Thursday, March 27, 2014

How to Dress Up a T-Shirt

I'm not much of a T-shirt person (that is, unless I'm at home where NO ONE will see me except my husband-who-is-stuck-with-me-forever).  I just find them way too casual and I just love to dress up.

But I work in a school, and we get a lot of T-shirts at school.  The staff at my school recently received T-shirts for our basketball sectional game and were all encouraged to wear them to school.  So I decided to dress mine up a little.  But how do you dress up a T-shirt?  

Well here's how I did it:

  • A cardigan--not a lame button-up cardigan with school buses on them, but something neutral.
  • Skinny jeans--I'm ALL about skinny jeans nowadays
  • Cute flats that complement the cardigan
  • Dangly or large stud earrings
A closer look at the earrings

So if you're not a T-shirt/jeans/tennis shoes kind of person, here are some key pieces that can be added to dress it up!

How do YOU dress up a T-shirt?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Finally Back! A Just One Day-Inspired Outfit

Well it has been awhile.  Like a LONG while.  From a sick baby to a girls' weekend to a Shakespeare festival and a book March Madness competition, my personal and professional lives have been beyond booked!  But things are FINALLY starting to slow down and I'm feeling like I'm able to breathe again.

So here's an outfit that I designed to go with my review from two weeks ago, Just One Day by Gayle Forman.  I loved this book and can't wait to get my hands on the sequel!  I decided to design a chic-looking travel outfit.  Because if you're going to visit Europe, you need to ditch the tennis shoes and fanny packs and get cute!  So here's a comfortable but stylish travel outfit:

I love the color mixture of coral and turquoise...don't you?

  • The coral shorts and heart graphic tee are comfortable yet contemporary.  A carefree look that still lets you look put-together.
  • Gladiator sandals, ever the trend, are a worthy alternative when looking for comfortable footwear.  
  • The light turquoise watch keeps you on schedule and has a more glamorous look than simple athletic watches.
  • A crossbody bag (the new fanny pack!) keeps your special items close, and this turquoise bag is the perfect pop of color.
So what do you think?  Could you see yourself traveling in this outfit?

I'll be back tomorrow with my own outfit of the day--a way to dress up a T-shirt!  See you then!

Shorts--American Eagle
Sandals--Sole Society
Watch--Olivia Burton
Bag--MG Collection (Amazon)

*I am not associated with any companies or products mentioned.

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Busy Week!

Sorry, friends!  This week was JAM PACKED as I had freshmen in the library during research, planned out a Shakespeare festival, attended a big author event (more on that later!) and organized a Book March Madness for our school.  I've got some great posts lined up, so I will get them up as soon as I can!  Thanks for hanging in there with me!

Monday, March 10, 2014

REVIEW--Just One Day

Happy Monday!

We are straggling a little today due to Daylight Savings Time...I'm sure we'll be back to our energized selves within a few days!

Today's review is on Just One Day by Gayle Forman.  I read this for my monthly book club, but it had been on my radar for awhile.  I really enjoyed If I Stay by Forman (never got around to reading the sequel!) and had heard great things about this one.  So let's jump right in!

  • First in the Just One Day series
  • Romance/Realistic
The Gist:
Allyson is a good girl--she's a rule follower, a stand-on-the-sidelines and do-what-you're-told kind of girl.  When she goes on a tour of Europe with a Teen Tours! group (her parents' graduation gift to her), she's actually kind of bummed by it.  She's rushed from place to place on buses and just doesn't get to experience real European life.  So it is completely opposite Allyson to take on the name "Lulu," go to Paris for just one day with a guy named Willem (who she just met), and experience Parisian life.  But that's what she does.  And her one day in Paris not only has her falling in love but seeking her true self.

What I Loved:
  • I thought this book was going to be predictable.  I had it all mapped out in my head.  And it completely surprised me!  It threw in a twist that I didn't see coming and I loved it.  Unpredictable yet very addicting!
  • There is so much involving self-discovery and taking risks and going on a journey, and I think I needed to hear that in my own life right now.  I loved the themes of the book.
  • There are some, albeit bizarre, great "family" groups.  Allyson finds identity with her co-workers at the cafe, her Shakespeare partner's family, another tour group, and more.  They all help her in different ways and act as her family when she needs one.
  • The ending.  I'll say it--I liked the ending.  My book club disagreed with me, but I'll stand by it!
  • I want to go to Paris, eat macarons, and read Shakespeare.  This book had me fully engaged.

What I Didn't Love:
  • I really enjoyed Wren's story, but she appeared so late in the book that it almost seemed odd to have her at all.
  • I don't believe an ER doctor would remember Willem so clearly a year later.  I don't believe an art squat owner wouldn't be freaked out by people sleeping over in his place.  I don't believe Allyson could run away from skinheads who live for violence.  Just some unbelievable parts for me.
  • I found myself rooting that Allyson WOULDN'T get back together with Willem (and even found myself siding with her friend Melanie for part of the book).  So not as romance-y as I would have expected.
My favorite quote:  "'Look, no lenses.'  She pokes through the air right to her eyes to demonstrate.  'it's part of my whole punk-rock librarian look.'"

A great read--I definitely recommend it and can't wait to read the sequel!  Maybe it will make me like Willem more...?

Be back soon with either a Top Ten Tuesday or an outfit post...see you then!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Panic-Inspired Outfit

Hi, friends!

In my review of Panic by Sharon Draper, I explained how protagonist Diamond is a dancer in an after-school dance troupe.  So for today's outfit, I thought I'd show an outfit that shows off you're a dancer but isn't in-your-face.  Does that make sense?  And this would be a super cute outfit for someone walking to dance class after school.

Here's the outfit:

I kind of wish I was a dancer, because this is super cute!

Here's the breakdown:
  • Ballerina skirts are the best!  So adorable.  And this one is delicate and not too over-the-top.
  • The black tee gives off the look of a black leotard, and the dance sweatshirt is casual and fun.
  • Ballet flats--should I even explain this?
  • Minimal jewelry like pearl stud earrings keep the outfit soft, and dancers are often known for being light and flowing.
So what do you think?  Could you see a dancer wearing this on her time off?

Tee--ACNE Trans Dance Tee
Sweatshirt--Forever 21
Flats--Charlotte Russe
Earrings--Reeds White Pearls

*I am not associated with any companies or products mentioned. 

I'll be back next week with a new review and Friday Find!  See you then!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

OOTD--Mom's Night Out!

Hi, readers and fashionistas!  This post was supposed to go up on Tuesday, but this has been a very unexpected week.  Some unforeseen issues at work and home have left me emotional and exhausted, so I'm just now getting to posting.  Sorry!

Today's post is a fun one--an outfit of the day!  
Last week I blogged a review of Candace Cameron Bure's new book, Balancing It All.  In it she discusses the value of having "girl time" as a woman.  After that review, I designed a "how to look like you have it together" outfit along with a movie review of Moms' Night Out, coming Mother's Day weekend 2014.  So if it all wasn't flowing together so perfectly already, I then went out for my own Mom's Night Out with some girlfriends so we could talk parenting, marriage, and just life.  So here's the outfit that I wore that night:

I also wore this outfit for a video I'm making for my YouTube channel, hence the library background.

This outfit is feminine yet edgy, pairing soft and hard prints and fabrics.
  • The floral blouse is from Von Maur and gives the outfit a soft look.  And I needed a print to remind me that Spring is coming!
  • I paired the blouse with a faux leather jacket from JC Penney...this is obviously the "harder" part of the outfit and makes the outfit less predictable.
  • Skinny jeans from American Eagle (I can still fit into American Eagle!) are just a staple in my wardrobe.
  • Watermelon-colored flats from DSW (the box literally said watermelon) add some of the color from the blouse and were a little more fitting for the slippery parking lots I'd be walking in.
  • Delicate jewelry--black jeweled hoop earrings and some monogram necklaces from Linx & More--keep it sweet

So what do you think?

Last week I blogged that blouses, blazers, and heels make a great outfit, and I just tweaked that a little for this outfit.

What are your staple fashion items?

Tomorrow I'll be back with Diamond's outfit from the book Panic.  Hope to see you then!

*I am not associated with any companies or products mentioned.

Monday, March 3, 2014


Well, it's a new week and we DIDN'T get as much snow as predicted!  Yes!  Although it can be fun to be snuggled inside with a good book, I am thankful for spring to get here soon.

A few weeks ago I read Panic by Sharon Draper, so that's what I'm reviewing today.  Even though Draper's books are super popular in my library, this was my first of hers to read.  I chose it because she visited our middle school and I wanted to read something of hers before hearing her speak.

And let me say, Sharon Draper is a hoot!  She was absolutely hilarious!  Once she got that microphone, she was talking with the students as if she had known them for years, and I just loved listening to her.  And I appreciated her speaking to the students about how they most likely won't get published as middle school students--even though it is great to have big dreams, so many students expect publishing to be an easy business, and it is far from it!  She used the Olympics as an example--they need to be training and practicing already but probably won't make the "big Games" until they're older.  Very fitting and creative!

Unfortunately, I wasn't the biggest fan of Panic, as you'll see below.  But, like I said, Draper's books are really popular, so I know she has an audience that loves her work.

Do you notice that the butterfly is pinned down?  I think this cover is very clever!
  • Standalone novel
  • Realistic fiction

The Gist:
Diamond is in a dance troupe and loves taking dance classes with her friends.  Her troupe is preparing for their upcoming production of Peter Pan and Diamond, like most of the girls, wants the part of Wendy.  But she doesn't get Wendy (or Tinker Bell, or Tiger Lily)...she gets Mr. Smee.  Depressing.  While in the mall one day, she is approached by a man who is auditioning dancers for an upcoming movie he's making, and his movie just happens to feature some of the hottest young stars in the industry.  Diamond leaves with him to audition, only to discover that he's actually just kidnapping her in order to make sex videos. 

What I Loved:
  • I just love the portrays something beautiful that desperately wants freed.
  • Diamond isn't the only one telling the story--her dance mates also speak, and I appreciated the multiple points of view.
  • Diamond and Layla's situations, though very different, also have pointed similarities.  Their struggle against oppressive men really carried the book.
What I Didn't Love:
  • Even though I liked having multiple characters tell the story, I felt like Diamond's story just wasn't told enough.  She'd only get a few pages while the other characters would each get 13+.  Her situation was the most interesting to me so I wanted more of it.
  • Ok, I'm just going to throw it out there--I thought the writing was cheesy and cliche.  I know, I know!  Like I said, I LOVED meeting Sharon Draper, but I just couldn't handle her writing.  For example, one chapter ends with the line Justin and Layla sat quietly in the darkness of the auditorium, but for the first time in a long time, Layla was beginning to see a bit of light.  I just couldn't handle it.
  • Diamond's "friends" didn't worry about her as much as I expected--they were pretty consumed with their own lives after she'd only been missing for a few days.
  • This book is meant for high school students, and I felt like the plot was high school but the writing was middle school.  
My favorite quote:  
"'Ah. Let me go dig out my book called Why Women Do Stuff.'
'You need to write it, Dad.  Guys my age could use it.'
'The whole thing would be two hundred blank pages, kiddo.  The real answer is, nobody knows!'"

I hate to give a critical review, but this one just didn't work for me.

But I'll be designing an outfit for Diamond on Wednesday, so come back to check it out!  Plus check out an outfit tomorrow that I put together for a night out with the girls!