a material girl stuck in a not-so-material work world


Bella Muse

I was enchanted by this girl's artwork the minute I saw her set up on a corner in SoHo. I didn't actually buy anything from her because I couldn't decide which print I wanted! I did buy a couple holiday cards, and lucky for me, she has a website where I can debate my selections further. I especially loves all the greens she uses.

Here are my faves (the monkey is for my bf - I think the modern art-ness of it is me, the monkey is very him):


I heart ballet flats

These $69 Me Too 'Nevada' Flats @ Nordstrom appear to be the same (look at the bottoms!) as these that I got at Naturalizer. The Me Too ones come in a more fun variety of colors too!

I'm really loving my Naturalizers - they are sooo comfortable to walk in (the rubber soles are heavenly) and really held up on my NY shopping trip. They look really cute peeking out from my jeans, and even with socks. I'm happy I bought them.

And so "the girl who would never wear flats" is now a convert. I want another pair. I'm thinking a deep red, but I'm worried red is too popular, and I should probably get a print. I'm also loving gray leather. [Jeffrey Campbell 'Love' Flat $69.95] [Steve Madden 'Bees' Skimmer $64.95] [Dr. Scholl's 'Boa' Flat $68.95]



After being pretty dissapointed at H&M (lacking in sizes in things I wanted, purses/accesories were super-cheap looking (and I'm a big Forever 21 fan), overly hot, & long lines at the registers), I found solace at the newly opened Japanese-import Uniqlo in SOHO.

It's bright, it's fun, it has that sweater you want in every color. $69 cashmere sweaters (we'll see how they hold up), $29 wool sweaters, tons of cute jackets.

The store seems a little overwhelming with it's rainbow of floor-to-3-stories-high shelves of sweaters, and a million black wool coats & jackets, but it's so much fun to be there. With store workers everywhere - folding, helping, checking you out - the service is adequately good.

Their website is pretty lacking, but it's new to the US. It's definitely going to be a stop for me every time I'm in NYC.

"My mom calls it Bloomie's!"

So, I had my first "real" experience at Bloomingdale's. I'm still a Nordstrom girl at heart (I don't think anywhere has better service), but Bloomingdale's is pretty magical. Especially in NYC, at Christmas.

I spent forever in their Christmas decoration area - bought some cute ornaments for me, and for my fam & friends.

My splurge was Paige Jeans. They are beautiful. I spent a long time trying on jeans - and finally settled on those (can't find them online - similar to these). $194, but I feel justified because I've bought almost no pants this year, and I've been wearing jeans to work more and more. Also, the cost-per-wear will definitely be less than $2, which is the Budget Fashionista's Golden Rule.

"Where did you get your jeans?"

You just can't beat that.


Ballet Shoes

If I can just fully break them in, I found some winter shopping shoes.

I looked all over the Houston Galleria - and narrowed it down to these $69 Steve Madden ruched ballet flats in Red or Brown Suede and these $65 Naturalizer ballet shoes in bronze. In the end, since they are for walking & shopping - the Naturalizer ones won out with their well-constructed, super-comfy supportive sole and cheaper price.

Turns out, however, that they had been mispriced, and even though they gave me the $65 price (AND honored my 1-day-expired $10 off coupon!!), the saleswoman quickly replaced all the price tags with $69 as I left.

I wore them shopping in Atlanta, and they rubbed a little on my foot bone, and rubbed one blister, but damn, the soles are comfortable. I'm definitely going to have to break them in a little more before NY in 2 weeks.

Also, for my trip to Atlanta & NY, I needed a warm coat that matched brown. Not wanting to spend too much (and not having seen anything that I wanted to spend money on), I headed to Burlington Coat Factory. I used to shop there when it first opened - when I was in high school. I remember stocking up on Abercrombie & Fitch denim shorts (before I had ever heard of A&F!)... Anyways, my friend has a cute coat that she got there, so I thought it couldn't be too bad.

And it wasn't. Although it definitely required a time committment, I found lots of cute coats by MICHAEL Michael Kors, DKNY, Esprit, Via Spiga, Calvin Klein, etc. I ended up with 2 coats:

A $49 green hooded down jacket that may be going back to the store if I can't justify buying it since I live in HOUSTON and it's kind of big to travel with.

...and a $59 gray Esprit Pea Coat (not online) that looks just lovely with my brown boots and red scarf/hat/gloves combo.

It looks a lot like this one, except it's gray & doesn't have a hood.