Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tim Gunn Fashion Advice

A few days before I headed out to Nashville last weekend, Alanna showed me there was going to be a fashion show at the Green Hills mall and Tim Gunn was going to be there (I guess you could call him a host). It sounded like tons of fun, so we decided we'd try to get in! Little did we know, we'd get there and snag a pretty decent seat. I assumed it would be crowded and limited seating, but it didn't get crowded until later. Most of the NFW (Nashville Fashion Week) shows are out of our budget, so we were excited to find this free show. They showed looks from Kate Spade, Juicy Couture, and Lucky Brand Jeans. 

Tim Gunn talking about a Kate Spade dress. He pointed out a lot of things in each look, giving advice on how to wear clothes for your body type.  There was some great menswear too! And Tim Gunn is a huge proponent for men tucking in their case you didn't know :) It was actually really informative. I feel like I learned a lot about styles that look good on me, and I was dying over all the pretty color shown! 

I really loved this Kate Spade dress. The color was so pretty, and the diagonal stripes seem like they'd be flattering. Sorry about the crappy photo quality. I used my point and shoot camera and the different light types in there were throwing it off. 

not sure what I'm doing with my right hand...

It was a really fun event! We could have bought stuff from one of the stores and gotten to meet Tim Gunn, but both of us are kind of broke right now, so it wasn't worth it. I settled for getting a picture beside the poster. Snazzy, huh? Also, write this's the first time I ever tried denim on denim. I think it was a success!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lights, Take Two

I guess it was about a year and a half ago when Alanna and I went to see Lights in concert. It was a pretty small crowd at the teeny-bopper venue, Rocketown. By small I mean, like MAYBE 100 people. So you can imagine our surprise when we got to Rocketown this weekend an hour early for our second Lights show to see that a line had already formed. That show was SOLD PLUMB OUT. I was seriously shocked. I guess I just didn't realize how much she had caught on! In a way, I was excited because it's great when an artist you like is selling out shows. But mostly I was just bummed that it would be yet another show spent digging my heels into the ground to keep from getting pushed aside (which still somehow happens).

I know I used to be one, but teenagers can be extremely obnoxious. If you don't know about Rocketown, it's this place started in Nashville that's a no smoking/no drinking hangout for teens in the area. It's a great idea, and I love that it's there, but going to a concert there is hard. I'm a little partial to 21+ shows. There were some serious weirdos near us yelling things like "can I have your face?!" and "you're so hot!" Wait, what?! Hush and just enjoy the music...I mean really. If you want to gawk at her, buy a magazine. Also, can't you just take like 10-15 pictures and give it a rest? Is it really necessary to take a picture of every move she makes? Answer: no, no it is not.

Sorry for the mini-rant. Despite the irritating 13 year olds, I really enjoyed her show. I liked the last one, but she was even better this time. She's added a lot more electronic fun (sorry, don't know the lingo) that made it really great live. My favorite in the set was Where the Fence is Low, which I actually hadn't paid attention to on the album. It was just so good live! Give it a listen:

Where The Fence Is Low by Lights on Grooveshark

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mas Tacos, Por Favor

This past weekend started on Thursday for me. Since I work at a university, they gave us a couple of days off for Spring Break. It worked out perfectly because there was a concert I wanted to go to this weekend (more on that in another post). Since the concert was in Nashville, I just planned on being there for a couple of days to hang out with Alanna. Our first stop when I got there on Friday was Mas Tacos (thanks for the suggestion, Kaelah!)

Tacos are one of my favorite foods, specifically fish tacos. I don't mean fast-food nasty Taco Bell tacos, I mean delicious soft tacos with real meat and fresh delicious toppings in them. These were some of the best I've had! I knew I would love it as soon as we walked in. It was small, had a simple menu, and wasn't so hipster that it was annoying.  I ordered a tilapia taco and one with pulled pork, and both were incredible. It was the perfect beginning to a really fun weekend. I promise you Alanna said "I want to go get some more tacos" to me at least 10 more times that day. They were that good.

If you're ever in Nashville, you should definitely look up Mas Tacos! I think they have a food truck as well, but we just went to the regular ole immobile restaurant. Also, if you go, swing by Jackson and take me with you :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Embroidery Gifts

I feel like it's been forever since I blogged! I guess it's only been about a week, but that's kind of a long break. I've been busy working on some product photos and such, and now I'm on Spring break. We ended up getting TWO days off this year! It's awesome. I love having extra days off to catch up on things and relax a little. I've been re-watching Dexter while editing. I had almost forgotten how good that show is!

Today my coworker is celebrating the first birthday of his little twin babies (pictures here and here). I can't believe it's been a whole year! This time last year, I had just started trying some hand-embroidery, and decided to make some pieces for the twins. Of course I kept setting it aside and wasn't even remotely close to finishing when they were born. I finally picked it back up a few months ago and finished them.

I really enjoyed making them! I used patterns from Sublime Stitching, who has some AMAZING patterns. Scott and Kelly met and got engaged at camp, so I thought it would be fun to use outdoors themed patterns. I really liked Leila's when I finished, but once i finished Allie Kate's I liked her's better. I definitely want to do some more pieces since it's really fun, I just need to find more people to make them for.

Do any of you embroider? Isn't it so much fun?! I hope you all are having a great (almost) weekend. I'm going to Nashville tomorrow to hang out with my friend, Alanna, and see Lights again. It's going to be so much fun!

Friday, March 16, 2012

In Green

Remember how I posted about the clothing swap yesterday? Well here's the dress I picked up!  Margaret originally had her, but it fit her all kinds of funky (of course it did, she's like 10 sizes smaller than me!) so I tried it on for kicks. I actually liked the way it fit me! I haven't worn this shade of green in a while, even though it used to be my favorite. It's the color of my kitchen...that's how much I used to like it. I don't hate it now, we've just grown apart.

dress- clothing swap
vest- yard sale (from Target)
belt- ?? maybe Target a long time ago ??
sunglasses- Express
earrings- Etsy
shoes- Kohl's (sadly out of stock now)

Things I love: The color, the seam up the middle (which brings focus in and away from hips), the slight flare in the skirt, length, long sleeves.

Things I hate: holy tightness collar (hello, I need to breathe!), too-short sleeves, unlined, and the material makes 80 degree weather feel like I've got the heat of a thousand suns wrapped around me.

Overall, I like the dress. I am going to HAVE to get that collar altered though. I will probably just drop the scoop a couple of inches to ease it up. I may also try to shorten the sleeves slightly and add a lining if that's even possible. I'm so happy I got the dress though! Maybe it will be my first alteration project when I get that far into sewing. Since it was free, I won't cry if I ruin it.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

City Clothing Swap

A couple of weeks ago, Margaret and I wandered down to a fundraiser clothing swap that was held at her church. The event was put on to raise money for a family that is trying to adopt. Entrance to the swap was $10 unless you brought clothes, in which case it was $5. It seemed like there was a good turn out! There were at least 20 or so people there when we were there, and I'm sure more came later. There's nothing I love more than getting to shop without worrying about cost. I just picked up whatever I liked with no worries! I ended up with a cute green dress (which I will blog soon) and a fur vest. I've been looking for a fur vest FOREVER. In fact, I'm sure they're not even in style anymore...that's how long it took me to find one I liked.

Margaret's prairie dress. She better blog this one.

Heather trying on a shirt that Margaret contributed

Margaret actually ended up going home with a few things too, one of them being a shirt dress that I donated! You can see her wearing it in this post. She used it to demonstrate a VERY useful style tip.

Have you guys ever done a clothing swap? It's LOADS of fun. This is my 3rd one to participate in, and I've enjoyed them all. I encourage you all to try it sometime. It doesn't take a lot of work, and it doesn't always have to be a fundraiser. You can just get a group of people together and all bring the clothes you don't wear anymore. You'd be surprised what some people are discarding! I guess it's true that one woman's trash is another woman's new favorite dress...or something like that.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Read a Book a Month: February

So far, I'm still on track with my "book a month" goal for 2012! In fact during February I read TWO books. I know some people who read two books a week (hi, mom), but I just don't read that fast/frequently. I've gotten into the habit of reading for 30 minutes to an hour right before bed, and more on the weekends if I have time. It's been a really great change from watching tv every night. I don't know if it's JUST that or a combination of things, but I've been sleeping so much better lately. I have always heard it was bad to sleep with the tv on, but I just wore an eye mask and did it anyway. Apparently it really was hindering my sleep!

Ok, now on to the books...

The first one I read was As the Spark Flies Upward by the very talented Jenna-Clare Allen. Full disclosure: Jenna-Clare is a family friend, so I might be a little biased. I have been reading her blog since she started it, and I just love it! She really has a knack for pulling me into her stories and not letting me go. Her debut novel was no different. I'll admit that it did start out a bit slow, but once I really started getting to know the characters, I was hooked. I love it when I'm so pulled in by a story that I don't even notice what's going on around me. I haven't felt that way about a book in a long time actually! The novel centers around a poor family in rural Tennessee and the trials they face together. I am not great at plot summaries, so I'll just let you look into it, if you're interested (Jenna's website).

The second book I read was chosen by Devin, a friend of mine on Twitter. Several of us just decided to start a little online book club one day, and this was our first pick. Stiff is a non-fiction exploration of the ways human cadavers are used. It's extremely interesting! When I was in high school, I was fascinated by anatomy and forensic science (duh, I was a CSI addict), so I was really excited to read this book. I wanted to be a coroner, but I gave up on that when I realized I would probably not make it through med school. I'm smart, but not THAT smart. Mary Roach really did her research for this book, which I think is what makes it so good. There is so much amazing research that is done with cadavers. I can't imagine how much less advanced we'd be as a society without people donating their bodies to science. I encourage you guys to read this if the subject matter interests you! You definitely won't be disappointed. (Amazon listing)

Read a Book a Month

Friday, March 9, 2012

H.R.H. Dumplin's

I've found a new benefit to being friends with Margaret. Besides being an outfit photographer and expert thrifting partner, she invited me to accompany her to one of Jackson's favorite local eateries, H.R.H. Dumplin's, for a restaurant review. I haven't been to Dumplin's since I was a wee one, but that's not because it's not good. It's actually a great little place, it's just not the type of place I generally frequent. My boss says it's "frou frou" and I think that's a good way of putting it. The atmosphere is very dainty and simple, and it smells vaguely similar to a school cafeteria. It's a mostly older crowd, but I kind of liked it. You know what older people are? Quiet...and pleasant (most of the time).
 amazing roll and strawberry butter

Dumpin's is mostly known for their desserts. They make amazing cakes for weddings and other special events, and they're pretty much famous around town just for that. I chose an apple dumplin', which was basically a pastry encrusted baked apple with the sweetest caramel sauce I've ever tasted. I couldn't even eat half of it, it was so sweet. But boy oh boy was is delicious! Margaret got the chocolate covered strawberry cake (below). It was ok...I was a much bigger fan of the apple dumplin'. I think the cake was too cold. They keep them in a refrigerator, so it was kind of hard.

shirt, cardigan, jeans: Target
bag: thrifted
shoes: Bass
earrings: It's a Stitch on Etsy
necklace: Dreamy Vintage on Etsy

The little shopping center that Dumplin's is located in is adorable! The spa I go to for massages is there (behind me), so it's got relaxing connotations for me. Even though I wasn't wearing anything particularly special we decided to take outfit pictures. We hadn't made fools enough of ourselves by taking pictures of every food item that hit our table inside, so we trounced around outside too. What else do you expect two bloggers to do when they get together?

 Hey let me frolic through these columns! That won't be weird.

Stepped off into the flower bed so it looks like I'm in a jungle. Can I just say how much I love this cardigan? I LOVE THIS CARDIGAN SO MUCH. It's such a versatile shade of green, and it's the perfect length for me. Sheesh, I just love it. I think it was something like $12 at Target. I do love to buy vintage and handmade when I can, but man does Target have some good sales.

Thank you all for reading my reviews of local restaurants on here. I love to blog about places in town, for all of my local readers, but I know a lot of you don't live around here. I wish I could transport you all here to try these places! Anyway, everyone have a wonderful weekend, and don't forget about losing an our Sunday (except Arizona and Hawaii, you lucky ducks)!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Little E's Train Birthday

A few weeks back, my good friend Heather asked if I could take some pictures at her little boy's first birthday party. Of course, I was happy to! Heather is the photographer that basically helped me get started, and we still occasionally get to work together. She recently started a blog chronicling her life with Emery, if you want to check it out.

Here are some of my favorites from E's cute little party

cupcakes by Lisa Garner...she's so the best

 Heather and Emery

Jesse (daddy) helping with the candle nope...i don't think so

oh wait, nevermind, this is good...and messy.

Heather and Jesse sure know how to throw a party! It was moved at the last minute from the train depot to the Neely House across the street because of a time issue, but I think it turned out perfect! I loved the set-up, and the decorations were adorable. Emery's going to have some pretty fun birthdays with these two as parents.