16

Goodwill’s TV spot and fashion show

Are you guys ready to see me in all my awkward glory on the news? I went on with Goodwill to promote their upcoming fashion show. The show is tomorrow from 11-noon at the store in Canton, Michigan. Lexi (my adorable buddy in the video) and I are modelling in the show, along with 15 others, including my husband and Katie from Fashion Frugality.

The show promotes the great fashions you can purchase at Goodwill for way less than current retail prices. You can check out some behind the scenes photos and videos on Goodwill’s facebook page.

The sweater, pants and trench all came from Goodwill. The shoes are from Nine West, and my necklace (alone with the one Lexi is wearing) are from Kie & Kate. If you’re interested in a similar necklace, contact Kate to see what’s available, or head to the store if you live near Chicago!

Here are some better images of the necklace:
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While I was taking photos of the necklace, Loafy bombed my photo space. So I took her photo. She didn’t stay long!
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I’ll have some shots of the fashion show to share with you guys next week!

10

Michigan bloggers, unite!

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Photo from Sara

On Saturday, Liz helped me schlep some stuff to the park in Ann Arbor, for our meetup and clothes swap. It was really nice to see the ladies I’ve hung out with before (Jacelyn, Katie, Alicia), and meet some new faces (Sara, Cat, Brittney and Tiffany). There were a few other ladies that were planning to attend but one got lost (uhoh!) and the other had something else come up. It’s a bummer because they’re both so fabulous and I love seeing them, so next time we’ll get them out to Ann Arbor.

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Liz and I picked up some Faygo and Better Made chips (Michigan brands, if you’re from out-of-state). I also made up some blogger bingo cards and we all chatted, and three ladies walked away with some pretty sweet prizes c/o my wallet (yeah, I just wrote that.).

Speedy Girl sent an item for each attendee there, which was really fun. Liz helped me go through the items before the meetup, and I pointed things out I thought each attendee would like, and I was spot on with many of them! (This is what happens when you read someone’s fashion blog a lot- you learn their style!).

Anika Burke also sent rings for the ladies, and I have to say, they were all amazing! Cat’s perfectly matched her outfit. In fact, I think I asked her a few times if she was sure that’s the one she got, because it was just too perfect!
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The ring in this photo… seriously perfect match!

I found myself wearing what I already predicted would become my fall go-to outfit, and it looks like I’m right!

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Top/dress: c/o Speedy Girl
Cardigan: Old Navy
Jeggings: c/o Karen Kane
Boots: Target
Scarf: Forever 21

The other attendees:

Sara from She is Sara
Liz from 26 and Counting
Cat from Midwest Mayhem
Tiffany from Nynga +The  Bear 
Britney from Woodstock Hearts Fashion
Jaclyn from Stay in the Lines
Katie from Fashion Frugality

PS- while you’re reading this, I’ll be sweating bullets on TV. Yeah. I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow, and hopefully will have a clip!

20

The essential fall outfit

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Top: Borrowed from Liz
Jeans: c/o Karen Kane (I think they’re considered jeggings)
Boots and cardigan: Target
Earrings: Francesca’s
Necklace: LOFT (gift from my mom and sister)

I have a feeling my fall uniform is going to consist of jeans and knee-high boots, now that I have flat black and flat brown boots. These brown ones have been worn at least five out of the past seven days. They may get annoying, but I will vouch for their comfort (and price!).

This is the last outfit I wore with the items Liz let me borrow. She came up for the weekend, and I returned her clothes, but I really wanted to wear this top before she got here. So, of course, I wear it on Thursday and she arrives on Friday. Nothing like waiting until the last minute!

Too bad this is my test shot.  I like the lighting!
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25

Hot pink pants!

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For this version of the Paper Doll Project, I am paired with Alyson from The Average Girl’s Guide. Now I know what you’re thinking, “wow, two fabulous redheads?!”
Yes! (Although I’m sure she’s natural, and mine’s from a bottle.)

We each picked pants as our main piece. Mine are these hot pink skinnies from Zara and Alyson picked a really cool pair of printed jeans from Kmart (Check out how she wore them!!).

I’m really ready for fall to get here so the tree that I usually pose by won’t cast such lovely shadows on my face. Sometimes they make me giggle, and other times they annoy me. Today, they annoy me.
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Top: Ruche
Pants: c/o Zara
Jacket: H&M
Shoes: Target

Be sure to check out the rest of the bloggers that are participating in Paper Doll Project (the next one will be in November!):

Fabulously Average and From the Mixed-up Files
I Have A Degree In This! and Smart n Snazzy: Stylish Without Going Broke
The Socialite’s Closet and Tulips to Kiss You With
Unusual Form and The Daily Dani
An Old Story and Matters of Merrymaking
The Brunette One and BiblioMOMia
The Average Girl’s Guide and Miss Vinyl Ahoy

13

Fall trends I will either make or avoid

The new fall fashions that hit stores in late August are often the harbinger of the cooler weather we’ve been waiting for. So of course the very first day it’s 60 degrees I buy myself a new pair of boots (my old one were falling apart at the seams, literally). But, as mother nature would have it, it was 80 the next day.

As I struggle to decide between packing away my summer togs, and keeping them around a little longer, I wonder how many of the new trends I already own, could easily make, or wouldn’t wear. One rainy afternoon, I decided to do some investigating. (Photos via Refinery 29)

Colored pants are one of the top new trends this fall. But, oh wait, they were also a trend last year. So rather than shelling out money on new pants, why not just dig out the maroon and purple pants I wore last year? Trend 1, check.

Next up are leather skirts. I’ve been rocking one for a few years now that I picked up in a thrift store for pennies. Nice to see that investment is paying off!

Ponchos. Well, I fail this one because I own a cropped cape, but I feel more like Batman wearing it than fashionable. So we’ll just add that to my “to donate” box, and I’ll probably steer clear of this trend, or else I might fool myself into thinking I’m more of a super hero than the Green Hornet, and we all Kato was the real hero there.

High slits are desirable this fall. Well, hand me some scissors so I can hack up my maxi skirts. Or I’ll just skip this trend because it feels more runway or warmer weather appropriate. Can you imagine me walking through snow, with a slit up the front of my skirt? Yeah, me neither.

Tuxedo chic. Why don’t we call it what it really is: fancy waitress. Now I have nothing against menswear as a look for women, I think it can look quite sleek. But these looks make me feel like I should ask what you’d like to drink and tell you the specials. That being said, I did inherit a tie after my father passed away that I will probably wear. Joe and I gave it to him to wear to our wedding, so it’s special to us. Back to fall fashions…

Long duster coats. Also know as “that thing that will get dragged through the snow and trapped in the door of my car on my way to work.” I do own a trench coat that is on the longer side, but again, because of the snow we get here in metro Detroit, I’m not going to wear a floor-length coat anywhere. That’s just asking for trouble.

Rich blue. I actually really like this color. I own a tee-shirt that’s very similar to this color. I think it looks cerulean, which is the best crayon in the entire box. At least it is for me.

Graphic stripes. Didn’t we just go through this trend with all those Prada dresses? I suppose the only way I want to look like I’m wearing baseball pants with garter belts on them is if I’m told it’s fashionable. Time to dig out my old softball uniform and a paint brush. It’s going to be a long night.

Mid calf skirts (weren’t these called midi skirts last year?). Is it just me, or does it seem like skirts on the runways are anything but flattering for the average woman? Sure, these stick-thin models look great in these skirts (even that gold one), but I have a feeling if I wore a skirt to my mid calf that I’d look like I had hiked up my maxi too high.

A few other trends to take note of: pattern mixing, polka dots and dyed furs. I’ve never met a pattern I didn’t like, especially polka dots, but I think I’ll be steering clear of the furs. The last time I brought faux fur into my home Loafy thought it was a new friends and proceeded to groom it for three days.

Are there any fall trends you can’t wait for, or are waiting to disappear?

29

Spending habits, the Anthroholic scandal and my thoughts.

*Please note the following is my own opinion on the topic as someone who’s following along, not as someone that’s been affected.

Have you guys been following along with the Anthroholic scandal? If you haven’t, start here, then read this, this, this, this, and the three posts here . (Read the comments too, if you have time.)

Basically, the gist of the story is that the blogger Anthroholic started up a personal shopping business, where, for a fee, you could “order” something from a store that you can’t get near you, and she’s purchase it with your money, and mail it to you, which, if you live in Canada, can be a great deal. So you paid, up front, for this item that you really wanted. Sounds great, right? Well, it turns out that it really wasn’t so peachy keen. Now it’s coming out that the majority of her “clients” never received their items, when they inquired as to where their purchases were, they were given a myriad of answers from “oh, you didn’t get my email?” to “Anthropologie sent me the wrong size, I have to return it for you.” And it seems like lost emails and wrong sizes were constantly being sent, in an alarming fashion. So alarmingly much, that one person had her IT department at work make sure her email was working properly (it was). Now, 600+ comments in on some of those blog posts I link to above, it seems like this happened to hundreds of people, and many of them paid upwards of $300 for items they never received.

Let’s do the math and say that there were 100 people who “purchased” items they never received, and each sent about $350 (there were rumors of one person sending $800!). That’s at least $35,000 unaccounted for. 

Now, nothing happened to me personally, but it upsets me to no end. And I’m also not part of that Anthro-blogger group, but I do have a group of bloggers I consider my friends. How would feel if one of them did this? Well, I’d be pissed. I’m all for people living their dreams, or doing something to make money, but when you go to this extreme, and regardless of what was happening in her personal life, something is wrong. I’m sure her clients would’ve rather had her say “sorry, I’m a little overwhelmed. I’ll let you know when I can shop for you,” instead of continuing to accept their money, and not fulfill their orders.

I feel like Anthroholic’s general idea was really brilliant. Shop for those that can’t get there, charge them a small fee for your trouble and ship their items. It seems like it would work out really well, but that’s where it went wrong. Rather than fulfill what her original idea was, for whatever reason Anthroholic wasn’t able to fulfill these orders, for months. Who knows if she really was overwhelmed, or if she was taking the money. We all assume what we believe is true, but only Kim knows for sure. Perhaps it was her personal life, her alleged crippling debt, or maybe just the draw of seeing such a large amount of money in her paypal account let her down a road that most people wouldn’t step foot on. But whatever it was, now she’s going to have to pay. There are talks on some of the linked posts above of police action, IRS involvement, or even FBI involvement, because if she did embezzle the money, it’s fraud. And because some of the clients were from Canada, that adds international charges to this whole mess.

Because of all this, a discussion between me, Jenni, Sarah and Kimmie started last night on twitter. We talked about credit cards, savings and debt. I made the comment that Joe and I don’t use credit cards, we’re cash only (we include our debit card with cash, since it’s taken out of the account right away). And for us, it works. Sure, I love shopping and love getting new clothes as much as anyone else. And while I do own a few things from pricier stores like Anthropologie, they’ve been purchased with money I had, and always on sale. I may love a skirt from Anthropologie, but I don’t love it $168 worth.

Another thing Joe and I do really well is communicate about certain purchases. No, we don’t tell each other every time we’re headed to Starbucks, but we often remind each other that we have a coffee maker, and that we’d rather make something at home, save the extra money and go to a movie or something. We also have one debit card between the two of us. Yes, ONE debit card. We share it. If I need gas today, I take it and get gas. If Joe needs gas, he takes it to go get gas. We’ve never been questioned as to why the name doesn’t match the person using it (which does freak me out sometimes), but it makes it easier to make sure we’re aware of what we’re spending.

Thankfully, I’ve never been in a place where I’ve had debt. My parents sacrificed a lot to help me pay for college. I’ve had at least one job (sometimes two!) since I was 14. I loved saving money. Watching that number grow on my bank account was something that become an obsession when I was in high school. That’s why my obsession for all things thrifted began. I would rather spend $5 on a skirt that looks exactly the same as a $60 J Crew skirt. When I was 16, I had the opportunity to spend most of my hard-earned money on a trip to Europe for the summer with classmates. So I did. The money I spent the last two years earning became one of the best trips I’ve ever been on. Because I was going on this trip, without my family, my parents helped me apply for a credit card with a $1,000 limit. I used that card on the trip and continued to use it once I returned, paying off everything I purchased every month, in full.

My parents taught me how to be fiscally responsible, and sometimes when I wish I could buy a $300 coat, I remind myself that it’s the same price as my car payment, and I’d rather have a car to drive.

Now, Joe and I only owe money to my parents (my dad fronted Joe money to go back to school). We have no student loans, no credit card debt, and basically live debt free. We use cash or our debt card for all purchases, and we’re thankful for the place we’re in. I’ve never had to deal with over-spending, I’ve never had to talk to debt collectors, and while my heart may hurt when I have to drop $375 on bills like I did yesterday, the fact that I have the money to pay for those bills is better than anything I could ever purchase in a store.

Now, I’m not saying that spending issues are what drove Anthroholic to her despicable deed of alleged thievery, but it seems like there is something going on. I’ve had my fair share of personal and family issues over the past year, and while I probably handled things differently, it isn’t an excuse. If you’re a nurse, and you stop taking care of your patients, but yet still get paid, that’s wrong. (Ok, maybe not the best example, but you get what I’m saying).

It’s just another (sad) lesson that you can’t always trust everyone you “meet” online. We really don’t know these other bloggers we communicate with, and I think this situation is going to make a lot more people skeptical. I’m hopeful that everyone that was swindled out of money during this scam is able to get refunded. And perhaps Anthroholic will get to the root of her issue before she finds herself in a deeper hole.

If you’re having issues with money or debt, or have a problem with shopping contact Debtors Anonymous or  Shopaholics Anonymous (248) 358-8508.

45

Shop Speedy Girl (review and giveaway!)

You guys probably saw this post where I’m wearing a dress from Shop Speedy Girl as a top (so lazy, I know).  Like I said on that post, I adore Shop Speedy Girl because it’s the Groupon of shopping. Every 24 hours, two items are released for sale. But you can only get them in that 24-hour time period. Because there are only two items available for purchase every day, costs are kept very low, so you get the same mod/vintage inspired pieces you could buy at one of those others stores that I won’t name, but for much less.

For example- the dress I was sent is the same brand as my phoenix dress, which was purchased from one of those other stores about a year ago. But this adorable cat print dress was about $10 less. Yeah, that’s right- $10 LESS.

The other awesome part? Most of the dresses have longer hem lines, meaning they’re more flattering and cover more skin on someone taller like me, but will still look nice on someone shorter. Win-win!

Now for the fun part. Shop Speedy Girl is giving away a $100 credit to one of you guys.

The way to enter? Like Shop Speedy Girl on Facebook (they always post about their new items, so you won’t miss a thing!) and leave me a comment below telling me you’ve done so.

Important details: must be a US resident to enter, must “like” Shop Speedy Girl on Facebook to be entered, only one entry per person. Giveaway ends at midnight, EST on September 21.

By the way- with these prices and that store credit, you could walk away with quite a few new items! (Can you tell I’m totally jealous?!)

(Full disclosure: I was sent the I talk about in this post and wear in this post to review. All opinions are my own.)

12

Carrie and Knoll’s wedding

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(I love how Knoll’s looking at Carrie in this photo. You can see the love in his face.)

Saturday was Carrie and Knoll’s wedding (9-10-11!!). The location was four hours away from where I live, so I drove up on Saturday morning, planning to get there early to assist Carrie with her makeup (she bought it from etsy!). She’s a beautiful woman, so she really didn’t need any help, but I offered any way, so she wouldn’t have to worry about it (no racoon eyes!!).

I’ve been hearing about the wedding for months, had seen some photos and had discussed plans with Carrie at lunch. I was so honored that I was invited to witness their special day. I’ve only known Carrie and Knoll a short time, but they’re amazing people and an amazing couple. I had such a blast meeting all their other friends (I only knew one other person at their wedding!), and could immediately tell why they were all friends.

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The bouquets were exactly as Carrie had described, and I love the shades of blue and green in the flowers.

Their cake was covered in a sand colored frosting and homemade beach glass candy.
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It was delicious, as was the beach glass candy.

Knoll wore a suit that was picked out, piece by piece. But seeing him in it, you’d never know.
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Sportcoat and tie: Haggar
Shirt: Stafford
Striped socks (not pictured): Richer or Poorer
Pants: Kohls
Shoes: Kenneth Cole
Cufflinks: Etsy

Carrie was just plain radiant in her dress. She showed me a picture the day she picked it out, and I couldn’t wait to see it on her. It was just perfect on her, and for the location they picked.

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Dress: Davids Bridal
Necklace: Etsy
Hair flower: Etsy
Shoes (not pictured): Spring Shoes via me!

The shoes are a funny story. I wear a larger size in European made shoes, but didn’t know that when I purchased a pretty pair of vintage inspired white mary janes a few years ago. They didn’t fit, but they were only $10, so I was planning to just donate them, but I never did. Fast forward to a few months ago when Carrie was having a tough time finding shoes she liked, and I remembered this long-lost pair I owned. I offered them to her, as a backup pair, in case she couldn’t find any she really like (knowing she wears a size smaller than me). Well, long story short(ish) and Carrie fit perfectly in my shoes and they matched her dress.
I bought her wedding shoes two years ago, for $10. And, her family knows me as “the shoe girl.” It was really funny to meet her family on Saturday, because when I told them my name, they asked “oh, the one with the shoes?!” and I’d laugh and say yes.

My outfit wasn’t nearly as interesting as the rest of the wedding, but I really need to sing my praises for this dress. I drove 200 miles without realizing I didn’t have an extra bra, so I only had one choice to wear, and it was lime green (poor planning on my part, I know). But you couldn’t tell at all. The lining of this dress is amazing, and on top of that, many of Carrie’s friends and family complimented the dress. So kudos Karen Kane, this is an awesome dress!
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Dress: c/o Karen Kane
Belt: Forever 21
Bracelet: Anika Burke
Shoes: Urban Outfitters

My first trip to Ludington was well worth it. I’d love to go back, when I can spend more than a night there. Living on the east side of Michigan makes it difficult to spend time on the west side. But I swear I am working on it.

10

Cats on my shirt

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Dress (as a top): c/o Shop Speedy Girl
Skirt: Old Navy
Shoes: Target

Saturday I drove up to Ludington to watch my friends Carrie and Knoll get married. Knowing it was a long drive, I wanted to be comfortable, but I also wanted to be ready and able to change in a rest stop bathroom, if I was running late.

So I opted for my new dress, worn as a top, with a flowy skirt. Green-on-green matches, right? Well it does in my mind.

I have a longer post coming up about Shop Speedy Girl, to talk about how awesome it is. I like to say it’s like the Groupon of shopping, because it really is. And how cute is the top with the crocheted back and cat print? It’s the same brand as the phoenix dress I own that I (also) often wear as a top, so it’s a given that I’m going to love it.

6

Michigan Blogger Meetup September 24

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I decided it is time for another Michigan Blogger Meetup.

This time, I thought it was be fun to meet at Nichols Arboretum in Ann Arbor. It’s a really pretty park with free parking! I’m thinking picnic blankets, balloons and a fun clothing swap!

The Arb is also pretty close to some of the shopping areas downtown, in case we want to head that way.

The meetup is open to anyone (bloggers, readers, significant others, etc). My only requirements: bring a blanket to sit on and clothing to swap (if you want to swap anything).

Please RSVP here:

*Edit- the form should now work (stupid plugins…)

And, in case you need directions to the Arb, here they are!

PS- in the case of really cold or rainy weather I am working on a backup plan, so please make sure to give me your email so I can update you in case we need to move the location.