Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Secret Santa & Stripes/Gingham OOTD

The always stylish Jessy of The Little Dust Princess organized a Secret Santa exchange for the petite community and I was excited to join in this year.  Thank you Jessy for putting this all together!  My Secret Santa was Cynthia of Shorty Stories - make sure to check out her blog, one of the older petite blogs out there.

My goodies from Cynthia included Almay makeup eraser sticks, Burt's Bees lip balm, and a pretty beaded bracelet.  Thank you, Cynthia!  This is perfect!  I haven't tried the eraser sticks yet but they'll be great for on-the-go raccoon eye fixing and the lip balm gives just the right amount of color without any stickiness.

In case you're wondering, I drew Lor from Petite in the City.  Check out her blog if you'd like to see what I got her :)

I also received some goodies from Jean of Extra Petite and Annie of Really Petite.  These beautiful ladies have amazing blogs (the first ones I started following) and were among the first to welcome me to the blogging community.  Thank you gals for being so sweet and thoughtful!  <3

Beauty goodies (can't wait to try them!) and trim for Baby / Toddler crafting projects (perfect for my scrapbooking and shadow boxes!) from Jean.

A beautiful orange striped LOFT sweater from Annie (it was like she read my mind - stripes AND orange!) that I wore the first chance I got :)
Sweater:  LOFT Stripe Button Down Back Sweater, XSP, gift from the lovely Annie
Shirt:  J. Crew Crewcuts Boys' Button-Down in Large Gingham, Sz 14
Necklace:  J. Crew Resin and Chain Link Necklace, Navy Blue
Skirt:  J. Crew Bell Skirt, Sz 2
Shoes: Tory Burch Afrikan Reva Ballerina Flat in Razor Blue

I forgot to take a picture of my bag with the outfit!  This is a late birthday present from Hubby (not his fault, I took 2 months trying to figure out what I wanted) - a Rebecca Minkoff MAC Clutch in Stone with gunmetal hardware.  I LOVE it!  It is the perfect size for toting around my essentials and can be carried cross-body - a must for coordinating the kiddos.

If you're wondering how the Revas are doing in my breaking in process, I found the perfect shoe stretchers on accident last week.  Cardboard inserts that came with my Dansko clogs!  My problem areas are the back elastic and the pinky toe area.  This insert is helping stretch those for me and it's making a big difference.

Whew, that was a long post from me :)  Hope everyone has a wonderful and happy new year!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Review: J. Crew Lady Day and Plaza Coats

Twitter friends already heard this story.  I was up early last Tuesday morning with Baby Girl (can you believe she's already 3 months old?!?) and was perusing blogs.  I had just finished looking at Elle's J. Crew post and was inspired to cyberstalk some J. Crew outerwear.  Clicking on each coat to see what colors were left, I saw that both the Lady Day Coat and the Plaza Coat were marked down to ~$80 and that the 30% off promo was still in effect leaving the coats at a major bargain price of ~$56.

Check out Elle's super informative review here.  I won't repeat her info but wanted to give the perspective from a slightly different body type (aka short with a semi-small frame plus a tummy from my recent pregnancy).

For other petite J. Crew outerwear reviews, check out Jean of Extra Petite (2010 Lady Day Coat), Ping of All About Fashion Stuff (Lady Day Coat and Metro Coat) and Annie of Really Petite (2010 Lady Day Coat).  If I missed anyone's review, please let me know and I'll post it here.

On to the reviews!  I'm wearing a button down shirt + sweater to simulate my typical winter outfit.  The sleeves on the button down represent my preferred sleeve length (ends right before my thumb begins).

Lady Day Coat w/ Thinsulate in Heather Majestic Purple, sz 2P, item 52606, (buy here)
The color is absolutely stunning and is more of deep, royal blue than a purple.  I knew the Lady Day Coat had a nipped waist so rather than order a 0 or 0P, I ordered 2P.  The coat fits nicely in the torso - no gaping / no bulges and easily hides a tummy pouch.  The Thinsulate lives up to its name - the layer is so thin that I don't even notice it.  I haven't tested it in cold weather yet but I'm looking forward to seeing how it does!

It gives an overall slim silhouette (major plus!).  The only drawback for me is the sleeve length.  It's not necessarily a deal breaker but it's not optimal.

Plaza Coat in Natural, sz 00R, item 49715, (buy here)
The pictures don't do it justice, but the color is a nice, creamy beige for a great, light-colored neutral.  Fits nicely with ample room in the sleeve and torso for winter wear.

The sleeve length is perfect for me and the straight up and down shape also masks a tummy.

Plaza Coat in Heather Dusk, sz 0P, item 50707, (buy here)
Same coat, different color and size.  

Compared to 00R, the 0P is a tiny bit more snug in both the torso and sleeve.  Sleeve length is also shorter.  Still hides a tummy :)

If I could build my ideal coat, I'd have the fit of the 00R Plaza Coat and the color of the Lady Day Coat.  I feel like the straight lines of the Plaza Coat are more me.

Which coat do you like best?  Do you prefer a feminine, nipped waist like the Lady Day Coat or the straight lines of the Plaza Coat?

Hope everyone had a wonderful X-mas!  It's time to hit those After X-mas sales!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dots and Happy Holidays

It's a nice, balmy 50 degrees here and I am happy to wear my new ON polka dot sweater.  I first fell in love with the Madewell polka dot sweater on Blair of Atlantic Pacific and Kelly of Alterations Needed.  When I saw this version at Old Navy for only $15 (also used 30% F&F so was only ~$11) this past weekend, I snapped it up.  Other people in the store must have had the same idea because when I got there, there was a lone Sm and all the other sweaters were XXL (there are plenty of sizes online now though!).  The Small is a little roomy in the torso for me but I don't mind.

Whilst I was digging in my closet to find something to wear with it, I found this great ivory-colored, corduroy blazer from almost 10 years ago in perfect condition.  It was like finding treasure :)

Blazer:  Banana Republic, Sz 0, (old)
Sweater:  Old Navy Printed Crew-Neck Pullover, Sm, (buy here)
Shirt:  Banana Republic Button Down, Sz 0 (old)
Skirt:  Gap, Sz 4 (outlet find for $6!)
Watch:  Timex + J. Crew band
Shoes:  Gucci Magenta Wedges

Happy Holidays to everyone!!  The kiddos here don't seem to love being held by Santa Claus but they are indeed excited about Christmas :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Studded Interchangeable Cuffs Easy DIY Tutorial

I originally set out to create sequined cuffs but when I saw all the elasticized sequin trim, I realized that a sequined cuff could be made simply by sewing the ends together.  So instead, I decided to make interchangeable studded cuffs that could be worn with any sleeved shirt.

See tutorial after the jump...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Little Bit of Animal

In my pre-blogging days, I never wore anything that remotely resembled animal print.  Being a pretty conservative gal, it was one of those trends that I admired on others but could never pull off myself.  Last year, I took baby steps and made this DIY Bow Blouse using an animal reminiscent print.  This year, I've ventured into a leopard scarf and belt (yet to be photographed).  So yes, this gal has let loose... well, a little looser anyway.

My first instinct was to pair it with a black blazer but then I wondered if there was too much contrast with a bright red skirt.  I then tried a gold cardigan for a more muted look.  Which do you prefer?

Top:  DIY Bow Blouse (original post here)
Skirt:  LOFT Scuba A-Line Skirt, 2P (fitting room post here and see it on Bessie here), (buy here)
Shoes:  Gucci d'Orsay Pumps, Camel
Bag:  Rebecca Minkoff Nikki, Resort Black w/ added H&M tassel
Blazer:  Banana Republic (old)
Cardigan:  Old Navy, Metallic Gold (old)

Any trends that took you a while to warm up to?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Steal: MK Tortoiseshell Watch $60

Right before Thanksgiving, I went to the Fossil Outlet and fell in love with this watch.  I didn't get it at the time and instantly regretted it.  Thankfully, my Aunt lives near the outlet (5 hours away from me) and graciously offered to ship it to me.  I'm so glad she did!

Michael Kors MK4235, Tortoiseshell Print Watch, $60 (orig. $195)

  • Tortoiseshell + gold color scheme allows me to pair this with my growing collection of gold jewelry
  • Big, easy to read face
  • Removing links was a snap and did not require any extra tools (I removed 2 links and it now fits perfectly with just the right amount of space so it's snug yet comfortable)
  • Price - what a steal!
  • The clasp is a bit awkward for me.  I have a hard time putting on and taking off this watch.

Net:  4 pros to 1 con (plus the heartache I felt in leaving it behind - I know, I'm very melodramatic) means it's a keeper!

From what I understand, the sale price stayed the same from pre-Thanksgiving to post-Thanksgiving so if you live near a Fossil outlet and are in the market for a MK watch, go check it out!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Comfy New Fave: Poncho Sweater

I have a love-hate relationship with sweaters.  I find it difficult to flatter someone like me who has a tummy because the knit usually clings to it.  Going up a size usually makes me look like I'm swimming in it because the shoulders and chest area gets too loose.

This sweater strikes a delicate balance of a fitted poncho.  Sounds a bit like an oxymoron but the slim fit of the shoulders and sleeves (my favorite feature because I can wear a coat over it for cold Ohio winters) in combination with the drape of the torso creates the effect of a slouchy look rather than a baggy one.  I loved this so much that I bought it in 2 colors - Olive Heather (which looks brown) and Marshmallow White (looks ivory).

Sweater:  Old Navy Cowl Neck Poncho Sweater, XS, (buy here)
Top:  J. Crew Sommers Perfect Plaid Shirt, Sz 0
Jeans:  Gap Always Skinny, Sz 4 (I can finally button my jeans after having Baby Girl!)
Booties:  Born BOC
Necklace:  Express (old)
Bracelets:  Leather Cuff from Michael's craft store, Gold Bangles

I've been a little wrist-wear obsessed lately and have been acquiring bracelets etc. at an alarming rate.  On a routine trip to Michael's, I unexpectedly found this leather cuff (sold as a bracelet "kit" in the leather working section) and loved that you could get genuine leather for $4 after using one of their weekly 40% off coupons.  I love how wide this is and how it gives this Mommy a teensy bit of "edge." 

And big thank you to everyone who has entered my Hand-Knit Chunky Scarf Giveaway.   I had no idea this would generate so much interest - you all really know how to make a gal feel special :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

(CLOSED) GIVEAWAY: Hand-Knit Chunky Scarf

The winner is WHW Katelyn!  Please contact me within the next few days to claim your prize - congrats!!

.I've been trying my hand at knitting recently because it's a good craft for my current lifestyle.  I can sit on the couch with the kiddos and knit with just a few materials.  I'm very much a newbie and am still trying to figure things out but I was very flattered last week when some of you expressed interest in my knitted scarf.  So it's time for another giveaway!

 The winner can choose from the Buttoned Wrap Scarf or the Slouchy Cowl (both are wool blends in case anyone has sensitivities):
Buttoned Wrap Scarf in Spice (an orange-red color)

Slouchy Cowl in Charcoal Gray

To enter, just leave a comment for each of the following:

  1.  Publicly follow this blog (click "follow" in my sidebar) and let me know which style you'd like
  2. (Optional Bonus Entry) Follow me on Twitter (click "Twitter" on sidebar and follow)
  3. (Optional Bonus Entry) Click to tweet and leave me your Twitter ID

The winner will be randomly drawn on December 31st and will have 2 days to claim their win.  If unclaimed, another winner will be drawn.

Good luck!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Holiday Sparkle

It's time to go into holiday mode!  We just put up lights at the SPG household and we're about to put up the tree.  We have yet to figure out how to prevent our toddler from methodically picking off all the ornaments though...  :)

Nothing says holiday like sparkles and winter white :)  Here I'm wearing a shell with a stripe of sequins and a chiffon overlay paired with wide-legged white trousers.  I look uncharacteristically tall in this ensemble and I LOVE it!

Top:  Simply Vera Vera Wang, Kohl's, Sz XS (old)
Pants:  The Limited, Sz 4 (old)
Belt:  F21
Bracelet:  DIY Leather Wrap Bracelet (tutorial here)
Clutch:  Dillards (old)
Shoes:  Ann Taylor Perfect Suede Pumps

What are your go-to holiday looks?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Deals: Thanksgiving Shopping Haul

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!  We spent ours in Chicago with extended family and had a great time.  Now that we're back home, I need to catch up on my blog reading!

Overall, I wasn't super impressed with this year's Black Friday deals though that doesn't mean I came home empty-handed.  For years, the Burberry outlet started BF sales on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the deals were AMAZING.  Think cashmere check scarf retailing for $300+ costing $100 or earmuffs for $40 (although earmuffs look very strange on me so I wound up gifting them).  This year, I'm sad to report that not only did the sale get pushed back to Friday but also the deals were meh.  Scarves were only 25% off and all the 50% off handbags were snapped up before I arrived.  I bought a few hats as gifts and left feeling a little let down that there weren't any good scarf deals.

I also wound up going to J. Crew and getting the striped cardigan I had wanted from last spring for $16.  It was at this point that Hubby called to kindly remind me that the fam was waiting.  As the dutiful wife / mother, I left the mall :)

J. Crew Stripe Pocket Always Cardigan (old fitting room pic), $16 BF store price, (buy here)  

Thankfully, there were amazing deals before Thanksgiving and I got to partake in those.  :)  Did you know that Fossil manufactures many designer watches like Burberry, Emporio Armani, and Michael Kors?  I stopped by the Fossil outlet before Turkey Day and found that they had 25% off MK watch sale prices.

Michael Kors MK4238 Python Print Watch, $50, orig. $180
This was such a good deal!  But now I want a tortoiseshell one too and I'm going to see if my Aunt can go back to the outlet to pick one up for me.  This is the one I'm eyeing:
Michael Kors MK4235 Tortoiseshell Print Watch, ~$70-80
The gold accents are perfect for someone like me who doesn't want an all-gold watch but still wants to match metals with gold jewelry.

I also went to H&M and was delighted to find this maxi dress for $7:

And Macy's for this $50 navy trench coat:
I've started knitting and this is my first cowl scarf :)  I love this goldenrod color!  I'm trying to get the hang of a good size for these so there will be some "samples" left over - anyone interested in a cowl scarf giveaway?

Kohl's for these bangle bracelets:
Kohl's Jennifer Lopez Wavy Bangle Bracelet Set, $14 (buy gold version here)

Did you go shopping last week?  Score any good deals?

There's still time to enter my Allison Izu Premium Denim Giveaway for a chance to win a pair of jeans in your choice of style / size!  Jessy and Elle are also doing giveaways, so check them out!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Missoni Scarf As Shirt Tutorial

I originally purchased this Missoni for Target scarf so I could wear it as a shirt using my tutorials from past posts (part 1 and part 2) but was dismayed to find that this scarf was too small (or the print would be askew) for any of my previous techniques.  So I had to think of a different way:

Using a sash (choker necklace or ribbon will also work), I looped one corner of the scarf inwards and secured it with safety pins (those teeny, tiny ones) on either side.  Then I knotted the 2 corners that fell at my side and tucked in the bottom corner into my pants.

Alternatively, still using a sash (or necklace / ribbon), loop your top corner in and tie a small knot for a slightly different look:

Do you use any particular techniques to wear a scarf?

Enter my Allison Izu Premium Denim Giveaway for a chance to win a pair of jeans in your choice of style / size!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Burberry Bespoke: Create Your Own Trench

When I received an email from Burberry about designing my own trench coat (Burberry Bespoke link), I was very intrigued.  I have never purchased an investment clothing item simply because my body has changed quite a bit over the years (when I got married, I was 31-24-32 and now?  Well... much bigger LOL).  I'm more of an accessory investor (namely handbags) so call this an exercise in fantasy :)

I am so in love with the epaulette and cuff set!
There is something very appealing about a "regular" belt with a trench.  I'm going to have to try that :)
I like this classic with a twist look and wish I could try on my "creation."

The specifications and total damage.

Interested in seeing how Burberry trenches look on petites?  Check out Jean, Elle, and Kelly in their trenches.

How would you design your trench?  What kinds of items do you invest in?

If you haven't already, check out my Allison Izu Premium Denim Giveaway for a chance to win a pair of jeans in your choice of style / size!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mixing it Up with a Colored Blazer

I wear the heck out of my various black / gray / blue blazers so when I saw this rust-colored blazer at Gap a few months ago, I jumped on it.  When I got it home, I had a hard time thinking of what to wear with it.  Then I saw Sydney wear a similarly colored blazer and I decided that I needed to at least try something or it would just be a big waste of money.  (Thank you for inspiring me to wear this, Sydney!)

Can you believe it was 70 degrees today?!

Blazer:  Gap Tie Lapel Blazer, Sz 0
Top:  Old Navy Striped Tank, Sz M 
(I always size up at least 2 sizes for ribbed knits otherwise it makes my tummy pouch very conspicuous)
Skirt:  J. Crew Bell Skirt, Sz 2
Necklace:  Banana Republic
Ring:  Amrita Singh Shelter Island Ring (I HEART this ring!)
Bracelets:  Variety of gold bangles
Shoes:  Frye Joy Vintage Slide

How would you wear this blazer?

Don't forget to enter my Allison Izu Premium Denim Giveaway for a chance to win a pair of jeans in your choice of style / size!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

GIVEAWAY: Allison Izu Premium Denim

The giveaway is now closed - the winner is Thu!  Congrats and send me an email to claim your prize!

Shopping for jeans has always been a bit of a nightmare for me.  Being 5'2" with a 27" inseam often meant that I had to hem every single pair.  But then it seemed like the proportions were wrong.  The thigh / knee area was always off and I hated that self-hemming my jeans meant that the hem didn't have the faded pattern (see Kelly's post here on original vs. regular hemming on jeans) that regular jeans had.

"To hell with hemming!"

Allison Izu, a denim brand specifically catering to petites (that is women 5'6" and under), not only offers a variety of sizes / inseams, they have also solved the problem of proportions.  The waist-hip-knee-ankle ratio as well as other denim details are now proportioned for petite figures.  See Allison Izu denim reviews from Extra PetitePetite Little Girl, and Really Petite.

Now on to the fun part - win a pair of Allison Izu Premium Denim with the size and style of your choosing!

The winner will be randomly drawn on December 4th and will need to contact me within 2 days to claim their prize.  If unclaimed, another winner will be drawn.

To enter, please leave a separate comment for each of the following:
  1. Visit the Allison Izu website and let me know which style is your favorite
  2. (Optional Bonus Entry) Publicly follow this blog (click "follow" in my sidebar)
  3. (Optional Bonus Entry) Click to tweet and leave me your Twitter ID
Good luck!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Jewelry DIY: Ode to Pearls

I've always been in love with pearls and incorporate them into almost every piece I make.  This one is my ultimate pearl piece with 5 strands of ivory nugget pearls to add a little bit of drama to every ensemble.

It winds up being a rather heavy piece as I prefer glass to plastic materials but I like the end result.  As you can tell, I made this piece right before DD was born :)

I'm also experimenting with less traditional pearl necklaces like these ladder necklaces:

And finally, I've been wanting to create a chevron necklace.  I think this one is "getting there" but still needs some work:

In other DIY jewelry news, I'm working on some bracelets but I'll save those for a later post :)

What type of jewelry are you most drawn to?  Chains?  Pendants?  Beads?  A mix?


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