Friday, December 05, 2008

Progress and some rambling

Dessert party preparations are well under way. I feel like I'm the one in control, not time as it slip slides away. That is because last night I left work at 6 (that is very early for those not acquainted with my normal work hours), went grocery shopping, had the groceries delivered because there is no way I can haul 4 bottles of white cranberry juice home along with all the other odds and ends and baked. I baked and baked. And took photos. Here is what I've got in the works so far:
  • banana bread done and in the freezer just needs to defrost
  • sugar cookie dough in the fridge (about 1/3 is red and flavored with peppermint)
  • ginger cookie dough in the fridge
  • second round of cranberries freezing in icecube trays (already have a healthy supply in a bowl in the freezer from round 1)
  • made Christmas Citrus Squares - minus the blood oranges needed to adorn the top, very excited about these and hope to post a pictorial (picture/tutorial!)
  • started on the Brownie S'mores . . . word of advice, it is pretty much torture to remove brownies from the oven immediately before going to bed without eating any

I feel like I did something else but I can't quite remember . . . but there is someone cleaning my house right now and I did pick up a few odds and ends at Crate & Barrell at lunch today.

I also picked out a couple of alternative party shirts so I can look festive and alluring under the mistletoe. Funny story, yesterday when I went out looking for something fun I purposely went to Kenneth Cole first, even though I had in mind stopping by Anthropology, J Crew and/or Banana Republic (all within a couple of blocks of each other and my office), because I had this 25% off coupon I was sent as a settlement of some class action lawsuit that is only good in-store. Mostly I love Kenneth Cole for their shoes. Comfortable, cute and long-lasting. All a must in this City where I walk and walk and walk. [As a side note, I recently purchased some amazing Kenneth Cole boots with the elusive 2 inch heel (why do people think women can wear 3" heels all the time?) that are comfortable enough to walk to work in!] But occasionally I find cute, fun tops there as well. I wandered around and around and finally found a beautiful red sweater that I fell in love with immediately. And even more so after trying it on. The color worked and the fit was perfect. But it was expensive - so I rationalized it with the coupon and promises of how often I would wear it. When I pulled out my 25% coupon at the register the guy didn't know what to do with it. So we went downstairs to another register. After some inspection the woman explained that it was only good in California . . . what? But the guy still offered me 20% off! Who does that? I was so impressed. Anyone interested in a 25% off coupon that expires at the end of February? Let me know and I will send it to you because I don't have any plans that include a trip to California before it expires.

So maybe that wasn't such a funny story. But as I was leaving I realized a sweater isn't the best attire for a party in a cramped apartment. I thought about going to Anthropology next but honestly, it really isn't my style. I love their clothes and home goods and all that but as a general rule I feel like I can't really pull off their look. Plus they are expensive and I just spent a lot on a sweater at Kenneth Cole. So I went to Banana instead.

For those of you who know me in real life you know that at any given time a good half of my attire is most likely from Banana Republic. It is easy for me. I know their sizing and their sizing likes me, they are at convenient locations, they have an excellent professional line, their online shopping is easy and reliable with easy return policies, they send lots and lots of coupons and rebates and I like their clothes. But every so often I decide I really need to branch out. I live in NYC after all, I should shop at stores unique to this City. So I've been better lately at either a) not shopping at all; or b) buying more from Esprit (for casual), Benetton and Dillards. Okay, so we don't have a Dillards here but I re-discovered it on my last trip to Utah and found the perfect pair of dress pants there. Multiple people asked me if I had lost weight the first time I wore them. Multiple people! So I jumped online and bought 3 more and that is all I wear to work these days. So what I am trying to say is I have been good lately at branching out other than a recent online purchase of skinny jeans from Banana - they were the only ones I could find that weren't ultra-low rise and I love them although Saturday will be their public debut.

Despite this personal boycott, I walked in the store. The mega-Banana at Rockefellar Center. I love it in there. So many beautiful things. And so many beautiful things recently marked down with orange signs all over. I tried to remain focused on the task at hand but discounted sweaters and coats kept calling my name so I caved and bought one green sweater which I'm wearing right now. But here is the thing. When I went in the dressing room with an armload of party shirts to try - 6 in total - I was not optimistic that I would walk away with a winner. I've been listening to Tim Gunn and his rules on that Bravo show a lot and I had a few rules for myself. I wanted a bright jewel-toned shirt, preferably green because I get a lot of compliments in green. I wanted 3/4 sleeves because I always hate my arms in photos because who flexes in a photo? I needed some room in the shirt but not too boxy or billowy and definitely not too tight. And I have determined that a boat neck is the most flattering neckline for me. Of course, I didn't find any shirts matching this crazy list so I tried what I liked. And surprisingly, I liked pretty much everything I tried on! I was wearing my Dillard's black slimming pants which did make me like everything more but even after I purchased three to debate among at home, I still liked them all. With one exception which I am returning. So the two finalists are this, but in a bright purple that isn't on the website, and this, I think. It is hard to tell online because the one I bought is a brighter green and I would not tuck it in. On the hangar it looked a bit boxy and lifeless but when I tried it on it kind of contours and flows and is suprisingly flaterring. In fact, the cut of the two are very similar. I plan on wearing it with skinny jeans and black flats (from Kenneth Cole actually . . . ). And I realized, sometimes the dependable fall-back is the best option. Plus, I had a 15% coupon that was good in more places than just California!

Wow, that was much longer than I intended (and I refuse to proof this or I will never hit publish or finish up with work), but I did warn you I would be rambling here. I still have a few items to pick up at the store tonight and I would like to figure out how to also swing by this flower shop I like that always has live mistletoe and pretty pine fronds. Then I have to bake, bake, bake and decorate my apartment. I guess I still have a ways to go . . . wish me luck!


Jen said...

Love the pleated silk blouse. It has my vote!

Vanessa The Scientist said...

Ya know what, I really loved that post. Rambling is the best! I am the worst debater when I go shopping. Does it really look good on me or am I just imagining that because I saw it on Reese Witherspoon in a recent movie and thought that I might be able to pull it off because I actually was able mimic her hairstyle last year and I looked awesome. Hmmmm.

So what did you end up wearing? I'm pretty sure you looked ravishing in either choice. They are both beautiful.

I hope the party was a huge success!

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