Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Lovely Living

On Saturday, Steve and I spent the day touring various luxury homes around the city. I'm not a "mansion" kind of girl. I prefer smaller, cozier, humbler living spaces. But we had lots of fun and got some ideas on what details and amenities we could eventually incorporate into our next home. Here are my favorites:

A black, white, and yellow bedroom. MmmmHmmm....


Books from floor to ceiling. Complete with sliding ladder, of course.


This bathtub. I love it.

And most importantly...closet space.

Giveaway!



Check out Kyla's blog Blue Collar Catwalk - she's fab.

While you're there, post a comment for a chance to win this beautiful Tolani Scarf from chickdowntown.com.





Monday, June 29, 2009

WWMW

I propose a new line of bracelets to the Disney Corporation. WWMW = What Would Minnie Wear. I know. It's brilliant. They should pay me big bucks for that idea.

Slightly sacrilegious? Nah.

Today marks 90 days until Steve and I set sail on our 3rd Disney Cruise. We're addicts. Seriously. So this evening we'll choose our shore excursions and any special accommodations for the trip. It's been decided that we each get our choice of one excursion as birthday presents to each other (August & September birthdays).































I'm SO excited. Particularly because our family will be joining us this time. Steve's mom and dad, sister and two nieces. Who'd think to bring kids on a Disney Cruise...huh. :)

All this talk of cruising with Mickey and Minnie gets me thinking...WWMW?

Minnie Cruise


All I can think about is pretty dresses, heels, polka dots, bows and ribbons. All in nautical colors, of course. All of these cruise-worthy items are found at Modcloth.com.

And hey, while you take in this red, white, and blue, why not hop on over to Weardrobe.com for a chance to win a $50 gift card for the best Americana inspired ensemble.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Swap for a Cause

Last night, my best buddy Elaina and I participated in a Clothing-Exchange-Fund-Raiser. Our friend Erika lives in New York and needs a little monetary boost and some love sent her way. She'll be going on a missions trip to South America this summer, so we all gathered in support of her and her ministry.


Jessica hosted the event at her beautiful new apartment in Frogtown. Here's how it worked: Everyone was required to bring as least one item to exchange. Each item cost $3, OR $20 for an unlimited amount. There were some great treasures to be found. Elaina and I each left with a bag full.


















When were were all swapped out, a few of us gathered together
around the guitar to sing some sweet Jesus love songs.

video


New friends, recycled clothes, amazing music, and a good cause...
what I would call a perfectly wonderful evening.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Choir Occasion

Our choir helps lead worship at our church every Sunday. It's quite possibly the best thing goin' in the Twin Cities on Sunday morning. And I know there's other great stuff out there, so that's a big statement.


That said, it is an extra special treat when we have an opportunity to sing beyond our own loft. Sara Renner graciously invited us to partake in an evening of worship last night at Grace Church in Eden Prairie, MN. We had a wonderful time!


Typically when we sing at other venues, we're assigned a dress code. Sara asked that the choir wear black with a bright color. Easy enough. But no matter what is chosen, there is a need to be very, very, very specific or you just never know what kind of ensemble somebody will try to pull off. Poor choir members... especially the girls... my standards are too high.


Aw, man...picture is blurry.
I hope you get the idea anyway.


Justin Timberlake was there!?

No, no. This is my adorable husband, Mr. Choir Director, who pulled together his outfit with hardly any help from me. We might call this look "Geek Chic". I'm gaga over the short sleeve dress shirt and skinny tie! You rocked it, baby! :)


As for me, I'm all ruffles in a black skirt from Target (clearance, $7) and pink blouse from JC Penny (clearance, $8).


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Stretched


Remember me telling you about the Oh Deer shoes I'd purchased on Amazon? As I mentioned, this particular brand has been calling my name for quite some time. I was a bit concerned when I opened the shoe box. From the look of them, I was sure my new Oh Deer's would be far too small.

I was pleasantly surprised that they fit perfectly from heel to toe. And the arch support in this 4" heel is a dream come true! It was only the width across the toes that was too small. Shoe stretcher to the rescue!

I can't tell you how vital the stretcher is to my shoe wardrobe. At a mere $6.99 (Target), this baby has saved many-a-decent-shoe from the donation pile. Until yesterday, I've managed with only one stretcher and am finding it far more convenient having two.

Are you familiar with the stretcher? Simply push the stretcher into the shoe, twist to expand, wait a day or two and see how much better your shoes fit! The little white knob thingys can be placed in pre-drilled holes on the stretcher to help eliminate pressure spots.

They're available at Walmart, DSW and Target. I usually see them near the laces, insoles, polish, ect.

Do your feet a favor and invest in a nice shoe stretcher.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Golf Chic

Lucas Glover won the U.S. Open today.
Congratulations, Lucas!

The women will have their turn July 9-12. They may not create as much hype and excitement as the men, but it has become just as much their sport.

Check out these lovely lasses in the early years of golf.

So very chic!


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Corporate Comfy


This is what I wore to work yesterday. It was almost too casual for my liking. It looks fine and all, but it feels more like sleepwear than real clothing. You'd think that would be a major bonus, but I believe I work smarter when wearing more structured, business-like pieces.


I wore this dress for Easter 3 years ago and several times since then. It seems to fit differently after every wash. I think it used to be longer and the neckline was lower. The tissue cotton is so tissue-like that even finding a slip to go underneath is tricky. I thought I found a slip that was okay, then after work Steve told me it had been peaking out of the bottom of my dress all day. Nice. I had him take a scissors to it before I left for church.


Have I mentioned how much I love light, summer scarves? I do. I love them. I picked this one up at Urban Oufitters on my Las Vegas trip.


The boots are Madden Girl. Have you checked out the Madden Girl brand? I really like it. Good styles, good prices, and comfortable too.


The bag is from Old Navy. I can't find anything in it, but it's cute.



Kudos to fashion bloggers who take pictures of their outfits daily. It's no easy task to get a good shot! Your effort is noted and appreciated!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Jillie + Beanie

I'm a hat person. One hat that I LOVE on other people but hadn't successfully worn myself is the Crocheted Beanie.


It's so totally cute on Ms. Witherspoon here. I tried to duplicate this look a few years ago when I had longer hair, but it just didn't work for me.


As I was rummaging through my hat collection on Saturday, I came across a simple, off-white, crocheted beanie I had purchased a couple of summers ago. At the time, I tried, but just couldn't pull it off.


My hairstyle has changed since then. I've been growing it out and I have more prominent bangs. So I gave the beanie another chance.


I was able to maneuver my hair in such a way that the look was almost acceptable, but still a little...lifeless...boring. So I pinned on a sweet crocheted flower and viola! I can wear a beanie! I'm going to experiment more with flower size and placement, but I thought this was a decent attempt.





In my state of delight, I searched Etsy for crocheted beanies. The beautiful hats at Savannah Lane Designs caught my attention immediately and I'm so pleased to share a few of my favorites with you.




Aren't they so adorable?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Happy = Yellow

A few weeks ago, Steve and I were en route to a day of fun with our eight year old niece, Kara. Somehow, we began discussing colors and their corresponding emotion.

"What color is sad?"

Kara: "Blue."

"What color is mad?"

Kara: "Red."

"What color is scary?"

Kara: "Black."

"What color is happy?"

Kara: "Yellow."

Yep. She's one smart cookie.


Isn't yellow the happiest of happy colors? I love it. I do love all colors and have such a difficult time choosing a favorite, but for today, yellow it is. Yellow makes me feel light, fresh, warm, glowy, and happy indeed. It isn't what I'm wearing currently, but I'm already thinking about how to incorporate it into my outfit tomorrow.

Yellow

FYI: Items featured are under $100. It's true.


Guess who else loves yellow? Jessica at Weardrobe. Participate in this Weardrobe contest for the opportunity to win a $50 gift card to Anthropologie!


Monday, June 15, 2009

Online Lures

I never really understood the Ebay craze. Then one day last week, I was feeling dangerous, and bid on several items - dresses - and "won" three of them! I dare not go there again or I will surely succumb to the bidding temptation. My debit card will magically appear in my hand and I will have no choice but to release those powerful digits to PayPal once again. It would be my demise.


I was almost wishing that none of the dresses would fit me. That would likely discourage me from buying on Ebay again. Alas, I received 2 of the dresses on Friday, and just my luck, they both fit, quite well. The third dress will be arriving shortly and I'm sure this one will NOT fit properly. Fingers crossed.


It's not so much about the money, really. Although I don't want to blow my entire allowance on Ebay, it is more a matter of space and actual necessity. One of the dresses I purchased was $6.99, free shipping. The others were less than $2, with a few extra bucks for shipping. So you see, the spending is not out of control, it's the quantity that could so easily become a problem.



In trying to divert myself from the lure of Ebay, I instead went to my old faithful Amazon. I just like to look at the shoes. I rarely ever buy. Oh, but I've been waiting for the perfect opportunity to try Oh Deer! shoes. Waiting a long, long, long time for the right shoes at the right price. Well now, here they are, right there on the screen.


I suddenly become aware of the plastic in my hand. Amazon signals to me in red letters that I must hurry if I want these shoes. They're the only pair left in my size. And did I mention they are 70% off?


I am weak. I am ridiculous. But I don't even care.


Never have I been so enticed by online shopping. Thus begins a new era in my retail journey.
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P.S. There is quite a sale going on at http://www.ohdeershoes.com/. Just thought you should know.















Friday, June 12, 2009

Shabby Apple



Head on over to Clothed Much for a chance to win this lovely dress from Shabby Apple. I checked out Shabby Apple's site and blog and will be adding both to my favorites!

Be sure to check out their Fit to Flatter section where dresses have been selected for your specific body type! What a splendid idea!

When you purchase a Shabby Apple dress, you're also giving to less fortunate women and their families worldwide. You can read about their efforts here.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mascara Wears

I've used CoverGirl Fantastic Lash Mascara for several years now.

A friend of mine was using Almay One Coat Nourishing Thickening Mascara. Her lashes were noticeably prettier.

It's been established that I am a very fickle customer. No loyalty, I tell ya, none. So of course I picked up the Almay brand instead of CG the last time I bought mascara. It's only been a few weeks, but I already have my list of pros and cons established.




















CoverGirl Fantastic Lash Mascara

Pros:
  • small, rounded brush
  • washes off easily

Cons:
  • clumps easily
  • smudges easily


Almay One Coat Nourishing Thickening Mascara

Pros:
  • long-lasting
  • minimal smudging

Cons:

  • doesn't wash off easily
  • thick, straight brush
  • 'one coat' does not suffice


So I must decide what I expect from a mascara...

It should:
  • last all day
  • lengthen and thicken
  • be justifiably affordable

It should not:
  • clump or smudge
  • be 'waterproof' if it isn't
  • be a chore to apply

Do you have a mascara that does all these things for you? Speak up, by all means.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Thrifting

Could it be that my favorite local thrift store has gotten greedy in these tough economic times? Tell me it isn't so!


My local thrift store is huge. It encompasses a retail space previously occupied by JC Penny's. I love it in all it's vast enormity. Every Monday is Customer Appreciation Day when all items are 25% off the marked price. If I went regularly, my closet would explode. After a long hiatus, I went on Monday.


Instead of finding the normally, randomly priced items, I was shocked to find abnormally, overpriced items. A skirt from Old Navy, looks gently worn, is marked at $9.99. Next to it is a skirt from Banana Republic marked $19.99. I check the shoe selection. The ones I'm interested in range in price from $14.99 - $24.99. A pro-shopper like myself can get these items brand new at the regular store for less than what the thrift is offering. That's just not right. Oh, what has happened to my ultimate thrifty resource?


It took a while, but I did finally come across some merchandise that I felt was worth the marked price - minus 25% of course. I picked up 2 vintage dresses early on, but by the time I was ready to check out, I just wasn't feelin' 'em. Here's what I ended up with, to the sum of $20:


Pencil Skirt: Old Navy Outlet
Blazer: Unknown Brand
Sweater: Express
Skirt: H&M


I walked away happy, but concerned about the future of thrifting. Recycled clothing is definitely trendy right now, and that's totally cool. But I do hope that prices stay reasonable. Otherwise, who's really benefiting here?

Tell me, fellow thrifters, have you noticed increased prices at your local bargain bin? What about increased popularity? Does your community seem to be embracing the second-hand stores the way mine is?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Everyday, For Life

I've had this little black dress for almost a year now. Had never worn it until Tuesday. Why? Because I wanted to wear it with a cardigan and I didn't have one that I liked with it. I'm picky like that. I finally bought this little yellow cardi at Old Navy at their extra 50% off clearance sale. It might still be going on - ya better get over there!



Cardigan: Old Navy, $11

Dress: Rampage via Macy's, $24

Heels: BCBG via Marshalls, $15


As I wore this ensemble, it became clear to me that I would very much like to wear dresses and cardigans with heels every day for the rest of my life! That's just how good I felt.



Was it the most attractive, most flattering thing I've ever worn? Nope. But something about it made me feel all good things: pretty, feminine, sweet, while being plenty professional enough for work too. I was comfortable from the time I dressed at 6:30am, during work, through choir practice, until I arrived home at 9pm.

A Dress & Cardi


I have an hourglass shape, so dresses with a defined waistline are the ones for me. I much prefer an A-line skirt, but some straighter cuts work too. Even though V-neck cardigans are said to minimize a chest (yes please), I gravitate to crew-necks instead. As for heels...I like 'em tall. With dresses I like a round or peep toe. See the pickiness?

An added bonus...the husband likes dresses a lot. Handsy, is a good way to put it. (Scrubs reference). TMI? Sorry...


Monday, June 8, 2009

Keds

I don't know anything about Mischa Barton. Nada. Never watched a single episode of the O.C. But I sure do like her Keds.


I remember shopping with my mom in the 80's. She bought keds. White, leather ones. I think she liked them because they came in wide sizes. I like them because they're not just white leather anymore. They're as cute as a pair of tennies can be.

Like other tennis shoe manufacturers (Nike), Keds now welcomes you to customize your shoes in their online design studio. Here's my custom Jillie shoe:
I don't know if I'll purchase them, but designing them was great fun! And these options are only the beginning! You can add your own images and/or text or simply click "surprise me" and see the crazy combinations that appear!

Keds

How would you like your Keds?

Friday, June 5, 2009

It's Friday!

Thanks, Girly Muse, for directing me to this great list of modest swimwear sites! I checked them all out and especially love this one and this one and this one. I also stopped by Marshall's yesterday and tried on a few more bathing suits. It really WAS the lighting in the Target dressing room! My experience at Marshall's was SO much better, but still didn't find the perfect one for me. But I did find a great polka dot dress for $17 - yippee!

I received a voicemail from my mommy-in-law yesterday afternoon saying there was a great garage sale by her house that had a lot of cute shoes in my size! I went straight there after work and boy-oh-boy, was she right! Rows of name brand heels still in their original boxes! I think the seller was getting rid of many of them because they were quite painful. I tried on every shoe and finally settled on these comfy Kenzie's for $3.

I also browsed the jewelry table and found this fun apple necklace for $1. I must find a little treasure to put inside. Do let me know if you have any ideas.

It's a happy happy Friday! I even remembered to get chicken out of the freezer for dinner, which hardly ever happens. Even better than thawed chicken, Steve and I are going to hang with some music buddies at Dunn Bros. Coffee & Wine Bar in Excelsior, MN tonight! Whoohoo!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Do something fun!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Nancy Cunard

As you may already know, I love history. I am my daddy's girl in this way. It was my favorite subject in school along with English. I believe we can learn so much from the people and events of our past, both the great and horrible. I specifically enjoy researching women in history. I like to know what made them good or bad, where they came from, what impact they made, and even...what they wore.

I've acquired a long list of fashion icons from days gone by whose lives and styles I'd like to investigate. Some are quite well-known, some not so much. I might even throw in an iconic fictional character every now and then, just for fun. I intend to feature at least one person every month.

Some of the individuals I'm drawn to have humble beginnings, while others were born to fame and fortune. But they all have a few traits in common (the P's): passion, perseverance, panache, and often had major problems.

I'm going to kick off this new series with one you might be familiar with if knowledgable about the rebels of the early 20th century. Nancy Cunard. Check out that jewelry. Check out that eyeliner.

Her home was an English Castle, but a life of wealth was not the destiny of rebelious Nancy Cunard. Born heiress to the Cunard shipping fortune, Nancy loathed what her family's class represented and instead dedicated her life to civil rights and anti-fascist movements.

She was a poet, publisher, translator, journalist and self-described anarchist. But she didn't just fight for the oppressed in her writings. She established shelters for concentration camp survivors, walked alongside refugees, and braved battlefronts in hopes that the world would see the injustices taking place and do something about it.

Despite all her goodwill, Nancy could not escape her own demons. Much of her life was spent fighting lonelines, insecurity and poor heath. Alchoholism magnified an underlying mental illness that ultimately landed her in an institution in 1960. She died poor, starving, and alone in Paris in 1963.

I doubt Nancy considered herself in a fashionable way. It's just simply who she was. Apparently, one can be a superstar humanitarian, a journalistic artist, be clinically insane, AND wear bangles like THAT.

Good to know.