Friday, September 30, 2011

Thoughts of the Week - Odd Girl Out

I took this post down early this morning for 2 reasons:
1. I was afraid I wasn't clear about my friendships and that I'd hurt 3 of my best girlfriend's feelings.  Right after college I met 3 amazing woman; Jen, Kimberly and Lea.  We are all still best of friends today.  But because of distance and other factors, it's always hard for us to connect on a regular basis and always has been.  It wasn't until I also met my current "mommy" friends that I have what I have always craved; a sense of community, a support system.  A group of woman that I can spontaneously call up and say let's meet for a cup of coffee, or can I drop off my kids for a while.  It took me 30 years to find a 'group' of friends if you will, where I feel whole.  

2. After recently helping to host a blog conference, I didn't want to seem like I was anti-social media friendships because I'm not at all.  In fact I've been able to turn a couple of online friendships into awesome real life friendships.  What I was trying to convey though is that sometimes we/I can let myself get too wrapped up in how people see me or building connections with people that I may never actually meet in person.  Instead I need to make sure I'm first and foremost growing my 'in real life' relationships.  

I had 2 very sweet friends email me today and offer encouragement after reading the post before I pulled it.  Their words touched me and of course, brought me to tears, so because of their kindness I'm posting it back up...so here you go...yes, I'm crazy :)
A friend invited me to lunch today.  We went to a new restaurant and I tried oxtail poutine for the first time.  I guess it's a Canadian specialty?  I have to be honest, while such a simple act, an invitation to lunch, it made me feel special.

It's taken me a long time to feel comfortable with woman, and secure in the friendships I have.  30 years to be exact.  The stemming of my insecurities with female relationships is so painfully obvious it almost seems contrived.  In a nutshell, odd girl out one week, good girl in next week BS throughout school left me feeling unstable and left me questioning most female relationships I made all throughout high school and college.  I wish I could say the friends I made in college are still my BFF's, but not even close.  Aside from 1 girl, and my 2 sisters, my entire bridal party would be different now than it was 12 years ago. 

Now I feel like I've finally found a group of friends that believe in me, that love me and care for me, that I can depend on and call on for just about anything.  If you've had a group of friends like this for a while, I'm truly happy for you, because the gift of female friendship is one of the sweetest gifts you can have.  If you haven't found that group of friends yet, don't lose hope, it can still be out there for you in the least unlikely of places.  Like I said, 30 years right here.

This week I've been a bit emotional if I'm to be honest.  Exhaustion mixed with self doubt can prove to be a bad concoction.  Someone wrote to tell me I was so much nicer in person than they expected me to be after meeting me at Blog Sugar combined with the other comment that has since been cleared up, left me feeling at times, well a little crappy.  I even asked a few friends if I come across as bitchy on here or something.

While I don't dare dismiss the friendships I've made online because many of them are true, 100% real worthwhile relationships worth fostering and growing, all this angst made me realize that it's the friendships in real life that are what are truly important.  It's the friendships of those that I see on a regular basis in the flesh that matter the most, and the ones that I need concern myself with above all else.  So while we can make hundreds of friends on Facebook and gain thousands of Twitter and blog followers, it's really those chicas that you have to come face-to-face with that take precedence.

I've known this all along, honest I have, but that invitation to lunch today was the perfect little reminder considering my feelings this week.  It all dawned on me tonight as I was lying in bed with Syd, helping him fall asleep.  A dark quiet room with a sleepy little boy lying next to you usually helps to pull all sorts of things into perspective.  As I write this I cry, because I cry at everything really.  But I really am grateful for all my friends.  Thank you friend for inviting me to lunch today.  It was just what I needed and I love you for it.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

DIY Easy Succulent Centerpiece

The succulents we rearranged and transplanted a few months back are doing great.  They really love their home on the front porch and are thriving so much.  I had guests over the weekend and I wanted a centerpiece to fill my living room coffee table but didn't want to spend the time or money to drive out to the store.  And while floral arrangements are easy and pretty, I wanted and needed to save money.  So I dug out this old Nambe tray we've had for over 12 years now, a wedding present from an Aunt, and whipped together this cute little succulent centerpiece.

Now when I see DIY/craft bloggers say they just "whipped" something up, and it's as Rachel says, "a chair made out of toothpicks and washi tape", I do roll my eyes.  But this is really easy, and cheap!  That is if you have some succulents on hand already.  So please no eye rolling :)  Let me show you...
First gather your supplies; you'll need a tray of some sort, some regular dirt/potting soil, floral moss found at any craft store, a few succulents and some small pebbles (those are optional).
Spread a thin layer of your soil onto your tray, don't worry succulents don't need much to root 
 Start spreading your moss over the dirt, it doesn't have to be perfect by any means
 and start planting/arranging your succulents in the soil
 it's best to leave a little bit of stem on your succulent as seen below
 once your succulents are all arranged, you can leave them as is, or...
 you can arrange some pebbles/stones in a patter around the tray
 give them just a bit of water, and only water as needed, about once every 7-10 days - don't over-water!
 and you're done!
If you'd like some tips on planting, growing and maintaining succulents, you can visit my previous post on growing a succulent garden here.  I'm not sure how widely available succulents are across the country, or even how popular they are, but here on the West Coast they're all over the place.  Even Trader Joe's carries them and you can pick up little pots for as cheap as 99 cents each.  
If treated right, succulents will just keep growing for years and can be cut off and transferred to other pots to start new shoots.  Plant one in a cute pot and cover the soil with moss and you have a great little hostess gift that's thoughtful and homegrown.  Can you tell I really, really love succulents?    
So are succulents just a Western US thing, or are they loved all across the country?
I'm linking up with Gussy for the very first time hooray!
Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Blog Sugar - The Real Recap

Soon after I signed up to help Rachel plan another Blog Sugar, I knew that this blog conference was going to be different.  The 3 of us were sitting around talking during a planning session and it dawned on me that this was going to be more than anything, an awesome opportunity for woman to just come and hang out, be inspired, grow friendships.  It soon became clear that this conference wasn't going to be about primo networking opportunities and intense panels sessions where you learn how to monetize your blog.  This was going to be a place for woman (and men) to gather and connect on a much deeper level, and in my eyes, much more meaningful level.  After reading dozens of recaps, I think the mission was accomplished.

It's so easy to get lost in the rat race of blogging and fall victim to feelings of insecurities, I let it happen more than I care to admit.  On Sunday though woman of blogs all shapes and sizes, with 5 readers all the way up to 5000 readers came together in fellowship and reveled in the fact that God made us all different and unique and with our own VOICE and that voice is powerful.  No egos, no insecurities, just kinship.  Hugs, laughter, tears and squealy voices (my voice rose about 10 octaves on several occasions).  All together in one room, fueled by sugar and God's love.  That is special, that is awesome.  I felt sad on Monday morning that is was all over, but today it finally hit me just how amazing it all was, and how happy I was to be there.   
"taste and see that the Lord is good" Psalm 34:8

The 3 of us already are going through withdrawals and have planned to get together next week.  I'm sure my husband will be thrilled, "wait isn't Blog Sugar over Andrea?"  

I think Rachel and I reapplied our lipstick at least 10 times that day.  It was fun, I felt like a teenager.  I will also never wear red lipstick to an all day event again.  The Spanx might also have to be reconsidered. 
I can't believe I finally got to meet Heather.  I'm obsessed with her, and her glasses, and I think I asked too many questions during her session.  And Danielle is pretty awesome too, so happy she introduced us to Love 146.

I didn't take any pictures on Sunday.  Too busy running around taking it all in I guess.  I got to meet Mel and boy is she a sassy pants firecracker and she sent me this picture of us.  I could tell we would get along just fine if we lived closer.  Tall girls unite.
It's no exaggeration when I say that I started crying when I saw Ruthanne's photos of the night.  She is truly talented and such a sweet, funny spirit.  Thank you for being there all day and night snapping away.

I would be remiss if I also didn't give a big shout out to the lady that provided us all with that sugar for the day, April Boyer of Modern Gourmet.  I personally loved the lemon tarts the best but I've read several say the whoopie pies were amazing.  And Laura Weirtzma of Ascot Friday and her sister Erica were the creative genius behind the decor for the night.  Those girls gave Geronimo Balloons a run for their money wouldn't you say?  And thank you to all of our wonderful speakers that night.   

Thank you Rachel for your vision and your perseverance, thank you JJ for your expertise in all things conferencey and for bringing the wine ;)  Sometimes I felt like I was just along for the ride, but what a fun ride it was.

p.s. there were so many amazing friends I met in person that night but sadly I don't have any pictures with anyone (I think).  If we took a picture together, would you mind sending it to me pretty please?

I'm linking up with the Blog Sugar site where you can come and see all the other amazing recaps of the day.  And while I'm linking, I guess I might as well link up with Lindsey too for WIWW.  She was one of our awesome speakers that day and I loved getting to know this talented lady a bit more.  The dress is from Old Navy (the one I stole for $23) and you've seen the shoes and jewelry before.  Not seen are a 10 year old pair of Spanx that still perform miracles hooray!  And I got my hair colored for the first time in 7 years.  Lots of exciting stuff happened last week.  At one point I almost passed out from all the newness and excitement.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Drink to Comfort - Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

I have the house to myself for a couple of hours and the weather is gloomy and my favorite pinecone candle is burning.  While I gave up coffee on a regular basis a couple of months ago, I still do enjoy myself a cup on occasion.  The great thing about kicking a regular coffee habit is that when you do drink it, when you do need it to work, it does.  So on a morning like today when I'm slow to function, yet when I feel the need for a little comfort, I decided to try out this Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe from Love Veggies & Yoga that Jules found.  Sounds much better than tackling the laundry and the dishes, doesn't it?  It uses pumpkin puree which I think is just pure genius.
I followed her recipe to a T, but instead of warming the milk in the microwave, I first steamed some milk in my lovely Christmas present.  I then had some frothy milk to pile on top of my cup.  I also didn't feel like hauling out the blender, so I just shook up the mixture in a mason jar.  Sort of similar to my chai tea concoction.
While these at home coffee house drink versions are never quite the same, this one is quite good.  I made my coffee extra strong and added plenty of agave to sweeten it up, but it still lacks that certain fake syrupy flavor that sadly, I've grown to love.  When all is said and done though, I can happily give up that fake flavor to save myself almost $4 using ingredients I already have on hand.  Yes, I do have pumpkin puree on hand because I am a pumpkin freak.   
While sadly my house is a mess and there is still plenty of things to do before I have to pick up Syd from preschool, I did plan out my meals for the week and got my grocery shopping done.  This week is all about comfort food and here's what I'm planning to make:

Monday: leftover sliders & sweet potato fries from Saturday's speaker dinner
Tuesday: pork tenderloin medallions with sweet potatoes and apples (a one pot dish that is super easy, maybe I'll share it?)
Wednesday: turkey lasagna
Thursday: leftover turkey lasagna
Friday: turkey chili
(I have a lot of ground turkey in my freezer that I'm trying to use up)

So I know I said just a few hours ago that I was shutting down for a bit, but I wanted to come back and sort of offer a re-do of my last post.  I hope I didn't come across as a downer.  I think I am just so tired and yet so keyed up my mind is racing more than it should.  I'm really hoping that spending time with the kids this afternoon will restore me a bit, I miss them after barely seeing them the last 2 days.  I'm sure that will do the trick.

So come on guys, you're all so quiet out there.  Those that came to Blog Sugar, what did you think?  What would you change for next year and what would you keep the same?  And what was your favorite dessert of the night?!?

It's Over

It's 6:30 and I've been up for hours.  I guess I'm still on an adrenaline high after the last 3 days, the last 9 months.  Wedding weekend came and went and as expected I'm feeling a bit of the let down.  A bit of sadness of watching it all go by and happen in what seemed like the blink of an eye.

Blog Sugar was amazing.  I am proud and honored to have been a part of it.  I was uplifted.  I had my doubts, I had my doubts about taking part in a faith conference, turning Blog Sugar into a faith based conference.  I rarely blog about faith, I feel shaky often times in my own faith, so it felt a bit strange sometimes, but I'm so glad Rachel stuck to her vision.  Girl's got vision and passion.

At any rate I was touched yesterday, I was moved by listening to so many of these amazing woman speak.  I laughed, I cried and I learned a lot.  I met so many of you and hugged ladies I've been wanting to hug for months.  I wish it could have been longer.  At one point a reader came up to me and said a friend of hers wanted to tell me hi and admitted that this friend had a love/hate relationship with me.  I'd be lying if I said it didn't make me a bit sad.  If I learned anything from yesterday, from all of this, is that as much as we make blogging about us, as narcissistic as it is to blog our lives here for everyone to see, we are impacting someone somewhere.  Not necessarily in some life altering way, but as Jeannett said, we have a captive audience here, whether it's 5 people or 500.  Make your words count.  Make them meaningful.  Glorify God, represent yourself and your family well, and be proud of what you write.

I may just be tired, oh so tired, and still filled with adrenaline, but there's a bit of an unsettled feeling for me right now.  I think I just need to decompress for a bit.  Be alone in my own head, turn off the computer and phone for a bit and let the words and experiences from the last couple of days seep in.

To those that bought a ticket and came out yesterday, a sincere thank you.  It was wonderful to meet so many of you.  I truly hope you had a great time and took something away.  The thing Rachel, JJ and I most wanted out of this conference was fellowship and inspiration, and I think, I hope that was achieved.  God Bless, and see you in a couple of days.

p.s. Ruthanne was our amazing photographer for the event.  Thank goodness because I didn't take a single picture.  It was a pleasure to meet her and get to hang with her for a couple of days, and what do you know, she's a dang good photographer!  She already started to blog some pictures from teh weekend and you can see them here on her blog.  She'll be uploading more pics this week, and I heard she may even set up a Flikr sit for everyone to share and upload their photos!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Wedding Weekend

I can't believe that it's HERE!  9 months in the making and it's like it's wedding weekend around here.  So much excitement, a buzz in the air and I can't help but wonder if after the high of Sunday, will I feel a little blue come Monday morning.  Sort of like the day after my wedding (they say post-wedding blues is a totally legit thing for brides).  Rachel has put her heart and soul into this conference and JJ and I have been along for the ride, helping out in any way we can.  It's been fun, frustrating at times, exciting and humbling.  I can't wait to see what God has in store for us and see Him work his presence in a room full of men and women eager to share His gifts.

I'll be praying for safe flights & safe drives for all our attendees and courage if you need it.  It's going to be great.  I know some of you are nervous but God put you here for a reason and each one of you are special.  No matter how big or small your blog is, you matter and I look forward to meeting you soon.  Please come say hi.  I would love to see your smiling face in person :)

T-minus forty eight hours and counting folks!

Happy Friday, and catch you on the flip side, that is on Monday, for some recap action :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Playgrounds & Lollipops - Hit & Miss

{Vest, Shorts & Shirt - Old Navy; Flower Pin from an old hat; Necklace - Forever 21; 
Wedges - Banana Republic; Sunglasses - Anthropologie}
Old navy was good to me a couple of weeks ago.  This entire clothing ensemble was $30.  It's funny how it's tacky to brag about how much an expensive item costs, but rock bottom dollar basement prices?  Brag away with wild abandon!  Old Navy is hit and miss for me, but when I went in looking for my red pants, I found these little treasures - shorts were $5, vest $15 and shirt $10.  I've been eyeing this vest for a while now and I guess it proves to be patient.  This vest and I have some fun things planned come fall.  Watch out for me and my vest.  It may soon replace the best pants eva as my favorite thing in my closet.  :)
Linking up to WIWW and No Model Lady

Monday, September 19, 2011

Lifestyle Dressing - Do's & Dont's

{"wedding" dress/date night dress}
I've worked with a lot of women over the course of my career, but I must say that styling women for living their life was always the most enjoyable.  Of course it was fun and exciting to help a woman pick out a dress for her daughter's wedding or a black tie event, but what I always loved the most was helping a woman build or add to her wardrobe to live in.  In the industry they call it "lifestyle dressing", which means outfitting a woman for every aspect of her life from work to the weekend.

While I no longer style woman as my profession, I still get asked plenty of questions about what to wear for a special event including baby showers, family photo shoots and blog conferences like Blog Sugar.  I love it and I feel honored that someone would seek my advice at all.  All this thought that goes into preparing for a special event and my one bit advice is this; buy an outfit for your life and not for a specific special event.
  • Don't buy a dress you can only ever imagine wearing to a wedding; instead buy a dress that can transition into a date night with your husband or a very fun night out with your girlfriends
  • Don't buy a blouse that you can only ever wear to work because it's so 'formal' or 'stuffy'; instead buy a blouse with a fun print that you can imagine wearing with jeans and flats for the weekend
  • Don't buy a skirt that can't be worn with both flats and heels; instead buy a skirt that can be dressed up when the occasion arises or dressed down for something more casual
  • And don't ever, ever buy shoes that are so uncomfortable you can only wear for an hour at a time before you have to take them off.  
{work blouse, play blouse, fun blouse; the blouse that does it all}
The key is to build a wardrobe that all blends in seamlessly together so there's no "work wardrobe", "weekend wardrobe" and "dressy wardrobe".  It can all be intermixed (for the most part) and be worn for most facets of your life.  Eventually the end goal is to have a closet that breathes versatility so that you don't have to go out and shop every time you have a special event; you can instead shop your own closet.  I bring this up because while choosing my own dress to wear for Blog Sugar last week, I asked myself these very same questions.  Does this dress have longevity, will I wear it to other events besides Blog Sugar, will I wear it in my everyday life, could I wear it to run errands if I had to?  The answer was yes to all of them.  And so as they say, "done and done."  I took that baby home from Old Navy for $23 and I already wore it this past weekend.

And that my friends are my two cents worth of style advice for the day ;)  

It All Falls Into Place

 Happy Monday friends!  How was everyone's weekend?  After I got over the hump of Friday's busy day, we ended up having a great weekend.  The Meet the Masters session that I taught in Taylor's classroom went great and I had a really good time despite my nerves.  It's so funny how we forget how accepting and loving 6 year olds are as compared to adults.  Once I got into the class and started my lesson, their genuine excitement put me at ease and I had such a good time.

Another thing that fixed itself on Friday were my business cards!  I got in touch with Rachel's printer Ben and his Etsy shop DesignerAged and he had them printed that day with no extra crazy rush charges!  His printer is in LA and so I also didn't have to pay for overnight shipping.  I just love it when things work themselves out.  So instead of a sticky note, you will be receiving a real, legitimate business card from me at Blog Sugar :)  I can't wait to meet you! 

In other happy news, I'm happy to welcome Lisa Leonard Designs on as a Four Flights of Fancy sponsor!  I've always been a fan of Lisa's work and am so happy to have such a talented and stylish lady on as a sponsor.  Visit Lisa's fantastic blog here, and her beautiful shop here.  Also stay tuned for a fun giveaway from Lisa in the next couple of weeks :)
I personally love the tiny twig necklace that's new to her shop :)
Four Flights of Fancy is getting a new look come October 1st.  If you're interested in working with me or sponsoring Four Flights, please shoot me a note. 

I have so many fun posts lined up in my head but so little time to write them with Blog Sugar coming up on SUNDAY!  So I won't be around much this week, although I do have a fun outfit post planned for WIWW.  But come next week I promise to have a new recipe and a new DIY craft for you guys, and maybe a few fun recaps from Blog Sugar! 

Thanks as always for reading and for the constant support and love.  Oh, and one last thing, I am this close to finding the name for my new style blog.  I can't wait to announce it and get started.  I really can't wait!

Happy week to you all!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Thoughts of the Week - Stream of Conscious

{at least I have plenty of my cool Knock Knock sticky notes left to pass out!  Thanks for the tip Laura!}
Unless there is a miracle in the land of printing, I won't have business cards for a pretty large event that I'm helping to throw.  That is unless I want to pay eight thousand dollars for rush shipping, which I don't.  Yup, you may be getting my contact information on a sticky note for Blog Sugar.

I DO have my outfit all lined up though and scored a dress from Old Navy for $23.  Priorities you know.  ;)  It is a long maxi that is more on the casual side, but I'm quite certain that I'll be very comfortable running around in it. 

There is so much going on with the kid's schools in the last 2 weeks and next week.  I wish I could say no to stuff, but I really don't want to say no.  Our involvement only gets more and more limited in their school career the older they get, and I want to take advantage of every opportunity I can to be a part of it right now.  So I'm just trying to make it all work somehow and squeeze it in, like we all are.  Today is the school carnival at Taylor's school and I'm working 2 shifts at the cookie sale booth.  And I'm teaching her Meet the Masters class at noon.  Hopefully Monet doesn't roll over in his grave when I show them how to paint in the Impressionism genre.

I usually never go more than a day without washing my hair, but it's been 3 days now.  I've been using my Tresemme dry shampoo and I've decided I don't like it.  It is scented, and while the scent isn't bad, and under normal circumstances it would actually be quite nice, when I use it the scent just reminds me that I have dirty hair.  And that disturbs me.  A lot.

The nice thing about no longer drinking coffee is when you actually do need the caffeine lift, it works because your body is no longer just used to it.  It has been working to my advantage a lot this week.  3 cups yesterday in fact.  Today I'm drinking English Breakfast though because I can see an addiction coming back rather quickly.

I can guarantee this is the dirtiest my floors have ever been.  And I can guarantee I don't care right now.

Blog Sugar is 9 days away!  Holy smokes how did that happen?  Are you coming?  Please leave me a comment and let me know so I can make sure to say hi!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Worthwhile Escapism - Missoni for Target

The plan was to meet up at 9 am today at our local Target.  Shelly and Miranda were my co-conspirators and partners in crime.  After watching a stream of tweets way past midnight last night, I realized that 9 am may be too late.  I sent the girls a message that we may have to reevaluate the plan and meet up right at store opening.  Miranda entered at 8:04 am and I got there at 8:07.  In those 3 minutes Miranda managed to grab an armful of clothes in our size to try on and we made it to the shoe and accessories section just in the nick of time.  By the time Shelly arrived at 8:20 we were way, way too late to snag any home accessories.  We hear those were the very first to go.  After the excitement of the morning Miranda declared that she needed a nap.

All in all I scored what I loved the most, but most of these items are going back (I was pressed for time and couldn't make a decision).  As a girl that worked for St. John Knits, the second most famous knit house in the world next to Missoni, I've always had a personal fascination with the brand.  A quality knit like Missoni is truly a work of art and I spent so many hours touring the knit factories that I truly appreciate the workmanship.  No doubt the quality of this capsule line holds no comparison to a true Missoni knit, but each piece does carry the classic Missoni graphic elements which are beautiful. 

I am definitely keeping the chevron skirt and the beautiful lurex cardigan.  The skirt's fit is amazing and is the perfect length, and I can imagine wearing that cardigan for years; such a classic.  And both perfectly embody the iconic chevron pattern that is Missoni.  I think I'll take both dresses back though as they are very, very short, as well as the shoes for Taylor pictured above.  The little chevron dress is adorable for her though and she'll wear it for Thanksgiving.  I'm still undecided about the heels and the tights though.  They don't seem that soft or that comfortable.  If you're local and are interested in anything, let me know.  I'd rather a friend get these items than return them to the store for them to land up on ebay, which I think is absolutely ridiculous. 
I saw a bevy of tweets and facebook posts showing a mixture of excitement for the launch and utter dismay and even disgust over the frenzy that was made today.  Target's site crashed almost immediately at 6 am when the items launched online, and as I'm typing this, still seems to be down.  I personally loved the excitement and exhilaration that the launch caused and I genuinely thought it was fun to get so caught up in something.  We are 35 year old woman raising young children, for goodness sake, we deserve a little escape from the mundane that is motherhood for even just an hour. 
The excitement today represented to me all that can be fun about fashion.  I love that a designer collection is suddenly very attainable to the masses.  I love the appreciation for the heritage of a brand.  And I love seeing women looking for opportunities to feel beautiful, and finding it in a simple chevron graphic.  I know a lot of people think it's completely silly and even superficial to get so caught up in fashion, and perhaps it is.  But all this dismay over the importance of fashion and style and clothes and such always makes me think of one of my favorite quotes from The Devil Wears Prada.  It's when Andy scoffs at the Vogue editors agonizing over the choice of a leather belt when to her they all look the same.  Miranda looks down the frames of her Chanel lenses and says this to her:

"This... stuff'? Oh. Okay. I see. You think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select... I don't know... that lumpy blue sweater, for instance because you're trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don't know is that that sweater is not just blue, it's not turquoise. It's not lapis. It's actually cerulean. And you're also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent... wasn't it who showed cerulean military jackets? And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. And then it, uh, filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it's sort of comical how you think that you've made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you're wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff."     

So what say you?  Inconsequential silliness, or fun escapism?  How did you view today's madness, or did you even care?  And what should I do about the shoes? :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Playgrounds & Lollipops - Approachable Style

{Red Denim: Old Navy; Silk Blouse: James Perse; Wedges: Dolce Vita (got them half off via Piperlime); Leather Pouch; DIY by ME!; Necklace: Forever 21; Bracelets: J.Crew, Stella & Dot, Forever 21}
Colored pants continue to show up on every single trend report for Fall and I decided to finally get myself a pair.  When I add an "on trend" item to my wardrobe, I try not to invest a lot of money at first, but rather cautiously test the waters.  I found these at Old Navy for $34 and that price felt just right for an item that I may not still be wearing come Spring time.  The fit is good and the denim isn't too stiff.  I tried on a pair of cheap cobalt blue jeans at Forever 21 last week and they were so scratchy they felt like sandpaper.  I did size up in these though so they weren't so super tight. 

I love the vibrant red color, but chose to tone down the overall feel of the look with a simple white blouse and neutral accessories.  Many of the runway looks featuring colored pants and denim have them styled with lots of layers, color blocked or even tone on tone color, which is a lot of look for the average woman to carry off.  If there is a runway look that inspires you, like colored jeans did for me, don't be afraid to "dumb it down" a bit and just keep it simple.  This way the single trend piece really stands out and instead of looking like a walking trend report billboard, you simply feature a trend.  That is the part of styling I love the most; taking a trend and interpreting it in my own way to make it more approachable.  Approachable Style, now that's a style blog name I could live with..

Colored Pants | Everybody, Everywear
also linking up with Lindsey for WIWW  & No Model Lady


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