Monday, September 5, 2011

Rainy Labor Day Movie Date

Rainy Labor Day Movie Date

J Crew pocket dress, $50
J Crew paisley top
J crew jewelry, $30
Women's shoes - ballets - Zip-front ballet flats - J.Crew, $70

Can you tell what my favorite summertime acquisition has turned out to be? Here's that versatile little Urbanite shift dress again, making good new use out of my beloved old Trastevere cardigan and Glass Cylinder necklace, plus the cute Zip-Front Ballet Flats I found on sale at my B&M.

It's just miserable weather here, but we're making the best of it with a relaxing day and are headed out to see an early movie.  An umbrella will complete my ensemble for this evening!

Happy Labor Day, everyone!


Friday, September 2, 2011

Urbanite Shift Part II, Featuring Tortoise Accessories

The wonderful Urbanite Shift dress again, slightly "dressed up" as I wore it for a garden club luncheon with girlfriends. 

I ordered these Cece leather & tortoise ballet flats weeks ago and was waitlisted -- and honestly nearly forgot I'd ordered them til they suddenly arrived on my doorstep! They're back in full stock, it appears. On first wearing they were SUPER comfy all day, and I think the color is going to be really useful going into my fall wardrobe of skirts and matchstick cords.

The sunglasses, earrings, purse and watch in this Polyvore set are all pieces that I own and really love, but you can see how easily you could substitute anything with a touch of tortoise to achieve the same complementary look with the Cece flats.

Once again, y'all, enjoy your holiday weekend -- and send Atlanta some rain, will ya? :-)

Urbanite & Tortoise Part II (feat. Cece Tortoise Ballet Flats)


Urbanite Errands!

Hey everyone, happy Labor Day weekend!  

Sorry I've been gone all summer -- I haven't been away, but I haven't been online much at all.  The construction and repair issues at our house have continued on and sucked my attention and my budget nearly bone dry (like what this relentless drought and heat have done to our poor plants!) 

But I have picked up a few J. Crew pieces here and there, because sometimes a girl's just gotta have a little retail relief, ya know?  

One of my recent finds was the Urbanite Shift Dress, still available in a few sizes and colors and in Petites.  I bought it in Spiced Olive and took the size 4.  This dress has gotten mixed reviews, but I decided to take a Final Sale gamble on it and am so glad that I did because it is sheer perfection on me.  Perfect shape for my rectangular, boyish build -- it accentuates my broad shoulders in a nice way, and the color's great, too.  Warmer and richer than I'd thought it would be.  And while I was afraid the cotton would wrinkle, it really doesn't at all, maybe because of the touch of stretch in it. 

Another great find -- and I owe this to the lovely Dina, who pointed these out -- is the Antiqued Stone Flip Flops.  Hands-down the most comfy flippers I have ever worn, and straight out of the box.  I bought them in Metallic Gold first, and within days stampeded back to buy them in Safari Fatigue and in Ebony.  I know they'll be go-to's for me for a long time.  Merci, ma belle ami Dina, for yet another fabulous recommendation! :-)

Here's how I paired the dress and shoes to run a few errands on yet another sweltering Atlanta August day.  The necklace, by the way, is the Factory Tortoise & Cylinder Fireball necklace.  Lightweight, fun and a bit sparkly.  Perfect summer fun!

Urbanite Errands


Monday, July 4, 2011

Sparkling for Sparklers! Happy 4th of July!


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Ultimate Summertime Salad Recipe

Hey everybody, remember when I mentioned in a recent post that we'd had friends over to kickoff the grand re-opening of our pool and deck?  For that dinner party I made a spectacularly pretty and delicious summertime salad, and wonder of wonders, I remembered to photograph the process.  (You have no idea how big an accomplishment that was, y'all.  My meno-challenged mind -- once a crafty lawyer's steel trap -- now most closely, and pitifully, resembles a steel collander!)

This salad has a lot of ingredients and takes some time to put together, but it's not difficult at all and it's well worth the work.  Just plan your time and make it a day ahead.   Hope y'all will enjoy -- maybe over the 4th of July holiday weekend!

Fresh Corn, Black Bean and Edamame Salad
Adapted from several sources, including Alton Brown’s Roasted Edamame Salad
and’s Corn, Edamame & Black Bean Salad
Serves 4
Keeps covered in fridge for 4 to 5 days

Salad Ingredients:
Kernels cut from 2 large ears fresh corn, drained
2 cups fresh or frozen cooked edamame, shelled 
1 15.5-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 red peppers, quartered, seeded and with white membranes removed
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered and drained (may use halved grape tomatoes, drained)
½ cup Craisins or dried cherries (please do NOT omit -- a fantastic, unexpected addition!)
½ small red onion, finely chopped (optional but pretty)
4 scallions (including green stems), finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch cayenne pepper
¾ tsp. kosher salt or sea salt
½ freshly ground black pepper

Dressing Ingredients:
2 large or 3 small limes, juiced
1 tsp. white sugar
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
5 Tbsp. red wine vinegar OR rice vinegar OR combo (just use what you have on hand!)
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil (this is in addition to the 1 Tbsp. mentioned above)

To make:
1.  Preheat one oven to 450 degrees F and preheat a second oven to 400 degrees F.  (Note:  If you’re working with a single oven, then as soon as the red peppers come out reduce the oven temp to 400 degrees F.)

2.  Place red peppers on a lightly Pam’d cookie sheet and roast at 450 degrees til peppers are just beginning to blacken, about 20 minutes.   Cool and chop medium-fine, then set aside.

3.  Combine corn kernels, scallions, garlic, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, salt and black pepper.  Stir to combine and pour into a 13 x 9 METAL pan. 

4.  Place the corn-edamame-scallions mixture on the middle rack of the oven and roast at 400 degrees F until edamame have just begun to brown, stirring occasionally.  (Note:  This will take between 15 - 20 and 35 - 40 minutes, depending upon whether you use frozen or fresh (or thawed) edamame.   I’ve found that I prefer to use fresh or thawed edamame because everything cooks more quickly and a bit more evenly.   But I’ve used straight-from-the-freezer edamame too, and it all comes out fine.)

5.  Remove the corn-edamame-scallion mixture from the oven and let the pan cool for a few minutes, then remove the contents into a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and cool thoroughly in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

6.  Make the dressing by combining all ingredients in the blender at medium speed.

7.  When corn-edamame-black beans mixture is cooled, gently fold in the black beans, tomatoes, roasted red peppers, red onion, Craisins (or dried cherries), and cayenne pepper. 

8.  Add dressing and toss gently to combine.  Taste and adjust salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper as desired. 

9.  Finally, gently fold in the basil and cilantro, reserving a combined Tbsp. of both herbs for garnish.   Refrigerate til 30 minutes before serving. 

10.  Before serving, garnish the top of the salad with the reserved Tbsp. of fresh herbs.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Borrowing from the Crewcuts Jewelry Box, Pt. 2

Borrowing from the Crewcuts Jewelry Box, Pt. 2

J Crew striped tank
$25 -


Flip flop
$13 -

Kate Spade stud earrings
$38 -

Girls' magic mirror bracelet
$7.60 -

Sorry the set's a little sloppy, girls.  Still playing with the Agate and Cobalt (since I own a little of each).  And -- let's be honest here, shall we? -- killing time before I head out to cycling at 5:00.   I can think of a dozen things I should be doing, but hey, Polyvoring my wardrobe is a useful function in life, right? ;-)

Have a nice summertime evening!


Borrowing from the Crewcuts Jewelry Box

Borrowing from the Crewcuts Jewelry Box

J Crew sheer tee
$40 -

Stella McCartney blue shoes
£150 -

Girls' magic mirror necklace
$12 -

Every now and then I spot something in the Crewcuts jewelry line that inspires an unexpected and fun color combo --- like this ridiculously inexpensive, cute and summery little necklace.  Plays well with the colors Agate and Deep Cobalt from the Grown-Up Girls' line. :-)

I sure wish my budget would allow for those Stella McCartney sandals.  Do they not look uber-comfy? 


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Where My Budget's Gone in 2011

Recently we had two couples who are our closest friends over for a celebratory dinner as we officially began to enjoy the Giant Black Hole where all of our money has gone in 2011.  You're seeing why I'm closet-cleaning and closet-shopping these days!   Welcome, JCA pals, to the new and greatly improved back deck of our house or, as we now call it around here, Spa de FAH! (FAH is my hubby's nickname among friends -- an acronym for "Fun As Hell" Kenny, which he most certainly is!)

The pool and wall (previously orange brick, which made no sense as our house has Tennessee fieldstone all over it) were here when we bought our house in 1985.  We've resurfaced the pool, but the deck's just been a slowly-worsening concrete eyesore and, even worse, has been creating a worsening drainage problem for our house's foundation.  (We're convinced the original owners wrote their own Certificate of Occupancy, because this on-grade-with-the-house deck and so many other things in our 1975 house, we discovered, ridiculously violated city and county building codes.  And we've had to fix every flippin' thing.)

So last fall we interviewed engineers, landscapers, concrete companies, etc., and found out for sure that the only way to fix our drainage problem was to take the whole area back to dirt and start over with new grading and a re-pour.  At that point FAH and I figured what the heck, it's time to add the water feature and decent grill we've always dreamed about.  And away we -- and our wallet -- went.  They will have to take us out of this house feet-first, y'all.  We are here for. the. duration.

As usual, the project went over budget, just enough to eat up the "new outdoor furniture" line item, so what  you see here is our 15-year-old stuff. Next year, if I'm lucky and keep shopping my closet, that old junk goes and something in a lovely outdoor wicker will appear.  When my clothing budget will re-appear is a whole other question.  No time soon, I can tell ya THAT.

During construction (taken from my dining room window in early March, just after the wall was re-surfaced in stone and the deck was demolished:

And after, in late May, featuring FAH's new toy:

Here's what I wore on the very hot evening we entertained our friends at Spa de FAH:


Shopping My Closet: Menagerie Style

Shopping My Closet: Menagerie Style

Created 6.15.11.  Finding new ways to play with this Whisper Linen Cardi, one of a handful of new additions to my closet this spring.  It's a floaty, hip-length, very cool (in all ways :-)) piece and I highly recommend it!  And this color (and many others) are on sale!  

For reference, the pink isn't icy -- it's soft and has just enough yellow in it to work well on my auburn/strawberry-blonde-ish coloring.  The buttons are HOT pink, a nice touch and an exact match with the very bright, fun Favorite Tank.  

I bought the Small, and actually could have worn the XS (to give me a little more of a fitted look through the body), but I thought the arms were way too tight in the XS.  

Wishful thinking on that cute as heck watch, by the way.  Don't own it but sure would like to!


Monday, June 13, 2011

Old School Basics with a Twist

Old School Basics with a Twist

J Crew polo top
$40 -

J Crew denim vest
49 GBP -

J Crew safari pants
$70 -

J Crew glitter sandals
$98 -

Gucci 18k jewelry
$2,650 -

J Crew chain jewelry
$33 -

J Crew chain jewelry
$33 -

J Crew belt
$33 -

Wearing 6-13-11. All closet-shopping except the sandals, which are new and beloved already! I've been drooling over them all season but suddenly they were just gone, and I figured well, Fate. And then they were shockingly THERE in my size the other night when I was battling insomnia and randomly surfing Net-a-Porter.  An early birthday present!

And today my saved eBay search on these same sandals sent me an e-mail reporting a pair in my size 8, up for auction for $90 + shipping or BEST OFFER. I haven't seen ANY of these on eBay. Go figure! :-) If you're an 8 and you've been wanting these sandals, there you go!

Not sure yet how I'm feeling about the teal green pedicure -- way outside my usual wheelhouse, and creating a bit of unexpected havoc with my clothing choices. But oh what a BEAUTIFUL color!