Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Countdown has Begun.

So Ladies, life is moving at its usual high-speed pace. I've accepted a job in Hawaii and my first day has been set ---- For 3 weeks from now! Which means I'll have to square away just a few things, like my job here, my son's school, health certificates, quarantine arrangements and flights for the puppies.... In 2 weeks. That way I'll have a week to reconstruct some semblance of a life in Hawaii before I have to start work.

As for the good news, it looks like we've found a house, and I had to share! This is an artist's rendering, as it won't be built until just before Christmas. But then, being in Hawaii, it probably will look like this at Christmas time anyway, with the palm trees blowing in the trade winds. It will have 4 bedrooms (so that Hubs will have his man cave, Little Guy will have his space, and moi, I'll have a room I can build into a closet!).

I'll miss everyone over here in Japan so much. I've met some really good people that I don't want to lose touch with. But new adventures await, so I have to be open to it all.

As the next few weeks will be crazy, I will be MIA (um, more so than now, lol). I'll check in and do a post here and there to keep you all informed of the craziness that has become my life.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Some New J.Crew Goodies

People say golf is an expensive habit, but whoever says that is truly not even knowing about the full-blown powerful J-crack addictions. I say this in all seriousness, peeps. I actually consider myself restrained for putting the mouse down for a few months and holding myself back from the sweet sound of the clickety-click and hitting Submit Order on

My glorious mega-order has arrived! Now let's hope it lasts me a few months.

This was the mega-order, ladies. The order which I had been waiting to make in, oh, forever (if by forever you get that I mean January). It has been 2 months since my last indiscretion and I went for the gusto and now that the goodies have arrived I thought I'd give you a sneak peek at what has me grinning like The Joker. That bag in the back? It's holding in its clutches the J.Crew Collection Curator pants my PS had tracked down in total sleuth-like fashion. The items in the box in front? The flannel Banquette dress, the Neopolitan pencil skirt, a black merino tunic, and the Hand Cut Flower Art tee I ordered from Final Sale to basically get the free shipping that was being offered at the time.

I'm quite satisfied with the tee. J.Crew says, "Each of these silk flower appliqués are hand cut and hand stitched with neon thread. The result is a unique, one-of-a-kind piece." The flowers are rather delicate and look very nice, not cheapily sewn haphazardly. I am a little concerned about the flower edges and how frayed they'll be after a few washes, and the flower's center seems like it may come undone - all in one piece - as well. Well, it was about $20 and shipping on my order would have been $18. So I look at it like it's a great alternative to paying for the shipping fee, and I always love when you get something that you didn't think would impress you or catch your eye and then it does.

A little detail of the Hand Cut Flower Art Tee, now Final Sale and $29.99
I'm sort of surprised at its cuteness.

Another favorite out of the order? The Neopolitan pencil skirt. J.Crew says, "Our perfect pencil silhouette—leg lengthening and fit to flatter—updated for spring in a painterly brushstroke jacquard (it's exclusive to us)". The jacquard is really pretty and has a little bit of shimmer in the light. It's kind of fish scale-y, but in a totally good way. The fabric is thick and feels almost quilt-like; It's not cheap and thin. It does seem to fit a teeny bit snug, which makes me cringe, because this baby is currently only offered in my usual size 6 (which I ordered and seems to be slightly tight), and a 10. It looks like I'll be stalking the site until I can land on an 8, or contact the PS to search it down for me. Then, and only then, will I give up the skirt I have now. That is the power of the J-crack, ladies. I actually am willing to hold on to the ill-fitting skirt until I can find one in my size before letting it go. Because the thought of losing a few pounds to get myself into this thing has not necessarily been ruled out.

I did not take photos of the merino tunic and the banquette dress, if only because black photographs so not well. I'll try to take IRLs in the next few days of the items so you'll get to see what I did with them!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday at the Rollerslide Park

We did the "roller slide park" today. What is a roller slide, you may be asking?

This is a roller slide. It is literally about 4 or 5 stories up at its highest point and is a "slide" made up of roller bars that kids use to slide down. I'd never seen one until I moved to Japan. It is all sorts of wrong. It looks dangerous; It's incredibly high; There's absolutely no supervision; & it's a lawsuit waiting to happen. You may be saying what kind of crazy parent am I for letting my son go on this thing. Well, it's fun. It's fun! & sometimes kids need a little bit of that.

A pic of the cherry trees that surround the slide. This was my very first time seeing cherries on a tree. I've lived a sheltered life, for sheezy. I had to photograph it. For posterity!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

When the drycleaning bill is scary, just shop your closet!

It has been a considerably long time since my last IRL update, I realize this. But Ladies, for sheezy, my outfits have seriously been lackluster and uninspired. ** Not worthy of a post or a picture, for sure.** But this morning, amongst the closet issues I have been facing of late, I was able to find some creative, fashion-forward inspiration; Something actually worthy to share avec vous, my interweb gal pals.

Today's outfit was one of those rare, unplanned outfits that came together without much planning, under heavy duress and some major work clothing shortages. Most of my stuff is at the dry-cleaner's, Ladies. I actually fear picking up my clothes right now, all due to the projected ginormous size of the bill. It is going to be so astronomically high, I actually fear picking up the clothes! Like my dry cleaner is holding them hostage and all I need to do is succumb to paying the ransom to look work-worthy again. It's ridiculous.

Anyhoo, that is neither here nor there.

I basically had one skirt to work with, a BCBG high-waisted black version. I had one loose tunic-ish top available at my disposal, and a cardigan with a droopy drape. I threw it all together and found my men's J.Crew belt and threw that on, too. Why not. It was there, it sort of matched the cardigan, it was meant to be.

Just call me Kim Kardashian, 'cause the boo-tay is out of control!
Out of Control!

I stepped back and actually thought, hmm.... not bad. I added the necklace of which I do not know the name that was recently marked down in FS. It's supposed to be all twisty and tangled and sort of adds to my devil-may-care ensemble. I have to say, I was so comfy today I wouldn't have known I actually looked half pulled together. & I got a compliment or two, aaaand I wasn't ready to pull it all off when I got home. Do you do that? I normally, the minute I walk in the door. But not today, oh no. It was like I had a pair of sweats on. I was that comfy.

This outfit might have to make another showing in the upcoming future. I would say today was definitely a win-win. No fat feelings, comfy as all heck, felt a little pulled together, and was totally work appropriate. Today was a good clothes day! I would have to say this was shopping my closet at its finest and it actually worked. When you're forced to be creative, all kinds of cool ideas can pop up.

Anyone else shopping the closet? Have any great tips?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Will Work for Will Power

Hello, my name is Marisa XXXXXXXXX and I am a J.Crew addict. Ladies, I suck at this Must-Not-Shop-Save-Money-For-Kick-Ass-Kitchen thing. I mean, here I am, one minute teaching myself about the cost-versus-aesthetics of honed travertine flooring and then diving into the J.Crew muck the next. My problem is that J.Crew "muck" tastes suspiciously like ambrosia. Turkish Delite, even! Of which now J.Crew has a skirt aptly named after it! So it's all true!
Why is it that I can't stay away?? I am a loser with no will power, that's why, Ladies. That's why I have gone off the deep end with a mega-order, not even doing my usual panic thing before I hit the Check Out button. Y'all know how I am; I usually weigh the pro's and con's of this skirt versus that top. But not this time. I blame it on the stress of moving back to the US. There. At least there's an excuse --- a pretty good one, if I must admit!

Well, without further adieu, please meet the newest fabulosities that shall be calling my tiny Japanese closet home (well, for now anyway).

The Curator Pant.

Let me tell you about the hoops and shoots I have had to go through to get my greasy little paws on these very Not Your Average J.Crew pair of pants. I have been secretly pining for these pants. Away from the blog. Secret = Not on the Blog. I have been wondering if they were too fashion-forward for little 'ole me, who tends to be more of a preppy girl. But at some point, I don't know when, I decided I liked them. And that's when I found out that they're basically sold out on the site (available in 00, which perhaps I could get my ankle in, but that's about it). & so I called my trusty PS, who found them quickly, only to email me back with the disappointing news that the store that had them did not hold them for me. **Eye Rolls** She was quick to email me back and say she found them again and would I like them, to which my response was all, 'Hellz Yeah!' I don't know when I turned all crazy for harem pants. But I like these. I am planning all sorts of outfits around them and so I need them to get here ASAP so I can see what all the hullaballoo is about. Will definitely report back once they arrive.

The Neopolitan Pencil Skirt.

I confessed my love for this skirt upon its first release. But then my girl at Moda bought the Neopolitan Lady Jacket and I fully fell in love with the jacquard fabric. Absolutely gorgeous. Yesterday there was only my size left, so I took it as a sign and put it in the cart.

The Stretch Flannel Banquette Dress.

I've been staring at this dress for a while. It has the most perfect little cap sleeves and who doesn't need a fabilis little black dress for work? Yes, it was meant to be mine. I've rationalized that my new peeps at my new job will like me better and faster if I wear this to work vice any and all of the other 2,567,986,569,898 black work dresses that I have in my closet. Ladies, that's what I call logic.

The Merino Popover Tunic.

Finally, another piece that is a little too-cool-for-school but that I find so fabilis for everyday. Talk about wearability! This is one of those basics that will stand the test of time! Well, it better for $78 FP.

Anyone buy anything this weekend? Am I the only one that fell off the wagon?

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Dream of a Kitchen

Well, ladies, it appears that our move to Hawaii is going faster than expected; First off, the good news: I have found me a job, working for the DoD, in a similar job field and with people I've known for the last few years...and making more money than I do now. It's a win-win... and I consider myself one of the lucky ones. Hubs wasn't scheduled to move us back to Hawaii until June, but it looks like I'll need to be there for my new position in a month. I have one month to change countries, find a home, put Little Man in a new school, buy a car, get the dogs through quarantine, and adjust to life on the other side of the international date line. That's all!

The good news is it looks like we have found a house and are in escrow already (it's a buyer's market in Hawaii for sure). The home is in a new sub-division being developed and the candy they are dangling to get buyers is hard to pass up. The prices are right and the amenities are fabulous. This is a good thing since living costs are pretty high. Hawaii's property prices are like most coastal areas, and D.C. (so in other words, HIGH priced), so we are dealing with housing costs as well as private school for the little man (Hawaii's public schools consistently rank low on a national scale).

I said there was good news, didn't I? Well, that would be getting to add my two cents' worth to the home. While the house is being built by a developer, it's semi-custom with a design crew on staff for what looks like my delight alone. Right now I'm in the throws of choosing kitchen cabinets, flooring, and countertops...with wild and ruthless abandon, ladies. I am in the midst of a dream kitchen. So I have to ask you...

What would you dream kitchen be like, if money was no object? What kind of flooring, appliances and materials would you use?

Personally, given our new house will be on a tropical island, my dream kitchen would have travertine floors, cherry wood or darker cabinets with modern looking pulls, and granite counters. While stainless steel appliances are standard offerings for the house, I think I'd like to pull out the big guns and go with Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances, along with a must-have wine fridge (because y'all know I like my vino).

What do you think and what would you do if money was no object and husbands or significant others couldn't subject you to their non-worthy opinions?