DIY: Stickers for Grown-ups

IMG_0438I bought this Gucci bag (with the real deal bamboo handle) in 1994 when I was a Copy Director for Elizabeth Arden. I was a 30-something full-time-commuting-working Mom of two with #3 on the way. I was proud of my ability to multi-task (hah!) and earn some serious cash but also quite often overwhelmed and exhausted and putting myself last.

So one day at lunchtime I marched over to the Gucci flagship store on Fifth Avenue and, well, said “F@!* this, I deserve this.” Ummm…not out loud mind you, but you know what I mean. I’ll confess that the splurge kind of scared me but not enough to say no. And I truly felt like a million bucks every time I walked off to the NJ Transit train to start my day — armed and dangerous with a designer bag. Then a year or two later trends changed, life changed and this bag went into the closet. Pretty much until today.

I was actually inspired by what Gucci is doing this season with their bags and shoes. I had the bag, I had the stickers. So…

IMG_0432Before

IMG_0438Map out placement. This took a bit of time because the bag naturally folds over. I also wanted to leave room for some possible additions…

IMG_0446Good to go!

I know this may be fashion sacrilege for some, but it was this or bye bye for this bag. Now I feel like we’re both hitting the streets with a new perspective. And that makes me smile.

Anya Hindmarch has a whole Sticker Shop for bags. (My rainbow heart and star). Check it out! And here’s one of her amazing bags for inspiration to try your own.

All photos by MP & Chris Allegaert

 

I Heart Stripes & More

IMG_0407So this was a BIG weekend, Momwise, lifewise. And this was the post that almost wasn’t.  A lot of intertwined stories. I’ll try to keep it short and to the point. And to the heart.

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Easiest, and hardest anecdote, is about shooting this post, the why and how. We were in Baltimore this weekend for our youngest son Chanler’s Senior Day and last home game as a player (on the (storied and top 10 ranked) Johns Hopkins Lacrosse team. Game day was cold, rainy, ugh. Chanler had told me: “Dad should wear a jacket and you should wear a dress.”  I love to dress up but ummm…no. I went for a multi-blue striped shirt (Hop colors!), white skinnies and OTK black boots. Add a trench coat and Blue Jays baseball cap, and I was still frozen. But our guys won it big 19-10.

Saturday was a great day and a bittersweet day. Chanler has endured a really rough road to the pinnacle of Lacrosse. He turned down a starting role and scholarship to another fine school but a fledgling program, because he had been accepted to Johns Hopkins based on his HS academic record. He told us he was going to walk onto the team. And he did! Only one of two players in the last 4 years to do so. The other player transferred out. Chanler stuck it out. And it was a tough road for a young man who was used to being a superstar. He was at the bottom of the rotation with other young men who were nationally ranked and recruited in high school. To be honest, Chris and I questioned his decision many times. While we were proud that he was accepted to such an elite University for his academic record, we worried about what such a grueling, demanding and in many ways unforgiving athletic road would lead to. This year with high hopes, Chanler had to change his perspective. Two concussions, one quite serious, sidelined him in the pre-season. Then weeks (and weeks!) of nagging back pain turned out to be a stress fracture. Trust me, I wanted him to go on Injured Reserve more times than I can tell you. But he wanted to fight through and play out his season. Obviously his playing time was compromised but not his spirit, team love, team leadership. Watching him cheer on his teammates, pump fists, add his handsome, imposing and inspirational 6′ 6″ presence on the sidelines was in so many ways unexpectedly inspirational to this Mama Bear. To quote Crosby Stills and Nash, this was kind of how I felt all weekend: “Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry, so just look at them and sigh and know they love you.”

What does this have to with what I’m wearing you ask? Well, I don’t exactly know. I had to cover our parental role, but then we were going to have some down time. And I’ve been dying to share this t-shirt and this pair of awesome sneakers. I really had no idea what the weekend weather would bring, but I just packed them and hoped for the best. And finally the sun did shine. On Sunday morning we grabbed these pics in the Otterbein neighborhood of Baltimore, which is filled with beautifully restored row houses and cobblestone streets.

For me, this is the perfect “off duty” look, though it could actually be an on-duty one for me too.  I’ve featured these frayed-edge black jeans before. They were a bit of an investment, but one that’s paid off because I’m happy every time I wear them. I simply could not resist the mixed stripes of this long-sleeved tee, and what Mom (woman!) doesn’t wear her heart, well, anywhere and everywhere. And these sneaks? How cute are they! I scored them at Nordstrom rack, and I swear, as we walked around Baltimore today I got stopped and complimented on them. Fun! Because it was a bit chilly, I was happy I packed my white leather jacket. Another piece that is beyond versatile, no matter the season or reason.

Craziest anecdote du jour: I left my phone on top of our car (it was GPSing)  when we went to brunch with friends. We drove off afterwards, and I quickly realized I didn’t have my phone. I had (hopeful) visions of it being turned in to the restaurant, being stolen or smashed (sad face) or I was just nuts (umm, well), so Chris pulled off the highway, called my phone (no answer) and we prepared to U-turn it. A sudden stop (yes, 70 mph up until then!) and the phone miraculously fell perfectly into the windshield well. Thank you, Phone Jesus!

I hope you like this look and it inspires you to come up with your own spin. And I do appreciate you “listening.” Life is funny that way. Would love to hear your story!

Jacket:  (old, Catherine Malandrino), but similar here and here

Jeans: 3 x 1  but more affordable here and here

Striped Tee: (J. Crew, sold out) but fun options here and here (love this line!)

Sneakers: (old, Alice and Olivia) but love these and these (how could you not!)

All photos by Chris & MP Allegaert

Had to share. Hope you enjoy these pics too!

IMG_0340Proud Parents! You did it Chanler!!

IMG_0360Ha ha. Pinot Grigio kicking in but still loved every minute. And  my boy most of all.

DIY: Pom Poms & Pedicures

IMG_3447‘Tis the season to get your tootsies out there. But first…a confession. This isn’t a complete DIY. Yes for Pom Pom sandals, kind of for pedicures.

From fashion runways to getaway shorelines, pom poms are on the march! I LOVE them. You have got to get them in your wardrobe. Or like this post make them for your wardrobe.

IMG_3440Fashion sacrilege for some, but I was  simply not wearing these super cool nude leather Elizabeth & James sandals. Solution? Pom pom them!

IMG_3444So yes I was potentially “ruining” an expensive pair of sandals. But a bag of pom poms for $1!?! (Thank you, Target). Game on!

IMG_3445Set up your work space. Newspaper (with the perfect headline…wink, wink), shoes, pom poms, hot glue gun.

IMG_3446Map out your pattern. I tried to do mirror image on each shoe. Actually messed up but no one ever notices. All they notice are the pom poms!

IMG_0302So now that you’re going to put your feet first, you need to treat them right. I love getting pedicures…on my own terms. Plus there are some great DIY tools out there, as in this Amope Pedi Perfect Foot File, as well as this Revlon Pedi-Expert. Not to dwell on salon nightmares, but I do have a friend who was infected with a life-threatening staph infection when she had her feet “scraped” at a pedicure. Please…don’t do it. I never let them cut my cuticles. I bring my own polish, top and base coat (touch-ups made easy). I don’t care if they think I’m nuts. But I do think I should get a discount. Hasn’t happened. Keep ya posted. Last tip, at bedtime slather this Beauty Counter Baby Daily Protective Balm on your feet, then put on a lightweight pair of cotton shorty socks. When you wake up…baby soft feet. (Great for lips, cuticles, elbows too…)

All photos by MP Allegaert

Get Your Gingham On!

IMG_0022I will be the first to admit I thought this combo was, well, maybe just a bit too much. But…I love it! In case you’ve missed it, gingham is having a moment. As in you need some. Stat. I personally am a sucker for fabrics and patterns that remind me of my girlhood and my Mom’s awesome sewing prowess. We wanted a dress….she whipped it up. Even for our Barbies! Sadly, I lack her skills but think of her every time I put together something “smashing.”

Or you might say…clashing. This outfit was totally spontaneous. I love the different sized patterns, the fitted retro silhouette, the bow-tied cold shoulder. Lovely classic pearls from Chris. And the vintage bag is the perfect finishing touch as far as I’m concerned. $18. Score!

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Shirt: (Asos) but love this (25% off with CODE HOPTOIT!) and this

Pants: (Zara) but similar here and here

Shoes: (old, Gucci) but love the slide version or super cute flats

Bag: (vintage, Adirondack Attic) but fun here and here

All photos by Chris & MP Allegaert

She’s a Rainbow

IMG_0290This week my “day job” has been busier than expected so blog posting was put on the back burner. I’m so happy to be back! Even though you won’t see me in any of these colorful choices, my fashion heart and soul is all in.

On a “heavier” note, I’m asking myself “Why rainbows?” Maybe it’s because our world has taken such a dark turn these past few months. I don’t know about you but most mornings I dread reading the news, let alone my Facebook feed. And I think I’ve had stress hives since the election. So…looking for hope and happiness somewhere over the rainbow feels, well, where I want to be.

IMG_0233OK, I’m not going to Coachella (this year!), but festival vibes are a look you can rock anywhere, anytime. At any age! Truth be told, these jeans were “shoot loot” that I coveted and was gifted, but alas, could not squeeze myself into. So…I’m having my tailor sew this amazing embroidered rainbow detail onto a pair of jeans that do fit. Worth the $20!

IMG_0249Slide into the rainbow. Swirls, sparkles and sequins or cool Abeaded stripes? I say…both!

IMG_0270As much as I LOVE donuts, I don’t advocate eating them. This photogenic clutch puts them in your hands with color, without calories.  Delish!

IMG_0285Not to get too heavy, but this shirt is my message for America. Or the America I’d love to see, be, live in. Wherever I am,  will be wearing it for Pride Day! And any other day I feel like the world needs a reminder.

IMG_0265And speaking of Pride, this is actually my most heartfelt talisman. I’m a mother to three sons, one of whom happens to be gay. I could say it’s no big deal, but when a shooter murders 50 people in a gay club in Orlando, it is a big deal. And it should be for all of us. Don’t tell Spencer, but I’m sending him two of these bracelets — one for him, one for his adorable boyfriend Joey. I hope to march with them in LA this June. The cherry on top is that Love is Project does wonderful things the world over.

Jeans: (Moto, not available) but similar here and here

Slides: Steve Madden and Zara

Clutch: (Terez, sold out) but love this and this

Muscle Tee: Pam & Gela but happy here and here

Bracelet: Love is Project

All photos by MP Allegaert.

Pops of Pink & Blue

IMG_0199Since it’s going to hit the 70s this week, I’ve made the executive decision to ignore any remnants of winter’s chill and break out the Spring style. I even got a pedicure in celebration of peep toe possibilities. Full disclosure: Chris was wearing a down jacket and hat while he snapped these pics. The things we do for fashion!

I love how this fuzzy wuzzy bomber jacket balances whimsy and warmth. And it will be a fun outerwear option in the next few weeks. Plus it’s pretty close to Blue Jay blue, so I can even wear it to Chanler’s JHU lacrosse games at Homewood Field as he finishes off his senior season. (Bittersweet…) Such a fan of how pink-and-blue swirl together in the gorgeous paisley pattern of this anything-but-ordinary shirt. My dark rinse high-rise skinnies (so comfy! really!!) are from a new label I just learned about — Mott & Bow. The brand’s mission is to create premium denim at a reasonable price. It’s also a family-owned business where every pair is handcrafted. AND…you can even get a FREE try-on pair when you order. (They have Men’s denim, too.) Finishing it all off, rainbow floral hoop earrings I featured in this earlier post and hot pink suede shoes with a peep toe and of-the-moment-yet-super-walkable block heel.

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Bomber Jacket: (Banana Republic, sold out) but fun and fuzzy options here and here

Shirt: (Liberty of London for J. Crew, basically sold out unless you are a size 0) but love this floral one, too (on sale plus extra 30% off with code LOTSTOSHOP)

Jeans: Mott & Bow

Earrings: J. Crew (extra 30% off with code LOTSTOSHOP) Loving these and these and these, too!

Shoes: Sam Edelman Similar here and here

All photos by Chris & MP Allegaert

Last Look at Winter

IMG_2867Guess how we got fooled on April 1st? A foot of snow. Truth be told, it was looking pretty magical and probably our last such wintery landscape. By Sunday, the sun was shining and temps had gone up into the mid 40s. No gloves! So as much as I’m looking forward to sporting some new Spring fashion, I pulled out some warm weather gear one last time.

IMG_2858IMG_2869IMG_2873IMG_2885IMG_2892IMG_2904IMG_2906IMG_2931IMG_2909IMG_2857Hopefully I won’t need my faux fur-lined trapper hat in the weeks ahead, but you can bet my Barbour jacket and Hunter boots will be in regular rotation. Mud season is coming! You can never have too many cashmere sweaters as far as I’m concerned, plus this cozy colorblock turtleneck eliminated the need for a scarf. Embroidered and decorated denim has been a strong trend for awhile now. It’s a fun, chic way to elevate such an everyday item. If it’s already warmed up where you are, I still think these are good wardrobe additions to snag now (often on sale!) and save for Fall.

Coming soon…the first of Spring 2017 looks!

Jacket: (old, Barbour) but find it here and a nice lighter weight option here. (On sale with code MOREISMORE and comes in regular, tall and petite too.)

Sweater: (old, Vince) but similar here and here (bargain!)

Hat: (old, Woolrich) but multiple choices here

Jeans: (old) but love these and these

Boots: (old, Hunter) but loving them in matte navy

All photos by Chris & MP Allegaert