Sunday, July 31, 2011

summer daze

Hello all, I'm back! Well, I got back last night actually, but at that point I'd just gotten through quite a car ride (Minnesota and their road construction/late night detours, as well as the intense lightning storm) I basically just went to bed. But as today is quite a humid Sunday and I will apparently be spending it sweating to death on the golf course, I thought that I would put up some pictures from our fun little day up North! 

This day was actually perfect, weather-wise (and people-wise I guess it wasn't too bad ^^). It was a bit cloudy in the morning so we headed into town to do some shopping, where I caved to my love for satchels and bought this adorable black leather cross-body from a consignment shop, another old Coach. I just love the look of them, like little briefcases, you know? I just can't resist! Will show it off later

 Look Mckenna, you made the blog! We've been talking about how I need to do a little post devoted to Mckenna here, as she is a bit of a horse fanatic/expert and is therefore up on all the equestrian fashion, which is hot right now (as per usual, it's kind of classic don't you think?). Except that her adorable equestrian boots, unlike the equestrian fashion of the day, are actually meant for riding...

Yummy strawberry pie! This is actually one of two strawberry pies that we made, and the kind of sad one - it's a bit short on filling, as you may have noticed. That, however, didn't stop Mckenna and I from polishing it off in about 10 minutes (and proceeding to start in on the bigger one later that night). As you can see, it was a healthy day

View from the main cabin, which we got to stay in as the rest of the family was back in the Cities. As you can see we had a lovely view of the lake and the yard, where I (unsuccessfully) tried to catch frogs. I know, I'm a small child.

I can't believe that everyone's going back to school so soon! I mean, I still have about a month left here in the great state of Minnesota, but Beth goes back to NYC in about two weeks, and Mckenna heads back to the land of hippies and crunchy-granola people (no offense Colorado) soon thereafter. As excited as I am to be going back to school, days like yesterday remind me why I love being home! It's going to be a weird transition, going back. I suppose we'll just have to see...

Saturday, July 30, 2011

new things

Yay for new clothing! These are a few pieces I got recently but haven't been able to wear yet, either from their dressiness or weather-inappropriateness, respectively. So here you go!

So this dress is label-less, but the tag from the store says it was from H&M? I don't really know, except to say that if I had seen this dress in-store I wouldn't have missed it... look at the little petal details on the sleeves, how cute! And it's a bit on the longer side (I mean, on the longer side for me. See yesterday's post. I mean, it's still above the knee and everything) so it's appropriate for a variety of occasions. Can't wait to wear it! Maybe I'll make my parents go out to a nice dinner with me? Ooh, we could go to the club and I could get their amazinggg lobster mac&cheese. Yes. It's a plan

I know this sweater must look a bit ridiculous on the hanger, with its shoulder pads and sequin circles everywhere. But it's actually adorable on! I'm thinking in the fall with some skinny jeans and ballet flats or boots, it could be perfect. Once again, it will be awhile before I get to wear fall clothes though :(

And best thing about these purchases? Together, they were less than $15! They were some of my other purchases at the My Sister's Closet 50% off summer sale, so the dress was only $5, and the sweater was $6.50, I think? So basically, I'm pretty awesome. Just kidding, that sounds obnoxious. But hopefully the weather is awesome where I am right now, up north at my friend's cabin! As this post is scheduled, I honestly have no idea if it is... So send good vibes towards Minnesota everyone :) And have a lovely Saturday!

Friday, July 29, 2011

I like this dress because it's basically a shirt

In retrospect, that may not have been the best way to describe my own piece of clothing. May give the wrong idea? But when the weather is like this, you use what you have. And I have a dress so short that it's practically a shirt. Perfect.

vintage blazer
h&m dress
born sandals

 Oh, we're getting extra-short there, aren't we? I'll keep my arms down from now on, promise.

Look at these little buttons, how cute are they?! Put the one through the button-loop on the other side of the jacket, and they're attached by the little chain! I wasn't really sold on the blazer in the store, but when I noticed the button detail, I couldn't resist

So, update on the zumba situation (if you haven't read previous posts, I went to zumba class for the first time last night, and was a bit worried, to say the least) - it was so much fun! I mean, I was horrid at it, but oh my goodness it was a blast! I've decided it's the cardio exercise for me. And apparently, after the first 10 classes or so you start to get the hang of it and don't look so stupid anymore! A girl can dream, right?

Babysitting the adorable next-door neighbors tonight, then I'm heading up to my friend's cabin for a little impromptu trip! As my cousins and grandma from Iowa are coming up to the cities for the weekend also, it's only going to be a one-day trip, and we're coming back tomorrow night, but still, should be fun! I haven't been up there at all this summer, and as we all go back to school in a matter of weeks, we're running out of time. And it's only two or so hours away (compared to my cabins four and a half...) so definitely worth it. Since I'll be gone tomorrow, think I'll put up a scheduled post of some new purchases that I haven't had the chance to show off yet? Probably... hope you all have a lovely weekend, get some sun!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

favorite shirt

You know, I've always thought that picking a favorite piece of clothing in my wardrobe would be difficult. But to be honest, when I think about it, this button down is probably the greatest thing I own! I wear it all the time (probably more than I should sometimes), it's versatile, it's light... it's perfect! 

Self-timer again, didn't work so well though? Give you a hint why - my head wasn't actually supposed to be cut off in this one...

old navy button-down
gap tank
banana republic shorts
forlove21 necklace
toms shoes

 Look at me, being a good little brand-ambassador for the Gap Inc. brands! I'm wearing a piece from each of their stores. I should get a raise for this or something...

 This necklace is just perfect for dressing up any outfit. While I love my outfit without it too (kind of simple, preppy, sportswear-ish?), add the necklace and it instantly has more flair. Can't remember exactly what I got it for, but since it's Forever 21 I'm sure it was less than $10, and with how often I wear it, I'm sure the cost-per-wear is in the penny range now (kind of like this shirt -  "clothes I wear too much," seems to be the theme of this post, right?)

Nothing interesting has happened today, to be honest. I had a voice lesson, made myself a pizza for lunch (with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil from the garden? yummm) and, as I said yesterday, Mckenna and I are doing zumba tonight! That I'm quite excited for. That, and the fact that I'm going to make some new frosting for these cupcakes that Natalie made a few days ago. They're gluten-free and vegan I believe (from that book the bakery Babycakes put out?) and they're actually quite good, but I'm not really a fan of the frosting Natalie made to go with them, it's a bit coconut-ey and not quite fluffy enough for my taste. So I'm going to make up a batch of the heart-attack-in-a-bowl, three-ingredient (butter - lots of butter - sugar, and milk) perfection that is my mom's classic frosting. Should be good :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

summer business casual

So today is my first day home alone, yet again (well, Aunt Lori is still here, but as I said she is out and about a fair amount), so... yay for self-timer photos! I must say, I think I've found a pretty good spot in our back porch, so today (for once) I didn't do too badly! I had training for my other internship (this ones all online, helping to search-engine optimize videos for a non-profit in the Twin Cities) and I wasn't sure how to dress, so I figured a button-down can never hurt!

gap button-down
theory shorts
born sandals

 So both the shorts and the shirt are consignment store finds, and I'm pretty proud of myself for the shorts! They were one of my finds from My Sister's Closet in Minneapolis, and with the 50% sale they were basically $20 - when would you ever find something by Theory for that cheap? Only annoying thing is that I noticed a loose thread on their hem while I was on the phone and absentmindedly pulled it - and managed to pull the hem off the right short, causing it to sometimes flip down. As I normally wear them cuffed, this hasn't posed too much of a problem so far...

Alison, repaint your toenails! This is getting ridiculous, I'm sorry. I paint my toenails in the summer (which takes a lot of coaxing in and of itself - I'm just much too lazy) then basically let them go until the big toe is practically unpainted. As you may have noticed, the big toe is basically the only one painted. Classy, aren't I? I think this shirt is absolutely adorable. The sleeves are perfect for rolling up, the fabric has a nice amount of stretch, and it has this little tie around the neck! I haven't been brave enough yet to see if I could tie it in a little bow (would that even work?) but it is perfect to dress up a basic outfit, I especially like to wear it with skinny jeans and a little pair of ballet flats. Perfect slightly-dressed-up casual dressing :)

So I picked up a dress from the tailors today that I can't wait to wear! I bought it at a vintage store in the Twin Cities a while back and though it was huge, I thought I could just belt it and it wouldn't be a problem. It was. So, probably about a year later, I got it taken in! Although I'd say it's a bit long for this weather (a.k.a. too much fabric for the sauna that is Minnesota) I can stop thinking about how it would be perfect with an oversized, chunky knit and some boots. Regardless of that dream, I should be able to show it off before December I'd think!

In other news, tomorrow Mckenna and I are going to a zumba class! Only problem - I can't really move my hips, and have very little rhythm in general. Should be interesting, no? Pray for me... :) Anyways, have a lovely evening!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

not my usual skirt

I found this skirt at My Sister's Closet, a consignment store in the Twin Cities, the other day when mom and I were out and about in Minneapolis. They have a store right here in St. Paul in walking distance from our house, but we had never been in the Minneapolis location, so when we drove past and saw they were having their summer sale of 50% the entire store, we practically ran over the curb in our eagerness to get there. So the skirt is a bit longer than what I normally go for (as you may have noticed, I have a penchant for short lengths when it comes to skirts and dresses), but I thought that it might be nice to own a few longer skirts, when it comes to working and interviews, etc. And it is! I wore this interning today, and the soft fabric (linen I believe, judging by the wrinkles) was perfect for sitting at a desk all day.

martin&osa cardigan
jcrew tank
thrifted skirt (odille?)
peeple lures charm
toms shoes

 Yes, a cropped-head picture. Haven't seen one of these in a while, right? My pictures just weren't that attractive today, a problem I am attributing to my finnicky eyes (thus the glasses) and messy hair. Oh well.

Isn't the little eyelet print cute? I'm a fan. And the charm on my chain, below, is from a store up near my cabin in Wisconsin. I seriously have way too many little charms now, but they are so adorable and versatile! I have a weakness for all things nautical (I own multiple striped shirts and a few too many little striped dresses) and though I suppose the ship is a bit literal, I couldn't resist :)

So today was once again interning at the International Center, and I got a lot done! Did some fixing up of an itinerary for a group that is coming this week, and I wish I would be in the office to meet them, as they are from Belarus - we could speak Russian together! Alas, my only days in the office are Monday and Tuesday. But next week we have a group in from Great Britain and apparently I get to go on a meeting or two with them? Can't wait, I do love British accents... But seriously, I'm really enjoying working there! I'm learning all about interesting organizations and nonprofits in the Twin Cities, and I'm hoping to work in this field (international visitors) when I'm back in D.C. later this year. So we shall see! 

That's about all, and it looks like my week is going to be pretty boring from now on (as I was only scheduled at Old Navy once this week... grr) and I'm going to be left by myself! Well not completely, my aunt will still be here but she's gone a lot during the days. Natalie and mom are going down to Iowa to join my dad at Rag Brai, a bike ride across Iowa. Apparently it's pretty interesting, can't wait to hear stories when they get back. Hope everyone is having a great week, good night :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

alexander mcqueen love

So I was watching Fashion Police the other night - hilarious show, by the way - and I fell in love with this dress that Maria Sharapova wore to the ESPYs! Here you go, I'm sure you'll adore it too

As you can see in comparison with the runway photo below, she had it shortened and added some glamorous heels. I am just loving the crystal and feather detailing, and the cut and length show her off so well!

Sarah Burton's inspiration for the Pre-fall collection was military, something not-so-new these days but which she did extra-well I think. The coats were quite literal but still gorgeous and wearable, and how can you dislike a collection with a dress like this in it? Normally I don't put up clothing from award shows or anything like this, but it was just so beautiful I couldn't resist. Now I'm off to work at Old Navy again, fingers crossed that my folding work has improved! Cheers

Sunday, July 24, 2011

my feet hurt

So last night I had my first shift working at Old Navy, and it was actually pretty fun! Despite all the folding...  it sort of makes you bitter, making a pile of clothes absolutely perfect only to have someone knock it over and rummage through it for their size only to decide that they don't really want it anyways. I think I enjoyed the fitting room the most, since you got to chat with people and there was always something going on. Working the closing shift is not much fun though, as it means you spend an hour or so (or longer) after everyone has left the store folding. And folding. And folding some more. I'm doing the same shift tomorrow night too, so I suppose I'll be doing it again! Maybe my folding skills will improve with time? Anyways, here is my outfit yesterday from work

old navy tshirt
 jcrew belt
banana republic shorts

I am loving these shorts! For one, I got them for a great price, thanks to my lovely employee discount, and two, they are so comfortable! Oh, and I really like the length. Wow, this employee discount thing really works in the company's advantage! I'm already spending money at their stores and recommending products to people... very clever, Old Navy, very clever

This  morning I volunteered at the carousel, which as usual was lots of fun, even if my poor feet (still tired from last night) barely made it through. Then Natalie came to visit me and we walked around the gardens at the zoo! They even have this gorgeous Japanese tea garden where they have tea ceremonies during the summer, and just as Natalie and I were looking at each other like we should sign up for one, the volunteer tells us they have a waiting list of a year and that we should sign up for next summer. Oh. But it was okay because we got mini donuts, a.k.a. the tastiest things in the world! I always smell them on my way to the car after leaving the carousel but never let myself get them. And now I see why. They are so perfect, so crisp and sugary, that now that I've had them I don't know if I'll ever be able to walk by them again! Such a lack of self-control I have. Darn.

So for now my tentative plan for the rest of the afternoon is to sit my butt down on the couch and not move until my feet stop throbbing. Seems fair, doesn't it? Tomorrow at least I'm at the Minnesota International Center for the morning, so that's a few hours in a chair before the evening shift at Old Navy. Yay for me actually being busy! Hope you had a lovely weekend!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

cooling down

The AC is off, the windows are open, I'm wearing a cardigan and not sweating like a pig - we might actually survive this summer! Apparently the humidity returns tomorrow, so we've gotta enjoy it while it lasts. I spent the morning doing physical tasks outside for the parents, a.k.a. ridding the back porch of its variety of pine needles, dead bugs, and cobwebs - but I have to say it wasn't even that bad, because the weather is so lovely! Here are some pictures of my outfit today, including one of my new purchases from Banana (though not the one I'm so excited to show you, I think it deserves its own post?).

 banana republic cardigan
urban outfitters tank
vintage necklace
target shorts
born sandals

 Question of the day for you : how is it that even my summer wardrobe is filled with fall colors? Because I've been seeing it more and more and I honestly don't know why...

It's hard to tell in these photos, but the front of the cardigan has these panels with a black lace overlay, and they are absolutely amazing! I originally saw it in cream on some bottom shelf in Banana, but when I saw the version in navy I knew I had to get it. I'm really loving lace lately! Also while at Banana yesterday I tried on this gorgeous dark green dress completely overlaid with lace, and I wanted it sooo badly, but I just don't know where I'd wear it! It's too nice and formal for everyday or for even a dinner out with the girls. I'd need to wear it to a nice dinner or the theater (and even then I'd probably be overdressed. Have you seen how people dress at the theater nowadays? So sad), occasions that I just don't get that often, not enough to warrant the price - even with my amazing discount :)

So Jenny and I are headed up north for the night to stay at the Grand Casino in Hinckley! Her mom gets free rooms there, so we decided to have a little girls night away from home. We're going to swim, go to the gym, watch movies, maybe play a little blackjack (you're legally allowed to gamble in Minnesota at 18, in case you were wondering how I'm doing this ^^). Jenny always likes to dress up for these sorts of outings - and when do I miss an opportunity to dress up? - so I'm bringing my camera and will hopefully get some pictures. Not making any promises though, I'm notoriously bad at taking pictures when I'm out and about :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

flower power

each flower
So, I didn't really feel like posting an outfit post today. With the heat index it was 107 degrees, so I was in a really small sundress (a.k.a my go-to when I want as little clothing as is socially acceptable - not like that is much of a restriction these days - in order to keep myself from dying of heat stroke), and one that I've worn many times before the exact same way - as seen here (minus the straw hat since that sadly didn't make the trip to college too well). But I was just thinking how I want to wear my 70's floral dress - you know the one I wore to the Taylor Swift concert, as shown here - but with all the extra fabric, it technically being long-sleeved and calf-length and all, I didn't think that would work out so well. So in my day's boredom I decided to make a slightly hippie-inspired collage instead! Enjoy

Oh, and exciting news! Made my first purchase using my employee discount at Banana Republic (as an employee at Old Navy I get discounts at all three of Gap Inc's major brands, oh yes) and it's so pretty! I'm not sharing what it is yet but hopefully I will get a post of it soon (hint: it's not really weather-appropriate currently, so you won't be seeing it in any outfit posts anytime soon. But it is, on the other hand, very appropriate for where I will be heading back to college in the fall). Now it seems making practically minimum-wage and  working weekend shifts looks more bearable! Bedtime for me, good night!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

new high

Or I mean, I suppose you could call it a new low. I'm not positive, but it feels even hotter today than it did yesterday! To get an idea, take a look at this photo

First, note the sad look in my eyes - that would be from standing in the heat. Second, do you detect an odd, cloudy film on the photo? Yeah. That would be the fog on the lenses. How do you know when it's too humid outside? When your camera lenses fog up the second you dare take a step out of the AC.

Ok, beyond complaining about the heat, here is a funny little anecdote from my internship today. I was sitting at the computer, working on an itinerary for a group coming in from Belarus next week, stretching out my legs under the desk, when all of a sudden my screen went black. What just happened? When did I last save my work? Basically, I'm freaking out. I look under the desk, and what do I see? A power strip, which I just flipped off with my toe. Swearing silently under my breath, I turn in back on and pray it wasn't controlling the power of any other computers in the room (it wasn't). Oh, and I had saved my work fairly recently. Just another example of my complete and utter klutziness you have all come to know in the history of reading my blog (broken foot while sledding anyone?)

 flea market pendant
vintage top
 gap jeans

What is going on with the lighting on my camera recently? I had the same complaint yesterday, that somehow the color of my shirt was flushed out. As you can see from the detail shot above, my shirt is a light cream with these adorable embroidery details around the top. However in the full-body shots it just looks like a plain white tshirt. What am I going to do with myself?
And oh, by the way, I really like this pendant. If you look closely you can see it says Spelling and has a little Websters dictionary on it. How cute is that? And the bronze just goes so nicely with the cream top. A good $1 find at the flea market, don't you think?

Now, I need to somehow force myself to eat some food before I head out to Old Navy training, part 2, (how much training do you need to work in retail? Apparently a lot), despite the fact that I just ate a late lunch about an hour ago. Sigh. But if I don't, I will probably drop dead before they let us out at 10! I'm just hoping that this training is more hands-on and less paperwork, I've already spent too much time at a desk today. Oh well, hope you all had a lovely Tuesday safe from the heat!

P.S. I almost forgot! Superrr awkward story about this top. So when I got it at that vintage store I was talking about last week, they only had one dressing room, so when I was about to go in with half a dozen or so items they asked if I would let a woman who only had one skirt to try on go before me. My stuff was already in the room, but I said sure and let her go in. About 20 minutes or so later (how long does it take to try on one skirt?!) she came out and I went into the room. And noticed that the cream top I loved so much was gone. Really? Really?? I sneaked back out into the store and noticed it in her pile of stuff. You have got to be kidding me. First she takes my room, and then my clothing? I politely told the saleswoman that I believed that the other woman had taken something from my dressing room and she, appropriately flustered, got it back for me. When I came out of the dressing room the woman asked if I was planning on buying it and when I said yes she looked a little put out. Hah. That's what you get... That's all :)