Archive for the ‘FBFF Q&A’ Category

FBFF Visual: The naked face.

11 Nov

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Wearing no makeup

It’s been a while since I’ve participated in Fashion Beauty Friend Friday but I couldn’t pass this up. After talking up the fantasy of make-up a few days ago, I had to bare it all. I did not retouch these photos in any way, shape or form except to adjust the lighting slightly. It’s all here for you, laugh lines and everything. Some people call them crow’s feet. I say it’s just proof that I’m having fun. If I’m going to wrinkle, which is inevitable as I age, then heck, I want good wrinkles. The kind you get from living a good and happy life.

Oh, make-up, how do I love thee? A lot! It’s fun, it’s decorative, it can emphasize my big hazel eyes and downplay dark shadows below them. Ultimately, I like my face. I may wear make-up every day but I’m not embarrassed to be seen without it. I don’t think I’m uglier without it. It’s my face. Highly expressive, slowly changing with time, imperfect, forty-four years old now. Still, my face.

Franca of Oranges and Apples is hosting this week. Visit her to check out participating bloggers. Thank you Katy of Modly Chic for encouraging this topic. Fashion Beauty Friend Friday is an opportunity for fashion and beauty bloggers to share their thoughts on a specific topic and read what others have to say on that same topic. For more information, check out Modly Chic and welcome to the wonderful world of blogging!

Wearing no makeup

And a special thanks to the hubby for taking advantage of this opportunity to photobomb me. It’s no wonder I have laugh lines.


FBFF Q&A: Words of wisdom

15 Sep

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Don’t worry about what anyone else says, be proud to just be yourself, girls.

That’s my mom talking to me and my two sisters. While I may have spent a good portion of my life trying to blend in and look like other girls, I failed. In August of nineteen seventy-six I arrived to the United States an eight year-old olive-skinned French girl from the Middle East with no American vocabulary. I had no clue what kids were saying, what games they were playing nor why I looked so different. Parading awkwardly in my cousin Peggy’s outdated hand-me-downs, what had once been the coolest tie-dye pink bell bottoms were now the source of ridicule. I wanted so badly to fit in that it tormented me. I wore the pants anyway because I loved them.

Enter the transition between middle and high school. Two ugly ducklings devoted an entire summer to becoming swans; the hours spent experimenting with make-up and raiding my best friend’s mom’s closet were too numerous to count. We started high school as new students, almost completely. Unrecognized, we both had the freedom to be newer, more improved versions of our awkward tween selves. We were also trapped by trying so hard. In no time at all I discovered new wave, punk and goth music and style. I experimented and expressed my love for fashion and music in a way that was destined to get me noticed as odd or weird. I did it anyway.

I work in the corporate headquarters with approximately fifteen hundred people. Fifteen hundred business people: Buttoned-down shirts, slacks, black, grey, tan, beige and off-white. I’m not trying to stir the pot or get others to talk, I haven’t chosen to express myself visually to draw attention. I don’t require that level of validation for my appearance. Yet, I know that I will draw some attention for my aesthetic choices. That’s ok, ultimately, I still have to be myself. I answer all queries in the elevator graciously and with a smile.

There’s a level of integrity that resides within me, even if at times dormant, that comes from the belief that I shouldn’t worry about what others think. That by being myself I don’t have to justify the way I look nor the way I behave. This statement doesn’t come from a place of cluelessness, I understand that this expression doesn’t permit me to misbehave onto others. It doesn’t mean being rude or insensitive to certain situations. I get it. But, wherever and whenever I can, I will do my best to live as closely to that dogma as possible.

My mother’s advice has permeated my existence; the closer I live each day to the way I believe I should, the stranger it feels physically and mentally when I don’t.  Bad choices inherently feel wrong. More accurately, they feel “un-right”. The metamorphosis of my character through time is good. I mean, really good. As hard as I tried to belong through my formative years I couldn’t help ending up just being me.

Don’t worry, mom. I’m not keeping myself up at night by thinking of what others think of me. I’m more concerned with what I think of me.

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For this week’s topic, we were asked to share the best advice we’d ever received. After much rumination, I decided that this particular bit of advice has stayed with me through and through, impacting my life powerfully. Thank you Katy of Modly Chic for crafting this topic. Friend Friday is an opportunity for fashion and beauty bloggers to share their thoughts on a specific topic and read what others have to say on that same topic. For more information, check out Modly Chic and welcome to the wonderful world of blogging!




FBFF Q&A: What’s your dream job?

19 Aug

{ daily outfit: }

Daily outfit and style tips, wearing mint green lace front tunic, floral scarf

Daily outfit and style tips, wearing mint green lace front tunic, floral scarf, paisley harem pants, green sandals

This is how I dress when I’m not working for the weekend. I must admit that my weekend outfits have evolved, they have become cuter and less sloppy. While I’ve never been one to let myself go, I’ve certainly taken advantage at times of being home and unseen.

One year, I went through my closet and got rid of everything sloppy, slouchy, stretched and stained.

The problem is these special “cleaning out the garage” outfits started making a regular appearance. Let’s face it, they were soft and comfortable, I never had to worry about messing them up as I putzed around the house or garden. My subconscious has a tendency to propel me towards the familiar and comfortable. I had to take drastic actions. Eliminate the temptation, solve the problem.

If I’m home all day I’m not going to be doing dishes with jewelry, a scarf and shoes on but you will no longer find me looking like I’m in the middle of cleaning out the garage. Especially since I haven’t had one in eight years.

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This week on Friend Friday, (FBFF), there’s been talk about pursuing dreams. What’s your dream job? What would you love to be doing right now? Putting them down on paper is often the first step to realizing those dreams. Today, we’ve been asked to consider what that dream job would be. Let’s see what I’d be doing. I eliminated my very first dream job: to be a snowboarding instructor and ride full-time because I have every intention to teach someday and it’s not a stretch at all. I’m just not ready to do it at the moment.

FBFF: Fess up – if you could do anything professionally what would it be?

FMJ: My dream environment would make use of my love of writing and fashion, along with my creative, analytical and interpersonal skills. (That really sounds like I pulled it from my fantasy resumé!)

FBFF: What draws you to this?

FMJ: I’ve always loved to write, English was my favorite topic in school and I was a voracious reader. I actually have a blog for my poetry, The Places I’ve Been. I’ve always had fun with clothes, there’s never been a time in my life when I played completely by fashion rules. Fortunately, I’m already in a creative and analytical role. I think I would die if I weren’t. That’s very dramatic of me, so, ok, I wouldn’t die. I would, however, be completely and utterly miserable not having strong creative outlets in my life. I’m just wired that way. And they can’t be just creative, they must have an element of logic and analysis, too. Both sides of my brain want to play in the game.

FBFF: When did you first start dreaming about this ideal?

FMJ: I don’t know that there has ever been a clear starting point. Right now, it still feels like a fantasy job.

FBFF: What’s holding you back from going all in?

FMJ: I suspect part of not having tried to head in that direction is the lack of relatable skills. While I probably would do well in such an environment, it would take a great leap of faith for someone to have the vision that could connect what I’ve been doing with what I could be doing.

Conceptually, it doesn’t feel like a stretch, right? I’m responsible for the visual representation and interpretation of marketing objectives for well-known brands. I get how to make things look good while also making them work. The high level skills are transferable, the direct experience is not.

FBFF: Sometimes the first step is the hardest… what’s one step you can take now on the way to realizing your dream?

FMJ: Research, conversations and developing clarity on what it is I want. Whatever it is I do starts with the first step I take.

Thank you Katy of Modly Chic for crafting this topic. Friend Friday is an opportunity for fashion and beauty bloggers to share their thoughts on a specific topic and read what others have to say on that same topic. For more information, check out Modly Chic and welcome to the wonderful world of blogging!

{ deets: } 

Paisley harem pants/H&M, mint green lace front tunic/Urban Outfitters, floral scarf/Urban Outfitters, green sandals/Finn Comfort, long beaded necklace/Nordstrom’s, mint green glass spiral earrings/Braindrops, silver and mother-of-pearl cuff/Lois Hill.



FBFF: DIY Manicures

12 Aug

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Daily outfit and style tip, featuring crackle nail art

Daily outfit and style tip, featuring crackle nail art

Daily outfit and style tip, featuring crackle nail art

I never truly realize my full potential for clumsiness until I attempt to paint my own nails. It would seem that the years of practice are totally lost on me, I still awkwardly get nail polish outside of the nail bed. I still proceed to slam into every surface before the nails have dried. I try to eat food. I do.

I stuck my hand earlier into a bowl of tortilla chips.

That’s why I usually opt to pay a professional. But things are looking up, my friends. I might have finally found the nail polish for me; the one that loves me back. Crackle. Camouflage for the clumsy. I can see this action making a repeat performance. I even think that next time around it will look better, they say practice makes perfect.

Daily outfit and style tip, featuring crackle nail art products

Daily outfit and style tip, featuring manicure products

I had to buy a few things to do this right. I needed a base coat, top coat and color dryer. Here’s a list of all the products I used:

  • Sally Hansen Advanced Hard as Nails Nylon + Retinol Strengthener
  • Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Snappy Sorbet
  • Sally Hansen Crackle Overcoat in Fuchsia Shock
  • Sally Hansen Nail Shine Miracle Top Coat
  • Sally Hansen Dry Kwik Nail Color Dryer


I basically laid a single coat of everything listed, in that order. Next time I will put two coats of the bottom color to make it richer. If you go back and look at the first picture there’s no top coat and the crackle is matte which, in hindsight, I think looks pretty cool. Next time, no shiny top coat on top of the crackle. Maybe I’ll try the shiny top coat before applying the matte crackle for extra contrast. I love playing with contrasting textures. What do you think, shiny or matte crackle?

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I’ve shared my DIY manicure with you for Fashion Beauty Friend Friday, theme courtesy of Miss Rockwell of  Lifestyles of the Thrifty and Shameless. Check out all the participants by going to her blog. I can’t wait to see what the other ladies have done, I just know there’s a lot of creativity out there. I’m just getting started, there may be hope for me yet.

Thank you Katy of Modly Chic for encouraging this topic. Friend Friday is an opportunity for fashion and beauty bloggers to share their thoughts on a specific topic and read what others have to say on that same topic. For more information, check out Modly Chic and welcome to the wonderful world of blogging!


FBFF: Where the magic happens

29 Jul

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Daily outfit and style tips, wearing big blond earrings, vintage floral shirt

Good people, I bring you the debut of my “big blondes”, the hand-carved earrings that I bought before the honeymoon. They didn’t fit until this past weekend. Fortunately they’re incredibly light. I love the bold ethnic feel. One could say they’re my statement earrings. I’ve always been a big fan of big bold jewelry. In fact, I only started wearing lighter, more feminine pieces in the past year or so. I’ve embraced being girlie in my forties. Personal evolution is always cool.

Daily outfit and style tips, wearing big blond earrings, vintage floral shirt, jeans, pink sandals

I’m feeling the seventies vibe with this shirt. I picked up this 100% pure genuine polyester a few months back and rediscovered it yesterday. The lapels are ready for take-off, I like a shirt that can fly. By the way, did you notice that my canna just got its first flower this summer? I’m so proud of my little garden.

Daily outfit and style tip, wearing steampunk and flower neckalces, vintage floral shirt

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A few days ago I received a comment about excessive accessorizing. I’m mostly in agreement, one can’t go wrong quoting Coco Chanel, she’s one of my style idols after all. I say I’m mostly in agreement because I also believe in pushing boundaries, breaking rules and taking chances. My style would never have evolved had I never taken chances. You win some, you lose some. But if you don’t try, you don’t find out.

I’m experimenting with the balance of wearing multiple pieces and how they can relate to each other.

This is my attempt at combining edgy and feminine. It worked for me because I wore the steampunk necklace lower into the neckline so that it was only partially visible every so often and I dug the juxtaposition.

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Daily outfit and style tip, wearing vintage floral shirt, jeans, working on laptop

Fashion Beauty Friend Friday has evolved the schedule of the question and answer series from weekly to bi-monthly so that we may have more time to ruminate on each topic. The gap in the schedule provided an unforeseen opportunity. FBFF members can suggest any type of blog event for that week. For this week’s event we’re sharing where the magic happens, where our natural blogging habitat truly lies. It is brought to you by Suze of Miss Vinyl Ahoy. If you haven’t yet paid her blog a visit, I highly recommend doing so. She’s fantastic, has great style and does amazing things with color.

As you can see, mine is my bedroom. Though I share it with my husband, it is the designated girlie room of the house. Our bed has a memory foam topper and is unbelievably awesome, the pillows make it extra cushy. Normally my laptop lays on a big wooden cutting board, it makes the perfect platform. And yes, that’s Hami, the hamster in the corner.

Thank you Katy of Modly Chic for encouraging this topic. Friend Friday is an opportunity for fashion and beauty bloggers to share their thoughts on a specific topic and read what others have to say on that same topic. For more information, check out Modly Chic and welcome to the wonderful world of blogging!

{ deets: }

Vintage floral shirt/thrifted, jeans/Calvin Klein, pink patent leather sandals/Dankso, big blonde earrings/Braindrops, silver and mother-of-pearl cuff/Lois Hill, purple flower necklace/gifted, steampunk dragonfly/gifted.


FBFF: It’s in the bag, baby

21 Jul

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Daily outfit and style tip, oversize pink bag


Daily outfit and style tip, purse contents

What is? Well, everything. These are, apparently, the things I cannot do without when I leave my house in the morning. There’s been a slight change in Fashion Beauty Friend Friday. Katy, of FBFF fame, has evolved the schedule of the question and answer series from weekly to bi-monthly so that we may have more time to ruminate on each topic. The gap in the schedule provided an unforeseen opportunity. FBFF members can suggest any type of blog event for that week. This week’s event, “What’s in your bag?” is brought to you by Marie-Eve of A Pretty Nest.

At first I thought, why would anyone want to see the contents of my purse? Probably for the same reasons that I jumped on the chance to see the contents of Vahni of Grit & Glamour’s bag just a few days ago. This, to me, is beyond voyeurism. This is female history. Let me explain.

When I tell my husband to get something out of my purse, he returns with purse in hand, holding it with the kind of reticent disdain reserved for perhaps a soiled baby diaper and makes me fish it out.

I kid you not. He does not look through my purse. In fact, no male partner I’ve had has ever cared to. I think it scares them, there are girlie things in there. We women, on the other hand, love seeing what’s lurking within. Oh the mysterious things. What is that? I love that lipstick, let me try on your sunglasses. I have the same blotting papers! We bond over those mystery items. Do you remember your first purse? Back in the day when you and your BFF experimented with the content of said purses?

I’m reminded of a time when I was no more than a wee tot foraging through my mother’s purse for a stick of gum and getting lost in the fantasy, the Mary Poppins-ness of it all. There are secrets in there. Am I organized? (Not too much.) Am I prepared? (You have no idea how truly prepared I am.) Am I practical? (Mostly.) I bring you the moment of truth:

- Graph paper notebook. I love making lists and checking things off. I also sketch.

- Small notebook. My coworker custom made this one for me. I asked her to sew “slut” on the cover.

- Micron pen. Hubby turned me on to those pens with the graph paper notebook. I’m just pimpin’ his style.

- Michael Kors purple cat eye sunglasses. I squint at the slightest hint of sunlight. Like Miss Mole.

- LaFont purple reading glasses. Don’t laugh. You’ll turn 40 someday and will need a cool pair of your own.

- Ice gum. I chew for all of three minutes sometimes after a meal. I hate chewing gum. I’d rather eat food.

- Pink penguin coin purse. Miscellaneous cards go in there, like my Anthro and Sephora cards.

- Cheap fake patent leather wallet. Love the fact that it barely holds anything. That’s my wallet.

- Work security badge. I’ve been told I’m the only person who comes in once a year and updates her photo. I’ve been at my job 8 years, I don’t really want a picture of me with short spiky platinum hair looking 8 years younger now when I don’t look like that anymore.

- Green Chinese coin purse. Contains: clippers, nail file, knife, (yes, really. I told you I was prepared.), safety pins, eye drops, medication, ibuprofen, allergy pills and the like.

- Pink multi zipper bag. Contents: Girlie things, (you know what I’m talking about), toothbrush, dental picks, glasses wiping cloth, tissues, spare pen that I hope never to use because I hate it. A lot of Lactaid because someone wasn’t designed to eat dairy. Big comb for big hair.

- 3G iPhone. I’ve waited this long for the 5, I can keep using the sloPhone for a couple more months. The skin was a gift from my girl, Teenie.

- Skull Candy earbuds. Checking into Foursquare while at Radio Shack got me a fat discount on these. I know, they’re Skull Candy. The name alone made me feel like I should be buying them for the teenage son I don’t have. I sat there with my phone and read all the reviews before buying them. They’re great, actually.

- Keys on a bag keychain. I only have three keys on me: car, postal box, house. I hate keychains, they’re too big and make too much noise.

- Hammi the hamster pocket mirror. He matches Hammi the stuffed animal who hangs out in my closet. Hammi is short for Hamilton.

- Blotting papers. Useful impulse buy from Sephora.

- Burt’s Bees lip balm. I’ve always been a big fan and have about 10 lip balms strewn throughout the house and in assorted jacket pockets.

- Chanel lipstick. Love.

- Sephora lipstick. Also love and discovered recently.

- Hair clip and 2 hair pins. You never know.

- “Happy” bag. Most small things go in there.

- Unseen items: Checkbook, which needs to be refilled, camera, which I was using, iPod, which is still in gym bag.

- Additional miscellaneous visiting items: Scarf, book, lunch, magazines.

I’ve given away all my secrets. The 2 hair pins, chewing gum and the knife probably give away that I’m a female MacGyver. What’s in your bag?

Thank you Katy of Modly Chic for encouraging this topic. Friend Friday is an opportunity for fashion and beauty bloggers to share their thoughts on a specific topic and read what others have to say on that same topic. For more information, check out Modly Chic and welcome to the wonderful world of blogging!

{ deets: }

Bag, (and did you see the size of that bag?)/ModCloth, “Happy” clutch/Whole Foods, pink zippers bag/gifted, green Chinese coin purse/gifted from China, hot pink penguin coin purse/Claire’s, fake patent leather wallet/H&M.


FBFF Q&A: Labels, good or bad?

15 Jul

{ daily outfit: }

Daily outfit and style tips, wearing green sweater, yellow dress, rust tights

Have I mentioned how much I love We Love Colors lately? I was complimented on my outfit at least four times yesterday while walking around because of those tights. Those TIGHTS! Where did you get them? 

I ordered them online from

Check my archives going back a few months and you’ll see how many colorful tights I own. I live in them three quarters of the year. They’re incredibly comfortable, they wash well in a mesh laundry bag with the rest of my clothes. I hang them to dry and they bounce right back. Are you sold yet? You should go order a pair or two. I’m partial to the more opaque microfiber but I expect to branch out with my next order.

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This week’s topic on Fashion Beauty Friend Friday is about labeling ourselves and each other. Is it doing more harm than good? How do we personally feel about labels? Read on to see what I have to say about it.

FBFF: As a someone who writes/blogs about fashion, have you placed yourself into some sort of blogging category?

FJ: Well, I think of myself as a daily outfit blogger, not because I blog daily but I blog about my daily outfits. Honestly, I’ll write about whatever is on my mind so the pictures speak to the outfit part and the content just captures vignettes of my life. Though this did slip by the wayside recently, I’m re-committing to perpetuating positive body image with deeper articles. Hopefully this comes across in my regular posts, also.

FBFF: What keeps you from or encourages you to label yourself as a certain kind of blogger?

FJ: I think broader categories are helpful in giving me a vision of how I move forward on this path and helpful to those looking for such. I’m not particularly afraid that I’m creating an impression that can be so neatly tied up and packaged that it defines me as a whole. This is one of many, many labels that make me who and what I am. The issue for me is when a label becomes judgment or dogma. It’s no different to me than saying, “oh, you like jazz? Check out the jazz section.” You like to see what people do with their everyday look? Check out what The House in the Clouds is doing. Kinda like that.

FBFF: When picking blogs to read and follow are you drawn to ones that indicate a certain group or way of thinking/being?

FJ: I never really defined it that way but I like bloggers who are likable. My criteria for that is personal, I’m sure every blogger is likable. There are many that make an impression on me in a way that leads me to believe if we worked together, we’d hang out. Whether it’s the tone of their “voice”, what they chose to share about their lives, my gut response is my safety check.

FBFF: Do you think there are benefits in labeling yourself or others?

FJ: Absolutely. As I mentioned earlier, I don’t think a label is a complete judgement of who you are. Is there anything wrong with saying you’re a lifestyle blogger if that best defines your intention? It makes it clearer to me what your intention is with your blog and I can decide for myself it my interest include lifestyle or not. Labels, categories… they’re all ways that help us find our tribes. This system goes way, way back in our evolution and there are many benefits with identifying your tribe.

I think that there can also be fear around being labeled or labeling oneself because it becomes a public declaration of how we are defined. We believe that there is no wiggle room, that we cannot evolve or change but that’s not true. I used to be Goth when I was a kid. It’s pretty obvious I’m not any longer. It’s ok, change is good and labels don’t have to be rigid or permanent. We hold the key.

FBFF: Agree or Disagree – We’re all just people; we don’t need all the labels.

FJ: Both! The labels aren’t the problem, it’s how we use them. There’s no problem if they are used as adjectives that assist in creating part of a whole, understanding the fluid nature of personal and professional evolution. The problem is when we are unforgiving and limited in our view.

Thank you Katy of Modly Chic for crafting this topic. Friend Friday is an opportunity for fashion and beauty bloggers to share their thoughts on a specific topic and read what others have to say on that same topic. For more information, check out Modly Chic and welcome to the wonderful world of blogging!

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My palette is very retro today. I think I match the late 60′s wallpaper in my dining room. Unusual colors combinations can sometimes work so well together. Although the outfit was apparently quite a scene, it was a good scene! I didn’t mix warm and cool hues and stuck to wearing warm, yellow-toned colors. I think that’s what made such a bright combo work so well. When in doubt, play it safe by keeping all your tones either warm, or cool.

{ deets: }

Mustard yellow dress/ModCloth, chartreuse cashmere pullover sweater/Bloomingdale’s, ochre elastic belt/Anthropologie, rust tights/, platform sandals/Urban Outfitters, vintage resin daisy necklace/thrifted.

{ photo: }

Filip Jach



Packing for vacation, part 1

22 Jun

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Daily outfits and style tips, vacation outfit sketches

Guess what I just found? My Friend Friday post about packing for vacation that had mysteriously disappeared when I was traveling. I wasn’t able to post it two weeks ago but I still had the original text on my desktop. I decided to post it even after the fact because I had planned on breaking down what worked and what didn’t while in Europe for three weeks.

Here’s the original post. Check back tomorrow for the breakdown.

This topic couldn’t come at a better time. Traveling through France and Spain, I had to consider dressing for the fickle nature of spring; cool rains, thunderstorms, warm breezes and hot sun. Shopping in Paris, hiking in the Pyrenees, lounging about in Costa Brava and staying up very late in Barcelona. Would you believe that I had room to spare in my suitcase, even with hiking shoes and a curling iron? It remains to be seen but I may know a thing or two about packing efficiently.

FBFF: When it comes to packing for vacation what’s your mantra?

FJ: Be prepared

FBFF: What are your must packs?

FJ: Comfortable shoes, at least one pair of stretchy pants, items that are easy to layer and a few good accessories. It’s likely that I’m going to do a lot of walking, I don’t want that compromised. Having lived in San Francisco for most of my adult life I’m very familiar with the concept of layering. It has always served me well under most circumstances. Lastly, a girl’s got to look good. A few nice accessories and a touch of lipstick does wonders.

FBFF: What are you happy to leave behind?

FJ: Anything that requires ironing, might be uncomfortable or is a one-time use item.

FBFF: Any packing secrets that help you get everything into one suitcase?

FJ: Plenty! First, I chose a primary and secondary color for the outfits. Immediately everything can mix and match. That problem is solved. In the case of the trip I’m on now, I had to pack for three weeks. I packed seven outfits that can be mixed and matched to create at least 21 variations. I plan to hand-wash certain items such as t-shirts, tank tops, socks and underwear. See my complete breakdown at the end of the post.

I measured out the toiletries I needed and used the right size containers, no need to carry full size products. By measuring out a little more than I would need I avoided the situation I got myself into last time I traveled for three weeks, when I ran out and had to buy full-size items which I lugged around the rest of the time. Costly and wasteful, especially since they weren’t my favorite products.

I take all the medication and pills I need and put them in a re-sealable plastic storage bags. No need for a bunch of separate containers, I know the difference between my ibuprofen and my allergy medicine. In fact, re-sealable storage bags are my favorite way to keep like items together. It makes it easy to find socks, underwear, accessories.

FBFF: Beach reading… what are you taking with you to read in the sand?

FJ: Geez, I grabbed an unread book off my bookshelf but I just don’t see myself reading much. I’m usually out and about or socializing. That’s not to say I don’t try each time, I’ve never gone on vacation without taking a book but to be honest, I hardly ever end up reading on vacation.

  • Dresses, 3: 2 short, 1 maxi
  • Shorts, 1: Dressy cotton
  • Pants, 3: Cargo, seersucker, stretchy
  • Tank tops, 2: 1 plain solid, 1 dressy
  • Scarves, 2: 1 warm, 1 lacy
  • Tops, 3: 1 print t-shirt, 1 over-size sequined t-shirt, 1 tunic
  • Cardigans, 3: 1 lightweight lacy, 1 cashmere, 1 cotton kimono style
  • Shoes, 4: 1 sandal, 1 dressy shoe, 1 flat comfort shoe, 1 flat stylish shoe


Add a couple belts, a bikini, flip-flops, some hiking pants and shirts, a lightweight outdoor activity jacket and a puffy jacket to squooshes down to nothing and voila! Plenty to remix.

Take a guess at what worked best and check back tomorrow to see how you did.



FBFF Q&A: Gee your hair smells terrific!

27 May

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I know most of you don’t remember this shampoo. In fact, the “Dorothy Hamill” haircut probably means nothing to you. I, on the other hand, have seen my fair share of rotations around the sun and I know such things as what The Breck Girl looks like and how to get my hair to smell, well, terrific! I confess, I did use this shampoo once. I’m going to guess that it took a lot of pleading given that I probably wasn’t old enough to earn my own money. Yes, all in the name of hair.

The things we do for hair!

And you thought I was going to say “love”. Our locks, manes, ‘do, the mop, whatever you might call it, that’s the topic this week for Fashion Beauty Friend Friday. I did not grow up with great hair. I actually think it gave me the liberty to do anything and everything to it because it was not precious. Left to its own devices my hair would look great paired with a tie-dyed t-shirt and some Birkenstock sandals.

Yes, friends, I have mother earth hair.

Not quite straight, not quite curly, a little bit on the wild side. And by wild I mean frizzy. There’s a lot of it, too. My hair is purposely thinned out, colored, highlighted, low-lighted: I call it “the works.”

Wild hair runs in my family. When my sister Ingrid was undergoing chemotherapy she told me she wasn’t losing any hair. We laughed about the fact that it would be hard to tell anyway, there’s so much of it on top of her head. I love my sister’s sense of humor, and yes, we have a lot of hair. Here are some of my more current favorite hair days. I give props to my friend and stylist, Nicole Goodman who works out of Sakura in Oakland. My hair has never looked this good before. Read on to see what my regiment is like.

Daily outfit, style tips, hairstyle
Lovely locks


FBFF: How often do you get your hair cut?

FJ: A light trim every six to twelve weeks, a style cut every three months or so.

FBFF: Do you go to the same stylist each time, try someone new, go to the cheap hair cutting chains or live it up in a salon?

FJ: Gasp! You said “cheap” and “hair” in the same sentence! While I might make more frugal choices in other aspects of my life my hair is not where I cut corners. I go to the same stylist. I would never object to paying a skilled and talented professional for their services as long as I can afford it. I’ve had my hair downright ruined in the past and given how long it’s taken me to grow it out from being spiky platinum it’s not a risk I will take.

In fact, a so-called reputable salon once over-processed my hair after giving me a terrible haircut and it broke off in chunks. CHUNKS!! I have only cried once about my hair and called in sick to work over it. I had to cut it all off and start all over from scratch. Needless to say, I recognize a good thing and know to stick with it.

Daily outfit, style tips, hair styles
Platinum and spiky


FBFF: Do you color your hair? How often? What’s your natural color?

FJ: Heck yeah, mother nature doesn’t love anyone enough to keep the greys at bay. My natural hair color is deep brown. I went lighter because the salt and pepper action happening in the part was not attractive against dark brown hair. Besides, it’s fun to change it up and I love the way it looks.

FBFF:  The one thing you always do to keep your hair looking great is:

FJ: Color and trim regularly, air dry it and use a protective leave-in conditioner.

FBFF: What hair trend do you love and wish you could rock?

FJ: I don’t know. I feel like I’ve done so much to my hair, I can’t imagine what’s left. This answer clearly requires its own post. Someday.

Thank you Katy of Modly Chic for crafting this topic. Friend Friday is an opportunity for fashion and beauty bloggers to share their thoughts on a specific topic and read what others have to say on that same topic. For more information, check out Modly Chic and welcome to the wonderful world of blogging!


FBFF Q&A: Learning the ways, young grasshopper

20 May

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Daily outfit and style tip, wearing tweed coat and beige pashmina shawl
A family affair: Fil, me, Liliana, Kurt


My husband’s mother (and my friend), Liliana, and her husband, Kurt were visiting us from Sandpoint, Idaho this past week and a half. They moved to Idaho to retire with their two dogs. They’ve since added a cat and a part-time moose to Daisy Ranch, the latter being inadvertent.

Have you ever tried to move a moose?

They’re both ski instructors at Schweitzer Mountain Resort which sounds like a lot of fun but it doesn’t sound much like retirement to me. All that skiing agrees with them, don’t you think? I’ve been blessed with a wonderful extended family; now that they’ve left I’ll be missing my “sister” Lil.

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Blog pet peeves? Don’t get me started, I’ve got very strong opinions. Mind you, they are opinions not judgements. I reckon offending parties have yet to learn the ways of the wise owl. I love saying “reckon”. I’m going to say it again. I reckon as bloggers learn how others feel about their offense they will correct their ways. This is the topic being discussed this week on Fashion Beauty Friend Friday.

How am I driven bananas? Let me count the ways:

1. Too many photos. Especially too many bad and/or blurry photos. Edit, people! No one needs to see every single angle of that outfit. Do you really think I only take two pictures a day? Pick the best, feature the differences, put some time into learning how to use that camera and improve. Ever been forced to sit through a gazillion vacation or family photos at someone’s house. Yeah, you get me.

2. Music. I don’t like your music. Well, I don’t like your music coming on while I’m already listening to music. It’s cacophonous at best, irritating at worst. I won’t come back, I read blogs to relax not to freak out my ears. Besides, I really may not like your music. No offense.

3. Low contrast color font. I’m artsy, I actually get paid to make judgement calls on big brands you’ve heard of. There’s no aisle in a supermarket that doesn’t carry a product I’ve been involved in. That said, (hold please, I need to get off my high horse pony because it’s no fun up there), I have never thought that compromising legibility in the name of creativity was a good idea. I want to read your content, no squint and readjust the angle and contrast of my monitor. Being able to read your content is a good thing.

4. The secret comment section. I just read your post. Coolio! Now I want to say something but, uh, wait. I can’t locate the comment mystery zone. I’m going to wave my cursor around like a magic wand and see if something happens. I really want to tell you that I loved what you wore and it suited you so well, that tying in that story about your day made me smile. But I gotta run, I’m trying to read a few more blogs before the sandman calls me and, well, I’m sure it’s around here somewhere but I haven’t found it. Maybe I’ll find it next time. Want to engage your readers? Make it easy for them to do so.

5. Typos. You probably graduated from High School. You might be in College or those years might be behind you. Guess what? Unless you did not grow up in a country where English is the primary language you have no excuse. The accidental typo from being so passionate about the topic that your fingers couldn’t keep up with your mind is okay. It’s been known to happen to the best of us. But people, every single program offers some kind of spell check. If that’s not enough, there’s that crazy mountain of information to steer you straight called The Internet. (Or as my mom calls it, the internet-world-wide-web-AOL.) Look, in my day you had to go to the local public library. Yeah, I pulled a “in my day” on you. You’ve got the internet so what’s your excuse?

(Folds pop-up soapbox, puts it away.) We now return the kinder, gentler House in the Clouds. I warned you, I’m pretty forgiving but it doesn’t mean I don’t have strong opinions. Listen, if you’re not willing to put time into learning and improving you should quit. I know it’s time consuming but plenty of people work really, really hard at putting together a quality blog.

Don’t blog because everyone else is doing it, blog because you love it and it shows. Let the quality speak to how much you care.

Thank you Katy of Modly Chic for crafting this topic. Friend Friday is an opportunity for fashion and beauty bloggers to share their thoughts on a specific topic and read what others have to say on that same topic. For more information, check out Modly Chic and welcome to the wonderful world of blogging!

I see you’re still here, reading, and you want to continue being told, check out what drives Beautifully Invisible crazy. (It’s good solid advice, I would never steer you wrong.) By the way, I have re-read this post about four times on different days. I might have missed something but I know I tried my best to catch every missing word or typo. You should too.

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Every couple of years I invest in a nice statement coat. There’s nothing better to cheer up a dreary winter day than a fun coat paired with a good scarf – or two. Having fun with style shouldn’t be limited to what lies beneath the cover-up, why not have a good time with everything you wear?

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Tweed coat/ModCloth, beige pashmina shawl/Nordstrom’s.