Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Whale of a Tale: Dress Review

    I loved this Whale Print Sundress right from the start, but it looked soooo short I couldn't bring myself to buy it.  Eventually it sold out and I was a bit sad.  Suddenly it was back and with added length, so I made it mine and I really love that The Other Sparrows listens to their customers.  They have such excellent customer service, they've really earned my loyalty.

Shop the Look:
Whale Prints Striped Sundress
Cardi From ModCloth
Wedges by Chase & Chloe

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Something From Target: ootd

    I don't shop at Target anymore.  It's not a form of protest, I'm just really tired of the high prices.  Every now and then something cute from a Target brand pops up on ThredUp for under $10 and that's very doable.  So, I grabbed up this simple black dress for about $8 and set about wearing it a few different ways.  I'm just posting a few pics of my favorite outfit so far.
    I love a sleeveless dress for cooler weather because it's easy to layer it with a cardigan without the awkwardness of bunched up sleeves ruining the lines.  I've worn this dress a couple of times and it is so easy to wear it with any color imaginable, the brighter the better.  So, for this outfit, I decided to add some yellow and teal to really wake it up.
Shop the Look:
Dress from ThredUp.  <--Use this link to save $20 off your first order.
Tights and Charter School Cardi from ModCloth.  <--Use this link to save $15 off your first order.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Cyber Monday on Amazon!

    Heads up, fashionistas!  I was just browsing Amazon.com and noticed that this Betsey Johnson Camera purse I've had my eye on for months has just dropped from $80 to $53.  When I added it to my cart I received an extra 30% off as part of their Cyber Monday fashion deals.  So, I only paid $36 for this $80 bag.  I am one happy shopper!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Travel: Bashamichi Tap Room

    One last date night before the weather gets too cold to make standing on cold train platforms appealing.  We decided to try a place in Yokohama called Bashamichi Taproom.  
    Open since 2011, this touch of home is American owned and run and has the best barbecue I've ever had in my entire life.  I've never been a fan of barbecue, but this place had me craving more.  
    It was so tender, the sauces were amazing and I wished we had ordered larger portions.  We had a sample platter and a couple of ales.  I'm not a fan of ale, but that was the only thing available, so I decided to make the most of it.
    The service was a little slow and without a reservation for the dining room upstairs, it took forever to squeeze in to a spot and eat dinner at the bar, but the food was well worth the wait.  We headed out for pancakes to top off our evening.  I don't remember the name of that restaurant since it was an unplanned part of the evening and in spite of being a very fancy place, the pancakes were forgettable.  No matter, it was a wonderful night out and I hope we'll be able to make one more trip back to Yokohama before we head back home.

    Since the weather was so nice that night, I wore a jacket with this short little dress by Forever 21, but I got it with tags still on from ThredUp.  A frilly pink lace dress may seem a little out of place for a bar, but hey, we're in Japan, so I fit right in where ever I go.
Shop the look:
Dress and Shoes by Forever 21 and purchased for about $20 at ThredUp.  <--Use this link if you're new to ThredUp and save $20 off your first order.
Purse is old and from Monsoon accessories.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Minnie May I? A Dress For Disney

Belle Print from MarcoFriendAristoCats, Ana, and Pooh From Art Quality
        I adore Unique Vintage's Disney inspired outfits. Although I've never dressed up for the occasion every time I get the e-mail with their tributes to the Magic Kingdom characters, it makes me want to get out the polka dot prints, don my mouse ears, and hop a train to Tokyo.  
    After so many e-mails they've convinced me and I've decided to put together my own Disney inspired outfit.  Since it's pouring rain today, I probably won't make the trip to Tokyo, but I can still pop my favorite cartoon classic into the player and enjoy the magic with my two favorite princesses.  And, should we ever make it to out to Disney Land again, I'll be fully prepared to dress for the occasion.

Shop the Look:
Dress is by Kimchi Blue but I purchased it from ThredUp.  If you're new to ThredUp, <--use this link to save $20 off your first order.
There's An Apple For That Cardi is from ModCloth.  If you're new to ModCloth <-- use this link to sign up and save $20 off your first order.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Plenty of Tahiti: ootd

Compass Print, Anchor Decor, and Starfish Earrings from Etsy.com

   I've been on a nautical roll with my posts lately, so I took a break, but I can never stay away too long.  This post is back with more ocean themed fun.  My long pined for Tahiti Ships dress became mine over the summer.  It is the epitome of summer dresses being light, short, and sweet.  Trouble is, even though I wore it ever so many times over the summer and I'm not even close to tired of it, the plummeting temps are making it impossible to wear.  The only solution was of course to layer it up a bit.
    I found these Capelli knee socks while browsing my local shop.  They originally had some ivory lace around the top, but a few minutes with a seam ripper and it came right off.  I usually save knee socks for wearing under my skinny jeans with knee high boots, but just for today I decided to try something a little different.  I still have to wear shorts under this dress of course, but here in Japan there are these lovely fleece shorts meant to go under short skirts, so I think I'm ready for the weather.

Shop the Look:
Top is old from Forever 21
Tahiti Ships dress is sold out, but expected to restock in spring of 2017 from The Other Sparrows
Not Rated oxfords

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Oh Tracey!

    Ever notice how styles seem to come in pairs and one is the social butterfly while the
other is a wall flower?  The one you choose depends on your own personality...that is if you have to choose.  If it's all possible it's better to just get both and have some options.  
    When I was browsing ThredUp a while ago I found this lovely understated plaid skirt from Plenty by Tracy Reese.  When I did a quick search to see if reviews existed, the only pic I saw was of this style in a much brighter print.  
    It was easy to see which variety had been the belle of the ball, but this skirt had so much potential I decided to see if I could add some polish to this hidden gem.
    With a scalloped Peter Pan top and a warm lilac cardi to bring out the subtle purple in the plaid, this skirt is a knockout piece.  Although....I have to admit that just yesterday I did manage to find the other sister on ThredUp and...well...it's on the way to my Stateside house.  No less love for this skirt, but as I said before, I think it's better to have options especially in a style that you love.

Shop Look:
Everything but the shoes came from ThredUp, my favorite online thrift shop.  If you've never tried ThredUP, <-- use this link to save $20 off your first order.

Shoes are from ModCloth.  If you're new to ModCloth, <--use this link to save $15 off your order.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Nautical Autumn: ootd

Blessings Sign, Leaves Photo, and Thankful Printable available at Etsy.com

    You may remember one of my spring time sewing projects was a sundress with Heather Ross Mendocino mermaid fabric; if you don't here's the link.  It felt like the perfect dress for late summer, but now that the leaves are changing I see its autumn potential.  I don't normally go for nautical wear outside the May-August months, but this seems so right with a mustard cardi, dark chocolate flats, and this coral necklace I snagged at a summertime ModCloth sale. Plus, I know we all have our rules about what to wear and when, but I sort of love proving myself wrong and breaking out of the little fashion boxes I put up.  So, hello, Nautical Autumn!

Shop the look:
Necklace from ModCloth
Fabric is sold out on Fabric.com, but still available at Etsy.com
Pattern is Cynthia Rowley 1873
Cardi is a thrift store find
shoes are old and by Seychelles

Saturday, November 12, 2016

French Connection: ootd

    French Connection is starting to seem like a one trick pony.  Every dress that I see by that label seems to be the exact same strapless mini tube dress with a different print.  I now own three and they're all alike.  Oh, well, at least that means that I know exactly what to expect and how to correct it.  My main grievance is the length.  This dress needs more everything.  I can't wear one without at least a shirt or tights to cover something up.  That's ok, I like the layered look.  So, I present to you my second French Connection dress layered up for weather and modesty.  See my first dress here and photos of my third are coming soon. 

Shop Look:
Dress from ThredUp  <--Use this link to save $20 off your first order
Tights from Wal-mart
Heels from ModCloth  <--Use this link to save $15 off your first order
Purse from Monsoon

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Hello Sailor Dress: Sewing Project

Octo Print, Compass Pendant, Ship & Anchor Prints from Etsy.com
        It's finally finished!  In the spring I spent those typhoon days trapped indoors working on dresses.  Life threw me a few punches and I lost my interest in everything for a while.  This dress was the last of the sewing projects I'd begun and the most challenging since it has pleated sleeves which I've never done before.  However, since the movers will be here soon, I knew it was now or never to get it finished.
    I couldn't stand to have an unfinished dress sitting in storage for months and months.  Yesterday I put in the zipper and finished the hem and I had to snap a few pics before I lose my opportunity for who knows how long.  So, please forgive the lopsided belt, the blank background, and the fact that I forgot to iron the dress.  There are boxes everywhere right now and this was the only nook I could find with enough sunlight to do some quick photos before I run out of time.

Shop the Look:
Dear Stella Hello Sailor Maritime Fun Fabric
Sizzlin' Steps Heels from ModCloth
Dress Pattern Cynthia Rowley 1873
Anchor Earrings by Napier

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Organized Accessories

Elle 70th Anniversary Dress in XS for $24.99
    While perusing Kohl's a few weeks ago, I noticed that a dress I've been watching for several months was finally marked down and it was time to use my 20% off coupon to bring this beauty home.
    Buuuuut, then I had some Kohl's cash to spend, so I decided to pick up one of these adorable ring holders by Lauren Conrad and a necklace as well, and it was all free, so that's a big plus.  I had a really hard time choosing which ring holder because I love them all and it's not something I already own.  
    A few years ago I ran a little jewelry shop on Etsy.  I had so many display pieces that I needed something to keep it all from being a tangled mess.   So, I purchased an old type setter's drawer, painted it white and installed some hooks into each cubby.  That's where I've been storing my jewelry ever since. 

    It took some time, sweat, and a little blood to put all those tiny hooks in, but it was well worth the final product and I loved being able to see everything hanging up.  It made choosing the right piece to go with my outfit so much easier, not to mention that I think it's kind of pretty.
    However, lately I've noticed that in spite of this creative solution still hanging on the wall by my bed, I have a constant pile of earrings and rings on my nightstand that tumble to the floor any time I fumble to turn on the lamp in the morning.  Enter the ring holder/dish.  
More styles available at Kohl's
    They cost about $15 (if you don't have Kohl's cash to make them free) and in the end I chose the blue dish with the white cat and since I had another coupon for $10 off my order I snagged this necklace for free too. 
    I don't shop at Kohl's often, but I do love the way they let you stack multiple coupons onto a single order.  So, the dish and the necklace cost me nothing, no more losing earrings under the bed, and something new and pretty in the bargain.  Maybe I should shop here more often.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Bringing New Life to Last Year's Prints

    Why do I love multi-color prints?  I am so glad you asked!  It's quite simply because it's so easy to change up the look by bringing out different colors in the print.  Adding an extra layer with tops, cardis or colorful tights, or just a simple scarf can change the entire look by highlighting certain colors.  An item that can be worn in fresh ways for a long time is a wardrobe essential and all it takes is a little time and creativity.  For a demo I'm going to use my Emily and Fin Too Much Fun Dress in Bright Plaid.  I purchased this two years ago (I think) and have worn it a number of ways:

    It's been a while since I've worn it and I hate to see anything so lovely just sitting on the hanger, so I decided to dust it off and see what new color I could pair with this beautiful dress.  I grabbed this bright blue cropped cardi that I bought off Ebay ages ago for about $10.  I don't wear it often because it is so bright not much works with it.  And, while I normally try to wear colors that tone down this aptly named bright plaid, this time I leaned into it, but added these neutral tights and heels so that it's eye catching not overwhelming.
Shop the Look:
Emily and Fin dress, tights & Qupid heels from ModCloth.  If you're new to ModCloth, use this link to sign up and save $15 off your order  http://fbuy.me/ehZdj
Blue Cardi from Ebay

Here are a few more plaids with potential:

Anthropologie Plaid Tartan Coat $398

Asos Mela Loves London Dress $22

ModCloth Sunday Sojourn Plaid $70

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Happy 100!

    I'm talking pounds of course.  If you're totally lost as to what I'm talking about, you can get all caught up by clicking here and here.  And, in case you're wondering, the answer is a firm No, 100 is not my goal weight.  I still have a long way to go, but this is the first time I've broken out of the 90s in over five months.
    It's been an uphill battle of good days and bad weeks and more recently even good weeks and bad days.  So, even though I'm not there yet, I see this as a sign of progress
and I think it's cause for celebration.  And how are we celebrating?  I'm so glad you asked!  With a tea party, naturally.

     Not a huge event, just a small pause in our busy day.  We've whipped up (or rather purchased) some dainty macaroons and maybe a few mini doughnuts and we're breaking out the prettiest tea set in the world for the occasion.  Before anyone panics, No, eating tons of sweets is not part of my plan for health and healing.  It's just part of enjoying this benchmark achievement, and enjoy it we shall before it's back to weight training and protein shakes and three well balanced meals + two snacks.  FYI that's all part of the health and healing plan.  The struggle isn't over, and neither are the bad days, but I'm still here, still trying, and life is moving on, and just for today, I'll stick out my pinky and drink to that.
© Bleu Avenue. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.