Friday, March 29, 2013

5 Things Friday

Hi ladies! Hopefully the rest of you are enjoying a relaxing day off like me.  I don't have any firm plans after getting my car inspected, and it feels great!  I wish all of you a wonderful Easter weekend, but before I start mine, here are five things worth sharing on the internet:

1. Somehow I ended up with a free subscription to Redbook magazine, and until this month I have always skimmed it and then set it out for the other ladies at my gym.  However, I feel compelled to tell you that they've reinvented themselves starting with the April issue and it did not suck.  I read it, admired the not-too-out-there but unfrumpy styling, and did not feel like they were talking to a reader 10 years older than me with a mom jeans collection. 

So, if you find yourself looking for something to read at the airport and don't care for highly editorial fashion, Redbook is now officially a good option.

2.  Maybe I over think it, but it makes me sad that with the demise of chains like Blockbuster, people have to: join Netflix, have premium tv channels, make do with crappy new releases in a Redbox, buy something OnDemand/in a store/on iTunes, or download  if you want to watch a movie with minimal advanced planning.  I feel incredibly lucky to live in a city with indie theaters (Yup, plural.  Dallas is artsy, y'all) and I'm hoping to watch this film very soon:

Austenland is a romantic comedy about 30-something, single Jane Hayes, a seemingly normal young woman with a secret: her obsession with Mr. Darcy-as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice-is ruining her love life; no real man can compare. But when she decides to spend her life savings on a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women, Jane's fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become more real than she ever could have imagined. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Yes, you can wear green and blue!

Is there a happier color combination than blue and green?  Or one easier to wear?  I think not.  Unfortunately, lots of women are scared to wear it unless the blue comes from denim.  I'm not sure why this is because it's such a basic combination that looks good on everyone.

Look how pretty!

And in case you're in doubt, here are some beginner combinations (including a total copy of a Banana Republic ad):

So, are you on board with pairing blue and green or is it a little too bright for you?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Quick Share: White Peplum Top for $78 vs $10

I envy all of you who can rock a peplum top without looking like the number 8.  Unfortunately, I haven't found the right cut for my short-waisted self, but that doesn't keep me from admiring the pretty on Pinterest:

I think tops like this are such a pretty option for spring and summer, so I wanted to pass along a deal I found over the weekend:

Yes, the J.Crew version probably will last longer if you plan to wear your peplum top for years to come.  However, I can attest that the JCP version is decently thick and structured, and definitely worth $10 if you're looking to play around with the trend.  

P.S. JCP also offers a black ponte knit version by Liz Claiborne that goes for $20 right now and is a dead ringer for the black shade of the $78 J.Crew top.

P.P.S.  I got this cute green gingham shirt by Joe Fresh for $19 at JCP and am thrilled to report that it is cut in a way that will button over a large chest.  It's tough going out there, and always a treat to find an option for under $50.  Snap them up before they're gone!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Reader Request: Packing for a Beach Vacation

It's Monday and I'm not thrilled about another week of work, but as the days pass, it means we're closer to warm weather and the vacations that we look forward to all year.  Last week I talked about crossbody bags, and this week I'm excited to address a request from Anne, a reader who is planning a Hawaiian vacation and wants some easy looks that will take her from the beach to outdoor activities to luaus.

She also wants to be able to wear a regular bra most of the time (a requirement that I seek from clothing as well) and not pack multiple bags.  It's not an easy feat, but I think I've put together some good ideas:

What you'll need:
  • A selection shorts (patterned and solid) that will look easy and stylish around the resort and during activities
  • Colorful tanks that aren't too tight, and offer plenty of coverage for whatever bra you want to wear (I want to try this $9.90 version from Uniqlo) and a lacy one for dressing up
  • A swimsuit for laying on the beach, and one for actual swimming.  I have this vintage inspired style and LOVE it.  It's worth every penny, and is the first suit I've ever been comfortable walking around in.  I wish it had come in leopard when I bought mine three years ago!
  • Shoes for hiking around, walking to shops, a fancier flat pair for wearing with dresses and cute shorts, and flip flops for the beach
  • An easy jersey maxi dress (I'm curious about this convertible one from Target) and a girly eyelet sundress (that you can get for $20 at Old Navy right now!)
  • A statement necklace (or three) that will dress up any tank top and shorts ensemble as well as the aforementioned dresses
Add some magazines and a great novel, and you'll be set for a tropical vacation! 

P.S. To see similar sets from previous reader requests, keep reading after the jump...

Friday, March 22, 2013

5 Things Friday

Happy Friday, internet!  I hope your week was a great one.  I enjoyed one of the quietest work weeks I've had in years thanks to every client I have being at an offsite meeting in Palm Springs.  That means next week will be crazytime, but for now I've really enjoyed the luxury of leaving our building to eat lunch and going home at 5:30. 

I also have time to discover five things worth sharing on the internet:

1. Everyone and her cousin has been pinning this fan necklace from J.Crew, and you know it's a big trend when the knockoffs start rolling out.  If you're in the market for one, check out the Katherine necklace sold by Glamour Me Jewelry:

Source: viaHaley D. on Pinterest

2. This week I was super excited to discover Chasing Paper removable wallpaper panels thanks to the ladies at Design Sponge.  The panels come in amazing patterns and are only $25 each (2 x 4 feet), which will be perfect for small spaces.  This navy pattern is my favorite:

3. This week's recipe is this Snickerdoodle bread from Lil' Luna made with Hershey's cinnamon chips (that I threw into my order on a whim).  It looks super easy, and the 20-something year old men in the Finance department at my office are very excited.  Then I showed them my Recipes board on Pinterest and they're treating it like a menu.

Also, these Snickerdoodle blondies from My Sweet Thyme look amazing, too!

4. I really like the mix of colors and patterns in this room, and I like the idea of a mini desk as a nightstand if you're short on space.  However, I don't know that I could be trusted to keep it clutter-free.  My current nightstand looks like a library.   

Also, that rug looks like a DIY project waiting to happen - someone could totally use a jute rig from Ikea and painter's tape for the same look on the cheap.

5. Maybe I'm weird, but this just cracks me up!  The little guy in the back left is my favorite:

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Things Every Girl Needs: A Crossbody Bag

Now that spring is upon us, all thoughts turn to planning our summer vacation.  Or is it just me?  I spend an inordinate amount of time daydreaming about getting the heck out of America for a week or two, and have decided to drag my mom along with me for her first international trip this year.  We haven't made firm plans yet, but one thing I do know from past experience is that a crossbody purse is a travelers best friend.

You can keep your hands free for pictures and shopping as well as make it harder for pickpockets to grab your stuff.  However, it can be tough to find a good one if you want to carry a normal size wallet, cell phone, camera, and anything else.  I use a Coach swingpack for the bare essentials, but after my last trip I knew I wanted to get a medium sized bag that would hold more without allowing me to carry around tons of stuff.
Luckily, there are lots of stylish options to be found and some even have $50 price tags.  I did a lot of digging, and came up with these options:

I'm trying a new option for sharing items instead of Polyvore - let me know what you think!
See any you like?  I really want one of the Vince Camuto bags with the grommets, but realistically I think the Aldo options are just as cute and only $50!  I like the taupe one with the tassel (bottom of the grouping) but that red looks so fun!
Now, let's talk about New Girl (if you're into that)!!  Spoiler alert if you haven't seen Tuesday night's episode...

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Reader Request: Blushing Bridesmaid

Being a bride was hard, wasn't it?  I didn't really enjoy wedding planning, and I'm glad I don't have to ever get married again.  Being a bridesmaid, however, is pretty easy.  I've done it six times and am basically a pro.  I walk at the right pace, suck in my stomach like a champ, and smile.  However, it all would have been harder if I had to pick out a dress.

This morning I'm excited to help Kristi, a reader who will be a bridesmaid in a Texas hill country wedding where she needs to find a blush or cream colored dress without much adornment.  It's also preferred that the dress has straps and be under $75.  Challenge accepted!

Modcloth and Asos are the best options that I found within Kristi's price point, and if it were me, I'd order everything I liked and then take advantage of free returns. 

After much searching, I abandoned my hunt for appropriate cream dresses because they're so hard to keep from looking bridal when you're at a wedding.  Or, even worse, the wrong shade of cream can look dirty next to a girl in a white dress, so that browsing will need to be done in person.

Hopefully this was helpful - please share any other suggestions for Kristi in the comments!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Quick Share: Happy Chic by Jonathan Adler is at JCP!

This post may be at bit hypocritical because one of my blogging pet peeves is when people rush to re-post widely available content, like every photo in the March issue of Lonny, or the new spring arrivals at J.Crew.  However, I really think that not everyone realizes that you can buy Jonathan Adler's new line, Happy Chic, at JCP.

So, breaking news:  You can!! The prices are reasonable (but don't expect Target-level cheap, though), the items are cute, and I have no idea whether they're well made or not since I haven't been to a store with a display.  However, I have ordered the blue greek key shower curtain for $30 and will let you know how it looks in person. 

I think Ron Johnson is slowly but surely making JCP a place that we (the coveted demographic of ladies with good taste who buy things often) want to shop although his insistence that America was ready to understand that sales are a trick was a huge crash and burn.

Here are my favorite pieces - what are yours?

This dresser is my FAVORITE.  If I ever have a baby Cardigan Junkie I am ordering it straight away because it would go so perfectly with a white crib and then eventually a cool big kid room.  Or, I may convince my husband that we need it for our own room (less likely).

Friday, March 15, 2013

5 Things Friday

Hello ladies.  I hope you're all getting ready for a great weekend!  This week has been a busy one for me (and I wrote four blog posts - amazing!) and I'm pumped to spend time with friends and family over the next couple of days.  Before I do, here are five things worth sharing on the internet:

1. I just finished reading Little Bee by Chris Cleave for my new book club and it is amazing, though definitely not a light read (subject matter, not length).  However, I think it's good to sometimes read things that make you uncomfortable and really think about how other people live while we yearn for expensive things that we see on the internet and act like a kitchen without granite counters is equivalent to camping (my House Hunters pet peeve).  Although fictional, the story made me take a step back and think about how I spend my time and mental energy, and remind me that I need to give more of myself and my resources to those in need.

2. This week's recipe (via Table for Two) that I'll be trying is basically a chocolate chip cookie baked in a muffin tin with a spoonful of nutella in the middle.  How can that be anything but amazing? 

3. I know the wallpaper isn't for everyone, but I love how this space just feels happy without coming across as too childish.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Slouchy Chic (It's possible, I think!)

I love getting dressed about 80% of the time.  I'm lucky to have more clothes than I need, and plenty of inspiration when it comes to mixing them up.  However, some days I just don't care to put forth any effort and want to be comfortable.  These days include: airport days, road trip days, PMS days, days when I overslept, Sundays... it happens often.

However, my secret to not looking like a total bum is this uniform of sorts:

my favorite new top (I bought five for $7.50 each in store!) // my favorite skinny jeans  // black curvy skinny jeans // leopard flats (still in store)

Yeah... I may or may not have worn some form of this outfit three times in five days.  Thank goodness for casual offices!

What's your casual uniform like?

P.S. Enter to win the LOFT flower necklace and tote by leaving a comment on the giveaway post by 3/17!  You can potentially get 9 entries (crazy)!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Things Every Girl Needs: Leopard Pumps Under $100

As crazy as it sounds, having good taste can be pretty tough.  You can walk into stores and like almost nothing, and then, to make matters worse the amazing options you do like are all $300+.

I don't personally spend more than $100 on shoes unless it's a very special purchase (or a boot, because most cheap boots look cheap) so I thought it would be helpful to round up eight options for my favorite neutral staple shoe: the leopard pump.  All the pairs below are under $100, and several are in the $50 range!

from left to right, starting on top row:  1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8

And just in case you're not on the bandwagon yet (really?!), here are some ways to wear them, courtesy of all the ladies who post pretty outfit photos on the internets:

Monday, March 11, 2013

Win a LOFT Necklace & Tote - TWO Winners!

This giveaway is closed - congrats to Neeharika and Laura!  Thanks to everyone who entered - I wish I had dozens of necklaces for all of you!  Maybe next time!


Remember a while back when I offered up a LOFT necklace for a giveaway last month?  Well, the amazing team at LOFT noticed all of your entries and awesome styling ideas and they thought that one winner just wasn't enough!

Today I'm excited to offer TWO readers the chance to win a LOFT flower necklace (worth $79.50!) and a cute tote bag designed just just for LOFT girls like us.

Here's how to enter:

1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me where or how you'd wear the necklace.  [Pssst! Be sure to include your email address or a link to your blog so I can contact you if you win, and only post to the Disqus thread so I'm sure to see it!]

For extra entries: (tell me about them in your comment so I know you did it!)

2. Tell me your favorite item from the LOFT spring collection
3. Follow Cardigan Junkie on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram (links are in the right sidebar)

4. Follow LOFT on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest

This giveaway closes at noon Central time on Sunday, March 17th.  I'll announce the winner on Monday the 18th!  This contest is open to US and Canadian readers only, please.

Disclosure:  I did not receive any sort of compensation from LOFT to host this giveaway, but the prizes were supplied free of charge and I will personally cover the mailing costs.

Friday, March 8, 2013

5 Things Friday

Happy Friday, internet!  I hope your week was a good one, and that you'll stop by on Monday for a giveaway from the cool ladies at LOFT!

Until then, here are five things worth sharing on the internet:

1. I want to do this to my hair and go on a date:

2. This week I impulse bought a Cover Girl Jumbo Gloss Balm pencil and I LOVE it.  I chose Scarlet Twist and it's the perfect red for me.  It's not too saturated, more of a "I just had a sno cone" tint, and it doesn't dry out my lips like a stain.

Source: via Haley D. on Pinterest

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Reader Request: Vegas Vacation (with Brad Paisley!)

Can I just say that I seriously enjoy writing all of your reader request posts?  It makes me feel like I'm helping people, and playing stylist is so fun.  However, this week's request is by far one of the coolest that I've gotten!

Amanda is heading to Vegas for her husband's birthday, and they'll be attending an Academy of Country Music Awards party hosted by Brad Paisley!  I'm a huge fan of Brad (we're on a first name basis thanks to all the hours spent together in my car) and had a lot of fun making these outfits for Amanda since we're the same size/shape and it was like shopping for myself.

Here's my idea of country chic, with varying degrees of casualness depending on the event:

Look 1:  Theory Nev Dress  |  Boots ($55!)  |  Turquoise Necklace

Look 3:  J.Crew Denim Shirt |   Haute Hippie Lace Mini (I saw it for $40 at Nordstrom Rack this weekend!)  |  Kate Spade Cross Body Bag (the perfect size!) or an affordable alternative from Nine West

Look 4:   Lace Tank (similar for $12)  |  Joe's Jeans Petite Provocateur (on sale at Macy's)

I love cobalt blue and turquoise jewelry, and I think it's a little more casual than classic black, which makes boots or playful fringed heels a viable option.  Both dresses are made of fluid jersey, which will be comfortable and forgiving in all the pictures Amanda and Brad will take.

Then, for daytime, few things say 'sexy country girl' like creamy lace and denim, which CAN be achieved without looking like you dance on poles at night if the hemlines and necklines hit in the right places. 

For what it's worth, I'd pick looks two and four for myself.  Can I please come with you, Amanda!?

Monday, March 4, 2013

House Talk: Wallpaper and Chairs

Good morning!  I hope all of you had a great weekend - mine was pretty uneventful, just as I intended.  I finally watched Argo (so good!) and spent some quality time discussing the next of our house upgrades with my husband.

As you know, I have trouble committing to a decision when it comes to my house.  And since we haven't started our bathroom renovation yet (my husband wants to finish our garden and some of his carpentry projects first), I keep looking around and finding new things I like.  Like these wallpapers:

Or, since the star wallpaper is so expensive ($198/roll for Osborne & Little) I'm also considering trying to paint the wall and then stencil a similar star.  If it goes badly, I can still cover it with paper right?  This color is a frontrunner:

Friday, March 1, 2013

5 Things Friday

Happy Friday!  This week has flown by, and I'm excited to kick my weekend off a little early today.  I'm excited to not have any plans, and will be spending some time at the dog park and trying a new recipe or two.  How wild!

Before I start all that, here are five things worth sharing on the internet:

1. If you need some leopard flats, I highly recommend these.  They're probably not worth $49, but I think they'll sell out fast and are super cute and comfortable.  My current Gap flats are going strong despite 18 months of constant wear, so I think I'll get my money's worth.

2. I hereby refuse to participate in the resurgence this trend, no matter how popular it becomes.  I had a pair in 1998 and it was not a good look.

Source: via Kelly on Pinterest

3. As a little treat for myself with some of the money I earned from a wardrobe consulting gig, I got this Asos dress that I mentioned in my earlier post about black flared dresses.  Of course it's more on sale now, but I really like mine and thought I'd pass it along.  The material is nice and soft, and it's a nice way to look dressed up but feel like you're wearing pajamas.  I'm going to wear it with the flats above and a bright belt.

4. Being 29 is freaking me out more than I thought.  It's as though I woke up one day and realized that some of the things I always meant to do are now much more unlikely now that I'm a married homeowner.  One of the things I always planned on doing was living abroad.  I'm not saying it's never going to happen, but this week I was excited to discover a new HGTV show called Living Abroad (imaginative title!) that involves visting expats around the world and touring their houses.  It's a nosy traveler's dream.  Check it out next time it's on!

5. I find this to be true in life, don't you?


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