Thursday, October 30, 2014

My Love Affair with Real Estate

Our adventure in house-buying was a year long, involved so, so many weekend trips from DC to Philly, several houses that sold before we could put in an offer (the joy of long-distance house-hunting), 3 offers, 2 house inspections, and one purchase.  I had great fun (although I was super antsy at the end), but John was definitely ready for a break from my constant schemings and emailed links from Redfin.

I thought we were pretty settled until I happened to notice a house a couple of blocks down the street was a short sale for $80k (a really, really good deal in our neighborhood).  We actually started down the road of figuring out the details of flipping it, and it was actually seeming promising, but then, once again, it sold out from under us.  It got me thinking though, and now I have big plans for this building that I saw back when we first started looking in New Jersey:

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It's some kind of post-thing, and comes with a theater room and a bowling alley, and even two cannons - can I say how awesome an apartment building that could be?  I'm working on getting John on board, but unfortunately, I think this one is a bit out of our price range given that our nest egg got a hit when we, you know, bought a house two months ago.  In the meantime, I'm making all these cool plans in my head.  Anyone want to fund them? :)

Me Made Fall - 10/30/14

I haven't sewn in a couple of weeks now, due to a busy schedule and John building me a cutting table, which pretty much took over my sewing area, and it feels weird.  This cardigan/jacket was the last thing I made, and I hadn't gotten around to wearing it yet, since the weather was a touch too warm for its ample coziness. I bought this fabric on a whim when it was a 50% fabric of the day special from Mood (unfortunately now sold out), and I love it.

I've had the Esther cardigan pattern from Burda for probably a few  years now, and never got around to making it, but figured this would be a good fit.  Unfortunately, as you can see from the photo below, the fabric choice makes a big difference in how it hangs.  I wasn't going for a chubby jacket, but oh well, such is sewing without planning. :)

It was super easy to sew, and only took an hour or two, including cutting out the fabric.  The only thing I did differently from the pattern was I enclosed the raw edges of the jacket body in the edge binding, since it looks so much cleaner.  It was a little tricky sewing through all the layers, but I made it work.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Putting Together a Color Palette

As I've been slowly pulling together all of my thoughts about my wardrobe and where I want it to go, I've been trying to narrow down the colors in my wardrobe palette.  I love color, and I have no idea what looks good on me (one minute I think cool colors, the next I think warm colors, then bright colors, then muted...).  Certain colors have stood out over the years though, and certain colors I just love, so I've pulled together a somewhat more focused (although still every color of the rainbow) palette I'm going to work towards.  Here are some pictures that have colors that I just love:


You will notice there is no tan in there, despite the fact I've been wearing quite a bit of it lately.  While I still like it, and it definitely evokes fall to me, I think I'm going to limit it to small doses, since I just don't think my skin tone likes it.  The mustard yellow and to some extent the green below also fall in that camp, but I love them, so they stay.  I guess that means I'm cool-toned, but I love warm colors, so I'm resisting.  The sky blue is a color I'm wavering on a bit, but I really like how it goes with the other colors in the blanket photo above, so I think I might incorporate it, just to lighten things up a bit.

Lesson Learned - 10/29/14

I've been focused lately on making my wardrobe more versatile, and coming up with new ways to wear some of my favorite pieces of clothing.  Today was a bit of a dud though, and I should have gone with one of my more successful pairings with this skirt, like this outfit or this one.

While this skirt is not too outrageous, I think that more stand-out type pieces shouldn't be worn that frequently (she's wearing that bright pink shirt again? she just wore it two days ago!), and therefore it's ok if there aren't as many items to pair with it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Blue Print - 10/28/14

This shirt is maybe too casual, but I love the fabric.  I typically don't wear too many prints, but I really like this one for some reason.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fall at the Shore

This weekend I went to the Jersey shore for the first time, despite John extolling its virtues for the past 8 years or so.  It was really beautiful and not at all like the stereotypical MTV version.  It did help we were there in the off-season, and in a different part of the shore, though.  Now that I am officially a New Jersian (sp?), I justify it as all bad stereotypes come from North Jersey, and I live in South Jersey. :)

It was a gorgeous weekend, filled with bike-riding, grilling, hanging out with friends, beach wandering, and yes, even a very quick dip in the ocean.

Gettin' Tweedy With It - 10/27/14

Friday, October 24, 2014

Cooler Weather Uniform - 10/24/14

When the weather gets cooler, I pretty much live in my black turtlenecks, which is a bit ironic considering I used to give my mom so much crap for her drawer o'turtlenecks.  At least I don't wear seasonally themed ones with cutesy patterns on them. :)

I think I need to buy a tablet now...

...because this is the coolest thing ever.  I am a child of the 80s/90s, and trapper keepers were a big deal.  Big deal.  And they're back!  For your tablet that is, not your notepad.


Unfortunately, I went with a much more expensive fancy laptop that can pretend to be a tablet, and it's too big to fit, but I'm tempted to get a tablet now. :)  Or maybe I'll just buy one of these for John's tablet, and that way at least one of us in the family can relive our childhood.  Or maybe I'll just find a real trapper keeper, and go all retro.

Adding in something new

I've decided it's too annoying to keep two blogs up and running, so I'm going to add in some other topics to this blog.  I love trying new things and samples, so maybe a year and a half ago I subscribed to Birch Box, which if you haven't heard of it is a monthly service where you pay $10 and then send you a box every month with random goodies in the health and beauty category.  I did that for a year or so, but it got a bit repetitive, and I mostly just liked the boxes the things came in.  I decided to switch it up and try a different service, since there are several now.  I'm using Ipsy, which is basically the same thing, but I find their website confusing.  Instead of a box though, the monthly samples come in a different zipper pouch every month, and we all know how I feel about bags (I love them, in case you didn't know).

I haven't tried out much from this month's bag (I'm always behind), but I did take this nice little hand cream into work today, and I love it.  Mostly because it's an adorable tube and it makes me happy to look at it, but it also works really well.  It's a little watery, but soaks in immediately and doesn't have a strong smell (important if you want to be a considerate work colleague).  Be forewarned though, it's not cheap.  I received the full size version in my bag, but it's small, and it's $7.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pulling out a sweater dress 10/23/14

Dresses are easy.  Sweater dresses are easy and comfy, my favorite way to get dressed in the morning.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pink! - 10/22/14

I figured that since I wanted to be more polished and dressed up, I should probably wear dressier clothes. :)  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tan - 10/21/14

My first outfit choice this morning didn't work out, so this is outfit #2, thrown together a bit.  I'm trying desperately to like this sweater, as it is super comfortable, but I just don't know that I can get behind how over-sized it is.  I do like it better with a collared shirt under it as opposed to a tank or tee though.


Resurfacing - 10/20/14

Sorry for the extended absence, but I am finally getting over being sick, and have enough energy to do a blog post. :)  I eased back into real life with a simple, comfortable outfit.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Polka Dots - 10/15/14

So John brought home an unwelcome present of an awful cold from California, so yesterday I got dressed, went into the office, got my computer and went home.  Needless to say, it wasn't that inspired of an outfit, but I still like polka dots.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Laundry Day - 10/14/14

This was just a quick, need to throw something on, sort of outfit, and I'm running out of clothes due to my overflowing laundry bins, so this is what I came up with.  Oh, and what I said yesterday about the stain-covering powers of black hold true today, given that I ate roasted red pepper soup for lunch, and now look like I bled on my shirt.  Unfortunately, my tide to go pen couldn't stand up to the power of peppers, and I just have to live with it.  Side note: I have never met the match of the stain-fighting power of the oxy-clean travel spray thing, but I can't find it anywhere anymore.  Has anyone seen it around?

Monday, October 13, 2014

I need a little organization....

I've been collecting inspiration ever since I was 8 years old, and I started cutting out pictures of things I liked from magazines and gluing them into my "House book".  I've gone through several house books, fashion books, and misc books over the years, but I'm thinking it's not quite working for me any more.  I have a mixture of online and physical photos, so I'm trying to convert them all to one system.  I revamped my books from more of a mood board layout (I basically just glued/taped things in the same color scheme on the same page) to instead putting loose pictures in a plastic sleeve for each category of item (shirts, dresses, etc).  That got complicated though, because I also had random internet inspirations collected in various places.  I organized my digital inspiration files in folders similar to the categories of my physical photos, but then I didn't like having them in two places.  I'm in the process of transferring everything over to Pinterest now, so we'll see how that goes.  How do you organize your inspirations?  Do you prefer physical photos, or digital?

I really need to start adding some color in my wardrobe...10/13/14

Finally caught up in posting!  Today's outfit is yet again, primarily black.  I know it's probably too intense for me and I should stay away from it, but I am a very messy person, frequently spilling things on myself, so it's more of a practical matter. :)  I designed and sewed this vest last year, and I vacillate between loving it and feeling like it makes me look weird.  But there are few me-made items that actually make their way into my permanent wardrobe (I'm still learning!), so the fact it is still there means something, I guess.

A Grey Sort of Day - 10/10/14

Friday, October 10, 2014

Playing in the rain

I currently do not own a raincoat, and it's been on my list of things to buy for a few years now, but I just never get around to buying one.  I secretly want a bright yellow one, and haven't found a good one yet.  I did run across this clear pink one on Atlantic-Pacific today though, and I think it's fabulous.  But maybe it's a little crazy?  I don't know, I'm crazy myself, so my crazy radar doesn't work really well.  What do you think?

Adding some texture - 10/8/14

I love this jacket, it's so pretty and soft, but unfortunately it's been sitting in my closet for close to a year now and has only been worn once.  I think it's the poofed sleeves and the gathered cuffs which make it a bit more fancy than I normally would wear, but now that I've worn it out and about I love it and will definitely push myself to wear it more.

A Walk on the Wild Side - 10/7/14

Still playing catch-up here - this was Tuesday's outfit.  This includes another element that I've slowly been warming up to - animal print.  I definitely prefer it in small doses or a much more stylized version, like my skirt here, but it adds a little pizzazz, I think.  I also really love the style of the jacket, as the waist seam hits me in a very flattering place.  I have a list of proportions I'm trying to work towards, and shirts/jackets with a waist like this is definitely on it - it was a good purchase!  Another thing to note - I did not wear any make-up that day, and I look horrible (these were the two best pictures, the rest I looked like I had black eyes or something).  It may be that I don't sleep a lot lately, but I think I at least need tinted moisturizer or something.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Brighten Up A Bit - 10/6/14

Back to the daily grind, aka the office.  One of my staple outfits pretty much since I've been working has been black trousers with a sweater tee.  I think I still like it, but I'm not sure.  It's polished looking, but maybe a bit too basic for what I am looking for.  What do you think?

Swimming with the Fishes - 10/5/14

Sunday was more sightseeing with my family - off to the Camden Aquarium, which was really amazing.  I went comfy with layers, and was pretty happy with the results.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Classic - 10/4/14

Saturday was a touristy day out and about Philadelphia with my parents.  I broke out my new trench coat for the first time, and I felt very classic and chic.


Something New - 10/2/14

I decided to try something out from my inspiration files, so here is the inspiration (on the right):

I don't have a scarf like that, so I pumped up the volume, both using a much larger shawl, and a bigger belt:

As the day went on, I definitely pushed the shawl more up on more shoulders, as it was a little limiting in my movement, but overall, I thought it was fun.