Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 Year In Review

As 2011 rolls to a close, I was thinking about some of the best purchases (and some of the worst!) I made this year.  Too, I was inspired by Roxy's Year in Review post over at Effortless Anthropologie, where she posted some of the best Anthropologie items as well as some that she missed out on.  I decided to post the "best of" each category for this post.  Some were hard to choose... we'll see if you agree!

1: Best Dress

Clearly, the Mampos dress.  I. LOVE. THIS. DRESS.  I loved it from the moment it first went online, and did not feel guilty paying full price for it.  I've worn it to weddings, parties, work, you name it.  I think it's timeless style makes it a dress I will wear for years to come.

2: Best Skirt

This was hard to choose, and I am not sure if I made the best choice.  I decided on the Sagebrush Skirt because it is more "classic" Anthropologie and is unique in both color and pattern. I haven't worn this skirt too often but plan to wear it more when spring rolls around!

3: Best Shoe

I know I mentioned it before, but the Inkwood Boots are one of the best shoe purchases I've made for some time.  I've only owned these boots for a few weeks and already I've worn them a dozen times.  They are cute and comfortable.  Too, I can dress them up or down!

4: Best Coat

Lately, I've been getting a lot of wear out of Tracey Reese's Ruched Marigold Coat.  However, the Pansy Corset Trench takes the title for 2011.  Every time I wear this coat I receive a million compliments.  Also, the coat is comfortable, bold, and classic.  I know it will be a staple in my closet for years to come!

5: Best Accessory

So, this guy isn't from Anthropologie but I adore this feather headband. It was handmade, and I purchased it over the summer at Lou Lou Boutiques. It is definitely a show stopper and adds interest to any outfit I am wearing! (This dress was in the running for top dress of the year.  I've only worn it 2 times, but it is definitely a favorite!)

How did I do?  If you had my wardrobe, would you pick the same top 5 or something different?  What are your favorite pieces from 2011?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Casual... Thursday?

Since I am not working this week, I am getting a lot of wear out of my casual clothes!  The field game cardigan is one of my "go to" cardis to wear any time.  Last year, I bought this sparkly tank top at Ann Taylor loft and enjoy wearing it under the field game cardi to give it a bit more shine and spice it up a bit!

I'm going to be a bit preoccupied for the next couple of days learning the ropes of my new ipad!!  Having this handy device is going to seriously increase the amount of time I spend pinning on Pinterest.

Also this week I've been busy lunching with family and friends I haven't seen in awhile.  I love the opportunity to catch up with loved ones over the holidays.  How have you been spending Christmas week?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Does Everyone Know What Day It Is?

No?  Well, I'll tell you.  It's ipad shopping day with my favorite Chad!  It's about to get all technological up in here.  Look out...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Stitched Stockings

On Christmas day, I posted here about my 2011 Christmas card. I also mentioned that Stampin' Up!'s stocking builder punch will no longer be available after this week!  I wanted to take a minute to show another holiday card created with the Stitched Stockings stamp set and the coordinating stocking builder punch!  This card was designed by my upline, Mary Walker.  It uses the stripes embossing folder as well as a rhinestone embellishment.  Simple, elegant and fun!

Like what you see?  Click here to order Stampin' Up products!  Happy Christmas week!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Recap

Christmas 2011 was another joyous family event.  I headed to PA on Friday, the 23rd and the adventure began then!  My sister and her boyfriend drove in from Wisconsin and arrived that same afternoon.  My youngest sister has been home from college for a week, and my older sister, brother-in-law, and niece came over for dinner and some laughs.

On Christmas eve, we had a hearty brunch, opened gifts, and then headed to my aunt's house for some family fun and lots of gift-giving!  We left there in the early evening, went to mass, and finally settled in for the night.

Christmas morning, we woke up early, opened gifts from santa, had another brunch and then settled in for a lazy afternoon of movie watching and examining our new treasures.  For dinner, my sister came over with her in laws and we ate our Christmas roast until we were completely stuffed.  Here are some pictures from the holiday weekend...
My mom and sisters decorating sugar cookies

Cutie for Christmas!!!

Matching red Jackie cardigans from J. Crew

This is my favorite Christmas picture- love how my neice is staring at my dad <3

My family

My stylish sisters

Christmas outfit 2011
Dress: Aubergine Sky Dress, Anthropologie 2011
Cardigan: J. Crew 2011
Hairband: Charming Charlies, fall 2011
Shoes: Ann Taylor Loft

How did you spend the holiday weekend?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Morn

Merry Christmas!
This morning my sisters and I woke up early to open presents and get ready for Christmas brunch (we went to church last night).  More on our holiday celebration later this week, though.  I wanted to post this year's Christmas card!  Everyone should finally have it by now, so I shouldn't be ruining the "surprise" for anyone.

This year I decided to make a pop up card.  I saw cards similar to this online and was excited to reproduce it. Because the card has so much texture (2 items through the Big Shot and wreathes and stockings both had to be punched out and assembled) it took some time to put together.  However, with limited stamping in this card, I was able to get them completed fairly quickly.
Paper: Crumb cake, Wild Wasabi
Ink: Early Espresso, Old Olive (on wreath)
Ribbon: Cherry Cobbler Baker's Twine
Embellishments: Jingle Bells (only available in the holiday mini until January 2!), neutrals brad
Tools: Scallop circle punch, 1 inch circle punch

Paper: Cherry Cobbler, Early Espresso, Daffodil Delight, Frostwood Lodge Designer Series Paper
Ink: Early Espresso, Peach Parfait (on flames)
Big Shot Dies: Vintage Wallpaper textured impressions die (on rug), Square Lattice textured impressions die (on fireplace)
Punch: Stocking Builder Punch, 2 inch circle punch, bird punch (for flames)
Stamp Set: Hand Penned Holidays

Want to purchase Stampin' Up! products of your own?  Click here and then select "shop now" to order!  The stocking builder punch used for this card is only available until January 2, so hurry and order now if you're interested!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Festivus for the Rest of Us

For years, I celebrated Festivus during the holiday season.  I even have an official Festivus pole living in my parents' garage.  While Festivus is generally celebrated anytime during the holiday season, its "unofficial" date is TODAY, December 23.  The fake holiday stems from a 1997 Seinfeld episode.  If you are unfamiliar with Festivus traditions, I strongly encourage you to check it out here. Happy Festivus, everyone!

The other day I went to a Christmas dinner.  Not a Festivus dinner, but I referenced Festivus quite a few times, which inspired my Festivus rant above.  This particular Christmas dinner had a bit more of a British feel to it.  We sipped hot apple cider and opened these crackers both from William Sonoma.
Inside each cracker was a toy, some jokes, and of course, a tissue crown. Very lovely.

The dinner was potluck and we had an overwhelming amount of appetizers, side dishes, and fancy desserts.

I wore a snowflake sweater for the occasion.  Not this snowflake sweater, though (who knew I had so many snowflake sweaters?) but a red one.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of that ensemble, so this one will have to do as a substitute.  I did wear this sweater and skirt combo to work the day after the holiday dinner. 

Sweater: Talbots, circa 2006
Skirt: Banana Republic Petite, Fall 2011
Shoes: Ann Taylor Loft, 2010
 Enjoy the holiday weekend!  Stay tuned for my Christmas card over the weekend...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas...

It is becoming increasingly difficult to focus on work with the holidays looming so near!  I have Dec. 23 off of work and I am hitting the road to drive to Pennsylvania to spend Christmas week with my family.  My bag is packed, the gifts are wrapped, and the house is cleaned up and ready to be empty for a few days.  I am looking forward to spreading some holiday cheer with my sisters and niece.

Skirt: Buttered Tweed by Maeve, Anthropologie 2011
Cardigan: Ann Taylor Loft
Scarf: Nordstrom, 2011
Shoes: Nine West
A few weeks ago I used my 25% Anthropologie discount (from the Black Friday online ordering disaster) to order a few things, one of which is the Buttered Tweed Skirt by Maeve.  I loved this guy the moment it went online.  It is super tweedy.  The petite size is the perfect length on me. The only downside of this skirt is the way it "poofs" out; it tends to make me look a LOT bigger in the back.  I don't mind that as much in the winter, though, when I have covered most of my body in bulky sweaters and tights. I'm surprised this skirt didn't go on sale on Tuesday.  I'm glad I got to wear it at least once (hopefully more!) before it gets marked down.

Have you purchased anything from the recent Anthropologie markdowns?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tidings Of Comfort and Joy

Here is last year's Christmas card.  This is one of my all-time favorites, as it has a vintage-y feel to it.  I used Cherry Cobbler cardstock and Old Olive Ink.  This card features the Welcome Christmas stamp set. I jazzed it up by adding some pearl accents and Chantilly lace.  Stay tuned this weekend for this year's Christmas card to be revealed.

Want to order Stampin' Up! products?  Click HERE and then select "shop now" to order online.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

Truly, there is so much wrong with this outfit I am not sure where to begin!  It started one morning when I woke up a bit late.  While in the shower, I decided I wanted to wear my new Scattered Rows Cardigan and thought I could make it work with the Tatted Tides Skirt which I have not worn recently.  I was very wrong; the multi-colored stripes with the lacy tiers of the skirt are a bit overwhelming.  Too, I've been wanting to wear the Quinn Platform Penny Loafers I bought a few months ago at Banana Republic. In my head, in the shower, at 6:30 am it seemed like a good idea.  In reality when I looked this pictures, it was very poorly executed. Sigh. 

I do love this cardigan, though.  Aside from jeans, what else can I wear with it?

Cardigan: Scattered Rows, Anthropologie 2011
Skirt: Tatted Tides, Anthropologie 2010
Shoes: Quinn Platform Penny Loafers, Banana Republic 2011

The good news is, I was able to wear my new bracelet!  This is the bracelet I got from my friend, Nena, at our girls night Christmas dinner.  Check out its sparkle.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Love Is Not A Victory March

Happy Monday, Readers!  It's been a busy weekend of wrapping, finishing up Christmas cards, and attending a few holiday celebrations. I can't believe Christmas is only 1 week away!  I think I am finally ready, though. I am waiting on one more package to arrive and then I should be all set with gifts for my family.  Too, I can't stop listening to Hallelujah as I prep for next weekend, hence the title of this post.

I truly have not been doing the best job of maintaining my blog.  Last week I actually wore a few cute Anthro pieces that I didn't have a chance to get pictures of.  Also, I was out sick for 2 days, fighting off a stomach bug.  Ugh.  Will try hard to get back on track for the new year!

In this OOTD, I'm a bit untucked- not quite sure WHY- it must have just been one of those moments.

Cardigan: Ann Taylor Loft
Blouse: Banana Republic Outlet
Skirt: Houndstooth Collage Pencil Skirt, Anthropologie
Tights: J Crew
Shoes: Rennsselaer T-Straps
I hope your final week before Christmas is peaceful!  Later this week I plan to post some more Christmas cards- and unveil this year's card. :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Girls Night Out Christmas Version

Some of my girl friends and I have a regular "girls night out."  So named because once we were having dinner at The Prime Rib in D.C., and we all happened to show up in little black dresses.  On our way out, an elderly man sitting at the bar looked each one of us up and down from head to toe and said in a creepy slowly exaggerated voice "must be Girls. Night. OUT."  Ever since then, every time we get together we have a Girls. Night. OUT!  These girls may look familiar to you- they're the same friends I went to the Bahamas with in October.  In December, we gather together for a Christmas dinner where we do a gift exchange. 

Here are a few pictures from the party this year!

For my outfit, I am wearing Anthropologie's Flight of Swans Dress from 2009.  I LOVE this guy. I can dress it down with a cardigan, black tights and heels, like I did here.  The biggest complaint about this dress in '09 is that it is too short... not a problem for a shorty like me!

For my gift, I received a beautiful bracelet from my friend, Nena.  I don't have a picture of it here, but I wore it later in the week and you will see it with that outfit in a post SOON!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I Say That What You Say Is What I Say

Last week I went to the Kennedy Center to see the Canadian Tenors perform with the National Symphony Orchestra. It was one of the first really cold days we've had so far this season, and for some reason, I didn't wear my long winter coat!  I was a pretty chilly girl.  The concert was amazing- a nice mixture of Christian and secular holiday music. 

I wore a wool sweater dress that is a million years old from Banana Republic, and, of course the inkwood boots that I am so in love with!  And, in this picture below, I have a squinty eye. Sigh.

My favorite song of the evening was Hallelujah.  I can't get enough of it, really. I found this clip on You Tube- it doesn't give it justice, but can give an idea of the Tenors' fabulousness. Give it a listen!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


It's been awhile since I've had a chance to post any cards.  I have a lot of holiday cards to share, so I decided to start posting now!  This is one card I made in a stamp class in November hosted by my upline, Mary Walker.  I LOVE this guy... I might make this for my Christmas thank you notes if I have time.  This card uses the Lovely As a Tree set and features the thumping technique to get different colors in the branches.  I love the simplicity and elegance it displays.

Want to order Stampin' Up! supplies of your own?  Click HERE and then "shop now" to place an online order!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Pants A Plenty

Good morning, readers!  A cold, wet, rainy morning calls for pants!  I've been noticing that I wear a lot of gray and black in the winter.  I'll have to make a point to change that up and add some variety to the wardrobe as we dig into the chillier months.  I wore this last Wednesday when we received a ton of rain and I wasn't quite in a skirt/dress mood. 
Black mock turtle neck and gray cardigan, Banana Republic Outlet
Black pinstripe pants, Ann Taylor Loft
Boots, Nine West
Belt, J. Crew

Are you enjoying the holiday season?  This past weekend, we had our girls night Christmas dinner- more on that later in the week.  Also, I went out with the roommate, brought dinner to and saw a movie with a friend, ran some errands, but spent the bulk of the weekend locked up in my house.  It is getting down to crunch time and my Christmas cards are not ready for the mail yet.  They are getting close, but I am beginning to sweat it out!  The card I designed this year is very detailed and is taking a bit longer than anticipated to finish- I thought I could knock them out this Saturday.  That didn't happen.  Luckily, I have one more weekend before the main event. I am hoping I finish up the last few bits next Saturday to have them ready to mail out on Monday, the 19th.  Meanwhile, the Christmas cards have been rolling in- I must say, my friends and family have some cute kids and great taste in holiday cards!  I look forward to receiving some more over the next 2 weeks.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Put Up The Brightest String Of Lights I've Ever Seen

Tis the season of holiday merriment!  Some of my favorite holiday traditions include:
1. Watching Elf and Christmas Vacation with my family.  Some of the best lines EVER come from those films.

2. Decorating the house for the holidays.  I love when it looks snowy and cozy inside (not that I decorate with snow, but do have a few snow men.)

3. Making Christmas cards to send to my friends and family. This year's card is a bit intense and definitely not finished yet.  As soon as they are in the mail, I will post a sample here.

4. Driving around to look at Christmas lights.  Not too many people decorate around my house, so I will have to wait until I am at my parents' in PA to enjoy all the lights and outdoor decorations.

5.Baking holiday cookies.  It is an added excuse to eat, eat, eat.

What are some of your traditions?

Here's an outfit of the day!  Apprently when I wear this skirt, I like to hold out the ends so everyone can see the records. :)

Shirt: Banana Republic pink button down
Skirt: Vintage, purchased on Etsy
Cardigan: The Limited
Tights: Target
Shoes: Banana Republic

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Disaster in the Making

Last fall I purchased the In the Trees skirt because I thought it was super cute and a great fall piece.  This skirt, however, is a disaster on me.  My legs are way to wide for this.  I have to take tiny mouse steps when I wear this skirt.  Stairs are fairly impossible, so I take the elevator at work when I have this on. It also puckers at the top, making my belly look much much bigger than it is, due to the extra fabric gathered there. Too, after I sit, it completely bunches up in the back and I have to go into the restroom take it off entirely, adjust the lining, and put it back on. True story.  I had to do this 3 times at work on Monday when I wore this.  Seriously not worth it. WHY do I wear it?  Alas, I continue to wear it because it was expensive (I did buy it on sale) and it is unique and cute.  I'm sure it's a piece I'll only wear once MAYBE twice a year.  of course, I could lose a few pounds and then not run into the issues mentioned above.  I love chocolate cake too much, though, so I am not sure if that is a serious possibility.

Skirt: In the Trees, Anthropologie, 2010
Top: Wind-Rippled Tee, Anthropologie 2009
Tights: Banana Republic
Shoes: Rennsselaer T-Straps Anthropologie 2010

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

They Say That I'm Crazy and I Kind of Understand

Not only is the subject of this post a true story, but it was the title of one of my term papers in college.  I do enjoy an interesting lyric as a title if you haven't noticed.

Well, it's December.  The Christmas countdown is ON.  Yet, we are having a bit of a heat wave in the DC area and it's been in the 60's. It feels more like Lent and preparation for Easter than Advent and preparation for Christmas.  That is not good news for my Christmas shopping which is very slow and not very steady.  Yesterday I used my 25% off Anthro coupon code and bought some goodies for my colleagues, sister, and self, of course.  Can't tell you what I got yet, but rest assured, you will see it soon! I did buy 2 things on my wishlist and will decide which to keep once they arrive.

Today's outfit of the day features Anthropologie's Walk with Me dress.  I love this guy.  I think it is a unique piece and it very comfortable.  Last year when I wore it to work, a colleague said to me "I tried that on.  My boyfriend said it looked like a table cloth so I didn't buy it."  Table cloth or not, I adore this dress.

Dress: Walk With Me, Anthropologie, 2010
Cardigan: Anthropologie, 2010
Tights: J. Crew, textured 2011
Shoes: Rennsselaer T-Straps, Anthropologie 2010
Belt: Anthropologie
Hair clip: Lou Lou Boutiques
Necklace: Premier Designs
I couldn't find the name of this cardigan anywhere.  I bought it last summer from Anthropologie. I googled it, but after about 10 minutes of searching couldn't find it so I gave up.  I guess that means I am the only person in the world who owns it.  Do you know it's name?