Friday, April 30, 2010

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wt Back To It - Week Five!

Week 5 is all about shoes and purses, and you may as well throw in socks, belts, briefcases, hats, and other accessories used to finish an outfit except scarves and jewelry, which are handled separately. Include umbrellas, too. I already know I don't have one. I live in Arizona. When it rains, we all stand outside like turkeys, looking up at the sky with our mouths open.

Your mission:
1. Pile!

Les shoes. The closet rack gets less-used shoes, hence the work boots on the far left and the heels in the middle. The flat sandals on the bottom will move to the rack by the door and get tons of action as soon as IT STOPS SNOWING AGAIN (it's supposed to be in the 70s next week).
The one by the door gets the everyday beater shoes (some of which are looking excessively beat at the moment but polish up just fine).
Both racks are from Tarjay and work excellently well except my tallest shoes have to go on top. Which works for me at this point as I don't have a huge amount of tall shoes nor do I expect to anytime soon.

This is mostly all the purses, the little navy square one is going to go, and I have a black leather equivalent of it that didn't make it into the picture but is ok for dressy occasions. The big green one on the left is the best tote ever but it is going on 6 years old now if I recall correctly and the strap is starting to fray irretrievably. The red one with the black fringe I bought purely for the awesome Hungarian embroidery and am afraid to use. It might get hung on the wall. The gray tote at the back is actually made of wool and is a really nice Lotta Jansdotter bag I got for a birthday a while back. It's my dressy tote (ha) and I wish I could find another one like it. The green one at the very back is my only other leather bag and it only stays because it is green and dressy. If I had a dressy green fabric bag that one would be GONE. The orange Timbuk2 bag at the back right is very useful for work and travel so that is the one sporty bag that stays. The tiny yellow one at the front is my lone brand-name bag. It is a Coach from the outlet in Vegasbought specifically for its tiny yellowness. At a concert where I have to dress up, it holds ID, cash and my phone and can (and usually does) get stuffed in the back pocked of my jeans if I want to dance. Unfortunately the little wrist strap doesn't stay on so I might have to figure out how to fix that. Big orange tote with birds is from Etsy and I finally shortened the strap so this will see a lot more use. And the long red clutch in the middle is also from Etsy and if I can get another one of these in green that green leather bag can GO.

2. Style. Refer to your Style Statement. Are your shoes, purses, etc. supporting your fundamental style? If not, how not?
Not too worried here, I'd like one more decent pair of dressy flats as my style doesn't support wearing heels out regularly when dressing up. This will be less of an issue during sandal season. But mostly I am so picky about shoes that I love what I have. Except the pairs that somebody is supposed to be selling on eBay for me right now. Who seems to suck at that. I think I need to go get them back and start an eBay account.

Purse-wise I need to just accept the fact that I am not going to carry leather bags on a regular basis, no matter how cute they are. I can deal with them for dressing up, but everyday bags need to be fabric and not heavy. Preferably also bright colors and lots of pockets. Dressy bags that are not leather can also jump in my closet. The exceptions are anything made by Hobo International, over which I will continue to drool and debate saving up for.
3. Fixies. Time to heal worn-down heels!
I have actually just dumped out all my wool socks so I can see who matches and who needs fixing and who needs replacing (Smartwools always get about two rounds of darning before actual disposal, they are worth the trouble as they last forever that way and they are not cheap to begin with). I also need some normal socks (as in, white crew socks for under sneakers etc.) which can be obtained at Tarjay or the like.

Shoes have been recently maintained as a lot of them just got dragged out for the nice weather (and of course now it's supposed to snow tomorrow). I also invested in an oil sponge for the sadder looking leather sandals and it has perked them up to no end, I highly recommend one if your hard-to-polish items (I'm looking at you, strappy sandals) are looking wimpy. I am still looking for some decent insoles and heel pads for some of the dress shoes. Spencos are great for walking shoes but they are a little too thick for dress shoes.

4. Organize. See to it that these accessories are tidy and accessible in their own space.
Tarjay has hooked me up in the shoe rack department. This also makes them look vaguely respectable. And a useful basket has been repurposed to help corral my small dressy purses until I find a better system.

5. Clean out your purse.
I switch bags regularly enough that the most I stack up is two or three lip glosses. And two or three Chapsticks. Per pocket. Which reminds me - not pictured bags are the two I made. One is in the laundry and the other is full of stuff. Both are batik prints in dark colors with light-colored lining so you can find things inside them. And interior and exterior pockets for phone and Chapstick collection.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Opinion Time Again!

So I have a lonely little corner that needs a lamp. Not a big statement lamp, as I am looking in the 18" tall range, but something that still stands out a bit. I like modern and color and reasonable prices. So here the options I have found so far.

Cute, but a hair on the small side. Love the color.

This is the perfect height, but is it too skinny? I am torn between the dark green with the b/w mum pattern or the cream with the r/w mum pattern. Also the resin base seems weird to me. I love me some nice ceramic. But so cute! Aah!

Maybe simple really is better? This comes in green with the nice white linen shade. Resin base is still weirding me out though. Also, I have never paid real money for a table lamp before. Most of the ones we have are either $5 from Ikea or Tarjay, or handmade by my dad. Can these compete?

And finally, in the shock and awe category:

I love these. They are gorgeous and very much not in the price range I am comfortable investing in. I know quality is worth paying for and I am sure they are beautifully made and one-of-a-kind. I will also happily buy the smallest piece of art my favorite artist makes just to have something to love. Maybe it's because they're functional, maybe it's because they're something like four times more than I have ever paid for art that I really love. But sadly, these are off the table. Or bookshelf, in this case.

Are there any other sources I should be checking? I prefer to get this stuff online because this town is very spread out so hunting stuff down in stores (mostly big-box stores) takes an entire afternoon. The top lamps are perfectly reasonable investment-level for me and I plan on having them for a very long time so I don't feel the need to go over-the-top with something like the last one, as much as I would rather support an independent artist.

Edited to add:

Here is the corner with its current lamp. I like the height but this lamp is going to a different room. Would a printed shade fight with the picture?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Monday Blogger Paper Doll Challenge: Cookbook

Cookbook is the originator of the Dress-A-Friend Monday Blogger paper dolls so this one is for her. She describes her style as Quirky Conservative and I got to dress her for the Kentucky Derby.

1. Hats! I know this isn't hugely fancy but I love the color.
2. Pattern and black and white both seem to show up a lot in her sets.
3. Bracelets! I thought a necklace and/or earrings would fight with the hat so I tried a bracelet instead.
4. How awesome is that bag? SO awesome.

5. The Infield is apparently the casual/party area. So still with the hat, but not so fancy.
6. Flats for when one gets tipsy/tippy.
7. More streamlined shapes but still with some pattern and blocks of color.
8. How do we feel about white pants? I like them in theory. Also for other people. And blogger paper dolls ;)

So how did I do?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Funk.

I hate that the screenshot gives away the best caption. And yes, the grammatical errors bug me too. Song's still funky, though.

And a bonus video. Happy Friday everyone, and I promise a real post tomorrow.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Back To The List (#2, Actually, Also Technically Week 4 Of WT)

2. Get one of those free makeovers at the makeup counter

I took off yesterday afternoon to get new glasses. And when you're waiting for "about an hour" until your new glasses are done, do you know what else you have time for? A makeup lesson! The Clinique counter had someone relatively unintimidating behind it so I went over and explained "These are the products I have, I would like to know how to use them better to get a decent evening look". I ended up with one new liner, one new shadow and a much better brush. And a solid hour of discussion and experimenting.

Thus far it has been determined: my current base coat is good and I will keep using it (it is the more gray one). I also might look for a taupe-y version of said base coat. My current shadow/liner combo is low-sparkle shades of green and is a nice low-key look over previously mentioned base coat. My new shadow/liner combo is a smoky gray-violet and is a nicer evening out kind of look (also works with aforementioned base coat). I also learned about putting the little wing on the outside of my eye with liner and doing the accent color in the crease instead of just covering my whole lid with shadow (although the whole lid still gets covered with base coat). I don't know if any of that made sense but I'd read about this stuff in magazines and it makes much more sense when somebody is demonstrating it on your very own face.

And I officially don't like highlighter, be it on my brow bones or in the inner corner of my eye (to make my eyes "pop"). I don't think it brightens so much as makes me look greasy. And this was true of more than one product so I am pretty committed on this one.

P.S. I am such a Clinique fan I have to plug them - if you buy from their website they send you all sorts of deals for free samples and I have found out some great products that way. Also, free shipping! And I have annoyingly sensitive skin and their makeup is relatively non-irritating and doesn't seem to make me break out. Neutrogena is my other current go-to but sometimes it is just easier to have somebody walk you through the process and you don't get that so much at the drugstore. She didn't walk me through a whole-face application but I'm sure she would have if I had had more time. Still, it was really helpful and I am very glad I went.

P.P.S. Do you know how hard it is to find a decent pair of black-framed glasses? There is apparently a very fine line between "sexy librarian" and "dirty hipster who wears his girlfriend's jeans".

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How I Did (semi-WT)

So I made it back from Vegas in one piece, and am debating a full post about it. Until I decide, let me just say packing-wise I did pretty well, so thanks for the advice, everyone! The only things I didn't end up using (laughably) were the damn hiking boots and yoga mat/clothes, as we hardly left the hotel and didn't need my gear for yoga at the hotel. So leaving them out would have made it about 68% easier to pack but oh well.

All articles of cute, summery and dressy clothing did get worn except one (spare dressy skirt = overkill) and the only think I wish I had had was more fun jewelry (I went light there and regretted it in retrospect) as it makes it more fun to dress up similar outfits differently. I brought mid-sized stuff and now wish I had gone all out.

So thanks again for the tips, everybody! I love packing for a trip because it means I can just bring all my very favorite stuff and forget about the other 80% of my wardrobe. I would say this was a good strategy for figuring out what to cull in my wardrobe in general but I think it's really more that there are just certain things that I should buy three at a time. For example, everything I packed.

Monday, April 19, 2010

WT Dress-A-Friend Monday!

Today it was my turn to dress Esti, and while I may have imposed some of my own color adoration upon her, hopefully she'll still enjoy some of my rainy day choices...

I tried not to go too nuts with the color on this one, I like the navy and gray together and I think the pink and floral make a great combo of edgy and girly.

I may have gone overboard with the color on this one but I love the girly/edgy combo of the studded trench with the yellow accents and the (waterproof!) bow flats. And those are nude fishnets! I hope you like it Esti!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Packing It In...

And heading out!

This actually all fits in my suitcase! The little red bag and the little green bag hold tightly rolled tops and unmentionables, I've got a pair of jeans in case it's actually cold and a couple of cardigans since everywhere is heavily air-conditioned. The skirts can be day or evening and so can the sandals (the flat ones are nice and shiny). And everything fits in with room for my camera and toiletry bag. And a swimsuit, of course! There is even an outer pocket that perfectly fits a book/magazine, and one that fits my baggie of liquids for easy removal for going through security. All I have left to toss in is my little dress-up bag and some jewelry.

I am not bringing real hiking boots but am wearing my walking shoes and hiking clothing on the plane. As long as I can get them to let me have my yoga mat loose then I am fine. Otherwise I am thinking about sticking a canvas bag in my purse so if they give me any guff I can whip it out and shove both purse and yoga mat in there. I'm hoping they won't care. Wish me luck!

I have never been to a Cirque du Soleil show, I'm really excited! We're staying here and it looks so nice! I will give a proper update after my little Vegas adventure, I just had to post because I am all hyper. Pardon the exclamation points!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wt Week 4...ish?

1. Consider. If your best or worst features on the questionnaire involved face, hands, hair, or feet, you're ahead of the game. Identify what among these features you want to draw attention to, which you'd like to draw attention away from, and which you'd prefer to just manage quietly with the least fuss.

Fond features were hair and lips. Since I just cleaned out my makeup and did some investing, I’m not too worried about the lips (also I am possibly a lip product hoarder). Most of it is just managing for day-to-day without the aforementioned fuss. I'd like to learn how to do better makeup (I actually had "get a makeup lesson" on my To Do list already) for when I do wear it in any noticeable quantity (usually just for evenings out).

Hair I have no idea what to do with, I am considering some highlights (are they highlights if they’re red? Maybe they’re accent streaks). I never learned to “do” my hair so there is no curling or straightening or product use for the most part. I have some de-frizzing/volumizing stuff that I use every once in a while but it doesn’t seem to do much. I miss being a redhead, and while that is high-maintenance and expensive, my local salon has a deal on x number of streaks for y$ and I am thinking of getting some low-contrast bits of auburn going on.

2. Dump. Go through your make-up, hair products, lotions, perfumes, and other prettifying items, dumping the stuff that's expired, icky, used-up, or never to be used again. Make a list of what you want to replace.

Dumping has occurred. Old eye makeup is gone, that was one of the main targets of the cleanout and has been replaced by a couple of starter products. One greeny-brown liner without too much shimmer and one olive green (“martini”) shadow with NO sparkle. I do not like sparkly eyes, I always feel like I look sweaty when I have shimmer of any kind on. Also my eyes are very irritable so I am testing a product or two at a time. Anyone have shadow tips or links to good basic ones? Also, for how much I use it, I am probably due for a new bottle of foundation-type stuff. I cleaned everything else out pretty recently but that stuff lasts forever as I only use it to even out blotchy bits and I am thinking I might like something lighter. Right now I use Clinique's Superbalanced something or other and it isn't bad. I don't use it often enough to definitively love or hate it. Any recommendations for sensitive skin on which makeup rarely lasts?

3. Evaluate. Consider your current I Feel Pretty routine. Does it call for tweaks? If you're low-maintenance like me, you will not want to commit to anything involving a blow-dryer, a round brush, hot rollers, and more than one variety of product-to-hold-hair-in-place. However, there are often little things we know darned well we should do, as they give big pay-offs.

I’m at a loss here. I think I need to go get the lady who cuts my hair to give me a lesson in how to actually style it. My hippie paraben-free shampoo and conditioner work fine but I'd like to find a defrizzer that doesn't make my hair look oily or dirty. I do a glossing treatment every couple of months (when I remember, which means I am probably due for one again soon). I feel like there are habits I should work on building, but I don’t know what they are. Maybe deep conditioning.

4. Fantasize. Take a look at the era you chose as a favorite for clothing. Does it provide any insights into directions for hair and make-up?

Not really. I like minimal makeup, just tidy-looking with a bold lip for dress-up as a general rule. Also, most going-out makeup usually rubs off by the end of the night. This problem is being addressed but is a work in progress.

5. Google (or Go Shopping for fashion magazines). Given your goals for enhancing and dehancing, track down the products most likely to do the job.

Ideally this would involve finding what looks good with medium-fair skin and greenish eyes. So far I’ve heard match your eye color and contrast your eye color, so in the past I have bought green or purple. Right now I have some greeny ones and some silvery ones and beyond that I don’t really touch the rest (probably because they are too sparkly). I’m tempted to hunt down some matte browns and tans because they seem to work on anybody. But what are the odds of me using them? Slim.

6. Hunt and habit-form. Buy what you need and start on any improved I Feel Pretty routines.

Soon. I promise. Skin and hair care habits have been formed successfully. I just need to work on the full-scale prettification habits. And spell check was fine with “prettification”. Go figure.

And a gratuitous Polyvore:

I love her styling in this movie, it's very realistic and doable but she always looks good. Movie was kind of blah, though. Also a smattering of the stuff I go back to/ could find pictures of. Apparently I am a closet Clinique loyalist. But it doesn't irritate my eyes or make me break out, and I use it up so slowly it's not an unreasonable investment, so I am sticking with it!

Monday, April 12, 2010

For Mella (WT)

I got to outfit Mella in our round-robin blogger paper doll project. So here we go:

1. I think black and tan look great together.
2. She likes knit tops and more structured bottoms.
3. Purple!
4. Classic shapes + interest through accessories.
5. I like to think that the purples in the top and bag don't fight, but that might be my monitor.

1. I am on a purple kick today.
2. I went with subdued colors (other than the purple) with a little more interest brought in with pattern and texture (and buttons!).
3. Again with the structured bottoms and interesting accessories. Hopefully the skirt isn't too pencil-y.
4. Scarf!

So those are my outfits for Mella's Sunday brunch. She likes to be slightly more dressed up than the curve so hopefully these will fit her tastes. And I know she's even more picky than I am when it comes to shoes so I did what I could. A fashion magazine person would have put belts over both cardigans but I just can't do it - too frivolous for me, sorry. But if you like to picture them with one more accessory, go with the skinny belt, you fancy people.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Late to the Party (WT)

Cookbook has an awesome Dress-A-Friend Polyvore challenge and I will probably be late on it since we ended up going down to the Bay Area suddenly this weekend just made it back through the Sierras after an unexpected storm forced me to put chains on my little Honda for the second time in my life and drive around stupid people who don't know how to turn on their four-wheel drive and end up spinning out in the middle of highway 80 (oh that girl was thanking the lord for that guard rail). So sorry, Mella, maybe I can get it up by tomorrow night but it may be more like Tuesday a.m. at this rate. I promise there will be real paragraphs again by then.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Too Much Time On Polyvore (WT Style Statement Surfing)

This is a very good approximation of what I will be wearing to work today. And out tomorrow night. Click to embiggen. Too much black and denim.

In my dream closet there is apparently a LOT more color and texture. Also J. Crew. Apparently I am a closet prepster. I do have those sandals though and they are great!

And J. Crew, why do you not have any COLOR this year? Your whole selection seems to be black, taupe, cream, and mushroom. Boooring. I haunt your sale rack for preppy quirk to add to my closet and you give me taupe tanktops. Thanks for nothing. I'm starting to thing Preppy Quirk might resemble my style statement. Or Quirky Prep?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I Survived! Also A Vaguely WT-Related Conundrum

Easter is over. It was a huge success and I have successfully pawned off 90% of the candy on family and most of the leftovers on Matt's buddies (they're not picky, and it's all good stuff). I kept the last of the ham and jelly beans for myself. My diet is SO balanced right now. Now back to the real world. And the next project...

I have a friend who happens to know somebody who knows somebody etc. Completely unexpectedly, the upshot is, we've got a free suite at the Red Rock Spa in Vegas on an upcoming weekend. On the agenda: hiking in the Red Rocks, going to see shows, doing yoga by the pool. Since the suite is comped we will probably spend more time there than hanging out on the strip so I don't need sparkly club-wear but I do have to fit running/hiking shoes and a yoga mat in somehow. I am SO anti-checking-bags it is not funny, especially since I want to bring my camera for the hiking bits. And there will be at least one show to be seen. So how do I fit:

lounging-by-the-pool-wear (ok at least that will be easy to pack),
and evening-out/go-to-a-show-wear,
all in a carry-on?!

Maybe. This is the basic plan so far. Hiking-esque items can be worn on the plane and also can overlap with yogawear. Thus I only have to worry about eveningwear and the fact that I only own one swimsuit. Cue ominous music...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Useful WT-Related Link

A useful link for those of us who have clothes we like and want to keep them around as long as possible. Personally, I try not to buy dry-clean-only clothes and take full advantage of the delicate/gentle cycle on my washer. I also have a nice big drying rack (very convenient in the desert where everything is always dry by the next day, even heavy wool sweaters) to try and minimize dryer usage as much as possible. I even try to remember to put stuff in lingerie bags when they deserve it. What are your clothing care secrets/shortcuts?

And yes, the picture is totally irrelevant and no, I have no idea where I found it. Isn't it great though?