Saturday, March 31, 2012

#photoadayApril

Yes!  A new month, a new challenge!

This challenge is brought to you by Fat Mum Slim.  This is a site I've been following since I started blogging, I think of her as a bit of a blogging "den mother", as she writes interesting posts about blogging tips and her personal blogging lessons.

So, the challenge:

by Fat Mum Slim.


Outfit posts are mostly what I've been doing on this blog, so I'm very excited, and ready, for a little variety.  I am not very good with my camera and I hope this can be the month that I learn a few things about taking pictures.

Now, I'm wondering how to approach this from a blogging point of view.  Do I post the photo entry on its day or do I take the photo on that day?  I often write 3-4 posts in a night once or twice a week and publish them as the week goes on.  Since tomorrow is Sunday, maybe I should go on a photo binge and knock off a bunch of items on the list.  I think I'll aim for posting the photo on its assigned day.  Don't hold me to that!

My only hang up with the list is that April 30th is a very special day - our first anniversary!  Big day! And the prompt is "something that makes you sad".  I hope April 30th is anything but sad!  I already know that it's a Monday and I have to work and go to orchestra rehearsal, so I won't be spending too much time with my groom.  I guess that's a little sad!  We'll have to celebrate the weekend before.

I hope you check back for the Photo a Day April Challenge!




Friday, March 30, 2012

Where Did I Leave My Pants?

As I post more and more outfits without pants, I'm running out of good subject lines...

More dresses are coming out of the closet, which means I'm remembering some pieces that I haven't worn in a while:


I love my little Gucci tie-up shoes, and was overall really happy with this simple look.  This dress has a ruffle down the front that's a bit hard to see here.  Styling a LBD is always pretty fun, yes?

I've got a dinner and a show date tonight with my husband.  We are going to Spamalot.  I'm pretty excited and I think I'll 'dress up'!

Happy Friday everyone!



Thursday, March 29, 2012

Denim Skirt Pouches

I haven't worn jeans in weeks, and it's really feeling like a challenge.  I guess that's the point.
I do have a variety of denim skirts; a few are too tight and a few are too bunchy.  


Here are three different skirts I've worn during this challenge:



Notice anything?  I've circled it for you here:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

More No Pants

Is there an end to this challenge?

Here's Monday and Tuesday from last week:


The above skirt is a actually tank dress, jersey material.  I love the keyhole in the neckline and the pattern is pretty classic and very comfy.  I don't know if I would wear it to work with out a cardigan.






The pastel skirt came out in an attempt to participate in IPB's Pair Your Pastels Challenge, but I didn't get a chance to put the post together until today.  But!  It was still a success because I haven't worn this great skirt in over a year.  I was 'pairing' pinks and blues, but also pairing some patterns: the tank is striped the necklace is wavy and the belt is flowery. This pastel look kinda stands out in my wardrobe line up... something I wouldn't have noticed if I wasn't blogging and documenting all these outfits.

Do you wear pastels?




Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Jumpy

I've been taking these pics outside lately, and only just recovered the nerve to do some outside jumping pics... I get shy sometimes.




C'mon!  Look at that upside down smile! That shot made me laugh, so I had to post it.  I hope you giggled, too!




And, here's a nicer pic just for kicks.  I feel a little square-shaped in this outfit.  Maybe the shirt's hem is a little long?  Or maybe I needed a thicker belt because I don't think this skinny belt is defining a waist line for me. Well, I don't have much of a waistline anyway, that's why the belts usually add something to the look. 

In conclusion, I need to re-evaluate this shirt - it could be the ruffle line.  It also could be that's a little big - I had a bunch of pictures where my bra straps were hanging out. Maybe it should always live under a blazer or cardigan.  Or maybe it jut gets donated.

Do you ever re-evaluate clothes after seeing them in pictures?







Monday, March 26, 2012

I'm Still Not Wearing Pants ~ Weekend Wear

Weekends are the hardest time for me with this No-Pants Challenge. I've been craving jeans, almost like craving chocolate. Weird, right? I guess there's less calories in jeans...

The weather has been great and I've been taking lots of walks. in skirts. This particular Sunday had only walks and chores and 'nothing-time' scheduled and this is what I wore:


Hoodie, t-shirt, cargo skirt, leggins and VIBRAMS. I love my 5-fingers! I could go on and on about my feet and their issues... but nah - no one's really wants to hear me whine. Natural is better for lots of things - including walking and running.

Does your casual look vary from your everyday or every work day look? I like when I can be more casual, yet still feel like everything fits well + the colors go together + I'm comfy. I also strive to look at least a little cute when I'm casual - don't you? If I feel frumpy, I just don't get as much stuff done - I'm sure of it!!!!





Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hairy Boots

The awesome weather has been great for this "No Pants" challenge - I'm wearing dresses, bare legs and flats, as opposed to a few weeks ago where I was wearing tights and boots and legwarmers.  I have to admit that I do miss my boots a litte - they deserve a little more wear before "real" spring shows up.

Sadly, I probably wont get a chance to wear these warm gems:


Would you wear these boots by Bearpaw?


No answer here...

Do you match your outfit to the holiday - any holiday?  Last month I read an article over at OffBeat Home about culture jamming:
 
Culture jamming, coined in 1984, denotes a tactic used by many anti-consumerist social movements to disrupt or subvert mainstream cultural institutions, including corporate advertising. 

My take is that sometimes you really don't want to be that girl wearing all the pink and red on Valentine's Day, because it's just reinforcing all these gross stereo types about being romantic and lovey-dovey and buying a bunch of crap you don't want just because it's Feb 14.  Sometimes, you'd rather have a romantic dinner at home, with a home-made card and extra special love because you love the one you're with.  NOT because it's a cold day in winter where everyone else is trying to be romantic just because of the date.  I also think it sucks when people feel bad being single on Feb 14.  I don't think anyone should force a romantic "agenda" around a holiday.  

I wore this on Feb 14, 2012. The pinkest part is my hair. I love my husband everyday, no matter which saint is honored that day. 

But, that statement above is pretty jaded for some reason, right? I shouldn't judge those that get googly-eyed and romantic on a certain date - there's nothing wrong with being in love and showing it and sharing it with someone. This is where the controversy lies with me.  What a great holiday, really!  Let's all be more loving and giving and caring and happy as a matter of calendar.  But, let's also remember to be more loving and giving and caring as a matter of everyday life, too. Any day of any month, right?

So, on to another Saint's day.  St. Patty's.  According to my family history I am "half-Irish", although my parents were born and raised in Minnesota, as I was born and raised there, too.  My family does some drinkin', and potato eatin' and some Catholic prayin' and other types of Irish doin'.  But, don't lots of people from lots of European areas do those things?  And lots of places outside of Europe?  So why has March 17th become a bit of a gross drinking holiday? 

I just don't know the proper way to sum up my holiday hang ups, as I love holidays:  I've always looked forward to holidays (which is part of the love for anything - the anticipation).  I love a good social gathering, either with friends or family or complete strangers.  Celebrating is a long standing tradition for mankind, yes?  Maybe even something worth cherishing and nurturing for future generations. So, what does it mean when I wear pink on St. Patrick's day? I wish I had a better answer other than I wanted to stand out, or that I wanted to show that I can still celebrate without compromising my outfit - which is BS because I have plenty of green that I love to wear. Hmmmm.

You should wear green on St. Patty's and red on Valentine's if you want!  I probably won't.  I need to take a lot more time than this one post to figure out why - as I've already rewritten the paragraph 10 times trying to come up with a solid reason as to WHY I won't wear green on St. Patty's.  Everything I've written and edited out were just lame and judgmental and not my intent.  Therefore, I'm gonna sleep on this one.  I'll get back to you with a better explanation by July 4.  

For some reason, I wore this pink dress with a pink sweater on St. Patty's:



This was at the beginning of that beautiful string of sunny days we had last week.  I loved the orange + pink combo. Plus, nothing could go wrong on a 70+ degree March Saturday, right? I had plans that took me far away from any Irish bar, or any bar in general.  Instead I attended an amazing house party and then a high school production of Guy and Dolls. It was a very successful St. Patrick's day, indeed!

Cheers!







Friday, March 23, 2012

Let the Games Begin!

Ooooh Ooooh!  I'm going to see the Hunger Games tonight!  If I had a tail it would be waggin!

These pics are from last Friday.  I started with this dress and cardigan:


This felt a little shabby or maybe even frumpy.  I work half day Fridays (all year - whooo!) and had an afternoon hair appointment.  For me, the hair salon is a place that I would hate to go to feeling dumpy. I mean - so many mirrors and cute girls - I don't want to feel self-conscious when I'm there to pamper myself. This outfit made me feel uncomfortable all day.  But!  At least it still had something going on, unlike this.

I snapped the work outfit pics and then changed clothes.  I'm obviously more excited about this outfit!




I'm still wearing the booties and socks, tights and a dress - it's still covered by a sweater and belted. But, it seems to work a little better.  Shorter hemline, maybe?  Better colors perhaps?  Anyway, I got my hairs trimmed up, most noticeably the bangs:



I'm still deciding what to do with the color.  I kind of like how it's faded.  I'll go back in when my bangs need another trim and hot pink it up again. After that, though?  I might have to do yellow or white ends for summer!

Summer!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Out-of-Doors

These here are my first outfit pics taken outside!  Still wondering if my neighbors think I'm strange... but it doesn't matter because the light - the light! - is so worth it.

The weather was still breaking, so I was still able to pull out all the winter tricks for this outfit - scarf, boots and tall socks:



There's a little pattern mixing going on with the scarf and cardigan.  My browns were all different, too. This is something that would have bugged me in the past.  I guess I'm over it.  Whoo!  Freedom from caring about mis-matched neutrals!

What do you think about mixing up your brown hues?



Tuesday, March 20, 2012

No Pants Lent - Footless Tights Time!

Once I got back from SF, the weather in Buffalo became just dreamy, much like the rest of the country. This is where the No Pants Lent Challenge gets fun.  I can go from leggings and warm tights to the footless variety.  Exposed ankles!  Whee!

Here are a couple of casual days from last week:

Jetlag day.  I didn't leave the house except to take a walk.

Short sweaters are tough for me.  But I thought it worked well with the wide-banded skirt.


Things just get warmer from here! Coming soon - outdoor pics! Natural light! And blindingly bare legs! I can't wait to share 'em!


Fantastic Beauty in Books and Film

A friend sent me this beautiful story a few weeks ago and I just had to share.  I guess it won an Academy for Best Animated Short Film!  Have you seen it?

Enjoy a sweet 15 minutes of your day here with the Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore:




That's all!


Monday, March 19, 2012

Squee! Shopping! in San Francisco!

On the second day of the convention, I chose to take a long lunch break at the SF MOMA.  Museum,  Modern Art and San Francisco - what a dream combo!  I was thoroughly impressed and I can't wait to go back again.  The first thing you see is an amazing installation by Jim Campbell, called Exploded Views.  The installation is a cluster of stringed lights, programmed to recreate a video that has been "pixalized" to work with the lights.  It took a while of staring before the images started to come together.  This video was taken from the second floor, where the scene is much more clear, although my iphone didn't quite do it justice!  Still cool (and my first video upload!!)




There was also a great collection by Mark Bradford.  I had joined a museum tour, so I got to hear a lot of history and info about this great LA artist.  If you have a chance to check out his work, you should!  Very inspiring!

Enough about the art already! - my favorite thing about Museums is the gift shop. Always so great!  I always buy jewelry when visiting a museum.  There is always a huge range of whimsical to fancy jewelry, in all price ranges.  Plus, its usually pretty unique.

I bought these bracelets and this ring:

Neat MOMA finds!  Look! It's springy!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Did You Watch Fashion Star?

I have been watching Project Runway since the beginning, when Heidi's English was still pretty spotty and often re-recorded.  She's adorable, so it's ok.  I'm currently watching the "All-Stars" season and it's not the same without Tim, Heidi and Michael.  I almost miss Nina.  Almost.  Go Austin or Mondo!!!

So, there's been all this buzz around the new "Fashion Star" show and I've been curious.  I don't subscribe to cable and I only get a little fuzzy PBS or snowy FOX with the digital bunny ears.  I had to actually seek this show out and watch in on Hulu.


via NBC


Fashion Star is a little disgusting, kinda like Super PACs and political campaigns in general.  It's just a giant billboard.  I really wanted to like it, and of course I wanted it to be like Project Runway.  It's not.  It's more of a cross between American Idol and No Deal, Howie!  With a little bit of the prime-time Millionaire drama thrown in. I'm embarrassed that I even watched it.  It is one giant commercial (what isn't?) and my love affair with H&M has lost its spark.

I was going to summarize it, but it's not worth giving these companies any more advertising than they got on that show.  Project Runway gets pretty annoying with their product placement, but at least there is still a story and some real ART to follow, in my opinion.  I had a similar revelation when I used to watch Biggest Loser - there were real people with real stories working hard, but the product placement got to be so annoying, and so wrong in the light of real health and fitness.  But, health is different than fashion, yes?

Back to Fashion Star - before every commercial they would say, "Go now and buy this dress at thisstore dot com now!!"  And then they would cut away to the traditional commercials.  Yuck and no thanks!

Deep breath.  Sorry for the rant and thanks for letting me get that out.  It's probably a good thing I don't watch more tv - because I'd probably just complain more about what's on tv.




Friday, March 16, 2012

Dud Wrestling

I always try to put my best foot forward, who doesn’t?  This is especially true in the daily outfit blogging world, where the blogger can write and edit however she wants.  But, I think that days like this are also important to share and document. 

Look at this horrible outfit!  I felt frumpy and disproportionate and bland and overall uncomfortable all day. And this happened just after my return from San Fran where I claimed to be all brave and inspired.  I'm a little ashamed. Ugh.  



I started the day with an opaque pair of green tights.  There was a huge hole in the rump and of course it ran down the back of my leg first thing at work.  Since I had been travelling while wearing tights (no pants Lent!), I still had a spare pair in my purse.  Side note: do you travel with spare underwear in your purse?

I changed in the bathroom and threw out the green tights right there. Sad. But, I think the outfit was still subpar even if the tights had been green all day.

Then there's my dilemma with the booties. I wore an old pair that I haven't worn in a while.  From my angle (looking down at my legs and shoes while walking) I think they look clunky and out of place. But, I think they look good on other gals.

So, I could claim that I was jet-lagged and still unpacked. Truth! But, sometimes I'm gonna be uncomfortable and bland.  I just wish that when I "miss", it is because I was over-reaching into the other side of the spectrum - too loud!  too mis-matched!  too many ideas!

At least my green tights weren't running down the back of leg, with my pale thigh flesh smooshing out of it all day!  Yep, work, you're welcome.

How's that for a visual??





Thursday, March 15, 2012

No Pants Challenge ~ Travel Edition (Week 3)

Do you love or hate to pack for a trip?  Over the last few years I've been forcing myself to try on outfits before I pack them.  This way I don't overpack (in theory) and I won't forget an important element to an outfit - like a nude bra or the right size belt (in theory).

Prepping a suitcase like this takes time, but I'm learning that it's worth it.  I hate not having just the right thing to wear for any event, activity or weather - even when I'm not traveling.  But, traveling often means long car rides or plane trips and lots of walking or waiting around.  So, comfort is key.  But, traveling can also mean you'll be in lots of pictures and seeing friends you haven't seen in ages.  For me, these incentives make me want to look my best, and leave a good impression, both digitally and organically.

So! As I packed for last week's trip, I tried on all my outfits and took pictures.  I was trying to create more outfits with less clothes, intending to re-wear most items. To my delight this was super effective for me!  I could scroll through my pics while in the hotel room to pick out an outfit, rather than rummaging through the bag trying to remember what I planned to wear.  My suitcase was lighter than usual, too (it zipped up on the first try!)

Wanna see?  I fooled around in PhotoShop to lay it all out nice for ya!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fashion Far From Home

Last week's trip to San Francisco started out as a work trip, but the highlights were the fun, the friends and the much needed pick-me-up.  I love cities.  I love the bustle, the youthfulness, the art and even the grime.  But this trip to San Francisco really hit me with how revitalized I was with the everyday fashion on the streets - so unique! so personal! so fun! so what I want to be a part of! 

Since before I started blogging, I've looked to the real folk I see everyday for fashion ideas. However, in Buffalo, the everyday people on the street are often covered with functional and necessary warm layers so there are only a few months of the year that I get a real taste for what the unique fashionistas of Buffalo are wearing! I try to frequent the hair salon, the local bookstore, the co-op, the coffee shops and the restaurants to gather the local modish stimuli, considering that what I witness at the office is mostly just drab and depressing "suburban cubicle" fashion. (I think I just made up a new non-fashion term, but we don't need another phrase to describe dishwater fashion.  um, I just made that up, too).


I'm looking for all your quaint and marvelous outfits, SF!
Now that I'm home, fully inspired and stocked up on some good urban thrift finds, I hope I can feel a little more bold and brave in my style.  I'm inspired to wear more jewelry and belts and scarves and make-up!  I plan to take a few more risks and see if I can come up with some fun stuff.  When I feel like I'm presenting myself as unique and creative, I feel like I actually am more interesting and confident.  


Nothing wrong with that, right?   









Monday, March 12, 2012

Home is...

So I'm back in Buffalo.  What a trip!  I feel really lucky to have such great friends in California.  I also feel lucky that a place like San Francisco even exists, and I hope to call it home someday.

I plan to sum up my trip over a couple of different posts this week about shopping, fashion (and packing), and city life fun stuff.  

But today I'm feeling really happy to be home.  Buffalo is not my home, there were no fuzzy feelings as the plane descended into the area (but I was also flying red-eye, so the feelings were all sleepy).  Chicago is no longer my home, although, I didn't think it would ever grow out of me.  And my childhood home in Minnesota isn't home anymore, either. 


Home is where I'm with Adam.  He snuck up from behind for a hug while I was waiting for my luggage and I knew I was home.  *Warm fuzzies* I love this guy:


Adam's current "warm fuzzy"!  It's Mustache March, y'all!


I'm very happy to be home!











Saturday, March 10, 2012

West Coasting

I've been bummin' around San Francisco for the last few days, and I've fallen in love all over again.
It's March and I haven't warn socks since Tuesday!


The sky looks gray but it's not.  I'm just bad at cameras.

I could get used to this sunshine. And the youthfulness of the city is also inviting.

I think a cross country move sounds exciting!  Now, how do I make it happen?



Sunday, March 4, 2012

No Pants Challenge ~ Week 2

Happy March 4th!  The only day of the year that is also a military command. I will never forget that today is my long-lost friend Dave's birthday because of that little (non)fact.

The challenge is no pants for Lent.  I gotta say that no pants is just a good time!  I don't miss my jeans at all. Read below for the skirty round-up of week 2!  Also exciting this week - I'm starting to wear shoes again...

My grays in this outfit matched much better when I was getting dressed.  I love yellow and gray together.





Crazy eyes here is trying to show off the necklace.  I didn't have much to work with so these pics are pretty rotten, sorry.  Blue skirt, shoes and tights, mint sweater and necklace and collared shirt and an orange belt for good luck:







The work-version of this Friday outfit showcased my leopard flats with my bright yellow ring and DIY zipper bracelets.  For evening I changed into my buckled, tough girl boots:





I barely left the house on Saturday, and when I took a quick, cold and windy walk, I cheated and wore jeans. Don't tell anyone!  Otherwise, I color-blocked for a cozy indoor Saturday outfit, with sneakers:





I had an early start on Sunday for quartet rehearsal followed by a fancy afternoon brunch.  A couple 2-3 mimosas later I was on the couch for a cat nap.  I wore all black with a lacy gray shirt, big white earrings and pigtails. It was snowing so I wore my booties and leg warmers.  Oh, and I accidentally accessorized with a bunch of cat hair - which always happens when I wear all black.  Where is that lint roller?




I hope you had a nice weekend!  Remember that every passing weekend gets us closer to Spring!



Friday, March 2, 2012

Mind Full of Springtime

I've read a couple of articles lately about mindful eating. My short-answer takeaway is to slow down to give yourself the time to really taste and appreciate what you put in your body. And in turn you slow down the chatter in your head to leave space to make better eating decisions. This makes tons of sense on so many levels, but I haven't practiced it yet (and I've been mulling over this topic for over a couple of weeks already...)

personal photo (clouds are much prettier than a pic of someone eating. mindfully or not!)

Slowing down has been theme that has been hitting hard for me lately.  My extra-curricular activities have filled up most of my evenings.  I enjoy and find benefit in all of the ensembles and classes I'm taking. And I don't want to slow down; I don't want to cut back on practicing or exercising or socializing, either.  I want to find a way to do all these things, and handle the stress at the same time.

When I have some down time, I'm usually thinking about my next meal or house chores or my next blog post or when I can go back to bed.  Maybe if the word "mindful" came before every activity, I would make better decisions in everything and in turn free up more time?  Can these things be done more mindfully, with any benefit?

mindful coffee-making
mindful internet browsing
mindful vacuuming or sweeping
mindful laundry or doing the dishes
mindful exercising
mindful driving
mindful practicing
mindful showering

These all sound so productive and satisfying, right? These kinds of meta-topics never have any conclusive, all-encompassing answers (for good reason). So - there's got to be an argument for non-mindfulness? Maybe being mindful all the time is just as exhausting as going from one activity to the next, even if you don't come up for air in between?  Can I schedule in some "mindful" non-mindful time?  Is that called sleep?  or fun?  or creativity? or everything in-between?





Both these pics were taken in the Allegheny Forest during summer camping weekends.  I ache for these weekends.  Maybe all I'm missing is the sunshine and the weekends away from the routine and city and the electronics and the media and the ____.  Cabin Fever?

Who's ready for spring????