Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Gap: Nautical Stripes Galore!

**Updated: Gap is offered 25% off your entire order (plus free shipipng if you spend $100) for the Holiday Weekend!  Just use code GAPJULY4 at checkout!  Happy Shopping!**

OMG this post has a lot of stripes!!  Ahh!!  I'm really 'climbing aboard' the nautical stripe trend right now (haha - my attempt at a pun) and Gap has a lot to offer!  I took IRL pics of what I could!

This was in the Gap Body side of the B&M by my house, but I really thought it was in the regular clothing section online.  The fabric is substantial and not see-through .... very nice!  Either way, I plan on wearing this with skinny jeans this fall.  The color is an olive/gray.  I'm wearing an XS here.  The fit is supposed to be a bit flowy I think.

This is definitely more of a lounge/PJ style tank.  I ended up returning it because of that fact.  Otherwise, it's really cute and comes in several colors.  I'm wearing a size Small here.

I really freakin' wanted to love this dress .... and I guess I do, but:  I think that it's going to be too fitted in the bum and hip area  (especially considering it's a flimsy cotton dress).  The last thing I want to have to worry about is underwear lines and see-through-ness when I'm wearing a super-comfy throw-on dress!  I bet the solid colors would be more forgiving.  I had my sis try this on for me and it was a touch snug in HER hips and she is at least a size smaller than me (not prego) so this puppy had to go back.  Bummer!

This is awesome and a definite keeper!  (same fabric and print as the dress above, BTW)  I got a small so it won't be tight after the baby and I think I'll be able to nurse in this top (when unbuttoned) as well!  The brown stripe is also cute... I may get it if they run any full-price promos.

My sister talked me into this.  Not sure if I should keep the XS or S (because I can't really tell right now) but the fit is already drapey and I want to wear it with leggings.  I'm leaning toward keeping the small because I want it to be long enough to cover my butt.  I have to decide between the gray and yellow and the gray and navy.  I'm leaning toward yellow since I already have so many navy striped things!

Thanks for stopping by!  Are you going cross-eyed from all the stripes?  haha!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Lusting After Some Talbots: It's Been A While! (And, We're Back to a Shopping Ban!)

Here's the Deal:

In preparing for our second baby, and indulging in a little more maternity shopping than I should have/ planned for, I've really spent beyond my budget.  That said, I am putting myself on a Voluntary, yet very much necessary, Shopping Ban until after the baby is born.

Looking ahead, I've been making lists (both mental and written) of clothing pieces that I would really like to try for fall and possibly late summer (when hopefully I can fit back into an almost normal size for me).   This will be in place of actually buying, trying, returning or keeping, etc... at least for a while!

I'll be periodically picking a store or website, reviewing items that I own that I love from there, and then showcasing items on my "Lust List".

I start with: Talbots...

**Update:  A wonderful blogger, Gigi, over at GigisGoneShopping.blogspot.com is currently running a giveaway contest where one lucky reader will receive a $250 Talbots Gift Card!!  WOW!!  {Enter Here} Be sure to stop by and check it out!!**

I haven't 'visited' Talbots on this blog for a while ... I think since I made an absurd amount of jewelry purchases early in the Spring.... probably when they were offering 20% off any purchase to Rewards members a few months ago (which was awesome!)  What is really tough about NOT shopping at Talbots right now is that I have a $25 Rewards card burning a hole in my wallet!

The most recent Talbots catalog is pretty impressive - and I say this as a J.Crew junkie and enthusiast.  In fact, about 50% of the catalog could have passed as J.Crew.  The other 50%:  more dressy, work appropriate, or conservative driven.... but still cute.  Bottom line, Talbots has made some big improvements here lately (as has LOFT, in my opinion) so those of us in the 25-35 age range needn't automatically walk by the Talbots at the local mall .... walk in and check it out!

Still loving (and NOT able to wear at the moment, thanks to the now very-apparent baby bump I'm carrying with me) the Twill Trench in Gypsy Rose...

Currently on Sale for $89!

5-months Prego - this is a size P2

And, getting a lot of wear out of these beauties (which come in a narrow - woot!)

Python-Embossed Leather Wedges - on sale for $78.99
Funny thing about these shoes ... a lady at a boutique where I like to check out the newest Tory Burch and Stuart Weitzman shoes (both of which run narrow) commented on these and asked wear they were from because so many of their customers are looking for shoes to fit narrow feet!  I told her Talbots and she looked shocked, but said she was going to have to start sending her clients there to look at shoes!  haha!  Where's my commission!?! LOL

So what am I lusting after right now?

This jacket comes in a ton of great colors, but I'm really wanting the Deck Red.  I tried this on in a size 2 in my local store about a month ago and fell in love!!  I'm thinking the red color will be great for fall, but also compliment my surplus of white and navy I've gathered during this 'nautical' trend.  Usually I go with a Petite 2 if there is no regular size 2 offered.  Luckily, this style does come in a regular 2, which is good because it provides extra length for my long torso!

Just add this to the many-a-striped tees and tanks that I am loving right now.  This tee comes in many great colors, some on sale for $16! I'd like to see the navy and possibly the red colors!  Not sure on the sizing for this one, but I'm thinking either a PP, PS, or S.  I wish an XS was offered.

Crushable Straw Hobo - $62.99 on sale
I've loved this for a while.  Perfect size and style for summer, it even has a little gold fleck in it.  Also came in a brown that I would be interested in, as well!

Anything YOU are lusting after at Talbots right now?  Have you tried either of these 2 items?  I'd love to hear what you think!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

J.Crew Review: Sailor-Stripe Always Cardigan - I'm Gonna Use the Word LOVE

Sizes XS-XL and also comes in white w/ navy stripe!
(All knits and tees are 20% off right now, including this cardigan)

This is the navy in size XS.

The back .... not sure why it's all bunched up like that!  A great length... not crazy long, but long enough.  Perfect!

I'm thinking I might even wear it with a silver belt once I get my waist back!!  This looks GREAT with white, but I want to experiment with other colors, too!

Bottom Line:  A MUST HAVE for Summer and Fall.  I wanted to wear this as soon as I got it ... but alas it is 100 degrees here!  Cannot wait to wear it!  A nice, soft cotton.  Super-easy to throw on!  TTS.  I also ordered it in the white color, so I'll review that when it comes in, too!

*FYI*  Officially 35 weeks today... in case you were wondering how long I had until I'm due to deliver that 'basketball' you see under my outfits!

Madewell Order: Striped Tank and Moto Jacket *Updated Pics*

The Madewell order I placed last week (see THIS post) came in on Friday... packaged very VERY much like the J.Crew shipment that came at the same time!  Appears the Madewell items shipped from Lynchburg, as well, and they use the same packing, receipts, return shipping, etc...

Anyway, here are the best pics I could get (I'm getting to big to 'force' items on for fear of permanently disfiguring them!) so I did the best I could in reviewing...

Striped Tank...

I'm wearing a size Small here.  It stretched over my belly pretty easily, but I wouldn't actually wear it like that right now!

First reaction: Cute, OK material (not very stretchy or supple, but for the price, OK)  and not LOVING the tan color with the navy (was thinking it was whiter).  The fit, from what I can tell, this puppy is LARGE on the top.  I couldn't get it to look right on the top part... definitely not something you could wear without a cami or something under it, unless you size down.  The colors grew on me and I actually thought about keeping it for fall, but I can't justify that with the sizing seeming a bit off. (maybe they got that from JC?  ha!)

Bottom Line:  Runs large (at least in the top and around the arms). OK if you NEED a striped tank, but I think there will be better ones out there.

Moto Sweatshirt Jacket...

This I absolutely cannot zip up and didn't want to try. (not sure what that white circle is on the first pic.... sorry!)  This is a size Small.

First Reaction:  A little shorter than I hoped, but probably right-on for the moto look.  Like the slightly faded, casual black.  Very nice sweatshirt material.  Arms are kind of ribbed and feel like a dream!  I am going to have my sister try this on for me today to get a better idea of the fit and look.  I want this to work, even at full price, but I really need to see on someone else.

Bottom Line:  I think this runs pretty TTS, but like I said, I'm not quite sure yet.  I think this is a keeper ... a very unique piece for fall.

NEW PICS!!   I enlisted my little sis who is in from college this weekend to try on this Moto Jacket so we (myself included) could see what it actually looks like on and zipped!  For reference, she is only about 5' and a size 0, but anway.... :)

I really love it.  It will be more cropped on me, but that's OK because that's part of the "motorcycle" look.  I really liked the contrasting bronze/brown zippers and pulls.  Definitely a keeper... both my sister and mom thought so.  Thanks Lisa for modeling!  Wish you were here all the time so I could utilize your little body!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Target: Mossimo Striped Shirts = Awesome!

Been sifting through the Target clothing isle lately?  If so, you might have noticed this little number on the 30% off rack (making it about 10 bucks!) 

If you aren't already striped-out for Summer and Fall, head straight to your nearest Target (they are all sold out online) and pick up this shirt!  I got a couple in Mediums to wear now, and Smalls for later! 

The color here is Navy and White, but there are other color combos using tan, black, and gray!  Wearing a Medium here.

Bottom Line:  Runs TTS.  Quality fabric for Target... no not super-thick and supple, but good enough... especially for the price!  This might be a good alternative to the J.Crew Favorite Fit striped shirt (which, by the way, is 20% off right now!)

FYI - Doing more "stripe" reviews from both Gap and J.Crew for the next couple of days!  Guess you could say it's my 'theme'!

This was a last-minute purchase.  I cute, beachy looking cardigan.  Love the sleeve length and the color.  The open weave makes it a good option for year-around wear!  Look for this on the sale rack, as well.  I'm wearing a small and it was about $17 on sale.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Meeting Madewell - J.Crew's Sister

*First off, I updated my post on the J.Crew Cobblestone Bracelet with IRL pics per a readers request... check it out {here}.*

I stopped into a Madewell for the first time while visiting the in-laws in LA last year and wasn't impressed.  However, I'm not sure what I was even looking for and I'm kind of a JC snob, so I might not have given it a chance.  My gut feeling is that my little sister, who is 6 years younger and still in college, would have liked the store better.  Anyway...

I was browsing some other blogs and ran across some pics of Madewell's New Arrivals online and had to check a couple pieces out!   Here is what I ordered...

Love love love the stripes on this.  Not sure how the fit is going to be, but I ordered it in a Small based on size charts (and my normal size)  This also comes in light-colored stripes, as well. Appears this is selling out quickly online.

This is black, also comes in a tan called 'cement'.  Thought I would give this a try since I needed to hit the $100 mark for free shipping.  Got this in a Small, too.   What I REALLY want is a black or charcoal leather jacket that looks like this... but this is more in my budget and baby-friendly right now!  Black is now backordered through August.

My got my "order shipped" email yesterday, so if they're shipping is like J.Crew's, I should be getting this shipment today.  I'll re-post the actual items when I get a chance to try them on!  I've got a baby-doc appointment today and a bachelorette party tonight for a cousin who is getting married on Saturday!  Busy busy busy!

Anyone else ordered from Madewell or shop there regularly?  Seen these to items IRL? Sizing help?  Thanks!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

J.Crew Button Down Shirts + Last 30% Off Sale Day!

I ended up caving and ordering a couple of shirts during the Extra20 promo.  I figured these would be good for the few months after having this baby for nursing.  (aka: Nursing tank underneath + Button-down on top = so easy!)  Plus, these shirts will be forgiving in the yucky post-pregnancy midriff area!

Sconset Plaid Shirt - XS ($19 in stores + 30% off right now)
I hated this at first, then fell in love with it.  Go figure.  The fabric is so cool!  It's a textured cotton material - not flannel, not regular cotton - just cool!  The shirt looks especially great with a coral or denim blue colored tank underneath.

So, it still buttons in an XS at 8.5 months prego, so I'm thinking this puppy runs large.

Giant Gingham Shirt - Size 2 ($49.99 online + 30% off)
I wasn't sure about this shirt when I first saw it, either.  The fabric is a thin, nicer cotton.  I thought it was black and white at first, but the dark color is navy.  This runs more TTS because I cannot button it at all right now.  I ordered it in a size 4 during the current EXTRA30 promo, so I might keep that one instead!

Thanks for stopping by!  I'll keep posting till the end ... which could be anywhere between now and 4.5 weeks from now!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Martin + Osa: Store Closing Deals!

Seeing as how Martin and Osa is apparently closing, all sales are final both online and in stores. This kept me away while everything was only 30% off, but now that our entire B&M is 50% off, I had to take a look around!

I REALLY wanted to pick out some denim because I love love love the jeans I have from there, but being in this "condition" there is no way I can take a chance on denim since every pair fits differently.

I did, however, find a couple of cute items that I think will be very versatile and comfy down the road...

White linen button-up shirt - Size 0.  I wanted a 2, but you can't be choosy when it's only $25 (reg. $69).  I think since it fits in the shoulders now, there should be no problem post-pregnancy!

Can also be worn open until I CAN button it!

Gray hoodie snap cardigan - Size S. Also $25 (reg. $69)

This is so soft and comfy, plus love the length and color!

If you have a M+O in your area, it might be worth seeing what they have left in your size.  If you need jeans, I highly recommend checking them out!  There is also a trench coat that I REALLLLLY wanted, but my store only had XL's.  Check it out!  Happy shopping!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fabulous LOFT Knit Dress

I wasn't really looking for another dress I could wear right now (seeing as how we are now under the 7 week countdown!) but I couldn't resist trying on this little number when I was doing some returns at LOFT last week.  I was in a wedding this weekend, so I was able to justify the purchase as an outfit for the rehearsal dinner.

This is a size small.  It's actually still very flowy on and I considered the XS.  Color is a nice, dark navy.  Pretty beading around the neckline with an open keyhole back with tie-ribbon at the neck. Semi-bra friendly.... I wore a black one just to make sure.

I don't see this online - yet.  Maybe it will be eventually, or is could be an in-store only style?  I was able to get it during the recent "50% off dress" promo, so it was half-off $69.00.  If you swing by a LOFT, check for this dress... the neckline is so flattering, and it obviously works for any of you who might happen to be pregnant, as well! 

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Outfit of the Day: Pretty in Pastiche

Cardigan: J.Crew Watercolor Pastiche Cardigan (XS)
Tank: J.Crew (M)
Jewelry: LOFT
Pants: Maternal America cropped white denim

Still loving the Pastiche cardigan.  I especially love it paired with white and/or brown.  I wore my Tory Burch Miller sandals in Coconut (brown) with this outfit and it looked really great!  I think I'll be able to wear this cardi well into fall.... I love that it is super lightweight and 100% cotton (instead of merino - which tends to get more holes in it than it's worth!)   I think this is my second favorite JC piece from this year next to the Metallic Beach Cardigan in Gold, which is AMAZING! 

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Vera Bradley Baby Bag Review

Ahh, the search for the perfect diaper bag.  With my first pregnancy, I began this search very early on, as it seemed like a very important item to get checked off my list - one that I was going to be quite picky about, so I wanted to take care of it myself.   For months I extensively searched online boutiques, blogs, baby websites, department store websites, and any brick-and-mortar store I came into contact with for the 'perfect' and 'cool' diaper / baby bag.  Exhausting - frustrating - not as much fun as I thought it would be.

Now, there are your typical higher-end diaper bag / baby brands (Petunia Picklebottom, etc...), then your average 'designer' brands with a 'baby' niche in their line (Coach, Kate Spade, Juicy, etc...) and then the super-high-end brands about which, I will admit, I know nothing about. I mostly focused on the middle category when conducting my search.

There are some moms who will choose to use non-diaper bags - like a larger handbag, tote, etc.... (Michael Kors and Dooney are some good examples) instead of an actual baby bag.  And while I have recently found that I can make those bags work (with a two year old who now has his own backpack to stuff his crap into) this was definitely not an option for me for the first couple of years... and remains a struggle even now.  There is a reason companies make bags specifically for baby-use .... there is a difference!

As it turns out, just like with everything else when you become a parent for the first time, you really have no idea what you are getting yourself into.  I really didn't know what I was looking for in a good and useful diaper bag.  Some things I did know about what I personally wanted:

* Lightweight is key - this bag is going to be bigger than your average purse/ handbag (for most people).  Therefore, heavy and thick leather with really not a plus.

* Handles are very important - length, comfort, etc... They need to be long enough to go EASILY on your shoulder and hang off of your stroller.  (this was a big factor with the Coach baby bags, which have shorter and stiff handles)  Double handles verses one single handle are best so you can open the bag up while it's hanging off your shoulder to get into it. (uhh... multi-tasking)

* Cleanable - this thing is going to be used a lot and hold a lot of potentially messy things, such as.... bottles, formula, milk, juice, baby food, soiled clothing, etc... and as clean and uber-anal about being neat as you think you are, shit happens.  SO ... it needs to be washable, or at least wipeable, otherwise you are going to be stuck with a stinky-hot-mess of a bag before you even lose your baby weight.

* POCKETS!  And good ones, at that.  Specifically ones that will hold bottles and sippys UPRIGHT. (this is the biggest trouble you will find with bags that aren't specifically made for diaper/baby use ... and even some of the designer baby bags!)

OK - I think that pretty much covers the main factors.  Being cute is a given.... the extent of the cuteness, negotiable based on meeting the above criteria.

With my second, I again visited the idea of finding a cute, designer diaper bag that would compliment my wardrobe while serving it's all-important role as baby-crap-carrier.  I was willing to put up some bucks this time, knowing how much I would use it (and having unfortunately developed a slightly more expensive taste in the last 3 years) but after a short sifting through the available options (mostly online, some in person) I was right back to where I had ended up the first time around.

And where is that?


Well, here it goes....

*comfy, long, double handles.... check
*washable... check
*lightweight (like, weighs almost nothing when empty!)... check
*lots of good inside and outside pockets ... check
* full-zipper top so crap doesn't spill out ... check
*matching accessories to organize diapers, personal items, etc... check
*cute patterns to compliment seasons, sex of the baby, etc...that also hide dirt and stains.... check
*and a price-point that allows you to have one or more so you can "switch it up" every once and a while.

I've had my original Vera Bradley Baby Bag in Capri Blue for, well, almost three years now.  I've washed it probably about 4-5 times total and hang it to dry.  Easy.  The 2 pockets on the end are UBER-important to me.... milk in one, juice in the other (used to be: 1 bottle in each pocket!) and they sit up perfectly, just like the bag with it's sturdy flat bottom. 

Oldie but goodie.  A now slighly faded pattern, this bag still has plenty of life in it even after almost three years of hard use!  I used the matching large cosmetic bag to hold diapers and wipes, so they can quickly be pulled out and taken to the nearest restroom without dragging the entitre bag around!

My new baby bag (for use starting this coming August!) is in the Mediterranean Blue print.  Vera has updated the styling of the Baby Bag this year, making it a bit more square, which I really like.  All the same important features remain, including the coordinating diaper changing pad.

This is my new one.  You can see the style was greatly improved to be smaller and more rounded.   I also got the matching wristlet and the small and medium cosmetic bags to hold and organize diapers and other smaller goodies.

My favorite bottle/sippy cup pockets on each end of the bag!

Soft plastic lined for easy cleaning and a ton of inside pockets!

I also have the Baby Bag in Vera Bradley's dressier Black Microfiber fabric, which I didn't use as much as the blue one (just cause) so I'll still be able to use that one with baby #2.  It appears there is a cuter, updated style of the microfiber baby bag {see it here} that I would LOVE to have, but I just can't spend any more money on diaper bags right now! :(    I'll do a review on that bag here if I end up getting it at some point!

Bottom Line: I just cannot say enough about the Vera Bradley Baby Bag. I'm not an expert on baby bags, but I'm an expert on this particular baby bag. 
No, I haven't tried any other ones (other than just on my shoulder in stores... which was enough to convince me they were a NO!) but I can't imagine another bag being MORE versatile and useful, especially coming in at under $100 (plus, there are almost always certain patterns on sale... some for as low as $50 right now!) 
Check out Vera Bradley's website {here} where you can shop for all the baby bag patterns and matching accessories... love it!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Kate Spade Big Apple Bon Shopper Tote in Gold/Silver

I initially purchased this tote from ATL during the 40% off everything frenzy last weekend...

It's really cute... a neutral straw-like texture with some gold sparkle and brown handles. 

But, then I saw this one by Kate Spade at our Von Maur department store and fell in love with it...

So when KateSpade.com was offering 25% off sale recently, I pulled the trigger on the more-practical gold/silver version!   The price was about $100 after the promo and sale price!

The Platinum Gold side...

and the Silver side.

Neither the silver or gold are crazy-shiny or sparkly, but just enough to be very class summer-chic!  The fabric is substantial enough to keep the bag's shape with lots of stuff in it, the vachetta leather handles will only get better with time, and the inside has a large pocket that's great for a cell-phone and other little items.

I've already used this bag several times in the past week and I LOVE it!!  If the price ever goes any lower than $100, I'll get the pink/orange version, as well!  With this bag being both gold and silver, I can carry it with any outfit for any non-formal occasion and it's perfect!

Thanks for stopping by!