Friday, December 9, 2011

It's been fun, folks...


...but it's time to say goodbye to our regular rendezvous here. It's not you, it's me.

I'll still be all over the Internets chirping away and updating The New Professional Facebook page, and you know how to reach me if you need me. You may even see semi-regular outfit pics on Twitter and Facebook (no promises). I'll also be posting every so often on my personal website, though in a much less focused and disciplined form than I've been doing here. I've truly enjoyed getting to know you, and am definitely still available to answer any of your questions and to dispense free advice on anything (though I must warn, my expertise is rather limited). I certainly haven't run out of words.

I'm still in shock that anyone reads this blog. Some of you may even have been around since the beginning. I love each and every one of you crazies. Thanks for making this the most popular hobby I've ever had.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

All in the family [outfit]

Vintage sweater - given to me in the 1990s by my mom / Joie shorts from Nordstrom - 2011 - $26 (using gift card) / Old Navy belt - cheap? / LOFT sandals - 2009 - $10 on sale / American Eagle chain necklace - 2011 - $4 on clearance

I was digging through the boxes under my bed the other day when I rediscovered this sweater. It was my mom's before me, and was given to her by my dad's mom. It is unclear whether my grandma owned it and wore it before she gave it to my mom or whether it was purchased by my grandmother as a gift for my mom. Either way, it's older than I am.

Bonus—it looks like a sleeved version of the sweater Debbie Reynolds wore in the "Good Morning" segment of Singing in the Rain (my favorite movie of all time).

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Jungle preppy [outfit]

Target Dress - 2011 - $12 on sale / J.Crew outlet belt - 2011 - $5 on sale / Nine West shoes from Marshalls or Ross - 2011 - $25 (using birthday money) / Banana Republic necklace - 2010 - $12 on sale

One of the biggest changes to my wardrobe now that I'm not in an office anymore is my hemline. For work, I was a staunch knee-length skirter. Any shorter seemed scandalous. Sure, I wore shorter skirts on weekends, but after dressing up all week I usually stuck to plain jeans. 

But now? Well, you've seen me lately. Those longer skirts have been gathering dust in my closet. I must be making up for lost time or something. This dress is one of my go-tos, and I've been switching up belts each time. Today was pink's turn. In my mind, green + pink = preppy. Love it.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Lotuff & Clegg giveaway winner

We have a winner for the Lotuff & Clegg iPad sleeve!



Congrats to Schmidty, whose email was visible on the Blogger profile. You will receive an email this afternoon for your address, and I will ship out your prize ASAP!

Groovy [outfit]

Target sweater - 2011 - $20 / Target tank - 2011 - $8 / Old Navy jeans - 2009 - $12 on sale / LOFT sandals - 2008 - $10 on sale / DIY scarf / Kate Spade Doodle necklace - 2011 - gift

Friends, I have been on a roll lately. Just thought you'd like to know.

I've been on the hunt for a poncho sweater for a while, so when I turned around from the Target sale racks disappointed and walked straight into this gem, my brain nearly exploded. I rarely have gottahaveit moments, but I had a big one with this sweater, so much so that I bought it at full price (a rarity for me). I bought it a size too large because they didn't have my size in the store, but I like how loosey goosey it is this way. Definitely a new favorite.

Friends, I have also been on a majorly dramatic mood lately. Just thought you'd like to know.

Monday, December 5, 2011

A-Baseling we go [outfit]

Francesca's Collections dress - 2011 - $44 / Steve Madden boots from Macy's - 2009 - gift card + $3 / Belt - 2010 - swapped / Kate Spade Doodle necklace - 2011 - gift / Gold ring from Joanna Paige - 2011 - $16 (birthday money) / Nancy Rosetta silver circle ring - 2009 - gift

When in Miami, do as the Miami-ans do. Saturday night, K and I went to our very first Art Basel Miami Beach. I don't know much (ok, anything) about art, but I love looking at it. When we travel to new places, we gravitate toward museums and galleries rather than restaurants, attractions, and other activities. My favorite artist shown was Kate Gilmore, especially her video piece Buster. Check her out. Amazing. Art definitely inspires me, but to do what I'm not quite sure yet. I just love the energy and creativity of it all.

Art Basel is a place to see and be seen. It is one of the largest (if not the largest) modern art fair in the world. Rumor has it that it is now larger than the original Art Basel in Switzerland. Insane. We went Saturday night, and I had no idea what to wear. It took me a crapload of outfits before I settled on the one I finally wore, which was a variation on what I wore for our Christmas card photo this year (but only for about 30 minutes for pics). Check out the pile of discarded clothes that I had to put away at the end of the night:


Oops.

What inspires you? What types of attractions do you gravitate toward when you travel?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Executive Summary | Links for your weekend | 12.02.11

My everyday stash of lip products. Clear, neutral, coral, burgundy, and orange.

Welcome to December! K's first semester of teaching is winding down, so we're planning on exploring Art Basel or one of the other satellite events this weekend.

It's been a while since I've been up to date on my blog reading, but here are some recent goodies for you.

What good reads have you found this week?

Perfect [outfit]

Paper Tee plaid shirt from Ross - 2009 - $7 / Express jeans - 2005 - $40 on sale / Target flip flops - 2009 - $7 on sale / Gold-tone ring from Joanna Paige - 2011 - $16 (birthday money) / NYC Color nail polish in Flat Iron Green - $2

Not me, of course (how boring would that be?). I'm talking about this outfit. I know it's super simple, but I feel like I could conquer the world in this outfit (maybe from behind the computer screen or phone). I woke up today super-motivated and then got sidetracked by the computer, like most days. Logged in some work, did laundry, and ran errands with coupons.

Ah, coupons. I'm not a couponer, not because I don't want to be, but because I am not gifted in this area of shopping. I find most grocery store coupons useless because our local store doesn't double coupons ever and the store brands I buy are usually cheaper than the name brand on sale (or best case scenario: store brands on sale). I did have a bunch of non-grocery shopping coupons, so I went to see what there was to see.

The coupons I hate the most are the "Get $x off of your $xx purchase," because they are designed to make you buy more than you may actually want to or need just to get the deal. Several of the coupons I had today were of that variety. But I think I made out pretty well by keeping my total to just above the threshold. Still got a few things I didn't need (darn you, Target), but I can always return them.

Are you a couponer? What kinds of retailer gimmicks do you dislike the most?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Lotuff and Clegg review and giveaway


I love leather goods. I really do. I understand some of you may not agree with real leather, and if that's you, you're welcome to ignore this post completely.

If you're a fellow leather lover like me, you know how good the buttery leather feels to the touch, how durable it is, and how it ages beautifully with time and care. Quite a few months back, Lotuff & Clegg, a New England-based leather goods company, asked me if I'd be interested in telling my readers about them and testing out a bag. A quick glance at their website confirmed that these goods, while beautiful, do not come cheap, and low prices are one of the main things I look for when I shop. I told them my qualms and asked if there was something they could throw in for my readers, since the product sounded great, but the price, not so much. I wasn't going to plug something that my readers have no way of getting their hands on. They agreed, but more on that later.

They sent me one of their leather working totes in chocolate. And it sat in my apartment for, oh, four months. Where in the world do you take such a thing? The only use I could imagine for it was as a travel tote, so I waited until my trip to Southern California in October to try it out.

Check out the size of this thing (yes, those are workout clothes).
It fits a lot. Shown: purse, iPad, thick book, water bottle (to fill up after getting through security), scarf, point-and-shoot camera, cardigan, bag of food (gingersnaps and a sandwich), bag of liquids, bag of electronic chargers and cords.

Pros:
  • Quality. This is the real deal. The leather is thick and sturdy, and the stitching is tight and even. A lot of care went into making this bag, and it shows. Makes sense, since the company is known for their craftsmanship. They even have a cool video on their website about it. They manufacture all their bags in Massachusetts.
  • Color. The tote I reviewed was a deep, rich, goes-with-everything brown. Lotuff & Clegg uses a vegetable dying and tanning process using all organic ingredients. I thought that was pretty cool.
  • Capacity and sturdiness. In addition to the stuff shown above, I also ended up stuffing in a laptop and board game (to give to my nephew). 
  • Perfect travel tote size. It's large enough to fit all my essentials and still fits under the seat in front of me. When I had the laptop and game in there it fit best lying on its side, but on my most recent trip (without laptop), it actually fit just fine standing up on its bottom since there weren't any tall items that couldn't squish.
Cons:
  • Price. Quality does not come cheap (although a girl can dream). But if you're on the market for this type of leather good, you're probably already used to these prices. The tote I reviewed retails for $750 (three times the price of my wedding dress).
  • Weight. Leather is heftier than synthetic materials, and when you combine that with the large capacity of this tote (and how much you're tempted to cram in), you've got yourself quite the shoulder weight.
  • Practicality (for me, at least). Like I mentioned, this tote sat in my apartment for four months because I couldn't figure out how to use it. But that's just this item and my lifestyle. If you're a tote carrier already, you'd probably get a lot of use out of this.
And now onto the fun stuff.

Lotuff & Clegg is giving away a red leather iPad sleeve to one lucky New Professional reader!
Keep your iPad snug and safe in this beauty or wrap it up for the technophile on your holiday gift list (retail value $150). No, the iPad does not come with it.

To enter, just leave a comment below telling me your favorite leather product and leaving a valid email.*

The giveaway ends Monday, December 5, at 11:59 p.m. EST and the winner will be announced on Tuesday, December 6. Prize will be mailed out as soon as winner provides their address (can be yours before Christmas).  

Edited to add: Giveaway open to U.S. residents only. I will be doing the shipping and it is just too pricey to ship internationally. Sorry!

*Please note: Just because you are commenting from a Google or Blogger profile does not mean your email is automatically attached to your comment. To make your email visible from your Google/Blogger profile, you must go into your profile, click "Edit," enter an email under "identity," and make sure that privacy is set to "show my email address." If you have already left a comment but forgot your email or if your email is set to private, you have two options to complete your entry into this giveaway: 1) leave a second comment with your email referencing your first comment by date/time/name or 2) email me with your email address and referencing your first comment by date/time/name. Thanks!

Disclaimer: Lotuff & Clegg loaned me a leather working tote free of charge and donated the iPad case for giveaway. No compensation was exchanged for the review or giveaway and no agreement was made to guarantee positive coverage. I'll be putting the work tote back in the mail to Lotuff & Clegg next week. Aside from this review and giveaway, I have no other relationship with the company; clicking on the links in this post will not benefit me in any way. I just wanted to pass on some leathery goodness.