Friday, September 30, 2011

A Skirt for Twirling

For FBFF this week, I'm linking up on GS Lillian with a modern take on a style from a particular decade.

Skirt: self-made; Sweater: Target; Cami: Gap; Boots: Modcloth; Necklace: Maurices

When I tried on this skirt, it instantly reminded me of the poodle skirt I wore in my eighth grade musical. The musical was The Trial of the Big, Bad Wolf; and according to what I wrote in my scrapbook I made back then, it was a "comical version of what might have occured had the Big Bad Wolf been tried for his offenses," and the costumes were all very Grease-esque.

That's my little bro in the middle.

Originally, this skirt was 2 inches longer, looking even more like a poodle skirt, but I think it's more flattering at this length.

This is one of two circle skirts I plan on making from this tutorial on Made.  It would be a really quick project if you had large freezer or drafting paper or whatever, but instead, I drew my pattern on 20 pieces of printer paper taped together.  The good news is, I only have to create the pattern once, then I can use it as many times as I want for myself.

Fashion Beauty Friend Friday

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I Had a Day Today...

...So I bought some boots.

I was at Kohl's picking up a couple more fall outfits for Bridget, getting a Brewers shirt for me to wear to work tomorrow, and looking for a dress for an upcoming wedding, so I wandered into the shoe section to see if I could take care of a more frivolous want as well.  We'll see if I get buyer's remorse and return them. 

How to Make a Baby Bib

Yay, my first tutorial!

I was invited to a couple baby related shindigs lately, and I figured it might be nice and special to try to make my friends' little ones something*.  Clothes were my first thought, but bibs are way easier and can be used for a longer time. As I'm living now, you really cannot have too many bibs.

Materials Needed

  • a bib to trace, or a downloaded pattern
  • two bib-size pieces of fabric.  I bought a little over a foot of cute printed cotton and then a yard of flannel that I planned on using for four bibs.  I had quite a bit of fabric left over.  Instead of flannel, you could also use chenille to make it really soft or terrycloth to make it really absorbent.
  • fusible interfacing to give the thin cotton more structure. I bought the stuff for light to medium weight fabric.
  • Velcro
  • Pen, pencil, or marker
  • iron and ironing board or surface
  • and of course basics like scissors, sewing machine, and matching thread

1. Wash and dry the fabric.

2. If you’re using an existing bib for a pattern, place it on top of both the fabric you’re using for the front and the fabric for the back of your bib and trace around the existing bib, leaving some space around the entire thing (about a half inch) for seam allowance. Cut out your fabric pieces.

3. Place the bib on top of the fusible interfacing and trace around it. You don’t need to leave extra space this time. Cut out your interfacing.

4. Center the shiny side of the interfacing on the wrong side of the thin cotton fabric. There are directions on how to use the interfacing included when you buy it, but I’ll also describe the process here.

5. With your iron on the wool setting and the dull interfacing side of the fabric up, iron just around the edges so that the interfacing stays in place for the next step.

6. Lay a damp cloth (I just used extra fabric) over the bib and press the entire area of the bib with the iron until the cloth is dry. You’ll see steam coming off the cloth, and it should take a few minutes of ironing for the cloth to feel dry.

7. Let cool and then re-wet the cloth and repeat on the right side of the fabric with the interfacing facing down.

8. After it has cooled a couple minutes, match up the wrong sides of the front and back pieces of the bib and sew around the entire thing, leaving about an inch or so of space at the bottom un-sewn.

9. Flip the bib right side out through the opening. Another tutorial I glanced at recommended using a stick of sorts to help the fabric through the hole, but I didn’t find that I needed one in this case.

10. Press with the iron so that it lays flat--this time it can be set to cotton, or left on wool, doesn’t matter.

11. Topstitch (sew on the right side of the fabric close to the edge--I define this because I had to look it up myself not long ago) around the entire bib to close the opening and give it a finished look.

12. Cut a small piece of Velcro to use for the closure. Sew one piece of the Velcro on the back of one of the bib flaps and sew its counterpart on the front of the opposite bib flap. For sewing the Velcro, I sewed a box around the edge and then made an X in the middle.

And you’re done! Let me know if you have any questions or if something is unclear.

I believe it took me less than three hours to make these three bibs. The all flannel ladybug one went a lot faster because I skipped the interfacing step since I was working with slightly heavier fabric. I made these all for gifts, but now I’ll have to make Bridget one or five!

*So I scheduled this post ahead of time because I thought I would give my friend the bibs last night, but then I didn't see her. I figured this was going to show up in feeds even if I took it down, so I'm editing it instead. Sorry I ruined the surprise, friend! Now you know what's coming. PS: I thought of you during "Thinking of You" last night and reminisced to myself about our TOY video making days, hehe.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fall Boots and That Vest Again

Striped Shirt and Vest: Old Navy; Cami: Kohl's; Jeans: New York & Company; Boots: Mr. Shoe; Scarf: Overstock

This is the outfit I wore last weekend for the moms' day out, but I saved the pictures for today for Wear It Wednesday Fall Boots.  I kept seeing these surplus fisherman type vests on other bloggers, and I resisted it for awhile.  Silly me because I like vests in general, so it was only a matter of time before I gave in, and the sale price of this particular vest didn't hurt either.  So yeah, a few fashion blogger basics here: striped shirt, the vest, and red lipstick.  I could definitely wear a variation of this every day if I weren't so paranoid about repeating outfits, heh.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Baby Style: Girly Girl and Hipster

Apparently when hubs brought Bridget into daycare last week, all the ladies were geeking out about her cute outfit and wondering where we got it.  It was one of my garage sale finds!  I think Bridge is going to outgrow it in about two seconds, though, because the ribbon part just fits snugly right now.  Looks like I may have some more fall baby clothes shopping in my near future.  Oh darn!

The daughter of a coworker enjoys knitting (crocheting?  I still can't tell the difference), and often we coworkers get to benefit from her skills.  She knit Bridget a hat for my baby shower and also a coffee cozy for me, which I use every time I get a Starbucks beverage.  Last week, my coworker was telling me how her daughter made a cute pumpkin hat, and I jokingly said she'll have to make one for all the babies on the team.  And then, today she surprised me with this cute slouchy "hipster hat" since her daughter doesn't have time to knit everyone pumpkins.  Haha, so cute! Convenient, too--I was just thinking how Bridget needed a new hat to keep her little nearly bald head warm.

Don't mind the baby food on her shoulder...

I'm linking up with Trendy Tots Tuesday on A Little Bit of This, and you should, too, moms!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Layered Up Paper Doll

For this edition of the Paper Doll Project, I had the privilege of working with the fabulous, modelesque Joanne of Fabulously Average.  We bonded over our love of America's Next Top Model and also the vest we both own, the Old Navy surplus vest she styled for me today.

Vest: Old Navy; Tank Top and Bracelet: Target; Cardigan: Wet Seal; Skirt: Express; Belt: Walmart; Shoes: Kohl's; Necklace: gift

I love how the outfit turned out!  I was a little skeptical at first as to how all the pieces would come together, but I ended up very impressed with Joanne's eye for layering and color combinations.  The cool thing is, it's something I never would've thought to put together either. 

Turns out I wasn't the only one who liked the outfit.  I was checking out this local boutique that sells designer brands I can't afford (although I've heard great things about Tory Burch flats and was tempted for a moment), and one of the women who works there was like, "Look at how cute you look!  Right out of a fashion magazine!" 

Be sure to check out how I styled Joanne's black and white striped skirt and also see all the other Paper Doll Project participants that will be listed on Miss Vinyl Ahoy.

Paper Doll Project

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Tiny Bit of Vintage Clothing and Wine

When we lost power a few weeks ago, we had to light a bunch of candles and proceeded to drink wine and play some cribbage.  Hubs declared that we should do weekly candle night, but it never came to fruition.  Last night, I actually made a real dinner for once, so we celebrated by popping opening some wine and lighting candles while Bridget sat nearby in her high chair and ate Puffs for dessert.  I made balsamic chicken, probably my favorite Weight Watchers recipe I've tried so far, couscous, and asparagus.

Shirt: vintage DVF; Vest and Cami: New York & Company; Cords: Gap; Necklace and Shoes: Target

I believe this blue shirt is maybe one of only two vintage items I own.  Honestly, I only bought it for two reasons--it was $6, and it's Diane Von Furstenberg.  Later once I got it home, I noticed the bottom had been hemmed by a previous owner and there was a small stain even after washing.  But, all that was easily solved by layering.

I didn't necessarily feel like myself in this outfit.  I kind of felt like a fashionable dude with my collared shirt, sweater vest, and slim cut pants.  Had I cuffed the pants and wore loafers or brogues, I would've been even more dude-like.  So while I like the idea of this outfit, it definitely needs a bit of tweaking.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fall TV is Back!

Big Bang Theory (source)

Here's my DVR lineup for the week.  Yay for all my shows being back!

  • The Sing-Off - Watching it right now.  Yay Ben Folds!  I'm loving Sara Bareilles as the new judge, and I don't mind seeing Nick Lachey every week either.
  • How I Met Your Mother - I haven't seen the last season yet, but once I catch up, at least I'll have the new ones DVRed.
  • Two and a Half Men - One of my husband's shows.  It'll be interesting to see Ashton Kutcher instead of Charlie Sheen, though.

  • Glee - Here's hoping this season is as good as the first and better than the second.
  • What Not to Wear - Already a few episodes into the season.
  • New Girl - Pilot episode of Zooey Deschanel's new show.  I like her, so I'm giving it a shot.

  • Up All Night - I may give up on this show already.  I can relate to it, but I don't know if I want to relive it this soon. 
  • America's Next Top Model - LOOOOOVVVVEEE ITTTT!

  • Big Bang Theory - Can't wait!
  • Grey's Anatomy - I totally can't remember where the season left off.  I believe it was drama between Meredith and Derek.
  • Project Runway - I'm enjoying the season so far.  Lots of talent, but I still can't remember all their names.
  • Millionaire Matchmaker - I don't know if they can top the Top Model and geek episode for me, but I still love this show.

  • Four Weddings - This is a rerun, but I missed it the first time around.  A guy hubs works with is on.

I feel like I should add Modern Family in there.  I've seen episodes here and there, but I've never committed. Maybe I'll nix Up All Night at some point. 

What shows are you watching this fall?

Moms Day Out

Another fun part of my weekend was my moms day/night out on Saturday. Originally for me, it was supposed to be a full day of scrapbooking, shopping, then dining and drinking; but I had to skip the scrapbooking part and the end of the shopping part when hubs got called into work.

I’m kicking myself for not getting any pictures that day. My fellow longtime shopping buddy, Lindsey, and I were tasked with giving her mommy friend an updated everyday look. She wanted something more modern and playful than the boot cut jean/v-neck sweater outfit to which she was accustomed, and I was excited to take on the challenge. Her friend was so funny, getting all excited about wearing drapey cardigans and leggings, which her designer husband previously rejected as viable clothing options due to her proportions. When really, her slender proportions were a lot of fun to dress! Not to mention, her flexible budget made it enjoyable when we could just throw things at her and she was able to buy them. In retrospect, we totally should’ve gotten before and after pictures, but I created a Polyvore set that will do. The skinny jeans took some convincing (the Jessica Simpson ones pictured are the ones she bought), but when she came out of the dressing room exclaiming, “I look like a normal person!” we knew we had her. I don’t know if that was the exact quote--Lindsey? Something like that.

Mini Mommy Makeover

After the mini makeover, the three of us met two other mommies, Amanda and April, for dinner at Cubanitas in Milwaukee. Dinner was pretty good, but the sangria was delicious! We also enjoyed sharing stories about our children since they are all pretty close in age--from 9 months to 18 months. We then headed next door to Hotel Metro, who are known, at least in our minds, for their delicious martini options. We indulged in one drink there and some more conversation and then dispersed for the night. And we forgot to get a group picture! But it was a fun time, and hopefully all our kids can hang out sometime in the future!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Rocking the Green in the Rain

Well, my cheeks and lips are windburned and my clothes were saturated, but I had such a good time at Rock the Green.

Hubs and I showed up right as Fitz and the Tantrums were singing "Moneygrabber," their last song. Ben Folds was next, so we found a spot near the right side of the stage around second row. I naively thought there would be seats in the premier seating section, so I neglected to bring a blanket like others had. At that point, since the ground was dry, we just plopped down and waited for Ben Folds to start.

Around the time Ben Folds began his set, it also started sprinkling. He played a few songs in the rain but then felt guilty about ruining the piano. He continued the show by talking to the crowd and doing a couple songs a capella. Then he was like, "what should I do now?" to people off stage. They told him to do one more song on the piano and call it quits. I recognized maybe half the songs he played, and my favorite was "Annie Waits." I believe that's the only one hubs recognized.

It was raining pretty steadily after Ben Folds' set, but luckily, we each had an umbrella, and hubs gave me his rain jacket to wear. We decided to walk around for a little bit while the crew decided whether or not The Fray was actually going to go on and how they would waterproof the stage.  We located a Stonecreek Coffee stand and got ourselves warm beverages before heading back to the stage.

While the crew continuted covering things with plastic wrap, tarps, and vendor tents, Isaac, the leader singer of the Fray, came out a couple times and talked/waved to the crowd. It was nice to know they were trying to get on stage and not giving up due to all the rain.

I'm not sure what time The Fray actually took the stage, but I don't think it was much later than planned.  Some of the songs they played were from their upcoming album, but of course there were also their singles, "Cablecar," "How to Save a Life," and "You Found Me."  I believe "All at Once" (love that one) was the only other one they played from their first album.  I thought the coolest part of the show was after the band left the stage and Isaac continued on his own.  He took some requests from the crowd and played "Never Say Never" and "Syndicate" from their second album.  As you can see from one of the pictures below, he also wanted to show us that a local had taught him how to hula hoop.  It was amusing.

Despite the miserable weather, it was a great show.  I really enjoyed it, and I kinda wish I could follow The Fray on tour now.  Shocker.  They did sign autographs after the show, but I knew hubs was done, and I was pretty cold and over the rain at that point, too. 

And now for the Inspiration Monday picture from Two Birds and what I wore to the show.

This picture is from after the show, so I'm still a little soaked.

Cardigan: Old Navy; Necklace: ?; Everything Else: Target


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Laser Hair Removal Appointments One through Four

I wrote about my first hair removal experience, but I haven’t had the heart to write about my second and third visits until now--the day of my fourth visit.

First, I’ll review and remind you that my first visit for my underarm treatment went OK. It was way more painful than I was prepared for, but I was pleased when seven days later, my hair did seem to fall out, and it seemed easier to shave for the next couple weeks. After that, I noticed my hair grew in patchy as expected, so I was optimistic.

My second treatment seemed just as painful, but it seemed to take a little less time than the first, which was a relief. The results were nothing to write home about, though. I noticed almost no change between the second and third treatments other than being happy when about a week later, I didn’t have to shave for one day when the hair finally fell out.

The third appointment...ah the third appointment. I was nearly ready to call it quits. I walked in, and the lady observed that the hair was finer this time around, meaning she’d need to use a more intense laser. How much more pain could they really subject me to? Apparently a lot more. I was nearly brought to tears and began trembling, not unlike during labor contractions. They lasted about the same amount of time, too. She warned me that the burn might last longer this time around, and that turned out to be true. Normally, in a half hour, I’m good as new, but it was hours before I could comfortably bring my arms to my side again. Not only that, I had developed a small swollen bump on my left pit as if there were a semi-sweet morsel wedged underneath my skin. The bump subsided after a few days luckily as did the slight lingering tenderness.

Needless to say, I was not looking forward to my fourth appointment today one bit. I walked in and quickly reminded the lady that we were going to try ice this time so that it wouldn’t be quite so painful. I had also conveniently taken some Advil Cold & Sinus earlier--I needed it for other reasons, but I figured it couldn’t hurt. I held the ice pack against my arm pit for a couple minutes while the lady readied the laser. Then, I prepared myself for the excruciating discomfort...but felt nothing!!!!!!!!!! The ice and Advil had worked!!!!

Now, I’m not even worried about going in for my last two appointments. Well, the pain part doesn’t bother me anymore, but I am a little concerned whether I’m going to see any results. Hopefully, in November, I’ll have an excited post about not having anymore underarm hair. We shall see.

America's Next Top Model Cycle 17 All-Stars Episode 1 Recap


Last night’s premiere of America’s Next Top Model Cycle 17 All Stars was just as exciting as I hoped it would be. The show started with a vignette of Tyra in bed, dreaming of the all-star cycle. In her dream, she was pretending to be Camille, Laura, Allison, and I think someone else. Then, she woke up in really cute yellow polka dot pajamas that I wanted to steal, and her dream was a reality and the all stars were in her bed with her.

They then showed clips from the season of how the models will be tasked with building a brand by creating their own fragrance (definitely relevant for a model and celebrity), acting in TV shows (OK, fair enough), and singing in a music video (Really? Must they? Trainwreck waiting to happen for everyone except Lisa.). Guest judges and mentors will include basically some cool people I didn’t bother writing down in my notes and the dreamy Tyson Beckford, who popped up on the show during Cycle 9. The vision of Ebony giddily running through the house is still burned in my brain.

Since we already knew who the cast was, they arrived at their house one by one. It was so fun to see everyone arrive and react to one another. We learned that Bianca and Bre were roommates and BFFs in Chicago, but Bre didn’t even tell Bianca she was coming; and that there was some bad blood between Bianca and Camille, no shocker there. Everyone was basically excited each time someone came in the door except for when Camille arrived...silence and glares.

My initial reactions were: Sheena still wore way too much makeup, Isis looked great--way better as a woman than she did as a man, Angelea is still hilarious to me, and I hated someone’s hair. Probably Dominique’s--I just didn’t think the long, loose curled hair suited her.

Mr. Jay showed up and told the girls that they would be doing a photo shoot in their backyard right away. The theme of the shoot was to recreate their personas from their original cycles. Bianca was immediately upset as they put red extensions in hair, which she shouldn’t have been because A. it was temporary, and B. it actually looked kinda cool. Then when it was her turn, she started doing very basic, Modeling 101 poses and did not wow Jay.

Other comments I had were that Brittany looked just like Janice Dickinson and that Shannon is a PRUDE. I can maaaaaybe understand that you don’t want to do underwear modeling, but when the bikini bottom is smaller than underwear AND they’re going to put lace shorts that somewhat resemble underwear over it to cover you up more, just give up and go with it. We’re all over it.

Next, Tyra announced that panel was going to be held in front of a LIVE AUDIENCE OF FANS! I remember when the invitation went out for this event, and I seriously considered going had I extra vacation time. But alas, I did not. I noted that the fans and panel both love Allison. She’ll be sticking around for awhile. Then, I got mad at Dominique for bouncing back from having a baby in only two months to come on the show. And then Alexandria came out, AND THE CROWD BOOED! She was the only one the crowd booed, and I’m sure it was because she was so fresh in everyone’s minds after just coming off of being the villain on Cycle 16. I have never been a fan of her, but it was still pretty rude to boo. Sheena was wearing a fierce vintage jumpsuit that the panel loved. (Nicki Minaj was the guest judge this week, by the way. She told it like it is.) Laura told Nicki Minaj that she could have her grandma hook her up with some homemade couture, too. “Wanda Sue!”

The public part of the show was done, and while the girls headed to the private panel area, the Jays polled the crowd about which models they love and love to hate. When I heard that the results were going to have a basis on who was going home, I had a pretty good idea who it would be. During the commercial break, I predicted Brittany would be the first one booted.

And we’re back, and Tyra announced that the grand prize for this season’s winner would include a spread in Italian Vogue, a spread and cover of Beauty in Vogue, a Cover Girl contract, a correspondent gig with...was it E!? Some entertainment television outlet. And, a national ad campaign with Express. Personally, I was underwhelmed with the prizes. The only new ones were the TV correspondent thing and the Express ad, but whatevs.

The first picture called was Isis, which was a little surprising; but not surprisingly, Allison was called second. Bottom two were Alexandria (most hated by fans) and Brittany (most forgettable by fans). I knew being most hated was way more marketable than not even being remembered, so my guess of Brittany going home ended up being right. It’s too bad, too, because she was actually my favorite from Cycle 4. She just needed me there cheering her on! My favorites have been going home first a lot lately.  Like on Bachelor Pad, Alli was my favorite, and she peaced out first, too.  It does suck to get kicked off of your Cycle, then to come back just to get kicked off first. Reminds me a lot of my regional spelling bee experience in eighth grade actually...but anyway.

Previews for the rest of the season consisted of DRAMA, DRAMA, DRAMA. It’s going to be awesome!!!!!!!!! I can’t wait for next Wednesday already.

Right now, I hope Shannon goes home next because she was being whiney and impossible this week. As far as who I want to win...I’m going to go with Isis for now. Or Sheena. I guess either Cycle 11 girl would do.

Did you see last night’s show? What’d you think? Who’s your favorite all star?