I just experienced something many people my age don’t even anticipate. I’m not ready to write about it, but I thought this quote was pretty accurate. I just keep asking God for his strength.

G

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Spring Work Wardrobe Updates

Spring Work Clothes
Regardless of what the groundhog predicted this past weekend,  I’m ecstatic about spring! I can’t wait to wear soft silk pieces and nice shoes outside, without worrying about getting frostbite or having salt destroy my footwear. Since many stores are having sales, I’ve started looking for items to update my work clothing. It’s taken a while to build my wardrobe, but I have recently focused on silk and leather, quality pieces that should hopefully last a long time.
Both button down blouses are by Equipment, the wrap dress is Diane von Furstenburg, and the shift is by (genius!) Australian designer Josh Goot. The black pumps are Corso Como, handbag is Rebecca Minkoff and the black silk blouse is from Piperlime.com
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Dear J. Crew, I’m annoyed with you

Many items in my closet are from J. Crew. I wear the wool cafe capri pants to work, the Blythe silk blouses to work, dinner and brunch, and most recently, I purchased plaid pajamas for Christmas with my in-laws. Unfortunately, after washing the pjs once, they shrank and now look vulgar. My husband owns a button down from the retailer and we recently sent it to a tailor to switch out all the buttons as they had chipped or broken (he rarely wears the shirt). The button on my black pair of cafe capris became very lose about 2 months after I bought the pants.

jcrew

[Photo from Jcrew.com]

J. Crew as a brand resonnates with professionals my age and older. Its appeal stems from its iconic leaders (think Jenna Lyons and Mickey Dressler) and its bright, young, happy ethos. Every month, I scour their stores/ website to see what’s new and what might be a great addition to my wardrobe, once it goes on sale.

But, after chatting with my husband about our J. Crew struggles, we came to the conclusion that J. Crew’s quality simply doesn’t justify the price (not that we even pay full price for the items we purchase). Beyond the quality not justifying the price, it just seems like buying J. Crew mechandise today is simply wasting hard-earned money. The J. Crew linen blouse that I’m wearing today has a button that won’t stay closed (I should have done a QC check before leaving the house).

Moving forward, I think I’ll stick to Gilt, TJMaxx, The Outnet, Barneyswarehouse, and Nordstrom for my shopping needs. The enchantment is over; I think I’m done with J. Crew.  Well… we’ll see how long this lasts.

Have you bought anything disappointing from J. Crew recently?

G

It’s a New Year

Happy New Year! I started the new year off with a cold, but now that I’m feeling a little bit better, I’ve decided to make a list of some things I’m excited about this year.

Here’s what I’m looking forward to:

Planning (and going on) my honeymoon in the Maldives!

Mastering a new yoga inversion pose

Successfully applying to graduate school

Increasing our emergency fund…always a goal every year!

Planning my husband’s 25th birthday

Running 3 5k races this year (completed 2 last year)

Reading at least 2 books a month (a goal I also had last year)

Practicing my viola more

Celebrating my 1 year wedding anniversary! (hopefully we’ll spend it on the beach in Kiawah Island, SC)

Investing in a new winter coat

Having more girls nights, dinner parties and bbq’s!

Attending more cultural events (the ballet, Cirque du S’oleil, live sports events, fashion shows, etc)

Hope your year is off to a fabulous start.

G

P.s. All photos are from Pinterest

All I want for Christmas…

is books! This year my husband and I decided to request and give books. We wanted to exchange gifts that last, and reading a new book without distractions truly is a luxury.  However, I will keep my eye out for other things this holiday season including patterned bottoms, booties and a new swimsuit for the spring!

Winter Wishlist

Fall Favorites

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One of my favorite things about fall is layering up and walking around my neighborhood. My husband and I decided to test out a new lens recently and captured many nature shots and close-ups before realizing that it was a little too cold for this. Once inside, I decided to bake a yummy blueberry pound cake, light some candles and bundle up. Fall is one of those seasons during which I enjoy being outdoors as much as I do staying in!

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Shop Smart

Now that the holiday season is fully upon us, I have begun my search for the perfect gifts for my family, in-laws and friends. To commence this daunting task, I either request top 5 lists or shop online. Now, I consider myself an avid online shopper. In one day, I can receive up to 40 emails from stores informing me about their deals of the day, new products or diminishing inventories (sure I should unsubscribe, but  I like to be informed). The one main thing I have noticed about my online shopping experiences lately, is that I get overwhelmed when I have too many options. Perhaps it’s a shopper’s case of too long; didn’t read. For the past few weeks, I have been searching for a gift, within a certain budget, for two of my girlfriends (no point in going in the red over gift-giving). I have a general idea of what I’m looking for, but don’t want the gifts to turn out to be lemons. Since I’m shopping online, I won’t be able to test any products first hand. Also, I don’t have a lot of time to spend looking at every single possible option on the market.

To address my concerns, I resort to filters and expert opinion via reviews or curated lists. In my view, any online retailer that doesn’t have some combination of these features risks loosing my business!

Take Yoox.com for example. Having bought a pair of durable rain boots at a discount, I can attest to the value the e-tailer brings for deal conscious fashion-lovers such as myself. Unfortunately, for the past month, every time I try to browse the site, I end up having to sift through too many pages of products (even after choosing my filters).  Usually, after 15 minutes, I select an item or two, add them to my cart and close the tab. Enough for me. Shopstyle.com is another similar site that has so much potential, but ends up presenting too much stuff.

Recently, I have noticed an increase in fashion start-ups with the concept of a top 10 list at their cores; some retailers have also started having their editors and buyers create curated lists of products. Rank and Style, one site that comes to mind, presents lists of many things women might shop for. The site also explains how products made it to the list and why it ranks items higher than other. The site also offers a “request a list service” which is perfect for people like me who 1. like lists and 2. like efficiency. Keep.com, a site that pulls products from all over the internet, has guests (usually fashion bloggers and editors) create lists for shoppers. I can quickly skim the list, find things I like and get on with the rest of my day. These sites suit me well because, as a young professional, I have many things to think about at once (my career, relationships, socializing, traveling…the list goes on!)

Bottom line: When it comes to gift (and soon perhaps general online) shopping, I may just leave the picking to the pros to save time and energy!

G