Fa la la la la la la la la

me at christmas
The look on Steve Martin’s face is priceless, and perfectly exemplifies how I usually feel at Christmas time.

Usually around this time of the year I am a grumpy curmudgeon; fat and bloated from over eating, cursing the Christmas songs on the radio as I scurry about hunting for a parking spot east of BFE in order to complete my last minute Christmas shopping. And by “last minute christmas shopping”, I mean all my Christmas shopping.

Cut to the present. This year I am jolly and LOVING all the carols. Whats so different?? Two words: online shopping. Amazon, The Outnet, and Gilt have been my best friends this season. Oh shoot! I forgot Aunt Suzie’s gift!? NO PROBLEM. Amazon is STILL delivering by Christmas. And if your a “prime” member, there’s no added shipping cost! Hallelujah. Smiles all around!

With all that being said, I’ve been dancing around my house, wrapping gifts, baking cookies, and singing along like a regular old Who in Whoville.

Here are some ideas for my fellow compatriots that wait til the last minute to purchase Christmas gifts and/or stocking stuffers. These can still be delivered in time:

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  1. Beats Headphones – I have no idea re the quality of these, but they are so gorgeous! I personally can’t stand putting things in my ears, so for years I’ve been avoiding the ear buds and using big honkers like these. I am relieved these are back in style.Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 10.49.07 AM
  2. Ugg Boots – I am not saying these are back in style (were they every ACTUALLY in style?)- but they look SO comfortable! A true fashionista would never wear these out of the house, but since I’m only a fashionista in training- I hope that I receive a pair of these- FINALLY- since I’ve been wanting them since the fist time they were “in style”.Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 10.53.02 AM
  3. Nars Blush in Orgasm – Though I blush to write the name of this blush, its a universal must have. It looks amazing on all skin tones. A wonderful stocking stuffer.Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 10.57.01 AM
  4. Cheekies – I just LOVE these cheek and lip tints by benefit. A little goes a long way so these tiny bottles last practically forever. And they will perfectly fit in a stocking!Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 10.59.35 AM
  5. Jo Malone Candle – I know a candle may seem cliche and impersonal, but these candles by Jo Malone are AMAZING. They smell SO good. My favorite is Peony and Blush Suede (of course- anything peony, right?)
  6. A good book – People truly underestimate the power of a great read. Often I do not like to buy my own books- not sure why, I guess I always worry I’ll pick poorly. Pictured above are a few recommended to me that look amazing. Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 11.17.09 AM
  7. An oxblood colored handbag  – I adore this color and am always on the lookout for the perfect bag that wears it. Here Mr. Zac Posen has taken the “new classic” pyramid shape and applied it to something a bit more affordable. I actually prefer the medium in flat leather (not pictured here), but this mini patent version is adorbs! I met Zac at the Emmy’s a few years back. Actually a really nice and unaffected guy. Impressed, I will always support his work.

And for the men in our lives?? 

  1. A cool (stylish, not temperature) jacket or vest Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 11.26.50 AM
  2. Frye Boots – These are great quality boots with style. I love any man that can pull off the rugged look from time to time. Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 11.27.50 AM
  3. A badger hair shaving kit -MSM LOVES his! Says its the best gift I ever bought him. Can’t go wrong with that! Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 11.34.01 AM
  4. A great read! Men also love books- or magazine subscriptions….Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 11.36.05 AM

What the heck to wear while Christmas Shopping: 

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Here’s a pic of me waiting for MSM (holding the gorgeous peonies he surprised me with) as he gets ready to go to a christmas reunion at Nobu. I was able to squeeze in some online shopping via my smart phone while I waited! So convenient!  Jacket: Maje  Top: ALC  Leather Pencil Skirt: Helmut Lang  Booties: Alaia

 

vivier
Clutch: Clair Vivier. Love!
nobu
Totally off subject but I’ve been LOVING my new hair extensions!

Since I’ve saved so much time by online shopping, I’ve been able to go out with friends and enjoy all the holiday festivities. Free time + no parking problems + avoiding horrendous traffic = A happy Jill.  I hope you have all been having fun too.

Happy Holidays everyone! Have a Merry Christmas!

xoxo

QJ

QJ

 

Lessons Learned from Legacy: the truths revealed through consignment.

This is how I pictured my walk in closet one day. Look at all the lovely Chanel's.
This is how I pictured my walk in closet one day. Look at all the lovely Chanel’s in various shapes and sizes. Its a purse version of our universe. Photo: Google Images

So I learned a HUGE lesson this past weekend.

I told Danielle I wanted to get a Chanel for my blankety-blank birthday in a few weeks, and she’s been really pushing me towards the Boy bag. I like the little ones that have some oomf to them- a gold trim, maybe hot pink velvet, or an interestingly textured fabric in the center. The plain Boys just do nothing for me. And the bigger they get, the less I like them – on me. I DO like them in photos and on Gigi Hadid. But for myself, I had my mind set on the 2.55- mainly because of the history behind the bag. Honestly, though- I don’t love the bag as much as I love its history. My good friend Noreen said “if you love the history, get a coffee table book about the bag, not the bag!” I mean that would save me 5500$, so may actually be a great idea.

Anyways, even thinking of buying a Chanel has proven to be quite stressful. I already own a “simple” Chanel- the zippered one with the cloth interior they sell at a significantly lower price point. My bag is a beige caviar leather jumbo and I do love it. The classic flap and the 2.5 and the boy bags start over 4k, which on my MPA (major purchase account, interest free for a year) would basically be more than my car payment. I drive a luxury sedan, so I’m not talking inexpensive here. As recommended by a good friend, I decided to visit Haute Seconds, a consignment store in Santa Monica. I was told they have a lot of pre-owned Chanel bags at good prices.

This store was really great. There were some amazing barely used designer clothes at reasonable prices.
This store was really great. There were some amazing barely used designer clothes at reasonable prices. 

Haute Seconds:

I walked into the store and indeed, right before me, there sat a plethora of used handbags. I’m using the word “used” as opposed to “pre-owned” because most of these bags looked USED. As in WORN OUT. Shapeless lumps of amorphous patinated oxidized leather. It was sad, actually. Nothing against the store at ALL. The women working there were beyond sweet and helpful in making my journey fun. The designer clothing that hung around all looked immaculate and worth a rebirth in the hands of a new owner. And not ALL the bags were bad. In fact, the Louis’ were amazing. The Louis’ looked practically brand new, as did the Gucci’s and the one Hermes (which was still 12k – so that bag better survive a zombie apocalypse). There were two “vintage” Chanel camera bags from 1995 that still looked amazing that I did like, though according to Danielle, the style is dated. Vintage but not classic, unfortunately. I’ve also seen a few Chanel evening bags/clutches from the 1980s that have stayed in great shape.

I really liked this Chanel camera bag from 1995. However, with its 1k price point, you can buy  brand new Gucci camera bag. I get it though, the whole point is its a Chanel. And since this one predates Jan 2000, I feel the quality is probably there.
I really liked this Chanel camera bag from 1995. Going vintage is always fun. Who wore this bag before? Where has it been and what has it seen? I actually would love to have this bag but Danielle said no, its dated :(.

A little side note- apparently “vintage” is anything 20 years or older. Anything more current is not considered “vintage”, just old. haha.

Lesson learned:

So what is the point of all this? Don’t buy a brand new Chanel handbag. Not for 5600$ anyways. It appears that pre Millennium Chanel bags were well made, but after- not so much. The newer used bags just didn’t hold up to time. And in my opinion, and I hope I’m not offending anyone, why spend that much on a bag that wont last forever? I mean I was thinking this was a bag I’d leave to my niece one day- the heritage bag.

DO, on the other hand, feel comfortable searching for and purchasing a Chanel made pre 2k – the older the better. I can attest they will not only last longer but they will look better than the more current used ones.

I adore Alma. She was the first designer bag I bought. I dreamed about her for a few years, saved up, and then got her. She still looks amazing. I guess I'm a Louis girl. Photo from Pinterest.
I adore my angel pink Alma. She was the first designer bag I bought. I dreamed about her for a few years, saved up, and then got her. She still looks amazing. I guess I’m a Louis girl. Photo: Pinterest.

Also- I learned that Louis Vuitton and Gucci still make quality bags. I love and have always loved my Louis Alma. She may not be the most hip or trendy bag, but she’s classic and special to me. So I guess she will be my heritage piece.

Its about Coco, not the bag:

With all this being said, I still have so much respect and admiration for Coco Chanel. She went against the grain and followed her heart. Post mortem, none of the decline in quality could possibly be her fault. The reason I wanted a Chanel bag was to remind me to be like Coco- stay strong, stay true to yourself, contribute to making the world a better place. As per my friend’s suggestion, I think I will get that coffee table book after all.

This book looks like the perfect addition to my library. It tells all about the house of Chanel over time and has gorgeous photographs. Love.  And at 31$, I'm saving a bundle!
This book looks like the perfect addition to my library. It tells all about the house of Chanel over time and has gorgeous photographs. Love. And at 31$, I’m saving a bundle!
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Its definitely not about the bags for me. I just love this ensemble of clothing and shoes and accessories. Perfectly juxtaposed and photographed, this model looks like a piece of art. I would feel so sassy in this outfit.

xoxo

QJ

QJ

Coco.

Season 7 of my show has wrapped, and season 8 does not start for a minute so I’m currently technically off work. This doesn’t happen often so in attempt to embrace every moment of my freedom of time (a hot and rare commodity) I proactively wrote a list of local things I would LOVE to do, but am always too busy to enjoy. For the first ten days of my break I signed up for a morning ballet intensive. I left the afternoons to peruse the list and either imbibe in an adventure or relax on the sofa/at the beach/at a cafe and dive into a book.

Its day#4 of the ballet intensive and it has been rigorous, challenging, and FANTASTIC. I’ve already noticed improvement and I still have six more days to go! That being said,  the four hours of dance, resistance training, and cardio definitely takes a lot out of us dancers, so I’ve mostly been relaxing after “camp”. Oddly I was less tired today than the previous three days (my body is adapting?) so I decided to begin my Los Angeles Adventure. What better way to get one’s mind off an achy body than a visit to the Chanel Boutique? Especially if your a lover of fashion!

The Adventure:

I’ve lived in Southern California for 15 years and Los Angeles for something like 5 and I’ve never been to Rodeo Drive, let alone Chanel (a blessing from above for my wallet, I’m sure). As I drove the convoluted Mulholland Drive to my destination, I turned up the tunes and rolled down the window to feel the wind in my hair. I began to truly celebrate my new found freedom from schedules and deadlines.

Relaxed and happy, I pulled into the Chanel driveway. There is valet and no charge! Happy day because a. I hate finding parking in LA and b. do I ever carry cash? (answer: no). Upon walking in the store I was pleasantly greeted but no pushiness. Also, surprisingly, no attitude. I say this because I have been to other high end boutiques inside department stores (I wont mention names), and the sales people have been not so friendly/a bit uppity. Not true of Chanel. It was welcoming, light, and perfectly decorated with their own bags. Every bag is gorgeous and, as we know, well made. How one can make a choice I have no idea. Honestly, I can see why if you can afford it, you’d own one of each style and then some fashion bags and clutches. Downstairs was bags, jewelry, and makeup. Upstairs; clothes and shoes.

The luxurious Chanel Boutique on Rodeo Drive.  Photo from google images.
The luxurious Chanel Boutique on Rodeo Drive. Photo from google images.

I first spent time with a sales associate named Gabby. I explained to her that I have a big birthday coming up, and I would like to invest in a Chanel handbag. Gabby was such a dear; at my request she took the time to explain the differences between and the history of each bag category.

Fashion bags are released every season and are a variation of the classics. Today I saw this charming pink velvet one that reflected the light oh so beautifully….it was really hard to walk away…..

The Boy Bag, fairly recently designed by Karl Lagerfeld, is considered a more “edgy” piece for the modern woman. This bag is square in shape and has chunky hardware.

I die for this bag. Its even better in person. Photo from google images.
I seriously die for this bag, an example of a fashion boy bag. Its even better in person. Photo from google images.

The Classic, designed by Karl Lagerfeld in the 1980’s, is an updated version of Coco Chanel’s original handbag. Its intertwined chain and leather strap and famous CC lock and closures are indicative to this piece.

The Classic comes in various types of leather and sizes.
The Classic comes in various types of leather and sizes. Photo from Google images. 

The 2.55  is Coco’s original design. This piece, first released in February 1955 (hence the 2.55) is deeply quilted with history. The interior burgundy flap  represents the catholic school uniforms that Coco wore in the orphanage. The strap is made from the same metal the chains on which the nuns at her orphanage carried their keys. Coco was an avid tipper and preferred to have cash handy, so she designed a pocket on the back for tip money. There’s also a special pocket to hold lipstick (love!) and a “secret” pocket where Coco hid her love letters.The 2.55 dons a simple square clasp with the name Chanel embossed at the bottom. During an era when small hand-held bags were in fashion, Chanel’s design was the first handbag ever produced that could also be carried on the shoulder.  The creation of Coco’s original was monumental to her. Each piece of history rooted into the bag was her way of saying “I’ve made it, but I will never forget from where I’ve come”. I hope that when purchased, the modern woman carrying her new Chanel also remembers from where she’s come. That the bag represents to her, and solely her, that she’s “made it” to a point that she can afford one of these beauties!

A fantastic photo of Coco with her original design, the 2.55. Photo from
A fantastic photo of Coco with her original design, the 2.55. Photo taken from Vintage District. This blog article is extremely interesting as it further discusses the history and differences between these bags- confirming much of what Gabby told me earlier today.

After learning the history of the bags, and trying many on in order to narrow down my birthday bag selection (wasn’t purchased yet, but, like a few of us- and you know who you are :), I’ve been saving up), I visited the second floor.

The Second Floor:

Here, I kid you not, I felt I died and went to heaven. The Shoe section! A square room with sliding mirrors and the most beautiful babies you’ve ever seen. There was a pair of grey textured booties that were beyond! And a pair of velvet oxfords I actually liked, and the classic black tipped nude with a chunk heel which was all over the runway and I’m currently obsessing over! I’m simultaneously surprised and relieved that I left empty handed!

The other two thirds of the top floor was dedicated to clothing. All gorgeous, as expected. I fell for a jacket and this amazing grey sweater. Something to dream about :).

Love.
Love. Photo taken from Chanel website.

I adore what I know about Coco. She was brave, non-abdicating, wise, and ambitious, and she seemed to treat everyone with respect and equality (Why didn’t I include her in my life&style role models???!) When I finally buy my bag, I will not only use it as a reminder regarding where I’m from, but I’ll carry it with pride to keep Coco’s spirit alive.

What to Wear:

In case your wondering what the heck to wear on Rodeo Drive, the following ensamble is what I put together for my visit. I felt comfortable and I think Danielle would be proud.

Top: T by Alexander Wang Skirt: Alexa Chung for AG Bag: Givenchy Booties: Prada
Top: T by Alexander Wang Skirt: Alexa Chung for AG Bag: Givenchy Booties: Prada

The love of my boots helped me feel good about leaving the lovely Chanel beauties behind. Success!

xo

QJ

QJ

Rompin’ around Oahu: Romper #5 and Nobu Waikiki

Nightlife in Waikiki.
Nightlife in Waikiki.

Romper #5:

I have to admit, I only own four rompers, so I was a little curious where I’d get the 5th one to photograph (Uh oh. Looks like next summer I’ll have to add a 5th to my wardrobe. Danielle…..). Luckily I met a friendly young lady in the bathroom at Nobu in Waikiki who was wearing a jumpsuit (close enough). As we bonded over both living in Los Angeles, she was gracious enough to let me photograph her outfit for my blog.

This adorable young lady allowed me to take a picture of her casual yet sophisticated jumper. I love how a jumper or romper can go from casual to dressy just by adding the right accessories and shoes. Makes packing so much easier!
This adorable young lady allowed me to take a picture of her casual yet sophisticated jumper. She said “this old thing” is from Aeropostle. I love how a jumper or romper can go from casual to dressy just by adding the right accessories and shoes. Makes packing so much easier!

Nobu, Waikiki:

image taken from google
Image taken from google

I’m rather lucky for a lot of reasons, one being MSM just happens to be a close friend to the general manager for Nobu. I’ve been blessed with the honor of eating at three Nobu locations; Hollywood, the old Malibu location, and now Waikiki. Anyone I know that has eaten at Nobu (anywhere) has loved it, but I usually have a hard time ordering because a soy allergy and Japanese food is oxymoronic. Nobu Waikiki was by far the best Nobu experience I’ve had.  I’m sure it didn’t hurt that Mr. Nobu himself was actually at the location the night we ate there :). As usual, the staff was more than accommodating and my waitress helped me figure out what I could eat without going into anaphylactic shock. What I ended up ordering was a fresh heart of palm salad (What a treat! Heart of palm is so hard to get fresh, its usually canned), yellow tail Sashimi, and then cooked scallops.

Nobu1
The presentation at Nobu, Waikiki is amazing. Everything was very balanced and appetizing.

The salad and sashimi were particularly tasty. The scallops, paired with jalepeno salsa and brussel sprouts, were better than average. I was craving something refreshing to drink, so the bar tender made up (on the spot) a beverage called the raspberry refresher.

The Raspberry Refresher.
The Raspberry Refresher.

It was the perfect mix of vodka, muddled raspberries, and lime. I usually don’t like sweet drinks served in Martini glasses (I’m sorry, but a Martini glass is made for something dry and sophisticated- with lots of  olive juice), but this drink was the perfect blend of clean, citrus, and a dash of sweet. Great job!

What to wear on a night out in Waikiki:

Resort wear to the max. I was surprised how dressy Waikiki gets at night. Maui, Kauai, and The Big Island are way more lax regarding evening dress code. Luckily Danielle knew better. I had a beautiful dress set for each night we ate out, each casually elegant and perfect for Waikiki! Here are a few examples:

This maxi by Haute Hippie is one of my favorite maxi dresses from Danielle.
This Maxi by Haute Hippie is one of my favorite dresses from Danielle and is perfect for Hawaii. Shoes: Stewart Wetizman Crossbody Bag: Gucci
I also love how flow-y and feminine this dress is. Its been really hard to find a nice summer maxi that fits larger busted women, and this dress worked perfectly even sans bra! Dress: 23th Street By Cynthia Vincent Sandals: Valentino
Cleverly nestled through a secret passageway hidden behind a revolving bookcase, “The Library” is the Lounge/Bar at the Hotel Modern in Waikiki. Its been really hard to find a nice summer maxi that fits larger busted women, and this dress worked perfectly even sans bra! I love how flow-y and feminine it is. I felt very pretty that night. Dress: 23th Street By Cynthia Vincent Sandals: Valentino
Walking around downtown Waikiki was the best cure for the food coma induced by Duke's. Dress: ALC Sandals: Chanel Crossbody: Gucci
Walking around downtown Waikiki was the best cure for the food coma induced by over eating at Duke’s. Dress: ALC Sandals: Chanel Crossbody: Gucci

So concludes my five day series on rompers on Oahu. It was such a fun trip. I had a little taste of everything the Island had to offer. Just enough to know what I want to explore when I return 🙂  Definitely surf again! Try more local food spots. Hike to some waterfalls. Revisit the North Shore. Kayak to Scylla and Charybdus.

Sunset beach, North Shore Oahu.
Sunset beach, North Shore Oahu.

Until next time Oahu, Mahalo and Aloha

xoxo

QJ

QJ

Rompin’ Around Oahu: Romper #1/Hotel Review

Welcome To Waikiki!

Beautiful Waikiki beach in tropical Hawaii. Image copied from google images. This is the beginning of the strand from the Hotel Modern in Honolulu.
Beautiful Waikiki beach in tropical Hawaii. Image copied from google images. This is the beginning of the strand from the Hotel Modern in Honolulu. The water is really this color!!
This Joie romper is super comfy and versatile. It can be dressed up with a pair of wedges or worn to the pool with flip flops. The perfect piece for a casual date or day out with friends.
This Joie romper is super comfy and versatile. It can be dressed up with a pair of wedges or worn to the pool with flip flops. The perfect piece for a casual date or day out with friends.

Romper: Joie     Tote: Givenchy     Sunnies: Celine     Flip flops: Havianas     Hat: Eric Javits

Where we stayed:

The Hotel Modern.

Our Room was bright and sunny and came with sarongs!
Our Room was bright and sunny and came with sarongs!

Chic and unpretentiously elegant, The Hotel Modern Honolulu was the perfect place to stay. The rooms feel fresh, clean, and comfortable. The staff is outstanding- so nice and accommodating. There are two pools, a wading pool on the top floor and a swimming pool below- both bar accessible for those of you craving that mid day coconut mojito. The beach and boardwalk is only steps away. The Modern is strategically located. Its far enough away from the hubbub of Honolulu/Waikiki that one can relax and feel that zen hawaiian vibe, but if you crave a local restaurant or shopping, its all within walking distance. There is a seemingly never crowded exercise room for those that would like to use it- with TVs, working equipment, and weights. The hotel hosts The Library, a lounge bar with live music. Also a rooftop bar voted the best in Honolulu exists above.

The view from the partial ocean view room. The hotel hosts a fireworks show every friday night, visible from the balcony of your room! Its like your own private showing, up close and personal! So cool!
The view from the partial ocean view room. The hotel hosts a fireworks show every friday night, visible from the balcony of your room! Its like your own private showing, up close and personal! So cool!

**Tip– the rooftop bar is small and hot. The decor is artistically enticing but honestly with its loud contemporary music and the fill of practically naked clad 21 year old “women”, this dance club feels less sophisticated and  is more appropriate for those under 30. I felt very old in there. 

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s romper from Hawaii Kai.

Mahalo

QJ

QJ