Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Holiday Hangover: Gray and Black

I always dress for comfort for Christmas, so it's no surprise (at least to me) that this has pretty much been my uniform for the past week. It's as close to pajamas as I can get and still be mostly socially acceptable. I want to wear something that allows me to get in the floor and help Sean open gifts, bend over and pick up discarded wrapping paper, and go to sleep with having to do anything more than kick off my shoes. As far as I am concerned this outfit is pretty much perfect.

Cardigan: Kohl's (super old. Similar here, here, here)
Tank: Old Navy (Buy here)
Leggings: Eloquii (Old, similar here)
Boots: Avenue (Buy here)
Belt: Eloquii (Old, Similar here)
Again I steered away from traditional Christmas colors, which I guess can be a little depressing, but I just love the simplicity of gray and black. This sweater is four years old, but I think I wear it more than anything else in my closet. I even featured it during Christmas in 2011, so you know I love it. Although looking at that old post makes me sad for several reasons- 1. Sean's hair looked so great! 2. My hair looked so great! 3. Frozen Yogurt? Why did I forget that holiday tradition?!

I hope you all had wonderful moments with your family last week. Sean was absolutely precious. He came into our room around 6:00, and informed us while climbing in bed that Santa had indeed left presents under the tree, but he wasn't going to open them until it was daytime. How considerate is that? He was very appreciative while opening gifts, and everything was "Awesome!" even the pack of Hanes T-shirts we wrapped up as a joke.

Or maybe he's finally getting into fashion and he really is excited?!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Sean climbed into bed with us before dawn. He reported that Santa had come because he noticed more gifts under the tree, but assured us that he hadn't peeked. He seemed content to lie down with us, but I was too excited to fall back asleep. I hope you all have a wonderful day! Here's our card for 2013. Yep, we really are that goofy in real life!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Bronze for the Holidays

 I feel like all I've done for the past two weeks is eat and party and buy presents. Not necessarily bad things, but after 5 holiday celebrations last week, I am looking forward to a little downtime. Last Wednesday after work I had a party to attend, so I decide to wear my metallic faux leather pencil skirt again (It's quickly becoming a favorite! Why did I wait so long?!). It's perfectly polished and just dressy enough without being uncomfortable, you know? I paired it with all black this time, and I love the classic, sophisticated vibe I gave off. Or at least that was the vibe I was going for...

Top: Coldwater Creek (here)
Skirt: New York & Co. (old, similar here, and here)
Leggings: Eloquii (old, similar here)
Boots: Avenue (Buy here. Similar here, here)
Jewelry: Premier Designs
I hope to never fall into the trap of seasonal sweaters. No offense if you wear and love your Christmas sweater vest, but that's just not my thing. I also try to avoid red and green together, so I went for low-key metallics to make this outfit dressy and seasonal. The cowl-neck top was woven with a very subtle metallic thread that pulled in with the skirt without looking like I had been rolling around in glitter or sequins.

I scaled down my jewelry as well, opting for a few bangles and chandelier earrings in antiqued bronze. I can't get enough of this particular set of bangles. I think I wear them three or four times a week. They go with everything, I swear!

I hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas Eve and Day. I'll be checking in later this week, if I ever get out of my pajamas! Have a great day :)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

I See You

Disclosure: I did receive a pair of glasses in exchange for an honest review. I contacted Firmoo and asked for the review because I needed an inexpensive pair of glasses. As always, I am not paid for reviews, and I am completely honest.

One thing people never tell you about wearing glasses is that they can be a pain in the butt to keep up with. Already just a couple of months as a proud, self-proclaimed four eyes, and I have forgotten my glasses at home and strained to read all day at work too many times to count. I decided pretty quickly that I needed to buy a second pair of glasses, but I definitely couldn't afford a second pair. I remembered seeing other bloggers review Firmoo, so I contacted them about setting up a review for myself. Firmoo calls themselves "The World's Most Popular Online Eyeglasses Store" and I think they've earned the title. They have hundreds of pairs to choose from and the styles are updated daily. I really think they have a style for everyone. I had to narrow my choices down from like 20 pairs to one pair, and it was tough.

The same day I placed my order, my mom ordered a pair as well. She paid right at $60 for a pair of bifocals, paying a little extra for anti-glare and thinner lenses, and I upgraded my free pair with anti-glare coating and thinner lenses for $12.95. It  took about two weeks to ship to us, which isn't bad (currently I've been waiting two weeks for a shipment from Old Navy and they AREN'T making a customized prescription pair of glasses and shipping from China, so there's that!).

Ordering glasses online can be nerve-wracking. You don't have a perky little eyecare associate helping you trying on lenses and pick the right shape for your face and the right color for your eyes and all that. But one great thing about Firmoo is that their site offers a Virtual Try-On feature. If you’re unsure about how a pair of glasses will look on you, and are afraid to commit, they allow you to upload your own pictures and try them on! If you’re like me and don’t want to have to spend an arm and a leg for prescription glasses, Firmoo is definitely an option that you need to consider, because their prices are pretty unbelievable.

I was worried about quality, of course, and I have to say that I'm pretty impressed so far. I've had the glasses for about two weeks now, and I wear them daily, rotating between having them at home or at work. They are very lightweight, which some people may chalk up to being cheap, but I think they are as well-made as the pair that cost me $300. It is essentially that you enter in the prescription specifics correctly, but Firmoo's website walks you through that, step-by-step. My mom is having trouble getting used to wearing the bifocal lenses themselves, so that doesn't reflect negatively on her own experience with Firmoo, just her inexperience with the lenses.

If you’re interested in purchasing a pair of glasses, prescription or not, from Firmoo, you should head on over there and check out their First Pair Free Program! You can order any single vision glasses, or non-prescription “fashion glasses”, and receive them for free! All you have to do is pay for the shipping. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Truth about Concerts

I want to apologize if I got annoying on Friday night. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, then you know that Curtis and I attended P!nk's "The Truth about Love" tour stop in our hometown. I got to see her back in March in Atlanta, and I was super excited to have the opportunity to see the show again. I wondered if I would enjoy it as much the second time around, but truth be told- I think I had MORE fun Friday night. I was so excited I couldn't sit still. 

Curtis surprised me with box seat tickets, and I couldn't shut up, telling our box mates how great it was going to be and which parts were my favorites. Major fan-girling occurred, I admit it. I also enjoyed people-watching- so many amazing (and interesting) outfits were out in the arena. Personally, I prefer comfort over style at concerts- probably a holdover from the heyday of my concert attendance in the mid-nineties. Back then, I had a very specific concert "uniform"- wide leg jeans, baggy band tee, and my Vans ( I only wore them to concerts because someone puked all over them at a No Doubt concert back in '96). I know I'm going to be doing a lot of walking and a lot of standing, so I want to be comfortable all night.

Top- c/o Kiyonna
Jeans- Old Navy
Boots- Old Navy (old, similar here)

Now I tend to stick to the same basic formula- jeans, top, and sturdy footwear. This Femme Faux Wrap Top from Kiyonna was a great choice. I love the color and the fabric is so soft- I could sleep in it, seriously. I may have not been a fashion plate, but I was definitely ready for bed by the time I got home and I didn't even have to change. P!nk's tour picks back up in January, and if you get the chance, you should definitely check it out- you won't be sorry!

Jewelry- Premier Designs 

Here's my favorite performance of hers from the tour! Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Making Plaid Work for You

Everything old is new again, and a perfect example is the resurgence of plaid. You have to be careful wearing plaid because there's a fine line between 90s' grunge rocker and Catholic school girl, and you don't want to find yourself on either end of the spectrum (well, I don't at least!)! So I've been looking for a way to incorporate plaid into my wardrobe without feeling like an extra in an Aerosmith video from the early 90s!

When Eshakti asked me to review their most recent fall collection, I knew exactly what I was looking for- plaid! And they didn't disappoint. Besides having a bevy of plaid options, Eshakti is known throughout the blogging community for their customization options. This is the third Eshakti dress for me, and for the first time I decided to customize it to my exact measurements. It's definitely helpful to have another set of hands to help out with some of the measurements (guess which parts my husband was  most interested in measuring...). As far as customizing, I changed the sleeves to three-quarter length and shortened to dress so it would hit me at the knee.

I have been very satisfied with Eshakti's quality and customer service each time I've ordered. It's definitely important for you to be truthful about your measurements when customizing and to pay attention to the fabric. With each dress the description tells you the type of fabric and how much stretch it has. It you get a material with little-to-no stretch, then increase your measurements slightly to give yourself some wiggle room. I loved the special little details with this dress- the notched collar, the ruffled split- and these touches, along with a full lining, makes this dress look and feel much more expensive.

All in all, this dress is a fun way of injecting some plaid into your current wardrobe and I know I will be wearing it at all of my upcoming holiday parties!

P.S. I wanted to title this post "Breaking Plaid" because of my current obsession with all things "Breaking Bad" (I know, I'm like 4 years late to that party....), but I didn't. Self-restraint, yo!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Party Time

Over the weekend I hosted a Christmas Open House and I wanted to shared some photos with you. I am a bit of a Scrooge, and I really, really hate decorating for Christmas, but since I knew a ton of people would be coming to my house, I wanted it to look super special. The Open House was a chance for family and friends (and family of friends and friends of family) to visit and eat and look at the Premier Designs jewelry I sell. Most teachers have second incomes, and I started selling jewelry back in the spring. It combines my loves for talking and for fashion, so I have a lot of fun! 

Snowlady wearing my red cardigan and "Layered On" Necklace
Centerpiece and metal Christmas tree holding bracelets

I went with a color scheme of warm golds, bronzes, chocolates, and reds to match my Christmas tree theme. We wanted a cozy, country Christmas feel, so we decorated with burlap and greenery as well. Overall I was very pleased with the final effect. I displayed some of my favorite jewelry combinations on neck boards dressed up in infant girls' outfits(see below). This was a huge hit, and I think worked well to show women what clothes look like with the jewelry. And my mom loved thrifting for adorable little girl outfits, so that was an added bonus!

Baby clothes display, Christmas tree with earrings, business card displays

I got a little crafty too, gluing candy canes together to create little stands to hold up my deals and specials. This was an easy and cute way to display information, and would also work well for table place cards if you are really fancy with the sit-down holiday meals.

On the mantel I used stocking holders to display scarves and necklaces- this was totally my mom's idea and I thought it was adorable! Sean will be excited to see the stockings back in their appropriate spots, but I'm thinking I might just do a jewelry-themed Christmas next year!

In the kitchen I had a variety of goodies, including old favorites like crackers and cheese and fruits and veggies, but I also made some pumpkin pie bars, Santa fruit kebobs, and creamy Crock-Pot hot cocoa. It was a great day. I had a ton of friends and family come by, and it was great visiting with everyone. I might even be willing to do some party-hosting in the future since this was so  much fun!

The whole spread, my awesome cupcake stand, and my Christmas Tree veggie platter

Friday, December 6, 2013

Ouchie! And My Maroon Jeans, AGAIN

In addition to being lazy, I am sometimes known to be a little bit off a neurotic hypochondriac. This tendency goes back as far as I can remember, like elementary school. My mother recalls a playground incident when I fell on my back and insisted that I had broken it. The pediatrician humored me and did an in-office X-Ray to prove to me that indeed I had NOT broken my back; although in hindsight, the fact that I could walk around his office should have been enough proof.

Headaches were never just headaches; they were certain death via tumors or aneurysms. When Sean was born, I was a basket case. Curtis and my mother had to hide my dog-eared copy of What to Expect the First Year, and I’m certain his pediatrician had me flagged in the system as being the “crazy mom.” In the past few years though, it seems that every time I go to the doctor, I come out with a new diagnosis or issue. Earlier this year was my sinus andseptum surgeries, and since the day after Thanksgiving, I’ve been plagued with terrible headaches and jaw pain. Originally I shrugged it off and assumed that my jaw was telling me to lay-off the beef jerky habit (so good, yet so hard to chew), but the pain seemed to get worse instead of better. 

I made an appointment with my local dentist, and after looking at my X-Ray, she asked me, “Have you ever been in a car accident?” The answer is no, yet curiously enough, my ENT asked me the same thing after he saw the CAT scan of my nose and sinuses. Apparently my face is just a huge mess, and according to the dentist, it looks like I was smashed in the face and everything shifted to the left. She seemed surprised that I haven’t had issues before now and sent me off with a few home remedy suggestions (hot and cold packs and Tylenol) and a referral to a local oral surgeon. On a positive note, she said I had beautiful teeth and no cavities! Yay!

After assuring Curtis that I don’t go to the doctor and dentist and tell them to find things wrong with me, I called to make an appointment for a consultation with the surgeon. His first available appointment? Mid-March. That’s cool….. So here I am awake at three in the morning, on a day when I was actually going to sleep late, trying to hold a heating pad to my face while I type up some blog posts to take my mind off the pain. It feels like I have been punched in the face or something. Granted, having never actually been punched in the face, I’m not sure how accurate that description is, but I think you get my drift.

So that’s why I look so serious in today’s photographs. I feel like the left side of my face has just gone 10 rounds with Rocky or Mike Tyson or Oscar De La Hoya, or whoever the heck is popular now, AND I haven’t eaten any beef jerky in a week, so I’m hungry and grumpy. You know how it is!

Top- Old Navy (similar here, here)
Pants- Old Navy (here)
Boots- Old Navy (old, but similar here)
Jewelry- Premier Designs (visit my webpage here)
P.S. These pants, which I am still obsessed with are on sale for $18 right now! What are you waiting on!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Trying Something New

Way back in September, Alison from Wardrobe Oxygen posted about styling metallic skirts, and I kid you not, I immediately pulled mine out of my "To Sell" pile of discarded clothes. I actually bought this skirt last year at New York and Co. and never wore it. Everything I paired with it looked frumpy to me. I struggled with shoes- what color, what height- and tops-tucked, untucked. Ugh! But I knew with Alison's expertise, I could work something out. I definitely think I will be wearing this skirt more this season.

Skirt- Old (similar here, here )
Sweater- Old Navy (here)
Heels- Forever 21 (here)
Jewelry- Premier Designs

Sometimes I think we are afraid to wear certain things because they are out of our "comfort zone", you know? I didn't wear shorts or a dress to school from 9th grade until the spring of my senior year. For whatever reason, I just didn't want people to see my legs. I felt like that would draw too much attention to me. Is that crazy? I felt similarly about this faux leather skirt- too over-the-top, too young, trying too hard, all that. But now that I've worn it once, I look forward to experimenting with other looks.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Oh, Deer!

I keep no secrets that I am a lazy bum, but I'll tell you this- I worked my butt off this holiday weekend. I've got lots of fun posts planned for this week, including a rare DIY, and I am exhausted. The house is decorated. A party is planned. Two seasons of Breaking Bad finished. Food prepared. Outfits picked out (for Sean, not me). Lessons planned. A book read. Gifts wrapped. Well, Curtis did that, but come on! I've been busy!
Dress- super old (similar here)
Cardigan - Motherhood Maternity (old, similar here)
Cable Knit Tights- Old Navy (old, similar here)
Boots- Old Navy (old, similar here)
Scarf- Zulily (no longer available, but here's one)

Saturday morning we headed out early for basketball tryouts for Sean's K5 team. Now technically if you pay for the uniform then you make the team, but the coaches still planned a "skills assessment" for the players. It was so nerve-wracking! I am amazingly un-athletic, so just watching these little kids trying to shoot free throws and dribble and run at the same time was nearly enough for me to have a panic attack. And God bless Sean! He's a head taller than all the other kindergartners with toothpick legs and ski boats for feet. It was just so awkward to watch. I really want him to find a sport he enjoys and is good at, so I am going to try and keep my own hang-ups at bay. 

I've been living in my Old Navy skinnies for the past month of weekends, so I forced myself to wear something else out in public. I have been drawn lately to neutrals- blacks, grays, whites, so all of these pieces are super old. Between the cotton dress, the cable knit tights, and the cozy sweater, I pretty much felt like I was wearing my pajamas. I was really excited to jazz up my old outfit with my new scarf. It's so adorably dorky; I just can't help but smile at it! It's Bambi! In glasses! 

Oh, yeah! A winner has been announced in the awesome Hems for Her/Wilsons Leather giveaway! Was it you?
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