Like a bird in a cage

All month long I've been on the hunt for a grey oxford or bootie - low to mid heel, preferably under $40. So while I searched every online shoe venue I could think, I encountered shoe after shoe that I so very badly wanted, but was not the shoe I had in mind - and I was able to just close the browser window and move on - shutting out their siren song.

Believing I had developed such amazing will power, I went into TJMaxx today, fully confident that I would walk past the purses and the clothing, straight to the shoes; that I would find a few pairs of grey shoes and try them, and only them on; I would then choose a pair and walk proudly to the register with only one pair of shoes in hand.

Oh, the best laid plans.

I did walk straight to the shoes. I did find a couple pairs of grey shoes and try them on. I did find a cute pair of grey booties by madden girl for $35.

But then I saw the Jessica Simpson Katie Birdcage Pump, and I tried them on. I fell in love as the three of us strolled the other shoe isles and admired ourselves in the mirrors; we knew we didn't want to be separated.

It was also no help that two other women in the shoe section took notice of the birdcage pumps and began telling me how amazing they looked and how they wished they were still young enough to pull them off.

I knew I shouldn't, and I even considered telling the woman at the register, "No, I wont be taking these." as I handed them to her, but I couldn't.

They were $50, which is $40 less than on amazon (unless you are a size 6.5 or 9.5 - then they are $41). So they were a good deal.

I'll just have to try and do better in the future.

Do you have the willpower to just say no to shoes? Do you think it's easier to resist things online or in a store?

Past the expiration

Christmas may have been over a month ago, but today I bought an ornament. The Chinese Takeout Box at Urban Outfitters is such cute ornament who's $14 price tag turned me off. So once again I played the waiting game with UO and watched as the price dropped and the stock dwindled.

At $2.99 I was finally ready to buy, but then I saw the $6 shipping. Maybe I'm weird, but I wont pay more on shipping than on the actual item! So after spending way too long searching UO's sale pages I finally found a cute jewel buckle belt for $7, marked down from $20. I added it to my cart, and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but an out of stock note by my ornament!

Frustrated, I resigned - no Takeout Ornament this year.

Then today, while bored at work (shh!) I went to Urban Outfitters and looked at my cart - the ornament was back!

And while on the subject of adorable ornaments, I'd like to share my little Leica - my favorite ornament ever. You can even see through the view finder!

little leica 1

little leica 2

little leica 3

A prize inside the blog

I was just given my first award, the Over the Top award from Robin. Thanks- it's so sweet of you! It comes with a quiz too, so here we go!

The Over The Top award comes with the following survey. It must be filled
out using one word answers.

1. Where is your cell phone?  Windowsill
2. Your hair?  Frizzy
3. Your mother?  Wonderful
4. Your father?  Attic
5. Your favorite food?  Chocolate
6. Your dream last night?  Fashionable
7. Your favorite drink?  Mocha
8. Your dream/goal?  Independence
9. What room are you in?  Bedroom
10. Your hobby?  Cosplay
11. Your fear?  Spiders
12. What do you want to be in 6 years?  Happy
13. Where were you last night?  Bed
14. Something you aren't?  Tall
15. Muffins?  No
16. Wish list item?  Lens
17. Where did you grow up?  Connecticut
18. Last thing you did?  Cuddled
19. What are you wearing?  Dress
20. Your TV?  Old
21. Your pets?  Chloe
22. Your friends?  Caring
23. Your life?  Confusing
24. Your mood?  Calm
25. Missing someone?  Always
26. Vehicle?  Feet
27. Something you're not wearing?  Earrings
28. Your favorite store?  TJMaxx
29. Your favorite color?  Turquoise
30. When was the last time you laughed?  Today
31. Last time you cried?  Sunday
32. Your best friend?  Nextdoor
33. One place where you go over and over again?  Home
34. One person who emails you regularly?  Brother
35. Favorite place to eat?  Couch

Not sure what the award etiquette is, but I am going to pass this award to One Pearl Button; I read your tweet earlier, so I hope this brightens your day!

Leopard Skirt

Today was a very lazy Sunday. It was spent on the couch watching movies, catching up on blogs, and taking some photos for the Flickr MacroMondays group. It's 11:30 pm and every time I look at Chloe I swear she is giving me the stink-eye because I didn't take her for a walk today.

So yesterday, when I wore something I'd care to share; I pulled my leopard print skirt out of my closet. Since it's acquisition last April, I only wore it once and when I saw Eyeliah's leopard print style challenge, I got the inspiration I needed!

I also just received my little camera necklace I got from Etsy and was anxious to incorporate it into an outfit.

Camera Necklace

I had thought I could also make this an Outfit Under $100 post - but I failed by $17.60! Sorry :(

Leopard print skirt - Urban Outfitters (the one I originally wanted, now on sale) - $30
Dolman sleeve sweater - Elle for Khol's (also on sale) - $25
Side Fringe Boot - Qupid (at Amazon) - $35
Camera Necklace - Etsy - $10
Silver cuff bracelet - Forever 21 - $5.80
Tear drop earrings - Forever 21 - $7.80
Black tights - Khol's (on sale) - $5

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Sweatshirt Blazer

I own very little in the way of 'lounge wear', since I do not believe that sweats were ever meant to leave the privacy of one's home.

I have one grey hoodie which I've worn since middle school, and when I'm home, I like to take off whatever blazer or jacket or 3/4 sleeve cardigan I'm wearing and cozy up in the hoodie. I do sometimes want to wear it out and take that comfort with me, but I will not.

I am, however, quite intrigued by the sweatshirt blazer. The soft knit jersey of a sweatshirt combined with the structure and style of a blazer! This is something I would really like to try, though I'm unsure if I would want the black or the grey.

The grey is unassuming and upfront. It is sweatshirt material and does not try to be anything else. The black on the other hand, is a bit more sneaky. At first glance you wouldn't guess it was anything other than your typical black blazer.

Gap Double Knit Blazer - $59.50

Urban Outfitters French Terry Studded Blazer - $30 and Forever 21 Textured Knit Blazer - $29.80

Alloy One Button Boy Blazer - $49.90 and Delia's Mineral Wash Blazer - $42.50

Anthropologie Flipside Blazer - $88

Would you wear a sweatshirt blazer? If so, in grey, or black?

Shopping the Sales

It's mid January, the spring lines are out, the christmas sales are over, the general consensus is that anything on the sale rack is the dregs that no one wants and the stores are dying to be rid of.

Despite this, I managed to have an extraordinarily successful shopping trip at Urban Outfitters, J.Crew, and the Gap.

Urban Outfitters

A little green, perhaps?

Splotchy leafy green high waisted skirt, Originally $48, now $20 in the store, but is $30 online.

Lilac/Mauve Knit Jersey Dress, with pockets (I love a dress with pockets), and button accents. Originally $48, now $30 in store, $35 online.

Racer back cammi with drapey chains, This top was originally $38 and reduced to $10, but had a couple damaged bits, so I got it for $8. They should be a quick fix.

J.Crew - Extra 30% off clearance in the store

Velvet Blazer, Ruffle top, Skinny Cords

Toothpick Ankle Grey Cords, originally $78,  reduced to $21 ($30 online). I really, really loved these when I tried them on in the store, but after wearing them for a day I've realized how very not stretchy they are. I wonder if they will stretch out any after a few wears...?
I love how the ankle length is perfect for my height, at least I won't have to hem them - yay!

Salmon Pink Huge Flower Top, originally $89.50 reduced to $14, when will I ever have enough tops with ruffles, flowers and big dramatic embellishments?

Antler Tissue Tee, Originally $45, reduced to $10. I first noted this cute tee when it was featured on Style Obsession, and when I saw I could get it for $10, I had to have it. It's not really that seasonal - there are other animals with antlers, you know.

Gap - Extra 25% off clearance in store, tiered savings online

Skinny Gold Belt, originally $20, reduced to $7, I've had my eye on this one for a while - I love skinny belts, even if they aren't leather.

Green Pointell and Teal Opaque tights, Originally $12.50, reduced to $3, Can you ever have enough tights??

The best part of my little shopping spree is that I don't even have to feel too guilty about my purchases, as I had to make returns and I had gift cards, so really, I just turned two presents into nine.

Fashion "I Would Nevers"

I've always had this list of fashion don'ts in my head, colors I'm certain will look awful on me, styles that will be too uncomfortable, both physically and mentally, patterns that will make me look too big or too small.

However 2009 actually proved to be year of breaking out of a fashion rut I wasn't even completely aware that I was in. I was out shopping with a friend once and as we perused the items, I noticed her telling me all the things she would not wear. And I thought to myself that she was crazy for making up all these limitations, without even trying it on first.

Then I picked up a shirt with horizontal stripes, thought "I'd never look good in this, I'll look short and fat!" and realized that was doing the exact same thing. So I tried on the stripes, I took some photos, and discovered that not all stripes are created equal and that some, can in fact, be flattering to my curvy frame.

And so began the destruction of my fashion "I Would Nevers", which were:

The color yellow - It was completely non-existent in my closet prior to 2009, and now I would go so far as to say I have too much -- pants, tights, sandals, a dress, a cammi, a belt; it's hard to believe I once viewed yellow apparel with complete disdain. The mustard cords are my favorite pants right now!

Mustard Cords, Purple Top, Magenta Shrug

High heeled shoes - I used to avoid anything over 2.5 inches like the plague. Now I'll go up to 3.5, as I do love how they look, though I'm always searching for a truly comfortable high heel.
In 2007 I actually bought two pairs of 4" heels, brought them home, wore them for 10 minutes, and returned them.

The poka dot peep toes and the silver pumps both went back!

Gold jewelry - Ignoring anything gold tone for so many years was huge a mistake. Wearing both gold and silver offers twice as many possibilities, and who says you can't mix metals? (Other than my sister, who is clearly wrong.)

Leggings - I was certain that short girls who weren't toothpick thin could ever look good in leggings, until I decided that leggings were just slightly thicker tights without feet. And I even sort of wear them as pants - that is, with tops that are not quite long enough to be dresses, but are too long to be worn with pants.

Grey sweater, lace trimed tunic, brown leggings

Loosening my purse strings - Spending money and spoiling myself is definitely a new thing. I used to take $50 out of the bank and it would last me nearly a month. Now I'll spend $50 every time I walk into TJMaxx and barely bat an eye. Even though I'm still a saver and a bargain hunter, I've become much more willing to part with my money for the fashion I love.

Even with all the limitations I've broken out of, a few still remain: no Uggs, no Crocs, no high-wasited or harem pants. No shorts.
I may bend a little on the shorts. We shall see.

Is there anything you have vowed to never wear, or something that you previously loathed and now love?

Wear your camera

Since I've had cameras on my mind, I decided to seek out all the cool stuff you could put cameras on, or in!

Vintage Postal Camera Case at Amazon, $17
Camera Obscura Necklace at ModCloth, $14
Old School Camera belt buckle at Etsy by flightpathdesigns, $38
Film Negative Earrings at Etsy by fusionethos, $12
Ruby Couture Polka Dot Camera Case at Target, $22
Polaroid Jr. Tank at Cafe Press, $22
Silver Camera Cufflinks at Amazon, $31
Camera Necklace at Urban Outfitters, $28
Mini LOMO Zipper Pulls at Fred Flare, $8
Diana Camera Bag at Etsy by happyfamily, $20
Camera Earrings at Etsy by nuchyk, $2.50

And what I ended up getting for myself:
Leather Camera Pendant at Etsy by RetroSkor, $10

Review of Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

"How to keep eyeshadow in place" is what I googled last week, after coming home from work and seeing that once again, all my eyeshadow had slid into the crease - and I decided I needed to find a solution.

Just prior to this, I stopped at one of those makeup kiosks in the mall and asked for a solution to this problem. The woman began to rave about her $16 concealer and how that if I dabbed it on and then put some powder, my eyeshadow wouldn't crease anymore. Well I got her concealer and all I ended up with was an even bigger glob of makeup in my creases.

My ever helpful web search, however, lead me to Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer Potion, and after reading many favorable reviews, several from people with oily skin who were having my same problem - I decided I would give it a try.

At Urban Decay's site it retails for $17, and when I bought it, the shipping was free. I did attempt to find it cheaper on ebay, but it was actually more expensive. They also have a store locator on their site, so you could perhaps avoid shipping costs that way.

For my test of the primer potion, I dabbed it over my whole eyelid and up to my brow with the applicator, then I blended it a bit more with my finger. Next I applied my eyeliner and my three shades of blue eyeshadow (for my turquoise outfit, of course).

My first photo was taken at 11am and the second at 11pm. I did not touch up the eyeshadow at any point during the day.

As you can see, by the end of the day, my face did get so very oily and while there was some depletion of the eyeshadow, I did not end up with it all globed into the crease!
I would say that I am very pleased with the product, as it did just what I wanted it too. It is simple to apply and not too overly priced. I would definitely recommend it.

Turquoise - Pantone color of the year

I am very excited that turquoise is the color of 2010, as I love turquoise, and already possess a plethora of apparel in this lovely hue.

Since I'm a bit late with this post, and I've already read half a dozen other blog posts with quotes from Pantone's site and some suggestions to turquoisefy your wardrobe, I'm just going to show my appreciation of the color of the year:

The color of the year

Half my closet is rejoycing.

On the hunt for a camera bag

Camera bags have fallen into the pit of nylon despair.

I recently made the financial plunge of the DSLR, a previously owned Canon Rebel XSI. Even though I got a good deal on the camera (purchased from my brother), my total is quickly creeping upwards as I get all my other camera essentials. Now I have a 50 mm lens, filters, and a wireless shutter release, but I still need a bag!

A camera bag is not easy to find! Much like my previous search for a laptop bag that was as stylish as it was functional and affordable, I've been doing a lot of searching and not much finding.

Most camera bags out there choose function over form and are some type of heavy duty nylon in colors that range from black to brown to army green. If you want to spend a bit more, you can get something in a similarly unflattering shape in black leather.

So far, I've found one company, Acme Made, which offers two different styles of camera bags that I would actually want to carry. The first is a bright red patent bowling style bag. It's as shiny as Snow White's poison apple and has bright white piping and drop handles. I love the bag, however the lack of a shoulder strap is a deal breaker for me. When out shooting, I want to be able to sling the bag across by shoulder and have my arms unencumbered. (Acme Made, why not consider a detachable shoulder strap?)

Their other option is the Lunch Box bag, smaller than the bowling bag, and with a sholuder strap. It features a damask-like print and comes in black and silver, or white and black.

I'm disappointed that was all I could find, so does anyone know of any other stylish camera bag options?

Even without the bag, I still really like the camera - I've missed using an SLR, my film back Minolta has been unused since I stopped being able to process my own film and prints. It's good to be focusing on photography again! In the past week and a half that I've had the camera, this is my favorite photo:

Green Coat, Brown Boots, Cranberry Gloves

Suede Cutout Pumps

I love the idea of wearing these cutout pumps with a pair of patterned or colored tights. When I shop for shoes, the adjectives "basic" "simple" and "plain" never enter my mind. Even if what I need is a pair of basic black pumps, I end up looking at shoes like these.

Some of these cost far more than the others. Would you splurge, save, or really save to be the owner of these shoes?

While I adore the Seychelles pair, the shoes presently adorning my feet are the Elle heels, from Kohl's. Because I am a saver, and while their list price may be $60, they are currently on sale for $22.97, making them the least expensive on the list. As for the rest:
Seychelles - $98
Coclico - $315.95
Anne Michelle - $23.10

Here is a (kind of bad, sorry) close up of the Elle heels with navy tights.

This is what I wore them with. I always feel like a bit of a sailor when I put on the white and navy horizontal stripes, so I continued with the 'theme' and put on the mini skirt with the silver buttons.

Black mini skirt, striped cammi, red diamond cardigan, black cutout pumps

Here is a close up of my beloved Fruit Zipper necklace.

Shoe Resolution: The Verdict

My New Year's Resolution for 2009 was to limit my shoe purchasing to 12 pairs for the year. I had originally intended it to be one purchase each month, but I got off to a bad start. I did eventually discipline myself and pull through in the end.

Both my Mother and my best friend over indulged me on my birthday and Christmas, and combined gave me five more pairs of shoes! I did not include those as part of my 12, since I didn't purchase them.

So, here are my footwear indulgences, month by month.

1. Black suede fringe booties by Steve Madden $22
2. Flower print pumps by Not Rated $15

3. Cherry Pumps by Oh...Deer $42

4. Black pumps by Kenneth Cole Reaction $40
5. Cream and Gold t-strap pumps by Seychelles $50
6. Sled boots by Pajar $62

7. Blue flower sandals by Poetic Licence $75

8. Navy rain booties via ebay $13

9. Brown sandals by Nine West $35
10. Snake print sandals by Naturlizer $35

11. Yellow fringe sandals from Target $5

12. Congnac knot booties by Steve Madden $72

So I did it!!
Looking back on my shoe purchases...
The pairs I wore the most were the black booties and the brown sandals.
The Target sandals are still unworn in their box.
My biggest splurge is probably my biggest regret - the blue flower sandals are not very comfortable.
The cherry pumps got the most compliments, by far.
If I were to average the costs, I spent $38 per pair.

I haven't yet decided what my resolution will be this year, I'm still enjoying my feeling of accomplishment. Typically by February, new years resolutions go by the wayside, so I'm really happy I got through those other 11 months.

Did you fulfill your 2009 resolution? Do you have one for 2010?
I Hope everyone is having a happy New Year!!