Saturday, December 29, 2012

WHAT am I wearing???

After finding myself running late to work due to spending too much time trying out my new curling iron (see results above), I threw on a mishmash of clothing that seemed to go well together color-wise.

Sweater: Old, from TJ Maxx, Dress (worn as skirt): Old, from Kohl's, Leggings: Fleece-lined from Ross, Boots: Cougar by Storm
I haven't worn a dress as a skirt probably since I was nine; but I think it works. Does it work?

Overall, it is a very comfy outfit for my 12-hour shift that leads in to what I hope will be a weekend full of shopping after-Christmas sales!

Tonight, I also wore a new pair of earrings that I love:

New earrings!

Have a nice weekend, everyone!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday Favorites

Left over from the holiday, these are my favorite things this week!

I asked Tim for a new blow dryer and curling iron for Christmas. We went to Target and I pointed out a few. Little did I know he would take it a step further and research the top hair tools online! He bought me a new blow dryer and two new curling irons from BaByliss, a French company, and I LOVE them! They feel like the ones at the hair salon and work just as well.

Best hair tools ever by BaByliss

While I was at my parent's house for Christmas earlier this week, I found this barrette in a drawer in my old bathroom. I remember when I got it as a child (from Claire's, I think) and how much I loved how sparkly and shiny it was. I also remember I hardly ever wore it because it just seemed too fancy for my small-town life. Now I know nothing is ever too fancy. Ever. And I brought it home with me.

My favorite sparkly barrette from when I was little!
Rita is my parent's 7-year-old Golden Retriever and she absolutely adores Tim. It's fun to watch her get so excited to see him and fawn all over him the entire time he's around. I've never seen a dog so in love and I've had to tell her that he is mine. I think she'd steal him from me if she could. Anyway, the two of them together are a favorite this week. :-)

Rita, my parent's Golden Retriever, is ridiculously in love with Tim.
Every holiday I spend with my dad's side of the family, I hope my Aunt Marcia bakes her blackberry pie for the event. This Christmas Eve, she did! And it was great like always, and like always it was my favorite.

My favorite pie ever!
Driving home, we went through a snowstorm. OK, so it wasn't a snowstorm. But I was nervous nevertheless. I AM from Northwest Washington, after all. We don't get enough snow for long enough amounts of time to really learn how to handle it.

Tim, on the other hand, was frustrated that everyone was driving 35 mph and he didn't put the truck in 4-wheel-drive until I whined incessantly. (4-wheel-drive makes it safer to drive in the snow, right?) Then after I started taking pictures and stopped paying attention to his driving, he switched it back to 2-wheel-drive. He's so sneaky.

He rolled down his window at one point and said, "I need to raise my Alaska flag so everyone will know I can handle this and they need to get out of my way."

That quote was my favorite of all, this week.

Driving through a Winter Wonderland

Thursday, December 27, 2012

What's black, white and red all over?

My Christmas Eve outfit!

Comfy and cute, I combined red pants from American Rag, an off-white Guess sweater and heeled black Guess boots for this outfit. It's probably as close to dressing like Santa Claus as I will ever get.
Also making another appearance is the vintage necklace from my grandma. Lately, it has become a favorite of mine!

Necklace: Vintage. Sweater: Guess, Pants: American Rag from Macy's, Boots: Guess from DSW.
I hope you all are having a great week! I will post more pictures of my trip back home soon.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Favorites

Decking the halls and whatnot

In a startling turn of events, there is nothing peppermint flavored in this week's Friday Favorites.
There IS a new kind of foundation I bought from bareMinerals. Normally, I use the regular loose powder. I really like it, but in the winter my skin gets dry so I really wanted a more hydrating foundation. Enter bareMinersls READY SPF 20 Foundation. I bought the travel-size brush because it was cheaper than the full size one and fits in my purse, which is always a plus. The foundation doesn't crease, lasts longer than most, and blends well.

bareMinerals READY Foundation in fairly medium

Next favorite: Holiday decorating! Growing up, my mom went all-out with decorations and they stayed up from the day after Thanksgiving until New Years (or sometimes later). While my collection and space to decorate are not nearly as large as hers, I enjoy carrying on the tradition. :-)

The photo was a Christmas present to Tim from my parent's dog, Rita, last year. :-)
Earlier this week, we went for a drive and looked at Christmas lights in our neighborhood. There are some incredible displays in our area but more incredible were some of the houses on which the lights were displayed. Wow. If I had a million dollars...

"Ooooh, ahhhhh!"
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I'll be busy finishing up last minute shopping, traveling back home and seeing some of my favorite people! Hopefully, I'll have a few new outfits to post after Christmas. ;-)

Happy Holidays from Tucker

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

New favorites

An afternoon in Capitol Hill

Stereotypical Seattle day
One of the greatest things about moving to a new place is that everything is new. Obviously. During the past two months, we've enjoyed exploring new parts of the city, finding new favorite restaurants, and discovering some great stores.

Last Saturday, I visited a friend who lives in Capitol Hill. She's from the same area as I, originally, but moved to Seattle after high school and fell in love with it. She showed me some unique spots she likes to frequent in her neighborhood.

A view of the Melrose Marketplace from our table
At first, I wasn't sure what was inside the building at 1531 Melrose Avenue. Was it a warehouse? Was it an indoor farmers market? Was it a restaurant?
Answer: A little of all the above.
There was a butcher selling fresh meat, a man selling caramels he made, a floral shop and a very neat restaurant called Sitka and Spruce.

Evidently, prior to the start of construction this was a lovely view
The decor was homey, with produce and country-chic touches here and there. According to my friend, the menu changes every few days depending on what is available locally. One other neat thing about this restaurant was the kitchen, which was open to the dining area.

Lovely details in the restaurant

Next, we walked a few blocks to The Elliot Bay Book Company store. Walking around endless shelves of books on every topic imaginable, I felt like I was in love. The smell of new books alone was intoxicating. I could probably spend days in there.

Such a beautiful bookstore!
Though I'd never been to Capitol Hill before, I heard it was home to many colorful characters. We saw probably a hundred or more walking up and down the streets dressed as Santa Clauses. I found out later it was part of the Seattle SantaCon. Looked like fun!

A small swarm of Santas walk down the street
If you're wondering why people dressed as Santa Claus would walk all over a city in the cold and rain instead of just driving from place to place, you've probably never tried to find parking in Capitol Hill. It's not easy and it's not fun; but everything else is!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Could this be the least sexy thing sold by Victoria's Secret?

Victoria can't keep this secret -- it's too big!

(Disclaimer: My mother came up with the joke above. Also, I love VS and have always been happy with their products and customer service. This item was by far the most unique in regard to fit and worthy of a humorous blog post. Also, I am not pregnant.)

I have a thing for cowl neck sweaters, Victoria's Secret, and using lots of promo codes when purchasing items online.

So, when VS had a deal for gifts with purchase and Secret Reward cards ($10 each minimum) I went online and found a few things to add to my wardrobe.

Wow! What a cool sweater! It does so many neat things and is long enough to wear with leggings! That'll look great on me! Right?


I ordered a size small and couldn't believe how gigantic it was. Biggest shirt I've ever worn. Hands down. Without a doubt. So I exchanged it for an extra-small and here's what I got:

Hands in sweater pockets = instant saddlebags
I tried it on and showed Tim.

"Ugh, don't put your hands in the pockets!" he said, his face contorting slightly.

Looking in the mirror with my hands in the pockets, I realized it gave me that pear-shaped body my cousin and I swore we'd never get despite our family genetics suggesting otherwise.

I kid you not, this is size XS.
Size extra small? For real?

My torso is not made of cardboard, I swear!
Normally, Victoria's Secret is known for having clothing that flatters a woman's body. But this sweater makes me look like I'm mostly made of cardboard.

Would it be different if I were six feet tall and 105 lbs like the VS models? Maybe. But the world will never know.

It didn't look like the pictures. At all. And the cool things this "multi-way" sweater did? Yeah. Not so cool-looking on me.

Sexy off-the-shoulder or just wearing clothes that are too big and fall off?
The hood thing reminded me of the Mary J. Blige commercial for ATT she did a few years ago where she wore all these awesome outfits while she conducted business on her phone like a boss.

I don't look like a boss. I look like I belong in a conservative sect of (insert religion here), which I don't.

There are some perks to the sweater, though. Like, if it gets REALLY cold out and you need to warm up just crouch down and it will cover your entire body! More stylish than a snuggie!

Also, because it is so gigantic, I am pretty sure if I am ever pregnant with twins, triplets or quadruplets I can wear this sweater for the entire term.

Awwww, it can fit a baby someday!
Okay. All kidding aside, I will be keeping the sweater. Despite the fact it may be the least sexy thing ever to be sold by Victoria's Secret, it is incredibly comfy and, in the winter, that beats sexy.

To wrap up this very long post, here are a few other photos from the giant-sweater ensemble:

I like dressing up neutral tones with sparkly earrings.

Upside-down French braid + bun

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday Favorites

'Tis the season!

It's getting COLD outside! Even when I wear blue jeans I'm freezing and think of my childhood karate teacher who moved to Washington from California and had jeans that were flannel-lined. But I can't find flannel-lined jeans.

What I did find? Fleece-lined leggings. They are, perhaps, the most comfortable things I have ever put on my short legs. My friend, Nicole, told me she found some at Ross. The next day I went to Ross and bought two pairs. They're by a company called Shosho. Warmer than jeans or other leggings, the only downside I see is they get fuzzies on them so I will have to buy one of those sweater-shaver things. Know where I can find one?

One of my favorite things about this time of year is how you can get almost anything in peppermint flavor. Don't be surprised if you see another peppermint-flavored item as a favorite next Friday.

....Or anything peppermint, really.
I wore these earrings with an outfit this week but took them off before I left the house because, let's face it, they are just too fancy for a night shift in an operations center. I purchased them at a boutique in downtown Sequim.

They are my favorites.

So shiny!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Braids + red leather

After watching the first few episodes of "Once Upon A Time" on ABC, I really wanted a red leather jacket. Though I looked online and in stores, I wasn't able to find one I like and could afford. Then, I came upon this jacket by Zara in a consignment store for $12. Score!

Also, I French-braided my hair tonight because I ran out of time to blow-dry it. :-)

So, here you go.

Scarf: Maurices, Jacket: Zara, Black Shirt: Nike

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Gallery openings and a vintage necklace

We are fashionably late

Monday evening, a friend of mine had the pleasure of showcasing her art in Seattle for the first time. The gallery opening, hosted by The Vera Project next door to Key Arena, was a wonderful opportunity to see some fresh, new art and do some mingling. It was also a good opportunity to get dressed up and wear a necklace my grandma gave me from way back when.

Cute puppies make for a great accessory ;-)

Necklace is vintage from my grandmother, dress from a little store called Paisley's in Sequim, leggings from Ross
Due to the fact the GPS lady seemed to be having an off night, we were an hour late to the gallery opening. I guess the bright side to this is we got to go to many parts of the city we don't normally frequent: Wallingford, Fremont, Downtown, Georgetown... 

Fortunately, when we got where we were going, we found parking nearby and walked the short distance to the gallery, which has a great view of the Space Needle in addition to awesome bathroom graffiti.

I experienced a new first at the art gallery: Gender neutral bathrooms. It threw me off at first when I kept looking for the ladies room and couldn't find any indicators. But guess what, gender neutral bathrooms are just like any other bathroom except it's males AND females expressing themselves in the stall graffiti.

For more on Karissa D. Patterson Art click here
Karissa paints the human form with watercolors, sometimes capturing it as mirror-images
This was my favorite piece in the show.
The Vera Project art gallery
Karissa, me and Joanna 
Joanna and I taking an obligatory Space Needle photo :)
--When in Rome, right?
It was great to see Karissa and so many others I hadn't seen in quite a while. I may have even talked one long lost friend into doing my makeup for her portfolio. Fun! :-)

Well, my short but sweet weekend ends tonight so let's hope I run all the Christmas and household errands I need to in the next 16 hours and get 8 hours of sleep in somewhere too.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Smart style

This outfit cost less than $30.

American Eagle jeans: $7.99 @ Value Village
Sweater: $3.99 @ Goodwill
Express dress shirt: $12.99 @ Goodwill

This is the first time I've ever worn a dress shirt under a sweater. It makes me look smarter, doesn't it? ;-)

100 percent thrifted

Saturday, December 8, 2012

That one time I flooded the apartment

Oh, yes...

As a person who works long night shifts, I don't have a lot of time during my work week for chores. Because of that, I like to be efficient about my housework. On Friday, I finished my shift at 7 a.m., went home, put some laundry in the washing machine and got ready for bed. I realized I needed to prepare a letter to go out in the mail that day so I could give it to Tim before he left for the day. As I walked into the dining area where we have our mail supplies, I stepped on some wet carpet.

"Why is the carpet wet?" I called out to Tim, who was getting ready for work. I took another step. Squish.

I thought maybe Tucker had an accident until I looked up and saw this...

About two inches of water here. On my floor. Yikes!
I don't remember exactly what I said next as I began to panic. I started yelling about water and flooding, running to the washer to stop it from continuing to pour out gallons of water onto our floor. I turned knobs and pushed buttons frantically until something worked and the water stopped. Then I ran around grabbing every towel and washcloth I could find while Tim headed to his car to get a five-gallon bucket and some giant sponges.

What do I do? I've never been in this situation before, I thought. Who do I call? 9-1-1? No. Dad? No. Maintenance. You call maintenance.

So I called maintenance. They weren't in for the day.

I left a short, breathless message, "This is Amanda Winters in apartment *** and my washing machine flooded the room."

They called back a minute later and said they were just getting in for the day and would be right up. I shut Tucker in the bedroom. We couldn't have him getting in the way of our flood clean-up. They brought three towels and four of us spent the next 40+ minutes soaking up water and wringing out towels. My arms are still sore.

I thought we'd have to replace the carpet because of all the water that thoroughly soaked it. The maintenance guys said they'd have to check the unit below us to make sure none of the water caused any damage to their ceiling. Thank goodness it didn' far as we know.

Tim went to work. Despite the chaos, my letter did make it in the mail. The maintenance crew came and went about every hour and a half throughout the day. I got about five hour-long naps in.

Giant machines were brought in to help
A water vacuum used by the maintenance staff five hours after the flood happened helped far more than the poor, old, overused towels had. A powerful fan and giant dehumidifier (I think) were brought in to help dry things out. Our apartment sounded like an airplane hangar.

Oh, by the way, the maintenance crew investigated the washing machine and determined it had been a "fluke" and could happen again. So from now on, I have to keep my eye on the machine until it stops filling with water. That really disrupts my efficiency flow.

I put Tucker's water and food in the bathroom where it was dry. He is scared of the bathtub, though, so he would only drink water by peaking around the corner and stretching his head out to lap from the bowl.

Getting a drink of water
After the machines ran for a while, things started to dry up and Tucker was ready to get back to business.

The carpet is dry enough for playing ball
But I had to go to work. Exhausted and with a throbbing headache, I decided to go for comfort over style. The result:

Sweatshirt: Charlotte Douglas International Airport, North Carolina. Jeans: Thrifted American Eagle via Value Village. Shoes: Puma
We shall see if I feel like repeating this look tonight when I finish my work week with a 13-hour shift. :-)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday Favorites

This week's Friday favorites!


Contigo water bottle

From Target
After cleaning out my car and finding an embarrassing number of empty plastic bottled waters, I decided I should do the right thing for the environment and just buy a decent water bottle to reuse. Ifound some sturdy Contigo bottles at Target that are spill proof, easy to carry and hold 24 ounces (with measurements labeled on the outside). I bought a green one.

Green tea

Where I work, there are a lot of drinks in the kitchen from which to choose. I don't drink soda and can only handle so much coffee, so recently I started drinking green tea. Benefits: It keeps me warm while I work in a very cold room, gives me a little boost of caffeine, and it helps curb my hunger. I tend to be a non-stop snack monster at work.

Candy Cane Joe-Joe's


These are simply THE.BEST.COOKIES. That is all. They are similar to Oreos but softer and with little pieces of real candy cane inside the creamy filling. They taste great by themselves, with milk, crushed up in vanilla ice cream, dipped in hot chocolate or any other way you can imagine. Every year, I look forward to when I can walk into Trader Joe's and buy multiple boxes to last me through the holiday season and beyond. We share them with our families, friends and coworkers. :-) Some things are just too good to keep to yourself!