Archives for January 2015

Style Story: Work Outfits Monday Through Friday

For all of January I’ve been keeping track of my work outfits, AND it’s proven to help me a ton! While I’m getting to know what looks goond on me, more importantly I’m learning what makes me feel comfortable. I’m finding if I feel good plays highly into the score. The way I feel is like another garment: if my work outfits make me feel confident, than it’s a win. If I feel slouch and meh, not so good. Evaluating my work outfits is totally demonstrating to me what works on a daily basis. I find my style–or randomness of style to be quite interesting. Maybe in a bit I’ll be able to name it. I was happy to have scored much higher this week each day–my confidence and attitude weighing in highly to each day’s score. Have these Friday posts been helping out you with your work outfits? I’d love to know….I think I’ll keep it up for the month of February.


work outfitsI liked this outfit. I’m not sure if the flare of the crop black pants works, but I felt really comfortable, and that matters. I have almost gotten rid of this (very) dress a couple of times, mainly because it’s so short. I think wearing it over pants however makes it work. One of the reasons I love this dress so much is it reminds me of turning 40. I wore it to my 40th birthday brunch–Oh, that whole February month of 2012 was such fun. So, the dress stays. I like it. Heck, since I can’t afford Missoni might as well pretend!
*With all those muted natural colors I wore my very berry Chanel Destinée.

Missoni Look Alikes:


work outfitsI also liked this outfit. For one, the sweatshirt is the best!! I mean come on. For Kremb de la Kremb, wearing “Créme de la Créme” just makes me find cool–even if it is totally nerdy! The other reason I really liked this outfit was my plaid pants. I mean–they’re totally cool. At least in my opinion they are. In this outfit, although I’m a total wanna-be, I felt a little like Blaire Eadie of Atlantic-Pacific. (She’s where I first saw this sweatshirt.)
*My Lime Crime Velvetine‘s arrived the day before, so here I’m wearing Pink Velvet.

For Créme de la Créme Lovers:

And anyone Mad for Plaid?


work outfitsI really like this outfit–parts of it anyway, but I wasn’t completely comfortable. I’m chesty, and this top accentuated that. Sometimes that’s a good thing, but on this day it felt like too much. I do however adore the cape! I mean I felt like a super hero every moment I wore it! Unfortunately I was warm during parts of the day and had to take it off. I’ll be sporting the cape again soon; it’s feels RAD. (I love the reaction I got from Kevin too. He was like, “Are you wearing a cape?!” Yep and yep!) These pants I will not be getting rid of because I love the cut, but they need to either be replaced or copied. They’re done, sadly. But I’m not tossing them quite yet….
*Again, on this day I wanted to try out my new Lip Crime Velvetines, so I wore Red Velvet. By the end of the day though I was back to my favorite red lippy of the moment, Bourjois Rouge Edition in Hot Pepper.

You too need a cape!


work outfitsOh, I had such trouble getting dressed on Thursday. It was actually pretty comical. My bed was covered with options to pair with a black tube skirt. When that didn’t work I tried another long, black skirt with side slits. The outfit just kept getting worse and worse, but I already had on the black tights, so I didn’t want to give up. Then, the light went on: just wear a dress Ann. Duh! Once I shifted my mindset away from a black skirt, I was totally liberated, and pulled out one of my favorite dresses of all time. (See the story and its relationship to my lovely sister-in-law Amy HERE.) Paired with my black kimono, I felt comfortable and confident plus a little chic all day long. Phew!
*For a bright pink lip I reverted to my fave of the moment, Bourjois Rouge Edition in Pink Pong. Love this lippy!

Kimono Dreses to wear under a Lace Kimono:


work outfitsWhat’s not to love about a dressed down Friday?! While it isn’t formally announced that we can dress down on Fridays, it’s accepted and quite normal to wear jeans on Fridays. I don’t always but in the winter months it is a little cozier–especially when paired with some heat technology and an even cozier short sleeve sweatshirt. There are two items that add extra Italian love and friendship to this outfit. Remember, these are style stories! First, the jeans–they are reminiscent to a side seam, striped pair that I got in Italy and then traded later with Annie for a pair of earrings. I’m not sure if she remembers those jeans but I do! Also, I’m wearing a dear Italian bauble from Cathy, my roommate in Italy. When she returned to Florence during our senior year, she brought me back the necklace and earrings. Yes, that would mean these treasured items are over 20 years old. Wait! How did that happen!? Yes, this outfit gets a solid 5! (Even though I need to get rid of the boots. Yes, they were free at a swap, but they are just WAY. TOO. BIG! Ann, stop keeping things just because they’re a good deal!)
*More favorite lippy but today back to red, Bourjois Rouge Edition in Hot Pepper. (I sense a blog post and perhaps a give away…I love this lippy so much!)

I know you want embellished side seam jeans too!

Successful Work Outfits

Wow! Four out the five days this week my work outfits scored a 5/5! These style story posts are TOTALLY helping me out. I hope you are getting some #inspo too! Here’s to feeling confident, comfortable, and chic while we work.

*This work outfits post has been linked up to The Pleated Poppy What I Wore Wednesday Linkup and Rachel the Hat, and Style Elixir.

Beautiful Bali: My Accessory Haul {Last Instalment, I Promise!}

Beautiful BaliAhh, Beautiful Bali! (I promise; this is the last instalment from our trip to Beautiful Bali over our most recent Christmas holiday. Perhaps it will be a while until we return to this glorious island….) In this final post depicting our trip I’d like to highlight the eclectic baubles I picked set amidst the beauty of Bali’s nature. The necklaces and earrings I picked up were all very bohemian–perfect for the hippy dippy librarian in me. The clutches, well they were exquisite, and I was proud to stop at just three: snake, beaded, and cloth. The tropical notebook seemed like the perfect finale to the trip: a gorgeous flowered journal for my next beach trip (coming up in February for Chinese New Year!). Shopping in Beautiful Bali was easy–as you can see! What souvenirs do you bring home from your travels? I find that accessories will stay with me forever!

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Spanx Me Baby! The Pros and Cons to Women’s Shapewear


Corset Advertisement from 1886 in the Public Domain

Recently I found an awesome mommy/fashion blogger based out of New York: Jennifer Connelly of Two Pumps in a Purse. I love her writing style just as much as her fashion sense. She’s quirky and cute and a fellow lover of the red lippy and leopard print. Yes, we’re destined to be friends. Recently, Jennifer wrote a post about the undergarment girdle: To Spanx or Not to Spanx. Her post reminded me of the bicycle short girdles I used to wear in Beijing to not only hold me in but also keep me warm. With her prod, I have set out to revisit the girdle. I went out and bought a couple of varieties and have come to a few conclusion. With every pro there is a con and vice versa:

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Motel Mexicola–Bali’s Best Mexican Restaurant in Seminyak

Motel MexicolaMotel Mexicola is indeed the quintessential Mexican experience–even though it’s islands away! Walking inside we all felt transported to a different land even though we were still on the island of Bali. After seeing several of my favorite bloggers (yes Geneva and Shea, I’m talking about you) tote the same message of how awesome Motel Mexicola is I knew it would be a great place to meet up with our dear friend, David. This would be the second time in a month that we would be fortunate to meet up with him–the first being a spontaneous, chance encounter in the streets of Shanghai. See, that’s how small the world is. We can stumble upon folks we know in Shanghai at a street-side café and then meet up a month later in Bali for Mexican. I feel lucky for so many reasons with travel and good friends being one of them. Kevin and I started this international ride 18 years ago, yet we never would have guessed all the opportunities this lifestyle has given us. We met David while working together in Mumbai, India where we became fast and good friends. Since then there have been visits made out to the cabin and other visits of ours to see David in Kuala Lumpur. So of course we made it possible for a meal together when we were all spending our Christmases in beautiful Bali. Embracing this small world is such fun. David, where should we meet up next?!

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Ya, I’m Over-the-Top

over-the-topYep, over-the-top! That’s me!! I’ve always been and always will be. I can actually pinpoint an exact moment from high school that reinforces being over-the-top. It was from one of my first dances. I was going to a semi-formal dance with Brian Carney. I designed my own dress, and it was colorful. Actually it was more of a two piece suit: the skirt was black with bright polka dots and the top was a royal blue, buttoned up jacket to match, and of course since it was the ’80s the sleeves were obviously very, very poofy! Following this dance were many more fanciful dresses to designed, but I’ll save that for another story… My point is that I am and most have always been over-the-top. I don’t mind; it’s just the way I am. However, I will say that I do try to contain my over-the-top-ness. As I will detail below. But first, let’s just admire this totally, utterly over-the-top outfit with a Chewbacca coat (insert sound here) paired with some Dallas Cowgirl worthy, high fringe boots, shall we!?


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Style Story: Work Outfits Monday Through Friday

Wow! This practice of getting a pic of my work outfits each day is proving to be so beneficial. I am seriously cleaning out my closet! For example, Wednesday’s outfit, MEH! It all needs to go despite any sentimental value. Thank goodness I had a stellar necklace on that day. And Friday’s outfit, well you’d think this 40 something-year-old would get her styling straight during those delicate times of the month. So posting these work outfits is proving to be valuable. While I don’t recommend that you post your own pics for the whole world to see if you’re not comfortable, I do highly recommend getting a shot of yourself in your work outfits because it’s really helping my closet. If anything, I’m really starting to see what actually looks good on me in an every day sort of way all because of posting pictures these work outfits.

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River Rafting in Bali

river rafting River rafting in Bali was sensational! On one of the days during our four day stint in Ubud over our Christmas holiday trip to Bali, we went river rafting. It was the first time for the kids, and the river couldn’t have been more spectacular. I am not kidding when I say we took over 1000 stair steps down to the water, but the sore calves the next day were worth it. (And luckily the return climb back up was only around 300 stairs!) The river ran in this deep, lush green gorge. It was narrow and rocky with amazing walls of vegetation on either side. The only wildlife we saw were monkeys–which is a treat. The river rafting wasn’t dangerous, but it was just thrilling enough for some hoots and hollers. We held on tight in many different spots. In one calm spell we were able to jump the boat so to say and float down the very refreshing river. Even though the sun was out we were shaded by the green walls on either side. All in all, river rafting was a hit for us–we’re scheming for our next chance!

River Rafting in Bali:

If you are traveling to Ubud Bali, I definitely would recommend taking a half day to go river rafting. We were super impressed with Bali Adventure Tours. Aside from a little miscommunication regarding our pickup, everything was top notch from the lunch to the locker room experience to the bus ride. Our guide was awesome–as were all the guides, and the whole outfit including the facilities, equipment, and process were top notch. River rafting while in Bali is a must, and I recommend going with Bali Adventure Tours.

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When I Come Back, I Wanna Be Italian

BlackBlazerI always joke that when I get reincarnated and come back to this world I wanna come back Italian. There’s just something about Italians that has always intrigued me. This seed was most likely implanted in the fourth grade Annie (around 1982) when Silvana from Florence, Italy babysat us while my mom and dad were out of town. Silvana was gorgeous! She had these huge almond eyes, her skin color was unlike anything I’d ever seen–especially in the Northwest town of Spokane, Washington, and her accent, well it was just dreamy. She had simple style with a white shirt, blue jeans, and a sharp black blazer. Her hair was wavy and flowing , and she smelled divine. Oh, Silvana, I wanted to be her!

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My Favorite 40+ Fashion Blogger

NotDressedAsLambThere’s no shortage of fashion bloggers out there, and if you look to the right at my blogroll, you’ll see that I read plenty, with the list growing. Sometimes though, favorites happen–especially when connections are made. Catherine Summers of Not Dressed As Lamb is one such blogger. She’s pretty phenomenal is so many ways. While I completely adore her spunky and simultaneously classy style, it’s her kindness that shines through. Here niche is definitely being a 40+ blogger, yet half of the content on Not Dressed As Lamb is dedicated to helping other bloggers. Catherine offers proof that paying it forward garners success. Every time I’ve reached out to her, and there have been many times, she always gets back to me and promptly to boot. Basically, when it comes to Not Dressed As Lamb, I take every single one of her cues, tips, and tricks, and use them. Thank you Catherine! Both your lovely style and kind heart are inspirational!

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I’m Finally a Skater Girl

Skating4It’s true! I can finally call myself a skater! Gigi gave me Rollerblades for Christmas, and I’m just so excited to be a skater again. My dream of skateboarding has been distracted with these blades and it’s just as well for my physical well-being. I was doomed to crash and burn! I get home from school, put on a skater skirt, and hit the boardwalk of Stanley. Now, it is true: I actually put on a skater skirt to go skating. It makes me feel like a super special skater even though I’m really just mediocre–but it’s fun!

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