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Saturday, April 28, 2012

What I Wore

With the new blogger settings, it's much easier for me to have nice large photos now... but are they too blurry/pixelated? I hope not because I have been trying to get my photos bigger for long time. Please let me know if it's too big or looks bad.

                 Local boutique skirt, Target belt, Mudd shoes (old from Mervyn's), H&M shirt, Kohl's watch

WHEN: Sunday, April 22

WHERE: Church

GETTING CREATIVE: I wore the same skirt to church twice in a row, which I never do. But this mint beauty needed to be worn again so I styled it in a different way. It's different enough from last week's right?
                                      Local boutique blouse, Forever 21 pants, Payless shoes, gifted necklace

WHEN: Tuesday, April 24


GETTING CREATIVE: I fell in love with this top the moment I saw it, and thankfully it was 50% off! I have worn it several times, but don't know for sure if it has been on the blog yet. I had to turn around in the photo to show you how the back opens up. Could be kind of scandalous, but I think it's okay with a t-shirt underneath. :) I styled it simply to let the shirt be the star!

Are you getting sick of me talking about this great tutorial I am working on? Beginning to think it's a myth? Life has been insane, but next week looks pretty open (so far!) so I am crossing my fingers that I will finally get it done!

Friday, April 27, 2012

These Are a Few of My Favorite Pins

Hi friends! Did you find anything inspiring on the Internet this week? Here are some of my best finds!

This is a great tutorial to make a maxi skirt. Maybe one day I will make another skirt.

Source: via Aubree on Pinterest

This is such a good message, and a cute printable. It would look great in my retro room.

I made this for dinner recently and it was de-lish!

I love this color inspiration board, probably because it is close to the colors of my wedding (my orange was a little brighter) and now the colors of my living room.

This is the best book craft I have ever seen.

This is my dream outfit. I have been scouring the world for yellow pants that fit, and haven't had any luck yet. The yellow, the stripes, the bag.... sigh.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Creating With Limits

                                                                                            Source: via Deanna on Pinterest

Do you ever find yourself thinking "If I only had more time/money/resources/people I could create beautiful things." But does having unlimited resources actually increase our creative abilities?

Last winter I listened to a radio program that discussed this very thing. The interviewee explained how when he was required to create with limits his creativity soared. I have been thinking on this for some months now.

Some of our limits are set upon us such as our budget, time, and available materials. But occasionally we can impose limits on ourselves to really stretch our imaginations.

The first project I did after listening to the program was wrapping my brown paper packages last Christmas. I wanted to decorate the brown paper in a cute Christmasy way that would be flat and hopefully survive the road trip home with the family they were for. Right there we already have some limits. But when I sat down in my craft room with all my supplies it was really overwhelming. There were too many things to choose from and I was spending too much time figuring out what to do. I decided to set some limits for myself. I chose a collection of Christmas papers that I had on hand and used those papers. After I had set the limits, my creativity took off and I was easily able to finish the packages in a reasonable amount of time. I was really happy with how they turned out.

Some of my favorite Internet examples of creating with limits are the M&J Trimming blogger challenges (1 and 2). A selection of bloggers are given a set of materials  and asked to create projects using just those materials. It is inspiring to see what they create.

                                                                                               Source: via Aubree on Pinterest

I haven't done this yet, but I want to get out a bunch of craft supplies that I haven't used for awhile and just sit down and make something. Doesn't that sound glorious?

Creating new outfits out of what you already have in your closet is a good way to create with limits. That is what I tried to do when I had my "Shop Your Closet" series. If I try to look at it that way, I tend to shop less and spend less money.

Have you had any experience in creating with limits? Do they increase or decrease your creativity? What limits do you set for yourself? Do you want to try creating this way?

Please leave your thoughts in the comments below. I would like to do a follow up on this post if you guys will share what you think!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

What I Wore

Ross tank top, local boutique cardigan, Old Navy pants, Payless shoes, Kohls sunglasses, Nine West bag (via Ross, I think), F21 necklace

WHEN: Friday, April 20

WHERE: Work and dinner date with husband Spencer

GETTING CREATIVE: It was casual Friday, I was tired, and was planning on wearing my school t-shirt (I am a teacher, remember). When I put it on it was a wrinkled mess so I had to grab something else quick. Like I said yesterday I had seen this pin that morning so I adapted it to fit what was in my closet. I did wear a denim jacket at first, but we're really not supposed to wear denim to work so I took it off when I got there and never put it back on.

Hand-me down shirt, local boutique skirt, Target heels and necklace (gift), JCP belt (came with a skirt), Sketchers glasses

WHEN: Sunday, April 15

WHERE: Church

GETTING CREATIVE: This is definitely in my top 10 favorite outfits of the year so far. I call it "Mint Chocolate Chip." Ha ha. I got some new glasses but they have been really hard to get used to. This was the first time I have worn them out in public. I can't decide if I really like them. They look pretty good with this outfit in these photos...

Old Navy cardigan, Forever Young shoes, Forever 21 necklace, Target belt, and skirt so old I can't remember where it came from

WHEN: Monday, April 16


GETTING CREATIVE: We have had a marvelous spring this year. The best I can ever remember. It has been so great to actually get to wear spring outfits. I was inspired by another blogger to put this outfit together and I like how it turned out. The white skirt is something I have held on to for a long time but haven't worn much in the past few years. I am glad to give it new life!

I also wore another great outfit this week that I really liked. I didn't get any photos of it, so I will have to wear it again to church or something so I can take a picture. It was inspired by this pin, but I wore a yellow skirt and coral cardi instead. I also wore boots because it was a little chilly that day. It looked great if I do say so myself! :)

Have a great weekend everyone! Thanks for being here!

Friday, April 20, 2012

These are a Few of My Favorite Pins

It's been quite a week. I haven't blogged at all. Lots of orders to fill (yay!) and a bunch of other stuff you probably don't want to hear about. I promise I have some really fun ideas and I am working on an awesome jewelry tutorial. For today, I will share my favorite pins from the week as usual, and hopefully get some good stuff posted soon.

I am sure a lot of you have already seen this bracelet from What I Wore, but I had to share in case you didn't. I have collected coins all my life and have never known what to do with them. This is a fantastic solution.

I love nautical. I actually found this this morning while I was eating breakfast and it inspired today's outfit.

Book pages and birds. Can life get any better? I submit that it cannot! (Did you get that Bryan Regan reference?)

Beautiful gift wrapping!

I don't really have any neon items in my closet, but this is a great color guide.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

What I Wore, Bracelet Kit Winners, and a Discount Code

Like I said yesterday, I spent this last week in Disneyland so I don't have many outfit photos. Of course I got dressed when I was in California, but I am all about practicality with my many layers (it was chilly) and tennis shoes when I am there, not necessarily style. (Oh and my Mickey Mouse t-shirt. I am all about that.) You do see some very interesting style at Disneyland...

Target dress, Old Navy blazer, Payless wedges, Charlotte Russe Necklace, Kohls bracelet, watch, and sunglasses

WHEN: Easter Sunday

WHERE: Church

GETTING CREATIVE: I really love this dress. I purchased it many weeks ago and was saving it for Easter. Not exactly the traditional pastel, but I decided to take the bright route. This is a maxi with sleeves!!! so when it gets hot I won't have to worry about all the layering. You can't see the shoes well, so go here to check them out on the Payless site. They are the tallest wedges I own and make me 6 feet tall!

And finally... the winners of the Anthropologie Inspired DIY Bracelet kits:

#23 Alyssa Sauriol
#16 Gearhart Gang
#17 Gearhart Gang

That's right, Gearhart Gang won two kits! If you entered more than once you had the opportunity to win more than once. Please email me [aubreelarsen(at)gmail(dot)com] to give me your mailing address and select the color for your kit.

If you didn't win, you can purchase your kit here... and until April 21 take 15% off your Yellow Blackbird order with code SPRING.

Friday, April 13, 2012

These are a Few of My Favorite Pins

I spent this week in Disneyland (more on that later... yay!) so I didn't exactly pin a lot... I think I only pinned 2 things total. Here they are!

I love the colors and stripes in this outfit.

Source: via Aubree on Pinterest

This is just too cute for words. I asked husband Spencer to get right to work on building one for me! But he said no, he can't do it. I think he can do anything so I don't believe him.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Defining My Style: Analyzing Successes and Failures Part I

As part of my attempt to define my style and be a smarter shopper I want to go through my closet and analyze the items I have. I have looked for the three best successes and three worst failures and written about why they are categorized as such. The photos aren't great and this might not be the most interesting thing to read, sorry. But I think it's something I need to do to avoid buyers remorse and be more confident in the future. In this first part I will be looking at skirts, jackets, and dresses. Here we go.



I bought this skirt at Kohls in California probably about 2006. I love the cut of it. I love how I have been able to make a billion outfits using this one skirt for all seasons.

I bought this skirt in the summer of 2002, right before I had my senior high school photos taken. I wore it for the photos and will still wear it. It's going on 10 years old. How's that for success? I think the cut is pretty timeless, and the subdued floral seems to never go out of style.

I have had this skirt since 2006. I wore it to most every wedding I attended from 2006 to 2010. The lace is so pretty. I like the cut, the length, the color, and the way I feel when wearing it.

I really like the look of this skirt, and waited for it to go on sale before I bought it. But I consider it a failure because I bought it a little too big, lost some weight, and now it looks terrible on me.

This was a thrift store find. I had been reading about thrifting a lot on blogs and thought I would try it out for myself. I bought this at the end of last summer, thinking it would make a great skirt for the school year. I think I wore it once. I just can't style it, and the quality is poor. Not even worth the $3 I paid. As I have said before, I just don't think thrifting is for me.

I bought this skirt in 2006 or so in a store in the mall because a friend (acquaintance really) worked there and talked me into it. She also sold me a top, and shoes too. I do still have the shoes, but rarely wear them. The top got donated several years ago, but for some strange reason I have held on to this skirt that I haven't worn once in the 5 years I have been married.

CONCLUSION: Buy skirts that fit well, can be worn with a variety of tops, and ones that I like, not the salesperson.



I bought this jacket at Old Navy many years ago... at least six or seven. I have worn it every year and don't see an end in sight. It fits well, and can be easily layered. I don't remember the cost, but whatever it was, it was well worth it. Somehow the jacket got bleached or something and has a few strange orange-ish spots, but they look like they are a part of the jacket. A garment that can stain and still look great? Sign me up!

I don't wear this blazer much anymore (mainly because I can't wear denim to work), but it's a success for its longevity in the closet. I have had this jacket since fall 2004. There were a few years in there where I didn't think it was super stylish, but I am glad I held onto it because the denim jacket is back and of course I still love blazers. I am going to have to wear this on the weekends more this spring.

This jacket was around $40 I think. That's usually more than I spend on my clothes, but I still remember walking into the store and the jacket just spoke to me. I have had it since 2010. Ruffles were huge then (still popular today too) but I don't think the ruffles here are so pronounced that they will be outdated too soon. The neutral color allows it to go with so many things.


I remember the day I bought this jacket. I though the pattern was so cool and would make me look... I don't know... tough or cool or something. Even though the jacket was a bit snug, it was a good deal and I brought it home. I think I have worn it about three or four times since the time I bought it (around 2007-2008).

I bought this jacket around the same time as the one above. I was really looking for a black jacket at that time as you can tell. This was from Kohls and was regularly $60 or $80 and was on sale for about $10. It is too big, too lightweight, and not comfortable at all. What a waste.

I bought this camel corduroy blazer from Vanity in about 2004-2005. It was cheap... in many ways. It's poor quality/construction and too lightweight for much warmth. It fits okay... but hasn't ever been stylish in the 7 years it's been in my closet. Ugh.

CONCLUSION: The jackets I bought because they were cheap are the ones I end up not wearing (there are even more in my closet). It's worth it in the long run to put a little more money into jackets I really love. I need to choose those with classic shapes that fit well and flatter me. I need to resist the temptation to add to my jacket collection for no good reason.



This polka dotted LBD is probably one of the greatest successes in my wardrobe. I have had it since 2006 or so. It wasn't terribly expensive (around $20) and the quality was much higher than I was expecting. I have worn this dress countless times. Before I discovered style blogs and remixing, I mostly wore it plain or with a black cardigan in the winter. But in the last few years I have worn it in a myriad of ways. Another reason I love this dress is because the length is perfect. It isn't a long dress, but I don't feel uncomfortable and have to pull it down all the time to maintain my modesty.

This faux wrap dress from Target doesn't look like much on the hanger, but you have seen me wear it many times on the blog. It has a very similar story to the black dress above. Not too expensive, worn many times, easily remixed, and modest.

I have only had this dress for about one year now, but I have worn it a lot and several different ways throughout the year. It's from my favorite local boutique and was actually purchased as a gift for me, though I did pick it out. The main reason I like this dress is because it makes me feel pretty. That's a good shopping rule right there. If something doesn't make you feel pretty, don't buy it.


I bought this dress in 2007 for my wedding dinner. I had never actually attended a wedding dinner before and didn't realize (until much later) that people generally dress much classier for those types of events. And the bride doesn't have to match the wedding colors. I have worn this a few times since (once last spring was the most recent). Looking at it, I wonder if I can do something to make it look more like a skirt and cover up the top part. Or I should just give it away and move on.

This dress just makes me mad. I was so stupid. Everyone in Blog Land was wearing striped skirts and dresses so when I saw this at Target for $6 I grabbed it. The first time I wore it (the photo is somewhere on this blog) I liked the outfit. I wasn't in love with the length so I asked my mom to alter it for me. She did a fine job, I just don't think the fabric was meant for it because now it rolls funny. I haven't worn it in a long time. Dumb.

I only have two dresses that I would consider failures though. I couldn't come up with a third, so that's not too bad.

CONCLUSION: Buy dresses that make me feel pretty!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring Birthday Party

A couple of weeks ago my aunt and I threw a birthday party for my mom's big 5-0 birthday. I made all of the decorations- pinwheels, paper medallions, tissue paper puffs and flowers, banners, and garlands. It was such a fun project! We chose to use pink, orange, yellow, green and blue in patterns of dots and stripes.

My aunt set up this darling candy station next to the door so guests could take their party favor on the way out. The candy colors all matched the party scheme.

The boxes on the left were for the guests to fill with their candy.

As guests walked back into the kitchen/family room area, they was a little book for them to sign and leave a birthday wish for the guest of honor.

I made this polka dot garland using my Silhouette Cameo. My aunt found the matching balloons.

The house then opens up into this nice kitchen/dining area where we set up the tables. Some of chairs were missing in this shot, but we provided plenty of chairs.

I made this banner with the Silhouette cameo too. If you need a tutorial on how to make the paper medallions (attached to the stone) I wrote one last year at this link.
Here are a couple of close up shots of the pinwheels. I was able to find a lot of cute paper.

I made this garland similar to the scrappy bird garland by cutting out the shapes and sewing them together using the machine. We strung it between the lights and it was the perfect length!

Here's a few shots of the delicious food!

My little brother, me, my mom

Happy birthday Mom! I hope you had a wonderful party. A big thanks to Aunt Lisa for hosting and doing the food and giving me the opportunity to this!

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