Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year

The next time you hear from me it will officially be 2012.

Happy New Year, dear friends (which sounds more intimate than the truth--Happy New Year dear people I've never met).

Be safe.

Be peaceful.

Be thankful.

(If you want to know what to wear on New Year's Eve, I've already given you 3 fashion formulas.  Click THIS LINK to see them).

Best wishes to a happy end of 2011 and a blessed 2012!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Things I Love: Taking Down Christmas Decor

No.  I'm not a Grinch--I just love the feel of getting the house back to "normal."

When it comes to Christmas, I have more decorations than are necessary for three houses, let alone one.  But never fear, I put up every bit of my Christmas stuff the week before Thanksgiving and keep it up as long as possible.  It practically looks like someone threw up red and green in my house.  It's very Christmasy.  Buddy the Elf would be at home in my home during the holidays.

But "as long as possible" is roughly until December 27th.  You see, tons of lights + tons of decorations + tree + 2 type-A neat freaks = imbalance.  A couple of days after Christmas Matt and I start twitching.  We are ready for the Christmas clutter to be gone.  We are ready for clean lines, open spaces, and good chi for the house (not that we know what chi is or whether or not the house needs it).

So bright and early Tuesday morning I gathered up snowmen and Santas.  I packed up lights and advent calendars.  I put away Christmas serving dishes and the last of the wrapping paper.  I breathed a sigh of relief.

As much as I adore my Christmas decor, I must say that I love putting it away.  Anyone else just get a feeling of peace and relaxation from taking down their holiday decor?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What I Think About: 2011

All good things must come to an end {which is never more sad than when I take the last bite of cheesecake}.  Of course the bright side to that is all bad things must come to an end.  And thus, on that note, I say goodbye to 2011 which has pretty much been the hardest, most heart-breaking, and disappointing year of my life.

Bus catching fire. Surgery.  Those 2 weeks waiting for cancer results.  Lingering illness and then death of my mother.  The "how do you forgive yourself?" incident.  Prolonging my Ph. D yet another year (thanks to a difficult department head who thwarted my research) ... when I look through my pity-party sob story, I get pretty mad at 2011.  Of course I know the year didn't actually cause the problems.  It's just an innocent bystander.  Yet, it will serve as the whipping boy for all bad things in 2011.

Anyone else ever feel like giving 2011 the middle finger salute?

Now, before I get too down, I want to actually remember the beautiful things that happened this year.

I got to take my children to Cozumel.

I got my nose pierced

I had an up-n-coming hair designer practice on my hair.

I got to go to Las Vegas ...

... Two times

I got to drive go carts that went ridiculously fast

I got my kids in a photo with the cutest rabbit on earth

I got a new sister in law who is as delightful as she is beautiful

I got to articipate in a grime war

I got to watch my oldest friend at a Roller Derby bout

I got to see my four favorite friends become moms again (the 4th isn't in the photo BUT she adopted a newborn in October!)

Kid Rock, INXS, The Airbornne Toxic Event, Band of Horses, Motley Crue... so many fun concerts (not to mention getting to hang with one of our fave couples!)

Finding this old children's rhyme probably made my year.

I got to really say goodbye to my mom--never easy but so much harder for those who don't get to send their loved ones away "right".  

I have a big sister who is there for me.  There when it's good.  There when it's bad.  

I learned the moon phases by eating Oreos

For Halloween I got to be David Bowie from Labyrinth 

My sister and I got memorial tattoos for mom
I got to spend time on a secluded section of Lover's Beach in Cabo San Lucas

I got to shoot a hand gun

I celebrated another anniversary and Christmas with Matt.
Looking back on 2011 through pictures made me remember a quotation from my favorite Christmas movie of all time.  It's as if Clarence was speaking directly to me.

You see, Reagan, you've really had a wonderful life.

What I think about 2011 is it has been--hands down--the worst year of my life but God's hands and His blessings are evident--everywhere.  Even the worst was pretty good.  And that's what I call GRACE.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Days of Play: New Year's Crafts

Feeling crafty?

Oh good.  Then you'll like some of these New Year's crafts you can do with your kiddos.

First up--Resolutions.  I mean, what would a New Year be without a resolution?  Help your kids set one goal for the year.  They can write the goal and illustrate it.  You can laminate it with contact paper or turn it into a magnet.  So cute!


Kiddos too young for resolutions?  Then make a sparkly ball a la Time Square.  All you need is a foam ball, some ribbon, buttons/sequins, craft glue, and a willing artist.
If you have older kids (or a lot of energy), plan a NOON Year's Eve party together complete with noise makers, party hats, and balloons.  When the clock strikes noon, make a big ruckus then eat Uncrustables.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Music Monday: Backnbloom

Electric violin.

You know that sappy, crappy line from Jerry Maguire "You had me at hello?"  Ya well, when Lori of Backnbloom introduced herself as the lead singer and electric violinist I practically shouted (in e-mail), "You had me at electric violin."

Have I mentioned I love electric violins?  Heck, I love violins electrified or not.  {Sigh}  How do I have no musical talent?  I blame my parents, really.  Them or my lack of "practice your instrument" discipline.

Self-pity aside, my hot husband and I sat down to give Backnbloom a listen and you know what?  We love the electro-pop duo.  While I normally like to give you a sound comparison--I simply can't with this band.  I mean, their sound is MGMT{ish} but so much more poetic ... more intricate and complex ... Really, I can't find a truly adequate comparison.

Do you know what this means (aside from the fact that I'm practically speechless and that hardly ever happens.  You should feel bad for my husby!)?  It means you need to watch this sick vid and get acquainted with BACKNBLOOM!

Total side note--How many of you think that video idea--the paint, the fun, should be a date night? Hello messy fun (that requires a couple's shower!)

Here's a live vid of Heed the Flashes (excuse me for saying this but Lori is like the cutest hot chick ever!)

Still want more? Check out Backnbloom on soundcloud.  My personal faves: The Feel and Start Again.

Of course if you are sold, go to BACKNBLOOM's website and buy their digital album Music for the Modern Monkey.  Honestly, I don't think your New Year's Eve music mix will be complete without a little something from Backnbloom.  Just sayin'.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Date Night {OUT}: Christmas Quotations (our anniversary randomness)

Matt and I celebrated our anniversary Wednesday night {whoot whoot}

This year it was my turn to plan the event and I really wrangled with what to do.  We just got back from Las Vegas on Sunday so going to a great hotel or bed-n-breakfast was out.  We ate at Alize and trust me, nothing in Wyoming or Colorado compares with Alize ... so all the typical "romantical" anniversary stuff was ... well, not gonna cut it.

So I decided to go a route that SO isn't me.  I mean, dinner was NOT the main event.  I didn't wear a dress, skirt, or any fancy jewelry.  The whole date was activity based, free-flowing, and didn't involve a single reservation.  Oh, and did I mention that is was totally based of quotations from Christmas movies?  I swear my brain is 53% song lyrics, 37% movie quotations and the rest is just junk.

What you need for the date:

  • 8 cards (I made mine from scrapbook paper.  You can just buy a holiday pack of cards at the dollar store if you aren't feeling the craftiness). 7 activity cards; 1 invitation card
  • A gift for your partner (wrapped with a bow ... this will make sense I promise)
  • 7 activities
  • A babysitter
  • 4 + hours
  • 8 Christmas movie quotations
Okay, so what I basically did here was put the Christmas movie quotation on the front of the card (or the envelope if you go the pre-made card route).  This served as the "clue."  Before we went to our activity, my husband had to read the quotation/clue and try to decipher what we were doing.  When he was ready, he opened the card to find out what was going on!


The morning of your date, give your partner a card with this quotation from Scrooged on it.  "If I can't work late, I can't work late!"  Inside write: Tonight you can't work late because we've got some lovin' to celebrate.  Be ready to leave for a Christmas-themed dating extravaganza at _____ o'clock"

Quotes and Activities

Here's what the rest of our cards said!

#1--"It is a crappy cup of coffee!"

Go get a hot drink.

#2--"You'll shoot your eye out, kid."

You taught me to drive a motor cycle; now teach me to shoot a hand gun.

That's right. We went to a shooting range and shot a 9mm Glock.  We did several different games--like who could get the highest points from the target (R=90; M=72) or who could make the highest poker hand with the card target (M=four of a kind; R=full house).

#3--"Keep the change you filthy animal!"

Well it doesn't have to be a cheese pizza and you don't get it all to yourself but let's head to our favorite pizza spot for some pizza and a game.

Matt decided he'd rather do 5 Guys Burger and Fries over pizza so we went that route.  Our justification is that Kevin in Home Alone is eating rubbish while watching "Angels with Filthy Souls" and burgers are junk food so ... there's a connection there.

For our dinner game we played "Would you rather .... the Christmas Movie edition."  No, you can't buy it; you have to make it up.  For example, would you rather hug the raccoon from Elf or the ghost of Christmas present?  Would you rather see your future or see what life would be like if you were never born? Would you rather eat a cotton ball or chew a piece of gum you found in a NY subway? Would you rather have your head burned with a blow torch or step bare foot onto a nail?  You get it ...

#4--"Is your house on fire, Clark?"

Let's drive around and find the best house "on fire"

We decided to go to the Garden of Lights instead of looking at house lights :)  Fun either way.

#5--"Well you look about the kind of angel I'd get.  Kind of a fallen angel, aren't you?  Where are your wings?"

Let's go to a place where "Angels" sell naughty things that are nice to look at.  You pick something out for me to wear tonight.  

This one was the hardest for Matt to figure out (he didn't get the Victoria's Secret Angels connection).  That being said, I get the distinct feeling this was his favorite activity of the night ... and we shot hand guns!  

Lingerie--the ultimate Homer gift!

#6--"We elves like to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup."

Let go grab a sweet treat!

Here's something funny.  In "big" cities people go out to eat late (well, not all people but it's an option.  A 10 0'clock reservation isn't unheard of in Vegas, Rome, New York ...).  Unfortunately the restaurants we tried all closed at 9.  So we ended up getting pie from Perkins.  Awesome.

#7--"There's always time for a bow."

Let's go home and unwrap your gift! (please note the double entendre) 

Some other activities/ideas:

  • Fa ra ra ra ra--Go eat Chinese food
  • And if you see a sign that says 'peep show' it doesn't mean that they are letting you look at the new toys before Christmas--a little dance in that new lingerie
  • God bless us, everyone--Spend some time praying together
  • I took a shower washing every body part with actual soap including all my major crevices--including in between my toes and in my belly button which I never did before but sort of enjoyed--take a steamy shower together
If you can't leave the house or need to do this date on a dime, you could: make cocoa, shoot nerf guns, eat a homemade pizza, look at the lights on your own tree, wrap (and then unwrap) lingerie you already own, eat ice cream, etc.  You are only as limited as your imagination. :)

It really is a wonderful life.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Things I Love: Flash Mobs

I love the flash mob craze (hence, the name of this post).

Need a little cheer today?  Feast your eyes on these Christmas flash mobs!

Carol of the Bell as conducted by Darth Vadar (great way to ease final exam stress)

A bit of a {cheesey} tear jerker

Singing and dancing ...

A little treat from the university I attend (and work at). Go Pokes!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What I Think About: Firsts and 21sts

For Randean and Jina who know exactly what I'm talking about but mostly for Matt because he loves me most when I deserve it least.


First day of September. October.  November. December.
First day of school.
First day of fall.
First Halloween.
First snow.
First Thanksgiving.


Everyone says the firsts are the hardest after death.  I assumed people meant the "biggies" like Christmas or birthdays but it's more than that. It's the firsts of everything coming and going--how they make me ache.  The first of each month heaving a sigh--the first month of its kind without her.

That first snowfall remembering how we'd hunker down with black tea with cream and sugar and play cards.  Remembering how we'd never hunker down like that again.

That first Halloween  without her.  No sending photos of Tinkerbell and David Beckham.  No recounting how Paxton ran from door to door yelling "Mo' Candy!"  A silent holiday.

That first Thanksgiving.  Making her stuffing by myself.  Looking at the empty chair near my father.  A lonely holiday.

But it goes beyond--so far beyond.  I'm nearly overwhelmed by their infinite number and how firsts won't end--even when the first year does.  Mom will miss Pax's first loose tooth.  She'll miss M.E.'s first broken heart.  She'll miss his graduation.  She'll miss her wedding.  She'll miss Matt making partner. She'll miss me getting my Ph. D.  And I know with all of these firsts I'll be haunted with that thought--that nagging, gut-wrenching feeling that "Mom would have loved this."

21sts are no better.  Today is the 21st.  I generally love to celebrate this day because it's my wedding anniversary to a man my Mom regarded more highly than most men on earth (my mom and I both have impeccable taste).  Now 21sts come like a tick-tock of a clock counting off the months since she died.  Four months now.  Four.

People keep saying it will get easier--the firsts, the twenty-firsts.  A part of me hopes so.

But a part of me hopes they don't because I never want to forget those little things she would have loved.  Never want to take for granted each first because I never know when it will be my last.

What I think is firsts and 21sts haunt me--and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thank you to Shell at Things I Can't Say for letting me vent my sometimes depressing thoughts.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Days of Play: Gingerbread Nativity

I found this on Pinterest.  You're shocked--I know.

But hello--cutest Christmas craft project ever!

And to think, all I need is graham crackers, marshmallows, gum drops, licorice, coconut flakes, frosting, and a candy bar.

Phot from AOKCorral
 Today, I am going to make this nativity scene with my children and then read them the Christmas Story straight out of Luke.  Fun.  Inspiration.  The real reason for the season.

Want to make one too?  Head to AOKcorral for directions (that link will take you).

Monday, December 19, 2011

Music Monday: THE Christmas Edition

Well, I'm going to do it.  I'm going to break down and fess up to my favorite holiday tunes.  My husband's uncle will start listening to Christmas music in October.  I need it to be post-Thanksgiving. But once it starts, it's hard to stop and if you saw me in my car, you can be certain that I'm singing along to Santa FM.

So here are my three favorite Christmas songs.

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree by the Smithereens (my apologies to the family in this video but that's what you get for randomly posting this on YouTube.)

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Judy Garland (nothing makes me miss my mom more ...)

And finally, my all time favorite ...

The River (excellent by Joni but so much better by Robert Downey, Jr.) Anyone else just love Ally McBeal???

Friday, December 16, 2011

Fashion Friday: New Year's Eve Ideas

It's probably time to start planning your New Year's outfit.

Too soon for you?  Well, it's not for me.

Anyhow, last year I encouraged you to simply shop your closet to put together outfits using what you've already got.  This year, I recommend the same thing {but with a twist.  Because I like twists}

Be inspired (and remember, these formulas are easy peasy steps to fashion success! You can do it!)

For the Casual Night (out or in)

One sweater + one BOLD necklace or scarf + skinny jeans/cords + boots + bag= ready to go (or stay--your call).

For the Edgy Night Out

Embellished top + vest/blazer + necklace/scarf + skinny pants + heels=ready to party--like a rock star

For the Sophisticated Night

Little Black Dress + notice-me-necklace/bracelet + pop of color heels + clutch + outerwear = On your way!


Color dress + statement jewelry piece + black/neutral heels + clutch + outerwear+ On your way!

Some signature ideas to consider:

It's a bling thing!  Sequins are everywhere from purses and tank tops to scarves and leggings--this season there's nothing that sequins can't cover.  Add a little drama (and sparkle) to your life with sequins!

Scarves are a hot way to look cool:

Wrapped, draped, knotted ... scarves are a simple way to add serious drama to any outfit.


But do me a favor and make it FAUX fur

Remember, New Years does NOT have to equal New Wardrobe! Go shop your closet with a formula in mind and get creative with what you've got.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Things I Love: Arthur Christmas

The first time I saw a preview for Arthur Christmas, I wasn't convinced.  I wasn't convinced even though Arthur's voice is that of one James McAvoy.

If you've never been on this blog before--or if it has been a long time--you might not know that James McAvoy is one of my top two favorite actors.

Still, I wasn't even sure James could save a Christmas movie.  As much as I like him,  I still didn't think gNomeo and Juliet was brilliant so I didn't go to Arthur Christmas with much hope.

Now I rarely say this, mainly because it hardly ever happens, but I was wrong.


Arthur Christmas was about the most delightful Christmas movie I've seen in a long time--maybe even since ELF came out.

Here's what I loved about this movie:

  • There is like ZERO potty humor.  Yes yes, I know five year olds love to talk about poop but I get enough of that talk at the dinner table, I don't need it at the movies, too.  I was so delighted that there are no references to: poop, pee, diarrhea, farting, etc. 
  • The English accents.  I'm one of those gals who loves a good English (or Scottish. Or Irish. Or Kiwi) accent.  Imagine how thrilled I was when M.E. left the theater speaking in a King's English accent.  I'm still dying at the cuteness.
  • Arthur is not magical.  He isn't super smart.  He isn't "cool." He's the guy the elves make fun of.  But even though he's a bit on the strange side, he is good.  A movie that advertises that it's GOODNESS and KINDNESS and COMPASSION that matters?  What a novel idea ...
  • Though this movie is directed towards Santa believers (or those questioning Santa) and spiritual cynics, there is an incredible spiritual truth to this movie: every one matters.  As a good shepherd will leave 99 sheep to save one, so Arthur Christmas will stop at nothing to help one child.  And isn't that what it's all about?
  • My personal favorite line from the movie is this "There's always time for a bow."  Seriously, we get so wrapped up in the "stuff" of Christmas that it's easy to overlook the simple details that make this time of year so lovely--freshly fallen snow.  A smile from a stranger.  An extra day off work.  A baby in a manger.  There is always time for joy!
Here's what I didn't like about this movie:
  • There is some nuances of drinking in the family.
  • The grand-santa puts his family members down.  I realize this is a reality for many families and might help kids know that their family is "normal" but I don't think we should laugh at hurtful "normal" lest we "normalize" put downs and make kids feel like jabs and hurtful words are okay.
Overall, I loved this movie.  My kids loved this movie.  Matt loved this movie.  We'll own it for sure!

{On a totally unrelated note, today is my daughter's SIXTH birthday!  I'm tearing up just thinking about it.  What a privilege to mother and love such a wonderful child of God!}

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What I Think About: Big Birthdays

If you read my post yesterday, you know that I've very recently threw my daughter a Taylor Swift birthday party.

Every year I prepare for birthday parties I get the distinct feeling that my husband thinks I'm going overboard.  Maybe he's right.

When I was a kid we got one party (and I use "party" here loosely), not a family party and a friend party.  One party.

The party mostly consisted of the birthday boy or girl picking the dinner meal (hello macaroni and cheese with hot dog chunks!) and cake and ice cream.  The kids might have run around and played hide-n-seek or kick the can but there were no organized games or crafts.

We invited family friends and their kids so there were generally four or five kids, aside from immediate family members (for some reason my folks always made me invite my sister.  {Sigh}).

I never got to invite my whole class.
I never had my birthday at a venue (like a skating rink, bounce house, swimming pool, or laser tag field).
I never had a designer or store bought cake.
I never gave "parting gifts" to guests.

I always had a good time!

Nowadays birthday parties are major events.  They are held at venues that cost hundreds of dollars.  They involve detailed games and crafts.  They include upwards of twenty kids.  They have expensive store-bought cakes, over-priced character plates and napkins, parting gifts, and helium balloons for all attendees

Sometimes birthday parties come in the plural sense.  For instance, our children have at least two parties (one for family and one for friends--presents at BOTH).

I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with these kinds of parties, per se, but I do wonder if parents are going a bit overboard?  Does a child really need his closest twenty friends at a party?  Would the child feel any less special at a home party instead of one held at the local ice skating rink?  Would the kids have less fun if they just had to "play" rather than line dance and make a craft?  Would feelings really be hurt if attendees left without a bag of junk goodies?

One side of me hates the idea of giving up elaborate party planning (in fact, I'm trying to convince my nephew to have a SPY party because man-oh-man do I have some ideas ...) but the other part of me misses the simplicity of celebrating in the home with family and a few friends.

What I think about big birthday is that they are totally fun ... but totally unnecessary.  I'm considering an every-other-year idea.  Elaborate party on even year birthdays; simply parties on odd years.  That's a good compromise, right?

Your thoughts?  How do you do birthdays at your house?

Thank you to Shell at Things I Can't Say for supporting my random thoughts.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Days of Play: Taylor Swift Birthday Party

I have a love affair with music which sadly omits Taylor Swift.  My {oh my gosh I can hardly believe she's almost} six year old disagrees.  She loves Taylor Swift.  So much so that for this year's birthday extravaganza, all she wanted was a Taylor Swift Party.

I had no idea what to do for a Taylor Swift birthday party so I did what any educated person would do.  I googled it.  You know what?  Unless you want to buy incredibly over-priced plates with her celeb photo on it, there's not much in the way of what to do for a Taylor Swift party--especially for a 4-6 year old crowd.

So I'm here to tell you what I did.  I'm not gonna lie--this was NOT the best party I've ever thrown.  The good news is the kindergartners didn't seem to mind.

The Invitations:

Okay, I'm in Wyoming where we {mostly} all love Garth Brooks and cowboys, and all things country so I played with that for the invitations.

I took a Taylor Swift image off the internet and pasted it into word.  The invitation read: "Because of your roots, we hope you show up in boots to M.E.'s Taylor Swift Birthday affair"  I then listed the what, when, where, why info, and sent them out.

Just so you know, all the kids came decked out in western wear complete with skirts, boots, and cowgirl hats.  Cutest thing ever!

The Decorations:

I'm totally opposed to the aforementioned over-priced paper products so I just decorated in ALL white (which, google taught me, is Taylor's favorite color.  BTW, I do feel like I've earned the right to be on a first name basis with Taylor.).

White table clothes, white plates, white forks, white balloons, white streamers ... if it was standing still at my house, it was covered in white (except for the Christmas tree--that got a free-pass).

Adding to the ambiance was low-playing Taylor Swift music.

This was the grand entrance.  The kids loved it!

The Cake:

I'm NOT a cake decorator so while I found amazing cakes on google images of guitars and frosting -painted Taylor faces, I knew that was NOT going to be my route.  Seriously, a girl has to know her limits.  My limit is cake.  So what I did was take a boxed (gasp!) cake and baked it in a 9x9 square pan.  When it was baked and cooled I frosted in in white frosting and piped it in hot pink.  I then put the Taylor Swift Christmas album on the cake and piped in "Taylor's" John Hancock and her signature heart.  Did it REALLY look like her signature?  Not at all.  Did the kids notice?  Not at all.

Ya, that's about as good as you'll get from this mom!

The Activities:

If you've had a birthday party with a lot of little kids that wasn't at a venue (roller rink, bounce house, etc.) then you know you've gotta keep those kiddos constantly moving.  So we did!

  • Apparently Taylor loves bracelets so the kids all made a bracelet.  I used leather bands and pop beads but string with beads would work well.
  • Music and dancing were really the main focus--ergo, for the first game we gave every kid a balloon and they had to try to keep it afloat for a whole Taylor Swift song (we used MEAN).
  • Game two was a relay (again to Taylor music).  Kids had to put a balloon in between their knees and hop around a course in our living rooms.  I loved watching this.  So funny!
  • Game three was Taylor, Taylor, Goose.  Like Duck, Duck, Goose (but a bit cooler).
  • Game four was line dancing.  That's right folks, I taught 8 little kids how to do the electric shuffle to "Belong with Me."  I deserve a medal.  Or maybe a margarita.  Okay, I'll take both.
  • Game five was the kids' favorite.  FREEZE DANCE.  We (and when I say we I mean Matt) played Taylor Swift songs and the kids would boogie.  Then Matt would turn the music off and the kids would freeze.  Anyone who didn't freeze was "out".
  • Finally we played musical pillows (like musical chairs but with pillows because no one ever got hurt falling off a pillow)

The Menu

We did choose to serve the kids a meal.  We went as "county fair" as possible with hot dogs, cucumbers and ranch, applesauce, and Cheetos.  Oh, cake and ice cream, obviously.

Don't Forget

To take a souvenir photo of all the kids doing Taylor's signature "heart"!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Music Monday: Music for My Man

Okay, this is NOT a band name BUT these are songs my man loves.  And even though it's Christmas and you might think I should highlight something from the Michael Buble Christmas album, I'm not going to.  I'm going to share Matt favorite songs (at least right now because like me, his faves vary which just adds to the reasons I totally heart this man!).

All The Angels--By The Dead Confederate

From Yesterday--30 Seconds to Mars

Restless by Switchfoot

Castaways by Beat Noir (they should get their own Music Monday ... maybe next week ...)

Outtathaway by The Vines

Happy Monday, Matt!  Wahoo for finishing your first semester of the LLM program and congrats on being a firm partner in TWO weeks!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fashion Friday: Gift from a Fashion Victim

My dad is the sort of guy who wears black socks pulled up to his knees with Teva sandals all summer long.  But don't worry because he'll pair it with too-short shorts and a button down western shirt.  You laugh but I'm serious.  So serious I'm not laughing (much).

Suffice it to say, my dad is not fashion conscious.  I mean the man was still getting perms--yes you read that right--perms well into the early 90s (oh those lingering '70s!).  And just a few years ago we finally talked him into giving up his rust and pink suit (was there chest hair showing with this hot number?  You know it!).

Imagine my surprise in the winter of 1999 when I opened up a Christmas gift from the man fashion hates and found an amazing surprise--a red leather jacket.  It was awesome and fit like a glove.  I know this jacket wasn't overly expensive but I can tell you this, in the past 12 years this jacket has gotten some play!

That's me wearing it below in the outfit one person thought made me look like a pirate. I'm still not over that.

Uber cute--no?

Anyhow, leather is one of those statement pieces that kind of comes and goes.  And guess what?


Yes that's right.  Leather jackets made a splashing comeback this fall and I'd plan on having them stick around for a while.  From camel to black to mustard to red, leather adds oompf to any outfit.  And since you can find leather jackets anywhere from $30-$12,000, there's one well within your budget.  If my red leather jacket is an indication, than leather is one of those trend pieces that is never really out of style.

So if you are looking for a little trend item for your wish list, might I suggest of leather jacket?  Oh, but make sure it is fitted.

Want some style ideas?  Check out these sweet outfits I found on Pinterest.  Did you know I have a style board called NOW WEAR THIS on Pinterest?  True.  It's amazing I get any school work done.

Wear leather to work

Really. Work it (in a non-prostitute way).

Hot layers for cold days.

Chic when paired with a classic scarf

Fun for around town

If I was going to buy a leather coat today, this would be it!

Source: via Reagan on Pinterest