Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Atlantia-Inspired Outfit

Ahhh, I am so excited about today's outfit!  After reading Atlantia by Ally Condie, I couldn't wait to design something fit for a siren!  Atlantia is all about the setting and characters, so your senses are in total overload as you read.  I could hear the water outside Atlantia, hear Rio's Siren voice trying to break through, see the beauty of an underwater city--there was beauty just in the setup of the story!

Today's outfit is completely inspired by Rio.  She's a Siren (but trying to hide it), and with Sirens comes this insane beauty and hint of danger.  So let me show you what I designed:

Umm, I need a place to wear this dress.  Someone throw a really fancy party and invite me--fast!

Gosh, can't you just see a beautiful, dangerous Siren wearing this to a party?  Now Rio herself doesn't want to flaunt her Siren status, so I can't say she would wear's just an inspiration.
  • The dress--which is GORGEOUS--is completely inspired by the water, the scales of fish, and the sexiness of a Siren.  It completely draws the eye and takes all the attention--just like a Siren.
  • The black tights and black heels give a sense of power, control, and danger.  Again, all Siren qualities.
  • The silver clutch keeps the feminine side of the look.
  • A little cheesy, but I couldn't resist throwing in this necklace.  I wanted a silver dainty necklace, and a music note was too good to pass up.  What would be a Siren without her voice?  A Siren like Rio trying to hide her voice!
So what do you think?  Do you think I got a Siren spot on?
Want to know the details of the outfit?  Find them all here!

I can't wait to show you the outfit I wore yesterday while the hubby and I played hooky!  Well, not really--we took vacation/personal time like a good adult should.  But not being at work on a Tuesday felt like playing hooky!  That will go up tomorrow!

Monday, April 20, 2015

REVIEW: Atlantia

Happy Monday, everyone!

What a beautiful weekend we had here in Indiana!  Well, half-weekend since it rained all day on Sunday.  But we were fine with the rain because we had seeded our lawn on Saturday and needed it watered!  I read a GREAT book this weekend (will be telling you about it soon!) and just feel like I'm in my reading groove.

Today I have a great review to share with you--Atlantia by Ally Condie.  Condie wrote the Matched trilogy which was a lot of fun to read.  This is a unique, fantasy read that took me into a world I definitely hadn't read about.

  • Standalone novel
  • Fantasy
The Gist:
Rio has always wanted to live Above.  But she lives in Atlantia, an underwater city that requires at least one member of each family to stay in Atlantia forever.  Rio has always known that she will go Above, but when her parents die, Rio agrees to stay in Atlantia with her twin sister Bay so they won't be separated forever.  But then Rio's worst nightmare happens--Bay tricks her and takes her spot Above, meaning Rio is stuck in Atlantia forever.  And now she's trying to figure out two things--why Bay deceived her and how she can get Above.

What I Loved:
  • The first chapter had me hooked.  Bay tricked Rio!  Why?!  Does she have a plan?  Is she evil?  
  • I LOVE that this is told from Rio's point of view, because I shared all the questions that Rio had.  It made the story so much more intense being in first person.
  • I also love that this is a standalone novel.  I knew that questions would be answered and there would be resolution.
  • Such a unique setting--the underwater city of Atlantia--with Sirens and religious corruption.  It all had me fascinated.
  • I loved Rio's secret of being a Siren and having to hide her real voice.  
What I Didn't Love:
  • The resolution was a little too fast for me.  I thought that the final few chapters could have been expanded/explained so much more.  
  • The second half was slower than the first, and I always find it too convenient when certain characters are immune to others' power. 

A fun read!  So different than the norm and nice to know I don't have a sequel to catch up on!
Can't wait to show you the outfit I designed--coming up tomorrow!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Belzhar-Inspired Look

Happy Friday!  Can I get three cheers on that one?!

Today I'm bringing you a look inspired by the book Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer.  I absolutely loved this book (especially the twist at the end!) and am excited to create a look for it today.

Since the book is set at a camp-like boarding school, I designed an outfit that I could see campers wearing when they want to look nice.  Because of the "magic" of Jam's English journal, she is able to see her deceased boyfriend in dream-like states.  So she's definitely going to want to look her best for him. 

Here's what I designed:

So cute!

  • I think high-waisted shorts are so cute for camp settings.  They just have that vintage, "let's go drive around the country in our camper" vibe.  
  • I paired the shorts with a floral tank top and cardigan.  Camps usually mean you'll be hot or cold (or both) so that's all covered here.  Again, I picked something that Jam would feel pretty in for her boyfriend.
  • Keds are the perfect shoe to go with high-waisted shorts.  And who wouldn't want mint green Keds?!
  • A gold monogram necklace (I used "R" here for Jam's deceased boyfriend, Reeve) adds a final feminine touch.
What do you think?  Would you wear this if you were at a camp/school?
 For the details of each piece, click here.

Two more reviews/outfits next week!  See you then!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

REVIEW: Belzhar

Wow, it's Thursday already!  This week is flying by (no complaining here) and on this rainy Indiana day I have a FANTASTIC book to encourage you to cuddle up with.

Today's review is on Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer, a little-realistic, mostly-fantasy book that will keep you curious and committed to the last page.  So let's jump in!

  • Standalone novel
  • Fantasy
The Gist:
Jam fell in love with Reeve, a foreign exchange student with the most adorable accent.  And then he tragically (and mysteriously) died, leaving Jam in a complete pit of mourning and despair.  In fact, her despair is so bad that her parents send her to The Wooden Barn, a therapeutic boarding school for students who need closer attention to help them handle their emotional state.
Jam doesn't care much for the teachers or other students, but when she gets registered in an exclusive English class called Special Topics, everything changes.  Studying Sylvia Plath for the semester, the class receives journals that take them to Belzhar, a land where they can each interact with the source of their problems.  And Jam gets to see Reeve again, talk with him, and feel his arms around her.
But Belzhar can only last for so long before Jam has to start talking about his death... 

What I Loved:
  • I loved the setting, the situation, the characters.  I can definitely see a camp-like school exist to help students with emotional problems (maybe not ones with magical journals...) so I was invested into the story early-on.
  • There were multiple student situations flowing through the book; you find out why Jam's classmates are at The Wooden Barn, and it just adds so much depth to issues students may be dealing with today.
  • The twist at the end--oh man! Added a whole other layer to Jam and really up'd the WOW factor for me.
  • I was definitely satisfied with the book's ending.  
What I Didn't Love:
  • The cover.  While I like the look of everything that Jam would have packed in her room, the cover looks a little 1950s.  Yes, I know there are headphones on the cover but the black-and-white feature dates it too far back.
  • The word "Belzhar" itself was a little cheesy.   
I'm giving this 5 stars!  I just loved it--it was unique, kept me engaged, and tied up loose ends.  Well done, Wolitzer!

I'll have an outfit designed for Jam tomorrow--see you then!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Two Ways to Wear Denim

Today is a super fun post--I'm showing you two ways that I styled denim.  Denim button-up shirts are all the rage right now, which I am so excited about.  They can be dressed up or down and can take a really outrageous wardrobe piece and tone it down.

Here's how I styled my denim shirt last week for two more "dress-up" moments--Easter and work.

This was what I wore on Easter day--I love this tutu!  You may remember it from my post here.

A tutu can be totally outrageous or it can be toned down.  It helps that my tutu is gray rather than neon, but nevertheless the denim shirt make the tutu more casual than crazy.

I put a gray and white striped tank top under the denim shirt to tie in with the gray of the skirt.  Again, a casual touch to the outfit.

Tucking in the shirt makes the outfit "less sloppy" as well.

Blush pink sandals kept the feminine touch in the outfit.  And since I knew I would be chasing my two boys on Easter, I didn't want to wear heels!

 A faux-diamond chunky necklace and blush pink chandelier earrings dressed up the look.

And what's more fun on an Easter outfit than colored nails?  Purple with gold speckles!

Denim shirt--J Crew Outlet
Striped Tank--Von Maur
Necklace--J Crew Outlet
Earrings--my own collection (pretty old!)
Purple nail polish--Sally Hansen
Gold speck nail polish--Sephora by OPI

A few days later I wore the same denim shirt to work like this:

 The navy and tan dress has a tank top, so obviously I can't wear it to school without some sort of jacket/cardigan!  Again, the denim shirt dresses down the look.

On this look, I left the denim shirt untucked (obviously there's nowhere to tuck it in!).  But so it wouldn't look so sloppy, I added a thick belt with gold detailing.  That really ties the shirt and dress together in a more cohesive look.  Because the belt is thick, I didn't add any extra jewelry.

Again, sandals dress down the dress and get me ready for Spring weather!

Dress--local boutique called Dottie Couture
Denim shirt--J Crew Outlet
Belt--Charlotte Russe

So what do you think?  How do YOU wear denim shirts?  I can't wait to throw one on with colored/patterned shorts this summer!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Landline-Inspired Outfit

Happy Tuesday!

Yesterday I shared a review on Landline by Rainbow Rowell, and today's outfit is inspired by the protagonist Georgie McCool.  Georgie has a really cool job--and may be getting her big break in launching a new TV show--but her marriage may suffer for it.

For much of the book, Georgie is camped out at her mom's house, talking to her husband on a magical landline phone or hiding from her writing partner and their looming deadline.  She's constantly throwing on sweatpants and wrong-sized clothes because her appearance is the least of her concerns right now.  Which leads us to our outfit today--a comfortable outfit that Georgie can just throw on...but STILL look good.

Here's what I designed:

And here's how I came up with it:

  • I knew I had to give Georgie sweatpants.  But these sweatpants are fitted around the ankles (which are so popular right now!), so they give off a little more of a put-together look.  The zipper pockets add to this, too.
  • The tank top is of course a reference to the CBS show Big Bang Theory.  I'm not sure if Georgie would actually be a fan of this show (people seem to either love it or hate it), but I think she would at least support other TV comedies in her clothes.
  • The aqua sweatshirt jacket is the epitome of comfortable and a chance to add a little girly color to the look.
  • Vans are so easy to throw on, and these are fun.  The aqua background ties in with the jacket and the floral pattern screams "I'm not too matchy matchy!"  And I don't think Georgie would be so matchy.
  • Messy buns are all the rage (thank goodness--I am too rushed in the morning to curl my hair every day!), and Georgie would definitely want her hair out of the way.
So what do you think?  Would you lounge around in this outfit?

If you love this look, check out all the details here.

Tomorrow you'll see two of my outfits and how I styled them with denim!

Monday, April 13, 2015

REVIEW: Landline

Happy Monday, everyone!  I SO hope you are having the lovely weather that we're having in Indiana right now!  Our family spent the weekend exploring the creek behind our neighborhood, going on "tractor" (lawn mower) rides, and just soaking in that beautiful sun.  I feel refreshed and energetic to start another week.

Today's review is on Landline by Rainbow Rowell.  I met Rainbow at an author event a few years ago and she was exactly as I pictured her--both bubbly and quiet, appreciative, and genuine.  With a little bit of flower power mixed in. :)

Last fall, Landline was ALL that I was hearing about from so many readers.  Although it's one of Rowell's adult novels, readers of all ages were eating it up and singing its praises.  And that's what's so great about Rowell...she takes something like a magical yellow phone and turns it into an engrossing, can't-put-down story.  So let's jump right into my review!

  • Standalone novel
  • A mixture of realistic/fantasy/romance
The Gist:
Georgie McCool (yes, that's her real name!) has finally hit her big break in Hollywood--she is about to pitch her own sitcom to the network.  The only problem?  The network needs multiple scripts in just a few days and it's the week of Christmas.  The week when Georgie is supposed to fly with her husband Neal and two daughters to Omaha to visit Neal's family.  And even though Neal and the girls allow Georgie to stay behind in California, Georgie knows that this might be the one thing that pushes her marriage over the edge.  And that by gaining a sitcom, she might be losing a husband.
When Georgie tries to call Neal from her mother's old yellow landline phone, she gets Neal to answer.  But not present-day Neal.  Neal from their dating days, when his father was still alive and Neal and Georgie were in the midst of an argument.  And Georgie realizes--if she's talking to Neal in the past, she may have the chance to fix their later marital problems.

What I Loved:
  • Like I said, this is a book about a magical phone.  So to most people, that might sound too silly to read.  But Rowell has a way of making this a nonstop read.  Her writing makes her characters (and even a magical phone) real.  I can completely picture this family living today.
  • This isn't straight-up romance.  There's bittersweet moments, arguments, frustration, questioning...but there's also romance.
  • I love the wittiness of the characters.  It makes me want to be friends with them in real life.
  • The secondary characters are so good.  I want to work with Georgie's partner or eat pizza with her sister...maybe even babysit her mom's dogs!
  • I had no idea how it would end...and it ended greatly.
What I Didn't Love:
  • Like with so many other things, I think this book got hyped up to me SO MUCH that I expected it to change my life.  It was a great read, but I just know that I'm less enthusiastic about it than just about everyone else.
  • I'm sad to say this...but I just wasn't in love with Neal.  He seemed so moody, and at times I felt like he darkened Georgie from her bright, bubbly self.  
  • I couldn't stop picturing Georgie as Rainbow Rowell it just me that did this?  Every time I read about Georgie's physical description, I just kept thinking about Rainbow herself.  Hmmm.
Rowell never disappoints, and this was a great one!  A great read for teens and adults alike!

An outfit for Georgie coming up this week, a review and outfit for the book Belzhar (so good!), and I'll show you TWO ways that I recently styled denim and LOVED it! Catch you back here tomorrow!