Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Little This, A Little That...


Love these images of Jackie O. in Capri. She was always so classy and chic...even in a simple black tee, white pants, hoop earrings, and her signature shades.

J.Crew added New Arrivals to their website last week, and it appears that a version of the green sequin skirt that Jenna Lyons was photographed wearing last fall is now available to purchase for $695. It is called the No.2 pencil skirt in sequins and also comes in the color 'Azalea' which is a shade of pink.

Speaking of J.Crew new arrivals, can you believe so many of the newer items have already been moved to final sale? The Gimlet skirt in coaster stripe, Jules dress in Ashbury floral, and Jules dress in waterfloral (just to name a few) all received their first markdowns this week and also achieved 'Final Sale' status. That is just wrong, IMHO. They should at least get the chance to be a regular Sale item before becoming a Final Sale item.


On another note, look at the pretty little package that came for me this week...


Inside was the Belted Shirtdress in Stirrup print from one of my favorite designers, Milly. (The dress is longer on me than it is on the Milly website model, btw. You can also see it here at Saks.)
I love the print and black/off-white color combo...always a classic. The jersey drapes beautifully and feels wonderful against the skin. The dress looks adorable paired with tights and knee boots or my Clarks Mary Jane black leather pumps now, but will be equally lovely worn with sandals this spring and even into summer. This is pretty much a 'year-round' investment piece for me.
I love the gold buttons down the front of the dress and on the cuffs of the sleeves.
As I have mentioned several times before, I know that the items at some of the retailers such as Milly, Kate Spade New York, and Tory Burch are pricey when they are first debuted and not within the price range of many clothing budgets (including mine). However, I don't believe this makes them entirely unattainable. You see, much of the merchandise from these designers can eventually be found on sale at prices comparable to/sometimes less than merchandise at J.Crew and other similar stores (but at a higher level of quality, IMO).

What I do when I fall in love with one of their pieces that I cannot afford at full-price, is continue to watch it until it goes on sale and try to pick it up then. You see, I would much rather save my money and invest in a well-made, higher quality piece that I love to build my wardrobe instead of squandering it on items that I just 'like' or that don't meet my quality standards. In the long run, I have been spending less overall while acquiring high quality, well-made garments I'm excited to wear. :)


Unfortunately, the Fabulous Florida Mommy household has been hit with a nasty cold virus and everyone is feeling quite miserable. The boys came down with it this past weekend, experiencing fever, congestion, runny noses, sore throats, and coughs...not fun at all! I just hate it when my babies are sick! :(

I had been doing alright until yesterday when I felt the first hint of symptoms showing up, but have been trying to get as must rest as is possible for a busy mom with sick children to take care of and hungry tummies to fill. We did have movie day yesterday and all piled into my bed to watch Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, Eragon, The Water Horse, and the original Disney version of 101 Dalmations, so that did help all of us get some much needed rest, at least...me included. :)

From the Kitchen:
Lemon-Pineapple Cake


My first taste of this cake was when a friend of mine brought it over as part of a meal she made for my family, after the birth of my third son. As soon as I took my first bite, I knew I had to get the recipe from her, and now I am sharing it with all of you. :)

The cake is incredibly moist and delicious...another one of my family's favorites.

Ingredients:
  • 1 pkg. Lemon Cake Mix
  • 1 8-oz. Can Crushed Pineapple
  • Milk
  • 1 Can Store Bought Buttercream Frosting or Homemade Buttercream Frosting (which is what I make...recipe below)

Directions:

  • Drain the can of crushed pineapple and set aside the liquid. (I saved
  • Mix the cake according to the package directions, but use the pineapple juice instead of water. (The drained pineapple juice is usually not enough to substitute the entire amount of water needed, so use milk for the additional amount.) Add the crushed pineapple to the cake batter and mix well.
  • Pour into greased cake pan and bake according to package instructions.
  • Allow to cool before frosting.

Homemade Buttercream Frosting:

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream or milk (I used pineapple juice for the frosting on my last cake and it was delicious.)

Directions:
  • In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
  • Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.

So what have you been up to lately? What are your thoughts on the J.Crew New Arrivals? Anything you have your eye on, or have you already made a purchase? Do you have any movie suggestions for us? Please do share...I love to hear from you! :)

xoxo

34 comments:

  1. Love these posts of yours most of all! That dress reminds me of one I have at Target and have never thought to try it with tights. Mine is navy and white and I was about to get rid of it but now that I've seen this I think I am motivated to give it another try.
    Sorry everyone is sick - thanks for doing such a fun post!

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  2. Hi FFM!
    Love the Milly dress - and I can see that it's TOTALLY you. Good job for saving, waiting, and staying true to your own style!

    I totally hear you about saving for investment pieces... It's always true that whatever I lust for at full price makes it to reduced (half or less) price eventually online.

    I have also noticed that I have started buying needlessly bc of the JCrew pricing and sizing games. My wardrobe is bursting at the seams and it's causing a lot of tension in my life. I was never materialistic (almost to the point of being ascetic) but ever since I had my first child, I decided to try things I've always secretly wondered about...and the shopping demon inside was released. And JCrew was there to scoop me up. I'm trying very hard to break free,and it's heartening to see that many of the bloggers I regulary read seem also to be toning down their expenditures and returning to their roots. I wish us all luck! :)

    Thanks for an interesting post, as always.

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  3. I also love these posts! I am sorry to read that you and your boys have a virus. :( I hope you all get better soon. Time of year I think, I had the flu last weekend and now my little girl has it.
    We watched a movie called Dolphin Tale, it's set in Clearwater Florida, have you seen it? We loved it!
    Speaking of Florida, we are visiting for 8 whole days the end of the month! Yay!
    Okay I love your Milly dress so much, what a terrific investment, you'll wear it for years. I so agree with you about saving and waiting and buying better. I am resolved to do this as well.
    I hope you feel better soon, and that you are able to get lots of rest!

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  4. Hi-I'm sorry your boys aren't feeling well. It sounds like you're taking good care of everyone and yourself-the cake looks amazing.
    I am in complete agreement with you about buying what you love-like your very pretty dress. I find that I have enough to get me through my daily life and tend to spend little on basics since I'm so hard on them. T-shirts are usually from Target and sometimes Old Navy and jeans are from Lucky. Some of the things I LOVE in my closet don't get as much wear because they're special items for events, date nights or trips. The "special" items have been stalked and purchased on sale or promotion. I can't justify, or afford a full priced boutique dress or cashmere sweater for example, but with a 20-25% off promo, in season, I might snap it.

    My biggest closet investment-usually bought at full price-is shoes. I have very finicky feet (one is injured) so I can't buy or wear poorly made shoes. For footwear, what I need and what works for me tends to be expensive. I bought exactly one pair of boots last year (on sale), a pair of sandals (mother's day gift) that I needed for our NY trip and a pair of Tom's-for fun. My shoe buying habit has decreased and I've saved a lot by only buying a few high quality pairs each year, taking good care of them and paying attention to what I actually wear. No new high heels for me.

    Your post topic is particularly timely for me as I've been pouring over the DVF and Kate Spade Spring arrivals today :-)

    Best to you and yours!

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  5. What size did you get of the Milly dress? I purchased a Small which is all they had left. Hopefully it won't be too big. We are about the same size.

    Linda

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  6. Hi Linda! My dress is a size P, but I think the Small would have worked, as well. It's the size I would have gotten if the P hadn't been available at the time. Please let me know how it works out for you! :)

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  7. Simplistic and classy is sometimes the best!

    That cake looks delicious time to save your recipe! xx

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  8. Thanks Julie! I'm hoping everyone will be back to normal by next week. :)

    DVF is another designer that I would love to own at least one dress from. There were some really fantastic DVF markdowns at Nordstrom online recently, but unfortunately my size was gone. Otherwise I probably would have given one of the dresses a try.

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  9. Hi Dani! We almost went to see Dolphin Tale at the movie theatre when it was out, but something else came up and we never made it. Thanks for mentioning it...definitely putting it on our must watch list. :)

    How exciting that you get to stay 8 days this year! You really must convince your DH and in-laws to make a trip to the International plaza mall so you can visit the Kate Spade and Tory Burch boutiques...you will love them! :)

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  10. Hi Emy! Yes, you must try the cake! It is SO delicious and easy to make, too. :)

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  11. Hi maqsad! I can so identify with you regarding J.Crew and the pricing games! I found myself getting caught up in the buy/return/wait for sale...buy again/maybe keep/maybe return trap and it was wreaking havoc on me. Not to mention that I spent more money than I should have on sweaters that have pilled horribly and t-shirts that now have holes in them. I am very pleased to finally have the 'Crewlade Blinders' off and find myself making more rational and informed decisions when shopping there.

    I also have to say that I have felt a lot better about my purchases now that I am waiting and saving to get them specifically, instead of continuously buying because I just 'like' something or often just for the sake of buying. In the process, I have also been ridding my closet of clothing items that I know don't fit with my personal style or fit into my wardrobe guidelines. It is an ongoing process, but my goal is to eventually have a closet full of items that I love and constantly reach for. :)

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  12. Anon@12:42pm: Thank you so much! I would definitely try your dress with tights! I have two similar type dresses that I picked up at Goodwill over in Tampa last November and wear them with tights all the time. The tights are a really great way to 'extend' the life of a dress by making it more than just a one or two season purchase. :)

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  13. jackie is just awesome.

    i'm sorry but that green sequin j crew skirt is way over-priced. i agree with you re saving up and splurging for a fine garment instead. love, love your stirrup dress! xo janet

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  14. I love Milly! I have been watching some items on both Piperlime and Nordstrom and found great Milly items on sale at both places! I managed to get the Camille Luggage Lock coat which I love. I love the dress. It is a classic!

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  15. That Milly dress is gorgeous, FFM. Great purchase. I hope to see a picture of you in when you're feeling better. I'd love to see how you accessorize it.

    I've got a few DVFs and would like to add more. There is something about the ease of a dress, some work days I am happy I have them in the closet. I just ordered a fabulous DVF, called Phyllis. It is black, perfect for work.

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  16. Wonderful dress! I'm sure you will look fabulous in it year round-clever. I have not bought anything this year, but looking around for a few really good things for my lifestyle.

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  17. Hi FFM,
    Hope you all feel better soon. Thanks for your post. I love the Milly dress and totally agree with your mindset. Hope that you will post of picture of you wearing the dress in the near future. I love seeing pics of how you style things. You and your blog facilitated my style evolution (although I'm still wearing sweats today...)
    Take care!

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  18. So many news!!!! First, I love that sequin skirt from JCrew, I know it's over the top but I just think it's beautiful!
    Second, super cute dress you got from Milly! Hope to see you in it.
    Third, I agree with you 100% about quality, I am so over of cheap bad fabrics. Today, I prefer to have a small closet with very good pieces that I can mix and match.
    Forth, our Sundays morning is like how you described, we all squeeze on the bed to watch kids movies, it's the best time of the week!

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  19. Love the Milly! I've really been trying to wardrobe build myself, it still takes a lot of willpower to walk past the Target sale racks and stop buying something just because its $3. But, I'm finding the purchases I am making are better fitting and higher quality. So, sorry to hear sickness has struck in your house. Thanks for mentioning Eragon & The Water Horse, our mostly male household is always on the lookout for dinosaur movies!

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  20. FFM-

    I agree with you on quality. I usually buy what I consider pretty high quality ie Chanel, Louboutin, prada, Tory burch, DVF etc. and while there are flaw even at the top I reach bet and over for the things that are workhorses and most often that is not J crew. I found myself saying nope not doing it this time just because it's on sale.

    Oh and I am soo trying that cake for Super Bowl!

    Lastly we were hit with the stomach flu and were down for 10 days. I have a 1 and 6 year old and that was tough so I hope you all have a speedy recovery!

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  21. My daughter just missed the WHOLE WEEK of school due to a bug, which turned into an ear infection of course. Just catching up on my FFM posts this morning :) Have a great weekend.

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  22. We have the bug here in Texas too! I hope you all get well soon. I have to AGREE with your philosophy about waiting for the great stuff to go on sale! I shop my local kate spade outlet regularly and find most of the items on my wish-list within two months. I have a deal with myself that if I haven't put it on my list previously at full price, I can't buy it on sale. The deals are so good that I have brought home things that I really shouldn't have just because of the cheap price. I had to make some rule to keep my closet clean and only filled with things I love!
    xoxox,
    Sandee
    from katespade-aholic.com

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  23. janet: I agree...Jackie IS awesome! Looking back at photos of her is really inspiring to me, personally. She was both classy and fabulous. :)

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  24. Hi Sara! It's so nice to have another Milly fan stop by! :) Congratulations on getting the Camille Luggage Lock coat...it is SO gorgeous! Which color combo did you get?

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  25. Desert Flower: Thanks! Yes, I will be sure to post pics of me in my new Milly dress once I am feeling better. :)

    Congratulations on your new DVF dress! What a wonderful investment piece!

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  26. Moda: The sequin skirt would look gorgeous on you! :)

    Isn't family movie time the best? I love having everyone all snuggled up together.

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  27. Dorothy: Thank you! I completely understand what you mean about passing up the sale racks at Target, but want you to know that it gets easier to do as time goes on. Just keep your focus on the 'big picture' and remind yourself that each little 'instant gratification' purchase eats into your budget for the larger ticket items you have on your list. That's what I've been doing for awhile now and it really does work. :)

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  28. Michelle P.: Thank you for the well wishes! I'm sorry to hear that your family was sick, too!

    Did you get a chance to try the cake for your Super Bowl party? I'd love to hear what you think of it if you did. :)

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  29. Janna: I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter! Is she feeling better now? I hope you and your family had a wonderful weekend! :)

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  30. Hi Sandee! I'm so sorry to hear that your family was hit with a but, too! I hope you are all starting to feel better now. :)

    I think your rule of not buying an item on sale if you didn't want it at full-price is a fantastic one! I used to be guilty of buying things just because the sale price was too good to pass up and ended up buying/spending more than I should. Now I make a very conscious effort to make a list and stick to it. :)

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  31. FYI Ladies: Kate Spade New York is running a 'Surprise Sale' today! You can access it HERE. :)

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