December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Because I am a slacker and did not put together a "Year in Review" post, here is a little post-Christmas cheer for you. Every Christmas holiday season, I anticipate a new Christmas Extravagan za video from one of my favorite musicians, Dave Barnes. This one is an oldie, but it's still my favorite! Enjoy!


December 30, 2012

Raspberry + Teal

Breakdown: blouse- Old Navy, pants- LOFT, shoes- Calvin Klein 
via TJ Maxx, clutch- vintage, shades- Target, coat- vintage

This season I have been really into raspberry shades, going along with the oxblood [read: maroon] trend. On my skin, oxblood is a little harsh close to my face, so a lighter shade is softer. I have had these heels for a while and rarely wear them. I don't have much occasion for raspberry suede wood-block heels, but a Sunday afternoon sipping hot chocolate on the couch was perfect!

One of my Christmas gifts this year was Photoshop CS6 *gasp!!!* I switched to a MacBook Pro about a month ago and had been playing around with iPhoto and Lightroom, knowing that Photoshop was more out of my price range than I wanted. But, in true Mom style, she decided that she wanted me to learn Photoshop "so you can crop people into pictures and stuff." Her words, not mine. I've been playing around with it for a week and I am sure I have less hair and more wrinkles than I did 10 days ago! In reading tutorials, watching videos, etc. I am getting more and more used to it but am still completely lost. Do you have any suggestions for good tutorials or free actions/textures that I should look into? I'm to the point of taking a class. I would much rather someone just tell me what I need to know rather than spending days trying to figure it out. I'm not a scientist. I do not like experiments and discovery learning. 

I will now begin researching anti-wrinkle creams and hair thickening shampoos.

December 29, 2012

Dreary in Pink

Breakdown: sweater- Gap, jeans- Levi's, loafers- TJ Maxx

Sort of cold, dreary, rainy days call for a lightweight sweater and the ultimate puddle shoe: patent loafers. When it isn't cold enough for boots, I like wearing patent shoes in the rain because they dry easily and won't ruin. For someone who has yet to find the perfect pair of rain boots, these babies are a perfect pick!

Below I have put together a few of my favorite patent flats for you! Whether you prefer a classic ballet flat, a modern loafer, or a sassy print, I hope it helps convince you to snag a pair the next time you're out! The best thing is that they are all under $100. Can't beat that!

patent flats

December 27, 2012

Red, Black, & Tangee

Breakdown: sweater- Gap, leggings- Zara, hat- TJ Maxx,
flats- Nine West, necklace & rings- thrifted, Tangee- Vermont Country Store

In thinking of what to write for this post I considered reposting my ode to leather pants, "O Leather Pants," but decided against it. I almost recorded a video of me singing it, but reconsidered once I saw the state of my hair staring back at me in the back cam. I'm not afraid to embarrass myself, but that would have taken it a little too far... trust me.

Instead, I will write my praises for my new old school lipstick. This formula is said to turn your lips a personalized shade! Let me just say that if you are a lover of original cosmetics, you need a tube of this! It has the texture of a good chapstick, but has a tint to it while not having a strong pasty color. It's good for gals like me who look like scarecrows with lipstick on :)

After all of the Christmas festivities, the next thing on my list of things to do over my break was see a few movies! Mom and I began by catching Les Miserables. As a lover of musicals and plays, IT WAS AMAZING. Anne Hathaway was genius and if she does not get an Oscar for her performance the world has no soul! Hugh Jackman was emotionally raw and Russell Crowe surprised me. Although, I am glad that my Dad wasn't with us so we didn't have an Anna Karenina repeat of "this is so dumb" every half hour.

That's okay, Dad. I don't like to watch your fishing shows. Consider us even.

December 26, 2012

Aztecs + Compasses

Breakdown: tee- BCBGeneration, skirt- vintage (1950s),
boots- Dolce Vita via TJ Maxx, necklace- gift from Dani

Bits and pieces from my Christmas Day attire! I was going for an Aztec desert motif. While the temperature went from a humid 70 degrees to a [very] windy 40 degrees within a few hours, I was far more bundled up by the end of the night! 

I hope you all had a good time with  your families! Judging by the tightness of my shoes this morning, I may have overdone it on the rolls [sooooo good] and coconut macaroons. Stretchy pants are a girl's best friend after a holiday meal! 

December 24, 2012

Black + White + Grey

Breakdown: blouse- F21, sweatshirt- Gap, shorts- Express,
flats- Aerosoles, headband- gift

Wishing you a Merry Christmas full of family insanity, peanut butter fudge, and the opportunity to wear shorts on Christmas Day!

December 21, 2012

O Leather Leggings

Breakdown: sweatshirt- Gap, thermal- Levi's,
leggings- Zara, loafers- TJ Maxx, shades- kensie.

O Leather Leggings (to the tune of "O Christmas Tree"):

O leather pants, O leather pants,
How soft and stretchy are you.
O leather pants, O leather pants,
You never fail me, do you?

You're soft and tiiiiight and suck me in.
Even when I'm not as thin.
O leather pants, O leather pants,
I wish I had more of you.

You bring the biker chick out of me,
You go with er'thing, don't you see?
O leather pants, O leather pants,
You and me n'er disagree.

You look looooong and lean, my dear.
Those loaves of bread have none to fear.
O leather pants, O leather pants,
With you my ducts with not tear.

O leather pants, O leather pants,
Your seams are cool and sassy.
O leather pants, O leather pants,
You make me feel quite dashy.

December 18, 2012

Prairie Disco Beetlejuice

Breakdown: blazer- Luella for Target (old), blouse- thrifted Gap,
jeans- Levi's, boots- Clarks, belt- thrifted, rings- thrifted or vintage

Do you ever have days when you wake up and want to pretend your name is Donna and you have a scrawny boyfriend named Eric and one of your best friends is from an unidentified Central American country? No? Guess I am alone on that one...

On to the topic at hand! This blazer is about 4-5 years old and I've worn it [maybe] 4 times. I got it on sale once the capsule collection was taken off the shelves. The price markdown from too much to appropriate was too good to pass up! 

These jeans make me feel like watching Saturday Night Fever and disco-ing 'til the break of dawn. Combined with a billowy top, I am a prairie disco (color) version of Beetlejuice and I am 100% okay with that. Hey, it kept me awake while my students were watching movies all day because it's the week before Christmas holidays and everyone's brain is already off. The next time you're having a slow week at work, try the prairie disco Beetlejuice look. Let me know how it goes.

December 16, 2012

Blush + Stripes

Breakdown: tee- BCBGeneration, skirt- Madewell, blazer- Posh Boutique
feather headband- Dillard's, shoes- Bandolino, smirk- c/o VPL

Getting dresses this morning was one of those I-shaved-my-legs-so-I-should-show-them... but-I-want-to-wear-pants... but-I-have-not-worn-a-skirt-in-a-while... kind of mornings. Ever experience it? The inner battle between your efforts to be socially acceptable and your own desire to wear harem pants. It's a doozy!

Anyway, I got this skirt on Cyber Monday because I had been eyeing it for a few weeks and thought, "Hey! Perfect timing!" So far, it has been a challenge to style. I know, I know, there are thousands of Pins directly related to "striped skirt + denim shirt + brown boots." However, that's not what I wanted. Besides, boots and longer skirts don't do well with my pint-sized bod. It's all about proportions. 

I would like to point out this blazer, as it is the most well-fitting blazer I have ever tried on. I had Momsies take up the sleeves a tad, but everything else was perfect! As a human built with tiny people curves, I usually have issues with clothing being too boxy. This glorious piece hugs at the right spots and makes me feel a little sassy. Needless to say, it's pretty perfect!

PS: I'm wearing a headband today in honor of the last ever episode of Gossip Girl airing this week. xoxo :)

December 14, 2012

Canadian Cowboy Tuxedo

Breakdown: oxford & jeans- Levi's, sweater- Dolly's Vintage,
boots- TJ Maxx, scarf- Dillard's, lip color- Maybelline Color Sensational in Touch of Toffee

A while back, my parents skipped town for a week and spent some time with Sisters 3 & 5 in Raleigh. Much to my advantage, my Mom always searches and makes a list of thrift and vintage shops whoever she goes. She came home with a bag of trinkets that included but was not limited to: an orange velvet maxi, a bright floral velvet maxi, a pair of black "skrants", an "I Love Lucy" metal sign, and this sweater. It is 100% wool Made in Ireland and it is so warm! It was 39 when I left the house this morning and I was sweating by the time I had lunch duty outside. 

I went with a Canadian tuxedo today because, well, some days you just want to. One of my students told me I looked like a cowboy... I'll take it! Not that I could hoist my leg onto a horse without ripping my jeans, but the mind of an 8th grader probably didn't think about that. Ah, young minds.

PS: This lip color is my favorite! It's a little red, a little raspberry, and a stain so it won't wear off when I'm snacking throughout the day.

December 12, 2012

Eclectic Equestrian

Breakdown: sweater & cords- Gap (last year), 
coat- vintage Bill Kaiserman rafael, boots- Clarks

Y'all. It was cold this morning. And by cold, I mean 39 degrees which, to some of you, is swimming weather. But for this cold-natured Southern girl, it was bone-chilling!

As far as today's outfit goes, these pants were a great purchase 2 years ago! For realz. Their cost per wear has been in the negatives for a while now. And this sweater? So soft and not at all scratchy, even after a full day of moving around in my classroom! I've worn this sweater and pants combo before, but when you find an easy outfit that works, why not wear it over and over again?

I scored this coat at last year's Your Friend's Closet sale and, as I've mentioned when I have worn it before, it came with a full on jumpsuit. If it wouldn't take so long to unbutton I would have worn it today. 4 minutes between classes to trek to the ladies' room doesn't work well with too many buttons and jumpsuits... sorry. I finally got around to Googling the brand and it's from Bill Kaiserman's rafael line. He was a major Milanese designer in the 70s! Be still my disco heart!


PS: I'll take a side saddle, please.

December 11, 2012


Breakdown: sweatshirt + coat (last year)- Gap, pants- Dillard's, 
boots- Clarks, scarf- handmade c/o  mi madre

I'm sorry for the outfit absence! I know you were all concerned-- probably staying awake at night wondering, "Did Sarah get dressed this morning?" I have an excuse, see? This strange wet liquid kept falling from the sky, preventing me from taking photos of my outfits. I looked cute, though... promise ;) 

Over the last week of rainy days and traipsing through sludge on the way to my classroom each morning, I have learned the value of good "rain shoes." For days when it is too warm to justify boots, but you don't want your feet to be clammy all day, go for a pair of patent leather loafers. They go with everything and keep your toes dry! And no, I don't own rain boots. I'm not sure I could work an outfit around one pair of shoes for every rainy day.

On another note, I wore slacks today. I'm not too fond of that word, slacks. It makes me think of people smacking while eating dairy. Ick. But I wore them anyway because they are comfortable and the wide leg is a nice change from my usual skinny!


PS: I'm on the hunt for a new hair cut. Nothing too drastic or short. *Real ponytail and braid required. And low maintenance. And good left naturally poofy. And face-framing. Any suggestions?

*No baby ponies & braids. 

December 9, 2012

On Body Types

I have started and restarted writing this post half a dozen times in the last few days. I think I'll just let this article speak for itself.

I will leave it with one comment: Preach it.


December 2, 2012

Beet Red

On my long list of "Things to Do" was dye this blouse I got at the Closet Sale. Good news... I just got around to doing it! I debated with the color, but when my Mom saved some juice from cooking purple mustard greens and beets I knew I had it! I chronicled my process for you, so I hope it helps if you're thinking about switching up some shades in your life :)

The before: A 1930s Victorian peplum blouse with lace detailing, tiny pleats, itty bitty buttons, and the ever present age stains.

What you'll need: 

a plastic wash tub (or two)
cotton balls
something to dye

First, wet your cotton balls and dip into your dye. This is just to test the color to be sure it's what you want. Sprinkle a little salt into the dye bath-- it helps preserve the color.

Once you have your color, wet your fabric. Wring it out so it's not dripping. Dip into the dye bath. I used a second plastic tub for this so I could use the red tub for rinsing.

Swish your fabric around, making sure that you get dye into all the crevices. No white spots! After squeezing dyed garnet out I decided that I wanted it a little darker. Instead of adding more beet juice, which would lead to a more pink tone, I added a smidge of black Rit with a drip of purple Rit. I swished it around and got a slightly more saturated color! 

Wring out your dyed fabric. If it's too saturated, do a quick rinse with water. Wring it out again. Hang to dry. After this you want to hand wash it only, so as to not get the dye onto the rest of the clothes in the washing machine.

I can't wait to see what color it comes out to be when it dries! The great thing about dyeing this piece was that all of the age stains are gone! No more brown splotches ruining the beauty of the garment!

If you have any questions about the process or have any other tips, leave a comment! I'd love to hear them!


December 1, 2012

I Am A Tree

Breakdown: vest- BB Dakota, dress + boots- TJ Maxx, 
sweater- Element, tights + earrings- Target

I know I wear a lot of neutrals, but sometimes they feel good. I've also worn this dress way too much since purchasing it... but to me that means it was a good buy. And at $15, it might be a great buy! Same with this sweater! I found it at a Billabong store in Destin, FL a few years ago and have worn it to pieces. It's a good thing it already looked a little shabby to begin with, because it doesn't show the wear I've put into it.

What are some of your wear-a-zillion-times pieces in your closet?


PS: Yes I know my hair is a hot mess. It was a hot mess day at workschool.

PPS: Let's talk about my hands in the last photo. Awkward, no?