Monday, January 31, 2011

Tomorrow, you're only a day away . . .

In the spirit of this blog, which was begun in a flash the instant (I thought) the 30 for 30 was starting (but which was actually a couple weeks early), here is a non-post. Unlike everyone else, who posted their items today, I will post mine tomorrow.

Seriously, I promise. I have the pictures taken and everything. It's just my husband has begun begging me to put the computer away, and at that point, it is never a good time to ignore him.

See you all tomorrow!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

[No More] 3 X 5's

Does anyone remember that John Mayer song, 3X5? It's about how, instead of making sure to catch the most important, most beautiful, most memorable moments of life in pictures, he's going to try to live it. Catch it with "both my eyes". On Outward Bound, (an adventure I went on once, probably one of the coolest trips of my life) I realized that, too often, I try to document and save all the coolest stuff in pictures or what have you - for posterity, friends and family, my own memory, etc. - instead of just enjoying the moments in which they come to me. If others want to see these things, they can come along next time.

No? No one else memorized Room for Squares out of sheer repetition? Well, I had a lot of time on my hands that summer, so I remember it all. I thought of that song because the pictures for this post's outfit are not great. Like a sandwich - that you packed in a lunch bag with a soda but the lid was accidentally off and the sandwich was not in a baggie - might be "not great" to eat. (No, this has not happened to me. But wouldn't that be awful? Blech.) But I really did like this outfit! It was warm enough, comfortable, and it worked perfectly well for my day subbing. Here it is, the poorly-photographed outfit:

White Button-Up: Ann Taylor Loft
Green jacket: H&M (circa 2006)
Scuba pencil skirt: Ann Taylor Loft
Gold flats: TJ Maxx

Yep, them's some pretty awful pictures. And those were the best ones - yeesh. But, as my dear friend John put it, "you should have seen that sunrise with your own eyes; it brought me back to life".

Friday, January 28, 2011

1. Did anyone know you can put sweet potatoes in a stew? Well, at least, I did yesterday. It is in the crock pot now, and I'll let you know tomorrow whether it's delicious or weird.
2. I recently ordered a bookcase, two armchairs, a rug, and a coffee table and I am thrilled to announce that they will all be arriving well before I ever expected! Well, not the rug, it's on backorder. But it was all supposed to be, but everything else gets here next week! Eeee!
3. There's a big thrift shop in town that I've never seen before! So far, I had only seen Plato's Closet and another, similar place. I thought I would be stuck picking through16-year-olds' castoffs for thrifting, so now I'm just crossing my fingers that it's really good stuff.
4. Our dog can have an inordinate amount of completely abominable gas. She's officially a pollutant.
5. Apache helicopters make great settings for outfit pictures. Want to see? Stick around, I'll show you.
6. I have fewer than 3 weeks until my husband deploys. Weak.
Whew, that's a big day for me. What have you learned today?

When You Come Back Down

These pictures were taken among retired aircraft at a museum on post. Cool-looking, eh? This outfit was the first time I made an edit based on the pictures I took, and I'm really happy with the (eventual) result. Look:

Aaaahahahaha, sorry. I love that picture. Not a great outfit picture, but I did crack myself up with it.

Sweater: Calvin Klein (outlet, years ago)
Dress: Ann Taylor Loft
Leggings: ???
Boots: White Mountain via DSW

Good thing there aren't any rockets in there. It looks way cooler this way. Hellooo!

 There's that outfit.

Yes, you can sit at an anti-aircraft gun like a lady.

So, anyone guessed the improvement I made? I noticed that my middle looked ENORMOUS in the above pictures (and let me tell you, the outtakes were, without exception, far worse.) That's right, I was inspired by my awesome and encouraging friends to try the waist belt!

Oh yes, that's the stuff. I have always had trouble figuring out where exactly to put the waist belt (so as not to accentuate my belly-pooch) and how to work around not actually owning a waist belt. Well, I only had the more-successful outfit on for a few hours, but at least I know how to do it next time. Yay blog!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Stuck Inside of [the house] with the [outdoor] Blues Again

If you don't get the Bob Dylan reference in the title, that's probably because it's somewhat highly edited. The outfit I'm putting up today was worn on a day when I couldn't get outside, which really makes me crazy. Also, I wore this outfit in the evening only, to the movies. Yes, people outside my home saw me wear it, but no, I didn't put it on before lunch. (Lazy morning, went to the gym, did some cleaning, FINALLY put on real clothes and went out.) It really made me crazy to have this cute outfit to wear, but nowhere to really go with it. Does this bother anyone else?

Anyway, it was the fourth outfit in my remix sequence. (Why did I start so early??? I can't wait for February first so others will join me!)

Note to self: the couch may be the only presentable part of the house, but is too patterned/busy for a picture background. Solution? Clean other parts of the house.

Scarf: H&M
Sweater: Ann Taylor Loft
Shirt: Ann Taylor Loft
Cords: Ann Taylor Loft
Pink flats: DE Boutique via DSW

Is there a good reason for this picture? Not really. I was just pretty happy with how that bun worked out.

As evidenced by the final picture, I was not quite sure about this outfit. Lavender scarf with pinky-purple sweater with pink shoes? Is it all too much, or just an extra-pinky (and okay) outfit? I couldn't decide. But I do know I love the ruffly shirt - it's like getting a free toy with your clothing. What fun! Please leave any criticisms on this outfit in comment form. I'm curious what this looks like to other eyes, how others might do this differently, etc.

If you are a highly astute reader, you may notice that the above outfit is comprised completely of Loft goods. The scarf even looks like Loft ware, it's just not. I have a confession about how that came to be. When I entered college, I somehow noticed that all my favorite pieces of clothing were patterned. And usually bright. "Oh, I can wear this with any plain-colored thing! A neutral or a coordinating color, whatever!" I thought. But then I realized that I had no white shirts. Or plain shirts of any kind. Or plain skirts, or nice pants -- just jeans. So I began investing in such pieces, and once I found Loft, it was so easy! The things they put out looked just how I wanted to - classy and girly and tailored. And their sales are so frequent and so great (it's been probably a year since I purchased anything from them that wasn't at least 40% off) that I became addicted. I think probably over half of my 30 pieces in this challenge are Loft, specifically Loft petites. (I swear someone from that department has my measurements, and is stalking me to see what clothing I need. And I love that person.) 

The problem is that the majority of my clothes now come from one store. How fun is that? And how much am I doing to choose pieces or 'style' them? Essentially none, they have already done that for me. This is very lame, I have decided. So I guess that's one of my style-blog goals: to try to learn from others how I might use pieces of clothing together; how they choose them from all the looks available out there, and to start doing some of that on my own. Here goes nothing!

P.S. Trisha, you're right. Freaking-big size pictures it is!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Please, Mr. Postman

Dear mail-carrier for my area,

I don't feel like our relationship needs to be this complex. There are a few rules I think we can live by: you bring my mail every day except Sunday, and I will take it out. When I need for you to take mail out of my mailbox and send it to other places, I will put the flag up. That flag is for you, friend. (I mean, it's literally a red flag. You should be able to pick up on that kind of hint.) Sometimes you just leave what I've put out; maybe you want to take it later? And sometimes you just take some of what is there. Nope, it's all for you. Go ahead and clean 'er out.

Also, the door. I know it doesn't take advanced technology to get into that silly box, and anyone could take anything anytime. But still, it would just make me feel better if you would close it before you leave. Whether it is empty or full, just go ahead and close that door on up. Especially if it is raining and forecast to snow 2-4 inches.

Can we live with this? Please let me know if you need more from me. Is my return address stamp difficult to read at times? Are my address-number stickers peeling off the box? Just let me know. Because we can't go on like this.

Hopefully yours,

A few of my favorite things

This outfit combined several of them. I love this stripey shirt, I love my new denim blazer, I love bright tights, and I LOVE these boots! This is actually the 8th outfit I've made with my 30, but I decided to post it today because I want to be part of the Breton Stripe thing happening over on EveryBody EveryWhere.

So all day, I kept catching glances of my outfit and thought there was something not-quite-right about it - it just wasn't as gorgeous as it was in my head. But when I took my pictures, I decided it was just right, and I would like to thank my umbrella for this improvement. Apparently I should have been carrying it around with me all day.

For the first few pictures that I took, I was a bit too zoomed in, so please enjoy a few pictures of my midsection.

I think I magically knew my face wasn't making it in the frame.

Blazer: Ann Taylor Loft
Striped shirt: H&M
Scarf: Target
Skirt: Ann Taylor Loft
Boots: Ralph Lauren

Q: Why are you holding your umbrella way up there, like a weirdo?
A: I am a weirdo. Also, though this umbrella is the freaking cutest, and I got it on a very special trip to London and would never get rid of it, the little mechanism that holds it open doesn't actually work. Almost at all. So I had to hold it. Like a weirdo.

Can you see the rain? Here in Tennessee, it's called "snow".

Monday, January 24, 2011

In a Sweater . . .

Though it is pretty cold where I live, (and I'm always pretty cold, regardless of where I am) I am discovering that I can enjoy wearing all of my clothes. No, I'm not bold enough to try the tights-and-shorts thing, but I am wearing a skirt today. And no boots! I'm amazed I survived. Good thing I have this 30 for 30 thing to make me switch things up.

I lazed around much of the weekend and didn't post anything, and it's probably been long enough since my last outfit post, so I will post the next one. These were taken a few days ago, and were pretty fun to take. I am clearly disadvantaged in that my husband is not a professional photographer, but he is an awfully good sport about taking pictures of my outfits.
These are my skinny jeans. This makes me feel old school, because skinny jeans sold these days are supertight and make me think of leggings . . . yup, these are from back in the day. (Note: the day was about three years ago.)

(No, I didn't really get in. But they did leave their door open. Cooool!)

Striped button-up: New York and Company
Blue Cable sweater: Ann Taylor Loft
Skinny Jeans: Old Navy
Boots: Ralph Lauren

Yup, that's the Army Field Litter that I mentioned. Pretty cool to walk right up to such a beastly vehicle. 
Also, I received a remote for my camera today, so posts where I have to take my own pictures should look a little less awkward! Hurray! (I still need a new tripod, though.  I currently have one that stands maybe 6" and really just helps to add a little stability.) Somehow I caught the remote on Amazon for cheap. Seriously, it was under $6.50 with shipping! I'm a lucky duck.

P.S. I can't decide what size these photos should be. This is "Large" and previous ones have been "Largest". Which do you like better?

Friday, January 21, 2011


I have been reading Kendi Everyday since sometime this fall, and through that blog, I have found a community of other people who take pictures of their outfits and post them online most days of the week. (Clearly there's more to these blogs than that, but I'm oversimplifying intentionally.) During the time that I have kept up with these, I have grown an urge, of which I've just recently become conscious, to do the same.

So when Kendi announced the other day that there would be another 30 for 30, I apparently read it as 'this train is leaving RIGHT NOW HURRYGETYOUR30!!' The unfortunate thing was that she said when it would begin . . . February 1st. Whoops. When I read that post, I picked out all 30 (which doesn't count shoes for me . . . I don't know how it could) and put together outfits and began wearing and photographing them. I guess I was excited? Haha.

As I already have my clothes together and picked out, I am going to keep wearing and photographing my outfits daily. I will try to space out outfit posts, though, so I won't finish mine when others are only just beginning. (That's part of the fun of it!)

Anyway, I had my most fun shoot today. We were on the army post where the hubby works, and took pictures on/by a camo FLA (Field Litter Ambulance -- first aid truck) and came up with some cool pictures. Anyway, those are for later. For now, here are some silly pictures from the past.

I got to climb around in an Apache! Don't I look like a natural? (I didn't think so, either.)

We left the camera WAY too zoomed in, but ended up with one of my favorite couple pictures. LOOK at those blue eyes! *swoon*

Have a lovely day, all!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

All by Myself

Today, school got shortened to a half-day, so I was done by 11 a.m. Thus, I got home in plenty of time to take pictures of my second outfit in the remix. Unfortunately, no one was here to take my picture. Except Sasha (our Doberman), and she's actually not that handy with the SLR.

So I had to experiment with taking my own picture with this big, clunky camera. Let's see what adventures ensued . . .

Shoes first, they're easy. These are my absolute favorite pair. And back in the good old days of college, when I lived near wonderful people with excellent shoe taste and similarly-sized feet, these were easily the most-oft-borrowed from my closet. Anyway, when I stepped onto the front stoop to photograph these, it began to snow. So I took a picture in the yard:

Pretty! Here are my most successful outfit pictures. (Note the classic extended-arm-with-camera shot.)

My lack of light made this difficult, as did my lack of tripod or photographer. Next on my wish list: a real tripod. My dog is a way better model than I am. Look:

This was Sasha's favorite from today, so I had to put it in. Awwwwww.

Also, I left the house this morning JUST in time to get to school in time, so I arrived with wet hair straight from the shower. That's when I pulled my put-up-my-hair-with-a-pen trick. There are a lot of things I would change about my tresses, but I am always very glad that it knows how to do this one thing.

Green Plaid shirt: Ralph Lauren KIDSWEAR via Ditto. As you can see from the buttons, it's for a boy. Hah!
Black sweater: New York and Company
Khakis: American Eagle
Shoes: Chinese Laundry

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


1 of thirty! Today I discovered that the hard part about 30 for 30 is taking the pictures. (My sequence below goes: awkward face, blurry, weird half-smile, decent picture.) As I am not a super-modely person and my husband is not a professional photographer, I cannot be expected to post good pictures. Anyway, I wore this. It was a perfectly good outfit for my day as a band teacher. (And since I had to leave by 6:30, having an outfit picked out made a great difference in my morning!)

Camel sweater: New York and Company
Red shirt: Ann Taylor Loft
Navy chinos: New York and Company
Grey boots: White Mountain via DSW

The Very Beginning

A very good place to start.

I'm  here to say some things. Probably about the clothes I wear, the foods I cook and the crafts I create. That, likely with a healthy dose of whining and some goofy stories, is what you can expect.

Today I started my first 30 for 30 like all sorts of fashionable people are doing. Only in my version, the 30 are all clothing items. It's dang cold where I live, and so I needed more for layers than others seem to . . . that, and I couldn't figure out how to choose fewer than 10 pairs of shoes. So shoes don't count for me. So far I have the first 8 outfits or so hung up together in my closet, and I'm amazed at the speed with which I get out the door this way! Thank you, Kendi Everyday, for making mornings work for me.

Also, I'm currently reading The Picture of Dorian Gray. It's freaking sweet. If you've never read it, check it out. For me, it was a free 'purchase' with my husband's Kindle. I am a big fan of holding a physical book and creating a physical library and all that, but when you buy a book, you don't get like a million classic books for free. On that, books: 0, Kindle: 1.

Time for some chicken caesar salad, baked sweet potatoes and husband-canoodling. [29 days left to his deployment.]