Thursday, December 31, 2009

And now for something completely different...

I'm taking a break from Tracy on the Cheap today to simply be Tracy. I realized yesterday that writing about clothes and Photoshopping outfits can be viewed as pretty darn shallow. The truth is, the outfits and posts are simply a vehicle I use to more effectively express myself, both visually and verbally. I'm glad to have found a creative outlet.
Heather over at alis grave nil answered these 2009 Reflection Questions most beautifully this morning...I thought I'd give it a go as well.

1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
There is nothing more amazing than welcoming a baby into your life. It’s a joy beyond words. She’s perfect.

 2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?
See #1. Becoming a mother requires a new definition of patience. This is convenient because, along with a baby, childbirth bestowed upon me a new sense of peace, calm, and purpose. This does not change the fact that being a mom is the single most challenging thing I have ever experienced. (I took a break from typing that last sentence to say, “Don’t put that leaf in your mouth!” I rest my case.)

3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?
This little blog. Finding a creative outlet. Learning how to do something, and being pleasantly surprised with the results. Allowing myself to write incomplete sentences. Using ellipses to excess...and then some.

4. What was an unexpected obstacle?
Balancing being a mom with trying to earn a living and not falling victim to the guilt machine that is my conscious was a far larger obstacle than I had anticipated.

5. Pick three words to describe 2009.
Daughter, love, euphoric

6. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe your 2009
Baby, blog, happy

7. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe their 2009
Papa, proud, achievement

8. What were the best books you read this year?
Gone With the Wind and Middlesex. Middlesex has completely ruined any book for me in the near future. Damn that was a good book. (Don’t you like my literary critique skills?)

9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?
My husband, my daughter, my parents, my brother. Family.

10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?
Can anything change one more than motherhood? I love who I am becoming as the mother of this amazing, delightful little girl. The personal growth that accompanies my growth as a mother is a surprising and welcome change.

11. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?
I became so much stronger this year. I tolerate far less bullshit. I’m not (as) scared to let people read what I write and see what I create and open myself up for critique. I’m more centered and happy than I’ve ever been.

12. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?
My personal beliefs have become more concrete in the past year. I’ve realized that having different views, ideals, and beliefs than others doesn’t make me wrong. You know what? Anyone who makes you feel that your beliefs are in anyway beneath their own seriously needs to evaluate their own set of principals.

13. In what way(s) did you grow physically?
I’ve always been one of those people who said, “I’ll start when”. I swore I’d start working out before I graduated from college, before I got married, before I got pregnant, etc., etc. So finally I said, “I’ll start working out after I have the baby.” And you know what? I did. A-freakin-mazing.

14. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?
Relationship lessons I’ve learned in 2009:
1)When two people work equally hard towards a common goal of a joyful marriage, the results are blissful.
2) On friends...true friends choose camaraderie over competition. Friends accept you without the asterisk that someday, some way, they will change you. Friends are able to emerge out from under the umbrella of their own ego to admit when they are wrong and sincerely apologize. Ending a friendship sucks, but life’s better on the other side.

15. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?
Ye old blog and that thar Facebook.

16. What was the best way you used your time this past year?
Kissing a little head, completely lacking in hair, over and over again. Telling an itty bitty girl how much I love her, time and time again. Allowing myself to be still, happy, and content with the moment at hand.

17. What was the biggest thing you learned this past year?
Whenever someone asks my husband how he’s doing, he always says, “Fantastic!”And you know what? He means it. I’ve learned that by simply choosing to be happy, you create happiness.

18. Create a phrase or statement that describes 2009 for you.
Best year yet.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year's Eve...

This afternoon I'm going shopping for a New Year's Eve outfit...I've got a Ross gift card burning a hole in my pocket, and I'm going to spend the entire thing on stuff I don't need! (Unlike Target gift cards, which go towards diapers, diapers, and more diapers.)
Since Ross doesn't have clothes on their website, I used Forever 21 for some one stop shopping today. If I had a Forever 21 nearby, this is the outfit I'd choose to spend the evening in. I LOVE these blue love love them! And that peacock clip...classy!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Take a Memo...

When I was little, I loved playing office. My dad would bring home office supplies from the school he taught at, and I'd be in imagination heaven stamping, stapling, and hole punching. If only work was really that much fun!
If I had to dress up for work, I'd definitely be rocking some wide fishnet tights with some vintage inspired booties like these. And some funky reading glasses, even though they would just make my eyes hurt. Fashion is pain, people. Fashion is pain.
(I adore this typewriter necklace from Etsy...I've been eyeing it for quite a while now, and think I'm going to go ahead and make the purchase. And H is a special letter, indeed!)

Anyone out in blog land have any requests? I love ideas and would be just tickled to create a post for you, just leave me a comment here or on Facebook! 

The scoop:
Skirt, Forever 21
Tights, Forever 21
Tote, Forever 21
Brooch, Forever 21
Sweater, Forever 21
Capped Sleeve Shirt, Old Navy
Typewriter Key Necklace, Etsy
Oxford Booties, Payless

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Twas the night before the night before Christmas...

So the other day, after looking at a very stylish friend's photos on Facebook, I had a non-cheap moment.
"Santa", I said to myself, "This year, I would really, really like some nice jeans. Perhaps some jeans that I don't have to order sight unseen off eBay. Perhaps some jeans that don't have tattered hems and are just a teensy bit too short. Perhaps some jeans like this:

Or maybe this:

With this uncharacteristic, non cheap thought dancing in my head, I went out Christmas shopping with my mom. After a successful trip to Big Lots (Have you been to Big Lots? Oh how I love a great trip to Big Lots!) we popped over to the American Cancer Society Discovery Shop. The Discovery Shop is a great little thrift store that always has a good deal or two (plus it's staffed by incredibly cute and helpful volunteers who you just want to make your Grandma). With the thought of nice jeans still with me, I walked over to the "finer things" rack. And what to my wondering eyes should appear, but five pairs of designer jeans in my (almost) size!
This is about the point in any good story where we get to the antagonist, the villain if you will. We will call her Skinny Butt Mother* (or SBM for short). When I hold a particular pair of pants up and ask if they look like they will fit me, SBM says, "They look like they will fit ME!" She promplty takes all five pairs to the dressing room, from whence she declares, "They all fit!".
Then I enter, try on the jeans, (which fit ok, but will fit great very soon, damnit). I ask SBM if one pair looks ok, and she says "They look a little tight across the middle of your butt". (What are mothers for, if not complete honesty?) In the end, I ended up with two pairs, and she ended up with two pairs, and we were both happy. She even offered to keep the pants I bought until they fit me better. Isn't she the best?
So what did I get, you may be wondering. Well here ya go:

(Yes, that is my carpet. Isn't it awesome? Mint green is coming back into style someday, and when that day comes, won't we be trendy.)

And my best find of the year, the coupe de grace of cheapness...

$18 for hardly worn designer jeans that would cost $198 new? I'm a happy girl.

*You may can I say such things about my mother? Well, I'm pretty darn sure she can't figure out how to comment on my blog, so I feel secure. Yes mom, that's a challenge. Love ya!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It's My Party...

Forever and a day ago Liz said, "How about an outfit for a company party? This year will be my first one and I have no idea what to wear!"
First, Liz, I'm so sorry it has taken me this long to put this post together. Here's to hoping it's a between the Holiday's party, eh?
(Stay tuned for tomorrow's post...the deal of the century, a veritable Christmas Miracle!)

The scoop...everything comes from Forever 21 today!
Hair Comb
Sequin Wedges
Mesh Tights
Basic Tank
Beaded Cardigan
Tu Tu Mesh Skirt

Monday, December 21, 2009

Oh black sequin mini, how I love thee...

My 80th post! Boo ya!
So I'm not a big follower of trends, but I'm totally lusting after a black sequin mini skirt. New Year's Eve is the only occasion I can think of where I might actually have the opportunity to wear it, but I still want one nonetheless. So in my shopping for said black sequin skirt, I came upon the following...

This Sequin Skirt doesn't look all that special, does it? Appears to be just like the $12 ones I've spotted in TJ Maxx...except that this one costs $370.37. Really? I'm pretty sure that the sequin skirt is not destined to become a wardrobe staple along the lines of jeans and white button down shirts. I'm farely certain that, by this time next year, the sequin skirt will be as out of style as shoulder pads and fanny packs.

So this BCBGeneration Cheap Mini seems a bargain at $29. (Marked down from $58!).
Yet I'll still probably end up with the $12 TJ Maxx version. Why? Because I'm cheap like that.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Target One Stop Shopping!

Hello blogging world! It's been quite a while, I know.
Today it's all about Target. Have you noticed that I rarely use clothes from Target in my posts? That's because all the stuff on is shown on models...and it's darn hard to Photoshop models out of clothes. I had to hunt for stuff that flowed together just the right way...luckily it matched! (So if you're some Photoshop whiz, please don't make fun of my lack of skillz...)

The scoop:
Brass Big Brass Band Bracelet
Red Wedges
Green Jacket
Multi Strand Necklace
Beaded Wristlet
Trouser Jeans
Ruffle Top

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Hot Cocoa Time!

I've never been skiing, but I can safely bet I would not be good at it (severely lacking in the coordination department here). What I would be good at is drinking hot cocoa by the fire in a lodge while everyone else went out and got wet and cold. My kind of winter day. I'd throw a good book in that cool mustard tote, slip on those blue slippers, and curl up for a good, long read.
Sorry for the intermittent posting lately...crawling babies (who also climb stairs!) are just a whole bunch of work fun!

The goods:
Wooly Plaid Scarf, Forever 21
Lobster Front Hook Tote, Forever 21
Flirt Trouser Jeans, Old Navy
Cable Knit Hoodie, Old Navy
Racerbank Tank, Charlotte Russe
Cable Knit Boot Slippers, Charlotte Russe

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Seriously Walmart?

When I decided to use Walmart for my one stop shopping today, I fully expected to be able to keep everything under $100. Actually, I was shooting for $50. You know what I discovered? Walmart's whack. I'm certain I could walk in to any Walmart in America and leave with an outfit for less than $50...but not on Sure, I found a $20 dress, but that was it. Where are my standby fake diamond earrings? Where are the cheap purses and $10 shoes? Nowhere to be found.
You know what they do have? $250 shoes. You know what, Walmart? If I'm going to spend 250 bucks on shoes, it certainly isn't going to be on Heck, I don't even want to spend $46 on shoes, but the pickings were pretty slim. What up, Walmart? Think you're Macy's or something?

The overpriced goods:
Chiffon Party Dress
Black Satin Shoes
Satin Clutch
Black and White Diamond Earrings

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cheap Holiday Cheer

Lauren of the little things we do (uber cute blog alert!) said, "My suggestion is how to look chic/warm. It's freezing here! Layers are a necessity, but most sweaters are bulky and unflattering so I avoid them at all costs. Ugh! Plus, most anything with ribbing is awful on me. I would love suggestions for how to bundle up and not look like I'm headed for the North Pole."
I hear ya, Lauren. I actually kinda  miss working in an office this time of year, because I loved layering up my work clothes in fun ways. Tights, sweaters, skirts, and boots were my corporate uniform from November to February. With some creative layering, I managed to wear my funky skirt collection year round!
I thought I'd make today's post a little more fun by throwing in some holiday cheer. (I've managed to resist the black, red and white urge for a quite a spell!) I think the key to not looking too bundled up is light layers (like the collared shirt and cardigan) and a bright colored coat with a belt to cinch it all in. Hope you like it, Lauren!

The scoop:
Cashmere Gloves, Target
Beret, Target
Erika Felt Coat, Forever 21
Belted Skirt, Forever 21
Shimmer Tights, Forever 21
Glitter Belt, Forever 21
Ruffle Cardigan, Old Navy
Cap Sleeve Top, Old Navy
Tara Tall Shaft Boot, Payless

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Goodwill to All!

My annual Black Friday trip to Goodwill was a great success! I walked out with $60 worth of half price merchandise (including a 100% silk shirt with the $99.50 price tag still attached!). I decided to include a few things I bought in my posts this week, starting with this Target shirt dress. I loved this dress when it was in the stores a while back, but not enough to spend $35. Three bucks at Goodwill? I'll take it! Since it's a summer dress, and I want to wear it, like, NOW, I'm layering it over a turtle neck and wearing a cardigan. For some reason, the layered look is a lot easier to pull off in real life than it is in Photoshop. Thus the kind of mis-matched, old lady look above. Trust me, it's much cuter in person!

The goods:
Merona Shirt Dress, Thrifted
Turtle Neck, Arden B
Toggle Cardigan, Forever 21
Hobo Tote, Old Navy
Gilded Goldfinch Necklace, Modcloth
Buckle Your Bootstraps Boots, Ruche


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