Saturday, June 28, 2008

Bikini Line Bliss

I'm not embarrassed to admit it: The thing I hate most about summer is bikini line maintenance. I am very fair skinned and very brunette. I do not like waxing--It hurts and you must wait until your hairs are long enough to rip out again. Shaving is no good--I've never done it without gaining at least a few painful red bumps for the next few days, and they are both unpleasant and unattractive. I want something better. I want pain free and ever-smooth.

I've had long conversations with a number of my girlfriends on this topic and we've all wished there was a great product made just for trimming the hedge. We've fantasized that we would invent one and become rich, happily lounging by pools in fine hotels proudly displaying our bald bikini lines to the shirtless young waiters who fetch us pastel cocktails with umbrellas and fruit.

Where was I...Oh yes, the product. I found it at Sephora. Check out the Bliss Bikini Perfect Deluxe Spa Edition.

Do you see all those attachments? It comes with a precision trimmer, a precision comb, an epilator (which pulls your hairs out by the root and really doesn't hurt I swear), a micro shaver, a micro trimmer, and an eyebrow comb. They also throw in trial-size tubes of Bliss Lemon+Sage Body Butter (love it!) and Lemon+Sage Body Scrub as well as some Bliss Ingrown Hair Eliminating Peeling Pads. There's even a travel bag (because this devise must accompany you on any beach- or pool-oriented vacation).

Ladies, I have never in my life been excited about pube grooming. I never thought this day would arrive. I read the very detailed instructions (which mention creating templates and personalizing). I've charged the batteries. I given it a trial run. I tried every attachment (except the eyebrow one because the thought of something going wrong there scared me). I love this thing! It is $60 well spent. (If you buy online, don't forget to shop Sephora through Lucky Rewards if you're a Lucky subscriber.)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

No Go on the Owl Shoes, and Great Mini Kimono

I got the cute owl shoes from endless today, and they are indeed...cute. But my toes hang over the edge--and that's never a good look. They are back in the box, labeled, and will be dropped in the mail room at my office in the a.m. which is a little sad. (DSW is offering triple bonus Reward points this weekend so maybe I can ease my no-new-shoes pain there.)

I also got a package from one of my favorite eBay sellers. I've bought a number of items from this Hollywood-based seller, a man named John who I've imagined is fabulously gay and stylish and has a tremendous apartment with a charming patio on which he photographs his mannequins after which sipping pink cocktails as he uploads his photos. (That would explain the occasional creative spelling.) Many of his items are from studio wardrobes. His starting prices can be a little high, but the clothes can be pretty fab--some high end, some new with tags, some vintage, always some leather something. My new top is a silk kimono-ish Jendela Batik number with a bit of a '70s thing going. Little-baby-kitty listed it as "very Studio 54." I think it's a more hanging with Rose, Blanche and Dorothy on the lanai, but in a good (younger) way. My distressed demin and my flat silver sandals will be nice with this, as will my skinny black pants, big earrings, and a heel.

(For some reason I find this mannequin's crotch disheartening--fabulous gay John: cover her up. A nondescript skirt perhaps, or even a tasteful pantie would be fine.)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My Latest Finds on eBay, Plus Owl Sandals

I got a two cute, kinda short and kinda fancy skirts on eBay recently. (I like to dress nice when Cheapy takes me to dinner--which is our favorite date activity lately. If I show a little leg maybe I can score dessert. Actually Cheapy loves dessert and if we get one to share he generally bogarts it.)

My first skirt is a new with tags J Crew Collection sequined mini I nabbed for $99 (after watching is through several auctions cycles and waiting for the price to go down). I know it seemed like my sequin phase had petered out, but, really, a sequined skirt is like bling for you butt. I can't get enough.

The other skirt I got for $28 is a Generra gray silk bubble mini. It's so pretty and has pockets!

I'm 5'2" so these "minis" aren't all that short on me. (They are skirts I do not need to take to Kim, my wonderful tailor. Sometimes I spend more on alterations than I do on an eBay item. But nothing is more important than fit no matter how pretty something is.)

And I kinda accidentally bought a pair of sandals from endless this afternoon (that's my story for Cheapy, anyway) when I was killing time before my facial (got a peptide peel--I feel like a girl of 35 again!). I had seen these on Shoe Blog in gold. They mentioned they were on sale at Barefoot Tess for $52 with a coupon code (down from $74) and shipping is around $8. Endless had them for $59.95 with free overnight shipping. I ordered the DV by Dolce Vita Dijon sandal in pewter.

How could I resist those owls? And I love that they are not totally flat--a tiny wedge is nice. I really like the whole Dolce Vita and DV lines--lots of great sandals, metallic and otherwise, including not-over-the-top gladiators. (I'm still looking for the right pair of gladiator sandals--I better get on that before summer is over.)

Monday, June 23, 2008

My Dressing Room Reorganization Project (Yay!)

You may remember my post about the mess that was my dressing room--shoe boxes and baskets of accessories everywhere! It was driving me completely crazy and making me run late in the morning. I could never find the shoes I was looking for, boxes fell over every time I opened the bottom drawer of my dresser, and my bracelets kept ending who-knows-where because I'd knock them over and lose them in the black whole of disarray.

To refresh your memory, here are a few Before photos:

Mess, mess, and mess. But no more! I finally got the shelving units I ordered from Pottery Barn Kids and I put them together on Sunday. Now check out the beautiful neat-o-rama I've got going on:

You can see the carpet!

My necklaces are now stored neatly in bamboo cutlery holders from Cost Plus World Market. (They had the same ones at Target for around the same price but Target seemed to only have two of anything and World Market had a million or so.)

The trays slide into three flat shelves that also have room for cigar boxes filled with other treasures. Shoes boxes are below.

I have more shoe storage in big cubes on the other side.

Bracelets are in easy reach in a World Market basket. The basket on the right has every extra button from every garment I've purchased in the last decade. I have yet to replace one, but I sleep better at night knowing they're there if I ever need them. (They're topped with a necklace that wouldn't fit anywhere else).

I even have room for some books and copies of Vogue. (Aren't the little mice I got from Trailer Park in Brooklyn adorable?)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

My Trip to New York: Shopping in Brooklyn

I'm behind on my blogging--I was in New York for a few days and when I got home, I had a lot of laundry and sleeping to do. I'm finally caught up on both, so I'll bring you some highlights of my trip in this an perhaps several other posts.

The best shopping day was my Sunday at the Brownstoners Brooklyn Flea. If I lived nearby I would hit this flea market every weekend. I didn't find any clothing, but I could see there was a lot of potential. One vendor offers a rack full of designer pieces in tiny sizes with nice prices. One has vintage items she embroiders with simple shapes or figures and wonderful phrase in Latin. (My friend had purchased a dress from this vendor featuring two big red whales--it's adorable on her.) There were many many racks of vintage and revamped vintage as well.

It was a great day at the flea for jewelry--my friends and I each left with at least one piece. (Well, they each left with one; I left with several.) I picked up two necklaces and three pairs of earrings. You may have noticed that I've been buying a number of big, chunky, and even statement-making necklaces lately. Several vendors at the flea offered jewelry more in the delicate and beautiful realm, which is lacking a bit in my jewelry boxes.

First I found a lovely starfish necklace from Odette. These jellyfish pieces are example of the amazing nature-inspired work they do in gold and silver. For more visit their website. (It's all interestingly pretty and a just a bit pricey but not overly so for the workmanship and materials involved.)

I got a lacey-airy-leafy looking necklace from Birdhouse Jewelry. My two friends got items from this vendor as well. (After I bought mine, I brought them over to peruse.) There are a lot of gold offerings on her Etsy page but my friends and I all got silver pieces. The selection at the flea offered plenty of both gold and silver and was vast compared to the online offerings. One online piece I particularly like is this peapod necklace. (I'm a big fan of peas. Yum!) Birdhouse is nicely priced.

My last jewelry purchase was three pairs of earrings from Blue Canary Vintage. They offer a great deal of dead stock brass and enamel earrings from the late '60s/early '70s. These are vintages pieces that have never been worn--and they're just adorable. I bought a pair of tiny roses as shown below--although the ones below are raw brass and I got a pair that they had gold plated. I also got bright pink roses and large brass roses. I've worn one pair or another almost every day since I've been home. They are cute and they are cheap.

To carry all must stuff on the airplane (including a few father's day goodies for Cheapy--coffee, a t-shirt, and spicy pickled green beans) and got a $5 canvas tote for sale on the sidewalk outside the flea market. I can't have enough canvas bags in my trunk--part of my quest to never acquire another plastic bag.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

My Week on eBay

I had a few very good eBay purchases this week. The theme seems to be flowers and bows. (What can I say--I'm such a girl.)

First a vintage '50s dress in gray cotton with a drop waist leading to a full shirt and an overall rose-and-bows pattern. It's in excellent condition and will be a nice addition to the dress section of my closet, which just keeps keep getting fatter. (I know it's time to do a closet clean out. But it's daunting. Cheapy said to me, "Cleaning out my closet is cleaning out my closet. Cleaning out your closet is reforming healthcare.") My new dress was $135 on a Buy It Now auction. Sometimes I don't have the patience to wait for an auction to finish. The opening bid was $99, and in this instance it was worth the extra $36 to have this vintage beauty. Note the weaved fabric detail at the neckline. It's a good length, too. I might not even have to have it hemmed (for once).

Next up is a Jovovich-Hawk leather belt with a great big bow. I have a black BCBG dress in my closet that this will be perfect with. I'd watched this belt through several auction cycles where it didn't sell and I finally had to get it for myself. It was $62, not bad for this brand and considering the versatility of this supple leather accessory.

Finally just what I need--another necklace. But I couldn't resist the chunky chains with the enamel flower. And at $14.99 I couldn't pass it up.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Friday Night at The Mall

I mentioned in my last post that my company declared "summer hours" during which we can leave at 3 o'clock on Fridays. So far summer hours have been doing a number on my discretionary fund. Last week it was Dillard's, Victoria's Secret and Sephora, this week Macy's and Gap. I left The Mall with a shopping bag full of purchases about which I am quite jazzed--three dresses, a pair of shoes and a white shirt.

I spent some time in that Macy's dress department and it was not much fun. All the things I liked on the hangars looked dumb on, the dressing rooms were like 95 degrees, everything seemed to zip up the side which was hard to do, and each time I was trying things on there was an annoying women having a loud cell phone conversation in the room right next to me.

I gave up and headed to INC where I found this dress that I love love love. It was in the petite section which is always a plus, and it's a cotton shirt dress with a full 1950's-ish skirt. I got the brown and white pictured below in a petite size as well as a black and white floral print in a regular size, which also fits me nicely but is just a tad longer. I wish I could have shown a bigger picture, but the Macy's site is being weird (which you may find if you click on the link to this dress.) The picture below does not do this dress justice--it's so way better in person when you can see just how cute the print is.

I also got these Reaction by Kenneth Cole wedges only not in black as pictured here. They were also offered in pewter and I've got a weakness of a metallic shoe. They're a nice squishy comfy wedge and I really like the wood heel and the t-stap.

Finally I fell into the Gap and bought two white items--it's practically summer, you know--time to lighten up. I got a rather granola dress that's two layers of very light cotton with some embroidery. It's not normally something that I'd gravitate towards (it's a little Rachel Zoe), but it's really a good summer piece, it was flattering and comfortable, and it was on sale for $34. (I couldn't find it online.)

I'd already checked out when I noticed a display of white shirts. Remember the hip-designers -do-the-Gap white shirts? Let's just say they did not go like hotcakes at The Mall. Not quite right for the suburban Midwestern mall shopper, I suppose. They were all on sale for $16.99 (and are currently $44.99 online). I headed back to the counter and bought this one by Phillip Lim, which was my favorite of all of the white shirts they offered. It will do well for me in my chilly office through the summer months.