Thursday, December 31, 2015

Drumroll/Jellyroll Please . . .

Top: Bongo, Sears
Skirt (dress): J. C. Penney's
Shoes: Worthington, J. C Penney's
Bag: Bisou Bisou, J. C. Penney's
Jacket: BCBG, Macy's
Sunglasses: J. C. Penney's

Top: Bongo, Sears
Skirt: Modcloth
Shoes: Betseyville, Macy's
Bag: Xhilaration, Target
Jacket: Candie's, Kohl's
Sunglasses: J. C. Penney's

Top: Bongo, Sears
Skirt: Material Girl, Macy's
Shoes: Penny Loves Kenny, DSW
Bag: Nine West, Marshalls
Jacket: Bisou Bisou, J. C. Penney's
Sunglasses: Cloud Nine, Ocean City boardwalk

Top: Alloy
Jeans: Bongo, Sears
Shoes: Payless
Bag: Marshalls
Jacket: Hot Kiss, Marshalls
Sunglasses: Rampage, Boscov's

Top: Bongo, Sears
Skirt (dress): Kohl's
Shoes: City Streets, J. C. Penney's
Bag: Apt. 9, Kohl's
Jacket: Abbey Dawn, Kohl's
Sunglasses: Candie's, Kohl's

Top: Bongo, Sears
Skirt: Forever 21
Shoes: Chinese Laundry, DSW
Bag: Candie's, Kohl's
Jacket: Decree, J. C. Penney's
Belt: Wet Seal
Sunglasses: Candie's, Kohl's

Because on New Year's Eve we're still in pa-rum-pum-pum-pum territory, which means a bounty of drumsticks -- chicken, ice cream, and anything else hanging by the buffet.  (Also, candy, as represented by the above bargain basement tree garland.)  On the subject of drums, every outfit in this week's post includes a Bongo item from Sears.  Because I've had the pleasure of rediscovering Bongo lately.  If you were a child of the 1990s, then you may have picked out a pair of Bongo jeans for the first day of school.  Back then you could find them at J. C. Penney's, sometimes in a funky pattern befitting their namesake, that most exotic of the percussion instruments.  Then it all disappeared for awhile, only to reemerge as a fashion phoenix at the retailer best known for wrenches.  New and improved, the brand has moved beyond denim to infiltrate every nook and cranny of the wardrobe spectrum.  It's good stuff, fun and affordable with just a hint of rockabilly retro, and I'm so excited about it that I think that "The Walker" by Fitz and the Tantrums  ("I walk to the sound of my own drum . . .") should be its theme song, a comeback anthem that boldly proclaims so what if it's cousins with Kmart?  Which is fitting, what with drummers being known for their off-beat behavior.  You know.  Animal from the Muppets, Travis Barker from Blink-182, Ringo Starr from the Beatles --  also, that other, lesser-known Ringo from Los Lonely Boys.

So let's have a listen, shall we?  I'll provide the lyrics if you hum along in your head, or, if your head isn't earworm friendly, then if you zip on over to iTunes.  Fitz and the Tantrums' drummer, by the way, is John Wicks.  Not to be confused with the title character in that Keanu Reeves movie.  Which, now that I think of it, was John Wick.  Still close enough for the poor guy to get some weird fan mail, though, don't you think?

"Ooh, crazy's what they think about me
Ain't gonna stop cause they tell me so
Cause 99 miles per hour baby,
Is how fast that I like to go.

Can't keep up with my rhythm
Though they keep trying.
Too quick for the lines they throw.
I walk to the sound of my own drum,
It goes, they go, we go, hey yeah yeah yeah"
Prose like that deserves some pastry (figuratively speaking, of course, as I'm certainly not going to box up a pie for Mr. Wicks after that bit about fan mail).  Indeed, dessert and drums: no sweeter way to roll.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Palm Trees and Water Skis: Caribbean Christmas, You've Got Game

Christmas Candy Necklace

Sweater: Mossimo, Target
Jeans: Mudd, Kohl's
Shoes: Ami Clubwear
Bag: Nordstrom
Sunglasses: Michaels

No, I'm not jetting off to a tropical island this Christmas, just wearing a tropical sweater.  This men's Mossimo ugly Christmas sweater from Target was certainly effeminate enough on its own (badass beach bum snowman notwithstanding) without me adding a necklace.  Not that I really think this sweater is ugly.  But then, my barometer for such things is somewhat dubious, "bigger is better and gaudy is good" being my personal mantra, and not just during December, as The Little Book of Christmas Joys author H. Jackson Brown Jr. intended, but 365 days a year.

Speaking of Christmas books, I read a really excellent one just yesterday called The Book of (Holiday) Awesome by Neil Pasricha.  You know how glass-half-full, feel-good reads can sometimes go down kind of -- icky?  Well, this one doesn't.  It's sort of like The Little Book of Christmas Joys but for a new generation of those in need of Christmas commiseration -- a generation with a sense of humor.  Keenly yet kindly, it captures the weird cocktail of awkwardness and wonder that is the holidays.  Also, it's catchy, and a lot of it rhymes.

It's long been a dream of mine to set up Candy Land on a table at Christmas -- and not play it.  (The relevance of this will, I promise, become apparent in the very next sentence.)  This snippet from The Book of (Holiday) Awesome, entitled "Nailing the perfect move in a board game on Christmas Eve" inspired me to do it already:

"Holiday time is board game time.  I think it's because there's just something quiet and old-fashioned about opening the dusty closet and pulling out the old family favorites from yesteryear.  With ages spread across the spectrum, board games are a great equalizer." (44)

Yes, the holidays are a time for getting together and giving back.  And I don't just mean returning that hideous housecoat from Great Aunt Irma (although The Book of (Holiday) Awesome offers ideal advice for handling just that situation under the entry "When the gift receipt is already in the box.").  As the Little Book of Christmas Joys suggests (really, its wisdom is boundless), "make a friend of an enemy this Christmas (entry 209)," "welcome a new family to your neighborhood with a plate of Christmas goodies (entry 225)," and/or "Let a child decorate a small Christmas tree just the way he likes for his bedroom (entry 192).

Because Christmas is, as they say, for children.  And crafting.  And oh yeah, trees:

Your Christmas tree is a microcosm -- nay, a mini-mascot -- of your Christmas, and, in a sense, of your life.  (That's why The House Without a Christmas Tree is so chilling.)  As is how you decorate it.  Do you put on tinsel a strand at a time or toss handfuls of the stuff willy-nilly?  Was it a much younger you, or maybe your daughter, who made that pine cone and yarn contraption dangling from a strand of multicolored (or white or blinking) lights?  And who's the needlepoint/ceramics/wood carving enthusiast, Eagles fan, or world traveler who decked the boughs with bits of DIY, menacing birds, or miniature scenes of the Mediterranean?  All of that stuff tells the story of you, and in my opinion, the more madcap the motif, the better the story.

On that note, have a very merry.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Hat Trick Treats Without the Cleats

Top: Arizona Jean Company, J. C. Penney's
Skirt: Modcloth
Shoes: Alloy
Bag: Marshalls
Hat: Modcloth
Belt: Wet Seal
Sunglasses: Candie's, Kohl's

Top: Bongo, Sears
Skirt: Modcloth
Shoes: Kensie, DSW
Bag: Gifted
Hat: J. C. Penney's
Sunglasses: Kohl's

Top: Delia's
Skirt: Ross
Shoes: Payless
Bag: Candie's, Kohl's
Hat: Gifted
Belt: Apt. 9, Kohl's
Sunglasses: Candie's, Kohl's


1) This winter has been "tricky" so far, and as such, too mild for hats -- felt, feathered, or otherwise.

2) Cleats are never a good fashion statement, not to mention the perpetrator of many a lawn massacre.  

3) "Mele Kalikimaka" never gets old.  Which has nothing to do with the hat trick pun but is a nice tie-in for the December tank tops.  And also for my Christmas palm tree.

That's all for now.  Stay tuned for a (marginally) more Christmasy post later this week.