Saturday, March 6, 2010

spring's a'comin

I'm wearing sandals and short sleeves today!!!  Check it out at

Don't forget to switch your reader subscriptions and follow me over there, too! 

Happy weekend!

Friday, March 5, 2010

faster than mcdonalds

Well, I ripped off the bandaid and made the decision:  I'm going to start posting solely over here.  This should make things much more efficient and balanced so that my little blogging time doesn't go into a time suck between log-ins and separate email accounts.  A better style blogger I will be, fingers crossed! 

If you don't subscribe or follow already (most of you don't yet) would you mind clicking through so we can keep up?  If you hate it or I don't follow through you can stone me with ampersands and asterisks. 

Goodbye for now, Athenista.  Chai love you


I've never been a quick and to-the-point decision maker.  But with my blog dilemma (My husband would probably say I'm being dramatic by calling it a dilemma... I just like to think that I'm carefully weighing my options ;) it has been easy to figure out what I want to do with them... merge the two.  But the how/why-at-this-point? has me all in a wad.  SO... some thoughts/options/reasoning/inquiry... will you indulge me?
First, some reasoning:
1) I love this blog and it's been a fun, creative-ish outlet for me.  Moreso than my old blog was as I had started it as a personal/family life blog which then morphed into an all-things-Amanda blog and has now been slightly on the backburner while I post more regularly here.  (Which is why I keep thinking... why am I keeping them separate?)

2) The reason I started this blog and named it Athenista was to chronicle style (home, fashion or otherwise) and street style (more fashion) in Athens.  I think Athens has a certain "feel" that is unique to the place and I wanted to document that.  But... as I've said before, I just don't have the time right now for that kind of upkeep. That said... it is not what I originally sought it to be and as we might be moving sooner rather than later, I don't want to get too invested in the name.  Silly but it would bother me to no end and I would change it anyway. 

3) Many of the bloggers I follow and that I regularly "commune" with in the blogging world are people that I am interested in and that follow me personally as well so what a pain in the butt to have them trekking to two places?  Why not just invite them all in one place?  Is that annoying of me to keep up two and having my readers follow two separate blogs??

Now... some options:
1) Keep them separate and as is.
2) Merge them both to chailoveyou and import posts from Athenista.  (Delete Athenista?)
3) Merge them and hold on to Athenista in the case of street style becoming an option for me over the summer...

Would it be too annoying to ask you all to link/follow/subscribe over there now that you're semi-invested over here?  Am I just making this way more difficult than it should be and wasting my breath?  Haa... input??

Thursday, March 4, 2010


This is one of those weeks (maybe months??) where comfort is king.  Blogging does motivate me to be more creative with my wardrobe and appreciate what I have but lawdy if this weather isn't the pits.  Totally makes me want to ignore my closet (and showering) altogther and curl up on the couch with a hot chai latte and a sweater blanket.  Lucky for you guys (or maybe just my coworkers), I have been pulling clothes out of my closet to be, at the very least, publicly and socially acceptable.  Never did plan my outfits this week like I said I would.  But I do have a plan for tomorrow: jeans.  It's Friday (haalllllllelujah!).  Which means some version of school spirit and my renewed will to live for the weekend.

Annnnnyyywayyyy... enough about how much I am hating getting dressed in the morning and on to what I loved wearing today (yes, comfort is still tops):

One of my favorite tops (floral! ruffles! polka dots! Spring!) and my current favorite sweater.

The sweater is perfection because I don't even need a scarf because it has an extra large collar that becomes cowl/turtle neck when zipped to the very tippy top:

Srsly, Sam Edelman makes the bestbestBEST dressy and dressyish flats.  Could wear them every day.  In fact, I did wear these almost every single day through my last month of pregnancy if that tells you anything at all.  The only other shoes I would willingly put on were my $5 moccasin-slipper things from Target.

My main accessory of the day... drumrollllll....

The "Shannon" ring from Daughters Vintage!  More on that coming eventually... but isn't it lovely?!

Materials and Sources:
  • Floral blouse: Target
  • Sweater: Caslon via Nordstrom (Christmas gift)
  • Pants: Larry Levine
  • Shoes: Sam Edelman (2008 Christmas gift)
  • Earrings: Charlotte Russe
  • Vintage button ring: Daughters Vintage (Etsy boutique)
(Another new post below...)

    longing... DEMANDING!

    I am past the point of longing for Spring, begging for it to grace me with its sunny skies and warm-but-not-sweaty temperatures... no, I am demanding that it come now.  And because I demand with so much purpose and authority, tells me it will be in the 60's almost every day next week.  Finally, Mother Nature is getting the hint from all of the bright, Spring colors and patterns in the blog world.  Hellllooooooo, cobalt, I love you. 

    Until next week, though, I will still be sporting some scarves and sweaters to keep the chill away.  Yesterday, I wore some of my favorite items of clothing... a lace blouse, a cobalt cardigan and a colorful winter scarf.  I was planning on wearing my wool dress pants with this outfit buuuut... you can see that disaster here.

    My students thought this outfit was a little too much color... apparently they did not see me on Monday then, right?  Wtf, kids.

    When you look at this next photo you maybe thinking, "Hmmm... that sure does look like someone's molar."  And if that's what you are thinking, you are right.  Someone's molar.  IN OUR DRIVEWAY.  Someone... anyone... please explain.

    Other random things to chew on that you will no longer be able to focus on now that you've seen the molar lurking in my driveway-now-yard:

    1. Thinking I might just go ahead and combine this with my personal blog.  Not sure if this is a good idea.  I kind of like them separate.  But kind of not.  Weigh in on this?

    2. My 10K 'training' is coming along pretty well.  Yesterday I logged 4 miles at inclines of 1-3%.  Kept up a decent 10 minute mile but man I struggle so much on those inclines at 2+%, y'all!  Heart a'poundin!  Love those interval workouts Elena posted a week or two ago.  Intervals are tough stuff but I LOVE THEM!  My muscles start bulging and all the dudes look scurred.  I'm a beast.  Clearly.

    3. The blog envy talk... where do you stand on it?  Jenloveskev weighed in on it today if you're not sure what I'm talking about.  Honestly, can't say that I've felt it.  Maybe I just don't have the stats or the numbers that other bloggers do to spur the jealousy?  I'm just in it for the fun right now.  Kinda scares me to think, though, that if the stats rose the stress would rise with it... what do you think?

    Wednesday, March 3, 2010

    building blacks, part 4: shape and texture

    First things first: I made it to part four of this little blog series!  Four!  Have I really not run out of things to say about black clothes?  Apparently not.  Or maybe I'm just a broken record.  You lovelies are too nice so I guess I'll never know!

    I've made minimal progress in the black department for a few reasons: a) everything in stores right now is so bright!  (not complaining... believe me, I am READY for some Spring in my life), b) I'm trying to be as cheap as possible (except for shoes... I'm willing to invest a little more than $8 in the foundation I'll be standing on all day) and c) I'm picky.  Pickier than I realized before this little project.  Have I told you that already? But because I'm picky, I window shop a lot for ideas.  Which has led me to some new insights on the little black wardrobe I'm trying to build...
    I already knew this but it has become even more apparent when I'm looking at black clothing... shape and texture.  Those are the keys.  The gateway, if you will, to a glorious and flattering black wardrobe.  Same shape but different fabrics or overlays and you could have a totally different look.  Same fabric, different cut/shape?  Definitely a multitude of possibilities there.

    Exhibit A... All black.  All skirts.  But they're all so different to my eye.:

    Exhibit B, pants... three different shapes and three totally different looks (I would only wear one of them but I'll let you guess... and I'll never tell):

    And here, as we head on over to Exhibit C, we see the same silhouette on all three pieces... the only difference is in the material or texture.  Jeans + leggings = jeggings.

    While accessories definitely ice the cake of an outfit, sometimes it's best to keep it simple and let the clothes do the work.  And what about those rushed mornings that are bound to happen?  I need a plan for that, too.  How could I use shape or texture to make the outfit instead of relying so heavily on accessories?  Well, here was my attempt:

    I actually really, really love this outfit.  I love a good slim pant/blousy top silhouette.  Simple, definitely something I would wear and I am totally crushing on that top (but it's sold out. boo.).  I'll be keeping my eye out for something similar.

    Do you guys have any rules of thumb for shape/texture or do you just play with it day to day?  How would you create an interesting all-black outfit using different cuts and fabrics? 

    Tuesday, March 2, 2010


    Excuse us, we're not quite right.

    These shoes make me happy.  Semi black/brown combo, snakeskin and they have a kitten heel that is still as comfortable (if not more) than a flat.  Professional but still kinda sassy.

    • Ruffled shell: Ann Taylor LOFT (Christmas gift)
    • Pants: Larry Levine
    • Cardigan: frenchi via Nordstrom
    • Necklace: J.Crew
    • Shoes: Sam Edelman (gift from Mom)
    • Handbag (on doorknob): Cole Haan
    • Earrings (not shown but remixed before): Betsy Johnson
    Overall, not a super flattering look for me.  Cardigan doesn't work here (or maybe anywhere... the fit is just a little strange I'm realizing).  Hate that these pants don't photograph well - they give me that large and in charge look that might be helpful if I were a booking officer in a jail somewhere on the west side of Atlanta.  Separately, though, I love everything I'm wearing.  I love this LOFT shell I got for Christmas but I got lots of double takes today.  I think because of my paleness - I look naked if you don't look closely.  Did you have to look twice? 

    I love these shoes.  The piping reminds me of the surface of a coffee bean.  In my opinion, shoes are almost always worth the pretty penny when it comes to quality and general wear and tear.  I love shoes.  (A lot.)  But most of the shoes in my closet that have lasted me the longest in both durability and in style have been the most expensive.  Granted, I'm not talkin' Choos or Blahniks but when I compare them with my cardboard-constructed Target flats there is just no comparison.  I've learned this lesson the hard way.  Also... hallelujah for sales and online coups.  

    Winter storm, please decide overnight what you're going to do so that I will know the status of school happening/not happening before I get ready.  Love you (long time), see ya out there.

    Monday, March 1, 2010

    always rushing

    I am becoming an avoider when it comes to my job.  Like if I somehow take longer to get ready or take a few extra minutes to dry my hair I can somehow excuse myself from the first ten minutes of work.  Not gonna happen but I can dream, right?  And because I can't actually ignore my work obligations, I just end up rushing instead.  Go, go, go.  I spent this weekend with my friend Katie in Charlotte so I did some laundry when I got home but didn't actually lay out an outfit.  Really... I need to just get my life together and start doing this because at 5:30am in the dark I'm not at my best (or inclined to care) when it comes to choosing an outfit.

    Anyway... today was another rushed day and even though this outfit really didn't photograph well at all, it was fun.  Colorful and my coworkers were really heavy on the compliments.  It's the color (hot pinkish if you can't tell. ha.)... Spring is going to come sooner or later.  (Hopefully sooner.) 

    The only eyes-open picture Paul was able to get.  What a day! 

    Scarf accent is actually red-orange but I desperately needed some Spring in my life, I ran with it. The purple/green/red-orange color palette is one of my favs. 

    Can this count as pattern mixing?  I love the basket-weavey look of the dress fabric. 

    Belt detail.  Love the tough leather.

    Materials and Sources:
    • Tunic/dress: French Connection (via Marshalls)
    • Black pants: Target (Mossimo?)
    • Belt: Gap (yearrrsss ago)
    • Scarf: Echo (gift from Mom)
    • Shoes: Linea Paolo
    • Necklace: Francesca's Collection
    I love this dress as... you know, a dress, but it's on the thin and short side for work so I belted it and wore it more like a tunic.  It was one of those "nothing fits" mornings and if I wasn't going to be cheery in spirit, I could at least be cheerful in dress code.  Got the shoes this weekend in Charlotte in continuation of building a black wardrobe - they're so comfy.  Linea Paolo used to be my absolute fav brand for shoes and I still love them comfort-wise but it's been a while since they've had something I really loved.

    New 'Building Blacks' post coming later on! For now... yoga!

    Sunday, February 28, 2010

    "the september issue"

    First, let me get this out of the way... I do not, by any stretch of the imagination, consider myself to be super fashionable and in the know when it comes to anything related to "high fashion."  I can't even pronounce the names of the five designers I do know of.  Regardless... it's a pretty interesting industry when you get beneath the surface, I guess.

    I spent the weekend in Charlotte with my b.f.f. Katie and when she was telling me about "The September Issue" I was pretty excited to see it.  Didn't really know much about the movie or about Anna Wintour except that she never has a hair out of place.  But I knew it'd be interesting, at least.  So here's my quick, dirty and non-comprehensive review...

    It was just okay.  I would maybe give it one thumbs up but definitely not two.  Hate to say it but it was a bit on the boring side and didn't really reveal much about Anna Wintour herself or her process... it felt more like a series of clips they put together after they followed her around for a few days.  (Please don't stone me!  I have a family!)  Yes, it is a documentary but documentaries don't have to be boring, right? I guess I thought it would be more engaging and, in some way, surprising.  (I also spent a major portion of the movie gagging at the sight of Grace Coddington's hair.)

    Personally, I am a Lucky kind of girl but I bet this would be a great watch if you're Vogue gal. 

    Was anyone else a little disappointed?  If you loved it, I'm interested... do you keep up with high fashion or were you just interested in a behind the scenes look at Anna Wintour?

    Friday, February 26, 2010

    smells like school spirit

    I know I've been a slow blogger lately.  Though I don't feel so alone because lots of my favorite bloggers have been pretty busy, too.  Just that time of year.  Think we're all just sitting on our hands until Spring comes.  Which just means that we could have some pretty numb hands a few weeks from now. 

    One reason I've been so slow is that I finally picked up a book.  Haven't read a novel for fun in months.  I'm about halfway through Jodi Picoult's Nineteen Minutes and I'm already starting to feel a smidgen like myself again.  (It is so easy to lose yourself, isn't it?  Work has ruined me, Paul and I both agree on that.)  It's a pretty intense story but so far, so good.

    Fridays are spirit days at work which means we are supposed to wear a school spirit shirt.  And wiggle our best spirit fingers during class changes and give all the cool kids swirlies on the way to lunch.  Most Fridays, though, I stick with school colors (black and gold) because dang school shirts are expensive.  I am at home today so here is last Friday's school spirit look:

    I've worn the cardigan and headband together like this before, I just love them both a lot.  And I will probably wear them again today when I get in the car to road trip it to Charlotte to see Katie!  The shirt and scarf here are both sparkly.  Silver shirt, gold scarf.  I'm not one to mix the two tones but since the headband has both, I ran with it.  Do you guys mix silver and gold?
    • Black cardigan: Willi Smith via TJ Maxx (worn here
    • Shirt: LOFT
    • Jeans: Mossimo via Target
    • Shoes: Enzo Angiolini
    • Headband: LOFT (worn here)
    Also, the shoes are on their last leg.  They're a little tight but I've always dealt with them but now they are falling apart at the seams and wearing crazy thin on the soles.  The second pair of flats to fall apart on me in the last few weeks.  One of my favorite pairs by Seychelles met the dumpster last week after both were leaking water through the sole when it rained.   So now I'm on the hunt for a new pair.  Fell in love with the pewter "boyshort" flat by Seychelles but they are sold out.  The plum and black are both fun so they're still in the running.  I have a few more options laid out but I've been taking my time trying to make sure they're cute and fun but also comfortable enough to stand on all day.  Any suggestions?  What's your favorite brand for comfortable, last-forever flat?

    Tuesday, February 23, 2010

    unlikely combination

    Quickie.  Today's outfit was inspired (almost copied!) by i'd wear it's OOTD yesterday.  For some reason I just wouldn't have thought to pair my dark blue sweater with the brown pants I love (still ticked that they just don't photograph well... but I love them unconditionally.  I just loved the whole color combination so I did my best to rip it off. 

    My mama took me shopping the other day and we picked this up at Ann Taylor LOFT.  I love it especially because the length is easy to change... it can be short or long which rules because I hate when a necklace just doesn't hit right with the shirt/dress/cardigan you're wearing.  (You can see the ends that you pull... I forgot that I'd pulled them to the front so Gray would stop trying to yank them from behind when he was playing with my hair.  Whoops!)  Plus, it gives the outfit a little bit of an Auburn vibe in the color scheme... War Eagle!  Which makes me think... why did I find this to be such an unlikely combination?  I spent my undergraduate career donning the orange and blue at least once a week with various combinations of brown, grey, blue, green... you name it.

    Please excuse my hotmess-ness... there is just no hope after ridiculous, hellacious days at work.  But nothing a good workout can't fix.  Caffeinerd has been my saving grace for treadmill workouts.  Last week, Elena posted some interval workouts that I've been trying.  Kickin' my ass!  Good thing I'm starting to train for the Peachtree now because I am slow, y'all.  10-11 minute miles is all I got by 7pm on a week night.  But I'll give myself credit since they've been on at least a 3% incline. 

    Anyone else in the Atlanta area doing the Peachtree in July?  How are you training?

    Sunday, February 21, 2010

    building blacks, part 3: inspired

    Now that I am on the third post of this series (part 1 here, part 2 here explanation kind of all over the place... reasoning to come), I must say that building a black wardrobe (moreso, learning how to accessorize an all-black outfit) is easier than I originally thought.  Easy like learning how to snowboard or how to land a perfect triple lutz.

    Actually, once I found some good source of inspiration the outfits came pretty easily.  The first set that I created using a direct source of inspiration - casual dinner, beachside in the Springtime (or indirect since I'm not actually there which is just plain unfortunate):

    I chose black skinnies for comfort (I'm assuming I'd spent a long, strenuous day under an umbrella by the pool... sipping daquiries and reading a trashy romance novel.  Comfort necessary.  Need some black skinnies first.), a light dolman-sleeve cardigan (have one), and a sequin tank to break up all the black (don't have one).  From there, I went beachy with the accessories - light scarf with varying hues to mimic the tide, low light blue heels by Seychelles (LOVE their shoes - on the hunt for a new pair of flats a.s.a.p.) and then some metallic shell earrings to top it off.  Originally, I wanted to go dark teal with the earrings to create a gradient all the way down to the shoes.  But with so much space in between the scarf and the shoes... didn't make sense.

    My second source of inspiration came from a scarf I found while browsing polyvore for... hmm, inspiration.  Fell in love with the color palette and went from there... and that was it!

    Can you tell I've got Spring on my mind?

    Where do you find inspiration for your outfits?

    Saturday, February 20, 2010

    sundry saturday

    Lots of odds and ends today...

    1) Playing with the blog layout today.  Went back to a 'stretch' option like chailoveyou but nothing too wild & crazy because I am anything but a master of HTML.  That stuff is for the birds, y'all.  Don't get it.  I just know that because of it I now have a fun, pretty font in the date/post/sidebar titles.  Went back and changed the header font to match... not sure I'm diggin' it yet.  Looks like Athen'sista'... which... maybe I could be a 'sista' if only my students didn't remind me on a daily basis that I'm white enough to be Edward Cullen's sister.  Only time will tell... I change the look of my blog like I change my underwear... once every few weeks.  Did I get you there?  Surely I jest.  But I guess you'll jest never know.

    2) Twitter... I like to tweet.  Lots of you also like to tweet and I have probably started "following" you.  And you let me... which is good because if you ran I would just chase you anyway.  I tried to put my tweets in the sidebar.  Only I forgot that I locked them up and threw away the key.  (At least until the end of May when school is out... who knew my students would be into Twitter?  Not that they probably care about my tweets buuuut... did I ever tell you about the time this kid totally convinced me he knows where I live?  And that he'd read my "online diary" ... which he said was on Myspace... whiiiiich it totally isn't because I hate Myspace.  Still.  Messed with my mind.  Freaky deaky.)  So... if you're tweeting and you want to share a nest, you can follow me here.

    3) Here are the rest of my fitting room confessions from Anthro last Sunday:

    Can't remember the name of the dress... I just know I was crazy for the way they styled it here:
     Unfortunately, I was not crazy about the dress itself.  The neckline was too high for it to be flattering and even though I tried it on a size smaller than I thought I would need, it was still loose and bulky in the waist.  So if you like this one, size down.  Still love it styled Anthro's way and the fabric is pretty sturdy, not to mention gorgeous.  Just not gorgeous enough to make up for the fit issues.

    Next I the Fragmented Pipevine Dress.  Not on sale but the fit was great - better than the photo shows.  Only thing: it snaps all the way down so it's what some might call "easy access."  Some people are into that.  Not judging.  Just sayin'.

    Finally, I tried on this grey, floral button-up sweater cardigan... don't know the name (obviously by my eloquent description).  Loved it on the hanger.  Looked a little big-ish so I grabbed a small and even the small practically swallowed me whole!  Never happens, folks.  Definitely size down if you're looking at this one (I don't think it's on the site anymore).  The armpits are saggy (I know they're meant to be) which could be cute but I felt like a bag lady - the look on my face says it all, I think.  Also, I found the fabric to be a little on the scratchy and staticy side.

    After I grabbed my sale rack pieces, I browsed the front tables (naturally... anyone who manages to escape Anthropologie without browsing all the pieces they can't afford is clearly not human.  Beware of those 'people' and walk away.) and came across the Off-the-Tie-Rack blouse.  Wasn't crazy about this one online but it was so much more stunning in person.  I tried this one on first before I thought to document so no photo... but trust me that it's amazing.  Fit is a little roomy up top and maybe a little short if you have a long torso but I thought it was okay for me.  If I wanted to layer something under, I'd probably just use a yellow cami to play off the tie.  Might have to keep this one on my wishlist... you know, once it's on its fifteenth markdown. 

    Has anyone tried on the Tassel Fronds Dress?  WANT.  

    P.S.... so glad I used my Valentine's Day for the Starbound Dress because it's not on the site anymore.  Whew... could've been ugly.

    And here is what I wore for my day of shopping and lusting:

    This outfit actually felt kinda dumpy once I was out of the house but I got a handful of compliments on it so I thought I'd share after all...
    • Sweater: Cillie's Clothing (in Athens)
    • Eyelet tank: F21
    • Skinnies: 'Sweetheart' skinny from Old Navy
    • Boots: Steve Madden

    WOWZA, that's a long post!  Happy Saturday, everyone!

    Friday, February 19, 2010

    down to a tee

    Between switching intervals last night on this workout that I found via caffeinerd, I got to thinking about gym style.  Lots of people probably think about gym style.  But if you're like me, you're probably just trying to find the couple of items you don't mind using for sweat mops.  To that end, I think I have my gym style down to a tee.  Literally.  *Wink* 

    Yesterday's gym style:

    Even if I'm not really cool, my fellow gym goers don't know that.  Yet.  I also wore this with black C9 pants that I love... think I could make this my new go-to professional look in my future black wardrobe?  No? 

    (Edit: I should note here... this was my Brussels, Belgium souvenir from our family trip to Europe in 2006.  Just so you know I'm not some Belgium fanatic... unless we're talking waffles.  Now THAT I can be fanatic about.)

    And now for Paul's first style feature on the blog... what a perfect workout tee.  His motivation, maybe?

    What do your tees say about you?  (Or maybe what do they not say about you?  Ha...)

    Thursday, February 18, 2010

    i don't even like mustard

    Man, there sure is a lot of mustard going on in this blog.  I don't even like mustard-the-condiment in real life. (That must be what my mad face is about.  Actually, that is just me hating static electricity with the heat of a thousand suns.)

    I might be head over heels in love with this belt I picked up at Anthropologie on Valentine's Day.  Can't find it on the website but it is beautimous and a perfect cure for that frumpty dumpty feeling I had all day.  Probably gonna be seeing this one a lot from now on... don't say I didn't warn ya.  On a side note: I always try to mask my frumpy feeling with fuller dresses and skirts like this one but then I think I actually look more frumpy... what's your cure for the mornings when nothing feels right? 

    Materials and Sources:
    • Dress: Target
    • Cardigan: one A (gift from Mom)
    • Leggings: Target (I can't stop wearing them under dresses... I am decidedly hating the cold this year.), remix'd lots and lots
    • Boots: 'Intyce' by Steven by Steve Madden, remix'd lots
    • Necklace: Francesca's Collection
    • Belt: via Anthropologie

    Wednesday, February 17, 2010

    mustard stains

    Last night, Paul and I made a sacrifice of time and inches of our waistbands to eat at Abattoir for date night.  It was tough but those inches needed someone to show them what it's like to be loved.  Some fried chick peas, duck meatballs, pork shoulders and a few maple bacon beignets later... we melted into the hot tub (at my parents'... we were house sitting and it's 40 minutes closer to the big city, y'awwll).  Successful date night to be sure.

    You're going to have to excuse the grainy cell phone pics.  Didn't want to fuss with a camera (the hot tub was calling).  I love this dress but it needs to be worn without tights - the "catching" drove me crazy.  Post dinner wrinkles and crazy hair... cozy is what I call it.  ;)

    Date night was great.  Good food, good man... and some, err, "good" conversation at the table next to us.  A pregnant lady (7 months... I know this because she said so.  I may have an ankle biter of my own but I am certainly no winner of the game "how many weeks?") and her gal pal were catching up on life as it is, having some red wine (lots of red wine, actually... kinda freaked me out by the time we left) and talking about comfort shoes.  Specifically, something like Uggs.  And the prego kept talking about the boots and how she just had to have them but her husband won't let her wear them around the house and keeps telling her that, "Before you know it, you'll be wearing them in the grocery store with an Auburn sweatshirt with mustard stains on it."  HA!  I am an Auburn girl, if you don't know that, which puts it into perspective.  Paul and I almost died.  Because, you know, I am an Auburn girl and he is most definitely not an Auburn fan.  Of course, this reminded me of one of my favorite book quotes of all time that I think of whenever I imagine someone else or myself (usually myself) "letting go" a little...
    "Both the five-year-olds looked at me with bewilderment and a bit of fearful uncertainty. I had a sudden horrifying image of the woman I might become if I'm not careful: Crazy Aunt Liz. The divorcee in the muumuu with the dyed orange hair who doesn't eat dairy but smokes menthols, who's always just coming back from her astrology cruise or breaking up with her aroma-therapist boyfriend, who reads the Tarot cards of kindergarteners and says things like, "Bring Aunty Liz another wine cooler, baby, and I'll let you wear my mood ring..." - Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love
    Bootleg cell phone pics are the gateway.  Next thing you know, I'll be posting outfit pics of me in the brand new muumuu my cousin Alf snagged for me in Hong Kong. 

    Materials and Sources:
    • Dress: F21 (I think... probably.)
    • Brown cropped cardigan: Target
    • Tights: F21
    • Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell (favvvvorites)

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010

    building blacks, part 2: it's all in the accessories

    Anticipatory Set: I know, I know... productivity is down this week.  I am in a tough bout of stressing and hating my job pretty much all the time.  At least today was my last reevaluation conference of the year so there is at least one dim, blinky Christmas light at the end of the tunnel. But!... Happy note!: I am about to get dressed for my belated Valentine's date with Paul tonight... really I guess it is just a regular date.  Only extra fun because we're going out for a fancy shmancy dinner in Atlanta.  So for now, I'll do a little part 2 action of my Building Blacks "series."  Can I call it a series if I've only done one?  Well, I am.  (Along with [drumroll]... a part 1 update with my very first 'fitting room confessions' in the Final Notes!)

    Objective(s) Addressed: Building an all black wardrobe; accessorizing aforementioned black wardrobe

    Featured Sources... the polyvore skills of the lovely Liz of Lizzy Punch!

    Input: If you were here for part 1, I jumped in to Building Blacks by accessorizing an all-black ensemble with whimsical, colorful belts that not only define the waist but add a little color and personality to an otherwise plain and simple outfit.  Well, Liz at Lizzy Punch heard my online cry and came to the rescue with not one, not two... but four polyvore sets that use accessorizes to "punch" up an all black ensemble.  What lovely blogging friends I have here! (I'm tellin' ya... this community is the  You guys always come to the rescue with support and ideas for improvement or jazzing up a simple outfit.  Love it, love it, love it.)  Here are two of the four outfits she created that I thought would work best for the setting in which I'd be wearing them...
    Obviously, she knows how much I love my black and brown together!  And aren't those bangles such a fun, colorful touch?  LOVE this for summertime.  Perfect.
    This one, I am just loving the red/coral color in the accessories.  Just a little but enough to really jazz it up and make things fun.  (How freakin' cute is that tote?  Want it.)  This would be a great one for the Spring and Fall crazy transition weather we get down here.

    See all four on her blog or click through on Lizzy Punch to her Polyvore page.  So cute.  Thanks, Liz, these were just too fun not to post!
    Final Notes: Last week, I featured three Anthro dresses that fit into my all black category and that could be functional in the setting I need them for and (hopefully) beyond.  Since Paul spent most of Valentine's Day working and my parents had already claimed keepsies on him for the day, I ventured to a Lenox for a while and popped into Anthropologie to check those sale racks for my two favorite dresses I posted about last week and, of course, torture myself by petting and trying on lovely clothes I can't afford right now.  So I bring you my first Fitting Room Confessions.  I would've never tagged myself for the type to do this... not in a million years... but other peoples' fitting room reviews have helped me on a number of occasions so maybe this will do the same for someone else. 

    Found all three dresses on the sale rack on Sunday... the Hold-the-Lines Jumper was honestly not great at all in person.  The fabric felt really cheapie and the fit was horrid on me.  Kinda looked like a potato sack on me which was disappointing - I thought this one would at least be cute and most versatile.  Live and learn, people.  Would like great, though, on someone petite and slender. 

    Second, I found the Peseta dress but it didn't really do much for me on the rack so I didn't even try it on.  The sequin-like "studs" were coming off at the seams and the fabric was too sheer for my taste.  Since it's Springy/Summery, I don't want to be dealing with a lot of slips or underlayers to combat the see-through factor .

    Finally, the Starbound dress by one.september which was my favorite one to stalk online and turned out to be my favorite in person as well.  The fit was great on me, better than the picture shows, and I was surprised by the quality.  It's a jersey fabric but it's swingy and heavier than most so you don't feel like you're wearing a thin secondhand t-shirt.  The top is a little drapey so being small-chested brought the scoop a little lower but since it's jersey and silk it's easy to swing up and keep it there (Easily adjustable, in other words.).  The beads were sewn on well and, of course, the beaded sash is gorgeous!  (But also removable if you want to switch it out for another belt.) Couldn't pass this one up... if it weren't so freezing cold out, I would definitely debut it on our date tonight. 

    A few more confessions from Sunday coming soon but I'm outta internet breath from such a long post! 

    Have a fun all black outfit or polyvore set to share?  Send it my way, I would love to post it!  Don't forget to stop by and see Liz's other takes on the all black ensemble at Lizzy Punch. :)

    Thursday, February 11, 2010

    wedding style


    Little G. caught a stomach bug at the beginning of last weekend, which forced me to slow down and do very little aside from eat, sleep and cuddle.  And I think it's been one of the most relaxing weekends I've had in a very long time.  G.'s tearing up the house and climbing on boxes to look out windows so I think it's safe to say he's almost 100%. 

    Since Krista did a little recap featuroo on my wedding last week, I thought I'd take a post to elaborate on my wedding style.  I know a lot of you are either married, engaged or soon to be engaged and who doesn't love talking weddings?  Especially wedding gowns and shoes and flowers and... sigh, I actually wouldn't mind reliving the whole thing, is that crazy?  Well, since I planned my wedding in 30 short days, probably not.  Gotta be honest... I have no idea how you long engagement ladies do it.  I wouldn't have any hair left.  Or a husband to speak of.  Just... no, thanks.

    Before we started planning our wedding, I'd watched some tv shows ("Whose Wedding is it Anyway?," anyone?) and flipped through magazines on trips to the bookstore.  Believe it or not, my dress wasn't the tough part... it was the bridesmaids and the flowers that tripped me up when it came to the style of my wedding.

    Of course, a lot can be said about the style of a wedding by the dress a bride wears... but I really think it's the bridesmaid dresses (and the flowers, too) that seal the deal on the overall tone of a wedding's style.  There are usually multiple bridesmaids, all up front with you, which means that whatever cut, color or theme you choose is not going solo... it's repetitive.  So you better be prepared to either keep it simple or make sure the impact it will have is the one you're going for.  Maybe it's just me, but I can't tell you how many times I've been to a wedding and noticed almost nothing about the bride because the bridesmaids stole the show (and not in a good way, if you know what I mean).  All that to say... I probably stressed more over the bridesmaids and the flowers than any other element of style in my wedding.

    With such limited time to shop (which meant ordering was out of the question), I took my 'maids with me for an entire day of searching the racks and trying on lots of dresses that just didn't work.  The wedding would be in the evening which usually means formal but, wanting the overall feel to be more relaxed, I wanted the dresses to be short.  I also wanted my ladies to be able to wear them again without actually looking like a bridesmaid again. We finally arrived at White House Black Market, of all places, and I asked the girls to try on a dress just on a whim and it ended up working.  You all already know I am a fan of black and brown together (and I've sported it twice this week alone!) so you won't be surprised at the final choice...

     In Krista's post, I noted that all of the girls were pretty different in shape so it needed to be universally flattering.  Honestly, I didn't think that dress would be but it worked.  I think, anyway.  If we didn't find a dress that looked good I was just going to have them pick out a black dress of their choice in the same length but with the overall feel of the wedding being sort of formal, I'm glad we found something. :)

    Like, I said... my choice was easy.  Too easy.  I knew I wanted strapless, lots of lace, not a lot of bulk.  Fairytale look without a princess cut.  First day, first boutique where I actually tried dresses on... kazaam!

    I got it, right?  Strapless, lots of lace, no big poofy skirt, sweet little train... really, really, really (!) loved my dress.  Maybe I should wear it for our Valentine's Day date.  No?  Okay, if you're sure...

    Everything else pretty much went to the flowers.  Floating petals with tealights on the tables, hydrangeas and callas for the bridesmaids and then my bouquet... which, other than the dress, may have been my absolute favorite thing.  And maybe my most stressed-over element if you can believe it.  I think our florist was a little daunted by my request, ha!  But boy did she deliver.  It's still in my parents' freezer.  Which is probably gross and definitely not the real way to preserve it but by the time we really thought about it it was too late.  The bouquet kept my own ensemble from going too over the top formal and gave it a little whimsy and a garden feel which I loved.  This photo doesn't do it the justice it deserves but I still love to gaze at it from time to time...

    Probably my favorite style day ever... what's your wedding style like?  Past, present, future... whatever!
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