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The Fab Five: March 2014

The Fab Five: March 2014 4

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Reasons why I hate March:

  • I really don’t care for Saint Patrick’s Day and all the traditional festivities surrounding it. (Red beer I can handle…but green beer? No.)
  • Because of Lent, all the fast food joints in Smalltown are frying up fish sandwiches on behalf of our devout, processed food lovin’ demographic. Whenever I drive into town, it smells like a Jolie’s breath after she’s polished off a cheap can of salmon.
  • It’s ‘Sota’s snowiest month of the year.
  • I’m forced to watch basketball game after basketball game.

I swear, I’m not trying to ruin your weekend with my pessimistic whining. In fact, I think it’s high time I put on some rose-colored glasses and focused on something a little more upbeat.

Like the five new things I’m loving this month, perhaps?

1. The Americans

americans

 

A coworker recommended this series while I was complaining about my House of Cards withdrawals. (After binge watching season 2 over Valentine’s weekend, I was left feeling sad and empty when faced with the reality of no more episodes for a long ass time.)

Season 2 of  The Americans is currently airing on FX, but you can stream the first season at your leisure with an Amazon Prime account. I was hooked from the pilot, and have quickly fallen in love with the fast-paced story line and complex characters. The show follows two Soviet KGB spies living in the DC suburbs during the 1980s. I find myself rooting for the bad guys (and craving a hot, steamy bowl of Russian borscht) in pretty much every episode. Really, my only complaint is that Keri Russell’s hair isn’t curly.

 

2. EOS Lipbalm

eos

I’ve seen so many ads for this stuff in Us Weekly, it’s a miracle it took me so long to pick up a tube sphere. And yes, it was a complete impulse buy made while standing in the checkout line at Target. (To my credit, it was either EOS or a king-sized Snickers bar.)

I learned today that EOS stands for “Evolution of Smooth”, which is a totally accurate description. This magical goop makes your lips feel like silk and it smells incredible. If you’re like me, and are toting no less than 27 tubes of lipstick in your handbag at any given moment, the unique shape of the balm makes it easy to locate with a quick finger brisk. This is highly preferable to dumping the contents of your purse out each time your husband demands “chapstick that isn’t tinted or sparkly!!”

 

3. This shirt from Target

tee

 

I’ve spent the majority of my twenties on a quest for three things: cellulite free thighs, a way to convince Scott to adopt pet monkey, and the perfect tee.

I’m proud to say I’ve finally checked number three of the list.

I boast a collection of tees from American Apparel, Madewell, J. Crew and the GAP — but this $12 cheapie from Target is my hands-down favorite. It’s long and slouchy while still being curve-hugging and flattering. The fabric has a unique nubby texture and is ridiculously comfortable. I highly encourage you to purchase one in every color, before they sell out.

(If only the monkey thing were as simple.)

 

4. Eat The Yolks

book

 

I was initially drawn to this book by the title and cover photo. I’ve always loved egg yolks, and have never understood why people are so deathly afraid of eating them. I mean…if the yolk of an egg is the worst thing you’re eating, I’d say you’re doing pretty well.

The book is definitely pro-Paleo. While I’m not sure I’m quite ready to join the prehistoric diet cult just yet, the book has great insight and takeaways even if you’re not planning on parting with your beloved carbs. Liz is a fantastic writer and prevents nutritional information in a way that is dry, sarcastic and downright hilarious. I just started reading last night and am already a quarter of the way through. I especially love this quote from Liz, which essentially sums up the concept of the entire book:

“On the list of things that matter about our food, calories are dead last.”

 

5. Pencil skirts with crop tops

crop

The crop top trend is nothing new, but I’m loving Spring’s fresh take on pairing it with sleek pencil skirts. I snagged the above ensemble from Express this week, and can’t wait to slip into it as soon as the temperature warms up. (Maybe by April?? Fingers crossed!)

****

What are you loving this March? I promise, I won’t thing any less of you if it’s some good ol’ Irish  green beer.

Psst! Want more Fab Five posts? They’re all right here

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It’s Angelina’s fault!

It’s Angelina’s fault! 0

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Apparently, talking smack about celebrities and their Oscar-wear comes at a price. The instant I hit “publish” on yesterday’s ranty post, things immediately went awry. I suppose that’s the type of karma that gets thrown your way when you call Angelina Jolie “frumpy”.

(Although let’s face it…she looked totally frumpy.)

Allow me to detail the bad ‘ish that went down yesterday, and you’ll see what I mean.

1. Backsplash letdown

Yesterday, our beautiful new subway tile backsplash was supposed to be installed. Because Scott and I live a very, very boring life (and care way too much about our kitchen) we had been looking forward to this all month.

And then they didn’t show.

Apparently, they ran over on another project, and will be starting our installation today…but they’re already thirty minutes late, so I’m a bit skeptical.

I think Scott’s text message put it best:

text

 

 

2. Chili disaster

Scott’s been working overtime this week, trying to finish dry-walling our garage before leaving for a snowboarding trip. Yesterday, I decided to spend my lunch break whipping up a batch of crock pot chili to surprise him when he came home from work. (Being that I only cook dinner about once a month, this would certainly be a surprise.)

My lack of cooking is not out of laziness — but more so due to the fact that Scott insists on making everything from scratch. Even mayonnaise. My tendency to use store-bought condiments as opposed to mixing them myself has me banned from the kitchen on most evenings.

Just as I was finishing up the chili, an unusual item in the pantry beckoned me.

peppers

The spoils from one of Scott’s trips to the mexican grocery aisle.

Against my better judgement, I dumped the entire can into the crock pot.

Long story short…Scott didn’t appreciate my chili. In fact, I believe the words “You are never allowed to make dinner again”, may have been uttered.

The sad part? Aside from being ridiculously spicy, the chili was delicious! (I would know as I forced myself to eat an entire bowl…even if it did take 45 minutes and six glasses of water.)

 

3. Bruises

In an attempt to de-stress, I took my aggression out on the bar at the gym last night.

Or maybe the bar took its aggression out on me?

bruise

So much for wearing a tank top anytime soon. (Not that it’s warm enough to, anyway.)

I did manage to increase my clean and jerk weight to ninety pounds…so at least there’s that.

 

4. Hole in my pants

Apparently, Jolie was hungry for a midnight snack last night.

jeans

She’s demonstrated such behavior before…but jeans? That’s some pretty thick denim for those little chihuahua teeth to bite through.

The worst part is that skinny GAP jeggings are my favorite pair of pants at the moment. I’m currently a little on the chunky side, and have found myself in a straight-up Regina George situation.

regina

Looks like this fat-bottomed girl is taking an emergency trip to the mall this weekend.

*****

With a Monday as problematic as that, you can see how I have a hard time believing this was simply “coincidence.”

Angelina Jolie, I’m blaming all of this on you and your sparkly sleeves of frumpiness!

angelina

I bet a chihuahua’s never eaten HER jeans.

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Fashion commentary from the girl who drinks alone

Fashion commentary from the girl who drinks alone 12

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How did you guys spend your weekend? Please tell me I wasn’t the only one cuddled up on the sofa, wearing every single piece of costume jewelry I own, nursing a bottle of Moscato I’d picked up at Costco specifically for the Academy Awards?

wine

And the award for best melodramatic scream when wine spilled all over her sweatpants goes to…ME!!!

Being that we cancelled our cable, I was forced to watch the red carpet via live stream on my iPad. This worked out well, aside from the fact that I had the broadcast times slightly skewed. Assuming stars would be gracing the red carpet around 4:30 Central time, I was a tad bit early in popping the bubbly. By the time the real celebs started appearing–approximately 90 minutes later — I had sorta kinda accidentally polished off the entire bottle.

I’m sure it’s no surprise that didn’t end up making it to the actual awards ceremony as a result. (As I type this, I still don’t know who won any of the awards!)

Lucky for you, I was able to stay upright and conscious for the entire red carpet parade, and am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on the subject today. I’ve divided the evening wear into three categories:

Major (The best of the best.)

Meh (Not terrible, but underwhelming.)

More moscato, please! (I need some more vino to make that dress look good!)

 

MAJOR

Cate Blanchett in Giorgio Armani

cate

I’d expect nothing less from a woman elegant enough to spell “Cate” with a C. The floral embellishments are lovely, and can we talk about those earrings for a second?!

It’s like the classy, movie star version of the nude, sparkly bodysuit Britney wore at the 2001 VMAs, which is probably why I love it so much.

Lupita Nyong’o in Prada

lupita

No surprise here! Lupita’s been killing the carpet all season long, and the Oscars was no different.  She looks like a modern-day Cinderella, but with better accessories.

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Couture

jlaw

There’s a lesson to be learned here, and that’s how crucial good tailoring is. This gown fits J-Law like a glove, which takes it from being so-so to so fabulous. The best part? Her gorgeous backwards necklace, of course!

necklace

Matthew McConaughey and Camilla Alves in Dolce & Gabbana

matthew

Best couple of the night! I love everything about this, and truly can’t decide which one of them looks more stunning. But most of all, I’m so glad Matthew finally put some weight back on.

Jenna Dewan-Tatum, designer unknown

jenna

My favorite dress of the night. Would love to have seen Amy Adams in something like this.

Julia Roberts in Givenchy Haute Couture

julia

Homegirl just gets better with age. Loving the lighter hair on her, and the black lace peplum is age appropriate and oh so pretty!

Jared Leto in Saint Laurent

jared

Umm…when did he get so cute?! Love the red bow tie and light-colored jacket. And beyond jealous of his flowing, perfectly ombred locks. (And, if I’m being totally honest, his long, skinny legs.)

Charlize Theron, designer unknown

charlize

I love how sculptural this is. Seriously, this woman–and her sickeningly perfect hair–can do no wrong in my eyes.

Kevin Spacey in Burberry

kevin

I could not love him any more. This stylish ensemble has officially bumped him into the number one spot on my celebrity crush list. (Sorry, Barack Obama.)

Gabourey Sidibe in Theia

gabourey

Nailed it. That color is perfect on her, and petal like texture on the skirt is to die for. I could have done without the jeweled waistband, but she’s totally glowing, so I’ll allow it.

Jennifer Garner in Oscar de la Renta

jennifer

Finally!!! Jennifer is always so safe on the carpet — thank you Rachel Zoe for convincing her to take a risk! This blinged-out fringe takes her from boring to bodacious!

(Sorry…needed a word that started with “b” to make that work.)

Portia de Rossi in Naeem Khan

portia

I think I just became a lesbian.

Kate Hudson, designer unknown

kate

A knockout. (With a cape! Which is clearly the best type of knockout.)

MEH

Naomi Watts in Calvin Klein Collection

naomi

I really want to like this, but the styling just feels off to me. Her hair and makeup is marvelous, but the ‘do doesn’t match the dress. And the shoes? Pretty sure I wore those to Homecoming in 1999. Her necklace and clutch are the best part of this, for sure.

Brangelina in In Tom Ford (Pitt) and Elie Saab Haute Couture (Jolie)

brangelina

Yawn. The best thing about this is Brad’s hair. Sure, they both look nice…but I’m quickly growing tired of Angelina’s long-sleeved fits-but-doesn’t-really-fit dresses.

Amy Adams in Gucci

amy

Stunning dress in a boring color + grandma updo = disappointed Katrina. (At least the earrings are fun.)

Kerry Washington in Jason Wu

kerry

This color is breathtaking on her, especially with that lipstick. But the hardware on the bust line cheapens the look and I feel like her hair could have tried harder. Also? Wrinkles!!!! (On the dress…not her face.)

Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, designer unknown

will

Seriously?? They’re still making the guest list?

More moscato, please!

Anne Hathaway in Gucci

anne

It’s not terrible….but I wouldn’t wear it in public.

(Partly because I can’t afford Gucci…but that’s besides the point.)

Anna Kendrick in J. Mendel

anna

She looks like she should be waiting tables at an Asian restaurant. (A ridiculously fancy Asian restaurant….but still.)

Pharrell Williams in Lanvin

pharrell

While it’s really never okay to wear capri pants to the Academy Awards, they should especially be avoided by those who rock chicken legs and  calf tattoos.

Chrissy Teigen in Monique Lhullier

chrissy

I feel a getup such as this is only acceptable when shooting a perfume commercial.

Elsa Pataky, designer unknown

elsa

Aaaaaand, I’m never getting pregnant.

All jokes aside, Elsa’s a gorgeous woman who’s looked beautiful and chic throughout her entire pregnancy–but this is not how you do maternity on the red carpet.

Liza Minnelli, designer unknown

liza

“If Grover had a stage mom.”

Johnny Wier and Tara Lipinski, designers unknown

johnny

They look like they belong on top of a really ironic wedding cake.

*******

What were your favorite looks of the night? Is anyone else experiencing an intense inner struggle as they try to decide whether Kevin Spacey or Jared Leto is their most favorite celebrity dream crush? I think I’m going with Kevin…only because Jared’s way prettier than me.

 

 

 

 

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Renting is sexy

Renting is sexy 5

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Last week, my very first order from Rent the Runway arrived. I was skeptical about the online service that specializes in lending out occasion wear, but knew there wasn’t room in my closet for yet another cocktail dress. (Admittedly, I have a problem with things covered in sequins.)

I added Clover Canyon’s Gatsby Print Flounce Dress to my cart, entered my credit card information, and hoped for the best. Would it accentuate my muffin tops? Make my legs look too short? Zip up all the way in the back?

dress

 

The dress arrived right on time, the afternoon before my event. I hastily opened the package, sprinting upstairs to try the two different sizes I had ordered on. Much to my relief, the first one fit like a glove. And it was actually cute…? Could it be my venture into the world of online dress renting had actually been a success?

dress

I proudly donned my Gatsby Flounce dress at the Justin Timberlake concert, feeling fabulous the entire time–I even received several compliments! The best part? I had avoided dropping an exorbitant amount of money on yet another frock I would wear once, before banishing it to the back of my closet until I had emotionally detached myself enough to donate it.

On the fence about trying RTR? Here’s why I think you should give it a go.

  • There’s an incredible selection to choose from. I had a difficult time narrowing my dozens of favorites down to just one dress.
  • There’s a dress for your budget. My rental was only thirty dollars!
  • They send you two sizes, doubling the likelihood that your dress will actually fit.
  • If neither of the sizes you rented fit, you can send them back for a full refund.
  • They overnight the dresses to you the day before your event. Delivery is guaranteed.
  • Shipping the dresses back is ridiculously easy. Just toss them in the pre-labeled (and paid) baggie, and drop them off at the UPS store.
  • Spills are covered! They have an in-house dry cleaner, so getting red wine all over the front of your outfit (like I did) is nothing to fret about.
  • They have amazing customer reviews, complete with photos. Reviewers make note of their height, weight and body-type, which make finding a dress that will work with your shape nearly fool-proof.
  • They send complimentary fashion tape with your rental. No nip slips, here!

Have I convinced you yet? Seriously…Rent the Runway is the way to do designer. It’s more affordable, less of a commitment, and the experience itself is such a treat. I can hardly wait until I have an occasion worthy of a second rental.

Speaking of which…a beaded Versace mini is totally acceptable for Tuesday night of Bingo at the VFW, right?

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