Thursday, July 30, 2009

Featured Friend: Elaina

As you may have noticed, I'm not really big on self-portraits. I may be someday when I have a different camera, we'll see. In the meantime, I sure don't mind taking pictures of my beautiful friends instead.

You met my BFF Elaina here and here. Since then, a few things have changed in her life. Namely, her job. While finishing up her master's degree in business/marketing, she's taken an internship position at a corporate HQ. Having previously been a pediatric medical assistant wearing scrubs, you can imagine the need for a wardrobe upgrade - Whoohoo!

Elaina had no problem figuring out how to make the Corporate Casual dress code a little less drab and a lot more fab - and on a college-student budget too!

Cardigan: Banana Republic, thrifted
Tank: Target, $5 clearance
Belt: Florida boutique
Trousers: Forever 21, $22.50
Shoes: Hot Topic, $5 clearance

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Not Just a Haircut...

...an Experience.




Last night at Jessie Tomme' Salon in Mahtomedi, MN, I received:


Haircut & Style
Mini Facial
Chair Massage
Make-up Touch-up


I spent: (drum roll please)

$20!

INSANE, I know. The color was extra, but still very reasonably priced.

BFF Elaina was the first to experience this salon. She went on, and on, and on, and on about what a wonderful experience she had. I had no choice but to check it out for myself. And friends, she wasn't fibbin'.

If you're local, YOU can get in on this AMAZING promo too! You just have to be a first-timer. I have 9 coupons to give away valid through September 1st. OR, you can simply check it out here. Either way, ask for Aubrey, and tell 'em Jill sent you!


Before. With goofy, excited grin.

A glimpse of the adorable salon.


"Would you like some wine while you process?" Oh yes, please.

Wash & rinse.


Facial bliss.


Hand Massage.


Snip Snip.


It took a little prodding to convince me to try red lipstick. Say what!?



My (sorry) attempt at sexiness. After.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Making Music

I guess I'm a tad slow with my weekend updates. So it's Tuesday and I'm going to brag on my Friday & Saturday. Whatev.


The ABC Youth Choir took part in some wonderful music festivities both Friday and Saturday. On Friday, we were among several groups that performed at the More Conference. I was so excited to know that Jason Gray would be among the featured artists. I've been a fan of his forever, it would seem.


The other artists included Shane & Shane and Bethany Dillon. I guess they're big-time in the Christian music industry, but I'd never heard their music before. They were really, really good. Not only really good, but also really, really sweet. Steve and I met Bethany back stage - what a doll! And so very talented! I didn't meet the Shane's, but those who did raved about how awesome they were. And their music!? Goodness.


The party continued on into Saturday when we came together for Freedomworks Community Outreach Event in North Minneapolis (that's the ghetto, y'all).


The turn-out was impressive. People came from all over to share in the music, food and fellowship. Based on the 3 "encores" they asked of us, I think we were well received. It's a great feeling.


Lately I've been overwhelmed with love and gratitude toward the leaders, members and fans of the ABC Youth Choir - my fam. We may not be the most amazing singers (although we have a few), or the most rhythmic groovers, but when we get together, it's a party.


I know I've mentioned the choir a few times in this blog, but I'll never even scratch the surface of how much it matters to me. I've been in it since I was 13, have seen it through many hills and valleys, and am so very proud of who we are today...small, but mighty.

Tomorrow, back to fashion. I promise.



Monday, July 27, 2009

100!!!

I just realized that this makes my ONE HUNDREDTH post! Zipadee doo dah, I do believe this historic occasion calls for a new pair of shoes!


When I first started this blog, I really had no idea where I'd go with it. I planned on keeping it on the DL for as long as possible. Especially when it seemed I was on a primarily fashion-oriented path, I felt really self-conscious. I didn't want my style opinions or shopping obsession to be misconstrued as snobbish or vain or materialistic. I don't think all that highly of the way I look/dress, but I do think I can evolve, and with effort, obtain a personal style that I'm really happy with - one that represents me well. If I can provide others with a little inspiration along the way, then this blog has done it's duty.


When my husband uncovered my secret, I figured I may as well leak it to a few friends who would appreciate my attempt. I've received so much encouragement and support - thanks friends!


And big thanks and virtual hugs to ALL of my followers who make my blogging so much more enjoyable. Your participation makes me feel all mushy inside.


I know there are a few lurkers out there as well. Please do come back, visit often, continue to lurk. Or perhaps come, Follow me. Let's get to know one another. I will do my very best not to disappoint.


Giveaway!

Never pass up a great giveaway. Last week, I found out that I won this fabulous Tolani scarf valued at $85! Thanks Blue Collar Catwalk and Chickdowntown! I can't wait to receive it and show it off. It definitely pays to play!

Now, check out this awesome giveaway at Savvy Mode. Shoes!


Friday, July 24, 2009

Rain

It's 8:45am and the most ominous black cloud has overshadowed the city. I have a perfect view of the park from my office windows. For a few minutes everything became still and black. The streetlights came on, and it looked like night. Then the wind picked up and the cloud began to move. But where is the rain? I was looking forward to thunder and lightning and the smell of the earth after a storm. All I get is a cloud? There are so many fun accessories to wear in the rain. Come back, cloud. And give me some rain.


Rain Two



Rain One

Rain Three

Rain Four

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Refrigerator Art

Can we get enough of Anne Taintor? I don't think so.

It's scary how much I identify with these ladies.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ode to Camera

I'm sure I've mentioned it before...my camera sucks. Steve and I attended a wedding on Saturday wearing matching outfits (it's what we do). It wasn't exactly planned (after I changed outfits 3 times), but it just so happened to come together really well. We tried a few times to get a good picture of the two of us...but no such luck. Allow me to feature the one that turned out best:


(Ok, so Steve's eyes are closed) But in addition, the flash decided to not go off. Other times, when the flash did go off, the pictures turned out either too blurry or too bright.

In my frustration, I have written a poem in order to communicate to my camera my deepest feelings and innermost desires regarding it's performance, and it's bleak future.

Ahem...

Dear sweet, stupid camera
It's time for you to go
We've had our ups and downs
And I think that you should know

You're not the one for me, dear camera
It's time to part our ways
Your pixels aren't enough for me
This leaves me in dismay

Your batteries don't last long
I feel the need to cry
And the picture's always fuzzy
No matter what I try

You've ruined many moments
That should have been captured happily
Oh to be rid of you camera
Fills my heart with so much glee

I'm sorry if this pains you
You can't help the way you're made
I guess I just need to say it
I am planning an upgrade

I know there will be a learning curve
But I look forward to the test
Surely I can find a camera
That can compete with all the rest

No hard feelings, dear camera
Your pleas are to no avail
You've done your task as best you could
Since 2007 Day-After-Thanksgiving sale

As I search for your replacement
I seek out others advice
Have you any luck
With a point-and-shoot device?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New Arrival

Hey hey hey! Lookie what's arrived!





I'm on a mission to acquire Minnie-inspired nautical wears for my upcoming Disney Cruise. Purchased this darling, vintage scarf at Cinful Oldies Etsy shop. Looooove it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Along Came Friday

Ok, so I didn't find any wearable treasures in Excelsior this weekend. I did, however, find a sweet antique shop where I picked up an old book about famous golfer, Bobby Jones. I was hoping to find a Nancy Drew book, having been inspired by a recent post at The Cat's Pajamas. Not much luck.


Friends Keely and Greyley joined me at Dunn Bros. (great music, btw). Greyley, age 10 (her dad is in the band), won three out of three games of Yahtzee. Kicked my tukus, she did, with her mad dice-rolling skills.


Rumor had it that there was a Fireman's ball going on somewhere close by. Sure 'nough. After the concert, Keely and I hopped on a school bus that transported us to the local fire station. We didn't stay long after a random drunk guy wouldn't leave Keely alone. Regardless, it was a fun 45-minute adventure.


We couldn't figure out how to take a good picture in the dim lighting, so please just ignore the glow. This is the outfit that my husband didn't like. Funny, because there's really nothing to it. I think it was the color combinations that threw him off. Orange shirt, denim jumper, gray tennies, white & blue scarf... It's nothin' spectacular, no need for a fuss.


There are just a few things from childhood that I can't seem to let go of. Polka dots being one. Jumpers and Rompers being another. I found it very appropriate that I wore this on a school bus.


Here's Keely at the ball...it was more like a hoedown, but whatever. I think she's the cutest girl on the planet. Look out, boys.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Venues

I love going out, being social. It's nice to be at home too, but we Minnesotan's are cooped up all winter, so I try to fill my summertime with funness (FYI: that is a word in my personal dictionary, along with funner).


Over the last year or two, I've become very particular about the venues I attend. I've learned that I like really casual, laid-back, inviting atmospheres. I don't like crazy, loud, crowded, dark environments. It doesn't offend me in any way, I just don't feel all too comfortable, safe, or relaxed there.


I fancy good, live music. Like with instruments and a good vocalist. Not such a fan of "DJ Cool" and his brain-numbing mixes. (I don't actually know a DJ Cool, but isn't that the name they all use?) In the past I would simply disregard my preferences and go where the people are, but I've given up. It's just not fun for me. And I am all about having fun.


Several months ago, I journeyed to Excelsior, MN to listen to some friends play at Dunn Bros. Coffee and Wine Bar. I was really impressed. Love the atmosphere. Love the people. Love the music. Bonus that Dunn Bros. happens to be my coffee of choice, and I greatly enjoy an occasional glass of wine. No need to dress up in the skankiest garb imaginable to look like you belong, just come as you are. Yesssss...


Side note: Today, I'm wearing a jean jumper over an orange t-shirt, with a summery scarf - because it's a bit chilly - and gray sneakers. Hubby Steve wasn't a fan of my outfit choice today. With luck, we shall obtain a picture and you can tell me what you think.


Dunn Bros. resides in a quaint little downtown area amongst locally owned restaurants and boutiques. Unfortunately, many of the shops close early...like 6pm. By the time I get off work at 5, and drive an hour to get there, they've already closed for the evening. Boo.


Today is a special day. I'm getting off work early to pay the dear town a retail visit and meet up with friends for some acoustic Staci Frenes tunes at Dunn Bros. later in the evening. I need this time away from work. I love my job, but sometimes forget that I don't live here.



Be sure I will report back here with any treasures I might acquire from my little shopping expedition today. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Eat, play, shop. :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mid-Summer Craving

Straw Bags & Flower Clips
I'm lovin' straw bags and flower accessories this season.
Items shown are less than $50 (yeh!).
The hunt begins...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Jacqueline Kennedy

Jacqueline Kennedy tops the fashion icon list. She's right up there with Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly (in my opinion). In trying to write a succinct yet worthy post, I find Jackie almost too complex to contain in a few paragraphs. So many interesting things have been noted about her...her character, her style, her influence.


No photo has been taken of Jackie that does not depict her classic style and unparalleled grace. Whether she is at a formal event, tending her children, or riding horses, she's a picture of perfection.


Wouldn't it be so divine if gloves were to make a comeback? I think so.

Jackie wasn't just a pretty face in great clothes. She was extremely intelligent with interests in history, art, and literature. She spoke French fluently and dazzled people with her social graces wherever present.


She understood the power of clothing and image and used it to reflect the internationalism of the Kennedy Administration and the promise of the 1960's. At a time when the majority of women were expected to play the supportive, but never equal, role in marriage, Jackie exuded her own personality and opinions in all aspects of her life. Although she favored high-end, designer clothes, the clothes did not wear her, she wore them. Her clean suits, sleeveless A-line dresses and famous pillbox hats were an overnight success around the world and became known as the "Jackie" look.



In contrast to her outward appearance, life was not all perfect for Jackie. As a child, her life was upset by her parent's divorce in 1940. During her marriage to John F. Kennedy, she suffered the deaths of two children - her infant daughter in 1956, and premature son in 1963. Only months after losing her baby boy, President Kennedy was assassinated, leaving her widowed, raising 2 small children, alone at the age of 34.



5 years later, she married shipping magnate Aristotle Onasis. When her step-son Alexander died in a plane crash in 1973, her marriage as well as her husband's health began deteriorating. She was widowed for the second time at the age of 46.


Jackie's style evolved into a more casual, trendy look following her White House days. She would more likely be seen wearing wide-leg pantsuits, blue jeans, large lapel jackets, silk head scarves and large, round, dark sunglasses. Not so "classic Jackie", but still, ever so chic.


In 1994, Jackie was diagnosed with Lymphoma and she passed away only a few months later.


Her legacy lives on in the wardrobes of women of all ages. Just recently, J.Crew came out with a "Jackie" line of sweater sets. And there are many other items that will be forever associated with Jacqueline Kennedy. She made the clothes of her era look so good, we scout them out in vintage shops and thrift stores if only to look half as fabulous as her. Think about that: women still want to emulate her, decades later.


Classy, indeed.





Segments via http://www.thecityreview.com/jackieo.html. and Wikipedia.
picture #4 via www.wallflowerdispatches.com

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Riding the Short Bus

I mean, Short Boat...


Allow me to take a break from fashion to provide you with some recent family history. This past January, my dear, sweet, talented mother-in-law, Danna, was asked to be a guest soloist for a concert being held at a big church in Bloomington, MN. She was all prayed up and ready to go, when for an unknown reason, she fainted. She hit her head very, very hard in three places. People said the whole church shook when she fell. Big, serious, life-threatening boo boo.


The wires/filters in her brain got all jumbled up. She spent months and months in terrible pain. She slept all the time. It's been a real struggle.


Things have improved greatly, but she still suffers with memory loss, noise sensitivity, fatigue, and balance...among other things. Recovery is slow, but we are so thankful for the progress made thus far.


My in-laws are avid boaters. It's usually all about the kids (we have 3 adorable nieces: Emma on right), but this weekend they were occupied with others things, so we decided to take an all-adult boat trip. Danna wasn't having a particularly good day, but wasn't about to miss the boat. When we all got settled in, Danna asked for her ear plugs to help with the noise. Uh oh. Left them at home.



It might have been an unbearable day for Danna, but after briefly considering the supplies on the boat and our lack of options, I offered a tampon as a solution. That's right. I suggested my mother-in-law plug her ears with a tampon. We are not too proud in our family to do these sort of things. And thank goodness, it helped.



We found a little beach along the river and stopped for an oh-so-tasty lunch. Hubby Steve, and sister-in-law, Angie, entertained the rest of us with a little jig in tune to the blasting stereo from a nearby boat. Here's how it went:



video


Ah...good times on the short boat.



Monday, July 13, 2009

Vintage Treasures


Once upon a time (about six years ago), a sweet gentleman (Chuck)
arrived at a little church in East St. Paul with bags and bags
of women's clothing. He was helping an elderly friend...uhm...downsize(?)
Anyway, this dress was one among many treasures found
inside those bags. It was restored to near perfection with a gentle washing
and new buttons.

Sorry, sweet, vintage, beaded purse...
I don't recall where you came from, but you're special just the same.
My pal Elaina made these earrings out of vintage buttons.
You might find a pair for sale here every now and then, but not today.


This is what I wore to work last Thursday.
Not including my slip (see previous post),
I'm guessing this entire outfit cost me less than $15.
My brown Impo shoes were purchased at DSW on super duper clearance.

Giveaway!





Don't miss out on a chance to win this lovely BB Dakota Dress from Chickdowntown!


Simply go to Danielle's blog, Fell4Fashion, and post a comment by Friday, July 17 at noon. Easy!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Product Review: Under-thing

In my experience, thrift stores are the best places to find slips and camisoles for cheap. I'm not into spending money on under-clothes. The problem I find with slips is that many of them have seams in peculiar places. I don't know why they're designed this way because one purpose of a slip is to create a smooth line under clothing. So when there are visible seams or lace details, it bothers me a bit.


I have a few dresses that are quite sheer and have always been troubled by what to wear underneath. I had planned to wear my blue, vintage dress earlier this week (photo to come), but knew I was not satisfied with my slip choices.


To Target I went. I found the Vassarette Body Curves Slip. It looked like it might be a little more restrictive than I prefer, and certainly more expensive than I would typically spend on an under-thing. So I picked up a size larger than I would normally wear and told myself that the $17 would be well worth it for a good product.

Let me tell ya ladies, it holds everything in and improves the look of the exterior garment. There are absolutely no seams, no lace, no nonsense. The material is soft and stretchy. The straps are removable and adjustable for your varying garment needs. Warning: it is meant to be very snug, so if you're a fan of breathing, go up a size, maybe even two.


The only thing I do not like about this slip is that the skirt has a tendency to ride up the legs, nearing the bum. It's not uncomfortable, but it defeats the purpose when wearing a sheer dress/skirt. I'm contemplating ways to alter this problem (suggestions?).

Save the tag and the receipt and check it out for yourself. You may just love it.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Irregular Choice

I respect a brand of shoe that isn't afraid to be a little different. That breaks the mold. That stands out from the crowd. That says, "I'm not just a shoe, I'm a piece of art."



Irregular Choice is that brand. When I first laid eyes on a pair, I couldn't help but giggle and imagine the kind of woman who would wear these silly shoes. But now, I must say, that they've grown on me in a big way. I would likely wear well over half of their selection. Sure, they're a bit crazy, but insanity is in, so why not display the trend in footwear instead of lifestyle choices? Thus, we avoid rehab and have a healthier, happier society with funky shoes. Wow. I should go into politics.







If shoe names such as Fairy Dust and Chocolate Box and Swiss Cheese don't peak your curiosity, perhaps Mars Attack or Lick Me will do it for ya. 6pm.com has a selection of over 400 Irregular Choice shoes, all at discount prices. Enjoy!