Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Casual Lunch on A Casual Friday!

Ben and I met for lunch again. I never told you all that he got a new job and is working downtown again. (He was working downtown when we first met, and daily lunches became part of our daily ritual.) Today was a nice surprise in that I did not think we would get to have lunch together. I ate my sunflower seed butter sandwich and he had a sub from Jimmy Johns. A piece of Dove chocolate for dessert and we were both happy! I think it was the company rather than the food!

I was a bit concerned getting ready for work today. Concerned is not the right word; anxious perhaps. I was looking through my jeans and it went something like this:

Nope, these are the ones that need to be hemmed.

I just wore these last week.

They will tear me to shreds if I wear these.

This pair? Hmmm, it has been a while since I even put these on.

This is how I ended up with today's denim selection for Casual Friday.

These jeans are from a line called Y ?, translating to Why Question. I purchased these at the boutique Goodthings 3 years ago. I did not go in there that day to purchase any jeans, knowing that I really do have enough. I was trying on a shirt, and needed a pair of jeans just to see how they would look. I put these on and knew I could not leave them in the store. They are a skinny jean that are loaded with spandex. The part that I like best is that they are not a low riding, hip huggin' pair that falls below my undesirable poochy parts nor are they mom jeans that come up to my breasts. As Goldilocks said "They are just right!" I almost choked when she totaled my purchase at the store that day. This brand is shamefully expensive, which would explain why I only have one pair.

The T-shirt is of my beloved Audrey Hepburn. One can only hope to be as beautiful as Audrey. This T came from Target last year; this next statement is not to drum up business for Target, but is because it is ridiculous to pay a lot of money for t-shirts these days. Go to Target. Check out their selection of Graphic tees! The quality is quite good! The image on this t-shirt is of Holly Golightly staring into the Tiffany's window, her nonfat danish purchase in the bag with her cup of coffee as well. I love that the T-shirt has it's own "bling"; Holly is wearing a big rhinestone necklace that becomes a 3D element on the t-shirt.

I wore it with a blazer today. I was torn as to a cardigan or a blazer. After looking at this pic, I think I made the wrong choice! This is a velvet blazer that I got at Old Navy 4 years ago. It has rhinestone buttons of it's own that I thought would be a nice match for the T-shirt. Unfortunately, it is hitting me at a spot that is making me look quite wide in the waist. Never a good thing for someone that struggles to keep her hip-to-waist ratio below a 0.8 anyways!

The shoes? I wanted to keep it simple, and the fact that my pants would not fit over any boots!

I hope you all had a great Friday. Mine was spectacular as the day ended with Ben and I having dinner at our beloved tequila bar Barrio.

Thanks for checking in!



Thursday, October 29, 2009

It had to be done!

I have been waiting and waiting to wear this dress! I could not postpone it any longer!

I love this dress! I know you will see it again this fall/winter. Today I wore it like I like it best; boots, and a big necklace. It will be interesting, well, at least to me, how I end up accessorizing it next time to be able to wear it again.

I got this dress 2 years ago from the Victoria's Secret Catalogue. I have not purchased a lot of clothes from there; bathing suits and lingerie, yes! I am certain if you go on-line that they still have this dress. It is probably on clearance for $59 just like it has been for the past 2 years! It comes in quite a few colors, and I had been tempted in the past to buy a red one, but decided one is enough. You can't improve on basic black. The long line is slimming, at least I hope it is!

I rocked it with my favorite platform patent leather boots.

The pendant I am wearing is a birthday gift I got 2 years ago from my friends Erika and Gretchen. They got it at the Swatch store - yes the watch people. I love it! It came on a black cord, and I love how it stands out against black.

I kept the earrings small today; bolder ones kept getting caught in the turtleneck.

Today's picture was taken in the City Center Building in Downtown Minneapolis. Ben and I met for lunch at Starbucks today; I packed a salad and half an acorn squash. We did make a purchase of water just so we did not feel guilty sitting at one of their tables. This bank of escalators in outside of Starbucks. The "grass" behind me is actually plastic! I liked my architectural back drop today. I liked my lunch date and photographer better!

Off to finish up TGIF with Kel. Check it out tomorrow on Nutrimirror!

Thanks for checking in!



p.s. Remember to vote below!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

No, I did not have an interview!

I had the question asked of me a couple of times today: "Do you have an interview or something today?"

No, I just did not have time to think about what to wear.

Ben had to be at work early, and since we were commuting together get the picture.

I tried one other dress on, and as I headed into the closet, I said "I think it is time to break out a suit". I had many suit options from a different time in my life; I chose this one since it has been literally 3+ years since I have worn it!

I got this suit at Ann Taylor 5 years ago. I don't often wear jackets such as this; I prefer a jacket with a more open color. This Peter Pan color is cute, and I like that there is a band of satiny "ribbon" around the waist. It was an easy choice. I literally gave one second of thought to the shirt I would wear underneath, and chose a slate blue Michael Stars tee. You can't even see it here! I did end up with a hot flash or two today, so I was able to take my jacket off and not be overexposed!

For the shoes, I intended on wearing a pair of plain black pumps, but the whole thing was far too interviewish! I chose to jazz it up a little bit with my Naught Monkeys.

We took these pictures after work today and unfortunately I had not reapplied my lip gloss :(. Didn't even think of it until we were looking at the pictures. Ugh.

We took today's pictures in a cute little park in the Northeast section of Minneapolis, the St. Anthony Main neighborhood. I am really enjoying these photo shoots on location! I was tired of my porch!

Not a lot to say tonight; I think it was that early morning wake up, and then staring at a computer screen for 10 hours today at work. I am a sleepy girl!

Thanks for checking in!



Tuesday, October 27, 2009

La la la la la!

That is me singing...

That is me singing as I completely ignore the votes on my skirt from yesterday. 17/23 votes to get rid of it? It is interesting to me that I most often agree with the voting. I have found that I tend to sway the vote by talking one way or the other; in this case I came right out and said I love it, yet this many votes against it.

I guess my reason for ignoring it is that I don't know why you feel it should go. Does it make me look ridiculous? Do you not like Chinese Jars? Is it the paneling? I am not going to spend a lot of time thinking about it, but it is hanging in the closet awaiting it's next wearing...
la la la la la! (Honestly, when I say I want your feedback, I mean it! )

On to today!

Today's ensemble started with a different sweater and this skirt; I was not happy with the way the sweater sat around my bloated belly (about one more day of it) so I chose a cardigan and cami instead.

I think you are seeing what I call my winter uniform clearly in action today!


I am happy that I have many options between the cardigan/cami/skirt to keep me going for a while. Hopefully enough!

Today's skirt is a purchase from Ann Taylor Loft 2 years ago. When I bought it, I also bought a brown cardigan which at the moment is no where to be found! I like that the plaid has many colors for me to build an outfit from; tan/brown/maroon all go nicely with it.

The cardigan is from J.Crew last winter. I was on a major J.Crew cardigan tear last winter! I love the ribbons/bows around the neckline. J.Crew is a great place for the "everyday" cardigan, but I especially love the ones with the little embellishments.

All was paired nicely with my brown boots. Well, at least I think it was until I hear otherwise!

Today's picture was an on the town photo. This was actually in the parking garage! In the distance behind me, you can see what is the new home of the Minnesota Twins, called Target Field. I laughed wickedly when the Twins were in playoff games and it was snowing outside; the current stadium is inside a dome. The team and fans apparently wanted a new stadium, and this one does not have a dome. First game of next season could be really cold!

That is it for tonight...early bedtime for this gal!

Thanks for checking in!



Monday, October 26, 2009

Workin' At the Carwash Yeah!

Sorry, bad 70's flashback with that song!

But I had to! My skirt today is of the carwash style, in that is has panels that swish back and forth.

I had a different skirt on this morning, and as I started to head downstairs, one last glance in the mirror told me I needed to change. I am b l o a t e d and the other skirt was only emphasizing it.

I got this skirt at Catwalk 4 years ago. When I made the purchase, I was still working at my last company, and having to wear suits everyday. It was a total impulse purchase, but I love this skirt. It has Chinese bottles on it, and I like to think they were herbals or from ancient Chinese pharmacy. I love the swishing of the panels, and Ben was kind enough to capture the skirt spinning in action as I scuffed up the bottom of my new boots.

What did she say?

Yes, they are new. Well, rather this is their maiden voyage. However, they are actually 2 years old!

Here is the sad story. I purchased these at DSW 2 seasons ago. They were fine when I tried them on in the store. The first time I attempted to wear them, one of the zippers got stuck! I had to wrestle it off of my leg, and tossed them in the closet in disgust, I had every intention of taking them back to DSW, but you know what happens with the best laid plans!

I planned on wearing my other black boots today, but when I went into the closet, I spied these. I asked Ben if he wouldn't mind fighting the zipper. As I was asking, I was playing with the zipper and got it unstuck! I was almost in big trouble, however, when I put them on this morning. Instead of the zipper getting stuck in a part of the boot, it caught my tights! After a significant amount of time, the zipper went up; I was not taking them off at that point!

The sweater is a cropped black cardigan that I wore over my Banana Republic cami.

I really am enjoying finding different jewelry to wear. These earrings were free; they came along with an eBay purchase I made last year. How nice!

I hope you let me keep the skirt because I love this one! The vote below!

Now, I promised 1frugalqueen my bread recipe from yesterday. (Click her name to check out her awesome blog!)

The bread is from The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook by Tosca Reno. It is really easy and delicious!! I made the whole batch yesterday so I could freeze some of the bread, but you may want to cut in half as it makes 4 large loaves!

Schommer's Whole-Grain Bread

5 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup organic honey
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon Sea Salt
3 tablespoons yeast
11-12 cups whole grain flour

(for the record, the recipe also calls for 1/4 tea ascorbic acid. I don't know why it is needed; I have made this bread several times without it! Also, I only used about 10 cups flour yesterday.)

1. Combine all ingredients except whole grain flour. Let stand until the yeast is dissolved and starting to rise.

2. Coat your hands with oil to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands. Add flour 4 cups at a time and knead for 10 minutes. (I mixed all of this in my Kitchenaid stand mixture with the dough hook. Easy!)

3. Shape into loaves or buns and place into pans. Let rise until double in size.

4. Bake at 325 degrees for 30-35 minutes until golden on top.

5. Remove from oven and turn onto cooking racks immediately.

I enjoyed this so much this morning for breakfast! Toasted with sunflower seed butter with sliced banana. Divine!!


Thanks for checking in!



Sunday, October 25, 2009

Happy to be Home!

I have been spending a great deal of time adjusting after vacation...getting back into the swing of things, so to speak.

I can't believe it is Sunday and I am just now getting to share with you my Friday casual outfit!

The jeans are a pair of Joe Jeans; this style is called cigarette. They are a skinny jean but because of the amount of spandex there is a ton of s-t-r-e-t-c-h. They are quite comfy :). They are 3 years old, and I purchased them, I think from Anthropoligie. The camisole is 4 years old and was purchased at a boutique in Illinois. I can't remember the name of it. I went there once and picked up a few items. Guess it was not too memorable!

The sweater is from Banana Republic I picked it up 2 years ago. It came in beige or grey. I actually spent about 20 minutes trying to decide which color to get! I am happy with the beige!

The belt is from Silpada. I love the big silver buckle!

No picture of my Saturday outfit as it is still sitting in Ben's camera!

As much as I love a vacation away to some warm sunny place, where you can indulge in delicious restaurant cooked meals and some sightseeing, the older I get the more I realize I am happiest at home.

Yesterday we had friends over to the house for dinner. Ben cleaned; I cooked. As a result, Sunday housekeeping was done a day early. We slept in late this morning; we had a breakfast different for us. If you can have breakfast for dinner, why not dinner for breakfast? Well, at least around here, Roast beef hash and poached eggs is dinner. The hash is from Trader Joe's. If you see it, buy it. Do not hesitate!

I enjoyed cooking yesterday, and chose to do some more today. Here is what I cooked/baked... 17 Bean and Barley Soup (the Trader Joe's mix, Homemade Applesauce from Clean Eating Cookbook, Wheat Bread from the Clean Eating Cookbook, Calavasitas con Maez ala Sylvia, Pumpkin Scones and an Upside Down Gingerbread Pear Tart. Most of the scones and the cake will be going to work tomorrow :).

The kitchen is now clean, and I am sitting in the corner of my couch where I seem to be happiest of late. Dorothy said it best when she said "There is no place like home." Especially when home smells as good as mine does right now!
Pumpkin Scones with Leftover Fat Ass Frosting :) Only 198 calories (without the FAF of course!)

17 Bean and Barley Soup from Trader Joe's

Upside Gingerbread Pear Cake

Nothing like the smell of fresh baked bread!

Thanks for checking in!

Votes will resume tomorrow!



Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Vegas Weekend Continues!

But before we get to!

I had a wonderful night's sleep, but you would never know it from the looks of me today! I feel far better than I look! I think my coffee just had yet to kick in!

There are some days where I can walk into the closet, see a dress, and know I want to wear it. Fortunately today was one of those days! My only concern was - will it zip? It did, and I was happy!

I got this jumper November 2007 when my friend Sherri was here. It was tried on by another friend we were with, and I was delighted when she didn't like it! It is hard to see but it is red and grey houndstooth (I think). I have worn it with a red turtleneck, but figured Carrie would not like that. Just kidding Carrie! The red turtleneck, once located, was too wrinkled to wear. I decided on the red sweater instead. Honestly, I think the red sweater is too bright for the dress. I tried on a black cardigan too; this was the lesser of two evils! The dress is rather form fitting, as you can see. Despite it's length, or lack of length, I was comfortable in it, probably because of the tights.

I went with some textured tights, thinking I would wear boots. I went into the closet for the boots, and the Banana Republic pumps spoke to me. The look on Ben's face was all I needed to know I made the right choice.

All for your approval/appraisal below! I look forward to it. I really missed you guys!

Monday in Vegas was a typical "vacation day". We slept in, well, as best we could since we still woke up at 6am every day. After yet another buffet breakfast, we headed out for a great 90 minute walk. I do enjoy walking on the Vegas strip; the people watching is fantastic! The weather was grand! After our walk we headed back to the hotel for more time by the pool.
We had an early date at 5 to meet up with SylviaAnn (those of you from NM know who that is!). I took my time getting ready; I chose to wear one of the dresses I bought since we had dinner plans for 8pm, and, well, I had no choice!!

Sorry I don't have a full dress shot for you. This is a Betsey Johnson dress that has spaghetti straps, but the wind made it a little impossible to wonder about without a sweater. I got the dress last year on eBay. It is a nice stretchy dress, yet it is also very clingy. I was happy that it fit in all of the right places!


I am sad to say I do not have a picture of the ensemble I wore on Tuesday. I promise it was not a repeat. I did wear the same jeans that I was wearing Saturday but with a different tshirt.

Since there are no Tuesday pics I will leave you with one more wedding photo!

This picture is our friend Jennifer, Erika, me, and another friend Stephanie. Erika and I work with Jennifer now; we both worked with Stephanie in the past. I am going to start charging people that steal my pose! (You can click to make the picture biger; I have to figure out this resizing thing because they come out too big for the blog!)


I hope you all enjoyed the wedding pictures!

Don't forget to vote on today's ensemble! Off to write the NM TGIF with Kel!

Thanks for checking in!



Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Thank You for Your Patience!

Wow! You would think in this day and age that there would not be a place on this Earth where the internet/wi-fi is not free. There may have been free wi-fi somewhere in Vegas, but not where I was staying!

Let's get today out of the way...boring blue top, black slacks from Banana Republic, Stuart Weitzman pumps, and a silver Robert Lee Morris necklace.

My handbag is from Radley; it was time to change over from the Spring/Summer bag to the Fall/Winter.

Okay, let's move on, shall we?

Friday night was the bachelorette party. You all kindly voted, and it was a 2:1 vote for the red dress. Here it was on Friday night!

Bachelorette Party

I will not wear this dress again. As a matter of fact, I purposefully left it in the hotel room in Vegas! Here is the deal; it was so over the top that people thought I was really trying to look, well, hot. As we made our way to the party, it was just Ben and I. The comments were outrageous. By the end of the night, I had overheard no less than 3 people ask each other if I was a man. It was not the best moment for my self esteem, but I share everything with you all!

Saturday was a fun day. There was a run on the strip as we detoxed from the previous evenings festivities. I sat by the pool for a short while, soaking in some much needed sun. I headed up to the room to get ready for an evening out with my Ben. Then it started...I tried on everything I had brought with me! That is what I do not like about traveling; you are forced into whatever you packed. There was a time I would have run out and bought something new. Could not do that, so I made the best of it! This was the result...


The large bag is fabulous for traveling, and for carrying an extra pair of shoes!

Sunday was the big day! I have included some pictures of the bride and groom for you to enjoy, as well as the bride and me.

Good cake!




Tomorrow I will be back with Monday and Tuesday ensembles...for now, this girl is tired from a long day back at work!

Thanks for checking in, and my deepest apologies on leaving you all hanging!



Thursday, October 15, 2009

16 Nay 5 Yay

Well, that would be 6 yay, because Ben liked it too. Liked what? The purple dress from yesterday!

I had that dress in my closet for over a year. Yesterday was the first time I wore it! I am so happy you gave me your opinion. The overwhelming opinion told me what I felt - there is just something off about it. carrieredhead may be right that it is the shape. I told Ben I was a large block of purple wood! Erin - my goal was to channel the 60's, so I am glad that I at least got that part down! I definitely stood out in a crowd yesterday!

Today? I blended in for sure!

I knew I wanted to wear pants (as in no leg shaving occurred today). My original thought was a different sweater, but it was too fussy for me. My goal was simplicity.

The pants are from a suit I bought at Ann Taylor 4 years ago. As I mentioned to my friends on Nutrimirror today, they fit better now than they did back then. I have a little more junk in the trunk, so to speak. It was all of the bicycling this summer! They have a faint gray stripe in various widths running through them.

The sweater is one you have seen before. I wore it a few weeks ago on a casual Friday. Today I chose to pair it with a black tank top.

My shoes are a repeat as well. They were last paired with a LBD and a turtleneck.

The accessories today? Channeling, hopefully, Jackie O, I went with a strand of multi-color Honora pearls. I love this necklace. I don't wear it often enough! When I am thinking "classic" I think pearls. I like that the grey/gray pearl stands out with this sweater.

I am showing you #2 fall into winter coat today. It was doing that thing outside where it is not raining, but it is white and flaky...yes, still trying to ignore it...I got this jacket during an after season sale at Banana Republic last Christmas. It is my dress up puffy coat. Hopefully I do not look like George Costanza from Seinfeld, or worse, the Michelin man!

Today was my Friday as I am on vacation tomorrow! It makes me kind of sad to miss a casual Friday.

No it doesn't!

The next few days will be full of all sorts of clothes, both day and night!

Thanks again for your thoughts on yesterday's dress, and I look forward to your thoughts on today. Please vote below!

Thanks for checking in!



Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I want your opinion!

I am not going to say a lot about today's outfit. You can see it is a purple dress. I am wearing it with my favorite boots. I am wearing a necklace as a belt, and some simple earrings that I dug out of an old jewelry box.

Why the different approach today? I want you to give me feedback without any influence from me. No story about the dress, and no words telling you how I feel about this dress.

I am going to have a very simple vote too. You either like it or you don't. I would love your comments either way. Please know that I am someone that provides honest feedback and I appreciate the same from others. I know those of you that have given feedback have always been honest; I am just saying others should not be concerned about giving feedback. I can take it!

I did not get up and workout this morning. I did, however, go for a run after work. Ben and I changed some plans around for tonight so that we could be home after work and we could work out together. After looking in the mirror, I thought it would be entertaining for you to see what a mess I am when I dress to go running!

It was 42 degrees when we were headed out. Mittens and a hat were a must! It was sprinkling as we headed out, and I almost backed out. Yeah, like that was going to happen!

It always takes me about 2 miles to warm up; the last 2 felt much better than the first! We have a 4.2 mile path we like to take. Ben let me choose whether we would only do 3.1 (5k) but I decided as long as we were out, we might as well keep going.

On the way home, we had a deer run across the trail about 100 yards ahead of us. When we looked up the little hill, there was a beautiful buck silhoutted by the sky behind it. It really was amazing to see this beautiful creature about 25 yards away from us, standing as still as possible. I wish we had a picture of that to share!

That is all of the conversation in me today!

Here is the Ginger Chewy recipe I promised you!

The recipe is adapted from big fat cookies by Elinor Klivans. I have not met a cookie in there that I don't like!

2 and 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teas baking soda
1/4 tea salt
1 tea ground cinnamon
1 tea ground ginger
1/2 tea cloves
3/4 cup (1 and 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
about 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Position rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves into a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and brown sugar until smoothly blended, about 1 minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mizing. Add the egg and molasses and mix until blended and an even light brown color, about 1 minute. On low speed, add the flour mixture, mixing just to incorporate it.

Spread the granulated sugar on a large piece of wax or parchment paper. Roll dough between the palms of your hands into a ball. (I actually like to use a small ice cream scoop, and then drop it in the sugar, rolling to coat with sugar.) Place on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart.

Bake until the tops feel firm , but they are still soft in the senter and there are several large cracks on top, about 14 minutes. (This was the baking time given for a 2 inch size ball; if you wish to make smaller, reduce your cooking time.) Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then use a wide metal spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

The cookies can be stored in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 4 days. (Bring them to work; they won't last more than 4 hours!)

The original recipe says it makes 14 cookies - those are BIG cookies. I made 26 cookies, and they were about 131 calories each. I like them better the day after I make them. Oh, now I am going to dream about them.

Thanks for checking in!



Tuesday, October 13, 2009

An Impromptu Date

This morning I had to be at work earlier than usual. As a result, we decided to wait until after the work day was done to take today's pictures.

Ben drove Miss Daisy (me) to work today and picked me up this afternoon. I have a hair appointment scheduled, so we agreed upon an early pick up time so we could get in a run before the appointment.

I expected Ben to take my pictures as I approached the car. He waved me over, and said "Let's go up ahead where we can get out of traffic and take some pictures." Fine with me. A police man parked not too far away would have probably agreed to that too!

As we were headed out of downtown I wondered where we should go for our photo shoot. I thought about the Nicollet Island Inn, which would give us great views of the Mississippi River and the city. Then I said "We could go to Pracnas and get Bloody Mary's and then take pictures." The light of a great idea beamed in Ben's eyes. Neither one of us was too excited for a run apparently! He thought it was a great idea, and to Pracnas we went.

Pracnas has amazing Bloody Mary's! They are served with a giant pickle. I let Ben have the pickle because I knew my sodium would be shot to hell, after having had lunch out with coworkers. We shared a quesadilla and some hand holding, as well as some work talk.

We took some pictures inside as well as out. I love the variety today! I hope you do too!

The indoors - the setting was the bar of Pracnas. It has been around forever; the dark wood is lovely. Almost as nice as the cocktails!

My dress today is two years old, and was purchased at a boutique in Downtown White Bear Lake called Good Things. The Black and White Houndstooth dress came from there. I saw this same dress later at Macy's. This dress is very feminine and flirty to me; I always feeling like twirling like a little girl in it! I abstained from that in Prachnas, however, as I had already stumbled into a chair and made a small scene as it was! I paired today's dress with the open toed Stuart Weitzman patent leather pumps. A heel is starting to go on these and I making an annoying clicking sound with every other step! They are worth repairing, especially when you can't buy a replacement!

We headed outdoors, and got some nice shots of the city behind me. You can see the Mississippi (you know I am singing the song to spell it everytime I write it, don't you?) . There is one of the many bridges that get you from one part of Minneapolis to the downtown area. Ben and I recently ran a 5k race in this same area. I had a difficult time walking today on the brick paved streets!

Since the temps were in the 30's today, I caved and finally wore a coat. I love this particular coat; it works well as I transition into the colder months. That's right. It gets c-o-l-d-e-r. Ugh.

I got this coat 4+ years ago at Anthropologie. I love love love Anthropologie. The first one I ever ventured into was in Connecticut on a vacation. I looked online and found one close to me in Illinois (where I was living at the time). Knowing that they have notoriously great sales after the holidays, I went in to my local Anthropologie. I saw a beautiful woman wearing a beautiful coat. I complimented her on it, and she said "I got it here, and I think I saw one." She came back not 30 seconds later with this coat in her hands. On sale, no less! It was love at first sight. I love the ruffle at the bottom and the colors. Hopefully you like it too, because this one is simply not going anywhere!

I had Ben provide a close up of my Radley wallet (or purse as they call it in England). The scottie dog is their symbol; he dances across my wallet, playing in the flowers. Love it!

Today's accessories were pretty simple; an old silver rope chain that I cannot recall how long I have had it or when the last time I wore it was, and my cz stud earrings.

It is late here, and I must head off to bed soon; a missed workout tonight means I should really get up in the morning and go to the gym. I promise to post the ginger chewies recipe this week!

Please vote below!

Thanks for checking in!



Monday, October 12, 2009

Let It Snow?

More...see it in the pictures...ignore it and maybe it will go away...

Of late, I spend my time in the shower mentally putting together outfits so that the "getting ready" for the day goes quicker. Besides - there is the shave/no shave question. Damn it. Today was a wasted shave! Not really :) It did not take several wardrobe changes today however. I saw the blazer and built the ensemble from there!

The blazer was purchased at Target 3 years ago, and was from their Isaac Mizrahi for Target line. I was fortunate to meet Isaac one year. We had a National Sales Meeting and there he sat with his bandana around his head and flip flops. I could barely talk. You would think I was meeting...I can't think of anyone famous...I am just as speechless at the memory as I was when I met him! I am standing funny in this pic - the blazer does fit!

I paired it with a skirt from Ann Taylor Loft that I got in December 2004. I love this skirt, and I have worn it many times since then. You may see it paired again with a pink cardigan or perhaps an ivory sweater. I love it with tights and boots so that it what I had to do!

The boots are finally a full boot shot. These have been peeking out underneath jeans in a couple of recent photos. Love them. Worn for 10 hours an not a peep from the toes!

I asked Ben to take some close shots on some of my jewelry. I have not spent much time talking about my ring obsession!

My right hand ring for today is from Betsey Johnson. I purchased this before Christmas 2007. Erika and I were out shopping; we saw this at Macy's and I had to try it on! Erika left to take a phone call, and in the amount of time she was gone I had purchased it. Little did I know she was thinking about buying it as my Christmas gift. I blew that one! It is big, bold and has a leopard pattern on it. I love it!

The necklace is a herringbone that, again, I bought many many years ago. I think I have worn it once before! I like it because it has a rose tone pattern of roses on the matte silver. The other side is high polished silver. You guys are making me use a little time and selection in my jewelry armoire! It is actually quite fun taking out items I have not worn in ages!

Please vote on the items below!

By the way, the votes for yesterday were that majority of you would try a ginger chewy cookie. Great choice! 131 calories :) If anyone wants the recipe, just leave me a comment. If there are enough comments I will post it for all of you!

Thanks for checking in!



Sunday, October 11, 2009

Robe, Sweats, Cords, Sweats, Robe

That about sums up my day!

Have a good night!

No, I won't do that! It is still 2 hours before bedtime, so I will talk a little more!

I started today by sleeping was one of those days where nothing was planned; I woke up at 8 with every intention of getting up. I rolled over and before I knew it, it was 9:45!

A couple of lazy hours in my robe; reading journals and blogs, planning dinner. I dressed into my sweats and Ben and I took a leisurely walk. It was warmer than yesterday but there was still a nip in the air. The leaves are falling off of the trees before they have even had a chance to change color; I am not ready for winter.

After we got home , it was time for lunch and a shower. We were only running an errand to one store; I declared a no make up or hair dryer Sunday!

Now, I am not one that worries about running into others I know while I am not wearing make-up. I was a tad bit hesitant, however, to "bare" it all here. But, what the heck, we all look better with make-up. I figure it won't hurt to share me au naturale. No, not naked; even though it feels that way!

My sweater is quite old, purchased 4 years ago at Catwalk. I found it cute and cozy. I think it has been a couple of years since I have worn it. I have a nondescript cami underneath.

The cords are from JCrew. I ordered them online in the winter of 2007. I could not fit into them when they first arrived at the house. That was when I was in denial that I was starting to gain a few pounds back, and was still ordering my old size. I like them; I don't love them.

The shoes? For lack of a better term, these are shi* kickers! I throw them on when I need to run a quick errand. Hey, I showered at least. I never promised you heels every day!

The pictures were taken outside of Buon Giorno which is a lovely little Italian Bistro/store. We went to purchase the best Italian sausage and marinara sauce. Ben made a great sauce tonight for dinner!

I spent the afternoon preparing some items I can pack for lunch that are not salad. I made a butternut squash soup, and roasted some butternut squash, acorn squash and sweet potatoes. I tossed that with some lentils for lunch tomorrow. Can't wait to see the nutritional stats on that baby!

Just an update on yesterday's activities...I did bake all day, but ran to the store...after a shower, and yes, I did change out of the robe! A long sleeved tshirt and a pair of jeans was thrown on, with the aforementioned shi*kickers. It was a quick trip and I was home in sweats baking the night away. I ended up with Ginger Chewies - fabulous. Sweet potato cake that I tasted today - delicious. And the best Golden Grand Marnier Cake! It is all headed to the office tomorrow where it will no doubt be appreciated and devoured!

It was a lovely relaxing weekend. Hope yours was a good one!

Check out the poll below; of course it isn't clothes related!

Thanks for checking in!



Saturday, October 10, 2009

As Good As It Gets

A Good Morning to You!

A little fun here is going to be no make up Saturday. I will take a walk, I will take a shower, then most likely get right back into my robe. Why? Baby, it's cold outside!

Look at my sweet Ben's photos of the snow. Yes, snow. I had mentioned the possibility of flurries the other day. It is cold ( 25 degrees ) and the snow may stick around for a little while.

A cold day like this presents a challenge for walking outdoors. However, I am up for the challenge. Well, maybe once I get dressed, put on my warm workout clothes, gloves, hat and puffy jacket I will be ready for the challenge. I would love to take a picture of that for you if only because it is rather entertaining to see how I can take time and effort most days, and how truly hysterical I look when headed out for a cold day walk. I can't do that as my photographer will be headed out shortly, and I am in no rush to get out of my warm robe!

I am dressed in a lovely heathered gray bathrobe that I got 5 years ago at Target. It is my winter robe. I busted it out this week finally. The cute white robe I wore all spring and summer has been washed and out away until next - June?

I am in front of the stove, which apparently could use a good cleaning - and am making the morning oats. A day like this makes me want to bake in a bad way! I have already taken out 2 cookbooks; one has delicious recipes for giant cookies, and the other is actual a novel called Eat Cake. Eat Cake is a delicious novel written by Jeanne Ray. It is a tale of a woman that loves to bake to relieve stress, and turns out doing it to support her family. It is a wonderful quick read, and I highly recommend it. In the back of the book are recipes; I have always wanted to make one, and today might just be that day! I will happily bake this weekend and arrive at work on Monday with arms full of goodies for my coworkers! I think I will make chewy ginger cookies (they are divine) and a Golden Grand Marnier cake.

I may get cute tomorrow and have a picture to share; we will see!

As for now, I am leaving a vote up for yesterday's plaid outfit!

Thanks for checking in!



Friday, October 9, 2009

Mad About Plaid

Hooty Hoot! It is Casual Friday!

I hope you all are as excited as I am to see the end of this week. It has been a long one!

Let's get right to the clothes, shall we?

The star of today - this plaid jacket. It is from the brand Lily. I don't think I ever realized what "brand" it is; despite the fact that I make brand references often, I am not, well, a brand whore. I do know that when I like a brand, I tend to look for more of it. I will look for more Lily next year!

This jacket was purchased on November 2004. I mentioned the business trip to San Diego in Monday's post. On that trip, I had to fly out on a Saturday for expense reasons. It saved the company money, but not me! I had a full day to myself in La Jolla, and I spent it helping the local businesses! I needed to purchase an extra carry on bag to go home! Wow, how times have changed. This jacket is from Nordstrom. It has held up beautifully! It took 3.5 years for this jacket to work its real magic however. This was the jacket I was wearing the very first time I met Ben. I walked up and introduced myself to him as he was new to the project I was working on. I don't think he said much; I thought he was shy. He explained later that he was speechless! It took another month and then he finally spoke; remember, nice shoes!

The jeans are not the jeans I was wearing last Friday! They are, however, Joe Jeans. Yes, they are really long too. They are a much darker wash. I like the way they, um, how do I say this? Well, they make my butt look good! Truth of the matter is, my butt is not my favorite asset! How many women like their butt?? But, (hah), these jeans do work a little magic of their own.
You can see that I paired them with my brown boots, and the heel is high. Okay, fine, I will get them hemmed!

After looking at my pics from yesterday, I felt like I could have worn a necklace. I was not going to make the same mistake today! I wore my chain from Ben and a pair of smoky quartz lever backs.

I felt good in this outfit today. Hopefully, you all will like it as much as I did!

I am not sure what is on the agenda for the weekend; I am going to keep it low key. Next weekend in Vegas will be exciting enough for two weekends!

Please leave a comment or vote below on today's ensemble!

Thanks for checking in!



Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ga Ga for Go Go

When I walked down stairs this morning, Ben told me it looked like I was channeling the 60's. I guess my boots do look like go go boots!

I "went in deep" today! Both tights and boots! What the heck - flurries are in the forecast for this weekend here in Minnesota so why not dress for it? In Las Vegas it was in the 80's...I have officially begun the countdown, as I am heading there on the 16th! That is when I will be rocking the red bridesmaid dress! If you recall, the red dress is for the bachelorette party; you will see the real dress I am wearing after the wedding. Here are the shoes for it!

I decided to continue with the skirt/jacket trend that I started yesterday, but chose a skirt that shows quite a bit more leg! This skirt is from J.Crew and I purchased it this past winter. You will be seeing a lot of J.Crew in the upcoming months. I was like a mad woman there last year! The economy being what it was the sales there were insane last year. 30% off of the clearance price certainly worked for me! I am not sure if you can see in the picture that this has a faint gray plaid pattern on it.

Everyday this week I have been walking passed Brooks Brothers. In their windows they are showing a lot of purple. As a result, I guess I decided purple was in this year! Is it? I have not been reading my fashion magazines...avoiding the temptation I guess! This jacket is a couple of years old; I purchased it at Nordstrom. Sigh...there was a time in my life where all of my clothes were from Nordstrom. Oh my, how times have changed! I normally like to dress up a jacket like this with a little bling; perhaps a nice big rhinestone pin. Today I was running a little behind, so I was sans pin. That is okay; when I break out this jacket again, that will make it look new!

The tank top is Gap, the tights are from Target!

Ben and I went shopping tonight; this time it was for him! He purchased a new suit for Erika's wedding. He looks very handsome in it! They had a deal - purchase something today and get a coupon for next Wednesday for 40% off one item. If anyone has had their eye on something expensive at BR, this would be a smart time to go get that coupon! They let Ben purchase the whole suit tonight; on Wednesday he needs to come back with the jacket and the coupon and he will get the discount. That is good Customer Service in my book!

How sad that one of the clerks at BR recognized me and said nice to see you again. I am hoping he says that to everyone. Their sales racks were loaded, and I was tempted to look. Part of me was quite sad, however. I really do miss finding something adorable, bringing it home, deciding what accessories to wear with many days until 8/12/10?

Off to finish TGIF with Kel... please leave a comment or vote below!

Thanks for checking in!



Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Can You at least Crack a Smile?

Something has got to give! I have been a cranky girl lately! I have been extra tired in the mornings, despite a 10pm bedtime and sleeping in later than I should. It has been so difficult to get out of bed! Even the fact that there was no rain in the forecast wasn't changing my attitude. Poor Ben. We headed outside for the "photo shoot". It was still a little chilly but at least there was some sunshine. We had taken a few picture when Ben looks at me and says "Can you at least crack a smile?" He got me to laugh!

I got an even bigger laugh when he sent me the picture this morning. He cut out my scowling face and made those into the detail shots! Now that is a good art director. Thank you sweetie!
If only he could cut out the wrinkles!

This morning there were 4 wardrobe changes...yes, 4. As I told Ben when I finally got downstairs, I just didn't feel good in any of the outfits. If I repeatedly do this I will never make it to August! I know the items I rejected today will make an appearance eventually - they will have to - but today they just made me feel blah. I decided safe was better than blah.

I ventured into the fall/winter skirts. I pulled this one out; it has always been a favorite of mine. It appears gray/grey, but it is actually one of those teeny tiny checked black with white. There is probably some name for it, but I am drawing a blank at the moment. The turtleneck choice was more a sign than a choice. As I was rummaging through the stack of tops at the top of my closet, this one fell to the ground. I looked, held it up and said "you will do". The tights? Maiden voyage of the season!

The skirt is 2 years old from Banana Republic. It was one of those fall in love/have to have it skirts. It is very versatile. You will no doubt see it again this year! I love to wear it with boots, but decided not to go in deep with tights and boots. It is only October for goodness sake!

The turtleneck is from the clearance rack at the Gap 2 years ago. Carrie - every time I put on a turtleneck now I think "Carrie isn't going to like this!". I like the cap sleeves. I knew, however, that a jacket or cardigan would be a must.

The jacket? It is from Target, and I believe I got it 3 years ago. I am embarrassed to say this; I have worn it once. That is what happens when you grab something trendy and don't think about how you will wear it; you just know you want it. I was happy to see similar jackets as I strolled through the Target store this morning...I will get to that in a minute!

Accessories for today? This necklace is old - even older than yesterday's dress! It is at least 13 years old. Wow! It is a herringbone - which I don't even know if they make anymore! I love the thickness, the shine and that it is bright silver on one side and then it has a pebbled/textured side with a silver and gold pattern. A small pair of white gold hoops completes the look.

Another reason that I chose shoes instead of boots today was that I was afraid that I would be a tad too intimidating if I had too much leather on today!

So, my trip to Target to buy conditioner today resulted in an item that got away. My friend Erika and I were walking through when we saw this jacket in pink...oooh, look at the green...oh, no, look at this one. It is plaid with purples and grays...I had to do it. I had to put it on and have Erika take my picture. I love this type of jacket. It can "act" like a blazer, but it would be adorable with jeans! I hung it back up, and said goodbye to it. It was $40. That brings our total for items I have not bought to...drum roll please...$318. Wow - $318 can buy a plane ticket. I will have to start thinking like that to keep me going!

Okay, Ben had to work tonight, and he is going to be home shortly, so I 'd better wrap this up.

Please vote on the outfit for today all the way at the bottom of the page!

Thanks for checking in!



p.s. My art director just told me that you all can click on the pictures! You can then get a much better shot of all of the details! I had no idea!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Another Rainy Day here in Minnesota...

I am fairly certain that work on the Ark has begun...enough about the weather...oh, wait, one more weather comment! They dared to say the S word for this weekend. Yes, you read that right...S...N...O...W. I live here why???

Because the front porch was in the middle of getting pelted this morning, it called for an afternoon "action" shot. Ben was not only my art director, but he was my driver today too. To the passersby, he most likely appeared to be my stalker as well! As I walked out of my building today he was taking my picture. You can see I am the bag lady everyday; today was only my purse and my Trader Joe's bag that I have been using to tote my snacks and lunch. Fortunately I did not have my laptop bag with me!

This dress is old. I purchased it in November '04. I have vivid memories of this purchase. I lived in Illinois, yet I was in Minnesota for work. I was staying in Edina at a Residence Inn that provided shuttle service to the local mall. I was still losing weight at this point, and I took advantage of any and every opportunity to shop!

This dress is from Banana Republic. I was giddy making the purchase. I had bought suits and such in my new size but I had not purchased a dress. I loved this. I was going to be attending a conference in San Diego and I needed business casual clothes. I paired this dress with brown suede boots on it first outing; I resisted the temptation to wear it with my brown boots today.

The shoes are a brown/copper pump purchased on clearance at Macy's 2 years ago. They are meh. Comfortable? Yes. Sexy and stylish? Not so much!

I chose a chunky silver chain from QVC by designer Judith Ripka. Big necklace, small earrings.

As I look at these pictures, other than my Radley Bag and the necklace, my favorite thing is my Trader Joe's bag. Poor Ben has spent the last hour telling me that the camera angle is doing funny things in this picture. I am convinced that this dress MMLF. You decide!

I can't tell you how much I appreciate the honest assessments you all provide! Please vote at the bottom of the page!

Thank you for checking in!



Monday, October 5, 2009

Strike A Pose!

Isn't this picture adorable?? The girl, not me. I will get to that story in a minute!

I am behind in updating the items that are outta here! So, I am going to do it RIGHT NOW!

The Pencil Skirt I got from the UK is gone!
I am yet undecided about the Ellie Mae Clampett Schmatta - sorry Karyn!
Ms. Green Jeans has had her last outing! The shoes are staying!
I wasn't sure about this one, and you guys agreed - the kinda brown dress is gone!
You guys really did NOT like these jeans! They will be retired...not worn again, in the next year at least. I think I am still emotionally attached at this point, so no giving away yet!

If anyone is really interested in anything, I can be reached at

The skirt - fits like a 6.
The green cords are J.Crew size 6.
The kinda brown dress is Anne Klein size 6.

Okay, on to today.

A Monday Morning.
A dreary Monday Morning.
A Monday morning where I can't even figure out why I am cranky, other than being tired from tossing and turning all night.

But what a smile I got because of this little girl!

I have always wondered what the kids thought as they were waiting for the bus; Ben and I stepping out onto the porch for the daily photo shoot. Today, there were 2 little girls. Ben took the picture of me, and out on the sidewalk in front of the house, these girls appeared to watch. I told them to pose, and asked Ben to take their picture. We did not notice the pose at the time.
I headed off to work, not even giving final approval on the pics. I told you, I was a bear this morning.

Ben called me up laughing. "Wait until you see the picture!" he exclaimed. When I got to the parking garage, I opened the email - and laughed out loud. My little friend here has obviously been watching the "photo shoots" each day. She struck my favorite pose! When you are somewhat straight-waisted like I am if you put your hand at your waist, it creates more of an appearance of an hourglass figure. What do they say? Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?

I purchased this dress from eBay about a year and a half ago. I always wear it with this belt; this will be a challenge for me should I choose to wear it again this year! To me, it is like a giant scarf with room for my head and arms! If you don't like it here, it is because you have to see it in person. I get lots of compliments when I wear it.

I decided it was time for the boots to make their first appearance of the season. These boots were a gift from Ben last winter. We got them on an evening when I took him out on a date. The date was to take him out to all of the places that I would go by myself on a Friday evening before he and I started dating! I wanted him to know how he had changed my life!

We headed first to DSW. I tried on a ton of shoes and boots. I have muscular legs so some boots can be a challenge. I decided I liked this pair; Ben decided he would buy them! After DSW, we wandered aimlessly around the local mall before heading to dinner at Granite City Brewery. A cocktail was had and a salad was shared. Yes, that is how I would have "taken myself out" on a date prior to Ben!

Exciting, huh?

Well, off to log the rest of my food at NM!

Please vote on the dress and belt below!

Thanks for checking in!



Sunday, October 4, 2009

SaturDay intoSaturday Night

Saturday was a very busy day! It is now Sunday afternoon and I am just getting to yesterday's post. Where does the time go?

The day started very early at 5:30. Up and at 'em! A quick breakfast and then we were on the road to downtown St. Paul. Ben and I were running in the Medtronic Twin Cities 10k. It was drizzling rain, a dreary cold morning. Despite that, the race was successful. My goal was to a) finish and b) not walk any of it. Both were achieved and I crossed the finish line at 1 hr 3 minutes. I was happy with that! I will work towards under an hour next time.

We headed home, I had a bowl of oats and then crashed for a nap!

Finally coming back to life around 1, it was time to hit the shower. Hmmm, feeling somewhat peckish, I decided I needed to eat something first. An egg white spinach and cheese sandwich hit the spot. A visit to NM, and by 2pm, I was finally getting to that shower!

The only plans for the day were a trip to Trader Joe's (yeah!) and a evening out with Ben. I decided this would be a great day to look at transitioning from Day to Night with my clothes.

A trip to Trader Joe's really is fun for me. I need comfort, yet style. Remember, no Mom jeans here! I was feeling like I needed a little sparkle, so these jeans were a natural.

I have had these jeans for 5 years or so. Another purchase from Catwalk in Illinois. I loved the distressed look mixed with a little bit of "bling" with the sequins scattered on them. It has been ages since I wore these jeans, probably because they were too tight last year!

I matched it with a new shirt. NO, I did not buy this shirt! Erika had gotten it for her daughter Grace from Kohls. It didn't work out for her, so I called dibs! Yes, it is a girls XL t-shirt. I loved the sparklies on it! A cardigan and my Born sandals completed the look.

Because I was headed out later, I kept the makeup simple.

I wanted to include this apple I got from Trader Joe's in the picture. It is HUGE! It is a honeycrisp; they are my favorite kind of apple. They are expensive as heck, but well worth it. Hmmm, maybe next year I will need to blog about not buying expensive apples!

After we got home and unloaded all of the groceries, I headed upstairs in search of this turtleneck. I wasn't sure if I would be able to find it; it has been ages since I wore it. It is from Michael Stars and it is part of his Shine collection. It is a little sheer; you should have seen what the picture looked like when Ben used the flash! Sadly, I can't remember where I got it from! Was it Nordstroms, or an online purchase? My memory is getting foggy at my age...

I paired it with a pair of brown boots I got last year at Off Saks. Why did I buy so much from there? Because they are very close to where I work! Far too accessible, and I love their shoe department! I needed new brown boots; the ones I had purchased a couple of years before were on their last dying beautiful brown suede legs; I decided leather was a better option than suede this time around. Yes, Karyn, my boots are all stiletto heels, so they may have helped the jeans from casual Friday.

This fun little fur jacket is from Target. I got it 3 years ago. I love to pair it with jeans or even dressier options. I had to have a jacket because it was freezing last night!

A little heavier makeup, and Ben and I were ready for our date. We headed out to our favorite tequila bar Barrio, but we were trying the new St. Paul location. It was just as good as the one in Minneapolis I am happy to report! Some delicious chips, guacamole, a shrimp taco, some crab soup, and a margarita (no salt please) and I was a happy girl!

Today is no shower no make up Sunday! It has already been a lazy one. I don't think you want a picture of me in my bathrobe! I will be headed out to take a walk on this cloudy dreary Sunday, but again, nothing special about workout pants and a sweatshirt. After the walk, I may break down and take a quick shower. After that, I am baking! A wonderful way to wind down the weekend. Pumpkin bread and chocolate chip cookies are on the agenda; I already made dinner which is a delicious Baked Tortellini Soup.

Hope your weekend was spectacular! Vote on the Saturday ensemble below at the very bottom of the page!

Thanks for checking in!