Monday, January 27, 2014

Grammy Awards Red Carpet Fashion

It's pretty obvious that I love fashion, but I only realized this week how much of a love I have for red carpet dresses. I totally wish I had more excuses in every day life to put on a special dress and get all fancy! The Grammys aren't as formal as other award shows, but there are still usually some pretty great fashion moments. This year? Not so much.

Colbie Caillat

I give Colbie Callait's dress points for being interesting, but I'm still not sure if I like it. It stands out, but it also kinda looks like she got sliced in two by a sword or something. What do you guys think?


I'm not sure what look Pharrell was going for, but all I could think when I saw this was Canadian Mountie.

I can't believe that there are NO other dresses that I feel like commenting on, but seriously, everything was incredibly boring. So disappointing! Thus, I'm going to close this out with a poll.  Which is better, Cyndi Lauper's look this year...

Cyndi Lauper
(If you click to make the pic big, you can join me in being creeped out by the pinky toe sticking out of the shoe.)

Or her look from 1984?


All images via Huffington Post, Getty Images and Just Jared.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Publix Breakfast Savings Event

Y'all know I have a major love affair with Publix. I actually spent an embarrassing amount of time there during the 2 weeks I was home over the holidays. Right now through the 30th they have a pretty snazzy sale going on that's all about breakfast. Big G cereals (like the ones pictured below) are 2 for $5, and you can score a coupon for $1 off 2 boxes at everydaysaver.com/publix. There are also coupons for other breakfast-y things like Yoplait, Fiber One and Bisquick. Yay for inexpensive breakfasts that are also heart healthy!


My poor reusable Publix bag has seen better days! I definitely need to pick up a new one or three.

I've been trying to get into the habit of actually eating breakfast (I usually just have coffee), but I'm definitely struggling with it! I know that when I do manage to eat early in the day, I have way more energy later. Any sneaky suggestions for convincing my body to be hungry in the morning? I need your tips! Or I need a hot live-in boyfriend who cooks. THAT would get me out of bed and ready for breakfast!

Disclosure: The information and product pack have been provided by General Mills through Platefull Co-Op.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Peek Into The Garden Hideaway - St. Francis Inn

This post has moved to my new blog! You can now find A Peek Into The Garden Hideaway - St. Francis Inn at its new home on And Blue Sky!

Pre-Fall Fashion Week!

I never got around to finishing my posts about Spring fashion week shows, and now it's already time for Pre-Fall! Here's what I'm loving so far:




Totally loving this Alice + Olivia skirt. Or maybe it's a dress? Whatever it is, I want to wear it.



Alberta Ferretti was, as usual, super fun to look at. I'm really hoping that the nautical theme of this collection is a hint that we'll see lots of nautical this fall! It's kind of my favorite thing. A lot of the looks were much more wearable nautical styles, but this one was just interesting to look at! I absolutely love when collections alternate between pieces you can actually imagine wearing and more conceptual looks that are fun to ponder.



From the same collection, I really love this except for the weird pouch type thing at the front. Fashionable fanny pack? Otherwise, it's like wearing the Tempest. I'd love to put this on! As a side note, the styling and photography for this collection were SO on point.



Posting this Badgley Mischka dress entirely because it has sleeves EXACTLY like a thrift store dress I'm working on! Going to come back to this for inspiration!



This Fausto Puglisi collection was a lot of fun. Totally love the use of prints.




I LOVED the color palate for this Milly collection - a soft blush pink mixed with a lot of black, white and grey. I wasn't a big fan of most of the designs, but I do really love the shape of this skirt. So fun to wear! I want one like this for like a Valentine's Day date outfit or something!


I love this whole Naeem Khan collection!



I wasn't a huge fan of this Nicole Miller collection, but I do really like this look, mostly because it looks like something that a real life woman might throw together.



This dress from the same collection is pretty amazeballs. I sooo want this one!

I'm going to break here since these fashion week posts are always so photo heavy. More soon! Any favorites so far?

And I'm totally curious - When it comes to fashion week, do you prefer collections with clothes you can actually imagine wearing, or collections of totally out there fashion that's more about the art of the design than being practical?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tuesday Tell All

I haven't done a Tuesday Tell All post in a while, usually because I normally totally lose track of when Tuesday is coming up.

*I woke up yesterday missing home like crazy. I was SO in the mood to head over to Disney's Animal Kingdom, grab a frozen chai and go watch the tigers for a while. (One of my favorite day off activities). I ended up spending half the day (literally) watching DCP (Disney College Program) vlogs on YouTube. It's so cute to watch them get all excited about going, and funny how almost everyone stops vlogging after the first couple of weeks because they're so busy/exhausted. I need to move home sooooooon. Being away is eating my soul.

*My kitty Jasper has always been a very nervous guy - I adopted him as a baby and I have no idea what happened to him before I got him that made him so skittish, but I used to come home from work to find him hiding in my kitchen cabinets. He's chilled out a lot since he has gotten older, but the 2 weeks I was in Florida without him seem to have totally freaked him out, and even though he's usually a "No hugs, not ever" kind of guy, he has been wanting to sit in my lap obsessively ever since I got back, and also picked up the charming habit of obsessively licking himself while I was gone. I know it's a self-soothing thing, but he's been doing it to the point where he bleeds, so it may be time for a vet trip. Last night I got the idea that maybe I could buy a baby-sized hoodie that would cover most of his body and curb the crazy licking, plus maybe chill him out a little since he'd be all wrapped up. It turns out that baby clothes are crazy expensive, but they had dog coats on clearance, so I got him a size small, and now he's a total gangsta.


*I've been on a total de-cluttering kick. I got rid of a ton of stuff back in August since I was supposed to move the beginning of September, but I still have way too much stuff. And I recently realized that every item I see sitting around feels like it's part of a giant to-do list. (I should finish sewing that dress. Wow, I bought that book a year ago and still haven't read it. How long has it been since I washed that throw blanket on the couch? Etc, etc.) Getting rid of some things is SO HARD, but I'm sick of having boxes of stuff that I never even open, so it needs to go. I'll thank myself when I'm carrying stuff up 3 flights of stairs to my eventual new apartment. (I don't do ground floor. Getting robbed a lot means never living in apartment you can get into through the window again.)

*I've been doing Rodney Yee's AM/PM Yoga For Energy for like a decade. (Maybe longer?) I stopped actually looking at the tv when it's on ages ago, I just let his voice walk me through the practice. I finally gave in and subscribed to Gaiam TV back in December because they had a holiday special that made it less than $8 a month, so I've been doing ALL the yoga lately. It's making me super happy, especially when I learn a new asana that taps into some muscle that I never use. I don't even know how to explain the giddy feeling that comes with that. Anyway, I tweeted about how much I've been loving it, and got this:



This is such an excellent example of a) why I love Twitter, and b) how weird the world is. This guy has been a regular part of my life (not daily, but definitely frequently) for YEARS, and yet we've never exchanged a single word until now. The world is so very weird. Social media is even weirder. But awesome.

*I think I might seriously drive 50 miles to the good grocery store tomorrow, entirely because I'm really sick of eating the same stuff all the time. Yet another reason that I really miss living in Orlando - The only thing I have to drive that far to get to from there is the beach.

I have allergies of doom today, so I'm going to end my list there and go watch the first part of last night's Bachelor episode. I know I usually blog about that show, but everyone is really boring so far this season, and to be honest I still can't tell most of the blondes apart. (Renee and Heidi are my picks, though.) I still have several more Orlando trip posts that I've been working on, I've just sucked at actually *finishing* anything lately!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Golden Globes Red Carpet Fashion!

I know I'm a few days late in writing about Golden Globes red carpet fashion, but I've been so busy drooling over Pre-Fall fashion week that I totally fell behind! I actually almost skipped discussing this particular awards show, but there were a few looks that I just couldn't resist commenting on!



I'm a bit on the fence about Amy Adams's gown. This was voted as one of the worst by Fashion Police, but I sort of like it! I do hate red gowns on a red carpet, though. I think that I mainly like it because I want to wear it. I can't wear halters, though, because I am yet to find a halter neck bra that doesn't nearly strangle me with the weight of my own boobs. So, yeah... kind of equal on the pros and cons here, but definitely NOT a worst-dressed!



Ohhh, Zoe Saldana. I get the urge to go for something unusual in order to stand out, but I think this dress was a total miss, as was pairing it with black nails and pointy-toed 80s-esque pumps, even if they are Louboutins. I can't imagine that having those straps around your shoulders for the whole event could be anything but annoying. It's just... there are SO many amazing, "quirky" dresses out there if that's the vibe you're going for. Why this one?

I remember the collection that this came from (Spring runways weren't THAT long ago...) but not the dress itself, so I had to pull it up on my holiest of websites, style.com.



The way it's styled here (especially the shoes) make some difference, but I still don't see it as an awards ceremony dress.

Lena Dunham

Okay, let's discuss. Like most humans, I think Lena Dunham is pretty great. This dress, though, oh man. The primary yellow on red carpet is giving me a hankering for a Happy Meal. I do think that a lot of why this isn't coming off very flattering is the way she's standing - a bit of "shoulders back" proper posture would make this look a thousand times better. Still, I think there are about a thousand other dresses that would have been more flattering. Also: Can we take a second to check out the girl in black behind her, practicing her Angelina Jolie-style leg out to the side? Rad.



I would totally not mind looking like Olivia Wilde for a day. Maybe minus the pregnancy part. This dress is so awesome, but the sort of reptilian look does give her just a hint of the image of a snake who has just swallowed some poor critter whole. Do you think Gucci would make a mini version of this dress for me? I'm obsessed with the color and sparkles. (And yes, another spectacular pose by a background person. Work it, girl.)



I'm not in love with Amy's dress, which is surprising since it's Carolina Herrera, but I had to mention her here entirely because as a U2 fan, my Facebook and Twitter timelines BLEW UP when this happened:

amy poehler bono make out golden globes

The moment with Edge's face on the left is obviously the best part. I should go make out with him so he doesn't feel left out.

Speaking of...



I've missed you, boys! Adam's hair is still a little scary, but at least it's not doing that thing anymore. (I'm ignoring the shoes. La la la, if I just don't look, they aren't there.) Also, I want to hop into this pic and unroll the cuffs of Edge's pants. Also also: Hi, Larry. I seeeee you back there. (Also also also: ZOMG WHEN IS IT GOING TO BE TOUR TIME? HURRY UP!) (Also also also also: I'm really sad that Ali Hewson isn't in this pic, because she looked gorgeous.)



Reese's Calvin Klein dress is frustrating me, y'all! Her body looks smokin' hot, and that color is amazing, but it looks SO PLAIN. This is when you break out a bling-y belt or a serious statement necklace. The lack of accessorizing is making it look like a cute maxi dress from Target made from a nicer fabric. ARRGH. Let me fix you, dress! Let me style you with love!



Dear Emma Watson, can we be BFF's? This Dior dress looks kinda "Hi, I'm Hermione!" from the front, but back! THE BACK!




I need to do this with a dress like.. tomorrow. I always end up with super cute dresses that won't zip all of the way up in the back because I have boobs of doom, but now I realize I can do THIS. This is happening, y'all.

My only question is the shoes. If it was just a red dress, the blue shoes would be cute. But I'm not digging them with the black pants. Still, I will forgive them. I'm still surprised that I'm loving this so much, since in general je n'adore pas Dior.

And there you have it: The good, the bad, and the Bono. What were your favorites?

All images via Getty Images/Huff Post Style/Style.com

A Clean New Year with Mr. Clean Liquid Muscle!

This New Year cleaning resolution tips post is brought to you by Mr. Clean as part of a Type-A Parent Community Sponsored Post.

I had a rather strange moment of realization earlier this week. I had just finished vacuuming my stairs, a chore I'd been putting off forever even though it only takes a few minutes. The first time I used that staircase once it was finally free of cat fur and random stuff, I was struck by how much having clean stairs actually made me happy. It's such a simple thing, and it only took a few minutes, but it really did make a difference. I think that all of this time, seeing the not-so-clean stairs was mildly irritating me every time I used them, but I'd never really noticed. So THAT made me wonder... what other little things around my house are frustrating me without my even being conscious of it?

Rather than doing a massive new year clean-up, I'm aiming for 10 minutes a day. I figure that even on busy days, I can find a few minutes, right? I think you're way more likely to succeed with a resolution if you pick a goal you know is totally do-able on a consistent basis. And even though it's a short amount of time, I'm surprised how much I can get done during that period if I put on some music and focus!


Cleaning supplies assembled!

In the same way that new workout clothes can help you with an exercise resolution, I think that new cleaning products to try out make a cleaning resolution way more fun, too! As you can probably tell by the title of this post, Mr. Clean sent me a bottle of their new Liquid Muscle cleaner, a concentrated formula that you can either use directly on a messy spot or mix with water to clean larger surfaces like your floors. Having something new to try out definitely made cleaning my bathroom feel more like a science experiment and less like a chore. I'm all for finding a way to make those everyday things that we have to do a little more fun!

Personally? I recommend amusing yourself by taking silly selfies with your cleaning products in the bathroom mirror while you clean.



Although unlike me, I'd recommend remembering to throw on some makeup first if you're going to end up blogging them. Oops.


MrClean_CMYK


This is a compensated post brought to you by Mr. Clean. Mr. Clean is kicking off the New Year with the launch of a new product called Mr. Clean Liquid Muscle, a new multi-purpose, multi-surface concentrated cleaning gel that delivers superior cleaning performance on and off the floor. Be sure to like Mr. Clean on Facebook and follow @RealMrClean on Twitter.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Ins and Outs of the St. Francis Inn in St. Augustine, FL


Ah yes, the Florida vacation posts continue! One thing that I was really looking forward to for this trip was actually leaving town to visit St. Augustine. Even though it's only about two hours northeast of Orlando, I'd never been! (In my years of living in Orlando, I almost never made it out of town! Time off work was rare, and gas money was even more scarce!) I originally planned for four days of blissful beach relaxation, but sometimes life happens, so I only ended up being able to go for one night. I'll write about playing tourist in a separate post, but I wanted to show you the snazzy Bed + Breakfast that I stayed at, first! (My site's refusal to let me type ampersands gets annoying when I'm talking about a B and B! So pardon the weird ways I type that to get around the ampersand issue.)

I wrote this post a few weeks ago about why I chose the St. Francis Inn out of the abundance of charming places to stay in St. Augustine. Did it live up to my expectations?

Friday, January 10, 2014

Herbal Essences Naked Volume Kit - Review


As you may recall from the post a few weeks ago, Herbal Essences hooked me up with their new Naked Volume collection in exchange for my opinions on it. Now, here's the thing - I'm pretty old and set in my ways when it comes to my hair care routine. I've used the same brand of natural, solid shampoo bar for close to a decade. However, I can't get it where I'm currently living, so I occasionally have to seek out an alternative until I can replace it when I run out. It's super rare for me to find something else that I like, so I was surprised to discover how much I like these!

The shampoo has a fresh, light feeling. Have you ever tried a shampoo or conditioner where it feels like no matter how much you rinse, you can't get all of the product out? This was the opposite of that. Since I'm not a fan of heavy scents, I appreciated that the mint grapefruit smell wasn't overpowering. The conditioner's scent is a bit stronger, but still not too bad. Using them left my hair soft and clean feeling, and didn't weigh it down.


As with many things in life, the Nakedness is the best part! The whole point of the Herbal Essences Naked line is that these products are stripped (giggity!) of all of those extra ingredients that most of us don't want or need. The shampoo, dry shampoo and conditioner are free of dyes and parabens - yay! (I did notice that the styling souffle contains methylparaben, which seems odd in a set that otherwise makes a point to avoid them.)

I tried the dry shampoo on a day when I really wanted to run to the store for groceries before I'd actually gotten around to showering and turning into a presentable human, but I found the scent to be way too strong and ended up just washing my hair right after using it anyway. I'm super sensitive to scents, so I'd love to see a fragrance-free version of this so that I could give it a real try!

I have to be honest here - I didn't really try out the styling souffle in my hair. I almost never use styling products because the lingering scents irritate my sensitive nose too much. I did take this lovely photo for you, tbough!

Oooh, foamy!

The price of the entire 4-piece kit is approximately what I recently paid for one of my favorite shampoo bars, so I'm definitely a fan of the value for the money. (The set is currently $12.99 via Walmart.) I found 3 of the 4 products sold individually at Walmart, too. Looks like buying it as a kit saves several dollars!




In addition to the Volume collection that I tried out, the Naked products also come in Moisture and Shine varieties. I'm definitely planning to pick up the mist from the shine collection as soon as I can find it! (Possibly the shampoo and conditioner as well.)

I'm so pleased that this set exceeded my expectations! There are a lot of products that I try just a few times for review purposes and then either set aside or give away, but I intend to keep using the shampoo and conditioner occasionally to mix up my usual hair care routine. Have any of you guys gotten around to trying this new line yet?

Monday, January 06, 2014

Gotta Get Back to Hogwarts!

I promise that I didn't forget my promise to share stories of my adventures in Florida, it's just taking me forever to write about them! I'm going to jump out of chronological order for this post, since my trip to Universal's Islands of Adventure to do Harry Potterish things came on one of the last days of my trip, but it's what I felt like writing about next!

We'll get to the cool Hogwarts parts soon, but it's a pretty long post, so get comfy!

Sunday, January 05, 2014

The Sunday Currently - Vol. 3


siddathornton


Reading - Still doing my Harry Potter reread, but I'm on the last book now! (Harry Potter and the Extended Camping Trip!) I'm also about half way through Gretchin Rubin's "Happier At Home", and just finished the 2nd Game of Thrones book yesterday.

Writing - Nada. I really need to do something to shake up my creative juices (that sounds dirty), I've been totally uninspired lately.

Listening - I was looking through an old YouTube playlist this week and was reminded how much I love this song, so I've become readdicted to it.




Fun fact: My buddy Nick played fiddle for Kenny for like 10 years. I was always kind of delighted to spot him in a video. (He's um, pretty obviously not in this one.) Also - I totally want that criss-crossy bikini bottom. I wonder if I could make something like that?

Thinking - About a super weird thing that happened to me while buying groceries. As I was walking towards a register, the person in front of me hesitated a moment before picking which lane to go to. During that moment, a woman slipped in front of me, sort of cutting in line. She only had one item, though, and I had several, so I pretty much just rolled my eyes and then went back to totally enjoying the fact that Walmart was actually playing Titanium as background shopping music. She paid for her item and then turned to me as I was loading my things on the conveyor belt thingy. "I wanted to apologize for cutting in front of you..." she began, and I immediately shrugged it off. "It's fine." But she continued, "I have a really stressful life, and if I'm gone for more than 15 minutes my husband thinks I'm seeing someone, and..." she went on and on. All I could think was dude, it's taking you as long to tell me about this as it would have for you to actually wait in line. I also wanted to give her a good old fashioned "Look at your life choices!" speech, but mostly I just wanted to buy my stuff and go. Moral of the story: People are weird.

Smelling - Merry Cookie has been my go-to candle all month!



Wishing - Given that it's a brand new year, I'm way more in "set goals and make them happen" mode than wishing mode!

Hoping - That 2014 will be amazing.

Wearing - Can we take this moment to discuss how much I hate winter clothes? I never feel cute in them, it's all about covering my body with the warmest thing possible. That's zero fun.

Loving - The new concealer I got from e.l.f.! Must review it soon.

Wanting - Black bean enchiladas from Tijuana Flats. I'm going to get so fat when I move back to Florida and have access to good food again. Can't wait.

Needing - To do some yoga! I haven't been very kind to my body lately.

Feeling - COLD! It is 16 degrees, and the low for today is going to be -5. It's currently 81 in Orlando. Can't imagine why I want to move back so much.


Current view out my bedroom window.

Clicking - No fun links to share today, I'm just trying to catch up on a zillion unread posts in Bloglovin!


Saturday, January 04, 2014

Spoils of War (aka Sale Shopping)

You guys, I bought all the things.

I mean, don't even bother going out to any stores right now. There won't be any things on the shelves. I bought them all.

Okay, that may be a teeny bit of an exaggeration. But seriously, I shopped my asse off yesterday, and now I'm rolling around in a big pile of stuff. I didn't mean to buy all the things, but there were so many awesome sales going on that it just kind of happened!

First, as I was getting ready to leave the house I got an email from Bath and Body Works that they were having a "Up to 75% off!" sale. (Yes, I know there's supposed to be an ampersand between Bath and Body, but for some reason Blogger freaks out if I type one. Bleh.) Anyway, that kind of email is basically like crack to my general demographic, so it became my first stop. I'm not all that into their bath products, so I bypassed the $3 soaps and lotions and such (usually $12... I should have picked some up to give as gifts! D'oh!) and went straight for the candles. They had the 3-wick candles (usually $22) for $10 and $11, minis for $2.50, and the $10 size (what are those even called? Small?) for $5. I usually only ever buy the minis, but I've been burning my Merry Cookie jar candle almost EVERY day this month, so I felt justified in dropping ten bucks for a giant one.



I was blown away (pardon the pun) to find a Leaves candle! Don't those usually sell out within the first 5 minutes of fall? Anyway, I got about $46 worth of candles for $24. Still a crapload of money to drop on candles, but... Merry Cookie!

I went to PetCo in hopes of finding a super embarrassing cat costume on clearance to inflict upon my poor cats. After quite a while spent pondering the holiday section, I decided not to get anything. The antlers and Santa hats were cute, but my cats are way more tolerant about things that go on their neck or body than anything strapped to their head. Alas, there go my dreams. I would have possibly bought this elf costume:


...but they only had one left, and it was missing the shoes, which are obviously the best part. I did, however, pick up another cat sailor outfit from the clearance bin for a DOLLAR. I can now begin building my own tiny cat army! (Err..navy?) In case you need a refresher, here's what I put Sam through for Halloween. (He somehow still loves me.)

I can not wait to do this to two of them at once.

Anycrazycatlady... I also found cat food on clearance, which is pretty much the best thing that can happen to me, short of Starbucks starting to deliver me gingerbread lattes by drone. I guess they're not going to be carrying this particular brand anymore, because the cans were originally $1.19, and were on sale for 28 cents. SO CHEAP! So, obviously I bought 16 of them, plus a bag of the dry food that was marked down from $10 to $2.50. A totally successful trip! I spent less than $10 on about $38 worth of stuff. Happy! 

Next I headed over to Michaels (the craft store) because I knew they had super cheap Christmas stuff. It was a madhouse! I saw people checking out with multiple carts overflowing with decorations. What are you going to do with all that stuff, people? 


I got everything pictured above, plus a cute green Christmas coffee mug (which is in my kitchen and I was too lazy to go get for the photo), for a total of $5. Pretty awesome, given that the set of 4 bulbs was originally $7 on its own! I have plans for the green frame (which is less acidy green than it looks here) once I get a new apartment. Ooh, suspense!

Pier One was way less crazy. A lot of their stuff was still overpriced even at 75% off, but I ended up with these 3 ornaments, which totaled just over $4. Totally digging them!



And finally, TARGET!



Before I talk about the stuff I bought, I feel like it's my duty as a human being to tell you that these exist. They're salt and pepper shakers! I tried to find them on Target.com, but no luck. The whole Valentine's themed collection of kitchen stuff is pretty cute, but these are just plain magical.

My main goal for Target (other than picking up some groceries) was to find this guy:


I skipped buying him before Christmas, because I am super cheap and didn't want to spend $4 on him at the time. I was really hoping there would still be one around, but no luck. Maybe next year? (He's not on their website, either. I would totally consider ordering one if he was!)

I did, however, find this guy!


He's a stocking holder! How frickin' cute is that face?


And thanks to the 70% off, only $3! He's missing some glitter from his nose, but I'm sure I have gold glitter nail polish somewhere that will do the trick to touch him up!

My other mission was to get jeans. The Mossimo Supply Co. jeans were on sale for $20 this week, and there was an extra $3 coupon on the Target app. Hooray for cheap jeans! I'm a fan of the Fit #6, skinny boot cut. I do not do skinny jeans, but I love these because they're fitted through the hips and thighs (apparently I have skinny legs? Most jeans are super baggy on my thighs.) but still have just enough flare at the ankle to balance my frame out. 


And of course it's impossible to leave without something from the Dollar Spot, so I ended up with this cute broom and dustpan...


and this little box to organize... um... something? 



A busy but satisfying day of shopping! (And especially great because I had gift cards for Target and PetCo, so I only spent real money at B+BW, Michaels and Pier 1.) I almost never buy things that aren't necessities, so I felt a little weird continuously piling more bags into my car's trunk. Have you guys picked up anything awesome in all of the post-holiday sales?