Wednesday, October 31, 2012

[Link up] Trend of the Month: Boots!!!

Today I'm linking up with the amazing Marion at Marionberry Style for her Trend of the Month linkup! This month, it's all about boots. Booties, mid calf boots, knee boots - all kinds of boots! Well....I just bought myself a pair of cowboy boots, so I'm going to be different post about that!!! (Although, I wouldn't be surprised if one of my bloggy faves Molly posts about them, too!!)

Now, I'm sure to many of you that's not a big deal. And it's not like this is my first pair of cowboy boots. But I've been a country girl all my life and every pair of boots I've ever owned have been cheap, poorly made, and "fake" - meaning some trendy shoe company put them out because they were in style. In my mind, they weren't real cowboy boots.

Now, all that has changed.

I went with 6 of my dance team girlfriends for an afternoon shopping outing at Horsetown East in Snellville, GA. Talk about authenticity - they carry everything a country girl could want! Jeans, hats, boots, shirts, jewelry - you name it, they had it.

And the boots. Authentic. Real leather. Made to be broken in. Made to take a beating. Made for a perfect hardwood dance floor.

After an hour or two of giving stylistic feedback to my friends trying on clothes, I headed over the boots. One of the women who was working there helped me out and I explained my situation: looking for boots under $200, I have long/big feet and skinny calves, and I've never owned a real pair. She spent the next half an hour choosing boots that met what I was looking for.

I just knew it when I put these on. I knew they were "the ones" - and when every one of my girls seconded that, I knew I had to get them. And I did.

The higher heel made my foot look shorter, and the skinnier shaft (hahaha that made me laugh when the saleswoman said it, how childish am I?!) was perfect on my skinny little chicken leg calves.

I just love my new boots...and I've worn them out on the dance floor a few times and they're perfect. Yay!

Oh, and as a bonus: here's how I wore them dancing!

Top: Old Navy, last seen here | Jeans: Express, old | Boots: Dan Post via Horsetown | Tank: Macy's

And, as a bonus, since a bunch of you have commented asking to see my dance team in action - here you are! (Sorry, but this is one of the best videos of our most recent performance, but it was recorded on an iphone so the quality is meh.) I'm on the far left in the front, when the video scrolls over that way. :)

Happy Wednesday, ya'll!!
Boots | Everybody, Everywear

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

[Link up] Try It Tuesday: Pumpkin Cookies

Welcome to Try It Tuesday, a linkup where we can try out something we've wasted all that time pinning! :)  The only rules are that your post content is inspired by something else - be it a pin, a page from a magazine, or someone else's blog. Also, please link back to my linkup in your post - the button code is below and in my right sidebar if you'd like to use the button.

Since tomorrow is Halloween, I thought I'd share the cookies I made from a recipe I pinned! To me, October screams pumpkin flavored things: coffee, cookies, and my favorite - pumpkin rolls (I make at least 2 of these every October, haha). This time, I decided to branch out and try a recipe on Pinterest that was slightly different than my normal pumpkin cookie recipe to see how it turned out.

The recipe I used I had pinned from this post by Jess of Linen, Lace, & Love:

1 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

To start, I mixed the shortening and sugar, then added the pumpkin.

I sifted the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt together, then set aside.

Next, I mixed in the egg with the pumpkin/sugar/shortening mixture.

Lastly, I mixed the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mix.

Scooping rounded teaspoons of cookies onto the cookie sheet, I baked the cookies at 375 for 10-12 minutes (a little longer in my oven because it stinks, haha).

They came out great!!! They had an amazing soft texture to them, a little on the dense side, but this tends to happen when you use shortening in a cookie recipe - however, I love them that way! I didn't do the icing that Jess did in her recipe, because I don't love icing on my cookies. I would definitely make these again!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

[Life] Halloween

This past weekend the hubby and I threw a Halloween party. You guys, I just love Halloween. It's one of my favorite holidays (second only to Christmas!). I think there are a number of reasons why - it's about candy and costumes and things that go bump in the dark! (And I love to be scared....bring on the scary movies!). It's in my favorite season: fall. And it's the start of my favorite time of year: the Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas holiday trifecta.

When I lived in Pittsburgh, my roommate Katie and I would throw a Halloween party every year. We lived in the South Side, which, if you know anything about Pittsburgh, is where all the fun is (and by that, I mean all the bars). What started that first year as a small pre-bar-hop get together turned into an annual shindig that all of our friends (and many of their friends!) looked forward to every fall.

The Wharton St annual Halloween Bash, 2005

We'd start the party early - maybe 7 or so - and then around 11 we'd gather up the entire party and bar crawl down the South Side. It was so much fun and talked about the entire year. When I moved down to Atlanta, I really missed that party every October.

So this year, when the hubs said he'd like to have one, I lit up at the opportunity to throw one again. While it wasn't quite the same - there was no bar crawl - we instead added a few things you can only have when you own your own home: outdoor beer games and a bonfire!

The lights say Happy Halloween...these are a leftover from the Wharton St era! Someone stole the Y off Happy, but it's Halloween, so we can kind of get away with it.

Sorry this is a bit blurry but it's the only full length pic we have. We were Harry Potter and Hermione!

Some of my amazing friends.
Raja and Lea won our costume contest with their "Chick Magnet" costume!

The Halloween Spooktacular was a blast!!! Can't wait for next year.... :)


Sunday, October 28, 2012

[Random] Sunday Soup #9

Time wasting time!

These candy bar scans are so interesting!

Here are some comparisons on the health factor in different Halloween candies.

Awesome engineering:

Just in time for Halloween: 18 Things You Didn't Know About Michael Jackson's Thriller.

A wedding announcement. How. Stinkin. Cute.

Wondering what to do with leftover Halloween candy?

Ever wonder how Jurassic Park was made? (This is pretty cool.)

Where do Jack-O-Lanterns come from?

Because I love boxers.

How about some inappropriate pumpkins?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

[Blogging] Soul Searching

Sh*t's about to get real up in here.

Many of you know that I've always had a love-hate relationship with style blogging. I worry that it can be narcissistic. I worry I have nothing to offer. I worry that the idea of lil ol' me being a style blogger is downright ridiculous. I spent my whole life trying to be as stylish as some of the women I've surrounded myself with over the years, and I can't imagine that I've learned enough to warrant style blogging.

These thoughts come to the forefront now and then and I've always been able to stuff them back down. But over the last month or two, I've really been thinking: why am I doing this? And here's what I came up with:
  • Because I love to write. If I wasn't writing about clothes I'd be writing about something else.
  • Because I aspire to be stylish every time I step out of the house, no matter where I'm going.
  • Because I'm learning about style each and every day through this awesome community of bloggers.
  • Because seeing photos of my outfits helps me to realize what works and what doesn't. And there's still a lot of doesn't!
  • Because some days, I just don't feel like putting myself together and this blog makes me accountable.
  • Because I am scared to death that once I have children I'll become that blob of a mom who never wears anything but yoga pants and sweatshirts. Having a blog will keep me accountable then, too!
I think the biggest disconnect here that has been causing me to continually question my blogging is that I don't really feel I'm giving anything to the blogging community. I'm no Blair or Aimee or Jessica, nor am I even in the same universe as those fabulously stylish women. 

So I've thought and thought and thought about it and am going to start some new things this blog. I don't think it's necessary to go into the details of exactly how it's changing or what I'll be doing - you'll see it soon enough. And it will still allow me to reap the benefits I listed above, and it will still be about fashion, but I will hopefully be posting content that's useful for others and informative. 

I've made it my goal to make this blog not just a series of pictures of what I'm wearing, but to write posts with accompanying outfits that readers can take something from. This blog is doing a sucky job of that as it stands right now and I've finally figured out how I'm going to do that. I'm super excited to share my new ideas with you!! It'll take a few weeks to get moving, since I have the next two week's worth of posts already scheduled (I can't even believe that!) - but it'll start soon enough!

Friday, October 26, 2012

[OOTD] Randoms Part 2

I cannot wait for the weekend to begin - got something fun planned I'll get to share with you next week! At least it's Friday, and I'm working from home, so it will be easier to get through today. :)

On to the post - there were so many of these pics on my phone I had to split them between two days! Here's the rest!

This is a sneak peak of an outfit post I have planned, so no details yet!

Sweater: Limited | Shorts: Joe's Jeans via Nordstrom Rack | Sandals: Shoe Land

Tee: JCP | Jeans: Forever 21 | Scarf: Walmart | Shoes: Sears

Sweater: Old Navy | Jeans: Forever 21 | Boots: Gifted from Hubby

Top: Old Navy | Jeans: Forever 21 | Boots: Boscov's | Cardigan: Webster via Target

 Please excuse the floor mess in my bedroom. Whoops!

Top: JCP | Jeans: Wet Seal | Flats, Cardigan: Old Navy | Scarf: Walmart

Tank: Old Navy | Blazer: Marshall's

Tank: H&M | Cardigan: Gap | Jeans: Target | Boots: Boscov's | Necklace: Bauble Bar

Weekly Roundup
Here's what went on here at The Blue Hour this week!
On Monday, I posted my 200th post and talked about scarves.
On Tuesday, I posted the outcome of a hair tutorial I tried for Try It Tuesday (get your entries ready for next week!)
Wednesday I talked about how blogging has improved my decision making ability.
Yesterday was a whole bunch of outfit photos from my phone, and part 1 of today's post.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

[OOTD] Randoms

I'm tired and don't feel like doing much work, so you're going to get a smattering of outfits I pulled off my phone.

You're also going to get a discount code for Kohl's.

Aren't you so lucky!?!

First - the Kohl's discount. Use the code TENBLOG for 10% off any Kohl's purchase between now and DECEMBER 23 (great for holiday shopping!)!!! This is a stackable code and can be used in conjunction with one other Kohl's promotional code. Enjoy!

Now, the outfits...

Top: Old Navy | Jeans: Union Bay via ? | Shoes: Shoe Carnival | Necklace: New York & Company

Pay no mind to the towel on my head in the next 3 pictures. It was in the morning and I was trying to decide between these three tops!

Top: New York & Company | Jeans: Forever 21 | Heels: Candies via Kohl's (other options from Kohl's here)

Top: Old Navy

Top: Old Navy
Top: Webster via Target | Jeans: ? bought in Korea | Flip flops: Old Navy 

These next two I was trying to decide on scarf or no scarf:

Tank: Old Navy | Jeans: Target | Wedges: Christian Siriano for Payless | Cardigan: Gap

Scarf: Target

Top: Kohl's (other options from Kohl's here) | Jeans: Forever 21 | Flip Flops: Old Navy

Sorry about the few bathroom-mirror-at-work shots. These happen when I want to document an outfit but don't think I'm going to get a chance to do so with my real camera, haha!

Top: Express | Cardigan: Target | Pants: Victoria's Secret | Necklace: Ebay

This outfit actually appeared in an outfit post here.

There are still a bunch of these hanging around on my camera....stick around for part 2 tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

[OOTD] To Keep or Not To Keep

I'm going to have to ask you to excuse my crazy a$$ hair in these pics. I had some flyaway issues and was in bad need of a dye job, obviously. 

This is a perfect example of another blog outfit that made me rethink having a piece in my wardrobe. The last time that happened was over here. This one is a similar case - this top does nothing for my large chest. Matter of fact (or fat as I accidentally typed - lol - Freudian slip??), this cut in the neckline draws attention to my chest, and makes it look wider by almost expanding the appearance of that area! 

Tank: Old Navy | Top: Express | Jeans: Mudd | Shoes: Walmart

These shoes have kind of an interesting story. I was going to a corn maze with some friends, but I had been at a party the rest of the afternoon. In my stupidity, I had dressed for the party but not for the corn maze. The outfit was fine - but I was wearing flip flops. The weather was cool once the sun went down, and we had recently had rain, so those were not going to cut it at the corn maze. I stopped by the only place I could find on the way, which was Walmart, to get something that would keep my toes warm and not-muddy. I thought these were the cutest option - and I still get wear out of them! Great $14 purchase. :)

Have you accidentally made a purchase that turned out to be a big player in your wardrobe?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

[Linkup] Try It Tuesday #2

Welcome to Try It Tuesday, a linkup where we can try out something we've wasted all that time pinning! :)  The only rules are that your post content is inspired by something else - be it a pin, a page from a magazine, or someone else's blog. Also, please link back to my linkup in your post - the button code is below and in my right sidebar if you'd like to use the button.

This was today's inspiration: a 60s Bardot style ponytail from Sweet Caroline In the City:

how to: 60's bardot ponytail
I was actually happy that I watched the video because I picked up on a tip - I had no idea that you didn't have to feverishly back comb for volume; now I know you only have to comb nicely!

Anyway...since I wore my version to work, I didn't make it nearly as high as this one. And honestly, I think the effect is very minimal. Next time I'll try it with more volume! (Sorry, but I just did this one yesterday and barely had enough time to snap minimally crappy pics.)

Definitely a baby hair bump!

What did you try this past week?