October 3, 2011
It’s Monday and I’m here with a 3 day challenge that I think will be fun. My previous post, on New Yorkers and fashion, have lead me to my latest challenge. I enjoy challenging myself to be a tad fashion forward and I admire the fearlessness of New York women and their fashion choices. So this week, I will dress based on each of the observations. Let’s recap so we all know what I’m in for.
– New York Women are Unafraid to Experiment
– Their wardrobe is a host of unique, one-of-a-kind pieces
– Fashion should be effortless
So with that being said, today I am attempting to be effortless in my fashion choice. Today we are experiencing some really cool temperatures. I don’t love the cold (50 degrees is cold for me!) but I love dressing for the cooler months. I’m kind of in love with this look and it was extremely comfortable to wear all day! The best part was that the stockings have the same chevron pattern as the dress! Subtle but noted! (still getting used to having my pic taken)
Already have tomorrow’s look ready. It’s going to be my Unafraid to Experiment Look. I’m a little nervous because it will be trés bold! Stay tuned.
September 22, 2011
Have you ever heard the expression, “Old habits die hard?” or “Slow and steady wins the race”? Well, in my fearless attempt to dress a little better and this week’s challenge of wearing a pair of heels, I am listening to these brilliant words of wisdom. I did not wear heels today, but my favorite pair of Steve Madden Kingdom flats in cognac. I even put on that new Saints shirt again this morning, but had I worn it today, I might not have written a post and would be seeking a hiding place over the next few days. Only yesterday I bragged how unchallenging the ability to wear heels was only to be met with a comfortable pair of flats on this overcast and rainy Thursday. I feel like I did a terrible thing and let myself and the challenge down. But then again, only three months ago, I was a mess of cheap logo tees, ripped jeans and $2 Old Navy flip flops. I was whining a few posts ago that Cost Per Wear was silly and that expensive things were just that, expensive. Part of the growth is recognizing the problem and while I could have opted for some of my cheaper teenage-style clothes, I still managed to put together a nice outfit of tailored jeans, a structured top from Anthropologie, a bit of makeup and my hair straightened and pulled back into a sleek ponytail.
I also know that I probably won’t be wearing the heels tomorrow, but on a more upbeat note, I am heading to New York City this weekend for a fun trip to visit my sister-in-law and her husband and to do some major field reporting of true New Yorker style! Holy Moly!! I cannot wait. What is it about New Yorkers and their effortless urban chicn style? I just finished packing and tried to look as toned down as possible in my wardrobe choices. I have the same feeling when I went to Cannes a few years back. I shopped at JCrew prior to the trip and purchased a wardrobe that I hoped wouldn’t scream American. It didn’t scream American but it did scream librarian next to the fab high fashion ‘drobes of the French Riviera locals. I’m hoping I have a little more sense this time around. Expect a full report and hopefully a bunch of Instagrams of New York street style at its finest.
While I may not have followed through on today or tomorrow’s heels challenge(I will be walking through some of the largest airports), please note that my suitcase is packed with heels, flats, skinny jeans, a fab scarf and hopefully I will blend in and not feel so librarian this time around.
September 16, 2011
Whew! I’m not sure who is happier that the first challenge of painting my nails a different color everyday for a week is over, me or my nails! The exciting part was that I pulled out some bottles that I had never used and my polishing skills greatly improved. The downside was that I think the remover was a little tough on my nails. They feel a little raw. They really took one for the team! I have one last shade to share with you, but first a recap:
Nice variety, dontcha think? And yes, I spoiled it for you with the last image. Today’s shade is not really a shade, but some therapy for the nails. I couldn’t help myself. I was staring at my 40 bottles trying to decide what to do, but I gave my nails a little rest today.
I went for some Sally Hansen, Hard As Nails, in Natural Tint. Yes, tint, not shade!
It’s already got me thinking about what next week’s challenge is going to be. I am going to New York City next weekend for a fun quick trip, so I definitely need to take that into consideration. Maybe I should do a NYC Weekend Challenge? hmmm…lots to think about. Stay tuned and have a great weekend!
September 15, 2011
Hello there! It’s Thursday and the challenge of polishing my nails everyday is winding down. My fingertips are a little raw from removing nail polish day after day, but I have experimented a lot and my polishing skills are really clean and I rarely shake anymore! It also has me thinking about some future challenges, like heels for a week (still thinking about this one), different colored stockings for a week, a dress a day! so many options. It will help me break out of my jeans everyday challenge that I’ve been doing for years!
Let me share with you my latest polish. Probably not something I would want to wear an entire week, but that’s the fun of the challenge. I also wanted to see what jewel tones I had in my collection. Last year, my
enabler sweet husband gave me just about every bottle of Maybelline’s Express Finish line. I love them, but the shiny colors make it difficult to apply and they often come out streaky and clumpy. Whenever I would go get a professional manicure, I would get these shiny opalescent colors and would ask what the secret is to applying them. The key is to keep the brush as thin as possible and paint two coats. It takes practice but I finally have the hang of it. Today I’m wearing Maybelline’s Express Finish in Timely Turquoise and it screamed ‘Give me some Glitter!!’ so I added a few sparkles with the Wet N Wild Party of Five Glitters that I sported earlier this week. It’s very Tron-like! haha. Stay tuned. Another big affordable retailer is pairing up with a fashion giant! More news to come.
September 14, 2011
Have we recovered from a crazy shopping day yesterday? I explained the Target Missoni shopping experience to my husband last night and when I told him that items are selling at crazy high prices on ebay, I swear I saw dollar signs flash in his eyes. I even thought about taking all the items with me to work today, just to be safe. I am wearing my fab velour hoodie today and I do love it!
Nail Polish-A-Day Challenge: Day 4: I’m sporting a new polish today that I absolutely love! I will say, this has been quite a challenge to paint my nails day after day but it’s also been lots of fun and I feel myself becoming better and better at applying polish. Today’s color comes from Banana Republic. I shopped at the Banana Republic Factory store in Myrtle Beach over Labor Day weekend and it was a total impulse buy at the counter. Boy am I glad that I had an impulse that day. This has become my new favorite shade. The bottles are also really small and the small nail brush makes it really easy to apply to the corners without painting your whole finger. Check it out in Orchid Blossom. My only hangup is that I believe these are exclusive to the factory stores. I don’t see them for sale anywhere online! Too bad because I would have bought a few bottles.
September 13, 2011
I want to quickly share my Tuesday nail polish and then let’s talk Target. Today, the third installment of my Nail Polish-A-Day Challenge and I chose my favorite reliable OPI Red: Color So Hot It Berns. Red nails are classic and this perfect red was part of last Fall’s Swiss collection. I should probably go buy more of it.
I did not go to the gym this morning as promised but plan to go this evening when I get home from work. However, I did learn that I can in fact get up early in the morning when it’s dark out if there is good enough reason to. And today, there was: Target for Missoni! The Caroline Street store in Atlanta was my goal. I thought about going on my lunch break, but last night realized that I probably needed to get in when they opened at 8am. I set some ground rules for myself: No more than two items or budget of $100, don’t buy it if you don’t love it. I’m fairly new to shopping events so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I woke up at 630am, showered, ate breakfast with my cat Figaro and bolted out the door at 730. I arrived at Target at 8:04. A few cars but nothing drastic. I’m never
at Target anywhere that early so it didn’t seem unexpected. Inside was a different story!
First of all, the employees still had everything in boxes. I worked in the Virgin Megastore, French Quarter for almost 5 years and if we were expecting a huge release, we cleared shelves for it around 11pm on a Monday night! Crowds of women were pulling stuff out of boxes. It’s like they didn’t even care about the sizes. They just wanted it. I was embarrassed for women today! It felt a little ugly. All the accessories were snatched up and one woman’s child was buried beneath the Missoni signature fabrics! I thought it was a cart full of return items until I heard it speak!! All I wanted was the velour hoodie from Look 5 and something else. I started to feel concerned that I may not get what I wanted so I started to grab whatever was available in my size. I pulled two dresses and a green sweater, when finally I saw the velour hoodie, in my size, one! sitting on a rack and no one near it. I grabbed it and ran off to the dressing room. I tried it on as well as the sleeveless sweater dress (the one cute little Elizabeth Olsen was seen wearing on the red carpet) and fell in love! By 8:36 I had paid $102!!!! and was on my way to work. Nightmarish I tell you, but what a rush! And now, I own two pieces of the Fall 2011 Missoni collection for Target.
September 12, 2011
Monday morning! I’d love to say that I got up at 630 and crawled myself down the street to the gym, but I did not! It is so hard to get up when it gets darker outside. I promise I am going tomorrow morning though. I plan to sleep in my gym clothes. I wasn’t totally unproductive though! I painted my nails for the second installment of the Nail Polish-A-Day Challenge. While yesterday was glittery and gold, today is a bit more somber. It’s MONDAY! Need more coffee. I chose to use two colors. I painted a base coat of Sally Hansen’s Insta-Dri in Uptempo Plum. I love these Insta-Dri polishes. The brush is angled and it really does dry almost instantly. Plus they are extremely affordable! I painted a few glittery sparkles on top with Wet n Wild’s Party of Five Glitters. I love all these new glittery shades, even if they are really difficult to remove. They take a little practice too. Instead of painting them right on, I let the brush drip the glitter on top. It looks like confetti.
Already thinking about what to wear for Tuesday. I guarantee it will tie in with a big lunchtime shopping spree over to Target for the Missoni unveiling! Click on the image below for the entire lookbook.
September 11, 2011
I love Sundays in the Fall! You’ll often find me watching the New Orleans Saints on TV, cooking a big meal (today that is mushroom lasagna) and getting ready for the work week. Each week it never fails me to start experiencing the Sunday Blues around 430-5pm! It stems from my childhood, dreading going back to school after playing with my Barbies all weekend. But today is such a beautiful day, I want to wear something to remind me to keep on shining!
Today, as the first entry in my Nail Polish-A-Day Challenge, I’m sporting a glittery gold hue from Orly called Luxe! It shimmers in the sun, it makes me think of the leaves turning to gold and even though they lost in a well-played game Thursday night against the Packers, this ones for the boys! Who Dat! I also love that gold and glitter are moving their way to the front of the line for this Fall’s must have colors. Starting off the week with a bang of solid gold!
August 29, 2011
It’s been exactly two months since my wardrobe journey began. I’ve been immersed in a crash course of high fashion, beauty tips and working within a strict shopping budget. I tell my students ‘My expectations of you have exceeded beyond the scope of this class!’ Well, as a budding fashionista, I’m patting myself on the back today for exceeding my own expectations in such a short time. Never did I think I could come so far and I’m only getting started.
Not to be a Debbie Downer, but this post is bittersweet for me. Today is August 29, 2011 and six years ago on this date, I sat in my brother’s LSU apartment, with my parents, and my now sister-in-law, Tiffany, as we watched our beloved city of New Orleans flood. We sat there empty of all material possessions but as a family. I thought I was only going away for 48 hours, not 3 weeks, so I didn’t take anything. I had the clothes on my back, which late August in New Orleans, means as little as possible. Prior to that date, life was fearless and I shopped and celebrated life with not a care in the world. I was invincible and had never experienced much pain and heartbreak. I didn’t know what it was like to feel loss. That day marked a huge change in my life. I began to look at everything differently. Life became sad to me. But I also looked at each day glad to be alive and somehow having no material possessions became a liberating experience. It felt unnecessary to have anything of value and as I moved forward, I tried to get by with the bare minimum. Clothes were no longer a personal statement, but a necessity so I refused to buy anything of value, in fear that it could all be taken away without a moment’s notice. But healing takes time and I eventually woke up one day and realized life could pass me by and I didn’t want to miss out on one of my favorite past times: Retail Therapy! Nothing extravagant, just a boost of confidence of owning something new. And it has taken six years to finally get to that point again.
I spent Sunday afternoon in Lenox Mall, with the attitude that it is okay to splurge on myself from time to time. After three hours, some great deals and trips in and out almost every store, I walked away with some new basics to help me move forward for the next six years! Today’s post originally started off with different intentions, but I got a little off track and self-reflective instead. Thanks for listening and in return I would love to share with you my latest spree!
August 23, 2011
If you are a knitter like me, terms like bobble stitch or cable or even k1p1 make perfect sense to you. And if you are a knitter like me, you probably have a decent size stash for all the fun things you planned to make from free patterns on Ravelry. And if you are a knitter like me, you have made numerous attempts at knitting a sweater with no success! Ah! Knitting a sweater! For the most part, I like to knit and finish something over the course of a weekend. I love to make hats and I’m pretty good at it. I have a decent collection of hats with earflaps, fair isle hats, popcorn stitched hats, scratchy cheap hats, even a Wonder Woman inspired hat!
However, knitting a sweater is a different beast. First of all, you have to create a swatch, a 4×4″ sample just to make sure you are using the right size needles. And if not, you create another 4×4″ swatch with a different size needle and so forth, until you get it right. Now I know that most hats that I make are right around 8 inches so having to knit more than one swatch is a whole lot of wasted time! I could have a hat in that period. Not for me! I do know that I’ve purchased vintage knitting magazines, Vogue Knitting and scoured the web for easy free sweaters, purchased the yarn and sat down only to be unamused by the amount of dedication it takes to make a sweater. The average knitted sweater with decent yarn, the right needles and labor is priceless. Yet there are always those goody-two shoes girls who ‘make new sweaters every fall!’
Why am I telling you all this? Because up until now, I have refused to buy sweaters over the last few years with the intent that I will make my own. However, fall and winter over the last 4 years have proven fruitless and my only warmth comes from the steam coming out of my ears as I stare at the stashes of yarn in my closet, money wasted! I know that a good sweater, whether machine or hand knit, takes some time and is worth paying for!
I have found a few fun sweaters that I’m interested in for this upcoming fall season and wanted to share. My favorite is this Chevron Sweater from Topshop but my size is already sold out. I’m debating on going up and size knowing I’ll probably wear something underneath, but a well fitted sweater can look sharp! haha I also understand a little about yarn and know that generally acrylic sweaters are not going to be as warm as something wool or angora but also a little less expensive. A little Yarn 101 for ya!