A Touch of Mint

MINT = a refreshing summer's glass of mojito, a side of crispy cucumber-yogurt salad and a scoop (or two, or three) of Edy's mmmMint Chocolate Chip ice cream. I am REALLY missing the warm weather. Or even weather in the double digits. 

I bought this necklace a couple of months ago when the weather was warmer, gentler and not as obnoxious. Actually, it was a summer clearance item; it cost $2.99. Yep, $2.99. 

I had to pull it out today because I needed a touch of mint--any kind of mint. 

Hope you're having a great Sunday.



Dress: Chaus New York (last year).Vest: Lennie for Nina Leonard

Watch: Michael Kors

Vest is knit and pleather.

This necklace is definitely J. Crew inspired. Find similar on Etsy.com and here.

Mint bracelet from groopdealz.Shoes: Franco Sarto. Find similar here

A touch of mint that is non-alcoholic, non-caloric. Can't go wrong with that!


"The Kate Middleton"

I have been waiting all week for this post. Waiting all week to wear this piece. Waiting all week to feel like a princess! This post really began last week when my boss (and good friend) went to NYC. 

She knows how much I love ZARA. And like a good friend, she found the opportunity to snap a picture of a nearby ZARA store and sent it to me. I know. I know. Most people would share pictures of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Radio City Music Hall, Empire State Building or even United Nations Headquarters--definitely great places of interest and on the itineraries of respectable tour guide companies, but ZARA is just as important.                                                                                      

So knowing that she was steps away from a necklace that I've obsessed about for weeks (which seemed like months), I asked her if she can go in and get it for me. And I know you're probably thinking why I just don't order one online. Well, the sad truth is I've been cut-off from ZARA for a little bit. No, I didn't join a 12-step program for ZAA (Zara Addicts Anonymous). I've been cut-off from internet purchases. By. My. Husband. Sigh. And just like an addict, I've enlisted the help of enablers or co-conspirators (my friend's words). As a side note, good friends (ones that appreciate the same things you do) make the best co-conspirators. They don't ask a lot of questions; they don't judge you because you've been "cut-off"; and they just do it. They deliver! 

Day One

Destination: Zara, 5th Avenue.
Mission: Please find Sparkly Crystal Bead Necklace (found here).
Status: Place is packed.
Result: No necklace.

Waiting for a text or a confirmation that mission accomplished was very exciting or more like "that sanguine expectation of happiness which is happiness itself (Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility).  Please keep in mind that 24 hours lapsed between texts.

Day Two

Destination: Zara, Times Square.
Mission: Please, please, please find Sparkly Crystal Bead Necklace!!
Status: Again, place is packed!
Result: Friend calls and says, "Did you know that the necklace you want was worn by Kate Middleton, and it's sold out and is selling online for $100? Google "Kate Middleton and Zara." At this point I am thinking, "Damn, I have pretty good taste. Regal taste." But what I'm screaming is "Did you find it? Did you get it? Do I own what Kate Middleton owns?" 

Kate Middleton at premiere of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. This is what popped up when I was asked to Google.

And what came out of my friend's mouth after that were the best five words I have ever heard.

Usually the best five words sound something like "You look thin in that!" 

But she said, "We got the last one!"  

Mission accomplished. And she sent me proof that she got it. See below.

My friend's daughter with the proof (and awesome nail polish) that mission accomplished!

And one hour and forty-two minutes after I had the last "the Kate Middleton" my friend lost her. Her text said, "So I lost the necklace...Left it in a cart at TJ Maxx"; "And the security guard found it. Obviously it is meant for you to have it" 


And that was it. 

"The Kate Middleton" is beautiful! Very beautiful. But it should come with a warning: Caution! Cuidado! Achtung! Kate is heavy. Very heavy. Wear at your own risk (and don't complain of neck pains to your doctor)! 

It's hard not to feel like a princess with this piece on. It commands attention and it gets attention.

Thanks friend!



Here's the look:

Pants: AE Jeggings (worn before in previous post); Jacket: Black Rain (last year); Shirt: Jones New York (old); Shoes: Bandolino pink pumps (old); Earrings and ring: Guess; Link Bracelet: BrightonBead bracelet: Boscovs (last year); Lipstick: Lancome in Breathless (old). Find here. 


"Gingham" Style

No church today because yesterday was the Feast of the Holy Epiphany, and we had mass. What does this mean? This feast commemorates the baptism of Christ. By His incarnation He became a true man while still being the only-begotten Son of God. Therefore, as Coptic Christians, we celebrate Christ's manifestation to the world.

So instead of going to church this morning, I actually made a a sit-down breakfast for the family. I don't know about you, but our sit-down meals usually take anywhere between 7 to 10 minutes. And if we really enjoy the meal and the conversation, that time increases to a whopping 15 to 20 minutes. This is the problem: it takes longer to prepare the meal, than it does to consume it. 

I spent the rest of the day getting some work (housework and real work) done, visiting my parents and helping my son with his social studies project. These activities required that I get out of my pj's. Now there's a thought:  I have not lounged in my pj's since 1993! That was a great year. 

Hope you had a relaxing Sunday!



So, the photographer (my husband) did not want to take pictures today; mainly because it was deathly cold outside (and he thinks that I should be spending my time with more productive tasks). But he was being  a good sport, and I did not want to push my luck. I was hysterically laughing because he asked me if I wanted my face in the picture. Really?

I think he did a good job capturing the purse and booties. I did not dare ask him to take another. That will have to wait for another day.

Wrap around Cross ring

Letter B

These B. Makowsky booties are not only warm but very comfortable. And as an added bonus, they look good dressed up or with jeans. Can you see the imprint of the "B" in the snow? 

Here's the look:

Shirt: J. Crew Factory. Find similar here
Sweater: Very old.
Purse: Michael Kors
Jeans: American Eagle jeggings. Find similar here.
Watch: Michael Kors
Booties: B. Makowsky. Find similar here.


Blue & Green Tartan Plaid

Happy Wednesday! One of the sites I follow on instagram is Baublebar, mainly because their jewelry is absolutely gorgeous! They posted, "After Tuesday, even the calendar goes WTF." I never heard that before and thought it was clever.

Today I was working both jobs (without any time to change in-between), so I had to dress accordingly. I don't usually wear large patterns because they make me look larger. And I don't normally wear plaid or at least plaid on the southern hemisphere of my body. I don't like the way it looks on me, like this Burberry pair from BlueFly (sold out anyway...and way out of my price range). But this pair from the Joe Fresh (on sale for less than $15!) fit right and the blue & green plaid is very forgiving. 

I was able to transform this outfit from non-profit office casual to vet hospital (animal friendly) appropriate. I got a lot of compliments on this outfit from the staff at the vet hospital. I even had a couple technicians ask me where I got my necklace, and I had to divulge my secret, groopdealz. I almost took off my necklace (way too flashy for a place outfitted with scrubs and clogs) before starting my day there, but I thought twice. I couldn't get myself to take it off with only 3 hours around on my neck. So I took a risk. I know, serious stuff. One of the techs asked if it was too heavy on my neck (they know I complain of neck pain), and I said, "Yeah, kind of, but that's okay." Silence. They'll get used to my neck pain, sarcasm, and sarcasm ABOUT my neck pain like my friends at the nonprofit. It'll take time. Hey, maybe my addiction will rub off on them.

Do you sometimes put things on even if they are painful but make you feel so good?



You can't really see the pant pattern from this picture, but you can see my beautiful Brighton cuff (which I wear A LOT).

Interesting angle I know.

Here the pant pattern is more visible.

Shoes: Bandolino Heel Loafers, old. Find similar here


Watch: Micheal Kors; Bracelet: Groopdealz

Jacket: TJMaxx, last year; Shirt: Jones New York find similar hereNecklace: Groopdealz. Find similar (more expensive) here


Pantyhose, Not Socks

If you recall, I was in need of retail therapy a couple of days ago. And I must have been very desperate because I went out looking for socks. I couldn't find any socks (or rather couldn't bring myself to actually buy socks), but I did find fashionably simple pantyhose by HUE. A girl can't have enough pantyhose! 

But I seem to have a love-hate relationship with pantyhose/tights/leggings/stockings (whatever you want to call them)...the pairs I love seem to hate me. And how do I know they hate me? They seem to snag, rip, tear or split. The pairs I'm not too crazy about (and wear when I'm desperate), seem to find a way to make it out of the washer (and sometimes dryer--I am a horrible hose owner) just fine.  I don't have time to hand-wash my hose or put them in those bags for delicate items. And I probably commit "hose abuse" because I wash them every time I wear them. I've heard that hose should be worn a couple of times before washing, so they don't lose their shape and elasticity. You know what I say to that? No, thank you. 

Pantyhose is definitely a necessary winter accessory, especially in PA. It not only protects from the cold, but is great at hiding dry skin that starts appearing sometime in November. And if you have a really good pair, you can wear that fitted dress because the control top will hide your mommy pooch--at least this is what I tell myself. I pretty much planned my outfit around my hose. You can't really tell from these pictures (which my husband kindly, but begrudgingly, took for me) but my hose have fine, gold stripes which mimic the fine stripes on the pencil skirt. 

Hope you're having a great Sunday. 



Here's the look:

Lip: Lancome, in Breathless. 

Skirt: Rafaella, old. Find similar hereShirt: Style & Co., old, via Macy'sSleeveless Jacket: B. Moss, very, very, very old. Hose: Hue, Gotta Have It! in black/gold.Shoes: Anne Klein, old. Find similar here. Purse: Emma Fox, via TJMaxx. Find similar hereJewelry: Crystal teardrop necklace, groopdealz; watch, Michael Kors; link bracelet, Brighton; gold bangle, my late grandma's. 


Retail Therapy: Desperately Needed

Okay. So I've been a little busy these past couple of days. With hosting two Christmas parties ( I love the birth of Jesus, my redeemer, but I am ready for Easter!); coming off of an eight-day vacation (which consisted of laundry and cleaning, which is still not done) to split my time between two relatively intense jobs; and managing a house, husband, kids and a dog ( a shared responsibility with my husband and kids), I am ready for some retail therapy, even if it takes the form of purchasing necessary items like socks or undergarments. This is how desperate I am to relieve some physical and mental stress: risk my health to go out in the bitter cold (with temperatures not seen in 20 years) to purchase SOCKS! Do you understand from where I am coming? SOCKS!

Maybe I am addicted to retail therapy? Is that possible? You (meaning I) definitely have a groopdealz addiction (which I have admitted to previously), when you are in a meeting (like today) reviewing an addictions presentation (albeit one about alcohol and gambling addictions), and can relate to some of the "symptoms" of addiction. My staff assures me that I'm technically not an "addict" (but they could be enablers) until I exhibit the presence of 3 or more of the criteria (a total of 7) during a 12-month period as defined by the DSM. I don't want to post what those are as to not scare you.  You may be an "addict" too. 

But until I am able to venture out to get those socks, I will have to enjoy what came in the mail yesterday. I must admit that putting on this necklace (from groopdealzwas the highlight of my day. 

Hope you had a good day--without any symptoms of addiction.



The "wings" of this necklace will come in handy when I want to soar.

It is a substantial piece that can be wore with a chambray shirt or a cashmere sweater.

Designer Inspired Crystal Wing Necklace.  No longer available on groopdealz. Find similar here.


Sam's Club and Designer Threads?

Sunday in our house is usually reserved for church. At 11:45 a.m., while most people are enjoying their Sunday brunch or hitting the mall for weekend deals at Macy's (do you think that I was going to use a non-shopping example?), we are still going strong and hititng our second hour of Sunday service, listening to the Holy Gospel. When it's all said and done, the entire service ( a regular service, not a holiday service) is 3 hours. Are you tired already? I have friends who ask, "What can you possibly do for 3 hours?"  My answer: a lot. I wouldn't even dare explain that we not only have a lengthy mass but also 3 traditional masses from which to choose (depends on the priest's mood...or the occasion). Most of the time, our priest chooses the Basilian Mass over the Gregorian and Cyril. 

Don't worry. You won't be quizzed later. The mass is divided into 3 main sections: the offeratory, the penitential rite (catechumen) which includes the letters, the Gospel and the sermon, and the eucharistic prayers. And mixed in between all of that is a whole lotta incense (use of incense needs its own post).  How much incense is used (a levelled or heaping spoonful) is up to the priest's discretion. Our priest is definitely a fan of the latter. If you've never been to a Coptic mass, I would recommend you come with your inhaler if you suffer from asthma or your Visine AC. Don't get me wrong, I love being Coptic and love my church. It's definitely a commitment, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

But today's post isn't about the Coptic Church. It's about what I found at Sam's Club. No, not jewelry (although they had a couple of pieces that were so delicious). We went to get paper products and appetizers for our get together that we'll be having on Christmas Day (January 7th or what I like to call Christmas Part Two). Do you know that both Christian Siriano and Isaac Mizrahi sell clothing (made in China) at Sam's club? What! When did this happen? 

When I did watch Project Runway (before I became exclusively addicted to Housewives of...heh, who am I kidding, I watch almost all of them), I remember voting for Christian in season 4. So, when I saw this ponte blazer (which I definitely don't need) for $10.37!!! I had to get it. It doesn't matter that I nestled it in my cart between an eye of round roast and chicken egg rolls. And it gets even better. A couple of steps after the blazer landed in my cart, I spotted cardigans by Isaac Mizrahi. Are these guys hurting for business? Or do they know how the female mind really works? 

The cardigans were $9.10. Hey, the deals know how to find me. I like Isaac Mizrahi. I remember watching him on talk shows in the 90s pushing his brand, and always feeling that we had a connection because we had the same mushroom haircut...except that he was a male adult, and I was a teenage girl. He has better hairstylists these days, and I don't let my mom touch my hair anymore. 

I don't traditionally purchase clothing from warehouse clubs, but like Forrest once said, "You never know what you're gonna get." And since the purchase of these items was jumbled with frozen chicken breasts, gargantuan onions and unnecessary pound cake, it did not count as a shopping trip. No harm done. 

Doesn't this make you want to peruse the clothing aisle at your local Sam's Club or Costco?




Gorgeous Enough to Eat

Jewelry designers have to find inspiration in food. How could they not? The possibilities are endless. For me, certain foods inspire me (or remind me to dig them out of somewhere) to wear certain pieces or seek pieces that match the foods I'm craving. To each his own; some people like to match accessories (shoes, purses, people { *wink, wink*}, etc.) with what they'll be wearing; I like to match accessories to what I'll be eating. Crazy, right? 

How could you ever go wrong with eating grapes? Light, sexy, refreshing, portable, and produce the best thing (okay, almost the best thing...first place is reserved to coffee) on this planet: wine. 

Equally delightful and can be paired beautifully with grapes are nuts. It seems as if we always have nuts (no, not the kids and the dog) in the house. Cashews, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts and pecans. Maybe that's because we're constantly seeking protein on the go. 

And what do you do when you have too many nuts, especially around the holiday season? You make granola. Yeah, YOU make granola, not I. I don't have time to make it, but I can find the time to buy it.  I recently picked up a box from Sam's club, called Kimberley's Granola (find here). I don't know who she is or if she even exists, but she makes great granola. Thanks Kimberley!  And if you know me, you know I don't flaunt around town in flannel or pour on the patchouli (I stopped doing that around my second year of college). But I love granola for its texture and its ability to satisfy the sweet & salty cravings that I get once in a while.

These pieces were inspired by grapes, nuts and granola...gorgeous enough to eat. 

Where do you find your inspiration?



This ring was less than $10. It's a Kendra Scott Kennedy inspired piece.

You can find the original here

These Brighton earrings (old) are the size of a walnut. They look good with both silver and gold tones.

This choker was a groopdealz find. It just reminds me of granola, all grown up. 


Loving Jewelry Doesn't Mean You Are Crazy

As you may already know, I have a jewelry addiction, and I don't need a support group. In fact, my new year's resolution (the one that doesn't involve eating healthier, praying regularly, exercising more and working towards being a hot mom by 40!) is to grow my jewelry collection. I want to grow the collection to include all brands, textures, sizes (including pieces that may unfortunately exacerbate my neck pain),  the fake (cheap) and the for real (expensive) and the new (modern) and the old (antique). 

My love for jewelry began at  a very young age. I remember finding random things around the house and making "something" out of nothing. I once strung decorative, blue rocks on black yarn and wore them on my neck. I remember my mom telling that people will think that I'm crazy. For some reason, her feelings didn't really bother me.

As I was taking these pictures, my husband asked me what I was doing. I think I may have whispered under my breath, "What  the *bleep* does it look like I am doing?" But what really came out of my mouth was, "I want to share my love for jewelry with other people who love jewelry."  His response: very similar to what my mom said about my rock necklace 25 years ago. And surprisingly, I am still not bothered. Life it too short, very short, to worry about what people (including loved ones) think of my addiction. I am currently waiting for two new pieces from Groopdealz. I'll be sure to share with you once they arrive. 

What are you loving (addicted to) these days?



This choker reminds me of Egypt. I bought it last year from Burlington Coat Factory. It looks more expensive than it costs (can't remember how much I paid for it).

White rock necklace. In homage to my blue rock necklace that I made 25 years ago. I purchased the rock from Michael's and already had the chain. 

Not your ordinary dog collar

Groopdealz purchase

Gift from my mom. Apparently this necklace will make me look totally sane.

One of my favorite brands, Erica Lyons.

The blue is beautiful against brown.

Can't remember where I got this necklace, but I get a lot of compliments on it. Blush is Lancome in Rose Fresque.  Lipstick is also Lancome in Fashion Icon, metallic. 

Another Groopdealz find.