Monday, January 31, 2011

Only Two Can Keep a Secret If One of Them is Dead...

The two wonderful Kims... Fab Finds Under $50 and Fashion Momma have posed a Pretty Little Liars Style Challenge.  That show is one of my favorite guilty pleasures, so of course, I had to participate.  My outfit is inspired by Aria.  The way she dresses, who she dates, and even how she acts sometimes reminds me of 1997 college Randi...enough said!


So, I chose a flowey dress, ruffled cardi and statement earrings.  In one episode Aria had on big feather earrings, so I chose my favorite silver feather ones.  I think I did a pretty good job interpreting her style. 
In bigger news...I have a job interview this is for retail sales at a local boutique.  I love the store and I shop there often, so keep your fingers crossed they like me.

The 30 x 30 Challenge starts tommorow...can you feel the excitement in the air!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Shopping in a Store Called Randi's Closet

I picked my items for the 30x30 was a lot harder than I thought.  I had to make sure I had all my bases covered...casual for travel and days with appropriate for work...job interview appropriate...dressy for nights out... Not an easy task.  But here is what I have chosen...
Skirts                                                Sweaters
-blue denim skirt                              -Red cardigan
-black denim skirt                            -Gold cardigan
-black pencil skirt                            -Black ruffled cardigan
-black lace skirt                               -Black and silver drapey cardigan
-tan corduroy skirt                           -Black chunky cardigan
-navy wool skirt                               -Purple short sleeve sweater
Pants                                               -Pink v-neck sweater
-Jeans                                              Shirts
-black leggings                                -Blue button up
Dresses                                          -Plaid button up
-Black cotton sheath                       -Gray and blue striped t-shirt
-Gray wrap dress                            -Nude and black lace tank
-Flowered Tucker dress                   -Blue lace tank
-Black sweater dress
-Black brown patten dress              -Fuzzy vest
Blazers                                          -Free People sweater coat
-Black Tuxedo blazer
-Gray Blazer

Just call me a cheater, cheater pumpkin eater, but I know I do not have and shoes or boots listed in my 30.  Well, I had to be realistic with everything I have going on and cut myself some slack.  I am looking forward to testing my remixing skills since I had to cut the challenge short this summer. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Smile Pretty For The Camera...

The great Katy of Modly Chic invented Friend Friday.  It is a chance for all us bloggers to discuss a new topic each week.  This week it is Blogger Mechanics...

1. What technology do you use in blogging?
My camera is a Sony Cybershot.  It is no the fanciest, but when I first started blogging I wanted to make sure that it was something that I was going to stick with before I splurged...I must say, now I am hooked!  Not sure of the brand of my tripod, it had been abused by my kids and the brand has worn off, but it is pretty basic and compact...fits in my bag!  I use Blogger as my publisher.  I also use my Iphone...besides checking my blog ann resding comments and email, I also send emails to my blog when I have some new thoughts or conversations that I am going to want to blog about later.

2. What computer and online technology do you use?
I hate to admit it, but I am not that technologically savvy.  I use my macbook for everything.  I store and edit my photos in iphoto.  Retouching wise, it does not do a lot, color correction, cropping, red eye elimination...but it works for me!

3. What is your process for taking pictures?
Not sure if you can really call it a process...but I set up the tripod...set the timer...focus on a spot...and run into the frame and try to look all put together and poised by the time the red light flashes and the pictures get snapped.  Then I run back to the camera, review the photos, cringe, reframe the shot and repeat!

4. When it comes to backdrops for your photos what do you consider? Do you scout locations or shoot the same spot daily?
When I have time, I try to look for a new location.  If I am driving and I see a good location, I have been know to pull over and try to snap some pictures.  But on most days, I go outside at work and take my photos there...not very exciting.  I also have started taking pics in my back yard or front stairs on the weekends.  I would try that every morning if I had the time...maybe when my schedule changes.

5. If you could splurge and get one new piece of equipment what would you be buying?
I really want a new camera...not sure what exact kind yet, I still have to do my research.  I would like some sort of DSLR since I also plan to start doing for art photography.  I also would like to get Photoshop so I can do more creative elements for my blog.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I Don't Want to Share with You...

60...that is how many photos I took today! I tried outside, inside and outside again with someone else playing photographer...didn't like any of them.  But, my photographer decided that she liked the first ones I took I will show you them.  The best of the bad...kinda like being the tallest midget.  Good thing I liked my outfit today or you would get nothing...and like it.

Nothing like sleet on the day I decided not to wear boots.  I wear boots 95% of the time and today I thought I would vary my footwear.  A shoe full of wet snow is what I get for trying to think outside the box...I am a creature of habit.
So my neck and back are killing me.  Back husband 6 out of 7 nights falls asleep in his home office reading a book.  But, Monday, he decided to read in bed, with his book light.  I don't mind the light, but I am not used to sharing a bed...I got in the habit of sleeping spread out in the middle.  So now that he is back, I squeeze my head, arm and neck on my right side up into the corner of the bed so there is enough room.  I woke up this morning with a husband in bed and a pain in my neck and back...literally.
Not much else today...I am in a blah mood and have a ton of work to do.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

So What Wednesdays

The wonderful Shannon from Life After I Dew has started So What Wednesdays...I use it as an overflow bin for my already too full brain. 

This week so what if...
-I got rejected from two jobs in one day
-I bought myself a new handbag last night to make myself feel better... It worked... And I needed a bigger bag that could hold my crap, plus files and a tripod
-It is only important to me
-I am trying feverishly to convince Jack NOT to have his birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese this
-I am too tired to be a grownup
-I wore my Breton Stripes on Sunday...took pictures for Everyday, Everywhere...but then decided not to post them because I changed my mind and hate the way I look in them now
-I am counting the days...15 in case you were wondering

My brain says thanks...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

So Nice to See You...Who Are you Again?

I am in a darn good mood today...not sure why...but I don't question it...I run with it!

I must say I love my outfit today!! Love the fuzzy knit vest, button shirt (yeah I can wear one!!), belt, and cool tree earrings.  Confession...I lusted this vest from Banana Republic and stalked it until it went on sale.  About 2 months ago I bought it, but it hung with the tags on it until this morning.  I was never really sure how to style it.  But after being inspired by different looks I have seen out there in the blogosphere I decided to belt my new button shirt and throw on a pencil skirt to make it office worthy. outfit to be proud least in my silly brain.
Another confession...I just discovered what Breton Stripes actually are...I wanted to post a striped shirt outfit on the wonderful new website Everyday, Everywhere.  But, I am still not sure if they qualify as Breton Stripes...they are thin black and blue horizontal stripes...Am I good??...What do you think??

Monday, January 24, 2011

It's Times Like These We Learn to Live Again....

So I am driving back from a meeting, and I spy this interesting looking spot to take my outfit pic. I remind you I live in the Chicago snow and the temperature is about 23 degrees.  I run out and set up the tripod in the snow and try to climb on that wall within the 10 seconds my camera timer allows.
 After trying to climb up in the allotted time and falling on my butt in the snow...this is what I achieved.
Not too great...days like this is when I need a photographer...but alas, I kept trying...

By the time I was done, I was freezing and had a wet!!
I really liked this outfit today.  I just purchased this gray dress from Old Navy and I love it!! I think it will be very versatile and I cannot wait to remix it for all the seasons.  In fact, I think I am going to include it in my 30 x 30 I love it so much.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

What a Control Freak!

Ok, so I have made an executive decision, since I have decided that I am the head executive of my life. I am going to participate in Kendi's from Kendi Everyday famous 30 for 30 Remix.

Some reasons why...
I figure it will give me some semblance of control in my life. Between the job search and my body's decision to have a mind of it's own, I seem to not have control over anything these days. So I will be the master and control my clothes.
The Remix is going to be a real challenge. I am going on two trips to new York during the time period and also going on job interviews. But I am stick with my thirty through it all.

I did Kendi's 30 for 30 Remix this summer... It definitely was harder than I thought it would be... I learned a few things that I am going to try this time around.
Pick items that I love. I am going to have to wear each item many times, so they better be my faves. Last time I picked a few things I had just bought because I wanted to wear them right away. That was a fail because I was not sure how to remix them yet or even if I liked them.
Pick clothes that are realistic for my lifestyle. Last time I picked too many casual clothes. Since I still work and have to go on interviews, I have to make sure to pick enough dressy stuff, but also some casual for my travels.
I am adjusting the rules a few to make the challenge work for my life...hate to be a rule breaker...but I have to be realistic...
Shoes do not count in the 30 items.
Tank tops and tights are also not part of the 30 since I wear them everyday under everything... Cold here... must layer.
Finally, the only time shopping is permitted is when I am in New York. It is not often I get there and one of the reason for the second trip is shopping!
Now, of to my closet to obsess over what items will be included in the vaunted 30...

On a separate note...
Must watch football, eat nachos and cheer for my Chicago Bears to eat the Green Bay Packers!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Oh, So That's Where Babies Come From....

Worn to Work Thursday, January 20

Dress-Calvin Klein/Blazer-Gap/Jewelry-Black Sheep
So cold out car read 19 degrees when I turned it on...that is not even factoring in wind chill.  But, I decided taking pictures outside would be a good thing...well, my fingers don't agree...they turned redish blue in protest!
So, my almost 5 year old son Jack wanders into my room this morning and says "Mickey and Minnie had babies...they came from Minnie's tummy"....Mickey and Minnie are his Clown Fish.  I did not realize that the fish could procreate, but low and behold I went into Jack's room and there were 3 really tiny fish huddled in the corner with Minnie...wonderful, more fish for Jack to forget to feed...
Lately Jack had been really into where babies come from and wanting be be a daddy.  One day he said to me "I want to be a daddy, but I cannot find anyone to marry."  Wow, the look on my face when he said that... He has informed me that god puts a baby in a mommy's tummy...the baby sleeps there for a while...they the baby pushes, my parents just got a new dog and Jack has informed be that he is her daddy...I don't even have any words...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

And The World Spins Madly On...

Welcome to my taxi service...
I pretty much spent the whole day in my car...taking people where they need to go, but not getting any of my own stuff done...very productive day...not really...

Sweater-Ann Taylor Loft/Skirt-Anthropologie/Scarf-H&M/Boots-Kenneth Cole 
So, I like this outfit in theory...but now that I look at it in photos, I am not really sure.  One thing I do know, is that it makes my boobs look huge! Not a good huge, but a wow, those are really big and all they do is get in the way and make my clothes stretch out huge.  But, they are still smaller than they were before the first surgery.  Guess what...They are going to be smaller soon!!! Cannot wait...
   Well, I guess that is the perfect segue into something I have been dealing with lately.  In case you are new to my blog, back in August, I had a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy.  Instead of implants, I had the reconstruction done with fat from my abdomen with a tummy tuck.  I am BRCA 1 positive, which means I have the genetic mutation that causes breast and ovarian cancer, and wanted to do everything I could to prevent breast cancer.  What was supposed to be one surgery, ended up being three separate surgeries due to an infection in my abdomen incision.  Medically, I was very happy with the results of my surgeries.  But, now that everything had almost healed, the surgeon wants to go back in and smooth out the scar and the stomach wall...right now my stomach goes on a slant...the left side is more pronounced than the right sue to the wall thickening due to the multiple scars.  At first I was against any more if 1 13 hour, 3 person, surgery was not enough, I dealt with two more.  But, as the doctor explained, the first surgery was just to get everything cleaned out and to get the new tissue in.  He almost always has to go back and cosmetically enhance and refine everything.  So, since there is a lump in the fatty tissue in my breast, he has to go in and smooth it all out, and he asked if there is anything else I want done...hmmmm...I want them even smaller, just another cup size.  
   Now, here in lies my dilemma.  I feel very selfish and vain for having a "cosmetic" procedure, even though it is the follow up for the previous surgery.  I feel like I have put my family through enough.  But, I feel like this is the only body I will ever have and I did the initial surgery for my health, but I want to be 100% happy with the results, so I want the "cosmetic" final touches.   
Sorry to ramble, but I have been thinking about this so much lately and I wanted to get it all out there.
Thanks for is all just so much to digest!

I'm a Lumber Jack and I'm Ok...

Trendy Tot Tuesday
The adorable Kimberly from Fashion Momma and Andrea from Peanut Butter Hand Print have put together Trendy Tot Tuesday....a place to show off our kids style and smiling faces...

Today Alex is sporting the grunge look with his plaid flannel and light washed jeans.  Today's post title also has double meaning...the obvious plaid flannel=lumberjack, but also Jack is his brother's name and when anyone asks him his name he says "Jack 2" and holds up two fingers... he worships his older brother!
I told him I wanted to takes his picture, so he ran over to his crib, posed and said cheese...then he said "am I cute?"...of course you are!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

I Shot an Arrow and Missed the Target

So snowy...makes me grumpy...
Today would be the perfect day to snuggle under a blanket, in fleece pajamas, reading a good book, with a steaming cup of coffee...NOPE

Skirt-Renee CC/Sweater-Urban Outfitters/Tank Top-Old Navy/Jewelry-Nordstroms

I almost blew away and got frost-bite taking these photos.  I also received some crazy stares from the two people walking their dogs through the park. 
So, I did not get the first job that I applied for...Booooo!  I am trying not to wallow since I have 6 months to find one while still working and being paid.  But, it is the first job I have needed to apply for in 8 years and I feel rejected...I did apply for two more last week so there is still hope for me yet.

Congrats to the Arrow and the NY Jets for defeating the too pretty Tom Brady and the New England Patriots! Jets vs Bears Super Bowl would be insane!

On a totally separate note, I am going the New York twice in the next two months and I need a new carry-on bag.  I am thinking that I might use it as my primary piece of luggage, so it has to be pretty big...all three times I have gone to New york the brilliant airlines have lost my luggage...any suggestions??  Please??

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Happy Jay Cutler Day!

Bears Win! Bears Win!
Bring on the Green Bay Packers!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Closet Full of Clothes and Nothing to Wear

 The wonderful Katy of Modly Chic does a great thing, Fashion Beauty Friend Friday where she offers up some questions for discussion.  So, here we go...
1.     How do you determine what you will wear that day?
Honestly, on most days I stand in my closet holding the one item that I want to build my outfit around, and stare blindly for a few minutes.  Then I have an epiphany….really I just realistically realize that one of my kids is screaming and time is running out, so I quickly decide what goes with that one starting block and throw it on.
2.     Do you plan outfits out in advance for a whole week, month, weekend?
Since my work/gym/playtime schedule varies, I try to plan out outfits…try being the key word.  I will have a general idea of what I plan to wear that week, like jeans versus skirts and dresses for work.  But sometimes I am not sure of the plans for the next day, so I just go with it.  I am very into instant gratification, so sometimes, I want to wear a new item that I just bought right away.  SO when I get home from the store, I immediate hunt around in my closet to find pieces to compliment it.
3.     Do you have any specific way of tracking outfits and items already worn .so you don’t repeat?
Nope…I tend to repeat based on how much I like and items and how good/bad the item looks on me and makes me feel.
4.     How do you discover new combinations of items in your closet?
I have recently started to hang items together and put the outfits aside in a certain part of the closet. 
5.     To streamline the process for 2011, what is one thing you can do to cut down on your dressing time?
I recently have realized how unorganized I really am.  I am starting to clean out my closet and organize it into specific sections. Also this year, as a result of bogging and using all the stylish girls out there as inspiration, I am trying to plan my outfits out in advance.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

So What Wednesdays

So kiddos it is that time again...time for So What Wednesdays.  Shannon from Life after I "Dew" lets it all out...and I love to join in...
-So what if I want it now... Nothing wrong with some instant gratification

-So what if I am thinking about doing the surgery in the next two weeks...(see above) instead of waiting
  until after vacation

-So what if I have the babysitter stay for an extra hour tomorrow while I go on a job application
  binge... I need a pedicure

-So what if I again ate Mexican three times his week already... Guacamole is a good fat!

-So I have bought 5 pairs of pants in the last week and returned all of them...pants are least on
  my body!
 Thanks for letting me vent...I needed that

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What...No Snow Day? Put on your boots and lets go...!

Worn to Work Tuesday, January 11

 Skirt-Old Navy/Shirt-ATL/Sweater-Nordstroms/Boots-Sorel/Jewelry-Macy's, F21

Saying I wore this outfit to work might be a small exaggeration....not much work was actually done by me today.  Woke up half hour late thinking it would be a quick ride to school, traffic had been so light lately and I only had to take one boy...WRONG.  The one boy I did have was wheezing and coughing...and as I was going downstairs to call the pediatrician, I noticed all the fluffy white crap outside...covering my car!!  So, instead of going to school then work, we dragged our snowy selves to the doctor...then to my office. Having Alex at the office with me is no way to get anything accomplished...he likes to sit in my chair and spin while flinging!! About lunch time...Alex had decided he was hungry earlier and ate what I brought for myself for lunch...I dropped him off at the Nanny Granny with plans to actually accomplish something... did not really work! So, after waiting in line at Panera forever and getting stuck in traffic on the poorly plowed Chicago streets, I finally was able to get some work done...a little.  I am dreading the drive home...two whiny the the blowing snow!!

Trendy Tot Tuesday

The adorable mommas Andrea from Peanut Butter Hand Print and Kim from Fashion Momma came up with the idea of Trendy Tots Tuesday where all us proud moms show off our kids style...

This is Alex, Age 2

Today's outfit and expression says I got up late with a sinus infection and had to go to the doctor and them spend the morning at moms work so she could get nothing done!
The x-deadhead in me loves tie-dye, so my boys have a lot of fun shirt...Alex picked this one out today.  He insisted on blue pants (what he calls blue jeans) and sneakers instead of boots.  Big brother Jack slept at Nana's house last no outfit pics for him, but he will be jealous he did not get to show off his stylish duds!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Feed Me Now!!

Worn to Work Monday, January 10 it really January 10, 2011 already...Wow

Cardi-Jcrew/Sweater-Gap/Skirt-Fox's/Jewelry-Black Sheep, H&M

It was a long weekend, but not really long enough.  Saturday's plans got thrown out the window when I suddenly had to drive up to Milwaukee to drop something off at a client.  But, I took advantage of the drive across the border to have a great lunch of Cauliflower cheddar soup and soft pretzel bread at the Public Market.  On the way back, we stopped at Apple Hollar Orchard.  It might be too cold to pick apples, but not too cold to eat way to much apple pie...which I did...mmm.  I also had to stop at the outlet Mall on the way me some JCrew Outlet.  I bought this sweater you see today and a pair of jeans...I have a love/hate relationship with the thought or idea of them, hate the way they look on me.  But, I tried the Matchstick style and I think they might work...maybe...hopefully!

All I want to do lately is eat...I get finished eating, and I am still hungry.  All the food that I have been eating is good for me, no cookies or candy (except that apple pie) but I just seem to be hungry all the time!  I just finished lunch and I want more food...Ahhhh!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Friend Friday 2011 #1

It's the first Friday of 2011 and that means it's time for Friend Friday.  The wonderfully talented Katy of Modly Chic poses discussion questions to us bloggers...
1. Have you ever looked at someone's blog and thought yours will never measure up?
I have to admit I definitely have...I see other bloggers with hundreds of followers and sponsors and wonder how they did it and if I could ever get that big.
2. Do you (did you) feel pressure to meet some kind of undefined standard for fashion bloggers?
I also feel pressure to live up to a standard...I sometimes wonder if I am fashionable enough, my clothes are nice enough, my pictures are good enough.  Sometimes I feel like it is highschool and I am not in with the "cool" But, then I remember blogging is not a contest...I am doing it for myself, not to always keep up with others.
3. Many established fashion bloggers are also extraordinary DIYers, bakers, and crafty people. Do you think you need to combine all of these things to be successful at blogging?
I don't necessarily think that you have to have talents in all those fields.  I just think you need to bring out the best in the talents that you do have.
4. The most successful blogs are the ones that have their own personal voice - how are you developing your voice or how did you find yours?
I definitely think I am starting to find my voice...I try to be a fashion blogger, mommy blogger, and a lifestyle blogger...all the things my life is about and I feel comfortable with.
5. Toot your own horn... what's one thing you do that is unique to you and your blog? What gives your blog an edge?
hmmm... I feel like I have done many things in my life and been through a lot of different situations...I have a variety of things to say about motherhood, fashion, family, shopping, my I feel like I have a lot to offer to my readers.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New to You...New to Me...

Worn to Work Thursday, January 6

This is how getting dressed this morning black tights clean...throw on the brown ones...brown corduroy skirt first skirt saw in closet...ruffly tank to girlie it up...brown belt found on the floor to tone the sparkly ruffles down...oh, wait no heat in the office, grab the nearest cardigan...brown boots closest to the to school drop off and work! whew!

So likey the new blog look? I LOVE it!  I owe all the beauty of my blog to Kimmie of
Blue Paper Lanterns...she is wonderful.  Not only did she do the great work so quickly, she also had the patience to deal with my many HTML illiterate questions.   Go visit her!

I need more coffee stat!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

So What Wednesday

Shannon...Momma Dew...from the great blog Life After I "Dew" has So What Wednesdays...
So, I find it a great way to vent...
-So what if I don't get it
-So what if I am not considered "cool"
-So what if I am unemployed... But still working
-So what if we lose one puzzle piece... It is still fun anyways
-So what if I wish it was all about me... I know the truth
-So what if I drink too much coffee...if I could have a coffee IV I would
-So what is I still want smaller boobs
-So what if I set Jack's alarm for 6:00 instead of 6:30 so he will stay in his room longer...he cannot read the clock yet, so he still thinks its 6:00 and I get to sleep an extra half an hour...for some reason he insists he must get up at 6:00

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Casual Barbie...

Worn Tuesday, January 4

When I first put this outfit on this morning, I wanted to be comfy, I had a lot to do for work today capped off with a visit to my favorite plastic surgeon. I did not plan to take an outfit photo because I am not real comfortable with the way I look in jeans, or pants in general. But, my outfit grew on me...and after a few compliments at work, I decided my outfit deserved some pictures. But, by the time I got home it was pitch black, so I had to take them in the house, so the quality is not wonderful.

My parents took the boys yo see Yogi Bear last Saturday...they actually sat through the whole movie...Here they are all bundles up ready to head home...

Monday, January 3, 2011

You Can't Carry Them With You or You'll Never Survive...

Worn to Work Monday, January 3

I woke up this morning with a positive was quickly squished by the fact that my alarm never went off, so I was already 30 minutes late. As I jumped into a cold (old house+2 loads of laundry done yesterday) I heard screeching followed by a "mom" in crying unison. After wrangling the boys, boots, backpacks into the car, I was loudly informed by the yellow light on my dashboard that I had to make myself even more late by stopping for gas. Such a wonderful way to start off the first week of 2011. So, after I arrived to work 20 minutes late...I am still trying have a positive outlook on the day. I am still working while looking for a new job...earning money is a necessary evil.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Welcome 2011...Come In and Stay Awhile

I am welcoming in 2011 with many changes to my life and my blog...
As you can notice...unless you read with your eyes closed, I have changed my blogs look. Not sure if I like it yet...but it is progress.
Now onto my life changes...2010 was the year to get healthy. I started working out regularly and trying to eat better. I had the radical surgery to rid my body of the high likely hood of cancer...and I am still healing. 2011 is the year to get me back on track. I am working on finding a job that I have a passion for...moving on from advertising. Not having a steady job is going to be scary, but I am learning to look fear in the eye and make it blink first. I am going to try to start each day with a positive outlook...try being the key word. I am gong to be a work in progress...just saying it out loud makes me smile in anticipation.

Now onto what I wore New Years Eve...

I love this cardigan...the front is long and drapey...I love the dip-dye effect. You cannot really see, but the tights have a lace pattern. We had a great Italian dinner and saw Tron in 3D Imax...the plat lacked, bu the effects were amazing!