30 November 2011

Finding The Perfect Handbag

We're all looking for it. I myself have a narrowed down list of three that I'm looking into. I thought I should share in case it could help those of you also looking. You can read my earlier post on good silhouette's  for an everyday handbag here. As I am now out of school, I don't quite need the massive Longchamp I would lug my books around in (on the bad days, backpack would be on hand) on a daily basis anymore.

Here's what I'm looking for:

-Leather. My only leather bag is on the verge of falling apart on me after all the abuse I've put it through in the 5 years I have owned it. However, I find of all the bags I've owned (in all different materials), the leather one held up best. I just love a classic leather bag.

-On the medium to larger size. I don't see myself as a light packer on the day to day. I need a bag that will fit: wallet, the book I'm reading, day minder, small notebook, small makeup case, ipod, glasses, and a few other little things. Since I'm attempting to be a real working woman now, it would also be nice to fit a pair of flats in for when my pumps make my feet cry (although I'm proud to say I'm working up good tolerance on that one).

-I like when a bag has several compartments. The leather bag I mentioned earlier was definitely the one I grabbed for because of it. It had the main middle compartment and then two on the ends. As well, in the middle compartment it would have a few little compartments for the things that would disappear to the bottom otherwise (lip balm for one thing). This sort of design allows for more organisation which is so nice to have when you feel too busy to think about where in your cluster of items is your pen or house keys.

As I have mentioned already, I have narrowed down my search to three handbags. One of them I have been coveting for around three years, and the other two are fairly recent discoveries (within the last 6 months). Let's go through them as well as the pros/cons:

1. MICHAEL Michael Kors Hamilton large tote
Details: 13"Hx14"Wx6 1/4"D, comes with either gold or silver hardware, contains a top handle and shoulder strap. Available in a wide variety of material and colours.

- I've been drooling over this bag for years now, so I know I love it.
- Leather quality has been checked out in person and it's very soft.
- I like how I have the option of carrying it either on my shoulder or on my arm. Most of the time I carry on my arm though, so it's not necessarily a game winner.
- It definitely has enough space to fit all my things and a pair of shoes in it.

- I'm worried if it's the type of leather bag that feels weighed down after adding things to it as it is a rather large size.
- I can't seem to decide if I prefer silver or gold hardware for it.
- I doubt it has much of different storage area's, so I'm worried about staying organised with this one. I used to have to clean out and re-work everything in my longchamp almost every night keep it organised, and I'm worried it's the same story for this.
-Sometimes I am not sure how I feel about the luggage tag and the MK lock detailing on the front.

2. Modalu Pippa grab
Details: 25Hx36Wx14D (cm) // 9.8Hx14Wx5.5D (in), has a double grab handle, three main zip sections, two zip sections in the front, feet on base, comes in five colours.

-It has compartments, and after CapitolHillStyle's review, I know this bag will keep me organised in a way that I'm ready to tackle the day.
- It has a more petite friendly size, so I know I'll be wearing the bag instead of it wearing me. This is very important.
- I know I'll be able to fit all my things in it.
-It has such a classic, no frills silhouette which I'm always a sucker for.

- It does not have a shoulder strap, which isn't a deal breaker but I occasionally like them.
-A few years ago I would've complained about the price as it's in British Pounds and the exchange rate was horrible if you were paying in U.S. dollars, but now that the ECB and Bank of England are joining Helicopter Ben in the printing press game my only real concern is shipping costs.
- I really can't find many cons. Nothing irks me about it.

3. J. Crew Biennial Satchel
Details: 11"Hx16"Wx7"D, pebbled leather, double handles. Comes in three colours.

- Like the Modalu, it has three compartments. That's always a plus.
- I've always been a pebble leather fan.
- It kind of reminds me of a doctor bag you see in old movies, and I like that because it makes me feel like I can be superwoman with this bag.
-The handles are large enough that I can wear as a shoulder bag also if I choose to.

- It's a little too simple on the detailing.
- I'm worried about how well it is in maintaining it's shape. For the price, I'm wondering if I should be getting a bit more.

All the bags fit my size requirement and will allow me to stay a level of organised. The Biennial will have to wait. This is because I love it in the red. The bright and bold colour makes up for it's lack of hardware detailing, and it's definitely something I will bookmark for the future. Everyone needs a bright statement bag but for now I'm looking to go with a basic black because it's the one bag every woman needs but I don't have. This brings me down to the Modalu Pippa and Michael Kors Hamilton. I have to say I would be happy to have either because at this point I feel like I have been coveting the Modalu just as long as the Hamilton even though I haven't. My final decision is the Modalu Pippa for the reason that I can't find anything about it which is making me feel indecisive. I love the Hamilton tote and will one day own it when I can decide how I feel about the front detailing and which hardware to get. Certainty is key to making a decision.

What do you think? What bag are you coveting right  now?

Midweek Treats: Sleek Leather Boots

This season I'm on a mission to find sleek and sturdy black leather boot to last me many seasons to come. I've been seeing this particular boot from Stuart Weitzman around for a while and absolutely love it. I had to talk my self out of buying it at the Bloomingdale's F&F sale recently. At the end of the day, this may be out of my price range (unless an amazing sale happens...obviously) so I'm thinking of going for the Michael Kors alternative here. My only concern, since I have not tried them on, is the shaft height. Being a petite, everything down to your shoes can swallow you. I do stand a slight chance as I have pretty long legs for a petite gal, so we'll keep our fingers crossed!

With divorce seeming to happen way too often in our society, this was so sweet to read.

After trying pumpkin for the first time over the holiday weekend via my friends pumpkin spice latte and muffin, I wouldn't say no to more pumpkin in my life.

28 November 2011

Thanksgiving OOTD

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. As I've mentioned in a previous post, Thanksgiving was never really a holiday we celebrated in my parent's house since it was so close to Christmas (which is when my whole family gets together). This year was slated to be the same way until a last minute trip to visit my dear friend was decided upon.

It was a very lovely weekend and it was certainly a nice change to how I usually spend the holiday. On Black Friday we indulged in some of the sale's. My favourite was the Gap. They had everything on sale for either 20%, 30%, or 60% off. We were able to pick up some nice things. I wanted to share my outfit that I wore out to dinner on Thanksgiving, and would also like to apologise for the blurry quality. I'm so bad at remembering to take photo's when I'm enjoying myself and in this instance I literally ran to my bag, whipped out my camera, and asked my friend to take a few. The lighting in the room was on the other side from where I was standing, so the flash wasn't going off and I wasn't aware until the photo session had finished that actual pictures were taken.

Broadway shirt from Stylemint (size 1)
H&M wool mini skirt in grey (size 4)(this fall)
Hue opaque tights in grey (size 1) (here)
MICHAEL Michael Kors Jada Bootie (size 5.5) (here)
Costume Pearls from NordstromRACK

I really like my outfit. The t-shirt is great and I would definitely pair it with a grey or camel coloured pencil skirt for work with navy tights and pumps. In fact, I've been scouring the web for those sort of items since receiving this shirt in the mail almost two weeks ago. Thank you for reading and enjoy the rest of your day!

Morning Inspirations: Cozy Monday's

Happy Monday everyone! I hope everyone had a lovely holiday weekend. Have you ever had that weekend where when Monday arrives you just want to curl up in a ball? Well, that's exactly all I want to do this morning. Unfortunately, work is calling me as I write this. If that was not on my schedule today, this would be my outfit in a heartbeat:

Inspirations- Cozy Monday

I have to say I really love this set, really. It's simple but I just think it's so chic. It's been rather warm in the Northeast for this time of year, and with the right layers it's totally possible to skip the jacket. I'm loving the option of a shearling vest for those sort of days. It gives a level of warmth without the bulk. Between the vest and the pop of colour in the red bag, this outfit is far from boring. To boot, you know you'll be super cozy dressed in this. All things I want from an outfit.

24 November 2011

Midweek Treats: Thanksgiving

I have a confession. My favourite holiday is Thanksgiving but I never celebrate it. Growing up in my mom's house, we skipped it most years to prepare for Christmas (we hosted my family for it every year). It was a practical thing to do but I was always secretly bummed when the holiday came along. This year being no different, I thought I'd post a few pictures I found that would be part of the equation (people are needed too) in summing up my ideal Thanksgiving.

Even though I prefer chicken to turkey (in most instances), you can't have Thanksgiving dinner without it at the centre of the table.

I'm still secretly wishing I liked pumpkin pie but hopefully I'll learn to make it good enough for others to enjoy, and it'll smell awfully good at that!

I kind of feel stuffing is more important than the turkey. While it's too late to make it for Thanksgiving, I'm definitely learning to make this in time for the Christmas holiday. You can bet I'll spend hours after putting together this post scoping out tons of recipe's to choose from.

Fireplace's... I've always wanted one but never had one. They're so picturesque and add such character to a room. I see sitting in cozy chairs with hot chocolate or hot apple cider in hand, watching the football game (go patriots!) after a stuffed meal.

To all those in the U.S. (even though I'm sure my readership has yet to move past it), I hope you have a wonderful holiday and thank you so much for reading!

21 November 2011

Morning Inspirations: Cozy Cobalt Blue Sweater

Happy Monday everyone! I sort of took a brief hiatus. It's partially to blame on my really slow computer that doesn't even want to load the polyvore website (or maybe there actually is an issue with the site). Hopefully I can get everything back to normal by the conclusion of this week's holiday weekend.

I know you're not the least bit surprised to see cobalt blue in the title anymore. I just can't get enough of it. Like I have said though, as the polyvore website is not currently working for me, I'm doing something different this week and posting an OOTD. I wore this to work recently on such a beautiful day.

Black Cascading Blazer- h&m in size 2 (this fall-may still be available in stores)
Cobalt Blue Sweater- Target in size small (old)
Long sleeve HeatTech- Uniqlo in sizeXS (review coming soon)
Slim Cropped Trouser- Gap in size 00r (here)
Nude Pump- Steve Madden (old)

This is a typical work outfit for me. I tend to wear trousers, a basic shoe, a blazer, and then layer on shirts under the blazer according to the days forecast. As we've been having oddly warm weather into this November, I'm taking the cropped trousers out for a spin as much as I can before winter is here permanently.

09 November 2011

Midweek Treats: Pumpkin Pie

Halloween may be over but it's still Fall, and Starbucks is still serving Pumpkin Spice Latte's. I'm actually not a fan of pumpkin flavoured things but so many people I know love it. Lately, I've been a little obsessed with learning to cook/bake more things and a Pumpkin Pie is right at the top of my list. Here is a recipe I'm thinking of trying out.

Dippin Dots filed for bankuptcy this week. This may have been the most devastating headline I've seen this week. My current thoughts are whether or not the Obama administration was discussing a bailout for them too ;) (Sorry, I couldn't resist).

07 November 2011

Pencil Skirt Mission Part 1: All in the Details at Ann Taylor

I may have mentioned this before but I'm not a huge fan of trousers. Give me a pencil skirt and a nice blouse, and suddenly I feel alive, chic, feminine, and everything else I want to feel in my clothes. Currently, I have a simple black one from Zara but it has a whole list of things wrong with it:

1. It needs a hem of about 2-3inches to be at my ideal length (that being about 1-1.5in. above the knee).

2. It doesn't have lining. I naively bought the skirt on sale 3 years ago, and had no idea what I should even be looking for in one. Now though, lining is bordering on mandatory for me. It just gives a cleaner line and makes tucking in so much easier.

3. I burnt it with an iron, so now the front has a section that looks shiny and glossy... Not exactly what I was going for.

Anyway, this has led me to seek another, several is what I really prefer. I've been feeling blah about plain black lately, so I scoured the Ann Taylor site for one's that have interesting details. Below are some that I found that I really like, and I need your help deciding which one to get!

I first saw it on Extra Petite and have been obsessed with it since. Sadly, at the time of writing this, the smallest size available is 0P. So this may have to stay on the back burner for a bit regardless of my liking.

This skirts design really reminds me of the Theory suit that has been a popular choice for the petite blogger's I follow. It's a simple dark colour but gives a bit of shimmer to brighten it up. The one thing that worries me is the length. The debate I started when finding this on the AT site is no closer to being over, and that was a few weeks ago. I'd love to get an extra set of opinions on this issue.

What the last skirt lacks, this one makes up for. The length (at least on the model) is perfect. I do wish it had more of a sparkle like the previous one but I like it just as well. It's a simple black/grey pencil skirt, and I'm imagining the fabric being a bit thicker (good thing for the coming Winter months).

If I had to narrow it down further, it would be between the first and last skirt. The first one stays in the running because it seems to have done well for Extra Petite, whom I would say is my size except her legs may be a tad shorter and she definitely has a narrower waist than I do. This means the slight issues she had with the skirt, may be a non issue for me. I like the sound of that for the sheer fact that I don't have the money right now to running off to the tailors, I've got Christmas pressies to think about.

What do you think? Thank you for reading and enjoy the rest of your day!

Morning Inspirations: Cobalt Blue Saga Continues...

Happy Monday everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful and well rested weekend! You can say mine was productive. I got started on my Christmas shopping, which naturally made me feel a tad crazy. I usually don't start until Thanksgiving with the round of Black Friday sales. However this year, I'm hoping to be mostly done by then :)

inspirations-cobalt blue dreamer

ANYWAY ANYWAY, the price on this dress is ridiculous. I wouldn't even be able to afford it if HauteLook or the Gilt Groupe ran a sale but it's so beautiful. Due to my lack of self-restraint, I am allowing my love for beautiful silhouette's be my excuse to stare at this completely chic cobalt blue (gives it so many bonus points) for hours on end. I love the jacket I paired with it as well. It has a very simple look but I can not resist that it looks like it will feel like heaven to wear, kind of like the cozy thick sweaters I have been dreaming of for weeks. I paired it with a simple black pump. I would recommend hose with in either nude or black opaque depending on the weather and your mood. The accessories were chosen in lighter colours to soften the look a bit.

Go here for the Polyvore details.

02 November 2011

Midweek Treats: Zipper Dress

It's no secret by now that with the return of cold weather I'm looking for cute ways to stay warm. The minute I saw this dress on Zara's online shop, I knew this was perfect. What really got me about this was the interesting structure and I love the zipper detailing. I would pair this with black tights and booties and then add a bright wool coat (perhaps my obsession for cobalt blue can come into play on this one) to brighten the look up and I'm ready to run out the door.

The drug company Pfizer may be offering an over-the-counter version of Lipitor soon. I'm all for more options in the fight against high cholesterol.

Intro to inflation lesson featuring the Duck Tales. My inner 8 year old was very excited to see this.