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.