Friday, August 31, 2012

High Waist Jeans

Why is it that American Apparel models (or any models) can make certain clothes look amazing?

Even though I know those certain clothes would not look amazing on me?

Case in point:
High Waist Jeans: American Apparel, $72

My brain says: "These are not a good purchase for you.  The waist is way too high for your short-waisted self."
My heart says: "But 98% of the reviewers recommend them!  The reviewers say they are comfortable, flattering, and they even use the word perfect!"
My brain says: "Just, No."

Well, if the AA jeans aren't for you (or me), here are a few other high-waisted options:

7 For All Mankind High Waisted Skinny Jeans, $132

BDG High-Rise Jean, Urban Outfitters: $58

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Style Makeover: Classroom Edition

I thought I would show a little bit of my "classroom style" today.

In June, the classrooms get emptied out, cleaned out, and end up pretty barren.
So, I've spent much of my August fixing mine up for the school year.

I'm proud of how it turned out and I'm excited to have it full of my new fourth grade kids.

Here are some before/afters:

Front of Room (Before)
Front of Room (After)
Notice: Curtains, bulletin boards, and white paint.

Back of Room (Before)

Back of Room (After)
Notice: More white paint, more bulletin boards, books.

I will still be tweaking the room a little as the year starts, but for now that's probably most of it.
I'm so thankful to awesome women who helped me out greatly, Mary Kay and Lynn.

I can already tell it will be a great school year!
Now to enjoy sleeping in just a few last days...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Look for Less: Tuxedo Flats

If you are a heels girl, this post might not appeal to you.

I am definitely a ballet-flat girl.  I am almost always in flats unless it's a weekend night and I'm going out.

So, when I started seeing these slipper-looking flats popping up around town, my interest was piqued.

Picture from here
The style of shoe seems very retro to me.  It reminds me of what my mom probably wore to work in the 90's (not in the wild prints though.  More like the print on the far right).

But, they look comfortable to me and perfect for a casual office environment (i.e. my classroom).

I've seen them labeled as smoking flats, smoking slipper flats, tuxedo flats, and ballet loafers.  I'm sure they go by other names as well.  I wonder if the term will become more streamlined as the look becomes more popular?

I can't imagine the term "smoking slipper" sticking around when they make these shoes for children.

Although the leopard print is adorable and the sequined ones are even more adorable, I'm showing basic black here for practical reasons:


Donald J Pliner 'Denda' Flat, Nordstrom: $198

STEVEN by Steve Madden Shoes, Valantne Smoking Flats, Macys: $119
I know that looks like a typo: "Valantne", but I swear that's the name of the shoe!
Mossimo Vianca Tuxedo Flat, Target: $19.99
My extra thoughts: sometimes it's worth paying a little more for shoes if you are someone who plans to stand up for hours on end in them.

Now, I just have to convince myself that the basic black is a smarter choice than those super cute sparkly ones...

Check back tomorrow for before and after pictures of my classroom setup!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Black and White Combos

I don't know what it is, but lately I have been just loving black and white combo outfits.

I appreciate bright colors just as much as the next girl, but right now I'm all about black and white.

Here are some favorite picks:

1.) I love this white top with black collar and cuffs.
It would be so cute with skinny black pants or jeans:

Top: Target, $22.99

2.) Necklace-printed dress, love the white band around the waist for a slimming look:
Dress: Dorothy Perkins, $57
Note: In the dress above, the "necklace" is screen printed on.  It is not an attached actual necklace, just fyi.

3.) Black lace and white dress:
(I just can't get enough of lace!)

Lace dress: Asos, $93.67

4.) What better place to look for black and white combo clothes than White House Black Market? Below:

Skirt: White House, Black Market, $79.99

Just in case this wasn't enough black & white for you, Pinterest has plenty of it here!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Flannel for Fall

It feels odd to write this post because it has been seriously hot here these past few days (well, this whole summer actually).

But fall is coming soon, and nothing says fall to me more than cotton flannel plaid-patterned shirts.

Funny how fashion works, because it wasn't too many years ago that I was pleading with my dad to get rid of his collection of plaid flannel shirts.

And now, plaid flannel is a staple of fall for me.

I'm the one wearing flannel in this pic, but I'm pretty sure my dad still wears flannel shirts, regardless of whether it's "in" or not.
For someone (like me) who is almost always too cold, flannel is just a perfect way to feel comfy and cozy without actually wearing a big hoodie around.

Flannel with skinny jeans and heels!
Picture from Pinterest

Here are my picks for this fall:

1.)  Nothing says "warm and cozy" like The North Face.
Flannel shirt,  North Face: $65.00

2.)  A cute flannel from J.Crew factory:
Flannel shirt: J.Crew Factory, $54.50

3.)  Target has this shirt in tons of color combos.  Love it:
Flannel shirt, Target: $17.99
Note: The above shirt is from the Target Juniors section, so it might run a little small.  And is also 100% cotton, so might shrink a little.  Just a heads up.

A final thought from me:
If you want the soft, warm, fuzzy feeling of flannel, you might not get it with one of the many plaid shirts that are out there (like this or this).  Be specific in your search for the flannel material (if it's what you want).

And try not to wear your cute fall flannel until at least some of the leaves are changing color!  When it still feels like summer out, it's probably too soon for flannel.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tulle Wedding Dresses

I love the look of a slim-fitting bodice with a tulle skirt. (FYI: Tulle is a sheer to semi-sheer net fabric, used mostly for skirts and veils).
Tulle reminds me a little bit of ballerinas, elegant and classic.

I've selected a few favorite wedding dresses made with tulle for today:

1.) Love the beading on top, with a full tulle skirt:

Watters: WTOO Marabella Dress

2.) Love this neckline, paired with a softer tulle skirt:
Dress: BHLDN Elysium Gown, $2400.

BLHDN stands for Beholden, and it is the new Anthropologie Wedding Boutique.
I love BHLDN dresses because they are seriously all so unique and different!

3.) A traditional strapless tulle look:
Nordstrom: Theia dress, $1695

4.) A dress inspired by the costume designs from the movie "Mirror Mirror", made with 100 (!) yards of tulle:

Dress: White by Vera Wang at David's Bridal, $1,028.

5.) And last, not only do I love wedding dresses in tulle, I also love babies in tulle!  Some cuties:

Lilac Decadence Tutu: $55
Sweetest Pink Diamond Heart Fancy Crochet Tutu Dress $59.99
I can just tell they love tulle as well.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Look for Less: Colored Denim

Colored denim has been popping up everywhere.  I love the trend, but I haven't yet invested the money to buy any for myself yet.

So today I thought I'd find some colored jeans that aren't going to break the bank, for those of us yet to try the look.

1.) Bright Blue

A girlfriend wore bright blue denim on a girls' night out last spring.  She looked hot, and ever since then it has been my favorite shade for colored jeans:

Colored Jeans: Bleulab at Saks for $194

Colored jeans: American Eagle for $39.99
Kim K. rocking colored jeans at the airport
Picture from USMagazine
2.) Cheery Yellow:

Another cute color that would work either in summer or fall is yellow:

Jeans: Citizens of Humanity at Shopbop for $132.30

Jeans: Pacific Sunwear for $49.50
My thoughts: A good way to ease into this look is to pair it with neutral colors.
A floral top with colored jeans may look pretty on the model, but it can be a bit much for the average girl.
A classic black, white, tan, or gray tee would look great with any of the jeans above.

Have a colorful day!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Kenny 2012

Not everything can live up to expectations (especially when you set some pretty high expectations for one evening), but this year's Kenny Chesney concert certainly did.

Our friend Dan organized a party bus from Ann Arbor to Detroit, to avoid parking/traffic/etc.

Detroit can get a bad rap sometimes, but honestly on Saturday it was a blast.  People were downtown for baseball (the Tigers game), cars (the Woodward Dream Cruise), and country music (the concert).  

We tried our best to dress country: cowboy boots, hat, and plaid shirts.  I would say we succeeded in fitting in with the country crowd:

Kenny Chesney 2012 in Detroit

A little blurry, but still cute
The lineup included Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Jake Owen, and Grace Potter.
I had never seen Grace Potter before, and wow, is she beautiful!
Of course, the concert did not disappoint.

Tim McGraw fist bumping with Kenny
Overall, it was a day to let loose and be carefree, which is pretty nice to do once in while.

Friday, August 17, 2012

I'm not getting married again...

But I do love looking at wedding dresses.

Right now I am loving plain, simple looks, with straps.

So, for any ladies who are yet to get married, here are my absolute favorites for SIMPLE wedding dresses:

Dress: J.Crew, $1500

Dress: J.Crew, $875
I loove this one!
Simple, but so pretty.

Dress, Watters WTOO

These might be too simple for your taste, if so check back next week.
I'll post on my favorite wedding dresses with tulle (another look I love lately).

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Excited For..

This weekend Brian and I will be going with a friend and his coworkers to see the Kenny Chesney concert downtown Detroit.  Neither of us are that big on country music, but something about being on the floor at a concert is just such a good time!

I cannot wait!

Here are a few pics from last year:

All day long just takin it easy,
Layin in the hammock where it's nice and breezy

Sleepin off the night before,
'Cause when the sun goes down, we'll be back for more

When the sun goes down, we'll be groovin'

When the sun goes down, we'll be feeling alright

When the sun sinks down, over the water
Everything gets hotter when the sun goes down

Just loving life and the whole concert...
You know I'm enjoying myself when I'm singing and dancing!
Unfortunately for my husband, he does not enjoy my singing voice quite as much as I do, nor does he enjoy my awkward dance moves....

Can't wait for this weekend!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tuesday's Look for Less - Lace

Lace is an absolute favorite of mine, for dresses, shirts, skirts, and even shoes.

White lace is perfect in summer and black lace in fall.

Today's higher-priced option is from Neiman's again, for $335:

Dress: DKNY, $335.

And today's lower priced option (which I love) is from Bloomingdales for $108:
Dress: Karen Kane, $108
Also at Dillards for $108

I think the second one is actually much prettier!  Perfect for a fall or winter wedding.
I love how it's sexy without being revealing.

And, just for fun, an even less expensive one:

Dress: Forever 21, $29.80
Happy shopping!

Monday, August 13, 2012

High School Reunion

Pioneer High class of 2002 had our 10-year reunion last Saturday night.

590 people graduated in the class and only about 90 of those people came.  I couldn't believe more people didn't come.  Maybe with facebook now, people don't see the need to come to a reunion.

Are high school reunions becoming obsolete?

I thought it was an awesome night though, even with the low turnout.

Just for fun, here we are, 10 years ago:
Sparkles, spaghetti straps, and tight up-dos must have been the cool look to have...

Here we are, last night:
My dress found here, Steph's dress (far right) found here

I thought it was cool to see old classmates, hear where people are now, and catch up.

There were  4 reunion events (I only went to one): A Friday night pre-party, a Saturday morning football game, the Saturday night dinner/dancing, and a Sunday afternoon picnic.

Despite the low turnout, it was still a great evening.

And a big thank you to my husband and Steph's husband for being our designated drivers of the evening!  My sweet husband spent the evening dry-walling our basement, and woke up from sleeping at 1:30 am to come pick us up.  I'm a lucky girl to have him.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Bad Idea

Have you ever been on a motorcycle?  My husband loves his, so I ride his occasionally with him.  It can be a great time, and I recommend it to anyone.

Have you ever been on a motorcycle, in the pouring rain, on the highway, at night, completely lost on a country road in Ohio?  It's actually not very fun and I do not recommend it to anyone.

We headed to Ohio on Friday night because my family reunion was there on Saturday.  10 minutes into the ride I started feeling hail on my face.
It was only later that Brian pointed out to me that that wasn't hail.  It's just what rain feels like pelting your face while going 70 mph on the highway.

This picture makes motorcycling in the rain look cute and fun.
It was NOT cute, nor was it fun.
To make a long story short, our 1.5 hour drive turned into 3 hours.  I lost my navigating abilities once it started raining.  I could only duck my head down and close my eyes.   Which, needless to say, was the reason we missed our turn and drove way too far in the wrong direction.

Brian and I were both soaked, head to toe.  I wanted to break down crying, but I knew that wouldn't help me.  So I prayed.  I just prayed that we would survive and not have some terrible motorcycle crash in the rain.

We did survive, although it's honestly an experience I don't want to repeat.  Ever.

Here we are stopping at a gas station, not very eager to continue on.

A ride we'll never forget, that's for sure.