Sunday, November 28, 2010

Selling Handbags on eBay

Well there's a first time for everything, and this time I've decided to dabble in the wide world of eBay and sell four handbags I no longer use, but still think are super cute and in great shape.

I'll keep you posted on the experience. So far I can tell you that I spent the last two hours updating my eBay profile (many years ago I had a small addiction to anything with Badtz Maru on it, but more on that later), taking photos of my items, describing and tagging them and finally hitting "sell item." Phewf! It's not easy, my friends, but hopefully it will be worth it.

If you have any interest, here's the link to preview the items (dontcha just love my sales copy?).

And here are photos of the sassy numbers. If you have any questions, just drop me a line via eBay!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Stacking Rings continued

OMG - has it really been over a month since I've blogged? For shame! The thing is, life is moving WAY fast in the big city and I find myself still trying to keep up with it. Case in point, I took this photo this summer of KD's two-stack ring combo so that I could blog about it, but only just came across it now as I was cleaning out my Gmail box.

So this is more along the lines of what I was referring to a few months ago when I wrote about ring stacking. The key to it is that you stack rings that aren't meant to be stacked, but nonetheless work well together.

Exhibit A.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dr. Bronners At The Corner Deli

Last night I went over to T&W's house on Clinton in Brooklyn. Don't ask me what neighborhood that is - I've asked them myself about 15 times. As a native NYer, you'd think I'd know more about Brooklyn than I do. But the BK is large, people, and it houses a lot of neighborhoods. Since I've never actually lived in Bklyn, it's hard to always remember where I am.

But the actual point of this post is the simple stop I made at a deli that's caddy corner to my friends' house. I had committed to bringing dessert, but saved that purchase til the bitter end of my trip to their house, so I had to resort to deli options. I found some fairly decent hazelnut wafers but the best surprise of all was that the place was selling all different scents of Dr. Bronner's soap. The bottles were less than $10, I had been meaning to pick up a bottle of the lavender, and boom - there it was at the corner deli on my way over to a dinner party. How sweet is NYC? So sweet. How good, clean and fair is this soap? So totes. How glad am I to be back?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Trend Alert: Stacking Rings

Yesterday I went to my broker's office to pick up the keys to my new apartment. Emily was rocking a new set of stacked rings that were different than the combo I loved on her the other week. Though these stacks are more uniform than what I described in my last post, I still adore them (note the pointer finger on her right hand) so I had to take a picture and share. How awesome is this look? And with the nail polish? Love.

Monday, June 21, 2010

AAAAaaaaand We're Back!

I promised KH my first post back in NYC would be given this headline, but the first post after coming back really had to be about the key. For this second post, post-arriving back in NYC, I think the headline works.

Here's a round up of all the trends I've noted here in our wonderful Nueva York by which I am both fascinated and repulsed (again, a nod to KH with a reference to the beautiful grotesque).

  • Roman/Gladiator-style sandals = not made for every leg, yet seen all over town because flats are easy for pounding pavement

  • Eyeglasses with Ray-Banesque frames = everywhere

  • High-waistedness: shorts, skirts, pants, oh my! = KD and I decided it's a trend we're just going to have to live with and play out

  • Adults wearing silly bandz = boo and hiss (I hope my cousin will forgive this one because he was wearing a couple from his kids this past weekend)

  • Side boob cleavage = the shirt or dress is cut so low, the inside side of the chest is revealed

  • Stacking mismatched rings on one finger = this is my favorite one yet! I'll post a photo when I can grab one.

  • An oval haircut whereby the side of the head is shaved so that the shape of the actual "cut" is an oval on the top of the head. Some choose to rock 80s-style bangs with this, others don't. It's probably a summer/heat thing.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Key to the City

For the first couple of days I was in a fog. It was a combination of reverse culture shock, driving for 12 hours straight from SC to NYC and not getting enough sleep. Also, the people. Everywhere. I left my laptop at the outdoor bar/cafe in Bryant Park and sprinted 2.5 42nd Street blocks back in heels to (thankfully!) retrieve it. I smiled at people on the street or on the subway who caught my eye. One woman smiled back. I got on the express train when I should have hopped the local.

But by the weekend after my first business week here, I was thankfully able to wake up late, cruise over to Ciao for Now and grab cawfee and a snack, take Monkey for a leisurely stroll to the dog park, then shower and hit the streets by myself for the day with the goal of reclaiming NYC. It worked, and the best part about it is that I even got a key to the city!

The Key to the City is a public art project running through the summer. I waited in line at a kiosk in Times Square to run through a "ceremony" during which I "bestowed" a key to the city to someone and he did the same for me.

I haven't visited any of the spots to which the key grants access (there are locked places in all five boroughs -- a smart way to promote intra-city tourism, no?), but the act of obtaining a key during my first weekend back to my home town was symbolic. The small act of picking up the key was precisely the type of homecoming I needed.

Oh and by the way, it all went down in typical NY fashion. I was paired up with a woman who was an usher for Broadway shows and we waited in line together for 45 minutes (a painful 45 minutes in direct sunlight after staying out the night before until 2 am during which time our chit chat involved her wanting to know if doing digital marketing meant I worked with Facebook because she had a bone to pick with "them") to get our keys. Once we received our keys and were informed that we had just five more minutes of waiting time to get to the ceremony element, usher decided to ditch me. Her argument was that she had to go back home to Staten Island to have dinner after which she needed to get back to Times Square for her show to let out. She had some words for the people working the project and then left in a huff. Thankfully someone who works for the creative agency managing the project stepped in so I could officially get my key.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bad Haircut

It's been a while since I've blogged. As most of you know, that's mainly because at the end of this month I am starting the first wave of what will likely be a few waves of the great move back up North. And yes, I am referring to it as "back up North" but for all a y'all who have been following me since day one: NUEVA FREAKIN YORK!

I am excited, to say the least.

But on to a more serious note: my hair. I have been a years-long follower of the Devachan Salon and Deva hair products. Since we moved to South Coka, I have saved my hair cuts for visits back to NYC. While this has seemed frivolous to some, it's important to me for many reasons. As a young person, I loathed my hair. It really wasn't until I found Ouidad and then Devachan -- two salons in NYC that specialize in, meaning only cut, curly hair -- in my mid-twenties that I was truly able to celebrate the curl factor.

I don't need to tell you ladies about how important our hair is: we all know that if we don't feel good about our hair, all bets are off about anything else on the face. In fact, all bets are off about everything else on the body because generally we buy outfits that work with "how we look" and "how we look" has just about everything to do with our hair. I am now learning this life lesson the hard way.

Because of my deep devotion to the Deva world, I was mildly curious at first when visiting Boston and later Florida to learn that Deva had begun training independent salons on the Deva cut. This might sound crazy cult-like, but the cut is a process of first cutting the hair when it's dry, then rinsing the hair with all the Deva products, setting/drying it, then trimming out all errant pieces. It takes at least 3 hours no matter which stylist you tend to visit.

Curiosity morphed into full-blown (pun intended) interest when I learned there was a place in Asheville, NC -- a mere 2.25 hours away from Columbia -- that had been trained by the Deva peeps. Oh joy! I could now travel one state over to get my maintenance cut. It's important to note at this point that with my hair, I really only need to get a cut once every 6 months.

Now some people think it's crazy that I drove 2.5 hours each way just for a haircut. Others think it's nuts that I decided to do this on the day of a good friend's wedding, which was back in Columbia that evening. But most understand that when you're at that point where you can't stand your hair because it needs to be cut, you'll hire a private jet to shoot you out to another country and time zone just to get it done. It turns out that's what I should have done (hire a jet to NYC...or waited three more weeks for when I moved there. Argh!).

Almost as soon as the woman started cutting I knew I was in trouble. Whereas the Devachan people cut every curl on an angle (at the curve of the "S" shape it makes), this woman was cutting each curl with the scissors parallel to the floor. The thing was, I had shown her a photo of myself from December 2009 [for reference, see this Shop Tart post] and explained that I liked it short in front and long in the back. She said, and I quote, "OK, so more of a shaping than a cut." With this in mind, I didn't pipe up about the style of cutting.

But then she did the unthinkable; something that would never have been done at Devachan: she took a whole hunk of hair right by my face, not each separate curl, and chopped it straight across. That was when I freaked out and made a comment to her and I think it was pretty much all downhill from there. When we were done washing, productizing and setting the hair, it was uneven. She began trimming the longer side (fine) but then started snipping the shorter side (wtf?!). I told her she needed to stop cutting, then quickly ran through the process of buying some Deva products, paying and leaving in a flash because, remember, I needed to get back to Columbia in time for CC's wedding.

By the time I was about 25 minutes outside of Asheville, my hair had fully dried and was the length of my face! I had told her to take one inch off, but at least three, if not four, were gone. I had told her I preferred it short in the front and long in the back (like the old photo), but as you can see from this photo of irate me, it's long in the front and short in the back.

So I called the salon and complained, and they called me back two hours later saying that they would be reimbursing me for the cut and invited me back in for a "fix." I suppose that if my hair were about 2 inches longer than it is now I might give them the opportunity to fix this do, but with such short hair now I can't possibly let anyone fix anything unless they are located at Devachan NYC HEADQUARTERS!

Please let this mournful tale be a lesson to you, lovelies. If you have a person who or a place that cuts your hair the way you like it, don't stray. I did and I've paid the price - my hair is now a triangle. For those of you with super curls, you know what I'm talking about.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Nordstrom Rack Attack, Times Two

It's one thing when you and your bestie discover Nordstrom Rack, the store where all past-season items from Nordie proper go to be purchased at a discount, and you go wackadoo buying the place out. It's another thing when after you've already spent a good amount of time and money at the Nordstrom Rack in Danvers, MA (formerly Salem but renamed after the famous witch trials; coincidence? I think not), you head over to Natick, MA, only to discover there is another Rack there too and you proceed to spend more time and more money at that second Rack. This is the story of how KH and I did just that. It's a day in the history of our friendship that I now fondly refer to as the "Rack Attack, Times Two" [insert movie trailer voice here].

Pay no attention to the fact that the previous paragraph has a sentence that is entirely too long. Instead, please picture this: a crisp, sunny, typical New England Spring day with cotton candy clouds dotting a bright blue sky. It's the kind of day in which some Bostonians might consider taking a jog or a stroll along the Charles, or walking their dog through the Commons. For the likes of me and KH, this is the best kind of a day to hop into the car and get ourselves to either the outlets or the local malls. Since we had already spent the previous, rainy day at the outlets, it was off to investigate this "Nordstrom Rack" K had seen advertised online as having a grand opening.

Well my friends, grand opening was apparently code for an additional 30-50% off. My haul included the following: two pairs of Havaianas because I think all the cool kids are wearing these in NYC (TBD), a pair of gold Birkenstocks, a pair of Jeffrey Campbell gladiator-style sandals, a navy blue cloth jacket, two shirts for the hubs and a pair of travel-size Tweezerman tweezers in lavendar. Excessive? Certainly. But nothing until you hear what I bought at the next Rack.

At the next Rack I spied and brought home with me what can only be referred to now as an "epic purchase." In the handbag section, hanging by itself with no other bags like it, let alone bags of the same designer, was the exact bag I had told myself I would purchase. It was kind of camouflaged because it's covered in zipper pockets and each of the zipper pulls had a thin strap of leather hanging off of it. With so many pockets, these leather straps ended up giving the bag a heavy-on-the-hippie feel.

But those measley leather straps were no hindrance for me. With K's help, I removed about 4 or 5 of them and looked in the mirror. It was perfect, it was pricey, but it had to come home with me.

Sure enough it made the cuts. And the reason I'm so obsessed with it now is that, upon returning back to SC, I did a brief Google search for Rebecca Minkoff and found similar styles on ShopBop and elsewhere for more than double what I paid for my little number. Is the style I now own past-season? Most certainly. Do I care? My dears, I'm pretty sure that by now, you know the answer to that one.

Oh yeah, we also went to see Chelsea Handler live, drank a bunch of vodka in solidarity with Chelsea and danced at a club until 2:00 am. To say we had fun is an understatement.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Built By Wendy is Wonderful

I've started using the word "wonderful" a lot and I realize it's a common expression here in Columbia/the South (though generally it's pronounced more like "whunnduhful" and it's usually an older crowd that uses it). I think it's a good alternative to "fabulous" or "terrific," so I encourage you all to merge it into your lexicon.

On the shopping front, since my trip to NYC a couple of weeks ago, I've decided my new favorite brand is Built By Wendy. I got these dungaree linen track pants while I was there and they are a big hit!

I originally spied them in Lucky magazine (btw, while in NYC I was shopping at the favorite, TG170, in came Gigi Guerra - fabulous fashion editor!). In fact Built By Wendy has gotten another shout-out recently from Tina Fey in Vogue...well, maybe not so much of a "shout out," but rather more of a cut? When commenting on a photo of herself as a little girl with some funky 70s outfit, Fey said, "You could put that on Built by Wendy and sell it for $260—the whole look."

Oh well, all this buzz worked on me: I was dead-set on getting to the BBW store and purchasing either the track pants or this lovely outfit:

Since I went with the pants I'll wait until this summer and try to snatch up the shirt and skirt too after I've saved up some duckets.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Black Tie Attire for Women

I haven't blogged in a while so I thought I'd post this quick topic to hopefully spark some reader input. I am attending a black tie affair this Friday night. It's a local Red Cross event and I don't know anyone on the host committee except for my great friend who is taking me as her date. She insists that whatever I wear will be grand, but I have a sinking suspicion that this is more of a senior black tie event than, say, the Contemporaries Black and White ball at CMA. If I'm right, a knee-length dress will not, in fact, be appropriate.

All the websites out there say that the "rules" are if the invite says black tie, women wear long dresses or fancy black pants and beaded tops (see "senior" reference above). Apparently one can only push the envelope when the invite specifies "creative black tie."

Let me just get this out: never have I been so paranoid about what I am wearing since I moved down here. As many of you faithful readers know, I am normally very confident about my fashion sense (hello, this blog), but the South occasionally throws me some curve balls. This is one of them.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Online Fashion Inspirato

After getting back from a much needed dose of discount shopping (just happened to cruise into Van Jean to find all the items I chose from the back room were, in fact, on super-extra discount), I was wondering if I could find some photos of the 3.1 Phillip Lim skirt I just bought online to get some inspiration on what to wear with said skirt.

In the eternal beauty of the internet, I happened upon The Ensemble Project. Not only did I find inspiration for my skirt -- mind you, the actual skirt is not featured on her blog, but her creativity gave me enough to go on -- but I ended up getting some great tips all around. Fashion, interior design, you name it, this Philly-based woman knows her stuff! Go check her out.

Friday, February 12, 2010

She Bop

I love this video clip of Lady GaGa and Cyndi Lauper on their press circuit for their MAC lipstick collaboration for many reasons, but mainly because of everything Cyndi Lauper has on her hands. Check out the triangular ring, the fringe bracelet and the fingertip gloves. Love Love LOVE! I will spend the rest of the weekend searching for these items online. Plus, who can resist the faux hair bow GaGa is rockin? Look out, Hello Kitty.

The other reason I love this clip is that Cyndi is yackin' away. GaGa can't really get a word in edgewise, and maybe she doesn't really want to because (a) she's giving Cyndi her props as one of GaGa's many precursors, musically, but also because (b) she could very well be flat out knackered from the junket.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


Just yesterday, in response to this brief article in The State, @RileyComm asked, "what would you say?" It got me thinking about the tape loop of thoughts I have about this city and what I would do to improve it. In the spirit of the upcoming mayoral elections, here's what I would do to improve Colatown.

- I would increase parking tickets from $7.00 to $14.00.
- I would hire someone for Main Street development with experience in retail recruitment and have that person recruit some worthwhile retailers to Main Street. I might then consider blocking off Main Street on the weekends to be pedestrian-only.
- I would curtail housing development until there was more of an infrastructure in place to support people living here.
- I would improve the city's bus system and build more sidewalks (not just road improvement).
- I would increase cigarette and alcohol tax.
- I would improve the city's website SEO so that a search for "city of columbia event calendar" would pull up Columbia, SC above Columbia, MO.
- I would make sure businesses like City Roots were rewarded for what they are doing...meaning I would be sure there aren't any chemicals leaking into the ground surrounding the farm.

There are things that are out of government control that really irk me, like certain restaurants not being open on the weekend, and local boutiques not staying open during "after work" hours, and customer service in general around town. But in my experience living here, I've come to realize that unless the local government improves the machinations of the city, demand will not rise to the point at which these businesses need to meet it.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Shopping to Look Forward To

This is investigative journalism at its finest, people.

Sonia Rykiel has a line coming to H&M You can read more about this on the H&M webiste. Do you think there will be anything left when I head over in March? I know, unlikely. Well Northern friends, think of me if you happen to cruise in there and spot something in the line that's to die for.

2G's Annual Warehouse Sale Now I've never been in this store because, frankly, its painted sign isn't inviting and they put too much stuff out on the street. But DS works with the store and she's just posted to Facebook the fact that they are having a sale starting on Thursday in which all clothing is 70% off. I will, once and for all, go and check this sale out.

iPad You know the hype, so I don't have to go to great lengths here, I don't think, but yes, I've pretty much convinced myself that I should get one. It's the in-between gadget, yo! (Note to self: Also go to Verizon store this week and complain about phone calls sounding like I am in a tunnel. Seriously, this is dumb. I keep trying to hype you, Droid, but I'm not so sure.)

Anna Sheffield for Target Jewelry I just happened upon this jewelry at my local Target (Woodhill) and lost it big time when I spied this necklace. Hello -- it's a trophy with a rhinestone inside of the trophy being fastened to the chain by lightning bolts. If this doesn't make you feel AWESOME, I don't know that will. Buy it online here or go to your local Target and see if it's on sale.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Target and Costco

I got my Target fix this past weekend by popping over to the Target in Woodhill. The store has 5 or 6 aisles with signs that read "Big Savings" and a ton of the kind of multipack items you'd find at Costco. In fact, there was some kind of outdoor furniture set for sale that was indeed Costco brand.

Could this mean that Target and Costco have some kind of partnership? Will these aisles be a regular thing at our local Target? How awesome would that be considering we don't have Costco in this town?

Final note is that they also had Ed Hardy handbags ("Sick" -- see Ed Hardy Boyz on for reference) and Polo shirts. Whaaa?

Friday, January 08, 2010

Winter Coats and Boots 2010

Hello my cold readers! In the past week I've received requests for tips on coats and boots for this (seemingly endless) winter. Request #1 came in the form of a letter:

Dear Caroline,

I have the requisite down black puffy long coat, purchased 5 years ago. It is hideous, though still warm and functional. I want to replace it with something a little hipper, a little more flattering. I don't want it to read too Upper East Side and I don't want to spend a lot of money. I have narrowed it down to a few options and would welcome your readership's opinions as well as other suggestions.

Thank you,

Here are her selections:





I believe the option from The Gap is your best bet. Though I am not a fan of hoods, when it's frigid outside it's absolutely necessary to have a hood. Plus, that one is the best middle ground between ultra-stylish (the Spiewak option) and ultra functional (the North Face option). Any other thoughts from the peanut gallery? Comments welcome.

Request #2 was about good winter boots. Boots are absolutely impossible! If they are cute or fashionable, they're useless in the cold/snow. If they're ugly, you're guaranteed to be protected from the elements. What the ladies up North tend to do is to wear ugly boots to tromp through the snow, and then to change into sassy shoes once they've arrived at their destination. I found that process totally annoying, so what I did my last few years in NYC was to rely on leather boots that I didn't mind getting covered in snow and the related salt strewn out on the sidewalks.

The question about boots came from KB who has recently moved from SC to DE. I can count on one hand the number of times I've worn the following collection of boots since we moved down to SC. How nuts is that? These items were absolute staples of my wardrobe in NYC, but now they are virtually useless.

So to answer your question about boots, KB, I advise layering up on socks and choosing the tread of the boot based on the amount of rain, sleet or snow you'll be facing that day. I usually chose the option second from the right.

Good luck, ladies, and stay warm!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

To Whom It May Social Media-ly Concern

Dear friends,

Starting in 2010 I will not be a fan of your business if I have never interacted with your business (shopped there, eaten there, experienced your services, etc.). Also, if I've only met you once, I will likely not become your friend the next day...unless we bonded, in which case yes, I will. If I met you at a business event, I will indeed connect with you the next day on LinkedIn cuz that's for business networking.

I won't be connecting my Twitter and Facebook statuses because I think they are two different audiences. However, I am considering connecting Twitter and LinkedIn, so please stay tuned.

Also, I actively maintain all three social media venues so I expect you to do the same. I'm not going to pester you via the actual platform, so please read this post to the end so that you read this part too.

And finally, on good advice from DA, when I see you face-to-face I will not be referring to things I posted online unless you bring them up. Well, ok, I might occasionally bring some of those things up, but that only means I feel very strongly about them (recent news, politics, a sale that's going on, etc.). Actual time together is indeed just that.

Your friend, online and off,