(Faux) Leather Sleeved Jacket

September 30, 2014

Having a little black blazer is almost as important as having a little black dress - the versatility and wearability can't be beat. And just like an LBD, there's no need to go basic just because you're wearing black. Mol and I recently discovered a darling boutique, Mosaic, out of South Carolina and we both fell in love with this faux leather sleeved jacket when perusing their online shop (while talking on the phone together, naturally). The open front, zipper details on the cuffs, and fab sleeves made it an instant "want."

 

Right now the blazer is a shared item between the two of us but like most sisters, we fight over the good stuff and I have a teeny tiny feeling that one of us is going to have to buy another one of these bad boys to keep the peace. I’ll state my case now for the record: San Fran is chilly year round; I wear layers every day; this is just the right amount of leather to suit my wannabe-edgy soul; Molly gets to live with Blue Moonbeam and I miss him so much that I should be the one to keep the jacket full time as a consolation prize.

Just kidding (not really).

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Toast Talk

September 29, 2014

Moving is one of my all time least favorite things. I'm not sure I've ever met anyone who loves the process but I literally dread it. Right now I'm halfway through moving from the two-bedroom apartment Sally and I shared into a one-bedroom place. The only thing making this solo move bearable is that I'm staying at the same apartment complex and just moving to a different building. Down three flights of stairs (no elevator), drive a few yards, and go up three flights of stairs (still no elevator). For awhile I had big plans of leaving the cozy complex I've been at for something for urban and high-rise but the easier moving situation coupled with the lower rent (compared to options north of where I am) and the fact that I love the location made the decision to stay a no-brainer. Since this is my fourth move in four years I do feel like I have some tricks, tips and strategies for make the dreaded same town move experience as streamlined as possible. Don't hate me for sharing...

 

– I guess this one is pretty obvious, but make sure you have a good overlap between the date you’re allowed into your new place and when you have to be out of your old space. For instance, I got the keys to my new apartment this past Friday and I don’t have to be completely out of the two-bedroom I’m leaving till this Wednesday evening. This leaves me a great amount of time to pack, move, and clean.

– Once I know the days I have the overlap I schedule the professionals…since I know I’d like to keep the last day with my old space open for me to go back and clean I book the second to the last day (in my case, Tuesday) for movers to come in the morning and take all the large furniture pieces and heavy boxes, washer/dryer move and installation, and for cable and internet to be up and running. When I’m doing this set up I also call to have my electricity switched over (if you call they are generally great about letting you have service in your old place during the days you are moving while having service start in the new space), change my renters insurance (I adjusted my rate from a two-bedroom to a one-bedroom), and notify my bank other major expenses of my address change (re: car payment, etc.).

– This is my current schedule: move things myself from Saturday till end of day Monday myself, movers come on Tuesday, and I clean the old place from top to bottom and give back my keys on Wednesday. Why move things myself? For one, I’m a control freak and prefer to move my closet and kitchen myself and before moving anything else so I can get them both organized ahead of time. Secondly, doing as much as I can on my own lets the profesh movers focus on getting the big things out and in as quickly as possible and I’ll have less clutter of boxes as I try to get the new space set up while I have strong men to place heavy furniture pieces.

– So for the shlepping, I use three rectangular laundry bins and carefully load all three with items (making sure I can comfortably lift and carry them without having my arms break), carry them down to my car, drive them as close as I can to the entrance of my new building, carry them up and unpack them. It sounds almost counter productive to do this pack and unpack as you go but I finished my entire kitchen and pantry yesterday and it really wasn’t that bad of a process. First load was for dishes, second glass wear and serving pieces, third was pantry items…you get the idea.

– I guess it’s important to note that before I unpacked anything into my new kitchen I brought over surface cleaner and clorox wipes and cleaned all the shelves and counter tops. I’m not a huge germaphobe but when you’re about to move into an apartment that someone else used to live in you kinda want to make sure it’s fresh for all your stuff. If my mom was here to help me every shelf would have new liner but that jazz is going to have to wait till I have more time.

– For my closet move, which I’m doing today, I’m starting with my long hanging items (dresses). I’ll keep them on hangers and will carefully fold them into the three laundry baskets after they’re wiped out and clean. Repeat the process for all hanging and go back and forth, down and up, and hang everything in the new closet till my arms feel like breaking. Then I’ll use the same baskets to do my shoes. After that I’m sure I’ll be “this” close to losing my mind and covered in sweat so I plan on using the suitcases and duffle bags I have on hand to pack non-hanging stuff like sweaters, jeans, t-shirts, etc. and have the movers take them tomorrow.

– Tonight I’ll box up coffee table books, knickknacks, office stuff, and anything else small for the movers to take along with the furniture and closet bags. I have the movers for a minimum of two hours but anyone who has used professional movers knows how expensive they can get with each passing hour, so I’m really going to try and be organized and on top of my game so they can work as quickly as possible and just take car of the things I can’t lift with my own two arms. I’ll probably use Sally’s empty room to segregate things I plan to take over myself after the movers have come and gone. Those trusty laundry baskets will be used for pillows, anything delicate (like lamps and lampshades), and my computer.

– Doing all this with a puppy has been…interesting. Blue Moonbeam has been very good at watching me pack laundry baskets and hasn’t destroyed anything when I leave him each time I take a load and unpack it at the new apartment. Tomorrow will be interesting with the movers and I’ll probably keep him on his leash and attached to me so he’s out of their way while I’m supervising.

– What else? Wear clothes you don’t mind sweating in and sneakers so you don’t trip on stairs, accept the kind offering of neighbors to offer to help you carry things, drink lots of water during the day and unwind with a glass of wine and chocolate at night…take short, well-deserved breaks if you can and visualize how good it will feel to be finished with the process. Wish me luck!

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M in Elie Tahari for DesigNation

September 26, 2014

Similar to Sally, I'm not my most comfortable when trying to navigate the streets of New York. But with each time I visit, I get more familiar with the neighborhoods and more intrigued by the city. It's not hard to understand the draw that so many people feel toward it - the "if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere" mentality for both the lifestyle and professional arena is no joke and ends up cultivating some of the most creative and talented people in the world. I love that Elie Tahari picked NY as his muse for the DesigNation capsule collection for Kohl's because you can see his love and respect for the city come through in the pieces he designed.

 

Also like Sally, I had the pleasure of styling two looks with pieces from the DesigNation collection. My first impression was that I was impressed by the quality of the clothes and the thoughtful details.  The textured fabric used in the midi skirt instantly won me over with its stretchy fit…so comfortable. I can think of several ways to style it (tall boots and a blazer, short booties and a sweatshirt) but chose a simple silk tee and pumps to give the look a sophisticated vibe.

I combined leggings and a printed top for my second outfit and added some bright heels to tie in with the pretty blue used in the python-print top. The leggings are the same version Sally wore but in all black and they really are so good looking and insanely comfortable – the mesh inlay down the side brings a sporty element that I think mimics the fast pace of New York. While bold blue python might not be everyone’s cup of tee, I love the color as much as I love the fit. The high-low hem done in the same black that trims the crew neck collar has great side slit details and I found the length to be super flattering.

Even though each piece had edgy details, I found them to all be very feminine due to the thought and care put into the fabric choices and construction. When great fashion is made available to the masses I think it’s a sign that designers care enough about style to have their designs trickle down from the runway and into the closets of those with a budget. Elie Tahari did a fantastic job of creating a collection that can keep up with the pace of the city it was inspired by, while also be an exhilarating addition to the personal style of women in many other cities. The collaboration just launched today at Kohl’s  so make sure you shop it before styles and sizes sell out!

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