Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Two Mondays, Two Looks, Same Dress

I'd been on the hunt for a white sundress for some time, and recently found one at Sears of all places! I was inspired to look there after a fellow blogger friend posted some of her cute Lands End finds. This linen/cotton blend beauty is from Lands End as well and was on the clearance rack. An additional 30% off sealed the deal.The length is perfect and I love that the top is not too revealing (it has nice wide straps which you can't see).

Wearing the dress alone is great, but these are 2 work looks that I've worn the past couple of Mondays. The first one was featured on the Effortless Anthropologie blog because of the Angel of the North Melodious Cardigan I am wearing with it. I got that sweater on sale when I was in Chicago in the Spring. It's the most perfect shade of aqua blue that is probably my favorite color. It goes great with so many things in my closet.

And speaking of Effortless Anthropologie..... if you would be so kind as to cast your vote on one of the 5 photos I submitted of store inspiration, that would be great. These pictures come from the Chicago and Milwaukee stores. You can vote here until August 1st. 
This look features a key print cardigan from CAbi, which is a home catalog shopping company. I am wearing the key necklace I created to match it which you might remember from this post. Have you ever shopped for clothing from a home type catalog party? I have found they are great resources. The 2 that I know of as my go-to's are CAbi and Matlida Jane. A good tip about them? The consultants will often offer up their samples once the season is over at great discounts (like 40% off). Don't have a local consultant hookup? Search on eBay and you'll probably have luck in finding the pieces you love as the consultants will often list there too.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I put to use some of my Bead & Button purchases the other night. The "mother" pendant is from Detroit gal Melanie of Earthenwood Studio. I had seen that she was making these on her blog and was happy to know that she was bringing some to Milwaukee with her. I love the pale greenish blue color that I selected. I bought some peanut beads in the same color (and in a few other colors) from Amanda at the Funky Hannah's booth. I like to support the bead store from my hometown of Racine! I have wanted to try these fun shaped beads for quite some time now, and I can certainly see how one can get hooked! I love the texture they provide, and how they give a little more weight than using seed beads. Lastly, I used these pretty leaf links that are mother-of-pearl shells. How appropriate in keeping with the "mother" theme.

This necklace is long enough to pull over the head for ease in completing your look as you head out the door!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Behind the walls of corporate...

This post may ramble on in different topics, so bear with me......

Here is the latest outfit I submitted to the Effortless Anthropologie weekly reader eye candy. Here are the credits:

Maeve's Lepidoptera Dress - Anthro
Belt - Apt 9, Kohl's
Shrug - Xhileration, Target
Sandals - R2 "Garbo" - The Buckle
Necklace - Lorelei Eurto

When I saw this beautiful butterfly print dress on Anthro's website last year, I was taken back about 15 years. I remember not being out of high school for very long, and seeing a lovely (and similar) butterfly print dress at Banana Republic. Even on the sale rack, it was out of reach for me and I always regretted not getting it. So when I saw this dress, I didn't want that to happen again. I waited patiently for it to go on sale, and see it in person on a trip to Chicago, to convince myself to buy it. The Chicago store had to call another store to find my size and have it sent to my home.

The dress came with an electric blue sash for the waist, which I replaced with my trusty brown belt (which shows up in many of my outfits). The brown shrug I've had...... forever...... and it just goes to show that basics can last for many years and can be made to look different depending on what you pair it with. When talking with a friend about dress shopping, I told her a few of my tips. Many times, I will fall in love with a piece while shopping because of it's print and/or design. Then, often times you get it on in the dressing room and are not quite sold whether it be the look, fit, etc.... So what I do is think about what I can do to enhance it to look it's best. Can I belt it? How will it look with a sweater or jacket over it? Okay, so there's my little bit of fashion advice for today. And just on a side note, this dress (which has removable straps) can stand on it's own. This is an office look for me but if I were going to say, a wedding, I would wear it alone and probably with the blue sash.

The necklace was designed by my friend Lorelei Eurto (link above), but I should point out that she actually sold it through an Etsy shop called My Mom Pattie. This shop is run my Marsha Neal Studio and all of the proceeds to go non-profit organizations in honor of her Mom Pattie. The necklace I bought is actually a pretty collection of Marsha's pottery charms - in different textures and glazes - put together by Lorelei with a mix of other equally awesome beads. I loved supporting a couple of fellow artists, and a good cause, with this purchase.

Since starting to add fashion into my blog, I have been taking the pictures myself by using the timer on my camera with a cool little tripod that can “wrap” it’s base around things. More recently though, I have realized the need to ask others to take photos to get a good variety. This has been a bit out of my comfort zone though because it is hard to explain what I am doing. Even I am still getting used to idea of taking pictures of myself for the sole purpose of posting them on the internet. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a shy and quiet person. By no means do I do this because I am conceited or full of myself or showing off. For me, it is a way to connect with others who enjoy the same things I do. For them to get to know me and what inspires me and my creativity. I’ve also been thinking about how it is a way to document this time in my life, the same way as I documented my pregnancy and growing belly. Because let’s face it, now that I am a Mom I am the one wielding the camera and the focus is on the baby, or the baby with Dad, or the baby with the dogs -  Mom is never in the pictures. I figure I (or Richard) can look back and see what I looked like as a new Mom.

My friend Kristen took the pictures during this session, and we set out to the beautiful park that is behind our corporate office (that is often forgotten about). I remembered there was a row of trees (not sure what they are) that arched over and provided a magical setting. The more we talked, we realized how many other cool settings our downtown area had to offer for photos, so hopefully those will be coming up soon. I joked with her that she’d regret me roping her into this!
Sharing your outfit of the day (OOTD), putting together design boards on Polyvore or Pinterest, or reviewing an item of clothing is another facet of blogging that is popular and helpful. I started doing this only focusing on Anthropologie clothing, but I may start to open it up to my entire closet. It’s a resource that individuals can use for a variety of purposes. For instance: stuck on how to pair up an outfit? Do a search and you will probably find a bunch of styling options. Contemplating buying a special piece? Do a search and you will probably find a blogger who has reviewed it. One thing that I have discovered with these pictures in particular – I see how washed out my bottom half looks by wearing cream colored sandals with a cream colored dress and my pale legs. I now know that next time I wear this outfit, I will pull out my dark brown sandals!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Inspired by: The Zoo

I've recently been inspired to make some "wild" pieces of jewelry! The giraffe pendant (Green Girl Studios) and peacock feather bead were Bead & Button purchases. The various animal print rounds are so fun too! The necklace is listed in my Etsy shop, with the bracelet soon to follow.

Our little zoo in Battle Creek here is really fun! We were gifted a membership this year, so we sure are making frequent visits. While we do not have a large variety of animals that other zoos have, it's still really cool! The paths wind through lots of trees, so a walk is usually pretty pleasant even on a hot day. 

The highlights of a visit for me are: the peacocks (of course! They are so friendly and they eat popcorn right out of my hand), the carousel (it's beautiful), and feeding the giraffes. Yes, that's right, you can feed giraffes at our zoo! I don't know of any other place you can do that. There is an overlook they walk right up to in the Africa exhibit, and a leaf of lettuce is $1 (6 leaves for $5). Yeah, pricey, but what are you going to do? They have long tongues that feel like sandpaper! This year there is a new baby giraffe...... several years ago there were 2 new babies! So wonderful, especially now seeing it through the eyes of a child!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

If you love Anthropologie, you'll love JB & Me!

The last time I was in Grand Rapids, MI (several months ago) I of course made a stop at Anthropologie to get my fix. The Anthro there is off the beaten path of the usual mass chain stores in a more exclusive shopping area. While there, I noticed a new store opened next door - JB and Me. I wandered in after leaving Anthro empty handed. As soon as I walked in the doors I was impressed! Super cute (unique) shoes, clothing, accessories, and a little bit of housewares all displayed in a clever manner. I had never heard of the store before, so I wondered if it was a new brand that I was going to get addicted to. Actually, they are local, having a store in Holland, MI and just recently opening this one in Grand Rapids. So this is only for Michigan gals right now.

Upon closer inspection, I saw many brands that Anthro carries: Citizens of Humanity, Free People (their sister company), and Miz Mooz shoes. I found the above peacock sweater, by Knitted Dove, that had to come home with me. It's got a retro vibe with it's bubble gum pink base color and pearly buttons. I've yet to visit Holland, MI but would love to soon. And I can't wait to get back to Grand Rapids to shop at 2 wonderful stores now right next to each other! Since I don't get there often, it truly is a treat!

Cardigan - Knitted Dove
Eggplant Shell - Kohl's
Skirt - Matilda Jane
Necklace - clearance from a discount store

Monday, July 2, 2012

Wearing Red, White & Blue

Here's my weekly outfit for the Effortless Anthropologie blog....... How fitting that it is also red, white and blue for this week's holiday! Here I am wearing the Painted Peacock Tee from One September (Anthro), a necklace that I made, and some white crop pants.

This shirt is so awesome! When I was in Milwaukee for Bead & Button I couldn't resist treating myself at the Anthro there. It's the most lightweight and soft fabric that you will hardly know you have anything on. The back has a cute cutout detail too. The peacocks are very subtle in the watercolor floral print. I wore the same top/necklace combo to the show one of the days too with jeans.

You can see the post I did several years ago about making this necklace here. It had many admirers at Bead & Button. It's made from an old men's tie and some really large hole beads that I was stumped with for a while. I know in my previous post I mentioned I was daunted by the whole knotting thing.... but when it comes to something this large scale, I can handle it!