Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Denim on denim

I'm curious how others feel about wearing a denim blazer with jeans or a denim skirt? Don't do it? Only when the denim colors match exactly? Only when the denim color/shade is completely different? Only when there is "space" between the denim (IE a shirt sticking out of the bottom of the jacket separating the denim blazer from the jeans)? I'm curious because I bought a denim blazer from Old Navy but I wear jeans almost all the time, and want to get more use out of the blazer.

Source: via Heather on Pinterest

Source: via Holly on Pinterest

Saturday, February 25, 2012

What I Wore - Shabby Apple dress

I won this Shabby Apple dress on the blog Dressed Up Like A Lady.

Saint Patrick's Day ideas

Saint Patrick's Day may still be three weeks away but that doesn't stop me from getting excited by all the green eye candy on Pinterest. Below are some of my favorite Saint Patrick's Day pins. For more ideas, you can view my Saint Patrick's Day board on Pinterest.

P.S. I also have a Pinterest board specifically for this journal, if you are interested.

Source: via P on Pinterest

Source: via P on Pinterest

Growing meat in a lab

I have read numerous times from professional bloggers that the way to make your blog succeed is to pick a topic for your journal (fashion, recipes, crafts, etc.), and stick with it. I guess that (along with not enough motivation to devote that much time to a non-paying gig), is why I could never blog professionally; my mind is too all over the place to limit my blog to one topic.

So, today I want to share something completely out of left field that really excites me: Scientists have been successful at growing meat in a lab from a cow's stem cells.

While I know the idea seems kind of gross, I can easily imagine that a century or two from now, lab-grown beef will be commonplace. Two of the most exciting aspects of it to me:
Vegetarians could forseeable eat real meat without any animals having to be killed.

Lab grown meat would use 40% less energy than the normal meat production cycle.

You can read an article about it here.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Photos of the Windy City Pin-Up 2012 Calendar

*****All photos and links to Windy City pin-up have been removed from
my blog as I can no longer recommend working with the photographer.*****

I am very honored to have been a part of the Windy City Pin-Up 2012 calendar that benefited the Chicago Coalition for Abused Women (I was Miss October).

If you would like to see more about my wonderful photoshoot experience with Windy City Pin-Up, you can by clicking here.

Here are some scans of the final calendar (FYI, the lines through the photos was not on the actual calendar, my scanner is not great).

[images removed]

Friday, February 17, 2012

Pinterest pet peeves

Sometimes the comments on Pinterest can be so obnoxious. The site often seems overrun with elitist. I don't care if you think all fast food is the devil. I don't care if you think the model should go eat a cheeseburger. And I don't care that you think girls shouldn't be allowed to play with pink toys. Live your own life, and I'll live mine, thank you.

Lord. To elaborate on my top three Pinterest pet peeves:

1) People who feel the need to reply to a food photo nitpicking every ingredient in the food, why it is bad for you, and why they are a better person because they don't eat it.

2) People who think it is acceptable to put down a model for being "too" skinny. You look like just as big of a jerk as someone who thinks it is okay to tell an overweight stranger to lose weight.

3) People complaining because a toy company made a "girl" version of a toy. Your daughter may not prefer pink Legos to the traditional primary colors but some girls do. Your daughter may not prefer plastic ballerinas to plastic army men, but some girls do. Toy gender stereotypes do not exist because of options, they exist when parents don't give their children an option.

Blogger Finds - Leopard jeans

The $23 version is from Target. I spotted them (pun not intended) in a store about a month ago, but they were not on Target's web-site at the time. Kendi Everyday posted photos in the gray version today (Kendi pictured below), and I was happy to see that they are now on-line!

The $198 version is from ShopBop. I saw the ShopBop version on Wendy's Lookbook a couple weeks ago and again last week (Wendy pictured below).

The Target and ShopBop versions both come in gray and tan.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Forever 21+ vs. H&M+

On Friday Curvy Girl Chic wrote a post about H&M's new plus size line. I was interested in seeing what the line carried, as well as how it compared to Forever 21's plus size line. Sunday I went to the H&M on Michigan Avenue which is the only H&M in Chicago that carries the plus size line. After visiting H&M, I went to the Forever 21 across the street (one of three Forever 21s in Chicago that carry their plus size line). For those that don't know, Michigan Avenue is the shopping district of Chicago; with Chicago being one of the largest cities in the country, I would hope that H&M's and Forever 21's stores on Michigan Avenue would represent some of the best of the best of what they have to offer.

So, my verdict on H&M's "new" plus size line? Completely unimpressed. I have heard other bloggers saying that the H&M plus size line they saw offered colored denim, fashionable shirts, etc. but that it not what I found at the H&M on Michigan Avenue. The selection was rather small; I wasn't expecting a huge selection since the plus size line is new, however, I was still taken back by just how small the selection was in their massive three story store (which includes a men's section and a children's section). More so than the amount of clothes to pick from, I was disappointed with the type of clothes. It appears that H&M picked only their most basic (IE least fashionable) pieces for their plus size line; most of what I found in the plus size line was basic, plain colored, uninteresting t-shirts and sweaters. My overall experience at H&M was not helped by the snooty (skinny) girls walking through the plus size area laughing about how there was no way they were a size 14. The only two things I managed to find at H&M that I wanted to purchase was a pair of sweater tights (which developed snags within an hour of wearing them) and a bracelet (whose links disconnected before I even wore it), both of which were not in the plus sized section.

Forever 21 had a similarily small selection of clothes; their location on Michigan Avenue is two large floors (including a men's section), however, the plus size line was only a very small corner of one floor. Considering their plus size line has been around a lot longer, the size of the selection was more disappointing than H&M. Their clothing options in the plus size line were a lot less boring and a lot more interesting. For me personally, some of their clothes passed "interesting" and into "gaudy," however, I think that happens fairly often with trendier clothes (IE when making trendier clothes, it is more difficult to make something that appeals to everyone). Personally I'd rather see gaudy than basic, because it tells me the designers don't assume that "fat" people just want to blend in. What I found strange about Forever 21's plus size area is that it felt a bit like a TJ Maxx because there were several racks where there was only one or two of each item (rather than several sizes of each item). I'm the type of person that tends to find stores like TJ Maxx and vintage shopping a little stressful, because I always tend to find things I like in the wrong size. Yes, you can have things tailored, but really, it kind of defeats the purpose of shopping at a discount clothing store if you have to pay to have everything tailored. I've never looked at the plus size area of Forever 21 before, therefore, I can't tell you if the random assortment of clothes is typical. What I also found frustrating about Forever 21 was that the dressing rooms had nowhere to put your personal belongings (no chair, bench, whatever). Who wants to put their clothes, coat, purse, etc. on the floor of a dirty dressing room? Not me. In the end, I found only two things at Forever 21 that I wanted to purchase as well, and like H&M, neither were from the plus size area (I bought a winter hat and a snugly-fitted shirt).

So, when it comes down to it, on my first trip to check out the plus size line of both stores, I was not that impressed with either; Forever 21 is better in my book, but they've had more time to fine-tune their line. I'd like to check out H&M again after the line has been around longer to see if they add more fashionable pieces (especially since other bloggers said their locations had more fashionable plus-size pieces). I'd also like to check out Forever 21 again to see if the chaotic assortment of clothes in the plus size area was just a fluke.

I like that Forever 21+ has a broad choice of plus size clothes on their web-site, and I imagine H&M will do the same thing once they implement their on-line store later this year. What I would really love to see from both stores, is expanded sizes rather than just a plus size line; IE the ability to purchase everything, or almost everything in larger sizes, rather than limiting customers to a few choices stuck in the corner of select stores.

What I Wore - Valentine's Day

For Valentine's Day I wore the houndstooth dress that I wrote about last week. It was 30 degrees here today so it took a lot of courage for me to wear a dress outside (I changed my mind countless times); I combatted the coldness with two pairs of tights (including one sweater pair), thick socks, warm boots, and a cardigan.

I don't know how girls wear skirts this short. I was so self-conscious and was constantly checking to make sure my skirt hadn't rode up any.

I think the next time I wear this dress I am going to try spray starching the top of the heart so it will keep its shape better.

I wore bright pink tights under the sweater tights which created a cool effect if you looked very closely. I'm annoyed that these $15 tights I got from H&M had snags in them within an hour of putting them on (I can't think of anything they would have caught on).

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day commercialization and celebration

It is easy to say Valentine's Day is a commercial holiday, however, I say Valentine's Day is only a commercial holiday if you make it one; skip the store-bought cards, chocolates, and roses, and given thoughtful personalized gifts. The thing I love about Valentine's Day is that it gives people a yearly reminder to slow down, and show appreciation for the people in their lives (don't just make it about your significant other); as nice as it would be for people to do this daily, let's be honest, that rarely happens.

This year I'm excited about FOUR days of Valentine's Day celebration. Yesterday was the official kick off that Timmy and I celebrated with the return of the show "The Walking Dead." While it may seem weird to some (most?) to celebrate Valentine's Day with zombies, that's just how Timmy and I roll :).

Today I am baking a few dozen cupcakes to share with some of the people in our lives. I have tomorrow off, and Timmy and I are going out to eat to one of our favorite restaurants, Flat Top Grill. Flat Top Grill is a stir-fry buffet, Timmy and I aren't really fancy-sit-down-at-white-tablecloths kind of people.

Wednesday, the day after Valentine's Day, I also have off from work. Timmy and I will be going to an intimate Ingrid Michaelson concert on her pop-up tour.

Below is another one of her songs, "The Way I Am". If you weren't familiar with her song I posted last time, you're more likely to have heard this one as it was one of her most well songs.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Houndstooth dress with heart cutout

I have never been to Longhorn Steakhouse but a coworker told me about it, and it sounded like Texas Roadhouse. I loveee Texas Roadhouse but there isn't one easy to get to in Chicago by public transit, so, we don't get to go. It was pretty comparable, but I love Texas Roadhouse's rolls, and I miss having the peanuts to munch on at the table. My steak was cooked perfectly, and considering I like my steak cooked well done, that rarely happens the first time around (it either ends up undercooked or burnt).

We spent the rest of the day checking out this large mall and other stores near Longhorn. The mall had a Hot Topic. I used to buy (or want to buy) something every time I went to Hot Topic; however, in the last ten years my style has changed so much that most of the clothing/accesories they carry no longer match my style. Regardless, I still like popping into to see what they have. Yesterday I found this Houndstooth Heart Dress on clearance for $28. I love cutesy touches in clothes, like the heart cutout on this dress, so, I bought it; perfect timing for Valentine's Day. I think I'm going to wear some tulle under it for some added volume.

Houndstooth Heart Dress

Sunday, February 5, 2012

15% off orders at Shabby Apple

Get 15% off your order at Shabby Apple by using my referral link: Click here.

It needs to warm up so I can take some photos in the Shabby Apple dress below (Called "Too Damn Hot") that I won months ago from Dressed Up Like a Lady. I don't know how fashion bloggers in the Midwest muster up the courage to put up a dress and go outside in 30 degree weather for photos when I have enough trouble mustering up the courage to hop out of the shower in my 60 degree apartment before throwing on some clothes.

I really love Shabby Apple's tulle skirts (the white one is called "Tinsel Town" and the black one is called "Academy Awards"). I've been drooling over tulle skirts for a while and have been planning to try making one once I get a sewing machine.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Ingrid Michaelson pop-up tour

Ingrid Michaelson is doing a pop-up concert tour (last minute announced concerts with no more than 250 tickets sold). The Chicago concert sold out less than an hour after it was announced, but guess who got two tickets in time because her boyfriend obsessively checks Twitter? This girl.

When this is the view of the stage from the back of the room, you know there isn't a bad seat in the house.

The song in the video below (that I made over three years ago) is "You and I" by Ingrid.