Saturday, April 30, 2011

Love and Flammkuchen

Aaaah, what a weekend start!

Friday started off with a Royal wedding watched live, had a few bumps in the day thanks to some jerky car repairmen, but ended up being great having dinner with friends (enjoying flammkuchen and goulasch suppe for the last time), kicked ass playing Mortal Kombat and Singstar and drinking too much wine!  We'll see how the rest of the weekend goes!

I look for any reason to dress up and knowing there was so much love and adoration in the air I thought I would get a little fancy pants for myself and whoever else happens to see!

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Accessories were particularly carefully chosen.

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I chose all things that made me think of love and royalty and church!  The pearls, diamonds, crosses, flowers, the crown and key and lock and of course hearts.  I also wore the sparkly diamondy flower ring I wore to my own  brother's wedding!

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Love conquers all!  And I truly believe in stressful and sad times, sometimes love is all you got to get you through.  I am sad for all of the suffering going on in the midwest with the tornados destroying so many lives and so much property, but things can be replaced.  Seeing the love and romance of the royal wedding was really cheerful and romantic and I think it made a lot of people happy, including myself!

Here are some pics from dinner and afterward!

 On of our favorite Palatinate regional restaurants!
Flammkuchen (flame cake) with creme fraische (sp?!), cheeses, wild garlic, bacon, onions and herbs.  I enjoyed a small glass of rieslingschorle with it... sparkling water with white wine.  Perfect dinner!

 My little monster and her best bud!

Can you guess what they are singing?!  Avii has her "paws up"!

What's in store for the rest of the weekend?  Praying with all my might that we sell our car, taking down more picture frames, coloring my hair getting ready for my cut on Monday! 

What I wore:
Thrifted silk blouse.  Thrifted suede shorts that I DIY'd from a pair of pants. Tights from F21.  Accessories from F21, Love Culture, Kohl's, Fossil watch.  Espadrilles saved from my mom's donation pile!

xoxo...
Vanessa

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Outfit: dots and bells

It was one of those random overcast spring days full of pockets of humidity, wind, rain and sun.  I love that I have my flatforms now so I can wear my new fave jeans without worrying about dragging them around!
Not a lot of color in the outfit but I think the polkadot caftan provides enough of a punch!

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 I think I need to wear this caftan on a really windy day.  I think it would be easier to get cool photos without having to fling it around myself!

We started off the day kinda boring, just running outprocessing errands and whatnot, but the day ended up being cool!  Got some thrifting in, got some taco bell and 31 cent ice cream scoops from Baskin Robbins and went to watch Rio!  It was such a cute movie!  I don't think I could ever have the dedication it would take to keep a parrot, but they are so beautiful and this movie was so colorful and funny!  Definitely worth seeing!
What I wore:
Thrifted caftan and old navy jeans. BCBG flatform sandals. Tank top from New Yorker. Longchamp bag.

xoxo....
Vanessa 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Talk Cents Tuesdays: Handbag Dilemma

So I'm thinking of trying something new and having a few weekly posts dedicated to certain themes... One of which has to do with money and being a thrifty shopper!  Let's see how it goes...

I am definitely in the process of searching and wanting to invest in a good quality leather handbag that I can use a lot and be proud of and feel chic and stylish carrying around.  I have a few requirements:

1.  Must be leather
2.  Must have gold hardware if the hardware is showing, or be completely black (no shiny silver)
3.  It can have cognac leather details
4.  Must be large enough to carry all of my essentials and that includes my Nikon D5000
5.  Must have a handle and possibly a cross body strap

I am thinking the price range to be anywhere from $75 to $200.  I am not necessarily a brand snob, but if I could get a designer purse I think it would be perfect.  I don't ever stress about wearing designer clothes or accessories so a nice designer handbag is something that would be very valuable to me.

My issue stands here - I like some of the top designer brand bags including but not limited to Mulberry, Balenciaga, Chanel, etc.  I do NOT nor will I ever have the money to justify spending over $1,200 on a handbag unless by some miracle there is a crazy good deal.  With the options out there I have an eye on some Dooney & Bourke bags mainly, as well as some nice Betsey Johnson and Kate Spade bags. 

There is also a booming market of replica bags... replicas are the nicer versions of knock-offs.  I have bought knockoff  bags from purse parties and in the China towns of different cities.  Knock offs fall apart... simple as that.  But what can you expect from paying $40 for a bag made of pleather and glue and brass hardware tacked together?  Replicas use real leather and quality hardware and promise to be the quality of the original designer for about a fifth of the price.... right in my budget!! 
Is it ethical?  Are these bags produced in sweatshops and shipped illegally?  The replica and knockoff industry takes billions of dollars away from original designers.  BUT, I am not exactly a supporter of industry.  I shop thrift stores, flea markets and Forever 21 and H&M.  I am a stay at home mom with a husband in the military... we do not have the budgeting to support the LVMH.  There are tons of other people that do though.  I don't see any of the fashion houses getting shut down because I would buy a replica.

It is not always about the designer name and status either.  Simply speaking, there are few bags out there that are functionally and stylistically just perfect for what I need.  A Mulberry Alexa bag would be peeerrrrfect for carrying my goods and my camera!  I just can't afford one or justify asking my husband to buy me one.

There are a lot of fashionistas out there that say to SAVE.  Save save save and search for secondhand deals and I might be able to find my dream bag.  Even at HALF price I would not be able to afford one.

Should I write off top designer bags as just out of my reach and shoot for real quality on a more feasible level, such as with Coach or Dooney & Bourke?  I do love their pieces and I have some real Dooney items that have lasted me for years already and just get better with age.  There are outlets and they are more in my price range for sure.  But, as perfect as a Balenciaga City bag?  I don't know.

What do you think?




xoxo...
Vanessa

Monday, April 25, 2011

Finally Flatforms!!!

Got a couple packages in the mail today... the last two we have been waiting for and one of them was my BCBG flatform sandals!!!!  I luuuurve them!  they are so cute and comfortable, I just had to get dressed up for fun!  So here is picture overload... it's been a little while since I have had a really good outfit for a post!

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I admit that they are a bit funny to walk around in... but not uncomfortable... just gotta watch out on cobblestone not to get the wonky ankle twist going on!
 
Again, I love my new shoes and decided to pair them with my accordion skirt and H&M tube top that has a ferny-leafy pattern to it that I thought went well with the lines of the shoes and the skirt.  The angled sunnies and pleated clutch completed the look for me!  Nude lip and lots of orange-y blush for make-up accents.

I was thinking about doing a few "scheduled" weekly posts... like Monday Matters... like matters concerning money, finding deals, saving and shopping... I am a babe on a budget and I have a love for shopping and I don't mind sharing my thought process and ideas about trying to look good while saving money!  What do you think?  Would it be too much alliteration if I also had Thirsty Thursdays to talk about fave wines and foods?  Two-thing Tuesday? hahaha!

Here is a pic of me and Avii having a coffee/ice cream break in our local cafe!




WHat I wore:
H&M tube top and clutch.  Thrifted accordion skirt. BCBG flatforms bought on ebay.  Hat from F21.

(i used flickr for my photo upload today?  any difference?)

xoxo...
Vanessa

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ostern Wochenende!

Our last Easter Weekend in Germany, and honestly it's been one of the most fun and hectic!  We did not make it a very religious holiday this year... I think Avii is kind of small to really understand and she has been so so so sensitive lately and having nightmares, I kind of did not want to saturate her dramatic mind with the whole concept of the Passion of the Christ... not that I wouldn't have edited, I just didn't know how.  We also did not go see the Easter Bunny this year either so I guess we didn't overly approach that angle either.

We DID dip a lot of eggs, had 2 eggs hunts and 2 great Easter meals - one at a friend's home and one at the fire station... we also have enough plastic eggs and candy around here to put a diabetic hippo into a coma! 
Here are some highlights of the weekend:










sugary sweet kiss!

Like in "Tangled"

poor baby took a fall and scraped her little arm!

but she is a tough one and keeps on going!
I really loved both of my easter outfits but was kind of wrapped up in things and didn't get outfit pics, so I'll just wear them again sometime soon!  The first one was a cute lacey dusty rose colored paneled top that I wore with black.  My second outfit is my new fave color combo: red, white and the cognac leather!!!  love it! not original at all though... got it from What Would a Nerd Wear!  She has some great ideas about mixing staple colors... she has done some awesome outfits with yellow and gray and gray and reds... really fun and different.

Anyways... it was a great weekend and went by so fast!  What it really means though?  "After Easter, we go to California!"  We have been counting down since Christmas!!! New Years, Valentine's, Daddy's birthday, St. Patrick's day, Easter, theeeeen....

Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend!

xoxo...
Vanessa

Friday, April 22, 2011

Citrus, Solids, wardobe revamp

I am in a style rut right now.  Indecisive and uncomfortable.  In between spring and summer temps.  I am wanting to dress cute and be creative, but everything just seems too hard or doesn't feel right.  I also realize that I am majorly lacking in the summer-wear department.  I have some dresses, a few skirts and a few shorts I like, but none of it really goes together.  I guess that's what has happened since I culled my wardrobe of all things that I don't fit and do not wear anymore.

I am excited to go back to California and get some shopping in, but I really want to have a plan and get some things that I will really love and really use.  I don't want to waste money and start building up a wardrobe I am not so comfortable in again.  I have been investing in things that I really love and am comfortable wearing frequently, like my Longchamp bags and my tailored thrifted pieces. 

I am a mom and I spend most of my day running errands, cooking, cleaning and playing.  I must be comfortable.  Dresses are always a go-to for me, but I really love the versatility of separates... particularly skirts and comfortable, cute tops.  

I have always been someone that loves color, but I am realizing I am much more comfortable with solids rather than patterns.  The only patterns I really stick to are bold stripes.  Florals were a kick for me last year, but haven't really stuck around.  I can't help feeling juvenile if I wear a floral skirt or top.  I love floral dresses though.   

Should I focus on building up some nice solids and neutral pieces or still go for some print or pattern?

If anything maybe I can try something tribal or get a really cool simple leopard print top that I can work into different looks.

I really liked these from F21.

Another thing that I am realizing is that I have my favorite things and I need to stick with things that accent...
I LOVE cobalt blue and cognac leather and basically anything black.  THOSE are my staple favorite... motifs or whatever you would call it.  What goes with those?  I like greens, from mint to olive to emerald... and all of those shades look good with black or cognac.  Citrus hues are catching my eye, which also look good with cobalt and cognac.  All of which compliment my skin tone and hair color.  I have about three items that are citrus and under normal circumstances I would say I HATE the color orange.  When I think of orange I think of...
 Home Depot... I used to work there and was never fond of that apron.
... and Hooters... everyone's favorite delightfully tacky chicken wing stop...
Or to the other extreme...
 
Hermes... the brand from which I will likely never be able to afford a single item, so out of spite and complete jealous admiration I scorn the famous orange.

However...  seeing all the citrus fun coming from Stella McCartney's S/S 2011 RTW collection I love how a little sunshiney splash of yellow, orange and chartreusey greens can make an outfit fun and chic.  Chiara of The Blonde Salad is my fashion icon of the year so far and she has been bringing orange and cobalt accents and pieces into her wardrobe perfectly!  She has my dream wardrobe!  I need to build my own.  I have my few fave cobalt blue pieces and my citrus yellow Longchamp.  My mums is awesome and already scored me some cognac flats.  I found my solid black flatform sandals. 

What do I need?  Maybe a fun orange skirt and slouchy top and maybe a dress.  Just a couple items in orange.  I think a nude colored skirt would also be a good investment to go with the blue, black and citrus colors I love.  I love the balance of a neutral with a bright color... again, something I made a note of in seeing Chiara's looks. 



So I guess never say never!  I think a couple  of years ago I had a vendetta against purple and I wound up with purple dresses, tops, etc.  Fashion is a crazy fun and changing thing, but I want my style to last throughout the seasons.

Anyways... I hope upon my return to California in less than 3 weeks, whoever goes shopping with me can help me out with this mission (Mums, are you reading?!)

xoxo...
Vanessa

Happy bEarthday Jennie!!!!

I wanna give a shout out to my gorgeous amazing friend Jennie!!!  It is her birthday today as well as Earth Day, which is the perfect holiday for her to share her birthday with!  If you know her, you would understand... she is whimsical and wise and witchy, witty and wonderful on so many levels.  She is like the big sister I never had and I love her lots and cannot wait to see her when I get back to California!  Something else particularly awesome is that she is expecting and I can't wait for her baby to get here!!!!

I hope she enjoys her preggo birthday and takes it easy and eats lots of yummy food and hangs out with peeps she loves!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Jennie!!!



Last year for her birthday I sent her a golden gnome...  I feel bad I haven't had the chance to send her anything this birthday, but I am hoping we can get some shopping time in when I get back!  As well as some pre-baby arrival shenanaginz if she is feeling up to it!!  here are a few pics from our past!

The only girl to get me dancing on the bar!


Shenanaginz! Doin' what we shouldn't!

She is so awesome!!!  And since I can't be there to share a birthday dessert, here is one we shared before:
Love you, Jennie!!!!
xoxoxoxoxo

Vanessa!!!