In a Cinch

Let’s talk about one of my favorite accessories, the belt.  If you only use belts to hold your pants up you are losing my friend.  The right belt can turn blah into amazing.  Now trending, the cage belt.  It’s not for everybody but if you can rock it please do.  This belt has the cinching power of wide belt with the dainty style of a thin belt.  Like I said before, if you can rock it, please do.


Then there’s an old favorite, the corset belt.


When it comes to belts, the possibilities are endless.  Try fringe belts, skinny belts, rope belts, even chain belts.  You will be amazed how much difference one accessory will make.


When updating your wardrobe, belts are essential.

Hunan Shrimp

I’ve decided that I will try to recreate my favorite restaurant dishes in my kitchen.  Last night my mission was to recreate Hunan Shrimp.   It turned out to be really simple.  The first thing I did was gather my ingredients.  I used minced garlic, ginger paste, gluten free soy sauce, hot chili sauce, sesame oil, sherry, corn starch, and of course shrimp, rice, and vegetables.


After I gathered my ingredients, I started my rice and began peeling my shrimp.  I cooked my shrimp in sesame oil.  Once the shrimp were nearly done,  I added my vegetables.  I used brocoli, carrots, and sugar snap peas.  Usually I’d add mushrooms but I didn’t have any 😦


Next, I started on my sauce.  Remember I don’t measure.  I do everything to taste.  In this recipe I actually over did it because I will be diluting it in the end.  I start with soy sauce, minced garlic and ginger.


Now here’s where I get crazy.  I add a lot of hot chili sauce.  I like my sauce spicy so I have to over do it to counter the diluting that’s coming.  Next I add a cornstarch and water mixture. 


After adding the water cornstarch mixture I stir continuously.  The sauce will go from red to orange after adding the mixture.  Once the sauce starts to thicken the color will go back to red.  After the sauce thickens, there’s nothing left to do but pour it over the shrimp and vegetables and serve over rice.

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Stiletto Sneakers and other Fashion Tennis Shoes

When stiletto sneakers stepped on the scene a few years back, I was the first to renounce them.  I found them to be hideous.  Today I must be seeing them through new eyes or perhaps they’ve changed.  I’m not sure which is true.  I do know my opinion has done a 180.  I am actually considering these once thought to be tacky shoes.

With the variety of color schemes and heel heights, I could easily work these into my wardrobe.  What do you think?


So right now I’m stuck at intrigue.  I haven’t quite made it to commitment.  While I think it through I went ahead and took a smaller step with the fashion tennis.  I am by no means a tennis shoe girl.  However, with all the adornments of the fashion tennis shoe it’s nearly as fun as shopping for pumps.  I’ve come across tennis with hardware, studs, quilting, and even animal prints.


In the end, I took the safe route.  I went with a black shoe with gold hardware.


Boss Lady

Let’s talk work wear.  There are pieces every business woman should have; dress pants, pencil skirts, blazers, cardigans and pumps.  There have been standards set with which I do not agree; the main one being heels should not exceed two inches.  I will wear my four inch pumps to the office everyday.  So here is my point of view on women’s business attire.

These are your basic colors; grey, blue, black and brown.  These are my go to colors for business suits, bottoms and blazers.  I am more liberal with tops and blouses.  As I mentioned before, I am flexible with heel heights.  You know your business best.  If you are on the fence about high heels or open toes, avoid them.

Choose pieces that are interchangeable.  This will allow you to do more with less.  Get a Cardigan that goes with pants, skirts, and dresses already in your closet.  Use this tip for all your pieces.  Having just a few interchangeable pieces will give you a new look everyday of the month.



Battling Winter Blues with Blue

It’s another cold snowy day in Baltimore.  Spring seems so far away but I know it’s right around the corner.  All I can do to battle my winter blues is plan my Spring wardrobe one color at a time.  Today my joy springs from the color blue.

I’m thinking about every detail from head to toe.  Now when I say from head to toe I don’t necessarily mean I want to be covered in blue.  I’m just thinking of aspects of blue for accent   purposes.  It really could go either way.  For instance, I can dress up jeans with these platforms during the day or easily pair them with a mini and dance the night away.


These color blocked platform pumps are also a favorite.  I love pieces that transition.  These fit the bill.


So maybe you’re not ready for color on your feet.  Some people have difficulties moving away from nuetrals.  Even if your current wardrobe is all black, you can handle this subtle shift to color with the color blocked dress on the left.  In no time you’ll be ready for full color.


If you’re not accustomed to color, start with accessories  Think handbags or jewelry.  Take baby steps with a color blocked clutch.


Sale Shoppers Anonymous

Admittedly I find a good sale irresistible.  I’ve come a long way in my shopping prowess.  This did not happen over night though.  There were a few slip ups along the way.  These are the lessons I had to learn:

Not Every Sale is a Good Sale

There were times when I made purchases solely based on of the savings.  Does this sound familiar? If you’re buying something that does not enhance your life in any way, you’ll save more by leaving it in the store.  For example, If you do not have a dog do not buy a dog bed because it’s 95% off.  Not every sale is a good sale.

Learn When Enough is Enough

These shoes are on sale.  I love them.  I should buy a pair in all twelve colors right? WRONG!  What are the chances of you wearing all twelve or even remembering you have them? If you hate peach and they come in peach, don’t buy them just because they’re on sale.  This is all really common sense.  I know there are times when you are in the moment and common sense is fleeting.

Quality Beats Quantity Every Time

This important lesson is often learned the hard way.  Do you know why those pumps are on sale for $20? It’s because they’re worth $2.00 and the trap was set knowing it’d catch a fool.  I am no way against paying $20 for shoes but if I’m paying $20 believe that is a fraction of what they’re worth.  Learn labels.  This is especially important when shopping online.  The poorest quality item will look lovely online.  A few labels come to mind that I will not mention.  I’ve come across beautiful designs and immediately moved on when I saw the label.  I knew they would be good for two wears at most.

Of course there are exceptions to every rule.  The best advice is to take a deep breath and think before dashing to checkout.  Still feeling uneasy? Repeat after me, “I will not make purchases that are not quality.  I will not make purchases that do not enhance the life of the recipient.  I will not throw money at anyone that holds up a sale sign.  I will improve my shopping skills by making well thought out purchasing decisions.”

I think you’re ready.  You may commence shopping.

The “F” Word

Let’s talk about it.  You love it.  You hate it.  You love to hate it.  You hate to love it.  It all depends on the context, right? You hear it and you cringe.  Though sometimes the thought of it makes you smile.  You know what I’m talking about.  Let’s just say it and get it over with…..Formal.

Now that it’s out in the open.  Let’s discuss it.  Why does it make you cringe?  Does the thought of watching another first dance make you want to vomit? That can’t be it.  You love love.  Are you sick of spending your cash on gifts? Maybe you hate the idea of being forced to wear something you had no input in picking out or maybe just maybe it’s the cost.

If you have Marchesa taste and Sofia Vergara line money (side note: Sofia Vergara makes stylish everyday dresses for less. ), you’ll want to hear this.  I just discovered Pearl.  What is Pearl? Pearl is sold at J.C. Penney.  It’s by Georgiana Chapman for Marchesa.  Yes, Marchesa!

I admit I was thrilled to hear the news.  Though my excitement quickly faded when I visited the website.  There was only one page of dresses.  Secondly, there was not one flowing ball gown which is what I think of when I think Marchesa.  I’m not giving up though.  Though the selection wasn’t what I was expecting, there were cocktail dresses with very reasonable prices.  I saw one for $9.99!  Yes, nine dollars and ninety-nine cents.

So today’s visit to the site was a slight disappointment.  I’m not giving up though.  I intend to check back for new inventory.  I suggest you do the same.

Cut Outs

So you may remember my plan for Spring, geometric prints and cut outs.  I’ve started my search.  Here’s what I’ve found so far.  This Mason by Michelle Mason hits on every point.  There is texture with the leather panel.  It’s in my classic black and white and it has cut out detailing in the back.  This mini is a winner.


Then there’s this Versace.  This color is hot for Spring!  Once again this is a classic dress with a twist.  I love the silhouette of this form fitting midi.  Then there’s the beautiful detail in the cut out around the neck line.  This dress will turn heads.


Lastly is my dear Sally LaPointe.  This picture does not do the dress justice.  The red is so vibrant in person.  The skirt of the dress is perfectly pleated and the best part…the peek-a-boo cut outs at the waist.  Spring can not come fast enough!


P.S. I’m not sure how I forgot to mention this Preen by Thornton Bregazzi.  I’ll let the design speak for itself.


My Man is Sharp!

If you want to hold my attention, put this on. I promise I will not look away. You will have my undivided attention well into the night. What is the magnificent piece article of clothing? It’s none other than the velvet sports coat.  Feast your eyes on this beautiful creation.


I love the versatility of this piece.  It can be worn virtually anywhere.  It transitions from day to night seamlessly.  Depending on your pairings it can be casual or formal.  This is a staple for the closet of the well dressed man.


Let’s talk classic black and whites.  Everyone has a little black dress but how many of you have a little white dress or off white for that matter?  I’m all about classics.  However I like my classics with a twist.

For example, I recently discovered AQ/AQ.  To my international readers, I know I’m late.  AQ/AQ is new to me here in the United States.  Anyway when I visted the website it was love at first site.  The style is classic with a twist.

I started my AQ/AQ collection with the Boa knee length midi.  I bought it in black and in ivory.  It has a beautiful classic design; fitted, long sleeve, boat neck…
but then you see the back which offers a twist on the classic look.  It’s hard not to see why AQ/AQ is quickly becoming a favorite.