Wednesday, December 11, 2013

L'Wren Scot for Banana Republic

 Banana Republic just launched their latest collection/collaboration with L'Wren Scot. I have to admit, it's not really my style but the pieces are pretty and the timing is right for the holidays. There were blazers, skirts and some accessories as well but my two favorite pieces are below. I don't really have anywhere to wear them but if I did....
 This is the Navy Lace Collection dress. I reminds me a bit of the Erdem dress that the Duchess of Cambridge wore on the trip she and Prince William made to Canada last year.
I think this dress is called the sequin wiggle dress. Not sure I could say that with a straight face. Anyway, I think this would be great for a New Years Eve party. But since my New Years plans usually include flannel pajamas and kids, I'm going to pass.

Have you seen any of these pieces? What do you think?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Fiesta!

My parents have some close friends who live in Mexico City that often come to visit at Thanksgiving. This year my mom threw a full on fiesta the Saturday after Thanksgiving to celebrate.
 Of course no fiesta is complete without music!
 Apparently it is traditional in Mexico that a Mariachi band be accompanied by a burro with beer and tequila on its saddle. We didn't have a burro but we had a pony!
 The piñata of course is the highlight!
Apparently when adults do piñatas in Mexico, every missed swing comes with a shot of tequila!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

I Really Tried

Ok, I really tried to watch the new version of Sound of Music that was live on NBC this past Thursday, really I did. The movie version with Julie Andrews is literally one of my favorite movies, but I like Carrie Underwood so I tried to keep an open mind. I knew it wasn't the movie but more like the stage version so I didn't expect it to be exactly the same. Well, not so much. Carrie can sing, but she really can't act. Am I alone in thinking Anne Hathaway would have been a better choice?  Stephen Moyer, who played the Captain just seemed to young to me, plus I couldn't get past his True Blood persona. There was zero chemistry between him and Carrie as well. The kids were charming and I thought Rolf was way cuter, I've always thought the movie version of Rolf was just a tad creepy. It was Audra McDonald though who stole the show. I actually went to elementary school with Audra where she was 2 years ahead of me at Bullard Elementary in Fresno, CA. She's always been a star, even in Fresno. Her Climb Very Mountain was fabulous. Did any of you watch it?  What did you think?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thanksgiving - California Style

We had really glorious weather here in Northern CA over the Thanksgiving weekend. WE went down to my folks on Friday as they live near the coast and went to the beach. The water was still cold but that didn't stop the kids!
 AGB tries out the wake board, not as easy as it looks!
 OPB is more the sand castle type
 I rolled up my jeans!
 The view down the beach!
This my hubby explaining to CMB how the wake board works. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Now the Holidays May Most Merrily Commence!

I've been very stern with myself about the "Christmas Creep" but Thanksgiving was yesterday and we paid it due respect with a terrific day of food and family. Now I can all the holiday festivities to take over! This is one of my favorite J Crew images from the past. Anouck ( I think that's spelled right) was always my favorite of their models and I love her bright smile and enthusiasm. I've never been able to copy this exactly but I have a bright red coat from them and if I had a yellow skirt? I'm off for peppermint mochas!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Pledge

I have been resolute in my fidelity to enjoying Thanksgiving before allowing the Christmas crush to take over. Not a peppermint mocha not gingerbread latte has crossed my lips. My pumpkins and scarecrow decorations are still up. I'm taking an even further Thanksgiving pledge, I am going to really enjoy the things I am thankful for tomorrow and that means family. No black Friday web cruising, no working just family, food and fun! Over the weekend I will throw myself head first into carols and Christmas but it has to wait! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


As we get closer to Thanksgiving, it's time to think about people we are thankful for in our lives. I have to be thankful for my sister. She is three years younger than I but we are very close. She lives about 20 minutes away so we see each other a lot. As you can see from the above picture, that's me in the red dress) we look nothing a like. Our personalities are quite different too. I'm a very preppy, traditional lawyer, and she is a more casual, elementary school teacher. However, I know that if I have a problem, of any sort, I can call and she will do her best to help and she know she can do the same. Truly, everyone needs someone who will truthfully say, "yes that makes you look fat", in their life.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Holiday Frocks

While not officially entering into the Christmas spirit until the day after Thanksgiving, I do admit that if you are going to be prepared with the perfect "frock" for holiday fun, a bit of planning is in order. I like the word "frock" as opposed to "dress" don't you? It sounds like so much more fun! I don't have as much call for holiday "frocks" as I used to. Most of my holiday fun involves girl scout caroling, gingerbread house decorating and other more casual events. Still a girl can dream, can't she?
 This perfect LBD is from Banana Republic. This is truly one that could pretty much go anywhere and could possibly even transition from desk to night out with a change of shoes, hose and jewelry.
 This silk and cashmere beige/gold dress is from Brooks Brothers and looks both comfortable and elegant.
 I adore this dress from Anthropologie and if I had any place to wear it, it would already be in my closet!
This dress from J Crew is similar to the one above. Looks slightly high waisted to me but I have that problem with a lot of dresses from J Crew. Sill looks fun though.
So what are you wearing for your holiday fun?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Seasonal Cocktails

I think everyone in the world of preppy blogs loves Sarah Vickers and her blog Classy Girls Wear Pearls. I know I do. I always think she looks just perfect and like she is having so much fun. I also love the Vickers bow bracelets and think there are lots of cute things I haven't tried yet on the Kiel James Patrick web site. They posted this delicious sounding seasonal cocktail, the cranberry culprit, on their lifestyle section of their web site last night. I think I'm going to have to try this. It sounds perfect!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Lands End Love

I've long loved Lands End for kids clothes. They hold up forever, are reasonably priced and I find them perfect for my daughter. She is very tall for her age and they are fun and appropriate with out the "hoochy" factor that creeps in about size 12. I never really brought clothes for me there though. I have really been impressed by their recent looks though. I think it's the same thread I keep coming back to. I don't know exactly who J Crew's target customer is these days but it's not me. Nothing in the most recent J Crew roll out spoke to me and don't get me started on the increasing prices and decreasing quality. I love all the looks below and could totally see myself in them. What do you think?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Life in the Land of Flats

I've always been a ballet flat kind of girl, for casual days and weekends that is. To the office I have tended to wear heels with either pencil suits or dress slacks. My office, I'm an attorney for a very large national bank, isn't formal but it's above business casual if that makes sense. However, I have recently been sent to the land of the flat full time. What was a small bump that the doctor thought was a bone spur on my right foot developed into a full blown bunion literally over night. Sorry, gross I know. I also have arthritis in my right foot from a long ago accident cause when a horse I was riding slipped and fell, crushing my foot between her body, the stirrup and the ground. Suffice it so say, right now I can't get my heels on, let alone even walk to the car. They Ashley flat above from Banana Republic is one of my favorites. It's got some inside support and cushioning too. This camel and gold combo is getting out a lot but I'll be investing in a few more pairs. I've been wearing hem with slim ankle pants, blouses and a blazer. How does that sound? Any other thoughts about office attire with flats? Or even great flats?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Opening Meet

The first weekend of November was our opening meet. We had 2 days of riding and family fun. My parents are joint masters and both my sister and I were whips before we had kids but now we ride with the girls. 
 CMB (10) with her cousin, MKO (5) in their work wear getting ready for the first day trail ride.
 CMB with Dancer
 Gloves? Check, helmet? check, Stirrup cap? check!
 A "cup of courage" we ride off
My sister and niece (on the big black horse and pony) and CMB and I on the bay gelding and red mare. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Defintion of Style

Now we all have an idea of what style is and it's slightly different from person to person. But I have been thinking a lot about what style really means and what it means to me. I came across this quote in a book about Jackie Kennedy, a true style icon.

"Style is not a function of  how rich you are, or even who you are. Style is a habit of mind that put quality before quantity, noble struggle before pure achievement, honor before opulence. It's what you are. It's your essential self"
That idea really reached me. The idea that style is more than how you dress or what you look like. It is a part of self and a way of life. So I have been thinking about style differently. For me it encompasses my job, my family, my volunteer activities. It's what makes you strive to do more, do better. Your clothes are but a reflection of this. Does that make sense? What do you think?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thank You!

On this special day we honor and say thank you to the men and women who have served our country, protecting it and us throughout the years. Thank you!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Signature Tartan Love

I think I posted a while back about the "Signature Tartan" they have now at Brooks Brothers. I really love it. It's a very nice camel, green, navy and burgundy tartan that does not scream "Christmas" as some tartan prints do so it could be worn more fall/winter long as opposed to just in December. My family isn't crazy about matching clothes but I am thinking about sneaking these touches in for our family picture on the Christmas card. 
 The boys bow tie for OPB!
 Vickers Bow Bracelets for CMB and I!
Regular ties for Hubby and AGB.
Picture that with white shirts for everyone, khaki pants and navy blazers on the boys and khaki skirts on CMB and myself, her with white knee socks and loafers, me in tights and pumps. Or would that be overkill?

Friday, November 1, 2013

Hold on one moment please!

Now that Halloween is over there is the temptation to dive head long into the Christmas holiday season. There are already Christmas items in my Target and I suspect if (alright when) I go to Starbucks this morning there will be red cups. But please, everyone hold up one moment. I love the festive holiday season as much as anyone but when did Thanksgiving stop being a holiday to celebrate? In a lot of ways, I like it better than Christmas. The focus is on family and food and fun, with a little football thrown in, without the pressure of creating the perfect card, dinner, party, gifts or memories. Sometimes I think of Thanksgiving as Christmas, without the pressure. That doesn't mean I don't love Christmas, I just want to enjoy Thanksgiving first. There is also something great about having a more limited time to be festive. I can't keep that going fro 2 months. December is plenty of time. I do put my tree up and decorate the house, the first Saturday in December but not till then. What do you think?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

It's Halloween! While I am not dressing up, the small folk are. CMB and OPB both still get to wear their costumes to school. CMB is Athena, the goddess Athena and OPB is Harry Potter. For some reason, this year both costumes needed owls which is one of those interesting things. Both kids are influenced by their choices of books. OPB is currently working his way through the Harry Potter books and CMB is a huge Percy Jackson fan who wishes she could be Annabeth. Just an interesting note, these 2 are twins. Hard to believe isn't it? Actually she is in the 5th grade and he is in the 4th. It's a long story involving a late August birthday and a bit of developmental delay. Suffice it to say, she was ready and was not. It was a great decision for these two. Anyway, wishing you and yours a Happy and safe Halloween!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Now thst's Classy

You can always tell a classy company by how they conduct themselves as well as by their product. Brooks Brothers is promoting this great program for those in need. "Give a coat and share the warmth. Join us in our national coat drive for One Warm Coat by donating a gently worn coat at your local Brooks Brothers store through November 4th." I'm going to go through my closet and see what I can take in. What about you?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Monogramed Necklace

I've been wanting a gold monogramed necklace for ages but have been feeling frugal and not wanted to splurge as we come up to the Holiday season. Then I saw GroopDealz has one today for 38.50. It's 18K plated sterling silver which isn't as good as 14 or 24K but for the price, I'm tempted. I've never bought from GroopDealz before. Thoughts?

Monday, October 21, 2013

My New Favorite Jeans

Jeans are hard. Everyone has a favorite style and fit. I personally have a thing about affordable denim versus premium denim. I just have a hard time paying over $100 for jeans that I am going to wear to the barn and ball field. Now, I work full time in an office and wear dress slacks or a suit most days. Maybe I would feel differently if I wore jeans full time. Anyway, I picked up these Denizen by Levi's jeans at Target last week and I love them. I bought the "curvy boot" style and they fit me great. They are a mid rise fit and are slightly higher in the back so that they don't gap which is great. They cost $27.99 which is also great. The regular length is perfect for flats but I might go back and get a pair in long to wear with heels. I really like them and think they look great on which is what really matters!

Friday, October 18, 2013

For the Love of Bows

I love bows. As I enter my 40's though, I'm wearing them less. I still tie them on my daughters braids and indulge my son in his bow tie collection but I thought I was beyond wearing the bows myself until I saw the James Kiel Patrick Vickers Bow Collection Bracelet. I sense an obsession coming on. For my first purchase I chose "Mr. Clayborn", this cute fox print in green. The web site describes the bracelets as follows:

"Men have been making a splash with Bow-Ties for years by spicing up their conservative wear with a touch of color, fun, and whimsy. The Vickers' Bow collection was our solution to giving a girl a chance to. Each silk bow is hand-sewn in Rhode Island and fastened with a brass lobster claw and chain link to adjust the size.
Revering the construction of the classic hand-sewn bow-tie, the Vickers Bow borrows similar elements of a haberdasher’s superior bold fabrics, delicate craftsmanship and exquisite personality, tailored for the well dressed wrist."

I think they are super cute and can't wait for mine to come. I foresee it being a fixture on my wrist this winter!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Bo Pretty!

I really do like Bobbi Brown cosmetics. I've strayed from them recently as I have been using Bare Essentials mineral makeup more and more but this palette caught my eye on the Nordstrom's web site and I think it could be the perfect palette for fall. The web site describes it as follows:

Bobbi Brown’s limited-edition Hot Cocoa Palette is filled with richly hued eyeshadows and a luminous blush that embrace the colors and textures of fall.

Eyeshadow shades include:
- Cream
- Velvet Plum Metallic
- Chino
- Nude Beach Metallic
- Warm Sand
- Pink Dusk Metallic
- Sandy Pearl Sparkle
- Black Chocolate

Blush in Bellini

I think it is really pretty but makeup is very personal and I can never manage to buy it on line. I really have to see it and try it so that I can see how it interacts with my skin tones. This one is intriguing enough that I plan to make the trip to Nordstrom's this week. What do you think? Pretty?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Sunshine Award!

The lovely blogger over at Suburban Charm nominated me for a Sunshine award! It's my very first very blogger award so thanks! She gave me the following 10 questions to answer. Here's my best shot.
  • Who is your biggest inspiration when it comes to decorating?
Ralph Lauren, I love the tartan, blue and white china look! Very classic
  • What clothing shop is your favorite?
It used to be J Crew but now it's Brooks Brothers
  •  What is your "comfort food"?
My mom's beef stew, so yummy!
  • What is your most cherished possession?
Besides my husband and kids? The pearls I got for high school graduation.
  • Current Lipstick color?
Aphrodite by Chantaille
  •  If your luggage got lost on a week long trip, what three things would you have to purchase in order to survive the week?
Clean underwear, tinted moisturizer and deodorant
  • Favorite tote bag to use?
Coach for work, Lands end for weekend!
  • Most recent "splurge" purchase?
I don't have a recent splurge, I've been very frugal but I need a new coat so that's coming!
  • What charity is most dear to your heart?
Planned Parenthood, every woman deserves access to preventive reproductive care 
  • Best piece of advice from a lesson you have learned in life?
Not to sweat the small stuff. I know it sounds trite but with three kids and a full time job it's very true!
Now, here are the rules for the game. It's kind of like a chain letter so hopefully I'm doing it right. She nominated 10 but I don't have that many bloggy friends so I'm only doing 5.
 1. Include the award logo in a post or on your blog.
2. Link to the person who nominated you.
3. Answer 10 questions about yourself and write 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
4. Nominate 5 bloggers to receive the award.
5. Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Signature Tartan

It's been ages I know. I've been down on and off for almost 2 weeks with a horrid cold. I just start to feel better and wham, it's back. What I really need are 2 or 3 days of sleeping in and doing nothing but that's not very likely. This navy and burgundy tartan is Brooks Brothers new "Signature" Tartan. I really like it. They have a beautiful shawl in this pattern that I am lusting over as well as a man's shirt and ties.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Brooks Brothers Books

I posted yesterday about some of the clothing offerings I had found (and loved) at Brooks Brothers. This post is about their series of books. About is one titled "50 things Every Young Lady Should Know". I gave it to my daughter on her 10th birthday and both my son's received their own copy of "50 Things Every Young Gentleman Should Know" on their 10th birthdays as well. There is a lot of common sense stuff in these books that somehow seems absent from life today such as how to introduce a friend to your parents and how some basic internet skills. There are several other books in the series but I have not read them yet. How about you?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Brooks Brother Fall

I've been looking wider a field for fall as J Crew hasn't been making my heart beat faster and ended up at Brooks Brother the other day. They have an amazing new flag ship store in Union Square, if you are in the area, check it out! Anyway, I have always bought clothes for Hubby and my boys there. My youngest loves their bow ties! But until recently thought their clothes seemed to, well old, for me. Maybe I'm more mature or they have updated their style, or a little of both but I loved a lot! Their stuff is pricey but incredibly well made. It fits better with my idea of investment dressing, that is fewer clothes of higher quality rather than tons of cheaper stuff. 
I love both of these looks and plan to at least copy them with stuff in my closet!

 This plaid wrap is to die for and looks great!
 Love this structured green satchel.
This ruffed plaid scarf is fun too. With navy or camel pants and an ivory turtleneck it would be a great accent.
I guess what I have discovered is a return to the really classic look is for me. I've always been more tailored and conservative a dresser than my sister or mom but my observations this fall confirm it! What about you? Do you shop Brooks Brothers?