Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Day 17- Repair it and wear it

When I initially read the theme for day 17, my immediate response was "Oh man! I won't have time to mend something after work, take a picture and then blog about it.  I'll just have to sit that day out."
Well it turns out I was sorely mistaken.
First of all, I think it just might kill me to slack on this challenge.
  Second of all, I only had to work until 1:00 yesterday afternoon and I suddenly had all this free time to do what I wanted.
I wanted to repair my shirt and then wear it.
So I did.Nuff said. 

But first...a brief history of this shirt.
While I was killing time shopping on the internet,  I saw this top on a model.  I fell in love with the shirt and had to have it because this is what it looked like on her...

My thought was: Wouldn't/shouldn't this top look the same on me?
No.  The answer was no.
Instead, this is what I saw every time I put it on:

What is with the flash calling attention to all my "shiny parts?"

The problem with this top is that when I wore it, I always felt a little like a circus dog with my ruffled collar.  Also,the sleeves just fit odd.
So instead of getting rid of the top, I vowed to fix it, because A) I am obsessed with stripes, B) These stripes are blue....my most favorite of colors and C) The top wasn't cheap and I still have slight guilt issues over only wearing it twice over a time span of a year.
But I never fixed it until now.  Here it is:
I capped the sleeves and decided to tack down the collar for a less circusy (yep, just made it a word) appearance.

Also, I half tucked in the shirt to make it look less circus-tenty.  Look how happy I am!

Earrings: Etsy; Top: Banana Republic; Shorts: Bandalino; Shoes: Payless

This challenge- which initially made me sad ended up kinda' making my day.  Now I'm ready to tackle the rest of my "sewing pile."

Monday, August 29, 2011

Gaining inspiration from menswear- Day 16

The theme inspiration from menswear automatically made me think of some of the ladies who graced the Silver Screen in classic, yet feminine menswear: hello Lauren Bacall, Katherine Hepburn, Claudette Colbert, et al. 
These ladies managed to rock the flared trousers, the button ups, etc. ...well I'm sure you get the picture. If not, here's what I mean:

Sadly, I didn't have all the components to do what I envisioned.
I have no flared trousers, no spectator shoes, no classic sex appeal.
And the clothes I do have (blazers, sweater vests) were way to hot to put on today
(and no one wants to be around me when I'm hot!)

So instead I turned to another closet orphan to help me out- my charcoal gray vest.
Men have been known to wear vests....

Vest: Old Navy; T-shirt: Kohl's; Skirt: Target; Necklace: gift

But then I decided to have a little more fun with this ensemble. 
The flash of the camera doesn't show the menswear inspired pinstripe on my skirt in this picture above, but it does in this one along with one of my husband's watches and a chunky bracelet.

Watch: I have no idea....Bracelet: Avon

Then I added a large and rather serious bag:

Purse: Nine West purchased at Ross

But I couldn't be too serious, so I added some fun (and painful) shoes:

Shoes from Ross

And that is my version of inspiration from menswear.....

If you've had trouble leaving comments on my blog, read the following

I've recently had several people with Gmail accounts inform me that they have been unable to leave comments on my blog.  I've been having the same problem and know how irritating it can be.  So I decided to google it and found some information along the same lines as my problem. 
This is what I found.

If you're having a problem a little like this:
You finish typing your message and hit enter only to have this message pop up: "your current blog account does not allow you to leave a comment..." ( or something along these lines)

Then try this:
When this message pops up, go ahead and sign out.  Then log in again with my same account only this time unchecking the "Stay Signed In" box.

I tried this out and was able to leave as many comments as I wanted.  I then told one of my friends and she was able to leave messages too!

Hopefully this helps you out! I look forward to hearing from you, if I haven't already!
(hint, hint...)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Day 15- Hair style try-outs

My hair used to be long or what I considered to be long.  I've since then found out from other ladies that it was not long, only medium length.
The reason I brought this up was to inform you that I've only had this short hair for roughly four months.  This being the case, I'm still a little unsure of what I'm supposed to do to make it look different.  As I'm sure you noticed in the past posts you may (or may not....no judgement) have noticed my hair pretty much looks the same.
There are so many amazing options out there for longer hair, and I'm sure there are some great things going for the short hair community but this girl doesn't know what they are.

Don't get me wrong, I've tried some new styles out, but they usually result in me pulling out my straight iron and flattening all of my hair transgressions.  They just aren't things that should be seen in public.

So........I found this cute girl with even cuter hair as my hair inspiration on Pinterest:

I liked that it's smoothed down and simple- effortless if you will.
Believe it or not, I've never tried this look out and have wanted to for some time.
I usually just chicken out and "do the usual."

Then here's what I did:

Earrings: I don't remember; Dress: J.Jill

My hubby really liked it (he's awesome like that) and I think I liked it.  I may try it out again down the road.

Day 14- Kayla says..

....copycat an outfit!  Really?!  That's pretty much all I do, so ....okay!
Well...I'm a huge J. Crew fan and have been since high school (trust me, even though it doesn't look like it, that was quite a while ago.....)
In fact, when the new catalog from J.Crew comes out and settles in my mailbox, then reaches my hot little hands, well let's just say I can hardly concentrate on anything else.
Needless to say then, my outfit inspiration comes from a recent J.Crew (I'm not that knowledgeable/stalker-ish that I remember whether it was Spring, Summer or early Fall....sorry...((sniff...))

Anyway, here's the inspiration picture:

and here's my take on the whole matter:

So first, I placed the belt on the outside of the cardigan, like the picture above- except I don't have a cute, skinny belt. I need to get one.

Then I started leaning towards.....

.....the belt being inside the cardigan? 

Cardigan: Old Navy; Top: Old Navy; Skirt: Goodwill
Necklace: Maurices; Shoes: Target

So I'm really not sure how I would like to wear this ensemble.  All I know is that I do like this look and will be sporting it again!

P.S. I just snagged this skirt at Goodwill for $2.99! 

The last lazy day Sunday of August

I was organizing my blog last night and took particular note of all the past Lazy Sunday's I've posted.  I felt the need to wake up this morning and try out a new recipe. 
After all, it is Sunday!

On today's menu:
Apple-Cheddar Waffle Panini
(as adapted from the Feb 2010 "Country Living" magazine)

I used a new recipe for waffles, and of course made some substitutions for things I did not have.  As a result, I ended up with very dry and very unremarkable waffles.  So, I don't feel like it would be a good gastronomic move to share the waffle part of the recipe with you.  I'm sure you already have a pretty great go-to recipe.  Next time I make these, I think I'll use my Nanny's Belgium Waffle recipe ( I should share that with you down the road...) 
In the meantime, here is the Apple-Cheddar part of the waffles :

In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons coarse-grained mustard and 4 teaspoons maple syrup.  Spread mixture on one side of 4 waffles.  Place 1 3/4 grated sharp Cheddar cheese on 2 of these waffles.  Thinly slice 1 apple and divide between same 2 waffles, layering atop the cheese.  Sprinkle another 1 3/4 oz cheese over the apples.  Top with remaining 2 waffles, spread side down.  Place panini in a lightly oiled large skillet over medium-low heat.  Set a plate or cake pan on top of panini and weigh down with food cans.
(I used a plate and my tea kettle.  Very ghetto I know...)
Cook until waffles are toasted and cheese melts, maybe about 6 minutes, turning after 3 minutes have passed. 
OR you could use a real panini press and cook according to the manufacturers instructions or your own personal knowledge.....I have none in this regard.

Slice panini in half and consume.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Neutral base with a POP of color- Day 13

I feel like so many of these challenges would have been a bit easier if I only had a turquoise necklace.  I can't tell you how many times I thought just that: "If only I had a turquoise necklace."
Well I don't have one yet, but trust me....I've been on the lookout.

In case you were wondering, these are what I've been ogling and googling a lot lately:
(my husband may become jealous soon..)



Today's outfit is no exception.
It is as neutral and blah as I could think of and I know a turquoise necklace would've been that "pop" the outfit needed.
Instead I turned to a scarf and turquoise earrings as my pop of color.

Scarf and Cardigan: Maurices; Earrings: Local store;
Tank: Romy; Skirt: Goodwill

In the end I generally don't love it.  I don't even know if I really like it.
I kind of look like my Kindergarten teacher from over 20 years ago and I KNOW I don't like that.
Sorry Mrs. M.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Day 12- I dream of jeans

While I like to be warm, I look forward to cooler weather in the way of Fall.  For me Fall equals jeans and sweaters or sweatshirts....what I'm the most comfortable in.

Today's challenge was to dress up my jeans.
I'm not sure if skinny jeans are still in, but they are still in my closet and I plan on wearing them.

Jacket: CK; Top: JCP; Jeans: Levi's; Necklace: Maurices; Bracelet: local store;
Shoes: Ross; Belt: Ross

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Skirting the issue- Day 11

The fact that we were asked to wear a skirt or a dress wasn't really an issue for me.  I really love dresses and skirts.  The problem for me was which one I was going to chose.  Should I wear some of my ol' reliables, wear another thing that doesn't get much wear time....what?

So I chose my remix skirt.
I paired it with a newer top and took some pictures.

Top: Rue 21; Necklace: Maurices; Skirt: CK; Shoes: Ross

But then I realized I wore a very similar outfit on day 1 of this challenge.
Something different had to be done.  After all, isn't that the point of this whole challenge?
So instead I chose to mix it up just a little bit.
This time I added one of my favorite tops to the mix.  I should add that I've never worn these two pieces together before because I've never gone out on the limb to mix patterns until this challenge.

Top: Anthropologie; Attitude: fake....all the rest is the same
I really like the second take.  The only thing that could and most likely will be different is I will wear a cardigan outside of the house.....I just couldn't because it is so warm today.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day 10- Save an orphan...

....from my closet.
Truth be told, there are a lot of neglected little orphans just hangin' around my closet so I had a lot to give attention to.
But for today, I only chose this vintage-looking-rock-a-billy shirt.

You have to understand, this little thing called out to me
"Pick me....haven't I always been your friend?"
And my answer was: " Um- okay."

So here is the picture of our over a year and overdue reunion
(yes I know I'm taking this whole orphan thing just a little too far)

Shirt: Maurices; Jeans: Loft; Shoes: Payless Shoes
Don't let this picture fool you though, we still aren't sure if we're meant to be.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day 9 - Monochromatic

I wish I had as many color bottoms (pants, skirts, shorts, etc.) as I do tops (cardigans, tanks...you get the picture). 
But I don't.  Oh well, there are bigger disappointments in the world.
I do however lean towards some of the same colors and one of those many colors is gray.
So gray is the color of the day!

Dress: Ross; Tank: Maurice's; Necklace: J Crew; Tights: not sure
Shoes: Madden Girl
Since Fall is just around the corner, I thought I'd add something to make it a little cozier (although I ripped that puppy off as soon as I decided I was done with the pictures..)

Scarf: Old Navy

Now I'm going to go dig through my closet for the forgotten item of clothing. 
Maybe you'll see me wearing everything from my closet tomorrow!
Things could get interesting...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mix dressy with casual- Day 8

Have I ever mentioned that I'm not a dressy kinda girl and that I usually wear very basic and simple clothes?
Right.  This challenge just goes to prove that fact.
This challenge also taught me that even when I should be dressy, I usually go casual and a that I really own nothing dressy.

So I did the best I could and put a nice skirt together with my chambray top.
Also it has been one of "those days" where everything and nothing goes right, not even my pictures.
So....I thought a headless picture was better than nothing.
After all, it's about the outfits and not my face, right?

Shirt:Target; Tank:Ross; Necklace:Maurices;Skirt:CK;
Shoes:Earth Origins

Again, I did the best I could.
P.S. Recognize my re-mix skirt?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Layer accessories- Day 7

If you've stopped by here before, most likely you have already read that I'm a pretty simple girl....at least style wise.  Wearing belts, tucking my tops in, wearing different patterns all pushed the envelope a bit.  So then it should be no surprise that the prompt to layer my accessories resulted in a little anxiety.  If I do wear an accessory it is usually a very simple one and all by itself: a necklace with a simple pendant, a small bracelet, etc.

To me, layering the accessories was meant for the other girls who have their "stuff" together, who know what looks good with what and pretty much rock whatever they wear, even if it is an old flour sack.

As for me?  I'm still trying to figure it out.

Necklaces: Round beads x 2-gifts; Shirt: Romy

But I'm proud of my layers and will most likely be wearing this (simple) layered look again!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Day 6- Think outside the box

It is now day 6 of the 21 day challenge (15 days to go!).  So far I 've been having a lot of fun with the challenges and have picked up some really good ideas from fellow bloggers.

For today's challenge we were asked to think outside the box and wear something in an unconventional way. Wear a skirt as a dress or a shirt, a necklace as a bracelet, etc.

So I started thinking....I've seen these great ideas to make men's dress shirts into skirts.  I've also had a shirt lying around that doesn't fit my husband and have been contemplating using it to make a skirt like this:


or maybe like this:

But I didn't have time for that today.  However, I've also seen the idea to simply tie the said shirt around your waist to make a skirt, like this:
via pinterest

And that is what I did.  So I started with this:

And ended up with this:

Denim jacket: DKNY from Goodwill, Tank: JcPenney's from 6 years ago, Shirt: Geoffrey Beene

Not too shabby! I don't honestly think I would wear this again, but I also don't think I ever would've tied one of my hubby's old shirts around my waist without this challenge either.

Now I'm off to actually go make this shirt into a skirt!
Have a good day!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Just put a belt on it!- Day 5

To me a belt has always been synonymous with "tuck it in."  It's something I try to avoid like the plague because for me it has always meant accentuating the wrong, problematic areas.  But because I am now dedicated -and slightly type-A-obsessed with this challenge, I can't not do it.

So I did it.  I just put a belt on it!

And once again, I was surprised.  I like this outfit too and will most likely wear it out in public.
In my estimation, putting a belt over this huge and comfortable shirt took it from being comfy to looking a little more put together.

Shirt: Vans; Tank: Ross dress for less, Leggings: Ann Taylor Loft; Shoes: Nine West; Belt: Ross

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Day 4- Colorblock

I couldn't wait to find out what today's challenge was and when I did (colorblocking!) I spent a lot of my time daydreaming and mentally shopping my closet for the next outfit.  To me colorblocking looks great with bright colors but the only things I own - besides these sun yellow shorts in the picture- were more skirts.  I felt I had to prove to you that I do own somthing other than skirts, so I went with these bad boys.

Shirt: Gap, Necklace:Maurices, Shorts:Old Navy, Sandals: Saltwater sandals

Anyway, I really like how the colors flow together but can't honestly say I love the outfit itself on me.

Maybe I should take pictures of every outfit I plan to wear before I step out into the public.....

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Carrot Cupcakes

It's been quite some time since I whipped up some cupcakes and I had the urge to do just that the other day.  Of course I loved them- even after the fact that I did substitute some "good things" for "bad things" in this recipe.  If I hadn't told everyone they were better for you they never would have known the difference!

Carrot Cupcakes - adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes book
Makes 24 (2 or 3 for each person...haha)

  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and finely grated
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups sugar (1 substituted 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of agave nectar)
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil (substitute with applesauce)
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, with seed scraped and reserved (or 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract)
  • 3 cups all purpose flour ( I used all wheat flour)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.  Whisk together carrots, eggs, buttermilk, sugar, oil, vanilla bean seeds, and raisins.  In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.  Stir flour mixture into carrot mixture until well combined.
  2. Divide batter evenly among cups, filling each three-quarters way full.  Bake, rotating tins halfway through until cake tester inserted comes out clean, roughly 23-28 minutes.  Transfer tins to wire rack to cool for 10 minutes then turn cupcakes out and allow to cool completely on the racks
  3. Frost them and eat them!
Cream Cheese frosting
(I halved this recipe)

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temp
  • 12 ounces cream cheese at room temp
  • 1 pound (4 cups) confectioners sugar
  • 3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  1. With mixer on medium-high speed beat butter and cream cheese and butter until fluffy.  Reduce speed to low and add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time and then add the vanilla and mix until smooth and combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.