Monday, October 31, 2011

Mummy Concert (Avett Brothers) and Triple-Strap Tank Outfit

Video of the Avett Brothers dressed as mummies during last year's Halloween Eve show at the Ryman Auditorium. Unbelievably, they stayed in costume throughout the show! The entire auditorium stood up, danced and shout sang during the whole concert. This is one of the most memorable concerts I've ever been to. They sold out two nights in a row at the Ryman last year, so this year they played at the Bridgestone Arena and . . .

Yes, I drug my crippled self out to see the Avett Brothers. We had floor tickets (standing) right in front of the stage, but had to trade them in for handicapped seats in the upper deck as I couldn't have stood for the whole concert. It was sad looking down at the crowd dancing around and having fun up front. My husband made me go in a wheelchair, so that was an extra bonus!!!!!

If you haven't heard of the Avett Brothers, check them out. We go to a LOT of concerts and I would have to rank their concerts up in the top three of my all time favorite live shows. There is NON-STOP energy, and they just really seem to enjoy what they do. As far as the genre goes, they are hard to classify; It's a mixture of country, bluegrass, rock, folk and punk all rolled into one.

"I and Love and You" is one of my favorite slow songs by this group. When I first heard it, I played it over and over again and sang along at the top of my lungs. I can't sing, and I am not a country fan. (I do like folk music), but I just LOVE this group.

Listen here to "I and Love and You" (album version):

"Kick Drum Heart"
High Energy! Love this song.

On to the Outfit of the Day . . . Triple Strap Tank

First of all, I can't take a good photo to save my life. The lighting isn't very good in my closet or in my bathroom and if I turn on the flash, it looks terrible in the mirror. Most of the photos look like I have a major lint problem  . . . but I don't. Ha, ha. I'm thinking I'm just not cut out to be a blogger. :) 

Triple-Strap Tank
Here's another one of the items I purchased from the 50% off sale room. There wasn't an extra small so I picked up a small and hoped for the best. The extra small probably would have worked better, but at the price I paid, I'm happy with the flowy look of this shirt. it looks great with or without a shirt layered underneath. I paired it with last year's Pure and Good Slub Tee and All Along Knit Jacket.

I wore this outfit with black cords to work and then with jeans to the concert this weekend. 

I have a foot update for another post. I had to go back for another MRI and let's just say I'll be out of commission for a LONG while.

Monday, October 24, 2011

My Closet: Jewelry Organization Part 2 - New System

My New Jewelry Organization System.

Here is my new and improved solution for organizing all my jewelry in one place: The Over the Door Jewelry Organizer by Longstem Productions. You can buy it from the Longstem site, but the best deal I found was from Brylane Home. Both sites list the organizer for $59.99, but you can use a coupon code to get a decent discount from Brylane. I scored a coupon code for 25% off and free shipping as well, I think. (I'm one of those crazy people that will spend 30 minutes scouring all the coupon sites for the best deal.) Here's my favorite site for coupon codes -- RetailMeNot. Right now you can get a coupon for free shipping, or a coupon for 25% off at Brylane. Be sure to check out the Longstem site. It is very detailed and has many more different options for you to buy. Brylane Home only offers the large organizer shown below.

I purchased the large version in white, but it also comes in a bronze finish. It can be hung over the door or mounted on the wall. The Longstem site offers several other options including a men's version with belt hooks, and a corner organizer. There's a mini organizer and several small wall mountable versions in butterfly, star and heart shapes too. The site claims the larger organizer can hold over 300 pieces, and I believe it.  My organizer is a little more "stuffed" than the product photo above. :)  

Here are some examples of how other people are using the organizer to display jewelry:

The photos below are of my organizer. I told you my mother had a lot of jewelry -- most of it was hers. :'(

My nicer jewelry is kept in a jewelry box on my dresser, but everything else is held here. Even though this seems jumbled, it is actually easy to get to each piece. I try to keep it somewhat grouped by color so it is easier to reach for coordinating pieces when I am getting ready. That's what I disliked about having the jewelry scattered in different places -- I couldn't actually see all of it at once, so I would forget about some pieces. (See previous post.) The only feature I dislike is the earring section. It's easy to hang earrings on the bottom row, but a little more effort is needed higher up. At first I thought that would really bug me as I have a lazy streak when it comes to menial tasks. However, for me, it is worth the extra effort to hang them as I can get ready a lot faster in the morning, and once again, it is nice to be able to see everything at a glance when putting together outfits. This wasn't cheap, but was SO worth it. I've already asked my Dad if he will get me one of the smaller versions for Christmas. I would like to mount it on the wall and hang my frequently worn pieces there in an effort to keep it all more eye pleasing. Plus, I think I'm nearing capacity. Ha, ha.

Full view of my over the door jewelry organizer.

At the top there are hooks for holding bracelets and rings. At the very top in the back there are hooks for holding shorter necklaces behind the bracelet hooks.

Here's a close-up of the top and middle section.  You can see the necklaces peeking behind the bracelets. Below this section is a spot for keeping other things. I use it for large bracelets. The tin holds my extra earring backs.

Here's a close-up of the earring section. You put your hand underneath to hook earrings in place with a back. I like placing them here by colors so I can better see what I have and how the earrings coordinate with my necklaces and bracelets at a glance.

Below are just more photos of how I organized the jewelry on the bottom section. As you can see, I tried to keep them together by color groups. 

Here's the two side views. I use the sides to hang extra long pieces of fragile jewelry that I don't want my cats to use as cat toys.

 I love having access to my clothes, shoes and accessories all in one place! I have a full length mirror by the jewelry organizer so I can check everything out without having to leave the closet. :D I have a couple of odd sized necklaces hanging on this coat rack. I kept the Bed Bath and Beyond hanger organizer to keep those same delicate pieces. I never or rarely wear that jewelry and they are mostly pieces from my mother and grandmother. However, they are right there with everything else when I need them.

That wraps up the jewelry portion of my closet makeover. I did want to add that most of the costume jewelry pieces are Liz Claiborne and Napier. Some of my favorite pieces are thrift store finds from my college days, Anthropologie (surprise) and Target. I love Target jewelry as it is cute and affordable. Many of the Target earrings are similar to nicer pieces and you can't tell a difference in quality while they are dangling from your ears. :) I wear the gray chrome lasso loop necklace ALL the time. It is probably my favorite go to necklace for concert wear. (On the far right of the last organizer photo above.)

Feel free to share any cool tips in the comments.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

My Closet: Jewelry Organization Part 1 - Old Set Up

I've always enjoyed seeing how other people organize their closets. This summer I reorganized my walk in closet to accomodate a small dressing table, my makeup, and my ever growing jewelry collection. More on that in my next post! For now, here's my . . .

Jewelry Organization - Old Set Up

When my mother passed away recently, my father gave me her jewelry collection. It turns out she had quite a lot of costume jewelry! At this point, I had a very small collection of jewelry, so I was able to easily organize it in a top drawer of my dresser in one of the drawer organizers you can get from Bed Bath and Beyond. I attempted to add some of my favorite pieces from my mother's jewelry, but that necessitated buying another organizer to put in the other top drawer. The rest of her jewelry I crammed in a three drawer organizer by color. Well, this worked for awhile, but then it started driving me crazy because I wanted to be able to see all of it more easily. Also, it turns out there was even more jewelry from my mother and that needed to be organized as well. Below are some photos of the old set up. Dear readers, you are in luck as I took photos for a friend last year. Otherwise, this extremely unique, never been done before organization system would have been lost FOREVER! (I'm kidding. Well, not about the lost forever part.) Beware: More crappy iPhone photos below. Look at your own risk! 

First Drawer: Earrings and a few delicate necklaces

2nd Drawer: Necklaces and bracelets

In the closet: 2nd shelf from the bottom.
This shelf contained my favorite longer necklaces, frequently worn belts, and in the white organizer: necklaces and pins that I don't wear as often. The long necklaces were hanging from a rotating tie rack I got at Bed Bath and Beyond, and the basket contained my favorite tights. (I've had that bear since I was a little girl.)

The Bottom Shelf: Jewelry overflow 

View of an opened drawer. I attempted to arrange them by color groups. (Exciting, I know!)

Well, I'm off to bed. I have to go back to work tomorrow after a week off -- blech! The good news is that I was able to walk in my stabilizer boot today without crutches for the first time in two weeks -- F R E E D O M!!!! It feels so wonderful to be mobile again.

Stay tuned tomorrow for my new and improved jewelry organization system. I LOVE it. Well, really, I love my whole closet -- although it could be bigger . . . .

Friday, October 21, 2011

What time is it? Apparently, it's ME Time at Anthro

Time for a birthday discount. 
I LOVE having a fall birthday as this is my favorite clothing season.

Time for me to formulate my list.
I'll share some of my wishes below. Hint: There's a lot of black and gray. Surprise!

Time to earn some more tutoring money. 
This is the running joke between my husband and I. I tutor once a week after work, so whenever I want to buy something out of the budget range (cough), or something extravagant, I just say, "I'll use my tutoring money." It's amazing how far I can make that whopping $25 a week stretch. Ha, ha. Of course, now I have the added bonus of throwing in my birthday discount for leverage and I'll be sure to use the sympathy card -- something along the lines of poor pitiful me, I can't do anything fun for at about 5 or 6 more weeks, at least I can look nice. :D

Must Haves
I know I'll love these. I looked for this shirt at my store this weekend, but didn't see it. These items are must haves for me (I just pictured my husband rolling his eyes at that phrase.) and I hope they fit! I've got plenty of work clothes, but am lighter on casual clothes and what I term "going out" clothes for going to music concerts and out with friends. I've been trying to fill this void one sale at a time. :)

Arched Pleats Pullover
I love to layer, and hey, it's gray!

Catalan Tee
This is my favorite of all -- another reason to be thrilled to have a birthday discount right now.

Wish List
These fall under wish list status. Since my birthday is in November, I may be able to count some of this as birthday/Christmas presents. :) My dad always gets me something from my Anthro wishlist every year as well.

AG Snake Leggings
At top of the list are these leggings. I am so hoping they make it to sale in my size as I can't justify these even with a birthday discount. I love AG jeans and leggings. These are just too, too cool.

Looking Forward Top
What can I say? It's gray and flowy. Check.

Glinting Persica Sweater Dress
I've seen many ladies looking lovely in this dress but I just didn't get the appeal until I saw it in the store this weekend. The product photo does not do it justice. 

If I had money to throw away. . .
and it went on sale, and it made it to a 3rd cut in my size, or someone crazy bought it for me, I might just get this if it fit. I saw the ivory color in the store and I loved it, except for the color. Ivory is the absolute worst color on me. 

Veiled Alder Dress in black

I'm also very interested in the Slung Slash Tee in black, the Liasis Cardigan, the Dusk Peony Blouse and the Dulcie Dress in black. I'm just too lazy to add those pictures to the list. Again, I have the greatest respect for bloggers that do product reviews and posts such as these several times a week. You deserve any bit of money you make off your blog. In fact, I hope I've earned you some along the way this past year. :) Posts such as these are so time consuming, or am I missing some trick? I enjoy looking at what other people pick out, and I LOVE review posts with photos so I wanted to try it out. I enjoy writing and sharing, but can't imagine being able to keep up with this daily once I go back to work next week. At least not these type of posts. Thoughts? Tips? Is it worth it?

So Back to the Discount . . .

Of course who knows what I'll get when I go to the store to use my discount. I always get a little high off that candle/incense/drug smell that wafts throughout the store.

It makes my eyes red and clouds my judgment. Shame on you, Anthropologie for your mind-altering, judgment-clouding tactics! 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

OY! (Outfit of Yesterday) Deciduous Pullover in Reverse

The Deciduous Pullover 

The Deciduous Pullover is one of my 50% off sale room purchases from this weekend. I have to admit I would not have paid full price for this as the tie in the back is a little fussy and requires too much thought, but I do like how it fits and I'm a sucker for gray tops. 

I have this on backwards. I didn't take a photo of the correct view (V in front) as this would have necessitated untying and then retying the ribbon in back and I was hungry. It is also a nice look, but I love the cowl neck version more.

When I first put it on, I was having trouble tying the ribbon (I should have NEVER untied it without looking at it first.) so I pulled it around and then noticed the lovely cowl neck draping in the front. I much prefer it this way. 

Immutable Jacket

The V neck in the back is a bit low, but no lower than the actual cowl neck was in the back. As I've said before, I almost always wear a cami under shirts, so a bit of the cami peeks out in the back, but I like this look. The ribbon ties the same no matter which way you wear it, so I figure I'll get two looks out of this shirt. The V neck in front is a more casual look whereas the cowl neck in front dresses it up and lends it more to a going out look. I could also see the cowl neck version tucked into a skirt with a jacket or sweater for work or church.

The ribbon was wrinkled when I got it, but it only took a couple of minutes to steam it out. (I love my steamer.) You can adjust the length of the cowl in front by how you tie the ribbon in the back. I gave up on tying it artfully to the side as in the product image. It looks fine tied in a ribbon in the center of the back. Oh, I should also mention that I carefully cut out the tags in "the back."

So, either this IS a great look or I am once again stuck in Stage 4 (Justification/Rationalization) of the 7 Stages of Post Online Shopping Disorientation Disorder. What do you think? ha, ha.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

7 Stages of Anthro Shopper Mind Control Disorder

The Ugly Duckling Effect: 
Anthropologie Mind Control In Its Most Insidious Form

I purchased these necklaces at separate times, months apart, but they have something in common -- when I first received them, I HATED them, my husband REALLY hated them and even my cat looked at them with clear disdain. I thought they were cheap looking and of very poor quality, and they weren't even worth the sale price, and . . . (fill in the blanks with further ranting).

Saga Necklace
Providence Necklace
Well, I'm laughing now, because even though I still think they are cheap looking and not even worth the sale price, and my cat thinks they would make a better cat toy than a necklace, I've been brainwashed I wear them all the time and have gotten more compliments on these necklaces than any other necklace I've worn.
"Ack! What ARE you wearing?"
(Even my cat hates it.)
So the moral here is, before taking an item back in a huff, follow the 7 Stages of Post Online Shopping Disorientation Disorder. (See also Anthro Shopper Mind Control Disorder):

Drapey Bubbled Tee,
Saga Necklace
AT Outlet pants
Providence Necklace,
Target top,
AG Stevies
  1. Rejection. Give it some time. (Leave it in the package at the top of your closet and forget about it.)
  2. Rediscovery. (Oops. I thought I already returned that.)
  3. Dependency. Try it on again. (You have no control over this action.) Stage 3 is one of the longest phases of this disorder. Your feelings towards the ITEM will vacillate between NO, yes, no, maybe, NO, yes, m-a-y-b-e as you try it on, and put it back in the package in a cyclical manner that is OUT OF YOUR CONTROL. (You may experience feelings of helplessness and guilt during this stage.)
  4. Justification/Rationalization: Remember it when you put together an outfit that needs "something more" to lift it out of boringnessness. (Examples: You NEED this. So MANY things will go with it. You bought it ON SALE.)
  5. Critical Mass. Put it on and go, "Wow Hmm, This IS kind of nice." Think about it some more. (It's Anthropologie after all, ergo it HAS to be  pretty and of the highest quality! (PUT IT ON, keep it . . . .)
  6. Point of No Return. (Get it? No return. har, har) Show it to your significant other/cat/dog all styled up. (The first few times he will still hate it, but then it will gradually grow on him and he will hate it less.)
  7. This leads to the final stage -- Acceptance, and the slow dawning realization that your Ugly Duckling item has INDEED become a Swan! In fact, it was a SWAN all ALONG! (Or your standards have lowered, and you, AND your friends/family have no taste.)
Note: If you never make it past stage 2, or are easily able to overcome initial stage 3 tendencies, it is time to send it back -- it is truly ugly and/or doesn't fit.

So, imaginary readers, has this ever happened to you? Have you ever tossed an online purchase to one side, while saying to yourself, "That's Going Back!" only to find that you end up loving it after all?

Attention to Detail Dress, Looping Lanes Belt