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See you at Closet 12!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Cozy Neutral

I never used to be a sweater wearer. I felt they made me look fat. Who knows, they might, but I guess I've gotten over caring just a little.  I might've just gotten so cold that I gave in.  I might be overestimating the results of my gym membership and underestimating the affects of holiday eating.  You be the judge.

When I'm tired from work or going into a day that I know will be exhausting, I don't want to wear a button down shirt or blazer, even if they do have a little stretch. No. I want to be wearing the closest thing to pajamas while still being chic. Don't roll your eyes, why do you think the wrap dress was invented? Mhmm. It's comfortable, yet universally flattering.  Sidenote: Banana Republic has some adorable patterned ones out right now, if you haven't discovered "your" wrap dress yet.  Wrap dresses and sweaters are the perfect marriage between cozy and professional, I think, and I wore many sweaters as well as my wrap dress this week as I have been beat.

What I'm Wearing:
Sweater: The Limited
Necklace: Forever 21
Jeans: Express
Colorblock Wedges: Kohl's by Elle

Honestly, The Limited should pay me, I talk about their clothes so much. Alas, they don't, but are more than welcome to at any time.  I can't help it if they have cute sweaters that are usually on sale, now can I?  This one was a whole $12, I think, after an extra 40% off clearance.  You really can't turn down a super-soft natural blend sweater for under $15.  Nope, you can't and that's why my credit card is frozen in a block of ice in my freezer right now.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Opposite of A Spree: An Experiment

One of my resolutions this year, as it is every year, is to pay down my debt.  I realize that my student loan debt is going to take more than 12 months to payoff, unfortunately. The petty debt, though, the debt thats most likely to hurt my credit? I want that out of here.  I increased my all my payments, even some to the student loans, as of the first of this year. I've been proud of myself for committing and having the end in sight.

The hitch is that I may be a little overcommitted.  I don't want to be putting so much of my cash toward debt that I'm using credit and getting back into debt with everyday purchases.  Finding a balance is tough and I don't want to cut back on my payments if I don't have to, so I've made the following resolution:

Aside from bills, gas, groceries (which will come from Aldi and only Aldi), and a Valentine's gift for The Writer (my one and only splurge, he deserves it) I will not spend any money in the month of February.

No clothes, not even the clearance racks. No shoes, unless I use my DSW gift cards. No nail polish. No lunches out.  No candy. No yummy bottled green tea. Nothing that I've been wasting money on in the past will be bought this month.  Ugh. I already feel tortured.

While February will probably be more severe than is always necessary, I want to see how much I can save.  I want to see exactly how much I spend that I don't need to.  I have a budget that gets stuck to pretty closely, but I have a feeling that the little on-the-go purchases amount to more than I expect.  In fact, if I add up all my little purchases that could've been avoided by remembering to bring enough food or my water bottle to work and my few splurges from my girl's day earlier this month, I could've saved almost $200!! Unbelievable!

I'm so doing this!  Hopefully, I will even help myself on my diet and exercise resolution, since delicious takeout macaroni and cheese and General Tso's will be far from reach for 28+ days.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Rosie the Riveter

"Casual" was the word used to describe today's meeting.  This word feels like a trap to me when used in conjunction with work events.  How do I know my definition of "casual" isn't too casual? Or will everyone be in yoga pants and my casual will look overdressed?  I'm glad I steered clear of yoga pants, not that I honestly considered them in the first place.  I was the only one in heels, but that's pretty typical.

What I'm Wearing:
Tank:  Sears
V-neck Tee: Target
Brown Motorcycle Jacket: Target
Trouser Jeans: Freestyle Revolution
Heeled Hiking Boots: Target
Silk Scarf, Turban Style: Missoni for Target
Clearly, I was having another ponytail day.  With so many early mornings this week, my hairstyles have been as simple as possible, since I want all the sleep I can get.  My "casual" office outfit needed some POP though, so I broke out my Missoni scarf for the first time.  Not that my photo does a good job of showing how it really looked, but it worked well with the pink and brown, I think.

The overall outfit reminded me of Rosie the Riveter, a little rugged.  It was mostly in the twisted scarf as a headband and girlie-tough boots that had me feeling like a vintage poster.  I needed the "We Can Do It" attitude to be running through my head today in the meeting, as some pretty stressful things have been going on at work.  Maybe I'll get a little postcard-sized Rosie to keep by my work station.  Modern iconography?

I have a long weekend coming up! I can't promise many outfits, but I'll try.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Colors to Cheer

I had a bit of a rough start to my day today. I didn't have to go in to work until a little later, so I decided to get some sewing done on this dress.  Actually, I was hoping to finish it, considering all that was left to do was to attach the sleeves, put in the zipper, and hem the skirt.  Things went wrong and I only ended up finishing the zipper, which didn't even turn out the way it should have, but it will have to work unless I'm going out to buy another foot for my sewing machine.

Bun then decided to have another accident on the couch.  She very rarely used to pee outside of her cage, but she seems to have become quite fond of going on the couch and I have become quite frustrated.   Perhaps she isn't having accidents at all, but taking out her little bunny rage on me in the best way she knows how.

I can't believe I just told a story about my rabbit peeing on a public forum.  I better get used to the embarrassment, because if I'm talking about my rough day, I'm going to have to talk about breaking a pair of pants. Oh yes, breaking.  It wasn't my size that did them in, although they did break when I undid them to put some Spanx underneath.  They weren't very high quality because the metal piece that usually stops the zipper from going down to far was just a little bit of melted plastic.  When I unzipped them, they unzipped so far that the one side of the zipper came out of the zippy part (you know, the part that makes the zipper work) and wouldn't go back in.  I gave up. I changed into the skirt and would later rip my tights for the second day in a row.

What I'm Wearing:
Boatneck Sweater: The Limited
Tank: Victoria's Secret
Skirt: H&M
Bracelet: Pandora
Flats: Missoni for Target

After taking a first set of photos, I realized my face looked really boring, especially with my hair back in a bun. No way was I getting creative with the hair today.  I did throw on some lipstick and my glasses to jazz up my upper half a little.

This sweater comes out very purple in photos. Its really more of a mulberry and nearly matches some of the zig-zags on the shoes.  I needed some color to boost my mood today, plus, wearing Missoni always helps. 

Monday, January 16, 2012


Last Friday, my new friend Natalie and I went out for a girls day.  It was a great time! We had lunch at Panera then went over to get mani/pedis.  I got a great neutral tan color on my nails and dark purple on my toes because I'm a creature of habit.  I got a little crazy and let them put designs on my big toenail.  Flowers on my nails aren't "me" but it was worth a shot.

We had some time to kill before meeting The Writer and Natalie's husband for dinner, so we went over to the mall.  I had some gift cards from Christmas left and hadn't been to the mall forever.  Did you know that its semi-annual sale time?! I'd been trying to ignore it in favor of my 2012 budget resolution, but went a little weak in the knees when I saw this:

I'm completely in love with cobalt. I'm so glad that I think it might be hanging on for another season.  Aside from the color, this jacket fits in the most amazing way. Its a little shrunken, so it can pulled off with a casual look, but the tailoring allows it to be worn to work, which I did yesterday.  I wish I'd taken pictures, but I've been fighting a cold and have been staying in bed until the very last minute lately.  I also love that it has five buttons down the front.  Not only do they keep it nipped in at the waist and hips, they remind of the costumes from In Time.  I highly recommend seeing it if you haven't already.  The costumer did some appealing things with buttons to signify class differences.  Many of the suit jackets had long rows of buttons and I loved it.
I want to wear it every day! Its a good thing I found some other goodies at the sales that I can work into my wardrobe. Oh, yes, stay tuned.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Project #1!

One of my gifts from my parents this Christmas was a dress form.  Its basically an adjustable mannequin and slightly creepy to come home to sometimes, but I'm really glad to have it.  You see, its very hard to make your own clothes when you don't have anything to fit them too, other than yourself.  Since pins hurt and I'm determined to let out my creativity more in 2012, a dress form is key.  It also motivates me to workout, since I have a duplicate of myself standing in my living room and I can't say its measurements thrill me at the moment.

Another reason for wanting a dress form is that I really want to learn draping.  Since there are gaps between the panels once I adjusted it, I covered it with an old band t-shirt which I fitted with pins.  It looks like it should work pretty well, I just have to work up the courage to do some free-form designs.

I started my first project of the new year tonight.  I may have only gotten as far as cutting out the pattern, but hopefully soon it will be a dress that I can wear to work.  If I don't have to pick up any more supplies, the dress will only have cost about $30.  Compared to the price tags on dresses at my favorite stores, its definitely a bargain!
My new dress, in its infancy

Monday, January 2, 2012

2011: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

I remember feeling like 2011 would never end.  It was a hard year for me.  There were many times I felt I could lose nothing more and still retain my sanity.  Needless to say, I'm hoping for a better 2012.

In 2011, I had six jobs. Six. I'm sure some people don't have that many jobs in their entire lifetime.  The year started out looking good. I left my job in retail for a 2-in-1 position that I thought would really boost my career and give me coveted PR experience.  First, one side of the equation tanked, right before our vacation to Florida, then the other, just before my trip to NYC. I was back in retail before I knew what hit me.  I went to New York City to visit The Writer during his internship not knowing how I would survive financially when I got back.  I'd been applying for jobs almost all year. Applying, applying, applying and never the right offer.  I'd been out of school for nearly a year and a half and all I had to show for it was the same shopping mall job that had barely paid my credit card bills in college.  I. Was. Stressed.

Finally, at the end of September, I started my first "real" job.  "Real" as in: 401k real, health insurance real, 40 hours/week real, pay off my debt real.  I have hopes for this job.  Granted, it isn't my passion, but I can pay my bills and then some, which I'm very thankful for.  The financial strides I'm taking, along with the industry I've broken into give me hope that 2012 will be a great year and that my hope will become a reality.  I'm hoping that this will be my last Midwest winter and that next Christmas I'll be taking NJ Transit down from New York City to spend Christmas with my family in New Jersey and meeting The Writer for snowy walks through Central Park.

In the meantime, I'm going to start making some of my own clothes.  I'll be posting about them with my new camera The Writer gave me for Christmas this year.  Have I mentioned he's pretty awesome?  I don't know how I would've made it through 2011 without him.  He's incredibly supportive and tons of other positive adjectives.

Oh, yes, and we're joining a gym together. How's that for a new year?
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