December Closet Additions

I bought a dress for New Year's Eve, before having made any plans. Then an opportunity to board the world's cutest dog came up, so I spent the last hours of 2019 with a puppy curled up on my lap and a glass of wine in my hand. I even managed to fall asleep about ten minutes before the ball dropped, so it was a pretty enjoyable evening. I should probably return the dress, but I likely wont. I'm thinking I could dress it down with a white blazer?

I tried to make sensible purchases this month, like comfortable boots, warm coats (not pictured is the coat I got care of Express Factory, since you can't shop them online), and velvet pants I dressed up for Christmas day, and then dressed down for a cozy evening in an 'igloo'.

However, there are the adorable Loeffler Randall sandals I won't be wearing for five months (if I'm lucky), another dress I have no occasion to wear, and some possibly over-priced and over-hyped ballet flats I have yet to decide if I love.

I wish I didn't love shopping so much, but alas I do, and rather than starting off the new year by saying I'm going to stop, I'm just going to focus on enjoying what I buy as much as possible. No more dresses sitting in the closet unworn, they need to go out into the world.



Loeffler Randal Mara bag, $190 at Bloomingdales
Satin Midi Slip Dress, $23 at Banana Republic (after rewards)
Shawl Collar Wrap Coat, $60 at Ann Taylor
Clip Dot Dress, $64 at Ann Taylor
Pom-Pom Beret, $30 at Madewell
Black Point Flats, $123 at Rothy's
Velvet Pants, $30 at Loft
Aerosoles Brown Suede Boots, $72 at DSW
Pearl Hoop Earrings c/o Mejuri
Open Front Sweater Blazer, $74 at J.Crew
Faux Fur Lace Up Boots, $30 at Target
J.Crew X Loeffler Randall Starla Ankle-Wrap Sandals, $56 at J.Crew

End of a Decade

If you were to ask me what has changed in the last ten years, I know my immediate response would be "not much", but that is because it's all too easy to dismiss the small changes and milestones which have transpired. I might choose to mention that I haven't traveled abroad since 2010, rather than recalling my three visits to the west coast. I certainly wouldn't consider the confidence I've gained, instead insisting that I don't have nearly enough, nor would I reflect on all the hard work and devotion I've given to this blog, dismissing it because it's not where 'it could be'.

That however, is no way to start a new decade, or a new year for that matter. While this might be an easy time to think of shortcomings, wouldn't it be better to focus on everything that has changed, grown, or improved, even slightly, and try to polish off memories so that they shine in a positive light?

If there is one resolution I need to follow through with in 2020, it is to believe that I am enough.

 cream teddy bomber jacket, black sweater, wide leg houndstooth pants, sock booties, double ring belt-4.jpg cream teddy bomber jacket, black sweater, wide leg houndstooth pants, sock booties, double ring belt-10.jpg cream teddy bomber jacket, black sweater, wide leg houndstooth pants, sock booties, double ring belt-3.jpg cream teddy bomber jacket, black sweater, wide leg houndstooth pants, sock booties, double ring belt-1.jpg cream teddy bomber jacket, black sweater, wide leg houndstooth pants, sock booties, double ring belt-7.jpg cream teddy bomber jacket, black sweater, wide leg houndstooth pants, sock booties, double ring belt-2.jpg cream teddy bomber jacket, black sweater, wide leg houndstooth pants, sock booties, double ring belt-5.jpg
The Rundown
Black Ribbed Sweater H&M
Wide Leg Houndstooth Pants H&M
Teddy Bomber Jacket J.Crew
 Sock Booties "Neola" Naturalizer
Bag "Lewis Drive Michela" Kate Spade similar
Double Ring Belt Express
Pearl Hoop Earrings c/o Mejuri
Thin Gold Ring Etsy via Ellyn Blue Jewelry



A Culmination of Holiday Shopping

This year I adhered pretty strictly to the holiday shopping rule of one gift for others, one gift for myself. I feel like the sales were just relentless, both before and after Black Friday, and temptation was everywhere. The biggest splurge being this croc embossed Loeffler Randall bag. When I was in New York with Cee we spotted it in Bloomingdales, and I couldn't stop thinking about it. Then there were sales on sales and I managed to get it for half off.

Of course it paired perfectly with my other new closet additions, and this outfit practically put itself together. While sandals would not be my usual choice for December, and I'd likely roll my eyes at anyone else wearing cropped pants and sandals in 40° weather, getting a manni/peddi was the first stop of a busy day and I'd sooner have freezing ankles and toes than a ruined pedicure. Besides, with the worst of winter yet to come, I need to get all the wear I can get from these faux leather pants while I still can.

 brown cardigan, giraffe print blouse, wide leg leather pants, Loeffler Randall croc bag-1.jpg brown cardigan, giraffe print blouse, wide leg leather pants, Loeffler Randall croc bag-3.jpg brown cardigan, giraffe print blouse, wide leg leather pants, Loeffler Randall croc bag-7.jpg brown cardigan, giraffe print blouse, wide leg leather pants, Loeffler Randall croc bag-2.jpg brown cardigan, giraffe print blouse, wide leg leather pants, Loeffler Randall croc bag-6.jpg brown cardigan, giraffe print blouse, wide leg leather pants, Loeffler Randall croc bag-9.jpg brown cardigan, giraffe print blouse, wide leg leather pants, Loeffler Randall croc bag-10.jpg
The Rundown
Giraffe Print Blouse Banana Republic
Black Faux Leather Pants Ann Taylor
Wrap Cardigan Target
Asymmetrical Strap Mules Zara similar
Croc Embossed Leather Bag Loeffler Randall
Half Moon Necklace c/o Happiness Boutique
Midi Stackable Diamond Ring c/o AUrate New York
Thin Gold Ring Etsy via Ellyn Blue Jewelry
Signet Ring Sashi
Sunglasses "Meteor" Ray-Ban c/o TJMaxx
 Nail Color "Bordeaux" Essie



Belated Christmas Tree

I'll blame how late Thanksgiving was this year, as that seems like the default excuse, but this holiday season has just been flying by and I'm not ready for Christmas to be just over a week away.

Due to conflicts in work schedules, we did not get our acts together to bring home our Christmas tree the first weekend of December, and didn't manage to get it until the 12th, which is late even by our standards (no Christmas trees up before Thanksgiving in this house) and then due to all the lovely snow you see here, the tree spent another day sitting outside in the hopes that the weather would warm and we wouldn't have to take a snow covered tree to melt in the living room. (That happened six years ago and it was just a huge mess.)

At least it's up, and that is one thing to check off the list, now to finish shopping, and wrapping, and maybe, just maybe, take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the season before it's gone again for another year.

P.S. These Target boots are not meant to be worn in the snow, they are neither waterproof, nor particularly warm. I might try to rectify this with some waterproofing spray and shearling liners, though I suppose it was too optimistic of me to expect a proper winter boot for $30.

 camel coat, white sweater, plaid scarf, fur trimmed hiking boots-9.jpg camel coat, white sweater, plaid scarf, fur trimmed hiking boots-5.jpg camel coat, white sweater, plaid scarf, fur trimmed hiking boots-8.jpg camel coat, white sweater, plaid scarf, fur trimmed hiking boots-6.jpg camel coat, white sweater, plaid scarf, fur trimmed hiking boots-4.jpg camel coat, white sweater, plaid scarf, fur trimmed hiking boots-10.jpg
The Rundown
Cream Mock Neck Sweater Ann Taylor
Jeans Joe's via saks off fifth similar
 Camel Pea Coat J.Crew thrifted similar
Faux Fur Lace-Up Boots Target
Plaid Scarf c/o Front Row Shop similar
Black Touch Gloves TJMaxx similar



Friendsgiving Outfit

Thanksgiving is done, December is here; it decided to bring the first snowfall of the year with it, but it turned to rain last night and no trace of white remains this morning.

I wish I could say I had the resolve to not partake in the Black Friday shopping frenzy, but that would have only been possible if I'd turned off my phone and computer all weekend. Instead, more packages are en-route to my door - at least a few are Christmas gifts!

This year I attended my first Friendsgiving with the New England Blogger Babes, and had such an enjoyable afternoon. I can see why this tradition has caught on - no one person is responsible for preparing a huge meal, which means that everyone, even the host, can relax a bit. We drank, we ate, we played games. No one argued about sweet potatoes. (I know it seems ridiculous, but somehow this side dish has become a point of contention at my family's Thanksgiving.)

I kept my outfit relatively casual for the occasion, pulling out some old pieces that haven't been worn in a while, including my grandmother's faux fur coat and this floral blouse I purchased for Thanksgiving in 2016. The velvet mules however, had just arrived from Loft and I was anxious for their first outing before it gets to cold for them to make any sense at all. Ah yes, making irrational shoe choices since 2008.

 Navy Faux Fur Coat, Floral Blouse, Velvet Bow Mules 3.jpg Navy Faux Fur Coat, Floral Blouse, Velvet Bow Mules 9.jpg Navy Faux Fur Coat, Floral Blouse, Velvet Bow Mules 7.jpg Navy Faux Fur Coat, Floral Blouse, Velvet Bow Mules 6.jpg
The Rundown
Floral Blouse Old Navy similar
Jeans Second Denim
Navy Faux Fur Coat Vintage similar
Velvet Bow Mules Loft
Bucket Bag "Johnny" Danse Lente
Necklace Thrifted
Thin Gold Ring Etsy via Ellyn Blue Jewelry


November Budget

I know it's Black Friday and I "should" be posting about sales, but I think the sales started about a week ago due to how late Thanksgiving was this year, and I already did a lot of my shopping (Christmas and clearly for myself) during the Friends and Family promotions and more or less got half off everything without having to wait.

Which isn't to say that there aren't lots of good deals to be had today - just that I'm not posting them here. Instead, I'm marveling at how much I managed to buy for myself this month when I (once again) told myself not to be shopping.

The gold dress was for Thanksgiving, and the velvet skirt and camisole are for Christmas Eve. The rest I managed to rationalize into my cart for some other reasons which I'm sure were very good at the time, but are currently escaping me. The reason could have very well been "it's 50% off".

I think the worst part of writing this post, was that with all the ordering and subsequent returning I did this month, I was sure I'd left something out, which should be a pretty good indicator that it was not something I really needed or even badly wanted. But now that December is nearly upon us, I will most likely just be saving my shopping resolutions for January.

Do you shop for yourself during the holiday sales, or are you good and only shop for those on your gift list?



Giraffe Print Blouse, $25 at Banana Republic
Cream Mock Neck Sweater, $45 at Ann Taylor
Black Faux Leather Pants, $55 at Ann Taylor
Black Rib Knit Sweater, $18 at H&M
Jeweled Slides, $8 at Banana Republic (after credit card rewards)
Velvet Camisole, $31 at Banana Republic (both taupe and navy)
Velvet Skirt, $44 at Banana Republic
Velvet Bow Mules, $40 at Loft
Wrap Cardigan, $25 at Target
Cheetah Print Wrap Dress, $75 at Ann Taylor

Elevated Basics

This week has been a blissful reprise of autumn weather, warm sun and cool air, the scent of the fallen leaves. I was grateful to be able to spend each of those gorgeous days outside walking with my favorite dog clients; the only thing I really miss about my office job is the chance to get dressed in clothing I would not welcome muddy paws on.

Lately my work day attire has been about the quick change - comfortable jeans that can effortlessly transition from sneakers and a tee shirt into a look that lets me feel polished and confident for any part of my day which doesn't involve my furry friends.

As much as denim silhouettes have been pushing for change, I am not ready to give up my skinny jeans, and styles that hold their shape, wear after wear, are the only ones I want in my closet. I'm happy to share the Ann jeans from Mott & Bow, a power stretch denim, designed to flatter every curve and provide the quality of designer jeans at half the price.

I love my silk button downs - it's likely I have far more than I could reasonably need, but they are a weakness. A classic, a staple, and Mott & Bow wants you to know that you can wear silk and skip the dry cleaner. Isn't that little tag frequently what stands in the way of pieces that get worn regularly and those which get saved for special occasions? It makes so sense not to wear what I love, even if that means simply switching tops and shoes for running errands between walks, with the right basics I can.

 Mott and Bow jeans and white silk blouse, black mules, velvet blazer-8.jpg Mott and Bow jeans and white silk blouse, black mules, velvet blazer-10.jpg Mott and Bow jeans and white silk blouse, black mules, velvet blazer-2.jpg Mott and Bow jeans and white silk blouse, black mules, velvet blazer-4.jpg Mott and Bow jeans and white silk blouse, black mules, velvet blazer-5.jpg Mott and Bow jeans and white silk blouse, black mules, velvet blazer-9.jpg Mott and Bow jeans and white silk blouse, black mules, velvet blazer-12.jpg
The Rundown 
Silk Shirt "Harper" c/o Mott &Bow
High Rise Skinny Jeans "Ann" c/o Mott &Bow
Black Velvet Blazer Urban Outfitters similar
Mules Charles David via TJMaxx
Bag "Lewis Drive Michela" Kate Spade similar
Loop Earrings Mejuri
Diamond Necklace Belonged to my Grandma
Fresh Water Pearl Necklace S.V. Decker
Thin Gold Ring Etsy via Ellyn Blue Jewelry
Gold Herkimer Diamond Ring c/o Lumo
Chevron Ring Etsy via Silver Canyon Jewelry
Sunglasses Ray-Ban via TJMaxx


Thanks to Mott & Bow for providing my jeans and blouse. As always, my views and opinions are my own.

Pieces from the Past

Considering my proximity to New York City (about an hour and fifty minutes if I get an express train) it had been over a year since my last visit. Going twice in the span of seven days was certainly not something I expected would happen this month, yet both trips reminded me of how much I love being in the city.

Stepping off the subway at Canal Street brought back a flood of memories from my trips with my friends when I was in high school. As soon as my mom decided I was old enough to go without adult supervision, the months that would pass without at least one trip to New York were few and far between.

This was before I had my iPhone (or any cellphone) offering me turn-by-turn walking directions, telling me which subway train would get me to the right place, before I could call a car with the tap of a button. I'm so spoiled now, but perhaps back then, with nothing but a printed set of Map Quest directions, getting lost was part of the fun. Lost we did get, wrong turns, walking ten blocks in the wrong direction, riding the subway to the end of the line because we'd missed our stop long ago but hadn't noticed.

There was sometimes a plan for our trips, a concert, dim sum in Chinatown, or to see a movie in one of the huge IMAX theaters, but often there was not - it was about being able to wander, on our own, without an agenda.

For a moment, lost in my nostalgia, I wondered if I could find photos from some of those trips, but of course if any exist, they would be prints from a disposable camera, buried deep in a poorly organized drawer. Maybe it's better that way.

 white ruffle sleeve sweater, black jeans, trench coat, leopard loafers, ONA camera bag-10.jpg white ruffle sleeve sweater, black jeans, trench coat, leopard loafers, ONA camera bag-3.jpg white ruffle sleeve sweater, black jeans, trench coat, leopard loafers, ONA camera bag-2.jpg white ruffle sleeve sweater, black jeans, trench coat, leopard loafers, ONA camera bag-13.jpg white ruffle sleeve sweater, black jeans, trench coat, leopard loafers, ONA camera bag-5.jpg white ruffle sleeve sweater, black jeans, trench coat, leopard loafers, ONA camera bag-8.jpg white ruffle sleeve sweater, black jeans, trench coat, leopard loafers, ONA camera bag-4.jpg white ruffle sleeve sweater, black jeans, trench coat, leopard loafers, ONA camera bag-14.jpg
The Rundown
White Ruffle Sleeve Sweater Sara Campbell via Coco's on the Green
 Black Jeans Gap
Trench Coat London Fog thrifted similar
Leopard Mules Franco Sarto via TJMaxx
Camera Bag "Palma" ONA
Pearl Hoop Earrings Thrifted similar
Midi Stackable Diamond Ring c/o AUrate New York
Thin Gold Ring Etsy via Ellyn Blue Jewelry
Sunglasses Ray-Ban via TJMaxx
Nail Color "Generation Zen" Essie