Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Great e-Roundup March 31, 2009

Just wrapping up our month-long move - finally! It has been a bit nuts. Still living out of some boxes though most are unpacked, and can't find my black bra! Links below. Post this afternoon. It will feel good to get back into the routine...

Apparently bushy eyebrows are making a comeback? Not on this face!
Ouch! Divine.ca lists the top 10 stars who should retire.
I had a coaster for my desk that said, Wherever you go, go with all your heart. WhoWhatWear says wherever you go, go with a boxy bag.
Daily Candy announces the launch of home shopping site Onekingslane.com.
We'll be in Mexico for Easter this year, but Better Homes and Gardens has some decorating ideas for those who are entertaining at home.
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wisdom on a Starbucks cup

Gotta get it where you can. I love this:

The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.
Anne Morriss
Starbucks customer from New York City. She describes herself as an "organization builder, restless American citizen, optimist."

Here is the beginning of my post. And here is the rest of it. Click here to read rest of story...

Just a note

Posting will be sporadic over the next few days, as I am moving the last bits that I can lift myself. I want my hubby, who is due home from Australia tomorrow morning, to be duly impressed with what I have accomplished in his absence. And then we move everything else on Friday - whew! You can follow along, if you're so inclined, with my tweets in the left-hand column or friend me on twitter @moderngeartv.

Be well!
PS Solved (I think) the large utensil crock conundrum - check it out and scroll down to the bottom for the update, and received the Flor carpet tile samples. I'll post about those tomorrow!

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

ModernGear Food: Curry Cashew Chicken Salad

It has been well established 'round these parts that Kathryn from Kiki's Kitchen is an amazing cook. We often e-mail each other in the morning with a report of what we concocted for dinner the night before - and I can honestly say I don't do that with anyone else.

The night I met Kathryn, my friend and fellow blogger Sarah (who I was working with at the David Suzuki Foundation at the time, though she is now living in Japan!) went over to her house for Scrabble and nibblies. Kathryn had made this yummy chicken curry cashew salad for her sister Paula (Mom of Lola!).

I didn't have much of it, but I always remembered how delicious it was, and have made it twice in the last few weeks. I love to make sandwiches for my husband for his lunch during the week, but I don't like to give him processed meats, so this is much better.

Curry Chicken Cashew Salad

(sorry to my sister Tanya again, but no measurements! Just make however much you want, and it ought to be very intuitive as to how much of each to add)...
chicken breasts
olive oil
salt and pepper
curry powder

1. Sprinkle olive oil on chicken breasts, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake chicken breasts at 350 for about 40 minutes.
2. Flake off or chop up bite-sized pieces, throw 'em into a bowl.
3. Add several tablespoons of yogurt to mix into a salad-like texture. Greek Gods yogurt is amazing for this recipe.
This is also when I like to add the initial blast of curry - load it in there! You can always add more later.

4. Chop up several stalks of celery. I personally like the more tender middle ones, and I love to use the leaves.Chop up cashews. I could only find salted, so I didn't add any extra salt to the salad.
5. Add chopped up stuff to salad mixture. Salt and pepper to taste. More curry if you want.
This is yummy on its own, or for sandwiches.

Bon Appétit!

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The Great e-Roundup March 24, 2009

Just a few as I want to finish the recipe post...

Vitamin Daily Vancouver has 5 Fashion Must-Haves from local fashionistas. Wow! Recession? What recession? These women must be making loads of money. Totally unrealistic, but whatevs...
Apartment Therapy's Redecorating on a budget post and this credenza rejuvenation has me jazzed!
Spring = Yellow! Remodelista post on yellow = inspiration.
This post by Crust in the Kitchen makes me want to grow my own sprouts. I think I will.
Good news for a change! Thai fireman in Spiderman costume rescues autistic boy.

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

ModernGear Home: What a Crock! Large utensil storage

I go through much inner debate when it comes to decorating and even what I'll call (because I love the term) "kitting out" a space. That's never more obvious than when it's time to move into a new place, and especially because we're renting here in California. I wonder whether it would be easier, or more difficult, if this were a home we owned like the ones in Vancouver.

I tell myself not to decorate for the space because it's a rental but then I realize - it might be a while until we have a "permanent" home. So maybe the idea is to source out and buy what we need, where we are, and then see if it works later.

Anyway, I have loads of kitchen dilemmas, not the least of which is large utensil storage. I'd normally store them by the stove, but in this case the new place has an island cooktop, with not a lot of counter space. See?

We may or may not store the large utensils there, but I'll definitely vote for a crock of some sort for the utensils rather than a drawer as there is one large and one small drawer only (and one of the drawers is on the opposite side of the cooktop)...so it's a matter of finding one that does not constantly fall over like our current light aluminum one.

I like this picture from Martha Stewart in her article about the Golden Rules of Kitchen Organization, because this way of storing large utensils could work well in any kind of home.
Anyway, I babble. Let's get to the crocks.

Sur La Table Le Creuset Poterie Crock
Much less expensive at Cookwear Essentials for $19.95.

Le Creuset Utensil Crock in white
Emile Henry Azur Crock Utensil Holder
Emile Henry Citron Crock Utensil Holder
Those are pretty much the ones I'd be interested in - plain white or colourful, and not with a garish design printed on them,
which are ubiquitous on many a site (except I'll just come out and admit that even the Le Creuset name emblazoned, even ever-so-tastefully on those ones bother me). These are my choices if I were to make my purchase from a large store.

But I woulnd't automatically do that, now would I? Not when there's my friend etsy (that is, after all, where I turned to satisy my kitchen towel craving)...

Pottery White Cookie Jar Canister Utensil Crock
$26 from logcabinmamma

White Grey Tree Crock
from fineartstoneware

All Around Crock
from hafelepottery
So I dunno. Tough decision but in the end, it'll blend in anyway so I probably shouldn't obsess...

Every now and again on a Monday I'll buy myself a single flower or small bunch. This week I indulged in a bunch of sweet peas, AND found this vase at the flower shop. I think it will do nicely. I've put all the utensils into it at the new place, and it looks great if I do say so myself. I'll add a new photo of it in use later. For now, check it out:
If for some reason I don't like it later, I'll go with the white Le Creuset, as I saw some in-store and loved them. Click here to read rest of story...

Friday, March 20, 2009

What is your color?

I am moving this blog up to the top of the page, as there's some additions to it and people are sending in their own info for posting. Send me the link to yours, and I'll add it to the post along with a link...

Chris Pirillo wrote a blog post asking, What is Your Color?

Mine is apparently monkey shit brown.

Want to know what yours is? Find out at Colourism.

My husband:
I am totally jealous of my sister Tanya's but I ought to have known she'd be pink! I am sure her daughter would be too.
Kathryn from Kiki's Kitchen:
Christian from Long Beach Magazine:
Tom from LBM:Jeff from LBM:

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ModernGear Home: New home decorating dilemmas

So we're moving - though we've been moving for the entire month of March. That's what happens when you get access to your new home, but hubby goes on a two-week business trip! Oy - the timing!

No worries - it has given me plenty of time to obsess over the details...

So several posts to follow will share our decorating dilemmas with you, and ask for opinions if anyone has them.

First up, the bedroom. You can click on the picture to make it larger.

So we have this bed frame and side tables shown on the left, in dark brown. On those tables generally sit a stack of magazines and a book or two, plus the wonderful Candela lamps I've reviewed before.

To the right is the duvet cover from Dwell that I have been coveting, and that WILL BE MINE!

And THEN. I have the carpet options. We have hardwood floors but they're on their last legs and likely cannot be refinished yet another time (or so we have been warned, I suppose so we'll tiptoe around and try to make Duane do the same!) so, we've decided to go with the wonderful Flor carpet tiles in each room. I'm seeing grey (gray?) in the bedroom.

I've ordered samples of I think most of these - one wasn't available, but otherwise there are three of the greys coming soon.

As always, I look forward to your comments...next decorating dilemma is carpet tiles in the living room. Stay tuned!
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The Great e-Roundup March 20, 2009

Sheesh. Sometimes a hair stylist accidentally nips an ear with scissors or slightly burns a forehead with their curling iron. Are you going to outlaw that too? Huff Po reports that NJ considers banning Brazilian waxing after two women are injured. How about just shut down the providers? Or realize that women are willingly putting their priates on the line when they apply hot wax and rip off hair? Anyhoo. Good morning! More links below.

MSN has 9 fitness rules you should break.
This is a good one to help me choose a new light for over our dining room table. Living Etc. shares The Most Stylish Kitchen Lights.
Frock Files posted in January but not since - big tease! But I do love the dress she was talking about too.
Frou Frou Fashionista posted about Norma Kamali retro swimwear - which is beautiful but man! Skinny models! I'd think the styles would look infinitely better on a buxom babe.
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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Great e-Roundup March 18, 2009

It's a lovely foggy morning - oooh fog speaks to me. I think it's my favourite of all weather phenomena. I wonder where the foggiest place in the world is? Hah! Gotta love Google. Here's the answer:
The foggiest place in the world is the Grand Banks off the island of Newfoundland, Canada. Fog is frequent here as the Grand Banks is the meeting place of the cold Labrador Current from the north and the much warmer Gulf Stream from the south. The foggiest land areas in the world are Point Reyes, California and Argentia, Newfoundland, both with over 200 foggy days a year.

Well there ya go. Links below, peeps!

Forbes has Designers' Spring Fashion Picks (and pics!)
Speaking of designers, a documentary about THE UBER designer, Valentino, opens soon. A must-see trailer, for a must-see film. Will you go? I will!
I always turn to The Sartorialist for inspiration in pictures. And now for what he said in this post:
"I love when you see something and think, "wait, I have those items...why didn't I think of putting them together like that?"
If "street-style" blogs are useful right now, in this difficult economic time, then it is because they highlight simple little styling tricks that can inspire us to see the wardrobe we already own in a new way."
More ways to waste time has some great rugs!
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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

ModernGear Food: Roasted veggies with rosemary

My husband's Mom, like my Mom, is an amazing cook. And this woman is FAST! She moves lightning-quick while cleaning, chopping, spicing...while I, comparatively, plod along in my preparations. Some days when I am feeling sluggish I just think of her pace and try to pick up my own.

Last time she visited, she pulled together a dish of roasted veggies that made me weak in the knees, and I am copying it as best I can here. And do you want to know how good it is? Over dinner the last time I made it, my husband said, (I made notes - that's what happens when you're married to a journalist and he that almost all conversations are fodder for blog posts), "Honey, these are hands down the best potatoes ever. I want to have them every night! The beautiful flavours of the baked onion, peppers, potatoes and the oregano - they're gorgeous!" To which I replied, "Except it's rosemary." And he said, "Yeah, rosemary!" I, of course, gushed appropriately (but I didn't think I necessarily had to remind him that the recipe came from his mom).

Roasted Veggies with Rosemary


olive oil
red pepper
yellow pepper
half red onion
6-8 potatoes
fresh rosemary
salt and pepper


1. Chop all veggies into medium-sized chunks.

2. Throw them all into a pan - I like to use a glass one for this colourful dish.

2. Sprinkle olive oil, salt, pepper, and chopped rosemary (leaves, not stalk) on top. Be generous with the rosemary, I used about five sprigs.
3. Stir it all up, or toss.
4. This part is going to be annoying - because I want you to bake in a 350 degree oven, until they're done! I know this is going to make at least my sister's head spin because she likes specificity in her recipes, but that's the best I can do! It's dependent on a lot of things - your stove, size of the chunks, on and on. I bake mine for about 40 minutes, give them a stir, and stick them in for another 30-40 minutes.

And this is what they look like when they come out:
What you can't tell, of course, is how they smell. SO GOOD! And taste - EVEN BETTER! I can't figure out if it's the peppers that impart the most flavour or the rosemary or what. I can tell you that once I didn't have red onion so I used yellow, and it was nowhere near as delicious so it might just be our friend the red onion.

Whatever it is, make these. And let me know what YOUR diners say.

Bon Appétit!
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Friday, March 13, 2009

Small, tiny, teeny hiatus

Taking a wee break as MGTV Hubby and I are in the middle moving houses. Literally in the middle - we're doing as much as we can now until he flies out to Australia on Saturday night, and then we'll wrap up at the end of the month when he gets back.

I have a few posts just waiting to polish up - I track down look-alikes of Louboutins Kathryn is coveting, I share a decorating dilemma about carpet tiles for our new house, and I'll have a video of a book launch I attended last night, for Style, Naturally.

Have a great weekend, and while you're here, why don't you poke around a bit?! I'm sure you'll find something you like.

Here is the beginning of my post. And here is the rest of it. Click here to read rest of story...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

ModernGear Books: Change The World For Ten Bucks

Just when you think you're overwhelmed with all the negative news and scary headlines coming at you, something comes along that plants a seed of hope.

For me, that tiny seed was a new book, called Change The World For Ten Bucks.

I often get bogged down with worry about the state of the environment, the country, the city, my neighbourhood, my bank account. This book arrived at a time when I was questioning what I could do to improve things, and how one person could make a difference (even though I do know one can).

A community-based organization called We Are What We Do started up in London in 2004 (read all about them here), and this wonderful book of theirs has been inspiring efforts large and small, ever since.

Think about some of the suggestions they make for how small actions x lots of people = big change. Some I am aware of, and practice, like Action 31, "Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth", and Action 34, "Buy fair-trade products".

But others were things I was not doing, but will. Action 12, for instance, is "Unplug appliances when not in use." Why is this important? They tell you why:
"A TV that's plugged in is still using half the electricity of a TV that's turned on.
Most appliances - VCRs, DVD players, televisions, stereos, computers, and kitchen appliances - use power even when they are switched off."

Action 42 is "Recycle your specs". That is something I have always meant to do but yet here I am packing to move into another house, and what have I found but an extra 4 pairs of glasses I haven't worn in a long, long time. Why have I hung on to those?

When we move into the new house, I am going to use Action 45, which is: "Give your phone number to five people on your street". They have handy-dandy pull-out tabs on which you can write your name and number, with the message, "Please call if I can help." How amazing would it be if people reached out to each other like that?

Change The World For Ten Bucks sells for $10, natch, at Chronicle Books. It's also $8 at Amazon through this link: Change the World for Ten Bucks: small actions x lots of people = big change
- is it weird to save $2 on a product from a nonprofit organization?

Whatever you pay, I have a feeling that this book will be as inspirational and warm-fuzzy-giving to you as it has been to me. Happy reading, and doing.
Click here to read rest of story...

The Great e-Roundup March 11, 2009

Having some internets trouble this morning so I'll try hard to find good links for y'all. Refresh this morning and there should be more, as well as a post. Links below!

Canvass these canvas storage containers from Remodelista.
Do you dare to make pavlova? I do! This weekend maybe I'll try Canelle et Vanille's recipe, or even after our month-end move, when I unpack everything for the kitchen and see opportunity anew.
Whew. THIS is sexy. one last kiss, from a glamorous little side project.
I am loving my new iPhone, but this new iPod shuffle is amazingly teeny.
Fantastic new blog for tough economic times - Stuff Under Twenty.
Yahoo has a story about extreme tightwads!
This is getting so good. Jon Stewart vs Jim Cramer.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Great e-Roundup March 10, 2009

Quick links today, running late. Below!
PS Did you make yesterday's green beans recipe last night? No? Then do so tonight! You'll love them. You'll thank me. Peace will spread across the world. (Okay, so maybe not that last part...)

This line is dedicated to Kathryn, lover of the bib necklace! Who What Wear has a collection of bib necklaces that is going to knock your socks off, Kiki!
Garance Doré has a post that deconstructs La Femme Française.
A great read called When the economy bottoms out, how will we know?
Check out Better Home and Garden's spring cleaning guide...
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Monday, March 9, 2009

ModernGear Food: Green Beans With Garlic

There's a restaurant in Vancouver called Yopo Cafe and they have a garlic green beans dish that I crave on a regular basis. When I lived in Vancouver, that wasn't as much of an issue as it is now that I am living in California.

I wanted to make green beans that would approximate the flavour and texture of those little lovelies, and I think I have finally found a recipe that comes close. Not exact, mind you, because I am pretty sure Yopo deep fries the beans or something equally unhealthy, so these are actually steamed to be flavourful AND healthy. Enjoy!

Green Beans with Garlic Oil

This is a good recipe to have prepped mise en place for...and just a perfect reason to make sure you have good little bowls to hold all of your ingredients.

Like The Pioneer Woman's cooking post on the subject, I too have a weakness for nesting bowls. But I only have one small set of three aluminum ones. If I had a budget for such a thing, I'd get some of these:

Zak Designs Assorted Orange Brights, Set of 4 Bowls, $20
Or these:
Libbey 8-pc. Set of Glass Nesting Bowls, $24.99
And even these two sets from
Flex-It silicone mixing bowls - $39.99 for white and $44.99 for red:
And even the good old standby - and my set doesn't go this small so this would be great for me, the stainless steel nesting set, for $29.99.
But I digress HUGELY, so let's get on with this recipe, shall we?

2 lbs. fresh green beans (you could also use frozen, say in the dead of winter when no fresh ones are available, but only in such an emergency as the fresh ones are far superior)
1 sm. onion, thinly sliced into rings, or just chopped up
2 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. coriander
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. almonds (skin on or off, and use more if you like nuts)

(I usually have a pic of all of the ingredients here, and I took one but it got lost in sending from iPhone to computer, so you'll have to imagine it.)


1. Trim ends off beans and cut into chunks.
Steam green beans until tender-crisp, work on other stuff while steaming.

2. Cook onion in olive oil in skillet for a few minutes, then add garlic and saute until tender. Stir in cumin, coriander and salt, as well as chopped almonds. Cook for 1 minute.
3. Drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil on the beans, then toss in your onion, garlic and almond mixture. Mix well.
Bon Appétit!

Yield: 12 servings.

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The Great e-Roundup March 9, 2009

Good morning! A bit of a sleep-deprived weekend - hubby was away and pooch didn't want to sleep until 4:30am on Saturday night/Sunday morning. The hubby decided to fly home a day early, to arrive last night, but a knife was discovered on his flight! They started off a few hours later after the plane had been searched and passengers questioned, he landed, and then the shuttle to his parking lot broke down! Sheesh. We were finally in bed at 2am.
Links below! And yummy recipe coming this morning as fast as my fingers can type...

InStyle tracked Michelle Obama's first 100 days of style.
An amazing post by grasping for objectivity in my subjective life, called Mom Jeans and the Dreaded "Long Butt" - complete with pictures! Quick, get yourselves a wikipedia entry on Mom Jeans!
If you're not a Top Gear watcher or a Jeremy Clarkson lover, this might not mean as much to you - but it's still a great piece of writing on the supposed violence of Johannesburg.
Oh snap! Marianne Faithfull calls Kate Moss a Style Vampire!
Are you desperate for stability? Russell Bishop says it's a myth, on HuffPo. A great read.

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Great e-Roundup March 5, 2009

G'day folks! All's well on the MGTV front. Don't forget to read the last post about a potential fashion disaster that could cause bodily harm. And, links below!

Forbes shares a list of the most dangerous countries in the world.
There was controversy this week about Michelle Obama's arms. I know, can you believe what people waste their time on?? And besides, I'd LOVE her arms! Web MD says they can help me get them with this Michelle O.-inspired workout. And on People.com, she talks about her workouts.
People seem to be buzzing about the latest Bachelor show but I didn't actually watch it so I am out of the loop. Anyway, Us Magazine answers "Where are they now?" about previous bachelors.
Kathy Ireland twitters.
Are you going to participate in Earth Hour this year? We are, definitely. Did last year and played candlelight Scrabble and drank wine with my parents, who were visiting. It was wonderful. I am going to try to organize a neighborhood education program here, to let my town know.
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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

ModernGear Fashion: An accident waiting to happen

Back in May of last year I wrote a post about Fashion Fix-It products, like the great Embrace in Place fashion tape. I think it's safe to say the following celebrities do NOT read my blog. Or if they do, they just don't want to take my advice.

As fashionable as she is, Posh really ought to know better. Instead, she has passed this little "tip" onto Eva Longoria.

Hilary Duff wears her jeans about a foot too long, as well.

Oh no, J. Lo!

Kate Moss, paragon of style??

People, someone is going to get hurt. It might be Angelina Jolie, or even Jennifer Aniston.
And if looks like Rachel Bilson is awfully close to the danger as well.

So what's the big deal? Well, first of all, it just looks dumb. Are they wearing shoes, are they not? How fabulous are the shoes, we wonder? Do they think it elongates the leg line? Well, it does that alright but at the expense of the foot. It's just all-around weird in a fashion sense. So not a "done" and put-together look, at all. Take expensive designer clothes, and just ruins them.

And then there's the whole safety aspect - I don't know about you but I look at pants that long and automatically my mind fast-forwards to the inevitable trip-up on stairs (or gasp! the red carpet) and subsequent bloody noses and the like.

Determined to go long against all odds? Don't come crying to me when you're in a cast. Do NOT take the fact that a lot of the jeans are pictured on web shops with dangerously long legs (like these)

Miss Sixty Jones Jeans
, $269

Miss Sixty Jones Jeans

and these:

J Brand Lovestory Bell Bottom Rigid Jean
, $187

J Brand Lovestory Bell Bottom Rigid Jean

and maybe even these:

Habitual Standard Glory Bootcut Jeans in Eventide
, $198

Habitual Standard Glory Bootcut Jeans in Eventide

and these are bordering on too long, but one wash and they'd probably be fine...

Anlo Liza Trouser Jean
, $207

Anlo Liza Trouser Jean

as a fact that this tremendous fashion faux pas is acceptable, or safe.

My advice is this: no matter what the trend in denim this spring/summer - skinny, wide, sailor, torn, boyfriend (see below) - pre-wash the suckers and get thee to a tailor before you step out in them.

From http://www.revolveclothing.com, shopbop.com and Tobi.

Paige Premium Denim Laurel Canyon in Acacia
, $199

Paige Premium Denim Laurel Canyon in Acacia

Citizens Of Humanity Jeans Dita Petite Bootcut in Volcano
, $250

Citizens Of Humanity Jeans Dita Petite Bootcut in Volcano

7 For All Mankind Straight Leg Stretch
, $149

7 For All Mankind Straight Leg Stretch

Hudson Signature Boot Cut Jean
, $176

Hudson Signature Boot Cut Jean

Genetic Denim Charlie Dominant Button Fly Straight Leg Jean
, $220

Genetic Denim Charlie Dominant Button Fly Straight Leg Jean

Prps Barracuda Boyfriend Jeans in Dirty Girl
, $418 (whoo - 'spensive!)

Prps Barracuda Boyfriend Jeans in Dirty Girl

Kasil Devious Slim Bootcut Waterproof Jeans in Martie
, $205

Kasil Devious Slim Bootcut Waterproof Jeans in Martie

Of course you could always avert fashion disaster and bodily harm with a pair of these beauties:

Diesel Black Gold Pacli-C Cropped Bubble Jeans
, $350

Diesel Black Gold Pacli-C Cropped Bubble Jeans

...but I'm not going to recommend it. Click here to read rest of story...