Friday, December 9, 2011

Back of the Closet: Tank top tunic

As you all know by now, I try to extend my wardrobe as much as possible by wearing things over and over again, but I always try to rock items in a new way. I decided last winter that I could take this tank top tunic into winter by piling on a comfy sweater over it and adding leggings and knee high boots. I think it works so well because it's kind of a wintery color and pattern and not a bright summer color, even though it is a tank top. So look in your closet and see if you have a tank that you can take into winter too!

Here's the cheapskate outfit breakdown:
1. Tank top tunic, bought on a really old Lucky Deal of the Day ($14.99)
2. Sweater, J. Crew from Rugged Warehouse ($12.99)
3. Leggings, Charlotte Russe ($4.00)
4. Boots, DSW ($60.00)
5. Gray bag, Designer Details in L.A. ($40.00)
6. Sunglasses, Venice Beach ($7.00)
7. Necklace, ATL market ($3.00)
8. Leaf hair accessory (gifted)
9. Bracelet (borrowed)
10. Leaf ring, Charm (gifted)

Photos: Laura Menconi

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Make this, don't buy that

Last year I got pretty crafty with my New Year's Eve outfit and decided to make my own feathered skirt. It was a huge success, even if I did molt all night long. I mean, I think that just made it easier to find me...follow the feathers! Anyhow, I loved the skirt and I wore a couple more times too actually so I know I got my time and money's worth out of it.

Then, just the other day, a friend of mine in NYC sent me a photo of a very similar outfit at Urban Outfitters going for $199.00. Um seriously? I made mine for about $50 or less. I should start mass producing these apparently!

So if you love this outfit from UO, but would rather spend the time to make your own for less, you can find the detailed tutorial from WWWD here. All you need is a skirt, feathers, glue and then a black tank top to tuck into the skirt. If I can make this, you can too!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bangs or no Bangs? That's the question.

If it were possible, I'd have bangs/fringe year round. But I have to accept that I have naturally wavy hair and attempting fringe in the miserable hot and humid summers in the south is just out of the question. I'm not sure what that would look like and I'm too afraid to try, so I have this cycle of cutting my bangs in the fall/winter and growing them out come spring.

I'm going on my third year now with this cycle, and it made me wonder if maybe I should just stop altogether and continue to grow the bangs all the way out. So I'm leaving the fringe debate in my reader's hands. So what should I do? Cut em or grow em?

Help me decide and take my poll below!

Should I cut my bangs again or continue to grow them out?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Grooveshark picks for November

Artist: The Belle Brigade
Album: The Belle Brigade
Why I love it: It took me a couple of times to listen to this album before I was smitten. Then it just becomes addictive.
For fans of: Fleetwood Mac

Artist: Trombone Shorty
Album: Backatown
Why I love it: It's jazz meets r&b meets hip hop. I think? Either way, it makes for an excellent collaboration.
For fans of: JJ  Grey & Mofro, Carolina Chocolate Drops

Artist: Vampire Weekend
Album: Vampire Weekend
Why I love it: There's no way you can have a bad day listening to this album.
For fans of: Ra Ra Riot, Phoenix

Artist: Vetiver
Album: Tight Knit
Why I love it: It's groovy, peaceful easy listening. 
For fans of: M. Ward, Bob Dylan

Artist: Elvis 
Album: 30 #1 Hits
Why I love it: It's Elvis, who wouldn't love it? Ok, so maybe I had a friend give me some inspiration for this one, but I am really glad he did. Not sure how I lived without the King for this long. 
For fans of: The King

ps. I'm aware it's December now...this was supposed to get posted yesterday, but there was technical difficulties.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Free fun: Clothing swap

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to my first-ever clothing swap. It was hosted by one of the girls I know from the climbing gym, so I had a pretty good idea of who would be in attendance. My first reaction was excitement, I mean hello, free clothes to trade! That's something to be excited about. My second reaction was one of skepticism: those tiny girls' clothes will never fit me.

Me and my skepticism decided to go anyway. I mean, maybe I was wrong. Maybe I would find something to fit me and maybe my clothes would fit them. Besides, it would be a fun (mostly FREE) Friday night of girls getting together, eating and looking at clothes. Sounded like a win-win to me.

So off I went with some of my favorite pieces that had simply been in my closet for way too long, and a few other items that never fit me correctly or I just never liked the way it looked on me. I can now say that I attest to the traveling sisterhood pants movie. Things from my closet looked amazing on one of my good friends who is about five inches taller than me, and vice versa. And one of my favorite H&M sweaters looked so cute and cozy on the smallest girl there. That night I basically emptied out a large tote bag of my old clothes and came home with that same bag full of new clothes to put back in my closet. And again, it was pretty much all free. The only money spent is on food and drinks that you bring to share with the group. I have to say, this might be my new favorite way to shop.

There are several ways you could organize your own swap. You could lay/hang everything out and everyone would get a chance to "shop" the room at the same time. Or you could literally barter piece for piece. Or you could use the method we did. We made everyone get in a circle, and take a turn pulling out an item piece by piece. If someone was interested in the top or skirt or whatever, you voiced your opinion. And if there was more than one girl who wanted that piece, we went either by enthusiasm or we flipped a coin for it. It might have taken longer than if we had laid everything out, but it was much more fun this way and everyone had the equal opportunity to see each piece at the same time.

So what are you waiting for? Organize your own night of free fun with a clothing swap soon!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Splurge on: Outerwear

It's finally starting to cool off down here (again) in Alabama....maybe it'll be for good this time, we'll see. Either way, it's got me thinking about bundling up. And even though I really don't really need another coat, I've chosen six different varieties that I would "splurge" on if I could. You can really never have too many options, you know?

1. Mossimo Supply Co. Hooded Anorak with Removable Hood, $34.99
2. F21 Crop Leatherette Jacket with Removable Hood, $22.68
3. Old Navy Hooded Frost Free Coat, $49.00
4. George Faux Wool Toggle Front Coat, $25.00
5. Burlington Coat Factory Plaid Coat with Hood & Belt, $59.99
6. Burlington Coat Factory Faux Wool Military Cape, $59.99

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Small business Saturday...and Sunday

I'm sure you've all seen the commercials and hype recently about Small Business Saturday. It's a great movement that I fully support and I like to shop small local businesses when I can.

While small business Saturday is taking place today, I'd like to encourage those of you in the nearby area to continue to support a small local business on Sunday. It's a business that's close to my mom's shop, Oopsy Daisy. She's having a Holiday Trunk Show Sunday afternoon from 2-4 p.m. in Oneonta, Alabama. Don't miss the fun, see details below!

Friday, November 25, 2011

What's in my piggy bank for November?

1. F21 Polka Dot Shirtdress, $27.80.  Shirtdresses are kind of a big deal right now and I have a pretty big crush on this sweet polka dot number from Forever 21.

2. H&M Metallic Top, $24.95. I wanted to hold on to this top until I posted outfit ideas for the holidays, but it's so hot I just couldn't wait that long.

3. Grace the Vintage Reissue Bag, $42.00. While researching affordable top handle bags, I found this beautiful vintage-inspired bag instead and couldn't pass up the opportunity to feature it.

4. Charlotte Russe Marshmallow Knit Beanie, $9.50. I still have an obsession with cream and it has moved on to hats now apparently.

5. H&M Oxford Shoes, $34.95. I have some black menswear shoes already and I think these cute brown oxfords would play nicely with them in my closet.

6. Charlotte Russe Color-Pop Heart Pendant Necklace, $9.50. I love this throw back to the 80s heart pendant necklace.

7. Old Navy Military Style V-neck Sweater, $20.00. I still can't get enough of anything military-inspired.

8. ModCloth Two Sides of Every Love Story Ring, $13.99. Clearly I am obsessed with heart-shaped accessories.

9. Sinful Colors in Midnight Blue, $1.99. I can't imagine a better shade of polish for the cold days ahead.

10. F21 Wide Legged Woven Pants, $16.99. At this price, I could take a chance on the new wide legged pants trend.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What to wear: Thanksgiving

I meant to post this sooner (as always), but nonetheless, here are some last minute ideas for what to wear to Thanksgiving dinner. Whether you need cozy and casual or tailored and classic, I've got you covered.  Doesn't matter if your celebration is the first holiday with a new boyfriend's family or just another family gathering of your own, above you'll find a variety of winter-clad celebs to give you inspiration for wherever you may be feasting.

Happy Thanksgiving y'all!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Plated: Iron Bowl

Recently my boss asked me to simply print off some invitations for his son's upcoming Iron Bowl birthday party. First of all, for those who don't live in the great state of Alabama, the Iron Bowl is THE football game of the year for most Alabamians. It's Alabama vs. Auburn which is the state rivalry, so it's always our last game of the regular season. So besides just absolutely loving to design birthday invitations, I also am a pretty big Alabama football fan, so I think it's humorous that he thought I could actually simply print the word doc invitations he gave me. I mean, here was a chance to combine two of my favorite hobbies. So naturally, I had to ask if he minded that I try to design up something fancy instead and of course, he was game (pun intended).

So I thought about it for a while and started on a clever catchy phrase in a collegiate font with a football field as the main background, when out of nowhere it hit me. What if this was like a ticket to get into the party? And what if it looked like a real Alabama football ticket? So I took a photo that I had taken of my own tickets to the AL/TN game earlier this season and designed the invite based on that design, changing it up only a little to add some houndstooth and to reflect more of a child's birthday party type theme. And voila! I think I've got a championship winning birthday invitation on my hands here people!

Happy Friday y'all! And of course, Roll Tide!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Back of the Closet: Knee high flat boots

Ever since my injury, my ability to wear heels has been somewhat limited. I've been able to wear them more lately, but those first 6 weeks, not so much. As I have lamented before, I don't really own a lot of flats. So these flat boots have been been seeing the light of day a little too often lately. And as much as I love them and even with all the compliments I get on them, I still find myself frustrated that I have to wear them almost every single day. I've worn them with dressy dresses and casual dresses and tucked into jeans and the list goes on and on. So in an effort not to get bored with the same old shoes, I thought I'd try a different, more "Ralph Lauren" look than what I usually wear and pair the boots with a classic sweater/skirt combo. And I gotta say, I think I created a pretty fab look for fall!

Here's the cheapskate outfit breakdown
1. Crew sweater, Old Navy ($13.99)
2. Polkadot button down (gifted)
3. Suede skirt, AZ Well ($7.99)
4. Boots, DSW ($60.00)
5. Crossboday bag, thrifted ($5.99)
6. Sunglasses, Forever21 ($5.80)
7. Leaf ring, Charm (gifted)
8. Thumb ring, Charlotte Russe ($2.99, part of stackable set)
9. Earrings (??)

Photos: Laura Menconi

Friday, November 11, 2011

New use for concealer

Recently I bought some concealer at the Dollar Tree in hopes to use it as a "primer" for my eye makeup since the primer I like is about $20 at Sephora. Well, this idea was a bust as it didn't work too well and my liner still ran down my face. This left me with a tube of cheap concealer on my hands and I needed to figure out how I could use it. "Lips?" Was my next thought. Presto! We have a winner.

I've started dabbing the 301 Beige L.A. Colors concealer on my lips, rubbing it in with my fingers, then adding my favorite lip gloss, Peach Sand by  Jordana, on top and viola! It's the best (cheap) nude lip color I think I've created in a while. 

So try it, you might like it! And if not, then you're only out $3.00. What a bargain. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Buh-bye cable

Technically it's DirectTV, but you get my drift.

Yes. It's true. I said goodbye to tv shows and primetime a week or so ago. My contract with DirectTV was finally up (I signed up specifically so I could FNL exclusive before anyone without DTV. #cleareyesfullheartscan'tlose) so I decided it was time to rid myself of yet another bill. Could I afford DTV? Sure. But did I find it a waste of my money and time? Absolutely.

Please know I'm not knocking tv watching. I love it to be sure (and I totally miss it sometimes!), BUT I felt like my money and my time could be spent doing better things. So that's the choice I made and here are some things I have been doing/hope to do more of with extra time and money on my hands...just in case you want to make the no cable plunge too and need some tips on how to fill the void!

New found time will be spent:
• reading more (my Bible in particular)
• attending events during the week
• going out more/spend more quality time with friends in general
• playing my guitar
• running
• climbing
• yoga class
• hosting another game night (you may scoff, but game nights are awesome)
• borrowing movies/tv shows from the library
• blogging (yeah, yall hold me to that!)
• DIY projects around the house
• freelance design projects
• hiking/being outside in general
• riding my bike that is currently sitting in my kitchen (yes, my kitchen)
• watching the shows I miss during lunch via hulu or the tv station's website

I'm saving $85/month! Here's where some of that money will go:
• shopping (as much as I love clothes, etc I honestly don't get to buy things often, hoping that changes now)
• savings account
• more dinners out with friends
• sponsoring a child in Africa with My Father's House
• "I love you/No reason" gifts for framily
• more concerts
• coffee dates with friends
• travel!
• hosting dinners at my house

This is seriously just the tip of the iceberg and I'm starting to think maybe I have more ideas than I have time or money! But at least I know I won't be bored without TV. 

Think about could be cable free too! But no pressure :) 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Grooveshark picks for October

Artist: Mat Kearney
Album: Nothing Left to Lose
Why I love it: Because it sounds like old school John Mayer. (prob because that's how old this album is!)
For fans of: Early John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Matt Nathanson

Album: Yuma (EP)
Why I love it: Every once in a while you just need some good country. And that's what this is. 
For fans of: Avett Brothers, Langhorne Slim

Why I love it: It's an interesting blend of so many different genres of music: soul, funk, rock. Just trust me. 
For fans of: Donavon Frankenreiter, North Mississippi Allstars, Amos Lee

Artist: Damion Suomi
Album: Self-titled
Why I love it: It's kinda out there, but not too far. And it's sing songy. Again, trust me.
For fans of: Ummm, best explanation I can find

Artist: Various
Why I love it: It's quirky and weird. And fun! 
For fans of: Soundtracks, ha! 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Splurge on: Shoes

Second to dresses, I would say that shoes would be my next favorite item of clothing. Again, it was super hard to narrow this down to just six choices and honestly since it's fall, I clearly have boots on the brain! But I tried to be fair and showcase a couple of other shoes that weren't boots as well. And I tried to balance dressy and casual. Obviously it's pretty tough being a blogger!

1. Styles for Less Knee High Pleather Boots, $39.99
2. Fioni Loveit Overlasted Platform Pumps in Navy, $27.99
3. Forever21 Distressed Leatherette Boots, $32.80
4. Styles for Less T-strap Boho Heels, $29.99
5. Old Navy Toggle Sweater Adoraboots in Oatmeal, $36.94
6. George Maxie Oxford Ankle Boots, $18.00

ps. I wear a size 6.5 if anyone wants to send a pair of these my way! :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Free fun: Sunset cinemas at Railroad Park

photo taken from the Railroad Park flickr album

I've blogged about how great Railroad Park is before. And last week I never got time to mention the last Relax by the Tracks event (le sigh). But hey, at least now I can mention their last Sunset Cinemas event tomorrow night Thursday October 27th. They will be showing Poltergeist (scary!) at 7:00 p.m. and of course, it's FREE.

So bundle up, pack a snack and take a date, or somebody to snuggle with and protect you! Just be sure and get there early for prime seating. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Buy this, not that: Nail polishes

So recently, Lucky magazine did a story on nail polishes for fall. And while I loved almost all of the choices, some of them were just a bit too pricey for my taste. So I picked my favorite top five and found cheaper alternate options that looked either pretty similar or eerily identical in color.

Yeah, you're welcome!