Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas, in a Chestnut-Shell

Top: Old Navy / Jeans: Guess via Macy's / Boots: Born / Bracelets: Christmas Gift (J Crew) / Watch: Christmas Gift (Fossil) / Scarf: Christmas Gift

*The Hound got to be in the Snow Flake Parade as we chaperoned my school's float. The Husband made her wave to all the kids. They shouted with joy,  trilling "Look, that doggie is waving at me!" She just wanted to lick them. I'm not sure whether Husband or Hound had more fun.

*We roasted plenty of chestnuts while listening to Christmas music. I may be addicted...

*We went to see two of my students debut in our town's musical production of  A Christmas Carol

*We continued to sleep by the warmth of our fire and under the lights of our Christmas tree. Lights per Husband's request, on behalf of his childhood :)

*Then, we headed East to spend the holiday with my family.  First, we stayed with my cousin in DC where we enjoyed PB&J cupcakes while catching up and playing with her baby boy.  PB&J cupcakes. Genius.

*The next day we hit up Dupont Circle, visited a holiday street market and the National Archives, and checked out all the city's sapins de Noël*. First we saw the tree at the capitol, then passed by the White House, and then we met up with my brother and his girlfriend, who'd flown in from Cali, at the National Tree. Oh, Christmas Tree...

*That night we stayed with my uncle and his adorable family in Chesapeake Beach, where we enjoyed playing with our little cousins.  The next morning we walked the Mall and took in the Cosmic Collisions show in the planetarium of the Air and Space Museum before heading to Georgetown. Husband used the show as an opportunity for a nap, which he blamed on the McD's oatmeal we'd had just before. Food comas are his thing.

*We enjoyed loads of festive decorations and lights. The owl tree in the Smithsonian Castle made me want to experience Christmas at Hogwarts. Geek, I know.

*There may also have been some shopping, vintage ogling, and cupcake hunting. Details later! 

*On our way to WV, we stopped to see the lights at the DC Temple, where we were married. Breathtaking. Merveilleux. Incroyable.

*There was a really neat exhibit of nativities from around the world in the visitor's center. The Husband's favorite was one from South Africa, which was made of Coke cans. Big. Surprise. I personally preferred their beaded version.

*Our first stop in WV was Morgantown, our old college town where Scott and I met. There was supposed to be a walk down memory lane, which just so happens to be the tree-lined lane leading to Friendship Hill, our favorite park. But it was raining dreadfully. So instead, there may have been more shopping. At Gabes. Where I found Express liquid leggings for $7. Merry Christmas to me!

*We made our way to OH where we enjoyed Christmas Eve at my sister's house and the boys laughed as the girls took turns shooting her bow. Turns out you need muscle to even pull the darn thing back.

*At home in WV, my mom made our traditional Christmas morning breakfast of Cocoa Wheats and toast. Do you know what Cocoa Wheats are? Heavenly, that's what.

*After opening presents, we had Christmas dinner at my Grandpa's with cousins and aunts and uncles and plenty of sweets. Did you catch my sparkly new watch up top? Ha- how could you not with all that smarmsing going on? { If you can smile with your eyes, you can with your arms...} I finally joined the trend after admiring my sister's version from her bf. 

*Despite the fact that we got a wet Christmas, rather than the preferred white, it was a jolly good way to spend the holiday. I hope yours was just as merry and bright!

P.S. I just realized I have no photos with my family. They need to get over their photo aversions. New Years Resolution: Stop taking so many photos of yourself and take a few with others...

*sapins de Noël = Christmas trees

Monday, December 19, 2011

Ugh-ly Sweater

Skirt: Thrifted Vintage / Top & Bracelet: F21 / Belt & Necklace: J Crew final sale / Shoes: Miz Mooz / Scarf: Macys

Last week, I lamented the fact that I have far more ugly sweater parties than sparkling soirées to attend this holiday season.  After not participating last year, I finally decided to acknowledge it as a trend, stop pouting, and find something suitable. Above was my base outfit, which I wore to work for our holiday breakfast. For the party that night, I replaced my necklace and belt with my new vintage "ugly" sweater:

 Skirt & Ugly Sweater: Thrifted Vintage / Shoes: Miz Mooz / Husband's Bow Tie & Vest: c/o our Printer / Hound's Sweater: Target

It's about as ugly as I can handle, and it has personal significance. When I was kindergartener, my favorite outfit was a red plaid skirt and matching sweater with a plaid Scottish Terrier on it. I wanted to wear it every single day with my tights and Mary Janes. I think my obsession stemmed from Lady and the Tramp, which I adored. The dog on my sweater was just like Lady's little Scotty friend, Jacques.

This is the only surviving photo of  my beloved outfit. My sister is covering the skirt and dog. But I know they're there.

Even back then I couldn't hide my love of dressing up, dogs, and all things French. Perhaps my love of plaid, too.

P.S. Christmas is almost here! Christmas!  Joyeaux Noël a tous*!

*Joyeaux Noël a tous = Merry Christmas to all!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Little Black Dress

LBD: Target ($10!) / Cardi & Belt: J Crew Factory clearance / Scarf: Bunco win  / Boots: Larsen via 6pm / Tights: Ross layered over Ross / Bracelets: F21, AE / Earrings: Handmade by a friend

I got this dress for $10 on sale at Target, I've been looking for a way to dress it down. I knew just what to do after I won this fabulous scarf, also on sale right now at Target, at Bunco last week { I odds have to be like 80% by this point...I don't know why I've yet to pack up and move to Vegas. Is there a Vegas-equivalent for dice games? }

In other news...Last night, the Husband and I pulled out the memory foam topper for our pull-out couch bed, parked it right in front of our wood-burning stove, and camped out in there for the night. It was heavenly. When you live in the mountains, and it's cold enough to ice-skate on the lake you live by, and you don't heat the house because the cost of enough heating oil for your rather large 40s home with wall to ceiling drafty windows is insane, this makes perfect sense.

The Hound has found this arrangement particularly to her liking.

P.S. Linked up to Clothed Much's last Rule-Breaking Party! Click to see how others break the rules with their LBDs.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sparkle, Sparkle

Skirt: Thrifted / CK Top: Ross clearance / Gloves: Target / Belt, Monet Earrings & Necklace: Gabes / Shoes: Miz Mooz / Bracelets: Vintage, F21, AE

As I sit here trying to think of something witty to type about the sparkling ensemble I wore for no special reason { EBEW got me in the mood }, Slurpee is hiccuping at my feet while begging for my long gone sweet potato, of which she ate half.  Nothing like a Hound with a penchant for beta carotene and a myoclonic twitch to bring you back to the real world, where need for such fanciful outfits is minimal at best. {Though I do keep hoping the Husband will remember one more party he forgot to tell me about..

Not that lack of need has every stopped me from parading around in sparkles and velvet before. I've been planning this outfit for quite awhile, actually. Since Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince premiered, in fact. Don't judge. Remember the scene where Harry stands up at a dinner party when Ginny enters late? Well, friends, even before I delighted at Harry's awkwardly gentleman gesture for his taken crush, I noticed Ginny's outfit. Her sparkly blue and black outfit, to be precise. 

Fast forward a few years and I've acquired a similar top and skirt. Fast forward to last week, when I saw the plethora of sparkly black and blue on the Louis Vuitton Fall 2011 RTW runway { photos 50-51, specifically }, and I knew the time had come. Yes, it was a combination of Harry Potter and Louis Vuitton that brought me here. 

Suddenly, a hiccuping Hound who has found her way into my lap makes perfect sense.  

P.S. Sorry for the flashy flash. Our camera is quite old and with the teensy screen, it's difficult to tell if the level is okay. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sparkling Soirée

Skirt & Top: J Crew final sale / Jacket: Gap final sale / Shoes: Ross / Belt & Express Purse: Gabes / Earrings: AE / Necklace: Grandmother's / Bracelets: F21, Gabes, J Crew Factory

I just love it when J. Crew has one of their "take an extra 40% off final sale items" sales. Christmas came early for me with this top and skirt. I got them a few weeks back, but right now they're having an extra 20% off final sale.

Thank heavens for Everybody, Everywear, which provided me at least one opportunity to get festive for the holidays. Festive, in my mind, clearly involves sparkle. Classy sparkle, that is. I've a grand total of 3 ugly sweater parties to attend this year.  I briefly considered protesting by throwing my own sparkling soirée { have you seen Ruche's holiday lookbook? It's to die for...} But then I remembered that I don't have time because I'm too busy attending ugly sweater parties.

I was invited to one last year and just didn't participate. I have a difficult time purchasing something I don't anticipate wearing again, even if it is inexpensive, and I didn't realize this was a trend.  So this year I searched high and low till I found a vintage dog sweater and plaid skirt, which I intend to wear to every ugly sweater party from now to the end of eternity.

I planned to have a photo for you here, but an Episode of the Missing Hound ensued this evening and all havoc broke loose. { Thank you, Mr. North Wind, for breaking down our door...} After scouring the hills behind the house, we found her deep beneath the neighbor's brush, happily sniffing out rabbits. Completely ruined my plans, she did, so now I'm grading rather than decorating for Christmas and dressing up the Husband in his ugly sweater. He was a big hit at our first party. But no worries. Our next party is Thursday.

Puissent vos vacances de Noël scintillent de la joie!*

Sequins + Sparkles | Everybody, Everywhere 

P.S. Sorry for the ridiculously inordinate number of photos. Husband should become a photographer, should he not? He makes it difficult to choose.
*Puissent vos vacances de Noël scintillent de la joie! = May your Christmas holidays sparkle with joy!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Edelweiss on the Coast

 Dress: Edelweiss by Sarah Give-Away Win / Shoes: Asos / Earrings: 1928 / Bracelet & Necklace: J Crew / Purse: Nine West

Above, I present my real-live window shopping style board, brought to fruition courtesy of my Edelweiss by Sarah win. That's right- I said win. Though I'm pretty sure this was the climax of my streak, after winning a necklace and Bunco 7 times in the past year { yes, I won again last month... I'm not sure how this is happening nor why they still invite me. Probably because I woo them with  fancy foods.}

And below, mesdames et messieurs, you have my extravagant take.  Minus the $22,000 earrings from Barney's, of course. I'm not that lucky.

  Dress: Edelweiss by Sarah win / Shoes: Chinese Laundry / Necklace & Bracelet: J Crew / Earrings: Vintage / Clutch: Gabes (Michael Kors)

True to my word, and using my superior coupon-code / sale monitoring / free-shipping mongering skills, I purchased the shoes, earrings, and purse that I used for my window shopping board. { I didn't have to buy a dress now, after all...or so I rationalized.}

Then I found these darn coral shoes. Nothing close to the  Louboutins, that's for sure --ha! like I would know-- but I still couldn't resist. In the end, I went for extravagance at my class reunion.

Can I tell you how supremely elegant I feel every time I wear this dress? No, I cannot. Call it lethologica, but I think there are no words. Not even French ones.

P.S. Thank you Sarah for the absolutely BRILLIANT silk Luther! I still can't believe you picked my style board, but I'm oh so glad that you did!

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Dress: Consigned at Periwinkle (Trinity) / Top: Gap / Pants: Macys (Union Bay) / Belt: J Crew Outlet / Booties: Blowfish / Jewelry: F21

This was our very first Thanksgiving all by ourselves. The Husband was on call, so we couldn't go anywhere. I very briefly considered taking it easy since I spent the first part of the week out East for my cousin's wedding. I'm oh so glad I didn't. We've been relishing leftovers for days. This meal will keep on giving for almost a week :)

My little feast surprised me. Many thanks to Jennie-O for an easy peasy turkey with a pop-up timer, All-Recipes for a delicious seasoning blend and whole-wheat rolls, Safeway for whole wheat stuffing mix on clearance, Meta Given for a silky smooth pumpkin pie recipe, and my grandma for teaching me how to make crust {though mine is never as pretty as hers was.} Thanks to my favorite little consignment shop for my perfectly modern Pilgrim of an outfit for $13, to my Slurpee Hound for her warm snuggles on cold nights {and for putting up with my sweater-gifts}, and to my Scott for cutting wood, keeping our stove toasty warm, and consenting to a weekend of chick-flicks with me.  But most of all, thank-you to my kind and gracious Father in Heaven, for providing me with so many lovelies for which to be thankful.

P.S. The Husband wore his fuzzies all day. In honor of the feast, of course. So no family picture. But we did get a good one of the Hound, all festive in her new holiday sweater whilst watching for scraps. She's a hawk when poultry's afoot.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Magenta Leopards

  Dress: Target ($10!) / Tights: Kohl's / Cardi: Maurices / Shoes: Ross / Belt: Nordstrom Rack / Jewelry: Gabes (Monet) / Scarf: DownEast (LOFT)

Confession:  I went through a phase where I thought I was obsessed with leopard print. Because MTV was still cool {barely}, and so was decking yourself out with matching velvety leopard pajamas, robe, and slippers while roaming the dormitory at night. My little Ford Tempo was also bedazzled with cherries, at the time, mind you. It was the early 2000s. I'm calling it 90s after-shock.

It lasted a bit, then I realized I was walking around in head to toe leopard and driving a car that screamed 70s wild-child wannabe.  A few days later I relinquished yet another attempt to define my personal style, and all things leopard and cherry were cleansed from my life.

These days I've upgraded to a Dodge Caliber, decorated with dog covers, and flannel pjs. Sometimes I sleep in tonal striped satin. Because I'm classy now. I also keep my cherries for food and my leopard a bit more subtle. In case you were wondering, the leopard on this dress is subtle in that it's black and white. Black and white leopards don't exist, people. Right?

You may be led to believe I'm wearing this to honor the current animal prints trend for EBEW, but this month we're honoring colored tights instead. I've always loved colored tights.  I had a hard time choosing between red, gold, and magenta. La vie, c'est difficile, eh*? But then again, anything goes with faux leopard, no?

Everybody, Everywear: Colored Tights 

P.S. In case you missed all that snow up there, it got cold here. No worries. Husband and Hound are nice and toasty.

They melt my heart. 

*La vie, c'est difficile, eh? = Life is difficult, eh?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pièce de Résistance

Scottish Skirt  & Silk Blouse: Consigned at Periwinkle / Shoes: Gabes / Socks: Ross / Belt & Pearls: J Crew Final Sale
I've finally found it. My teacher's pièce de résistance*. It only took 2.5 years of teaching, and voilà, there it was. Like magic, a tartan skirt and the perfect silk blouse both appeared simultaneously in my favorite local consignment shop. For a very reasonable price. $10 for a new, hand-made skirt from Scotland? Yes, please!

Finally, gone are the days when I'm asked for my hall pass during prep or upon entering the office.  Gone are the days when students ignore me because they think I'm one of them. With this baby, I'm a real teacher now. And I managed to achieve this all whilst avoiding the proverbial calf-length denim jumper with pompons and bright buttons sewn into my cardigan. 

I'm celebrating with my current it-snack of blueberries with shavings of Dubliner cheese. Grown up me is a party animal.

*pièce de résistance: masterpiece, highlight

Monday, October 31, 2011

Thrifted Halloween

Skirt: Consigned / Sweater: Goody's / Tights: TJ Maxx / Necklace: Grandma's / Shoes: Maurices

The Thrifting Fairies have gifted me with multiple decade costumes, which are seldom appropriate throughout the year. Thank goodness for Halloween.

This year I was Cinderella for a Halloween themed Bunco party.  For Trunk-or-Treat and school, I went as a 20s flapper, courtesy of the DI and my mother-in-law with eyes like a hawk, who spotted this fab frock for only $9...

For chaperoning the school Halloween dance, I went in my bona-fide 60s dress, courtesy of the Lincoln City Goodwill for $9.50 {dress & glasses}...

By the time for actual Trick-or-Treating with friends who have children to use for an excuse, I was tired of dressing up, so I went for some basic orange and black. Velvet skirt courtesy of Avant Garb, a consignment shop in Ashland. And yes, that's a matchy-matchy pumpkin prop you see in those photos up top. I thought it could use a little adventure away from the credenza.

My plan is to get really fat in the New Year, so I figured I'd better use these puppies now while they still fit.  Three costumes in one year may be my max, but it's certainly not my best. Last year I was a flower. The Husband was a bee. Pun intended.

We've also been legos, an accident victim and her lawyer with "Just Sue It" cards, swing-dancing Goths, and the random duo of Betty Rubble and The King.

We kinda like Halloween. Too bad all my photos of Halloween pasts are locked away on my hard-drive. The Husband thinks he may have to drill a hole into the tower to get it out.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Dress & Bracelet: Vintage / Shoes: ? Possibly Wal Mart. My lost glass slippers were from Shoe Show if that helps / Clutch & Earrings: Gabes (Michael Kors &1928) / Necklace: Grandmother's

I'm in a Bunco group. It's not therapy; it's an old lady game, people. And it's fun. This month we got to dress up, and I finally, after many long years of princess envy, went as Cinderella.

I may or may not have been planning this since I first saw Cindy on screen back in the late 80s. I may or may not have photos of me sneaking into the children's size large Cinderella costume while closing the princess room at the Emporium in Disney's Magic Kingdom. {Too bad for you that I've yet to retrieve the hard drive from my old computer. I've no clue how to get a screwdriver into the tiny corners where those blimey screws are located...}

I may have decorated the walls of my Florida apartment with posters, signed photos, and picture frames depicting said princess. It's even possible that I carried a Cinderella-themed bag back when I worked for the Mouse.

I may also have had imitation pantoufles de verre*... I even lost one of them. OK, so actually, I lost both. Hence the silver sandals instead of clear slippers. But, most importantly, I definitely thrifted the best 50s interpretation of Cinderella I've ever seen. Veritable vintage and princess, all in one package.

I may have just died and gone to heaven.

Or lost some follows, now that you all know how weirdly obsessed I am...Meanwhile, I'm going to bask in my ultimate princess-ness and enjoy my blissful moment of happily ever after.

P.S. My job is still making me tread water. One of my classes has reached 50! Fifty high schoolers. In one room. I think I'd prefer the wicked step-family and obnoxious cat. On the bright side, I've been traveling every weekend {the coast, Portland, the Gorge, Bend, Jackson, etc.} and documenting fun outfits all the way. Which means I've a TON of outfits to post when you count the 30x30 and summer I still need to finish. So hopefully, one day, I'll post them. Maybe this winter they'll be a marvelous reminder of the lovely weather to come.

Meet Virginia Design

Cendrillon = Cinderella { of course...} / pantoufles de verre = glass slippers

A few months later...

Now that my hard-drive has been retrieved, I just had to share. Below are my beloved Cinderella photos from my time working at Disney.

 Clockwise from top left:  Hanging with Cindy on my birthday, the Share a Dream Come True parade, trying on the children's Cinderella costume in the Emporium (I was too afraid of my managers catching me to come out of the dressing room), and her iconic glass slipper on display.

Now if I could just get some friendly birds and mice to help me clean and mend my clothes, my life would be complete...
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