Monday, February 28, 2011


We spent this weekend at my in-laws' house, and since I was without all of my normal camera equipment on Saturday, I enlisted my husband's help in photographing my outfit.

Of course, after spending the day at a flea market/playground/playing with my mother-in-law's new puppy, we were left with very little daylight, but we made the best of it. I tried to get Brigid to pose with me, because we were wearing matching skinny jeans, and a toddler in skinny jeans? Quite possibly one of the most surprisingly adorable things I've ever seen. She would have none of it, though.

However, when we were done with pictures? And everyone else was getting ready for dinner? And I had neither camera nor camera phone on me? Brigid took me back outside, stood in front of the garage doors, and smiled sweetly, while I took pretend pictures of her for ten minutes.

She's a trip, that kid...


Outfit 26 of 30
Blouse: Banana Republic
Sweater: Lands End Canvas
Jeans: Gap
Shoes: Cole Haan 


Outfit 27 of 30
Sweater: Banana Republic
Jeans: Express
Shoes: STEVEN by Steve Madden
Scarf: Lands End Canvas

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Funday

Quick post today, as Brigid is waking up from her nap, but I wanted to get this out there...

At the start of the year, I joined the blogging biggest loser challenge hosted by Jennie, who I have loved reading from the first moment I clicked on her blog. She is honest and sweet and owns the same kind of dog that I do, which means nothing in the long run, but I always thought it was cool.

Anyway, I know that I'm not exceptionally overweight. I know that I will never be a size 0, and really, I don't want to be. I want to be healthy, I want to get rid of the extra padding that I've had my whole life, but that has expanded exponentially since I had Brigid.

I want to eat more fruit and less chocolate. I want to exercise more. I want to take the stairs instead of the elevator. And I have been.

Today, I tried on a pair of shorts that were just this side of too tight on me last summer. Now? They're about a size too big. I jumped up and down, posted it on twitter, and threw myself a little awesome party. And then I spent the rest of Brigid's naptime trying on every pair of "skinny" pants I owned.

And they all fit.

Outfit 24 of 30 (Thursday)
T-Shirt: Gap
Cardigan: Lands End Canvas
Skirt: Club Monaco
Shoes: Nine West

Outfit 25 of 30 (Today)
T-Shirt: J Crew
Cardigan: Target
Jeans: Michael Kors
Shoes: Nine West

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Location, Location, Location

So, everyone getting tired of my foyer yet? I hope not, because I'm usually in such a hurry in the morning that the familiar set-up of camera by the stairs/zoom in on these parameters/use these settings is all I have time for most days. And let's be honest, even if I did have more time, where else am I going to take my pictures? My kitchen is generally a mess. My family room lacks proper lighting.

My bedroom?

Nope. Because the mess and the poor lighting will follow me there, with the added con of my husband laughing at me (in the most supportive way possible, of course) while I try to set up the shot.


Ha! I live in a lovely neighborhood, where my neighbors are super friendly and everybody leaves for work at the same time and we all smile at each other while we let the dogs out before the day starts. I am not subjecting these poor people to the early morning experience of me running back and forth from camera to picture spot, setting things up, checking my hair, adjusting my skirt, etc. And there is nowhere in my yard where that can be avoided.

So foyer it is. At least until I become as motivated (and creative!) as Kimmie, anyway...

(Ah, forget motivation and creativity. Maybe I'll just invest in one of those sweet back-drop rolls that they use at various department store photography studios instead...)

(Ha! You're totally imagining pictures of me standing in front of some sweet, fall-type leafy piece of canvas, aren't you?)

(How do I look?)

Outfit 23 of 30
Sweater: Lands End Canvas
Skirt: Banana Republic
Boots: DSW

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What do you know? It worked!

Apparently, writing a post complaining about your hair makes your hair stand up (or lay down, in this case) and listen. And behave a little more like you want it to. I should maybe keep that in mind in the future...

I wonder if that works on anything else?

A list of other things I'd like to write into compliance:
-The ridiculous people in my office who can't handle a simple task without hand-holding.
-My dogs, who like to sleep all day and play all evening. And scratch at the door every five minutes, while I try to squeeze out a few minutes on the couch.
-Those same dogs, because no matter how late at night I take them out to go to the bathroom, they refuse to sleep much past 7:30am.
-My husband, who refuses to stop bringing sugar into my house, despite my ongoing diet and my weakness for the sweet stuff.

I'll let you know how things go.


 Outfit 22 of 30
Shirt: Lands End Canvas
Sweater: New York & Co
Skirt: The Limited
Boots: DSW
Necklace: H&M 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A quick complaint...

I don't understand why my hair looks fine to me when I look at it in the mirror before I take pictures, but the minute the camera flashes, it just gets weird. Why is there such a disconnect between what I see from one side of things and what I see from the other? I feel like there's some sort of metaphor for life in that statement, but it's Monday night as I write this, and I am just exhausted today for some reason, and I don't have the brainpower to break that down the way I could.

Plus, I'm watching the Bachelor tonight, and if that doesn't take out a couple of brain cells, I don't know what does!

(Also? Sorry about the color in these pictures. Everything was just slightly off today...)

Outfit 21 of 30
Dress (which is actually a purple/maroon color that absolutely DID NOT come through in these pictures, but that happens, I guess...): Calvin Klein
Sweater: Target
Shoes: STEVEN by Steve Madden
(The tights and shoes are brown, by the way, since that didn't come through, either.)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Calling All Captains!

Apparently, I have a future in modeling...

...if by modeling you mean posing for Captain Morgan rum ads:

Seriously...what was that?

Anyway, I hope everyone had a lovely, lovely weekend. I spent Saturday day hanging out with a suddenly clingy-when-tired toddler (yeah, so, sleep regression? apparently not a myth at all...) and Saturday night at a small party with friends, where there was a bonfire, red velvet cake, and an owl balloon. Because that's how I roll on the weekend.

Outfit 19 of 30
Sweater: Lands End Canvas
Jeans: Gap
Boots: DSW
Scarf: Lands End Canvas 

Sunday? I did laundry. Good times, good times.

Sorry, uninspired outfits call for very, very small pictures...
Outfit 20 of 30
T-Shirt: J Crew
Sweatshirt: Michael Kors
Jeans: Express
Shoes: Nine West 

And now, my second installment of Fabulous in February, a month of positivity (brought to you by Melissa and Hope):

1) I don't take myself too seriously. I'm the first to laugh at myself when I do something dumb, and sometimes, I'm just the first to do something dumb, because life is too short to be too concerned about about how you look.
2) I can walk really, really well in heels. And since I love, love, love my high heels, that is a skill that I cherish.
3)  I am sometimes uncomfortable around new people or in awkward situations, but I don't think it shows. I have a great poker face, or so I tell myself, and I can talk to anyone, uncomfortable or not. It's definitely come in handy a time or two. (Like the time Steve and I flew to Denver for his college roommate's wedding, to a girl I'd only met briefly once before, and we went to the groom's parents' house for a 'casual little gathering' that turned out to be the bride's wedding shower. And involved all of the guys (the only people I knew at the party) hiding out in the basement for a couple of hours. Awkward. I made friends, it was fine, but I'm still not quite over that one. Thank goodness the bride is one of the sweetest people I've ever met...)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Weekend Post?

Oh, look...guess who's all caught up?!?!?

Friday was a quick change kind of day, with my at-home-with-Brigid outfit during the day and my date-night-with-Steve outfit for the evening. This, of course, gets me back on the 30x30 track after my sick day a couple of weeks ago, which means I won't be stretching this challenge out any longer than I have to. Also? It means that skirt Steve bought me for my birthday can be worn sooner rather than later. And the boots that I bought yesterday?* Same goes for those.

Outfit 17 of 30
Blouse: Banana Republic
Jeans: Michael Kors
Shoes: Cole Haan
Necklace: beach market in Florida

Outfit 18 of 30
T-Shirt: J Crew
Skirt: Club Monaco
Heels: Nine West
*Yes, I know that shopping is not part of the challenge.  But I had two $10 reward certificates from DSW, plus $5 off for my birthday, plus they were running a $15 off $49 purchase, plus free shipping.  Really, they were paying me to shop.  How could I refuse?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Just past halfway...

I was going to throw a big party when I hit the halfway point of the 30x30 challenge (well, I was at least going to mention it in my blog post or something), but then I apparently forgot that 15 was half of 30, so yeah...

Hooray for being just over halfway done with the challenge!

I think I'll be happy when this is over, because I miss the rest of my clothes.  It's been really warm this week, and it's put me in the mood to try some spring looks, but obviously, most of those looks aren't available to me in my current thirty items.  So I have something like two weeks worth of outfits planned for March...except that it will probably be 40 degrees again then, and none of my outfits will work. 

So I have something like two weeks worth of outfits planned for June, I guess.

Outfit 16 of 30
Dress: Gap
Sweater: Banana Republic
Belt: H&M
Boots: DSW
Bracelet: Express

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Next Step

"Wear something managerial."

That was the comment from my director when I asked how important it was for me to wear a jacket during my interview yesterday.

See, I am very superstitious about things, and I don't want anyone else on the team to know I'm up for a promotion until after I run through the process. And for me? Wearing a jacket is a dead give-away that there is something happening. And I was just interviewing internally, and really, who goes formal for an internal interview?

Apparently, I do...

So, the interview. It came. It went. And now, I wait.

And that, my friends, is no fun, at all.

(Also, as I mentioned on Twitter earlier today (follow me @taralynn404!), I heard 'managerial', but it seems my eyeshadow heard 'girls' night out!', which I didn't notice until right before the interview. Last minute make-up moves in the ladies' room before the interview? Always a good sign...)

Outfit 15 of 30
T-shirt: J Crew
Blazer: The Limited (no, this was not in my 30 for 30, but I think this was a justifiable cheat.)
Skirt: The Limited
Shoes: Nine West

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Key to My Heart

Please excuse the cheesy title, but I got one of the coolest gifts ever this week...

I know that it's a little difficult to see the details, but that right there?  That's the key to an old Louis Vuitton steamer trunk.  And that key? That was my Valentine's Day present.

I've always, always, always wanted a vintage LV trunk, but since I don't have an extra several (or several severals, as it is) thousand dollars lying around, it's not really on my shopping list these days.  But the key to someone else's trunk? Well, now, that I can afford!

That's my husband, folks...Mr. Creativity!

Outfit 14 of 30
T-Shirt: Target
Cardigan: Target
Skirt: Banana Republic
Boots: DSW
Necklace: Steve!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The one where I blend into the background...

I think I need to start paying a bit more attention to the color of my clothes compared to the color of my background going forward, considering today's photo shoot looks a little too 'floating hands' for my liking.

See? That left hand! It just appears out of nowhere!  Creepy...

I had originally planned to wear this blouse/sweater combination with a khaki skirt, but with my black boots and black tights, it just wasn't working. So, I abandoned the khaki for the black skirt, and I'm still not 100% satisfied with the way things went. I really love the blouse, and I really love how it worked with the necklace, but beyond

I guess there's always tomorrow to style the perfect outfit!

Outfit 13 of 30
Blouse: Banana Republic
Cardigan: Target
Skirt: The Limited
Boots: DSW
Necklace: Gift from my BiL's girlfriend!

Side note...I found out this afternoon that I have an interview on Wednesday for what could be a pretty big promotion for me. I'm excited, I'm nervous, I'm already ready for it to be over. Wish me luck!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Look, Ma! No Mirror!

This is a big moment, my friends!  Actually, the big moment was on Friday, when I took my first pictures sans iPhone, but I didn't really acknowledge it then, so allow me to celebrate now.


Can you sense my excitement?

My birthday is next Friday (side note: I'll be 31. When did I become 31? Wasn't I just turning 21 yesterday?!?! I don't think I approve of this, at all.), and when my sister asked me what I wanted this year, I didn't even hesitate. A tripod and a remote, and maybe a professional photographer, if she was feeling particularly generous. She wasn't.

But she did send me the first two to me last week, and in my excitement, I decided there was no real need to wait until my birthday to open them, so I didn't. I am so bad about that whole waiting thing. Just ask my husband. He HATES it.

I am still learning the camera, but I'm closer than I was last week, and I'll take it!

Friday (Riley says hi!):

Outfit 10 of 30
Button-up: Lands End Canvas
Cardigan: Lands End Canvas
Jeans: Express
Shoes: Steven by Steve Madden
Necklace: Amrita Singh
Belt: J Crew

Saturday (Like I said, I'm still working on that whole camera setting thing...sorry for the fuzz!):

Outfit 11 of 30
T-Shirt: Target
Cardigan: Target
Jeans: Gap
Shoes: Cole Haan
Necklace: Amrita Singh

Sunday (I'm not going to lie, we did nothing on Sunday, and this outfit was shortly replaced with tennis shoes and an old t-shirt for an afternoon of yard work.  I live a very, very exciting life.):

Outfit 12 of 30
T-Shirt: J Crew
Jeans: Express
Shoes: Cole Haan
Scarf: Lands End Canvas

Melissa, one of my favorite Internet people ever, teamed up with a fellow blogger to bring Fabulous in February to the masses, as a way to invite a little more positivity into the month.  And it's a fabulous idea that I meant to participate in all month, before I completely blanked on it last Monday. But this week? I am on board 100%!  And now, my three positive things about me...

1) I really, really like my eyes. They're a gray hazel color that change depending on my mood or what I'm wearing.  They can be straight gray, they can tend towards the blue side of things, and sometimes, in the right light, they lean green.  It's kind of fun to annoy Steve by asking him what color my eyes are...
2) I never, ever give up.  I may not always be on the most consistent path, I can't always keep up with my goals, but I don't stop trying.  The way I look at it? There's nothing I can do about the past.  The only choice that matters is the next one that presents itself to me.
3) I am very, very even keel. It takes a lot to fluster me (although, when I do get flustered, hoooooo buddy!), and I pride myself on my ability to see and respect both sides of most arguments that arise.

And there you have it.  I'll be back with three more next week.

And, of course, a Happy Valentine's Day to all!