Monday, October 31, 2011

Bad Blogger!

Well hello there!  I'm still alive!  I didn't mean to be absent for so long.  I mentioned before that sometimes flying gets in the way of posting and it happened again!  I was given 2 hours notice for another 6-day trip in Asia.  And once again, I didn't wear anything worth sharing on any of my layovers.

Another thing is that I've been getting bored with my wardrobe.  Especially after seeing all the pieces of my wardrobe and recognizing the limitations.  Luckily for us all, I did a good spot of shopping when my mom & sister were in town this weekend for my race & birthday!  I picked up a few pieces that I'd been wanting to find (including a new pair of jeans, hooray!) and I'm kicking myself for not buying one particular piece.  I don't want to say what it is because I'm thinking I might make a run out to the Mall of America tonight to see if it is still there!

As for the race, it was a lot of fun!  There were so many great costumes and I wish I'd had my camera with me so I could have taken some photos.  My mom & sister had a camera, but neither of them took many pictures.

This was before the race.  It was sooooo cold!  My poor little nose is bright red!  Once I got to running, I warmed up and didn't notice the temperature, but until then, I was freezing my little tuckus off!  I'm glad I picked up those gloves on a whim at Old Navy while we were out shopping and a good thing I did!  Later on, I ended up taking them off & shoving them down my shirt, haha.

This was right after I limped across the finish line.  I had a little bit of knee pain through most of the race, but it didn't get unbearable until about mile 11.  I ended up walking from mile 12 to mile 13 and then I pushed myself to run the last tenth of a mile across the finish line.  I was crying from the pain and laughing from relief for finishing it.  I got my medal and my banana and collapsed into my mom's hug.  Then we went straight to the first aid tent to get my knee checked out.  Luckily, it isn't anything serious, just an aggravated IT band.  I'm supposed to ice it, stretch it and take plenty of ibuprofen, which I'm doing obediently.  When I got home, I checked my official time and I finished in 2 hours, 22 minutes and 50 seconds!  Well under my hope to finish in under 2 1/2 hours!  So hooray for me!  And today I think my knee is finally starting to feel better!

Also, today is my BIRTHDAY!  So happy birthday to me!  I'm on call, but I'm unlikely to go anywhere, so I didn't make any plans, so now I'm just sort of bumming about.  One of these years, I'm going to actually make the effort to have an awesome birthday, haha!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

You know, I love my job.  But it's a bummer when work gets in the way of updating my blog! I had a quick little 2-day trip with a long layover in Washington DC.  I finally made it out to see some monuments, but you know, it ended up feeling very somber.  And I didn't take a single photo.  This outfit photo is from before I left.

Gray Mossimo cardigan & skinny jeans - Target; Crazy cat lady blouse - Nordstrom Rack; Brown boots - MIA via

Not much else has been going on.  I went for a long run the other day and when I finished, my knee didn't feel quite right.  It's been feeling off ever since, so I've been resting it as far as running goes.  I want it to be tip-top shape for the half-marathon!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I want to talk about something only vaguely style-related on today's post.  It's something that has been on my mind lately.  I'll put my outfit photo first, so you can just skip over the second half of the post if you're not interested!

Floral scarf - Forever 21; Charcoal blazer - Halogen via Nordstrom Rack; Gray tshirt - Next Level via; Skinny jeans - Mossimo via Target; Brown boots - MIA via

This is what I wore to go up to Macy's to buy new foundation.  I've been putting it off, putting it off, putting it off because I'm trying to work on my spending.  I'm glad I waited!  It was Bonus Time at the Clinique counter!  I wear Clinique's Perfectly Real liquid foundation and the purchase price qualified for some freebies!  I got a cute little make-up bag (I think mine was missing the mini-bag, so I might walk back up to get that tomorrow), a little eyeshadow quad, a cleanser, a moisturizer and this lip color called a Chubby Stick which is a terrible name, but I'm pretty excited about it anyway.

Okay, so, the other thing I want to talk about.  I've mentioned before that I lost 50 pounds and that I've kept it off now for a year.  And I'm really proud of myself for that.  But lately, I've been getting complacent.  How I lost the weight in the first place was by obsessively keeping track of everything I ate.  And I mean everything.  And it worked really well for the first 6 months, but I couldn't see myself doing that for the rest of my life, so I stopped tracking, just to see what would happen.  And my weight loss slowed, but I did eventually hit my goal weight.

Now, though, I'm lazy.  I know it sounds ridiculous to say I'm lazy when I've been training for to run a half-marathon, but it's the truth.  Last week I did Level 1 of Jillian Michael's 30-Day Shred for the first time in months and months and months.  And I was SORE.  For a WEEK.  Before I got lazy, in addition to running whenever I had the time, I was doing push-ups & crunches EVERY DAY.  I was up to 50 (girlie) push-ups and 100 crunches.  Every day.  No excuses.  Now?  Doing 25 push-ups and 3 minutes of ab exercises made me sore for a week.  It was kind of an eye-opener.

I've also become really bad about my eating habits.  I've developed a nasty sweet tooth, by which I mean I'd eat a big bowl of ice cream every night after dinner, and often I'd have a second bowl.  I'd mindlessly eat M&Ms and peanuts on the aircraft.  I think that's kind of the key here though, is all the mindless eating.  I've been eating things because they are there or because I am bored.  Not because I am hungry.

I'm unhappy with the state of things right now.  And you know what they say, If you're not happy with where you are, move; you're not a tree!  And I am not a tree.  So, starting today, I am going back to doing push-ups, crunches and arms every day, whether I do them as part of a Jillian workout or on my own.  I haven't decided if I'm going to start tracking again, but I am going to cut out dessert for a while.  I don't need to eat something sweet after dinner every night, even though I desperately want it.  Dessert needs to be a sometimes treat.

A reader kind of called me out on a comment I made about my "chubs" which is what I call the jiggly business that's been hanging around my tum & hips through this whole thing.  I am thrilled with how far I've come in this, and that I've managed to keep it off.  And maybe this is just the way my body wants to be.  But I'm not going to know that unless I try to do something about it.

Those of you who have followed me here from my LiveJournal may recognize the photo on the right.  I bought those pink shorts a year & a half ago because they were on sale at Old Navy and I thought I might be brave enough to wear them when I ran.  I wasn't.  I'm still not, actually.  But I did wear them today to work out with Jillian again and what a difference a year & a half makes.  If I look like I do in today's photo, on the right, for the rest of my life, I can be okay with that.  But I want to at least try to look better.  And I don't want to go back to looking the way I did.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Belt it Out

So, you may have noticed that I did not dedicate a post to accessories.  I have a fair amount of jewelry and a lot of scarves and about 20 pairs of shoes.  The gaps in that part of my wardrobe show up in two places:  belts & bags.

Long gray cardigan, Jovovich-Hawk dress & gray OTK socks - Target; Wide white belt - Camden Market in London; Brown boots - MIA via

That belt, right there, is one of only two belts I currently own.  The other one is a tacky narrow red belt that belonged to my old uniform that I've kept strictly out of necessity to hold my jeans up.  The white belt has a really cool paisley embossed pattern on it and I bought it for 5 pounds in a stall at the Camden Market in London when I was studying abroad in Italy during the 2005-2006 school year.  I wore the hell out of it that year and have worked it into many an ensemble since, so it has real sentimental value.  But a lot of times, the width works against me.  

Another thing about it is that today I had to put another hole in it.  And there is an insane amount of leftover belt when I hook it.  I use the fold-over-and-tuck-behind method to keep it in check, but then there's this loop off to the side.  I really need to widen my selection of belts, but for whatever reason, I get really overwhelmed by that prospect.  I've half-heartedly browsed at thrift stores and today I flicked through a few at Target, but I don't even know where to start.  Black?  Brown?  Turquoise?  Silver buckle?  Gold buckle?  Narrow?  Wide?  Super skinny?  I get so flustered that I walk away empty-handed.  I'm silly like that sometimes.

Lately I've been trying to figure out what "my" style is, and what I'm attracted to.  I've mentioned Pinterest before, this is My Style board.  When I look at all the images I've pinned, I think my ideal style boils down to classic & ladylike with unexpected embellishments, sparkles and lots of color.  Interestingly, today's outfit doesn't necessarily fit into that mold, but I think that is what's fun about personal style!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Put a Blazer on It! Or a Cardigan! Either way!

I might have mentioned a time or two before how much I love a good blazer.  I feel naked in just a top and bottom.  I feel far more put together when I can throw on some kind of top layer.  I settle for cardigans, but give me a good jacket every day of the week.  I used to have a lot more.  There was once a time in college when my girlfriends challenged me to wear a different jacket each day until I ran out.  It took me almost two weeks.  But since the weight loss and since the Great Purge of 2011, I've pared things down significantly.  And this is another area where I see big gaping holes.  Onward!

But that's not a blazer!  I hear you.  But I wasn't sure where else to put this.  It isn't even mine.  It belongs to the mister and I'm only holding on it for safe-keeping until he gets back from his deployment.  What is it about boy hoodies that makes them so comfy?  I've never been a hoodie-wearing kind of girl, but when the weather is cooler, I pretty much live in this hoodie & my black leggings when I'm bumming around the house.

Another hoodie?  Didn't I just say I'm not a hoodie-wearing a girl?  Truth is, I don't feel like me when I wear a hoodie.  But this one was a gift from the mister's mom and it is indeed comfy.  Once I relinquish the above hoodie, I have a feeling I'll be bumming around in this one.

Just a basic, black Mossimo cardigan from Target.  It's a workhorse, but nothing spectacular.

I picked up this floral print cardigan at H&M for $10.  It proved to be rather practical, given my penchant for white v-neck tees.

I think it's hard to tell, but the yarn of this cardigan is actually metallic.  It's another H&M find, but several years older than any of my other cardigans.  This one keeps being put on the discard pile, but then pulled out at the last minute.  I don't know why I'm so attached to it.

My oversized purple New York & Company cardigan.  Another sweater that probably belongs on the discard pile, but I just keep wearing it.  It's the great color!  I think that's something else that's missing from my wardrobe: colorful cardigans!

This cardigan definitely belongs in the discard pile.  Another H&M find, it is oversized, shapeless and has some sort of bleach mark near the hem.  It's basically a bathrobe and for a long time, I used to pack it in my suitcases to wear in hotel rooms on my trips.  I love that my facial expression & posture show how disenchanted with this cardigan I am.  Into the discard pile it goes!

This cardigan also needs a replacement.  I love a good long cardigan, but this one is a few years old and has been washed one too many times.  

And it's black equivalent.  Another workhorse.  Like I said, I love a good long cardigan!

I picked up this sparkly number on major sale at Gap.  Down to $18 from $118!  I'm basically a magpie and couldn't resist.  The only problem I'm having with it is that I'm afraid to wear a shoulder bag for fear of the sequins!  But then I saw Jentine at My Edit belt it, so maybe it's sturdier than I give it credit for.

I found this charcoal blazer for $20 at Nordstrom Rack.  I like the color and the shape is good, though I could have gone down a size.  The sleeves are normal length, but I rolled them up and haven't unrolled them since.  I have a weird thing about sleeves on my forearms.  I am forever pushing things up, which stretches out the sleeves on my cardigans.

And probably my favorite blazer ever.  My Perry Ellis blazer that I picked up at Savers for $6.  I love the light pink lining.  I love the longer length.  I love the lightweight material.  It's just a great, great jacket.

So now to address the gaps that I see.  I don't own a vest.  I have always owned vests.  I'm a big fan.  I've been on the lookout for one, but keep coming up empty.  As far as blazers go, I keep seeing bright colored blazers and I'm especially keen on bright pink.  I've also mentioned that I've had my eye out for a blush colored blazer.  And for years and years and years I have wanted a good tweed blazer in a flattering cut.  Maybe with suede elbow patches?  Or maybe not?  I'd also like to replace some of my more tired cardigans and bring some bright color in there too.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Take it to the Top

So now we've come to the part of my wardrobe with the most gaps.  Tops.  For a while, I had 6 identical white v-neck tees that I basically wore ad nauseum.  They went well with over jeans and under long cardigans.  Sometimes I'd even throw a bright scarf on if I was feeling kicky.  But that's boring.  And I got tired of boring.  So I started trying to buy new tops here & there, but I feel like I keep bringing home pieces that don't fit well into my overall wardrobe.  Part of that problem is that I still don't know what my overall "style" is.  Once I figure that out, I feel like adding new pieces will be that much easier.

Anyway, let's check out these tops!

Yes, I'm just re-using an image from yesterday.  This is a maroon Mossimo tank top from Target.  I have an identical one in black, as well as 4 basic black ribbed tanks from Old Navy, two of which are slightly faded and stretched out and are only worn as pjs.  These are snug enough that I can tuck them into things, but I can also leave them out over jeans.

My slightly-too-large peach tank top from Gap.  I like the pale peach color and like I said before, I'll eventually get around to shortening those straps.  I have teeny tiny shoulders that don't like to keep straps up. I am forever pulling up my bra straps, no matter how I try to adjust them.  Everything just slides right off my shoulders.  This is definitely a top that needs to be left untucked, which means it really only goes with pants ans I don't have too many skirts that look good with untucked tops.

This is my one and only piece from Anthropologie.  I found it the first time I went into one of their stores, years and years ago with my mom.  We were totally sticker shocked until she found the sale room in the very back.  Even in the sale room, things seemed ridiculously overpriced to us, but then, we're really cheap.  I think we paid $15 for this, which we decided was worth it because it's silk.  It's a pain in the ass though, because it wrinkles so bad and ironing silk is a slow process.  I love the pale yellow color and it has the prettiest pale blue embroidery on the yoke.  This one is also untuckable due to the length.

My newest top, the $7 shirt from Marshalls that I deconstructed.  I'm still not 100% happy with it, but I feel like it looks okay underneath cardigans and blazers.  Again, another top that doesn't look good tucked in, so it really only goes with my pants.  Are you seeing the pattern here?

My crazy cat lady blouse!  Alas, it is really big & baggy and thanks to my tiny shoulders, it has a tendency to become an off-the-shoulder top.  But I love the print!  I've tried tucking this one in, but because it is so baggy, it just looks odd.

My feather blouse from Forever 21.  Another untuckable top and another too-big top.  This one is actually already in the discard pile in my closet.  I haven't been wearing it much lately anyway and it is just too big, even though it is meant to be a bit oversized.  I have the same problem as the crazy cat lady blouse in that it becomes off-the-shoulder.

Now we're getting into my tshirts!  I mentioned that I used to have 6 of these white v-necks, but now this is the last one.  Two of them are hanging out in my towel drawer due to stains, and I threw out another one for the same reason.  The other two were stolen out of my laundry.  I really love these tees though.  They're made by Next Level and I buy them on Amazon.  I think after my next payday I'm going to order a few more.  Even though they're boring, they're versatile and easy!

And the gray version of the above v-neck.  They offer a few other colors and I think I might pick up another gray and maybe a bright pink one.

This one is by BDG and I picked it up on sale at Urban Outfitters.  It used to have a light blue sister, but that one got a major hole in the front and had to be put out to pasture.  I like the color of this one, but it is SO thin.    I mean, I'm wearing a nude colored bra in this picture and you can totally see it.  So thin!

Speaking of thin, this one just keeps getting more and more threadbare, every time I wash it.  I don't know how much longer it'll be around, but I love it so much that I can't stop wearing it!  I've looked into trying to replace it, but the only one I've found on eBay was like $60!  I think I paid $11 and it came with a 45 of "Owner of a Lonely Heart"!  I just love the style & shape & colors in this shirt.  So great.

And my Jimi Hendrix tee.  This one is tied with the Yes shirt as being in my closet the longest.  I know I got both of them my freshman year of college.  You can see here how big this one is on me.  Look how far the shoulder seams go down my arm!  This one doesn't really fit well into my "style" but it's sentimental, so I keep it!

I think I've had this one since my freshman or sophomore year of college.  It came from an old drive-in in my hometown of Aurora, Illinois.  The place was called Swoney's and it was known for its homemade root beer and for hosting a Cruise Night for classic cars the first Friday of every month.  My step-dad has a 1954 Chevy truck that he rebuilt, so we used to take it down sometimes when I was in high school.  I don't really wear this shirt out of the house much, but it's super comfy.

This is probably new newest tshirt purchase.  It's from Threadless and I loved the design and the little pop of color in the middle.  The shape of the tee is different for me, which I also like.  But, because of the design, I can't really tuck it in.  So it only goes with my pants.

Another fun little owl shirt!  This one was a gift from a friend and was one of the Halloween shirts from Target a few years ago.  I don't wear this one out as much either, but it is super cute!

And then there are my sports team shirts!  I mentioned earlier that my hometown is Aurora, Illinois and that's about 40 miles west of Chicago.  I grew up a Cubbies fan and...

a Bears fan!  I actually had a Chicago Bears coloring book when I was a wee Sarah.  Apparently they were sold at gas stations after the Bears one the Super Bowl in the '85-'86 season.  I definitely watch football more than baseball, but those are my teams!  The mister is a Patriots/Red Sox fan, so we have some fun rivalry going on there!

And these are the other tshirts I own, but don't really wear out of the house much.  From left to right, my race shirt from my 5k this summer, the free tshirt I got for going to all 6 distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail with the mister in March, and a shirt from the mister's ship!  Please note the terrifying PENGUIN.  The penguin is apparently the mascot of his ship, and it would appear that penguin has been hitting the 'roids and HARD!

So, there are clearly some major gaps in my wardrobe when it comes to tops.  I have a LOT of casual tees and all of my nicer tops are untuckable.  I have zero button-downs and zero pullover sweaters and zero long-sleeved shirts.  So that, along with tuckable tops, is what I've been trying to look out for to add to my wardrobe.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Lower Half

So.  I finally got around to cataloging my entire wardrobe.  I'm going to break this down over a few posts because it is kind of image-overload.  I have to laugh, though, in that I posed in pretty much the exact same way in every photo.  Guess that would make it convenient if you wanted to make a Sarah Paper Doll!

So I'm going to start with bottoms!  First up are all my skirts.

This is one of my newer skirts, from Ann Taylor.  The material is a really soft sweatpant-like material.  I love that it has pockets and the little ribbon bow on the front helps make it feel a little dressier.  As will be a constant refrain in this post, I probably could have gone down a size.  But every time I think about doing that, I worry that I'm being greedy with this weight loss business and that I shouldn't go down a size, just in case.  I feel like that's a really dumb way to think about it.

This Gap skirt gets a lot of play on the blog.  I love the pattern and the ruffles and the color.  It's very versatile and feminine.

This Old Navy skirt is my latest acquisition.  I picked it up for $4 on sale.  I can't pass up a good sale.  I feel like it might be versatile.  I love the pockets!

Another Old Navy bargain!  And again with the pockets!  The bright color is a lot of fun too.  I've gotten quite a bit of wear out of this one.  Definitely worth the $6 I paid for it!

I found this sequin number at Forever 21 on sale for $7.  I like it a lot, but I feel like it is too flashy for daytime wear.  I wish it were in a lighter color.  I feel like lighter-colored sequins are "okay" for daytime.  But still.  For $7, it's a great Going Out skirt.

I was following the crowd on this one.  It seemed like for a while, EVERY style blogger had one of these Mossimo lace skirts.  I waited until I found one on the sale rack.  I like the color, but I hate the waistband.  The elastic is really narrow & I feel like it digs into my chubs on my hips.  So I generally just don't tuck things into it.

I ordered this one online from Tulle, where it was on sale for months and months, but is not apparently available anymore.  It's another one made of sweatpant-like material, but a lot thicker than the Ann Taylor one.  It took me a while to get into the paper-bag waist and into tucking things in, in general.  I don't wear this one as often as some of the others.

I have actually never worn this one.  It's a leather skirt and my cousin gave it to me.  I feel like it is a shade too big and I just can't seem to find a way to style it that doesn't make me feel like Kelly Bundy.  Any ideas?

I bought this back in July and I've yet to feature it on the blog.  This is another skirt where I should have bought a smaller size.  I actually picked this one up for $10 the same day as the Ann Taylor skirt.  I also feel like this needs a belt of some sort, but as I'll address in a later post, I own exactly 2 belts, and neither of them would go with this.

We're getting into pants now!  These have been on the blog before.  They're from Gap and they were $9.  I feel like I'm posing super awkwardly here, but I wanted to show the tuxedo stripe that goes down the side of these pants.  These are a size 6 and you'll see the post below the same style in a size 4, which I think fits me better.

What can I say?  Even though I know it is total vanity sizing, I like being a size 4.  I've talked about these pants before, so I don't think I need to say much more about them.  They're pants.  They're a tiny size.  I don't know how to wear pants and not feel like a dude.

My Mossimo skinny jeans from Target.  Hoo buddy, these were fresh from the dryer and they were TIGHT. One of the few instances on this post where I'm thinking I should have gone UP a size, but once I wear them for a few hours, they stretch out quite comfortably in the waist.  The legs remain ridiculously snug no matter how much I wear them.

My Joe's jeans.  These are ridiculously comfy, even right out of the dryer.  I'd love to get a pair of non-distressed Joe's jeans and I might just do that with some birthday money from my momma.  We'll see.

And lastly, I added these more as a joke than anything else.  These are the leggings I pretty much live in when I bum around the apartment.  And I got a big kick out of how well they illustrate my complete lack of ass.  For anyone who wanted to give me the benefit of the doubt, there's the proof.  I have no ass.

So those are all of my bottoms!  As far as gaps go, I think this part of my wardrobe is pretty solid.  It would be nice to get a pair of nice, non-skinny, non-distressed dark denim and I would LOVE to get a pair of bright colored jeans.  It would be nice to work some patterns into the skirts, but the problem with that would be my tops.  So next up will be my tops, then all of cardis & jackets!