fab find friday

A Senate-staffer friend of mine whom we will call Clementine gave me the brilliant suggestion of offering a fabulously inexpensive fashion find every Friday. I had the equally brilliant idea of asking her to be a guest contributor for the first (and perhaps more) in the series. On that note, if you make a budget friendly discovery and feel it is your fashion duty to share it with the world (after you score one in your size, of course) please do not hesitate to let me know, and I can feature it here in the future.

Fab Friday finds (click for purchase information) from Clementine:

fab find friday

Dear Chelsea Chronicle Readers:

My go to summer uniform is a tunic and leggings, but I try to keep it interesting. Check out this black and white option for under $30 from Urban Originals. I plan to finish it off with a brightly a colored flat like this fuchsia one also from urbanog for a mere $20.

New from Zara and coming in at under $60 this is THE dress that I will finish summer in style with by adding my skinny gold belt and strappy flats (but please, not those pictured). I will add an arm full of bangles for easy day to night. The ones pictured here are all from Forever21, which offers lots of options to mix and match at super cheap prices.

For work, let’s admit it: the halls of Congress aren’t always forgiving when you walk them day after day in 4-inch heels. But these snakeskin kitten heels by Bandolino are a steal for $21.99 and won’t leave you limping out the door (or to the Senate floor) at the end of the day.

If you follow the Chelsea Chronicles on twitter (@chelseachronicl)  you know that she is a BIG fan of Biker Barre. These crops are by far the BEST to cycle in, and Under Armour is offering free shipping for new customers w/ code TW9PWT6A


Enjoy my finds and be sure to share yours!

Yours in affordable style,


all the news that’s fit to print

Yes, I have been missing in action. Well, not missing in a dropped off the face of the earth sort of way. But I didn’t spend any time during the week of Chelsea doing any writing that is worthy of sharing (I blame the heat) and this week has been a dizzying cascade of work, kids, camp, heat and stress, all without my daily dose of Biker Barre to keep me sane and balanced.

So what did I do with my time off? I shopped. I spa-ed. I worked out. I ate (a lot). I drank some nice wines. I took the kids to Philadelphia. We went to a Fourth of July parade, derby car race and river raft regatta. Then our hostess in Philadelphia – my roommate from college – came down to DC with me. We shopped more. Ate more. Drank more. I introduced her to the barre-spin double. We napped. We saw Magic Mike. We watched movies at my house.

It was a good week.

In terms of my styling projects, Chani did not end up wearing the Kate Spade dress to the wedding in Charleston because while it was 105 here in DC with a heat index of 115, it was 145 degrees with 300% humidity in South Carolina and the fabric was just too heavy and clingy for an outdoor affair. She will wear it a lot this summer though, so no regrets, and bought dangly purple earrings as I recommended. She still doesn’t have the perfect shoes to go with the dress, according to what I heard yesterday, so I’m going to work on getting her into a snakeskin pair as suggested by Rosana from DC Style Factory.

Terra did wear her green dress to the wedding and paired it with a bunch of gold jewelry: stacked bracelets, necklace, earrings. Apparently there is no picture that captures the entire look though so you will just have to envision its greatness.

I got eyelash extensions and I.Love.Them. I asked my technician to give me a length that doesn’t scream hooker, and I’m extremely pleased with the results. Now no matter how hot and sweaty I get or how much I cry, my eyes are never smudgy. I’m not sure it’s a sustainable budget practice, but I plan to at least maintain them through the hot and sticky summer.

Which given the way the climate is changing, could mean until November.

decisions, decisions

There will be real life photos of these items on an actual body (my body, to be precise) later. I promise. But I have yet to shower after doing morning shots (of resistance) at Biker Barre and am playing host to not only my own kids but to neighborhood friends who are still without power.

(Side note: I’m just going to say I was way overdue to be the one house that had power restored almost immediately after a storm. I’m sure it will never play out this way again, but I hope by offering electricity to those in need, I’m keeping on the good side of karma.)

Anyway, there’s nothing like a house with four boys ages six to ten to make you want to girl-out and create outfits.

As previously mentioned, I made a good dent in my summer clothes woes at the Periwinkle pop-up boutique this week (you have few hours left if you haven’t dropped in yet). Now the only so-called problem is that I have options.

On the left is a (fitted, I promise) t-shirt dress. Floral. I know right? Not what I usually gravitate toward. But this dress has an ease that I love, and I would try to edge it out with jewelry and shoes so that it isn’t too sweet in execution.

In the middle is a tunic, but not one that is too long (peril to the short woman). The fuchsia sash (which would also work with either dress) adds a nice pop of color. The only drama with this top for today is that I gave away my white shorts last summer and consigned my white jeans earlier this year, so my options for what to wear on the bottom are limited.

The dress on the right is my favorite. I might need to get it in additional colors. The v-neck extends deeper on the other side, which is actually the front, but I plan to wear it backwards.









I love the many pairing possibilities with navy.

I could wear the green chunky necklace or the orange one. (How badly do I need this marigold beauty from my friends at SimplySoles?)

I could use the sash that goes with it or I could swap it out for the fuchsia one.

Or I could even stay neutral with accessories and wear my coral espadrilles.

Maybe some combination?

Just in writing this post, I’m sure the navy dress is the one I will wear to tonight’s dinner party. If you have styling preferences or ideas, please feel free to share.

Otherwise tune in later to see what I decided. And don’t be surprised if I have a glass of bubbly in my hands. Sparkling wine is, after all, the perfect accessory for summer.

current obsession: biker barre

Spin in the morning. Spin in the evening. Barre at lunch. Spin-barre doubles on the weekends. Anytime of day everyday of the week is a good time for a class at the newly-opened Biker Barre in the Barracks Row district of Capitol Hill.

I won’t ever be able to run again, but a year and a half after my back procedure, I can finally spin. Varoom, just like that, I have found my new favorite cardio.

While I still miss the flexibility of being able to lace up a pair of running shoes regardless of the time of day, in any location, to hit the road for a run of any length, the robust schedule at Biker Barre presents numerous opportunities to get your workout in, whether you are a morning, noon or night worker-outer. And while my runs typically lasted longer than the 45 minutes you spend on a bike in spin class, the instructors (especially co-owner Katie Fouts) are especially diligent at ensuring you don’t leave an ounce of energy untapped. But if you do have something in the reserves at the end of your virtual bike ride, I recommend following spin with a barre class. The perfect combination of pilates and yoga, barre’s emphasis on core strength has been key to alleviating the residual back pain I still get from time-to-time. And it tones you in all the right places.

I truly consider both exercises lifesavers.

But don’t take my word for it. Find your way to the Biker Barre studio. There are several pricing options available, whether you want to buy a one-class pass (with the second class free for newbies) or do what I did and buy the one-month unlimited option (there’s a special on that too).

Come to class. Prepare to sweat. Just don’t take my favorite bike.

summoning charm

If you know me, you might recognize (whether I have told you or not) that I’m going through somewhat of an emotional crisis. If you don’t know me or I haven’t talked to you about it, well, I’m going through somewhat of an emotional crisis. If you know me and I haven’t talked to you about it, don’t ask me to; honestly, I would have brought it up if I wanted to discuss the matter. And I don’t bring it up here as a way to initiate the conversation.

Instead I want to explore what people do to get through those times when faith is tested, strength is fleeting and resolve is necessary in larger doses than one typically possesses.

Times like this, I do my best to visualize a happy outcome. I don’t always succeed. Sometimes this happy visualization, while keeping me focused, can send me into fits of despair over the how and the when of its realization. I’m trying to get better at this technique.

I write. Then I don’t write because words seem inconsequential compared to what’s at stake. Then I write prolifically. Then I don’t. You might have noticed this trend.

I exercise like a you-know-what. I have never missed running more than I do now. If I could just go for one goddamn run, I swear I would be a bastion of self-assurance and stability. But the risk of re-injury is too high so if you need to reach me and I’m not answering my cell, I’m probably at Biker Barre, where I have taken up residency on a spin bike.

I open wine. I don’t sleep. I search the web for eye creams that will reduce puffiness, eliminate the soft purple hue that rings my eyes and mask to the world that I probably have just been crying. I take copious notes at work because I’m scatterbrained. I pack my schedule to the gills, then regret the decision when the time comes to keep those planned activities.

But today my tricks aren’t working. I need to do more to channel my strength and feed my faith in the future.  I need to step away from the emotional ledge. I need to take deeper breaths than my psyche wants to allow.

You may not know the heart of my stress, but you probably have your own ways for summoning the qualities you need in times of mental anguish. I’m looking for suggestions.

And if you can recommend a good eye cream, the delicate skin around my eyes would greatly appreciate it.