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Fell Into the GAP – Cathy August 26, 2010

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I haven’t shopped at GAP for a solid decade or so. Now, I can’t love their tee shirts any more.

Soft. Loose. Cute. I’d only suggest sewing in their cuff one more fold up as it tends to stick out.

Happy Shopping. Cathy.

Monday Monday – Cathy August 23, 2010

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Hello new week! I’m Cathy, nice to meet you. I’d really appreciate it if you didn’t give me any coughs or sore throats like the previous two…

Hopefully Ricola free, this week is full of big and small celebrations. Mini celebration over getting my Minnie pants from J Crew in the mail today. Ginormous celebration for my anniversary. Huzzah!

And I can’t wait for these Essie nail polishes to come out next Wednesday.

Essie Fall Colors

By the way – since reading that book, I’ve been on a cleaning spree! With three garbage bags full of previously loved goods to get rid of, I’ve got an extra pep in my step today.

Ciao ciao,

Cathy

Fall Cleaning – Cathy August 20, 2010

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My new book that’s ushering me into fall is , When Organizing Isn’t Enough SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life.

First off, S.H.E.D. stands for:

Separate the treasures. Heave the trash. Embrace your identity. Drive yourself forward.

It’s about consciously changing your state of living and your state of mind. There are 4 case studies referred to throughout the book and exercises to help you along your path to self discovery. The first is naming your theme. A theme for your current phase of life and a theme for your future. My current theme is: New Beginnings. For starting this site, moving, working in LA, and so much more. My future theme is going to be: Engaged. This is for focusing my attention on all these things I started. To be in the moment and zero in on my main projects. I’m not too far in, but I like where it’s heading.

Cheers!

C.

Tracy Anderson Workout – Cathy July 9, 2010

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I’ve been searching for a workout routine I could call a lifestyle change and I think Tracy Anderson is my answer. It’s all about targeting accessory muscles, adding lean definition, and not bulking up. The gym in New York is out of my locale and my budget, but the videos are perfect. The only one I’ve done so far is the Mat workout. It’s about one hour long, targets typical problem areas, has you workout standing, with a chair for support, on a mat, and with and without weights. It’s constantly changing and I like the dance/lounge music she uses. Her view on weights is a strong one. Women shouldn’t lift more than 3 pounds working out if they want to remain lean and long. She says that going over that bulks up any one muscle group beyond leaning into bulking. It’s fine for me because with the amount of repitition she uses I’m already feeling it.

I just ordered her workout series dvd and will report back. But if you want to try something at home first (to get a feel for her teaching style, and method) check out her youtube channel and the links below for free posted videos.

Ciao ciao,

Cathy

Coffee Crisp and Other Delights from Toronto – Cathy June 13, 2010

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4 days in Toronto.

17th floor room.

4 flights.

10 trips on The Rocket.

22 full size coffee crisps.

My trip in numbers.

Allan and I went to Toronto for a conference he was presenting at – he was absolutely in his element and spoke with great fervor. Everything else was planned around that, but we still had great fun and time to visit a few beautiful restaurants and sites.

We couldn’t go without visiting AGO – the Art Gallery of Ontario. Frank Gehry is a native Torontonian and has his hand in the mesmerizing architecture. Time constrained, we were only able to have brunch at Frank. It was truly an experience. The pancakes were the highlight with their buttery crispness encasing fluffy goodness. The poached egg appetizer laid on top of a bed of greens and Peameal bacon was the perfect compliment to the pancakes. Note to other non-Canadians, do not make a complete arse out of yourself by asking a Canadian server what Peameal is. (Peameal bacon = Canadian bacon, and it’s in everything!) The things you learn while traveling…


Other favorite things:

Fire on the East Side – Comfort food with a southern twist. The short ribs and duck confit quesadilla memories are making me drool.

Tim Hortons donuts.

AGO floating staircase – I really wish we had enough time to peruse the museum.

General Tso’s chicken in Chinatown.

Luminato festival. Free concerts, makeovers, art displays and other events around the entire city.

Toronto’s fabulous public transportation. LA is very jealous.

The design of the Ontario College of Art and Design. It’s a love it or hate it design, and where his conference was.

The walkability of the area and seeing so many dogs on our walk.

And coffee crisp of course! I swear they’re not all for me. They’re for my brother. He’s visiting in two weeks (super excited!). He’ll vouch for me then. And if you’re wondering what a coffee crisp is… It’s a snickers size kit kat that’s coffee flavored. Delish! I’ve got a few extra mini ones if you’re curious. Email me. =)

Safe travels!

Michelle Obama’s Leading the Pack – Cathy May 17, 2010

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Hi lovelies,

First and foremost, I want to apologize for disappearing for a short while. A ton of things piled on me and I got lost in the blizzard of flus and life-happenings. When it rains it pours right?

But on to much more exciting things… Miss Sharleen just graduated from George Washington University this past weekend and she had the good fortune of family support and having the First Lady Michelle Obama give the commencement speech.  It’s been reported that she only agreed to speak if the staff and students were able to complete 100,000 hours of community service – and Shar and her graduating class inevitably rose to the occasion by surpassing the hour-mark by 63,000.

In reading parts of her speech online, I really liked how she said, “I have one more request to make of you, one more challenge. Keep going. Keep giving. Keep engaging.” It’s what every single commencement speech boils down to – don’t stop. It’s not as easy as it seems to focus on your goals after graduating. You don’t have teachers, counselors, mentors, and clubs available to you all the time acting as guideposts and cheerleaders along your path of personal development. You’ve got to ignite your own inner drive, focus on your dreams, and not have the fear of driving alone stunt your growth. Of course, Shar embodies all of that and more – so this is truly an exciting moment in her life journey. Congratulations again love!

On a fashion note, I love how down to earth the First Lady is about clothing. Her daily outfits are attainable (best J Crew spokesperson ever), comfortable, colorful, and relatively affordable.

Do you like how J Crew has taken advantage of her support on their website?

-Cathy

No Shopping for 46 Days – Cathy April 1, 2010

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I gave up shopping for Lent.

Ok, disclaimer… I did purchase food as well as gardening goods. I know you’re thinking food is ok, but gardening goods?! My boyfriend gave me the same raised-eyebrows look you probably are. But, I gave myself this exception with the idea that we’re fortunate enough to live in a climate that allows early planting, so I should take advantage of it. And it’s only brought positivity in awareness of how we eat, what we eat, and more physical activity into my life. I recently canceled my gym membership and gardening has had me working my butt off daily with watering, weeding, planning, and planting.

Forty-six sweaty days later (really), this Sunday ushers in the end of Lent. Initially, I thought I’d celebrate by speeding to the closest mall to reward myself with a Spring white mini-dress. But as Sunday approaches, I realize that my desires have changed. The days of planting in the sun have brought me outdoors to cherish  watering  my plants and walking my cat. I’ve been inspired by color combinations in my garden (pale silver, purple, and white from my lavender if you’re wondering). All the time outdoors has also influenced my first purchase to probably be a pair of orange crocs – cue gasps. =) Most importantly, it’s given me more still-time to reflect on ClosetCat and pursue how we want to grow.

Our ClosetCat blog and our online shop have been such a positive aspect of our lives. It’s thrilling to share our posts with y’all, read other blogs, and create an interactive online shop filled with our clothes and stories.

Whether this Sunday brings to you a chocolate rabbit, an overindulgence of an old habit, or a lazy day, I hope some of it is spent outdoors and soaking in your surroundings.

love love love, Cathy.

Product Love, Korres – Cathy March 10, 2010

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Hello lovelies…

I wanted to do a mini-rave for Korres makeup. I was scavenging Sephora recently and came across this lovely brand – Korres. Granted it’s not a recent brand (it started in ’96), it’s a new brand to me. In my defense, the only store they have in the US is in NY’s Soho district. Though luckily it’s in Sephora and you have the option to purchase them directly from Korres online.

On my hunt for an everyday all-day lipstick I met my lipstick life-partner in Natural Purple, #25. It complements my tan/light olive complexion perfectly. It’s sheer, moisturizing, and has a light SPF. I couldn’t be more pleased.

They make it clear in their presentation and packaging that they strive to use natural ingredients and are very eco-friendly. And you’ve got to love a company that lists the following as their values…

  • 1.Naturally derived, top quality active ingredients.
  • 2.Clinically tested effectiveness with no inflated promises.
  • 3.Pleasing to the senses.
  • 4.Reasonably priced to enable everyday use.

I am definitely a fan. Below is an interesting table they have on their site listing the typically used chemicals in makeup, and what natural ingredients they use instead. Ciao ciao!

Fashion Muse – Marchesa Casati – Cathy March 3, 2010

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Decadent. Extreme. Exotic. Inspiring. Frightening. But in a good way…

Marchesa Casati was a woman who knew no boundaries, and was intimidated by nothing. She lived from 1881-1957, and her life journey would still be characterized as crazy or extreme in today’s setting. Seemingly, everything from her stunning appearance to her lavish lifestyle was intense.

“Her appearance made her a legend throughout the continent. She was tall and thin. A thick blaze of flame-coloured hair crowned her pale, almost cadaverously white face with its sensually vermilioned lips. Above all, however, the Marchesa’s large green eyes cast the strongest spell of her unique beauty.” -http://www.marchesacasati.com/bio.html

She’s most notorious for gilding her male servants, wearing snakes as jewelry, and having wax mannequins seated at her dinner table as guests. Though her crazy antics are what catch your attention, we can’t let this discredit her amazing patronage of the arts.

“Many of their careers first obtained recognition through her generous patronage, and this often included a valuable friendship or romantic affair. Casati’s tireless pursuit of the vanguard in everything would allow her to satisfy an endless yearning for novel experiences and fresh audiences. So while many bejewelled but less inventive doyennes of the Belle Époque eventually found themselves trapped within a dead age, the Marchesa explored the newest and most radical artistic terrains of the early twentieth century.”

-http://www.marchesacasati.com/bio.html

She domesticated monkeys and snakes, and was well-known for walking her pet cheetah on a diamond-studded leash around town. She took on male and female lovers alike, and has endlessly inspired notable artists throughout history – Coco Chanel, Dali, Man Ray, Dita Von Teese, Cartier (ring from Panther collection below), and Jack Kerouac among many others.

Dita Von Teese said to Venus Zine:

““I am always inspired by eccentric women like The Marchesa Casati, Anna Piaggi, and Isabella Blow,” she says. “I love courageous women of style, women who didn’t care what people said about the way they dressed or wore their makeup.”

Her epic life, and accompanying wardrobe, has inspired many throughout history. With her lure living on (even to the most recent 2010 Chanel resort collection – photo above), you would never have guessed she died penniless in London. As her gravestone quotes Shakespeare, “Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety.”

A Mango a Day aka Philippine Bliss – Cathy February 19, 2010

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I’m back. =)

I adore the Philippines. I love the tropical fruit available year-round. I love the 90 degree weather in January. I love that it’s where my family is from. I love all the fresh seafood and lechon at every meal.

I miss it.

I traveled to Manila, Cebu, and Bohol with my family and boyfriend for my mom’s side reunion. I don’t think people think of the Philippines and associate it with malls, but that’s a huge part of the culture. Malls are everywhere and huge. For example the SM Mall of Asia is the second largest in the Philippines and the fourth largest in the world at 4.2 million square feet. We’re talking good shops too – Topshop, Aldos, H&M, Bench, etc. It’s a hot country and the malls are a great place for people to go during the day and convene. I definitely stocked up on Topshop. If you’re curious, the current fashion on the streets of Manila are color-filled with lots of sandals that come over the ankle. You can get tons of these type of sandals for under US$20.

ClosetCat: Philippine Sandal Example

fun headpieces for nights out,

ClosetCat: Manila Style example

and back-baring or shoulder emphasizing club tops (this Topshop dress below has both, though you can’t see the back).

ClosetCat: Philippine Nightlife Style

But generally it’s a shorts and tee place (mainly because of the heat). Remarkably, most all schools still have strict uniform policies, so on any given day you’ll see hordes of young men and women in their school uniform. This is typically a long pleated skirt to mid-calf or trousers with a tucked in white button up.

ClosetCat: Philippine Style: School Uniform

Cebu produces the best mangoes in the world. We toured and relaxed – massages, swimming all day, and drinks from the swim-up-bar.

And Bohol is home of the smallest monkey in the world – the tarsier. I think it’s ugly-cute. Like a pug. There’s also the Chocolate Hills that are an endless horizon filled with cute-dainty hills. In the fall they dry up and all turn brown as if it’s a field of chocolate kisses laid out neatly waiting to melt.

We also went to Pagsanjan Falls, I blogged about it pre-trip. You couple up in canoes that two men (one in the front and one in the back) paddle you upstream in. They paddle until they get to a rapids area (there are around 20), where they have one foot inside the canoe and one out literally pushing off the rocks to propel forward. At the end of the rapids (about 1 hour) is a waterfall that you transfer on to a bamboo raft with others where two other men pull you under the waterfall via a thick rope connected to the cave wall beyond the waterfall. It’s a fabulous time where you take in the serene rainforest type scenery and then get pummelled by a waterfall who’s facade looks like a drinking goat. – check it out below. Just beautiful. The best part is on the way back to the city, we buy local buko (young coconut) pie for about US$3. Heavenly.

More posts soon on my necklace finds for the ClosetCat shop.

ClosetCat: Filipino Fruits

ClosetCat: Allan and Me in front of the Chocolate Hills

ClosetCat: Church Candles

ClosetCat: Pagsanjan Falls

ClosetCat: Do you see the goat drinking water?

ClosetCat: Sunrise in Bohol