Friday, January 29, 2010


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Remember that new vintage sweater I mentioned earlier in the week?  Well, here she is.  Isn't she awesome?  I've been searching for a sweater exactly like this for some time now and I mentioned it to the owner of our local vintage shop and she said she had something like that at the seamstress.  So, I asked her to hold it for me, and once I saw it, I took it on the spot.  I didn't even try it on.  It's perfect!  So, I immediately styled it up and set this outfit aside for today.  And I'll be honest - I'm totally going to wear it tomorrow, too.  But instead of shorts, a skirt - and instead of a turtleneck, a deep V tee or maybe an oxford.

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The tights were actually much darker than they photographed.  But, now they're in the garbage, because I ripped a hole in the back of them - most likely on a kitchen chair this morning.  It's the first pair of tights I've ruined in a long, long time, so I can't be too upset about it.

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I got a lot of inquiries about this painting yesterday, and I think it deserves its own post.  So, check back this weekend for the full scoop.

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Once again, it was way cold today.  So, indoor pictures it is.  Although, funny story - I got up the this morning and immediately went for a run.  I had to go someplace and just figured I'd run there.   I knew it was cold, but I was thinking it was in the 20's.  Well ... it wasn't until I got home and was perusing Facebook over breakfast that I noticed a weather related status message from a local friend.  I couldn't believe what it said, but after confirming the status with, I realized that it was actually only 10*F, but "felt like" -3*.  Oops ... that explained the fiery red of my skin when I got home.  But ... I survived!

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Sweater: The Rage and Bone vintage, store credit - Turtleneck: Kohl's, $2 
Jean shorts: Thrifted & DIYed, $4 - Boots: Target, $35

Thursday, January 28, 2010


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Wow!  Three days straight wearing crazy tights!  Tuesday was leopard, Wednesday was maroon and today, I give you teal.  These were a Christmas gift from a co-worker.  I was so happy to get them.  It was the most perfect, inexpensive gift that showed that she knows me and knows what I like and what my style is.  It was even a little bit of an inside joke, since I turned her on to colored tights this winter, which was a big deal for her!  To me, that's the best kind of gift.

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Indoor pictures today, kids.  It was C-O-L-D today.  The wind was wicked - and still is.  I think all that mild weather over the last couple of weeks has thinned my blood.

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The hair is a big ole' unwashed pile on top of my head.  It was mainly in an attempt to be ready to get out the door before John, so that I could prove to him that I could.  He was on my case for "playing on the computer" after breakfast instead of getting ready, implying that I would be late.  Well ... I showed him!

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This shirt gets so little wear for some reason.  I think I just have a hard time styling it or something, but it was the perfect top for this outfit.  I wanted to let the skirt and tights scream speak for themselves, so I kept the rest pretty simple.  I had a wider patent belt on when I left this morning and as I was sitting in the car, it dawned on me that this studded little pretty would have been so much better!  So, when I came home for lunch, I swapped them.  Now, it's perfect!

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Shirt: JCP, $12 - Skirt: Thrifted and altered, $4 - Tights: Hue, gift - Belt: Express, $10 - Shoes: JCP, $8

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


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I am having a banner week this week.  And for no particular reason!

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I think I'm just happy.  One thing I will say is that I've been really on top of my exercise and making sure to fit it in every day.  And, MAN, does it make me feel good!  I love the energy I get from working out.  And, let's be honest, I love my body when I'm working out.  Feeling healthy and strong is one of the most exhilarating feelings ever!

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I stumbled across this combination while playing dress up in my closet a few weeks ago and tucked it in the back of my mind for future use. Well, kids, today is the future ... apparently.

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I'm in love with all these colors and it struck the perfect chord of comfy and pulled-together.  I'm starting to think this blog should be called "comfy and pulled together" - I've  been saying it a lot lately.

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Hope you are all having a fabulous week!

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P.S. Those white streaks are snowflakes.  It kind of looks like Star Wars, no?
P.P.S.  I got my necklace from Linda.  I love it!

Skirt: Thrifted and hemmed, $2 - Sweater: BonTon, $21 - Tights: Hue, $4 - Shoes: JCP, $5ish

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


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And just like that, the nice, semi-warm weather is gone.  Once again, we woke up to a dusting of the white stuff today.  Not only was it quite a bit chillier than the last week, but it's windy as all get out, too.  I hate that!

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It may be cold, but I'm still sporting the short sleeves.  Crazy, I know, but I have a meeting this afternoon in a very warm room.  I've learned my lesson about layering too much on Tuesdays - that is, do it and you'll sweat bullets.  I did, however, grab John's cardigan on my way out the door.  Just in case ...

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Speaking of cozy sweaters, I got SUCH a cool vintage shawl collar cardigan today!  I'm so stoked to wear it!  Wheee!

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Dress: Sears, $9 - Tights: TJ Maxx, $5ish - Boots: Target, $35

Monday, January 25, 2010


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Since most of today was spent camped out on my living room floor with my laptop in front of me, I was all about comfort.  But even when I'm working at home with no one around, I like to at least feel pulled together.  So, this is what I would call my big girl sweats: soft (and over-sized) sweatshirt, soft (and over-sized) scarf, soft (and over-sized) chinos.

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I did have to go to work this evening, so I put on a pair of boots, a belt and a drapey cardigan in place of the sweatshirt.  It was still casual, but more work appropriate.

But once I walked through the front door after work, I ran straight upstairs and slipped into my zebra striped flannel PJ's.  And now I'm going to watch ER on DVD and eat an ICS.*

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Sweatshirt: free from work - Scarf: H&M, $10 - Chinos: Target, $6 - Mocs: Minnetonka, $37
*ICS = Ice Cream Sandwich - I was on an acronym roll :)


Today has pretty much been a perfect 10, and it went something like this:

1. I went to bed at 9:30 last night!  I wasn't sick or anything, I was just tired and being unproductive and eating to stay awake.  One thought about how nice it would be to feel really well rested, and I couldn't resist dragging my sorry butt to bed.  Eleven hours later, I woke up - and it was glorious!

2.  I went to Goodwill this morning and bought 2 pairs of wool trousers (stay tuned for some awesome DIYing) and a vintage little boy's white Wrangler shirt with snaps and pointy pockets and everything.  My three purchases, plus a $1 donation to Goodwill came to a grand total of $1.87.  Yay for red tags today!

While there, I saw some serious crazy.  I don't know what was going on, but the place was jumpin' with a whole lotta insane folk.  Though, the fact that I was standing outside waiting for the doors to open (new hours = a later opening and I didn't know) may make me just as crazy.  Whatever ... I got deals!

3.  I got to take an awesome run outside in the unseasonably warm 50* weather in January!  It was a little rainy, but enjoyable none the less.

4.  My dad recently got a new job and was in the area today on business.  We got to meet for a lovely chat over tea and butter cookies.  Sounds so proper, doesn't it?  It was a quick visit, but always nice to catch up.

5.  I got mail today!  My little brother sent us a letter from basic training.  It was awesome.

This may not sound like the a perfect 10 to you, but for me, it's just an awesome day when I get to relax, be productive and enjoy some peace and quiet every now and again.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


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Technically, these pics are from Friday morning, but I pretty much wore a version of this all weekend.  After last Friday's comfy husband shirt, I raided his closet once again and came away with this cozy, over-sized cardigan.

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In keeping with the comfy boys clothes, I paired it with a pair of baggy boyfriend jeans.  Belting and cuffing the cardigan helped to nip things in a little, so I didn't feel like I was drowning.

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And since comfort was all I wanted, thick, nubby socks and Clarks were just what the doctor ordered.  Hope you all had a comfy and cozy weekend!

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Cardigan: John's - Jeans: Bitten by SJP, $10 - Clarks: Zappos, $70ish - Belt: Vintage, mom's

Friday, January 22, 2010


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I'm on my way out with a very good friend who is turning 30 today.  The birthday girl has decided on a night of dancing, which I'm super stoked about because I.  Love. To. Dance.  And I can never find anyone to go with me anymore.  In this little college town, we are sure to be the oldest ladies on the dance floor.  (Just a little perspective - we're going to an establishment that was know as "Players" until just a couple years ago.)  Hehehe...

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Drinks and dancing with the girls is the PERFECT occasion for this cute little number.  Shop Mamie was nice enough to send this Socialite Dress for me to style up.  It's so soft and drapey and I love the opportunity to show a little shoulder now and again.

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At first, I was going to belt it over tights with some flats very much like Jessica did here, but with the temperatures dropping, I decided to throw a pair of baggy harems over the dress.  And I LOVE the result.  It's funny how a baggy look, cinched in at the waist can make me feel just as sexy, if not more so, than something body hugging.

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I'm super "pumped" (haha) for the chance to work with the girls from Shop Mamie.  Like me, they're PSU grads, too!  I love knowing the roots of a business and these stylish ladies have surely built their dream.  And just like BCC, they're all about great looks on a budget.  Woot!  Woot!

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Dress: courtesy of - Pants: DIY, $7 - Belt: Gap, gifted - Shoes: Ross, $20

Thursday, January 21, 2010


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Oh, what a day.  By 9am, I was ready for a redo, which would've had me sleep in just a bit longer.  First, I went on a run that turned into Nausea Fest 2010.  And, of course, I didn't have my phone with me and spent about a half hour walking 10 feet, then rolling into a ball for a minute, then another 10 feet, then a ball for a minute - until I finally got home.  I do it to myself a few times a year and will eventually learn my lesson.

Then, I went to plug in my laptop to realize that the 3rd prong of the plug was still in the outlet from last night.  Oh, joy.  Luckily, I got it out without electrocuting myself and my computer is still under warranty, so Dell is replacing my power cord.  The best thing about a crappy morning is that it leaves lots and lots of room for improvement.

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And since things started off so dumpy, it only seemed fitting that Iggy was taking a giant dump in the background of half of my photos.  Don't worry - I'll spare you the photographic evidence, since it was butt to camera and all.  Thanks, buddy...

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On the bright side, do you like my new dress?  After the Weardrobe Conference, Gilt Groupe gave us a very generous credit at their super sale site, which includes Gilt Fuse.  Gilt Fuse is much more my style - you know, cheaper and all.  So, when I saw this dress, I fell in love with the shape and print.  But alas, when I tried to add it to my cart, it was sold out.  Sad face.  However, when we met with the Gilt girls, they suggested to always use the "wait list" button if you can't get an item.  That way, if one becomes available, it's yours!

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Well, folks, it worked!  A few days ago, I got an email saying that my wait listed dress was now available.  So, I scooped it up, and still have a little more credit to spare.  If you're not a Gilt Group member, click here to register or use the link in my sidebar.

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The fabric is such a cool print and I love that it's springy while still appropriate for winter wear.  And paired under my gray moto jacket?  Exactly what I wanted!

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Dress: Twinkle by Wenlan, Gilt Fuse credit - Jacket: Target, 7.50 - Belt: vintage, mom's closet - Flats: JCP, $8

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


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I was stuck inside all day today with no internet and couldn't wait to get home to see if anyone responded to my earlier post.  I was blown away by all of your great points and input.  If you haven't read it yet, head on over and weigh in on the style vs. fashion debate.

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In other news, it was another busy and rushed day.  And I apparently have no idea what day of the week it is, either, because I told someone I would see them today, when I clearly meant tomorrow - but that was yesterday, when today was tomorrow and tomorrow was Thursday.  Well, you get the drift ... - anyway, oopsie!

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Knowing what kind of a morning it would be, I did set out my clothes last night.  What a difference it makes!  I know this - I just need to do it.  A great dress is perfect for days like today.  They don't require much fuss and can be remixed with a simple change of accessories.  You can see the first way I wore it here.

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It may quite possibly be the softest thing I own.  Well, the softest thing I own that's appropriate to wear in public anyway.

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And a big huge thanks to the Meatball for being so patient this morning and snapping a few pictures before work.  I knew I wouldn't have enough time to do the whole tripod fandangle (is that a word and, if so, how do you spell it?), but I also knew it would be dark after work.  So, thanks, babe! (I love the last one!)

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Dress: vintage, store credit at The Rag and Bone - Boots: Payless, courtesy of the Weardrobe Conference
Scarf: vintage, mom's closet - Earrings: Old Navy, $3ish - Bracelets: craft store, $1 each
This entire outfit: practically free


Ask and you shall receive.  Here's the kick-ass chicken dish I made this past weekend:

2-3 frozen chicken breasts
1 jar of salsa
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can of drained black beans
2ish cups of frozen corn
season with a packet of taco seasoning or chili powder, cumin and allspice

Throw everything into the crock-pot and cook for 3-4 hours on high.  Once the chicken is fully cooked, take it out and shred it, then throw it back in and let it cook just a wee bit more.

I'm not one for measuring and this recipe was recited to me, so I've never seen it on paper.  It's pretty hard to screw up (okay, I may have put too much chili powder in it), and it tastes awesome over corn bread.  Enjoy!
(Sorry I don't have a pretty picture.  When I see food, I don't take pictures of it - I eat it!)


Do you think there's a difference between style and fashion?  Or are they interchangeable?

I find myself mulling over this one quite a bit.  While the two are in no means mutually exclusive, I do think that they are very different.  When someone asks if I consider BCC a "style blog" or a "fashion blog," I immediately answer, "style blog."  And even though I'm so certain that I am one and not the other, I'm still trying to find the clear distinction between the two.  So far, this is what I'm thinking:

From the very beginning, this blog's mission was (and still is) to prove that real women in real towns with real budgets and real lives can look great no matter what.  It is not and never was about the labels or the price.    It's always been about doing something extraordinary with something rather ordinary.  I think that's where I find myself writing a "style blog" and not a "fashion blog."

While I don't subscribe to any particular designer's collections every season, I do occasionally turn to the runways and editorial fashion mags for a good dose of inspiration.  I find it more and more helpful when it comes to pushing my own boundaries.  At the same time, those runways and editorials seem so inaccessible to me.  Not only can I not afford designer labels and top shelf retail, but I would feel like a fraud.  It's just not me.  Anyone can put on an amazing designer or expensive piece and look fashionable.  But does is that the same as being stylish?

I've always felt that fashion comes from the outside - it's the influence, the spark - and style comes from the inside - the ability, the eye.  Similarly, I've always viewed fashion as something that is presented to me, and style is what I do with it.  Style is making it my own ... or you making it your own.  You know that feeling when you get dressed in the morning and love your outfit and feel like the best version of yourself?  Even if everyone else hates it, and you love it - it's your style.  It's kind of like intelligence in a way - some people have a natural tendency towards it, and others have to work harder to obtain it - but in the end, no one else can take it away.

Maybe I'm being unfair by assuming that fashion has to mean expensive.  Maybe money can buy style.  I'm curious - what do you think?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


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I think today may be the epitome of my crazy for the week.  And I have to admit, it's going pretty well.  I'm still going to have a bit of upheaval in my schedule over the next couple of weeks, but it will all work out.

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Keeping with the theme of the rest of the week so far, I am under-rested and ill-prepared, so today's outfit struck a lucky note when it fell together so quickly this morning.  I scored these Hue tights for $4 a few weeks ago and kind of forgot about them.  Because all of my black tights could walk on their own they're so dirty, I had no choice but to pull these out.  But I'm glad I did, because they're perfect!

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I was thinking layered florals this morning.  And also comfy, comfy, comfy.  I think I managed both.

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This jacket was an unexpected thrifting steal a while back.  I didn't need another denim jacket, but I couldn't pass this one up.  It was 30 cents!!!  For that price, I thought I would pick it up just to give to someone.  But one I tried it on, I decided it was going nowhere other than my closet.  Because it's a girl's jacket, it's nice and fitted through the torso, but roomy enough in the arms for some serious cuffing.  But why don't Levi's jean jackets have pockets?!  Luckily, my dress does.

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Dress: Fred Flare, $40 - Jacket: thrifted Levi's, $.30 - Tights: Hue, $4 - Boots: Target, $35