Scalloped Mint and a DIY to Match!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I recently realized that with all the mint colored clothing I've acquired in the past few seasons, I had no mint jewelry to pair it with. So what did I do? I made some! I took a cheap Forever 21 sparkly necklace, and painted one row of the crystals with my Revlon mint nail polish, and there you have it! DIY statement necklace that will go with all my mint items and so much more!

 Tank: Charlotte Russe( (similar here), White skinny pants: Forever 21 (buy here), Belt: J Crew(buy here), Sandals: Enzo's via Bloomingdales Outlet, Watch: men's Target, Necklace, sunglasses and earrings Forever 21.
 Before..well almost before, except for those three stones at the end I already started.

 ...and after! I was thinking of doing every other stone on the bottom row hot pink. What do you think?

Back To School!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

These pictures are from Monday, which was the first day back to school. I felt this was a very "teachery" dress: for those of you who don't know me, I'm a 5th grade teacher on the south side. You will hear that term describing many things I wear in the school months to come, considering that's what I have to look like. 

I have been waiting all summer to wear these pointy-toe bow flats I purchased back when the Nordstrom sale was going on. And this striped dress from Anthropologie is very 50's housewife-ish, which is a look I never seem to tire of.

I was all ready to get my outfit pictures taken during the day at school by some of my lovely coworkers, but silly me, I forgot the memory card in my computer at home so I couldn't save any pictures on the camera. It was a major bummer (I never like to waste a good outfit) until my awesome yoga pal Angelique was able to meet me a bit before our hot yoga class later that evening to take pictures... before we turned into un-photograhic sweaty messes! The sunset was awesome from our rooftop view and made for a grab backdrop.

Big thanks to my guest Photog Angelique! She did a great job!

Sunwashed Dots Shirtdress: Anthropologie, Pointed toe bow flats: Nordstrom, Sunglasses: Target, Earrings and Eiffel Tower Pendant: Forever 21, Patent nude belt: J Crew outlet.

And of course, here is the silly yet fashionable (even in her yoga duds) photographer, Angelique! 

Faux Pockets & Gold

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What I really love about this seemingly simple outfit is all the details. The faux pockets, yes, I said faux pockets, are just the the flaps. I thought it made for an interesting detail on the chambray button-down trend so I decided to add it to my growing collection of them. Apparently you can never have too many denim/chambray shirts...

This gold skirt was a great little H&M find for just $5. Elastic waistband, great texture and super comfy: can't beat that. Really goes nicely with the texture in my grandma's old bag. Grandma left me a few gems in the bag department that I will forever be grateful for.

And these caged lace-up heels were picked up in Ireland about 3 years back. I knew they were meant to be when I put them on and thought to myself that they were probably the most comfortable heels I'd ever laid my feet in! That's hard to find! And they pair well with my Vegas tan, if I do say so myself!

Spike necklace here for just $8.80!
Denim Top here for $22.80

Greek Fest/Rain Fest

Monday, August 27, 2012

What a crazy day it was yesterday! Originally we were supposed to go to Greek fest in our neighborhood with friends but then it started to drizzle... then rain... then it turned into a monsoon! Streets were flooded and the fest vendors started to close up. My friend Erica came up with the great idea to just go to Greek Islands restaurant. Just as we were getting our dessert, the power went out! BLACK OUT! And not just one of those flicker on/off/on kind of things, It stayed off! Even when we left the lights were still out! I'd never seen such a thing in all my years living and dining in Chicago.

We did manage to catch a few dry(ish) moments to take a few pics early in the day. 

My fresh new dye job is rivaling that truck

Necklace: Vintage, Ruffle Tank: very old Banana Republic, Accordian pleat skirt and bangle: recent Forever 21, Wedges (or as I like to call them my Kate Middleton wedges): Rampage, Nails: OPI Koala Berry

One more thing, today is my first day back to teaching since mid-June! Summer is officially over and I'm not too happy about that. Expect to see more teacher appropriate outfits for the next 9 months while school is in session!

Sparkly Yet Casual

Friday, August 24, 2012

I'm going to say it, I was COLD in Las Vegas! Even though it was 107 outside, every hotel, restaurant, casino and shopping center overcompensated by being freezing inside. I knew this fact when packing and brought a few long-sleeve options along with me. And right I was, because I felt perfectly comfortable in this sparkly sweater and white shorts combo. Perfect for a late night walk on the strip.

Pretty stair case we found in City Center

Sparkly sweater: Forever 21(Love 21) similar, Shorts: Loft, Sandals: Zara, Bib Necklace: Forever 21, Bag: H&M

 Bellagio water show.

 Chocolate fountains dripping from the ceiling in the Bellagio. Yum!

What a mall looks like at 1:00 in the morning... sad.

For all you Chicago readers, this weekend is the Randolph Street Market & Greek Fest. So if you didn't already have plans, now you do!

Have a great weekend everyone and thanks for reading!

All White

Thursday, August 23, 2012

When my husband first saw me in this all-white outfit, he said that in all the 12 years we have been together he had never seen me wear head to toe white, and was not sure what he thought of it. It's tricky to pull off but I think I did a good job. He's just not used to it, but warmed up to it by the end of the day...or so he claimed.

What do you think about all-white ensembles? Easy or hard to pull off?

Top: Loft, White pants: My favorite skinny twill pants from Forever 21 that I've mentioned before that I own in 7 colors! My favorite pants by far! Sandals: H&M, Neon sunglasses and necklace: Forever 21, Watch: Target Men's watch, recently brought back to life. Mesh chain bracelet: Randolph Street Market

FIRST Bar and Grill in the Palazzo Hotel: Really great food and my favorite wine makes this our favorite new restaurant in Las Vegas! So good we went twice!

Even Andrew liked First Bar and Grill! And he's hard to please in the food department.

Tall Ceilings? No problem!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I have been in my apartment for seven years and I really do love it. And as much as I love the high ceilings in every room, it is always a challenge to figure out what to do with the top half of the wall (and how to get up there to paint it). So here are a few ways I decided to take advantage of having tons of blank wall space:

Above-the-mantle picture collage. Some are friends and family, some are pics I have taken from my various vacations around the world, and some are just random pieces of patterned paper from Paper Source that I put in cheap wooden Ikea frames that I painted white. All in all, fills up a good 8 1/2 by 5 foot wall pretty darn well!

On mantle from left to right, my grandmother's candle sticks, Yellow Crate & Barrel vase, my two little gargoyle friends that I've had since high school, silk flower arrangement that I put together myself in a silver bucket, Gardenia candle (my favorite scent), wedding picture.

By the way, why is a numeral "5" framed you might ask? This was actually my dad's first question when he saw it. The answer, it's my favorite number. Not lucky, just favorite. Do other people have those? Please tell me so I'm not alone in this.

My own bauble station hiding behind a door. And just for visual appeal I added a row of cute framed patterned paper above it.

A big swirly decal really adds interest to a big bare wall. Purchased from online store Dali Decals, who let me customize the size and color and also flip the design so it would work in our corner! Pretty accommodating! We have had it for 2 years now and it looks just as good as the day it went up.

 Our living room mini-collage of Prague pictures and mini Ikea mirrors.
As you can see I'm not afraid of color or prints... or the mixing of colors and prints. It's chaos with a purpose.

The "J" primping station above my vanity table.

So there you have it, a small peek into the tall walls of our home.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Just something comfy I threw on to run to the grocery store. It was so nice out that I could actually wear a sleeve for once and not worry about being super hot! My kind of weather.

I grabbed this top on a whim in Vegas after seeing a girl in the changing room in it. I immediately loved it especially when I found out it was only $15! More pics to come from the trip and definitely more outfits.

Endless Nights top: H&M, Shorts: J Crew, Bag H&M(old), Cheetah sandals: Target, Pink wrap watch:La Mer, Pink sunglasses: Forever 21, Lip color: Smashbox Mandarin
(just about the most flattering color on everyone, seriously, I've never seen it look bad on anyone!)

Fade-Out/Ombre Mani

Monday, August 20, 2012

Finally home from Vegas and well rested. I didn't realize how tired I was until I woke up at 1 in the afternoon the day after our return flight! Yikes! Guess I needed some rest. I was not very productive for the rest of the day, but I did manage to go pick up a few items to fill up our bare refrigerator and take a few outfit pics.

The real highlight of my day was finding this new fade-out/ombre mani inspiration from Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere! Huge thanks to her for the inspiration and great taste.

So this time I copied her, but I can see this transitioning into so many different color combinations later this fall. I've been loving all the gold french tips I've been seeing around the blogger/Pintrest world, but it's just too hard for me to do the tips straight. This fade-out tip is a perfect compromise because imperfection is totally on your side.

I tried out a few different combinations (see below) before I decided on my final colors of Revlon, Dark Pleasures "Talk Dirty" & Essie "Steel-ing the Scene"

I used a make up sponge to put on the darker tips. The key is: less is more. Only put a small swipe of polish on one corner of the sponge. You can aways add more later. I went back and did an extra layer right at the tip to make the fade more strong. At the end I used a Q-tip dipped in remover to go around and clean up the edges.

And there you have it! Fade-out/ombre mani that will be perfect for all your fall events! Have fun creating your own color combinations. I'd love to hear all about them... and if you send me a picture I might use it in a future blog post!

 The finished product!

 "Dirty Talk" & "Steel-ing the Scene"

 All my trial combos, one on each nail. I decided on the ring finger combo, but I also like the pointer finger option too. Not so impressed with the light tip trial at all.

My work station.

Ready to go in minutes with my favorite and quite possibly the best quick-drying topcoat out there: Essie "Good to go." The best ten $10 you can put towards any at-home manicure, I promise! It's always dry before I even remember that I just painted them and start engaging in some sort of mani-damaging activity. I've been using it for years.

Roman Date

Friday, August 17, 2012

Ok, so its not faux leather this time, but somehow all my Friday posts involve me wearing an all-black ensemble. It just happens, without fail, at least once a week. I guess it's my dark side that needs to get out.

This was what I wore out to dinner one night. Then after dinner we went back to the hotel where I promptly changed shoes and put on some comfy flats. I know I'm a city girl who pretty much walks all over downtown Chicago at home, but man there is a whole lot of walking in Vegas! Thank goodness I brought a bunch of flats!

Have a happy weekend all!

Asymmetrical cut out dress: Heels: Nine West, Bag: H&M $13 bought here in Vegas, Necklace: Vintage, Bracelets: (from left to right) first 2: Forever 21, Arrow: eBay, Watch: Michael Kors, last bangle: Natasha Couture via Nordstrom

New clutch bought here in Vegas at H&M

Fun Louis Vuitton store windows