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I happened to be at Potomac Mills during J.Crew Factory's last 50% off sale and I couldn't resist walking away with a few pieces. One of them happened to be this skirt, which in spite of my usual fit problems with the No. 2 pencil skirt, sits pretty well on my frame.

The conundrum I'm talking about in the title though has to do with the little behind the scenes things that make an outfit look right. I prefer to wear spanx-like undergarments with skirts & dresses but my penchant for the high-waisted variety was annoying with this shirt.  It's loose enough to come untucked from the skirt but I couldn't tuck it into anything else  (like my underwear) to keep it stable. I'm sure if anyone could have seen the elaborate (and very unladylike) ways I had to keep readjusting between photos they would have had a big laugh.

Top: H&M ~ Skirt: J.Crew Factory ~ Necklace: Lou Lou Boutiques ~ Shoes: Me Too (via Marshall's)

P.S. - these sandals are incredibly similar to the Sam Edleman Trina (they have the gold block heel and everything) but sadly they are NOT the comfy walking sandal I wanted them to be. Blisters man, so many blisters. I hope it gets better with time!

Neil Gaiman at Lisner Auditorium

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Friday night was a good one for me. Not only did I end up with a free ticket to Neil Gaiman's talk (& book signing) at George Washington University, but due to unexpected friend of a friend connection, I got a seat in the second row! Wahoo!

It was incredible to hear Gaiman speak in person, his words and personality over blogs/Twitter has always been so much fun, but the book reading was my favorite part. I didn't know much about The Ocean at the End of the Lane but hearing it in his own voice definitely has me intrigued. I just wish I was a better audio book person though because Gaiman recorded it himself!

Neil Gaiman puppet! AHHHH!

Either way it was a really fun night and if you're looking for something new yourself why not check it out? It's only $15.22 on Amazon! A steal!

Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly's wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.


On one of my mostly fruitless searches for summer tops I stumbled upon this piece at H&M and fell in love. It's got just enough shape to the fabric to make the peplum really flattering and the floral has enough colors to allow pairings with almost everything I own. Plus - neon shoes!

Top: H&M (recent) ~ Skirt: J.Crew ~ Shoes: Nine West ~ Watch: Michael Kors ~ Bracelet: Eastern Market

flare with an edge

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Another chapter in the saga of ISO battles. I thought taking these pictures outside but in the shade would showcase the colors better but in reality things were just dark. Really dark.


So sorry for the slightly blurry pictures  - I'm gonna try to do better next time! I will make these outside/tripod pictures work if it kills me!

Top: JC Penny ~ Skirt: ASOS ~ Necklace: Eastern Market ~ Shoes: Sam & Libby for Target

P.S. - I did wear this outfit to work but with black loafers instead of wedges. I think the heels make this a bit too dressy for work even for me.

Awkward and Awesome Thursday! (6/20)

A return (maybe) of Awkward and Awesome Thursday! I make no guarantees about how often I'll post these but I feel compelled to remind myself of both the good and bad in my life right now.

For shame.
-That 'candid' picture from the wedding. I cannot even tell you what was going on but OMG that face. I'm embarrassed and hope to all that's holy that the official photographer didn't catch any of that.
-Job hunting. Even when you do it as a side activity I think it always results in feeling like a failure that no one wants. I'm sidelining it for the moment I think, in favor of giving what I truly want to do next some more time to materialize.
-Rain. DC has been the rainiest of all the cities lately, or at least it feels that way to me, and I am really ready for consistent sunshine. Though maybe not with 90+ degree temperatures?
-Paying off the credit card. I haven't been so great (as in not good at ALL) at sticking to my not purchase clothing vow but at least I've been paying off what I've been spending and racking up some bonus points.
-I'm going to be passive aggressively vague here, but people who choose to be incommunicado rather than address a point they don't like. If you have some reason why you don't think you owe me money then let me know ok? Don't just ignore the situation because I don't forget that sh*t.
-Sweat. Summer in DC is humid and HOT and I have a serious problem with hairline sweat. Anybody know of an antiperspirant I can use close to my face?

-Apple Cider Vinegar. Weird one to start off with I know, but I started taking it post-wedding (my skin broke out like woah) and I think it might actually be working. I'm only taking about a teaspoon a day but I kinda definitely feel like I'm breaking out way less. Now to work on those dark spots!
-Figuring out the summer wardrobe. It's a frustrating awesome, but putting together new outfits that work for me in the heat has been fun too.
-Dragon*Con! It always finds a way to creep onto these lists now doesn't it? I've been doing my usual stalking of who's going to be making an appearance and it's pretty incredible. RICHARD DEAN ANDERSON, Eliza Dushku, Nicholas Brendon, Avery Brooks, JIM BUTCHER, Ghost of the Robot (James Marsters band!), LKH, Jamie Hyneman AND Adam Savage...the list just keeps going!
-Lancome outlets. Working towards that end goal of a smooth complexion without dark marks, I picked up a couple of Kiehl's products at Potomac Mills (cheaper to begin with they were another 50% off!). They smell a little strong but I think they're working? We'll see.
-Friends who let me whine (a little). I'm having a slight life crisis moment and thank goodness for my friends who let me vent. Sometimes I just need to get it out so I can let it go and there are some great people in my life who let me do that. 

Post 'waffle wedding cake' Activity :)


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In my quest to work this peplum top into more outfits I tried to pull a Blair today with a fuller skirt underneath. The shape's a little more exaggerated than I'm used to so I think I'll have to practice more before I can comfortably say I've nailed it.

Top: ASOS ~ Skirt: H&M ~ Belt: Hong Kong ~ Shoes: Nine West (thifted) ~ Necklace: Ebay ~ Watch: Michael Kors

These shots are more overexposed than I'd like but let me tell you - 1:30pm lunch time sun is unforgiving. I got maybe one picture where the changing cloud cover allowed the true orange of this skirt to shine through without all the funny shadows so my apologies. I may have to start doing this after work :-/.

firey summer

When Summer rolls around I find myself looking more for brighter, warmer colors in my makeup and thankfully with the help of a few different palettes I can make that happen. I'm afraid this might be a bit too bright for work for some of you but there are a couple tweaks you can do to tone it down: 1) don't use a coordinating color base under the orange eyeshadow 2) stick with just the Rule and/or Firespot eyeshadows - by themselves they're a much subtler orange. Hope you guys enjoy!

Products Used:
~~Maybelline Color Tattoo in #10 Fierce and Tangy
~~Ebay Eyeshadow palette, orange-y red eyeshadow
~~MAC Rule and Firespot eyeshadow
~~Jane Rockstar eyeshadow
~~Stila bare eyeshadow
~~Inglot gold eyeshadow
~~Stila champagne eyeshaodow
~~Stila smudge stick in damsel
~~The FaceShop freshian volumizing mascara

blog crush: Gary Pepper

I'm a bit late to the blogger train on this one, but oh my god Gary Pepper. Even if you're able to move beyond the fantastic around-the-world travels she always seems to be on, she has to be one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen (with an amazing sense of style). I've loved combing through her archives over the past couple of weeks and I hope you do too!

It's been raining and gross in DC lately, so sorry for the lack of outfit posts :-/. I hope to get back into the groove this weekend with a couple of makeup looks (& maybe a bit of vintage shopping)!

Happy Friday!!

while i was away...

Sorry for the radio silence but as you can see I was a bit busy :). This past weekend one of my oldest and dearest friends got married - Congratulations Jessica!!!

Top Left: The Groomsmen & Bridesmaids ~ Bottom Left: The Bride & Groom ~ Middle: Myself & Two Bridesmaids ~ Top Right: First Dance ~ Bottom Right: The Beautiful Bride!
(pictures from my Instagram)

P.S. - The bride and groom danced to this song and while I'd never heard it before I have to say it's a beautiful song and a wonderful choice. 

powder adventures

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So I've  been spending the past few weeks trying to find a powder for the wedding I'm in Saturday. I wanted something - hypothetically - like mattifying gold that would keep me shine free and fabulous all day.

I'm sure you're all less than surprised when I say I didn't really find that. I did finally settle on something that's pretty close though, so I thought it'd be helpful for my other oily skinned gals if I gave you a run down of what I've tried from Sephora lately.

Urban Decay De-Slick Mattifying Powder, $32
The 'translucence' of this powder is really over-hyped because every time I used it my tone changed by at least one shade. It's mattifying but clings really badly to any dry patches (hello healing acne!) or pores. Maybe it works for other women, but me not so much.

COVER FX Matte Setting Powder, $32
This was the first powder I bought - and I really wanted it to work - but
unfortunately the shade range is just too limited. The 'deep' is took dark and gave me muddy skin while the next shade up is too light. Regardless it's a mattifying powder that does what it says, but doesn't cling to all the bad stuff as much as the UD.

MAKE UP FOR EVER Pro Finish Multi-Use Powder Foundation, $36 - The Winner! 
I decided to go with the new MAKE UP FOR EVER powder foundation for a few reasons. First as a powder foundation it has a buildable coverage that's useful for other non-wedding situations. Second the finish is very smooth, not *too* matte, and with a fluffy brush doesn't cling to anything. Finally, in conjunction with both my Covergirl Stay Fabulous and the Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation I'm matte for 70-90% of my day which is really I can hope for realistically. I'm going to have this with me on the day of for touch ups but I'm convinced (at least for now) that this is gonna be my best bet for a beautiful result on Saturday.

all in one

Dress: The Limited ~ Shoes: Express ~ Necklace: Borrowed ~ Watch: Michael Kors

Sometimes all I can do is wear a dress and call it a day.