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Stitch Fix No. 6 - Spring is Here! (albeit fashionably late...)

Mar 31, 2014

Spring is heeeeeeere y'all!!! We in DC had what looks like the final snowfall of Winter 2013/2014. I lost my tights that day anyway, in protest. It was pretty chilly. 

Onward to sleeveless tops, lightweight dresses and sandals!

loved loved loved this fix. My stylist this time was Jacqueline, who let me know she read all my feedback from my past fixes, and it shows. If payday had come sooner I probably would have kept everything for the first time ever (you get a 25% discount on your order when you do). 

One thing I really liked about this fix is a lot of the pieces went together, so I had instant outfits. The first one I tried on was this red cardigan and skinny jeans.

I wish I'd gotten the cardigan in one of my winter fixes, because it was so cozy but looked cool and had a nice shape.

The skinny jeans fit like a glove -- except I felt like a had a bit of a bubble but in them -- but generally I felt the same was as I did with the cardi; if they'd come one or two fixes ago I probably would have kept them. They were much longer than what I've been able to find since I went down three sizes (#tallgirlproblems), but with the warm weather coming up, I will be avoiding jeans!

I am crazy about this outfit! It reminds me of an updated Mad Men look, with the bow on the top and the mid-length pencil skirt.

I liked the material and fit of the top a lot, but the sleeves were cut a little deep in the back so my bra straps were peeking out. I would get tired of adjusting them all day if I wore this.

This midi skirt is so cool! The green geo print is so unusual, the length is sophisticated and the fabric is comfortable and light. I kept this one since it's a statement piece yet super easy to wear. 

The fifth piece was this adorable dress. It reminded me of Jaqueline Kennedy when she was First Lady. A dropped waist is difficult to pull off, though, especially for us curvy girls. I consulted Sassy Marmalade and she agreed that it was crushworthy but made for someone, er, a little less chestially endowed than I. She also mentioned that it would look better if the coral block went all the way around the dress, a very good point.

At $108, it wasn't worth the analyzing, which would have continued every time I put it on. Besides, I'd have to suck in my stomach all day long, and that would get old!

Want to give it a try? Sign up here and remember your $20 styling fee goes toward your purchase! 

Read about my past fixes here:

P.S. Style Me April starts tomorrow! Join the Instagram challenge by following the fashion rules below and tagging #stylemeapril. Everyone's a winner and you'll be amazed at what new outfits you find just by shopping your own closet. ;)

Hooray for no more tights!

Spring Fashion Trend: Pastels

Mar 28, 2014

Happy #FashionFriday! Winter may be hanging on, but the spring fashion season is in full swing. This week's highlighted trend, pastels, shows some sweet numbers and a few modern translations of our favorite childhood colors.

I am in love with this Anthro dress -- Sophisticated Sherbert comes to mind. These LOFT dresses are super feminine. Pair the eyelet one with a contrasting colored belt, and wear a glassy statement necklace with the other. Lurv.

You don't have to go out and buy a bunch of new clothes to rock the trend -- these scarves are a great transitional piece from winter to spring! The J.Crew belt comes in a few colors and will go fab with the eyelet dress (above). 

Peep-toes, bows and black & blue...wear 'em with florals, polka dota or basic white!

A girl can't have too many sleeveless tops for spring and summer, and little embellishments make them extra special. Grab a gray or white jersey blazer and a pencil skirt and you've got an on trend outfit!

Your casual looks are covered as well! I especially love the zig-zag prints.

Also, here's a round-up of this week's #StyleMeMarch outfits -- I didn't make it every day, but the days I did sure were fun! Find the Instagram challenge here and be sure to tag me (@cupcakesdcpix) if you post your outfit...I want to see! :)

"A Little Bit Tomboy"

"Chic in Neutrals"

Happy Birthday Mariah!

Mar 27, 2014

Slacker Radio sent me a birthday reminder for Mariah Carey a couple of days ago -- not sure why because it's today, not a few days ago, but anyway, she's 43 44 (updated 3/28: her Google bio hadn't yet updated, whoopsies) and I instinctively thought they'd spelled my name wrong.

I was first introduced to Mariah with her song "Emotions". We didn't have cable so whenever I visited my grandparents I'd binge on MTV so I'd be able to talk about stuff with the popular kids at school. When I heard Mariah, however, I stopped worrying so much about being cool and became entranced with her perfect pitch and amazing range. I sang "Emotions" over and over until I could hit the highest high notes. My poor parents must have been quite concerned with why and how much I was screeching, but I guess that's why I was told to go the basement a lot. Sadly, my burgeoning singing career was cut short when I got a cold and pushed through for the sake of singing practice, damaging my vocal chords. To this day, I can only go so high before I completely lose my voice, and once I get a few notes above that I've got it back. Impressive? Yes. Maybe. But it's not conducive for a singing career. And hence why I'm not a singer.

In celebration of the pop star who once choked on one of her curls in the middle of a concert, here's a comprehensive playlist of all her U.S. singles in order of release. They take you from the beginning to the Tommy Mottola years to Nick and the babies and all the way to the song she did with Miguel that you weren't aware of. Try not to sing too loudly at your desk.

I'll be there...

Weird Name Problems (hashtag it!)

Mar 26, 2014

I've only ever met one person who shares my name, spelled the same way, that is. I was around 10 years old on a field trip to a museum. I think she worked there -- can't remember now -- but we had an instant bond, because each of us was the only other person on earth who understood the other's plight in life.

Common assumptions include:

  • The "El" was a mistake -- I must actually go by "Mary."
  • The "El" is my middle name and I'm a weirdo for introducing myself by my entire name.
  • I misspelled my name -- it's actually hyphenated.
  • I am Hispanic.
  • I am Middle Eastern.
I used to get angry, but once I started working and had to email people without ever meeting them, I found myself in a constant struggle between wanting to correct them but not wanting to come across as rude. This frustration escalated quickly until I was angry all day, every day. So I had to find a way to cope. My solution? Considering all people inconsiderate and idiotic.

Eventually I realized this couldn't be true. In fact, at some point, I became less irritated and more fascinated with the human brain. What is it, in their brains, that makes them draw all kinds of conclusions besides the most obvious: Maybe her name is Mary El?

I thought I was in the minority with this problem, until I posted a BuzzFeed article on Facebook titled "16 Things Only People with Unique Names Will Understand." At least I don't feel alone anymore.

I lied about it being more fascinating. It's still super irritating.

Cherry Blossom Recipes

Mar 25, 2014

It's snowing here in DC today, hopefully for the last time this year...until next December when we all hope for a white National Christmas Tree Lighting.

But I've seen buds on the trees, and a few cherry blossoms are peeking out, so Spring is coming whether Winter likes it or not! To celebrate, I put together a Cherry Blossom Recipes Pinterest board. Here are the recipes I'm most looking forward to trying:

Cherry Blossom Doughnuts from Canelle et Vanille

Cherry Blossom Bites by Cut Out + Keep

Cherry Blossom Ripple by Annie Bell

What's wrong with me? Basically everything.

Mar 24, 2014

When local blogger Olga from Mango & Tomato asked if I wanted to go to see the New York Times "Modern Love" column editor, Daniel Jones, speak at Sixth & I, I jumped on the opportunity. I'm not a die hard fan, but I love the concept of publishing submissions from anyone with a story about what love is to him or her, thus defining love in endless ways.

I first read the column when Orange is the New Black premiered. I was fascinated with the idea of a woman like me going to prison for a crime she committed 10 years earlier. I researched her real-life story and found it to be much different than what the show portrayed. In the show, her fiance, Larry, doesn't remain so faithful when he watched Mad Men without her -- but then again, neither does she remain faithful to him when her former lover ends up in prison with her. And while that story line works for TV, the real story is so much better. Real-life Piper wrote her version in her memoir, "Orange is the New Black", and real-life Larry wrote his for "Modern Love".

Daniel has a book out now, Love Illuminated: Exploring Life’s Most Mystifying Subject—With the Help of 50,000 Strangers, and he brought along Modern Love columnist Sara Eckel with him. She also has a book out called It’s Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You’re Single. The crowd, including me, went for Daniel, but I was mostly moved by what Sara spoke about.

In a passage from her book, Sara admits to not having a boyfriend for eight years. She finally meets her now husband in her late 30s, but until then, she wonders what is wrong with her. She heard the same so-called advice from Marrieds that we Singletons often get -- mostly you're too (fill in the blank). She closed her reading with this line, that has been ringing in my ears ever since:

This got me thinking about some of the reasons I've blamed for my singleness over the years. My hooded eyelids have always been a huge problem, and most recently I noticed my armpits are wrinkly. Not to mention I hate doing dishes and I talk too much. Also, I'm too tall for this town, and my aversion to exercise further sets me apart from the norm.

But you know what? I'm not changing. Because the wrinkles in my armpits just mean I've used them a lot, y'all. (I'm assuming it works the same way as smile lines.) And my hooded eyelids? Make a great story for parties when I tell everyone I had plastic surgery at the age of 7 and my surgeon wanted me to also get an eye lift but my parents said no. I will never enjoy doing dishes and I will always find other things to do besides dishes and that's one of my greatest joys in life, avoiding doing dishes, right next to talking. Being tall comes in handy for getting things off shelves (I mean, who needs a tall dude around when you've got me?) and when I need to burn calories I just put Britney Spears on and work it out. 

So actually all those particular flaws make my life pretty dang fun. Why in the world would I want to change any of it? Why would any of us?

Singletons, we're single because we're single. There's no other reason. We just are. And it's fine.


Spring Fashion Trend: Pleats

Mar 21, 2014

It's #FashionFriday! (I think that's a thing.) After posting about gingham being a Spring 2014 Fashion Trend, I realized there are so many more trends I'm excited about. And guess what else? Dean Street Society's Style Me Challenge is back! I participated two summers ago and noticed it dropped of the interwebs that fall. Looks like it was popular enough to make a comeback though. Even though it's the tail end of the month, it's a fine time to join the fun. If you post, make sure to tag me (@cupcakesdcpix) -- I'd love to see how you're inspired! (Bonus points if you work in a Spring Trend!)

And now onto the next trend...Pleats!
Pleats were originally meant to give you extra space in your clothes, but they have the ability to create such interesting illusions that they're often used purely for stylistic purposes. This season you'll see pleats in just about every type of clothing, adding a flirtatiously classy element to your wardrobe.

Pleated skirts look beautifully retro and remind me of my grandmothers' era of perfectly coiffed hair and red lips. Keep your tops simple so the focus stays where it should -- your legs! These skirts work for any body shape and will cause spontaneous shwishing when the weather is nice.

What's better than a pleated skirt? Pleats from head to toe! (Or knee, if your dress is short.) ModCloth's party dress evokes "The Great Gatsby" and can go from day to night in mint. Anthropologie's maxi is perfect for evening outings in the city after spending a week at the beach. And J.Crew Factory is channeling our grandmothers in this sweet dress that you should spice up with some red heels.

I love shorts, and I feel like I might be in the minority on this. With this season's bright colors and varying lengths, how can you resist? Yes, pleats on pants can be tricky, but it's worth a try.

You may not wear these skirts to work, but I'm sure you can find ample opportunity elsewhere. Wear an airy blouse or lightweight tank and you've got a great casual outfit that is so much better than jeans.

These tops are work/date/everything appropriate. Replace your basic white blouse -- you're never getting that stain out so you need to anyway!

What's your favorite way to wear pleats?