Friday, June 28, 2013

Back in a little...

This is the view I'm hoping to see very shortly.  Not a lot of pumps needed here.  Some cute tunics, espadrilles, and a Tory tunic dress or 2, but that's about it.  Ahhh.  Needless to day, we're going to be offline for a little, but I'm sure we'll have random posts to wrap up spring/summer 2013.  I have yet to hit the Green Tangerine!  With fall clothing is hitting the stores and the Nordstrom anniversary sale is around the corner, no doubt we'll be back soon!  Happy 4th! ~ LB & JH

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Hat Attack!

While I was unpacking last year's beach bag to get ready for this summer, I found my old, Kate Spade cotton beach hat.  In the bag, from last summer.  Yuck.  While I know it will make it through the laundry, I thought I should just update my beach hat.  Time for a little evening cyber shopping on

I was amazed at the number of hats they carried online.  There were only a dozen or so styles in the accessories section at the Natick Nordstrom.  Current count online?  170 hats.  Nuts.

I knew I wanted a neutral color to go with navy, black, jewel-toned bathing suits, and I wanted a nice sized brim - not too big but not too small.  Made of cotton.  Brim has to be bendable so I can lean back in my beach chair while reading.  Ok, that might be a fantasy with 2 active girls to watch, but a girl can dream, right?!

I found myself drawn to the Helen Kaminski brand of hats.  Helen Kaminski is an Australian brand and producer of headwear.  Love the simple design with quality materials. While there were raffia hats, there were great cotton ones too.  I ordered this 'Istria' canvas sun hat in ivory (this is the 'driftwood' color, but the ivory blended into the background color too much).  You can adjust the drawstring at the crown of the hat for a perfect fit).  Sold.  I love it.
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But, while wandering through the many hat offerings, I had this inexplicable urge to try a fedora.  I really 'fell-in-like' with this one by Flora Bella, and before I knew it, it was in my shopping cart.  And then on my doorstep.  Oops.  
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I wore it this week when I chaperoned a school field trip and kind of love it.  Where else will I wear it?!  To the grocery, to watch kids' sporting events, shopping, anywhere really.  What will I wear it with?  Anything, from shorts and a t-shirt to a maxi dress with flip flops.  It makes that plain t-shirt and shorts just a little more chic.  A friend DID tease me about it ("Are you a Brooklyn hipster now?"), but I think it'll be a great summer accessory to have.  And, I must have been onto something because this hat is now SOLD OUT on  Can't even give you a link to it.  Boo.  

And that got me researching even more.  What other cool summer hats are out there?  How are people wearing them?  Do I need another?  (Just kidding...kind of.)

Check the Polyvore set I put together to show off some summer hats and how some are styled. ~ JH

W2WW Hat Attack
Bop Basics fedora hat / Bop Basics / Helene Berman band hat / Helen Kaminski canvas hat / Nordstrom straw fedora hat / Helen Kaminski fedora hat / Tarnish fedora hat / Eric Javits sun hat / Eugenia Kim sun hat / Nordstrom band hat / J.Crew straw hat / Eric Javits fedora hat / Flora Bella brimmed hat / Helen Kaminski Zindira hat 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Paris 2013: What we bought, Part 2

Even as I clicked the 'publish' button on the first post, I knew there were things I missed!  Oh well, dear readers, you will have to put up with another post on things we found in Paris.

I can't believe I forgot to include this one, which is a replacement item.  I left my Princesse Tam Tam bathrobe in Jamaica last Thanksgiving (along with other things - I have serious issues!) which I had purchased in Paris in the spring of 2012. Princesse Tam Tam is a great lingerie store in Paris that also has a swimwear line.  The robe is light cotton, knee-length, long sleeved, navy with a tie-waist.  It is, by far, the best bathrobe I've ever owned.  And not expensive either!  The total package. (They also had gray too, but I love navy.)
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It was actually the first thing I purchased upon arriving in Paris.  It packs well and is light-weight enough that you can dry your hair while wearing it without sweating.  Very important!  I was thrilled that they still had it a year later.  And while shopping with Lisa, we wandered into a Princesse Tam Tam shop where she promptly purchased one too.  She loves it just as much as I do.

(Do you see a theme here?  Yes, we have to call each other before heading out to events because we have so many same items of clothing.  But we always follow our rules of wardrobe etiquette.)

I digress.  While we were fondling that Gerard Darel suede car coat, I did happen to find a fabulous scarf!  It has TASSELS and lots of color (which, as you know, is a stretch for me).  Isn't it heaven?!
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I think that's the end of our purchases.  We committed to seeking things that we can't find (at least easily) in the U.S., and I think we were pretty successful in staying the course on that. ~ JH

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

W2WW News Flash - Issa London Collaboration at Banana Republic!

This is one collaboration that I'm going to go to ON LAUNCH DAY!  According to the July 2013 issue of InStyle magazine (and Women's Wear Daily, back in April), August 6th is the day that the created-for-Banana-Republic Issa London line will debut in BR stores and online.  (I can't believe we missed the announcement that happened back in April!) 

You might ask yourself 'How do I know Issa dresses?' or 'What is Issa London?'.  Do you remember this photo? 
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That, my dear readers, is a classic Issa London dress.  Issa London is to the UK what DVF is to the US.  The 40 piece collection will feature, you guessed it, dresses as well as accessories, priced between $39 and $150.  QUITE the bargain when you consider that dress above retails for $595.  (Although I just found a turquoise one on sale at for $416.)

Here are a few sketches of what we might see on August 6th.
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I actually tried on one of these dresses a few years ago and they are SO flattering.  Would be a great staple to have in your wardrobe (kind of like a DVF wrap dress).  Will I see you at 10:00am at the Natick Mall's Banana Republic? ~ JH

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Text Conversation #2

Since our first replayed text conversation was well received, we thought we'd share another one.  This one, about shoes.

Scene - Lazy Saturday.  Jen still in pajamas and robe.  12:03pm.  Lisa texts Jen a picture.
Lisa:  'Thoughts?  Rachel Zoe.  Insanely comfy but not sure if too horsey.  Can see with white.  Commuting too.'

Jen: 'Really like.  They are a little more material than I'm used to seeing on you, but I likey.'

Lisa: 'Yeah, me too.  That's what the concern is.  But they are easy to walk in.'

Jen: 'How much were they?  On sale?  Full price?'
Lisa: 'Unlike these which are just cute. Tory.  Need another pair of espadrilles.  These or the navy ones from J.Crew? 150 for Zoe. 130 for Tory.'

Jen: 'Honestly, I think the navy J.Crew is better for what you want to wear them with.  Keep the Zoe at 150.  I like them!'
Lisa: 'Oh, and I got these wedges and just adore.  These are out of the holding area.'

Pause in conversation to share our definition of 'holding area' with you:  If Lisa or I purchase something we aren't sure about, we each have a corner in our bedroom/closet we call the 'holding area'.  Either an item eventually comes out of the holding area in and into rotation OR that item is returned.  Items that go directly into rotation are no-brainers and loved.  Items that go straight to the holding area need more consideration.  Clearly, these shoes are out of the holding area and into the closet for keeps.  Back to conversation.

Jen: 'You have been holding out on me!  Where are all of these from?!'

Lisa: 'Agreed.  Thank god you are available for consult.  The holding area is all backed up.  I've been cyber shopping.'

Jen: 'Where? Nords?  Neimans?  I guess you skipped the science museum (where her family was heading this afternoon) in favor of sorting through the holding area.'
Lisa: 'Nord. NM. Saks. Crew.  Bad girl.  Yes, skipped trip.  Much better for my karma.'

Jen: 'Holy cow.  What else is in there?'

Silence.  I think she might be buried under a pile of shoes.  ~ JH

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Paris 2013 - What we bought.

Finally - almost 2 months late, but we really wanted to wrap up our Paris trip and show you what we got!  Don't get TOO excited.  Our shopping endeavors were not as successful as prior trips.  Still, we did have to each check an extra bag on the plane back home.  Just saying.  So what DID we pick up?

I finally bit the bullet and bought one of Vanessa Bruno's iconic tote bags.  Very L.L. Bean looking, but updated with sequin trim.  Mine is the canvas color below, but the sequins are silver.  Love it.  Great summer bag.  Oh, and guess what?!  Lisa got one too!
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I picked up this top at Comptoir des Cotonniers because I thought it would be a great transition top over skinny, cropped black pants and heels.  And yes, it looks great over that.  Love the grosgrain ribbon details.
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Speaking of Comptoir, Lisa picked up 2 dresses there that she thought would be useful for work yet fun.  What do you think?  The print dress is a no-brainer, while the white one was a lovely surprise.
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On day ONE, I HAD to swing by Eric Bompard to pick up another classic cashmere v-neck sweater.  This time, I chose a light, heather grey; if I wear it as much as I wear my navy and camel ones, it will be worth every penny.  I wear these to death in the transition seasons, with a tank top under and a scarf wrapped around my neck, over cords or jeans. I like to think of them as part of a 'uniform' that's easy to throw on and go.  But it's the quality of these sweaters that gives a polished look.  I will, in the future, try to pick one up each time I'm there.
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Onto shoes.  I'm having shopper's remorse on one item that I purchased in lieu of another that I REALLY wanted.  First, what I wanted.  I was in Printemps with Lisa and spied these gorgeous strappy heels by Francois Najar.  Hard to tell in the photo (that I took in the shoe department), but they are a shiny navy leather with a 'tortoise shell' detailed heel.  I can't even look at them right now because I love them so.
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It was our FIRST stop of the day, and I thought, well, they are REALLY expensive, so I'll come back if I love them.  The day went on, as did the week, and I kept thinking about these shoes.  On my last day in Paris, I found these shoes, the ones I eventually purchased, in Tara Jarmon.  

Images from Jennifer Houston.
Tara Jarmon is a Canadian-born, French designer who makes LOVELY clothing, shoes, and accessories.  Kate Middleton has been seen wearing her clothing.  (Lisa bought a beautiful knit sweater by Tara Jarmon, but we cannot find a picture of it anywhere for your viewing.)

Anyway, the shoes are similar in that they have this shiny but matte navy blue leather (a new trend?!), are heeled, and are strappy.  And these were many Euros less in price.  MANY.  Since it was the last afternoon and I was in the 6th arrondissement and Printemps is all the way up in the 9th, I decided that these would do.  WRONG!  Although I have worn them and do like them, they don't hold a candle to the Francois Najar heels.  Sigh...

Back to what we have versus what we should have had!  Lisa and I both hit the pharmacies HARD.  Lisa is hardcore and will set aside hours to wander through City Pharma on rue du Four.  From Lisa:

"I'm a lotion junkie and this Caudalie hand and nail cream is my latest addition.  The smell is divine and it disappears without leaving a greasy feel on hands.  J.Crew is selling this cream in store now so I know where to go when I run out.
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I get up early everyday and this Rene Furterer Dry Shampoo saves me from washing when I just don't feel like it or have the time.  Just spray on hair, rub lightly with a towel and voila!  No more stringy hair!  Look at these ingredients...rice and corn starch powders to absorb oil and impurities, clay and silica powders also to absorb oil and impurities, colored iron oxides which add color to powder for invisibility, and essential oils of caraway, basil and peppermint which clean and balance your hair.  Plus, it smells super with extracts of basil, mint, blackcurrant.
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I also stocked up on Klorane Dry Shampoo just for something different.
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Nuxe makes the most amazing products with incredible scents.  I tried this rose body lotion last time in Paris.  Now whenever I wear it I feel transported back to the city. Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse is legendary.  This dry oil, with a unique super-activated formula combining 30% precious plant oils and vitamin E, helps nourish, repair and soften face, body and hair in a single spray."
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If you think that Lisa's the only junkie, take a seat.  I too love the pharmacies in Paris, and my absolutely favorite product is hard to find in the U.S. and a fortune on  Bioderma Crealine H2O is the BEST makeup remover I've ever used.  Gentle and thorough at the same time.  Gets EVERYTHING off your face, including eye makeup, gently.  
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I found this product on Gwyneth Paltrow's list of favorite Parisian pharmacy items.  Not a Gwyneth fan, but fan of her product choices!  I've used it for years and get frustrated at the lack of supply.  And the prices.  Price on for a 500ml bottle?  Over $30.  Price in Paris?  On sale at City Pharma for 7 Euros.  Done and done.  And the baby 'travel size' that I paid, gulp, $18 for online?  On sale for 2.50 Euros.  I couldn't stop grabbing bottles.  As a result, my linen closet looks like I'm a Bioderma horder.  
Image by Jennifer Houston.
Don't judge.

Other than the requisite wine and chocolates (don't get Lisa started!), I think that wraps up our shopping adventures in Paris.  Phew. ~ LB & JH

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 love leather belts and bracelets.

As you know (or are about to know), there are certain things that drive Lisa and I crazy with excitement.  Tassels, great shoes, and great leather goods are at the top of the list.  I was just in a saddlery store today and found myself pawing some saddles.  Delicious, yummy leather.

You can imagine my delight, when, while surfing Facebook, I found this post from a friend:
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Stop the presses - what is that?!  A DIFFERENT belt?!  Very cool, no buckle, just wrapped leather.  Love, love, love.  So, being me, I clicked on the video to learn more.  You should too.  Click here.

Lombardi Leather (est. 2012) is a fledgling company and through the site, it is trying to raise funds to launch their product line.  Kickstarter is this:  It's a website full of projects that are launched with the direct support of founders/customers (you!).  Project creators set a fundraising goal and a deadline for that goal.  If you like a project, you can fund it money.  Click here to read more about the site.  Pretty cool, right?!

So, Lombardi Leather IS one of the projects on Kickstarter.  By 'pledging' a certain amount, you are actually shopping.  If Lombardi reaches their fundraising goal by the end of June, the item you purchased will be delivered in August.  If they don't make their goal, no pledge, no product.  Projects must reach their fundraising goal by the deadline to receive any funds.  Pretty easy, right?

Since I'm obsessed with the leather bracelets, I plan to head over to the Lomardi project page right after I'm done typing this.  For a $29 dollar pledge, one of these will be mine!

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And which color should I order?!  Love that St. Barths Blue!
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I'm pretty obsessed with the belts too, I'm not going to lie.  They are priced at a 'founder's rate" of $79.  If the project goes live, they will call you to help find the correct size of belt.  Custom belt!  Think of the belt through belt loops, over a wrap sweater in the winter, or cinching a longer blouse or tunic.  Yum!  Gorgeous!
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Maybe I'll just pledge $100 and get BOTH the belt and bracelet.  

It's always a happy day when you find a new accessory and can help a small business. Click here to check it out! ~ JH

Sunday, June 2, 2013

W2WW News Flash - Milly launches Limited Collection at Banana Republic

One of our readers texted me that this collection is in stores now!  Milly, a collection of 'bold, advanced contemporary fashion with a graceful edge', created a line to be sold for a limited time at Banana Republic.  
I must say, please check it out.  Milly style + Banana Republic price point = some summer must-haves.  Some of my favorites are below, and note that the elephant print shorts are ALREADY sold out.  Boo.  What are your favorites? ~ JH

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