Thursday, March 31, 2011

{Wardrobe Basics} The Denim/Jean Jacket

There was a time....long, long ago, in which the only way you wore a jean jacket was with matching jeans. So 80's!

But my, has the denim jacket come a long way baby!

I have owned several jean jackets. In the 80's it was the acid washed one (I actually saw a pic of it the other day....What was I thinking?!?!?)  In the 90's it was the boyfriend one....quite in which I took from my then boyfriend, now husband.  And then in the early 2000's I pretty much was more interested in dressing up Lil Diva in fashionable little outfits, I had no time to even think about adding a new denim jacket to my wardrobe.

Until now.....

I have always loved the casualness of throwing on a jean jacket with a cute summer dress.....

Or, pairing it up with leggings...

Cargo Pants....


and of course, jeans....

***Disclaimer.....I did mention before that Rachel Bilson is one of my fave style icons....that being the reason she is featured so much here. ***

It is one of those pieces that tie everything together in a casual way.  Of course for it to be modern and chic, the jacket must be fitted.  (And to avoid being a fashion faux pas, you can never wear it with matching color bottom.) Since the one in my closet was "the boyfriend" one, it was time for me search for the perfect denim jacket for me.

After much hunting for the perfect one, and more importantly, for the perfect price, my mission was accomplished......

GAP Denim Jacket in Classic Wash - $69.50

I know, I really should be on payroll for the Gap, I happen to shop there often and do rave about their products A LOT. But what can I say, many of their pieces are classic and wear well.

Of course, we all know I didn't pay that price for it either, right?  I shopped on a Wednesday with the coupon given to me by the store employee on a past visit, and I bought this classic jacket for 45% off.

Total cost? $38.23

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Energy is the essence of life.
Every day you decide how you're going to use it by knowing what you want
and what it takes to reach that goal, and by maintaining focus.
-Oprah Winfrey
photo Vogue US Oct 1994
via Tumblr

Monday, March 28, 2011

{What a Bargain} New York & Company

Can you believe, after store promotional discount, plus $50 off $100 discount, and a gift card for $25 I have been hanging onto to use on new items for my Spring wardrobe, I got all this.....

Chiffon Ruffle Draped Cap Sleeve Tee

Scoop Neck Tee with Chiffon Trim

Smocked Scoop Neck Tee

Straight Roll Cuff Crop Jean

Chiffon Flower Sandal

*Plus, not pictured, a stack of rings.

$25!! Nothing beats bargain shopping!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

{Looking Forward To.....}

Wow, this week went by in a blur for me.  I was a bit disoriented too thinking each morning was the day before....Is today Tuesday? No, it's Wednesday.  This is a great thing since I was really looking forward to this weekend because...

I could catch up on my beauty sleep.....

Have a stack of magazines just waiting to be read......

Dining out.....

Enjoying a leisurely Sunday with absolutely nothing planned!

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

RIP Elizabeth Taylor

Stunningly Beautiful

"I've only slept with men I've been married to. How many women can make that claim?"


"I feel very adventurous. There are so many doors to be opened, and I'm not afraid to look behind them."

The epitome of a true Hollywood Starlet

"When people say, 'She's got everything', I've got one answer - I haven't had tomorrow."

She will be missed...

February 27,1932 - March 23, 2011

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

You have to take the good with the bad, 
smile with the sad,
love what you got, 
remember what you had,
always forgive but never forget, 
learn from your mistakes but never regret.
People change, things go wrong, 
but just remember life goes on.

-Author Unknown 

photo via dustjacket attic

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

{Weekend Wrap Up} Late Edition/Party Pics!

This weekend was a whirlwind..... so much that I did have a couple of migraines but still managed to forge ahead and still have a smile on my face.

Seeing Lil Diva and Lil Man take the stage was amazing!  It was his debut, and once he got off the stage he ran to me and said, "Mom, I love it! Can't wait to start a new show!"  Gotta love how I have two that have the performing bug!

Not only was the performance something we were looking forward to, but Lil Diva's 12th birthday festivities.  Hard to imagine next year she will be a teenager! Where has the time gone?  After careful planning, creating, and baking, her French/Venetian theme (her choice, she is so chic) gathering turned out "magnifique".  Lil Diva and 4 of her friends made their very own Venetian masks, listened to music, and enjoyed their chocolate fountain and candy buffet, complete with chocolate mask pops, macarons, and white chocolate covered oreo cheesecake truffles.  All the guests were delighted with everything which made all the time spent baking and preparing for it well worth it!

Hope everyone had as great a weekend as I did.

I leave you with a few pics from the party.... (for privacy purposes, I painted over Lil Diva's name on the birthday banner I created.)

Lil Diva's Birthday Candy Buffet Table

Chocolate covered Oreo Cheesecake truffles, cotton candy rock candy pops, 
strawberry/cotton candy flavored jelly bellys, strawberry puffs
Eiffel Tower figurine purchased @ Target dollar spot

Chocolate Venetian Masks pops, Hershey Kisses, Gumballs, Rock Candy Pops, raspberry macarons

Red Velvet Cupcakes
The Venetian Mask we purchased for Lil Diva that served as the 
starting point for her birthday party theme inspiration.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

{Happy Birthday, Lil Diva!}

12 years ago today, after 11 hours of labor...
I was handed the most beautiful baby girl in the world...
with a head full of dark hair, pale skin, and the reddest cupid bow lips....
I instantly fell in love....

Everyday has been a treasure with my Lil Diva...she is growing up to be such an incredible
young lady.  I hope the world realizes her not only her outer beauty, 
but the beauty she carries within and cherishes it.

I love you, Lil Diva!
Happy Birthday!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

For Japan With Love

On My To Do List.....

Anyone who takes the time to know me, KNOWS that I love throwing a good party.  Better yet, I love the months leading up to the big event. I carefully plan it out...first picking a theme, then feverishly scouring the internet and stores for anything that will tie in to it and make the party spectacular.  That is exactly what I have been doing since January for Lil Diva's upcoming 12th Birthday.

So now as the day quickly approaches, I have a list of things to do before Sunday....

* Finish handmade decorations
* Make Macarons
* Bake cupcakes
*Make chocolate lollipops
* Print tags for candy buffet
*Charge spare batteries for camera
* Clean and tidy up

All these things need to be done before Friday, 4pm....because that is the start of the whirlwind weekend for me!

Can she get it all done in time?

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

I have made it a rule of my life never to regret and never to look back.
Regret is an appalling waste of energy....
You can't build on it; it's only good for wallowing in.

- Katherine Mansfield

photo via Brown Eyed Belle

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

{What a Bargain} GAP

I am always in search of a bargain.... and with Spring on the way, I am always interested in incorporating a new piece into my wardrobe at a great price.  I do spend a lot of time scouring online for what I call "The Great Bargain".  Last Friday, I found just that.

GAP has an offer going on now through 3/16, if you submit your cell phone number to this link, GAP will text you a coupon for $25 off of $50 purchase (standard text messaging fees apply).  A free $25, for spending $25?  I was all over this one! So I entered my cell phone number and that of Mr. Man....(because I knew he would be with me on my shopping excursion that weekend).

I ended up purchasing this:
Skinny Cargo Pants

And this:
City Flats in black patent

Yes, I know....I just purchased a pair of the same shoes last week in the patent blush(nude) color. I did mention they are extremely comfy right?  No harm owning two.

Since my little man was in need of a few things for his wardrobe, I decided to take a peek around for him. His purchases were the major bargain! I ended up with 7 pieces for $25! One long sleeve tee, 3 raglan graphic tees, 2 favorite graphic tees, and this:

Canvas Hoodie Jacket

Mr. Man was in awe at my bargain shopping skills!  He could not believe everything  he came out with for a mere $25! Lil Man was excited to get a few new shirts and a "cool" jacket for the Spring!

Text yourself the coupon!  And don't forget to come back and let me know what goodies you find on your GAP excursion.

Monday, March 14, 2011

{Movie Review} The Adjustment Bureau

Even though my weekend was a really busy one, Mr. Man and I carved out some time to take in a movie at the theater.  We were intrigued to watch The Adjustment Bureau by the suspenseful trailer.

The movie opens with David Norris making his last minute visits to the public (played by Matt Damon)the days leading up to Election Day. But on the morning of the big day, the unimaginable happens.  An indiscretional photo is published by the New York Post along with a story of him being involved in a bar fight, which makes the voters question whether or not they should be voting for the young Congressman.  His dreams for the Senate seats slip through his fingers as he realizes the two moments of poor judgement have come back to haunt him.  He goes to the men's restroom of the Waldorf Astoria to practice his concession speech.....without realizing that he is not alone in the room.  After listening to him for a while, Elise (played by Emily Blunt) decides to come out of hiding.  She gives him the courage to go out and face the public and give what would be the best concession speech in history, but before parting she gives him a kiss that blows him away.

The movie then moves forward a few weeks later....where we are introduced to a group of mysterious men wearing hats discussing the plan to make certain someone spill their coffee on themselves at 9:05am.  Harry, the youngest of the group, states he will be sure it happens as soon as he walks through the park.  However, Harry is snoozing on the bench and misses his opportunity.  Harry runs after M6 bus that David has just boarded. After paying his fare and turning to find a seat he is pleasantly surprised to see the beauty who kissed him in the men's room the evening of his Senate defeat.  They have a warm exchange and before she gets off the bus, David gets Elise's number.  When he arrives at work he stumbles upon a series of bizarre events he was never meant to witness.....

We are then treated to a multitude of plot  twists and great suspense.  You can't help but leave the movie wondering: Are events that go on in our own lives based on chance, fate, or coincidence?  Or have all of them been predetermined for us?   More importantly, this film enlightens the viewer to believe in the ever beautiful proverb.... "True Love is Always Worth Fighting For".

This is one movie I would say is definitely worth watching!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

What Lies In Store This Week......

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Mine was really busy.... Lil Diva and Lil Man are in the final stages of preparation for their stage performance, so I have been busy getting them to and from rehearsals all weekend.  I've also been organizing myself for Lil Diva's 12th birthday, which happens to be on the very same weekend.  But that doesn't mean I didn't get to also add in some fun stuff....  I also have some fun topics to blog about this week, can't wait to get to it!  Here's a sneak peek.

* Saw not one, but two movies at the theater this weekend (will be reviewing one tomorrow).

* Snagged an awesome text message coupon for Gap and picked up two great pieces (one of which may seem like dejavu to some of you, lol) to add to my Spring wardrobe (more on that Tuesday).

* Picked up some supplies for some beautiful, but inexpensive DIY party decorations.

* Have another Martha Stewart recipe to share...this time for a very rich and delicious hot morning (afternoon, or evening) beverage.  Only one word can describe it..... decadent!

Wishing everyone a productive and exciting week ahead!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Short Note....

What a beautiful Saturday in the Northeast....mild weather, abundance of sunshine.... so happy to finally be 
able to throw open the windows and let the house air out after being locked up tight for so long.

I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend! <3

Friday, March 11, 2011

{Friday Finds} GAP City Flats

Have you seen these?

These are ballerina flats that fold up and can be placed in a matching bag and tossed in your purse.  Perfect idea for the day you are zipping around town, or breaking in those new pair of shoes.  One never knows if the shoes will take you through the entire day without causing you misery.

I have seen these several times while exploring the Gap, but I just couldn't find it in me to pay $39.50 for them.  Now, 50% off?  That I can do! I tried them on and they felt like heaven to my feet. I purchased my pair in a blush color....simply adorable!

And at the tune of $19.75....even better!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

{Wardrobe Basics} The Black Blazer

3 years ago, I achieved my goal weight.  After carrying around 12 pregnancy pounds for four years after giving birth to Lil Man, I finally looked in the mirror and said, "Enough is Enough".  I started following the Weight Watchers program strictly (I had lost all of my 1st pregnancy weight this way after the birth of Lil Diva), and taking 3 mile walks around the reservoir 3 times a week.  I went down from a size 12 to a size 6/8 within a year. Perfect size in order to remain proportioned with my "well endowed" top half.

Of course this was an amazing accomplishment which I was extremely proud of.  But this also left me in quite the dilemma.  All of the clothes in my wardrobe needed to be replaced.  Ever seen a size 6/8 woman wearing size 12 clothing?  Not a pretty picture!

Instead of running out and going on a shopping frenzy, I decided to sit down and decide what did I want out of my "new" wardrobe.  With the exception of my "typical suburban mommy" years (the five years after giving birth to Lil Man), I was always the stylish New Yorker.  I always loved it.  And just because I now live in the suburbs of the Jersey Shore, it doesn't mean I can not still channel the native New Yorker inside of me.  Just because I am a stay at home mom, doesn't mean I can't step out with a polished look.  So, I decided I would start building a wardrobe that incorporates key pieces to achieve just that.

Enter the search for the black blazer.....

Before I continue with my story on finding the perfect black blazer for me, I must first share with you one little tidbit of information.....

Two of my fashion icons are Rachel Bilson and Victoria Beckham.  Of course they look amazing on the red carpet and at fashion shows.  But I mostly go nuts over their "everyday" attire.  Feminine, stylish, and classy....even in jeans.  One item you see repetitively in their attire is the basic black blazer.

This piece is "oh so versatile" too.  But, the best part of it.....throw on a black blazer over a dress, skirt, shorts, trousers, or jeans, and you have instantly transformed your look to one that says polished and sophisticated. 

Unfortunately, I can not afford the exact blazers Rachel and Victoria wear....maybe someday...when I win the lottery.  So, I started searching different sites online.  I also turned to Tiffani, the delightful author of style blog I follow religiously, Accidental Chic  for a few tips and suggestions.  Tiffani happens to be a personal stylist AND a New Yorker (bonus!).

My search led me to this affordable and stylish blazer....
GAP classic blazer $98

Now if you are regular reader of mine you KNOW I did not spend $98 on it..... you know it's seldom CJ ever pays full price for anything.

I searched for a GAP coupon code and we snagged this wardrobe basic for 25% off.  Final price?  $73.50.

photos (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication.  Remember all things are possible for those who believe.

- Gail Devers

photo via All Things Glamourous

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Be loved. Be known. Love people and know people. Be so brave as to raise a hand for help when you need it. Make friends and make sure they know they matter. Be loyal to them and fight for them. Remind them what’s true and invite them to do the same when you forget. If you do some losing or you walk with someone else in their defeat, live with dignity and grace. It is a middle finger to the darkness.
-Jaimie Tworkowski To Write Love On Her Arms

 photo via Weheartit

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

{March} I Can't Wait!

It's hard to believe that the year is at it's first quarter point!  With the start of March, and the promise of Spring just around the corner ...there are many things I am looking forward to.

I can not wait for the weather to warm up a bit more so I can enjoy brisk walks while soaking in the sun!
I can't wait to see the trees start to bloom.....
I can't wait to enjoy the clean smell of rain in the air after a late afternoon thunderstorm.

I can't wait to start wearing the beautiful pastel hues indicative of Spring!

What are you most looking forward to? 

 photos via Brown Eyed Belle & Tumblr