Cyber Monday Spoilage

2 Dec

Ah, Cyber Monday. Perhaps the only day of the year when we are expected, nay, encouraged to essentially play online shopping hooky. (Do it for the economy!)

But at the end of a long weekend spent gleefully clicking “proceed to checkout,” I’m beginning to feel a bit like an addict. Because after all that purchasing (most for others, and a little for me), the ease at which I find myself adding items to my cart is eclipsed only by the panic I feel at doing so. Do I really need this stuff?

Case in point, this gorgeous lace bodysuit.

ImageOh, it’s the perfect sexy layering piece for underneath a tank or sheer blouse! I will feel like Striperella-Meets-Black-Swan. How glorious!

So I add it to my cart, then continue clicking around to make sure there’s nothing else I missed, which brings me to the heart of the matter: if I didn’t need it 30 seconds ago, then I don’t need it now.

When everything goes on sale, I find myself adding items to my cart just because they’re discounted. Especially when said discount is greater than 40 percent.

ImageGlamtastic Charlotte Olympia sandals at 50% off? Yes please! And yet, I have a closet full of fabulous shoes that aren’t taken for a walk nearly as often as they deserve. And so they pop in and out of my shopping cart, hoping for some stroke of luck (poker winnings? a forgotten paycheck?) to warrant their purchase.

I’m trying to stick to basics that I’ve needed for a long time: a sexy black bikini (Shopping strategy: purchase one investment piece and one cheapy, compare upon arrival.), the Rag & Bone jeans that fit me perfectly, but that I can never justify at full price…

Image…and the white blazer that’s been missing from my wardrobe ever since I wore my last one to the ground. All are on their way to my doorstep, and yet I still react to every Take 30% With Promo Code CYBER30 email like a junky to his dealer. I just have to see what they’ve got.

Thank goodness for free returns.

Finish Your Holiday Shopping This Friday

25 Nov

Thanksgiving week is my favorite part of the holidays. With the season still fresh, the air is redolent with roast turkey and fresh pine and the bah-humbug epidemic has yet to become airborne.

This will be a busy holiday season for us, which will include hosting our first-ever Thanksgiving in our new home and traveling literally to the other side of the world (NZ) for Christmas. And of course there are multiple holiday parties, birthdays, and our fourth wedding anniversary in between. So when I realized just how much of a hustle this holiday season was about to become, I resolved to finish all my gifting by the end of this weekend so I can enjoy the rest of the season as much as this week.

No, I’m not crazy. Just crazy organized.

Here are my five steps for getting the job done early:

1. Make a Christmas list. No, I’m not talking about writing a letter to Santa. I’m talking about a slightly OCD, it-might-be-an-Excel-spreadsheet list of everyone you need to buy for. Include columns for gift ideas, and how much you’re willing to spend on each particular person. Not only will this help you stay organized, but it will help you realize that yeah, you’ve got this.


2. Get Over Gift Guilt. Money spent and love given are not directly proportional. Don’t feel you have to spend a lot of money on one person just because you’re close to them. Focus on finding them something thoughtful.

As long as this is the end result, you’re good:


3. Use Your Resources. Fill online wishlists with giftable ideas, then check throughout the week to see if they’ve gone on sale. Better yet, use shopping sites like Shopstyle to set email alerts so you’ll know the second an item is discounted, or search #BlackFriday on Twitter and Facebook. Also helpful:’s Salewire, and


4. Shop in your PJs. Preferably with a glass of wine in hand. Waking up at 3am to go to Best Buy is sooooo 2005. Most deals available in brick and mortar stores are also available online. So why expose yourself to aggro line cutters, screaming babies, and the one person who invariably stands waaaay too close to you, then coughs without covering his mouth.


5. Master Your MasterCard. Don’t just have an overall holiday budget, ask yourself what each item is worth to you. If it doesn’t hit that dollar amount, then find a backup. Because nothing’s better than making your loved ones happy, and still having a little left over for yourself.


The Brunch Bunch

19 Nov

Brunch in San Francisco is, in a word, outtacontrol.

It is simply un-San-Franciscan to pass a weekend without whiling away at least one day sipping creative daytime cocktails at a table littered with plates of egg-laden goodness. (In fact, I think it’s our love of brunch that has prompted us to top just about everything with an egg, from burgers and pizza to housemade pasta.)

So it’s quite an honor to become a brunch institution in SF, and few restaurants are more deserving than Foreign Cinema. The Mission mainstay has been serving savory scrambles, plates of fresh oysters, and kickass cocktails since Willie Brown was mayor. Yet somehow I had yet to hit them up before this past weekend. (Wealth of riches, perhaps?)

Here are some photos of the highlights. I’ll definitely be returning soon.


Behold, the Bloody Caesar; a vodkalicious, clamato-laced breakfast cocktail that provides the spicy satisfaction of a good ol’ bloody Mary, but far less filling. Genius.


Baked goat cheese and radicchio, which was a much-appreciated gift from the kitchen. Note to holiday gifters: when in doubt, just send cheese.


The hard cider omelette, in which apples and chanterelles nestle cozily inside a package of perfectly silky eggs.


The colorful flower petals in my side salad were a beautiful and elegant touch.


The balsamic-fried eggs with garlic potato hash and prosciutto are nothing short of a culinary masterpiece. I’m definitely going to have to try to figure this one out at home.

Holiday Dressing, Courtesy of the ASOS Sale

11 Nov

Ah the holiday party dress. You wear it for one season and then it goes to the back of your closet, resurfacing only when it’s time to make a trip to Goodwill.

Which is why I was super psyched to brows ASOS’ holiday dress sale today. They’ve discounted a ton of their already reasonable holiday sparkles, as well as some more high-end options that are far too beautiful to wear only once.

Here are my top 5 picks:

5. The Corporate Party, $56.95

Your boss has booked a super-sexy space, but you don’t want to end up being That Girl Who Wore The Really Short Dress To Last Year’s Holiday Party. The solution: a simple, strapless silhouette with an asymmetrical hem. Because being completely covered up is never any fun.


4. The Boho Sparkler, $200.23

The sleeves keep it appropriate for a workplace gathering, but the length says Happy New Year.


3. The Man Eater, $277.65

Beautiful beading will make your friends ooh and ah, while the body con fit and micro mini length ensure that you’ll definitely have a kissing partner this NYE.


2. Like It’s 1999, $50.72

Relive your favorite scene from Clueless in this slinky, sparkly slip dress. No one will dare accuse you of looking Monet. Promise.


1. The Ultra-Feminine Stunner, $355.96

It takes a lot of confidence to stay this covered when everyone else is showing skin. But the extra fabric makes the dress much more versatile, so you can totally wear it to your work party, then pull it out for friend’s fall wedding next year.


I hate you, cystic acne

8 Nov

Zits suck, regardless of whether they’re pinhead-sized whiteheads or life-ruining, happiness-sucking, hide-your-face cysts. And for those of us who once saw a Discovery Channel promo for Face Eating Tumor and thought That title could totally apply to the throbbing behemoth on my chin, then you know a special kind of torture.

Because no matter how many cortisone shots you get, supplements you buy, or exfoliants you use, those suckers always seem to come back.

The truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all cure for cystic acne. In fact, it has dermatologists just as stymied as it does sufferers. Because even after they zap it with the best weapon in their arsenal (Accutane), there’s no guarantee that your skin won’t erupt again just in time for your wedding or corporate head shot.

That’s why I’ve chosen to share the five treatments that have worked best for me, in hopes that they might be a light-at-the-end-of the tunnel for anyone who has cancelled a night out or hidden behind a giant floppy hat because of cystic acne.


5. Alotta Omegas

Whenever I bump my head, I get a goose egg. Fall and bruise my knee, and suddenly there’s a grapefruit in the middle of my leg. After a while, I began to wonder if this overactive inflammatory response might also be contributing to my acne issues. So I headed over to to see what I could do about it. Turns out that taking Omega-3 supplements and also Evening Primrose Oil (a healthy Omega-6) can significantly reduce inflammatory response. I’ve been taking these supplements religiously for two months now and my skin is noticably calmer and more even-toned.


4. Skip the Sweets

I went through an elimination diet phase where I cut out common allergens (dairy, processed sugar, gluten), then reintroduced them. Within two days of having a slice of cake, a gnarly cyst parked itself on my chin. For that reason, I am now passing on sweets and limiting myself to two alcoholic drinks when I choose to imbibe.


3. Pat Dry with Paper Towels

I’ve had several people freak out and tell me that paper towels are way too harsh for my skin. But given the alternative — drying my face with a hand towel festering in acne-causing bacteria — I’ll take the paper towel. The trick is pressing your face into the towel, then gently blotting. NO RUBBING ALLOWED. This has helped me keep my cysts flying solo…as opposed to growing small families on my face.


2. Clairsonic for Acne-Prone Skin

The best way to describe this is that it’s the skincare equivalent of an electric toothbrush. Once you clean your face with a Clairsonic, you’ll never feel as clean when you use your fingers. Because cysts have a tougher time forming when your pores are clean. Just be sure to get the brushes for acne-prone skin, they’re gentler than the regular strength and anti-microbial.


1. Renova

Differin left my skin flaky and irritated, making my acne flare-ups even worse than before. Renova — which couples a higher concentration with a creamier consistency — has been a game changer for me. Not only does it help prevent my acne, but it also treats the tiny wrinkles that are beginning to crop up around my eyes. And because it help’s my skin’s appearance in general, I feel like it’s easier to conceal those big ugly cysts when they do appear.

Coveting Coach

7 Nov

Like many women, I fell out of love with Coach during the 70-year-old brand’s logo-maniacal days in the early aughts. But the American accessories powerhouse has recently returned to its classically fabulous roots thanks to new Creative Director (and Bottega Veneta and Mulberry alum) Stuart Ververs.

Here are five of my faves.

5. The Large Clutchable in Pebbled Leather, $458

Small enough to pair smartly with an LBD, yet large enough to protect your iPad, this burgundy clutch is minimalism at its best.


4. Small Turnlock Plaque Bracelet, $128

This simple stunner takes a nod from the ubiquitous Hermes wrap bracelet, then kicks it up about ten gilded notches.


3. Mini Tanner In Saffiano Leather, $258

This affordable crossbody is the perfect solution for those of us with I-spent $500-on-a-mini-Pashli-and-then-they-ended-up-at-Target angst. (And, yes, I am speaking from personal experience. *grumble*)


2. Box Chain Cuff, $228

The box chain weave of this substantial cuff adds interest while keeping it light and airy. Slip it on over a sweater sleeve, or bejewel a bare arm before a night out.


1. The Large Borough Bag In Polished Calfskin, $898

The luxe leather. The gloriously minimal hardware. And who knew a seam could be so sexy? When it comes to a beautiful carry-all, it doesn’t get much better than this.


Heidi Klum wins Halloween….again

1 Nov

In an era when most women’s Halloween costumes are titled “Sexy _____,” Heidi Klum consistantly bucks the norm, reminding us of what Halloween is all about: the opportunity to live your fantasy.

I’d venture to guess that most women’s fantasies don’t involve swinging on a pole. Yet year after year, we don the shortest skirts and deepest V’s we can find. Not that there’s anything wrong with flaunting what you’ve got, or expressing your sexuality. But it’s gotten to the point where women are looked at sideways if we’re not wearing something revealing. It’s not about us anymore.


Enter Heidi Klum, who has long celebrated her love of Halloween with a lavish annual costume party. And while her costumes are always interesting, this year’s choice bucked the norm in a way I found especially amusing. Behold:


Extra points for veiny legs and droopy decolletage. Truly, it’s the total opposite of what so many of us aspire to be for Halloween, which is what makes it so awesome. I also love that she draped her jacket over her shoulders and mixed her prints, embodying an old lady character who is proudly fashion forward.

Well played, Heidi. Well played.