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 :)    

Monday, April 10, 2017

Pastel Belle: Or Should I Say Cinderella?




 True Blue Bauble Necklace



Dress: Xhilaration, Target
Shoes: Worthington, J. C. Penney's
Bag: Xhilaration, Target
Belt: Candie's, Kohl's
Sunglasses: Candie's, Kohl's







Dress: Bisou Bisou, J. C. Penney's
Shoes: Dolce by Mojo Moxy, DSW
Bag: Loop, Marshalls
Hat: Sea Star, Brigantine Beach
Sunglasses: Kohl's






Spring Swag Barrette



Dress: Modcloth
Shoes: Penny Loves Kenny, DSW
Bag: Princess Vera, Kohl's
Sunglasses: Michaels
Assorted flower brooches: Kohl's, A. C. Moore






Top (dress): Modcloth
Skirt: Necessary Objects, Annie Sez
Shoes: Penny Loves Kenny, DSW
Bag: Modcloth
Belt: Candie's, Kohl's
Sunglasses: Party City

With Beauty and the Beast on the big screen, I've got Disney damsels on the brain.  Not, mind you, that their modern-day incarnations are the old-school kind famous for flailing in distress.  Always a markedly brave soul of the Disney canon, Belle (Emma Watson) does battle with the beast like never before in this live action version.  Watson brings just the right blend of grit and tenderness as she teaches that tale as old as time lesson, namely that being different is nothing to be afraid of and that letting your freak flag fly can make dreams come true.

In honor of all that, I'm going to attempt to do that Disney princess outfit association thing so popular on Pinterest (yep, from now on I'll be referencing old Pinny out the wazoo).  The blue outfit is Cinderella, the yellow one is a cross between Belle and Snow White, the pink one is Sleeping Beauty, and the green one is a cross between The Little Mermaid and no one (hey, I did say "attempt).  So, it's no surprise that my enchanted bird barrettes are channeling Cinderella, too, their pink and blue plumage the same colors as her first homespun, off-to-the-ball dress (which, by the way, I've always preferred to the austere ice blue one conjured up by her fairy godmother).  These feathered friends are also reminiscent of the birds that helped make Cindy's dress.  Mr. Bluebird on my shoulder, indeed!  Still, if I'm being honest, then I'd have to say that my favorite fairy tale gown is Snow White's.  Her story may be the weirdest (I've never cottoned to those dwarfs, or to Snow slaving away for them), but her red, blue, and yellow dress is unparalleled primary color perfection.

'Cause to me, Crayola is always queen.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Pinning Plays: Shoe Montage Collage Flashback

Clockwise from top: Ami Clubwear; Charles Albert, Alloy; Ami Clubwear; Worthington, J. C. Penney's; (center) Not Rated, Journeys

 Left to right: ELLE, Kohl's; Bucco, Kohl's; Madden Girl, Macy's

Left to right: Guess, DSW; Ami Clubwear; Guess, DSW

Big news, I'm being pinned!  No, I haven't become a gorgeous lady of wrestling or joined a sorority.  The Tote Trove is finally on Pinterest!  I suppose it would be more accurate to say that I'm finally pinning as opposed to being pinned, which could also be a pun for winning, but the sorority-wrestler thing was so much more fun, don't you think?  Anyway, I got "pinning" in in the post title.  So, I guess that's two wins. Er, pins.

For years, people have been telling me to get on Pinterest.  "You'd love it!"  they'd say.  "You can find anything!"  For those not in the know, Pinterest, "the world's catalog of ideas," is kind of like Facebook, only with just pictures.  All kinds of pictures of everything, uploaded by users and copied from all over the web.  So, instead of reading an update on Aunt Enid's bunion surgery (no disrespect to Aunt Enid, as I'm sure my wild shoe-wearing ways will land me in the podiatrist's office sooner than later), you get new pics of wedges.  And booties.  And stilettos.  All sailing past in dizzying Technicolor.  (See what I did there?)  Anyway, at first I resisted.  Not because I didn't think I would like it.  Oh, no.  Because I knew just how much I would like it, that once I started, my collector's nature would take over, and I'd be pinning anything and everything with abandon.  There's no doubt about it; Pinterest is the Pringles of the social media world.  Part of its lure, I think, is the whole FOMO (i.e. fear of missing out) thing.  Because if you find one fantastic hat/skirt/bag/necklace, then there's no telling just how many more are a mere scroll away, waiting to light up one of your already bursting boards.  (Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that that's where you put your pins -- on boards.  I have about twenty, with have names like Nifty Necklaces, Bright Bags, Awesome Outfits . . . you get the idea.)  It's inspiring and exhilarating, a fabulous fantasy land of fashion at my fingertips -- if only I never leave my computer!  Indeed, more than once the husband has resorted to wheeling me away from the screen, usually at dinnertime.  I can't say I blame him.  It's a sad day when mac n' cheese can't compete with (for all intents and purposes) imaginary stilettos.  I've been at it for a month, and so far I've amassed more than five thousand pins.  Which, now that I say it, sounds like too many.  Still, although this technological trend has fueled one obsession, it's curbed another, perhaps more deleterious one, namely shopping.  Instead of going out and buying two new shirts, I can pin dozens of them from the comfort of my own home without spending a dime.  What's more, when I do venture out to the stores (or, as they so quaintly say in Britain, "the shops"), most of what I find looks oh so tragically basic.  Just one more example of how the internet skews our expectations.

Anyhoo, yesterday I decided to take some of my own shoe pics to add to the photo fracas.  One  wouldn't upload to my Show-stopping Shoes board because Pinterest can sometimes be a finicky priss.  But no worries, because they're all here!  That's right, I'm embracing my shoe montage roots for a cute reboot (there's a line I'm sure I've used before).  If these punchy pumps and wacky wedges look familiar, then it's because . . . you've seen them before.  But never in such colorful configurations, or against such brilliant backdrops!  Here at the Trove, I've learned some things over the years.  Like, there's no such thing as too much color.  Really, sometimes I marvel at the way posterboard has changed my life. 

Speaking of which, gotta jet.  A fresh pair of Ferragamos is waiting.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Flip This House; Fling This Bling





Top: Worthington, J. C. Penney's
Skirt (dress): Macy's
Shoes: Betseyville, Macy's
Bag: Marshalls
Sunglasses: Rampage, Boscov's
Belt: Marshalls






Top: Candie's, Kohl's
Skirt: Modcloth
Shoes: Chinese Laundry, DSW
Bag: Marshalls
Belt: New York & Company
Sunglasses: Rampage, Boscov's






Top: Macy's
Skirt: H & M
Shoes: Betseyville, Macy's
Bag: Bisou Bisou, J. C. Penney's
Belt: Kohl's
Sunglasses: So, Kohl's






Top: Rampage, Macy's
Skirt (dress): Macy's
Shoes: Alloy
Bag: Nordstrom
Belt: Wet Seal
Sunglasses: Rampage, Boscov's






Top: Candie's, Kohl's
Skirt (dress): Modcloth
Shoes: a.n.a., J. C. Penney's
Bag: Nahui Ollin
Belt: Marshalls






Shrug: The Limited, Marshalls
Tee: Marshalls
Dress: J. C. Penney's
Shoes: Guess, DSW
Bag: Xhilaration, Target
Sunglasses: Kohl;s
Belt: Cape Charles, VA gift shop

If you watch DIY or HGTV (or, you know, breathe), then you know that flipping houses is a thing.  People buy old homes for a song, fix them up, then resell them for a symphony.  Like any artsy-fartsy soul, I love the idea of making something old new again.  Or better yet, making something new even newer.  Which is why I bought these clearance necklaces from big box stores and embellished them to sell on Etsy.  The only difference is that my prices aren't nearly as inflated -- that, and a necklace goes wherever you do, whereas a house ventures only as far as the mailbox.  Of course, these days that's changing, what with "Tiny House, Big Living" and "Tiny House Nation" catering to wanderers who don't mind squatting on their parents' lawns.    

So, what's up with the second part of this post title?  I'm not sure.  "Fling this bling" doesn't sound like the real estate pun I'd intended (hey, punning ain't easy), but more like 1) a wealthy old dowager tossing off her pearls as she swings from a chandelier, or 2) an ill-fated tryst between a topaz and a diamond.  It's an old story.  Diamond's dad thinks that Topaz isn't good enough for Diamond, and Topaz's mom thinks that Diamond is too much of a princess for Topaz.  In a sort of reverse Romeo and Juliet move, the disapproving parents toss each other's offspring into the ocean, then run away to the Emerald City to head up a Munchkin outreach program.

Sigh.  Fine jewelry can be so dramatic.  That's why I stick with humble synthetics.