Sunday, November 28, 2010

What Black Friday Means to the Ones Behind the Counter

The following are some memorable tidbits from my Black Friday experience:

1. I got to use my French skills on two different occasions to eavesdrop on different groups of clients. In turn, I was able to help one woman find the right cut of pants for her body despite a language barrier. I knew that major would come in handy for something.

2. I witnessed an old man in a white Honda Accord maul the UPS man's big brown truck while the driver was inside our store making our daily delivery. I said, "Sir, you might need to go check on your truck. It just shook. Violently." His response? "I'm sure it's fine." ...He didn't think it was so fine when he went outside and realized I was right.

3. Granny panties. Need I say more?

In sum, please let this post serve as a gentle reminder to be kind. Not just on Black Friday or during after Christmas sales, but each time you shop. Consider the people who stand on their feet for hours on end and do their best to please you. For that matter, consider this any time you go anywhere. The world would be a better place if we all took just a second to breathe before getting irritated. In the end, we're all just trying to make it through the day.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Few Things I'm Thankful for...

It bothers me that this post does not fall into any of my labeled categories, but I will try to put my obsessive compulsive tendencies aside for the sake of Thanksgiving.

The following are just a few of the things that I am thinking of thankfully this holiday season, in no particular order at all...

1. Dance parties - any time, any place:

2. My pink KitchenAid mixer, which has been put to an extraordinary amount of work in the past 24 hours:

3. Diet Coke, because what else would my hand hold?

4. My dysfunctional family, in all of their individual parts:

5. Five-star hotels with concierges who greet you with phrases like, "Oh, nice to see you again Ms. Buttimer" and "These chocolate-covered strawberries are on us, happy birthday" and "Oh, we don't have the room you booked available quite yet, let's just upgrade you to our suite." Le sigh.

6. My besties, for whom I am so lucky:

7. Fashion and all that it inspires:

8. Stink, her Loch Ness Monster tendencies and these paws:

9. Paddington, his health and his never-ending need for both affection and naps:

10. My grandmother, whose hands I love to hold and who is a constant source of guidance and inspiration to me, and who I hope to one day be just like, down to her snowy white hair:

11 (Because 10 would just be too easy). Shoes like these... I realize this last one's a bit shallow, but I do write about fashion, after all. And I AM thankful for my shoes!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cute Alert

Happy Halloween weekend to all!

As I am in a celebrating sort of mood (my birthday is on Halloween and so I always feel extra festive this time of year), I want to share with my fabulous readers an exciting fashion opportunity.

Beginning November 1, LOFT will be hosting an exciting giveaway featuring 10 (count 'em: TEN) pairs of their super popular Peter Over the Knee Riding Boot. They'll elect two winners a day for a week to receive the style that has sold out both online and in almost all stores.

Visit LOFT's facebook page for more details and to learn how to enter. And if you win, leave me comments on how you're wearing them!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Oh, the tears...

I had to repost this. Please, please take a moment to read this touching story. It brought big, monster-sized raindrop tears to my eyes before I was beyond the first graph.

If this isn't the perfect display of the old man's best friend mantra then I don't know what is.

These two save me each and every day.

...Right after they finish arguing over the remote.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Breast Buddies

We're thinking pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month... Are you???

Polka Dots or Spots?

What do you call them? Polkda dots? Or spots? I call them polkda dots, but I've found that some call them spots. Certain men in my life, for instance, which I in turn find very endearing. Either way, I love them. I love them on shirts, on skirts, on dresses... I love them mixed with stripes, which I've previously shared my affinity for as well. The top pictured in the following photo is one of my favorites, and I love to find new ways to mix and match it. Cream with navy "spots," it's lightweight and can be layered in a variety of ways to make cute new looks.

Shirt: LOFT
Open-front cardigan: LOFT
Modern skinny denim leggings, worn cuffed: LOFT
Sandals: Ann Taylor
Belt: LOFT
Watch: Fossil

What do you think of polkda dots? Love 'em? Hate 'em? Get a headache when you see 'em? I want to hear!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Eyeball

I see you. Why are you still awake? Go to sleep.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Mixin' and Matchin'

My outfit was really cute today.

...But I forgot to photograph it.

So here's my outfit from the other day, which was also really cute and which I did remember to photograph.

Dress: Target
Cardigan: LOFT (current)
Belt: Target
Boots: Target
Panther bracelet: Vintage, purchased at Agora
Watch: Fossil

I love mixing and matching the different elements found in this outfit. I'm also loving this new hair up phase I'm going through. I don't wash it these days since it's still teased from the day before... I just pin it up in a loose, messy bun and hairspray the heck out of it. So easy... it doesn't move all day and I don't have to worry over it. Fabulous!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Chartreuse Love

I've got a thing about chartreuse. I completely love it. Some people turn their noses up in disgust at this unique color. I, however, run towards it with open arms.

Therefore, I knew this shirt was a must for me, from the moment I first laid eyes on it. The slightly pre-wrinkled silky material, the gathering, the exposed back zipper... It was calling out to me.

Yesterday, I thought I lost this shirt. I almost died. My heart sprang into my throat as fear grasped at me. You see, I almost never lose anything. That being said, when I do lose something, I lose it good... It's usually gone forever, or until I find it years later in a suitcase I must have neglected to thoroughly unpack.

Needless to say, as you can see that my top is featured in this post, I found it. This experience was a testament to the state of my closet. Not chaos, just completely packed-os. This fashionista's closets are maxed out, and sometimes things blend into one another! Fortunately I didn't freak out for long before my shirt and I were reunited.

Chartreuse silk top: LOFT
Modern skinny denim leggings: LOFT
Mid-heel sandals: LOFT
Pearl necklace: J.Crew Factory

What did YOU wear today?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Power of Cuffing

Lately, I find that everything I own looks better when worn cuffed. I wear my denim leggings messily cuffed to balance out the skinniness. I wear my sweater sleeves cuffed. I wear my pant legs cuffed. I turn up my blazer sleeves without a second thought. The list goes on and on. It just seems to me that it shows you put some thought into styling your outfit, and it gives my preppier cardigans just enough messiness to suit me. Here, I've cuffed my destroyed boyfriend chinos to show off the ankle straps on my wedges. Sorry for the poor picture quality!

Tiered ruffle shirt: LOFT (current)
Destroyed boyfriend chinos: LOFT
Cognac-colored wedges: LOFT (online exclusive)
Tassel necklace: Costume jewelry from my great-grandmother
Watch: Kenneth Cole, purchased at TJMaxx

So tell me: What do YOU think of cuffing?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What to Do when Your Mom Mails You the World's Largest Zucchini

My mom loves to send me care packages. In fact, a lot of people do. From one aunt, I receive a loaf of freshly-baked bread from a delicious bakery at home about once a week. I have more bread in my freezer than any one person (especially any one size 14 person) should ever eat. My grandmother's packages are in a league of their own. She's been known to ship everything from biscuits and homegrown tomatoes to full-size bed pillows and pincushions. (Pincushions, you ask? Yes. Pincushions. Come to think of it, the pincushion was actually shaped like a tomato.) I thought this phenomenon might end when I graduated college when I lost my broke-as-a-joke student status, but I was wrong- I still arrive at home to find a random package on my doormat about once a week. (These are not to be confused, of course, with the packages that arrive weekly-ish due to my online shopping habit. But that's another story for another time.) Now, I don't mean to sound ungrateful- I do love these packages. They keep life interesting. You just have to be aware when opening the box that you never know what might be waiting inside.

A particularly hilarious care package arrived from my mother in a wide, flat box one afternoon this summer. Floating around inside was an assortment of things: some magazines, all of which had dog-eared pages of the articles she thought I might find enjoyable, some Nestle chocolate chips she had found on sale at the grocery store and got for me to bake with, which had then melted into one large chocolate chip hunk en route to Athens in the Georgia heat, and, this enormous zucchini:

She grew it herself. She made sure to include a note stating this, of course.

So, I decided to do the only logical thing when faced with the world's largest zucchini. I sliced it up and got out my casserole pan. After all, a southern lady doesn't like to see food go to waste!

The following is what the casserole looked like when assembled, before I put it in the oven. Apparently I got so excited upon taking it out of the oven that I forgot to photograph the final product. Oops.

Anyway, you get the idea. It was completely delicious. I didn't like it as much right away as I did when I was eating the leftovers throughout the week... It almost tastes like a breakfast quiche, with that sort of spongy consistency. I ate mine with cheddar cheese grits and biscuits from Mawmaw :-) What'll you eat yours with?

Zucchini Casserole

1 large zucchini*
1/2 cup oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups cheese
(Cheddar and mozarella were my weapons of choice, but you choose!)
Salt and pepper to taste

*World's largest not required

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice fresh zucchini into rounds. (You may cube it if you prefer!) In a bowl, combine eggs, oil, flour and other dry ingredients with shredded cheese. Mix together well. Arrange zucchini slices in a 9" x 14" casserole dish. Pour batter over zucchini and ensure all slices are well coated. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until browned.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Love that Encompasses (Almost) All

Holly left a whisker in my bed.

Not a hair, mind you, a whisker. A spiky, black whisker.

Now, normally, between my own copious amount of hair shedding and that of my pets, I am not one to be grossed out by these sorts of things.

But a lone whisker left in my bed? This was hard for even me to deal with.

I just had to tell someone.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Red Dress

Four times a year, we receive a look book at work that contains sneak peeks of the upcoming collection. Four times a year, I die and have fashion orgasm after fashion orgasm as I boldly proclaim each new collection as the "best ever."

All the fall collection had to do to earn this honor from me was show me the following red dress.

100% silk in a vivacious red with cascading ruffles and delicate gathers, it was love at first sight for this dress and me. Diamonds, loud gold chain link bracelets and my Chanel earrings were all it took to make me feel like a movie star. A skinny black snakeskin belt pulled the look together. Flat sandals kept it casual and comfortable for work. My dress and I started the day out together with my hair looking fabulous:

Unfortunately, my hair did not want to support my role in the movie of my life, and it fell flat immediately upon me stepping outside my house. (Hate you, Georgia humidity.) So I had to pull it up:

I actually ended up not minding the look so much, and have worn it like this several times since then.

The key of course is to maintain just the right size bump in the back.

After all, the bump is all important. Kind of like my red dress.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Neiman Marcus Passion for Fashion challenge

Readers, are you out there? I need you now! (It's a quarter after one, I'm all alone and I neeeeed you now...)

Please vote for my look that I created using pieces from the Neiman Marcus fall collection. It's a chance to win $5,000! Maybe if you vote for me and you're lucky, I'll pick you as my shopping partner when I go to spend it.

Let me know what I can do to return the favor... Here's the link!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Boot Beauty

For a long time, I've wanted a pair of red cowboy boots. Ever since I grew out of the ones I had when I was three, to be exact. Oh, if those boots weren't fabulous. Dark red leather with crisp white stitching and chunky wooden heels that made even my toddler legs look fabulous.

Adult Caroline has been envying Toddler Caroline of those boots for many years since.

So, my mom and I began an extensive search of all surrounding areas for a women's size 7 1/2 red cowboy boot to fit the grown-up me.

One day, she calls and says she's found the perfect pair. I say, "Get 'em!'" with all the enthusiasm of the aforementioned three year old.

We meet. She unveils the boots. They're... horrible. Red, with a variety of orange stitches that seem to be leaping up the boot in flame. My legs and feet immediately begin to burn on contact.

Mom: "Well! There were only three pairs to choose from, and I liked these the best..."

Me: "If this is the best option, then choose none. Always choose none."

The boots go back. However, there's a no return policy, so she decides she'll try again and exchange.

The next pair is firefighter red.

That's all. Solid red. No stitching, no design, just Georgia red with a big black heel. I would have looked like an overenthusiastic alumni fan. And a little manly, too.

The boots don't even make it up the stairs. Right back in the box and back to Mom they go. I wouldn't want to waste the money on a pair of never-to-be-worn boots, after all.

She calls. She's frustrated. I'm frustrated. I sigh in resignation and begin to face my future that seems bleak without red cowboy boots.

In the end, we decided it would be best for me to return the boots to the western wear store myself and choose a pair to use the credit on, red or not.

This is what I found, and while they aren't red, my heart is content. I will continue my search, but in the meantime, I have these to fill the red-cowboy-boot-shaped hole in my heart:

Boots: Corral Vintage, purchased at Horsetown (

I die.

That is all.

Weekend Wear

This was my outfit for a night on the town with my favorite bunch of ladies after a weeklong vacation. I was getting ready to go back to work and wanted to end the week with a stylish bang.

You tell me: Did I succeed?

Dress: Target

Belt: LOFT

Nail polish: OPI Ogre the Top Blue, Shrek collection
Shoes: Jessica Simpson Strikers, found at TJMaxx

I was shocked to find these beauties at Charlotte Russe... So J.Crew! I got the following three cuties as well (2 for $8 bracelets, rings and earrings!):

Forgive me, my powerful Macbook won't let me upload the rotated version of this picture for whatever reason. Aren't those sweet though?! Love.

Hope you're all staying stylish! Till tomorrow...