Friday, December 31, 2010

capping the recap 2010

highlights and lowlights and dim bulbs of 2010, in no particular order and with really zero level of importance. enjoy!

*the jay/conan debacle was big news, but i think conan sporting jeggings as he interviewed tim gunn was the bigger news. we are all going to make fun of ourselves for wearing these someday.

*move over paris, we have a new queen of nothingness, kim kardashian. the only thing good i can say is at least she is smart enough to make money out of her fame. why encourage your daughters to go to college and try and make a difference in the world when they can just wear a ton of make up, party every night, make illicit videos and call it a career? is this the new empowerment? could miss kim at least pick a new uniform? if i had all that money, i am pretty sure i wouldn't be wearing the same thing over and over and over and over.

* the prince william engagement could just be the highlight of my year. if only i had known he was interested in commoners! what a different course my life could have taken! i am doubly, nay, tripley kicking myself for not going to london for study abroad back in the summer of 2000. it could have been perfect. him, the prematurely balding heir to the throne of england, me, the obtuse american in search of love and crumpets! it sounds like a lifetime movie. plus, i could have helped my sister become the official buckingham palace piano teacher. she had a secret(not so secret now) dream of being the royal prince's piano teacher.
*the attack of the scarfs, the belts, and the cardigans on fashion blogs. i love ALL three of these things and wear them quite consistently. but fashion bloggerdom has pretty much dug the grave for them in 2010. i can't wait for the next big trend so that we lemmings can rush out and buy it and then put pictures of it all over our blogs and then gush and compliment each other to death as if we were each the first person to think of it. i am as guilty as the rest,(i find that i tire of trends pretty quickly. but that's another post for another day) but at least i can acknowledge it.

*lindsay lohan. i can't even be snarky about someone who is imploding in the public eye due to drug addiction. unfortunately, she represents too many people who are privately suffering from the same ailment. let's all just make a pact and never ever do drugs. because how many drug-user success stories can you think of? kurt cobain? john belushi? marilyn monroe?

*best movie of the year-toy story 3. i laughed, i cried, i wanted my kids to stay young forever.
*best comedy of the year- the twlight saga: eclipse. i laughed, i cried(because i was laughing so hard) i wanted to stay young forever.

*most damaging to healthy self-image of the year- the ann taylor and ralph lauren airbrushing debacle. people can be slender in real life, people cannot be airbrushed in real life.
ralph lauren:
ann taylor:

*best book i read this year- stolen by lucy christopher, stockholm syndrome at it's finest!

*best song of the year- florence and the machine- dog days are over.
apparently it came out in 2009, but i didn't discover it until 2010, therefore i couldn't possible exist until i heard it. sort of like what tracy jordan says on 30 rock "when i go to sleep, nothing happens in the world."

gracias 2010!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

kick it

i felt a little tiny bit rachel zoe today. mostly the hat and the flared jeans. rachel and i aren't exactly twins being that i have hips, thighs, a natural smile, and an appetite.
i kept trying to master a kickin' pose today. it was hard. we got a smidge of snow whilst we were away and this is what is left of it. i'm in a jerkface mood so that's it for social commentary.
but not really. speaking of rachel zoe, a couple of weeks ago i tried her decadent brownie recipe. it was gross. i'm pretty satisfied with a nice box of add oil and water brownies. i'm a simple girl with simple needs.
but, i do make a pretty simple pretty fantastic lime cilantro sauce. i like it on chicken, shrimp or steaks.
1 bunch cilantro
1 brick cream cheese
1 tablespoon sour cream
2 tsp garlic powder
cumin, pepper, celery salt, lime juice and tomatillo salsa added to personal preference
mix in blender

i like mine pretty spicy, but i normally have to keep it pretty bland because my kids always complain that my food burns their tongues. they are so weak.
hat- target
blouse- thrifted
surplice sweater- jcrew
belt- fossil
jeans- target
boots- giani bini

Sunday, December 26, 2010

it's not the heat, it's the humidity

*posting tonight on location in waycross, georgia. we spent christmas in waycross, my husband's hometown. normally, christmas here means a 65 degree average, which is absolutely awesome in my opinion. this year was quite the exception with a high today of 38, plus humidity that cuts straight through you. which can kill southerners. you should have seen my husband when we lived in kansas city. every day of winter he was at death's door.  humidity makes all the difference.
anywhoo, i was really cold in these pictures. and it was windy. and that's the weather report from the okefenokee swamp, land of trembing earth.

ps- that's spanish moss hanging from the trees behind me. when my dad visited us whilst we lived in savannah, georgia he couldn't figure out what was all over the trees. it's spooky, ghostly spanish moss. it reaches out and tries to grab your soul. i made that last part up. but it's creepy. especially in summer when it's still hot and sticky and 85 at midnight and then a muggy, sultry breeze blows by your bare ankles and you know that something is wafting out of the trees trying to get you. true story.
ruffled blouse- tjmaxx
sweater- gap
skirt- target
houndstooth tights- wal*mart
heels- jessica simpson

run for it marty!

marty- "whoa! this is heavy!"
doc brown- "there's that word again; "heavy". why are things so heavy in the future? is there a problem with the earth's gravitational pull?"

marty mcfly- style icon

a while ago it was cold. and i pouted about it. and i have adverse reactions to denim on denim outfits. but i summoned my courage and thought about 1985 and pushed forward. and this was the end result:
i totally got a marty-mcfly-back-to-the-future vibe from this outfit.

and apparently some people have never seen the cinematic gem "back to the future". which i simply just can't fathom because 1. it's one of the GREATEST movies ever made. 2. it seems to be running on a constant loop on abcfamily. everytime i catch it on i fall into a trance and i have to watch at least a scene or 4. i couldn't imagine having lived my life without shouting, "run for it marty!" or "great scott!" or "you are my density" or  "it's the libyans!" at least once a week.

denim shirt- thrifted
long sleeve striped shirt- old navy
belt- gap
jeans- forever skinny gap
boots- no idea from tj maxx

Friday, December 24, 2010

comfort and joy

it was 65 degrees in south carolina this week and that is the merriest christmas present i could receive.
short sleeves, cropped pants and wearing heels whilst running last minute christmas errands with my two kids is ideal. tidings of comfort and joy.
scarf- target
blouse- francesca's collection
jeans- ann taylor loft
shoes- steve madden via tj maxx

and my gift to you:
active bottoms. does this make you laugh? is this too crass? am i revealing too much of my true personality? in my defense, i have 3 brothers and potty humor is closest to my heart. and if i am being even more truthful, my sister heather and i are the grossest people in my family. my sister texted a simliar picture like this to me a few months ago and i have been scouring tjmaxx stores across the south trying to duplicate my sister's picture.

merry christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

uncomfortable to say

i wanted this outfit to be better. i really loved it and it felt great all day, but when i took pictures, i feel like my expert photography didn't do the look justice. i think when i recreate this look i will definitely wear a brighter colored cardigan and lose the scarf. this one makes me look like i have a lion's mane or a lumberjack beard. and since i already fight the good facial hair fight, i don't need a lion's mane/lumberjack scarf doing me any favors.
scarf- gift
cardi- gift
blazer- target
shorts- target
tights- target
shoes- maxx studio via tjmaxx

i tried different lighting, but blah was still the word of the day. i wish denuded could be the word of the day. i think the tan jacket and the pale gray cardi are just too closely related to have a normal dating relationship.
ps, i read the word denuded in the book i am currently reading(the mortal instruments: city of glass!!!) and i giggled. like when i have to say penal code. or dingleberry. or penetrate.
pps, did you know there is a dictionary of uncomfortable words? christmas is just around the corner!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

whole fam damily

i hit indescribable levels of joy from putting together ensembles for my family. rather, my children and myself. and my husband wears whatever he wants. the annual christmas card picture is pretty much my fashion zenith of the year. i think this is my husband's first appearance on the non-family blog. and before you say it, you may think you recognize him, but you don't. in the 8 1/2 years we've been married, i can't tell you how many times we've been stopped because someone thinks they know him. and they never do. just this past summer a man came up to us while we were swimming at the YMCA pool and struck up a conversation by asking if my husband had ever wrestled. i'm not sure if he meant professionally or what, but i would definitely help thomas pick out his costume, face paint and a really intimidating yet endearing wrestler name if he ever felt the need to jump in the ring.

my favorite color combination of the year is red, black and blue. a little alabama, a little BYU and a lot of black. because black is my all-time fave color.
on me:
shirt- gap
belt- target
skirt- thrifted
shoes- jessica simpson

on baby girl:
sweater- target
t-shirt- target
skirt- wal*mart
sneaks- wal*mart

on reagan:
shirt- gap
sweater- ralph lauren
jeans- old navy
sneaks- wal*mart

on thomas:
who do i look like, his mother?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

i wore a hairspray helmet down memory lane today

this morning i pulled all my hair to one side and it set off a whole chain reaction of memories:

1. being nervous about my way-cool friend's 9th birthday pool party. i tried to look cool myself by doing a way neat all-hair-slicked-to-the-side-hairstyle that i completely plastered down with hairspray. which was brilliant thinking, since i was attending a pool party and your hairstyle whilst swimming is key to your popularity. i was such a cool, collected, at-ease 9 year old.
2. doing the aforementioned hairspay helmet hairstyle in front the tv whilst watching news coverage of the tiananmen square massacre. i was such a nerd. i am surprised i was even invited to a party, let alone a pool party since pool parties are always the coolest kind of party. i'm sure all the other kids were clamoring to talk to me about chinese democracy protests.
3. being immediately pushed into the pool by the birthday girl herself(our swimming tradition that we 9 year olds thought was hilarious) therefore ruining my chrome dome coif.

and my christmas-y but not too overt chirstmas-y sunday outfit, red ruffles and green plaid. 
sweater- target
ruffle blouse- miley cyrus and max azria at wal*mart
belt- dillards
dress- thrifted
shoes- jessica simpson at tj maxx

Friday, December 17, 2010

hair tutor

tutor is a word that always makes me laugh. we weren't allowed to say fart growing up, we could only accuse each other of tooting. which is embarassing to say in front of non-family members. plus, it reminds me of a girl who went to my junior high. jennifer tuter. poor thing. or my homeroom teacher in 7th grade, mr. oder. or a boy from my elementary school, greg boogher.
i digress. many have asked, and i finally put together a tutorial of how i curl my hair. it's a really easy process. it just takes some practice to figure out how you want your hair to work and how to roll the curling iron. it doesn't have to be  time consuming, it's a hard style to mess up.
 i used mostly still photos because i have a hard time sitting through a tutorial that is more than 5 minutes long. i added a quick video clip at the end.

first, i'm not sure why i chose to do this with no make-up and my alma mater sweatshirt. i must have been having a pretty confident morning. this is my hair post-blow dry. since the day before was a "rest" day, or a day i didn't do/wash my hair, i didn't need to use any extra fullness creating product. otherwise i would use john frieda frizz-ease take charge curl boosting mousse. even though i don't have naturally curly hair, it still works great.

second, i pull half my hair up on top of my head. and this is my curling iron, size 1 1/2 inch barrel. it's the biggest barrel i could find for cheap. i would LOVE a chi curling iron. i have the chi flat iron and nothing compares. and at $150, nothing should compare. but cheap is fine in this case.

these are the average hair amounts i use. if i want a looser, wavier look i use larger amounts and for a tighter, more curly look, smaller amounts. it's almost like math. i never use uniform sizes. i like it to be a little messy with a mix of big and little waves.

to start the curl i make a smaller twist in my hair section. sometimes i over twist and the curl isn't very pretty. you really only need a small twist. i clamp the iron directly onto the twist. i alway curl away from my face. that's just personal preference.

after i clamp, i start twisting the iron and coiling the hair around it.

the worst picture ever of my mug, but it illustrates a good point. gently release clamp as you are coiling the hair closely to your head. if your hair is extra thick or long, you make have to roll the curling iron a bit. i have to roll a bit because my hair is both ridiculously full and it getting pretty long.

sixth, after you hold the iron for a few seconds, slowly pull the curling iron out of your hair downward, letting the hair uncoil itself from the iron. do not release clamp and let hair fall out all at once. that creates a big tangled mess.

voila! with some practice you should be able to create a spiral coil. the twist in the hair helps create a loose wavey coil with the look of a two coils, instead of just one. however, no matter what i do i can't always get each curl to coil into a double coil. that's just the way it is. life isn't always fair.

another shot of the slow motion release

after i curl all over i let the curls cool and then i finger comb them apart and finish with hairspray.
 thank goodness for make-up.

here's the clip. notice the huge stack of harry potter books? that's my bathroom tripod. literacy is helpful in so many ways. and i'm not sure why i decided not to talk. pretend it's a silent film and i'm clara bow.

the end. or the beginning. you decide.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

carolyn and me

sometimes when i'm in a mood and have an attitude problem and i can't deal with simple things, i feel like dressing like carolyn bessette kennedy, one of my fashion muses. carolyn didn't exude attitude, but she had such a lovely, simple style that didn't need any extra fluff. which is not me at all, but it's nice to pretend. i love fluff, i breathe fluff. but when i'm snarky, i just don't feel the need for any unneccesary clothing or patterns.

so elegant:

and me pretending to be an uncomplicated and unfussy dresser:
feeling sophisticated because i mixed navy and black! woo.
jacket- vera wang for kohl's
button-up- gap
cords- gap straight leg
boots- steve madden via ebay

sweater- rampage via macys
ruffle neck button-up- ann taylor loft
boyfriend jeans- jcrew
flats- maxxstudio via tj maxx

who is your fashion muse?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

how sweatpants saved the day

since i decided to strap a feedbag on my face two weeks ago and it will most likely stay there for the rest of the month of december, my nice little corduroy skinny pants were sort of an imposition on the expansion of my stomach today. said skinny pants only lasted a little while and then i put on my fave sweatpants. those delicious sweatpants have always been so good to me. like an old friend. who is also an enabler of bad habits. like eating fudge for breakfast(and lunch and dinner).

but i think the look worked out pretty well, fudge belly and all: 

flannel shirt- thrifted
sweater- gap
sweatpants- target
boots- steve madden via ebay

AND, flattery will get you everywhere. my dear friend mary, who has THE best hair on earth, sent me this picture of her recreation of this outfit here. and she totally made my week. plus, she is an amazing photographer, etsy-er, home decorator, runner and sammich maker. plus she's funny. my brother always likes to say that girls aren't funny, but mary proves him wrong. many times over. i heart her. and she has great taste in music and sometimes i will just pull up her blog to listen to her selections. if you live in the salt lake area and want to look better than you've ever looked in a photograph, give her a call.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

pardon my face

lately i've been getting a vibe from a particular person that they don't like me. you know, the whole walking by and they stop their conversation and they stare at you? no? anybody? just me and it's all in my mind? awkward. and i'm mostly good with awkward. i'm old enough that i don't need to be everybody's best friend. drama=no gracias. but, if i had offended someone, i would like to know. so, i told thomas about it and i said that i felt like i was getting the stink eye from "nancy".  thomas pointed out to me that  perhaps "nancy" thought i was giving her the stink eye and so she was reciprocating. which is a good point, i have been known to make weird faces when i'm talking to people. i've always thought i was trying to make interested and good listener faces, but apparently those facial expressions were translating as disgust. the funniest time was when thomas and i were out to dinner with my sister heather and her boyfriend at the time, edweird(he was called edweird for good reason and heather moved on to much better things). but, that night heather had to pull me aside and ask me why i looked like i wanted to throw up on edweird. i thought i was being lovely and companionable. so who knows? perhaps my facial default setting is disgusted? i've spent the last week or so practicing having a pleasant look on my face at all times, just so i'm not the problem. so now "nancy" probably thinks that i am a smiley-hyperactive-maniac and definitely won't want to be my friend.
shirt- thrifted
dress- banana republic
boots- giani bini

Saturday, December 11, 2010

suburban commando

"you gotta GTL everyday to make sure you're looking your best bro. if your shirt looks bad it makes the whole product look bad." - mike "the situation" sorrentino. (gym, tan, laundry)

"you gotta PGC every saturday to make sure you are completely undoing all your working out. bring the kids and it will always be an ordeal." -heidi "captain buzzkill" simpson (pancakes, gym, costco pizza)

pleather jacket- kohl's
scarf- express
t shirt- target
cardi- target
skinny pants- tjmaxx
purse- gryson for target
sneaks- one star converse for target

i should have at least taken the pictures post gym so i would only be sucking in pancakes. sucking in both pancakes and costco pizza is almost more of a workout than the gym. and, if we're being honest, today at costco i actually went for the 1/4 lb all beef hot dog. but PGHD is a mouthful.
i love life in the suburbs.

Friday, December 10, 2010

a blog full of my opinions and outfits

sometimes i get anxious when i tell people about my blogs. not so much the family blog, because it's about my family and it's a great record of our adventures together. however, depending on the audience, i can feel a little weird explaining this blog.
"really, it's a blog full of your opinions and outfits?"
 it really does sound quite narcissistic. and, i'll admit, it is. however, i really enjoy writing this blog and i get great satisfaction from compiling ideas and putting together outfits. and it has served a great purpose for me; i wear more of my clothes more often. plus, i just like thinking and writing. it's been a good combination for me. being a mom is great, but it has given me brain drain. worrying about the outcome of two little people's lives who depend on me for nearly everything can really make remembering and completing everyday tasks quite difficult. blogging helps keep my dendrite and axon connections fresh. thinking is my friend, not my foe.
button-up- thrifted
jacket- target
brooch- grandma beck
jeans- gap forever skinny
shoes- target

wouldn't this picture have been so cool if my jacket lining was animal print?

and thank you to all who read and (hopefully) laugh with me. i really appreciate the kind words. more than you will know.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

what to wear when you want to wear nothing

i had a few days last week when i was sickysick. i wanted to spend all day in my pajamas, but i knew i had too much to do and pajamas=do nothing it's a scientific fact. they would have added it to the scientific method, but they were wearing their pajamas and you get the picture. hardy har har.

so, day 1 of sickysick- tights and a skirt. and a dreaded turtleneck. sickysick means not the best choices, but i did like the look of color blocking with the purple and red.
furthermore, tights are my back-up sweat pants. they hold my guts in without pinching my guts. (i avoid control top anything at all times.)
dreaded turtleneck-kohl's
pleather jacket- kohl's
flats- tjmaxx
necklace- charming charlie
 and day 2 of sickysick- we did our usual family routine of going downtown for dinner. it was probably 50 degrees, but i dressed like i was in siberia. i was so cold. i felt like my grandma. all i needed was a few used tissues tucked up my sleeve for later use. but mixing prints makes me happier than a "jackass with a mouthful of briars"*. *probably my most favorite southern colloquial phrase of all time.
beanie- wal*mart
long sleeve tee- gap
scarf- target?
plaid button-up- macys
sweater coat- ann taylor loft
skinny pants- tj maxx
knee socks- gifted
boots- steve madden via ebay

the yellow rose

GREAT NEWS! i am so pleased to announce that i am going to periodically do some guest blogging on the yellow rose bridal! the yellow rose bridal is the blog of the bricks and mortar yellow rose bridal and formal shop in atlanta, georgia. the yellow rose offers a full line of modest formals, modest wedding gowns and tuxedo rental. i will be writing on a variety of topics from how to pick the right dress for you to current hair and make-up styles. i can't convey how exciting this is to me. julia kilgore, the proprietor, wanted to see more options for modest formals and wedding dresses for her own daughters. instead of complaining about it, she did something about it and opened her shop. she is my hero. i completely embrace her vision that modesty and fashion are not mutually exclusive. you can have the best of both worlds. go check out the blog and her store!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

always a treat

i found this black skirt in my goodwill box and i couldn't remember why i put it in there a year ago until i arrived at church today. i remembered that it's too short for my preference and rides up when i walk. so back in the goodwill box it goes. perhaps i will even drop it off this week. i get goodwill drop-off anxiety and i have to leave things in my box for quite a while until i feel confident enough to really get rid of them.
i had planned this mother-daughter outfit combination a few weeks ago and i was pretty thrilled to have it all come together today.
too bad scarlett was being absolutely ridiculous about taking pictures with me. motherhood: always a treat.
button-up shirt- JCP
sweater- kohl's
skirt- old navy
tights- target
shoes- jessica simpson

on scarlett:
button-up shirt- target ($3.50 right now!)
sweater- old navy
skirt- wal*mart($5)