Thursday, January 31, 2013

January Check-In


 

I love how you can see John reflected in my sunglasses!  


2013 got off to a decent start, but then I was knocked out by the flu for about 2 weeks.  Not awesome, you guys.  With that in mind, I don't think I did very well on my goals for the month.  

  1. Do a project, mostly sewing -  I haven't done any sewing, but I did have craft night with my friends at the beginning of the month.  I made some art for the bathroom.  Now I just need to paint and put up my new decor (that I bought last summer).  
  2. Work out - I met my goal of 3x a week for the first 2 weeks, and then I got the flu.  You aren't supposed to exercise when you have the flu, so I took off exercise for 2 weeks.  I'm back on track this week.  I won't call it a success, but I don't feel too bad about failing, since I have a good reason/excuse.    
  3. Tackle a project around the house - good thing this says "tackle" and not "finish!  I have started preparing to paint the bathroom.  So far, I have picked out a color of paint, and started taping around the trim/doors/counter.  I'm hoping to start actually painting this weekend.  
  4. Cook a "real" meal at least 3 days each week.  Same story as #2 - I was on track with this until I got sick and then I was in no shape to make dinner.  I'm getting back on track this week.  
  5. Stick to a clothing budget - I did pretty good this month.  Just $10 over my budget.
  6. Read 50 books in the year - I finished 3 books in January, and I am about halfway through another one.  I'd say I am on track for the year.    
All in all, it's not as bad as I thought it might be.  I just need to get back on track and stay motivated.  I'm going to keep the same goals for February, and hopefully stay healthy enough to be successful this time!

Tank, Tee, and Jeans: Gap
Cardigan: J.Crew Factory
Shoes: Converse

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Grammar Police





We've established that I'm sort of a nerd sometimes, and there are certain grammatical errors that just drive me crazy.  I will refrain from turning this into a blog where I only rant about grammar, but sometimes I just have to say something.  Please bear with me while I preach for a minute (or just skip to the end where I tell you where I bought my clothes).

"I's" is never correct.    

I've seen this all over the place, so if you are a recent offender, do not take it personally.  For example, if I was talking about the house that my husband and I own, it would NOT be correct to say "John and I's house."  Ever.  Like EVER!  (See, I can channel Taylor Swift when I'm grammar ranting).  

I think this is a problem because little kids tend to say "Me" all the time when they should say I.  Like "Me and Susie are going to play outside!" and our parents all drilled into us "Susie and I!"  This does not mean that every time you say "someone and" it should be "I".  

I remember my dad teaching me to take the "Susie and" part out of the sentence, and then I would know the appropriate option to use.  "Me is going to play outside" or "I am going to play outside"?  It's pretty obvious there.  

I pretty frequently hear people say things like "Do you want to have dinner with Susie and I?" and I cringe every time.  Again, would you say "Do you want to have dinner with I?"  Of course not.  

Compound possessives get even more confusing for people, especially when "I" is one of the subjects.  If the 2 subjects each have their own item, they each get their own apostrophe (John's and Andi's birthdays).  If the 2 subjects are sharing one item, they can share the apostrophe (John and Andi's house).  I like this example - think of the apostrophe as a hair dryer.  

Once you change one of the subjects into a personal pronoun, the other subject needs to have the apostrophe, or the sentence can get confusing.  If I say "John and my house is painted brown" it kind of sounds like John is painted brown and my house is painted brown.  I have to say "John's and my house" and then everything is right in the world.  

I think this is one reason coupled up people just say "we" and "our" all the time.  It might be annoying, but can we all agree it is less annoying than "I's"?  

Now please don't point out all of my grammatical errors.  I've probably got quotations on the wrong side of punctuation all over this post.

Since this was pretty random, I'm linking up with Shanna!

Scarf, Black Sweater, Jeans: Gap    
Cardigan: Urban Outfitters
Boots: Wanted via Piperlime

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Minty Fresh and Foggy




Of course I had to wear these mint skinny jeans as soon as possible. Pairing them with my new white and navy striped top seemed pretty obvious.  Then the weather told me that it was going to be in the 40s, and I figured I should let my ankles out to play (scandalous, I know).  I'm still not 100% sure I like the look of skinny jeans with flats, but I'm trying to be more adventurous.  I know, flats and skinnies aren't exactly earth shattering, but we all have our hangups!

The weather didn't warn me about how foggy it would be, but I'll take the warmer temps and foggy skies over single digit sunshine (which we should be getting later this week).     

Shirt, Jeans, Shoes: Gap
Jacket: Izod

Monday, January 28, 2013

First Time Budgeting Blogger


January 2013

January 2013

You may remember that one of my goals for 2013 is to actually stick to a clothing budget.  A few of you mentioned that I should link up with Franziska each month for the budgeting bloggers, to keep myself accountable.  I'll be honest, sharing details of how much money I spend on clothes freaks me out a little bit, but I suppose it's a good way to keep myself on track.  My budget is $100 per month.        

I hadn't done much shopping in January until this weekend, when I met up with a friend at the mall, and happened to find some great deals.  As pictured above, here are the items I purchased in January:
  1. Old Navy Polka Dot shirtdress - $19
  2. Gap Striped Scoop-neck Tee -  $9
  3. Gap Always Skinny Mint Jeans - $13
  4. J.Crew Factory Classic Cardigan in Vibrant Flame - $14
  5. Mossimo Lady Satchel - $12
  6. Gap Boyfriend Fitted Shirt - $12
  7. J.Crew Factory Tissue V-Neck Tee  - $5
  8. Old Navy Striped dress - $10  (Update: I had to return this, due to a giant hole appearing!)
  9. Merona Kylan Fur Ankle Boot - $10
  10. Gap Boyfriend sweater - $6
Grand total - $100 

I feel pretty good about these items.  I do think I bought the J.Crew factory things just because they were so cheap, but I think they will be good staple pieces.  I probably feel the worst about the purse and boots from Target.  I shouldn't even walk over to the non-grocery side of the store, because I always find something and talk myself into it!  Since I came in $10 over budget, I am tempted to return one or both of those things.  What do you think?   

For February and March, I'm going to limit myself to thrift shopping, and the gift cards I got for Christmas.  I am going to Phoenix in April and want to save up for shopping out there, so a little two-month pseudo-ban seems like a good idea.

How did you do on shopping in January?  Did you get any good deals on after Christmas sales?  

Saturday, January 26, 2013

What Happens at Bowling

Happy Saturday!  After 2 weeks of feeling pretty terrible, I am excited for a weekend of getting caught up on things around the house, and hopefully fitting in some fun.  One of the fun things is that I am linking up with Sarah and Natalie for their new Saturday link-up.  The theme this week is your most embarrassing moment, and I tend to do embarrassing things all the time, but I have to share my "official most embarrassing moment" from way back in the day.
13-yr old me
 When I was 13, I was about as awkward as most middle school kids, only I was about a foot taller than most of the girls in my class.  This was not as awesome as you might think.  My brother was on the high school varsity basketball team, and my oldest sister was living in Chicago, but wanted to see him play, only most games were on Fridays.  One weekend, there was a tournament with Saturday games, so my sister (Carolyn) and 2 of her friends (Chris and Dave) drove down for the games.  After the game on Saturday night, my sisters and the guys decided to go bowling.  I'm not sure how or why, but I tagged along, and felt really cool because I was hanging out with 20-somethings.

Here's a picture of Carolyn and me a few months earlier.  We are at the Hancock Building in Chicago, pretending to wash windows.  You will notice that I am already taller than her.  I was 13, and she was 22.
I hope I don't get in trouble for this picture!
As the evening progressed, I started to feel suspicious that my sisters were talking about me.  I kept asking them what was up, but they wouldn't tell me.  So I was just bowling in my blissful ignorance.  Eventually, they were sort of arguing, and I was like "Seriously, what is going on?"  One of them very sweetly said "Andi, put your hand on your butt" and when I did, I should have felt denim, but I just felt skin instead.  My jeans had ripped all the way across, right underneath the pocket.  Here's a diagram, in which the red circle shows where the rip was located:


Needless to say, I was horrified.  In true 90s fashion (see previous photo), Carolyn was wearing a button down shirt as a jacket, so I tied it around my waist for the rest of the evening.  Chris said he didn't notice, and Dave said he just thought it was my style.  Apparently he didn't think very highly of me (or like, that my parents would let me out of the house with a full butt cheek on display!)

At least I wouldn't probably have to see these guys ever again, right?  Not so, my friends.  My sister married Chris the following summer.  I was a bridesmaid and was paired with Dave. As we were walking down the aisle, he said "Have you been bowling lately?"  and my face turned bright red.  So embarrassing.

So, what's your most embarrassing moment?  Share in the comments, or go link up with Snuggle Saturday!

LoveSarahK

Friday, January 25, 2013

Feeling Better




Happy Friday!  I think I am officially recovering from the flu.  I actually worked a full day in the office yesterday, complete with dressing up and putting on make up!  After about 9 days of feeling terrible, it was nice to be back in the swing of things.  It was not so nice that the temperature outside was "feels like -7," but I just wore lots of winter accessories to stay warm.  I would love it if the temps went up, but I am trying to remember that the cold weather helps reduce the creepy bug population in the spring.  So yay for freezing temperatures!      

Sweater: Old Navy
Shirt: Gap
Skirt: Target
Boots: Rampage

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Memphis



On Sunday evening (against my better judgment), I ventured out of the house to go see Memphis.  I was sort of miserable, and I'm worried that I prolonged my illness by foolishly being out in the frigid air, but it was SO worth it!  The cast was fabulous, the singing and dancing was very impressive, and the songs were powerful.    I've been listening to youtube versions for the last few days!  The plot is "loosely based" on a true story, but I wish it had had a happier ending.  Spoiler alert, but I just wanted them to get married!  I know that wouldn't be realistic, but still.

Have you seen Memphis?  What did you think of it?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Book Review - The Casual Vacancy


As someone who loves to read, I usually surprise people when I admit I haven't read any of the Harry Potter  books.  I think I'm going to read at least the first one this year sometime, and see what all the fuss is about.  With that in mind, I didn't have much of an expectation about J.K. Rowling's new novel, The Casual Vacancy.  I've heard really terrible reviews from several people, so I had low expectations, but I read it because it was the January Literary Junkies selection.

The plot was pretty interesting.  Basically, in a small town in England, a local council-member dies, leaving the spot open, and various characters from the town want to fill it.  Of course, all of these characters have very convoluted lives, and as the election takes place, more drama happens.

A few things that bothered me:
  • I didn't actually like any of the characters.  They were all jerks and I didn't feel very bad for them when bad things happened.  Sure, it made me sad, but I didn't feel invested at all.  I mean, really terrible stuff happens, I should have been crying!  
  • There were so many characters introduced at once.  It was hard for me to keep everyone straight at the beginning.  The first part of the book basically has 1-page chapters, so it jumps around a lot.  I've heard several people say the book is boring.  I wouldn't say boring, but it was definitely hard to get interested, just because you don't get to hear from the same person very much for the first 75 or so pages. 
  • I don't really know how to say this, so I'll just throw it out there - I think Rowling was trying a little too hard to make this an "adult" novel.  There was so much language, and so many really dark themes in the book.  I get that she was trying to show how messed up the people in this town are, and how hard their lives are, but there were moments that just seemed really forced.  I found this especially distracting since one of the characters is obsessed with being "authentic", and the book did not feel authentic to me.  
So, have you read this book?  Did you love it?  Hate it?  Somewhere in between?  Do you think I should read Harry Potter?  

Friday, January 18, 2013

Staying Positive




You guys, having the flu is super lame!  I'm on day 3 at home, and I have some serious cabin fever (and some regular fever, but that's getting better).  I was really hoping to get into work today, but my fever was still holding strong last night, so it's home for me.

On a more positive note, being stuck at home with no energy is giving me plenty of time to read!  A Dance with Dragons was due back at the library on Monday, but I really wanted to finish it, so I'm being that terrible person who keeps a book past the due date.  If not for this illness, I probably would have given up and returned the book, and then bought it!  So, I just saved about $20.  Let's ignore all the hours I haven't been working, ok?

This outfit is from happier times - New Year's Day to be exact, when I met up with friends for one last hurrah before Anne went back to Arizona.  Then we decided to have another last hurrah, but dinner was still fun.

I hope you all have a wonderful, flu-free weekend.  Here's hoping I feel like a human again soon!

Shirt: Alfani via Macy's
Cardigan: Marisa Kristina via Marshall's
Jeans: Old Navy
Boots: BareTraps via DSW

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Third Thursday Blazer






It's the third Thursday of the month, so it's time for another link up with Bri!  This month, we are rocking blazers!  I thought it was a good excuse to wear my new Christmas present again.  I was also somewhat inspired by this pin.  I have to say, this is one of my favorite outfits!

On a less happy note, I wore this on Tuesday, which is the day I came down with the flu.  After a Pilates class on Monday night, I was way more sore than I expected.  As the day progressed, it became clear that it was not post-workout soreness, but it was the terrible muscle aches of the flu.  Lame.  I really hope to feel better soon, because John's grandparents are visiting this weekend, and they are so much fun!  The girls are all supposed to see Memphis on Friday, and I'm very nervous I will have to sit out!  Being sick is no fun!

Anyway, you should all go check out the other blazer looks here, and you should definitely link up in the future!

Necklace: Charming Charlie
Sweater & Jeans: Old Navy
Blazer: Gap
Chambray: J.Crew Factory
Boots: Wanted via Piperlime

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

PersonalityType




Have you ever taken the Myers Briggs Personality Test?  I've never done the official one, but I've randomly taken it online over the past few years.  My dad brought it up recently in a conversation about introverts vs. extroverts, and I decided I should take it again, because I can never remember what my letters are.  Without any further ado, here's my type:

The website also has a list of famous ENFJ's, which is kind of interesting.  Some of the notable names are Ronald Reagan, Abraham Lincoln, Peyton Manning, Oprah, Johnny Depp, and King David (from the Bible).  I'm sorry, how do they know what Myers Briggs personality type King David had?  I mean, that's just ridiculous!

Sweater: Gap
Scarf: Charming Charlie
Skirt: Express
Boots: BareTraps via DSW

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Literary Junkies Link-Up #3


It's Literary Link-Up time again!  I just have to say that this group is so much fun to be part of!  I'm so glad Taylor and Lesley got it started.  Anyway, on to the questions for this month:  

1. Which book could you read over and over? Why?
I'm not much of a re-reader.  In fact, I can't even think of a book I have read twice.  There are just so many books that I haven't read yet!  There are a few books that I'd like to read again, but I'm not sure when they will make it to the top of the list.  

2. If you could be any character from any book you've read, who would you be?
These questions are so tricky!  I'm scanning through my favorite books and I wouldn't want to be any of those characters, because there's usually something really terrible that happens, and that's what makes it an interesting book.  My best pick is Lucy from the Chronicles of Narnia, because wouldn't that just be amazing!?

3. Do you ever put a book down because you just can't get into it? Or do you stick it out to the bitter end? Any examples?

Very rarely do I give up on a book.  I will usually stick it out unless it is really terrible.  The only example I can think of is Eat, Pray, Love.  I really tried to like it, but after the "Eat" section, I couldn't take it anymore.  I also gave up on Les Miserables.  It was "summer reading" when I was in high school, and I only got about halfway through.

4. Show us your book shelves! Do you have one designated spot in your house for all your books? Do you scatter them around?

Most of the books we own are in the basement.  We have shelves on either side of the fireplace.  I keep the more current fiction in alphabetical order on the top shelf (except for the books that don't fit).  The next shelf is half kid books, and half miscellaneous non-fiction.  The next shelf holds the classics, and mostly Steinbeck.  I generally try not to buy books, because they are expensive and a pain to move (plus I never re-read them)!  The local library is definitely an important part of my reading plan.   

The other shelf mostly contains John's books.  I just have to show off my elephant bookends (top photo).  I got these in 2006 when I went to Kenya.  I sort of love elephants (you might notice this set on my shelf), so I had to have these when I saw them.

Pink Heels Pink Truck

Monday, January 14, 2013

Lazy Weekend



Happy Monday!  I hope you all had a fabulous weekend.  Mine was pretty low-key, which is perfect after all the craziness of the holidays.

We finally gave up on our old dishwasher and bought a new one.  It was delivered Friday night, and John got it all set up!  It is so shiny and looks great in the kitchen!  Is being excited about a new dishwasher a sign of old age?

I worked for a few hours on Saturday,then did stuff around the house.  On Sunday, we had church, and then were just lazy.  I did a little grocery shopping, and may have bought a new purse.  I honestly have no idea how I end up on the non-grocery side of Target!  

And finally, the big giveaway winner is....Shanea!  Congratulations!  Thanks to everyone who entered and helped spread the word. 

Cardigan: Gap
T-shirt: Loft
Jeans: Old Navy
Boots: Wanted via Piperlime

Friday, January 11, 2013

Fitness Failure



Last night, I met a friend for Pilates class.  When we arrived, the instructor informed us that the class schedule was changed, but they just haven't updated their website.  So... no Pilates class tonight.  We still wanted to hang out, so we ended up eating dinner.  At Culver's.  My intention was to exercise and what I actually did was eat a super unhealthy fast food meal.  I'm so good at fitness.

I also realized that this has been an unofficial theme week on the blog as I have worn a pencil skirt every day.

Shirt: Loft
Scarf: Calvin Klein
Skirt: J.Crew Factory
Boots: Guess via TJ Maxx
  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

On Confidence





On the day I wore this outfit, I had 2 different random women say things to me that basically boiled down to "Cool outfit!  I would never have enough confidence to wear that!"  I never really know how to respond to comments like that.  I just said thanks and giggled awkwardly at one of them.  I told the other lady that she should try wearing something kind of crazy, because it is fun!  I don't think she will.  

A few random thoughts:
  • On the spectrum of confidence, I would put myself in the very average category.  I don't think it takes any confidence at all to wear neon purple tights.  As I was thinking about this, it reminded me of this post.  I think confidence is much like bravery (and most attributes that we consider positive).  It's not difficult for me to wear crazy colored tights, but for someone else, it might be terrifying.  But maybe they don't scream when they see a spider (not that I would ever do that). 
  • Since I spend so much time reading other fashion and style blogs, I now think it is super normal to wear sort of ridiculous outfits.  I can think of one person I know in real life who has worn crazy colorful tights (in a non-Halloween situation), but most of my blog friends were colorful tights on a regular basis.  
  • On a more serious note, it just made me kind of sad that both of these ladies seemed to think they weren't capable of branching out a bit.  I say wear whatever you want to, and don't worry about the crazy looks you may receive at the library.  
Other fashion bloggers, do you get crazy comments like this?  How do you respond?

The giveaway  is still open - don't forget to enter!

Sweater: Old Navy
Skirt: Bass Outlet
Tights: Old Navy
Shoes: BCBGeneration

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Striped Laser, I mean Blazer




Marion's trend of the month is stripes, and I am super excited to show of one of my favorite Christmas presents!   One of my guy friends asked me if I got any cool presents for Christmas, and then he heard me say "Yeah, John got me a really cool laser!" and then I think he was a little disappointed when I clarified.  I'm not sure what a striped laser would be, but it does sound fancy.  

The only problem with this blazer is that I want to wear it every day, and I think my co-workers just might start to notice.  I just feel like it should be worn immediately with all the other items I own.  I will have to be careful and only wear it on a weekly basis or something.

The other problem (I guess there are 2), is that I am terrified of getting it dirty.  My car is filthy from all the mess of wintry weather, and at work, I am notorious for leaving uncapped pens on my desk.  Needless to say, I was a bit paranoid all day.  I will just have to be more responsible on the days I wear this blazer.

Don't forget to enter my giveaway!   You have all week!

Sweater and Blazer: Gap
Skirt: Sunny Leigh via Macy's
Tights: Target
Boots: BareTraps via DSW

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bubble Necklace Bandwagon



I'm finally jumping on the bubble necklace bandwagon.  I wasn't really sure about them when I first started seeing them.  Then I liked them, but wasn't about to spend $88 for the J.Crew version.  Then I started seeing them at Charming Charlie, but still wasn't sure.  Then I got 2 gold watches for Christmas, so I decided to swap one out for the bubble necklace.  So this is technically a Christmas present. (Thanks, Mom and Dad!)

I'll also confess that Hilary Duff inspired this outfit.  Since I was a teenager when she became famous on the Disney channel, this is sort of embarrassing for me.  Wikipedia just told me that she is now married and has a baby, and now I feel old!  The internet is a crazy place.

The giveaway is still open - tell all your friends!  

Coat: Gap
Shirt: J.Crew Factory
Skirt: Old Navy
Shoes: Seychelles
Necklace: Charming Charlie

Monday, January 7, 2013

Just Another Giveaway


Gap Sweater; Loft Scarf; Target Skirt; BareTraps boots



What better way to kick off the first Monday of 2013 than with a giveaway?  I said I would do another one when I hit 75 followers, but that happened right before Christmas, and I figured the holidays were crazy enough, so I decided to wait until January.

Since I love Charming Charlie, I had to include another of their fabulous necklaces.  I went with cobalt blue, since I've been loving it so much lately.



I'm also throwing in a $5 Starbucks gift card for the winner.  I truly want to thank all of you lovely people out there who take the time to read my silly little blog.  I wish I could give each and every one of you a present, but that's probably not in the budget!  For now, there will be one winner, but I hope to do more giveaways in the future.  The winner will be announced next Monday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Favorite Books of 2012




Since I read 50 books in 2012, and I didn't write reviews on most of them, I figured I should write up a list of my favorites.  These are in no particular order:

  • A Storm of Swords - Since this is book 3 in the series, it's kind of tricky, because you'd have to read books 1 and 2.  Right now, I am about a quarter of the way through book 5 and really love all of the books, but book 3 was my favorite.  
  • Divergent - dystopian future, teenage girl is the main character, not quite as good as The Hunger Games, but still a pretty great story!  I also read Insurgent, and am looking forward to the next book this year!  
  • Let's Pretend This Never Happened - not your average memoir.  Jenny is hilarious and heartbreaking and somehow manages to be both of those things in a completely believable way.  I read it on a flight this summer and had to be very careful about laughing uproariously on the plane.  
  • MWF Seeking BFF - the author moved to Chicago to be with her boyfriend (who becomes her husband), but then realizes she doesn't have any close friends in town, and doesn't really know how to get them.  I am very happy to say that I have some great friends here in town, but I could really relate to that awkwardness of making friends as a grown-up.  How do you ask someone out on a friend date without being awkward?  I still don't really know, but it made me think I should make more of an effort to spend time with my friends.  That's kind of an unofficial resolution for the New Year.  
  • Neverwhere - I don't even know how to describe this story line, but it's a great book!  Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite recently-discovered authors.  
What were your favorite books of 2012?  My to-read list is out of control, but I am always looking for books to add.  Speaking of more books,  I'm pretty excited to be participating in my first book swap.  If you like books, you should join in on the fun!
TheSimplicityofBeingCurious

Shirt, Sweater, Jeans: Gap
Boots: Wanted via Piperlime