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Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve


Happy New Year, everyone.




{Shirt: Target | Jeans: Old Navy | Necklace: Thrifted | Boots: Vince Camuto | Lipstick: Hourglass Fever}





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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Shiny Objects

I picked a heck of a day to wear my new foot bling. Right as I was about to step out for lunch (yeah, I'm working the day after Christmas - worked Christmas Eve day as well), it started pouring. No, rain. Go away. These boots aren't made for walking...in wet puddles.

Hubby and I set a budget this year for our gifts. Originally it was $100 but then as I was strolling through Dillards, I locked eyes with these moto boots and it was love at first sight. Okay, the moto boots don't have eyes. I locked my eyes on them and then on the sales person. Okay, forget the love at first sight reference. Let's just say I wanted them super bad.

So in my 'I've been a good girl this year' voice, I asked hubby ever so gently if we could increase the budget. To which he was more than willing to do. I believe his words were, "Good. Now I can add on and get some things I've been wanting." So it all worked out in the end. And to all a good night.

My pants are the first pair from Zara that I can actually pull up over my knees. They size all the way up to XXL. However these are XL. As most of you who shop at Zara know, their clothes run ridiculously small. I own no skirts from Zara. Most of the clothes they make only fit my top half. So I was pretty psyched when I could actually wear a pair of Zara pants. I love how the gold zippers match the bling on my boots. I also love that my mom surprised me with a gift card to Zara's. Nice! Thanks, Mom!


 
{Sweater: J. Crew | Pants: Zara | Boots: Vince Camuto Winchell. Buy them here (on sale - of course) | Bracelet: c/o Mom}



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Monday, December 24, 2012

Necklace Organization

Space is at a premium in our 900 sq ft apartment, so I have to get a little creative with organization. Luckily, we both have our own bathrooms and walk in closets. Whew! Husband decorated his office (he works from home) with all his man stuff - guitars line the walls. And our bedroom is well, kind of neutral. Hubby gave the go ahead to girl it up!

So my first order was to hang my necklaces as art. They were hanging on three over-the-door hooks, all clumped together and hard to fish through. So looking through Pinterest last month, I saw some ideas that were similar to mine. Ikea makes some great and inexpensive racks (under $5) and hooks ($3 for 10). So for under $20, I can now get to every necklace with ease.

My second plan of attack is a little art project. I'm going to order some vintage fashion magazines from eBay and then frame a few pages from each. You all know how much I like my pin-up girl winged eyeliner and red lips, so I'll be looking for magazines from the 30s-50s.

 
 
 
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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Conductor Revisited

Hello old friend, so glad to wear you again. Remember this jacket, which I dubbed "The Conductor"? It was 56 degrees this morning (that's cold for FL) so I happily threw together an outfit around this jacket as it's my favorite. I love everything about it except for the little bit of wool itching my arms right now. When I first saw it, I knew I had to have it. Luckily I bought it while still living in CT and was able to find it at the Zara on 42nd St in NY. And the newest Zara addition? My shoes! You saw the red ones with my Holiday dress last week. The black ones came a couple of days ago and they do not disappoint.

I do miss my shopping adventures in the city. And although I have two great malls just a seven mile bridge ride into Tampa with all the stores I craved in CT, there's something special about hopping on the train in CT and being dumped off at Grand Central an hour and a half later. The sounds and smells (some not so good), the traffic and horns, the tall buildings and endless walking (usually on a rainy Saturday), and the shopping. Oh my goodness the shopping is fantastic in NYC. And hopefully, I'll be able to do that again next year.

Unfortunately, shopping is having to take a back seat. Since our house still hasn't sold and probably won't this winter, I've decided to pursue additional employment. I took a bit of a pay cut moving back to FL and I'm feeling the effects of that as well as the double bills between the two states.



{Pants: Target (recent) | Shoes: Zara (recent) | Blazer: Zara | Tee: Gap | Necklace: Thrifted}

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Berry

I love the jeweled collar of this tank from Zara. In fact, I was trying on a blazer at H&M over the weekend that had this exact embellishment on the shoulders. But it was too tight on the arms, which I don't understand. The blazer I have on now is a size 8 and the arms are perfect. I can bend my elbows and sit comfortably at work without feeling like I'm losing bloodflow to my wrists. Cheapy trendy stores really need to get the sizing right. If you make a size 10 or 12 blazer, don't just focus on the front and back fit. I'm proportional. I don't have tiny Barbie arms with my big chest. I've got the arms of a women who likes pasta and the occasional gooey glazed donut, cookie, ice cream, etc.

I'm currently loving this tone-on-tone trend. It's a very comfortable and easy look to create. If you need help creating a look like this, go out and buy a $5 color wheel from the craft store or look at any program on your computer where you can enter RGB values. Play with gradient colors. It will open a whole new world in your closet. I actually had another blazer that would have worked as well and would be fine for a spring or summer look. But I love this little thrifted blazer and don't feel like it gets enough wear.



{Jacket: Thrifted | Tank: Zara (recent) | Pants: Gap | Shoes: Nine West | Sunnies: Ray Bans | Lipstick: MAC Rebel}

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Much Better

Sorry for the late post. Technical difficulties.

I came up with a better combination for these lovely Zara boots. I think the trick for my figure is to wear them with skinny pants that go past the top of the boot to create elongation. To balance out the top, I chose a what I call an A-line jacket. The shoulders are gathered and give the appearance of width but the rest of the jean jacket tapers in, tying into the long, lean look I was going for.

Unfortunately, I don't own many white shirts. I didn't want to resort to my Gap crew neck basic, so I chose this (too thin) old J. Crew embellished top. The jean jacket needed a bit of ironing around the collar but who has time in the morning?

Did you all have a good weekend? Hubby and I joined the family at Legoland in Winter Haven Saturday afternoon. There are only two in the country (the other in LA). Although good for the kiddies, it just wasn't worth the $70+ adult admission fee. Thank goodness my sister had free passes. Highlight was seeing my little nephew in awe of the 'snow' blowing from the rooftops by snow blowers. Yesterday me and sissy went for our monthly pedicures. We tried a new place in the mall and it was an awesome experience for me. I'm the type that would rather have a real good cleaning than a longer massage. Don't get me wrong, I love getting my legs massaged but I don't have the tools at home to really get deep into my toes.


I also got two free dresses at H&M this weekend. I guess they weren't really free as I was using a gift card from a return. But to get two dresses and still have $8 left over is pretty cool. My sister and I also went to Toys R Us where I had a $20 Groupon. We walked out with a Chipmunk DVD and two rolls of wrapping paper. Our grand total? .35. Yay for Groupons.

 
 
{Jacket: Target (old) | Shirt: J Crew (old) | Pants: Old Navy (recent) | Necklace: Forever 21 (recent) | Booties: Zara. Buy them here.}
 
 

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

School Shootings

I don't normally use my blog forum to discuss anything other than fashion with lighthearted banter, but the tragedy yesterday in Newtown, Connecticut hit close to my heart. First, as you all know, I lived in Connecticut for four years. I tried out a gym in Newtown one day but it was too far from where I lived in West Haven (40 min drive). I worked with people that live in Monroe, CT, not too far from Newtown. Newtown is a small place. Blink and you'll miss the center of town, marked by a big white pole. It's quintessential New England, sleepy and rich with history and lovely older homes. My heart goes out to those affected by this horrible, needless act at Sandy Hook Elementary.

But this isn't the first shooting that has affected me. I was a sophomore in high school on February 11, 1988 when a 15-year old classmate, Jason Harless, and his punk-ass friend, Jason McCoy, played shoot-em-up at Pinellas Park High in Largo, FL. Jason Harless killed Assistant Vice President, Richard Allen, who died from a gunshot wound to the head six days after being shot. Two more school officials were also wounded.

Jason McCoy was released from prison after only serving 14 months of a six-year sentence. The shooter, Jason Harless, served 17 years and is now a 39-year old free man as seen below.



I saved several newspaper clippings that have been stored at my sister's house for the past five years. I still remember my classmate, Chip, who left class with a hall pass to the bathroom and came back white as a ghost with the look of fear in his eyes as he struggled to get out the words of what he had just witnessed in the lunchroom. Years later, you could still see where one of the bullets hit the lunchroom wall.

 
So every time I hear of these senseless acts of school violence, especially opening fire on small children, it just baffles me as to the kind of world we live in.
 
*Not to seem insensitive to the situation but the first picture in the collage is that of John Wilson, a former Tampa Bay news anchor and father to actor Patrick Wilson.
 


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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Stylemint Round 2

This tank top is the second purchase from Stylemint. Although a little big right now, I know as soon as I throw it in the washer and dryer, it will be perfect. It's a size 4 (they go up to size 5). It's the same color, thickness, and material as my Stylemint Broadway dress. The cut is a little funky as it's rounded on the bottom. I had to tuck it in from looking prego. Not that I would mind being prego but at this stage of life with only a 3% chance (on a good day) of conceiving, I think that ship has sailed. That's okay. I got several cute nephews and niece. My husband and I often joke that we would have one cute, smart, and funny kid. My husband is very intelligent (a very sexy quality to me) and we both have blue eyes. A weird little tidbit - when we put our arms next to each other, we have the exact same skin tone. We often joke we are 'twinsies' as we finish each other's sentences ("Get out of my head, David Blaine") and other strange oddities.

I was just reading my January Lucky magazine last night. There's a section on mixing patterns. The one I do most often is stripes and florals. But I gotta tell ya, after wearing tone-on-tone in the last few blog posts, this combo felt a little weird. I guess it's because tone-on-tone or matchy-matchy is comfortable and socially acceptable. But then again wearing all black is comfortable as well. And I used to have a closet filled with mostly black clothes until I started incorporating color. Black is slimming, neutral, comfortable, and safe. Where am I going with this? Oh heck, I don't know. I'm just rambling today.



 
{Pants: Talbots | Blazer: Ann Taylor (very old) | Tank: Stylemint. On sale here. | Shoes: Nine West Andriana}

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Holiday Dress 2

Here is the dress that I wore to the holiday party with my employer. 

Hubby took these few pics right as the rain was coming down. We haven't had rain in 4-6 weeks but it poured non-stop as soon as we got in the car to head across town. So unfortunately with the wind blowing and the rain drops starting, we could only take a few rather unflattering pics, which is too bad because this Jason Woo dress was so cute and fit the party atmosphere so well. And I have to digress about the shoes. These are from Zara and they were the most comfortable party shoes I have ever worn to an event. I'm not kidding. I'm not getting paid to state this. They were so awesome that last night, I ordered them in black!


 
{Dress: Jason Wu for Target | Belt: Asos | Necklace: J. Crew | Headband: J. Crew | Shoes: Zara. Buy them here.}

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Holiday Dress 1

It's the crazy holiday time! You know that time where you have approximate 2-3 weekends before Christmas when you have to cram in holiday parties, charity events, family fun time, etc. before the sky falls and the world ends. I equate it to 'summer cramming' up north. Where you have 2-3 months of lovely weather and you fill up every weekend with outdoor events before the dreaded cold snap hits and days get darker earlier.

This has been one of those weeks for me. Where I'm rushing to get to events before I turn from a pretty pretty princess into a toad, pumpkin, or weekend no-hair-fixin' woman. And speaking of no-hair-fixing. Can you tell I forgot to rinse out my conditioner? Yeah, rush rush rush. Hey, could have been worse. Could have forgot to shave one leg or underarm. Walk out the door without deodorant, forget blush or mascara, or a plethora of other things I've done in the past when rushed.

This is the outfit I wore to see my mother sing in her church Christmas performance. Although raised Catholic, I don't practice any religion these days. Nor do I speak about religion on my blog as its subjective and personal. My mother's church is huge and was decorated very nicely. Apparently the church has been working and planning for over a year to bring in a very talented family called the Annie Moses Band. Classically trained and Julliard prodigies, they were amazing to watch. For the first hour. After the 15 minute intermission, they performed for another hour and 15 mins. Although a bit long for my attention span (my sister actually heard my stomach growling during the concert).


My poor mom only got to sing about three songs before being upstaged by violins, cellos, and Mariah Carey high notes. My mom was clearly robbed and deserves a do-over. As my sister, mom, step-dad, and I ate our "I'm famished let's just go somewhere" Applebee's dinner after the laser light show, my sister and I started cutting up about the performance (Annie's, not my mom's). Of course when alcohol is involved, there's no telling what comes out of our mouths. We were wondering if in this multi-talented family if there was a sibling that just didn't get the musical genes that his other six siblings and award winning composer and lyricist parents did. We were also wondering why all but one of the family members played string instruments while giving the brother a box to beat on during the concert. I said, "it could have been worse - could have been a plastic milk crate or 5-gallon empty paint bucket." Yeah, sister and I get a little obnoxious when we drink. Too bad my hubby didn't come with us. He can outdo both of us in the wise-cracking joke department.

How pretty was the lighting Sunday night for these pictures? My sister looks much better in my sheer Zara shirt than I ever did.


{Fish Dress: Zara | Shoes: Nine West | Lipstick: Nars Schiap | Sunnies: Ray Ban}

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Like Butter

Happy holy it's hot out Friday! So you like the monotone look I had on in the last post, huh? Want to see more of it? Okay, how about some butter? Everyone likes loooovees butter. And in my Inspirations Academy award speech in the last post, I forgot to thank my lovely readers for being sources of inspiration. I wouldn't have come up with today's look had I not received comments about creating monotone looks. So here you go. Spread it on some toast, people. Make a movie about it. Deep fry it and serve it at state fairs. Oh, that reminds me. The Strawberry Festival in Plant City is coming up in March. I like me a good 'ol county fair. It's the only time I get to eat elephant ears and deep fried artery clogging food. And the people watching is better than anything you'll see on TLC. Lots of Honey Boo Boos.

Gotta love seeing large women squished into inappropriate clothing that is two sizes too small. Hubby has never been to the Strawberry Festival and when a commercial on TV came on recently, let's just say that he didn't have the same look of excitement in his eyes that were in mine. "It's all country music and strawberries. What else is there?" "Uh, food. Strawberry shortcakes, rides, games." But I just go there for the food and people watching. It's the best kind of real-life trashy.

So I'm wearing the collar that my sister tried to wrangle out of my hands before we got to the register. I'm so glad she didn't overtake me and pummel me in the store. Cause it looks freggin' darn cute with this top.


{Top: Ann Taylor | Pants: Old Navy cords | Collar: Charming Charlie | Shoes: Vera Wang for Kohl's | Sunnies: Mosley Tribes Raynes | Lipstick: MAC Listering}
 

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Black

Ewwww weee. I am drunkie drunk drunk as I type this. Hubby and I have been eating low carb dinners for the last couple of nights and that means I can have VINO!  Whooo hooo. I love me some red wine. So glad I typed most of this earlier today. Just hope my blood pressure doesn't spike for my lady parts doctor visit tomorrow. TMI? Oh we all have to go. My main reason for going tomorrow is for my first mammogram. Time to get the boobies checked out.

I've talked about my "Closet" iPhone app before. When I lived in CT and had my clothes scattered everywhere in small closets, it was a very helpful app. I haven't been relying on it all that much since moving back to FL as I now have a walk-in closet where I can see almost all my clothes (angels singing). If I'm feeling rather lazy at night, I'll take a look at some of the outfit combos I've put together in the past and say, 'Hmm. I forgot about that one. I think I'll wear that tomorrow." Or I'll play around with the app like a Magic 8 ball and see what kooky combos it comes up with for me.  But recently I found a new way to use the app. You know how you earmark (dog ear - however you say it) pages in fashion mags where you want to buy something or want to recreate an outfit? I used to have pages scattered everywhere with inspiration pics. This past weekend I took pictures with my phone and stored them in my Closet app under an Items category called "Inspiration." I then created an "Inspirations" Outfits category where I added my magazine pictures and then added items from my closet to see if I could recreate the outfits from the magazines.

No longer do I have ripped out pages from magazines lying in the living room, bedroom, and dining table. As soon as I rip out a page, I take a pic and then throw the page away.

So while looking at the Zara website, I came across a couple of looks that I wanted to recreate. After this past weekend, I pretty much had all the elements except a dark gray shirt. And then I remembered that I had an Old Navy tank top that would work since I was covering it up with the jacket. So here's my recreation. I plan to do more of these and you may be saying, "Well that's what J's Everyday Fashion blog does." Well, true. But I'm not a size 2 or XS. I have an hourglass/pear shaped body where I can't just run into a store and grab the first thing off a rack to recreate a look. I have to hunt down larger sizes to make a recreation happen. For instance, I can't wear pants from The Limited, Forever 21, and H&M. The pants I buy from J. Crew have to be purchased online because I'm bigger on the bottom than on top. I'm a size 14 in skirts and have found J. Crew skirts fit me well, as do skirts from Asos, Loft, and Ann Taylor. I also feel like most of J's recreations happen via fast fashion. And I'm all for fast fashion (especially since hubby and I are still supporting a northern mortgage and southern rent). However, I do have a few gems in my closet that I like to throw in. I also get inspiration from store mannequins and real life strangers. And let's not forget the colors of nature and combos I can create from makeup or color wheel inspirations. I don't feel like I'm offering up advice on my blog about how to dress like J does. I'm just a 40-year old woman who likes fashion and wants an outlet in which to show it off. I'm a technical writer with a creative side and this is how I express myself. Was that enough justification? Oh, and let's not forget that I will shamelessly copy any fashion blogger's outfit and make it my own. Because as Jobs once said, "Good artists copy, great artists steal."

Sorry about the no shoes shot. It's my Nine West Andriana black suede pumps.



{Jacket: Forever 21 | Buy it here. | Tank: Old Navy | Jeans: Old Navy Rockstar. Buy them here. | Necklace: Forever 21. Similar here.}
 
 

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