Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bumble bee Chic

This from Thursday, my first day back to work after a whole week away.  I had SO MANY EMAILS to sort through.  

The last time I wore this sweater, one of my co-workers called me a bumble bee.  I promise that the stripes are really more of a neon green than yellow.  Maybe he thought I was a radioactive bumble bee or something.

This scarf was a Christmas present from my sister.  When I opened it and saw the tiny bits of neon green in the colorful pattern, I immediately wanted to pair it with this sweater.

And these are my new glasses!  I'm pretty excited to finally have new frames with the correct lenses!  It's been quite awhile.

I hope everyone has a very happy New Year!  Be safe!  

Glasses:  Kate Spade
Sweater:  Gap
Scarf:  Gap
Jeans:  Old Navy
Boots:  Wanted via Piperlime

Friday, December 30, 2011

Just Cinch It!

I've worn this dress quite a few times with a cardigan over it, and wanted to be a little more creative.  I know belts aren't particularly new and cutting edge in the fashion blog world, but I haven't done it a whole lot, especially over cardigans.  I've been trying it a bit more, and I like it!

Every time I throw a belt on over a looser item, I think of that old SNL skit with Adam Sandler, Chris Farley and David Spade, where they are Gap Girls, and they just tell everyone to buy these huge shirts and dresses and "Just cinch it!"  "Yeah, just belt it!"  I tried to find a clip on YouTube, but couldn't find it.
Dress:  Target
Cardigan:  Gap
Belt: Francesca's
Tights:  Target
Boots:  Rampage

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Blue Christmas

I am back home after a week-long Christmas extravaganza with my family in Indiana.   We have a pretty good system, where we trade off Thanksgiving and Christmas each year, so we are all there at the same time.  We had 9 adults, 6 kids, 3 dogs, and 9 vehicles to move around anytime someone needed to go somewhere.  It was a really fun week, and I'm already trying to scheme up a plan to visit them again soon.

Since Christmas was a Sunday this year, we had to change our normal schedule for church in the morning.  We woke up and opened stockings, then had breakfast, got dressed up and went to church, and then came home, opened the rest of the presents, and had a later lunch.  It was a really fun day!   Here's what I wore for church: 

Skirt:  Express
Cardigan: Gap
Button-down shirt:  Loft
Boots:  Bare Traps

Later that day, we played some games that people got for gifts.  One of my nieces got "HedBanz", which is basically like twenty questions, but you get a cool Mickey Mouse hat:

You are only allowed to ask Yes/No questions, but there were several disputes among the participants about what the correct answers were.  Here are some of the arguments that came up:

-Is Piglet male or female?
-Can pigs be described as "furry"?
-Are insects animals?
-Where does Jiminy Cricket live?  And is he friends with Pinocchio?

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and were able to spend time relaxing and hanging out with friends and family.  Going back to work tomorrow is going to be pretty rough after 7 days of playing around.  I'm skipping my Wednesday/Thursday theme posts this week, to get back on track with outfit posts.

Monday, December 26, 2011

'Twas the Night before Christmas...

And we were taking pictures!  This is the Ann Taylor dress I wore to the Christmas party a few weeks ago.  I'm having fun styling it in different ways.

This is my sister/best friend.  She and I have very different styles, but always have fun shopping and sometimes even share things.  Isn't her sweater cool!?  I wish she lived in the same town as me so I could steal it sometime!   

I asked my nieces what they think about our outfits and got the following comments:

M:  First, say this is me and my big sister.  She's only wearing that sweater because she can't see it.  If she could see it, it would make her dizzy.
S:  I don't know
D:  They are both kind of white at the top, like the pearl necklace and the other necklace.

E:  That's BEAUTIFUL!!!

On me:
Dress:  Ann Taylor
Sweater:  Gap
Belt: from another dress
Necklace:  InPink
Boots:  Bare Traps

On Jill:
Necklace:  from China, borrowed from me.
Everything else:  Gap

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!!!

 Merry Christmas!!!!
 Merry Christmas!!!!
 Merry Christmas!!!!
 Merry Christmas!!!!
 Merry Christmas!!!!
I'm just a little bit excited about Christmas tomorrow!  We are having fun with my family, and I have been slacking on my every day posts.  For all 7 of the people who read this, please forgive me!  

I'm getting a lot of fashion advice from my nieces, like the following:

Those jeans make you look a little bit fat.
That sweater isn't very cute.  Maybe if it was red instead of orange. 
You look like a teenager in that outfit!!
These pictures are from Thursday night, when we went to the Yuletide Celebration.  I used it as another excuse to rock my gold skirt.  I kept it simple with a black sweater, tights and boots.  

We took a "coming down the stairs for prom" picture, just for fun.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas tomorrow! 

Sweater:  Gap
Skirt:  Gap
Boots:  Bare traps via DSW
Pearls:  gift - from China
Bracelets:  gift - from a friend's wedding

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Flower Girl

I was sorting through old pictures the other day and found this one:

This is from 1990 or 1991.  I was the flower girl in my Aunt's wedding, and I was super excited.  I have no idea why I look so sad in this picture.  My mom was the Matron of Honor, and my older sisters were bridesmaids.  My mom made all of our dresses.  I got a lot of use out of this dress, for Christmas, Easter, and other fancy occasions that year.  A couple years ago, my nieces found it at my parent's house and I think they wore it a few times. 

I don't remember much from that day, but I'm sure I was happier than the above picture implies!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Lay off of my blue flannel shoes

These shoes were a total impulse buy at Gap one year.  Now I can't remember if it was last year, or 2 years ago.  They were cheap, and I thought I needed some plaid shoes.  They look much better without socks, but since they are flannel, it feels weird to wear them when it's warm enough to go without socks.  I mean, there is a pretty small window of weather where flannel and no socks are appropriate.  Maybe I should get some plaid socks to wear with them.  That wouldn't be too weird, right?

Cardigan: Loft
T-shirt: Mossimo from Target
Jeans: Gap
Shoes: Gap

Monday, December 19, 2011

Red Stripe

 No, not the Jamaican Beer

Saturday, I went shopping for Christmas presents, and somehow ended up in the dressing room at Loft with about 25 items to try on.  I have no idea what happened, I must have blacked out or something.  I was relatively good and just walked out with a pair of trouser jeans ($20) and this red striped top ($12).  I was pretty pumped about this shirt, so I wore it over to my in-laws for dinner and game night.

My sister-in-law said I looked like a candy cane.  Her boyfriend said I looked more like "Where's Waldo".  I don't have any idea why he thought that.  

At least I have a good idea for next Halloween!
Anyway, we had a great night, and my sis-in-law and I destroyed everyone else at Hand and Foot. 

Top:  Loft
Sweater:  H&M
Jeans:  Old Navy
Boots:  Wanted via DSW

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Gray Boots and good friends

 I just got these boots back from the shoe hospital, and couldn't be more excited!  After being worn almost every day for 2 winters, they were in desperate need of some new heels.

Sweater: Old Navy
Skirt:  Gap
Tights: Target
Boots: Wanted via Piperlime

I wore this outfit to work on Friday, and then to a cookie exchange with my friends from college.  This was the 4th year we have done this, and I hope we can keep it up in the future.  Here's a look at the spread of treats: 

We mostly just sat around and talked about life, while enjoying some hot chocolate and chowing down on treats.  It was such a great time!  And of course,  we had to snag a group picture:

Love these girls!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

FBFF Holiday Quiz

I'm linking up to Modly Chic's Fashion Beauty Friend Friday today, and answering some holiday themed questions!  I'm SO excited for Christmas! 
No holiday party is complete without: Christmas music!

My favorite Christmas song/album:  I wrote a whole  post about Christmas music this week.  Currently, I'm loving the Weezer Christmas Album and Michael Buble!
My favorite seasonal recipe: the fudge my mom makes!

The perfect New Year’s Eve outfit includes: something sparkly
At the parties, I’ll be drinking: hot chocolate
Eggnog, good or bad?  bad

Did you ever take pictures on Santa’s lap at the mall? I don't think so.  My family wasn't really into Santa Claus
Gingerbread Latte or Peppermint Mocha:  neither, I'm not much of a coffee drinker.  I'd vote for Peppermint Hot Chocolate
Worst gift I ever got:  I can't think of anything terrible, although when I was in junior high, my sister bought me Steve Madden panties for Christmas.  I was so embarrassed!
Best gift I ever received: How to decide!?  2 years ago, my husband got me a new camera, which was pretty sweet.  And when I was in high school, my parents bought me a leopard print chair shaped like a high heeled shoe. 
My family has this weird tradition: every year, my mom makes my dad walk around the house shouting "HO HO HO! Get your presents!  Wake up!" and shake jingle bells to wake us up.  Every year, he says he won't do it this year, but he always does!
My best bargain find for a gift this year:  I can't divulge that information at the moment, because the recipient might be reading this!
If I could only buy all my gifts from one place, I’d shop at:  Amazon!  You can find everything there.  If it has to be a physical store, I'd say Target.  
Rudolph the Red-nose Reindeer or Frosty the Snowman:  I vote for Rudolph.  I remember in preschool, we had to learn all the reindeer names, but now I can't remember
My favorite holiday memory:  I have no idea!  There are so many great ones.  Probably when my nephew was really little, and he was terrified by my dad's Christmas morning wake up call (see tradition above).  It was the funniest thing ever, and we now refer to the tradition as "the Santa Monster"  
The best part about holiday decorations is:  again, how do I pick!  I think the lights are my favorite.  
Rip off the wrapping paper or neatly pull off the tape:  depends on how pretty the wrapping is.
Miracle on 34th Street or It’s a Wonderful Life:  It's a wonderful life!  I honestly don't think I have ever seen Miracle on 34th Street, so I should probably watch it sometime.
All I want for Christmas is:  to spend time with friends and family who I don't get to see very often!  Oh, and presents.  Lots of presents! :-)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Seeing Spots

I wore this on Wednesday, which I thought was Thursday.  After a long day at work, I convinced John to go out to dinner and do some Christmas shopping.   We went to Toys R Us with a list of all the weird toys my nieces and nephews want this year.  I swear, all these things sound the same, and I can't keep track of what is what.  The lists are like Orbeez, Gomus, Zoobles, Beyblades, etc.  I'm sorry, what??  We actually had a pretty successful trip, and got presents for 4 of the 6 kids!  This weekend is going to be serious shopping time!

Anyway, we took pictures after our adventures at the toy store, and I couldn't narrow it down to just 1, so you get 2 pictures today!  

Top: Sunny Leigh from TJ Maxx
Skirt: Express (from approximately 1998)
Belt: Francesca's
Booties: Target - these were $8.98 at the store!

Throwback Thursday - 15 year old me

I think this picture pretty well sums up my sense of style my freshman year of high school.  This was on a ski trip with the youth group.  I didn't even think about skiing, because I'm about the least coordinated person in the world.  My brother's girlfriend (now wife) was on the trip, and she and a few of her friends decided to dye their hair one day.  I'm still not sure how the sponsors let this happen!  Anyway, I got in on it.  You can't tell in this picture, but we put pretty bright red streaks in my hair.  Then we straightened it, and it actually looked good for a few days, in the low humidity of Colorado!  My mom wasn't thrilled when I came home with red streaks in my hair. 

The rest of this outfit is composed of a few of my favorite things from that point in my life:

Shirt:  Calvin Klein Jeans - my sister had the exact same shirt and we both wore it all the time (sometimes on the same day!).  I think this shirt is still hanging in my closet at my parent's house, because I just can't quite let it go.

Jeans:  I think these are from Aeropostale, which was fairly new in town.  Or maybe these were Express...  Either way, jeans were the best thing ever for a girl who had to wear a very unfortunate pleated skirt everyday.  I'll have to post a uniform picture one of these days. 

Shoes:  I found these Skechers at a Nordstrom Rack when I was visiting my sister in Chicago.  I don't know when I got rid of these, but I'm thinking I need some new red tennis shoes. 

Watch:  Anne Klein - I think this was a gift from my mom for something, and I loved it! 

Earrings:  most of my earrings at this point were from The Limited for 2 reasons:   1) they sold earrings for sensitive skin, which I needed.    2)  they sent me $15 off coupons all the time. 

I wonder why Limited doesn't send me coupons anymore...  I should really look into that!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Always a Bridesmaid...

Actually, I've only been a bridesmaid a few times, and I have been a bride, so I guess that saying doesn't really work for me.  This summer, I was a bridesmaid for one of my friends, who was marrying one of my husband's friends, so we were both in the wedding party.  The wedding was in July, and outside, so needless to say, it was a little warm!  The ceremony was beautiful and pretty quick, so we got back into the air conditioned reception hall before we completely melted. 

For me, the trickiest part of being a bridesmaid is getting my hair done.  Most stylists just have no idea what to do with this mess of curls.  I always break the rules and show up with my hair freshly washed, because otherwise, it is unmanageable.  On this particular day, I told the stylist that I wanted it  up and as contained as possible, since I knew we would be out in the heat and humidity.  I told her to just leave it curly, and use the natural curl as much as possible.  She proceeded to blow dry my hair into a giant fro.  (One of the other bridesmaids took a picture at this point, which I still haven't seen.)  Then she straightened and teased my hair into a little side cascading deal, and curled it with the curling iron.  Completely the opposite of what I asked for!  And so much work for her!  All that to say, I actually liked what she did, and it held up ok in the 100+ degree humidity. 

Dress:  David's Bridal
Shoes:  Payless ($8!)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

EBEW: Sequins + Sparkles


If you are thinking I wore this skirt last Tuesday, you are correct.  I'm wearing it again for the Everybody, Everywear Sequins and Sparkles challenge.  Also, I love this skirt, so I'm happy to have an excuse to wear it again this week.

Most of my pictures are taken after work, and you can totally tell that I am not quite awake in this picture.   

I took inspiration from my gold skirt, and decided to pull out some of my yellow gold jewelry that I hardly ever wear.  These 3 pieces were all gifts from my parents when I was in high school:

Pearl Ring:  birthday present when I turned 16, I think.  My mom found this really cool ring at one of the mall jewelry stores, but it turned my finger green, even though they said it was 14kt gold.  So, we returned it, and went to a different store, where I picked out this one.  I love this one, too, but I wish the other one would have worked, since my mom picked it out for me.

Opal necklace:  present on my 18th birthday.  Opal is my birthstone, and my mom picked this style, which I really love.  I think I wore this necklace almost every day for about 4 or 5 years.  I've been thinking I should get a longer chain for it.

Hebrew Name necklace:  my dad got this for me on a trip to Israel.  I just put my name into Google translator, and the necklace is correct.  Wouldn't that be embarrassing if I was wearing a Hebrew necklace all these years that said "stupid American" or something??  I do think it is backwards in this picture, so that's probably embarrassing enough.

Skirt: Gap
Shirt: handmade
Cardigan:  Merona from Target
Boots: Bare Traps from DSW
Leggings: can't remember, but they are really great, so I wish I knew where they were from!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Music

The holiday season is in full swing, which means I am blasting Christmas music at every opportunity.  Here's what I've been listening to this year:

  • When I was really young, my family got "The christmas tape".  It was contemporary (at the time) Christian artists singing Christmas songs, and this tape was played pretty much non-stop from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Day.  The tape is still in working order as far as I know, but it lives at my parents' house.  A few years ago, I found it on iTunes, and was so excited! 
  • Relient K's Christmas Album is also one of my favorites.  These guys do a really great job mixing traditional carols with some fun new stuff.  Love it. 
  • Weezer put out a short Christmas album a few years ago.  It pretty much rocks.  
  • I've been taking advantage of the streaming music websites, too:
    •  Rdio is my favorite, because you can listen to specific albums or songs, and create playlists.  I've mostly been listening to A Very She & Him Christmas and Michael Buble's Christmas Album.  One downside:  I have used up my free monthly allowance of listening, so I am stuck until my new month starts in 5 days!
    • Pandora is my backup, so I'm listening to it right now.  I've tried to make Christmas stations, but it always starts to play regular music at some point, and I have to make a new station.  
I'm also loving this version of Baby, It's Cold Outside, by Ben Folds and Sara Bareilles (skip to about 2:20 for the actual performance to start):  

What are your favorite Christmas songs or albums?

All Aboard!

Friday night, we got all dressed up for John's company's Christmas party.  It was downtown at the Durham Museum (old Union Station), so we took the opportunity to take a picture on the train.  I wish they had some landscape pictures outside the window, so it actually looked like I was going somewhere. 

I almost wore my new green glitter shoes, but I thought it was a bit much, and I was pretty sure they'd be ruined the second they got snowy.  I think I tried on 10 pairs of shoes before I settled on these.  It was the wrong decision for sure.  Next year, I need to remember that there is a LOT of standing around, so I need to wear more comfortable shoes.  By the end of the night, I almost couldn't walk, especially on the ice and snow!  As of Monday morning, my toes are still a little numb.  That can't be healthy. 

Anyway... this dress is from Ann Taylor, and it was originally $138.  The other day, I stumbled across a blogger who had bought it full price, and was explaining that sometimes it is worth it to splurge on such a great basic item.  It's on sale online now for $99.  I got it for 7.  That's right, SEVEN dollars.  That is 95% off the original price.  It makes me feel a little ridiculous that my belt cost twice as much as my dress, but I think I'll manage. 

Dress: Ann Taylor
Belt:  Francesca's
Shoes:  BCBGirl
Clutch:  Loft

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Snow Boots, kind of

This is what I wore to work on Friday.  It was snowing again, and I felt like being as comfortable and cozy as possible. 

I bought these fleece inserts for my Wellies a few months ago, and this was their debut.  I thought they were genius when I first got them, but there were a few practical problems:

1. There was really no good way to get them all assembled.  I tried putting the insert into the boot, but then it got tangled up when I tried to put it on my foot.  I finally put it on like a sock, and then put the boot on.  But then my toes were kind of smashed.  I don't know.  Maybe it's just me.

2.  There was so much fleece crammed into the boot, that it was super tight around my arch, so I lost circulation in my toes.  At work, I just slipped my boots off, but this would have been a problem if I was out and about.  Again, maybe this isn't a problem for most people.  I suppose a flatter foot might work better.

Despite the problems, I really loved the way these looked, with the polka dots on both the boots and the cuffs.  

Shirt:  Gap
Sweater/Hoodie:  Gap
Coat:  DKNY
Hat: Gap
Jeans: Old Navy
Boots: Target
Boot Inserts: Betsey Johnson from Marshall's.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Throwback Thursday - Engage-iversary

Five years ago today, the love of my life asked me to marry him.  Of course, I said yes! 

We were supposed to go out to dinner on Dec 9th, but when John picked up my ring on the 8th, he didn't want to wait a day.  I had been hoping to buy a new dress on Saturday, but had to work with what I had in my closet.  

I bought this dress at Next at a 5am sale when I studied abroad at Oxford in 2005.  It was £7.49 (about $15).  Totally worth it.  I had just recently bought these Unlisted shoes for my friend's wedding in February 2007.  Being December in Nebraska, it was pretty much freezing outside, so I added tights, a cardigan, wool coat, scarf, hat, and gloves.  This picture was taken in the hallway of my apartment before John came to get me.  I have no idea why I look so nervous.  

We went out for dinner, and then were walking back to my dorm.  When he was about to propose, one of my friends jogged by and yelled "HI ANDI!" which kind of ruined the whole romantic moment.  After we were officially engaged, we went to a coffee shop nearby to warm up and call our parents to share the news. 

This is the face of a very happy girl:

And here's one of us together.  Happy Engage-iversary!!*

*No, Engage-iversary isn't really a word.  Yes, I make up words for events that I want to celebrate.  

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - 10 years ago

December 2001 - My brother got married!  I cannot believe he and his wife are about to celebrate 10 years.  This outfit was really thrown together at the last minute, because I had been looking for the perfect thing to wear, and never really found it.  This was also before I had a digital camera, so I took very few pictures, and in this one, I'm hugging my brother, but you get the basic idea of what I was wearing.

What you can't see in the picture is my sparkly hair.  I had a friend who volunteered to give me a cute updo, and she added quite a bit of glitter as her finishing touch.  Ok for prom, not really ok for your brother's wedding.

One other problem with this outfit:  During formal pictures, I was on the end, and the background was really dark, so it looks like my face is just floating out in the middle of space.  Didn't think that one through!

I don't remember what brand any of this was, but here's a rundown on what I was wearing

Black cashmere turtleneck: from Sam's Club
Skirt:  from Dillard's Junior's section (don't think I ever wore it again)
Boots:  from TJ Maxx.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Optometrist and Old Guy Approved

This afternoon, I went to the eye doctor.  I've been looking for a good eye doctor in town for a few years, and I think I finally found her!  She was wearing super cute metallic snakeskin flats, and she complimented my skirt and boots.  We then discussed the popularity of skinny jeans, and how it is sometimes hard to make the jump when you've always worn boot-cut.  What a great eye doctor!  Oh, she also did a good job at checking my eyes, and stuff.

After my eyes were dilated and I pretty much couldn't see anything up close, I picked out some new glasses, and then wore my very old glasses for the rest of the day (pictured above).  It was pretty tricky to make a choice, since I couldn't see unless I was about an inch away from the mirror.  I ended up with some blue Kate Spade frames, so hopefully they are cute.  Anyway, here's a true story from glasses shopping:

I'm picking out a few frames, and trying them on in the mirror, and I hear a wolf whistle behind me.  In situations like this, my first response is always to ignore it.  Maybe it will go away.  So, I try on the next pair, and hear a very old man's voice saying "Those look good!"  and I catch his reflection in the mirror.  He's really really old, so I figure I can be nice and say thanks.  Then he pulls out this gem of a line:

Hey, are you from Tennessee?  Because you're the only TEN I SEE!  

Get it??  80 year old men are so creative!  I immediately sent my husband a text letting him know what a catch I am!

Cardigan: Gap
T-shirt:  Loft
Skirt: Gap
Tights: Target
Boots:  Rampage
Glasses:  Donna Karen (probably from about 1998 or so).

Monday, December 5, 2011

DIY Glittery Shoes

I recently saw this post and immediately wanted to try it.  I didn't have any shoes that I was ready to glitterize, so I went searching at Goodwill and found these Franco Sartos for $3.99!

It was tough to decide what color of glitter to go with.  I thought black would be the most reasonable choice, but then I threw caution to the wind and went with green.  Here are my supplies:

I basically followed the instructions from the link above, but here they are: 
  1. I used saran wrap and tape to wrap up the heel of the shoe.  I never mastered painting in the lines in elementary school.
  2. Then, in a disposable bowl, I mixed up the glue and glitter.  
  3. Paint the glitter glue mixture onto the shoes, sprinkling extra glitter where needed.
  4. At this point, I let the glue dry, and then came back later and re-applied glue and glitter on the sparse areas.
  5. After that is dry, I journeyed to the garage to spray the clear coat over the shoes.  Again, I stuffed the inside of the shoes with aluminum foil, and also wrapped the buckles to prevent the clear coat getting everywhere.  
Here's the finished product:  

I'm pretty pumped about my new shoes!  I just have to figure out an appropriate event and outfit for them.  Husband's work Christmas party?  Maybe.

I will say if you try this, I'd recommend shoes without a buckle.  I really love the look of the buckle, but I can already tell the glitter and clear coat is going to wear off around the buckle.

Winter Wonderland

We got our first real snow of the winter over the weekend!  It pretty much snowed all day on Saturday, so we thought it was the perfect night to try out our fireplace for the first time.  It was so cozy!!  The only problem is that we are out of Hot Chocolate mix!  I'll have to remedy that next time I'm at the store.   

Here's my outfit from Sunday.  It was pretty cold outside, so we took 2 pictures before running inside to warm up.  This is the picture where my eyes are open and my hands aren't flailing around. 
Black v-neck tee:  Gap
Cardigan:  Gap
Skirt: Autograph New York (from either Marshalls or TJ Maxx)
Tights:  no clue
Boots:  Bare Traps

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Casual Friday Christmas Party

 On Friday, we had our first Christmas party of the year.  This one was pretty casual, so I kept it simple with jeans and a sweater.  I kind of thought this outfit wasn't blog-worthy, but if I'm being honest, this is basically my winter uniform.

It has been snowing ALL day today, so I stayed inside wrapped up in a blanket most of the day, reading, watching movies.  I finished up a little project this afternoon. 

Hopefully, we will get our Christmas decorations put up tomorrow! 

Sweater:  Old Navy
Jeans: Gap
Shoes: Gap

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Throwback Thursday - Seatbelts and Cows

Does anyone remember when Kansas City did the Cow Parade?  I think some of the sculptures are still around in various malls and museums.  My dad and I had been in Chicago for the weekend to see the Cardinals play the Cubs, and flew back through Kansas City.  We went to the Plaza to check out the cows, and buy some new school shoes for me.  It was a great day!

This is not an impressive outfit.  I think my jeans and t-shirt were both Express, and I'm rocking Skechers tennis shoes.  No, not that exciting, but what is exciting is my purse.  Seatbelt purses hadn't really caught on in 2001, but I had seen one in a little boutique and I loved it.  It was about $75, safely out of the high school girl price range.  I decided I was going to make one.  Can't be that hard, right??
  • Step 1 was the hardest:  Find seatbelt material.  Now in 2011, that's pretty easy.  Just google "seatbelt material" and you get a bunch of websites with various colors.  10 years ago, that wasn't happening.  I finally convinced my dad to go on an adventure to the junkyard.  The guys there thought I was crazy.  I found a little Geo Metro, and had to pry the doors apart to get to the wound up seat-belts.  Blue wouldn't have been my first choice for color, but beggars can't be choosers, right?
  • Step 2 involved a lot of Dawn soap and a toothbrush to get the dirt and grease out. 
  • Steps 3-6 was the sewing process, which was mostly done by hand, as I broke a few sewing needles on the thick material: 
    •  First, I cut strips and sewed loops together
    • Then I cut strips and wove up between the strips, and sewed around the top.
    • The strap was a long piece, and I wove down both sides, and through the bottom, so it would be really strong. 
    • Then I made some lining with lime green satin, and sewed that in, using another strip of seatbelt for the binding around the top.  

I was pretty proud of myself for this project.  After this, a friend told me about an airplane supply store  downtown that had a whole aisle of different colors of seat-belts.  I got red and black and made myself and my sister each a purse, in a different style.  I'd like to make some more someday.  Maybe I will check out those websites that Google found for me to buy the supplies...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Guarding the gifts

August 2010 - Two of my good friends got married on the same day at the exact same time.  One of them asked me and 2 of our other friends to be the guest book and gift attendants.  The wedding coordinator assigned me to the gift table, probably because I look so trustworthy (or because the other girls looked so shady).

The bride had asked us to wear black/white dresses, and I didn't have anything that I was very excited about.  After trying on almost every dress at the mall, I found this Kenneth Cole dress at Marshall's and totally fell in love with the plaid!  The bride also made us super cute pearl bracelet/corsages to wear.  Acting like it was a spy microphone was the logical next step.

After the wedding and reception, we ran over to the other reception for a little bit.  It was a busy day of weddings!

Dress:  Kenneth Cole
Shoes:  Unlisted

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pleather Jacket

I've been on the lookout for a black moto jacket for awhile, and somehow ended up choosing this white one instead.  Oops!  Guess I'll just have to keep looking for a black one, preferable in real leather.

Jacket: Relativity
Skirt:  Kenneth Cole Sweater
Tights:  Steve Madden from DSW
Boots:  Bare Traps from DSW
Scarf:  Gift from my sister, about 7 years ago!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Bits and Pieces

After making my new top yesterday, I remembered Kendi's outfit that I had pinned recently.  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?  So I thought I'd pretty much copy her idea with leopard and blue.

I thought I was being so clever using the timer on my camera this morning.  First mistake:  I set it on our patio table, which made an awkward angle.  Second mistake:  I can't run and pose in a normal way with just 10 seconds. So, we are going with some cropped photos today. 

Tank:  made by me
Cardigan:  Gap
Jeans:  Gap
Shoes:  BCBGeneration
Necklace: anniversary present from Mr. Smith.
And you can't see, but I'm wearing these earrings from InPink.  They came as a set with my necklace from yesterday.

I'm really going to have to step up my game with outfit photos.

Book Review - Out of Oz by Gregory Maguire

I recently finished Out of Oz, the fourth and final book in Gregory Maguire's Wicked Years series.  When I first heard about Wicked, I was excited to read it.  I tend to enjoy well known stories told from the "other" point of view.  (see True-Story-Three-Little-Pigs).  Plus, after growing up in Kansas, I get enough "not in Kansas anymore" jokes, so I figure I should soak up as much Oz-lore as possible.  I really liked Wicked, until the very end, when I just thought "that's all?"  There was so much MORE that could have been included.  So, when the next 2 books came out, I read them, thinking/hoping that more things would be resolved.  Each book made me more annoyed.  You are probably wondering why I even bothered to read Out of Oz.  I probably shouldn't have read it, but there was just so much potential for these books to be really great! 

Long story short:  skip the books, go see the Broadway version of Wicked.  It's really, really great. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Adventures in Sewing

A few years ago, my husband got me a sewing machine for my birthday.  I was super excited and signed up for a beginner's sewing class.  I made a purse in the class, and really regret the fabric I used.  I will likely never use the purse.  I've done a few little projects over the past couple of years, including a t-shirt quilt that is taking forever!  I should be done with it soon.  When I was at Joann's Fabric getting supplies for the quilt, I noticed patterns were on sale 5 for $5, so I picked up 5 that seemed pretty easy.  Until yesterday, I hadn't even started any of them. 

I decided I would make a skirt first.   I had some coupons for Hancock Fabrics, so I went searching for the skirt fabric.  I didn't find anything I completely loved for the skirt, but ended up with this houndstooth twill.  Got home and was anxious to get started.  This is when I realized I don't want to follow directions.  Of course, it said I should wash the fabric first, to pre-shrink.  That seemed like it would take way too long.  After considering the potential for making a skirt, only to wash it and be unable to wear it, I decided to follow the instructions.  So, the skirt fabric won't be ready for about an hour.

Instead of waiting patiently, I was anxious to sew something!  At the store, I noticed this leopard print flowy polyester fabric.  I obviously have no idea what it actually should be called.  I would fail design school.  It was too light for the skirt, but I wanted it, so I bought 2 yards, for some future project  When my skirt plan was foiled, I went to my patterns and found a simple tank top.  Should be easy, right??   I tried to follow the instructions, but I honestly had no idea what they were describing.  I had to get online and search for terms, and even watched a video on youtube about how to gather.  Eventually, I gave up on the pattern instructions and just did what made sense to me.  I think it turned out pretty cute:  

I learned a few things in the process:  
  1. I really don't like following instructions.  I would much rather wing it. 
  2. Making clothes is probably more expensive than buying.  I saw a very similar top the other day for about $14.   Once you add up the fabric/thread/pattern, and my hours, I think $14 would have been a wiser choice. 
  3. I should probably start looking at Goodwill for items I can refashion, rather than starting from scratch.  
I think I might ditch the other pattern and just make a skirt however I want.  It can't be that complicated, right??