My Retro Cardigan Love

If you haven’t noticed already, I am a sweater addict. I wear my favorite cardigans relentlessly until they almost fall apart–some sooner than others. When I first laid my eyes on my new obsession, a mid-thigh length navy blue cardigan from L.L. Bean, I knew it was love. I found it hidden in the cardigan isle at the local Salvation Army and nabbed it for the low price of $5.99. We’ve been inseparable ever since.

You can tell someone really loved this sweater once upon a time–it’s faded and stretched to perfection. I even broke my rule against buying well-used second hand clothes for this sweater. I told a friend that I don’t buy second hand clothes if they look worn out to which she responded, “Who cares? Who’s going to know it wasn’t you that wore it so much?” I think she had a great point.

I can just throw it on and go without much worry. Despite its comfort, its main downfall is that it makes me look three times as big, which is why I think a sweater like this styles well with a pair of skinny jeans or even leggings (once the weather gets warmer, of course!). If you’re not really into skinny jeans, fret not! A baggy cardigan that hits mid-thigh will cover your booty and upper thigh area.

I’ll be totally honest and say that I even tried to pair this sweater with my New Year’s Eve dress, which wasn’t a good idea, but I was blinded by love. Thank god for friends and sisters who talk you out of a fashion mishap!

Fool Proof Smoky Eye Look

Yesterday we were “snowed” in, meaning it snowed about, oh, four inches. Growing up in the mountainous North, I roll my eyes whenever this happens though I can’t lie: I love a good snow day!

The Brush Up

I decided to spend part of my day brushing up on makeup techniques. Though I know more than I did a year ago, I still consider myself a beginner. I discovered Makeup Geek TV’s Easy Smoky Eye for Beginners tutorial and was surprised by the seemingly fool proof techniques. When I was younger, I attempted a smoky eye using all black eyeshadow and had no clue about blending or building color. If this has ever been you (and, let’s be real here, it’s been most of us at one point or another), this video is a must-see.

Check out Makeup Geek’s tutorial to find out how to get this look yourself. It’s a great video with straight forward advice. What I did differently was lined my waterline. Let me know if you want me to make a video myself.

Thanks for reading! I’m brushing up on my Photoshop skills and hope to have more engaging images in the future. Let me know what you think!


Blogging Advice from Ira Glass of This American Life

There’s a constant cloud hanging over bloggers who file their work under “fashion” and “beauty”: The Pressure to Measure Up. Everywhere we turn, there’s a blogger getting a book deal or another one starting a magazine. While we may be happy for these highly talented men and women, some feel inadequate. I won’t lie–if this blog were a book, it would have been ripped to shreds ten times over by now.

There’s a lot of places you can go for motivation and many people will have very different ideas about what you should do to stay in the game when you doubt yourself. I’m not one for taking advice, but if I was going to take advice from anyone it would be Ira Glass, host of one of my favorite radio programs,This American Life. This American Life is a weekly public radio show broadcast on more than 500 stations to about 1.7 million listeners.

In this clip, Ira talks about how when he first started he flat out sucked. He gives really great advice about how to get through the suck during the creative process.

Ira Glass, on Sucking

“Nobody tells people who are beginners, and I really wish someone had told this to me . . . all of us who do creative work get into it because we have good taste. . . And you get into this thing that I don’t even know how to describe but for the first couple of years that you’re making stuff, what you’re making isn’t that great . . . but your taste, the thing that got you into the game, your taste is still killer and you can tell what you’re making is disappointing to you and it’s still kind of crappy. And at that point, a lot of people quit . . . The thing I want to say to you is everyone goes through that,” Ira Glass

Ira’s Advice on Working Through the Rough Parts and Growing Creatively

  • Don’t stop writing. While you may feel like you really do suck, don’t stop. This feeling is normal!
  • Do a huge volume of work on a self-created deadline. By going through a huge volume of work, your skill will catch up to your ambitions and you will become a better blogger.
  • It takes time to become a master. It’s not going to happen overnight, but all you can do if push through the tough parts to get to where you want to be. It took Ira 8 years!
  • Be natural and write the way you speak. People want to read and hear YOUR voice, which is more compelling than copying someone else’s style.
  • Fight your way through the suckiness. It’s going to take awhile and you’re going to suck. Keep pushing and it will get better.

In the sea of advice I have received on blogging, this by far has been the most useful. I hope it benefited you as well. One day I won’t suck this much, but, until then, hold onto your hats because we’re in for a wild ride!

Ira Glass on Storytelling Part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Listen to This American Life episodes here.

Cheap Girl’s Guide to Closet Organization

Upon returning home from vacation, I found my closet in a state of total disrepair. Bike rack shoved into the corner. Toilet paper rolls on the floor. Mismatched shoes. Pillowcases. Quelle nightmare!¬†With such little storage space in my home, my closet transformed from an ultra-organized refuge to a linen closet mixed with a garage. When I stumbled on an article on closet organization by Kendi of Kendi Everyday, my initial reaction was, “I can’t do that! I have too much stuff to be THAT organized!” Within a few hours, I came to the realization that I could turn my tornado of a closet into an organized safe haven. Here’s how I did it without spending a dime!

A Step By Step Guide

1. Assess the state of your closet and how much time it will take you to organize the space properly. In my experience, if I don’t get it all done in one shot, it will take days. I recommend blocking out at least an hour if you mostly need to hang, fold and rearrange. Projects involving installation of organization systems, you will need more time.

2. If it doesn’t belong, move it. While our closets aren’t always solely for clothes you do have to draw the line somewhere. Decide what categories of things stay and which go. If you have to move items, where will they go? Make space wherever works best.

3. Drag it out. Take everything out of your closet so you can see exactly what’s in there.

4. Weed out seasonal and ill-fitting items. Take out items you won’t be wearing in the next one to four months and find another space for them. I’m personally not a purger, but if you are this may be a good time to get rid of items that no longer fit.

5. Use what you have. Round up any baskets or boxes you have laying around. Do you have a shoe racks or canvas hanging shelves already? Do your best to find items that you already own that will help you organize.

6. Organize. Use a system that works best for you and that you’ll be able to stick to. I have an intricate system involving colors, patterns and types of clothes that I’ve been using for years. I used canvas hanging racks I already own and used them to divide my organization system.

These quick tips will give you a well organized closet!

Wear Your Clothes Until You’re Sick of Them

I am a sweater abuser. I find one I love and wear it constantly until I get sick of it. I’m officially “over” this cardigan, but I can’t say I didn’t see it coming–my love for this sweater has been as strong since my fianc√© accidentally shrunk it in the dryer a few weeks ago.

This was my New Year’s Eve outfit, which was very similar to my Christmas Day outfit except with a much more playful and shorter dress, which I nabbed at Target for ten bucks!

My plan for the sweater’s future? Store it away somewhere deep inside my closet, forget I have it and then be really surprise six months from now when I find it. Nothing like planning a shopping trip in my own closet!