Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 WRAP UP

I thought it might be an interesting exercise to look back at 2013 in terms of fashion.  What worked and what did not?  Which stores hit it out of the ballpark and who never left the gate?   Fave new hair and beauty products?

In the past year several new trends have caught my eye.  Faux fur is everywhere :
Plaid shirts are so versatile, wear the alone in a half tuck with jeans or tuck one into a skirt layered with a jacket or sweater.  

Another favorite trend for me has been daytime sparkle whether its in a necklace,  a shirt or even better, both:

It goes without saying Anthropologie again won my heart as well as my pocketbook this past year.  Other stores that I think did a nice job balancing fashion trends with affordability and wearable style would be JCrew and Zara.  Continuing to disappoint me are Macys (DO NOT even get me started on the topic of Macys and my extreme dislike for them), Gap and Banana Republic.  It used to be one could count on Gap and BR for  quality wardrobe basics ( both these stores are owned by the same parent company that also owns Piper Lime, Althea, Old Navy and Terrain).  I now am more shocked to find something I like and want to purchase at their stores than disappointed that they are barely even on my shopping radar anymore. 

Finally some of my favorite makeup and hair products have been, in no particular order:
OPI Tickle my Francy nail polish
Bobbi Brown long wear eyeliner pencil
Tarte self tanner
MAC lipstick in Twig
Jonathan Dirt Texturizing Paste
Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder
Rimmel Fix and Perfect Primer

I would love to know about your hits and misses this year in fashion, beauty as well as any other categories you are willing to share with all of us in the comment section below.



Friday, December 20, 2013


Do I need this???  I think I might, especially if Zara continues to reduce the price.  You might be asking yourself where one would wear a faux fur leopard wrap??  EVERYWHERE
 My favorite Christmas CD:

I just ordered this to wear on New Years Eve over a black dress or black pants, depending on the weather.  I waited  and waited for it to go on sale. Immediately it sold out in all sizes but small.  Did I give up?  Of course not,!  A quick call to Customer Service.  I was told there was perhaps one left in the entire country in the San Diego Anthropologie.  Victory!  It is now on its way to having a new home in my closet, to be adored:

Thank you Bravo TV for bring Courtney Loves Dallas into my world.  She greets her clothes each morning ,"Hello Girls" and discussing what the look of the day will cute.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


As regular readers know, my shopping related Happy Place is Anthropologie.  Today's post will share some favorites from there.

I have Christmas dishes but I don't have THESE Christmas dishes:

These candlesticks are new and absolutely beautiful:

Maybe I can satisfy my tulle obsession with a pretty "at home" chemise:

Glittering flatware…the name just makes me happy (the price not so much):

This coat DESERVES a party to attend:

Friday, December 6, 2013


Lets play a fun Friday Fancies game this morning…if money was not a consideration (it is, this is simply a game) what would be on my list?

A Michelle watch, not sure if I would choose gold or silver…wait if money isn't an issue, one of each please…

It goes without saying that a classic Chanel bag is at the top of the list:

A trip to Italy (and Paris and Greece…the list goes on and on)

No photos for this item  but wish I had been gifted with a musical or artistic ability  I think having this way of expression must be a source of constant exploration and satisfaction

Finally I wish I could always be the best wife, mother (to all of my adult children) and friend to the people I love.  Actually skip the Chanel handbag being on top of the list, this wish definitely is closest to my heart and most important to me.

I would love to know what is on your wish list…please go to this link  and then click on the comments section at the end of the blog post.  

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


I opened my closet door this morning to decide which of the 4 tunic tops I own should be paired with either my one pair of black pants or black leggings and the world's ugliest black athletic shoes.  After trying on several combinations (with a sweater over each one) I threw caution to the wind.  I choose to wear black leggings with a black dress and a fur scarf that I can tie in a bow.  In my car, listening to Christmas music I felt happy and realized just how much my clothing affects my emotions.  So today's post is going to list some fashion/cosmetic related items that make me smile:

Flattering shade of lipstick
Faux fur accessories

Statement jewelry
The color pink
Fabulous shoes
Anything Chanel (well I own nothing Chanel but am sure it would put a smile on my face 24/7 FOREVER)
Colorful and pretty winter coats

Good hair days
Leopard Print
Tory Burch handbags
Pretty robes
and I have saved the best for last:  TULLE (hahahaha)

Please share in the comments below some items that put a smile on your face.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


GREAT hearty red wine from Trader Joes and its only $7.99 bottle.  Another customer in the wine aisle recommended CocoBon  to me and while checking out the cashier commented  it was very good, I agree:

I just purchased this scarf from Anthropologie and wear it often.  Initially I pondered if I needed ONE more scarf but I have to say, this is a great one that goes with so many wardrobe items:

Recently listened to this book on CD, it is fascinating.  The book has been made into a TV show and I have to say I was not a fan of the show, felt it was too sensationalized.  However I really enjoyed the book:

I love this Christmas CD:

Do you believe this is true?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Pour a cup of your favorite beverage and enjoy:

Do you sometimes wonder if  the house you now occupy is too big, too empty?  One woman's reflections on this topic:

Our book club is reading Quiet.  After reading this article, I found it fascinating that most of the comments were from individuals who categorize themselves as loners:

Good thoughts to keep in mind all year and not just during the busy holiday season:

Thanksgiving is in 2 days and that means family, food and football (in my family at least).  Just discovered this food blog, looks like lots of delicious recipes:

So cute and funny:

And I leave you with this thought:

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Holiday party season begins soon. Are you wondering about whether or not to wear hosiery with open toe shoes?  Angie from shares her thoughts

Some anti-aging award winners:

I love love love Bill Cunningham from the NY Times Style Section:

Makeup brush recommendations:

To end this eclectic post today I leave you with some words of wisdom:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I hope everyone who knows me and/or reads my blog will know that as much as I love fashion, shopping, travel and wine I also know those things mean nothing compared to the many blessings I have in my life.  I want to share with you just a very small portion of the things I am thankful for:

1.  A wonderful family that I love SO MUCH.  Growing up in a single parent home where time, money and many others things were in short supply, I often imagined what I hoped my "grown up" family would be.  Guess what?  Those wishes came true.  I have a husband who works very hard, is loved and respected by many including his wife and sons and has been a fabulous role model for our children.  Our sons ALWAYS make my heart smile with love and pride. It never ceases to amaze me that God has gifted us with these 2 intelligent, kind, successful men. I love them so much and am VERY proud of them and the wonderful women in their lives.  As readers of this blog know, one of our sons was married this past August to an intelligent, beautiful (inside and out) and extremely thoughtful and kind  woman.  She is the perfect partner for him and they are so happy which make me more joyful than I can describe. 

2.  Anyone who knows me knows how important friends are in my life.  As I get older and see how people can so easily enter and leave our lives, the value of friends who are always there for each other means so much. 

3.  A job that makes me smile every single day. I love the students I work with.  They are bright, motivated and fun.  I am very proud to say thaI I stay in contact with many of the students I have worked with over the years.  Granted some I talk with more frequently than others but what an honor to have them call, send an email or stop by the office when they are on campus to share their lives. 

I know all of you also have many blessing in your lives.  If you feel comfortable I would love to see you share your blessings in the comments section below.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


The links this week  have a bit of a theme, can you tell what that is?

This memo was actually sent out to women at a law firm in Ohio several weeks ago, yes in 2013.  Unbelievable.

A woman's resignation letter and a glimpse into her daily life as a working mother:

I have a number of friends who teach and know how hard they work.  This is one person's take on why his wife has decided to leave a job she used to love:

I think most working moms struggle with this feeling at some point (and others struggle every single day):

Nora Ephron gave this commencement speech in 1996; I think many points are still relevant today:

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Botox: Before and after photos.  I have to admit it makes a difference and softens her 
face a bit

Time for the Nordstroms half yearly sale:

This wise young man with help from his father's wise advice states what all of us need to remember in any and every relationship in our lives:

They are back……THE GIRLFRIENDS……The Kathy and Judy show has returned to WGN in Chicago on Saturday mornings from 10-12.  You can also listen to all of their shows on line by following this link:

Recipes included in this:

Final thought for your day:

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


I spent a fair amount of time this past weekend looking for longer length tops that I can wear with pants.  I own quite a few dresses, skirts/cardigans and jackets but very few pants. The physical therapist who is working with me on my foot issues told me I HAD to wear ugly supportive New Balance athletic shoes (in hopes the damaged tissue will heal) 24/7.  This means no skirts/dresses and black pants pretty much every single day.  I have blouses and shirts that can be worn with skirts but very few tops that are long enough to wear with pants.  Thus I looked around the mall on Saturday.  I found NOTHING!!!  My only requirements are to reach at least the top of my hipbone (I am 5'6 so probably average height), that they not cling and are in dark colors; i.e. black, grey or chocolate brown.  As you have heard me whine time and time again the shopping options in my area are very limited.  I visited Ann Taylor, Gap, Ann Taylor Loft, Old Navy, Talbots and…… my walk of shame…a store that has 2 words in the name, the first work beginning  with an E and the second word is Bauer.   Not one, not one single top did I find.   So I am asking the blog community, does such a top exist and if so, where might it be?   

While I am on the topic of shopping excursions I also realized that I needed new socks.  I mentioned this wardrobe need to a friend. She said she also has been searching for socks and made me laugh out loud when she revealed she just doesn't wear socks because she cannot find any she likes.   This should be a simple item to find, correct?  No it is not.  I purchased the JCrew black trouser socks and found them to be adequate but not great.  I tried socks from Gap but they are not dressy enough to wear to work (when I wear stylish shoes and not ugly athletic shoes) and run on the short side.   As a side note I almost deleted my sock quest post thinking it sounded silly.  Then, earlier today I saw an entire blog conversation devoted to this topic:   Do you have any tried and true recommendations?

Other items I am currently hoping to find include a chocolate brown skirt (preferably a-line altho a pencil would do if not cut too straight), a seasonless long black jacket to wear with pants and button down shirts that do not gap.  

What are the elusive items on your shopping list?

Friday, November 1, 2013


This just makes me smile, a fur swing cape (from Anthropologie, OF COURSE)

The perfect blazer from JCrew and a special someone will be getting this for Christmas:

Have you watched the new show Million Dollar Shoppers on Lifetime?  So so so over the top, which means of course I watch every single second of it each Thursday night:

A friend just introduced me to this blog/facebook page and I am obsessed.  The artist posts pictures of people he finds interesting and includes their stories:

Words of wisdom for your weekend:

Monday, October 28, 2013


What...Fancy Nancy...dislikes a fashion related item???  Impossible you say??? Well...I have quite a complicated relationship with the televised fashion shows like "What Not to Wear", which by the way is no longer on TV.  Then why write this post?  Because we all know it will soon be replaced by at least one if not many similarly themed programs.

I have watched What Not to Wear for years and years and...well lets just say...FOR A LONG TIME. It goes without saying I have also enjoyed Say Yes to the Dress, House of Consignment, The Rachel Zoe Show, Its a Brad Brad World, Running in Heels, etc etc

Some of my frustrations are as follows:

1.  Most of the shows are based in large cosmopolitan cities (90% of the time, NYC) where shopping options are plentiful.  Who couldn't find great clothing in such a place?

2.  Generous clothing budget- if I was gifted with a Visa with a large balance it would be a no brainer that I could find clothes that would both fit and flatter since price would not limit me.

3.  The sense that each of us has this "perfect" haircut and color that will take 10 years off our appearance.  The stylist analyzes the client's face shape, coloring, hair texture and length as well as the amount of time and effort they are willing to set forth on their daily hair routine.  Where is such a person??  I have gone to many different salons and I love my current stylist.  That said tho I have never had the experience that is shown on these shows...have you?  If so, then please share with who and at which salon.

4.  We all know the difference a few minutes can make when makeup is applied.  A light foundation, swish of a blush brush and mascara wand, some lip color and a huge transformation takes place.  When I watch someone like Carmindy on What Not to Wear, I will often see her working her magic on someone with my same coloring, I want to know which eye shadow bring out her close set eyes, which lip gloss brightens up her whole face.  Its not just using the products, its using the right brand and shade and brush and...well you know how it goes.

So my challenge to the next fashion show to appear on my television screen is please...come to a small town, work with a limited clothing budget, show us how to get the crown height in our hair, tame the frizz, share with us which brand and color of lip gloss "works" on everyone???????  Most of us do not have access to Ted Gibson haircuts, shopping trips to Nordstroms with professional stylists or a makeup artist to pick our perfect colors.  

What are your thoughts on this?  Do you share any of these same frustrations? 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


I hope each of you has at least one friend like this in your life:

I have heard wonderful things about this movie, fingers crossed it comes to Northern IN:

I am sure you have read more than a few of lists like this but here is one more to enjoy:

And I leave you with this, YOU ARE WELCOME!

Monday, October 21, 2013


In the past few weeks I have had the privilege of meeting 2 fun and special people I have long admired.

I often link to columns by a favorite author, Sharon Randall.  Ms Randall recently spoke to a woman's art club in a city close to my hometown.  It was an honor to attend, and listen to her wise words and funny stories.  She is as gracious, kind and warm as I had expected her to be.  If you have not yet had the opportunity to enjoy her columns on families, female friendships, motherhood and many other topics that I promise will touch your heart, here is a link to her blog:

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the television show Say Yes to the Dress which follows brides at the Kleinfeld Salon in Manhattan.  My favorite person on the show, Randy Fenoli recently started traveling to cities around the United States advising and helping brides find their perfect dress.  Last night while having dinner at a local restaurant I looked up and see Randy, walking in front of me.  I gasped, said his name out loud before I even realized what I was doing/saying.  He stopped, smiled, said hello and held out his hand while thanking me for watching the show.  In the interest of keeping this blog entry short I will simply tell you he was beyond warm, has a marvelous sense of humor, is very welcoming and friendly; EXACTLY as he is on the show.  It was beyond fabulous to meet him.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


I love leather gloves (so classy) BUT never wanted to invest in them because I knew, without a doubt I would lose them and then whine about that for, problem solved:
Anthropologie Persophone Gloves

PERFECT fall lipstick:
MAC Twig

Love this scarf. The polka dots are not quite as prominent as they appear in the photo. Have worn it several times in the 5 days I have owned it:
Anthropologie Geo Dot Scarf

Very important advice in an emergency:

Thursday, September 26, 2013


How many times have we been in a dressing room and uttered at least one of these phrases (RATIONALIZATIONS) if not multiple ones?

Helpful post from Angie at youlookfab on winter "must haves":

Sharon Randall's columns ALWAYS touch my heart:

Need some decorating/cooking/wardrobe inspiration?  Here you go:

Just a few thoughts that I hope make you smile: