Fresh Prince(ss) of Bel Air (Rd)

(Sings) "I'm stuck in a basement, sittin' on a tricycle, girl gettin' on my nerves. Goin' outta my mind. I thought she was fine, don't know if her body is hers."

That's the tune that keeps replaying in my head as I sit on the football field tonight. It's from the episode of Fresh Prince of Bel Air where Will and his girlfriend (played by Tisha Campbell) are madly in love--that is, until they find themselves stuck in a basement for hours, where hunger and irritation overtake them. The ticking clock finds their nerves, and Tisha's character's fabulous look, slowly unraveling.

And so it is with me, as I sit on the football field tonight during the kid's practice, my fab slowly unraveling. My song involves being stuck on the grass and bugs getting on my nerves. My navy H&M sheath dress is hot despite the thinness of the material and the gold & pearl chain around my neck is starting to choke me despite being at least 24" long. My skin itches from bug bites and my hair itches from dust; I want to feverishly rip the pins out of my neatly tucked bun. At least my feet are comfy, due to my changing from gold pumps to gold flats before heading to the field...all-in-all, however, there is very little about this whole scenario that is anything close to chic.

Normally I'm a tough cookie when it comes to football but today I am a hungry, itchy, sleepy princess who wants nothing more than a green vegetable, a hot shower, and a satin pillow. Thank heavens for the Vogue August issue perched atop my lap; after all, something should be fabulous about this 2-hours of torture, even if it's just the evening literature.

In case you wanted to hear the song :) ...

Sleeveless Shirts & Starbucks

A Tale of Sleeveless Shirts and Starbucks....
Also known as: a glimpse into why I'm often running late in the mornings...

Today is sales meeting day, but not just the regular Tuesday sales meeting—the “big deal announcement/product launch/guest executives in attendance” type of meeting. So my first thought upon waking this morning (after the random Tupac lyrics stuck in my head from yesterday's iPod shuffle ran through again) was, "What am I going to wear?" Typically, big deal “all hands on deck” meetings require strict adherence to company dress code, which means that blazers or collared shirts are the number one desired look, with cardied arms following in second. But, it’s summer so I don’t want to do a blazer and I’ve already worn my go-to black sweater. So I visually scan my closet again aiming to put together my most professional look. I realize I haven’t yet worn my score from the H&M Garden Collection to work, so I don it, belt it and add a black patent leather pump with a snakeskin buckle detail and this outfit is to die for. I spin a couple of times in the full length and think how much ironing all these pleats is going to require and note the sleevelessness, then decide this is way too fab for work anyway--but is absolute perfection for the homie’s birthday/grad bash coming up next weekend. I’ll rock it then instead. I look at the yellow Banana Republic frock that shows way too much cleavage for a meeting with sadness because it won’t work, dig through my summer clothing annex (also known as the plastic storage bin in the hallway) and come up with nothing but a tank top that I bought last summer that still has the tags on it. It’s cute and a great find so I’m excited, except it doesn’t really aid in my current situation. So I mentally note its existence and hang it up. By this point, it’s becoming ridiculously late and I haven’t even showered yet, I’m getting hungry and I’m still too close to my bed to be fully safe from the nagging urge to crawl back under the covers for “5 more minutes”. So I head to bathroom while continuing to mentally catalogue (this is getting a bit ridiculous I know). The thing about subscribing to the “every day is an occasion to dress up” philosophy is that it becomes more difficult to find things to wear when there’s an actual occasion recognizable by others, so I run into this dilemma often. But I digress.

After showering, and doing light makeup and hair, I finally pull out the ingredients of a successful style mix that I wore about 2 weeks ago--which initially makes me cringe because people might remember--then makes me laugh, because I don’t know who I think I am and my picture wasn’t in Us Weekly that week so I’m probably safe. I’m still yawning as I run around throwing on this accessory and that, spraying perfume and chucking stuff in my handbag; I’m thinking that a Starbucks run is going to be required before the meeting or else I’ll find myself in trouble for inappropriate napping. But alas, I don’t make it out the door quickly enough because my clock reads 8:34am and I have approximately 26 minutes to weave through the crawling traffic on the beltway and not have to run breathlessly into the conference room at 8:59 and :59 seconds…as I have been prone to do in the past. Not a good look.

I drive straight to the hotel where the meeting is being held and I’m disheartened as I glance across the street at the gleaming green Starbucks lady beckoning me to come in and get some of the sweet soy frothiness she has to offer. Simultaneously, I resign myself to hoping that there is at least a pot of any somebody’s brand of brewed beans set up in the conference room so I can suck down a measly 3 ounces of java from one of those ever so tiny white mugs that most hotel kitchen services have. I park and stroll into the conference room at 8:52 (What? The meeting hadn’t started yet…) in my H&M high-waisted, front pleat skirt and sleeveless (I know, irony) black Banana Republic tee shirt looking poised and polished where, I am thrilled to discover, they “proudly serve” Starbucks coffee--and there are even 20 ounce cups! All is well that ends well. *sip sip*

Summer Skin

I don't know about anyone else, but I have gotten extremely tanned in this ninth circle of hell we've been calling "summer" here on the East Coast. It has been the type of weather that absolutely demands 'makeup lite'. Under normal circumstances, I would wear foundation, but not only does my complexion no longer match it, I'm pretty certain that any heavy cosmetics would melt right off my skin. So my regiment of late has been quite simple:

1. Moisturize with Ambi Even & Clear Daily Moisturizer with SPF 30
2. Bronzer - Stila bronze Illuminating Finishing Powder on my T-Zone, forehead and chin (this is the key to it looking like I've applied a full 'face'!)
3. Dust lids with a light coat of powder eyeshadow in a neutral color
4. Mascara
5. Lip gloss
6. Go!

How has the heat affected how you apply your makeup?

Random Musing...

Why (lately) I am shying away from jeans…

1.       Overall Fit – I have thicker thighs, a round bottom, a smaller waist, and a post baby tummy. This is a horrible combo when trying to get into standard sized jeans. Even with the coveted spandex in them, I spend years in dressing rooms trying to get the perfect combination jean that fits my bottom half without gaping at the waist.
2.       Length – the invention of length varying jeans was a great one. However, “short” length jeans are only good when I’m wearing flats because if I wear them with heels, they bunch at the knee. “Regular” length jeans are only good when I’m wearing heels. They give me that great long legged look, but I can’t wear them with flats. I can't even opt for my favorite skinnies though I stare at them all summer long and wish they and my tank tops could become fast friends. Solution: buy every pair of jeans in 2 lengths? Totally not cost effective. Scratch.
3.       Muffin Top – Many women suffer from this—both mom and non-mom. It could be the result of the slightest salt-induced bloat, retention of water or a large meal. Regardless of the reason, it is highly uncomfortable, unbecoming and unacceptable. I did see kind of a cool solution here..but it’s a bit costly.  
 4.       Preference – Lately I’m just finding that when it’s time to throw something comfy on, I’m reaching for a dress rather than a jean. In one swift toss over the head, I’ve avoided all the issues above that I would inevitable run into with one pair of jeans or another. And then I don’t have to also find a top. Dresses = one stop shop  garments.

1.       I love leggings (and I wear them appropriately: dark under things, and long enough top to cover both the front and the rear unmentionable areas), but I have yet to find a pair of denim ones that I don’t feel extra bootylicious in. The search continues…
2.       When I was single me, I could spend bill money on afford some of the more expensive jeans and found that I had an easier time finding great fits in those; now that I’m a mom, they’re a ‘distant memory/fashion aspiration’ for the future..
3.       I still love denim: I have denim dresses and jackets that are still in rotation. And I love to see other people fabulously style up a pair of jeans. I gape at them on my friends and on other people’s blogs all the time.

Photo credit:
 4.       Yes, I know I could get my jeans altered to fit and that would aid in most of these issues… but if I’m being honest, I probably won’t. Frock it.

I reserve the right to change my mind about this, and probably will when fall descends and I can wear my skinny jeans again with tall boots. * shrug *

Style Confidential: Perfect Fit

Since I became a mommy, my clothing size has been woefully inconsistent. I initially lost most of the weight, only to swell again and then continued this pattern until very recently--alternating between what is probably a quite ridiculous range of clothing sizes. Despite the malleable nature of most of my body, there is one area that never changes and almost always finds the perfect fit: my feet.

I have always had a particular affinity for shoes. While the type of preferred shoe has changed as I have changed, the sweetness of finding the perfect pair has not lessened: When I was in high school, it was all about loafers, heeled buck-style shoes and anything with a chunky heel; college (and a job at Foot Locker) brought on the sneaker crush--and I can fit boys sizes so they came cheaper!; post-college/adulthood has seen the craze for high heels and stilettos soar to new heights. I cannot tell you whether my love of shoes was derived from their always fitting so well, but I'm sure it didn't hurt.

There is a certain level of confidence that comes with knowing your body and what will fit it well. It can take a good deal of trial and error to find a dress that suits my body or to pour myself into a great pair of jeans. So there is nothing quite like that Cinderella moment with a shoe: I glance at it and smile, caress the material, arch my foot into a graceful curve as I slip into the shoe...and sigh with contentment when it fits perfectly. Perhaps this sounds odd, but it really is that ceremonious for me; it's the little things, you know?