Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Big One

I have recently begun a long-term subbing position, and have been quite surprised to discover that these things take up ALL OF YOUR TIME. I have been showing up early (not extremely early, but as early as I can get myself up to get there) and leaving late (very, very late) every day. Ugh. I'm pretty sure it takes so much time because I am just slow, but am hoping that that will change with time. Anyway, it's pretty fun and the kids are some kind of crazy, and it's a whole heck of a lot better than subbing in different rooms every day!

But that is why I haven't updated as much as I had hoped - I haven't had a free second. But I have one now! So I will put up LOTS of pictures so it's at least somewhat worth the while of waiting. (I know, you've been unable to breathe without my updates, it's quite natural.)

So after I visited my adorable niece and nephew near San Diego, I headed up to San Fran. First I got to visit Trisha:





Well, I said I was visiting Trisha, what did you expect, but flower pictures with over-the-top lighting? LOVED it. I also spent one day without T, as she had work to do. (She's so busy and important.) I saw some neat art in the Stanford art museum, and took a picture of my favorite. I have a picture of the plaque, so if you get mad at me for not citing it, I will just send you a copy of that picture.


Then I stayed a night or two with my older sister, her husband, and my other niece, Lily. Here she is, being a complete doll:





And how did I get her to give me those enormous, genuine smiles? Oh, I smiled at her. Yes, she IS the ideal subject. I also spent a day wandering the city, so here's your token shot of the Bridge:


Finally, I ended my trip with almost a week camping up north with my extended family on my father's side. Here is Stephen, maybe my favorite cousin, washing out a shirt with his three-year-old son . . . and maybe getting him just a little bit wet.    : P



So there you have it! We're all caught up. Up to like, late June, that is! Haha. But the rest of the summer is coming, trust me.

Then again, I wouldn't count on anything before next weekend if I were you.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Update No. 2

Hey folks!

Been a little slower than intended with the updates - this is because I found a long-term sub position that has been keeping me hopping! Which is great. I'll be spending the next eight weeks with a crazy little class of second-graders whom I love.  Anyway, on to the next part of my summer journeyings!

I took a long trip (over two weeks! WHOA.) to California to see lots of folks! I took TONS of pictures of my little niece and nephew, Kate and Griffen. They are twin two-year-olds, and were more fun than I could possibly stand. I loved every second. Here, look!


Their level of wonder at the whole world was completely refreshing.


Kate and Griff with Rich, my brother-in-law.


This beach day was the best!


I struggled to get Griffen's amazing smile on camera, until I had daddy tickle him - got to be a tricky photographer!


That day, G wasn't so sure about wandering into the water. But we had lots of fun in and out!


What a gorgeous little boy, eh?


Sure, the mission of TOMS is a great one. But seeing this precious little girl dance around in mine was worth buying them all by itself.

I wish I had gotten some good pictures for you of my sister-in-law, Julie, as she is simply adorable. Sorry about that. But trust me, they come by all this cuteness honestly.  : P

Next up: adventures in NorCal!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Eff You, Victoria

I received a set of coupons from the very generous Victoria's Secret company a little while back. One for a free tote bag with a $75 purchase (wow, really??), one for $10 off a bra, and a free pair of panties. Well, I just don't spend that much on a bra EVER (80% off I would go for. $40 off I would go for. $10? Means nothing to me in that store.) and I don't really need a bag that advertises my undergarment choices. But I went in for the free underwear.

Yes, I felt like a huge cheapskate picking from the "only ones that are free with the coupon" table. But, well, those were the only reasonable price in there. But as I picked through and compared the sizes to my front, I decided small was too small. And then, so was medium.


This is not a problem in and of itself. If I wore a large in ANY other retailer's sizing within this continent, I would be fine with that. But, well, I don't. So I'm sitting here in my large, free-to-me undies and vowing that I will never go into a Victoria's Secret store again. At least, not to pay money for anything.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Been There, Done That

Hey all,

Today I'm going to begin updating you on my summer life - travels and experiences - through the pictures that I have from them. Here are the problems which I foresee with this: if you know me in real life, you have already seen these pictures on facebook, on my computer, or in life. If you don't, you might not care much about the goofy pictures I have of my various trips. BUT, I am not too concerned about that.  : P

So here goes! We'll start at the beginning: my sister's graduation.

There it is - they did it! Congrats, Class of 2011!

My little sissy with Mom and Dad.

And with me!! So proud! (Note: she is in flipflops and I am in heels. Yup.)

Lil bro, lil sis, and Sissy's bf post-grad party.
I have to say that I'm very proud of my sister and excited for her and all that she's on her way to accomplish. I am also very proud of myself because all the clothes she wears in the above photos are a direct result of me. She thrifted the dress (under the gown) and skirt and belt at my favorite thrift store here in town, and the grey patterned shirt is a gift from me when it got too tight. Yup, I like to dress her like my own little life-size doll.

Emma and I didn't do all that much together when we were growing up, at least prior to my going to college. But one thing we could both always enjoy doing together was making cookies. We always made chocolate chip, and always used the exact same recipe, which we have totally memorized now. I was making some cookies tonight, and had these great flashbacks to teaching her how to measure it all, and her convincing me not to eat all the dough before we cooked it, and the way a batch never made it more than 24 hours in our house. So I decided that I will send most of that batch (which came out PERFECT, btw) to her new dorm - she just moved in last weekend! Please hope with me that her new dorm and college are completely fabulous and great for her. K thanks.

Joke of the day from my real life: Sunday evening, I decided to haul out the hose and sprinkler, as I have done not-nearly-often-enough this summer, and give the front yard a good spray. I had been doing some intensive weeding and whatnot, so I just hooked the thing up and headed inside to take a short break before shutting it off.
Fast forward, of course, to Monday morning, when my neighbor across the street came over to apologize for being nosy (which she wasn't) but that my sprinkler was still on.  Over twelve hours later.  So, as you might imagine, my yard is a very surprising shade of green right now. Looking for a great gift for me? I'm looking for a really good, loud timer.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Remember Me?

Dear Internet,

As you may be aware, if you can remember that far back, I used to write things here. And post pictures. But then, summer happened. My postings really stopped about when I went home for about a week to see my little sister graduate. I meant to post again when I got back, but it wasn't long before a friend came down to visit me, and then I headed to California for two weeks to see family and friends. Less than a week after THAT, I went to Colorado for a week to see all of my very best friends (except one extra-special very-very-best friend who was unfortunately tied up in Afghanistan) together for *gasp* NOT a wedding! Then I was home for a bit, but managed to fit in one more short trip, this time to a friend's friend's cabin (aka beautiful little house and guest cabin) on a lake in Minnesota.

WHEW. This has been a wonderful summer, and I feel allll stocked-up on time with people who do not live near me. I have loved it! What I discovered in-between and after trips, is that I had gotten so backed-up on blog posts, that I just ignored them all. Since I began reading blogs, I have always read them like I do anything else - completely, chronologically, and committedly. (See how I managed to do that alliteration thing? No, I'm not sure "committedly" IS a word, but just hush, will ya?) I decided to come back to it all today. I pulled up all the blogs on my roll and began catching up. There are SO MANY and SO MANY posts that I found myself skimming. For fashion blogs, I just looked at pictures, and maybe the occasional "where is that cute shirt from". For friend blogs, I really and truly read the posts, but was thankful that most of my real-life friend bloggers don't update all that often! Haha. And for many of my followed-blogs, I will probably never go back and fill in all those missed days - it's just not worth it.

So I'm back, but a little differently, I think. I pulled up some pictures on my flikr account just now, outfit pictures I took for the blog that didn't get posted before the long absence. I was about to post them when I realized that I had absolutely no interest in them. They aren't enviable craftwork, excellent thrifting finds, beautiful photography, or even all that interesting as outfits go. So I will just delete the pictures and put up something else. I began this blog hoping to share some clothes, but also some of myself. I want to report on events in my life, show off my handiworks, and ask decorating questions, too. I hope you'll put up with all that!  Oh, and I am back, but I still don't promise to post daily. (Sorry that the blog title is a big lie, everyone.) And if you actually like the outfits, don't worry. I have specific requests from the hubby to keep recent pictures coming on here, so they're not totally gone.  : P

See you all soon!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Trumpet Fanfare

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have an announcement to make:

We have a decision!!

I know, it hardly seems possible, but it is true! Here is a rundown of voting (because I found it quite amusing how evenly it was split):

1. Jute rug with Terra Cotta-colred border = Three votes
2. Natural colored rug with concentric rectangles in brown = Five votes
3. Colorful, ethnic-print rug - Two votes
4. Pretty neutral stripe Pottery Barn rug = Three votes
5. Large-print floral rug = Three votes

So I should definitely respond to each of you individually on your blogs (rather than here - sheesh, how self-centered of me! Goodness.) but for a dozen reasons, I am exhausted and really just don't have time for all of that. So I will do so on here.

Several of you suggested one of the more neutral pieces, and I want you to let you know that I really appreciate your counsel - I need your kind of vision to help balance my sometimes.

Dot: I'm anticipated that there will be heavy wear and tear, so I only looked at rugs that were intended to go outside . . . fear not, I was concerned about the very same thing.

Macy: The light is probably an issue I should consider.  My choice will not help brighten the dark area, but it will look nicer than it does empty. Hope you like it anyway!

So here it is, the rug that's on its way to me:

While all your viewpoints helped make this a tremendously easier process, the biggest vote (the husband's) was for this one, in brown. (Thanks for noticing and getting me to the chocolate-colored ones, Trisha!) Also, it helped that it cost approximately 1/3 of each of the other rugs - hurray!

Individualized comments coming soon. See you, all!

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Penny for Your Thoughts

If you don't know what song that title is in reference to, please see Christopher Guest's classic, Waiting for Guffman. You're welcome.

ANYWAY . . .

So since I got such a great response (thank you all! Thank you! Thank you!) last time I asked you all for opinions, I am here to ask again.

These are some pictures of my front stoop. (Mental photoshop: add four terra cotta pots, two on either side of the garage, and two on either side of the front door, as I worked on that yesterday. Also mentally paint the shutters a nice, dark brown. That's the next home improvement project.)

I am thinking of putting a rug on the big, rectangular area in front of the door, as there isn't really much more I can do with that awkward space. I've had trouble finding any real options, but yesterday I found several online! Let me know what you think about the following options, please.

Crate and Barrel
Crate and Barrel

Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn!

SO. We have:
1. A bordered, plain Crate and Barrel. Pro: simple. Con: light-colored and hard to keep clean?
2. Neutral, geometric Crate and Barrel. Pro: goes well with house. Con: . . . ?
3. Ethnic-looking Pottery Barn. Pro: Adds interest! Pretty! Con: Too busy?
4. Neutral, geometric Pottery Barn. Pro: goes well with house, very simple. Con: very light?
5. Interesting, floral Overstock piece. Pro: interesting, VERY cheap! Con: . . .? (Does it bother anyone that there's no black on the facade at this point? I'm not sure if it bothers me.)

So we have five distinct options at this point. Please feel free to vote for a number and leave it at that, or to leave ideas or observations. (Ex: Geometric is good!/ I like the neutrals./Go for price!/Whatever.)

Thanks for the help, all! It is going to be IMMENSELY useful, I am sure!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Climb on the Magic School Bus

This is one of my favorite outfits of late, made up of maybe my favorite new dress. So I was really excited when I showed my sister ehte pictures . . . untl she told me that I looked like the teacher on The Magic School Bus. But honestly, I never remember Miss Frizzle dressing poorly - lots of personality there! Her dresses were always decorated with the theme of what they were learning about in that book, so I guess this outfit indicates we'll learn how stripes are made? Or learn about painting? Not sure. Anyway, I couldn't really ask for a more honest reaction, so that works.  : P



Sweater: $25? NY&Co. Dress: $30 Anthro dress via Half of Half store. Shoes: $15 Classified.


OH and I don't have pictures, but I discovered a favorite new food today: breakfast lettuce wraps. We're ALL ABOUT breakfast burritos up in here (hubby was a bigger fan, but I'm plenty big on them while he's away, too) but I am well aware that tortillas have loooots of calories and do nothing to put my food intake in the proper proportion, as they are a whole lot of carb and I already eat lots of that. But I happen to have a head of romaine, and I neeeever seem to make it through lettuce before it goes bad, so I cooked up my egg and bacon and decided to put it in some lettuce leaves! It worked fantastically - the romaine leaf is totally nature's way-better taco shell! Also, it was very, very yummy. Go try it go try it!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Free to Be You and Me!

So by my post title, I actually mean "free to me". Because that's almost what this outfit was! Let's have a gander, eh?




What am I looking at on my floor there? Couldn't tell ya - just go with it.
Twinset: $2 Thrifted Gap. Necklace: Bridesmaid gift. Dress: From sister, Gap. Shoes: $15, don't know brand.


I grabbed this twinset in the thrift shop where I found it because I was looking to split one up for parts. That is, I have seen ultra-fashionable people wear the tanks as sweater vests and rock that, and I can always use another cardi. But this one was a little too 90's. 

Do you know what I mean? I mean both pieces are rather on the short side, and the tank has elastic spaghetti straps. Yup. That's not going over anything, ever. It's also pretty low-cut, so this may be the most of it that you ever see. But I am very happy with my purchase simply for the sweater - I don't often pick up colored layering pieces, so this one has come in handy. 

Another great part of this outfit: the dress! My sister picked it up at the Sidewalk Sale in Lawrence (one of my favorite hometown traditions) and discovered that she didn't like the fit once she got home. Well never fear, little sister! I, your helpful and understanding sister am happy to take it off your hands. Between the floaty and comfortable fit and the pockets, (!) it makes me happy all day. Does anyone else get hand-me-ups from siblings?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Badder than Old King Kong

This outfit is not particularly tough, I'll grant you. But I did feel more than a little baaaaaad in it. I think it's the jacket.



Earrings: $5 Sidewalk vendor in San Francisco. Jacket: $15 Ann Taylor Loft. Necklace: $20 Ann Taylor Loft. Dress: $30 Anthropologie. Shoes: . . . ? Forgot.


I've been on a trip home for about the last week, and I'm heading back tomorrow. I hope this helps explain some of my craziness and lack of posting during that time. As for the lack of posting the rest of the time, well . . . I don't know what to tell you.

While I've been here, I have gone shopping with my little sister (who just graduated high school, WOO!!) twice, and it has been really, really fun! (Pictures to come.) She has such a little model shape, so it's easy to pick up something cute and put it on her - it always looks great! Anyway, it has been great to play stylist. Thank you, other fashion blogs and mine as well, for helping me to figure out what looks good and what doesn't, what constitutes a healthy wardrobe of basics, and what flatters a figure. Much appreciated. Okay, time to go make a quick (hah!) stop at JoAnn's and then to lunch with a friend. Have a great day, all!

P.S. Please excuse the inexplicable blurriness in that first picture, and the crazy-eyes in that last one. 

Monday, May 30, 2011

It is Only a Canvas Sky, Hanging Over a Cardboard Sea

So I have this lovely black sleeveless blouse. It has a button-up front and a tie neckline, it's 100% silk, and (that's a big part of why) you've never seen it. I spent significant money (not tons, but more than on my whole outfit some days) on this beautiful piece, so I don't wear it for many occasions.

Recently, I was thrifting with my mom and sister, and noticed a very similar black top. Now, it is NOT silk. It is 100% polyester, and it is nowhere near as lovely a piece. But it does fit well and it is a fun top, so I bought it. (Also, it was $1. Why not?) The brand is actually so embarrassing that I'm going to always pretend I forgot to check what brand it is, but I DO like this shirt. Plus, I actually get to wear it, rather than just gaining joy from the knowledge that it is captive in my closet. Below is an outfit featuring this new-ish top.

IMG_5062    IMG_5055

IMG_5058 IMG_5069

Top: $1 Thrifted. Belt: $1 Thrifted. (Maybe 50 cents?) Bermudass: $5 Thrifted Dockers. Heels: $20 Target.


So my dog has a pretty leaky mouth, especially shortly after taking drinks. She just lets the last mouthful or so flow right out the sides. So if she comes over and just sniffs me after drinking for a bit, I get wet spots. I promise that's what is on my pants above - NOT something icky I dripped on myself, promise!

Not my strongest outfit. But I am proud of it for happening. For pulling out that potentially-too-fancy for today's situations top, dressing it down, and being excited about whatever is in store for the day. Yay yay yay!

Also, CONGRATS to my sissy and all her classmates as they reflect on their high school graduation and what all that means. And love to you all!

Feel free to chime in about "too-nice-for-this" pieces.  I'd love to hear what you think!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Just an Old-Fashioned [outfit post]

Two outfits.


Jacket: $7 Target. Scarf: $10 TJ Maxx. Shirt: $1 Thrifted. Jeans: $30 American Eagle. Shoes: $15 Penney's.

IMG_4940    IMG_4941


IMG_4946    IMG_4947

Jacket: $17 Kohl's. Tee: $1 Thrifted Banana Republic. Cami: $??, Loft. Bracelet: $7 Target. Belt: husband's. Skinnies: $30 Old Navy. Boots: $100 Ralph Lauren.

IMG_4949    IMG_4954

Goodness, sorry for the crazy-face pictures! I don't know what that's about. Also, I have no words for you . . . don't know what that's about, either. Anyway, this counts as posting! (Finally.) Woo hoo!