Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More DIY Pearl Necklaces :)

My mother-in-law really liked the Twisted Pearl Necklace (tutorial posted here too) I made in this posting, so I decided to make her a variation of it for her Christmas gift (shhh!).  You can essentially use the same tutorial but instead of twisting it, just tie a knot in the middle and voila!  Super easy!

 And a close-up:

I've been on quite the pearl kick for the last few months but I just can't get enough!  I love the femininity of them and how they go with almost every single thing.  This one is a triple strand in dove gray.  It has larger pearls in the middle and smaller ones on the sides to add focus to the center.

For the closure, I wanted to echo the theme of threes and did 3 chains connected with a clasp.

And part 3 of my pearl craziness is a mix of pearls with chains.  I think I just really like the interplay of something delicate with the toughness of chains.  This one I made super long to be more dramatic but it is adjustable in the back to make it shorter.

And the requisite close-up :)

It's pretty obvious from this posting that I've got pearls on the brain lately LOL!  What's on your mind lately?  Anything on your wish lists?

Monday, November 29, 2010

To Sew a Boucle Skirt + OOTD

Just a quickie sewing project + OOTD posting :)

Top: Banana Republic Black Button Down, XS (old)
Skirt: DIY
Belt: The Limited Flower Chain Belt (out of stock online, but you may still find it in the store)
Black Peeptoes: Blowfish Festival Wedges, DSW

Amongst the garment sewing world, skirts are generally one of the easier types to sew yourself.  Pencil skirts, for whatever reason, are difficult for me to get right the first time around.  Usually it's the tush's fault - the skirt is either too narrow or too wide there so I keep going back in with a seam ripper.  Or the bottom is too wide so that it's less of a pencil and more of a triangle.  I think it ultimately comes down to practice and knowing my own measurements.  Hmm, looks like I rambled a bit here...sorry!

I am pretty happy with the way this particular skirt came out and I do really like the texture / pattern.  I also made a lace print version and a plaid wool version that I'll post OOTDs with later.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Wallet Damage - Black Friday Edition

Hope everyone had a wonderful Turkey Day!  Though we didn't have the typical turkey dinner, I was stuffed to the gills with hot pot :)

I visited the outlet mall on Thanksgiving Eve and then I did all the rest of my shopping online.  I contemplated going to the outlet (different one) @ 3 am for Black Friday (in my head this meant I could get deals without being super jam-packed) but then it started to snow.  I avoid driving in snow if I can so this meant no in-store shopping.  Despite this, I still managed to do quite a bit of damage to the wallet but also finish my Christmas shopping.

J. Crew Factory Store (on Thanksgiving Eve): (sorry for the elongated photos, I think I accidentally did "free resize" instead of the one where you maintain proportions.)

  • Long Knit Holland Blazer, Grey, Sz 2 (smallest size available - it's a tiny bit big in the chest and waist but still has a slim silhouette) $28
  • Shawl Cardigan, Navy Blue, XS, $31.50

Ann Taylor (online):

Sephora (online):  Not technically on super sale, but I had a gift card to use up.

  •  SEPHORA COLLECTION/Colorful Mono Eyeshadow/Creme Caramel 11
  •  SEPHORA COLLECTION/Coconut Cream Bath Collection/5 oz Coconut Cream Dry Oil Spray - I LOVE this!  It's a perfect body moisturizer for lazy people (me) bc you just spray and briefly rub.
  •  Urban Decay/Eyeshadow Primer Potion/0.34 oz Original
  •  Illamasqua/Eye Brow Cake/Vehement

The Limited (online):

Kohl's (online):


  • Mad Men Season 3, $9.99 @ Amazon
  • Glee Season 1, $19.99 @ Amazon
  • Godiva - Top Chef Just Desserts Box, Caramel Pecan Brownies

Gifts for DS:

  • 3 shirts from Ralph Lauren, (take extra 25% off, take 10% on top of this with BZR29361, free shipping on any purchase)
  • Adventure Play Tent
  • Step 2 Wagon
  • Toddler Sleepsack
  • 4 Footy pajamas
Gifts for DH:
  • 5 pairs of ties (J. Crew & Van Heusen)
  • CK Olive Messenger Bag for iPad

Phew!  I also bought some additional Gucci shoes from DSW when they restocked online yesterday morning but I'll save that for a separate post.  What kind of wallet damage did you do?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Gucci Shoes Mini Haul & Review

DSW is having a crazy sale on Gucci shoes.  Many retail @ $400+ but are now selling for $99.  I mean seriously, how is a girl supposed to resist?!?  You can also use the following codes to bring your price down farther:

  • boots = 30% off one item (not a clearance item)
  • 922 = extra 500 rewards points
  • shipr = free shipping

So between my mom and I, we bought 4 pairs to try at home.  I got the wedges in magenta and lavender while she got slides in red and black patent.

The wedges run TTS with just a tiny bit of extra space in the heel and are surprisingly comfy.
I think this color is very pretty but I'm not entirely sure what to wear it with.

I love this magenta!  It is much more muted in color than I expected.

The cute seal in the back of the wedges.

And um, being curious, I also tried on mom's slides (shhh) LOL.

I liked the red color but the slides weren't as comfy as the wedges.

I'm about 99% sure that I'm going to keep both pairs of wedges.  I love the colors, comfort, and good price - what do you all think?  Keep both or return the lavender ones since I don't know what to wear with them?

Monday, November 22, 2010

7 Confessions and Equestrian-Inspired OOTD

Petite XXS tagged me in her Seven Confessions posting and of course I have to oblige :)

1.  I HEART karaoke...in the privacy of my own home LOL.  I have all of the Karaoke Revolution games from PS2 to Wii (with the exception of country music ones) and really enjoy belting it out on random nights.

2.  I only started sewing/crafting when I went on maternity leave last year.  I took a year off (without pay of course) and needed to be more mindful of finances.  As you know, I am a shopper at heart but since I couldn't really do that, I took to making my own versions.

3.  I was born in Hong Kong but moved to Indiana as an infant.  I speak Cantonese and a little Mandarin.  I took 2 years of Chinese in college but have since forgotten almost all of it.

4.  I am OBSESSED with food.  Hubby and I travel specifically to eat at certain restaurants.  We had a ball on our honeymoon cruise and gained 10 lbs in 1 week.

5.  Our son is 18 months old and he is the center of our world.  My mom graciously moved in to help take care of him and has been a godsend.  This pic is from last year but I thought I'd post it since we're getting close to the holidays.

6.  I'm a deal hunter by nature but splurge on handbags and other accessories.  tPF has proved to be a dangerous place for me as I was introduced to great brands like Balenciaga and Rebecca Minkoff there as well as learning more about brands I was already aware of.

7.  I still love kiddie movies like The Incredibles, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and Up.  I may say that I'm watching them because of my son but it's not true :P

I hope I'm not repeat tagging anyone but I'd love to see confessions from:
And finally an equestrian inspired OOTD:

Blazer: Banana Republic, Sz 2
Top: LOFT Bow Front Button Down, XS
(These are the pants I purchased via the Gap Give and Get sale.  They run big AND stretch throughout the day so I recommend sizing down.  Otherwise I love having skinny khakis.)
Boots: Born
Bag: Burberry

Saturday, November 20, 2010

LOFT $75 Outerwear Sale Reviews

LOFT had a one-day $75 outerwear sale a few weeks ago posted by PAG here and I missed out.  At the time, I marveled at my shopping resistance only to regret it a few days later LOL.

So when I got the email about another $75 outerwear sale (this time for 3 days) I had to go check it out.

First, my shopping OOTD.  This was my attempt to roll in some menswear with feminine details a la Stylepint.  I should have taken a photo straight on without the jacket, but essentially it's a blue button down shirt with DIY twisted pearls from this post plus khakis and fuchsia floral print flats.  I even curled my hair a little to amp up the feminine to masculine contrast.

Top: Martin & Osa, XS (I miss this store)               Coat: LOFT Twill Officer Coat, 0, orig. $188
Khakis: Ann Taylor, 2
Floral Flats:  Anne Klein IFlex

The first coat I tried was the Twill Officer Coat in Navy.  I really loved the brass buttons and chain detailing on this coat.  I also thought it looked cute unbuttoned.

Buttoned up, it's a little loose and boxy but this is pretty typical of most winter coats I've had.  The sleeve length is a tad long but not horrible.  I wish they had a 0P or 00 in this but the smallest available was 0.
Verdict: Buy and ponder at home
What do you think - keep or return?

I also tried the Military Melton Coat in the 0 (smallest size available) and found that it was too big.  The sleeves came down to my fingertips and the coat itself was loose all over.  Such a shame because it is a beautiful color.  This was also reviewed by Soo, a guest blogger on Petite Little Girl.
Verdict: No

This next coat was not a part of the sale, but I saw it on PAG's site and wanted to try it on.
This fit pretty well!  I love the faux fur collar and cinched in waist but somehow I don't think I can pull off this look :(  Since the 0P fit me well, I'm guessing most of you petite bloggers would fit well in a 00P.

And finally, the Old Navy coat I was wearing today (reviewed here) and my favorite go-to bag in the world - Pochette Bosphore which I first saw on Ashley Tisdale here.  It is the perfect size for essentials and keeps you hands free to hold the little one.  Another plus is the low ratio of vachetta so you can be more worry-free about stains and discolorations.  The strap is also super comfy and adjustable for the perfect length.  This is from the men's collection but the comparable monogram messenger bag from the women's collection was the Odeon and I didn't want to baby a vachetta strap.

What is your go-to bag?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Animal Print + Mauve OOTD

I need your fashion advice again (I'm learning, I swear!).  I generally prefer to belt cardigans but sometimes a cardigan doesn't seem to want to do this well.  Case in point, the cardigan below is a tiny bit too big and looks bunchy when belted.  To add shape to a flowy top, I tried to belt the top which looked OK but not great and then the cardigan over the top but that led to bunching.  Which way would you do?  Thank you to all you lovely fashionistas :)

Charcoal Belt: F21 (old)
Necklace: DIY Pearl Dangle

I really love the print on this LOFT top and I like the general flowiness too.  For the cardigan, I really like the mauve color and the bead detailing but it does run large.  I've been used to wearing XS from ON since petite sizing is relatively new, but it seems now that XSP is available, XS is getting bigger.

And the Etsy store is now open though a bit sparse on inventory.  I currently have 3 necklaces listed and wanted to offer free shipping to all public blog followers if you should happen to be interested :)  Just drop me a note!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

2 DIY Skirt Projects - Lace and Nautical

My most recent sewing projects revolved around skirts.  First up is a cream colored lace - a fabric I fell in love with at Joann's.  I put together an outfit that looked good in the mirror (I swear LOL) but looks a little off in the photo.  I think next time I'll need to tuck my top into the skirt to play with proportions.  Which do you trust?  Mirror or photo?

Top: BR Slip Dress (old), Sz 0
Cardigan: LOFT, XSP (old)
Necklace: F21 Two Tier Pearlescent Necklace, $10.80, I LOVE this!
Skirt: Lace DIY
Black Peeptoes: Blowfish Festival Wedges, DSW (comfy to stand in but not great for walking a lot bc of heel slippage)

Next up is the nautically inspired Kasia skirt:
Top: H&M Sheer Bow Blouse (old), Sz 2
Please ignore the tights and shoes - I know they don't go with the outfit, but I just wanted to show you skirt :)

And a close-up view:

I heart nautical-styled garments!  When I saw this pattern, I instantly fell in love.  The ruched side hip panels and the buttons just drew me in.  I used a heavy navy-colored suiting material for the skirt from Joann's.  I can't say that this was the easiest thing to sew as I had to redo it several times and even then had to completely forgo the pockets, BUT I do like the end result.

I think maybe next time I'll pair it with gray tights and a top with some gray as well.  How would you wear this skirt?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Drumroll Please, the Winner is...

Thank you everyone for participating in my very first giveaway!  If you didn't win, there will be giveaways in the future and I am also working on items for my Etsy shop (on the way!).  :)

And the winner is...
Ping!  Congrats!  I just sent you an email and will ship the necklace to you when I get your info :)  I hope you like it - I know you'll wear it well!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Gap Give & Get Sale Purchases and Last Day to Enter Giveaway!

Last day to enter the Mixed Media Pearl Necklace giveaway!  I'll choose the winner using Random.org tomorrow night around 10 pm EST and post on my blog :)

As you know, I'm rather weak at resisting sales :P  I wasn't planning on participating in the Gap Give and Get Sale (30% off everything at BR, ON, and Gap) but figured there was no harm in buying another pair of Gap skinnies since I love (and wear) my first pair so much!  It was on sale for $24.99 before the discount so I was pretty happy as you can imagine, but then...I started browsing...and adding stuff to my cart...and checking out before I really realized what I was doing LOL.

Anyhoo, these are my purchases - they should arrive later this week and I'll review them then.

My favorite are the skinny jeans of course!
Gap Always Skinny Cropped Jeans, Dark Wash, Sz 4 Tall, $17.50 (my 2nd pair and for a great price!)

Gap Embossed Floral Belt in Honey (real leather), $17.50 
I love this color and actually bought it in S instead of XS so I could knot it.  

Sequins on a cardigan?  How could I not try this?

I feel like I've been looking for skinny khakis for an eternity.  I really want to create an equestrian look with khakis tucked into tall black boots.  Hope these work!

Reviews to come!  Did anyone else purchase anything during the Give and Get promotion?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

DIY Beaded Epaulet Pin Tutorial

 A few weeks ago, Amber from Ruffles and Roses asked me if I would be interested in doing a guest post on her blog.  I was so very honored and wrote up one for the beaded epaulet pin I posted about here.  Visit her blog here for the full tutorial write-up!

Left: the inspiration from Neiman Marcus.      Right: my version :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Old Navy Outerwear Reviews

Like Curls-and-Pearls, I was intrigued by the 50% off outerwear sale at Old Navy and checked it out online.  I found 2 jackets that looked cute - a purple moto-style sueded fleece and a navy blue pea coat.

First, the moto jacket.  I was pleasantly surprised by the sueded fleece material - it's incredibly soft and feels a bit like a cozy sweatshirt.  I am sooo very glad I ordered PXS, because even this is a smidge too roomy.  This probably isn't a good choice for smaller petite ladies.  It looks great unzipped because the shoulders, arms, and back fit well...

Jacket: Old Navy Sueded Fleece Moto Jacket, Crowning Achievement (Purple), PXS, $25 
Floral Cami: Old Navy, XS
Booties: Born B.O.C. Tonya
Geode Necklace: F21

It looks a little boxy when zipped because there's a large space in the tummy area (not sure why).  This middle poofiness is not the most flattering thing, but it's not a deal breaker to me.  What do you think?  Keep and only wear unzipped or return?

Next is the Navy Pea Coat.  The reviews for this said it ran small, so I decided to get XS instead of PXS.  The top / torso fit well and best of all, it doesn't poof out in the middle.  The sleeves are a bit long but this is easily fixed.  PXS would probably fit well on most of you petite ladies :)

 Jacket: Old Navy Wool-Blend Prep Coat (out of stock online), Navy Blue, XS, $29.75

All in all, these were great deals (though not as great as the $12 coat C&P scored!).  The online inventory seems rather depleted but when I was in the store last week they had plenty so check it out!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Leather Wrap Bracelet Video Tutorial

UPDATE:  To see the new multi-row beaded leather bracelet video tutorial, click here.

This is my VERY first video tutorial so please bear with me.  I know the original link to the Chan Luu inspired leather wrap bracelet tutorial has been removed and many of you have contacted me for information on how to make your own.  Click here to see my bracelet #1 and here for bracelet #2.

I have to say that this is just my interpretation of how the original tutorial was and I have modified a few things so feel free to play around with what feels comfortable for you!

What I used:

  • 2 yards of 2 mm leather cord
  • 4 mm faceted beads
  • Size D Nymo thread
  • Beading needle (personally I use a floss threader because I like that it's flexible without getting warped in the beading process - also any size thread will fit easily in the loop)
  • Beading glue (I use super glue because the bead glue I have turns white and crusty when dry)
  • Button with 2+ holes (needs to fit 2 mm cord, look for spare buttons around the house)
Steps (see written steps and video):
  1. Measure your wrist and determine how many times you want the bracelet to wrap around your wrist.  Add 2-3 inches to this for how long your leather cord should be.  I used 2 yards and wrapped it around my wrist 4 times.
  2. Fold your leather cord in half.  At the loop end, tie a knot about 3-4 inches away from the end.
  3. Optional: I like working from a stable surface so I flatten a cardboard box and use binder clips to secure each end of the bracelet while I bead.
  4. Thread your needle.  Don't worry about getting the right length - just choose what's comfortable because you can easily add more thread and secure it with a knot + glue.
  5. Knot your thread to your cord.  Form figure-8s with your thread onto the cord.  This will help secure it to your bracelet.  I typically do about 3-4.
  6. Now thread your first bead and do another figure-8.  
  7. Repeat step 5 for each bead - this is the time-consuming part.
  8. Every 10 beads or so, place a dab of glue on the bottom cord where the cord meets the bead and thread.  You might want to test out your glue earlier in the day to make sure it dries clear.
  9. Once you get about 3-4 inches away from the end, thread your button with your cord and knot the cord under the button.
  10. Voila - you're finished!

Questions?  Please feel free to comment or email me and I'll get back to you!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Cozy Burberry OOTD

I've had this Burberry check shirt for a while now, but I've never known what to exactly wear with it.  By itself, it seems a little too in your face, "hey, I'm wearing Burberry!"  Plus, today's high is a balmy 41 degrees so I definitely needed to make it cozier.  I thought about pairing it with a black crew neck sweater to just let the collar show but I wasn't feeling that preppy today so I went instead with a thick knit camel vest.

How would you wear this shirt?

Top: Burberry Check Button Down, Sz 2
Vest: Camel Thick Knit Vest, (old from Dillard's), XS
Leather Belt: DKNY (old), XS
Jeans: Gap Always Skinny Cropped Jeans, Dark Wash, Sz 4 Tall
Leather Booties: Born B.O.C. Tonya

I love the floral detail on the back!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Cute Items @ The Limited (40% F&F Sale!)

The Limited is having a 40% off your entire purchase (even off sale items) both in-store and online this weekend.  One more day to shop!  I went to check it out today and found some cute things / good deals.  My favorite!  :)

First, today's outfit was purely about comfort, laziness, and warmth LOL.

Top: LOFT Multi Tier Shell, XSP
Cardigan: Banana Republic Oversized Knit Cardi, XS
Jeans: Boot Cuts from The Limited (they look a little weird to me now after wearing skinnies so much lately, but they are comfy!)

Blue Tweed One Button Jacket, XS, $36 after discounts
I liked the cropped cut of this and the fit was pretty good.  I would say this is a true-to-size XS instead of one that was more vanity-sized.
Verdict: Buy

What it looks like buttoned (though I think I prefer it unbuttoned)

Princess Sleeve Tie Jacket, XS, $36 after discounts
Like the tweed jacket, this fit pretty well but I wasn't in love with the puffy sleeves.
Verdict: No

Other items purchased but not photographed in the fitting room:
Flower Chain Belt, $8 after discounts

Covered Buckle Skinny Belt, Animal Print (think this color might be OOS online) $12 after discounts

I'm *trying* to hold off on shopping at the moment since I know I shop like a madwoman on Black Friday (but I'm not a wait outside the day before type - I'm more of the leisurely go in the morning or afternoon).  If I do shop, I'm trying to only buy things that are great deals AND that I love (though the Flower Chain Belt is more of a "like").  Do you participate in Black Friday?


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