Well Hello 2017

Well it has been a hot minute since I last posted.  I can’t believe all that has happened!  To kick off the New Year, I gave birth to my beautiful daughter who is a very happy and smiley baby, not to mention very squishy.  She has been a lot of work as most babies are but she is quite a joy to be with and I just adore her!

I then resigned from my job with the City and landed a job close to home. It was hard to leave but the commute downtown was enough to drive me mad!  I also returned to work a month early from maternity leave because timing is everything so when the opportunity to work close to home arose, I jumped on it.   So c’est la vie, the days fly by and here I am, 3 months later, ready to post!  I would love to try and post every few days but I am not sure how committed I can be to such a goal.  What with my toddler, a newborn and a new job, I can only do so much. But I am a woman, and I say do as Beyonce do,”who run the world, GIRLS!”.

To start off my first post for 2017, I have to talk about my newest piece from Coach.  It is the Sadie flap bag in pink and red with gold hardware.  This bag strongly reflects my mood and that could be why I am so into it at this time!  Its bright and happy, kind of like my little one and I LOVE pink.  Finding the right pink that is not too cloyingly cute is difficult but this one is just the right amount of classic meets fun.  I bought this gorgeous satchel on Poshmark for an amazing price and have absolutely no regrets.  I honestly didn’t think I would love it as much as I do but this bag has been by my side for the last month! It is the perfect work bag- plenty of room for my necessities and the color is just the right amount of happy, a bright fuchsia to add some oomph to any and all of my work outfits. It has a handle strap as well as  detachable shoulder strap, and a few pockets inside to keep things organized.  I have been so in love with this latest purchase that I have been scouring consignment sites for a black or navy version to use during winter!  But for now, I will just soak up this lovely warm spring weather and show case my newest obsessions!

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Favorite clothes, makeup and overall favorite of 2016

CLOTHES

Forever 21 kimono

I think I got this Kimono a few years ago and have worn it on so many occasions- to weddings, for holiday and just for fun. This year it has come in especially useful due to being pregnant. It looks nice without making me look like I am wearing a mumu. Thank you Forever 21 kimono- I need more of these in my life.

The white coat- who in their right mind with a small child would wear a white coat in the winter?

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I never thought I would but this coat was such a score on Poshmark. Its DKNY, and came to me in perfect condition. It’s more of a creamy white than a stark winter white that really goes with everything, especially work attire which my wardrobe mostly consists of neutral greys and blacks on a daily basis so this adds a nice pop of color. It also pairs nicely with a dress or skirt since it has a nice flirty pleat a-line shape. I wore this coat all Spring and received so many compliments on it. I do have to be careful with it but so far I haven’t had any issues with it getting stained or too dirty. I try and keep my son at arm’s length when sporting this coat J

Makeup – Gwen Stefani makeup palette, Tarte z palette, E.l.f. HD powder 

 

This was a hard one to narrow down since I have a lot of makeup. But when really looking at the palettes I have, it was easy to see the ones I consistently use. Gwen’s urban decay palette definitely came out on top as far as usage. I got the Gwen Stefani Urban Decay makeup palette last Christmas and I still use it consistently. First off the case itself is stunning, it looks beautiful on my vanity. The design is modern and sleek with a mirror inside. As urban Decay shadows go theses shades are just as super smooth as their usual shadows and I love that the palette has lots of neutrals for everyday use. The shimmer sparkle shades are really nice for that extra pop of color but are not so out there that you can’t wear them to work. There are only 2 shades that I don’t use at all. The black is perfect- in fact I wish I could take it out to move into my z palette. Overall this palette has pretty much every color for any look I need to create. I will be sad when those frequently used shadows start hitting pan, which will be any day….

Tool wise I had to pick my new Tarte leopard print z palette. Its large and has a large mirror which is perfect for travel. I can fit a variety of shadows, most of mine are either makeup geek and too faced, but I have pans of blush, setting powder and highlight also in this palette which makes it so very useful.

I have to give a shout out to my Elf HD undereye powder and translucent powder . I use these for setting my under eye after applying concealer and I have yet to find anything that works as beautifully. I have tried the expensive brands – like Laura Mercier and Tarte, and also cult favorites like the Ben Nye banana, but the E.l.f. powder is the lightest most brightening powder I use. It just works for me. I have a few other powders for setting that I do like, but this one really does the trick, plus its super cheap, so I will just continue to use this and list it as holy grail status.

BAGS

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ANOTHER REBECCA MINKOFF

This is a limited edition Rebecca Minkoff, yes another Rebecca Minkoff, bag with rose gold hardware.

Why it’s my favorite bag purchase this year: As soon as I saw it, I just had to have it! Maybe because I love horses? Or rosegold? Or Rebecca Minkoff? All are good reasons and in addition, its different and I got it on Poshmark for a very good price. The zebra detailing is just precious. The color is kind of a mauve/tan color so it goes with everything. I also love the fact that the strap is adjustable and can be worn over the shoulder, cross body or used as a clutch. And did I mention it has rose gold hardware?? So hard to find! Even though I have used it only a few times this year, it was definitely worth it considering how much I love it! I know I will use it a lot more in the future.

My LV Damier pouch

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Even though I didn’t fall head over heels in love with my LV Neverful, I have certainly gotten lots of use out of the clutch that accompanied the Neverful. This pouch is pretty large so it has multiple uses- I have used it as extra storage in my bags for makeup and misc. loose items, I have used it as a clutch out to dinner. I have also used the key ring lanyard for attaching my keys to a bag or as a wrist let attachment for the pouch. Overall, it has been more useful to me than the bag it came with!

THE HONORABLE MENTION

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I have to throw in my Banana Republic satchel as an honorable mention for 2016. It is a recent fall purchase and as you can see, the color is just divine. I am not much of a red color gal but this is more of a wine burgundy shade that is just perfect for the fall. I love how roomy it is. I got it for about $65 because I had a gift card. Since I can’t purchase clothes at the moment, a bag was the only thing I could purchase that I could use right now. It is still available on Banana Republic’s site for $168.00.

http://www.bananarepublic.gap.com

2016 Overall FAVORITE – My Passion Planner! 

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Oh so you say you haven’t heard of the wonderful “Passion Planner”??? I cannot say enough good things about this little planner. I have the compact version, fits just perfect in my purse- of course. This planner is a very creative planner- meaning it allows you to be creative while still having a plan. If you ever get the urge to just start being organized or you are an avid yearly calendar planner, check it out. I am on my second year of owning a passion planner and being almost 40 and never having maintained the same style planner year after year, I can safely say this one has stuck. I am addicted to it. It allows me to journal goals and inspiration, all the while organize my daily activities. It can be whatever you want it to be, customizable and almost like a scrap book- a planner that fits every creative person’s needs and then some!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and happy New Year. I will try and post a few times more before this baby gets here but I can’t guarantee I will be able to do much in the next couple weeks. so with that, I will say good by to 2016, and hello to 2017!

2016 Favorites for the Five Senses

I wanted to do my favorite sensory items of the year today via the five senses so here goes:

Touch / Skincare – Clairsonic! 

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Well this thing changed my life! I follow lots of beauty vloggers and I think it was last year, they all started raving about the Clairsonic. I didn’t think anything of it until I went to a spa for a facial and the asthetician used a Clair sonic on my face and my skin felt amazing! I bought one immediately after leaving that doctor’s office. I only use it once a week since it tends to make me too dry if I use it too often, at least right now in the winter and while pre go, but once I use it, I feel like I have a brand new face. It really sloughs off the dead skin and brightens my skin right up. I also feel like my skin absorbs more of my moisturizers and serums so the next morning, my skin feels new and hydrated.

Sounds / Music – Justin Bieber

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Ugh I have to admit, I am a Belieber. The guy had way too many hits this year and I unfortunately liked every one.  I am too old for this….

Taste / Drink – Peppermint Mochas 

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Normally I would include an alcoholic beverage in this section but because of my “condition” aka “no fun”, I have to go with the chocolate peppermint combo. For some reason, I only tend to like peppermint in the winter so as far as fall coming around and everyone wanting Pumpkin spice everything, I want chocolate Peppermint everything. So bring on the Starbucks Peppermint Mochas! I also love the Swiss Miss Mint hot chocolate with the peppermint marshmallows. I am sure once the holidays pass, so will my affinity for Starbucks Peppermint Mochas, my wallet will be so happy.

Scent / Lavender – oil, scrub and bubble bath

 

Oh gosh, since I have been prego, my love for lavender has grown. I literally want to eat lavender it smells so amazing to me. I use lavender oil on my wrists and neck before I go to bed so I fall asleep to the smell. I also found this Shea bubble bath for my son that is a Lavender Lemon concoction of pure bliss! Whenever we load up the tub with it, I just want to be surrounded by the scent 24 hours a day, it’s just glorious. Another staple of mine is the Trader Joe’s lavender scrub. So invigorating and again, the smell is so nice. It’s like $8 for a giant tub of it and I have gone through at least 3 tubs of it since I discovered it at Trader Joe’s.

See / Show – Fixer Upper and The Profit 

 

Fixer Upper is one show I never miss. Luckily its on early enough that I am still awake to watch it. As mentioned in the previous favorite blog entry, it’s a show about fixing the worst house in the best neighborhood. The Gaineses are a fun couple that really care about their buyers and really look out for their best interests. They are also quite thrifty, which always amazes me- I mean where can you buy a house for 50K, renovate it into your dream home for another 50K? Apparently Waco Texas. Who knew???

The Profit is a really fascinating show to me. Marcus, the business investor and analyst, embarks on a partnership with a business owner who is failing in their current business. Once Marcus takes over a percentage of the business in order to try and save it, he does a very thorough analysis of what should be done- whether its revamping the actual store, changing merchandising or changing the business’ current focus. What fascinates me the most, is that he uses math to solve most of the businesses problems. Just by crunching some numbers on inventory, debt, etc, he knows how to save the business and make it actually profitable. It’s also fascinating to me that business owners can be so completely naive when it comes to their own finances. They care so much about their product that they are blinded by the mounting debt and or stupid decisions, poor attitude. Either way, it makes for a great show and I always have a take away and learn from each episode.

2016 Favorites – Techy stuff

I didn’t want to just post about favorite bags for my next three entries this week.  Being the end of the year, I thought it would be a nice change of pace to post about all of my favorite things for the year 2016, broken down by category.  Today will be about techy stuff.   Please note, I am NOT technologically savvy in the slightest so forgive my very in advanced tech mentions, I realize I am behind in the tech world.

The App – Texture

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This app is a monthly fee of $10.00 to access any monthly magazine subscription in lieu of getting a hard copy in the mail.  You can download an unlimited number of magazines which is great because I love to read magazines.  My usual go-tos are fashion magazines, but now since having this app, I have really gotten into food and recipe magazines in addition to design, home decor and architecture magazines.  It’s really useful for traveling so you can download several at a time for a trip. It doesn’t take up any space in your carry on and you don’t have to worry about lugging all those paper backs with you from the beach!  I use to tear pages out of magazines and save them in a  binder but now with Texture, there is a feature that allows me to save pages directly onto my iPad to reference later. You can sort by category and title, and even add descriptions, like you would on Pinterest, which provides easy access for future reference

For the phone – Extra Battery Pack 

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I am pretty sure I am VERY late to the party on this one. I got an extra battery for my phone earlier this year and I am not sure how I ever lived without it! I bought this Amazon Basic Portable Power Bank on Amazon for around $30.  I have since misplaced the battery in my move to my new home and am going crazy not being able to locate it.  I always carried it around in my purse with me just in case my phone died.  It’s also nice to not have to plug in somewhere and hope your cord is long enough to reach where you are located, otherwise, you end up on the floor next to a plug looking like a fool.  If I don’t find before the end of the year, it will most definitely be a repurchase on Amazon!

The Present – Kindle Paperwhite 

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I got a Kindle last Christmas and it is one of my favorite presents from my husband (besides my engagement ring) to date. I read about a book a month and it is just so great to have my books portable.  For many of the same reasons as the Texture app, it is so perfect for travel. I don’t have to lug around books with me and you can even download free books from the library. They disappear from your kindle once they expire. Also the Kindle is great for reading outside (my only gripe with my Ipad) since it adjusts to sunlight and literally looks like a paper back page. The only problem with it is if there are color pics in your book you can’t see them in color so you can’t download magazines on it. If I could only combine my Ipad and Kindle functions, I would have a perfect piece of technology!

The Book – The Magnolia Story

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I know this is not a “techy item” per se, but since I just mentioned the Kindle, I had to give my shout out to my favorite read for the year- it was The Magnolia Story. This is about Chip and Joanna Gaines from the hit HGTV show “Fixer Upper”, a show I am obsessed with. Their show is based in Waco Texas and their goal is to buy, sell and renovate the worst house in the best neighborhood.  They do such a good job with these houses, it has made me want to move to Waco Texas, buy a farm, cover everything in shiplap and attend church with these people…and I don’t even go to church… for real.  If you haven’t seen the show already, (then you must live in a hole), you must check it out.

The book is the story about how they met, how they got started in the real estate and interior design business and its just an overall beautiful story that really hits you in the feels, or maybe that was just my pregnancy hormones going into sentimental over drive! Either way, I found it very sweet and inspiring. It made me love the show and the Gaineses even more.

 

‘Tis the season to sparkle!

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I have a few sparkly bags that I use for more formal nights out, but since I am sooo pregnant, I haven’t had much opportunity to go out… at all. So I will just pretend I get to partake in the holiday festivities this season and discuss my pretty bags.

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I got this beaded white vintage bag on Etsy for my wedding day.  It is a sentimental piece but it’s perfect to use for the holiday season. Its quite a nice size, can fit my phone and some makeup, and for being vintage white, it was in perfect condition when I bought it.  I think I scored this for around $30.  If you ever need wedding gear for the bride, shop Etsy! Etsy is one of my favorite sites for searching beautiful one of a kind pieces that are inexpensive.  I actually bought much of my wedding items there.

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This mesh shoulder bag is a Whiting and Davis bag in antique gold. I have used this on not so formal nights out since it is such a great size and has a shoulder strap. It has a disco vibe so it goes great with any dancing attire – I wish I had this bag in silver too!  But if you are familiar with Whiting and Davis, they are a bit pricey, so I won’t be able to make that purchase any time soon.

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This small beaded clutch is great for a summer wedding but that doesn’t mean it can’t go with a sparkly dress for a holiday party. Only the bare essentials will fit so when in use, you must pack light! I really can’t remember where I purchased this one, maybe Urban Outfitters? Either way it’s a cute little number and goes with a lot!

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I also have two minauderies. These are box like clutches that also fit just the bare essentials.  They look very chic and although they both come with detachable straps, I think they look much sleeker when held in hand.  (As mentioned in my previous blog, in the near future I plan on actually showcasing the bags with an outfit so you get the full feel of the fit, size and style of the bag).

 

The black patent has rose gold hardware which I love.  I love anything rose gold and it is a very difficult color to find!  I bought this for under $60 at Nordstrom and have used it more times than I can count.

 

The larger minauderie is another tried and true Rebecca Minkoff in the color Anthracite.  It has a bronze color finish so it really doesn’t matter what jewelry you wear; it looks great with silver or gold!

Even though these beautiful little bags do not get near as much use as they should, I do love them and keep them stored in my closet until that formal event comes up. I have yet to feel a need to get any more evening bags since these all seem to fit any event and/or outfit that has come up.

For those of you lucky enough to go out this holiday season, enjoy the parties, the champagne and the dancing! I will hopefully be indulging in some eggnog with my feet up!

By the way, keep following me for my 2016 favorites! I will be listing 12 various favorite things of the year next week, (Monday, Wednesday and Friday)! I wanted to do just favorite bags but I figure various things is a lot more interesting than seeing the same bags posted in previous entries.

Happy Holidays!

My Miu Miu

My Beloved Miu Miu

This beautiful large leather tote bag was an impulse purchase I made at Neiman Marcus while living in Arizona. The pictures don’t do it justice.  In the near future (after this baby) I want to post pictures wearing the bag but for now, the bags must shine in the photos on their own.  (It’s actually a huge pet peeve of mine when I am trying to purchase a bag and there are no pictures of people actually wearing or using the bag!  Note: future blog post!)

I immediately fell in love with it because of the color and the slouchiness of the leather. I remember the saleswoman telling me how it would only get better with time, and it’s been at least 10 years since I bought it and she was right. It cost me a pretty penny but I used this bag religiously for a long period of time– to work, for travel and even took it to pools and beaches. I have had it professionally cleaned and repaired once. I rarely use it these days because it is somewhat heavy and it just feels more of a warm weather bag to me and since I live in Colorado, I don’t use it during fall, winter or spring. It only seems appropriate in the summer. I have thought about selling it but it’s been a hard one to let go of!

I don’t think there is a purpose in listing reasons to love or not love this bag since it is no longer available anywhere. What this bag taught me is that if you fall in love with a bag on site, go with your gut and buy it because you never know when or if you will see it again! If you love it that much, you will find any and every reason to use the heck out of it, regardless if it matches or if it’s the newest trendiest piece. It is rare that I get that feeling any more with a handbag, maybe because I have more important things on my plate but I am sure once my kids are a little older and I can actually go shopping at a fancy department store again, I will hope to fall in love with a bag on instinct alone, just like I did with this Miu Miu.

Bags that make me go ‘meh’

Rebecca Minkoff Cupid

I had been scouring the internet for another navy bag but more of a satchel style. (See previous entry on my Michael Kors jet set and my deep affinity for navy bags). I had been following a Rebecca Minkoff navy cupid on Poshmark for almost a year but the price just wouldn’t go down and all of my offers had been declined. Then as fate would have it, the perfect navy satchel came up on Poshmark. I have had a Rebecca Minkoff Cupid satchel before, in fact I have had 2 colors of it (black and brown) and eventually sold them, so I knew I liked the style of the Cupid. So when an affordable navy Cupid with silver hardware popped up on Poshmark from a new closet, I jumped on it! It was just perfect, fit the bill, or so I thought. I waited with bated breath for this perfect bag and then once received, I opened up the box and It turned out to be a bit more of a royal blue color than navy. It did have the silver hardware which I like. But the cross body strap is two toned with tan on the underside of the strap and the blue on the other. The strap has not been used, in fact it still has the wrap on it. So as excited as I was to finally score what I thought was the most overall perfect bag to use for every day, once I had it in hand in front of my long length mirror, my first impression was … “meh”.

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The Kooba Gable – Another “meh” purchase

By the way, if you are interested in this bag, it has since been posted on Poshmark! My closet seller name is mhbrown13.

This attitude of “meh, It’s just ok” seems to be my feeling for a few bags in my closet. And having just read the Magic Art of Tidying and really supporting and attempting to follow the Kon Mari method of truly loving every item I own, this “meh “feeling is not ideal. These “meh” bags are ones I had such high hopes for because I researched them like crazy before making the purchase- like watching You Tube videos, reading reviews, looking at pictures and even doing comparisons to other bags so I knew I was making the right choice, and then I finally receive it, get to hold it in my hands, and I am clearly not impressed, maybe even let down, and that feeling my friends is not the feeling I want when I get a new bag. I want a bag that makes me want to use it all the time, no matter what I am wearing or the color of the bag. I want a bag that defines my style, that still looks polished, classic and not too trendy and I want a bag that really elevates me look. I want a bag that I can’t wait to fill with my purse essentials, switched from my current bag in use. Overall, I want to feel excited! Maybe I am asking for too much from a handbag? I mean is there just one bag that could fulfill all my needs? Seems pretty impossible but something I am almost always trying to attain- one bag for everything!

I feel some of this “meh” attitude stems from online shopping. Before becoming a mom, I used to go to department stores and just fall in love with a bag. That instant love had nothing to do with research or comparing bags, it was just instinct. Whether it was the color or the style, the bag would just speak to me and that was enough to get me to commit to using it every day until something else came along.

Maybe now I need to follow that instinct more when purchasing bags. This practice would dramatically cut down my online shopping in turn cut down my spending because I spend a lot online. But now that I am a mom, I never get to go to the mall and shop at places in person! This is also the reason for my online shopping habit because who wants to go shopping at the mall with a 2-year-old while 8 months pregnant??? I certainly don’t. But maybe as a New Year’s resolution, I need to take some more me time. This me time would include maybe a trip to a department store just to wander through the handbags awaiting that spark of joy that happens when the timing is right and making it my cue to purchase the most perfect bag. Because who would ever purchase a bag in person, on site that made me feel “meh”?