Friday, October 31st, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Boo!

Boo!

Due to time constraints this year, I  kinda phoned it in went more minimalist with my pumpkin carving. As always, I do it Old School…just me, some pumpkins, a sharp knife and an improvisational technique. Our neighborhood is a trick-or-treat Destination and we usually get somewhere between 350-400 spooky little (and some big) visitors. Should the rain in the forecast (happy dance!!!) hold off until later in the evening, I expect that with it being a Friday night, our trick-or-treater count could well top 400.

Between projects at work and getting ready for Halloween, I feel as though I’ve been going non-stop since we returned from our trip. I’m looking forward to a quiet weekend and getting caught up with myself. Hopefully the Universe will cooperate. ;-)

Happy Halloween and bon weekend!  Do you get a lot of trick-or-treaters where you live?

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

flat out fabulous

Splurge: Nicholas Kirkwood / Save: Steve Madden

The Look For Less. Splurge: Nicholas Kirkwood / Save: Steve Madden

For years now “statement” shoes have often meant high, high heels and those of us who can’t wear them or just prefer a low heel have wandered the retail wilderness, foraging among more lackluster styles. But flats (and I use this term loosely, meaning any shoe with a heel of 1″ or less) are now having their moment, and one needn’t resort to vertigo-inducing and crippling silhouettes to find footwear with some beauty, drama and visual interest. Yes Virginia, there are awesome shoes out there you can actually walk in.

Whether you prefer pointy toes, menswear-inspired styles, embellished designs, or simply elegant, classic styles, if you love a low heel, the world is your oyster now.

Do you have a favorite brand or style of flat/low-heeled shoe? How do you style them?

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Monday, October 27th, 2014

order in the closet

This is the "after" shot, not showing you the "before"...too embarassing!!

Order from chaos. This is the “after” shot, not showing you the “before”…too embarrassing!!

After traveling, it usually takes me a few days to get my equilibrium back. Because we arrived home on a Monday evening and were scheduled to be back to work on Tuesday, getting settled again took several days. But one thing was preventing me from feeling completely at home: my closet was a mess! So over the weekend I dove in and spent several hours cleaning and re-organizing. I finally culled some shoes that have sat unworn for several years, and re-worked my clothing organization for the first time in a decade.

I’ve been reading articles here and there on wardrobe organizing, and decided to try something new. Whereas before I’d grouped my clothes by type (pants/jackets/shirts/sweaters/tees), this time I set aside the darkest and most inaccessible quadrant of my closet for the items I wear the least. I moved the clothing I wear frequently (still mostly grouped by type) to the most open and brightest racks. With the shoes, I moved the pairs I wear most to eye level. At some point I may try building outfits and hanging together ready to go; that’s Phase II. I figure that I’ll revisit the “dark” corner with each seasonal change, and anything that hasn’t been worn in months will be culled.

It turned out to be quite a project, as I decided to remove everything initially and dust/clean the shelves and spaces. By the time I was done, I felt like this…

"No dear, I have no idea what happened to the cooking sherry..."

“No dear, I have no idea what happened to the cooking sherry…”

and Lo, my Halloween costume was born. Plus now I get happy every time I look at my closet (even without the sherry).

Did you do anything “fun” this weekend??

The clear shoe boxes are from The Container Store. They’re the only ones I’ve been able to find with clear lids. I use the Men’s shoe boxes for my ankle boots. The “scarf condo” on the left hand side of the top picture is actually one of these.

I’ll be linking up with Share-in-Style – Halloween at MIS PAPELICOS, Throwback Thursday at Happiness at Mid-Life.
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Saturday, October 25th, 2014

Saturday sale-away

This cute silk blouse is one of the items currently 50% off at Ann Taylor.

This cute silk blouse is one of the items currently 50% off at Ann Taylor.

I noticed that several retailers were offering some substantial markdowns on new fall merchandise, so wanted to be sure to share.

Ann Taylor: 50% off everything this weekend. Use code FASHION50.

LOFT has 40% off new arrivals, and an extra 60% off sale styles. No code needed.

J.Crew has 25% off all full-priced items and an additional 30% off final sale items with code TGIFALL.

Don’t forget that Nordstrom is still offering that super Estée Lauder gift-with-purchase with any $45 Estée Lauder purchase.

Chico’s has 25% off full priced styles (and Passport members get an additional 5% off). Code 12367. This includes items from their Black Label line as well.

Gap has 25% off online purchases with code HAPPY. Also $40 off every $100 for hats, gloves, scarves and outerwear, with code 40OFF100. (Hey, do the kids or grandkids still need winter jackets?)

Bon weekend!

FALL PICKS:

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Friday, October 24th, 2014

jet-lag, begone!

Vintage air travel

So three days later, I’m still fighting some residual jet lag.

Usually when we travel we’re going west to east, which means the potential for jet lag is higher at the beginning of our vacation. The east-to-west return home is usually a piece of cake. One or two days and my clock is fully re-set. I show up for work the day after we arrive home bright-eyed and ready to attack some spreadsheets.

However, on this trip, our return journey was the west-to-east, covering 15 time zones.  (The biggest time difference I’ve dealt with prior to this was 9 hours.) It’s taking a bit longer after this trip to feel fully myself; I’m fine in the mornings, but around 3pm I start to get a bit groggy, and I have yet to sleep through the night completely.

It’s probably not as bad as it might have been, as I’ve developed some strategies that seem to work to minimize jet lag.

  • Upon arrival, I spend as much time in natural light as possible, and stay awake until normal “bedtime” in the destination time zone. Walking a lot also helps. When traveling to Europe we generally arrive in the morning or mid-day; dropping luggage at the hotel and then spending a few hours walking outdoors resets my body clock pretty effectively.
  • I limit my alcohol consumption in transit and on arrival, as while a glass of wine generally helps me fall asleep, it often results in interrupted sleep a few hours later.
  • I also avoid heavy meals on the plane and for the first few hours after we arrive.
  • Limit naps to a very short duration.
  • Melatonin at bedtime helps re-set my sleep cycle.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Drink as much water as I can tolerate. Tea, too.

If you travel across multiple time zones, how do you deal with jet lag?