Thursday, June 13, 2013

Pinterest Organizational Project: FAIL

So, if you know me, you know that I FINALLY got into Pinterest. It's seriously addictive. It was the "funny" board on my mom's page that got me hooked. Now I spend every free minute "pinning" recipes, home decor ideas, DIY projects, fashion ideas- you name it, it's on Pinterest. So, the other day I was thinking about how many clever organizational projects I've seen on Pinterest. Clever and super inexpensive ways to re-organize your life. I decided to try one.

I have a LOT of scarves. I wear them all the time- almost year round. They're a fun fashion statement. My current scarf storage method involves hanging them on a plastic coat hanger on the inside of my closet door. Like this:

Kind of messy, but not horrible. Well, while browsing Pinterest, I saw a whole bunch of DIY scarf holder projects that were modeled after this one from Ikea: 

Most projects involved making circles out of wire coat hangers and taping them together. Seemed pretty simple, right? I thought that I was even more brilliant when I decided not to waste an hour of my life cutting coat hangers and fashioning the pieces into circles. Instead, I decided I should just use a $1.38 package of shower curtain rings. 

You can see I've already bent the coat hanger into shape. I liked the multiple "U" shapes that allowed for hanging belts or small scarves on the hanger itself. And here's the finished product: 

The entire project took about ten minutes to complete. That should have been a red flag. I proudly marched upstairs and started pulling the scarves through the loops. I hung my new scarf hanger in place of my old one and literally before I had a chance to snap a photo, the entire thing fell apart and all my scarves were in a pile on the floor. Fail. 

So, here's how my scarves are currently organized in my closet: 

They're slightly neater and more organized than before the project began, but the single coat hanger method is going to have to work for me for now. After all, the closest Ikea is over an hour away. I'm not driving that far for a scarf organizer anytime soon. 

So, the lesson here is to remember that DIY projects on Pinterest aren't always as they seem. But at least in this case, nothing was damaged and we can all have a good laugh at what a fool I can be. 

Have a great day and as always, thanks for reading! 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Some Brides are Tough...

... which is why I've been pretty wiped out when I get home and not eager to blog. I've mostly hopped online for a quick Facetime date with the Professor and then crashed into bed. I'm not sure what it is about the last 6 weeks, but the difficult customers I've had have taken their toll. The last few weeks have made me feel like I've seen it all, especially last night.

Last night, a bride called me the c-word. She didn't say it to my face, but she said it within earshot of other employees. She also had a few other choice words to describe me.

What bothers me about what happened isn't that she called me a name. It's that I've gotten so desensitized to being treated that way, that I truly don't have any upset feelings about the situation. I know that I handled everything professionally, from the moment she walked into the room until she left with her dress over an hour later. I know that I followed our policies and procedures exactly the way my boss would want me to. I know that I did my best to educate her and her family about the alterations process. And I know that she's an unreasonable person with unreasonable expectations, and making unreasonable (and ignorant) demands. And yet, she'll probably go on Yelp or the Wedding Wire and write a completely one-sided horrible rant of a review about Madeleine's Daughter, because ultimately she left our store last night an unhappy bride.

I suppose it's just one of the cons of working in the customer service industry- the small percentage of people you encounter who not only do not understand how your niche works, but who don't really have any interest in doing things your way, because they believe "the customer is always right."

Of course, the bigger issue is the fact that we've come to a place in our society where we feel comfortable treating people horribly or in my case, being on the receiving end of horrible treatment. Honestly, whether you're the kind of person who will cause a scene in a place of business to try to get your way, or whether you're the employee in the unfortunate position of dealing with customer complaints, you're probably used to the kind of awful behavior associated with irate customers. (Speaking of that, have you guys heard about the crazy chick at Dunkin' Donuts this week? If not, click that link, but be warned there is some seriously harsh language not suitable for most ears.)

Anyway, my point isn't to create a rant of my own, it's just an observation of the deterioration of the way we treat each other. What happened to the Golden Rule? What happened to being polite? Yesterday I took my lunch break and walked down to the market to get a salad. I called the Professor and was chatting with him while I shopped. Once I got to the register, I said to him, "Hey babe- gotta go. I'm about to pay, so I need to hang up. Talk to you later!" When I hung up, the lady at the register looked at me with shock and dismay and said, "Wow. Thank you for that. No one ever hangs up to check out anymore." Now, don't think I think I'm some sort of saint or anything. In fact, there are probably plenty of times in the past when I wasn't so considerate. But my point is just this: can we try to be kinder to each other? More understanding and more friendly?

It's sad to me that we're all so accustomed to being treated poorly, or treating others poorly, or even observing the poor treatment of others that it's no longer alarming to us. It's no longer upsetting to us. When I first started this job, I remember crying to hear someone tell me, "That bride is not a fan of you." At the time, it made me feel awful. Now I can have f-bombs dropped in my face and it doesn't even phase me. (Yes, I've had f-bombs dropped in my face by brides and their party members- more than once.)

Sorry this post isn't about fashion, but it's on my mind and I had to share. Leave a comment if you like- as long as it's kind.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Shopping Excursion: Success!

You know how my mom and I LOVE taking trips to Newbury Street in Boston to scour the racks of Second Time Around and other second hand and consignment shops. We usually have great success at these places. The last time I was on Newbury Street with some friends, we went to a fabulous new boutique called No Rest for Bridget. I bought a fedora. I've worn it a bunch of times since then. Check it out:

(Don't worry, I'm stopped at a red light while taking this photo.) 

Today, three out of four of us scored something fabulous at NRfB. I probably could have done a little more damage, but while in the store I got the call from the mechanic about the $800 it would take to fix the AC in my 2002 Prius. Since I plan to drive that car into the ground somewhere around 350,000+ miles, $800 is a worthwhile investment. But, it's still $800, so I was frugal with my clothing and accessories shopping and only got a couple of things- a pair of earrings, a cocktail ring and a cute light-weight sweater, perfect for a cool spring night, or as an extra layer on a cooler fall or winter day/night.

What I love about No Rest for Bridget is that it's a store full of adorable, fashionable pieces- clothing AND accessories- right smack in the middle of Newbury Street in Boston. That in itself isn't all that remarkable. What is remarkable is that despite the location and the look of the items and the store, everything in it is so incredibly reasonable in terms of pricing! My hat was around $15 last time and my sweater today was on sale for $34. My friend got a fabulous statement necklace for $16 and my mom got a cute lace top for $24. These are the kind of prices I would expect to pay at the consignment shops on Newbury, not the boutiques.

There are other locations in different parts of the country, so if there's a No Rest for Bridget near you, get there ASAP and support this fabulous little store. It's fast fashion done right.

In addition to Second Time Around and No Rest for Bridget, we also popped into Anthropologie where I tried on this fabulous hat:

Unfortunately, at $68, it was a little out of my accessory budget today, but it sure is adorable. Maybe I'll stalk it online and if the price drops I'll snatch it up. I would totally rock it on a Saturday at work. People love it when I wear hats at work- I always get great compliments on them (even stupid little ones).

All in all, it was a successful shopping excursion and I'm looking forward to my next trip back to No Rest for Bridget. There'll be no rest for me in the meantime while I dream about all the wonderful things there that I've yet to own...

Have a great night, everyone!

Jersey is Your New Summertime Friend

It was rainy last Wednesday and I needed something comfortable to wear. I started digging through my closet and drawers and kept coming up empty handed. My plans included running a few errands and then seeing a movie with some friends. All I could decide on for my outfit was that I needed to wear my wellies, because of the weather. It was warm and rainy. I wanted to look cute, but be comfortable as well. Finally, I was able to put this look together:

Sorry for the poor quality photo. I never took a picture that day, so I had to re-create it and the lighting and my camera aren't cooperating today. But, you get the idea. It's an adorable outfit, perfectly comfortable for sitting in a movie theatre, running errands in the rain and hanging out with girlfriends. 

What helped me finally get out the door that morning was remembering one thing: when in doubt,  wear jersey. Jersey dresses were once a staple of my wardrobe, but have taken a backseat to dresses in other fabrics like cotton, linen, chiffon and sateen. I have a handful of jersey dresses, but it was this grey one from Old Navy that did the trick. 

Fit & Flare Tee Dress, Old Navy, $17.50 (on sale right now!) 
P.S. I'm showing you the green because I was SO torn when I bought it. I opted for the neutral, but part of me wants to go back and get this vibrant green version! Leave a comment if you think I should! 

Anyway, the thing about a jersey dress is that it's casual and comfortable, so you'll never be accused of being overdressed when you wear one. But you'll also look put-together. Jersey is one of those magical fabrics that hugs your body in just the right way. Why else do you think they make t-shirts with it? The jersey used in this dress is super soft and even feels a little luxurious (if you can believe that). 

If you don't already have an LJD (Little Jersey Dress) in your closet, run out to Old Navy immediately and get yourself one (or five). Need some inspiration? Look no further. I'm sure you can picture yourself in any of these looks whether it's to wear to a trip to the farmer's market or for a walk in the park or a lunch with your girlfriends. Seriously, jersey is your new summertime friend. You will thank me, I promise. 

The Magical Jersey Dress

Keep the look simple and you'll never go wrong. Add a straw fedora or a printed scarf or even some funky boots for a little pizzazz, but ultimately you'll discover that a simple jersey dress looks pretty great on its own and with minimal accessories. Thank you, Old Navy for these and many more options. (Nope, this post wasn't sponsored by Old Navy, I just really like all the jersey dresses they have right now.) 

Have a great day, everyone! 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Bridal Bliss

I know they say June is for brides, so I'm going to write a post to show all of you my favorite gowns from this past year. In addition to it being June 1st, it was also our sample sale at Madeleine's Daughter today and it was so much fun seeing brides leaving with their bargain-price bridal gowns. The sale is one of my favorite events of the year because with prices at 40-70% off, it's possible for a bride to wear her dream gown on the cheap.

Anyway, enjoy these photos of some of my all-time favorite bridal gowns:

Chelsea by Amsale
The sweetest gown on the planet. 

Mimosa by Jenny Packham
Jenny does beadwork like no other. 

RK359 by Romona Keveza 
If ever there was a breathtakingly stunning ballgown, this would be it. 

Darling by Monique Lhullier (you can't tell in the photo, but this gown is the palest blush!)

Memory by Monique Lhullier
I have one word: ahhhh!!!

Principessa by Jenny Packham

Ophelia by Christos

Greenwich by Amsale
Unfortunately, this gown never made it to production. Isn't that sad? 

I am sure you can tell from these photos that there are many different textiles and silhouettes that I love. If I ever get married, choosing a gown will be no easy task. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed drooling over these lovelies as much as I have. I haven't seen the Romona Keveza gown in person, but I have a feeling it would make my heart stop if I did, so it's probably for the best. And as for "Principessa" by Jenny Packham, I'm confident that would be a charming exit dress, or maybe even rehearsal dinner dress (we are talking about my non-existent wedding, of course). 

Have a great day, everyone! And as always, thanks for reading! 
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