Monday, February 23, 2015

feathered fingers and other tidbits.....

Soooo, I bought these peacock gloves/mittens last Fall when I was still pregnant. Ahhhh, memories of waddling through Kohl's with Richard in tow. I remember being excited to wear them, but now that we have had steady temps below zero? Not so much. Hence, taking selfies in the car with them. I am not a selfie in the car taking person, but when it is -9 outside I apparently am.
The convertible fingers flap is essential for strapping kids in car seats, checking your phone, and oh yeah, taking selfies. All while in park of course! In my own driveway even. How lame am I? This is what my life has become. I apologize for my dry, non-manicured fingers. I had hoped to paint my nails to coordinate with my hand accessories, but not too matchy though as I would hate to look like I tried too hard. I am lucky if I can take a shower these days! And I sure hope you can appreciate my sarcastic sense of humor. The extreme cold brings it out even more so.
Now that the stores are flooded with Spring merchandise, I don't have a link to share on these but you could probably check your local Kohl's clearance section. They had other cute animals too. I had meant to blog about these sooner than now. I bought two pairs of these since I know these type of knit gloves are not meant to last forever.
My other little funny for today revolves around my newest coffee love, Jackson Coffee Company. They have 3 locations although I have only been to the drive thru one that is right across the street from where I do my big grocery shopping trips. Being so convenient is a blessing and a curse - a blessing because they are so. freaking. good. - a curse because I don't need to drink a glorified milk shake as often as I do. I've never been a straight coffee drinker (who knows if I will be in the future), but the enhancement that the coffee bean does to the cocoa bean? Miraculous! I am a Mocha drinker. And this place has converted me from Starbucks. Well, if I am in Jackson anyway and have the choice between Starbucks (off of exit 138) and Jackson Coffee Company (off of exit 137). Seriously, drive the extra mile - you won't regret it.
Anyway, I am getting way off track here. I was telling a friend who was visiting about Jackson Coffee Company and suggested she stop on the way home if she felt like a coffee. And as I was doing so, Richard shouted out "Mocha, Mocha, Frappe" which is the drink I ALWAYS get when I go there. It's the first time he has ever said it so it was funny to me that he paid attention and confirmation that kids are ALWAYS paying attention even when you least expect it. Hence the need to always be on your best behavior parents! He loves going there because they give out free little cups of animal cookies to kids. Every time we drive by, he says "Let's go to that coffee place". Why yes, I think I shall reward myself for surviving grocery getting with 2 people under the age of 4! And yes, I am weird that I still prefer cold drinks to hot ones when it is -9.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Current Obsession : Hi Rise Jeggings

Body after baby #2 is not *ahem* snapping back as quickly like it did the first time. I know there is still a lot of time to adjust + I do not have the best eating habits now that I am chasing 2 little ones around.

Hi Rise Jeggings to the rescue! There things are AWESOME! 

Of course I enjoyed jeggings before, but these are even better. I am glad to see the higher waist trend continue, and no, these are not the typical "Mom" jeans that we remember. The other denim trend I am loving seeing more and more of is the extreme flare leg. I am so glad I still fit into the jeans in this post so I don't have to go out looking for another pair. They are one of my absolute favs!

Anyway, back to the jeggings. The first pair I got after having Carson were a very dark blue which I have worn in a few posts now (see example here). They are Levi's from Macy's

Then, I was made aware of the fits at American Eagle. I must say, I can't remember the last time I shopped there. Here is their page of Hi Rise Jeggings and they've been running a promotion, Buy One, Get One 50% Off. This has been a great way for me to get some without investing a lot since my size will probably still fluctuate. That being said, most retailers are improving the stretch technology in their denim so these very well may stick with me for a long time. Meaning, they will nip and tuck when I need it but not bag out when I don't.

AE has several options of the "destroyed" look and I couldn't help but get a bit obsessed about that too. So really, an obsession within the jegging obsession. I think my unemployment status is making me into a rebel. These would not be "office appropriate" jeans. On the other hand, I wonder if a Mom of 2 pushing 40 should be wearing these. Oh well, I don't really care.

 Okay, let's talk about this sweater..... I continue to add to my camel collection (check out this post which has links to all my camel looks) and I thought it was a coincidence too that this is now the second top I own with 2 creatures looking at each other (the first being this peacock sweatshirt in the same flare leg jean reference link). It's by Mara Hoffman so not only am I adding to the camels, but also to a designer whose pieces I really like (two other pieces seen here and here). I love the pyramid design along the bottom and how the camels have King Tut eyes!

Mara Hoffman Sweater - gift
Minnetonka Moccasins - TJ Maxx
Jessica Simpson Sunglasses - TJ Maxx

Linking up with Fashion Should Be Fun!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Consignment Boots

It's been out of the ordinary that I've had such unique boot finds shopping consignment. Two cool pairs within the last few months, with this lace up pair being shown first. Just like comparison shopping the lace up ones to more expensive versions, I've done the same with this fabric/pattern pair too. I always refer back to Anthropologie so if you go take a look at their boots you will find several with textile details. Actually though, these were not so cheap to begin with. The style is "Graced" by Steve Madden and even though they are sold out everywhere, I see they retailed for around $160. I paid $40. They are real leather and very well made.
As with most trends, I thought it would be nice to own a pair, but knew I would wait for the right ones to come along. Even though these prints are trendy right now, they truly are classic and will withstand the test of time.
These were my very last purchase at the consignment shop I frequented in Battle Creek before we moved. It's taken me this long to show them. If your favorite shop has a Facebook page, be sure to follow it. They usually post lots of pictures and sale info there. I saw a picture of these boots one day and was sold. Luckily, they were my size!
So far I've worn pretty simple monochromatic outfits with these. I'm sure I'll get daring at some point.
This is probably the closest to cowboy boots I have ever owned.
An odd feature on these is the zipper is on the outside rather than the inside.
Black jeggings I've had forever (which need to be replaced) and black cowl neck tunic (previously worn tucked in here).
Comfy and casual for some errand running....
Linking up with The Pleated Poppy

Friday, January 23, 2015

Pinterest Realities

Oh, Pinterest. You can be many things. A lifesaver, time suck, inspiration, distraction.....

How many times do you "Pin" something, knowing that you will never buy it, make it, have it, etc...? I happens to all of us. Last month though, I vowed to change that. When Jon was off for 2 weeks for the holidays, and we started to take down the Christmas decor, we did some projects for the "everyday" look of our home. Moving for the first time in 10 years made me feel like I had a "blank slate" and many more walls/spaces to fill. I was determined to try some of the things I had admired on Pinterest for so long.

First up, this ladder shelf. We got the ladder at our local Habitat for Humanity store for $10. You can't beat the authentic worn wood and paint splatters. We needed something long to go above the TV in the living room and this was perfect. All of the knick knacks are things we already had.
We found this old dispenser in the garage of our previous house, so that means we've had it for 10 years. Finally cleaned it up and have it out on display. I filled it with my button collection which means that now, every time I need a button for a project I'll have to go digging in here.
These table legs actually had a different top on them, but was one of the few things that got broken in the move. In our spirit of "using what we have" I am glad we were able to salvage them by attaching a suitcase on top instead! This suitcase was given to me by my friend Kristen. In fact, she has gifted me 3 suitcases now (which includes this one's big brother that I used for this project). Now I just have to figure out what objects I want to put on this cool piece!
Since I showed my mantle decor for Halloween and Christmas, I figured I would show our now daily look. Mostly because there is a story behind it. The oil painting is a new piece. The hospital where I had both our boys has artwork in the hallways. Through both of my labors, we "walked the halls" to get things moving along. While there having Carson, Jon & Richard went to the cafeteria to have lunch and saw this painting. Jon took a picture of it to show to me, telling me how much he liked it. After we got home and settled, he still couldn't stop talking about it so I called around to find out how to purchase it. We both thought it was a great memory of the place where we had the kids. Here is a link to more of the artist's work: Jonathan Wijnberg

Every time I have done the mantle now, it is a several day process. I will fuss and fuss with the placement of things until it is just right. I will wander around the house and pick up different objects that go well with the current theme. Some day, I will have to take photos of the different stages of it all. The wood crate and vintage Nancy Drew books were used in my Halloween scape. And the petrified drift wood was used for my Winter scape. Other items I've pulled in here are some McCoy pots from my collection, iron scroll thingy, decorative balls...... and another "found" treasure: an old wheel barrow handle from the garage at the new house here.
And, I figured I would show the mantle downstairs too. This is how it has looked every since we moved in - I have not changed it seasonally. The star hung on our old house, so it is rusty and weathered. I love the neutral color palette and mix of metals in our basement space. I feel so lucky to have gone from no fireplace to two!
Pinterest has helped me a lot with decorating the new house. Whether it be doing a project I'd loved on there long ago, or else helping me when I get "stuck" on my own. When it comes to doing a gallery wall, or arranging something like a mantle, there are so many ideas out there! There are "guides" that map out how to place things (suggestions on heights, fillers, etc...). Once you do it a few times, it will become second nature.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Hat Person

I don't consider myself a "hat person". That's not to say that I don't like hats..... I love them! Just on other people. I have admired cute hats from afar for years. Seems that every time I buy one for myself though, I never wear it. Partly due to the fact that I feel like I have always lived in an area where you only see baseball caps or knit winter hats. I know if I head to a bigger city that changes. Heck, I only wear a hat for warmth if I absolutely have to, which is hardly ever. That's right, I let my ears freeze and suffer.
 Last summer, I was at World Market and came across this hat. It just called my name and I could not leave the store without it, even though I was telling myself, "Heather, you don't wear hats!"
 The two-toned shades of teal, so gorgeous to me. I love the wide ribbon band. I liked how it looked on me and I think it was around $10 on clearance. I vowed that I was going to change my non-hat wearing ways and I could not wait for the colder weather to come so that I could try it out. It was begging for a peacock feather, so I promptly tucked one into it as soon as I got home.
 This was worn today to take Richard to his art class and then to run some errands.
 Hat - World Market
Apt 9 Flare Jeans - Kohl's (old)
Turtleneck - Macy's (old)
A.N.A. Boots - JC Penney (old)
 Of course, I had to match the hat to my outfit and luckily I had this sweater on hand. I do want to get more daring though with some mix and match, but baby steps..... getting comfortable with a hat like this takes some time.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

This Old Thing?

This post last week talked about one of the new consignment shops I found. Besides finding those awesome lace up boots, I also found this sweater from Anthropologie! It's crazy sleeve was poking out from the rack..... a mish mosh of different knits and colors. Upon further inspection, I saw the label "Sleeping on Snow". I knew this to be an Anthropologie brand so I pulled out my phone to look it up.
The Avron Pullover was offered last winter (2013/2014) for $138.00
I got mine for $18
Throwing it over my trusty black maxi dress to run errands was the second way I've styled the sweater. You'll see the first below to compare.
Here you can see the mix of colors and textures. Along with the neutrals like black, white and tan there is hot pink and a metallic purple. Fuzzy yarn and sequins mixed in.
And now here's the first debut. I was very un-creative (although, putting it over a black dress isn't that creative either) and just copied the look the model had in the stock Anthro pictures. The product page showed the sweater over a chambray button down and black pants. 
This first pairing was worn to Richard's art class last week, where we had also met up with my dear friend for lunch and shopping. It's becoming our Wednesday ritual for now.
I wouldn't consider this sweater to be cropped, but it does hit at an odd place, is boxy, is a thicker knit and has horizontal stripes. Just like I talked about yesterday with my boxy peacock sweatshirt, sometimes you have to play with proportions. Seeing the sweater in photographs especially, rather than a mirror, can help you adjust how you wear things. I think layered with the shirt and pants it makes me look wider. The dress elongates everything and I like it much better. That look lets the sweater shine as the unique piece that it is!
I just love the treasures I've found while second hand shopping recently. And, I am loving this new show I discovered called This Old Thing. It's all about shopping vintage and/or altering items you already have (which I am no stranger to as well). While my finds aren't too vintage, they are second hand and it is the most rewarding shopping experience I've found. Sales are nice, but finding that unexpected gem is so much more fun. I so miss other fashion shows I used to enjoy that are no longer on...... Resale Royalty (about a consignment shop in St. Louis), XOX Betsey (about Betsey Johnson, what a character!). House of DVF was a disappointment - just a lot of made up drama. I never got into Project Runway but there was one season of Project Accessory that I enjoyed. I am sure I am forgetting a few too.

Friday, January 16, 2015

And then there were two......

Two peacocks.....

Two recent purchases from J. Crew.......

Two kids......

Holy crap, I have 2 kids! Some days I can hardly believe it. 
 In my recent camel sweater post, I talked about how I rarely buy from J. Crew. But then I saw that camel sweater. And then I saw this peacock sweatshirt. I bought it when I was still pregnant and it was on sale with an extra percentage off. I wore it quite a bit with the bump, and meant to do an outfit post on it, but never got around to it.
 I am just barely fitting into my favorite flare leg jeans, and I did a similar combo to this a few years ago in this post. When I say "combo", I mean the proportions mix of a crop top, lacy layering tank, and flare jeans. In that other post, I wore a ruffled maternity tank which is what I was wearing the sweatshirt with when I was pregnant. That tank will always be a staple for me, but I wanted to try this other lace hem tank that I mentioned in another post that I got at Meijer.
 The pattern on the lace reminded me of peacock feathers.
 These boxy crop tops can be challenging sometimes, and I probably could have taken this one a size or 2 down.
 I wore this on Wednesday to take Richard to an art class he is taking, and then we met up with one of my dear friends for an afternoon of exploring new thrift stores and lunch. It is so nice to have an extra set of hands when out with the boys!
Lace Hem Tank - Meijer (although I see Kohl's has them, they are only $12 at Meijer)
Apt 9 Flare Leg Jeans - Kohl's (old)
Bare Traps "Armandy" grey boots - Macy's (old)