Thursday, July 31, 2014

Neutral Territory

Paisley Pencil Skirt + Neutral Sweater // The Salty Hanger

J.Crew Factory Charley Sweater // Brooks Brothers Skirt (similar prints here and here) // Cole Haan Sandals (similar here and here) // J.Crew Factory Flower Stud Earrings // Target Necklace (similar here) // J.Crew Classic Bangle (similar here) // Michael Kors Watch // Gucci Sunglasses (similar here)

Please allow me to introduce you to MY version of a "risky" outfit. At first glance, it seems pretty innocent (no daring hemlines, no bold colors, etc.). However, I have an amazing knack for dropping food on myself at some point in the day. Every. Darn. Day.

This past Monday was an especially fitting example of my talent in action. I had cruised through the Starbucks drive-thru and emerged with my usual drink. But something was different. It appeared the barista had accidentally splattered some red syrup on the cup, so he just layered a second cup over the first to cover the sticky bits. I kind of shrugged to myself, then jammed it into my car's cup holder and went about my merry way. 

Upon pulling into the parking lot at work, I retrieved the cup and popped out of the car. I was about to shut the door when I realized my keys were still sitting in another cup holder (come to think of it, I should really blame keyless entry on this whole fiasco). As I reached back in to grab my keys, the cup menagerie (minus the lid) slipped out of my hand, hit the ground upright, then proceeded to spout a fountain of vanilla latte all over my car, clothes, and face. I stood there staring at the resulting puddle while stuffing profanities back into my mouth as I tried to refrain from having a verbal outburst. I had only taken one sip of the $4 (and change) beverage before its demise. JUST ONE SIP!!! 

My memory is a little fuzzy, but I'm pretty sure I grabbed the underside of the lid instead of the body of the cup because of the whole double-layered thing. Clearly that was a poor choice. In order to maximize the number of spot free hours for today's outfit, I skipped the Starbucks this morning. But no promises on making it through lunch.

Olive Bangle + Coral Stud Earrings // The Salty Hanger

Paisley Pencil Skirt + Neutral Sweater // The Salty Hanger

Tan Sandals + Paisley Skirt // The Salty Hanger

Linking Up With: Summer Style

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Shady Lady

Navy Peplum Top + Navy Striped Shorts // The Salty Hanger


If you scroll through previous posts, you'll notice that I'm wearing sunglasses in about 95% of my outfit pics. This omnipresent accessory is an essential wardrobe element for a quite a few practical reasons. Of course, the most important reason is that sunnies mask the ginormous puffy bags under my eyes that are caused by keeping a tiny human alive and happy.

On to this week's post...I was without my sunglasses security blanket in these photos because *GASP* I was well-rested. We were in Florida last weekend for my mother-in-law's 60th Birthday Bash. During our visit, my son took full advantage of having a pool in the backyard and was consequently wiped out by the end of each day. It was our first trip with this kid that we did not want to stab our eyes out after enduring multiple sleepless nights. It was glorious to have 4 consecutive nights of real sleep AND Grammy coverage for early morning wake-ups.

If you're missing the sunglasses, don't worry. They should be back for the next post. We're home now which means the under-eye bags have returned in all their glory. Perhaps I should consider them a badge of honor that should be worn with pride, marking me among the ranks of sleep-deprived parents everywhere. But probably not.

Navy Peplum Top + Navy Striped Shorts // The Salty Hanger

Navy Peplum Top + Navy Striped Shorts // The Salty Hanger

 Navy Peplum Top + Navy Striped Shorts // The Salty Hanger

Navy Peplum Top + Navy Striped Shorts // The Salty Hanger

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Great Lengths

 LOFT Striped Maxi Dress + Pink Scarf // The Salty Hanger

LOFT Keyhole Maxi Dress // Scarf (old - similar here) // Jack Rogers Georgica Jelly Sandals // MARC BY MARC JACOBS Miss Marc Enamel Bangle Bracelet (old - similar here) // Pearl Stud Earrings // Gucci Sunglasses (old - similar here)

I own a grand total of 4 maxi dresses:
  1. A maternity dress that is currently balled up inside a plastic bin, banished to a far corner of our basement. 
  2. A faded, soon-to-be purged number that I bought at Hollister over 5 years ago. I was still in my twenties and thought I could get away with wearing something from a decidedly "juniors" focused retailer. Now the little seagull emblem on the dress stares back like it's saying, "Just, no." 
  3. A strapless dress printed with a gorgeous collection of bright colors. I loved it until a previous co-worker asked me if Mrs. Roper was my fashion inspiration. I still haven't mustered up the courage to work that one back into rotation.
The fourth and final dress is also my newest. After a long and arduous hunt (because we all know that shopping is more work than say, climbing Mt. Everest), I finally found my perfect maxi. For a while, I kind of felt like Goldilocks. "This one's too clingy. This one's too short. This one is see-though." And then finally - "This one is juuust right!" It's super soft, the empire waist allows the bottom half to skim over any jiggly bits AND it has stripes (#ForTheWin).

I also love that this dress is perfect for looking pulled together during any of life's unplanned moments. Like chasing your toddler up your neighbor's driveway. While he's only wearing a diaper. And waving the American flag he pulled out of a planter. And screaming "Nooooo!!!!!" at the top of his little lungs. But because of this dress, I looked pretty classy while in hot pursuit.

LOFT Striped Maxi Dress + Pink Scarf // The Salty Hanger

LOFT Striped Maxi Dress + Pink Scarf // The Salty Hanger

LOFT Striped Maxi Dress + Jack Rogers Georgica // The Salty Hanger

Linking Up With: Summer Style

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Business Casual

Seersucker Skirt + J.Crew Windowpane Scarf // The Salty Hanger

J.Crew Factory Gathered Top // Brooks Brothers Seersucker Skirt (similar here) // J.Crew Windowpane Floral Scarf // J.Crew Seville Chambray Espadrilles // Tory Burch Large T Logo Stud Earring (similar here) // J.Crew Classic Wide Bangle // Michael Kors Watch // Gucci Sunglasses (similar here)

It's been a looong time since I've had an official office dress code. My previous positions required occasional face-to-face client meetings, so those kept me honest (and out of sweatpants). Nowadays, I AM the client. I conduct vendor meetings almost exclusively via conference call so it's just the people in the office who have to see me every day. It's a pretty laid-back environment and I could roll into work wearing a full track suit with nary an eyebrow raise.

Sometimes it's really convenient to not have any wardrobe restrictions - especially in the middle of winter when it's just snowed two feet. This also makes it really easy to fall into a style rut. Over the past year, many of my older, more business-friendly pieces (like the skirt in this post) have been relegated to the back of the closet in favor of jeans. In my world, there is such a thing as overdressed. You know you're guilty of being too fancy when you walk into the office and you're asked multiple times where you'll be interviewing that day.

Since my closet is close to needing a "No Vacancy" sign, I've recently been resurrecting these long lost loves. Some pieces are more challenging than others to make work for my career now (without looking like I'm job hunting, that is). But pairing business and casual clothing together has breathed new life into my wardrobe. It also sounds like I'm wearing an outfit mullet.

Seersucker Skirt + J.Crew Windowpane Scarf // The Salty Hanger

Seersucker Skirt + J.Crew Windowpane Scarf // The Salty Hanger

Seersucker Skirt + J.Crew Windowpane Scarf // The Salty Hanger

Linking Up With: Summer Style

Friday, July 4, 2014

Red, White and Blue Crab

J.Crew Crab Top + Jack Rogers // The Salty Hanger


Summer's in full swing here and the seafood shacks dotting our coastline are busily serving up lobster by the boatload. Though my body (and income tax payments) currently reside in Maine, my taste buds remain loyal to the Jersey Shore's favorite cantankerous crustacean - the blue crab.  

As a kid, summertime in South Jersey marked our family's annual trip to Margo's Marina to rent a 16' skiff, minus the sunshade. My parents grossly underestimated my ability to sunburn (painfully) and usually had to put up with my whining for the rest of the week as a result. 

We'd spend the day out on Barnegat Bay dropping an assortment of metal, net and line traps over the side of our tiny vessel, collecting clawed critters that would be our meal for that evening. Our most successful haul came one day when we bagged 47 blue crabs, 23 blowfish and 1 pissed off eel. There was a small fiasco involving the eel being accidentally set free in the bottom of our boat, but it was eventually corralled back into a bucket and properly returned to its ocean home. 

The blowfish were adorable and I begged to set them free, too. But my parents ignored my pleas and the cute little fish were cooked up with the rest of the day's catch. That night, we sidled up to a newspaper-covered picnic table in the backyard, armed with a canister of Old Bay. I flat out refused to eat any of my blowfish buddies. So of course, my parents did what any other authority figure would do when trying to negotiate with a particularly hostile party. They lied. The blowfish meat was served as "chicken" and my super refined 9-year-old palate was none the wiser.

Crab Top + Chambray Shorts // The Salty Hanger

Crab Top + Chambray Shorts // The Salty Hanger

Friday, June 20, 2014

Turks & Caicos


We booked our trip the day before Thanksgiving. Then wait began. So we ate turkey. And it snowed. We ate home-baked Christmas cookies by the pound. And it snowed some more. We flew to Park City to celebrate my brother-in-law's (and new sister-in-law's) wedding. And it snowed champagne powder. Back in Maine, it also snowed (twice) so we paid our neighbor's kid to clear our driveway for the price of TWO bottles of fancy champagne. Several more storms and lots of under-my-breath cursing a "long winter and nonexistent spring" later - we made it to June and it was finally time to fly south.

Grammy Summer Camp - Crescent Beach, Maine
Prior to our departure, my mother-in-law flew in from Florida to take the helm of our household while we were away. With the nugget and four-paws-of-fury being properly spoiled tended to by Grammy, we escaped for our first official offspring-free vacation since becoming parents nearly 2 years ago.


Bleary-eyed, we arrived at the Portland International Jetport at 4:30am on a Sunday morning. The fact that we were going on a bona fide adults-only trip fully hit us as we breezed through security without our usual game of Tetris (which involves trying to squeeze a carseat through an x-ray machine). Trust me - there are no winners in that game.


Ten hours later, including a 3-hour stint in purgatory (a.k.a. a layover at JFK), we emerged from our carefully climate-controlled plane into the thick and heavy Caribbean air. After we collected our belongings, navigated through customs and squeezed into a well-packed shuttle van, we arrived at our home for the next 5 nights - The Sands at Grace Bay. We were pretty tired, but the "Welcome Mai Tai" kicked us onto island time. The one-bedroom suite we were assigned to was a few steps from the pool, with the ocean peeking out from just behind it. Though we easily could have passed out on the spot, it was maybe 5pm by then so we mustered up the strength to check out the beach and sneak in an early dinner at Hemingway's before we crashed.



For our first full day, we slammed down a quick breakfast and headed to the sand to claim our spot on the beach. All of the fixed palapas were occupied, so the resort staff arranged an umbrella and a pair of lounge chairs for us right next to the tideline. I'm notoriously picky about the temperature of water, but the ocean passed my toe-test and I was able to submerge myself fairly quickly. I floated around until I was nearly eaten alive by minnows, then took that as my queue to take a break from the sun. We biked into town for lunch then returned to pool for a relaxing respite that was cut short by an unplanned land excursion. Chad swindled me into pulling the bikes out again to hunt for an imaginary fishing spot that we never actually found. We hit the pool one more time before returning to the beach to enjoy the best sunset of week.

 

The next day Chad was still determined to find a proper fishing hole. He ventured off while I slept in and showed up again just as I finished applying my last dab of sunscreen. I foolishly agreed to go for a "leisurely" walk along the beach to search for the local snorkeling spot without towing any of our gear. It was much further than expected so we resolved to go back the next day. We retreated back to pool and I promptly ordered a strawberry daiquiri to replenish the calories spent on our walk.


That night we attended the resort's Manager's Reception back at the pool. A steady stream of Turks Head Lager and conch fritters wound up being our super fancy dinner for the night. The biggest excitement of the day came at bedtime. I got up to turn off lights and found an intruder in our room- a rogue land crab. He wasn't very interested in leaving, but Chad managed to trap him with a flip flop and "rehomed" him outside. I'm pretty sure the crab flipped him the claw version of the middle finger as he scurried away. We also may have later witnessed the same crab being eaten by a seagull - oops.




With our butts still sore from the previous afternoon's failed bike expedition, we decided to brave the left-sided driving rules of TCI roads and rented a car (more like a Super Mario Go-Kart) on our fourth day. We took full advantage of our little gas-powered chariot and explored just about every paved road the island had to offer (including a few pot-hole ridden dirt ones that probably were not approved for rental car use). For lunch, we ventured to the da Conch Shack for a surf-side feast of conch fritters and jerk chicken. Stuffed and sleepy from a day of gallivanting about the island, our grand plans of snorkeling that day were traded in for some more pool time and a window shopping trip to the Saltmills Plaza.

 
 

Wednesday night was our "fancy night out" at the renowned Coco Bistro. We made reservations a full month in advance and were extra excited to dress up and chow down (special thanks to Beth, Katy and Julia for the recommendation!). The food and setting were perfect. We even lucked out with a visit from the resident cat, Coco - who unfortunately hit our table a little too early to benefit from our swordfish and salmon dishes. Sorry, buddy.


The morning of our last full day was marred a bit by some rain showers. Before breakfast, Chad ventured out in search of the elusive bonefish one last time. Since I had finally caught up on nearly two years of sleep deprivation (ah, parenthood), I bided time by sitting our a muggy lanai and finished up my stack of magazines. Unfortunately it was too cloudy to go snorkeling as we originally planned. After the rain lifted, we spent the rest of the overcast day parked at the pool. 

Here fishy, fishy...
That night, we took a cab over to the Gansevoort Turks & Caicos resort for drinks and hoped the sunset would peak through the clouds, but no dice. On our way home, the cab driver talked us into a stop at Danny Buoy's Sports Bar for a Turks Head (or two) and we were rewarded with stellar people watching and some tragically awesome karaoke performances.


Friday inevitably arrived and it was time to say goodbye. Usually we're pretty mopey about ending our vacations but by day six, we were tan, rested and ready to see the nugget. We spent our final hours at the resort soaking in the warmth and sunshine, trying to squirrel it away for winter. After lunch, we packed up and headed to the airport. We gave one final wave to the island as we flew overhead, then settled in for the long trip north. Thanks for the memories, TCI...


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Bat Girl

Baseball Tee + Heels // The Salty Hanger

Linen Baseball Tee // Matchstick Jeans // Nine West Pumps (similar) // Circle Necklace // Daisy Bracelet // Michael Kors Watch // Tory Burch Aviators // Yankees Hat (similar)

Confession alert - I throw like a girl. I consider myself a reasonably athletic person. I can usually return a tennis serve (if it's under 20 mph), I'm a relentless (and really slow) runner, and I'm a pretty awesome skier. But when it comes to throwing a ball, or actually any object, all bets are off. That's part of what's so awesome about baseball tees. I can own/wear as many of these bad boys as I want, all the while completely sucking at the sport that inspired the trend.

Oh, and Go Yankees!
Baseball Tee + Yankees Hat // The Salty Hanger

Baseball Tee + Yankees Hat // The Salty Hanger

And a Then/Now shot for #TBT...
Throwback Thursday // The Salty Hanger