Saturday, September 26, 2015

Saturday Morning Cartoons

Ah, Saturday morning cartoons. How I loved the Laugh Olympics, Tom & Jerry, the Smurfs, and those "meddling kids" (before Scrappy came on the scene and ruined the whole thing). A big bowl of cereal and Looney Tunes on the telly made for a sweet, sweet Saturday morning. Remember the episode where Daffy Duck rants at the illustrator, who erases and redraws him in crazy colors with flower petals around his head?! I love that one.
Slightly more obscure (okay, a lot more obscure), but one of my favorites, was a mid-80s cartoon that mixed live action characters with animation and music videos called Kidd Video. I loved Kidd Video. The title character had a bit of a Duran Duran vibe. I had a grade school crush on him. None of my friends seem to remember the show at all. They really missed out.
This fun, kitschy bag reminded me of the show's opening sequence, when the animated villain Master Blaster appears in a mirror and transports Kidd and his band to the Flipside where they discover they're no longer real people but cartoon characters. 
Much like Master Blaster in the mirror, the bag is an animated accessory that looks "drawn" into a live scene with colored Sharpies. It's a fun Saturday tote that's also practical enough to hold all the essentials. I smile every time I carry it (and sing a little Kidd Video in my head). Both the bag and the comic book redhead skirt can be found on Amazon. The bag comes in several other fun styles, too.
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!
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Friday, September 25, 2015

Footwear "Fore" Fall

Shoes (Aerogreen); Top (Ralph Lauren); Skirt (Focus 2000); Watch (Michael Kors); Sunglasses (vintage); Golf Bag (Redsetter Golf)
Last weekend, I broke out the Fall golf gear. These chocolate brown and white braided leather Aerogreens are among my favorite golf shoes. If you're wondering, yes, I did switch out the stock laces for orange ones to match my watch and the trim on the neckline of my top. (You're not surprised...)  
Life's a beach...
Though it was a perfectly crisp but not cold early Autumn day, you'd never have known it for all the time I spent on the beach (aka in the sand traps). At least I didn't lose any balls. I've said it before, some days the best thing about my golf game really is my shoes. That's okay. They're really great shoes!
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!
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Thursday, September 24, 2015

"Fall" for Vintage

An English cottage print sundress from Bernie Dexter gets extended for the change of Seasons with vintage accessories Fall-friendly footwear.
Fall is my favorite time of the year. It always has been. But I'm just not quite ready to let go of Summer yet, in no small part because I love sundresses so much. As it turns out, it's pretty easy to extend sundress season with a few accessory and accent switches. Two recent vintage handbag finds inspired me to keep this Bernie Dexter dress in rotation as the leaves change.
Shoes (Diba); Bag (Aigner, vintage 1970s)
Earlier in the Summer, I paired the dress with bright yellow and blue sandals, a lightweight blue cardigan and belt, and my favorite yellow safety pin clutch (see it here). But, I like it just as much with a chocolate brown sweater and mustard yellow accents that play up the more autumnal hues in the vibrant English cottage print. I've had these linen and leather Diba pumps for years, but I never considered them for this dress until I brought home the 1970s woven wicker and leather bucket by Aigner. I found the bag at Queen Bee Vintage, one of my favorite local vintage stores. The bag is evocative of classic picnic totes, so while it may not be right for the dead of Winter, I'm already looking forward to carrying it more next Spring.
When it rains it pours, I guess. The same week I stumbled on the vintage Aigner at Queen Bee, I also found this absolutely "perfecto" wood cigar box bag at the monthly Indy Arts & Vintage Marketplace. Hiding in the vendor's silver Airstream Trailer parked in a shady corner of Broadripple Park, it's made from an actual cigar box. Each time I open it, I'm greeted with the beautiful smell of cedar. It was bargain-priced at $15, and has turned out to be quite the conversation piece every time I've carried it. 
The ankle boots are from Frye; The bag is upcycled from an actual cedar cigar box.
The fact that the bag is made from a cigar box also brings back fond memories of my childhood, when I used my Dad's empty cigar boxes to hold all manner of treasures. I even used them to make Valentine's Day boxes for school (covered with quilt batting and fabric to hide their origins, of course)! If you're a vintage fan, I highly recommend checking out both Queen Bee and the Indy Arts & Vintage Marketplace.
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!
I found the cigar box bag tucked into a corner of this airstream trailer. The Indy Arts & Vintage Marketplace, held monthly at various locations around the city, is a fun way to make unique discoveries.
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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Black & Blue Monday

Jacket (Pretty Woman, Bedford, IN); Pants (Joseph Ribkoff, The Secret Ingredient); Shoes (Anne Klein,
It was a rough night for my boys in blue yesterday (though I had better luck with my fantasy team, at least). Even so, I'm no fair weather fan, and I almost always wear blue on game day. For typical Sunday afternoon games, that usually means a Colts fleece or hoodie. It's all about comfort. But, for Monday or Thursday night games, something more office-appropriate is in order.
In accordance with NFL stadium security rules, however, my super cute but slightly too large Colts blue purse has to stay in the closet on game day. Instead, two years ago season ticket holders were given large, clear plastic totes in which to carry the essentials (which, for me, basically means my wallet and gum - I ALWAYS have gum). I couldn't find mine this year, which I only discovered as we were on our way out the door for the first home game. Cue my inner MacGyver... I improvised with a clear plastic zipper tote that held a new curtain panel and added a long black zip tie for a handle! I wouldn't say it's going to be a hot new fashion trend but, hey, it's at least as stylish as the standard issue NFL bag, and it's a Red's Shoe Diaries original. I'm owning it!
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!
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Hand Me Downs & Hooch

This ruched taffeta and velvet striped skirt is hands down my favorite black skirt. Ever. And it's a "hand me down," to boot!
When it comes to drama, I prefer it on the stage and in my wardrobe; not in my interpersonal relationships (let alone social media). But, at the risk of sounding overly dramatic, I'm about to let you in on a big "backstage" shopping tip. Selfishly, I don't even want to tell you about it - it's that good. Even so, I'm spreading the word for a good cause (but if you show up and try to snake my favorite things, we might have to throw down...not to be dramatic or anything. 
Velvet bolero (Onyx Nights, Nordstrom); Ruffled top (Steinmart).
Actually, I can't think of a more appropriate place to find dramatic wardrobe treasures than the Indiana Repertory Theatre's costume and prop warehouse. I picked up this fantastic black taffeta, velvet and tulle skirt there in the Spring...for the jawdropping price of (wait for it)...$5 dollars! Can I just tell you that it is the coolest black skirt I have ever owned. It fits like a dream; has exquisite details; and can be dressed up or down depending on what I pair it with. The fact that it once graced the stage of an IRT production is the icing on the cake (or the denouement, to use a more theatrical term - and yes, I did have to look up the proper spelling of denouement. It's been a long time since my Hoosier Spell Bowl days). 
Just look at the detailing on this skirt - it definitely deserved new life once it was "retired" from an IRT stage production. The beaded clutch is from local Indianapolis boutique Profyle (one of my faves!)
You won't be surprised to learn that letting me loose in a warehouse full of period costumes and stage-production worthy pieces for a few hours also yielded a few other treasures, including a fur stole; a plaid fedora; a velvet black raspberry colored beret (literally, a raspberry beret, people!); and an exquisite floor length, eggplant velvet cloak with beaded edges so magnificent Harry Potter would have been ashamed to be invisible in it (look for it to be featured in an upcoming Halloween post)Wondering just how I managed to get into the IRT's costume and prop warehouse, and whether you can do the same? You can...and just in time for your Halloween costume needs! (Though as you can tell from my skirt, the possibilities go far beyond "theme" attire).
Shoes (Schutz); The earrings and ring are also "hand me downs" - they once belonged to my grandmother.
 On Thursday, October 8th, the IRT will fling wide the doors of its costume "wear"house on the near East side for a two hour "sip and shop" opportunity called Hand Me Downs & Hooch. A ticket to the event will cost you $25, which goes to support the IRT's productions and costume department, but will include a glass of wine and your choice of a single accessory or item of clothing. Other items may be purchased for very reasonable prices (case in point, my skirt!) Not everything in the vast, time-period and theme-organized warehouse is for sale (despite my pleading, the costume director just won't part with a beaded bullfighter's bolero that I NEED in my life), but you can still have fun browsing the racks and playing dress up amongst literally thousands of truly amazing (and some outrageous) items. Two bits of advice if you come: 1) Dress down. The warehouse is just that, a warehouse (meaning not so clean concrete floors and dusty boxes everywhere); 2) If you try to snake my favorite pieces, there will be drama! (just kidding...maybe). 
Hand Me Downs & Hooch will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 pm on October 8th. The warehouse is located at 3835 East 21st Street. You can get your ticket by calling the IRT Ticket Office at 317-635-5252. Details can be found here.
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!
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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

One Small Step

A little more than two years ago, I had the great pleasure of planning and co-hosting a baby shower for a couple that has played an important role in my life. We have worked together; we have laughed together; we have cried together. When I found out they were pregnant with their first child, Alex, I was ecstatic for them. Selfishly, I was also excited for a perfect opportunity to design, decorate for, and throw a party. And what a party it was...We settled on a sophisticated color scheme of grey and yellow, and I was off and running. The shower was in January, so we used soft silver grey faux fur baby blankets to top tables skirted in yellow, and decadent apothecary jars filled with all manner of color coordinated sweet treats did double duty as decoration and dessert. 

At the end of the day, I had a large jar of left-over irridescent yellow Sixlets to take home. They gleamed like pretty little pearls in the shapely glass jar, so I left them on display in our living room. Two years later, that jar is still nearly full of (what are now likely stale) yellow Sixlets. I share this story because Alex's parents will never be able to leave a candy jar on a side table in their living room; and because Sixlets are something that will never be a part of another party for Alex. I want people to know why. I want people to know about the very rare, debilitating condition that Alex was born with, called Prader-Willi Syndrome. I want people to know about the very real need for research on this largely unknown condition for which there is currently no effective treatment or cure. Awareness is the first small step toward changing Alex's life and the lives of 30,000 children in the US and thousands more around the world.
Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) is a genetic disorder, though it is not inherited. The hallmark of the disorder develops between ages 3 and 8, and is termed "hyperphagia." With hyperphagia, people feel an overwhelming urge to eat. They feel like they are starving, an no amount of food makes the feeling go away. As if that weren't enough, people with PWS have very slow metabolisms, and even as adults should consume no more than 800 calories per day to avoid becoming morbidly obese. People with PWS may have normal IQs, but because of their inability to control their appetite, they cannot be left unsupervised at all.  They cannot drive a car; go to the movies with friends; go to college; or have a job.  Kitchens and trash cans must be locked down, and anything in any way edible must be monitored.  They also do not vomit, so when over-eating occurs, many die from a ruptured stomach, bowels, etc. PWS is fatal.  People with PWS have a high likelihood of “binging” and ultimately dying from this binge, and/or dying from complications associated with morbid obesity.
There is currently no cure, and no treatment for this hyperphagia, and/or the anxiety and many emotional issues that come with the feeling of constant starvation. Yet, there is hope. A group of leading PWS researchers have recently conducted a small pilot study, and found a drug that actually may help to curb the hyperphagia, which would allow these kids to live relatively normal lives.  This is quite possibly the biggest and most exciting breakthrough to ever happen in PWS research. But, a larger clinical study is needed before any child with PWS can be prescribed this medicine, and because the population affected is so small in comparison to other diseases, commercial sponsorship and funding for continued research isn't readily available. Thus,the families of those who suffer from PWS are working hard to raise the more than 1 million\dollars necessary to fund this critical research.

I was honored to join Alex and his mom for a grass roots fundraising walk on Labor Day weekend, where I also had the opportunity to meet several other PWS children and their families. These kids and their families are amazing, and the support network they provide each other is heartwarming. But it's not enough. More people need to know about this debilitating condition, and about the opportunity to help change the lives of PWS children in a profound way. Every story shared, and every dollar raised, is a small step in the right direction. If you'd like to learn more, or find out how you can help, you can do so here.

Thank you for taking the time to read about Alex and about PWS. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Bohemian Rhapsody

I think I've heard or read the term "boho chic" at least 37 times in the last three weeks. It's all the rage (again), and not just at Coachella and Burning Man. It's a little bit 70s and a little bit Kate Moss in the early 2000s. If you own a maxi dress and some leather or beaded jewelry (particularly with chunky, natural stones), you've probably channeled the style even if you didn't know it. 
This look is not only a little bit boho, it's big time budget boho: the Maxi skirt from was under $20; the tank from Gordman's was $4.99; the tie front shrug was $6.99 on Amazon; the hand painted leather rings from Global Gifts were $4 each; and the leather flower bracelet from the Indianapolis Museum of Art Gift Shop was $12. The hand-hammered silver and coral beaded necklace came from an art show in Houston circa 1998. The purse is by Anuschka. You can find a large selection of these all leather, hand painted works of art at This butterfly painted cross-body style is one of my favorites.
I  like the look, but it's generally a "strictly weekend" thing for me. A music festival vibe and full-length flowy skirts and dresses just don't feel right at the office. That said, I've started to see some tailored interpretations that are more chic than boho, but still retain an earthy yet feminine edge. I even have a few pieces in my wardrobe that are office-friendly but will easily lean a little boho with the right accessories - look for an upcoming post on how to make "boho chic" work for work! 
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!
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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Bigger on the Inside

“In 900 years of time and space, 
I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important.” 

"Who" says you can't find real wisdom in cheeky British science fiction?!  I am an unabashed fan of Dr. Who, which has been on the air since 1963 and is the world's longest running science fiction program. Those in the know will recognize the phrase on my Cafe Press t-shirt as a reference to the show's iconic blue police box otherwise known as the TARDIS. If you don't get the reference, this t-shirt is not for you. If you do get the reference, I think you're cool. Like bow ties. Bow ties are also cool. If you don't get the bow tie reference, you're still cool, but not as cool as those "Who" do. 
Shirt (Cafe Press); Skirt (eShakti); Shoes (Anne Klein); TARDIS iPhone Case (eBay)
The quote above is from the Eleventh doctor (when a show has been on as long Dr. Who, the lead actor must, but necessity, change from time to time). The tenth and eleventh doctors were my favorites (the show is now on to the twelfth doctor). The eleventh doctor, in particular, made a lot of astute observations about life and human nature that resonated with me (not that I watch the show looking for any deeper meaning - it's a lark). But this quote, in particular, reminded me of these words to live by from Kid President (have you checked this kid out? Seriously, he's awesome!): "Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody." I love that quote, and I think about it a lot. I hope I am living it.
Fictional doctors and child social media phenoms aside, I love this shirt. I'm not really a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl, which is obvious to anyone who knows me even a little bit, but I LOVE a fun or clever t-shirt. And if it's a raglan sleeve baseball shirt, all the better. You might not think about wearing a novelty t-shirt with a skirt and heels, but I love it for casual Friday! 
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!
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