Friday, July 29, 2011

My Blogging Environment

Fashion Beauty Friend Friday has a slightly new format--the five-questions happen a couple times a month.  On the off weeks, different bloggers come up with a visual theme and host the linkup.  Today the topic is to show our natural blogging habitats with Suze from Miss Vinyl Ahoy.

Here's where I hang out and type things--in front of the TV with baby toys and sometimes a baby on the floor in front of me.  For now and the foreseeable future, I'm using my husband's laptop because I dislodged the wireless card in mine.  Whoops.

Fashion Beauty Friend Friday

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My State Fair Food Lineup


It’s almost time! The Wisconsin State Fair begins a week from today. I look forward to this event basically for one reason: deep fried Oreos. Can’t wait!

Every year, they add more new and sometimes crazy food to the fair’s lineup. A couple years ago, it was the much talked about chocolate covered bacon. This year, the hot new food is deep fried butter. I didn’t try the bacon, and I’m not planning on trying the butter, but there are still many other foods on my list already.

New Food on My Radar
  • Deep fried bacon wrapped hot dog on-a-stick - Sounds like a fried corndog with bacon.
  • Deep Fried Beer (Michelob AmberBock) with Cheddar Cheese dipping sauce - It’s deep fried beer! With cheese dipping sauce! I gotta try that.
  • Sweetcorn jalapeno nuggets - Corn, good. Jalapenos, good.
  • Sweet potato tater tots - I just really like sweet potatoes.
  • Elvis (Deep Fried Peanut Butter Cup in Banana Batter) - Mmmm.

Food on a Stick on My Radar - Find the complete list here. One year, I tried to eat only food on a stick.
  • Chocolate Dipped Frozen Bananas - I get one of these most years. I have no idea why I haven’t just made them at home instead.
  • Deep Fried Crab Cakes - I like crab cakes, so why not deep fry them?
  • Deep Fried PB & J - I have a feeling this will be my entree of choice. Or maybe my second course.
  • Meatballs - I just really like meatballs.

Will Not Be Trying
  • Deep fried butter - But I really hope I’m with someone who does try it because I do want to know what it’s like.
  • Bacon Sundae (vanilla ice cream, pancake syrup and real bacon bits) - I’ve witnessed guys eating ice cream on top of lasagna before, so I imagine this could be good to some people...but no.

Yearly Must Haves - No matter what else goes down, these will be consumed.
  • Deep fried Oreos - Seriously, they taste like Oreo flavored donuts.
  • Cookie dough on a stick - OK, it’s a big hunk of peanut butter, sugar, or chocolate chip cookie dough dipped in either chocolate or butterscotch. Oh...em...gee...

What are your favorite fair foods?

Also, having trouble deciding what to wear? Here’s my suggestion.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Target Sales Rack Strikes Again

Ah Target, you got me again. While crusing through the sales racks, I picked up this dress, which I'm planning on wearing this weekend, in addition to the yellow tank I wore today.  I don't count these as impulse buys necessarily because they were on my list.  However, I am working on sewing a printed maxi dress, too, but they're different styles anyway.  But more on that when I actually finish it if it turns out. 

Tank and Bracelet: Target; Cardigan: Walmart; Skirt: Old Navy; Shoes and Necklace: New York & Company; Other Two Bracelets: DIY and Mexicali Blues 

I had my eye on this citrusy yellow tank top for awhile.  Then, when I saw Kendi style it four different ways in her 30 for 30, I realized how versatile it could be.  The only size they've had in my Target for weeks now is one size too big, but I figure that just adds to the drapiness.

The skirt, on the other hand, I'm not terribly excited about.  I hardly ever wear it, but it works OK with the top tucked in.  The smocking at the waist always shows under shirts, so leaving shirts untucked is not a viable option. 

I'm hoping I didn't drive my coworkers crazy with this necklace today.  It jingles like a little bell every time I move.  It was bugging me, so I can only assume it was bugging people around me, too.  Sorry!

It's only very recently that I've been willing to pair black with brown, but I love these wedges.  Plus, I wanted to link up with the lovely Wear It Wednesday ladies again this week!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pictures from Camping

Every year, hubs gets together with a group of his college buddies for a camping weekend.  I've been to the last four, I think, and they're always a good time...if the weather cooperates.  This year, hubs and I planned ahead and booked a hotel to sleep in.  Good thing, too, because night #1 was pretty hot, and night #2 was ridiculously stormy and wet. 

Saturday, for the most part, was gorgeous, and we spent much of the day on the boat.  (The baby in the middle picture is one of the other couple's adorable 10-month-old little girl.) When the downpour started, we took refuge on the picnic table, which was under a tent thing.  The second to last picture is hubs and one of the guys standing up on the picnic table bench under the tent to stay out of the spraying rain.  The last picture is one of the guys keeping the fire going during the storm, and he succeeded! 

Next year, we decided to get a cabin or house or something, so I'm already looking forward to it!

Friday, July 22, 2011

My Upcoming Concert Lineup

Going to concerts is one of my favorite things to do.  I feel like I'm not a true fan of a band or musician until I've seen them in concert.  There's nothing like seeing a band perform their music live while singing at the top of my lungs and feeling the energy of my fellow fans, especially if I happen to have really good seats.  I am excited to have some great concerts coming up!

  1. American Idol Tour - We have pretty good seats for this one, so it should be a fun show.  If you're a concert going type person, I highly recommend buying your tickets at the box office instead of Ticketmaster whenever possible.  I've done that now for two American Idol tours in a row, and I've been happy with the results--decent seats without all the heinous fees.
  2. Danny Gokey - Remember him from Idol?  Maybe only Wisconsinites do since he's from here.  He sings country music, which I am not a fan of at all, but I like his voice and him as a person.  I also met him once, and he talked to my mom on the phone!  It was neat.
  3. Ben Folds, The Fray, and others (but those are the two I'm excited about) - I was in attendance at Ben Folds' Summerfest show, but we were crammed in between bleachers, and I didn't actually see him even for a second.  As for The Fray, their music was the soundtrack of my life in 2006, and I have seen them in concert twice before.  One of those times, I was sick as a dog, though, so I just sat in the back for that one. 
  4. Hanson x 2 - They're touring again this fall like they tend to do, so I will be catching them in Chicago and Minneapolis.  Hey Minnesotan readers, I may have to come give you all high fives while I'm up there.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Third Edition of the Paper Doll Project

This is the third time I'm participating in the Paper Doll Project. I love it because it's a great way to get to know other bloggers and flex our styling muscles on another girl's closet. This time I got to work with the super sweet Amy of Stylish Year.

I gave Amy two new pieces of mine to choose from, and she opted for my bright orange Target dress.  Amy's a lover of color (and a fellow lover of the color yellow!), so she picked out some bright little pops of color to complete the look, including my beloved Michael Kors bag. 

Dress: Target; Cardigan: Wet Seal; Belt: ribbon from maxi dress I made; Shoes: New York & Company; Bracelets: Mexicali Blues; Bag: TJ Maxx

I also geekily noticed that Amy had unknowingly dressed me to match Hanson's Middle of Nowhere CD cover.  I love it! 

Can't wait to see how her outfit turned out!

Paper Doll Project

Check out the other Paper Doll participants!

Divergent Musings and Maybe Someday We'll Be Smarter
Unusual Form and Miss Vinyl Ahoy
In doctorly fashion and The Daily Dani
Matters of Merrymaking and Be Your Own Adventure
Better With Tights and I Have A Degree In This!
The Cardigan Queen and Acute Designs
Ruby Bastille and A Heart and Soul Story
From the Mixed-up Files and Stylish Year
Animated Cardigan and Snappy Casual
Miss Lulu Blogs and Elle Enchanted
The Socialite's Closet and Shades of Sarah
My Orange Stilettos and Pull Your Socks Up!
Oranges and Apples and Not Just Mom
Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication and Pieces of {My} Earth

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I Feel Thrifty and Nifty and Bright

My clothing choices yesterday were completely driven by Wear it Wednesday Colorful Shorts and Everybody, Everywear Thrift (Thursday).

First, I built an outfit around the only thrifted item I own, a pair of shoes I bought a consignment sale a couple months ago.  Since these shoes have both eyelets and bows, I decided to go all out girly.

Dress: H&M; Cardigan: Charlotte Russe; Sash: was a headband; Bracelet: Mexicali Blues; Shoes: Chinese Laundry via consignment sale

When I got home, I changed, grabbed the pup and the baby, and went for a walk.  I just bought these bermuda shorts last week in the crazy New York & Company clearance, and of course, I wanted to pair it with a yellow shirt.  I figured yellow shoes would be overkill, though.

Top: Old Navy; Tank and Hat: Target; Shorts: New York & Company; Shoes: Kohl's

I really need to get to bed earlier.  Oh well, that's what coffee's for, yeah?  OK, that's all I got.

EBEW: Thrift

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

J.Crew Inspired Necklace and Bracelet DIY

I saw this idea on Engineered Style, and she found it on Tatertots & Jello, where you can find the full tutorial.

Here’s the picture taken by Jennifer of the J.Crew necklace.

And here’s my version.  

The cool thing is that you could use any kind of chain or any color beads that you wanted, but I opted to keep it simple this time around.  I debated whether or not to add the fabric flower.  I like the necklace better without, so I'm going to make Bridget a headband out of it.

Making jewelry is definitely not my forte.  I was optimistic at first, but standing in Michael’s (your home away from home, Mrs. T!) for at least a half hour, not being able to decide what to buy or what I needed, brought my confidence down a little right off the bat.  Well, it also didn’t help that I had a sleepy baby in the cart who kept dropping her bottle on the floor.

My real problem with making jewelry is that you’re working with such little pieces.  I get frustrated with tiny, intricate things like that.  But all in all, even for someone without the patience or fine motor skills for jewelry making, this was a pretty easy DIY project.  However, according to the tutorial, it only takes 15 minutes, which I think is a bunch of malarkey.  It took me three evenings to make both the bracelet and necklace.

Here's how the bracelet turned out.

I wore the bracelet yesterday will my all blue outfit.

Here are some things I learned:
  • Don’t skip the gluing the knot step.  I skipped it the first time around when making the bracelet, and by the end, the knot was already starting to loosen, so I went back and glued both knots.
  • Wait to make the necklace into a loop until you’re done beading.  It’s harder to keep the thread taut otherwise.
  • I just used regular thread that was close to the color of the chain.  I don’t know what the difference is between that and embroidery thread other than maybe regular thread is thinner.
  • I didn’t know what tools to use, but I bought a super cheap little starter kit of two mini pliers (round nose and flat) and wire cutter.  The pliers were too small to close the chain links, so I defaulted to the normal size pliers in my husband’s toolbox to do that part of the job.  Having a needle and needle threader thingy (technical term, obviously) makes life easier, too.
  • The clasps on my bracelet are not bendy like the chain...I broke the first set of clasps, but luckily, I bought a four-pack.  

Monday, July 18, 2011

Refashioning a Dowdy Nightgown into a Cute Summer Dress

This shapeless, granny-looking nightgown caught my eye while I was wandering around Walmart yesterday. I use the word “wandering” a lot when I refer to shopping because that’s basically how I like to shop. Kind of meander through a store, glancing at everything to see if anything pops out at me. That’s why I haven’t taken to thrift shopping--way too much patience and hard work required.


Anyway, I saw this nightgown and really liked the neckline of it. And the color of course. The shape and the sleeves, though? Blech. I almost passed it up, but I saw that it was on sale for $9. Oh why not?

The second I got it home, I cut the sleeves off. Then, I flipped it inside out, put it on, and attempted to pin the sides, instead poking my fingers about a dozen times. After I finally got the sides and hem pinned with the help of a couple safety pins, the sewing part went really quickly. Unfortunately, I noticed I had given myself pointy hips, so I ended up taking the hips in a little, too.


But it ended up turning out pretty cute. Shirtdresses drive me crazy because they never seem to stay buttoned all the way (in this case, whenever I sit down), so my next step is to sew the front of it shut. Then it’ll be finished.

Unbelted--definitely looks better with a belt

Haha, when I was saving these cropped pictures, I almost saved one as "tranny" instead of "granny." Hahaha, I amuse myself.

Be sure to check out other’s Granny Chic refashions this week at C&C.

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Running Errands with the Baby

Hubs had to do some work yesterday, so my goal for the day was to run errands and get some food in the house. It was super hot and sunny out, so Bridget and I dressed accordingly.

I’ve seen a lot of bloggers do pattern mixing with a striped shirt, but I really loved Jen’s outfit with her light gray striped tank and floral skirt. The hat would’ve been a fun add, but A. I don’t have a hat like that, B. I feel like I get weird looks when I wear hats, and C. It was too hot even for a hat. And by the way, I don’t think it even reached 90° where I live since it’s near the lake. The humidity was ridiculous, though.

Tank: Kohl’s (maternity); Skirt: New York & Company; Sandals: L.L. Bean; Headband: self-made; Bracelet: booth at Bastille Days

By the way, tip for the pregnant ladies. Don’t bother with the ribbed maternity tanks at Kohl’s. This one wasn’t that long to begin with, but it shrunk after being washed, and now it’s shorter than most of the other tanks I own. It kinda just bugs me every time I wear it, but yet I still haven’t gotten rid of it. The Target ones are awesome and super long; I still wear the tank I got from there.

When we got home from running errands, Bridget took a nap while I watched The Glee Project and started two DIY projects that I’ll post about later.

Other than that, I’ve already written about the rest of my weekend. Saturday, I stopped at Fish Day (another local festival, this one with a fish theme) briefly to introduce Bridget to some friends. That’s about it!

I just think it's funny how pooped Dela looks in this picture:

Be sure to check out Carla's post today on Simply Bubblelicious. She's modeling the scarf I got her for the scarf swap!

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?
Hosted by Krystyn at Really, Are You Serious?