Friday, November 30, 2012

Theme Week - Tartan Final Look

Another Scottie? Heck yeah! Who can resist cute, little dogs? Seeing as I have an adorable Chihuahua, I'll go out on a limb and say, not me!

I fell in love with this blazer the moment I saw it online and was waiting for a good sale to buy it. Normally, I'm not all about velvet but this blazer and a pair of royal blue pants from Gap have really drawn me in. I haven't pulled the trigger on the pants. And seeing as how I was loving my last blazer from The Limited, and how this one was cut the same, I knew it would be a keeper. What's up Limited? You are churning out some cute things lately.

Now on to the pants. These meet a lot of tick marks on my list. Army green? Check. Cool zippers? Check. Spandex? Check check. The only unfortunate thing with Old Navy skinny pants is that I have to size up. It's always been that way with me. Their shirts are enormous and I have to size down and their pants are cut too narrow through the thighs and I have to size up.

I was going to pair this outfit with those cute, black Zara boots but it's just too warm outside for boots. I have asked Santa Hubby for a killer pair of Vince Camutos for Christmas. Figuring as I've been extra special good this year by moving us back to warmer weather, I would think a zillion pairs are in order.

{Blazer: The Limited. Buy it here. | Pants: Old Navy | Tee: J. Crew | Shoes: Nine West}

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Happy Birthday Fashion at Forty

My blog is one year old today! And it's been quite a year. My original goal with this blog was to showcase a renewed interest in fashion after losing 20 lbs (32 total) and as a mechanism for coping with turning 40. Turning 40 was hard for me. But once it happened, eh, no biggie. And in about six weeks, I'll turn 41.

I'm at a good place in my life. We spent four years in Connecticut, enjoyed our visits into the city, experienced seasons, and then said goodbye to all of it to come home to family and friends. There are things I still miss about living up north (we do still own a house up there), but the tradeoffs are so worth coming back home. When the house does sell, we will start looking for our 'forever' home near downtown St. Petersburg.  We love the location and there is always something going on downtown. Plus, the houses are older and remind me of our house in Connecticut. Our dream home is a rennovated bungalow with backyard oasis (pool). Of course, we aren't opposed to a spacious condo located directly in downtown St. Pete. Anyone got $1.2 million we can borrow (or keep)?

I think I managed to capture almost every post picture for the entire year in the collage below. I only included photos from when I got my Canon Rebel for my 40th birthday. These pictures are a far cry from the earlier ones taken with my iPhone (at first in the restroom where I worked and then in our upstairs bedroom). And here's the post that started it all. There have been times when I've wanted to stop blogging. And when it becomes a burden rather than fun, that's when it's time to hang it up. But for now, I see no need.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Theme Week - Tartan Look 3

You can't have a tartan theme week without a Scottie or two. Only thing missing from this sweater is elbow patches. That would have been the perfect accompaniment. I do have issues with wool and both this skirt and sweater contain some wool. So I found myself a little itchy at work. Mind over matter, Niki, it's a cute combo. Suffer for fashion.

When I think of tartan, I typically think of the red/black checkered pattern. But I love the classy preppiness of blue and green tartan. In fact I prefer it over the red. But I think that's because my skin tone looks better with jewel tones. The skirt has only the slightest bit of stretch but was very wearable. And the sweater - well, what can you say about it other than ADORABLE!

And no more booties for these legs. Pointy toe heels slim a plumper leg. But I have a special outfit in mind to try those cute Zara boots with. Next week...

Tomorrow's post will be a special one and a little diversion from theme week. However, I'll show one last tartan outfit in Friday's post.

{Sweater and Skirt: J. Crew | Necklace: eBay | Shoes: Nine West | Purse: Gucci (old) | Lipstick: Hourglass Fever}

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Theme Week - Tartan Look 2

I've never been a big fan of the ankle bootie, especially when worn with dresses or skirts. Just never looks right on me. A lot of women can wear this look, but I wanted to show you that it just doesn't work on my body type. Although I don't have cankles, I think my ankles are too thick to wear booties with skirts.

So my next go around with booties will be with either leggings or skinny jeans. I also realized halfway through the day that I need socks to protect my ankles from the bootie cutting into my skin. I also tried this look with tights thinking I'd create a more uniform and streamlined look. However, the tights just added bulk, making my ankles look even bigger. So at lunchtime, I went home, swapped out the boots for heels, and felt more comfortable.

And I'm so disappointed in this blouse. This is the one I stalked for over a year on ebay waiting for a size 12 to appear. I removed the neckline beading as it was weighing down the front of the blouse. There's still too much fabric in the front so the blouse doesn't lie flat. Such a shame because it looks so cute on the hanger. So if I were to sum up this outfit, I'd say it was a 'fail.' The booties do nothing to shape my legs and the blouse is not at all figure flattering. Tune in tomorrow as tartan theme week continues and maybe I get the combo right.

{Boots: Zara (recent) | Skirt: Old Navy | Blouse: J. Crew via eBay | Jacket: Zara | Lipstick: Besame Cherry Red}
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Monday, November 26, 2012

Theme Week - Plaid Look 1

Ready for another theme week? How about a little tartan? Seems appropriate for the holiday season, don't ya think? So let's start with a past weekend look. This was a pretty good choice for a Saturday morning stroll around the St. Petersburg Downtown farmer's market, especially since I had to park four blocks away. The temps started in the low 60s and climbed to the mid 70s so I was able to take off the vest during the day.

Did you all indulge in Thanksgiving dinner? I know I did. Been indulging a little too much and tracking a little too little. So time to start cutting back a bit and lose the 5-10lbs I think I've gained. Or at least the weight my pants are telling me I gained. But c'mon, I just couldn't resist the $8 mini pie maker at Dillards this past weekend. It really does work!

Sorry for just the two pictures. Bright House is being a real pain to work with and it's taking hours to blog.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gobble Gobble

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and I am grateful for 2 days off of work! Whooo hooo!!! Okay, in all seriousness, I am grateful for... 2 flippin' days off of work! Being able to spend a couple of days doing whatever I want, and have the weekend, is very much a welcome break.

I am also grateful for being able to spend the holidays with my family. First time in about five years that I will be able to eat with my parents, grandparents, and sister. I'm in charge of the rolls (Sister Shubert's), cheesecake (homemade from Junior's Desserts cookbook - gotta bring a little slice of NY with me), cornbread casserole (2 degree separation from John Cougar Mellencamp - I kid you not), and I'm throwing in a veggie casserole (recipe from a cousin in PA). And because the best part of Turkey Day is the food, I have promised hubby that I will cook a mini Thanksgiving dinner for us to munch on all weekend.

So I wish you all a good, safe Thanksgiving. I have a childhood friend coming into town tonight that I'm excited to go have drinks with before the big meal tomorrow at my parent's house. I will see you all back here next week. Gobble Gobble.

{Blazer: Forever 21 | Top: Asos | Necklace: Ann Taylor | Jeans: Sears | Shoes: Vince. Buy them here. | Lipstick: Nars Dragon Girl.}

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Imitation is Flattery

I saw a cute outfit recently on one of my favorite bloggers, Atlantic Pacific, and thought I'd pay a little homage to her and give it my take. I have a similar leopard coat that will be getting a lot of wear over the next few months.

I'm also coming up on a birthday at the end of the month. I've been blogging for almost a year and am thinking of what I want to do for a special anniversary post. Any ideas? Maybe a picture collage over the last year? And my real birthday is fast approaching as well. When I first started this blog, it was a way to cope with turning 40 and to showcase new clothing after a 20-30 lb weight loss. I didn't think it would be a long-term thing so I wasn't thinking of a long term name. But I'm sure a lot of bloggers wish they had thought their blog names through.

We're also have Internet issues on a nightly basis making it hard to post. This post took 3 hours.

{Coat: Zara | Pants: Old Navy Rockstar | Tee: Gap | Shoes: J. Crew | Necklace: Ann Taylor}
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Monday, November 19, 2012


As I've mentioned before, when I moved back to FL I had open toed summery shoes on my mind. And while hanging up my clothes in my sister's closet, she was scrutinizing my wardrobe and picking out the winter blazers saying 'yeah, you'll never need that here.' Well...I think my blood is thinning cause we've had a couple of chilly days and evenings where I wished I had thought to tell hubby "this winter box of clothes doesn't go to storage." So enter some new boots.

Now here's my philosophy with boots. Spend money on good ones that will last you 5+ years. And you know what? They do. I will wear my D&G boots for several more years or until they absolutely fall apart on me. Unfortunately, that won't be this year since I can't get to them. And I've had a pair of Timberland's, similar to the Vince boots below, that I bought in the Pittsburgh airport 10 years ago that I wear every year. Unfortunately, I won't see those this year as well.

So... enter the new boots. This year I bought a pair of motorcycle boots and a pair of distressed everyday boots. I was a little worried about the Vince boots as they are shearling lined but turns out they are only lined around the ankles, not the entire boots like my Uggs (in storage as well). I was afraid these boots would be too hot to wear with socks in FL, but on gloomy, cold days and while sitting at work, they're perfect. While I would prefer a thicker sole for a little more heel protection, they are pretty darn comfortable and perfectly distressed. However, the color is a little off from the website. I was expecting them to be more brown instead of green. I ordered my usual size 8 in boots but probably could have sized down to a 7.5. However, I like a little breathing room for my toes.

I haven't had a chance to wear the motorcycle boots yet. They are a bit flashy with the studs but my plan was to wear them under jeans with just a little bit of flashiness peeking out. They are very soft leather and I'm pleased with the quality. I'm too old and short, and my tree stumps are too big to pull of the flirty, summery dress with motorcycle boots.

{Vince Candice Shearling-lined boots. Buy them here.}

{Sam Edelman Adele boots. Buy them here.}

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Just Horsing Around

Hubby and I took a few fun shots in a little alcove right outside our apartment door a couple of weeks ago. I didn't feel this was a blog-worthy outfit (and a foggy lens) but thought I'd share in a couple of fun shots.  I'm off to Old Navy this morning for the buy 1 get 1 75% off sale (got a flyer in the mail), then the St. Petersburg downtown outdoor market, and finally a trip to my favorite Italian market, Mazzaro's. Tomorrow I'm meeting my sister for lunch and an afternoon of vampires. Enjoy your weekend! See you back here on Monday for some boot talk.

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Preppy Cords

I love it when hair, makeup, and outfit come together. Even though today's outfit would be a big no-no if it were two different shades of denim, I think it works with cords. I didn't plan it this way. It was a quick closet decision this morning based on, 'I want to wear that cool concert tee but I'm not really allowed to wear tees at work.' Put a blazer over a tee and no one thinks twice about it.

I'm loving this cord jacket from The Limited. I tried it on in the store when they were having buy one get one free (or half off - can't remember). I decided to wait until they were having their 'buy 3 items, get 50% off' so that I could get three items for about $100 total. This blazer is just perfect. Great fit, nicely constructed, thick and sturdy, and such a beautiful shade of cobalt blue. Really pleased with this purchase.

I've been having a hard time with my winged eyeliner since moving back to FL. I think it's because I don't sit at a desk anymore to put on my makeup. I put on all my makeup in the bathroom now and I'm having to find the right angle with the magnifying mirror. My wings have been uneven, too exaggerated, too demure, too fat, too thin. Just can't find the perfect Goldilocks combo. So I was online the other night researching winged eyeliner templates and stick-ons (that would be so uncomfortable - just like fake eyelashes, which is why I don't wear them anymore). I tried using tape and a business card to get the right angle and keep the wing straight. I tried using a pointed Q-Tip to spread the wing. Nothing seemed to be working. Until I just stopped using the felt pen for the outside line and the liquid for the filler and just stuck with the liquid. I prefer demure wings - just a hint of a wing. And by not drawing the outside line first with a felt eyeliner pen and sticking just with the liquid, I gained better control of the entire wing. All this trouble and all I needed to do was slowly work the liquid into the outer corners. It took less time this morning than other mornings and I had even, perfect results. Hopefully I can duplicate the effort from here on out.

And my hair is finally growing. Usually it grows like a weed but I guess it decided to take a bear nap for the winter. I'm growing out the bangs again, keeping the layers, but growing it long enough to put into a small ponytail. Why? Pure laziness.

{Blazer: The Limited. Buy it here. | Tee: Jonny Lang concert | Pants: Talbots | Necklace: J. Crew | Shoes: Rock & Republic for Kohl's | Lipstick: Lancome Rouge Radiance}

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Work Happens

I apologize for being lax on the blogging this week. I've been pulling some long days at work. And even though I've had on my picture-worthy outfits, I haven't been able to get home before dark (or even at lunch) to snap some glitzy fancy pants foe-toes.

Please bear with me this week. Sorry, sister - I owe you $5 hamburger night. Can't wait til our Sunday luncheon and getting our vampire on. Yeah, the whole Twilight thing is my guilty tween pleasure. Go team Edward!
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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Theme Week Extended?

I've been waiting for all the elements of this outfit to come together. The blazer is repurposed from an Ann Taylor suit where the pants no longer fit. The suit was five years old and had been hanging in my closet that long. I had the blazer dry cleaned last week. The pants I got at Target about 2-3 weeks ago. I was so pleased with them, I also bought another pair in a different color. However, when I went to put them on this morning, they felt a bit snug. Could it be the ribs, pulled pork sammies, roasted corn, or fried Oreos from this weekend's Ribfest in downtown St. Petersburg? Nah.

The piece de resistance are the shoes. I first saw them on but they've been sold out in my size for two months. Trying to track these babies down has been hard. I finally found them at and ended up paying about $30 more than what I would have had they come back in stock on myhabit. These are my first pair of Dr. Marten's. I wasn't sure what size I would be as I know they can run extremely large. I typically wear a size 8 in close toed shoes/boots and a 7.5 in open toed sandals. I chose to size down to a US7/UK5 fearing they would still be too large. But they are actually just right. The leather is very stiff so when I got to work, I whipped out the Band Aids and placed in areas that were starting to rub. I also was afraid that these shoes would be ginormous clown shoes that would swallow up my feet. While a little bulky, I don't feel like a teenage skater punk or goth girl with ripped fishnets and a bad dye job.

My favorite part is the bows. Last year I bought a pair of Lanvin pumps with grosgrain ties that turned out to be too big and too tall (I can't do 4" heels). I had to resell them on ebay and recoup my money. But they were beautiful black patent heels with rhinestone heels and navy blue grosgrain ribbon. As a bonus, these Dr. Martens come with another set of interchangeable bows (black and white polka dots). I'm not sure I'll ever use them as I think they may be a bit too little girlish, but we'll see. And I guess with my faux leather blouse, you could technically say I've extended faux leather theme week.

{Blazer: Ann Taylor | Top: Bluefly. Buy it here. | Pants: Target | Shoes: Dr. Martens. Buy them here.}
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Friday, November 9, 2012

Theme Week - Leather Final Look

You know how you go into a store to grab one specific item and end up walking out with something completely different? This happened to me last night after Spin class when I quickly popped into Marshall's on the way home hoping to find a pair of dark blue leggings. No such luck. However, I spotted these Kenneth Cole burgundy jeans on clearance. How is it that the trendiest fall color is marked down to $20? I don't know but I combed those racks looking for more colors to no avail. Not to worry, I'm seeing so many possibilities with these jeans.

Thought I would finish out what turned to be "faux leather" theme week with a more monochromatic look. Just wish the dotted blouse were longer. Hope you enjoyed theme week. It takes more planning and committment to do theme weeks but I enjoy doing them.

Have any plans this weekend? Hubby and I are going to Ribfest tonight and tomorrow night. Buddy Guy tonight and Heart tomorrow. He's going for the music, I'm going for the ribs! BBQ isn't exactly common in CT so I'm really looking forward to trying it from dozens of award winning vendors.

{Jacket: Karl Lagerfeld for Macy's | Tank: Forever 21 | Jeans: Kenneth Cole | Shoes: Steve Madden | Necklace: Forever 21}

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Theme Week - Leather Look 3

Have you skipped on over to for the Narciso Rodriguez launch? Would you believe it just launched yesterday and is already marked down? What's up with that? Plus if you use codes "SHOP30" and "MVCFSFREE," you'll get 30% off and free shipping. I ordered two items (the colorblock dress and a tee) and my total came to $42. I have to say that the fabric on some of the pieces looks cheap. But I guess if you are designing for Kohl's or any mass marketed fast-fashion chain, this is to be expected. I did want the tuxedo pants but need to feel the fabric. I prefer stretch cotton and have a feeling the crepe fabric will be too flouncy for my taste.

Even though I have an iPhone app for creating outfits, I was struggling with today's leather theme look. But I'm totally digging the pictures. And it got chilly today so I had to come home at lunch and put on some leggings.
Unfortunately all my boots and booties, as well as coats and most sweaters, are buried deep into our 9x20 storage unit. I tried to get to this stuff but it was a futile effort. We would essentially have to pull out all the boxes, extra bed, and furntiture to get to everything. So I know that some of my footwear is still 'summerish.' I apologize for that. I don't want to just go out and buy any 'ol bootie, etc. For example, I spent quite a penny on my Dolce & Gabbana black patent leather boots that I have worn for two years now. I simply adore them and am sad they are not going to see any wearable time this winter. And trust me, I've been scouring the Internet in search of the perfect bootie, but haven't come across it yet.So until I do, my heels and other sandals will have to suffice.


{Dress: Joe Fresh | Jacket: INC | Shoes: Nine West Andriana | Necklace: Ann Taylor}

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