Friday, May 28, 2010

Vintage Week, Finale


Well folks, here we are at the end of Vintage Dress Week.  It's been fun.  A huge thanks to Anna for allowing me to tag along...it was all her idea.  This last dress is one of my go-to frocks.  It's relevance not only spans decades, but seasons, climates, and weight fluctuations too.  It's been a good friend to me since I saved it from a free bag many years ago.  This may very well be the first time I've worn it without tights or leggings.  I had planned to wear leggings, but it was just too dark for the gorgeous weather we've been having.  It needed to be as light and airy as possible.

I received my Microsoft Application Certified Specialist - Excel Certificate (that was a mouthful) in the mail today.  Accomplishments that result in certificates or degrees or diplomas are not my thing...so even though this is a small feat in the world of continued education, it's a rather big step for me.  I'll spare you my thoughts on classroom style learning and general college education.  I WILL say that if you need a degree to obtain your dream job, DO IT.  Life is way too short to not do what you love.

I happened to meet with a VP at work a while back.  He really liked me and encouraged me to get certified, assuring me that I have great potential for advancement if I continue to expand my skill set.  I would be a fool to ignore that advice.  Even if advancement isn't my top-priority right now, no doubt it will be some day.  By the way...I love my job.  Next test:  Microsoft Outlook.  Piece of cake.  Makes me crave icecream.

3 day weekend!!!  See you Tuesday!

Dress:  Vintage, free bag
Booties:  Payless


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Vintage Week, Day 4


Golly.  I need to get some sleep. I'm an "early to bed, early to rise" kind of girl.  So when I have plans after work every night of the week and then come home to catch up on TiVo'd shows (what would life be like without TiVo?  I dare to think), I don't get to bed until much later than I would normally prefer.  Looks like it's taking a toll on my outfit pictures...I look like I'm so done...and this was only Wednesday.

This is another vintage dress that is probably homemade.  But it's made very well, so I can't be sure.  It doesn't have tags.  It seems a little wrong to severely alter a vintage piece, like maybe it's sort of sacred and should be kept as-is, but I really loved everything about this dress except that it was floor-length, so I chopped it off.  Yes, I feel a little bad, but I seriously did it a favor.  It was verging on hideous maxi, which is no good for anybody. 

Steve and I have decided to spend our 4th of July week exploring Colorado and Utah.  I'm really excited.  We've wanted to road trip out west for a long time, and it's finally working out.  This means that for the next month or so I'll be on the lookout for mountain-friendly attire...starting with hiking shoes.  It's not exactly my forte, but I think a little break from mascara and high heels will do me some good.  I considered myself a tomboy once upon a long time ago...surely I can tap into my inner adventure-girl without too much struggle. 

I'm suddenly in the mood to re-read Lonesome Dove.

Sweater:  Eddie Bauer(?), thrifted
Dress:  Vintage, thrifted via Valu Thrift
Shoes:  DSW

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Vintage Week, Day 3


This is vintage, right?  I'll never know exactly when this dress debuted in it's newest form, but I imagine it was sometime in the late 80's - early 90's.  It's weird to think that what I wore as a kid, which doesn't seem like all that long ago, is now considered vintage.  I think it might have originally been floor length...the hem is just a little off.  I do love it though, with it's sweet little hearts.  Instead of tying it in back, I tied it in the front so I'd have a waist.

I really wanted to pair this dress with yellow.  Specifically, yellow shoes.  You know the ones.  But actually, I bid on a pair of vintage yellow pumps last week on ebay and thought for sure I'd get them at a great, low price.  I guess I wasn't watching carefully enough, because I was outbid with only a few hours left.  Hate it when that happens.

So obviously I ended up going with red instead.  I love mixing prints - hearts on dress, flowers on shoes.  It's not something that I think of doing often, because I'm sort of (and unfortunately) allergic to mis-matching.  This worked for me though.

Dress:  Vintage, thrifted
Pearls:  thrifted
Shoes:  Nine & Co. via Kohl's
Purse:  Nine West via TJMaxx

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Vintage Week, Day 2


Girly Muse suggests in this recent post that if you pose with one hand on your hip, "it helps take care of the Flabby Arm Syndrome and makes you look sassy too…in a good way".  So I'm trying it out here.  I think she (and Courtney) are correct.  I do believe I haven't lifted anything of great weight since marrying the guy who would kill all bugs, open every door, loosen all twisty-caps,  and lift all heavy objects for me.  It's not anti-feminist, it's chivalry.  Go get your own.  (teasing, teasing)

My arms have become like noodles.  I figure I'll get muscles again when I have a kid and have to tote around a baby/baby carrier.  There is plenty of time for heavy lifting in the distant future.  I've gone through spurts when I'm really into babies...this is not one of those times.  I think other people's babies are cute and all, I just have no desire to take one home with me right now.  ONE exception:  Lily on Modern Family.  I want HER.  Every time I see her, I absolutely melt.  I say to Steve, "She's a twin, right?  I want one." 

He says NO every time. (sigh).

Dress:  Vintage via free bag - long, long time ago
Shoes:  Easy Spirit via Amazon.com

Monday, May 24, 2010

Vintage Week, Day 1

Fellow blogger (and neighbor!) Anna recently wrote of challenging herself to a week's worth of wearing vintage dresses when the weather got warm (that was a tongue twister!).  I thought it was a great idea, and asked if I could tag along.  Anna's blog is A Banana Medley - check her out!  Apparently, we were both in the mood for bright, happy colors!


So here I am, with my first vintage dress look of the week.  This is one of my more recent purchases.  Don't look too closely...it's clearly homemade.  The zipper up the back is a little messed up and unzips ever so slightly by the collar.  The seams on the inside of the dress are all unfinished.  I'm surprised the little thing has held up this long...but it doesn't look like it's gotten a lot of wear from previous owner(s).

Shifty-type dresses can be hard to wear sometimes...this was one of those.  I had to bend and sit very carefully.  I also felt like I was showing an unusual amount of skin, though BFF Elaina assured me all was fine.  The day was SO warm, the temp reached into the 90's, so really a little extra skin was perfectly appropriate.  It's just a bit of a shock...going from dressing in layers one week to bare arms and legs the next.  What's a girl to do?  Get a tan.  That would be a step in the right direction.

Dress:  Vintage, thrifted via Valu Thrift
Belt:  Sash from another shirt
Shoes:  Nine West via Endless.com
Purse:  Vintage, thrifted

Saturday, May 22, 2010

It's a Steal!

Wowzers!  Third Willow (remember this clutch?) has slashed prices on a few great designs!  Check 'em out before they disappear!


Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Morning Person

Go-to outfits are crucial for days when I feel completely uninspired or simply don't care.  But I don't want to look uninspired or like I don't care, so the go-to's have to be decent.   Yoga pants and a graphic tee might be the perfect go-to for perhaps someone in childcare or house cleaning or yard maintenance or personal training, but that unfortunately won't (shouldn't) fly in an office setting.


Typically by 5:45 Friday morning, I'm so exhausted that my only thoughts are that of Saturday morning when I can sleep myself silly. So I gaze into my closet longing for something cute to magically appear on my body.  Somebody needs to invent a way to do that. I don't want to move.  I just want lean against the threshold and close my eyes for just a few more minutes and when I open them, be fully dressed, my hair and make-up done, and lunches packed.  Come on, we put a man on the moon nearly 1/2 century ago, surely it's time for a scientific breakthrough in this capacity.


Thankfully, Fridays are the easiest to dress for being that jeans are acceptable.  Having little imagination at this time, I reach for what I know works:  Striped, pink sweater and button scarf.  These two items make me happy and complement each other quite well.  Black flats, blue purse, light jacket and bowl of LIFE cereal...I'm ready to take on Friday.  This was last Friday.  Yup, I'm still that far behind.

Scarf:  H&M
Sweater:  Old Navy
Jeans:  Lux, thrifted via Valu Thrift
Shoes:  Wanted
Coat:  Herberger's
Purse:  Old Navy

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Unnatural Growth


Look at me!  I seemed to have sprouted a few extra inches!  Ok, ok...it's the shoes.  They're like 5" heels, but they don't feel like it because of the sweet platform.  If not for the slick soles that nearly had me on the floor several times, the shoes are actually pretty comfortable.  And I just bought non-slip pads, so that minor problem will be solved by the next wear.  I was so excited when I spotted these shoes at the thrift store.  Couldn't find a size on them anywhere but tried them on anyway.  Note to self:  always try on, because ya just never know!  I regret not getting a close-up of them for your viewing pleasure.  Next time.

The same thrifty trip led me to these skinny-ish trousers too.  I thought the higher rise would be cool...I'm sort of liking higher waisted pants these days.  But I forgot to take into account how short-waisted I am, and these ended up giving me some grief.  IF they laid super flat against my abdomen it would've been fine, but they stretched when I sat and gave me the look of a pouchy tummy.  Oh well.  Better luck next time.  I still believe the pants and shoes were made for each other...tall pants + very high heels = practical?  Wait.  Maybe not.  But at least my pants aren't dragging on the floor, because you know how lazy I am about alterations.  SO LAZY cheap.

One of my many mantras:  If your pants are too long, buy taller shoes. 

Case in point.

Blouse:  Forever 21
Cardigan:  Target
Jacket:  Wilson's Leather
Pants:  Banana Republic, thrifted via Valu Thrift
Shoes:  Quipid, thrifted via Valu Thrift
Purse:  Target

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Then and Now

Steve and I are celebrating 4 years of marital bliss today.  In some ways it seems like we've been married for ever, yet at the same time it feels like just yesterday (I think I said that last year too).



The park where we got married is just a short distance from our work, so we went on a little picnic for our lunch break.  It's fun to go back and reminisce about our wedding day.  The ceremony took place in a little gazebo just to the side of the fountain.  Some guys were doing maintenance on it today, so we didn't reenact the ceremony or anything...we're not that sentimental.  Ah, who am I kidding...yeah we are.




We're all grown up!  Happy and healthy and even more in love.  Couldn't ask for more.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Back in Tights

Like I was saying...we had some crummy weather last week.  I had a container full of tights sitting by the patio door, awaiting the move to their summer home (the garage).  I was glad they hadn't made it that far, because apparently they were still needed. 


It was official last night...to the garage they went.  Certainly we won't have another stint of cold weather until at least September.  Oh golly, who am I kidding.  This is Minnesota.  Tights should be within grabbing distance year-round, but I'm stubborn like that.  Bare legs from here on out, there's no goin' back [out to the garage].

I hadn't planned to triple-layer with a blazer, it just worked out that way...and I liked it.  Still not convinced of the red skirt on red tights, but I didn't dislike it enough to change, so red legs twas.  Yes, I just used the word 'twas', probably incorrectly too...but it gave me a little giggle inside, so it's staying.  Indeed, it twis.  Oh boy, I'm in a silly mood.  I better stop before this gets out of hand.

Blazer:  Espririt, thrifted
Oxford:  Forever 21
Tee:  Target
Necklace:  garage sale
Skirt:  Gap, thrifted
Tights:  ?
Shoes:  Nine West, thrifted
Purse: ARC's Value Village

Monday, May 17, 2010

That's Me

Wow!  Thanks everyone for participating in my shoe poll!  Currently, more than half of you WOULD buy the shoes!  At the suggestion of several readers, I've decided to stake out e-bay for a few days.  I did a little browsing on Saturday, and was surprised there were so many options.  I didn't find anything that I like better than the Beyond Skin shoe,  but there were a few styles that came close.  The search continues. 

Sometimes I wonder what my wardrobe would be like if I didn't have a corporate job.  Every once in a great while, I'll gaze upon my collection of high heels and question if they represent me as a person or if they are simply little extensions of my career.  Because on most Saturdays, you'll find me dressed like this:


Hat, scarf, sweater, skinnies, boots.  This is my ideal style in a nutshell.  Comfy, layered, casual, and just a wee bit trendy.  This day was chilly and windy and drizzly...as was all of last week.   We finally got some decent weather this weekend, so long-awaited spring ensembles will be coming soon.

It only takes a short while of psycho-analyzing my clothes before I come back around.  I genuinely like high heels.  Sure, I'd likely have a few less if I didn't dress up for work, but they'd still be a force in my closet.  And I would still wear pencil skirts and oxfords and fishnet tights.  I would.  Perhaps I dress down on Saturdays because it's the only day I'm able to...not because it's the only way I like to.  Variety is good.

Welcome new followers!  Did you migrate over from The Clothes Horse's super fun Flashback Friday post?  If not, check it out!  It's so much fun to see fellow fashion bloggers then and now.  And I encourage you to participate in upcoming Flashback Fridays if you so desire!

Hat:  H&M, Sweden, gift from Husband
Scarf:  San Juan Airport
Sweater:  TJMaxx
Jeans:  Lux, thrifted via Valu Thrift
Boots:  DSW


Friday, May 14, 2010

Yellow Trouble

All I want is a pair of plain and simple, yellow pumps.  
Yellow.  Not mustard or gold or blonde or tangerine....Yellow-yellow
Round or almond toe. 
Approximately 3" heel. 
Preferably no stiletto (chunkier heel). 

Oh yeah.  And I don't want to spend all of my allowance money on them.  But it seems I may have no other choice.

I'm in a dilemma here folks...a serious, serious dilemma.

You see, I found them.  The perfect pair.  I mentioned them way back here and I'm still thinking about them.  And you know how I like a bargain...I have a source where I can purchase them for more than 50% off.  Problem is...they retail at $250.  So even the sale price is a serious struggle for me.



Please vote on what you would do if you were obsessed with the perfect yellow shoes.  The outcome of the poll will not necessarily determine the choice I make...there are other factors involved (guts, money).  But it will help me to know what you would do in this predicament.  A part of me hopes the shoes will become unavailable and I won't have to make this choice.  On the other hand, I'm afraid I'll never find another pair of yellow shoes that will compare to these. 






Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cardigan, Again

One can never have too many cardigans...whoa deja'vu.  It is a really important layering piece in my wardrobe for two main reasons:  1). I'm a naturally cold person...and 2). I'm a naturally modest person.  Many of my summer dresses are sleeveless and if there isn't a cardigan that goes with it, it's probably not worn much...if at all.  A dress without a cardigan is like a baby without a blanket.  Dresses have absolutely nothing to do with this post, I just like to bounce around from subject to subject to confuse you.


Really, I just want to brag on this cardigan.  Since I can never have too many (there it is again), I'm always on the lookout for good ones.  This particular cardigan was (perhaps still is?) available at H&M in several different colors for $30.  I put it on my mental wish list, but ultimately passed because of the price (me = that cheap).

Lo and behold, I found this cardigan at ARC's Value Village only a few days later...in the color...in my size...for $6.  This purchase led me to question much deeper things in life such as: 
Why bother with regular retailers? 
Do I dare set foot in an H&M ever again? 

Will I be so lucky in my search for the perfect yellow heels?
Can shopping be considered a "spiritual gift"? 
Who am I? 
What is the meaning of life? 
So on and so forth.


Shirt:  H&M
Cardigan:  H&M, thrifted via ARC's Value Village
Belt:  ?
Jeans:  Lux, thrifted via Valu Thrift
Shoes:  Kohl's

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Swing Golfer Golfer Swing

So...not to get all big-headed or anything, but you should know that I obtained the women's longest drive score on the golf simulator at the conference I attended in San Antonio.  It was aaaallll me.  Ok, so maybe it took me all afternoon with several breaks in between tries, but I got it.  I finally got.  I swung so hard my whole body ached the next day.  All to have my name written on a chinsy white board for a few glorious minutes.  It was totally worth it.


The highest score before mine was 195.5.  I easily shot 195.4 (no joke) and would not let the day end like that.  And I'm not even that competitive of a person.   At one point, I even had an audience of people watching me try to beat the score.  It was intense.  One guy came over to tell me my swing scared him.  As it should have...I was swinging with unnatural force.  Finally, FINALLY just as they were about to shut the whole operation down at 5pm, I hit a 202.9.  Victory!


One of the first things Steve did when we got back to MN was plan our first golf game of 2010.  Ever since I received a Keri Golf Bag (read about her here) a few summers ago for my birthday, I've tried to look more like a real golfer.  I could easily forgo the polo shirt and khakis uniform for a t-shirt and jeans,  but that just wouldn't look right.


Our day started out sunny, but chilly.  And once we got out onto the open golf course, the wind chill was almost unbearable.  My cute golf outfit soon became sub-priority to simply staying warm.  The jacket I had did little good, and oh how I wished I owned a right-handed glove.  It would be great if golf courses would give rain checks for insanely windy days.  At one point, my hat flew off (revealing a very bad case of hat hair), and I had to chase it down the fairway (as Steve tried to contain his laughter watching me from the golf cart). By hole 18, I was completely exhausted. 

Even so, we had a good time.  I hit some really nice drives thanks to all that swing practice I had earlier in the week.  My short game was pretty terrible though...I must work on my put-put skills.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sweet Pea


I really like this outfit.  It's very sweet.  Almost too sweet...if that's possible.  One can never have too many cardigans.  I felt like I hit the jackpot when snatching this one up at the thrift store.

This skirt  = older than old.  I never wore it and then finally had my mom take it up a few inches.  Made all the difference in the world.  I've learned to be extra careful with skirt lengths.  I'm better off looking in Juniors or Petites to avoid unflattering hemlines.  Apparently I'm below average height.  Fine by me if that means I can get away with higher heels.

Speaking of heels...Seriously.  I need to invest in another pair boots.  You all must be bored to tears to see me wearing these yet again.  True to life though...they are the most worn shoe in my collection.  They are the epitome of versatile footwear.

Sweater:  Thrifted via ARC's Value Village
Skirt:  K-Mart
Boots:  Madden Girl via DSW.com
Bag:  Las Vegas boutique

Monday, May 10, 2010

Giveaway!

'Oh Dear'! 
You must head over to Grosgrain for a chance to win this darling little frock!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Buy it Now

Reader Teri asked about the shirt dress in my last post.  I got it at Wal-Mart for $12...at full price.  But right now this dress is at Walmart.com in 3 colors for only $8...holy buckets!  You can have your Wal-Mart order shipped to your nearest store for free OR pay less than $1 (per dress?) and have it delivered to your door.

If I sound like an advertisement for Wal-Mart, believe me, that is NOT my intention.  I just feel like it's my duty as a bargain-blogger to let my readers in on a good deal.
Every big department store has it's issues.  I'd like to say I'm 100% pro-Target...but I'd be lying.  There was even a little stint when I was a regular K-Mart shopper.  And I have the same disloyalty to mid-market retailers too.  Kohl's, JCPenny's, Sears, Herberger's, Macy's...I have had my fun with them too.  It may be the promiscuous way to shop, but its what works for me...its how I get my fix at the lowest price.

I have no idea how a post about this incredibly sweet, modest dress took such a sleazy turn.  Sorry about that.

All I meant to say was that this is a great dress for a worthy price.  Sizing runs a little large but may be shrinkable.

Well, what a are you waiting for?  Here are the links:  BlackRed, and Blue.

How I Fly

Steve and I have been lucky enough to travel quite a bit since we've been married.  Sometimes Steve goes for work and I tag along (like this last trip to San Antonio), and sometimes we go just to go (we're expert vacationers). 
After so many trips, I think I've finally settled on the perfect flying attire: 
Cotton shirt-dress:  like pj's, but not.
Tights/leggings:  for modest mobility and warmth.
Slip-on boots:  comfortable and easy to get on and off.
Scarf/pashmina:  multi-purpose accessory.

Since we're typically going to/from completely different climates, what I wear on and off the plane has to make sense for both warm and cold weather.  Even if I was going from one warm place to another, I like to be prepared for a chilly plane ride.

The rolling backpack that I carry deserves a post of it's own - best $20 ever spent.  In it, I carry a small purse (for phone, ID, money, ect.), travel pillow, paper & pen, camera, books & magazines, sunglasses, hoodie, water bottle & Snicker bar (after security), and if I'm really smart...an extra change of clothes.  Too many times have we decided to take a next-day flight in exchange for airline vouchers, only to realize that our luggage will be on our original flight back to MSP and we have no clean underwear...that's a problem.

Always happy to be on the ground and not on the tarmac.

Please excuse the sub-quality pictures taken with my iphone.

Scarf:  San Juan Airport
Dress:  Wal-Mart
Leggings:  Anne Klein, DSW
Purse:  Target
Boots:  Madden Girl, DSW.com

Thursday, May 6, 2010

San Antonio Lost & Found

I have a multi-part miracle to share with you all: 
1.  My camera was found in the cab.  It must have slipped out of my purse on our way to the airport.
2.  The cabbie was a good person.  Instead of pawning my pretty pink camera, he turned it in to Lost & Found and they contacted me right away.
3.  Even though a pre-paid box had been sent to the cab company in which they were supposed to safely ship my camera, it ended up coming in just a bag...no packaging or protection or anything.  Here's the miracle:  it was completely unharmed.  I cringed opening the package thinking surely my camera would be in pieces, or at least really banged up...but it survived!

So before my San Antonio excursion slips into the distant past, I'm so grateful to be able to show you a few pics from our last day on the River Walk:

You'd never know this is in the middle of downtown San Antonio. 
It was so gorgeous and scenic, and just a short walk from our hotel.


Remember the Alamo?  Though I'm a lover of history, I was not entirely aware of what took place at the Alamo to make it such a special monument.  Now I know.  The battle was ultimately lost, but it was the first step toward freedom for Texas.


The River Walk was so pretty and romantic. 
It's sort of how I picture Venice...only with Tex Mex flair, of course.


Me and da man on a River Walk boat tour.

We weren't alone.  These guys were there too.

Dress:  Francesca's
Scarf:  San Juan Airport
Leggings:  ?
Purse:  Target
Boots:  Madden Girl, DSW.com

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wrinkleberry


This skirt should be classified as a "standing only" garment.  Doesn't matter that I take time to starch and press the darn thing, as soon as I so much as bend over, it's all for nought.  But I love the color and shape and the exposed bronze zipper down the tush, so I wear it anyway and try to ignore the inevitable wrinklage.
I'm naturally a matchy-matchy kind of dresser.  My brain just doesn't comprehend purposeful clashing.  I've tried, really I have.  I just don't have it in me.  But I don't want to be too matchy.  Monochromatic color palettes are like therapy for my stylistic eye.  Especially lately, with all the pretty pastels on trend, I like to pair them with their bolder, saturated color family member.

Blouse:  Target
Cardigan:  Eddie Bauer, thrifted
Skirt:  JCPenny
Tights:  ?
Shoes:  Kensie, garage sale

Monday, May 3, 2010

Thriftly Justified


Thank goodness for thrift stores, right?  They're the only kind of retail I run to on a regular basis (Target doesn't count, does it?).  The amount of thrifting I do has steadily increased over time, and oh boy, have I reaped the rewards.  Take for example this ah-mazing Michael Kors blouse.  Or this buttery-soft brown leather skirt.  Or these sweet t-strap pumps.  As much as it is money spent, it is also money saved. 

Shoot.  I think I've been reading too much of the Shopaholic series.  I'm half way through book #3:  Shopaholic Ties the Knot.  My shopping excuses are beginning to (only slightly) echo Becky Bloomwood's.  But hey, these items represent tens of dollars in contrast to Becky's hundreds or thousands.  Ah, there I go again....justifyin'.

If 'Bex' and I were friends in real life, I'd take her to the thrift store and show her how it's done.  I imagine she'd catch on quickly.  And then she wouldn't have to hide those astronomical bills from Luke anymore, and I'd be a hero.

Blouse:  Michael Kors, thrifted via ARC's Value Village
Vest:  Tommy Hilfiger
Skirt:  thrifted via Saver's
Shoes:  Worthington, thrifted via Valu Thrift