Saturday, March 31, 2012

Citrus-y.

     I'm trying to get used to this color-blocking thing. So you may see it quite a bit over the next little while. Some might find that color-blocking might be too much for work, but with the appropriate colors (avoid neon), it can be done without looking OTT. You can always anchor it down with a neutral colored blazer or equivalent cover-up to make it not so "in your face". Otherwise, if you're still not comfortable with it, one bold color at a time (for example, bold colored skirt or blouse) while keeping the rest of the outfit neutral is definitely OK.


Blouse: DV by Dolce Vita Camp Shirt (Orange, XS).
Necklace: Forever21.
Bracelet: Express.
Ring: Forever21.
Shoes: Boutique9 Thomsina (Light Natural, size 6).


    I have every intention of letting out the hem of this skirt about an inch and a half, but it seems like such an intimidating task since the hem seems to be pretty locked down and my sewing skills aren't fully developed. I'm afraid that when I try to put it back together it's going to look a bit messy when I'm done. I'll have to work up the courage before making an attempt.


    A few more words about this J.Crew double-serge cotton skirt building on my initial review here, since it was a big discussion on twitter a few weeks ago. Now I have a few months experience with it, I do have some new thoughts about it. A few petites didn't like how it was "stiff" out of the bag. The material is thick, but I wouldn't say it's stiff. It somewhat softens up with some wear. Also, because it is 100% cotton, it tends to wrinkle. This may bother a lot of people. But I think I love the color so much, I'm willing to overlook it. LOL.  It does wrinkle though, some of it falls out on it's own, but deeper wrinkles need to be pressed out. And this skirt will definitely test your pressing skills. The skirt says to dry clean, but you can throw it in a mesh bag into the washer and then hang dry. But again, this will test your pressing skills, especially if you are trying to get a perfectly wrinkle-free skirt. I would say that it's probably worth dry-cleaning every so often just get everything pressed out and wrinkle-free, but it's certainly not necessary. Also, when you wear tights with this skirt, it will tend to "stick", and thus, ride up as you walk. Sounds kind of annoying? Yes. But it's nothing a slip shouldn't be able to fix. After saying all that, yes, I still love this skirt. 


     Camp shirt and skirt recycled here:



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Friday, March 30, 2012

Shabby Apple Giveaway Winner!

And the winner is....

.....Lisa Chen Ng!

   Lisa, please contact me within 48 hours to claim your prize! Thanks to everyone who entered!


                                                                                                               xCher

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Still jiggling.




Cardan: Jacob Boyfriend Cardigan (Navy, size XS).
Trousers: Theory Gratilla S Trousers in Legal (Black/White Houndstooth Fabric, size 00).
Blouse: T. by Babaton by Aritzia Collette Silk Georgette Blouse (Whitecap Grey, size XS).
Watch: Michael Kors Runway Watch (Silver).
Shoes: LAUREN by Ralph Lauren Zabrina Pumps (Black, size 6).
Belt: Banana Republic Factory Leather Skinny Belt (Black, size S).


     These pants are my latest score from TJ Maxx. I almost didn't take them home with me because for some reason when I'm in the fitting room, my thighs always look twice the size they actually are. Luckily, I decided to purchase them anyway and examine them in my own mirror. I adore them in every way, except for maybe, the extra bunching at the knees which I didn't think was so noticeable until now. =/ 


   Last week I talked about things "jiggling" in my life. Well, they're still jiggling...barely. Looks like I'm going to have to continue to try and be patient but my patience has long run out and the idea of being forced to continue to be persevering makes me feel completely uninspired. To be honest, I'm just TIRED. So trying to get into a blogging groove has been pretty difficult. I'm trying though, bear with me.

   What do you do to shake things up when things are dragging?


   Very similar variations of the same outfit here:





   Winner for my Shabby Apple Giveaway will be announced tomorrow! Check back to see if you won! :D

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Stumped.

    Club Monaco is one my favorite brands. I love the materials they use, the cuts of the clothing, and the quality is usually very good. The color palette is generally very neutral, but not in a boring way (ahem, Banana Republic!). It is also just a bit out of my price range for my current flow of income which is why you don't see me wearing very often. I do plenty of looking in-store, but buying? Not so much. If you have a student card, you qualify for an extra 20% off non-promotional items which helps a little bit. They also have some decent sales, but, sales in Canada are actually much better than the are in the US. Go figure. 


    One of the best news I've heard in the while? CM is online! It's unofficial, but you can check out the new site here. The best part? Free shipping and free returns (US only)! Woot! The website says it is only for a limited time, so take advantage of this now (you will also get a free shipping code if you sign up for their emails).  Otherwise shipping appears to be rather reasonable, $5 for the slowest shipping option (7-10 business days), but free for orders over $175. There is also the option of returning to the a B&M store if you have one near you. Also, student discounts are applicable online if you sign up with a valid student email address!


   There is a larger purpose to all this Club Monaco jibber jabber, of course. I've had a few CM gift cards burning a hole in my wallet for months, so when I went home to T.O. this past weekend I made it a point to head to Club Monaco to see if I could spend these gift cards. First day was a fail, but the second day was a success! I try to stretch my gift cards as much as I can by buying things that are on sale and trying to purchase as many pieces as I can with them, but I also see them as an opportunity to buy things I couldn't normally afford so I give myself a little extra leeway as to price since I'm not actually paying for it right out of my own pocket. Plus, smaller pant sizes tend to sell the quickest, likely because they only seem to carry one of each size and Toronto has a significant Asian population (i.e. lots of smaller-framed people). 00 rarely makes it to the sale rack.


   If you've never shopped at CM before, the brand runs on the smaller side compared to other typical American mall brands such as GAP and Banana Republic. CM items are generally cut for a boy-ish frame, so curvier girls may have a little trouble finding things that are flattering. They do not carry petites, however, so even though they are cut slimmer, they still tend to run long. The smallest size on top is XS and I can generally wear them very well although I have pretty substantial back and shoulders. Sometimes I find that some of their silk tops are a little too wide in the waist.


     For bottoms I can usually wear the 00, which is their smallest size. They seem to have gotten just a tiny bit smaller over the last few years, so where they used to be a smidge large around my hips, they fit much more snuggly. If you are smaller than I am, you are going to have a more difficult time finding bottoms, however, as I will show in a second, not all is lost. Some bottoms are actually cut very small and so they are certainly worth a look.


   I picked up two items, this Alesia Silk Blouse in Almond (size XS) and the Liz Mid-Rise Flare Pant in Dune/Khaki (size 0):




   I love the back of this blouse. It has a longer hem in the back with a large pleat at the neckline allowing for a bit of extra drape and volume. The pants still need a bit of hemming (I'm wearing 4" wedges), but I haven't decided on a length yet so it's as is for now. Initally, I wasn't really interested in these pants, but I pulled them into the fitting room at the last minute and when I put them on I was in love. I first tried the 00 and they were *PAINTED* on. I could button up and zip them, but they were just too tight. They are made of 97% cotton and 3% spandex and I knew that it would stretch a bit with some wear, but if I wanted to be able to eat while wearing these pants, I would have to go up a size. The size 0 fits much better although probably a bit looser than I'd like after some wear, but they are much more comfortable. 


     The material is a cross between denim and twill. Not quite as heavy as denim, but a little heavier than twill. I just love the color (they also come in navy). This cut of pant also comes in a shinier, cotton material with besom (welt) pockets which are much more appropriate for a conservative office place, and they come in four or five colors. I opted for the denim/twill just because I'm not really a fan of the shiny cotton material. Regular price for the pants is $145CA, and for the blouse which is 100% silk, $119.50. the US and Canadian prices are the same. You can pick up both here and here. I tried on a lot of stuff in store, and not that ClubMonaco.com is now online, I kind of regret not taking some fitting room photos. Sorry. A few things I do recommend are the Renay cropped pant:






It comes in five colors, but the inseam is 25" so it was a little short for me, but otherwise the fit was pretty fabulous. It's apparently one of the favorite pants of all the female sales associates. For shorts, the Marianna Solid City Short:



   It comes in three colors and also fits fabulously. I've been looking for a silk or flowy-type short, so that's why I passed on these. Also a favorite of the sales associates. And for tops, I came *very* close to purchasing this Amanda sweater:



   With free shipping and free returns, ClubMonaco.com is definitely worth a try if it's within your price range.


    Here's the dilemma: I have no idea what shoe to wear with my new Liz pants. I've always wanted a pair of bottoms in a dark khaki color, but the issue? If I wanted to wear these to the office in the warmer weather, what shoes do I wear ?? I usually don't have a problem styling pieces, but I think this time I am actually stumped. 


    The criteria:
  • It definitely needs to have a heel to maintain the "70s' look" of the flare. 
  • I would like a work-appropriate shoe--closed-toe, although, I would consider a peep-toe (personally, I'm not a fan of sandals or anything with a large open toe at the office). 
  • A wedge would probably look best with these although, I'm open to something with a thicker heel, but not too high, as I commute to work on the Metro, so 3.5" with a small platform or lower would be ideal. 
  • And they most likely need some sort of strap unless the shoe has a particularly narrow heel to accommodate my difficult feet. 
  • The color? No idea. Nude or beige seems a bit...bland? So I'm thinking either a darker brown or a pop of color. I have a deep red peep toe wedge that seems to work, but I am open to other suggestions. 
      Do you ladies have any ideas about what kind of "summery" work-appropriate shoe would work with my new pants?



      P.S. Draw for my Shabby Apple giveaway ends tomorrow! Be sure to enter! :D


   

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Review: MICHAEL by Michael Kors Flex Mid Pump


    It's been a while since you've seen reviews and some Fitting Room Finds. As a result of my Five-item Challenge, I've found that it has caused my spending to go waaaayy down. I've found that I have become *very* picky (and I have always been pretty selective with my purchases). I thought I was actually going to make it through the entire challenge on only four items, BUT...the tip of my LAUREN by Ralph Lauren Amaya Pumps were basically scraped down to the leather after my trip to NYC so I needed to remove the old tip and put in a new one. After reading everywhere online about how "easy" it was to replace the tip on my own, I tried to do it myself. 


    Yea, no. 


     I ended up destroying the heel of one of my favorite pumps. :( If you've been following my blog for a while, you know how difficult it is for my to find pumps that don't slip off my super narrow heels so I was not happy about what had happened. 


    After finally getting over my loss, I decided that I was going to try and replace the pumps, but not include it in my Challenge since it is actually going to be a replacement and not a "new" purchase. As a start to my hunt, I purchased a pair of LAUREN by Ralph Lauren Amelie Pumps that are seemingly the exact same pair as my old LAUREN by Ralph Lauren Amaya pumps but with a different name, and also these Michael Kors pumps:



    My original pumps are about 3.5" high, and these Flex Mid pumps are 3" measured from the back of the heel to the ground. I didn't realize that the heel was a bit shorter until I put them on, but they are much easier to walk in despite only half an inch difference in height. I could run in these if I had to (not a marathon, of course) and could probably commute to work on the Metro without too much trouble. They are by no means a "sexy" pointy-toe pump; they are pretty conservative--as in, I would not wear these out clubbing or a date night--but they still have some substantial height yet, they are still comfortable for walking around in the office all day. There is lots of padding in the inside and the upper is made of leather. One thing I'm not crazy about is the outer sole which is a combination of plastic and rubber with "MK" all over it:




    But who is going to see it right? 


    And surprisingly,  these also don't slip off my heels! Well, at least on my larger foot. My smaller foot requires a ball of foot bad and a heel grip, but that's pretty typical for me.  They fit a bit narrow, so if you have a wider foot, you might feel like these pinch a bit.    Size-wise they are TTS. I took my regular size 6 and they fit perfectly after wearing them for few minutes to let them mold to my foot. If you are interested in these I would go with your regular pump size, unless you have wider foot, then you might want to consider going up half a size. They show just a bit of toe cleavage but I don't have particularly long toes (they're not short either). The leather is decent. It's a little crinkley-looking as you can see in the photos above. I wish the leather was much smoother, but I think what you get is reasonable if you are able to find these marked down (regular price is $98).




    As I mentioned, what I had really intended was to replace my old heels so not to include it in my challenge, but these being a slightly different and still wanting to replace my original 3.5" heels, I think I may have to keep these as an alternative for the office and make it my fifth item. I was hoping that my fifth item was going to be something more fun, but it's a practical choice, so I think I'll just have to suck it up. Being practical takes the fun out of things, doesn't it?


    Do you have any recommendations for a basic pointy-toe black pump (with not too long of a point) that you think I should try out? No price range as I'm still trying to decide if I want just a good basic pump around the $100-$150 range or to invest in something more expensive.


   P.S. Don't forget to enter my giveaway sponsored by Shabby Apple!

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Monday, March 19, 2012

black/white.

    I'm finally getting over my annual bout with bronchitis and after a very rough two weeks of heavy work hours, I suddenly find myself with some time off. This will finally give me a chance to try and catch up on my blogging. Camera is working again, so now I just have to find myself a little groove. And luckily, the weather is definitely cooperating. It still baffles me that D.C. pretty much does away with spring and jumps right into summer temps. The fact that it has come so early this year has me in fear of what is to come this summer season.


Blouse: H&M sheer cross-over blouse (black/white houndstooth print, size XS).
Skirt: Banana Republic Lightweight Wool Pencil Skirt (Black, size, 00).
Shoes: RALPH by Ralph Lauren Zabrina Pump (Black, size 6).
Clutch: Botkier Charlotte Clutch (Black).
Belt: Viktor Sabo Leather Obi Belt (Black, size O/S).
Necklace: Forever21.

      I totally forgot to put on a bracelet and a ring, which is typical of me in the mornings. 


        I'm in desperate of some good vibes/prayers/good luck charms this week. I previously spoke about things in my career starting to feel like it's moving, so this week is the week of truth. I don't think it's going to turn out exactly the way I had hoped, but I'm hoping for something rather than nothing without getting my hopes up too high (or up at all). So this could turn out to be a very good week, just so-so, or an absolutely terrible week. I'm hoping more for the first and not so much the latter.


       Don't forget to enter my giveaway with Shabby Apple!

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Shabby Apple Giveaway!

    Yes, that's right. A giveaway. The second this month. Shabby Apple has been kind enough to sponsor this great giveaway to one of my readers. Shabby Apple specializes in vintage-inspired clothing, accessories, and various arts & crafts. I don't generally incorporate vintage-inspired clothing into my own personal wardrobe, but Shabby Apple has some extremely gorgeous pieces that I actually would wear and I know that some of my readers would love. Also, even though I don't usually do vintage clothing, I've never been one to turn away vintage-inspired jewelry! So when Shabby Apple offered to sponsor this giveaway, I jumped at the chance. The item up for grabs is this very cute skeleton key necklace, named Key to Wonderland:




    Hand-picked by me, the pendant is approximately 2" in height and the chain is 24" in length--perfect for layering with some shorter necklaces!


     The only mandatory entry is that you must follow Shabby Apple on Facebook. Other optional, bonus entries are following Shabby Apple on Twitter, following their blog, and leaving a comment picking out your favorite item their website. I apologize *profusely*, but this giveaway is only open to U.S. residents (again). I know, I know, as a Canadian, I share your disappointment. I'm hoping in the near future that this will change. 


   The deadline for entering is March 27th at 11:59pm EST and the winner will be announced on March 30th. She (or he?) will have 48 hours to claim their prize or a new winner will be drawn. To enter, please follow the instructions below! Good luck!! (P.S. This is the first time I'm using Rafflecopter, so if you have trouble with it, please let me know!)




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Friday, March 16, 2012

AFD + sneekpeeq Winner!


         ....is Amy H.! Thank you, Amy! Your $25 prize will be deposited into your account by sneekpeeq! Have fun!


            
                                                                                                                                            xCher


         Stay tuned! Another giveaway coming soon! :D

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Endless.com F&F

    Once again, Endless.com is having an F&F sale: 20% a minimum purchase of $100 using the code FRNDSFAM (Some restrictions apply).




    Bigcrumbs no longer has cashback on Endless, but you can get 10% cashback from Mr. Rebates. If you don't have an account already, you can use my referral link: here.


    P.S. Things are starting to get a bit back to normal, so I tried taking some blog photos today....and the battery in my remote died (at least I hope it's the battery in the remote). So the blog is still EOTD-less until I replace it, hopefully only a few days.  But don't forget to enter my sneeqpeeq giveaway! Automatic 20% off for entering and a chance to win a $25 gift card. Ends tomorrow!

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

AFD + sneakpeeq Giveaway!

     I am currently in no condition to be blogging right now. I am in the middle of a 77 hour work week (the first of at least two) and I'm still fighting this bout with bronchitis with no day off in sight. However, I am much too excited about my upcoming giveaways to put them on the back burner.




     If you've never heard of sneakpeeq, this is what it is: sneakpeeq is a social buying site that lets its users check out the merchandise before taking a peak at the price tag, similar to what you would do in a store. They sell food, fashion items, and home products. The site lets you flip around a tag on an item and then shares the price with you and your friends on Facebook on your Timeline. So when someone uses the “peeq” action item to check out a price on sneakpeeq, it will show up in the Facebook ticker as well as the newsfeed. If someone comes along and “loves” an item that they see either on the sneakpeeq site or on someone’s feed, that will also show up on the ticker. I've been discovering this app myself on Facebook, and I'm really starting to enjoy it so I'm really excited to be able to offer this to all my readers!

     This is a special giveaway because everybody wins! sneakpeeq is giving away 20% off your next purchase just for entering, 




plus a chance at the Grand Prize: 




    One winner will receive a $25 gift card to use on your favorite food, style, and home products on sneakpeeq's already discounted products (trust me, $25 will go a long way)! Also, sneakpeeq only has New Products that you have never seen before so it's always interesting to take a peeq!

     Enter the giveaway by clicking on the link below and joining sneakpeeq!  The winner will be announced on my blog on March 16, 2012!  

     The rules:

(1) To enter, you *MUST* click the link below. No ifs, ands, or buts. If the the link isn't clicked through, you will not be eligible for the 20% off or to win the grand prize.
(2) Only new sneakpeeq users can enter the giveaway. This means that only new sneakpeeq users will receive the 20% off when you click that link.
(3) sneakpeeq site is currently limited to the U.S., and therefore I have to limit the giveaway to the U.S.  Sorry :(
(4) Giveaway closes on March 14th, and winner will be announced on March 16th! Please check back to see if you've won!


     Here's the link (clicking on the image will get you there too), and remember, you must click through it to enter the giveaway:








     

    Here are a few of cool things I'm loving on sneekpeeq right now:


Bokeh Masters Kit by DIY Photography

Holistic Choc O Lot by Kookie Karma






    Good luck and have fun! :D

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