Thursday, January 21, 2010

respuestas, parte dos

Back again with more answers to your burning questions!

Fashion / Beauty

What are your favorite go-to internet sites for shopping?

Oh so many! RueLaLa and Gilt Groupe (for discounted designer clothing), J. Crew (although only if the item is on sale since I can get a discount with my student ID in-store... 3 cheers for Baylor IDs with no graduation date!); Nordstrom, ShopBop, Lulu's (for trendy items on the cheap), BlueFly, ShopStyleBanana Republic, Saks... the list goes on and on!

I will say, though, I put the kibosh on most online shopping (even before I lost my job and axed basically ALL shopping).  Reason being that I find myself buying more things than I'd ever buy if I had to go through the hassle of going to the store and trying things on.  Then, when my purchases came, I'd end up keeping things that I probably would never have purchased in-store, just because it was convenient.  These habits led to bigger credit card bills than I wanted and clothes hanging in my closet that never got worn.  Plus, Dallas has all the shopping a girl could ever want - it was a different story when I was stuck in Waco during law school.  My rule now (well, technically my rule for when I have an income again) is I only purchase online from sites (a) that aren't available to be in-person in Dallas - like RueLaLa and Gilt, or (b) that are offering huge sales.  If I want something I've seen online but my local store isn't carrying it, I have them order it for me so I can try it on before purchasing and I don't have to pay shipping costs (almost all stores do this - just ask!).  And if I do order online, I always use E-Bates so that I can get cash back on my purchases!

If one were to splurge on ONE clothing item (shoes and jewelry included) what would you recommend?

Hands-down, a gorgeous pair of black patent pumps - either peep toe or completely closed-toed.  They'll always be in style and you can wear them to work or for a night out.  Plus, a well-made pair of shoes can be shined up and resoled by a good cobbler over and over again... Take care of a quality pair of shoes and they'll last you forever!

If you were going to the Derby, what would you wear?  I need help and inspiration finding my dress this year!  Hate suggestions welcomed too. 

Um, first... JEALOUS!  Attending the Kentucky Derby is on my Bucket List!  The last horse race I attended was at Manor Downs in Manor, Texas with my dad when I was about 7.  I probably wore Osh Kosh Overalls.  That said, if I were to attend THE equestrian/social event to end all equestrian/social events, I would wear a flirty dress featuring punchy colors and/or fun prints!  Something like...

Dawn Til Dusk Dress via Anthropologie

Photomontage Dress via Anthropologie

Now, hats... I wouldn't even know where to begin to look for an awesome hat... although I think a fabulous oversized floppy hat embellished with a ribbon or flower that matches your chosen dress would work wonderfully with any of the above options!  Or... OR!  I might dare to be different and sport a massively gorgeous silk floral headpiece (in a corresponding color, obvs)... like so:

Do you wear your wedding ring everyday?  I also read ITPitB and I've never noticed, so I'm curious! 

Yes Sirree Bob, I wear my wedding set every day!  The only times I take either of my rings off is when I'm cooking something that requires me to mix with my hands, if I'm traveling internationally, or if I'm exercising outside and its over 90 degrees (finger-swellage).  I actually get this question a lot from ITPitB readers since I'm always taking photos into mirrors - so what would be my left hand if I were facing you, is actually my right!  I usually have my left hand on my hip in those photos... Example:

If you were told you could only wear one accessory for the rest of your life... what would it be?

Other than my wedding set... I would definitely chose either my sapphire ring that my parents gave me for my 21st birthday or my gold medallion necklace that my father gave me as a wedding present!  Both have extreme sentimental value and both are shiny and pretty!  And they go with everything!

What is your go-to wardrobe piece you can't live without? 

This is a toughie.  This season its been a great pair of leggings that are comfy but also keep all the wobbly bits sucked in!  For summer, its a fun maxi dress... throw it on to go to the pool or just to run errands, or dress it up for a night out.  I also have a thing for brightly colored tunic mini-dresses - they are definitely my go-to going out wear!  But, if I had to pick one staple, it would be a fabulous pair of dark wash, straight let jeans - they are seasonless, can be worn with every type of shoe, and never go out of style!

This is personal, but I have to ask & its OK if you don't want to answer.  But you have such fabulous stuff!  Before you were unemployed, how much did you spend a week or month on clothes/shoes/accessories and the like? 

Probably too much!  I'll admit, I love to shop - I love new things, I love pretty things, and I love nice things - when I could afford them, I indulged!  Its hard to put an average dollar amount on "the good ol' days," though.  For one, a large majority of my purchases were from sites like RueLaLa and Gilt Groupe where I receive credits from referrals. I was able to get major designer goodies for free or nearly free (Louboutins for $90! Cole Haan pumps for free! Shoshana and Tibi for 75-80% off!).  I also only use credit cards with rewards programs and save up the points / coupons for larger purchases at places like Nordstrom, Banana Republic, and Ann Taylor.  Thats not to say that I never puchase(d) anything at full price... when I had a cushy income, if I saw a pair of lovely Juliets at J. Crew, I usually bought them.  I will say, after some working really hard to pay off credit card debit I stupidly wracked up as a law student, I never carry a balance on my cards and and the vast majority of my paycheck went into savings... so we're definitely not talking about an astronomical monthly shopping budget!

{PS: I know that's not a concrete answer but it really does vary a lot month to month!  If you'll scroll down, you'll see how Evs and I split up our finances.  A large chunk of my "individual" budget did go to fashion items but often times I'd save month to month for a larger purchase or I'd have other things going on that month (bachelorette parties or trips to visit friends) and my individual budget would be funneled towards those things!}

So.. delurking here with a strange question... I absolutely love reading about what kind of makeup and skin care crap people use... I think it gives me justification to buy new crap and bury my old crap in the beauty grave under the bathroom sink... so what do you use / recommend / always wanted to try? 
What's your fav beauty products?
What type of skin care do you use?  I'm on the hunt for new stuff... 

Lots of beauty product questions!  Yay!  I'll start with skincare... but I have a small piece of advice first!  Go get a facial - just one - and ask the esthetician what type of skin you have and what type of products she recommends.  She'll inevitably try to sell you some really expensive spa shit... that stuff is all fine and good and fabulous (and yes, it will work - I've been suckered into purchasing loads-o-awesome-spa-shit), but you can also use her recommendations to find less expensive, equally effective products at the drug or department store.  My point is this: often I think we get stuck in the same skincare rut we've been using since college because we assume our skin hasn't changed.  Newsflash: it has... and we all need someone to wonk us back to reality.  A year ago, I would have sworn on a stack of Vogues that I had oily skin.  I would have been correct... had I been thrust in a time machine and zapped back to 1999.  But apparently, times have changed and now I have dry skin and the occasional heinous eyebrow zit farm.  If you have a different skin type, my products might not work for you... but in an effort to play this fun game we have going on now...

I use Oil of Olay Total Effects Revitalizing Foaming Cleanser morning and night.  It doesn't dry out my face and apparently provides 7 anti-aging benefits in 1 step... plus, Evs always says my face smells good after I use it, so there's that.  On Monday, Wednesday and Saturday nights, I use MD Skincare Alpha-Beta Daily Face Peel Pads (it says "daily"... do NOT use this stuff daily... 3-4x per week max).  These provide a light acid peel... sloughing off the dry skin and revealing the new and all that jazz.  I love these.  On days I don't use the peel pads, I use a light, natural exfoliator at night - Alba Pineapple Enzyme Facial Scrub (I purchase this at CVS).  I moisturize with Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief in the mornings and evenings - I love that this is gel-like and absorbs quickly with no greasy feel but still provides lots of moisture!  If I have extremely dry spots in the winter, I use a teeny dab of Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream (odd I know but this stuff doesn't mess around and it works!).  I have two products that I use as spot treatments for zits... for the big poppas, I use Kiehl's Blue Herbal Spot Treatment - it'll dry that sucker out pronto - and for smaller spots, I use Jurlique Blemish Cream - its natural and much less harsh on the skin.

Random Beauty Products... I adore Clinique's Rinse-Off Eye Makeup Solution (takes mascara and eyeliner off in a snap), Jo Malone Nutmeg & Ginger Cologne (Jo Malone has been my perfume brand for 3 years and have been wearing Nutmeg & Ginger for about a year), Vaseline Intensive Care Aloe Fresh Lotion, Dove Therapy Frizz Control Cream, and St. Ive's Energizing Citrus Bodywash.

Makeup.... DiorShow Mascara - I held off on this for a looooong time, even after all the raves, but I think its worth every penny of its $24 price tag - the brush really separates your lashes and coats evenly and fully - I'm officially a convert!  Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil in Black Gold - I received a sample of this and almost discarded it since I really hate eyeliner that I have to sharpen (lazy, I know) and I wasn't so sure about the color.  On a whim, I tried it and now its my absolute favorite - it glides on super-smoothly and smudges like a dream!  And I love, love, love the color!  Smashbox Eyeshadows - I used to be a MAC eyeshadow girl but I've recently switched to Smashbox - they go on smoothly, blend well, and last all day over my MAC eye-primer. I have pricier Laura Mercier concealer and blush, but I'm currently really loving Maybelline's Dream Mousse Concealer and Blush - again, easy to apply, glides on smooth, blends well!  Lastly, I'm a huge lip gloss whore.  I have about 13 in my purse right now... not an exaggeration.  I did a post on what was in my purse as while back and it details all my dirty lip-gloss hoarding secrets (but my absolute favorites are MAC Lustreglass, Dior Addict Ultra Gloss Reflect, and YSL Golden Gloss).

If you could only wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be? 

Is it a total cop-out if I say my wedding day attire? Sure, that would be a totally kuckoo Mrs. Haversham way to go through life, but I really, really loved the way the whole vintage-y bridal look came together!  And then I could, you know, just lounge around in a bar, chattering madly with a white peacock, drinking gin gimlets, and smoking clove cigarettes all day.  Glorious!

Okay, alright, alright.  My GAP Always Skinny jeans, my white J.Crew Ruffle V-Neck Tissue Tee, an apple green J. Crew Jackie cardigan, a metallic skinny belt, Tory Burch flats, a chunky necklace and a fun cocktail ring.... hold the clove cigarettes.... but I'll take that damn gimlet.

What's the next purse that's on your wish list? (in addition to or if you didn't have Le Marc)

I actually think about this question all. the. freakin'. time.  I know, my thoughts are as deep as the Pacific Ocean, I tell you! My answer, as sure as the sun rises in the East, is the Valentino Patent Nuage Bow Tote, in the "wine" color.  Its shiny (patent is so easy to care for!), its huge, and it has a bow.  SOLD.

Which celebrity's closet would you like to raid?  (Rachel Zoe doesn't count)

The evil thing about this question is when I first read it, I shrieked RACHEL ZOE and executed the fist pump to end all fist pumps. And then I read the rest of the question... Boo Hiss.   So if I can't have RZ... I think I'd go with SJP... She has amazing taste but isn't afraid to go out on a fashion limb - even if that limb ends of snapping off - and she has a penchant for My Ultimate Gay Boyfriend Oscar de la Renta.

I noticed on your other blog that you wear a lot of gold.  Are your engagement & wedding rings gold too?  I get really stressed about wearing gold because my rings are white gold, but I know that is so silly! 

Nope - my wedding set is platinum! I love, love, love gold jewelry, and I pretty much prefer it to silver-colored metals in every instance save when diamonds are involved (diamonds appear sparklier and more colorless when set in white gold or platinum)!  I think people used to be very finicky about mixed-metals but anything goes now!  I promise, try it!  In order to avoid any clashing issues, I never wear gold bracelets on my left wrist - I keep all the gold jewelry on the right side and from the chest up!

Do you think the "fashion bug" is part of your DNA... like you're born with it?  How did I not get this chromosome? I have no idea what I'm doing and am constantly impressed with how you care what you look like.  Why don't I care

Hmmmmm Fashion Genetics... I'll warn you, I really suck at science!  Really, I have no clue if I was born with a love for fashion... I did like to play a lot of dress up!  Growing up, I did a lot of musical theater and dance, and I fell in love with the way costumes could totally transform a person.  I would say it was definitely my love for theater, film, and later on, shows like Sex & the City that awakened any innate fashion bug inside.   However, while I cared about what I was wearing in High School and college, I wouldn't say that I was a very fashionable person - I loved looking at People magazine and seeing what celebrities were wearing, but I didn't accessorize or layer or try anything out of the ordinary myself... I wore my Citizens jeans and my J.Crew sundresses and generally blended in.  It really wasn't until law school that I started stepping out of the box a bit.  I'm not sure exactly what it was... boredom in Waco, Texas?  A need to feel bright and cheery and interesting in the world of academia?  My extremely fashion-forward be-fri RJB?  Probably a good mix of all of those things.

As far as caring about fashion... if you don't, don't beat yourself up about it!  Its an interest and almost a hobby, and its not for everyone! However, I am a big believer that you feel loads more confident and capable if you are wearing clothes that fit and flatter your body type!  I notice a huge difference in the way I feel now if I lounge in yoga pants all day as opposed to days when I need to actually get dressed and be presentable.  If you have any questions about dressing for your body, I'd be happy to help or you can always ask for advice from the sales staff while shopping (try Nordstrom - the salespeople there are always extremely accommodating and not at all pretentious!).

If you want to become more well versed in fashion, magazines like InStyle, shows like What Not To Wear, and "Outfit of the Day" blogs are a great place to start!

What is Evs' style?  Do you dress the man... or can he handle his own outfits?

I love this question!  When we first met, Evs dressed like the typical ex-frat boy in his mid-twenties (except he wasn't in a fraternity).  Lots of cargo shorts (yuck).  Lots of ill-fitting jeans.  Lots of Lacoste polo shirts.  Lots of sorority date function t-shirts.  Lots of hoodie sweatshirts.  It wasn't terrible - especially considering we were in law school and didn't do anything besides go to class, study, and go to college bars - but once he graduated, he definitely needed a more age-appropriate casual look.  Slowly but surely, we got rid of the cargo shorts (this was actually on my 101 goals in 1001 days list) and the ill-fitting jeans, and replaced them with chino shorts and designer jeans (the man now buys jeans that cost more than any designer pair I own).  We were introduced to silk and wool blend sweaters... and V-necks (cue the Aladdin: "a whole new woooooorld!").   And later on (when I was sure he could handle the responsibility), ... cashmere!  He definitely still farts around the house in hoodies and basketball shorts, but when he leaves the house, its all very Banana Republic, J.Crew, and Martin + Osa.

I will say this - the boy has ALWAYS known how to pick a good suit.  He's also aces with ties - a definite knack for picking out interesting ties that aren't lame or overly-metrosexual.  On occasion he'll ask if this shirt goes with that tie, but that's a very rare occurrence.


Do you have debt?  Did your parents pay for undergrad and/or law school?  What do your parents think of you possibly pursuing something that doesn't require a law degree?

We have no debt... Evs in particular worked extremely hard his first year practicing to pay off all his student loans, and we are very grateful not to owe any money for past financial aid.  My parents paid for half of my higher education - I was also very blessed to have some help from other family members.  Evs attended both college and law school with partial scholarships.

I suppose the last question is more accurately categorized in the up-coming "Career" section, but I'm assuming you're asking if they mind since they have somewhat of a vested monetary interest in my legal career, so I'll answer it here!  My parents are extremely supportive in whatever I choose to do.  I think it was an absolute shock to them that I decided to attend law school but they cheered me on the entire way!  I think what they don't want to see happen is me give up on a career I worked so hard for without carefully assessing all my options.  I originally went to law school to be an Assistant District Attorney - I told everyone who would listen that I wanted to prosecute sex crimes.  Some of that enthusiasm for becoming an ADA was youthful naiveté, but in hindsight, I got sidetracked by money and fell into a job that I am not suited to do.  I still would love to be an ADA; I also think I would enjoy working as counsel for a non-profit.  I'm looking into all of these opportunities and my parents are thrilled that I'm rediscovering a part of the legal field that I'd abandoned for the wrong reasons.  I am also looking at non-legal job prospects.  Were the right opportunity to come along, I know my parents would be equally as thrilled that I found a career about which I can be passionate again.  Law school gave me so much more than knowledge of the law - including reintroducing me to my love of writing.  Plus, I met Evs and one of my very best friends in law school.  I'm very blessed to have a family that recognizes all of the positive gains of my law school experience - regardless of whether I continue to practice as an attorney.

How do you and Evs handle finances since becoming Mr. and Mrs.?  All separate accounts?  One big pot?  Who watches the budget?  Do you save together?

Right now things are a little different since I'm unemployed but our normal MO looks something like this:  Evs brings home the much bigger paycheck - we pay most of our large expenses out of that - rent, his car payment, the utilities, the shared credit card bills (2 shared CCs).  What's left is split into our two separate checking accounts. All of my paycheck goes into savings / investments.   Anything to be purchased for the two of us - groceries, nights out, etc - goes on one of the shared credit cards.  Anything that is to be purchased for the individual - clothes, nights out with friends, etc - is paid for out of our separate checking accounts (or on our separate credit cards to then be paid from our separate checking accounts).  We have a general budget for individual spending and we don't keep balances on credit cards (either shared or individual).

So its definitely a "one big pot" situation but I like that we split up the excess into separate checking accounts and each decide what we do with it. That way, if he wants to bet money on a sporting event, I don't get pissed off if he loses.  And if I want to blow my entire individual monthly budget on a pair of shoes, that's my prerogative.

Evs is the Budget Nazi.  Which is excellent because sometimes my desire to own a home is overridden by my desire to own everything in J.Crew's spring catalog.  He also oversees our investments - we discuss if he wants to move anything major around, but he has the eye for and the knowledge of the financial market and I really could care less so long as our money is (relatively) safe and earning us more money.  Plus, if we lose it all in a Ponzi Scheme, I'm the innocent party.  Kidding.

More tomorrow!


  1. if it makes you feel any better, the ky derby isn't all that fun! its,well....skanky! keeneland in Lexington is waaaay more classy and fun. IMO

  2. Love the anthro dress choices! The Kohls dress is on sale right now for anyone that is interested. Super cute!

  3. I had no idea one could use a student ID for a discount! I still have my UT one. Gotta try this.

  4. I love the Leifsdottir dress for the Kentucky Derby idea! Amen to your points on skin as well. I finally changed my regimen about a month and a half ago and my face is so much brighter and clearer these days.

  5. Not to be totally nerdy, but, I'm a fan of the way y'all have broken up the finances.

    Also, so jealous that you can still use your Baylor ID at J. Crew. I work at a university and they hijacked my student one when I became an employee--yes, yes, I told them I "lost it" but they refused to issue me a staff one until they could shred my student one. Looking back, I could have told them I "lost" it, ahd them print me a new one (for $25) and then shred that one (weird process, right?)--but, I didn't. I supposed that $25 would have totally been worth the savings at J. Crew. Boo.

  6. Love this post! and I love the Kentucky Derby Dress ideas!

    Have you heard about the Bloomingdale's Big Window contest? Drop by my blog to see the entries... I think you just might swoon :)

  7. I second what Shab said. That's a good idea, and I'm totally going to steal it.

  8. Thanks for answering my Derby questions! And yes, Katherine, I do LOVE Keeneland. Actually live in Lexington myself.

    Let me clarify that we will not be in the infield, but in a box for Derby.

    Churchill Downs is a beautiful place, and so is Keeneland. I suggest you go to both!

    Luckily, there are lots of hats for sale in Louisville around Derby time, and there's even a fun craft store that specializes in making the hats match your dress perfectly.

    I guess I am just waiting for the spring lines to come out.

    Love your blog, I'm a total lurker!

  9. Oh, and speaking of your 101 Things list, are you done with it? How'd it go? See...funny thing, your answers are making me ask more questions!!

  10. Dang you're a funny woman! I guess we knew that already, but this is a good shot in the arm of hahahahahahahaha. Tx.

  11. Student discount at JCrew? Who knew!

    Also, my husband is a nerdy budgeter as well. I love him dearly for it, and I'm glad I don't have to think twice about it, but it's scary how much he enjoys tweaking numbers and playing with spreadsheets.

  12. I love to answer Derby questions! Shoot them my way if you ever get serious about attending! As Katherine says above, Keeneland race track here in Lexington is incredible, too!


happy little comments!