Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bloggin' in 2009

The year is coming to a close, my friends. And a truly wonderful year it has been. As sad as I am to leave 2009 behind, I'm also extremely excited for what the present and future hold for me, my friends, and family in 2010. This coming year I intend to get my hands dirty(dirtier) and dig deep(er) into the life God has called me to live. Love more. Play harder. Work smarter. Spend wiser. Think better. All that and much more.

This little ol' blog started out as a secret stash of thoughts and wishes. A way to pass the time at work. A creative writing outlet. A reason to start taking pictures again. But it has developed into a whole lot more than that to me and I fully intend for it's continued growth and development.

I'm so glad to have found a little nook for Spoils of Wear in the fashion blogging community. It wasn't exactly my intention, but turns out it's a good fit. Never have I considered myself uber fashionable. Still don't. I only love to shop and create with my shopping spoils, so if that qualifies as fashion-worthy, well...awesome. Within this community I've found more inspiration than I knew existed, concerning both style and life. I've come to appreciate a wide range of unique individuals and styles that I might have seriously questioned a year ago.


All that to say...


To the friends, followers and bloggers who made 2009 my best year yet!

I love you wonderful people!


See you next year.


Last Outfit Post of 2009

Wore this Monday to meet some lovely ladies for coffee at Sati in Woodbury. My camera ran out of battery, so these were taken with an iphone - hence the sub-quality photos. Better than nothing.

I thought it would be so smart to wear my cozy yellow golashes to avoid slipping on the icy terrain that is my condo parking lot. Didn't consider that it's nearly impossible to drive with these on my feet - I can't feel the pedals or bend my ankles! But a few close calls and several blocks later, I got the hang of it and made it safely to the coffee shop.




Before heading home, I stopped by Old Navy. It wasn't the best sales/clearance ON's ever had, but I did find a few items to take home. I have no problem finding skinny jeans that I like, but skinny trousers have been difficult. These passed the fit test and at only $15, I couldn't say no. Oldnavy.com has Low-Rise Skinny Pants for $19.99.

Best of all, I found the most perfect denim mini skirt on the clearance rack - under $8. It's the perfect length (not too mini), perfect color, perfect fit. Oldnavy.com has the Flap Pocket Denim Mini at regular price - $24.50, yikes!






Apparently, it pays to shop at the store.

Shirt: Ralph Lauren, Thrifted via Value Village
Cardigan: H&M
Belt: J. Crew
Jeans: Forever 21
Boots: J. Crew
In the Cup: Carmel Apple Cider





Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Time to Buy J. Crew

If you're into J. Crew at all, this is quite possibly THE BEST time to buy.

I recall last year, before Christmas, the offer was an additional 30% off and free shipping for orders over $150. This is almost as good. I had purchased: 3 pair of pants and boxers for Steve, for me: 1 pair of chinos, 2 tank tops, rain boots, socks...I'm sure to be forgetting stuff...all for about $100! Craziness!


Headless Best

I never cease to be amazed how awful my attempt at outfit pictures can be sometimes. If I could just get over myself long enough to ignore the questioning looks while I pose for a picture all by myself, this would no longer be an issue. But I don't foresee that happening anytime soon. I feel like a vain fool, that's what. Any advice on how to overcome this self-consciousness would be appreciated.

This was one such incident on Sunday when I really liked what I was wearing, but regardless of the four different shots Elaina tried to get, none of them really turned out. The best I could do was crop me apart and remove my head entirely (sigh).



Not sure why it mattered so much. I wore this skirt much the same way here. Guess I was sort of proud that I mixed it up a bit with the red tights and wedges instead of boots. I don't recall ever wearing this skirt without boots. Also happy to get some use out of that funny flower pin I made out of felt and a vintage button.

In other Sunday news...I saw the new Sandra Bullock movie The Blind Side. I went expecting to see the typical underacheiver sport story, but this movie was hardly about football. It was really good. I was reminded of why I see movies in the first place. The story is so touching and I left inspired to be a better human being. Yeah.




Turtleneck: Macy's
Sweater Vest: Target
Skirt: vintage, random free bag
Tights: Target
Shoes: Cole Haan via Marshall's

Photo here.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Traveling Through 2009

2009 has been an amazing year for so many reasons. I'm especially grateful that I was able to do as much traveling as I did. Whether it was a big Disney vacation or a short road trip, I've enjoyed every single travel opportunity.

My wonderful husband is the master-planner behind our vacations. He takes care of all the details in advance to ensure all involved have the best time possible. And we always do. Even when I'm just taggin' along on one of his business trips, he works extra hard to finish his projects early and reserve a little fun time for us.

I've never been satisfied simply knowing about fabulous places. I want to experience them for myself. If I could see all the wonders of the world before the end of my life, I would be so thrilled. Considering all of the new places visited since Steve and I have been married, that dream may not be so far-fetched. We love to travel - especially together. Someday we might run out of places to go in the Western Hemisphere. Oh wouldn't that be a problem?

























2010 has it's work cut out if it's going to compete with the incredible year of 2009. A new year brings fresh perspective and new possibilities. I can hardly wait to see what happens.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

From the bottom of my heart, wishing you much joy and peace.

Merry Christmas.



O Christmas Tree





For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
- Isaiah 9:6

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Humbug

The word 'humbug' is usually used in the context of 'nonsense'. But there is another meaning of the word: 'something or someone intended to deceive'. That's me today. I look all composed and put together. Lately I've been dressing in pretty, holiday colors. I'm even wearing little Christmas earrings today. But looks are deceiving....



In just a few days, the holidays will be over and I will be ever so happy. Call me a Scrooge, but this time of year brings me more stress than it does joy. I'm never prepared for Christmas. Not mentally. Not physically. Not spiritually. And definitely not financially.


Though I look forward to extra days away from the office, being with family, the food, the presents, the celebration, I can't help but be overwhelmed. I don't even want to go home. There are dirty dishes piled high, mountains of laundry - both clean and dirty, unwrapped gifts lining the walls, and weeks - nay months worth of crap everywhere. Steve and I have only been home to eat and sleep...and even that's been sparse. Then when I am home, I feel like the walls of our already too-small condo are closing in on me. I just can't manage everything...or anything. We need a vacation...



...so we've decided to ignore our living conditions for a little while longer and try to get through Christmas without thinking about it too much. We're even spending the night at my in-laws on Christmas Eve just to get away from it all and be with family.


With just a few hours I had on Sunday afternoon, I was able to make a dent in a few of the tasks awaiting me at home. Cleaned out my closet so I would be able to reach my clothes and have something to wear this week. Thank goodness for tried and true outfits that are sure to work.



This is one of my favorites. Though this skirt adds a little bulk where I need it least, I still really love it. Never thought it would fit me when I spotted it at last year's clothes swap. Just proves that you'll never really know until you try it on. Happy, happy me.

Humbug.

Scarf: Urban Outfitters
Long-sleeve tee: Target
Sweater: Kohl's (?)
Skirt: Target brand via clothes-swap (free!)
Tights: Target (?)
Shoes: Cole Haan via Marshall's


Monday, December 21, 2009

Can't Stop

I can't stop. Not even for a few minutes. If I do, I will surely fall into a deep, glorious sleep. I just need to hold out for a few more days.


My weekend was about as fabulous and exhausting as weekends get. Steve and I skipped out of work a few hours early on Friday to prepare for the ABCYC concert at the Mall of America. Just that morning, we received 200 copies of our limited edition pre-release Christmas album. All needed to be packaged in time for the concert at 5pm.




The concert was a success and we sold more Cd's than expected! After, we ate with friends, rode the Sponge Bob roller coaster at Nickelodeon Universe, did a little shopping, then went to a late showing of Avatar. I'm embarrassed to say, I slept through most of the movie, but what I saw of it was good. Visually stimulating, for sure.

After awaking Saturday morning to a scrumptious husband-made breakfast, we spent the greater part of the day Christmas shopping. Still not done, but we can see the finish line. Hallelu.

I think I have a sixth sense when it comes to shopping (for myself). All week I'd had the strongest urge to try on a pair of black boots I'd seen at JCPenny (I needed black boots). I resisted all week, then Saturday night called my mom for a mall date. Lo and behold, the boots were exactly what I wanted AND the only pair left were in my size! It was like they had been waiting for me all week! You will probably be seeing much of them in upcoming posts.

Sunday night was our church Christmas concert - the biggie. It went so well. Sometimes I get nervous during practice that we're not adequately prepared. But as soon as we get up there, everybody steps up to greatness. I am beyond proud. We sold all 200 Cd's this weekend, which was the goal - yippee!

Me and the really cute director.
Yes, I dressed him like that...on purpose.

The week of fun continues with a fondue party tonight, Survivor finale DVR party tomorrow (shh...don't tell me who won), more shopping, and Christmas festivities later in the week.

I have a good momentum going here. With the right amount of coffee, I think I can keep it up through next weekend.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Outfit Evolution


This ensemble was the result of several outfitting missteps.

Started out wearing this red turtleneck under a gray dress.

Didn't like it.

Removed the dress to put on this gray skirt.

Gray skirt was too big.

Layered it with a black sweater vest.

Sweater vest looked funny tucked into the skirt.

Layered over it with the gray cardigan.

Tight pattern was overkill.

Peep toe booties were cold.

Layered with knee-high socks.

And here we are.




Scarf: Vintage, thrifted
Turtleneck: H&M
Sweater Vest: Target
Cardigan: Target brand, thrifted
Skirt: Old Navy
Tights: Macy's
Socks: Mom's sock drawer
Shoes: Payless

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Army Chic

Last year, and the year before that, I reeeeally wanted a pair of Oh Deer! shoes. I watched a few great styles come and go but there was always something keeping me from them: the price, the color, the size, ect.

When I spotted these on Amazon for $40, marked down more than 50%, with only 1 left in my size, I felt I'd hit the jackpot. I love them. All 4" of pain-causing awesomeness. I really, really do. But I have had such a hard time finding stuff to wear with them. I say they're painful, but they really haven't been given a fair chance...they just need to be broken in a liiiittle bit more.

When I spotted this little jacket on the clearance rack at Forever21, I immediately thought of these shoes - a match made in heaven, perhaps?! It was miraculous that this little treasure actually fit being that it was the only one left in a size small. Thank you, Lord of bargains!

It came with a matching green belt that wouldn't stay tight. No biggie. Swapped it out for this black one which I like even better. Made me feel skinny.

Who says camouflage can't be fabulous? These shoes beg to differ.


Shirt: Macy's
Jacket: Forever21
Skirt: Target
Tights: Target?
Shoes: Oh Deer! via Amazon.com

Giveaway


Head on over to Delightfully Tacky for a chance to win
this oh-so-lovely necklace from Clyde's Rebirth. Love it!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Boot Alternative

Remember a few seasons ago when it seemed every dress on the market was a sack dress? I admit, I purchased quite a few, fully aware that I was rockin' a 6-months-pregnant look. Most of the sack dresses I acquired were able to be cinched with a belt...a much more flattering silhouette. This one however, was not one with belting possibilities.


But I kinda love it anyway.


Since I'm not super fond of the current black boots I own, I figured I should shake things up a bit by not wearing boots at all. This was the perfect opportunity for the black legwarmers to make their seasonal debut.


I like how they look pulled down around my heels, tucked into my shoes. This style inspired by my friend, Keely. Funky, funky girl, she is.

Shirt: Target
Dress: JC Penny or Herbergers...can't remember.
Tights: Target
Legwarmers: Target
Pumps: Kohls

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Rockin' It

This past Saturday, at the request of Elaina the birthday girl, a few girlfriends and I made plans to go rock climbing. Indoors, of course.

It had been many many years since I'd climbed a rock wall. It was very exciting. I'm somewhat of an adrenaline junkie. So long as I'm strapped in and all measures of safety have been addressed, I'll do just about anything. There has even been talk of skydiving next summer. Bring it.

I remember climbing with quite a bit of ease in my late teens/early 20s. Just figured this would be a similar experience. Not even close. I'm sooooo out of shape. My muscles just don't do what they used to and my endurance is just plain sad...and I'm only 27.

My initial strategy was to be fast and let momentum take me to the top. But after trying that a couple of times, I figured out that I had to pace myself instead. Too much too soon and I'd be exhausted less than half way up. And rappelling down isn't nearly as fun if you're not at the top.

Here we are. Ready to go.


Rockstar Keely!


Elaina and I thought our harnesses "tickled".
Maybe they were just on too tight...


Katie was the most experienced climber among us.
She also has the greatest advantage having nice, long limbs.
She looks good climbing...like she knows what she's doing.


We met a great group of people that helped us belay since Katie was the only one in our group authorized to do it. We would have been limited to the automatic devices (what are those things called?) if not for these awesome new friends.


This was the one open piece of wall where I was actually able to reach the top.
I did it twice. Yeh me.



I'm still a little sore today, but it feels good. I must make sure it isn't another 7 years before I get back on a rock. It's a good 'ol time.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Shorty

For as much as I despise winter (the cold, the driving conditions, the short days, the brown slush), I adore it for the necessary layering. Layer me up, baby. Not sure who I first spotted incorporating shorts into the winter months - I think it might have been my friend Katie. In any case, I started in on it a couple of years ago and feel that it is a perfect weekend look for me personally. I realize this may not be every one's cup of tea, but if you're looking to expand your winter wardrobe, maybe take a little risk, I highly encourage it. Don't knock it until you try it, right?

I sport my winter shorts in one of two ways. The style above is what I prefer: Short, loose, pleated. This is WAY comfy, leg-flattering, and rather uptown chic.

The other way is with straight-leg walking shorts. A bit trickier because they actually have to fit well and be a particular length - just above or at the knee is most flattering.

Either way, I'm never without opaque tights, knee-high socks and boots. I should probably try something new - maybe switch it up a bit with leg warmers and pumps or simply swap out the boots for a cute pair of flats. But a creature of habit, I am.

I do wish I felt that I could wear this to work, but fear it's not quite up to the "smart-casual" dress code. Though there are far greater abuses that occur every day... Eh.

Oxford: Ralph Lauren, thrifted
Sweater: Target
Shorts: Walmart
Tights: Old Navy?
Socks: TJ Maxx
Boots: Madden Girl via DSW.com

Giveaway!


Comment here for a chance to win a $20 giftcard to Maurices!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Top 5 Ways to Shop for the Holidays

Happy Friday!

I was asked to write a guest blog post for become.com!

Check out my Top 5 Ways to Shop for the Holiday's!

Have a lovely weekend, dear readers. Stay warm!

Giveaway!


Congratulations to Kathleen for winning Shabby Apple's Dare to Design Contest! The Lawn Frock she designed is absolutely fabulous and I can't wait to see it in the Shabby Apple shop this spring!

Here's yet another giveaway from Grosgrain! See additional pictures and find out how to win here.

I love the color of this dress and how it's styled with the wide belt (belt included!).

Good luck!





Thursday, December 10, 2009

Say Cheese!

After three straight days of recording, we still have 3 more songs to go. One of those songs, Steve's rockin' arrangement of Carol of the Bells, I would vote "most difficult". Must. Study. Verses. In a last ditch effort to get this album out before the 18th, we've added one more night of recording. But not until Saturday. Whew. I can't wait to get home tonight, fix up some Hamburger Helper, and relax with my Stevie.

Also on the CD front, is the creation of the album cover. Steve is playing around with a few designs, but hasn't found one yet that he's 100% happy with.

It was decided that we would all wear jeans with a white top, hat and/or matching scarf. I'm not convinced black wouldn't have been a better choice than white, but oh well. We looked bright, shiny and warm and that's what matters.

Photographer friend, Matt came to shoot the pictures.
It's hard organize and direct a group of 25, but all went well. Thanks, Matt!


Thanks to the hard work of Steve and Elaina, there was a white backdrop...

...and a black backdrop. And candles.


Elaina and I didn't get quite enough time in front of the camera (haha),
so we took an extra picture...

....or two.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tied Up

I don't have much to say today.
Work. Sing. Work. Sing. Work. Sing. Rest???
Until then: Starbucks.

I love a blouse that ties in a sweet bow at the neck.
Makes menswear pieces less man-ish.

These trousers are tricky.
My shoes must be just the right height or the pants look funny.
I've been wearing my red boots a lot lately.
They're the only shoes that work with these pants, so I have to consider my top selection carefully.

How 'bout them bangs? They need a trimmin'.

Blouse: Target
Cardigan: H&M
Trousers: Old Navy
Boots: Thrifted via Savers