Thursday, April 30, 2009

Colorful Kicks

I'm in the market for some fun weekend gear. It seems I may have missed the boat when it comes to hybrid sneakers. I'm not seeing them now like I did a year or two ago. I love my red converse high tops, but they're more fashion than function. I'd like a solid shoe that will take me from the mall, to the tennis court, to the golf course, to all day at Disney World. And I don't want them to scream "Athletic Shoe!", but more like "Comfy, Funky, Sneaker!".

Kangaroos might be just what I'm looking for.

Colorful Kicks

I don't know much about this brand, so if you've had any experience with them, I'd like to know what you think. OR if there are other brands that you think might fit my criteria, do tell.

Of the Kangaroos, which would you choose?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sunflower

I'm not in the best of moods today. I've been feeling this nastiness coming on since Sunday. I'm tired, ornery and emotional. This isn't my normal disposition, so I don't exactly know how to deal with it other than a good night's rest...which isn't an option for another 11 hours or so. To combat my unfortunate frame of mind, I'd like to focus on one of the happiest of God's creations: the sunflower. Oh that I could be a sunflower today!


In fact, I rather wish I was sitting on a sunny porch somewhere, gazing out at a field of Sunflowers, sipping lemon tea, wearing this outfit:


Sunflower 2



You can join me if you'd like (with a little imagination). What kind of flower brings you up when you're down and inspires you? I'd like to know.



Monday, April 27, 2009

Scoot


It was the end of August 2008. I was just working, minding my own business, when Steve, for no good reason at all, sends me a picture of a pink Vespa-type scooter. SO cute.


Much like the Kari Golf Bag, I think to myself "how can I get me one of those?". I could just picture myself cruising around St. Paul behind the handlebars of a pink motor-scooter. I would be the coolest chic in town. I would have a basket on the back that would hold my shopping bags. I would wear high heels, a cute vintage helmet and big sunglasses. I would pick up one of my lovely girlfriends and we would go sip coffee and tea on a patio in the city somewhere. It would be a positively lovely, Roman Holiday kind of life. Me and my scooter.


At this time, Steve and I had been sharing a vehicle for nearly a year. It's something we've coped with quite well considering that we lead very separate social lives. Many days, we're at the mercy of our wonderful friends to get us where we want to go. Other times, one of us is just stuck at home.


So I start asking questions about scooters. We discover that they're actually very affordable if you don't get a brand name (ie: Vespa) and you order one online (note: some assembly required). Within the week, our scooter was en route to our door.


We knew the scooter would likely be Steve's baby, so we opted for a more gender-neutral color: blue. Steve and his dad and his grandpa all worked together to get our scooter up and running. We named him 'Trigger'.


I enjoy riding with Steve very much, but apparently I have some fears when it comes to driving Trigger myself. Turning, for example. Very scary. Braking, sometimes leads to accidental acceleration. Also scary. I drove it once last fall and thought I did fairly well for my first time out.


Steve and I spent a wonderful day together on Saturday and drove the scooter to our local destinations. When we got back to our neighborhood, Steve stopped and told me it was my turn to drive. With some coaxing, I finally agreed to scoot us home. Again, turning and stopping is pretty intense. It's harder than I thought. I don't trust myself. Wearing heels is out of the question (for now). It's much more comfortable to wear my cute silver helmet with a face shield...which is not as cute.


This whole scooter thing has become a very humbling experience for me. But be sure I will tackle this challenge before the summer passes me by. Hold me to it, folks.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Ability to Reason

I like to buy shoes when Steve is out of town. Not to be sneaky or anything, he finds out anyway. It's just easier to justify when he's gone for some reason. He's was in beautiful San Diego this week...without me. So it seems only right that I get a new pair of shoes, doesn't it? Somehow that just makes sense to me.


Another reason why I get a new pair of shoes is because I stopped by my favorite thrift/consignment shop last week and picked up a check for over $100 for clothes I consigned last fall! If you live near or ever visit the Twin Cities, you MUST experience My Sister's Closet on Grand Avenue in St. Paul. You MUST. As far as thrifty shops go...it's perfection.


Yet ANOTHER reason why I needed these shoes is because they were, like, 70% off. And they qualified for free shipping. They're also multi-seasonal (they appear white but are actually light gray), neutral and practical. AND they received a good review for comfort and arch support, which has become very important to me lately.


They came yesterday and I was not disappointed. They're a little snug across the toes, so I've had the shoe stretcher working on them today.

Well friends, the weekend has officially started and I'm determined to make further progress on my closet. So here I go. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Menswear Contest


I've recently discovered Weardrobe.com. This week, they have a contest for best menswear-inspired outfit. Now, I am a very girly-girl, but I love menswear-inspired pieces. If done right, it can look soooo chic. Never having participated in a Weardrobe contest, I didn't intend to start now. But yesterday, I just so happened to be wearing trousers, a suit vest, and oxford shoes. Huh. I went home, switched out a few key pieces, added a hat, and Viola! a complete menswear-inspired ensemble!


I enlisted a friend to snap a picture before church. Too bad my camera sucks and I detest posing for pictures by myself. Hopefully the folks at Weardrobe will get the idea. I sure would like to win that $50 gift card to Urban Outfitters....or was it Forever 21?



Oxford shirt: Ralph Lauren, Thrifted
Vest: Vintage, Thrifted
Pants: Gap
Tie Belt: LoveAlwaysXOX
Shoes: Guess via Endless.com
Hat: No idea.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Meet Keriann

If you don't golf, you should start. Or at least pretend. If for no other reason than to have a Kari Golf Bag.

When Steve and I first starting dating, he taught me how to golf. I love it. I love the time with my Fave. I love the landscape. I love the challenge. I love the golf carts. I love dressing preppy. I love the quietness. I even love the water hazards and bunkers. I love it all.

We had only been officially dating a for few weeks when I celebrated my 20th birthday. To my utter delight, Steve bought me a full set of golf clubs in the girliest bag he could find as well as 3 adorable stuffed-animal club covers for my new drivers. He also included a glove, balls, and several other accessories I'm sure to be forgetting. Until this time, I had been borrowing equipment from his mom and sister, so I was thrilled to have my very own set.

Fast forward a year or two. My golf game has improved. My golf bag looks a bit worn. Steve finds this website: http://www.kerigolf.com/ and mistakenly shows me a pink & brown polka dot golf bag. I become obsessed. These are not cheap bags, so I think of ways I can save up for one. I try to justify purchasing it on a credit card. Can't do it. Maybe if I don't eat lunch for a few months? Bad idea. I think maybe if my family pooled together to buy it for me for Christmas or my next birthday...I could never ask.

I force myself to wait. The pink and brown polka dot style becomes unavailable. Every Kari bag is amazing, but I wanted THAT one. Every year they come out with a new line. And every year I check to see if by chance they have one that is pink and brown polka dot.

Spring 2008. Oh.My.Goodness. IT'S back. Not the exact same...better. It's pink and brown. It's polka dot. It's my mission to make it mine. I save a little bit extra every month, but I have other things to save for too...like my missions trip to Guatemala. My beautiful polka dot bag will have to wait.

Steve knows what's going on. A picture of the bag is my computer desktop background. I start acquiring pink and brown golf clothes to match...my nonexistent bag. When Steve asks what I want for my 26th birthday, it's the only thing that comes to mind. But I know...it's too much. I have until the end of the year to save for the bag before it's likely discontinued...so I continue to hope.

The morning of my birthday - August 2 - I receive 2 gorgeous sets of pearls from Southeast Asia, compliments of Steve's recent business trip to the Philippines. I'm absolutely thrilled about them (Post about pearls to come). It's already such a good birthday!

I always choose what we do on my birthday. I always choose golf. Steve asks me to help him get our golf equipment out of the garage. I type in the garage code. The door goes up.

AND THERE SHE IS.





This is where I should go on and on about what a fantastic husband I have, but I don't think that's necessary. It would only be stating the obvious.

She came with the name 'Blake', but that just wasn't feminine enough for such a bag, so I renamed her Keriann. She's so much more than I expected. Her material is so quality, her hardware so refined, her presence so much more than a picture can capture.

This is the first full season that I'll get to use her and I'm thrilled to pieces. Gazing out my office window at this beautiful, sunny, spring day makes me yearn for the golf course. And for my Keriann.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What They Wore

Here's a peak at what we saw at the fashion show Friday night. I especially liked the accessories. I'm sad my camera wasn't able to capture them well. The whole show was very hippie-chic, very 70's inspired. A lot of long dresses and flowy pants. A lot of fringe.


Although I wouldn't wear this unless it had a neckline suitable for bra-wearage, it was one of my favorite looks. I love that it's one piece and I love the wide legs.

Again, this was a one-shoulder dealio. The concept was simple and feminine, just not for me.




Yet another one I wouldn't/couldn't wear, but liked it a lot on the model. The back was completely open - uber sexy. I love the use of the huge belt here as well as the wide leg pants.



I wish this picture wasn't blurry. I would wear this dress - yeh! The fringy bracelets are super fun!




Monday, April 20, 2009

What We Wore

I was privileged to attend the "Exclusively Spring" fashion show at Minneapolis' W Hotel on Friday featuring Kjurek's spring line with accessories by Adrienne. Stop by tomorrow when I'll post pictures of the event.

I attended with two of my best girlfriends, Keely and Elaina. We each have our own unique sense of style which was perfectly displayed by our outfit choices for Friday night.


This is Keely. She's our rock star. She can pull off anything: Grunge, Punk, Sporty, Vintage...it all works for her. Her awesome wardrobe choices reflect her awesome personality. You'll just have to trust me on that.




Elaina is a bit funk, a bit bohemian, and a lot of what can only be referred to as 'Elaina-style'. I'm always amazed by the ensambles she can get away with. It's fair to say she is the one who inspires the rest of us.

Me. I don't take as many risks as my pals, but I guess I'm OK with that. I try to keep things as simple as possible. I'd say I'm the safe, preppy, sofisticated side of this tripple-equasion.



Friday, April 17, 2009

5 Things

Academichic started it. We can always come up with 5 things we don't like about our appearances. How about we focus on what we do like for a change? Cool.

First, let me just say this: It seems like maybe I don't focus on my flaws as much as some other women do. I know my flaws are there. Some of them I can't change (without surgery). And some are not important enough for me to do anything about. Either way, they rarely cross my mind. That is, until other women start talking about all of their flaws. It's a contagious mentality.

I give credit to my mom for this. I don't remember her ever expressing thoughts about her appearance - negative or positive. It's like appearance was a non-issue. Instead, she made a big deal out of being healthy. I hear so many moms putting themselves down for what they look like. Too fat. Too skinny. Hate my thighs. Hate my arms. Lose this. Tone that. It all needs fixing.

What are we saying to young girls? "We're not good enough."

How might they interpret that? "Maybe I'm not good enough."

If you mother, mentor, or befriend young ones, please know that they're listening to you. You have the opportunity to instill confidence and self-esteem, to promote health and well-being. So do that.

You already know the rule: If you can't say something nice, best to not say anything at all. (I constantly struggle with adhering to this).

Alrighty. Excuse me while I get down from my soap box. Here's my list:

1. Legs. From just above my knee down, I love my legs. In heals, I really love them. They're cute and girly. I have thin ankles and shapely (but not muscular) calves.

2. Lips. They're weird. And they get even weirder when I smile or laugh really hard. I used to not appreciate them at all. But I like them now. They're full and pink and uniquely me.

3. Eyes. Big and very blue. I'm glad they're mine.

4. Waist. Just recently found out how small it is and am learning how to accentuate it properly.

5. Hair. I have a lot of it. It's easy to manage, especially since I had it trimmed and highlighted last week. I have bangs for the first time since 7th grade, and they make me feel totally chic. I'm a low-maintenance girl and so is my hair. I've had many different cuts and styles and I think it looks pretty good no matter...it just goes with the flow. I appreciate that.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Originals

I'm blessed to have many creative, talented, brilliant friends. They add flavor to my life and inspire me creatively as well. I have jewelry and music from Lori Sabin, a clutch skateboard purse from Steve Thomas, a clipboard and belt from Cheri Brown (Love Always XOX), an apron and pearls from Danna Erickson (A Northern Belle), just to name a few. I love supporting my friends in their creative endeavors - it's money well spent. Be prepared to see items from a few of these artists in the future.


Meet the latest addition to my 'couture' collection:

Isn't it great! This one is extra special because it was hand made by my bestest friend Elaina McMillan (Styles by Elaina). She has mad-crazy skills when it comes to designing handbags. Each one is custom made and totally unique.

I've been waiting for 'MY' bag for years. A few of her other designs have tempted me, but when she came out with this one, I knew this was it. She's knows me better than anyone, so I trusted her to choose the fabric combinations and hardware. I did request a big button though. I love big buttons. She makes purses with flower accessories too that are just as great.


This is only the beginning. Bragfest to be continued.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

All-American Jeans



Denim has been around for a long time. Although Americans stake claim in the clothing, "Denim" is actually a town in France (Nimes). And the term "Jeans" has Italian heritage (Genoa). I could go into detail on all that, but today I'm less interested in the material, more so in the item that 70% of Americans choose to put their legs into every day.


Let's face it, Americans: we have an emotional attachment to jeans. I wonder how many people would be very upset if their place of work suddenly removed jeans from the Casual Friday Dress Code. Chinos only? I quit.



Why do we associate jeans with comfort? I don't know that any of my jeans are more comfortable than the dress I'm wearing today...and it's not denim. It's not even cotton. And yet every Friday, every Saturday and every other chance I get, I'm probably going to reach for my jeans...first.


Good ol' Levi Strauss knew what he was doing when he brought this delightful commodity into the lives of Americans. I doubt he had any idea as he marketed to Miners during the San Francisco Gold Rush that his item would walk the runways, or appear in Vogue as soon as the 1930's...for women, of all people.



When hottie-bad-boy James Dean strutted his denim duds in Rebel Without a Cause, American teenagers were hooked. And when the teens of yesteryear became the mommies and daddies of this year, denim became mainstream. We cant imagine living without it now. It's who we are as Americans.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Beautiful Easter


Our friend Matt took pictures of the choir after service yesterday. He took an extra sec to snap one of just Steve and me. Note: New hair. Polka Dot dress. Matching hubby.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Progression of a Shopaholic


I'm currently reading Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. I've always been interested in the series - simply because of the title - but after seeing the movie I knew it had to be my next read. Having no expectations of the movie, I thought it was very cute. Probably not one that I'd see again for $9.50, but definitely one I'd see at the dollar theater and/or buy on sale.

Now come to find out the movie does the book no justice. My likeness for the book greatly surpasses that of the movie. Ms. Becky Bloomwood is a delightful character despite her severe flaws. I feel like I know her. Like we might even be friends. Like I want to read more about her.

I remember being 19 and having a beautiful, gold VISA card. All purchases made on that card were justified. One day, my parents opened the bill and realized I was in debt over $1,000...or maybe it was $2,000...I don't remember. Anyway, they briefly reprimanded me for acquiring such a bill and advised that I pay it off ASAP. It was kind of like an intervention. From that point on, I took my spending more seriously. I consolidated my credit card and car loan and paid off my debt completely within a short period of time. I didn't give up shopping altogether, but I started making wiser choices about what to purchase, and what to pass up.

The older I get, the pickier I become and the less stuff I need. It's wonderful freedom. Just yesterday, I went out to my garage to get my summer wardrobe out. I'm proud to say, I had ONE storage bin. I remember when the task of switching seasonal wardrobes was literally a weekend project. Last night, it took less than an hour.

Once I get my closet project fully completed, I would like to challenge myself to keep track of what I wear and what I do not. I read this brilliant idea somewhere: Start with all closet hangers facing one direction. Once an item has been worn, hang it back in your closet with the hanger going the opposite direction. See if you can/will wear every item. Those you don't wear, go bu-buy.

Ahhh....Life is so much easier with less needless stuff. And no VISA bill.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Weekend News

My camera has been found! Yipee! Now, to find the cord that will allow me to upload the pictures to my computer...hmm...

Operation Closet Remodel is nearly complete. My mom and I got the new racks up and functional. I sorted through my pantie, bra and lingerie bins last night (who knew I owned such pretty panties?).

In the coming weeks I will:

  • Buy new hangers
  • Sort through my summer wardrobe
  • Store my winter-wears
  • Give away what I no longer want/wear
  • Sort through stocking bins
This and so much more to do but it's SO worth it. I can't wait to show off my new closet!


I've put in a request to have my hair dealt with before Easter Sunday as promised. This issue is even more pertinent than I previously thought because now there is a possibility that we'll be taking choir pictures after church. I'm the director's wife, I HAVE to look good. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, hoping I won't have to resort to drastic, expensive measures.


On Sunday, I went bra shopping with my dear friend Teresa. Neither one of us had ever been professionally fitted and it was wonderful to have a friend to share in the experience. I'm a 32DD (gasp!). Oddly enough, I ended up at Victoria's Secret where I purchased 2 34DD bras (Vicky's doesn't carry 32's in-store). They aren't minimizer's like I wanted, but I'm quite happy anyway.


I found Steve's Easter shirt & tie combo this weekend as well! Am I good or what!? I like us to match on Easter...a bit cheesy, I know, but I like it. I found my dress a few weeks ago at the thrift store. It's vintage. Pink with white polka dots. Fabulous. I'm so thankful I have a husband who looks great in pink and actually doesn't mind wearing it. He's very secure with his masculinity. His shirt is pink and white, extra small checkered print (looks solid from a distance). The tie is pink and white diagonal stripes. We'll both wear a brown belt and shoes. It's perfect for us really...our wedding colors were pink and brown. I will do my best to get a good picture on Sunday.


Our cable hasn't been working. It's apparent in the amount of stuff I've accomplished this weekend. That, and Steve being out of town. It almost makes me want to quit TV altogether. Can't quit the husband though, he's a keeper.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Hair Trials

The decisions have been made. The measurements have been taken. The supplies have been purchased. And my wonderful friend Tony let me borrow his camera in order to take 'Before' pictures.

I'm talking about my closet of course. But no peaking. The great reveal will take place within a few weeks. I'm thrilled to pieces.

Now, about my hair.

It's wretched. I've always had nice, thick, straight, healthy, semi-blonde hair. Other than the neither-here-nor-there color, I have very few complaints. I highlight my hair blonde. The blonder the better. But my hair grows quite fast and I cannot keep up with the roots. I hate spending money on my hair too. And although I have a wonderful stylist-friend who does a great job and doesn't charge what he's worth, it kills me to think of the shoes I could buy with that $70. The hair must be sacrificed.

So I wait...and wait...and wait...until the condition of my hair is so disturbing I cannot stand it anymore. I'm at that point. Everyday that can be a 'Hat Day', is.

With this whole closet renovation thing, I'm out of money. So I wait some more. And as I wait I ponder what the next move is for this mop of mine. I've been growing it out...but is that the right choice? I'm seriously considering bangs. These layers are out of control...should I even things out a bit? Should I go uber trendy, or safe and classic?

As I did with my closet desires, I will set a timer on acquiring a new 'do. Easter. No, wait! That's next weekend already! Well, I said it, it must be done. Easter it is. I will find a way.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Shoe Personality

I love shoes for many reasons, but really because each pair has unique personality. Shoe choice can take you from sweet and easy-going to sexy firecracker. Universally, I want my shoes to say that I care. That I have personality. That I'm smart, clean, and sophisticated. I look at shoes a lot and like to think I've developed a keen eye toward those that fit my qualifications.

What do your shoes say about you?

I've been seeing a lot of this style platform pump lately. It's definitely not my favorite look. Maybe I'm just not trendy enough, but it looks rather funny to me...like the poor shoe is trying too hard.


The hidden platform, on the other hand...er, foot...is fabulous and classy in my mind's eye. Smooth, sassy and effortless.
Both looks are from Miss Me.