Monday, May 29, 2017

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chinos! And Happy Memorial Day

Tee: Merona, Target
Shorts: Merona, Target
Shoes: Rocket Dog, Marshalls
Bag: Lily Bloom, JCPenney
Sunglasses: Rampage, Boscov's
Orange bangle: Mixit, JCPenney
Red bangle: B Fabulous
Barrette: The Tote Trove
Ring: Making Waves
Mixed bangle: Mixit, JCPenney
Blue bangle, B Fabulous

Top: Delia's
Shorts: LC Lauren Conrad, Kohl's
Shoes: Ami Clubwear
Bag: H&M
Sunglasses: So, Kohl's
Belt: Kohl's
Yellow bangles: B Fabulous
Green bracelet: Parade of Shoes
Blue ring: Delia's
Pink ring: Delia's 

Whistle While You Smirk Charm Necklace

Tee: Merona, Target
Shorts: Merona, Target
Shoes: Ami Clubwear
Bags: Charming Charlie
Sunglasses: Michaels
Pink/white bangle: Mixit, JCPenney
Pink/blue bangle: Mixit, JCPenney
Ring: Making Waves

If you were expecting a ceramic, bush-sprouting kitten, sheep, or turtle (or, these days, an emoticon, Hello Kitty, or Darth Vader), then I'm sorry to disappoint you.  Because it's not these horticulture-meets-pop-culture kitsch icons that are being thrust into the limelight today.  It's shorts, the classic, cotton prep school kind that this one-time daisy duke diva swore she'd never wear.  But being in one's mid-thirties brings its clothing concessions, and I don't mean the kind that come with Cheez Whiz.  Thankfully, Target's Merona brand makes stylish chinos for every body and I, never one to miss a shopportunity, have snagged several pairs.  So break out the Nair and banish that hair (I started this '70s theme, and I'm sticking with it, no matter how stinky) and glam up your gams, because, hey kids, it's summer.  (Or not.  I hear palazzo pants are making a comeback).

Wait, what's this?  Daisy Jean, intrepid public school dropout, has crashed the BBQ after all, having wedged (or perhaps I should say wedgied) her brazenly embroidered self between Rebecca and Kathryn (a.k.a. the chinos). In true rebel mode, she hitched a ride on my Kohl's gift card one day and flat out refused to let go.  But I'm glad she did because she goes with tons of tops in my closet.  Tanks, tees, crops (if DJ is here, then crops are fair game), and peasant tops are all made more magical by her rustic-rough edge (if you can call daisies and/or Lauren Conrad edgy).  Also, she's roomier (i.e. more forgiving) than the cutoffs of my youth, which means that I can hit the Memorial Day buffet with abandon.  Cheez Whiz, here I come.

You know what else is magical?  This week's necklaces.  Or maybe I should say charming.  Because I had such a good time making them that it was like I was under a spell (also, 'cause they're made of, um, charms).  Whistle While You Smirk, Shape Shack, and Color Wheel Zeal are everything I love in neckwear: colorful, quirky, and reminiscent of a clown costume (why, oh why, didn't I name my shop The Circus Trousseau when I had the chance?).  I was so excited that it was tough to tear myself away from my pliers and beads (not to mention my "Mindy Project" binging) this weekend, but somehow I managed.  As they say, Memorial Day is the Friday night of summer vacation, and I didn't want to miss out.  What?  They don't say that?  Well, they should.  I'll email them at once, just as soon as I find my AOL password.  

In the meantime, enjoy these shots of the island: 


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Knit Wit Brit: Bridget Jones Joneses for Junior

Top: Wet Seal
Skirt (a dress!): Kohl's
Shoes: Worthington, JCPenney
Bag: Glamour Damaged, Etsy
Belt: Wet Seal
Sunglasses: Mudd, 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, JCPenney
Shoes: Chase & Chloe, Modcloth
Bag: Bisou Bisou, JCPenney
Sunglasses: Michaels
Polka dot bangle: Mixit, JCPenney
Green stretch bracelet: Cloud Nine, Ocean City
Shell stretch bracelet: Hawaii gift shop
Rhinestone stretch bracelet: Kensie, Macy's
Ring: Carole, JCPenney
Purple flower clip: Claire's
Mint flower clip: Forever 21
Boucle flower clip: Kohl's
Yellow flower clip: Mixit, JCPenney

Dazzling Dragonfly Necklace

Top: Xhilaration, Target
Skirt: Decree, JCPenney
Shoes: Chinese Laundry, DSW
Bag: Marshalls
Yellow belt: Wet Seal
Mint belt: Candie's, Kohl's
Sunglasses: Relic, 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, JCPenney
Bag: Loop, Marshalls
Sunglasses: Michaels
Watch: A.C. Moore
Bracelet: Betsey Johnson, Macy's
Ring: Seahorse Designs, Etsy 

Patty Pompom Necklace

Top: Byer, Boscov's
Skirt: ROSS Dress for Less
Bag: Delia's
Shoes: Qupid, DSW
Sunglasses: The Tote Trove
Barrette: The Tote Trove
Bangles: Mixit, JCPenney
Ring: Making Waves, Ocean City

Top: Arizona Jeans, JCPenney
Jeans: Arizona Jeans, JCPenney
Shoes: Nine West, DSW
Bag: The Tote Trove
Sunglasses: Party City
Orange bangle: Mixit, JCPenney
Yellow bangle: B Fabulous
Ring: Making Waves

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

Blues Cues Charm Necklace

Pretty Parfait Whistle Purse Charm

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

Prehistoric Princess Necklace

Top: Arizona Jeans, JCPenney
Shorts: Merona, Target
Shoes: Ami Clubwear
Bag: Betsey Johnson
Sunglasses: The Tote Trove

Brenda Bow Necklace 

Pretty Parfait Elephant Purse Charm 

Top: Wet Seal
Skirt: Stoosh, Macy's
Shoes: Ami Clubwear
Bag: Princess Vera, Kohl's
Sunglasses: Mudd, 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 JCPenney.  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.