Thursday, August 29, 2013

Anti-Fall Colors

Despite the fact that I look like I'm dressed for Easter, I liked this outfit. It's not fall yet! Then again, it's not spring either, but whatever. I'm not really anti-fall. I'm just trying to make the most of the final stretch of summer.

Top: New York & Company; Skirt: ASOS; Belt: Target; Necklaces: bridesmaid's gifts; Shoes: Kohl's

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I Kept It

I decided to keep the JCP top I bought and return the pants. After taking in the sides to eliminate the excess fabric in the underarm area, I wore it the very next day to a wedding reception barbecue.

Top: JCPenney; Shorts: MICHAEL Michael Kors via T.J.Maxx; Sunglasses: Target; Sandals: Prabal Gurung for Target

I was lazy about it and didn't try it on again before I sewed, so it's a little bunchy, but much improved from what it was.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Linen Pants

This outfit is from June, but I never got around to posting it.

Tank: L.L.Bean; Pants: MICHAEL Michael Kors; Sandals: Target; Necklace: ?; Sunglasses: Express

I wore those linen pants again this weekend. I used to be pretty anti-linen because I'm pretty anti-ironing, but I can't deny that linen pants make me feel chic and breezy, like I'm on vacation.

On Me - Top: Old Navy; Sandals: Aldo; Necklace: ?
On Bridget - Top: Old Navy; Skirt: J.Crew Crew Cuts

Right after church, I switched to shorts because it was way too hot out even for linen pants. I'm not going to complain though, since I was the one who said I was not ready for summer to end yet. Well, it's finally here! And to think, back in June, when I took the first picture, it was chilly and rainy.

Sunglasses: Target; Shorts: Uniqlo

Pardon my windblown bangs.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Inspired by Selena and Gwyneth

Initially, my plan for Inspiration Monday was to wear all black to work, then put on my vest afterwards to run errands. Well, I was in a rush this morning and forgot the vest; and anyway, it got up to 90° today, so I don't even know if I'd want to put it on had I remembered to grab it. So full disclosure - I didn't wear this version of the outfit anywhere.

Top, Skirt & Belt: New York & Company; Shoes: Prabal Gurung for Target; Vest: Old Navy
But I did wear this version all day. My husband and I watched Iron Man and Iron Man 2 this week, and I think that may have subconsciously influenced my outfit. It's a little Pepper Potts-esque, at least in my own mind.

Screen Shot 2013-02-24 at 7.10.22 PM

(Almost) A Week without Carbs

When I got back from vacation and a month of not tracking my points on Weight Watchers, my husband and I both jumped on the scale to see the damage. Last time I weighed myself in mid-July I was 183. Last Monday morning, I was 190. Yikes. That's a big jump in one month. I wanted to get back on track but knew that my typical pattern of eating well while at work then gorging at night and on weekends wasn't going to work.

I've never tried a no-carb or even low-carb diet before because it really didn't appeal to me, and I didn't think cutting out carbs made that big of a difference. But I needed to do something different, and I really wanted to get as far away from the 190s as quickly as possibly.

I didn't eliminate all carbs, but pretty close. Tuesday, I slipped up and had a few heaping spoonfuls of Bridget's macaroni and cheese, and I had granola on my yogurt on Monday. Otherwise, I was pretty good during the week even when the family and I went out to eat on Thursday. My husband almost ordered corn bread, though, and that would've killed me. Apparently, my telepathy worked, because he ordered potato salad instead, thankfully.






By Saturday morning, I was down 7.4 lb (!!!), but the real challenge was coming up when I was going to a wedding reception barbecue later that day and having my parents over Sunday.



At the party Saturday, I basically ate whatever I wanted within reason and managed to rack up an estimated daily allowance's worth of points in just a few hours. Sunday was back to business, but I did sneak one Megastuff Oreo. This morning was the moment of truth, and I weighed in at 183.2 lb, down 6.8 lb in a week. I'll take it! I don't expect to lose that much next week because I know you lose a lot when you first start a new diet, and then it tapers off, but it was a nice jumpstart.

While I had some serious cravings during the week for things like cupcakes, candy, and basically everything, and I even had a dream about eating cookies, I actually didn't go hungry. Being full, or at least satisfied, helped a lot. When I usually do Weight Watchers with all the carbs, I find I'm starving and torture myself with salads at lunch to stay within my daily points. I did have a couple salads this week, and I accidentally skipped lunch altogether on Friday, but I wouldn't say I was starving at all. Who would've thought? Oh yeah, anyone who knows anything about nutrition. Silly me.

I didn't exercise at all last week, but I do plan on getting back into my regular Zumba and yoga this week and see how it goes. I usually gain a little when I start working out again, which I know is a good thing because I'm building muscle, but I just wanted to see the numbers drop to get back on track first.

This weekend, we're headed to Nashville with some friends, and I know lots of wine drinking is going to happen, so hopefully I don't mess this up too bad and reverse everything.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Statement, Statement, Statement

Here's the Style Imitating Art piece for this week:

And my interpretation:

Lace Top: H&M; Tank Top: L.L.Bean; Jeans: DKNY Jeans; Shoes: Kohl's; Necklace: Old Navy?;
Bracelets: Target and Charming Charlie

I've been slowly making my way through Gossip Girl, and this outfit was loosely inspired by Vanessa Abrams with the stacked bangles and "statement" necklace. The term "statement" is so played out to me now, but I couldn't think of another way to describe it. It's the weekend.

Every time I watch that show, besides wanting all the clothes, I find myself wishing I could back to The Empire Hotel in NYC for their Gossip Girl themed cocktails. Maybe someday!

Friday, August 23, 2013

JCP Fitting Room Reviews

I had no idea how magical of a place JCP is. Things have definitely improved greatly from the JCPenney I remember from back-to-school shopping in 1995. While making my way to the checkout counter, I had to resist veering off into other racks of clothes and finding more stuff.

A few things prompted me to go over there today, and I wanted to give credit where credit's due. First, I kept admiring all the JCP items Piper wore on her blog. Also, I've been wanting to check out the Pearl by Georgina Chapman line since I'm a Marchesa fan. The thing that finally convinced me to go was this adorable top Jen wore on her blog, which I ordered online and had shipped to the store.

Oh yeah, it doesn't hurt that they have a Sephora. Well, they do in the Menomonee Falls location. The Brookfield one is coming soon. I will be back...

Here are the two items I purchased in the store:

I Heart Ronson Mixed Jacquard Flutter Skirt
on sale for $16.99, size 16
Whenever I see this skirt silhouette on other bloggers, I'm instantly jealous. Of course, now I can't find any examples, so you'll just have to take my word for it. I remember owning a couple skirts like this (but in pink and yellow) in college, so maybe they make me nostalgic. Who knows. It's too short to wear to work, I think, so maybe I'll have to wear it to whatever blogger get together I go to next. Or try it with tights. Or both.

Juniors' maxi dress I can't find online $22, size XL
Here's the thing. I've been buying quite a few maxi dresses lately ever since my husband told me he likes me in them. Plus, I love maxi dresses. And this one was everything I've been looking for in a maxi dress but haven't been able to find - short sleeves, defined waist, cutout back, long-enough length. Good thing I had to wander into the juniors' department to find a fitting room, or I wouldn't have seen this. I'm definitely going to pack it for our upcoming Nashville vacay.

And the rest, some of which almost came home with me, too:

Pearl by Georgina Chapman of Marchesa Floral Lace Skinny Pants on sale for $19.99, size 14
The only Pearl items I grabbed were the ones I could find in my size on the clearance racks. I tried to give Georgina Chapman some of my money, but it wasn't meant to be.  But these pants almost made me jump on the printed-pant bandwagon. They are pretty badass, yes? I couldn't bring myself to do it, though. They were a little tight, and a little short, and sitting would've been a problem. 

Faux leather pants, size 14. I can't remember what brand they are, but it's not a big loss.
In general, I'm not a big fan of anything quilted, but these pants were kind of cool. Except for the back of them. Could the pockets be any wider? For years, I've been wanting to try the leather leggings + long sweater look, but I'll have to wait longer. Then again, I'd stick out like a sore thumb wearing that in the suburbs anyway, so maybe not. 

I Heart Ronson Cutout-Back Dress on sale for $23.99, size...12? 14? I can't remember.
There's no way this is not a nightgown. I mean, it's not, but it should be. I liked it on, but I really don't know if it has a place outside of the bedroom.

I Heart Ronson Scuba Dress on sale for $23.99, size XL I think
Not the type of sweater dress I've been searching for, that's for sure. Oddly loose on top and very short. This dress might be better suited for someone with a straighter figure who wants to create curves. Maybe. Even the model looks kind of boxy. Take my opinion with a grain of salt, though, because the one reviewer on the site said the exact opposite.

Pearl by Georgina of Marchesa Peplum Dress on sale for $34.99 (but I think it was $20 in the store), size 14
OMG peplum. Do I really need more peplum in my life? No. This dress fit as expected for my pear shape - loose on top and tight on the bottom. It was an easy decision to pass this one up.

9 & Co. Belted Swing Dress on sale for $29.99 ($15.99 in the store), size 12
This one almost came home with me. I love the sleeves; I love the tweed; I even love the drop waist, but the drop waist didn't love me. Sizing up may have helped, but then it probably would've been big on top. Plus, they didn't have a 14 there. I didn't find the belt until after I looked again, so who knows if that would've improved things or not. Although I liked it, it's clearly a little tight, and it's way more spring than fall. Who knows what size I'll be come spring.

Allen B. One-Shoulder Print Maxi Dress on sale for $29.99, size 12
This one was fine, but the flutter sleeve reminded me too much of my mom's old bridesmaids dresses that I used to play dress up with.

Allen B. Studded Cutout Dress on sale for $49.99 (but I didn't realize that and thought it was $70), size large.
Why? Why with the cutouts? What is the purpose? Although I had no plans of buying this dress at $70 (and certainly not at $280 like its designer-label twin sister), I wanted to try it on because it looked fun until I noticed those darn pointless cutouts.

As for the two things I ordered online, I need your opinion on those.

Worthington Peplum Top on sale for $13.99, size large tall
Not only do they offer this top in tall sizes, they offer it in extra-tall sizes. Mind blown. This seemed to run small to me, but the length is perfect. All peplum tops should have tall sizes. It fits alright otherwise, but I feel like I have to suck in all the time, and there are weird gaps at the armpits. Those are easy to fix, but I don't know if it's worth doing, or if I should return it. Exchanging it for a bigger size isn't an option because they're pretty much all sold out. One of my coworkers actually has this top, too, so I'd have to be careful when I wore. I'm weird about matching. In theory, though, I love this top.

jcp Ankle-Length Pants on sale for $19.99, size 16 tall
These pants come in long, tall, ultra-tall, petite, short, and regular. I'm not even sure what all of those mean, but I went with tall. Reviews said these ran small, so I ordered a 16. They were a little big in the waist and actually a little longer than ankle-length pants should probably be. The length is easy to fix, but I don't know about the waist gap.

What do you think? Should I return the top and the pants or make them work for me?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Worn to Dinner

Top: H&M; Shorts: Calvin Klein Jeans; Shoes: TOMS; Scarf: Jason Wu for Target; Bag: MICHAEL Michael Kors

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Polka Dots and Red Shoes

Dress: Lauren by Ralph Lauren; Shoes: Old Navy; Bracelets: Kate Spade and Michael Kors

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Scenes from Vacation

This is my last post about our Maine vacation; then I'll be back to irregularly scheduled outfit posts and such.

All dressed up for the wedding in her Jason Wu for Target dress, "high" heels, and new hat

Enjoying some Mainely Meat at my father-in-law's 60th birthday party (Photo Credit: Sis-in-law)

The birthday boy snoozing with Bridget (Photo Credit: Sis-in-law)

Cellardoor Winery - We'll definitely be returning here on future trips. Our favorite wines among the ones we tried were the Gew├╝rztraminer, Grenache, Petite Syrah, and Treasure, which is a blueberry dessert wine.

Savage Oakes Vineyard & Winery - We weren't big fans of this one; however, I did pick up a frozen peach bellini mix there to combine with their Georges River white wine, and that was delicious. I would've liked to try their blueberry dessert wine, but I must've been too distracted by the peach bellini mix because I forgot.

Sweetgrass Farm Winery & Distillery - The highlights here were the port wines, especially Cranberry Smash. Their Back River Gin was also named the best gin in the US (by what authority, I don't remember). My husband is not usually a gin fan, but even he could appreciate this one. I could not. I also purchased some lobster cocktail bloody mary mix, which tasted about how you would imagine it would - like boozy cocktail sauce. My husband liked it; I wasn't that excited about it. But I did drink one anyway.

Tubing, trying not to get thrown off (Photo Credit: Sis-in-law)

Bridget tubing (very slowly and carefully) with her aunt

Right after this, someone convinced her to kiss the fish. She was not amused.

Attempting to ride a paddle board. I didn't fall off, so that's something.

Here are a couple more outfits from vacay that haven't made the blog yet:

Left - Shirt: Target; Tank Top: Old Navy; Shorts: MICHAEL Michael Kors via T.J.Maxx; Shoes: Converse
Right - Dress: Old Navy; Sweater: Target; Sandals: Prabal Gurung for Target

Until next time, Maine!

At a travel plaza somewhere in Maine