. It's afterall only 4 lbs.

BUT IT'S 4 %$#%ING LBS!!!!! URGH!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I have a dream....




Well, it's really not just one dream, but many of the same, similar themed dreams.

Yes, I'm finally back from my Mexican Riviera Cruise. I had a wonderful time. Ate way too much but that's a different post.

I want to share my dream with you. So, for the last, oh.... 15 years or so, I've had about the same dream every couple of months and the last "same dream" I had, I had it on the cruise. You're probably wondering what kind of dream must I be having that makes it so amazing.


No, it's not about sex. It's not about winning the lottery either. It's a SHOPPING DREAM.

Yes, I have SHOPPING DREAMS .... all the time! Well, not every day or every week. More like every couple of months.

Have any of you had Shopping Dreams? Mine are in vivid color with amazing detail.

I remember one Shopping dream I had about a year back. In my dream, I dreamt that I had come across a PHENOMENAL SHOE SALE at Neiman Marcus and at this shoe sale, I had picked up the most incredible pair of irridescent baby blue open-toed pumps. They were amazing! Naturally, like I am in real-life, I was beside myself. I was so thrilled and could not wait to wear them! And then... I woke up! But for a brief moment, I couldn't figure out if it was real or just a dream. Of course, I was absolutely crushed when I realized that it was a dream.

I haven't had a Shopping Dream for a while now. But on the cruise, I had my FIRST J CREW SHOPPING DREAM! Yes, I had my first ever J Crew Shopping Dream. How do I know that it was J Crew? Because in my dream, I dreamt that I was at a J Crew Brick and Mortar Store, looking through a Sale Rack and came across the Enamel Button Long Sweater Jacket in Heather Charcoal! Knowing that this jacket was only ever available in Navy (in real-life), you can imagine how thrilled I was to have found it in Heather Charcoal! It was $49.99 to boot! I snatched it off the rack and proceeded to search for more finds.


Like all dreams, the part between finding the sweater and paying the cashier was a total blur, but I do remember getting a few blouses, skirts, jewelry and of course, the Enamel Button Long Sweater Jacket in Heather Charcoal and was absolutely thrilled with the prices I paid.

Like all dreams, I woke up. But for that very brief moment in time, I owned the Enamel Button Long Sweater Jacket in a color no one else had. It was the most amazing feeling in the world. Of course, that feeling is so fleeting because as soon as I realize that it was a dream, I was down-right depressed.
Now, I've never ever admitted to anyone, and I mean ever, that I have these amazing Shopping Dreams. I've always wondered, does anyone else have Shopping Dreams?

What are your Shopping Dreams like? Are they in color? What have you purchased in your Shopping Dreams? Are you in specific stores?
What do these Shopping Dreams mean?

Since my last dream focused primarily on the Enamel button Long Sweater Jacket, does it mean that unconsciously, I desperately want this jacket? ...
or is there a deeper meaning to my dream?




Friday, January 9, 2009

What happened to the time?????


As promised to Smarty, here's a picture of the Lea Merino Cardigan. I am 5 foot 3-1/2 inches tall. The Lea Merino Cardigan is my favorite Basic Cardigan. I love the fit and the color variety.

On the J Crew website, the cardigan looks to be on the short side. I guess it depends on if you have a long or regular torso. I believe that I have a regular torso; I'm short because I have short stumpy legs, not because I have a short torso. The Lea end slightly below my belly-button. I always wear it over a top with the top hanging outside my pants or my skirt. I normally wear a size Small sweater but had to size down to an XS in this sweater. I found that there was a little too much fabric in the torso in the size small. I particularly love the buttons and the rich colors. I have this sweater in 7 colors and I am seriously considering purchasing it in Melon to wear when the weather gets warmer.

Talking about warmer weather, I LEAVE FOR LA IN 10 HOURS!!!

2 days ago, I was sure that I was going to have time to do everything that needed to be done before we leave on our trip. I was certain of this yesterday and even this morning.

To ensure that I completed all my tasks, I drafted a schedule for today, listing all the things I needed to do plus the time I needed to do it ... you know, so that I didn't fall behind. Had today gone the way I had planned for it to go, it would have been like this:

8am Call Office, Do Laundry
9am Workout
10am Go to Walmart
11am Call Andrew and Irene (they're our best friends who are going on the trip with us), Lunch
12pm Pack
1pm Pack
2pm Pack
blah
blah
blah....

Well, by 9:30am, I had blown my entire schedule to hell! So by the time I got my act together and went to Walmart, it was already 11:30am and by the time I got home and called our friends, it was 1pm. Per my schedule, I was supposed to sit down and blog at 9pm and as you can tell from the time, it's way past 9pm and I still haven't completed everything I'm supposed to do.

I SUCK AT SCHEDULING!

Let's put it another way.... SCHEDULING SUCKS!

I should just give up completely on scheduling anything. I don't even know why I bother trying. Take yesterday for example. I was supposed to leave the house to drive to J Crew at 5am but didn't end up leaving until 6:30am. How does that happen? I don't know. It's like... I'm super busy doing stuff (and it's always stuff that's not at all related to what I'm supposed to be doing) and all of a sudden, it's like I'm late. I can't help that I'm easily distracted!!!

But I wasn't distracted at J Crew yesterday! I can focus when I choose to focus. Yes, I can! And I chose to focus when I was at J Crew. Going to a J Crew store is like going to the most amazing Museum in the world, where pieces of clothing, like art, capture my entire attention! Do you get that way when you go to J Crew? Maybe because I don't go often. So when I do go, it's an amazing experience because I get to see the things I've seen online, in person for the first time. It's no different then when I see a J Crew item that I own being worn by a character on TV - ie. Ugly Betty, Priviledged Life, etc. Do you know what I mean? It's an amazing experience.

Anyway, so I went to J Crew yesterday and returned a TON of stuff. I was feeling very badly over the situation but the J Crew Associate, Philip, who was helping me was an absolute sweetheart and told me not to fret about it. He made the return process a pleasant experience - which only made me want to buy more since he was soooo nice! All in all, I spent about 3 hours at J Crew yesterday.

So what did I buy? I didn't buy as much as I would have liked but I did SCORE SOME AMAZING DEALS!!!!

LILLE HEAVY WOOL PIQUE COAT - Black, Size 2



I had originally tried this coat on about 2 months back on my last visit to J Crew. I had tried on the 4 previously (not knowing that I should size down in it) and found the coat too loose. Although I had it belted, I didn't like the way all of the extra fabric bulged out on the back. After reading that I should have sized down, I tried it in the 2 and it was a perfect fit!

The coat ties up beautifully in the front without a lot of excess fabric in the back. There's also room in the chest as well as the shoulders to move around comfortably. The part of the coat that I like the most is the collar. I just love the way the collar frames my neck and my collar bone. Most coats button quite high and hide the bottom of the neck. This coat cuts quite low in the neckline and lengthens the neck. It's very attractive.

However, because of the neckline, this coat would not be very warm if worn without a scarf or a turtleneck for the cold wind would just blow down my neck. And while J Crew calls this a Heavy wool coat, I think that J Crew was actually referring to the weight of the coat and not how warm this coat would be. While the coat is heavy, I don't think that it would be warm enough in very cold, damp weather. I don't think this "car-length" coat would have kept me warm enough in the weather we recently experienced. But extreme weather is not what we normally get in Vancouver so I purchased it. It was $99 plus an additional 30% off.


STADIUM-CLOTH LUCINDA COAT - Navy, size 4.

Having purchased 3 coats this season alone, not including the Lille that I'd just purchased (in addition to the other 3 that I had purchased last Spring), you'd think that I need another coat like I need a hole in my head. But I just had to have the Lucinda Coat.


Have you seen it? Oh My Gosh! It's one STUNNING coat! It's not at all funky and bright - like the coats I've been purchasing lately. But it's a classic, timeless piece yet not at all boring. It makes a statement with the very interesting semi-stand-up Peter-Pan collar and over-sized buttons on a double-breasted front. While I wanted a Navy coat to wear with Navy pants, I had expected the Navy to be somewhat boring but I was soooo wrong! It's not at all boring. It's classic with a twist. In fact, I love this coat even more than I do the Lille. If someone had said that they were freezing my J Crew credit card and my bank account and that I could onlye buy ONE, JUST 1 one coat to last me 3 years (ie, out of all the coats I purchased this fall - Peacoat, Puffer, Boucle Tweed Short Scarf Coat and Plaza - which I returned), I would buy the Stadium-Cloth Lucinda Coat. Like I said, it's a timeless, classic piece with a lot of flare to it. Too bad this coat didn't come with Thermore or Thinsulate. Since the wool has a felted feel to it, I'm thinking that it's going to be warmer than the Lille. But it would have been so cool had it come with the warmer lining. Oh well!

It was $99 plus an additional 30% off.


BANGLE WITH CABOUCHON - Gold with Black, Gold with Orange







I was looking for a couple more inexpensive bangles, preferably with black or orange cabouchon on them and found these, which were just perfect. In all honesty, there's nothing truly special about these. They're gold bangles with colored stones that would spruce up an outfit. I never used to wear much accessories. I owned and wore a ton of accessories in the Eighties (yes, I am dating myself now!) and in the minimalist look of the Nineties, I got rid of all of my chunky jewelry to find that they've all made a come-back. And since I don't have any accessories from before, I'm starting to add some basic pieces to other more interesting pieces that I own from J Crew. The bracelets were $9.99 less 30% off. At that price, I had to get one in each color!


QUINN CAMI - Bright Fuschia, Size 4



I hadn't had an intentions of buying this top. I had seen it online several times. And while it's quite cute and pretty, I wasn't compelled to purchase it for $49.99. However, they were $19.99 less 30% off in the store. They had a bunch in the Melon colorway but only 1 in the Bright Fuschia. And while the Bright Fuschia was a little larger on me (the 2 would have been a better fit), at that price, I figured I could wear it under a cardigan or a suit jacket and it would look fine.

It's a very pretty top. The silk is very soft and very thin. I will have to be extremely careful with the fabric because it has a tendency to catch on everything including hang-nails. The Bright Fuschia is not as saturated as the Victoria Cami of the same name. The pink on the Quinn is about a shade lighter. I think this top would look great under the Boucle Astrid Jacket as well as the Merino Lea Cardigan.


GLOVES - CORTINA GLOVES and QUILTED LEATHER GLOVES



I purchased 2 pairs of gloves. Both were very cute and very different from each other. The Cortina gloves are a wool and cashmere blend. They are very very soft and more casual looking. They'll keep my fingers warm on cold days!



The Quited Leather Gloves are so different from the Cortina. They are a supple kid leather with quilted detail on the top of the hand. I love the fit of these gloves. You see, I have very long fingers and have always had difficulty finding gloves that would fit. It's kinda like buying panty-hose that are too short, so then you put them on, the crotch stops just above your knees. That same uncomfortable feeling of short panty-hose, is the exact same feeling I get when I get gloves where the fingers aren't long enough. But these gloves were great. I love how they're fully lined and that there was some room in the fingers to accomodate my wedding and engagement rings. I have had gloves that were so tight in the fingers that it was extremely uncomfortable. But not these! These were great. And at $19.99 less 30% off, I knew that I had to have them!

So these were the items I purchased yesterday. I was soooo wanting to get the Silk Dupioni Skirt but they didn't have any in-stock. I've read from a couple of different blogs that if I were in a store and called into Customer Service via the Red Phone, I could actually get the store discount applied against my phone order. Since I wanted the skirts and since they weren't in stock at the store, I called in to place my order to only find out that J Crew doesn't do that anymore.

I was shocked!

According to the Store Manager, an email had been sent to the Associates explaining that Store Discounts cannot be applied to Online purchases. I found this most strange since I know that it's been done before. Unfortunately, they wouldn't extend the discount to me so I decided not to purchase the skirts in the meantime. I may buy them later but at this time, I've just decided against them. Have you heard of this new policy?

Sorry for the looooooog post. I'll be away until the 20th crusing the Mexican Riviera drinking Skinny Girls Margaritas. Have you heard of a Skinny Girls Margarita? I first heard it on "Real Housewives of New York". It's basically a regular Margarita but without the sugar syrup.


THE SKINNY GIRLS MARGARITA ON THE ROCKS

Here's what you'll need:

2 oz of clear Tequila (100% agave, Patron Silver)
A splash of fresh lime juice
A splash of Cointreau, Grand Marnier or Triple Sec
Combine all ingredients over a glass of ice
Garnish with a lime wedge and salt

Makes one serving

So Cheers everyone! Have a fabulous week in your fabulous clothes and accessories. I'll see you all in approximately a week's time! Let's hope that I get to the airport on schedule tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Cause of Death: EMBARASSMENT

I am ABSOLUTELY GOING TO DIE FROM EMBARASSMENT. I know it! I will! My death certificate will read: Cause of Death: Embarassment. Crap! Why didn't someone just stop me when I was suffering from temporary brain-fuck??? What the hell was I thinking when I was shopping EVERYDAY online at J Crew in the 3 weeks leading up to Christmas?

I just spent the last hour getting my J Crew returns together for my international trip to a J Crew store tomorrow. Oh My Gosh! I am absolutely doing to die! I cannot believe the number of items I need to return.

I AM SOOOOOOOOOOO EMBARASSED!!!

I have 3 very large J Crew bags full of stuff to return. Have any of you returned that many items in one go?

Since my last trip to J Crew which happened to be Black Saturday, I have been on a buying binge. Yes, I am party to blame. But J Crew is to be blamed as well! If they didn't taunt me with all those awesome sales of 20% off, 30% off and Free Shipping to boot, I would not be in the predicament I am in right now! Since I have no will-power when it comes to Sales, I literally bought everything I wanted. EVERYTHING! NO HOLDS BARRED! Knowing that I was going to be going to J Crew sometime in January, I figured that I would return what I didn't fit, like or want. Problem is, I didn't realize that I had purchased THAT much, neither did I realize that I had to return THAT much either!

Let's take the Lea Merino Cardigan for example. I purchased 7 colors - Dark Peony, Bright Tangerine, Golden Avocado, Heather Grey, Black, Navy, and Bright Fuschia in both size S and XS. Since the XS fits best, all 7 of the Smalls are now going back. Well, now imagine those sweaters and multiply it by 10 since I bought multiples of numerous items, including tees, jackets, skirts, coats, pants, skirts, etc. I had J Crew boxes coming to my house daily!

I AM SUCH A FREAK! YES, I AM! It's one thing for me to know that I'm a freak. It's another thing for a JCA to KNOW that I'm a freak! But I guess that I'll just need to bite the bullet and do it.

So, if any of you are looking for items, sizes and colors that are no longer available online, you might want to check out the Bellevue, WA store tomorrow for I will be there to return 3 large bags full of stuff sometime in the morning.

Just in case you're wondering what I'm returning, here's a small sample:

Candy Tee, Bright Tulip, size S (kept the M)
Cashmere Bateau Sweater, Bright Palm, size S (need an XS but they're sold out)
Confetti Bateau Top, size 4 and 6 (hated both)
7 Lea Merino Cardigans, size S (keeping all 7 in the XS)
Plaza Coat in Camel, size 6 (hate the fit)
Boucle Tweed Short Scarf Coat, size 4P (keeping the 6P)
Velvet Ecole Jacket, Bright Rhubarb and Cobalt, in size P4, P6 (I really wanted to love these but they just look bad on, doesn't matter what size)
Melanie Button Cuff Cardigan, M in Fuschia and Dark Peony(I read to size up and the Medium looks too sloppy on me)

Anyway, there's lots more, but I can't remember what else I am returning since I've got them all packed up already.

On the flip side, I am hoping to buy more things at J Crew tomorrow. You'd think that I'd learn my lesson already.... but Nooooooo, there are still a couple of things that I want; The Silk Dupioni Skirt in Bright Fuschia, and Champagne, The Stadium-Cloth Lucinda Coat in Navy, the Candy Tee in Blade, and the Dream Tie-Neck Cardigan in Spearmint are just a few things that I want and will be on the hunt for.

Anyway, have an awesome Thursday everyone. I won't be home until late but I will be sure to post my findings on Friday.

I AM FINALLY ON VACATION!!!!!


I have to apologize for being MIA for the last 2 days. But after two back to back 15 hour work days, I just didn't have it in me to get on the computer.

But NOW.... I AM ON VACATION! AND I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT, WHENEVER I WANT! Whoooooooo Hoooooooooo!!!!!

Do you have to put in hordes of extra time before you go on vacation? For as long as I can remember in my professional career, I have had to put in so much extra time before I leave on vacation and after I return to work. It feels like I'm being punished for going on vacation!

I remember an old boss I had, no doubt that she was an alcoholic and wasn't at work most days, but she always left early the day before her vacation. She never ever worked late. She got in late everyday, but never worked late. And she was never ever punished for going on vacation... nor did she ever put in a honest day's work, for that matter!!!

I, on the other hand, have always put in extra hours before I leave on vacation. Take Monday and Tuesday of this week, for instance, I worked until 9pm each night and was back in the office at 7am the next morning.
I'm whining. I'm sorry. It's feels like punishment, but really it's pride; pride in the work I do. So, I hate leaving on vacation without first tying up all lose ends and making sure that everything is taken care of so that there are no surprises for anyone during my absence. That's all!


Okay, enough about work already. VACATION! I AM ON VACATION!

So, here's what I have planned for the next couple of days:

Today:
Run Errands, Fake and Bake, Do boring house stuff like pick-up, cook dinner, etc.

Tomorrow:
Drive to J Crew (I've been waiting for this day for weeks now!!!)

Friday:
Fake and Bake, Pack for Cruise

Saturday:
Fake and Bake, Finish Packing, Fly to LA

Sunday:
Embark Cruise Ship for 7-day Mexican Riviera Cruise



So, this is what I will be wearing for the first evening on the cruise. Abstract Rose Strapless Dress, Lea Merino Cardigan in Bright Tangerine, 2 Bangles from J Crew, Necklace from BR, Seregenti Clutch and Bronze pumps by Nine West to show off my new Fake and Bake tan.


And here's what it looks like in real-life. I doubt that I will wear the dress without the cardigan. I don't particularly like the way my arms and shoulders look. I'm working on toning those parts. Don't you think it looks so much better with the cardigan on? I definitely intend to relax during the next couple of days before we head on our Cruise.

Do you have any Vacation plans for the next little while?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Dressing for Success



Isn't this top simply stunning? It's screaming, Buy Me! Take Me Home! Not only do I love the style, I also LOVE the print!

Not only does it look great with Jeans, it will also look awesome with trousers or a pencil skirt for the office (with either a cardigan or a jacket over it, that is). I personally think that it's somewhat too risque to wear on it's own to the office. I am from the school of thought that there's an appropriate place and time for everything. For work, a jacket or cardi over this would be perfect. After work, this blouse should be worn on its' own. Don't you agree?

Talking about risque wear, I cannot believe some of the stuff people wear in my office. If I didn't know any better, I'd thought that they were either going out for the evening or working the evening! It was a real eye-0pener for me when I first arrived at my current place of employment.

You see, I had originally come from a Japanese Auto Manufacturer who had a strict dress-code. That's probably where I had instilled in my head that Jeans were not appropriate for work. Then again, neither were Capris, Cropped Pants, ... actually any kind of pants that exposed the ankles, Cargo Pants, Tees of any kind, Halters, Cropped Tops (okay these 2 made perfect sense), Sandals, ... the list goes on and on and on. It was truly over the top!

Then I arrived here and it's like ANYTHING GOES. So, as you can imagine, I was completely appalled to see halter tops being worn without jackets, Camis (yes Camis worn alone), Bra Tops, Cropped Tops and worse yet, painted on Leggings with a short belly-baring top... on someone who really shouldn't be wearing Leggings or a belly-bearing top for that matter. OH MY GOSH! As you can imagine, it was like I'd died and gone to Fashion Hell!

I don't believe that companies should have dress codes. I think that everyone should be able to use some good judgement when it comes to dressing for the office. Why is it so difficult for some to disern appropriate from inappropriate????

So, for those who are somewhat unsure as to what's appropriate, here's a quick run down:
  • If your bra is visible, don't wear it.
  • If any part of your boob is showing, cover it up. Some cleavage is okay but there shouldn't be so much cleavage that others can actually see the front clasp of your bra.
  • Wear a cami under a see-through blouse. No one wants to see the color of your bra. It doesn't matter that your bra has DIAMANTES on them. No one wants to see them - except when you're on a stage.
  • Wear a cardigan, throw, jacket, etc over Halter Tops, Bra Tops, Camis and the like, particularly in the Winter. I do not believe for a moment that you're so warm-blooded that you're HOT all year round!
  • Painted-on Leggings should not be worn PERIOD! If you have a huge compulsion to wear such leggings, please wear it over something that hides your crotch since you've pulled your leggings up so high that it completely outlines your privates.
  • Skirts should cover your ass. If it shows any part of your trunk, it's not appropriate.
  • Check yourself out in the mirror before leaving the house. If you look like you'll be starring in an Adult Movie, Music Video or a combination of the two, wear something else.

Are there people in your life that dress inappropriately? Does it irk you like it does me?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Bouclé Tweed Short Scarf Coat



I was truly surprised to find that I really like the Bouclé Tweed Short Scarf Coat. That statement sounds really stupid, doesn't it? Why wouldn't I like it? I ordered it, didn't I?

You know what I mean.... You know, sometimes, you just have to buy something for the sake of being able to try it on. It's not like I can drive over to a J Crew store and try stuff on. The nearest J Crew store is over a 3 hour drive one way - it's not convenient, to say the least. Not only that, the J Crew store is located in a different country!

At this point, you're probably wondering, what the hell is wrong with the clothes in Canada? Why can't I shop here? You know why? It's because the clothes here are B O O O R I N G!!!!! Yes, the clothes in Canada are downright boring. If there are any Canadians reading this blog, I'm sorry, I don't mean to offend you. Let's just say that the clothes found here are just not to my taste.

That sounds so much better than BORING, doesn't it? So, whenever you see the word BORING, just substitute for the phrase "clothes found here are just not to her taste", and that way, I won't be offending you.

Going to a J Crew store requires a lot of planning on my part. Firstly, I have to make sure I have my passport. Can't go J Crew shopping without it, that's for sure. Then I have to make sure that my tire pressure's okay and that I have at least 3/4 tank of gas. And since it takes so freaking long to get there (in NON-RUSH HOUR TRAFFIC), yes, this is going to sound absolutely crazy, but I have to get up at 4am, in order to leave the house by 5am so that I may make my drive to the nearest J Crew Store. Did you know that I don't even get up at 4am on a regular work day???? Do you know what this means? It means that J Crew is more important than my job.

Oh My Gosh! Did I say that out loud?

For those who know me, J Crew is NOT more important than my job. I am just more passionate about J Crew than I am about my job. That sounds so much better, don't you think? But then again, some may think that I'm not passionate about my job. Oh... Whatever!

Did I tell you that the 3+ hour drive is pure driving time? It does not take into account the wait-time at the Border. For some reason, it doesn't matter what time I cross the border, there's always a ridiculous wait-time to cross. To prove how passionate I am about J Crew, I have waited up to 2 hours, yes 2 freaking hours, at the border alone. That one trip took me over 5 hours ONE WAY! Anyway, I digress.

Okay, what was the purpose of this post again?

Yes, the Bouclé Tweed Short Scarf Coat. I ordered this but I wasn't expecting to really, and I mean, REALLY, like it. I thought that it would be cute and if it fit, I may end up keeping it. And if you must know...there was another reason as well.

I can never resist a deal. Afterall, I did save $190 dollars by buying this coat. The coat was $350 and I only paid $160. That itself is reason alone to buy the coat.

But I hadn't expected to LOVE the coat and I do! It's a very pretty coat. The wool is not scratchy whatsoever. In fact, it's quite soft and plush. The fabric is exactly the same as the Boucle Astrid Flower Jacket. The coat is beautifully lined and has flap pockets in the front. The scarf is best worn thrown over each shoulder. I tried tying it in the front but it just doesn't look right ... particularly when the bulk of the tied-scarf is larger than my boobs. In short, I will be wearing the scarf thrown over each shoulder - just like its shown in the photo of me.

The one thing that I love most about this coat is the COLOR! The color is AMAZING! From that statement alone, you'd think that I don't own anything in the Bright Berry. I know that the Astrid Boucle Jacket is the same color but this coat here is a Coat and the other is a Jacket. There's a huge difference! And while there may be other jackets available in a similar color, I know that there won't be another COAT in the same color. This coat is very special and I LOVE it! Since the clothes available in Canada is BORING, this coat will certainly stand-out.

With respect to sizing, I stand corrected on my previous post on J Crew Aficionada. Having now had the opportunity to try on both the P6 and the P4, I can truly say that this coat fits TTS. While I can wear the P4, I've found that the P6 allows me to function daily in addition to looking great. The P4 just didn't give me enough room to be comfortable say... driving my car? And since getting to J Crew is very important, I decided to keep the P6 instead. So, yes, this coat fits TTS.
What do you think of the Bouclé Tweed Short Scarf Coat? Do you like it as much as I do?

Friday, January 2, 2009

I wore Jeans to work today AGAIN!!!

My outfit today - Jan 2, 2009
Tartine Cardigan in Heather Mushroom - Size Small
High Heel Flare Denim in a Dark Wash - Size 28
Wood-Bead Fireball Necklace
Crystal Dot Enamel Bangle
Peacoat with Themore in Dark Poppy - Size Petite Small
All the above are from J Crew
It's Okay, I'm with the Band Tank - by Matilda Jane - Size M
Knee High Chocolate Boots - Franco Sarto
Shoulder Bag - Coach


I guess this isn't mind-blowing for other people but it's a huge deal for me. You see, I NEVER wear Jeans to work .... well, except for Jeans Day - in support for United Way, that is. Other than that, I never wear jeans. Per my previous Director, it's just not cool for Managers to wear Jeans - I should have known better - because he never worn Jeans even on Jeans Day.

Then on New Year's Eve, my VP showed up in my office in Jeans. Okay, I was wearing jeans that day too (only because it was a half day and I knew that I wasn't going to be attending any meetings - and I also had a pair of black dress pants hanging behind the door in my office, just in case there was a last minute meeting called - but I digress.) Anyway, I paired my 5 pocket Dark Wash J Crew Bootcut Denim with my Candy Tee in Champagne, Herringbone Ecole Jacket in Bright Rhubarb and pretty accessories. I don't think he noticed... well, neither did my staff for that matter.

Since I report directly to the VP now and since he's wearing Jeans, I guess I'm wearing Jeans as well. Hey, this is a huge step for me. In my entire professional career, I've never worn Jeans to work except on Jeans Day. Since I knew that hardly anyone would be in the office today, I decided to wear Jeans again!

No jacket today. In fact, I sorta paired down. I think I was a little too casual. But oh well. The day's over and I'm sitting at home in my sweats writing this post... so who really gives a hoot at this point, right?

But I still feel the need to share what I wore today. I thought it was very cute and I quite like it in fact. So here's my outfit. High-Heel Flares in a Dark Wash, Tartine Cardigan in Heather Mushroom, "It's Okay, I'm with the Band" Graphic Tank in chocolate from Matilda Jane (I LOVE this tank by the way - both my daughter and I have the same matching tank!!!), Wood-Bead Fireball Necklace, Crystal Enamel Bangle, Chocolate Brown Knee High Boots by Franco Sarto, Coach Shoulder Bag with Chocolate Brown Trim and Peacoat with Thermore in Dark Poppy. I would have taken a picture but my camera ran out of juice so I guess the Polyvore will just have to do for now.


Yes, this is a picture of the "It's Okay, I'm with the Band" Tank on a little girl. No, I didn't run out and buy children's clothing to wear. Yes, Matilda Jane designs primarily for children but they do make a line for Adults and I love having "matchy-matchy" mother-daughter clothing (provided that it looks hip and cool on both of us!) and yes, this "It's Okay, I'm with the Band" comes in Adult Size and I LOVE it!!!

So Yes, I wore Jeans to work today. That's twice this week!!! Sadly, I don't know when I'll be wearing Jeans to work again. Maybe the Thursday before Good Friday? Sigh! That's such a long ways away!!!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Bright Berry Astrid Boucle "Not So Floppy" Flower Jacket


First off, HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!!! I wish that everything you desire comes true for you this year!!!


Now that I've gotten that out of the way, I have to share what I did on New Year's Eve. I arrived home on New Year's Eve to a package from J Crew. Like with any addiction, with my heart's thumping rapidly in my chest, I rip open the package to find the Astrid Boucle Jacket - you know, the one with the floppy flower. I grabbed a pair of scissors and slit open the bag, pulled the jacket out, ripped open the tissue that was covering the flower. Normally, by this time, I would have gotten my instant high, but as soon as I laid eyes on the flower, my heart sank.


I am an optimist. YES, I AM! I have blue skies, white puffy clouds, and beautiful warm sunshine in my rose-colored world. I live my life with the "just because it didn't work out for someone else, doesn't mean that it won't work out for me" attitude. And when I saw that droopy, sad, imancipated, almost dying, it needs love and water, silk flower lying like a limp "you know what" in my hand, I knew that I had to "make it work". This sad flower was not going to remain a sad flower. I knew that I had it in me to make it bloom, .... to make it look like the flower that it was portrayed to be in the beautiful, glossy J Crew catalog.


But first things first! I had to make sure that the jacket looked good on. Having read a few posts about the sizing on the jacket, I decided to size down when I purchased it. I normally wear a size 4 and ended up purchasing a size 2. And with most of my online purchases, I then spent the next 2 weeks fretting if the 2 was going to fit. Would it be too small? What if it's too tight in the waist? What if I can stretch out my arms and steer my car? What if I can't breathe in it? What if the armholes dig into the pit of my arms? ARGH! As you can see, I'm slightly irrational in addition to be obsessive when it comes to online purchases. Too bad that my purchases can't simply show up immediately as opposed to weeks after the fact. Naturally, I keep my irrational thoughts to myself. I honestly think that my Husband would leave me if he knows how insane I really am. But I digress.




The size 2 is the perfect size. As you can see in the pictures, the fit is awesome. This jacket is supposed to be a classic-fit, but by sizing down, I was able to get it to be a little more fitted but still with room to spare. The sleeves fall past my wrist (I'm quite tired of the bracelet sleeves - they appear like my jackets shrunk at the Cleaners), the waist hook and eye closure hits at my natural waist (which I really like since it makes my waist look smaller that it really is) and the color, Oh My Gosh! the color is truly AMAZING! I absolutely LOVE the Bright Berry. The color looks rather garish on the J Crew website but in real-life, the color is fabulous. It's a rich, highly saturated shade of pink. I love it!!! Okay... with the exception of the sad, droopy flower, that is. But I can fix that. I know I can!


So, right after nice home-made Italian dinner with my husband and our daughter, (of which my husband made while I was trying on my Droopy Flower Jacket and working out), I started my mission - that is, to revive my droopy flower.


I removed the flower from the jacket. The flower is attached to the jacket via a small pin with a safety clasp. The pin is actually sitting on top of a little mount. I removed the pin from the flower but snipping the threads that attached the pin to the flower. I then restitched the opening where the pin was placed originally.



Then with the pin in my hand, I had to go back and use some of that Grade 3 Science I had leant from many years back. To "prop" the flower, I had to minimize the amount of force (or in this case, gravity) exerted on the flower. I first moved the pin to the side of the mount. By moving the pin off the mount and close to the pivot, I was in essence, shifting the load, thus lifting the top of the flower and since the force (gravity in this case) was minimized, the flower was better balanced.




Once done, I started ironing the petals of the flower (since they were flattened upon arrival). The petals seemed to revive themselves during the ironing. The flower was then turned over, shakened by hand to fluff it up a bit. Once I liked how the petals curled and fell in place, I held the iron over the flower and lightly steamed the petals in place. VIOLA! My flower now looks just like the one in the J Crew Catalog. It's a plump, lushious, beautiful pink flower. It's like my sad little flower went through an Extreme Makeover and came out looking amazing!


Yes, your flower will require a little love when it arrives but at the current price of $59.99, this jacket is sooooo worth it. I am now tempted to get it in the Golden Avacado as well!


What do you think of the Golden Avacado? Should I get it?