Sunday, May 21, 2017

Knit Wit Brit: Bridget Jones Joneses for Junior

Top: Wet Seal
Skirt (dress): Kohl's
Shoes: Worthington, J. C. Penney's
Bag: Etsy, Glamour Damaged
Belt: Wet Seal
Sunglasses: Candie's, Kohl's

It seems that I still have Brits (and mums!) on the brain.  Because this post is about Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Baby: The Diaries.  As you may remember, I saw the movie last fall and (somewhat indignantly) thought that it was a revisionist version of the bittersweet book Mad About the Boy, in which -- spoiler alert -- Darcy (gulp) dies.  So, when I saw a pint-sized, hardbound copy of Bridget Jones's Baby: The Diaries soon after in Target, I was like, mind blown.  And promptly plunked it into my cart.

Baby picks up where Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason left off.  Yet instead of enjoying wedded bliss with Mark Darcy, Bridget has been jilted and is going it alone once again.  Well, at least until she finds herself back in bed with Mark and old flame Daniel Cleaver in the space of one frenzied weekend.  (And no, it wasn't a threesome, as Bridget's own mum horrifically asks.)  One menopause scare later, Bridget is forced to acknowledge that the egg and sperm have done their thing and that she is, in fact, with child.

As an expectant mother, Bridget's passion for rationalization reaches new heights -- baby loves cheesy potatoes, so let's have another! -- and with it her endearing appeal.  Job woes, uncertain paternity, and a disapproving mum cannot keep her from bubbling over with the proverbial joy.  Deeply personal, heartfelt, and, yes, silly, Bridget's daily thoughts, fiascoes, and anxieties are as entertaining as they are therapeutic, making us feel as if our own diaries/blogs are just a launch party away from publication.

In keeping with all this motherly love, I thought that now was as good a time as any to post my Nora Knits Barrette.  (I have no idea who Nora is, but it has a nice ring to it.)  It features a basket of pink, blue, and white balls of yarn, which means that someone (Nora, who I've since decided is a recently-dumped obsessive compulsive au pair channeling her frustrations through her knitting needles a kindly, cinnamon-scented grandmother) is busy knitting a baby blanket.  The peach barrette, on the other hand, has nothing to do with mommies or babies, except for being -- ahem -- darned cute.

And finally, a warm welcome home to Tammy!  True, she had such a good time in the Amazon that she's decided to return to work only part-time.  But the good news is that she and Flora the Floor will take turns modeling, keeping things interesting.  

As Bridget and friends would say, brilliant!  

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mum (and Sometimes Bird) is the Word

Dress: Olsenboye, J. C. Penney's
Shoes: Modcloth
Bag: Bisou Bisou, J. C. Penney's
Sunglasses: Michaels
Polka dot bangle: J. C. Penney's
Green stretch bracelet: Cloud Nine, Ocean City boardwalk
Shell stretch bracelet: Hawaii gift shop
Rhinestone stretch bracelet: Kensie, Macy's
Ring: J. C. Penney's
Purple flower clip: Claire's
Mint flower clip: Forever 21
Boucle flower clip: Kohl's
Yellow flower clip: J. C. Penney's

Dazzling Dragonfly Necklace

Top: Xhilaration, Target
Skirt: Decree, J. C. Penney's
Shoes: Chinese Laundry, DSW
Bag: Marshalls
Yellow belt: Wet Seal
Mint belt: Candie's, Kohl's
Sunglasses: Kohl's
Bangles: B Fabulous
Mint flower clip: Forever 21
Purple flower clip: Claire's
Coral flower brooch: Candie's, Kohl's

"Mum" and "bird" are both British words for (albeit different categories of) women.  Can't you just hear some old coot in an ascot murmuring, "She was a mighty fine bird, yes she was," to his mate in the pub on a Tuesday?  Mums can be birds, and birds can be mums.  Not, of course, that you want some coot objectifying your mother.

You wouldn't know it from this intro, but this post is about Mother's Day.  I know it's a day late and a dollar short, but that's how we roll at The Tote Trove.  Still skeptical?  Here's the Mother's Day card I gave my mother:   

See?  Birds and mums, a perfect pair if ever there was one.  You can't see the words, but they say: "Thanks for always putting food in my food hole.  Happy Mother's Day."  Short, to the point, and a little bit weird, it spoke to me.  Even if it was through the voice of the husband who, full disclosure, was the one who picked it out.

Also, here are some things I made (above) and some plants I saw, all very pastel and pretty and mumsy:

Finally, I went with collage-style outfit pics again because Tammy's still out of pocket.  She's in her Amazonian homeland visiting her mother.  I hope it's going well, because those two do not get along.  The last time they saw each other, Tammy's mom set her up on a blind date with a hand model, which is, for those who don't know, a real insult to an appendage-less torso.  Tammy retaliated by planting a bottle of Obsession in her mom's purse at the mall, getting her hauled off for shoplifting.  I don't even want to know what they're up to this time.  Save the drama for your mama, I say!  Anyway, I was with my mom yesterday (no blind dates or arrests, I'm happy to report), and a good time was had by all.

Needless to say, no one wore mom jeans.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Fiesta, Fleur-Ever

Trippy Hippie Choker

Top: Candie's, Kohl's
Shorts: Merona, Target
Shoes: MIA, J. C. Penney's
Bag: Loop, Marshalls
Sunglasses: Michaels
Watch: A. C. Moore
Bracelet: Betsey Johnson, Macy's
Ring: Seahorse Designs, Etsy 

Top: Byer, Boscov's
Skirt: Ross
Bag: Delia's
Shoes: Qupid, DSW
Sunglasses: The Tote Trove
Barrette: The Tote Trove
Bangles: Mixit, J. C. Penney's
Ring: Making Waves, Ocean City, Asbury Avenue

Top: Arizona Jeans, J. C. Penney's
Jeans: Arizona Jeans, J. C. Penney's
Shoes: Nine West, DSW
Bag: The Tote Trove
Sunglasses: Party City
Orange bangle: Mixit, J. C. Penney's
Yellow bangle: B Fabulous
Ring: Making Waves, Ocean City, Asbury Avenue

Question 1: How many bloggers, myself included, have referenced Lionel Richie's "All Night Long" in a post about Cinco de Mayo?  

Question 2: Is it wrong to use the French word for "flower" instead of the Spanish one in a post about Cinco de Mayo (even if the French word is only one syllable instead of two, making for a more rhythmic pun)?

I don't know the answers to these questions, but I do know that Cinco de Mayo is fun and festive and makes me want to make south of the border accessories.  (It also makes me think of counting to ten in Spanish on "Sesame Street" and of (the less kid-friendly) "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy).").  So, to celebrate, I'm shaking things up like a bunch of maracas.  For one thing, I've given Tammy the weekend off (right now she's taking a much-needed siesta after one too many margaritas) and instead photographed my outfits hodgepodge-collage style on the floor, backlit by a bevy of my beloved backdrops.  I like these messy new configurations (if something as scientific-sounding as a configuration can be called messy), and I think the colors came out more vibrant, too.  They're also ideal layouts for (finally!) displaying my quirky cute cocktail umbrellas which have been, until now, cooped up in my craft room.

The USPS is also in on the party (now, there's a transition you don't hear every day).  Last week when I went to the post office to buy stamps, they offered me flowers, birds, or these:

They're a little hard to see, but these stamps feature colorful illustrations of traditional Mexican dishes, including empanadas, tamales, and, my personal favorite, flan (who doesn't crave that caramel custard treat?).  One look at the appetizing images had me saying, "I'll take those" to the surprised postal worker.  And now they're out and about in the world, bringing joy (and takeout envy) to the gas company, the electric company, and my dear friends at Macy's.      

Sigh.  I could go for a churro.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Romper Room Vroom: Three's Company Hue

Top: Liz Claiborne, Marshalls
Skirt: Modcloth
Shoes: Christian Siriano for Payless
Bag: Betsey Johnson, Macy's
Belt: Apt. 9, Kohl's
Sunglasses: Rampage, Boscov's

Top: Arizona Jeans, J. C. Penney's
Shorts: Merona, Target
Shoes: Ami Clubwear
Bag: Betsey Johnson, gifted
Sunglasses: The Tote Trove

Top: Wet Seal
Skirt: Macy's
Shoes: Ami Clubwear
Bag: Princess Vera, Kohl's
Sunglasses: Candie's, Kohl's

I said I'd never wear a romper.  Not only do they present a bathroom conundrum, but they kind of sort of scream three-year-old (a demographic that is, incidentally, no stranger to potty problems).  And yet, there's still something about them.  I blame this on my childhood fascination with "Three's Company" reruns (really, every six-year-old should be so invested in the antics of Santa Monica singles).  So, I found myself trying on two in the past week: a candy striped confection from Kohl's and a floral affair from J. C. Penney's.  And each time it was, as I predicted, a very bad scene.  Ladies (and gentlemen; I'm not here to judge), if you've ever been in a fitting room struggling to squeeze into a garment and have heard the heart-stopping sound of seams ripping, then you know exactly what I mean.  Needless to say, I went home empty-handed.  And promptly ordered this ice cream truck from Amazon:

Ice cream means summer, and summer means shorts.  Which is why I have a cute flowered pair (ice cream!) sandwiched between two skirts in this week's ensembles.  Of course, in this post, ice cream also means purse charms.  I had the best time recreating the same colorful parfaits I used to make my Sherbet Shenanigans Necklaces.  Only this time I paired them with -- you guessed it -- Flash Charms!  Despite my recent lament that I'd soon be out of these totally 1980s treasures, they've proved themselves to be the bottomless pasta bowl of my craft supply collection (not sure if I'm ripping off the Olive Garden or beloved children's book Strega Nona here, but I'm a happy camper as long as crafts and carbs are in abundance).  I even had enough charms left over to make my Blues Cues necklace, which fit in so well with its non-Flash Charm school companions.  I'm talking to you, Brenda Bow and Prehistoric Princess.  I don't know about you (you the reader, not you the necklaces), but I love living in a world where ribbons and reptiles can peacefully coexist.  Also, mythical rompers.

Perhaps somewhere out there in syndication Suzanne Somers is rocking a terry cloth number.  Even though Suzanne played Chrissy, not, ahem, her successor Terri.  That honor went to Priscilla Barnes.  Who, by the way, is now a paunchy villainess on "Jane the Virgin."  These days she favors caftans . . . and, more recently, an orange jumpsuit.  

Which is, when you think about it, just another kind of (oh so wrong) romper.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Write On: Girl Flower Power

Top: XOXO, Macy's
Skirt (dress): J. C. Penney's 
Shoes: Penny Loves Kenny, DSW
Bag: Xhilaration, Target
Belt: Wet Seal
Sunglasses: Kohl's

Top: Macy's
Skirt (dress): Modcloth
Shoes: Ami Clubwear
Bag: Marshalls
Sunglasses: Rampage, Boscov's
Belt: Marshalls

Top: Wet Seal
Skirt (dress): Monteau, Marshalls
Shoes: Ami Clubwear
Bag: Nordstrom
Belt: Marshalls
Sunglasses: Michaels

Flowers are pretty amazing.  Despite looking delicate, they weather wind, rain, and scorching heat, many of them coming up, all by themselves, year after year.  Tough and resilient, they can withstand anything -- and also are lovely to look at.  Which is why I decided to use some retro-licious ones in my latest necklaces, two of which feature funky fresh daisies.

Flower power is also feted in the recent Amazon original series "Good Girls Revolt."  Not to be confused with the movie Youth in Revolt, in which Michael Cera plays his usual beta boy as well as an evil twin alter ego (dude, he blew stuff up.)  But this post isn't about Michael Cera's identity crisis.  It's about three young women fighting to find their way in a 1969 newsroom.  Relegated to the roles of "researchers," Patti Robinson (Genevieve Angelson), Cindy Reston (Erin Darke), and Jane Hollander (Anna Camp) do all the legwork -- and in many cases, the writing -- for the articles for "News of the Week" while the male reporters get all the bylines -- and all the credit.     

"Good Girls Revolt" is about men -- husbands, boyfriends, and bosses -- keeping women down, a sobering theme softened by its showcase of swinging 1960s style.  Minis, boots, and long hair war for attention with circle pins and bouffants.  Each of the three main characters has her own signature look: Patti goes for boots and boho pieces in flowy florals and earth tones; Cindy opts for hand-knit vests, quirky jewelry, and playful minis and overalls; and Jane favors ladylike dresses, bowtie blouses, classic jewelry, and kitten heels.  Indeed, Patti wears a simple strand of love beads in each episode, subtly reminding us that she is the rebel.  She challenges both her boss and her boyfriend (who, however informally, is her boss of sorts, too) to give her more demanding assignments and see her as more than a prospective wife or handmaiden.  Nothing changes, so she enlists the help of a civil rights lawyer (an indomitable Joy Bryant), eventually motivating the entire researcher staff to file a class action lawsuit against "News of the Week."  But as her heart is tested and alliances shift, her moxie falters, revealing her vulnerabilities and the cost of change.

Although a tale of ambition and social consciousness, "Good Girls Revolt" is also a good old-fashioned drama ripe with romance and the complexity of female friendships.  Each episode opens with a groovy montage of feminine -- and feminist -- images, and the music is always kick-ass.  If the show sometimes seems a bit earnest, then it's because it's about young people who care about something in a time when politics and passions run high.  Because youthful indignation, however entitled, can remind us of what is important.      

Sounds like more than a beehive in a bonnet to me.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Some Bunny Loves Peeps . . .

Jeepers Creepers Where'd You Get Those Peeps Peepers Sunglasses 

Top: DKNY, Macy's
Skirt: H&M
Shoes: BCBG, Macy's
Bag: Xhilaration, Target

. . . and that some bunny is me.  I didn't color eggs this year, but I have been, ahem, dyeing to show off my growing plush Peeps collection.  A couple years back I bought the pink, yellow, and blue bunnies, and this year I added the green, purple, and orange ones.  I couldn't help myself.  They're cute, they're sweet . . . not to mention tasty (or at least the candies that came with them were).  Hey, if it's wrong to collect stuffed animals of stuff that you love to eat, then I don't want to be right.

That said, I sprang them from their hermetically sealed baggies, where they live, ironically, in an old Tote Trove business card-filled Easter basket the rest of the year, and had a little photo shoot.

First up, the classic Warhol:  

Next, my kind of Easter bonnet:

And finally, an adorable Peeps in Pajamas Little Golden Book and baby plush Peeps for my even more adorable new nephew.  Because I insist on introducing the marshmallow magic of Peeps to the next generation:

In non-Peeps (but still Easter-y) news, I was in Kohl's last week when I saw a pair of suits that give the ones from Dumb and Dumber a run for their funny:

They're polyester, which is, as you know, my own personal miracle fabric.  Why the world insists on turning its nose up at something that never wrinkles or fades will forever remain a mystery to me.  Also, it's affordable!  The jacket, pants, and tie are just $79.99, and if you have a coupon (and come on, who doesn't?), it's even cheaper.  Splashy and flashy, these suits were made for the grand marshal of the Easter parade. 

That said, I hope your bunny trail leads to greatness.  By which I mean kick-ass outfits, drama-free family dinners, and seconds on banana cream pie.

Hoppy Easter :)