Thursday, June 30, 2011

On the Cheap: Purple

I wanted to call this post "Light Urple" but none of these really qualify:


The dress (which comes in other colors--though why wouldn't you want purple?) is $89, those lovely vintage style earrings are $19, the multi-sized Kindle sleeve is $15, and the fun purple feather shoe clips (shoes included!) are $40.

Are you feeling a certain color lately? Do you also wish SNL would bring back Celebrity Jeopardy? I'll take Colors That End In Urple for $500, Alex.

Want to win some cute summer earrings? You still have time to enter my giveaway.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Giveaway: Summer Earrings

This little ol' blog went through another growth spurt and I think it's time for a giveaway (since you guys are the best readers ever).

One lucky person will win these earrings from my shop:


White glass pearls paired with antique brass bead caps and ear wires. They're small and versatile enough to wear everyday, but also look great dressed up.

To win:
1. Become a follower of this blog and leave a comment telling me you are.

Additional chances to win (leave a comment for each one):
2. Tweet this giveaway.
3. Blog about this giveaway.
4. Mention this giveaway on Facebook.
5. Heart an item from my Etsy shop.

Easy, right? The giveaway will remain open until 12:00a.m. CT on Friday, July 1st, at which time one winner will be chosen using random.org. The lucky person will be announced later that same morning.

Good luck!

This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered! The lucky winner is:


Congratulations! I'll email you with more details.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Project Accessory: The Results

I'll get right to it: yesterday was the casting for Project Accessory... and I won't be appearing on the show.

I'm not really disappointed either, because the producer/designer who reviewed everything paid me a couple of nice compliments. First she said, "Your jewelry is very pretty, but not crazy. We're looking for CRAZY." Which is just fine with me, since crazy isn't what I'm going for. And then as she handed back my portfolio, she looked right at me and said, "You're going to be successful no matter what."

As in, I don't need the show.

These were the favorites.

My items have enough appeal that I could make a living selling them. (I'm not there yet, but like the tortoise, slowly and surely...) Some of the other people at the casting made things that were beautiful, but didn't have much marketability. It would be hard for them to make money without a little nudge. Like something a TV show could provide.

Nothing like a verbal high-five to brighten your day! Anywho, let's look at the outfit:

jacket: Macy's
shirt: Banana
jeans: F21
shoes: Target
locket: I made it

It was rainy and cold, so the weather dictated the closed-toe shoes and jacket, and then I just wore my favorite jeans (comfy!) and a slightly dressy blouse (flattering color!) to keep it easy.

Overall, it was a shorter wait than I expected; about 3 hours. I don't have a solid number of people who auditioned because if a representative was sent over from a "bigger" designer, they got to cut in line (lame). If I had to guess, between 80 and 100 people were there in the morning, with another 6 hours left for more to show up.

One unexpected person I ran into was my cousin! Neither of us knew the other was going. More on what happened with her later if I'm allowed to share.

Has anybody else ever tried out for a TV show? Done anything equally daring? At least I got a good story out of it (though it would've been better if Tim Gunn was there--womp, womp).

Thursday, June 23, 2011

30 for 30: Seven, Eight, Nine

TODAY. Today is the casting for Project Accessory. I'm already on my way to the city (with my portfolio, 5 items, pictures, and a friend in tow), and since I obviously can't tell you about the experirence until it's over, I have some more 30 for 30 outfits in the meantime:

Monday.

tank: F21
jeans: F21
boots: Nordstrom Rack
necklace: I made it

Whee! I got to wear my boots! Granted, it was in the mid-70s and REALLY humid, so I wasn't all that comfortable, but I would've been just as unhappy if the torrential downpour got my feet wet. So it all came up roses.

Tuesday.

dress: local eco-friendly shop (it's bamboo!)
belt: Target
shoes: DSW
necklace: I made it

One of my co-workers said I was "dressed up." I call it "avoiding heat stroke on a hot day."

Wednesday.

shirt: Target
jeans: F21
boots: Rack
necklace: F21

Hmm, not a lot of color in this group, is there? But lots of those boots!

I'll be back tomorrow with details from the casting. Here's hoping Tim Gunn is there! Are you embarking on any big adventures lately? And if you're doing the challenge, how's it going?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

30 for 30: Four, Five, Six

My sister commented the other day that I'm "wearing that yellow shirt a lot." Well, BOO YA to my sister, because here it is again:

Work on Friday.


shirt: Savers (via Gap)
skirt: Target
shoes: DSW
necklace: I made it

As for the red footwear, I decided to do a little swap after all. I ixnayed two shirts in favor of two more pairs of shoes. I'm already liking my decision.

Saturday.

tank: F21
vest: F21
jeans: F21
shoes: Kohl's
necklace: F21

Time to find a new store, Paige.

Cleaning on Sunday.

shirt: Victoria's Secret
shorts: Gap Outlet
sandals: Target

This was my spring cleaning outfit on Sunday. It's also an accidental repeat from last summer's 30 for 30. Oops! Although, my hair is a lot longer now AND my picture-taking skills have improved about 6000%, so that makes it different, right?

What are you wearing today? Anything your sister gives you grief about? Perhaps you're repeating an old favorite?

Monday, June 20, 2011

DIY: Sew Crazy

My sewing machine beat me that one time, but I think I'm ready for Round 2. Let's make a skirt!


A simple-looking pattern from the 50s, featuring cute little notches by the front pockets. It's only $5--which is a steal--AND it's already my size so there won't be any math-doing.

Oh snap.

I also enjoy the fact that even if my machine goes on the fritz again mid-project, this looks basic enough that I could finish it up with Liquid Stitch if I had to. At least, I hope so, because I kind of want to make two of them: one to wear, and one to be part of my Halloween costume. (More on that later.)

What are you making lately? Anybody else trying their hand at a circle skirt?  Know any sewing machine voodoo I can bust out if it fights me again?

Friday, June 17, 2011

30 for 30: Uno, Dos, Tres

I've been making a real effort to branch out more for this challenge. As in, I won't wear grey everyday. And I'm learning to wear a belt! Granted, it's not holding my pants up, but it's a step.


shirt: Loft
jeans: F21
shoes: Kohl's
belt: Target
scarf: unsure

Hold onto your hat, because I'm wearing TWO patterns here:

What up, frizz? I see you're back in full swing!

shirt: Kensie
jeans: F21
shoes: DSW

Let's take a closer look at those shoes:


They're surprisingly comfortable for something so high. And on day three:


tank: Kensie
sweater: Target
jeans: F21
shoes: Kohl's
necklace: F21

Not one of my favorites. Moving on...

How's the challenge going for you? Are you branching out? Feel free to link your outfits in the comments.

What the heck am I doing? It's the 30 for 30 Remix Challenge. Read more here.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Gift Guide: Father's Day 2011

I was thinking today: it's not that men are hard to shop for, it's that they want the same stuff all the time. Food. Sports. Books relating to food or sports. More food.

My dad definitely falls into this category, and if you're like me and beating your head against your desk because you don't want to get him ANOTHER Fighting Illini polo, I found some last-minute items of inspiration for Father's Day:


A record bowl. This one is John Cougar Mellencamp's Uh-Huh, but a lot of options are available. $8.


A nice, manly set of notecards with a monogrammed letter of your choosing, $15.


Something to wrangle that cell phone, $22.

How about you? Is your dad hard to shop for? Does he at least have a hobby that you can encourage? Or are you stuck rotating the same three items for every holiday?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

30 for 30: Summer Kickoff

I've been so busy with the shop and shows lately that I almost forgot about the Summer 30 for 30. It actually started yesterday, so in the spirit of getting back on the ball, here are my 30 items:


Thirteen shirts.


Five pairs of pants/shorts/leggings


Three dresses, two skirts.


Two cardigans, one vest.


Four pairs of shoes.

I'm thinking I'll axe one of those shirts (I always choose too many) and do another pair of shoes. Or a sweater. Decisions, decisions.

If you're new to the challenge, here's how it works: you choose 30 items of clothing (including shoes) and remix them into 30 different outfits for 30 days. Uniforms, workout clothes, or climate-specific outerwear (like a raincoat or parka) don't count. The idea is to learn to re-work (and fall back in love with) what you already have.

Who else is 30-ing right now? I'd love to see your items. Or maybe you're on schedule and already have a picture of your first outfit...

Monday, June 13, 2011

On the Cheap: Warehouse

Do you ever hear about something awesome and feel like kind of a boob because you didn't know about it before? Just happened.

Fellow Etsy blogger Anna mentioned a magical website called Warehouse the other day, and I'm wondering how I missed it:


Hello, awesome tribal print dress! Those are words I thought I'd never say together, but here they are, proving me wrong. $40.


It wouldn't be this blog if I didn't talk about a sweater. Light pink with sequins for a 50's-inspired vibe, $32.


I strongly believe in the embellished black shirt. This one is especially versatile, and even though I just went on that rant about how clothes fall apart these days... I kind of want to buy it. $32.

Have you shopped at Warehouse? Do you have another hidden website gem? Do tell.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

How to get ready for work in 18 minutes

I had to be at work by 6:30 this morning. (I should note that I have an office job and I THOUGHT I'd left this early business behind me when I quit radio, but whatever.) I set my alarm for 5:00 a.m. and slept easy, thinking my iPhone alarm would do its job.

Guess what didn't go off this morning? A thundeclap just happened to wake me up at 5:48. Thanks, Apple!


On the bright side, I learned how to get myself ready for work in 18 minutes. And I don't mean that I put on sweatpants and a baseball cap, I mean that I'm presentable for a real office job. So here's what you do:

1. Swear and throw your phone down. It betrayed you.

2. Stumble through the darkness to that pile of clean work clothes you still haven't put away. It's closer than your closet, so you're already saving a few seconds.

3. Head to the bathroom for a hair check. There's no time for a shower, but there's always time for dry shampoo. This one is my favorite.

4. Concealer, blush, mascara.

Mineral makeup is fast. Thank god.

5. Forget that you dropped your phone on the floor and spend 3 minutes looking for it.

6. In your haste to find a pair of earrings, knock your engagement ring behind the dresser.

7. Leave.

But seriously. There are some things that helped me. I sort my closet by color, and even though my jeans were from a pile on the bed, my shirt was hanging next to my other grey work shirts and I knew which one to grab. I also shelled out $4 for dry shampoo last year, which was one of the smartest things I've ever done. Finally, I knew what areas of my face needed makeup most (my eyes) and I skipped everything else.

Do you have any tips for getting ready fast? When has your alarm clock failed you? Or maybe you always set a second one so this doesn't happen?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Go Retro and A Rant

Let's pretend that I have somewhere to go in this:


It has a cape! It's also a very reasonable $124.99, so if I didn't already have a series of party dresses I'd seriously consider it.

And speaking of having a lot of clothes, I read an interesting article yesterday about how the garment industry has changed over the last 100 years or so. Long story short, modern women have huge wardrobes but the clothing is crap (which I already knew--even some of my Banana clothes shrink on me), and buyers want a good deal instead of a quality item.

Sigh. I know I perpetuate that with my $10 jeans from Forever 21 (for example), but I only started buying them because my $80 jeans from Express would shrink and fall apart, too. Why spend the extra $70 for the same outcome?


It just sucks that nothing stands up. Well, underwear from Victoria's Secret does, but I can't only wear those.

I'm sure you've noticed this, too. Do you do anything about it? Buy mostly vintage? Make your own items? Sit and complain like I am right now? (Maybe it's time to shut up and bust out my evil favorite sewing machine...)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

On the Cheap: Blue and Yellow

It's not officially summer yet, but it feels like it. Kids are getting out of school, people are graduating, and it's hot. Too hot to wear any dark colors, so I found some blue and yellow pretties inspired by my San Fran outfit from the other day:


An adorable yellow lace shirt (that would also be great as a dress), $54, a trio of retro bobby pins, $14, and a gold-filled chalcedony necklace, $36.

What's your favorite warm weather color combo?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Miscellaneous: In which I finally take a decent picture

The Hubs and I are map people, as evidenced by this post and this post (to name a few). And I betcha can't guess what we picked up in San Fran over the holiday weekend!


Another map. Specifically, the topography of San Francisco itself. It was, ahem, not cheap (let's just say it was over $100) but we both felt it was too awesome to pass up. It'll be perfect in the living room with our other mappy delights.

To make up for shelling out on that piece, we've decided to finish up the display by printing a couple of pictures I took myself while we were by the Bay:


The Golden Gate Bridge.


The Palace of Fine Arts.

I did one as a 5x7 and one as a 4x6, for a total of $2.29 from Target. And because I can't contain myself, all three of them are already up in the living room (see the before picture here):


Do you take a lot of pictures when you travel? Any of them displayed in your house? Maybe you've gotten a cool piece of art from some exotic location?