Covet: Fabulous Camera Bag


We are now the proud owners of a Canon Rebel DSLR camera. Woot! I also purchased a DSLR for Dummies book that I am hopeful will guide us on how to take our skills beyond the basic settings.

Like always, one big purchase leads me to seek out accessories to take that purchase to the next level. New jeans? Those jeans would look even better with new boots. New coat? Better find a new scarf that looks chic to complete the look.

What does a gal need to accessorize her new camera? The perfect camera bag, of course. Luckily I do not need to look far, as I’ve had my eye on Jo Totes since first spotting them earlier this year on eighteen25.




Not only are these camera totes super stylish, the insides appear to be extremely functional. While protecting the camera and lenses, you can also store your wallet, cell phone and a snack for later in the day! In particular, I can also envision every style serving as a very handy plane carry-on to accompany a larger roller bag.


A Jo Toe is definitely going on my Christmas list. And yes, starting in September is when I begin to think of gifts I hope Santa brings me, as well as what I want to get my family and friends.

Too bad I wait until December 15th to shop, but more on my personal procrastination tendencies later.

Covet: Black Winter Boots

If I only buy myself one big item for fall/winter this year, it has to be black knee-length boots. I wore my only black pair into the ground last season. The shoe doctor couldn’t even fix them again (for a third time) come spring.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get my hands on the pair I really wanted during the Nordstrom anniversary sale so I’m starting to “visit” covert-worthy boots on a nightly basis.

Just a few I am lusting after include…


None of these boots are in my price range, but a girl can dream from the safety of her couch with all credit cards in the other room, right!?

What fall/winter fashion purchase (or “investment”) are you planning to make?

Swag Heaven

Disclaimer: I was not charged for the samples provided by P&G; after BlogHer 2011, but my opinions are my own.

BlogHer ’11 was a swag collector’s dream. I got some good stuff on the show floor, but have been patiently waiting for weeks to receive the P&G; “blogger box” that was promised to me after filling out a Q&A; passport in the company booth. The booth was set up like a home and as you visited each room of the house, you read about different products and answered questions accordingly. For example, in the laundry room I read about Tide Coldwater and the energy saved by washing clothes in cold water instead of hot.

The box finally arrived last week and let me tell you, it does not disappoint. I was shocked by the quality of all the samples as well as the sizes. Nearly everything is full size, exactly like you would see them in stores. As I’m able to test the various products I’ll include reviews here.

That is a pretty sweet box, right?! Since I was in full cleaning mode when I finally broke into the box this weekend I decided to test the Tide Washing Machine Cleaner first. According to the Tide website, this product is designed to clean washers in three ways:

  1. Fights odor-causing residues with a powerful oxygenated bleach system that gets at the source of the odor
  2. Penetrates & lifts away residues and deposits from the surfaces in your washer with specially designed surface active ingredients
  3. Freshens your washer, while leaving behind a crisp, clean scent

I do not think our washing machine was particularly stinky, but given the amount of dog hair, workout clothes and construction dirt (from Mike’s clothes) that goes through it weekly, it certainly was not as fresh or clean as it should be and I know residue had really built up in certain places.

I ran our washer on Regular/Medium size using Hot/Cold water after pouring in the sample. After it was finished, I stuck my head in the basin to smell (probably should have had Mike take a picture of that) and ran my hand around the walls of the washer. It definitely felt clean, and I could smell a slight (aka better) difference too.

I probably will not purchase this product monthly, however, I do think this is a smart buy (especially with a coupon) a few times each year, especially when you are in deep cleaning mode in the fall and spring.

I can’t wait to try out the other P&G; goodies in the next several weeks, and I promise not to blog about the feminine products!

Alec & Erin Unite!

Last Sunday we had the privilege of celebrating the marriage of our good friends Alec and Erin ~ now officially Mr. & Mrs. Schiffer! Erin looked absolutely stunning and the ceremony truly reflected the love and respect they have for one another.

Both the ceremony and reception were held at the charming Pearl Hotel in Point Loma, San Diego. Good friends, great drinks and plenty of dancing led to nearly everyone jumping in the pool fully clothed to end the evening. It was an absolute blast and when I get my hands on some of those “pool party” pictures I’ll be sure to share.

Loved our room
Duke, our room’s beta fish
Adorable touches made by the bride

It was delicious
Todd practicing the ceremony on his iPad
My new super long earrings, with feathers
Great retro accents
The beautiful bride and very proud papa
Touching ceremony
Danny, Carrie and Jessica
Danny went crazy with our new camera
Jessica, Carrie, Ashton and Jordan
Open bar!
The delicious “Mrs. Schiffer” cocktail with adorable straws

It is so fun going to weddings once you have been through your own. I appreciate every detail and understand just how much work goes into the day. Erin and Alec were the ultimate hosts all weekend and we wish them many years of health and happiness. Congratulations!

Welcome to the Family!

Cooper Martin Block ~ Credit: Lindsay Teague Moreno, 5ive Photography

Olivia Megan Anzalone

While I did not want to wish away our summer, Mike and I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of September ~ as September has already brought us niece #3 and nephew #2. Bringing the grand total to 5 nieces and nephews. Our family trees are growing quite rapidly!

Cooper arrived on Wednesday, Sept. 7, at 11:50 p.m. I was honored that Kelly asked me to be in the delivery room with her husband, mom and two best friends. Reflections on that incredible experience to come in a follow-up post.

My brother Chris and his wife Megan welcomed little Olivia Megan Anzalone last night via C-Section. I got to talk with our nephew Jackson on the phone earlier in the evening and once he was done telling me about all different sorts of animals and the sounds they make, we talked about how he was becoming a big brother. I asked, “are you excited for Olivia to get here?” Jackson replied, “no,” but later added, “I will give her a kiss.” It was priceless and I know he is going to be an awesome big brother.

Congratulations to Kelly and Nate, Chris and Megan on these precious additions to our family. We love them both so much and cannot wait to watch them grow and help them explore this world.

The “It” List ~ Sept. 9


Happy Friday… take some time to enjoy these great links!
  • take me for a twirl does just that… who doesn’t love a good twirl shot? Check out how she styles up this twirly skirt! (find take me for a twirl on twitter!)
  • the style dossier has a Missoni inspired manicure tutorial for you… just in time for the Missoni for Target launch next week! (find the style dossier on twitter!)
  • fabulously average writes an open letter to fall… from Pheonix.  She’s ready for cooler temps!  But in the meantime, she still manages to look fab in warm weather duds! (find fabulously average on twitter!)
  • lex and learn just bought a new pair of cowboy boots – see how she plans on styling them up! (find lex and learn on twitter!)
  • chic or treat has whipped up some rainy day style inspiration – we have a few rainy days in our forecast… I’m going to take her advice.  Plus, how cute are these rain boots!?! (find chic or treat on twitter!)
  • a spot of whimsy confirms that if you weren’t a Kate Bosworth fan before… you will be now.  Beautiful! (find a spot of whimsy on twitter!)
  • undeniable style is hosting a giveaway to win a fun Kate Spade pouch… head on over to enter! (find undeniable style on twitter!)
  • so much to smile about is planning her Fashion Night Out outfit… here are her picks!  I do wonder what she ended up wearing… (find so much to smile about on twitter!)
  • if I must say so asks “brunch anyone?” Check out her favorite brunch spot and of course, what she wore! (find if I must say so on twitter!)
  • gs lillian shows off her favorite ways to wear stripes… I love stripes any way, but I especially love them in this stripe on stripe outfit! (find gs lillian on twitter!)
  • behind the dressing room door features great sale items at Anthroplogie – I’m loving the boots she found! (find behind the dressing room door on twitter!)
  • sweetie pie style announces her fall nail polish trends – check out her picks! (find sweetie pie style on twitter!)
  • high heels and bubble gum shares her top two fall trends… colored jeans and fringe!  See how she puts the two together in a super cute outfit! (find high heels and bubble gum on twitter!)
  • good life for less shares her top skin care picks from the drugstore – check out her favorites! (find good life for less on twitter!)
the IT list is produced weekly by Jill of good life for less – click here to see how you can be involved!

These Boots Are Made For Stylin’

On my business trip to Albuquerque last week, I had just enough time to quickly shop and treat myself to a new pair of cowboy boots in the Old Town area. I’ve been looking for a pair since last year but haven’t been able to part with the amount of cash many brands demand. So I was thrilled when I spotted these for about $150. Score!

But now the West coast girl in me asks, what the heck do I pair them with this fall and winter…aside from jeans of course!? I did some research into “cowboy boot fashion” and am inspired but some of the outfits I see. Now I just need to get the guts to rock them.



How do you rock your cowboy boots?

Purple Heaven

“Purple heaven” is the best phrase to describe acai bowls at the Big Squeeze in San Diego. I used to frequent this spot at least once a week and a trip to San Diego is now not complete with at least one huge bowl to satisfy my acai cravings.

One bowl contains a base of acai, blended with a banana and your choice of apple juice or soy milk. Then it is topped with granola, fresh peaches and strawberries, and honey. When I am really hungry I like to add extra granola and fresh blueberries too.

We need a stellar acai bowl shop in Denver or Boulder. Who is with me?

The “It” List ~ Sept. 2 Edition!


What!?!? It’s September!!  While I’m always a little sad to see summer go, I do love the month of September!  Celebrate fall with some great links!
  • mix and match fashion pairs her pink blazer with a fun chevron patterned top – I absolutely love this look for a late summer day! (find mix and match fashion on twitter!)
  • take me for a twirl lays out her fall wish list… I am in love with this green blazer she is crushing on! Perfect for summer to fall! (find take me for a twirl on twitter!)
  • chic or treat DIYs her own glitter flats… whoa! I am obsessed with these… and the best part, she only spent $20! (find chic or treat on twitter!)
  • lex and learn has the perfect formula for sleeping in AND getting a healthy breakfast – I like the way she thinks!
  • so much to smile about is taking summer out in style – check out her Labor Day weekend style inspiration! (find so much to smile about on twitter!)
  • the style dossier offers up a simple tutorial on a voluminous ponytail, including her ‘secret weapon’ to get the exact volume you need! (find the style dossier on twitter!)
  • fabulously average pulls off what could possibly be the most perfect ‘casual Friday’ look ever.  Check out her look and be inspired! (find fabulously average on twitter!)
  • high heels and bubblegum sports white pants, sequins and a denim jacket for the win.  This outfit has me swooning!  (find high heels and bubblegum on twitter!)
  • a spot of whimsy is in love the new Oscar de la Renta ad campaign – and rounds up other work from the same artist. I’m in love too… these are so glamorous and girly! (find a spot of whimsy on twitter!)
  • sweetie pie style found the perfect platform loafer for fall… see how she styles it up three ways! I know I am loving these shoes! (find sweetie pie style on twitter!)
  • as luck would have it also rounds up her favorites for fall. I always love a peek into what others are loving… and this sweet summer to fall skirt is no exception! Cute! 
  • undeniable style takes an ill-fitted dress and sews it into a super cute top… check out her skills and how she styles it up! (find undeniable style on twitter!)
  • if I must say so pairs denim shorts and lace for a perfect summer look… how sweet is this outfit!?! (find if I must say so on twitter!)
  • good life for less asks would you wear boots with shorts for a late summer look!?!? Check out her inspiration and answer the question for yourself! (find good life for less on twitter!)
the IT list is produced weekly by jill of good life for less… for information on how you can be involved – click here!

I Wish I Could Teleport

Palms are sweaty. There’s vomit on her sweater already.

Well, the second line (stolen from the great Eminem song) is an overstatement as my sweater is still perfectly clean. However, it is pretty much exactly how I felt when I found my gate at Denver International Airport this morning and quickly realized that I would be boarding my first prop plane.

I am a nervous flier. Like, a really nervous flier. “Bumps,” as pilots casually refer to them, scare the living crap out of me, and I sometimes curse myself for choosing to live in a city that is almost always a roller coaster to land at. A glass of wine takes the edge off, but when there is real weather to fly through I am not even sure a Xanax would do the trick.

[Note. I began typing this post on my flight to Albuquerque for work yesterday, but had to finish tonight because we hit turbulence over the San Juan mountain range and I was too scared to focus on anything other than deep breathing.]

Ok, where were we? Well, I am attempting to type this while back on another prop plane headed home—only this time we had the pleasure of taking off in Albuquerque during a rainstorm and flew through clouds and weather the entire way home. Thankfully, my very thoughtful colleague Ramonna bought me a wooden token at the airport gift store that depicts the Franciscan patron saint of flight. I’ll also be buying wine if they let the flight attendants up out of their seats.

I know I am not alone in this fear. Not by a long shot. But it is a hard one to explain, and people just aren’t sure how to help. I am not even sure a “cure” beyond wine or other adult beverages exists. If there is one, I need to know about it ASAP.

Are you, or is someone you know, a nervous/terrified flier? What gets you through those white-knuckle flights?

EEK! Big bumps. Gotta go.

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