Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Road Trip (See Jane Wear)

Mossimo (Target) hat, J Brand jeans (via Gilt), J Crew top, F21 sweater, Bakers shoes, Chloé bag, TWO Goody hairties

On Monday, my sisters, mom, and I piled into the car to embark on a lengthy 1+ hour journey to Troy, MI--home of the Somerset Collection (i.e. my favorite mall).  I wasn't having the greatest hair day, so I decided to cover it up with a hat.  If there's one thing I have trouble wearing, it's hats.  Maybe it's my face or perhaps it's the shape of my head that doesn't quite mesh with head-toppers; whatever it is, I can't seem to wear hats without feeling totally self-conscious.  I found this ski cap at Target last week and when I tried it on, I didn't hate what I saw so decided it had to be fate.  It'll still take some getting used to, but perhaps I can use this opportunity to explore further into the world of hats.

Are you a hat person?

**Disclaimer:  we didn't pile into an RV to go to the mall--it's actually my parents' next door neighbor's RV.  It's just an appropriate coincidence that I was standing in front of it before our "road trip."

Be sure to check out my giveaway with Wish clothing that ends Friday, too! 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bundled Up (See Jane Guest Blog)

J Brand Jeans, BB Dakota coat (via Gilt), J Crew top, Theory scarf, H&M belt

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend!  Today I'm doing a guest post over at Sparkling Footsteps while Lynzy is hitting the slopes in Vermont for the week.  Be sure to head over to her blog to see what I wore to run last minute errands before Christmas (think Menards + Miejer).

Be sure to check out my giveaway with Wish clothing that ends Friday, too!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas (See Jane Wish You a Merry Christmas)

*images via weheartit

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday.  I hope you're all spending copious amounts of time with your loved ones and indulging in all sort of sweet and savory goodies.  I also want to thank everyone for supporting and reading my silly, little blog--it really means the world to me.

**Don't forget to enter my giveaway...just in case Santa misses something on your list!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wish Giveaway (See Jane Give)

The holiday season is upon us and the spirit of giving is in the air.  I was contacted by the lovely people at Wish Clothing to look over their Spring 2011 Lookbook (which makes me long for warm weather...already) and we decided to do a little giveaway.  The winner will win an article of Wish Clothing (you'll work with their account representative to see your options according to your tastes and size).  This is a great giveaway as Wish has some gorgeous clothing for all seasons; from dresses to skirts to blazers, this brand offers everything to keep you stylish!    If you haven't heard of Wish before, you can easily find it at at Revolve Clothing and select boutiques nationwide.

To enter, it's simple:  become a Google follower of See Jane. and leave me a comment letting me know that you want to enter with your e-mail address.   **Unfortunately, this contest is only open to my readers in the US + Canada.

Extra entries include:
     - following via Bloglovin', 
     - following me on Twitter,
     - and finally, tweeting about the giveaway (please leave another comment for each additional entry).

    I'll choose the winner at random next Friday (Wish will be off for the holidays until January 3)--good luck to all!

    Sexy Specs (See Jane Have Four Eyes)

    Here's a fun fact about me:  I might as well be legally blind (for all you contact wearers, my prescription is -6.5 in both eyes).  I have had the worst eyesight for as long as I can remember.  My first pair of glasses were huge, dark brown, and covered most of my face; I'm pretty sure a hipster is wearing them as we speak.  Needless to say, I haven't been a huge fan of glasses since that time of my life.  I occasionally wear them to work to give my eyes a break, but I've never braved wearing them out for a night on the town.  My current glasses are the first pair I've ever consistently worn in public, but ever since my sister visited the Warby Parker showroom in NYC, I've been dying for a pair of their frames.

    Warby Parker is a great company, from what I've read.  Every single pair of glasses is $95 and they'll even send you a pair to try on before making a decision.  I can't wait to pick some!

    Follow me on Twitter, Google, and Bloglovin' 

    Tuesday, December 21, 2010

    H&M Home (See Jane Wish)

    Ever notice that you want what you can't have?  That's how I feel about H&M's home line.  There it is, readily available online, and much to my dismay, they only ship to European countries.  True to H&M form, the prices are extremely reasonable and the styles are hit or miss (for me, at least).  Some things I love, while other things--not so much.  But, even truer to form, is that their line is quite innovative and extremely on trend.  I will hope for a Christmas miracle that H&M will start shipping to the States.
    *clockwise from top left
    Textile Basket - Perfect for holding magazines.
    Pillow Cover - For $8 a pop, I would cover my couch in several of these.
    Cashmere Throw - The only cashmere I've seen for under $100.
    Hand Towels - The prettiest gray and $3 for two towels--buy extras.
    Lace Tablecloth - If I had a dining room table or a long dresser, I would cover it in this.  

    For all my friends abroad, I envy you.  For those North Americans who are letting out a collective sigh with me, I guess we'll have to be patient.

    Follow me on Twitter, Google, and Bloglovin' 

    Monday, December 20, 2010

    Layer Cake (See Jane Wear)

    When I graduated college and got my first 'real' job, I was guilty of frequently philandering my paychecks on new dresses and tops.  Not to say that my love for shopping has waned (at all), but I've definitely become more aware of my shopping habits and try to make a conscious effort to purchase things that I'll wear more than once.  I have a handful of dresses in my closet from this time period (2007/2008) that sadly, have only been worn once or twice.  Blogging has definitely made me more aware of my outfit choices (in a good way) and has also made me look at my closet with a more critical eye.  I don't discount things in my closet as quickly as I used to and have becoming better at trying different items on together first before writing them off.

    Take this Tibi dress that I uncovered deep in my closet, from years back.  My roommate had first purchased it in purple and I subsequently fell in love with it.  I had to have it--no questions asked; I think I ended up wearing it twice.  Because the weather was arctic this weekend, I couldn't just wear one of these dresses in question underneath a blazer--I needed additional layers for warmth.  I ended up wearing a plain black tee under the dress and topped it off with a blazer.  Don't worry, I wore another coat on top in addition to scarf and gloves when I was outside.

    Tibi dress, Anthropologie blazer, HM tee (worn here), UO shoes (worn here)

    Thursday, December 16, 2010

    Gilty As Charged (See Jane Spread the Word)

    If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen that I've been talking about Gilt Groupe lately.  I was recently asked to become an ambassador for Gilt in my local city and I'll be trying my best to spread the word in Chicago and beyond.  If you don't already know about Gilt Groupe, it's a site that has flash sales that last 36 hours and  feature different designers.  I've bought everything from makeup, to bags, to jeans, all at a highly discounted price.  You have to shop fast as there are limited quantities on everything, but that's part of the fun! Most importantly, I love a good deal--thus, I love Gilt.

    J Brand jeans + Rebecca Minkoff purse purchased at Gilt Groupe

    To sign up, it's easy
    1. Click on this link
    2. Choose + click on any sale 
    3. A window will prompt you to sign up.  All you need is a valid e-mail address + a password.
    4. Start shopping!
    Follow me on Twitter, Google, and Bloglovin' 

    Wednesday, December 15, 2010

    Chocolate + Peanut Butter Dipped Pretzels (See Jane Make)

    Don't be fooled by these treats.  I haven't been hard at work making Christmas treats the past few weeks;  in fact, the only goodies I've made have been of the 'no-bake' genre.  These chocolate + peanut butter dipped pretzels exceptionally easy to make, as you might have guessed.  Simply melt chocolate in a double-boiler, add a couple spoonfuls of peanut butter (to taste) and stir until melted.  Then, dip the pretzels halfway in the chocolate/peanut butter mixture and set on parchment paper and refrigerate to set.

    One may look at these Flipz knockoffs and wonder why I consider these a holiday dessert.  My mom, sisters, and I have been making these half-dipped pretzels at Christmas time for as long as I can remember.  Sure, we always baked/decorated the obvious, frosted sugar cookies, but I loved that we accompanied the expected with some unexpected treats.  We also always make pecan shortbread and saltine toffee cookies along with these chocolate + peanut butter dipped pretzels, just to name a few.
    Do you have any unexpected holiday traditions?

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    Tuesday, December 14, 2010

    Thigh Highs + Tights (See Jane Layer)

    I live in a frigid town.  For (at least) three months straight, the winds howl while snow violently swirls outside your bedroom window.  It makes a girl want to hibernate all winter.  What can be even more discouraging is knowing that clothes you bought for fall and winter don't seem nearly warm enough to make you want to brave the great outdoors.  We can't wear the same cozy sweater out every weekend; sometimes you want to wear a dress.  For when plain ol' tights won't cut it, layer it on:

    *clockwise from top left

    As a former Catholic schoolgirl, I was always partial to wearing high socks with my uniform, so my love for this look is obvious.  Still, I don't foresee myself ever wearing thigh high socks in public.  The compromise:  wearing them over tights however will both keep me warm and allow me to play with the trend.  Also, you can find them just about anywhere (even Kohls sells them), so you can shamelessly experiment. 

    Will you try thigh highs/over the knee socks with tights in the winter?

    Monday, December 13, 2010

    We All Shine On (See Jane Wear)

    Weather in Chicago was completely bi-polar this past weekend.  It started innocently enough with temperatures in the upper-30s and then slyly moved into torrential downpours and full-blown blizzards; suffice to say, it was fun watching the city mildly freak out (myself included).  Although I had things to do and places to be, I wasn't about to let a little precipitation get in my way.

    I wore this outfit to a Christmas party but at the last minute opted to lose the leather jacket due to the sheer wetness (and freezing temperatures) of the night.  The skirt was purchased the day of the party while out Christmas shopping; I wasn't planning on buying anything for myself, but when I saw that this sparkly number was 50% off, it was hard to say no.  I paired it with a top I already had in my closet (worn here) and ended up knotting it instead of tucking it in--that simple maneuver gave me a whole new appreciation for this basic top!

    Zara leather jacket, J Crew skirt (currently on sale in stores), Forever 21 top + shoes

    Also, the winner of the CSN giveaway is #26 (via  Rachel, I'll be emailing you soon with details on how to claim your prize.  Thanks again to CSN and everyone who entered!

    Friday, December 10, 2010

    At Last (See Jane TGIF)

    Is it me or has this week been extraordinarily long?  While I definitely don't want to wish away these few, short weeks before Christmas, something about this week was painful and slow. 

    an outtake from my christmas decor post.  soak in the holiday spirit.

    Ever since graduating college, I've found that the holiday seasons seem to get shorter and shorter.  One minute it's the 4th of July and you're basking in that summer glow and the next minute, you're pasty white and slugging down as much egg nog as you can just so you can 'celebrate the season.'  I don't want this year to be like that, so this weekend, I'm taking in all the season has to offer.  I have one and a half holiday parties this weekend (the half party is for work--I don't think those count as a full-fledged holiday party) and finally will be getting in some Christmas shopping.  And I'll be darned if my weekend isn't topped off with a Sunday Christmas movie marathon!  TBS and Bravo, don't let me down.

    Have a great weekend, everyone.

    P.S.  I am extending the giveaway through the weekend.  ('Tis the season...)  Don't forget to enter!

    Thursday, December 9, 2010

    Red 'n Green Holiday Treats (See Jane Make)

    I mentioned on Monday that I attended a holiday party this past weekend.  One of the stipulations for the party was that we had to bring a holiday cookie to share.  I wasn't in the mood to bake on Saturday and came across several recipes for peppermint bark.  I also wasn't thrilled with peppermint that day, so when I stumbled upon Brown Eyed Baker's Pistachio + Cranberry White Chocolate Bark, I was sold.  The colors were stunning and I love pistachios, so I decided to make it and never looked back.
    While Eric wasn't in love with it (I don't like cranberries, he grimaced), it did win second place in an anonymous cookie tasting.  It was quite possibly was the most competitive holiday party I'd ever attended.

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010

    Gift Guide for the Impossible (See Jane Choose)

    We all those people in our lives--those that are impossible to shop for.  They come in all shapes and sizes:  mothers, sisters, friends, even brother.  Perhaps they have everything or maybe they're the kind that claims they'll love anything you buy for them.  Right.  And they'll love it right up until they re-gift it at their next exchange.  We all want our gift recipient to have a big smile upon their face when they open their present, whether it be from intuitively knowing what they wanted or by blindly choosing something that they never realized they'd love.  Here are a few options for those kids of people (and no, they're not gift cards):

    *clockwise from top left

    1. Penguin Classic Hardcover Books -  Few people dislike these classics.  And, well, if the impossible person is illiterate, these beauties sure do stack nicely.
    2. The All Nighter Hair Powder - For your girlfriend that has a corporate job, but loves to party on weekdays (and is too good for baby powder).
    3. Alpaca Print Wrap - No matter how much she has, another scarf will always be welcome in any girl's closet.
    4. Back to Basics Address File - Because sometimes everyone needs a break from emails and it would look good on anyone's desk (and anyone would love it but not want to buy it for themselves).
    5. Polaroid Instant Camera - Is there anyone who doesn't love to see instant photos develop right before their eyes?  Doubt it.
    6. Savoy Cocktail Shaker + Bar Tool Set - This looks cool on any bar (or kitchen table top).  Drink, don't swill these cocktails.  You be Don and I'll be Betty, go.
    7. HMS Lollipop Apron - Your mom insists she doesn't want anything, then why is she still wearing her apron from 1982?
    Do you have any impossible gifts to buy this year?

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010

    Frosted Window Panes (See Jane Decorate)

    my first Charlie Brown Christmas tree
    I bought my first holiday decorations ever over Thanksgiving.  I never needed to purchase any before because my roommate had a bounty of festive decor.  Since moving in with Eric, I realized that we hardly had more than a Festivus Pole between the two of us and absolutely no holiday decorations to our name.  That scenario just wouldn't suffice in my world, so I insisted that my mom go shopping with me to help me pick out my first few items, which I hope will last me for seasons to come.

    I hung the extra mini-ornaments (from the tree) from my mantle with twine.

    Faux-frosted sticks + red berries
    My decorations are few and far between (i.e. it kind of looks like the Who's house after the Grinch Stole Christmas), but I can't wait to build upon the few things I've collected so far in the upcoming years.

    I've seen that so many of you have brought home trees--what other decor do you put up for the holidays?

    Monday, December 6, 2010

    Chance of Flurries (See Jane Wear)

    As you can see from the white-speckled photos, it snowed this past Saturday in Chicago.  I had my first Christmas party of the year to attend and it was the perfect way to kick off the holiday season.  That, combined with the freshly fallen snow and recently hung wreath in my apartment, the spirit of the season really started to come alive.  The party was in a friend's house so I opted for shorts, rather than the usual dress or skirt that I normally wear at these types of functions.  I don't look very festive but felt totally comfortable and can see myself wearing these shorts all winter.  I'll save the red, green, and sparkles for the other parties I have in upcoming weeks!

    Zara top, F21 shorts + booties, Gap tights, Banana Republic necklace

    How was your weekend?

    Friday, December 3, 2010

    Giveaway + Fun Facts (See Jane Give)

    My friends over at CSN have offered another giveaway for my wonderful readers!  With the holidays quickly approaching, you'll be able to get a good chunk of your shopping done, from sling backpacks for the traveling nomad in your family, to luxe throw pillows for the interior design aficionado.  Up for grabs is $35 to any of of the CSN stores.  I actually won Taylor's giveaway and plan on spending it soon...I'm thinking a soft and cuddly throw for my couch:

    To enter, it's simple:  become a Google follower of See Jane. and leave me a comment letting me know that you want to enter.  Extra entries include: following via Bloglovin', following me on Twitter, and finally, tweeting about the giveaway (please leave another comment for each additional entry).  I'll choose the winner at random next Friday!

    Also, the lovely Amanda at A.Coest1984  tagged me (and ten other stylish ladies) to reveal seven facts about myself.  Here goes:

    1. I haven't had a car in years.  My parents sold my car from high school when I was in college, right before I moved to Chicago.  Cars are nice to have here, but you definitely don't need one; therefore, I don't really like driving.  Passenger seat, please!
    2. I have one double-jointed thumb.  It bends in ways that thumbs shouldn't and it really creeps people out when I show them my little, hidden talent.
    3. I'm messy.  I try to be neat at home (one of us has to...) but I have a hard time picking up after myself as I go.  I'm one of those people who has to put aside hours to clean and organize; I can't do it in spurts.
    4. I have a major salt tooth, but despise when food is over-salted (I rarely salt my food, unless I'm cooking or using it for seasoning).  It has to be the perfect amount of saltiness for this gal!
    5. I've never broken or even fractured a bone.  I guess that just reveals that I'm not all that athletic.  I played outside as a kid, I swear!
    6. I owned and rode horses for over 10 years (and was even thrown off a handful of times and still no fractures!).  I stopped riding in high school but would definitely like to get back into it someday.
    7. I don't have a favorite color.  Seriously, it's always changing.  Or actually, maybe it's black.  But that's more like a complete void of color.  See?  I can't make up my mind. 
    I'd like to tag all of you, as I love learning more about my fellow bloggers.  I can't wait to read your fun facts.  Have a great weekend!

    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    Psuedo-Engagement Photos (See Jane DIY)

    Since our wedding is in Mexico (and a mere six months away), I had to send out save the dates rather early so guests would start to book their travel.  Because I sent them so early, they didn't have the usual couple picture plastered on them because Eric and I didn't get engagement pictures right away.  Once the save the dates were sent, I wondered if we needed engagement pictures at all.  I opted not to do them and instead came up with an idea to do my own.  All you need is a camera (check), a willing family member (thanks, Emily), and an interesting backdrop (abandoned barn near my parents' house).

    We had blocked off a good amount of time to do this project but ultimately ended up spending about a half-hour to take a montage of photos.  It was especially freezing outside and Eric and I couldn't take the cold in our 'indoor' outfits. Sometimes when you DIY, you have to improvise and go with the flow..  Which reminds me--these aren't the outfits we had originally planned, hence the lack of coordination (it looks like Mr. Fall met Miss Winter for casual outing). 
    On Anna:  Madewell dress, F21 faux fur stole, Steve Madden boots (worn here)
    We ended up having a good time, though, filled with laughs and chattering teeth.  It must have been pretty fun because my sister even offered to take a few more when I return home for Christmas; perhaps you'll see a round two come January--sledding, anyone?

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    Stocking Stuffers (See Jane Buy)

    When I was growing up, there were only a few sure things on Christmas morning:
    • First, that I would get oranges and nuts in my stocking. 
    • Next, that my mom would make us a dutch puff for breakfast.
    • And lastly, that we had to wait and watch each person open one present, one at a time--no running to the tree to tear into any gift with your name on it (and I always went last because I'm the youngest...).
    Let's refer back to the stockings again.  While shelled nuts (I loved cracking them open with the Nutcracker) and fragrant clementines filled the bottom of the stocking, there were always small gifts stacked on top.  Our stocking stuffers were always just that--small, token gifts stuffed into the top of the stocking ( fine...and the occasional rolled-up calendar for the new year).  These days, people deem any small gift stocking stuffer and I just don't agree.  Would an expensive piece of jewelry be a stocking stuff just because it's small?  I think not.  Stocking stuffers are meant to be small, inexpensive, and fun.  Case in point (everything under $25):

    *clockwise from top left

    Ohio necklace - you can take the girl out of Ohio...
    Hanky Pankys - now that I'm older, I love getting socks and underwear.
    Personalized Mustached Flask - Because guys love personalized stocking stuffers, too.
    Rolling Pin - I'm not much of a baker, but would convert for this.
    Suedette Oxford Heels - For big stockings only. (ok, this may not fit and they may be 80 cents over, but I had to put them on this list because they are too cute and comfortable to pass up)

    Do you do stocking stuffers?