31 January 2011

To Say Hello and Goodbye

Today's post is all about Hellos and Goodbyes.


Goodbye to 5+ inches of my hair!
Hello to a cute new 'do!


Goodbye to 95% of my closet for the next 30 something days.
Hello to another 30 for 30 challenge and lots of new bloggy friends!

Hello and Goodbye
Ruffled T Shirt; Red Cashmere V-Neck (similar)
Black Polka Dot Skirt (similar); polka dot flats
Skinny Red Belt; Black Tights

I've got a confession to make.  I'm a LOT more nervous about my second 30 for 30 challenge than I was about my first challenge.  Maybe it's because I know what I'm about to embark on or maybe it's because I'm still not 100% certain what pieces I'm bringing along for the ride.  No matter the reasons I've got some butterflies in my stomach and I'm wondering what this whole challenge holds for me!  But, I'm putting on my big girl pants (I've definitely included those in my 30 items) and I'm psyching myself up for some out of this world mixing and re-mixing.

Any advice from you seasoned challenge vets?
Any butterflies for you challenge newbies?
Any "ARE YOU CRAZY?"s from those of you not participating?

28 January 2011

Whatcha Whatcha Watcha Want?

Happy Friday!
Today I'm in the mood to celebrate and I'm looking to you for some assistance.

Lately I've noticed lots of little things that make me want to throw a little bloggy party.
1. Yesterday was the four month anniversary of Leaving the House in THIS?!?
That's like a 1/3 birthday, right? Cause to Celebrate.
2. I'm inching closer and closer toward my 100th post. Cause to Celebrate.
3. Leaving the House in THIS?!? just passed 100 followers. Cause to Celebrate.
4. This blog has opened my eyes (and my google & bloglovin' readers) to so many amazing new blogs!   So many of which I've fallen in love.  I'm talking head over heels.  Take this pretty girl for instance.  Or this fabulous fashionista.  And don't forget this lovely lady. Cause to Celebrate.
5. Comments like this one, "gosh, you look wonderful," just plain make my day. I mean how can you not love that?  Cause to Celebrate.


For those reasons and many, many more I've decided to host a giveaway!
And since it is YOU, the beautiful and faithful readers here, who have provided all those "causes to celebrate," I want your input.
I've come up with a couple ideas but I'd like YOU to make the final decision.

Option 1: CSN has generously offered to provide some shopping stimulus
Option 2: A 1 Year Subscription to InStyle (my go-to fashion bible)
Option 3: A pretty piece of jewelry from one of my favorite Etsy stores

I've put a little poll up on the sidebar and I'd love for you to chime in with your opinion.
I'll leave the poll open for a few days and then announce the giveaway in my 100th post.
Thanks a bajillion (in advance) for your input!!
Hope your weekend is full of celebration.

Thank you for all of your votes!
The decision has been made and will be announced in my 100th post.

27 January 2011

To Try To Do Some Shopping

With the next 30 for 30* challenge just around the corner, I decided to do a little bit of shopping today.
I wasn't planning to go crazy; I just wanted to find that perfect little mixable dress to add to my items.

Trying to Shop

But try as I might I could not spend my money today.
It was one of those days where I was prepared to shop and so I couldn't find ANYTHING.


It was nothing like most days, where our budget is telling me, "no, no, no you really shouldn't shop," and then everything I see I want to buy.


My unsuccessful trip means I'll be headed into the challenge without a new version of that perfect little mixable dress.  Boo.

Blue Dress: Kimchi Blue (similar)
Striped Top:Thrifted (similar)
Grey Tights; Blue Print Scarf (similar)

UNLESS, I find something on the interwebs in the next few days...

I'm curious, am I the only one more tempted by forbidden fruit?
Do you ever find yourself financially prepared to shop but unable to find ONE thing worth bringing home?

*If the 30 for 30 concept is new to you, please check out Kendi Everyday for more information and join in the fun!  If you need further inspiration you should check out my first 30 for 30 adventure HERE.

26 January 2011

To Stumble into an Ah-Ha Moment

This outfit was born way back in November when I saw Sydney of The Daybook fame post this little ditty.
I've tried it a couple times before and failed miserably.  I hated the look on me and hated the pictures even more.
But today, I was determined.  I intended to photograph and post the look.
Come hell or high water...


And then it started raining. Cats and dogs. COLD rain.
I got dressed and was feeling icky, so I changed jeans. Twice
I looked for every excuse not to go out and take photos.
Did I mention the COLD rain?


But I was determined.  I drove around for a few minutes to locate the perfect covered outdoor location. 
When I finally found it, I paid the meter and set up the tripod.
I readjusted the outfit, set the timer prepared to get this done and the camera flashed a horrid message.
This mean little message meant, I had to go back home to retrieve the memory card in order to take any photos.
Hmmmm, this seemed like an excuse to give up.  But, NO, I was determined.


I got back in the car and began to create a list of the positive things that I had going for me at the moment.
*I had no place to be this afternoon so I had time to go home
*I wasn't very far from home so it wouldn't take me that long to pick up the card
*The drive would give me a chance to finish the great podcast I was listening to
*etc. etc.
Is this reaction sounding a little too Pollyanna to you?

I guess I should explain that several years ago I started praying for patience.  The thing is you don't just wake up one day and poof you're patient. Patience (for someone with a short fuse like I have) is something that develops as a result of surviving trying circumstances.    

The trouble is, really trying circumstances are not something that a person lacking patience is equipped to handle very well. See the conundrum here?  I promise it's been a tough couple of years.

But today I discovered a silver lining.

Several years ago, circumstances (just annoying not super TRYING) like I faced today would have sent me into a rage.  I would have boiled over in frustration cursing, spitting throwing a temper tantrum that could make a 2 year old blush.  But today, I started making a list of positives in the situation instead.

Answered Prayer.
I've begun to develop and embody patience.  Sure it's still a miniature sized portion, but I've got some!
You guys, that is kind of a huge gift.

Ah-Ha Moment
Brown Woven Belt: Thrifted (similar)
Brown Crewneck Oversized Sweater: Hand Me Down (similar)
Light Blue Pashmina: Gifted (similar); Striped Top: Thrifted (similar)

As I drove home with a memory card full of pictures of an outfit I'm still not totally sold on, I added that gift to my list of positives.
Now it's your turn... any Ah-Ha moments so far this week?

Join in the fashionable fun over at Of Such is the Kingdom. Today is Fashion Wednesday #3!!

25 January 2011

To See the World in Technicolor

After all my whining yesterday how's this for a colorful combination?


My technicolor outfit was inspired by the gorgeous weather!

Well, "gorgeous" is probably an exaggeration.
But 43 degrees and sunny felt like the middle of summer after the chilly weather we've had lately.

I was so excited, I brought out my NEW SHOES!


Blue Plaid Shirt: thrifted (similar)
Green Skirt: J. Crew thrifted with the tags STILL ON
Yellow Sweater: BDG (super similar); Grey Tights

Alright, so is anyone else watching the Bachelor this season?
Because seriously... does this show just keep getting better and better or is it just me? Where do they find the whack-a-doos women to compete on this show?  {I'm definitely excluding Emily. Emily I love. I want to carve Emily + Brad on the tree in our backyard and put a big heart around it.} This show is so incredibly bad it's good.  Please, judge me if you must. But, I am giant sized fan of The Bachelor.

C'mon. Group confession is good for the soul...
Will you accept this rose and admit you watch The Bachelor?

24 January 2011

To See the World in Black and White

I've mentioned the dress code at my retail job before.  But, in case you missed it, we're required to wear black and white.  You know what those kinds of restrictions can do to one's creativity?
I've been seeing the world like this a couple of days per week.

Soooooo, since I couldn't play with color yesterday, I messed around with texture.


This white eyelet shirt is not one I would typically wear in the dead of winter... but I was desperate for a bit of visual interest. Still not satisfied, I added the cute new bracelet my super stylish godmother gifted me for Christmas.


Then I pulled out the big guns and topped the whole thing off with this cable knit newsboy.

Black and White
Black Sweater; White Eyelet Top: NY& Co a million Years ago (not so similar)
Black Polka Dot Skirt: Homemade; Wine Sweater Tights

All in all I wasn't totally disappointed with how it turned out. But I owe my life to those wine tights.

Be prepared, tomorrow I'm bringing some color.

21 January 2011

To Wait for the Sun

Has anybody seen the freakin' sun?

Waiting for the Sun

It has been soooooo gray and gloomy around here!!


I don't mind the chill.  In fact I enjoy getting to wear winter clothes.


But the gray skies are getting kind of old.
This abundance of gloomy weather makes my smile all fake.
{see example above}

Black Boots (similar); Black Blouse (similar)
Tweed Jumper Gap circa 2007; Blue Tights
Scarf Vintage

Dear Mr. Sunshine,
Would you please come back?
And with a quickness?

Sick of Gloomy Gray

**UPDATE: Apparently I have a direct line of communication to Mr. Sunshine because he is out and about around here today!  (I wrote this post last night before going to bed) WOO HOO.  If you are needing specific weather conditions for an event in the future, please let me know and I'll put in an order.**

Any fun weekend plans?

20 January 2011

To Try to Rediscover My Groove

Has anyone else noticed that it's the middle of January?

Extended Vacation

I mean, I can see it on the calendar but my mind and body are super confused.
They seem to still have a Christmas break hangover.


And that week long snow break did me no favors.
I can't get back into my regular schedule.  I just cannot get back in my groove.


The housework stuff is difficult enough, but it's even worse at the gym.  I'm a sweaty, breathless mess with absolutely no stamina.  This is a huge problem since I'm teaching classes!  It's a little bit embarrassing when the instructor is sucking wind harder than any of the "new year's resolutioners."  When oh when will I be back in pre-Christmas shape?

Strappy Boots (similar)

Can someone please explain to me why it takes months to get into shape but a week off sends you back to square one?

19 January 2011

Closet Challenge: Purple Skirt

A few weeks ago one of my friends left the following comment on this here blog: "I am looking forward to you coming over and telling me how to wear all these random pieces in my own closet! Help!"

That comment got me thinking (actually that comment and a very brilliant suggestion from Lexi). Why not start a semi-regular segment where real world friends and bloggy friends submit "difficult" pieces of clothing? I’ll then accept the challenge and figure out how to style each piece. Fun right? Right. So here we go.

For the pilot closet challenge episode, I decided to go back to the inspiration herself.  I asked Olivia of Of Such is the Kingdom if she really did have any problem pieces to submit.  She quickly responded, "My purple skirt. I bought it for $2.50 at Ann Taylor Loft--it's a size too big, so it sits on my hips, but I can't figure out how to wear it or what to wear it with?"

Here is said "Low on the Hips Sitting Purple Skirt"

These are the looks that I've come up with for Miss Olivia:

A Night on the Town

I feel like this purple skirt would work perfectly with an ultra feminine floral blouse.  She mentioned that it might be a little big, so I wonder if using the silver chain belt to give it a paper bag type waistband might work? However, if that looks too bunchy, and it must be worn at the hips than the blouse can be untucked and belted at her natural waist for a more flattering and current silhouette.
The tailored black leather jacket is cut a bit longer just in case we're going with the "skirt at the hips" scenario.  It also counteracts the ultra girlyness of the blouse, skirt and stockings with a little bit of an edge.

A Day at the Museum
Knowing Miss Olivia the way I do, I had to give her another option for that purple skirt.  She's an uber fun and creative Mommy who is always taking her adorable brood on adventures around our fair city.  Here's a look that's a bit more casual and probably a more comfortable for a day at the Creative Discovery Museum or perhaps a mandatory stop at the playground.  The ballet slipper inspired flats reminded me of Olivia the moment I saw them and I know those green accessories will just pop against her beautiful eyes and blond hair.  Plus who doesn't want to wear a pink rose cocktail ring?
(I snuck a denim jacket in there for you, Olivia)

You really should stop by and say "hello" to Miss Olivia today.  Every Wednesday she hosts a Fashion Wednesday Link Up at her blog Of Such is the Kingdom.  Stop by and show off your style!
Do you have an item in your closet that absolutely challenges you?
Drop me a line and we'll feature your item on a future Closet Challenge!