Daily Threads: Knotted Up

Let's just go ahead and address the elephant in room on the blog - yes, my very first outfit of this challenge was very similar, but still different. I love them both. Husband loved this outfit today too. I know it's good when he speaks up about it. 

I tied the bottom pieces of my shirt in a knot and felt like 'elementary school Linley'. I was such a bit fan of knotting my shirt. Even t-shirts - they were knotted without fail. I feel a bit summery too. And a bit like a 1950s teenager. And just for the record - I love it. 


Daily Threads: Not a Model

{similar cami, similar cardigan, similar trousers, similar wedges}

I recruited husband for these photos. And we ventured out to a new location. I've actually gotten so comfortable with my tripod, that I felt awkward with an actual person behind the camera. Near the end of this photo-taking adventure, husband told me to be sexy. Sexy? Uh... hmm... and I froze. Probably some of the worse photos of the whole bunch. I knew right then and there I could have never made it as a model. No, I was never given the chance, but had I - it wouldn't have been pretty. 


Over the Weekend

This was actually last weekend. Sure, I'm a week behind, but this weekend is going to be filled with lounging in sweat pants, working out, and playing outside with Maeby. So now, you are actually getting two 'Over the Weekend' posts in one. Lucky you!

Last weekend husband and I and a guy he works with and his wife drove down to Orange Beach. The other couple had a friend working a booth at a Seafood Festival that was taking place - so we visited her at the festival then spent the majority of the day browsing outlets. Oh I love a great outlet mall. 

I hate to do too much shopping when with a crowd - cause honestly, I can spend hours in one store and I hate being rushed into purchases. So I kept it simple - one cardigan in J Crew. However, I could have bought everything in there. Husband and I are going to go back down there one weekend and really get some shopping done. By our selves. Or maybe I'll just go. Anyone else like this? 

We took a break at lunch and ate at Lambert's Cafe. Have you been to one? Probably not as they are only here and in MO. It was delicious and unique and there should be more of these around this country! They are famous for throwing rolls - yeah, you read that right. Every so often a guy will come to the front of the room and yell, "Hot rolls!" - you raise your hand and a roll comes flying your way. You better hope you're not in the line of fire. I was nervous, but raise my hand - I barely held on to it, thank God for the pinky finger!
It's a huge restaurant. 

 In addition to the flying rolls, several others walk around to each table dishing out what's called "Pass-arounds." There was fired okra, fried potatoes and onions, macaroni and tomatoes, and apple butter for the rolls, among other side as well. And you get your drink in those huge mugs!

A view from our booth. See the waiter walking this way - he's in jeans, suspenders, and a bow-tie - I loved it!

And this was my meal - which I could barely eat. Let's just say I might have gone overboard with the fried okra and grapefruit-sized rolls. The chicken and pastry was delicious as well as the cucumber and corn. You definitely get more food than you could possibly eat! 

Although it's a couple hours away, it is right on the gulf coast and near an outlet mall, so hopefully we get to take our parents one day! I know they all will love it. The atmosphere is great and the food is delicious!


Daily Threads: FBFF Noms

See that last picture... that's me being defeated by the wind. It threw my hair all over the place and I was fearful for the life of my camera. Such horrible memories. Also, this dress. Remember I mentioned doing a little DIY with it? Well, obviously I haven't gotten to it yet - maybe today will be his last day around the block blog. Enough about the weather and my dress, let's talk favorite blogs. This week's FBFF questions are all about our favorite blogs - so here are mine!

1. Creative Juices (most creative): My gal Hello, Monkeyface! takes the cake with this one. The adorable monkey faces she makes to keep her anonymity in check are fabulous - adorable, really. I just love it (and husband does too!). And she takes amazing photos in amazing places. Love it.

2.  The Real Deal (authenticity): Liz at 26 and Counting is the real deal. The girl is one of my bloggy Bff's (yeah, I went there). We've talked quite a bit and she's always Liz. Not to mention, her blog posts are honest and funny. 

3. Spark Notes (most helpful): This is a double whammy - Cute and Little and The Coastal Chicster have both been there when I needed help personally - so they get my vote! They also both have fabulous tutorials where they share their geniusness with all of us who know nothing (or maybe just me).

4. Newbie (best blogger under a year old): Running on Happiness! Y'all, this lady is gorgeous, has such a lovely personal style, and has only been blogging three months. She's adorable.

5. Can You Hear Me Now (most connected): Statements in Fashion.  Seriously, I feel like Collette is everywhere (in a great way!). Between her blog, twitter, and 411 - she's definitely connecting and staying connected. 

6. If I Had a Hammer (best DIY): 320 Sycamore I prefer DIYs that are decor or around the house related - and this is one of my favorites! If you go to the right side and scroll down you'll see Tutorials and Under $10, Under 1 Hour tags - CLICK THEM! They are fabulous! Also, this girl rocks in the DIY department too!

7. Tribe Leader (blogger who leads and brings others together): This is definitely the category for Katy of ModlyChic. As many of you probably know, she's the brains behind FBFF - which is hugely successful not only as a Google Group, but at bringing everyone together. Whether it's through email discussions or the Friend Friday questions - she's got us all getting to know one another!

8. Practially Perfect (most fashionable): Kendi of Kendi Everyday. Kendi is perfect - I wouldn't believe anything else. Her outfits are always amazing, inspiring, and fashionable. She's a reason I started fashion blogging myself (for all the reasons listed in previous sentence). She's got it going on. 

9. Paint By Numbers (best beauty blogs): I've found that YouTube is best for makeup tutorials - blogs are good, especially for reviews, but videos of knowledgeable ladies talking through the makeup application process is so helpful. I love it. I am subscribed to way too many makeup channels on YT. Maybe I should do a post on my favorite channels... what do you think? Anyway, one of the channels I follow also has a corresponding blog - so she get's my vote: It's Judy Time (love her!). Most of her posts come with pictures and a video!

10. Renaissance Woman (best all around): This is easy Cupcakes and Cashmere. Emily is gorgeous! She has amazing style, shares some of the most delicious recipes, and does wonderful tutorials! My kind of blog! I've been reading her blog for a very long time and she has yet to disappoint - ever, in the least! Plus she was on The Hills - which is cool in my book!

So there they are. There are so many wonderful blogs out there - so many! I could easily put at least ten blogs for each category, but that would have defeated the purpose of all of this. Anyway - did you have some of the same picks?


Daily Threads: Skinny Jeans and Heels, Again

{similar top, similar sweater, similar jeans, similar booties}

I hope y'all aren't getting too tired of me wearing skinny jeans and heels. It seems to be a re-occurring theme throughout this challenge. But, if it works - it works! Right? Right! Last time I wore this sweater, I also managed to have some ruffles peeking out - it just looks so good. I love ruffles. 

I couldn't wear these heels too long after the photos were taken. I have a shin splint right now, so I switched over to my cognac boots - still 30x30 appropriate! I've started back exercising - nothing crazy, don't worry - and I almost always get a shin splint when I start working out after a long break. I think it's my shoes because this just happens way too often. Or it could be my body telling me not to work out...


Daily Threads: One Last Fling

{similar top, similar cardigan, Gap Red Skinny Cordssimilar wedges}

Seeing how the forecast for the next week or so is staying in the 70s, I thought I'd take advantage of a {somewhat} cooler day. I've only worn my cords once thus far in the challenge and I felt like they needed one more appearance. I have a couple other ways I'd like to style them, but they are some warm, thick pants to be putting on when it's above 70.

Last night I finally got around to putting together and uploading the scarf/belt tutorial some of you had requested. So if you're interested, just go ahead and scroll down to see it or click here

Oh yeah, and, woop! woop! this is outfit number 20! Ten more to go!


Tutorial: Tying a Scarf and a Belt

{Scarf: Market in Charleston, SC, Belt: Target}

Here it is! A tutorial on the ways I tie my scarf and the main way I tie my belt. It's taken long enough, right? Sorry about that. I didn't rehearse the video, so I kind of ramble and get off topic a couple times. Making videos is so weird. 

Oh, and, For the record - the faint music in the background is from a XM station - not necessarily music I like. In fact, I don't like any of the songs that were playing. Just wanted to throw that out there. 

Daily Threads: Breaking Rules

{Gap Colorblock Teesimilar cardigan, similar skinny jeans, UO Suede Pump}

I recently heard Tim Gunn say under no circumstance should anyone ever wear cropped pants. He went on to explain that no matter what you look like (short or long legs) they will always make your legs look short and cut you off. If there's one person throwing out rules related to fashion that I'm going to listen to, it's going to be Tim Gunn. Stacy and Clinton are good, great really, but some of their rules, I just can't abide. Tim - he's the real deal. What he says goes. 

Obviously I didn't listen to him today. Comfort beats all fashion rules. It was hot, so I cuffed my skinny jeans - I cuffed them to the point of looking cropped. And now, looking at the pictures, Tim was right. My sometimes awkwardly long legs look short and cut off. I don't like it. Next time I'm hot, my ankles will just have to suffer. End of story. 

I've recorded my tutorial, so hopefully it should be up soon!


Daily Threads: Black & White

{Mossimo Ruffle Blousesimilar cardigan, similar skinny jeans, similar t-straps}

Early this morning is was cloudy and overcast, now that I've gotten to posting it's gorgeous! Looks like the windows will be going up and the patio door will be open. I'm really loving this Spring-like weather in the middle of Winter. And I hate to say it, but I'll be glad when the challenge ends and I can dive back into my closet and wear shorts and different skirts! 

In other non-weather-related news, today I am on The Coastal Chicster posting about one of my favorite beach destination (our honeymoon!) and I'm on Modly Chic as today's Blogger Profile! Check both of them out!


Daily Threads: Favorite Combos

I've probably shared this before, but I don't mind sharing again. A long sleeve + shorts/skirt combo is my favorite - I also love a skirt + boots combo. So this qualifies as an ultimate favorite outfit for me. What's your favorite combo?

So I've had a few comments on here and questions via my formspring asking how I try my scarves and belts. If you lovely people wan to know, I don't mind sharing! So either over the weekend or early next week I am going to throw a video together and post it up. 


Daily Threads: Right to Bare Arms

{similar blouse, similar trousers, UO Suede Pump}

Ah, the right to bare arms. A dangerous permit as we come out of winter and into spring. As I rifled through these photos I realized a.) I'm super white and b.) my arms need to hit the gym (my stomach and butt should probably follow along as well). 

Alas, I think I'll just take Maeby for a walk. If I carry her during the walk, I'm pretty sure that would work the three areas mentioned above, I love multitasking. 


Daily Threads: Nonchalant

{similar chambray, similar pants, boots, similar necklace}

Dearest blog, meet nonchalant Linley. Her hair lays to the side, her shirt is a bit ill-fitting and half tucked, and her makeup is minimal. She usually looks like this when she has nowhere to go and a house to clean. 

A brief intro into my laid-back-kinda-day. I walked Maeby (cause it was gorgeous out today), I went to Target (cause we were down to our last two rolls of toilet paper), and I cleaned around the house (cause it had lost itself).  I also had the windows up and the patio door open all day (see first "cause"). I'm really loving this warm weather. I wish it felt like this all the time. 

The necklace. This necklace (along with a Patagonia fleece) was my first Christmas gift from husband (bf at the time) some five+ years ago. Although I believe it was intended to be worn with something a bit more formal, I love it because of its versatility. It adds a fabulous feminine touch to this somewhat boy-ish outfit. (yes, it's the same necklace i wore yesterday) This particular necklace isn't available at Ross Simons anymore, but I've linked a similar (and reasonably priced) alternative. 


Daily Threads: Fired Up

{Belk Winter White Cardigan (similar), Urban Outfitters Dress (similar), Steve Madden Inka Cognac Boots}

This is going up pretty late - my bad. I had a somewhat eventful day and didn't get to snap these photos as early as usual. Ah, c'est la vie! It was hard for me to pick a look today - this weather is really challenging me with my winter pieces. I definitely did not plan for the 70s; however, I feel like a snob talking badly about this gorgeous weather - so I'll stop.

In other news, there's been some drama going down in our little community. Last weekend, two little girls (middle school age), also known as the local pyros, set half of a near-by field on fire. We were pulling up to our place and we saw a huge (huge!) cloud of black smoke. I was scared to death - it appeared to be exactly where our unit is and panic set in. My baby girl was in the apartment (our dog, not a child)! Luckily, the flames were coming from a patch of grass behind our unit. We'd seen these little girls setting things on fire before. Right in front of our place... when we went out to talk to them, they took off. So we weren't surprised to to find out those two were behind these events. 

Tonight, as I was watching tv, I heard the faint sound of an alarm clock going off. A horribly miserable sound. So I muted the TV and realized the fire alarm in the building across the street was going off. Soon after, two fire trucks, an ambulance, and the fire chief were surrounding the building... Now I didn't stay outside and gawk long enough to figure out what the deal was (I was too tired and full from Moe's), but I wouldn't be surprised if it ended up being those two little girls. 



Daily Threads: Love Song Playlist

{J Crew Ruffle Cami (similar), Merona Black CardiganF21 Red SkirtIsaac Mizrahi T-Strap Pumps (similar)}

This may be my favorite look thus far in the challenge. I've been wanting to wear it for quite some time, but I had to find the will-power to be patient enough to wait and wear it for Valentine's Day. I love this look - it's simple, pulled together, and girly.

Husband made reservations for a late dinner. For the record, a delicious dinner and quality time together is a perfect Valentine's date for me. I'm simple - love is enough and I receive it all year long. Today is just a great excuse to get dressed up and eat somewhere nice - and we will totally be taking advantage of that!

If you are still without a gift for your significant other, something thoughtful doesn't take hours of planning. I love receiving something personal and thoughtful. My first birthday that I got to share with husband, when we first started dating, he gave me something made by him. We were both in college and between our morning classes we met at his Explorer, opened the back of it and sat there, and I opened my gifts. The two mixed CDs stand out most. They were songs I loved, songs he loved, and songs we loved together. I played those CDs out for months. And I still have them.

I thought I would share with you some songs about love and some lovely songs that we enjoy and that you can make into a CD for your special someone. 

DIY: Coasters

One of the gifts I gave my bridesmaids was these home-made coasters. Coasters are a great way to add a personal touch to any room - and they are easy to make! I was in Hobby Lobby last week and as I passed by the Valentine's Day cardstock I just could not turn down heart candy paper or the vintage Valentine paper. I thought coasters would be a great way to subtly bring in some Valentine's Day decor. 

Although Valentine's Day is already upon us, that doesn't mean you can't do this project! Just take a stroll down the cardstock aisle and pick paper that matches your living room, the next holiday or season, or a friend's living room for a gift. 

Trust me when I say this is an easy project - it's just a bit of cutting, gluing, and waiting  - that's it! It does take a couple days (to get through the drying process), but that's the worse part - especially if you are like me and want things right now. So for almost nothing you can add a personal and functional touch to your living area! Here we go!

Cardstock of choice ($0.29 - half off!)
Paper cutter (or scissors if you can cut straight lines) (already had)
4 4x4 white tiles ($0.13 each)
Mod Podge (glossy or matte - your preference) (already had)
Small sponge brush (already had)
Sealer (already had)
Felt dots ($2.96)

Total Cost: $3.77

1. Measure exact length of tile and cut four pieces. I didn't want any white peeking around the edges, so I cut the pieces the exact measurement of the tile. If you would like a bit of a white boarder, just cut the paper 1/8'' shorter.

2. Wipe off each tile piece with alcohol. This cleans the surface from dust, dirt, and finger prints - which will help the paper to stick more cleanly. 

3. Pour Mod Podge into paper plate. Use sponge brush to apply a generous layer of the glue onto the tile. Then apply one of the pre-cut pieces of cardstock - be sure to center the paper. Press the paper firmly - start in the middle and work your way out to eliminate air bubbles. Also, pay attention to the edges as it is important for the edges to adhere well. 

4. Allow the layer to dry (about 10-15 minutes). Then apply a top layer of the Mod Podge. Be sure to apply glue in one direction as there will be stroke marks. 

5. Repeat applying Mod Podge layer 2-3 times - until you are satisfied. I do a total of three top layers. Let these layers completely dry over night (about a 24 hr period is best). 

6. Set up in a well ventilated area - outside is ideal, sealer can be very strong and extremely harmful to inhale. Follow sealer instructions. The one I used required an initial layer of quick, short sprays and then a couple more layers of slower, thorough spays (about 15 minutes between each layer).

7. Allow sealer to completely dry (again, at least 24 hours). 

8. Apply felt dots to each corner of the bottom of the tile. 

Then your coasters are complete. Wrap up the set or place them around your living room and you are in business! 


Daily Threads: Movin' On Up

{J Crew Breton Boat-neck (similar), F21 Gray SkirtSteve Madden Inka Cognac Boots}

Starting today we have a heat warm wave moving in here in AL. Today is only the beginning - very low 60s, but as the week goes on we are getting into high 60s, low 70s - which, I have to say, I'm very excited about. So maybe a few spring looks (with winter clothes - how will that even work?) will show their faces this week!

Moving on... Friday I tweeted about a few goodies I had purchased for some projects! Well, I've completed two of the three and I can't wait to show you. I will post one of them tomorrow because... it's Valentine's Day related! Which, I kind of wished I had done it and posted it at the beginning of February so if you wanted to do it, you could do so in time for Valentines day. And I could have given it away. Oh well. It's a versatile project that can be tweaked for any season or theme - you'll see! (Does it irritate you that I'm rambling on about this and not sharing until tomorrow? Sorry.)

Update: Here's the project

Have a great rest of your Sunday!


Daily Threads: About A Headband

{J Crew Floral Tank (similar), Merona Black CardiganTarget Black Skinny Pants (similar), Isaac Mizrahi T-Strap Pumps (similar)}

Husband and I went out and about today. We drove around and looked at neighborhoods, had a lunch date in Costco, and went to the grocery store to pick out steaks to grill tonight. Maybe I look really cool or maybe I look really weird - whichever the case, I received more stares today than what I'm completely comfortable with. Husband said I looked cool - so I'm going with that one. 

I was going to wear this headband like a regular headband (ex.). As I began to put it on, I kind of stopped in mid-action, husband saw how it looked, and really approved. So I left it like this. I love seeing headbands worn this way, but I've never done it - I actually thought husband would call me weird, but turns out, he likes it! He really likes it! 

Also, I look washed out in the pictures - I know that. Apparently at a particular time of day, at a particular place, with a flash... you can really look washed out. See above. 

Hope you're having a lovely weekend!


Daily Threads: Hello, Color

{Urban Outfitters Dress (similar), Belk Winter White Cardigan (similar) , Guess via TJ Maxx Cognac Booties (similar), Tights c/o We Love Colors}

1. What color dominates your closet?
Honestly, I can't find one. I definitely have colors throughout my closet, but nothing is overwhelming. If anything, neutrals dominate my closet. I usually stick to neutral outfits with a hint of color - whether through a piece of jewelry, cardigan, scarf, or tights. 

2. If money weren't an issue how would you change the color emphasis in your closet?
I would add lots and lots of jewel-toned clothes. I think jewel-tone tops, bottoms, cardigans, dresses, jewelry, and accessories are gorgeous. They are perfect colors for the whole year-round - and really, they are flattering on everyone. I love them. 

3. What is your mantra about mixing colors?
No more than three colors per outfit. Now there are definitely times when I have more colors going on, and I think that's fine. But in general, for me, I prefer to stick to three colors. 

4. For you, how do you incorporate color into your outfits?
I usually incorporate color with one piece. Whether it's through a cardigan, a pair of pants, or accessories (a statement necklace or tights- see pictures above) there's going to be color somewhere - bright or subtle. 

5. Which blogger(s) do you think do a good job of incorporating color into their wardrobe?
That's easy: Suze. She always incorporated color into her daily looks and she always does a fabulous job at it! Other's that always impress me with color:Jenni, Sydney, Ashley, Kileen, and Natasha - just to name a few!    

A big shout-out to We Love Colors for these fabulous (and warm!) teal tights. I originally was going to wear black and gray pieces with the tights. Then I decided I would go all out with the color theme - and I am loving this teal and maroon combo. 

For others' thoughts on color visit the Friend Friday list.


Daily Threads: {Kind of} A Repeat

{Old Navy Polka Dot Blouse (similar), Belk Green Cardigan (similar), TJ Maxx Sinny Jeans (similar), Steve Madden Inka Cognac Boots}

So I haven't technically worn this outfit before. I've worn something similar (different pants and belt), but it never made it out of the house (I changed cardigans), so it doesn't count. Whew, I'm glad that's out of the way.

Moving on, no, I haven't become any better with photoshop - this editing was actually via Picnik -- an amazing and free website to edit photos. This editing is the cross-process effect with 25% fading. Same thing was done with these photos (except no fading). It's a great website and alternative if you do not have photoshop - so go play around!


DIY: Decorative Tray

I am a big believer in that you don't have to drop Benjamins on decor to make your house look beautiful. Many things already existing (and to come) around our house have been DIY-ed or fabulous finds. I think creating your own decor is so much more rewarding and personal than walking into a Pottery Barn and picking out items. (For the record, I love Pottery Barn, but who has money to decorate their home with pieces straight out of a page in their magazine?)

I regularly receive PB magazines as well as others to pull inspiration from and for recreating ideas. Many items found at Goodwill, thrift stores, and flea markets can easily (I'm talking little to no effort here) be transformed into something that looks unique and high-priced.

I found this tray at a Marshalls in Raleigh (actually, I think it might have been in Cary). It was all beat up, not the prettiest thing in the world, and on clearance. I threw him in my buggy (along with a couple other clearance items) and $3 later, he was mine!

An old tray
A can of white primer
A can of white spray paint

1. Wipe down tray to remove dust or dirt that may have accumulated. 
2. Spray a couple layers of primer (~10 minutes between each - read primer instructions).
3. Spray a couple layers of white spray paint until fully covered.

I already had the primer and paint, so this project cost me a bank-breaking $3. A $3 exact replica of a $69 tray. Can't beat that. I love this tray and I am on a mission to find other beat up trays to bring new life. 

Daily Threads: Dotty

{Mossimo Polka Dot Dress (similar), Belk Drape Cardigan (similar), Mossimo T-strap Wedges (similar)}

I considered swapping this dress out for a different one - I'm honestly not crazy about it. It's so cute in my closet, but as soon as I put it on I was confused. I haven't worn this in about three years (yikes, I know), but I've kept it for some reason - so he's getting his face-time now. I have another way to remix it, but I also have a little face-lift/DIY in store for this dress. I can't decided which will win... either way, I can't wait to do it and share!

In other clothing news, all three of these pieces are making their 30 for 30 Winter Edition debut. I have several items in this remix that haven't been worn - which makes me feel better. I really need to put all these pieces together in my closet (yeah, I haven't done this yet) so remixing might get a little easier. Note to self. 

Notice anything new about these pictures? They are photoshopped! I've been googling, youtubing, and searching blogs with tutorials and also just been playing around in the program to learn my way around. I am no where close to knowing what I want to know, but this internet thing sure does help out! I put a few color layers on these photos via Sydney's tutorial. I'm loving this look!


Daily Threads: A Classic

{Gap White Long Sleeve Tee similarLC Blazer similarTJ Maxx Sinny Jeans similarGuess via TJ Maxx Cognac Booties similar}

This is my EBEW Classic Blazer look. Head over to the site to see how others wear their blazers - and if you haven't already, share your blazer look!

It's been pretty cold and windy lately. I do have some skirts and dresses in my 30 (I promise!), I just can bring myself to not wear pants when it's cold and windy. I'm a pants-kinda-gal, and I'm really trying to branch out into more skirts and dresses, but this weather just isn't cooperating. Hopefully it will warm up soon (fingers crossed!).

Also, head over to Rose a la Mode today and read my survey!