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Monthly Archives: April 2011

The End of the Beginning

I can’t believe it, but my first semester of graduate school at Georgetown will finish tonight, after my final Social Media class. I literally cannot believe how quickly it has gone by and I’m astonished at how much I have learned in a few short months. I also feel really good about my decision to relocate from Miami to D.C. in order to rejuvenate my life on several levels. Though it was very challenging (and I’m still adjusting!), I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished thus far.

Our professor asked us to discuss what was most challenging about keeping up a blog, our favorite part of the blogging process, and if we plan to blog once the class has concluded. For me, the answers are this:

1) My biggest challenge continues to be driving more traffic to my site. I’d love to have a stronger readership and know I need to if I want to be recognized in the blogosphere. I also need to make my posts more frequent!

2) My fave part of blogging? Writing about my fashion and beauty have been my absolute favorite things to write about. It’s funny, because I’ve been mentally planning blog entries for several years, so now that I have the forum (and a weekly mandatory assignment for class) to blog, it has been spilling out of me…

3) I can’t wait to continue my blog. I know it will be challenging to keep up with it when I’ll be busy with other classes and my life in general, but I feel a strong sense of joy in writing and sharing my musings. I can’t wait to see what inspiration lies for me in the months ahead!

Some of my blog goals for the summer include experimenting with hair products in order to get the non-frizziest locks possible in D.C. humidity, exploring the woes and yays of online shopping, the organization and perfecting of my antique dressing table, and a few entries on my collection of vintage dresses. I also can’t wait to explore the thrift stores of the area to see what treasures I can find 🙂

Please keep reading and sharing Feliz Is Her Name! Thank you for your support!

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Nailing It

I follow one of my favorite bloggers, Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere, on Twitter. Like her blog, her Tweets are fun and fresh and I often find myself inspired by the little tidbits she shares. Yesterday, she posted a photo of her nails after she had used Sally Hansen’s Salon Effects Nail Strips. I wasn’t familiar with the product, but was immediately intrigued to check out the collection. All you need to do is apply the strips and then file them to fit your nail shape. In reading the reviews, it seems that they last a good week, which is always a bonus! Now I’m dying to try Kitty, Kitty (a leopard print) and Bling It On (pink & glittery goodness) but I have to find the right occasion to rock such killer nails! (It also looks like I’ll be donating to the “How did I spend so much money at Target” fund…once again…)

And then, after yesterday’s discovery, I was delighted this morning when I awoke to find a wondrous email from Chanel in my Inbox: their Summer Nail Collection has arrived! Triple yay!!!

Chanel's Summer Collection includes BEIGE PÉTALE, MIMOSA & MORNING ROSE. Photo courtesy of Chanel.com

Okay, so I’m a nail polish snob and I’ll admit it! I can’t help it. I find that Essie and Chanel work best on my nails and OPI tends to chip the most on me. I also adore the NARS line of polish, but it has been hit or miss with them, as I love my Tokaido Express, but had to return the Orgasm I bought because it was not a good texture and the color was off compared to the hue you see in the bottle.

There is nothing like the rush of wearing a brand new color launched by Chanel (that I’m usually positive no one else is wearing yet). When I worked as an editorial assistant for a magazine right out of college, I would always ask the Essie and Chanel reps for news on their latest releases, hoping to get it before the masses 😉 And while I know it’s a hefty investment — Chanel polish plus shipping is around $30 — you have to order it online because the stores often don’t carry the brand new colors right away. I prefer to own the color I am going to get for a mani/pedi in case I mess up a nail, which I am oh-so-prone to do. Every single time I try out a color at the salon that I don’t own, I ALWAYS end up having to go back for a touch up.

**Bonus fun fact for readers: Chanel is offering free shipping until April 29 with any Chanel.com purchase!! So order away!**

I also like to think of my nail polish bottles as beautiful little accessories. In fact, I’m trying to think of a fun way to display my colors in my new apartment, for a bit of homemade artwork! (I’m considering these shelves in white from Urban Outfitters…)

Here are some of my favorites from the past couple of years:

Chanel Particulière & Feu de Russie, Essie Damsel in a Dress, Chanel Coromandel, Essie Short Shorts and Nars Tokaido Express

As I am always looking for new inspiration, I’d love to know what your favorite nail polish lines and colors are, so please share!!

Something Old & Something New

In honor of National Grilled Cheese Month (yes, it’s in April!), I thought I’d do a post in response to a food/exercise blog I love to follow: Eat More Meat Less. It chronicles this blogger’s adventures in fitness and as a vegetarian foodie and I’m always interested to see what she posts about. She experiments with different recipes and quite wonderfully tells of her culinary explorations. She recently did several posts on a trip to San Francisco…check out her day in wine country here!

But…perhaps you should also know that the author of Eat More Meat Less, Rachel, is one of my closest friends! We actually starting the blogging process together last summer, testing out templates and working through questions we each had about starting our blogs. Her boyfriend Ben was also a huge help during the process…(thanks Ben!)

So, as you can imagine, I follow Rachel on Twitter so we can stay in touch and I can see what she’s up to. I was very sad to leave behind such a good friend when I moved from Miami to D.C., but thankfully, blogging, texting, Tweeting, Facebooking, and emailing leave us plenty of opportunities to stay in each other’s lives. The week before last she Tweeted that it was National Grilled Cheese Month, which I was delighted to find out. I immediately began asking around to see who knew of the best places to get such a sandwich! And after some unsuccessful searching, a couple of people connected me to this DCist blog post with suggestions of where to go in D.C. (And for those of you who don’t know, DCist is a fantastic blog that garners more than 3.6 million visitors each month!)

Soooo, after conducting some very serious research, I decided to try out Churchkey‘s Truffled Grilled Cheese and Tater Tots. I also tried a beer from their extensive collection…an Alegash White from Maine. It was yumsville with a great finish.

Overall, I thought the grilled cheese was good, but not earth-shattering. It came with a tomato soup dip that didn’t really add a lot to the sandwich, in my opinion. The other thing I noticed is that the bread wasn’t browned with butter, like the way most grilled cheese sandwiches (or at least, the ones I make) come out. The tots were good, very crunchy and dusted with sea salt.

Below are my photos from the grilled cheese excursion! I’d love to know where you go (anywhere in the U.S.!) for your favorite grilled cheese…

Photos provided by Kellen’s Droid 😉

Playing Dress-Up

For nearly a year, I’ve been on “wedding spree.” I basically went from zero close girlfriends who were married to four! And while some people may bemoan the mandatory wedding festivities required of guests, I cannot lie: I love them! So, while this point of view doesn’t necessarily make me unique, it does allow me to relish in what others may not appreciate…a chance to play dress-up!!!

Each wedding is a true challenge for me (stylistically-speaking, that is). I believe finding the appropriate wedding garb to be extremely difficult, even for someone as patient as I am when it comes to finding the right look. Typically, I need two dresses: one for the rehearsal dinner and one for the wedding/reception. Finding not one, but two dresses is a deliciously difficult task for any woman, but for me, I’ve found it to be mindblowingly challenging.

Here are some photos of what I’ve worn to the recent weddings:

Jess & Brian's wedding in Zihuatanejo, Mexico. (I'm on the far left.) I'm wearing a purple silk frock from Bebe that I got on sale...a very good sale. *I don't typically shop at Bebe (not my style), but was desperate after months of searching. I aimlessly wandered into the store on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach and left with the dress. It also came with a yucky beaded belt that I immediately cut off...

This is one of my favorite finds of all time: a Catherine Malandrino dress from Neiman Marcus's New Year's Sale. (I actually don't think this photo is very good, FYI, but you can really see the ruffle details on the bodice, which are so beautiful.)

I’ve enjoyed both dresses, but am dying to find a new one for my dear friend Connery’s wedding in Boston in June. I’ve been toying with the idea of renting a dress from Rent The Runway for months and I just haven’t been able to take the plunge. I think I’m going to do it for her wedding, just to try it out!

Here’s the concept: You reserve a dress you want to wear to an event. You input your dates into a calendar, the site lets you know if the dress is available, and it’s shipped out to you. As soon as the event is over, you return the dress in a prepaid envelope. The website features designer dresses (Halston Heritage, Escada, Diane Von Furstenberg, D&G, etc.) that would be extremely hefty to purchase for a one time donning, but can be rented for $50+ dollars, depending on how many days you rent it for and how much the dress actually retails for. You can also rent accessories likes purses and jewelry.

The concept is wonderful, but I’m always contemplating whether or not a dress will actually fit me. If it doesn’t, I’ll be left without anything to wear as the rental is usually for four days (so you receive it right before the event of choice) or for eight days, which is more expensive. They do allow you to order the dress in two sizes or to order a backup dress as another option, to be sent with the original, which is nice.

Check out RTR’s How It Works in further detail here.

Here are a couple of dresses I’m thinking about renting for the wedding in June. I’d LOVE to know your thoughts on which one you like better and why. Post a response in my comments! (Click on the image below to make it larger…)

Dress option 1: Halston Heritage (Snapshot courtesy of Rent The Runway)

Dress option 2: Badgley Mischka (Snapshot courtesy of Rent The Runway)

Bright and Beautiful

Who What Wear is one of my favorite blogs to read. I get their daily newsletter and I’m usually itching to open it up and see what their focus is for the day. Yesterday, I opened my email amidst an overload of schoolwork (I’m nearing the end of my first semester at Georgetown) and to my delight, it was a compilation of Bright Bags!!! Being a collector of bags, especially ones that are brightly colored, I was stoked to see what spring and summer must-haves the ladies at WWW deemed essential to my wardrobe.

The bag I’m most coveting is the pink Anya Hindmarch drawstring, which is a great size and a beautiful color. It retails for $550.

Who What Wear Daily's April 12, 2011 posting

As I was perusing their suggestions for the most perfectly hued purses, I realized that one thing I have yet to do on this blog is share any of the handbags I own. I have a fun collection of mostly vintage pieces that I love to wear and change up often. So as I stood in front of my closet this morning, I realized that I have quite a few that are very striking in color and that I’d love to share a few photos of my faves!

Once I am finished with the semester, my treat will be to spend a day or two going thrifting and to vintage stores. I can’t believe I’ve lived here for a few months now and have only visited one vintage store. (But it’s a fun one…Annie Creamcheese in Georgetown!)

I’d love to know where the best places are to go thrifting/vintage-ing in the D.C. area…suggestions are welcome!

So, below checkout some of my favoritas!

Vintage Christian Dior, an eBay score on one of my luckier days 🙂

Vintage Stuart Weitzman, I didnt even realize he made bags! I bought this one a few years ago, before studs were so on trend. I loved having it early, of course!

Purple snakeskin Beirn bag. If you dont own a Beirn bag, you should! Theyre amazing! (I may even do a post just on their bags...stay tuned!)

Vintage yellow straw clutch. Its large and roomy and one of my favorite things to pair with all black ensembles.

My cherished vintage Rodo purse. I found this at a thrift store and its definitely one of my favorite finds. It was in perfect condition and its boxy, yet angular shape is unique. Love!

Inspired Whimsy

Dear World,

I’ve been working nonstop trying to decorate my new apartment to perfection. This is for several reasons, including the fact that having a serene and beautiful home is very important to me. (I think this has to do with the fact that I have moved around a lot, but more on that some other time!) And of course, because I’m dying to throw a housewarming soirée where I can serve champagne cocktails and cupcakes (from Lavender Moon, if you must know)!! I’m endlessly perusing site after site, searching for inspiration on how to make my little abode comfortable and chic. I’ve also spent an unnecessary amount of time looking at shower curtains, throw rugs and drawer pulls…

So, I thought I’d respond to a post from one of my favorite blogs out there: The Tail (it’s Aprizi‘s blog). The Tail hosts guest curators (members of Aprizi’s team) who create “lookbooks” filled with things they find inspiring, featuring “new and emerging designers, artisans and independent brands.” Each post is chock full of beautifully curated pages with a tons of ideas for its readers. What I totally love (and just discovered!) is that they encourage outsiders to participate too…

An excerpt from their About Us section of the blog:

Guest Curating Lookbooks
If you want to guest-curate a lookbook from your favorite things on Aprizi, we welcome your participation. Just drop us a line at info@aprizi.com to learn more or to suggest the theme you want to focus on.

*I can’t wait to see if I can guest-curate for The Tail, how very, very cool 🙂

On March 30, The Tail introduced a new member to the team: Alexandra Burr. She’ll be contributing home-inspired lookbooks full of things she loves. Here is a screen shot of the post, but definitely go and check it out in its entirety here:

In her “lookbook” she included a bracelet by Bing Bang that I am now OBSESSED with:

Boyfriend Chain Bracelet by Bing Bang, $54. Photo courtesy of Bing Bang.

I’m trying to figure out a way to convince myself that I really and truly deserve (to buy) it…suggestions are welcome!

The Long and Short of It

I really need shorts. This may come as a surprise for those who know I recently moved from Miami to D.C., but it’s true (I swear)! I have been much more of a dress girl during the past five years and I’ve decided that my shortage in mini-pants is unacceptable. (Pun completely intended. Seriously.)

Fast forward to Monday afternoon: I was exploring Tyson’s Corner for the first time since I moved. Many people who know me well know that I have a (very strong) dislike for shopping malls. I love shopping. I hate malls. I thought I’d give Tyson’s a try, but as soon as I set foot in the massive, escalator ridden, teenager fortified, enclosed space, I knew it would be trouble. And though I did try with all my might, my mall experience was still, well, not my cup of tea.

But back to the shorts dilemma: I have been on the hunt for the perfect pair of leather shorts for spring. Upon sharing this with my friend Kelli, she proceeded to look at me like I was a crazy and then waited for an explanation. A good one. I forget sometimes that clothing items I deem as “must-owns” are not necessarily the case for everyone! I tried to explain to her that I wanted a pair of tailored, leather shorts in a tan color, or black. But I’m not so sure I convinced her…so I’ve decided to list the few I’ve found and see if I get any responses on which ones others like. But first, I’d love to know what you wear during the summer months…

Here are some leather shorts I’m considering/coveting:

Basic Line Up Leather Shorts from Queen’s Wardrobe, $72

Photo courtesy of Queen’s Wardrobe

Maje Expo Leather Shorts from NET-A-PORTER, $275

Photo courtesy of NET-A-PORTER

Plastic Island Midnight Faux Leather Shorts from Shopbop, $62

Photo courtesy of Shopbop

And, while this is TOTALLY random and unrelated, I want to share a song that I absolutely love that I thought of as I was perusing Shopbop.com today (you’ll see why when you listen)!

Please enjoy my first audio file, yay! Okay, UPDATE: This is going to make me look like a total amateur (which, well, I AM) but I can’t seem to insert an audio file. Apparently I have to purchase a space upgrade or use an MP3 file from the internet and input HTML code. So in the interest of saving my sanity (and another hour or two spent trying to figure it out myself), below is the music video, courtesy of You Tube.

Sébastien Tellier is a strange and very cool dude. Check out his song “Divine” from the album Sexuality