Fashion, Travel, Lifestyle, and Opinions on Everything and Nothing.

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Chevron Skirt

I’m crushed out on chevron (fun trend, glad it’s still hot).

And I’m (obviously) in love with Kate Spade.

So clearly I adore this skirt–even though they didn’t match the waist band pattern up with the skirt’s:


Kate Spade’s Robbie Skirt, $198 at Piperlime.

But it’s pricey. And I’m trying to budget (bummer, but I want a HOUSE, so I’m on board).

Target has a couple cute (and honestly more comfy) options:

Merona® Women's Elastic Waist Knit Skirt, $15 at Target.

Merona® Women’s Elastic Waist Knit Skirt, $15 at Target.

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MB Refined Pencil Skirt, $20 at Target.

They’re more casual but WAY cheaper and honestly look great on.

Have you found any great designer look-alike deals lately?

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Beach Bound

I can’t stop thinking about the beach. I’m obsessively planning what I’ll take with me…

Target has some really cute suits right now. I believe we all need at least one black, and one blue swim suit. And I’m convinced it’s not often worth paying more than $50 for a swim suit, as the sun, chlorine, and/or salt water will wear them out quickly regardless of the quality.

Each piece available at Target, $15 - $20.

Each piece available at Target, $15 – $20.

Obviously I’ll need a bag to carry my book and lotion and sarong… I like them roomy, and casual enough I won’t worry about it getting sandy and wet.

Gap - $40, Target - $20, Kate Spade - $248, Target - $20, L.L. Bean - up to $33, Marudas - $23

Gap – $40, Target – $20, Kate Spade – $248, Target – $20, L.L. Bean – up to $33, Marudas – $23

Sarongs are an absolute necessity. I love the versatility: it’s a towel, it’s a ground cover, it’s a skirt/dress/etc. This is a nice sampling of styles and colors available. I usually get mine from TJ Maxx or beach shops while travelling… TJ’s is cheaper but sometimes it’s nice to have one from a trip… great memories every time you use it!

The one on the left is $55 from Piperlime (Roberta Roller Rabbit). The others are all ~ $20 from,, and

The one on the left is $55 from Piperlime (Roberta Roller Rabbit). The others are all ~ $20 from,, and

What are your beach essentials?

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Infused Olive Oil

We bought a pour-top bottle recently, in which to keep olive oil on the kitchen counter. We, like most people, cook daily with olive oil, and it was a cheap, attractive, convenient storage and dispensing solution. I love the look of it. Silly? Probably. But why not?


I then thought how nice it would be to make our own herb infused olive oil to drizzle on crusty bread or over roasted veggies. Luckily I checked online for instructions first. Apparently, if you don’t use preserved or thoroughly dehydrated ingredients, you can end up preparing a lovely media for the growth of botulism. (!)


I then found several methods of preparing SAFE home herbed oil. It’s attractive and tasty, and I love that I made it myself. I’m going to enjoy using my fancy homemade herbed oil, but next time I’ll buy the pre-made. The threat of botulism dampers my enjoyment… buzzkill!

Have you ever regretted a project? What was it?

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A friend told me today she was keeping a dress she’d ordered online, but ended up not liking in person. She understandably didn’t want to deal with the hassle of returning it. Which made me think. This a situation we’ve all faced. It could be anything; the wrong color item was shipped, the product was damaged, the darn thing doesn’t fit, etc. Regardless of the reason, it’s important to return purchases with which we are unhappy. When we don’t, we’re throwing away our hard earned cash. So let’s decide we won’t waste money. We won’t keep things we don’t really like.


Small things we can do to make returns easier:

  1. Shop from companies with strong customer service who streamline returns (a few of my favorites: Zappos, Piperlime, Nordstrom, Victoria’s Secret).
  2. Try on items as soon as they arrive and decide if you want to keep them. Open packaging carefully, without damaging it. If the product is not right for any reason, repackage it right away in the original packaging, and fill out the paperwork or print out any return forms needed. Place it by the door or in the car so it’s easy to remember to drop it at the post office or UPS, etc., the next time you’re out and about.
  3. DON’T SETTLE! It’s a waste of money. This one is hard… we see something we can’t resist. We want so badly for it to be as cool as it looked online. But if you don’t honestly love the actual item you received, send that sucker back!


Reputable companies understand returns are part of any business in which goods are sold. They expedite the process, some of them even enclose prepaid return shipping labels. So go for it.

Companies that throw up road blocks to the return process are nothing short of predatory. So again I say, go for it. When speaking to customer service be polite and professional but don’t settle for “no.” Also, don’t be afraid to ask for a supervisor. Or even the supervisor’s supervisor. If you still don’t get any satisfaction, write a firm letter to the president or CEO (usually a matter of public record, Google can help you find out the correct name and address). And never shop with them again!

A friend recently had a customer service problem involving a major communications company. After weeks of getting nowhere, she wrote to the FCC, the State Communication Commission, and the President and CEO of the company. The head of the communication company’s division for the State of California called her a week later, and she now has his direct phone number. She’s getting resolution. This is an extreme example, (hello tangent!), but my point is, as John Wayne is supposed to have said to Barbara Walters, “Don’t let the bastards get you down.” (wha?) I mean, keep it simple (see list above) and remember that there is NOTHING wrong with returning unused, unworn items that simply weren’t what we hoped they’d be.

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Graphic Capris

Capris are big for the spring. Again. Like most trends, this has happened and will happen time after time. This time around they are close to ankle length, and while they can be found in all colors, graphic prints seem to be all the rage. Black and white is still big, navy and white is popular too, and the tuxedo trend is fun.

Even though capris are said to shorten the leg and make us look blocky, I always indulge in the trend when it rolls around again. They don’t have to like it (Who are They? I seem to be feeling fractious today…).

Below are some examples:

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Nayv & White:   J. Crew $350 / J. Crew $98 / Ann Taylor $88

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Tuxedo Capris: Tibi $295 / Tinley Road $69 / Zara $80

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Black and white: Blumarine $795 / Kate Spade $248 / Gap $50 / Old Navy $20

Will you be rocking capris this spring?

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I recently wrote about wardrobe essentials, the gist was that everyone’s needs and preferences differ.

So here’s my list. Much of it is common to the lists we have all seen. While what works for each of us is as individual as we all are, there are also commonalities (just as we all have as much in common as we are individuals). Contradictory? That’s humanity!

Monty Python's, Life of Brian

Monty Python’s, Life of Brian

I think I was just sidetracked by thoughts of U.S. culture and character, and the human condition.

Anyway, here’s MY top 10 list:

  1. Classic Trench. I could not agree with this list staple more. As Tim Gunn says, “You can wear it to the grocery store or the opera.” I feel so strongly about this that I have a beige one AND a black one. If you’re wardrobe building, I think a light tan is probably the most versatile.

    Trenches, image found here.

    Trenches, image found here.

  2. Black and Nude Pumps. Between the two, you have a heel to wear with anything. And remember never to settle for uncomfortable shoes, regardless how beautiful they are. There are swoon worthy shoes that also feel good on your feet. If you don’t believe me, check out Corso Como.
  3. Equestrian boots. Yes they are very popular at the moment. That happens every few years. They’re classics and never out of style. I agree with Wendy‘s recommendation, here, that the best option for this staple is a very simple clean boot without a heel or embellishments like buckles and straps.
  4. Flip Flops. My old favorites were a muted silver pair from J. Crew and the sole is almost completely worn through. The new favs are a Roxy black and white chevron pair from Ross for 9 dollars. I live in flips in hot weather. I know, some of you wouldn’t be caught dead in them. That’s why we all have to make our own lists!

    Boots, Flips, and Pumps. All available on Zappos.

    Boots, Flips, and Pumps. All available on Zappos.

  5. T-shirts. I like to have three specific kinds, as they work in layers differently and give me more options. V-necks- American Eagle’s are good. Crew necks- can’t go wrong with the ones from Gap. And Boat necks- J. Crew’s are great, and the elbow length sleeve gives them a grown up feel and makes it easy to dress them up. All of them go on sale semi-regularly so no need to break the bank.
  6. Tank Tops. I am the queen of the cami. And since I’m cheap, most of mine are from H&M. I have a dozen colors and layer them almost daily.
  7. Denim. There’s so much to say about the ubiquitous jean. It’s great to have a solid dark wash since they can often work as trousers. And I believe we should all have a comfy relaxed weekend pair too. More on shopping for denim here.Screen Shot 2013-01-18 at 3.07.04 PM
  8. Skirt or Slacks. This is a personal one. Are you a skirt person? Never? Either way is okay. I have both. I have a skimming but swingy tropical print skirt that has accompanied me to many and island, and the dependable pencil skirt serves all other purposes. For slacks I have a great pair of Kenneth Cole’s that have been a stand by for about 8 years now. I bought them long enough to wear with tall heels and they never let me down.
  9. Cardigan. They say “cotton is rotten” when it comes to running gear, and I have adopted this for sweaters as well. Maybe it’s just me, but my cotton sweaters stretch out of shape after one wearing, fade more quickly, and tend to show wear earlier than some other materials. I’m a big fan of wool: merino, cashmere, whatever. Wool/silk blends have worked well for me in the past, maybe with a little nylon or spandex thrown in. They’re perfect for layering, toning down a saucy top, or adding a pop of color to a work dress.

    The wonderful world of cardis. The above are all available at Nordstrom.

    The wonderful world of cardis. The above are all available at Nordstrom.

  10. LBD. There are innumerable Little Black Dress options out there, and the price ranges vary wildly. I have a few. One is more conservative and would be appropriate for a business setting or funeral (gotta be real, we’ll all attend these at one point or another and I think it’s only respectful to look presentable). Another is, well, saucy. Enough said.
A range of LBDs, all available at piperlime.

A range of LBDs, all available at piperlime.