Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Shameful July Goal Review

July was ridiculous!  By my calculations, I basically had one normal week.  First, my sister and nieces were in town.  The day they left was the day VBS started, which meant I was working all day and at church until late evening.  The next weekend, John and I spent all day Saturday at the golf thing.  Then I had about 5 days of normal before we left for an epic road trip to Montana.  Needless to say, the goal review isn't going to look good.  No judging, okay?
  • Do a project, mostly sewing - nope (but I should get a few bonus points for the art project I did with my nieces)     
  • Work out 3x a week - I'm going to be tricky on this one, because it's my goal review and I make the rules.  When my family was here, we were pretty active, with a zoo day, and walking around at the pedestrian bridge, plus just generally running around the backyard and going to the park, etc.  The week of VBS, I was chasing 4 year old kids around and doing a lot of hand motions to the songs, which has to count for something.  I did go to the gym 4 times during the "normal" week.  And I went hiking 3 of the days in Montana, so I think I should get credit for exercise this month, at least. 
  • Tackle a project around the house - nope
  • Cook a "real" meal at least 3 days each week -this is hard when we aren't even home!  I'm not sure I cooked a real meal 3 times in the entire month!
  • Stick to a clothing budget - success
  • Read 50 books in 2013.   One thing that vacation helps with!  I finished 5 books and am partway through 2 others, so I'm back on track with this annual goal.  I currently have 8 books checked out from the library, because everything on my hold list became available at the same time.  Prioritization is going to be tricky!  
August is looking a little less hectic, so I'm hoping to get back into some good habits!    

Top: Alfani
Skirt: Gap (refashioned dress)
Sandals: Carlos Santana
Purse: Dooney and Bourke

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

One Piece Many Ways - Navy T-shirt

As you may have noticed, I love a good remix post, so I had to jump in with Audrey's One Piece Many Ways linkup.  This time, I'm going with a very basic item - my navy t-shirt.  Navy is one of those colors that I used to think was for old ladies, until a few years ago.  Now I think it is a fantastic neutral that goes with everything!  Maybe I'm just becoming an old lady?  Hard to say for sure.  

Anyway, here are 5 ways I've worn this top:
I'm also linking up with AJ for Friday Favorites

Top and Cardigan: Gap
Shorts: J.Crew Factory
Shoes: Anne Klein

Monday, July 29, 2013

Embarrassed Zebra

What's black and white and red all over?  Well, me in this outfit.  Or a newspaper (read, haha), or an embarrassed zebra.  That's what I kept thinking about this outfit.

I'm sure all kids go through the cheesy jokes phase, and my nieces are definitely at that point.  They were throwing puns around the whole week that they were here.  Laffy Taffy wrappers were their accomplices.  Luckily, one of my best friends/college roommates is an expert cheesy joke teller, so I have several options to impress my nieces.  A few of my favorites:

Q - What do you call cheese that isn't yours?
A - NACHO CHEESE! (Not 'yo cheese, get it!)

Q - What's blue and smells like green paint?
A - Blue paint!

Two muffins are in the oven.  One of them says "Is it hot in here, or is it just me?"
The other one says "AAAAAAHHHH!  A talking muffin!"

What's your favorite cheesy/punny joke?  

PS - If you missed me last week, it's because I was on vacation and the "free wifi" wasn't really "working", so blogging wasn't possible.  We just got home last night, so I'll be catching up this week.

Shirt: Gibson & Latimer
Necklace: Forever21
Skirt: Old Navy
Sandals: Steve Madden

Saturday, July 27, 2013

July Budget Recap

July has been a whirlwind month, but I managed to do quite a bit of shopping when my sister was in town!  I also had to return the tankini top that I bought in June, because it was completely ill-fitting. So my annual budget is still looking good.

Here's the breakdown of what I bought this month.  There are a few impulse purchases in here, but I think I got some great items this month!

Striped Tank Top: $11 (originally $25)
Printed tank top: $14 (originally $23)
Smile Sweater: $6 (originally $40?)
Hoodie sweater: $4 (originally $60)
Green stripe cardigan: $8 (originally 45)
3 Threadless t-shirts: $2.50 each (originally $30 each)

Old Navy:
Gray striped tee: $5 (originally $10)
Purple striped Tee: $5 (originally $10)

Dillard's - I used a $50 gift card from Christmas
Pink Polka dot skirt: $12 (originally $100) (worn here)
Leopard sequin tank top: $12 (originally $70) (not pictured - worn here)
Floral shoes: $10 (originally $50) (not pictured - seen here - I got the pink ones)
Dress: $28 (originally $140) (worn here)
Lace pocket top: $17 (originally $60)

Goodwill (not pictured)
Gap Long and Lean Jeans: $1 (originally $70)
Bitten by SJP jeans: $1 (originally $30+)

Total Purchases: $141.50 (originally$825)
Minus Gift Card: $50
Total out of pocket: $91.50

I'm hoping to get focused on my wishlist items again, and really track down some higher-quality staples, instead of buying random things on the sale racks.  I really need a few good pairs of replacement shoes, so maybe I will find them in August!?

How'd you do in July?  Link up with Franish!  

Monday, July 22, 2013

Movie vs. Book - World War Z

Since my most popular post (by a long shot) is my Silver Linings Playbook Movie vs. Book review, let's try another one.  Normally, I try to read a book before the movie comes out, but the waiting list at the library for World War Z was ridiculous, and John and I wanted to see the movie when it came out, so I flipped the order this time.  Honestly, I think it worked out in my favor.

Verdict:  I thought the movie was just okay.  Nothing too exciting.  I thought the book was great.  If the order was flipped, I think I would have been very disappointed in the movie. 

In this situation, I honestly have no idea how the movie was remotely based on the book.  Yes, it's about zombies.  And there was one paragraph from the book that was worked into the movie, but otherwise, nothing was the same at all.  Again (I feel like I have to defend myself), I understand that the script has to be changed to work in the movie format, but in this case, I think Brad Pitt should have just made a zombie movie and called it something else.  It feels like false advertising to say it was based on the book.

Movie review - I enjoyed the movie.  I'm not a big fan of movies that are just scary for the sake of being scary, so I appreciated the investigative nature of the plot.  Brad Pitt was fine (and I don't mean "he's so fine!" I mean "average action star").  I got annoyed with his wife and daughters, especially compared to the boy they pick up along the way.  (Spoiler: That kid just saw his parents attacked and turned into zombies who then tried to eat him.  Why is he more emotionally stable than the girls who barely had any interaction with the zombies??)

The zombies themselves were fast, which was pretty freaky, but I was not impressed with all the CGI scenes.  Climbing/Swarming zombies looked cool in the previews, but I got bored with them in the movie.  Plus if they were that fast and agile, I doubt anyone would have survived.

My favorite part was when they were in Jerusalem, which I later learned is basically the only similarity from the book.  

The ending was also sort of anti-climactic.  I thought the premise was cool (that zombies won't attack terminally ill people), but that last scene was so long and drawn out.  And then the movie was just over.  Setting up for a sequel?  Perhaps.  I don't think I would pay to see it, unless it is actually based on the book.

Book Review - after the movie, I wasn't as excited about the book, but some friends assured me they were nothing alike, and I decided to give the book a chance.  So glad I did!  As I said at first, it is nothing like the movie.  Instead of having one main character, it is a series of interviews with various people who experienced different situations throughout the zombie war.  Since it is all in the past tense, there weren't any parts where I was actually scared as I read (which is good, because I don't really like being scared).  I thought it was fascinating how he jumped around to different countries and showed how everyone handled the situation.  The author leaves just enough unsaid in the story and gives the reader credit to figure out what is happening.  It also seemed pretty realistic as far as what might happen if a zombie-type situation occurred.  The resolution wasn't all resolved, which seems likely given the way everything ended up.

In conclusion, I think I liked the movie more than I would have if I'd read the book first.  Now I want someone to make a movie that is actually based on the book - faux documentary style.  That could be really cool.

Have you read the book or seen the movie?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!           


Friday, July 19, 2013

Label Maker

Happy Friday!  It's been another busy week, so I'm ready for the weekend!  This skirt is another item I picked up while my sister was visiting.  We just love to shop together!  It was love at first sight with this skirt, so I bought it without really thinking about how I would wear it.  When I searched on Pinterest for pink polka dot skirt, most of the pictures were of toddlers, so maybe I'm outside of my age range here!  

One thing I've been working on for the past couple weeks is my blog labels.  When I started, I was just using general labels, like colors and "dress/skirt/jeans", etc.  I wanted to have each item labeled specifically, so it is easier for you (and me) to find other ways I've worn a particular item!  So if you are interested in other ways I have worn this necklace, you can just click on the label at the bottom of the post and find all my other outfits.  Pretty slick!

It's also going to make remix posts much easier for me, because I can find exactly what I am looking for without trolling through 400+ old posts.  Pink necklace remix - BOOM!  
Linking up today with Friday FavoritesCasual Friday and Favorite Fashion Friday
Shirt: J.Crew Factory
Necklace: H&M
Skirt: Chaus
Shoes: Seychelles

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Stripes for the Win!


Trends are weird.  Rumor has it that two of the big trends for summer are "stripes" and "Black/white prints."  Aren't those both always in style?   I can't think of a time when wearing black and white was considered a faux pas.  It's sort of like saying that jeans are very popular this year.  Yeah, every year.  

Anyway, I'm glad that stripes are popular, because I love wearing striped everything!  When Bri announced the theme for this month's Third Thursday Threads, I was totally pumped!  

I decided to grab one of my striped top inspiration pictures and do my own interpretation of it.  So, here's my inspiration.  I'm not sure I would have put this together on my own, but I really like it!  YAY for Pinterest!   

I'm also linking up with Summer Style and Tres-Chic.

Shirt: Old Navy
Necklace: Charming Charlie
Skirt: Loft
Sandals: Carlos Santana

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Inspired By

Freckles in April is hosting a bi-weekly Style Challenge and I am jumping in!   I had a blast doing the Winter Challenge back in Jan-Feb 2012, so I'm excited to play along again.  What can I say - I like being told what to wear sometimes!
Freckles in April Style Challenge

The first prompt is "Take something from your inspiration board and DO IT!"  This is easy for me, because I am a frequent copy-catter and am not ashamed to admit it!  It's also nice timing, because I was pretty bummed out when I missed most of Sarah's Pin to Real Life week. 

Anyway, I just got these white shorts from J.crew factory and I was excited to wear them ASAP.  I have had white pants or shorts on my list for quite awhile and had pinned this outfit and this outfit because I loved the combo of mint/green and yellow with white pants.

This was an easy outfit for a Friday in the office.  I have felt weird wearing shorts to work, but then I looked around and realized several of my co-workers wear denim, cargo, or athletic shorts, so my fancy shorts are probably fine.  I'm not sure I can bring myself to wear shorts on a non-Friday, but we will see how the rest of summer goes!

I'm also linking up today with What I Wore Wednesday and Fashion and Beauty Finds.

Cardigan: Old Navy Dyed by me
Tank and shoes: Gap
Shorts: J.Crew Factory

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Book Club Time


It's Literary Junkies day again!  Here are the questions for this month:
1. What are you currently reading? Tell us about it.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.  It's typical Gaiman - bizarre and fascinating and wonderful.  I've been so busy that I haven't had as much time to read as I want, and I'm struggling to stay awake to read a couple chapters each evening.  I was the weird girl at the gym yesterday reading while I rode the stationary bike.  I'm really hoping to finish it tonight.   I suspect it might be a 5-star rating! 

2. What book first made you fall in love with reading?
I have no idea!  I've loved reading as long as I can remember.  I remember my dad reading Little House on the Prairie to me and my brother when I was pretty young.  Once I learned how to read, it was ridiculous.  I read pretty much anything I could get my hands on.  High school and college kind of ruined "reading for fun" for me, but near the end of college, I read East of Eden and  The Chronicles of Narnia.  I really remember loving those and thinking I should start reading more! 
3. Summer is a great time for series. What are your series recommendations?
If you haven't read the Hunger Games trilogy, you really should!  Also, the Chronicles of Narnia and Lord of the Rings are must-reads.  This year, I'm working my way through Harry Potter for the first time.  Pretty standard recommendations, really! 

4. Does a song come to mind with the book you are currently reading? If so what it is?
No, not with this current book. 

5. Are you participating in any summer reading challenges?
Nope, I'm not a big fan of challenges.  I tend to rebel against requirements, even when I voluntarily participate.  I don't want to make reading a chore, so I just read what I want.  I usually end up reading less in the summer, because there is so much going on during the weekends and evenings, so adding a reading challenge just isn't the best idea for me. I just have my annual goal to make sure I remember to read, so I don't waste all my time watching TV and playing on my phone!

Have you read anything good lately? 

Top: Chaus
Pearls: China
Cardigan: Gap
Skirt: Limited
Shoes: Target

Monday, July 15, 2013

Golf Pro

These pictures have nothing to do with golf, but I wasn't allowed to take pictures at the US Senior Open on Saturday, and I wanted to blog about it.  I also wanted to show off my new dress.  I found it when my sister was in town, and I sort of love it.  I mean, floral with lace details and buttons up the back!  It felt a little too fancy for work, but I think the cardigan and flat sandals helped keep it casual.

Anyway, about golf...

When John asked me to go to the golf tournament with him, I reluctantly agreed.  The more I learned, the less excited I was, for various reasons.  Golf can be a tad boring.  The forecast was hot, sunny and humid.  It started at 8, so I would have to wake up at 6:45 on a Saturday!?  No cell phones or cameras allowed?!  But I thought it might be fun and I should give it a try.  A few random thoughts:
  • I had no idea what I should wear.  The internet is NOT helpful with this question.  I found the following advice:  
    • Wear comfortable shoes, as you will be walking around a lot
    • Wear wedge sandals, because you shouldn't wear tennis shoes, but heels will sink into the ground.
    • Dress like you would if you were golfing
    • Don't dress like a golfer, or you will look like a moron.  You wouldn't wear a swimsuit to a swim meet, for example. 
    • Wear a sundress 
    • Don't wear anything sleeveless
    • So....???  I ended up wearing my pink shorts, a v-neck tee, and tennis shoes.  I felt like I was dressed appropriately and was very glad I didn't wear wedge sandals.
  • I have no short-term memory when it comes to golf.  I watch the ball and see it land.  John was looking away and asks me where it is.  No idea.  This type of thing happened pretty regularly.  I kept trying to really remember, but it was no use. 
  • Watching golf in person is way more interesting than watching it on TV.  It was actually really cool, because you can be in the front row most of the time, unlike other sporting events where you are so far away from the action. 
  • When it comes to golf (both playing and watching), men are all of a sudden into bright colors and crazy patterns.  I saw so many pairs of bright colored and plaid shorts, it was ridiculous!  
  • Being away from my cell phone for a day was really nice.  I wasn't worried about checking email or social media or taking pictures.  I should remember to do that on a more regular basis.  
  • Allegedly, the high yesterday was only 88.  It seemed much warmer as we were trekking across the hilly course. Thankfully, there was a pretty good breeze to keep us from being miserable.    
Overall, it was a really fun day!  I would happily attend another golf tournament!  

What did you do this weekend?

Dress: Gibson&Latimer
Cardigan: Gap
Belt: Limited
Sandals: Carlos Santana

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Book Review - The Art of Racing in the Rain

I really ought to write book reviews immediately after finishing a book.  I mean, I read this book back in April, and have been meaning to write a post about it ever since.  Ridiculous.  I'll do my best.

I had seen The Art of Racing in the Rain at various bookstores and didn't really know what it was about.  I thought it was about dog races or something.  I mean, picture of a dog, title with "racing."  So I wasn't interested.  Then my friend Anne was reading it when I was in Arizona.  Then about a week later, it was announced as a Literary Junkies book club selection.  I put it on reserve at the library and immediately got it (What?!), so I read it right away.

Big surprise - the book isn't about dog races at all.  It is told from the perspective of a dog (Enzo), but it is really more about the family that he loves and the struggles they go through.  The "racing" piece is a reference to his owner's profession as a race car driver.  I thought it was a great book.

Enzo's "voice" is endearing and funny.  He actually reminded me of Pat Peoples from Silver Linings Playbook.  I was emotionally invested from the beginning.  There were parts that got a little frustrating, because if the story is told from the dog's perspective, then how can he know what happens in places where dogs are not allowed?  Dog imagination time, weird!  Since it has been awhile, I don't remember a lot of details, but overall, I would recommend this book.  Just have some tissues handy because you may get a little teary.

Have you read this book?  What did you think?        


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Art Project

Whenever my nieces are in town, they want to do some kind of crafty art project.  After spending more time than I should have on Pinterest, I decided to try the tape art that I did last summer.  This was a great project for the girls, because it required very minimal adult supervision, and it pretty much looks cool no matter how you place the tape.  The full instructions are on my previous post, but here's a quick run through.  

Step 1 - Put tape on the canvas in whatever formation you want.  

Step 2 - Paint in each of the openings, whatever color you want.

Step 3 - Once the paint dries, remove the tape and admire your fancy new artwork.

Matching outfits are optional, but look nice in photos.  I'd definitely recommend this as a fun and easy project for kids!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

VBS Week

Vacation Bible School is happening this week at my church.  John and I are teaching the "Pre-K" class which is mostly 4 and 5 year old kids.  We have a pretty good group of kids, but they sure keep us busy!  After taking last week off work to hang out with my family, I'm trying to get caught up at work during the day, and then spending the evenings at church.  It's a lot of fun, but I wish I'd had a few days to catch my breath between the visitors and the VBS.  I'll probably sleep all day on Saturday!

Top: Target
Cardigan: Gap
Skirt: Loft
Shoes: BCBGeneration

Today I am linking up with What I Wore Wednesday, Fashion and Beauty FindsSummer Style, and Tres-Chic.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Celebrating America

Since July 4th happened to be the same week as my family was visiting, we had to get some fireworks going.  We did a few at our house earlier in the week, and then we went over to John's parents' house on the 4th for a good old-fashioned cookout, complete with America-themed dessert and a round of badminton (John and I won, just saying).

Because I am ridiculous (and so are my nieces), I made them do some fashion blogger poses:

The girls loved the fireworks!  I tried to get candid shots, but I was too slow, so here are some pictures of them re-enacting their excitement when the big fireworks went off:


As you can probably tell, we had a great evening!
On the topic of my outfit - I wore pink/white/yellow instead of red/white/blue, but I did wear my crazy flag shirt during the day.

Top: Gap
Shorts: Loft

Monday, July 8, 2013

Crazy Busy Fun

Happy Monday!  I feel like I haven't blogged in forever, but I guess I just skipped Thursday and Friday.  Last week was crazy/busy/fun hanging out with my sister and nieces, and blogging just had to take a back seat.  I didn't take any outfit pictures all week, but I plan on blogging about our adventures over the next few days.  I'm headed back to work today, and dreading the mountain of emails I will have to sort through.  Oh well, it is totally worth it to spend time with my family! 

This outfit is actually from several weeks ago when I met Ginny for lunch.  Since it was my very first "blogger date", I was sort of nervous about what to wear.  Then I overslept that morning, and didn't have time to decide, so I went with an easy favorite.  I really love this dress, so I tend to grab it when I want to look and feel good without a lot of thought.  It was so much fun (and so weird) to meet another style blogger.  Ginny is awesome and it was cool to talk about all the blog stuff that my other friends don't know about.  If you ever have the opportunity to meet up with a blog friend, I highly recommend it!   

Dress: Banana Republic Outlet
Scarf; Calvin Klein
Shoes: Anne Klein

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Bridge to Iowa

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that my nieces are visiting this week.  We are having WAY TOO MUCH FUN and I love every minute of it!   On Sunday, we ventured downtown to the Pedestrian Bridge.  It was a beautiful day, and we had fun taking silly pictures at the border line.  


We are sort of weird, I guess
We're trying to fit in as much fun as possible, so I'll probably be posting more about our adventures.  If you come here for the clothes, I'll still include my outfit details.

Shirt: Gap
Cardigan: Old Navy (dyed by me)
Shorts: J.Crew Factory
Purse: Target
Flip Flops: Old Navy