WTF, Anthropologie?

I decided to take a moment to step away from George Clooney. And this is what I found:

photo credit: Polyvore


I was browsing the Anthropologie website because my friend Erika had commented on these “vintage” Levi’s overalls on Facebook, and I had to see them for myself. First of all, unless you are a farmer, don’t wear overalls. But if you must, please don’t spend $350 on them.

After I had my eye roll, I kept looking. What else would I find that bordered on the ridiculous?

It only took a few more clicks to find the Abigail Shoulder Cape, which appears to be nothing but a bunch of yarn braided together. It would be unkind to say it resembles something a grandmother would make. There are way prettier scarves (I refuse to call it a cape) at a lower price point, not to mention that according to one reviewer, it sheds. Everywhere.  No one wants to carry a lint-roller in her purse.

But really, the dress that stopped me in my tracks is the Asra Tulle Midi Dress for $800. Now, I know the description indicates it’s one of a kind. I say thank god to that. I’m sure you can find a much better dress for your $800. Without flowers my kids could make in art class pasted all over it.

There you go. That was my pre-debate fun for the evening. Now I will wait for the candidates to emerge and the answer to the question that has plagued me all day to be answered: will either Obama or Romney dare to opt for a tie that isn’t blue or red?

countdown to Clooney

GC photo credit here:
If Walter Mitty had internet access, he’d be as crazy as I am.

I’ve been promising it for months now. It turns out that publishing my short story is almost as emotional as giving birth, but scarier since the latter was done in private but this story will be available for the whole world to read. Not that the whole world wants to read it, though that would be nice. (After all, it’s better written than the 50 Shades series.)

As I mentally prepare to take this step, what am I doing to prepare for the big day? Like every good Type A person, I have a list:

10. Waiting for my George Clooney cardboard cutout to be delivered. (So much better than a poster.)

9. Editing and re-editing. (I know I need to stop.)

8. Watching my favorite George Clooney movies. (Out of Sight and One Fine Day provide perfect eye candy and background noise.)

7. Imagining what will happen if this story goes viral. (Otherwise known as the fantasy where I meet George Clooney on the Daily Show.)

6. Imagining what I will do if this story doesn’t go viral. (Would it mark the end of my short-lived writing career?)

5. Planning what I’d wear if I knew I was going to meet George Clooney. (Sort of pointless since I’m sure I’d go shopping.)

4. Working on the sequel. (I’m half way done already, so you won’t have to wait long to see where the story goes next.)

3. Working on a full length novel. (Because what better way to procrastinate the task at hand than to start a new project?)

2. Dreaming of becoming a screenwriter. (Could this be my true calling?)

And the number one thing I’m doing in anticipation of release day is planning the party where I’m going to invite you all to come celebrate with me, guilt you into paying the 99 cents I’m going to charge for it on Amazon, and since there isn’t a way to sign an e-book, let you pose for a picture with my cutout Clooney.

I promise, no paparazzi will be there.

don’t lie to me, Neiman Marcus

I’m a sucker for the makeup counter, which is why back in April, I got talked into trading my beloved Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer for le Metier de Beaute Peau Vierge, which unfortunately for my budget, rings up at three times the price.

But it is so worth it.

Only a small amount is needed for as flawless skin as one might get when one has, well, flaws. I still use Laura Mercier for weekends and when I need a reapplication, but I have become a huge fan of the Peau Vierge.

My only complaint is that it comes in the kind of vessel that doesn’t reveal it’s about to run out until it’s actually out. And last week, I ran out.

On Saturday when Emily was in town, we were in Friendship Heights, and I asked her if we could pop into Neiman Marcus so I could pick up a replacement bottle. We walked in, and I immediately saw the Metier de Beaute make up artist/rep who initially sold me the product. I was a little taken aback that he was so dismissive when I told him what I was there for. Instead of helping me himself, he beckoned to another counter for a sales associate. After several minutes, his makeup minion came over and when I told her what I wanted, she broke the sad news that they were out of my shade. Mr. Metier Makeup Artist immediately chimed in.

Mr. Metier Makeup Artist: Actually, it’s the manufacturer who is out of that shade so you can’t get it at all.

Me: For how long?

Mr. Metier Makeup Artist: Three weeks. It’s the manufacturer, not us.

(Yeah, I got that.)

Me: Well, that’s sad.

I turned to walk away.

Mr. Metier Makeup Artist: You should try a shade darker. I’m wearing the next shade and I have a lighter complexion than you.

Now maybe this guy doesn’t remember how the first time I was there, he gushed that 01 was the perfect shade for me. So I protested that I’m an 01 not an 02. He told me again that the manufacturer was completely sold out and I’d have to live without the product for at least three weeks.

Except when I got home, I ordered it from Nordstrom.

A message to Mr. Metier Makeup Artist: I know you want to make a sale but the thing is, don’t lie to me. Tell me your store is out, not the world. Be nice to me. Apologize profusely. Offer to apply some lipstick. Give me a free sample. If you had done any of those things, I probably would have used the Laura Mercier product I still have until you could get me Peau Vierge. But you screwed up. The lesson for you? Don’t try to sell me the wrong shade and don’t tell me it’s the manufacturer who is out. Now, I’m not going to buy makeup from you again. I’m sure it won’t put a dent in your sales, but you won’t have the pleasure of my company in a makeover chair, drinking in all your recommendations.

Stacy London

Photo by wardrobe_oxygen

I first discovered What Not to Wear when I was on maternity leave after giving birth to Colin in 2004. Talk about a time to be thirsty for anything related to style. It didn’t take me long to become devoted to my time with Stacy London and Clinton Kelly. As I struggled to get back into pre-pregnancy clothes, clothes that suddenly didn’t look as chic to me as they had nine months prior, I salivated over the idea of a $5000 budget to start anew. I yearned for someone to come tell me what to wear and, of course, what not to wear.

Since it seemed futile to wait for style fairies Stacy and Clinton to ambush me at work to offer their services and credit card, I started watching the show from a different perspective. I absorbed their advice. I looked for episodes that featured women who were built like me or had a similar lifestyle.

To this day, I still take fashion inspiration from them every time I watch their show.

While I adore Clinton’s cheekiness, I love Stacy’s enthusiasm, snark, and sentimentality. (If she tears up during the final reveal, I’m sure to as well.) And how could I go without mentioning her wardrobe? I also appreciate and admire that in a realm dominated by women much younger than we are, she’s my age.

Last night I attended a book signing event for her recently published book, The Truth About Style. While a rough day had almost led me to cancel, spending an evening with the likes of DC Celine, Wardrobe Oxygen, Closet Coach and Stacy London turned out to be just the therapy I needed. Stacy was generous with her time, sincere with her stories and answered every question from the audience thoughtfully. After her monologue and the Q&A, she spoke personally to each woman getting a book signed. Since I was way at the back of the line, I had time to craft a question for her that wouldn’t be too serious but yet meaningful to me.

Me: You’re 43, I’m about to turn 43, what did you buy yourself for your 43rd birthday. (Because I love birthdays. And I need ideas.)

Stacy: My God! What did I buy myself? I don’t know! (Thanks to Wardrobe Oxygen for snapping this photo of Stacy pondering my question.)

Me: Shoes?

Stacy: No! Now I remember. A Celine trapeze bag. I highly recommend it. You should do it. And by the way, I love that you’re wearing purple. And you have a great necklace. And wait, is that a leopard print coat? I think I have that coat!

Stacy London is as effusive in person as she is on TV. She looks you in the eye when she speaks. She really listens to you and her responses are thought out. She spent several minutes giving wedding dress advice to the women in front of me in line when they told her they’re getting married and one wants to wear a feminine dress and the other a more structured dress.

It’s fair to say I officially have a crush. While I’d need a lot of people to buy my 99 cent short story (coming soon) if I’m ever going to buy a Celine bag, I will live off the fumes of Stacy’s inspiration (and the lust for her fuchsia pleated flowy skirt) for a long time to come.

crazy cat lady

who can say no to kittens?

I never intended to have three cats. Really, I was fine with my aging one, Lola. She had never really forgiven me for giving birth to Jack but had finally warmed up to me many years later.

Then a year and a half ago, Jack made the pitch for a new pet.

Me: We have a pet.

Jack: But she isn’t really mine since you had her before you had me.

I saw the logic in his argument but wasn’t ready to give in yet. I explained that owning a pet is a huge responsibility and that he needed to prove he was up for the challenge. I told him that if he cleaned out Lola’s litter box everyday for a month, I would take it as proof that he was ready for his own pet.

Of course, it didn’t happen. For six months, that is. Then one day last May, he did the job. And he did it again the next day. And the day after that. Everyday for one month.

Jack: Mom, I did it! Can we get a turtle?

A turtle seemed harmless. A turtle seemed cool. I’d long ago put the kibosh on lizards and snakes, but a turtle, specifically, the Red-Eared Slider (the most common pet turtle) seemed reasonable.

Until I polled my parenting listserve.

Parent One: Absolutely do not get a turtle.

Parent Two: We’re in the process of transferring our two turtles out of their 90 gallon tank they’ve outgrown. They require UVA light and UVB light and are very expensive.

Parent Three: Did your son tell you they can live to be 40 years old?

That did it. If our turtle lived to be 40 (and I’m sure it would) I’d be in my 80s and still be a turtle mommy.

I broke the news to the boys. No turtle.

Jack: But Mommy, Colin and I would take Sirius Black (the name they’d already decided on) to college with us.

Yeah, right.

That’s when I suggested kittens. Two kittens seemed like a good compensation for losing one turtle. I was told that two would be less stressful to Lola, as the little ones would play with each other and not pester her. Plus, one could sleep on Jack’s bed and one could sleep on Colin’s.

Yeah, right.

We got two kittens. We named them Fang and Fluffy, after Hagrid’s two dogs in Harry Potter. And much like Hagrid’s dogs are facetiously named, Fang is the fluffy and prissy one and Fluffy is the short-haired alpha kitty.

But do these (now full grown) cats “belong” to Jack and Colin. No way. I’m their mommy. They sleep on my bed. They follow me around the house. They don’t consider themselves fed unless I put the food in their bowls. And, you guessed it, Jack no longer helps with the litter box.

I never thought I was a crazy cat lady though until the other day when I tweeted about Fang wanting to play fetch.

No wonder I haven’t been on a date in awhile.


No, I’m not about to slip into the writer’s block abyss. Over the weekend, my time was consumed by a guest, the kids’ soccer games and football. (Welcome back, real refs!) Over the last few days, I had a carbon conference and a women’s business networking event to attend. Today, my head and shoulders hurt and my inbox is unmanageable.

In case you need something Chelsea to tide you over, you can read the guest post I did last week for my hairstylist, Mickey Bolek of Michael Anthony Salon, and in a few days time, check out another guest appearance I’m making for DC Wine Week. (Don’t worry, I will remind you again.)

If that isn’t enough, my goal is to have my short story ready for Amazon e-publishing by this weekend. And that I hope you put on your must read list.