Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Flash, Bam, Alacazam, Out of the Orange Colored Sky...

To be honest, I can't even remember when I wore this outfit. My best guess is sometime at the end of February or early March. I know it wasn't recently, but we must have been having a "heatwave" if I want tights-less.

There is not too much to note about this outfit other than the fabulous shoes.


Blouse: Forever XXI
Skirt: thrifted
Shoes: Michael Shannon via Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse
Scarf: Laila Rowe
Earrings: gift



These, dolls, are my wedding shoes. And man, were they a biotch to find!
You see, orange heels are tough to hunt down to start with, and when you add a VERY picky bride, darned near impossible! I was just about to give up and resign myself to more traditional shoes when I found these on the clearance rack -- just over $20. Umm, yes please!

I have already posted a few of my wedding photos, but I haven't yet posted one with my shoes -- and how can I not do that?!


Dress: Michelle Roth via Kleinfeld
Shoes: Michael Shannon via Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse
Earrings: Gift from hubby a long time ago
Sapphire Bracelet: shower gift from MIL
Hair Feather: Etsy seller sibodesigns

Our wedding had a "Rustic Elegant" theme, with a strong reliance upon natural elements and autumnal colors. I hadn't told my hubby that I would be wearing these shoes (as they were intended to be a surprise to everyone except my mother and my 'maids), and I was shocked when he decided upon orange ties and pocket squares for all the guys in our wedding party -- could we be more in tune? I went with the flow and had my gals' gorgeous flowers wrapped with orange ribbon. As you can see from the photos I had already posted, our "aisle" brought us down a short flight of steps, and everyone was pleasantly surprised to see my shoes as I descended. I got so many compliments on them!
What I love most about them, though, is that I can still wear them. Had I opted for more "traditional" wedding shoes, I'm not sure that would be the case. But I love that most of the pieces I wore that day (other than the dress itself) are ones that I can still wear.

Something old,
Something new,
Something borrowed,
Something blue,
And a sixpence in your shoe.

Of course, I still have the sixpence taped inside my shoe.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Have you all heard of Heartsy?
It's new to me, so I thought maybe it is new to all of you also -- so I thought I would share!

OK, I know you all have heard of Etsy and love it as much as I do. Vintage and handmade goods? One-of-a-kind items? Supporting small businesses and up-starts? Custom-made pieces? Umm, yes please!
Heck, I ordered so many items off of Etsy for my wedding. People commented on so many of them, and I was more than happy to share my secret!

OK, I know you all have heard of Groupon and love it as much as I do. (Echoey in here, no?) There are also several other Groupon-like sites. (Living Social, KGB Deals, WTD Deals, Eversave, Trubates -- I'm sure there are more.) All of these sites offer vouchers on goods/services at a discount.

So, Heartsy? Put those ideas together!
Each day, Heartsy features one Etsy seller. You buy a voucher to that seller's store that is worth more than you pay for it. The voucher is good for anything at that seller's store. For example, today's Heartsy deal is you spend $19 to receive $50 worth of credit at Tonetti Jewelry.

Now, I am not an Etsy seller. But I read an article that debates whether deals like these are beneficial to sellers, who may feel as though they are giving away their items or losing potential profit. This article does some hypothetical number-crunching, and the gist of the article is that while, yes, sellers may potentially lose some money in the short-term by participating in the deal, it is also possible for sellers to gain many new customers who will return to buy products at full-price -- thus making long-term gain outweigh the short-term loss. So basically, a seller needs to know their costs, their customers, and their product. They need to be honest about the quality and uniqueness of what they are creating and selling, and they need to ensure that first-time customers will become repeat customers. If you can hook a seller using a deal, the profit over the long term will be worth it.

But again, as I said, I am not an Etsy seller. I am an Etsy customer. And as is the case with any customer, I want amazing products, and I want to find the best deal I can get to purchase them. That said, I love Etsy, and I don't want to rip off any sellers.

I suppose, in the end, I believe it is the responsibility of the seller to determine if participating in a Heartsy deal is beneficial to them. And if I happen to see a Heartsy deal that piques my interest, I will buy it -- and if I love my purchase, I will gladly become a repeat customer and recommend the shop to my friends.

What are your thoughts on Heartsy? Would you purchase a Heartsy deal?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day to Night...

Remember back a whole month ago when we were wearing red for women? I managed to post two of my red-themed outfits that month, but I really did wear red every Friday in February. I didn't manage to snap a photo of the last Friday of the month, but I did get a few shots of my third-week red-Friday outfit.

I was going straight from the office to a girls night out, so I needed something that could transition from work to play. Here is how I did it:


Top: Forever XXI, altered
Skirt: Old Navy
Cardi: NY&Co
Shoes: American Eagle for Payless
Earrings: gift
Bangles: thrifted
Jeggings: ANA via JC Penney

Closeup of the Work Outfit:


I really love the pattern that runs down the front of this tank, but the straps aren't really work appropriate. Let me show you:


Totally cute, but not quite office attire. Hence the cardigan. It pulls double-duty of keeping me warm AND taking a casual piece and making it appropriate for daytime.

But, as I said, I was heading out for a night with the girls. While I love the skirt, I thought it would be chilly, so I wanted a little more coverage. Plus, to be blunt, after downing a few drinks, I didn't want to have to worry about being too ladylike in a skirt. Enter the jeggings!

Going Out

I also peeled off the cardi, but I carried it with me in case I would need it. (Thankfully, it was an unseasonably warm evening. Other than the drive home, I didn't need it.)

But ladies, cute outfits aside, let me share with you the lesson I learned that night. Sometimes, it makes no difference how MUCH you drink. The combination of alcohols alone can be enough to leave you praying to the porcelain god. For six long hours. Ugh. My once-in-a-blue-moon reminder of why I'm not much of a drinker.
But hey, at least I looked cute!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friend Friday...

Welcome to this week's edition of Friend Fridays, sponsored by ModlyChic.

1. Do you think there is an incompatibility between feminism and a love for fashion?

Absolutely not.
So many people think that a feminist has to look a certain way: unfashionably dressed, no makeup, almost dirty in a way, as if our appearance is the last thing we care about.
But just the opposite is true.
If that's truly what you want to look like and where your priorities lie, go for it.
But if you actually like nice clothes, makeup, fancy hairdos, go for that too.
Disregarding your own appearance doesn't make you any better a feminist, and caring about your own appearance doesn't make you any more a feminist.
All that makes you a feminist is actually caring and fighting for the rights of women. (that includes BOTH the right to dress up and the right not to give a crap about fashion at all.

2. There is more to each of us than a love for fashion, how do you incorporate every aspect of yourself into your blog?

While my blog is mainly a fashion/style/beauty blog, I do talk about aspects of my own life. I'm not interested in incorporating EVERY aspect of my life into my blog, but I do hope my personality comes through. I want my readers to have a grasp of who I am.

3. With the fashion industry still being a male-dominated profession, how do you think it would differ if women played a larger role?

I think if women played a larger role in the fashion industry we would see more variety and equality spread throughout different shapes and sizes of women. Not only in the models that walk the runway and grace the catalogs, but in the clothes that get designed. No matter how much men study women's bodies, until they actually live in one and have to dress it, they can never truly understand the way it feels to be women or the needs we have in our clothing.
Further, as a plus-sized gal, while the variety in clothing for our demographic is getting better, it's still minuscule compared to "average" sized gals. (Though, last I checked, the average size for women is considered plus-sized in the fashion world. But I won't get into that.) Most of the clothes I see for larger women are matronly and have no shape. Those that do are often created in unattractive prints or cheaper fabrics. Also, designers of plus-sized clothing seem to think if you're a larger gal, you must be larger everywhere. So not true! I have a big booty and thick thighs, but I'm still small-of-boob. By the time I find dresses that fit my hips and thighs, there's enough room in the chest for someone to crawl in there with me. I feel like if women were more involved in the fashion world, there would be more innate understanding of these issues, and they would be better addressed.

4. How is your self-image and the way you carry yourself informed by your beliefs?

I'm not really sure what this question is getting at...
I generally believe in the "to each their own" adage, but I don't often-enough apply it to myself. I don't judge others nearly as harshly as I judge myself.
I'm a fairly liberal gal, but I think I behave and dress much more conservatively than my personality really is -- whenever I go shopping, my husband points out cute outfits and I shoot them down, saying I'm too old or big to wear them. Who says? No one but myself...

5. Do you think clothing/makeup/hair helps communicate the truth about yourself or are those things superfluous add-ons?

From the perspective of someone looking at me, they can probably guess my age, possibly my weight, and know that I work in an office environment from the way I dress M-F. They may be able to tell if I'm heading to work, the gym, or somewhere more fun. All these things could be true. However, if I'm wearing a short skirt or a low-cut top or heavier makeup and someone thinks I look loose or cheap, does that make it true?
But from my own perspective, I can dress to intentionally mislead people. Maybe I'm feeling ugly that day, but I don my best dress, put on bright red lipstick, and style my hair fabulously. Someone else might look at me and think I've got all the confidence in the world, but inside my own head I know I'm doing the whole "fake it til you make it" thing. I'm basically lying to the world.
Also, sometimes I like to dress silly and just for fun. If you ever see me out at a concert, you will probably think I've lost my mind. I might spike my hair up, wear 3 tons of crazy makeup, and wear things no adult woman should be caught dead wearing. In those moments, my "style" is purely superfluous -- I'm dressing 100% totally for fun.
I guess in a way, all of these things speak to some sort of truth about me. But at the same time, it's all superfluous and means nothing unless you get to know me.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I'm a Paper Doll...

Apologies for not getting this post up yesterday -- my evening reads like a laundry list of bad excuses: power went out, cooked not one but two dinners, allergies, not feeling well, bathtime, sheer exhaustion.
Anywho, on with the outfit!

The lovely Ashley of Image Envy was my stylist for the day.
She scoured my archives and this outfit was born, pretty much on the first try. She asked if I owned tan shoes (darker than my nude pumps), and I was surprised to learn that these heels have never made it to the blog. They are ancient, and despite having been shoe-gooed a few times, they definitely need another round! The only change-up I made from her original vision was changing the cami to this t-shirt. My camis are a little more fitted than I prefer to show off at work (without a layer over them). Other than that, I couldn't wear the gold bangles she asked for, since I don't own any, and she told me to wear corresponding earrings -- not hoops.

And, voila!


Cardi: TJ Maxx
Tshirt: JC Penney
Skirt: thrifted
Shoes: Fioni (very old)
Earrings: Target
Belt: unknown
Bangles: Claire's


We all know I love this cardi, but strangely, I usually wear it with bright colors. I rarely wear it with a more toned-down color palette and let it be the sole star of the show. It's nice to have someone else's eye go through your closet and show you new combinations.
So if ever there is a Paper Doll Project: Round 2, I will be a part of it!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Paper Doll Project...

I'm sure most of you have heard of Suze's Paper Doll Project.
For those of you who have been living under a rock (bigger than the one I have been hiding under lately) and are unaware of this awesome little project, basically, she has paired up bloggers who asked to be involved, and we get to dress each other for a day!

Suze paired me up with the lovely Ashley if Image Envy.
Stay tuned for the cute outfit Ashley put together for me, but for now, you can go check out the ensemble I created for her!

This was a fun little project. I really enjoyed getting to know a blogger who was new to me. First, we exchanged a couple of emails to get to know one another: I shared that I'm a little sensitive about my weight, and she mentioned that she dresses a little on the conservative side. We scoured each others' blogs and swapped a few photos for ideas. We emailed each other our outfit ideas and tweaked them a bit with each others' feedback. The extra bonus was that I didn't have to think about my outfit for today -- Yay!
I had a lot of fun with this, and I will definitely participate again if Suze organizes another round!

If you're interested in seeing what all of the other participants came up with, join me in checking out the rest of the dolls!


Paper Doll Project partners!

Windy City Fashion and Doc Starr Chic
A Fashion Fixation and Snappy and Savvy
A Monkey Fatshionista and Matters of Merry Making
After My Fancyy and Style Within Reach
Closet Confections and Diary of a Chic Mommy
Made by Maison and Queen of Oz
Unusual Form and Curvy with Confidence
Fashion Momma and Employed Panache
Better in Sepia and Silver Pool of Light Girl
The Brunette One and The Stylish Housewife
From the Mixed-up Files and Hope and the Dress Code
Second Star Style and Effervescent Evelina
Pieces of My Earth and The Average Girls Guide
Consumerism Killed My Soul and Fashion Frugality
Kate Olmstead and Lemon Drop Love
Oranges and Apples and Watch Me Dress
Skrush and Tart Lemon Drop
Lindsay Living and Elle Enchanted
Snappy Casual and Chasing Davies
Leaving the House in This and Sweet Laundry
Coffee and a Cardigan and Inner Cupcake
Stumble into Style and Image Envy
Miss Vinyl Ahoy and Ordinarily Urbane and Lori's Wardrobe

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friend Friday...

Welcome to this week's edition of Friend Fridays, sponsored by ModlyChic.

So far, what have been the 5 hardest blogging lessons you’ve learned during this process and have helped make you a better blogger as a result.

(1) Be honest. That doesn't mean I have to tell everyone everything all of the time, but I don't want to be the sort of blogger who only posts the great outfits. If I've got the time to grab a shot, I'm gonna show you the good, the bad, and the ugly.

(2) Don't feel required to blog. It's OK. Sure, you don't want people to get bored and stop reading. But you don't want to get burned out either. Besides, as a reader, when I can tell that the author is posting more out of a sense of requirement than a true interest or love, it's just not as enjoyable for me to read. I've seen several bloggers apologize or take a hiatus when you can tell that they really need a break but feel like they are letting their readers down. It's OK. We all have lives outside of the blog, and sometimes those lives have a lot of things going on that just rank higher than blogging. It's OK. It's OK!

(3) Post topics that are interesting to you. If you're not feeling it, it will come through in your writing, and no one will want to read it. For example, I'm just not a high-fashion kinda gal, so you're not going to see runway-themed posts on my blog. Sure, if I spy a haute couture outfit that just speaks to me, I might point it out, but otherwise, I'm sticking to writing about what I know and love.

(4) Let pieces of you peek out. Don't worry, I don't want you to pull a Janet Jackson Super Bowl stunt. I just mean, let your readers get a little insight into your non-blog life. My favorite fashion and beauty blogs are the ones where I have a pretty good sense that if I met the author offline, we would probably be good friends. I've come across other blogs where I couldn't get a sense of who the author was, and despite the fact that the blog was otherwise pretty good, it just didn't hold my interest. I like seeing your pets or silly notes from your hubby/wife/BF/GF or knowing that you're as deathly afraid of spiders as I am.

(5) Respond to those who leave comments on your blog. Let me apologize right up front, because I'm really terrible at this one. But I'm trying to do better! There's nothing that will turn off a reader faster than when they take the time to post a comment on your blog and get zero feedback from you -- just a thanks to appreciate their readership or (even more importantly) an answer to any questions they may ask. Lately, I've seen a lot of bloggers change their comments to DisQus because it allows the author to respond individually to each comment. This is awesome! Other writers prefer to email the commenter back personally. This is great too. Whatever your preference, take the time and make the effort to let your readers know that you hear them and appreciate them.
And to my readers, I'm trying!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friend Friday...

Welcome to this week's edition of Friend Fridays, sponsored by ModlyChic.

1. When it comes to prioritizing your life, in what place does
blogging fall?

While I love my blog and taking pictures and writing posts, blogging falls pretty close to the bottom of my list of priorities. My husband, My family and friends, my job, my health, and a million other things are more important to me. My blog is for fun -- and fun is important -- but only after my other priorities are tended to first.
That said, if someone wanted to pay me to work on my blog full-time as my job, I think it would suddenly jump much higher on my list! ;)

2. We all wish we had more free time to dedicate to blogging and all
it entails. What are your tricks for taking advantage of the time you
do have to be as productive as possible?

If I have down-time at work, I try to whip up an entry or two or brainstorm/research an idea I might want to do a post on.
At home, I try to blog while catching up on my tv shows.
Also, now that we are getting FBFF questions ahead of time, I can write these posts up early and schedule them to go out on time!

3. Have you discovered any short-cuts that makes blogging easier or
more time efficient?

I recently discovered the Blogger app for Android, so now I can blog when I'm not near the computer! I've only used it once or twice so far, but I can see this being really handy if I want to blog something, say, while I'm out shopping or on vacation!

4. Do you have an editorial calendar or something similar that helps
you plan ahead?

Nada. Nothing like that. I'm totally not that regimented or organized in my blogging. I love the bloggers who I can rely on for posts, but I'm just not there yet with my own blog.

5. If time wasn’t an issue what you would be doing on your blog/for
your blog that you aren’t doing now?

Daily posts! There are other reasons in addition to just the time why I'm not posting more often now (cold weather, lack of indoor space, lack of money, etc.) but if I have more time, I could at least research and write up more posts other than my own outfit posts.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Friend Friday...

Welcome to this week's edition of Friend Fridays, sponsored by ModlyChic.

1. What's your favorite drug store makeup product and your favorite
higher-end product?

This whole topic of questions is interesting for me since I love buying makeup and playing with it, but I don't wear it on a daily basis.
For drugstore makeup, I love Covergirl's Simply Powder Foundation in Classic Ivory -- though I don't wear it every day, I have stuck true to this product for years.
I don't own many high-end products -- since I don't wear my makeup often, it just isn't worth the investment to me. When I was little, my mother almost exclusively wore Clinique makeup. I remember having to make special trips to the makeup counter in the department store. I'm not sure if Clinique is considered high-end anymore, but I love their Different Lipstick in A Different Grape. It is the perfect pinky-browny-purply color without being too dark, and I have come back to the color time and time again since high school.

2. Is there one type of product that is your go-to, can't live

I'm not sure if lip balms are considered a beauty product if they don't add color, but I don't go anywhere without my Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm. I have a tube in my purse, one on my desk at work, one in my jewelry armoire, and several of them floating around the house -- I love to have it at arm's length at all times.
If lip balm doesn't count, I would have to say an eye lash curler and mascara. I'm not really brand-loyal, but I do really like Benefit's Bad Gal Lash Mascara. Because my eyelashes grow straight down, I don't bother with mascara unless I curl my lashes first. I'm not too particular about my eyelash curlers, so long as they don't pinch.

Edited to Add:
I almost forgot that I am in absolute love with my St. Ives Oil-Free moisturizer! Sadly this item has been discontinued and I shall soon have to find myself a new facial moisturizer, but when I found out you couldn't get this product anymore, I went online and bought as many bottles as my wallet would allow. I think I've still got one or two left...

3. What's the best hair product you've ever used?

I've yet to find the one single hair product I can't live without. That might have something to do with the fact that I change my hair like I change my mind. Each different color, length, or texture requires a different type of product. Right now, with my super-short hair, I need a product that emphasizes the choppiness of my 'do. I'm really happy with L'Oreal Studio Line's Overworked Hair Putty. A little goes a long way, and it gives me a great controlled-chaos bedhead kinda look.

4. Fess up, what's the worst beauty look you've tried to rock and look
back at now with a little shame or apprehension that you actually did

Ummm... all of them? I did the dark lip liner with nude lipstick thing back in my high school days. I also plucked my unibrow until my brows were so far apart, skinny, and uneven that I actually shaved them off entirely one summer just so they could grow back in evenly.
Also, thanks to growing up as a dancer, I was also forced to model bright blue eyeshadow for most of the 80s -- that is until my teacher came up with an even better look (and by "better" I mean far, far worse): bright blue on the eyelid, bright pink on the inside edge of the upper eye, and bright yellow on the outside edge of the upper eye. Oh yeah. it was awesome.

5. When it comes to beauty products, we all use the same basic
products. What do you use that helps show off your personal flare and

I guess what shows my personality the most is that I actually don't wear makeup most days. It's not that I think I'm just that gorgeous, but I'm confident enough in my appearance that I don't feel the need. Sure, I like to play with my look. I will put on makeup for special occasions, and sometimes I wear some if I'm feeling a little self conscious about something (pimples, undereye circles, redness, etc.).
Heck, today I'm wearing a bit of coverup to cover a red spot between my eyes, black semi-liquid eyeliner and extended-wear red lipstick. I'm just full of surprises, and you never know what you're going to get from me. ;)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Save Big on Big Style...

Hey dolls! I just saved myself some money on some fun nail art, and I wanted to share.
If you're into nail color and nail art, then you have probably heard of nail shields or nail strips -- they are basically strips of color/pattern that you can apply to your nails instead of painting them. (Hillary and Kirstin Marie have both blogged about the Sally Hansen brand before.)
Also, I'm sure many of you are familiar with companies like Groupon and Living Social -- websites where you can save a large percentage on products and services that are featured daily.

Well, another similar site is KGB Deals. Basically the same deal: you sign up for their emails and select your location. When an offer pops up that you like, you save big bucks! Easy as pie.
Well, today's KGB deal is on Jamberry Nail Shields. I hadn't heard of this company or product before, but it seems to be more or less the same idea as the Sally Hansen nail strips. I have wanted to try them out before, but I had heard mixed reviews about them and wasn't really willing to spend $10+ on something that may or may not work for me.
Using today's KGB deal, you can get $15 worth of Jamberry shields for $7.50 -- half price. According to Jamberry's website, this will buy you one sheet of shields, which should cover 2-3 sets of hands or feet (yes, you can use them on your toes too).
I checked out the website and love some of the patterns they offer, so I bought myself a few of these deals so I can try them out!

If you're interested in trying them out too, click here to purchase! (By purchasing via this link, I will earn a nominal rewards fee.)