Friday, December 14, 2007

Shoes: Let's Get Em

Two weeks ago I was lucky enough to get to visit my BFF KH in Baahston. It was, as they say, wicked awesome. I was able to get all of my holiday shopping done for the family and for myself - wow! - five new pairs of shoes. Look out, Kelly.

So check out these cute little numbers dear readers, and guess which two pairs cost only $20.00 each.

I have to call attention to these boots because my most faithful of readers will recall when I blogged about my beloved black boots that I finally had to dispose of after years of fashion fabulousness. Well it looks like these will be the wonderful replacements! The bad news is I'm not sure I'll be wearing boots in SC as much as I did in NYC. I guess these will have to be saved for visits back "up North."

I think this photo that KH sent me yesterday really says it all.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Here's one from the Metrolina Flea Market that I loved too much not to grab.

Don't Shop at

Dear readers, I know I am usually not so negative, but when an online retailer royally messes up, I must use this platform as a forum to express my utter disbelief in how inept certain dot-coms can be. Herewith, the message I had to send to igourmet today, via its website. I think it explains my frustration.

'Tis the season!


Please ensure that I will finally be removed from any possible email lists and from your database(s) entirely. I believe it was 2 or 3 years ago that I ordered gifts from your website for my father and for my in-laws for Christmas. The cheeses all arrived late and spoiled. I have since then asked to be removed from all future mailings.

Here is a copy of the email I received from your company on 12/6/06 at 9:40 pm Eastern:

Thank you for your email. [my email address] has been removed from the email list.
Please allow 5 to 7 days to be completely purged from all lists.
Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.
Best regards,
Customer Service

However on 11/25/07 I received another promotional email from your company. Today, 11/27/07, I called your corporate office and spoke with Tom at 10:44 am who assured me my email address would be given to the tech team for removal. Please ensure this happens AND that I am removed from any and all databases your company maintains.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Flea Market Done Right

Last weekend, armed with a list of furniture we needed for our apartment, I headed out to Charlotte, NC with MB for the Metrolina Expo "Antiques Spectacular" Flea Market. Apparently, this Flea does an antique special show over the first weekend in November (maybe also April?). Well let me tell you peeps, I got three pieces I am so happy with. Please, step into our apartment and I will show you around...

This sweet little upholstered chair is exactly what I was looking for in the bedroom. Priced at $269, I got this little jobbie for $75.

This hall/entryway table is made from pieces of an old house: old Wainscotting boards (the top), parts of staircase banisters (the legs) and room molding (the trim). Cool, no?

And finally, this is possibly my favorite (unfortunately not my husband's, but I think it's growing on him) - an old shoe display rack with swivel wheels on the bottom that allow for 360 mobility! Doesn't it look cute next to that little side table with lamp? Hooray for the brown wood corner of this room!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Sign sign everywhere a sign

I really love these photos, but have been wondering "where" to save them in case a mega virus attacks my laptop. So here you go, y'all - a little housewife blogging ala 2003.

Playing with Flickr

Mainly for business reasons, but also because I might as well finally motivate, I am playing with Flickr to become more familiar with its features.

You are therefore welcome to view the trip I took with my cutie husband (sorry, please allow me that one "schmoopie comment") to Costa Rica this summer.

Costa Rica 2007

Calling All Computer/PDA Gadget-Heads

For those of you who don't know, I have recently decided to become a consultant. It's a very interesting process for someone who has only been working full-time jobs all of my life since graduating college, and it brings into question some major purchase decisions. I am realizing I now need a printer (unnecessary before when I had access to "the office" machine), a PDA (unnecessary before when the full-time employer issued me the Treo or Blackberry) and probably a new laptop.

The problem is that I am not a gadget-head. I was dying for an iPhone before they came out, then all those articles were written about how they're not necessarily the best option for business people (no encryption, etc). I see a Best Buy advertisement in the Sunday circular for a printer and I convince myself almost instantly that's probably the best way to go.

Now I know I could do a review on CNET, but maybe you, kind reader, could help me out with some tips. What are the best options for laptop, printer and PDA for someone who will have to produce a lot of basic Microsoft Office documents (Word, XLS), will probably have to purchase Dream Weaver and manipulate HTML, and will probably also have to download a handful (and by the way, my definition of "handful" is five) of other programs and applications in order to support various clients?

Gadget- and Tech-heads: Please post your comments below!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Ciao for Now

Yesterday I was sitting out on our deck emailing and chatting with friends online. It was the perfect day to just sit outside and sip cawfee all morning and let me tell you, it got me missing Ciao for Now big time!

Dear readers who live in or near Manhattan, please get yourselves over to 12th Street between Avenues A and B and visit Ciao for Now (aka, "The Ciao"). What a wonderful place to spend an hour or two reading a book or the paper, talking with Kevin about bikes or skateboards and visiting with the people in your neighborhood.

Here's Kevin and Amy - the owners of the Ciao - with their youngest, Atlas:

How can you resist? Get over there now, order an iced coffee, a grilled mozzarella sammich and finish it off with a chocolate cupcake with vanilla icing (a sample of the ones we served at our wedding)! You can thank me later.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What's Her Secret? It's All the Same Bra! (aka, Bras: You Buy Them, I Blog about Them)

Dear Caroline,

You're not much of a bra shopper I don't think, but I went into Victoria's Secret for the first time in a few years and they are literally selling ONE KIND OF BRA. It is a padded pushup bra, in about 40 different colors and THAT IS IT! I am not exaggerating. Caroline, please discuss and, if possible, explain.

- Pondering the Pushup

Dear Pondering,

You're correct when you note that I am not much of a bra shopper. Furthermore, I do not own one single under-wire bra because there's not a need. But I feel for my buxom betties and can share the following story with you.

Way back when I started wearing a bra, Victoria's Secret was truly the be-all, end-all of bra shopping. I remember a bright pink lace push-up/demi-cup number I ordered from the catalog that I proudly wore until the elastic was stretched way thin. That was when they still sold bras in A cup sizes. Fast forward to around freshman or junior year in college and I was in the store, trying on bras and convincing myself I could find one that worked for me. I finally settled on a purple satinesque under-wire job. But apparently I hadn't really looked closely at the size because once I brought that number home and ripped off all the tags, I realized I had purchased a C cup size.

Had I convinced myself it was the right size? Were there trick mirrors in the store that made me think I was a size C? Was the sizing all kinds of wrong to convince young women they are "sexy" because their knockers are bigger than they really are? Needless to say I was ashamed and pissed!

That was the last purchase I made at VS until last year when I visited EK in DC. We were strolling around the Georgetown area and she mentioned she needed some bras. So I traipsed in there with her just to be totally horrified by the merchandise. Everything is scantily constructed, there are a bunch of potions and lotions everywhere and it's all aimed at what I guess to be a 12 to 23 year-old age range.

The moral of this story? We are not the target audience of VS, my dear Pondering. I mean, have you seen those nutty "fashion shows" of theirs with the models and the wings? What the?!

Maybe all VS bras are the same, I can't say for sure, but I can tell you the cotton underwear still does me right (I bought some that day in DC). Still, my true love for all things underneath is Calvin Klein. Finally, my well-stacked sisters tell me the Elle Macpherson bra is where it's at.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

South Carolina State Fair

Like a fool I forgot my camera, but last night I went to the SC state fair with MB and AB!

Things I ate (listed in order of consumption): Elephant Ear (fried dough) with powdered sugar and cinnamon, Corn Dog with mustard, Fried's French Fries with vinegar.

Rides I rode (also listed in order): Pharaoh's Fury, Zipper, Slingshot, Fireball, Bumper Cars.

We also checked out the amateur and professional art, the small stock animals and birds and the exotic animals, the giant sand sculpture and the prized flowers.

A good time was had by all!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Go Cocks!

No, I'm not using my blog to advocate the male appendage. My friends, I am now a college football fan. More specifically, a University of South Carolina GAMECOCKS fan. Yes, that is the mascot and yes, there is a ton of play-on-word paraphernalia one can purchase and no, I haven't gotten any of it yet.

I did, however, buy myself a nice little garnet-colored tshirt with a subtle palmetto tree (state tree, hullo!) in the corner accompanied by the initials USC. I know I didn't attend USC as a student, BUT my husband did for both undergrad and grad school and this is my hometown now so look out Friday Night Lights!

Last week I had the amazing pleasure of attending the USC vs. Kentucky game. I was graciously hosted by JR and PB who are master game-goers and tailgaters. I ate and drank myself silly and it was the most fun I've had in a looong time.

Here's the gang tailgating before the game (it was pouring rain at that point).

And here's me and JR enjoying ourselves wholeheartedly with the guy who has seats behind hers mugging it up behind us.

Finally, the pinnacle of the evening - we beat Kentucky big time and here's the scoreboard setting off fireworks (yes, I did say "we").

College football - who knew?!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Ok, I am freaking out about this website. Check out the prices of the tops! Check out the prices of the outerwear!

This website was just featured in the "Best Bets" email from New York Magazine which (shocker) featured possibly the most expensive piece for sale on the entire website. Yes, it's a nice necklace, but you can buy a full outfit for the same price on this site.

Go there now: KnowLabel!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Fall/Winter Coat 2007 Review

This past week I had two people email me about coats so I figured tis the season to blog about outerwear! seems to be the hook up online with the Coat Shop. Question is, what's a girl to do in order to keep up with the trends without dipping into her children's college fund? Here are some affordable alternatives. These are all $200 or less.

Calvin Klein Peacoat

Nine West Wool Melton Blend

And this is my personal favorite - Guess Sculpted Coat. Look at those sleeves! Genius.

Button, button, who's got the button?

KH introduced me to the Soia & Kyo line in her investigations for a new coat. Look at all these button-riffic coats! Equally as important, look at the brand's trippy website. This red number with the exaggerated collar has my vote for KH . How funky fresh can you get?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


By the way, if you're wondering why I've written a few posts in one night it's because I just spent about two hours on Facebook and I figured I shouldn't "waste" the entire experience online peering at the photos and profiles of my newly-added friends.

Summary: Facebook is neat, but not as cool as LinkedIn.

How B'Zar

Well KH and I are unfortunately back to our separate ends of the earth after a weekend to remember! We laughed, we cried, it was better than Cats. Oh, and we also got our shop on big time.

On Friday it was off to Charleston where the shopping experience left me so relieved. Apparently I have only to get in my car and drive two hours when I need my fix. Phewf! Big relief.

So King Street/Upper King Street is where it's at. Highlights include Miostile where I got a sicko pair of kelly green jeans and Hampden Clothing where KH got a grey cashmere sweater that is truly a piece of art.

But the best by far was B'Zar. Perhaps I have a newfound fondness for this place because it's owned by a couple from New York? Or maybe it's the fact that the husband played the Shoes video while we were shopping around (hello, inspiration)? It could also be because their dog Roxy holds court in her bed tucked next to the register.

Then again, it could just be that nearly each and every piece of jewelry and clothing for sale was rad to the max. 541 King Street -- get over there the next time you're in town.

Free Car Wash?

Two weekends ago I was in my car and on the road to Target. It was one of those Sundays - I needed just a few hours alone. So I pick up a latte at Earth Fare and just one block away I spy young people holding up "car wash" signs. I figure this is a blessing (no pun intended, but read on to understand why) in disguise because Ruby had been in serious need of a bird poop removal.

So I pull into the parking lot of a church and immediately a group of kids, supervised by one adult, get cracking on the car. They are all wearing the same youth group tshirt, so I figure the car wash is a fund raiser for the group. Great.

Only I quickly find out, after being approached by a girl who was at least 15 years my junior, that actually the purpose of the car wash seems to be to recruit people to a church. No payment necessary, just a series of questions on who I am, where I'm from, what I do, and what church I attend. Yipes.

I gave a $5.00 donation to the charity being promoted off to the side of the car wash, hopped back into the car with suds still remaining, and off to Target I went. I guess this is what it means to be living in the bible belt. Some say I'm losing my NY edge - that I should have seen it coming. To you my dears, I say touche.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Um, I Personally Think That US Americans Love Britney Betch


I am nearly speechless, my friends. It's been quite a month, wouldn't you say? First Little Miss South Carolina negates all my points I've been working very hard to make about my sweet new home state, then Britney fights with a Jello mold for the "Most Exciting" award at the VMAs...ay dios mio! Well needless to say I really haven't known what to say. Shopping hasn't been a top priority for me this past month and I guess that's why our society is falling into the crapper. Don't worry, America, I'll save you! I was introduced to Village at Sandhill today.

And it's not like I've wiped shopping out of my life entirely, my peeps. Last week ME, AB and I went to Marshall's during our lunch break to buy ME a new purse. People - she hasn't gotten a new handbag since, well, I don't know when but let me paint this little picture for you - she unearthed this over-the-shoulder-and-across-the-body number the other day that was carrying photos of her twins as wee littles. They're 17 now. Granted, this was a big improvement from the money clip she was calling a wallet, but the bag was Hush Puppies. Hul-lo.

So off we go to Marshall's and it was like a kid in a candy store. Everything shiny and sparkley was catching her eye (remember when we were like that? aw...cute, right?). Well Missy Thing picked out two sweet little numbers - AB and I might joke that we made the decision, but she had the eye and made the final call. And even though we advised her that a black bag would suffice, she purchased a black and a brown ("Hello, to match the different shoes") and they are way cute. ~Sigh~My work there was done.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bloggers Who Are Rad

There are times when the internet gets me so excited I can hardly think straight. Today I have been the lucky recipient of this emotion not once, but twice, in one day. This on top of many other revelations today; shoowee!

The first internet revelation was earlier in the day when I got a message from LinkedIn. For those of you who don't know about this amazing resource, check it out -- it's like Friendster but for business networking.


Weird that I should reference Friendster, right? At this point I should probably be saying, "it's like MySpace but for business networking." The point is, it's less functional like Friendster, but more effective for your ultimate goal, like MySpace. Then again, maybe it's more effective like an online dating site? Well, I could get caught up in this one all night.

So back to the first time today when I was reminded of why I love the interweb. Right before we moved to SC, I was connected via email to a woman who was looking for places to stay before she officially moved back to California. EJ and I were going to a wedding and needed someone to stay in our apt. and take care of Monkey for a long weekend. Enter this wonderful woman who is nice, open and honest. We briefly shared our stories and wished each other well in our big moves. Since then, we have respectively moved and might I say she is flourishing in her new environs. The connection with LinkedIn is that she recently found me on LinkedIn, we linked in to each other, and I was introduced to her wonderful blog.

People, check this out. First of all, it's called Love Yourself. Secondly, the writing is real and the photography is even more real. I have yet to mention that she's a photographer. Isn't the surfer woman idea excellent?

Tonight I log into and see that I have numerous comments from a Viginia Belle. How exciting to find a compadre. I am currently reading a collection of short stories called "Read This and Tell Me What It Says." I was so intrigued by the title, I bought the book. To you, my kind reader, I say, "read this blog and tell me what it says."

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Two Car Family

We are now officially a two car, one dog family. We shopped for both of these babies online. Used, my friends, used, but thus far they are treating us fairly well.

Here's my Subarau, Mackenzie (aka Ruby). She likes to shake, rattle and roll.

And here's EJ's truck - it's a stick shift! That's him and JA doing some after-purchase kicking of the tires.

We're very quickly realizing the vehicle, much like the house (yes, we are starting the house hunting process), is a statement you choose to make about who you are. What am I saying to the public? Subaruby Vermont type? Pick-up truck hardcore? It's all too much really.

Meanwhile, here's Monkey in the back of the Subie wondering what other dogs are thinking about her.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Jiffy Lube

Today the air conditioning buggered out in our office at around 3 pm, but I stuck around until 5 pm (me = new kid).

It's 102 degrees F today.

On my way home I decided to get my car's oil changed because Jiffy Lube has a special - $8.00 off for Ladies on Wednesday. Yes, I capitalized the word "ladies."

Did I mention it's 102 degrees F today?

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Culture Shock

Culture shock - now here's a term that has made its way into the regular rotation of words, not clothes, that I am using these days. I thought it might be a good time to explain exactly what the shock has been, and how it might be different from what most of you New Yawkuhs expected.

The pace of life is different in SC. It's slower than in NY, yes, but it doesn't mean it's dumber. There are plenty of Republicans but I see just as many W crossed out bumper stickers as I see "Bush 04" and Mitt Romney stickers. And speaking of bumper stickers, they are extremely popular here in Cola. A good Columbian will have the standard Palmetto tree and crescent moon image, the USC/Clemson window sticker, and if you're a woman, a monogram sticker as well.

The lifestyle is different. As I've told many of you already, I've gone running more in the past three months than in the past three years. I've also been doing some swimming and it looks like I might be joining a couple of book clubs soon. Still, we've hung on to a few traditions like Sunday brunch (actually, we usually do Saturday brunch too), and eating out at different restaurants and last night I was out until about 2 am so actually I guess I haven't given up my old lifestyle too much.

What's interesting about culture shock (and I use the term "interesting" in an all-encompassing way, like the way it's used in the workplace as a reaction to an idea/problem/solution) is that it's not a slap in the face. It happens very gradually and is peppered throughout the days and weeks. I glance at a license plate assuming it's New York, but in fact it's Georgia. The blue and red plate isn't Massachusetts, it's Alabama. The man who owns the deli by my office calls all the women who are regulars "Miss Jean" and "Miss Shirley." People look at you rather than past you.

The experience is not as aggressive as the word "shock" implies, but that doesn't make it any less intense.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Discounts in the SC

I did some good, affordable damage this past weekend at Target and Rugged Wearhouse that I simply must share with all you skeptics out there.

Mind you, Rugged Wearhouse is not for the faint of "shopping" heart. I originally learned about this chain of stores from a friendly reader who mentioned she once purchased Paper Denim Cloth jeans here on the cheap. Well sign me up!

The racks are disorganized, the sales people indifferent and stuff is everywhere. I have to admit, even I was a little turned off at first. But after I spotted some Juicy C, Max Studio and the AT Loft on the cheap, I was hooked for a good hour. I ended up with an AT Loft skirt for $14.99, an AT Loft long-sleeved, black-and-white striped boatneck shirt for $9.99 and two Gap or possibly Old Navy tank tops for $2.99 each! Rugged Wearhouse in Columbia is on Forest Drive in the same shopping area as Sam's Club and Hobby Lobby.

Target treated me very right and these I must share with visuals as they are so easy to pull from the website!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Online Summer Sales

Where's a girl to get some good online shopping deals? Well, the women of South Carolina have asked and I shall answer.

Bluefly - I know, I know, I'm always hyping this site and it's always on the pricey side. But this time they are having a sale so I am taking it a step further with recommendations. This Sweet Pea top is tres adorable and seems perfect for summer, as does this BCBGirls white eyelet which is similar to a Calvin Klein shirt I got in MA with KH and I wear all the time. Very spring to summer.

Kennedy & Kate
What and who? Have you heard of this site before? Me neither until I Googled one of my favorite brands, Mon Petit Oiseau. Hello! Check out the deal for this light blue tunic top and this stripey skirt. But seriously, is this light blue with butterflies skirt for real? Apparently this is the online shop of a store in Seattle. Fine by me.

I know what you're going to say - this tends to be more for the Eileen Fisher crew. In fact it's owned by Talbots so why don't I just wear a skort and call it a day, right? Wrong. JJill is having a big 'ol sale so there's bound to be something that tickles your fancy. Take for example these Greco-Roman style sandals in champagne. They're only $30! Now these Ankle-strap black sandals are a little more pricey at $80, but they're so unique. Jewelry is the department where JJill seems to really get it (kudos to the jewelry buyer!). I love this open leather bracelet and hey, why not throw in this pearl and leather cord necklace to match?

Ok, I just picked out a full outfit (mixing and matching a few items, but nonetheless all the components of an outfit). Now get shopping!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Shopping with a Bang on 4th of July

There are a couple of things I am determined to accomplish this Summer (both resulting from 4th of July activities) -- standing up on a wakeboard and finding some other excuse to buy fireworks.

Fireworks are legal in South Carolina. This is to say: there are fireworks stores. Where they sell only fireworks. All year 'round. Am I getting through here?

MB and I ended up cruising over to the fireworks store at the end of the day on Wednesday because we realized at the last minute we had nothing to view. The guys really aren't fans of the out and out shows, so whatever Fort Jackson has to offer will have to remain a mystery to me until possibly next year (Fort Jackson is the local army base, it's not some kooky name I've come up with for something relating to my family). So out we go to Jim Casey's Discount Fireworks store.

I'm not really sure how to describe, in words, what this is all about but I shall try. There's a big red and white sign on the door that reads, "NO SMOKING." When you walk in there's a sheriff monitoring traffic (I believe this is for 4th of July only, and not on any given day of business) who makes sure you enter through the enter door and exit through another door. There are two-for-one deals so that two of the options we selected actually morphed into four. But most importantly, there are packages of fireworks selling for $425.

We were shopping next to a mother, father and 3 year-old daughter. In a very motherly tone, the woman asked her child, "do you want to see a bunch of sparkle honey or hear a lot of noise?" The guy behind me on line to pay bought more than $90 in fireworks.

So here is something I purchased yesterday that I just couldn't part with until I shared it with y'all. It's a bang snap chicken.

And best of all - check out the price and the instructions.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Chicken Salad

Chicken salad is a very popular dish here in Cola (um, that's slang for Columbia, btw). Just about every restaurant has a chicken salad plate and/or sandwich on its menu. A croissant is my bread of choice for the sammich option. I've been sampling a bunch and thus far my favorite is at Birds on a Wire. Most people prefer the chicken salad at Gourmet Shop, but I think I prefer Adriana's over Gourmet Shop's.

Yep, it's true - it's a posting about chicken salad. But the reality here is that the weather is hot and chicken salad is a nice cool dish. I always wanted to eat good chicken salad, and here I can. Add in a sweet tea and I am hooked.

Ok well if that riventing report didn't make you want to eat, my colleague's blog, eating in, definitely will. Are those amazing photos of food or what?!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

New Job Rules

Well, I started a new job yesterday and so far it seems swell (hello casual Fridays, how I have missed you). Nonetheless, here are some aspects of working in this town that have me a wee bit off-kilter:
  • Driving to get lunch
  • Driving to and from work
  • The heat! The car, he doesn't do so well in the heat. It's a Subaru Outback, which as we all know is made for the Vermont climate.
Ok, there's one good thing about driving to and from work -- shoes! I can occasionally wear heels to work and it's not the end of my feet. Sweet!

I've been doing an informal poll of people I meet who are transplants. "How long did it take you to adjust to South Carolina?" Thus far I've heard one year from three different people.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Oops I Did It Again

Today I investigated Five Points for an hour by foot. Armed with a sweet tea from The Gourmet Shop I strolled around and was able to hit a few places. Here's the Five Points website which I am happy to report has been redone since I last checked it about a month ago.

Oops! is a store that sells catalog clothing at a discount. A couple of years ago I got a great Citizens of Humanity jean jacket there which is still very much in the rotation. Today I got a couple of the long sleeved slim fit tees from JCrew for $9.99 each which are magical, as well as a Gap tank for $7.99. I know many of you New Yorkers were wondering how I'd get my fix, well this place is the answer!

There are also a couple of used/vintage clothing shops in the area which are neat, though nothing today worked out for me -- Revente and Sid and Nancy.

Finally, the used bookstore Dr. Books is totally charming. I got a book of short stories, Best of the South, (hello, gotta get into it!) as well as The Life of Pi which I have been meaning to read.

Oh, I had also wanted to check out the used outdoor gear store for a possible gift for my husband, but it's closed on Monday's so I'll probably pop over there tomorrow. That statement is a test to see if he ever reads this!

And speaking of ever reading this, I've noticed that my weekly visits have gone down since I moved to Columbia. Folks, I'm still here. Even though the lifestyle has and will likely continue to change, I'm still the same old Caroline so keep reading and I will keep blogging. Promise.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Short Shorts and Furniture Shopping

Short shorts - that's what's popular here in the SC. At first I was horrified; only a few skinny minis can pull this look off, yet everyone from age 10 to age 35 is wearing shorty shorts here. Well, since I've officially been through my week-long 90+ degree weather I am a little more forgiving of the trend. Hello - it's hot!

So the new obsession is furniture shopping. Accent tables, wall sconces - this is now my vocab, people. I've been to just about every furniture store in town at least once trying to absorb the difference in look, price, etc. Most stores here are what is called "traditional" when what I prefer is called "contemporary;" still, I trudge on, carrying my notebook in hand and scribbling notes about length, width, height and price. So far, our (yes, our - my husband is full on into this furniture shopping too. If you have a mate totally disinterested in the decor of your interior, consider yourself lucky) favorite store is Strobler because you can totally customize a couch - legs, upholstery, accent pillows - for the same price as buying it off the floor. Wednesday is 20% off everything in the store so I am impatiently counting the days until I can go back. Whit Ash has some seriously aggressive sales people, but I still kind of like a bookshelf and a coffee table/end table set over there too.

It all kind of gives me agita after a while as there are really endless possible combinations of end tables, rugs, lamps and chairs. Still, I am enjoying strolling into a furniture shop during the business day, meeting a friend for lunch and then blogging about it all in the late afternoon. Very lady of leisure of me, n'est ce pas? Don't worry, it won't last too long.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

First Report From Down South

Friends! I am here in South Carolina and I promise I haven't forgotten about you. It's been tough getting internet access as we are not yet connected in the apartment. In order to report back from the fields I must seek out free wi-fi, which I have done here at Panera Bread.

On the shopping front: after I am done here at PB I will be making my third trip to Target in four days. Thank goodness for this megastore! Hangers, Runners, Clorox, the Patrick Robinson shirts that weren't available in NYC in my size -- I've gotten it all. I had been worried that with Target as the only extremely convenient and inexpensive store in the area, every woman would be sporting Target gear. Well, sure enough the worry was confirmed on day two of being here. At the first place my husband and I went for breakfast - The Gourmet Shop - the woman behind the register commented on my Tshirt (from Target) and mentioned she had the same one. Oh sigh, looks like I'm going to have to pull the "only available in NY" pieces out of their boxes to maintain a unique look. Should I say boxes? Nay, I've unpacked most everything and put it into my...(drumroll please)....walk-in closet! That's right, that's just one of the perks of our new apartment.

Besides Target I have been adjusting to the pace (much slower), the climate (much hotter - 90 today) and the culture (I was talking on my cellphone earlier and everyone was looking at me; realized I was shouting).

People are nice - service people and younger folks call me "Ma'am," the atmo is laid back and the "suburbs" are filled with huge old Magnolia and other beautiful trees. There are tons of squirrels, so Monkey has a field day every time we go for a walk.

I'll check in with y'all later, for now I'm going to finish my sweet tea.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Sample Sales This Week

You should check these out:

Tibi and Hollywould - May 16-18 at 336 West 37th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues on the 15th floor

Delman Shoes - I believe this is also between May 16-18 at the Metropolitan Pavilion (enter on 19th Street)

Victoria Keen - I love this funky designer! Sale is from May 17-31 in her store on Lafayette between Bleecker and Bond Streets.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Super Size Me

I love this too much not to share it. Remember my posting about Forever 21? It's probably the only thing I've written thus far that's stirred up some controversy. Well check out the latest from the NYTimes > "Faster Fashion, Cheaper Chic."

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Button Button, Who's Got the Button?

We all do, apparently. Buttons are hot right now. Remember how Reminisence, Canal Jean Co., Unique and Antique Boutique used to give away buttons and we in turn used to collect them and pin them on the straps of our book bags?

That was the 80s and as we all know, the 80s are back, baby. Tonight I had the pleasure of attending the opening night of FRESH CROP - the exhibit of final projects of the SVA graduates of the MFA Design Department. I will blog more about the hands-down coolest concept there, but tonight I just need to share the trend spotted: the button.

A couple of graduates had made buttons part of the giveaways presented in their exhibit. Additionally, there were two buttons created to represent the exhibit itself.

Interestingly, two weeks ago at work we launched a new employee newsletter and we produced a button to go along with the inaugural issue.

I guess the trend will officially be big when the likes of Starbucks and GAP/Banana/Old Navy pick it up (consider that one on the house, big brands).

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Internet Museum

Just as I have been able to put my shopping addiction to good use creatively (um, hello, this blog), my friend and former manager has - among MANY other things - been able to put the inordinate amount of Internet industry swag to good creative use. I introduce you to The Internet Museum.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Class is in Session

Knowing that I'm leaving New York soon, I've reverted back to my old self circa 2005. Picture me single, with Monkey the dawg, living in the 10th Street apartment, late nights, late mornings, dog run, cawfee, bla!

All that glamour aside, I've also become someone worse than a tourist in the way I am analyzing and scruitinizing New York. I'm a hyper-absorber/observer because at this point anything I do could be the last time I do it, so it's got to be done to the fullest.

Lesson One: New York, last weekend in April 2007
  • Marie Belle in SoHo serves a chocolate and lavender butter sammich that is divine
  • Jewelry, jewelry, jewelry!
  • Todd's 9th Street Market is an East Village institution
  • Some people are intentionally obtuse (ML)
  • There's nothing like your college friends
  • There's nothing like the East Village crew
  • Anthropologie may support anti-abortion groups, but it has a lot of great clothes
  • MUD is the strongest coffee in Manhattan so take that, Starbucks!
  • Holy Basil is another East Village institution - apparently we'll still wait an hour to be seated there
  • The only way to stay out at night until 4 am and then function the next morning is to eat something before going to bed (I recommend pizza or soy sauce/ginger fried chicken drumsticks)
  • Only 25 year-olds can really get away with the above mentioned formula
  • Handbags with serious hardware are heavy even when completely empty
  • Bloomingdale's SoHo has great public bathrooms (the best are in the basement in the men's department)
  • Graffiti can be art

Monday, April 23, 2007

Straight Off the Streets

Well, Girlshop is closing so I'm going to have to come up with a new list of quality online shopping locales. But today was an unusually warm Spring day so phooey on the internet - let's take a trip outside and see what's in store for Summer fashion, shall we?

Of note:
  • Mini dress are everywhere
  • Flats, flats and more flats
  • The Spring jacket is the short sleeved, empire waisted, big-buttoned number
  • Skinny jeans (please only wear these if you have the appropriate rear end)
  • Biggie big sunglasses
Yawn! I'm no editor at Vogue but truth be told, I am bored. The only style that is catching my eye is being worn by the super-Urban. And yes people, it's reminiscent of the 80s Hip Hop styles so I am loving it something fierce. The look is this - for men and women:
  • Relatively slimming jeans, but not necessarily skinny
  • Classic hightop kicks
  • A crisp, well-fitted solid color Tshirt
  • A kaffiyeh scarf around the neck (check out this 1988 article from Time Magazine - is this article really that old? I guess so; seems the pub's archives are free)
  • If you're a man, a new baseball hat, brim off to the side

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I Reminisce For A Spell

Things I'll Miss about NYC
  • That band that plays in the 14th Street Union Square subway station in the evenings
  • Prune
  • Ciao for Now
Things I Won't Miss about NYC
  • Shuffling off the subway while everyone moves at a sheep/cow herd pace
  • Cellphone culture
  • Rude kids

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Flip Flops

Yesterday I purchased Teva flip flops because we're going to a wedding in Atlanta this weekend and I think I left my stash of flips at my Dad's place in FL.

Hello?! Teva flips? Am I ready for South Carolina or what?! Are Duck Head pants still around? I'm living out a dream, people.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Caroline Goes to the Carolinas

By now you may have heard, I'm moving to South Carolina. That's right, y'all, Caroline is going to the Carolinas and she is ready to drink some sweet tea!

When I shared the news with JK, we inevitably brought the conversation around to what the heck Imma do in order to get my shopping on. Let me tell you, dear friends, as soon as my man and I made the decision to get down South, I was shopping in a total and complete panic. Two weeks ago I bought a purple leather Katrin Leiber handbag as if my life depended on it. This past weekend I strolled into Filene's Basement in Union Square with absolutely no focus and strolled out with two dresses and a skirt.

When the decision was official, I initially stressed about how many items of clothing I own in the color black; this week I've convinced myself (with some help from KH) I'll start a trend down there.

As JK put it, I'm like No Impact Man's family preparing for a year of making no impact on the environment. Mind you, I mean this as no disrespect to No Impact Man because I think he's righteous (read his blog, check out his experience, unplug your cellphone and other chargers when you're not using them. Al Gore knows what he's talking about: if we closed the hole in the ozone we can definitely do our part to conserve energy and not completely F-up the global environs). My only point is, I am in a shopping frenzy - it feels kind of like stockpiling.

Oh and for the record, it's not just me. Seems me man had a touch of the shop in him all along. Consider the following: Two days ago EJ asked me to buy him 3 packages of MOP pomade "just in case." And as I blogged last week, home slice dragged me into every store in the Chelsea Mall looking for new outfits for his new job.

The result of all this moving hysteria? I have settled down slightly as the reality has set in. I am now very patiently scoping an over-the-shoulder off-white Marc Jacobs handbag on sale at Loehmann's (new location opening soon on the Upper West Side - holla!), but I am also scoping cardboard boxes because the gear has to be packed in something.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Mariachi Express

Hop on the 5 train, sit down, lean back, plug the iPod headphones into your ears and relax. Let a couple of stops go by and realize there's a richer sound coming from inside the subway car. A trio of accordion, guitar and stand up base with pleasant, harmonized singing. Turn the iPod off, slip them a buck when they're through. Smile. Thank you.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Good Bread, Good Meat, Good God, Let's Shop

Just when I thought last weekend presented me with the best eating and shopping day, in came this weekend.

Last Sunday was Blue Hill at Stone Barns with R & S C. We drove up there in Vanilla, stomped around the mud in our fancy shoes, ate lovely greens and beef and fish, then headed home. What happened next really couldn't have without the Cs...we went to Target! Oh joy - I got a $25 Isaac Mizrahi pencil skirt and the Olay eye derma pods (sorry, mother earth).

Fast forward to this morning. EJ and I head out to MUD where we get the usual: two Italian breakfasts and granola/yogurt/fruit to share. Jacked up on their crazy-caffeinated coffee we head over to Zara to "look for" shirts for EJ. Five hours later we've gone into about every store in the area I like to call the Chelsea Mall. Mark it in the history books, people: the man bought considerably more than I did today. At 3 pm we were famished so we popped into the new tapas place on 19th Street, Boqueria. Que autentico! En serio, yo - this place knows what it's doing when it comes to a tortilla, datiles con bacon and its selections of wine and cheeses.

So what do you say, this coming weekend?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Go Go Gadget Shopper

Gadgets - I hate to love them. For the most part, I am intimidated by gadgets because I don't know them; they are not my forte from a shopping perspective. Buying a gadget involves serious research that I'm just not that into - Consumer Reports, CNET, yadda yadda. If you told me to spend a day perusing all the fashion mags to determine what's hot, I would gladly waste away the hours, but to cozy up with the latest issue of PC World, all I have to say is yipes.

It is for this reason that it has taken me this long to actually own a digital camera. Well, the best part about it is that I didn't need to buy it myself -- it was the best birthday gift ever from my man.

Of course now the next stage is to actually learn how to use it, how to keep my hand steady enough to take a good photo, etc. But to christen my new-digital-camera-meets-blog experience, here is a photo for my girl AM. She recently gave me these magnets (shoes!) and as you can see, they are being used most efficiently to hold up a post card of the wonderful City Bakery, where we used to spend a lot of money when our office was directly across the street (Hello, $15 lunch).

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Subway Musings

It's true, I used the word "musings" - I must really be a blogger now, boy oh boy. In all seriousness, the NYC subway is where I get most of my inspiration. While riding uptown to work the other day I started thinking about how beautiful women are maybe the only people who can get away with not being the most stylish people. The same does not hold true for beautiful men - men who are extremely good looking can't dress like slobs. I noticed a very beautiful woman the other day but would not have said her coat, pants, shoes and bag worked together. Thoughts?

The other topic I wanted to explore is the converse low-tops that slip on with no laces, but still have loops for laces. Everyone under the age of 30 is wearing these shoes right now. I recently purchase a pair of black low-top cons but the traditional, with-laces style. I prefer the with-laces look, but some people can pull off the no laces version.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

What's In a Commercial?

Somehow, our TV is programmed right now to display the words that are being recited when the "mute" function is turned on. I'm not sure if this is called Closed-Captioned or subtitled, but I think you know what I'm referring to.

The point that has me so fascinated is that apparently only certain corporations opt to have their commercials (or "spots" as my husband in the ad industry likes to say) display the words if they're on mute. Please note that I am referring to the television you receive for free here in NYC when you plug your box into the wall, not TiVo or some DVRness - just plain old network television (ah, Network - see that movie, please).

Here are the companies I've noticed tonight that pay extra - I assume - to have you read exactly what they're saying to you, Y-O-U.

Subway (ie: the sanwiches)
Dunkin Donuts

It's the last one on the list that has me writing this posting ce nuit. As you know, I love me some Target. But I was able to read the "lyrics" to the "song" in the most recent Target commercial and I was taken aback. Forget subliminal, it might as well be saying, "buy, buy, buy now, spend."
Does the Target have some bewitching power over me that I simply do not realize? And here I was thinking I just chose the Target on my own, that the powerful red and the bullseye logo and the recruiting of the designers had nothing to do with it.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

You Work Hard for the Money, So You Better Shop Online Right

When you've worked all weekend and have pulled some pretty late nights in the office, the only sensible thing to do once you finally get home is curl up with your laptop, slap a clay mask on that tired face, sip on a glass of cheapo Sauvignon Blanc and shop online!

My online shopping routine involves perusing and purchasing from the following:

  • I know, I can't stop referring to this website, but I really am hooked. I got a fabulous Marc Jacobs jacket on this site for $40 and ever since, I love.

  • This is another one of my faves. It's easy to lose a good two hours here - and it is always selling that pair of shoes you found at some retail shop that wasn't carrying your size.

  • I don't know why I'm so drawn to this site, I have really only ever bought something at its offline sample sales, but I like feel of the navigation (even though it doesn't make too much sense) and the photos are done very well. Most importantly, I like to keep my finger on the pulse of what the kids are wearing these days.

  • This is an offline powerhouse, indeed. But if you live in Manhattan the only options for the retail store experience are Bklyn (full picked through) and Riverdale and Queens, I think but am not even sure. The point is, the site is excellent for affordable work dresses.
What are your favorite online shopping destinations? Share, people, share.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Shoes, Glorious Shoes

When my man is out of town for the weekend, the first order of business is to head downtown to Century 21 - not the real estate company, folks, the discount department store!

I was first introduced to "Century's" by ACT back when we worked at the bank on Wall Street. El Century Veintouno opens at 7 am on weekdays so it was a great place to pick up those second pairs of stockings when we discovered runs on the subway rides to was also a great place to blow paychecks every two weeks.

Oh Century, you sold me my first and only pair of Prada shoes, my sparkley Costume National pants (speaking of which, check out the CoSTUME NATIONAL website: it's hot), my Moschino Cheap & Chic miniskirt and the Milly dress I wore to the rehearsal dinner for my wedding. Unfortunately today you really didn't have what I was looking for, still I purchased two pairs of shoes from you.
And then I headed home, but on the way I remembered Anbar Shoes, which you may recall I highlight in a previous posting. Hello! All Winter shoes at Anbar were either $20 or $25. Well I bought three pairs at Anbar and then went right back to Century and returned the one pair that cost more than half of the three pairs at Anbar.

Top that day off with a visit to the Barney's Warehouse Sale (black wool Theory pants) with JK followed by a dinner at Caracas Arepas and you have yourself one perfect day.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


This just in from the trenches - I went to the Rafe sale this weekend and picked up this little number which in addition to a cute wallet in the same style was under $200. If my previous posting didn't pique your interest in this sale then hopefully that information will!

Also, thanks to MS for reminding me about the upcoming Barney's Warehouse Sale - don't forget to check it out between February 15 and March 4. I owe a lot to that sale - some fabulous shoes, a great camel-colored coat. Oh the memories...I once tried something on, put it back on the rack and Amy Poehler asked me if I was taking it. Fabulous!

So I was thinking about the process of shopping and the whole concept of "retail therapy." That's a pretty cheesy way of describing an aspect of shopping I think is very real. There's something so relaxing about strolling around and trying things on at your favorite places - maybe you buy something, maybe you don't - but in the meantime you're mentally stepping outside yourself, while physically you're scrutinizing yourself very closely.

Of course when you're shopping with a friend it's very different, but also very comforting. You can talk through a number of topics with your friend from a number of angles while going from store to store and trying things on. You stroll around, have a good ol' chat, encourage each other - if that isn't therapeutic, I don't know what is.

Ok, before I get too "Deep Thoughts" on something that can also be very shallow and consumerism-focused, let me sign off and get back to another type of scrutiny - the review of Grammy Award outfits (love you, Mary J)!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Hot or Not?


Rafe New York - source of the world's hottest handbags, is moving from its Bowery Street shop to a soon-to-be-announced new location (the woman working the store when I stopped in said they were deciding between two different locations). Their moving sale means 70% off. This is a crazy, nutso deal so get yourselves over there if you've ever coveted anything by Rafe. Apparently the sale will be going on through February until the inventory is gone, and it was a limited selection this past weekend so consider yourselves informed.


Proenza Schouler for Target. All I can say here is "boo!" I was one of the truly desperate who stood in line for 1/2 hour on Saturday for a glimpse of this line at a preview sale at the store Opening Ceremony on Howard Street. I bought three items - a jean skirt, a blazer and a dress and I had to return the jean skirt (button popped off) and the dress the very next day. At least they allowed me to easily make the return, but the point is this line isn't as cool as others like Tara Jarmon, Paul and Joe (or - hey - Rafe!) for Target.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Big Bubang Theory

The most important accessory for winter? It's not a hat, not gloves, not a sweater or an overcoat. It's not a body exfoliant, not a facial exfoliant; not a body moisturizer or a facial moisturizer. It's not cozy warm socks and it's not a nice fluffy Patagonia fleece.

No my friends, it is this one simple device: the humidifier.

In New York, the humidifier is a standby to the old radiator-heated apartments. This heating I'm talking about renders you bone dry. For the past few years we have therefore been rocking the $25 drugstore special - the Vicks humidifier without the Vaporub (even the word evokes memories of a toilet paper scarf worn to bed at night, but that is a subject for another posting). After last season, however, we decided the filtration system in the cheap-o model just wasn't cutting it, so my gallant husband upped the ante to the $40 model.

His attraction to the new device was that it had an option for hot humidity dispension, and by hot humidity dispension I mean it boiled water. Back to PC Richards it went and we invested in the $100 Air-O-Swiss option with a back-up ionic silver filter thingy from Bed, Bath and Bayond. We spent the night soaking the filter, filling up the device and switching it on and off every so often just to finally determine that it was defective. Back to B,B and B it went and we spent the next day viewing the city's finest (read: most miserable) appliance stores - PC Richards (both the East Village and Chelsea locations), Home Depot, Best Buy, Circuit City (they do not sell humidifiers..."Who?" "Humidifiers - they're not a band, they're household appliances").

We were nearly at our wit's end when EJ's initial suggestion - a joke at first - sounded so much more appealing. m2m on 11th Street and 3rd Avenue calls itself the Asian Convenient Store. Well three cheers to convenient-ness because the Bubang humidifier was less than $100 and that included a free humidifier cleaning product.

Considering the headline of this posting, is it absolutely horrible if I tell you the moral of this story is that when shopping for a humidifier, always go out with a Bubang?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Genius Blog about, Yes, Lip Balm

This is amazing - I am adding this blog to my list of faves over to the side but I had to also devote a post to it. The name says it all:


I myself have been slightly obsessed recently over various lip stuff options with my newest favorite being L'Occitane en Provence's Creamy Honey Lip Balm (yes, that is actually the full name of that retailer). Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Cream is a classic favorite that always works.

What Is With That Smell?

A couple of questions have come up recently:

1) Why has the scent of all retail locations of The Body Shop gone from nothing in the atmosphere except the occasional testing spritz to totally gnarly? What is with that putrid stank? Is it the competition with Bath and Body Works? Has my nose gotten more sensitive over the years? (Note: this could be quite possible. There are times when I smell the sulfur in the NYC water system so clearly I have to opt for bottled H2O).

2) Why is it that Broadway musicals went from special, wear your "Sunday-best" events to slap on a pair of jeans for the matinee? Disney's stranglehold on 42nd Street? The evolution of the US into a more "casual" culture (read: the slacker movement)?

I ponder these thoughts with you, my wee bonnie lassies and lads. Tonight I attended a NY Press Club event with a discussion revolving around blogs and blogging so I got the itch and reminder that I needed to reach out. Talk amongst yourselves - discuss - and leave me a comment. I've gotten some great ones recently that have lead me in some good directions here on the interweb.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Women of New York City run the full gamut of fashion sense. This place is a fashion hub, and therefore to the outsider it may seem as though every woman here is the pinnacle of style, but I would argue that for every woman who's got it, there's one who's off the mark entirely. We have the best of the best and the worst of the worst and everything in between. I give you...

The Good

TG170 is possibly the coolest store in all of New York. The owner is as nice and helpful to me as she is to Jessica Simpson and the way she dresses is just plain old fashioned cool. I was in there last weekend with JK (we were crazy for cords - she bought an adorable maroon skirt with a funky cream-colored pattern and I opted for skinny-leg Mon Petit Oiseau black pants. Do I love that brand? Yes; I will discuss it in another posting) and the owner was rocking the big ol' sunglasses that all the kids are wearing these days except they weren't sunglasses, they were actual glasses. I'm talking prescription that she pulled down off her head to read the price of something JK was checking out. I may not be giving the subtle coolness of the look proper dues with this description, but she's just plain chill.

The Bad

Ok this one I just didn't get at all: a suede jacket with shearling lining emblazoned with the word "History" across the back with a Scooby Doo patch underneath the word. What the?

The Ugly

Camoflauge draw-string pants with the word "Peace" written across the butt. Maybe if it had said "Piece" it would have made a little more sense.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Schmockin and Jivin

Happy New Year, fashionistas! Did we all come up with some good resolutions like (1) never pay retail and (2) always pay attention to what you're wearing and (3) try to give more women compliments? Oh wait, those are mine but if you need to take one or two and run with them, well be my guest.

I have a few interesting tid-bits to share from Columbia, South Carolina (or Cola as the locals refer to it).

- Schmocking, or smocking as it may be written, is uber-popular in South Carolina, as is monogramming.

- Hand Picked has maybe the best selection of sterling silver earrings I have ever experienced. The website doesn't really do it justice (too much junk, not enough sterling!), but you may find a nice little item to monogram:

- Janie Quinn makes super cute belts (and babies - Michael is a peanut)! Check out her site: