WIW: Ingunn Challenge - end of January

Thanks again to Ingunn for a fabulous challenge.   I'm looking forward to carrying it on in to February.  These challenges help me see how much I enjoy what I have, and minimize the urge to shop :)

And Joy - LOVE those red and blue pants!

Here's my final week outfits:

#1 Layered shirts.  I didn't expect this to work, but ended up liking it.  Then on Friday, Angie posted almost this look as an ensemble.  Does it work here?  With the draped top over a big, soft buttondown over bootcuts?  I want to wear it again, and will add pointy shoes if it's a day that I leave the house :)

#2 Umm... not sure this was in the challenge.  I was thinking of it as a statement sweater, which is one of the ones I missed in week 1, I think.

#3 Turtleneck.  I'm hoping this is at least sort of un-stuffy.  It was comfy with my long cardigan and skinnies, and I'm planning to wear it again.  This was the first wearing for this turtleneck, but won't be the last - I'd forgotten how warm they are.

#4 Borrowing from the boys.  I assumed I would wear my 7 jeans and my husband's tee for this day, but both were in the wash, so I decided to go with menswear inspired instead.  So I paired a crisp white buttondown with a vest.  I liked this pretty well too.

#5 Dress as a skirt.  I slipped a sweater over this asymmetric shirt dress (that's rather summery).  I'm not sure it worked, but it was fun to try :)

Looking forward to February challenge too!  And please share any suggestions for improvement :)


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WIW: Ingunn challenge week 3

I posted this on Ingunn's thread, but wanted a copy for my blog too:

I loved this week - it stretched and challenged me.

My pictures are out of order, but here's what I wore:
#1 buttondown and lace and denim on denim.  This is an old picture - I wore the same outfit twice, and didn't get a picture either day!  In this week's version, I wore black shoes, not the blue slip-on sneakers

#2 color blocking was easy for me.  I have two color blocked sweaters, so I just picked one and wore it :)  Over a column of mid-blue, with mid-blue slip-on sneakers to match in this week's version.

#3-#4 crop top and trousers was a hard one for me.  I didn't think I had a crop top, but found this cropped tee at the last minute.  The sleeves on it were too narrow to wear another sleeved top under it, which left this teal shell as the only real option.  It bunched weirdly, and high lighted my tummy pooch.  But in the end I still liked it.  

#5 matchy-matchy was another difficult one for me.  I ended up going for my red/black/white plaid sneakers, and pairing it with red black and white on the top too.  I liked the way it ended up working.

#6 was from last week's calendar, but not worn until Sunday - the full skirt outfit.  I'm not completely sure it worked great, but I didn't feel like it was a total flop either.

Thanks for a great challenge Ingunn!  I'm thinking that I want to make up a challenge schedule for myself for February also - its' been fun to have something to scheme toward each day!


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WIW: Ingunn Challenge, week 2

Thanks Ingunn for the fun challenges!

You've already seen my "animal print" with frogs, and my dress over pants (which I've already repeated, I liked it so much).  So here's the remainder of the week:
#1 Winter white out.  This was quite far outside my comfort zone, and I spilled chocolate on my jeans mid-afternoon so changed before taking my kids to Wednesday night clubs in the evening.

#2 Color blocking - being real and showing it with the addition of my long cardigan, which is how most things are worn when it's really cold :)  But the outfit looked better without it.  You've seen it before - it's going to be a frequent repeat, I think.

#3 Graphic (from week 1, but just worn today).  I don't actually own a graphic tee, but my hubby was given this one for Christmas, and I like it.  So I stole it today.  I wore it with light grey jeans and my long cardigan (my 7 lbs lost reward to myself, and already a workhorse).  In this outfit, the long cardigan actually felt like it belonged, and the happiness factor was high (not entirely sure why, but it made me smile every time I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror - I like the monotone nature of it and the cheeky graphic, I think).

I haven't tried the full skirt or the colored/patterned tights outfits yet, but I may.... 

I really do appreciate this challenge - it's making fashion in the winter fun again :)
All comments welcome - especially suggestions for improvements.


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WIW from Ingunn's challenge

I noticed Ingunn's challenge late, but wanted to join in as soon as I saw it.  So here's the outfits I've hit so far (some are a stretch... and apologies for poor photography.) 

#1-#2 Dress over pants.  I loved this combination, and will wear it again - thanks for suggesting it Ingunn!  I don't think I'd have ever tried it otherwise.  I was even warm enough.  It rescues my sweater dress and my colored skinnies.  I really liked it with my coat.  A complete stranger swooned over it with the coat on :)

#3-4 animal print.  I was sad that I didn't have any animal print to join that day.  Then I remembered this frog tee shirt.  It's quite old, and the outfit was really casual (more than even I usually wear), but it wasn't bad for a day home with the kids.  And my 5 year old loved that my tee matched his underwear (they were sewn from the same sheet years ago).

#5 Daytime sparkle.  I thought this outfit looked better in person - jeans, sparkly sweater, a jacket, and silver shoes.  I got compliments on it.

#6, No black (white lace over jeans)
#7 could have been a belted scarf, but I didn't belt the scarf.  I did wear a belt and a scarf :)
#8 - no black again?  I was trying doubling up sweaters as a method to keep warm - here it's a dark red turtleneck under a dark red sweater. And it was warm :)
#9. Umm... no black again?  gray and teal over blue jeans.
#10 Color blocking that I just may re-wear when it's scheduled.  I ended up liking this super bright cashmere sweater over blues.

All comments are welcome!  And thanks for a fun challenge Ingunn - it's been just the thing to get me enjoying my clothes again!


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My turn for House updates

I just wanted to share something big going on in the next few months with you, if you don't mind.

Five and 3/4 years ago (but who's counting, right?), we bought a "fixer upper" house, with the intent to fix it and move in.  It was cheap and old (1890s built) - with so much potential!  We were insanely naive (the house should have probably been bull dozed).  Our idea was that my husband would do the labor himself, and we'd work as we could afford to - and be in the house in a few months (remember, I said we were naive?).

We ended up replacing the foundation, the roof (including the "bones"), three of the four exterior walls, everything load bearing, and most of the interior (we kept some of the subfloors), and all the functional pieces (electrical, hvac, plumbing, gas lines, etc).  Whew.

Monday, my husband's work on it passed the electrical wiring inspection, and yesterday the structure, hvac, plumbing and gas lines all passed inspection.  We are celebrating!  And it seems like the remainder may be somewhat quick because we're hiring contractors to insulate and drywall, and it's looking like we may actually get to move in to the house before six years of owning it have elapsed (that's in April).  After that, it's finish work (which can go on forever, I know) - wood floors, paint and trim, cabinets, fixtures, and bathroom and kitchen stuff....

Soon though, I may also be showing house-in-progress pics if you don't mind!  And what house decorating sites should I read?  


Hair Advice - maybe color?

I'm looking to refresh my haircut.  It's been my intent for a while to grow it to shoulder length, and it's still not as long as I'd like, but I'm itching for a cut, and especially liking the first cut that Shannon posted in this thread.  

However, in the name of giving shoulder length hair an honest attempt, I'm planning to refrain from cutting length off for another several months.  Instead I'm contemplating coloring my hair.

I'm thinking dark red (auburn?).  I've colored my hair that color before and loved it.  But that was before I knew much about coloring or style or anything (not that I know much now - but it's way more than I knew back then).  And I've aged in that time too....

My question is whether you think this color might suit me?  My natural coloring is midline-cool (more cool than warm, but not super cool) on the spectrum.  My hair used to have a fair amount of natural red in it, but that has faded with age, leaving me with brown and traces of gray hair.  I usually see red hair on people with warm, not cool complexions, and wonder if perhaps it would be a bad choice for me?

Pic below is approximately the color I envision on someone who also seems to have a "cool" complexion - it's not super flaming red, but more red than brown.  (I would dye it with henna, which I've done before, and this is about the color I think I'd achieve).

What do you think?  Yay=Worth a try or Nay=danger zone?


WIW: ending the year with a bang

I fully intend to be in bed to start the new year with sleep.  But I was recently given a bright pink and orange cashmere sweater, and couldn't resist pairing it with dark red (burgundy, in this case) after the ensemble.

To counteract the orange near my face, and for warmth, I layered a dark red turtleneck under it.  They were reasonably warm together - but as the photo shows, the dark red kept finding ways to sneak out (the hem and sleeves - which are actually long enough - I just thought I'd scrunch them for a bit, and didn't scrunch them much....).

In any case, it was fun to play with these brights :)
Happy New Year!