Monday, January 31, 2011

TBFC - Styled!



The Traveling Bag for a Cause debuted yesterday!  Every styling concept that came to my mind with this tote was warm-weatherish, boho, earthy, ect.  I had to fight the urge to break out my espadrilles and linen.   Though it was sunny in the 20's yesterday (hardy-har), it just wouldn't have been appropriate.  Instead, I opted for light layers in bright, complementary colors.

In case you missed it last week, the Traveling Bag is in support of Feed My Starving Children - a non-profit, christian organization committed to feeding God’s starving children in nearly 70 countries around the world.

Next stop:  Kimberly!

Shirt:  Gap, thrifted
Sweater:  Banks temporary outlet (come back!)
Belt:  H&M
Pants:  Old Navy
Boots:  Madden Girl via DSW.com

For the Locals: Clearance at My Sister's Closet!

Clearance Coupon

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friend Friday: Blogger Mechanics

There is barely enough daylight left to take pictures by the time I get home from work, but it's getting better every day.  I love you, Light.  Come on out and feel free to stay awhile.



This week's Friend Friday topic is Blogger Mechanics: 

1. What technology do you use in blogging? (computer, camera, video camera, tripod, etc...)

I am not a very tech-savvy person, but try to challenge myself a little bit at a time in order be a better blogger.  I blog mostly on my MacBook and use iphoto for picture editing.  My camera is a Canon PowerShot SX200 IS.  It's really easy to use. I can set it up on a timer when my handy husband isn't around to play photographer.

2. What computer and online technology do you use? (blogging system, photo storage, photo editing tools, etc..) 

Blogspot is the platform I use.  I understand that a lot of bloggers are moving to WordPress, but I have no intention of doing that right now.  Like I said, I'm not very tech-savvy, and even simple tutorials can infuriate me when something doesn't work properly.  If I ever made the switch, I would pay someone to do it for me and do it right. 

My photos are stored in iphoto which is also what I use for editing.  It's not fancy, but it will do until I invest in Photoshop.

3. What is your process for taking pictures?

Whenever seems most convenient, I put the camera in Steve's hand and politely ask if he'll take my picture.  OR, I'll set it up on a timer and do it myself.  I'm still not entirely comfortable taking outfit pictures (if not by now, will I ever be?), so the sooner the process is over, the better.

4. When it comes to backdrops for your photos what do you consider? Do you scout locations or shoot the same spot daily?

I tend to use the same outdoor shots around my home.  I'm all about convenience and privacy.  Every once in a while I'll do something different, but I don't go out of my way.

5. If you could splurge and get one new piece of equipment what would you be buying? 

A fancy camera and tripod would be nice, but in all honesty, I would probably still use my point-and-shoot a lot more for it's portability and easy use.  What I really need is Photoshop.  Not sure if that's a 'splurge' or not.

 

Sweater: ?
Skirt:  Forever 21
Tights:  JCPenny
Boots:  JCPenny


Hey - wanna partake in a Traveling Bag for a Cause?  Email me before noon today!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Traveling Bag for a Cause

Elaina & me in our FMSC t-shirts.

I briefly mentioned last week that I had spent an evening volunteering at the distribution center for Feed My Starving Children.  This marked my 3rd time there (1st, 2nd).  Every time I go, I'm amazed at what is accomplished in a single session. They operate 3 volunteer packaging sessions per day, 6 days per week, in 6 US facilities.  Here's how it works:

From its beginnings, Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) has worked to develop a food mixture that would be easy and safe to transport, simple to make with only boiling water, and culturally acceptable worldwide.

With the input of scientists from major food companies in the Twin Cities area—including Cargill and General Mills—FMSC developed MannaPackTM-Rice, a formula consisting of:


1. Rice, the most widely accepted grain around the world.
2. Extruded soy nuggets, providing maximum protein at lowest cost.
3. Vitamins, minerals and a vegetarian chicken flavoring to give growing children the critical nutritional elements they need.
4. Dehydrated vegetables for flavor and nutrition.


Packaged in small pouches—each of which provides six highly nutritious meals—this easy-to-prepare food blend has won rave reviews all over the world. While the formula was designed to save the lives of severely malnourished and starving children, the ingredients also improve the health, growth and physical well-being of children who are no longer in immediate danger of starvation. A team of food scientists continues to monitor the FMSC formula to ensure that it meets nutritional needs for the world’s hungry children.




A single bag of food—which provides meals for six children—costs around $1.15 to produce, and 94 percent of all donations to FMSC goes directly toward the food program.  (source)

That last line is what makes FMSC stand apart from other organizations:  94% goes directly toward the food program.  Most of the staff are volunteers and they don't spend any money on advertising.  They squeeze every penny (literally! they will take your pennies!), just so one more child can be fed a nutritious meal and survive another day.


At the end of the packaging session on Wednesday, we had packed 39 boxes, enough to feed 23 children for 1 year.   They asked us to be their advertising - spread the word!  And for a split second, I actually pondered how I might do that.  And then the light bulb went on:

Jill, you have blog.  Duh.

But this goes beyond me.  This involves you, my fellow bloggers.  Remember in this post when I said I wanted to do a traveling item, but with a charity in mind?  This is it.

I purchased this tote bag for $35 from the FMSC Marketplace.  It represents approximately 35 life-saving meals for a starving child.  And I want to share it.

Made by Lindiwe Shabaugu in rural Swaziland.
 http://www.timbalicrcrafts.org/

So, let's see how YOU style this bag.  Here are the rules:

1.  Email me [spoilsofwear(at)gmail(dot)com] before noon tomorrow (1/28/11, central time).  Please include your name, blog url, and mailing address in your email.  You do NOT have to be a "fashion" blogger, just be willing to:
2.  Post a head-to-toe outfit picture of yourself with the bag.
3.  Link http://www.fmsc.org/ in your post.
4.  Mail the bag to the next recipient.

I'll post my bag/outfit post next week and have it in the mail to the next recipient ASAP.  Please be patient.  It may be a few days before I can respond to your email.  Thank you for helping me to be the advertising for this incredible organization.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bout the Pink Hair

I have a friend named Greyley. She is the offspring of Lori.  Which is why she's the most fabulous 12 year old ever.  Every so often, I steal her away for a day of fun.  This past Saturday, we went ice skating in downtown St. Paul, and had sushi (accidentally) and chocolate cake at Kincaid's, before seeing the MN Roller Girls.



The Bout was at 7:30pm (that's what they call it...a "Bout"), and figured we'd get there early for a chance at a free t-shirt.  Yeah...no.  The general admission line was already hundreds of people long (at 5:30).  As the smart folks who purchased reserved seating in advance, we were not about to sit in line for 2 hours.  Instead, we wandered...

We wandered right up to one of the ballrooms that appeared to have something fashiony going on inside. There were only a couple of people standing around, so I asked the girl at registration what was going on.   A Wholesale Fashion Market Thing!  Ya know, where boutique owners go to pick out merchandise for upcoming seasons! 

There was an important-looking guy there too (Rick), the director of the show.  We made introductions and he said that they were just setting up, but that we could go in and have a look around (Um...OK!).  We wandered around, salivating over the gorgeous items.  Clothes, shoes, bags, scarves, jewelry...at various price points.  Greyley and I felt so special.  The experience rekindled my desire to own a boutique someday (sigh).  I managed to sneak a few pics on my iphone:

Happy Girl.

I wanted this gray and ivory sweater SO BAD!

By the time we left, the doors were open for Roller Girls.  We bought t-shirts and Greyley got a black eye (face-painted).  At half-time, after deciding that we liked the Dagger Dolls (pink team) best, we both got pink hair (Go Killaman Jaro!)




A local band called 'Trailor Trash' was the half-time entertainment.  Small world - Greyley's homeroom teacher was up there playing some sort of dulcimer instrument!  She was so excited to see him, and her...with a black eye n' all...

We made sure we were first in line for pictures and autographs after the Bout.  The Roller Girls look even scarier up-close, but are actually super sweet to their fans. 



It was pretty much the best day ever.

(Psst.  For all you Idol fans out there, my pal Chris Lawrence was shown on the preview for tonight's Milwaukee episode!  He's amazing.  Watch him.  UPDATE:  Booooo AI!  You got us all excited and then didn't show him!?  Rude.  Really rude.)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Breton Stripes


Did you know?  Everybody, Everywhere is wearing/posting stripes today!

Scarf:  Gap
Shirt:  Old Navy
Skirt:  Target
Tights:  WalMart
Shoes:  UrbanOutfitters.com
Bag:  Old Navy
Earrings:  Premier Jewelry

Monday, January 24, 2011

Save the Pink



At some point this week, I'll tell you about Saturday.  Saturday was awesome.  Saturday is why my hair was pink on Sunday.  And I liked it so much that I sort of wished it was permanent.  I could barely touch my hair without taking the color with it.  Which is why it looks a little kinky and un-combed.  Anything to save the pink.

Scarf:  Elaina's (scarf-swapped)
Shirt:  Target
Dress:  Target brand, thrifted via Goodwill
Tights:  Old Navy
Shoes:  Rampage, thrifted via My Sister's Closet

Friday, January 21, 2011

Go Jane!

I have never purchased anything from GoJane.com, so I can't vouch for their quality.  But with deals this good, I may find myself with a new pair of shoes before the day is out. 



Save 20% site-wide at GoJane.com! Use Code: JANE20A. Expires 1/27.

Buy a faux shearling boot at regular price, get 2nd for $1!

Free Standard Shipping on orders over $50! Use Coupon Code: GJSHIP50.

Draggin'

I'm writing my Friday post on Thursday (so yesterday), which means we need to talk about Wednesday. 

I worked all day Wednesday, after which Steve and I picked up the dog, made dinner, vegged for a few glorious moments before heading to the Feed My Starving Children event that I organized for my church group. 

I packaged food (for starving children - more on that later) from 8ish-9:30ish.  Got home around 10, hopped in the shower.  Got out to find Steve snuggling on the couch with the dog, watching American Idol on TiVo.

Completely enamored with the new judges, I ended up watching all 2 hours (minus commercials), which now brings us to midnight.  Decided that the dog should sleep with us since we've been missing him so much this week. 

Can't sleep.  Can't sleep.  Can't sleep. 

1:00am, I get up and Steve tells me that he can't sleep either and asks me to put the dog in his kennel.  (Side note:  while Steve and I aren't sleeping, Miles is laying belly-up, between us, with his head on my pillow, almost snoring).

I toss and turn for another hour or so...

4:30am I wake up to strange sounds coming from the kitchen.  Determine that a neighborly rodent must have found what was left of our dinner and has decided to throw a party in our kitchen sink.  Awesome.  It's likely the same guy that had my attention here.  I wake Steve up and we have a very drowsy conversation about our new tenant.

Just as I'm about to drift off, I realize the clock now reads 5:45am and my alarm will be going off in 5 minutes.  I decide that I may as well start my day now.

If you know me in real life, you know that I looooove and neeeeed me some good sleep.  Preferably 8 hours or more.  I barely got 2 hours last night (which is now the night before last) and am draggin'.

I cannot work up the energy to do a Friend Friday post, though the questions this week are very thought-provoking.  What I can do, is tell you about this outfit:


It was SO much fun to wear.  The vest is really too small, but I was able to endure it (I have an idea of how to remedy it with a simple DIY, but you know how those go...).  Even so, this may be one of my proudest vintage/thrifting purchases ever (I blame Anna).

T-shirt:  Target
Necklace:  Thrifted
Blazer/Vest duo:  Vintage, thrifted via ARC's Valu Village
Skirt:  Target
Tights:  Old Navy
Shoes:  DSW
Purse:  Vintage, thrifted

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Blogtrotting


Have you met Kimmie...?


Location:
Seattle, WA

Blog Name & URL:
Blue Paper Lanterns (http://bluepaperlanterns.blogspot.com/)

Current Passion:
Hmm... I wish I had some cool passion to write about, but really, right now I don't have time for anything other than spending time with family (husband & 20-month old son) plus a little blogging on the side. Oh, and getting really good deals on clothes. I like buying clothes A LOT (who doesn't?) but I don't like spending money. Clearance racks and coupons are my best friend. When I have some free time, I like play with web design and sew... but not at the same time.

Style Icon(s):
I do love Alexa Chung, Rachel Bilson, and Leighton Meester's styles, but designer clothes is totally outside of my budget. More tangible style icons would be Kendi, Monkeyface, Tieka, Heather... and pretty much my entire blogroll. In the mornings when I have no idea what to wear, I just scroll through my Google Reader to get some inspiration.

Makes you laugh:
My husband, definitely. He's hilarious.. and so is my son, but I don't know if that counts because everything he does is just too darn cute. Spending time with girlfriends always turns me into a giggly little schoolgirl, but I hate that I don't get to see them enough. I'm also kind of addicted to failblog.org.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I Sniff You



Since Saturday is the only day of the week when anything goes, I often try to wear something that absolutely would not fly at work or church.  (Well, this could fly at church, I just wouldn't let it.)  I had taken note of Geisha Pearl's recent winter cut-offs look and thought this is exactly why I did NOT put my shorts in storage with the rest of the summer clothes - must try.  And so I did.

Miles started Intermediate Dog Training on Saturday and met a few new friends.  He really hit if off with a darling black/white Boston named Eddy. Then while shopping, he met Bella - a stout, caramel-colored Frenchie.  I sniff you, you sniff me...

Miles is becoming such a little lover and smart...oh, so smart.  He has started identifying some of his toys.  If we say "Bring the duck" or "fish" or "ball", he goes and finds the exact toy.  For this next training course, we'll be working on "Leave It", "Heal", and loose-leash walking...all of which we struggle to enforce at our house.  (I say "we", but  really mean "me", because I'm the push-over and the pooch knows it). 

I have also been trying to get him to say "Mama", but that's not going as well as I hoped. 

 

Turtleneck:  Kensie
T-shirt:  TJMaxx
Hoodie:  Gap
Short:  Target
Tights:  Target
Leg Warmers:  Vintage via Mighty Swell Vintage Pop-up Shop
Boots:  DSW
Faux-Specs:  c/o GlassesUSA.com
Hat:  gift from husband, H&M Sweden

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Spring Itch

This post would typically come a little bit later in the year...closer to spring.  But I have the itch to ditch my heavyweight coats for ones that look and feel more like these.  That, and I wanted to let you know about Boden's sale before it goes bu-buy.  Get 15% off plus Free Shipping and Returns on Boden's new Spring Line!

Boden is one of those retailers like J.Crew or Anthropologie that I salivate over their perfectly constructed, beautifully displayed items, but cannot typically afford.  I passed up a yellow trench coat at Old Navy just after the holidays, and when I went back for it a few days later...gone.  I keep telling myself that it must have been a dream and I need to get over it and move on with my life.  But then I spotted this one at Boden and it all comes flooding back to me.  I want a yellow trench coat (I need a khaki one).  I like the Boden one even better than Old Navy's, but will have to wait for the sake of my shopping budget. (tear)




Monday, January 17, 2011

Winner



The winner of the Orient Automatic Watch Giveaway is Laney!

Whoohoo!!!  Congrats, my friend! 

You'll be hearing from me soon!

Let's Not Move




Steve:  It's snowing.
Me:  Oh.  Again.
Steve:  Wanna Move?
Me:  Sure.  Where?
Steve:  I don't know.  St. Thomas.  St. Maarten...one of the islands?
Me:  Ok.  Only if it's for 1/2 a year.  I want to come back in the summertime.
Steve:  Huh.  Well, we need jobs, so I don't know how that would work.
Me:  I can blog from anywhere.
Steve:  (smirk)
Me:  Here's the thing.  I can't live without Target.
Steve:  Oh.  Yeah, they probably don't have Target down there.
Me:  Why are we even talking about this?  We can't move.
Steve:  I don't know.  Because it's snowing?
Me:  Again.

Here's the dealio, y'all.  If you can't find happiness where you are (now), then the likelihood that you'd be happier anywhere else is...slim, at best.  In Minnesota, our lives revolve around the weather.  And it really does suck sometimes.  I hate being cold.  I hate being tense from winter driving.  I hate the darkness.  But it's where I am, where God has placed me, and as much as I may hate the climate sometimes, I also hate the thought of starting over somewhere else, leaving the real, important aspects of my life behind - friends, family, church, job.

Now, would I move to Bora Bora to a fully-furnished, open-air hut on the crystal-clear ocean if all expenses were paid for the rest of my life?  Oh, I suppose I could manage that.  But that's not reality. 

The reality is that I can layer clothes like nobody's business.  What a waste of talent for me to be stuck on a tropical island somewhere, where the biggest wardrobe decision would be what bathing suit to put on.  Pssh.

Plus, warm-weather vacations wouldn't mean nearly as much if I wasn't coming from the flippin' North Pole.

See how I'm talking myself into this new mindset?  It's awesome, you should try it. 

Days until Disney/Cruise:  30.

Scarf:  Cruise-ship boutique
Sweater:  Gap, thrifted
Dress (as skirt):  Clothes-swapped (thanks, Annie!)
Leggings:  Target
Boots:  Madden Girl via DSW.com

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Weekly Gratitude

Hi all!  Darling Tatiana of Love, Life, Lace has started a community of Weekly Gratitude.  I love this idea, as I am so very thankful for all the undeserved blessings in my life. 

A big, appreciative shout-out this week to:

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friend Friday: What to Wear?


1. How do you determine what you will wear every day?

It depends on my level of laziness the night before.  It goes like this:
Motivated:  I pick out my outfit, iron it, maybe try it on, and hang the pieces together in my closet.
Lazy:  I stand in front of my closet for 3-5 minutes, get a couple vague ideas of what might work, and hope I remember at least one of them in the morning.
Super Lazy:  Go to bed, deal with it in the morning.
Lazy and Super Lazy are probably done equally.  Motivated rarely happens.

2. Do you plan outfits out in advance for a whole week, month,weekend?

I wish. The only real outfit planning I do is either the night before or for an upcoming special event.

3. Do you have any specific ways of tracking outfits and items already worn so you don't repeat?

If it's on the floor or in the laundry, I've probably worn it recently.  I can usually remember complete outfits that I've worn and will only wear it again the exact same way if I think it is worth repeating.

4. How do you discover new combinations of items in your closet?  (Trial try-ons? Hanging items together?)

I hang items together, but it really doesn't matter until I try it all on.   I tend to imagine myself about 6" taller with smaller boobs and a longer torso, so things always look different on my real-life 5'4", curvy bod.  I think I'm getting better at visualizing my clothes, but it's definitely an acquired skill for me.

5. To streamline the process for 2011 what is one new thing you can do to cut down your dressing time?

Write ideas down instead of storing them in my brain where they're forgotten.  I'm really good at taking notes and making lists, but really bad at referring back to them. 

Also...and hate to say it...but ironing in the morning is a real time-suck.  If I would only get off the couch and DO IT the night before...

Maybe I should just hire a maid.


Outfit Details:
Shirt:  Ralph Lauren, thrifted
Dress:  Converse, hand-me-down from Elaina
Belt:  ?
Gloves:  TJMaxx
Tights:  WalMart
Shoes:  Seychelles via Amazon.com
Coat:  Forever21

Thursday, January 13, 2011

For the Locals: Save the Dates

Customer Appreciation Sale at ARC's Value Village
50% ALL merchandise
January 15-17
Locations

Peppermint Park Plus Launch Party and Charity Event
Saturday, January 15
7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
8401 73rd Ave. N., Suite 89
Brooklyn Park

My Sister's Closet Clearance Event
Everything in the store (both locations), 50% off!
Jan. 17-31

Cliche's Avoid the Grey Fashion Show
Saturday, January 29
Shows at 3pm, 7pm, and 9:30pm
Old Arizona
2821 Nicollet Avenue
Minneapolis, MN

Valentine's Sale & Styling Event
Shop items from two birds and Salvaged Strawberry
February 12: 10:00 – 6:00
February 13: 12:00 – 5:00
Salon Stella
654 19th Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418
612.722.5315

Blasphemina’s Closet Fashion Show
Hell’s Kitchen
Thursday, March 3, 2011, 9:00pm
80 9th St S
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402
$10 at the door, 18+

Voltage: Fashion Amplified 2011
Apr 15, 2011
7:00pm - 11:55pm

RetroRama 6
May 12, 2011
7:00pm - 11:00pm
MN History Center
345 W. Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55102


Psst.  Giveaway ends Monday.

Jessie's Sale


You know these Dany platforms from the Jessica Simpson Collection that Keiko wears?  I love them.  They're on sale (>$50!) and come in several fabulous colors.  Unfortunately, they're completely inappropriate for my way of life and at a height of 5.8", would take up too much closet space reserved for boring, practical shoes.  But one can dream.

Like a lot of Jessica Simpson's shoes (and clothes), they look more expensive than they actually are.  Which must be why her fashion line is so successful, making her way more moola than she could've ever made on her music (right?).  I just bought my first pair of JS's from DSW - stilettos - and they're gosh darn comfy, that's what.

Just one request for JS:  Keep all branding on the inside, pretty please.  It's the one thing that deters me from some of your products. Trust me, the stuff is fabulous enough that people will ASK what brand it is.