Wearing: Precious Metals

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Kim wore these pieces together at Christmas, and I've wanted to try it ever since...
This is a 90 word post.
Honestly...I couldn't think of one clever thing to say.
And when I can't think of anything to say but open my mouth anyway,
it always results in a deeply disturbing brain to mouth malfunction...
and I just don't feel like embarrassing myself...not today.

(Anthro In a Twinkling dress and Precious Metals cardi, Anthro Modern Master watch, MIA cadet booties, Claire's dot tights)

Here's a sneak peak at the latest conversation I've had with my sewing machine...
and there have been little whisperings of YOU!

Wearing: Ballet Bun

Thursday, January 27, 2011

You know that feeling?
The one you get during the last few hours of vacation when you
have just a few hours before boarding a plane back to the real world?
You stand there, toes in the sand...taking in the last light of the day, fighting with every ounce of conscious thought to stay there--to remember the peace of that moment.

I'm in that moment. True, I'm not on vacation.
The bills make a steady stream through my door.
Professional deadlines close in.
Husbie and I haven't had alone time in weeks and
I can't remember the last time I saw sunshine...and yet...in my mind,
I'm standing on that beach, thinking,
"I can't imagine a moment in life more satisfying."

I'm in the middle of something so much bigger than me
that I can't even take it all in...
and while I'm doing this thing that may not impact the world,
just the act of emptying my heart has changed me forever.

I'm not who I used to be...
and that is a very good thing.

See how my nose curves to the right a little bit in this picture?
I broke my nose against a guy's forehead in college playing a pick-up game of basketball.
Yup, that's coordinated me...snapped the tip right off.

(Anthropologie Peppered and Striped skirt and Shine Through button up, J.Crew Merino cardi, UO oxford pumps, Husbie's Unlisted watch, Hue tights)

Constructing: Sparkle Tulle Dress

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I recently attended a baby shower for two of my college friends
expecting babies within the next few weeks.
Babies are always special, but in their case it's extra special because
they're sisters expecting girls.
Honestly, how much fun will THAT be?
I wanted to take a gift that was
a little bit fantasy, but had a practical use, too.
So, I made them these matching dresses, 'cuz I figured
whether they ever use it to get a picture taken in, or not,
every little girl is a princess at heart, and you can never have
too many pretend princess clothes, right?
Actually, I'm not sure we girls ever really grow out of that.

The tutorial to make the dress is here.

The practical application of fantasy...
I made a head wrap to go with the dresses.
What about you? Do you have a go-to gift you always take to a baby shower
(besides diapers, I mean...that's a given, no?)
'Cuz you know what they say,
"Behind every little bundle of joy is a little bundle of doo-doo."

SPOTTED: Pretty Things

Sunday, January 23, 2011

It's never just another stop in a shopping trip.
It's an experience--
a ramble through an art gallery, a stroll through a designer's mind,
a plethora of vintage-inspired fabrics made up in shapes relevant to today--
it's a thousand and one moments of inspiration.
You always walk out of the store with the sense that it's okay to be the individual you are, to pull together the pieces you do, because the store itself has its own personality.
It's not like the other ones you visit, not well-arranged and immaculate in its presentation.
This store goes out of its way to color outside the lines.
It's a place where you can be yourself, by yourself, even at the risk of someone thinking you're completely uncool.
But that always comes back around, doesn't it?
Because the individuals who are truest to themselves never fail to be the coolest of all. =)

Wearing: Wool

Friday, January 21, 2011

It always makes me laugh when I see a magazine that promises to
uncover yet another celebrity's secret to everlasting beauty.
I always think, "What secret?"
Give me 24 million dollars and a team of experts and I bet I'd look stunning all the time, too.
But show me a woman who buys whatever she can afford from her
favorite stores and works them together in interesting and cohesive ways:
then you've got my attention.
They way women put things together is so revealing.
I love how two women can take the same piece and mix it with something else in a way that makes sense for their lifestyle and end up with two distinctive looks.
You never see those women wearing a blazer with three sleeves, or heels so outrageous they can barely stand.
They understand that what works on the mannequin in the store, might possibly look ridiculous on them.

Give me the flawed perfection of the woman next door over the air-brushed celebrity any day,
'cuz more than likely, she's the woman who will touch a life.
Whether she's a piano teacher to your children or the nurse who cares for you in the hospital.
She's real. She's smart. She's you.
(LOFT Jacket, Target Merona Skirt, UO Belt and Kimchi Blue Oxfords, H&M beanie, Hue tights)

Making it Work: Peppered and Striped

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Good Evenin', mah dears!
It's been awhile, I know...since my last post, and since I've done a making it work feature.
As you know, if you follow, I've been doing an inordinate amount of work on
a couple special projects and not near enough dressing up. =)
To fill in the space, I thought about working up a few polyvore sets, then realized it
would be much more interesting to ask some lovely ladies out in the
blogging world to help me with this special feature.
If you follow these ladies, you've already seen these pictures,
but I thought putting them together in one place would be nothing short of a visual feast.
They are mothers, professionals, bloggers, and newlyweds
wearing the Peppered and Striped skirt from Anthropologie in beautiful and diverse ways.

Anthro Pick a Bunch Cardi, her own shoes
This was the first styling I saw of the skirt, and is still one of my faves,
mainly because it is so quintessentially her--such a genius at mixing colors.
When I met up with Courtnee last November in Cincinnati,
I got to see her mad styling skills in action and it didn't take her 20 seconds to pull this together.
If ever you need new inspiration on how to combine different colors, she's your girl.

J.Crew Cardigan, Anthro Dotty Cluster tights, Mia Mary Janes
Last January, February and March, I was pretty much stuck in my house
recuperating from a double neuro-surgery. It was an overwhelming time
during which I felt weak, useless and not-pretty (if that's an expression).
I came across Kim's blog one day and have followed ever since.
She has a unique ability to spin every piece into it's most feminine, pastel version,
and like her styling here, manages to incorporate lavender wherever she can.

J.Crew cardi and tank, UO Suede Pumps
I discovered Tara's blog only a couple months ago, but she always
inspires with her words, beauty, and more often than not, a brightly-colored pair of shoes.
She has this amazing knack at putting a glamorous spin on every piece.
Her outfits always stir the imagination and leave you wondering, "Now, why didn't I think of that?"

James Perse Blouse, Mui Mui Pumps
I adore Carol. For starters, she's been with me from the beginning, but more than that...
She's funny. She's smart...and we both love LOTR (translation: Aragorn).
I'm always teasing her, "Everything you recommend, I find myself
rushing out to buy, or at least wishing I could buy."
I think it's because we're both mothers that I have a certain affinity for her style.
She gets it. Everything she pulls together makes me think,
Wow, I could wear that and be a mommy, too!

J.Crew cardi and socks, American Apparel tank, Her Majesty Seychelles
Jinah just looks fabulous, doesn't she? That color cardigan is perfect, and I love that
she doesn't shy away from socks with pumps, 'cuz this has been coming
for a long time.

LOFT blouse, Land's End Heritage Cardi, Target Merona Marylynn Pumps
Jan is another mother who's "layering ways"I find absolutely adorable.
We are both girly girls trying to raise two sons, and I love her blog
both for her humor and well-coordinated taste. Plus, like me, she's petite,
so I always enjoy getting her take on what works and what doesn't.

Anthropologie Jam Jar Cardigan, Bush Berry tights, Poetic License shoes
Tien is impeccable and creative. Whenever I feel like I need to
look a little more like a grown-up, I look to Tien. She's a master at pulling together
the details; of evoking an emotion in you simply with what she's wearing.
The posts on her blog always leave me with the sense that
I've just experienced a work of art.

J.Crew tank, Anthro Wish You Were Here Cardi and Lost Glasses tights, UO belt
So, obviously, I'm not gonna sit here and expound on myself,
especially when I just posted this outfit a couple weeks ago.
But here's the take-away value of this post.
A simple wool skirt isn't just one skirt--it's six or 10 or 12.
It's the base for as many looks as you're brave enough to wear.
So, go buy your wardrobe a gray, wool skirt, 'cuz it really wants one,
it just can't figure out how to tell you...=)

Wearing: Drifting By

Monday, January 17, 2011

Putting my cute, 1950's armchair in the middle of the road was
probably the dumbest idea I've ever come up with,
and I'm sure the man in the red pick-up thought the girl out there
blocking the bridge and reading Ivanhoe was quite possibly insane,
but it seemed like a great idea at the time...you know, thinking it could look all romantic and stuff.
It's really a severe personality flaw, being kitschy that way,
but I figure, I might as well just be myself, 'cuz nobody can do that like I can.
And anyway, don't you think it's the quirks of a person that make them
real, lovable and just downright entertaining sometimes?

The things that annoyed me most about my brother when he was alive
became the very things I missed most about him when he had gone.
Nathaniel and I were different as night and day.
He was street smart, driven and focused.
I was driven...but I just never quite knew where I was driving to.
I spent my childhood annoyed with him for thinking
he was always right, for knowing so much about everything.

I have to admit he did have just cause to be aggravated at times.
The first time I filled my car up with gas after getting my driver's license,
I very carefully squeezed the nozzle up to $18.50 worth of gas
and was headed in to pay when Nathaniel glanced at the pump and asked,
"Why didn't you put twenty dollars in?"
"I did", I said, "but I only have a twenty-dollar bill and I wanted to make sure I had enough to cover the tax."
Nathaniel hung his head like he'd failed me in the worst way. "Kristina", he said with great control, though I could sense he was seconds away from losing it, "the tax is already included in the price."

I felt like such a...well, there really aren't words. But, of course, I laughed at myself.
I'd always been that girl, the book-smart one whose IQ never quite
made up for what was lacking in common sense.

I'd like to think I've gained a bit of savoir-faire since then,
but the raw truth is that I'm still a little off--head in the clouds--a bit too awkward to actually be cool...
but maybe, hopefully...my natural exuberance is the thing you'll miss most about me when I'm gone.

(Anthropologie Drifting By Dress, J.Crew Ethereal Cardi, Rampage oxfords, HUE tights)
Photos courtesy of LookNook
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