Friday, January 29, 2010

Adjustable

Forgive me for my half-assed blogging this week.  Time and energy have not been on my side.  In an attempt to be more consistent with sharing outfit photos in frigid temps, I explored the only 2 open wall spaces in my tiny home.  Once again, I have concluded that no indoor lighting or backdrop exists that pleases me.  Perhaps creating a new space would be a good Spring/Summer project?  Hello, handy, creative husband.  :)

In the meantime, this is the best I could do. 


I had a hankerin' to break out the buffalo plaid tunic.  In the summer, I got away with wearing this with leggings and flats.  I like my skirts short (oh yes I do), but not offensively short (I hope).  So I knew I was going to have to add some length if I was going to wear it with tights and boots to the office.  This ivory corduroy skirt added just enough length and brightened up the whole ensemble. 

Can we talk about this belt for a second?  I wear it a lot.  It's my #1 belt.  It's elastic.  It's adjustable.  It's like a suspender!  I don't know if this type of belt has a name, so from now on that's what I'll call it:  a suspender belt.  It fits my hips, my waist, and every spot in between.  Brilliant.  Why can't all belts be adjustable?  

Oh, and I have new favorite black tights.   They're from Wal-mart.  I think I like them even better than Target tights.  I opted for control top to assure there would be no saggage, yet they don't dig into my flesh - yay!  Avoid muffin-top?  Yes, please.  They also do not have a weird sheen...no shiny legs for me.


Tunic:  Rue 21
Tee:  Target
Skirt:  J. Crew, thrifted via Goodwill Outlet
Tights:  Walmart
Socks:  Mom's sock drawer
Boots:  JC Penny

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Polaroids

So what if they're not real polaroids...I love that with just a few clicks my pictures can look vintagey.  

I've been rather ill.  My under-the-weather-ness ended up to be a crazy-terrible sinus infection.  My throat was a bit soar on Monday, and by Tuesday afternoon, I was absolutely miserable.  Look at my eyes...I look like death.  Hopefully my outfit was a light-hearted distraction to onlookers.  Like, "Hey, that girl looks like she's about to keel over...but she's wearing really cool tights!" 

(sigh)...one can only hope.





These are the tights I tried to style here with all black.  I like this much better.  Still a lot of black, but the floral pattern makes it all better.  I love mixing patterns, especially when one of the patterns is polka dot.



This dress was one of the many treasures I picked out of a free bag at church about 8 years ago.  I'm sure I've worn it more than the original owner ever did.  It has a lot of stretch to it and has been one of the few items to fit me through weight gains, losses, and shifts.  Somehow, it's become lopsided, being quite a bit longer in the back than the front...but I sort of digg it that way.



The next time you see these shoes,  they will be accented with a big, crocheted flower.  :)


Necklace:  Urban Outfitters
Cardigan:  H&M
Dress:  Vintage via free bag
Tights:  Thrifted, new via Valu Thrift
Booties:  Thrifted via My Sister's Closet

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

One Day Soon

The time is drawing near, my friends.  I have had quite enough of this hair atop my head.   I've let it grow over the past couple of years.  We've had our good times and bad.  But it's almost time to say goodbye.  Before we part (pun intended?), I've been browsing celebrity hairstyles for one that might suit the Jill of 2010.

I'm thinkin' short...like, definitely above my shoulders.  Something easy and kind of messy.  Unlike clothes and shoes, I do not make any sort of effort with my hair.  It's a little pathetic, actually.  But I just can't muster up the energy to style my hair every day.  I don't want to.  And I won't.  So this new hair has to be wash and wear...literally.

Here are a few styles that caught my eye:

I think this one might be the best option.  This seems pretty effortless.  The length seems ideal and I really like the side-swept bangs.



This one is cute too.  It seems a bit more styled, which makes me cautious.  I love the bangs, but recent history has shown that I would probably not keep up with them.  My hair grows like a weed - seriously - and making the extra effort to keep them cut amounts to too much work for me.



Don't worry, my blonde hair ain't goin' nowhere (though it's lookin' pretty muddy these days).  This is just another example of a possible easy-peasy style.  Side note:  I think Ginnifer Goodwin is so effortlessly adorable.



Ah...Nicole, my pal.  Yet another style I like but probably doesn't fit my criteria.  First of all, I would not part my hair down the middle.  I rocked that look in high school and it didn't do me any favors.  Second, this hair seems like it might have taken more than 60 seconds to do.  That said, I love the layers, the volume, and the color.



The big snip will be taking place within the next 2 weeks.  Eek! 
So, what do you think?  Any thoughts/advice before I chop my locks?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Flower Bootie DIY?


Check out these Kelsi Dagger 'Rosabella' booties.  Do we love them?  Oh yes, yes we do.  Unfortunately, spending the low ebay price of $140 is out of the question.  At least for me.




But that's ok, because with a little ingenuity, I can make my own flower booties, right? 
I think I can.  I think I can.

Here are the Diba booties I thrifted at My Sister's Closet last week:



Ok, so they may not have 3/4" platform or nearly 5" heel.  They're slightly less fabulous than Ms. Rosabella.  But they're comfortable and a perfect blank canvas for a simple DIY.

Check out the crochet flowers my cousin-in-law Janice made for me:



I'm going to add a big button in the center.  Won't that be so cute?

I'm still not entirely sure how to attach them to the boots.  I've received a few good suggestions but would love to hear yours if you have any ideas.  It would be great if I could attach them in such a way that they could be removed without visible damage to the boot.



Here I just used a large paperclip to see how they'd look.  I think I'm going to love them!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Aftermath of Fun

I'm feelin' just a tad under the weather today.  It's surely nothing a bowl of soup and night on the couch won't fix.  Until then, here's a pictorial recap of my super fun weekend:

Snow Tubing



Sushi



Melting Ice Scuptures



'The Wild'





Blank Space
(This is where a victorious Vikings picture should have gone.  Boo.)







Friday, January 22, 2010

Monday Rewind

Say what?! 
It's Friday, January 22, 2010?! 
Already?! 
How is that even possible?!

This week was such a whirlwind; I haven't had a chance to tell you about my thrilling Monday!  I took the day off of work.  Bankers and mail carriers and teachers get the day off (for MLK), so why can't I, right?

Steve dropped me off on Grand Ave. (St. Paul's shopping haven) around 9:30.  Grabbed a White Chocolate Mint Mocha while waiting for My Sister's Closet to open up.  It was the first day of their winter clearance sale.  As I approached their darling storefront, I was so pleased to find customers waiting for the doors to open, standing outside in the cold.  I love to witness the success of local boutiques, especially a shop like My Sister's Closet. 

I tried on quite a few items, including a fabulous pink fur coat that was SO tempting.  Ultimately, I had to pass knowing that it would probably go unworn in my closet.  See the strides I'm making to becoming a #2
So I ended up with a pair of Banana Republic trouser jeans, black J. Crew skirt, black Diba booties and a pink chunky necklace.  All items I know will get a lot of use, all for about $40.

I had additional time to kill before meeting up with Elaina, so I wandered down the street to a shop called Stella Blue.  For a boutique on Grand, items are very reasonably priced.  And of course they also had a ton of markdowns.  I fell in love with an I (heart) STP t-shirt and found a plaid hat to match.  They also had clearance jewelry so I picked up a long locket necklace and a pair of earrings.

After striking out at Bibelot,  J. Crew and Quince, I went into Karma, not expecting to find anything I could afford.  To my surprise, they also had clearance merchandise in my price range!  I bought a funky asymmetrical sweater and have already worn it twice since Monday!

Elaina picked me up for lunch at Cupcake (yum) then we swung by Goodwill Outlet hoping to find a few treasures.  The selection wasn't very good, but we did end up with a few things for a grand total of $4 and some cents.

Monday evening we'd planned to take a pole dancing class (sounds like fun, right?) with a few other girlfriends, but schedule changes and other conflicts came up so we decided to make it some other time.  Instead, a few of us met for drinks and appetizers at Grumpy's in Roseville.  New friend Amanda (right) joined us and we had such a blast.  Crazy, crazy girls.





Hat:  Borrowed from Elaina
Scarf:  Borrowed from Elaina
Jacket:  Tulle via Urban Outfitters
Sweater:  new from Karma
Jeans:  Banana Republic via My Sister's Closet
Shoes:  Diba via My Sister's Closet

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Blogger Event

By some random, divine notion, I googled "Minnesota Bloggers" one uneventful day in December. The results of my search and a few extra clicks led me to Missy at The Marketing Mama. She had just posted about organizing a blogger volunteer event at Feed My Starving Children...


Back up about 3 years.

I use to work for a local appliance company doing their accounts receivable. I worked closely with one of the owners who I shared some common interests with in terms of faith, community involvement and volunteerism. He and I met up for lunch one day after he'd retired.  One comment from our conversation had been nagging at my mind and heart for these several years. He said something like this: "I suggest you check out Feed My Starving Children".

Needless to say, when I heard about Missy's event I knew it was something I HAD to do.




We met at a local restaurant and I didn't know a soul. I wouldn't usually put myself in that sort of social situation on purpose, but I did my best to get over my shyness and ended up meeting some really sweet, interesting, fun ladies.

Once at FMSC, it was briefly (yet powerfully) explained to us what their ministry is all about and the kind of difference they're making in the lives of millions of children and their families worldwide. We washed up, donned our hairnets, and got to work packaging the life-saving food. 13,824 meals to be exact. With that, 38 children who would otherwise die of starvation can eat every day for a whole year. Pretty awesome, huh?

The food we packaged will go to Haiti.

I was so highly impressed with FMSC - their organization, their passion, their mission. I'll be orgainizing a group from my church to go in the near future.

Feed My Starving Children doesn't run on voluteered time and energy alone. They depend on monetary donations to pay for food and operating costs. $0.17 will feed a child for a day. If you feel inclined, check out the donation page here.

I am so pleased to have shared this wonderful experience with these 39 fabulous strangers...now Minnesota Blogger friends! :)

A huge THANKS to Missy for organizing this event!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Weekending - Part 2

Ah!  So much to blog about, so little time!  I can't wait to tell you about the Minnesota Blogger Volunteer Event that I participated in last night, but I couldn't possibly squeeze all that I wish to share in the amount of time I have today.  Tomorrow!

I have time for quick outfit post.

This is what I wore Sunday:



Can I be honest with you without sounding super conceited?  Because I'm not super conceited...not usually. 

I felt pretty darn hot in this outfit.  There.  I said it.

I rarely feel hot.  I always aim for cute, or pretty, definitely not hotHot generally makes me feel really self-conscious.  And I do not like feeling self-conscious.  My mama raised a modest girl.  So perhaps this is as hot as I get without the self-consciousness.  Ok, I'll be done with the italics now, promise.



Because of the issues I have with hot (whoops, I lied), this sweater dress has been a difficult item for me.   I've tried toning it down with jeans or flats, but neither looks were incredibly flattering.

This very cool purple tunic I won from Idée Géniale's giveaway a few months ago and was just the thing to layer under the short sweater dress.  It's gathered on the sides, so the length is somewhat adjustable.  It also has a sassy zipper up the back.  I'm determined to come up with numerous ways to wear it...it's just too much fun.



Oh!  And I think this is the first time I've posted these boots!  I love them!

Tunic:  Kensie via Idée Géniale
Sweater Dress:  ?
Belt:  ?
Tights:  Target
Socks:  TJ Maxx
Boots:  JCPenny



Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Weekending - Part 1

Hello friends.  I've returned from a fun-filled three day weekend.  It began Friday evening with Steve and I picking up our two youngest nieces from daycare.  Nora is 4 and Emma is 2.  They're a fun bunch.  We took them to McDonalds playland and let them play themselves silly. Nora says the darndest things like "good thing this icecream is white so we don't have to brush our teeth". 



Speaking of icecream, Emma took the biggest bite of her life, looked at me in painful surprise and mustered out "cold".  Maybe you had to be there, but it was pretty stinkin' cute. 



Back at their house we watched G-Force.  As usual, I fell asleep.  But I woke up in time to watch Nora shake her tushy to the Black Eyed Peas while the credits rolled.  The girl's got rhythm, no lie.  Oh, and she sings her ABC's in perfect pitch.

I spent Saturday with Elaina, hoping to get our crafty on.  We didn't accomplish much for all the socializing that went on.  Elaina's House = Grand Central Station.  It was a super fun day nonetheless.  And it certainly didn't hurt that the weather turned all tropical on us - above freezing!  Coat cast aside, I exclaim, "Thank ya, sweet Jesus!"

I wore my fab new cape for the second day in a row, which is a sure sign it was a very worthwhile purchase.  I'd been looking all over for a cape, but couldn't commit to any I saw online.  I found this one at Valu Thrift for a mere $6.99.  Still had the original tags on it and everything.



Oh blinding sun, how I love thee.


Look, I have a shadow!  Hello, ol' pal!




Cape:  Thrifted via Valu Thrift
Shirt and tank:  Target
Jeans:  F21
Boots:  via DSW
Bag:  Ecko Red via Ross

Monday, January 18, 2010

Award

Sweetie Tamara at Brunette and Pink was so kind to pass this Beautiful Blogger Award on to moi! Thanks, Tamara!

The Beautiful Blogger Award requires recipients to list 7 details about themselves and pass it on to another 7 beautiful bloggers.


  1. I am deathly afraid of public speaking.  DEATHLY.
  2. I just started knitting again!  Pictures soon!  I can't knit worth a darn with needles so I use kiddie looms.
  3. I used to pretend I had Carebear powers.  And that I could fight bad guys like the Teenage Mutan Ninja Turtles.
  4. I'm super lazy about my hair (ponytail again?) and plan on chopping it off soon...maybe next month.
  5. '2' is my favorite number because 1 is lonely and 3 is a crowd. 
  6. Am I the only person on the planet who isn't into LOST?  Because it really feels like it.
  7. I have never owned a scale and never care to.  However, I will weigh myself at a friends house from time to time.  But certainly not often enough to develop a complex.

I couldn't possibly choose only 7 beautiful bloggers for this award, so I nominate...all of you! If you choose to participate, let me know in a comment and I'll be sure to read the 7 details about YOU!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Introducing...

...my very first...

...my very own...

BUSINESS CARDS!



Printed these for a Minnesota blogger event that I'll be attending on Tuesday. 
I'm so excited!

For the Locals

Attention Twin Cities shoppers!

My very favorite vintage/consignment boutique, My Sister's Closet, will be having their annual Winter Clearance Sale January 18-30.  The entire store will be 50% off!   I'm barely holding back my happy dance.

Some fabulous news for Minneapolis pals: My Sister's Closet is expanding to your neighborhood!  Word is the new location at 2741 Hennepin Ave. S. will be open Febuary 1st!

Yippee!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Unworn No More

Though I'm not particularly fond of the way any of the outfit pictures from yesterday turned out (by no fault of the photographers - I'm a hard subject), I am proud to say I wore two items from my 'unworns' pile!  It was as if this army green shirt dress and blazer were made for each other.  The look leans a bit more toward business formal than I'm used to, but it's good to change things up every now and then. 



I may have been subconsciously influenced by Veronica on Better Off Ted, having watched two episodes the night before.  I love that show and hope it doesn't get cancelled.  Veronica wears the most beautiful suits.  I'm not really into suits for myself, but if I were, I'd want to have a collection just like hers.




This may sound strange, but many blazers and fitted jackets have tendancy to stress me out.  I love this particular blazer, and it fits really well, but even the slightest arm restriction and I get all tense and uncomfortable.  Am I alone, or do others feel this way about blazers?  For this reason, I changed into a less constricting wrap sweater when I got home.  Relief!




I love the flower pin that came with the jacket and thought it would be a shame to only wear it on the blazer.  So I put it in my hair. 



Both outfits were slightly more on the classy/conservative side than I would normally wear, but I think I pulled it off as best as I could.


Pearls:  Gift from Mom & Dad-in-law (from China)
Dress:  F21, thrifted via ARC's Vallue Village
Blazer:  Banana Republic, thrifted via ARC's Vallue Village
Tights:  ?
Shoes:  Oh Deer!  via Amazon.com
Wrap Sweater:  Banana Republic, thrifted


Still tryin' to figure out where that darn spell check button is....grr.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My Endless Love

Oh, how I love endless.com.  You already know this.  I may not be their most loyal customer, but it is the shoe site I go to before any other.  Sure, I'll stray to 6pm, Piperlime, DSW or Amazon from time to time, but endless is definitely my first love.  I mean, golly, who can resist free overnight shipping and free returns?  I'm barely holding it together over here.  I will NOT buy these shoes.  I will NOT buy these shoes.  I will NOT buy these shoes.

I have big plans for this sweet thang. 
I'm channeling a certain DNKY fall/winter line, I think.






I don't own anything like this.  It's probably time that I do.






These are just plain fun.  They'd make people smile, for sure. 
Perhaps they could be my cheery contribution to this SADD winter?



 Find it for less here.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Anticiskating

My hope was that today would be warm enough to check out the ice rink across the street from where I work.  I wanted to be professional enough for the office, yet warm and comfortable enough just in case I found myself outdoors for any length of time.  There are only a few weeks left before they tear down the rink, and I really want to get out there this year...not sure if today is the day.  Put my skates in the car this morning so I can grab 'em and go at any time.



For being a Minnesotan 'n all, I'm a pretty bad skater.  When I was younger, during the winter Olympics, I would put on my slipperiest socks and glide and twirl across the kitchen floor, pretending to be figure skater.  Though I continue to own figure skates, I'm much better off in Hockey skates.  It's similar to rollerskates versus rollerblades.  Not so pretty or graceful, but not so hard on the ankles.  I do want to own a classic, white pair of rollerskates someday though...complete with pompom accessories, of course.



Scarf:  Borrowed from Elaina
Sweater:  Liz Claiborne, thrifted
Pants:  Kohls
Shoes:  Croft & Barrow, Kohls


Help?:  I finally switched over to Blogger's updated post editor.  So, where's the spell check on this thing? 

Monday, January 11, 2010

Unworns

Shoppers. We come in all different shapes, sizes, colors with varying styles and preferences.

Given the same scenario, we'd find that how a shopper reaches his/her conclusion of whether or not to purchase an item differs greatly from person to person.

If an item stands out to you and you find it at a good price, what goes through your mind? What questions, if any, do you ask yourself before you reason to either pass or purchase?

As examples...
#1: You love it. You can afford it. You buy it. No questions asked. You'll find a way to wear it no matter what.

#2: You think about what you would wear with it and if it has an immediate place in your wardrobe. If so, you'll buy it and wear it tomorrow. If not, it goes back on the rack.

#3: You love it, but know you have absolutely nothing to wear with it. You buy it anyway and the rest of your shopping time is spent buying other items with which you will build an outfit solely to accompany the initial purchase.

#4: You can't pass it up but have no idea what to wear with it. It'll likely go unworn for many months, but you figure you will eventually find a way to wear it and will be glad you made the purchase.

A few of my 'unworns'.

Do any of these thought processes seem familiar? Back when I had an expendable income (or so I thought), I was definitely a #3. Now, I admit to being a #4 most of the time.

The problem I find as a #4, is that I have too many unworn items in my closet. As I assess each piece I ask myself, "Why?"

Why haven't I worn this?
Do I even like it?
Why did I buy this?
What did I spend on this?
Is it worth keeping?
Does it need to be altered?
Do I like it enough to pay for alterations?
Can I make the alterations myself?
Is it damaged?
Can I fix it?
What would I need in order to make this wearable?
Different shoes? Specific undergarments? Particular accessories?

At the end of the day, this unworn item has taken up highly coveted closet real estate and plagues me with a twinge of regret - for purchasing it at all, OR guilt - for having never worn it. Perhaps I should not allow myself to buy one more thing until all unworns have been worn (or donated). But that just doesn't seem fair, does it?

This post has been a little anti-retail therapy for me. And so continues my efforts of becoming a #2...#1 at the very least. Thanks for joining me.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Stuck on a Feeling

Remember how I claimed to have a sixth shopping sense? Here's another reason why I believe this is true: It's like I can feeeel the purchases. I go into a store, browse around, maybe pick up a thing or two for the fitting room...but ultimately cannot approach the checkout area. That is, if I feel like there is something else...something I have yet to notice...something that is meant to be mine. Sometimes I don't have enough time to figure out what the missing item is, so I leave with an incomplete feeeeling.

Yeah, yeah, so I'm a bit psycho...er...gifted...whatev.

Such was the case at Valu Thrift last Saturday. After processing the likes versus loves that had made their way into my cart, I was left with a few solid, well-priced items to purchase. But that feeeeling pushed me onward. Deep down I was certain there was some great bargain I was missing. I made a few laps around the aisles, thinking it unlikely that something new and fabulous would have appeared in the few moments I was in the dressing room.

Then, as I approached the vintage aisle, what would my eyes behold but this plaid, vintage jumper. Looked to be about my size. Even looks homemade - cool! So that was it! I'd found the missing piece!


I snatched that baby up and bee-lined it to the register so fast that I took no notice of the smell. It wouldn't have mattered anyway since all of my thrift store pieces go straight to the laundry. Unfortunately, the single wash did not get the fowl, musty smell out entirely. I wore the garment, but was bothered by the scent all day. Back to the wash it goes.


Furthermore, in the dim lighting of my home, my eyes did not comprehend that the pattern clearly contains navy blue, not black. So black tights I did wear and that also was a bother to me. I know both colors are neutrals and supposedly can be worn together. But not like this. Not to me.

It took a while, but I did finally get over the black/blue issue. Once the smell is under control, I think this little number will be a great remixing piece. I'm excited about the many ways I can style it.

Turtleneck: Macy's
Jumper: Vintage via Valu Thrift
Necklace: Francesca's
Tights: Target?
Shoes: Anne Klein via Herbergers


Note to St. Paul peeps:
Participating Valu Thrift & Unique Stores have now extended their 25% off day to Thursday in addition to Monday for I M Unique card holders. The card is a discount card only and is free. Be sure to get yours the next time you're feelin' thrifty!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Beauty and the Beast

To bring an incredibly fun New Year's weekend to a perfect close, Steve and I attended the last performance of Beauty and the Beast at the Ordway Theater. It took some work for Steve to get the tickets - there was a little mix-up with the online box office. Ultimately, we saw the show from great seats for a discounted price. Beauty and the Beast now definitely ranks in my top 5 favorite theater productions.

We got in trouble for using our camera in the theater - even during intermission! But we were able to sneak in a few shots and only pretended to delete the pictures when they asked us to - such rebels, we are.


I probably should have dressed up a bit more, but I wore this to church and shopping earlier in the day, and just didn't feel like making an additional effort on a cold, Sunday evening. Underneath that scarf are some layered necklaces and a nifty little alteration to the bodice I made the night before. They made us put away the camera right after this shot, so didn't think about close-ups. Next time.
Scarf: Gap
Tee: Target
Dress: F21
Tights: Target
Boots: DSW