Tuesday, 24 September 2013

One Item Four Ways: Tie Dye Maxi Dress

Last night I was de-stressing after a long day at work by online shopping for things I'll never actually buy (please tell me I'm not the only one to use this as a coping mechanism??!). I came across this beautiful tie dye maxi (also available in coral and white for only $45!) and had to just show how I'd love to style it if I were to buy it:

Tie Dye Dress 4 ways

I can see this dress transitioning well to fall/winter by adding tights and boots/booties as well.

EDIT: I bought this during a Black Friday sale and really like it. It's a flowy jersey, so it clings a bit to the booty, but it's still flattering. The band around the waist is very comfortable, and the band around the boobs actually holds the dress in place! (unlike many strapless dresses I've tried). I will say that I thought it was more of a midi dress looking at the pictures, but it's definitely a maxi. I'm 5'4" and it's a biiiiit long on me--I either need to wear shoes with a bit of heel or I may get it hemmed a bit (maybe even to midi length, so I can show off cute shoes better!). All in all it's a great, versatile piece that I can't wait to wear year-round!

How would you wear it?

Friday, 20 September 2013

Visa Card Vanquishment and Weekly Wishlist: Workout Wear

Lately I've been incorporating two kinds of workouts into my life: physical exercise, and swiping my Visa. Let's review, shall we?

Visa Card Vanquishment

Visa Card Vanquishment

I finally bought my favorite Gap workout shirts in the short-sleeve and long-sleeve versions and cannot wait for them to arrive!! Seriously, those tanks are a workout lifesaver!

I also bought this acrylic tray as part of my office update (pics coming soon!), and I was pleasantly surprised by the high quality--it's all cut from one piece of acrylic, not smaller pieces all joined at the seams. It works perfectly on my desk to corral my office odds and ends, including my new tape dispenser. This gorgeous stapler is still on my lust list!

I did buy the Halogen purse that I talked about last week, and I love it! It's on sale right now too, so Nordstrom kindly gave me a price match for the lower price--score!

Now that I don't need to bring a massive purse to work every day, I decided it was high time I got a nice laptop bag (usually I just stash it in my giant work bag, but that bag doesn't have any padding). I'm excited to receive my Timbuk2 bag--seems like a perfectly minimalist yet functional bag for my Macbook Air.

Weekly Wishlist: Workout Wear

I recently started attending yoga classes again, and I've found out that I love heated yoga! This type of workout does obviously get you schweaty sweaty, so I've been on the hunt for sweat-wicking, no-sweat-showing, non-see-through gear to get me through classes and afterwards. I've continued to run and rock climb a lot since my half marathon, so I'm trying to find gear that multitasks.

I noticed in my online shopping that virtually everyone does basic black tights and capris, but hardly anyone does unique, eye-catching gear! So here's a roundup of some fun and functional gear that is currently on my wishlist until my bank account recovers :)

Weekly Wishlist: Workout Wear

Starting top center, clockwise:
1. I'm in love with this post-workout (or during savasana!) long-sleeve ikat wrap, and I can see it transitioning easily over a LBD at the office! It's on sale and available in all-black as well, but it's discontinued so snap it up quick!
EDIT: I tried this top on today and hated it. The print looks really cheap, and the fabric feels cheap as well. Bummer!

2. Slouchy sweaters are my fave, epecially once you get out of the shower post-workout.

3. I'm in the market for a bra that doesn't give me uni-boob, and this one is so fun and bright!

4. I'm obsessed with the paisley print on these grey leggings--I want to wear them to yoga with that bright bra, then (wash them!) wear them to work with a cozy knit sweater and a tunic that covers my bum!

5. These bright capris will help me wake up for that 6am class!

6. I'm obsessed with these ikat print leggings--they also come in grey, which are a little more subtle. These are not only on my weekly wishlist but actually my more practical, I'm-really-planning-to-buy-these list.

EDIT: I also tried these on, in both colors, and they were extremely thin, the print looked cheap, and they were semi-see through. I don't recommend these, unfortunately!

7. I think these olive green leggings are such an unexpected color--I'd pair them with pastels like lavender or pink, or toughen them up with black!

8. I tried on these Moving Comfort leggings at REI the other day and I'm in love. The print is much more subtle once on, and the print is even flattering for us ladies with athletic thighs! Make sure to size up one size if you buy them--they run a bit small.

9. I go back and forth whether shorts are a good idea for hot yoga, or if the greater skin exposure would just lead to more sweat and slippery poses? If I were to get shorts, these are the ones I'd go with since they're a bit longer than your average yoga shorts and reviews say they stay put!

EDIT: I bought these and really liked them, but I did find that I get so sweaty in heated yoga that my arms slip off my legs in certain poses when I'm wearing shorts. I need longer leggings to provide a little 'grip' for different poses. I ended up returning these (Athleta has an excellent return policy, even if you've used the gear!) but I think they'd be great for regular yoga or maybe even running. They did stay put pretty well and are long enough that I didn't feel like my cheeks were hanging out or self-conscious--I have a big booty so that's saying something! ;)

10. These Lole leggings look so fun and comfortable and even wearable outside the gym. I'm a little wary of lighter colors, but these may be worth the risk :)

What gear keeps you moving and motivated? Do you prefer shorts or leggings for hot yoga?

What I'm Wearing Weekly: September 15-20

It was another long hard workweek for me and I didn't even have a chance to blog, so I'm serving up two posts today!

First up, here's what I wore this week. For other editions of WIWW, please click here,  here, here,  here,  here, here, here, here, here,  here, here,  here,  here, herehere and here :)

Untitled #176

This weekend I'm celebrating a friend's birthday but am otherwise laying low--I need to catch up on some beauty rest!

I'm looking forward to sleeping in, doing some yoga, painting a gift for a friend, and finishing the coffee table I started building a while ago. What's on the docket for you, friends?

Check back later for my Weekly Wishlist featuring my workout wear wants (say that ten times fast!).

Truth in blogging: In these boards I try to use the exact items I own, but if those items aren't available online I've replaced them with visually similar items. This week, I actually own: Sunday's shirt and shoes, Monday's dress, necklace, and shoes, Tuesday's shoes and skirt in another color, Wednesday's entire outfit, Thursday's shirt, necklace, and shoes, and Friday's shirt, shoes, and pants.

Friday, 13 September 2013

What I'm Wearing Weekly: Sept 8-13

Yesterday I posted on being in a work rut and a few decor-related ideas to work through that rut. Today I want to talk about a different kind of rut--a relationship rut.

I've been dating the same wonderful man for almost three years now, and we love each other and are good for each other. Lately, though, both of our busy work schedules have been really impacting our communication and interactions. By the time we both get home, we just want to veg out on the couch and watch TV or surf the internet, neither of which help with establishing intimacy or connection to another person.

This morning we decided to 'unplug' our relationship--establish a no-phone, no-internet time so that we can really focus on each other without outside distractions. I'd also like to spend more time exploring our city and the surrounding areas. He works a lot of weekends, so road trips are a bit infeasible right now, but little day trips can be fun too.

What are some ways you stay close with your significant other? What kinds of activities do you do? I've been feeling a bit frustrated lately that we seem to do the same activities over and over, so I'd love to get some feedback on new, fun ideas!


On a lighter note, here's what I wore this week. For other editions of WIWW, please click here, here,  here,  here, here, here, here, here,  here, here,  here,  here, herehere and here :)

What I'm Wearing Weekly: September 8 - 13

I can always tell when I'm getting a bit run-down because my outfits get less creative and more strictly functional--I only wore one piece of jewelry this week! It's funny how a particular set of life stresses trickles into other aspects of your life, huh?

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Truth in blogging: In these boards I try to use the exact items I own, but if those items aren't available online I've replaced them with visually similar items. This week, I actually own: Sunday's leggings, Monday's dress and shoes, Tuesday's shoes, Wednesday's skirt, shoes, and necklace, Thursday's dress and shoes, and Friday's dress and shoes. 

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Shake Up a Work Rut with a Mini-Makeover!

Lately work has been really overwhelming for me. There never seems to be enough time in the day, and each day I've been going home feeling like my to-do list only got longer. The other day I started thinking about how our work environment impacts our work performance, and I decided that I need to shake things up in my little work zone.

I don't have a large budget to dedicate to a makeover, and there's only so much you can do with standard-issue, regulated work furniture (ugly office chair, anyone?) But hopefully by sprucing up the space around me and creating a girly little refuge, I can make coming to work a little less stressful.

Here's my general plan:

Office Makeover

I'm all about bringing bits of glamour and relaxation in to work where I can. With those goals in mind, here are my thoughts:

1. I bought the gold papers shown in the background from Paper Source (click here for the floral and here for the geometric one). I'm going to cover my ugly cork board and the wall directly in front of me in the geometric, and line the acrylic tray and drawers shown here in the floral. I also plan to frame some black and white photos of friends and family and to use the floral as the mat for those frames.

2. One good thing about my office space is that it's 100% for me, meaning 100% girl-friendly zone. Unlike at home where I live with menfolk, this means I can make it as girly as I want! I plan to buy one or two of the floral and butterfly prints shown here--I'm in love with the deep dark tones of the print on the top left!

3. I drink a lot of water during the day, and currently I use a beat-up plastic Nalgene bottle. How much more chic would it be to get your daily water intake from a pretty carafe and gold stripey glasses??!

4. Since I want to bring some lightness to my work environment, I chose a couple of acrylic office supplies from the Container Store. The tray is the perfect size for my pen cup (currently I'm using an empty Anthro candle jar), tape dispenser, notepads, and this acrylic drawer system for my pushpins, paperclips, and other small items.

5. I'm still working on self-justifying buying this $24 stapler (so pretty! But it's twenty-four-freaking-dollars! But it's so pretty!), and I'd like to get this cool Pier 1 pillow for my desk chair.

5. A bit of fun washi tape rounds out my plan--life is just better when your basic office supplies are functional AND gorgeous! :)

What do you think? Does does your workplace decor affect your performance? 

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Longtime Loves and Pinterest Musings

Lately I'm realizing that Pinterest is excellent for providing inspiration and new ideas, it is also really good at making a person feel the need for moremoremore. It makes you feel like your house is not put-together enough, or your wardrobe isn't chic enough. It can make you feel like everyone else has their shit together and you're the only one who came home to a dog who chewed your favorite heels (true story, yesterday), to a bedroom full of clean clothes that you haven't folded and dirty clothes you haven't washed (true story, today).  It can also cause you to view the same things day after day until you're not sure whether you like that Moroccan pouf because it's cute and comfy and easily transferable from place to place, or whether you've just conditioned yourself to like it because Pinterest told you to.

For today's post I decided to take it back to the real roots of Pinterest--collecting together things that inspire you and that are a reflection of your own taste. Here are a few things that I've loved for a long time, because for whatever reason, they are a true reflection of me and my style:

Longtime Loves

Top of my top favorites:

  • Muubaa leather jacket. This is so impractical and expensive (I'd constantly catch myself on the beautiful laser cuts!), but it's so....SO GOOD.
  • Z Gallerie glass chandelier: I featured this chandelier in this post and I'd love to have it in my home someday!
  • Industry West dining chair: this is the one and only dining chair that I've ever found that I'm honestly considering forking over the cash for. I think it's classic and I'm alllllways a fan of the metal and wood combo (as per several items shown here!)
What are some of your longtime loves?

Friday, 6 September 2013

What I'm Wearing Weekly: September 2-6

It's September! How did that happen??!

This week was another busy one and I'm glad it's almost the weekend! I'm dog-sitting for some friends and hoping my puppy gets worn out enough that I can chill with her and have a relaxing girls' night in with a friend on Saturday. All in all, I'm looking forward to relaxation time!

Here's what I wore this week. For other editions of WIWW, please click here,  here,  here, here, here, here, here,  here, here,  here,  here, herehere and here :)

What I'm Wearing Weekly: September 2-6

As per yesterday's post, I stopped by Nordstrom last night to compare the Marc Jacobs vs. Halogen purses in p(urse)on. I ended up buying the Halogen purse--the leather is really lovely, the interior has more space and organization than the MJ, and the bottom part that unzips reveals such a fun flash of color!

While at the mall, I also stopped by the Gap to check out the long-sleeve version of my favorite running/yoga tanks (shown on Monday's outfit). The long-sleeve version has holes in the sleeves for your thumbs, which I always like, and they fit so nice and comfy! Definitely going on the to-buy list next time the Gap has a 40% off sale :)

What's on the docket for your weekend?

Truth in blogging: In these boards I try to use the exact items I own, but if those items aren't available online I've replaced them with visually similar items. This week, I actually own: Monday's tank top, Tuesday's dress, Wednesday's wedges and scarf, Thursday's skirt, shoes, and necklace, and Friday's pants and wedges. Pretty sure my cost-per-wear for that sparkly necklace from Thursday's outfit is at like <$1--it's so fun to wear with everything!!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Weekly Wishlist: Wardrobe Staples

This week my cheap-o purse went kaput, and I've been searching for the perfect replacement ever since. Fun fact about me: I've never ever owned a really nice purse, like one with real leather and shit. This time around, I'm determined to buy a quality, classic bag that will stand the test of time both in design and in function!

With all the Labor Day sales lately I've been doing lots of window/online browsing and I've found that by asking myself all the questions from my Guide to Shopping (especially, "Would I buy this if it were full-price?"), I've really cut down on buying unnecessary, cheap, poorly made clothes just because they're 'a good deal.' Which, in turn, leaves more money in my bank account to fill up with quality wardrobe staples! Here are a few that I'm considering adding to my closet:

Weekly Wishlist: Wardrobe Staples

1. How awesome is that BB Dakota blazer? I love all the fun details and that you can wear it multiple ways. Definitely adding this one to my closet in the near future.

2. This Foley & Corinna Disco City bag is a bit larger than what I want, but I'm in love with it anyway. I love that cognac leather!

3. This Foley & Corinna Simpatico crossbody is a such a great size and versatile color. The only things holding me back from buying it is I don't know where I can go check it out in person!

4. I tried on these Express scuba leggings yesterday and I loved them. They're not too thick or thin, they let your legs move, they're flattering, and they have cute ankle zippers! These are on my wishlist for sure, but I haven't pulled the trigger yet since I can't wear them at work.

5. This Halogen purse is at the tippity-top of my new-purse wishlist. It looks a bit boring, but the bottom of the purse has a zipper that unzips to a contrasting blue color! So fun, and it's a great size with several compartments for your junk. This may be The One for me.

6. Yesterday I saw these Madewell bow flats via an Instagram style blogger I follow and I immediately fell in love. I don't even wear flats much, but I think I would if I had these beauties. Rationalization much? :)

7. The other top contender on my purse list is this Marc by Marc Jacobs purse. All the reviews I've seen are really positive and it's such a classic design! It's twice as expensive as the Halogen purse, but probably nicer leather. Decisions, decisions...

8. Last but not least, these Madewell Archival boots have been on my wishlist for at least 3 years. They're perfect in every way except the pricetag!! ARrrghggh.

I'm leaning heavily towards adding the Halogen purse and that black blazer to my closet. I'm going to stop by Nordstrom's today to check out the Marc Jacobs and Halogen purses side by side. What staples are you thinking of adding to your closet this fall? 

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Your Opinion Needed: Living Room Curtains

Hello, all! Yesterday we discussed my new slipcover and how happy I am with how it turned out. Today we're going to talk about how, since it turned out so well, the rest of the room needs to step up its game to match the greatness of the slipcovered sofa! (Isn't that always how it happens? Such a domino effect...)

As a recap, a while ago I had determined that I want to use the Robert Allen Malakos Malachite fabric for pillows in our living room. I then put together several possible pillow pairings. While I liked them all, there was only one pairing that I could see in our living room:

Pillow ideas for custom sofa

I kind of fell in love with the first pillow arrangement from this post, so I tracked down 2 yards of the Robert Allen Malachite fabric from fabricguru.com (lowest price I found and returnable if undamaged, unlike other shops I saw). I also ordered a half yard of the Aurora Ikat from Calico Corners (as far as I can tell, this is the only store that sells this fabric right now, but it's on sale for $55/yd currently). My mom is making me pillows because she is the best! Then, I picked up a white Gurli pillow cover from Ikea and plan to dip-dye with indigo Rit dye to achieve a similar look to the tie dye pillow shown above.

Now my question is, what color to make the curtains? I know I want solid fabric, since there will be so much pattern mixing with all the pillows and the rug. I'm leaning toward indigo blue or charcoal curtains. I live with 4 males in the winter so it has to be somewhat gender-neutral (otherwise I think magenta curtains would be fun for a while!) What are your thoughts?

Your thoughts?

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

My custom slipcover arrived!

Sofa of my Dreams

And that, my friends, is math I can get behind!

If you've been reading my blog for a while now, you know that I've been impatiently waiting for my custom slipcover to be finished! I first got the idea back in June when I came across the ad for the sofa in our local newspaper classifieds. At that time, I stumbled across the work of Shelley Anderson of Custom Slipcovers by Shelley and was so impressed that I got on her waiting list immediatly!

In case you, like me, have no idea what is involved in ordering a custom slipcover, it went a little like this: 
1. Got on the waiting list
2. Found my fabric (found mine at Home Fabrics on 7200 South State Street, for you who are local to SLC). 
3. Shelley came and fitted my sofa, pinning the fabric inside out to the sofa frame, then the pillows. She took one of the side back cushions with her, since they're an unusual shape. 
4. A week later, Shelley came back and helped show me the best way to fit the slipcover on the sofa, how to wash it, etc. 

And here is the grand result!

Before & After: Custom slipcover

For anyone who's curious, the total cost breakdown for this process was:
$45 custom-built sofa
$25 Uhaul fees
$135 for 22 yards of fabric (I had several yards left over)
$570 for the slipcover, 2 extra side pillows, delivery fee, and taxes

So all told, I paid about $775 for a sofa to turn out exactly like I wanted it, with removable/washable everything (such a perk when you have a dog or, in the future, kids!). It added up to a little more than I thought it would, mostly because I wasn't anticipating the cost of the fabric itself. I have zero qualms with the amount I paid Shelley for the slipcover and her services and am so so happy with the end result. 

It's hard to see, but the slipcover is all piped with the same fabric as the cushions except down the arms and along the bottom, which is black piping. Makes it look a little more tailored, I think! I also ripped off the skirt from the original sofa and plan to remove the gold wheels and replace them with these feet (except ours are 4") stained dark brown.

My thinking is, I could probably have bought a brand new sofa at Macy's for about the same price (I actually have that sofa in another color in our downstairs living room, but got it virtually new although second-hand for $300), but it wouldn't be the exact color or style that I want, nor would it likely last as well as a custom-built sofa, nor would the fabric be able to be washed. So I'm really happy with my end result!

Stay tuned tomorrow when I update some more plans for this space--I want your input! :)