Happiest Place on Earth

posted on: 1/31/2011

I'm baaaaack. Family Vacation 2011 is in the bag. I have videos to prove it, although to not annoy the h out of you, I'll probably only share one.

Hit it:

(I shouldn't have joked about throwing up on that ride. I had to sit still for 30 minutes in order to keep my soft pretzel down.)

Be Right Back

posted on: 1/28/2011


I'll be out of town, away from my inbox and off the internet for a few days visiting Mickey. If I had an office, this would be my out of office message. 

C ya real soon. 



(I couldn't resist.)

My Picks to Remix

With the remix just around the corner (no seriously, it's next Tuesday), I thought I'd go ahead and post my items for the 30 for 30. And here they are in all of their remixing glory. Please don't stare, they hate it when you stare.

Can you just imagine all of my outfits right now? You can? Well stop that. If you imagine all of my outfits there will be no element of surprise. 

So as you can see, I am one item shy. Would you guys be so kind to help me pick the last item? That's right! Reader's Choice. So will you pick the Rookie Polka Dot Top or the 30 for 30 Veteran, the Red Heels. Only you can decide my fate.
(I promise that if you choose the polka dot top, I will iron it.)


Create A Working Closet, Part 5: Remixing

posted on: 1/27/2011

I have had the hardest time writing this post. Not that I can’t usually string a few words together in a logical sentence (well....) but for some reason I hit a block on this post. How ironic. Remixing is the name of my game. Literally (cough, the 30 for 30 Remix Challenge, cough). So why can’t I write about it? Why can’t I give you tips on how to remix? What’s wrong with me?!!?*

Then I figured it out. No matter how many cups of coffee I go through this morning, I will never be able to tell you how to remix your closet. I can give you tips (and I will) but ultimately remixing is a habit that you have to form on your own. That’s the best part of remixing -- it’s up to you. It’s up to you what you remix, how you remix and why you remix. I can not tell you any of those things, it’s just something that you have to decide. With that said, I will tell you how I go about remixing. These are my own theories that I’ve tried out and that work for me. This may or may not work for you, heck it might not even make sense to you. But that’s okay. Figuring out your closet is what you need to do. Figuring out my sick, twisted brain is not what you need to do.

Before I start let me explain some lingo that I use here in Kendi Land (different from Candy Land, but not too far off). Remixing is simply a word that I use to describe the mixing and matching of the contents of your closet. Since that definition is a bit bloated, I just say remix. I did not make this word up, however. I think Stacey and Clinton made that up.

At this point, we have purged our closet, assessed the inventory, organized the mess, shopped for essentials and now we are ready to remix. This is the ultimate skill in order to have a working closet. If you learn to work you closet by remixing, your closet will work for you.

1. Remixing starts when you buy an item. I know that we've already covered shopping, but it's an important element to remember. Because of this, it takes me a long time to shop. If I am ever rushed, I usually make a bad decision. This is why I tend shop by myself. So what takes me so long? Before I spend money I have to decide if it fits in my closet. I am that girl standing in front of a rack of clothes staring into space. (I'm thinking okay, leave me alone.) I picked this tip up along the way: If I can’t remix an item at least 5 times, then it doesn’t belong in my closet. Let’s be honest -- 5 times isn’t a lot. But it’s a good basis for me to start with on a new item. If I can easily think of 5 outfits off the top of my head, I know it will be a great addition to the closet. (Your number might be different than 5, it's up to you.)

2. Shop your closet. No really. Look at your closet as if it were someone else’s. Look at your closet as if it were the cutest boutique on the block and you get to wear anything you’d like. How lucky are you??Take a few minutes and try on some things. Try crazy patterns together, try different color combinations, try something that you haven’t worn in a really long time. I think one thing to remember when remixing your closet is that no rules apply. If you want to wear a striped top with a floral skirt, try it. It just might work. Take the rule above of “5 outfits” and see if you can make 5 outfits out of each item in your wardrobe. If you have 30 items in your closet, that’s 150 outfits! (the bold means I'm screaming at you right now) That’s 40% of the year covered by just 30 really good pieces. You see where I’m going with this right? If you fill your closet with good, quality pieces that match your style, you don’t have to worry about getting dressed. This is your closet working for you.

3. Make a plan, each week. I say start weekly with your plan, since that’s normally when you wear clothes, during the week, right? I’m assuming that most of you take the weekends off from wearing clothes like I do. Your plan can involve a pen and paper, an excel spreadsheet (don’t hate) or simply by hanging outfits together in your closet. Normally I do laundry and start planning on Sunday. I start with my events for the week and plan accordingly. I usually plan about 7 outfits each week, so that I can have a few fall backs. And I usually hang them at the front of my closet, by outfit.

By simply making a plan, taking 30 minutes or so on a Sunday, my mornings are that much easier. I can walk into my closet on Monday and not have the usual routine of pulling items off of the hangers in anger and then walking out in a mish-mash of an outfit.

Just how do I go about making this plan? Well, I will tell you. If I am working all week, I know that my remix will consist of mainly skirts and pants. So I pull a few skirts and pants to the front. Let’s say I end up with 4 skirts, 2 pairs of pants and a dress, just to be crazy. I like to think of the bottom part of the outfit as the base or foundation. So I take a skirt and find 1-2 tops that I could wear with it. Then I hang them together with the skirt. If I’m feeling good, I’ll take some accessories and hang them on the hanger as well. That way I literally have to get up and get dressed without thinking. I do this over and over until I get my 5-7 outfits.

4. Be inspired. Sometimes all it takes is a little inspiration to help you out. I keep a folder on my computer for outfit inspirations. Sometimes it’s the color that inspires me to put a combination together, other times it’s the pieces. I might not have the exact piece, but that doesn’t mean I can’t build a similar outfit. Seeing how other people wear an outfit is extremely helpful when putting outfits together in your own closet. Style blogs keep me on my toes when it comes to inspiration. The internet is filled with inspiration, so there is no excuse in being bored with your clothes. Sometimes it just takes one outfit to get that creative spark going.


So that is my humble list of tips on remixing. I am by no means an expert on this, but I am an expert in my own closet. Just as you are the expert of your closet. So experts, have any tips you’d like to share? Don’t hold out me. I will find you.

(And if you want to jump head first into remixing, join the 30 for 30 challenge starting February 1st)


____________
Part 1: Purging
Part 2: Assessing
Part 3: Organizing 
Part 4: Shopping



*Don't answer that.

Style Woes

posted on: 1/26/2011

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{Shop:  Similar Chambray Shirt, Skirt, Boots, Necklace}

I guess I shouldn't have named this post style "woes" as that seems a bit dramatic. It's just that I've been trying to think of new ways to wear this pretty skirt that I got on the cheap. But it's surprisingly hard to style. But does that stop me from trying? Ohhhh no. Only velour sweatsuits with words on the butt and fluorescent high-tops stop me. Dead in my tracks.

T-minus two days and I'll be at Disney World. And I have no idea what to wear. Ask me what to wear to a job interview, I can tell you that. A first date, an engagement party, or heck even prom. But if you ask me what to wear to a giant amusement park in the dead of winter, this is most likely the face you will get:

That's me grunting/thinking. It's not pretty when I think, people. I pretty much don't own anything other than the clothes you see me wear here, so it's about to get awkward up on this family vacation. And you better believe that I'm going to take outfit photos. I'd have it no other way. 

(Oh wait, I can just style up my velour sweatsuit and high tops. I've been waiting for an opportunity to wear those closet gems and here it is. I'm coming for you, Orlando.)

Win $25 Store Credit to Much Love, Illy!


This week's giveaway is from Much Love, Illy's adorable Etsy shop. Handmade headbands, hair clips, and accessories, oh my! (I just made that tag line up for her. Feel free to use it, Illene, free of charge.) Here's how you sign up:

1) Visit sweet Illene's shop and pick out your favorite item.
2) Leave a comment below with the item you'd buy with your store credit. 
3) That's it. Seriously, that's it. 

Giveaway is open from now until Monday, January 31st at 10 pm. One entry per person, please and thank you.

And if you don't want to wait for the giveaway results, Illene is offering readers a 10% discount with the code "KENDIROCKS". I did not bribe her for that code. I swear. 

__________________________________________________________________

The winner of last week's Katwalk Giveaway is...


Congrats Emily! Now send me an email. 

Swap and Stripes

posted on: 1/25/2011

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{Shop: Blazer, Similar Top, Tights, Similar Shoes}

So today Liz + Linda (ya'll should trademark that) deemed today "Wear your Breton Stripes Shirt" day. And then in my Quirk Swap Box was this adorable skirt. So basically what I'm saying is I didn't even have to think about getting dressed today. I just woke up and let someone else dress me. So... is this what it's like to have a personal stylist? I also haven't cleaned my house or cooked a meal in weeks. Is that what it's like to have a live-in maid and cook, except your house is clean and you don't eat cereal for dinner every night?

I wonder if Rachel Zoe would cook and clean for me. I'll look into it.


{See Jessica's take on this skirt in the summer and winter.}



Did you wear your stripes today? Submit your photo to Linda's freakin' awesome site. 

Swapped

posted on: 1/24/2011

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I got an email the other day from this gal asking if I wanted to swap some duds with her. I love a good swap -- it's like getting free clothes that you don't have to wash, you just wear them and send them back. In fact, that's exactly what it's like. So here's to not doing laundry for three days. Anyone else want to swap me clothes? It's fun, I don't sweat much and I'm fairly clean, I promise.

When I opened her box, I took one look at this dress and thought "there is no way that is going to look good on me." I've never been a fan of wrap dresses because I can't belt them. (Even though my internet lover, Jentine wears them better than a real life Career Day Barbie Doll.) But who am I to tell Diane Von Furstenberg that she can't make a pretty dress? So I put it on and immediately wanted to keep it. And if I didn't have this blog and Jessica couldn't track me down, I probably would. Come to think of it....I probably will. The chances of her tracking me down are slim.

All of that to say -- if, like me, you haven't tried a wrap dress before, maybe you should. Apparently they are super freaking flattering. Plus I wasn't sure if I could wear tall boots with such a pretty dress, but I did it anyways and it's fine. These are the things that get me excited, people.

I need more friends. Or at least cable.




{See how Jessica styled the dress here}

I'm a little late.

posted on: 1/23/2011

We made a little video for the weekend that I meant to post on Saturday morning not Sunday night. And if we are going to get really technical, its about 1 hour away from Monday. Unless you are on the East Coast where it actually is Monday. I failed you, cute video. I sorry, forgive me?



Welcome to the weekend.

What Goes Around

posted on: 1/21/2011

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{Shop: Jeans, Boots, Lipstick-- It Girl}

When my mom and I would shop together, she would talk about all of the styles that she used to wear that are now back in. We'd walk into Forever21 and I'd see a cute outfit and she'd say "that is so 80s" and then reminisce about giving herself a perm. I scoffed at her old age, until now. Until these jeans -- I swear I had jeans like this in 8th grade. And now they are back in style. If only I would have saved those jeans and not hit puberty, I could have saved a couple of bucks. I wonder if 4-inch sole flip flops will come back in or denim bucket hats with fake sunflowers attached? One can only hope. 

I wore this outfit yesterday and forgot to post it. I also woke up at 2:30 am remembering that I did not write or post the last part of my Working Closet series and I never got around to posting this outfit or eating dinner. I also remember about 50 other things that were supposed to get done this week and have not. If my brain could talk, this is what it would say:


That's silence because she's asleep. This week has been bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S. So thank you for sticking it out with me. I can't promise that next week will be better but I'm at least hoping for an apples or oranges kind of week. And more outfit posts. See? Next week is already looking up. 

Also -- side pony tails are still cool right? 

Foxy Lady

posted on: 1/19/2011

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{Shop: Similar Top, Similar Shoes, Necklace}

Fair warning: I just asked my dog what I should write about it. This might not be a pulitzer winning post tonight since my dog just stared at me and didn't give up any good topics to discuss. He doesn't pay rent, he doesn't feed me ideas when I need them. He's going to have start pulling his weight around here. All thirteen pounds of it. 

So my shirt has foxes on it, that's why I named my post 'Foxy Lady'. I know what you are thinking, "oh. so she thinks she's hot stuff huh?" No, no. If I thought that, I would have named the post Foxxy Lady. A subtle yet very loud difference.  

(Dog heard I was threatening rent again so he jumped up on my lap. It's a good thing I take cuteness for payment.)

Win a $25 Gift Certificate to Katwalk!

It's giveaway time, dear friends. This week you can win a $25 gift certificate to Katwalk. In the mood for some new clothes? Of course you are. This is how you enter:

1. Visit Katwalk shop and pick out your favorite item.
2. Leave a comment below with what you'd buy if you're the lucky winner.
3. Take a deep breath and hold it until next week to see if you are the winner. And as always, I'll post the winner here.

Giveaway is open until Sunday, January 23rd at 10:00 pm CST. Open to U.S. readers only.



The winner from last week's Smashion giveaway....


Congrats Audrey, Email me to claim the giveaway!

This Outfit Didn't Happen

posted on: 1/17/2011

My husband is at a conference this week and I'm visiting my parents until Wednesday. I'm without a camera, so basically I'm not wearing clothes. (My theory: If I don't post an outfit, it didn't happen.)

So I thought, what kind of post can I make without clothes, a camera and my husband's magic touch? It took me about twenty minutes to realize that I have no idea. I thought about sketching my outfits for you but it ended up looking like this:



I'm wearing skinny jeans and a cardigan, if you can't tell. So since I'm not a sketch artist, I went back through my photo archives, searching for something to post. And it happened. I came upon an outfit that never was. We had taken the photos right before the last 30 for 30. And for some (most likely silly) reason that I can't remember, I never posted this outfit. 


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Although seldom, there are a few times when I don't post an outfit for any number of reasons. Maybe I don't like the outfit (forgivable), or I think that I could have done better (meh), or maybe it's a week before my period and I hate the world in general. (Yep. I just admitted that on the internet.) But more than anything, it's out of fear. Fear of not wearing the most perfect blogger outfit ever. Fear that you might think I'm not a super adorable person at all hours of the day, every day. Gag me. I'm done with feeling sorry for my imperfect self. (Remember my NY resolution, anyone?) And while I can't promise that every outfit will get photographed, I can promise that I will post my outfits that do. Perfect or not. (99.9% will not be perfect, just fair warning.)

Now I'm off to paint. I've got another masterpiece to work up.

(PS -- New outfit on Wednesday. I pinky promise.)

My Skirt is Red (and other obvious truths)

posted on: 1/14/2011

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My skirt is red and not hot pink.
It is cold outside.
This coat puts me one inch closer to having a full-on lunatic obsession with Kate Middleton.
I should have worn my tall boots. Now I know.
It's Friday.
Tomorrow we are celebrating our 3 year anniversary in the city.
That's right, I said the city like a true small town girl.
Fingers crossed he takes me to Cracker Barrel.
Sometimes it's easier to list out random thoughts than write out a whole post of random thoughts.
A lot less work actually. This might just change everything.
I might create a website where people just write short sentences of random thoughts.
I know, I'll call it Twitter.
I'm going to be a millionaire.

Create A Working Closet, Part 4: Shopping

posted on: 1/13/2011


Ah, shopping. One of my favorite words. If shopping were a person, we'd be frenemies -- as I only talk to her when I either need something or I need a good therapy session. Plus, she gets mad at me because I only treat her to lunch at the food court.

I digress.

Anyways, this week in our Working Closet series is shopping. So far we've cleaned out our clothes, assessed our needs and organized our mess so we are very well prepared to go shopping. Remember when I told you to make a list in the assess section? Well get that list ready, girls and boys, we're going shopping.

1. Get your list on. Just like I mentioned before, create a closet shopping list much like you would a grocery list. Obviously, it will not be necessary to fulfill this list each week (no matter how you look at it, you won't starve without clothes) but it is necessary to know what you need for when you do go shopping. I keep my list on my phone, so that I can remember what I need versus what I want.

2. Be intentional. I know I sound a lot like Jess here, but it's true. If you are using shopping for anything other than fulfilling a need of something to wear, then you are abusing the privilege. I know this because I abuse shopping all of the time. I love it -- it's my vice. Everyone has a vice, for some it's smoking, gambling, drinking too much. For me, it's shopping. But that doesn't mean that I can't find a balance between enjoying shopping and using it to my advantage. And although I have not quite conquered this yet, I know the truth. And the truth is when you are intentional with shopping, you spend what you budgeted and you get only what you need. Be intentional. Don't make me say it again. (be intentional)

3. Shop more, not less. Wait -- what did I just say? You heard me. Shop more, not less. No, the world economy and all of the retailers in it are not paying me to say that. What I mean is this: Shopping intentionally takes time and energy. I am constantly "shopping" but I'm not spending a dime. Since I like stores like J.Crew, Loft or Gap, I have to keep an eye out for deals or sales. I rarely buy something full price at those stores. Since I live an hour away from the closest mall, creeping by every day and asking "having a sale yet?" isn't an option. Instead I keep an eye on sales by signing up for their emails and getting on their mailing list. Just this week I got 4 coupons in the mail alone and even more emails telling me about their sales. Now, if I needed something and I have money for it on my budget, this would be the time to shop. But my list has been checked off and I have no more money to spend this month. So I will by-pass these savings, as you aren't really saving money by buying it if you don't need it.

*I should also note that this really applies to shopping retail. If you prefer shopping thrift or second-hand, the best thing to do is to know when they stock their items (as this will guarantee that week's best selection) and what days they have their deals. Most thrift stores have the same deals each week (Saturday is $5 bag day at my local Salvation Army), so be sure to ask when they have their discount days.

4. Choose quality over quantity, every time. Some people ask how I can afford the items that I do and at full-price I can't sometimes. But this is something I've learned over my years as a shopper, I believe Shakespeare said it best: "tis better to by 1 really nice item you will wear a lot, than 5 really crappy items you will wear once." It took me a lot of wasted money to figure this out. I would spend $100 on 5 or 6 things that I never wore and then lust over 1 skirt at J.Crew that I would probably wear all of the time, saying I could never afford that $100 skirt. Well that was true, because I was literally throwing my money away on cheap items that I only bought because they were cheap. When you spend money on a nice piece, it is an investment. Therefore you want to treat that piece well and wear it as many times as possible. For me anyways, I have to watch what I buy and make sure that it's the quality I'm buying and not because it's on sale. I try to stick with higher quality items that I know will stand the test of time. Even if that means I can only buy 1 or 2 items that month. Here is a good rule of thumb that I use when something is on sale: "Would I buy this item at full-price?" If the answer is yes, then I have no heartburn in buying it on sale. If I waiver on it, then I put it back.

There is no magic scale of quality. My quality could be J.Crew or Gap while someone else's could be Coach or Tory Burch and someone else's could be Target and Old Navy. Or perhaps you like to only shop vintage or thrift stores. Listen here: It does not matter. Just make sure that what you buy, you understand is an investment that you are making into your closet. Therefore buy something worth wearing many times and don't waste your time or money on things that you'll never wear. (Shakespeare didn't write that one, I did.)

5. Set a budget. (This perhaps should have been the first rule. Oh well. Mix 'em up in whatever order you'd like.) Everyone's budget looks different, just make sure you have one. Maybe you can spend $100 a month on clothing or $100 every three months. Whatever your budget is make sure you know it and most importantly that you follow it.

It helps me to let my husband know each month what I can spend. Because he will call me on it every time if I try to go over. The responsible part of my brain calls this accountability, the irresponsible part of my brain calls this annoying. Either way it's good to stick to my budget. And please know that building your wardrobe does not happen with one shopping trip nor does it have a specific time tied to it. Building your wardrobe is a constant cycle of ebb and flow, so don't worry about finding a complete wardrobe in one day. That would be exhausting.

6. Whatever you buy, make sure it fits. And I don't mean on your body. Well I do -- it should fit your body, do not buy clothes too big or small that would be ridiculous. But I mean it should fit into your wardrobe immediately. If you have to buy 2-3 other pieces just to be able to wear something, then what the heck are you doing buying it? If it doesn't naturally fit in your closet, then you probably won't wear it. I've proven this fact over and over again. Who knew that all my years as a shopaholic I was just doing research for my blog to help you guys?

You are welcome.


Part One: Purge
Part Two: Assess
Part Three: Organize

Season Swap: Spring to Winter

posted on: 1/12/2011

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{Shop: Necklace, Heels}

Sometimes I can't sleep at night so I think up crazy things to do on my blog. This is one of them. I had an idea to take an outfit I wore in a past season and remix it similarly to make it work for the current season.  Let's take a stab at this, shall we? 
Season-Swap

When I bought this skirt, I was certain it would just work for the spring and summer, but look at me now wearing it in winter. I'm a wild child. This skirt that has earned it's stay in my closet. Now if only I could get her to hang herself up, then we'd be in business. 

These pictures are deceiving. It looks like spring but really we are in the bowels of winter. Oh yes, I sure did say "the bowels." Which bring me to my next point. Today is my three year anniversary with the mister. We of course started the day off by us simultaneously saying sweet things to each other. Bryan"Happy anniversary, love." me: "get out of bed." Three years of marriage and we've still got it.