Friday, December 31, 2010

Going Through My Closet

My goal for the next year is to make sure that I'm using my full wardrobe to the full extent. 

Of course, having done two of Jane's capsule wardrobes (winter and spring), Academichics' "Dress Your Best", Mel's "Pink for Breast cancer", Kendi's "30 for 30" remix, and countless travel wardrobes, I'm much more aware of how to make my closet work for me. 

In order to forward this goal, I took advantage of the first couple posts of Kendi's "Creating A Working Closet" and examined my closet. 

I didn't get rid of much.  In fact, I think there were two skirts and a shirt that went into a maybe pile.  I do have a rather extensive wardrobe for many people in my cirucmstances, but it was nice to see that most things in my wardrobe I seem to be using.  

Organization is very important for any working wardrobe.  I seem to collect two things: clothes and books.  Unfortunately, these are both things that take up space.  As such, books are relegated to the spare room, and clothes to the bedroom.  Fortunately, our bedroom has two closets, both are more sizable than they appear in photos!  While they aren't as wonderfully organized as the closet organizer my dad built for me when I lived at home (see it here, here and here), considering that I do share the space, I'm rather happy with how well I did (even if Scott has less than 6 inches of hanging space: he just doesn't have the same obsession with clothing that I do). 

The most ingenious idea I had is perfect for apartment living.  I grabbed two pieces of wood baseboard that was sitting around my dad's work bench, and added cup hooks.  By attaching the baseboard to the back of my closet rather than directly putting the cuphooks up not only saves time when moving, it's also easier to cover up 4 holes rather than 24! From these hooks, I hang my necklaces and my belts.  Yes, they're stuck behind my clothes, but hangars do slide!

You'll also note my purses are organized by height.  I find stuffing some of the less structured bags with tissue paper, newspaper or fabric scraps helps to keep them upright.  I used to store them in a Rubbermaid container, (up until today), but discovered it really didn't save that much space, and I was always forgetting what purses I had. 

This closet also stores all of my hanging tops.  I move from blazers to vests, to shirts, organized by colour.  Then I have a hanging apparatus for my sweaters.  I keep two laundry hampers in my closet - one for dirty stuff (fabric) and then the white one is where I toss clothing that probably needs to be laundered after the next wearing, such as jeans that are starting to get stretched out a bit, etc.  This way, if I do laundry, I grab from both baskets, but if I don't, have save myself from digging through the big laundry basket for something that is not-quite-dirty yet. 

The other half of my hanging clothing is in the closet I share with Scott.  I promise you, I'm not depriving him of space. First of all, he used to live in an apartment with only one 2 foot wide closet.  Second, he lost about 50 pounds over the last year, and so we're slowly rebuilding his wardrobe in his size. 

His side has the few shirts, and a couple suit bags, where as I do take up the most of the space with my skirts, pants and dresses. 

You'll notice there are three baskets up on top of the shelf.  These are my secret weapons in organization.  I hate the look of baskets, I won't lie, but they are just so useful.  I keep my camisoles in one, my seasonal clothes in the middle, and my gym clothes in the last.  I won't lie: the camisoles and gym clothes tend to just get tossed in these baskets, I rarely fold them. 

I also use the baskets in my bedside table. I used to keep the scarves on hooks in the back of my closet, but they were too tough to get to, and were taking up too much hanging space.  Now, they're folded and filed in the middle basket.  The bottom one has my slips etc.

Of course, not wardrobe would be complete without a dresser.  Really, there are no creative storage solutions in there.  I do feel rather fiendish in having devoted an entire drawer to tights & pantyhose. I purchased this dresser at a second hand store after my first year of university.  I refinished all the furniture for my first apartment, and I still love it. Not as much as the dresser I have at home but nonetheless, it holds more and looks more pulled together than the average first apartment.

The little black box on top of my dresser is another place I store jewellry.  In this one, I keep the more expensive pieces that I wear semi-regularly.  Rings, earrings and a necklace or two go on top. The bottom keeps the two necklaces Scott has given me. 

The rest of the jewelry goes in one of two places: either the mandarin orange box (a cheap box filled with the rest of my expensive jewelry kept in their original boxes) or the bead organization box, which is great for organizing earrings.  You'd think with all the jewelry I have, I'd wear more of it!

All right, now that you've seen my organized wardrobe, I now expect you all to keep me accountable for keeping it clean!! :P

Friend Friday - New Year, new blog, new you...

I almost forgot about these - the day of the week seems entirely irrelevant these days.  As always, stop by Modly Chic to see Katy's answers and a list of other bloggers participating!

1. What's the one thing you vow to learn or do in 2011 to improve your blog?

I really want to work on my quality and number of shots.  I love detail shots in other people's blogs, but I never seem to do them myself, which of course doesn't make a lot of sense.

2. What did you learn about blogging in 2010 that you plan to put into practice next year?

I've been slowly working on improving the quality of my pictures.  I still don't like my corner pictures, but it's still winter in the middle of the prairies, so I can't do much about that for now.

3. Do you have any high-level goals for your blog in the coming year? Monetization? More comments? More connections with other bloggers? A new template?

I'm looking at Disqus, but admittedly I'm not its greatest fan (I hate having to type in all the fields since I don't have a disqus membership yet, and I am a little worried it would decrease comments).  I would like a better way to reply to comments.

4. If you could collaborate with one other blogger within your sphere of influence in 2011, who would you like to collaborate with, and what would you like to collaborate on?

To be honest, I think I'm still too small (and scatter-posted) to collaborate with anyone.  I haven't quite found a niche in this world, since I dabble in thrifting, budget wardrobes, a bit of diy, mixing casual and professional, and academics.  However, I would like to see what fellow Canadian bloggers like Sheila, ML and Jo (and I know there has to be more of us out there!!) and I could do together. 

5. What do you plan to do to support other bloggers next year?

I really plan on commenting more regularly on other blogs.  The best thing we can get from blogs is feedback! This means I'll stop lurking silently on a lot of blogs, so start showing my appreciation for the blogging world I've entered!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

ZOMG! A Post!

I left "Home A" a Friday or two ago, and in the next 11ish days I spent about 28 hours or 2300ish km driving.  To put it in perspective, that's like driving from the Canada-US border to the US-Mexico border.  I don't want to complain (too much), since a) it was almost about 750km longer and b) I'm very glad I was 1) away that long and 2) ventured out on the roads that much, as every trip was important.  Christmas didn't quite meet my expectations, but really, considering the circumstances, was quite good. Time with family, regardless of what brings you together, cannot be taken for granted.

I will wish that the roads were better.  I think every trip with the exception of the trip back today contained some white knuckle portions that made me very glad that I shared the driving responsibilities for the various trips with my father and brother-in-law. 

In any event, I hope to, over the next few days

1.  Do a closet overhaul
2.  Think about Event Specific Wardrobe Staples (for women... and maybe men)
3.  Look back on the last year
4. Spend my Christmas money

I'll probably hold off on regular outfit posts until the new year, but each of the above "to dos" seem to have a blog post or two within them. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Friend Friday - Dec. 24

Christmas Eve!!  When you read this, I will be at my in-law's family farm for my first Christmas with that side of the family.  Anxiety!!!
Friend Friday Questions - Don't forget to see Katy's blog!!

1. Your favorite holiday memory:

Ironic that this is the question on the first Christmas that we're throwing all tradition out of the window.  I think my answer to this has changed over the years, and definitely over the last month, but it's a combination of going to church on Christmas Eve and then driving the long way home to look at Christmas lights.
2. Were you ever a victim of those family Christmas party photo shoots? What do you think about them now? Care to share an old photo?

Like family pictures at Christmas?  I totally am making my family do one when we get together the day after tomorrow!  New son/brother-in-law and a new baby within a year requires a new picture!!
3. Best Christmas gift you ever gave:

I can't remember how old I was, but I wrote and illustrated (note: I can't draw) a family history book for my grandparents
4. Craziest/funniest holiday family tradition:

We would stage plays.  Some werent' good.  Most weren't good!  One of them resulted in me getting in trouble for saying something my sister and older cousin had taught me.  Tsk tsk.
5. Favorite type of Christmas cookie:

I just spent a couple days baking!  I love store bought gingerbread men, though!!

Have a merry Christmas / Happy Holiday!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Seeking input

So I've been trying to make an effort to make personal matters private, but it seems that they usually end up cropping up on this blog: case in point, my sister having a baby filled me with so much excitement, I spent a lot of time talking about not talking about it. 

Matters such as my grandmother's recent illness, and subsequent passing, I decided not only refrain from mentioning it, but I should also refrain from blogging for a while.  I've been spending a lot of time at my parents' house, mostly baking and keeping busy.  It's been fascinating coming up with outfits each day that are different, but I haven't had the energy or motivation to blog.  Most of them aren't interesting on their own merit, just within the context of my limited clothing here.  The ones that are interesting, I'll be most likely to wear again.

But I've found myself in a conundrum, one that I don't want to bother my mother with, though she would usually be the first person I'd ask.  The day of the shoe purchase, I was out buying an "in case of emergency" funeral outfit, not having expected to need one.  While I was less then pleased with it, and it seemed a little scattered in my head, it definitely feels as though it's come together.  However, I have two issues with the outfit:

 - Purple/Red shoes at a funeral? Really?
 - Isn't it a touch casual?  Especially the skirt?  (last worn here)

 My fiancĂ© is set to arrive tomorrow with my back up outfit (well, a blazer, black dress pants and a different pair of shoes, but the shirt remains the same), so as long as the weather cooperates, I do have an other option.   What are your thoughts??

PS - I'm fairly excited about the idea of tomorrow's outfit, so I'll have to see if I find the time / energy / right after I've applied makeup but before I've cried it off opportunity to take pictures, but I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't hear from me until the new year.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Somethings are worth breaking radio silence

You know how I was planning a 2-11 day stay?  We're definitely leaning towards the 11 days now.  Yesterday, instead of heading West, to go back to Scott, we ended up heading East again, due to circumstances which I don't want to get into, but definitely put a damper on the joy of the season, hence my absence not only in outfits, but also in comments. 

Suddenly needing an outfit I hadn't planned for in my open ended packing (but Cara!  You said to plan for every circumstance from casual to dressy!!  Let's just say there are some places where "festive" is not permissible), I allowed myself to break my "no pre-Christmas shopping" rule and indulge in some much needed retail therapy. While I had hopes of finding some grey booties (that weren't open toed and suede), I found some black cherry shoes (Rocket Dog - anyone familiar with the brand?).  The best part?  Not only were they originally $79.99, reduced to $65, then further reduced to $15, I got an additional 50% off at the till.  That's right, $7.50.  And they are SO comfortable!

I realize they're a little bold for what  I need them for, but I'm hoping if I go bland on top, it'll all work out.  Afterall, these shoes need to be worn!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

There's no place like home for the holidays... except when home is where the heart is

Ah yes, one of those confusing moments, when I'm simultaneously at home (at my parents) but away from home (Scott).  In any event, tomorrow is the first of 7 family-related Christmases a good 2+ hours away from the 3 1/2 hours I just drove (though it took closer to 4 1/2 given the crappy weather... grumble), so I will be MIA for anywhere from 2 to 14 days. 

BUT I do promise to pop in from time - to - time and try to take pictures of my festive garb.  That may be difficult given the fact I didn't use red or green in my travel wardrobe.  Maybe pink and purple are the new red and green??

Friend Friday - Dec. 17

Boy am I glad Katy sent these out early!  I should theoretically be back home when you're reading this, but since it's really a Tuesday when I'm writing it, who knows what Katy will bring!

1. Which holiday party are you looking forward to attending this year?

I was really looking forward to our departmental party, and it was a good time. Yeah for not having dashed hopes!
2. What is your go-to holiday party outfit?

Honestly, it would have to be my Marilyn Monroe style dress - silver and black halter (worn here and here)

3. Do you go dressed in something that would be impractical to wear at any other time of the year?

I usually only buy accessories to go with Christmas outfit, so I guess the clothes must be practical at different times of year!!
4. If you are going to a house-party what gift will you bring to the host/hostess?

I'm usually the one hosting!!!  I'm not sure whether it's my generation or my regional peer group, but host/hostess gifts seem to be a dying trend, though potlucks are seeming more popular.  Maybe that's just because we're all poor!

5. If you could buy only one trendy piece to update your holiday party wardrobe, what would you get this year?
I ended up returning my one item, so I'm going to go with nothing!!! I did really really really really want a grey suede peep toe bootie I tried on at one store.  Unfortunately, they just weren't practical for prairie winters!!

For more answers, check out Katy's blog!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

How To: Pack for an open ended trip

Today's post is brought to you by multi-tasking.  Despite having today's schedule being wide open (with the highways being closed preventing me from getting home), I'm finding myself suddenly frazzled after a day of relaxation!

The major issue with packing (especially when your trip has been delayed due to weather) is that I don't know when I'll be back.  Ideally, I'll be home Sunday, giving myself a couple days back at the apartment before we head back east for Christmas.  However, there is a chance that I might stay right through until Christmas is over.  It all depends on the weather.  These tips are based on how I'm packing for my 3 OR 11 day trip.

All right so here are my tips!!!

1. Pack decadently for the minimum number of days plus one.  This doesn't mean bringing 4 pairs of jeans when you could conceivably only be there for 3 days.  I'm just suggesting that you don't plan on having multiple wearings of something like, say, a shirt within the min+1 period.  This way, you'll have lots of pieces to remix if your stay goes past your minimum.

2.  Pick coordinating items, particularly those which mix and layer well.  This is when colour wheels are great tools!

3.  Bring a mix of dressy and casual peices.  Of course, balance it as necessary for your trip. You'll get the most use out of those which you can dress up and down (particularly on business trips).  Unless you know for sure that you'll need something more classy like a cocktail dress, don't bring items unless you have a clear reason to bring it.  A nice skirt / pats and a nice shirt / sweater will work well dressed up or down.

4. Think of how you can wear items outside their intended purpose.  Scarf as a blouse (under a jacket, of course), tank top as a vest.  You could even get crazy and wear a skirt as a shirt.  (I've never done that, it scares me).

5.  Make sure you choose articles of clothing that can survive multiple wearings.  Linen wrinkles easily, cheaper and thinner sweaters stretch out.  Unless you want to do multiple laundry loads, and lots of ironing, choose more wrinkle resitant and stretch resistant clothing.

6.  As for socks and underwear bring minimum+1 or 1/2 of maximum, which ever is greater.  Sure, you can bring enough for every day, but if you bring 11 pairs, and only wear 3, you might feel a little weird unpacking them later.  Of course, if it's a 3-5 day trip,  5 pairs doesn't seem excessive.

7. Consider your laundry options:  can you do laundry part way through?  Or will you be restricted to washing stuff in the sink?  If you stain something, is it something that needs immediate attention, or will a Tide-to-Go pen suffice?

8. Keep any weather changes in mind - not only the difference between your current location and your destination, but also any potential weather changes you may encounter (in the Canadian prairies, it has literally gone from freezing to melting and back in less than a day).  While you probably don't need a winter parka and a pair of daisy dukes, remember that layers are wonderful wonderful things!

9. As for shoes, as much as it pains me, keep it simple.  However, feel free to go wild with accessories.  They're smaller and easier to pack.

10.  I'm a big proponent of rolling.  Rolling works for me!  But pack as efficiently as you can!

 (Is this really what I packed?  I did make a few changes, but the ideas are the same!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sick Day

I took a allergy pill last night, and today, I feel more like I drank a cake of beer on an empty stomach than took an allergy pill.  I think I'd take hives over this!  Fortunately, it sounds like the dose was just too strong for me. It shouldn't surprise me all that much: there are very few "adult doses" I can handle. However, until I can hold my head up without dizziness and the pounding gets at least a little quieter, I'm not even going to attempt to pick through my closet.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Feeling Old

I had a horrible time getting dressed this morning. It might be due to the fact that I insisted on not getting out of bed until I figured out what I would be wearing, and I could hear the wind howling outside.

I also could feel my entire body itching.  Despite not having tomatoes for a couple days, I still am forming new hives.  Either my body just hasn't stopped producing histamines (which is possible), or I'm not actually allergic to tomatoes, I'm allergic to something else. Le Sigh.  Long sleeves were a must.

This is what I ended up wearing, and I didn't like it.  I started to grow on me, in my mind's eye, until I saw it again.  Something about it just says "granny" to me.  Maybe with a black pencil skirt it might work, but the brown plaid and the cardigan and the higher neck just aren't working together for me.

I changed into jeans and took off the cardigan when I got home, leaving me with this shirt.  Much better that way!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Calming yet professional?

I missed my 2 year blog-iversary on Saturday.  There were a few reasons.  First of all, doing my anniversary post seemed like far too much work, since it involved cleaning my closets, which had become dangerous areas given the second reason: we were hosting a Christmas/Going Away party that night.  The third reason was that I stayed in my pajamas until about 5, since I was writing my second chapter of my thesis, and cleaning until then.  The fourth was that my body decided to mutate.  By the end of the night, I had the most hives in recent memory.  The good news is that I discovered my latest allergy trigger: tomatoes.  You know, that ingredient in all things good things like salsa, pizza sauce, lasagna, and ketchup.  It was so bad that I spent Sunday in my pajamas too.

Ok, that was just an excuse.

Today I had no excuse to not get dressed.  I invigilated an exam bright and early in the morning.  It was my first experience in that role, so I spent some time considering what was appropriate winter wear for that circumstance.  In fact, I went to bed with two outfits in mind: one for a frigidly cold windchill, the other for a slightly (very slightly) warmer weather. Needless to say, I went with the cold one.  The scarf is new, and adds some much needed colour. 

Now tomorrow, I work my regular part time job, so I feel very strange setting my alarm two mornings in a row.  I know, I'm spoiled!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friend Friday - My lovely readers

Don't forget to check out all the Friend Friday gang at Katy's blog!

1. How important do you think reader connectedness is to the success of your blog?

I started this half hoping no one would ever read it, but let's be honest: it's the internet.  Now that I have readers (other than my mom and my sister: Hi Mom and Deb!!), I definitely want to keep you here!

2. What do you do to draw readers in and create that writer-reader bond?

I've read some blog which ultimately suggest NOT sharing any information about your life.  While I agree, this isn't a forum for personal information which probably shouldn't be online, the blogs I look forward to reading everyday always have details about the person and not just their clothing.  I try to do the same thing here.  I can flip through a magazine to get clothing inspiration, for me blogging is more about community. 

3. What is one way you could improve this connection?
I used to love the idea of a sponsorships and giveaways, but I'm not convinced it creates new genuine connections.  It's great positive reinforcement for regular followers, but I'd be interested to see some stats on whether the increase in traffic and followers is maintained after the giveaway. 

I would love if my couple dozen followers were more open to commenting, and joining the conversation that way, but I'm still happy there are a couple dozen of you out there!!

4. Is there a blogger you think does a great job creating that writer- reader bond? Why?
Sheila, Hillary and Melissa all do a great job in my opinion. They all have a good mix of fashion and life, and  acknowledge their commenters in some form.  They also all make an effort to have genuine comments on other people's blogs, rather than simply doing the "Nice outfit" with a three line footer redirecting everyone to their blog.  I really also love Hillary's invitational question at the end.  Not only does she encourage people to comment, she usually has a cute anecdote as her answer to get the conversation rolling, even if it's about what's for lunch. (Today, I'm thinking grilled cheese)

5. What do you do to cultivate new readers? How do you get them to your site in the first place?
This reminds me of question from a couple weeks ago, so if I say the same thing, forgive me.  If I say something contradictory, it's because I'm not awake yet.  Downfall of my life: my inability to drink coffee. Anyway, I like to think I get them here by building relationships with their blogs, frequently through commenting.  I do also try to join challenges and the like.  

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Grumps

I shouldn't have left the blogging so late in the day.  I got up, got dressed and went grocery shopping.  Five hours later, I took a shower and got dressed for reals... as shameful as it sounds, especially to those Stacy and Clinton fans, I don't dress up for grocery shopping when it is going to be followed by baking and cleaning.  Nice clothes come on after the flour goes away. Not to mention the fact that it's still winter here, and so I really only need to dress half my body for such an excursion into the public world, since I wear a jacket on top.

In any event, after having what was actually a pleasant day, the "it's not quite time for supper but it's too late for a snack" grumpies kicked in, and it hasn't been good.  In fact, seconds after taking the picture, I undid the sweater and threw it on the floor in disgust.

What did I do to the sweater?  This is the lace backed dolman sweater that is oh so comfy but not quite as versatile as I hoped.  There were a few comments on Academichic about styling these, and Katie from Interrobangs Anonymous mentioned making it into a cowl.  I tried doing that, minus the asymmetrical-ness.  I was also hoping to avoid belting. However, without a belt, it just swung around awkwardly, making me feel quite chunky in the tummy.  I took pics, but will most likely wear it loose to trivia tonight. 

Someone asked about these jeans a few days ago... my blood sugar is too low right now to have the attention span and energy to look up who it was, but I bought these on a sale rack at Wearhouse One for about $9.99 in the spring.  I wouldn't necessarily recommend them. They've stretched out something fierce. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cold Enough To Freeze Your Winnebago

If you don't know where the title is from, you are missing a key part of life. I don't quite get it either, but Jim Hensen is fabulous!!

It's frigid here in the Canadian Prairies.  Yesterday, there was not any frost on the glass of our patio doors.  Today, there are only a inches through which I can see.  According to the magical meteorologist, we're in this weird weather pattern where it will actually be warmer at night than during the day for a few days.  Hopefully that will mean that it will be warmer when it's time to go grocery shopping tonight.

This outfit was neither warm nor inspiring.  I knew I should layer shirts for warmth.  However, this is a whole bunch of  synthetic.  Even with my jacket on, it felt like the wind was going through all the layers.  I'm glad I did throw the purple shirt underneath, because I did some colour.  However, maybe a lighter purple would have broken up the darkness - I felt like a storm cloud all day. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Party!!

 Last night, our department threw our Christmas party, and what a party it was!  We always hold the event at a local brew pub, particularly at Christmas, because they do brew a seasonal mead.  What one should know about mead is that it hits you hard, and just keeps going.  Those dreams of wearing purple and pink and grey I was having?  Didn't happen today.  Most of the day was spent on the couch, half asleep.

I decided to wear this dress, and I did my best to find a new pair of shoes.  however, I ended up using stuff in my closet.  I suppose that's a good thing, but I do so little clothing and shoe shopping for myself I like to have excuses like parties to go out and buy something.

The issue was of course that choosing this dress meant either wearing unseasonal shoes, or going with mixing neutrals.  Since the wind was rather nasty, I mixed neutrals. Navy dress, black everything else.  I did layer a navy tight under the black lace ones, but unfortunately, the lighting in the venue was so bad, it was unlikely that it was even recognized.

And in case you're thinking: "That dress looks some what familiar", it is the same dress I wore to a wedding this summer, with a slight change in the neckline to make it less trendy!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Am I done yet? Yes I am!

I won' t lie: I fell asleep last night fantasizing about what to wear tomorrow.. Purple. Definitely purple. Maybe some pink. A touch of grey.  It's so exciting.  There are definitely reasons why I am glad to be able to use the full wardrobe.

This challenge was different from what I anticipated.

For one, the temperature was 16 degrees on the first day of the challenge. While it's probably only -10 today, we did reach -30 at one point during the challenge, so a difference of 46 degrees.  While I don't have a lot of stuff to do outside, it did still influence my choice of clothing: I didn't wear the skirts as much as I wanted.  In fact, I wore the brown one only once, and that was under a dress.

The challenge did force me to put more thought into the outfits I wore on my days at home (which are more and more frequent: the minute the snow stuck, I stopped venturing out daily.  It was hard making myself get dressed many of those days, and while some days I blamed that on the challenge, other times, it was much easier motivating me.

I didn't do too much out of my comfort zone, I simply used this challenge as an opportunity to do somethings I'd wanted to do (but couldn't do during the pink challenge of October!).

The largest benefit for me was when I had about 12 hours to pack for a week long stay at my parents when my niece was born. I didn't have to start at square one: I had a pre-planned colour palette and set of clothes I could choose from.

With the exception of the orange wrap which I swapped in at the last minute, I was doing really well at 28 items, especially when half of them were in the laundry.  The short sleeve white shirt, the brown plaid pants, and the brown skirt were all really dumb items to add: I could have done a lot more with different items. I thought this would encourage me to wear these items in new and interesting ways, but since I wasn't excited about them at the beginning, I was less excited about them at the end, they were pretty much ignored.

The best though, was meeting other bloggers going through this!  I'm looking forward to find out how fabulous their outfits will be when they have their full closets again, too!

All in all, for my first 30 for 30, I'm rather happy with how it went!  Thanks, Kendi, for this opportunity!

But without any further ado, here is my last outfit:

There's not much to say about it, but I thought that since I started with blue and green, I'd end with it too!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

More shopping

I headed out today to help a friend with some of her Christmas shopping as well as returning a pair of shoes I bought last week.

Yes, I know, we aren't supposed to shop as part of the challenge but here is my two-prong defense.

1. I knew I needed/wanted new shoes to wear with a dress an upcoming Christmas party, which I was planning on purchasing after the challenge was done.  However, our Christmas party moved up right to the end of the challenge, foiling my perfect plan

2.  Even though I returned them, I am willing to admit that it was not in the spirit of the challenge (especially since I did find an alternate pair of shoes that I already owned when this pair didn't work out), and so I am penalizing myself one item of clothing.  I am now doing the 29 for 30 challenge! 

It bothers me getting ready to go shopping when you know that you'll keep your jacket on all day.  My jacket is cute and all, but sometimes I yell at the sales associates: "I promise you!  I look totally pulled together under this!".

So today, I didn't really engage my brain getting dressed. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

What's this? A new shirt? #27 & #28

I still haven't worn 2 items of my 30 for 30 so when I was grumpy and didn't want to wear anything from my 30 for 30 shirt selections, I grabbed another sweater.  I know it doesn't fit the colour scheme I started with, but I think it'll work really well with the blue and green, so hopefully that will inspire me for the rest of the week.

I won't lie: the outfit didn't last in this incarnation very long.  I got very cold at the bar which hosts Trivia night, so the scarf became a shawl, and the belt disappeared. 

I'm kind of glad I left an item or two until the very end: this sweater seemed to open up all kinds of options for me.  Today, I paired it with the green sweater, since I thought I could be a bit more daring since I wasn't leaving the house, but I'm rather happy with the combination.

 And I don't know how to put this, but my apologies if my pictures are a bit... off.  Scott needs to work on his photography skills for an upcoming course, and, uh, it's like starting from the very beginning with him!

Friend Friday Dec. 3rd

Forgive me if these aren't quite coherent.  Our team did well at trivia (ie: free beer), and I'm attempting to warm up and wind down before climbing into the bed where my fiancĂ© is already sleeping since he works in 5 hours.

Thank you to Katy (see, I got it right this week, despite said winning beer!!!) again for the questions

1. How many hours a week do you spend blogging? Has that number changed since you started blogging?
It's decreased in that I'm less self conscious about what I'm saying so I don't hmmm and haw about things when I write.  However, the picture probably take longer now since I do things like, uh, crop and alter colouration etc.

2. There is always more you can do, write, read, comment on... how do you limit your time spent on these tasks?
I tried an aggressive commenting practice (trying to comment on everything I read), but ultimately, I limit each "reading" to about 10 minutes each time.  I check my blog reader probably once every couple hours.  This way, if I don't have a comment, I don't feel pressured, but on the other hand, if I have a comment, I have time to fully think it through!

3. Have you experienced Blogger burnout yet? How have you dealt with that?
I'm experiencing Blogger burn out right now!  Can you tell I'm on the last few outfits of the 30 for 30 challenge and would die for some purple?!?!?!?! How did I not include purple in my plan?!??!!?!  Getting dressed just seems too hard these days, considering how little sunlight we're getting, and how poorly my thesis research is progressing.  I can't wait to just wear something that will make me feel good rather than what I need to wear to finish the challenge

4. This time of the year is always a lot busier than any other time. Will your blogging change as a result?
I have decided to not "live blog" through Christmas.  I will blog everything up to Christmas vacay, and I may take pictures of outfits, but from the 16th-20th and 22nd-27th don't expect to see regular posts.  I'm not sure whether I'm going to backlog posts before then, or whether I'll do guest/ special posts, but Family First!!

5. Could you forsee a moment in which you are not blogging anymore? How would you you identify that it's time to walk away?
I already identify days when I'm not going to blog.  With Scott working weird shifts lately, days when we get time together, I don't want to be spending time reading and writing blogs.  I can foresee this trend eventually ending my blog, but for now, I enjoy the "me" time it gives me!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's not that easy wearing green (oh Kermit the Frog, I love you!)

Fully Dressed
Thanks to the four (out of, oh, 38) visitors who commented yesterday. For the rest of you, definitely feel free to drop a comment any time!  Is anyone else having trouble with the blogger stats function?  I use a different tracker as my primary tracker, but I like to compare the results.  I'd planned on wearing this outfit on Tuesday to work, but since Green is the same colour as the provincial football team who had just lost the championship game, I didn't want anyone either throw stuff at me, or misconstrue my wearing of the colour as enduring support for the team.

The last time I wore this outfit, some of you suggested I belted it too high.  I've stripped down the outfit to explain why I tend to do that with this dress.  In the "Fully Dressed" picture, I've belted it lower, without adjusting the dress.  There seems to be some puckering above the belt, but maybe I'm just too critical. 

In the Semi-Dressed picture, I've belted as I normally would.  I pull the dress down and belt where the elastic (designed to be worn under the bust).  The downfall is that I love the look just after I do it, but everything wriggles around as the day progresses.  I think that's what caused the "high belting" last time. 

In the Undressed picture is the dress as designed.  Unfortunately, I don't have the chest to fill it out, and so I always feel saggy-boobed in it.  

So thoughts?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hello?!?!? Is Any Body Out There?

I've been tracking visitors for over 2 years now.  I love the random google searches that sometimes pop up, and I love to get really confused by names of the countries of people visiting my site, because geography is NOT my strong point.

Then there are days like yesterday when I get 118 hits, and 27 visits (hits being the number of individual pages read, hits being individual people reading one or multiple pages).  Stats generally mean a few new people have visited my blog and done a lot of looking back through old posts.

Don't get me wrong: I love that.  It just makes my bloggy senses tingle with anticipation (yes, anticipation and not ignorance of the subtle nuances of my tracking stats): "Who are these people?  What brought them here?  Where are they from? Did they like it? Do they have a blog?"

So while I don't want to single them out, these questions still plague me.  And how many of the usual 20-30 some odd daily visitors do I not know?  So today, I invite all of you - whether you've commented before, or not, whether I follow your blog, or not, whether you stumbled upon here by accident trying to access the very similarly named porn site or whether you follow me through an RSS reader - to drop a note to say a little bit about yourself!!

In other news, the repairs to the laundry area was done as per schedule, and as long as I use cold water, we're still at $1.75 to wash and $1.75 dry.  Phew!! And this dryer actually does dry!!  But it meant a very basic outfit.  I did just throw the scarf on for the pic!!