Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tuesday's Look for Less

As I was (once again), browsing dresses online, I came across a beautiful "bandage" style dress and a much cheaper but equally beautiful version.
I love the beige color and the simple look.
Dress: Herve Leger at Neiman Marcus: $1350.

Dress: French Connection at Zappos: $188 
If you still like the look, but aren't in to spending over $100, then here's a one-shoulder option as well:
Dress: Forever 21: $29.80

Monday, July 30, 2012

Bridesmaid Love

This past year, I had the honor of being a bridesmaid in 3 amazing weddings.  I love each of the girls, and I'm so happy each girl has found the perfect guy for her.

The first wedding (below) was a very glamourous one at the New York Athletic Club.  Jessica has been my friend since our adolescent summers at Camp Michigania.

The second wedding (below) was a very elegant one at the Austin Club in Texas.  I met Jill as a sorority pledge sister, we then became roommates in Alpha Phi.  Even though she lives in Texas, I still consider her a close friend.

The third wedding this year that I was a bridesmaid for (below) was a traditional and beautiful one right here in Ann Arbor.  Stephanie and I met during our awkward middle school years, and have kept a friendship through high school, college, and now as adults.

Being asked to be a bridesmaid for each of these amazing girls was truly an honor.  I can't wait until we all move on to our next step of having children.  But it may be a few years before that happens, at least for me....

Sunday, July 29, 2012

MacKendrick Wedding

Yesterday we attended the wedding of one of Brian's former roommates, Alex.  The reception took place at the Heritage Cultural Museum in St. Joseph, MI, and it was absolutely beautiful.

They had planned out every detail perfectly, and the weather cooperated for a gorgeous day.

Newlyweds: Alex and Lea MacKendrick

The wind blowing my hair kept ruining our photo op!

The bride with three former roommates

Beautiful and fun reception
That was our last wedding of 2012.   After 8 weddings in the past 5 months, our weekends have been pretty jam packed.  I love weddings, but it will be nice to have some extra time to ourselves.

Then again..... I'm already counting down the days until 2013 weddings begin!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Team USA Apparel

As you watch the Olympics these next couple of weeks, you may feel compelled to wear some USA apparel.
Ralph Lauren outfitted this year's US Athletes for the Opening Ceremony, and www.polo.com has the exact apparel for purchase (prices not budget friendly).
First, the actual blazers Team USA wore:

Ceremony Blazer: Ralph Lauren, $598

USA Track Jacket: Ralph Lauren, $165

If you still want to sport the USA Olympic look, for under $50, here are some other options:
Tee Shirt: $24.95

Polo shirt: $48

Sweatshirt: $31.95

Yes, this sweatshirt is not as classy as the Ralph Lauren blazer, but I would likely get more use out of it.

In September, once the games are over, Ralph Lauren will probably mark down ALL of their Team USA gear.  It would be a smart time to buy some USA apparel, since you'll have a chance to wear it on 4th of July every single year and also during any Olympic season.

Olympian clothing: priced above
Olympian body: priceless

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Pure Barre Ann Arbor

This past week I tried the local Pure Barre workout in Ann Arbor.  It is truly an awesome workout.  Your thighs burn, your muscles shake, and you feel amazing after.  I recommend it to anyone who is ready for a serious challenge and also to see results.

I was inspired to try it after my friend Stephanie introduced me to it.

Notice the awesome definition in her arms!
She credits Pure Barre.

I'll break it down in a list of pros and cons:

- you honestly can see your body toning after only a couple sessions
- the hour-long session goes by very quickly due to constantly changing motions
- low impact!
- great music
- the moves aren't too complicated or complex, so if you're new you can still fit in
- encouraging and helpful teachers
- close location (by Target in A2), and plenty of parking

- the steep price (1 class is $21, although there are packages you can get for some pretty good discounts).

Also, I was sore for honestly over 48 straight hours after my first few classes.  My legs shook as I walked down the stairs. That qualifies as both a pro and a con.

Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/PureBarre
In summary, it is worth a try, especially at the great new member price of $20 for 10 consecutive days of class.
Just be ready to burn!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tuesday's Look for Less

As I was browsing online for dresses today (this is a favorite past time of mine), I came across a beautiful blue and black number (below).  It manages to look both casual and dressy at the same time.  It's not too revealing, it's classy, and it says "I'm not trying to impress".

The only minor problem, it is Burberry and over $300.

Now, there are certain times in life when a girl must spend over $300 on a dress, and for me, that time was my wedding day.  And as my mother can testify, $300 would have been an extremely good price for that day.

But for a casual but classy dress?  $300 is too much for me.
So, both from the exact same store (nordstrom.com), I found a look for less to share with you today:

Dress: Burberry, on sale for $314

Dress: Aidan Mattox, on sale for $64.97

Monday, July 23, 2012

Lauren and Asa's Wedding

This past weekend, a former high school teammate and friend got married.  She was one of my closest friends in high school, and I am so happy that she found the perfect guy for her.  Asa is a true gentleman and I was honored to be at the wedding.

I'll start with a college photograph of the three of us friends.

Lauren, Sarah, Stephanie: college girls in 2004
(all blonde)
I attended MSU, Lauren - Western, and Steph - Eastern.  Yet, we all made sure to visit each other  throughout college and all moved back to Ann Arbor upon graduating.

They are friends I am thankful to have.

Now here's a picture of the three of us from Friday night:
Stephanie, Lauren, Sarah: married women in 2012
(2 brunettes and 1 blonde)
Lauren and Asa exchanging vows

My handsome husband and me

We got to celebrate with both of my parents!
The wedding and reception took place at Stonebridge country club in Ann Arbor.  It was a beautiful ceremony and a fun reception.  Congratulations to Lauren and Asa!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

10-Year Reunion: What to Wear

My 10-year high school reunion is coming up soon, which is creating quite the fashion dilemma for me.

I have been perusing my favorite sites for online options, but am yet to find a dress just right for this event.

I would like a dress that says, simultaneously:

- I am much more mature and serious than I was in 2002
- I have better taste in clothing now than I did in 2002
- I am not trying to impress anyone

I would like a dress that costs under $150, unless it is truly an amazing find, then I could possibly spend more on it.

I even dared googling "what to wear to a high school reunion" and the result said: Sheath dresses are best because they are classy without revealing too much.

Sheaths are tough for me, because I am very slim-hipped, with not much of a "defined waist" per-say.
I do like this one:

Dress: $98, Banana Republic

But, I'm worried that the pink option is way too bright for me (not trying to stand out here), and the black option is too plain-jane.

This one is classy and cute:

dress, $85: zappos.com
I even think I could wear it to teach in the classroom once the school year starts.

Well, then that's a problem.  I'm not wearing a "teaching outfit" to the reunion.

I kept browsing, and found a dress that I love:

Dress, $140: dillards.com

I think this black dress is just adorable.

The only problem is that the sequin sleeves and low neckline don't do much for the "I'm not trying to impress anyone" goal.

I did eventually find the right dress, at the last place I ever thought to look.  More on that in a later post.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tie Dye for Summer and Fall

What can I write about tie dye that hasn't already been said?  Well, the fact that when worn properly, it can be a perfect summer/fall casual chic look.

I was a big fan of tie dyed clothing as a child and pre-teen in the 1990's, considering I got to tie dye my own shirts and pillowcases every year at summer camp.

The look nowadays is a little more pulled together than what I wore back then, but still has the same fun vibe.

Ashley Tisdale

Lauren Conrad

Here's a tank you can get at Nordstrom:
tank: Hardtail, $54
Here's an adorable swimsuit cover-up (possibly can be worn as a summer dress) from Target:
dress: Target, $14.99

And, just for fun, a picture of Brian and me in Hawaii several years ago.  I'm wearing a self-dyed t-shirt, and possibly self-cut shorts as well.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ann Arbor Art Fair

Tomorrow is the first day of the Ann Arbor Art Fair 2012.

Since I have lived in this town mostly my entire life, I tend to skip the Art Fair every year, to avoid the traffic and crowds.

This year, however, I will be attending, with a mission in mind: Buy a pair of Birkenstocks.  I know what you're thinking now:

"Birkenstocks? I thought this was a fashion blog!"

Or, perhaps you're thinking:

"Sandals?  I thought you were going to the ART Fair!"

Well, yes, I am in need of a pair of Birkenstocks, and Fourth Avenue Birkenstock will be having an Art Fair sale.  (In addition to many other favorite downtown clothing stores, such as American Apparel and Urban Outfitters).
I am purchasing Birkenstocks due to the comfort, arch support, and durability.  And I don't mind the look either.  Maybe I should be changing the name of my blog from Michigan Fashionista to Michigan Comfortista... or something like that.
sandals: $79.99 zappos.com

I will need to dress comfortably to handle the 95 degree temperature (yes, in Michigan), the several mile walk from my house, and the masses of people.

This little dress from Target has that perfect "tie-dyed-ish, summery, free flowing" look for downtown Ann Arbor in the summer.
Dress: Target: $29.99

Hope to see you down there, checking out the art, or possibly checking out the sales!

Monday, July 16, 2012

1-Year Anniversary

Today marks exactly one year that Brian and I have been married.

One big relationship area that we've both become better at is: compromise.

We celebrated our anniversary this past weekend with a compromise:  day at the pool with friends (my choice), motorcycle ride (his choice), plus picnic for two with wine at the Arb (my choice).

Overall, we had a wonderful weekend celebrating a wonderful year.

Look closely at the picture below, taken on our walk through the Arb.  What is something here not normally seen in the middle of an urban city park?

Tank: Express, Skirt: Land's End Canvas

Yes, that's a hawk behind me on the bench, and his hawk friend in the bushes, in the middle of Ann Arbor.  What a cool surprise to see, and so close!

I may or may not have asked my husband if they were wild turkeys.

I do need glasses.

 Happy one year of being married!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I'm Back!

After taking a multiple year hiatus from blogging, I've decided to pick it back up again.

A quick update from my life: I finished grad school, got a job as a fifth grade teacher, and got married.

I am now 27 and living in a cozy and sweet home downtown Ann Arbor with my husband.

My blog will continue to be primarily about fashion, but will surely include random musings about my life as well.

Here are a few pictures to catch you up:

Dress: Priscilla of Boston: Vineyard Collection
Our Wedding Day: 7/16/2011
I just love him so much.

My bikini: Gap
 Our honeymoon in Jamaica.
Not pictured: Brian setting the 20-second self timer, then quickly and carefully dashing to join me in the pool for the picture.

My jersey: custom-made gift!
Celebrating a UM win over Notre Dame at the first ever "Under the Lights" game in the Big House.
Not pictured: Most intense ending I've ever seen in a football game.