Cindi + Chris Photography

From the outside looking in, you can never understand it. From the inside looking out, you can never explain it." ~ Unknown

Well . . . that sums up how I feel about the bloggie sisterhood. I haven't been blogging for very long, but I think I've formed a sweet friendship with a small but special group of sista bloggers. And today, I'd like it to be all about our awesome Anthro sis Cindi. I don't know Cindi personally, but from reading bits about her on her blog Simply Cindi, she is one admirable gal. In addition to being a talented photographer with a breath-takingly keen eye, Cindi has a quick and witty sense of humor and a strong passion for what she does. If you'd like to see Cindi in action, check out her stunning pics here, here, here, here and here

The dynamic duo Cindi and Chris are just starting out in their photography venture and they appreciate all your support. And it was Cindi who inspired these words ~ every little "Like" in fb helps. So if you have a fb account, you're just a click or a "Like" away from supporting an Anthro sista's dreams.

OOTD Two-Wheeler and TMI on Facebook

The other day, this was posted on my Facebook news feed: "We're all so excited 'coz Eric's wife Angie is dilated to almost 8 centimeters! WOW. Isn't that just a blessing?"
I practically choked on a pretzel. TMI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"Um, no it's NOT a blessing. I did a George W ie. choked on a pretzel and almost died. A self-administered Heimlich saved my life. Care to share your Facebook gripes/ horror stories?

 Dress ~ Anthro Two Wheeler/ Shoes ~ Anthro Dusky Begonia T-Straps

$150 Value: Perricone Skin Care/ Perricone Promise Diet Giveaway

The giveaway fairy has stopped by my blog again. I've been asked to host another giveaway, this time for Perricone products. Dr. Nicholas Perricone has authored 3 New York Times best sellers and has been a guest on Oprah, Today Show and Larry King 20/20. Celebs like Julia Roberts, Courtney Cox, Oprah Winfrey, Matt Lauer, Usher, Eva Mendez, Uma Thurman and Paris Hilton follow Dr. Perricone's expert recommendations.

His creation was born when he was approached by celebrity make-up artists. And Perricone has since produced an array of natural skin care lines and the most effective wrinkle cream.
Perricone products have received rave reviews from:
♥Vanity Fair
♥Cosmopolitan (USA and UK) named No Foundation Foundation the “Best Tinted Moisturizer” in 2010 Beauty Awards.
♥Marie Claire “was thrilled to find Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation,” and said “it erases blotchiness and pores with just a hint more coverage…”
♥Lucky reported “this is a full-fledged anti-aging treatment masquerading as a tinted moisturizer…”

Five years of intensive research guided by a lifetime of scientific insight has yielded Cold Plasma, a breakthrough in skincare technology which has won the 2009 WWD Beauty Biz Award. Cold Plasma is the anti-aging secret to staying forever young and it addresses the most common 10 signs of aging: wrinkles, redness, enlarged pores, uneven skin tone, discoloration, impurities, dryness, loss of radiance, loss of smoothness and loss of firmness.
Testimonials ~“I am a huge fan of Dr. Perricone and his philosophy ‘true beauty is radiant health.’ Thank you Dr. Perricone!” Eva Mendes has said many times for her love of Perricone’s products.

"I received a sample from Sephora and noticed the difference after one use. I was a sun goddess in my younger years and now have age spots. I am noticing they are fading and my pores appear smaller. I love it and I will be a regular user." a customer review on Perricone's website.

The Perricone promise diet has received tons of press since it was introduced in a book published by  Perricone, M.D., in 2000 and is touted as one of the best anti-aging diet programs that help maintain younger looking skin.

Enter to win a choice of any Perricone MD product valued at $150 or less. This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada residents only.
How to enter this giveaway? Very simple:
1. Share a Perricone product valued at $150 or less that you'd want or need and why in the comments below. Link to the site is here.
2. Be a follower of this blog and leave your email address below in the comments.
That's it!

To receive extra entries, you can:
1. Blog about this giveaway. Please leave an additional comment below with your link.
2. Tweet about this giveaway. Please leave an additional comment below.
***This giveaway ends on March 8th and the winner will be chosen at random using
Thanks to all for participating. And good luck ladies!

Fitting Room Reviews - LC Designs, Elle, Anthro Clinton Trench Twin?

Just some quickie fitting room reviews. Kids are in bed and my DH is waiting for me in the family room so we can catch up on our shows ~ Top Chef, Anthony Bourdain, Top Gear, Alaska Gold Rush and Frontline. Our DVR is filling up! Gute Nacht.

LC Lauren Conrad Floral Ruffle Chiffon Dress. On sale for $41.99. ***Note this dress does not come w. a belt. I like the blue belt LC has on in the pic below, but the only belt I could find at Kohl's was a red one. Fits TTS. I had high hopes for this dress, but I just wasn't feeling it. You can also check out Abby's review here.

LC Lauren Conrad Floral Ruffle Blouse. On sale for $27.99. Comes in silver and grey. Fits TTS and I heart the tiered ruffles and sash. It flows nicely and the fit is very flattering. This blouse came home with momma. You can also check out Abby's review here.

LC Lauren Conrad Floral Chiffon Top. On sale for $27.99. The material is very sheer but the colors are lovely in person; like a burst of spring. Fits TTS. You can also check out Abby's review here.

LC Lauren Conrad Ruched Cropped Blazer. On sale for $41.99. Overall, it didn't WOW me; the fit was a bit off and the color was a little too washed out for my liking. 

LC Lauren Conrad Floral Peasant Top. On sale for $23.99. Comes in blue and pink. Fits TTS. I kinda like the bohemian feel of this flowy blouse.

Mystery ELLE top. On clearance for $12.99. I thought this lacey top was darling and achingly charming; sadly the only size left was a large and it kinda hung on me like a garbage bag.

I spy more items to try on at Kohl's. Till next time . . .

ELLE Ruffle Trench Coat  On sale for $57.99. Comes in khaki and dark pink. Doesn't this look similar to Anthro's Clinton Trench? I posted a picture of the Clinton Trench below.

Elle Ruffle Trench Coat

Anthro Clinton Trench
And you can see how our very own LC (of Bella Seattle) rocks the Clinton Trench here.

ELLE Tiered Cardigan. On sale for $36.99. Comes in peach and slate

ELLE Floral Chiffon Wrap Top. On sale for $29.99

OOTD - Bold Boutonniere and My Book

The dress that started my love affair . . .  
One muggy afternoon in 2009. . . I did a google search for Anthro's Bold Boutonniere dress and Kim's Anthroholic blog popped up. Ever since then, Kim's blog has turned me into an Anthro junkie and I've never looked back. Kim became my Anthro deity and my Anthro idol. And it was through Kim's Blog Roll that I discovered this lovely Anthro blogging community ~  this treasure trove of fashion fun and inspiration. Tien and Tara . . . their sweet prose, like waxing poetic in my ear; Kathryn and Carol . . . the Courtney Cox and Jenn Aniston of the Anthro blogging world; Roxy, Gigi, Anjali, Lisa and Amy Kelinda . . . their wit, humor and candor had me rolling. And if I shopped like Chloe (of the Conspiracy), I'd have to remortgage my house. Twice. Nothing but love for you Chloe ;-) Oh, I could go on and on . . . 
Dress - Anthro Bold Boutonniere/ Shoes - Dolce Vita

A few years ago, I started writing a chick lit novel and in a tiny paragraph, I mentioned a couple of Anthro blogs and non-Anthro blogs that have inspired me and helped me stay inspired to finish my book. Inspiration doesn't last very long; and I needed to develop the determination and self-discipline to carry on writing once the inspiration dried up. And I admired how all these women in the blogging community put themselves out there and committed to writing every day (or almost every day), even when I'm sure there were days when they just didn't feel like writing. These women became my daily cup of inspiration. They made me get out of my yoga pants and don pretty Anthro frocks and J.Crew cardis; they made me laugh, reflect, cry, think and shop, shop, shop. ***To all you lovely lady bloggers whose blogs I've mentioned, I'll shoot you an email with more details. It's just in a small paragraph where the protagonist lists all her fav blogs that she visits. NOTE: It's only on the paperback editions and not the eBooks (Kindle & Nook)

There's no easy way for me to say this, so I'll just blurt it out ~ My book is out, or as the cool cats say ~ "It has dropped!" Actually, it's been out for a few weeks now, but I've been hesitant and afraid to post about it. For those who know me, I don't  like to draw attention to myself. I'm that girl who would love to just magically fade into the wallpaper. *COUGH* Ahem. So I'll just get right into it so I can get it over with . . . 

What's the book about?
It's a humorous look at what happens on the other side of the phone line, and it's a glimpse into a world we all experience but seldom bother to understand once we hang up the phone. If you aren't familiar with the chick lit genre, it's lots of fluff, with sprinkles of humor and a dash of romance.

***Disclosure  ~ If you find politically incorrect shows like The Office and Chelsea Lately detestable, childish and offensive, then my book is probably NOT your cuppa tea. But if you do enjoy those shows, then it may be right up your alley.
*** This is not a coming of age novel; there is little or no substance. To me, chick lit is like junk food for my brain. I do read serious fiction and heavy lit, but gritty realism gets me down and I hate ambiguous endings. Sometimes I don't want to think deep thoughts; I just want a good laugh.
***There is quite a bit of swearing (mainly by the callers, not the protagonist). And I do take the Lord's name in vain. May our Heavenly Father forgive me.

Why did I write a chick lit book based in a call center?
I've worked in a call center for almost a decade. *SOBS* and I still do. I know this sounds cliched, but my English teacher in college prefaced every writing assignment with this advice ~ Write what you know. And I know too much about call centers. One only need to hear the word "call center" and everyone’s blood pressure skyrockets through the roof. Callers go ballistic and become verbally abusive over the phone, and often feel entitled to unload their personal demons on us. Trust me . . . I've seen many of my co-workers on the verge of tears. And I wanted to tell our story.
Plus, I've read countless of chick lit novels where the women all have fancy jobs, and they fancy men who hold fancy jobs. And I wanted to read about a woman I could relate to. A protagonist who is regular chick with a very ordinary job, who falls for a guy with an ordinary job. Although, the guy is anything but ordinary (I like to think).

How do I feel?
To be quite frank, my stomach is clenched in nerves. You know that sinking feeling you get when you're up on stage after agreeing to act in a play . . . . the curtains go up and you're standing there blanching and thinking, "Huh?!? What was I thinking?!? Now I actually have to perform and be subjected to critics."
Well, that's how I feel. Phew. Just needed to get that off my chest. And I need to just get over my jitters.

If you'd like to help out a small fish fry author (a tiny squid to be precise), I posted a "Like" link for my Facebook page below and on the right hand column. I'm extremely grateful and appreciative of all your support. In the words of another Anthro sis ~ every little "Like" in fb helps.   
p/s Laura, Kim, Marie and Jen, thanks for all your kind words of encouragement. It means a lot to me :-) <3

Lastly, what was the one dress/item that started your love affair with Anthro/J.Crew?

OOTD and Weight Watchers is Watching Me

Top ~ Anthro, Sweater ~ Roxy, Jeans ~ AE

Banana Republic Striped ruffle scoopneck 

Autumn Cashmere

In my line of work, you need to have a very good sense of humor. 'Coz if you don't, you can easily crack under the stress and pressure. And if it wasn't for my crazy fun friends' delightful and enigmatic company, I wouldn't have survived as long as I have in the call center purgatory.

This is my online conversation with my BFF Monica (who sits in the cubicle next to me). Be warned, we have the sense of humor of 2 year old toddlers. We're basically big dorks who don't take ourselves too seriously.

Um, that's Monica's profile pic btw. 
Monica: Dammit! I want a bean burrito

Monica: I could mail you a bean burrito! haha... let's see what happens to it!?!?

Me: you mean like a mail order bean burrito husband? not from Russia, but from Mexico?!?

Monica: Oh snap..that's heaven..he will have Mexican Monterey cheese hair lol

Several hours later . . . (Monica is scarfing down a bean burrito; and she bought one for me too!)

Monica: Weight Watchers is Watching Me.

Oh, I used that "old man winking" pic on my blog for a week or two, and then I realized that I was probably creeping out other bloggers, so I switched it back to a pic of me. If I creep-ed out any of you, sorry! So . . . speaking of bean burritos, anyone else fancy Mexican food? What's your favorite?

LC in Anthro and LC Lauren Conrad Designs

Former Hills star LC's new reality show recently got rejected by MTV for being too "high brow" for their audience. I've never watched The Hills, but I've sporadically tuned in to Laguna Beach in the past. While I'm not really a fan of the celebutante, author and fashion designer LC,  I do admire her for her drive and for sticking to her principles. Plus, she's rocking Anthro (twice) and me thinks her Kohl's line is pretty uberlicious. I'll be making a trip to Kohl's this weekend and plan on trying on all the pieces below.

LC in Anthro ~ Contemporarian Dress on the left and Mullany Dress on the right. For an in depth review of the Contemporarian Dress, check out Laura from Anthro Closet Chaos post here. And I also tried it on here.

LC Lauren Conrad Floral Ruffle Chiffon Dress. On sale for $41.99

LC Lauren Conrad Floral Chiffon Dress. On sale for $41.99

LC Lauren Conrad Floral Ruffle Dress. On sale for $41.98

LC Lauren Conrad Pointelle Boyfriend Cardigan. On sale for $41.99. Comes in gray and pacific green

LC Lauren Conrad Lace Sweater. On sale for $31.99. Comes in ruby red and black.

LC Lauren Conrad Floral Chiffon Top. On sale for $27.99

LC Lauren Conrad Ruched Cropped Blazer. On sale for $41.99

LC Lauren Conrad Floral Shirred Top. On sale for $24.99

LC Lauren Conrad Floral Ruffle Blouse. On sale for $27.99

LC Lauren Conrad Lace Skirt. On sale for $27.99

LC Lauren Conrad Floral Peasant Top. On sale for $23.99. Comes in blue and pink

LC Lauren Conrad Tiered Embellished Dress. On sale for $38.99

Birds, Birds, Birds. Chirp, Chirp, Chirp.

The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky
~ Maya Angelou (I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings)

My bird decor and accessories . . .

The free birds leap about in my home . . .
On the back of the wind of Anthro knobs

and float downstream on Modcloth jewelry branches

Till the currents end

And dips his wing in a bird bath Anthro beach bag

In the orange sun rays of an Etsy kisslock clutch

And dares to claim the sky

More tweeting birds that roam the internet sky . . .