Friday, June 28, 2013

5 Things Friday

Happy Friday, internet!  I hope your week was great, and that your weekend will be too.  We've been celebrating N's birthday, and getting our house ready for some guests this weekend, and I am beat!  I can't wait for a leisurely brunch with my book club, and a nice long nap.

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

1.  I just bought this little dress for a friend's baby and I am in LOVE with it.  Like, I sort of wish it came in my size.  Check out the StephANDStace Etsy shop for your stylish baby dress needs.

2.  Speaking of my book club, this month we read Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and it was amazing.  If you haven't read it, you should.  Now I can't wait for the sequel to come out in January!  Tim Burton is rumored to be directing the movie, and it's the perfect amount of darkness for action.  (P.S. The Dallas Barnes & Noble had all of their paperback copies in the back and only featured hardback on the shelves.  I didn't fall for that trick and make someone get me one.  Beware!)

3. Here are some rooms that I like:

4. My cousin is getting married in July, and I wish I had a dress like this one to wear.  However, I'll probably wear the navy sheath dress that I've worn to weddings since 2008.  

5. Also, this:


And with that, I bid you good weekend!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

RIP Favorite Sandals

Finding the perfect pair of shoes is kind of a double edged sword.  You get a few seasons of effortless wearing, but then are faced with the need to replace them when no other shoe measures up.  This is happening to me right now, and I am having a hell of a time finding a new pair of neutral wedge sandals!

I want a pair that doesn't have any straw on them, and that aren't so high that I walk around like a drag queen.  I don't want them to be so chunky that I look like I have boots on, but I don't want them so strappy that they start to look too formal for daytime.  Did I mention that I also don't like paying more than about $60?  Yeah, this is hard.

After much browsing, I've found some options (some better than others) but would love some other suggestions if you've seen anything similar:

Yeah, the printed TOMS aren't neutral but I'd wear them all the time!

What are your favorite shoes like?  Do you wish you'd bought an extra pair like I do?

Monday, June 24, 2013

How Not to Look Fat in Loose Clothing

Happy Monday, internet!  I had a busy weekend full of housework, which was oddly satisfying, and am now ready for another busy week and N's 31st birthday on Thursday.  I also loved seeing all the comments on my old lady rant about trends and grammar - I"m glad it's not just me feeling that way!

Before that post, I'd shared some hot weather style tips and got a few questions about how to wear loose fitting clothing without looking as though they don't fit or that you're larger than you really are.  I put together a few examples of how to do this because it can be tricky, but such a lifesaver if you want to avoid body conscious pieces and be comfortable.

My rule of thumb when going loose is to always showcase one part of your body at actual size to send a visual cue that even though the clothes may be flowy, you're not shaped like a giant rectangle.  This works for petite and plus sized women alike!

Here are a few examples:

What's your favorite way to let loose?  Seen any great pieces in store lately?  Let us know in the comments!

P.S. I'm seriously loving the blue floral maxi, and just found a code online (WAL10) to get $10 off plus free shipping, for a grand total of $51. So tempting!

Friday, June 21, 2013

5 Things Friday

Happy Friday, ladies!  I don't know that I've been so excited for a work week to end in a long while, and I can't wait to kick back and enjoy it.

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

1. I am in love with this home office.  I'm not usually a huge chalkboard paint fan, but this is subtle and functional.  Check out the details over at Recently, a blog I can't believe I didn't know about until this week.

2. I'm really loving the idea of head scarves for summer, especially when my bangs are dirty and not looking their best.  This photo is my inspiration, and I'm especially loving the easy maxi dress with it.  Check out more from Christina at Hello Fashion.

3. These are words to live by... unless they're cheap black pants that don't fit and the hems have huge holes from being stepped on.  If I see one more pair I'm going to attack someone with scissors.

4. These chocolate chip cookies with nutella and marshmallow look amazing.  I want to make them immediately.  Check out the recipe at Clockwork Lemon.

5. If you haven't discovered it for yourself, Bloglovin has created a two-click process that will import everything from your Google Reader into their site.  They've also launched phone and tablet apps, so you can read blogs all the live long day!  

All you have to do is click this link, then verify your Google account, then wait about 2 minutes for everything to load.  I moved 187 blogs, and am now prepared for the end of the internet as we know it.   

If you're not sure how to use Bloglovin, check out this great tutorial from NutritionElla.  

Bonus 6th Thing! Warning - True Blood episode 1 spoilers and total geekiness ahead...

Who else watched the TB premiere?  I actually enjoyed it, since I'd mentally prepared for be disappointed like I was for most of season 5.  Thankfully, it doesn't appear that Bill is going to be a "bloody nekkid Superman" all the time, and I hope the writers have gotten the message that numerous side plots do not please viewers.  I thought the beach scene was a bit random, but a quick way to revisit the main characters, and I really loved the scene where Eric walked Sookie home.  Yeah, I'm on Team Eric and I'm a shipper.  I want them to be together again, and I think that rescinding his invitation with Warlow and Bill running around was pretty stupid, although Sookie is not known for great decisions.  Also, the exchange with Eric and Nora was really good, and I hope the writers keep it up in the next 9 episodes.  And lord help them if they kill him off.  I don't even want to think about it.

I thought the werewolves were totally gratuitous, and I hope the whole pack vs Sam business stays somewhat relevant and doesn't just turn into weird wolf threesomes.  I am not sad that Luna died, though.  She was not my fave.  I'm excited to see Steve Newlin, and hopefully more Lafayette, so hopefully the rest of the season is as good as the early years!

And with that, I bid you good weekend.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Things I do not love.

Perhaps I am becoming an old lady (the big 3-0 is eight weeks away!), but when I was trying to compile a post about trends that I like, I ended up finding more that I don't like.  So now you get to read about those, and some pet peeves for good measure!

(And when you're done, hop over to Fleur de lis & Football to read my best marriage advice for the lovely Erin while she's away on her honeymoon!)

1. If you are not careful, those trendy high waist pants and rompers can make your butt look a foot long or give you a perma-wedgie.  You'd think this would be obvious, but the women of the mall on Saturday suggest otherwise.

2. For some reason, fashion magazines continue to insist that dressy shorts are appropriate for work, and I'm sure some misguided interns experience a very uncomfortable day at the office as a result of this.  For the record, unless other people are doing it and you're positive that it's ok, it probably isn't a good idea.


3. Sometimes a messy braid looks like a mistake.

4. I like a good accent nail or simple design, but I think the whole nail art trend is getting a little ridiculous.

5. Excessive quotation marks are the bane of my grammatical existence.  It's even worse when I think about how this will bother me forever because Americans are certainly not getting better at writing in English.  (Clearly, I need this book

6.  I am almost equally annoyed by the misuse of apostrophes by working adults.  They do not denote plurality, and aren't necessary when printing a family surname on your holiday cards.  This, too, will bother me until I'm an old woman.

So, are there are any trends that you really don't like?  Any silly pet peeves like my grammar nazi tendencies?  Discuss amongst yourselves!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Hot Weather Style Tips (From a Native Texan)

Growing up in Texas endows you with lots of useful skills.  You learn to quickly identify poor quality barbeque, understand the thickest Southern accent, and dress appropriately when it's 100 degrees and humid.

I see a lot of summer style tips around the blogosphere and in magazines, and I must say that a lot of them are not really suited for serious hot weather and definitely not appropriate for work unless you can wear cutoff and a spaghetti strap tank or dress.  The key to staying in cool is not showing skin, it's more a choice of fabric and fit, which is great because you can be comfortable no matter what size your pants are and what sort of style you prefer.

How to stay (and look) cool when it's miserably hot:
  • Lean towards natural fabrics as opposed to acrylic or rayon:  Cotton blends and linen will let air flow through and help sweat to evaporate rather than accumulate.  A lot of the flowy, inexpensive tank tops you see in stores like Target and Forever 21 are actually made with non-breathable man made fabrics that are going to soak up sweat and show some embarrassing spots.  (Hint: If it's made to look like chiffon or crepe, it's not going to breathe much)
  • Cover as much skin as you'd like, but keep your clothes fairly loose:  The tighter your clothing, the quicker you'll sweat through them.  The same rule about air flow applies here - you don't need to go sleeveless as long as the sleeves you do wear are breathable.  One of my favorite summer looks is an easy button-down shirt paired with shorts because it keeps the sun off of my arms, which in turn keeps me a bit cooler.
  • Buy moisture-wicking versions of basic pieces:  I discovered this little secret a couple of years ago, and love telling people that some of my basic tanks and tees are actually made by GapFit and help to keep sweat from accumulating.  There are basically cut tees and tanks that don't have skimpy racerbacks, and they come in all the usual colors plus lots of great brights and patterns.  

  • Dress in layers that you can peel off outside:  Oddly enough, my office gets colder in the summer because the A/C runs constantly and I'd be miserable if I went sleeveless.  Thankfully, thin cardigans and  blazers are the perfect way to look polished inside, but can be removed as you leave without leaving you looking undressed.
  • Avoid polyester linings:  A sleeveless dress lined in polyester or acrylic is going to stick to you and make you miserable!
  • Keep hats, glasses, sunscreen and blotting papers handy!  Even lunch on a patio can leave you with a sunburn, and at least looking a bit disheveled.  I like to carry a little survival kit in my purse and car just in case I get caught outside.
  • Have a chic way to get your hair off your neck: Thank goodness that top knots and messy buns are de rigeur! If you're at the office, sometimes you need to be a bit more polished, so it's also a good idea to keep a classic clip and some pins on hand so you don't look like you're about to go for a run after your presentation.

Ok, fellow hot weather experts, what are your favorite tips for staying cool when it's hot?

Friday, June 14, 2013

5 Things Friday

Happy Friday, internet!  It has been a long week in the world of marketing and I need a break.  And some wine.  And some sleep.

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

1. The ladies of Pinterest sure do love these chairs, and so do I.  I want some leopard upholstery in my life, but I'm not sure where to work it in.  A question to ponder, for sure.  (Here's where to order the fabric).  The blogger who owns them is pretty awesome, too.  Check out From the Right Bank!

2. I want a little girl one day, so she can dress up like this.

3. Earlier this week I discovered the blog Averie Cooks and fell in love.  This lady can bake, and I can't wait to try her recipe for cinnamon donuts in a mini muffin pan.

4. I also discovered the blog Snow & Graham, created by Ebony Snow Chafely who runs a company by the same name.  She has amazing taste and mad skills.  She painted these floral prints herself and I want to buy them.  

5.  How hot are these two?  I still love them - maybe as much as Ross and Rachel, or Eric and Sookie.  (It comes back on Sunday!! Wheeee!)

If there are any fellow Truebies out there, let me know!  I enjoy speculation and discussing episodes.

And with that, I bid you good weekend!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Marriage is about compromise... and fewer pillows

It's hard for me to believe, but I've been married almost three years.  They've flown by and been mostly carefree, though not without a few compromises.  One of the things that has been hard to accept is that we simply do not have room for the mountains of pillows that I'd like to layer on our bed.  At my husband's insistence, I am changing the look of our bed so that we won't have a pile of euro shams and throw pillows in the corner.

Since I'm not what you'd call minimalist (ha!) I started looking for alternatives and realized that I have enough fabric layout around to make a long bolster pillow that will span most of the bed and still bring color to the room, but stand neatly against the wall when not in use.

Like these:

I think I am going to use my yellow Nate Berkus ikat fabric to make mine, and perhaps with gray and white polka dots on the back side.  Originally I wanted leopard, and probably will get one someday, but for now I'll use what I've got laying around.  Hopefully I can sew a rectangle!

P.S.  As part of my compromise, I am selling several sets of pillow covers and have inserts for free for Dallas people.  DwellStudio euro shams for sale here, and zebra print Wisteria covers for sale here

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Ye Annual White Jeans Post + My Summer Uniform

Every year around this time, I get a few questions about white jeans.  I get it - they can be scary.  If worn improperly, a normal size person looks lumpy with visible panty lines, which is not a good look.

However, there is plenty of hope for those of us without inner thigh clearance or protruding hip bones!  White jeans can look great on any body shape, if you know what to look for:
  • Go for thicker denim without tons of stretch - Stretchy denim tends to be thinner than the regular stuff and that makes it harder to achieve a smooth line from waist to thigh.  Because white doesn't camouflage uneven surfaces like dark blue denim does, it can draw attention to things you're not used to seeing.  Even the outline of your pockets will stick out if the fabric isn't good enough.  However, denim with a nice medium weight will hold you in just fine! 
  • Be prepared to go up a size, at least - For the aforementioned reasons, tight white denim does not look good.
  • Know the difference between fitted and tight - If you cannot easily pinch the fabric and you have lines emanating from your crotch and across the backs of your thighs, the jeans are too tight. (Here is an example of what not to do)
  • Slim cut or straight legs look best - Since we're doing everything we can not to add bulk, stay away from too much excess fabric from the thighs down. 
  • Get thee some nude seamless boy shorts or thongs - It's mandatory.

And here are some really simple ways to wear them.  It's not rocket surgery!:

But since I'm honest with you guys, here's how I wear mine most of the time (FYI - Converse Shoreline shoes are so freaking comfortable.  They're made to be slipped on, and have fewer eyelets so they look better with shorts):

Have you found a great style of white jeans?  Please share in the comments and describe how they fit!


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