Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hitting the Books

I walked to my local library today, which is one of the many things I love about living in downtown St. Paul. Suburbia is great, I've lived there/done that. But I'm not sure I'll leave the city because everything I want on a day-to-day basis is a short walk away.

I have really fond memories of my parents taking me and my brother to the library every week to pick out new books to read. It was always exciting to me, being presented with shelves and shelves of books just waiting to be read. I still feel a similar thrill whenever I walk into a library, all these years later.





This is my official "Library Book Bag." For some reason, the capacity of this bag directly correlates to the number of books I can get through before their due date comes around. I've tried carrying other bags and it never works out the same. Weird, I know.





The clothes:
Navy linen dress- Old Navy
Purple belt- Target
Glass flower necklace- obtained via Accessory Swap with friends
Plaid tennis shoes- Converse All Star
Canvas tote with sailboat pattern- Target
Book- The Passage by Justin Cronin. I give it a B-.

Calling All Former and Future Brides

A local business woman needs our help, Bombshells! And by help, I mean candid, uncensored feedback about being a plus size woman shopping for a wedding dress. What struggles have you encountered? Did anything keep you from having that fairytale moment of finding the dress?

Did you have a really great experience with dress shopping? If so - what made is so wonderful?

Tell me what would have made dress shopping absolutely perfect for you - a fancy boutique with champagne and plenty of room for your wedding party to oooh and ahh over you? Or a more homey, relaxed environment? What level of service would you like to experience? Do you want a one-stop shop with accessories and alterations, or is that not important?

Tell me everything you wanted to tell someone at the time you were dress shopping - and I'll pass it along to Shayna of Elegant Events by Shayna. She'll take your feedback and actually use it to shape the experience of the plus size bridal boutique she's opening.

Fall Wardrobe - Decisions, Decisions

So after much perusing of other blogs & magazines, as well as taking a good hard look at what's already in my closet, I've come up with my final list of new additions for Fall. I've actually got two lists: Need & Want.

I already have a wardrobe full of basics, so my lists contain items that either need to be replaced due to wear and tear; will help extend the seasonal longevity of what I have; and a few trendy pieces that will help me feel fresh and current. Here are the inspiration boards I've been using as a compass whenever I go shopping.

The Need list includes: 2 long sleeved crew neck tees (for layering) - in black & gray; 2 skirts, not black; knee-high black heeled boots; a long gray cardigan.



The Want list is a little more fun: Leopard print heels; bronze heels; a gray sweater tunic; red belt; flower pin.



I've made pretty good headway on the Need list, scoring these items this week:

Monday, August 30, 2010

Last Day for 40% off at Lane Bryant

I'm on vacation from my job this week, so I thought I'd start it off right by heading over to Lane Bryant to pick up a few things for 40% off. This is the last day for this sweet deal (way to wait til the last minute, Sara). But I've been pre-shopping online so I know exactly what to beeline for. And if they don't have my sizes in store, I have a virtual shopping bag waiting for me at lanebryant.com, just waiting for me to hit "send."

Here's what I wore to go shopping at Lane Bryant and Ulta today-







I picked this black embroidered dress because it's easy to whip on and off- a must in the dressing room. The silver ruched purse is Hobo International, and it's my go-to bag for shopping trips. There are two roomy side pockets, perfect for stashing water and snacks (also a must-have in the dressing room). Silver hoops and my alligator bracelet complete my shopping look.

The clothes:
Black embroidered dress- Lane Bryant
Flip flops- Converse All Star
Silver hoops- Lia Sophia
Silver alligator bracelet- gift from Kimberly
Purse- Hobo International

Beauty Moment- Tarte & mark Mascaras

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sealed With a Kiss Designs - Fall Collection

I'm so impressed with Sealed with a Kiss Designs - the fit and quality of their clothes are excellent, and I've always been able to find something fun and cute from their web site. This fall, the line is stepping up their style quotient. Everything is understatedly sexy, with lots of beautiful details.

I want one of everything (of course) but if I had to narrow it down, my favorites are the Giselle dress and the Floralista cardigan. And the Classic Dress. And the Audrey. And the Victoria. (See, I like everything!)

What's your favorite look?











Ad Inspired

I've seen an advertisement for Lycra in a few of my Fall fashion magazines this month, and every time I come across this image I stop and stare for a good 4 minutes:



I love this look - it's tailored yet feminine and my perfect definition of casual. So cute. Exactly what I'd like to wear. So I pulled together a few pieces in plus sizes to replicate it.



The jacket I found has a black foundation instead of blue. So I also chose jeans that lean more towards black than the vintage-blue in the picture. It's not exactly the same, but the overall feel is there.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Minxed!

There's been a noticeable trend among celebrities and other nail afficionados over the past few years that involves incredibly elaborate patterns and swirls of color splashed across a manicure/pedicure. I've seen it and thought, "How the heck...?" followed by, "Oh please. I'm lucky to get one coat of polish on my nails without painting my entire cuticle." Chalk another thing up to the benefit of being a celebrity with a beauty entourage at one's disposal.

However, after being Minxed this week I learned the secret behind this look - and I can now say that I have something in common with Beyonce, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Megan Fox, Blake Lively and a whole slew of other famous ladies.



I mentioned attending a party/fashion show last week to celebrate NONTOXIQUE's invitation to Fashion Week. The following evening, a few of us got together at Fusion Lifespa(a beautiful spa with the most impressive dedication to eco-friendly & sustainable practices I've ever heard of) to talk beauty with the company's owner, Sheila Mossberg, and the celebrity manicurist who'd invited NONTOXIQUE to Fashion Week - Melissa Bozant.

Melissa's clients include Angelina Jolie, Eva Mendes and my own girl crush - Mandy Moore! So I was more than happy to be led to a pedicure chair for an application of Minx. Melissa is great; very open and friendly. She assured me that Mandy is just as nice as she seems. She also dished a bit on other professionals in the industry (apparently Deborah Lippmann likes to sing to her clients?), while meticulously Minxing my toes.



Minx are adhesive stickers that are heated up under a very hot lamp, then molded to the nail bed.





Then, voila! A budge-proof, ultra shiny pedicure that lasts up to three weeks.



Click here to find a salon near you that Minxes - and if you've already had it done, let me know what you think.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

40% Store Wide at Lane Bryant

And the sales just keep coming! Jump all over this one because it ends on August 30th - take 40% off everything (except Spanx, per usual) in store or online. I like that LB is carrying everything you need to create a complete look, head to toe- shoes, jewelry, bags, belts. Here are three new outfits I'd love to see in my closet: