Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ikea, just some oak and some pine and a handful of Norsemen

Bob and I like to go on IKEA dates every once and awhile. Show up, eat delicious swedish meatballs, wander the store sitting on things, etc.

We got turned around on our way down and stumbled across this gem:

the Taco Time Regional Office!

I felt super cute that night, so I had Bob document the outfit:

Dress: Asos Curve, size 24 but altered to take it in (I ordered the wrong size)
Petticoat: Gap light pink skirt, xl, 2007
Cardigan: Target Cherokee brand, xl, years old!
Necklace: typewriter key that says "b", gift from Bob
Shoes: Avenue cloudwalkers, size 11, recent
"old lady" glasses that Bob hates, but I love:, $7 WITH RX!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Embroidery: as easy as you wanna be

Remember that 2 Live Crew song "Nasty as you wanna be"? Yeah, me neither. I just remember seeing the cassette everywhere (that's right, cassette), both the "dirty" and "clean" versions, one summer vacation spent in Panama City Beach, Florida (PCB baby!).

And that's a huge tangent.

What I really wanted to post about was my brief and wholly satisfying experience with embroidery. I have a history of taking up hobbies that are heavy on the equipment buy-in (piano lessons?) and difficult to master (for me, sewing). I joke that large loom weaving is the only hobby I haven't started. Yet. But embroidery is dead easy to get started with! A few years ago I received Sublime Stitching as a Christmas gift and had pretty much ignored it. I mean, I looked at it with brief interest and a resolution to get into it many times, but it languished on my bookshelf.

Recently, friends of ours welcomed their first little one into the world, and I wanted to make them something. I had, nearly the same week, come across a delightful blog called Checkout Girl through an equally delightful blog that was already in my reader (Posie gets Cozy). Both hugely talented ladies embroider like the wind. If the wind could, you know, embroider. I'm not good with analogies. Anyways, I was inspired.

And this was my contribution:

I'm so pleased with how it turned out!

All I had to buy was easily found at Jo-Ann's:
- an embroidery hoop ($2)
- a few colors of 6-strand floss (pennies each)
- a tapestry needle ($3 for a pack of 3), and I really had no idea which kind of needle to get. I just kind of picked one at random. It worked!)
- I used fabric from a vintage bed sheet as the canvas, and some acrylic felt that I already had on hand.

I think the bird is my favorite part!

(by the way, the "W" is for the baby's first name")

Monday, June 28, 2010

Habitat, or "I'm not used to not looking awesome" (kidding!)

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, and it was awesome! I've always wanted to do it.

The team was working on a set of 4 houses in a neighborhood that they had been working within for the past year. The houses were all in different stages of completion, which meant plenty of varied and interesting tasks for us!

And me? So stylish!

The question of what to wear came to mind, since I really haven't, umm, gotten dirty at all in a few years. To my chagrin, my oldest jeans were a bit too tight, but I squeezed into them for the day. I figured I wasn't going to be doing much sitting anyways, and I could stand up in them with only slight discomfort.

Also, I've probably bought a pair of work gloves 20 times in my life - I buy them for the project I'm volunteering for, then put them in a drawer, then forget about them, then find them and decide to recycle/donate them because I haven't used them in years, only to need them for another project the next month. So, I'm hanging on to the ones I bought this time!

I felt really good (but really sore!) at the end of the day. But it was so worth it!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

No-knead bread, take two!

Tonight we had friends over and I decided to bake bread.

Anthropomorphized potholder is ready for action:

I'll admit, I'm not great at baking. I had tried a "no knead" bread recipe in the past only to be disappointed when it didn't rise AT ALL, and we enjoyed a really dense loaf.

This time was different - it turned out great!

I used this recipe from the New York Times. The thing I liked best is that it only had a 4 hour rise time, rather than 12 or 18. This made it much easier for me to plan in the timeline of the day.

An improvised cooling rack - a metal trivet on a tray:

What can I say, it was so delicious there's none left.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Snowcones and sunshine

Two weekends ago it was GORGEOUS here in Seattle. Bob and I went on a bike ride, then collapsed with snow cones in the grass at the Locks.

What a great husband he is.

It was a perfect day.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Non-ironic muumuu Mondays!

I have been faithfully wearing my muumuus on mondays... but not really taking pictures and not uploading them with any regularity. My apologies!

Here was last Monday, after I spent 2.5 hours at the dentist getting a crown:

from the front:

Muumuu: fremont vintage mall, no size listed
belt: target 2xl
cardigan: old navy, xxl, clearance
straw bag: h&m, recent
shoes: cloudwalkers canvas skimmers, from Avenue, recent

Friday, June 18, 2010

Chicago trip, now with 100% more husband

Hello lovelies,

Last month Bob and I took a trip to Chicago. Well, I took the trip for work, and he came to join me. It was so much fun!

Here are a few highlights of outfits that I wore, places that I ate things at, etc.

First off, I redeemed my sad ice cream sandwich experience from the last trip we went on.

Unsure about tastyness factor:

Ok, it is actually pretty good:

yay! sandwich!

(note chocolate residue on face associated with vigorous eating)

Full outfit from the day, taken in the Millenium park "bean" sculpture reflection:

floral t: thrifted
tank: old navy, xl
jeans: avenue, 20
shoes: target keds knockoffs, $9!

At Navy Pier:

skirt: Jibri custom
navy v-neck t-shirt: thrifted gap xxl
cardigan: target maternity xxl
leggings (it was chilly!): duo
scarf: american apparel circle scarf
shoes: same as above

All dressed up to go out:

Dress: vintage
cardigan: target xxl
belt: target 2xl
headband: etsy... ages ago, don't remember seller
heels: nine west shiny black patent leather

We went to see this HILARIOUS play called Late Night Catechism:

We also got to see alot of impromptu art, stumbling upon not one but two awesome public galleries.

Karen Savage had an exhibit up at the Water Tower Place gallery. Her photograms of lace gowns and handkerchiefs were so beautiful!

Then, at Navy Pier, we spent hours going through their extensive stained glass museum, which was a total surprise and delight! I took so many pictures, here are some of my favorites:

Overall, we had a fabulous time! I travel to Chicago a few times a year, but it was really awesome to have Bob there to show around - it was his first time!

And, for making it this far through a super long post, I leave you with this gem:

Ben Franklin, what what?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Traveling stylishly!

A few posts ago I offered to put together a "guide" for packing light but still being stylish. I put "guide" in irony quotes because, well, what do I know, really? But I do travel a bit for work, typically 3-day trips, so I decided to document what I packed for my latest trip - hopefully there will be some nuggets for you! Or, if you're just into voyeurism, then I guess this post will be cool for you too.

Also, a caveat: I realize "packing light" means different things to everyone. I mean it in a "carry on size suitcase that I can easily lift into the overhead bin without making straining noises and hurting myself" kind of way.

1) Make a list. I like to look back at past outfits that made me feel awesome (easy to do since I take outfit pictures a few times a week) and see which ones have overlapping pieces, such as one cardigan that looks great with three different dresses. Then, I bring all three dresses, but only the one cardigan, etc.

I tend to steer clear of new pieces that I haven't worn yet, or more adventurous looks, since I want to maximize the wearability of every item I'm bringing.

(double layers of poly chiffon = too adventurous/not versatile enough, so it doesn't make the cut despite being super cute!)

2) Start to lay out essentials. For me, this is:
- plastic baggie of toiletries (no more than 3oz of each in a clear ziploc bag please!)
- non-liquid toiletries, such as toothcare essentials, hairbrush (I've bought so many $1 hairbrushes at 7-11 because I always forget mine), bobby pins
- any jewelry or belts/accessories that I'm taking

For this trip, I'm bringing sweater clips, 2 brooches, pearls, and two pairs of glasses (one of which I'm wearing on the plane):

Pro-tip: does static cling get you down? I find that my dresses are static monstrosities when I pull them out of the suitcase at my destination, so I pack 2-3 dryer sheets in my suitcase with me. They make the clothes smell great, and you can use them to rub down the insides of your skirts/pants/whatever is clingy. Voila!

3) Don't forget those underpinnings!
(no, you don't get a picture)

4) The nice clothes: I put hangy-things in a hangy-bag, but I don't fold it up and put it in my suitcase until right before I leave, which helps with the wrinkles somewhat.

Three dresses for three days (one of these I'm wearing on the plane):

I also stopped putting cardigans in the hangy-bag, I find they get more wrinkled that way, Instead, I fold them and put them in the suitcase with my other clothes.

Two cardigans for three days (wearing one on the plane):

5) Select footwear - I usually wear my heaviest shoes (boots in the winter) on the plane. For this trip, the weather will be in the 70s, so no boots this time! For a 3 day trip I'll probably bring an extra pair of shoes, and wear my most comfy shoes on the plane. I ended up bringing a pair of peep toe flats, and wearing my new canvas skimmers on the plane. Two pairs of shoes for three days.

6) Any other clothes you need?
- pajamas
- workout clothes (none for me, thanks)
- t-shirts, tanks/camis, any folded outfits that don't go in the hangy-bag like a favorite jersey skirt?

Pictured here (clockwise): Cardigan, pajamas, petticoat/tank top, canvas skimmers, red peep toes

7) Load that suitcase.

We got this one as a wedding gift, it has tons of compartments and things, which totally makes things easier packing-wise because there's a place for everything. Even secret underwear compartments!

All loaded up!

8) Other accoutrements:
- To keep under the one carry on/one personal item limit, I use this huge old satchel that I got at H&M that fits my laptop, a scarf, and my entire huge purse inside of it:

Do any of you find it kind of nerve-wracking (in a totally "1st world problem" kind of way) to be away from your wardrobes? I definitely do - that's why I have to make myself pack light and plan my outfits when I'm away, otherwise I just try to bring as much of my closet with me as I can fit into my suitcase.

Monday, June 7, 2010


I love what Kimberly over at Fab Finds Under $50 put together for a "prairie summer" look. I also realized that my style can often be described as prairie - I mean, petticoats, boots, floral prints, 100% cotton dresses, etc. Love it!

Two of the pieces from her set are totally speaking to me:

tiny pic!
(sadly, not available in plus, but the way ON sizing has run lately, an XL dress has been fitting my 2x body. I would totally be on this dress if it had cap sleeves.)

*also available in plus!

Also, just so you know, I AM wearing a muumuu today in honor of Non-Ironic-Muumuu-Mondays (NIMM). But it's being worn in it's housedress incarnation, as I'm slightly under the weather. I can't promise a picture.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Non-ironic muumuu Mondays!

According to Wikipedia, the muumuu, or mu'umu'u, is a loose dress of Hawaiian origin that hangs from the shoulders. The etymology is somewhat disturbing, coming from the Hawaiian word for "amputate", referring to the effects of Hansen's disease (aka, leprosy) during the Hawaiian missionary period.

Thanks wikipedia for that awesomely uplifting background!

So, we're not only going to overcome how bummed out I feel after learning where the muumuu came from, we're also going to overcome the stereotype that muumuus are worn by fat people that don't keep themselves clean or fashionable.

With these goals in mind, I'd like to introduce....

Non-Ironic Muumuu Mondays*
Dedicated to reclaiming the shapeless cotton shift dress for fatkind everywhere!

Outfit details:
Muumuu: Woman Within, size M, $9!!! Them's thrift-store prices!
Belt: Target, 2xl (still in stores!)
Petticoat: thrifted, but you can easily make your own
Boots: Target Kady, size 11

Also, let me just point out that Woman Within, while they have some honest-to-God polyester monstrosities, is your ONE STOP SHOP for some hot muumuu action. Check out these options:

Starts at $7.99, and would be so cute belted (they also have some awesome other fabric choices)

Surprisingly on-trend with floral pink tones.

Just lounging by the pool.

I know many of you won't be on board with my muumification strategy (see what I did there?), but they really work for me! What could be better for the upcoming summer months than to be swathed in cotton comfort?

* Muumuu Mondays may occasionally, as like today, not fall on Monday. Sorry, yesterday was a holiday, but I did for-real-honest wear this outfit yesterday.
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