Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dear March of 2011,

You were a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad month.  You were.  You know it.  You had so much potential to be awesome, but you failed.    Sure, you had brief moments of improvement, but then you'd go right back to being a big ol' meanie.  And I'm not just referring to the weather.  I could go into detail, but that would just be fuel on the fire.  I'm really,  REALLY over you.  And while I can move on to more pleasant times, you are stuck being March of 2011, in the record books, facing the pain and inconvenience you caused those who were only trying to live peaceful, happy lives.  If I could send you a bill for damages, I would.  And you wouldn't like it.

Screw you, March of 2011.
Good riddance.

Jill

P.S.  My dog doesn't like you either.  Consider yourself pooped on.
 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Whew.  That felt good.  As much as I'd love to leave it like that, for my own complete healing, I think it would be best to come up with just a few things that went well in March.  Hmmm....let me think...

Online purchases.  Yep.  I just couldn't seem to help myself. 1- Shoes, 2- Romper (not available?), 3- Socks, 4- Business Cards, 5- Tights...seems like there was more.

Thursday nights.  Steve and I have some friends over every Thursday for dinner and shows:  Survivor, Community, Star Trek: Next Generation (Netflicks), and whatever else looks interesting.  I tend to fall asleep ridiculously early, but nevertheless, it's a good time.

March Munchness.  Going out to lunch every Sunday at particular restaurants with proceeds going to the ABC Youth Choir.  Not sure that we made a whole lot of money, but it was fun and tasty.

Blogging.  I hit a good stride and taught myself some new (yet primitive) tricks this month.  Also, meeting these ladies was very fun and encouraging.  I met Dawn there (future blogger?) and we met up last Friday for blog-talk, dinner, and shopping.  We found in-season merchandise at J.Crew for $5!  I walked out with 2 sweaters, 2 pairs of pants and a belt all for under $22!  I'm not even lying.  Oh, and this super post from My Fair Lady completely made my day/week/year. *blushing*

Miles.  Graduated and since then has picked up a few more impressive skills.  Like, he learned how to ring a bell when he needs to go potty.  Though sometimes he does it just to see if he'll get a treat.  Lil' glutton.  We also signed him up for Advanced training, which he'll dominate, I'm sure.

See there now...there's always a silver lining and rough times always pass if you let them.  Consider that my Weekly Gratitude.

Welcome, April.  Please be nice.

Penny's vs. Kohl's?

I went through my dresses on Sunday, came across this one, and got a little mad at myself for having only worn it once (maybe twice?) in several years.  It's so much fun to wear.  Steve calls me 'cupcake'.  I feel like a cupcake.  The weight and volume of the skirt makes it feel like a quality, boutique piece even though I bought it off the clearance rack at JCPenny. 

It's only within the last few years that I have become a regular Penny's shopper.  Even more so than Kohl's.  Which is weird, because I grew up shopping at Kohl's.  I think Penny's has a better selection of Misses and Petites.  Better styles and fit (for me).  And clearances that are equal to, if not better, than Kohl's.  Do you shop at either store?  Which do you prefer?


For being one who follows a corporate dress code (as lax as it is) almost everyday, I've had little use for the classic white oxford.  Not my thing.  But I keep one on hand for times such as this.  I don't want to cover the dress with a cardigan.  A t-shirt is too casual.  Ok, fine.  White oxford, you suck, but you win.

Shirt:  Target
Dress:  JCPenny
Tights:  HUE, Macy's
Shoes:  Sofft, Ashley's Closet

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Copycat: Change is Good


To everyone who voted on my hair last week:  you rock.  You voted exactly how I wanted you to (muah ha ha) and plan to be sporting a pixie(ish) cut within the next month or so.  Steve and I have a 5 YEAR (!!!) wedding anniversary coming up in May, and I have big plans for new, family pictures for which I want my hair to be awesome.  In the meantime, I went blond(er) and took off a few inches, which I also like.  Compliments to my sis-in-law, Angie!

I took my cues for the outfit (above) from this Esprit look (yet again).  I have had a skirt just like this, so I thought this would be easy to recreate, but alas, the skirt was too big.  To the donation pile it went.

I sort of like the shorts better anyway - better for my short-person proportions.

Any other online retailers that display items in full outfits like Esprit? Because I'm really diggin' this 'copycat' thing, but need more options.  ESPRIT Sale



Other random facts about this outfit:
  • This scarf was on clearance at H&M for $3. 
  • This shirt is maternity XS.  Either I didn't realize until after I bought it, or it was so cheap that I didn't care.
  • This leather jacket is about 5 years old, and fits better now than it ever has.  I love leather.
  • If these shorts don't shrink in the wash (again), it will be a miracle.

Shirt:  Target
Scarf:  H&M
Shorts:  H&M
Tights:  Target
Boots:  Target
Jacket:  Wilson's, gift from Stevie
Purse:  Vintage, thrifted

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Copycat: Laid-back Layers

While many spring lookbooks are celebrating bare legs, airy fabrics and girly silhouettes, I'm appreciating laid-back layers and earthy color palettes.  Probably because it's still cold and snowy here.  It's also possible that I'm growing a bit tired of 'fancy' office clothes.  I'm trying to remedy that by getting out some summer items early.  It's how I add 'newness' to my wardrobe without buying a bunch of new stuff.

This outfit (below) looked better with my brown leather jacket layered over it.  And I wore chunky bangles, but they didn't make it into the picture either (a little premature on the picture-taking).

General rule for me:  no sandals when there is still snow on the ground.  Doesn't look right.  But that's just my opinion.  Hence the boots.

Though I was trying somewhat to copy this look from Esprit, I wasn't necessarily trying to copy her pose.  Hands in pockets.  That's just how I role.

More copycatting to come...


Green Scarf:  Urban Outfitters, Vegas
Mickey Scarf:  California Adventure
T-Shirt:  RollerGirls
Vest:  Vintage, thrifted
Jeans:  Clothes-swapped
Boots:  DSW

*disclosure

Monday, March 28, 2011

For the Locals: BlogLove Event

Hey there Twin Cities bloggers!

 

Some lovely ladies at Gussy's meet-up introduced me to BlogLove.  They host occasional blogger events, one of which is coming up this Saturday night!  Extra incentive for style bloggers:  it's a fashion show (amoung other things) at Houndstooth Boutique!  I already bought my ticket - get yours here.  I'd love to meet you there!

ProFASHIONal


Did someone say professional dressing can't be fun?  They were wrong.  Sarah Palin made waves with her red Naughty Monkey pumps.  Michelle Obama breaks the rules in sleeveless shifts.  Ivanka Trump brings 'bombshell' to the boardroom.  Andrea Jung (Avon) is quite possibly the chicest CEO ever.  

Maybe fuchsia tights aren't quite on their level, but why not?  I like to think Corporate America is beyond the traditional uniform of formal pantsuit with white or blue oxford and matching neutral shoes.  Want to see how to ROCK a suit?  Check out fab Angie.

I own a couple of matching suit sets, but prefer to wear the pieces separately.  The right combination of texture/pattern/color can be just as professional while displaying a little creativity and flair.  Not 'Office Space' kind of flair...personal flair.

Blouse:  JCPenny
Blazer:  Macy's
Skirt:  JCPenny
Tights:  Target
Shoes:  Ashley's Closet

Friday, March 25, 2011

Weekly Gratitude


Pug Collage Print via Pugnotes.

It's been a while since I've posted some Weekly Gratitude.  Seemed like an easy enough task at first, but I find that I have so much to be thankful for that it's often hard to put it all into words.

1.  I'm so thankful that Miles is doing well.  Which brings me to do even more thanking:
1.1.  Thanks to my wonderful in-laws who helped us tremendously with the vet bill and dogsitting.
1.2.  Thanks to my energetic mommy who did a ton of research and made lots of healthy food for his recovery.
1.3.  Thanks to everyone who loved on us and prayed for us through what could have been a devastating week.
1.4.  Thanks to the Doctors for their concern, knowledge, availability and action.

2.  Thank you to Gussy who hosted a lovely get-together in Minneapolis last Saturday.  I loved connecting with other bloggers and am excited to meet up with you all again soon!

3.  Thanks to all who have supported the ABC Youth Choir MARCH MUNCHNESS fundraisers.  I haven't mentioned it on the blog, but we've been eating at a different restaurant every Sunday where a portion goes to funding some upcoming projects/events for the choir.  It wouldn't work if people didn't show up.  The attendance has been great!

4.  Thanks to my new, gray skinny jeans (clearance, Target).  When I can't imagine how I ever managed without an item, I know it was a very good purchase. They fit great and go with everything.

5.  Thanks to the Twin Cities for making up in Arts, Food, Shopping, and Entertainment what we lack in climate conditions.


It's Friday!  Peace OUT.

Chop Chop

It's that time again.  A new season calls for a new 'do.  After an inspiring hair post from Monster Cakes, I'm ready to chop it all off.  Short.  How short?  That is the question.  The ever-lovely Kirsten Dunst gives me much to consider.

Google Images
 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fuzz on the Ground


Last week, the snow started melting.  It was like spring - brown, muddy, moldy.  Yes, moldy.  The ground around the side of my building where the dog does his thang...moldy.  Ew.  I think even Miles in his sickly stupor was grossed out, looking all over for a clean patch of remaining snow.  And then we got dumped with more of that...snow.  Sure, it made things pretty and white once again, but it also made me cuss under my breath and curse this never-ending winter.  Then I told myself to stop being such a whiney brat when there are millions of people truly suffering in Japan...among other places.  A little spring setback isn't going to kill me.

This outfit.  I liked it so much I wore it twice in one week.  During which I may have finally broken in these crazy-high, stilletto, camouflage heels.  Such accomplishments thrill me.  My collection of sweatshirts seems to be growing at an alarming rate.  Target is to blame.  As is my weak will.  But mostly Target.

Shirt:  Target
Skirt:  Forever 21
Tights:  Walmart
Shoes:  Oh Deer! via Amazon

For the Locals: Fashion Events

MN Fashion WeekFull Schedule
March 26 - Spring Style Dash, Mall of America

March 27 - Rich Chicks Clothing Swap and Chic Boutique

April 13 - CounterCouture and George Moskal at The MNfashion Shows

April 14 - StevenBe Knitwear Runway Rockshow

April 15 - Voltage Fashion Amplified

April 15 & 16 - Fashion Ball 2011

April 16 - Children's Hospital Association Benefit Fashion Show

April 17 - Styles for Smiles

April 23 - Sol Inspirations

May 12 - Retrorama 6

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Misfits


I love when two unrelated wardrobe pieces come together as if they were made for each other.  This boxy, cropped jacket seemed brilliant for $11 at F21, but I had yet to find a great way to wear it.  It isn't a style that typically works with my short torso.   And I often struggle with layering this dress - being that it's very thin and the fit on top isn't perfect.  Tried the 2 misfits together and viola!  A match made in closet heaven.

Jacket:  Forever 21
Dress:  Vintage
Tights:  JCPenny
Shoes:  Seychelles via Amazon

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Blogtrotting

Have you met Jessica...?


Location:
(Temporarily) Bloomington, IN

Blog Name & URL:
wrinkled dollar, wrinkleddollar.blogspot.com

Current Passion:
I have so many passions, but the ones that are currently consuming all of my time are: 1. Blogging (kinda obvious). 2. Thrift shopping. I’ve always enjoyed shopping second-hand, but wrinkled dollar has taken it to a whole new level. I crave the deals! 3. DIY projects. I haven’t completed anything yet, but I scout out projects everywhere I go. While browsing stores I think to myself, “is there anything here I can make myself”? 4. Learning to sew. For my birthday this year (in May) I asked my husband to sign me up for sewing lessons. I can’t wait to create and reconstruct.

Style Icon(s):
Is it strange that the first thing that comes to mind is George Michael’s Freedom 90’ video? I so want that oversized sweater. In all seriousness I really like Jenny Lewis, Zooey Deschanel (hence my bangs) and Michelle Williams. For dude stuff I like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, specifically everything he wore in 500 Days of Summer.

Makes you laugh:
If I need a good laugh I put on an episode of Arrested Development or Curb your Enthusiasm - two television shows that actually make me laugh out loud. In real life I laugh a lot at my cat.
 
 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Puerto Vallarta


One more vacation outfit to remind us that spring is nearly here and summer follows.  I wore this in Puerto Vallarta.  We took a cab to the lovely boardwalk where we admired intricate sand art, a guy stacking boulders on end (crazy!), and fell in love with the view as we relaxed on the beach with tasty beverages.




Hat:  PacSun
Earrings:  FMSC MarketPlace
Shirt:  Target
Skirt:  Old Navy
Shoes:  Ashley's closet
Bag:  Thrifted via ARC's Value Village

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Miles Update

Hi friends,

Thank you so much for you kind comments, prayers and well wishes concerning Miles' health last week.  There have been a lot of tears shed over this little pup and his scary condition, but we're doing much better now.

The 2nd trial treatment he received from the vet last Monday didn't take and he seemed to be getting worse fast.  Wednesday morning I called the vet very concerned and he made an appointment for us at the University of Minnesota clinic for further tests.  The next day, Steve then took him in for yet more tests.

They diagnosed him with Immune Mediated Polyarthritis.  Which basically means his body was suddenly attacking his joints causing severe pain and flu-like symptoms (high fever, lethargy, stiffness, ect.).  It was terrifying.  More than once I wasn't sure if my 10 month old puppy would make it.

We started him on a treatment of B3 vitamin complex and Doxycyline.  Saturday afternoon we hadn't seen any improvement.  I called the vet asking for further help and she prescribed Prednisone.  We were hoping to not have to resort to a steroid, but we needed a solution fast.  He received his first treatment late Saturday afternoon and by bedtime, we already noticed improvement.

Sunday morning, he got up on his own, ate all his food, and his ears and tail perked up.  He's still very tired and weak, has lost some muscle mass, and his tail still isn't entirely curled, but it's better....so much better.

He'll be on this treatment for a while and we'll carefully monitor him for side-effects, but with a good diet and proper rest, we should be able to taper off the drugs over several months.  What a relief.

We've been overwhelmed with love from our friends and family as well as the blogging community.  Steve and I were completely helpless not knowing what was wrong with our sweet puggy.  Knowing that so many people cared and were praying for Miles and our family was wonderful.


Thank you.  You are seriously THE BEST.  xo

Friday, March 18, 2011

Your $5 = $10


Today, Living Social will match every $5 donation to the American Red Cross Japan Earthquake & Pacific Tsunami Fund.  It's too easy NOT to do it.

Friend Friday: Lessons Learned


FBFF Question:  So far, what have been the 5 hardest blogging lessons you’ve learned during this process that have helped make you a better blogger?

Answer:
1.  The posts I work hardest on, aren't always the most popular (comment-wise).  But that doesn't mean they aren't worth while.
2.  Stepping out of my "comfort-zone" (I hate that term), is necessary for growth and feeling part of the community.
3.  When the technical stuff gets frustrating, don't give up.  Research, ask around, try again.
4.  Quality over quantity.  I don't post stuff just for the sake of more content.  If it isn't good, it doesn't fly.  I try to apply this to pictures, giveaways, writing concepts, product reviews, shopping info., whatever.
5.  Perfection is relative.  I'm not Jane, Jessica, Sydney, Kendi or anyone else.  So I won't try to be. 

See how others responded to this question on Modly Chic.

 
Wrap (as scarf):  Street Merchant, Cabo
Tee:  Ross, Atlanta
Dress:  Target
Tights:  Target
Shoes:  Enzo Angiolini, thrifted
Bag:  Thrifted via ARC's Value Village

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Esprit SALE






Esprit is rockin' some great looks for spring!  I'm especially loving these casual styles from their Military Chic Collection.  Hit up their online sale before it's too late! 

For the Locals: Got Tickets?

This will be my first year attending Voltage:  Fashion Amplified and I'm excited.  So excited, that I actually bought tickets in advance.  Like, whoa.  None of this last minute nonsense for me, no sir.

There will be designers...like this one and this one.

There will be bands...like these guys.

And since I'm totally not cool enough to know who any of these people are, I expect it's going to be a very fun night of surprises and revelations and inspirations.  Or just pure entertainment, that works too.

So...Minnesotans...see ya there? 

Tap me on the shoulder.  Introduce yourself.  I don't bite.  Usually.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

On Deck


I've been meaning to recap the cruise portion of our vacation, which now feels like a distant memory.  I'll get to it eventually.  One of the many things I love about cruising is the wardrobe.  I'm quite fond of nautical colors and prints.  I also enjoy a rousing game of shuffleboard, though I rarely win.

Sweater:  Express, thrifted
Shirt:  Target
Belt:  J. Crew
Pants:  H&M
Shoes:  Target
Purse: DSW

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Here We Go Again

Oh the time Steve & I have had the last few days.  Thursday morning Miles seemed a little low, but overall ok.  By the evening, he was obviously not feeling himself.  Friday morning we were rushing to the vet with a very sick puppy.  After a not-too-serious diagnosis and antibiotic, we anticipated him feeling better by the time we got home from work.  But he appeared worse and we were actually fearing for his life.  Saturday was equally rough.  He was clearly in a lot of pain and discomfort.  All he wanted to do was sleep.  Sunday showed minor improvement.  Monday it seemed we were back to near-death.  Took him back to the vet yesterday afternoon and gave him an additional antibiotic, pain/fever reducer, and diuretic to rid his liver of toxins.

We're seeing some improvement in alertness and mobility today, but now there are side effects from the medication.  It's been a roller coaster.  I completely freaked myself out yesterday by thinking it was encephalitis, which is fatal.  That possibility hasn't been completely eliminated, but isn't as likely as I first thought.  The vet is optimistic about his recovery and thinks it is a parasitic and/or bacterial issue that we just have to beat.  We're praying he's right.

I would give anything for Miles to be well, but while he's sick, I'm enjoying the sweetness and snuggling and lazy family time.  Steve has been amazing and the only reason I haven't completely gone off the deep end.  Our friends and family have been so helpful and prayerful.  I'm a little distracted from the blogosphere right now, with this situation being only one of the major things occupying my thoughts/time.  Even so, I will be as present as possible here - it serves as a worthy distraction.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Think More


Monday Funday!  Or something like that. I'm sharing my "expert" bargain shopping techniques at Harley and Jane today.  This goes out to my fellow Frugal Fashionistas.  Budgeting Buddies.  Thorough Thrifters.  Prudent Pals.  Here's the link!

Headband:  Anna!
T-Shirt:  Target
Cardigan:  Ann Taylor, thrifted
Blazer:  Banana Republic, thrifted
Jeans:  Forever 21
Leg Warmers:  Mighty Swell
Boots:  

Friday, March 11, 2011

Winner!

Congrats to brunette

You won the Shabby Apple Dress Giveaway

I'm SUPER jealous.

Expect an email from me soon!

Friend Friday: Balance


Today's FBFF questions are all about finding the balance in blogging –  how do we (bloggers) do it all and still live, work and play as we should?  Find others who answered these questions on Modly Chic.

1. When it comes to prioritizing your life, in what place does blogging fall?

It's pretty far down the line after God, marriage, family, friends, work, church activities...but before housework and grocery shopping (what?  It's true.).  I like to think I have decent time management skills and my priorities fairly in order.  I make time for the things I want to make time for, that includes the blog.  So I just do what I have to do and it all works out somehow.  I don't freak out if I miss a day, and at the very least I usually have an outfit picture I can post, which doesn't take a lot of time.  Unless it's the short days of winter, then finding blog content becomes a little more challenging.

2. We all wish we had more free time to dedicate to blogging and all it entails. What are your tricks for taking advantage of the time you do have to be as productive as possible?

I wish I could post meaningful and/or cleverly written articles every single day.  I would much rather write than just post outfits. I'll often start a written post and come back to it later - do the more 'involved' posts in stages, when time permits.  I've learned that many of my readers stop by just to see outfits, which is usually pretty easy to provide.   I sort of let the outfit posts propel the blog and grow it's readership and then anything beyond that is a bonus (for me personally, at least).

3. Have you discovered any short-cuts that makes blogging easier or more time efficient?

Planning posts in advance is crucial for me.  I always have several drafts that I can post if I feel myself getting behind or just need a break. 

Also, I allow myself to get behind on blog reading.  I do my best to respond/comment to the sweet folks who leave me comments.  They take priority over blogs that I follow but don't regularly interact with.

I blog while I'm doing other things, like making dinner or eating breakfast.  I'll check comments while waiting in line or in the car (when Steve's driving).  I'm a woman, multi-tasking is in my genes.

4. Do you have an editorial calendar or something similar that helps you plan ahead?

No. But, I'm always thinking ahead.  I keep a list of post ideas on my iphone that I can refer back to when needed.

5. If time wasn’t an issue what you would be doing on your blog/for your blog that you aren’t doing now?

I would...
  1. turn it into a part-time job.  
  2. seek out businesses to partner with & network within the fashion/retail industry.
  3. start an online shop.  Combine with blog.  (Spoils of Wore?)  :)
  4. write more.
  5. take more pictures...not just outfit pictures. 
  6. challenge myself more creatively.
  7. participate more in the blogging community.
Outfit Details:
Blouse:  Vintage, thrifted
Blazer:  Forever 21

Jeans:  Target
Boots:  Target


Stay tuned...one lucky ducky will win this Shabby Apple dress today!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Smarty Pants

Sometimes, an easy, corporate smart-casual outfit can feel as chic as a flirty dress or sassy skirt.  It's not evident in the pictures, but each item here is a different print.  Small dots on the blouse, pinstripes on the trousers, and a checked vest to pull it all together.  It might have been extra great to wear the matching blazer, but I didn't think of it soon enough.

I really appreciate a businessy look that doesn't completely bore me to tears.


Shirt: Express, hand-me-down from Elaina
Vest: Vintage via My Sister's Closet
Pants: The Limited via Ashley's closet

Hey hey.  The Shabby Apple Dress Giveaway winner will be announced TOMORROW.  Don't miss your chance!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Speaking of Dotty...

Have you seen Marc Jacobs Fall 2011 Collection?  O. M. G.

I don't typically follow runway shows, and it's certainly WAY too early to be discussing FALL fashion when Spring hasn't even arrived yet.  But seriously.  This collection stole my heart.  And it's not just about the polka dots.  All of the looks are so powerful, yet uber feminine with a splash of quirky.  It's just plain brilliant.  Fabsugar has it covered if you'd like to see more.







Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Polka Dotty


Everybody Everywhere is celebrating my favorite print today!  Polka Dots make me smile.  I had never styled this dress for cold weather and being the matchy-matcher that I am (but strive not to be), I was a little stumped.  I decided black might be a good contrast against the ivory and tan.  I brought in the purple cardigan to go with the cute, purple buttons.  The original intent was to belt it, but I couldn't decide on that either.  Instead, tied it in a knot and called it a day.

Cardigan:  Old Navy
Dress:  Forever 21
Tights:  WalMart
Shoes:  Enzo Angiolini, thrifted
Bag:  thrifted via ARC's Value Village

Polka Dots </P>
<P></P>
<P>Everybody, Everywear

Monday, March 7, 2011

Disneyland Recap

Ok.  I'm ready to share about my vacation now.  We started and ended our vacation at Disney.  We spent 2 very full days at Disneyland/California Adventure.  Then went back after the cruise, before our late flight home.


Steve asked Mickey if he would give him some pointers on Epic Mickey.  To which Mickey drew an imaginary zipper across his mouth and signaled for Steve keep playing the game.  That mouse sure knows how to keep his secrets.


It was cold and rainy at California Adventure.  So we saw this Aladdin show twice.


Steve was in his element on the Indiana Jones ride.  
And of course we stopped to watch the kids in the Jedi Training Academy.


Riding our caterpillar car through Alice in Wonderland.


Minnie's my girl.  As you well know.


Muppets in 3D, anyone?  It's a classic.
How 'bout some delicious sherbet icecream in a freshly made waffle cone?


That recaps our lovely, fun-filled California Adventure.