Friday, November 30, 2012

Girl Friday: Kristen

This is my dear friend Kristen!
I've known this girl since she befriended me in high school. (I was a nerd. She thought she was amazingly cool. Probably because she was.) Her style was waaay different back then, and mainly consisted of tees and jeans, work boots and heavy-duty farm hoodies. So you can understand why, after she'd moved out and gotten married, I died laughing when she showed up to lunch looking posh and gangsta-fabulous. After I caught my breath, I of course told her she looked amazing -- I loved that she'd found another style that works for her, and I could tell she was loving experimenting with this new side of her personality. She has so much fun with her style, and it shows!

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The Twenty Ninth: Describe your style in a few words or a phrase.
K: I don't know that I've ever tried to put my style into words. I'm more of a "if I like it, I'll wear it" kind of girl. But comfortable and accessories are key so let's sum it up as "blinged out comfort."

TN: How has your style evolved over the years?  
K:  I don't know that evolve would be the appropriate word to describe it. I more so belly-flopped like an elephant off the high dive into my style. Growing up surrounded by the farm life my wardrobe was pretty much made up of steel toed boots, dirty jeans, a few worn in t-shirts sporting my favorite Professional Bull Riding cowboys, and my trusty Carhartt jacket (yes, the one from the men's department at the tractor supply store). Although I loooved my childhood, once I moved out I suddenly discovered ACCESSORIES and FASHION and just like that it was out with the old and in with the new. I'm a night and day comparison these days.
TN: Any fun/embarrassing clothing mishaps or stories you want to share?
K: How about the other day when I didn't realize that my fancy wrap shirt fell apart while running errands? That little button clasping it closed in the back... yeah, it had let go and was allowing in a big draft that I stupidly decided to ignore for the longest time. And of course that was the day I neglected to properly layer it with a tank underneath. Haha, you better believe safety pins was suddenly the next item on my shopping list!

TN: Who are your style influences?
K: Honestly, people on the street and friends on Facebook. Especially that mom pushing a stroller and chasing a toddler who struts her stuff with flare. Having my life centered around producing, raising, and caring for little munchkins, I know what an effort it can be sometimes so I love to take note of others excelling at it. I also love browsing fashion magazines and watching TV shows centered around bashing bad celebrity style... haha, yes I do.
TN: Where's your favorite place to shop?  
K: I'm a bargain-hunting girl. With our young family budget where most cash goes towards diapers, etc., it's crucial to keep my style in financial check. The stores I stalk would be Ross, Marshall's, TJ Maxx, Burlington, Charlotte Russe, and Forever 21.

TN: How do you pick out an outfit? 
K: By asking myself what comfy shirt I'd like to wear and then excitedly heaping on the accessories. I love having those staple go-to shirts and jeans that I just know will look good without having to double check the mirror. I then love making the outfit unique in how I "bling it out" from my array of add-ons. For example, in three of my pictures here you might notice that I'm wearing the exact same grey shirt and bootcut jeans but the outfits are each styled to fit a completely different mood. Trying to put together a combination that I've never worn before is always the most exciting part of getting dressed, I think.
TN: Which part of your look have you experimented with recently? 
K: Headpieces would be my latest adventure. I've been trying out wraps and bandannas and loving it. 

TN: What's your favorite thing in your closet to wear and why? 
K: Earrings, earrings, earrings. The bigger, the louder, the more gangster the better!! I love my collection. I can be wearing the most effortless outfit but throw a pair of dangles in those ears and BAM, it's flashy! And yes, everyone warned me, "just wait till your kids want to yank those suckers out!" but this is one area that really matters to me. My son's first household rule was "no touching mommy's earrings" and I'll die defending that rule... well... okay, maybe not literally.
TN: Is there an article of clothing or type of shoes you wouldn't be caught dead in?
K: Oh gosh yes! Fila Skele shoes (you know those rubber ones that wrap around your toes). Those shoes make me sooooo queasy. I don't care how good-for-your-feet they claim to be, if you ever see me wearing them admit me to a home cause I've officially gone mad!

TN: Do you have a favorite skincare or makeup product, or a favorite perfume?
K: I love Arbonne's natural skincare line, Maybelline's 24hr Color Tattoo Eye Shadow, and Napoleon Perdis' Set Eye Primer. With those last two coupled together, my colorful lids are sure to look just as pristine by bedtime as they did when the morning began. 

TN: Any shopping tips or fashion advice you'd like to share? 
K: Know your body. Know what cut and shape of clothing usually fits you well so you cut down on the disappointed in the dressing room. Strive to fill your closet with beautiful "default" pieces that are comfortable. We all know comfort and not being distracted by ill-fitting pieces is crucial when juggling babies. So go ahead mommas, pull your hoodie out if you must but pair it with some bangles on your wrist and cute pair of boots on your feet and try to leave your yoga pants at home. Don't be afraid to jazz up your basics!

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Kristen, you're an inspiration to other moms and busy women everywhere. Thanks for being so bling-tastic, and thanks for interviewing!

Kristen's pictures were taken by Brittany Thomas, of Brittany Thomas Photography. Check out more of Brittany's work on her blog!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Collage: For Pete's Sake

A card for a middle-aged gentleman, with a sense of humor.

The scraps I picked dictated a "mountain man" sort of theme... with a Mt. Rushmore focus. (Anyone else kind of rolling their eyes at how pretentious I'm making this sound?) The mountains, the plaid, tribal markings, and the wildflowers all worked together.

This was another card I had some trouble with. I wanted to make it slightly amusing (cue the mini Lincoln and the old man phrase, "for Pete's sake") without making it too irreverent. I feel like it came out a little boring, I'll be honest.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wearing Gray & Brown

Another question from Hännah! She says:
"I really like brown and grey. Like, chocolate brown button downs over muted light grey pants or with heathered lighter athletic greys (sweaters, camisoles, etc). I'll also pair greys with warmer, lighter browns, like this purse or my flats and boots in that same color. Is this kosher?"

I say yes!

Brown & gray, because they're both neutrals, can have a chic effect when paired together. Pairing warmer browns (camel, cognac, tan, rust) with warmer light grays (grays that have more yellow in them than blue, if that makes sense), creates a cozy, earthy look. Pairing darker browns (chocolate, coffee, chestnut) and cooler light grays (like silver) creates more of a clean, high contrast look and can also be done well. Charcoal grays mix well with both chocolate browns and camel.

If you're going to mix a heathery gray with brown, make sure the brown is more matte and basic, so you avoid looking frumpy. A good rule of thumb to avoid frump all together when mixing neutrals is to make sure to mix textures -- don't go with all knits: Instead, try to mix a basic knit with wool, chunky knitted fibers, chiffon, tweed, denim, or leather.

Hope this helps!

(All but two of the pics above are from Pinterest, and can be found on this board (thanks, Megan!). The other two are via Google, and Madewell.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Collage: Thanks Much

A thank you card for a very special lady.

The customer this card is for is a little older and very sweet, so I wanted to make something unique, but tasteful and feminine. I had a lot of the pink & white floral you can see in the background, so I started with that as a base, and then layered on the burgundy/fuchsia polka dots. I'm really loving deep reds with blush pinks right now. To continue with the dot theme, and add some more delicate details (to balance the bold "much" and fuchsia), I added a smaller polka dot scrap, along with the circle mirror details.

To finish it off and provide some contrast (and pull in more black & white to carry the "much" through the whole collage), I added a piece of striped washi tape -- a nice foil to all the polka dots.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Clothes for Cheap: Madewell Critter Sweaters

Let's start Monday off with some sweaters and some true confessions.

My apologies... I debated whether or not to post this for so long (I don't want to rock the boat too much, you know?) that the sweaters featured below are actually no longer available... but maybe that's a good thing. Let's just comment on the remarkable ongoing Old Navy rip offs, and on the fact that the "critter" sweater trend is climbing in your windows, snatching your people up.

I'm not saying I would wear these... but I had to feature them because a good comparison is hard to pass up, and I'm also curious what you guys think about critter sweaters. It seems slightly awkward to me for some reason.

If sheep are your thing and you've been searching high and low for a sweater that features this noble creature, this is the sweater for you:
Madewell Sheepmeadow Sweater: $64.99
Old Navy Sheep Crewneck Sweater: $29.94

What's not to love? Except the fact that... it's a sweater... with sheep on it? See, I would actually be more inclined to wear this one. If I were at all inclined to wear a sweater with an animal on it. Which... I'm not.
Aubin & Wills Fox Sweater (found on Net-A-Porter): $215
Old Navy Fox Crewneck Sweater: $29.94

Owls are rad in real life. But on sweaters... and jewelry... and hats... and bags... and home decor... I just say no. Really loudly. For those of you who do love owls on things though and are cute and artsy enough to pull it off (that's probably what it comes down to)... there's also a sweater for that:
Madewell Owl Sweater: $88
Old Navy Fox Crewneck Sweater: $29.94

Okay really. Here we are post critter-parade -- let's talk turkey. Is this trend it weird? Adorable? Reminiscent of a preschooler's wardrobe? A way to get in touch with your inner Sacajawea? Leave a comment and let me know.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

(via CrushCuldeSac)
Hope your holiday season starts all magically and whatnot, and with lots of turkey (or Chinese food, or turducken, or maybe even cereal, which is cool if that's your thing).

We're looking forward to watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and eating dinner with my family tomorrow. Today, however, was food prep day at my mom's. I was in charge of making the sweet potatoes, like I have been every year for the past... 10 years. You'd think by now I'd be pretty confident estimating how much we need for our extended family, but I'm always a little on edge till the pan is filled with mashed orangey goodness and the marshmallows are sprinkled on top.

Happy ending; this year I made enough. Not so happy ending: Libby tried to cook her lunch -- a freaking piece of fish -- at the same time as the pumpkin pies. I had a little fit, for the love of all that is sacred about Thanksgiving: here's hoping they don't taste like a harbor restaurant.

Mishaps aside... from all of us here at The 29th (haha)... happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Collage: Architectural Holiday

I've had more card orders come in, so I'll be showing you a few of my recent collages over the next few days/weeks. Oooh aaaah. Feel free to keep in mind that I'm a "learning" artist?
To be honest, the card below got away from me a little. I started out with the idea of "rustic holiday" and put the wood background with the twinkle lights, but it was too flat and was begging for some texture. I built out the holiday idea by adding some plaid. It also needed some interest, some kind of quirk. But here's the thing... when you're making cards for people that you don't know very well, and you're making them to be given by someone other than yourself... you have to be a little more tame than usual. 
I did go ahead and add the cartoony little street light, to mirror the twinkle lights, and because the word theme I ended up going with was "especially bright," I threw on a volcano as well -- it's small enough that hopefully it'll make you smile when you squint at the card, but won't be too obnoxious at first glance.

I'm still learning how to be appropriately tame for my customer's sake without sacrificing my voice. Not sure if I'm succeeding. Art friends, chime in!

In any case -- the twinkle lights make me excited for the holidays! As we like to say in the Tiren household (thanks to my lispy little sister Emma) happy Hanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Hi-Low, Goodbye

A reader asked me to dish on the current hi-low skirt/dress fad. I have to admit, I'm about 25% Yes and 75% No on this one. I mean... any trend that's called "a mullet skirt" behind its back is bound to have some issues.

25% Yes: For a formal event, I can see a hi-low skirt being very dramatic. This is probably the only scenario I might consider wearing one. Actually... that's not true... if I were a nomadic gypsy with a floppy felt hat and bangles, I could also see wearing a hi-low skirt as I traversed across the western United States in search of that perfect desert moonbeam.

75% No: I think my Aunt Mary Beth (who likes to sarcastically comment on many of my style pins on Pinterest -- she's allowed; she's hilarious) said what most of the world is thinking when it comes to the hi-low trend: "Do you think she knows someone cut the front out of her skirt?"

To which I responded that it really is like the Sharon-gets-back-at-Susan dance scene in The Parent Trap, just reversed:
I don't mean to be insensitive if you do like this trend and have found that it works for you, but honestly, every time I see a girl trying to pull this off in broad daylight it looks forced -- like she's trying too hard to be "fashionable." There are some instances where the high-to-low gradient is subtle enough where this look does work fine. But skirts that are practically a mini in the front and a maxi in the back make the wearer look like she's being followed by a rainbow version of Halley's Comet (which brings the total number of Hayleys referenced in this post to 2).

To each his own -- as I've said before, if you love it, rock it hard. And feel free to leave me a scathing comment if you see fit, I won't mind!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Girl Friday: Mizy

I have a really special interview today: this is Mizy!
My friend Julie (who used to work in the fashion industry -- stay tuned for an interview with her in the next few weeks!) recommended I contact her friend, Mizy. Mizy is a fashion designer who lives in NYC. She's worked for brands like Nine West, Seven Jeans, and Forever 21, but recently started her own company! Pretty cool, right? 

Here's a little about Mizy, and her business,, in her own words:
"I am a young fashion designer living in the heart of the city that never sleeps, NYC. I began with the hopes to design products that reflect me and my values: small acts of love make a big difference.

After seven years of working for brands such as Nautica, Nine West, Seven Jeans, Forever 21, and American Rag, I decided last year to leave my prestigious position as head designer to start my own company. is a Fashion Doll Company. I never imagined I would be designing dolls, but something about creating fashion in a small package and producing them in NY really excited me. I also wanted to create cute, heartwarming, high quality products that would brighten up everyone’s mood.

Rina,’s first fashion doll, was designed and introduced on May 31, 2012. There are now over 11 characters. When I design my dolls, I usually think of what’s on trend and then put a younger twist to it. Our production team hand-makes every doll with lots of love and attention. In order to maintain the integrity of each doll, we produce them in Long Island, NY. After the dolls are made, I carefully look over each doll and pull out only the perfect ones to ship out. Our dolls are currently being sold at,
Morning Glory (Northridge, CA), Mabuhay (San Francisco, CA), Il Gufo (NYC) and I’m hoping that in the next few years will grow to not only sell dolls, but children’s wear, women’s wear and accessories alike."

Mizy very kindly agreed to do an interview for The 29th, and I instantly fell in love with her sense of style, and the dolls. Look at these cuties (a perfect Christmas present for the fashionable little girlie in your life):
I hope you enjoy learning more about Mizy and her style!

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The Twenty Ninth: Describe your style in a few words or a phrase.
M: Cute & flirty during the day, Audrey Hepburn in the 21st century by night. I think my name describes my style: unique.

TN: How has your style evolved over the years?  
M: Over the past few years, I've started dressing more maturely. I love animal print and fur.
TN: Any fun/embarrassing clothing mishaps or stories you want to share? 
M: When I was in high school, my parents took me to Saks Fifth Ave to buy me some winter clothes. They picked out an adorable orange sweater for me to try on. To my surprise a size 4 sweater didn’t fit me. I took it to a Sales Rep to ask which size I needed and she whispered in my ear, "This sweater is made for dogs." 
TN: Who are your style influences?
My style influences are the Olsen twins, Olivia Palermo, Kourtney Kardashian, Alexander McQueen and Audrey Hepburn.

TN: Where's your favorite place to shop?  
M: Zara, Saks, Gmarket and Asos.

TN: How do you pick out an outfit? 
M: I determine my outfit by who I’m planning to meet and where I’m planning to go. I hate repeating the same look in front of the same person, so I usually memorize all my looks. I love to travel, so when I'm in a different country, I tend to wear crazier outfits that I would never get away with in NYC.
TN: Which part of your look have you experimented with recently?
M: I recently decided to cut my bangs, to help make my face look smaller. I realized that with short bangs you have to spend more time styling your hair and apply more eye makeup. Oh boy, did I make a mistake...

TN: What's your favorite thing in your closet to wear and why? 
M: I love love love my over-sized loose knit tunic from ASOS. I wear it all the time, especially when I need to run errands or when guests come over. When I want to dress casual, I wear it with leggings. And when I want to dress up, I wear it with tights and a scarf.


Is there an article of clothing or type of shoes you wouldn't be caught dead in?

M: I usually love wearing ugly clothes and shoes, but one thing I would never be caught in is the Original Crocs. I know that they’re light and comfortable, but OH BOY (no offense) are they ugly.

TN: Do you have a favorite skincare or makeup product, or a favorite perfume?
M: Stila’s Liquid Eyeliner is pretty amazing. It’s easy to apply and long lasting when you apply it with eye primer. I also love SK-II’s Facial Treatment Essence! It will make your skin glow!
TN: Any shopping tips or fashion advice you'd like to share? 
M: (1) A confident woman can wear a ten dollar garment and make it look a million dollars. (2) If you’re planning to purchase something online, never pay full price unless you really, really want/need it. 75% of the time you can find coupon codes or sales through other sites. Make sure to subscribe to your favorite e-commerce stores to receive a one time 10-15% coupon code. Most department stores have Friends & Family sales twice a year!
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Mizy, I'm so glad I had the chance to get to know you better! Thanks again for interviewing -- I wish you all the best with!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Vi Goes Out.

David took Viley out on Saturday morning for breakfast. Good excuse for a cute outfit, right?
I don't know if it's a good thing or not, but this kid continues to love clothes and accessories (aka "prippies"). She insists on wearing "yoks" and "yoos" (socks & shoes) every morning. She insisted on wearing her winter hat with her pajamas last night. I put her in a little red striped shirt and jeggings the other morning, and she crossed her arms, looked down at herself, and walked away like, "Yeah. This is cool." Not sure if this love for fashion is inherent, or if I've created a monster...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Over the past few weeks, I've been starting to feel a little boxed in by the niche I chose for my blog back in August. Don't get me wrong -- I'm enjoying the focus on fashion, and I really appreciate the reader support. But I find myself wishing for a more all-inclusive space in which to be creative.

I'm changing it up again (just a little)... because I must spread my wings and fly.
Actually because it's my blog and I can change it up when I feel like it. Yaay.

You've probably noticed I've been throwing more random writing posts in here and there, along with the "Currently Loving" type posts (and maybe you asked yourself what the heck those have to do with fashion?). The 29th is going back to its roots: a place where I can write, as well as a kind of inspiration board/curation of things I enjoy -- everything from clothes to art to writing to styling to color palettes -- whatever I'm stuck on at the moment.

Here's the thing though:
  • I still plan to keep up with the Girl Friday interviews here and there. 
  • I still want to answer your style questions. 
  • I'll probably still share cheap finds because that's the kind of thing I love.
So all these things aren't going away! But the blog just might not be as fashion-condensed as it has been.

If you were only here for the fashion stuff, no hard feelings if you move on. If you were reading to make fun of me from the comfort of your living room you might want to stick around... I'll probably be providing you with some more material since I'm broadening my scope a bit. If you were here because you're my family and you're proud of me no matter what I put on my blog, thanks forever.

So here's to sparkly new blog headers, styling pretty clothes, the lovers, the dreamers, and me.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Short, Shorter, Shortest. Also, I'm Stumped.

This "question" is a little different than usual, mainly because it's got me a little stumped! So I'm not so exactly providing an answer, but more asking for your input...

My friend Hännah writes, "I have this dress (pictured below) in an older version of it, which is a very light silvery grey (some shimmer to the fabric)... It's short. I love it, but it's short. I'm kind of on the tall end of things (5' 7") and so it's really fun and flattering to do the classic leggy look for going out, but I got this to wear to work, and I haven't been happy with my options for doing that. I've dressed it down with a long cardigan and tried it over skinny jeans (ew no -- too bulky) and with long black leggings and brown boots (this worked okay). Got any better ideas?"

Okay so all of the different things she's tried are pretty much what I would suggest, but I still wanted to share this question, for two reasons:
  1. Her suggestions on how to make a shorter dress work appropriate and more conservative, if necessary, are really helpful!
  2. I really want to know if you all have any brilliant ideas? Please share! 
There are a couple of things that came to mind for Hännah to try, but they're really just riffs on the solutions she's already come up with:
short dress
  • Jeggings: A slightly less bulky denim option... since these are skin-tight, they won't be as chunky under the dress.
  • Patterned leggings: As long as they're opaque, patterned leggings could help create the illusion that you're wearing a tunic & pants rather than a dress with tights... a slightly more "acceptable" option for work.
  • Monochromatic tights/leggings: Wearing tights or leggings that are the same color as the dress can help camouflage the amount of leg that's showing.
  • Long cardigan: Try one that's actually longer than the dress, and belt it around the waist, so the cardigan almost looks like it's part of the dress, creating a longer "hem."
  • Flat shoes/boots: The flatter the shoes, the less it'll look like there's a lot of leg between the dress's hem and your feet. Taller boots can help cover a lot of leg, and monochromatic flats can help keep the line clean so the "leg" part of the ensemble doesn't stick out too much.
Leave a comment if you have any other suggestions!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Girl Friday: Abbi

Meet my friend Abbi!
You'll never meet anyone quite like her: she's sweet, snarky, classy, and artistic, all rolled into one. She has a daring fashion sense -- she's tried things I don't have the guts to but wish I did -- but no matter how "unique" she gets she always looks fashionable and comfortable in her own skin. You can tell that Abbi composes her outfits with a lot thought, and her boldness and her artistic eye inspire me to try styling clothes and accessories in new ways. I think it's safe to say you're going to love this interview!

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The Twenty Ninth: Describe your style in a few words or a phrase.
A: I think of my style as classic with touches of quirky and unexpected.
TN: How has your style evolved over the years?  
A: Everyone has their "awkward teenager" phases, but mine was truly the worst. At 13 I thought it would be a really good idea to pair a red and white horizontally striped top with some very floral, blousy old lady shorts. The flowers on the shorts were blue on a white background, and I figured it was a great twist on the patriotic thing to have the stars in the form of... a floral design. Super edgy, right? I was also big on pairing oversized hand-me-down t-shirts that said "I Ran a 5k" with my various floral shorts. It was the 90's, after all, so cut me a little slack. Everybody has photos they regret from the 90's. Unless they weren't born until after the 90's. In which case they're probably in a regrettable photo stage right now. (That was free. You're welcome.)

TN: Who are your style influences? 
A: It took me until about the end of high school to figure out there was a such thing as fashion. In a small mid-western town, I knew just one girl who had a sense of real class. I began thinking "Would Erica wear this?" as I got dressed. Erica, you're probably gagging right now if you're reading. I wasn't exactly a master forger. Nevertheless, my mindset changed overnight. I started experimenting more, started to make my own clothes if it was something simple. It's okay to imitate other people -- that's how you'll learn what works best for you. Wear it with confidence and a big smile, and you can't go wrong.
TN: Where's your favorite place to shop?  
A: My secret thrift store! I head for the $1 racks, undaunted by the rows of denim and sweats, looking for textures or patterns that strike my fancy. I don't rule something out just for being too big or out of date, if it's something a quick seam or a belt could fix. If I could imagine it on the pages of an Anthropologie catalog, I snag it and enjoy wearing a spent-a-fortune look for just a couple of dollars.

TN: How do you pick out an outfit? 
A: True confessions: on workdays, I normally grab anything that doesn't require an iron. On weekends, I have a little more time for creativity. Sometimes I start with one item that catches my eye, and build around it focusing mainly on 1) mood and 2) color. As all you other women know, we're capable of being in multiple moods at the same time. Applying that principle to your dressing can yield some really fun and unexpected combinations, even when it comes to color. Don't be afraid to go to unusual sources for inspiration on color combos. A Renoir painting, a child's sidewalk art, an autumn walk, or a shiny bike could all be fair game. (And, of course, chocolate. Chocolate is always excellent food for thought. And taste buds.)
TN: Which part of your look have you experimented with recently?
A: Recently I've experimented with tone-on-tone dressing. I'll pick one neutral (usually black or brown) and then layer on the color. Blue top, jacket, jewelry, sometimes even hair, all in various shades that complement each other. Result: the eye connects like with like and communicates "put together!" to the viewer. 
TN: What's your favorite thing in your closet to wear and why? 
A: My favorite pants! They're threadbare and the gray color has faded, but the fit is so perfect I can't give them up.
TN: Is there an article of clothing or type of shoes you wouldn't be caught dead in?
A: I've learned my lesson: the moment I say I'll never wear something, it seals my fate. Maybe I should try swearing off an expensive Louis Vuitton bag, and see what happens.

TN: Do you have a favorite piece of jewelry?
A: Pearls are one of my signatures. The photo is of the ones my grandma gave me last year. Her husband bought them for her on their Mallorca, Spain honeymoon. 
TN: Do you have a favorite skincare or makeup product, or a favorite perfume?
A: I use Aveeno Simply Radiant! moisturizer daily. It reflects light so your skintone looks more even. Plus, it has sunscreen.
TN: Any shopping tips or fashion advice you'd like to share? 
A: I love learning the true value of an item. On cheaply made or trendy pieces, I'll very rarely spend more than $5-7. That way I have more left in my budget for items that are timeless and won't wear out quickly. Or maybe chocolate. Yes, maybe that.

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Abbi, you inspire me! I love what you said about finding inspiration in everything from a painting to a shiny bike, as well as channeling your multiple moods to create a new look. Thanks for interviewing!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Currently Loving: November Edition

November is a favorite month of mine... Even though all the old poems have nothing nice to say about November (why must they focus on how dead and gray and horrible things are? Hurtful.) I always find lots of reasons to love it.
  • It's almost my birthday: Borderline narcissistic, I know, but growing up, I always loved Halloween because it started the countdown to my birthday (with the holidays following close behind). This year, my age will take me closer to 30 than 20: YIPE. To celebrate, we're going to the Inner Harbor in Baltimore -- one of my favorite places, since David proposed to me there on the day before my birthday almost 6 years ago.
  • It's almost time for holiday clothes & music & lights & etc: November is just one big ramp up to the holidays -- what's not to love about that?! (I'm talking to YOU, darn poets.) Time to haul out and deck yourself with dark blues and piney greens, charcoal grays, plaid, sequins, gold, jingle bells... I love this time of year. I'm a Christmas music purist (if it's July and you're hauling out Bing Crosby, we will have words), but if it's the day after Thanksgiving, bring it on. November ushers in the sparkly Christmas season and is therefore full of cheer.
  • Thanksgiving: Turkey. Cranberries. Potatoes. Pie. Let their powers combine! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday (sorry, Christmas...). There's nothing quite like the happy, house-warming combination of the Macy's parade, smelling turkey all day long, watching football while your pants button almost bursts, and then eating pie... Oh, and speaking of pants buttons bursting...
  • Welcome, second trimester: Baby 2 will be joining us mid-May next year, and we are quite happy. To be honest, a lot of that happiness currently has to do with the fact that I'm hoping the morning sickness will finally begin to subside for good and I'll be on track to actually enjoy Thanksgiving dinner. Woo woo. Priorities, I know. And for the record, my jeans are still buttoning -- so far so good.

And another random favorite that wouldn't fit well into my photo collage: November, the song: We're fans of Parks & Recreation over here, so this song makes me smile.
Happy November, everyone!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Clothes for Cheap: Anthropologie Sherwood Ring

Have you heard of BaubleBar? I hadn't until recently. They've got a pretty sweet operation going, if you like nice but reasonably priced jewelry. You get a $10 off coupon just for "signing up" (anyone else subscribe to online stores, use the "yay you signed up" coupon, and then unsubscribe from most if not all of their emails? Yeah, me too -- don't tell anyone.)

All of this to say, BaubleBar was running a pretty good sale a couple weeks ago, so I snagged this arrow ring (which is similar to (but I'll admit, not quite as cool as) this one from Anthropologie) for a mere $10.

My ring arrived the other day, and it actually looked nicer in person than it did in the picture. It was also a tiny bit big, so I attempted to push the ends together to re-size it... and it snapped completely in half. Talk about disappointing. There's a happy ending to the story though, and a good test of BaubleBar's customer service: I emailed them, explained the situation, and they got back to me very quickly and offered to replace the ring -- with a smaller size, if I wanted! So, while the quality is slightly questionable, the customer service is top-notch...

(BTW BaubleBar isn't paying me to review their product/service... I'm just doing my civic duty as a fashion blogger to let you know where you can get cute but cheap jewelry.)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Leggings Aren't Pants, Are They?

(via Fashion Degaine)
If you ask any 6th grade girl wearing a North Face jacket & Uggs, they're going to be like, "OMG like totes leggings are pants."

But we're all adults here, or at least we do a good job of pretending we kind of are, so let's be frank: are leggings acceptable covering for your lower half if you're older than let's say, 8 years old (excluding wearing them like tights, under dresses/skirts)? I've mentioned before that I think leggings can generally be worn without issue as long as your bum is covered, but maybe we should clarify a few things.

My rules for wearing leggings are as follows. Of course, these are "more what you call guidelines than actual rules." (Although for decency's sake I think they're not unreasonable.)
  • The shirt you wear must cover your bum and crotch (yes, I said it).
  • The shirt's length must exceed the crotch of the leggings/your bum by at least 2-3 inches.
  • You should be able to sit down without any bum-bearing wardrobe malfunctions.
  • Your leggings should be opaque, not sheer. You don't want to risk see-throughs.
Would you wear leggings "as pants"? Have you made a set of leggings rules for yourself?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Girl Friday: Lydia

Meet my talented photographer friend, Lydia!

Cardigan (thrifted), top (Urban Outfitters), jeans (H&M), shoes (thrifted), bag (Forever 21)

I asked Lydia to share her style expertise because she blends vintage, thrifted, and modern clothing so well. Whenever I see Lydia, she's got on some kind of artistic, feminine outfit that looks carefully chosen and put together, and she's able to effortlessly channel a vintage MadMen type of glamour -- something that very few people can do well without looking costumey. As a redhead, Lydia embraces her "ginger-ness" by dressing for her skin tone & hair color, and allows her gorgeous curls to star as her own unique accessory. Enjoy her interview, and her pictures!

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The Twenty Ninth: Describe your style in a few words or a phrase.
L: Somewhere between vintage and contemporary. I don't wear a lot of jewelry. I like my clothes to do the talking. 

TN: How has your style evolved over the years?  
L: Well, considering I didn't discover mascara until senior year of high school I like to think I had nowhere to go but up! But really, once I realized I could apply my art-loving brain to clothes and have fun I was sold. Since then I have genuinely enjoyed pushing my style limits and trying new things every year. 

TN: Any fun/embarrassing clothing mishaps or stories you'd like to share? 
L: So, I'm not a big fan of slips. Once while photographing a wedding my dress went static crazy and kept hiking all the way up my legs. At one point the bride commented, "Well, I bet you wish you'd put on a different dress this morning!" I was mortified.
Dress (thrifted), shoes (DSW)
TN: Who are your style influences? 
L: I'm really inspired by street fashion photos on Pinterest. And as a proud red head I'm always excited to see what my fellow gingers are wearing, particularly Emma Stone and Jessica Chastain. 

TN: Where's your favorite place to shop?  
L: Online: In person: H&M, Urban Outfitters and the occasional thrift store.

TN: How do you pick out an outfit? 
L: I'll usually base an outfit around a new piece that I'm really loving. Or I'll reach back into my closet, find something that I haven't worn in a while a challenge myself to make something new of it. I've learned to love that sinking "I don't know if I can pull this off" feeling. It keeps me from becoming boring.
Scarf (thrifted), sweater (Gap), jeans (Forever 21), shoes (Steve Madden)
TN: What's your favorite thing in your closet to wear and why?  
L: I'm addicted to dresses. Half of my closet is comprised of them. I love how multipurpose they are. You can buy a simple summer dress and pair it with boots, tights and a cardigan for the Fall. 90% of the outfits I wear out of my house include a cardigan on my arm or in my purse. My favorite season is Fall so maybe it's a comfort thing. But the way the weather fluctuates here in Maryland it's also pretty practical too. 

TN: Any shopping tips or fashion advice you'd like to share? 
L: Shop online! It'll save you a load of time and probably a few headaches too. Shopping online offers so many things you just can't get in a store - more sizes, more quantity, more variety. And frankly, the clothes haven't been tried on a dozen times so they often look better. I suggest finding stores like Asos that offer free shipping and free returns. I've been shopping online for years now and it's the best.

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Thanks, Lyd! I love your look!
If you're interested in learning more about Lydia's photography (which believe me, you want to), click here!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Costumes I Have Known & Loved: The Next Generation

Remember when I told you all about my parents helping my siblings and I build the perfect Halloween costumes each year?

My brother Ryan and sister-in-law Sarah (who has her own blog, by the way -- it's all about making healthy food for your kiddos!) are keeping up that tradition with their two little girls -- and their costumes this year were just too good not be shared. For those of you who don't like/appreciate Star Wars, continue about your day. But for those of you who believe in The Force, behold my nieces, the Ewok, and the AT-ST:
Amazing, right?

P.S.: The Purple Crayon costume rides again: