Fashion, Food, Desserts, being a 30-something mom is exciting!

Archive for January, 2013

Reflection

Thursday is always a day of juggling schedules. I have early morning bible study, and I’m typically a touch late (I serve with hospitality) because of the kids’ school schedule. This used to stress me out, and then last week I realized, it was OK. It was OK to let the morning setup fall on someone else’s shoulders.

We are studying Nehemiah, a heart that can break, by Kelly Minter. It’s pretty accurate, as far as what I need in my life right now. What makes your heart break? A very heart-stopping question. Which got me to thinking, just about life, blogging and the insane amount of excess in my life.

Uh-oh.

I started my blog last year in an attempt to explore the massive clothing collection I have amassed over the years. I have found many things in my closet that I never thought to wear the ways I’ve worn them.

I’ve discovered an extreme love for crystal encrusted shoes and 100mm Christian Louboutin heels.

I’ve unloaded a pile of mediocre items that didn’t fit well, were uncomfortable (bad shoes!!), and that I knew I would never ever wear.

And yet, I often find myself obsessing over eBay, sales, and the “thrill” of that “next amazing item”. That I don’t “need”.

It has nothing to do with blogging, I’ve always been a consumer, and from a very early age I’ve had a penchant for labels (because, lets face it, they stand the test of time!). I still remember the shoe that started it all. Gorgeous orange sandals with a flower. I wore those suckers everywhere. The park, play dates, you name it! (My daughter was a baby, so this is nearly 9 years ago!!) I cringe looking back a bit. The past decade has been such a style revolution for me, and I can say, now that I’m in my 30’s, I have found my “groove”.

Skirts. Dresses. Cardigans. Sparkly shoes. Really, what else can a girl possibly need?!

What I mean by the above is, I am planning on a ban in February. No non-essential shopping. My heart races at the thought! My brain says “but you aren’t in debt, and buying one pair of shoes won’t affect anything financially”. But for me, it’s a mental challenge. I’m going to work on downsizing a bit, instead of continuing to upsize! And perhaps, just perhaps, I will discover new things in my bulging closet.

So, my last purchases before my self-imposed “ban”:

Alannah Hill dress (for Valentine’s day!) I plan on wearing my red patent leather Simples with this

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A skirt from goodwill (on sale for $2.49)

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I also have a couple of items from eBay, a Kate Spade blouse & petticoat. The only thing I will buy this month is a pile of crystal crystals to embellish a wild pair of heels for my boss to wear to the Miss America pageants she attends (she judges). But that isn’t for me.

No more target hauls (eek!), or trips to the thrift shops. It’s going to be difficult! I’m turning off my eBay app as well.

Anyway, I have rambled long enough! My outfit for today:

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Cardigan: Target (girls’ section)
Blouse: DKNY, thrifted summer 2010
Skirt: Escada (I love this skirt! I know I wear it a lot)
Shoes: Christian Louboutin navy Simple 100
Stockings: Calvin Klein (I admit it, I bought 7 pairs yesterday. @ $3 a pair, they are amazing!!)
Handbag: Kate Spade Maryann

The detail on my blouse + my diamond flower pendant:

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And for fun, I took what are referred to as “mod shots” of my shoes. Not sure how “mod” they are, but it was rather fun!

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Tomorrow it starts. Zero shopping. Eeks! I’m a tad terrified!

Until next time,

Jules


Martini Time

Just out and about, a normal Wednesday for me:

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Cardigan: Red (I think Ross?)
Skirt: itw by Claude Brown
Shoes: Kate Spade

I scored a few exciting things while thrifting today. I will have to take pictures later and show another time. Today was not nearly as exciting as yesterday!

Until next time,

Jules


Fashion District Bound!

Whew, what an exciting day today was! A girlfriend of mine and I set out early this morning for downtown LA, specifically to look at sparkly things! Along the way we stopped in Burbank at this lovely store, It’s a Wrap, where they sell items from movie & TV sets! I’ve been to the Hollywood location before.

I only bought two things, this Adrianna Papell dress ($8)

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And this vintage poodle skirt ($4)

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My girlfriend found a pair of Stuart Weitzman heels for $3.40!!! (The whole store was 20% or more off) They need new jewels on the toe, but we remedied that at the crystal shops in downtown LA.

I did find a few verrrry tempting items. One was too large (but a stunning DKNY skirt, black & gold brocade), and the other two skirts, well, I wasn’t willing to shell out their asking price. Which I feel was a tad high. But, defiantly a must-stop if you are in the Los Angeles area.

Here was my outfit today, all laid out last night:

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Bold? Yes, but why not? Here’s it on:

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Cardigan: Target, little girls’ section
Skirt: Banana Republic (summer ’12)
Shoes: Strassed Manolo Blahnik flats
Handbag: Kate Spade
Jewelry: Omega watch & vintage necklace

The shoes I actually ended up wearing:

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As much as I adore my multi-colored Manolos, my feet refused to cooperate. (Naught feet!!) It worked out, as I love my Jimmy Choo flats for lots of walking.

After It’s a Wrap, we headed into downtown, and got to meet someone special, Joey from Redo My Shoe which was a real treat! He has an amazing personality, and is so real and down to earth. I felt an instant affinity for him in our emails, and I’m just so excited he IS all that and a bag of vegan veggies in person!

We of course picked up sparkly things (hello?!), Light Siam for a pair of crazy shoes I’m doing for my boss (these will be amazing, let me tell you!!!), and some trims to make bib necklaces:

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I have to say though, the true highlight of my day (sorry Joey!!!!) was Freebirds World Burrito. I haven’t had one since being in Texas a few years back. My tummy is so happy, it was amazing.

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Now off to play with my new “toys”!

Until next time,

Jules


Ruby Slippers

I went into the office today, which meant I decided to dress for it, even though we have a frigid cold wind chill going on. I do adore whomever came up with lovely sheer stockings!!

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Cardigan: Target, $7.48 on sale
Blouse: Banana Republic (actually a sweater)
Skirt: Ann Taylor
Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Handbag: Kate Spade
Stockings: Calvin Klein

Shoes & Bag:

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And just for fun, my lovely afternoon snack, a glittery lemon macaron!

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Happy Monday y’all!!!

Until next time,

Jules


Miss America Preliminary

Whew, it has been a long day! All those desserts I’ve been Instagram-ing this week were for the judges hospitality table at our local Miss America preliminary pageant.

Dessert table: (and it was yummy!!)

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I spent the afternoon with the contestants, helping prep them for their interviews. Being my first time ever involvement with a pageant, I am impressed. Several of these young ladies were extremely poised, for being so young. It was also fun to see them outside of the formal event. Same with the judges, what a great group. People always gush about the Miss America Organization, and I get it. I totally get it.

My outfit for this morning/afternoon:

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Cardigan: Ann Taylor
Dress: Calvin Klein (found this is a box last week, woo-hoo!)
Shoes: Christian Louboutin Decolette
Handbag: Kate Spade
Necklace: Banana Republic

Shoes & Bag:

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More French Macarons:

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And what I wore to the pageant this evening. The photo isn’t that great, it was as we were leaving. So I’m tired and cranky at this point, and my feet were dying from being in heels for 10 hours running around. I love my decolettes, but they hurt my toes after a few hours!

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Coat: Vintage, label says Robinsons
Dress: Vintage
Shoes: Christian Louboutin Simple 100’s in patent red.

The shoe choice was not my first choice tonight. I had the most perfect peep-toe slingbacks ready to go. But they rubbed the ball of my foot wrong and I knew I was going to be running around at the pageant. So I went with safe & comfort.

The slingbacks I had intended to slip on tonight:

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Oh well, c’est la vie. And now I wish you a very good night.

Until next time,

Jules


Rainy Friday

Ugh, another dreary rainy day. I could stay in bed and sleep the day away, but alas, it’s off and running.

My outfit, I’ve given in to the rain and feeling dreary:

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Cardigan: Target, $5.98 (picked up last week)
Blouse: Calypso for Target collection
Pants: Banana Republic
Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Handbag: Kate Spade (this is actually my lunch, junk and snack bag for work today. I tossed in my wallet and keys)
Necklace: unknown

Last night (those who follow on Instagram, I’m sure you saw!), I made Macarons again. I love these bratty little cookies! I’ll have to do a proper post about them, and the steps. I always forget to take pictures of the mixing part! But, here’s some snaps, and I’ll share my recipe/method after:

Slivered almonds

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Processed into an almond “flour”

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Piped out onto baking sheets (heavy duty cookie sheets and silpat is a MUST)

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Shells waiting to be filled (and a pile of mistakes due to me not mixing the batter enough, it was too thick!)

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Edible glitter and the last of my Wilton icing coloring (I prefer Americolor)

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Fillings: White chocolate almond buttercream, lemon curd, and raspberry

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And voila! French Macarons! I made Almond, Lemon, and Raspberry:

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So yummy, and so worth the trouble!

Recipe:

150g almond meal
150g powdered sugar
150g granulated sugar
35g granulated sugar
60g + 60g egg white(room temperature)
50g water

Coloring & flavor to taste

My method is:

Combine almond meal and powdered sugar. Add in 60g egg whites, mix into a paste, set aside. (This is where I add color and flavour)

Start mixing the other 60g of egg white on medium (you need a sand mixer for this, in my opinion). When they get foamy, add in 35g granulated sugar.

When you start the egg whites mixing, combine 150g sugar and 50g water and cook to 248 degrees (must use candy thermometer!!!)

Your goal is for the sugar syrup to hit 248, as the eggs are forming peaks. Turn the mixer to low, and slowly add in the sugar syrup. I then mix on med-high for about 12 minutes.

Combine the now satiny meringue with the egg/sugar/almond paste. Mix gently, you want the consistency to be like molten lava.

Put mixture into piping bag and pipe onto cookie sheets. You must use either silpat or parchment paper!

I cook mine at 325 in an electric convection over for 10 minutes. And they are perfect.

Fill, and enjoy!

Next time I make these (in 2 weeks time), I’ll do a proper post with pictures of all the steps.

Happy Friday!

Until next time,

Jules


Rain Rain Go Away

This morning I woke up to the delightful sound of rain falling. Which I would normally embrace. Except, it’s winter. And rain in winter really makes my arthritis flare up. On the bright side? I tend to dress brighter and sparklier when I don’t feel so hot.

That said, I’m completely snubbing my nose at the winter rain today:

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Cardigan: Banana Republic, off eBay (tag says it’s from Summer ’04)
Blouse: Banana Republic, sale last spring/summer
Skirt: Nanette Lepore (have had this for ages)
Stockings: Calvin Klein
Shoes: 5-color strass Manolo Blahnik’s I did last weekend
Handbag: Grey Kate Spade Maryann bag
Jewelry: Omega watch, double strand of pearls, and pearl earrings

My necklace & the detail on my cardigan:

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And a shot of my shoes, angled so you can see more detail:

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We have a local pageant that feeds into Miss America, and I was asked to do sweets & treats for the judges & other officials. Tonight I’ll make French Macarons (mmmmm!!!), last night I started with these, molded chocolates:

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I also started the process for double chocolate cake balls, yummy yummy! I’m super excited to be apart of this, I think it’s great when we have events like this where I live. Any excuse for semi-formal (okay, so formal for me) is embraced wholly by me!

Until next time,

Jules