Gifting As The Pinterest Woman

WOW, what a week! This Christmas was absolutely wonderful – I had a TON of extended and immediate family time, loads of auntie time with the cutest little nephew a woman could have (and there is still more to come!) and nommmmmmmed on some of my FAVORITE treats, meals and snacks…I’m left feeling loved, content and FULL! 😉 Unfortunately while prepping for the holidays with a few The Pinterest Woman (TPW) recipes, I cooked my phone…whoops…so I lost a ton of photos that I hoped to blog about this week…so come with me on this journey and please excuse me for not having step by step photos!

As for this post, I want to focus on GIFT GIVING!

Gift giving was so much fun this year…not only was I more confident in purchasing gifts for people, I also had a nice time scanning Pinterest Wishlists for a few surprise gifts for people. I also received a few gifts off of my own wishlist – that was pretty cool ;-). Makes you realize who actually visits your boards! ha! As for being more confident in my purchasing of gifts, I always stress out when I need to purchase someone clothes. It is tough to know what is someone’s style when maybe it isn’t your style. As you may remember from my shopping posts with Carrie and Charlotte, Carrie LOVES to redo her look. SO, I had so much fun shopping for her gift this year.

Knowing she is a fan of AnnTaylor LOFT AND that she has loads of pants which she purchased during our most recent holiday trip, I headed to the LOFT for top options! Carrie also loves advice on how to put things together, but since my own personal style needs Pinterest, I figured, I’d pin a few ideas for her and put it with her gift…enter REAL LIFE PINNING!

Through Microsoft Paint, I made three TIP pages of the same size and put together a little three page book (sorry, I lost the final photo in the accidental cooking of my phone)

Through Microsoft Paint, I made three TIP pages of the same size and put together a little three page book (sorry, I lost the final photo in the accidental cooking of my phone)

I purchased the maroon sweater with a dark pink top (see top right photo) and gold and purple bracelet set. I then snapped a few shots of the sweater on display in store AND pinned a photo of the top online – with a few additional tips for how to pair the coordinating top with her cute new pants, this gift was a HUGE hit! While I don’t recommend gifting clothes with tips on how to wear it for everyone, it is a fun way to gift someone clothes who ASKS for the advice or tips ;-).

HAPPY DRESSING…and gifting dear readers!

XOXO, Karen

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PINTEREST: The Reverse of “I Have Nothing To Wear” – A Workweek’s Worth Of Pinned Outfits

This post officially marks my 100th!!! Although I typically just blog as I go (I really wasn’t lying when I said I use Pinterest EVERY day), when I started seeing the numbers grow closer to 100 this past weekend, I decided to give some thought to what I wanted my 100th post to be. Through these last few months I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing my take on and experiences with Pinterest Pins. I hope you’ve:

  • Laughed with me as I learn how to cook – typically it takes me a day or two to find the funny there, but you help me uncover it when I actually have to write out what I just discovered (BACON GREASE UNDER A BROILER = FIRE!)
  • Celebrated when I actually got a recipe right
  • Cheered as our boys in orange went to the World Series!!!
  • Whipped up some margaritas before, during and after my 30th birthday Fiesta (THANK YOU for indulging me)!
  • OR, embraced a girls night full of girlie movies! I look forward to sharing more of my favorites (up next, holiday movies!!!)

Although I definitely need to take better photos (poor Mr. Darcy’s crema never looked so unappetizing), you have all been so fabulous to me and I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing many things with you. SO, for my 100th post, I decided I’d go with a post about one of my more popular Pinterest boards – also a popular theme here at The Pinterest Woman – FASHION!

It was either fashion or food!

Those are the posts I get the most “likes” on and since I feel like I have NO sense of fashion, I’m going with “Fashion,” as you always pump up my confidence so much…Oh and without Pinterest, I would NEVER post a photo of my outfit to the internet! 😉

Here it goes…(I know, I know, I’m long winded – I will keep it short):

This past Sunday, what was typically a trap in the past – the weather is turning and I’m shopping in a clothing store – quickly became a revelation that I, in fact, DID have something to wear!

About twice a year, typically right when the weather is changing, I look to my closet FULL of clothes and think those annoying thoughts – “I have NOTHING to wear.” This winter Pinterest gave me a new outlook on my closet. Knowing my 100th post was on its way, I challenged myself NOT to plan out my outfits the night before this week and to use Pinterest as my Stylist each morning…and you know what, it worked! I even got a few compliments along the way!!! (NOTE DAY 4: I was running late and only after putting on my JCREW High Heel Jeans and black boots, I realized my white collared shirt was NOT ironed…BUT panic did not settle in. I grabbed a favorite sweater from LOFT 2011 and was very pleased with the outfit – I even stayed in it for Harper’s Birthday dinner. A last minute outfit NEVER makes it an entire day for me):

Takeaway?! Don’t wait until the morning to plan your outfits, BUT always use Pinterest, especially if “you don’t have anything to wear!”

TGIF, Karen

My Personal Stylist Goes By The Name “Pinterest”

This afternoon I had lunch with Charlotte and she complimented me on my “Pinterest” outfits. Why am I bringing this up? Well, because I NEVER received compliments on my outfits until Pinterest. I always had dreams of going to Nordies (aka Nordstroms) and having one of their personal shoppers help me out – I used a personal shopper ONCE in college for a special dance event but it was a bad experience.*

PINTEREST has helped me avoid anything like that again and has been working out for me…and at no cost! I have been meaning to share a few slides to show my take on outfits and have FINALLY had a chance to put them all together…SO, here are a few of my favorite Pinterest inspired outfits from the last few weeks/days when I was getting ready for my Fleet Week Party, tuning into the Giants Game after work and, well, TODAY:

What do you think?!

Anyhoo, that is just a sampling, but fun all the same! Maybe I should give Pinterest a real name so when I refer to him/her as my stylist you all know who I’m talking about…hmmm…MISS P – like Miss J from “Americas Next Top Model!”

XOXO, Karen

PS. I know I’ve talked a lot about my Fiesta and have not shared much of substance yet. BUT we sent out a thank you note via my Paperless Post invitation today with a link to a Shutterfly Share site I created for photo sharing SO I hope to get photos soon!

*My personal shopping experience took place years ago at the Macy’s in San Diego. The woman brought me a shapeless white suit (like a work suit that was $500) so I walked out. But really!?! I was on a college student budget, I was going to a special dance/party and I WAS IN COLLEGE – who wears suits to stuff like that? Maybe the sexy, shaping ones, but not a boxy suit!

Mirror, Mirror – My Vanity Needs Seem to Increase While Travelling

As you know from my previous posts, my job requires me to travel quite a bit and on those trips I act as the representative for major corporations — one, in particular, puts me in front of the media quite often. So even today, when my face is not being broadcasted across the country – you are all welcome for that, haha – and I’m just having private meetings with magazine editors, I still want to look my best. And if anything, Pinterest gives you MANY tools to do so…for instance, take the below post that features an AWESOME makeup shading guide that I spotted on my girlfriend’s “Beauty” board (it now lives on my “Mirror, Mirror” board): http://beautyandthebourgeois.wordpress.com/2011/01/07/how-to-contour-your-cheeks-with-make-up/

While my client had her makeup professionally done, I cheated and used this photo as a guide to do my own (given that I’m 3 hours behind and had to get up at 2am my time, I think my makeup is lookin’ pretty snazzy thanks to this). Also, since I tried to go to bed at 10pmEST and it really still felt like only 7pm PST to me, I did not sleep at all last night. SO, it was great to have a Board to peak at and copy everything from the hair, clothes, shoes and accessories…Since it is raining tomorrow, I think I might go ahead and copy the second (black and white) outfit pulled together by Goop.com for JCREW – I just bought those pants and I have a similar jacket!: http://goop.com/journal/get/192/fall-fashion-on-jcrew

Don’t you just love Gwyneth Paltrow!? She sings, she is gorgeous, she carries herself so wonderfully and her husband is so sexy. Even if you don’t like Coldplay, I think anyone can appreciate Chris Martin as an entertainer. In fact, his interview on Ellen is still probably one of my favorites (I love how humble he is): Ellen Talks to Coldplay | EllenTV.com.

OK, I better run…sorry for the short post. More to come shortly!

XO, Karen

*Photo from Beauty & The Bourgeois (it is also a WordPress Blog!): http://beautyandthebourgeois.wordpress.com/

My LOVE & HATE relationship with business travel

UPDATED – I removed some images in this post, so apologize if you are a new reader. I hope you enjoy the content and hope you will come back again and again…I promise to share more colorful posts in the future!

It’s official, I’m off to New York and Connecticut this weekend and I’m kind of dreading it. Don’t get me wrong, I love NYC and CT, but it is never fun to leave my family, home (aka my own bed, really) and living out of a suitcase for a week is never fun. BUT, I love my job and my clients are pretty amazing, so I’m sucking it up and look forward to keeping you updated from the road!

When I first started this blog, things were slow at work, so now that it is picking up to its usual, fast paced and, sometimes, crazed schedule, my updates may be a bit scattered and random, but that’s what business travel does to me- scatters me and makes me do random things – YOU WOULD TOO IF YOU HAD 6AM EST CALL TIMES WHEN YOU ARE ON PST TIME! Now, there are MANY things I like about traveling and one of them is definitely the fact that I get to have coffee shop coffee every morning!!! (It’s the little things.) Now please don’t roll your eyes, but I am a fan of Starbucks* coffee (Grande Soy Misto – aka Starbuck’s Café Au Lait – heavy on the coffee for this lady).

But, I digress. One thing about travel that always leaves me in a panic is packing (Mr. Darcy always steers clear when I’m packing) – especially for completely different climates. This time of the year, NYC and CT are MUCH warmer than CA. I’m never sure what kind of warm it is going to be either – gross, muggy warm OR hot, dry warm? Since Weather.com reports RAIN on Tuesday in NYC, I’m thinking it is going to be more of the gross, muggy warm…yay! SO, I went to PINTEREST.

SEARCH TERMS: Work outfits, Business Outfits…and Business Travel Workouts (I will report back on that next week). I pulled the following outfit ideas (TIP: I only PIN ideas that can be created with my current clothing options) and hope to recreate them while I’m in the City (another thing about NYC that stresses me out is that you can’t just go dressed in work attire – I mean, you can, but everyone looks so great. I always like to put my best foot forward for my client and for me!). I’ll update with photos of my take on these outfits, but only if I look cute. If I don’t look cute, I will be sucking it up since I will have no other options – HENCE my panic around packing!

WISH ME PACKING LUCK – I’ll be panicking through that tomorrow! Happy Friday Readers! XOXO, ME

Yep, I’m pretty proud when I get to whip this thing out!

*TIP: If you are a fan of Starbucks and have not registered your Starbucks card, I urge you to go do that…NOW! I ran a marathon with a woman that worked at Starbucks one time and after 26.2 miles of running and hearing about the Starbucks rewards program, well, I felt like an idiot that I had not signed up yet. The program is quick to move through and after only a few coffee purchases, you start receiving all sorts of free things…INCLUDING free extras (I get my soy free EVERY time now, so I basically pay for a Grande coffee). They also send great coupons and free food offers. I’m telling you, it’s a great program…OH, and if you drink enough Starbucks, you eventually become a Gold Card member and they send you an awesome card with your name on it (Yep, that’s how I roll):

“What do you like better, Christmas or Wedding Season?”

OK, well, that isn’t really a fair question because I absolutely LOVE Christmas, but since I have quite a bit of time to share my obsession for the holiday, let’s “grab that net and catch that beautiful butterfly, pal!” (Ok, ok, I’ll stop quoting Wedding Crashers). SO, Mr. Darcy and I are back from the wedding and what a wedding it was! The wedding was in Carmel, Ca at the Carmel Mission Basilica. For those of you not from California, the missions are such a big part of our history. In fact, I just found out that only students in CA have to do projects on the missions (in 4th grade at my school). My East Coast friends knew nothing about this. Anyhoo, I just found out the Basilica is the 2nd mission that was ever built…CHECK OUT THIS PHOTO:

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The ceremony

Could you imagine if this was the church you got married in?! STUNNING! And the colors  – WOW! When you get married in a place like this you have to do little for décor. I, too, took advantage of a church’s décor during my wedding to cut some costs. The church my husband grew up attending FILLS the church with Christmas Trees during the holidays. Since we were getting married in December, I knew it would be filled with the delicious smelling trees so I did not need to invest in flowers for the church. Little did I know the day – ONE DAY – before my wedding, the Deacon would call to tell me the Christmas Tree Lot that usually donates the trees went out of business so there would be no trees, but I digress ;-).

The wedding was followed by cocktails, dinner and dancing at Clint Eastwood’s Mission Ranch: http://www.missionranchcarmel.com/ – HOLY MOLEY , this place was stunning. I wanted to hole up in a little cottage that was on the ranch (see directly below) but since it was already rented by an adorable elderly couple, I made Mr. Darcy promise he would book it for our 5 year wedding anniversary (Since this December 11th marks our 2 year anniversary, will someone please remind me in November 2015 that Mr. Darcy and I promised we’d do this?! OOOOh, I’m going to pin it right now…hold please….ok, PINNED!!!)

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Surroundings of the reception area

I cannot say enough about how stunning this property is. This is a shot from the walkway that goes between the reception area and a restaurant that turns into a piano bar at night (yes, that is where the after party took place and the bride and groom had generously ordered additional late-night snacks for all of us piano-singing fools).

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1 of 3 playful flower girls running by the reception area – LOOK AT THAT VIEW!!!

I also loved the bar area so I had to snap a quick photo because it was so simple and gave me an idea for my own house. The Ranch placed Christmas lights on the back of the bar where the glasses were stored. The lights cascaded off of the glasses and made for such a pretty backdrop. Now I want to do this in my hutch during the holidays!!! I will pin this with the Pinterest App to remember for later.

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The bar – LOVE the big white barn lighting. The Christmas lights were simply laid on top of glass shelves where the glasses were sitting and hanging making for a cascade of white lights that perfectly contrasted with the dark wood of the barn…Simple, yet gorgeous.

Now, this wedding was on a Friday and I must say, I was a big fan of the Friday wedding! It gave me an excuse to take a day off of work and it made the weekend feel LOOOONG! In fact, I had never been to Carmel so I loved that the bride and groom made plans for the entire weekend that were very CARMEL! They set up a wine tasting tour on Saturday early afternoon, then planned a bonfire at the beach that night. Mr. Darcy and I only went to the first winery – Chateau Julien* because we wanted to spend some time walking around the ADORABLE downtown Carmel (uhm, it was SUPER pricey, but we thoroughly enjoyed the little bakery’s on the street, lol) and then took a long walk on the beach which was FILLED with families and dogs (Carmel is a VERY dog friendly town – we only wished we had thought to bring our little one).

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Chateau Julien Winery in Carmel, Ca – DAY 2

If you aren’t familiar with Carmel, it is where Pebble Beach is…and you do not need to be a fan of golfing to appreciate the amazing landscaping that goes into a course like Pebble Beach:

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Bonfire beach – Yep, that is Pebble Beach way off in the distance. Mr. Darcy and I walked right up to it…incredible!

Mr. Darcy and I had a fabulous time and were sad to leave…both because of the FUN wedding festivities and because my nephew (and sister and bro-in-law) were in Carmel at the same time and we hated leaving them (look at the little hat my Godmom made for my nephew from a photo my sister pinned on Pinterest – yes, we sneak onto one another’s Pinterest boards to get ideas for what we each like, we are sneaky like that):

PUMPKINS!!!

We are home now and I’ve been doing QUITE a bit of ThePinterestWoman blog post prep – I went on a huge grocery shopping spree this morning and I’ve already made a to-go breakfast for the week, a no-bread pizza and prepped dinner for tonight! I look forward to sharing updates on how those activities went! OH, and I went to the mall today to run a few errands and I utilized the PINTEREST App to pin a few outfits as I window shopped in real time…check them out:

HAPPY FIRST FOOTBALL SUNDAY (aka lazy Sunday mornings as Mr. Darcy enjoys the Sunday football package and entertaining our little one, while I recreate Pins ;-)). Our little one is going crazy so I better sign off and take her for a run. Chat with you tomorrow!

XOXO, Karen

P.S. Since I am not planning a wedding or helping with one any time soon, I had to share one of the most creative “Will you be my bridesmaid?” requests I’ve ever received. This is what my good friend sent me to ask me to be in her wedding, it made me smile and continues to (it is proudly displayed on my fridge):

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Will you be my bridesmaid?

*They were setting up for a wedding when we were tasting wine and it looked like it was going to be such a neat event. First, the venue was gorgeous, BUT the bride and groom rented vintage furniture to create seating around the dance floor and outside of the winery to create additional seating for guests. I took a bunch of pictures as they unloaded the truck because I was so impressed that you can actually RENT this stuff…If you are in the Bay Area the company delivering the furniture is called One True Love Vintage Rentals: http://onetruelovevintage.com/ I’m sure it costs a bloody fortune, but SOOO SO pretty! See, NOW I want to do my wedding again!!!

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RENTALS: Vintage chairs and tables for creating an extra sitting area at winery

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They had SO much stuff…I only wish we could have stayed to see how they set it up!!

Happy “Front” Hump Day – OUTFITS

I call the little pooch on the front of my tummy my front hump…instead of my back humps ;-). SO, in honor of Hump Day I thought I’d share some of my Pinterest inspired outfits from the week! You should know, I am not very creative when it comes to clothing. I typically scour catalogs or websites for ways to pair clothing (otherwise, I’d probably be in ill fitting jeans and t-shirt every day) so Pinterest has changed the way I look at my style.

Let’s start with yesterday’s outfit – I woke up and our dear friend, let’s call him, Mack was asleep in our guest room (aka my dressing room). SO, in an effort not to wake him up too early I had to go to my costume closet (yes I have one) and clothes folded in my laundry room (aka the corner of my garage) for a solution. WELL, my go-to work-appropriate costume is a cowgirl – THANK GOODNESS – and simply searching “PLAID SHIRT OUTFITS” on Pinterest came up with a VARIETY of options. I found THIS outfit (my office is a casual environment where we are allowed to wear nice jeans):

 

Direct link to outfit: http://www.polyvore.com/casual_days/set?.svc=copypaste&embedder=3211688&id=56236472

I grabbed the plaid shirt I purchased at TARGET for my cowgirl outfit and happened to have jeans from the day before (yes, I rewear my jeans MANY times before washing – oh be quiet) and a black sweater in the laundry room…OH AND black flats* airing out by the back door (If you are rolling your eyes right now, you do not wear flats without socks because those babies NEED airing out). While not exactly like the above photo, I think it worked! What do you think?

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I am happy to say I received one compliment that day on my outfit – that is one more than I usually get at work, ha!

As for TODAY, I took this photo inspiration from Pinterest (I was searching for LOFT clothing ideas since I happen to own a lot of LOFT clothes) and while I’d still really love this blue top…

 

…I was able to make the below outfit** work with a different jean top from the LOFT (circa 2011), my “High Heel” JCREW jeans (circa 2010, maybe ’09) and a JCREW scarf I received as a holiday gift from a colleague. For the record, I received TWO compliments on my outfit today and it is only 10:30amPST!!

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*My absolute favorite flats are Jeffrey Campbell’s woven flats from two years ago. While they can be pricey, I have them in brown and black and I wear the $#*& out of those girls and definitely get my money’s worth. Here is a link to the brown ones: http://www.bluefly.com/Jeffrey-Campbell-tan-woven-leather-Slots-flats/p/305085702/detail.fly

**Not sure why I’m standing in such masculine stances in these photos…will work to be a better woman via posture in future posts…OH and check out that bathroom tile…MORE TO COME on my “new” home and our DIY remodels.