Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sunday Brunch: Cool Blues

My hubby took me to a semi-fancy, romantic restaurant for brunch this past Sunday. The restaurant has the cutest, coziest atmosphere with a touch of that industrial-open-warehouse look with exposed brick walls and wooden beams overhead. We enjoy the look & feel of the place, but we really go there for the food. They have an amazing Bananas Foster French Toast, among several other yummy dishes. They also feature several traditional Southern dishes with their own little flair. This past weekend, I had biscuits & gravy for the first time (a rarity for someone who has grown up in the South).

The day looked amazing - bright sun, blue sky - but the heat & humidity were pretty rough. I think I picked this blue & white outfit to try to keep myself cool mentally. I got this skirt at BR off the sale rack when I was supposed to be shopping for my honeymoon a couple months ago. Wait, I wasn't supposed to be shopping for anything but a rehearsal dinner dress that day? Hmm...oopsie! Chalk it up as another impulse buy by the shopaholic...lol.

Wedge Shoes: Banana Republic
Blue Patterned Skirt: Banana Republic
White Tie Top: Old Navy
Purse: Chanel

Monday, July 28, 2008

Boutique-ing My Jewelry

This past weekend, I dropped some earrings off at a boutique that will start carrying my jewelry designs (under my jewelry biz, D Celestine - http://www.dcelestine.com). I wanted to wear something professional, but pretty. I decided to go with my new Forever 21 top I scored in my thrifty shopping spree awhile back.

I tried tucking the top into my skirt...

And, I tried leaving it out...

But I'm not sure which way I like better. I probably would have worn these with my skinny black jeans if it weren't so darn hot outside! Anywho, what do you think? Does it look better tucked in or out?

Floral-detailed top: Forever 21
Skirt: Kenneth Cole Reaction
Shoes: Kenneth Cole

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Date Night: Chocolate Fondue

My SO planned a cute little date night for us last night. He took me out to get some chocolate fondue - yum! Even though he was just wearing jeans and a polo, I still wanted to dress up a little. Here's that dress I got from Forever 21 on my Thrifty Shopping Spree I blogged about awhile back:

I love the draped hemlines in this dress. I've been playing with skirt shapes lately, trying to figure out which ones will flatter my body best, and I was surprised to find this shape seems to work pretty well. A great surprise indeed b/c I don't like too-tight clothes - the loose fit of this dress is right up my alley.

Dress: Forever 21
Shoes: Calvin Klein

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Not Quite So Thrifty, But Still Affordable Spree with Urban Outfitters

So, I actually got some clothes from Urban Outfitters a couple weeks ago and before my Thrifty Shopping Spree at Forever 21. I actually went in just for those skinny black jeans we talked about before, but as usual, I found a couple other things to pick up while I was out. All in all, I think I did pretty good - I got the jeans I went in to check out, I picked up a simple scarf and then two tank tops and a Tee off the sale rack. Not bad, eh?

So, about those skinny black jeans. When I went in to the UO store, the SA pointed out two different styles: a more pant-like material and a more denim-material. It turns out that the first type are extremely skinny - very tapered at the bottom (hard to fit over the tops of heels) and they are very skinny - and I mean super-tapered! I ended up liking the denim pair more - they fit me better and had slightly more open bottoms.

Oh, and remember those scarves we were talking about before? I found a super cute one when I was in the store and figured I'd pick it up before they sell out. I love the fringe on it!

I scored this gray tank from the sale rack - only $10! It's super soft, nice and loose-fitting (so I can wear it with those skinny jeans) and has a cute little keyhole-detail on it.

I also found this interesting tank top on the sale rack - it has an asymmetrical design on it in different tones of blue. It's a bit hippy, but hey, what's wrong with that? I think it will look really good with white jeans or some sort of white bottom.

Oh, and check out this adorable mermaid T - this was also on the sale table for only $10 - yay! In general, I am not a fan of sleeves (not even short sleeves), but I am trying to learn to like them. With cute tees like this for such good prices, I think there's a good chance for me.

Ok, I have some serious outfits to get together now with these recent shopping sprees, eh?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Must Shop: American Apparel Black Mini Skirt

As I mentioned in my previous post, StyleDiary.net has a plethora of fashion inspiration, and besides those gladiator sandals, I've also noticed the black, strechy mini popping up quite a bit. After searching for one for a few weeks at places like Forever 21 and Urban Outfitters, I finally found a great black mini at American Apparel:

RSA7303 - Interlock Mini Skirt - $25

It's super comfy and super stretchy and while I'm hesitant to wear it without some sort of leggings under it (they don't call it "mini" for nothing!), I think this piece will transition nicely into fall. Should you dare, you could style it with bare legs for the warmer weather (be sure to put something with some coverage on top - preferably looser-fitting to balance your look), and then pair this mini skirt with leggings for the cooler weather.

Besides those on Style Diary who have styled this skirt quite nicely, I've also seen some pretty chic looks on Miss Ashley Olsen here and here. Oh, and if you check out the link to AmericanApparel.net, click on the link for "Press" - there's a photo of Cameron Diaz rocking the skirt out with some big boots (I think the AO look is more up my alley, personally, though).

The look is a tad risque, but so chic if executed properly. What do you think? Would you wear a black mini?

PS Don't those shoes in that last photo of Ashley Olsen remind you of these Michael Kors Patent Sandals I blogged about awhile back?

NOTE: image americanapparel.net

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Must Shop: Bakers Gladiator Sandals

Since signing up for my Style Diary account, I've been scoping out lots of super cute and super haute outfits. It's funny how sometimes you'll notice the same things popping up on different peoples' diaries. One thing I've seen all over are these Gladiator Sandals by Bakers:

Bakers Dorian - $49.95

I've seen so many cute outfits done up with these sandals that I'd really like to get a pair, but I will have to wait for August at the soonest to snag my pair. My July budget is fini!

NOTE: Image by bakersshoes.com

That Old Navy Dress

So, I definitely stopped by Old Navy this weekend to check out that dress (click) - especially after I heard it was on additional sale. It wasn't quite as cute when I first found it on the rack, but when I tried it on, I really liked it. It almost has a vintage-y style cut to it and it's def super comfy. I could use to take the skirt up a tad b/c I'm kinda on the short side, but all in all it's a nice, easy dress. If you do go to get it, make sure you stick true to your size or even one down - the back is a tad loose and can easily show your bra if it slips down too much - at least, that's what happened to me when I wore it today.

If you're looking for cheap clothes, Old Navy had tons of stuff on sales and huge markdowns on their sale racks. I was in a bit of a rush, so I didn't get to look for very long, but I did score a cute yellow and white striped henley tank for $10 while I was there (can't find it onine to link to it) and I thought this stripey dress was insanely cute, but since I've already gone over my budget this month, it will have to wait.

Happy Shopping!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Steal of the Day: Summer Day Dress by Old Navy

Check out this super-cute, most adorable, and very affordable day dress by Old Navy:

The Knit Halter Dress - $24.50

At $24.50, this dress is a total steal. If you're looking for a simple day dress to rock out this summer, this one may be it. It's also available in "Tulip Red" - a bright red color. The dress features ties around the neck in a halter style and ties in the back to cinch the waist. Too cute!

This one would have been perfect for any Americans celebrating the Fourth of July. Hmm...maybe I should get it for next year?

NOTE: Image by oldnavy.com

Monday, July 14, 2008

Thrifty Shopping Spree

I haven't been shopping with other girls in ages. It's not that I'm anti-social. I dunno...it just...sorta...happened. I've grown quite accustomed to shopping on my own, but had a blast with a good girlfriend of mine this past Saturday on a thrifty shopping spree. My friend, RE, helped me pick out some really great stuff!

Now that I'm under major budget, I've got to buy cheap so I can have some fun in numbers. In fact, my spree this weekend reminded me how much fun finding a good deal can be. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love a good sale rack like any other girl, but full-price cheap is another adventure altogether. I recently signed up for a Style Diary account and have been so impressed by how some girls are able to mix cheap with designer and make it look so amazing. I hardly have any designer anyways, but I would like to diversify my shopping and get back to my roots - back when I was a broke high school/college kid scrounging the racks for the best deals. Ahh...the thrill of the hunt!

We primarily went to the mall to hit up Forever 21, but I also ended up getting a couple things elsewhere.

Here's what I got:

From Forever 21: Navy Modal tank top, Black & Off-White Dress with Bow, Blu-ish Gray Tank Top with Ruffly Straps, Off-White Top with Black Upper Section and Floral Design; From Express: White Ruffly Tank Top

Close-up of the Floral Design on one tank top - this should look great with some black skinny jeans!

Close-up of the Blu-ish Gray tank top - this one should also look good with some black skinny jeans

Super-soft white, ruffly tank top - so comfy and cute!

I also picked up a few things at Bath & Body Works including three bottles of my fave lotion in Cotton Blossom. I found out from the SA that they replaced the scent with Sea Island Cotton and talked to her for a couple minutes about how crazy it was they would get rid of such an awesome scent and would you know it...she came up to me a few minutes later and pointed me in the direction of the 75% off rack where there were three bottles of CB lotion. I scored them for $2.37 each - can you believe it?

I had so much on my thrifty shopping spree! I can't wait to go back! RE, when are we going to the mall, again?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Surprise Afternoon Date: Casual Chic

I surprised my husband with an afternoon date today. We saw a local exhibit and went to a local dive place that has fabulous hamburgers - yum! I wanted to wear something easy and comfy for all the walking and the heat! Phew! Here's what I wore today:

Dress: Lucky Brand
Gold Flip-Flops: J Crew
Belt: Banana Republic
Purse: Chanel
Necklace: D Celestine Limited

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Must Shop: New York & Company Pink Cardigan

As you guys know, I am always getting cold...typically whenever I'm at a restaurant or at work. I went to the mall today with a friend and spotted this super cute cardigan:

New York & Company City Style Button Front Cardigan - $32.95

At right around $30, this cardigan makes a great buy and is even machine-wash safe, which I love! This cardigan would be perfect for layering during these warm months.

NOTE: Image nyandcompany.com

Friday, July 11, 2008

PS: Hair Cut a la Jessica Alba

PS: I'm getting my hair cut tomorrow morning!  Yay!  Guess it's not really so much of a "cut" as a trim since I'm trying to grow my hair out, but I'm getting layers put back in it.  I had a bad experience with layers a few years ago where the stylist kept cutting the top layer shorter and let the longer layers kept getting longer and longer and it just started looking really bizarre!  So, after losing touch w/ the other stylist, I found a new one who cut layers in the middle section of my hair...like, underneath the top layer so you couldn't actually see the layers.

Anywho, my hair is just too thick to make that look work when my hair is straight, so and I'm starting to trust this stylist, so I think I'm ready to get some layers back. I'm going for something long and layered with some long bangs, kinda like Jessica Alba's hair:

Wish me luck!

***UPDATE - Hair Cut Photo***
So, I realized later that I forgot to mention that my hair is actually no where near as long as J Alba's in this photo, but the above photo is more like where I'd like my hair to be when it's long enough. Here's what it actually looks like after my hair cut:

I think it turned out pretty nice, but it will be interesting to see how the layers work when I'm trying to style my hair on my own. Now is when I'll really need that luck...lol.

NOTE: Jessica Alba image source unknown. If you are the owner of this photo and object to its use, please email me at shopaholicd at gmail dot com and I will remove it asap. Thanks!

Work Chic: Hot Times, Summer in the City

Whew! Is it hot or what? When it's as hot as it has been lately outside, I like to wear white. I recently purchased this white suit from Banana Republic when I had one of those coupons to get an extra (I think it was) 15% off. For anyone who works in, plans to work in an office or just wants to dress professionally, a suit is a great investment. In fact, if at all possible, when you find a fabulous pair of pants you plan to use for work, look for a jacket and buy it if you can afford it. Don't make the same mistake I did.

I remember when I was a broke college student working at J Crew and ogling all the delicious clothes that I saved up the money to get this beautiful pair of black pants with the thinnest blue and white pinstripes. They are amazing pants with a great classic cut and they fit wonderously! Every time I wear them to work, I kick myself that I was not able to afford the jacket. It would hands down be my favorite suit. Ahhh...c'est la vie, no?

Here's an outfit I wore recently to work to showcase my new suit:

Without the jacket...

...and with the jacket

So dear shopping friends, remember to get the suit! Oh, and don't be afraid to break the pieces apart - you can rock a cardigan set or button down with the pants and pair the jacket with jeans for a super-sleek casual look.

White suit: Banana Republic
Blue top: Banana Republic
Linen slingbacks: Banana Republic
Camisole: The Limited
Necklace: D Celestine Limited (I made it!)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Must Shop: Pour La Victoire Babette Heel

I wish I had seen these when I was at Urban Outfitters today:

Pour La Victoire Babette Heel - $139.99 (from $198)

So different and fun!

NOTE: image by urbanoutfitters.com

Urban Outfitters Does Summer Scarves for 2008

I've always liked layers - mostly b/ I tend to get cold easily and need to pile extra layers over my original outfit to stay warm. Yes, this even happens in the summer when I enter a store/restaurant/whatever that has set its thermostat to "icebox." I think some of you know what I'm talking about.  Anywho, I've also really been feeling all the layers the celebs have been sporting over the past few seasons - even the Summer Scarf (click here for a couple celeb shots). It seems a little odd to me that for as much as I love regular scarves, I don't have a single summer scarf...not yet at least. I'm planning to head to the mall over the next week or so to get those jeans we've been talking about and in the interest of my new-super-tight-budget, I'm hoping to stick to only one store - Urban Outfitters (hopefully that one pair of jeans will be the one and I won't have to look around too much).

I've found a few super-cute scarves in their online boutique I'm hoping to scope out once I'm "in store":

Pash Like Scarf - $20
A great starter-scarf for someone just wanting to try out the trend. Also a great basic color (currently available in 2 more colors online)

Supernova Scarf - $24
Fun colors - love the touch of sparkle throughout

Ombre Linen Oblong - $19.99 (from $28)
You had me at turquoise...and ombre

Coin Fringe Square Scarf - $38
The plaid will make a great segue into Fall 2008

After proof-reading this, I was reminded that I actually do have one summer-esque scarf shown here (click).  I wore it to an outdoor event some time last year when it was a tad warm and everyone kept asking me if I was cold.  lol.

Would you/Do you rock the Summer Scarf?

NOTE: images by urbanoutfitters.com

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Fourth!

Happy Fourth Guys!

Here's my daytime Fourth of July look:

A little red, a little white, and a little blue

Not my favorite look ever, but I really wanted to wear these pants and haven't had much a chance to wear them since I got them last summer. You can't quite tell from the photo, but they're basically a seersucker style with little white and dark blue stripes.

Did  anyone else wear red, white, and blue today?

Tank: Banana Republic
Pants: J Crew
Shoes: Tod's
Purse: Chanel Grand Shopping Tote

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Best Wedding Makeup Ever: LORAC

I was reading a post over at My Style-Ish Destination Wedding about wedding make-up, and it reminded me that I still haven't reviewed my wedding make-up for you guys. I'm here to share my suggestion for the best wedding make-up ever (or best beach wedding make-up or best special occasion make-up) to give you that special glow on your special day.

So here's my personal experience with what I consider the best wedding makeup...from the top:
You know me, let's start from the beginning. Personally, I've practically grown up on Bobbi Brown, and I've really loved MAC for a long time, but I wanted to see what my other options were available for my wedding make-up, so I went to Sephora for a consultation. I actually went with a girlfriend to try out Bare Escentuals because I wanted to get something for both every day (to even out my skin tone) and for my wedding day (to make me look fabulous) and I'd been hearing such great things about BE that when the make-up artist, Z, asked what we were there for, we said, "A BE consultation."  

Why you should not use BE on your wedding day (or any day involving lots of photos):
After a quick face wash and yada yada, Z started applying the BE make-up. I must admit, it was quite relaxing (if you've ever had a BE make-over, you know what I'm talking about - all that brush-swirling), and the make-up was going on really well. I was starting to fall in love...at least I was until Z asked if I was getting the make-up for anything special. I explained I was looking for wedding make up for my destination beach wedding in May and she told me quite seriously that BE was not the way to go for wedding make up. In fact, she said BE was great make-up, but not good for photos. Apparently, there's something in the minerals that causes a reflection with the flash from cameras making you look washed out in your photos...or like there's a strange halo/glow around your face. Are there any make-up experts out there who can confirm this? Just curious. Either way, her explanation was enough for me to decide to put BE on the back burner...possibly for a future purchase.

Why you should use LORAC on your wedding day (or any day involving lots of photos):
Anywho, Z went on to explain that the best make-up for a special occasion is a brand, LORAC, which was designed especially for red carpet use. According to Z, the make-up was created to give you a gorgeous red-carpet worthy glow making you look radiant in photos. She recommended (and I ended up buying and using on my wedding day) for my combination skin (yea, not ALL the products were by LORAC) the following:

Stila - Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 - $32
This was the base coat.  I just got a sample of this to take to the wedding. I'm picky on moisturizers and prefer to test drive them for a bit to make sure they don't break me out. Not to mention, as you will see, this make-up isn't cheap! I couldn't get it all at one time anyways. I'll go back for this if the test drive goes well.

LORAC - Breakthrough Performance Foundation - $38
Great foundation with anti-aging formula and SPF 14 - how clever?!

LORAC - Oil-Free Wet/Dry Powder Makeup - $35
A little extra coverage - comes with its own sponge, too!

LORAC - Blush/Bronzer Duo - $28.50 (I used "Hot Flash")
Apply bronzer in a '3' pattern - dust a big brush through the bronzer side of the duo, tap off the excess, and draw a '3' over one side of your face by running the brush from just outside the middle of your forehead (slightly closer to your hairline) down the outside of your eye, onto your cheek, and back across your cheek, towards the top of your jaw and following down the top of your jawline. If you look in the mirror while you do this, it looks like you're drawing a '3' on one side of your face...get it? Run the brush gently back and forth repeating the same '3' lines to highlight your face. Repeat with other side of face. A makeup consultant could probably give you a better description, but at least you have mine as a baseline.

Once I had my face on, Z did my eyes up with some really great, semi-natural looking make-up that was really simple, but really chic, too!

Urban Decay - Eyeshadow Primer Potion - $16
Apply a dab of this to your lid and spread all over lid with your finger tip.  This primer acts as a base for your eye makeup.  I highly recommend this for anyone who wears eye makeup ever. This stuff is great...genius, even! Go get some...now...seriously. It's strong enough to help your eye makeup stay smudge-free all day...all wedding-day even!

LORAC - Croc Palette - $35
I highly recommend this palette, too. The 4 eyeshadows in here are beautiful and really make your eyes P-O-P without looking too done-up. The chic metallics in this set look really cool for the beach (or a beach wedding) or even for every day. At least, I wore this on my wedding day...and I wear it almost every day to work now...I love it! The palette has all the colors you need: a base, a highlight, and a darker color for those who like a darker color in their crease.

MAKE UP FOR EVER - Aqua Eyes - $16
Great & simple eye liner here. Goes on smoothly - easy to sharpen (tip doesn't break easily).

Shu Uemura - Eyelash Curler - $19

The Smokey Eye Kit ($71 Value) - $42
All the brushes you need to get your eyes looking perfect for your special day. A wide brush for your base color, a medium brush for your lid and highlighting, and a round brush for getting your crease looking beautifully-blended.

Anastasia - Brow Wiz - $18
Simple-little brow filler. It's the little things sometimes...

Anastasia - Brow Fix - $19
A great wax you can draw on your brows to help keep their in order

Clinique - Colour Surge Lipstick - $14
I normally don't like lipstick, but it does tend to stick longer than a gloss would, so I put this in "Extreme Pink" under some almost-clear gloss.

Wow - as someone who typically doesn't wear a lot of make-up on an every day basis, I kinda can't believe I wore all these products on my wedding day, but they were all perfect and helped make my special day all the more special.

NOTE: all images by sephora.com

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Looking For: Black Skinny Jean/Pant

I've been looking for a great pair of black skinny jeans and/or pants. Prior to my buckling down on the credit card payoff, I was willing to pay for "designer", but now I'm looking for something more suited for a "budget."

Here's all I've found so far:


Elizabeth and James - Bardot Pant - $198


Urban Outfitters - BDG Black Cigarette Jean - $54

Any of you fellow shopaholics have any suggestions?

NOTE: Images by respective sites

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

My Must-Have Top for Summer 2008

This top makes me want to jump in my car and drive straight to Gap...

Gap - Flutter-sleeve top (from the European Collection) - on sale for $34.99 (down from $49.50)

...except, it's 10:30 PM and the store is closed. I know I could order it online, but I prefer to try my clothes on. What? I know, I'm weird like that. Anywho, this top is great for work or play and the fluttery sleeves make this top extra girly and sweet. Come to think of it, maybe I should pair this with something from my previous post and go for that rock-chic look?

Image: gap.com

Shop Bop's Sale Gets Tough & Girly

Shop Bop is having a sale! Here are some fab items with a dark twist for your inner rock star:

These kind of remind me of Carrie's shoes from the Sex and the City movie:

L.A.M.B. - Goldy High Heel Patent Upfront Sandal - $206.50 (from $295)

Biker Chic:

Kooba - Mattie Bag - $472.50 (from $675)

Sweet, yet a tad dark, no?:

Alice + Olivia - Circle Pleat Halter Dress- $256.90 (from $367)

Ella Moss is so comfy:

Ella Moss - Carlie Top - $61.60 (from $88)


KORS Shoes - Naughty Patent Crisscross Sandal - $199.50 (from $285)

What do you think about the tough-chic look? Would you wear a biker jacket with a girly dress?