Monday, January 31, 2011

Pretty Little Kimberlys

Ruffle Button-up: Forever 21
Blazer: H&M
Jeans: Paige Denim
Oxfords: Target

Pretty Little Kimberlys... get it? This is my take on the Pretty Little Liars style challenge created by Kimberly and Kimberly. And because I'm a Kimberly too, and we're not liars (I hope), I came up with this clever little title (Go me! I hate coming up with post titles.)

We were supposed to dress like one of the Pretty Little Liars characters today, and I picked Spencer. I'm going to admit that I've never seen the show, mostly because we don't have cable and the network never sent our company the screeners (Stupid ABC Family.. they switched everything to online screeners instead of actual DVDs) so I have no way of watching it. When the series comes out on DVD I'll be sure to watch it though.

I love how each character has a very distinct style (Aria: boho chic, Hannah: feminine and frilly, Emily: sporty, Spencer: preppy), kind of like the Spice Girls, haha! I chose to copy Spencer's classic-with-a-touch-of-masculinity style and recreate this outfit of hers:


Although my outfit looks pretty normal, I'll have to admit this is the first time wearing a blazer to work, first time wearing this specific blazer, first time wearing jeans with oxfords, first time rolling the hems on the jeans, and first time wearing this ruffle button up (that I was going to return, but I missed the 21-day window). Needless to say, this is a little out of my comfort zone, but I'm kind of liking it. If only it didn't make my ankles and forearms freeze. Brr...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My 30 for 30 Picks


OK guys, I've finally made up my mind for my 30 for 30 picks. For those of you unfamiliar with this closet remix challenge, it was created by mastermind Kendi, and so you're supposed to pick 30 items of clothing, remix it into 30 outfits in 30 days. I'm going to be doing this for the month of February, and kind of nervous to begin!

I've picked a couple new things, and a couple old things, so hopefully everything will work out. Let me know if you're doing it too, so I can follow along. YAY!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ahead of the Game

Shirt: Macy's
Blazer: Old Navy (suuuuper old)
Jeans: Seven for all mankind
Shoes: Target

Apparently, flare and wide-leg jeans are making a comeback this spring, and for once, I'm excited. I still haven't fully embraced the skinny jean trend, so my closet is still full of flares... I guess this makes me ahead of the game? Kind of like those people who don't take down their Christmas lights, and when November and December roll around, they're the first to have their lights all strung and lit.

Well, here I am, embracing the "NEW" wide-leg trend. WOO HOO, I'm such a trendsetter. Riiiight. These jeans are a few years old, and I've never gotten much wear out of them because I hemmed them to the wrong length. They're a little too long for flats, but then too short for heels, and I don't have much in-between. But I just had to make them work today with my brand spanking new flats.

Yes, I bought new flats yesterday, RIGHT after posting about not shopping until March. You see, I was on a hunt for those super-cute grey wedges from Target that both Monkeyface and Andrea have, when Andrea posted that she saw them on clearance for less than $8. I went to TWO Targets, and one of had only a size 11 left, the other had a size 6 and a 7.5. So mad my size 8 feet couldn't squeeze into those. BUT, I did happen upon these cute quilted flats. Aren't they just darling? Plus, they have cushiony insoles, and are surprisingly comfortable for my picky feet. I bought them without waiting them to go on sale or clearance, which is rare for me. And I wore them today, which is even more rare, since I usually wear my shoes around the house for a couple days before I decide if they're comfortable enough to keep.

Believe it or not, these are my first pair of black flats since my last black pair died over 5 years ago. My husband didn't believe me, he was like, "don't you already have like 5 pairs of black flats?" No, I do not. I own a total of two pairs of flats (brown pair and metallic pair), and now this pair. I do, however, have 5 pairs of black boots, if that was what you were talking about.

PS. I had a Target gift card burning a hole in my pocket, which is why my budget has not been affected. YAY for gift cards! :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Overspending

Blouse: Hand-me-down (orig. Forever 21)
Cardigan: Hand-me-down
Jeans: Hand-me-down (orig. Rock and Republic)
Oxfords: Target

Is it funny that the only thing I bought in this outfit is my shoes? And is it funny that I've already bought WAAAY too much stuff this year, and we're only less than a month in? I was a little too excited with my budget getting refreshed. Let's see all that I bought so far:

Bunny necklace (Etsy)
Sterling Silver ring (Seattle Center gift shop)
Oxfords (Target)
Flannel button-up (Target)
Camel colored shorts (The Limited)
Long sleeve black tee (Old Navy)
Long sleeve grey tee (Old Navy)
floral skirt (Old Navy)
magenta skirt (Old Navy)
skinny cargos (Old Navy)
purple sweater (Old Navy)
teal tights (Old Navy)
black woven shirt (Old Navy)
mustard cardigan (Nordstrom Rack)
lavender cardigan (Nordstrom Rack)
lace tee (Nordstrom Rack)
denim shorts (H&M)
striped dress (H&M)
navy miniskirt (Goodwill)
pink layering tee (Goodwill)
work-out shorts (Goodwill)
Short sleeve sweater (Goodwill)
White button-up (Goodwill)

Total cost of all clothes above: $200
Minus misc. income over the month so far: $80
Total spent: $120


Yeah, you should NOT be taking budgeting advice from me. Remember how I'm supposed to only spend about $50 per month? I'm not really on track for that anymore.

I kind of went crazy at Old Navy, with the 40-50% off clearance and coupons on top of that. The most expensive thing I've bought so far was the $25 denim shorts at H&M but I really really like them and can't bear to return them.

As I went through my purchases and started listing out all the clothing items I bought and then linking to them, I thought it would be a good idea to do a month-end budget update at the end of every month. Plus, it will make me remember to wear everything, since I can link to them (yay for checking things off my list!). What do you guys think of this new feature? You probably don't care... but I posted it over on the left-hand sidebar over there in case there's a slight chance you're interested. It's mostly for my own sake to remember what I buy and to remember to wear it. Sometimes I forget what I have in my closet. (SO BAD, I KNOW.) 

I'm avoiding my favorite shopping spots until the end of February, so hopefully this is it for January. And I'm saving a couple of those items for the 30x30, so that's why I'm not wearing them yet (don't want to waste outfits!)

AND OMG! I'm at 93 followers. I was planning to have a giveaway once I reached 100.. but I don't know what to give away yet. Hmm.... what do you guys like? :) Gift cards? jewelery? clothes? Make-up? What's something that everyone would enjoy?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Underground

Grey T: Old Navy
Sweater: Thrifted (orig. H&M)
Jeans: Forever 21
Boots: Steve Madden
Necklace: Target

The weather outside sucks. The thought of leaving the warm and dry office to go outside and take outfit pictures just makes me cringe. So, I decided to do a little exploring in our office building yesterday. There's not much, since it's a small 5-story building with no rooftop access, and pretty much the only semi-secluded places I could find were the stairwells.. but then they had such weird striped lighting (since light was coming from under the stairs). Out of options, I decided to go one story below the parking level and found this little walkway.

It reminded me of those scary movies with the long hallways in those psych wards and there's a bad guy chasing after you. Or like those bad dreams where you're walking down a never-ending hallway. But for a picture location it was perfect: decent lighting, a place to set my camera (a hollow brick just chillin' by itself), and it was secluded, since no one comes down here (I think). Best of all, I can just pop down here in the middle of my workday and snap a few photos, and then be back up at my desk within 5 minutes. I do prefer outdoor pictures, but those just take forever and require me to freeze my butt off, so this will have to do in the winter months.

I'm starting to think about what to put aside for my 30 items for the 30 for 30 Challenge. Any tips on what I should include/not include?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Not learning from mistakes

Shirt: Nordstrom BP
Cardigan: Gap Outlet
Floral Skirt: Old Navy
Boots: Frye
Belt: Charlotte Russe

Do you guys ever have outfits that look so odd once you photograph them? This totally looked different on me in my head, but oh well. In my head, I thought I was channeling Tieka, but when I look at it in the picture now, it just looks.... like me wearing a floral skirt. Nothing special. Hm... Anyway, I got the skirt at Old Navy over the weekend for $5.. even though the website still says it's $25. And out of the big bag of clothes between my sister and my cousin and I, it was the most expensive item of clothing we bought that day.

So, I left my wallet on the front seat of my car that was sitting in the park & ride this morning, totally by accident (yes, like I would do it on purpose) and didn't realize until I was at my favorite Greek restaurant ordering a pita for lunch (YUM), and I didn't have any money. So, I left work early so I could go retrieve my wallet and work from home the rest of the day. Sound like a familiar story? That's because it is. Gosh, I'm so forgetful sometimes. Thank goodness it was still there when I got back.

Well, I was chatting with my mom while I was eating lunch (my son was still napping so I had to wait until he woke up to go home), and she looked at me and was like, "You sure seem to dress up a lot these days. You know, you're married now, you really don't need to look that nice." Oh, gee thanks, mom.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Kimmie Everyday

Shirt: Target
Skirt: Banana Republic Factory Store
Belt: Thrifted
Oxfords: Target
Bunny Necklace: anirtak
 
A couple months ago, Kendi (OMG, have you guys noticed I mention Kendi in every single one of my posts?! Slight obsession? Maybeeeee....) had a giveaway for a cops and robbers necklace from anirtak, which I thought was super cute, but the real gem had to be the bunny necklaces I found over at her Etsy shop. So freakin' adorable. I wanted one SO bad, but just never got around to actually buying one.

Fast forward a few months, when I was combing through Kendi's (there we go again) insane 30 for 30 Challenge Google reader feed, and found Katrina's blog, The Demure Muse, and started following her... because she's awesome and wears cute clothes. BUT THEN! I found out that Katrina was the one behind the anirtak Etsy store (anirtak: katrina backwards. took me awhile to figure that one out.) Talk about an even better reason to buy a bunny necklace! So, when my budget refreshed for 2011, the very first thing I bought was my very own bunny necklace. Isn't it just awesome? And awesome x1000 because it's made by a friend. :)

Anyway, on my list of things-I-only-wanted-because-I-saw-them-on-other-bloggers was a pair of oxfords and a plaid shirt. I never used to wear button-ups, but now I'm kind of obsessed. The only thing is, I never iron my clothes because it's the most boring and difficult job ever (for every crease I iron out, I iron in two more. And of course I get my shirt dirty every time I wear it so I only get one wear out of every ironing. Not worth it). So, I discovered flannel. I don't need to iron it, and plus it's warm. Yes, I've lived my whole life in Seattle and I just bought my very first flannel shirt. And I love it. And I want 100,000 more flannel shirts so I can wear them with my Chaco sandals and North Face jacket. Just kidding. I don't own anything North Face or Chacos. I should be kicked out of Seattle.

Well, I'm going to be participating in Kendi's (ha! and you thought I was done talking about her!) next 30 for 30 Challenge. It feels like the last one JUST ended, but I can't buy clothes for the month of February anyway, so why not? I think the best part of the last challenge was the community that it created. I met so many bloggers through it, and I wasn't even participating! So needless to say, I'm kind of excited! :) Let me know if you're doing it too!!! I'm already setting aside a pile of clothes for the challenge. Whee!

P.S. My husband knows of my obsession with Kendi, and always jokes that I should rename my blog "Kimmie Everyday." Hah! But really, who doesn't love Kendi?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Budgeting with Kimmie


I've mentioned my annual clothing budget a couple times and have gotten some questions, and a few of you have told me that I've inspired you to start a clothing budget (yay! thumbs up for budgeting!) so I decided to put up a post about how my budget works and how I stick to it.

My husband would probably laugh that I'm giving budgeting advice, because I'm THE WORST at keeping track of my money and I'm confused by numbers. I'm no expert, obviously, and this is just what has worked for me in the past year.

Why a clothing budget?

People usually underestimate how much money they spend on clothes. No proven statistics (so in this case, "people" just refers to me), but this is what I feel. I never realized how much I spent until I broke it down and added up my receipts.

Clothing is optional. Hah, not really, but you don't really need new stuff all the time. I FEEL like I need new stuff, but I really don't. We could probably all survive on three shirts and a pair of pants, but then there wouldn't be any fashion blogs to read anymore. Kendi has taught us that remixing is awesome, and we really could live on a lot less clothes than what we have.

It's good to save money. Duh. Retirement sounds like it's so far away, but that doesn't mean we can wait until we're 50 to start saving up. We should be putting away money NOW. Not only saving for retirement, but there's also other stuff that we should save money for, based on our own personal goals, such as saving for a house, kids, emergency fund, or just a nice vacation. Seriously though, who isn't trying to save money?

Limiting your spending forces you to think more about what you buy. Before this budget, I would buy whatever I felt like buying, and sometimes I would end up with a bunch of clothes I liked, but didn't love. I didn't think about what I bought, or how I would incorporate it into my closet. A bunch of things sat unworn in my closet because I just didn't know how to style them. Now I'm more careful with my money, because I'd rather spend the limited funds I have on stuff I really love.

Our budgeting process:

We started budgeting a few years ago just to see where our money was going. Husband has a spreadsheet on his computer, and he enters all the receipts in and it does some fancy Excel magic and it tells us how much we save or go over every month. We noted that the one area where we were spending too much was our clothing category, so we decided to tackle that separately at the beginning of last year.

At the beginning of the year, we each started with $600 to buy whatever clothing items we wanted (clothes, shoes, accessories, socks, undergarments.. pretty much anything you wear). I could either buy a pair of Louboutins in January and then nothing else for the rest of the year (that would be counting the fact I'd be able to find Loubies on sale and in my size... OMG. WANT. But too impractical for my lifestyle or wardrobe). I chose to go with the $50/month route, and if I went over for a month, I'd just spend less the next. There were some months were I spent $20, and some months were I spent $80, but I kept track diligently to make sure I still had about $50 per month left (nothing worse than the end of the year with everything on sale and you have no money left).

I won't bore you with our failed attempt at keeping track (involves an envelope of cash and keeping track on a piece of paper. #FAIL) but halfway through the year, I found a method that worked really well for me. I downloaded a free iPhone app called CashFlow Free, which is a very simple tool that lets you keep track of cash transactions (or in this case, a set amount of money). If you don't have an iPhone, you can probably just keep track on your phone or computer or something that you will see everyday (you don't want purchases to go unrecorded!)

Whenever I buy something, whether it's online or in a store, I pull out my phone and enter it in so I don't forget about it later... even if there's a chance I'm going to return it. If I return it, I go back into the app, and put in the amount I get back.

Here are some tips that have helped me:

Partner up. If I didn't have my husband to keep me accountable, I probably would not be able to stick to the budget. Have your significant other help keep you accountable (they'll be happy to, because I have not yet met a guy who doesn't think his wife/girlfriend buys more clothes than she needs). You can also have your sister, your mom, your best friend, or even your blog help keep you accountable in sticking to your budget.

Keep it separate. I have found that having my own budget for my own clothing made more sense. Stuff like groceries and entertainment is shared, but husband can't wear my clothes, and I can't wear his, so it's better if it's separate. I take responsibility for my own clothes, and then you don't need to worry about all the "I spent this much and you spent that much."

Be diligent. I've learned that if I let one purchase slip by unrecorded, I'm more likely to let others slip as well. Keep track of everything. Keep on top of your purchases.

Keep receipts and tags on clothes until you wear them. Unless it's thrifted, I keep tags on all my clothes until I wear them, and keep a mental note of the store's return policy. I had a pair of target pants that I loved but didn't fit right. After two months of sitting there without being worn, I decided that if I'm not going to wear them now, I probably never will, and so I took them back. Bonus points because you now have extra money from the return to spend on other things.

Find more ways to add to your budget. I asked for gift cards for my birthday, and filled out surveys to get some extra cash. I used ebates and Bing cashback (now defunct), and sold clothes and random stuff on Craigslist. Credit card dividends are awesome (but also the worst because it's like, "awesome! $100!" but then you think about it, if I get 1% back, that means I just spent $10,000 last year on my CC the year before. CRAZY.) and I put my skillz to use by doing a few blog designs for some extra cash. So I calculated it out, and I had an extra $400 that went to my clothing budget over the year (majority of it from my birthday money and credit card dividend)... which is AWESOME.

Find alternative ways to get new clothes. Thrifting is a good way to get new clothes without spending a lot. Do clothing swaps with friends and trade stuff that doesn't fit anymore. Shop your sister's closet (if she's nice. Mine is. I got a few new things from there, for free!) Learn how to use a sewing machine so you can restyle old clothes into new. If you know of someone who has a fabulous wardrobe and knows that she donates a lot of stuff to Goodwill, ask her if you can have it (okay. this worked for me. Might not work for everyone, but doesn't hurt to ask ;) hehe)

Be cheap. Only buy stuff on sale.. unless you really really love it. Everything will go on sale eventually, and if they sell out, it's really not the end of the world. Use coupons. Ask about discounts.

Don't read fashion blogs. HAHA, I'm kidding about this one, but there is some truth to it. I feel like a lot of purchases I make are because I saw a similar item on another blogger. I'm obsessed with J. Crew cardigans I can't afford and shoes I'd never wear, but I want them just because every other blogger has them. Kendi put up a good quote a few months back, and I was reminded of it by Taylor today: Comparison is the thief of joy.

Don't tempt yourself. If you don't go shopping or browse your favorite online stores, you can't buy anything. Find other things to keep you occupied and stay away from your favorite stores if you know you don't have money right now to spend. Even if I plan on just window shopping, I usually end up seeing something I can't live without. Best avoid it altogether and find some other hobbies that will keep you away from the mall.


I really hope this helps. If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask :) Good luck!! Saving money FTW!

Pike Place

Dress: Target
Cardigan: Nordstrom Rack
Boots: Steve Madden
Purse: Vintage Chanel

My cousin and aunt have been in town for the past week and we've been pretty busy with family stuff. Yesterday, we decided to take advantage of MLK day and free parking downtown to take my cousin on a bit of sightseeing and shopping. Can I tell you how much I love shopping with my sister and my cousin? We're all super cheap bargain shoppers, and like to try on too much stuff. I guess it runs in the family.

On Wednesday, we're all going to Goodwill because it's the senior discount day and my mom gets 20% off. YAY. Too bad the two consecutive days of shopping with my sister and cousin have resulted in going over my budget for this month, so I'm kind of hoping that I won't find anything worth buying at Goodwill... or I'm just crossing my fingers my mom will be generous and buy my stuff for me. That's what shopping with your mom is for, right?

So anyway, shopping on MLK day, it was fun. And I went into Anthropologie for the first (and last) time ever. I don't get how those Anthro-bloggers can afford all those pretty clothes. Even the sale rack was ridiculous. I don't think I'd be able to wear any of their clothes... unless I stole it. Did I ever tell you about my shoplifting experience? I was working at Target (in high school), and was cleaning up the hair accessories aisle, and there was a really cute hair clip that had fallen off of its paper backing thing. I looked all over for the paper thing, but I couldn't find it, so I just stuck the hair clip in my pocket... and went home with it. Even 10 years later, I still feel really guilty about it. Please don't tell Target, because I don't want to be banned from their stores.

This picture was taken in front of the Pike Place Market.. it would have looked cooler if the famous fish stand right in front wasn't closed for renovation.. and my cardigan didn't look like it was 20 sizes too small. Oh well.

So, Kendi just announced ANOTHER round of the 30x30 challenge. Are you guys signing up? For those of you who did it, would you do it again? Since I'm already over my budget for January, I can't shop in February anyway. Hm.... decisions, decisions.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Take It!

Dress: Target
Cardigan: Forever 21
Belt: Charlotte Russe
Boots: Frye

Thanks to all you nice people who told me that my last outfit looked fine. I was thinking about it some more, and I think the reason why I felt so uncomfortable was because of the skirt... Since it was a tweed skirt with no stretch or slit opening, every time I'd walk, the skirt had nowhere to go but up. I've been totally fine with shorter skirts/dresses than that, as long as they're stretchy or flowy (and with leggings or tights, of course). But that doesn't mean I'm not getting old.

So my husband texted me yesterday, asking me if I saw that our YMCA is now offering valet service during peak hours. SERIOUSLY? If you're going to the gym, what's so hard about driving to the furthest parking spot and then doing something called walking? Our Y gets pretty packed at certain times, and it's hard to find parking, but really? VALET? Well, actually, now that I think about it, this would be nice when I have my son, or when I'm barely making it to one of my classes, or when it's raining. Okay, I take that back. I love it. Especially when it's free and they told us that gratuity is not expected or encouraged. I'm already paying $$$ a month to go to work out once a week, so maybe I just need to get my money's worth.

My post title has absolutely nothing to do with my post. I'm just watching season 5 of Dexter right now. That's all.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Being Uncomfortable

Sweater: The Limited
Skirt: Old Navy
Belt: Nordstrom Rack
Boots: DV by Dolce Vita

I felt really self conscious in this outfit today. First, the skirt, although it passes the fingertip rule, is a little too short for my liking. It looks fine here, but it totally rides up really high when I sit down and when I'm walking around it just feels really short. I must be getting old. Second, the sweater (which I got a SUPER good deal on, thanks to working at The Limited... 7 years ago) is a little too tight for my taste these days. And since I can't wear my flat black boots in the rain, I had to wear heeled boots today, which made me feel kind of hookerish (you know, tight shirt + heeled boots + short skirt). Okay, this outfit is probably FAR from hookerish (have you seen what those girls are wearing these days?!) but it just made me feel really self-conscious all day long.

So, I was on facebook today, and I'm looking to print a coupon for Old Navy (I don't pay full price for low quality items... and supposedly the additional 50% off clearance sale is starting tomorrow) and glanced down and saw that one of the commenters' profile picture is a from-the-side shot of her pregnant belly, showing skin and all. Look, I know I've been pregnant before, so nothing against pregnant ladies, but seriously, nothing grosses me out more than seeing all that skin stretched out across a big belly.

I don't mind fully-clothed profile belly shots, those are fine (and fun to see progress), it's just the ones where the lady lifts up her shirt or just wears a sports bra. GROSS. And half-naked maternity photos? I want to barf. (No offense if you've taken them, I just don't want to see them.) I don't understand how someone could post a bared belly picture for her facebook profile picture and pretty much force all her friends and random acquaintances to see the photo when it pops up unsuspectingly in their feeds. Am I just being weird?

Actually, now that I think about it, I think just seeing midriff skin just kind of freaks me out. I don't like seeing people's bikini or shirtless (for guys) pictures, it just makes me feel uncomfortable. Airbrushed photos of celebrities? Fine. But people that I know? Shudder. Yep, I'm getting old.

Monday, January 10, 2011

#1 Fan

Shirt: The Limited
Cardigan: Banana Republic Factory Store
Skirt: Old Navy
Boots: Indigo by Clarks
Amethyst Pendant Necklace: Gift

A few people have commented saying that they think my husband is mean... hopefully jokingly, but I realize that I may post a lot of the negative (but funny) comments he says to me. If you heard the comments I usually say to him, you'd understand where he's coming from. We have a loving relationship, and I love him more than anything, but we're not lovey dovey or mushy with each other. He's my best friend, and we're pretty sarcastic and poke fun of each other quite a bit. One of the main reasons why I started liking him was his sense of humor, and I know that I can be myself around him. Even though he makes fun of me sometimes, I'm pretty sure he's my blog's #1 fan (though he won't admit it). He gets excited when I get a new follower ("oooh two more followers today!") and keeps track of how many comments I get on each post ("so many comments on your JVDB post!"). It's kind of hilarious and endearing at the same time.

Anyway, enough about that. Let's talk jewelery. Before I started this blog, I had about two necklaces and zero bracelets or fancy rings (wedding/engagement bands don't count.. neither does my jade bracelet that doesn't come off so I'm forced to wear it whether I want to or not). After seeing bloggers with beautiful statement jewelery, I decided I wanted to start accessorizing more, but didn't know where to start. I entered Sydney of Basic Cravings' giveaway for a Stella & Dot ring on a whim (I thought it was pretty but totally not my style. Gold? no thanks) and won, which was pretty exciting! Since it was around the holiday time, it took Sydney a little longer to send it out (which is totally acceptable and I didn't mind at all), but she felt bad so she included this necklace along with my ring. Isn't that seriously the sweetest thing ever? It's my first long necklace, and I'm kind of in love with the length and simplicity of it. And the ring? I was silly for thinking I'd never wear it. I probably wear it about 4 days out of the week (you can probably see it in half my outfit pictures.. I still have yet to do a detail shot), and for those other three days , I have to force myself to NOT wear it. It's so pretty, and I love it. If you're interested in Stella & Dot jewelery, Sydney just became a Stella & Dot rep, so buy from her! She's the sweetest.

Friday, January 7, 2011

March of the penguins

T-shirt: Forever 21
Cardigan: The Limited
Pencil Skirt: Target
Shoes: Indigo by Clarks
Necklace: Forever 21

I had been looking for a high waisted pencil skirt for the longest time, and finally found one at Target a few months ago, and I bought it WHEN IT WASN'T ON CLEARANCE. I think that may have been a first for me. (It was on sale, so that justified my purchase).

This one is a little different from my other pencil skirts in that it's not very stretchy at all. I had to take mini steps everywhere (and looking ridiculous while doing so), and it was so hard climbing into my car. AND, it was not very comfortable sitting down, since the waist band was like cutting into my stomach. I'm not sure how people function in these things!

Anyway, this outfit would have been a lot cuter without the too-big-but-not-on-purpose cardigan or the black tights, but it was freaking cold. What can I do? I can't wait til the weather warms up and I can go cardigan-free. YAY. I feel like I wear cardigans EVERY SINGLE DAY and I'm getting a little sick of it.

So, I always forget to bring my mouse home from work when I bring my laptop home. I unplug it and then leave it on my desk by accident. So I wanted to order an extra mouse to leave at home, and when a front page deal on slickdeals.net came up for a $10 wireless mouse, I quickly ordered one (anyone else obsessed with that site? just me?) and was eagerly awaiting my little green mouse. I got an email yesterday saying that the green mouse was discontinued, and that I could either choose the alternate color (purple) or cancel my order. I chose the purple one. And then I got an email today saying that my green mouse was discontinued, and my order was canceled and my credit card not charged. Then four hours later saying that my order (of the green mouse) shipped. So am I getting one or not? SO ANNOYING.

Ok, so the title of this post was suggested by my husband, because I told him I was having to take little steps everywhere today. I hope I didn't look like a penguin. :(

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Stripes and Lace

Button-up: Thrifted (orig. Gap)
Cardigan: Forever 21
Lace Skirt: Target
Belt: Forever 21
Boots: Steve Madden

This outfit was inspired (aka I was too lazy to come up with my own outfit and just copied someone else) by The Queen of Oz, who posted an adorable outfit including the same Target lace skirt, plus a chambray button-up and maroon cardigan. Since I don't own a chambray button-up, I had to go with this thrifted Gap button-down... that I just washed and hadn't had a chance to iron yet.

Since my ironing board is one of the few things in my room that my son can't reach, I pile A LOT of crap on there, you know, like in-the-middle-of-sewing-and-has-pins-in-it stuff that should be kept away from little toddler hands. Anyway, I was too lazy to clear off the ironing board this morning, so I decided to spritz the front of the shirt with a little water and use my hair straightener to just iron out the front (the only part that needed ironing, IMO*). I felt like a genius.

I was looking for this particular park today and couldn't find it, so I settled for this stairwell-between-two-streets thingy. I was in the middle of taking my pictures, when a truck load of construction workers looking for the street below leaned over the edge of the railing above me and said hi. SO AWKWARD.

*Since I only had a small number of mediocre pictures to choose from, I asked my husband to help me pick one out. He didn't like half the pictures because he said it looked like my shirt needed ironing. Genius FAIL.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Van Der Beek Overload

Cardigan: Banana Republic
Blouse: Hand-me-down
Jeans: Hudson
Necklace: Target

I hate it when I have a location picked out, and then there's some random dude IN MY SPOT. This happened yesterday a bunch of times, and today as well. I was taking some test shots around the EMP yesterday, you know, like positioning my camera on my little gorillapod, taking a few test self-timer shots to see if I liked the angle and lighting before taking off my jacket and doing it for realz.. and then this random guy just walks up. I thought he was going to say something like "oh, don't you just love this angle of the building?" or "Would you like me to take a photo for you?" - you know, something that a normal person would say to someone who is positioning a camera like obviously they are about to take photos of themselves. But no, he stops like 3 feet away from me, and starts taking photos of my background I was just about to use. Seriously, dude? Of all the photographable sections of the building you just had to pick the one that was currently occupied?


And it's not like I could move to somewhere else because it's a little tricky to find somewhere with a railing/ledge at the right height, and that place was kind of perfect. I was going to wait until he left, but I think he was purposely just taking his own sweet time, so I just gathered up my camera and left.


Anyway, today, I went to a little beach spot that I found a few weeks ago, and there's this dude just sitting on one of the logs looking out to the water.. so I had to find an alternate location.


So I walked around and I found this other previously-undiscovered spot. YAY!


But then there's like this office building that kind of overlooks this place and I'm pretty sure anyone looking out the window would see me and think I'm a weirdo. I hate it because they can see me but I can't see them.


Okay, that's enough of James Van Der Beek.


But these are kind of hilarious and awesome. I apologize if you find it disturbing. :)
[gifs via jamesvandermemes.com]

Monday, January 3, 2011

Animal Print

Top: Charlotte Russe
Cardigan: Forever 21
Skirt: Banana Republic Factory Store
Necklace: Kenneth Cole

I hate animal print. You know, like leopard, cheetah, zebra, giraffe, whatever. It looks good on other people, but I just can't stand it on myself. This shirt, however, is my kind of animal print. I was drawn to it on the Charlotte Russe $5 rack after Christmas... IT HAS CUTE LITTLE GIRAFFES ALL OVER IT. Seriously, how could I NOT buy it? I wasn't a big fan of the fit (boxy, and a little too short to tuck in.. I keep having to re-tuck after bending over) but IT HAS CUTE LITTLE GIRAFFES ALL OVER IT. Sold.

2011 has gotten off to a pretty good start. I finished some sewing projects that have been sitting in my room for too long, and got started on an easy skirt that I know I'm going to love (I tend to be an overachiever and like to work on complicated patterns, then a few steps in, I get stuck and never finish them). I was proud of myself for making a test version of the skirt (a muslin, if you will) first, since I've never bothered to do that before.. then wondered why I always ended up with fugly clothes that don't fit well.

Also, I made not one, but TWO dishes yesterday from scratch. Both turned out not very tasty (some stuffed mushrooms and turkey meatballs, blech) but at least they were edible and nutritious.

I had planned on wearing my new burgundy heels with this outfit this morning, but I stepped outside and my calves immediately hated me for freezing them. So boots it is. At least they're heeled, which is a step forward, right?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy 2011!

I don't think I've ever made New Years Resolutions before. I think I just assumed I wouldn't be able to keep them up or I'd just forget completely. Now that I have a blog, it'll be easier to keep myself accountable... I hope. So here we are, my very first New Years Resolutions for 2011!

  1. Cook at least one meal from scratch a week.
    We go out to eat or have food from our parents (yes, we're lucky) A LOT. Or, we'll just cook frozen dumplings or a frozen pizza and call it a meal. We've already started cooking healthy meals more, I just want to keep it up.

  2. Work out at least three times a month.
    Yes, I said MONTH. Also, learn how to use the home CrossFit-type gym that my husband set up.

  3. Compliment at least one person a day.
    This one I stole from Kileen's resolutions. I'm always scared of approaching strangers and telling them how much I like their shoes/purse/coat/hair/makeup.. but I need to get over my fears. I mean, everyone likes compliments, right?

  4. Take at least one photo of my son a day.
    He grows way too fast, and I really want to remember every moment! I started a flickr account for his daily pictures, and since mid-November, I've only missed one day. I want to keep it up!

  5. Learn how to use the manual settings on my camera.
    I complain about my camera, but that's because I use the automatic settings. I know my camera can take good pictures, I just need to learn how to use it properly.

  6. Be more bold in my clothing and accessory choices.
    This is already a work in progress, but I'm still scared of going outside of my comfort zone. In 2011, I want to wear heels to work. I want to wear more color. I want to be a better accessorizer. I want to wear my leather skirt that I LOVE but am too scared to wear. (WHY? I don't know. I'm a wuss.)

  7. Take better care of my body.
    This means, sleeping earlier, drinking more water, eating healthier, taking my vitamins, getting all my check-ups, etc. Basically, what my mom has been telling me for the past 25+ years.

  8. Document my life better.
    I was putting together my 2010 Retrospective yesterday and realized that I don't have very many photos of myself. I'm usually the one behind the camera, and the pictures are usually of my son. I can't even remember what I was doing for half the year, so hopefully this little blog will help with recording my personal achievements and non-baby related stuff.
Okay, the last three items are pretty lame, because they're all subjective. But they ARE things that I'm passionate about working on. So good luck to me, and good luck to you, if you've made resolutions for yourself! :)