Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! Wow, I've missed you all! It has been quite the year this 2014...and just about all of it has been awesome!

On a Saturday in September we stopped in on an open house and ended up falling in love with the house and buying it. We moved in late October and no sooner did we get settled in (new school, new daycare, location transfer for the hubby) than the holidays were upon us.

We hadn't planned on moving but there was something about the feeling of the high ceilings that made us feel was irresistible. Dean had complained a few years ago about most homes feeling like a series of boxes connected to make a house and this home seems to right all those wrongs. And let me say again: I detest moving! But in the end it was all worth it- we have settled in and absolutely love just about everything about our new digs especially our neighbors.

I must admit, my new closet was a huge selling point!

And in case you were wondering what happened to the palace.... well, palace 2.0 is even better!

So, that about sums up what I've been doing outside of my daily hustle at work. I have some ambitions of getting more regular with my updates (isn't it about time for another New Year's resolution???!) so we'll see how it goes!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Home Renovation Project: 'The Palace'

Every year after we vacation I return home with a sense of bringing the vibe of our holiday destination with us. That explains why our backyard looks a bit like a Jamaican resort and our kitchen has a decidedly European flair to it. So, after a week at the plush Waldorf Astoria during our trip to New York I was excited to dive in to jazzing up our home office. Our home office has been a major eyesore over the past few years as I dumped mail and odds and ends in there. After 2 weeks, of de-cluttering (and getting the green light from Dean to go as glam as my heart desires!) I present my new space, now referred to as 'the palace':

Hayworth vanity as desk, Mirrored Damask Panel, Floor Vase all from Pier 1. Vaughn Slipper chair from Target. I applied contact paper to the closet door for a pop of contrast.
I got rid of one bookcase and then used rubber cement to attach mirrored squares to the other one

Onyx Silkana curtains (Amazon). Elegant Designs Crystal Ball Table Lamp (Amazon), Mirrored Console Table (Target).

Couldn't decide what to put on the wall so I went bold with silver discs from WildThings. Skyline Chaise and Mirrored Accent table from Target, Park Madison Table Lamp from Amazon. Gray shag rug from IMSRugs (via Amazon)

My Piece de Resistance- French Empire Chandelier from Amazon. I love her!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Keeping It Pretty in the City

Last summer during our trip to Paris my only regret was that I had such a dressed down look. And yes, I know that I was on vacation, but there is something about being in the fashion capital of the world looking sloppy that just didn't sit well with me. So, when Dean announced that he was taking me to New York for my birthday this summer I immediately began mapping out my go-to looks. There is lots of walking involved in NYC but I firmly believe that I can make this work. 
Monday was day one and I rocked a cute LB peplum top over my striped Eloquii scuba skirt. During the day I wore sensible flats but for meeting friends (and Morgan Freeman!) for dinner, I added my leopard print heels. My chunky Kenneth Jay Lane necklace added a pop of drama. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Super-hero Dress

This Eloquii dress is unlike anything I've ever worn.... it is truly spectacular! I wore it for the first time today and it not only looked amazing but felt just as good.
Today started my second week at my new job and so far it has been excellent! Things had become so..... complicated... at my last organization. A merger happened a year and a half ago and things had just gone steadily downhill. In early May they did some layoffs and while they didn't affect my department directly, I realized that the mismanagement of funds was not going to end anytime soon and I really couldn't see my future there. I put out feelers and in short order had 2 great offers and ended up going with the company that I felt more passionate about. It's also a step up in my career so that I am now part of the senior/executive leadership team as a director of operations. Last week was exhausting as I learned names and tried not to get lost but was excited about what we're doing. This week will be much better....just ask my dress!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Gadget Love: Livescribe Sky Wifi Smartpen

In spite of all the available technology I must confess that nothing beats handwritten notes. I tried the Galaxy Note 8 for a bit but that didn't quite meet my needs, even though I wasn't quite sure what they were at the time. This time I think I have it figured out- I need to write, then have the notes physically available on paper, then available electronically. With that in mind I decided to check out the Smartpen options and decided on the Livescribe Sky Wifi. It arrived today and I am excited about being able to take notes and then have them available in Evernote. 

As an added bonus, I found that I could also save the image of my written page to email or attach to a blog post!

I splurged and got the portfolio case and some extra notebooks. My goal is to be able to tote this setup during my first few days at my new job (starting on Monday!- more on that later!) so that I can capture my training notes and have them sync to Evernote.

And before you say it, yes, I am aware that I could accomplish this by taking a picture of my page- but what fun would that be? :)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Droid Maxx Battery Life

While I was generally pleased with my Droid Ultra I couldn't get my deep desire for wireless charging out of my mind. After much research I decided to do a minor switch to a pre-owned Droid Maxx. It arrived in the mail on Thursday and after the initial charge I decided to do a deep discharge to calibrate the battery over the weekend.
The only problem is that the battery simply wouldn't run down over the weekend! I unplugged it 7am on Saturday morning and it lasted on single charge until 4pm on Monday afternoon. It was crazy!
I am beyond thrilled that I have finally found a phone that has battery life that I've always dreamed of. As an added bonus, when I do need to charge it I can simply toss it onto my Tylt Vu for wireless charging. Yep, I'm in love!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Weekend Watching: True Detective

Now that the season is over, it's the perfect time to binge watch the entire season of True Detective. I watched all 8 episodes over an intense weekend and I have to admit that it more than lived up to the hype. The storyline is dark but gripping and the acting is superb.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Striped Sheath

My Tahari jacket is one the hardest working pieces in my wardrobe. I wore it atop my casual travel wear to dress up my plane look to and from Paris. And in this case I used it to perk up an otherwise plain dress that I picked up from Ashley Stewart. Here is a look at the dress from the AS site:

I love the jacket so much that I've got it in green and purple.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Pop of Pink

I picked up this Herringbone jacket on sale from Lane Bryant a few weeks ago and hadn't given it a lot of thought until I decided to buck my conventional black and pink pairing for this dress. I pulled out the jacket and found it goes quite well with my pink sheath.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Olive(ia Pope)

Blouse & Skirt- Ashley Stewart, Bag- Burberry, Shoes- Zappos
I must admit that I spent most of this day feeling very 'Olivia Pope' circa Scandal. The structure of the blouse and the highwaist skirt made me feel like it was possible the president might well walk through my door and pledge his undying love breathlessly in my ears. While that didn't exactly happen, I did get lots of work done while looking, if I do say so myself, quite sharp.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Wild Wallflower

After I took this picture I noticed that the pieces are nearly the exact shade as my wallpaper. Henceforth, this look will be known as 'the wallflower'. However, there is nothing mild about these Lane Bryant separates- the cut is unbelievable and is the classiest looking suit available in multiple colors that I've seen in a long time.
I wore this look to a daylong conference and my only disappointment was the amount of wrinkles in my skirt at the end of a long day of sitting. This one is a win- especially if the day includes less sitting.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Summer Vacation Destination: Back to the Big Apple!

Because my birthday falls right in the middle of summer it has become a family tradition for us to schedule our vacations with that day as the centerpiece. Last year I spent my birthday on the Eiffel Tower, in 2012 we jetted off to the Dominican Republic the day after. I am very fortunate and I don't take a second of it for granted. 
This year we've booked our trip to New York! I haven't been back since 2008 where we had a very troubled trip (unemployed, suddenly broken phone, staying with mother-in-law for the week....) but this time we have a very different type of holiday planned. We'll be spending the week at the Waldorf Astoria (which I have ALWAYS wanted to do ever since I watched Coming to America, lol!) and I'll be connecting with a lot of friends and family. 
This trip is all about showing Seth the NYC I 'grew up' in. We plan to take him to Central Park, South Street Sea Port, Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty. 7 years after moving to Texas it feels really exciting to be going 'back home' even if just for a visit. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Casual Friday 2.5

Last year I shared my transition to a more formal Casual Friday which I referred to as Casual Friday 2.0. Well, over the past few months I have been part of a taskforce working on a high visibility project that requires regular meetings at City Hall including on Fridays. (As an aside, this is also one of the reasons I've been a bit MIA on Mobigasmic). I don't always feel like donning a full suit on Fridays but I think I've found a happy medium. This shirt is from Lane Bryant and the trousers are from Eloquii.
I had a very stylish co-worker compliment me on this look which surprised me as I don't generally love my silhouette in trousers and this was actually a very basic color palette. I guess some people enjoy the muted colors over pops of pink.

Monday, March 17, 2014

"They Can see you from Outer Space!"

Jacket&Skirt- Lane Bryant, Shell- Eloquii, Bag-Burberry
I wore this last week on a day when we had some important visitors coming to tour my clinic. Admittedly, it is a very loud look, but I really fell in love with the cut of the pieces and that's what drove me to wear it. In fact, after seeing how it looked I ordered it in tan and in black.
Seth took one look at me and offered this critique: "Wow, they can see you from outer space!"
Well, I hope they're enjoying the view!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Power-Up! My Charging Station

One of the coolest features of my Nexus 7 is the wireless charging. It didn't take me long to find the Tylt Vu which is my favorite accessory of all time. The Tylt Vu basically lets me just rest my Nexus 7 on it without worrying about lining it up 'just right'. The picture shows one of the cubby holes in our headboard which I use as my charging station for my Droid Ultra and Nexus 7. I use the Powerdock for my Ultra because it's a little easier to sit the phone in than some of the alternatives.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My 'Urkel' Skirt

Confession: if I could wear my skirts right under my bra without fear of ridicule and excessive questioning I absolutely would. To say I am high-waisted is a huge understatement- empire waist feels like the natural line for me. So when I saw this high-waist style skirt on Ashley Stewart I knew I had to have it. In fact, I bought it in black as well just because it's so awesome! Henceforth, this shall be referred to as my 'Urkel' skirt in honor of everyone's favorite geek, Steve Urkel. Additional pieces are my Lane Bryant peplum jacket and Michael Kors Grayson satchel. Once fully dressed I looked in the mirror and said to myself nasally: "Did I do that?"

Monday, March 10, 2014

Burberry Manor Bag

Pssst- I have a secret....yep, I bought another handbag. But in all fairness this was the Burberry Manor bag and it is sooooo versatile! And I sold my Michael Kors Hamilton to ease some of my guilt. This bag is so stunningly beautiful it just oozes class.

You'll be seeing a lot of this bag over the next few weeks. My goal is to limit myself to one handbag purchase per quarter. So, hopefully I should not be adding another until at least April. Fingers crossed!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Getting Right to the Wire!

Unfortunately my BlackBerry experiment cost me some data this month with switching apps. I have never come so close to my data cap and it's nerve wracking! New cycle starts in 7 hours!

Eloquii is Back!!!

My favorite store reopened yesterday....yep, Eloquii is back and better than ever. I splurged on about 6 new items after an unbelievably long dry spell. It just goes to show, when you love something let it go, then complain bitterly on the internet until it comes back! Welcome back, Eloquii!!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

House of Cards, Season 2

I spent most of this weekend binge-watching House of Cards and it was awesome! So awesome that I didn't mind having to reactivate my Netflix account to catch it. I won't go into details so no spoilers but I am really excited to see Season 3.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Racist Rants on Wordfeud

I stopped looking at chats during Wordfeud because most of them are comically overtly sexual. But today I had a new experience. A player who calls herself Lilsnowbunny sent me the message pictured. As you can see, there was no previous exchange, no provocation except for playing the game (I was winning). I shudder at the thought that people like this still walk the earth.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Bit of Blackberry....for a Bit

Fresh off my happy transition from my Galaxy Tab 7.7 to Nexus 7, I decided to give the Blackberry Q10 a shot. My hierarchy of smartphone needs hasn't changed much from 2010  (Build, Homescreen, Apps, Notifications and Battery Life) so I felt that it was time to see if 3 years of changes to Blackberry could better align it to my needs. 

Once the pre-owned Blackberry Q10 I ordered from eBay arrived I was immediately reminded of how much I enjoyed the physical QWERTY keyboard. I powered it on and was impressed with the aesthetic changes. Icons seemed more modern and there was less of a 'glorified notepad' feel when navigating around. 

I waited a few days to get comfortable then downloaded and installed a leaked 10.2.1 OS to allow full installation of Android apps. This, I believed, would be the killer feature removing the biggest issue with my first foray into Blackberry. I installed a handful of my heavy hitter apps and retired my Droid Ultra to get fully into the flow. 

There were 2 things I absolutely loved- the keyboard and the colored notification LED. 

But, there were far more things that didn't work for me:

1. Cramped Screen
 Even though I love the keyboard, it definitely put a damper on having access to the touch screen. The Q10 has no trackpad so navigating is a fiddly affair. And when the Android apps adjust to work on Blackberry they don't all make the transition gracefully. An example is the Starbucks app which works, but won't show the balance unless you go to the reload screen. It got even worse on apps like Check.

2. Limited Apps...Yep, still
I went to the Q10 with the goal of being able to do 4 main things with my phone- Listen to Podcasts, Tons of social media (hey, isn't that why I got a keyboard?), Email and Calendar. That is literally all the expectation I gave this phone, really. First of all, the best podcast app I could find was one that required me to update it each night (more on that later), and had a very uninspired layout. The best social apps I find were the built in ones (more on that later!)

3. Lack of Background Work
This one really bewildered me- I couldn't get my phone set up to have time based profiles, update my podcasts on schedule or even my news apps with certainty. I don't remember this being an issue last time I was on BB but it may have been something I didn't miss because I never had it. 

4. The Hub. How I HATE the Hub!
This experiment has confirmed to me that I must keep my work and personal life separate. There is nothing more distracting that seeing a teaser of what is being posted on my Facebook wall while I'm trying to respond to a work email. By the same token, on the weekend I don't want emails from work in my face. On Android I am able to better curate this just by adjusting notifications, but on the hub- no such luck. I haven't used a unified inbox for years and this reminded me why. 

Yesterday morning I switched back to my Droid Ultra and I barely missed the keyboard on the Q10. In fact, the only thing I truly 'miss' is the money I spent on Blackberry apps. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

RIP Tab, Hello Nexus

No sooner had I bragged about my 2 year love affair with my Galaxy Tab 7.7 than the unthinkable happened.As I attempted to zip some files my Tab ran out of memory, shut down and then refused to to turn back on even after trying to do a hard reset via buttons. Without panicking I decided to look at the available 7 inch options on the market and quickly landed on the Nexus 7. The main selling points for me were:

  • I remember how much I loved my Nexus One back in 2010.
  • Nexus devices are pretty quick with updates (more on this in a bit)
  • Wireless charging. I really want this on my tablet.
  • Smaller size. After my time with the Note 8 I decided smaller is better. 
  • Weight: 
So, with that I picked an unlocked one up and popped my sim card into it and was excited to find it immediately picked up Verizon service. I splurged on $50 for a wireless charger and have been quite pleased with how it works. I miss my Tab 7.7 for nostalgic reasons but I'm excited with my new Nexus 7. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

A Semi-Cute Fashion Fail

I'll just state the obvious: my skirt totally killed my outfit's buzz. It all started with the best of intentions- the color scheme would be a modern interpretation of camo, and the Lane Bryant jacket had a vaguely safari cut. But this LB skirt-ugh!- it makes me so annoyed! It's an odd weave that generally rides up, bunches and the randomly clings in the weirdest places. There is also a HUGE vent in the back and I am sure that anyone with the inclination could have a clear view of my underwear just by standing behind me. I do like the cream tank paired with the tan jacket and next time I will try this with a brown skirt. I might just have to let this olive number go to Goodwill once and for all.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

How Chromecast cost Amazon my Video Purchases

For years I've been waiting for Amazon to release an instant video app for my mobile device. I have patiently continued to make all my video purchases through Amazon expecting that one day this wish would be fulfilled. However, a few weeks ago I finally decided to get a Chromecast. The decision was driven mainly by the fact that my Roku box still would not allow me to stream HBO Go (via DirectTV). So, I picked up the $35 convenience and suddenly a whole new world opened up and I suddenly realized that if I made my video purchases through Google Play Movies I would also have the option to view them on my mobile tech. With that I have stopped purchasing via Amazon Video and instead will be making all future video purchases through Google Play Video. Sorry Amazon :(

Monday, January 20, 2014

Scents of the Season

For 2014 I've narrowed down my go-to scents:

Dolce & Gabbana: The One
Fendi: Fan Di Fendi
Chloe: Love, Chloe
Yves Saint Laurent: Paris

Of course, I have several more scents than this on display above but I usually focus in on a select few during each season.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Black and Blue: Take Two

This entire outfit is inspired by my Givenchy Antigona which remains my most lusted after and most beloved bag. (I apologize for the weird splotches- no idea what was going on with my camera). The jacket is Tahari, shell and skirt are from Eloquii. My shoes are J.Renee. I must admit that as much as I love my Sabines, I had to change into more sensible black shoes shortly after since I had a crazy amount of running around planned for the day. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

2 Year Tech: Galaxy Tab 7,7

Next month will mark 2 years that I have been using my Galaxy Tab 7.7. Sure, I've had a few failed explorations with the Note 8.0 but overall I've been exceedingly happy with the device. It still runs ICS and there hasn't been an update in well over a year. However, it's size is perfect and it always runs fast with no hiccups. It's the first time I can say I would be fine if I had to use it for another 2 years. And with the lack of a next generation device announcement it just may come to that.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Perfume Organization- Travalo

The start of this year, as with most others, has been filled with grandiose plans of organization. My closets are done and are looking in excellent, sustainable shape so I started look at all other areas. I've always loved my perfumes, and have noticed that lately I've fallen into a bad habit of toting the entire bottle with me since it's easier than doing my 'Dexter's lab' of using funnels to pour scents into my miniatures. 
A bit of research brought me to the ingenious "Travalo" which is a small perfume bottle that refills by simply being pumped by the nozzle of your large perfume bottle. I am in love with these little gems and have scooped them up in several colors. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Shoe-La-La Closet

Now that we have completed my dressing room Dean turned his attention to our coat closet on the first floor. I've always kept my shoes in that closet since I throw them on right as I leave the house. There's also the hygiene issue- I walk around my clinic all day and don't want to walk with same shoes on the carpeting upstairs. So, with about $100 worth of equipment from Home Depot, Dean was able to whip together these 8 shelves. We were able to put all of our shoes on these shelves and still have space for our coats.