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Chopin Liszt

That title only makes sense in relation to an old friend I had back in college who was a piano teacher. On her refrigerator she kept a magnetic notepad which functioned as her grocery list, and it was titled “Chopin Liszt” instead of “Shopping List.” I’ve always thought that was clever, and every time I start to write a shopping post here I consider giving it the same title. So, I finally did it. Sorry, classical music lovers who stumble onto this page by mistake. Unless you want to read about eyebrows, purses, and Stitch Fix. Moving on.

It’s still Sunday when I’m writing this, so in my mind Spring Break hasn’t officially begun yet, but I’ve already taken 240 photos. As usual, give me a little time off and the camera starts flashing! But more on that later. It’s definitely worked out nicely that our Spring Break is a week behind almost all of the public school districts in Houston; usually having the week off is nice, but everything is so crowded with high school students some of the thrill is lessened. Doug and I were going to take advantage of the free week by going down to Kemah, a part of the city that usually gets packed when students are out of school, but considering last week’s little trip to the emergency room is probably going to cost us a couple thou, we decided to bow out of any major expenditures. Still, it’ll be fun to run around town all week and feel like the only person in the world who isn’t working. Good times.

For more fun, let’s talk about my eyebrows. For a few months now, I’ve been getting them tinted when I go in for threading (which I do about once a month). The tint fades pretty quickly, but it’s only another $10 or so, so I always figure why not. Now, I’m perfectly familiar with the fact that the day I get them tinted they’re pretty dark, but that they start to fade after the first face washing. So I’m not sure just what happened yesterday; if the technician really did put much more on than usual, or if the fact that I wore no other makeup yesterday (when I usually have a full face on) made my brows appear more, erm, dramatic than usual. And it’s not like she didn’t give me a mirror and show me how the brows looked before I went on my way, but what can I say – as always, I barely pay attention when in the salon because I’m in a hurry to get out of there (usually for lunch), so perhaps that’s what happened; or maybe it was because I didn’t have my glasses on when I looked at them, who knows. As it turned out, even after leaving the salon and getting lunch, stopping into a few shops, and hitting the grocery store on the way home, I still hadn’t given them a good glance. It wasn’t until I’d come home and gotten settled that I looked in the mirror, and saw this:

Photo Mar 14, 4 05 04 PM

Yep, that was me on Saturday, walking around, gettin my Groucho Marx on. I swear I’ve never noticed them looking quite this painted on before, but as I said, it could have been my lack of other eye makeup that made this happen? Either that, or the tech just went overboard. It’s also nice that I had my hair all pulled back like that, to really allow everyone a good look at my freakishness. Fortunately, by Sunday morning, things were looking a little more normal:

Photo Mar 15, 11 53 07 AM
Still no makeup hence the filter

But I definitely need to remember in the future to go straight home after a brow tint, or at least keep my hair down. Moving on.

Now, shopping! First I’ll share a few quick Stitch Fix shots from my March box. They sent some nice stuff, but I only ended up keeping one thing as the others were all near misses. There’s three SF items in this first shot:

MarchSF2

The cardigan is called the Vivianna Open-Draped Knit Cardigan , and it’s the only piece I kept. I need another long cardigan like I need a kick in the throat, but this one was light and cute and comfy so I couldn’t resist. The coral top is called the Micah Embroidered Bib Top, and it was SO almost a keeper; it’s a nice, light jersey-type material and the fit was loose but not too big. However, coral is a horrible color on me (in spite of how nice it might look here – THANKS PHOTOSHOP) and as much I liked the cut and feel of this I knew it would end up being given to my best friend who looks amazing in this color after it hung in my closet for six months without being worn. So bye. And then – sigh – we have the Anita Skinny Pant in, of course, black. I believe this is the third pair of black skinny pants Stitch Fix has sent me, and I’ve yet to buy any of them as well as giving feedback on each pair that I do not need any more black skinny pants. These weren’t a jean and were not quite a legging, so they were nice, but again, just don’t need them, plus they were a size 26 which, as hard as it is for me to accept this, is too big for me now. Even in skinny pants. Crazy. Back they went.

Also – I wish you could better see the shoes I’m wearing here. These are from Free People and are by Jeffrey Campbell; they’re a pointy-toed flat slide called the Dayna Point Flat, and they are awesome. I bought them in a brown snakeskin back in October when they were full price (they no longer sell them, just have taupe and black now), but they were hella uncomfortable, so I stuck them in my closet and forgot about them since it turned cold right after that and I went deep into Ugg mode for the winter. I never did want to send them back because I knew if I could get them broken in I’d wear them forever – they have just the right amount of dressiness to be worn with nicer clothes, but are still casual enough for everything else I wear. A few weeks ago I pulled out the snakeskin ones and wore them around the house for several days, as well as putting some moleskin inside to make the fairly stiff material feel softer, and lo and behold I eventually wore them down. They almost immediately became my favorite shoes, so when FP put the black ones on sale I snatched them up, even though they’re suede and I’d like them much better in plain leather. I don’t think there’s anywhere else you can get these, so if you like them, go snatch them up now, because they’re marked down to $49 and selling out fast. In fact, I am going back to get the taupe ones now…yep, just bought ‘em.

img-thing
Sadly, no more snake print

Annnnnd now, let’s get ready for a big HELL NO from Stitch Fix:

MarchSF3
I couldn’t even take this shirt seriously enough to take a decent picture

This is called the Marietta Chambray Top, and it’s one of those tops that has plenty of photographs on the internet, with most women (at least the ones posting pictures) liking it. I knew, however, just from seeing the pics online that I was going to hate it. Oxford-style tops are very difficult for me to wear. I don’t know what it is about them that doesn’t work on me; maybe it’s the formality of them more than the fit? Anyway, I don’t like the cut and that silly fading in the middle (oh, and that’s not a pocket you see there, it’s the imprint of a pocket) makes me think Hee Haw (does anyone else remember that show?). Hee Haw Hell Naw! Back it goes.

MarchSF4

This falls into the “meh” department, so it went back also. Again – black, why so much black, Stitch Fix? It bores me. And it’s another jersey-knit maxi dress of the sort I’ve bought many times before and ended up getting bored with pretty quickly. This one in particular is called the Jessie Basket Weave Detail Jersey Maxi Dress (not very catchy, is it) and it’s by a label called Gilli that I’ve worn before (my poor abandoned ModCloth sells a lot of Gilli dresses). All the Gillis I’ve owned have been cute, and comfy, until the second or third washing when they start pilling and looking worn out. So no on this one for me this time, too, Stitch Fix. But thanks for the cardigan. Seriously though, this isn’t a bad Fix, and sending most of it back had more to do with not needing anything new than it did with being disappointed in what I received. So we’ll see what next month brings. And now: purses!

LVcollection

When I bought my first Vuitton back in November and quickly became obsessed with the bags, there were a few things I knew I wanted to add to my little collection: as far as purse styles, I knew I wanted an Alma (the bottom one) and a Speedy (third up to the right, below the checkerboard bag with the pom tassel), and as far as different lines besides the monogram print I knew wanted a Damier Ebene (more photos of that one here) and something from the Epi Leather line (the ivory one). The denim and the little mini-Ellipse got snatched up while looking for the other things, since they were good deals. So happily, I have now found all of what I wanted, and don’t feel the need for anything else from LV right now. Not that I don’t still enjoy looking, but brand-new items are out of my price range (although OMG the Spring and Summer line looks AMAZING. Can’t wait until I can buy some of it used in, say, ten years) so my online shopping mostly involves finding good deals on used sites rather than breaking the bank on new stuff. Although…

Louis Vuitton, Ready to Wear Spring Summer 2015 Collection in Paris
Anybody care to loan me three grand?

Oh, and those two little purse tassels on the ivory and checkerboard bag are from Banana Republic; Vuitton makes bag charms that cost up to $500 used, but the Banana ones are $40 which is much more reasonable, and they are real leather. Yes, I’ve even begun decorating my handbags. I’m in deep, people.

So deep that even though I’m all caught up on LV, I’ve also gotten obsessed with an older bag from Fendi that was, apparently, all the rage about ten years ago. Seriously, type “Fendi Spy Bag” into Google images and check out every single female celeb imaginable carrying them around, oh, 2004-2007 or so. I never had any idea, of course, because the bags retailed for well over $1000 so there was no way they would have ever crossed my path, but now that they’ve been discontinued for several years they can be found on the resale sites I frequent, and there are loads of old posts singing the bag’s praises over on the Purse Forum where I’m now a member.

victoria-beckham-and-fendi-spy-bag-gallery
I’d love to find one in this color

In fact, it was on the forum where  I first stumbled across a post or two about them, and at first I thought they were hideous but soon they grew on me; they do have everything I love about a bag – they are huge, and they are slouchy, and those woven handles are gorgeous – and I decided I’d like to own one. Sadly, I did not notice when first reading the forum posts that they were all years old, so when I went searching for more information I was surprised to find they were no longer being sold. This means they re-sell for more than I am comfortable spending, but I’ve been watching a few closely since December as they’ve slowly gotten marked down ever further over at Fashionphile (I’ve also been bummed to watch a few disappear that I was really wanting to buy and waiting for further discounts, because someone else was wiling to spend more scratch than I – grrr). There was one that hit a price I was willing to spend, but at first I was still unsure if I should pull the trigger, because even for a Spy bag, it’s pretty unusual.

moncler_collage_2

This one was a limited edition Spy, and even though it looks a little freaky, it was pretty exclusive. The Fendi Moncler Spy was released for Christmas in 2006 and was only on sale for three months, at a few exclusive stores. Only 500 of them were made in the US, and well, now I own one of them! Most people hated these when they came out; they were made in collaboration with an uber-expensive line of ski wear called, of course, Moncler, and yes, it is made of the same down-filled nylon as the ritzy ski-wear label’s winter gear. It came in red, green, and black (I would have loved to find a red one) and retailed for around $2100, and most people thought Fendi was insane to charge so much for something so, well, ugly (apparently Paris Hilton got a red one, dammit, as did Ashlee Simpson. I still want one in that color. I’m sure they’ve both given theirs to their dogs by now to use as pet beds too, or something). I was unsure about getting this one, but when the price went down to $550, and under the influence of all the exclusivity and limited-edition-ness hype, I decided to give it a try. And – I freaking love it! It’s not much of a spring/summer bag, but the best thing I can say about it is that last weekend when I got so sick and had to go to the hospital, it was very cold and raining here, and I took my Moncler Spy with me and cuddled it the whole time I was in the ER as if it were a stuffed animal, or my favorite blanket, and I swear to you it made me feel better. It was so cozy and soft and warm, and it withstood the awful weather without a single smudge or water stain, and it got loads of compliments and carried absolutely everything. And also, there is a reason these bags were named the “Spy” – secret compartments!

moncler_collage

The top of the bag is open, without zippers or clasps, but there is a large “flap” that folds over the top and essentially keeps it closed (see the top left picture). The cool thing is, that flap is actually a little mini-purse. It’s pretty deep, so open it up and you can fit quite a bit of stuff in there – I can put my ID holder, a little tube of hand lotion, my full set of keys, and a glasses cleaning cloth in mine (I think you’re supposed to put your makeup in it, but whatever). Then, hanging off the end of the mini-purse/flap closure is what Fendi called a “wand” – it looks kind of uselessly decorative, until you pop it open at the bottom and realize it’s hollow. The basic claim is that it’s for a tube of lipstick, but give me a break. Maybe a lip LINER would fit inside, but it’s way too narrow for ordinary lipstick of any kind. I honestly can’t figure out any way to use this feature, but hey! Secret compartment!

I think you know where this is headed. Yep. I have two more Spys on layaway over at Fashionphile – a brown Nappa leather and a metallic gold (the brown one I just paid off on Sunday and should have in my possession by the end of the week). But I swear after that I’m done. I think. I’m pretty obsessed with these babies right now, but, they are pretty HUGE bags, so there’s only so many I have room to own. Although, if another gorgeous teal green Spy like the one I missed out on when someone else bought it shows up over there, I may have to grab it too…Moving on:

zucca_collage

…to the last Fendi I own, which I actually bought quite awhile ago. It was listed on eBay in December, and the photos in the ad were horrible, so it had not sold even though the seller had re-listed it several times. She had a “best offer” option on the current auction, so I thought, what the hell, and sent a real low-ball offer ($180), which she accepted. Even though it’s quite used, I was pleased to see it looked much better in person than the seller’s online photos, and it still looks great to carry around – plus I don’t have to worry too much about it. It’s another from the Spy line; Fendi came out with many variations and sizes designed along the same lines as the original but without the massive size or any bells and whistles. So, no secret compartments in this one, but I love the Zucca print and those woven handles  get me every time. It’s my favorite feature of these bags. And notice how nicely those handles have held up over the years; the sign of a well-made handbag for sure.

Ok seriously, people, if you don’t want to go out and buy something by the end of this post, you have a self-control problem (namely, way too much of it). I hit y’all up with a lot of shopping in this post (I didn’t even get to discuss my excitement over a new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race or the Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul), so I promise the next one will be strictly photos. Happy Monday suckers – I’m on break! And probably still sleeping!

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