The quest for the perfect cardigan

3 Aug

Years and years ago, my younger sister Vicky worked at J.C Penney in New York and alerted me to an incredible clearance sale in the “professional wear” department. I scored 3-4 AMAZING, 3/4 sleeve, silk blend, shirred at the waist,v-neck cardigans.  In other words, the most perfectly designed, flattering cardigans ever for a girl with a small waist and some hips.  I bought one in cream, black, gray, and powder blue, but would have bought every.single.color if they’d had them.  And the icing on the cake? They were $2-3 each!

These little wardrobe workhorses have lasted me 5+ years, with near-weekly wear, but they need replacing stat.  I’ve searched high and low, but haven’t been able to find suitable replacements. Do I dare try J.C Penney again?

It’s interesting that going back didn’t even cross my mind until just now. As I get older, I’m realizing how important brand loyalty really is.  Every woman’s body is different, which is why it’s so important to find and stick with brands that work for your shape. Although I ADORE J.Crew and find endless inspiration from “Jenna’s picks” (umm, who doesn’t?!), their shirts are designed for tall, boyish-figured women, (in my opinion). As I’ve honed in on the brands that consistently work for my figure, I find shopping a lot easier and less time consuming.

Ladies, let my cardigan search be a lesson for you: stick to the brands that you know and love!

French Connection dress

18 Jun
French Connection dress

French Connection dress (see more short sleeve dresses)

French Connection dress

18 Jun
French Connection dress

French Connection dress (see more shift dresses)

Christian Louboutin pumps

16 Jun
Christian Louboutin pumps

Christian Louboutin pumps (see more high heel pumps)

Christian Louboutin pumps

16 Jun
Christian Louboutin pumps

Christian Louboutin pumps (see more high heel pumps)

J crew

16 Jun
J crew

J crew (clipped to polyvore.com)

The Story of Us

31 May

Max Mara ruched dress
568 GBP – matchesfashion.com

J Crew crystal bracelet
$58 – jcrew.com

Trading Phrases | Wall Decals | Love Story
$24 – tradingphrases.com

Jeweled Glam Bobby Pin Set
$3.80 – forever21.com

Summer 2010 Recipes To Try,

27 May

Does anyone else LOVE LISTS? I swear, I could run my life with them.  However, technology really throws a wrench in this (read: I LOVE paper), and I’ve realized I need to make a better an effort to streamline my hard-copy and digital lives. While organizing my Google Docs, I found this list of recipes I’d wanted to try a year or so ago.

Obviously I’m a little behind. Damn you Food Network and FoodGawker.com! I may as well just throw all my cookbooks out, because I seem to favor just making lists of things I want to make, occasionally making tried-and-true things friends have already vetted, and only sometimes recreating dishes I’ve had out at restaurants … And I am totally guilty of the magazine tear out. Who can resist food porn? Not this girl.  (Incidentally, my vegan friend Snow White, Keegan, has an album of INCREDIBLE vegan food porn, if you’re interested!) But, I digress. So far, the ones crossed off have been done! Click for the recipe and my review.

 Scones (mom’s recipe)
Crab-stuffed Salmon

Shrimp and Brie-Stuffed Salmon (like I had in D.C last fall, ’09)
Bacon Wrapped Shrimp with gorgonzola
Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Tomato Tarts: roma tomatoes, basil, green onions, mixed with cheddar cheese and baked in mini pie crusts/shells (pairs well with seafood/crab cakes/ summery dishes)
Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken and Dumplings
Chocolate Souffle
Flourless Chocolate Torte 

To see my updated master list of “Recipes to Try: Summer ’11 Edition“, check back soon! I’ll post here.

Birthday Wish List

4 May

Rebel Yell v neck tee
$84 – shopthetrendboutique.com

Tory Burch ballet flat
$235 – net-a-porter.com

Tory Burch black flat
175 GBP – matchesfashion.com

ASOS cotton bag
$63 – asos.com

J Crew strand necklace
$75 – jcrew.com

Hive and Honey stretch bracelet
$24 – piperlime.gap.com

Michael kors watch
$180 – couture.zappos.com

J Crew crystal bracelet
$58 – jcrew.com

MICHAEL Michael Kors chronograph watch
$250 – bloomingdales.com

J Crew chain link bracelet
$58 – jcrew.com

Timex watch
$44 – endless.com

Q+A: CMS Recommendation

23 Feb

Q: Can anyone recommend a good, flexible CMS platform for an industry-specific news site? Currently using Drupal but considering a re-design and wondering if there’s anything better suited for the job. Social integration is a must.

A: Gotta go with WordPress. I use MS Sharepoint, Joomla! and Drupal on various web site projects, but love how easy to use and straightforward WordPress is.  Which CMS you choose really depends more on how much news content you need to manage, archive, etc. If you have a “deep” site however, (4-5 pages deep across 10+ categories), with downloadable content (pdfs, forms, etc) it may be good to use a more robust system, like Joomla! (Think of any municipal website –here are two I work on public school or town websites — and you’ll get an idea of instances where a LOT of static content and fluid content needs to be managed hierarchically).

Technical Mastery
I do think the Joomla! and Drupals out there have gotten a bad rap, only because there is a bit of a steeper learning curve to master using them than for WordPress. Document management, FTP, servers… you need to learn it all and it’s a headache if you’re not willing to dive in and occasionally fudge things up a bit while you learn, so yes, Joomla! is more “technical” in that you need to learn how to use it, but it allows very easily organized and managed content and amazing customization.

Web Management
Would you have a webmaster or self-manage or have multiple site contributors/editors? If the later, WordPress may be the safer choice. One final note: There are a lot of free WordPress themes out there, but it’s worth it to pay for one that has been customized exactly to your specifications/integrated with social media features, like “like” or “tweet” buttons.

I hope I’ve helped! Good luck!