Thursday, February 28, 2013

2.28.13 - Today's Outfit ~ Retail Cost: $241.99 What I Paid: $38.47

2.28.13 - Today's Outfit ~ Retail Cost: $241.99 What I Paid: $38.47


2.28.13 - Today's Outfit ~ Retail Cost:  $241.99  
What I Paid:  $38.47


Sheer dark fuchsia 'A. Byer' long-sleeved blouse - Ross (sale) $7.99  (R-$18)
Charcoal wool 'Karen Scott' cardigan - Reuse shop $4.99  (R-$69)
**Black 'Genessa' pump with pink sole - Shoe Dazzle $39.95  (R-$same)
Navy blue wool 'Old Navy' pea coat - Reuse shop $4.50  (R-$69)
Black pashmina scarf - Ross $5.99  (R-$28)
Double purple beaded bracelet - Walmart (sale) $3  (R-$8.99)
Amethyst necklace on leather strap that I made for about $12
Black cream liner, shadows in purple pallet

**Cost of shoes not included in cost of set as retail and actual price are the same


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Thought For Today

That is all.

Carry on.

~M

2.27.13 - Today's Outfit ~ Retail Cost: $449 What I Paid: $45.93

2.27.13 - Today's Outfit ~ Retail Cost: $449 What I Paid: $45.93

2.27.13 - Today's Outfit ~ Retail Cost:  $449  What I Paid:  $45.93

Black 'Fun & Flirt' long-sleeved blouse with tan trim - Marshall's (sale) $7  (R-$24)
Black 'Jessica Simpson' wide-leg trouser - Ross $15.99  (R-$69)
Long black 'Lauren Conrad' cardigan - Kohl's (sale) $17395  (R-$69)
Black 'Guess' belt with pewter buckle - Ross $4.99 (R-$18)
Black/tan 'Bordello' spectator platform - Gift from My Person!  (R-$69)
Silver choker and oval pendant - Gift from my mother-in-law!
Copper/silver charm bracelet - CO Renaissance Fair
Black 'Juicy Couture' baguette - Gift from My Person!  (R-$200)
Black cream liner, shadows in brown pallet, and just Chap-stick as it's SO cold out

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

2.26.13 - Today's Outfit ~ Retail Cost: $216.94 What I Paid: $32.49

2.26.13 - Today's Outfit ~ Retail Cost: $216.94 What I Paid: $32.49


Red 'Jaclyn Smith' cashmere twinset - Hand-me-down from my mom!  (R-$49)
Black 'Joe Ben-basset' pleated trouser - Ross $9.99  (R-$36.99)
Red bead necklace that I made for about $3  (R-$16)
Red basket-weave 'Leah' ankle boot - UrbanOg (sale) $15  (R-$29.95)
Red tote -  gift from my mom!  (R-$16)
Navy blue 'Old Navy' wool pea coat - Reuse shop $4.50  (R-$69)
Red lip, black cream liner

Monday, February 25, 2013

Oscar Night Win!

I totally forgot last night was the Oscars!  And how horrible of me to post on our snow storm rather than all the amazing fashions that I've since seen from last night's awards!

I've got to say though, that of all the amazing dresses, I've got to go with Helen Hunt's H&M navy silk satin strapless dress for the big win.  H&M created this gorgeous ensemble through an eco-friendly line of clothes called the 'Conscious' collection.

New York Times Article

It's rumored that she wore it as part of a business deal with H&M who is planning a "red carpet" collection in some stores in a few months, and apparently this exact dress won't be available as part of this line, but appears rather to be a teaser, just to get us interested in the whole thing.  This is according to H&M's Head of Design, Ann-Sofie Johansson, taken from a brief article in today's New York Times (link below the picture above).  She stated that "the look" would, approximately, go for about $650.

Of course, that didn't include the $700.000 worth of diamonds that apparently covered the back.  (I'm hoping/guessing she checked that they weren't blood diamonds first?)


~M

















The Sun'll Come Out...

Driving home from a party in downtown Denver on Saturday night, My Person and I were talking and enjoying the drive through the snow that was gently falling.  The roads weren't bad, mostly wet, and it was a beautiful drive with hardly any traffic on the interstate, and we got home safely.  That feeling of crawling into bed, warm and safe with someone you love, is pretty hard to beat.

Sunday morning, we woke up to snow blowing so hard you couldn't see the main road from our house (generally easily viewed) with piles of the white stuff deep and drifting near the front door, enough that we had to literally dig out to take the poor dog outside!


She of course loves the snow, and took every opportunity to get out in it, much to My Person's annoyance as you know that one time you ignore her whine, you're gonna regret it!  So, cold and wet notwithstanding, out they'd go again. :)

 

By mid afternoon, the snow had drifted up almost to the top of the tires on the Jeep, and I drove to the grocery store since we were out of food as Sunday is shopping day, and there didn't appear to be an end in sight!  (And the store is less than 2 miles away).


Walking out to my car, I waded through thigh-deep drifts to get to my own car.  Something about how the wind blows over the building that makes it drift in front of the door and completely block in our cars.

Just before it got dark last night, the snow eased up and we could see the foothills again, and this morning we awoke to the picture below, and roads that I've rarely seen more slippery.


Knowing Colorado, it could be 70 by the time I leave here at 5.                      ~M

2.25.13 - Today's Outfit ~ Retail Cost: $110.00 What I Paid: $50.97

2.25.13 - Today's Outfit ~ Retail Cost: $110.00 What I Paid: $50.97

Orange/brown/red 'Fire Los Angeles' peasant top - Marshall's $14.099  (R-$26)  I've never been able to find a good representation of the blouse!  This one is actually nothing like it in style, but similar in color.  Will have to work on this one as I love the blouse I'm actually wearing!)
Brown 'Charter Club' cardigan - Reuse shop $4.99  (R-$19)
Brown 'My Michelle' pleated trouser - Burlington Coat Factory $14.99  (R-$29)
Brown 'Dollhouse' ankle boot with large buckle - Marshall's (sale) $16  (R-$36)
Wrap bracelet - Gift from My Person!
Shadows in brown pallet, red lip, black cream liner






















Friday, February 22, 2013

2.22.13 - Today's Outfit ~ Retail Cost: $147.99 What I Paid: $40.89

2.22.13 - Today's Outfit ~ Retail Cost: $147.99 What I Paid: $40.89


2.22.13 - Today's Outfit ~ Retail Cost:  $147.99  What I Paid:  $40.89

Black 'Hanes' v-neck t-shirt - Walmart (sale) $5  (R-$9.99)
White 'Cracked Jeans' skinny jeans - Ross $12.95  (R-$25)
Long black 'Lauren Conrad' cardigan - Kohl's (sale) $17.95  (R-$69)
Black 'Guess' belt with pewter buckle - Ross $4.99  (R-$18)
Silver hoop earrings - Gift from my mom!  (R-$26)
Pandora bracelet - Gift from My Person and My Boys!
**Black 'Alexis' knee boot - JustFab $39.95  (R-$39.95)
Black cream liner, bright blue polish
**Cost of shoes not included in price of set as retail cost and mine are the same

Happy Friday Lovelies!

~M


























Thursday, February 21, 2013

Snow Boots

I just had someone call my boots - today used as my snow boots! - "Rad"!



Guess that's better than 'gnarly', right?

I purchased these last year from UrbanOg, on sale for $15, and was going to post a link to the shoe here but found that they're no longer offered!  So sorry to hear that, as they're one of the most comfortable pairs of shoes I own.  I'm talking, wear-them-out-shopping-all-day-at-the-mall comfortable!

Thought For The Day


That is all.



Carry on.



:)

2.21.13 - Today's Outfit ~ Retail Cost: $288.88 What I Paid: $79.95

2.21.13 - Today's Outfit ~ Retail Cost: $288.88 What I Paid: $79.95

2.21.13 - Today's Outfit ~ Retail Cost:  $288.88  What I Paid:  $79.95


Sheer orange/red 'Timing' two-pocket blouse - Ross $12.99  (R-$32)
Black 'Celebrity Pink' skinny jean - Ross $12.99  (R-$18.99)
Silver filigree stretch bracelet - Walmart (sale) $3  (R-$7.99)
Black 'Guess' belt with pewter buckle - Ross $4.99  (R-$18)
Black/red/grey 'V. Fraas' scarf - Ross (sale) $6.99  (R-$49.95)
Red 'Leah' basket-weave bootie - UrbanOg (sale) $15  (R-$29.95)
Long dark navy blue overcoat - Resale shop $12.99  (R-$98)
black wool newsboy cap - Threadflip $11  (R-$18)
Red tote bag - Hand-me-down from my mom!  (R-$16)
Red lip, orange/red/charcoal shadow pallet, black cream liner

Happy Snow Day (even though I've got to work anyway) :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

2.20.13 - Today's Outfit ~ Retail Cost: $393.90 What I Paid: $48.93

2.20.13 - Today's Outfit ~ Retail Cost: $393.90 What I Paid: $48.93
2.20.13 - Today's Outfit ~ Retail Cost:  $393.90  What I Paid:  $48.93


Black chiffon 'Julia's Closet' tank - Ross $11.99  (R-$28)
Dark green 'Chadwick's' jacket - hand-me-down from my mom!  (R-$60)
Dark charcoal 'Joe Ben-Bassett' slacks with cuff - Ross $11.99  (R-$26)
Necklace, bracelet, and earrings that I made myself for about $5  (R-$19.95)
Black 'Juicy Couture' baguette - Gift from My Person!  (R-$200)
Black cream liner, dark green shadow pallet






















Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Technically Fashionable

Today's focus, rather unintentionally, has turned into a total Tech Tuesday!  If you get  a chance, check out today's installment of Pretty on the Inside for few of the best apps that I've found to help me take control of my health on a daily basis.

But there are also a number of apps available now that are very fashion-related, geared to keeping you up-to-date on the latest trends, or even the best prices!  And when it comes to saving money, who doesn't want all the help they can get?!  And is it really a reach to include apps that save you time? I know that I for one look better when I'm not stressed out because I'm late to work due to road raging in endless traffic!


Almost all of the apps that I will feature here have an online counterpart.  So if you're one of the many who can't justify the expense of an unlimited data plan associated with most smart phones, take heart!  You can still be part of the functioning universe.

***

Swirl

The first app is Swirl.com, also a free app for your iPhone.  Swirl describes itself as "...the personal shopping assistant you always wanted but never had".  It's a fantastic first-stop on those days you're after something specific and want the best price.  Log on either via your computer or with the app, and you can choose specific stores that you shop frequently.  Every time you log on, you'll be given a list of newly marked down items from each of these stores, and can even set up alerts to let you know if something you're watching has dropped in price!



With this app, you can:

  • Keep up with all of the offers and sales from your favorite stores.  Kohl's having a 30% off everything?  Now you  know!
  • Discontinue the old catalogs that clog up your mail box every month.  With Swirl, you can see everything in the latest mag at the touch of a finger or click of the mouse, and create your own catalog comprised only of what you want to see!
  • Like shopping with your girls but maybe don't live close together?  You can create pages of things that are just your style to share with them far or near, as well as see theirs on your own pages and give them feedback!  What are girlfriends for if you can't share fashion, even in e-format?!
  • Have a limited amount of time in which to find that mint-green chiffon blouse to go with the cream wide-leg trouser already hanging in the closet that will complete that perfect outfit in your head?  Plug your search into the Swirl 'Shop Nearby' option, and you'll get a list of stores within driving distance that carry exactly what you're looking for along with prices.
***

Polyvore

One of my favorite burn-time websites is Polyvore.com. You'll have seen their work on my site on my blog daily (see below for example), and all over social media like Facebook.  Think of it as the electronic version of the paper dolls you played with as children.

Install the little 'Clip to Polyvore' button in your browser bookmark, and anything you see on the web can become part of your virtual closet to be used and manipulated as you see fit.  This isn't just for fashion!  There are quite a number of artistic types who use it to create virtual living environments or complete works of art!

I for one have used it as my virtual closet.  I like to come up with new ideas on ways to wear what I already have, and so as I acquire new pieces, will find a picture either the exact item I've purchased or one as close as possible to the item I actually own, and save it to 'My Items'.  You can then organize these in any way you'd like to make them easy to find.  'Create a Set' using not only the items you've saved, but any from the database of millions of items saved by other Polyvorians!  




For me, being able to open Polyvore, click on 'My Items', and then see everything that is in my closet, makes getting dressed every day a complete breeze!  No more pulling everything out of your closet and trying them on in different combinations (surely I'm not the only one who's done this?!).  Think of a new way to pair that shirt with those pants?  Toss it into a quick 'set' like the one above and you'll have it to refer to when you're feeling less than inspired of a morning!  An added benefit is when you save an item, it will list the price of the item, and then send you an email if that price drops for any reason.  Polyvore itself doesn't sell anything, but provides links to almost all of the items saved so you can click directly to the site from which its sold if you absolutely can't live without it.

There is also a social aspect to it in that you can join (or create) groups that focus on things you're most interested in, and post and share the sets you make with other like-minded fashionistas or artists, and most group leaders have contests on an ongoing basis that are fun to enter.  It's gotten to the point that Polyvore has the ear of some major retailers who also run contests with some truly fabulous prizes!  Recently, one of the women in my group won an all-expense paid trip for two to Fashion Week in Paris put on by Thierry Mugler!

The new app for iPhone and iPad works quite well also, and when you find yourself sitting waiting for your flight, log onto the local wireless and spend some time being creative!  This is a fun tool to play with when you've got some extra time, and as a fashion blogger, a completely indispensable tool with which to display your own personal style!

***

Wanelo

Wanelo.com is another great place to spend some free time!  The name comes from Want, Need, Love and is a virtual wishlist of everything you might see on the web and would love to have!  In fact, some of my favorite Christmas gifts came from the suggestions that My Person found on this site, things that I saw and loved yet probably wouldn't have purchased for myself but was ecstatic to receive as a gift!


Sign up, follow others already on Wanelo, and once the program has determined what keywords you most often search or save, you're sent recommendations of things that you might want, need, or just love!

Pictured below is a small assortment of what is on my own personal trending page today.  Everything from clothes to items for the home, this becomes a living, breathing list of the things you most admire. You can also share it with your friends, and follow each others trends,so you're always up-to-the-minute on what is most on their minds or lusting after.  Along with most pictures is a link to the actual item so you can have the immediate gratification of purchase if its truly something you don't want to miss.



You can also follow businesses and see what they're 'trending' at any time in your updates.  Waiting for the new spring colors to get in to Old Navy?  This is the perfect place to stalk it!  You can get the update first, as soon as it hits the shelf.  Need a giant beanbag big enough to fit you and three or four of your closest friends?  I'm betting you'll find it here.  And you can make it grow by adding your own favorites from anywhere on the web.

The app for iPhone is streamlined and easy to use, every bit as good as the website itself.  :)

***


Waze

And, as promised, you're never pretty when your raging...road rage, that is!  I've recently come across this handy little app that's fun to use and saves you all kinds of brain damage on that twice-daily commute! 



Waze is a cute and fun little interactive GPS app that helps you navigate those particularly tricky routes when you're in a hurry.  Completely voice-driven, you turn it on as you get into your car and it tracks your movement through traffic, giving you warnings as you move along the road, navigating everything from potholes to that hidden police car running radar three intersections in front of you.  Using voice command only and completely hands-free, you can add your own tidbits to your route (if you're the one who sees the cop or hits that pothole!) and earn points, unlocking different fun little things throughout the time you're using the app.  



Change your little Waze icon to reflect your mood, chat (by voice of course) with other Waze drivers, and get to work on time without that perpetual scowl that you've had upon arrival for the last two mornings!

Have a job interview or lunch date in an area with which you might not be familiar?  The navigation aspect will also help you get there safely and on time after you input the address, and will take your location and get you there, turn by turn, from exactly wherever it is you're currently located.  Though it's not without the opportunity for user error, as in Saturday night when My Person and I were on our way to pick up some friends for a dinner date, and I input their address into Waze, got impatient and then put it into Siri, and shortly thereafter had, as My Person put it, "Three women telling me where to go and none of them knowing for sure that they're right!".

I on the other hand was laughing. :)

***

A Few Honorable Mentions

Before we wrap this up, there are a few more that beg recognition.

Hautelook.com - Online and available on iPhone, iPad, and Android platforms.  What they say about themselves:  "Acquired by Nordstrom in March 2011, HauteLook is a place where you'll discover thousands of the top fashion and lifestyle brands at amazing savings. Each day at 8 AM Pacific, shop new sale events featuring the best names in women's and men's fashion and accessories, beauty, kids' apparel and toys, and home d├ęcor at up to 75% off. Membership is free and everyone is welcome.

Zoomingo.com - Online and available on both iPhone and Android platforms.  What they say about themselves:  "Zoomingo (which stands for “Zoom-in and go”)  is a shopping discovery application that helps you find the best sales in local retail stores in town. Zoomingo catalogs thousands of actual items on sale at a store by store level at top retail chains such as Macys, JC Penney, Target, Nordstrom as well as smaller boutiques.  Why trudge through the shopping mall looking for the best prices when Zoomingo can instantly show you cool items on sale around you. You can even use the Zoomingo web site  to plan your shopping trip before you head out to the mall."





















2/19/13 - Today's Outfit: Retail Cost: $509.95 What I Paid: $46.94

2/19/13 - Today's Outfit: Retail Cost: $509.95 What I Paid: $46.94


2.19.13  Today's Outfit ~ Retail Cost: $509.95  What I Paid:  $46.94


Black & white print 'Croft & Barrow' 3/4-sleeve blouse - Resale shop $2  (R-$36)
Black wide-leg 'Jessica Simpson' trouser - Ross $15.99  (R-$69)
Black 'Jones New York' square-cut blazer - Gift from my mom!  (R-$119)
Black 'Margit' tasseled loafer - Just Fab (sale) $19.95  (R-$59.95)
Black & white necklace and bracelet set I made for about $9  (R-$26)
Black 'Juicy Couture' baguette - Gift from My Person!  (R-$200)
Black cream liner, charcoal shadow, red lip and nails






Monday, February 18, 2013

Pashmina Pashmina - Making Ordinary Exotic

Pashmina scarves are those lovely, long, generously proportioned scarfs that we tend to associate with exotic locales and women whose eyes peek mysteriously from behind richly-colored fabric.   

The word Pashmineh refers to the type of fabric - wool or cashmere - that the scarves were made from traditionally, coming from the pashmina goat, a special breed indigenous to the high altitudes of the Himalayas in Nepal, Pakistan, and northern India.

Pashmina Scarves
Over the years I've obtained quite a collection of these and use them mostly for costuming in the summertime for Renaissance Fair outfits.  But they're actually perfect for use year-round  especially those late winter and early spring days that are too warm for a sweater, but too chilly still to go with nothing.  Their versatility and variety are an easy, fast, and inexpensive way to accessorize almost any outfit, so I thought I'd list the ways you can take this gorgeous length of fabric and use it to your advantage!
The most basic option is draped across the shoulders.  I love this look with a dress, just as it's pictured to right, or thrown across one shoulder (left, and how I'm wearing mine today!).




                                                           Center Loop
Center-tie 
This is the way you see it most often, worn underneath a jacket or coat in the wintertime, and it's super easy to recreate.  These are amazingly warm and can be work as stated above, on top of a sweater or t-shirt, pretty much anywhere you'd like that little bit of extra warmth.
  1. Fold the scarf in half and place it around your neck.
  2. Pull both fringed ends through the loop made by folding the scarf in half, and adjust to your liking.







Another option is the Wrap-Around.  
  1. Holding the scarf in both hands at about the middle, wrap around the neck once with both loose ends to the front.
  2. Adjust to fit, loose or tight, with the ends hanging loosely down the front of outfit.




Back Tie
This one works best with the larger square pashmina with fringe and is a s simple as tying two of the ends behind your neck, draping those ends around the front and down the shoulders, with one of the v-edges in front.  I like this one best just as Rhianna is wearing it here: with a simple shirt and jeans.

Here Selena Gomez is wearing the same pashmina three different ways.  In the first picture she's tied both ends together and is wearing it as one long loop.

Second picture is wrapped twice around the neck with the ends tucked in.

Third picture is a slightly different take on the second.




Another quick and easy option is the


Single Front Tie as shown below with Lindsay Lohan.  You can change the look by placing the knot at different areas in the front, or putting the scarf off-set with the knot tighter and at the side of the neck.


You can also tie the knot after wrapping the scarf around the neck more than once as seen in the picture on the right.

Another take on this is just draping it around the neck with both loose ends free-flowing, and then belt the entire ensemble around the waist.


Or just leave it open down the front as in the pictures below where Beyonce rocks the animal print.  Not a pashmina in this instance, but I loved the look so went with this picture anyway.


And this is only scratching the surface!  You an use it as a hair accessory, tying it under the back of the hair leaving the ends to hang loose down the back, or one over the shoulder.  Or cover the hair completely with only a few locks of hair peeking out the front a la Greta Garbo!

A quick 'Google' search on how to wear the Pashmina will garner you literally millions of hits with new ideas on how to incorporate these into your every day work ensembles.

Today I paired a black pashmina with a black sequined mini, cream chiffon blouse, and plain black pumps and have gotten more than one compliment on the whole outfit!  Definitely a look I'll be using more as the spring months come into full swing.

Bonus Round




2.18.13 - Today's Outfit ~ Retail Cost: $420.99 What I Paid: $75.06

2.18.13 - Today's Outfit ~ Retail Cost: $420.99 What I Paid: $75.06

2.18.13 - Today's Outfit ~ Retail Cost: $420.99 What I Paid: $75.06 by madonah42 featuring a mini skirt

Cream chiffon 'Candie's' two-pocket blouse - Kohl's (sale) $15.99  (R-$42)
Black sequined 'Rock&Republic' chiffon mini skirt - Kohl's (sale) $13.60  (R-$68)
Black Pashmina wrap - Ross $5.99  (R-$18)
Black 'Kelsi Dagger' pumps - Ross (sale) $18  (R-$109)
Long gold chains - Walmart (sale) $1.99  (R-$8.99)
Single long pearl necklace I made for about $2  (R-$8)
Navy blue 'Mackintosh Collection' overcoat - Resale Shop $12.99  (R-$98)
Black 'Nine West' tote - Resale Shop $4.50  (R-$69)
Red lip, black cream liner, shadow in browns and cream, & sheer stockings

Happy Monday Everyone!

~M













Saturday, February 16, 2013

2.15.13 ~ Today's Outfit - Retail Cost: $234.99 What I Paid: $55.42

2.15.13 ~ Today's Outfit - Retail Cost: $234.99 What I Paid: $55.42

2.15.13 ~ Today's Outfit - Retail Cost: $234.99 What I Paid: $55.42 by madonah42

Heather grey 'Ambiance Apparel' v-neck 3/4 sleeve sweater - Ross $8.99  (R-$18)
Long black 'Lauren Conrad' cardigan - Kohl's (sale) $17.95  (R-$69)
Black 'Celebrity Pink' skinny jeans - Ross $12.99  (R-$18.99)
Spiral pendant on leather that I made for about $6  (R-$16)
Black 'Nine West' tote - Reuse shop $4.50  (R-$69)
Silver cuff bracelet - Gift from my mom  (R-$26)
**Black 'Alexis' wrap knee boot - JustFab $39.95  (R-Same)
Black cream liner, grey/purple pallet shadow, red lip
**Cost of boot not included in set as retail and actual price are the same

















Thursday, February 07, 2013

Bead That As It May...

I love long necklaces.  Think loop-twice-over-your-head long.  Reaching below the belt long.  Right now they're very fashionable, and they're SUPER easy to make.  My most worn are the super-long ropes of 'pearls' that I made a few years ago and have added to over time.  They are as versatile as you can get.  I wear them with sweater sets.  With the cream wide-leg trouser and bright colored blouse.  I can wrap them multiple times and wear them as a choker or as a bracelet.  You can leave them long, wear only one or as many as you feel like, or just wear a single one tied in a loose knot about halfway down your chest.  (always liked that look) One string I even made so it can be worn as a belt.  Wear them alone or pair them with simple long gold chains for that classic Chanel look that we're all familiar with and mostly can't afford!

The ropes are smallish pearls, and one that has large, over-sided pearls about the size of a quarter, with a silver clasp that is a great statement piece all on its own.  I got creative and made some stretch bracelets to go with them, along with a cute pair of dangle earrings.  If you haven't considered doing this yourself, I plan on talking you into it here.  Now.

I have three ropes.  I purchased everything with which to make them at Hobby Lobby, though you'll be able to find everything at pretty much any hobby store (i.e. Michael's or Joanne's) in the Jewelry aisles.

Necklace
Start with a tub of 'pearls'.  You'll find these in the jewelry section of your local hobby store.  They look something like this and cost about $9 for the entire tub.  Believe me: you'll get your use out of these!  This particular tub pictured is the exact tub that I purchased myself and has a nice selection of varying sizes and colors of the typical pearl-colored pearls that will make a nice mix when strung.



In that same section of the store, you'll find the stringing cord.  I like the one pictured at center in this particular shot, the 'Slick Cord', as it's easy to string, is very durable, and makes a nice tight knot when you're done.






If you want to do something a little fancier, there are tons of beads available that you can mix in to the pearl string for some additional visual appeal.  I like this particular strand to be pearls only as I use them for a specific look.  But this is the fun part of doing this yourself: you'll get exactly the look you want without having to shop around.

The only remaining tool you need is a pair of sharp scissors, and you're ready to go!
  • Cut off a nice long length of cord.  You can always add to or make shorter as you go, but make sure it's good and long to start with.  
  • Tie a knot at one end and start stringing those beads!
  • When it gets the length you'd like, tie both loose ends in a nice, tight knot.  Make sure that you've double or triple knotted this and pulled on it good to make sure it's nice and tight.  You don't want that whole pathetic-movie-scene where you're about to have a romantic moment and the string breaks and your almost-beloved breaks his neck on the ensuing mess!  Once the knot is secure, trim the ends nice a short.
Bracelets
Gay Boyer Pearl  Coil Bracelet
For the bracelets, do the same thing.  But for these you'll use a cord very similar to the one you purchased for the necklace, but with some elasticity to it.  Find one that is thick enough to hold up to the repeated stretching of regular use, but thin enough to fit through the drilled hole in each bead.  I have about 8 of these that I've made to wear altogether, or one (or just a few) at a time (pictured left).







Earrings
If you're feeling particularly daring, there are a number of really good tutorials on the web for making simple earrings.  A really good one that I've found is at MonkeySee.com that gives you a great step-by-step tutorial on the basics of jewelry making.  Earrings are a good place to start as they're quite simple and don't require a lot of experience or training to perfect.  The tools you'll learn in making earrings will apply to pretty much any item of jewelry you decide to make in the future and are a fun way to practice.  The earrings I made to go with my long necklaces and bracelets look exactly like the ones pictured below.
Once you get the hang of this, it's very easy to make something like this necklace below, a gorgeous cluster of pearls -- or beads of any kind that happen to strike your fancy! -- that will garner you compliments every time you wear it, and save you about $20!  I've seen similar at places like Kohl's for $32!

Etsy.com

Honestly though, if I can do this, anyone can.  Take an afternoon when you're going to be sitting on the couch anyway catching up on your Real Housewives of (Any City) episodes or that cooking show you Tivo but never get the time to watch, and string some beads.  This way you'll have exactly what you want to go with that new outfit, in exactly the colors you weren't able to find at the department store, and you'll have an entire set: necklace, bracelets, and earrings, to match!  And you'll do it at a fraction of the cost.

If you decide to try this, I'd love to see what you make!  Upload a picture to our Facebook page and share your creativity with the world!  

2.7.13 ~ Today's Outfit - Retail Cost: $156.94 What I Paid: $23.95

2.7.13 ~ Today's Outfit - Retail Cost: $156.94 What I Paid: $23.95

2.7.13 ~ Today's Outfit - Retail Cost: $156.94 What I Paid: $23.95 by madonah42

Red 'Jaclyn Smith' cashmere v-neck sweater - Gift from my mom  (R-$49)
Black 'Caroline Little' skirt with red flower detail - Reuse shop $2.50  (R-$26)
Black 'Madeline Stewart' "Belleville' T-strap - Ross $18.95  (R-$59.95)
Red acrylic stretch bangle - Walmart (sale) $2.50  (R-$5.99)
Large red 'Alligator' tote - Gift from my mom  (R-$16)
Red lip, black cream liner

Happy Thursday!
~M

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

2.5.13 Today's Outfit ~ Retail Cost: $300.94 What I Paid: $47.92

2.5.13 Today's Outfit ~ Retail Cost: $300.94 What I Paid: $47.92

2.5.13 Today's Outfit ~ Retail Cost: $300.94 What I Paid: $47.92 by madonah42
Cream 'Notations' sleeveless blouse - Burlington Coat Factory $7.99  (R-$15.99)
Black 'Jones New York' fitted jacket - Gift from my Mom!  (R-$119)
Cream 'Jessica Simpson' wide-leg trouser - Ross $12.99  (R-$79)
Black 'Guess' belt with pewter buckle - Ross (sale) $4.99  (R-$18)
Black 'Margit' tasseled loafer - Just Fab (sale) $19.95  (R-$59.95)
Pearl bracelet and earring set I made for about $2  (R-$9.99)
Black cream liner, red lip

Happy Tuesday!
~M



























Monday, February 04, 2013

Rushing The Cold

It doesn't seem that I can open a single sale or fashion email lately without being bombarded with "New Spring Items Are Here" or "It's Spring".  I'm not sure where they're coming from, but where I live, it's most definitely NOT spring, though I've gotta say it's been a little lean on what passes for normal winter weather with a lot of days in the high 50's and 60's during the month of January which the old timers are saying is a sure sign Winter will kick in around mid-March and last through May dumping feet of snow and ice!



I hate to even open those emails.  I know it's silly, but it seems unfair to winter to open them.  Like I'm cheating with Spring - whose been openly flirting! - and everyone knows about it but Winter. But Winter doesn't get its share.  We've gotten where, just like everything else, we rush through it in order to welcome in those warmer, languid, stretch-out-and-bask days leading into summer as if they're of more value than the darker nights and colder days that precede it.  For me, I noticed it years ago with retail stores began moving in Halloween items directly after Labor Day, and Valentines Day stuff directly on the heels of Christmas.

We rush a lot of things actually.  I was thinking about this on my drive home yesterday afternoon from meeting a client.  It's Sunday afternoon, and I'm on the freeway mentally trying to figure our if I can reroute my drive to shave off 10 minutes.  I didn't have a ton of work to get home to, nor was I particularly overbooked for the day.  Traffic wasn't heavy, and the roads were clean and dry.  I had a few errands to run when I got back to town, but was Sunday; nowhere I had to be until Monday morning at 8:00 a.m.  All those years with the boys at home making sure they were awake on time, at the bus stop on time, home from school, at baseball and soccer practice, in bed...and when they weren't home, how much time I had to get the house cleaned, the laundry done, the dinner made, before they were.  All of it, years of it, revolving around the clock and how much time I had to get them from one place to the next or how much time I had in between.  Now it's years later and I still find that I live my life taking the shortest routes and not really experiencing the drive.  

Working two jobs I still live by the clock, and time is precious, as every minute I waste is a minute that will be cut from my allotted and all-too-short sleeping time at the end of the day.  I'm actually afraid of what will happen come the end of this year, a self-imposed deadline in which I will be required to pick one job and stick with it.  My Person is becoming more and more disenfranchised with seeing nothing more than my back of an evening as he walks by my home office, oftentimes going to bed alone as I work into the wee hours.  He says he sees even less of me since I moved in.  I argue that he sees more of me now; he can see me working whereas he couldn't see me working before when I lived at my own place.  

Going back to being afraid.  I don't know if I'll remember how to just sit and read a magazine or watch TV.  What if I get bored?  What if he gets bored with me?  Which job should I choose: the one that pays the most, or the one that requires me to be up by 6:30 and to the office by 8?  What if I make the wrong decision?  What if I find I can't handle the time I have all to myself?  Too much time...?



But enough about me... 

Every new season is my favorite when it begins.  By August, I'm tired of the long hot days of summer and looking forward to the aspens changing on the mountain and the bright crisp taste of the years' first apples.  When winter comes, I'm looking forward to the shorter days and longer nights, wearing thick sweaters with jeans on the weekends, and pulling out those looonnng boxes containing my favorite high-heeled boots that feel almost new again it's been so long since I've worn them.  In Spring, I'm excited by the new shoots of grass when I'm outside playing with the dog, and watching the birds build their nest outside my office window on top of the curtains we have hanging on the deck, knowing that another summer is going to go by without being able to use them because I forgot to take them down while the birds were house hunting.    

So I guess I have found one thing I'm not rushing...

2.4.13 Today's Outfit ~ Retail Cost: $440.94 What I Paid: $67.67

2.4.13 Today's Outfit ~ Retail Cost: $440.94 What I Paid: $67.67

2.4.13 Today's Outfit ~ Retail Cost: $440.94 What I Paid: $67.67 by madonah42
Black 'Julia's Closet' chiffon tank - Marshall's $11.99  (R-$28)
Oxblood 'R&K Ltd' rocker jacket - Reuse shop $4.99  (R-$36)
Black 'Valerie Stephens' calf-length silk skirt - Reuse shop $5.25  (R-$126)
Black 'Lourdes' boot with gold buckle detail - Shoe Dazzle $24.95  (R-$49.95)
Navy blue 'Mackintosh Collection' overcoat - Reuse shop $12.99  (R-$98)
Silver hoop earrings - Gift from my Mom  (R-$26)\
Silver bracelet - Walmart (sale) $3  (R-$7.99)
Black 'Nine West' tote - Reuse shop $4.50  (R-$69)
Black cream liner, dark red lip
~M