Tuesday, December 9, 2014

I'm on Instagram!

Dear Friends,
Thank you for bearing with me through this busy busy semester. I have been teaching one of the largest courses in my department, so time has been scarce! Forgive me if I have neglected to post. But the good news is that I have joined this century, and I am now on Instagram!

Image credit 

You can follow me here.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

One DIY top, 2 ways

I have been trying to learn new sewing techniques (the beauty of teaching oneself!) and made a quick top to try out the zig zag stitch I just discovered in my machine. I made a top with decorator fabric and I should have thought that through, since despite being cotton, it is a bit stiff. I am hoping a few washes may soften it.
I wore it as part of a casual outfit:

And in a dressier outfit, with the skirt I made and some lovely Via Spiga wedges I found at the rack for a steal:

I have been drafting my own patterns from carefully studying how my clothes are made because that seems like the best way to learn. I have been trying to learn one new skill per garment I make, but I am happy to report that with this top, I leaned two: how to sew elastic with a zig zag stitch, and how to place side darts. I consider myself an expert amateur :-)

Do you sew? If so, do you use patterns or just wing it like I do? And if you don't sew, what are the quality details you look for in garments you buy? I would love to incorporate those in "my" pieces, so let me know in the comments below, and have a beautiful day!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A little J. Crew, a little Memorial Day

Hello! I have been attempting a little digital detox for the last two weeks or so, and I am happy to report that I had a fantastic Memorial day weekend without checking email/blogs and I feel good! Coming back to civilization is a different story though, but who am I to complain. Yesterday, Mr. Brown Shorts brought me two presents, which I am promptly reviewing below:

J. Crew Embroidered Floral Racer Dress, size 00:

The waist is a smidge tight on this one (darn bloat) but once I get past that you know what TMI portion of the month, it should be ok. This dress is stunning! I usually take a 00 or 0 in J. Crew dresses and took a 00 in this one. The length is a little shorter than I'd like it, but the dress is all cotton and lined in cotton and not sheer. The cotton is soft, the embroidery feels sturdy and it has on-seam pockets and bra keeps. Love it! It is marked down to $119.99 minus extra 40% off in stores, though don't quote me on that.

J. Crew Photo Floral Dress, size 0:

This dress feels very Anthro to me. The cotton is a stiff pique like material, and the skirt has a lot of volume in a good way. The colors are nice and bright, and I didn't feel swallowed by the dress as I often do with very voluminous skirts. The waist in the 00 was a little too tight (I have gained weight lately - yay!- so I am not quite sure if this runs TTS or small) so I sized up to a 0 which is a little big on top. I predict that one short 15 minute stint in the drier is going to fix it. Fully lined in cotton, on seam pockets and a beautiful pattern tell me to keep this dress and wear it with Jackie cardigans. Word to the wise, it has an exposed plastic zipper in the back. I think this one may be on sale now in stores, sold out online.

In keeping with the sentiment brought on by Memorial Day, let me share one more random act of kindness. I hate the war but love the troops for their sacrifices, so consider writing a letter to a soldier stationed abroad, or send a thank you card to your nearest fire station or first responder HQ. A little thank you goes a long way!

So what did you do this weekend? Have you been shopping the awesome J. Crew sales or did you enjoy the sun and sand like I did, or both? Would love to hear how you spent Memorial Day!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Little planes and J. Crew Marina Mini Wedge Espadrilles

We are having a heat wave here! I didn't even need to turn on the oven to make dinner today, as we've been experiencing temperatures in the 90s. I walked down to the beach and relaxed for a while, taking in the view and wishing with all my might to not get crapped on by the low flying birds. It was lovely!
I love these J. Crew Marina Mini Wedge Espadrilles in chambray I bought at the end of last summer for something ridiculous like $15. I wore them for the first time today and they are so comfortable and cute I can wholeheartedly recommend them if this year's version is anything like the ones from last year. They fit TTS (I took the same size that I do in "real world" shoes) and are leather lined with leather sole. I couldn't help pairing them with something in the same color family.

J. Crew chambray mini-wedge espadrilles and a bit of a wrinkly dress

My husband works in aviation and loves planes so I made this dress for his holiday work party a few months ago, but ended up wearing something else. Since I made it out of quilting cotton (loops, seamstress sacrilege some may say!) it can be worn for every day and keeps me cool in these crazy temperatures but becomes a little wrinkly by the end of the day. It was my first time sewing with a pattern and I must admit it was a pain, I'd rather wing it. But at least this way I know the hem is straight.

I love the contrasting yellow on-seam pockets,
which of course you cannot see in this picture!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Random acts of kindness continued, and J. Crew Factory Charley Sweater in Sketched Pear

I was moved to tears by the outpouring of support in my last post (thank you to all of you who commented, reached out by email, or read and thought a prayer, I deeply appreciate it!). I have been thanking everyday for such great blog friends, and I am just in awe of what happens when you put good energy out there into the universe (or the blogiverse in this case). I just wanted to give you a quick update: last time I promised to commit to random acts of kindness, and I have been practicing what I preach. I decided to start small: every time I made eye contact with someone, I would smile. It is incredible the kind of response I have received. My mood has been better (all those people smiling back at me), my weight is finally back up and I feel that if all those smiles are doing something for me, they must be doing something for the people on the other end, even if it's just to work out their smile wrinkles. It may seem silly, but a smile instantly fits my spirits. Hey, I said I'm starting small.
One of the things that has cheered me up is wearing bright colors. I am loving the factory offerings from the last couple of months and I ordered a few things to freshen up my wardrobe. This pear sweater is one of them. I am still trying to figure out how to style it other than with this houndstooth skirt I made a few months ago, but it is so soft and fits just like the Tippi sweaters from retail I love so much.

So, have you been practicing any random acts of kindness since we last "chatted"? How have you been welcoming spring and its cheery warmer temperatures and sunny longer days? We are supposed to hit the 90s here this week, so ice cream may be in order.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Random acts of kindness

I have been feeling a little under the weather lately, feeling down on myself and letting stress get the best of me. I took some time off blogs to see if that would help me get out of my rut, but so far, it hasn't worked. The scale told me stress was really affecting me, so my husband is on a mission to help me gain the weight back. Perhaps I'll get some hate mail for complaining, but I can tell you that being underweight is just as serious as it is being overweight, especially when either is a result of stress. I have been trying to relax, meditate and let things roll right off me, but so far, the only thing I have managed has been procrastination.

Bright colors help light up my day
But there has been a bright spot in all of this! The other day, upon returning to my car, I found a note taped to my windshield that said "You are special." I looked around and none of the other cars had one, and there was no one around. This got me thinking about how powerful random acts of kindness are. If a note from a stranger could make a difference for me, I wonder how many lives I can change doing something that takes less than a minute of my time on a weekly or even daily basis. A hug, a compliment, a note, and even a smile can make someone's day. With you as my witness, I hereto commit to random acts of kindness.

So tell me, have you ever experienced a random act of kindness? Any and all ideas encouraged!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Christmas came early!

I just sat down to check my email, and got hold of an amazing offer: One free piece of jewelry with your first purchase at Baublebar through this referral link (first time customers only, and I think it also includes a 15%!) There are so many cute piecees at really great prices.
There are really amazing statement pieces, tons of J. Crew knockoffs and their really cute winter collection. I love their customer service and am happy to give them a little space on my blog! This promo makes me wish I were a new customer!
Shop here