CC Validation: Coral Striped Tee

I have a confession.  Nothing gives me greater satisfaction in life than when I buy something and then I see it in a magazine as an editorial pick.  The validation it gives me is kind of pathetic on my part.

And now I am that person taking pictures with my phone for the world to see.

But I have to publicly proclaim my CC wisdom.

L: Old Navy Womens Scoop-Neck Tee $8.50 To Buy
R: Page 123 of the April 4, 2011 People
(the one with the Jolie-Pitts on the cover)

This shirt was purchased on another huband/wife shopping trip pre-Florida long weekend.  When I saw it at Old Navy I thought it was an opportunity to combine 2 spring trends: coral and stripes...for under $10.  Here is what I have worn it with so far:  khaki shorts and my dark nutmeg zebra flip-flops.  Not too exciting fashion-wise but I am looking forward to throwing this tee on with my basics come spring/summer.

I am glad to know the people at People and I are on the same page.

Also included in the April 4 issue...some broccoli and cheetos recipe, an interview with my two favorite ladies Kathie Lee and Hoda and a riveting 2-page pictorial on each of the Jolie-Pitt children.  I analyzed it for a good 5 minutes.  Maddox is still my #1.


Take 20% off Sale at Express

So far this spring, I have not purchased anything from Express compared to last Fall when I bought a ton.

Now that Express has 20% off sale, there are a few items I have had my eye on that all the sudden are more enticing.

Here are 2 items I might order:

Essential Stretch Military Shirt
$19.99 at Express To Buy

I bought this shirt in white (not on sale) last year and I wear it all the time.  In fact it is over my chair right now.  Every time I do I get a lot compliments and inquiries into its origin.  Since then I have always been drawn to this denim-looking version as well as the charcoal.  Word to the wise...it runs fitted but looks polished with my pants and pencils skirts at the office.

Textured Chiffon Empire-Waist Shirt
$29.99 at Express To Buy

I have had a hankering to add more chiffon tunics to my wardrobe since receiving my intergalactic tunic for Christmas.  I think they look cute under a fitted blazer with my skinny black pants as well as with jeggings, boots or platform sandals.  I think this particular version is great for spring with the colorful flowers.  Find some cute flats in a coordinating color for some extra pop.

CC Tip:  Express sales give me stress.  There are boxes involved and people stepping over one another to go through them and they get very picked over very fast.  You have to get there early to get the best selection so paying the shipping might be worth it.

Couture vs. Cheapskate: Pink Leather Flat

Can you guess which flats cost $485 vs. $28?

Pair A


Pair B

To see results, click here!


Italian Tangelo Candle

When the weather starts to get warm, I have a difficult time transitioning my home fragrances.  The scents that are more spring-appropriate tend to be too floral or too fruity for me.  Or I think they smell like soap.

When I saw the name of this candle, Italian Tangelo, I couldn't resist.  I ordered it scent unsmelled.

Volupsa 3oz Boxed Votive
$7 at drugstore.com To Buy
(other scents available at Anthropologie)

This candle smells just as wonderful as it sounds.  It is the perfect blend of fresh citrus and since I am having an orange moment...just perfect.  Italian tangelo, mandarin, tangerine and grapefruit make for a light scent that is both lively and welcoming.  A fun fragrance to add to your home this Spring.


Loft's Favorite Spring Styles

Loft has some great basic spring styles to stock-up on.

For example:

2x2 Foil Stripe Tank
$19.50 at Loft To Buy 

This little guy is totally wear now.  I love the metallic hint against the statement necklace.  Equally cute with shorts, jeans or with a polished pencil skirt.  Also available in white (love) and lavender.

Back Zip Sweater
$39.50  at Loft To Buy

My technical abilities are limited so I could not show you what I believe to be the cutest detail of this sweater...the back zipper!  Of course I love this sweater in the coral and think it is an easy basic to perk your wardrobe up for Spring.  The Light Ash Heather will also be perfect for casual wear with shorts and my new denim capris.  I guarantee you will get a lot wear out of this sweater.

Two cute basics that will get tons of mileage this Spring and into Summer.

CC Research: Editorial Buzz

Part of my commitment to keeping the masses CC'd up is doing research to see what the budget-conscious fashion world is all a'buzz over.

Check below the images for why these items are getting so much buzz:

CC Research: Editorial Buzz

J Crew striped crewneck sweater (1.)
$128 - jcrew.com

People are obsessed with nautical stripes and if they are your thing...J. Crew is the mother ship.  Hence this sweater with sequined nautical stripes had everyone going nuts.  People went equally bonkers for this sweater with nautical stripes and confetti sprinkled sequins.  Both cute but a little out of my CC comfort level price-wise.

Old Navy linen jacket (4.)
$35 - oldnavy.gap.com

Old navy jacket (2.)
$40 - oldnavy.gap.com

As already mentioned, canvas jackets are a Spring staple and can be found at a variety of price points including Old Navy.  These two jackets are getting buzz because of their resemblance to two more expensive options from J. Crew.  Jacket 2. is a ringer for this $98 version and Jacket 4. shares the same silhouette as this $168 jacket but in a more versatile sage.

Steve Madden BEVV_B Pump (5.)
$99 - stevemadden.com

Steve Madden is no stranger to an eerily similar designer-inspired shoe.  And this pair of nude patent pumps is no exception.  For $99 you can get a pair of pumps that bare a striking resemblance to this Brian Atwood pair.  I think the Steve Madden is a hot shoe even if it is not the original.

$58 - americanapparel.net

So many people are talking about a Celine clutch/pouch thingy that made waves at Fashion Week.  Don't believe me?  Google Celine clutch pouch and see for yourself.  American Apparel now has a similar looking pouch available in 3 different sizes and a variety of colors.  I don't believe the Celine bag is in production yet but my guess is the American Apparel version will be a minimum of $500 less.  You are getting genuine leather for around $50...not bad?  And perhaps better yet, a jump start on everyone else with next season's hot handbag.


Sunday Shopping

It is not often my husband and I go shopping together.  I bet that is shocking news.  However today was different.  Coincidentally we both wanted to go places so we decided to go to together and make an adventure out of it.  I dare you to guess who spent more?

Here is a recap of my finds:

Apt. 9 Ruffle Cardigan
$24.99 at Kohl's To Buy
(Also available in navy and black in-store)

I saw this cardigan online and was curious to see it in-person.  I like cardigans that have a bit more structure because when paired with pants at the office, I still look polished and put together.  No jacket necessary.  My only concern was that it looked a bit short-waisted online.  Confirmed.  Not for me but would look great on my more petite lady friends at the office or with jeans, a white tank and fun necklace.  Tres J. Crew.

Simply Vera by Vera Wang Splatter Paint Tank
$14.99 at Kohl's To Buy

This one took me a couple seconds to absorb.  Did I love it or was I grossed out by it?  Deep thoughts at Kohl's.  In-person the orange and blue spots are much brighter giving the top a very spring feel.  Of course that just begs me to pair it back to my black blazers and cardigans as I do with all of my Simply Vera knits.  I will be ordering my size online along with...

LC by Lauren Conrad Zander Platform Sandal
$44.99 at Kohl's To Buy

Just call me LC.  And I wish these sandals could magically transport me to Laguna Beach.  I found these to be a nice looking sandal for the cost and am confident when worn to work, many will ask, "who are those?" to which I will mutter "LC" under my breath.  I am still concerned about the platform but I am getting better and many swear they make the shoe more comfortable.  I think we already know what I am pairing this with in my head.

This concludes the Kohl's portion of my shopping trip.  My husband totally got stuck being "that guy" holding my purse while I was hunting for these in my size.

Next onto:

Bandolino Hover Pump
$59.95 at DSW To Buy
(Not available online at dsw.com and $69 at Macy's)

I have been eyeing these shoes at Macy's for a little while now.  They remind of Chanel with a 3-D Valentino-like bow.  Of course nothing could ever be that amazing but for around $60, I can settle for almost.  I am always fond of spectator during the summer and think these will be the perfect neat finish to the many little black dresses I wear during the summer.  If there hadn't been some weird glue mark on the bow, these would have been coming home with me.

Enzo Angiolini Cristle Pump
$59.95 at DSW
(not this pair exactly and N/A online)
These are Piperlime

I have bought this style shoe from Enzo Angiolini in a couple colors because this shoe just works for me.  I find it very comfortable to my foot despite having a 4-inch heel.  I walked the strip of Vegas multiple times in one pair and could wear my red pair all day at work with no issues.  The red pair was so wonderful my dog ate them.  So now that there is an ikat version, my favorite pattern, these will be in my closet at some point soon.  I did not buy them today because the ones at DSW had a little peach in them and I prefer the grey.

Last but not least, I finally bought this:

White Ceramic Vase
$16.99 at Cost Plus World Market
(sadly no longer online)

I had a coupon so with tax this vase cost $13 and is quite substantial.  Modern with a vintage touch.  I love the contrast of stark white against bold flowers and my black table.  Now I just have to work on my flower arranging skills. 

So to recap, all I bought today was the vase above but there are definite future plans to follow-up on some of my findings.  I had to talk my husband out of a fedora (we agreed we thought it could be a girl's hat) and he was actually the shopper o' the day finding multiple pairs of casual summer shoes that he really needed.  I will save that riveting post for later.

Have a great week CC friends!


CC Early March Update

Yellow Ruffle Dress: 1

Big Bird References: 0

So the yellow ruffled dress was a big hit.  Granted I had it slightly hidden under my favorite black blazer but I feel like I captured its essence and am now looking forward to breaking it out sans leggings and blazer come spring. 

For those who might be interested...to recap:  it is $19.95, also available in blue and there are still dresses available in both colors at HM stores as of recently.

If you are looking for something fun and frivolous, I say stop on by and give this dress a whirl. 

You can be the Cookie Monster to my Big Bird.

People seemed to really love the Delicate Demeanor Necklace from Francesca's Collection.

Now it is available in white!  The perfect go-with-anything option with spring dresses in any color.  I think perhaps it could even go with my yellow ruffled dress or favorite green blouse.  I had a necklace similar to this last year and I ended up breaking it because I wore it so much.

Delicate Demeanor Necklace
$24 at Francesca's Collection To Buy

Lastly, I have decided I don't like the scent Carried Away from Bath and Body Works...too floral and sweet.  And my nutmeg zebra flip-flops were the perfect beach footwear.  Now they are in hiding until the weather changes.  They are sad zebras.


Couture vs. Cheapskate: Beaded Tribal Sandal

Can you guess which pair of sandals costs $59 vs. $20?

Pair A


Pair B

To see results, click here!


Sage Safari Jacket

About eight years ago I was fortunate enough to receive a sage green field jacket for free!

I remember thinking I would struggle to find things to wear it with and then be sad that I would let such a wonderful gift go to waste in my wardrobe.

Listen up folks because it doesn't happen often...boy, was I wrong.

I wore my field jacket everywhere and with everything!  To this day I still almost wear it weekly.  And because I love this outerwear option so much, last year I added a sage safari long jacket to my collection. 

Maybe my travels would take me beyond the field?  I need options just in case.

MM Couture Windy Day Jacket
$98 at piperlime.com To Buy
(Not the actual jacket I own but VERY close)

Field jacket?  Safari jacket?  Cargo coat?

Call it what you will.  A piece of outerwear, in either sage or olive*, will be the perfect transition jacket from winter to spring.  Wear with a simple tee and jeans, over a floral dress or when the weather turns, a pair of shorts.  Perhaps even to the bush!

Best yet you can break this jacket out again come Fall and still be fashionably appropriate.

Check out the great options below.  They all have a silhouette that is figure-flattering and not boxy...and are less than $100.

*Read: more fashionable and versatile than khaki.

Sage Safari Jacket


Golden Sequin Sleeves

I picked this little nugget up for my quick trip to Florida this weekend.

Sequin Sleeve Tee
$12.99 at Gap Stores To Buy
($34.50 at gap.com...boo)

I think it will make my denim flares and cut-offs more fancy especially when paired with my gold-studded sandals.  Also, the perfect underpinning peaking out beneath a black cardigan or blazer at the office this spring.  Also available in black and pink.  Would be super cute tucked into a black bubble skirt for an evening out.

And it is $12.99 people!


Ode to Valentino Footwear

So yesterday I told you about how we found some Valentino-inspired kitten heel shoes.

Well, upon further research, I found it is not just Ivanka who was inspired by Valentino but also Mr. Kors and some person named named Chooka.

Ode to Valentino Footwear

Now if I could just get Chooka to be inspired by the loves of my life.

Seriously...can we get a $75 or less version of that beauty?


Couture vs. Cheapskate: Studded Kitten Heel

Can you guess which studded kitten heel costs $895 vs. $140?

Pair A


Pair B

To see results...click here!


Delicate Demeanor Necklace

Often times when it comes to putting together an interesting and stylish outfit my inspiration starts with a piece of great jewelry.

Delicate Demeanor Necklace
$28 at Francesca's Collections To Buy

If you have never been to a Francesca's store, I would recommend stopping by one this Spring.  Inside you will find classic, on-trend pieces that are affordable and easy.  I think they have the best mid-priced jewelry that feels more substantial than Forever 21 but is comparable in quality to more expensive costume jewelry.  Most of their pieces range in price from $15 to $30.  Perfect for gift giving as well!

Delicate Demeanor Necklace
$28 at Francesca's Collections To Buy

Of course by now we realize this necklace fits the bill as CC for two reasons: statement piece in an on-trend color.  In person this necklace is more delicate (hence the name) and smaller that what it appears in pictures.  Perfect for dressing-up any basic including sundresses, blouses and knit cardigans.

One "wear now" option would be to take a knit dress and layer a black cardigan over with a pair of black tights.  Add your Delicate Demeanor necklace and you have an outfit that feels Spring-like but is still weather appropriate.  Of course as the temperatures rise, your necklace and dress will work equally well just the two of them.

Hive & Honey Janie Tie-Waist Knit Dress
$34 at piperlime.com To Buy
(Also available in blue, gray and red)

Headed to the office this summer?  Throw on a black jacket over your dress.  Keep the rest of your jewelry simple and let your Delicate Demeanor necklace be the star.

CC Tip:  Visit the Piperlime "Girl On A Budget" section to view hundreds of clothes, shoes and accessories for $100 or less.  A great option for finding exclusives and stuff you won't see everybody else wearing.

Delicate Demeanor


Beauty Buy #5: Carried Away

I haven't done a formal Beauty Buy in a bit so brace yourself for some riveting info!

If you are a sophisticate like me, then you probably spend your Monday nights in front of the tv.  I counted on Monday nights and between actually watching a show and DVR'ing a show, I am up to 8.5 hours of tv I watch and/or record.  It is an even 9 hours if Pawn Stars is 2 new episodes.

Don't ask me why, but The Bachelor is given top billing as the show I watch live above all others.  While watching The Most Dramatic Bachelor Episode Ever, my 2 hours of tv are inundated with commercials from Bath and Body Works advertising their new scent "Carried Away."  And yes, I was carried away by their marketing ploy. Into the Bath and Body Works store I went to give Carried Away a try.  I am such an easy target.

Carried Away Shower Gel
$10.50 at Bath and Body Works To Buy

However this time I was smarter than here and here and started with a small sample size for $5 before deciding if I could commit to a full size bottle.

I will tell you this.  I like it.  I am not ready to commit to really liking or love just yet but willing to keep trying.  The ingredients are all my typical faves: raspberries and whipped vanilla.  A hint of white jasmine rounds out the profile.  The scent is a little sweet and I think that is what is holding me back.  

Or it could be that B&BW has billed Carried Away as reminiscent of the way love sweeps you off your feet.  Isn't that is taking it too far for shower gel?  No Bath and Body Works, I think you are getting carried away.

So I will like Carried Away but I am not quite swept off my feet just yet.  Stay tuned.

CC Tip:  Start with a small travel size of Bath and Body Works scents before stocking up on a new scent.  It saves you from sinking money into a scent you may end up disliking.


Brown Braided Belt

Believe it or not every season has an "it" belt.

Perhaps you recall this "it" belt and the hundreds of copycat versions that had fashionistas everywhere paying as much as $200 to get the same look as Carrie.

I must confess.  Not one to miss out on any trend, I own a $5 imitation of this belt.  However, that is not the confession.  The imitation I own is a size too small and once when I exhaled, some of the studs popped off.  One of the rebellious studs stills sits in my desk mocking my self-control; a reminder of one very important fashion rule: no matter how good the price, if something doesn't fit, don't buy it.

I digress.  Where I am going with this is my overall relief that this year's "it" belt is one bred in versatility and flexibility.  No popping studs here!  Just some brown leather and a simple braid.

Leather Skinny Braid Belt
$26.90 at The Limited and thelimited.com To Buy
(Also available in yellow...so cute)

The idea is to get the belt long enough it will fit around your hips or in your belt loops.  But when you pull the belt to your waist, you will tuck the tail in and/or let it dangle.  Knot it for a less conventional look.

I recommend finding a belt no larger than an inch in width.  The idea is to casually throw it on over what you are wearing and have it sit on top, not cinch like a normal belt.  Almost like you are not even wearing a belt.  Any larger in width will be too heavy and difficult to twist and wrap...and that's the whole point.

Braided leather belt
$45 at jcrew.com To Buy

I love a honey leather and think it is the perfect accent to some of Spring's most important trends: coral, tunics, shades of neutral and lace.

Shop around and I am sure you will find a version of this belt most anywhere in a variety of prices.  Faux leather will get you the look for under $15 and is easier to twist.  Whereas leather will run you in the $30 range and have more substance to it; ideal for sitting on your hips.  Prefer to have more of an investment piece for years to come?  Check J.Crew and Banana Republic at around $50.

See below for more brown braided belt (say that 3 times fast) options:

Brown Braided Belt