Monday, June 27, 2011

Blue & Gold kind of day

Or is this purple and gold?

Dress: Chaps ($9 at Kohl's - 90% off, y'all!)
Shoes: Kate Spade
Watch: Liz Claiborne
Squinty expression: sheer exhaustion

We did some serious work to our house (still remodeling) and HOLY CRAP am I tired. I'll post some pics of what we did later this week. I'll also consider catching up w/the 30-day photo challenge...which I've clearly failed. :-/

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Basic black

I wear a lot of black. This we all know. So when given a $20 gift card to Macy's from a coworker, what'd I do? I scoured the sale rack for a black dress. But I already have black dresses. So I had to find one that was special and I think I did :)

Dress: Nine West

Belt: came off another dress

Flats: Stuart Weitzman

Cute, right? It was originally $118, marked down to $41, and after my gift card and an additional discount at the register, I walked away paying $15 for this dress. I also picked up a pair of dress slacks for $2.99. Can't beat that!!!! All together I saved 75% off retail.

How'd I get an additional discount at the register? I asked for one. Extra 15% for me! It never hurts to just ask the cashier if he or she has any coupons they could use for you. Being extra nice doesn't hurt, but you should be doing that anyway.

The dress is from the petites section and I rarely even darken the door of that section. I'm short, but I'm not petite. This dress has made me a believer and I'll definitely keep my eyes on that section more. The waist and bust are the right length for me and it doesn't bunch up in the back like most dresses do. It's a smidge shorter than I'm used to, but I think the proportions are right. I just think my knees could use some Photoshopping :D

Here's a close up of the adorable inverted pleats on the dress:

Have you scored any great deals lately?

Day 15: Action

Okay so most of y'all will think this is gross, but it cracked me up. After Day 12's sunflare challenge, I tried to get some more shots of one. Maddy interrupted this one with some action :)

Day 14: Someone you Love

I love a lot of people and was struggling with how to squeeze everyone into a shot (logistically impossible). Then I saw my husband and the cat on the couch. And I melted and fell in love with him all over again.

Day 13: Reminds You of Childhood

This basket of suckers was a welcome addition to the office.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Misadventures in baking

Have you ever read a recipe and thought "Dang. This is too easy to possibly ever work."? I did that twice this weekend. Once worked beautifully and the other failed so miserably I almost cried.

Let's start w/my total failure. Angel Food cake cupcakes. This is the recipe I used:

  • 1 cup cake flour {spooned and leveled}
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 375°.  Place flour and salt in a sieve set over a bowl; sift into bowl, and set aside.  With a mixer, beat egg whites on medium-high until foamy, about 1 minute
  2. Add cream of tartar; beat until soft peaks form.  Continue to beat, gradually adding sugar; beat  until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes.  Add vanilla; beat to combine.
  3. Gently transfer egg-white mixture to a large, wide bowl.  In four batches, using the sieve again, sift flour mixture over egg-white mixture while turning the bowl, use a rubber spatula to fold in the mixture by cutting down the center and coming up the sides.
  4. Gently spoon batter into the cupcake papers-no need to spray with cooking spray, the cupcakes will not stick.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes-until cake is golden and springs back when lightly pressed.  Cool cupcakes on racks.
Sounds easy enough, right?


I think my fatal error was in the egg whites. I'd read on some food blogs that you could easily swap out egg whites for the Egg Beaters egg whites. Saves some $ and saves some time. Win win. Again, NOT. I carefully measured 36 tablespoons (3 tbsp per egg white) and folded (with success!) and made the batter. Baked them 15 minutes and they looked like this:

And they tasted like egg. Nothing but egg. Guess who HATES eggs? Me. So that was a total and complete failure. Well, wait. I take that back. It's not a total failure because Al LOVES EGGS and thought these were okay. I sent them to work with him this morning to eat with some jam. Not gonna let them go to waste!

But want to know what wasn't a total cooking failure? No Knead Bread. There are tons and tons of blog posts written about it so take the time to Google it and be amazed. It's very hands-off but you have to baby sit it a little. Not so much, though, that I won't be making a loaf every week now. I got a little side tracked visiting w/friends last night so we got home late. Which means I baked my bread late. Which means at 1am I was slicing off a piece of bread to eat b/c there was NO WAY I was going to be up at 1am baking bread and not eat a slice. It's perfection. So so good and reminds me a little of sourdough bread. I can only assume it's b/c of the fermentation of the yeast. Anyway. You have to try it b/c it's awesome.

And look how pretty it is in a dark kitchen w/a cell phone camera:

I cannot wait to get home tonight so I can eat more!

Day 12: Sun Flare

Not sure if this really counts as sun flare, but here you go:

And as an added bonus, a rainbow!

Day 11: Silhouette

I took this picture out back in our garden. Al was unloading some composted manure and I was supervising :)

Day 10: Animal

It's impossible NOT to share a ton of photos w/this one. Between a dog and a cat, we have lots of critter photo ops. However, we get some guests from time to time. Like this little fella who was outside our kitchen window:

Let me zoom in a little for you...

Is that not the most precious thing ever? I was almost late to work b/c I just couldn't pull myself away from the window. He (or she?) was so cute to watch.

Speaking of cute...

This little turd will be the death of me. His sheer cuteness is all that keeps me from killing him some days (though I wouldn't REALLY kill him. I just threaten it). There are about 5 minutes in the day where he's so sweet and snuggly it makes up for all the times he's bitten me.

Day 9: Fresh Fruit

This is a major fail. haha I might have had fresh fruit, but I also had the cookie the fruit cup is sitting on too. YUM!

Day 8: Sunset

I've gotten a little behind w/these and am playing catch-up today - my apologies for bombarding you with posts!

We have some of the prettiest sunsets. I'm not sure if it's b/c I'm just THAT in love w/our place or what, but I think they're prettier there than any other place.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day 7: High Angle

I'm always amused by the floor in the elevator at work. The building is old and run down, but the elevator has a great floor.

Day 6: Books

Al likes to read 6-10 books at once. It drives me nuts, but there are worse things a husband could do.

90% off? Yes, please!

Y'all know how I love a sale. I've been eye-balling this sweater at Kohl's since January and it FINALLY went on sale for 90% off. Paying 80% off was clearly just too much for me :)

Jeans: Seven @ DressBarn
Unseen tank: Old Navy
Flats: Kate Spade
Bag: Michael Kors
Sunnies: Target

The light and exposure on this photo is a little off, but that's what I get for taking just one pic and hoping for the best. I really love this sweater and for $7.60, wish it came in every color of the rainbow. The keyhole at the top is crazy low if left unattended. I wore a solid black tank underneath just to err on the safe side. Don't want the boobies hanging out ALL the time, right?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Day 5: Breakfast Today

Breakfast today was much like every other morning: coffee.

Day 4: Clouds

Saturday was mostly cloud-free in Louisville. It was hazy and cloudy earlier in the day, but of course I didn't think to take a pic then.

My daddy had open heart surgery to replace his aortic valve on Friday (hence the aforementioned busy weekend). This pic was snapped out his hospital room window. That's Indiana over yonder ;)

Daddy's recovering nicely and should be home tomorrow or Wednesday. He'll be much more comfortable then despite the excellent care he's received at the hospital. Nothing sleeps like your own bed, right?

Day 3: Hands

I had quite the busy weekend, so I'm playing catch-up with these posts :)

In the 21 months Al and I have been married, I've not taken off my wedding band. It wasn't for any reason in particular, I just hadn't done it. After a while, it became a matter of principle. I took them to the jeweler to have the rhodium plating refinished and my finger felt naked. So I tired a ribbon on it :)

The after. Looks like new!!!!

And as a bonus, I tried sprouting lentils last week. I let them go a day or two too long and they are sprouts AND roots :) Whoops!



Thursday, June 2, 2011

Grey and totally out of my comfort zone

So far, my ploy to get myself to post more often is working! If I was already taking a pic of my shoes, why not the whole outfit, right?

Sequin cardi: Vera Wang for Kohl's
Striped tank: Lands' End
Grey legging? Grey slim pants? Dana Buchman for Kohl's
Pewter pumps: Cole Haan

Okay so these pants? I'd normally never pick them up or even think "Hey, super tight pants would look great on my cellulite!" But at 80% off? I'll give 'em a whirl. These were $8.80 and at that price, if they didn't work for work, they'd be great around-the-house pants. They're a nice, thick fabric and it doesn't cling to my fat - success! They also have some well-placed seams so they're almost slimming. The only thing I can't get out of my head is Michael Kors on Project Runway lamenting how insane the crotch of a pair of pants is. The crotch is super wonky on these. It gives me faux-toe if I'm not standing just right. Classy.

I did buy them two sizes bigger than normal and I'm 100% certain that's why I'm comfortable in them. They're fitted, but they're not too tight and don't pull. Also probably the main reason the crotch is baggy and sketchy. These are similar to what I bought, but not exact.

Have you worn anything out of your comfort zone lately? Details, please!!

Day 2: Favorite Shoes

These aren't my absolute favorite shoes (those are the Louboutins I wore at my wedding), but they're my favorite wear-to-work shoes:

They are Cole Haan Carma OT Air Pumps in pewter. I snagged them at the Zappos/ outlet for $50 or 60. I wish I had them in every color and that they'd always be $50 :)

If you ever are in the market for a well-made, comfortable pair of heels, I highly recommend Cole Haan w/the Nike Air technology. I stomp around in these for a full work day and they've yet to ever hurt my feet.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Day 1: Self Portrait

Y'all know how much I love taking pics of myself. hahaha This is a pretty terrible pic as it's grainy and what-have-you, but it is what it is.

30 day photo challenge and some changes

So obviously I don't post here daily, weekly or even monthly sometimes. I need to get back into the habit of snapping daily pics, so I'm going to do this 30 day photo challenge that some of my favorite bloggers are doing. I hope it'll get me back into the habit of taking daily pics. I'm also going to start keeping my camera in my purse. The prospect of GOOD pics has to help, right? :)

I also plan on posting more, in general, on here. My original blogging partners have busy lives and keeping up with this blog is a lot of work for us all. Cute on the Cheap is going to be more of a personal/fashion/food/home remodeling blog now. I hope you'll stick around! Look for a blog redesign soon too! If it looks like crap around here for a while, have faith it'll be cleaned up shortly :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I felt a little bit like Joan Holloway today.

I didn't look quite as smokin' hot, but I felt great in this dress.

Dress: borrowed from my aunt

Cardi: Kohl's

Belt: Walmart

Shoes: Stuart Weitzman

This is SO not something I'd typically wear to the office (though I totally have a Joanie job now!), but we had a "Go Red for Women" luncheon and were all encouraged to wear red. This is the first time (I think) I've ever work red on this blog as I don't even own anything red.

I didn't want to buy a new dress only to wear it once and didn't find squat at Goodwill. As luck would have it, my aunt walked in to Easter dinner with this on and I about yanked it off her - it was perfect. Fortunately we're the same size!

It has adorable cap sleeves but the weather has been ridiculous here, so I had to wear a sweater to keep from freezing.

Here's a close up of meeeeeeeee from earlier in the day:

I originally had on a necklace but decided to take it off as it was too fussy with the dress. The dress had a super cute ruffled neckline and I wanted it to be the main focus.

Can you believe I've not had a hair cut since I got married (Sept '09)? It's ridiculous. It's so dang long and drives me batshit crazy most days. HOWEVER, I don't want to wack it all off for nothing at this point. Locks of Love requires 10 inches and that's just a little too short for me right now. Guess I'll keep growing it and hope for the best!

Oh and I'd apologize about not ever posting, but that drives me nuts when other bloggers do it. Life's crazy, we're busy, blah blah blah.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tights for short gals?

Am I missing something? Are there no tights for short ladies? I'm 5'3 and wear a size 14 and I can't find a damn pair of tights to fit me. If they're the right size for my booty, they're WAY too long. It's like they assume all big girls are also tall girls and all short girls are also small girls. This isn't the case, yo!

My patterned tights are SO CUTE yet you can't see the pattern except on the very top of my thighs (that my skirt covers thankyouverymuch). I'm constantly pulling them up all day just so I can see the pattern and justify paying more for them.

Rant over. Bring on the picture:

Top: Dana Buchman via Kohl's

Skirt: Kohl's (another one of Mama's purchases for me)

Tights: George via Walmart

Shoes: Cole Haan

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Quick & (not very) Dirty

I hope you're all having a great week! I felt really great in this dress. Super comfortable and pretty flattering. I had a heck of a time trying to find the right necklace to wear with this. I finally just gave up and didn't wear one at all.

Dress: No idea what brand. Mama picked it up for me at Marshall's

Tights: George via Walmart

Belt: Walmart

Flats: Kate Spade

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Luck o' the Irish

I'm having zero luck today, kittens. I forgot to put on my slip and I'm having some horrible static cling. UGH. I'm at work w/no hairspray or static spray. I tried rubbing lotion on my thighs but all that did was moisturize my tights. *sigh* Looks like I'm going to Kohl's during lunch!

Dress: Banana Republic

Cardi: gift from Mama

Necklace: Send the Trend

Tights: George via Walmart

Shoes: Kate Spade via Zappos/ outlet

Bracelets: Old Navy

I feel a wee bit "costumey" today, but this is as excited as I get for a holiday. I don't get into Halloween or even get up early on Christmas morning (I was, and still am, an odd child), but a holiday involving excessive drinking and short folks? Sign me up!

Remember when I told you Al bought some tights for me? I'm finally wearing the patterned pair and I can't believe it took me so long to get into this. Of course, Spring is just around the corner so I probably won't get too many more wears out of them.

Pretty cute, huh?

Speaking of cute...

I love these shoes so dang much.

This necklace is also on my "favorite things" list!

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all! Be safe and have fun! Xoxo

Friday, March 11, 2011

No More Rack

Have y'all checked out No More Rack yet? It's a sale/deal site that has some awesome deals.

Check it out and sign up by midnight tonight, and you'll get a $10 credit!

Friday, March 4, 2011

TGIF. For real!

In my entire adult life, I've never had a job that didn't require me to work weekends...until now. I *finally* get all that TGIF stuff! It's so nice to KNOW I'll be off work on certain days. I do miss spending Mondays at home, though, and would probably still gladly work a Saturday on occasion. It's nice to have a "me day" where I can lounge on the couch and watch "Mad Men" all day. Don Draper and I enjoy spending time together. Duh.

Cardi: Target

Tank: Lands' End Canvas

Pants: Old Navy

Flats: Kenneth Cole Reaction

Necklace: gift

Gosh! I really need a better photo spot. Unfortunately, this is the best one and even then, it's iffy.

How cute is this cardigan? I love the fun flowers and soft purple. I've noticed my wardrobe is all black, gray, and purple so get ready to see this color combo a LOT.

These babies are SO CUTE yet this is the first time I've worn them. As you may know, Zappos has a major distribution center in Kentucky. Fortunately for me, it's only about 20 minutes from my house! It's called the Outlet now, but we all still call it the Zappos Outlet :) Anyway, they had a massive Black Friday sale where everything in the store was 70% off the OUTLET PRICE. So those fancy Vera Wang heels that were already 50% off? Take 70% off that!

My buddy Leslie (different than our former favorite blog buddy Leslie) and I met up with Tracey and her cousin, Dawn at 9am when the doors opened. I've never ever gone or done Black Friday before b/c it's just not my bag. But 9am and cheap shoes? That I can handle. Most of the run on shoes seemed to be for mens and kids shoes. It wasn't nearly as crowded as one might expect so it was good. I picked up these for $4 (that's right, $4). They retailed for $42 and are actually kids shoes. They're a size 6 in girls which fits my 7/7.5 feet perfectly. I also snagged some Hunter wellies that I'll post soon!

So...since it's Friday, what are you planning for the weekend? We're going to work in the yard some more and celebrate my grandma's 87th birthday. We've been pruning trees and cleaning/raking our landscaping (or lack there of) in hopes of getting a jump on Spring. I'm hoping to actually have time to have more flowers and a bigger garden this year. Cross your fingers for us!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

It's me again, Margaret

I'm having a hell of a time finding a good spot at work to snap a pic. It's too dark in our house in the mornings and it's been too dang cold to go outside. Maybe I'll get this figured out soon 'cause I'm sure you're just DYING out there without me, right? ;)

Sweater: Kohl's

Pencil skirt: Kohl's

Black t-shirt: Old Navy

Tights: George via Walmart

Necklace: gift

Shoes: Calvin Klein

Fake buttons: Dollar Tree

So since I have to dress up a bit more at the new job, I've had to buy some more clothes. Fortunately, I'm spoiled rotten and my sweet Mama has been going nuts at Kohl's on my behalf. Seriously, they should just rename the store "Mama's." She picked up this sweater and this skirt for me. I don't even have to try this stuff on - it's perfect! I hate shopping (but love to buy) and I can't even begin to tell you how much I've appreciated her picking up sweaters, skirts, and dresses for me and then picking up the tab!

Since I clearly don't shop for myself anymore, I have to fess up that Al even bought these tights. I knew he was stopping by Walmart after work the other night, so I told him to call me when he got there. The poor fella called and said, "Okay. I'm wandering around the lingerie section. Tell me what you want!" Of course they didn't have the plain black (non control top) tights I wanted in stock. So he used his best judgement and picked out these. He also picked out a patterned pair too. I'd have never bought either of these on my own, so I think I should send him out more often!

The only thing that I don't like about this sweater is that it just buttons at the top. I feel kinda smothered sometimes and really needed my neckline open today.

I've lost a few pounds recently so most of my pants have been too big. I was at Dollar Tree (my FAVORITE store) the other day and saw these fake buttons and thought they might be a good solution for my too-big-pants situation. They're made so you can get an extra inch out of your too-small pants, but they do a hell of a job cinching up my pants! Now, that Amazon link doesn't show the same exact buttons I bought, but they're pretty much identical AND they're only $1 for 8 buttons at the Dollar Tree. Seriously - don't buy a thing until you check Dollar Tree first. I get all our allergy medicine, office candy, cleaning supplies, and all sorts of stuff there.

Anyway, back to my sweater situation. It didn't look good unbuttoned and it was smothering me buttoned up top. I kept thinking, "Dang. If only I had buttons HERE." And a light bulb went off. Seriously, it was like one of those infomercials haha. I grabbed the two gray buttons and voila!

Each pack of 8 has 2 black, 2 gray, 2 tan and 2 brown buttons. They're fantastic and totally worth a buck.

I have been snapping pics of partial outfits here and there and may compile them into one big post if I get a chance this week. I've missed you, poodles!!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Last day!

So today is my last day at my soon-to-be former job. I'm pretty darn excited. I've had a good run here, but I'm pumped about new opportunities.

We are a business casual office and only get to wear jeans on weekends. Being as I'm a total rebel, I wore dressed up jeans today. Way to buck the system, huh? Fortunately for my employer I won't see any residents today so it won't matter.

Cardi: Target
Top: Forever 21
Jeans: Old Navy
Flats: Kate Spade
Pearls: gift

I haaaaaaaaate these jeans. HATE THEM. Yet, when my favorites are in the laundry pile, they do in a pinch.

I cannot wipe the smile off my face. I am so excited about my new job!!

Today is also my sweet Mama's birthday! We're celebrating with steaks - my fav way to party!!