Friday, May 30, 2014

Green Shorts



I often have difficulty picking a favorite color, but most of the time, it's green.  Good old-fashioned Crayola-defined green.  I remember in high school that I could never find anything that was just regular green.  Everything was forest, olive, lime -  NOT INTERESTED!  I ended up buying this ridiculous top from Casual Corner (does that still exist?) just because it was the right color.  But it was covered in sequins.  So I very carefully removed all the sequins and had a cute top.  I'm glad stores have decided green should be offered again.  And I just buy every clothing item possible in green now.  So when Kate linked to these shorts, I had to have them.  I bought them last Wednesday, and then wore them all weekend.  That's when I know I've made a good purchase - I want to wear my new item every day.

Anyway, it's Friday and that means my friend Anne's wedding is tomorrow!  Hooray!  What are you up to this weekend?

Shirt: J.Crew Factory
Necklace: F21
Shorts: Target
Shoes: Sperry via Zappo's

Thursday, May 29, 2014

May Purchases



After April's shopping spree, I decided I was going to take it easy in May.  I was NOT going to "go shopping" for the sake of going shopping.  Early in the month, I decided to take the plunge and finally get the Sperry's I've been wanting forever.  And I really thought that would be my only purchase for the month.  Really.

Then I found out that I had to go on a last minute business trip, and I felt like I didn't have anything professional enough for it.  So I began a frantic search for a suit, and there went my plan for May being a low budget month.

I have no excuses for the other things.  I got the belts while suit shopping.  My trip took me near an H&M, and I just had to check it out.  Then I saw Kate's link to these green shorts and wanted them, and had a $10 giftcard, and was super stressed out, so I went to Target.  And I'm really excited about them, so I think it's okay.

Here are the details:

Sperrys: $60 (originally $85 - used a giftcard) (worn here)
Le Suit Blazer: $54 (originally $79) (worn here)
Le Suit Skirt: $25 (originally $50) (worn here)
H&M Skirt: $7 (originally $17)
H&M Workout Tanks (I got pink and leopard):  $5 each (originally $6 each)
Merona Shorts: $10 (originally $20 -used a giftcard)
NY&Co Silver bow belt: $2 (originally $20) (worn here)
Steve Madden 2-pack skinny belts: $10 (Originally $30) (similar)

 Total Spent: $178 (ugh - I hate that!)

What this really means is that I'm 28 cents over budget for the year.  So, it's not as bad as it looks.  But I'm disappointed, because I hate having to spend so much on something like a suit, because I don't really want a suit!  But I need one, and they are expensive, so that's how it goes.  
I won't promise to not shop at all in June, because that's just setting myself up for failure, but I'm hoping to avoid it as much as possible.  We'll see how that goes! 

As always, I'm linking up with Franish for Budgeting Bloggers. 

Getting Nerdy




After doing the Closet Inventory, I started playing around in my Excel spreadsheet.  Because I'm cool like that.  This may not be interesting to anyone else, but I thought it was fun to slice and dice the data by different pieces.  And then I made some pie charts.  Because I'm cool like that.


First up, where I buy all this stuff!  It is no surprise that Gap is far and away the leader.  If I add the Gap brands together, it's almost half of my wardrobe (Banana Republic and Piperlime are in the "other" category). I was surprised that I have more Loft than H&M or Limited.  I haven't had as much luck at Loft in the last year, but I guess I still have items from prior years.  Which brings me to...


Over half of my wardrobe has been purchased in the last 18 months.  I think this is largely due to the fact that I've been getting rid of stuff, and also because I like to shop.  (and also because I've gained some weight, but let's not talk about that, mkay?)


Finally, I wanted to see what colors are most represented.  And isn't this a pretty little graph?  Other than the random assortment in the upper left quadrant, the sections look pretty cohesive.  I've read a few things about building a remixable wardrobe, and I've never purposely shopped for certain colors, but somehow it has worked out.  I buy what I like, and I tend to like greens, blues, and pinks, as well as the black/white neutrals. Which means most items go well with most other items!

So now you know what my closet looks like in graphical form.  You're welcome (and I'm sorry).

Cardigan: Gap
Top: H&M
Skirt: Chaus
Shoes: Old Navy

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Suit Up



Last week, I mentioned that I had a last minute business trip.  I sort of panicked, because I didn't have a suit, and felt like I should wear one for this particular event.  So I spent a few hours shopping under duress.  It was awful!  I thought The Limited would be a sure thing, and they had a 50% off sale for all regular priced items.  It would have been great, except they didn't have my sizes in the same color skirt and blazer.  So I could have gotten a gray blazer and tan skirt, but that wasn't very helpful.  And it was too late to order online.  I actually ended up buying a tan suit at NY&Co, but I didn't like it all that much.  It was definitely a "giving up" purchase.  As I was leaving the mall, defeated with my ugly suit, I decided to take a look at the department store.  This should have been my first destination.  Seriously, what was I thinking?? 

This is the suit I ended up getting.  I'm pretty happy with it, but I wish I'd had more time to look!  I think it's pretty likely I would have gotten this one anyway.  From far away, it just looks gray, but close up there is some black/white texture going on:

Anyway, this is what I wore on my trip.  And I took these photos after a very long day in meetings and flying home.  So if I look a little rumpled/exhausted, that's why. 

I'm not sure how often I'll need to wear a full suit, but I do think I'll be able to break it up and wear the skirt and blazer with other pieces.  Hopefully it wasn't a completely foolish purchase! 

Blazer & Skirt: Le Suit via Younkers
Blouse: Gap outlet
Shoes: J.Crew Factory

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Closet Inventory


Almost a year ago, I started going through my closet by category and making inventory posts.  I thought that taking it in small pieces would make it more manageable.  That plan actually made it easier to just give up.  Brynn and Kate both recently did full inventory posts, which got me thinking I should really do it.  And then we had a 3-day weekend where I didn't have a whole lot going on.  Perfect!

So here's my list of items and counts.  Note - I didn't include workout gear, undergarments, swimwear, socks, jewelry, or purses in this list.  I might tackle those items another day.  (well, not socks or undergarments, but maybe purses and jewelry).
  • Tops:  78
    • Long-sleeve: 12
    • Short-sleeve: 34
      • Solid: 14
      • Stripe: 11
      • Other print/pattern: 9
    • Sleeveless: 32
      • Solid: 8
      • Stripe: 7
      • Other print/pattern: 17
  • Sweaters:  55
    • Light sweaters: 12
    • Heavy sweaters: 12
    • Light cardigans: 11
    • Regular cardigans: 15
    • Heavy cardigans: 5
  • Layers:  21
    • Blazers: 5
    • Coats: 5
    • Jackets: 4
    • Sweatshirts: 7
  • Bottoms:  35
    • Jeans: 12
    • Shorts: 8
    • Skirts: 15
  • Dresses: 21
  • Shoes: 41
    • Flats: 15
    • Heels: 14
    • Boots: 10
    • Casual: 2
  • Accessories: 29
    • Belts: 13
    • Scarves: 16
So the grand total is 280!  That's way lower than I expected.  I was sure I'd be in the 400+ range, so it's not as bad as I thought it would be.  I have been pretty good in the last couple of years about getting rid of things that I don't wear.  But still, 280 is a lot of clothing!

I don't really have a philosophy or plan when it comes to curating my closet.  My main goal over the last year or two has been to keep a list of things I want, instead of just buying whatever catches my eye.  I'm also being more careful about not buying things just because they are cheap.  It's not perfect, but I feel pretty good about it most of the time.  And I really enjoy shopping, so I don't see myself getting to a point where I stop buying new things.    

So what now?  Well, I don't know.  I've thought about the one in, one out plan.  But I think that would turn into me keeping things that I should get rid of just so I have something to trade out when I buy something new.  And that defeats the purpose.  Maybe I could put a cap on my total number, so if I got rid of 10 things tomorrow, then I'd have 10 open spots, but I don't know what the magic number should be.

I think I'm just going to stick with my monthly budget plan, and keep trying to focus on the wish list and minimizing crazy impulse buys. I'm also going to try to keep my spreadsheet up to date when I buy new items or get rid of things, so I don't have to do an epic inventory again.

Have you done a closet inventory?  What tips would you share for keeping your clothes hoarding under control?

Long Weekend Recap



Happy Tuesday!  I'm going to pretend that I purposely skipped posting on Monday for Memorial Day, but really, I just forgot to schedule something.  This outfit would have been perfect, because it's all red, white, and blue.  Anyway, enough about my outfit.  How about a weekend recap??

On Friday, I left work early and had a late/long lunch with a friend.  Then I had the rest of the evening to myself and decided it was time to really do a full closet inventory.  I got about halfway done before I had to take a break for dinner.  Then I binge-watched Netflix while ironing for a few hours.  And I'm at a point in my life where I'm content with spending my Friday night ironing.  (Sometimes I still feel like I'm 19, but there are moments where I can believe I'm almost 30.)

Saturday involved more closet sorting, more ironing and folding laundry, AND a lunch/movie date with John.  We went to the new X-Men movie.  It was pretty good, but I have a lot of questions now.  I mean, time travel is always pretty sketchy, so it will be interesting to see where they go from here.  And how long Hugh Jackman can play Wolverine.  He's just getting a little old.

After church on Sunday, I spent the afternoon helping to make wedding mints for my friend's wedding.  It was fun to hang out with her, and the mints are delicious!  Then John and I went over to some friends' house for a good old-fashioned cookout.  Good food, fun people, and my team won at Catch Phrase!

On Monday, I finished my closet inventory (post coming soon), and did a few other things around the house.  Then we went to dinner at my favorite restaurant.

I'd say it was a pretty nice weekend!  Did you do anything fun with the extra day?  (my apologies if you had to work!)  

Top: Michael Kors via TJ Maxx
Cardigan & Shoes: Old Navy
Skirt: Target
Belt: NY&Co

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Movie vs. Book - Austenland


I'm a little bit embarrassed about this one. A few of my friends on Goodreads had rated Austenland with 5 stars, so I added it to my list.  Then when I was driving to Minnesota in April, I searched my to-read list for some shorter books, aiming for a 5 hour audiobook.  This one made the cut.

The premise is a 30-something woman (Jane) who is so obsessed with the romance in Jane Austen novels (and Mr. Darcy from Pride & Prejudice, in particular), that she can't have a healthy relationship in the real world.  She ends up going on vacation to a living history resort, where everyone acts like they are in an Austen novel.  It was light and funny and ridiculous.

Then I saw that there was a movie, starring Keri Russell.  So I had to watch it.  Adding to the awesomeness of this film is that it also features Gaius BaltarDr Quinn, Medicine Woman, and the bend and snap lady from Legally Blonde!  How can it not be good, right?  Well, it was even sillier than the book, but I think that's appropriate, given the subject matter.

There were quite a few small changes, like how Jane ends up going to the resort, and the details around her various love interests.  Overall, I think the integrity of the book was pretty much intact.  But then again, I wasn't in love with the book, so perhaps I cared less than I would about a book I really liked.      

If you are a big fan of Jane Austen, you might enjoy the book and/or the movie.  I have a fairly neutral opinion about Austen.  I've only read Pride & Prejudice, but I've seen the movies for Emma and Sense & Sensibility.   I'm sure I missed some of the references in the book to the other novels.   And for what it's worth, I enjoyed Pride & Prejudice, but kind of thought Mr. Darcy was a jerk.  Why does everyone love him so much??

Anyway, if you are looking for a quick and light read, this just might be the book for you.  Have you read it, or seen the movie?  Any big Austen fans out there?  

Friday, May 23, 2014

Formerly Known As Dress




The last time you saw this top, it was a dress.  It was a very cheap dress, and probably a little on the short side anyway, so when it ripped, I almost just got rid of it.  Then I thought it might make a cute top.  Then it sat in my "sewing projects pile" for over a year.  Then I finally took the 20 minutes needed to chop it and hem the edge.  Why did I wait so long?  We may never know!

Anyway, I'm digging it as a top.  I actually wore it immediately after completing the project.  I even paired it with this cardigan that was also a DIY dye project.  I should really make more time for easy refashioning projects!  

Cardigan: Old Navy (dyed)
Top: Kohl's (refashioned dress)
Shorts: J.Crew Factory
Sandals: Carlos Santana

    

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Book Review - Where'd You Go, Bernadette



Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple is a really fun book.  I've been seeing it everywhere for over a year.  It initially didn't catch my attention, but then it was a book club pick, so I decided to give it a try.  Let's just say I should have read it sooner!  It was really great!

I like to go into a book without knowing too much about what happens, so I hadn't read the synopsis about this book.  All I knew is that it was about a woman who disappears.  After reading the book, I read the synopsis and feel like it gives too much away.  It's more fun to learn all those pieces at the beginning of the book!

So without giving too much away, I'll just say that this book was funny and sometimes sad, and very interesting.  I was hoping to finish it on my flight to Denver, but a chatty woman next to me prevented me from achieving my goal.  She also made me very nervous, because she had read it, and was dangerously close to telling me how it ends.  I had to be like "wait!  Don't tell me anything!"  So then I finished it on my flight back to Omaha, instead.  And picked a seat next to a 20-something guy who I hoped wouldn't talk to me.  He didn't, and I had plenty of time to read without being disturbed!

I really enjoyed how the story unfolded through some straight narration, but mostly emails and letters between the major characters.  

I mostly wish there had been a couple more chapters at the end.  I wanted to know the details about how everyone settled into life after the whole fiasco.  I'll just fill in the blanks to make it as pleasant as possible!

Have you read this?  What did you think?   

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Defying Gravity




Last week, I got to sit in the front row at Wicked.  This is one of the perks of having season tickets to the Broadway Across America shows - I get early access to the good seats, and I don't have to pay as much for them.  It's such an incredible show, and sitting up front was even more amazing.

I was so excited about the show that I completely forgot to take outfit pictures beforehand, so I took these when I got home.  You can kind of tell I am slightly drunk on musical theater.  If I had an ounce of singing/dancing/acting talent, I'd probably quit my job and move to New York.  Okay, I wouldn't do that, because I'd miss John too much.  But you know, if I was talented enough, I bet he'd come with me.  And when I failed, I could always come back and do local theater.  That would be fun, too.  

Anyway, I took it as a good excuse to wear my airplane dress again.  Because Elphaba defies gravity, and so do airplanes.  See what I did there?

Cardigan: Gap
Dress: eShakti
Belt: Limited
Necklace: inPink
Shoes: J.Crew Factory    

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sunshine On a Cloudy Day (and Book Talk)



The day I wore this was just plain gloomy.  So I did what any ridiculous blogger would do - wear bright yellow.  I will bring the sunshine myself, thanks very much (and have My Girl stuck in my head all day). 

Anyway, it's the Third Tuesday of the month, which means it is time to talk about books with the Literary Junkies! Here are the May questions and my answers:

1. What are you currently reading? Tell us about it!  I just finished Where'd You Go, Bernadette, which is our book club pick for May.  It's a crazy book, but I really liked it.  If you've read it, you should join the twitter chat tonight!

2. Do you judge a book by its cover? What cover elements make you not want to pick up a book?  Yes, I definitely judge books based on their covers. Like, if there are people kissing or almost kissing on the cover, it's probably not going to be my favorite.  I'm looking at you, Nicholas Sparks

3. Do you participate in any other bookish link-ups? Tell us about them so we can join next time!  Nope, other than the Summer Book Challenge!


4. Have you ever watched a movie that was better than its book version? Explain yourself!  Hmm, this is tough, but Emma comes to mind.  I loved the Gwyneth Paltrow movie when I was younger, and then I tried to read the book and wasn't interested at all.  Maybe because I already knew the plot?  I don't know.  Maybe I should try reading it again sometime.  Who knows if that movie is even good?  I don't trust my 12-year-old self to have great taste in films!
  

5. Summer is here! Do you read more often during any particular season?  I think I read a little bit less in the summer, because life seems busier, but I do have a few trips coming up so I'll have plane time to read.  I think I read the most during the winter, when it's too cold to do anything else.

6. What is the worst book you've read this year? Why?  I have to say Breakfast at Tiffany's.  I didn't hate it, but I just didn't really like it either.  I don't know what I thought it was about, but it was way different than my expectations.  I'm planning to watch the movie and then do a movie vs. book post.  So, stay tuned for my thoughts on both!   

How would you answer these questions?  

Tee & Blazer: Gap
Jeans: Limited
Shoes: Old Navy

Monday, May 19, 2014

Extension



This was my outfit for Mother's Day.  And my annual outfit pictures downtown!  Apparently we tend to park on the same street each year on Mother's Day!  

This dress was recently rescued from the "Sewing Projects Pile."  I bought it on a whim, and realized it was too short the first time I wore it.  I thought about different ways to add some length, and ended up just adding about 4 inches of fabric to the middle of the lining.  So now the lining hangs down and I feel much better about the length.    

Jacket: J.Crew Factory
Dress: Gap 
Shoes: Old Navy

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Book Review - The Last Letter from Your Lover

via Goodreads

Apparently it's a good time to be reading books about amnesia!  I read The Last Letter from Your Lover on vacation.  It's another one that has a modern day piece tied into a past story.

In 1960, Jennifer loses her memory.  As she learns about her life, she discovers evidence that she was actually having an affair, in the form of love letters from a man she doesn't remember at all.  Then she tries to figure out who this man is, and how to navigate life with her husband as she deals with this knowledge (and wondering how much her husband knew about it).

In 2003, Ellie finds the letter and becomes obsessed with tracking down the lovers to find out what happened to them.  Spoiler alert - she finds them.  I won't tell you what had happened to them over the years.  (other than getting old). 

I really liked this book, but I just wish everyone didn't have to be so adulterous.  It's like I want Jennifer to find her letter writing mystery man, because he seems so nice, but MAYBE SHE SHOULDN'T BE CHEATING ON HER HUSBAND!  But whatever, I know it's a way to add suspense, because if she wasn't married, she could just ask her friends who she was dating, and they would tell her and everything would be fine.  And wouldn't that be a happier story??  But probably not as interesting, which is why I don't write novels.

Sometimes I think my book reviews are kind of "this book was great!  Here's what I didn't like!" so I apologize for that.  I really did like this book, but it's easier to point out the little things that bothered me.

Have you read this?  I've been working through other books by Jojo Moyes, and tend to enjoy her stuff.  

Friday, May 16, 2014

Nautical Week - SAIL




It's the last day of Nautical Week, and I saved this Sailboat top for the grand finale.  The funny thing is that Laura also has this top, and used it for the first day of the week!  I think there are a few other bloggers who have it, and also one of my co-workers.  So it's either a really cool top, or was on the Target clearance rack for $6.  I'm going with both.  

I also went for the DOUBLE NAUTICAL look by adding the anchor bracelet.  I bought it as a consolation prize for myself after I bought and lost the ship's wheel necklace from F21.  

Also, while wearing this shirt, I had this song stuck in my head all day.  Hint - if you actually want to wake up in the morning, set it as your alarm song.  It's quite jarring first thing in the morning.  (or alarming, ha ha).

Anyway, happy Friday and thanks to everyone who joined in on Nautical Week, and especially my co-host, Laura!  You still have time to link up until Monday.  Linky info is after the jump!

Top: Target
Cardigan: Old Navy (dyed)
Jeans: Gap
Shoes: Old Navy
Watch: Fossil
Bracelet: F21

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Nautical Week - Rope Stripes



This dress is a more subtle nod to the nautical theme.  I like how the stripes look like rope, instead of just being solid.  Ropes are related to sailing, right?  I also like that this dress is long enough for me to wear.  My other pink and white striped dress (which I love) is starting to seem too short (maybe because it is so a-line?).  Anyway, I think I might have to chop it into a skirt.  Add it to the pile of sewing projects I'm hoping to tackle someday!

Here's a close up, since you can't really tell that the stripes are rope-print.  You can also get a nice close up of the wrinkles!  So fancy!

It's also time for Third Thursday Threads with Bri!  Again, I'm glad she picked a theme that I can add to my nautical week.  Sandals go with rope-striped dresses!  Hooray!  These are my most frequently worn sandals, because they are comfortable and cute.  The only problem is that I've worn them so much and they are starting to wear out a bit.  So I'll be on the lookout for a replacement pair! 

Dress: Gap
Jacket: J.Crew Factory
Sandals: Carlos Santana

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Nautical Week - More Anchors

 

The only thing MORE nautical than a sweater with an anchor on it is a tee with ALL THE ANCHORS on it.  I promise this is my last red/white/blue outfit of the week.  I think.  Remember to link up after the jump! 

So remember how I was complaining commenting about my very busy week this week?  What do I get for complaining?  An impromptu business trip.  I have to leave Sunday.  And I think I should probably buy a real suit.  I've previously worn this blazer and this skirt as a suit, when needed.  But then those started to get sort of old, so I got replacement items (blazer and skirt).  I just don't know if they will work as a suit, or look stupid.  I'll have to figure something out, I guess.        

Tee: Banana Republic
Jacket & Skirt: J.Crew Factory
Necklace: F21
Shoes: Old Navy

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Nautical Week - Boat Shoes




After about 5 years of wanting boat shoes, I finally pulled the trigger on these Sperrys.  I had a Zappos gift card, so it seemed like a good time to go for it. They arrived on Thursday, and I wanted to wear them immediately, so I built this outfit around them.  I think my new skirt is pretty cute with boat shoes.  I mean, I definitely felt prepared on the off chance that I was invited to go sailing.

In other news, I'm super excited because I'm going to see Wicked tonight!  I've seen it 2 other times and it is just SO GOOD!  I'll probably pay to see it every time it comes to town, and it seems like everyone else in Omaha agrees, because it's here for a few weeks!  If you haven't seen it, I'd highly recommend you check it out if it comes to your town!

Nautical Week continues!  Linkup is after the jump!

Cardigan: Old Navy
Top: J.Crew Factory
Skirt: Gap
Shoes: Sperry (via Zappos)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Nautical Week - Anchors Away!




Get excited!  It's NAUTICAL WEEK!  Make sure you are following along with Laura to see how she is rocking the boat theme this week.  First up, a sweater with an anchor on it!  (said in my best Brian Fellow voice).  

It's been almost a year since I painted this sweater, and I've worn it exactly one time.  Oops!  But it's perfect for Nautical Week!  I wore this outfit on the last day of April, when it was quite chilly and dreary out.  And then a friend (jokingly) called me out for wearing white pants before Memorial Day.  Shh, don't tell that I bought these in October and have been wearing them all winter long.  We don't really believe in that rule anymore, anyway.  Right?

Anyway, Nautical Week is here, so get ready to see lots of red/white/navy in the next few days.  I do have at least one outfit that isn't unintentionally patriotic. Link up is after the jump!  

Sweater: Gap (but then painted) (Similar)
Shirt: Old Navy
Jeans: Limited
Shoes: Target

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Book Review - Sarah's Key


Sarah's Key jumps between Paris in 1942 and 2002.  The 1942 story centers around the "Vel' d’Hiv’ Roundup, which I had not known about prior to reading this book.  Sarah is the girl in 1942.  Her story was heartbreaking and captivating.  I wish the whole book had been about her.    

In 2002, Julia is a journalist investigating  the Vel' d’Hiv’ Roundup.  She becomes personally invested in Sarah's story and is determined to find out what happened to her.  I wanted to like Julia.  I wanted to care about her problems, but it was hard to go from chapters about a 10 year old girl trying to survive the Holocaust, and then jump back to a grown woman who has a mean husband.  Granted, the 2002 story gets more serious as we go along, but I just couldn't care as much as I was supposed to.  

I really liked this book, but felt like the ending left a little to be desired.  Spoiler ahead!!  Maybe the author's point was that even the people who physically survived the Holocaust didn't have much chance of a happy future.  I just wanted more for Sarah.  

There's a movie, too.  I'll probably try to watch it at some point to see how it compares.  

It seems like I've read a lot of books lately where the author jumps from the past to modern day.  It's like they decided historical fiction is boring and we have to have a modern connection for it to stay interesting.  Generally, I find that I like the old story and think the modern characters are kind of obnoxious.  

Have you read this?  What did you think?

Friday, May 9, 2014

Ain't No Party like an Engineer Party



This outfit is from last week sometime.  It has nothing to do with the next paragraph, but I was excited to wear my floral shoes again!

Last night, I went with John to an engineering awards banquet.  I wore my floral dress, but managed to take zero pictures.  It was actually pretty fun, as far as engineering awards banquets go.  The keynote speaker was much livelier than previous engineering keynote speakers I have heard.  I met the former mayor, who complimented my smile, and then proceeded to be very politiciany.  And I couldn't remember if he was still the mayor, so I didn't really know what to say to him.  Part of the evening was a backstage tour of the fancy baseball stadium downtown, during which I embarrassed myself by choking on a sip of Pepsi when everyone was quietly looking around the locker room.  You can't take me anywhere.  The tour was pretty cool, but I should have worn more comfortable shoes for all the walking and stair-climbing.

Anyway, it's been a busy week and next week is even worse!  I have something going on every evening next week, so I need to have a productive weekend to get ahead of the game.  And then I need to stop committing to weeknight activities all the time!

Do you have any fun weekend plans?  Remember to get a nautical-inspired outfit ready to link up with Laura and me!

Top, Cardigan, Jeans: Gap (actually all 3 are from Gap Factory!)
Shoes: J.Crew Factory


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Come Fly With Me






Note - this dress was provided by eShakti for me to review.  All opinions are my own. 

When eShakti asked me to let them send me a free item to review, I was like "YES, PLEASE!"  It only took 2.5 years of blogging to get something for free!  Any other companies want to send me free stuff??  Call me!  Or actually, email me.

It was tough to pick an item.  I probably should have picked a more practical dress, but I just loved the airplanes!  I kept going back and forth on getting just a solid color dress.  But then AIRPLANES!  So I got the airplanes.  Because while a navy blue dress would be very versatile, and airplane dress is unique.      

For my first time wearing it, I decided to play off the red belt and go for the primary color accessories.  I felt very adorable all day.  In a good way, I think.  I'm already thinking of other ways to style it, and wondering how frequently I can wear it before my co-workers notice.    

Anyway, here are my thoughts about the whole process:
  • The ordering process was super easy.  I put my order in on April 11, and the dress was waiting for me when I got home from vacation.  So, I'm guessing it was about a 2 week turnaround.  Not bad for a custom fit dress!  I just wish I had been faster at deciding, so I could have worn my plane dress on my cruise!   
  • My only complaint about the ordering process is that most of the items I liked gave me the "out of fabric" message when I clicked on them.  I don't know if this is a common problem on the site, or just on the list of options for review.  
  • The fabric is a really nice cotton.  And there are pockets! The belt isn't great, but I probably won't wear it very often (you can see it's a little wonky in some of the pictures).  After sitting at my desk all day, the skirt was fairly wrinkled, but you can't really tell, so it isn't a real problem 
  • Custom sizing is really cool.  I didn't fall anywhere on their size chart, and I assume most women don't fit perfectly into the proportions for each size.  It was nice to put in my exact measurements.  The dress fits really well in the bust and waist - which is usually a problem for me.  Oh, and it's long enough! 
    • One note about the fit - basically the only measurement that I didn't have to submit is how "tall" my shoulders are.  Apparently my shoulders are shorter than expected, because I think I'll need to take the straps in a bit.  Not a deal breaker by any means, but on a dress that fits perfectly everywhere else, an extra half-inch in the straps was noticeable, and made it gap a bit in the front. 
In conclusion, I was pretty impressed with the whole process!  In generally, their dresses are reasonably priced for dresses (especially custom, sized), but a little higher than what I'm usually willing to spend.  I know that means my expectations are unreasonable!  I'll keep it in mind if I ever need a dress for something specific.  And I'd definitely recommend it for anyone who has trouble finding dresses that fit properly.  

I thought about trying to pass it off next week as aeronautical, but that seemed like cheating.  Remember to link up with me and Laura May 12th-16th to share your ocean-inspired looks!  

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Dress: c/o eshakti (exact)
Cardigan: J.Crew Factory 
Shoes: Old Navy