Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Summer Skirt


I can't wait any longer for warm weather to get here, so although it's still cold out, I'm sporting a warm weather skirt today. Influenced by a lifetime of hearing the old rules about not wearing white until after Memorial Day, I feel a little rebellious for wearing a white skirt on a cold March day.  But it seems okay since I've added tights and a black sweater.  And it's cute, so who cares about old rules that don't really need to be followed.  And look!  The skirt has pockets!


If you wondered after Monday's post, Fella and I had some pretty tasty Ethiopian food the other night.  We started with a sampler of different types of Sambussa (tuna, beef, lentils and spinach), and then feasted on a messob sampler, which included turmeric seasoned beef, stir-fry chicken, lamb, tilapia, greens, beets, cabbage and carrots and sweet peas.  Yum! Our goal with these friends is to try a different cuisine each month.  We started last month with Colombian.  Any suggestions for April?

Last, I've added a few more items that I'm giving away to the Anne's Closet page. I do have more clothes, but for now I've just added accessories and a few pairs of shoes.

Cardigan: Target (remixed tons of times)
Tank: Gap Outlet (remixed)
Skirt: The Limited
Necklace: New York & Company
Tights: Target
Shoes: Naturalizer, via PiperLime (also remixed a lot)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Back to Life, Back to Reality


I don't know about you, but I've never been happier to get back to my day to day routine than after this weekend.  Thank you all for your kind words and support yesterday.  I just had to get everything out, and writing about things really helps me.  I'm so glad that there's such a great community around here to listen.

We had a great time with Fella's family last night, and he really seems to be feeling better about everything, so that's good.  Tonight we're headed out to try an Ethiopian restaurant for dinner with a couple of friends.  I'm looking forward to it, but also looking forward to getting some decent sleep tonight.  Waking up at 5:30am today wasn't so great after not getting a ton of sleep this weekend.

How was your weekend?

Cardigan: Loft
Tank: Gap
Pants: Limited
Necklace: New York & Company
Shoes: Naturalizer, via PiperLime

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Life Goes On

I had a post about the outfit I wore to a concert last night planned in my head, but I have bigger things on my mind right now, so talking about my outfit just seems silly. On Friday night, Fella and I went out separately. I went to dinner and bowling downtown with some girlfriends, and he went to watch the NCAA tournament at a bar with some of the guys. I was headed home from downtown at 11:30, and I waffled over meeting up with Fella and the guys. I ended up just going home because I was pretty tired, but told Fella to stay out if he wanted to. He called me at 2am to tell me he was walking home and that he loved me, and he’d see me soon. I fell back to sleep, and woke up about 45 minutes later to Jude barking and our doorbell ringing non-stop. I was wary of answering the door that late while home alone, but I did anyway, only to open the door on a crying Fella. He was missing his hat, and his jacket, a Christmas gift, was torn. He had blood on his forehead, the bridge of his nose and his lip, and dried blood in his beard. He looked so defeated when he told me he had been mugged. I pulled him inside, locked and deadbolted the door, and called the police. A report was filed, we cancelled all of his credit cards and spent all day Saturday rebuilding everything he had lost. It’s only been 24 hours, but Fella is doing better. We didn’t let what happened spoil our plans for this evening (aforementioned concert), because this senseless act had already taken enough. But despite that, I just can’t get the image of Fella at the door out of my head. In our nearly 4 years together, we’ve weathered a lot, but something about this is just so disturbing to me. I’ve seen him look sad, frustrated, defeated and vulnerable before. But seeing the person that I love the most look violated just broke my heart.

Over the years, I’ve discovered that I’m really great in a crisis. My first response last night was to make a list of all of the things we’d need to do and replace, and everyone we’d need to call. The mugger stole his wallet, phone and keys and sadly, the watch I bought him for his 30th birthday. Today we replaced the locks to all of the exterior doors on our building and had the car keys replaced and reprogrammed (rendering the stolen key useless). His phone has been deactivated, and all of his passwords have been changed. I made up a to-do list for him on Monday, so he would remember everything else that needs to be done. Once we accomplished everything on today’s list, it all finally hit me like a freight train. I imagined all of the horrible ways last night could’ve ended. Fella is fine, and only a little worse for the wear, but I couldn’t stop thinking about what I’d do if it had been worse. It could’ve been so much worse. He was in awful shape last year because of a chronic illness, and even being put in charge of his health care decisions if he wasn’t able to make them and knowing all of the risks he faced then didn’t rattle me as much as this. I think it’s because I wasn’t there. I feel so guilty for not coming out last night. I know what happened isn’t my fault, but I could’ve prevented it. If I had been with him, maybe he wouldn’t have been such an easy target. I would have insisted we take a cab instead of walking. Or maybe I could have used all of my self-defense training to get us out of the situation unscathed. That’s probably unrealistic, but we’ll never know. Why did I let him walk home when he called me? I could have gone and picked him up. Except that he and I walk home late at night all the time. We live in a relatively safe area, and hang out in similarly safe parts of town. But of course, no place is 100% safe. And now we know.

When all was said and done, all the thief really got away with was about $10 in cash, $25 in charges before the credit cards were cancelled, Fella’s old scratched up phone that was due to be replaced, and a watch. I doubt the police will be able to find him, as Fella couldn’t remember much about what he looked like, but if they do, was it worth it?

I wrote this last night before I finally went to bed. I'm happy to report that Fella and I are feeling a little better this morning. The sun is shining, it’s a new day and life goes on. I’m off to my knitting class in a few minutes, and we have our regularly scheduled Sunday dinner date with Fella’s family tonight. And I’m sure, eventually, we’ll both feel better.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Budgets and Decluttering

Thank you all for your comments and opinions on my last post.  After giving it some more thought, I decided to return the skirt.  I put it in the mail this afternoon (so as to avoid more temptation while returning it at the store), so it's a done deal.  It's really cute, but I just don't know if I'd get a lot of wear out of it.  I think I'd like it more if it were black or white, or any other color that I wear pretty regularly.  Cynthia made the point of asking when/where I would wear it, and I can't really answer that.  I agree that it's too cutesy for work (a touch too short too), but I'm not sure where it'd be appropriate.  And as SFE and others mentioned, if I have to ask if I should return it, I should probably return it.

I may not have thought so much about it if I hadn't just made a list of all of things that I want to get for our new condo, and that stuff all really adds up!  Do I need another skirt, or do I want to get a nice set of curtains to cover our new windows?  Or a new rug?  Or a new bed set?  Lanterns for our new back porch?  Flowers to plant in our new yard?  You get the idea.  As much as I love clothes shopping, I think I need to take a serious break and save my money for bigger things.  Style Nation, can you help keep me in check on this?  Starting April 1st, I'm giving myself a monthly budget of $100 to spend on things like clothes, shoes, accessories, make-up, and even yarn (I've gotten hooked on knitting, and that stuff adds up!).  That probably still seems like a lot for someone who needs to save money, but compared to what I've spent in past months... it's not too bad.  There's not a lot that I really need right now, so hopefully it shouldn't be too hard.  I do need to replace my old, beat up Chaco Flips sandals before our trip to California next month, but I have a $50 gift card from Zappo's that I got with my credit card rewards points, so that won't eat up too much of the budget.

Today's post also made me start thinking about clothes that I don't love.  I have a lot that fits into this category, and it's starting to feel really cluttered.  We're planning to move the first weekend in June, so between now and then, I'm doing some serious evaluating of everything that's in my closets and in storage, and I'm going to start getting rid of things that don't get used.  I'll list all of this on eBay eventually, but first I thought I'd open it up to you.  Thus far I've just posted some clothes, but I'll be adding accessories and probably shoes at some point in time too.  Rebecca of MinnChic posted a link to a swapping blog today.  I think it's a really cool idea, and encourage you all to check it out, but swapping isn't for me right now since I don't want anything in return.

Click here or on "Anne's Closet" underneath our banner to see what I'm giving away. 

Should It Stay or Should It Go?

I need your help, Style Nation. I picked up this skirt the other day, but I'm torn over whether or not I should keep it.  Now that we're buying the condo, I'm being a lot more picky about my shopping and I want to really get my money's worth out of anything I do buy. This is a good thing. Normally I would just keep the skirt because it's cute, disregarding the fact that I can't imagine a lot of outfits with it.  I like it with green, but I don't know how else to style it. As you can see, it's yellow (it's a little brighter in person), and has a black waist band attached.  What should I do?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Fixed Boots and a Found Dress


Since it continues to be cold and gross here, I can get away with wearing another short (for me) dress since I can still wear tights.  I have no idea what I'm going to do once it's warm enough for me to wear bare legs again - I don't quite have the confidence to wear shorter lengths then.  Maybe I'll get over it.


I just dug through old posts, and it seems it's been a full month since these boots have seen the light of day!  The last time I wore them, I broke a heel!  I wish I had a cool story about how it happened, but it was while I was standing around socializing with my co-workers.  And nearly falling over mid-conversation because your heel has snapped is totally not embarrassing.  Fortunately there's a good cobbler nearby, so they're good as new.  They fixed them within a couple of days, but it took me a while to pick them up, and I just haven't been inspired to boot up.


This dress is another of many rarely-worn purchases from last winter that's just been hanging around the back of my closet.  I usually wear this with a wide black belt to break the print up a little, but I wasn't feeling it today.


Dress & Tights: Target
Cardigan: Loft
Necklace: New York & Company
Boots: Eddie Bauer

Monday, March 21, 2011


closet 013

So it's technically spring, but it doesn't really look or feel it right now. Our high today is supposed to be 60, but it was pretty chilly out this morning when Jude and I went for our walk. And it's gray and overcast, so that, coupled with a Monday, made me reach for some darker colors. I know I chose to live in Chicago and all, but really, would it be too much to ask for spring to start with a warm, sunny day? Like the beautiful day depicted in the Gandharvas' First Day of Spring (have any of our Canadian readers ever heard this song? It takes me back to high school, when I was listening to lots of great Canadian music via our Windsor radio station).

closet 017

Nevertheless, I had a pretty good weekend. I had my second knitting class yesterday, and I'm really starting to get the hang of it. And on Saturday, my girlfriends and I took a few dance classes. One was a 90's dance class, modeled after the moves from In Living Color's Fly Girls (wow, all kinds of 90's references in today's post), which was a ton of fun. But pretty much every muscle in my body is feeling it!  We finished the day with manicures and martinis, so it was worth it.  How was your weekend?

Dress, Belt, Tights & Necklace: New York & Company (I didn't realize it was all NY&CO until I started listing it)
Shoes: Clarks Indigo

Friday, March 18, 2011

Not So Casual Friday

Note: My blogging today doesn't mean that I do not support relief efforts for Japan. If you would like to help, Fashionable Academics posted a list of ways to donate yesterday, and you can also find more information at For Japan With Love. As I post this, I'm reading a note from our CEO mentioning that our company is contributing $500k to relief efforts for the earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand and Japan, and they are matching all employee contributions made to the American Red Cross. According to the US Chamber of Commerce, corporations have donated $150 million to relief thus far. As much as I may complain about my job, I'm proud to work for a company that is helping in a time of need, and I'm happy that my donation will be doubled. 


As regular readers may know, my office has a casual dress code everyday.  I always observe a casual Friday, but not so much today.  Our new parent company's board of directors is touring our office today, so we received a memo telling us to clean our work spaces (that didn't happen - but then how would they know that I'm busy if they don't see folders and papers scattered all over my desk?) and dress like we have clients coming today.  That seems odd, since they know we don't have a business dress code and there are no plans to change that, but I digress. Since it's Friday, I decided to still keep it fun, with a full skirt and super bright cardigan.

Full Skirt Fun

In other news, I mentioned in Wednesday's post that Fella and I had made an offer on a condo on Tuesday. We received a counter on Tuesday night, countered back with our maximum price, and received another counter on Wednesday morning.  It was still too high for us, so we told them that we were standing firm on the price, and that we had 2 other places in mind if they didn't want to accept our offer (one is in the same building, so they knew we weren't bluffing!).  Evidently that worked, because they came back on Wednesday night and accepted our offer!  We close in early June, so Fella and I are going to be homeowners!  We're both super excited, and appreciate all of the good wishes on Wednesday :)

Cardigan: Loft
Tee: Old Navy
Skirt: The Limited
Necklace: New York & Company
Tights: Target
Shoes: Naturalizer, via Piperlime

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Waiting Game


Happy Wednesday, Style Nation! I made it through my March 15th deadline at work, so I'm breathing a big sigh of relief there!  However, I'm still on needles and pins because we are waiting to hear from our realtor about the condo.  We submitted an offer yesterday morning, received a counter offer last night, and submitted a new offer last night.  The new offer is the most we can comfortably afford, so I'm really hopeful that they'll accept.  But in the meantime, the suspense is killing me!

In other news, spring has arrived in Chicago!  It's a clear and sunny morning here, and it's supposed to get up to the upper 50's this afternoon.  To get ready for spring weather, I'm sporting a new dress that I picked up for summer and the California trip (if it looks familiar, it's because rlutz was sporting it over at Not Just MOM a couple of weeks ago).


Dress and belt: Target
Cami, tights and necklace: New York & Company
Jacket: Old Navy
Shoes: Clarks Indigo, gifted

Monday, March 14, 2011

Easy Like Sunday Morning


This is not what I'm wearing today.  It's what I was wearing yesterday.  The day started with a 10am beginning knitting class at a neighborhood yarn shop.  I've never knitted in my life, but had been looking for another creative hobby (because blogging, photography, playing the piano and cooking/baking just weren't enough) so I decided to take a class to learn something new.  In part, it was to help combat my usual winter blues, but I couldn't get the class into my schedule until now.  It's a 4 week class, and I'm hoping that by the end I'll be able to knit plenty of scarves and hats, and baby blankets for all of my friends who are expecting right now.


Speaking of babies, my cousin just had a baby boy on Thursday, so I stopped at Old Navy on my way home from work on Friday to pick up a few gifts to send.  I feel bad being far away from my family when important things are happening, but at least I can let them know I'm thinking of them. And while picking up adorable baby clothes, I found this adorable polka dot tank top and pretty much had to get it.


Another stop on my way home was at Target.  Just as E-Jo suggested in the comments on Friday's post, I did pick up some sale boxed wine.  Not necessarily to help my back, but it didn't hurt. Which reminds me, thank you all so much for the nice comments on Friday!  My back seems to have mostly healed this weekend, and I was even able to do some strength training on it on Saturday.

But enough about me.  How was your weekend?


Cardigan and Wine: Target
Tank: Old Navy
Jeans: Gap
Shoes: Puma
Necklace: Embellish
Watch: Anne Klein, gifted (c. 2006)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pay it Forward

I saw this post over at Chic on the Cheap last weekend, and lucky me, I was one of the first 5 to comment!  So the first 5 people to comment on this post will receive something handmade from me by the end of the year.  Then in turn, the first 5 commenters also need to post this and do the same.  I don' t know exactly what I have in mind yet, but I can be pretty crafty when I have the time (Fella could attest to all of the "arts & crafts" style cards and gifts he's received from me over the years). 

Edited: Rad has also offered to share her creative talents on this project, so you'll be receiving something handmade from both of us!

Friday, March 11, 2011

More Purple & Orange


Happy Friday!  I'm far more excited about this scarf than I am the outfit as a whole.  How could I not be?  It's full of rich colors, and it's kind of shiny.  And the rest of the outfit, totally built around the scarf, still fits in my Friday formula of jeans, tee/tank and cardigan.


I need to apologize for being so absent in Style Nation this week.  Not only is all of my crazy busy work stuff wrapping up, but yesterday I suffered a totally stupid injury to my back, so after sitting at a computer all day, I just don't have it in me to spend much time on the computer after work.  I was getting ready to go to the gym before work, and I sneezed while putting on my tennis shoes.  And, I'm not kidding, the sneeze threw my back out.  I didn't even know such a thing was possible, but it was seriously painful.  Like, I could barely move for a good hour afterward.  From a sneeze.  I've been hanging out on the couch with a heating pad for the most part, and am hoping this will get better by the weekend.  When I e-mailed my boss about it, he joked that between throwing my back out and getting ready to buy a home, these are clear signs that I'm getting older.  Oh well, at least I still look good.

Sweater: Loft
Tank: Gap Outlet
Jeans: Gap
Scarf: Jule
Boots: Kohl's

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

In Lieu of Polka Dots


So here's the thing.  I was going through my closet looking at the various polka-dotted things I own so that I can join in the fun over at Everybody, Everywhere (including this sweaterthis top and this scarf), when I came upon this dress.  There are some dots amongst the stripes, but they're not really polka dotty.  I decided to wear this dress today anyway.  It's been hiding in the back of my closet since last year.  I bought it and really liked the print, but felt like it was way too short for me.  It still feels a little shorter than things I normally wear, but it's okay with tights, and since I've been doing a lot of cardio over the past 9 months or so, I don't completely hate my legs in shorter skirts and dresses.


Also, I don't know if you can tell, but there's some orange in this dress!  (So you were right, Gracey, there is an Orange for Everybody!)  The coloring is a lot warmer than what I normally wear, which is a nice change.

Dress, Cardigan, Tights & Necklace: Target (Wow!)
Bracelet: Macy's
Earrings: The Limited
Shoes: Naturalizer, via Piperlime

Monday, March 7, 2011

I've Got the Blues For You


Happy Monday, Stylenation!  Today starts the last full week of my busy season at work, and I couldn't be more excited for it to end.


Earlier this year, when we were in the real thick of winter, I was wearing a lot of blues and greys, and really feeling it.  I have a lot going on right now between crazy work stuff and the ongoing condo-buying drama, but despite all of the stress that's bringing to my life, I'm far from blue.  Spring is in sight, and good things are happening.  So now I'm just wearing blue because it's my favorite color.


Sweater: The Limited
Dress & Tights: Target
Brooch: Etsy
Bracelet: New York & Company
Shoes: Tsubo

Friday, March 4, 2011

Same Old, Same Old


Happy Friday!  There's nothing too exciting about today's outfit.  I mean, I like it, but the combination of jeans, a tee and a cardigan has pretty much been my uniform as of late (even more so on days I'm not blogging).  It's just so easy.


Cardigan: Target
Tee, Necklace & Shoes: Loft
Jeans: Gap

To make up for the average, formulaic outfit, here's some pictures of Jude being stylish after a visit to the vet's office.  We don't know how, but he broke one of his nails, so I had to take him to get it removed this week.  The vet gave him a pretty sassy bandage, but to keep it clean, they also wrapped his paw for the trip home in a make-shift bootie - made out of an IV bag and some gauze.  I'm sure it's wrong to laugh at it, but it was pretty funny.

jude 004

As you can see, he's in excruciating pain here.  When he refused to stop trying to eat said bandage, we had to resort to socks.  He's a fan of argyle.  And the treat that I was holding while taking his picture.

jude 011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Business Casual Casual

Don't adjust your monitors, Style Nation!  All of the brightness on your screen is not a mistake.  The sun actually came out here!

Things are starting to really get busy at work, as we brace for the last 2 weeks before our big March 15th deadline (my entire career has always been dictated by some sort of government deadline, and I still can never fully get used to being totally slammed for a month prior).  I would have loved to have worn jeans today, but we have a company wide Town Hall meeting with our CEO.  I think it's only the second such meeting since they announced our merger, and the first since we've actually been one united company, so I don't want to miss it.  But working in our corporate headquarters, I'm expected to attend in person.  So although we have a casual dress code that allows for jeans everyday, I just couldn't do it.

That said, immediately after work tonight I'm meeting Fella and a friend of ours at a bar for dinner and beverages, so I didn't want to look too corporate.  I always feel weird going to bars in dressy work clothes.  It's just not my thing.  So my compromise?  A denim pencil skirt.  I feel like I'm still dressed a little better than jeans for my meeting, but not nearly as fancy as a full-on business casual outfit for the night out.  Paired with a soft sweater and flats, it's all comfort.

How do you dress for two totally different situations?

Sweater & Skirt: Loft
Necklace: New York & Company
Tights: Target
Shoes: Eddie Bauer