Friday, February 26, 2010

Next Week

These 2 weeks since Valentine's Day and the knowledge of my upcoming vacation has been torturous, but it's finally HERE!  I'll spend the day tomorrow cleaning and packing and then bright and early Sunday morning, I'll be flying to San Juan to spend a week exploring the Caribbean.

Vacation is not a place for ANY electronic devices (as far as I'm concerned), so I mustered up some blogging goodness in advance for you.

I purchased a Gap shirt-dress a couple of weekends ago from Valu Thrift for less than $4. Since then, I have challenged myself with styling it 5 different ways. Each day next week I will present you with a different style. Then when I'm back to real-time blogging next Monday, I hope you will participate in voting for your favorite.

Oh, the possibilities...
Shirt Dress
I'll see you next Monday, friends! XO

Giveaway!


Here is an opportunity to win this oh-so-lovely necklace from Allora Handmade
This etsy shop is definitely worth a looksee.  I'm lusting after every single item.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mr. T

Well, you may have guessed...our car was totaled in the accident.  We've been driving a rental for the past few days.  I've been pretty 'whatever' about the whole thing, just thankful that Steve is ok.  Steve, on the other hand has been working really hard with the insurance companies, lenders, dealers in order to get us a fair deal and a new car.


I couldn't be more pleased with the outcome!  We purchased this 2003 Toyota Rav4 (looks and smells brand new!) for a reasonable price.  And no, I'm not the least bit concerned about the Toyota recalls.  Steve and I are big Toyota fans and will continue to buy them no matter. 

We don't have kids or pets, so we name our cars (don't judge).  We named our new guy Mr. T.  Because he's a Toyota and sort of has a mohawk.  And didn't the Mr. T drive a black van or something?  Just seemed like a good fit.  We pity the fool who doesn't like Mr. T.  Ha.

Are you a nut-job like us who names their cars?  If so, do share with the rest of the class! 



And hey, while we're at it...why not an outfit post huh?

Scarf:  Gift from Girly Muse MANY years ago
(Lori:  what do you think, maybe 8 or 9 years?  I still LOVE it!)

Tank:  Wal-Mart
Sweater:  Target
Jacket:  Anne Taylor, thrifted via Valu Thrift
Pants:  Banana Republic, thrifted
Boots:  Madden Girl via DSW

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Giveaway!


Yet another opportunity to win a beautiful dress at Grosgrain
Don't miss out on your chance to win!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Anti-Frumpy

Unlike yesterday's outfit post where I felt like I was screaming COLOR, today is a little more subtle.  I was actually inspired by this pretty outfit of Sara's over at Orchids in Buttonholes.  Neutrals with an unexpected pop of color is just so darn fun.

If I'd had extra time in the morning, I probably would've swapped the yellow purse for a black one to allow the fuchsia tights to shine alone, but I certainly don't dislike the two colors together.



It would seem like this gray dress would be a cinch to style, but in actuality, 3 of the 4 ladies who received one of these dresses has expressed difficulty wearing it.  And the one lady who hasn't said anything about it is pregnant...so there ya go.  There's a whole lot of volume - both in the sleeves and the skirt that can feel a little frumpalicious if not careful.  Elaina has this dress in blue and has worn it successfully with a belt.  It was the first accessory I tried, but I fill out the top a little too much and the belt just ended up looking goofy with the empire waist.

All that being said, I felt that this combination was definitely a winner.  I didn't feel frumpy at all.  Yeh.

Scarf:  Wal-Mart
Tee:  Target
Dress:  Free from work via Target.com
Tights:  Target
Socks:  TJ Maxx
Boots:  JC Penny
Purse:  Ecko via TJ Maxx

Monday, February 22, 2010

Rainbow Bright

I didn't watch much of her show as a kid. I was more of a Carebear's fan.  But I did have a Rainbow Bright doll that I thought was pretty cool.  She wore some kind of funky outfit, that's for sure.  No doubt a product of the 80's.

If I understand her story correctly, Rainbow's mission in cartoon life was to spread color throughout a drab, shadowy world.  Such was my intention for wearing all this color last week. 

Now, I may not have a team of Sprites to help me fight off the weary winter, nor a fabulous unicorn to get me to and fro, but for the real world, I think I've done my part in sharing color amid colorlessness.

And I will have you know that the days since I wore this have been sunny perfection...warm in the 30's.  The dreariness just couldn't take it, I guess.


Scarf:  Gap
Shirt:  Target
Cardigan:  Target
Belt:  J. Crew
Trousers:  Old Navy
Boots:  Thrifted via Savers
Purse:  Ecko via TJ Maxx
Blow-pop sucker:  Cherry

Friday, February 19, 2010

Not-So-Olympic Gear

Have you been watching the Olympics?  Did you see Shaun White and his gold-winning halfpipe run?  Is he not the craziest, most awesome dude you've ever seen?  I think snowboarding is the coolest winter sport there is. 

Me?  I've tried boarding, but I'm way better off with skis.  In fact, my K2's are awaiting me at home for a little ski action tonight.  Trollhaugen, here I come.

Part of what makes snowboarding what it is, is the gear.  It's not like any other winter sport.  The gear is fully functional yet super trendy.  The 'it' color or print can always be found in the latest and greatest pant/jacket combo.  The laid-back style of the clothing typically reflects the laid-back attitude of the boarder, and of the sport. 

I respect the spirit of snowboarding entirely.  And I'm a little jealous that I don't look half as cool on skis as they do on boards, even decked out in the same, fab gear.  I get that it's relaxed and casual and comfortable...they are the surfers and skateboarders of the snow...I get it.  I really do.

So it's with deep regret that I say this...

I really dislike the US Snowboarding Team Uniform.  I don't mind the plaid jacket so much, but the pants...the pants are terrible.  Compared to competitors, the US team looks like complete slobs.  Supposedly, it's all in the spirit of America.  We are jeans kind of people, so what better way to represent than with snowboard pants in a distressed denim print, right?  Sorry, I think we could do better. 


If I saw these pants on the hill at my local ski venue, I'd probably think they were pretty neat.  I don't know that I would wear them, but whatev, they're cool.  But for our Olympians?  I understand that it's not about what they wear, but about how they perform.  But the uniform of a team makes a statement.  And a uniform that poses the question, "Are they homeless?" is probably not making the best statement.

Perhaps our 2014 threads will be more American, less just-rolled-out-of-bed. 

There's been quite a bit of talk about it.  Some people love it, some people hate it.  I want to know what YOU think.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Burrito Comfort

Some days, it's not about coming up with the chicest, cleverest outfit in the world.  Some days, it's about simplicity and comfort.  Like Mondays.  Mondays are those kind of days.  Yes, I'm a little behind in outfit posts.


Consider these skinny trousers from Old Navy.  I feel like such a scrub when I wear them because they're soooo comfortable...too comfortable.  Not like skinny anything should be.  But they can't help it, it's just how they are.  I forgive them.

And this sweater that I picked up at TJ Maxx for $5?  Fabulously roomy.  I could eat 4 Chipotle burritos and this baby would still fit.  Now that's a good sweater.  That's a sweater that has my back...literally.  If I ever had the opportunity to take down 4 Chipotle burritos in one sitting, that would be a good day...followed by a really bad day.

For some reason, I thought I couldn't fit pants into these boots.  Well...they showed me.  They went on easily over the skinny pants and that was the end of discussion.  Do I really have discussions with my shoes?  Maybe...

Necklace: ???
Turtleneck:  Herbergers
Sweater:  TJ Maxx
Pants:  Old Navy
Boots:  Steve Madden via DSW

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ad-Inspired

Sometimes magazine advertisements foster more inspiration than the magazine articles/features themselves.  That is in no way a plea for more advertisements ...but I'm just sayin'.

This casual ensemble was featured in an Ann Taylor LOFT ad in February's Lucky Magazine.  I adore the pretty, pastel color palette and delight in the casual, tomboy pieces paired with fancy, dainty accessories.

Someday, when the weather allows, I know I can come up with a very similar look with items I already have in my closet.  But who wants to wait for weather?  Not me.  So how do I recreate this sweet, spring look without freezing my tushy off?

Swap out the shorts for pants, sandals for boots.  I think it's time for me to invest in some distressed denim...that would've helped this look a lot.  My jacket did come with a removable hood, but I'm a hat girl, through and through. 

These ridiculously large, pink beads were a must-have at My Sister's Closet clearance sale last month.  I took them right off a mannequin and never looked back.  Perfect girly element?  I think so.


Hat:  J. Crew
Necklace:  Thrifted via My Sister's Closet
Shirt:  Old Navy
Jacket:  Forever 21
Belt:  Thrifted via ARC's Vallue Village
Jeans:  Forever 21
Boots:  DSW

Giveaway!


Win this Shabby Apple dress in your size by commenting here!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mouth-Watering



I can't afford anything at Boden, but geez-louise, I love the stunning shapes and colors they have goin' on in their spring collection.  Everything looks so crisp and fruity.  Pretty sure that green jacket might actually taste like a lime popsicle. 

With a cruise on the horizon, I'm finding these bright dresses even more irresistible.
 
And those color-block wedges!?  They look like candy to me.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Downs and Ups

Well, this weekend certainly was eventful.  I received a call from Steve late Friday afternoon telling me he'd been in a car accident.  He's ok other than some soreness and driving paranoia.  Some guy supposedly fell asleep at the wheel on I35E and didn't realize traffic had come to a stop.  Bam!  Right into the rear, driver-side corner of our cute Toyota Yaris.  I'm just so thankful that the damage was to the car and not my sweet husband!


We're waiting to hear whether or not the car is totaled. 

I still ended up making it out to The Burning Sage Galleries grand opening Friday evening.  What a lovely place!  I bought a belt and some crocheted coasters.  The music was great - as expected. 

Steve and I had agreed to keep Valentine's Day easy-peasy and no-budget this year.  So when Mr. E presented me with this card early Saturday morning I thought, 1. It's not even Valentine's Day yet! and 2. We agreed no cards/gifts! 


But I soon understood why he just couldn't wait! 


How could I be mad?  I'm so freaking excited!

I took myself shopping Saturday afternoon hoping to find some goodies for the cruise.  I succeeded in thrifting a dress that will certainly have a place in my suitcase, but all of my other finds were only cold-weather worthy.  Be sure you'll be seeing the loot in upcoming posts.

Aside from Sunday morning church service, our Valentine's Day was spent chillin' at home.  I made a simple lunch and then cuddled up on the couch for the Olympics.  I haven't enjoyed the Olympics this much since I was a kid.  It's been intense, hasn't it?

Here's my Valentine's Day outfit choice:



The white blouse is sleeveless which just won't do for February.  I didn't have a cropped cardigan that looked right with the dress, so I took this regular ol' cardigan, wrapped, and pinned in place.  Me likey.

I felt sort of bare-legged with just the lace tights on, so I layered them up with dark gray tights underneath.  Much better.

Blouse:  Old Navy (outlet?)
Cardigan:  Express
Dress:  Forever 21
Tights:  dark gray - Old Navy, black lace - ?
Shoes:  Kohl's

o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o

Welcome new followers!  Where on earth did you all come from?  Perhaps this post at What Would a Nerd Wear sent you my way?  (Thanks, Tania!)

No matter how you may have stumbled upon my little piece of cyberspace, I am so happy you're here.  If I haven't visited your blog yet, I certainly intend to.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Periwinkle Blue

When I was a pre-teen, I had several friends who had pet parakeets.  Naturally, I wanted one too.  My mom and I picked out a vibrant, green guy and named him Chico.  He was a perfect, gentle bird.  He had a very mild temperament, never bit anyone and seemed quite content in our home.

So I don't exactly recall why we thought to purchase another bird some time later.  We bought her from the same reputable pet shop as Chico.  She was still a week little baby birdie when we fell in love with her and brought her home to be Chico's cage-mate.  We named her ChiChi.  She was periwinkle - that perfect shade somewhere in between blue and purple. 


ChiChi turned out to be a little more difficult...a little more feminine than we originally thought she'd be.  She bit.  Not hard, but enough to shock you a little.  She was a bit stouter than Chico and was very much the bully of the cage.  We thought another bird would be good for Chico, but I think she just really annoyed him.  I guess bachelorhood was more his style.  But how could we have known?

Later, we acquired another male bird named Perry from some friends of ours.  So even though ChiChi would ultimately share her space with two boys, she never showed any interest.  Never laid any eggs.  Independent bird-woman, she was.

Regardless of her flaws, I loved ChiChi.  My little baby bird.  Every time I see periwinkle, I think of her.



Such was the case when I spotted this faux-leather mini skirt at H&M.  It was $5.  Had it been any more, I probably would've passed it up and never thought about it again.  Bought it in a size up to accommodate a little more leg coverage.  It was one of those pieces I figured would sit in my closet for a while before I'd find a good way to wear it.  But that wasn't the case!  It actually seems like I'm making strides to wearing what I buy right away...at least within a few weeks of purchase.

I was slightly concerned that the material and length wouldn't be appropriate for work, so I kept it low-key on top and chose to wear flats.  Maybe it's just me, but I think tights and flats can make just about any 'sexy' mini totally wearable in conservative settings.  Or maybe that's just what I tell myself so I can get away with shorter hemlines.  If so, I'll stay delusional, thank you very much.

Necklace:  Fracesca's
Turtleneck:  Target
Cardigan:  H&M
Skirt:  H&M
Tights:  Wal-Mart
Shoes:  Wal-Mart
Purse:  Target


For the Locals

Dear Art, Fashion, Music and Fun Lovers of the Twin Cities,

I'm so thrilled to be attending the grand opening of a new Minneapolis sweet spot The Burning Sage Galleries TONIGHT!  This boutique belongs to some dear friends of mine and I could not be more excited for them in this venture!

Remember those crazy-funky gloves that I wore here?  Well, similar (yet one-of-a-kind) treasures are for sale at Burning Sage!  Girly Muse even posted pictures of them and other amazing creations here

Oh, and see that pretty dangly on my wrist in yesterday's post?  Really regret not getting a close-up. That's a charm watch crafted by the Girly Muse/Boutique Owner herself.  You might just find something like that at Burning Sage too. 

In addition to the lovely hand-crafted items to purchase, tonight will also feature several local musicians. I'm familiar with most of the musical guests and can't imagine a more wonderful evening.  The party starts at 7pm - I'd love to see you there!

Come on out to support a locally owned business and have grand ol' time!

The Burning Sage Galleries
2750 Johnson St. NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Little Details

It has taken me forever to wear this sweater!  But now I can finally check it off my 'unworns' list.  It's just the sweetest little thing, but I could not come up with a solution to my bra showing through the lacy part.  It bugged me.  And I don't wear strapless.  Strapless bra = nightmare.  So here we are with a black, crew-neck tank top underneath.  It's a bit off-center in the picture...hopefully it wasn't like that all day.  Even if it was, I'll take that over people seein' through to my unmentionables.
 
I love the sweater all by itself, but I felt like it could use a little black embellishment.  This little bow came on a cardigan from H&M, but I don't wear them together very often.  Actually, I've probably worn the bow more than the cardigan.
 

This is definitely one of my favorite color combos.  I love yellow a whole lot.  It looks great with any neutral and is just so stinkin' happy.  The brighter the better.  Unless it's neon.  I'm still not so sure about that trend.

 
Sweater: Delia's, thrifted via Valu Thrift
Bow pin:  from H&M sweater
Tank:  Target
Skirt:  J. Crew
Tights:  Wal-Mart
Shoes:  Seychelles

4 Years Ago Today...

Steve asked me to be his wife.  The story is here.


And life has been bliss ever since.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Relief!

I looked back at my calendar.  It was October the last time I had a cut/color!  Shame on me!  No wonder my hair was driving me crazy!  I feel SO much better now.

Before


After


Happy, happy hair day!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Man-Scarf

So, I have a thing for scarves (who doesn't?).  How could I pass them up?  They were the last two, on clearance.  So what if they just so happened to be in the men's department? 

 

Worn here is scarf 1 of 2.  I think it was marked down to $3 and some cents.  First I asked Steve if he would wear a man-scarf.  He said he would but didn't seem as thrilled about them as I was.  The brown one was especially gender neutral, and immediately I was able to think up what to wear with it. 

It had been quite a while since I'd worn this skirt.  It's too big now.  As nice as it is to have unintentionally lost a few pounds, it is just a bit bothersome that clothes that I'm sure will fit, don't anymore.  I decided to just go with it, letting the skirt sit low on my hips.  This then brought the length down below my skirt length comfort zone.  I decided (just now) that this skirt is ready for retirement.  At least she got one last wear before finding a new home.

Man-Scarf:  Target
Sweater:  Gap, thrifted
Skirt:  Target
Leggings:  HUE
Boots:  Steve Madden

Giveaway




Kathleen at Grosgrain does it again!

Check out the amazing transformation of this dress here.  WOW.

Then comment for a chance to WIN IT!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Casual Me

I've always liked clothes.  I've always liked bargains.  Always.  However, I haven't always been the type to dress up.  My desire to put things together that do not involve denim only happened when I could no longer wear it every day.  Even when jeans were not within dress-code, I could find denim-y ways to get around it such as jean skirts, dresses, jumpers, blazers...I even had a pair of denim boots once.  I thought they were cool much longer than anyone else did.

My wardrobe and style has evolved by necessity, not necessarily want, but probably that too.  Now I have so few casual clothes I find it difficult to dress down even when I can...which is pretty much Saturday only.  Sure, I can wear jeans on casual Friday and Sunday.  But hats and tees are likely too casual for any day at the office and barely appropriate for church.

I spent most of the day Saturday in my bath robe.  Sometimes no plans are the best plans, true?  All by my lonesome and nowhere to go, I watched Breakfast at Tiffany's including all of the DVD extras and Bewitched (the movie with Nicole Kidman).  It crossed my mind to do some laundry and re-fold the clothes in my closet since I'm having a hard time finding anything in there lately.  But no.  Lazy days don't come along all too often so heck, I'm going to take full advantage of it.



Hat & Tee:  Stella Blue
Coat:  Kohl's
Thermal:  Walmart
Purse:  Nine West via TJMaxx
Jeans:  Gap
Boots:  Madden Girl

Steve came home from playing disc golf late afternoon just as I was trading in the robe for some actual clothes.  He said he wanted to take me on a date.  My only stipulation was that I would be able to stay casual in my jeans, tee, and hat.  After trying two bowling alleys with 2 hour waiting lists, we ended up killing time at Target.  No complaints from me.  Picked up a few clearance items for Steve and bumped into a friend (hi LaNae!).   We ended the night at the theater seeing Up in the Air.  SUCH a great movie.  George Clooney is so dreamy.  Love him.  It's rated R for (brief) nudity and some language (for my sensitive readers).  Overall, I thought it was great.  I even stayed awake the entire time!



Friday, February 5, 2010

National Wear Red Day


Have a lovely weekend, friends!

Scarf:  Warlmart
Turtleneck:  Macy's
Sweater:  Gap Outlet
Jeans:  Forever 21
Boots:  JCPenny
Mittens:  H&M


Thursday, February 4, 2010

All About Brown

Yesterday, What a Nerd Would Wear said "Brown is the nerd's Black".  And I concur.  I am very much in tune with my inner nerd and also favor brown over every other neutral.  "Color Theory" is an interesting topic to me. 


Brown is a natural, down-to earth color.  It's a warm neutral that can stimulate the appetite.  Brown represents wholesomeness, earthiness, steadfastness, simplicity, friendliness, dependability, and health. 

The color brown and it's lighter shades of tan, taupe, beige or cream make excellent backgrounds helping accompanying colors appear richer and brighter.  Use it to convey feelings of warmth and honesty.  Though brown tends to be a more casual color than black, darker shades can be worthy replacements, giving off a warmer tone to some palettes.  Brighten brown with yellow or orange.  Go smart but conservative by mixing brown with purple, green, gray or orange-red.  (credit:  info. paraphrased from here.)

My favorite colors to wear with brown are pink (pink & brown were my wedding colors!), orange, and bright shades of blue or blueish-green.


Like any other color, brown looks better on some than others.  It would seem that our eyes might naturally gravitate to the colors that suit us best, hence my love for brown and aversion to black.  Of course black is hard to avoid and I wear it regardless, only in smaller doses than those who wear it well.


So tell me.  What's you're favorite neutral?

Coat:  H&M, gift from Steve
Scarf:  Carnival Gift Shop
Sweater:  Target Brand, thrifted
Cardigan:  Ann Taylor?, thrifted
Trousers:  Target
Purse:  Nine West via TJMaxx

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Give Me Color

Any sort of satisfaction I get over dressing up these days is overshadowed by the hatred I have toward my hair.  It's my fault for letting it go this long.  Less than a week before my hair appointment...yippee!  In the meantime, I am miserable.  This dry, lifeless mop on my head is completely unmanageable.  I wish it were appropriate to wear hats at work. 


So, about this outfit.  This scarf gets SO MUCH wear.  It's one of those items that I find myself wondering how I ever managed without it.  Do you have an item - or several- that you feel that way about?

I'm trying to incorporate plenty of color into what I'm wearing lately.  Not that that's ever been a problem for me.  But these are particularly gray days and any amount of cheeriness I can share is worthwhile.  I really like Katy's approach to spring-fever:  Dress like its spring and wear a coat.  I'm SO almost to that point. 

It doesn't help that Steve is insisting on a warm-weather vacation.  Showing me vacation packages and cruising deals that we can actually almost afford.  If he keeps this up, there's no way I'll be able to not give in eventually.  I'm dyin' for lack of sunshine here.


Scarf:  Tolani via Chickdowntown via Blue Collar Catawalk giveaway!
Turtleneck:  Macy's
Vest:  H&M
Skirt:  Macy's
Tights:  ???
Shoes:  Liz Claiborne via DSW

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Catalina Coat

Once upon a time, two young women longing for adventure set sail from Long Beach, California on a Carnival Cruise Ship.  The first stop on their voyage:  Catalina Island (ooohs and aaahhhs).


Though their stay on Catalina was very brief, they fell captive to the island's charm and beauty.  One of the many joys they shared was shopping at the various boutiques.  They found all sorts of funny souvenirs including gold-plated buffalo poo.  Tempting as it was, the poo would not be purchased.

In one of the shops, Jill found the coat love of her life.  Not only did this coat encompass all aspects of her signature look (whatever that is), but it fit perfectly!  The cost was of no importance, she had to have it!  Of course, being inclined with the gift for bargains, the coat turned out to be well within her price range. ; )





Coat:  Boutique, Catalina Island
Blouse:  Express, hand-me-down from Elaina
Dress:  Macy's
Necklace:  Stella Blue
Tights:  ???
Shoes:  Charles David via 6pm.com