Thursday, January 30, 2014

Flowers in the Snow

 Dress: Versailles Dress from Igigi via Gwynnie Bee (click on link to get a free month & help me earn a free garment for a month)
I wore this dress to work a week ago Monday. It was snowing. I LOVE this Igigi dress. I own it in my normal size, but it's a bit tight on me so I borrow it from Gywnnie Bee in a size up. Winter is feeling long right about now & I've been reaching for things that remind me spring will come. I don't want to wish time away though. I just wish I could wear sandals in the snow. I think a trip to the conservatory at Olbrich Gardens may have to happen soon. I can dress appropriately for the current season & change into sandals once I get there. Hmmmm. Kate? I have the perfect GB dress right now for this adventure.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A British Winter Restaurant Week

 Dress: Zola Dress from Igigi via Gwynnie Bee (click link to get a free month & help me earn a free garment for a month)
Socks: Dreamer Palm OTK from Sock Dreams
Shoes: Burgundy Shoes, $3 from Savers (brand?)
Necklace: Age Before Beauty
Bracelet: Gift from a seller no longer on etsy
Earring: Don't remember
Nail Polish: Skyfall from OPI
Lips: Burgundy lip pencil from MAC
Photography: Kate & Me (iPhone)
A week ago Sunday, the girlie & I went to this tiny church on Lake Mendota here in Madison, Gates of HeavenI always call it a church, but it is actually a synagogue. It was built in 1863 & is the 4th oldest surviving synagogue in the nation. And a pretty background for photos. 

Photo from Flickr Copyright All rights reserved by ihynz7

I wore this fabulous Igigi dress for our Sunday girlie adventures. It's made out of the same gorgeous fabric as their Belmont skirt that I adore. A soft heavy winter weight fabric in the most splendid cabernet brocade. I'm not sure how I feel about the asymmetrical neckline, but it was certainly different. I need to own either this dress or the skirt. They are both really quite spectacular. 
Kate looked adorable in this Kiyonna top from GB & her own skirt. Both had nude linings and looked great together. I am in love with this color of green, but I am not sure what I'll wear this top with when I finally get it. Kate said the lace went too high up on her neck & rubbed annoyingly. 
The reason for our visit to Gate of Heaven was to attend a performance by Eliza's Toyes, a Medieval singing group. Their voices were so beautifully balanced & lovely was a joy to listen to. We could have seen them the night before at Chocolatarian, but neither of us felt like leaving our homes again...& I'm glad we didn't because the acoustics were lovely in this venue. But we did miss out on delicious chocolate. 
After the concert, we decided to chance it & see if we could get in for dinner at Harvest without a reservation on the first night of restaurant week. We lucked out. Dinner was delectable, but not very photogenic in the warm lighting. The artichoke/lemon risotto was superb with thinly sliced lemons on top that added a spark to each bite. I wish I had some right now. I am extremely suggestible. 
I am making an effort not to wear the same jewelry repeatedly since I have soooo much. I thought since we were going to a church, I would stay on theme with religious medals.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Snowy Saturday Shopping

 Dress: Printed Knit A-Line Dress from Karen Kane via Gwynnie Bee (click link to get a free month & help me earn an extra garment for a month)
Cardigan: Avenue
Socks: Elizabeth Basketweave Over the Knees from Sock Dreams
Shoes: Dansko
Photography: Kate (iPhone)
I wore this dress a week ago Saturday to go to the farmer's market with Kate & then drop by the co-op for a few things. I think Kate was after citrus, specifically Kumquats, which they were sadly out of. Isn't that a fascinating story? Then I went home & made smoked salmon cream cheese omelets. 

This dress was ok. A little strange. I didn't care for the trompe l'oeil sweater print. It fit me fine in a 3x, so it runs a tad big. These socks are one of my favorites, so I am always happy to be able to wear them...& my shiny shiny red shoes that were a gift from Super Boo. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Orange is The Color of FUN!

 Coat: Land's End Luxe Wool Swing Car Coat in Velvet Orange (on sale now, also in raspberry)
Photography: Kate (iPhone)
I am in LOVE with this coat! So in love that I felt it deserved a blog post devoted to it. This coat was a gift from my girlie, Kate. I had picked it out as a possible NYE gift she could get me, but then old coat would last another year. And...a coat. What a boring gift. Well, I think I thought that because I've never had a winter coat I was in love with before. Now, to be honest, part of it is the color. Orange! Orange is the color of fun! And one of my favorite colors (the other being olive). But this coat has more to offer than just a fun color. It feels luxurious. It is a wool blend with a touch of cashmere. And the shape is just lovely, every other winter coat I've had has been a shapeless box, but this has flattering seams that follow my shape. Perfect. And the lining is an orange herringbone pattern...and there is a pocket inside.
To think, this coat & I would have never met had I not ruined my old coat, and had I not had such a generous girlie for a best friend. My old coat had a run-in with a super sticky glue trap a few weeks back and Super Boo worked on getting the glue out for hours, but it was stubborn. So Kate felt bad for me not having a serviceable coat to she ordered it...and made me this video & posted it on Facebook...

The largest size Land's End goes up to is a 26 & I normally wear a 26/28, so we weren't sure if it would fit...but it is PERFECT! She had alternate lyrics to this song I liked better...but sadly, they were not what she considered Facebook appropriate. Sigh. Anyway, the point is...I LOVE this coat! Thank you girlie! But. Have you ever loved something so much it made you sad? I am sad to think that someday I won't have this coat. It makes me want to buy a dozen of them so I will always have one. And if I could afford it, I probably would buy at least a few more. Is it just me?
The tune she is using in the video is this one, I Have Your Heart by Kim Boekbinder (Vermillion Lies). The song & video are both amazing...
I would love to put a button on the right side of this blog that links to my Facebook page so people can friend me there, but I don't know how. So, if you'd like to join me on Facebook to see when I update this site, I am at The Muffin Queen's Closet.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Experiments in Pattern Mixing VII

Dress: Harlow Faux Wrap Dress from Kiyonna via Gwynnie Bee (click on link to get a free month)

Photography: Super Boo (Canon Rebel)

For some reason I made a lot of stupid faces in this photo shoot, so this is the best of the bunch. Sad. I also could have adjusted my outfit better....pulled down the dress, straightened the belt, but it was cold out. I liked the print & colors in this Kiyonna dress. And the truth is, it was a bit shorter than I would have liked and I'm sure my tights peeked out like that a lot...& that belt kept sliding up under my breasts. So this picture is an accurate representation of how I looked last Wednesday at work. Except I was sitting.

Guess what? I won! A free month of 10 garments at a time from Gwynnie Bee! I think they were randomly picking winners over the holiday season from members who referred new members during that time. I think. Anyway, pictured below was the first big shipment. Going from 3 items at a time to 10 is incredibly overwhelming! But fun! I think by the time this is over I will have tried everything GB has in my size. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Tai Chi Monday

 Dress: Evey Colorblock Dress from Igigi via Gwynnie Bee (click link to get a free month)
For Christmas, I got Super Boo a semester of a class of his choice at Tai Chi Center of Madison. After several emails & a phone call, the coordinator of the place, Doug, offered to let my gift certificate to SB include free classes for me. How sweet is that? Or maybe he thought I had too much time on my hands & needed something to do other than pester him with questions. Last Monday was our first class & it was really good. The people were warm & friendly. There was a nun in our class. I imagine it will be very relaxing once I get the many many movements down. I am hoping it will be relaxing & give me better coordination. 

I was feeling sick last Monday & wanted an outfit to wear that would be comfortable enough for Tai Chi, cute enough for work afterwards, but also trick me into thinking I was at home in my pajamas. This Igigi dress was warm & comforting. I am not a fan of blue, but I've been expanding my color horizons & finding I like certain shades of it on me. I liked the colorblocking on this dress, the weight of the fabric was substantial, plus it was lined, making this a wonderful winter dress. And it had pockets. And I liked that. I make fun of Kate for liking dresses with pockets, but I've never had one before. It really worked on this dress & added to the coziness.

This dress also came with me to Indian buffet. If I could eat only one thing for the rest of my life...I think Indian buffet would be it. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Not-So-Flattering Draped Knot

 Top: Marissa Tunic in Nutmeg from Igigi via Gwynnie Bee (click link to get a free month)
Skirt: Lane Bryant
Socks: Sock Dreams
Boots: Doc Martens
Necklace: Vintage
Earring: Me
I was completely in love with the nutmeg color of this Igigi tunic...& that pattern *swoon*. However, the love stopped there. It was a strange length & I had to constantly smooth the bottom as it liked to roll up & expose the white inside of this top. The dolman sleeves added some dowdiness, but strangest of all was the "flattering draped knot". It's that scrunchy area just right of center under my boobs. Flattering, yes?
And here is Kate looking as innocent as you will ever see her. She is wearing the Stefania Silk Dress from Cabiria via GB with one of the vintage sweater clips I got her. Here is what she had to say in her review of this dress:
I loved the vintage styling of this dress and the fit and the fabric felt wonderful. However, the static cling was pretty out of control. I felt like I should have been carrying a box of dryer sheets with me to keep it at bay. The elastic came pretty much right under my bust as I am large busted, but I thought it looked flattering (which could be because I am very short-waisted). I upped the vintage styling by wearing a sweater clip and letting my hair flip and had a ball wearing it to the Farmers' Market, brunch, and wine tasting with my best friend. It felt more like a weekend dress to me than a work dress. Exactly the sort of dress I love wearing and then getting to send back. 
We wore these outfits to buy local food at the Farmers' Market, eat brunch at Marigold, & sip wine at Square Wine. Kate enjoyed Duck Confit Hash, while I had Cherry Mascarpone Pancakes.  
And then there was wine...
My socks were barely visible in the photos & I love them so...

Friday, January 17, 2014

Unflattering Friday

 Dress: Legacy Wrap Dress from Kiyonna via Gwynnie Bee (click on link to get a free month)
Cardigan: Avenue
Socks: Sock Dreams (on sale right now, would fit calves up to 21")
Shoes: Ariat
Necklace: Babil & Bijou
Earring: etXarte
Nail Polish: Unorthodox Annie from Colors by llarowe
I wore this dress to work last Friday. It started raining just before this photo was taken & by the time we left work, sleet. It was so slick out that I had to take my shoes off & walk to the car in my socks so I didn't fall on my behind. Scary. I'm glad Super Boo was driving. It was so nerve-wracking, that we nearly forgot we had to pick Oscar up from doggie daycare. Poor dog. 

This dress from Kiyonna is the first thing I've had from them that I just did not like. It is a wrap dress that is intended to wrap at the waist, but since things look more flattering tied higher up on me, that is what I did. Kiyonna inserts a hole on the right side of their wrap dresses to feed the belt through & because I was pulling the belt higher, more of my skin was visible through the hole so the cardigan to cover that up was necessary. Also, it was a bit too short for me as the hem rested at my knees & the belt was ridiculously long even after I wrapped it around twice. It would be a lovely dress on someone else, it was just not flattering on me. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Zoë Keating

 Dress: Scalloped Boudoir Lace Dress from Kiyonna via Gwynnie Bee (click link to get a free month & help me earn an extra garment for a month)
Boots: Gripfast 
Necklace: etsy seller no longer on etsy
Earring: etXarte
Photography: Me & Kate
I wore this lovely lace dress out for dinner & drinks with my girlie, then to see the amazing Zoë Keating play cello last Thursday evening. I liked this dress a lot. I thought it might be too clingy or too strange with that nude lining...but it worked for me. Seeing these photos, I would not choose to wear black stockings with this dress. Perhaps in the spring, I'll get it again, go bare legged, & wear red sandals. It is the most perfect shade of red...not too bright, not too dark, not pink...just right. And comfortable! All the dresses & skirts I wear are cute & comfortable. I could wear them to bed. I don't understand women who think jeans are comfortable. The last time I owned jeans was in high school. I had 2 pairs. I mostly wore dresses & skirts then too. I remember a pair of Gloria Vanderbilt jeans I had in 9th grade, size 10 stretch jeans. I had to put a bandaid on my right pointer finger & lay down on the bed to zip them up. They were the tightest skinny jeans ever. 
Kate & I met at Merchant because they have the most fabulous cocktails, they are next to the venue we were seeing Zoë at, & they take 20% off your bill the night of your concert at The Majestic. Merchant just introduced their new winter drink menu, so we had to try several. My favorite drink of the evening was the first I tried, Ginger Rogers (pictured below). It was dreamy. From the menu:

Ginger Rogers | 11
High West Double Rye, Lemon Juice,
New Century Farms Egg White*, Bittercube Cherryback Vanilla Bitters, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram and Housemade Ginger Honey Syrup

Legendary Academy Award-winning actress Ginger Rogers was best known for her equally legendary dance partner, Fred Astaire. Together they wowed audiences of stage and film for decades. This cocktail focuses on a similar kind of dance ─ a Rumba between citrus and egg white, and a Tango between rye and ginger. And as
you watch your bartender do the conga with a mixing tin... remember this: Sure, Fred Astaire was great, but don’t forget Ginger Rogers did everything he did backwards...and in high heels. 

We also shared some delicious food (cheese curds, warm olives & bread) & some ok food (roasted sweet potatoes). But the best thing of the night was the homemade pasta dish Kate had her heart set on. I LOVE when I am *eh* about something & it turns out to be amazing. From the menu:

Pasta Coperta (V) 20
fromage blanc and butternut squash puree, sautéed spinach, roasted hazelnuts, pasta blanket, brown butter, Grana Padano 

On our way out of the restaurant, we spotted Zoë having dinner with a gentleman companion just one table over from us!

 Time to wait in the cold for the doors to open...
with a pretty girlie...who left me to walk around the block so she could get more steps in (Fitbit addict). 
We were first in line & got front row center seats! Anne & Kael met us there & Anne took this photo of the girlie & I. My tongue is trying to escape.
There was an opening act, Brandon Beebe, & he was quite good...he's from Madison & I would go see him again. He lists himself as being Chamber Folk/Soul...sounds about right. He ended his set with a cover of When Doves Cry that I need to hear again. 
Zoë was spectacular. I feel fortunate that we got to see her live again so soon...she was just here last May. She told many of the same stories between songs, but because of the cold, she had to stop several times to retune & during one of those breaks, a member of the audience asked her to tell us about her cello. It has a name that I've forgotten (Ariege! link to Madison interview of Zoe)...she named it after the French city it was made in. She met the man who made it in NYC while she was touring with Rasputina. She's had him for 7 years & it is only her second cello, her first was named Sebastian & she got him when she was 8 years old. Also, she was wearing fabulous shoes & leg warmers she had made by cutting the arms off a sweater she shrunk. 
Above photo taken by Ross Harried Photography

Monday, January 13, 2014

Experiments in Pattern Mixing VI

 Dress: Addison Dress from Igigi via Gwynnie Bee (click on link to get a free month & help me earn an extra garment for a month)
Socks: Sock Dreams
Boots: Gripfast in Antique Gold
Necklace & Earring: Babil & Bijou
Photography: Super Boo
These are the first photos on my blog taken with my new Canon Rebel. We took pictures with my iPhone & compared (the last shot here is from my phone). These looked better. Warmer. Sharper. Super Boo played with them & even took out the ugly gas grill! I'll still be posting mostly iPhone photos until we get better at this. 
I am not a big fan of blue, but I adore the print on the lower half of this Igigi dress, like a silk scarf. I also really liked the matching contrasting band at the waist & neckline. 

I wore this dress to work & to taste some wine at Kate's house. And to get stuck in a rat trap. Super Boo posted this about the incident on Facebook:
Life Pro Tip: When leaving the house, endeavor to not catch a 4" wide, 12" long rat glue trap on the seat of your dress, then sit on it, burying it deep into the folds of your habit and the major cleft of your bodily self. Practical advice, given here for free. 
See, (you may not want to read this if you like furry creatures) we had this varmint in our pantry/basement steps/basement area that was making a terrible mess, eating all our food, & gnawing on our wooden door. I guessed it was a squirrel. When I mentioned it to Kate she said, remember when we had a squirrel in the basement & it was eating the dog food & you didn't believe me? No, no I don't remember that. What did we do? She said we trapped it in the dog food bag & let it go outside. I guess I have gotten crueler with age because this current squirrel is now a former squirrel. And I feel bad. Our local Humane Society posted a photo of a baby squirrel being bottle fed today & was looking for homes to foster orphaned baby squirrels. Guilty!