Wednesday, May 29, 2013

How to Un-Shrink your Clothes

If you read any of my OOTD posts then you know I am obsessed with Banana Republic's Sloan skinny ankle pants. I own them in three colors (black, navy, and khaki) and I love them to pieces. They are without a doubt my favorite work pants. Sometimes I wear the black ones out, too.  I've tried many skinny pants and these really are the best. They fit perfectly. The material is crazy good quality. They come in three lengths so I can buy the shorts and not have to have them hemmed. The only thing I don't love about these pants is that they are dry clean only.
This is a little bit of a problem for me as I work with a room full of germy children on a daily basis. I also own the capri version which can be machine washed and laid flat to dry. So that's what I've been doing with my skinny pants as well - it would cost me a fortune to dry clean them each week. I wash them on delicate (which is how I wash all of my clothes actually) and then I lay them flat to dry. This has been working well for a really long time. Until a couple weeks ago, when I forgot to pull them out of the laundry before I plopped it in the dryer. Oops.

I didn't think anything of it until I was getting ready for work a few mornings later and was pulling them on and noticed they were a little, um, snug. My first thought was that I must be gaining weight and I instantly regretted the Italian food we'd had for dinner over the weekend. Then, I noticed that they were shorter, too, and that's when I'd realized that I'd accidentally dried them. I changed into another pair of pants for work and then came home later and tried to stretch them out doing lunges and butterfly stretches but nothing worked. I tossed them in the closet and pouted. Then, over Memorial Day weekend BR threw a huge 35% off sale so I decided I could just buy another pair. I put them in my cart and applied the promo code but couldn't help steaming over the fact that they would still cost almost $60. The pants are well worth the money but it really irked me that I was going to have to re-buy a pair of pants I already owned. So I did the only logical thing I could think of and turned to Google.

It turns out it is actually possible to un-shrink an item of clothing. I crossed my fingers and gave it a try and then waited impatiently for 12 hours until they were dry so I could try them on. And guess what? It worked -what a relief! Since I didn't have to purchase the khaki again, I'm contemplating getting them in another color. There's a really pretty blue color and they just became available in hot pink.

Here's the how-to (in case you ever find yourself in a similar situation):
1. Fill the sink or a large bowl with room temperature water. Don't use cold water but its also important not to use hot water because heat is what causes clothes to shrink. Somewhere in the middle is perfect.

2. Add a tablespoon of conditioner. This loosens up the fibers in the material. 

3. Soak your item, making sure it is fully saturated with the conditioner-water. I let my pants soak for about 10 minutes. 

4. Lay the item flat on a towel to remove excess water. It is ok to squeeze a little excess water out but don't wring the item. 

5. Stetch, stretch, stretch. Do this slowly. Stretch outwards and downwards at the seams, making sure to do this evenly all over the garment. 

6. Rinse. Again, making sure the temperature of the water isn't too hot or too cold. Don't wring!

7. Lay flat to dry. It will most likely take the item overnight to dry. Just be patient during this time. 

8. Style the item with a cute outfit because you'll be able to wear it again! Yay!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A little update!

Happy Tuesday friends! Hopefully you all enjoyed a fabulous long weekend. Its hard to believe it is the last week in May. It is still cold here and now it is time for summer vacation. Crazy! I thought I hit the jackpot when I moved to a school with air conditioning this year and it hasn't been warm enough to need it yet. Ironically, it did get warm for about four days. I took a leap of faith and packed all my long sleeves and jackets and now I am freezing!
Speaking of packing...we are making some major progress. Pretty much everything is packed now aside from the bathroom and my makeup. I'm living out of suitcases right now. As you can see, Riley is stressing a little over the move. I think he is worried we will forget him. Not a chance.

My husband is officially a resident of Charlotte now and is off to San Diego for a business trip this week. This is very convenient since our apartment in Charlotte has no furniture yet. Our movers are coming this week and then Riley and I will be off to Corey's parent's house. 

We bought a second car. Corey sold his car when we moved to Hoboken since we only really needed one and having a car here is really expensive (an extra 250 dollars a month in parking.) One car will not cut it in Charlotte so we purchased a Honda Pilot. Corey LOVES it! It is so big compared to my little Jetta but I am thankful for the extra space. I told him we can use it to pick up that Pier 1 headboard I mentioned on Friday and I think I've almost convinced him.

We had a little going away lunch with Corey's aunts and cousins down by the beach last week. It was a scalding 85 degree day (one of only four we've had so far this spring) so we stopped for Italian ice with custard. I've really taken a liking to this since we moved to New Jersey. Hopefully there's a Rita's close by in Charlotte.

We also had a going away dinner with two of our closest friends in Hoboken. We went to Zafra, my favorite Latin restaurant and then out for a few drinks. We'll definitely miss these guys!

We've been to a happy hour almost every night recently to say goodbye to different groups of people. We are really excited but it is also a little emotional too. 

We say Lucky Guy on Broadway with Corey's parents on Friday. This stars Tom Hanks. We didn't love the play but Tom Hanks did a great job. 

In other news, I got a new phone yesterday. Clearly, it was out of necessity. Also, PSA, Marley Lilly's adorable monogram cases don't protect against everything. I've been eligible for an upgrade since December but was completely happy with my iPhone 4 - plus google maps has saved my life countless times in the city. Unfortunately this ate up all my Memorial Day shopping money but at least I can use instagram again. Follow me here.

Its crazy to believe I'll be in Charlotte next week. While this is a natural time to leave work for a teacher, I do find myself becoming really emotional about leaving my district and really sad not to be returning next year. I'm also really excited to see where life takes me next year. I don't have a job in Charlotte yet but I've been really fortunate to have already been contacted for a couple interviews in the area. Keep your fingers crossed for me! 

Happy Tuesday! 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Five on Friday!

Happy Friday, lovelies! Today I am linking up with April for the first Five on Friday linkup. I am so so thankful today is Friday. While things are a little stressful lately as we prepare for our move, there are lots of things I am loving right now. Here are five of them:

I'm loving that our apartment (and my classroom) are mostly packed. I also kind of hate this because boxes are packed to the ceiling but it also makes me feel very accomplished. Corey leaves tomorrow morning at 3 am so it is really nice to not have to feel panicked as how I will get everything done in time.

I'm loving that the weather finally feels like spring. I wore a sweater to work on Monday and then was able to wear short sleeves the rest of the week. I even wore shorts to happy hour last night. I know that we'll probably be skipping spring all together this year since it already feels pretty much like summer in Charlotte.

I'm loving this upholstered headboard from Pier 1. It is perfect for our guest room in our new apartment. I like how pretty yet simplistic it is. I'm working really hard (on a daily basis) to convince my husband to let me purchase it. The bedding isn't so much my taste but that headboard is perfect.

I'm loving this maxi J. Crew factory dress. Maxi dresses never look quite right on me which is so disappointing because this dress is adorable. I love the chevron and teal with blue.

I'm loving all the time we've gotten to spend with friends and family this week. We've had a couple going away dinners (very convenient since we already packed the kitchen) and happy hours with friends. Tonight we're headed into Manhattan to see a play and have dinner with Corey's parents. I have some girls' nights planned next week, too, once Corey has gone.  I'm so glad that we've had time to spend with our friends before we don't get to see them often anymore.

Happy Friday, girls!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Things I've learned living in Hoboken

With our move back South just weeks away, I've been thinking a lot about our time in Hoboken. I really love this city and I will definitely miss it. As excited as I am, I can't help but feel a little bit of heartache over leaving Hoboken. Its special because it was our first married home. Its also special because it has taught this displaced Southern belle some important life lessons. I thought I'd share them (and some fun pictures of Hoboken) in case you're making a trip to the NYC area soon.

How to parallel park. In a really tight space. On the right AND left sides of the road. I already knew how to parallel park but I did not realize how hard it is to do it on the left side of a one way street. It seemed you could just do everything backwards but that's actually not quite the case. Now I can parallel park anywhere - no matter which side of the street that teeny tiny space is on.

Always carry cab-fare. In Hoboken, the rate is a flat fare so in my wallet as well as in every single one of the clutches I carry when I go out, you'll find that amount plus tip. Just in case. You never know when it will start raining or you'll get a blister and not want to walk home. Or when your friend will ditch you at 3 am to hang out with some boy and you won't want to walk home alone.

Don't be too nice. Shortly after we moved, Riley and I were headed to Cavalier play group and I was toting a purse filled with a bottle of white wine. We were waiting to cross the street when a woman came up to us and started talking about how cute Riley is. Finally, as we started to cross the street she asked if I could spare some money. I told her I didn't have anything (which was the truth as my purse contained wine, lip gloss, and my apartment keys) and she said, "That bag looks pretty full not to have any money in it." Then, she called me a profanity. I was so taken aback that Riley and I just stumbled across the street. Lesson learned: sometimes it's best to just keep walking.

To navigate the NYC Subway, all you really need to remember is the Bronx is North and Brooklyn is South. And that Google maps can provide public transit directions. This is why I have refused to update my iPhone and my instagram no longer works with my ancient operating system. Another lesson: in NYC, google maps is more important than instagram.

If you don't stick up for yourself, no one else will. There will be cabbies who will tell you the fare is higher than it really is just to see if you know better. There will be drivers who cut you off in heavy traffic. There will be valet attendants who are rude to you or try to cheat you. These are things that just happen so its important to stick up for yourself. Corey told me this when I came to him a blubbering, teary mess because our valet attendant backed my car into a wall. Its important to be your own advocate.

Don't be surprised if you host a get together and someone asks how many square feet your apartment is, how much you pay for it, and if they can peek in your closets. Real estate is a commodity in the NYC area and to rent, you can expect to pay at least $3 a square foot and your brokerage fee to secure an apartment might be more than the down payment on your car.

Happy Monday, lovelies!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Working Girl Watch

I'd be completely lost at work without my watch. I rely on it all day long to get me and my sweet third graders where we need to be. While I love my watch, it is ancient. It is a really gorgeous Pulsar with a pink mother of pearl face and a diamond bezel. I worked jewelry retail for years and remember staring at it for two months when we got it in stock at our store. It really is a lovely watch. Useful but also a piece of jewelry. It still works beautifully but at seven and a half years old, I'm really ready to upgrade. Or maybe just update, since all of my favorites are actually less expensive. (That really never happens with me. I'm sure my husband is proud.)

I also love this two toned Kate Spade Cooper Watch with rose gold instead of traditional yellow.
Clearly this isn't the kind of watch you can wear every day but I do love it. So fun, perfectly me, and I love how it is almost like a bangle.

My jewelry retail trained self does tell me not to buy a fashion watch like these but to get another quality timepiece but I'm finding that difficult. Aren't these all gorgeous?  What watch do you wear  to work?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What I'm Wearing Wednesday

Happy Wednesday, friends! I hope you are all having a fabulous week. I have enjoyed starting to get caught up on your blogs this week but I still have a long way to go! If you've been following along with What I'm Wearing Wednesday then you know Kerri and I are now hosting the linky on the first and third Wednesdays of the month.
I wore this outfit to work this week. It has still been cold here so a cardigan was in order. The navy skinnies are from Banana Republic. Both the striped popover and lightweight cardigan are from J.Crew factory. The flats are Tory Burch's Revas.

 I wore this outfit for a casual Friday recently. The peony tee is from J.Crew, the denim is from J.Crew factory, and my flats are TB Revas.

As you can see, I've totally given up on styling my hair for work. This happens every year during the last couple weeks. I just don't care any more.

I'm currently wearing Essie's French Affair on my nails. This is my all time favorite polish and I will cry if they ever stop making it. Then, immediately buy every bottle I can find to stock up. I'm thinking about doing a tutorial soon on how I do my nails at home. This photo was taken immediately after I applied my top coat.

What are you wearing this week? Link up below!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Happy Tuesday, lovelies! Surely you've noticed I've been totally MIA over the past two weeks. If you read Friday's post, then you know why I have been so busy! Corey and I are very excited about our move, which is happening in just a few weeks and we've been busy in Hoboken trying to make use of our time while we are still here. 

Hoboken had an Arts and Music festival two weekends ago. It was filled with lots of great food and handmade goods. 
I enjoyed this amazing crab cake sandwich. This photo is awful (my iPhone is seriously sucking lately) but it was too good not to document. The line at this vendor was the longest at the festival so I knew the sandwich was going to be awesome and it really was.

We also purchased this piece of artwork for our future home and as a little memento of our time in Hoboken. It is a carved piece of wood and I just love it. 

I went on a super fast trip to find a new apartment and was oh so happy that Chick-fil-A had their peach milkshake. Yum! I am looking forward to some delicious Southern peaches in the near future.

Speaking of the new apartment, here's a sneak peak of the model.
Loving the kitchen. I can totally see myself entertaining here and it is much prettier and more spacious than our current kitchen.

My favorite thing about this bedroom is that there is so much space between the bed and dresser. Our apartment in Hoboken is a "luxury" building and I've been really happy with it, especially compared to many of our friends teeny tiny apartments. But, every morning we have to squeeze between the footboard and dresser to move around our room. And no more NYC sized closets - a walk-in for each of us!
On Mother's Day we had lunch with Corey's parents and grandma. I had a "Cocoberrytini," which was phenomenal. It was coconut rum, guava nectar, and blackberries. I'll definitely try to replicate this at some point.

I'll be sharing more details about our move later this week. Don't forget that tomorrow is the third Wednesday of the month so Kerri and I will be hosting What I'm Wearing Wednesday. We hope you'll join-in!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Keep calm and....

I am a happy, happy girl to announce that Corey, Riley, and I are moving South. We'll be returning close to home to Charlotte, where my super cute, super smart, super talented husband got a new job. More details to come soon.

p.s. This is why I've been totally MIA lately. Sorry, friends!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Lust list: Wedges for Summer

As summer approaches, I am just loving wedges. They've always been one of my favorite styles of shoes however I've really neglected all of my favorite pairs since we moved to Hoboken two years ago. With us moving out of the city soon and not having to walk quite as much (which destroys all my shoes), I know I'll be wanting to add some new pairs of heels and wedges to my closet. Here are some of my current favorites.
Don't you just adore the bow on these cute Kate Spade wedges? I think they are just precious. 
I love these neutral wedges. Wouldn't they look fabulous with a summer dress or a pair of cropped jeans and a flowy blouse?

These beauties have been on my lust list for quite some time. I love the gold with coral chevron pattern. 

I love the nautical look of these navy and cork wedges from Target. Wouldn't they be so cute for a 4th of July party?

Which of these styles do you like best? Are there any wedges that you swear by?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Coffee and Conversation

Hi there, lovelies!

Corey went out for drinks with a college friend last night and I stayed home and did laundry and ran the dishwasher and all those really fun things that have to be done around the apartment. Then, I made a glass of wine and a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner and settled down to catch up on some blogs. I was trying to decide what I wanted to write about today and decided I really didn't feel like sharing my favorite spring sandals or latest beauty finds. I was feeling more like writing random so enter "coffee and conversation," where I'm going to write the random stuff I would tell my girlfriends on a coffee date.

Corey and I are obsessed with watching new tv shows on Netflix. When we can't find anything else to watch, we fire up Netflix on our Apple TV and pick out a new show to watch. We've watched all the episodes of Mad Men and House of Cards and have now settled into Weeds, which I think is hilarious. I told him he better take good care of himself so I never have to become a drug dealer to take care of our future kids. This show is funny and so sad at the same time. 

I have been in major Martha Stewart mode recently. I have been cooking so much and have actually made it through my meal plans the last couples weeks. I've even gotten creative and invented a couple new recipes of my own. Except for last night, when I had wine with a side of grilled cheese. 

I'm loving the song "A Million Lives" by Jake Miller lately. Have you heard it? It makes me smile every time I hear it - which luckily is on my way to work almost every morning. Thank you satellite radio.

Speaking of music, let's take a moment to discuss Ray J's new song, "I Hit it First." I seriously cannot keep a straight face when I hear this song. Perhaps this is the only song where the video was made first? ;)  I would really like to condone Ray J for writing such a disrespectful song and vow not to listen to it, but I can't help but find it hilarious. The lyrics are oh so clever "I had her head going north and her going south. But now baby chose to go West." If you want to see the official video with the Kim K. look alike, you can find that here. I have to say I was really impressed that Kim and Kanye took the high road about the whole situation. Take that Ray J. 

I've made no effort to keep it a secret that I am displeased that the spring weather has not arrived in New Jersey yet. It is still chilly and I am having a serious problem choosing outfits for work. In the Carolinas, spring is so short that I don't have enough in-between clothes. This should give me a great excuse to shop, except that I am trying to save money. Boo.

Happy Thursday, girls!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

What I'm Wearing Wednesday

Happy Wednesday ladies! So sorry I've been so MIA lately. Things this time of the school year are just so crazy. I only took one OOTD picture this week. Major fail. 

I am really loving peplum. This coral peplum top is from Loft, the skinnies are from Banana Republic, and the flats are Tory Burch.

Since, I totally failed at taking outfit photos this week, I thought I'd share some Pinterest photos of some outfits I'm loving this spring.

I have just been obsessed with skirts ever since I purchased this beauty from J.Crew factory. Now, if it would just get warm enough to wear it!

Last week, Kerri and I weighed in and asked you guys about your opinions for the link-up. We're having so much fun with it but have decided to run it on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of every month to give you guys some extra time to snap away those OOTD pics. Don't worry, we'll remind you of which weeks the linky will be running.