Monthly Archives: July 2013

rimmel lipstick

she’s got a mouth on her

A few more words on quality this week, it isn’t always about price.  Rarely will you find a very reasonably priced high-quality item.  This is a quickie blog post for you girls.

Although, I am a dedicated MAC matte lipstick wearer and long for the days I can try some really phenomenal brand I also hopelessly fall victim to trying out drug store make up or the Target struggle.  It’s so cheap, the gift and the curse.

rimmel lipstick

Well, I highly recommend trying Kate Moss’ Rimmel lipsticks.  See for yourself.  They may not stay quite as long although it’s arguable and their matte colors feel good, not dry or flaky.  At $5 a pop if you hate it, I’m sorry but I doubt you will.

xo Rae

freehand miami broken shaker pins and needles white eyelet crop


Bottle popping, model jockin’, Dom P sippin’, waking up in new Bugatti’s after LIV on Sunday (haaaaaaaaannnn) and stumbling into bed in the midst of a humid sunrise, instagram that – #MiamiNights, now return the rental and fly home, because that’s not real life.  Ok… perhaps some of it is here, for some, to a degree but a solid Sunday with a quick trip to Urban Outfitters and hot, late July Tuesday night have restored a little faith in the on again/off again love affair I have with Miami.

A blissful Sunday with pool time, paddle boarding, a thunderstorm, sunny South Beach, actually going into the ocean, Starbucks overload, work and a work out, and of course,  the reason you’re hearing about it, a quick trip to Urban Outfitters on Collins and 7th.  All Miami Sunday’s should be so lucky to be this jam packed.  After paddle boarding in Fort Lauderdale with Kat, my friend Kirsy and I abandoned the developing thunderstorm, headed to South Beach and took it straight to the ocean.  Quick stop at Starbucks and onto UO, we headed directly to the best place to start in any store, the sale section (my type of girl).  She picked up a white eyelet, sweetheart crop which we both ended up trying on.  Never thinking something like this would work for me, I bought it.  From $30 to $9.99, now put successful Sunday in the books.  Don’t get me wrong, Sunday nights in Miami have their perks, however aside from being a little sore, I’ve seen worse Monday mornings.

pins and needles white eyelet crop

As I’ve been in the house more, I took the first opportunity to wear the Pins and Needles crop out to Andiamo’s, in the converted 55th Street Train Station, with Winston for pizza.  What better evening than a sticky, hot, Miami summer night eating meatballs (Winston’s brilliant suggestion) outside to wear such a perfect crop. As rewarding as good meatballs are, the combo of good food and great company called for continuing the evening.  I introduced Winston to the Curtis Kulig, Love Me tagged, Broken Shaker at Freehand Miami, a literal mixologist’s heavenly oasis with crazy smooth jazz (reggae last Saturday, Flexxxa), and poolside board games in incredible atmosphere with a wide array of lounging options.

freehand miami broken shaker pins and needles white eyelet crop

I live for simple, relaxing days and nights like these with the occasional #MiamiNights in the mix.  Oh MIA, your inconsistency kills me.  Figures, with my track record, incorporated July 28, Happy belated Birthday Miami, you would be a Leo.

xo Rae



the Kanye Theory

There is something to be said about quality.  Quite honestly, if I could afford it, I’d most definitely shop A LOT more high end brands but until further notice I’ll keep bringing you my deals.  Theory is absolutely a brand I wish I owned more of.

Two Fridays ago, when I recently picked up my Sam Edelman sandals, I found myself in shopping slump.  Not only have I been shopping less, it seems as though my shape is a little different than last summer and minimally my clothing fits… differently.  Consequently, this is making shopping more of a challenge.  Practically forced, after finding the sandals, I knew I needed/wanted to pick up something but wasn’t quite sure what I was looking for.  Marshall’s is most definitely not the spot for jeans or shorts, which I honestly need, so I found myself looking for a maxi which was promptly forgotten upon the discovery of this shirt dress.  I have a silk Theory shirt dress that I bought at Lord & Taylor prior to moving to Miami that is still in incredible shape.  I’ve honestly probably had that very staple, gray (obviously), silk dress of perfection for 5 years.  I am 100 percent positive I picked this up on sale back then too and I most DEFINITELY got my money’s worth.

So, I still stick to my mission.  In theory, why on Earth would I buy poorer quality, “less expensive” brands at full price when can get trusted quality for nearly the same?  To each their own but I’m going to have to agree with Kanye on his Bound 2 judgement of the women who “rock Forever 21 but just turned thirty.”  Not to say I won’t occasionally pick up something there and I am most definitely not 30 but, (another Ye lyric) do better.

theory striped shirt dress

I picked up this new Theory striped, silk, shirt dress for $40 from originally $130.  I’ve worn it twice thus far, once as more of a cover up on an overcast day hanging at Hyde Beach at SLS.   More recently, pictured here, I wore it with my staple faves, an American Apparel bodysuit and my BDG distressed denim to work and stopping by my friend’s studio during the photo class she teaches after work.  I saved $90 and I’d like to see any dress that’s retail price is $40 come close to this one.

I mean, Kanye also defined what one good girl is worth, too and I couldn’t agree more.   Quality over everything, uh-huh honey.

xo Rae


UO ecote crochet top fontainebleau w megy

proper poolside attire

With my cousins in town I got to get back to my normal springtime activities and played hostess for the weekend.  Two pool parties in one weekend… I haven’t done that in over a year.  Although Sunday’s was more subdued, it was really good to get out some.

As a local attending on an overcast day, pool party attire beyond the standard bikini was required.  And because I have an affinity to buy multiple, similar pieces, I wore a new, crochet top from Urban Outfitters.  Don’t get it twisted, I am not afraid to try new things, obviously, you saw the salmon pants, but I also believe if it ain’t broke don’t fix it – ABSOLUTELY tweak it.

UO ecote crochet top fontainebleau w megy

This Ecote crocheted top is from Urban Outfitters.  It was originally $54 and I picked it up at the Collins Ave., South Beach location for $19.99.  I wore the top with my favorite Levi’s denim cut offs, my American Apparel bathing suit, my D&G sunglasses (a crucial pool party accessory, sunglasses) and those brand new Sam Edelman’s that Joey has voiced his disappointment about.

xo Rae

palm trees

Wearing clothes during Miami Beach Swim Fashion Week

Resortwear, yikes, uncharted territory for me.  I was ready to go all out too, head to toe, had it not rained a record breaking 6.8 inches on the day of Ocean Drive Magazine’s MBFWSWIM Party.  This deterred my turquoise necklace and nude Rebecca Minkoff strappy shoes I had planned on wearing, nonetheless resortwear prevailed.

I know resortwear has a common place in modern fashion but for the love of the future and spirit of millenials interested in fashion, can we come up with a more modern name?  Regardless, I learned last Wednesday that resortwear is indeed accommodating of heightened humidity while entering my fourth summer spent in Miami, my hair on the other hand, still is not.

As mentioned a couple friends and I attended Ocean Drive’s Wednesday evening party at The Social Club inside the Surfcomber and finished the evening at Rose Bar in the Delano which is where the below bathroom selfie was shot.  Rain aside, this seemed like the most appropriate time to debut salmon pants.

french connection drawstring salmon silk pants

During another one of our daily, Miami summer, downpours the weekend prior, I picked up these drawstring, silky (SUPER LONG), salmon pants from the French Connection on Lincoln Road.  Originally $130, because the Lincoln Road location seems to be more of an outlet (for some strange reason) in the dead center of the tourist laden, people watching mecca of Miami, they were marked down to $99.  They were also offering an additional 50% discount on sale items bringing the pants to $49.50.  As stated previously, due to the longer length I need pants at, I’ll almost always splurge but at this price I would’ve bought a second pair had they come in any other colors.

xo Rae


sam edelman sandals


I am fortunate (I suppose) enough to have a friend here from my hometown who, although may not have always been as close as we are now, I have essentially known my entire life.  Being so far from home it is really great to have someone that just gets you.  Whether it’s our similar upbringings, mutual guilty pleasure of less than eloquent hip-hop lyrics or our similar attitude, there is certainly something to be said about a good friend that can tell you they hate your shoes without any consequences.

As Joey used to call one of my old pair of gladiators, “300 wheels”, I couldn’t help but shake my head while anticipating his input on the new Sam Edelman’s I picked up Friday after work.  Let me clarify, translate, if you will.  Wheels being shoes and “300” referring the movie with a half clothed Gerard Butler.  You follow?  I vividly recall one afternoon, upon my arrival in Fort Lauderale him saying “Rae, you look great… from the ankles up.”  Friendship at it’s finest right there.

sam edelman sandals

I snagged these Sam Edelman’s on clearance at Marshall’s in Dolphin Mall.  From originally $120, marked down to $59.99, I picked them up for only $29.  At 76% off, I saved $91.

Seal of approval?  We’ll have to see.

xo Rae

mixed metal ring

I insist

I mean, I’m a giver/helper/sharer for sure, but it is nice to receive… now and then, or as frequently as possible.

My favorite gifts though, are ones from people who know me best or mean the most to me.  Usually, those are the people I insist against them giving me anything.

Particularly, my Mom.  I am sure, should I ever become a Mom it’ll be difficult to not attempt to give my kids the World and then some mainly because it seems my Mom struggles with this.  I’m 28 and she still insists on birthday and Christmas gifts.  The only reason I’m ok with it is because I get to return the favor and give her some pretty rad gifts too and she did teach me how to shop so I trust she’ll get a good deal.

For my birthday this year, I picked out a two tone Michael Kors watch, silver and gold.  After waiting for’s stock to replenish I got my watch Memorial Day weekend from initially $240 to $210, not much better but definitely not retail.

Michael Kors two tone watch

On my most recent trip, Tour de Rae – a 10 day tour of the northeast across 4 states and beginning and ending with weddings, my Mom sat down with me and said after searching for nearly 6 years she found what she had wanted to give me for my college graduation.  She always said she wanted to get me a nice ring or piece of jewelry.  Honestly, I think I appreciate it now more than I would’ve then.  She picked up this beautiful two tone, yellow and white gold, green amethyst ring from the jewelry counter at TJMaxx.  From originally $300, she only paid $100 (which also made me feel a lot better accepting it as an adult).

mixed metal ring

So, to recap I received two beautiful mixed metal pieces of jewelry as gifts and my Mom paid $310 from originally $540.  See where I get it now?

xo Rae

rearview pic

all black everything Pro Tip

We are deep in it right now, that midsummer heavy heat.  My AC breaking and being off for nearly 36 hours showed me the realest 70% humidity and “feels like” temp in the low 90s that I’ve ever encountered.  May or may not have been the toughest night of sleep and day worked from home ever, in history.  I found myself wondering how people even lived in South Florida prior to advanced air conditioning.  The heat was DEFINITELY getting to me.  Meanwhile, shout out to my NYers, your forecast this week is easily rivaling typical July, Miami days – good luck with your lack of air conditioning in so many places.

If you must, which I imagine some of you must, because I know I have to continue to wear a healthy amount of black clothing, consider this whilst shopping and inevitably, unintentionally going home with black clothes.

A certain degree of heat is reached, where wearing clothing seems purely unnecessary and unacceptable.  However, bathing suits or going fully nude are simply inappropriate in a lot of day to day settings.  So how, how does  one still wear black?

My Pro Tip for shopping black for the summer – if it feels like summer pjs or nearly as good a being in your birthday suit, buy it.  I am dead serious.  This is mainly applicable to maxi dresses but t-shirts have the feel too.  Some specific characteristics of a nearly naked feel are a material you like, a high degree of flowiness and easy to put on and take off.

nasty gal conquest maxi dress

The Conquest Maxi Dress from is a perfect example.  Although it is a full length, all black dress it’s a great option for us color-shy people that aren’t interested in melting.  This dress has snaps, no buttons.  Snaps are fun and so 90s.  So far I’ve worn it to the longest brunch to date and to an afternoon at a friends pool.  At the pool I had it completely unsnapped like a cover up and to brunch I had it unsnapped up to right above my knee for optimal breeziness.  It was originally $88 and is marketing down to $66,  but I also scored an additional 20% and free shipping, bringing the total to $52.  Considering the amount of use this dress will get, it’s definitely work the $66 on the website.

It also comes in white, if you’re into that.

xo Rae

me lee

take me back

That moment when your iTunes are on shuffle and you’re sitting in Starbucks because your air conditioning is broken.  It’s July in Miami and easily over 86 degrees in your bedroom and BAM a song comes on that…. takes you THERE, elsewhere.  You know where, it’s no where you should be reminded while trying to be productive in quiet environment nearing closing on Thursday evening.  You should be THERE with THOSE people enjoying it or minimally in your car so you can turn all the way up.  But alas, I’m…. um… your not.  Yea, that’s exactly what is going on tonight.

This feeling is exactly how I felt when my mom texted me “cleaning out your closet” attached to a pic of my favorite jean jacket that I wore until there were literal holes in it my freshman and sophomore years of college.  And it’s even older than that.  It’s my Mom’s Lee jean jacket from when she was 16 or 17, circa 1976.

vintage lee jean jacket 1970s 1976


I imagine this fit my teenage mother a little differently however, amazingly, the sleeves are long enough for me and it fits right at my natural waist, great spot for light jackets.  Although my mom did some minor fixes this jacket is worn to perfection.

In a quick online search I came across some similar vintage Lee jackets going for around $50.  This is surely less than you will find in a vintage shop and they certainly did not have this worn look or broken in feel.  Honestly, not just because I’m partial to my mom’s hand me downs none of them came close.

I can only imagine the upstate NY summer evenings and spring days this jacket has seen because I know how often I wore it in Springfield at school.  Some clothing just has THAT feeling, it takes you someplace else and its pure perfection.  Over thirty years later its mine, Miami and New York’s turn.

xo Rae

lee 2006

2006 at Springfield College

upgrades and options

Years ago,  probably in 2009, where daily I’m realizing how much cooler I was, I picked up a beautiful leather, small, black cross body bag for $75 marked down from some ridiculous price that I don’t remember, from TJ Maxx.  Yes, I’ve always shopped like this.

Prior to my 10 days running around the northeast I ordered a beautiful new cross body, mainly to go out with.  The Ferragamo is my primary nighttime clutch and it has seen better days.  Unfortunately, I did not get my Gilt order in early enough for the bag to make the trip nor did I remember to have it sent to any of my crash spots, but like Kanye declares “how you gonna be mad on vacation?”   So upon my return to “the bottom”, I came home to a Gilt branded box, which can brighten any day even one that starts with saying bye bye to one of your besties at 4am outside of the airport.

This Kelsi Dagger, tastefully studded cross body, is much more of a statement type of bag, which works for me as I tend to wear predominantly black, neutrals and subtle jewelry.  It is black suede with a nude leather (which you know I can’t say no to) strap and has three pockets on the inside.  At $59.99 (before shipping) it was marked down from the 40% from the original $98.

kelsi dagger studded cross body purse gilt

Although it didn’t make the trip where it certainly would’ve been put to use, I wore it Friday night to Catch and SL Miami.  Mission accomplished.  Four years later, I have one staple black, worn to perfection, old cross body and a brand new upgraded statement option.  And I love options.

xo Rae