Monday, January 31, 2011

My 30 for 30 Picks!

It's remix time, again!

This is my second time participating in Kendi's 30x30 remix challenge, and oddly enough, I'm actually more nervous about it this time than I was the last.  I think it's because the first time I did this, I found out about it approximately two days before the challenge started, but I decided to go for it anyway, which led to me throwing everything together the day my 30 items had to be posted.

This time?  I knew the challenge was on the day it was announced.  So, I've had some time to plan, and I'm really expecting big things from myself now.  It's a lot of pressure! 

I have to say, though...pressure or no, it's absolutely worth it.  I have added some amazing style blogs to my reader and some amazing friends to my address book as a direct result of the first challenge.  I've learned to look at my closet in a new way, and I've (sort of, kind of) changed my shopping habits.  I started a second blog because I enjoyed the daily outfit process so much (and I didn't want to change things up on family members coming to my original blog for stories/pictures of the baby).  Not a bad result for a month of work, huh?

Anyway, the rules of the challenge are simple...30 items, 30 different outfits, 30-ish days.  Accessories (jewelry, belts, scarves, tights, etc) don't count in your 30 items, but shoes do.  And 30 items:

2 Dresses

3 Jeans

4 Skirts

4 T-Shirts

2 Blouses

4 Cardigans

3 Sweaters

1 Jacket + 1 Button-Up

6 Pairs of Shoes

And that is that.  This is what I will be wearing for the next month.  I hope my other clothes don't start feeling resentful of the chosen few...

If you want to see how my first attempt at the challenge went, you can check that out here.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Wardrobe Malfunction

I hadn't worn this dress in awhile, so I thought I'd pull it out for today's outfit.

Then, when I got to work, I remembered why it had been so long since I'd worn this dress.  You see that v-neck in the front?  Yeah, there's one in the back, too.  And it shows juuuust a bit too much skin for my liking, at least in the office, anyway.  So, I really haven't worn this dress since I got my hair cut a couple of months ago.  And I probably won't wear it again until my hair grows out enough to cover the back.  Ah and learn, I guess.

 Dress: White House Black Market
Shoes: Nine West
Bracelets: H&M
Earrings: Charlotte Russe

Thursday, January 27, 2011

It's like wearing a nightgown! To work!

This might honestly be the most comfortable dress I've ever owned, but I don't wear it very often, because it's basically one big t-shirt with a bow at the neck.  And while spending the day in a big t-shirt does appeal to me, it's kind of hard to make something like that office appropriate.

Until you become obsessed with belting things, that is.  Because once you belt it, boot it, and toss a cardigan into the mix?

Well, then you're off to the races, my friends.  Or, off to the office, in my case...

Dress: Gap
Cardigan: Express
Belt: H&M
Boots: DSW

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wake me in the spring?

I've been in a rut this week, and I have no idea why. The days seem to be twice as long as normal, and I'm either not going to bed early enough (most likely, since I used to go to bed at 10pm, and it's been inching closer and closer to 11pm lately...and I am a delicate flower who needs her beauty rest to function), or I'm just not sleeping soundly enough (also a distinct possibility because I unfortunately sleep with dogs that wake me up several times a night, trying to get more comfortable and steal my pillows) to feel refreshed in the morning.

When the alarm goes off at 5am? There is a lot of snoozing. Which leads to a perpetually late lifestyle and a slightly unhappy husband, since he doesn't have to get up until around 7, but I make him try to sleep through 45 minutes of my alarm two hours before his own alarm rings.

I think I'm just going to blame it on the weather because it's been too cold, too cloudy, and as of yesterday, too rainy to spend any significant amount of time outside, and being cooped up always makes me feel like this.

So anyway...what do you do to break yourself out of a rut? You wear red shoes, of course!

Or, you just wear them because, rut or no rut, you know a boring outfit when you see one, so you find something to spice it up at least a little bit.


Sweater: Gap
Pants: Express
Scarf: White House Black Market
Shoes: Jessica Simpson

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Monday Rush

I am tired. The weekend? It's not really the time to relax that it used to be.

It has now turned into the time to cram as much as possible into the few free days I have. And that is not as pleasant as the previous scenario.

Ah, the joys of parenthood and being an adult and all of that fun stuff.

So, when the weekend rolls into Monday morning, and I've hit the snooze alarm fourteen times, and I am running beyond late, and I just don't have it in me to properly plan or accessorize, I feel like you can't go wrong with a dress and a cardigan...

Dress: Tahari (from Dillards)
Cardigan: J Crew Outlet
Jewelry: No idea!
Shoes: My trusty Nine West heels...seriously, I wish I had 10 pairs of these darn shoes.

Monday, January 24, 2011

What do you wear to wrangle a hysterical child?


I needed something comfortable enough to withstand an hour long wait in a doctor's office, a screaming child in desperate need of distraction, and the guilt of subjecting my child to the horrors of a stethoscope. And this seemed to fit the bill.

Sweater: BCBG
Shirt: The Limited
Jeans: Gap
Boots: DSW
Necklace: Amrita Singh 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sally Shoes

Have you seen the movie Nightmare Before Christmas? Because I have these shoes, that I ordered two or three months ago, but they were on backorder, so I didn't get them until earlier this week. And I wore them yesterday, and I like them, I really do.  When I look at them on myself, in the mirror, that is.  It's just that, from the top, well, they look like this:

And all I can think of, every time I look at them, is Sally, the rag doll from the movie. And then I giggle. I am a child.

Blouse: Banana Republic Outlet
Sweater: New York & Co
Skirt: The Limited
Shoes: Nine West

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A place for lace

I worry about my weight. But who doesn't, right? I am 5'2-5'3, and at my current weight, I am at the high end (or just slightly above) of what the average index considers 'normal' weight for my height. So, sure, I'd like to drop a few pounds to be more firmly in that normal range (because, really, I'm tired of thinking that one larger than average lunch will push me back into the overweight side of things), but I'm not too concerned about the actual number on the scale.

Beyond that, though, I don't really consider myself to be healthy. And that's what bothers me.

I don't work out like I should. Sure, I'll get on kicks here and there, but if I can come up with an excuse to not be active, hoo boy, am I going to take it! Last year? I really wanted to be a runner. So, I downloaded the Couch to 5K app on my iPhone, and nine weeks later, I could run for 30 minutes straight. But that was it. I'm not getting any faster. I'm not running any farther. I don't want to push myself anymore. In fact, up until this week, I hadn't run since Thanksgiving. I blamed it on the holidays. I blamed it on the weather. But really? I was being lazy. Thank goodness my dogs care more about their physical activity than I do. If they weren't so obnoxious about wanting to be walked, I would still be sitting on the couch.

I absolutely do not eat like I should. Sure, I can count calories with the best of them. I can make sure I eat an apple at lunch when I'm at work. I can choose wheat bread over white bread any day of the week. But you put some cookies in front of me? They'll be gone in 20 minutes, if the mood is right. My sweet tooth is the boss of me. I'll force myself to eat vegetables, when they're presented as an option, but I won't go out of my way to prepare them. And since my husband has never met anything green that he likes, and he is in charge of the cooking, they're not presented as an option all that often.

I complain about all of this more than I should. I talk about calories, about dieting, about what new work-out plan I'm going to try, about being skinnier, about not being happy with my body. All of the time! And you know what? I'm tired of it. I want to stop focusing on being skinnier and start focusing on being healthier. I want it to be something I live on a daily basis, not something I talk about all of the time. Because I most definitely do not want all of my talk to be what Brigid picks up on as something she needs to worry about. I think she'll have enough influence on her in that area from other people, she doesn't need her mother adding to it.

I want to raise a daughter who chooses activity over tv and vegetables over noodles because that's what she wants to do, not because she's thinking about the calories in those noodles or the number she sees on a scale.

So I am going to spend the next couple of months in a weight loss challenge. I am going to use it as an opportunity to change how I look at exercise and how I feel about food. I am going to focus on the number I see on the scale. And then I'm not going to talk about it anymore.

Just think of all the brainpower I'll free up!

And on to today's outfit...

Dress: Gap
Cardigan: Express
Necklace: Forever 21
Tights: J Crew
Boots: DSW

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Foggy weather...

...calls for bright patterns, of course!

This dress is not usually what I would think of when I think of my style, because I'm not really a pattern kind of gal. But, I've been on a little kick to change things up lately, and when I came across this dress, highly on sale, at the Banana Republic outlet a couple of months ago, I decided to give it a go. I loved the fit, and I loved the purple.

And you know what? I LOVE the dress!

Sometimes it pays to change things up.

Dress: BR Outlet
Tights: Hue
Bracelets: H&M
Shoes: Nine West

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Holiday Weekend

And the camera issues continue! I may have to re-involve the husband in this whole process, even though I'm not that much more happy with his pictures than I am with my own.

Anyway, I finally, after three reschedules due to weather, got my haircut this weekend. And with no real styling on my part, beyond a blow dryer and a straightener, I ended up with a poof. My hair doesn't poof.  I'm flummoxed. And I'm also 90% sure I will never be able to replicate the look again, no matter how hard I try.  Eh, whatever...
After the NYE holiday two weeks ago and the snowpocalypse last week, I had Monday off this week for MLK Day. I honestly don't know how they're expecting me to work a full week (well, a full four-day week, that is) after this! I am looking forward to getting less use out of my 'casual' clothes, though. I miss my dresses!

T-Shirt: Target
Sweater: Gap
Jeans: Gap
Shoes: DSW

Monday, January 17, 2011

Pajama Sweaters!

I'm working on a closet overhaul these days.  I'm trying to clear some stuff out, simplify my choices, and clarify what direction I'd like my wardrobe to take.

That sound so over-indulgent, doesn't it?

Anyway, I have a problem with the clearing out aspect of this whole process, as I am something of a hoarder when it comes to clothes.  I don't like to get rid of anything, because you never know when something you don't wear now might someday become something you need to finish the perfect outfit, right?  So, I have my donate pile for stuff that I absolutely know I need to get rid of, and for stuff I'm not so sure about?  I have my pajama pile.

This sweater?  Totally came out of the pajama pile...

And this is why I can't get rid of anything.  Ever.

Sweater: Old Navy
T-Shirt: J Crew
Jeans: Old Navy
Shoes: Jessica Simpson

Friday, January 14, 2011

Pity, Party of One

I don't usually post this late in the day, but I'm trying to stay away from the bag of M&Ms my mother-in-law keeps in my pantry for the days she's here with Brigid, so here I am.  I don't know why I can't keep away from the M&Ms right now...I worked out this morning, I ate relatively well today, and I'm not even remotely hungry.  I don't want to blow everything good I did during the day on handfuls of chocolate at night, and yet...

Today was a day.  There was very little napping.  There were four (FOUR!!) dirty (as in dirty) diapers, including one late in the day that we didn't even realize was dirty for maybe about 45 minutes, which is just enough time for Brigid to develop a raging case of diaper rash.  There was screaming.  There was food spitting.  There was dog sickness.  I have been ignoring a scratchy throat and a slightly runny nose, because if I ignore it, IT WILL GO AWAY!!! 

But, there was also dancing.  There were giggles and kisses, and while Brigid was eating a snack on the couch this afternoon, she laid her head on my shoulder in complete contentment.  So, it wasn't all bad.

And I need to remember that from time to time.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

One More Reason a Shopping Budget is Necessary

Well, I think this technically qualifies as two reasons, but who wants to be picky about it?

Those right there are two sweaters, of the exact same design, but slightly different colors.  And I've had these sweaters for a couple of years, but I only just realized that they were the same freaking sweater today.  This seems like a bad thing, like a terrible habit that I may need to work on correcting. 

Good thing it's already on my list, eh?

I tried to take pictures of myself in these sweaters, but I could NOT get them to come out correctly, no matter how many different angles or what different types of lighting I used.  I don't know what I am going to do about this problem.  Any suggestions??

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Never Ending Snow Day

With the exception of a couple of hours out on Friday night and another couple of hours out on Saturday night, it has been FIVE DAYS since I spent any significant amount of time outside of my house.  This, my friends, is starting to affect my sanity.  I have done nothing but watch updates on the Tucson shooting (on Fox News, because my in-laws are staying with us, and that is my FiL's channel of choice) and updates on the Atlanta ice mess (also on Fox News, or a local news channel if we want to change it up a bit...), and honestly?  I don't even know what day it is today.

I do not have whatever internal fortitude it is that would make me a productive member of society without the specter of going to work hanging over my every decision.  When I don't have anybody there to tell me that I have to leave the house?  Chaos.

Should I shower today?  Eh, there's no one around who will care if I start to smell.

Make-up, clean clothes?  Nobody is going to see me.

Should I eat ice cream for lunch?  Sure, it's not like my sweatpants can't stretch to accommodate to extra calories.

I never thought I'd say this, but I really need to get back to work!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Resolution Update

Yesterday was a snow day, so I have no outfit update to share, since my outfit consisted of knee-high Hunter wellies (because owning snow books isn't generally a requirement to live in Atlanta), fleece socks, and a ski jacket.  And while it all kept me warm and dry, I don't think it would necessarily pass as anything remotely close to 'fashion'.  But, I do have some New Year's resolution updates, so...yeah.

First of all, I finished my second book of the year.  Again, it was a short read, and one that I didn't need to put too much thought into (especially since I had already read 75% of the book, and this was my second time going through it), but I kind of enjoyed it.  Kind of.

The book was Home Game by Michael Lewis (the author of Moneyball and The Blind Side), and it was the compilation of a bunch of columns he wrote about the first years of each of his three kids' lives.  And it was an interesting take on fatherhood, but I'm not necessarily sure that I like Michael or his style.  Because I can form that opinion from the hundred or so pages of his book that I read.  I feel so judgmental.

A more constructive update?  Yesterday was my biggest blogging loser weigh in, and I weighed in at...

146!  A 2 1/2 pound loss for the week!  I'm pretty excited about it.  Unfortunately, I think it's all 'low-hanging fruit', if you will, because I stopped eating cookies for every meal, and that could mean nothing but good things for me, but still.  I lost weight in the first week of the challenge, and I'll just try to keep the momentum going from there.

Of course, it might help if I could stay away from the snow day ice cream and the snow day chips and the snow day M&Ms, but I do have my limits...

Monday, January 10, 2011

It's All About the Shoes

I'm not going to lie, my Friday outfits are usually pretty boring.  I spend Fridays chasing Brigid around the house, around the yard, around the store (if I'm feeling brave, that is), and I need to be in something comfortable.

Sweater: BR Outlet
Jeans: Express
Shoes: Nine West

And while I'm on this honesty kick, I'm going to let you know that I absolutely planned this outfit, as boring as it is, around the shoes.  Oh, the shoes!  I love these shoes. 

I got these shoes for $13.87.  I still get excited, every time I think about it, because I'm weird like that.

I had heard about this amazing website called, and I decided to check it out, because I've been on the hunt for a pair of shorter heels for a good price.  And I was not disappointed, because the deals were beyond ridiculous.  So I ordered a couple of pairs of shoes, and I celebrated (and docked my budget) accordingly.  And then...AND THEN!

And then I found out they were shutting down the site.  This was going to be my go-to shoe site for future purchases, and they were SHUTTING IT DOWN!  Heartbroken.  Apparently they have some stores, and they're going to keep those open, but there doesn't seem to be one anywhere remotely close to me.  So, so, so sad.

Anyway, if you're interested, they have some great clearance deals going on right now, and they charge a $5 flat rate for shipping.  Although everything is final sale, it might still be worth a quick look.  I'll just be sitting here on my couch, crying silently into my new empty shoe box...

Friday, January 7, 2011

Never Again

Never again will I wear this skirt.  Disaster, my friends.

I had planned out my outfit the night before work, because Steve was out of town, and not in bed laughing at me for spending 45 minutes in my closet trying to figure out what to wear or yelling at me to just go to bed already because it was 11:30, and the dogs refused to relax until we were both in one place (they do that, a lot...and it's very, very annoying).  I had never worn the vest, and I'd only worn the skirt once, so it seemed like a good combination.  The next morning, I actually decided to sleep in a little, knowing that the hardest part of my morning was already over.

And then I got dressed.  And I started getting ready to leave the house.  And I remembered that this skirt gets very wrinkled, very quickly.  But I was running late, so I snapped a quick iPhone picture, thinking I'd mess with my real camera when I came home, because Steve was still out of town, and once I put the baby to bed, I could finally figure out how to take a decent picture of myself.

And then my day started. And then I remembered that the skirt doesn't fit quite right.  And I remembered that the lining on this skirt always hangs out at the bottom.  I think the top layer bunches up, the lining stays in place, and I end up with a white fringe on the bottom of my skirt.  And I hate that.

So, instead of an impromptu fashion show when I got home?  The skirt went directly into the donate pile.  I will not be making that mistake three times.

Also?  I am now on the hunt for a decent gray skirt, slightly above-the-knee, if you have any suggestions.

Vest: Express
Cardigan: Express
Skirt: H&M
Shoes: Jessica Simpson (I know, right? I can't help it...I love her shoes!)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The camera? Yeah, I'm still learning...

I read my first book of the year! 

Ok, technically, I finished my first book of the year, because I had started this one a really, really long time ago. I have a pile of about seven books like that, so it seemed as good of a spot as any to start my 'read more' resolution. Most of the books, I will probably have to start reading again from the beginning, because I have absolutely no idea what's going on in them since it's been that long since I've picked them up. But this one? It was Al Franken's Oh, the Things I Know!, and I didn't really feel like I was missing that much by picking up where I'd left off. So book #1? Check! On to book #2...

And on to today's outfit, which I will admit, is not the most exciting thing I've ever put on. But I love the dress, and I was in a hurry, and at least I put a necklace on this morning! That's more than I would have done in the past, believe me...

Also, I don't have a tripod yet, and I haven't quite figured out how to use the digital screen to preview my shot, so it's all trial and error right now.  And that means that I end up with pictures like this:

Oops.  Anyway, I tried again...

Awkward. Oh well...I'll get there, eventually.

Dress: Calvin Klein (from the Saks outlet...during a 60% off sale!)
Necklace: New York & Co (I think...)
Boots: DSW