Friday, October 17, 2014

Walk. In. Closet.

I am so excited to finally be able to show my new closet! I should start by saying that I have wanted a walk in closet since I was a little girl! My cousin had one, and ever since I saw it I thought it was the greatest. I used to try to make my closet (a traditional bi-fold door type deal) into a walk in closet. Don't ask - it's hard to explain - but my parents always made me put it back the way it was. Being that I am so passionate about fashion / jewelry, this space makes me so very happy. Out of all the houses we looked at (I estimate about 20) this was probably the nicest closet. Maybe there was one other that was better. I love everything about our new house, and this is just the icing on the cake. I wish my pictures would have been better, but with a window and a light, it was hard. Also, my nicer camera is the one that got the scratched lens a few weeks ago. This is the view looking in:
BUT! Before we get to the new, let's compare the old. I took these pictures before we moved. We lived in a house that was built in the 30's, so closets were very small. Being that it was also a cape cod, the upstairs ceiling slanted which decreased space even more. This was my closet in the master bedroom....... there was another closet in the upstairs living area that Jon graciously used.
To say that my closet was "packed" would be an understatement. It went back deep, but it was hard to get things in and out. I had a low bar with a shelf on top, a corner shelf structure, hooks on the wall, and a shoe hanger on the door. Any space between the hanging clothes and wall was taken up by shoe boxes and bags. Clothes would constantly fall off hangers and/or be wrinkled. No matter how hard I tried to purge things and reorganize, it was never good. I think even the movers (4 guys) were surprised by how much I actually had in there. Heck, even I was surprised once I saw it all out!

And here is a view into Richard's little closet, where I stuffed hung all my dresses since the bar was too short in my own closet.
Again, not ideal.
So, back to the new closet. I have room for a chair. A chair! There is also room to lay down and roll around on the floor, but don't ask me how I know that. I've had this funky chair (and matching ottoman) since before I was married. My girly self just loved the print but of course it never really "went" with anything in our house. I am so glad I have the perfect place for it now. It is great for sitting down to put shoes on or lay potential outfits on. Or just taking a rest to decompress and take in this new chapter of our lives.
The room is perfectly symmetrical. I have slanted ceilings again, but there is a window and the rack/shelf layout is the same on both sides. To keep with the symmetry, I put a mannequin on each side as well as a peacock canvas (a matching set I found at Meijer, our one stop shopping chain in these parts). The feather curtain is from Pier 1 and I have had some panels of it for years! Again, they never really fit into the decor but I used them a lot for table clothes at jewelry shows I did. The day we closed on the house, we brought over some things that we didn't want the movers to move. The first thing I did was put this window treatment up! I was so excited to do so! The pillow on the chair that matches is also from Pier 1.

Here is the view looking to the left. This side is all tops, and is organized by button downs, short sleeves, sleeveless, tank tops and scarves. After the break it continues on with long sleeves, jackets, cardigans and shrugs. The top shelf has piles of folded t-shirts and sweaters - not crazy about this section but I can't really purge these items until after I am pregnant and I can see how they truly fit. The shelf in the middle is all jeans and a few baskets - one of socks and slippers and the other of swimsuits. I made room for my jewelry chest which I've had since I was a teen.
Here is a view looking to the right. This side is all dresses and bottoms. It starts with maxi dresses (which slightly touch the floor, but no where near the mess I had before) then short dresses. After the shelves there are pants and skirts. There is a place for our ironing board, and the top shelf has shoes lined up. Probably the hardest part of organizing was the shoes. Some were in boxes, some were not. I debated on making both upper shelves totally dedicated to shoes (and throwing away the boxes) but I needed the space for my folded items on the other side right now. So I ended up just lining up the ones that didn't have boxes, and then stacking the boxed ones under my shorter hanging items. My tall boots are on the floor in the previous picture, and I still need to decide on some gadget to keep them standing upright. I am liking the cut pool noodle idea to stuff inside!
Here's a view of the left upper shelf on the door side. Three of the wire mannequins and the bird necklace rack are from Pier 1. The other wire mannequin I got a Joann Fabrics. All of these purchases were years ago and these have been well used for organizing jewelry as well as show displays. The peacock canvas was a TJ Maxx find.
The other side has a necklace rack that I made (see here), bracelet tree (Pier 1), peacock tin (Hobby Lobby), and an embroidered peacock hanging.
Everything I've used is stuff I've already had, just waiting for the right time to all come together. It is so great to have my clothes AND jewelry all in one place. At the old house, I had some of my jewelry in the closet and the rest in my studio downstairs. This way, I can match things up so much easier! The only purchase I made (so far) is new hangers. This might not seem important to some, but I am so glad I did it! I had plastic hangers in all sizes and colors. I knew I wanted the space saving skinny hangers that have a velvet like coating. As with anything, I did my homework and got the best deal I could find....... boxes of 50 from Meijers were $19.99 and I bought them on a weekend when they had 15% off general merchandise for MPerks members. I choose the tan color. I just love how uniform they all look, and how my clothes are not sliding off of them. I still have to decide how I want to convert my clip hangers which I use for pants and skirts. They are all different as well, and currently hold 3 pieces per hanger. I would like it if each piece had it's own hanger so I am on the lookout for what I like for those.
When I got stumped on organization ideas, I headed to Pinterest. I previously had belts in a basket. I loved this idea of put them all on a mannequin for easy viewing. I am using random peacock plates I have to "collect" things like all of my sunglasses here.
Tank tops - again, I always tried to keep them folded in a basket. That never lasted. This Pinterest idea of looping them all onto one hanger with shower curtain rings is working great! I used a sturdy wood hanger I had though to accommodate the weight.
Here's just a few more views to end on. Jon, again, has a separate standard size closet in the bedroom. Although that didn't stop him from claiming that he didn't have room for his suits and took up a small space behind my dresses for them!?!?!! We have never shared a closet, except maybe when we were first married in an apartment which I can hardly remember now! It feels so good to have this space and be better organized. It houses a lot of my peacock collection, and it a colorful mix of whimsy and funky which I guess best describes my style anyway.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Perfect Pregnancy Poncho

When I was newly pregnant with Richard, I was in Chicago and saw this pregnant gal with a poncho on. She looked so chic! I made a note to try to find one like hers but never got around to it. This time around, I thought of it again and did some random looking online. But I knew with Fall coming the stores would soon be flooded with several styles to choose from - all kinds of ponchos, shawls and wraps.
Last Friday, my friend Barb showed up to work in a lovely burgundy number! I immediately asked her where she got it - Macy's. I ran out there after work and opted for the grey one. The features I love about it are the turtleneck, the fitted wrists (to help balance out the volume), the little buttons on the wrists, and the fact that it was not too heavy of a knit. This non-maternity piece is great before AND after baby. I know I will wear it for years! You can't go wrong with skinny jeans and boots for an effortless (and comfy) chilly weather look. Since the front is a blank canvas, I tried on a few necklaces with it but I kind of prefer it plain. I wore this into the office, the same day my co-workers threw me a wonderful "baby shower/soon to be last day of work" luncheon.

Alfani Poncho : Macy's
Jeans and Grey Tank underneath : Motherhood Maternity
Bare Traps "Armandy" Boots : Macy's
Sunglasses : Zulily
Photos by Lisa

Thursday, October 9, 2014

$6 Necklace for the Win!

 So do you ever get a new piece of clothing or accessory, and you tend to wear it a lot right away? The excitement is still going on the TJ Maxx find I posted yesterday. When I saw the necklace matched all of the colors in this skirt, I put this outfit together. On this particular day, I went into the office as well as a doctor's appointment. And a few errands before heading home.
INC International Concepts Cardigan : Macy's (seen here)
Maternity Tank : Motherhood Maternity
Anthropologie Clifton Strands Necklace : TJ Maxx (seen here)
Bare Traps "Armandy" Boots : Macy's

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Anthro Fashion

The other day I ran into TJ Maxx for a quick look around. When I spotted this necklace in the jewelry case, I immediately knew it was from Anthropologie.
 My suspicions were confirmed upon looking at the tag : "ANTHRO FASHION". And look at that price!?!?!? I couldn't call the girl over fast enough to purchase it.
 Here is the stock photo from Anthropologie, when they carried the necklace last year. It's the Clifton Strands necklace and it retailed for $58.00. The last sale price was $14.95. Where does TJ Maxx even get their comparison price of $9.99 from!?!?!? No where close.
 I found so many things in my closet that this necklace will go with! It's first debut is this ensemble, which you can see basically the same outfit here just without the bump.
 Monogram "Nestled Owl" Tunic : Anthropologie
Anthropologie "Clifton Strands" Necklace : TJ Maxx
Sandals : see further down

 Another awesome end of season deal I scored recently are these wedges. They were an online only style that someone returned to Kohl's, and I scooped them up. Anytime I can get a $110 pair of sandals for $22 (plus my 20% off coupon), I am all over it! They are well made, leather, comfy, and my FAVORITE style sandal : a buckle across the toes and a buckle around the ankle. Years ago, I had similar sandals in this dusty blue color and they went with so much. They long wore out so I was glad to unexpectedly replace them. This color is no longer online (where you could have seen they were $22) but here is a link to the other colors they have for a bit more:

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

"I like your shirt!"

I ran across this shirt when I was not pregnant, and thought to myself if I ever did have another baby I would for sure get this! Luckily, being pregnant through the month of October worked out great. I made sure I had plenty of events to wear this for to justify buying such a novelty item. One such event was this past Saturday - Ghoultide Gathering - a specialty Halloween art show that my friend exhibits in (I'll add her link further down).
Sorry for the pained and pale look on my face, but it was a cold and windy day - hard to smile for the camera.
Konrad & Joseph Fireflicker Cardigan - Anthropologie
Jeans - Motherhood Maternity
Bare Traps "Armandy" Boots - Macy's
Hoop Earrings

I also wore the shirt a few weeks earlier, when I took my hubby to a Social Distortion concert for his 40th Birthday. It was the perfect choice for the venue. (I hope to do a post on music in the future.)
I plan to wear this for any other Halloween outing this month..... pumpkin patch, trick or treating, etc..... Besides the events I've already mentioned, I have worn it out running a few errands yesterday. Hence the title of this post, no matter where I wear it, I get a lot of smiles and comments. Mostly, "I like your shirt!"
Richard has taken a huge liking to the shirt as well....... he wants me to wear it every day. He even wandered into our room at 3 a.m. the other night asking where it was. But the sleeping habits of a 3 year old is a whole other post!
You can do fun things while wearing this too..... like feeding the baby tomato and mozzarella salad!

I do hope to share some home decor on here, and since this is sort of a Halloween themed post, starting with my current mantle styling seemed like a good start. I have wanted a fireplace and mantle for so long! I am lucky enough that the new house has 2! Even though we've only been here 2 weeks, it bothered me that I didn't know immediately just what I wanted to decorate with (for an every day look). I know it seems silly, but after wanting something for so long, and pouring over Pinterest inspiration, I thought it would be easy.
Luckily, after going to Ghoultide Gathering, the inspiration hit for a fun Fall motif. I had purchased a new doll from my friend Jennie at Prim Pumpkin, and I wanted to display all (well most all) of the dolls I had from her in one place. I also have a framed print that I bought from Melissa Belanger that I got at the show last year (this year I bought an owl painting). The 3 panel screen is from Department 56 and is usually the backdrop for my lighted houses (don't know if I have the energy this year to put them up). There are some crates and my Mom's Nancy Drew books. I love the addition of yellow and blue to the typical orange. I was surprised at how quickly this came together once I focused on it.
Of course, there are some peacock touches! If you look closely at Melissa's work, you can see two of the trick or treaters have peacock outfits on!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Simple Aztec

A few things about this phase of pregnancy:

The size of my feet vary day to day, and I often have little footwear selection that fits. This can be frustrating when you've planned to wear a certain pair of something with an outfit and you have to revise at the last minute because you can't stuff your feet into them! One of the reasons I was excited about buying "skinny" style jeans this time around (besides them being my "go to" jeans all Summer), was tucking them into boots in the Fall. I thought, "Oh, boots are going to be roomy and comfortable" (when compared to strappy sandals). Hmmm, not so much. Once I get my feet into them, they've been fine...... but hot! Ugh, I hate being so hot! The weather is cooling here, but not enough I guess.
The other thing is that I've been very "light" on my jewelry. I love me a good statement necklace, but lately I can't stand the weight or feel of it around my neck (again with the hotness). I've been opting for long, light necklaces - even if they wouldn't normally be my first choice for a particular outfit.
This is a look I wore to work on Friday:

Ecote brand cardigan : Urban Outfitters (last year)
Oatmeal Tank and Jeans : Motherhood Maternity
Anthro-like Button Boots : Zulily
Copper Necklace : made by me

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy