Month: June 2013

Remix Challenge: week 38

Saturday, June 1, 2013: shopping

remix challenge
Blazer, Ralph Lauren (consignment); blouse, American Apparel (consignment); jeans, maternity; tank top, J. Crew Factory; necklace, J. Crew Factory; bag, Coach (vintage); shoes, Ferragamo (vintage)

We have been hard at work on decorating Luka’s new bedroom, and ended up doing a lot of running around at various baby/kids’ stores. The “holy grail” this time? Magnetic letters and numbers – you wouldn’t think they would be hard to find, but they are. Our efforts paid off though, because Luka adores his new set, and is starting to learn both his ABCs and numbers.

This outfit is a little dressy for weekend errands, but I felt the need to up my game for a change. Recently, I dug out this linen Ralph Lauren blazer from the back of my closet, and decided it was time to evaluate whether to keep it or purge it. The only way to do that: try it out. The verdit: not sure yet. To be continued …

Monday, June 3, 2013: work

remix challenge
Dress, Nougat (gift)l cardigan, Banana Republic Factory; necklace, J. Crew Factory; tank top, J. Crew Factory; shoes, J. Crew (consignment); bag, Marc Jacobs (consignment)

This is a slightly different take on a previous outfit. The longer the Remix Challenge goes on, the more this is becoming the norm – especially as I do try to keep my new consumption fairly minimal, and my wardrobe shrinks as my waistline expands. Still, for most of us (and the general non-blogging population), this represents the norm: trying to find new and fun ways to wear the same old, same old.

This time, I wanted to avoid black accessories (shoes, jacket, etc.) because it would feel too somber with such a summery dress. Luckily, my blue J. Crew Everly pumps work perfectly with the colour of the dress pattern. They are not actually the same – the dress leans more purple/navy blue than cobalt, but the eye is tricked into seeing them as being closer than they are.

remix challenge
Nail polish: Chanel Bel Argus

Instead of a black bag, I went with a cream one; cream bags are under-appreciated, I find. They accessorize very well, and are a great neutral alternative to black. Depending on the leather/material, they are not any harder to care for or keep clean than other colours. I would recommend staying away from patent leather or suede/nubuck, or anything else that scuffs easily; personally, I have never had any problems with staining or colour transfer on my Marc Jacobs hobo bag, which is made out of fairly sturdy (but not stiff) calf leather.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013: work

remix challenge
Pants, maternity; sweater, Old Navy; shoes, Steve Madden

Another new take on a previous outfit; and by “new”, I mean that the pants and shoes are new. I love mixing this polka dot pattern with leopard print (separate by a solid neutral, in this case the black pants) – it’s about as adventurous as I feel I can push it at the office.

On the downside, I am experiencing a lot more swelling with this pregnancy, which means that these shoes are now officially too small and too tight. Because they are a cheaper/disposable pair (ahem, Steve Madden) and not made out of leather, they have very little give; I think this explains why I am having so much more trouble with them than with any of my other pairs of shoes. I am planning to send them to consignment, and focus on finding a better quality pair of leopard print shoes.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013: work

remix challenge
Dress, Joe Fresh (gift); cardigan, J. Crew (second-hand); bag, Coach (vintage); shoes, Prada; earrings, vintage

I got this dress from my mom, who didn’t like wearing it anymore. I also rarely wore it, except during my last pregnancy; the fit is a bit weird on my body type, resulting in a belly pouch – perfect for maternity wear, not so perfect for anything else. Needless to say, I really like the floral print … but this is still going into my purge pile come September.

Thursday, June 6, 2013: work

remix challenge
Pants, maternity; blouse, I.N.C. (consignment); cardigan, Winners; shoes, Kenneth Cole (thrifted); brooch, vintage; bag, Coach (vintage)

Second “pants day” of the week. Enough said. Sparky accessories though.

remix challenge
Nail polish: A England Rose Briar

Friday, June 7, 2013: work

remix challenge
Dress, Nine West; leggings, maternity; shoes, Stuart Weitzman; bag, Louis Vuitton (second-hand)

Rather than jeans, I decided to wear leggings again with a dress. Although this isn’t normally short enough to qualify as a “tunic” in my books, the extra weight upfront is definitely shortening it now – so much so that I would not feel it’s appropriate to wear to work without more coverage on my legs. Still, for a casual Friday, I do think leggings can be deployed appropriately. Always with flats!


Jewelry Display

Although I have full custody of the master bedroom walk-in closet, I am perennially having closet space issues. Rather than take it as a sign that I need to shop less (God forbid!), I take it as a sign that I need to come up with ever more inventive ways to maximize storage space.

Even more so than for clothes, I am obsessed with creative storage solutions for my jewelry. I firmly believe that the “out of sight, out of mind” principle applies, so I like having my bijoux visible at all times. In an ideal world, I would love to have a big enough closet to accommodate a large island-type cabinet, topped off with a glass-top display case for my sparkly goodies. Alas, in this world, I have a narrow shelf at my disposal. Four inches wide, to be precise. What is a girl to do?

A long time ago, I solved the problem of a necklace display by buying a cork-backed framed board, and hanging (some of ) my necklaces on pins. I also use the same board to pin my earrings on. That still left a huge wack of jewelry unaccounted for: rings, brooches, clip-on earrings, bracelets, chunkier necklaces. For a long time, I kept these things in various assorted bowls and boxes, which fell somewhat short on display panache. So recently, I did an overhaul of my jewelry shelf, with help from some pieces I randomly – and fortuitously – came across on my shopping peregrinations.

First, I put my Fenton milk glass bowls to use; one for chunky necklaces, one for brooches and clip-on earrings, and one for my make-up (not pictured). I would like to find at least one more, to contain some of the already-accumulating overflow.

jewelry display
Fenton milk glass bowl (vintage, $10)


jewelry display
Fenton milk glass tray (vintage, $8)

Next, I found a metal jewelry display at Winners with a somewhat rustic, antique-y vibe to it. The off-white paint helps to make it stand out against the wall and furniture colour, and it goes well with the other display items.

jewelry display
Jewelry stand (Winners, $17)

As a bonus, it has a little tray at the bottom, which is useful for storing my girly bits-‘n-bobs. Last, but not least, I found a glass-top display case! True, it’s small. But I love how it looks, especially the rough hewn burlap fabric used to upholster it – a nice contrast to the sparkliness inside.

jewelry display
Jewelry case (Winners, $34)

The first tray contains my rings, and some of my favourite vintage jewelry pieces.

jewelry display
Mah bijoux

The second tray holds some heavier necklaces.

jewelry display
Mah bling

And that, dear readers, is how I managed to cram a few pounds of jewelry into a very narrow space!

What do you think of my jewelry storage (and display) solutions? How do you organize your jewelry? Share tips in the comments!

Remix Challenge: week 37

Sunday, May 26, 2013: visiting the grandparents

remix challenge
Dress, MICHAEL Michael Kors (consignment); jacket, Tommy Hilfiger Outlet; necklace, Banana Republic; shoes, Taryn Rose; bag, Longchamps

Luka and I went to visit the grandparents, while dad worked on getting Luka’s “big boy” bedroom set up. This combo – dress and jean jacket – is quickly becoming my go-to weekend wear. So easy, so comfortable.

Monday, May 27, 2013: work

remix challenge
Dress, BCBG (consignment); blazer, Theory (consignment); necklace, Swarovski; shoes, J. Crew (consignment); bag, Chanel (consignment)

This is one of my new maternity “muumuus”, dressed up for the office. It’s not technically a muumuu, insofar as it’s form-fitting rather than tent-like, but I call it that because it’s basically shapeless – the cut follows your own silhouette, for better or worse. I think these types of dresses look best women who either (a) have abs of steel; or (b) are pregnant. The print here is a bit wild but it’s “tamed” by a couple of things: (1) the longer length; and (2) the higher neckline. Also the more sombre black blazer.

remix challenge
Check out mah new heels!!

I was initially planning to wear black pumps, but the overall effect was a little too much for daytime. The bright J. Crew Everly pumps were a perfect balance to the black blazer; next time I wear this dress, I think I will try reversing the colour polarity (black shoes, colourful topper).

remix challenge
Nail polish: Chanel Skyline

An aside on the Everly pumps: I love how they look, even though they are not the most comfortable shoes, especially now. It’s to be expected. The unexpected thing is … they squeak. I’m not sure if it was a function of wearing nylons (or the particular brand/type of nylon), or the lining of the shoe itself, but there was definite squeaking with every step.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013: work

remix challenge
Pants, Liz Lange for Target; top, Nine West (consignment); cardigan, Winners; shoes, Ferragamo (vintage); necklace, vintage

I am semi-seriously debating making Tuesday my official “pants day”. This time, I decided to dress up an empire-waist camisole with a cardigan in a complementary colour; not ground-breaking but still fun. Hey, it could be worse, right? I definitely like these Liz Lange for Target pants better than my old pair of maternity dress pants.

remix challenge
Nail polish: Zoya Demi

Wednesday, May 29, 2013: work

remix challenge
Dress, Calvin Klein; shoes, Nine West

I managed to squeeze into this dress (literally) one more time, and I’m pretty happy about it because it’s one of my faves. Instead of black or red accessories, I decided to try for something more outside-the-box: nude heels and a vintage brooch.

remix challenge
Vintage brooch; Coloured gel nails in “Creme Caramel”

Thursday, May 30m 2913: work

remix challenge
Skirt, Joe Fresh (thrifted); cardigan, Banana Republic Factory; tank top, J. Crew Factory; brooch, vintage (thrifted); shoes, Ellen Tracy; bag, Marc Jacobs (consignment)

This is – sniff! – the last skirt that still fits. Navy, cream, and polka dots: classic neutrals perked up with a happy print. And red accents, because red goes with everything.

remix challenge
Nail polish: Chanel Pirate

Friday, June 1, 2013: work

remix challenge
Jeans, maternity; blouse, J. Crew (consignment); cardigan, Winners; shoes, Jules + Jim (consignment); bag, Coach (vintage)

A typical “casual Friday” ensemble: jeans, colourful top, office-appropriate blazer cardigan (changed my mind). Once  got to work, I realized the blouse is now too small/tight across the chest. I haaaate when that happens. Oh well, one more (temporary) farewell.   On an unrelated note, I am so happy that my hair is finally growing out enough to pull back; I am hoping that by the end of the summer, it will be long enough to try a new ‘do. Any guesses what I’m thinking about?