Thursday, December 30, 2010

my last work outfit (of 2010)

Hey folks,

Today I'm back at work and feeling a little better. It's so hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that 2010 is pretty much over. I mean, I still feel like I'm in 2008 or 2009. 

Do you all have any new year's plans or resolutions? I don't usually make any new year's eve plans because I'd rather stay home and pretend it's just another day passing. When I lived in FL I always tried to make it out to the beach with friends but each year we never made it. So it became more of a tradition to get stuck in traffic or end up at a diner somewhere. Hey, I never claimed to be very exciting. 

As for new year's resolutions...well, mine aren't anything new or astounding. As far as this blog is concerned, I plan on reorganizing my whole closet, selling absolutely everything I can on ebay, and working with less clothing. All those 4-size-ago jeans and dresses need to get out of my life. We'll see how it goes.

I hope you all have a safe and happy new year, and I'll see you next year! *Grimace*

Patterned top: JCPenney ($17, February 2010)
Jeans: Calvin Klein ($35, March 2010)
Black heels: Corso Como via ($99, December 2010)
Necklace: Stella & Dot via Craigslist ($45, June 2010)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

a sick day

Hi all,

Today I woke up feeling like a ton of bricks hit me so I decided to take a day off and relax. The only problem is, when you're living with a blind 91 year old your sick day translates into her "get everything done" day. I'm not going to get too into it, but if I hear about her dishwasher maybe being broken (it's not) or her lack of laundry detergent (she has 3 economy sized bottles) one more time I might lose it. Patience is not one of my strong traits.

Anyway, I managed to get dressed this morning, since I knew it would make me feel better. I went for something comfy and cozy, which usually means a tunic and flat shoes. Today's boots are actually from my Florida trip (bought at Target) and they're quite comfortable. I had no idea Dolce Vita did a line for Target, and I'm very happy with the quality and comfort. It looks like they're on clearance online now too (click here if you're interested). The hardware is actually gold, not silver...


I hope you all are having a fabulous day, and thanks again for your encouraging comments. I do attempt to reply to every comment, even if I do it in bulk, and I really truly do appreciate everything that you all have said to me.

Moto jacket: Faith 21 ($20, December 2010)-Yes, this is the same as the black one. I love multiples...
Black tunic: Lane Bryant ($35, I forget)
Jeans: Calvin Klein ($48, January 2010)
Scarf: Ann Taylor Loft
Boots: Dolce Vita for Target ($25, December 2010)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

not just another Tuesday

Hi all,

How is everyone's day going so far? We're still dealing with a lot of wind, but no snow or rain so I'm happy. Tonight D is taking me out for my "I'm still under 30" birthday, and I'm looking forward to some famous white pizza.

Today I'm wearing another small print dress. Yesterday's anonymous commenter said that they make me look "2x fatter", among other things. It's the first truly negative comment I've received on the blog so far, and I'm sure it won't be the last. And you know what? I don't care quite as much as I thought I would about it. It's taken me a very long time to come around to this way of thinking, but it really is a revolutionary thought: I dress for myself. I wear clothes that make me feel good. If other people think they look good on me, then great. I appreciate all of the lovely comments people have left on here. If they don't like my clothing choices, well, that's just too bad. If you have constructive criticism, I'm all ears. But I am a fat, pale, broad-foreheaded lady (how's that for bad grammar?), and I'm not trying to hide anything. Do I wear things that I find flattering? Absolutely. But I'm not going to avoid small prints, get bangs, and wear lipstick all for the sake of "looking thinner". That's not what I'm going for. My goal is to feel good about the way I dress my body at whatever shape or size it is, not with the ultimate goal of looking thinner.

Anyway, how about some details? Happy Tuesday!
Dress: Ebay ($14, June 2010)
Tank: Old Navy
Tights: Chadwick's (.86 cents, November 2009)
Boots: Vigotti via 6pm ($19.95, May 2010)
Necklace: Stella & Dot via Craigslist ($34.50, April 2010)

Monday, December 27, 2010

new hair!

Good morning everyone,

How was your weekend? Mine started off with a 3 hour salon visit while getting my hair "glossed" (the color comes out in 28 washes). The hair stylist asked if I would like red undertones, which sounded nice, but when she was done applying the color only the red remained (instead of a reddish brown). So she had to mix up a dark brown color without any red and I went through the whole thing again. Good times! I love the color though. It's not at all what I was going for, but I'm happy with the result. I'm already scheming about what colors to start wearing more of. I'm thinking less red, more yellows and blues.

Did any of you celebrate Christmas? We went over to my aunt's house to eat dinner and exchange gifts. My aunt is a QVC fanatic and this past summer she bought a beautiful vase that has some lighted flowers in it. Well, I have been lusting after that decoration for months. I've even looked on QVC a few times, but it was always sold out. Well my aunt, being a wonderful relative that she is, bought a set for me, and another for my other aunt. She actually ordered them right after she ordered hers, and I guess they've sold out since. 

I hope you all are having a lovely Monday! 

Friday's outfit:
Black jacket: Faith 21 ($20, December 2010)
Top: Faith 21 ($18, December 2010)
Jeans: Target ($20.98, August 2010)
Black flats: Nine West Outlet ($20, July 2009)

 Today's outfit:
Gray cashmere sweater: Old Navy (2008)
Jeans: JCPenney ($28, January 2010)
Gray shoes: DSW ($35, November 2010)
Necklace: Lane Bryant (free, March 2010)
Scarf: Ann Taylor Loft (2010)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

the dress of a thousand bloggers...

Hi all,

It's so exciting to only have to get through one more day of work this week. Are you all traveling for the hoildays or new year's? I think we'll be sticking close to home. Hopefully I'll get my act together and use the long weekend to list some stuff on ebay (and of course recognize the whole Christmas thing). 

If you recognize today's dress it's probably because a ton of other fashion bloggers have styled it many different ways. I actually bought it back in July and I can't recall the last time I wore it. 

I hope you all have a lovely vacation/time off/holiday, and I'll be back with an update next week :)

Dress: Merona via Ebay ($14, June 2010)
Red tank: Kohl's (same as yesterday, but red)
Tights: Spanx (2009)
Boots: Steve Madden "Invite" via 6pm ($75, November 2010)
Necklace: Gifted (July 2009)
Ring: Banana Republic ($35, June 2010)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

faking my way through Wednesday...

Good morning all,

I finally got myself into a dress this morning. Recently I've planned dresses into my outfits at least 3 times and when faced with putting it on in the morning, I found myself reaching for jeans and shirts. This morning I told myself that I'd wear this dress no matter how craptastic I felt in the morning. In reality I think I just hate the effort it takes to put on Spanx or other shapewear. :)

In hair news, I've been wanting a change for quite some time. In college I kept dying my hair red, until 4 years later when it was a deep dark scarlet red that was a total bitch to take out. To get back to my natural color I had to have my hair stripped twice in two days, and then live with a carrot orange color for months. So I vowed never to dye my hair again. Well, here we are many years later, and I just made an appointment to use some sort of "shading" in my hair. I want to try out a darker brown color, and from what I understand I'll be getting a sort of rinse-out shade that is temporary and will wash out after 28 washes. So I'm pretty excited (and scared). I'm getting it done at the local Ulta salon. Have any of you ever used Ulta's salon services? 

Happy Wednesday!

Dress: Target ($18 w/20% off and a 10% coupon, December 2010)
Tank: Kohl's (2008)
Tights: Spanx
Boots: Ann Taylor Loft ($56, December 2008)
Necklace: Stella & Dot via Craigslist ($34.50, April 2010)
Bird ring: Ebay (2009)
Red coat: Old Navy (2009)
Scarf: NY & Co ($4, June 2010)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Two posts in one!

Can we just pretend yesterday never happened? I only got two photos before I realized that the neighbor across the street was outside (and staring at me like a weirdo...also he's in the other shot), my cousins came bouldering through the house (also got some odd looks from them when I tried to smuggle my tripod inside), and then I had a terrible dentist appointment. Ugh. The dentist kept repeating "You had braces??? Really?!?" I mean, that's not something I would imagine or make up for myself. And my teeth aren't that crooked! Crikey.

So how is everyone doing? Have you finished your holiday shopping? I have to run out and get one more thing (thankfully it's not at a mall or department store) and then I'm finished. Last year I had all my shopping done way before the holidays, and this year I'm really kicking myself for falling behind. Yesterday I made the mistake of going to Target to return something, and it was a madhouse! Next year I'm starting my shopping in February. Also, a bunch of my coworkers have baked and given me stuff (even people that didn't give anything last year), which is awesome, but I didn't exactly go all out for my coworkers this year. So now I'm wondering if some emergency baking is in my future. What do you all do when a coworker surprises you with a gift?

To be honest, I only took a photo today because of my awesome new shoes. They're insanely comfortable!

Happy Tuesday! Don't forget What Not To Wear comes on tonight instead of Friday (and this is the one where Clinton supposedly stalks off set!)

Monday's outfit:
Teal top: Gifted (December 2009)
Plaid pants: The Limited via T.J. Maxx ($19.99, December 2010)
Black boots: Bandolino via Ebay ($10, 2008)

Tuesday's outfit:
Top: Kohl's ($20, May 2010)
Jeans: Target ($20.98, August 2010)
Brown heels: Corso Como via Piperlime ($66, December 2010)
Necklace: Ann Taylor (2008)

Friday, December 17, 2010

a shiny sequined Friday

Good morning all,

I used to love snow. Actually, being a Floridian, I loved the idea of snow. It's easy to love something that sounds pretty, but you don't have to deal with it. Although my first winter up north I still loved snow, even after shoveling a driveway or two.

Now things have changed. Snow terrifies me. When faced with driving home from work in snowy conditions last night I actually gave serious thought to sleeping in my office instead of dealing with other drivers and potentially icy roads. Sad, yeah?

Today my coworkers are taking me out for an early birthday lunch, and you can bet I'm not volunteering to drive :) I wanted to look nice, but in a casual-nice-it's-Friday way, so I opted for sequins and jeans. My boots are new (did I say I wasn't buying any more boots? Hah!) and I managed not to fall in the snow on my way in to work today so they're good.

Top (it's a cardi and a tank all in one!): Nordstrom Rack ($34.97, December 2010)
Jeans (this is the second pair I own, also purchased at a lower price): Target ($14.98, August 2010)
Flat black boots: 6pm ($19.99, December 2010)
Long necklace: Ann Taylor Loft ($7, June 2010)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

back up north I go...

Hi all,

Sorry for my super short post today, but getting back into the work groove seems to be taking a while. Our flight was uneventful (in a good way) and I'm in weather-shock at the moment. It's been snowing for the past hour and I'd give almost anything to go back to Florida's weather.

Happy Thursday!

Top: Nordstrom Rack (originally $50, December 2010)-I bought this with my Nordstrom Rack Groupon, so I'm not actually sure how much it came out to...
Pants: Gap ($41.65, August 2010)
Boots: 6pm ($19.95, May 2010)
Long necklace: Ann Taylor Loft ($12.99, October 2010)

Monday, December 13, 2010

a note from Florida...

 Hi all,

I thought I would go ahead and update with my travel outfit from Friday. My vacation outfits haven't been too exciting but I have bought some cute things that I can't wait to show off :)
We got a little snow (!!) on Friday afternoon, but fortunately our flight left on time and we were at my parents' house by midnight. A lot of my Floridian friends (and my parents) are complaining about how cold it is (and all the young girls are wearing their uggs and leggings in full force) but I'm loving the breezy weather. It's still better than what we're going back to later this week :)

I hope you all are having a lovely start to the week, and I'll be back with an update on Thursday!

(the view while we were taking off from BWI)
Striped cardigan: Ann Taylor Loft ($20, December 2010)
Black cashmere sweater (under the cardi): Old Navy (2008)
Jeans: Calvin Klein ($35, March 2010)
Black flats: Frye via DSW ($55ish, November 2008)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

silly photos and a (long) website review...

Some days, I just can't get a good photo. My cop out is just to look down and assume my feet are super interesting (they're not). Also, this coat is fabulous, especially by Faith 21 standards. I bought it in Chicago and I just love it.

(I tried to stick my  hand in my pocket all quick like, and totally failed)

So I thought I would tell you all about a new (to me) website called MyShape. But first, let me say loudly, they are not paying me to do so. MyShape does not know about this blog, and I am not being asked to do this for them. I've just had pleasant experiences, and I wanted to share my info with you all.  Also, there's an awesome coupon at the bottom of the post, so at least read that part.

So, MyShape. They're an online retailer, and I think of them as the E-Harmony of the shopping world. They ask you to create a shop for yourself, and in the process you have to answer 11 measurement questions. Based on your measurements, they assign you to a letter "shape" (M, Y, S, H, A, P, E...get it? I'm an "H", and I'd love to see what a real life "M" looks like.) Then, instead of having a sizing chart for each item/brand, they just go by your measurements and tell you whether or not the item you're interested in will fit you, and what size you should go with. Of course it helps if you already know what size you are with certain brands (I know I'm not a size 0 with Kiyonna, but then again I guessed on my measurements because I know my size most of the time).
(click to enlarge)
They also use your measurements to populate your own "shop" that you can browse through (based on items that will flatter your body shape and fit your measurements). I like it because it eliminates all of the adorable size XS Donna Ricco dresses that I love but cannot wear. Of course you can also just look at all of the items they have online.

So why am I telling you about this site? Well, I was browsing around internetland for Igigi dresses, and I kept noticing that MyShape had some of their dresses on clearance. Then when I went to the site, I saw that they also stock other plus-size brands like Kiyonna, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, and Donna Ricco (plus a ton of others-click here for a full list). Sometimes they will have something on sale or cheaper than the actual designer, other times it's more expensive. But once you sign up and have your own shop they start sending you crazy coupons (or at least they did for me). Right after I signed up I got a different coupon almost daily, and we're talking 40% off dresses one day, 40% coats another day, and so and and so forth. They even offered an extra 40% all clearance items.

So I went a little crazy with the shopping. I mean, how often does Kiyonna offer 40% off their items? NEVER! Plus, your first order nabs you free shipping (it doesn't mention that until all the way at the end of the checkout). Now, I don't know if they do this for everyone, but after my first order (which was a little, um, excessive, but under $150) they emailed me and told me I would get free shipping on all of my future orders. So of course they just made a long-term customer out of me.

In my haul I got this sweater, and 4 Kiyonna dresses. Three of the Kiyonna dresses were 40% off, and one was on super clearance for $30. Plus free shipping. Crazy! Today's sweater was also bought at 40% off.

 (Camden Tie Sweater)
(Cynthia Twist Dress)

(Vivienne Dress)

(above and below: Tory Cinch Dress)

(all photos credit)

There are a couple negatives though. First, they take forever to ship (at least to me, they're in CA and I'm in MD). Most of their Kiyonna items are actually shipped first by Kiyonna, not MyShape. I think Kiyonna sends it to Myshape, who then sends it to you. They do mention that it takes an extra amount of time to get to you, and they're not lying. I ordered today's cardigan on 11/20 and I just received it yesterday. 

I also mentioned that I ordered 4 dresses. Well about a week after I placed the dress order I got an email saying they wouldn't be able to ship one of the dresses. Of course that's a bummer because I was really looking forward to it (and I was able to buy it from Kiyonna at 30% off, but that's still annoying to deal with).

Not convinced? How about some incentive? Click here, and at the checkout you will have a $25 credit waiting for you (you have to spend at least $50 for it to apply). Plus I'll be your bestest because I'll get $25 too. :)

Whoa, that was a long review. How about some outfit details?

Cardigan: MyShape ($40, November 2010)
Gray tank: Old Navy
Jeans: Nordstrom ($29, April 2010)
Flats: Nine West Outlet ($20, July 2009)
Coat: Faith 21 ($37.80, October 2010)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

today I'm a walking advertisement for the Ann Taylor corporation...

Hi all,

After putting on today's ensemble I realized that almost everything I'm wearing (including the necklace) came from one of Ann Taylor's stores. I'm quite pleased considering they no longer tend to stock my size in store (so much of my buying is buying online and hoping things will work out). I did throw on a red scarf and a dark brown coat, but I was too cold rushed to snap another picture.

Do you all avoid garments that require dry-cleaning? I don't usually mind because I've become such good friends with my Dryel, and during the winter I always have a coat or two to clean. So I bought these dry-clean only pants without a second thought (the clearance price definitely helped my decision). When I pulled them out of the closet I noticed that they were rather wrinkled, so I pulled out my handy Downy wrinkle releaser (I swear I'm not getting paid by any of these brands). Well, I'm a dumbass, because the wrinkles just ended up with wet spots that didn't seem to want to dry. So then I busted out my hair dryer and tried to blowdry the water spots out (it mostly worked). But I was still left with wrinkles. So in a moment of what I thought of as genius, I heated up my straightening iron and ironed out the pants. Well, apparently if you iron a small wrinkle it creates a weird white shiny residue on the pants. Or maybe it's because I was using something originally meant for hair. But anyway, I was wearing these pants today regardless of water spots and shiny white wrinkles, and I have realized that learning how to use a regular iron might be in my best interest.

Happy Wednesday!

Navy cardigan: Ann Taylor Loft ($25, December 2009)
Brown tank: Ann Taylor Loft (2010)
Pinstripe pants: Ann Taylor ($12 on clearance, December 2010)
Necklace: Ann Taylor (2007? 2008?)
Brown flats: Frye via DSW ($22ish, 2008)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

same coat, different day...

Hi all,

Let me apologize in advance-I'm sorry to say that you'll be seeing a lot of this coat. Believe it or not I do have other winter attire, but I love this trench!

I opted for jeans again today...To be honest I'm just feeling blah, and I'm beyond ready for our vacation to start (we leave Friday) and I just want to get this workweek done already. 

I hope you all are having a wonderful Tuesday!

Red cardigan: Ann Taylor Loft ($19.75, June 2010)
Top: Old Navy ($20, May 2010)
Jeans: Target ($20.98, August 2010)
Flats: Nine West Outlet ($20, July 2009)
Earrings: Stella & Dot via Ebay ($35, June 2010)
Yellow scarf: Target ($12.99, October 2010)
Trench: Old Navy ($50, November 2010)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Jeans on a Monday

Good freezing morning all,

Today didn't start out well. My alarm didn't go off, and I woke up about an hour late. Somehow I still made it to work relatively on-time, but my cute skirt outfit got put on the back burner. 

These jeans actually used to be one of my favorite pairs (the flirt, tall, from Old Navy). Now I'm not sure I like the whisker details on the thighs and the way they hit me at the widest point of my hips. Not to mention how they're slim through the top, where I carry most of my weight. On a positive note, I still feel like my legs look miles long in them.

Remember when very low-slung jeans were hip? Ok, maybe they still are, but when I was in college I wore the hell out of that style. My mom would always try to discourage me, telling me how unflattering they are and how they're far too low in the back. And I would smirk at her in the way that only a 20 something would to her own mother, and tell her she didn't know what was hip and in-style. I mean, the jeans were so low they cut off half my butt. In my mind, how could that not be flattering? I was always looking for ways to make my ample rear look, well, less ample. And I was steadfast in those thoughts for many years, never thinking I would change my mind. Nowadays I totally agree with my mom. Being so low that my butt cannot be contained is no longer a good thing. I'm not quite ready for mom-jeans, but I'll take my higher cut Calvin Kleins any day.

How do you know when you've outgrown your old favorites? 

Purple sweater: Macy's ($25ish, December 2008)
Jeans: Old Navy
Black boots: Van Eli vai DSW ($30, October 2009)
Turquoise necklace: Etsy ($25, December 2008)
Black coat: Old Navy ($50, November 2010)
Peacock scarf: Torrid ($4.50, June 2010)

Friday, December 3, 2010

another TGIF!

Good morning all,

As usual, I'm so happy to wake up to another Friday. There's a lot to be done before we leave for FL and I'd like to get a head start on some stuff this weekend. 

I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Teal cardigan: Fashion Bug ($17.99, June 2010)
Black and white top: Ann Taylor Outlet ($17.85, July 2010)
White top (under the patterned one): Ann Taylor Loft (2008)
Jeans: Calvin Klein ($35, March 2010)
Necklace: Ann Taylor Loft ($12.99, 2009)
Gray boots: ModCloth ($45, May 2010)
Purple belt: NY & Co (2009)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

a favorite top revisited...

Good morning everyone,

Oddly enough, I thought I had worn this top for the blog numerous times. I just went through my T. J. Maxx tags and it doesn't seem to be there. So my whole story about how this is my favorite top seems less likely if I haven't worn it that often. I do know I take it with me when I travel, which might explain the lack of pictures. :)

I've also included a (stolen) picture of the red boots from Tuesday's post. Today's pair are my maroon Van Eli favorites.

Happy Thursday!

Black top: T.J. Maxx ($14.99, 2008)
Gray pants: Gap ($41.65, August 2010)
Maroon boots: Van Eli via DSW ($25, August 2009)
Long necklace: Ann Taylor Loft ($12.99, October 2010)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Apparently I am terrified of wind...

Good morning everyone,

I had a hard time getting to sleep last night. The weather was unusually windy last night/this morning, and it made a terrible noise as it blew along our roof and the surrounding houses. Now, I'm not usually frightened by things like the wind, rain, lightning, etc...but I think I'm getting more afraid of "mundane" things as I get older. I mean, I grew up in FL. I've been through countless hurricanes. Wind should be a minor inconvenience to me at this point, yet it kept me up last night. I think I'll just blame it on post traumatic hurricane related stress or something. Or maybe I'm feeling older and more vulnerable. My birthday is right around the corner. Have you all gone through anything similar to this? Tell me about your fears :)

Alright, now that you all know my current worries and fears I'll try to move on to more important things. Things like boots. I think it's fairly obvious that I have a love for shoes (with an extra weakness for boots). Unlike shopping for clothes, I don't have to go to a special store to buy shoes (unless a wide calf is necessary), and I can browse at tons of shoes online (many with free shipping/return options). So a couple years ago I went through a boot buying bonanza. The boyfriend would probably argue that I'm still on a shoe buying streak, but believe me, the boot buying was bad. To try to put it in context, I had one pair of black clunky boots, I was working at my first "real" job, and I had just survived my first northern winter. At the time I worked in downtown DC, and I saw all of these beautiful sophisticated women traveling to and from work, not one with a clunky black boot (ok, probably one, but you get what I mean). Pointy toes, stiletto heels, heights of all varieties, colors galore...I mean, I really didn't know boots could be so lovely! I decided I needed to get on the fashionable boot train. And before I knew it, I had acquired at least 5 pairs of boots. Nothing crazy, all shades of brown and black, but pointy-toed leather "grown-up" boots. The pair I have on today is one of the pairs I bought back then. And you know the whole reason I'm telling you all this? Because this is the first time I've worn them. For some reason the other pairs I bought at the same time have gotten tons of use, but not these. And don't get me wrong, I've bought many a pair of boots since then, but never so many at the same time. I guess I'm feeling sort of guilty about it. A little late for that, right?

Thanks for hearing me out :) Happy Wednesday!

Navy top: Ann Taylor Loft ($10.99, November 2010)
Brown pants: Target ($18, September 2010)
Brown boots: (2007)
Khaki trench: Macy's ($60ish, October 2009)
Scarf: Consignment Store ($14.95, Summer 2010)