Friday, May 31, 2013

May Goals Review

I'm sorry, but where did May go?  It really flew by, but I think I say that every month.  I'm really starting to resent my 5 months ago self for saying I would do monthly goal review posts.  It's not always fun to confess my failures each month.  Let's get to it, I guess:
  1. Do a project, mostly sewing - Yep, I did a sewing project this month!  Memorial Day is the secret of my success.  I even have a post written up about my re-fashion project scheduled for this week! 
  2. Work out 3x a week - probably not so much.  The first half of the month was busy with graduation stuff and family in town.  The rest of the month I have just been un-motivated lazy.  I think I've gone to Zumba class every Monday, and maybe gone to the gym a couple more times total this month.  (Ugly truth - I weighed myself for the first time in awhile and it is not good.  I need to get serious about losing some weight!)    
  3. Tackle a project around the house - serious sorting and decluttering is happening!  We pulled everything out of the storage closet and took a carload of stuff to Goodwill.  I've sorted through a few more dresser drawers and 2 more bags to donate.  And I finally am getting rid of some of my old formal dresses from high school!  They are being sold at my in-laws garage sale this weekend, so hopefully I get some more shopping money! 
  4. Cook a "real" meal at least 3 days each week - this is still my worst one.  In my defense, I didn't need to cook for the first 2 weeks of May, because we were so busy with family stuff and eating out or at John's parents' house.  Then we had leftovers from the graduation party.  I think I've made a few legitimate meals in the last couple weeks, but I honestly don't remember. 
  5. Stick to a clothing budget - success
  6. Read 50 books.  I'm still on track for the year with 20 so far.  I read 4 books in May, which is pretty good considering all the graduation/family stuff we had going on. 

I mean, I succeeded at 4 of 6, but I still feel like a failure this month.  Probably because my top priority should be working out regularly.  I'm hoping to get on track in June, but I'll be honest, the summer is going to be crazy busy!  

It's also the last day of the "We Love Target" party with Whitney and Heidi.  Today's topic is "Favorite Score," which is really hard to pick.  I went with this floral top, because it's one of my recent favorite buys.  Plus I was excited to wear my new Gap blazer!  

Blazer: Gap
Top: Target
Jeans: Von Maur
Shoes: BCBGeneration

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Blue Shoes Remix


Fact - I've always been a shoe person.  I blame this partially on the fact that I had to wear a uniform to school, so shoes were one of the only ways to express my fashion sense in my middle and high school years (and weird earrings, but we won't get into that).  The shoe section at Target pretty regularly has hidden treasures in the clearance section.  My favorite ones are these blue cap-toe flats.  I got them last year at the end of the summer.  I wear them a lot, so they were the obvious choice for the We Love Target - Shoes day.

Normally, I put an outfit together and then look at my shoe options and pick the best one.  This week, I was trying to start with the shoes and completely drew a blank on what to wear.  Then I remembered that Bri Marie has the same shoes, and decided to re-interpret her lace and cobalt look. My lace top isn't striped, so I improvised and put a striped tee underneath it.  I feel sort of like MacGyver

Here are TEN ways to rock some blue shoes:

Striped shirt and skirt: Old Navy
Lace Shirt: H&M
Shoes: Target

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Orlando Advice


You guys, I need some advice!  I'm headed to Orlando next week for a work conference.  I'm going to be pretty busy while I am there, but I basically have one free evening.  I get done with meetings around 3pm, and I don't want to stay out too late, because our mornings will start much earlier than I am used to waking up.  What are your favorite Orlando spots?  I'm not sure if the Disney parks are worth the cost of a few hours, but I could go to the free "Downtown Disney" area.  What do you all recommend?

I'm linking up again for Accessory day of the We Love Target challenge!  Go check out the other blogs!

Scarf: Target
Shirt and Shoes: Gap
Blazer: H&M
Skirt: Limited

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Thoughts on Cost Per Wear

Target week continues with skirts/pants/bottoms!  This skirt was the topic of a recent remix post, and I suspect I will be wearing it quite a bit throughout the summer.  Jenn recently mentioned a theory of shopping where you should be able to wear an item as many times as the dollars you spent on it, so the price per wear is $1 or less (and she's doing a challenge right now about it).  I think most of my clothes end up with a cost per wear of $1 or less (except for fancier dresses, probably).  This skirt cost me $8, and this is the 7th outfit I have blogged.  I don't remember if I have worn it any other times, but I think it is safe to say I will wear it again.

I really like this theory, because I think it takes into consideration how frequently an item will be worn, and how many seasons/years it will be in your wardrobe.  For example, my nude pumps were $40, which is more than I would normally spend on a pair of shoes, but I have probably worn them at least once a week for the last year and a half.  A knit pencil skirt from Target probably won't last for that many wears, so I wouldn't spend more than $10-15 for it.  

Do you have any rules or theories on how much you will spend for certain items?

Blazer and top: Gap
Skirt: Target
Shoes: Seychelles via DSW

Monday, May 27, 2013

May Shopping

Two posts in one day!  This is what happens when I have routine posts to fit in with my random daily ones.  

It's the end of the month, so time to add up my purchases.  I feel pretty good about my May shopping!  Until a little trip to the mall this weekend, my shopping consisted of the items pictured above.  If shopping was like poker, I'd have a decent hand of three pair -  2 striped dresses, 2 boyfriend cardigans, 2 scarves.    
On Friday, I felt like a little shopping after work would be fun, and I found the following things!  
  • Gap Blazer: $16 (originally $88) (pictured here)
  • Gap confetti tee: $10 (originally $30) (worn here)
  • NY&Co belt: $5 (originally $14) - I got the blue one, which is more cobalt than navy in real life. 
Total: $79 (originally  $294)

The only thing that is a little bit questionable is the blazer.  I love it, but I'm not sure how well it will play with the rest of my wardrobe.  The hot pink lining is fun, but if I have it showing, it will limit the other colors I can wear.  I think I might wear it more in the fall, with the sleeves un-rolled.

In other budget/wardrobe news:

  • I also returned the Prabal Gurung sandals that I bought back in March.  They just didn't look right on me, so back to the store they went!     
  • I did some more sorting/purging in my closet and took 2 loads of stuff to Goodwill.  
  • I have another pile for the consignment shop, so I'm hoping to get there sometime this week. 
  • I'm heading to a work conference in Orlando next week, and I think the hotel is pretty close to an outlet mall.  I'm hoping to sneak away for a few hours and check out my favorite non-Nebraska stores again.  Then I'm hoping to not shop much in the rest of June.
Did you stick to your budget in May?  Go link up with Franish and check out the other Budgeting Bloggers!

Happy Memorial Day


Happy Memorial Day!  I'm very happy to have an extra day in the weekend.  I think a 4 day work week would be ideal, even if it involved 10-hour days.  Seriously, America, let's get on that!

This outfit is from Friday.  I wore it to work, and then traded my shoes for flip flops to wander around the mall and do a little shopping.  Then John and I went to see the new Star Trek movie.  It was pretty good!  During the movie, I noticed a thread hanging off my skirt.  Since I can't leave things alone, I pulled on it and pulled on it and my skirt is no longer hemmed.  Oops.  It should be a pretty easy fix, at least!

I'm joining Whitney and Heidi for their "We Love Target" link-up this week.  Today's theme is tops.  This link-up will be pretty easy for me, because I frequently end up on the clothing side of Target when I am supposed to be buying groceries.  If you have the same problem, you should link up, too!

Cardigan: Target
T-shirt: Loft
Skirt: Gap
Shoes: BCBGeneration

Friday, May 24, 2013

Blue Skirt Remix

For some reason, I don't have much to say today.  It's been a long week and I am super excited for the holiday weekend.  I'm hoping to get some spring cleaning done around the house, and you know, maybe sleep in really late!

Here's a little remix of my blue pencil skirt.  Apparently, I liked wearing it with white-ish sweaters during the fall and winter.  I'll have to mix it up with some other options this summer.

Go check out the other remixers over at AJ Wears Clothes!

Do you have any exciting plans for the long weekend?

Outfit details:
Top: I.N. Studio
Skirt: Target
Necklace: gift - blog swap
Sandals: Carlos Santana via DSW

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Mysterious and Spooky

 Last week, I went to see The Addams Family musical with my MIL and SIL.  We met up for dinner before the show, and I took another step in the "taking pictures in public" direction.  I set up my tripod right on the sidewalk and took pictures as people drove by.  I got a few funny looks, but it wasn't too bad!

The show was okay.  I felt like I wasn't in on some of the jokes, because I never watched the TV show.  I actually was thinking of The Munsters, so I was surprised when the dad wasn't Frankenstein.  It's just hard to keep these 1960's spooky family sitcoms straight!

Dress: Banana Republic Outlet
Scarf: H&M
Shoes: Seychelles via DSW
Purse: Thrifted

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Bad Drivers

I'm jumping back into Blog Every Day in May for today's topic: Rant about something

I try to keep it pretty positive around here, but since it's part of the challenge, I'm going to take advantage of this opportunity to complain.  I've created a very crude drawing below to show you what I mean.  When I leave work, I turn right onto a road that has a median separating the southbound lane from the northbound lane.  Right where I turn out, there's an opening in the median (so I could turn left, if needed).  Pretend I'm the red line.  There are people who work in an office to the north (they are the yellow line) who think it is appropriate to turn south (into the northbound lane) and then cross over into the southbound lane at the gap in the median.  THIS IS NOT OKAY!      

I understand it's annoying that you can't turn left, but just take a right and flip a U-turn at the next opening.  You can't drive the wrong way, even if it's just really quick.  Every few weeks, I almost run into one of these people, because they come from the wrong direction/lane.  I'm not looking there when I go to turn right!  I always honk at them, and they sometimes flip me off (because I'm the jerk in this situation??).

I have a few (or maybe several) other traffic-related topics to rant about, but I'm sure no one wants to read that!

Shirt: Old Navy
Skirt: Sunny Leigh via Macy's
Cardigan: Urban Outfitters
Shoes: Target
Purse: thrifted

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Literary Link-Up

This is an outfit that I like more in pictures than in person.  It's possible that I just felt awkward because my shoe broke, so I was hobbling around all day.  It's hard to feel pretty when you are focused on not falling off of a high wedge that has recently been divorced from the very useful ankle strap.  Also, this scarf is my very first purchase from Forever 21.  I don't know how the rest of you find such awesome stuff there!

Enough about that!  It's Literary Junkies day, so here are the questions for this month:  
1) What are you currently reading? Tell us about it.
  • Diamond in the Rough by Shawn Colvin.  You may recognize her as a one-hit wonder of the 90s, with "Sunny Came Home."  This book is a memoir about her life.  It's just okay.  I have been reading it on and off for several weeks, and it's not a very long book.  I am just not super interested and would rather pick up my other books. 
2) Summer is just ahead and my fav thing to fantasize is laying in a hammock with a good book. What are your top 3 fav "summer" reads?
3) What are your top 3 summer "to-reads"?
  • I just read the first Harry Potter book, so I'm hoping to read the rest of those in the next few months.  
  • I also have The Great Gatsby on my list.  I hated it when I had to read it in high school, but I feel like I should give it another chance.  I want to read it before I see the movie, so hopefully I'll get to it in the next couple weeks. 
  • Scrabble is a favorite board game in my family, so when I heard about Word Freak, I immediately put it on hold at the library.  This will probably trump HP and GG as my next book to read. 
4) What book do you wish they'd make it a movie of?
  • Movies based on books are usually such a disappointment, so I don't know about this one!  I think Attachments would be a really great romantic comedy, but I'm not sure I would trust Hollywood to get it right.    
5) Has your favorite author published a book lately or going to publish a book soon? Tell us about it.
  •  I don't really have a favorite author, but I'm very excited about 2 books that will come out later this year - Fangirl and Allegiant.   
Have you read any good books lately?  Anything I should add to my list for this summer?
Scarf: Forever21
Dress: Old Navy
Belt: Charming Charlie
Shoes: Gap

Monday, May 20, 2013

Book Review - Tim Gunn's Fashion Bible

I love books.  I love fashion.  I think Tim Gunn is wonderful.  If you add those 3 things up, you can probably guess that I enjoyed Tim Gunn's Fashion Bible

Each chapter covers a category of clothing and talks about the history of each item.  It was really fascinating.  He goes into enough detail to keep it interesting, but keeps it short and sweet (so that the book is 320 pages instead of 8,000).  Some of my favorite moments:
  • The whole chapter on jeans - how they went from being worn only by factory workers, to being seen as a symbol of rebellion, and then pretty quickly became so mainstream that everyone and their mother wears jeans. 
  • Tim's hilarious rant about capri pants - he basically says that no one should be wearing capri pants. I mostly agree, especially about the wide leg options. It seems that women who don't like their legs wear loose-fit cropped pants. Tim says (and I agree) that this just makes you look shorter and stouter.  Probably not what you are going for!  I would like him to clarify a bit, because I can think of a few bloggers who regularly wear very flattering cropped dress pants, but they are usually more fitted, so don't have the same widening effect. I would be interested in his opinion about boyfriend jeans and skinny/cropped jeans.        
  • Button-down shirts - I always thought these were referring to the buttons that make a line down the front of the shirt (so basically all dress shirts).  Not the case!  It actually refers to the collar of the shirt having buttons on the corners. Apparently shirts with button-down collars should not be worn with a tie. I think engineers in Nebraska are allowed to break that rule.  
  • The whole chapter on dresses - he traces everything back to Cleopatra (tailored) and Helen (draped). It's interesting to look through my dresses and see where they fall on the spectrum.  I think most of mine are hybrids!  
What else to say?  I've always enjoyed Tim Gunn on Project Runway, and I felt like this book was very "him", for lack of a better way of saying it.  Sometimes, celebrity books are very obviously written by someone else, but as I was reading this book, it felt more like an actual conversation you might have if you ran into Tim at the mall.

If you like fashion, or history, or Project Runway, you should read this book! 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Bathroom Makeover


When we moved into our house (almost 2 years ago), most of the rooms were painted really boring/neutral colors.  The hall bathroom was basically just white.  I didn't change it right away, because I wanted to think about how to decorate in there.  Here are some pictures of how we had it at first:

The brown/zebra/turquoise theme was from our apartment, and I liked it, but I just wanted to do something new/different in this bathroom.  Several months ago, I decided on a color scheme of gray/yellow/white and started looking for textiles that went with my vision.  Here are a couple Polyvore sets I put together:
Hall Bathroom Ideas
Hall Bathroom Ideas
Hall Bathroom - actual
Hall Bathroom - actual 

On a random trip to Target, I pretty much found everything I needed.  Here's the result:  

I am really happy about how it turned out!  I think the gray walls add some interest without being too crazy, and the white/yellow accents keep it bright and cheery.  

I am especially proud of the little artwork cluster.  Sure, I used stencils, but I'm not a very talented artist, so I reserve the right to be excited about simple projects!  I also painted the inside of the vase yellow.  

The zebra and turquoise items have been relocated to the master bathroom for now.  I'll probably decide to paint in there soon.  I'm just so indecisive!  

Are you doing any redecoration projects around the house?  

Friday, May 17, 2013

Timeless Polka Dots

Are you ready for an epic remix post?  Because if my memory is correct, I've had this skirt for about 15 years.  I really wish I could find a picture of teenage Andi in it, but for some reason, I didn't take pictures of all my outfits back then.  I remember mostly wearing it with my favorite hot pink tank top and a gray cardigan (and probably some awkward platform flip-flops by Steve Madden).

I bought this at Express in (I think) 1997 or 1998.  That was back when they always had an additional 50% off clearance merchandise.  Pretty sure this skirt set me back $15.  People talk about cost/wear, but I'm talking about cost/year and we are at $1.  Seriously, probably one of my best shopping decisions ever.

Here are 12 other ways I've worn this skirt over the last year-ish:
Shirt: J.Crew factory
Belt: Old Navy
Skirt: Express
Shoes: Born
Purse: thrifted

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Southpaw Problems

Day 16, Thursday: Something difficult about your "lot in life" and how you're working to overcome it

I'm left-handed (very, very, very left-handed).  Honestly, I'm sort of proud to be a lefty, but there are some major obstacles.  Most right-handed people don't even realize how many things are specifically designed with handedness in mind.  Just a small list of my many troubles over the years:

  • Scissors - using right-handed scissors is THE WORST!  The thumb-hole angle is all wrong and is pretty painful to use for very long.  I have a pair of lefty scissors that I got when I was in elementary school and I am very protective of them.  
  • Sports - maybe I'm just uncoordinated (probably the case), but it was very difficult to learn sports when pretty much all of the coaches were right-handed.  In PE class, we all had to perfect a right-handed lay-up, even the lefties!  Not fair at all.  Equipment is also harder to find and usually more expensive.  A few years ago, I was interested in learning how to golf, and I had to buy a set of lefty clubs online, because I couldn't find any in stores (and I couldn't borrow any from all my righty friends).  In college, I played intramural softball, and I didn't have my old lefty mitt at school.  They said they had extra equipment available, but they didn't mention that the only lefty glove was no longer laced together (and also smelled funky).  I couldn't catch anything
  • Writing - even if you find a lefty notebook (which I used all through school), writing is still a mess.  I don't hook my hand over the page like some lefties, so I almost always had ink stains on my hand and smeared writing on the paper.  In high school, my English teacher decided that we needed to hand-write our papers for a few months, instead of typing.  I still don't know the purpose of this other than to make my life miserable.  I frequently got points docked for sloppiness because the ink was smeared.  I wonder if life is easier for left-handed people who live in "right-to-left language" countries.  And don't even get me started about trying to write in a 3-ring binder! 
  • Eating - at sit-down meals, I try to sit on the left end of the table, but it doesn't always work out.  When my neighbor and I inevitably bump elbows, everyone always blames the lefty.  
  • Basic items - again, you've probably never noticed this, but several basic household items are made for right-handed people.  Can-openers, measuring cups, pencil sharpeners, tape measures. Even a plain old sauce pan is designed to pour out of the left side, meaning I have to use my weaker arm, or twist my left arm awkwardly to pour anything.  
  • Desks - those stupid desks that pretty much make up every classroom from middle school through college.  There was usually 1 lefty desk in each classroom, but more than 1 lefty student.  True story, during my accounting final in college, I was sitting at a righty desk, and twisted sideways in the chair to write my answers.  In a moment of frustration (and back pain) I sat back regularly and propped my right elbow up on the desk, not realizing the catapult situation that would happen.  My calculator and pencil flew across the room.  So embarrassing.  I should have told that story the other day.  
  • SAT/ACT discrimination - I hope this isn't a common occurrence.  When I went to take these big important tests, they corralled all the left-handed kids into a group.  I assumed they would take us to a magical room filled with left-handed desks.  No.  They took us to a dark, creepy room in the basement that still had long table desks.  It was pretty unnerving.  I maintain I would have scored higher if I had been in a normal room!  

So there's my big sob-story.  I try to make the best of it, and most of the time, it's not a big deal, but I like buying lefty-specific products when I see them!  Rumor has it that left-handed people have a life expectancy 9 years shorter than right-handed people, so that's sort of unpleasant.  It's probably because we have higher stress levels trying to work around this crazy right-handed world!  I also read somewhere that lefties have smarter kids, which I completely believe (my mom is left-handed, too!).  

close-up to prove the polka dots are stars
It's also Third Thursday Threads time!  The theme for this month is WORKWEAR, which is super easy, because most of my outfits are worn to work.  My office is pretty casual, so I decided to pick one of my dressier recent outfits.  I also learned that I shouldn't stand in front of red brick when I am wearing a coral cardigan, because it will look very orange.

Blouse: Alfani via Macy's
Cardigan and Skirt: Old Navy
Belt: Chinese Laundry via TJ Maxx
Shoes: Born via Dillard's