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30 Before 30: Personal Style, a day of fashion at #PghStyleSummit by @WePropelle

My 30 Before 30 goal to “Develop an Identifiable ‘Personal Style'” is poorly stated. Personal style is a continuing adventure, not a stand-alone destination. The ladies of Propelle got me well on my way at this weekend’s Style Summit. The Style Summit brought together fashion bloggers, photographers, stylists, beauticians, and all kinds of other stylish people for an afternoon of trading tips and ideas.

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I was excited to have a chat with Terra McBride of Stylish White Female. I’ve been reading her blog for quite a while, and she always creates such unexpected and gorgeous combinations. We talked about how she finds inspiration for her color, texture, and fabric combinations. We also chatted about how she finds energy to put herself together so nicely, when just chasing around a little one takes SO MUCH energy. As with anything that is important, you just up and do it. Fashion is important to her, so she prioritizes it.

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Mandy Fierens of The Curvy Blogger wows the crowd

I really enjoyed listening to to the talks by personal stylist Rachel Valozzi. I’ve heard of personal styling services, but I didn’t know there was anyone in Pittsburgh who offers them! I’ve been working hard to lose the my-kid-isn’t-a-baby-anymore weight. As part of this, I’m hoping that I’ll need a wardrobe overhaul. I’ve promised myself that if I hit my goal weight (and yes, it may take a while), I’m setting up some quality time with a personal stylist to get my look in order.

I also had a hairstyle consultation and a chair massage with the ladies of Tula Organic Salon. They are MAGIC! The chair massage was amazingly relaxing and much too short. Tula is an Aveda Salon, but it’s prices are extremely reasonable. I’ve already got an appointment set for Sunday, yippee!

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Julie O’Boyle of Orchid Grey shares her insight

Kiya Tomlin also addressed the crowd as a special guest.  She talked about her custom dress business, and gave styling tips specific to looking polished and professional (my favorite adjectives when it comes to clothing choices!).  It was nice to hear that some of the more fashion-conservative principles I value about workplace attire aren’t entirely outmoded.

Propelle did a phenomenal job of putting together this exceptional event. It was really fun to talk to the bloggers I’ve been reading online, and to see the creative way people assemble their outfits. I’m so risk averse. My general fashion approach is an all-black outfit with some piece of a stand-out color. Sometimes I’ll throw a pattern in there, or sometimes I’ll go with brown instead of black. But when it comes to mixing together colors or patterns or whatever, I feel lost and terrified mixing things together. The women at Style Summit inspired me to experiment a little and mix things up. After all, it’s just fashion! What’s the worst that could happen? I look funny for a day. And that’s a livable consequence.

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Weekend ahoy!

You know those weekends where it seems like every organization and entity has something going on, and you want to attend EVERYTHING!  I have those a lot.  This weekend is especially nutty.  I’m looking at my weekend plans, and I’m kind of tired already.  But these are all GREAT things I will be doing, so it will be a busy weekend but a fun one!

This afternoon kicks off with the announcement of BAR EXAM RESULTS! I am so nervous and excited for all my friends who took the PA bar exam this year! Here’s to hoping that you’ll spend the afternoon sipping champagne in joy (and if not, at least tip a few back in sorrow).

This evening is the Alumni Reception for my 5 year law school reunion! 5 years! Can you believe it! Where did the time go?

HAIL TO PITT!

Tomorrow brings the much anticipated Propelle Style Summit

I’m a little nervous about picking out an outfit…what in my closet could possibly be cool enough to wear to a gathering of fashionistas?

Saturday also brings the Annual Meeting for the East End Food Co-Op.  If you’re a Co-Op member, please be sure to attend! Election results for the Board of Directors will be announced (you can vote at the meeting, if you haven’t voted yet), and they’ll be giving updates on the state of the Co-op and its plans for the upcoming year.

On Sunday, Mr. Beez and I will be venturing to the Pittsburgh Opera for Rigoletto.  Although I’m a bit of an opera nut, I’ve never seen Rigoletto before.  It has gotten rave reviews, so I’m excited for an afternoon of music and drama!

What does your weekend have in store?


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Assorted Thoughts on Various Things

1. Winter is Coming

I never in my life thought I’d say this, but I’m kind of ready for summer to be over. Summer is the season of ACTIVITY. It’s all fun activity, and I’m excited to be hanging out with people I like, doing fun things…but it can get tiring. Especially when I’ve overscheduled myself for after-work activities. This week for example, I obviously have work all day every day, and then after work I had a leadership class last night, book club tonight, tomorrow is free, thursday is fantasy football draft, and friday is an event at our Synagogue. Yeesh I got tired just writing that.

In the winter, however, those after work activities peter out. Maybe because the sun sets so early that I’m exhausted by the time I leave the office, and can’t possibly imagine doing one more thing (I am solar powered after all). The idea of not having another activity scheduled after the work day is done is so appealing to me right now, even if it means I spend the evening on the couch writing briefs. When writing briefs in your jammies sounds relaxing, you know you need to revisit your schedule choices.

And in the next breath I tell you that I’m looking into signing Baby Beez up for gymnastics, because she loves bouncing off the walls. And apparently I love not having my Saturday mornings free.

Also, I want a darn pumpkin spice latte.

2. Recurring dreams

I keep having dreams that (1) I marked a hearing on my calendar at a certain time, and then it turns out it’s actually earlier, and I have to run FULL SPEED to the courthouse and beg the judge’s forgiveness, and (2) I’m in college and it’s time for final exams, except I only went to the first or second class, so I don’t know what the exam is about.

I looked into my crystal ball to interpret these dreams. 1 means CHECK YOUR DARN CALENDAR. Luckily I haven’t had any run ins with scheduling like in the dream with work obligations (guilty as charged when it comes to social things, I have those on my calendar on the wrong time or date all the darn time), but checking my darn calendar means that I won’t. And the second dream is probably general anxiety about how well I’ve prepared for this or that or the other. It doesn’t matter if you’ve prepared until you can’t stand it anymore, there’s always that little tinge of anxiety that it’s not enough.

3. Fun Stuff

I got a couple of new pieces that were both great deals. I snagged this awesome Banana Republic statement necklace, after sale and gift card, for only $20 out of pocket. AWESOME.

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2012 is the year I finally try ankle boots. I have been undecided about booties and ankle boots, but when I saw these lovely oxblood kicks at H&M for a mere $35, I knew this is the year to make it happen.

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4.  BB is apparently auditioning for a Calvin Klein perfume ad.

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Happy Tuesday, YINZ

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Saturday Morning Thoughts on Fashion

I’ve got a couple restaurant posts in the hopper, but for this Saturday, I’m lounging on the couch and window shopping online while Baby Beez watches the Wiggles (romp-omp-a-chomp!)  My mom is getting married in October, in a morning/brunch wedding, and she has asked her bridesmaids to wear grey.  I’ve been searching and searching and searching for something I like, and can also wear for later occasions (no organza, please), and FINALLY found this Collection lace dress from J.Crew:

And unlike the million other dresses I’ve seen online and liked, this one actually does come in my size!

I subscribe to entirely too many magazines (O, Lucky, Real Simple, Working Mother, Shape, SELF, Whirl, Pittsburgh Magazine and The Atlantic), and all but one of my subscriptions tempt, tempt, tempt me to head to the mall for new clothes.  With all the fall fashions starting to hit the magazines, I’m convinced I really do need a fuscia blazer. The Gap has one that I’m coveting.

Just yesterday I learned of Ruche.  WHERE have you been all my life? It’s similar in style to Anthropologie, but a heck of a lot cheaper.  I haven’t bought anything from there, so I can’t speak to the quality of the clothing, but I can say that I’ve been making everyone on Pinterest crazy this morning by pinning and pinning and pinning.

Sahara Stripes Dress from Ruche

It is also coming time for me to update my suits.  If I had my druthers, I’d wear dresses to work everyday.  However, I go to court and meet with clients a fair amount, and those occasions call for a suit.  The last time I bought suits was when I returned from maternity leave.  I didn’t plunk down a lot of cash, in the hope that I’d be shedding off pounds, and could buy nicer suits when I hit my goal weight.  Well, I’ve shed pounds, and even had those cheap suits altered, but I’m nowhere near my goal weight.

It’s now time to come to terms with the fact that I need nicer suits, and I shouldn’t condition high quality work wear on a weight goal that I’m not going to reach for a long time (if ever).  I’ve usually gotten my suits from Ann Taylor, but am considering either J. Crew or Talbots instead.  Talbots has a nice grey suit that you can get with a dress, skirt, or pants.  If I’m spending money on a decent suit, it can’t just be a jacket and pants OR a skirt.  I’ve got to be able to get it with both options.   Someday I’ll get a Brooks Brothers suit, but THAT is going to wait until I hit my goal weight.

Where is your go-to shop for suits?

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Just got PAID.

It’s PAYDAY, which means I want to spend with wild abandon! Which is NOT a realistic urge, but I think I can get away with one splurge…

so folks, do I plunk down my card for the Between the Lines Maxi dress from Anthropologie that I’ve been ogling?

OR do I go for the massage special on Groupon, for the newly opened Aveda salon in my neighborhood?

Decisions, decisions, decisions….