Saturday, November 30, 2013

Bayside Bash

On Wednesday night, my friend Erin and I attended the Bayside Bash, which is an 80s and 90s-themed party held at Turner Hall Ballroom hosted by Dustin Diamond (Screech from Saved by the Bell). Dustin lives in Wisconsin, and I know he had one of these parties last year, but we didn't make it to that one.

Erin and I went as two beloved characters from the 90s:

Cher from Clueless

Clarissa from Clarissa Explains It All

A lot of the crowd went with 80s attire, but I did see some grunge and some that were inspired by Saved by the Bell, including a really accurate Kelly and Zack. There was also one guy in a Top Gun flight suit, which was a fun idea.

About an hour into the party, the DJ announced that Dustin Diamond was in the house. He and his gorgeous wife retreated to a table, and it took us awhile to get the guts to approach him. After we saw a couple other people ask for pictures, we went for it. He was very nice during our 10-second interaction.

Me: You know, I should've carpooled with you guys today. I'm from Port Washington, too.
Dustin: Haha, I love that.
Me: OK, thanks.

Maybe 10 minutes later, Dustin got up to announce that people could come over and say hi, take pictures, and that he would be selling T-shirts later that said "Dustin Diamond Made Me Screech." And he encouraged us all to keep drinking. When he was on his way back, I approached his wife, still at their table.

Me: Would you and Dustin want to do a shot?
Wife: No, thank you, we're not big drinkers.
Me: I thought we were supposed to get drunk!
Wife: You guys should get drunk!
Me: OK, I just wanted to check.
Wife: Thank you though!

She was very nice about it. Erin and I didn't stay much later than that. We left at about 10:30 because we're old, and we didn't see much action happening. But who knows, maybe all the excitement kicked off after we left.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Borrowed from Mom

Being without a tripod is quite inconvenient. Try to ignore the kitchen table on the left and the box on the right...

It's pretty nice having a mom with good style who I can share some clothes with. When I saw a picture of her and my grandma on Facebook from their sorority's 100th anniversary party, I commented on how I loved her dress with the leather accents.

And then, next thing I knew, my mom brought it to my house this weekend for me to borrow! I didn't know it when I first saw a picture of the dress, but it has a pepluuuummm. I love a good peplum.

Dress: Calvin Klein (borrowed); Shirt: Phillip Lim for Target; Booties: Steve Madden

Thanks, Mom!

I'm linking up with the Fashionista Style Hop.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I Finally Found the Perfect Sweater Dress

In fact, I found two of them. Thank you, Zulily! (<---That's my invite link, by the way.)

Zulily is trouble. It's one of those subscription shopping sites that have new deals every day on heavily discounted items. This one is targeted for parents and sells mostly stuff for children and mothers.

In general, I should not buy clothing online because once I get the clothes in the mail and try them on, the fit is usually not ideal. Like one sweater I bought from Zulily that was delivered a couple days before these dresses, for instance. Or the fleece-lined tights I'm wearing below, which I bought off of Groupon. They were too short, so I ended up cutting the toe seam off, and now they're footless tights. They're super warm and comfy otherwise. If anyone wants to take the new-in-box black pair off my hands, they're yours for $10 including shipping. The size range is 5'5"–6', 165–250 lb.

I wasn't terribly optimistic about these sweater dresses, but the price was good, and I've been on the sweater dress hunt for years now. They are both pretty much perfect. Not too tight, not too boxy, and not too short. And machine washable. I went with XLs in both because sweater dresses always run small on me, but I may have been able to get away with larges in these. But I'll take the extra room.

Left - Dress: Jessica Howard via Zulily; Tights: HB by Harve Benard via Groupon; Shoes: Chelsea Crew
Right - Dress: Lennie for Nina Leonard via Zulily; Boots: Kohl's; Bracelet: c/o Wantable

The navy blue Jessica Howard dress is available at Boston Store (or any of the other Bon-Ton department stores), and the colorblocked Nina Leonard dress is available on for just a little more than what I paid for it. If you love sweater dresses as much as I do but can never find one that fits right, I highly recommend both of these.

I'm linking up with the Fashionista Style Hop.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Milwaukee Public Museum Outing

Yesterday, I visited the Milwaukee Public Museum with my husband and daughter (both of their first times!) and my mom. I can't remember the last time I was there - maybe for a field trip in grade school - but I forgot how cool that place is. My favorite part is still the Streets of Old Milwaukee.

Source: Wikipedia

Bridget's favorite part was either the butterfly exhibit or seeing the lions in the Africa area. We actually had a very helpful security guard show us where the lions were because Bridget was on a mission. We went through the whole museum rather quickly since obviously my almost 3-year-old had no interest in reading all the plaques. My mom compared it to how quickly I got through the Louvre...when I was 22. But what can I say? Art museums aren't really my thing even though I appreciated the experience.

Anyway, I wish I had taken more pictures while I was there because some of the environments they have set up would be great inspiration for my novel. In fact, I wish I could just sit in there all day on my laptop and write in different areas of the museum. I wonder if people ever do that. It was pretty dead on Sunday because we went during the Packer game, so it was really nice. The only part I didn't enjoy was the live butterfly exhibit. I was hiding behind my husband the whole time while my daughter was living it up.

Big creepy bug right outside of the live butterfly exhibit

OMG I just saw while poking around their website that they have sleepovers in the museum. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, anyone? I could live out my blog's namesake, which might be awesome. Maybe when Bridget gets older.

After the museum, we grabbed a late lunch/early dinner at AJ Bombers, and I had my usual - the bacon burger with chunky peanut butter on it. Soooo gooood, but I actually prefer it without the bacon.

Speaking of my NaNoWriMo novel, it took me basically all day except for the 3 hours we were in Milwaukee, but I wrote a little over 3,000 words yesterday and got back on track after hardly writing anything on Saturday. And honestly, I could wrap up the story today, so I either need to come up with more twists or figure out how to write a really, really epic battle scene.

For those of you who are here for the clothes, I promise my next post will be an outfit one. No mention of my novel there!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Literary Stylings and Another NaNoWriMo

I haven't been doing many outfit posts lately, but I do have a stack of books I'm trying to get through (very slowly). I'm reading Fangirl now; then on deck I have Facing the Music And Living To Talk About It, which is written by Nick Carter about overcoming his addiction, and Longbourn, which is basically Pride and Prejudice mixed with Downton Abbey. I accidentally purchased a Barnes & Noble membership, so I'm trying to make the most of it. Looks like Bridget's getting a lot of books for Christmas!

Also, I thought this particular book was appropriate for Gracey's Literary Stylings linkup this month since I've decided to embark on another year of NaNoWriMo. The author, Rainbow Rowell, wrote the book I'm featuring during the 2011 NaNoWriMo session. You can read her pep talk here. Pretty awesome and inspiring!

Fangirl is the story of Cath, a Simon Snow (think Harry Potter) fanfiction writer making her way awkwardly through her first year of college. I couldn't spoil it for you even if I wanted to since I haven't finished it yet, but it's pretty good so far. It's exactly the age group I wrote my last NaNoWriMo novel for and about, so it was good research for me to compare the tone of her story to mine to make sure I'm on the right track. Present tense, meaning my novel I wrote last year is not any more done than it was a year ago. No surprise there though. After I finish my current NaNo project, my goal is to pick last year's back up and wrap it up by summer of next year.


I have two Slytherin Harry Potter shirts (I know), so it was pretty easy to come up with an outfit for this one. Plus, the book said that the only things in Cath's closet were T-shirts, cardigans, and jeans. I thought about posing with my Malfoy wand, but I couldn't bring myself to nerd it up that much.

T-shirt: Wizarding World gift shop at MCO airport; Cardigan: Forever 21; Jeans: New York & Company; Sneakers: Converse

Friday, November 1, 2013

A DIY Halloween

I hope you had a fun Halloween, and TGIF!

You've already seen what costume I wore last weekend; now here's what Bridget wore trick-or-treating and what we both wore yesterday for our respective Halloween parties.

For trick-or-treating on Saturday, we went with a simple Doc McStuffins (Disney Junior show) costume comprised of pieces I found mostly at Old Navy and her doctor's kit her Nana bought her. Obviously, most of the clothes are from the toddler girls' department, but I found the white shirt from the little boys' area of the store.


Our pumpkins we brought home from the pumpkin carving party we attended earlier that day. My husband did both of these - Dracula Mickey and Frankenstein Goofy.

For Bridget's Halloween party at daycare, which of course was inside so I didn't have to worry about her being warm enough (which she still wasn't during trick-or-treating, even with her heavy winter coat on), I got a little more creative. Bridget's favorite movie of the moment is The Little Mermaid (Thanks, oh-so-illusive Disney vault! We've been waiting for this one!), so I decided to attempt to make her a mermaid costume.

I was going to do a tutorial on the mermaid tail I whipped up, but I was winging it as I went along, and I would've done the waistband differently had I thought about it more. If someone is really clamoring for step-by-step instructions, I can make a separate post about it.

Even though the tail came out a little wonky, Bridget LOVES it, and that's all that matters.

Normally, my company doesn't get that into Halloween. We do have a costume contest, but not many people enter. This year, someone on my team suggested we do a group costume, which I was all about since I can't resist dressing up every year anyway. We ended up with a group of 17 minions, Gru, and Dr. Nefario. If you haven't seen Despicable Me yet, you should. It's good.

After purchasing the yellow shirts and hats for the minions, we DIYed the hair with pipe cleaners, the goggles with mini pie tins and elastic (they served free pie in the cafeteria one day, so a group of us sat around hitting people up for their pie tins after they were done), and the overalls with duct tape for those of us who didn't own overalls or suspenders.

Being a troublemaker

The whole group

We ended up getting second place out of three in the group competition. Wah wah. The winners deserved it though.