Ponytail & Polka Dots and Leopard & Chains

Happy Sunday to you! So much going on these days with the holidays and family get togethers. I want to share with you two recent tops.


Just Because

December 25th is over, and now it's time to start thinking of Coptic Christmas. Yes. Round two of the festivities. We don't exchange gifts on January 7th (Coptic Christmas). But it wasn't always this way. Growing up we had to wait until January 7th to get our gifts. Why? My parents wanted us to appreciate "our" Christmas. That thought process definitely had its pros and cons...especially for a 10-year-old. 

Pros for the adult: getting things at a significantly reduced cost; instilling in children an appreciation of religion and heritage
Cons for the adult: none

Pros for a 10-year- old girl: none
Cons for a 10-year-old girl: forgetting what you asked for three months earlier; going back to school in the new year and not showing off your Christmas gifts (like a pair of canvas Keds or the generic equivalent); having to explain to your friends (again at 10 years of age) that you really do celebrate Christmas but use a different calendar; enjoying candy canes while your friends are moving on to Peeps...

This Christmas started out with a just because gift from my sister-in-law. I love giving just because gifts. And it's also a surprise to receive just because gifts.  There's so much meaning and thoughtfulness behind just because gifts. Just because gifts mean "I don't have to do this, but I want to do this." They mean "I saw this necklace, spatula, trail mix or monogrammed stationery and thought of you. "  They also mean "I  really care about you, and I don't want to wait for your birthday, anniversary or Christmas to celebrate YOU."

When was the last time you gave a just because gift? If you haven't, try it. A just because gift can mean so much more than the obligatory Christmas gift or the traditional anniversary gift. 

I wanted to share some of the Christmas gifts (and my just because gift) I received from my family with you--hopefully nothing obligatory. 



My Just Because gift from my sister-in-law. It is currently sold out online. You can find similar on Etsy here.  

Apple TV. Find here.

Rachel Ray Oval Casserole. Find here. 

Lancome's Le Vie Est Belle...from someone who always appreciates my smelling sweet, my husband.

Christmas cookies...another just because from my sister-in-law. And I don't have to give back the plate!


'Twas the Night Before

We all got what we wanted: a white Christmas Eve. But Christmas Eve morning in my house started out with a different kind of white. Nope, not that white, fluffy stuff that graciously flies down from the heavens like a ballerina executing a series of pirouettes and landing in perfect formation on the window sills (a la any Christmas clothing catalog). The white I got was a white hair. Nope, not on my head (those started in my 20s) but on one of my eyebrows--the left to be specific. How does that even happen? And when did it happen? And why would it happen on Christmas Eve? The tragedy!

It came without a warning or an "excuse me, but I need to tightly wedge myself on your brow (and in a location where I will make it stubbornly difficult for you to get me out) to ruin your Christmas Eve and to make you look a little older." Nothing gracious about having one white eyebrow hair when the "tuft" is still brown. So I did what anyone in my predicament (on Christmas Eve) would do. I yanked it out before it ruined my Christmas Eve, and BEFORE I turned into Ebenezer Scrooge, who witnessed the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come with Two White Eyebrows. I think Dickens just turned in his grave. 

And I graciously filled its place with my faithful Elizabeth Arden eyebrow pencil. Hey, when you feel good about yourself, everyone knows it and wants to be around you. No one wants to be around someone who talks about her white eyebrow hair all night. Confidence is contagious--without a white eyebrow hair.

Hope you had a very, Merry Christmas. Look forward to sharing some of my family gifts (shared office gifts in a previous post) with you.




This is the trouble-maker.

You can tell here that I am not happy. I know you can't see it (thank God), but it is definitely there.

Can you tell what I did here? Yep. Yanked it. And you can clearly see my Sabika daisy earrings.


I love this Hope necklace. I have been wearing it all the time. Here I paired it with a Brighton piece.

My 11-year old took this picture. Heading out and going to teta's (grandma) house. 


 Here is the look:

Pants: Charlotte Russe skin tight leggings in black denim. Find here
Shirt: Old
Cardigan: Aeropostale, Draped French Terry Cardigan in heather grey. Find here.
Boots: old
Purse: Etienne Aigner, very, very old.


Sunday Best

I had to share this outfit today. Anytime I have the chance to wear my Zara (old) crystal necklace I do. My mom tells me that my jewelry is the cause of my neck pain.

I'm wearing my Sabika (real ones I promise) mega drops. 

I don't always like Tommy Hilfiger clothing on me, but this dress spoke to me. The Maine (olive) green works with my skin tone. And who says Lands' End clothing has to always be rugged. I love this foil dots, bracelet sleeve shirt (that's a mouthful) under my sweater dress. 

Here is the look:

Dress: Tommy Hilfiger @ Macy's
Shirt: Lands' End. Find here. 
Necklace: Zara, old.  
Eye shadow: Lancome, All That Glitters in Lustrous. Buy here. 
Mascara: Lancome, Definicils in Deep Black. As a side note, I am truly in love with this mascara. I recently told one of the make-up consultants that I would freak out (and it would be a true make-up emergency) if Lancome stopped making Defincils. She chuckled and reassured me that it's not going away since it's Lancome's best selling mascara. Phew!
Lipstick: Revlon, Toast of New York

It's About Giving

No secret Santa this year. This is what we decided NOT to do because our office staff is getting just too large--too large that we even outgrew our new, spacious facility. It's funny (or maybe not) but I sometimes see people in the office and wonder what the heck they're doing in the building. And when this happens, I instinctively ask, "Is someone helping you (because I have no clue who you are)?" And the response is sometimes (not always), "Yes, someone is helping me. Thank you." But what they really meant to say is, "Lady, who died and made you the office police. Where is your badge? And who are YOU anyway?" 

So instead of participating in a secret Santa gift exchange this year, we decided to donate to the 3 outreach programs that our organization runs. These programs serve children in the city's low-income neighborhoods. These programs deserve their own post soon.

But even though we did not have a gift exchange, this didn't stop some co-workers from still giving gifts. And I was the recipient of some generous and thoughtful gifts. But I know the season isn't about purses, pinot and perfume. It's really about love. I'm trying not be to mawkishly sentimental (really) but Mother Teresa (I can't help it) once said, "It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving."

Well, I definitely felt the love with these gifts. Again, I work with some pretty amazing people who really know me well.

Basket of goodies.
 Necklaces,zippered pouch,stemless wine glasses,wine glass,bottle of wine, soap and gift cards. And of course the basket courtesy of Harry and David. 

A Bottle of Misterio wine. Learn more about it here.
Harry&David is probably one of my of my favorite gourmet stores. And since the nearest store is in Washington, PA at the Tanger Outlets of Washington, I have to rely on the internet and good friends. This basket was stuffed with goodies. What I like to do is share the love and share some of my goodies with my friends.They deserve some of this too. You can purchase the basket my family received (from very good friends) here. It is the Heartside Gift Basket Grand Deluxe. Here is a little secret: sometimes T.J.Maxx & HomeGoods carries some of Harry&David products. 

This zippered pouch is from Mexico. My friend got it for me while on vacation. Something definitely has to be said for friends who think of you while they're on vacation. Maybe my sending her an email about a contract that needs approved made her think of me while sipping spiked ponche de frutas (for my non-Spanish speaking readers, this is Spanish for fruit punch.)

This wine glass is perfect. Why? Because diamonds are a girl's best friend--along with chocolate, warm lotion and a good night's sleep (at least 6 hours).

Frosted Plum Berry soap. Perfect!

I actually saw this necklace one year ago on one of co-workers. I remember telling her how pretty it is and that I actually have earrings with the same metal and stones. She purchased it while at a conference in Atlanta--perks of leaving the office. She surprised me by giving it to me. Can't wait to wear it.

What will you be exchanging this Christmas? Remember, it's about love!




Sabika Mystery Unraveled

This post is dedicated to all you Sabika sisters out there. You know who you are. Rest assured. Precious pieces that you purchased from a Sabika consultant are indeed authentic. I know that I may have caused mass pandemonium by slightly suggesting that our pieces (earrings to be specific) may not be authentic. I even entertained thoughts of conspiracy theories. But again, rest assured. Our consultant is not, I repeat, is not making counterfeit pieces in her basement. How can I be certain? I called her. My exact words were, "Hi, (consultant name). I have a Sabika emergency!" 

I think she thought I dropped an earring and it shattered. Or needed a piece for Christmas in a hurry...which, as a side note, you can still get from her. Nope. I wanted to know if the hundreds of dollars I spent (and you, my Sabika sisters spent) were on authentic pieces. After all, I did do extensive research on this. And I did report that my earrings (none of which) have the Sabika plate, logo or heart stamp. 

After grasping the intent of my call, my consultant did reassure me that my earrings are indeed authentic even though they don't have the Sabika "stamp."  Apparently, the Sabika stamp on the earrings only appeared very recently. Why? Well, frankly, because of all the fakes out there and people buying them *cough*, the company decided to do something about it. And hence, the Sabika stamp on the earrings was born.

And like a true Sabika sister, I confessed my sin. I told my consultant that I purchased a fake. And I also added that I am happy with my purchase thus far ( I would like to report that I did not break out in a rash or anything of the sort). And like the caring, compassionate consultant she is, I was forgiven. Sigh! More than forgiven. She thanked me for my input and will take it back to corporate headquarters. She is going to tell them that they need to issue "something" to all the Sabika sisters (who have been wearing the brand longer than I have) that their pieces are real and that the stamp is new. I am sure that they are going to feel as if they have a pair of Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour LE on without the Swoosh. Maybe not. Sabika needs to come out with an athletic line.

But...I didn't want to push my luck with her and tell her... that I purchased two more pieces. Yikes! Hey, sometimes too much information is NOT a good thing. 

Will I be sporting my new earrings? Well, I gave a pair to my mom today; disclosing that they are not REAL. Her concern? Where I purchased them. I promised her that I did not get in a van. I was honest; I told her that I got them from a consignment store. Her reaction was almost identical to my consultant's reaction when I told her that I had a Sabika emergency. No kidding. Honest to God. She said, "Did these belong to a dead person?" 

Check out this My Love of Sabika Jewelry Pinterest page here. 



Sabika stamp or plate near clasp

Sabika plate


One more

Just too darn beautiful to be a fake

How Fun Sweet Choker


The Dark Side

I have done the unthinkable! Something that I promised myself I would never do. Something that would have me turning up my nose in disappointment. Something that would make my consultant cut me off!  Yes, I have gone to the dark side and purchased a FAKE! There I said it. It is out. I purchased a fake...willingly... and I like it. No, I love it. 

I am not one to get in a van to get a fake Coach from a questionable guy in a dark alley in downtown (plug in any metropolitan city here). Don't get me wrong. If this is what you want to do, more power to you. Good luck getting that fake Coach that disintegrates the minute you go back home to (plug in any suburb here)

But today, I did not get in a van to meet a questionable guy in an alley. Or buy a Coach. Instead, I walked right into a local consignment store and bought fake Sabika earrings. And let me tell you, I can't tell the difference between them and the real thing. But again, I am not a Sabika connoisseur and quite the novice when it does come to Sabika, but these earrings look so much like the real thing...at 1/4 the price.

One thing that I am disappointed about is that Sabika earrings do not have the engraved heart on the back of them like the little charms (pictured below) do. Maybe if Sabika were to have the heart etched on the back of the earrings, this would deter people (who do want authentic Sabika) from purchasing a fake. The size is identical, the facets are identical, the clasp is identical...again, to this naked, novice eye. I'll let you know how my lobes react in a couple of days. 

But let me stop for a minute. If you look at the Sabika catalog here, it states that authentic Sabika earrings have the Sabika signature. Mine do not. None of mine do. And I purchased them from a consultant. To be continued...

Tell me what you think? Can you spot the fake one? These are the mega drops.