Friday, February 28, 2014

Experiments in Blue

Maybe I've said this before (so forgive me) but some might think that crazy printed pants are limited in what you can wear with them. I find that the exact opposite. I have the best time finding new ways to wear them, and this latest bargain purchase is no different. With all the shades of blue and grey, it has been easy to experiment with different tops.
The first time I wore them, it was with a black turtleneck and my blue "bubble" necklace. Yesterday, I wore them with a chambray top and black belt/necklace. Since my other chambray shirts are different tones of blue, I have even more options.
 A few weeks ago, I wore them with a black tank and grey sweater from Zulily.  I am almost thinking of starting a Pinterest board just for crazy pants!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wonderland Wondering

I recently scored the Wonderland Silk Tunic from Anthropologie. Yes, another one of their Fall Woodland themed items that I am buying on sale in February. It is a deep navy blue with flowers, bunnies and mushrooms!
I first paired it with these teal jeans and teal cardi to pull out the teal colors in the top. I think it was too much teal! I got these Levi's on clearance at Marshall's for $15 over the summer. I was on such a colored jean kick and I figured I would wear these a lot. After all, they are peacock perfect! Sadly, for some reason, I haven't been wearing them at all. I think I have been so used to either skinny style jeans or else really flared leg jeans, that when I wear something in between it feels odd. These are pretty straight leg. I will have to experiment with them for some other outfits.

Moving on, today I decided to pair the same 2 top pieces with dark skinny jeans and tall boots. I like the results much better!

Then, I switched out the cardi for a salmon colored one as the flowers in the top matched it perfectly. I think I like the teal one better. I am sure I will come up with many more combos as well. The tunic is sleeveless so I can already imagine wearing it without a sweater, with these same skinny jeans, and some cute flats when the weather get warmer. Seems like that will never happen, but a girl can dream right?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Steel Cut Randomness

Today's post is just a bunch of random things that I didn't feel warranted an entire post on their own.
When I posted about starting the Fast Metabolism Diet, I talked about already incorporating brown rice pasta and sprouted grain bread into our home. I can't believe I forgot to talk about oatmeal! Oatmeal is not something I ever used to eat, especially when described as "steel cut". I mean, come on, that does not sound appealing at all does it? Sounds like a bowl of cement. But, I have come to really enjoy it. Below is my favorite combo that I usually do : steel cut oats, apple, cinnamon and pecans. The only downside is how long it takes to make, so I try to make enough to pack up for several mornings. I have also enjoyed oatmeal at your usual breakfast stops like Tim Horton's, Starbucks, and Panera. Now you know that is willpower when you order oatmeal when faced with a huge case of pastries and donuts! I will say, you have to be careful with the toppings at these places because they can be just as sugar filled as picking one of their less healthy options. It's nice that you can add them yourself to avoid that.
 On Valentine's Day, I posted about my "signature" of giving peacock cards for any occasion I am able. It seems that any time I think or talk about something I buy, want to buy, collect, etc.... more and more pop up in a short period of time. Here are 2 new cards I happen to spot at the grocery store today that I have added to my collection. They are both birthday cards, and the blue one plays music and lights up when you press the button on the front. The song? Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors". Ummmmm. Ummmmm. How. Frickin. Perfect! I LOVED Cyndi Lauper when I was a preteen - tried to dress like her and everything. Thanks Hallmark. Thanks for making me spend about $30 on thick pieces of paper that people may or may not treasure forever (since I bought a few of each). Can I give myself a birthday card every year? I don't see why not.....
 Lastly, I wanted to share my latest around the house / work from home piece : a super soft black & white stripe/chevron cardigan from Target. Jenni from Gnome Lover posted about it last month and I could tell that it was one of those great pieces that could be worn with almost anything. While at Target last weekend, I happen to spot a lone one and I knew it was meant to be. Worn here with my black jeggings and a sequin peacock feather tee (also from Target a few years ago). I would be embarrassed to admit how many days in a row I have worn this combo.

Hope you have a great week!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Don't upset the balance...

A while back, I promised to share more of my around the house looks. If you refer back to that post as well, I was featuring a top with crochet sleeve detail. I loved it so much, I decided to seek out more. I didn't have to go far.... well, just into the Juniors department at Kohl's..... to find this Crochet Henley. On clearance now, plus use a coupon for extra off. Here's another good tip for Kohl's. If you need to order something online and don't meet the minimum requirement for free shipping (right now it's $75), just go to one of their in store kiosks to order and get free shipping!
That post also talked about my daily routine of working from home every other day, and about us moving halfway between our jobs. It seems this winter especially, with the harsh weather, I have settled into a routine so much that when it is disrupted I have noticed that I get cranky. Since our house hasn't sold, and we took a break from looking at houses, I guess my mind sort of "forgot" about moving. I just went on with my schedule - almost on auto pilot without even having to think about it. You see, Richard's daycare is less than a mile from our house. I commute less than 10 minutes into the office when I go. Everyday is like clockwork and when our day is done we settle into the warmth. We are hibernating.
I do believe everything happens for a reason, and the reason that we haven't sold our house yet may have been discovered this week. An announcement was made for my job. Jobs moving to a city further away. A twist in our plans. An upset to the balance. Uncertainty. A lot of thinking and decisions need to be made. What is best for our family. I hope that when all is said and done, we have made the right choices. And I hope that I can still find a good balance.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Buckle Up

Similar to my recent obsession with lace hems on tops, I have always had a fondness for buckles on footwear. But before I get into that, let me talk about the rest of this outfit. I often write about how Anthropologie does woodland so, so well. It seems they had so many great pieces this past Fall, and here is another one I scored : the Fabled Fields Shift dress. Another one of those patterns that you have to look at really close to see all of the cute creatures hidden in the flora and fauna - owls, deer, rabbits, squirrels. It's a silk dress, which I am always nervous about ruining, but hopefully if I spill anything on it, it will be on the pattern and no one will be able to tell! Oh, and the static when you have to layer a heavy winter coat over it!?!?! By the time I got to my desk that morning the bottom had contorted itself so much that it was twisted up around my.....well, you can probably imagine. Thank goodness no one was around to see and that my coat is a long one! My static guard bottle was near empty - ugh!
 The catalog shot showed it with navy blue tights. I had to dig deep to find my navy tights. I cannot even recall the last time I wore them, and I don't really like how sheer these are. I like my tights really solid. I belted it, threw on a long necklace (from Aldo) and one of my published bracelets.

 Okay, let's get into the buckles. The majority of my shoe purchases within the last year have come from either Target or Zulily. Both retailers are reasonably priced and do a great job at carrying on trend designs that are similar to much higher priced ones. The only downside to Zulily is no returns, which can be hard with shoes because they can all fit so different. But so far, I have been very lucky with everything that I have ordered - they have fit and, more importantly, are comfortable.
While I do have boots / sandals that have one or two buckles, I put together my collection of 3 or more buckle pairs.
1. Sam & Libby black booties from Target
2. The tan buckle pumps I am wearing above are from Zulily ($22.99). I love mary janes, but give me a mary jane with 3 straps? LOVE. Coincidentally, the same week I ordered these from Zulily, I got an email from DSW that showed the same style. Curious to see what kind of deal I got, I present you with the Matty's Rodger Pump for $59.95.
3. The brown bootie in the lower corner is also from Zulily and was also $22.99. Booties are all the rage, especially ones with this open side work and buckles. I know they will transition well into Spring!
4. Tall boots from Kohl's from last year.

Thankfully, all of these have zippers to put on. Yeah, I love buckles but not actually using them!

Friday, February 14, 2014

My Signature

With the Valentine holiday today, and a Spring full of birthdays and anniversaries, I thought about sharing my "signature" today.

Remember in the movie Steel Magnolias how Shelby says, "I like pink. Pink is my signature color." Well, I'd like to think that peacocks are my signature. I think it's pretty safe to say that most people would agree with this. At least once a week (or more) people are coming up to me saying things like, "Whenever I see a peacock, I think of you." Or, they are telling me where they saw the latest peacock item, which is awesome (I totally appreciate it).

Over the course of the years, I have found many, many peacock cards. So my goal has been to give a peacock card for any occasion that I can. In doing so, I am sure that people know who the card is from before they even open it - my signature without actually being my signature!

Above is just a small sample of cards I have on hand. I usually keep a double on hand so that I can include the card in my scrapbooks with pictures of the corresponding event (if there are any). Examples of cards I have found are:

blank note cards
Valentine (see the red peacock I will be giving Richard today)
thank you
get well
60th birthday (yep, seriously)

I think I've found the majority of these at Target, or else Meijer. Other good resources are Pier 1, World Market, Barnes & Noble and TJ Maxx.

What about you? What's your signature?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Books I've Read : The Fast Metabolism Diet

Wow! How can it already be the middle of February? So you see the day planner above? I bought it last July. Even though I have about a dozen peacock journals - which I will start writing in and then get disinterested - I justified this to myself because I could start using it right away! I didn't have to wait until January! And, I was going to write down and plan out what I was going to eat every. damn. day.

How many of you think that happened?

I know what I need to do. I just have to push myself to do it. My biggest problem is sugar. I have no willpower, especially when there is this awesome cupcake shop in town (their salted caramel cupcake is so amazing) and there is a Starbucks across the street from my office (hello salted caramel mocha).

Hey, there is still hope though, right? The reason behind the calendar was the book I had just read at the time, The Fast Metabolism Diet. Wanting to drop a few pounds, and just be overall healthier, I agreed with everything in this book. There are 3 phases within a week, and you repeat it for 4 weeks. Each phase has specific foods suited to repair your metabolism and get it working at it's best.

While I have not done the full out plan yet, I have already replaced some of the usual things in our pantry and am happy with the switches. For instance, I only buy brown rice pasta now (we can't even tell the difference) and sprouted grain bread. Most of the foods are pretty common sense, and the book gives several recipes in the back. However, an actual cookbook for the diet just came out at the end of December and I just got through reading it. Hence, the renewed spirit in this and the writing of this post. There are a few odd ingredients (for me at least) that I may or may not try. The last thing I want to do it have a kitchen full of things I won't use (yeah $12 bottle of tahini, I'm talking about you).

I am not being endorsed to review these books, but just thought it would be fun to start sharing some good books I've read lately. When I do try the full on diet, I will let you know how it goes. And who knows, maybe I'll even use that tahini!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Fit & Flare

A fit and flare dress is really the best for my body type, and this dress is no exception. So comfy and easy. It was one of my Christmas gifts from my hubby. I gave him my Wish List from Anthropologie and he did well. I just love the romantic floral print! I was super excited to have some teal tights that pulled out the teal flowers in the pattern, and the first time I wore it a few weeks ago I also wore my teal mary janes. I think it was a little too much green. So this time, I wore some boots, which were partly for warmth too!
Lilka Torsade Jersey Dress : Anthropologie
Teal Tights : Target
A.N.A. Boots : JC Penney
Necklace : made by me

Monday, February 10, 2014

Haute Hippie

Last Winter, I fell in love with the Kimono Plumes Midi dress from Corey Lynn Calter. When I saw she did peacock feathers again in her Fall 2013 collection, I kept waiting to see if Anthropologie would carry any of them (they didn't).

Since I follow Corey's brand on Facebook, I just happen to be on one evening and saw she was featured on Hautelook. I quick clicked over and was pleased to see at least one of the feather pieces - a top - featured. Since it was my very first order with Hautelook, it took some fumbling around but I was able to order it.

I have to say I am so pleased with ordering from them. That was a Thursday evening, and I had my top that following Monday! If you are not familiar with Hautelook, they are a daily deals site (owned by Nordstrom) where brands are featured on sale for a limited time and limited quantities. Similar to my fav site Zulily, you have to be quick. However, the one perk that Hautelook has that Zulily doesn't is that they accept returns.

I just love the deep forest green of this piece and the warm colors of the feathers. To keep with the laid back, boho vibe, I paired it with my wide leg jeans and a long copper feather necklace I made.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Snow Owl

Since this blog is my creative outlet.... my hobby...... I must admit that I am bothered by my last post. I felt like I just kind of "threw it up" in a haste since I hadn't blogged for a few days and I regretting showing that I was in a sour mood. But, I do like to be honest and in no way, shape, or form do I want anyone to think that my life is just peachy keen all of the time. That is something I have been thinking about a lot when it comes to social media.

I read a funny quote the other day. It said "May your life someday be as awesome as you pretend it is on Facebook." We all know people who post such utmost positive things that you want to gag. In the opposite realm, we also know people who are nothing but complainers. And then, my favorite: a vague post to leave readers to come to their own conclusions. Heck, there is already a spoof of the new Facebook movies.

As inspirational as the internet can be, it can also be harmful. Bummed out because your house isn't Pinterest worthy? Beating yourself up because you are not cooking organic GMO free food for your family? Feeling guilty because you bought valentines instead of making them? It can really be overwhelming, right?

When I first started this blog, it was to promote my handmade jewelry. I felt it really "peaked" a few years ago as I had been published in several magazines, and a piece I made had been worn to a dinner at The White House. And then the pressure came. After having a baby I no longer had the free time or energy. Every time I thought about creating I felt paralyzed. I felt like I couldn't keep up - with the publishing deadlines, trying to stand out on Etsy, staying original in an over saturated market. I have a beautiful studio in my home, and I feel guilty for not using it. When we move, it is important for me to have a studio there as well. Because just having it there is a comfort for me. Knowing that I can walk in there at anytime and be surrounded by things that I love and create whenever the mood strikes. I know that life has phases, and I know that making jewelry will come back to me again when the time is right.

Enter fashion blogging. I have always loved clothes. It just seems natural for me. But, that doesn't mean that it doesn't come with it's own set of not so fun elements. Some might think that I am "into myself" but in fact, it can have the opposite effect. I criticize myself for not having as good of pictures as so and so. I find flaws in myself. It is really eye opening when you see yourself one way in the mirror, but totally different in a picture. I will say though, this is a very small part and in no way does it feel unhealthy to me. Besides, it is more about promoting the clothes and deals I get - not the body wearing them.

I guess what I am trying to say, is that we all have our own priorities. We can't do it all and we shouldn't make each other feel bad or that we are in competition with one another. Not only when it comes to social media, but also in real life. A lady in my office building has said to me on more than one occasion, "You always look so cute." But I can tell it's in a derogative way because she is annoyed that it's not a priority for her. I am not going to apologize for what is important to me. You might be interested in something that I might find trivial in return.

So, I will still be here. Posting pictures of outfits. And my crazy pants. It will be fun and happy, but I wouldn't be human if I didn't have a bad day now and again. And on that note, I will end this with something fun. Wearing fun prints (with animals) is so much fun with a toddler! Before we left the house the day of this outfit, Richard was talking about my owl and what owls say. He even said it was a pretty owl! It must be the knit eyelashes!

Apt 9 Owl Sweater : Kohl's
Elevenses Chevron Wide Legs : Anthropologie
Sam & Libby Kaye Boots : Target
Necklace : made by me (see post here)

Monday, February 3, 2014

Eat, Sleep, Shovel, Repeat

That's what it feels like around here lately. Snow, snow and more snow. Bitter cold. Being cooped up in the house. I'm not going to lie - it can be hard to stay cheery during this time of year. Not only can the weather be a factor, but also dealing with uncertainty doesn't help. For the most part, I am a planner - a type A personality - and I don't like being in limbo. In my job, in a pending move for our family, in expanding our family. BUT, I am not going to dwell what I cannot control. Instead, I feel like focusing my energy on some early Spring cleaning! I'll share some more on that later, due to a great book I am reading.

In the meantime, who loves Aztec prints? It's a print that has always been around, but I feel has gained a lot more popularity in the past few years. I have to admit, it was one of those things that I wasn't really on the bandwagon with at first. But then, once you fall it's hard to keep it in check! I have 2 flowy sweaters, and now this dress. And I've had to talk myself out of more.

American Rag dress : Macy's
Wood necklace : local Charitable Union gift shop
Black tights : Target
Boots : Zulily