navy dress number two: an outfit post

the last time i wore this dress, carla and beca said they'd like to see it worn three ways, and when my friends want something, something they shall receive. i knew that today i wanted to wear shoes that were flat (thanks to a new pair of shoes that left a blister on one of my toes no smaller than the state of virginia) and my new tights. and then i figured, well, if i'm wearing comfy shoes, why not go ahead and show comfort who's boss by wearing clothes that are almost as good as pajamas? enter the navy dress worn the second way.

sweater: target (gift from chris), dress: lulu's (gift from myself), sweater tights: target (gift from chris, necklace: maurice's (gift from my sister), boots: vintage/thrifted, camera used: olympus (gift from beca) i pretty much wanted to just add gift to everything to let the givers know how much i appreciate it :)

as i was wearing this outfit, feeling like i could fall asleep, i decided two things: 1. it's good to wear when you're bloated and sucking in doesn't help, and 2. it's good to wear when you know you're going to eat too much and you can't suck in even if you want to. oh yeah, that's my kind of outfit - the kind that transitions from everyday to over-eaters anonymous seamlessly. i also painted my fangurnails last night because i'm really starting to like grey polish. also, today is the first time i've worn my hair down and straightened in about three weeks. yeah, now i remember why i don't straighten it more often...

and one last thing. i don't know if you read beca's blog (if you don't, you should), but i was so excited a month or so ago when she told me that she was getting a violin for christmas, and then yesterday she posted a video of herself playing! i played a violin for years and years, and still have one but don't play often thanks to the nerve damage that came from drilling a hole through my finger (it's pretty painful), so i couldn't wait to hear how she was coming along and what she'd learned, etc. then when i found out that she's moving to tennessee and playing a violin, my brain just automatically made my start thinking of beca when i listened to this song and vice versa. they're both awesome. wow, i talked a lot about beca, didn't i? i'm her stalker.

mustard, hearts, and (faux) fur: an outfit post

two things i love when it comes to clothing and accessories are the color mustard yellow, and faux fur (side note about fur: i would rather be hit by a train than ever buy real fur, and even when i've seen real vintage fur in a thrift store, i've still struggled with what i think about buying it because of my stance on buying fur). another thing i'm starting to love - maybe because i don't have a choice since it's too cold for bare legs - is fun or colorful tights.

faux fur collar: vintage (ebay), sweater: forever 21 about 9 years ago, jacket: proenza schouler for target, skirt: forever 21, tights: target (clearance for $1.58!!!!!), boots: vintage, my favorite brooch: gift

i went to target about a month or so ago wanting to find either olive green, teal, or mustard yellow tights. i found olive green and mustard yellow, and just as i was about to leave the hosiery section i saw these heart tights. at first i wasn't sure what to think (i mean, i'm almost 30, and do i really want to wear the same tights as an 8-year-old?), but the more i looked at them i started to think that i could tone the hearts down, and then when i saw the price that pretty much sealed the deal. do you get as excited about finding such as steal as i do?

i want to tell you about chrismas and the tacky sweater party, but since i still have to sort through all of that, i figured i'd go the easy route and pimp my clothes. i hope you had a wonderful holiday!

the pitiful barren woman

one thing you may not know about me, but probably should if you decide to continue this friendship, is that i'm nothing if not defiant. i like making my own rules only because i'm expected to follow those already established; i like trying a new thing only because someone says i can't; and i like making my life my very own rather than following The Plan that most everyone else finds so very necessary for happiness and well-being.

i briefly touched on this subject a year or so ago, but i just feel like i want to get this off of my chest. the one thing that continues to come up over and over is babies. for a while i'll just brush the comments off, let them go in one ear and out the other, and tell myself that the person making them obviously has nothing better to do with his or her time than concern themselves with my reproductive system and 10-year plan. but there are other times when i get to the point that i've heard enough. more than enough, really. while i'm not saying there's anything wrong with having babies (although, truly, it wouldn't hurt to slow down seeing as how the planet is sort of running out of space), i'm saying that it's a personal choice, and right now it's not one that works for me.

in the last few years, i've gotten everything from, "you're not getting any younger" to, "what kind of a person doesn't like babies?" to, "what, is there something wrong with you, are you not able to have kids?" to, "you're just selfish for not wanting a baby." sometimes the comments briefly annoy me, and other times, like the ones when i've been called selfish, the comments really hurt my feelings. i don't question people's choices regarding life-changing decisions, nor do i cast judgment when an opinion differs from my own, but it's become too commonplace for people, be it family or almost strangers, to have, and too often give, opinions and advice regarding that aspect of my life when i've NEVER asked for any input.

obviously The Plan dictates that within the first few years of marriage a man and woman should have a baby. wait another two to five years and The Plan says you need another. while this equation works for many, it doesn't for me. chris and i still have things we want to do, places we want to go, before adding a crying, drooling, expensive baby to the mix, and last time i checked, at 29 and 33, we're not too old to wait a little longer.

i've tried explaining my reasons for not jumping on the baby bandwagon, but to no avail. not only have my explanations led to blank stares, rolled eyes, and rebuttal, but i've even had to endure comments to the effect of (when referencing a family member or friend that has a child), "see, that could be you; just think of how much fun it would be." it may just be that i'm on the baby offensive, but to me, the implication in such comments is that my life isn't actually complete or happy without a child, or that as a childless woman of 29 (which, as i've come to understand, is akin to a bearded lady - a freak of nature) i really don't have anything left to offer until i procreate.

i'm already preparing myself for an onslaught of infant-related comments at christmas regarding my steadfast opposition to a baby right now, seeing as how i'm the oldest (and of course childless), my cousin ali recently had a baby, and my cousin elizabeth is pregnant. but i'll just eat another piece of cranberry pie and pretend to be oblivious to the baby talk all while reminding myself that i have two of the most beautiful babies already, and the fact that they're not human is completely inconsequential - they love me and i love them, and that's all that matters to me.

so i guess what i'm really trying to say is, if you're at that stage in life where you think a baby just fits and you're ready to make that decision, then i completely respect that, but for those of us who aren't at that stage, and may never be, respect that, too. please.

a GLITTER diy!

i don't know about you, but i love some sparkle - especially in the form of glitter (and a sequin skirt, but i still don't have one of those). i've been on a bit of a mission to find clear nail polish with BIG pieces of gold glitter, but i've come up empty-handed. i'm sure it's sold somewhere around here, but with all the busyness that comes with this time of year, i've not been able to look everywhere in this city that sells nail polish, so i figured i'd just save some time and make my own.

what you'll need: clear nail polish (be sure you get some that's thick as i learned on my first attempt that the glitter will NOT stay even remotely suspended in the thin, watery polish), glitter. i found this tube of big gold glitter at michael's for $0.99.

i forgot to take a picture of this, but to get the glitter in the bottle of nail polish without a beautiful gold mess, i folded a small piece of paper in half, poured some glitter into it, and then dumped the glitter into the bottle from the fold of the paper. mix it up, shake it around, dance for a minute, then go paint your nails!

i'm going to go ahead and tell you that, like my underwear, i do not spend a lot of money on cosmetics. i'm cheap. i bought the N.Y.C. brand polish for less than $2, and although i haven't been wearing it long, i think it works fine for this project.

also, i have to tell you that painting my nails is sort of like a celebration of accomplishment for me! i've been so incredibly busy making jewelry to have orders filled, shipped, and delivered by christmas that i had a breakdown and cried like a baby because i felt so overwhelmed that i haven't been able to do anything that, yes, is unimportant, but fun to me. since i've finally finished the christmas orders so i know my hands will have a break for a little while, i decided there was no better time to paint my nails, because with a slow down in business, the polish would actually last more than a few hours!

we've got spirit, how about you?

shortly before thanksgiving, my cousins emily and elizabeth, my aunt cindy, and i all talked about and decided on a family tacky sweater party for christmas eve. i've been counting down the days to making a sufficient fool of myself, and my sister and i planned a sweater decorating day for saturday. i don't want to unveil our secret gems to family before christmas eve, but since my sister is the only one in my family who looks at my blog or even remembers the name, i figured this was a safe place to share what's got us so excited! let me apologize in advance for the pictures; i fear i'm getting old, because as you can see, if auto focus is not at my disposal, what looks sharp through the lens ends up looking more like your vision when you've gotten too little sleep and haven't yet wiped all the slime from your eyes.

i tried to keep my big bear out of all the glittered mess, but he insisted, so he ended up with glitter on his nose and head, but he didn't mind. my sweater really isn't all that bad (except i hate the color red), but i knew i could decorate it to make it ugly. and do i spy a pair of pendleton wool pants? yes i do. they're not so big that they fall down, but are big enough to give me about an extra 15 pounds in the thighs as well as what appears to be a little joey in his marsupial pouch.

i can't wait to see what everyone else found or made for the explosion of tackiness, and i'll be sure to take pictures WITH AUTO FOCUS because i have a feeling i'll be laughing at us for a long time.

how has your weekend been? what are your plans for christmas?

beca dressed me today: an outfit post

today i wore a christmas present from one of my very favorite people in life. she says i was supposed to wait and until christmas to wear it, so let's just look at it, then forget we saw it, and we can pretend like i haven't worn it yet and then i'll wear it again.

coat: forever 21, scarf: i don't remember, dress: gift from beca via vacation vintage, tights: target, boots: target, giggle juice: c/o chris, vintage brooches: gift & my granny maude's, earrings: dinosaur toes

i also should have mentioned that the hair, uhhh, style (?) is courtesy of the wind. it's whipping around worse out there than when my mom used to get the spatula out after my brother and i (rim shot). i went to the dreaded mall today to get a few last chritmas presents, and when i came out someone from the salvation army was by the door ringing the bell, so i pulled out a few dollars to give, and as i was putting it in the bucket she said, "i love your outfit!" it may have been a compliment in response to my giving money, but i'm just going to think that it was because of THIS AWESOME DRESS! i was so surprised when it came in the mail i squealed like a little girl!

have you gotten any early christmas presents yet? if so, what?

field work: an outfit post

i always seem to like outfits that are mostly soft and feminine, but with a few rugged or even masculine details (because that means it's more wearable to me since i like to have some element of casual or comfortable). this was so comfortable, and i think once it's again warm enough to feel like i can go without tights, this will be a go to outfit!

field jacket: thrifted, dress: target, boots: target

i have to tell you, when i do these posts, i still feel kind of funny sharing multiple pictures of myself because how do i know you're not thinking i look ridiculous? it's my lack of confidence though, because when i look at other blogs with outfit posts (which i LOVE doing for all the great inspiration out there), i never think anything bad, instead, "look at those poses, she looks like a professional!" or, "if i lived near her i'd accidentally on purpose sneak into her closet and take that outfit" ... unless that's weird, then just forget i said it. BUT, regardless of my awkwardness, i still really enjoy posting outfits because it's such good motivation for me to NOT get too comfortable in a "uniform."

jewels and cooking.

after slow start i feel like i've had a pretty productive day as far as filling orders is concerned, but wow, i still have so much more work to go. anyway, i have two things that make me happy to share with you, so let's start of with one of my favorite things: FOOD! last night marks my first attempt at making baked potato soup, and can i just say that i rocked my own world? because i did.

want to make it? here's how! what you'll need:

4 large baking potatoes
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup all purpose flour
6 cups milk
salt & pepper to taste
1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
8 oz sour cream
chives to taste (i used about 1 1/2 TBSP)
1/2 cup bacon, fried and crumbled (of course i used more)

bake potatoes until done, scoop out and throw skins away. melt butter in saucepan, add flour, stir until completely mixed. slowly stir in milk and cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly. add potatoes you scooped out earlier, salt, pepper, chives, bacon, cheese. mix in sour cream. add additional milk if it's too thick.

easy peasy, and SUPER delicious! next on the list of things that make me happy: boxes that showed up at my door yesterday. my mom and her husband paul will be moving from pennsylvania to their house in florida soon, so in the process of downsizing, she boxed up scrapbooks she put together of art projects i made in school, birthday party remnants, her journal from when i was a baby, a journal she wrote when i had surgery, pictures, baby clothes and toys, and my favorite: jewelry that belonged to my granny maude (my dad's grandma that died when i was in fifth grade). granny maude and i were so close, and when she died i was heartborken; i felt like i didn't know how to spend my summers any longer, and i wasn't sure that life could ever go on. i was allowed to pick out a few pieces of her costume jewelry, but since i was young, my mom told me she was keeping them until i was older. i was absolutely livid and didn't understand why i could keep the jewelry myself. it turns out she was right, i would have lost it, and i'm glad it's been kept safe for me all these years. before i saw her note that the jewelry was granny maude's, i instantly knew exactly where it was from, and because i miss my granny every day, i got kind of teary-eyed. i'm so happy to have the jewelry, and i know i'll wear it and cherish it forever.

the other week i did a post with some vintage favorites that i wanted oh-so-badly, and can you believe this, but beca surprised me with one of my picks for christmas!!! she's such a true and amazing friend, and i can't wait to show you my new dress when i wear it later this week!

i hate jeans.

i don't really like to blog when i feel like i'm going to be spewing negativity like an erupted volcano, but sometimes, dammit, i just want to say what i'm thinking! i know i have a lot of good, positive things in my life, and i'm not making light of those, but sometimes i just feel like the negative is what really stays on the forefront of my mind whether i want it to or not. one thing that's got me annoyed (which, truly, is the absolute LEAST important thing on my mind, but annoying nonetheless) is jeans, and more importantly, the people who make them. dear jean maker, i am not 5'10" with twig legs, nor do i want to get a brazilian wax just to be able to wear your low cut jeans.

i don't actually smile when i think of jeans, so that picture is a complete misrepresentation of my true feelings regarding the denim devils. on saturday grandma and i went out to get some more stones for jewelry, and do get a few groceries. you'd think it would be easy enough to throw on some clothes and leave, right? wrong. i know i'm partially to blame because i don't exercise as much as i should considering the amount of food i eat, but i know i'm not the only one who can't seem to find a decent pair of jeans that are made for a real, human body. i finally just settled on these because it was either that or stay at home and have a pity party. i've been in public, and i know i'm not the only woman with a round but and meat on her thighs, so why is it that jeans aren't made to accommodate my body type? i'm not even kidding, getting dressed when i know that i'll be wearing pants just puts me in a bad mood.

luckily though i did have a few things i liked about this outfit, like the pretty vintage rhinestone bird brooch that micaela gave me last year, the suede ankle boots i got at target last year, and the comfy vintage sweater with lace at the neck that i thrifted for a massive $3.

do you have the same problem with jeans? if you do, where have you found some that you've liked? or have you found any yet that you like?

i guess i'm done complaining. but i'm pretty sure i'll keep sitting here thinking about the things going on right now that stress and irritate me, and maybe later i'll go to read my book club book but have a pity party instead. you never know.

from austin powers go-go dancer to modern day: an outfit post

friends, before i go any further, please let me say that the sun is BAAACK! and so is my good mood! whew, i was getting a little worried there! anyway, the sun is back, i have a new dress, and christmas is almost here! now if i could just figure out a way to work on getting the snow here... anyway, i bought myself a gift on cyber monday from lulu*s and i was so happy when i saw the UPS man in my drieway on monday because i knew my dress had arrived!

jean jacket: american eagle, dress: lulu*s, belt: forever 21, blouse: vintage, boots: vintage, socks (which you can't really see but are cute and comfy): target

i knew today was supposed to be chillier, with a high only in the upper 40's, and since this dress is sleeveless, i knew i'd need something other than a jacket over it to stay warm while i had to be outside. enter the bag of clothes in my bedroom floor waiting to be taken to the goodwill. i have this 1970's vintage blouse that i've never worn but have had in my possession for several years now. it was one of those deals where i liked the print, knew it was just my size, and couldn't pass it up at only $3, so i got not really knowing if i'd wear it or not. all i can say is, i'm glad i've hung on to it all this time because it turned out to be the perfect match for this dress! i got chris to take my picture today, and since i get all shy and worked up high on giggle juice when he's behind the camera, i completely forgot to get him to take a closeup picture of the neck tie on the dress and the pretty floral pattern on the blouse. crap!

okay, so to clarify the title of this post, the blouse is very vintage, and the dress without a belt has a straight shape, so without the addition of the belt and the jacket, all i could think about was how it would work perfectly if i wanted to be one of the go-go dancers in austin powers (you know, with the awful white patent leather boots).

so that's my story. i hope you've had a good thursday!

get in my closet! (now, please)

first let me say, the weather here is disgusting. it's like a vampire's dream - no sun to be found, and lamps even have to be turned on in the middle of the day. i hate it. i want to see the sun again, and for the love of everything holy, I WANT TO BE ABLE TO TAKE PICTURES AGAIN! who knew a couple days without the sun could be such a nightmare? anyway, since i haven't been able to take any decent pictures to share, and i don't want to go another day without blogging, why not share what i'm hoping will jump in my closet while i'm sleeping tonight?

from the top, find these beauties here: Vacation Vintage, bless that dress, carton company, Hottmilk, carton company.

i love vintage like i love fresh air, clean water, and french fries, but vintage in my size?! JACKPOT. it's so difficult (for me at least, in the store around here) to find vintage in small sizes that will fit me, so when i find gems like these on the internet in just my size, i seriously try rationalizing in my head how i can justify spending that money even though i know i shouldn't. it's terrible, itsn't it? it's probably an illness. anyway, hopefully tomorrow will be sunny so i can take some pictures to share!

built around a sweater: an outfit post

we're having that crazy fall weather where it's 25 degrees when i get up and leave, but 60 degrees by the afternoon, so layers are pretty much as important as, oh, i don't know, air and french fries. i've been wanting to wear this skirt for a while now, but they when i looked through my armoire, i decided that i wanted to wear this sweater beca gave me even more than i wanted to wear the skirt, so it's a good thing the two could be worn together!

jean jacket: american eagle, sweater: (vintage) gift from my girl beca, chiffon skirt: vintage, tights (which are striped but you can't see in the pictures): target, shoes: payless, necklace: i made it.

i love that necklace, and i'm glad i sat down with chris to look at his coin collection. i permanently borrowed a 1930's buffalo nickel from him which i think makes the perfect pendant!

i hope you guys have a good weekend! i know i will because pop and i are going back to the trails for some more bike riding saturday evening and i can't wait!

what i've been working on...

two words, or maybe one if you choose to hyphenate it - take your pick: GOLD DIPPED. i've been hard at work this morning and early afternoon working on a little idea i've had in my head for a while now. i wasn't exactly sure about the execution, or even materials, but i've been daydreaming of gold dipped goodness...

i've got a few more ideas in the works for gold dipping, and i'm also going to make some of the hoops in sterling silver since i know not everyone is as big a fan of gold. and while i'm listing these gold dipped howlite and quartz pieces to my shop (later this evening), i've got some more waiting on me; i thought the way they were hung, with a little tweaking, could make a neat mobile...

so that's what i've got for now. what have you been working on lately? if you have a shop, have you been busy making things for the holiday shopping rush?

i ruin clothes: a totally thrifted outfit post

chris and i suffer from what we like to call "the poor kid syndrome." it's a pitiful state of mind in which one experiences severe heartache and distress upon ruining any possession. early in our marriage, chris and i were poor kids, and that can be attributed to my college education. then we saved like champs, were on top of the world, and only occasionally experienced symptoms stemming from the poor kid syndrome. last year, chris's asshole former employer decided to stop paying him and skip town. yipee! so now we're back to full on syndrome symptoms. what does this have to do with my outfit? a lot.

cardigan: vintage/thrifted, dress: vintage/thrifted, belt: vintage/thrifted, boots: vintage/thrifted (but unworn when i got them!!!)

in the last post i did about my thrifting finds, i showed you this dress that i instantly fell in love with and knew i had to have; i mean, everything about it is perfect! unfortunately, there is no fabric content tag in the dress, and unfortunately i'm an idiot when it comes to laundering clothes. i meant to hand wash and air dry the dress, but i guess i was in a hurry (like i usually am - the night before work i realize i have no clean clothes or underwear) and just sort of threw everything in the washer without really thinking. the dress isn't too small by any means, but it did shrink up a good two inches in length. it's not that i mind wearing shorter dresses, but for the love of everything holy i can't manage to keep my skirts down when even the slightest breeze comes, so obviously, the shorter the length, the more chance i have of showing my ass. i only paid $3 for the dress, so it wasn't like it put me in the hole, but still, had i taken the time to actually think about what i was doing i'd still have those extra two inches. so i did some sulking, and even let out a few gentle sobs that night. i kid, i didn't cry...but i wanted to, thanks to the poor kid syndrome.

on a more positive note, here are two things i love: 1. having dresses that work well as skirts or dresses, so you basically have two pieces of clothing in one, and 2. the clothing in this outfit cost me less than $10. BAM!

did someone say free?!

i don't know about you, but i love a good freebie! i had originally planned to do an outfit post today, but because i've got a stack of work that really needs to be finished today, i thought i'd just do a quick post to let you know about a fun holiday deal i've got on my website!

from now until christmas, all orders of $75 or more will receive a FREE pair of hammered brass quartz hoops! i figured this would accomplish two important things at once - 1. encourage people to get out of the mall and support local and handmade businesses this holiday season, and 2. thank all of the wonderful customers who buy from dinosaur toes!

i wish i could stay and chat longer, but adulthood, jobs, and responsibilities are calling, so i better get back to work. i hope you have a good monday!

16 miles

dear beca, i am still alive, so please blog stalk me. sometimes when life gets busy, i don't realize i've been away from my blog as long as i have, but thanks to friends like beca who remind me they're awaiting my return, i get excited about posting again! so how was your holiday american friends? and how was your non-holiday international friends? mine was great! well, thanksgiving was nice, but the real fun was friday...

the weather was absolutely gorgeous and warm, so pop, aunt debbie, her new husband steve, and i all went riding on the blackwater creek trails on friday. i have to say, that's got to be one of my absolute favorite things to do in lynchburg, and it's something pop and i really enjoy doing together. for the most part the trails go through a natural area and follow the blackwater creek, and then the james river, but part of the time you go through historic downtown lynchburg which i love! we rode 16 miles exactly, and when i was about 1/8 or a mile or less from my aunt debbie's house (she lives near one of the trail entrances, so we just rode from her house), i couldn't pedal up the hill any further, my bike leaned to the left, and i fell into a fence. i kind of felt like an idiot, and i'm hoping no one saw me!

oh, also, i'm pretty much the riding with no hands champion, even around curves, so i had to show them my skills and dare them to try and beat me. i remain the champion.

i also ate too much. then i ate too much again. and then chris and i bought ice cream. sooo, it looks like i'm going to need to go riding again in the next couple of days!