Monday, February 29, 2016

Building Your Denim Wardrobe

Having 2 babies within 4 years, my body has changed so much. Now that we are done having kids, I have slowly been rebuilding my denim wardrobe. I thought I would share my reasoning and favorite styles with you.

I have found that I like either a skinny/jegging OR a flare leg. And I now only buy high rise in either style (thank goodness they are so popular and available most everywhere). Any post I've done with jeans for the past year has been high rise, so you might already be familiar with some of these. It almost became my goal to try on any high rise I could find, within reason. Meaning, the price had to be budget friendly and the store had to be where I'd usually go anyway.

In my opinion, if you can score a light wash, dark wash, and black pair, you will have all you need to mix and match plenty of outfits. That is, if black jeans are your thing. They are for me because I wear them to work. I gave up on traditional dress pants a while ago because I felt like I never loved what I had. I would buy a pair that I thought I liked, only months later to hate them. Luckily, I work in an office where it's pretty casual. Here in the skinny/jegging section, I have added a medium wash as well. Hey, when you find something that fits, I say go for it! Sometimes, shopping for pants can be really discouraging! Here's where I've had luck finding these. Even if I don't have a link for something, you can go to the store to look (I bought all of mine in person as I like to try things on).

Medium = Rock & Republic High Waist Jeggings (Kohl's - no longer online)
Dark = Levi's High Waist Jeggings (Macy's - no longer online)
Same with the flares, my goal was to get light, dark and black colors. I've talked in previous posts about lengths of my jeggings, and it's definitely easier to roll or cuff them to accommodate a variety of footwear. Or, buy them in a short length (as I did with my light ones) because you want that pixie look. When it comes to flares though, you have to be more careful to get the length right. You cannot roll them. And you also don't want them too long. So you pretty much have to decide the heel height you will wear them with the most. I've noticed this season, retailers are coming out with cropped flares (and Target has some called Flip Flop Flares) which are specific to wearing flats with them. Here's the details on my flares:

Light = Mossimo High Rise Flare (Target)
Lastly, since I am putting my denim into categories, I have a group that I would classify as my fun - funky - trendy looks. These are the ones that might not be appropriate for work (even when it is jean Friday). Meaning, holes or undone hems. Culottes are coming back in a big way, and I can't wait for the weather to warm up so I can wear the ones that I had to grab stock photos for. I had a pair a few years ago that I LOVED, but sadly, cannot fit in them right now. So I was glad to replace them with some that were pretty close. From left to right:

Simply Vera Distressed/Cuffed Boyfriend Jeans = Kohl's (old)
 Pilcro Wide Leg Sailor Jeans = Anthropologie (Black Friday find!)
Destroyed High Rise Jegging = American Eagle

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Velvet & Flares

When I originally wore this velvet number as intended (as a dress) I mentioned I thought about wearing it open somehow. I figured I'd better do that before the season to wear velvet is over. I was pretty pleased with the result. Rather than trying to find some printed top to go under it, I stayed simple with a brown tank (I love brown and blue together). Flared jeans and a lariat necklace to elongate the look and done! I don't think I could get any more hippie/boho than velvet and flares! This isn't the first time I've worked a dress into double duty (see another comparison below). I kinda love repeating the formula!

Brown Tank = Old Navy (old)
A.N.A. Boots = JC Penney (old)
Jessica Simpson Sunglasses = TJ Maxx
Original posts on this dress here and here.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Get the look for less : Anthropologie Lokka Tunic

I should have done this post sooner, since this top is now on sale at. However, the sale price of $40 is still more than what I found it for at Meijer. The Lokka Tunic is one of those basics with special details like an uneven hem with different fabric. That small feature is what caught my eye at Meijer and made me think of Anthropologie. The main fabric of the Meijer one is more of a textured thermal. Both versions come in several colors. Worn alone or layered, it is a great piece!

Deletta "Lokka" Tunic : Anthropologie
Massini Tunic : Meijer stores 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Sent Home

Just as I mentioned in my last post, where we had Spring like weather, we are now in the middle of probably the biggest snowstorm of this Winter. So it really is hard to get excited about those unseasonable days. The snow started as I was going into work this morning, and once there we were told we could get back home safely and work from there. On my way back through town, I decided to stop at my favorite place for pictures so I could do an outfit post. This doorway is sheltered, but my camera was out in the weather so you can see some of the snow in the pics! Too bad it wasn't slow, fluffy flakes falling. I would love to try some photos like that sometime. 

Even though I only wore this for about an hour, I did wear it ALL DAY a few weeks ago with black booties instead of tall brown ones. This patchwork boho dress is so comfy and so me and I just know I will wear it a ton. It is still full price at Anthropologie, but I found a heck of a deal on one of the Buy/Sell/Trade pages I am on. 

Jon is out of town for work - he left Monday and comes back tomorrow (weather pending). It is a long standing joke that every time he goes away, some kind of mayhem happens..... weather, dog drama, kid malfunctions, etc..... So I guess this blizzard is no different! Taking care of everything on my own, Mama was more than happy to turn her ass around and head back home this morning! I was thrilled with the thought of working with a candle lit, tea going, fireplace on, peace and quiet. I have to admit, I really miss working from home on a regular basis like I used to. Splitting my time 50/50 between home and office was the perfect balance in my opinion. It was great to get dressed up and go into work, and it was also great to work at home. I am thankful I have the flexibility at this job to do it in cases like the weather and sick kids, but my hope is that one day we will have a plan in place where it is a more regular practice. Even if it is not as much as I was used to, I will take anything! It seems a hard sell to those who have never done it, but since I did it for over a year it is like second nature to me.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Taste of Spring

It happens every year...... We get a few nice days and then back to cold. It was fun to take my new floral trench out for a spin though while running errands this weekend! Tan, black trim, with punches of pink and blue flowers = a classic with a twist! I kept the rest of my outfit monochrome with black flares, thin long sleeve top (with thumb holes for a little warmth) and black boots. I just love the silhouette of a flare..... and the empire type style of the jacket. Those two shapes really work for my body type (pear shaped gal right here!) and it's all about embracing what works best for your features. I can go up and down on the scale, but these styles are tried and true for me!

You know what else is tried and true? Blonde hair! OMG, no matter how hard I try to go natural, I just can't! So it's back to the light and I feel so much better! Everybody has to have their "thing" right? Some people like getting their nails done..... others obsess about wrinkles...... one might be on a quest for the whitest teeth....... or ALL of these things. But this gal? This gal right here? It's my hair! It's gotta be right or Mama ain't happy!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Peacocks Lately

Every once in a while, I like to do a post about recent peacock finds. It is usually spurred by an abnormal increase in seeing things, or finding something really off the wall. I am continually amazed at some of the peacock things that are made!

When I was at the post office a few months ago, I saw these stamps. That name looked so familiar! When I researched it, I knew why. Flannery O'Connor was an American author who was fond of all kinds of birds, owning and raising several including peacocks. 
I actually READ a book that had Flannery as a character a few summers ago! Poolside in Battle Creek...... I miss our pool sometimes.
And here are some others I've gotten since my last post about books: Beautiful Oblivion was another Meijer find (just like A Good Hard Look), and the other 2 were found at Salvation Army.
Cards are a popular find for me. From left to right, top to bottom: card my parents gave Jon for his birthday (funny), card I gave Jon for his birthday, congrats card from Menards (seriously, this is like the 3rd peacock card I've found at Menards - what is up?), card my parents gave me for my birthday, thank you cards from Target.
And a recent grocery store find I've stocked up on for the women in my life......
I have a lot of peacock Christmas decorations, and usually add a few new ones each year. Like this dapper fellow from Target.
I've always loved Jim Shore's work, and recently came into some new pieces courtesy of Kristen (maybe I'll do a post on all our pieces - when I saw "our", Richard has taken ownership of some). After Christmas though, I was at a local gift shop and happen across this peacock Santa! A peacock Santa was something I did not have yet, and I was pleasantly surprised he was included in the 50% off sale. A lot of times, collectors brands are not included in sales. It seemed like it was meant to be that I was there that day.
I spy a peacock on Carson's food! 
Lastly, over in the beauty department, I recently picked up this toothbrush and lip balm! Fun finds!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Combo DIY + Get the Look for Less

This is a combo DIY / Get the Look for Less post. Let the story begin!

Y'all know my love of Otomi (see posts here and here). You might also know my love of thrift stores. There was a Kiwanis thrift store in Ann Arbor that I had been wanting to visit since moving over this way, but it is only open Saturdays from 9-12. Since Kristen and I started our booth, it was the perfect excuse to search for treasures (like we need an excuse). We can always says we are shopping for the booth and throw a few things in the bag for ourselves, right? So, since neither of us had visited this store, I was very unprepared for the experience. We had both boys with us, and to save on room for a possible large piece(s), I did not bring the stroller for Carson (or the body carrier even though that doesn't take up room). I thought there would be carts, like most stores. Mistake #1. There was not. Lugging around a 25 pound baby and keeping track of a 4 year old who has his own agenda - not easy.

The other little piece of info that would have been helpful to have is: you have to pay for your purchase in EACH department, and the majority of them only take cash or check. So if you are in the linen area, you have to pay for what you want until you move on. If you only have a debit card, they can try to accommodate you at another station but carting all of your stuff over there is a PITA.

Keeping that in mind, the very first thing I spotted were these Otomi squares in the linen area. There were 10 of them and they were not marked. Knowing in my head what this type of artwork goes for, I asked the price. When the lady told me (50 cents a piece) I could hardly hand my money over fast enough! It was one of those moments where I thought someone else was going to grab them out of my hand, wanting the same treasure. That is the thing too - the volunteers in each area mark the items. So if something isn't marked, you are at the mercy of the person you ask for a price. Some are very reasonable, and others are not (another story for another time)!

I hope those tidbits are helpful, if you decide to visit this thrift shop. We continued on our treasure hunt, finding a good mix of things for ourselves and the booth. As the time wore on, it was quickly realized that Richard was coming down with something (ended up being strep throat) and it was just the beginning of a weekend jammed full of events as later that afternoon we were doing Carson's smash cake shoot and the following day was his party. As difficult as the shopping was with the kids, the finds were worth it in my book and we will definitely revisit Kiwanis when we can. These linens alone were worth it for me!

I had no idea what I was going to do with these 10 pretties. I figured I would keep some for myself and then make some into projects. I kept them in the back of my mind. Now for the Get the Look for Less Part. I was at Target a while ago, and I saw this tasseled pillow. Being that I am weird and can remember everything that Anthropologie has ever sold, it reminded me of the tasseled pillows they sold a few years ago for $58 to $78. Check out Pinterest and you will find tons of DIY's for it. I thought it was a cool pillow, but since our decor has changed a bit I didn't have a place for it. But then, lying in bed one night (where you come up with all of your great ideas), I came up with the idea to see if I could sew the Otomi pieces onto one of the pillows! I figured I would make one and find a place for it somewhere in the house.

The Target pillow was $24.99, and for someone like me who does not sew it was worth it for me to buy it rather than buy the fabric, stuffing, floss for tassels to do the entire DIY. A lot of decorative pillows have zippers so you can take the cover off for washing, but this one did not. That meant I would have to sew right on the pillow. I am sure this violated what a true sewer would do, but I don't often follow rules. I went back to get a second pillow so I would have it on hand if I really liked how the first one turned out. Spoiler: I did.
I gently ironed the Otomi pieces I wanted to work with. They are not perfectly square (whereas the pillows are). Also, all but one of the edges of the Otomi fabric is stitched, meaning, one side is raw. I had problems with that side laying flat (and of course it's on the top of all of them) so I have a few wrinkles there. Other than that, for a handmade project, I love how they turned out! I just pinned them onto the pillow, and then hand stitched the sides one by one, carefully letting the fabric move as it needed to. They lay entirely flat against the pillows and look great!
And, they have found a home! All of our travel decor has made it's way to our bedroom, and since our trips were to Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and St. Lucia they are a good fit. While working on the pillows and browsing Pinterest, I saw the bedding idea at the end of this post (stark white with colors and pattern mixing) which is my end goal. We have not done anything with our bedroom since moving in, and we know we want to paint and get new bedding. Hubby says white bedding isn't practical with 2 boys and 2 dogs..... plus he said we never make our bed so what's the point of decorative pillows...... but when do I ever listen to him!?!?! LOL! I told him let's pretend we make our bed.
I loved this project and would definitely make more of these pillows if anyone was interested in them!
Pinterest inspiration below!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Date Night

You're probably going to get sick of me talking about Anthropologie's Tag Sale (now over) as I slowly start to wear some of the things I bought over the past few months. Between Black Friday up until just last week, I was lucky enough to score some pretty good deals whether I was able to visit a store or shop online. I bought this dress while the extra 40% was going on. I have to admit, I am a sucker for velvet. ESPECIALLY teal blue velvet! It reminds me of peacock feathers. I realized that I hadn't owned any velvet for a while (my previous pieces long gone from wear or not fitting) so I thought it was time to change that. This baby doll style shirt dress sure reminds me of my early 90's grunge days! Its loose fit doesn't do anything for the figure, but I'd rather embrace comfort. Especially when indulging in a good meal and movie with my man.

Since moving to the East side of the State, every date is a new culinary adventure. While dinner and a movie seems like an old standby, we've made it our goal to try a new restaurant every time we go out. And the Ann Arbor area sure does not disappoint! It's a catch 22 really, because since we don't get out that often, we want to make sure the time and money we spend is well worth it. So trying a new place can be uneasy even with internet research and reviews. Once you find a place you like, you might be inclined to just keep going back there (which I know we will once we feel we've explored enough). But I am glad we've stayed interested in changing things up, and with Saturday being only our 4th new place, we've only just begun......

Brown Tights and Boots : JC Penney (old)
Peacock Feather Necklace : gift from Jon

I wore this dress to work last week as well, with black tights and black booties. I am also dreaming up a way to wear it open, like a duster jacket, with jeans.

Linking up with Fashion Should Be Fun

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

3rd Time Charm + Amazing Necklace Deal

I documented the 3rd time I wore this dress, and I must say, this is my least favorite combo. This time around, I changed the color tights to teal, wore tall boots, and opted for my longer jean jacket. I just don't think the proportions work, but take a look at the end for the other ways I wore this dress and let me know what you think. I think they hemline of this dress does not work with tall boots and the length of the jacket doesn't flatter the shape as much as my cropped one. But in an effort to always keep it real here, I am showing it. Style is a continuous effort, and not all outfits are going to be winners.

I was most excited to wear this dress again though, so that I could share a killer of a deal! I am in love with this necklace (close up further down) which is now marked down to $4.95! An Anthropologie necklace for 5 bucks - get on it before it sells out! I am honestly shocked it is still even in stock. I bought this bad boy right after Christmas at the tag sale. I was able to visit the store in Ann Arbor, and when I saw it I knew I would get so much wear out of it. First of all, it's a statement necklace which I love. The blues and greens are colors I wear all the time (peacock colors, hello). I love the faux malachite ovals - gorgeous! When I bought it, it was $19.95 plus 25% off and at that I thought it was a heck of steal. I added it to my "wishlist" so I could share the link when I finally wore it, and from then on I watched the price continue to drop to $9.95 and now $4.95. It was originally $78.

Corey Lynn Calter "Tallulah" Dress : Anthropologie
Gap Jean Jacket : Consignment Shop (old)
Teal Tights : Target (old)
A.N.A. boots : JC Penney (old)
Jessica Simpson sunglasses : TJ Maxx

 P.S. I am starting to miss my long blonde hair......