Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wedding Anniversary & Happy New Year!

Today is my 15th wedding anniversary!

I met DH 21+ years ago when we worked in the same office. We started dating shortly thereafter and have been together thru thick & thin (literally & figuratively) ever since. Incidentally, he’s the guy behind the camera and very supportive of this little endeavor. Thank you honey!

It’s going to be a family night in, with kids in PJ's, videos, assorted snacks…(plus maybe a little rum-spiked Silk Nog for Mama & Daddy!)

We actually don’t mind staying in and not joining in the typical revelry. Being home with the kids is a celebration of a special sort and one we relish with all our hearts. I've mentioned that I went thru infertility; it took us 5 long years to have our first child and then 5 more before our second was born. Both births were fraught with serious problems as well. Truth is, there's really no place else we'd rather be to usher in another year & celebrate our union as a couple than with our two precious babies anyway -- together, healthy, as a family :)

So Happy New Year to all, may it be rung in with joy, health & happiness and may you be with the ones you love!!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Gray Lady

This gray turtleneck from Target is a teeny bit on the long side, but that's what makes it perfect to pair with my INC black velvet skinny jeans, I think. Also from Target are my new slouchy, brown Mossimo Kiley boots -- one of my very favorite holiday gifts from DH & the kids :) They are uber comfy, too.

The shrug on the left is from the Gap, the cardigan on the right is Mossimo for Target.

On the left I'm wearing a brown beaded necklace found by my DH and a silver circle from The Avenue.

The necklace I'm wearing on the right was made by me -- I took the square goldtone filgree piece off of an old wooden trinket box and used a vintage chain to turn it into a pendant. I love to take broken bits of jewelry and turn them into new creations :)

Enjoy the day everyone!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

In the twilight

This picture was taken in the early evening and tho it's getting dark the colors are still pretty close to true.

I'm wearing the same plum cardigan from NY&Co that I recently wore with the green Chadwick's dress. Here I've paired it with a Croft&Barrow brown striped shirt from Kohls (that I also have in gray stripe -- yes I *am* the multiples queen!)

The pin holding the cardi closed is a REALLY beautiful one from Target that I'm totally in love with. The simple black beaded necklace is from a dollar store.

The denim skirt is from Old Navy and I'm planning to wear it to death I adore it so! (Thanks again OhThatGirl from What That Girl Wears for turning me on to it) This time I'm wearing the pencil skirt with brown Merona Karla boots from Target and -- no, not tights -- but black long johns, lol! Would you have been able to tell?

Have a great Monday everyone, see ya Tuesday :)

Friday, December 26, 2008

More fun with the box!

Since his sister made her blog debut, DS has wanted equal time (ok, he's only 2 so not really, but go w/me here, lol)....oh, and notice where the box is from!

Yes, he does need a haircut -- but I just can't bear to touch his soft baby locks quite yet...soon, but not yet.

See ya Monday w/an outfit pic...have a great post-holiday weekend everybody!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Festive & fun!

This holiday season just wouldn't be complete without at least one red & green outfit. Now, add the hat, some well timed snow, and heck -- you've got yourself a merry little dash of style :)

The cardigan is NY&Co (and I have it in red & blue, too) the red cable knit sweater was a long ago gift -- as was the initial pin cinching it closed. The glass teardrop pendant is vintage and was my mom's, tho I put it on the black choker chord. The bracelets are just a miscellany of red, green & gold bangles.

The jeans are from Target, as are the short, black, Merona Kenna boots. Oh, and the hat is from Target, too ;)

Won't post again until Thursday so have a very Merry Christmas !!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A tale of three dresses...

Back about a week and a half ago when I wore the Black dress from Chadwick's you see here, I mentioned I had two other of the exact same dress and was trying to decide which two of the three I should keep, since owning three of the same dress seemed excessive (or so I thought). A couple people suggested I show photos of the other dresses. I've actually already worn the blue one but also took a newer photo of it, tho I'm not thrilled with the cardigan (too long, too bulky).

Of course it's all a moot point now since I've changed my mind and am keeping all three of the dresses! (Oh come on, you knew I would, didn't you, lol?)

But before that decision was made (and before the snow hit) I took some pix of the green printed one, too -- and since I'm not going anywhere today and therefore not really getting dressed beyond sweats & a tee, I thought I'd go ahead and post the photos of the three dresses.

Oh, and I particularly like the pop of color from the plum cardigan w/the green printed dress since it's a pale shade of sage (tho not quite as pale as the photo portrays). Incidentally, that cardi is the same one (sans fur trim) worn in the awful original pix from the once dubbed "that red dress", before the improved photos of the renamed "Lady In Red".

Wow, so now I guess I've come almost full circle on all this: I'm keeping all three Chadwick's dresses, the red dress is redeemed and I've even kept the plum cardigan -- gee, all that's left is to use the fur trim!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Yuletide Greetings on Winter Solstice!

Today is Winter Solstice, the first day of winter, and this is the holiday my family and I celebrate. While we do observe Christmas to a small extent, this is the BIG one, lol -- the day we exchange gifts, have a special family dinner and enjoy other festive traditions of the season.

The winter holidays all share many symbols & themes in common despite varied cultural ideas. Perhaps chief among these themes is hope...miraculous, abiding, blessed hope. And what better way to epitomize the gift of hope than with light, whether it be from a bright guiding star, an enduring flame's glow, or from the life-giving sun itself as it makes the journey thru the shortest day of the year and into the waiting arms of the longest return anew tomorrow, perhaps even a little brighter, lasting just a little longer day by day until the next Solstice in June when the cycle begins it has done since the beginning of time.

So whatever you celebrate and in whatever way, may your holiday season be brimming with hope -- shining, glorious, beaming HOPE.

Bright blessings & happiest of holidays to all!!!!

(See ya Tues, I'll still be celebrating on Mon)

Friday, December 19, 2008

The lost photo

I was looking thru my photo file, tidying up a bit and deleting some stuff...when I came across this outfit pic. I immediately remembered taking the batch of photos (this being the best one) but have no recollection as to why I didn't post it on the blog. As you can tell from the autumn leaves it was taken a while ago.

I really like the outfit, so that's not why it didn't get used. Maybe I changed my mind and wore something else that day? In any case, since the photo project I planned for today didn't turn out this is what I'm going with, lol!

When this picture was taken I was experimenting with using summer tops paired with cardigans to get more use out of them. I'd say this attempt was a resounding success -- I'm in love with the mix of blues!

The cardigan is from NY&Co and the shirt is Style & Co from Macy's. My jeans are the dark wash Ralph Laurens I often wear and I think the boots are black Merona Kenna's from Target. The bracelet is one of my favorites yet I cannot remember for the life of me where it came from. The jade necklace was a gift from my husband :)

Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

"Rock & Roll Never Forgets"

The lovely Sheila from Ephemera once pegged me as a rock & roll chick -- and she was more right than she realized. I actually used to be a singer. I've been in bands that spanned musical styles & eras from punk to blues, from southern rock to hard rock and a few more in between. My last band was nearly 20 years ago, but if you ask me nicely I'll still break out into my rendition of Janis Joplin's Bobby McGee (ok, you don't even have to ask me that nicely, lol)

So, when I read that Jane of the wonderful blog WorkThatWardrobe had issued a musical challenge one of the first things that popped into my head was this dress, because it actually inspired a song the minute I put it on.

I bought the dress from Target without even trying it on -- not typical of me. It just caught my eye as I was on my way to check out and I quickly grabbed it off the rack and bought it with the rest of my loot. In retrospect I think maybe it was because this dress is something I would have worn 20 years ago for a gig so it spoke to me. In any case, I wondered if this type of frock would look silly on me now, if it were too young for me.

When I got home, put it on and looked in the mirror I immediately heard that song, "Rock & Roll Never Forgets" complete with Bob Seger's raspy voice enticing me to, "Come back baby..." Of course at 45 this sweet sixteen is closer to 41 than 31, but it does have me wondering if I could still hold my own while sitting in on a few tunes with the house band down at the local bar. The fact that I'm likely old enough to be the lead guitarist's mother doesn't need to be discussed ;)

"Busted flat in Baton Rouge, headin for a train..."

So thus the torch song trilogy of 1, 2, and now 3 outfits inspired by a song has come to an end -- see you tomorrow :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"Lady In Red" -- or maybe "Reunited"?

Jane from the stylish blog WorkThatWardrobe issued another challenge for yesterday, to create an outfit inspired by a song. What ended up being my choice (posted yesterday) wasn't even supposed to originally be an entry.

Neither was this outfit, certainly.

That is until I heard that darned Chris de Burg tune "Lady In Red" playing on the radio and immediately thought of that red dress. You know, the one I had once thought looked good until I actually saw the photos here on my blog and realized it looked positively dreadful? The one I either planned to alter or get rid of (neither of which had happened --yet)

Ack! No! Forget about it, I told myself, try a different song.

It didn't help tho when, upon hearing of the challenge and my other ideas for an outfit, my own mother said, "oh, but why not wear that red dress and be 'The Lady In Red'? I never thought it looked that bad on you, you know."

Ah yes, spoken like a true mom.

But then my DH immediately said, "hey, what about that red dress? You looked hot in that"

Ok, you really can't argue with that (well, I could, but why would I?)

Still not fully convinced I could pull it off, I stood staring into my closet when my eyes fell upon a black dress I wore recently. When I tried it on with my wide brown belt from NY&CO I immediately loved how it looked. The width of the belt hit me just right. Yeah, it really was that great brown belt that clinched it for me with the black dress and....

Then suddenly it occurred to me -- hmmm, maybe somehow, some way that magical brown belt could do the same thing for that red dress?

Why yes, yes it could! Ok, it's not perfect, but gosh the dress looks SOOOO much better accessorized like this then it did when I wore it last, huh?

And so here I am, "The Lady In Red" you see before you on my snow-covered deck. I guess the belt saved the dress & it gets to stay -- which in the end is how the other song in my title comes into play: my red dress and I have been "reunited, and it feels so good".

Thank you, Jane, this was both fun and cathartic -- it healed the rift between a girl & her dress :)

Stay tuned for the third & final installment of my trilogy tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"Whiter Shade of Pale"

Adorable Jane from the fashionable blog, WorkThatWardrobe, has issued another exciting challenge!!! This one is a simple little one: wear an outfit based on a song.

Or at least it seemed simple at first.

In the end I have three different outfits based on three different songs. I'll show the other two tomorrow & the next day, just for the fun of it. Call it my torch song trilogy, lol ;)

This, my official choice, is the third one in actuality and was not even supposed to be related to the challenge whatsoever. I was just innocently trying on my brand new denim pencil skirt from Old Navy and asked DH to photograph it. (Btw, I got this GREAT garment thanks to OhThatGirl of the fabulous blog "What That Girl Wears". And let me tell you, she wore it beautifully...and when I raved about liking it she generously told me the skirt was for sale at that very moment for only $20. Thanx OTG, I love it!)

So, anyway...

When the pictures were uploaded the first thought that popped into my head was that Procol Harum song, "Whiter Shade Of Pale" -- it was just too perfect a photographic accident not to use, call it Rock 'n' Roll kismet.

Perhaps ironically, I've often bemoaned my actual super pale skin -- if I even think about the sun I get sunburned. As a young girl growing up in the Malibu Barbie era before the advent of sunscreen I dreaded being the ghostly chick without a golden glow -- or worse yet, the crispy red befreckled lobster. But I've made my peace with it now and in my wiser adult years I even kind of like my milky white skin. Tho, not quite THIS milky white, lol!

The blouse is from NY&Co, stockings & belt from Target, shoes are secondhand Naturalizers. The silver chain is vintage -- my mother's from the 1960's -- perfect for the song's era coincidentally :)

Stay tuned for the next song tomorrow...for now I'm off to skip the light fandango and turn cartwheels 'cross the floor!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

When good clothes don't play nice

It's not a bad look, but I don't love it. I do love the printed top I'm wearing. I do love the skinny fringed scarf, too. But I think I now have photographic evidence that they don't really do all that well together, so they probably won't be worn simultaneously again. Unfortunately I didn't look at the picture until after I came home.

Such is life :)

The JM Collection top is a faux layered piece from Macy's, the teal blue scarf, from Target. The jeans are my Ralph Laurens and the black shoes are secondhand Franco Sarto Maryjane pumps.

The bracelet is a dime store piece but I love it because it looks like blue stones & copper. I also am wearing an antique turquoise & gold ring that belonged to my late maternal grandmother. I love to mix "good" jewelry with inexpensive stuff -- I think it lends an air of sophistication to the cheaper piece and dresses down the better piece so that they meet in the middle. Hey -- at least my jewelry is getting along nicely, lol!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Distressed jeans, yes or no?

Had a heck of a hard time getting a decent photo today...the light was wrong...then the rain, then a gust of wind blew hair over my face (which explains the wild look in the 1st pic)....but eventually we got these two to come out ok.

The jeans are new, from Target. They are a smaller size. Most of the jeans in my closet are too big now -- even the difference of a mere 2-4 lbs put me over the edge and down a size. So, the quest for replacing my denim wardrobe is even more crucial since I wear jeans ALOT.

These are not a definite keeper, so feel free to tell me what you think (of course, I always want that anyway). Normally I go for a unified dark wash, believing it is more figure flattering. But I am now officially smaller on bottom than on top, which often means that a lighter pant can create more balance. While I don't want to go for a totally light or faded denim, I thought I'd give the partial faded highlight look a try.

I honestly am not sure. I think the faded part looks ok but the whiskering isn't doing it for hits right at the wides part of the thigh. So, yes, no...maybe?

The rest of the outfit is a sort of no-brainer. The faux layered top is a John Paul Richards from Macy's -- can't really go wrong with black & white. The necklace is from Target, the bracelet from Lord & Taylor. The Maryjane pumps are 2nd hand Naturalizers.

PS: I know the pants are a wee bit too long, if I keep them they'll be hemmed :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What a hoot!

No outfit picture today -- hanging around the house and doing some preliminary holiday cleaning and not exactly dressed photo-worthy. But in the interim I just had to post this really cool pic of a recent visitor to my yard. Perched on a hemlock branch right behind where I often stand for my photos is a beautiful barred owl -- and she's come to our yard every day for 3 days now.

While I'm at it, this brings up a FAQ: where do I live? I live in northern NJ in an area called the Highlands, a part of New Jersey with lots of state parks and protected watershed. In fact, my little mid century cottage backs up onto 150+ acres of protected woodland, thus we have alot of wildlife on my quiet street that one doesn't typically associate with suburban NJ...coyote, bear, deer, fox, turkey and now this beautiful owl. We are blessed to live where we do...we have all this gorgeous nature -- yet I'm minutes from the highway and my DH commutes to NYC!

So, enjoy the view out my window & have a great day...see ya tomorrow w/an outfit pic :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's a keeper

I've had this black dress from Chadwicks hanging around for quite a while, waiting to see if I'd keep it (thus it's slightly wrinkled appearance). As I said yesterday, when the garment is basic in nature I like to buy in pairs if other colors are available and this is yet another case in point -- I have the same dress in a blue print. But I also have this dress in the green print too, not as yet worn. So -- three exact same dresses, albeit very different colors/patterns, seemed a bit much. Thus I was trying to decide which two to keep.

I'm definitely keeping this black one. The fit is great, I think, as it is with it's sister dresses. But more so this is about as fundamental a piece as you can get. Tho not the quintessential little black dress it's at least a real good basic black dress. I can see accessorizing this in myriad ways -- always a good thing. In fact I think this outfit could use a pop of color. I'll be wearing it with a denim jacket and scarf today, so that will provide the ooomph this time.

I wanted to wear my comfy brown Merona Karla boots from Target with it so chose the brown belt from NY&Co to tie the color in plus add emphasis at the waist. Not long ago I'd never have mixed brown & black together and now I've learned this really does work.

The dress has earned a slot in my closet. Now...which one to return?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Two of a Kind

Ok, first off --I have absolutely no idea why I have such a fierce & intense expression on my face, lol! But otherwise...

I am wearing more accessories than usual, probably in reaction to doing without the freedom to choose them all last week during the Wardrobe Capsule Challenge. On average I usually wear 1 or 2 pieces of jewelry, maximum. But today I have on (tho not all seen) vintage gold earrings from my MIL; a teal green & turquoise beaded necklace that was a recent find in the dollar bin at Target; a turquoise blue scarf, also from Target; a large blue & copper colored bracelet from a discount store; and finally --a vintage 14k gold knot ring that was my mothers.

Choice is a good thing :)

The sweater is the purple version of this blue one I have worn before, a peplum cable knit from NY&Co. When you find something you like I believe buying pairs can be a good way to simplify shopping, especially if they are more basic in nature and can be accented in different ways -- as I think these sweaters are. When I wore the blue sweater it was with a wider leg pant and I wasn't all that crazy about the outline. But today I have on slimmer jeans and like the shape much better.

The boots are my black Merona Kenna short boot from Target (gee, are you noticing a Target theme here or what?)....and the jeans are brand spanking new, from (yup, you guessed it) Target! I'm happy with the fit, the color, the shape & the price -- tho I wish the rise were a bit lower..not too low, but just a tad more. I do have some of their low rise jeans too, but over all these Merona mid-rise boot-cuts in a dark wash offer the best silohuette for me, IMO.

I also have to say, I planned my clothes for the week last night since that worked so well for me during the Challenge -- so perhaps a new habit has been formed. Thank you Jane :)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Wardrobe Capsule Challenge -- wrap up

In order of appearance these are the 5 outfits (+ one included coat) that I wore for the week of the Wardrobe Capsule Challenge as put forth by the ever lovely Jane of WorkThatWardrobe.

If you'd like to see an actual list of the 10 wardrobe pieces & 5 accessories, click here.

Ok, so -- I learned many things from doing this challenge....such as:

The value of accessories. If I had unlimited use of accessories I really think I could have made these 5 outfits using the exact same pieces of clothing even more vastly different. And this is good to know. For one thing accessories can be REALLY inexpensive so you can majorly stretch your wardrobe dollar by making good use of the little things like jewelry, scarves, belts, etc. And if you were packing for a trip, well, this could really be a space saver as accessories take up way less room than clothing.

The value of good basic pieces. The sheath dress worn on Day 1 and Day 4, for example, is a good basic piece. In one of the comments I called it "the little dress that could" -- on it's own it is rather plain Jane, but boy it goes with just about anything and is soooo easily jazzed up with minimal effort. I think I need to concentrate on finding a few more things like that to strengthen the foundation of my wardrobe.

The value of planning ahead. It was remarkably easy getting dressed this week! As a SAHM who also homeschools so much of my day isn't strictly regimented that I have the illusion of time. But it's a false impression, since in actuality my time is rarely my own -- as the mother of any toddler can attest, lol. Weekday wardrobe planning ahead of time would free me to eek out a little more "me time" in other areas. But on the other hand, for the weekends I'd still want to slowly peruse my closet pondering what to wear because that's fun & creative for me too...and I think I'd miss that time...staring into my closet with my morning cup of coffee in hand, open to all the possibilities a leisurely Sunday has to offer.

The value of making do with what I've got. I've got plenty to wear. I can make outfits...lots of them...from what I already have. If I didn't buy another thing I could make do for a long time. That says alot, both about what I've purchased thus far and what I've learned in terms of what to do with my clothes. And the best part is there's still more to learn, even further ways to get more out of my wardrobe. I think that's exciting!

The value of imagination and taking chances. There were a couple things I tried this week that worked really well, that I might not have attempted if it weren't for the challenge. For example: I got alot of use out of a little a necklace, a cardigan clip and worn as the pin it was intended to be. I also discovered that my trench coat looks FABULOUS with a regular belt and not just the tie that came with it. On the other hand, the green blouse belt thing tied around my neck -- eh, not lovin it so much. But over all I gained waaaaay more by taking some chances than I lost. Plus it was fun :)

The inventiveness of others is hugely inspiring. Sheila of Ephemera used stellar color combinations and a fab printed skirt I covet. I loved Goober's polyvore layouts -- fashion art! The deep saturated colored tops that notSupermum chose really caught my eye. Karen from Of a Certain Age wowed me with pattern mixing. Spiragirl of School Gate Chic wore outfits w/perfectly gorgeous silhouettes. Kristen of Shallow Coffee made a graphic tee chic & cute. Kasmira, the ever stylish from What I Wore Today took a dress to new heights of versatility. And last but never least, Jane of Workthatwardrobe -- the woman who started this all -- was gorgeous in shades of red and has me hunting for a petticoat I didn't even know I had to have!

I’ve only been blogging about style for an incredibly short time but I feel like I’ve entered a lovely little community of wonderful, talented, smart women who have a lot to teach me. I adore you all and have gained so much inspiration from your examples. Thank you :)

So, that’s my wrap up – now it’s time for some new outfits using absolutely none of the clothes I wore this week, lol!!!

See ya Tuesday…

Friday, December 5, 2008

Wardrobe Capsule Challenge -- outfit 5

This is day 5, the final day of the Wardrobe Capsule Challenge from Jane at WorkThatWardrobe. Click on each number to see what I wore on days (1) (2) (3) & (4). Or you could just scroll down.

So, this final outfit is probably also my favorite, tho yesterdays comes in a close second. Today I'm wearing the printed skirt from Target for the first time this week. This is a real "go-to" garment for's black & white pattern just seems to lend itself to so many different tops of just about any color. Plus it's VERY comfy.

The green pin tuck blouse from NY&Co I'm wearing today was worn on Day 2 with the black camisole underneath and the plum argyle sweater vest over it. That day I used the belt that came with the blouse tied around my neck sort of kerchief style. Today I'm using that same belt as a necklace by suspending the faux silver & pearl pin from Target on it. The rest of the belt is hanging down my back and actually kinda looks nice like that -- a sort of added bit of interest. And gosh, I've sure gotten a lot of use out of the little pin this week, having also worn it first as a pin on Day 1 & to close my cardigan on Day 3 and now again on Day 5 as a pendant.

The black belt from Target was previously worn on Day 4 as well as with my coat used for the week and is fast becomming one of my favorite things -- who knew I'd get so into belts considering I once thought I needed to be brave to do so, lol.

The boots are the Unisa ones I wore yesterday. They have a buckle detail on the side that echoes the belt nicely.

To see the entire list of what I chose to wear for the Challenge, including the 10 wardrobe pieces, 5 accessories, coat & bag, just click here.

I have to say, this was more fun than I could have imagined, and I learned a great deal. I want to thank Jane BIG TIME for creating this Wardrobe Capsule Challenge -- it was a brilliant idea and I hope we do it again some time. Her stylish example is awe inspiring.

What did I learn? Well, I've decided that entails a post of its own, so over the weekend I'm going to do a wrap up complete w/photos. But in the meantime, suffice is to say I learned that with a little thought and some decent organization I actually now have a very workable wardrobe AS IS -- whether I buy another thing or not. This really is all still new for me, so that knowledge is going to help me fine tune my future purchases thus keeping a balanced budget and closet space!
To my sister participants? You all ROCK!!! I was so jazzed, so inspired, so thrilled to see how each & every one of you pulled this together -- what I learned, I learned from all of YOU. Thank you for being the amazingly creative bunch of women that you are ((((((hugs to all))))))) !

See ya Monday with my wrap up :D

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wardrobe Capsule Challenge -- outfit 4

This is day 4 of the Wardrobe Capsule Challenge from Jane of the stylish blog, WorkThatWardrobe. If you'd like to see what I wore for the last three days, just click the number: (1) (2) (3). (or you could just scroll down)

And if you are wondering what I'm laughing about in the photo, my adorable little 2yo DS is making funny faces at me from the other side of the sliding glass door :)

I'm wearing the brownish/beige Merona sheath-style dress from Target that I wore on Day 1, but now it's with the plum argyle vest from NY&Co. layered over it from Day 2.

Today I've also added a few additional pieces from the list, such as the necklace of green wooden beads that came from a dollar store and the Unisa boots from Marty's, along with plum tights and a wide black belt -- both from Target.

This outfit is the first one where I think an item could look vaguely familiar -- namely the sweater vest because it's argyle pattern is rather memorable. Had I chosen another, less detailed vest or cardigan I think no one would have noticed it was already worn on Day 2. In real life this could also have been remedied by adding a distinctive accessory, too. But I'm still pretty pleased -- and this outfit was really comfy...I'll definitely wear it again. And I really love this sheath dress; it was fun playing with it in preparation for this challenge. I hoped it would be a versatile piece and work with layers over or under it, and it really is turning out to be a smart buy on my part -- a classic item I'll get alot of use out of, IMO.

If you'd like to see a list of all my wardrobe pieces, accessories, and the coat & bag I've used all week, click here.

I've a busy day ahead and might not get to check in with my blogging friends & sister challengers till tomorrow -- but no doubt you all look fabulous and have outdone yourselves as usual :) See you for the final day tomorrow :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wardrobe Capsule Challenge -- outfit 3

Day 3 of the Capsule Wardrobe Challenge put forth by the lovely Jane of WorkThatWardrobe. Check out Day 1 & Day 2 if you'd like to see what I've worn so far.

Today I'm wearing the NY&C0 navy satin blouse again that I wore under the dress on Day 1, but this time with a black, blue & plum striped cardigan, also from NY&Co. The cardigan is being held closed by the faux pearl pin from Target, also previously worn on Monday.

The blue scarf from a discount store that I used as a belt for the sheath dress on Day 1 is now around my neck. The jeans, worn on Day 2, are my ever ubiquitous dark washed Ralph Laurens ...and the uber comfy brown Maryjanes are a secondhand find.

If you'd like to see the list of all 10 wardrobe pieces + 5 accessories, along with a photo taken earlier in the week of the coat & bag I'll be using throughout this challenge -- click here.

This is the "hump day" outfit -- 2 more days to go...stay tuned!!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Wardrobe Capsule Challenge -- outfit 2

Day 2 of the Wardrobe Capsule Challenge from Jane at WorkThatWardrobe. Don't forget to check out my Day 1 outfit, too :)

Today I'm wearing a black camisole (gift) under a green pintuck blouse & plum argyle style sweater vest both from NY&Co, along with my favorite dark washed Ralph Lauren Jeans. The brown Maryjanes are secondhand.

The tie around my neck is actually just a part of the top; a belt that comes with it -- and since I thought my neck looked bare and we're limited in using accessories, well, I went with what I had, lol.

So far this has been loads of fun, and the whole process has taught me that I can really work my wardrobe -- hey, hmmmm, do ya think that's the concept that inspired the name of her blog? That Jane, very clever one she is :)

Just to reiterate my choices yet again, here are my 10 wardrobe pieces for the 5 days:

Sheath dress, brownish/beige
Skirt, black & white print
Jeans, dark wash
Blouse, navy satin
Blouse, green pin tuck w/removable tie
Vest, plum argyle sweater
Cardigan, black, blue & plum striped
Camisole, black w/lace trim
Boots, dark espresso
Shoes, brown MaryJanes

My 5 accessories are:

Pin, faux pearl & silver
Belt, black wide
Scarf, shades of blue
Necklace, green wooden beads
Purse, black shoulder bag

Aside from my undergarments I also will wear a pair of plum & a pair of navy tights.

Gotta say, I've been so HUGELY impressed with everyone else's first day outfits yesterday that I can't wait to see what today brings :)
See ya tomorrow!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Wardrobe Capsule Challenge -- outfit 1

Yay, today's the first day of the Wardrobe Capsule Challenge as suggested by Jane of WorkThatWardrobe!

I'm wearing a brownish-beige Merona sheath style dress from Target sort of as a jumper, along with a blue scarf from a discount store as a belt. The faux silver & pearl pin is also from Target. Underneath the dress is a navy satin blouse from NY&Co. The brown Maryjanes are secondhand. The blue tights are from the good old A&P market (yeah, really!)

Just to reiterate from my previous post, my chosen 10 wardrobe pieces are:

Sheath dress, beige/brown
Skirt, black & white print
Jeans, dark wash
Blouse, navy satin
Blouse, green pin tuck w/removable tie
Vest, plum argyle sweater
Cardigan, black, blue & plum striped
Camisole, black w/lace trim
Boots, dark espresso
Shoes, brown MaryJanes

My chosen 5 accessories are:

Pin, faux pearl & silver
Belt, black wide
Scarf, shades of blue
Necklace, green wooden beads
Purse, black shoulder bag

(Aside from my daily undergarments I also will wear a pair of plum & a pair of navy tights.)

I can't wait to check out all the other wonderful bloggers participating in this and see what they've come up with!!!

See ya tomorrow :)

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Monday is day one of the Capsule Wardrobe Challenge as suggested by the ever gorgeous Jane of the blog Work That Wardrobe. We are allowed 10 wardrobe pieces, 5 accessories, plus unlimited hosiery & undergarments...additionally we can use one coat that won't count towards the wardrobe pieces (more than that & you'd have to count it).

To that end, this is the coat I shall be donning all week. It's a gray satin trench from Target and I originally bought it because I thought it would go from casual to dressy & back again, plus it's a great medium weight so it can be worn pretty much the entire coat-wearing season, barring sub-zero temps or unusually balmy days. I removed the belt it came with and used instead a wide black belt that is one of my accessories for the week. I thought it gave the simple coat a little more interest.

Also in the picture is my black bag from Target -- this is the purse I'll be carrying for the week, tho it might not end up in the photos. I love this bag, it has lots of compartments to help me stay organized. I placed a pin on it that will be yet another one of my accessories for the week, along with the blue scarf I'm wearing around my neck.

And finally, the Unisa espresso colored boots, which are one of my 10 wardrobe pieces for the Challenge. My entire chosen list is as follows:


Sheath dress, beige/brown
Skirt, black & white print
Jeans, dark wash
Blouse, navy satin
Blouse, green pin tuck w/removable tie
Vest, plum argyle sweater
Cardigan, black, blue & plum striped
Camisole, black w/lace trim
Boots, dark espresso
Shoes, brown Maryjane's


Pin, faux pearl & silver
Belt, black wide buckle
Scarf, shades of blue
Necklace, green wooden beads
Purse, black shoulder bag

(Aside from my undergarments I also will wear plum & navy tights. )

So again, do check out Janes blog, WorkThatWardrobe to find out more about the Wardrobe Capsule Challenge -- there are going to be lots of other wonderful participants in this so it should be alot of fun! Stay tuned :)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Butterfly Award!

As I mentioned here late on Wednesday, I got a second award from the adorable Lady D of Africana's Wardrobe Diary. So flattering, as she is quite stylish. She received the award from Andrea of the blog A Cat of Impossible Color. Lady D bestowed the lovely butterfly upon me, and gave it back to Andrea as well as these 5 other wonderful blogs: Ephemera, Fickle Brown Sparrow, Penny Pinching Princess, Fab Finds Under 50 & Udarata Kellar. Congratulations to all!

I now happily will pass on this pretty award to the following seven stellar bloggers:

Work That Wardrobe

Style Klutz

Domestic Sophisticate

What I Wore Today

Of A Certain Age

Some Girls Wander

Already Pretty

You all deserve this for your creativity, wisdom, wit & beauty!!!! Thank you for inspiring me every day -- you really are sooooo cool :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gratitude Is Always In Style

Today is the American holiday of Thanksgiving. This day has at its heart a universal theme that can speak to anyone – that of expressing gratitude for blessings. So I thought I’d list some things I’m thankful for as it relates to this blog – mostly in terms of style and my wardrobe.

(Of course all this is TOTALLY secondary to the biggest blessings in my life – my husband and two wonderful children. Their health & well-being are what I’m grateful for every minute of every day. Everything else is really the icing on the cake.)

Ok, on to the style related gratitudes!

I’m grateful for…..

…the convenience of shopping in any store I choose since losing weight, and almost always being able to find my size. If I could also have a wish related to this particular blessing, it would be that all women, no matter their size, were able to easily find clothing that fits & flatters them.

…this blog. And I hope in some small way when I happen to hit it right that it contributes towards showing that a woman of my size, age & vocation can develop style by keeping an open mind and positive attitude. Simply put: we all deserve to like the way we look.

…for seeing the not so stellar outfits I’ve worn – I learn from my “mistakes”…hopefully leading me little by little to develop a more cohesive signature style that creatively expresses who I am. It’s a process and I’m enjoying the journey along with all the layers of life lessons it reveals along the way.

…the other bloggers I’ve had the HUGE privilege of reading and sharing ideas with. I enjoy you all so much. The creativity, beauty and inspiration abound amongst the talented & lovely women I’ve “met”, and I look forward to learning more from all of you!

…my new blog awards! It’s so nice to be thought of, and especially from those you admire.

May each of you have an abundance of blessings to be grateful for this day, and every day. Thanks for making this blog such a pleasure to work on :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My First (and now second) Blog Award!!!

I'm flattered & thrilled to recieve my very first award! The lovely women of Domestic Sophisticate are the gracious bestowers, having originally recieved it themselves from Lisa of the blog, A Diva and a Princess. I share the award with my stylish sister bloggers at Style Klutz, Always Dreaming, Wishful Closet & My Daily Fashion. Thanks again, Nic & Missi -- you two rock!

I would like to pass the award on to the following wonderful blogs that I really admire: What That Girl Wears , Happiness, Health, and Looking Fab!, Ephemera, Everyday Wear & Africana 's Wardrobe Diary -- all of you deserve it for posting such inspirational thoughts, photos & outfits...Your blogs really are fabulous :)

UPDATE: The lovely and gracious Lady D from Africana's Wardrobe Diary also gave me an award!!! Wow, just how cool is that? I feel so flattered & blessed -- putting me in the perfect pre-thanksgiving spirit :)

Not to mention the award itself is lovely, isn't it? And I adore butterflies, so symbolic of transformation...something I've experienced in many ways.

(I need to choose seven blogs to pass this along to, which I'll do ASAP but probably after the holiday.)

Thank you sooooo much -- really this all made my week!!!

True Blue

Ok, I'll come clean -- this photo was actually taken yesterday. It is raining here today, as predicted, so I'm glad we had the spare pic. I was trying on two new pieces to see what the camera thought of them.

I like the sweater from NY&Co, but perhaps because of the peplum detail I'm not sure these pants with their slightly wider leg were the best choice to pair it with. Maybe my good old dark wash, bootcut Ralph Lauren jeans would have been better -- a little less width in the pant may have made ME look less wide, lol.

Mind you, it's not terrible, and I'd actually even consider wearing this outfit again -- I just wouldn't call it great.

I bought the black BandolinoBlu pants months ago but for some reason haven't worn them. Despite not being hugely thrilled with how they pair with this sweater, I really do like them -- I think they are flattering over all and quite comfy.

So, I do like these pieces individually and they get to stay :)

I'm also wearing a vintage twisted wooden bead necklace, mine since highschool. The black Merona Kenna boots are from Target.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Not So Skinny Jeans

The title of this post is not meant to be disparaging about my body in the least -- in fact I'm quite happy with the way I look, and with my present weight, (especially considering it's 130 lbs less than it once was before). But I am NOT skinny by definition, simple as that.

Rather than being self-deprecating, I chose the title to make a point about style. I firmly believe that for the most part anyone can participate in virtually any trend they wish as long as they do so in an age appropriate manner and most importantly in a way that flatters their particular figure. Of course finding what works with any combination of garments can be a challenge, as I've already blogged about before, lol. But if you really want to wear a certain something it's absolutely worth the effort in experimenting.

I got the idea for this outfit and subsequent post from Trace over at Style Klutz . She beautifully answered the perennial question of whether or not a curvy girl can wear skinny jeans. Of course 'curvy' is a relative term, but she illustrated that the answer is a resounding yes by modeling a lovely pair of skinny jeans that looked great on her.

So now this is my attempt at interpreting a skinny jean look for my own individual figure & age. What do you think? I think I like it :)

The black velvet jeans are INC from Macy's. They are described as being low rise, but really are more a mid-rise, IMO. Very comfy, very forgiving.

The plum button down shirt is Liz & Co from JC Penney. Both the necklaces & the brown Karla boots are from Target. The chocolate brown cardigan is John Paul Richards from Macy's. I wear both the boots & the cardigan often -- they are real staples in my wardrobe. The belt was a thrift store find.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Casual Friday -- SAHM Style

Yup, even us SAHM's like the concept of "casual Fridays" here's my take on the idea, lol.

Ok, true confessions: if I'm not going out I pretty much wear sweats & T's (plus a sweater if it's cold). But I am running out real quick to the market to pick up a few little things so I put on actual clothing and some make-up. (Along with my reading glasses perched atop my head so I can read nutritional labels if need be.)

The blue cardigan sweater is from Target, the brown, faux-layered Henley is from Macy's. Jeans are my old standby Lee's from Kohl's and the brown, non-athletic sneakers are Steve Maddens from TJMaxx. My little, navy blue beaded necklace is from a dollar store -- thrown on special just for the photographic occasion :D

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Lil' Virtuoso

No, I haven't gone thru some sort of time machine -- this is my 7yo DD making her fashionable blog debut, per her request.
We snapped this last night when she got ready for her last violin class & recital at the local community center. We signed her up for a group session of "Introduction to Violin" that included 8 weekly lessons. We are soooo hugely proud of her and how well she did; the kid really has talent, and I swear I'm not just bragging 'cause I'm her mama! Of course, it was inevitable -- I used to be a singer and DH can pretty much play every musical instrument he gets his hands on :) In fact, we've decided to continue and have her take private lessons since she really shows a proclivity towards the instrument.

When I told her we were going to take a picture she asked if she could be on my blog. Of course! I thought that was soooo cute, lol. She really gets a big kick out of Daddy taking pictures of Mama on the back deck (tho it was too chilly for the violin to go outside for her photo). So, there she is, our girl -- you may all now admire the precious beauty that is my wonderfully talented DD! Oh, and please note the very stylish sparkley jeans -- her particular choice for the outfit :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Well, I didn't spend long without my jacket on for today's pix -- it's not even 30 degrees out! That's why even tho the photo of me with just a sweater on isn't the greatest, there was no retake, let me tell ya, lol!

The green jacket is Requirements purchased several years ago at a discount store. It's lined and quite warm. The navy cable knit sweater was a gift. The new turquoise scarf is from Target. I'm really loving experimenting with scarves and this is the first time I think I've worn one with a necklace too. Also from Target are the belt, ubiquitous black boots and bag. Black jeans are Lees from Kohls. The necklace is an oldie but goodie from the '80's. I almost never get rid of jewelery because you just never know when a piece will come back in style or be just the right thing for a certain outfit. Besides, jewelery is small so storing it doesn't take up much room...and of course it pretty much always fits no matter what size you are :)

Hope all of you who live in cold weather climes stay warm today!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It's a Cinch Cardigan Clip.

I wouldn't normally put the green cardigan (NY&Co) with the blue, black & ivory printed blouse (Kohls)...but for some reason it just works -- perhaps because the blue in the blouse & green of the cardi are the same color value and the black background in the top blends with the very dark wash of the Ralph Lauren jean. The black boots are from Target, the barely visible diamond & saphire pinky ring was a gift (from DH) and I'm also wearing blue & green earrings from a dollar store that sort of subtly help tie the whole color scheme of the outfit together.

The other thing I'm wearing is my brand new homemade cardigan clip!
Kasmira of the wonderful blog, What I wore today, wrote about what a sweater clip is and then made one from clip-on earrings. I immediately thought about using one in a different way -- to sort of cinch in a boxier cardigan at the waist while still allowing for it to remain open enough to show the blouse underneath, thus creating a very pleasing shape & line. You can get the same effect by buttoning the cardigan as I've blogged about before, but sometimes the buttons look like they are pulling -- even if the cardi fits properly. That doesn't look flattering, IMO. But this method of wearing a cardigan clip solves that problem nicely, don't you think?

I purposely wanted the clip to be unnassuming so it wouldn't detract from any jewelery or other accessories I might wear, but of course you could create a beautiful masterpiece that was worthy of being the centerpiece of an outfit in its own right, if you wanted :)

Here's how I interpreted what Kasmira did but with my own personal tweak -- so simple it's almost ridiculous to describe it, lol! From a craft store I purchased a short length of chain usually used for making braclets, along with some clip on earring backs used for making your own earrings. You will also need some sort of needle nose plier, and maybe some wire cutters. I trimmed the chain length in about half because I wanted to keep it short enough to create the cinching effect on a sweater. But if you were making a more traditional sweater clip like Kasmira did you wouldn't even need to trim the chain at all. The clip on earring backs have an open loop for attaching things to -- simply slip an end of chain into the opening and bend the loop closed with the pliers. That's it! I plan to make several more in varying degrees of length & fanciness -- I'm hooked! (ok, really bad pun, sorry, lol)