Thursday, August 30, 2012

A short one


shirt: The Limited
skirt, belt: Modcloth
flats: Target

A short post, that is, as I don't have much to say today and I only had two photos I liked from this shoot. Usually, I take five to nine photos of each outfit. Any more and I start to get bored. (Yes, I have the attention span of a five-year-old.) So sometimes, in those few I'm-not-bored-yet shots, I have like seven good photos to choose from. Sometimes, I can't even find three that I like.

Anyway, tomorrow I'm having lunch with a marketing rep from an online jewelry store startup that's based here in Columbus. The concept is a little like Groupon or Google deals, only substitute all the discounted food/haircuts/whatever with jewelry. CUTE jewelry. I'm really excited to be collaborating with this company...and I mean really excited, not oh-I-got-free-stuff-I'm-gonna-pretend-to-be-enthusiastic excited. I can't wait to introduce you guys to the site, and with any luck, do a little jewelry giveaway!

Huh. Look at that. Guess I did have something to talk about today :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Captain Productive!


button-down: New York & Company
cropped slacks: The Limited
shoes: Target
necklace: InPink
bracelet: don't remember

If I were a superhero, I would be Captain Productive. I'd rush around the house, checking items off my to-do list and generally being awesome at getting things done. My arch nemeses? The television, distractions in general and lethargy.

This week, I've definitely been channeling Captain Productive. Going to the gym, experimenting with a recipe that's plagued me for ages, working on next week's Pin-spiration project, taking and editing outfit photos...I've been doing it all. Which is good, because my arch nemeses have been winning more often than not as of late.

Fun fact: This shirt has been sitting in my closet, unworn, for nearly two years. And I have no idea why. It fits perfectly, is flattering, and goes with just about everything I own. Funny how some parts of your wardrobe can be so neglected, isn't it?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Pin-spiration Monday...a win and a fail

Well, here are my first two actually-doing-the-things-I-pin-on-Pinterest projects! One was a satisfying success, but the other...well, let's just say there's a reason why sites like Pinterest Fail and (my personal favorite) Pintester.

So, without further ado, my epic Pinterest fail. Here's the Pin-spiration:

And here's my version:


Ah, ombre nails. It looked so effortless and the final effect was just so stinkin' cool. So where did I go wrong? I think a little of the problem stemmed from my color choices. The original pin had two similar hues, while my opaque glittery silver didn't really mix well with the deep, deep purple. Also, another version of this pin seemed to indicate that you should wiggle the sponge up and down along the length of your nail to blend a little better. Maybe I'll try it again when I'm feeling up for a possible disappointment :P

Now, to end on a more pleasant note. My old method of jewelry storage wasn't exactly attractive, to say the least. See?


Ick. So I decided to start my jewelry organization revamp with a few cute containers. I bought a couple small dishes from the thrift store (one of which I hit with a quick coat of white spray paint), and an adorable ceramic egg holder from the clearance room at Anthropologie :) For my earrings, I knew I had to get rid of that juvenile butterfly earring holder. That I've had since I was approximately 14. So here's my Pin-spiration for that:

Source: via Emma on Pinterest

My end result turned out pretty satisfactorily. I used some green floral wire from Lowe's, as I couldn't find a thin enough metal wire like what's used in the picture. After I hot-glued it to the frame, I spray-painted it. For the frame itself, I snagged this $3 plastic frame from Target. I just tossed the glass pane and the backing.


If I could redo it, I'd get a thicker frame so it could stand on its own, instead of having to be propped up against or hung on a wall. And for a little tangent, here's the overall look of that jewelry area so far:


I'm really loving this new look, and I think the white items play really nicely off of the cherry-ish stain of my jewelry box, which was given to me as a gift. I'm thinking about modge-podging the surface of my dresser (not sure what color/pattern yet), because the stain doesn't really make the jewelry box very well. I have a few ideas for how I might do the necklaces and bracelets, but they're untouched as of yet.

Alright! So project numbers 1 and 2 of my self-imposed Pinterest project-tackling challenge are complete. And I already have project number 3 picked out! Here's hoping I can actually stick to this challenge, haha :)

Friday, August 24, 2012

A moment of complete honesty.

Lately I've been noticing a kind of trend among lifestyle bloggers, taking measures to improve their lives. From Sydney's self-love to Jess's living with intention, bloggers are showing the world how they're making their lives better. And lately, I've been thinking about my take on life lately. And how flawed it is.

See, I tend to get so focused on rushing to the next experience life has to offer that I forget to stop and enjoy the here and now. My whole life up until now has been a checklist, a constant parade of "what's next?" and "achievement reached." After finishing high school, I moved straight to college, and after college it was straight to finding a career. I got a major case of the wedding bug about six months after college, because when you're in a long-term relationship and graduate college, you're supposed to get married.

I've been unhappy lately because that marriage bug is back, but for all the wrong reasons (yet again). This time, I've fallen victim to a major case of "keeping up with the Joneses"-itis. It seems like everyone around me is getting engaged, and since I'm in the habit of constantly comparing my life to that of others around me, I've been feeling like Matt and I simply must get engaged, too.

And I've finally realized how unhealthy this whole mentality is. So I'm stopping it. I'm going to stop comparing myself to others, stop living my life like it's a checklist to be completed, and just enjoy it. I'm going to stop, and get a nice whiff of those roses everybody's always talking about.

Honestly, I'm not really even sure why I'm posting this, except for the fact that typing it all out is my own personal form of therapy, and it seems pointless to spend so much time typing something up and then not doing anything with it. Also, I think a lot of bloggers tend to only show one facet of themselves on a blog, and I don't really like that. This is my blog, and I'm going to be me on it. So, yeah. There you go?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Introducing...SUPER BUTT.



blouse: old, don't remember
heels, belt: Target
necklace: gifted
flower: H&M

I really love the simplicity of this outfit. The pencil-skirt-and-button-down-blouse is a classic, timeless combo, one that pretty much instantly makes me feel classy. Until I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, from behind.

This is the one and only item in my closet that actually makes it look like I have some badonk-a-donk. Because I definitely don't, in real life. But in this skirt...well, it's the only time that I feel like I can flaunt my assets. (Get it? Ha. I'm 24, going on 5.)

In other news, I've been thinking a lot lately about how I just don't utilize Pinterest as much as I should. I mean, I pin a million things, and never follow through on any of them. (Well, that's not entirely true. I did this and I attempted this. Guess which one was a major fail.) So anyway, I thought I'd take a page out of Young House Love's book and do my own Pinterest-project tackling challenge. I'm shooting for once a week. We'll see how well I do there ;)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Wedding weekend (three of four)

The second wedding weekend was actually two weekends ago, but I wasn't able to stay at the reception long and wound up not taking many pictures. This past weekend, I was in the wedding and only got a few shots in between all the bridesmaid duties :)

justices and me sized
Groom Josh, me, and bride Tiffany.

matt and me sized
Me 'n my man. Isn't he handsome?

tiff and me sized
Tiff and me. We've been bffs since we were about 17 or so. She's pretty much the bee's knees. (My dress is from David's Bridal...not sure where Tiff's is from. My jewelry was my bridesmaid gift, and it was from Express.)

All in all, it was a really long weekend, since I headed up to northern Ohio Thursday night and stayed through Monday morning (the wedding itself was Sunday night). Today was pretty rough, after a weekend of mildly structured chaos, haha. But I suppose I might as well get back into the swing of things, no? Eh. Here goes nothing :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

I am a terrible blogger

Well, I'm up at my parents' house this weekend to attend/be in my bff's wedding, and I was planning to post an outfit post today during some of my down time. Except I of course failed to realize that all my outfit photos are on on my camera. Which I left at home in Columbus. Good bloggers forget their cameras all the time, right? Didn't think so :)

Fortunately, Matt isn't coming up to this part of the state until the actual day of the wedding, so he'll be able to bring my camera with him. Saved by the boyfriend :) Until then...iPhone photos galore!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Featured sponsor: DoMyJeans

I’ve written before about sites where you can custom-create clothing to fit your unique body shape. Because let’s face it…we are not all runway models! Clothing fits us differently than it does the store mannequin! And as someone who is weirdly-proportioned (wide shoulders, narrow hips, long arms and legs), I can definitely appreciate being able to specify my exact measurements to a clothing company. So when DoMyJeans asked me to do a little feature on their custom jeans, I was more than happy to oblige. (If the name sounds familiar, they featured me on their blog last month.)


The whole concept of DoMyJeans is that everyone should be able to custom-create their own jeans, from fabric wash and pocket style to inseam length and waist height. Since jeans rarely fit me in both the waist/hip area AND the inseam, I’m pretty jazzed that stores like DMJ exist. Yes, they’re a little pricier than the ill-fitting styles I usually purchase, but I think it’s well worth the investment. And you know that if stingy old me is willing to shell out the big bucks, it’s gonna be worth it!


There’s even a 15-day “trial” period, so you can take your denim for a test run to make sure it fits exactly the way you wanted it to. Since my biggest fear/reservation about ordering clothes online (and probably yours, too) is that they won’t fit right because I didn’t get to try them on, this trial period is a welcome feature.

And from now until September 9, DMJ is giving Verbal Mélange readers $6 or $10 off an order! To get $6 off, use promotion code “0emxra1” or “peq278o” at checkout, and to get $10 off, use promotion code “vhqj5w3” at checkout.



Now, I’m off to design myself a pair of jeans that actually fits me ;)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012



tank: secondhand
cardigan, flower: H&M
skinnies: Forever 21
flats: Target
necklace: gifted

Some of my favorite outfits are ones that can go from day to night. I got inspiration for the "day" version of this outfit (above) while wearing the "night" version (below) at my friend's bachelorette party last month. It was an unseasonably cool night, so I had to pop into H&M to buy this cardigan. While I was there, I also snagged this flower pin.

heels: Target
headband: H&M (I think?)

I actually wore the "day" version of this outfit to work for casual Friday...though in retrospect, the top might be a tad too low-cut for work. Oops :)

Oh, before I forget. One of my sponsors, eShakti, is offering a promo code to Verbal Mélange readers! From now until August 31, you can use the code VE24ART to get 10% off anything in the shop, excluding overstock items. And the best part? You can use it as many times as you want before the month is over. (Disclaimer: I get a small compensation from purchases made with this code. Hooray, transparency!)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Aimless and wandering

Wearing: Minted by Revlon and Mink Muffs by Essie

I don't usually do posts that are just about my nails, because I rarely do more than just a solid color or a solid color with another solid color party nail...but I got a lot of compliments on this mani, and I didn't have another outfit post lined up, so here you go. I guess I was kind of craving mint chocolate chip ice cream when I did this style :)

In other news, I've been feeling kind of restless and weird lately, with a healthy dose of "life is awesome" thrown in to keep things from getting too depressing boring. It's been unseasonably cool around here lately, which is a welcome break from the hottest summer on record for our area, but it also kind of bums me out because that means fall, and then winter, is approaching. Winter is just the worst, if you ask me.

Anyway. I got off on a weird tangent today. I think it's because I shared a much-needed bottle of wine and some equally-needed tough love with my friend Allory tonight. Those three things — wine, tough love, Allory — in combination tend ot put me in weird, but good, introspective funks.

Friday, August 10, 2012

I know how to change a tire



sleeveless button-down: New York & Company
maxi dress: secondhand
shoes, belt, sunnies: Target

When I was a teenager, I was a...let's say...not so awesome driver. So yeah, I learned how to change a flat tire pretty darn quick. So when I got to Lowe's last night to pick up some spray paint (for a keep-me-busy-while-Matt's-gone project), and discovered I had a flat, I was annoyed but not panicked. Yeah, it sucked that I bumped a curb and blew out the wall of my tire beyond repair (I guess that says I prob needed new ones anyway). But I had a spare in the trunk and the knowledge to fix it. What I lacked, however, was a jack and a tire iron to get the lug nuts off.

A really nice guy in the parking lot let me use his jack, but unfortunately his tire iron didn't fit my lug nuts (what?!). So I sloooooowly drove my car over to the NTB next door, where they promptly told me it would be 20 for them to change my tire. I asked to just borrow their equipment, but they said no.

Long story, short, my car insurance has roadside assistance. Instead of the 60+ minutes that it usually takes to get help, someone showed up in about 15 and got me all set up. For free. Of course, by that point it had started raining. So when I finally got home, I went straight to the fridge, popped open a bottle of wine, and went to work.

Basically, what I'm saying is that I didn't post last night because a bottle of green apple Riesling and a few episodes of Modern Family just seemed like a better idea :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing



shirt, cropped pants: The Limited
coverup: Marshall's
shoes: Target
hair flower: H&M
necklace: gifted

First off, a major thank you is in order. To those of you who emailed/commented/Tweeted with kind thoughts and words regarding yesterday's post. You guys are the reason I keep blogging. And a thanks to those who read but didn't laugh at my overdramatic-ness. I know you're out there.

I'm happy (thrilled, delighted) to say that as of this evening, Matt and his friend are still fine. They checked in with the GPS thing last night, after my post, and again this evening. And this afternoon, they climbed to the highest point in Utah (King's Peak) and were able to catch enough of a cell phone signal to send a few texts. Matt and I were able to do the whole "I love you/I miss you exchange," and I was able to scold him for not checking in more regularly, haha. (I didn't really scold him. It was more of a "It sucks when I don't hear from you guys every day.") He said they're kicking some major ass on this trip so far, and everything's been going well. It was one of the best texts I've ever gotten.

So today's post title isn't just the name of a great Jack Johnson song. It's what I'm doing the rest of the week: sitting here, waiting for Matt to come home, wishing it were Saturday. But in the meantime, I'm trying to jump back on my "projects" list to keep myself busy and distracted and not worried :)

Monday, August 6, 2012


I'm a little wigged out today because Matt and his friend haven't checked in (via their GPS spot device) from the Rockies since they set up camp Saturday night. At this point, that's a full 48 hours of radio silence. I keep telling myself that they probably just can't get a GPS signal, that they're probably fine, but that gap between "probably" and "definitely" is driving me to full-on insanity. When I saw on this morning that there were "wildfires in the Utah mountains," I had a full-blown panic attack. It was my first one in nearly two years, and my first one at this not-so-new-anymore job. Fortunately, I had a good friend who let me lock us up in a conference room while I sobbed uncontrollably for a good 10 minutes. Then I went back to my desk and plotted out the guys' trail on Google Maps, then compared it to this site. It looks like for now, the fires are north, west and southwest of the guys by 60, 70, 80+ miles. (If anyone's curious, they're hiking through the mountain range in the top-right corner of the state.)

Sorry for the scary/brutal honesty and slight hysterics here today, but honestly I can't think about anything else right now. It's going to be a long rest of the week, I fear. I want to try to keep posting this week, if only to give myself something to do, but don't be surprised if my nerves get the best of me and I'm unable to think of anything that seems worth writing about.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Home alone



shirt: secondhand
short-sleeve Oxford, cropped pants: New York & Company
shoes: DSW
hair flower: H&M
necklace: super old, don't remember

This morning, Matt left for a week-and-a-half trip to Utah to hike through the Rocky Mountains. It's such a cool opportunity for him, and I'm happy that he has the chance to do this, but a big part of me won't rest easy until he's home safely. It's the longest hike he's been on (try three times as long as any other he's done) and at a much higher elevation, with a much higher difficulty level. He and his friend are both excellent at "surviving" (what they prefer to call camping/hiking), and I know they're more than capable of this trip. But still. It's gonna be a long almost-two-weeks all by my lonesome. It's the longest we've been apart in years, and it'll be the longest we'll go without talking since we started dating, as he doesn't have a cell phone signal at 15,000 feet.

Le sigh. Anyway. This outfit. Some lady at the grocery store just walked up to me and complimented me on this hair flower. It was a random impulse purchase as I was checking out at H&M...the day I bought it, I wore it clipped to my cardigan. Multifunctional!

These are the shoes I picked up to wear to Abby's wedding, instead of these guys. I'm thinking about selling them, because they're a tad too large and too tall and I can't really walk in them very well. Anyone wear a size 10? (Ally, I'm lookin' at you!)