Monday, February 28, 2011


WTH.  I am sadly disappointed with this year's Academy Awards.  There were so many thing that I felt were either too boring or disappointing that I don't even know what to say.

First off, the fashion was HORRENDOUSLY disappointing.  I seriously am hard-pressed to find a favorite.  In fact, I find all of the fashion so lacking that I will only include one picture and it is not one that I thought I would include at the beginning of the night...

I know, I know.  Some people called it a Baywatch replica, but I loved this dress and I loved Jennifer Lawrence in it.  She was so fantastic in Winter's Bone and managed to hit it out of the park on this one as well.  Yes, it is simple.  But she is banging and manages to look both youthful and sexy all at the same time.  There are other dresses that I liked, but no one else managed to do the trifecta of hair, make-up, and dress all right except Jennifer Lawrence.  Her make-up is FLAWLESS and the hair is a perfect compliment to the dress.  Well done, Jennifer.  I don't care what anyone else has to say.  

I liked Natalie Portman, but I hated her earrings, or earring.  And her hair: terrible. 

Reese Witherspoon looked like Oscar Barbie in a pale comparison of the winning Julia Roberts' dress.

Jennifer Hudson's boobs were a train wreck that I COULD NOT LOOK AWAY FROM.

Melissa Leo tried too hard, just like she tried too hard with her "for your consideration" photos.

Michelle Williams looked like a human icicle. 

Amy Adams rocked a great dress, but bad hair and a TERRIBLE necklace choice. 

I liked Gywneth.  I did.  She was dripping in metal, but there was something about the waistline that was discomforting.

And I want nothing to do with so many more.  

Let's also discuss how stoned James Franco was and how he seemed like he didn't care AT ALL about what was happening.  And how Anne Hathaway tried so hard to compensate for that; it's like she was a thirteen year old girl who had never seen a celebrity before, not to mention read a cue card.  Her fake laughs (maybe real??) were grating by the end of the telecast.

Like I said on Facebook, the most surprising moment of the night was Billy Crystal's face lift.  I will never be the same now that I know a male comedian who was never known for his looks has, too, fallen to the Hollywood regime.  

With that said, I love Colin Firth and the boy with the afro who won for Live Action Short Film.

What did you guys think?  Do you agree or disagree with my gruffness?     

Friday, February 25, 2011


Guess what weekend it is?!  OSCAR WEEKEND!  This may just be my most favorite weekend ever.  I love it all: the great dresses, the bad dresses, the speeches, the surprises, and the not-so-surprises.  I eat it up.  All of it.

If I had one wish it would be that they happen on Saturday and not Sunday because Monday morning comes rilllll quick when you've bathed in champagne the night before.

Do you guys have plans?  I'm in prep mode all weekend.  I'm going to see 127 Hours tonight (wish me luck!!).  Grocery shopping on Saturday -- Dominicks, please get ready for me to raid your champagne stock.  I'm planning on making hot spinach dip and brownies (er, not together).  Plus other goodies like hummus and veggies, pizza, and goldfish.  I don't mess around.

Do you guys love the Oscars like I do, or could you care less?

I will definitely have some sort of post-Oscars wrap up, but it may not be on Monday due to the aforementioned extravaganza.

photo via abby try again  

Thursday, February 24, 2011

This Will Always Make Me Cry.

 Ellie: Can I hold your hand?
Carl: No.
Ellie: But why?
Carl: Because it’ll hurt when you let go.

via i am a map waiting to be navigated

A Missed Connection.

Why, oh why are you sold out?  I need you in my life. 

(Please don't mention this to my other weekenders.  thankyou.)

Whoa, Domesticity!

Newsflash:  I am not flush with the cash.

Newsflash II:  Healthy eating is the new black.

My attempt to conquer both newsflash items above is in full swing.  How funny that these two seem to go hand in hand?  My love of french fries will never be quelled, but I'm doing what I can to become the domestic goddess of my dreams.  And this fabo blog has been the anecdote to my laziness.  I've already made two recipes, including a soup from scratch -- that I proceeded to eat for lunch every day this week.  Someone should be bowled over by this because it is certainly not "the norm" for this lil' girl!  A soup from scratch?  Never!

"Well, hello, chicken stock.  It's very nice to meet you!" 

Not only does Gina make things that are simple enough for my brain to digest, but they are fun AND delicious AND low fat.

The thing that's really nice about getting the ball rolling is that it only inspires you to do more.  Things like, well, maybe I could steam some broccoli and add that to my dinner!  Sadly, this is never anything I wanted to do before.  What can I say?  I'm the baby of the family.  (That's my excuse.)

And while I'm eating my healthy potato (re: cauliflower) soup at lunch it's saving me the ten bucks I would've spent elsewhere!  Two birds.  I tell ya, I got the smarts from somewhere.

I realize I am late to this game and y'all probably have beaucoup knowledge about this thing you call cooking, so I thought I'd ask...

Where do you go for inspiration?  What do you do for cheap, easy meals?  (Please note [if you haven't already] that I am as green as green can be and things like Smitten Kitchen, though incredibly lovely, kinda scare me to pieces.)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Color Lust.

First of all, I love this color combination.  In fact, I have my own version of it that was kind of a color fail on my part.  My down coat that I've lived in every day this winter is blue because I was sick of the ubiquitous black, and I wanted some mustard gloves to go along with it.  Unfortunately the gloves I got turned out to be more of a marigold.  Not exxxaccctly what I was going for, but I'm too cheap to try again.  Sooo I am officially now walking around wearing my high school colors every day -- I never had school spirit in high school, maybe I'm making up for it now (though I do cringe whenever I think about it).  Oh well, I was close to having The Sartorialist's newly noticed color scheme (or color story, as he calls it).  I was THINKING it!!

I'd also like to discuss the heeled duck boots...  Whoa!  I've never seen anything like them and I'm totally smitten.  It's nothing I would wear myself, but I recognize the hawtness happening and tip my hat to this lovely lady.  I tip my hat.

Do you guys have other fashion choices that you can respect from afar, but would never attempt yourself?  And what do you think of the deep teal and mustard combo?  I'm la la loving it!

photo via The Sartorialist  

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Outfit Tuesdays: Off to the Office.

Off to the Office. by justagirlandherstuff on

I thought I'd throw something a little classier in the mix because I feel like I've been so casual lately. 
I am obsessed with that bag and that cape.

That's all. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Red, White, and Blue Forever.

$23 and this nautical beauty could be yours.

Walking a fine line.

Warning:  Blogger-heavy post ahead.

I've been a bad blogger lately.

I haven't supported the community; I've dropped off.  It's almost as if I'm in the witness protection program.  I know that I garner some of my biggest support from fellow bloggers, but sometimes I can't bring myself to read all those blogs.  Don't get me wrong, they are GREAT!  All of them.  I am so thankful and grateful for their/your support and I am so grateful and thankful for their/your inspiration... I just hit a blogging wall every once in a while.

I'm not sure my thoughts are making it to the page correctly, but I thought I'd give it a stab because it's been bugging me.  I am in a blogging slump.  Do you guys notice?  I never know if you can tell when I'm struggling on the blogging front, but I thought it might be best to throw it all out into the ether.  Trying to find the right balance between "real life" and blogging is something I continually struggle with -- I don't think I'm going out on a limb by assuming you all have your own similar struggle, even if it isn't blogging.

Plus, sometimes I feel so overwhelmed by all that is out there; there is so much happening and I can't help but wonder what little me has to offer in all the greatness.  When this happens I know I need to take a breather and remember why I started my blog in the first place, but it unfortunately results in some less than stellar blog posts and little to no support for my community.    

All of this is to say that I recognize that I've been MIA (eee gad, that rhymes) and hope to remedy that soon.  Like I said, I don't want anyone to think that I don't appreciate nor reciprocate the support I receive here.  Sometimes life takes over and it's easy to get off track, but I'm hoping to figure out the right balance and be back in fighting shape asap.

And, most of all... Thank you for sticking around during the blah!

via we keep our hearts up     

Friday, February 18, 2011


This is sort of my constant weekend motto.  I can't wait to live it out tomorrow and the next day.

Well, I'm actually hoping to get a couple of Oscar Best Picture noms out of the way -- I have three left!  And I'm gonna play hearts (the card game) on Saturday.  I'm pretty pumped about that.  We'll see how it goes because I refuse to play with my family anymore -- I always end up frustrated and annoyed when I play with them.  Let's hope I don't feel that way with my friends.  Eep!

What are you guys up to this weekend?

via pinterest

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Nothing.

I have nothing today.  It's almost as if The Nothing has taken over. 

Let's just hope my horse doesn't sink into the Swamp of Sadness.  I'm STILL not over that.

(You know, from The NeverEnding Story.  If you don't, get your ass to a movie store stat.  I personally own this piece of cinema greatness, but let's not mention that I own because I basically stole it from a guy I did a show with years ago.  I didn't know I wouldn't ever see him again!  Hey, I lost my Lost in Translation in a very similar situation, so I'm gonna say I'm tit for tat on that one.)

photo via ALXMAC (Is that a reference to Alec Mack? The awesome tv show?)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chelsea Crew.

I would like all of the shoes above, please.

I'm impressed with Chelsea Crew and so is whoever wrote their press release (or whatever you'd call it):  "The Chelsea Crew girl, is someone who is fun, independent, spontaneous and has a special appreciation for fashion - so every shoe they make is equipped to proved what such a girl needs: impeccable style, extreme comfort, and a fun twist for individuality."

See what I mean?  Things like that always make me laugh, but I guess you have to go there if you're planning to design for specific people.  It all just seems so contrived to me. 

But heck, I'd be a Chelsea Crew girl if it means I can wear those shoes.

Figure Eight.

I wear a scarf almost daily.  In fact, yes, it's a daily part of my wardrobe.  (When you live in Chicago scarves become a necessity, not just an accessory.)  I have so many scarves that my sister said my closet looked like Stephen Tyler's -- before his American Idol stint nonetheless.

All of this to say that I have never tied my scarf this way, and I like it.  I've gotten half way there, but never the full figure eight; I am happy for the tutorial.  I thought you might be, too. 

Even if it's supposed to be 50 degrees on Wednesday (HELL YEAH).

found here, original here.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Grey Chesterfield.

I want.

Outfit Tuesdays: Comfortable Mustard.

Comfortable Mustard.

Comfortable Mustard. by justagirlandherstuff on

I'm partial to a good denim shirt; chambray gets me every time.  It has to be a good cut that isn't bulky and the chambray soft enough to conform,  but then you're good to go.  It's casual yet interesting and the perfect companion to a bold pair of pants.  

And, coral and mustard should hang out more often.   

Monday, February 14, 2011

True love.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's, my dears!!  On this day I thought I would share some expensive, way out of my price range, never gonna happen rings from Barneys.  Sometimes it's just fun to window shop and dream, right?  And if you have the cash flow to make these your own, well, more power to you!

Plus, a little link love from the interwebs:

Go here for some adorable NPR Valentines.  Thanks to Katie for showing me the way.

BHLDN (pronounced "Beholden") is live.  What do you guys think?  Er, I'm a little disappointed, maybe more than a little. (Btw, they play music automatically when the site opens -- a personal pet peeve of mine.)

Sweet and beautiful treats for you to make; no one does it better than Bakerella.  

And the perfect red dress that isn't trying too hard, with the sweetest peter pan collar to boot. 

Friday, February 11, 2011


The week is so much longer when you don't have a snow day in the middle of it, right?!  Although, I was supah busy at work so that always makes the day go by faster.  Such a double-edged sword, that Supah Busy Work Day.  One hand -- thank you for the time suck.  Other hand -- lay off! 

I have a Valentine's Sexy Sock Party this weekend.  Yeah, you're jealous.  Er, guess I need to find me some sexy socks.  I may just wear my Christmas socks to be funny.  We'll see. 

What are you guys up to?  Tell me all your Valentine's dirty secrets.  I'm listening...

By the way, thanks for the positive response on my Shades of Grey post.  It's always a bit nerve-wracking to rant and rave about something that I a) feel strongly about b) worry I can't articulate well and I got a really positive response.  Thanks, friends. 

I guess there is no better time than the present to seriously, really thank you ALL for showing up, reading, commenting, and just being the part of this thing that makes it go round.  I literally could not do it without you and I am ever so grateful for your willing participation.

I want to give you all a really big hug.

This photo has nothing to do with the post other than I've been obsessed with it since I first saw it.   

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Inexpensive art.

Thanks for the great idea, Apartment Therapy.  I never know what to do with the wide expanse of a blank wall and I think these painted ceiling medallions would be a perfect solution.  I'm especially drawn to those creamy yellows, and I don't even like yellow.  Round it all out with that delightful small tulip table and I'm smitten. 

You can find cheap ceiling medallions at Michael's or Hobby Lobby and hit them up with paint, if you are so inclined.  I can't imagine hanging them should be much of a problem, since they're meant to be on the ceiling; I'm sure they're not too heavy.  Voila!  You have yourself some inexpensive DIY art for your big, blank wall. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Shoes can make the outfit.

What a killer outfit!  I'm obsessed with those shoes.  And the combination with the jeggings and that sweater -- it's just perfect.

I love her blog, Blushing Ambition, and devoured a ton of her pictures last night.  She definitely knows what's what. 

And Annabele is such a sweet name.

Shades of Grey.

I stopped on Oprah the other day because she was interviewing past Oscar winners; I told you, I'm obsessed with award shows.  Well, I barely watched any of it, but what I did see was Holly Hunter answer a question about what she would say to a young version of herself.  She talked about how everything is much more a shade of grey and not as black and white as when she was younger.  This struck me and I can't get it out of my mind.

I spent a large part of my life trying to make people happy.  Don't get me wrong, I still have major people pleasing tendencies, but I've worked very hard to develop an opinion of my own and to stand by it (starting a blog helps with that sort of thing -- it forces you to document your opinion for others to see!).  After spending so much time trying to make other people happy rather than myself I think I got a little caught up.  I think I had a bit of an adrenaline high of stating opinions, or even having an opinion, and defined myself and those around me a little too drastically.

It's important to remember that life is filled with shades of grey, at least it's important for me and I hope so for you, too.  It's easy to decide something is wrong or right, it isn't easy to understand a point of view that isn't yours or support a friend that's making a decision you don't approve of.  But being non-judgmental makes life easier.  And better.  We all lead very different lives and we all come from very different places and it's important to remember that my way is not the right way.

Life is too short to let judgment affect our decisions.

I'd like to go forward and remember that not everything is as it seems.  And that we all have some form of hurt inside us that helps to inform our decisions.  It is better to be kind than to be right.  This I need to remember.

photo via flickr   

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cream + Sweet Potato.

I never thought I would be so charmed by someone naming a color sweet potato.  But I am.  Charmed.

This lovely tote would be a lovely addition to any wardrobe.  Including yours!

Outfit Tuesdays: Tough Ballerina.

Tough Ballerina.

Tough Ballerina. by justagirlandherstuff on

I love this outfit.  Sometimes I don't really love the outfits that I put together, but this one I love.  It's casual and fashion forward and comfortable and daring.  At least I think so.  

I was a little nervous about the bow around the waist of the skirt combined with the slouchiness of the grey sweatshirt, but I've come around.  And it's not just because it was the only skirt I could find that was like it.  I think it adds the right amount of tweeness to the outfit.  

And I'm really digging the maroon tights.      

Monday, February 7, 2011


This is too cute for words.

via pinterest

Oh, how I love thee.

Colin Firth could be giving Jon Hamm a run for his money.  Bold statement, I know.  I've been a major fan since Bridget Jones or Love Actually, but this recent run through the awards season has solidified it.  He is just so charming and polite and British: I love him.

Like I said earlier, his work in The King's Speech is Oscar-worthy and I know we'll all be watching his speech on February 27th, but I've been eating up all of his speeches along the way.  He is self-deprecating only so much to be funny and not uncomfortable, and he ALWAYS manages to say the sweetest things about his wife.  He is respectful and talented.  I'm sold.  (Do you see a pattern here?)

He's on Inside the Actor's Studio tonight and I've had it ready to tape on my DVR for quite some time; I told you I was obsessed.

But I also spent a lot of time watching the Newsweek Oscar Roundtable recently.  Uhhhh, how have I missed this EVERY year past?!?  I am nauseated by my lack of knowledge of this certain tradition, but now that I've found it I will never let go.  If you have as much time time to kill as I do, please watch Colin and Annette Benning, Nicole Kidman, James Franco, Natalie Portman, and Michelle Williams all sit around a table and talk stuff.  This is the shit I live for!  Colin BY FAR takes the cake as the one you want to spend your time with and all others pale in comparison.

(Also: If you ever want to have endlessly long conversations about celebrities and acting and the politics of award shoes... I'm your gal!!)  

photo via pinterest

Friday, February 4, 2011


Hey, Friday!  You kinda popped up on me.  That sneaky snow day threw me for a loop, but I'llllll take it!  What are you guys up to this weekend?

I know a great girlfriend of mine is gonna have some birthday fun... Lauren, I'm talking to you.  If I could bring you a large bundle of balloons (and be on a beach!) I totally would!  But perhaps not look so downtrodden.  I hope you have a happy happy birthday, friend!

Since I won't be in hotlanta to celebrate with her, I'm gonna figure out my own thing to do.  Maybe I'll walk towards the lake to see what kind of snow damage is out there.  Maybe I'll get my eyebrows waxed.  Maybe I'll count down the minutes until Glee comes back on Sunday.  What I do know is that I'm keeping my eyes on the prize that is brunch with friends on Sunday.  Mmmm, brunch.

I hope all of you have a fabulous weekend and stay warm, dry, safe, or whatever it may be.  See you on Monday!

photo via pinterest

World Cancer Day.

Did you know that today is World Cancer Day?  Well, it is.  A talented friend of mine works for Stand Up To Cancer and I want to help her out.  Do you want to help her out?  DO you?

In honor of World Cancer Day, Stand Up To Cancer will be running a powerful grassroots campaign to "take over" Facebook and raise awareness. To make a global impact we are calling on all Facebook users to share their connection to cancer in their status message.    

Participation is quick and easy! Visit and fill in your connection to cancer (e.g. "my mother," "my sister," "John Taylor").  If you are personally in the fight, we suggest you enter the message: "I stand for the end of cancer."  The page will automatically create your World Cancer Day Facebook status for you and post it for all of your Facebook friends to see.

Doesn't that sound easy enough?  I think so.  I don't know anyone that hasn't been affected by cancer in one way or another and this is a simple way to raise them up.  

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Neutrals in action.

 Well, hello there, lovely lady.  I like when I see ideas in my head already out there in the world.  I'm digging this combo of neutrals, if you can call olive a neutral.  And isn't that bag incredible?  

Cross your heart.

My Etsy Taste Test sent this lil puppy my way.  I have no idea what I would do with this vintage galvanized bucket (or where I would put it), but my heart flutters a bit when I see it. 

And for $17 I think it would be a wonderful gift for someone to give me.  Don't you?

Livingston and Porter has some other pretty great items for sale.  I'm partial to this gold medallion wall hanging and think it would be smashing amongst a collection on your wall. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

More and more and more snow.

I know I already talked about the blizzard earlier, but I wrote that last night before I truly realized what this storm had to offer.  And basically I can't get over all the craziness, so I want to talk about it more.  Feel free to come back tomorrow for non-snow related items if this bores you.

First off, those poor people stranded on Lake Shore Drive (a MAJOR thoroughfare in Chicago that rides along the lake... hence the name) were stuck for 9 to 12 hours!!  I can't believe I barely missed that by an hour.  Definitely scary stuff.  They were told by all to stay with their cars until it became clear that it would be impossible to do so.  Either forceably removed or happily rescued, these people were taken to local hospitals between 2:30 and 5:30 in the morning.

You can see the aftermath of the abandoned cars this morning in the first picture above.  Doesn't it look straight out of a movie?!  The second photo is an abandoned bus, and yes, that is snow all inside of it.  The third was taken hours earlier documenting rescue efforts made to get people out of the cold.  And the last photo is of the lake shore being taken over by blowing snow.

There were reportedly 70 mph winds and we have 20 inches of snow, making this the third worst snowstorm in Chicago's history.

I have yet to leave my apartment and I plan to keep it that way!

all photos via Chicago Tribune

Snow Day!

When all of my Southern friends were bemoaning their week-long snow day vacation a few weeks ago all I could think was, I wish I had a snow day of my own!  Well, well, well, the gods have spoken and Blizzard 2011 has taken over.  We were told to leave early from work yesterday and that the offices would be closed on Wednesday.

Suweet!!  That is until it took me two hours to get home (it normally takes me twenty minutes).  Sure, a two-hour commute is no fun, but it's especially no fun when one hour of it is spent outside waiting for a bus.  I decided to be proactive and walk south on Michigan Ave because every bus that went by was packed on the north end where I work.  I managed to cross the river and get to Lake Street before I found an empty bus; all while walking nine tenths of a mile in 50 mph winds and snow.  Yeah, no fun.

The craziest part was getting off the bus near the lake where I live.  I have NEVER, I repeat, NEVER dealt with wind like that.  I've lived in Chicago for almost ten years and this was absurd.  I could barely cross the street and started to run because it was the only thing I could do to stay upright.  I had a hard time opening the glass door to my apartment lobby because of the wind and snow -- I felt like Dorothy trying to evade the twister.  THEN when I got into the lobby I seriously thought an alarm was going off because there was this high-pitched, constant whistling.  Only to find out it was the sound of the wind whipping through the courtyard.  Uh, that's a first.

All of this is to say that Blizzard 2011 is no joke and I plan to stay put with Buster and tv and, yeah, maybe some champagne. 

Oh, and, my favorite quote so far has been via Facebook.  A coworker said this: "Just saw a 4 pack of toilet paper fly through the air past my 2nd floor window."


photos via Chicago Tribune, Brian Cassella.  Lake Shore Drive after it was shut down and people attempted to walk home.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

For my feet.

Oooo, I love this bathmat!  I'm a sucker for a chevron, and my shower curtain is black and white.  It's kismet.   

Plus it's $24.

Frugal Outfit Tuesdays: Neutral Competition.

Neutral Competition

Neutral Competition by justagirlandherstuff on

Due to popular demand I've decided to try to make the first Tuesday of every month a Frugal Outfit Tuesday; everything you will find in these outfits will be less than $50.  Today is my trial effort.  What do you think?

I know there's kind of a lot going on here, but I'm into switching up the neutrals in an outfit.  I think it adds an unexpected twist.  If it's too much for you you can always stick to one neutral and call it a day!   
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