Thursday, January 31, 2013

Adventuretime: Crocker Art Museum

When it comes to parenting, I am not one that gives unwarranted advice.  If someone asks my opinion on things to do with children I will give it, but I try to do so without offending or coming across too opinionated.  Everyone does things their own way and it doesn't mean one way is better than the other,
I am very strongly opinionated on the fact that I believe children need to be exposed to things that will stimulate them and enrich their lives.  Living in Europe for three years truly allowed us to expose our daughter to the museum experience.  We were able to show her things and allow her to see, hear, and learn about so much.  Even if she does not remember most of it, the etiquette, the process, the observation skills that come with visiting a museum are now second nature to her. 

This week we visited the Crocker Art Museum to particularly see the Norman Rockwell collection that was on display for a short time.  Personally, I get super choked up, verge of tears excited, about seeing pieces of artwork that I relate to, love, or are famous.  I equate it to seeing a celebrity! The adrenaline of excitement overcomes me! (I am a nerd, in case you didn't know!).  I do not consider myself an expert on anything in the art world, but I am moved by the creativity and the craft of being able to make something profound, beautiful, reaching, whatever.

I have always been a fan of Rockwell and how any one of his Saturday Evening Post covers could tell an entire story in one image.  You can relate to them, from imagining a moment of childhood, or hoping you will feel the way the old man does in the painting.  Seeing them up close... seeing the texture and detail and depth, was incredible.  I found some I recognized and I found a few new favorites.

I enjoy seeing Aveline look at the paintings.  I ask her questions and opinions.  I get down to her level of view and see what they look like from her perspective.  It's such a joy on so many levels.

I could not take photos while in the gallery, but we did get some of us around and about the museum and the kids crafting section!

What I wore:
I.N.C. Dress, thrifted. 
 Mustard tights from F21.
Ray Ban Cateye wayfarers.
Michael Kors Gansevoort satchel.

Aveline wore:
Gap jumper dress, thrifted!

My challenge, to those of you with children: take them out. Expose them to art, culture and fun. Don't be intimidated if they are the only kid there! You gotta teach them at some point. Start young if you can! 


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Taste: My Manmosa

I think I could drink these everyday!
I am a major beer fan, but the wheat beers like Shock top, Blue Moon, etc, are not my favorites... turning the wheat beers into a manmosa though!!! Give it to me!

My recipe includes wheat beer, orange juice and a splash of amaretto (almond liquor) for a little extra sweetness!

Have it for brunch or on a warm day, or when you feel like drinking something juicy and delish!

Vanessa I.I.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Outfit: Pugsley and Wednesday on a funday

My husband is awesome and has been stepping outside of his normal fashion realm, which is bootcut jeans and screen print tees... He buys new clothes probably once every three or four years and I finally have gotten him to take some risks!
Henceforth: Skinny Jeans and a "Pugsley" tee, by Volcom!

feels like his pants are high-water! They are NOT baggy!

My husband is hott! Jussayin.

What he wore:
Pac Sun Rincon jeans. Vans sneakers. NY Yankees all black hat. Volcom Tee, thrifted. 

I got dressed after Jorden and went along with the black and white look.  I am, always have been and always will be in LOVE with black and white looks.

 Add some glitter and le splash de neon fluoro yellow and I am good to go!!

What I wore:
White peplum top from Charlotte Russe. Blazer, Candies brand. Pants, Elle collection from Kohls. Glitter boots from the Princess Vera line from Kohls. Ray Ban cat-eye wayfarers!

I think we need a close-up on the boots!  I could never afford the Zanotti glitter boots  (on sale for $537!), so these are amazing! I only wish the toe was slightly more almond-shaped, but I can settle for the gorgeous glitter being enough!  While I do not agree with copycat items or knock-offs, I realistically will never buy shoes that expensive... especially trendy items.

Have you ever matched up looks with your significant other just for fun?!  Have you ever found some high-end piece you have been lusting after at high-street prices?

Vanessa I.I.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Boots of F/W 2012-13

My boot collection went through a change and overhaul this fall/winter!  I am a boot fan for sure and I hold on to my pairs for as long as I possibly can.  It seems like boots can make it through season after season and not really go out of style like sandals or heels can.  And I think that's a good thing because boots aren't usually a cheaper wardrobe item.  I braved the withdrawl of losing some of my favorite pairs and removed the boots that are just plain worn out, torn up, beaten up, DONE... and replaced with some new ones!  Ones that once again, I hope I can wear repeatedly and keep in my rotation for a long time and many seasons to come!

Short boots:  Bearpaw glitter boots (Christmas present!), short black booties from F21 (gift from mom), short brown boots from Kohls.  I love short boots as transitional boots, particularly between Fall and Spring.

Long boots:  Gray ones are from Sears (Christmas gift from my parents), Medium cognac color from Charlotte Russe, Buckled boots with gum soles from DDs Discounts, Over the Knee boots Qupid brand (bought on ebay).  

All my boots are $50 or less!  And my theory when shopping for boots to make them more versatile for me is minimalist details, comfort, and a nice toe shape.  I have longer feet and I try to find boots that don't make my feet look huge.  I like boots that don't have lots of hardware on them, so as to avoid catching on my variety of stockings, and I must be picky about the heel.  A few years ago I broke my foot and I cannot wear heels for hours on end, and I love my boots and I use them for LOTS of walking.

What are your favorite boots?  Where do you like to shop for them? Do you have lots to choose from or do you stick to your favorites?

OH!  I just discovered an awesome way to store boots in the closet!  Do you ever get annoyed with your long boots getting all crumpled up and lumped in a corner?

Use a skirt hanger!

I have seen "boot hangers" for sale, but a sturdy skirt hanger, like this one from Ikea, was only $1 and it works great!!!

Vanessa I.I.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Lost and Found: Black Heart

How is everyone's weekend going? Mine is good so far.

Whilst shopping for Lady Gaga concert wear (more on THAT adventure soon!), I found something that made me so very happy!

I get very attached to certain accessories and I will wear them repeatedly and tirelessly.  I am always very careful with them, but while in Las Vegas (October 2012) I lost one of the pairs of my favorite black glitter heart earrings! They were a birthday gift from my lovely friend Keara, and I think they were from the Madonna line that she has a Macy's... Material Girl.  I LOVE/loved these earrings.  Devastated and knowing I would never see it again, I held on to the poor lonely earring.

Well... leave it to good ol' Forever 21 to have such an awesome, simple pair to make my heart whole again.  If you think I am silly and that "it's just earrings" then go on and think me silly... let's see how you would feel if you ruined or lost your favorite black tee or ripped your perfect jeans!

At $2.80 I could not refuse!  I will definitely do my best to not lose one again!

Have you ever lost anything and been lucky enough to find it again, or find a replica? 

Vanessa I.I.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Two Lipsticks Vivid Enough for V

I am one lucky bi-otch!!! I will tell you straight UP!
I am going to see Lady Gaga... it's going to be amazeballs. I am going to die when I see her. OMG! I can hardly contain my excitement... more to come on THAT.
Let's talk about LIPS. Gorgeous lips, bright lips, pinkish purple puckered lips!
I am getting braver with my lip colors and trying harder to take better care of my lips. I am blessed with full lips, but honestly, when it comes to the products to embellish that feature, I am pretty lost. I keep it simple with glosses mostly, and maybe a dab of lipstick here and there.  The husband hates lipstick (he actually kisses me often!), but when he's not around, which is every other day, I feel more free to pretty-up my pucker with new stuff.
I have seen the Lady Gaga Monster Ball concert DVD a zillion times and have seen all her vids on youtube and I LOVE how she always has amazing lipstick.  I am a thrifty make-up shopper, which makes for good and bad finds, with not being able to sample like at the makeup counters in the stores, so I took a risk with these Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids.
They were the brightest and boldest pigmented shades in Target and at around $6 each, I took a risk.  The one I looked at at MAC was about $16 a piece.  I bought two shades.

Brazen Berry and Pink Pop

Which one is more Gaga?

Pink Pop 860

Brazen Berry 905
 Creamy texture, great color deposit.  I think I really need to moisturize my lips more before putting it on Aquaphor is my recent lip addiction as well).  I think the Pop Pink is more Gaga.
I have figured out that I adore all shades of purple and plum, I am most comfortable with peachy nudes, reds need to lean more towards coral for me, and pinks... oh I adore pink, BUT, what shade of pink works for me? Still trying to figure that one out. This Vivid one is a fun start though!

What are your favorite shades of lip color? Any tips and tricks to share? Would you try the Color Vivids? There are a lot more shades!

Vanessa I.I.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Adventure time: 20s Party!

I can't believe that I have never been to or hosted a 20's Era themed party before this past weekend... particularly because I am fairly obsessed with that decade.  The style, the glamour, the vampiness, the jazz and prohibition and speakeasy culture.  I love Chicago, Boardwalk Empire, the Great Gatsby, the world of William Randolph Hearst...
It was fun to dress up and go to my friend's surprise 30th birthday party, which was the 20's theme!

I wore a dress I had since I was 15! My mom bought it for me from Macy's and it is so beautiful and delicate. I must admit I fill it out better now! Haha! Also, pearls everywhere from F21, the fur stole from H&M and some Franco Sarto heels.  I had fun looking up make-up and hair. I was sort of going for a Clara Bow look!  My friends love to dress up and get themed for parties as well... one of my bestest BFF's Keara is so gorgeous and looks like she is straight out of a silent film! I adore her!  The party was a success! The dude was totally surprised!

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend.  I am bummed about having tons of homework, but I am excited for waaay too much good TV on tonight. Girls, Enlightened, and Shameless are all on tonight!

Vanessa I.I.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Five Essential Bags

Bags, bags, oh wonderful handbags.  I will never understand how anyone who loves fashion could not be obsessed with bags!!!
Obviously, I am, but my love of bags has been refined and my tastes honed.
I got my inspiration for this post from  The website is amazing and is basically a blog about purses! What particularly caught my attention was the Five Essentials... five essential bags that every woman needs.  Their five essentials are: tote, travel, trendy, treasure, and clutch.  They offer good reasons for each type, but I have my own viewpoint on what bags you should have, and why!

I believe that travel does not always mean traveling overnight.  I am a master of the day-trip and even a day running errands and shopping can require the endurance of traveling far beyond.  My essential travel/tote needs to be able to hold my essential items (wallet, glasses, cosmetics case, phone, keys), 
and a couple extra things (dslr camera, book, water bottle, small snack).
The bag needs to be light enough so it won't feel super heavy by the end of the day, but super durable and comfortable.
My number ONE recommended bag is definitely the Longchamp Le Pliage totes and backpack. Durable leather handles, sturdy hardware, the nylon canvas is practically indestructible and it has such a beautiful sheen to it, and it also makes this bag light as a feather on your shoulder no matter how long you carry it.
Longchamp medium Le Pliage with longer handle in Fir. Longchamp backpack in white. ($125 each)

The satchel/crossbody has to be my next essential.  It's the bag that you can turn to for heading to the grocery store, or to dress up nicer with.  It has a comfortable handle so that you can hold your bag close, plus a long strap to allow your hands to be free whilst you shop or stand with coffee and chat with a friend at the mall.  This style of bag is everywhere and I recommend finding one in your favorite type of leather, or a beautiful canvas.  This is the type of bag to splurge and find one in really good quality.  I have had satchels with long straps that have snapped off, short handles that have twisted oddly. This is my favorite style of bag for everyday and it is worth getting a good one. Steve Madden also makes beautiful satchels at a lower price point with amazing quality.
Michael Kors Gansevoort satchel in black pebbled leather with gold hardware ($300). Satin canvas Coach satchel ($170). 

Steve Madden tri-color leather satchel. Bought at Ross $40.
As much as I need a satchel that I can tote around lots of things in if I need, it is important to have a nice small bag for parties, quick stops, more glamorous looks.  A jeans and tee looks amazingly chic and glam with pumps and a small bag (think the Fendi baguette that Carrie on SATC always carried)! It should be small enough to carry a wallet, phone, lipstick and keys.  I found both of mine thrifted and vintage and I think it's a great way to find a nice small bag! Find one that you feel comfortable with and one you know you won't accidentally put down!
Moschino black leather, (paid 14 euros, worth a lot more! major score!).

Vintage taupe leather clutch (found at Sacramento Antique Faire for $3).
This is my recommended splurge.  It should not be your everyday bag like your satchel or your tote (unless you are loving it that much!), but this is your bag that is going to be a beautiful classic and makes you feel fabulous carrying it!  The it-bag can be as lavish as an Hermes Birkin, or something gorgeous you find at TJ Maxx.  Make sure it is lush, beautiful, good quality so it will last, and keep it in a dust bag!  I am a lover of Michael Kors and a Hamilton is the signature it-girl bag for me!
Michael Kors Hamilton satchel in Mocha. ($300)

I was not sure if I really understood what Bagsnob was talking about when they wrote about the "Treasure" bag being essential, but as I looked through my bags I knew which one was my own treasure!
The Treasure bag is more than the trendy/"it" bag.  It is classic. It is an investment. It will never go out of style.  It can be as versatile as a Chanel flap bag or as frivolous as a McQueen minaudier.  If it is a treasure to you, then cherish that bag and feel fabulous carrying it! Let it be the bag all the gals stare at!  For me, it is the Michael Kors Vanilla Grayson.  Compare it to the Louis Vuitton Speedy.  It demands to be held and given attention!! My bag collection would not be complete without this treasure of a bag for me.
Michael Kors medium Grayson in Vanilla ($328).
That wraps up my five essential bags! The tote/travel. The satchel/crossbody. The clutch/small bag. The Trendy/"it" bag. And the Treasure, of course!  

I do have one BONUS ESSENTIAL though... 

The color pop bag can be any shape, style or size, but it needs to be bright! It needs to pop and bring cheer and something extra to whatever you wear it with!  All of the bags above are in comfortable, safe, classic colors: black, brown, grey, creams.  Whatever your favorite color may be, find a bag (or a couple bags) you love and add it to complete your collection of essential bags!  The fun thing about trendy, bright bags is that you can usually find them on sale for great prices because of the fact that they are not classic colors that everyone may want; but it may be the perfect addition to your collection, so score for you! My favorite pop colors are neon yellow, hot pink, Hermes orange, cobalt blue, and red.  Looks like I might still need a couple more! ;-)
Michael Kors Jetset medium tote in Zinnia (on sale for $150). Michael Kors regular shopping tote in orange pebbled leather ($100, on sale). Neon messenger crossbody from Target ($24).

I hope you go through your bags and start finding your essentials! If you have a zillion of one type and you don't use them often enough, sell or trade them to get the type you don't have and fill in the gaps in your wardrobe.  Have a bag-swap party with your friends. Take them to Freestyle, crossroads, buffalo exchange and get some store credit or cash to save up for a splurge piece.  Just think: five of those $20 cheap purses from Forever 21, H&M or Target can add up to $100 that you can put towards a good quality Michael Kors, Coach, Longchamp or other enduring piece!  I have used these bags consistently for the last couple/few years and will continue to use them for many, many more!
 Right now...
I have my eye on THIS ONE:
(my Cobalt blue baby I need! Must get before the Fall colors come out again). 
(HINT HINT... husband! Graduation, Valentine's, Mother's Day present!?!?!)

Vanessa I.I.