Friday, September 23, 2016

Shopping: Enamel Pins

 I've come across some charming, witty, and/or subversive enamel pins lately.

This the pin that started it all. I saw this while Pinteresting "pink and red" outfit inspo.

via Bando

Went down the rabbit hole of Etsy...

via Etsy


via Etsy


via Nordstrom





Jenny, this one's for you.

First We Eat


First we eat, then we do everything else.
M.F.K. Fisher


This week in food.


Josie loves ribs, dip, and ribs with dip.



And kisses.




My parents brought over a feast from Dierbergs and we had a little dinner party.

The next day Luke and the girls picked me up after work and we went to 5 Star Burgers for a bunless burger and caramel whiskey milkshake. Spoiler alert: It was delicious.




Eating their little $1 cones. EPIPHANY: Josie should be Iris Apfel for Halloween.


She wanted to dip her cone in that hollandaise.





Indian Friday! Chickens korma and vindaloo and saag paneer. Garlic naan and buttered naan and zzzzzzzz

This week I've been back on the morning bulletproof coffee wagon, listening to my audiobook (Underground Airlines), making a list of weekend to-dos*, and daydreaming about a short trip.

*work out with personal trainer
*maybe yoga after
*jeweler for more necklace recon
*finish the novel I've been reading for ages
*work
*art festival




Thursday, September 22, 2016

Marshmallows and Smoovies


A weekend recap:

Josie brought her real strong accessories game to our reunion play date!





Molly and John were in town so the STL contingent of our residency class got together to meet each other's babies, including twins! (Sorry we took the photo after you left, Ann!) Ten years since I met this crew! Astonishing.




Afterward, my mom came over to watch the girls while they napped and I went in to work for a bit. We went to Nordstrom for shopping and dinner. Mom and I both had a return and I was hoping to price match a sweater (Nordstrom now sells some J. Crew).

 Clementine from the stroller: Mommy, her bangs are too long!



The girls had a meltdown leaving the store... C screaming about pushing the button for the elevator while in Nordstrom and then, in the parking lot, I WANNA GO BACK TO NORDSTROM! I WANNA GO BACK TO NORDSTROM!

All was well a couple of hours later when I asked her about the day:





The rest of this week she's been so delightful and charming and funny. This morning we stopped for doughnuts at 6:40 am and I told the girls they could eat them in the car -- C said no, I want to eat mine at school. And she held the little bag on her lap and carried it in and ate it at the little table with the little chairs. She created and passed her own marshmallow test!

Speaking of marshmallows...

On Saturday night, C read me the booklet included in my most recent ThredUp purchase. She's been talking about marshmallows a lot. Smoovies are the Panera smoothies she and Josie get to have at grandma's house. The girls spent Friday there because I worked Saturday. Jenny came over for some takeout, shopping of my closet, and Rent the Runway perusing (weddings coming up!)





Now we've had a great week with Luke and the band in town, Indian Friday is right around the corner, I've made a list of weekend errands I'm actually excited to tackle, and the Strange Folk Festival is in Lafayette Square! Have a great one, folks!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

What's Making Me Happy This Week


A couple of weeks rolled in here...


// Meeting up with Marcella at the event she and her boyfriend started, Vintage Bike Night!

Josie's selfie duck face is really coming along.





// Chicken 65 at Anis. Like caprese salad or Justin's white chocolate peanut butter cups, I wish I could eat it everyday!

// The hospital catering's ingenious addition of potato chips to salads in lieu of croutons. So far I've had romaine with Cheetos and green leaf with Ruffles. Obviously delicious.

// Getting my hair colored at 7 am and straightened at 7:30 pm on the same day at the same salon right by my house! 

// While the dye was setting and I was happily engrossed in the September InStyle, Luke surprised me at the salon because he was getting coffee next door. Two part happy:
   1) I was really touched that he would stop by to say hello.
   2) He gave me a sip of his coffee -- bourbon pecan flavor with a dash healthy glug of cream. Delicious!

// Lucas Jack at Off Broadway! Plus this great little article on KDHX.org was published.




Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Shopping: MM. LaFleur


Have you seen the MM LaFleur Facebook ads? That's how I learned about this company -- curated capsule wardrobes and career clothes. Delivered right to you! I ordered a Bento box with great interest and low expectations ... trying garments on is definitely the best way. I don't have a go-to boutique in STL and a trip to the mall is not how I want to spend the two pre-nap and two post-nap blocks of time I have on the weekend (if I have them at all).

While we watched tv one night, I entered my information for the Bento and answered a series of questions and filled in the comment section. I think I entered "no jewelry, looking for staples, has to be conservative" etc. The Bento is chosen for you. Ah, the fun of surprises. (Generally I hate surprises but surprises with free returns are ok).

Today, my box arrived. Relive it with me.

Heavy, well-packed box. Zero damage. Carefully taped. (These women have airtight branding, down to the packaging).


Grownup grrrrrl power message.


Inside the envelope:

Invoice and comment card.



Preprinted return label.


Inside the small box to the right of the packing slip: a plaid scarf. More like a shawl. Cream with little bitty silver threads and fringe. Very pretty but I have no need for a scarf - I have about 12 beautiful silk ones, unworn these five years.


Plastic bag of garments.



First garment: Etsuko dress. Stretchy three quarter length sleeve number with a skinny belt and pockets.

Luke wasn't around so I had to improvise these pics starring our freshly cleaned sink, a waterlogged Beautyblender, the necklace holder my dad made, and an almost empty roll of toilet paper. I do it for you, friends, I do it for you.

Assuming the anatomic position.


No bueno. This dress makes my torso into a case study of how to describe concavity versus convexity.



TOO SHORT. I want to be able to raise my arms at work and not have my skirt ride up to my upper thighs. This might be a good place to mention that wearing camouflage and combat boots for five years makes other clothes seem FRIVOLOUS and RIDICULOUS and IMPRACTICAL.


Dress No. 2: Again, too body-con.


At this point I thought, I need to try this on with special underwear but then I remembered that violates my rule of buying things that require any sort of special underwear; I never wear things that I already own that require strapless this, Spanx that...


IDONTTHINKYOUREADYFORTHISJELLYIDONTTHINKYOUREADYFORTHISJELLY


Garments 3 and 4: Pleated pants and stretchy tee.

I'm thisclose to saying goodbye to work pants forever (hate them) and these pants got me that much closer.



I do love a stretchy tee however. This one is wonderfully soft and smooth. (My sister Elise cracked me up when she asked me how many clouds I gave my sweatshirt-sweatpant combo when she was visiting a couple of weeks ago -- Soft Surroundings rates every garment in its catalog on softness with a number of clouds.)

I give this tee two clouds for softness but deduct strongly for the pulling across the boobs. No good.




Gave it a try with a skirt I can't find anything to go with. Still no.


Last garment: a jacket-cardigan. I didn't try this on. Not my jam.


But what is my jam? Dressing for work is hard work and it shouldn't be! I've been thinking a lot about what I like to wear, what I feel comfortable and professional and confident and like-myself in. I'm curating a new part of my closet now that I am excited about. Updates to follow! Workwear is pretty fascinating to me and I've been thinking for over a year about starting a blog on the topic... not sure if it will be a separate thing or just an occasional post here. I have a lot to say!

But what about MM LaFleur?

Pros: Free shipping (over $100), free returns; many items are made in the USA; a woman-led company; a consistent and cohesive wardrobe if their stuff worked for you; high quality (assumption on price and initial impression)

Cons: Doesn't work for this particular cuerpo; not my personal style or the style of dress in my workplace.

Anybody have any luck with a capsule wardrobe or mindful shopping a la Un-fancy (who maybe only dresses to go to get coffee? No workwear) or the Curated Closet (I pre-ordered her book today)?

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Birthday Weekend



Luke's birthday weekend kicked off with our new tradition of Indian Friday -- delectable takeout from the place around the corner. Luke placed our order and while it was being made we picked up food for the weekend at Dierbergs. Luke's parents arrived that evening from Michigan for a birthday visit.

Breakfast at Le Bonne Bouchee.


Close-up of Josie relishing that roll. Notice anything else funny in this photo? (Answer below).



The girls zipped around the front of the restaurant describing the cookies and cakes. They picked out a cow and a horse sugar cookie.




To the Loop for a stroll and some record shopping.



While the girls napped, Pat and I conducted reconnaissance at a nearby jeweler - I want to design a necklace with Luke and the girls' initials that I will wear everyday. Something kind of like this? In the meantime I'll be wearing this.

Laumeier Sculpture Park with glorious weather.



























Pretending to eat grass.




This eyeball... shudder.









Dierbergs dinner at home (pulled pork-and-sweet peppers quesadilla) and a Silky's run for dessert.

The next morning we walked to the Olive Street Cafe.





We had a great, low key visit with Pat and John. After brunch Josie and I went to Nordstrom and Macy's to make some returns / eat some Annie's cheddar bunnies - sip a mocha banana ice storm with a shot of espresso / begin the process of finding a decent bra. As happens every couple of years, everything in my underwear drawer has become ill-fitting and turned greige. I decided I hated underwires last year and in some ways that makes shopping very easy, because almost all bras have them. I thought I've written about this before and by searching my blog, it turns out I have, right down to the ice storm. Consistency. Anyway, I ended up buying a bra with an underwire because guess what WIRELESS BRAS DON'T DO THE JOB OF A BRA. Riveting stuff, I know.

In other news I've discovered eBay about 17 years after everyone else and when the UPS dust settles I'll share my finds.

Whew, you made it! The other funny thing about Josie's photo is the doorstop she brought with her. ("BROKE!" she said.)
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