Saturday, April 30, 2011

before and after re-style

I'm heading to the Queen's Cup later today and I wanted to don a cute hat like what is usually worn to these events. It also doesn't hurt that I pretty much fell in love with many of the hats that I saw on the highlights of yesterday's Royal Wedding.

So, I made a trip to my local Marshall's (like TJ MAXX) and they had a ton of hats. I guess a lot were put out for Easter last week. I found 2 cute hats and snapped 'em up. (One for me and one for my friend with whom I'm going to the Cup.)

Eh. They were either kinda plain or just plain tacky. Take a look at the before picture.

Can you say fake floral nightmare? {shudder}

So, to remedy this, I just whipped up a few fabric flowers and hot glued them to the hats. I stuck with a main color theme so that we could match our dresses.

Here is the after shot.

Yes, they are a little over-the-top for everyday wear, but it totally works for this Kentucky Derby-esque event...and I abstained from using fake flowers, birds or butterflies. (you're welcome!) What do you think??

Friday, April 29, 2011

fashion friday: royal edition

Ok, so I was one of those people yesterday who was asking what the deal was with all of this Royal Wedding hype. After watching some of the highlights and live events this morning, I've changed my tune a bit.

A few brief comments...

1. Simply stunning.

Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, emerge from the church after the wedding ceremony with Prince Harry and Pippa Middleton in the background
Double kiss: The newly-married couple share their first public kiss on the balcony as thousands of screaming well-wishers watch

2. Victoria and David Beckham. So chic.

3. Oh, the hats. Oh the fascinators. Why can't we do this in America more?

4. Yay for modesty!

What are your Royal thoughts?

fashion friday: queen's cup

I'm so excited to be attending the Queen's Cup Steeplechase tomorrow. I've never been to any sort of horse race like this. But what's even more exciting than seeing the horses, is deciding what to wear.

If I had oodles of money, I'd probably put together something like this...

BUT, oodles of money I do not have. So, I'll probably attempt to recreate this look using what I have. But some things will be the same...sunscreen (a necessity...especially for my paleness), flat shoes (because they probably don't need the grass aerated), a hat (duh) and a cute dress. Oh, and maybe some huge, gaudy bling. Yeah. I can see it already...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

recycled lemonade can utensil holders

I drink sugar-free lemonade like it's my job. Seriously. I have a problem and it's quite an ordeal in my house when I'm out of it. Anyway, I accumulate quite a lot of the empty plastic lemonade canisters so I decided to put some of them to good use. (other than throwing them away)

These plastic canisters are perfect as utensil holders. This can be for office supplies like rulers and pencils or kitchen utensils. I used mine for kitchen utensil holders as I have quite a lot of them. You never know when you'll need a potato masher, a silicone spatula or even a basting brush, right? Plus, my one little drawer alotted for these things is OVERFLOWING.

So, I took this...

And turned it into...

All it took was some leftover fabric from a skirt I made, ribbon and a hot glue gun. I cut the fabric and wrapped it around the can and hot glued the ends together. Then I did the same with the ribbon on top to cover up the ragged edge.

Voila! There you go! You can keep yourself organized and stylish while saving the planet. :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

shoes on sevens

Today is April 27th and thus time for another Shoes on Sevens post.

Today, I'm wearing these cutie lil' multi-colored ballet flats from Target. I've had these for at least 4 years and got them as a gift from my sister. I seem to have lots of clothes that match these so I wear them pretty often.

Yay for ballet flats!

Thanks to the B for taking this photo. :)

there is no X in espresso

There is no "X" in the word "espresso", people.

I saw a picture on a blog I follow that stated that fact. It got me thinking about other random grammar rules or idioms that people always get wrong. As a self-proclaimed wordsmith who is a stickler for correct grammar and word usage, it will irritate me to no end (correct use of that idiom) when people don't check what they say or write before they do it. Just because we're in the texting age doesn't mean that everything you type or write or say should be in "textage".

Am I alone on this? I hope not.

Here are some of the big ones that bother me...

1. When someone says "expresso" instead of "espresso". No, you're not asking them to make it extra fast, you're asking for a strong shot of coffee. Ugh.
2. Incorrect use of the word "your". Perfect example: Person A texts, "Your stupid." Person B texts, "No, you're stupid for using the wrong word".
3. Incorrect use of the idiom, "I couldn't care less". How many times do you hear someone say, "I could care less." Really? You can actually care less? Because then that means you care a lot about it.
4. There is no "X" in the word "ask." The end.
5. Incorrect use of the idiom "For all intents and purposes." This one was brought to my attention by my dear friend, DCB. It's not "for all intensive purposes"...even though it may sound correct when saying it, it definitely can't be mistaken when you write/type it out.

Are their they're there any of these things that bother you to two too? Or is it just my OCD?? :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

top 5 tuesday: favorite photos of 2010

For today's Top 5 Tuesday post, I'm going to post the top 5 favorite [candid] photos that I've taken this past year. None of these will ever make it into my Etsy shop, but they are still special to me.

The sister (Ashton) and me driving home.

I took this at the SC State Fair. Note how the Deep Fried Butter patron is a skinny lady. HA!

I just randomly took some pics of our feet while we were standing around at a party.

Ashton, my sister, is half arctic spider-monkey.

Hewitt, playing with his corn-cob "baby".

Monday, April 25, 2011

easter dress project saga

I know all of you are just salivating and waiting to see how my Easter dress project turned out, right? HA!

Well, let me cut right to the chase and tell you that I a) made a total of 3 garments, b) made 1 garment that fit and c) wore 0 garments that I made to church on Easter Sunday.

Here's the rundown of events (complete with pictures):

I purchased the fabric and planned out my dress, which you can see from this post. I made this (what ultimately resulted in a high-waisted skirt) by tracing and cutting around a skirt that I already own. I'd seen that on a DIY network show and it seemed easy enough. Only, I counted the selvedge edge in my measurements and when I cut it off, it made the skirt WAY too tight. I mean, I could wear it, but it was way too tight for being on stage at church...and I really couldn't sit down in it. Maybe I could wear it to a club or something...but I don't go to clubs. So, then I contemplated going on a liquid diet for a week so I could wear it comfortably, but then people kept giving me Easter candy and well, my liquid diet just went downhill from there. I still have this first garment. Maybe one day I'll be able to wear it. Of course, this will be after all the Easter candy is gone from my house. Here is what it looked like...

So, after a crazy week at work, it is after all the busiest week of the year for me, I decided to try round 2 on the Saturday before Easter. (I know.) I went to Hobby Lobby to get more of the same fabrics from round 1 and then became distracted by a bolt of seersucker material. Oh snap, I love seersucker. I left Hobby Lobby with none of the original green and brown fabrics but with 2 yards of blue and white seersucker and 1 yard of a lime green and white geometric design fabric. My plan for round 2 was to make the exact same skirt but just make it bigger. So, I did that. I even used the old skirt to trace the fabric for the new skirt (plus a couple inches). I get about halfway through sewing it and then try it on. TOO STINKING TIGHT AGAIN! Now, I'm irritated. What the crap?!?! Then I had a thought. I was trying to use the width of the bolt of fabric as the width of my skirt instead of the length. Basically, I wanted the stripes to run down my body and not across, so I figured that I could get by with just using the whole width of the fabric as it is on the bolt. Too bad my hips are a tad-bit bigger than the width of that bolt. Ugh. Curse these baby-makers. (note, this is a common nickname for "child-bearing" hips. mine have not actually birthed children.)

At this point I realized that I just needed to stick with what I know. I used the rest of the seersucker fabric (I had about a yard left) and made another elastic waisted skirt like my other one I made. Not exactly what I set out for, but it would work and I'd wear it. Thankfully, this one turned out well. I attempted to do a little pleat in front and well, it's okay but I'm not exactly loving it. The good thing about this skirt is that it is breezy and light and perfect for summer or Easter Sunday afternoons when it is 86 degrees outside where I live.

Here is a picture of that skirt.

And a bit of an artsy close-up so you can see the fabric...

Now, for the final part of my Easter saga. (If you're still reading at this point and need a bathroom break, I'll wait...) After trying on my seersucker skirt, I realized that it looks much better with a tank top or t shirt and flip flops and isn't very dressy. I wanted to dress up a little bit more for church, so I opted not to wear it. Plus, because seersucker is a tad see-through I thought that might be a little sketchy when you add me being on elevated on a stage with theatrical production lighting. That could be bad.

So, I made a last minute (read: 9 pm Saturday night) run to my local Marshalls and left with a cute gray chambray high-waisted skirt that I wore with a white tank underneath, a purple cropped cardi and tan pumps. (Pics to come later)

Moral of the story? Sewing isn't for perfectionist or impatient people. It teaches me a lesson in humility and patience along with giving me an appreciation for those ladies who pump out clothing like the OctoMom pumps out babies. I'll continue to stick with sewing, for sure. For now, I just am excited with figuring out how to use all of that seersucker fabric I have. :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

saturday snapshot

I'm linking up with Kim from Yellow Songbird again this week for Snapshot Saturday. My snapshot for this week is one of the beautiful cherry blossom pics I took earlier this spring. (I know...another cherry blossom photo...are y'all tired of them yet?) But I'm just so captivated by these beautiful blooms. I only wish they lasted longer. :(

Plus, y'all know how I love some unusual photo editing. I just think that makes it look whimsical. :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

diy wallpaper projects

Either you love wallpaper or it's the bane of your existence. For me, it used to conjure up vague images of mid 90s jewel-toned fruit bunches and burgundy and navy. It also brings up memories of wallpaper removal and scoring and peeling and bleh.

But hey, wallpaper is coming back. And it's fairly cool looking. AND it can be used in many different ways.

Take a look at these.

Wallpaper Headboard {source}

 Wallpaper Tabletop {source}

Framed Wallpaper Art {source}

Hanging Wallpaper Panels {source}

I could be persuaded to try a wallpaper project if I found some cute wallpaper like the ones used in those pictures. What about you?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

what I wore wednesday

Here is a little snapshot documenting what I wore yesterday (Wednesday) to work.

I kind of threw the outfit together haphazardly in the morning but I liked the nautical vibe it had going on.

Oh, and yes (if you were wondering) I do intentionally cut my head out of these pics. It ain't about the face after all...oh and I'm hiding the it's not in the mirror. Because that's lame-o.

Cardigan: Gap
Striped T: Old Navy
Belt: Rue 21
Jeans: Levi's from Wal-Mart maybe?
Ballet Flats: Target

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

hair feathering?

I was introduced to this concept of hair feathering by my sister, who is a Cosmetologist/Hair Do-er. Hair feathering is basically hair extensions that are made out of fly fishing feathers and are attached with a little crimp bead to your hair. Upon first hearing about it, my initial thought was "Really? That sounds like something that Ketchup...I mean Kesha (I refuse to spell her name with a $) would do." But, after I saw a few pictures of it, I changed my mind. It can be as subtle or as striking as you want.

And apparently this is so popular that outdoor equipment stores are selling out of fly fishing lures/feathers as soon as they get shipments in. When my sister went to buy hers an employee told  her that another hair stylist was in earlier and bought $700 worth of them.

These feather extensions are NOT clip-on. They stay in your hair until you cut them out or you break the bead that holds them. Because the fly fishing feathers are made from real rooster feathers (pipe down PETA people...the roosters don't die to lose their feathers), you're able to wash and dry them like you would normal hair. If you want to go this route, expect to shell out at least $20 per pack of feathers. You can get about 3 or 4 extensions from each pack...depending on how thick you want them. These usually come in what I call "natural" colors. What you'd find on a rooster...or a human. Blondish, black and white, ginger, brown, etc.

There is a cheaper alternative that uses artificial feathers (those are the un-natural colors you might see like pink, blue, red and pure white) but these are just clip ons and can't be washed, dried and styled as normal.

My sister, being the trendsetting machine that she is, decided to try it. She got another hair stylist friend to put them in (apparently it takes some skill to apply) and here are the results.

It's pretty subtle on her hair but still provides some cool texture. You can also trim to the length of your hair.

While I don't know if I'll try this trend, I'm definitely a fan of the artistic texture-y look it creates.

Monday, April 18, 2011

reader's review: down river

I haven't posted a book review in a LOOOONNNGG time. I'm way overdue.

I read this book a few months ago, but I just recently re-read it because it was so...stirring.

The book is called Down River by John Hart. A friend introduced me to this author and I was a little skeptical about it at first. I generally don't read a lot of modern crime/drama books but because this one took place in North Carolina (where I live) I gave it a try.

Oh man. I actually scared my sister while I was reading it because I gasped out loud in so many parts. The plot is full of twists and turns (but not enough to make you nauseous or confused) that were so unexpected. I can usually guess how things will turn out once I get a little way into a book, but not with this one.

The story is about Adam Chase who returns to his hometown of Salisbury, NC (it's a real place) after years of having been gone to live in the big city. He was accused and acquitted of murder when he was in high school of another high school boy and returns after 20 years to deal with his family drama, town skeptics, old flames and even some frenemies. (friend-enemy)

I was astounded at how well the author was able to capture the complexity of human emotion and the strength of family ties. Like many good books, I was able to identify with some of the characters in some fashion.

I will warn you that there is some strong language in this book. But it honestly does create life-like dialogue between the characters. Overall, I would recommend this book to those who like reading about family dynamics, history, mystery and Southern literature.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

how do you get inspired?

I'm in the process of writing a guest post for another blog (more on that later) about how I get inspired.

There are lots of ways to get inspired and a LOT of places to find inspiration. You just have to know where or how to look for it. Okay, that's the teaser for my inspiration guest post that's coming soon.

But speaking of inspiration, do you ever see a picture of something or an advertisement that makes you stop what you're doing and take a second glance? I am a connoiseur of magazines and voraciously read them. One thing magazines are known for is their advertisements. I saw this one in an issue of Lucky AND my latest Cosmo issue. It literally made me stop thumbing through the ads and take a long look at it. I even tore it out of the magazine and pinned it up on my bulletin board.

Here it is. It's Bryce Dallas Howard's ad for Kate Spade New York.


I'm not sure if it's the colors (because y'all know I love some color), the dress, the shoes, her beautifully pale skin (hollla!) or just how amazing she looks. But this ad is just flat-out awesome. It's so happy and pretty...and inspiring.

Here's another one. I'm not sure which ad is more recent, but they both are so cool.


What's inspiring to you? 

Friday, April 15, 2011

fashion friday: color combos

It's time for another edition of Fashion Friday.

I recently was asked to help a friend out with her wardrobe. (you can read her interpretation of the evening here) She has LOTS of clothes but seemed to be stuck when it comes to wearing color. She often resorted to just wearing black or brown with any kind of color because she thought that you couldn't pair certain colors together or that you always had to include a neutral color in an outfit.

It was so fun to watch someone get so excited about wearing color! She pretty much had a whole new wardrobe and didn't have to buy anything! That's what so good about color. You can use a color palette from anything (a magazine, a flower, a photo) and try to reproduce it within your wardrobe. It makes you look at old stuff in brand new ways.

I really enjoy wearing color. You'd be hard pressed to find me in neutrals without some sort of "pop". Here are a few of my current favorite color combinations.

I call this one the "Citrus" look. It's bright purple, tangerine/coral and citrine.
Clothes: Old Navy Shoes: Target

This one is the "Cool" palette. It's light yellow, kelly green, light blue and navy.
Clothes: Old Navy Shoes: Target

This is the "Prep" look. It is hot pink, kelly green, navy and pale yellow.
Skirt/Shirt: Old Navy Shoes: Frye Molly Cardigan: Pink

Honestly, they don't even need to be restricted to clothing, but for today's fashion post, we'll stick with that.
I encourage you to take a wild chance on color. It is unbelievably mood-enhancing!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

sew simple: easter dress

If you've been following along, you know about my recent adventures into sewing. I got a sewing machine for Christmas and I'm (slowly) learning how to use it. Right? Okay.

Also, we're getting close to Easter. Let me preface what I'm about to say by saying that Easter is first and foremost a celebration of the Risen Savior Jesus Christ. That is the true meaning of it. Not all of the pastels and candy and bunnies and stuff. Though, those are fun too. I don't mean to trivialize Easter by talking about what people wear on that Sunday. However, it IS kind of a big deal down in the south. Even if you go to sort of a casual church, people still usually put a little more thought into what they wear on Easter Sunday. For me, it's always a tradition that I get a new dress or outfit for Easter. (dating back to my childhood when said Easter dress was accompanied by white lacy gloves, lace-trimmed socks and a white hat)

So, because I've been into sewing lately I had a revolutionary idea! (okay, not revolutionary, but work with me here...) I would MAKE MY OWN EASTER DRESS. Yes, that's right. Make it. Sew it. Piece it together. The whole shebang.

Phew. It's kind of daunting. But after the quasi-success of my last sewing project (the simple skirt) I figured I could incorporate that into a dress idea. So, without further adieu, here is my Easter Dress Plan.

So, there it is. I'm up for it! I'm going to start on it this weekend. I plan on purchasing a pre-made top to sew into a skirt and waist band piece that I make. For those of you whom I know personally, you'll be able to see the results of my labors on Sunday, April 24th. For the rest of you, I'll post a results blog soon afterward.

Let the craziness commence!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

project restyle: nightgown

This is a li'l quick restyle I did of a nightgown I've had for awhile. It's very cute for a nightgown. But it'd be even cuter as a sundress. The only problem's a bit short. I needed only about 3 inches for it to be "April-decent".*

Here's what I did. It took less than 10 minutes. Now I have a cool sundress for a nightgown price!!

*"April-decent" means it comes to at LEAST the top of the knee in length. Gotta keep it modest, y'all.

(It's a li'l bit blurry...sorry about that. Took this with my phone...)

TUNE IN TOMORROW for a super cool and special project announcement!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

top 5 tuesday: happy list

I borrowed this idea from my friend Jill's blog. She posted a list of things that make her happy. Her, "happy list", if you will. I love positive blogging, so here's mine condensed into a Top 5 Tuesday post. Feel free to repost on your blog, facebook note or any other way you can think of to spread the positivity!

Top 5 Things That Are Currently Making Me Happy*

-pastels (especially on all the Easter stuff out now)
-wearing dresses and skirts
-blooming dogwood trees
-Zone Perfect chocolate chip cookie dough protein bars (OMG)

What are the top 5 things that you're happy about right now?

*Things and Actions...not people. Because, you know, someone might get offended if I left them out. ;)

Monday, April 11, 2011

style icons

I saw an article in the back of Lucky Magazine that was about style icons. It really got me to thinking about who my celebrity style icon is. Almost on instinct I thought of Reese Witherspoon and after Googling her casual style I'm totally convinced that she's my style sister...of course with a lot more money and fame and...well...taste. :)

Anywho, I've always loved her because she's blonde, southern and just so darn cute!

I love how her personal style is made up of that classic staples that I love (a cardigan, pencil skirt, ballet flats, a scarf, etc) plus a few cute statement pieces that make it all her own. (fedora hat, cross-body bag or bright colors)

Do you have a celebrity style icon? Or is there someone from whom you draw fashion/style inspiration? I'd love to know!

Image Creds:,,,,,,