Monday, June 28, 2010

On the Cheap: Skinny Jeans

When I was a kid in the '90s, I used to make fun of my mom for wearing leggings. She would match them to her sweatshirts, and for some reason I thought this was HILARIOUS. (Although, back then I had a hairstyle we now refer to as The Bangs, so I really had no room to talk.)

But now the tables have turned. Mom doesn't wear leggings anymore, and I'm wearing skinny jeans so narrow they might as well be. In fact, the last time I was at Express, I saw a magical new item:

Jeans that ARE leggings! No pesky ankle fabric flapping around, making me feel like I'm in Hammer pants! I saw them. My heart went pitter-patter. I did that thing where I stand there and pet the item until Hubsey pulls me away. He offered to buy them for me but I said no. They were $60, and that's foolishness for a pair of leggings.

Especially when Forever 21 has the same thing for $14.50:

So I bought them. I'm actually thinking about going back for a second pair I like them so much. Now, I would never match them to a sweatshirt, but I will retract some of the spandex jokes from my childhood because, well, look at me. I'm dressing like my mom.

How do you feel about the new ultra skinny jeans? Do you even wear skinny jeans? Did you never stop wearing leggings in the first place? Comments!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Make the Investment: If the shoe fits...

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, or have looked at the title, you know that I HATE paying more than I need to for an item. (And I bet all of you feel the same way, otherwise you probably wouldn't be here.)

We all love a good bargain, and we all know it's important to save money, but sometimes--and the key word here is sometimes--we make an investment. Whether to you that means paying the dreaded full price for something, or splurging a little on a piece you plan to have for years, getting an investment piece can actually save you money in the long run if it means you don't have to buy a bunch of cheaper versions instead.

Case in point: whenever I need to dress up for a wedding or something, I skip over to Payless or Target and buy a pair of heels. I might wear said heels a few times, but they're never THAT comfortable, so they end up in the storage baskets under my bed, collecting dust. Each pair might be only $20, but considering that I've done this 3 or 4 times now.... that's $80 I could've spent on one nice pair of heels to wear over and over.

So I fixed the problem:

These are SO PERFECT. First, they're red. Second, they're versatile. Third, they're reaaaally comfy. It's like having little angels supporting my feet. I bought them a couple of months ago and I've worn them about 10 times already.

The damage? $79.99. Although, as my sister pointed out to me, they're from DSW so I only paid the DSW full price and not FULL PRICE full price. Either way, $80 a pop is still more than I normally spend on shoes. But they were totally worth it.

How about you? Any big purchases lately? Or are shoes always the big purchase at your house?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Miscellaneous: Video Shoot

On Friday I told you that Hubsey and I were going to be in a friend's music video this weekend. Everybody but the singer was required to wear a mask, so Hubsey went as a soldier (no pictures of that--whoops!) and I went as an abstract version of a bird:

And as you would expect in June, it was hard to find a good mask. I suppose I COULD have gone to every party store in the area, but one was enough. Everything was either lame or more than I wanted to spend (ten bucks), so I made my own bird face. I got all the parts at JoAnn, and while I don't remember exactly how much the mask, feathers, glue, wooden sticks, and paint marker were, I know it was under the Alexander Hamilton limit. And now I have some wood left over to make jewelry stands. Score!

So we got our masks and our costumes consisting of clothes we already owned (free!) and headed out. But there was a small problem; the singer didn't specify that he wanted masks to cover the entire face until we got there, so there were a handful of us who needed a quick fix. Luckily, several people brought extras. For the rest of the evening, we were Donald Trump and the Grim Reaper:

And believe it or not, that was the best picture of us. It's pretty hard to use a camera when you can't really see.

It was an awesome time. I won't go into too much detail because I want you to see the video for yourselves when it's finished. I'm hoping it won't be more than a couple of weeks. In the meantime, I stumbled upon THIS gem for you to enjoy. It might be a song Snoop Dogg wrote about True Blood, complete with lyrics like "won't trick you like Eric/and make you drink blood." Obviously, you need to watch it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Preview: Video Killed the Radio Star

Today is supposedly going to be the hottest day of the year. The forecast said 95, and I would be totally fine if this was indeed the peak, but it seems unlikely. It's only June. June isn't considered the "hot" month around here (or probably anywhere else, for that matter)--the real scorchers come in July. So get back to me in a month with your "hottest day of the year" nonsense.

There is one good thing about the oppressive temperatures today: it will still be warm after the sun goes down. And that's GREAT because I have to wear a dress later. A friend of Hubsey's is shooting his music video tonight and we're going to be in it. (We're extras, along with about 40 other people this guy knows.) The song is called "Terrified!!!" so the video will be set up like a Halloween party, and everybody except the singer will be in costume. Specifically, a costume with a mask.

I'm going as a bird. Hubsey will be a soldier. Pictures to follow.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Gift Guide: Father's Day

Uh, HELLO, Paige. Father's Day is Sunday. Maybe you should do a gift guide.

No, don't get him an iPad, just the cute "who ate my apple" decals for the back. There are also versions for the other Mac computers. $9. (Apparently my own father, who can't even figure out the contact list on a cell phone, is getting an iPad for his birthday at the end of the month. I'll let you know how THAT goes...)

How about a lovely black and white baseball photo? An 8x10 is $20, unframed.

My parents have given me cards with money inside over the years, and I've always thought it would be hilarious to do it back. Hand-stitched card (without the money), $6.

What are you getting your dad? I'm getting mine a case for the forthcoming iPad. Sigh...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Go Retro: Green with Envy

I've been eyeballing this dress for a loooooong time:

It's $40, so it's right on that border of being too expensive for an impulse buy, but not so expensive that I necessarily need an occasion to get it. I like it a lot, but do I need another dress? I already have like, 15 (although some of them are way old). Maybe Hubsey will see this and decide it would make a lovely anniversary present for me. Because that day is coming up in about 6 weeks.

It's been bookmarked on Etsy FOREVER now and I'm paranoid somebody else is going to snap it up, so maybe I'll just bite the bullet. But I don't know.

Does this happen to anybody else?

Friday, June 11, 2010

On the Cheap: Fun Things for Friday

The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup on Wednesday. I'm not really a hockey fan (mainly because I can't follow the puck) so while I'm happy they won for Chicago, I wasn't SUPER excited about the victory parade today. Especially when you consider the route.


See the pink dot? That's where I work. It was not-so-fun actually GETTING myself into the building with the estimated 350,000 people in the streets, but I did have a nice view of the action from my window. (I got a picture of the Cup [for those who may care], and if I can figure out how to get it off of my phone with the shoddy service in here, I might post it later.)

Anyhoodle, I'm finally here. I can tell that nothing much is going to get done today because half the office is still outside, so let's just look at some cool stuff.

Hide that pesky flask when company comes over! Hollow book, flask included, $45.

I don't talk about it much on here, but I'm into Harry Potter. Like, a lot. Probably an abnormal amount for somebody who's 24. My fellow HP fans will know what this item is about. Pocket mirror, $4.75.

These are awesome coasters. I might need to buy them for Hubsey. $20.

So what's new with you guys today? Any big weekend plans? And, just curious, any hockey fans in the house?

[Edit: According to one of the news stations here, the crowd for the Hawks today was around 2 million people. Well. No WONDER it was hard to get around.]

Friday, June 4, 2010

Shop Update: I Need Your Opinion

Guys, I'm stumped.

Somebody who runs a local juried craft show approached me about applying for a spot. He sent me all the info and stuff, and I see that instead of sending the link to my store, I have to include three pictures with my application.

And I get it, they probably have to weed through a lot of people and don't want to look at 85 items for each applicant, but THREE? You might as well cram the last Harry Potter book back into one movie.

So I need some help. I'm not very objective about my own stuff (because, duh, I made it), PLUS I've never applied for a show before. I don't know what "the board" is after. Do I send in the unique stuff? Should I put a bunch of stuff into one picture? Or should I just pick three items from the shop that have sold well?

For example, the Dewdrop Pendant is far and away my best-selling item, but it's not very flashy. These people might look at it and go, "Bob, you tool! This boring jewelry is worse than watching NCIS! You're fired!"

Clearly, I have no clue (especially if I'm imagining that the organizers speak like Donald Trump). Any help would be awesome.

Thanks in advance.

[Edit: Or if there are any pictures in my shop that would work, let me know so I can save myself a lot of fretting and photo-editing.]

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Housewares: On A Mission

Anybody else have a favorite architect and/or designer? I love me some Frank Lloyd Wright. He's been my favorite since I was old enough to have a sense of how I wanted my house to look someday.

We're maybe halfway there. The coffee table, entertainment center, dining room table, hutch, and lamps are mission style. The carpet, couch, love seat, and recliner are not. I would show you pictures, but maybe I left my jewelry stuff all over the room again and now it's messy. So just imagine that room above with plaid couches. (I know.)

I've been scouting out some better furniture for a couple of months and sadly, the stuff we want is really expensive. Hideously expensive. $3,700 for a sofa expensive. So I got really cranky about it and started wondering if I could just STEAL one, but then I checked Etsy (like I should have done in the first place) and found this:

Hello, Sailor! Two grand for a sofa is more my speed, especially for a made-to-order, customizable beauty like this. I'm also more willing to cash out on the sofa because the rest of our furniture was so cheap. A couch takes a lot more wear and tear than anything else, so to me it's an investment piece.

What's your furniture style? Do you have an item you're willing to blow the bank on?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

On the Cheap: Avoiding Heat Stroke

So here was the view out my bedroom window this morning.

Hubsey took it upon himself to tell me the weather forecast when I was still half asleep, so now I'm not dressed for the weather. My sluggish brain thought he said it was going to be foggy and rainy all day, but already, at 10, most of the fog is gone, there's 600% humidity, and it's going to be 85. I'm wearing jeans and boots. Great.

Let's look at some things I wish I had on.

Best item name I've seen lately: Soda Fountain Dress. It's lookin' a little sheer, but that's what a slip is for. (I'd be curious to see how many other 20-somethings actually wear slips. Anyone?) It's new on ModCloth today for $44.99.

Vintage navy and white polka dot dress, $28. I guess I'm on a belt kick today.

Yep, another belt. This dress makes me want to sit in the backyard and eat watermelon. Too bad we live in a condo without so much as a balcony. SIGH. (Oh yeah, the dress is $39.)

What adorable things are you wearing today? Distract me from my impending heat stroke.