Frugal Fad of the 1st Weekend of January 2015

20150103_190914It’s date night with the hubby!  I think we will try my favorite sushi place, Ronin http://www.roninsushi.com/, in Royal Oak, MI.  I am dressed and ready to go, but there is no rush.  I am sipping on a glass of Pinot Noir and feeling fabulous in a few of my latest purchases and some old staples…oh, and a Christmas present from my mother (and father).  My top is an amazing find and I want to get it for all of my friends!…or at least tell them they must buy it.  It is from Kohl’s:  Jennifer Lopez black sheer, sparkly, long sleeve top. It is longer in the back than it is in the front and has a mish mash of jersey and polyester for the perfect fit.  I swear by this top!!!!  I’m wearing it with some Old Navy black and holey skinny jeans and pointy, patent high heals.  My mother gave me 7 pairs of sterling silver, stud, gem earrings for Christmas.  I love them because I am very subdued when it comes to jewelry.  I am wearing my gold necklace with a plate that spells my son’s name and I decided to pair the yellow citrine stud earrings with them even though they are wrapped in silver.  It actually feels genius to me.

http://www.kohls.com/product/prd-1819864/jennifer-lopez-mixed-media-lurex-high-low-top-womens.jsp

1819864Okay, it doesn’t look like much here, but I promise it is amazing!  It is originally $44 and is on sale 50% off right now.  I never pay full price at Kohl’s and always use a coupon but I don’t think I was able to get it this cheap when I bought it a month ago.  Get it now!

http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=85732&vid=1&pid=123763002

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They look more gray in this photo than they are.  I am currently into black on black on black.  🙂  These jeans are originally $34.94 and are on sale right now for $24.99.  I range in size from a 4-8.  I wear a 4 and The Limited, for example.  But at Old Navy, I wear a 6.  Mine are not bunchy on the bottom as the picture shows, but rather ankle length.

My shoes are old Anne Klein’s.  My purse is a year old too.  It is a red leather Fossil purse.  I got it on sale for $35 at Macy’s.  I am going to wear my Ponte/Not So Leather hybrid jacket from Express (purchased Sept 2014).

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My Daddy’s Egg Nog is Amazing!

Every holiday season my dad whips up a batch of his homemade egg nog.  Just thinking about it right now makes my mouth water.  Over Thanksgiving weekend, I learned his not-so-precise combination of recipes that he uses to concoct this alcohol enriched creamy delight.  His original vintage recipe said to beat until “tick”.  So, that is what we do!

First of all, my parents are proud owners of the, mother of all mothers, Kitchen Aid mixer.  This is ironic because my mother and I used to make fun of people who would buy this $250 mixer on black Friday.  Well, she is not laughing any more…I still am though.  I have to admit, it works pretty slick for this recipe.  I still think that there is probably something out there that is a lot cheaper that can do the same job????

Ingredients

  • 12 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1 qt milk
  • 1 qt liquor  (any combination of whiskey, rum and brandy will do depending on individual taste)
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 qt heavy whipping cream
  • 1.5 tsp nutmeg

He began by separating the egg yolks from the egg whites.

Use the mixer to blend the egg yolks with 1.5 cups sugar until tick and pale.  Add milk, liquor, salt and vanilla to mixture until blended.  Refrigerate.

I set the bowl and beater in the snow to chill.  Then using the mixer, Dad whipped the cream until soft peaks formed and set aside.  Then he whipped the egg whites with 0.5 cup of sugar until soft peaks formed.  Then he combined the egg white mixture with the cream.  Lastly, he folded the yolk/alcohol mixture with the cream/egg white mixture and sprinkled the top with nutmeg.   And cheers!

mixer and 2 recipes #2cracking egg20141128_180219whippingalcohol for nognutmeg

My Baby Turned 2!….The Highs and Lows of a Pinterest Party

Who knew?  I certainly did not know that kid birthday parties were such a big deal until my sons’ 1st and 2nd birthdays.  And now with the added pressure of living up to all of the adorable Pinterest ideas, the bar has been set super high!

My husband and I have been remodeling the basement after the flood in August that ruined our newly finished basement.  We received about 30 inches of water that devastated our living conditions for quite some time.  More on that later.  Needless to say, our party planning time was limited due to the remodel.  I wanted to make a birthday theme that was “easy” (haha!).  Our son is a huge sports fan like his father.  He is always kicking, throwing, shooting balls all over the place.  One day we saw him shuffling around the floor and realized he was playing basketball.  Last night, he went to bed with a baseball in his hand and woke up the next morning with it still in the same hand.  So, naturally, I thought a sports theme was the way to go.  I thought it would be easy because it seemed like a popular enough theme so that party-ware would be easy to find.

I wish I had gotten better pictures of the event and all of the crafts that I did ahead of time.  I didn’t even get a picture of the concession table with the hot dog and nacho bars.  It felt like I didn’t get to take a breath before and during the party.

The Invite:  I made the invite in Microsoft Word and really went with a sporting event theme.

enzo 2nd invite

The Concessions:  The sports stadium theme continued with a nacho bar and a hot dog bar.  I totally messed up by not getting pictures of this.  We used lots of crockpots/warmers for nacho cheese, chili, refried beans, hot dogs, etc.

Snacks/Cake:  We made my mother-in-laws almond sugar cookies and my friends helped to decorate them.  We used sharpies to draw on the clementines to make them look like basketballs.  I got the Chicago mix popcorn from Costco that has an amazing mixture of caramel and cheese popcorn.  My mother-in-law made chocolate covered strawberries into footballs.  I bought a double layer chocolate cake from Costco and decorated it with Reeses Pieces to look like a basketball.

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The Uniform:  Enzo’s shirt came from Etsy for $23. It’s a “baseball” shirt and I put the number two on it with our last name.

back of shirt enzo and ash_edited-1

https://www.etsy.com/transaction/239193727

The Games:  I made 2 piñatas;  a baseball to hit and a soccer ball to kick.  I’ve never done a Papier Mache project before so this was a learning experience; very time-consuming as it takes several days of letting it dry and adding another coat of paper.  I used a punch balloons to get the nice big round shape.  I used a thick combination of Elmer’s glue and water to stick shreds of newspaper to the balloons.  I popped the balloons and removed them.  I filled the piñata’s with 100 small toys (not candy) I found on amazon for about $15.  I used white Cray paper as my outer white coat and just put a small ribbon of Elmer’s glue on the back and stuck it to the ball.  Then I used cut-out pieces of colored construction paper to put the “threads” on the baseball and the pentagons on the soccer ball.

In addition to the piñatas, we played “pin the football in the goal post” and throw the football through the goal.  I brought Enzo’s basketball hoop down to the basement to play with.

baseball pinata lukesoccer ball pinatapin the football

The Décor:  My best friend has made both of Enzo’s birthday banners with her Cricket dye cut machine.  Then I use black and white Cray paper to get like a referee effect.  I found some cheap decorations/table cloths on Amazon.  And I got some sports themed balloons from the local dollar store.  I made extra little touches by putting signs on things like “Equipment” for the utensils and “Penalty Flags” with the yellow paper napkins.  I painted some wooden clothespins brown with white laces to resemble footballs to hold the signs on the containers I got from the dollar store. I bought sports water bottles for the little tykes at the dollar store so that they wouldn’t spill their drinks.   Enzo also had some other sports related décor:  like his football beanbag and a basketball piggy bank that set out.

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My Weekend Uniform

My casual weekend style for fall 2014 is all about skinnies, boots/booties, layers, and scarves.  Check out my latest weekender obsessions below followed by links to affordable pieces.

  1. Black denim skinnies are a current weekend staple in my wardrobe. I love the casual booties with the cable knit sweater and blanket scarf shown here.
  2. Flannels are perfect for casual attire and this looks adorable with a quilted vest and tall cognac boots.
  3. A tweed blazer adds a touch of class to another cozy cable knit sweater, and solid colored scarf.
  4. These rubber boots would get a lot of use on the weekends for me! And this sweater poncho would be like wearing a blanket, which I love. Notice the chambray/denim shirt underneath which is falls premiere layering essential.
  5. Love the layering of the flannel with the varsity cardigan and booties.

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Looking at these awesome styles on Pinterest is one thing.  Shopping for them at affordable prices is not as easy.  Here is what I found.

Cable Knit Sweaters:  Jackpot at Kohl’s

  1. ELLE™ Cable-Knit Turtleneck Sweater $36.99
  2. Croft & Barrow® Cable-Knit Dolman Sweater $24.99
  3. LC Lauren Conrad Cable-Knit Crop Sweater $39.99

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Leather Booties/Boots & Rubber Boots

  1. Vince Camuto “Baldwin”  $169.90
  2. Chinese Laundry South Coast $59.97
  3. Clarks Alpine Melt $71.99
  4. Chooka Top Solid Rain Boot $64.95

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Scarves

  1. Fashion Elegant Plaid Splicing Long Women’s Scarves    $7.99
  2. Manhattan Accessories Co. Reversible Plaid Ruana $33.60
  3.  & 4  New In Ladies Warm Comfortable Plaid Scarves For Women $10.99

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Tweed Jacket & Sweater Poncho

  1. Olive Double-Breasted Blazer $150
  2. Chaps Herringbone Wool Blend Jacket $90.30
  3. Dolman Sleeve Poncho $69.95
  4. Croft & Barrow® Houndstooth Quilted Vest $29.99

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It’s Not Getting Any Warmer in Michigan

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Perfection! A pencil, opaque tights with leather booties.

The last weekend of September we had boating weather.  And the first weekend of October we were dragging out our winter garb.  Sweaters, blazers, boots and tights are finally making their way out of hibernation and I couldn’t be more excited about it…well, the fashions are exciting anyways…not so much the cold weather.  I am super excited about booties this year!  I’m still looking for a black pair that I can wear to work.  I’ve got a suede camel pair of wedge booties and a black pair of combat boots.  I’m excited to wear my wedges with a skirt and tights or a pair of dressy skinny pants/jeans.  I’m also excited about layering all of my duds…scarves, jackets, and sweaters oh my!  Oversized sweaters are in and I am eager to add a few to my collection.  Here are some warm looks I am inspired by.

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Love this! Wool sweater over chambray button up with an army inspired jacket, skinnies and booties! I’m dying. Oh and the red purse too!

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Oversized sweater with booties and colored skinnies.

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Oversized mustard sweater, black skinnies and black leather booties.

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Oversized sweater layered over a chambray button up with skinnies and booties.

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Head to throw in a look with a leather jacket….a 2014 must!

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Love this jacket/blazer! I am looking for a pair of black denim skinnies too. This monotone look is fabulous!

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Ahh. So cozy in neutrals.

So, What’s Out, Exactly?

As I went through my closet recently, I had to make some tough decisions about what was in and what was out.  It can be tricky sometimes because you never know what might come back around in fashion.   I am not good at hanging onto things until they rebirth.  That is more my mothers bag.  Once I’m over it, I’m over it.   I just came across this article on one of my favorite blogger sites, jseverdayfashion.com.  I know I was considering getting rid of most of my turtle necks/cowl neck sweaters before I read this article.  However, there were some things in this article that I would consider hanging onto.  Then again, there are some trends I never considered trying at all.  The three I will definitely continue sporting are infinity scarves, wedge boots and waterfall cardigans.  I’m on the fence about sock buns and peplums, however. What trends are you considering ditching?

http://www.whowhatwear.com/trends-out-of-style-fashion-2014/

Out With the Old and Into My Mothers Closet

Facebook-20140914-034523I’ve been putting away my summer clothes recently and getting out my fall/winter wardrobe. This is a very long project that takes days to accomplish for me. But I love every minute at it is almost like shopping as I find all of the items I bought long ago and forgot about.  A couple of weeks ago,I worked on pants, blouses, skirts and blazers. I ended up taking a couple of large bags full of items that I hadn’t worn in years and have no intention of wearing in the near future up to my mother. Yesterday I did long sleeve shirts and sweaters. Today I did my shoes. I have another large bag full to take to my mother. She enjoys getting my hand-me-downs. She will keep what she likes and donate the rest. I am lucky that my mother is a fashionista too and that we wear similar sizes in everything except bras and shoes. She is different from me though. She is an avid resale shopper whereas I prefer new duds. She gets her thrills from finding trendy items for just pennies. She has also been known to save her favorite items for 10-30 years waiting for them to come back in style.  I give her a lot of credit for some of her finds. Check some recents out below.

This real mink and leather coat she found recently at a resale shop for $12.

This real mink and leather coat she found recently at a resale shop for $12.

Check out these Ray Bans that she found at the same resale place  (2 years apart)for $0.50 a pair.  The pair on the bottom was a limited edition valued over $250.

Check out these Ray Bans that she found at the same resale place (2 years apart)for $0.50 a pair. The pair on the bottom was a limited edition valued over $250.

I told Mom that Aztec print cardigans were In style and she dug this one out.

I told Mom that Aztec print cardigans were In style and she dug this one out.

This is an old but classic cable knit she dug out of her sweater collection...always in style it seems.

This is an old but classic cable knit she dug out of her sweater collection…always in style it seems.

Mom saw that cobalt colored fashions were in this fall on jseverdayfashion.com.  She pulled these items out.  The coat was found on a spring clearance rack for $5 at Kmart a couple years ago.  The skinny jeans are black with splashes of cobalt and are from Shopko for $7.

Mom saw that cobalt colored fashions were in this fall on jseverdayfashion.com. She pulled these items out. The coat was found on a spring clearance rack for $5 at Kmart a couple years ago. The skinny jeans are black with splashes of cobalt and are from Shopko for $7.

Nostalgic 20 year old wool hand made sweater that she has held on to since I was in high school.

Nostalgic 20 year old wool hand made sweater that she has held on to since I was in high school.

I told mom mustard was in so she took a picture of this classic cable knit cardigan that she picked up for $3.

I told mom mustard was in so she took a picture of this classic cable knit cardigan that she picked up for $3.

Etienne Aigner got for $1 and is probably worth hundreds.

She found this resale beauty (an Etienne Aigner) for $1 and is probably worth hundreds.