Saturday, July 30, 2011

Welcome to the 80's

I decided today to embrace the fact that I am a child of the 1980's. Generally, my rule is that shirts should never be wider than they are long, but after seeing this post from Jean at, I picked this shirt up at Forever 21. That was about 2 months ago. 

When I got it home, I put it on, tried to belt it, and decided that maybe it would be better if I shrank it, so I threw it into the wash. It was better, but still hung off my shoulders too much, and I couldn't bring myself to actually wear it in public. So, today I realized the obvious: if I layer it over a white tank top, the modesty problem will be avoided. So, here I am, in all my 1980's glory.

I spent a lot of time climbing trees in the 80's...and 90's...and 2000's....

I went grocery shopping in this outfit, and the wine guy at Trader Joe's complemented me on it. He said I looked 'fresh and springy'. Thank you, sir. Why yes, I'll gladly buy a bottle of wine.

Earrings: Target
Shades: Diane VonFurstenburg
Tank: Target
Shirt: Forever 21
Shorts: Old Navy
Shoes: Target

Friday, July 29, 2011


I love all things Mandarin. I love mandarin collars on clothes, I speak Mandarin Chinese, and I also enjoy Mandarin oranges! 
This dress is one of my favorites because it has an ultra classy vibe while still using the mandarin collar. You have probably seen this dress before if you were at my wedding :). 

Dress: Ann Taylor Factory Store ($35!)
Earrings: Francescas
Shoes: Rack Room Shoes (aka my latina shoes)
bracelet: Jade from China :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Inspired by: LOFT Dress

Peter, Luke, and I went to check out the Apple Store (We are sort of Apple fanatics) in the next town over, and there happened to be a LOFT nearby, so we stopped in. Thinking that this dress was on the sale rack, I tried it on, and loved it. Then I realized that it was full price, so I had Peter take a picture of it with his iPhone, and put it back on the hanger, not even looking at the price. Peter told me afterward that it was $90. A little much for me - I don't usually like to go higher than $30, or maybe $40 if I really love something.

When I got ready for work today, I still had that LOFT dress on my mind, so I decided to do my best to copy it with pieces I already own. Here is how it turned out.

I started with a black pencil skirt that I bought for under $5 on clearance, which I then shortened 2" myself. Then, I added a thick elastic belt to cinch the waist, and a flowy top, which I got at a thrift store years ago. To top it off, instead of a scarf or tie of some sort, I went with a layered pearl necklace (not real, of course - of the under $10 variety). I think I actually like the final look more than the $90 dress.

Luke had to get in on the action, of course!

Necklace: Forever 21
Top: Old Navy (Thrifted)
Belt: Maurice's
Skirt: Ann Taylor (altered)
Shoes: Aerosoles (from Kohl's)

I think I found a new favorite place to take pictures, just outside the building where I live. Now that I have a brick wall, I feel like a real fashion blogger...

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Strange Neighbors and Fashion

Laura mentioned in her Post the other day that the grounds keeping man saw her taking self timer pictures and thought to himself "She's a wierdo". This is precisely what I'm trying to avoid with my neighbors. I'm already surrounded by some eccentric individuals, and I don't want to be added to that list.

So without further adieu, meet my neighbor Mary (name changed for privacy). She is a middle aged stay at home person. (I've never seen any children, so I don't think she has kids). She is constantly outside in her yard working with landscaping crews attempting to make her yard into a secret garden. Little did we know that she was growing silk weed.....

She is usually wearing a combination of pajamas, back braces, and fairy wings (yes, like the ones pictured below). This is the first clue that she is a little different. She has always been friendly, but odd nonetheless.

Mary feels that it is her personal mission to save all of the bunnies in our neighborhood from cats. So she raises bunnies in her bathtub or if she is feeling confident she will let them roam in her fenced in yard. In an effort to keep the cats away, she has been catching them in crates and shipping them off to the local humane society. Last month she sent 10.

And this is where the real story begins.....
Leif got home early from work on Friday and heard a knocking at the door. It was non other than our neighbor Mary asking for a favor. She had caught a baby raccoon in her cat trap and was afraid to open the door to let the raccoon free. Leif said that he could open the door for her. Somewhat frantically, she said that the raccoon couldn't be released in our neighborhood (I'm assuming because they will eat the bunnies) and it must be taken to some woods. Leif tells her that his lovely wife wouldn't let him take a raccoon in our car.

Thinking that he had gotten out of this somewhat awkward situation. Mary exclaims "We'll take my car!" With no more excuses to claim, Leif, Mary, and the raccoon load up and head to the woods. Leif released him and they headed back.  But the story continues....
Once they pull into the driveway. Leif says his casual goodbye and they begin to part ways. All of the sudden Mary calls out: "Do you like butterflies?" Leif isn't really sure what she means by this, and he answers and says "sure, they're cool." Mary immediately insists that he come inside and see her butterfly room.

Remember how I mentioned silk weed before? That particular plant attracts monarch butterfly caterpillars and she brings them into her kitchen once they have spun cocoons. So there are glass bottles with bamboo, and cocoons hanging everywhere in her kitchen and she releases them 10 at a time into the wild. I think she thinks she is helping the circle of life.

All this to say, I don't want to be caught taking pictures of myself every day outside. Someone might end up blogging about me....

This is why a bunch of my pictures are taken in the privacy of my own home. :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Scarf Tutorial

As fall approaches, and the fall collections hit the stores, I am starting to want to wear scarves (Too bad it won't get under 85 degrees here in the next ten days). So to whet my appetite, I revisited this great scarf tutorial from Wendy's Lookbook. If you are not a scarf lover already, prepare to be converted. 

Caught in the Act

Funny story: as I was taking these pictures with my little tripod outside our building, a landscaping man with a rake over his shoulder walked past. He gave me kind of a sideways glance, as if to say, "What are you doing, taking pictures of yourself, crazy girl?" Then, he walked on, trying not to look. I think he might have been embarrassed for me. Oh well. I guess I am a little ridiculous.

Anyway, some notes on the outfit. The shorts are old, and a little too big, especially around the waist, but I hid the bunchiness under the shirt in the back. Good enough, I think. The necklace was an impulse buy for $6.50 from Forever 21. I like the birds. They seem kind of whimsical to me. However, cute as they are, those birds are forever getting tangled, so I don't know how practical the necklace is to actually wear.

Many thanks to my neighbor for planting such nice flowers.

Shades: DVF
Necklace: Forever 21
Shirt: Banana Republic Outlet (DIY Altered)
Belt: Dockers (very old-Boy's Section?) 
Shorts: Old Navy
Shoes: Target

Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Today at Work

My office is business casual and it is between 80-100 degrees outside everyday so I typically wear a skirt and  cute top. I finally decided to break out the dress pants and pair it with a sleeveless shirt (hand me down from Laura). I'm sorry this post is a little lame, but I just got home from playing 4 hours of beach volleyball and I'm pooped. 

Shirt: Ann Taylor
Pants: Gap (they are wide leg)
Shoes: Target
Necklace: (it's actually a belt)
Bracelet: Sears (really really old)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Adventures in DIY Alterations - Taking in the Sides

Earlier this summer, I bought a gauzy, white button down shirt at LOFT to add to my summer wardrobe staples. I was planning to wear it tucked, untucked, and half-tucked into shorts, skirts, and jeans, so it would get a lot of wear. I liked the material and tab cuff sleeves so much that I was all too ready to overlook the fact that it was a bit too loose to actually tuck into anything, and gave me no shape when untucked. 


So it sat in my closet. Until today.

I wanted to wear my perfect white shirt, so I decided it was time to get out the sewing machine and finish the job that LOFT started.

The first order of business was to check out the care instructions. I was happy to see that it was a 'hand wash cold - lay flat to dry' item, since that meant that if I washed it in hot water and dried it in the machine, it should shrink up a bit. It definitely helped, but didn't quite give me the shape I was looking for. 

As I changed the thread in the machine from brown to white, I was reminded of my last sewing project: making my husband a pair of pants as part of his costume for a play, which was met with only moderate success (They were barely passable and had to be restitched 3 times throughout the course of the performances). Not one to be easily discouraged, and assuring myself that a a simple alteration is much easier than making pants from scratch, I turned the shirt inside out and pinned up the sides so that the narrowest part would be at my true waist and then it would taper out again to the hip. 

I think I just made that part sound easy. Oops. It actually requires that I make my best guess as to where to pin, then try it on, then move the pins, and try it on ad nauseam until it fits the way I want it to. But it is certainly better to make the changes before you sew anything, or you may end up having to endure the painstaking process of ripping stitches out very carefully (and slowly) from delicate gauzy fabric (I happen to know this by experience).

The next step was to fire up the sewing machine and stitch alongside my perfectly placed pins. I usually set the machine so that the stitches are as long as possible in case I make a mistake (so there won't be as many stitches to tear out). 

Once I was satisfied with the fit of the shirt, I held my breath and cut off the excess fabric, leaving about 1/4" after my new seam. Finally, I turned it right side out again and was relieved to see that my work had improved the fit, and that I had not ruined my beautiful new shirt.

Original Fit (after shrinking)

Altered Fit
I am pretty happy with the results. What do you think? Hopefully, you will be seeing a lot of this shirt for the rest of the summer. 

Thanks for joining me on my adventure in DIY alterations!

Friday, July 22, 2011


So here I was on a Sunday morning torn about what I should wear to church. I go to an extremely casual church so no one gets too dressed up, but I got the feeling like I wanted a little something extra. Our church is FREEZING during the service and then it is BLAZING hot when you walk to your car (and begin melting once you sit inside). So I needed to put together an outfit that would let me be comfortable in the cold and heat. So here is my best attempt.
 If you know me, you will know that I LOVE sparkly things. I just felt like I needed to wear some bling on Sunday :). 

Undershirt: Ann Taylor 
Shirt: Old Navy
Sweater: I forget ...
Earrings: Urban People St. Augustine
Jeans: PacSun
Sandals: Gap
Bracelet: Swarovski Crystal

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Town and Country Stripes

Oh dear, Target is getting the better of me. I stopped in for groceries and left with another outfit. The dress (here) was so cute and easy for summer, and then, for some reason, I didn't have any casual black shoes, which seem to be a wardrobe staple, so I succumbed to the Target shoe section (here) yet again.

I took these photos out behind my condo, where there is a little pond and a cute bridge. I think the black and white stripes offer a pleasant, unexpected contrast to the setting.

The night before, my husband, baby, and I headed to our little downtown area for some dessert. I guess I am betraying the fact that I wore the same dress two days in a row, but I don't care. I love the random blue door of an art supply store in a back alleyway. I am sure you will be seeing it again.

Luke enjoyed the fountain, though I am not sure why he has his finger in his ear. Maybe he is doing the Q-Tip dance from the movie, Hitch (Remember that? Q-Tip...throw it away).

Sunglasses: DFV
Dress: Target
Shoes: Target
Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Casual Chic

My wonderful husband. He always acts as my model so that I can light meter the area before we take pictures. I thought he looked cute here and it was worth sharing.
Sweatshirt: PacSun

Shirt: Target
Vest: Old Navy
Earrings: Market in Peru
Jeans: NY and CO
Shoes: Target
Bracelet: Ethiopian Airport

Copper really doesn't like it when anyone else gets attention. Here he is trying to dab his little paw into the fashion blogging world.

When I first put on the yellow and red necklace this morning I thought it was going to look terrible. But after looking at a few angles, I decided that it was worth the color risk. I like contrasting colors in an outfit and I think it gave it just the right amount of pop.

What do you think of the necklace?