Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Day, New Year

Style Shout Out to a New Year.

There are so many things I love about this time of year.  For me it's a season of celebration with birthdays (including my daughter's), wedding anniversaries, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  By the time New Year's Eve rolls around I am ready to have a nice dinner with my family, come home, play some board games (this year Seinfeld Clue is at the top of my daughter's list), and of course it wouldn't be New Year's Eve without watching the ball drop in New York City.

I hope all of you have a very Happy New Year, and thanks for reading my blog this year.  Also a big thank you to my hubby and my daughter.  This blog started with a simple question from my daughter a year ago which to para-phrase..."Is there something you want to do, in addition to being my Mom, that you're not doing right now?"

I told her that being her Mom was so rewarding and so amazing which is why I stopped working when she was born.  I truly didn't want to miss a moment.  I also told her that someday it would be great to get back to writing and to hopefully sell one of my songs.  She was 8 at the time and responded that while she couldn't help me sell a song yet, she could help me with the writing thing and so she and my hubby set up this blog.

Creating this blog was such a thoughtful thing for my family to do, so I made a promise that I would write. It's been a great way to show my daughter what it means to make a commitment and follow through.  She has seen the days when the words flow quickly and the days when the words are a bit slow to reach the page but through it all I hope she has seen that with determination and positivity goals can be reached.

It's been a fun year and I hope that you have enjoyed reading as much as I have enjoyed writing.  Who knows? Maybe this year in addition to writing this blog, I'll finally sell that song!

My Style Shout Out Tip:  The New Year is a great time to start something new.  I look at it like a clean slate...New Day, New Year.  My daughter's optimism is contagious and so for the past few years rather than make a resolution that I may not be able to keep, I just decide to build on my experiences from the past year and try to do things a bit better in the New Year.  I guess as a Mom the best resolution I can make is to be the best role model I can be for my daughter...and that's a resolution I know I can keep.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Last Call...First Quality!

Hudson Jeans @ Last Call
Style Shout Out to after Christmas sales!

When I checked my email the day after Christmas I was amazed at how many "after Christmas sales" emails were dated December 25th.  I feel like this year the sales have been a little better than last year so if you didn't find everything you were hoping for under your tree chances are you will find them on sale right now.

Even though Santa was very good to me this year, when I found these jeans by Hudson at Last Call by Neiman Marcus I couldn't resist.  Last Call seriously has some great pieces at great prices right now. The jeans I ordered were under $100 with the extra 30 percent off and for a pair of Hudson Jeans that is a phenomenal price.

Stuart Weitzman @ Last Call
A few other great finds at Last Call right now include tops by Joie and James Perse and shoes by Stuart Weitzman.  If you haven't checked out Last Call, check them out today.  My experiences with Last Call have all been positive and even with standard shipping my merchandise has always arrived within a few days of ordering.

My Style Shout Out Tip:  If you're fortunate to have a Last Call store near you take advantage of the extra 30 percent and have fun shopping. In addition to finding some great jeans, you may find something fun and fabulous for New Year's Eve at a fabulous price.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas And A Candy Bar

Dylan's Candy Bar at Neimans
Style Shout Out to the Christmas season!

Christmas is just around the corner and some of the online sales this week have been excellent.  I've picked up a few fabulous gifts at some fabulous prices.  I can't go into any detail about what I found because you never know who's reading. But I can tell you a few of the things came from Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus.

Seriously, I came across something on Neiman's web site yesterday for my hubby and with free get it in time for Christmas shipping Santa will be leaving another gift on my doorstep this afternoon.

And, if you are looking for a few last minute hostess gifts or a few holiday treats for your own home Neiman Marcus has a wonderful assortment of goodies.  My daughter's favorite chocolate chip cookies, besides the ones we bake together, are from Neimans.  I can't tell you how many of our trips to the mall include a pit stop to the cafe to buy one of their cookies.  A bonus...the cappuccino is also fabulous and so is their ice tea!  These cookies are available in a Neiman Marcus tin which you can re-use and they make a great gift.

Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies
Another fun food gift is the candy filled Christmas tree from Dylan's Candy Bar.  If you've been lucky enough to shop at a Dylan's Candy Bar then you know that as an adult this experience truly makes you feel like a kid in a candy store even if you're not a kid anymore.  I was first introduced to Dylan's by my sister who was on a business trip in New York and bought my daughter, who was about a year old, the most adorable tee shirt from the store.  The great thing about Dylan's is that even if you don't have one of their stores nearby you can order a few of their items, like the Christmas tree, from Neiman Marcus or you can visit their web site.  But snack before you shop because everything is so tempting and looks so good!

The other thing I came across at Neiman Marcus is the gingerbread house kit by Dylan's Candy Bar.  Making a gingerbread house is such a fun thing to do with your child at Christmas.  I have fond memories of my daughter building one with my Mom when we lived in North Carolina and my Dad was kidding around pretending to eat all of the candy meant for the house decorations.  And, for me that is what Christmas is all about...the laughter that fills my home and the smiles on my daughter's face throughout this joyous season.

Dylan's Candy Bar at Neimans
I hope you find some of your own sweet treats this Christmas and that you make some of your own sweet memories.

My Style Shout Out Tip:  There's still time to order some sweets from Neiman Marcus while they are offering free shipping in time for Christmas.  And find a few minutes to make some memories.  Me, I'll be making a gingerbread house with my daughter and today we may have to run to Neimans just to get one of those fabulous cookies.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Current/Elliott - Seeing Red

Jennifer Aniston in Current/Elliott
from Singer22

Style Shout Out to Current/Elliott and the little red jacket.

My husband always says that timing is everything and as I was looking at the Barneys New York web site the other day I was reminded of  how that statement really is true. You see as I was thinking about what my daughter and I would be wearing on Christmas I came across the most adorable red denim jacket by Current/Elliott. And no Christmas outfit is complete without a little red?

It's no secret that I am a big fan of Current/Elliott.  Their boyfriend jeans are like your closet's best friend and yes I have managed to dress them up with LK Bennett's Sledge pump, made popular by my 8 year old's favorite princess Kate Middleton.  And I can always find a good excuse to be comfy and dress them down with my favorite Converse Jack Purcell's or DVF purple flats.

Their stiletto jeans are absolutely fabulous for tucking in boots because on someone like me who is 5'4" they hit right at the ankle.  Again the versatility of this pair of jeans makes them a wardrobe staple and who knows, if Santa is kind-hearted and style-savvy, this year I may be able to dress them up or down with some classic Chanel ballet flats.

Current/Elliott at Barneys
Current/Elliott's denim snap jacket became an instant classic and this style in red is sure to follow in it's footsteps.  I'm thinking this will look adorable on Christmas with a little black dress and Stuart Weitzman suede Linear boots.  After Christmas this little red jacket will be perfect with my stiletto jeans and fingers crossed those classic flats.

My Style Shout Out Tip:  Invest in pieces that are versatile and classic from stores like Barneys, Nordstrom, Saks and Neiman Marcus. For trendier items shop stores like H&M where you can save so when that perfect little red jacket comes along you can splurge.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Better Day

My Daughter's Daisy Rock
Style Shout Out to A Better Day.

There is something so magical about this time of year.  It seems that everywhere you go people are just in a better mood and every day seems to be a better day than the day before.

For me this week was busy with getting ready for my daughter's birthday and Christmas.  So much baking, list making, volunteering at school, and shopping.  Seriously it doesn't get much better.  Yesterday I was invited to attend an assembly at my daughter's school.  The purpose of the assembly was to celebrate the first half of the school year and to recognize kids for their various contributions and achievements.

As a parent there is no greater feeling than when you see your child truly happy so yesterday was a particularly awesome day because my daughter was recognized for her academics and her good citizenship.  But the tears really started when they showed a music video she had created for a PTA national competition. The theme of the project was "diversity means..." and my daughter wrote a song about standing up and being yourself which for kids isn't always easy.  The video was positive and uplifting and the look on my daughter's face as she watched all of the kids in the school enjoying her music was priceless.

I've shared the song before but since it's her birthday this weekend and to celebrate her great day yesterday I thought it was a good time to share her song again and say thanks to my daughter for making every day for me a better day!

My Style Shout Out Tip:  I truly believe that one of the best gifts you can give to your child and to yourself is the gift of music.  And what better day than Christmas day to give that gift.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Beautiful Day

Style Shout Out to a Christmas stocking filled with beauty!

Some of the best presents are the ones that are small enough to fit into your stocking.  And I'm not just talking about the kind that are from Ippolita and are sparkly.  I'm also talking about the gifts of beauty.  I came across a few things on the Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom web sites tonight and thought I'd share them.

Fresh at Neiman Marcus
1.  This gift set from Fresh may not fit into a stocking but it should fit nicely under a tree and it is all about lips and all about fabulous.  I am a big fan of Fresh products and especially love the lip treatment as it does what it claims to do.  This is an excellent present for someone who loves Fresh and a great way to introduce someone special to a very special product line.

Yves Saint Laurent at Nordstrom

2.  When I think glamourous make-up I immediately think Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent. This Holiday Glamour gift set from Yves Saint Laurent will tuck nicely into a stocking and has some of the company's hottest products including Touche Eclat.  This product magically covers under eye circles and leaves you looking  like you had 8 hours of sleep even if you didn't come close to that number.  Also included in the set is a chic little make-up bag that holds a beautiful neutral gloss, eye pencil and mini mascara.

Stila at Nordstrom

3.  I remember when Stila first launched their line.  The way they packaged the product with the Stila girl was a brilliant marketing idea leaving every woman to be their own Stila girl. This palette, designed exclusively for Nordstrom, is the perfect size for a stocking stuffer and will fit easily into your handbag to keep you looking fresh all day.  Besides eye shadows, blush, a highlighter and a mirror for easy touch ups, this palette also includes a face chart with instructions that will make creating a polished look a breeze.  Take this and your Fresh lip color or Yves Saint Laurent gloss and you're good to go.

My Style Shout Out Tip:  Beauty products make fun presents.  When we were first married my husband gave me this great gift set from Estee Lauder that included everything from eye shadows to lip glosses to blushes.  I had so much fun creating different looks that the thought of that present still makes me smile.  And for me that's what gift giving is all about. It's not so much about what the present costs.  The real value is the feeling you get when you open the present.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Joie De Vivre

Joie at Nordstrom
Style Shout Out to Joie and the great clothes that make me feel joyful when I wear them.

Since its' inception in Los Angeles in 2001 Joie has created clothes that fit a relaxed yet chic California lifestyle. But you don't have to live in California to enjoy them as Joie is available at stores like Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus.

The concept of the company is that all pieces should be casual, comfortable and luxurious.  And year after year Joie has successfully managed to turn that concept into reality.

Having lived in Southern California for almost ten years I seem to gravitate toward clothing companies that are based there before I even know they are a California company.

If you've lived there then you know what I'm talking about when I say there is something really special about this part of the country...the amazing sunsets over the Pacific, the beaches, the weather, the music, the style!  And Joie has managed to take all that is great about this area and translate it into fashion.

Joie at Nordstrom
Nordstrom has some beautiful tops by Joie right now that will take you from the holidays through the rest of the winter in style. One of my favorites is the silvery v-neck that Nordstrom has paired with a Current/Elliott Stiletto Leopard print skirt.  This is the type of piece that can truly be dressed up or down because while the fabric has a dressy look the shape makes it look like your favorite go-to sweater that you would wear to a casual lunch on a Saturday with family or friends.

My other favorite is the June Peasant blouse.  Again this is a top that is so versatile and can transition easily from day to night.  The rich color makes it the perfect addition to a winter wardrobe.  This top would look just as good with 7 For All Mankind black velvet pants for a Christmas party as it would with Current/Elliott Stiletto skinny jeans for Sunday brunch.

Fashion should make you feel joyful and Joie does just that!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Current/Elliott - Boyfriends & Stilettos

Jennifer Aniston via Singer22
Style Shout Out to Current/Elliott for designing some fabulous fashion.

It's no secret that I love jeans and I especially love jeans that are excellent quality and have a flattering fit.  If you're looking for a great pair of skinny jeans that fall into that category then check out the Stiletto by Current/Elliott.

While this company may be best know for their iconic Boyfriend jean which has been seen on many a celebrity including Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, their line also includes some great denim jackets, tops, and skinny jeans.  My favorite skinny by Current/Elliott is the Stiletto.

First of all if you're an average height, like me, then the Stiletto jean will hit at your ankle.  This means no bunching, shortening, or having to turn the jean up once. This style also tucks into boots with ease and stays tucked and is the perfect length with a ballet flat.

I ordered my first pair of Stilettos in a medium blue color from Neiman Marcus where they are currently on sale.  After wearing them for a day and realizing that they looked as good in the evening as when I first put them on in the morning (no sagging),  I was excited to find them in a dark wash called Blue Note at Saks.  Even better than finding the jeans in another color was the fact that they were also on sale.

The Stiletto @ BarneysNY
Since I placed my order last week Saks sold out of the Stiletto in Blue Note but they are still available at BarneysNY.  So if you're looking for a skinny in a rich dark blue wash with no distressing the Stiletto in Blue Note may be a great pair of jeans for you.

My Style Shout Out Tip:  On a cold, rainy day like we are having today I pair my Stiletto jeans with Hunter Boots and a camel v-neck sweater from Ann Taylor...classic and stylish and warm!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy December

Style Shout Out to December!

The countdown to my daughter's birthday and Christmas has begun!  I absolutely love this time of year....the family...the decorating of the house and the Christmas tree...the baking....the planning of my daughter's birthday party...the's just so festive.

And of course no December is complete without a little birthday and Christmas shopping. As I was watching Good Morning America and reading InStyle this morning I came across a few things that will make excellent Christmas presents and I thought I'd share them with you today.

Ippolita at Neiman Marcus

If you are in the market for an interesting piece of jewelry check out Ippolita.  She designs some beautiful pieces in sterling and gold so there is something for everyone.  I love her gold bangles but I tried on this sterling sliver ring with London Blue topaz at Neiman Marcus that was amazing.  Staring at this ring reminded me of sitting on the beach in Malibu, staring at the Pacific on a beautiful Summer day.  For me jewelry is equally about the piece and the feeling I get when I put it on.  My daughter and I have been fortunate enough to meet Ippolita and she is as genuine as her jewelry.

Kara Ackerman

The Brooke bracelet by Kara Ackerman is one of my favorite go-to pieces. It's a really fun leather and gold-plated bracelet that will make a fabulous addition to your jewelry box.  Kara Ackerman designs pieces at varying price points so it will be easy to find some fun stocking stuffers.  I know for a fact that a few of her friendship bracelets are making their way to some stockings this Christmas.

 May Books

On Good Morning America I was introduced to May Books.  They are a company based in Dallas that is devoted to bringing function and whimsy to your day in the form of notebooks, planners, and agendas.  I think these books will make fabulous Christmas presents and stocking stuffers.  Personally, I am buying a few for my daughter's teachers, my sisters, my daughter, and one or two for myself.  The cool thing about these notebooks is that you can have a monogram added to the cover which totally personalizes the gift.  And, one more thing...if you order today you can save 50 percent!

Happy shopping!

My Style Shout Out Tip:  You don't have to spend a lot on a gift as long as it comes from the heart.  I have been known to write a lullaby for a baby shower gift and a song for a birthday gift.  Music comes easy to me so find what comes easy to you...maybe it's writing a poem or baking some truly delicious cookies.  Be creative and have fun this holiday season.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Guilt-Free At Gilt

Style Shout Out to guilt-free shopping at Gilt.

Christmas is right around the corner.  I have always loved the holiday season and it is especially fun as a Mom because you get to see Christmas through the eyes of your child.

Throughout the year there are a few things that make me feel like a kid at Christmas and one of those things is when I open an email from Gilt and see one of my favorite brands being featured.  From Chan Luu bracelets to 7 For All Mankind jeans I have found some of the best items and today's email did not disappoint.

If you are in the market for the perfect little black dress for the holidays check out this dress by Catherine Malandrino.  I love her designs for their flattering fit and excellent quality.  The price for this dress is pretty fabulous too.  For a fun look I'm wearing this with my Current/Elliott denim jacket and Chanel ballet flats.  For a more dressy look I'm thinking Louboutins or L.K. Bennett pumps.

I also found a great pair of chinos by J Brand.  When I hear the name J Brand I immediately think denim but their chinos are outstanding...super soft...super comfy...super fit.  And, at Gilt they are a super price.  I'll be wearing mine with ballet flats and an LNA tee shirt for a casual look.  To dress them up a little I'll pair them with a top from Joie and my L.K. Bennett pumps.

Make sure to check out Gilt today as things go quickly.

My Style Shout Out Tip:  While I totally enjoy a shopping trip with my daughter to Nordstrom and Neimans I also love the convenience of shopping at Gilt.  The prices are fabulous and so is their customer service.  Happy guilt-free shopping!

Monday, November 28, 2011

40 On Monday

Ribbed Henley @ LnA
Style Shout Out to Thanksgiving weekend and Cyber Monday!

First of all I have to admit that I didn't go to the mall this past weekend.  I am one of those people that loves Thanksgiving for the low-stress day that it is and I like to enjoy the long weekend. For me this weekend was all about family, food, football, music, and decorating for Christmas.

And today is all about checking out the great deals online and getting a little Christmas shopping done.

So you can imagine my delight when I was reading my emails earlier and found that 7 For All Mankind and LnA Clothing, two of my favorite retailers, are offering a 40 percent discount today.

If you are in the market for some fabulous jeans look no further than 7 For All Mankind because today they are offering an additional 40 percent off sale items.  Sevens are a staple in my wardrobe because of the clean lines and the flattering fit.

Boyfriend Shirt @ LnA
And for phenomenal tops check out LnA Clothing.  I love their tee shirts for the quality and the fit.  And for the cooler weather I absolutely love LnA's long sleeve boyfriend shirt and the ribbed v henley.

With 40 percent off this is a great time to pick up something for yourself and something for someone else.

Happy Shopping.

My Style Shout Out Tip:  I wear my LnA tee shirts all year long.  In the warm weather they are fabulous with shorts and flats. Today I wore one with skinny jeans, a leather jacket and Stuart Weitzman boots...hello Fall.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Kitson - A Really Cool Place To Shop

Kitson Pencils
Style Shout Out to the season of giving and gratitude.

I am one of those people that really doesn't like to set foot inside a store during Thanksgiving weekend. While the sales are great, I would rather spend time with my family, enjoy the holiday and do a bit of Christmas shopping online at night...but not on Thanksgiving night. That time is spent playing board games and eating leftovers from dinner.

But when I do sit down with my laptop this weekend there are a few favorite stores I will check out and Kitson is one of them. If you read my blog then you know how much I love Southern California.  Every time we are in Los Angeles visiting family we do a little shopping at Kitson.  This store carries a fabulous selection of merchandise and is, as my daughter describes it, "just a really cool place to shop!"

So you can imagine my delight when I opened an email today from Kitson advertising their Black Friday Sale with free shipping on all orders.  My cart is filled with some fabulous stocking stuffers like PuraVida bracelets,  Fresh Honey Tinted Lip Treatments and Kitson pencils.  I also found some candles that will make wonderful gifts for teachers.

PuraVida Bracelets @ Kitson
Sure I could find some of these items locally but I love when a gift has meaning and since Kitson is one of my daughter's favorite places to shop anything purchased there will mean a lot to her.

My Style Shout Out Tip:  If you are in Malibu visit the Kitson store at the Malibu Country Mart and Lumber Yard.  They have a great selection of merchandise. On a recent visit I found fabulous scarves, fun PuraVida bracelets, and interesting coffee table books.  And speaking of coffee, after you do a little shopping go next door and have a cappuccino and gelato at the ChocolateBox Cafe. It is seriously good coffee and some of the best gelato I have ever had.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Blue Jeans, Bracelets & Giving Back

Pura Vida Bracelets @
Style Shout Out to the blues Jean Bar and Pura Vida for giving back!

As I watched my daughter walk into school today with her backpack, lunch box, and Target bag stuffed with cans of food for the school's food drive I was reminded of how much I love this time of year. For me Thanksgiving is about being with family, cooking great food, and watching football.  It's also the time we clean out our closets to see what items can be donated to help others.

And usually after a closet clean out there is a little room to add one or two new things and I know exactly where I'll be headed to pick up those items.

Recently my daughter and I went to the blues Jean Bar because they are the one place in our area that I know of that sells Pura Vida Bracelets.  We discovered Pura Vida at Kitson on our last visit to Los Angeles.  The bracelets are available in an assortment of fun colors and benefit great causes, including the Surfrider Foundation.

When we were at the blues Jean Bar picking out bracelets for Christmas gifts I noticed that they were running a promotion for November.  For every can of food you bring to the store, they will give you five percent off a pair of jeans with the maximum discount being twenty percent.  If you read my blog then you know I absolutely love when companies do something to give back so I figure this is the perfect time to pick up a new pair of jeans and feel good doing it.

The blues Jean Bar is unique in that the stores have a huge bar with a "jeantender" who is waiting to find you the perfect pair of jeans.  They have really taken the guess work out of buying jeans and it's as easy as ordering a grande, non-fat cappuccino from Starbucks.  For me I'll be ordering Paige, skinny, medium blue, ankle length jeans.  My eight year old will most likely be picking out another Pura Vida bracelet and that's okay with me because when she wears them I know she will be reminded that it's always good to give back.

My Style Shout Out Tip:  Visit the blues Jean Bar to find the perfect pair of jeans and don't forget to pick up a few Pura Vida bracelets.  They make great stocking stuffers for Christmas and remember, giving back is always in style!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

L.K.Bennett - Classics & Quality!

Style Shout Out to Kate Middleton and bringing classic back.

It's my opinion that if we can credit Justin Timberlake with bringing classy back...think the invitation he recently accepted to the military ball, then I think it's safe to say that Kate Middleton has played a major role in bringing classic back.  I, for one, am very happy about this because I have always gravitated toward a classic look.

My philosophy when it comes to style is that it's important to find what works for you and to be on-trend but not too trendy.

Kate Middleton has put several designers and stores in the spotlight.  The ones that immediately come to mind are her wedding dress designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, Zara and the little blue dress, Reiss and the beautiful cream dress, and L.K.Bennett and the neutral pumps she has worn on several occasions, including her visit to California.

Now being married to a Brit I have heard of L.K.Bennett but have never had the pleasure of shopping in one of their stores.  While Chicago and Atlanta are fortunate in that they have L.K.Bennett stores, we in Dallas are not as lucky.  So after seeing Kate in her Sledge pumps, and being in the market for a neutral pump, I took a chance and called the Atlanta store.  I was told they had a shipment of shoes coming in and that there was a pair of size 8's that were not on hold for anyone yet.  Usually I don't buy shoes online from a brand that I have never tried but as I always tell my daughter, sometimes taking a chance pays off.

Via ShopStyle
So when the Atlanta store called me a few days later to say the shoes had arrived, I reached for my debit card, verified the return policy, was assured that this shoe ran true to size and happily placed my order.  I have to say that I was really impressed with the customer service at L.K.Bennett's Atlanta store.

When my shoes arrived they exceeded my expectations.  The color was the perfect neutral, they fit perfectly, and the quality was exceptional.  I was actually surprised that for a high heel they were so comfortable.

So, if you are lucky enough to be in Chicago or Atlanta, stop by L.K.Bennett and check out the Sledge.  And if you're willing to take a chance you can always call one of the stores and I'm sure you will not be disappointed in the customer service and the quality.

My fingers are crossed that L.K.Bennett will open a store here soon.  Until then, I have the Atlanta store's number in my IPhone!

My Style Shout Out Tip:  If you are looking for a fabulous neutral pump check out L.K.Bennett.  After wearing these shoes for a few hours I realized why they are a favorite of Kate Middleton.  These shoes are as comfortable as they are stylish.  Happy Shopping!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thank You!

Style Shout Out to our Veterans!

Yesterday after school it was homework time. As we do everyday, I made a cup of tea for myself (being married to a Brit has influenced my choice of afternoon beverage), poured my daughter a glass of water and got her a snack.

My daughter usually does her math homework first and I think this is because math comes to her very easily. So, yesterday when she said she was going to do Language Arts first I was a bit surprised.  She said the assignment was to write a letter to the troops.  As a Mom I have so many moments that have made me feel proud and watching her thoughtfully write a letter of thanks to our troops was one of those moments.

As she was writing we talked about the troops, our country, and freedom.  My daughter said that the American flag and the 4th of July fireworks always reminds her of freedom and how our troops work so hard to protect it.

So today on Veterans Day I would like to take a line from my daughter's letter..."Thank you for serving our country and doing so much for other people and for all of the sacrifices you make everyday."

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Happy Veterans Day.

My Style Shout Out Tip:  If you are in the market for a fun pair of boots that will make a difference, check out The Boot Campaign.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fab Finds At Neimans

Style Shout Out to Neiman Marcus and their First Call Sale...

It's always a good day when it begins with an unexpected surprise.  Today when I opened my email there it was...First Call at Neimans.  So there you have it.  Two great things together...fabulous quality and fabulous prices.

Here are 3 fab finds from the sale...

1.  Stuart Weitzman leopard print ballet flats.  These shoes are so versatile and look great with everything from skinny jeans to skirts.  Stuart Weitzman is synonymous with quality and these flats are as comfy as they are stylish.

2.  And speaking of skinny jeans I have and love these Current/Elliott jeans. Because they are cropped they tuck into boots nicely without a lot of extra fabric and the quality and color are excellent.  Wear them with boots, wear them with flats, wear them with'll wear these jeans everywhere!

3.  Kooba bags always make a statement and are ever so stylish.  I love the color of this hobo bag and think it would look fabulous with the Stuart Weitzman flats and the Current/Elliott jeans.  This is such a perfect bag for Fall and Winter.

My Style Shout Out Tip:  Have fun looking for your own fab finds and maybe you'll find a Christmas gift or two along the way.  Happy shopping.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ann Taylor & A Few Fabulous Finds!

Ann Taylor
Style Shout Out to Ann Taylor and some phenomenal finds.

Yesterday on my way to pick up my daughter from school I was twenty minutes early so I decided to stop in at Ann Taylor, which is conveniently located two minutes from school.  There are so many things I love about this store and at the top of my list is the fact that it is a one stop shop, the quality is outstanding, and I always find something fabulous.

Paige Jeans
My visit yesterday did not disappoint as I found the most adorable cream striped long sleeve tee which just happens to look great with my Paige Denim Jimmy Jimmy skinny jeans and this great cropped camel trench that I found at Zara last Spring.

My other fabulous find was a leopard print skirt that looks amazing with my Stuart Weitzman black suede Linear boots and my Vince turtleneck sweater.  The fact that the skirt was on sale made the purchase even sweeter and I love versatile pieces that can transition with the seasons.  This skirt fits the bill perfectly as it also looks cute with flats and a black tee.

Ann Taylor
I also found a simple dress in the most amazing shade of blue but they were sold out in my size.  Luckily we have another Ann Taylor not too far away and that little blue dress is on hold.  Again, the dress is versatile and will take me from Fall to Winter in style.

Thanks Ann Taylor for the great quality, great selection, and great customer service!

My Style Shout Out Tip:  Ann Taylor is not just for work clothes any more.  It's also a great place to stock up on quality basics like tees, scarves and belts. Visit Ann Taylor today and I'm sure a few fabulous finds will find their way into your Fall wardrobe.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Rita Hazan Knows Roots!

Rita Hazan At Sephora
Style Shout Out to Rita Hazan for creating fabulous...

Whenever I hear people talking about hair color the first name that usually pops into my head is Rita Hazan.  Over the past 15 years Hazan has gained a reputation as being the "It Girl" of hair color and a real trendsetter. She has also created looks for celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears.  Even though her salon is located in the heart of New York on 5th Avenue, she often travels to Los Angeles to keep her west coast clients looking fabulous.

But no need to worry if you don't live in New York or Los Angeles because you can still keep your hair looking Hazan fabulous with Rita's "Root Concealer" which can be purchased at Sephora or QVC.

The first time I tried this product I was in Los Angeles with my family and my sister and I picked up a bottle of Root Concealer at Sephora in Santa Monica.  Upon application I was immediately impressed by how easy this product was to use and how it actually did what it said it would do.

This product is available in four colors so there is something for everyone.  I like that Root Concealer is not permanent color, and that it's made with quality ingredients and is formulated without parabens and sulfates.

I really can't say enough good things about Rita Hazan's Root Concealer so the next time you're in Sephora pick up a can and try it for yourself and I'm sure you'll be singing Hazan's praises because Rita really knows roots and how to make hair look fabulous!

My Style Shout Out Tip:  Thank you Rita Hazan for creating an easy to use and very useful product. I told my hubby that our next vacation should be to New York so I can finally visit your salon.  But in the meantime I have my Root Concealer and am hoping you will be introducing other products soon.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Kelly Ripa & Nick Lachey Are Winning!

Kelly Ripa & Nick Lachey
Style Shout Out to Kelly Ripa and Nick Lachey for a very fun Halloween show.

When you're a parent of little kids Halloween is always a fun time.  Over the years our daughter has dressed up as a pumpkin, Belle from Beauty & The Beast, a cheerleader and a Pop Star.  I always have so much fun planning her costume with her and seeing the big smile on her face when she tries it on.

Besides my daughter's delight, the other thing I enjoy about Halloween is the Live With Regis & Kelly Halloween show.  It is always a good laugh and even though Regis was absent yesterday morning, Nick Lachey was great with Kelly and the show was very entertaining.  The show opened with a flash mob at Lincoln Center and costumes during the show included Princess Kate & Prince William, Nick Lachey as Charlie Sheen and Heidi Klum as Regis. Another funny moment was Kelly Ripa as the Bachelorette in search of a co-host.

I don't know if Nick is in the running to be the next co-host of Live but he was fabulous with Kelly yesterday and I think they were both winning!

My Style Shout Out Tip: I hope you all had a Happy Halloween and that you enjoyed the day with family and friends.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Colbie Caillat Shines Brighter Than The Sun

Colbie Caillat & Justin Young at House of Blues
Style Shout Out to Colbie Caillat who was absolutely fabulous in concert last week at the House Of Blues in Dallas.

I have been a fan of Colbie Caillat since her first CD hit store shelves.  There is something about her music with its beautiful melodies that reminds me of sitting on the beach in Southern California listening to Fleetwood Mac, who just happens to be one of my favorite bands.  So, when my eight year old daughter heard Colbie Caillat's "Fallin For You" on Radio Disney Jams 12 and asked for more of her music it made carpool a much more harmonious time.

It also makes practicing piano and guitar a more harmonious time as I love to listen to my daughter singing happy songs like "I Do" by Caillat.  And, watching her record a cover of "Brighter Than The Sun"  recently is a small moment that is a big memory.

And speaking of memories, when my daughter said for an early birthday present she would like to see Colbie Caillat in concert my husband and I thought that was a great idea.  We love presents that are an experience and agreed this would be a good show for her to see.

Colbie Caillat & Her Band
Once the tickets were in hand we told our daughter who was so excited and began counting the days...which I believe was somewhere around seventy-five.

Sometime during those seventy-five days I found some adorable friendship bracelets on Kara Ackerman's web site.  As I was ordering one for my daughter she asked if I could possibly order two extra bracelets, "If they aren't too expensive."  When the bracelets arrived she was really excited and as she opened the tiny orange bags she handed one to me, she slipped one on her tiny wrist, and said, "The third one is for Colbie Caillat because people must ask her for stuff all the time and I want to give her a friendship bracelet.  You know, to thank her for being my inspiration."  I would be lying if I said I didn't have a tear in my eye at that point.

The day of the concert finally came and off we went to the House Of Blues, friendship bracelets in hand and on wrists.  We were fortunate enough to attend a meet n greet prior to the show and yes my daughter was the first one in the line.

Justin Young
When you meet someone who is famous it's hard to know what to expect but Colbie Caillat far exceeded any expectations.  She was warm, genuine and kind and made a lasting impression and when my daughter told her that she played her songs in a coffee house Colbie asked how old she was.  When she replied, "I'm 8 and a half," Colbie told her that she had a ten year head start.  That put a big smile on my daughter's face which was priceless.  And when she gave her the friendship bracelet and pointed to the one on her own wrist there was another big smile as Colbie slipped the bracelet onto her wrist and told her that she loved turquoise.

The show, just like meeting Colbie Caillat, did not disappoint.  Justin Young was the first performer and he was amazing.  He is a fabulous songwriter with a very distinct voice and fabulous stage presence.  He also plays guitar with Colbie Caillat and the blending of their voices creates some of the best harmonies I've heard in a long time.

Jason Reeves, who writes with Caillat, also performed and, like Young, gave a stellar performance and was another perfect choice for an opening act.

Colbie Caillat, Jason Reeves & Justin Young
I have been to a lot of concerts in venues big and small but this show for me topped the list.  Colbie Caillat's voice was just as amazing live as it is on her albums.  The stories she told in between songs were heartfelt and when she sings it comes from the heart which is the place where music should come from.

The House Of Blues was packed that night and I think my daughter was the youngest one in the place but I have to give a big style shout out to Colbie Caillat's light and sound guys who were nice enough to give my eight year old a copy of the set list and a big comfy office chair to sit in which gave her a fabulous view of the stage.  Watching her sing along, clapping her hands, and smiling made it a great night and as we were driving home she said, "I'm so glad we don't have school tomorrow...and thanks Mom and Dad...this is the best birthday present ever!"

Heartfelt Performance at House Of Blues
My Style Shout Out Tip:  Colbie Caillat is a talented singer and songwriter who seems so at home on the stage.  If you have the chance to catch this show don't miss it because you will leave feeling happy and for me that is what the concert experience is all about! When I asked my daughter if she wanted to see Colbie in concert again she smiled and simply said, "I Do!"

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

TOMS - One For One!

Style Shout Out to TOMS for making it stylish to give back.

My daughter had a four day weekend which is a very big deal when you are in elementary school because it means you have two extra days without the annoying buzz of the alarm clock a 6:00am. Okay, this is a very big deal for the Mom of the elementary school student also.

We had a fun weekend which included a trip to Nordstrom where I bought my daughter her first pair of TOMS.  I have an adorable pair of espadrilles from TOMS which are just so classic which makes them just so perfect.  The other thing that makes them so perfect is the fact that TOMS really gives back in a big way.  I absolutely love their "One for One" philosophy.

My 8 year old wasn't too keen on TOMS at first because she has a strong allegiance to Converse but she does have an open mind when it comes to fashion.  So after she and I talked about social responsibility and what TOMS is doing to help kids who are less fortunate she tried on the shoes and loved them.

She loved them so much that yesterday we visited Nordstrom again to pick up another pair. You see my 8 year old is quite a good listener and her rationale for wanting another pair of TOMS included the statement, "You know Mom, if I get another pair of TOMS somewhere in the world a little kid who really needs them will also be getting a pair of shoes." Since she needed a shoe in another color I told her if she got the TOMS the Converse would have to wait. She was fine with that so off we went to Nordstrom.

My sister was shopping with us yesterday and she was trying on a pair of sunglasses.   I picked up TOMS wayfarers and told her that if the TOMS glasses happen to find their way under her Christmas tree she will be helping to give someone the gift of sight. I am happy to say they are now on her Christmas list!

Thanks TOMS for making fashion fun and for your fabulous "One for One" philosophy.

My Style Shout Out Tip:  If you haven't checked out TOMS yet head to Nordstrom or where they have an amazing selection of shoes and sunglasses.  The shoes are so cute and comfy and the sunglasses are stylish but above all else you know that your purchase is truly helping someone who truly needs the help!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Saks, Style & A Cure

Jennifer Hudson - Saks
Style Shout Out to Saks...

I can't believe that it's been over a decade since Saks first introduced their "Key To The Cure" tee shirt which now makes its debut each October.  What I especially love about these tops is that 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of each shirt goes to the Entertainment Industry Foundation's (EIF) Women's Cancer Research Fund which benefits more than 50 charitable programs.  These programs are dedicated to finding new detection methods, better treatments, and eventual cures for women's cancers.

Every year the tee is the vision of one designer and a celebrity like Heidi Klum, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Hudson are selected to be the spokesperson.

This year's tee was designed by Elie Tahari and Jennifer Hudson is helping to spread the word.  Besides benefitting a great cause this tee is super cute and super comfy and is available at as well as in Saks stores.

Gwyneth Paltrow in Karl Lagerfeld (2008)
via FabSugar
My Style Shout Out Tip:   Besides buying one of these "Key To The Cure" tees for myself,  I have been known to wrap a tee or two for Christmas.  I have a few of these shirts but the Lagerfeld designed tee from 2008 is still my favorite and every time I wear it I feel good knowing my purchase is helping to make a difference.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Guilt-Free At Gilt

AG Jeans at Gilt
Style Shout Out to guilt-free shopping.

We had a storm last night that finally brought us temperatures that feel more like Fall than Summer.  It's the first day in a long time that you can actually wear jeans. So how appropriate that today when I was checking email there was one from Gilt talking about their AG Jeans sale that starts at noon today.

Two of my favorite things together...Gilt and AG Jeans.  I love Gilt because they make the shopping experience fun and easy and their prices are as phenomenal as their customer service.

And I love AG Jeans because, besides having so many fabulous styles,  I admire their commitment to quality and also to the environment in the Ozone Technology used to make their jeans.

So today take advantage of the great sales and have some fun while guilt-free shopping at Gilt!

My Style Shout Out Tip:  My favorite AG Jeans style is the Stilt.  It is a skinny cut that is not too skinny in the leg.  Today I'm wearing mine with ballet flats, a white LNA tee, and a Burberry scarf.  Hello Fall.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Classics Are Always On-Trend!

Cameron Diaz via Coolspotters
wearing Chanel Flats
Style Shout Out to the classics!

It's been a busy few weeks with celebrating my parent's 50th wedding anniversary in Hilton Head, celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary, my 8 year old playing her first real gig, and planning my Mom's upcoming birthday party! But now that school has been in session for almost two months, I must say I am finally getting back into the swing of things.

Yesterday my hubby and I ran to Neiman Marcus at lunch because they are having a triple points event. Even though most people don't think of using the words "great deal" and "Neiman Marcus" in the same sentence, I find myself using those words in the same sentence quite often.  When you shop at Neiman Marcus you accumulate points that turn into gift cards. So a triple point event means your points add up a lot quicker.

Besides the "great deals" there are a lot of reasons why I like shopping at Neimans and customer service and exceptional quality tops the list.

Diana in women's shoes assisted me yesterday and she is amazingly helpful, genuine and honest which are wonderful character traits to have if you are in sales.  It's no secret that I love jeans, handbags, sunnies and shoes but must admit that while I have admired these particular Chanel ballet flats for quite a while, until yesterday I had never tried them on.  I know they are expensive and in the past have figured a flat is a flat but when I tried them on all I could say was, "Wow!"  The leather was truly like butter and with the skinny Paige jeans I was wearing they looked too cute.

My hubby loved them because he gravitates toward classic and quality which is an area where we are always in agreement.  I have a feeling that these shoes may find their way under our Christmas tree this year and that a gift card from the Triple Points event purchase may end up in my stocking.  A girl can dream!

My Style Shout Out Tip:  A classic ballet flat is a great addition to any wardrobe.  Saks has some fabulous Repetto flats and Stuart Weitzman has some great ballet flats at Neimans and Nordstrom right now.  Neiman Marcus is running their triple points event through this weekend so pick up a great pair of flats today and get a gift card in the mail later!  It seriously is a great deal.  I used my last gift card to get my daughter some UGG boots!  Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tuesday Treasure - Music & Magic!

Colbie Caillat on Today w/ Hoda & Kathie Lee
Style Shout Out to a great weekend with family and friends.

My daughter had her first gig last Sunday at a local coffee shop.  This is the first time she was asked to play at an event that was not sponsored by her music school so she was very excited.  In the two weeks leading up to the gig it was fun for me to watch her carefully select her songs and prepare for this milestone occasion.  And I must say that every time I heard her practicing it brought a smile to my face.

When she found out she was opening the show and that there would be four other acts to follow, she chose three upbeat songs that she likes to listen to as much as she likes to play herself.

My daughter has many musical influences but lately she has been listening to a lot of Colbie Caillat, Justin Young, Pete Yorn, and occasionally some Selena Gomez.  So her song choices weren't really any surprise to me.  She played keyboard and sang and opened with Colbie Caillat's "I Do" and dedicated it to my hubby and I who recently celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary.  I must say for me it was a magical moment that brought a tear to my eye.

Her second song was Selena Gomez's version of "Magic" which is just such a happy song. As I watched her playing and singing I realized that at her age I could never have gotten up in front of a packed house and performed.  It took me until I was in college to muster that kind of confidence.

Colbie Caillat & Justin Young on Today
The last song she chose to play was "Brighter Than The Sun" by Colbie Caillat and the magic for me was that it was the first time she played her guitar at any type of show, and it was the first time that she had my hubby accompany her with his guitar. To watch Daddy and Daughter play together with such smiles on their faces surrounded by grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends is a moment I will always treasure.

My Style Shout Out Tip:  I so appreciate the time that one of my friends spent in organizing this gig for the kids. It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon supporting young musicians and listening to some fabulous talent.  And if you have kids, give them the gift of music because it is a magical gift that will be with them always.

We posted our daughter's cover of "Brighter Than The Sun" on SoundCloud...happy listening!