Friday, July 22, 2011

Gone to Africa

Tube top professional

Believe it or not, you can actually wear a tube top to work. Crazy, I know. But it's just one more trick I've learned that helps maximize my wardrobe. Whereas typically I would wear this tube top with jeans and heels for a somewhat casual night out, this time I paired it with a pleated skirt (tucked in) and lace top to make it work appropriate. It could also be a great piece that I extend into fall or winter with a thicker cardigan.

Here's the cheapskate outfit breakdown:
1. Tube top, Forever21 ($14.99)
2. Skirt, Forever21 ($19.99)
3. Lace top, Banana Republic ($59.99)
4. Shoes, Nine West ($19.99)
5. Handbag, BCBGirls ($30.00)
6. Heart necklace, ATL Market ($5.00)
7. Sunglasses, streets of Venice, CA ($
8. Bangles (gifted)
9. Gold cuff bracelet (gifted)
10. Stud earrings, ATL Market ($2.00)
11. Butterfly hairpiece, Forever21 ($2.99)

Oh and just a side note, it was 107 degrees outside the day we shot this on our lunch break. Talk about a hot sweaty mess I was going back to work!

photos: Laura Menconi

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Grooveshark picks for July

Artist: Ra Ra Riot
Album: The Orchard
Why I love it: Easy. I love their unique sound and the way the instruments blend together. And the lead singer's (Wes Miles) voice is just so interesting. 
For fans of: Bon Iver and Death Cab for Cutie

Artist: A.A. Bondy
Why I love it: Sometimes friends will share a song with me of an artist and I put it aside for a while. Then I kick myself for doing so. That's precisely what I am doing right now about A.A. Bondy. He's incredible. So much good guitar strumming and harmonica on this album. 
For fans of: Vetiver, Ian Thomas and Matt Nathanson
Bonus: If you do nothing else, listen to the song "Vice Rag." Bets are you'll be turning up the volume and tapping your feet within the first few beats.

Artist: Black Keys
Why I love it: I'm going old school with this album, but I can't quit listening to it right now. It's just good rock n roll n soul. 
For fans of: The Dead Weather and Warren Haynes

Why I love it: I couldn't wait for this supergroup's album to come out earlier this year, but for some reason I dropped the ball on listening to it...until now. I'm not disappointed, it's definitely a hand clapping foot stomping good time. 
For fans of: Deer Tick, Dawes and Delta Spirit (obviously?)

Album: Departing
Why I love it: I don't know how to explain my love for the RAA. I guess they're like melancholy amazingness? Nah, that sounds weird. Anyhow, my friend Natasha introduced them to me almost 3 years ago and I've been a huge fan ever since. This is their newest album that I also neglected to become obsessed with when it first came out. But that's ok because I am obsessed now. 
For fans of: Deer Tick and Smashing Pumpkins

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Back of the Closet: BCBG dress

This cute little BCBG jumper dress that I bought several years ago at either a TJ Maxx or Marshalls sadly tends to sit idly by in the summer season. Just patiently waiting for me to pull it out of the closet. I'm not sure why I have such a hard time styling it in the summer, but let me assure that I rock it on several occasions in the's perfect for layering with a turtleneck and patterned tights.

Anyhow, the other day I decided enough was enough. I'm gonna wear this dress and I'm going to "make it work" as Tim Gunn would say. So I opted to pair it with a simple pastel yellow button down and my burgundy thrifted shoes. I would say it turned out to be a cute outfit, nothing life changing, but nonetheless a new outfit to work into my summer wardrobe.

Here's the cheapskate outfit breakdown:
1. Dress, BCBG ($29.99)
2. Shirt, thrifted ($2.99)
3. Shoes, thrifted ($2.99)
4. Handbag, BCBGirls ($30.00)
5. Wooden bangles, ATL market ($1.00 each)
6. Earrings, ??
7. Sunglasses, Venice Beach ($7.00)

And oh btw, WWWD's post today was about how pastels are trending right now. Looks like I made a good choice after all! But maybe next time I'll find a way get more creative with this dress. Until then, if you have any ideas on how you think it could be styled better for summer, I am all ears! Leave me a comment below.

photos: Laura Menconi

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Buy this, not that

So just today, WWWD had a dedicated e-mail for Lucky Brand with a lovely fringe crossbody bag on it. As much as I love this bag—and the whole look for that matter—I can't bring myself to spend $149 on a tiny purse like this. I actually had my eye on a similar one at Forever21 a few months ago, but I had to make a choice and chose a top instead of the bag. It seems since I missed out on that purchase, I'll just have to buy one of these other similar items instead of that.

1. Charlotte Russe Tiered Fringe Crossbody Bag - $26.50
2. Volcom Kitty Claw Bag - $20.80 * also available in turquoise and black
3. Minnetonka Crossbody Fringe Bag - $49.90 *also available in dusty brown & gray

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A shoe investment that's a shoo-in

We've all heard the shoe sound of death right? You know the one I'm talking about. The one that makes you sound like a horse walking down the hall of any hard surface: "clip. clop. clip. clop. clip. clop." Yeah, that one. So embarrassing. It basically screams "these shoes are so old and need to be thrown away, but I'm wearing them anyway."

But wait. No! Don't throw those shoes away. Instead, take them to your local shoe hospital, have heel taps put on them, ask for a shine and they will come back to you looking brand new—all for the low price of approximately $10 a pair. I recently took shoe inventory of my closet to assess the heel tap situation and embarrassingly enough, I had three pair that needed new taps on them. I decided it was time to do something about this, so I took all three to the shoe repair shop, and a couple of days later, it was like I had three new pairs of shoes, for less than $30. And that's what I call a shoe investment that's a shoo-in.

Monday, July 11, 2011

What's in my piggy bank for July?

1. frock candy Floral Candy Skirt ($34.99). Floral prints are all the rage right now. I especially adore the print on a fun, flirty skirt like this one.

2. frock candy Drive-in 04 Cutout Wedge in tan ($34.99). Obviously I have found a fun new website (thanks Ann!). I'm crushing on the cutout pattern of these wedges and the tan color means it will go with most everything in my closet.

3. Charlotte Russe Boho Feather Trimmed Scarf ($9.50). Feathers are also a hot commodity right now, especially for your hair, but I haven't seen a scarf with feathers...until now. I love both the feathers and the print on this one.

4. Styles for Less Large Straw Hat in black ($5.99). It's not quite as fabulous as Holly Golightly's in Breakfast at Tiffany's, but for the price, it'll do!

5. Goody's Wishful Park Ruffle Front Dress ($14.99). Again, I obviously love floral patterns and this dress is just adorable. It's perfectly sweet and simple for summer.

6. Rampage Stretch Stripe Cutoff Top ($15.00). I love the idea of throwing this cropped top over a dress or a tank as an extra layering piece.

7. Target Women's Novel Dot Rain Boots in Yellow & White ($24.99). It's been one wet summer down here, but I'm not complaining after the near draught we had last year. Instead I think I'll just pull on these sunshiney rain boots to keep my feet dry and cheer up any future gray day!

8. L.A. Colors in Sea Siren at your local Dollar Tree ($1.00). I found an amazing new polish discovery this past weekend at the Dollar Tree. I've now done my research and want to go back and find the polish in this pretty blue shade.

9. Charlotte Russe Mesh-Knot Slinky Stretch Belt ($9.50). I think this would be a sneaky way to incorporate the metallic trend into my wardrobe.

10. Fred Flare Main St. Mini Crossover Bag ($18.00). It's the perfect bag to throw on for running errands out and about the town...and it's not even in stock yet. So go ahead and put yourself on their wait list. Something tells me this one will be a best seller!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Product pick: Lullabies lotion

It's summertime ladies! This means our skin needs some serious hydration. I will be the first to admit I have always been one to use entirely too much lotion. The problem with this is that lotion can be pretty pricey. But thankfully I've found a pretty good very inexpensive lotion that I can count on. It's called Lullabies (yeah, ok, so it's supposed to be for babies - so what?) and you can find it at your local ALDI store for somewhere right around $1. You can't beat that! Now, I won't lie and tell you that it works as well the better name brands like Lubriderm or Jergens, but for the price, you definitely get your money's worth.

And might I also add that I have never been one to enjoy the "baby powder" scent for anything - lotion, deodorant, nothing. But obviously the price was right enough for me to try this one out and it just so happens that the baby scent is almost non-existent. So there you have it. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A new method to the madness

I realize that I am a bit behind on this, but I've finally jumped on board with the credit card trend. Now before you are shocked, I have had a credit card for a longggg time. But what I haven't been doing is paying for everything with my credit card first and then paying it off each month. I knew lots of friends and relatives who did this, but it just made me too nervous.

I'm not sure what made me make the switch, but one day I just decided to try it for a month and see how it goes. I can't tell you how great of a change this has been for me so far! I no longer stress about every single purchase or have the typical buyer's guilt that I experience whenever I go to an extra dinner or movie, etc. I just put it on my credit card and then when the bill comes the following month, I simply pay it off. I don't know why it makes it so much easier to do it this way, but it does. I guess I feel like there is just one big bill to pay instead of ton of small ones.

Another big payoff besides less stress for me, is the rewards program that most all credit cards offer. I think my next step in this process will be to get the Southwest credit card so I can start getting a couple of free flights every year. Now that I have friends all across the states, sounds like a good plan to me!

disclaimer: I wouldn't say the credit card strategy works well for everyone. I have pretty good self restraint, so I don't have the urge to buy everything and put it on my credit card. If you don't have this same self control...well, "don't try this at home!"

Sunday, July 3, 2011

I was infatuated from the very first time I saw this WhoWhatWearDaily "inspired by" post on Isabel Marant about two years ago. I just loved the color choices and "hippie-chic" vibe I got from it. So much so, that I have kept it all this time in my email to refer to it for future Fourth of July wardrobe decisions. But I never thought I would refer to it for stationery inspiration, until now.

It's been a while since I've done a "plated" post so I thought with the Fourth of July holiday here, it would be perfect timing. In addition to the colors and beautiful ornate detailing I used from the Isabel Marant collection, I also took the headline words from a Swoozie's koozie. One of my best friends, Emily, actually bought my friends and I a cup with this same wording last summer because, believe it or not, my friends started the whole "boom" thing that started last year. (I swear they were saying it way before anyone else was or the Nike commercial came out. Scout's honor!)

Anyhow, I thought with the combination of these items, it would make for a perfect Fourth of July lake party invitation. I know I love it, but what do you guys think?!