must have monday: boot edition #1

photo credit: http://www.polyvore.com/boots_more/set?id=59029937#stream_box
so many boots, so little time

I love boots. I have brown riding boots, brown wedge boots, camel tall boots with a heel, brown tall boots with this interesting stitching up the back, black ridding boots, black cowboy boots, black tall boots with a heel, a fancy pair of rain boots (Aquatalia red patent leather) and a not fancy pair of rain boots (muddy, well-worn Hunters). I even have a pair of over-the-knee boots, though they are currently in the consignment pile. But what I don’t have are any short boots. I do not own a bootie. Nor I do I own an ankle boot of any heel height.

I feel it is time to remedy this situation.

Here’s the issue: when you are short (like I am) you’ve been conscious your entire life that you shouldn’t wear anything that makes you look shorter (hence my love of heels). After a few of what I now regard as feeble attempts to try a short boot, I gave up. After striking out, I assumed all such boots would cut me off and be unflattering.

But I admire this look on other women who are even shorter than I am (yes, I mean you, Wardrobe OxygenDC Style Factory and @travelinjames) thus, I have come to the conclusion that I might be wrong. It’s possible, perhaps, that I jumped to conclusions after trying the wrong pairs. I mean, there’s a classic short boot that shares my name, so how wrong could it be on me?

The bottom line is that I’m ready to try again. What I’m looking for is something that doesn’t go too far up my calves. I don’t want a substantial heel for this pair (sorry, guy readers, baby steps). It has to work with my bootcut jeans as well as with my skinny jeans (tucked in) and (gasp) maybe a dress. I know some of you are having a hard time with that visual, but one of my 43 by 43 goals was to challenge myself when it comes to my style. Pairing short boots with a skirt or dress would do just that.

Have you seen a boot that you think fits my needs? Please share. And if you want to go shopping with me, even better.

happy birthday, jack!

Photo taken on Jack’s California adventure.

Are you really 11 years old? I feel like you’ve grown up more in this past year than in all the other years combined.

Each day, you bring more joy into my life. I love everything about you (except maybe your stinky feet). I love that of all the instruments you could choose from, you decided to play the saxophone. I love that when I was flipping out because I thought my car had been stolen from the movie theater parking garage, you remained calm. I love what you can create with a pencil and a piece of paper. I love that you opted for a gingerbread-pineapple upside down cake instead of our usual themed cupcakes (even though I’ve mastered camo frosting). I love how you reason with me when there’s something that you want.

(You say you want to be a genetic engineer so that you can breed a lizard with a bird to make a dragon, but if that profession doesn’t give you fulfillment, I see a career in law for you even though I love you too much for you to become a lawyer.)

You’re learning patience. You’re learning how to be fair to your little brother, although sometimes when your friends are around, you forget. You no longer cover you eyes when there’s a kissing scene in a movie and you even brush your hair now. You love cauliflower, and thanked me for making it for dinner the other night. Last year, your teacher told me that being around kids like you made her wish she had had her own children. (I might have cried a little at that comment.)

You are empathetic, clever, funny.

I’m so happy to be your mommy, or as you have started to refer to me, mom.

inching closer

The title of this post could be itching closer since I’m still plagued by the worst case of poison ivy I’ve ever had. At least today I made it to the doctor, as unsympathetic as she may have been.

Doctor: Yes, you have poison ivy.

Me: You went to med school to figure that out?

She actually asked me if I’d tried calamine, benadryl and the usual antidotes. No, I’ve had poison ivy for over a week and I haven’t tried any over the counter meds.

But I digress…

This morning’s fall temperatures inspired the first wearing of my riding boots, which I paired with a navy and white striped dress and a denim jacket to hide my evil arms. I added a flame scarf for color. But what I really loved most about today’s look is my new(ish) sunglasses. They were so difficult in the ordering (first the prescription was incorrect and then the sizing proved complicated) but I really love them, and they were worth waiting for.

While today climbed into the 80s, I continued my homage to autumn by visiting the Periwinkle pop up shop to see what fall items I could cross off my wish list. I walked away with a teal cardigan that will work for both the soccer field and casual Friday (or casual any day I don’t have a meeting), a shift dress in gray, black and red with amazing zipper details for an edge factor, and a pair of jeans (the AG tomboy, which is funny because I usually don’t buy jeans that have the word “boy” in the description). I’m happy not only to have these additions to my wardrobe but to support a local boutique doing business on Capitol Hill.

Today is also my baby’s birthday eve. You know how I love birthday and birthday eve. He’s with his dad tonight, but I baked his cake and wrapped presents and am thinking of the night 11 years ago when I knew it was really “time.” I can’t think of a better way to spend his birthday tomorrow than to have our opening soccer games in this nice pre-fall weather. I know there’s another heat wave in our future, but for now these crisp cool nights and the promise of more in October has me feeling balanced and energetic.

If only the itching would stop.

what are you waiting for?

If your closet needs an infusion of fall fashion, head on over to the Periwinkle pop up shop today from 11:00-8:00, tomorrow and Saturday from 10:00-8:00 and Sunday from 11:00-4:00. Owner Elizabeth Mason (a woman I want to know better given the transition she made from politico to style maven) and her team will have on hand goodies from her three boutiques and we wouldn’t want her to have to drag any of these items back to Virginia or National Harbor, would we? For these four days, Periwinkle will house a fourth boutique at Tabula Rasa, located at 731 8th Street, SE. Going to Barracks Row for lunch or happy hour? Or maybe a workout at Biker Barre? You have no excuse to not at least pop your head in and support this tiny moment in time when women’s retail comes to Capitol Hill. Maybe we can show enough support to talk Elizabeth into a fourth permanent Periwinkle outpost.

adventures at the district sample sale

my finds from the District Sample Sale

In a continuation of a week of DC fashion firsts, I hit the annual District Sample Sale (DSS) last night.  For the uninitiated, DSS brings together a number of high-end boutiques who offer their goods at discount prices in one big location complete with music, hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and oh – the real purpose is to raise money for charity.

When DC Celine said that I had to go with her and that I furthermore had to buy a VIP ticket to allow me an hour of access before the masses were let in, I of course did what she told me. (Though I would not cut the line to join her at the front because I was afraid someone would impale me with a stiletto.)

I was warned to dress in something that would allow me to try on items absent a real changing room, so I wore a pencil skirt (my big goal was to score some jeans and I figured I could shimmy them up under the skirt or as least under enough of the skirt to be respectable) and a blouse, but more importantly, a pretty bra (do I ever wear any other kind?) in case I really wanted to take off the blouse in front of hundreds of strangers to score the object of my desire.

Luckily, it didn’t come to that.

In the end, I walked away with a hammered cuff bracelet and two fantastic necklaces from Queen Bee Designs and a wrist full of leather wrap around bracelets from Fornash. (I promise photos of these items on me when my poison ivy clears up.) I did not try on any jeans, and the only top I tried on, well, I did it over my blouse and there’s photographic evidence of it on DC Celine’s instagram feed. I had to try it on not because I was really interested in purchasing it, but because I was so curious about the construction. Imagine an off the shoulder sweater that’s tunic length. Then imagine sewing a bra into the neck of the sweater. With step-by-step instructions from the helpful Muleh sales associate, I figured out that you first put on the bra component, then you tie the sleeves around your waist. Yeah, no 42-year old mom is going to find use for this item, but it was fun to try.

Lessons learned? If you’re going to the DSS, go with a kick ass woman who clocks in at close to six feet tall and can wear Union Jack skinny jeans because you (or rather she) will get noticed. As I was forewarned, do not hit the food and drinks until afterwards as it’s hard to balance shopping with treats. Have a plan, but have fun too. You probably won’t score exactly what you come in expecting to find, but you may discover a hidden gem.

9-11 eve

Eleven years ago today, the only way I thought my life was about to change forever was by the imminent birth of my child. I didn’t even know “it” was going to be a boy, so my bedroom had a bunch of neat little stacks of yellow, green and white onesies and blankets that I had folded as meticulously as I’ve ever folded anything. (Why can’t the nesting urge stay with us beyond childbirth?) On September 10th, 2001, I went to work and probably left my Senate ID in my desk all day since we didn’t need it to get anywhere but “on the floor.” Back in the day, anyone could walk underneath the Capitol, from the Senate to the House. Unsupervised. Security guards never made you take off your shoes. We made fun of people who wore their IDs around their neck or clipped to their belt. For the record, we didn’t have blackberries back in these dark ages either, though we did have these little pagers. The only time I consistently used mine was to go take a 45-minute nap at lunch in the nurse’s station during my last trimester of pregnancy. Emma, who sat at the desk in front of my office, was the only person who knew where I was, and if someone was looking for me, she could page me. Though she never did.

Then everything changed. Now we live in a society that grinds to a halt when someone accidentally leaves their knapsack on the metro. We look askance at people who might be different from us. We can’t get bottled water through security at the airport. Many families have emergency plans that don’t just include where to meet if there is a house fire, but what to do if there is another terrorist attack. The world is a different place than it was when we were growing up (isn’t that what people always say?) but yet, my kids walk to their bus stop every morning, they want to listen to “their” music, and they crack up at the mention of the word “fart.” (True, it happened today.)

Things change, yet in some very fundamental – and comforting – ways, they stay the same.

43 by 43, tiny update

This week, the boys tried (and liked) dragon fruit.

It felt like I had achieved more, but I just counted and can officially cross off ten items from my 43 by 43 list. Now, I keep reminding myself that there are items on the list that are meant to become new practices, such as introduce the boys to something new each week (food, idea, place, etc.) so while I have been maintaining, I can never really cross these goals off.

I can thank Weekend Warriors for knocking off four items: paint the living room, install surround sound, convert the playroom into a functional room, and hang curtains in the new functional room. In addition, I have started composting, went to the dermatologist to have my moles checked, did a juice cleanse, attended a DC fashion event (FNO) and a few goals that are a little too personal to share on the interwebs.

Where do I need to improve? Posting to the blog at least three times a week, going to the dentist, and contributing to the boys’ college fund. This morning I spoke to Colin in a mean voice before calming down and trying to reason with him in a compassionate voice. With some of my goals, I have taken steps toward fulfillment. For example, I’m signed up to take Knife Skills: Poultry at Hill’s Kitchen so that when I roast my duck, I can also carve the damn bird myself. (By the way, it turns out a lot of you want to be at the dinner table for duck, so I will either have to host three duck-themed dinner parties or cook more than one duck for the evening. I’m humbled that so many of you have confidence in my duck preparation abilities.)

I will continue to tick items off the list and periodically update you, but the bottom line, as evidenced by my mean voice use this morning, is that the challenge continues.