Search Results for: label/NEPALI by TDM Designs

33-Worthy Friday

Shirt: Gap | Jeans: NYDJ “Marilyn” | Shoes: Softspots (similar) | Scarf: Bambi 1 Square Zebra” c/o Nepali by TDM Designs | Bracelets: Silver cuff (similar), indigo bracelets c/o Lifetherapy

It’s Friday! When I got dressed this morning I was thinking more about the rain and wearing some shoes other than the black Cole Haan sandals I have worn for almost two weeks straight (those and these are the only shoes I can carry off with the hurt leg). After getting dressed I realized that this outfit is all pieces I would choose if I was doing Project 333 (details here). While the white jeans are a different pair (last year’s jeans fit but they look strange, too low rise and a bit too short in length too), everything else is something I would choose if I had to pare down to just 33 piece in my closet.

This scarf has become quite a favorite, and I can’t believe this is the first time it has been featured on the blog. If you know me in real life, you know I wear this scarf weekly. It’s a soft bamboo that has gorgeous drape, the cadet blue shade is quite versatile, and it just feels good around the throat. This is the type of scarf I would take on vacation; it would be a great wrap on a plane, a cool shawl with an LBD, and can even be tied around the swimsuit like a pareo. All that, and you’re doing good by buying a scarf from Nepali by TDM Design!

I am proud to have partnered with Nepali by TDM, a company that creates opportunities for poverty-stricken women to generate sustainable income in Nepal. They are also invested in a literacy and education campaign throughout the country. Nepali by TDM Design’s mission is to bring about social and economic change by allowing women to participate financially in their society. All their scarves are hand-made in Nepal from natural materials and eco-friendly, azo-free dyes. You’ll see int he coming months that the clothing and accessory companies I partner with are ones I admire for doing more than making pretty things. Be they companies who give back to the community, improve this world, or care about how and where their products are made, I am proud to give them some visibility. I’ve been working with Nepali by TDM Design for several months now, and find them to be sweet people who truly care about the world around them, and the scarves are fabulous quality and high on style.

UPDATE: If you too like Nepali by TDM Design scarves, they are offering all Wardrobe Oxygen readers 25% off with the code wardrobeoxygen.  Happy shopping!

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Sunday: To Market, To Market

Tee: Old Navy
Shorts: Target (similar)
Shoes: Softspots
Bag: Gift from sister (similar)
Scarf: c/o NEPALI by TDM Design
Sterling hoops (similar)
Sterling cuff (similar) and UTAC bracelet

Yesterday while my husband had a private yoga session, Emerson and I went to the farmers market and met up with my mom and sister. We had brunch on the hill overlooking the market while Emerson ran around and played with her friends. It was a wonderful way to spend the early part of the afternoon, and wore Emerson out enough to take an afternoon nap which was quite a treat for us!

How gorgeous is this scarf from NEPALI by TDM Design?  Not only is the scarf beautiful, but it supports a beautiful cause.  NEPALI by TDM Design works directly with predominantly women cottage industries in Nepal to support women weavers and women craftsmanship.  Their company provides sustainable income to Nepalese women and helps weavers and their families break the cycle of poverty by providing them above market compensation and access to education and health care.  In addition, NEPALI is investing in the future by putting weavers’ children through school as well as funding essential healthcare services.  As for the scarves themselves, NEPALI by TDM Design accessories are made from natural materials such as silk, cashmere, bamboo, modal and wool and eco-friendly azo-free dyes; they are eco-conscious, socially responsible, and also quite stylish!  I am proud to be a brand ambassador for NEPALI by TDM Designs, expect to see more of their scarves and accessories on me in the near future.  And if you would like to know more about the company or get a scarf of your own, check them out on Facebook, Twitter, or visit their Website!

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What I Wore: Turband Hair Day

Tunic: Ann Taylor (similar) | Jacket: ASOS (similar) | Jeans: NYDJ | Boots: DUO (similar) | Bag: Rebecca Minkoff (similar) | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Turband: c/o Nepali by TDM Designs | Lipstick: Korres Guava Lipstick in Wine Red

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I wore this outfit last Friday. Last week was insanity – long hours at the office, dreadful commutes, Emerson had nightmares.. you name it, I drank a lot of coffee to compensate for stress and lack of sleep and the last day of the week left me looking as frazzled as I felt. No way was I going to try to make my hair look good or wear something that wasn’t super easy and comfortable. Honestly, I wasn’t going to do an outfit post, but well… I don’t try to be HIGH FASHUN, I use my outfit posts to show real-world personal style on a woman who loves fashion and is over 30 and over a size 10… so here you go, real life!

Nepali TDM Designs sent me this cashmere headband/turband and I thought it was pretty awesome. Soft and cozy, keeps my ears warm this winter, and it hides a really bad hair day! Brilliant! Not only that, the amazing folks at Nepali by TDM Designs are offering Wardrobe Oxygen readers 50% off these cashmere headbands! They come in a bevy of colors, can be adjusted to be wider or more narrow, and your purchase will help support the women of Nepal with above-market compensation, access to healthcare, and scholarships for the education of their children in order to help break the cycle of poverty.  Use code ellie50 at checkout – this code will only work for the headband. However, with code wardrobeoxygen you can 25% off the rest of the site!

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Friday: Twinsies

Jacket: Two by Vince Camuto | Scarf: c/o Nepali by TDM Designs | Tee: Armor lux (gift from reader, similar) | Jeans: NYDJ | Boots: DUO (similar)

I rarely look to celebrities for everyday style, but I think Gwen Stefani has pretty awesome day-to-day fashion, and fashion I think many women can replicate. She masters the rock-&-roll mom look with a primarily black wardrobe, tough leather accents and killer accessories like sunglasses and scarves. This week I saw a picture of Gwen Stefani wearing this very scarf from Nepali by TDM Design so I was inspired to style it again and pretend to be Gwen’s twin.  The scarf was perfect on this super cold and blustery morning, so cold I almost didn’t do outfit photos because I had no desire to take off my coat and gloves!

And this jacket? Yeah, I totally didn’t need it. In fact, I am trying to go as long as I can without buying any new clothing but come ON! It’s a biker jacket, it’s silver, it’s stretchy, and it’s utterly fabulous. It’s lightweight and a fabric kind of like scuba or ponte but the texture on the outside almost looks like coated denim. I also tried it with a black dress and loved the contrast. So I splurged… but knowing my style I think this new jacket is going to get a TON of wear!

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Thursday: Laid Back Leather

Sweater: Ann Taylor | Pants: Ann Taylor (similar) | Shoes: MICHAEL Michael Kors | Necklace: “Lilith” c/o Kristin Biggs, Stella and Dot | Bracelet: c/o IN PINK

Today I got to work at 7am, which means I left the house at 6am, which means I got dressed in the dark while the rest of the family slept. On days like this I usually stick to a uniform – knit top, cardigan, slim knit pants or jeans and tall boots. This morning, one pair of boots was at the cobbler, another pair needed to be polished after being worn in salt and snow and all my jeans were sitting wet in the washing machine. So I slapped on my pleather pants and low heels. I had a good big hair day so was feeling very rock and roll though I only saw a dimly lit reflection in the mirror.  These pictures were taken around 3pm; I came home early for an appointment – sprayed some Neil George Detangler, scrunched and had Karl take a couple shots before I headed to the doctor. Not exactly what I envisioned at 6am and surely not in as crisp of condition, but at least it is more interesting than another striped shirt/slouchy sweater jacket or looped scarf/skinny jeans/tall black boots combo!

Speaking of looped scarf, I wear my “Ziraffe” from Nepali by TDM Designs at least once a week, I think it’s such a cool pattern and great accent to neutral ensembles. A few of you commented and emailed regarding the price of the scarves (though the price is for a good reason – learn more about the company in this previous post of mine), so Nepali by TDM Designs is offering Wardrobe Oxygen readers 25% off with the promo code wardrobeoxygen. This even works on their sale department where you can find scarves that originally retailed for $125 for as low as $25. If you don’t see any styles you like, check out their grab bag feature – you get to pick out the color and they pick the design (both current and past seasons) and grab bags can include bamboo, silk, cashmere, cotton, or wool scarves. Pretty sweet!

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Friday: Deceiving Weather

Jacket: Gap | Tee: J. Crew (similar) | Jeans: NYDJ | Scarf: c/o Nepali by TDM Designs | Boots: Duo (similar) | Bracelets: Nordstrom, “Emerson” c/o Kristin Biggs, Stella and Dot

I woke to birds chirping, and a gorgeous sunrise through the trees. As I got ready, the sun was brighter and it looked like a beautiful spring day. Notsomuch in DC, this morning was COLD! I huddled in the car with my coat wrapped around me while my husband got his camera ready and I didn’t want to take my coat off. However the day is to warm up into the 50s which is warm enough for a little four year old to race around a playground in her parka; think Daddy may be gifted with a nap today!

Since my recent haircut, I have been having a hard time figuring out how to style it. I now have bangs that start at the very top of my head, and more extreme of layers in the front. I like to give my hair a vacation and let it go natural, but each time I did I ended up looking like Roseanne Rosanadanna. Today I added Redken Ringlet and some argan oil and de-frizz serum, let it air dry almost completely, carefully dry the rest with a diffuser, and then the super frizzy parts I wrapped around a curling iron without using the clamp. There’s no way I can survive the warmer months flat ironing my hair, figure I better start training it now!

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Monday: Casual Monday

Jacket: Ann Taylor (similar) | Tee: Banana Republic | Jeggings: c/o Karen Kane | Scarf: c/o Nepali by TDM Design | Boots: DUO (similar) | Sunglasses: Gas station in Kentucky

Many of you have the day off, but my office is still open. Since most of our clients are government agencies, days like today are pretty great for playing catch-up without the phone ringing all day or meetings back to back. Also since the government is off work, we can dress in a more casual manner. This is my weekend uniform, in fact I wore this same scarf with a different striped shirt and different jeans yesterday. This scarf is insanely soft – I have other cashmere scarves but this one feels like a cloud.  Karl even threatened to snag it, it’s so cozy!

As an FYI, Nepali by TDM Design is offering Wardrobe Oxygen readers 25% off their entire site (including sale and grab bags) with the promo code wardrobeoxygen!

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What I Wore: The Blues

Jacket: Gap | Tee: Old Navy | Scarf: “Bambi 1 Square Zebra” c/o Nepali by TDM | Jeans: c/o Liverpool | Shoes: “Sandy” c/o Naya

Naya asked me to style these short boots for a weekend look, and it was really easy to incorporate them into my standard weekend uniform of jeans, a tee shirt, jacket or cardigan and scarf looped around my neck. I bought this jacket from Gap late summer and have worn it with a flippy black skirt and striped tee for Date Night, over a simple black dress to toughen up a work outfit, and wear it may weekends with this scarf from Nepali by TDM

Speaking of this scarf, I can’t believe it has only been on the blog once before.  For those who know me in real life, this scarf is my go-to and is worn pretty much every week.  I love the soft floppy bamboo fabric and the print; it’s one of those fabrics that’s not too hot to wear in the summer but does make you feel cozy and warm come fall and winter.  It doesn’t hurt that scarves from Nepali by TDM support and empower women in Nepal and across the globe.  If you’re interested in getting your own, use the code WARDROBEOXYGEN at checkout and get 25% off your order!

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Giveaway: Gap Skimmer Jeans – Save and Win!

Last week I featured the new Gap Skimmer Jean and how incredibly versatile and adorable it is. Many of you were interested in trying the Skimmer for yourself, well now’s your chance! From February 21 – 27, 2013, try the New Skimmer and get $20 off! When you try the New Skimmer at any Gap store, you’ll get an automatic $20 off any regular-priced pair.  What a fab promotion, I’m thinking I may have to grab a pair of their camo-print skimmers for spring!

Want even more encouragement to try these awesome new jeans? One Wardrobe Oxygen reader will win a $50 AmEx gift card that you could use to buy your Gap Skimmers!

How to Enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Contest: Tolani Scarf from

jessica alba tolani scarfTo celebrate me coming back to work and to blogging, I have a great contest for you readers!

One of you can win a Tolani scarf that has been seen on the likes of Jessica Alba (pictured), Sienna Miller, Vanessa Minnillo (pictured), Halle Berry and Mary-Kate Olsen.

The Tolani scarf is courtesy of, an awesome site that sells hip women’s designer clothing from the likes of Black Halo, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Diane Von Fürstenberg and Vera Wang Lavender Label.

I am so excited, because you KNOW I love scarves, and these beauts from Tolani are fabulous!

vanessa minnillo tolani scarfHow to enter:
Send an email to with the word “TOLANI” in the subject.
In the body of the email, please provide your name and mailing address (I promise these addresses will only go to me – except for the winner, and will be deleted once the contest is over). Winner will be chosen by random.

Contest ends Friday, March 20th, 2009 at midnight ET. Winner will be contacted by email. Scarf will be mailed out from Sorry international readers, but the contest is only open to those in the United States.

Get to know
Facebook (friend “shop chickdowntown” and/or become a fan of the chickdowntown page)
Twitter (
YouTube ( or

Good luck!

What I Wore and a Giveaway – Ruth Barzel Jewelry Design

Shirt: c/o Foxcroft | Jeans: Gap | Shoes: Halogen (similar) | Necklace: c/o Ruth Barzel Jewelry Design | Watch: Citizen c/o WatchCo | Bag: Brahmin (similar)

Accessories can transform the most basic wardrobe staples and make pieces a cohesive outfit. I just received this necklace from Ruth Barzel Jewelry Design and while it is BEGGING to be styled with an LBD for the holidays or worn with a beautiful silk blouse, I thought it could really make a statement with a simple white shirt and dark jeans. I haven’t carried my Brahmin bag in a while, and I thought the bright blue really made the emerald necklace pop!


If you like this necklace and the other beautiful pieces I have featured from Ruth Barzel Jewelry Design, well today’s your lucky day! One Wardrobe Oxygen reader will win a $100 store credit to Ruth Barzel Jewelry Design!

Ruth Barzel makes all her unique pieces in the United States and is a local-yokel to me.  Not only that, she’s an awesome human being!  While I love the Emerald Quartz Nugget Statement Necklace I’m wearing here, I also love wearing her Blue Quartz Pendant Necklace and wear her Mixed Metal Chain Bracelet on a weekly basis. Ruth has offered all Wardrobe Oxygen readers 20% off her entire store, just use code OXYGEN20.  This discount will be in effect until the end of November, 2013.

How to Enter:
Please use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. This contest is open to both US and international readers. Contest ends November 30, 2013 at midnight ET.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
As a reminder, if you can’t wait for the giveaway to end and want to get yourself some jewelry from Ruth Barzel, use the code OXYGEN20 at checkout for 20% off your order!

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Showing the Love: Isaac Mizrahi Beauty

This month, the month of love, I want to celebrate you. It’s the tenth year of Wardrobe Oxygen, and this blog wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for your love and support. To show my love in return, I’ve partnered with some of my favorite brands to offer you some amazing gifts. These giveaways are not sponsored, I am receiving nothing in return for hosting them, I will not be promoting these giveaways on social media so to increase the chances of you regular readers winning. The brands know this, and have chosen to donate great gifts because they too want to show you the love.

It’s no secret that I adore Isaac Mizrahi and have been a fan for years. I love his use of color and how his looks are feminine but full of fun and energy, and how he designs for real women. Researching for this post I found this quote by Mizrahi, “…One of my goals as a designer has always been to get my customer to look in the mirror the right way. I don’t want her to buy this because it’s a big fantasy, but because she will look in the mirror and think she looks good.” This goes right along with my thoughts on fashion and personal style and what Wardrobe Oxygen is all about, so when I was contacted by his brand I was uber psyched and asked if they would like to host a giveaway this month.

true isaac mizrahi beauty cosmetics

Issac Mizrahi recently teamed up with True Cosmetics to launch TRUE Isaac Mizrahi, a line of skincare and colorful makeup. “I am so happy to be launching a beauty line. I love color, and now I get to share my passion for it in this new and exciting way,” says Mizrahi. Housed in elegant gold packaging, the 144-piece collection is cruelty-free and infused with blends of green and white teas, marine algae, Vitamins A and E. I love that the shades are named after Mizrahi’s favorite Hollywood icons and New York locales.

The shadows in this line are made with a special ceramide complex that help smooth the eyelids so powder never creases, while reducing fine lines and wrinkles. I love the Eyeshadow Trios compact which comes in three color combinations for a bold runway-ready look. The Pure Lipcolor comes in eight creamy, long-lasting shades that will hydrate and protect your lips while delivering bold color. I’m partial to Audrey Red which would bring a much-needed pop of color to a gray winter day yet still look fresh come spring. There’s 20 shades of the Nail Lacquer available, and the formula claims to be water resistant, chip resistant, and fade resistant. While I’m a classic red nail gal, I’m drawn to the dark navy shade of Jean Blue.

If this collection sounds as good to you as it does to me, today is your lucky day. One Wardrobe Oxygen reader will win their color choice of the Eyeshadow Trio, Nail Lacquer, and Pure Lipcolor. I think so many pieces from TRUE Isaac Mizrahi sounds fabulous but thought these three pieces would let anyone of any skin tone or type enjoy this prize. Enjoy, and good luck!

Wardrobe Oxygen + TRUE Isaac Mizrahi Beauty Giveaway

Rehoboth Weekend Recap

My life is far calmer with me doing my writing only at certain short periods of time during the week, but it’s like next thing I know a month has gone by and I haven’t written about a super cool experience or a trip, or new things I bought or whathaveyou! So anyway, I went to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware some weeks ago. This is the annual Girls Weekend – my mom, my sister, Emerson, and me. We arrive Friday afternoon and come home late Sunday and we have been doing it since before Emerson was in the picture and hope to do it for many many many more summers.

Since we found the Avenue Inn, we haven’t ever stayed at another place in Rehoboth. It’s just a block or so from the beach, it has a pool, hottub, a great breakfast, wine and cheese happy hour and warm cookies in the evening. Free rental of beach chairs and towels and a golf cart shuttle right to the boardwalk (and if you text them they’ll come pick you up at the end of your beach day). This past year, Avenue Inn did a major remodel of the lobby/main floor and it is GORGEOUS! So spacious and tasteful, there’s now a bigger dining area and an attached bar/lounge. Once Emerson came on the scene, we switched from a standard room to a suite, which doesn’t have a balcony but instead a pocket door to a little living room area with another TV and sofa bed. When Em was a baby, we’d put a Pack and Play in there, but now she lounges in the big sofa bed with all her stuffed animals.

We actually have created a lot of traditions on our Girls Weekend, and not just where we stay. Fridays, we unpack and then since it’s late in the day we just head to the hotel pool. It’s indoor, but has a whole wall of sliding glass doors they open to a sundeck with the hottub, so it’s almost like being outside. When we tire of the pool, we all get dressed, take a walk down Rehoboth Avenue to the Boardwalk. We let Emerson race around the beach, scaring off seagulls and making sand angels and then head to Adriatico for dinner.

Adriatico has outdoor seating, an amazing waitstaff, kid-friendly menu and atmosphere without being crappy for us adults, and it’s not right on the main drag. While I usually try something new each time I visit a restaurant, at Adriatico we usually share a bottle of white wine (the type does vary) and their roasted garlic appetizer (roasted garlic, blue cheese, chopped tomatoes in balsamic and toasted bread to make your own bruschetta-type yumminess). Past couple of years my entrée has been the appetizer steamed mussels and their spinach, which is sautéed in olive oil with a ton of garlic. After dinner, one of us adults takes Emerson back to the hotel for bed, and the other two of us go out for the evening. Often I am the adult because I am exhausted from the workweek, but this year it was me and Debbie who were free.

This year we tried to find a new and different place to get a drink but each place had the wrong vibe. So we went back to our Rehoboth go-to – The Purple Parrot. We scored two stools at the bar but were soon ready to get out of there because it was being taken over by very mean, very drunk, and very obnoxious bachelorettes and their minions. We headed out back to their beach bar, which had a completely different vibe and crowd. It was quiet but not boring, and we soon befriended an adorable couple. Debbie and the younger gentleman got into a very heated discussion about British royalty and Greek mythology (two of Debbie’s favorite subjects so she was thrilled to find a kindred spirit) while his partner and I rolled our eyes and laughed at them.

What I Wore: White Topshop draped tissue-weight top with Gap Destroyed Sexy Boyfriend jeans, tan SoftSpots sandals, necklace Karl got me in Mexico

Surprise, surprise, a night where I have secure and reliable care for Emerson and I wake with a hangover. I was actually surprised since I only had one glass of wine at dinner and two cocktails. I think my tolerance is dwindling and I probably didn’t drink enough water. Headed to the dining room with the family for a couple cups of coffee, egg casserole, watermelon and more water.

What I Wore: Green crinkle gauze spaghetti-strap dress from Old Navy (think from last year), Reef flip flops, dark circles under my eyes and a greenish complexion

After breakfast, we got ready for the beach and took the shuttle to the boardwalk. I cannot say how amazing the shuttle is, even though it’s such a short walk. Three chairs and Emerson’s folding cot, towels, toys, bags, and a four year old is a lot to navigate down skinny crowded sidewalks. It’s such a luxury, we didn’t even know they had this feature at the hotel until last year!

We got to the beach early, I think around 9:30 and the weather was phenomenal. Maybe 80 degrees, no humidity, very breezy/windy but not so much you had sand in your eyes. It felt like summers that my family and I would go to Saco, Maine. We got a great spot since there were few families there so early. Emerson was looking forward to going in the ocean, but once she got close she decided it was too scary and stuck to the dry part of the beach. Debbie and I did venture into the ocean, and even for us who love the sea we were amazed by how rough it was and though we’re both expert swimmers and wave riders we both ate it. Luckily I had my senses as I did a somersault in the ocean to grab my Ray-Bans which were on top of my head!

By noon I was feeling pretty dunzo. I had a headache that was traveling down my neck, I felt dehydrated, and Emerson decided she hated the beach and wanted to go back to the room and watch TV. We both had to use the bathroom so we went to the closest place – Grotto Pizza. Pizza for lunch it is!

Yes, Grotto Pizza is a Delmarva staple, and yes I do like me some Grotto Pizza, but I think one of the circles of hell is Grotto Pizza on the Boardwalk. This is where all the families go, where kids can sit in soaking wet bathing suits and fight over the last slice, babies can cry without dirty looks, and parents can ignore them and drink a beer. We walked to the backroom where not just the bathroom was, but the loudest, most stressed families and the worst acoustics. The bathroom had a line, they said one stall was out of order. I took my chances, saw it was just someone had a bad lunch and didn’t flush so I stuck one foot in the stall to flush the toilet. The line agreed I deserved the stall even though there were many in front of me for my heroic act, thank goodness because Emerson and I were both about to pop.

We went to our table in the loud, scary room and I was ready to have a panic attack. So loud, so dreadful, Emerson was still miserable, I had a massive headache and half the beach in my bathing suit. My mom and sister arrived, and so did our waitress who was a Godsend. Seriously, she totally felt our vibe, immediately got us water (with lemon!), knew what we needed, calmed me down. That and my mom, who is a rockstar. Emerson was getting mega fussy, and I was ready to say fine, let’s pack up, go back to the room and watch Sprout until you fall asleep. I didn’t want to leave the beach, but I just was over it all. My mom told me to go out to the boardwalk and relax and she would take care of it. I sat on one of those white benches and just watched the dunegrass sway in the breeze. I then decided to meditate – I closed my eyes and focused on my breathing and I could feel my body relaxing, my temperature dropping, my headache dulling. Then I felt a tap on my shoulder – it was Emerson. She apologized for being difficult and asked if I would go back to the beach with her.

Am I right or am I right? My mom is a rockstar.

So we went back to the beach, where we all had a good time. I dug a big hole and Emerson jumped in it, we made castles, we read magazines, we considered going back in the ocean and thought better of it, just letting the waves come up to our thighs. And around 4pm we decided to head back to the hotel.

What I Wore: Black and white polka-dot underwire halter top from Freya, dark indigo purple swim mini from Lands’ End, distressed denim shorts. I also had my Make Art Not War tee shirt and my green Old Navy dress. Ray-Ban aviators, naturally.

We came back to the room and each took turns showering and getting ready. Then for the third year in a row we went to Claws for dinner. Gotta have seafood when you’re at the beach!

What I Wore: Black jersey spaghetti-strap sundress from LOFT, apple green (Tendershoot) and black “Cotton Rolling Pebbles” scarf from Nepali by TDM Designs, tan SoftSpots sandals.

That night, my mom was worn out from being a rockstar and offered to put Emerson to bed again. Debbie and I were both pretty weary from the day and weren’t in the mood for a loud bar. We roamed around Rehoboth a bit, did some shopping (stay tuned for Missoni-esque striped orange satin palazzo pants. Yes you read that correctly), and then got ice cream and headed back to the room where we watched and snarked on House Hunters until we passed out.

I woke up at sunrise and couldn’t get back to sleep. I went down to the lobby to read a bit, but then grabbed a to-go coffee cup and walked to the beach. It was a bit chilly, but in that beach in fall wonderful kind of way. It was a gray day, supposed to rain later, and I found it beautiful. The beach was pretty deserted, I had a conversation with a woman who wakes each morning and walks the sand with her metal detector who says she finds enough good stuff to pay her rent. I got back to the room by 7am, Emerson’s usual waking time, though she was still passed out, worn out from the previous day at the beach.

What I Wore: My “Maryland” TheHomeT shirt, Gap boyfriend jeans, Reef flip flops, bedhead

We all went to breakfast, and then packed up the car to leave the hotel and head to the outlets!

The past couple of years we have barely hit the Rehoboth outlets because it is not a fun place for a baby or little child. We’d hit maybe two stores and get the heck out of Dodge. This year, Emerson is old enough that she thought the shopping was fun (and also realized shopping meant she may get things). We looked at a map of the three strips of outlets and planned our trip.

  • First strip: Children’s Place (pajamas, pair of leggings, fake UGG boots that are hot pink with a metallic leopard print that only someone under 10 should be caught dead wearing, gold flats, headband), J. Crew Outlet (this dress and a navy cotton v-neck sweater for fall)
  • Second Strip: Kitchen Collection (nada), Claires (headache), Candy Kitchen (stupid stuffed animal Emerson had been obsessing over all weekend), Clark’s (two pairs of shoes for my mom)
  • Third Strip: Cole Haan (nada), Coach (nada), Michael Kors (nada), Soma (not for me, but successful for my mom), Sketchers (Twinkle Toes for Emerson), Talbots (success for both my mom and sister)

It was raining, we were tired, we got what we needed and got back on the road back to Maryland.

What I Wore: Gray Old Navy Vintage V-neck tee, White NYDJ “Marilyn” jeans, tan sandals, my Nepali by TDM scarf

It was a nice weekend. To have four relatives in the same hotel and no one cried or screamed? Amazing. The weather was wonderful, Emerson made so many memories she can’t stop talking about Rehoboth. I’m glad that we have this tradition and it will continue!

Great items I packed for the trip:

  • Cenoire Eluo Ultra Sonic Toothbrush. I received a pink Cenoire Eluo Ultra and found it adorable (sleek pink case with silver trim) but also perfect for travel. Built-in brush cover, runs with one included AAA battery, and as someone who prefers a smaller brush head it was comfortable as well as efficient. I now carry it in my purse’s makeup bag for late days at the office and when I go from office to event.
  • Peshtemal Turkish Towel. In place of a terry one on the beach, it’s awesome because it’s lightweight, can double as a pareo, and it will whisk sand right off your skin (and not collect a ton of it so you carry it home)
  • My Nepali by TDM scarf. Throw it over a dress for some style, knot over a bathing suit as a cover-up, wear as a shawl in a chilly restaurant, use as a blanket when trying to nap in the car ride home. I have many Nepali by TDM scarves and they are all beautiful, unique, and well-made.  BY the way use code wardrobeoxygen at their site and get 25% off their entire selection!
  • Ray-Ban AviatorsAny sunglasses that can survive being beat down in two mega waves is a-okay in my book!
  • Bikini This was my first time at the beach since college wearing a bikini and I don’t know why I waited this long.  Bodies of all shapes and sizes and ages and conditions were having a blast, and no one was looking at me or anyone else.  I also think my bikini top did a better job of supporting and flattering my bust than any one-piece I have owned, but it is by a bra company and came in bra sizes.  Seriously, have fun in the sun no matter your shape!

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Wednesday – Black and White and Red All Over

Sweater – Banana Republic (similar)
Shirt – c/o CAbi
Pants – Ann Taylor (similar)
ShoesMichael Kors “Flex”
Silver cuff (similar)
LipstickNARS “Heatwave”

Last week it felt like summer, this week it has returned to typical DC March weather – windy and chilly.  Glad I kept my sweaters in the closet!

Today I will be walking from my office to Georgetown to meet my sister for her follow-up MRI (proving she is tumor free!) so I wanted to wear comfortable shoes – these pumps are perfect for this – work-appropriate yet can handle a 20 minute walk in the city.

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Same dress as yesterday, same hair, same makeup! the only change is that I am wearing my silver cuff bracelet and a silver and seagreen glass bead necklace from Target. I also tossed my black Naturalizer flats in my bag because I am joining my company’s Walking Club for 20 minute walks at lunch.

Hair is acting a bit different because I used the Dove conditioner for Darkened hair. Makes the hair very soft to the point of unmanageable. It was a free sample, heading to get my hair cut tonight and will probably buy some new shampoo and conditioner if my bank account will allow it…

A Life, Replotted: Finding the Edge

chelsea henderson for wardrobe oxygen

“I’m not bound by time” I used to say in my 20s when asked why I didn’t wear a watch. Now in my 40s, I still don’t wear a timepiece, but to say I’m not connected to the unavoidable ticking of the clock is far from the truth.

I time nearly everything I do. Obviously, I have to keep meticulous time of the yoga classes I teach. They run for 45, 60, 75 or 90 minutes, and before class starts, I assign a “trigger song” on my playlist, a song to signal it’s time to wind my students down. For my consulting firm, I bill clients to the quarter of an hour and detail how long I worked on what project. I maintain a timesheet app for one of my projects; there is little I find more depressing than getting an email from the app asking if I forgot to turn off the timer when the answer is no. I may have the luxury of working from home, but part of what I’m adjusting to is I’m on all the time.

In yoga teacher training they taught us to seek the balance between effort and ease. That is to say, if your practice doesn’t feel like work, push a little harder. But if you find yourself struggling, take it down a notch. In yoga I embrace this lesson, but in the rest of my life I have trouble with the stepping back part of the equation. It all came to a head last week when I taught eleven yoga classes, billed 45 client hours and had the kids for all but two days. It took a minor breakdown to get it; in order to strike a balance, I have to know where my edge is. And once I recognize where the edge is, I have to respect the boundaries to keep myself off its ledge.

So as I write, this column is 36 hours late, I haven’t practiced yoga yet today and my laundry basket overflows. But I spent time in the garden, had a rained out barbeque with dear friends and watched Star Wars: A New Hope with my younger son. To maintain the point between effort and ease, I decided to not check email. My professional life abounds, but it’s just one part of who I am. And for other aspects of my life, I have to save time on and off the clock.

chelsea hendersonChelsea Henderson is an aspiring novelist and recovering Capitol Hill staffer. When she isn’t sneaking time to finish writing her second book, she advocates on behalf of clean energy and environmental policy, reads, practices yoga, and single parents her perpetually hungry pre-teen boys. She also periodically contributes to her lifestyle blog, the Chelsea Chronicles and is intermittently good at Twitter.

My Head is Too Big to be Hipster: A Warby Parker Review

Once I got new glasses, I wanted more. A pair of red frames to channel my inner Sally Jesse Raphael, a funky blue or green pair to jazz up all-black ensembles, a funky shape to show personality at the office. I had heard a lot of great things about Warby Parker and decided to try a pair of frames from them.

Me in my new glasses – Lafont’s Issy & La collection, the frame is called “Gloss”

Warby Parker Eyewear’s mission is to offer reasonably-priced fashionable frames. On top of that, for every pair of Warby Parkers sold, a new pair is given to someone in need. Warby Parker is also proud to be a carbon-neutral company.

Warby Parker has a try-on program where you can pick five frames and try them on at home. They will ship the glasses to you for free and offer free return postage; I decided to take advantage of this program and see if I could find a new pair of signature prescription frames.

The Warby Parker site is very easy to navigate; click on your gender and then whether you desire optical or sunglass frames. From there you can choose material, color, frame shape, and width. From experience, I know my face is pretty wide, so I stuck to the medium and wide styles of frames. Since I already have a pair of tortoiseshell frames, I stuck to more unusual colors.

The glasses arrived quickly in a sturdy shipping box, and then a lovely navy linen box. Each pair of glasses was in its own compartment, wrapped in plastic and labeled with its name. Each pair of Warby Parker frames has the brand and style name inside on the temple. I found the quality to be stellar, especially for the price. These frames rival the more expensive designer styles I tried at my nearby glasses shop. The return process is simple – peel off the self-adhesive UPS label and drop it in a nearby UPS drop box. I couldn’t be more impressed with Warby Parker and their process… except that my face is too big for them.

Maybe I should have tried men’s frames, but I felt that almost every pair I tried (except for the Bensen, and they just weren’t a style I was looking for) was just a hair too small for my face. I often have this issue not just with glasses, but sunglasses as well. In fact, when I got my new glasses, they were the only ones I liked after trying on about 20 pairs – each other pair seemed just a bit too small for my face shape, even some of the men’s frames I tried.

So if you have a normal to small-sized noggin, I encourage you to try Warby Parker. The Warby Parker at-home program is completely free so you have nothing to risk; if you find a pair you like you can feel good that not only will you look great, but your purchase will also be doing good. As for me, I will have to look elsewhere, my head is just too big to be hipster.

Note: Warby Parker has no idea I am doing this review and I was not compensated in any way for it.  I just decided to try the brand and share my experience with you!

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Go Ahead Put Your Red Dress On

Dress: c/o Dobbin Clothing | Necklace: Leona Pendant c/o Kristin Biggs, Stella and Dot | Watch: c/o WatchCo | Bracelets: Nordstrom (similar), Nordstrom (similar), had forever | Glasses: Derek Cardigan 7003 c/o | Shoes: Ivanka Trump

One thing bloggers get flack for is wearing too many c/o (courtesy of) items. How can a reader tell your true personal style or find you inspiring when you have a completely gifted outfit? I guess it depends on the blogger, but over the years I have learned to not accept every free thing that is offered to me. It does water down your personal style, it makes you seem less credible… and between you and me it is a pain to them take these gifted items that aren’t really your style and try to style them in a good way for the blog. I have had mornings when I have cried over not knowing how to make a garment or accessory look decent, and I feel guilty to my readers and to the brand that was kind enough to send it my way.

I don’t feel guilty wearing gifted items. One, it’s a lovely perk for working hard on this blog, but two it’s such a great chance to showcase lesser-known amazing brands. I for one may never have known about Dobbin Clothing if they hadn’t contacted me and sent me a dress. Dobbin Clothing has now become such a fave of mine – high quality garments made with fine fabrics from European mills but created here in the US of A.  They pride themselves in making tasteful stylish workhorses for your wardrobe.  The women behind Dobbin Clothing are just as lovely as their creations too!

So yeah, there’s a lot of c/o above… but every c/o up there is one you have likely seen before or will likely see many times again because I love the pieces and I find they fit my personal style. Each piece above I would purchase with my own money if I was able.  I think with blogs, it’s less about how one gets a garment or accessory and more about how they style it and whether it fits their style and message.

UPDATE: Like this dress?  This is the “Nora” by Dobbin Clothing, and they are offering all Wardrobe Oxygen readers 20% off it, in black or red.  Use the code WARDOX20 at checkout to get 20% off the Nora Dress in black or red.  No expiration date, but this code cannot be used in conjunction with the first-time buyer code.

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Monday: Milkmaid

Dress: c/o eShakti | Cardigan: Ann Taylor (similar) | Shoes: Ivanka Trump | Bracelets:Emerson” c/o Kristin Biggs, Stella and Dot (other two are from sets I purchased this past year from Nordstrom)

Two years ago, I tried out eShakti and didn’t have the most perfect of experiences. So when they contacted me last month asking me to try the line again but do a custom fit dress, I was excited. Many of you said the fit of the dress was bad because it was a straight size, so the idea of a custom dress appealed to me. At home, I had my husband measure me and entered it all into the eShakti site. Less than two weeks later, the dress arrived. And yes, the fit is MUCH better. No bra showing under the arms, the waist is at the right place for my petite figure, plenty of room for my bust and no chance of a strap slipping throughout the day. However, I just don’t think the dress is very flattering on me; my husband said I looked like a milkmaid or a beer wench.  The fabric is very stiff and the entire dress including the bodice sticks out from my body making the dress look more like a costume. I think such a fabric may work better on a taller person who can better balance the volume.  The dress doesn’t seem to be on the site any more, it has a square neckline in front, a v-neckline in back, a size zipper (though I didn’t need it to get it on), and pockets.  The black are ribbon stripes sewn onto the navy dress; there is one of these ribbons defining the waist which is sits just above my belly button.

While today is springlike in DC, there’s still a chill in the air. I tried a traditional cardigan and it looked a bit too twee on me; this wrap cardigan not only make the ensemble fit better with my personal style, but also cinched in the dress. I have to say, this dress will be pretty awesome in the hot humid months of summer but I’ll have to do some tinkering with it so it is a bit more flattering. The fit issue could be my fault – maybe the measurements weren’t accurate, and maybe I chose the wrong style dress. Have you used eShakti? What have you thought of the experience?

UPDATE: eShakti is sweet enough to offer all Wardrobe Oxygen readers 20% off their next order!  Just use code WRDRBEXYGE at checkout for 20% off.  This code is valid until March 20, 2013.

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Unlock the Perfect Cup this Holiday with TASSIMO™: Review and Giveaway

Looking at how often I write and tweet about coffee, you’d think I was a coffee connoisseur. Notsomuch. When I hit my local coffee shop I ask for it plain and big because all the –inos overwhelm me. At home, Karl is the master of the coffee domain. I have no idea how to use the French press so I rely on him to fuel my caffeine fix. Lately I have been working more early mornings and I have to stop by the local coffee shop or fast food drive-through to get my cup of Joe because I just can’t figure out how to make a decent cup of coffee. You know what would be a perfect holiday gift for me? A super simple single-serve coffee maker that would make a great cup of coffee every time.

Enter TASSIMO™, who was awesome enough to send me the TASSIMO™ T55 Single Cup Brewing System JUST at the perfect time. I was working a lot of long days and hated spending so much on take-out coffee or watching Karl make me a cup still bleary-eyed in dawn’s early light. No needing to wait until the holidays to become a coffee-making expert!

Place the T DISC upside down so that the INTELLIBREW™ technology can read the barcode. Snap the lid shut, press Start and in minutes you’ll be enjoying a perfect cup!

The TASSIMO™ Brewer is super easy to use too. Add water to the reservoir in back, insert your TASSIMO™ T DISC in the top, and press start. The built-in technology INTELLIBREW™ scans the barcode on each T DISC to identify precise brewing instructions with the exact temperature, water, and time duration, so each and every drink is perfect every time. This Home Brewing System isn’t just for a cup of joe–the TASSIMO™ can also make cappuccinos, lattes, hot chocolate, tea, and more. One of my favorite features is how quickly it heats water; for little energy you can have a piping-hot cup of water for soup or tea in seconds.

TASSIMO™ sent me a few T DISCS to get started, and it’s fun to make hot chocolate, cappuccinos, caramel latte macchiatos, or espressos by myself and know it will be delicious. With well-known brands like Twinings, Gevalia, and Maxwell House partnering with TASSIMO™ for their T DISCS you know the quality and the flavor is great. I love that there are great limited edition flavors like Peppermint Hot Chocolate and Peppermint Mocha for the holidays!

Now I’m a pro at making fancy coffee house drinks from my kitchen counter!

If you’d like to unlock a perfect cup with TASSIMO™ this holiday season, they are offering some great deals on their site. With Cyber Monday code TACYMON3 you can get 20% off T DISCS; you also get 20% off Brewers and with each Brewer purchase, you will receive two free packages of T DISCS (valid in the US only on Cannot be combined with other offers . Limit one coupon redemption per customer. 20% T DISC discount limited to 6 T DISC packages. 20% Brewer discount limited to two Brewers. Offer only valid on 12/2/2013 until 11:59PM PST).

If you miss the Cyber Monday Deal, brewers and T DISCS are also available at Bed Bath & Beyond and Amazon.

Thank you for entering, the giveaway is now closed and winners have been notified.

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