Remember way back in April when I posted these fantastic Ashton sneakers from ShoeMint (post here)?
I know a number of readers ordered them. Well, I did, and then I made the mistake of keeping them even though they were too small. My friend Amanda was the benefactor of my bad decision as she is now the proud owner of my shoes. Lucky lady.
Well, it seems like I may have a second chance because Gap is selling a nearly identical pair for a somewhat reasonable $49.95
I've got a work trip coming up and one of the events is a black tie optional dinner. Did I mention the trip is to Paris? I know, I know. It's tough being me. Especially since I got to go on the same trip last year (remember those posts?) This year I'll be going sans Dr. B, but know it will still be a nice jaunt across the pond. I digress.
If this was a work event at home, black-tie optional (which really means cocktail these days) would mean take a nice work dress, add a statement necklace with some sparkle, and voila! But Paris…it's the majors. And while I wish this amazing gold Dolce and Gabanna dress that I have was an option, it doesn't fit (we'll save that for a "Keeping it Real" post one of these days) and Rent the Runway doesn't make sense because it's an overseas trip. Nordstrom to the rescue.
This Maggy London dress is a steal at $150 ($148 to be exact), is the ideal length for my taste, and is perfectly chic. I've learned that this style is my go-to if I want something figure flattering, and I know this will become an "old reliable" in my closet. For reference, I ordered a size up since it's a close, body-conscious fit - I didn't want to look too bootylicious around my colleagues. Of course I'll be sharing photos from the trip in early October, so stay tuned.
Anyone have any must-dos, must-eats in Paris that I may not know about?
As you may have seen on my birthday wish list, I am totally lusting after these Vimmia leggings.
As much as I love these leggings, I found another pair to take their place, and these have already found their home in my drawer. Last week when I was in Laguna Niguel at the barre3 there, I found these incredible Legs for Days Leggings from Beyond Yoga.
I'm pretty sure my husband thinks they are ridiculous, but I think they are crazy cool, and that's all that matters. I consider them an early birthday present to myself. I will be sure to post a photo when I wear them for the first time.
We have been on the move the last two weeks (thanks Katie for picking up the slack on the blog), first to the Oregon Coast, then to Sun Valley, and just as soon as we got home from SV, we got back on a plane (the next morning) for Southern California. My husband had a meeting in Laguna Niguel, which is conveniently where my cousins live, so we enjoyed 5 days of fun in the sun with family.
While my +1 was in meetings all morning, I spent some time (not enough of it) at the barre3 studio in Laguna Niguel. As a Master Trainer I taught two classes, took three classes, made new friends and even got to take class with my cousins. The barre3 Laguna Niguel studio has the most amazing energy. If you are in the area, go take a class and tell Jessica and Nicki I sent you.
The rest of our time was spent outdoors and in the sun around our hotel, St. Regis Monarch Beach. The Mini better not get too comfortable with the life of luxury because it's back to reality now.
One of the highlights of the trip was an incredible dinner at the restaurant Raya at the Ritz Carlton. My cousin, who is the Executive Chef at the Montage hotel, used to be the Executive Chef at the Ritz. He introduced us to his chef friend Steve who prepared the most amazing six course meal. We ate two kinds of ceviche, Iberico ham salad, lobster tacos and wild mushroom huarache, scallops and pork belly, halibut and Steak and finally Churros. The flavors were incredible, and it was one of the best meals I have had in a long time. I've been dreaming about that lobster taco ever since.
And finally, since we were so close, we took the Mini Fashionista to Disneyland.
Of course we couldn't leave without her choosing a souvenir. We allowed her to pick one thing....the $70 polyester (made in china) Elsa dress was her selection. I now have glitter all over my house, but she's obsessed with it. Sometimes you just have to "Let it Go".
Happy Monday! I just got back from two weeks of vacation (recap tomorrow) and am playing catch up in my life, in my home and on the blog.
So, while I regroup, I thought I would share with you an interview I did with Hilary Phelps on her blog, Genuine Joy.
I met Hilary last year when I taught the C&C class at barre3 in Georgetown. When she asked to interview me about my role at barre3 as an instructor, both in studio and online, I was happy to oblige. My interview is one piece of a three part series on barre3.
Here is a quick exert. You can read the whole interview on Genuine Joy!
Regan was the instructor for my very first barre3 class and is one half of the dynamic duo behind the blog Cardigans & Couture. I knew her twin sister, Katie, but it was the first time I had met Regan and I not only enjoyed the class, but welcomed her energy and passion she had towards teaching. As a swimmer, I'm not used to the fitness class setting, and I've taken a class or two where the teacher is a little too overzealous, so I'm often leery of group fitness. But Regan had the perfect balance between enthusiasm and motivation and I was hooked. She and Katie are the reasons I went back for a second (and third) class and continue to take barre3 classes today.
And my favorite question from the interview:
What brings you Genuine Joy?
There are a lot of things in my life that bring me genuine joy. I feel lucky to have an incredible husband and daughter to share my life’s adventures with. My greatest moments of joy come when I am in the outdoors with my family- hiking, XC skiing, fly fishing or any of the other activities we enjoy doing together. Exercise is my medicine, my psychiatrist, and my meditation. I often joke that my religion is “seventh day recreationist”. My church is the mountains, the ocean and the lakes. Therein lies my Genuine Joy.
Thanks Hilary for featuring me on your blog. I can't wait to get back to DC so we can all go to barre3 together again!