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)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Updated Grunge

I lived through the grunge-era in high school. Way over sized flannels...... Doc Martin boots...... numerous mosh pits at concerts (maybe I'll recount those memories here some day). 
Some things never go out of style, like plaid and flannel. But hopefully, this more fitted version - while well worn - gives a nice update. 
Feminine details like a little crochet on the hem helps.
One of my style struggles this Winter has been booties. They are oh so popular, and I bought a bunch last year (some evidence here). I've had no problem wearing them with dresses and skirts, but with pants? Hmmmm. I know the style is to show a little skin in between the pant hem and boot (even though, brrrrr, but we suffer for fashion, right?). But how do you achieve this unless you buy pants that are shorter (which might not be practical with other footwear) or roll them (which I know is acceptable now, but how much is too much roll or cuff?). I feel like these 2 options make my legs look "stumpy". Luckily, the jeans I am wearing today are skinny enough to tuck inside the boot to my liking. But here's another question....... with open detail boots like this, do you try to match the color of your socks (which I did here) or go for contrast? I know I am going to keep experimenting with this challenge of mine.
Levi's Skinny Jeans - Macy's
Free People "Lost in Plaid" shirt (old)
Motherhood Maternity white tank
Booties - Zulily
Beaded Peacock Feather Necklace - made by me

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Saturday / Sunday

Happy Weekend!
 The Tasseled Maxi Dress by Saturday/Sunday implies just that. It's is Anthropologie's line of lounge wear that is nice enough to wear out running errands if you so desire. This dress is made up of a thermal type grey material, but to add interest it has a gauzy like checked panel, higher sides, and a garland of tassels. It has pockets and a drawstring waist. It is seriously comfortable, and perfect for after baby. But really, perfect for anything in my opinion.
 For extra warmth, I have some black leggings under it and a cream scarf. I stayed boring and stuck with my trusty grey boots. 
 This is our fireplace downstairs. Yes, I am spoiled..... a fireplace was on my wishlist when home shopping and I was lucky enough to get 2 in this house! 
Hope you are staying warm and having a great weekend!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

A Whole New World

I have been having so much fun exploring the new area in which I live. If I drive 20 minutes either East or West, there is so much to offer. To the West is Jackson, which I would compare very much to Battle Creek where we came from. You can hit up a good variety of stores and restaurants. But the the East..... oh to the East, there is a bounty!

Ann Arbor comes first, and then all of the suburbs of Detroit. I have only gone as far as Ann Arbor so far, and everything has been really easy to get to. The traffic can get bad, but I've always been over there at off times. It seems every exit you get off of has something good. Not to mention, several locations of chain stores. For instance, if you're at Target and they are out of something you want, chances are there is another Target about 5 minutes away. This is what I am used to, having grown up in between Milwaukee and Chicago.

Chain stores aside, what I really want to talk about today is getting excited about getting to know the independent places that become your favorites. Lately I've been seeking out (or happening upon by accident) little coffee shops, thrift stores, and consignment shops. 
 I was so happy to find Shabby Chic Consignments in Chelsea the other day, which is where I got these awesome lace up boots! I was such a "regular" at the consignment shop in Battle Creek - whether buying or selling - and I know I've posted the pieces I've gotten there a lot. So you will probably hear lots about this new place now! I spotted these boots when I first walked in and they reminded me of something you'd see at Anthropologie like these and these. Getting up into the $300-$400 range, eek! The label inside my find is Apt 9 which is a Kohl's brand. They looked like they had never been worn! I am thrilled with them, and am finding that I truly love unique details on my boots whether it be buckles, buttons, and now laces. They were $28.
 My sweater is from Meijer (yes, back to the local grocery chain store). The odd color combination drew me in, and I feel like I've been really into colorful sweaters with lots of texture. Can I just say that Meijer has been so surprising with clothing and accessories within the past year? I've made multiple purchases (top here, sandals here, top here, top here and sandals here) where in the past I never had. I have yet to show a couple of layering tanks I've gotten there as well with lace trim at the bottom.

 Other tidbits? Now that the holidays are over, I am in the process of redoing the mantle for our "everyday look". I'll show it when it's all done. Oddly enough, my outfit matched it perfectly (there is a large painting that has a story behind it that you can only see the bottom of). Isn't it weird how you unconsciously tend to buy things in similar colors during certain time periods? 

 Sweater - Meijer
Levi's Jeggings - Macy's
Apt 9 Boots - Shabby Chic Consignment
Necklace - made by me
Basics - white tank and brown boot socks

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


First outfit post of the year....

First outfit post after baby.....
 Jon was off for 2 weeks during the holidays, and I have to admit there weren't many days that we weren't hanging out in our pajamas the entire day. Hell, just being a new Mom again the past 2 months warrants the same result. So, not much opportunity for outfit pictures.
 I've been thankful that we've had a pretty mild winter so far, excluding this week, since we had such a harsh one last year. We enjoyed really mild temps and no snow. So the little white flecks you do see in these pictures is real snow and not a camera defect. 
 I wore this today.... well, including a coat, gloves, scarf and hat...... to take Richard to preschool and then Carson and I hit up the grocery store and some other errands before we had to pick him up. Just a really simple outfit of jeans and a sweater. My body is still very much in transition from being pregnant. Going through postpartum during the holidays was not too helpful either. I ate way too many sweets!
 Bloggers have their favorite retailer(s) of course. J. Crew has never really been up my alley, but once in a while I find something there that I like. Therefore, having bough 2 tops from them (this sweater being one of them) over the past few months has been out of the norm for me but a pleasant surprise.
 My camel clothing collection continues to grow..... I really love the texture and tassels on this guy!
More camel love here, here, here, here, here, and here.
 More "statement sweater" looks here, here, and here.
Outfit details:
Camel Sweater - J. Crew Factory (sold out, I got mine on deep discount)
A.N.A. Black Jeans - JC Penney (had for years)
Button Boots - Zulily (had for years)
Jessica Simpson Sunglasses - TJ Maxx