Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Goal Review




Well, it is the end of the year, so I guess I should check in with my goals and see how terribly I failed!  I'm probably being too hard on myself, but maybe not.
  1. Be more active - Ummm, no.  I just couldn't get into a routine of working out.  I think I need to come up with a more specific plan for 2013.  
  2. Be a more discerning shopper - I'll call this a success.  I did the Jan-Mar shopping ban, and I think I am doing better at buying quality items that I will wear more often, instead of just buying things because they are cheap.  I still shop almost exclusively in the clearance section, but I make myself think of several outfits for an item before I purchase it.  
  3. Be a better wife!  Mostly in the realm of dinner preparation.  I'm just so inconsistent with this.  I have no way of measuring success other than my feelings, and I feel like I am still terrible at making dinner most weeks.
  4. Be more creative!  Success!  I've done quite a few crafty projects this year!  
  5. Read 50 books in 2012.  Done!  I was way ahead of schedule until I started the Game of Thrones books, which are 1000+ pages each.  That can really hurt the total number of books!  I had to be strategic in the last week and read a few of the shorter books on my list, but if I look at total number of pages read, I more than doubled my 2011 reading.  
So, 3 out of 5 isn't too bad, right?  I tend to succeed at the things I actually enjoy, like reading books!  I need to figure out how to enjoy things like working out and making dinner.  Maybe I need to get a Wii so I can play Just Dance all the time as my workout, because that is fun!  Not sure how to make dinner preparation fun.

How did you do on your goals/resolutions in 2012?

Sweater: Old Navy
Scarf: Calvin Klein
Skirt: Target
Boots: BareTraps via DSW

Friday, December 28, 2012

Carbon Copy






It's been such a busy week with Christmas and being lazy, that I haven't had much time to upload and edit current pictures, so I'm glad I had these pictures on reserve. 

This outfit is from a couple weeks ago, when it was still somewhat reasonable to wear flats with no socks.  I wore a very similar outfit back in September.  Since my jeans are pretty much the same color as that skirt, it was a no brainer that I should recreate the look. 

I'm looking forward to another 4 day weekend!  I am hoping to get a lot of stuff done around the house, and then kick off 2013 with some motivation to be better at everything (but more on that later)!

Happy Friday! 

Cardigan and Jeans: Gap
Tank Top: Old Navy
Shoes: Target

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Eve





You all got a sneak peek at my Christmas Eve outfit here, but I really liked it, so I figured it deserves a full post.  I found this skirt for $8 at Target on Sunday.  I also found a super cute dress for my sis-in-law that is the same color/style for $8.  I was kind of jealous that the dress wasn't in my size, but at least I got a green pencil skirt!  Of course, I was sure I needed to wear it for Christmas Eve.  I thought this open-front floral cardigan would do the trick, with a shiny belt for extra festivity.  Add red nails, and I felt very festive!

The reason I look kind of embarrassed in these pictures is because the whole family was watching me.  They know about my blog, but it was still awkward to have an audience!

Top, Sweater: Gap
Skirt, tights: Target
Belt: Chinese Laundry via TJ Maxx
Boots: BareTraps via DSW

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas!

This is the first Christmas since John and I got married where we haven't either traveled or had out-of-town guests visiting.  It was kind of nice to have a quieter holiday this year.  We just went over to his parents' house for Christmas Eve and Christmas day.
Christmas Eve
Opening Stockings
Music-themed kitchen utensils!  
Modeling my new scarf and blazer - very classy with PJs
You'll have to excuse the grainy pictures from Christmas morning.  My head decided that Christmas morning is an appropriate time for a migraine, so I had to avoid flash photography.  I slowly started feeling better throughout the day, as we had a delicious Christmas feast and played board games.

How was your Christmas?  I hope you had a wonderful day with friends and family!


Monday, December 24, 2012

Tale As Old As Time




Last Sunday, I went to Beauty and the Beast (the musical) with my mom-in-law and sis-in-law.  At that point, it had snowed just a little bit, and we could still take pictures on the deck. Now, we have about 6 inches of snow outside, so I'm not sure when I'll be able to venture out there again.

Anyway, the show was fabulous!  I knew it would be.  I just love the story, and the songs, and the costumes.  Disney Princesses were not as big of a deal back when I was a kid, but I do think Belle was my favorite.  Back in 2010, Beauty and the Beast was in Omaha when my sister and nieces were visiting, so we all went.  That's probably another reason I love this musical - it was SO MUCH FUN to take the girls and experience it with them.

So, I have to ask - who is your favorite Disney Princess?

Dress: Ann Taylor
Sweater: Urban Outfitters
Belt: Charming Charlie
Tights: Steve Madden
Boots: Wanted via Piperlime
Necklace: InPink

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Green Giant



I love colorful tights as much as the next fashion blogger, but I always feel a little bit like Peter Pan or this guy when I wear my green ones.  With that in mind, I try to keep the rest of my outfit more subdued.  Green tights just gives a little extra holiday cheer, right?

Speaking of holiday cheer, there's just one more day and then it is Christmas!  I might be just a little bit excited.

Sweater: Gap
Skirt: Kenneth Cole skirt refashioned
Tights: American Apparel
Boots: BareTraps

Friday, December 21, 2012

Losing It



 

Well, I'm finally going crazy in my old age.  I have never been a forgetful person, but in the last few days, I am really starting to wonder what is wrong with me!  I am so scatterbrained!  Here's some evidence:
  • On Sunday, I went to Beauty and the Beast with my MIL and SIL.  We met for dinner before the show.  When I got to the restaurant, I noticed my wedding and engagement rings were not on my finger.  Cue panic attack.  I was sure I hadn't taken them off for any reason that day, and was terrified that they had fallen off somewhere as I was walking around downtown.  Turns out, they were on the dresser.  I had taken them off when I put on hand lotion. 
  • On Monday morning, I got to work and my computer was not on my desk.  Apparently I took it home for the weekend, and completely forgot to bring it back.  I had to drive back home to get it, thus starting my day about 45 minutes later than originally planned.
  • Monday evening, I was getting ready to ship all the presents out to my family, so I was sorting everything into piles.  There are 4 presents under the tree to John from me.  I remember buying and wrapping 3 presents.  I have no idea what the 4th present is, and since I put everything in different sized boxes to be sneaky, I don't even know which present is the mystery one.  The next day, I realized that the mystery present isn't "to John". It is "to Jason", my uncle-in-law.  Apparently, I am illiterate.  
I am hoping this is just short-term memory loss due to holiday stress and I will be back to my usual brilliant self in January. 

Dress: Gap
Cardigan: Urban Outfitters
Necklace: H&M
Tights: Steve Madden
Boots: Wanted via Piperlime
Coat: Old Navy

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Winter White




It's Third Thursday Threads link up time again!  Have I mentioned that I love these theme link-ups?  I just have a hard time decided what to wear most days, so having a prompt is super helpful.  This month's theme was a bit more challenging than the previous ones - Winter White.  Now, I don't really believe in the whole "no white after Labor day" rule, but when I thought about the challenge, I was envisioning white pants.  I don't currently have any white pants, but I used to have an awesome pair of cream-colored corduroy trousers from Old Navy.  I actually wore them to my college graduation way back in December 2006 (how has it been 6 years?).
evidence
Since I don't have any white pants to build an outfit around, I decided to wear bright fuchsia pants and white everything else.  I really like the look of white layers in winter.  It still feels cozy and seasonally appropriate.  It was probably a mistake to wear these shoes, because it was pretty chilly outside, but I didn't really want to add heavy boots to the mix.

What do you think about wearing white in the winter?  Go check out the other looks here.

Button-up and jeans: Gap
Sweater: Old Navy
Jacket: Relativity
Shoes: BCBGeneration
Pearls: Gift (from China)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

You're It

2007 - First Married Christmas
I'm double posting today, because I got tagged in a Christmas game.  It's just like those email chains from back in the olden days!  Sarah tagged me for this Christmas themed blog tag, and I couldn't resist playing along.  The rules are simple: When someone tags you, you answer their questions and then tag 5 new people (unless you are a cheater, and make up your own rules, like me). 

I have to add that is has been snowing here for the last 8-ish hours and we are supposed to have 8-12 inches by tomorrow morning.  It's supposed to be pretty cold for the next few days, so it looks like we will have a white Christmas!  

Here are my answers to Sarah's questions:

1. What's your favorite Christmas ornament?   So hard to pick just one!  We always buy ornaments when we go on vacation, so those are some of my favorites.  If I have to pick a single favorite, it would probably be our wedding ornament.  John's mom got it for us the first Christmas we were married.  It's just kind of cheesy, but I love it!  It's always the first ornament I put on the tree.  
2. What's your most memorable Christmas from high school?   I think it was my senior year when the "Santa Monster" story happened.  On Christmas morning, my mom has always insisted that my dad wake us all up by ringing these bells and hollering "ho ho ho!  Merry Christmas!  Wake up and get your presents!"  When my nephew was pretty little, this completely terrified him.  I heard "Santa" and then I heard screaming. We all gathered around the tree to open stockings, and when my sister in law came up with him, his face was bright red, and he was still calming down a bit.  We asked him what happened, and he said something like "I was just sleeping, and then the Santa Monster came and was like 'HO HO HO GET YOUR PRESENTS' and I was so scared and started screaming and crying!"  It was the funniest/cutest thing! 
3. What's your favorite holiday drink?  Hot chocolate - more specifically, my mom's homemade hot chocolate mix! 
4. What's on your Christmas list this year?  See here.  
5. What is one tradition you will carry on later into your own future family?  When I was growing up, my family always took turns opening presents, so we all got to watch everyone else opening presents and see what they got.  At the time, it was SO HARD to be patient until my turn, but it was so much fun to see what everyone got, and see their reactions when they opened gifts from me.  I think that is more fun than a free-for-all, where you have no idea what is going on, and there is wrapping paper flying everywhere!

Now the tricky part - I'm supposed to come up with 5 questions and tag 5 bloggers to play along.  
  1. What is your favorite Christmas song or album?
  2. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
  3. What is a favorite gift you have given?
  4. What is a favorite gift you have received?
  5. If you have to do all your Christmas shopping at one store, which store would you choose?
It's so hard to know who to tag!  If you are reading this, consider yourself tagged.  If you don't feel like making a whole post, just answer the questions in the comments!  

Literary Link-Up #2



It's time for the Literary Junkies Link-Up again!

1. What are you currently reading? Tell us about it.

I'm about halfway through  A Feast for Crows, which is book 4 in A Song of Ice and Fire (the Game of Thrones series).  I don't even know where to begin with a synopsis, but this series is so good.  I really love how the characters are all complicated.  There isn't really a "good guy" and a "bad guy", but everyone is just trying survive and sometimes they make terrible choices.  I also like how the author will sometimes kill off a really major character.  It's not that I wanted those characters to die, but I like being surprised, and I know no one is safe.  So far, book 4 has been a little bit frustrating for me, because we haven't heard anything from a few of the main characters.  I'm worried that they won't be in this book at all.  Good thing book 5 is on my hold shelf at the library, so I can pick it up immediately!  Then I will have to be patient until book 6 is published. 

2. If you could choose any author in the world to write a story based on your life, who would you choose to be the author? Why?
This is a tough one.  My first thought was someone like Tina Fey or Jenny Lawson, because I think my life is kind of hilarious, and would want my book to be ridiculous.  Then my mind went to Malcolm Gladwell, because I really love the way he describes people in his books.  Then I thought it doesn't have to be "about me", it could just be loosely based on my life, and I started down the path of fiction authors.  Then I realized my life has been kind of boring (in a good way), and I'm not sure anyone would read a novel based on it. This is how my brain works.  I think I should stick with the funny ladies I mentioned at the beginning.  

3. Tell us about your favorite place to read.

The beach, but that might just be my favorite place to be.  On a regular basis, I enjoy reading at Starbucks, or sitting on my couch wrapped up in a blanket.

4. What books would you buy for lovers of a) suspense/mystery b) chicklit, c) comedy, d) literary fiction, e)nonfiction, f) classics? (You can choose how many of those subcategories you want to talk about.)
Have you read any good books lately?

Outfit details:
Shirt: Loft
Cardigan: Urban Outfitters
Jeans: Old Navy
Shoes: Target

Goings on in Texas

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Book Review - The Night Circus


As part of the Literary Junkies book club, I recently read "The Night Circus" by Erin Morgenstern.  This is a book I probably would not have picked out on my own, but I'm glad I read it.  I had heard a few people say it starts slow, so I think I had low expectations and actually enjoyed the beginning.  Overall, I would say I liked it, but I didn't love it.  As I thought about it more, I actually started to like it less.  Some pros and cons are listed below, but here is fair warning that there are spoilers. 

SPOILER ALERT - if you intend to read this book, you probably shouldn't read my comments below!   

Pros:
  • I really loved the imagery of the circus.  It just seemed so whimsical and I was definitely imagining it as I read. 
  • I thought the beginning of the book was really interesting.  When I didn't really know what was going to happen, or how things were going to unfold, I was very anxious to find out as soon as possible.  
  • Some of the characters were very engaging.  I really enjoyed the Poppet and Bailey storyline.  For some reason, their relationship felt more realistic to me than the main romance.  

Cons
  • The love story was just kind of blah for me.  It felt very forced and unhealthy.  I mean, they were both basically raised by completely insane magicians who were training them for an obscure challenge.  Then they meet and OF COURSE they are going to be attracted to each other.  They are the only 2 people in the world who can relate to the very bizarre situation.  It felt less romantic, and more co-dependently creepy to me.      
  • I'm not sure if it was supposed to be a surprise twist, but I thought it was pretty obvious from the beginning that one of them was going to have to die.  After the story about the magician getting trapped in the tree instead of dying, I was pretty sure they would trap themselves in the circus. 
  • I guess I didn't understand why they couldn't just both keep doing the circus for awhile, Since the previous contest lasted for so long, what was stopping Marco and Celia from "competing" for the next 50 years, until one of them dies naturally and then the other one is the default winner?   I think the author was trying to say that Isobel had put some sort of protective spell over the circus, and when she took it off, then it wasn't sustainable anymore, but that wasn't super clear. 
  • Bailey's email address at the end was just awkward.  I get that she is trying to say the circus is still going strong 100 years after the main story takes place, and obviously Bailey is now under the "not aging" spell, so the whole plan worked.  It just seemed a little weird. 

The Literary Junkies had our first book club chat tonight via Twitter, so if you follow me, you were probably inundated with #literaryjunkies tweets.  It was so much fun to hear what everyone else thought of the book.

So, have you read this book?  What did you think of it?


Monday, December 17, 2012

Weekend Wrap-Up




Happy Monday!  This weekend was busy but good.  Saturday was a very productive day at the Smith house.  John cleaned out the laundry room - which I have been too scared to do for several months.  I mean, there could be spiders  hiding everywhere.  We also made 2 trips to Lowe's to get new light fixtures for our entry way and dining room.  The dining room light is up and I think it looks awesome!   It snowed a little bit on Sunday, so we hung out by the fireplace and drank hot chocolate!  Sunday evening, I went to Beauty and the Beast with my MIL and SIL, but I'll be posting more about that later! 

Make sure you go enter Taylor's giveaway!  I'm sending a Starbucks giftcard to one lucky winner! 



Shirt and Skirt: J.Crew Factory
Belt: Gap
Boots: Guess

Friday, December 14, 2012

Secretary





I felt very 1960's secretary-ish in this outfit.  I mean, a bow blouse and a pencil skirt kind of made me feel like I belonged on the set of Mad Men.  I was kind of a secretary for one summer in college, but I think it's more PC to say Administrative Assistant or something.  I was not a great secretary, mostly because I hated answering the phones (and I never got to wear a bow blouse!).  I just wanted to sort the files and be left alone.  It's kind of funny I ended up in a job where I talk on the phone all day.  At least I can wear ridiculous outfits at my current office!

Bow Blouse: Alfani via Macy's
Sweater: Gap
Skirt: Target
Boots: BareTraps via DSW

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tiny Heart Knock-Off




Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I'm sure Sharon won't mind that I am totally stealing her outfit.  Even thought I am about a foot taller than her, we can both rock stripes and polka dots, right?

I wore this to work, and on the drive in, I noticed a tiny hole in my tights.  If I had been at home, I would have immediately dabbed some nail polish on it to prevent a run.  When I got to work, I emailed all the women in my office, but none of them keep nail polish at their desk.   Miraculously, I made it through the day without getting a huge run!  I count that as a big win!  Less happily, these are probably my favorite black tights and I have no idea when or where I bought them.  Any suggestions for where I can find some replacements?

Dress: Old Navy
Cardigan: Old Navy
Belt: Limited
Necklace: InPink
Boots: BareTraps via DSW 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Twelvesies



You guys, it is 12-12-12!  AND it's the last time the date will line up like that until 01-01-2101, so you better enjoy it.  Back in 2007, I know a bunch of people who got married on 07-07-07, because it's just a cool date.  It helped that it was a Saturday.  I wonder if anyone is getting hitched on a Wednesday just because of the 12-12-12 date.

Just in case you aren't aware, Christmas is in less than 2 weeks!  I am mostly done with my shopping, but have a few more items to pick up.  I need to get in gear so I can mail everything in time!

Cardigan and Jeans: Old Navy
Shirt: Gap
Boots: Wanted via Piperlime

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Transitioning






I wore this to church a couple weekends ago, on a day that started out unseasonable warm, and then became more seasonably cold that evening.  Instead of coming up with a whole new outfit for that evening, I just made some slight modifications and was good to go!

Which version do you prefer?

Base outfit:
Shirt: J.Crew Factory
Skirt: Sunny Leigh via Macy's

Outfit #1
Belt: Old Navy
Shoes: Seychelles
Sunglasses: Jones New York

Outfit #2
Cardigan: Urban Outfitters
Boots: Wanted via Piperlime


Monday, December 10, 2012

All I Want for Christmas



Does your family make lists for Christmas?  When I was growing up, we never made official lists.  I think the opinion (of probably just my mom) was that gifts are supposed to be a surprise, and if you pay attention throughout the year, you will know what to get someone for their birthday or Christmas.  My in-laws are list people, so I have made lists for the past few years.  My family has even moved toward list-making, since we don't see each other as often, so we really don't know what to get!   I can see both sides of the argument.  I try to make a really long list, so there are several options and I will still be somewhat surprised. 

Without any further ado, here's my wishlist for this year:

  1. Perfume - a few years ago, I got both of these perfumes for Christmas.  A few months ago, I ran out of both of them.  I want them again - particularly Diamonds Intense.  It smells SO GOOD!
  2. Fashion Scarves:  I want a leopard print and a polka dot scarf.  There was the perfect leopard scarf at Gap.com a month or so ago, but it is sold out now, and never got to stores. 
  3. Yellow "Gold" Watch - I got a nice new watch for my birthday, but I would also like a cheap "gold" watch for when I am feeling the yellow gold accessories.  I've seen a bunch of cute ones at Charming Charlie and Francesca's that are in the $20 range, but I couldn't find those online.  
  4. Polka dot sweater - I almost bought this for myself the other day, but I was supposed to be Christmas shopping for others, so I was good.  
  5. New slippers - I wear slippers all the time.  I think I have 4 pairs right now, but they are all getting a little raggedy, and probably need to go in the trash soon.  I think these ones from Target would be an excellent replacement!
  6. Opal jewelry - October birthday here!  I love opal jewelry, but it is so hard to find "real" opals.  Everything online is lab-created, and I would prefer the real thing.  It's also hard to find white gold options.  I think jewelers always want to put opals in yellow gold for a contrast.  I have wanted an opal ring for several years, and I think this one is simple and classic.  So if you happen to talk to my husband, this would be a great idea for him! 
What is on your Christmas Wish List this year?