Sunday, June 27, 2010

Like a Yo-Yo

So after giving it some thought, I'm officially closing down this blog. I think this is the third time I've decided to take a break or close down the blog, so I apologize for all my yo-yo blogging. The thing is that a number of events have transpired and while I'm still very much interested in clothes and still VERY much a J.Crew fan, I'm making a conscious effort to stop shopping (or at least severely limit it) to focus on other things.

In addition, while I've really enjoyed sharing my outfits with you, it's just become a burden. I'm frequently running late in the morning and have a lot on my plate at work, so it's hard to squeeze in updating my blog.

I've enjoyed "meeting" all of you immensely (especially those I've met in person!), and would love to keep in touch! I keep a personal blog for family and friends (no fashion, sorry, but yes to recipes!), so if you'd like to read that, drop me a line (jadorethesestores AT gmail DOT com) and I'll let you know where to find it! You can also find me on Twitter. Thanks to everyone who has followed me (especially followed me from the start!) - it's been great being involved in this community - and I'll still be around as a reader. :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Friday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday

Hello!  How was the weekend?  Mine was fairly busy - on Saturday we headed up to New Hampshire to the Richard Petty driving school, where we got to be a passenger in a NASCAR car - a pretty neat experience!  I spent the afternoon baking, and on Saturday night we headed out to our friend's birthday party.  We got to see a bunch of our friends, and had a really great time, except for one incident. 

One of our friends took public transportation to the party, and by the time things wound down, the buses/trains weren't running he just assumed I was going to give him a ride home!  And the worst part was, he didn't even really ask, he just sort of said, "Oh, hey, you're going home this way, right?", which we really weren't, and then he really had no way to get home.  I was so irritated, especially because we had talked party transportation logistics previously, and he never brought up getting a ride home from me.  I wouldn't care so much except that this is not the first or second time he's done this to me.  On top of that, he didn't even really want to be at the party (kept reminding me that he was "making an appearance" because he was already going to be in the area, and kept letting me know how he was going to show up drunk).

But anyway, on Sunday we went to my parents' house for Father's Day dinner with my mom, dad, aunt, and grandparents.  It was a nice dinner, and I always like hanging out with my family.

So here are some outfits from the weekend/week.  First up is my outfit from Friday.  The skirt is new, and has a cute zipper fly with a button tab at the waistband, so it has a different look than regular side or back zip skirts.  I can't remember if the sweater is new though - I may have worn it before, but I'm not sure.  After work, I swapped the heels out for a pair of pink flip-flops.  I love the neutral colors with the bright pink of the sweater.

Skirt: Old Navy
Sweater: Gap (outlet)
Shoes: Jessica Simpson

This is what I wore to Father's Day dinner.  I actually wore this dress to Father's Day brunch a couple of years ago, but I honestly don't think I've worn it since.  I was planning on wearing another dress, but when I put it on, I saw it had a stain on it, so I went with this one.  The sweater is new-ish - I may have worn it once before, but I can't remember.

I'm wearing my cream colored flower flats - I'm totally loving these shoes!  They are a great neutral with a little something extra, and are great for casual or dressy outfits.  They are quickly becoming my go-to flat, and for only $8, you really can't beat that!

Dress: J.Crew (outlet)
Sweater: Old Navy
Shoes: Dexter for Payless

Here's what I wore to work yesterday.  The weather has been gorgeous lately, so I'm not really feeling pants, so I'm trying to do the dress/skirt thing for as long as I can.  The dress is new - I bought it last year or the year before, and I love the print!  I don't wear a lot of prints, but I think this one is fun enough but still not too crazy so I can wear it to the office.  I layered a cami underneath because it has a pretty deep V.  The color combination in the dress lends itself easily to a lot of different color options for a cardigan (I went with grey).

Dress: Banana Republic (outlet)
Sweater: Gap (outlet)
Cami: New York & Company
Shoes: Madeline

And lastly, here's what I'm wearing today.  Today's new thing is my shoes - I love these shoes!  When nude pumps become a big trend, I went on a hunt looking for the "perfect" pair, and I think these are it (for me, at least)!  I paired it with my bright floral skirt and a pink sweater.

Skirt: Liz Claiborne
Sweater: Gap (outlet)
Cuff: New York & Company
Shoes: Franco Sarto

I'm not sure if these shoes are leather, but they're at least faux-leather, and they have a nice, rounded toe with a small platform.  They are a solid, sturdy pair of heels, and I just love the neutral color and the little peek of red on the inside.  I read online reviews that said they were a little small, but I took my regular size, and when the first pair came, I actually ordered a second pair because I love them so much.  (And it's a good thing I did, because they haven't come back in stock!)

Tonight I'm SO excited because BF and I (and bad doggie) are going to see Toy Story 3 at a drive-in!!  I've never been to a drive-in before, and I'm super excited to go.  It's a double feature (Toy Story 3 and Prince of Persia), so hopefully I'll be able to stay awake for the whole thing. :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wednesday's Flowers and Fog

Good morning everyone!  Hope you're having a great Thursday - only one more day until the weekend!  Tonight BF and I are supposed to get dinner at Red Robin with my cousins, but my little cousin is sick, so our plans are a little up in the air.  I'm working at home today, so no outfit for today (unless you want to see my workout clothes and sweats), unless we end up going out, then I might take one.

Here's my outfit from yesterday.  I wore the Lorelei patterned dress from last summer - I got this dress in green, and briefly considered getting it in pink, too, but I got the dip-dye Lorelei in pink instead.  I paired it with a white sweater, and my cream-colored flower flats.  My new piece for the day is the necklace.  I'm not sure what it's called, but it's glass beads in a nice foggy color.  I bought it from Ashley (shout out to my Boston shopping girl!!) last spring, and have tried to find a good top to pair it with, and I think it works well with this outfit, because there's nothing fighting with the neckline.

Dress: J.Crew
Sweater: Gap (outlet)
Shoes: Dexter for Payless
Necklace: J.Crew

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tuesday Brights

So I have a confession to make: Monday's outfit didn't have anything new in it!  I didn't realize that until later, but in all fairness, I was supposed to wear a new skirt, but then there was the whole steamer issue.

But anyway, Tuesday's outfit was all new!  I snagged this dress of eBay last year some time.  I think it's called the Allison dress or something like that.  I wasn't really looking for it in particular, but was on an eBay buying spree, so picked it up.  I was surprised by how bright blue it is, but I think it's a great shade of blue.  I also love the length - it hits right above the knee, so a nice flattering length for a shorty like me. :)

Dress: J.Crew
Shoes: J.Crew

I paired the dress with the shoes that got me hooked on my eBay spree.  I think these are the Liza peep-toes, and I totally love the pattern.  I'm not normally an orange person, but I think they're so cute.  I gave myself a little pat on the back for pairing them with the bright blue dress...I'm a pretty conservative dresser and don't consider myself very stylish or fashion-forward, and this dress would normally just have me reaching for a pair of flats.  (And it paid off - a woman in the grocery store told me she loved my shoes!)

No outfit of the day pictures from today - BF had a small outpatient procedure done yesterday, so was lazing about in bed when I left.  I'll try to post it tonight, but if not, tomorrow.  Hope you all have a great day! :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Programming Delay and FOR SALE!

Hello all!  Happy Tuesday...only one more day until we're halfway through the week, hooray!  I am really looking forward to the latter half of this week!  I am totally excited to share my outfit of the day with you...I love it, and have to say it's one of my favorites from recently.  The only problem is I left my card reader at home today, so while I have the picture, I can't get it onto my computer.  So this picture of my doggie will just have to do for now.

And speaking of dogs, and dachshunds in particular, please keep Kim's doggie Simon (from Anthroholic) in your thoughts!

I mentioned before that I'm trying to sell some of my clothes, and haven't had much luck yet.  I posted a couple times on the the JCA blog, and I've listed a few items on eBay, so I thought I'd try on my blog again! Here's the details:
  • Shipping is $1 per item, unless otherwise noted.  Some items are heavy so will require more shipping; contact me for details.
  • PayPal only.  No returns unless item is not as described.
  • I'm open to best offers.
  • I'm really trying to get rid of these clothes, so please make me an offer if you're interested in something!  
  • I treat all of my clothes very nicely, and most of these clothes are worn once or twice, and some are NWOT and NWT. 
Thanks :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Monday Navy Blues

Hello all!  Hope you had a great weekend!  On Saturday I attended a meetup where we got a private tour of a Jim Henson muppet exhibit, and then had a private puppeteering workshop.  Now, I'm a linguistics major, so I love language, and I especially love words, and how word choice can so drastically alter the meaning of something.  Such as "puppeteering workshop" vs. "condescending third grade art class".  I attended a private puppeteering workshop.  Too bad it was run by an art teacher who talked to a room full of (mostly 30 year old and up) adults like we were children.

We had to "find a face" in regular objects, and parade them around in front of everyone else, giving them a signature "walk".  One girl outright refused to participate (I should have done the same).  Then, we had to get in pairs and bring a plastic bag to life.  I almost walked out, honestly.  I'm not opposed to this kind of stuff - but it's not my thing.  And when I signed up for a private puppeteering workshop, I really thought it'd be more about the technical art of making puppets, and how they're constructed...not a bunch of tables strewn with homemade art supplies (empty yogurt containers, empty egg cartons, felt, old clothes, yarn, socks).  I did, however, make a really cute dragon puppet, whom we've named George.

After that, we met up with BF's family for a dinner celebration for his brother.  Dinner was okay, if not pretty boring.  I don't have the best relationship with BF's family (mostly his mother), so luckily it was a fairly quick dinner.  On Sunday I was pretty lazy and boring, but it was a nice and relaxing day.

Today I was back in the office.  I had initially planned to wear a different pencil skirt (the frosted jacquard pencil skirt), but while the steamer was heating up, it dripped all over the back of the skirt, and I didn't feel like waiting for it to dry, so I went with the eyelet skirt from last summer instead.  My shoes are a pretty close match to the color of the Frances cami, and I think they're a nice combination with the navy blue.

Skirt: J.Crew
Top: J.Crew
Sweater: Gap (outlet)
Shoes: Colin Stuart for Victoria's Secret

Friday, June 11, 2010

Pink scarf and pinker shoes for Friday

Good afternoon!  I am so glad it's Friday - I couldn't wait for this week to be over. BF and I are currently trying to figure if we want to go out tonight, and tomorrow morning I have am going to a meetup (does anyone else use meetup?).  We don't have plans on Sunday, so I'll probably just end up running errands and cleaning up around the house.

Today I'm just in the office, and I've kind of given up wearing dress clothes to work on Fridays.  When I was in a different department, I totally took advantage of casual Fridays, and wore jeans and even hoodies to work.  Then for awhile, I stopped, and only wore business casual clothes to work every day, 5 days a week.  I could go an entire day without seeing anyone at work, and certainly without seeing anyone I work with, so I decided to chill out a little and go a little more casual on Fridays now.

The scarf is the new piece for the day.  More about that later.  I went with a basic black knit turtleneck and my darker jeans (plus my favorite jeans are ripped at the bottom, so I wouldn't wear those to work anyway!).  I decided to wear a pair of pink patterned peep-toes to complement the pink in the scarf.

Jeans: Express
Sweater: Gap (Outlet)
Shoes: J.Crew
Scarf: Margo Petitti

Here's a close up of my shoes.  They are the Liza peep-toes (I think) in the cherry blossom print.  I scored these off eBay for a very good price.  I've worn them a couple times before, and they've finally stretched out enough (they're a half size too small)!  Plus, I'll be sitting for most of the day. :)

So the scarf I'm wearing today is a Margo Petitti scarf.  I've known Margo for a long time now (in fact, she may be my oldest (longest-known) friend!), and I'm excited to finally own one of her scarves!  I just got my first one this past week - the current collection doesn't include any pinks or purples, but she had this pink from a past collection, so I bought it.  (I also have my eye on the Celeste scarf that's part of the latest collection!).  She has a lot of great patterns available that I think work with a lot of color palettes. 

Margo designs all of the scarves herself in really pretty patterns and colors.  The fabrics are really lovely, too - mine is a bamboo and silk/wool blend, which is good for me, because all-wool scarves really irritate my skin.  I love the almost menswear vibe, and you can see that my scarf actually has a windowpane pattern in it, with light green-brown lines.  The scarf is also reversible, so I can decide if I want to feature the cream or pink more.

I love this scarf, not just because my friend made it, but because it's a lot more polished than a lot of scarves I own.  I own one from the Gap that BF calls my "Serena scarf" after Serena on Gossip Girl, and it's been my go-to scarf.  It's nice, but it's all fringey at the end, and wrinkly to boot.  I know scarves can be casual, but it's nice to have a nicer scarf to wear to work or for dressier occasions.

This scarf was definitely an "investment" piece, but BF was kind enough to make it my graduation gift.  So thanks, BF!  (And Margo!) :)

[And for complete disclosure, Margo doesn't even know I'm posting about her scarves, or that I have a blog even.]

Hope you have a great rest of the Friday and weekend!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Nice and simple: Jeans and basic colors

I kept my outfit nice and simple for my visit to my cousin's house.  My little cousin was good, so we would have gone to Red Robin, if I'd gotten there on time.  I didn't realize/forgot that little kids eat on more of a schedule than adults, so didn't think anything of eating lunch around 1 PM.  No matter though, because we rescheduled for dinner next Thursday, which also means BF will be able to join us!

It's always nice to see my cousin, his wife, and his son - we always have a good time.  I finally finished the movie Cars, which is my little cousin's favorite movie.  We watch it every time I'm there, but I'm yet to watch the whole thing end to end.  The last time I was there, we stopped about an hour from the end, and today, I finally got to see the end!  :)

As for what I wore, I just picked basics.  I wanted a loose tee, and went with a sweater because I didn't feel like digging around for a hoodie.  I didn't take a picture of them, but my socks are grey with light pink and light teal stripes, and I wore my favorite pair of jeans.

Jeans: Express
Tee: Ralph Lauren (might be Polo)
Sweater: Gap
Socks: American Eagle
Shoes: Etienne Aigner

My dog says: See you this afternoon!

I'll be back with my OOTD later today!  I'm actually still in my pajamas right now.  :)  (The joys of working from home!)

My uncle is in town, so I'm heading over to my cousin's house to visit with them, including my cousin's son, who's just so fun.  I am trying to get my cousin to agree to go to Red Robin for lunch, and he said it depends on how his son is at school in the morning, so here's hoping my little cousin has a good morning at school!

In the meantime, here's a picture of my doggie getting some serious air as BF tries to open the sliding door onto our back deck.  This is a daily occurrence. :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The eBay Story

Okay, so here's my eBay story.  I'm putting it here mainly because I need to vent a little (to someone besides BF), and also because I'm interested in other people's opinion of the situation.  (If I can convince you to stay away from this particular user, that's a bonus, too!)

So as I mentioned a little while ago, I'm trying to downsize my wardrobe, and so I started selling some items on eBay.  eBay's a good vehicle for this, but I find their fees to be kind of high, so I started small.  I sold some clothes from my first batch, and then decided to relist the clothes that didn't sell for 99 cents each, and give them one more chance.  I was hoping that by pricing them so low, people would buy them, and I'd use the shipping cost to break even after the fees.

One of my items was an Eddie Bauer cotton cardigan - nothing special.  It was midweight, so I priced it at 99 cents with $6 for shipping.  Only one buyer bid on it, and she ended up winning.  Most of my customers paid right away, and I didn't even have to send them an invoice.  She waited a day or two, then sent me an e-mail asking me to look at the shipping cost again, because she was certain that it was too high.  I didn't want to get in a big back and forth over it, so I said I'd lower the shipping to $5.  She never responded, so I just invoiced her that amount, and a couple days later, she got around to paying for it.

Then, after she pays, she sends me another message, informing me that she's going out of town for the weekend, so I should wait until Friday or Saturday to put her package in the mail.  At this point, I'm pretty frustrated, but I wait until Friday, delaying mailing about 5 other eBay orders (from prompt payers who didn't make all kinds of demands).  The package goes out on Friday, and I don't really think anything else of it.

Fast forward to Monday morning, when I get another message from her saying that the sweater was nice, but she's very irritated with me because she specifically asked me not to mail her package until Friday, and I mailed it on Thursday.  She said she hoped I understood that she couldn't give me all 5 stars. 

The reason she thinks I mailed it on Thursday is because that's when I printed and paid for the shipping label.  I let her know that, and also that not only did I accommodate her, but that I delayed mailing my other orders just to fulfill her request, and so she immediately comes back and starts calling me out for not e-mailing her.  She said she had 5 or 6 other orders and that every single one of them e-mailed her back letting her know that they'd be waiting to mail her packages.

Now here's where I got really frustrated.  So what is the issue then - that I allegedly mailed it when she told me not to, or that I didn't bother to e-mail her that I'd be following her orders?  It seems to me that she realized she'd made a mistake getting angry (and giving me bad feedback without waiting for my response), and instead of admitting it, she's just finding something else to get upset about.  Even in messages from her now, she continues to bring up how she told me not to mail it until Friday...which is great, because that's when I mailed it.

The best part of this is that in the midst of all our back and forth, she tells me how she's going to report me to eBay, I'm going to get a sanction for leaving her negative feedback (and don't even get me started on eBay's ridiculous buyer-sided feedback policy), and then goes on to claim that she's going to sell my sweater for more than what she paid for it ($5.99), and that she still managed to get the positive feedback out of me.

In her latest message, she's claiming that it's wrong of me to make $2 off of shipping (I made exactly 50 cents), and is still harping on the fact that I never e-mailed her and that "all" she asked was for me to make my shipping cost more reasonable and ship out on a specific day.  Then she goes on to say if she'd known I was going to react this way, she would have just given me negative feedback to begin with.

I'll give her that it would have been courteous for me to let her know I received her e-mail; however, I didn't e-mail a single other customer when their package shipped, and none of them cared, presumably because they know how to read tracking information (especially for someone who uses eBay as much as she does).  But on the same token, she never e-mailed me back, letting me know my final shipping offer was okay.  She could have e-mailed me when she got the shipping notification to find out if I had actually shipped on Thursday. 

What really bugs me about this situation is that she won the item, fair and square, which means I could have tried to force her to pay the $6 shipping, but I didn't.  I tried to be fair and reduce the shipping by a dollar, then she wants to dictate my trips to the post office, and again, I comply, but somehow I end up being the bad guy in the whole thing because I didn't send her one e-mail? 

So what does everyone think?  I just started using eBay, so I realize now I should have e-mailed her and let her know, but I think she is way overreacting, and just using the e-mail as an excuse to stay mad because she can't stay mad about when I e-mailed the sweater, which was her initial (and ongoing) complaint.  I'm almost tempted to buy the sweater back when she relists it, because I feel bad for it having to spend any time with such a petty person. ;)

If anyone is interested, her user name is "absolutelyaudrey" (poor Audrey Hepburn, to have to be associated with such a person), and she also sells under "24LavenderLane".  The second account has some pretty amusing things for sale.  The one that got me is the cosmetics bag that is obviously one of those freebies you get with a minimum purchase, with a bunch of random samples that she's starting at $5.99 and then charging almost $6 for shipping.

Sunday, Monday, and Hairdo

Hello!  Hope everyone is having a great Wednesday - halfway through the week!  I have a short update on some recent outfits, and I'm happy to report I've been doing pretty well on my Wear New Things challenge.  On Saturday I wore my Crewcuts striped cardigan to the grocery store (but took it off when I got home and had to prep food for the week).  I found that I'm able to take some tops in a size 14, so I've been giving them a try.  They're less pricey (especially for the mom-and-me matching items), and free shipping!

On Sunday, I went to an open market up in Boston.  My friend had a booth there, so I stopped by to see her.  After that, BF and I went to my friend's house for a little BBQ.  I had thought there were going to be a lot of people there, but it actually ended up being only a small gathering, which I really liked.  I wore my Frankie Dizzy dress.  At first I wasn't sure I liked this dress, but after spending a whole day in it, it's definitely grown on me!  The only bad part was that I spilled juice from my chicken shawarma wrap all over myself. :(

Dress: J.Crew
Flip flops: Old Navy

On Monday I just spent the day in the office.  I grabbed the Elizabeth halter out of the closet, and steamed it so the collar looked nice and ruffle-y.  I got this top off of eBay or from the JCA exchange (can't remember), and I have to say that I'm not sold on it at all.  Which is bad news, as I own it in 3 other colors!  I had this top altered to fit me, as it was too big, but I think it fits weird.  

The button "loops" are just giant fabric loops, so don't actually hold the big buttons in tightly, which means that the top is prone to gaping up the front, giving everyone a peek at what's underneath.  I found I either had to pull the top forward a bit (to give the fabric more slack), slouch, or just not move my arms backwards at all.  So definitely a thumbs down in that regard.

Secondly, this blazer was not my first choice what to wear.  I like this blazer enough, but as I've mentioned before, it attracts stuff to it like no tomorrow - always picking up lint and whatever else it can find.  It's pretty frustrating.  Plus I'm just not in love with the way it wears.  It's a little stiff, and I have to roll the sleeves up INSIDE the sleeve so that it's actually wearable.  I wanted to wear a sweater with it, but a regular cardigan didn't look right, and the V-neck cardigan was too long, so the proportions were off.  So, I just went with the blazer.

Pants: The Limited
Top: J.Crew
Blazer: Old Navy
Shoes: Colin Stuart for Victoria's Secret

Lastly, I've figured out what to do with my hair in the meantime.  I'll probably get it cut soon, but I've finally mastered a super high messy bun that keeps it from being too unruly.

Hope you're all having a great day!  I'll be back with an eBay story later this afternoon!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Celosia Cardi and Flowered Shoes

Good morning all!  I am eagerly waiting for this day to be over, for a number of reasons (tired, too much stuff on the to-do list).  Most importantly is because tonight I am heading north to get my FREE Chick-Fil-A new Spicy Chicken Sandwich!!  I cannot wait.  I am a HUGE fan of Chick-Fil-A, and sadly for me, the nearest one is almost an hour away, boo hoo.  But today I made myself get up early so I could get to work early (or "on time" as they like to call it) so I could leave early so I can go get my SPICY CHICKEN SANDWICH!!!

Okay, but enough about that, I'm sure you didn't come here to read all about my love for fried chicken sandwiches (and waffle fries!  Don't forget the waffle fries!!).  Here's my outfit for today.  I've been doing...OK...on my quest to wear something new every day. 

Last Friday I wore new flip-flops, but BF, the apparent rulemaker, decided those didn't really count.  (They did!)  I wore a new bra one day, too, but you're not going to get a picture of that!  And yesterday, I wore a new t-shirt, which got me extra points, because it was a work-at-home day, and thus didn't really fall under the terms of the challenge.

So today I went to work, and so I wore a nicer pair of jeans - nice dark color, very little wear, and no fraying at the edges.  I paired it with the spring Celosia cardi (in one of the maaaaany colors I own it in) and some simple flats.  I layered a white cami under the sweater, as the cardi can be a little sheer.

Jeans: Express
Cami: New York & Company
Sweater: J.Crew
Shoes: Dexter by Payless

Here's a picture of my shoes.  They are a lovely cream color with these flowers on the toe.  I wore them for my graduation (snagged them for only $8!), and am still breaking them in, which is code for "they still cut up my ankle a bit".

I don't have much planned for the weekend - BF and I are taking the dog out tomorrow morning for some exercise, and on Sunday I'm heading into Boston for an open-air market and to see my friend who has a booth there.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

For Sale!!

Hi all!  No clothes post today (but I did manage to get in something new almost every day since I've last posted) - I was pretty busy over the weekend reorganizing and cleaning our whole apartment, so didn't have time to take pictures. 

I mentioned in a post last week that I'm selling my clothes, and here they are!  Feel free to take a look - I'm open to offers, and combine shipping!

Be back tomorrow with some clothes!  Hope you all had a great long weekend. :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

May 25: Banana Bohemian (and should I get a haircut?)

On to Day 3 of my new clothes challenge, and it was an easy one!  (This is from yesterday.  Normally I get BF to take my picture before we both leave for the day, but today he was out the door early, so I had to wait until the evening.) 

Yesterday I had to go to work, and then I had a meeting with a professor at school, and was also participating in an info session for prospective students.  I know I said I graduated, but I was very involved while I was at school, and occasionally get asked to help out still.  I was running a little late, so I just dug through some of my dresses to find an unworn one (not hard, unfortunately), and came up with this one!

I bought this from the Banana Republic least a year ago, possibly more.  I'd always intended it to wear it with some knee-high boots, kind of 60s/70s go-go style, but that never happened for some reason.  It's a great knit dress - fairly basic with some cute details.  I love the big sleeves.  I paired it with a simple pair of wooden slides (can't remember the brand).

The dress ties in the back, with the same fun pattern.  So that's my outfit from yesterday - nice and simple!

Now on to the hair question!  Here's a picture of my hair!  I haven't had a real haircut in 3 years - I've had a couple of trims, but no real hair chopping. Every few years I go from what you see below to shoulder-length hair.  My mom and the BG love the shoulder-length hair.  My mom says it makes me look more adult, and BF just says he likes short hair better (which is a first).

Right now, I'm at the point where I might be ready to cut.  I run (okay, was running, and will be running again) 5 days a week, and usually just throw my hair into a bun after my shower.  As a result, my hair has taken on a semi wavy texture, but it's also fairly thick, so it's prone to frizz and flyaways.  Additionally, I very rarely dry my hair with a blow dryer...maybe once every 6 months or so?  It's really not worth it, as it's completely puffy after a blow dry, and I have to wait a day for it to settle down and be smooth...and by the time it's settled down, it's time to run again.  So basically it's just in a bun ALL THE TIME.

I'm always torn about cutting my hair.  I really love my long hair, and always always cry when I get it cut.  I've made the big chop 3 times now (each time have donated 12+ inches to Locks of Love), and am considering it again.  I half committed to getting it cut after I graduated, but now I'm not sure if I really want to go through with it.  I may cut off enough to donate, but keep enough to at least have a short ponytail, but I don't know.  Any suggestions?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Back with a challenge!

A lot's happened since I last blogged!  The biggest one is that I finished my graduate program.  I've been done with classes and coursework for almost a month now, but I officially graduated about a week ago.  It's been great to have some free time to just relax and do whatever I want.

A couple other big things happened (one that I won't get into) - including my beloved pet turtle's running away.  I've had him since college, and we've been through 3 boyfriends together.  Last week BF was cleaning his tank, and we haven't seen him since, even though we've ripped the apartment apart, looking in every possible place he could be (and some places he couldn't be), but it seems like he's journeyed off into the great green yonder.

But in the midst of all of these things, I realized how much STUFF I have.  I've always been really unable to let go of stuff, but having to go through everything in my apartment made me realize how out of control it is.

So I have a couple challenges for myself.  The first is to sell off as much of my stuff as I can bear to part with.  This is especially true for clothes and shoes.  I'm kind of embarrassed by the amount of clothes, especially brand new clothes, I have.  Same for shoes.  The second challenge is to try to wear something new every day (to work).  And by "new", I mean that it's new to me...many of the things have been hanging around for awhile, possibly even years.  I started this challenge yesterday, and managed to wear 3 new things yesterday!

So, onto my outfit for today.  According to my friends' Facebook status updates, it's supposed to be really hot today.  (And we all know this is the best source for stuff that matters!)  I went with a skirt that I picked up last spring or summer.  It's a petite, which I love, because that means it's actually the proper length to be flattering.  I was originally going to pair the skirt with the spring Celosia cardigan from J.Crew in grey, but I went with this yellow sweater instead.  The shoes are a darker nude peep-toe.

Skirt: Banana Republic (petites)
Sweater: Gap Outlet
Shoes: Jessica Simpson
Watch: Fossil
What's New: skirt, sweater, shoes

Monday, April 26, 2010

Let me start by apologizing for disappearing for awhile.  I had fully intended to continue blogging, and even had some pictures on my camera all ready to go.

Unfortunately, not long after the Gala post, I lost someone extremely close to me.

I was dealing with that for a couple of weeks, and now the end of the semester has crept up on me, so I'll be busy for the next couple of weeks.  Once this semester ends, I'll be able to devote a lot more time to this blog, so please hang on until then!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Gala Story

[This post may be kind of long, because it's kind of two stores in one post.]

This past weekend I had a big school party to go to - our annual "Gala".  I had seen a picture of the Waterfloral Pastiche cardigan that was coming out, and loved it, so I asked my personal shopper if there were any other clothes coming out in that pattern, and she told me about the Taryn dress, so I decided I would get that dress for the Gala, as this was my first time going.  I ordered it the day it came out, and had them overnight it to me, but in the end, it didn't fit!

It was too small in the bust area, and I was bulging out of the top of the dress all over - not pretty AT ALL!  BF tried to tell me that it looked okay, especially because I would probably be wearing a wrap or sweater, but I just couldn't wear it, knowing how it looked.  I will admit, I cried for longer than I should have.  I was really crushed - the dress is gorgeous, and it made me really upset that I couldn't wear it to the Gala.  I even tried calling around to some of the bigger, higher-end local J.Crews to see if by any chance anyone had returned a size bigger, but no luck.

(And for those of you in the area: I got a nice girl from Copley, a very rude girl from Atrium (SHOCKER), and a very, very nice guy named Ed from Natick.  I actually saw Ed last night when I was returning the dress, and made a point to tell him how nice he was, and how much I appreciated his help.)

So once I figured out that the J.Crew dress was a no-go, I had to find another one.  I might have a small dress problem, in that I am prone to buy whatever pretty dress comes along, even if I don't have a real need for it.  The good news was that this meant I had plenty of back-up dresses to pick from, and in the end, I went with a dress I picked up a couple years ago (but had never worn) from The Limited.  It even matched my shoes that I had picked out specifically to go with the Taryn dress.  BF actually said that he preferred the dress I ended up wearing over the Taryn dress.

On to the outfit!  First, here is the coat I wore.  It was actually chilly out the night of the Gala, so I dug this coat out of the closet, where it was languishing for a couple of years now, ready to be worn for the first time.  (See, I told you I have a problem with wearing new things!)  I love this coat - it's such a fun color, and I love the cut and design of it.  It even matched my shoes!

Here is the dress I ended up wearing.  As I said, it's from The Limited, and it's a couple years old, at least.  I think I would have liked it if it were a tad bit shorter, and I felt really exposed (I don't usually wear things so low cut), but I really liked it.  I love pastels, and it is a gorgeous shade of pale pink-purple, and the floaty chiffon is really lovely.  It totally reminds me of ballerinas for some reason!

Here is the back of the dress.  It crosses in the back, and is supposed to then tie in the back, but I wasn't able to tie it without it scrunching up the back, so I just wrapped the ties back around the front and tucked them down the front of the dress.  I think it looks much cleaner this way.  (Also, that is my loooong hair that appears to be sprouting from my armpit.)

Here's how I had my hair styled.  I don't know if you can see it well, but I was trying to channel Emily Blunt's hair from these pictures.  I rolled pieces of the hair back to create a sort of rolled "frame" on each side, and then I just pinned all my hair up in the back.  It fell out later, and this picture is from the end of the night, otherwise I'd show you the back as well.  (If you're friends with me on Facebook, you can see it from the front on there!)  This picture also shows the earrings I wore.

This picture is hard to see, but here is my purse.  I went with basic black clutch with some really pretty allover scalloped petals/ruffles.  This clutch is cute, but it is very tiny.  I brought my ID, debit card, camera, and my BlackBerry.  My camera and BlackBerry are not that big, but I could only fit one in the bag at a time, so it's definitely more form over function!

Lastly, here are the shoes.  I ordered these shoes on sale from Nordstrom, planning to wear them with the Taryn dress.  I thought the bright pink would match well with the pink in the dress.  I think they went well with the dress I wore, but I also think they were a bit too clunky for the dress.  I think a daintier shoe might have worked better.  Plus the shoes came with a big black stain on the them.

The Gala itself was a lot of fun!  It was the first one I've been to, and I had a lot of fun hanging out with my friends from school.

Here's the deets on the outfit!
Dress: The Limited
Coat: Express
Shoes: Nordstrom (forget the brand)
Earrings: Express
Clutch: Lela Rose for Payless
Ring: Tiffany
Nail Polish: Maybelline on fingers and OPI on toes

Weekend outfits

You know you're getting old when you have a hard time remembering what you did over the weekend, especially when it was a fairly eventful one!

Usually I do a long run on Sunday mornings, but we had plans on Sunday, so I moved my long run to Saturday (9 miles, oof), and then in the afternoon, I ran a few errands at the mall.  I had a party ("Gala") to attend on Saturday night, and I had ordered a J.Crew dress for it, but it didn't fit (more about that in another post), so I had to find another dress.  Luckily I have boxes and boxes of dresses to pick from, so that part was pretty easy, but I had to make a trip to Victoria's Secret for some more appropriate, er, underclothes.  While I was there, I picked up a gift for my brother's birthday, and also picked up some Keurig K-Cups for the BF.

I threw on this outfit pretty much just for going to the mall, so I just grabbed whatever was handy and looked presentable!

Jeans: Express
Shirt: Gap
Sweatshirt: Target
Shoes: Old Navy

Sunday morning we attended a meet-up with one of our Meetup groups.  The meet-up was a rock climbing trip, and was a ton of fun.  BF and I had been rock climbing a couple of years ago on a cruise, but have never been besides that.  There were about 20 of us, split into 2 different groups.  We met and got a brief intro to tying knots and how to belay, and then just got to climb as long as we wanted.  It's a great workout - I was definitely feeling it on Monday, and I'm looking forward to going back!

People wore all kinds of things rock climbing - jeans, shorts, workout and yoga pants, etc.  I went with something looser, but I'll probably wear some yoga pants next time.

Pants: J.Crew
Tee: Old Navy
Sweatshirt: Brand unknown (Patriots logo)
Shoes: Old Navy

This is a picture of the shoes I wore both days - basic pair of black flip-flops from Old Navy.  You really can't beat their flip-flop deals!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Please hold!

Sorry for no OOTD for today. I'm working from home, and my outfits so far have been: jammies, haphazardly thrown on sweats to take the dog to daycare, running clothes, and bathrobe. Nothing really exciting, and definitely not blog-worthy. I'm going out later tonight to a charity bowling tournament, so I'll post my outfit from that!

In the meantime, a short review of yesterday's outfit.

Definitely consider sizing down in the sweater from the Gap, if only because it has a good amount of stretch in it. I pushed the sleeves up about halfway, and when I pulled them down at the end of the night, they were horribly stretched out and all flopping around. Not pretty!

Second, this skirt is not made for sitting down. Yesterday I was sitting all day at my desk, sitting during a meeting, and then sitting in class. This is what my skirt looked like at the end of the day when I got home - yikes! I'd say wear this skirt if you're going to something where you'll be standing up most of the time (An art gallery opening? A trip to the museum? A trip to the zoo, even?), but if you're going to be sitting most of the day, this may not be the best choice.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Red Coast shoes make their debut!

It's chilly and windy here today, but it's not raining, so I busted out my outfit that I was planning on wearing yesterday! (Well, kind of - the sweater arrived yesterday, so I would have worn a different sweater.)

I based this outfit around mah shoes. (Yes, that's how I say it in real life, too. I'm a geek, now you know!) So I'm switching it up today and showing you the shoes first today! They are from Payless, from the Christian Siriano-designed line. He was not my favorite contestant on Project Runway by a long shot, but I can't deny that he designs some really beautiful things. I have purchased a number of his shoe designs from Payless.

I snagged these shoes in the red/orange print as well as the gorgeous green/blue print during a BOGO promotion. (Little tip: If you don't need your shoes right away, have them shipped to your local store for free!) I love the print, and they are a pretty comfortable height. They have a small platform, and a cute, rounded toe. They are a little on the shinier side, too.

After I got the shoes, I figured I would wear them with some neutral color, maybe a grey or a white (and I probably still will), but then someone was selling this gorgeous J.Crew skirt on the weekly exchange, so I snapped it up. Normally I stay away from orange - it's not that I don't like it, but I think it can be hard to wear, and more importantly, I think it's kind of limiting in the colors you can pair it with, especially if you're a more conservative dresser like I am. However, I knew this skirt would go great with my shoes!

I paired it with a simple navy cardigan (the Ultimate cardigan that I ordered during the Gap Give & Get promotion). I played with some other shades of blue, but this one definitely worked the best, in my opinion. Quick review of the sweater: consider sizing down (reviews on their website will tell you that too), but the fabric is lovely. It's a medium weight, but very soft. If you are looking for a nice, basic cardigan, I would highly recommend this one.

Skirt: J.Crew
Cardigan: Gap
Cami: New York & Company (under sweater)
Shoes: Christian Siriano for Payless
Watch: Fossil

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Black and blue on a rainy day

I had planned a cute orange-themed outfit for today (orange the color, not the fruit), but it's raining pretty heavily, so I had to forgo that for a different outfit. When it's raining out, I tend to gravitate more towards flats, mostly because I own very few heels of a sensible height, aka, less than 3 or 3.5 inches. (Hey, when you are only 5 feet tall, you will take all the height you can get!)

So in the end, I opted for this blue and black patterned skirt, and paired it with some black tights. I had initially but on a deep blue button-down (short sleeve) with a black shell over it, but I wasn't really feeling it, so I went with this black sweater instead. I have had this sweater for years, but rarely wear it, so I'm glad it's getting some use!

I tend to gravitate towards black, especially when I'm in a hurry, and I don't think you can really have too many black tops (especially cardigans) or black shoes. They are so easy to pair with whatever you're wearing (except maybe orange), so I think they are great classic, go-to pieces.

Skirt: The Limited
Sweater: Unknown
Tights: The Limited
Shoes: Gap Outlet
Watch: Fossil

I really like these flats. I stumbled across them by chance once at my local Gap Outlet. I'd had a pair of basic black flats from Old Navy for years, and I loved them...until I was wearing them when I stepped in chicken poo in Poland! When I tried to clean them, the material tightened up a little, and now they are a little too tight for me. I like these flats better though, because they are very basic (the ON ones had little ties on them), and I can throw them on with anything - dresses, skirts, pants, jeans!

The first time I wore them, they cut up my feet really badly though - blisters everywhere. After a couple more wearings though, they've stretched out a bit, and are super comfy!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Honeycomb for spring

We had gorgeous weather around here this weekend, but I heard the beginning of this week is going to be kind of crummy. That's not going to stop me from wearing skirts though - in my mind, spring is officially here!

I've been meaning to wear this green skirt for a while now. It's been hanging on my clothes rack for at least a month now! Today I'm pairing it with this silk honeycomb-patterned top I picked up from Banana Republic back in January. They were running a promotion where you got 40% off any regular-priced item every Wednesday in January, so I used it to score some cute silk tops for work.

Skirt: Banana Republic Outlet
Top: Banana Republic
Sweater: J.Crew Outlet
Shoes: J.Crew

Here's a picture of the outfit without the sweater on. I'll probably leave the sweater on for most of the day, but this is a better picture of the top. It's a pretty loose fitting top, and has a ruched neckline with flutter sleeves. The silk is a really nice, light weight, and it's a great spring top.

I paired this outfit with my patent Cate slingbacks in light brown from J.Crew. These are a half size up from my normal size, and I think the color works well with the light brown in the pattern of my top.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pink Stripes, Pink Shorts, and Pink Sandals!

It was a pink sort of weekend, and I didn't even plan it that way! On Friday night, BF and I went on a double date with my friend and her boyfriend. We had a lot of fun - especially a certain incident where BF bet me I couldn't get our cute waiter's phone number! (And technically I didn't get it myself - my friend's boyfriend bluntly told him I wanted it.) I forgot to take a picture of my outfit on Friday night, but it was schlumpy, so you're better off not seeing it, and it is pretty similar to Saturday's outfit anyway!

On Saturday, I had to go into Boston for a meeting in the afternoon. It was a pretty laid-back meeting, so I wore jeans, a striped tee, and a cardigan. Hoodies are my go-to top layer pieces, but I have decided to try to get out of my hoodie I just noticed my favorite hoodie has a small hole in it. So sad. :(

Jeans: Express
Tee: Express
Cardigan: Gap Outlet
Belt: Express
Shoes: Reebok EasyTone
Nails: Mink Muffs by Essie

I decided to wear my EasyTones into Boston, because I had a bit of walking to do. I haven't decided yet if these shoes work or not, but they are very comfortable, and not totally awful looking, so I wear them whenever I can, as long as it's appropriate. I like this pair of EasyTones because they look like fairly normal sneakers. Some of the EasyTones are kind of ugly!

This morning was a long run day, and just last night BF treated me to some new running clothes! He knows I have been training faithfully, so bought me some new pants, shorts, and a tee as a gift, and the weather was perfect to wear the shorts and tee today! I'm holding my fuel belt in the picture below - if you're a runner, I highly recommend these. Just make sure you get the right size - I have one in every size because I initially bought a size too small, then overcompensated by buying a size too big, and BF ended up buying me the right size. (And the saga of my fuel belt always reminds me of Goldilocks and the Three Bears!)

Tee: Under Armour (Loose fit)
Shorts: Under Armour
Socks: Under Armour liners (with arch support!)
Shoes: NIKE Structure 13 Triax

These are my other pair of NIKE running shoes. After I had been training consistently for awhile, I decided it was time to get fitted for some proper shoes, and I ended up with this pair (and another pair from a different brand, but I'm breaking in the NIKEs first). I love these shoes!

Lastly, here's my outfit from the rest of today. BF and I went to a friend's house for an Easter/spring party. Because I had just come from running (and had even gotten a slight tan from running), I way overestimated how warm it was outside, and went hunting for my shorts. Okay, well, I actually went hunting for my capri pants, but couldn't find them, so settled for these shorts...and paid the price for the rest of the day by being cold. Oh well! The party was a lot of fun, so I didn't really mind.

Shorts: Old Navy
Tee: Gap Outlet
Shoes: Birkenstock Papillio
Nails: Mink Muffs by Essie (say good-bye to this color for now!!)

I've had these shoes since college, and I absolutely love them. My mother got them for me during our trip to Colonial Williamsburg - I had only brought along those cheap Old Navy flip-flops (because I was obviously way too cool to wear SNEAKERS in the warm weather ;)), and my feet get really dry, so they were cracking and bleeding and I was in a lot of pain. The only store around sold Birkenstocks, so I picked out this pair. They are great because they really mold to the shape of your foot and how you walk, and are incredibly comfortable. Plus I love the cute pattern on them! (I know they visually cut off my legs and make me look shorter, but they are so comfortable in the warm weather.)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Gap Give & Get, and Can we have some consistency, please?

First up, my Gap Give & Get picks. I didn't want to go nuts during the promotion just because it's 30% off. The couple things from Gap brands that I had been wanting were some new short sleeve work shirts and another cardigan.

These are the Cap-Sleeve Shirts from Old Navy. They're available in a number of colors, and I actually own some of the other colors, but in a larger size, so I figured this was a good time to get some basic colors in a size that actually fits. I went with black, dark gray, and dark pink. I have the blue and green colors in a different size, and they're very nice, too. These are some of my favorite work shirts for warmer weather!

As for styling, I'm already pairing (in my head) the grey and pink shirts with my J.Crew gladiola print skirt from last spring/summer! I may pair any of these with my J.Crew Turkish jacquard skirt, and I think the dark pink would look nice with my J.Crew Waterfloral Pastiche pencil skirt. (Do you notice a theme here? I love J.Crew pencil skirts!)

I also picked up this Ultimate Cardigan in navy from the Gap. I don't typically gravitate towards navy, but I love the stripes, and I can pair this with a number of cute patterned skirts I own. I remember a few years ago when THE big color combinations were a mix of bright yellow, navy, and white. I'm not sure if that's still in style, but I love those colors together!

All in all, I only paid $8 for everything I purchased ($19.50 for each shirt plus $29.99 for the cardigan), as I combined the Gap Give & Get promotion with a Gap Rewards Card for $10, and a $50 gift card that BF had given me about a year and a half ago!

Now on to the second thing (and this could get long): this is a somewhat minor gripe, but I wish retailers would be consistent (within their own stores, not amongst the entire industry) about using promotions. I'm not really talking about J.Crew and their student discount, because I feel like that policy is outlined pretty well (the discount is only available on full-priced items, and cannot be combined with order-wide discounts, but it can be combined with item-specific promotions). Sometimes you get lucky and you're allowed to use it on sale items, but I'm talking about another kind of inconsistency.

I was at Express last night, looking to use up my rewards cards (two $15 cards) as they were expiring soon. I also had a $20 off jeans coupon, and a $30 off $75 purchase/$15 off $30 purchase. The jeans were buy 1 get 1 half off as well, so I was excited to score a really good deal!

My jeans were $59.50 each, so $119 in total, then half off the lowest price one brought it down to $89.25. I wasn't able to use the $20 off jeans coupon because the fine print listed about 20 different style numbers, and my pairs of jeans weren't on it. Now in my experience, next you would use the $30 off $75, which would have brought my total down to $59.25, and then applied my two rewards cards, bringing the final total down to $29.25.

However, the cashier went on to tell me that she has to apply the rewards cards first, and then IF my total is still about $75, she can use the $30 off promotion. Has anyone heard of this before? I have been shopping at Express for years, and I have NEVER had my rewards cards applied BEFORE a coupon. She went on to give me a hard time, saying she's not even supposed to be letting me combine the $30 off coupon with the rewards cards, because they're both coupons.

Since when is a rewards card a coupon? Apparently it says on the back of rewards cards that "Coupon must be surrendered at time of purchase" or something like that, but I have never ever EVER had an issue using a rewards card with a coupon, and I definitely have never had them apply my rewards cards before applying any other coupons.

Has this happened to anyone else? Of all the retailers I've shopped at, I would say Express and The Limited are probably the worst for this kind of thing. It's not uncommon for me to get pushback at The Limited if I want to use a coupon with a rewards card. Victoria's Secret, on the other hand, let me use 3 different coupons PLUS my rewards card without blinking an eye!