Thursday, August 12, 2010

I am going shopping!


August 12, 2009 I sat at my desk at work. I had just finished paying bills, and found myself, once again, with very little money left in my checking account. I thought what can I cut back on? I needed to pay my mortgage, my car payment, my electricity, phone, cable (which is the bare minimum cable), and internet, I need to eat and then there are the clothes. The clothes…the shoes…the accessories.

Right at that moment, I sent an email to Ben, Erika and Gretchen and proclaimed that I was not going to buy any new clothes, shoes, or accessories for a year! I emailed them to ask for help; I needed others to help keep me accountable if I was ever going to do this and stick to it.

I unsubscribed from all of the advertisement emails I was receiving on almost a daily basis. My
inbox was never empty of new buying opportunities. It was rather cathartic for me to turn them off. It reminded me of cleaning processed foods out of the pantry.

Later that month, having recently seen the movie Julie and Julia, I decided that I, too, had a blog in me. I could write about the adventures of no shopping, with the additional rule of no repeat ensembles. I
threw in a few more rules, realizing I had made very rigid constraints; I had a wedding I was to be in, for which I needed a few items, as well as a new pair of running shoes during the year. I created an internet world full of accountability partners.

I set off on this personal challenge, thinking it was an attempt to get my finances in order. Little did I realize the adventure of personal discovery I was about to embark upon.

My taste in clothing varies; I love bright colors, I love black, I love trendy, I love classic. I was not swayed to dislike a product based on the high price of it; at the same time, a low cost item just meant it wasmeant to be mine. There needn’t be any emotional somersaults aboutwant versus need when the item was inexpensive. It is only $9.99! It must be a sign! I spent $10 and $20 bills as liberally as I would add spinach leaves to a sandwich today. Over time, they add up fast, and do their damage. Quite honestly, I ended up with a lot of $10 and $20 items that got worn once. They then got cast aside as new arrivals took their place.

In time, it became obvious to me that it was not the $10 tshirt or the $20 skirt find that I loved, it was the purchase. It soothed me just as a cookie soothes a crying child.

Let me describe a typical day for me over a year ago. I work in a downtown area, and my company is
housed in different buildings. Meetings could be in any number of locations. In between the buildings is the Mother Ship; a bright, shiny, well merchandised mecca of a department store, loaded with many items available for leaves of spinach, er, $10. Depending on how a meeting may have gone, or how a day was progressing, I might have been lured into the store, the racks of well placed merchandise calling out to calm my perhaps ruffled feathers.

I will just take a look at what is on clearance I would tell myself. Rather similar to the days when I would say I will only have one cookie. Perhaps you already know how this story ends? Several items later, I would stand in line, make my purchase, and head back to my desk, the frustrating meeting I left long gone from my short term memory.

As I started to make these realizations, words I had read at another time came back to me. The article was a study that patients that had undergone weight loss surgery transfer their dependence from food to other vices. I had given up alcohol for 2 years after reading that article. I had transferred my reliance on food for emotional challenges to dependence to shopping! When would I learn!?

The parallels between the year of no shopping and a life of healthy, balanced eating are numerous. I
have learned that when I feel the itch to shop, it is the same feeling I get when I want to eat emotionally. I need to retrace the hour, the day, the week, and see where those feelings might be coming from and address them. If I am upset with someone, I need to talk it out. If I am reacting to something, I can choose to continue to react or deal with it.

We already know that as wonderful as a huge piece of chocolate velvet cake tastes, it is a lot of work to exercise it off, or to forego other choices because of it. It is like buying that fabulous, one of a kind dress, and then realizing I now don’t have the cash for another event in life…the kind of events that always occur!

Balance is how I will now approach my shopping life. I went shopping Wednesday; notice I did not
say buying, just shopping. I was creating my plan, knowing that Ben and I are going shopping and
buying
tonight for a Friday night date. I need a new pair of jeans. I decided to try on
several, narrow down my choices, and then have Ben help me with the final selection.

I tried on several fun party dresses and impractical shoes while I was there. As I stared back at my reflection in these colorful dresses, I thought why do I need this? Have I not learned anything? But I havelearned. I have learned that a wonderful colorful dress has its place in my life, just like a piece of chocolate velvet cake. But everyday? Give me the basics, let me meet my clothing, er, nutritional needs, and then maybe spice it up with a piece of dark chocolate. Because a piece of dark chocolate is just as tasty whether I am wearing a bright colored dress, or a classic black number.

I did it! And now I am going shopping!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Send Clothes!


I am at the end of my closet...look what I am reduced to! Only 9 months in, 3 months left...and I am venturing into my son's closet for his x-large hoodies!

Oh, if only today was April 1!

My team had an outing to the Minnesota Twins yesterday. They won!

Just had to share...this is probably the worst you will ever see me dressed in public.

Thanks for checking in!

xo

Kel

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Getting the Itch

I am currently in Arizona for work.

Yeah, right, you say as I am pictured in an evening gown!

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No, really, I am attending a conference. My date for the evening was Charlie. Charlie invited me to attend the President's Dinner at this function, and I happily accepted.

I thought I would share what is a rare occassion - an evening gown.


So the itch...

Staying in a resort area means there are some amazing shops. I got here Saturday and happily walked in and out of these stores admiring the latest fashions. I enjoyed my browsing.

Last night, after reading a series of emails that made me say grrr, I headed back out.

I walked into these stores again, but the urge to buy was strong. Quite honestly, were it not for the packed I made with all of you to not buy anything I would have caved. I was in BCBG and there were some beautiful skirts, on sale. A mere $40+ and I would have bought one. "Mere" is sarcastic, as I have learned that enought $40 purchases add up to debt.

As I was in these stores getting quite upset that I could not shop, I decided it best to get out of there and figure out what the difference was between Saturday and this time.

I have been able to "isolate" that the need to buy, or the itch, is the same exact feeling you get when you are craving something, say a cookie. You were not hungry before you saw the cookie, but the thought of what the cookie would taste like, telling yourself you cannot have the cookie, and then walking away from the cookie is identical to the feeling I get when I want to buy something. The root cause for me is clearly the same - I am an emotional eater/shopper.

Not only did my debt drive me to experiment with no purcashes, but the need to make sure I was in tune with my emotions did as well. I identified quite some time ago that I had bought clothes out of boredom, anger, frustration and loneliness. Last night was frustration at a situation over which I had little control.

I called Ben and talked to him about the situation. The issue was not with him; he was just my sounding board. I felt better! I was able to then go to dinner having let go of these frustrating feelings and order a wonderfully healthy dinner and savor every bite.

I just wanted to get these words out. No real great epiphanies here; I just wanted to document my success story for me, and to thank you all here for rallying for me behind the scenes. I mean it sincerely when I said had I not had the commitment with all of you, I would have bought something last night. No doubt.

Thanks for checking in!

xo

Kel

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I am on a roll!


Well, if two days of blogging is a roll, then I am on it!

I may be back, but I also need to get to bed asap! I got up at 3:30 this morning for work!

The pics were taken when I got home from work, so the hair had fallen, the lipstick was all but gone, the dark circles, but my feet still felt good!

I am wearing my new birthday shoes today that I got from Karyn. Seriously they are comfortable!

I practically got dressed in the dark this morning...I had taken the dress out last night, and searched for a sweater by feel. I was happen it all seemed to work.

I asked my sweet Ben to snap a photo of my new bracelets too. The beaded bracelet that is on the bottom above is one of the new ones from Ben. The non-bangles above it are the new piano string bracelets Ben got me too!

I wore my adorable sassy earrings from Gretchen and Erika today. Sorry I did not get a close up!

Ta ta for now!

Good night and thanks for checking in!

xo

Kel


Monday, April 26, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me! (Anna this is for you!)




Yep, today is my birthday!

I turned 44 today, and from what I understand this is a master number; may it be a master year for me!

It was quite a day, and actually the culmination of a wonderful birthday weekend.

Being a blog about my fashion choices, it is only appropriate that I talk about my fashion gifts I received!

I wore one - actually several - of my gifts to work today!

I got this lovely sweater from Erika and Gretchen. They also gave me adorable earrings. I was torn today - to wear the earrings they gave me or the ones Ben gave me. Sorry ladies - I wore Ben's! I have an ensemble in mind to wear to work tomorrow that I will have to wear the sassy earrings from the ladies to go with another gift I got. I adore this sweater and the amazing shade of orange!

Yes, Ben have me adorable drop earrings, as well as a one of a kind bangle. It has lots of beads and sparklies. He says he had to get one of a kind, like me!

He also gave me these cool stretchy bracelets, that are made from piano string! There are 12 of them, and I can wear them all, wear one, the possibilities are endless!

I also received a pair of shoes from my dear friend Karyn. I wore this shoes last month in a runway show I participated in for Target. I loved them that day, and was so sad that I would not be able to purchase them. Karyn actually purchased them for me and worked through Ben to get them delivered to me for a complete surprise!

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There were other surprise gifts that came from all parts of the country, making it quite the birthday indeed.

Gretchen mentioned at dinner last night that her friend Anna has been asking when the heck I was going to get back on the blog. I know it has been over a month! Just wanted to say thanks Anna for getting me back to do some blog writing! I'd like to say I was just waiting for my hair to grow out, but that would be a lie. Just been busy, I guess!

Thanks for checking in!

xo

Kel




Saturday, March 20, 2010

Look what came home with me!


I love my Ben. Yes, he went to the mall with me. And because of him, look what I came home with!

You see, we have always talked about a vacation in Italy. In September, we are going to make it happen! Details are not ironed out yet, but we are going!

Ben decided I needed this hat. It would go so well with a morning espresso. It would be beautiful with an afternoon glass of wine at a streetside cafe. It would keep me shaded on the beach while I gaze at the Mediterranean.

I did go to Sephora, and I got my hair goop. I also picked up a blue liquid eye liner. Just because.

We went to William Sonoma. I bought chocolate to make cookies tomorrow. Ben's coworkers will be the recipients. I also bought San Marzano tomatoes, of which Creamy Tomato Soup will be the recipient, and eventually I will. Good stuff.

We bought a knife sharpener too. All that chopping requires sharp knives!

I tried on shoes. They were amazing. I talked more about why I have not bought shoes since August 12, 2009. I am going to Italy this year. It is worth it. Really. But, damn, these shoes were cute.

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Thanks for checking in!

xo

Kel

I bought something!



No worries! Just wanted to make you panic - a little!

I bought a new camera last night. I will be going on vacation next week and spending time in Seattle with my boys, and really wanted a new camera to take with me. I am so excited!

This by no means implies that the Art Director has lot his job. I am not good at self-portraits, as evidenced by this picture. My son Alex calls this type of picture a "myspace photo". Everything is rather out of proportion, but I thought this was a fun picture of the Art Director and I!

I am also sharing a shot of the shoes I wore yesterday. These are from the Betseyville line...they are the little sister, less expensive line to the Betsey Johnson brand. Someone at work asked me if they were new...um, no! I got them 2 years ago on a trip to Nordstroms. They called out to me! I remember making the purchase. I did not wear them for about 2 weeks, thinking I would take them back. It was a total emotional purchase. They are not the most comfortable shoes in the world, but darn it, I get compliments when I wear them!

Today's goals are to get laundry done, figure out what I am taking on vacation, and finally make the spinach and lemon orzo soup I talked about last week. (Yes, that was last week, as in the last time that I posted anything on the blog. I know, bad blogger!) I will also be venturing to the mall, and the mecca of cosmetic stores - Sephora. I am out of my favorite hair goop, so it is a must! I will meander in and out of the clothing stores, if only to get inspiration on how to put outfits together.

Spring, like September back to school time, is a time when I really WANT to buy new clothes. It pains me to not do so! Target has a beautiful line out right now called Liberty of London. I encourage you to check it out. It has been blowing out of the stores; it is fun, flirty and fanciful! I tell you that not only because I work at le Target (french pronunciation please) but because the stuff is damned adorable. Don't believe me? Check this out! $29.99 people! I have seen this dress in person, and would have bought it...if only...sigh...

5 more months...I can do it!

Okay, off to the showers as I just got back from a run..and really am just procrastinating at the moment...maybe a snack first though!

Thanks for checking in!

xo

Kel


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Weekend activities!




Hello All!

Sitting here on a Saturday night. Ben is helping a friend with some video work, so it is me, the couch and the computer. I am actually happy to be doing this. Wish Ben was by my side, but I am quite comfortable waiting for him.

I love that it has been almost 2 years together and I still miss him when he is not with me.

Today we took a nice run. There is still a little nip in the air, but I no longer have to bundle up like a ninja.

While we were out, I spotted this little "wooly bear" caterpillar. I don't know if that is the real name for them, but that is what we called them growing up.

I looked at Ben and said "Spring is Coming!" He was perhaps a little startled, because I said it not in my voice, but the voice I would use to mimic my mother.

I remember fondly the first signs of spring; my mom would go to my Dad, give him a big squeeze and say "Spring is Coming!" in this high pitched, joy-filled voice. He would look at her like she was a bit
touched much as Ben looked at me today. I think I inherited her love of the spring season. We are not winter people!

After, I took a quick shower, and we headed to the grocery store. Now, I know I am crazy, but I love my trips to the grocery store, I love that it is my opportunity to find yet another healthy food that I have not tried before.

A recent food I tried, thanks to my friend Lynn of The Country Tart , is Chia seeds. I have seen them on numerous food blogs, and decided to try them myself. I ordered them from th website Lynn has recommended at Shiloh Farms. I also ordered French Lentils, Buckwheat Groats, Quinoa Flakes, Adzuki beans, and they also sent me a free sample of Dried Organic blueberries. The chia seeds were great in oats, as well as in Greek Yogurt with honey and dried blueberries. Delicious!

The quinoa flakes? Sorry to all quinoa lovers out there, but I just don't like it! I have made several attempts with quinoa. I am just not a fan.

Tonight I am looking forward to a treat of Popcorn with browned butter, rosemary and lemon. Here is the recipe. I am going to air pop the popcorn instead of pop on the stove.

Tomorrow's recipes are french lentil bulgur salad, homemade granola, a poached chicken and the ultimate treat food, chocolate brownies. I am trying out this brownie recipe. I will try it and send the rest of them to work with Ben!

I also have been dying to make this soup recipe and I think tomorrow is the day!

As for fashion news, I am in the runway show at work on Tuesday. I cannot say much about it, other than it is going to be high energy and fun! I hope to have at least one iPhone picture to share! Ben is not allowed to be there, so I can't have my photographer with me!

Thanks for checking in!

xo

Kel

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

On the Edge



There are times like yesterday when you get dressed that you know it all works.

There are times, like today, that you are hoping you are not the what was she thinking spokesperson.

You know you have thought it; you see someone, and in your head you ask what was she thinking?

An outfit that starts cute can go horrible wrong. Perhaps something you thought was cute just doesn't work.

My first issue today was that I was breaking our company dress code. Leggings are not allowed. But, I thought if I wore them more like tights I could get away with it! No one sent me home, so I guess it worked.

The part that scared me in wearing them like tights is that this jacket is clearly a jacket in person. It is definitely not a dress. I didn't want people to ask what was she thinking believing that I had left the house without pants!

Whatever people thought, they kept the thoughts to themselves. Women looked, men did too, but I saw no quizzical looks!

This jacket was my Christmas gift from Ben.

The leggings - I have no idea where or when I got them. I know they are not the pair I own from Target. Those are easily identified by the brand tag. I must have picked these up in a boutique somewhere; the material is amazing. It is thick without being heavy. It is opaque without being thick. Does that make any sense? I didn't think so!

Thanks for checking in!

xo

Kel

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sometimes you know when you look good...


And you can tell by the look in your man's eyes :).

I get dressed in the morning, and come downstairs. What I am going to wear is always a surprise to Ben. When he looks at me and pauses, just for a moment, and then says "wow!" I know it is good.

When I put on the shoes I am going to wear, and he says "you know, you are a pretty girl" I know he means it.

He had never seen this dress before! I have had it for almost 3 years. I purchased it on eBay, when I was doing a LOT of eBay purchasing. I was new to it, and it is a little addicting. When I won the bid, I would get so excited!

This dress is a Laundry by Sheli Segal. I really have to agree with Ben. This does look good on me! This is my favorite shape. I love a scoop neck best. I love a figure skimming dress. I love a neutral black dress that I can spice up with a wilder pair of shoes.

Funny that the brand is called Laundry. I literally had forgotten all about it; it was tucked away in the dry cleaning pile! It was cleaned and brought out for you today.

These are Nine West shoes. They are almost 4 years old. I recall seeing a woman at work with these shoes. I went up to this perfect stranger and asked "where did you get those shoes?" She was kind enough to tell me that she had gotten them at Herbergers. I went to Herbergers that night and bought them! They are fun, and actually quite comfortable!

I know you have not been able to vote for a while, but I can't bring it back today! I loved this too much!

Thanks for checking in!

xo

Kel






Sunday, March 7, 2010

I Loved this Hat!


But I did not buy it!

Just a quick hello. Yesterday was all about the food. Today I thought I would share some fashion talk!

Ben and I went out to dinner Friday night at a local mall. Dinner and a cocktail, more precisely. :)

I was not ready to head right home, so I dragged walked with Ben from store to store. He is so patient!

I tried in a sexy leopard dress at Cache. No chance of purchasing as that sucker was not going to zip. I really have a wide rib cage area. It makes it hard to fit sometimes!

Then we headed to the Mother ship: JCrew. I am happy to report the JCrew credit card is almost paid off! Not shopping since August has helped!

Ben had me try on this hat. it is honestly the only item I can say I would have left with were I buying. Isn't it cute! It would be great for sitting on a beach somewhere with a cocktail in my hand...

I tried on quite a few things, but nothing wowed me. That is a good thing!

Headed upstairs to make the bed. Today was a good cleaning day!

Have a great night!

Thanks for checking in!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Saturday and I am in lock down!


I can't leave the house today. I am on call for work, and need to be near my computer if I am needed.

It is a beautiful day and would have been a great day to run. Sigh.

So, when stuck in the house all day, what does one do? Bake and cook of course!

I really am not upset at the prospect of staying in all day. I am unshowered. I am in sweats. I will be staying that way all day. Poor Ben!

I just sent Ben to the grocery store with the list of essentials for my day. So, what's cooking you ask?

I have some northern beans soaking to cook up later. They will be used in lunches for the week.

I will poach a chicken. So easy...rinse a whole chicken. Roughly chop an onion. Peel and chop a couple of carrots. Chop a couple of stalks of celery. It doesn't have to be a perfect dice, just get them all in a pot that you have heated some olive oil. Saute the veggies until translucent. Put your whole chicken in the pot. Cover with cold water. If you have the time, throw in some thyme. (Ha - sorry - could not resist!) I also like a bay leaf or two. No salt, but pepper is good. I like it no sodium.

Cook until done. I say done, because I have never actually timed it. I know when it is done, I can tug on the drumstick and the bone literally slides out!

Let the whole thing cool down. Remove the chicken, then discard the skin and bones and now you have plenty of chicken for the week.

Strain the veggies from the stock, and you now have amazing sodium free chicken stock.

Refrigerate it overnight, and scrape the fat off the top in the morning. You can then freeze it.

For dinner tonight I am making this potato chowder recipe.

151 calories before you add the bacon and cheese garnish! Not bad if you ask me!

And the big task for the day? This chocolate chip cookie recipe. The dough needs to sit for 24-36 hours for the best cookie! It is a little spin off of the New York times Jacque Pepin recipe using brown butter. Oh are my co-workers in trouble come Monday! Ben's too...they had oatmeal raisin and browned butter chocolate chip cookies this week...

I hope your day is productive, and that you can leave the house...

Oh yeah, the picture? Not one of my faves ever taken of me...the exhaustion is taking it's toll...

The sweater is a 4 year old one from Target.
The skirt is a Banana Republic wool pencil skirt.
The shoes Betsey Johnson.

All from Thursday.

I promise, while you have not seen the pictures, there have been no repeats!

Thanks for checking in.

xo

Kel


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ah, exercise. So that's what it feels like?

I had a great walk yesterday.

Today, we ran. It has been 3 weeks (or more!) since Ben and I had gone out for a run. I vaguely remember a morning treadmill run in there somewhere...it is all so unclear. Kind of like my sinuses for the last 2 weeks.

Hoping not to be too graphic, but I think the best thing for my sinuses was getting out and running today. Lots of tissues used! But, I feel clearer than I have been in weeks!

It helps that the sun was shining and it was 36 degrees.

My body reminded me just what happens when you don't run for a while. I could not do the entire run; I probably did 2.5 miles out of the 4.2. Nonetheless, I burned 600 plus calories. Which came in quite handy, because today, I baked.


About 170 calories per cookie. Yeah, totally worth that run!

I had a busy morning; I poached a chicken, and now I have chicken for lunches for the week as well as no sodium chicken stock. I have a pot roast in the crock pot. I made the cookies. I even worked on the book.

I worked on the book last night too!

So, I had better get back to work.

Thanks for checking in; hope your Sunday is treating you well!

xo

Kel


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Really?

I feel like a bear that went into a cave for 2 weeks to hibernate!

I can't believe I have not written on here for almost 2 weeks on Monday. I can't even think what happened during those two weeks. Certainly nothing remarkable.

There have been long hours at work, a head cold that kicked my butt-ocks, and lots of going to bed early. I wish I could tell you it has been a ton of excitement, but alas, it has just been a ton of February.

I think this is just the time of year to bury oneself under the covers and peek out every once in a while, just in case spring has arrived. Nope, not yet, go back under.

Ben had a lot of pictures on his camera, and here are a couple of them that recently made their way to me...

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I am wearing a dress in this pic which, obviously, you can't see. However, it is one that has not been worn before - ever! It is an AnnTaylor Loft dress that I purchased off of eBay almost 2 years ago I believe. I had not worn it as I was unsure about one thing...did I look pregnant? Ben assured me I did not...but, hmmm, he did not send me the full body shot...is he trying to tell me something? I don't think so! The dress is very flowy and a-line, but has a tie in the back. There is just something about it that reminded me of a maternity dress I had. I love the color, and it worked well with this necklace.

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I love this dress! It is far more appropriate in the spring and summer months, but I needed something that would make me stand out in a crowd that day. I auditioned for a runway show that Target is having at the Spring meeting. I have not heard back yet - keep your fingers crossed!

This dress is almost 3 years old now. I love the colors, I love the "loudness" of it, and it clings in all the right places. These shoes are sky high. I think they are probably my highest heel without a platform. They are from Nine West, and I picked them up at Marshalls two years ago.

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Here is my new red stripe! I got my hair cut and colored on Wednesday of this week. I told Sheli is was time to have a little fun, especially since we are growing my hair out. She did a trim, and I asked for a stripe. I decided it was only appropriate to wear the same colors that were in my hair for my work "debut".

I don't think you have seen this dress before on the blog. Those of you that are here from Nutrimirror may recognize this dress as it is the one I wore for my Christmas video. Here was the picture that accompanied that video:

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I just love that picture, so I had to share it! Ben obviously softened it up and brought out some drama with the colors, but it is old world glam to me.

I got this dress last summer at Off Saks, shortly before the shopping spree came to an end. I had to make it work appropriate so I added a trusty black cardigan. These are not the shoes I wore that day. The ones I wanted were my simple black pumps, and they were sitting under my desk at work, so these were the stand in....or shoe in! Ha!

Notice - we are back on the front porch! It was not frigid that morning, and I would not be seeing Ben for lunch, so we headed out doors. It was still cold, but he snapped quickly for me!

As for lunch time photos, Ben has gotten a new job with another company. It is a great move for him, but we are both sad that there will be no more lunches together. Photos will be back to the morning and back to the porch!

Off to get this Saturday started. Not too much on the agenda. I am grocery shopping, making a pot of soup (here is the recipe I will be using if you are interested), I will be taking a long walk, and I will be writing. Yes, writing as in the book. Ben was so sweet and cleaned the whole house yesterday, so it left me with no excuses!

I am so looking forward to that walk too. Two weeks without exercise is not a good thing. I have not been this exerciseless in about 4 years. Wow, it is easy to fall out of the exercise habit!

Have a great Saturday all!

Thanks for checking in!

xo

Kel




Monday, February 8, 2010

Happy Monday all!


I can say that now that it is over!

We have some amazing weather here right now...so amazing, that it took 2 hours to get to work this morning...18 miles people...sigh...stay positive!

My bladder was not happy with me by the time I got to the office!

Meetings were scheduled, some went short (thank you Patty!) some got cancelled...all in all in ended up being a decent Monday!

Ben and I shared a little of yesterday's Pasta "Fazool" and a wrap over lunch. Followed, of course, by our photo shoot.

Why do I like this spot where we have been taking photos so much? The background? The natural light? Nope and nope. No one can watch and I feel far less self-conscious. Silly, I know.

This dress is about 4 years old. It is from Ann Taylor Loft. I love the color and the easy care fabric. It is short sleeved, so a cardigan was a must.

The shoes are quite old. They are at least 5 years old, and are BCBG girls. I remember the shopping trip when I purchased them at Nordstrom. I remember it because I purchased a lot of shoes that day. I do miss those days sometimes. Now, I think I am getting to the point where I truly appreciate every purchase.

Headed to bed to get a good night's sleep. Please vote below!

Thanks for checking in!

xo

Kel

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Oh I Will Miss the Weekend!


Hello All!

Just sitting here going through emails from last week, and I found a picture from Friday in Austin. The rain finally cleared, and we were able to enjoy an hour outside before we had to head to the airport.

There was a beautiful river running along side the hotel, and a swing was hanging over the water. Of course I had to get on! My friend Tricia was kind enough to snap this picture!

I had a very relaxing weekend. Yesterday I slept in, ate breakfast and then went back to bed for two hours! I did walk 5.4 miles in the afternoon, then spent some one on one time with the couch. I finally made it to the grocery store at 6. It is wonderfully empty at 6pm on a Saturday!

Today was a cooking day. Yesterday I cooked some black beans for meals throughout the week. Today I cooked Borlotti beans for tomorrow nights Borlotti beans in tomato sauce with polenta. I have made it before and it is so good! I added extra red pepper flakes to the sauce so it is quite spicy! I will make the polenta fresh tomorrow night. I also made a pot of Pasta Fagiole. The recipe is actually called Pasta "Fazool" but I didn't want you guys to think I was unaware that it was spelled wrong! That will be for lunches/dinners this week as well. I had to try some today. Amazing!

Dinner was yet another bean dish; Christmas Lima beans with Pork chops and asian pear relish. It was delicious and extremely filling. The bean mixture also had cabbage in it. It seemed like a very German mean to me. I am back on the couch, and my nose has been itchy and runny for the last hour. I really hope I am not getting a cold. Boo hiss!

Good thing I got a long walk in today too, because if I wake up with a raging cold in the morning, I am not sure if I will be able to convince myself to get up!

Just wanted to say hi!

Thanks for checking in!

xo

Kel

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Making New Friends


I am in Austin at a work conference. Sorry I have been absent!




This is the closest I can come to a outfit picture, as Ben is not with me. Thanks to my friend Tricia for being my stand in photographer!




I met an on-line friend today for lunch. Her name is Jamie, and she fits right in with her style!


She loves Silpada. I love Silpada. She was carrying the same purse that I also own. She loves big rockin' rings. Me too!




I was to pack pretty lightly for this trip - and not repeat any outfits - by having a couple of black dresses and different jackets/sweaters. You have seen this dress before. Check it out here. Holy crap my hair was short!


The jacket is quite a few years old - at least 3. It was a clearance item from Gap. I like the 3/4 length sleeves.


Okay, I had better get back to paying attention at this conference. I am glad you stopped by. I have missed you!


Thanks for checking in!


xo


Kel

Sunday, January 31, 2010

I really do love Sundays


Hello all!

Playing a little catch up on relaxation. I ended up working yesterday, so this is really my one day off this week.

I have for you Friday's photo!

Must have been a JCrew kind of day! I am wearing a Cardigan and tshirt that both came from JCrew early last year.

You can see the energy level on Friday was l-o-w. I had not the energy to put eye liner on in the morning, nor did I have energy to strike a pose! Ben took this across the table during lunch.
I was even too lazy to prepare lunch, so we went out. I knew what I would have - a delicious veggie wrap, so it was a safe choice despite being not made at home.

Hmmm...my hair was quite jacked up too I see. Good thing I spent most of the day at my desk!

Today I am reading food blogs, and headed to the grocery store shortly. Erin introduced me to an amazing food website that I like even better than foodbuzz. Check it out here.
I like the layout better. This website is a little like going grocery shopping. Don't go there on an empty stomach! No one is guaranteeing that everything on there is healthy, but it all looks delicious.

Speaking of empty stomach, I think I need a snack before heading out!

Thanks for checking in!

xo

Kel

Friday, January 29, 2010

A Friday Blog about a Thursday outfit


Hello all!

Just a quick drive by! I wanted to "drop off" my picture from Thursday.

We wanted to take advantage of some of the sunlight in the sky ways. (Sky ways are the "system" in Minneapolis to get you from one building to another without ever having to go outside.)

You have seen this dress before, here it is!

I changed up the ensemble by adding a camisole, tights and different shoes. The hoop earrings are a different pair too!

I am curled up under a blanket in my favorite spot on the couch. I am going to enjoy this relaxation time immensely!

No vote tonight. Ben would never forgive me if I got rid of this dress!

Thanks for checking in!

xo

Kel

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Will You Still Love Me?



I can't blog every night. I just can't do it right now.

I have told you about work. I started at 8, left at 6, and realized today I need to work this weekend to catch up.

Needless to say, it is a challenge for me to write here every night. I promise I am not breaking any rules. I have not repeated any outfits.

For now, this has to be what I want to do, not what I have to do.

That would take the fun out of it for both of us, wouldn't it?

So, please love me despite only posting every couple of days, okay?

Let's play catch up, shall we?

The photos on top are yesterday, and the Art Director took them after Happy Hour with friends. Wow was that a smooth glass of wine!

I have worn that long sleeve shirt before; it was the day I had the Maude schmatta on. It was an easy "grab" yesterday as it was sitting on top of the folded clothes pile!

The skirt has not been worn before. This is a black wool pencil skirt that I got from Banana Republic over 3 years ago. I cannot tell you that last time I wore it. Here is a confession. It was sitting in the dry cleaning pile - for ages! I used my dryel kit and voila - good as new! Well, pseudo clean I guess!

I wore it with black tights and my shoes my sweet Ben got me in December. A strand of red beads and I was ready for a long day at work and then happy hour! It was goooood.

Today you can start to see the toll of the week I am afraid! I've told you that Ben cuts off my face in the close up shots when my expression is, ah , not something I would approve...you see the necklace shot today? Yep. I love my art director.

The sweater is almost 4 years old. I remember buying it at the Banana Republic outlet right before I started working at Target. You can never have too many red tops when you work for Target!

The pants I have shared with you a couple of times already. One of these days I will have to share the whole suit with you!

My necklace is a piece that I commissioned from my friend Sue. It is a glass pendant. I had the silver collar, and I requested a large pendant with red, black and white. Isn't it great? Her website can be found here.

I am off for 30 minutes of no computer vegetation time! Thanks for putting up with me all!

Thanks for checking in!!

xo

Kel


Monday, January 25, 2010

The Many Colors of Kel





Ben sent me my Friday picture and today's picture in one email...I was shocked at how different I can look just 3 days later! Ben called in the many colors of Kel. He says I have a lot of them!

Casual Friday led to date night Friday. We went out for a fabulous sushi dinner.

Friday's top was a Marshall's purchase 2 summers ago. My office has been so warm of late, that I took this chance and I did fine. I was quite comfortable! And despite the fact that Friday was only 3 days ago, I cannot remember for the life of me which jeans they were. I could lie; I could say Joe Jeans. But, alas, I cannot lie to you all!

From looking at my picture on Friday you can see the work week took it's toll on me!

I entered today far more refreshed!

I got up at 5am for an early workout. I am trying to fit it in before work, because waiting until after work...well, that is not working! I have been so impressed by my friends on NM getting up early to work out! I was inspired. Last night I set the alarm, and dragged myself out of bed!

I got this dress 3 years ago. It was on a sale rack at Macy's. Again, the designer completely escapes me! If I weren't so beat I would head upstairs and check! I paired it with a 100 inch silver chain worn long and loose!

A rather neutral dress called for spicy hose and shoes. What do ya think?

Please vote, but be gentle. I am exhausted!

Thanks for checking in!

xo

Kel



Thursday, January 21, 2010

So much writing!


I have the NM column that I still need to write, so this is a drive by blog tonight! :)

I have not worn this before. Joe at work accused me of that. As similar as it looks to this outfit, it is not the same! Different sweater, different skirt, and tights!

I think the last time you saw this sweater, it was from my Las Vegas pictures. The skirt? I know I have worn it before, and a proper blogger would find it for you, but I am a time constrained blogger! It was a sale purchase at Banana Republic.

The scene today was Caribou coffee. It is a good halfway point for Ben and I to meet for lunch. I was cruising the cards that they have and Ben snapped some shots. (Yes, we totally set up these shots. These were not candids.) I can't lie to you guys!

Off to TGIF with Kel!

Thanks for checking in!

xo

Kel




Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hands off the Skirt!


Ben says you cannot vote on this skirt.

He really loves this skirt. When I met him for lunch today he had the sweetest (devilish) expression on his face. When I asked him what that was about he said "You look really good. I love that skirt."

This is interesting, to me, at least. Had I been free to purchase new clothes for the last 5 months, I realize that this skirt would have been pushed further and further back in the closet. It might never have made an appearance. If that had happened, I never would have seen that sweet look today.

Maybe this challenge has indeed been a good thing.

That annoying hair is still there today.

This is the second outing for this skirt; you saw it first here.

This may be the third wearing for the sweater. The first wearing you saw? Here!

You have not seen this blouse before. I got this at Ann Taylor about 3 years ago. I love wearing it with these pearls. Lots of repeats today, huh?

Ben made me laugh a lot today. He is so good for my stress level (as in improving it) and so good to me!

On that note, I am going to head off to bed. I have a feeling the early bedtime and the early morning workout (4:45 a.m.!) contributed to my good mood today.

I am going to try for it again tomorrow! I did give blood today, so there is a chance that workout won't happen. We'll see!

Thanks for checking in!

xo

Kel

Monday, January 18, 2010

An Early Bedtime for this Gal!


I have a confession. I have not been sleeping very well. I think I am internalizing some stress.

I thought about writing about that stress tonight and letting it all out.

Instead, I will make an effort to get to bed early so I can get up early and work out in the morning. I have been working late which gets me home late which means if I want dinner and time to unwind I cannot fit in a workout too. Working out is key for me to de-stress. It is especially important when I cannot shop away or eat away the stress! Of course, I had to have a 7:30 meeting scheduled for tomorrow morning, so it will be a 4:30 alarm. Ugh. I need to go lay out my clothes for my workout so that I don't wake poor Ben!

So, with that, I give you this brief outfit description!

I got this blouse on eBay last year. It must be worn with a camisole or you will see more about Kel than I would like you to see!

I paired it with a pair of pants from Ann Taylor. It is part of a suit. I just chose not to cover up my cute blouse with a jacket today!

The pumps...you've seen them. Nothing special here!

The hair is doing okay. Not sure what that piece was doing during today's photo, but it kind of has a mind of it's own lately! I am getting a trim tomorrow. Just a trim!

That's it! Headed off to bed!

Thanks for checking in. Please vote below!

xo

Kel

Friday, January 15, 2010

I made it!


Time: 8pm Central Time
Location: Couch Corner
Beverage: White Wine
Status: Relaxed

Ok, on to the clothes. I had to wear this sweater. Here is the deal. It was in the Goodwill bag. It still had the tags on it. I bought it from Target 3 years ago. When I was cutting the tags off I told Ben not to worry, I had not bought something new.

Now I can indeed give it to Goodwill. I look like Maude in it. Enough said.

If you just said Who's Maude you are young. I hope you are enjoying your youth! Google Maude Bea Arthur. You will see lots of images where she is wearing these long vests.

Today's entire ensemble, except for the shoes, was Target. The corduroys are also 3 years old, and were rescued from the Goodwill bag. They did not fit. Now they do. I will let you decide if they go back in the bag or not.

The top underneath is just a simple long sleeve tshirt. I needed to stay warm.

I don't love this outfit. That is good. I won't want to wear it again in the next 7 months.

That's right. 7 more months to go. Actually, on January 12th it was seven months to go. Can I make it? Time will tell. I knew I would need to have some outfits like today's to be able to make it. Something not so special. Nothing empowering. Just clothes.

I don't like wearing just clothes!

Thanks for checking in! Tomorrow I hope to be on and share what my cooking plans are for the weekend. I like planning out my day with you. It gets me organized and ready to go!

xo

Kel

p.s. Please vote below. But the sweater is schmatta. It's gone!
p.p.s. Those are not white socks on my feet. That is my skin. I didn't want a panic!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

One more day to go...


Tomorrow is finally Friday. Ahhhh...

Hello Blogworld! Just a quick hello!

We have a repeat dress today! Completely different than the last time, of course. You remember this one, don't you? This is the one you and Ben think is black. I still think it is a shade other than black. Maybe you can use the tights as comparison. They are black! Okay, darned close...you may be right.

Ben and I did not have lunch together today, so we took 15 minutes late this afternoon to meet so I could grab a cup of decaf (yes, I am trying to cut back) and so we could snap these pictures.
I think I am smiling because I was not sitting at my desk. My butt is getting numb I think!

I am looking forward to getting in a couple of good workouts this weekend. You know how it goes; too tired from work to workout when actually the best thing to help you would be a good workout? Yeah, I am there. But this weekend will be a good chance to get out there both days for some distance runs. I have a 10 mile race in 2 months. Yikes!

Okay, that's it for tonight. I guess I will assume that since you liked the dress the last time that you still like it? If you don't, you are just going to have to leave a comment!

Thanks for checking in!

xo

Kel

p.s. I like my hair today! Yippee!!


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ah, The Pleasures of Work...


Good evening Blogworld!

Welcome to Tuesday evening. Is it really only Tuesday?

I think I have mentioned this here before, but when we were kids my dad used to tell us not to wish our lives away. You know what he means. Oh, I wish it was May and it was spring and getting warm...or, Oh I wish it was July and the weather was beautiful and I could ride my bike after work...

I am not wishing for anything big, or jumping ahead months at a time. I just want it to be Friday! I feel like I wake up every day hoping it is Friday. Even when Saturday arrives I am already lamenting. At least on Fridays there is the excitement and anticipation of the weekend.

You all know - I don't have an amazing social life where we meet friends every weekend. We rarely make it to a movie. I just love the peace and quiet of home. I often putter around the house without any music or the television. I busily work in my kitchen chopping, mixing, baking...without any sounds to interupt my tasks.

At work, there is constant noise; if it is not someone in the next cube talking on the phone, then they are chit chatting over the cube walls. To drown it out, I turn on my iPod. Even that annoys me to a certain extent. I really like working in silence. Am I the only one?

Where the heck did all of that rambling come from?

Damn. It is still Tuesday.

So, the outfit!

You have seen this skirt before here. It is indeed a different outfit! Darned close though. Phew!

I paired this with a sweater set I got a Target 2 years ago. This is a cashmere sleeveless sweater with a matching cardigan. I have the same one in grey that I have worn for you all before. Here it is. I warned you that I have a winter "uniform". This is pretty much it today!

Ben and I had another impromptu date. It was a great way to end a Tuesday. Of course, any date with Ben is a great way for me to end a day!

Thanks for checking in! Please vote below!

xo

Kel




Monday, January 11, 2010

Overall, A Good Day!


Black and Blue but not bruised all over!

I am not typically a fan of black and blue together, but it worked for me today. Despite our balmy temps here today (21 - woo hoo!) I needed tights!

This dress was rescued from the Goodwill bag. It got placed there when I had gained enough weight to make me hate this dress. I was happy today when I retrieved it and I liked how it looked!

I got this dress at Anthropologie about 3 years ago? That is a guess! I like the bright blueness of it, and it has a fun shape to it. It is short enough to feel sassy yet long enough to not feel like my butt is hanging out the back!

I was planning on boots but decided on simple pumps when I got downstairs. My art director helped me make the final decision.

I accessorized with some pins I got from QVC a few years ago. It is like a mommy pin and a baby pin!

Ben and I had lunch today at Caribou Coffee. It was a good halfway point for both of us. Today we had vegetarian chili and chips. Good stuff! Check out the vegetarian chili recipe in this month's Cooking Light.

Caribou's fireplace provided the backdrop for today's pictures. It looks so warm and cozy.

Ben was trying to be stealthy taking my pictures; I get so self-conscious thinking people are looking at us!

Off to watch CSI:Miami. For a police show, it makes me laugh!

Thanks for checking in!

Please vote below!

xo

Kel



Saturday, January 9, 2010

Casual Friday and a Date Night


Thank Goodness yesterday was Friday bringing me to today - Saturday!

Yesterday was a particularly stressful day at work, so I was quite happy when the day ended. At about 2pm I sent Ben a text asking if maybe we should go have pizza, salad and wine for dinner. He liked that offer !

We did have lunch together (missed photo opportunity) and then had the dinner date (missed photo opportunity) and finally got home around 8 and I thought, ugh, I need a photo! The downstairs is a disaster, so we headed upstairs.

My favorite Joe Jeans are not looking like my favorite in this picture. I won't say they MMLF (make me look fat for those of you new to the acronym) but there is something wrong about how they look...you decide, but I am keeping the jeans. Harumph! I am sassy this morning, so watch out.

Sassy is another way of saying that every hormone in my body is screaming for attention and I can go from happy to sad to cranky in a matter of seconds. Sigh.

Check out my new tshirt! My BFF Erika went to England to see her new "uzband" (that is my French pronounciation) and brought me back this adorable tshirt! I laughed when I saw the tag - it is part of the new Miley Cyrus collection. Like that kid needs more money! The tshirt is probably the softest tshirt I have ever felt. I guess it is worth that kid making another buck.

The cardigan is from Target 3 years ago. A girl needs her red sweater when you work at Target!

Our date night was lovely. A couple pieces of veggie pizza, a large glass of malbec and a salad shared by two...plus the best company a girl could ask for!

This has been a lazy morning thus far. I slept in, finally got up and made oats for breakfast, and then sat down and have been cruising food blogs for recipes to try this weekend. Meanwhile, Ben is cleaning like a maniac. He cleaned the kitchen and when I commented he said "I am just getting the palette ready for more paint." He is so good at cleaning up after me, and getting the kitchen ready for cooking weekends. Left up to me, I would have to find places to put grocery bags on the counter. Now we can actually see the counter.

The only plans so far are to go to Trader Joes. In cleaning out the refrigerator and cabinets last weekend I know what I need more of, and what I don't need more of. I do not need more Roast Beef Hash, Green Chiles or Tuscan Balsamic Vinaigrette. Somehow, however, I have no doubt I will end up with another can or two of chiles. Ben is convinced in the event of disaster, people will be hoarding the green chile. We are ready if they do. Need some? Let me know! (I have 14 cans at the moment!)

I also have a smoked trout in the refrigerator...that might have to be dinner for tonight.

Oh, well, off to torture Ben with more of my sassiness. We will take a freezing cold run (it is 8 degrees with wind chill advisory warnings of -35) then I will shower and dress. It will be a shower but no make up Saturday! Okay, maybe a little mascara and carmex for the lips. Have to keep them unchapped, you know!

Hope your day is great! Thanks for checking in!

xo

Kel

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My Hair Looks like Hell!


I read a lot of blogs. I am fairly certain I have never seen that as a post title. I strive for uniqueness, you know.

It is driving me nuts! The hair, that is. 2 more weeks until a trim. Sigh.

I have a TGIF with Kel post to write so I need to make this quick. By the way, if you don't use NM, I made it so you can now go read TGIF without joining the site. Go take a peek at this week's column, won't you?

Today's ensemble came together by accident. I had intended to wear the black turtleneck (from the Gap) and the pants (from Banana Republic) but planned on wearing a long cardigan sweater. I reached for it, but grabbed this coat instead. It was fate.

This coat is from Target and I think it is 2 years old...or is it 3? Sue, you have the same one. How old is it?

I have not worn this coat in a while! It has been so cold here this layer worked out perfectly. This coat is warm enough to wear as a jacket in the late fall, yet is still lightweight enough to wear as a blazer in the winter. It is a brown/white/black tweed. It looks great with jeans. Damn. I should have saved it for tomorrow!

I still hate my hair. How ironic that my column this week talks about being nice to yourself!

Thanks for checking in, if even for a brief moment.

Please vote below!

xo

Kel

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Bad Blogger - again!

When your blog is dependent on you having your picture taken every day and then you and the art director for said blog don't get to have lunch together and your schedules don't allow your picture to be taken for the blog...taking in a deep breath to continue...then you feel really really bad and have to simply come on and say friends I am sorry we don't have a picture!

Forgive me?

I can link you to some of what I did wear today though. Hopefully you will accept these substitutes along with my apologies!

I wore the skirt and the boots from this post.

Phew - that was close...I almost wore that same cardigan today! I ended up with an off white corduroy blazer than I got 2 years ago from H&M. Do you have an H&M near you? I have a couple of them I can choose from. Their sizing is iffy; sometimes I blame their sizing in being European instead of admitting that they really are more geared towards juniors. But that is just my opinion!

I also wore a brown turtleneck, and added a long silver chain.

Since there is very little more for me to talk about - work is work, it is still darn cold, and I am in for the rest of the night....I am going to give you a link to someone else's blog. Why on earth would I do this? She is a new follower to Kel's closet, and when I looked at her profile, and read this post, I said YES! She and I happen to share the same opinion on Uggs. Thank you Jocelyn Garrity for writing this. You saved me the time!

Click here to read her post!

Thank you for your honest votes on yesterday's dress. It will be better in the spring - I promise!

Thanks for checking in!

xo

Kel


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Pardon Our Dust


I found this construction sign particularly entertaining today! Pardon our dust as we upgrade to serve you!

I feel like a construction zone sometimes! What do they do with a construction zone? They tear up an escalator, clean it out, make it look as good as new. I feel like I need to look as good as new.

One thing - my hair. As predicted, you would be hearing about it. The growing out stage is driving me bonkers. I am considering a color or two added next time I go. I need something to feel as good as new.

Today's dress? Let me tell you, I love this dress, but I do not like it in this picture! When I see a picture that is unflattering, to me, I just cringe! Is that how I looked all day? Were people looking at me the way they did because of looking badly? Ugh. I had a feeling when I wore this dress with the tights there would be a clinging issue. I had no idea it would look like this.

This dress is about 2 years old. It is from Banana Republic. Like I said, I love this dress. Hopefully you will be forgiving, and allow me to keep it until spring. If it looks bad then, out it will go!

The shoes? You know I love these, and these are not open for voting! These were the ones my sweet Ben gave me before Christmas. I love that guy! Not just because he buys shoes, of course!

Okay, I take back what I said. Vote on the dress with your heart. If it needs to go, I can take it. I value your honest feedback. I don't have to always agree with it! I always hope my friends will understand my rather honest feedback at times, and I can't have a double standard when it comes to myself!

Are you all surviving the winter? That is another reason to need a remodel. It s bitterly cold here. The thermometer in the car today said -8 on the way to work. I commented to Ben that once it hits 32 degrees, don't bother to report it any more. Cold is cold. I am going to still bundle up just as much whether it is 32 degrees or -8. It is just plain cold.

How nice would San Diego be right now?

Thanks for checking in all!

Please vote below. Leave a comment too. I like comments.

xo

Kel