Sunday, January 30, 2011

My 30 for 30 picks

(See Saturday's post if you have no idea what I'm talking about)

Here are my picks for my very first 30 for 30! A lot of them are pretty basic - maybe I'll be a little more adventurous the next time around.

5 pairs of shoes:

boots x 2: Alloy (yes they are exactly the same in different colors, shush); flats x 2: Target; heels: Doc Martens

2 pairs of jeans:

both: Express

3 dresses:

L -> R: Old Navy, Modcloth, Anthro

2 skirts, 1 pair of shorts:

denim: American Eagle; black skirt: H&M; shorts: Express

2 jackets:
leather: Banana Republic; black: Urban Outfitters

4 sweaters/cardigans:

L -> R: Anthro; Alloy; Bloomingdale's (honestly, I can't remember, but it was a fancy schmancy dept store); same response as before, but on a different dept store outing

10 shirts:

L -> R: American Eagle, Rue 21, Old Navy or Gap (I'm bad at this), H&M

L -> R: Target, Express x 2

L -> R: Anthro, Gap, Target

If you're counting at home, you'll notice that's only 29. I'm also including this skirt (but it was in south bay at the boyfriend's house and didn't make it into the photo shoot):

skirt: thrifted

Stay tuned for (daily??) updates!!

UPDATE: now with "where I got it" captions!


Remember that time, oh so long ago, that I said I was going to Tahoe? Well, I did! Like 3 weeks ago. It was stressful and fun and exhausting and busy and full of friends (but not Tim, who isn't good with large groups for extended periods of time, and I'm not so sure I am either).

Ready for day 1 of skiing!
Things I learned:
  1. I am too out of shape to ski for two full days straight (about 9 to 4 both days), although I did it anyway. I just felt like death by the end and was a little worried I'd hurt myself if I went down another slope.
  2. Going to Lake Tahoe in January doesn't actually guarantee freezing cold weather, or falling snow. It ended up being in the 50s and sunny, which is great for people who hate winter, but I was pretty disappointed that I didn't get blizzards and subzero chills to get the whole winter thing out of my system. Fortunately, snow on the slopes hadn't melted, so skiing was alright (if a bit too warm).

  3. Hanging out with 9 friends is fun but also overwhelming, as I'm pretty introverted in real life.

  4. Apparently I am good at making both Gl├╝hwein and no-recipe turkey chili. Who knew!

  5. I am going to buy ski boots the next time I go. The rentals don't fit my wide feet well and my little toes went numb 5 minutes in each day. The cost of owning boots would be well worth the comfort, if I can get some that actually fit.

  6. My favorite breakfast ever is leftover pasta (and tomato sauce) sauteed with an egg. Bonus points for it being full of pre-skiing carbs and protein.

  7. Gas stoves are actually really great at roasting marshmallows.

And some more pictures...

I will take pretty much any excuse to wear fun winter accessories. 

Cozy fireplace (with real wood, not gas!)
Early morning sunshine over Lake Tahoe

I bought legit gear (helmet, goggles) and felt like a real skier...


The lake!

(Click through to see a bigger version of any picture, but unfortunately the skiing ones were taken with my 5 year old crappy camera and look pretty awful close up.)

My very first 30 for 30

I have only recently discovered the lovely Kendi at Kendi Everyday, although I first saw her 30 for 30 challenge back in November/December. Here's how it works:

You pick 30 pieces of clothing: shirts, pants, dresses, skirts, shoes, sweaters... And you wear only these things for 30 days, plus accessories like tights, jewelry, and belts. The key here is remixing - making lots of totally different (and awesome) outfits out of the same pieces of clothing.

Turns out this kind of fits in with my closet revamp (it should help me figure out what I do and don't like and how to use the stuff I have in different ways), and Kendi also has some awesome posts on exactly what I'm trying to do to clean out my closet (one, two, three, four, five).

Things I've learned (already!):
  1. I own too many neutrals, and not enough exciting or colorful pieces. I feel like all of my outfits are primarily black, maybe with a splash of navy or beige. Blah.
  2. Button up shirts are amazing for layering. I haven't worn them in years, but fortunately the hoarder in me kept them anyway, and it is time to pull them to the front of my closet again.
  3. I own too many clothes, in general. Once I got to 15 or 20 pieces, I actually had trouble picking more. Not that I don't have more (oh, I assure you, I do!), but apparently there are really only a dozen or so things I like enough to wear on a regular basis, and the rest gets ignored or forgotten. This is an excuse to bring new life to the forgotten pieces, or donate/restyle them.
While I have my 30 pieces (or at least 29 or so) picked out, I'm going to have to post them tomorrow, as one or two are down at my boyfriend's place and I can't easily document them all. Expect a post tomorrow!

UPDATE: see my picks here!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Good morning!

Hello! I woke up bright and early at 6:30 am - turns out my internal clock is pretty used to this early morning work thing. After laying in bed for a full hour, I finally got myself up, grabbed a (caramel) latte from Peet's, and decided to get to work on this closet organization thing.

Here's the thing: organizing my clothes is really tiring. But definitely necessary. I not only own too much stuff, but I only wear about 10% of it most of the time. Turns out my closet cleaning fits in nicely with another style blog project that's coming up on Tuesday, so once I get slightly more organized, I'll post an update about what I'm doing for that, too!

Happy Saturday, kiddos! Got any fun plans for the weekend?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

One awkward and one awesome

Instead of a full awkward-awesome list, I have an abbreviated version today:

Why yes, I am not even at work yet, and that is a coffee stain down my front
Coffee and I have a love-hate relationship. For some reason, every time I have it in a to go cup, it insists on leaping out and onto my clothes (aren't those lids supposed to prevent that??). Tim always laughs and/or is in awe of my to-go-coffee-drinking skills. Today he is not here to laugh with, so I have to sit awkwardly and wonder how many people on the shuttle are judging me. (Fortunately I happen to have a change of clothes on me, so I can remedy the situation once I'm at work)


My Tennessee BFF (yep, I grew up in Tennessee) Meredith has created her own awesome and awkward list today! Go check it out! Her tumblr is a fantastic mix of personal photos and text, classy retro photos, pictures and music clips of whatever she is loving at the moment, and the occasionally adorable asian child. Highly recommend.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Welcome to my bedroom

This is what happens when I only have a few minutes until I have to catch the shuttle to work and I am too lazy/rushed to lug my camera and tripod outside - self portraits from my bed.


I love argyle. Can I wear it when it gets warm out? It seems like a winter thing.


Shirt: Old Navy (gift from my sister); Skirt: Express; Leggings: ?; Boots: Alloy; Puzzle ring: gift from my mom; Socks: Sockshop in the Haight

Monday, January 24, 2011

Operation "Love My Closet"

I have unfortunately fallen into the "good deal" trap too many times, where I don't love something, but oh it's so cheap! and I can't not get it! And the one where that dress sure was cute when I was a freshman in college, but now I am a real 24-year-old GROWN UP who doesn't need to be wearing that, but I'm a sucker for silly sentimental attachment. Sound familiar?

My closet is overflowing (this is actually false: I don't have a closet, I have a hangy rack in the corner of my room, under-the-bed drawers, and part of a rod in the shared coat closet). I own too many clothes, and I want to be surrounded by things I love, not things that I kinda-sorta liked once upon a time and I now can't bring myself to get rid of.

So, I am setting up a challenge for myself: over the next year, I will try on every piece of clothing (... jewelry, shoes, etc) that I own and either find a place for it in an outfit that I am excited to wear, or donate it. I really hope this doesn't take a full year, but given my current work/commute schedule, I don't want to make any lofty promises I can't keep.

Now: who is with me? Tell me about it, send me pics, keep your own blog!

The rules:
  1. Try on every "regular" article of clothing that you own.
  2. Style each as part of an outfit that you love and are excited to wear.
  3. Anything that cannot be styled in such a way has to be thrown out / donated / sold to a second hand store.
  4. Exceptions include workout or lounge clothes, pajamas, costumes, and special outfits like ski gear; however, these need to be worn regularly (or at least once a year, depending on the purpose) and still be things you like and in good condition. I also need to keep a few wintery things for my approximately yearly visits to places with real seasons; I may or may not style these since this isn't really a rotating part of my wardrobe anymore.
  5. Optional: keep photo proof of each successful outfit.

I own way too much to post all of the outfit pictures, but I will likely post some updates along the way. This is a little daunting, but I'm excited to force myself to get rid of some of the stuff I no longer want/need!

Friday, January 21, 2011

One-pot brownies

(where "pot" means a stovetop cooking dish, not a magical ingredient)

I had a stressful weekend, so after work on Monday, I decided to bake something. Brownies in particular. And then I decided to be adventurous and try it sans recipe, and with as few dishes as possible.

I like to make something fancier than plain old chocolate brownies, and looking through my kitchen, I found both raspbery jam and espresso powder. I was not so sure about this combo until I thought back to one summer that I spent commuting back and forth from home (Tennessee) to college (Pennsylvania) 3 or 4 times, - Starbucks raspberry mocha Frappuccinos (with extra espresso) were the thing that got me through those 7 hour solo drives that summer. So it's obviously a winning combo, with an added dose of nostalgia! (I was disappointed that the espresso flavor disappeared during the baking process - I might try again someday and try to get the raspberry mocha to come through a little more strongly.)

The recipe:

One Pot Raspberry Mocha Brownies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 4 teaspoons espresso powder (or more for a stronger mocha taste)
  • 1/4 cup raspberry jam
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. (Unfortunately my oven and/or thermometer was being wonky and said it was at 200° for most of the baking process until suddenly leaping to 400°, so I have no idea at what temperate mine actually baked... but I tried 350°.) Line a 9"x9" square baking dish with foil (easy peasy cleanup) and spray foil with nonstop cooking spray.
  2. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Once it is entirely melted, remove from heat and stir in sugar until combined. Add vanilla.
  3. Stir until cooler (you don't want the eggs to scramble), then add eggs one at a time, mixing well.
  4. Mix in remaining ingredients until combined. Pour into prepared pan.
  5. Warm the jam in the microwave for 30 seconds, or until runny but not boiling.
  6. Drizzle jam over brownie batter and drag a knife through in zigzags.
  7. Bake for about 40 minutes (sorry - this time is a total guess since I was trying to figure out my crazy oven and paid more attention to what they looked like than timing) - these are done when the top doesn't jiggle and a toothpick in the center comes out mostly clean (they should still be a little fudgy).
  8. Let cool for a couple of minutes in the pan, then pull the foil out and let the brownies rest on the foil. When mostly cool, cut and serve immediately.