Thursday, March 29, 2012

Cookies in the Morning, Cookies in the Evening, Cookies at Suppertime...

Guess what I did today...


Not just something, food! I made something that people can eat. It was outrageous.

Well, it was outrageous for me. I am not a cook. I guess I'm what you'd call a microwaver. Which is like cooking, but faster. That's the real thing I hate about cooking: it takes FOREVER. Maybe not for normal people, but for me, I literally cannot prepare a meal unless I have the entire day off, because the process of cooking is so foreign to me that it consumes my whole day.

Obviously, my husband is the cook. But this morning as I was doing my daily Pinterest cruise, I discovered a recipe that my friend Amy had pinned Easter themed cookies featuring Cadbury Mini Eggs (the chocolate ones with the shell, not miniature versions of the Creme variety). And I don't know why, but all of a sudden I was like "hey, I can do that," which is completely the opposite of the reaction I normally have to a recipe.

I checked the ingredients, and miraculously we had all of them. Well, except for the most important one:

Since I was heading to Walmart anyway to pick up a few other things, I figured I would just grab a bag of these while I was there. Unfortunately, Walmart had other plans for me and decided to carry every other Cadbury product on the market except for these. Not a good start.

After finally finding them at Target, I was able to take out my frustrations on eggs:

In retrospect, I probably should have gone about this a different way. The instructions said to coarsely chop them or something like that. How the hell do you chop a Cadbury Mini Egg? The shells are harder than actual eggs! Plus that sounded like it would take way too long, and my time is precious. So I figured I would just take a meat pounder to the bag. Unfortunately, I didn't count on the fact that beating it with the sharp pointy side would puncture tiny holes in it, releasing the cracked shell dust all over my kitchen. Oh, well. Lesson learned.

Despite my incessant beating, I opened the bag and was horrified to the eggs had barely even broken! I couldn't put those whole pieces in a cookie- someone would end up suing me for chipping their tooth or something.

So I grabbed my chopping board and cut those mini eggs like the pioneers used to do: with a knife. It took FOREVER.

I did realize that once the shells were broken a little bit, it was much easier to sink the knife into the chocolate to cut them in half.

Oh, did I mention while I was doing this, I was also cooking dough?! Well, not cooking it. Preparing it. Mixing it? Ah, whatever, it was being made.

This process was kind of a bitch because it turns out it's very hard to pack 3/4 of a cup of brown sugar when it has somehow taking the form a millions of tiny brown sugar rocks even though you bought the stay fresh container from The Container Store to help it... stay fresh. Fortunately, Domino assumes that idiots like me will run into this predicament and printed special instructions on the bag of the bag on how to soften it. I had to heat it up in the microwave at 30 second intervals with two damp paper towels covering it, wrapped in cling wrap. In between these intervals, I had to take it out and break up the chunks with a fork, and repeat. And repeat. And... repeat. Eventually I decided that it was enough and just tossed it it. By the way, this is the first time I've ever used our KitchenAid. In case you were wondering what color it is if only to make sure you didn't register for it by accident, it's Persimmon.

While Persimmon did most of the heavy lifting, the recipe told me that I had to mix the chopped egg pieces in by hand. I don't know why, maybe they assume that the recipe only tastes good if it has a tiny amount of sweat in it, but regardless, I'm glad I didn't go to the gym today.

Next it was time to make the little dough balls (yes, I can hear you laughing because you just read "balls." Get your mind out of the gutter please, I'm being domestic here). This is the hardest part for me because I always always ALWAYS make them too big and the cookies meld into each other to become a giant cookie blob. Which unless you're going for a large cookie, is a fail.

I made like, four pans of these. All different sizes, just for good measure.

Also, cooking generally takes longer if you have to stop to take artsy photos in between every step. Just an FYI.

I have to say, my favorite part of the cooking process is watching stuff cook. I know, that sounds really weird because of my complaint about waisting time making food. But my favorite thing to do if I do happen to ever put anything in the oven is to turn on the oven light and watch it cook. It makes me feel like I accomplished something more than actually eating it. I don't know why. Back in the olden days when we didn't have an oven light, my mom used to yell at me for opening the oven too much. Apparently it's counterproductive.

This is the part where I get nervous that they look terrible and not like cookies at all. But once I took them out of the oven (ten minutes for the first batch, nine for the second two), the little doughy pillows settled down a bit and started to look like something that people would eat.

So I ended up with a billion cookies. Well it seemed like it, because there are way more than what's in a Girl Scout box. And even though I was really full from the tortellini salad I treated myself to for lunch, I ate one just to make sure they weren't poisonous or anything.

And they were pretty good! Although I have to say, I think I chopped the eggs so small that they almost just taste like regular chocolate chips. And the shell dust I think had pretty much baked in. I mean you could have practically snorted it out of that bag.

But all in all, a very successful experience in the kitchen.

And then I remembered why I really hate cooking:


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Little Boy Bear Blu, Come Swallow Your Corn

I guess I'm a little behind on this story, but I heard on the radio today about the latest viral video causing a ruckus on the interwebs. If you live under a rock or watch, you know, the news or something, you may not have seen the footage of former Clueless star Alicia Silverstone feeding her 10 month old son by pre-chewing his food baby bird style and then spitting it into his mouth.

So overnight this has become a pretty controversial topic. Cher (I mean, Alicia) has made no secret about the fact that she's like a full on hippie. She used to basically assault people that were wearing fur. She had a "green" wedding, whatever that means. Give her a hacky sack and a vial of patchouli and her hippie fate is sealed.

I don't know if I'm allowed to comment on the way people parent their children, as I am not a mother myself and maybe I just don't get it. But as a person who has eyes this one just makes my stomach churn. First of all, all I can picture is that Bird Family skit on SNL with Julianna Margulies. Shudder. Second, when I first heard about this, I thought maybe she was out in public like eating at a restaurant or something and was "caught" on video. Still not okay, but less creepy than how this actually got out- she released it on her website as a baby feeding tip.

Seriously, Alicia?! We don't hear from you for like over ten years, and this is how you decide to reappear on the scene? Also I know she hasn't worked in quite some time, but I'm guessing she still has some Aerosmith money somewhere and can afford a food processor. I mean, I saw Baby Magic Bullets in Walmart just yesterday for $14.95. I get that if you were like, stranded on a deserted island with your baby and there weren't any outlets to plug in your baby blender and you HAD to chew up his food for him to survive, that would be okay. This is just... gross. And weird. And I know that mothers will do anything for their children, but this seems like a very crazy extreme.

Listen, you've already kind of screwed this kid over from day one by giving him name that he can in no way introduce himself in a job interview or in any social situation without people snickering and asking where his horn is. She also stated on her site that while Little Bear used to be timid when it came to his secondhand lunch, he's now totally adapted and just snatches food right out of her mouth whenever she's eating! Isn't that just darling? There's nothing anyone loves more than a kid that likes to steal food right out of people's mouths. Someday when he goes to elementary school kids are going to be begging him to steal their lunch money instead.

So I guess the bigger issue is the risk of transferring bacteria and ruining his baby teeth, but I think it's more about the fact Bear Blu is going to become a huge social pariah and that Alicia I think has sufficiently squashed any hopes for Clueless 2: Rise of the Bettys.

This story has me totally 'buggin.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I Think I'll Go To Boston Bloggers

Alright, so I finally got my act together to do a Boston Bloggers recap. Everyone and their mother that attended this first ever conference this past Saturday has already done theirs, and I already feel like I'm way behind. But this was too good an experience not to cover. So let's start from the beginning, shall we?

You may have seen a few posts ago when I overanalyzed what I was going to wear to said conference. Lots of people weighed in on Facebook, but what was really exciting to me was that I got like 12 comments on the actual post, mainly because all of us that were attending were all reading up on who else was going to be there as well. I get lots of feedback from people when I see them in person or via the 'Book, but I get very few actual comments on my blog posts themselves. And to a blogger, those comments are liquid gold. I got so many nice messages from people that I hadn't even met yet, so I went into Saturday feeling really excited to put faces to the comments and tiny profile pictures.

Of course since I'm hardly a together person, by the time I woke up on Saturday I still had not selected a winning outfit. I thought about just wearing what outfit most people liked the best (which it seemed were outfits 9 and 12 according to the comments), but like blogging, I had to choose what I was going to wear (or write) to represent myself, and I kinda just had to act on what I was feeling that morning. I decided on the neon yellow polka dotted sweater with the pink skinny belt, because it just made me feel bright and happy and that was something I wanted people to know about me from the second that I walked in. Once again, my very very VERY nice husband also arose early (7:30 am!) to take my photo before I headed out. Please ignore the flats, I had my heels in my big girl purse. Also, on a scale of one to ten, how much do I look like I'm ready for the first day of school?!


I arrived at the Google offices BEFORE 9:00 am, which is when breakfast/registration started, which just goes to show you that when you're actually excited to wake up for something, it's really not a big deal to rise so freaking early. I headed right to the table, and was excited to get my name badge, the attendee list and there was even a COAT CHECK. Granted, I had packed my hot pink Kate Spade Stevie (thank you, Uncle Peter!) with the intention of being a bag lady and having to carry my crap around all day, so this was a very welcome surprise. When I walked in, I was shocked to find that a few people knew who I was by the outfit I was wearing. And everyone was really polite about it and said they liked it instead and didn't question my decision.

I decided ahead of time to bring a notebook and my little Canon Powershot instead of my Rebel T3i. I just didn't want to have to lug around more stuff than I already had to. A bunch of people took notes on their iPads or laptops and shot what were probably amazing photos with their SLR's, which made me regret my decision a little bit. However, my laptop is four and a half years old, so it's definitely from the days before Apple made things that were svelte enough to fit in manila envelopes. But oh, the iPad. How I covet thee, if I didn't already before.

see? neon is in

Amy and Alana did an amazing job organizing this event. So amazing that I didn't even realize until I talked to Amy at the after party that this was the first time they had ever done an event like this. That's them on the right at the "opening ceremonies" of Blog Better Boston.

heels & nametags: a winning combo

They had one of those things there to take your picture in front of, which I thoroughly enjoyed because it made me feel like I was at an Us Weekly party. Which let's face it, is how I aspire to feel in life all the time.

if only we could stare at our phones all the time & not be perceived as bitches

So they had all these great panels and workshops and an airtight schedule that allowed for an appropriate amount of breaks, mingling and free food nabbing from Dunkins & Au Bon Pain. One of the things that they really encouraged us to do was to Tweet all day long, which as you can see on the picture on the right, people did furiously. I have barely used Twitter in the past unless I wanted to find out what Kim Kardashian ate for lunch that day, so this was kind of a foreign concept to me. Also foreign? Staring at your phone/laptop/iPad while people are standing in front of you, speaking for your benefit. That's kind of the cool thing about this group- no one was offended not to be holding your full intention. Because it was a room of bloggers, everyone understood (and was probably flattered) that you were expressing to the world (i.e., your followers) what they were saying. Still, it kind of goes against everything you learn in school, from your parents and general good manners so it was a little weird for me to get used to.

um wait, who is that on the left?

That is, until they featured one of my Tweets on the big screen and I was totally okay with it, because again, anything that makes me feel slightly famous is okay by me. Luckily, many of the other bloggers I met were much nicer than me and I got to partake in one of my favorite past times: Collecting people's very cool business cards. As I said in my last post, I had worked very hard on my own cards, and I'm really excited with how they came out. And I still have about 70 of them, so message me your address and I'll send you a stack that you can wallpaper your home with, or else my friends and family are getting these as Christmas cards this year.

please don't steal my identity, unless you want to inherit a wicked banana republic credit card bill

i'll take some of those natural, voluminous curls, please

This is Amy, one of the co-organizers from Stylish Year. She was super nice and has gorgeous mermaid-esque hair and she introduced me to fancy technological things like Tweet Deck.

The after party at Think Tank was a blast, particularly because by now we had known each other for a whole day and Katy Rose gave us extra drink tickets. It went on even longer than planned, and I was a little bummed to leave but I had made some very special plans with my former roommate of 77 Hancock at our favorite Cambridge eatery:

lindsay & liz, chips & salsa: reunited

We drank margaritas and shoved our faces with Mexican amazingness, which was kind of the cherry on top of a perfect day.

I'm sad that it's over now. It was kind of like going to camp and not wanting to part with all the new friends you made that summer. At least that is what I imagine happens because everything I know about summer camp is from The Parent Trap (the Lindsay Lohan version, clearly).

While I did not discover a long lost twin, I met a lot of other nice people who I immediately went home and stalked online. They are now all being followed (ON TWITTER, calm down) and have been added to my already extensive Google Reader. Carley, Sara, Germana, Jamie, Meaghan, Erin, and even Emily from middle school were all awesome and I'm excited to read more from them.

I took all these photos on Instagram, which I am obsessed with because it makes it look like I am artsy and totally lets people know that I'm cool enough to have an iPhone. Kidding, but I am obsessed. If you are an Instagram user too, follow me at linzphoto731 because I have very few friends on there (sad face) and I want to see how cool and artsy you are too.

Until we meet again, bloggers!


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Where's The Beef?

It's right here!

so zen

For those of you who don't know, my husband is a cook. Although he works full time in the kitchen at his family's restaurant (and has since age 13), he somehow still manages to come home and make really amazing food for me. So I decided to start a category on here called "Sh*t My Husband Cooks," not because it's tastes like you know what, but because I'm bitter I didn't come up with all that "Sh*t _____ Says" stuff. I'm not implying that any of it tastes bad, it's amazing and that's why I need to share it with you.

I also have to point out that I am what you would call a picky eater. I mean it. I didn't even try a bagel until I was 16 years old. I've been making a more conscious effort in the past few years to be more adventurous with my palate, which I think is largely in part because of my husband. In case you're wondering how picky we're talking, here's a list of foods I do not care for:

Eggs (in any form)
Any kind of berries
Honey Mustard
Chicken Pot Pie
Baked Potatoes
All vegetables except for corn, green beans, and mushrooms (cooked only)
Potato Salad
Seafood Salad
Okay, honestly, anything with mayonaise
All Thanksgiving foods (turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce and pie. I'm serious)
Ranch Salad Dressing

So you can imagine that when Steve and I met almost seven years ago, he was quite embarrassed to take me to restaurants. I recall ordering toasted raviolis on our first date. On our "real" first date, I ordered something fancier and proceeded to push around an unfamiliar orange side on my plate.

Me (in disgust/horror/fear): What is this orange stuff on my plate?
Steve (in disbelief): Orange stuff? You mean squash?! That's squash.
Me: Ew.
Steve: You don't know what squash looks like?!
Me: *silence*

And for some reason, he still paid for my dinner. And made me dinners. And also breakfast. And my lunch. YES, HE PACKS MY LUNCH BAG EVERYDAY. I am lucky. I understand.

So it's only recently that I have started to let additional foods into my diet that I was afraid of before. Also, Steve has adopted a system that I imagine is what parents do with their children in that he makes food, and I have to eat it or else I don't eat. I have learned that I actually like fish that doesn't come in stick form and that real macaroni and cheese is really is good (although I will always love Kraft spirals, now and forever).

So tonight I was delighted to return home after working all day to the smell of Asian Ginger Beef slow cooking in our Crockpot. I know that there are people that are obsessed with Crockpots, and judging from the amount of effort required to make a meal with one, I'm guessing they were invented for people like me. However, I still have yet to do anything more with it than eat what comes out of it. Actually, I've had an adverse affect as I actually broke the lid on ours and now it only cooks if Steve shoves tiny bits of rolled up paper towel in the holes where the screws used to be. Lindsay: - 20 points.

Paper towel or not, this Asian Ginger Beef is awesome. As someone who never liked beef stew (shocking, I know) this is kind of meaty and stewy but I like it because he puts it over angel hair pasta. *Correction: My husband, who never reads my blogs even if they are about him, informed me when I woke up this morning that there were many inaccuracies in this post. One of which is that this dish is served over some fancy noodles called Udon. Apparently, all noodles are just regular pasta to me.* There's even an ingredient in there that I had never heard of but TRIED ANYWAY- bok choy! I still don't entirely understand what that is, but I would describe it as a tastier version of cooked lettuce (because let's face it, that sounds TERRIBLE).

It's so good that I had a slight incident the last time Steve made it. The whole point of making things in Crockpots is that you let them cook all day and you leave and go about your business and then you come home and it's like oh by the way, I've been doing crap all day but I've also prepared you this lovely meal. That's exactly what he did but I got home first. Since Steve wasn't due home for an hour, I was dying of hunger and didn't want to start snacking (I have a slight problem with snacking. The peanut butter cookie story will have to wait for another day).

So I decided to try some of the beef out of the Crockpot. I grabbed a fork and sampled a piece. It was cooked to perfection, and slivers of meat literally fell apart in my mouth. I put my fork in the sink and returned to the couch. But the Crockpot just sat there on the counter, making sizzling noises as if is was talking to me. To a normal person, it probably just sounded like "pssssssssssssssssssssssssssh," but to the hungry hungry horrors happening inside me is was like "sizzle sizzle I'M DELICIOUS EAT MORE." I felt like one of those people in the desert that see a mirage when they're dying of thirst. Eventually, it was just me, standing over the Crockpot, with a fork in one hand and a paper towel in the other (you know, for drippage), singlehandedly consuming our dinner.

It was standing in this precise position that Steve walked in and caught me. In the moment, it seemed as if they only thing I could do was stand still and pretend that he hadn't seen me. Unfortunately, he did, and from hereafter every time he prepares his Asian Ginger Beef, I get a very stern message warning me to NOT EAT ALL THE MEAT.

My favorite thing about this meal is that it still tastes amazing days later (if there's any left). I am terrible at consuming leftovers unless they came from a restaurant because I think things just don't taste good after they've been heated up. And unlike my husband, I don't eat leftovers cold.

So this is now one of our favorite meals. And according to the Crockpot Cookbook, it's super easy to make. So eventually, maybe I'll be a nice wife and learn how to make it too.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Don't You Wanna See These Clothes On Me?

My blogger brain is on overload right now, because I am currently preparing for the Blog Better Boston conference on Saturday and I'm so excited/nervous/unhinged right now that I can barely function. I have spent the better part of this last month getting psyched up for this event, topped off by frantically completing every possible thing I could today since it was my last day off prior to the conference. Homemade blog business cards have been cut, my ticket is printed and I did an extra pore strip to ensure I look my best for Saturday.

Of course, none of this compares in importance to the most critical piece of this whole thing, what I will be wearing. I know, I know. Isn't it more important to focus on what you'll be learning at the conference? What workshops and panel discussions you will be a part of? The potential blogger friends you (hope to) make? Yes, of course, those are all things that I am very excited about. But ever since February when I purchased my ticket, my brain has been consumed with finding just the right ensemble to represent myself and Lindsay's Look to the Boston blogging community. And dammit, you know all those fashion bloggers are going to be there looking something fierce. I'm no fashion blogger, but I like to think I can put together an outfit.

Only I can't. Correction: I used to be able to and now I'm stuck. Isn't that always the way? Every morning, when I get ready for work and pull out another all black ensemble, I woefully glance at all my "fun" clothes, i.e. everything else I own. There are patterns and textures and open toed shoes! When I glance around my very underused wardrobe, I put pieces together in my head and think about the next time I could have a chance to wear it. And like clockwork, the day I actually do have somewhere to go that is not work related, I can't think of a damn thing to put on that isn't... black. Because I literally forgot how to get dressed.

So I figured tonight I would go through my closets (yes, plural) and put together a couple things and then decide on the best option, assuming it would take about an hour. Cut to two and a half hours later, and all I have is messy room and a sleepy husband, who keeps reminding me that although I "can't think of anything to wear," I cannot "buy something" due to lack of inspiration.

I figured why not ask the source directly- what do you think I should wear? I have spent a large portion of my day going through my favorite fashion blog posts searching for inspiration. Fortunately for all of you, I coerced my husband to take pictures of my potential outfits during intermissions and timeouts during the Bruins game. Let the judging commence.

Sidenote: There is a reason I am NOT a fashion blogger. Okay, there are many reasons. One of which is that I always decide to take pictures of my outfits at 11:00 pm and I always take them inside (because it's 11:00 pm, duh). In my tiny apartment, the area in front of the door is really the only suitable spot without furniture, tchoskys and black and gold memorabilia. And yes, there are always going to be shoes or some other form of unnecessary crap in the background. You're lucky that Steve managed some trick photography to hide the trash that was to my right. Also, because it is so late when I finally get around to taking these pictures, I am never wearing makeup nor is my hair done as if I were actually to leave the house. As a result, I have the world's darkest under eye circles you ever did see. So we're going to focus on the clothes and not the scariness that is happening just north of my neck. I did my best in the editing phase to take out all of the qualities that would frighten a small child, but apparently the "Retouch" button on iPhoto is not the same thing as an "Instant Concealer" button that I had hoped for. Lastly, I was being so crazy about the clothes, there was really no time to pick out specific accessories for each look. As soon as I have a definite winner, I will definitely add some banging accessories, since they're kind of my thing.

So without further adieu... I give you... some outfits. Be kind. But honest. But not too honest.

left: dress, ann taylor loft; belt: ny&co
right: skirt, forever 21; top: express

Anyone that knows me knows that I have a slight obsession with all thing nautical. If you need proof, take a look at my bedroom. Red, white and blue pieces are literally my favorite clothes to buy, because they never go out of style and they always look good together. I decided to add a pink neon belt to the polka dot skirt just to mix it up a little bit. I don't always need to look like Uncle Sam, you know.

I should preface this by saying that the dress for the event is being described as "casual." That doesn't give me a whole lot to work with, but I would always rather be overdressed than underdressed, especially in a room full of bloggers. Also, my trusty iPhone weather is telling me that it's going to be 60 degrees on Saturday. After being in the mid to late 70's all week, of course it's going to be cloudy and slightly chillier on Saturday. So some of these skirt ideas may not end up happening. But I love wearing dresses and skirts, so I couldn't leave them out of the fashion montage I had going in on here a few hours ago (which fyi, seems MUCH simpler in movies).

left: pants, gap; top, ny&co; blazer, jc penney
right: jeans, forever 21; top, banana; sweater, gap

So these two looks are definitely embracing the "casual" concept a little more, especially the one on the right, because let's face it- I'm wearing boat shoes. I really like the look on the left, but I'm thinking maybe it would look better with white skinny jeans instead of capris. Must... not... buy... anything...

left: jeans, forever 21; cardigan, ny&co; top, express
right: skirt, ?; cardigan, ny&co; top, banana

If there's one things I've learned from all the fashion blogs I read daily, it's that neon is in. But you can't be crazy looking like an 80's hooker or something, you have to be strategic and use your neon sparingly for maximum effectiveness. The look on the left is definitely my favorite of the two. I always forget I have this cardigan because I hardly ever get to wear it, but whenever I do, it makes me happy. I threw the pink belt on again to show that I don't mess around. I can totally mix neons- what of it?! The look on the right looks like someone going to work, or what I imagine someone who has the freedom to choose what they want to wear to work looks like. Also I pretty much wear those black flats everyday and I was hoping to stay away from black as much as possible for Saturday.

left: pants, gap; top, old navy
right: jeans, forever 21; t shirt, j crew; jacket, forever 21

I know, more neon. I just can't help it. Neon is fun to wear, and I'm fun and I feel like we just go together. Again, the look on the left I feel like I would prefer with white jeans instead of the capris, only because it's still March and all. I can just hear my mom in the back of my head reminding me that it's not even Easter yet. And yes, that is the same belt in neon yellow. What can I say?! The set of two was $6.99, and you know that I don't like to spend too much on anything "trendy" because let's face it- how long are we going to be sporting neon belts, exactly? Also, I know I said no black, but that jacket with the pearls is one of my favorite things in my wardrobe. I love dressing it up and dressing it down, which I did with this amazing neon tee that I'm also a little obsessed with (even if it does STAIN MY BRA every time I wear it- thanks J. Crew). I think this is a good look that says slightly professional but still fun, which in my head is what I am.

left: jeans, forever 21; top, limited; cardigan, ann taylor
right: jeans, forever 21; sweater, banana; jacket, banana

Along with "casual," conference attendees were specifically told to wear comfortable shoes, because the reception afterwards is a bar that is walking distance but not like, next door. But holy hell, what a difference a heel makes. I'm wearing the exact same pair of jeans in both pictures, and yet I look ten pounds heavier in the picture on the right. It may seem like this cardigan with a belt is a go to thing for me, and well, it is. No matter what size you are (or what you appear to be- see photo on the right) if you accent your waist, you are always going to be showing off the smallest part of your body. I'm thinking I'm just going to bring one of my bag lady purses and throw a pair of flats in for the end of the day.

left: jeans, forever 21; top, old navy; blazer, banana
right: jeans, forever 21, top, banana; cardigan, ann taylor

I feel like all the fashion bloggers I like are always raving about leopard and stripes together. When I see it on them, I don't get it. Then I tried it myself and I'm like omg, this is really fun! It's like they were made for each other! Like me and belts, apparently, because there's another one on the right. Oh, and my red-orange cardigan. I love that thing. It's the perfect weight and an unexpected color. In this look I was also channeling my inner fashion blogger by trying to mix different colors that I never would have before. Thinking outside the box here, people.

So that's what I put together for now. What do you think? Is there one that really stands out, or are they all duds? And yes, I have infinitely more clothes than this, but my brain literally could not handle one more outfit.

Despite this very stressful fitting I've subjected myself to, I'm so so SO excited for Blog Better Boston. I will be sure to come back with lots of exciting tips to hopefully help make this blog even more awesome. And hopefully, I'll have a new blog friend or two. And maybe, just maybe, they'll want to borrow my outfit.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Best Things In Life Aren't Free

A few weeks ago, my coworkers and I were delighted to discover that we are getting bonuses this year. With the elusive check scheduled to arrive any day now, my brain has been working double time to figure out what items I am going to treat myself with for working all year.

I know what you're thinking. "Lindsay, isn't it a huge waste to use your money on a bunch of little things that could potentially be out of style in six months to a year?"

Probably. But you know what? I don't care.

And I'm not going to blow the entire thing in one fell swoop of the mall, Supermarket Sweep-style. I am definitely going to save the majority of it, which I was miraculously able to do last year and it paid for our trip to Canada for our anniversary. After all, we do need to someday live in a place with more than 690 square feet, or else I'm going to run out of places to put all the crap that I buy.

I may have mentioned before that I have a very strict allowance as of late. And by allowance, I mean I am forbidden to buy anything ever unless it is an absolute necessity, i.e. food or toilet paper.

I totally see where my husband is coming from giving me such constraints. I have a closet that is exploding with clothes- fun, pretty clothes that I almost never wear because my daily wardrobe requirement is black, black, some more black, and in case you didn't have enough already, just a little bit more black. My "side" has somehow started to spread over into his side, and that's not including all the spring/summer clothes that are neatly Space Bagged on the top shelf right now. But like an addict, there are just temptations EVERYWHERE. First of all, I work in a mall. So not only do I see many cute things on a regular basis, but I also walk by certain things everyday, so I see when they finally get marked down, which feels like winning the lottery to me. Also, ever since I got more involved in blogging, I have discovered blogs of many fashionable ladies that feature outfits that I think I should be wearing.

Aside from the additional fun things I want, I need some essentials stat. But since I have somehow started using expensive products such as shampoo, makeup, etc., when I run out of something, it's hard to convince said husband that my bronzer that is now crumbling at the bottom of my makeup bag needs to be replaced, and it just so happens right now that I have a zillion things I need to restock.

My brain is spinning from all the things I'm coveting right now. So better to put it out there than keep it swirling around in my brain. Without further adieu, I give you:

My List of Stuff I Want to Buy But My Husband Won't Let Me So I'm Waiting For My Bonus Wish List.

Essential Elegance Skirt $69.99 Mod Cloth

I've seen this skirt on multiple posts from Jessica at What I Wore and I think it is just darling. Like I said, I wear lots of black and I'm always looking for different pieces to break up the monotony of an A-line black skirt (which I currently have approximately five of). Also I love the vintage feel and the high waist. And on those days when you just don't feel like getting dressed for work, how much more fun is it when you have a skirt to twirl in?
Xhilaration Challis Shorts $16.99 Target

Okay, I also only know of the existence of these shorts because of Jessica (what can I say? The girl just knows how to put it all together) but I'm obsessed with these for two reasons: 1. Vintage-looking. 2. Cheapness. Seriously, this is such a good deal for a cute piece like this! I'm already picturing wearing this over my sailor-style swimsuit with a scarf tied around my head. And as soon as I go on Pinterest, I will actually figure out how to do that.

Colour Surge Eye Shadow Duo in Buttered Bronze $19.50 Clinique

I guess you know you have a problem when the eyeshadow costs more than the clothes you want. But seriously, that bronze color is the best shadow I have ever used for contouring my eyes and I only discovered up because of those damn free gifts with purchase that I keep falling for. It was in a trio of a shadow for your whole eyelid, this color for the accent and then a dark brown with a teeny brush for lining. It was like, the most perfect shade and I used it every day. Then, one sad day, I opened my beloved compact and Buttered Bronze was completely shattered into a crumbly mess, staining all the belongings of my bag (luckily, I have about 30 more where that came from- thanks, Clinique). But the other two colors? TOTALLY FINE. I have tried every cheap bronze color in my Forever 21 eye shadow palate, and none of them are as perfect a shade as this. We will meet again, Buttered Bronze.

Picture This Camera Ring in Pewter $9.00 Threadsence

I just have to have this. There's no way around it. Thanks to Jessica at My Style Vita for posting this for $10 Tuesdays. Good thing it's temporarily sold out, or I would have nabbed this baby a month ago.

City Stretch Peplum Sleeveless Top $29.95 New York & Company

I think it's safe to say after the Academy Awards that we all need a little peplum in our lives. This is going to be the next big thing, and apparently it's everywhere all of a sudden, from jackets to dresses. Me? I just want a simple top like this because I'm always weary of things that are all of a sudden in style, which is why I still only own one pair of skinny jeans. However, after my recent snafu with a return at NY&Co, I don't know that I will ever be allowed to buy anything there again. And I have so many coupons...

Polka Dot Tights $20.00 Express

Okay I know that Steve will never understand this, but this is why I HAVE TO BUY THINGS WHEN I SEE THEM. I have been coveting these polka dot tights ever since I saw Rachel from Pink Peonies wearing them with a fabulous hot pink skirt. Since she said they were from Express, I went over one day on my break to check them out. $20 seems like a bit steep for tights (because it seems like no matter how careful you are, they inevitably could rip) but I thought they were so fun, I promised myself I would get my hands on a pair when some extra funds came rolling in. While working on this post I went to the Express website and THEY'RE NOT EVEN ON THERE! Hopefully they're still available in the store, or else I will cry. I mean, how often to polka dotted tights come around?!

Weightless Shine Conditioner $25.00 Sebastian

I know, I know. Conditioner is a necessity. But twenty something dollar conditioner is not a necessity. Of course you're thinking, "Lindsay, why not just buy less expensive conditioner?!" Because that would be the sane thing to do. I have used Sebastian shampoo and conditioner for some time now, and it just works the best for me. And once you find something you like, you can't go back to using drugstore stuff. You just can't. Yes, my hair is now spoiled. Luckily, having a friend that is a hairdresser, I have been able to substitute miscellaneous samples that I have acquired over the years while I wait to buy the good stuff. Otherwise, it would be a sock bun kind of day, everyday.

Chambray Button Up $17.80 Forever 21

So I keep seeing Chambray shirts everywhere in every fashion blog I read, but everyone seems to be buying theirs from J. Crew. Thanks, but if I'm going to be spending $78 on a shirt, it sure as hell isn't going to be made out of denim. Again, this is one of those things that I am perfectly content picking up for as little money as possible, as I have no idea how long this is going to be on trend for. I want to pair one with a brightly colored maxi skirt because I keep walking by it on a mannequin at Madewell and it makes me happy.
Patent Toe Ballet Flats $20.80 Forever 21

Isn't it weird how certain things are all of a sudden in style and you're like, "where did that come from why don't I have it I need it now ahhhhh!?!" Just me? Okay, well cap toe shoes seem to be one of those things this year. I've been seeing all kinds, from flats to heels and even though they're "in," I think a neutral pair seem pretty classic, like you could wear them for years (that is, if the cheap ass ones I end up buying don't fall apart). Payless also has a pair that was made by Dexter, so those could be infinitely more comfortable. Of course, if money was no object, I would clearly be lusting for this Kate Spade pair. I don't think my entire shoe collection combined even reaches $225.

Vintage Inspired Swimsuit 50's Style Pin Up White Bathing Suit $75.00 Unique Vintage

I don't really want to talk about how many vintage bathing suits I have (sorry, vintage style, not actual old bathing suits. Ew). But I have been searching for a white one piece for YEARS, ever since I saw a picture of Jessica Simpson in a Michael Kors similar style one a long, long time ago. I always wanted a white one because it reminds me of old school like Marilyn Monroe style beach glamour. Then when I opened up my February issue of Elle, I was delighted to see my girl Lea Michele in my very dream bathing suit! Too bad it was $350. This one from Unique Vintage seems similar enough for a fraction of the price. Then I promise, no more bathing suits. This year.

Flocked Trout Stream Pillow $19.99 Target

I want to be one of those people that can mix patterns of things and have it look amazing. However, if you only have one pattern on your couch at the moment, you're not really getting there. I have this great blanket with all these different color pale greens, periwinkles, light blues, and even tiny hints of orange that somehow blend perfectly together (it even has traces of brown, which is the color of my couch). Now I just need to find other patterned throw pillows in the same color family to add into the mix. Other than taking the blanket with me from store to store, I don't know where to find inexpensive pillows that go. If I was crafty I suppose I would just buy fabric and make them. Luckily for my fingers, this pillow from Target totally goes, and compliments the pale green ones I have already. Now... where to find non-hideous orange pillows...

I'm sure from the time I wrote this until the time you read it, I will have come up with 27 more things that I want. After this little spree, it's penny pincher time, so I'm going to savor the moment while I can.