Friday, October 30, 2015

Peep Toe

Once upon a time, there was a newly postpartum Mom wandering TJ Maxx with her 2 littles. It was the middle of Winter and she needed to get out and do something. She came across the most perfect black peep toe booties. They were the only pair there and 1/2 a size smaller than what she normally wore. Surely, once her swollen feet went down they would fit. Such a gorgeous suede and of course the price was right.......

Yeah, that was me and the shoes were Dolce Vita Missa. When I was finally ready to wear them, they did not fit. Who did I think I was? Dolly Parton in Steel Magnolias?

"In a good shoe, I wear a size 6. But a 7 feels so good, I buy a size 8!"

Yeah, I constantly have movie quotes narrating my life in my head. Anyway, I was sad to return them and since they were past season, I could not find them online anywhere to purchase the correct size. I never stopped thinking about them though. And even though I saw hundreds of other black peep toe booties, none of them compared. The proportions, straps, buckles, etc.... just really, really got me. 

A few weeks ago, I decided to revive the quest of finding them. Surely I thought some other brand would have a similar style. I am the queen of comparison, if you haven't already noticed. I can see something, retain it, and recognize it's twin/cousin/whatever you want to call it - even years later. What I've come to learn is that a manufacturer can make a certain style, but it might be branded under 3 different labels. Case in point with these booties. The ones I ended up finding were Fergalicious Cleo2. Yes, as in Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas. If you look at both links you will see the style is exactly the same, just different materials used. Now do you think Fergie actually designed this shoe the same way a famous shoe designer does? No. She, or one of her business people, probably went into a showroom and just said "yah" or "nah" to what styles would be branded with her name. 

I can't really think of any pop star, actor, etc... whose clothing or accessory line I seek out on purpose. These shoes just happened to be a match to what I was looking for and I couldn't be happier that I found them! Speaking of crap that gets stuck in my head, every time I go to put these on that damn Fergalicious song runs through my head! Make it stop!

Other outfit details:
Boden Peacock Dress - first piece from this British line! (last year)
High Rise Black Jeggings - American Eagle
Belt - Target (old)
Necklace - Coldwater Creek (old)

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Antique Mercantile

A few weeks ago, I put a teasing post on Facebook about an announcement I would soon be sharing so here it is:

My friend Kristen and I are sharing a booth at a new store in Jackson called The Antique Mercantile!

Having met about 11 years ago in Battle Creek, we quickly found out how much we had in common. We were both "transplants" to Michigan - me from Wisconsin, her from Illinois - and knew a lot of the same areas of those 2 states. We loved just about any type of crafting / decorating. Our favorite holiday is Halloween. Both our Mom's names are Linda. Just some fun little facts. Our friendship grew and grew and we did so much over the years (besides work together). Too many crafting sessions to count...... fun days in Chicago...... trained and ran our first 5K...... tortured ourselves through The Warrior Dash (I don't know how she talked me into that one)...... shopping....... art shows....... I could go on and on.

About this time last year, we went through some major changes together. We had known for a good amount of time that our teams at Kellogg were being disbanded and we had to either choose to stay with the company or not. Being that we both ended up moving East of Battle Creek (me for Jon's job and she for her new marriage) it didn't make sense for either of us to try to commute to the new Grand Rapids office. Ironically enough, we now work together once again at the same company!

During the time we had off between jobs though, we daydreamed about doing something different. Was this our chance to finally start our own business? What would we do? We both liked so many things...... a store? a photography studio? a place where people could take crafty classes? A place that encompassed all of those things? But then all of that crappy adult stuff starts to seep in, like health insurance and 401K..... We both felt like we had too many family responsibilities to take the risk.

Sooooo, renting a booth at an already established store seems like the perfect fit right now. The Antique Mercantile is located in downtown Jackson behind the train station. I am not sure what the building used to be, but it is old and cool! It opened over the Summer and the first floor quickly filled up with vendors. The owner is very good at keeping a certain "feel" to the store, meaning, the merchandise is very on point or "trendy" with today's decor demands (a.k.a. the explosion of Pinterest). Of course, this type of decor has been around forever but seems to be more recently popular and in demand. Antiques, primitives, industrial, you name it. 

When we heard she was opening the second floor in the Fall, we decided to sign up for a booth. We'd have months to prepare, we thought! Anyone who knows us, knows this is funny! Hey, a lot of people do their best work at the last minute! In our defense, we are 2 very busy stressed out ladies. I know we have both wondered "what the hell were we thinking"? 

In all seriousness though, I really do find that I need something to keep me fulfilled. What's that saying about idle hands? If it's important to you, you will make it a priority and find time. Even if you give up sleep and need extra coffee in the morning! I can't wait to share in an upcoming post the things I will be offering for sale in the booth. I will be busy for the next week, leading up to the opening of the second floor on November 1st, getting everything ready. In the meantime, go "like" The Antique Mercantile page on Facebook to see what they are all about. The entire second floor booths are sold, and from what I've already seen from moving in, there is some cool, cool stuff! We're #61 - first one you see when you go up the stairs. I'd better get some rest so I can paint tomorrow. Stay tuned.......

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


I feel like the last few years, my hair has become "difficult". I am chalking it up to my body changing from having kids. What used to be routine, by the book, like clock work appointments turned into something else. For one thing, I moved away from the salon I'd been going to for 10 years. I tried one for a bit here that wasn't a good fit and then finally ended up where I am now. I still feel like the relationship is "new" but I really LOVE the place and my gal so I want to be fair to her.

So, I've always been a long haired blonde. I either get highlights or root touch up. But since my "changes" I feel like it's been so hard to get the right color blonde. My "natural" color has darkened over the years which added to the complications. One thing I really hate is when blonde looks fake. It's hard to get it just right - not brassy, not yellowish, not white - it just became too high maintenance for my busy life. And especially since I take so many pictures of myself for the ole' blog here, I was picking apart my hair all the time! I could see "bands" or stripes from each outgrowth that had been made blonde - it just never seemed to blend well. So, I ended up going dark! I am liking it even though it is still taking some getting used to. I am hoping that when my roots grow out now, they will be less noticeable = less maintenance. We'll see.

But speaking of dark, I was excited to restyle this dress for the season! You can see how I first wore it here. I switched out the cardigan for a jean jacket. No necklace or belt. Navy tights and teal heels.

Jean Jacket & Sunglasses - TJ Maxx
Tights - Target
Mary Jane Heels - DSW (old)

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy

Monday, October 19, 2015

Olive "U"

Being interested in fashion blogging can often make you want things you normally wouldn't choose yourself or need. Just think about it..... you're scrolling through your news feed and you love those shoes she's wearing...... and you love that dress she's wearing. And since most bloggers link right to the products they are featuring, it's super easy to click on over and hit "buy". Now that I have been doing this for a while, I've gotten much better at sticking to my true style and really questioning my purchases. Since I am someone who is always editing my closet, I can truly see the trends in what ends up in the piles for eBay, the consignment shop, and to donate. It tends to be impulse buys and/or ill fitting items that I thought I could make "work". Obviously though, bloggers are doing a good job (and making money) if you click their links and make a purchase.

The 2 toppers I am featuring in this post - an olive jacket and vest - are items I've wanted for quite some time. I see them over and over and over again on my favorite blogs so I was convinced they would become favorite staples for me too. I mean, how often do I wear my jean jackets? Several times a week! I guess I was just waiting for the perfect pieces and it was something I wanted to try on for a good fit; not order. So without further ado......

If you are looking for an olive jacket, you can search just about any site for "army", "utility" or "anorak". I ended up finding mine at Kohl's and it is a soft, sweatshirt like material. Truly soooooo comfy! I've already worn it quite a bit! Normally, I would be really boring and throw it over a black dress but I was inspired by Pinterest to pair it with navy. 

Falls Creek Maxi Dress - Meijer
Quadrivium Belt & Seychelles Wedge Sandals - Anthropologie
Necklace - made by me
Jessica Simpson Sunglasses - TJ Maxx

 I found my vest at TJ Maxx. It's Lucky Brand and a linen mix so it's really soft and fluid.

Lucky Brand Vest - TJ Maxx (similar)
Peacock Scarf - handmade by Kristen w/ vintage fabric!
Apt 9 White Long Sleeve Tee & Aviator Sunglasses - Kohl's

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Pallet Project Roundup

Since we've done so many pallet decor projects since moving, I thought I would do a little round up of inspiration. What we love about pallets is that they are free (you should be able to find them for free - ask around) and the wood already has a lot of character depending on what it has been through. Everything we've done with them has been for our walls, but there are TONS of things to do with pallets as you will see with a quick Pinterest search. 

Quick shelf in our basement......
 Our first project was this shelf for Richard's room......
You can see the full story of our "T" here......
 Jon found this oil painting at an estate sale one weekend when we were visiting Wisconsin. He built a frame for it out of pallet wood.
 Our latest (and largest) shelf project which you can read more about here!
Have you had any fun with pallet projects yet?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

All Purple

My renewed love of this "vintage" jacket made me want to see what else I could pair it with. It is the exact same shade as this purple skirt (seen here). Same shades and shoes, I just swapped out the black maxi dress (seen here) for a black tank and the skirt. And actually, I do have an eggplant color tank for even more of a monochromatic look.... maybe I will try that next time.

Express jacket - TJ Maxx (old)
black tank - Motherhood Maternity
Merona Pleated Midi Skirt - Target
Jessica Simpson sunglasses - TJ Maxx

Friday, October 9, 2015

Then / Now

Quick comparison of this pretty butterfly blouse. I dressed it up the second time around with a wine colored pleated midi skirt from Target. Same sunglasses and necklace, but different footwear and the addition of a belt.
Then details here.
Now details:
Abella Pintuck Blouse, Quadrivium Belt, Seychelles Wedges - all Anthropologie
Merona Pleated Midi Skirt - Target
Apt 9 Aviators - Kohl's
Necklace - Express (old)

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Selfie Style

I don't always get to take a proper series of outfit pictures on a daily basis..... but then again, it's not always necessary. Of course I wear things over and over again and in the interest of not being boring here, I don't post repeats unless I have changed up the pieces enough (in my mind anyway). I realized that taking "selfies" would be a perfect way to capture a look where I might have only changed an accessory or two.
For instance, this dress and this necklace?!?!?!? I do not know why I didn't see how great they went together the first time I wore the dress here! Necklace can be seen previously here and here.
Suitcases!?!?!?!? I love vintage suitcases so when I saw this print at Anthropologie, I just had to have it. Layered Swing Tank by Porridge, on sale for $29.95 and I snagged it during the extra 30% sale. Black high rise jeans (American Eagle), grey cardigan (actually maternity that my Mom gifted me for Christmas when I was pregnant with Richard), sandals (Meijer), wood necklace (Charitable Union thrift shop, Battle Creek).
 My navy version of the $7 dress I got at Meijer, sandals (Payless), one of my two jean jackets (TJ Maxx), made to feel new and exciting with a peacock feather scarf from Anthropologie.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Cooling Down The Dress

During the Summer, I wore this little chambray number with bare legs. With the weather cooling, it's been fun to experiment with how to wear it. Brown tights and booties were an obvious choice. But then I tried it belted over some jeans. It's one of those looks that I love seeing on my inspiration boards (a short dress or tunic over jeans) but then when I try it myself I am just not sure. What do you think? At any rate, I just love this peacock feather embroidered piece!

The Dress: Plumage Chambray Dress by Holding Horses - Anthropologie

Look 1: brown tights (JC Penney), booties (Zulily), Apt 9 Aviators (Kohl's), necklace (Michael's)

Look 2: Levi's Jeans (Macy's), Apt 9 belt (Kohl's), Seychelles Wedges (Anthropologie), earrings (Lucky Brand)

One Dress, Three Ways

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

High Rise + Button Down

I've gravitated toward the same equation the last few casual Fridays....... high rise jeans + a button down top (peacock print, of course)! I cannot rave enough about my love of high rise jeans. Even if I did not have a bit of a postpartum tummy, I would STILL want to wear them. They are just plain comfy! No adjusting/pulling them up all day.... no worries about showing plumbers crack when you bend over....... seriously, I hope this style is here to stay for a long, long time! Now I know there are some that are made to look like the old fashion "Mom" jeans. The hipsters can keep those. What I am talking about are jeans I would normally wear anyway.... just higher. I feel a bit obsessed about trying any brand within the price range that I would spend on jeans. You can really find most any brand/store carrying them now no matter what your budget. Here is what I've tried and loved so far:

 The dark wash in my first set of pictures are Levi's from Macy's
Also seen here and here

Having not shopped there for a long time, I am a renewed fan of American Eagle's options

The medium wash in my second set of pictures are Rock & Republic from Kohl's. This is the first time I've tried this brand and I love them!

So far, everything I have posted about have been "skinny" of jegging style. Don't fret! There are plenty of straight leg, boot leg, boyfriend, or flares to be had too that are high rise. I don't have a link since they are sold out online, but I found my first high rise flares are Target (their Mossimo brand). If you are at a store you might be lucky enough to find them. 

Lastly, the two button downs are:
Charter Club via Macy's (waited for sale + coupon)

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy