Thursday, January 31, 2013

Looking taller

Cardigan: Target
Tee: Alternative Apparel
Jeans: Target
Booties: Target
Scarf: Forever 21

I take the majority of my photos using a tripod set at a waist-high level. Sometimes if I'm trying to be inconspicuous in a public place and don't want to bust out my tripod, I'll place my camera on a ledge or a post that is about waist-high or lower, but never anything taller. I'd much rather have the camera be at a lower angle looking up than a higher angle looking down. My photography skills pretty much suck because I usually just set the self-timer and hope for the best (which results in a lot of blurry photos), but the one thing that I do have control over is the angle at which the camera is placed.

The other day I decided to take photos at this little park but it was raining pretty hard that day and the grass was all mushy so I took pictures on the sloped sidewalk. At first I placed the tripod on the slope above me with the camera angled downwards, and I was surprised how short I looked in the photos that ensued. My head was huge and my legs looked so stumpy! So I switched spots with my tripod and shot upwards, and that proved to be a much more flattering angle, because my head is further away and my legs are closer to the camera, making them look longer, and therefore making me look taller. Just a few inches of difference resulted in completely different photos. See photographic evidence below:

So there you go, a non-photographer's tip of the day: place your camera lower and angle it upwards to make yourself look taller!

PS. I'm glad so many of you said you'd be interesting in linking up for the 'style the oldest wearable item in your closet' challenge in my last post! I'll be figuring things out and letting you guys know the details soon. Most likely I'll set it for some time in mid-February to give us all enough time to do some closet digging :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Old things

Dress: Forgot
Cardigan: Banana Republic
Boots: Steve Madden
Scarf: Burberry
Thanks to everyone who left me nice "get well soon" comments on my last post! Thank goodness it was truly a 24 hour bug, and I was feeling completely better the next day, but man, those 24 hours were BAD.

I wore this outfit a week or two ago when I was feeling a little bit "blah" and the last thing I wanted to reach for was constricting jeans or anything with a belt. I also was in no mood for colors, so black, brown, and taupe it was.

Funny thing is, everything in this outfit was bought in 2008 or 2009. The cardigan may be the newest item with a November 2009 purchase date (I looked up the order confirmation email), but the dress was bought as a maternity dress when I was pregnant with P (he turns four this year). So yep, I wear a lot of old stuff around here.

I think I'm going to try to dig out the OLDEST wearable item in my closet and see how I style it now. Wearable item because I'm not talking about those holey t-shirts that I've saved since 1990 or my prom dress hanging in the back of my closet. The oldest thing I can think of off the top of my head dates back to around 2005, but I'm SURE I can find stuff from college or earlier if I dig hard enough. Anyone else want to do this with me? If enough of you show interest, I could set up a linky party and we can all go around to each others' blogs and laugh at how old our clothes is. :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Best night ever

Sweater: Old Navy
Pants: Old Navy Rockstar

I had an awesome night last night. First, my 8-month old would NOT go to sleep. She woke up at 1am crying and no matter what I did to try to comfort her, she cried straight for 2 hours before going back to bed at 3. Then she woke up again at 4am crying, which was super fun, but I was able to get her back down by 4:30. Oh, and my son had caught some sort of 24 hour stomach virus a few days ago and apparently gave it to me, because I had to get out of bed three times to go puke up all my stomach acid. And you know what's even better? *TMI ALERT* My face got splashed with toilet water from my forceful puking. Yuck yuck yuck. Not enough soap in the world can wash that away.

Needless to say, I didn't sleep much last night and I called in sick today and dropped the kids off at my parents/in-laws (one for each side) so I can get some rest, but not before washing my face again for good measure. So, how was YOUR night?

PS. The outfit above was from a few days ago. I'm wearing pajamas right now, duh. Just had to turn on my computer to send a few work-related emails and figured that I couldn't fit my night into a status of 140 characters so I decided to write a post instead. :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

2012 Favorite Things

I know January is already half over, but Katrina tagged me in her 2012 favorite things post and I thought I'd share my own favorite things from the past year.

Favorite makeup
I don't like buying or experimenting with makeup, mostly because I already have my set of "holy grail" products and I disappoint myself every time I try something new. I just really, really like my favorites and prefer to just stick to them. However, my sister bought me the Fairydrops Scandal Queen Mascara, and it is AMAZING. My previous favorite was the L'Oreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara, which is awesome because it creates little tubes around the lashes and washes off easily with warm water, and doesn't smudge with my small/hooded eyes. The Scandal Queen mascara is pretty similar, except that it also has little fibers in it that adhere to your lashes making them look so much longer! Love it.

Favorite book
I didn't get to read as much as I had hoped to last year, and a look at my 2012 list shows that I only read 5 Orson Scott Card books (I'm in love with Ender's Game, but all of other books in the Ender's Saga have only been OK, which makes me sad) and the first three books of the A Song of Ice and Fire series (aka George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones books). All three books (and the fourth, which I'm almost done with) are so, so, so good, though they are insanely long and I can't get all the characters straight, so I like to look them up in the ASOIAF wiki and accidentally read the spoilers. Whoops.

Favorite song/album

Are you going to think I'm a weirdo because I don't really listen to music? I turn on the radio once in awhile but I don't really care for any songs/albums/artists right now. I had a phase when I was in college when I went to concerts ALL THE TIME but I'm just over that right now. I'd rather listen to the news, talk shows, or audiobooks.

Favorite movie

I didn't watch that many movies in 2012. We only went to the theaters a handful of times for those $1 kid movie mornings, but I did watch The Hobbit twice, and it was amazing, even the 2nd time. This is coming from a person who didn't care much about the LOTR series when it came out, but I'm going to try to read the books one of these days (after I finish the Song of Ice and Fire series) and re-watch them afterwards.

One thing you’re grateful for?

A totally sappy answer, but I'm so grateful for my family. My parents and in-laws have been wonderful the past year, helping us out with childcare and food. Did I ever tell you that my parents and in-laws not only watch my kids, but also cook me dinner so I always have a hot meal waiting for me when I pick the kids up? It's so so so nice to not have to worry about dinner after work. Yes, I know how lucky I am.

Greatest challenge?

Adjusting to life with two kids. Taking care of a newborn is hard enough, but with a stubborn (and sometimes jealous) toddler, it's pretty tough. Sometimes I just want a break from it all, but then I see their precious little faces and I just want to hug them so hard. They are the light in my life.

What are you looking forward to in 2013?

Baby's first birthday is coming up in a few months in May, along with P's 4th birthday (WHAT? where did the time go?) and I'm just looking forward to seeing both of them continue to grow and learn and become more independent. The photo above is from P's first birthday, which feels like it was just yesterday. SIGH.

I know I'm supposed to tag more people, but I hate tagging people that don't want to answer, or leaving out people that do, so if you want to share your answers, just go for it! I TAG YOU. And of course, leave me a comment so I can go read yours! :)


Dress: Forever 21
Cardigan: Gap Outlet
Belt (worn backwards): Forever 21
Boots: Frye Carson (in Smoke)

It is still freezing up in here, despite reading about you Californians getting temperatures in the high 70s (what? We barely get to the high 70s in the middle of the summer! Ugh). The day I wore this, it was torture taking off my warm winter coat to snap a few photos, and all I could think of was "whyyyyyyy?" Why bother taking pictures of my outfits? They are neither groundbreaking nor inspirational. They're just everyday normal people clothes.

But I guess I like updating this blog, and my goal for trying to take pictures every work day has been going well, except for the one day when I forgot to and didn't realize it until it was too dark outside (at like 4:30pm, UGH). I actually have a backlog of outfits (actually, two. a backlog of two but still, it's a backlog), but sometimes I just have nothing to say in my post, because it's JUST CLOTHES so the pictures just sit in my drafts for a few days before I finally think of something to say. Obviously that did not happen because this post really has no point. Okay, Bye!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Mystery Sweater

Chambray shirt: Target
Sweater: Calvin Klein
Skirt: Forever 21
Boots: Steve Madden

I can't even remember when I bought this sweater or where. I'm PRETTY sure I bought it when I was still in college, which was at least 7 years ago. I've only worn it a handful of times because the length was shorter than what I liked, and the little beads that are sewn down the front annoyed me, so the sweater sat unworn in my closet for years.

Now that I've recently fallen in love with layering sweaters and button-up shirts (I didn't own any button-up shirts until the last two years due to my lifelong hate of ironing), I decided to try out the sweater again. With the extra layer underneath, the shorter sweater length is perfect now! Though I haven't decided if I want to cut off the beads or not. On one hand, I feel they give the plain black sweater a bit of character, and on the other hand, they're scratchy and I could do without them.

Also, the winner of my $50 gift card giveaway from last week was Brynn! Congrats, lady! Check your email :) Thank you to everyone who entered! I absolutely LOVED reading all of your responses and was cracking up over some of the entries that read like personal ads :) You guys are all so smart and awesome and I'm so happy that you've found my blog in one way or another, though I can't believe so many of you dislike buttered popcorn Jelly Bellys. THEY ARE THE BEST.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Winter uniform

Plaid shirt: Target
Sweater: Target
Jeans: AG
Boots: Frye Melissa Button

This outfit is a complete copy of my previously wrinkled outfit, but I switched plaid shirts, sweaters, jeans, and boots. I guess you can say that it's my winter go-to uniform. I'll try not to bore you guys with a million different variations, but it's hard when it's so cold outside and all I want to do is to wear as many layers as possible.

Although, I will have to say that wearing boots with smooth leather soles is probably not the ideal icy morning footwear. I can't count how many times I almost slipped, but by walking realllllly slowly and carefully (and probably looking ridiculous), I was able to avoid any faceplants.

I did want to buy a pair of winter boots with good traction (I own none), but I can't seem to find any that I like. I was supposed to get a pair for Christmas but I never settled on a favorite pair, so that never happened. Sorel boots are cute (and their Target knock-offs as well, but those had cheap plastic lace loops that were all broken when I tried them on in store) but I have yet to find a pair that makes me go, "I MUST HAVE THESE, RIGHT NOW." January and February is probably a good time to be buying boots when retailers are trying to clear out their winter gear, so I'm starting to get antsy because I don't want to wait too long as to have my sizes sold out. Any suggestions?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Hanger Loop

Dress: Forever 21
Belt: Romy
Cardigan: Target
Boots: Frye Caroline Campus

When I pulled this dress out of my closet the other day, I thought to myself, "Hmm, maybe I should cut off these stupid hanger loop things because they're pretty annoying and useless." But since I didn't have my seam ripper close by, I decided I'd save the task for another day and just tucked the straps in. I guess I could have just used scissors but if I was going to remove the loops, I wanted to do it cleanly.

I've since regretted the decision, as every time I glanced in the mirror that day, a pesky hanger loop would have found its way out. No matter how many times I tucked it back in, the persistent little loop would have freed itself from under my dress and cardigan. And of course, these photos were hurriedly snapped in the morning and looked fine on the tiny camera screen, but when I opened them up on my computer later that evening? HANGER LOOP, STARING AT ME.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

500 follower giveaway! (Closed)

Update: The winner of the giveaway is Brynn! Congrats! :)

I know that the number of Google Friend Connect followers is *just* a number, but it makes me ridiculously happy that 500 (FIVE HUNDRED!!!) of you have clicked that little "Join this site" button. Thank you! It just makes me feel a little bit more legit in the whole blogging world.

Also, I just got in my very first affiliate payment, so I decided to give some it back to you guys who helped me earn it!

I try not to shove affiliate links in your faces (those little links that give me a small cut of your transaction if you end up making a purchase after you click on one), and I only link when I can find the exact item*. Most of the time I can't, since 99% of the items I wear are old and no longer available online. So it's kind of a big deal that I've finally made enough money in my account to get paid.

How to enter:

Since it's a 500 follower giveaway, you must be a follower of my blog (click on "Join this site" in the Google Friend Connect box on the left hand side) AND answer these questions in a comment on this post:
  1. Are you a follower of my blog? (hint: answer should be "YES")
  2. Which retailer would you would want a $50 gift certificate to? Target? Gap? Forever 21? Nordstrom? J.Crew? As long as I can get a gift card, it's fair game. If I pick a winner whose choice is impossible for me to get, you'll have to pick a new retailer.
  3. Tell me a little about yourself, I love getting to know all of you! (For example: location, age, occupation, your blog URL if you have one, Twitter or Instagram username, how you found out about my blog, favorite books, biggest pet peeves, celebrity crush, dream job, least favorite Jelly Belly flavor, basically anything!)
One comment per person please. Any additional comments will be deleted.

Giveaway is open to anyone who has the ability to use gift cards... so international readers are welcome to enter. Giveaway ends on Friday, January 18th at noon PST. I'll be using to pick a winner. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email or I'll pick a new winner. Good luck!

*I did just add a "shop this look" widget to the bottom of my posts last week to show some similar items (but don't worry, you can see the price/retailer/image BEFORE clicking on anything).

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The 90s

Top: Target
Skirt: Old Navy
Boots: Frye Rory

Flannel and corduroy together remind me of the grungy 90s, even though I'm pretty sure the most grungy thing I owned back then was a pair of black combat boots that I wore to death. My 90s wear consisted more of carpenter jeans and baby doll t-shirts with giant CK logos. I did have JNCO jeans (though mine were the girlier kind but still super wide legged), Doc Martens, and a million conch shell necklaces. Or was that the 2000s? Everything from that era just blends together. So much bad fashion.

And because I must know, what were YOU wearing back in the 90s?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Scarf Issues

Sweater: Forever 21
Jeans: Target
Boots: Target
Scarf: Aerie

I'm not really a scarf person. As in, I don't know how to wear scarves fashionably. I wear them when it's cold outside and my neck needs extra warmth, but I rarely wear scarves as a part of an outfit.

I wore this last week when I was recovering from a slight cold, and I could not bear to take off my scarf (SO COZY) when I got to the office so I just left it on. I didn't know what to do with the two hanging ends though, since I usually just tuck them in my coat when I'm wearing one. Do the ends look weird to you? I couldn't decide. I'm almost tempted to cut them off and sew it all into an infinity scarf.

How do you guys wear your winter scarves fashionably?

Linking up with Marionberry's Trend of the Month: Stripes :)

8 Ways to Wear A Chambray Shirt

Hey guys! Audrey from Putting Me Together featured me today over on her blog, and I'm showing readers eight different ways to wear a chambray shirt. Click on over! »

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Blue and Yellow

Tank top: Target
Cardigan: Halogen
Skirt: Old Navy
Boots: Indigo by Clarks

Blue and yellow always remind me of our rival high school's colors, so I tend not to wear them together, but now I'm thinking I kind of like this combination... though not the grey tights + grey tank combo, I'll change that next time.

I hope everyone had a good holiday and new years! Judging from my Instagram feed, it looked like everyone had a nice long break from work. I technically only got three days off (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Day) but since I'm off every Wednesday (I only work 4 days a week), and the other days in the office were SO slow, it felt like a vacation anyway.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

December budget recap

  1. Maroon cocoon sweater (Target):
    Originally $23, on clearance for $16 + tax = $17 (used gift card)
  2. Blue blazer (Forever 21)
    Originally $30, on clearance for $15 - 50% off sale + tax = $8
  3. Lace dress (Forever 21)
    Originally $25, on clearance $12 - 50% off sale + tax = $7
  4. Grey cocoon sweater (Target)
    Originally $23, on clearance for $16 + tax = $17 (used gift card)
  5. Grey sweater (Target)
    Originally $25, on clearance for $12 + tax = $13 ($4 after using $9 gift card)
  6. Navy blue military jacket (Target)
    Originally $45, on clearance for $13 + tax = $14
  7. White tee (Target)
    Originally $10, on sale for $7 + tax = $8
  8. Striped sweater (Forever 21)
    $20 + tax = $22
  9. Plaid scarf (Forever 21)
    Originally $7, on clearance for $3 - 50% off sale + tax = $2
December total: $65

I started December off with $120 to spend (see my monthly spending here) and was doing pretty well with only three items (the maroon cardigan, blue blazer and lace dress) purchased by the time Christmas rolled around, and I still had $105 left even after an unsuccessful day-after-Christmas visit to the mall.

Then I went to Target with a few gift cards burning a hole in my pocket, and found some things in the clearance racks that I couldn't resist leaving behind. And on the 31st, I still had some of my budget left so I dropped into Forever 21 again to see if there were any other good sale items left (50% off sale prices, my favorite!) and found a FULL PRICE (gasp) sweater that I really really liked. I don't know why buying full price items makes me feel so guilty, and especially at a place like Forever 21 where the prices are dirt cheap to begin with, but hey, it was the end of the year and I had money to burn, so I allowed myself a little splurge.

I finished the year off with $55 of my $600 annual budget remaining, which I'm pretty proud of, though my actual spending was a little more since I used up some gift cards and had a bonus $50 cash added in. The extra $55? It's going towards a pair of Frye boots that I bought from Caroline which will be going in the January budget, so I'll be starting the new year off with two months of no-shopping. Should be fun!

Happy new year!