Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cute, Comfy, Clearance

Since the start of my 'career' in retail (teehee), shoes that can withstand hours of hard labor have become increasingly important to me.  But finding cute, affordable ones...that's proving to be quite a task.  One way to save on the good stuff is to buy off-season.  So while everyone else is talking boots and unexposed toes, I'm stocking up on clearance sandals for the remaining summer days, for my January vacation (!!!), and for next summer.  How cute and comfy would those red Danskos be at Disney World...!?  For realio.

Women's Summer Sandal Sale at The Walking Company. Huge Selection at 40-70% Off! Sale ends 9/5/11.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Scarf:  Hot Mama
Shirt:  TJ Maxx
Jeans:  Seven for all Mankind, thrifted
Shoes:  Target
Hello.  My name is Jill.  But you already knew that.  Not Jillian, just Jill.  But you can call me Jillian if you want to.  It's cool, I don't mind it.  I was once told by a male co-worker that he'd never met an unattractive Jill.  Thanks for the compliment, man. 

Being one who is called 'Jill', it's only natural people nickname me Jillie, Jilliebean, or Jilliebeanie.  Also quite fine with me.  I think nicknames are cute and least the ones that I've been called.  Then because Jilliebean gets a little long, it's been shortened to Bean, Beaner, Beanie.  Again, I don't mind.  My dad still calls me some variation of 'Bean' as do several childhood pals that I still keep in touch with.

I bring all this up because for some reason, I am reminded of a younger self in this picture.  Goofy grin, cut-off shorts, pink loafers, rubber watch and a friendship bracelet.  Yep.  This is me circa 1989.  You can call me 'Bean'.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Neti & Me

Earrings: Target
Blouse:  JCPenny
Cardi:  Elaina's closet
Pants:  Target
Shoes:  Target

What a waste of a beautiful weekend.  Ugh.  I was feeling some pressure behind my eyeballs on Friday, and by Saturday, it felt like I'd been punched in the nose.  I spent nearly the entire weekend in bed.  Still not 100% today as I sit here with a box of tissue and a cup of lemon tea, but it could be worse.  The last time I went to the doctor for a sinus infection, they told me that it wasn't a sinus infection, but just a cold and to go home and rest.  Sent me home without a prescription and still charged the $20 dollar co-pay - awesome.  So I won't be making that mistake again.  My Neti Pot and I will kick this thing ourselves, thankyouverymuch.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Agent P

This is what I wore to work the day of the Katy Perry concert knowing that I wouldn't be going home between 5-7pm.  I meant to pack heels to wear with the tutu, but forgot. 

Same as this outfit.  Except the skirt - thrifted.

Speaking of Perry, is anyone else into Phineas & FerbLori and her family introduced Steve and I to it a few weeks ago, and we (mostly Steve) have been hooked ever since.  Perry the platypus reminds us of Miles (because everything bug-eyed, dog-like, and/or dangerous reminds us of Miles).  We've been leaving the pug at home during the workday and coming home at lunch to check on him.  We leave the patio blinds open because he likes to lay by the window and watch for passing squirrels and stray cats.  That's where he is when we leave and that's where he is when we get home.  However, I can't help but imagine a fedora-wearing, crime-fighting dog when no one is looking.  This secret, over-active lifestyle might actually explain a few of his health issues.

I'd take Dr. Doofenschmirtz's evil antics over horrible auto-immune diseases any day.

KP in the TC

You.  Change your mind.  Like Katy Perry.  Changes clothes.

Seriously, I lost count after a dozen costume changes.  Loved it.

I think KP and I could be friends.  In spite of the surreal naughty Candyland theme of the California Dreams tour, Katy had many down-to-earth moments with the audience that made her seem more like the cute girl next door and less like a Hollywood pop princess.  And she's funny.  And she's married to real funny dude.  I think a double date is in order.

Good grief, does this girl have a long list of hits.  I didn't realize.  I also didn't realize that she can really sing.  I sort of assumed that all pop stars rely on auto-tuning and their live concerts mostly lip-synced, but Katy appeared to be the real deal.  Her vocals were especially impressive during the slower, acoustic songs - like when it was just her playing a bedazzled guitar while suspended on a cotton candy cloud...that was great.

The question of whether or not this show was appropriate for the -13 crowd arose several times between my friends and me.  It definitely walks the line.  And yet, that is the brilliance of the Katy Perry brand.  It's all cupcakes and sparkles to distract the little ones from the mature lyrics and adult humor ("homemade" brownie, anyone?), creating fans that span several generations.  I like to think the sexuality of it is over the kids heads.  All they notice is a cute girl in blue hair and sparkly dresses dancing around a candycane least, I hope that's all they notice.  Would I allow my pre-teen daughter to go to Katy Perry concert?  Mmm...NO.  But I'm also NOT a parent of a pre-teen daughter, so I won't judge.


My only criticism of the evening would be how looooooooong we waited for Katy to take the stage.  We arrived at the auditorium shortly after 7pm, knowing she would likely have an opening act or two that we could miss as we purchased drinks and found our seats.  DJ Skeet Skeet or whatever his name was finally ended his set shortly after 8:30.  It seemed like forever before the real concert started after 9pm (hello! this old lady has to work in the morning!)!  But once it started, the energy didn't stop and the long wait was soon forgotten.

See more costume changes at Spoils of Wear on Facebook.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Teenage Dream LASTnight.

Katy Perry concert tickets didn't come with a dress code warning.  Our fabulousness was upstaged by tweens in blue wigs and cupcake bras.  We never felt so classy...or old.  Regardless, we had a blast.  We went with low expectations, and left thoroughly impressed and highly entertained. More on the concert after I sift through all the pictures.

Elaina goes mod in this romper-jumpsuit thingy from Cliche' and Jessica Simpson boots.

Ms. Katie LongLegs refused to cooperate for pictures,
but that doesn't make her kiss print shirt and blue tip booties any
less appropriate for a Katie Perry concert! 

Miss an opportunity to wear a tutu?  Never!

Blazer:  Hot Mama
T-shirt: Grand Wazoo
Tutu:  Ragstock (thanks, Em!)
Shorts:  ?
Shoes:  Urban Outfitters

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Affiliate Discount: Chinease Laundry

So yeah...true confessions time.  I've been hoarding affiliate discount links because I didn't want you think I'm suddenly trying to pimp my blog or something (ok, I sort of am).  But then it occurred to me (while searching the interwebs for a non-affiliate discount code that apparently does not exist) that you might actually want to save some money on your online purchases.  Crazy, right?

So, my apologies for being too shy proud embarrassed lame to share discount codes with you.  Gosh, now I'm embarrassed just admitting all of this [ears turning red].  I'm very sorry and promise to play nice ("share") from here on out.  Just know, that if you buy something from one of my links, that I might get a small commission on it.  Whew, do I feel better now...

Clothes-Swap HQ

A date has been set for a Twin Cities Clothes-Swap!  I'm so excited to be hosting it for the first time at Lori's funky barn on Saturday, October 1!  Elaina, Carrie, and I swung by on Sunday afternoon to look at the space and discuss event logistics.  It's going to be AH-mazing. 

Still lots of details to work out, but you can keep updated on the event's Facebook page.  It's open invitation, so be sure to invite your (girl)friends!

Here's what the party planners wore:

Carrie perfectly accessorizes her darling dress from Francesca's.  CHIC!

Elaina thrifted her perfectly broken-in, Fossil-like bag.  SCORE!

This plaid skirt was BEGGING me to pair it with a contrasting pattern.  BAM!

Shirt:  J. Crew, thrifted
Belt:  Target
Skirt:  Target
Shoes: Target

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hot Capsule

Tank:  Target
Necklace:  Target
Cardi:  Hot Mama
Shorts:  Hot Mama
Shoes:  Liz Claiborne?, thrifted

I have quite the little wardrobe capsule of Hot Mama merchandise going.  That employee discount is killer, fo reals

So far:
1 Cardi + 1 Shorts +1 vest + 1 necklace + 1 scarf + 1 t-shirt + 1 skirt + 1 blazer = a very good start.

I am looking saving for:
1 jeans + 1 leggings + 1 sweater + 1 jacket + 1 dress + 1 footwear = complete set of wardrobe basics.

Who knows?  I may even attempt another 30 for 30 or 15 for 15 with all Hot Mama gear.  If for no other reason than to establish them as remixable "investment" pieces in my wardrobe.

Fall merchandise is flooding in and I'm loving it ALL.  Chunky sweaters, boxy blazers, and tall boots - oh my!  I'm enjoying the challenge of dressing casually while also being chic and interesting.  The first few weeks were difficult - finding outfits that transition from corporate day job to fun night job - but I might be getting the hang of it now.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Birthday Shoes

Shirt:  Vintage, thrifted
Cardi:  TJMaxx
Skirt:  Hot Mama
Shoes:  Go Jane

This outfit was an attempt at venturing outside of my style comfort zone.  It gets a C- for making me feel matronly.  I just can't seem to 'own' the maxi look, yet I continue to try.  Whatever.  This post isn't really about the outfit anyway.

Here, let me help you see those shoes a little better...

I got them at for $13.95.  They were a birthday present to myself (yeh!).  They come in natural too, but the black seemed more dramatic.  They run big - that's no joke.  I'm usually a 7 1/2 - 8, and the size 7 fits me perfectly.  The heel slips a little bit, but other than that, they are super comfortable.

Buyers beware - Modcloth has these in red for $44.99  - (gasp!).  I love me some Modcloth and browse daily often, but the markup slays potential purchases.  Boo.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

We Are Borg

Earrings: Target
Dress:  gift from hubby via Gabes in WV
Belt:  Hot Mama
Shoes: via Banks (I miss you!)

I haven't been in the mood for complicated.  Hence, this outfit.

I have been in the mood for sleeping in, consuming Dairy Queen blizzards, buying shoes online, and watching endless hours of Star Trek: Voyager on Netflixs.  To these desires, I will ultimately be assimilated.  Resistance is futile. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hug a Pug

I'm in love with this furball.  He continues to have medical issue after medical issue and every time another thing comes up, I become a greater mess of nerves and emotions.  Trying to maintain optimism has become very, very difficult.  It's no ones fault that he's sick, but having made treatment decisions on his behalf, I can't help but feel pangs of guilt and remorse.  We're walking a fine line between treating the disease and slow killing him with Predinose.  It's the only drug that has kept his IMPA at a managable level, but now he's developed disgusting, open sores on his back.  We're doing what we can to keep it from getting worse and are discussing a more agressive plan for getting him off the Pred, but he will inevitably lose some fur in those highly visible areas.  He doesn't act sick at all, but now I have to look at (and smell) this physical reminder of his illness.

The vets commend us for being so patient and proactive, but our efforts have yet to produce any lasting results.  We've thrown thousands of dollars at treatments because we believe this little guy is worth it.  My heart breaks over his well-being.  As hard as the doctors try, their kind sympathy and direction provides very little comfort anymore.  Thankfully, daddy-Steve has maintained a clear head and hopeful spirit, all while preventing me from voyaging into the depths of despair.  He's amazing.

In the meantime, there are things that we (that's you and me) can do: 
YOU:  if you have a dog or know a dog, please give him/her some extra special attention today.  Right now, if possible.  Hugs, belly rubs, play time, treats, whatever.  It'll make the world a better place, I'm sure of it.

ME:  I'm going to find some cute shirts for Miles to wear to protect his smelly sores (the vet said it's ok).  Trouble is, Pugs have such large necks that it's difficult to find shirts that fit properly.  If you know of any good shops for that sort of thing, let me know.

Now that I've shared our pitiful sob story, I suppose it would be a good time to ask you to vote for us again.  That's right, I'm totally playing the 'IMPA-with-a-side-of-smelly-sores' card.  As if you could possibly resist.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Backpacking Life

My favorite backpack has been getting a whole lot of use lately.  I usually take the bus to and from my second job, so I need something easy to carry, with room for everything needed from 7am to 9pm.

To keep from being mistaken for a student, I opt for a backpack with utilitarian design and in neutral colors.  Sleek enough for the office, easy enough for the bus, and stylish enough for Hot Mama.  These options from Shoebuy would do just fine.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Design Vertigo

Design Vertigo in North St. Paul was the place to be on Friday night.  A fashion show kicked off the arrival of items by local designer Jenny Carle.  I loved how the models were Design Vertigo customers - they did a great job!

Jenny Carle's designs are so pretty and wearable.  Check out the styles here.

It was my first time shopping at Design Vertigo and I was so impressed!  The store is brilliantly decorated and the product is well priced.

Every Friday night through September 16, downtown N. St. Paul hosts a History Cruze Car Show where the streets are lined with adorable, old cars.  I recommend the funnel cake, antique shops, and Design Vertigo, which stays open until 10pm.

What we wore:
Elaina's bag is one of her own hand-crafted designs. 
Similar styles will likely be available at a pop-up shop this fall.

Keely's a babe.  Enough said.

Necklace:  Hot Mama
Shirt:  H&M
Cardi:  Cliche'
Jeans:  F21
Shoes:  Target
Bag:  Thrifted via ARC's Value Village

Friday, August 12, 2011

Detour: Wild Ruffle

Let's go thrifting!  Not here.  Here

You know what they say - while the blogger is away, the blogsitters will play...or shop in this particular case.

Happy Wild Ruffle Friday to you, my friends.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Hat:  California Adventure gift shop
Shirt:  Target
Vest:  Old Navy, thrifted
Jean:  c/o Lee Jeans
Suspenders:  Husband's closet
Shoes:  Macy's
Until a couple years ago, I was not aware that Lee Jeans manufactured anything pertaining to my size, age group, or style preference.  Then during one random trip to Kohl's, I spotted some cute, low-rise, cuffed capri's in Petite.  And I've thought much better of Lee Jeans ever since.

But I still had some concerns when Lee sent me a few styles to try.  These black skinnies are definitely the best fit, but are closer to a slim-straight leg than a skinny.  Based my experience, I would guess that all styles run a bit large as well.  I like the rise - not too low - and the booty is not "mom jean-ish" at all.

I don't know why, but I find black pants so very boring.  I never know how to wear them without looking like a corporate casual drone.  Enter lots of layers, man-ish accessories, and leopard heels.  A little ridiculous, but fun.

Thanks for voting for me yesterday!  Um...would you mind voting again today?  I submitted my photo late in the game, and I'm pretty far behind.  Don't make me Miles beg.  Thanks, friends.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Oh Won't You Please...

Scarf:  vintage, thrifted
Shirt:  vintage, thrifted
Belt:  thrifted
Jeans:  c/o Lee Jeans
Boots: J. Crew
Bag:  thrifted
Dog:  Miles the Pug

Vote for me (and Miles) in the My Life in Lee photo contest?  Pretty please?  
If we win, you will get a vlog of Miles and I singing a duet, or something equally embarrassing impressive.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hearts & Bows

Dress:  Vintage, thrifted
Purse:  thrifted
Shoes:  via Ross, Atlanta

Attended a wedding in this outfit, then skipped off to my surprise party for which I was told to dress "pretty and comfortable".  Heart print dress for a wedding.  Red bow shoes for a tea party.  Yes and yes.

Lookie here!  Iris styled the Traveling Bag For A Cause!

Monday, August 8, 2011

On My Mind

#15 - wishing I was here.
  1. a guest post for the lovely Franca
  2. a mini photo shoot for My Life in Lee style contest
  3. brainstorming my next clothes swap
  4. grocery shopping (I'm going through cereal withdrawl!)
  5. wishing the 3 pairs of shoes I ordered from Go Jane would arrive TODAY!
  6. Studying up on Hot Mama fall trends 
  7. Trying to find time for a haircut (need it BAD!)
  8. I'd like to attend this event
  9. So much to learn in Photoshop Elements!  (but I think I'm going to love it!)
  10. Looks like a tornado hit my closet!  It's time to purge and reorganize - again.  (Good for #3)
  11. So behind on blog reading - if only Blogger and Internet Explorer would play nice...
  12. Been storing up comment questions for a Q&A post.  Have a question for me?  Ask away!
  13. My BFF's threw me the most wonderful surprise birthday tea party this weekend and I love them for it - pics soon!
  14. Disney Cruise.  Disney Cruise.  Disney Cruise.  With my pal Girly Muse.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Garage Sale

Just poppin' in to say 'hello' on this lovely Friday.   My in-laws are hosting a multi-family garage sale.  Steve and I took the day off work to help out.

This BabyBjorn is for sale and we couldn't resist seeing how Miles would fit.  Almost perfect, just a bit small.  And he was surprisingly content in it.  Playing the role of my it should be.

I'm amazed at what people will buy at garage sales.  Truly, one man's junk is another man's treasure.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Necklace:  Target
Tank:  H&M
Jacket:  Target
Dress:  TJMaxx
Shoes:  Target
I'm slowing acclimating to the maxi trend.  Skirts are easy.  It's the dresses that trip me up (pun intended).  Maxi dresses make me feel...swollen.  I think I'm not used to having so much of my upper arms and shoulders exposed.  This dress (my only maxi dress) also has an empire waste which draws extra attention to my chest.  Overall, it's just not a good look for me.

What I do like is the super soft fabric and colorful print.  Pairing it with a light-weight jacket provided the coverage I needed without adding a lot of weight.  

Other tips for modest maxi-dressing?  Do tell.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

For the Locals: Lovin' ARC's!

She's Got The Gift Of Thrift!
You, too, can have a personal shopper! Arc's Value Village Thrift Stores & Donation Centers now offer the FREE services of a personal style advisor - Michelle Dustin, who will pre-shop any of Arc's Value Village four stores for you, pulling clothing, shoes and accessories that match your style and tastes. Make an appointment by calling 952-279-1398 or emailing style advisor Michelle Dustin.  Appointments are available nights and weekends Aug. 1 - Oct. 31.  Go alone, or request a dual appointment with a friend.  It's complimentary, it's fun, and you'll look fabulous in your Value Village finds!

Junk Bonanza!
Arc Value Village is a partner to the Junk Bonanza Sept. 15-17, which hosts more than 130 juried "junk" vendors of vintage finds, beautiful antiques, one-of-a-kind and artisan-repurposed pieces. Last year more than 10,000 visitors found their special treasure at the three-day event at Canterbury Downs in Shakopee, Minn. The Bonanza includes a farm market with local harvest goods, an Arc-related giveaway and Lucky Friday prizes and giveaways from vendors and businesses. There's also a gold and silver market, magazine signings and much, much more! See details and learn more at!