7/31/2008

Yesterday

Yesterday was so frustrating. I didn't feel like dressing nice at all, so I figured I'd be classic and wear my clamdiggers and a t-shirt with sandals. I was cool in the morning so I wore this mustard cardigan.
After I took this picture, though, I felt this outfit looked dumb. The cardigan is just not a good cut for my body type. So I took a picture without the cardigan.
I felt too short and dowdy in these flats, and thought the t-shirt was too tight, so I changed again and put my hair up in a side low bun.
I ended up wearing this because at least the wedges gave me some height, and the tank top was not too tight.

So much for trying to keep things simple - I can't believe I spent all that time, only to come up with this. Grrr...

I'm not convinced that clamdiggers and bermudas look good on me unless I wear heels. I'm just too short to pull it off. I need short shorts or pants. Or that's my opinion at least.

Well anyhow...

Turquoise t-shirt - hand-me-down (top picture)
Mustard cardigan - Target - $6.74 (top picture)
Thong faux leather sandals - Target - $3.74 (top and middle picture)
Tank - Banana Republic - $6.99
Clamdiggers - Gap (shortened by me) - $9.99
Leather belt - Gap - $24.50 (I think)
Leather wedges - Off Broadway Shoes (B.O.C.) - $19.99
Pink shell dangly earrings - gifted

7/29/2008

Better Late Than Never

Top - Kohl's - gifted
Shorts - Hydraulic - hand-me-downs
Red patent flats - Target - $3.74
Hoop earrings - Target - $1.00

Anthropologie Aprons

I can't help but add to Missi's post on aprons by directing our readers to other great aprons at Anthropologie - check them out!

Aprons

It may seem a bit old fashion or perhaps a habit you are already in, but wearing an apron to cook and clean can save you and your clothes a lot of mess (or heartache). Many years ago, while I was till living at home, un-married and child-less, I bought my very first apron. It's black and says "Williams Sonoma" on it. That plain black apron has seen me through many years of cooking, cleaning and now messes made from a child (why do kids enjoy rubbing their faces all over you?).

Yesterday (Monday) was my "cleaning" day, and as such I had dawned my black apron and kept thinking how wonderful an apron is in saving my clothes from certain ruin (I was in a skirt and nice top, complete with earrings and a necklace, make-up done).

Then this morning, I was on ebay and kept running across beautiful, lovely, aprons. Despite the fact that aprons are extremely practical, they can also be very lovely and make for a fabulous present for the domestic sophisticate in your life. Below are a few of my favorites.
This lovely white Victorian Battenburg Lace apron I found on ebay this morning for only $14.99
I found the Jessie Steele designer and I'm in love. I'd like to take all of the aprons this designer makes. I found these on Amazon and Ebay for cheaper then what was found on the website. Even on their website they aren't horribly expensive considering what they could save you in the long run.



If I'm gonna wear an apron, I like to wear a full chef apron or bib apron. But this skirt cover apron is SO retro and I just love the little bows in black on the pockets. I'd love to have something like this on when cooking for company. I'd feel like such a cute house wife in it:)
This yellow apron is the same style as my black one, you can get it in various colors on Williams Sonoma website for $36.

I also really liked the April Cornell Jamavar Green bib Apron for $26

Here are just a few ideas for a beautiful way to keep clean or a fun gift to give to that friend of yours who loves to clean, keep house or have something lovely to hang in her kitchen.

Oh, one other thing. If you aren't use to wearing aprons, find them a waste of time, or just never think about putting one on. Be sure to hang your lovely apron in a visible place so you remember to actually wear it. If you keep it hidden in a drawer or the back of a closet it may not get much use. Mine hangs on the wall in my kitchen so it's always easy to grab whenever I need it.

I have always said I'd own many fabulous looking aprons that I could display proudly but for now I'll keep with what I have (well, I may have to put in a bid or two on one of those adorable Jessie Steele styles.

7/28/2008

A Touch of Red

I definitely think this kind of an outfit looks better on "leggy" girls, but since I've highlighted the smallest part of my waist with the red belt, I think it gives me an elongated look that I otherwise wouldn't have. Of course, heels can't hurt anything either, right?

Also, I don't know if you can tell, but I've used a hair dye removal kit to try and take the semi-permanent dye out that was in my hair. I'm pleased to say (regardless of what this picture shows) that the kit worked pretty well and my haircolor is about back to its natural state.
Tunic - H&M - $5.00
Red patent skinny belt - Target - $4.98
Black leggings - Gap - $5.99
Red patent heels - Target - $6.24
Red hoops - Claire's - $1.00

7/27/2008

Night At The Movies

Top - Kohl's - gifted
Sweater - Target - $4.48
Jeans - Express (thrifted) - $7.00
Black pumps - gifted
Bead necklace and earrings - The Velvet Lounge - $2.00

7/25/2008

Now you see it, now you don't.

Every since my post on "Three steps to better skin" I have found that my skin really has been super amazing. I rarely break out, my skin feels clean and fresh. I even think it feels softer. lol, maybe that is just in my head though.

At any rate, a month or two ago, however, I did get a few tiny breakouts around my mouth and so I went back to the mall to talk with my favorite Clinique consultant. She had lots of options to clear up my tiny trouble spots but I opted to just get the Acne solutions concealing stick. It is like any other make-up concealing product with one extra special step. It medicates while it covers!

Now I find I use it all the time (or whenever I get a break out). You put it on at the first sign of a break out and "poof" like that, it's gone. At least, that has been my experience.

This morning, I found a teeny, tiny, red spot on my top lip and only a few hours later I swear it's already disappearing. lol. Perhaps it's also the make-up cover, but even still.

So here is to the best $13.50 I've ever spent on a skin care product. If anyone else is a lover of the clinique brand go online now for free shipping with orders $35 or more through July 31st, or make a fun trip to your local mall!

I love BIG flowers...and I'll tell you why


This dress is the newest addition to my wardrobe. 40% off at Macy's with an additional 50% off of that price. Woohoo! I love big flowers, I love the bold print and colors. It looks great on and since it is a cotton it will make for a very versatile dress, depending on if I want to dress it up or down. I can't post a pic with me in it, but this was close enough.

Style&co dress at Macys for $21.24 (also available online)

White

I've been wanting a white shirt for a long time, but I just wish I could have found one for this cheap with a better fit! This picture doesn't show the details of the shirt very well so I'll do my best to explain...it's a kind of wrap shirt with two nautical style buttons on the waist. White shirt - Isaac Mizrahi for Target - $6.98
Seersucker bermudas - thrifted - $4.00
Metalic leather flats - Ann Taylor Loft - $3.88
Medallion earrings - gifted

7/24/2008

Polka Dots

I don't think this top is very flattering, but it is fun (and it was a present from my hubby) so even if it's a bit "Minnie Mouse", I like it anyhow.
Polka dot top - gifted
Wide leg chinos - Gap - $9.99
Red heels - Nordstroms - $14.99
Red hoop earrings - Claire's - $1.00

And yes, I know - silly pose! I didn't get this picture taken until late tonight, so I don't know what I was thinking, but it's too late at night to care!

Thrifting and Clearance Shopping

People ask me all the time how I find such great deals all the time. My answer is simple:

I never shop with a particular item in mind - just with a price.

When I go to a store I make a beeline straight to the clearance racks. I don't look at anything that is over my budget, and many times I find nothing, but I never get discouraged. I just come back in a couple of weeks.

I also love to thrift. I only have three or four thrift stores available in my area, but I check them out about once a month to see if there is anything new. Again, I never look for anything in particular, just look for the sales (and yes, even thrift stores have sales).

Because I have found such great deals, I now turn my nose up at items that are only 15-40% off. I have also become more of a cheapskate then ever, because now when I see something on sale for $20 (unless it's something I really want, a fancy brand name, or a jacket or coat), I usually wait until it gets even cheaper, or I wait until I find the same item, but different brand that is somewhere between $5-10 somewhere else.

I love turning shopping into a challenge and am always giving myself a very small budget to force me to look for the best deal. I have about $80 a month budgeted for clothes/shoes/bags and find that I never go over this budget, and many times don't even spend half of it. The smaller my budget is, the more fun I have when I shop.

7/23/2008

Don't Forget!

When shopping online be sure to google coupons for the particular store you are shopping at. Almost always you can find coupons that offer an additional 20% off your already marked down merchandise...or more importantly, there are usually free shipping coupons floating around!

I just ordered something from http://www.figleaves.com/. They were having a 50-75% off sale. On top of that, I googled for coupons and found one for free shipping! I love online shopping!

I'm feeling blue

Actually, I'm not really feeling all that blue, since...I was able to get my camera to work! I love the internet. Technically I do need to take it to a shop to get it fixed...but, all in good time. Until then, I get to post more pics.
Belted.
Not belted.
Bracelet.

Multi-colored blue dress ~ Kohls (Elle brand) $15 (normally $50!)
Black peep toes ~ Kohls (Candie's brand) $19
Earrings ~ Kohls $5
Banana Republic bracelet ~ gifted

Follow-up on Ebay

I forgot to mention that one trick to bidding on Ebay is that you never bid on an item that has several days or even hours remaining. Keep the item in your watch list and bid during the last few minutes. The sooner you bid, the quicker the price raises, or the easier it will be for you to forget about it and let someone else snatch it up. If you wait until the last minute, you don't give anyone a chance to beat you at the bid and the price stays lower. :-)

How to Buy Clothes on Ebay

I just thought I'd make a quick note here for those who may not be familiar with buying off Ebay. It's so easy there won't be much to tell you...

There are a lot of different ways you can shop there...one way would be to type in an item you want in the "buy" tab (i.e. "leather handbag"), and then see what items are ending in 5 or 10 minutes. You might find some gems that no one saw yet, and can get them at bottom prices ($0.99-$12.00 or so). Purses, shoes, jewelry, perfume...anything you would normally think you can't afford, you can probably find on Ebay for a steal.

Here is the way I usually shop on Ebay...I think of some stores I love, like J.Crew and Anthropologie. I could never actually afford their clothes, but if I type in the brand name ("J.Crew") and then my size on Ebay, I find that I can afford lots of J.Crew clothes! A lot of Ebay stores will buy brand name overstock or discontinued items and sell them for clearance prices. Or many people just sell their high end hand-me-downs for almost nothing.

Another thing I like to do is if I saw a dress I absolutely loved a couple of seasons ago that is now not available in the store, I can usually find it on Ebay from either a store that bought overstock or from an individual who is already bored with the dress. You can be as specific as you want if you are looking for something specific. I have typed in "Gap strapless blue and white dress size small" and have gotten 20 or so options before!

One other thing - if you can't find what you are looking for, keep checking back every few days. It will probably show up again in two weeks or so. Just be persistent!

So go check Ebay out - you may just find that the outfit of your dreams is waiting for you for under $10!

Copy Cat

I was not planning on posting any outfits today since I have no plans to go anywhere, but Angie's post from You Look Fab today really inspired me. Here is my version of what she recommends minus a cropped cardigan since it is so hot today (just imagine that the bag is fuschia instead of lime, which is clashing with my teal beads!)...
I realized from this first picture that I needed to iron down and sew the hem - so this next picture you can see the better hem job. :-)
Black headband - Family Dollar - $1.00
Black knit top - Target - $3.74
Jean bermudas (cropped by me from this pair) - Hydraulic brand - hand-me-down
1.5" wedge (my version of a "flat" shoe) - The Velvet Lounge (N.Y.L.A. brand) - $6.00
Teal beads - Kohl's - $.80
Lime green bag - JCPenney - $5.97

Now I'd imagine that Angie wouldn't care for the whiskering on my shorts as they aren't very slimming and make the outfit more casual - but I wanted to work with what I already had.

Also, I know! I need a neutral colored bag since I only wear one bag! And I'm not sure that I can pull off a headband well because of my square face. I need softer lines.

Note to self: I need to stop pampering my vanity of wishing I was tall and start getting more lower heeled shoes - that will help with my varicose veins and is certainly more practical for chasing after a toddler.

7/22/2008

I may not be posting pics for awhile

I guess I broke my camera last week. When I say "I guess" I really mean "I know". I dropped it on the cement and...it won't focus at all. *sad face* I really wanted to post a pic of my new shoes! I don't think you can see them in this picture. They are super comfy, and were so cheap and they are just adorable. Today I am cleaning house and just hanging out so I didn't pair them with an adorable outfit, but still...I just like looking at them.
Green T-shirt ~ Target $6
Black Dress ~ Gap $19.99
Stripped canvas wedges ~ Payless $8!

Pink With Sparkles

Pink With Sparkles recently mentioned our blog on her site, so I couldn't help but put a plug in for her charming website! If you have daughters who are extreme girly girls (or maybe you are yourself!) this is the site for you!

2008 Premio Award


Thanks to Economy of Style, our blog was tagged for the 2008 Premio Award! Missi and I do our best here at Domestic Sophisticate to encourage young moms (and whoever else happens to read our blog) to look their best even when they think they don't have the figure, time, energy, or money! No matter what you do, what you look like, what time, energy, and money you have, there is always room for improvement whether that be a touch of mascara or a sundress instead of sweats!


We would like to tag:


2008 Premio Award Rules:
1. When received, you may post the premio to your blog.
2. Link to the blogger you received it from.
3. Give it to 7 blogs
4. Link to those 7 blogs
5. Leave those seven bloggers a comment about receiving the brilliant premio.

Fall Inspirations

I recently saw the movie "Penelope" starring Christina Ricci. Storyline aside, I just loved the whimsical/fairytale style Christina's outfits were in every scene! Here are a few pictures to give you some inspirations...


Her wedding dress was breathtaking! The corset top and then simple silk skirt accentuated by a dramatic flowing feathery train was just gorgeous!


I wish this was a better picture. You never see Christina in pants at all. She is always in a dress or skirt with plenty of layers. Opaque tights and colored shoes offset each of her looks.

How charming is this royal purple coat trimmed with red piping and then paired with green tights and shoes?!

This is a better shot of the different colored and shaped buttons that lined the coat. I love all the details!

I hope we actually see some similar looks coming soon for the fall!

7/21/2008

Sundress

I love my new sundress! I've been wanting this one for quite some time now, too. It is a very casual dress, but I can dress it up pretty easy with these gold accessories. I'm just going to pick up some things at the office and then go grocery shopping and thrift shopping, so I have no real reason to dress up this dress, but it's fun anyhow. :-)
Dress - H&M - $10
Belt - Kohl's - $3.50
Shoes - Target - $5.74
Medallion earrings - gifted

As you've noticed, I've been wearing a lot of belts lately with my dresses. Most belts I have, though, are for jeans, so they fit on my hips and not on my waist. I think I've posted before about how I use a pocketknife to cut a hole in the belt to make the belt smaller...but the picture above also shows how I just use a hair band to keep the excess belt slack in place.

7/20/2008

Lounging around day

We have already had a pretty busy weekend, so even though it's only Sunday we have nothing planned but to sit around and do nothing all day long. I wanted to be super comfy so I threw on my jersey dress and light sweater with my all-time favorite sandals. Relaxing Sundays are nice.

Navy dress ~ Gap $19.99
Sweater ~ Target $5
Sandals ~ American Eagle 6 or more years ago
Earrings ~ Target $3

Babydoll

I know I don't really have the right figure for a babydoll dress - but I wanted to try something different. Worst comes to worse, I will just wear it as a bathing suit cover-up.

Pink ruffle tank - Banana Republic - $6.99
Turquoise babydoll dress - Charlotte Russe - $4.99
Nude pumps - Target - $6.74 (I wear these a lot - everyone should have a classic pair of nude colored pumps!)
Pink beads - Kohl's - $1.00

Shopping

Before my (yes, second in a row) Girls' Night Out, I went shopping. I started out in this outfit...
And came home in this dress.
Couldn't help it! It was such a hot day - even the mall was hot - and the dress was only $10 at H&M!

(Top outfit):
Tank top - Kohl's - $3.99
Empire waist top - Anthropologie (off Ebay) - $4.01
Jeans - Express - $19.99
Pumps - Target - $6.74
Metal bangles - Claire's - $1.00

Second picture:
Dress - H&M - $10.00

Nic - Girls' Night Out

Dress - Charlotte Russe - $4.99
Pumps - JCPenney - $9.50
Gold earrings - inherited

7/18/2008

Retro

Last night I watched "The Courtship of Eddie's Father", an old film from 1963. I loved almost every outfit the ladies' wore and determined to don a retro look for my evening with the girls today. One look particularly caught my eye. The red headed actress wore a beige chiffon, knee-length dress. The bodice was tight and sleeveless, and the skirt full and flowy. The actress had paired the dress with black patent pumps, a black patent belt, a black patent clutch, and a three strand red beaded necklace and earrings. She had her hair teased up high...it looked so chic!

This is my version of the look (unfortunately, I didn't have a lot of time to take a picture, so I took it while talking to my hubby on the phone):

Last time I wore this dress as is and only now have I finally gotten around to hemming it. Not only did I spend quite a bit of time altering the dress, but I also altered the belt. The belt originally wasn't quite small enough to be a waist belt, so I took one of my husband's pocket knives and carved a hole to make it fit perfect on my waist. I had fun today completely personalizing my look. :-)

White dress - J.Crew (thrifted) - $3.00
Red patent skinny belt - Target - $4.98
Red leather platforms - Aerosoles - gifted
Red hoops - Claire's - $1.00
Black patent clutch - thrifted - $1.00

Inspirations ~ What I'd like to have right now!

I am really in love with patterns right now, espeically funky florals and graffiti inspired prints, similar to this floral dress. The silhouette is simple and classic while the pattern is different and captivating. I love this dress! (Women's belted cap sleeve dress by Muse $59.99)
As fall is right around the corner I'd really love to stock my closets with beautiful scarves to accent my outfits. This print looks like butterfly wings mixed with leaves. It makes me feel dreamy to look at it ( silk charmeuse floral scarf from Banana Republic $49)
All of the cardigans and sweaters I own are all solids. Why do I only by solid color sweaters? I'd really love something bold and bright to wear over my solid tops and bottoms like pictured here. (Martinique-print cardigan by JCrew $98)
How many times I've said I want a beautiful wallet to hold my lovely credit cards and cash (well, sometimes cash, hee, hee). But six years ago I bought a plain black wallet from Fossil and it's still in as good a shape as the day I bought it, so I have no good excuse to replace it. Well, no good excuse until I saw one of their latest beauties. This wallet says "buy me Missi!" (Madeline Bi-fold by Fossil $55)
Hello? Is there anything more I need to say about this suit? It's fitted, sexy, super cool pattern, white...I'm in love. (Miami One Piece by Aubade $100)

I love platforms. I love platform sandals, I love patterned, platform sandals. I think I'd love some throw pillows made out of the same material as these adorable shoes, then when company comes over I'll hold my matching throw pillow with my fabulous heals and the company will look at my fabulous pillow and my fabulous shoes and probably wonder if I've gone mental. Honestly though, I love these shoes! (Tobbyn Sandals - Multicolor Floral by Xhilaration $19.99)

7/17/2008

New red top

I found this new eyelet top at Marshalls this week. I didn't think much of it at first, but once in the dressing room I was staring at the original tag and saw that it normally retailed for $140.00. I looked at the Marshalls tag which said the normal retail would be for only $40 and then looked at the fabulous red sale sticker for only $10. Once I got home I googled the brand called "Hale Bob" after viewing the website I'm pretty certain that I just bought a $140 top for only $10 bucks. Hee, hee. And it's even kinda cute;)
Regarding my belt (I'm so talkative today), you can't see it on the outfit, since my shirt covers it, but I had to pick the leopard print belt since I am feeling sexy in a very confident, casual sort of way. I once heard Will Smith say he was feeling sexy and when asked why he said "because I have a secret that nobody knows about" when prodded to reveal the secret he said it was because he was wearing an amazing belt, that he knew was amazing and sexy, but no one could see because his sweater was covering it. But he knew, and that was all that mattered.
These are some of my favorite earrings, given to me by my sis Nic (thanks Nic!) So I had to do a close up to show everyone. Happy Thursday ya'll!

Red top ~ Marshalls $10
Dark wash Jeans ~ Fred Meyer $20
White Tank ~ Gap $7
Leopard print belt ~ Target $6
Yellow T-strap sandals ~ JCP $11
Red earrings ~ Gifted

Varicose Veins

I started noticing that I had some spider veins on the top of my left knee when I was about 23 or so. I freaked out and immediately did some research on spider veins and varicose veins. I know that varicose veins is common on my Dad's side so I knew I could be susceptable. Nevertheless, after a while I got used to the spider veins and didn't think it was too big a problem.

While I was pregnant, however, I noticed more than just spider veins. I could tell I was developing varicose veins on the backs of my knees and was already starting to feel the ache from them. Horrified - I tried every remedy in the book to help prevent any future problems.

I am only 26 now, but I'm quite certain I have one or two varicose veins on at least one of my legs and starting yesterday, they have really started to ache.

I've decided to pass on a few tips for those who want to prevent ever getting varicose veins, or for those who may already think they are developing some themselves...

(And, "NO", this picture is not a picture of my leg - my varicose veins aren't that bad yet!)

Here are some causes of varicose veins as described off the Mayo Clinic's website:

AGE - Aging causes wear and tear on the valves in your veins that help regulate blood flow. Eventually, that wear causes the valves to malfunction.
SEX - Women are more likely than men are to develop the condition. Hormonal changes during pregnancy, premenstruation or menopause may be a factor. Female hormones tend to relax vein walls. Taking hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills may increase your risk of varicose veins.
GENETICS - If other family members had varicose veins, there's a greater chance you will too.
OBESITY - Being overweight puts added pressure on your veins.
Standing for long periods of time. Your blood doesn't flow as well if you're in the same position for long periods.

In order to prevent or lessen varicose veins you need to:

EXERCISE - When you exercise, you create blood circulations in your legs.
WEIGHT - Obesity causes undue pressure on your veins - watch what you eat by keeping a low-salt/high fiber diet.
CLOTHES - Avoid high heels and tight clothes around your waist, legs, or groin. Tight clothes restrict blood circulation. High heels don't allow your calf muscles to exercise--lower heels will exercise your calf muscles and in turn increase blood circulation. Compression stockings are also helpful in increasing blood circulation in your legs.
MOVEMENT - Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time. Move around every 30 minutes or more.
ELEVATION - Elevating your legs to at or above your heart level will help make blood circulation easy for your body.
POSTURE - DO NOT sit with your legs crossed. This cuts of blood circulation.
SURGERY - When all else fails, there are simple surgeries that can be performed to either reduce, or in some cases, completely exonerate varicose veins.

If any of you are familiar with this problem and have any other tips to share, please do!

7/16/2008

New top and shoes in search of the perfect pair of jeans

I have been in love with this easy striped top ever since I saw it in "Lucky" a month or two back. Last night, while out doing a bit of shopping I found it on sale!! I defiantly think it needs to be paired with some black skinny jeans or something similar. Maybe a belt as well?
I also found these adorable sandals to go with it.

So I am off in a bit to find some suitable bottoms for my two new loves...cheers!

Striped top ~ Target $13
White denim skirt ~ Target $11
Platform Sandals ~ Target $9
Bracelets ~ Ralph Lauren (one gifted one I bought for $20), Banana Republic ~ Gifted
Hoop Earrings ~ Kohls $5