You’re so Fake

Friday, August 26, 2011

This is a somewhat bi-polar Fashion Friday. Something has been bothering me a lot  lately.  Not the stock market, gas prices or starving kids in Africa. Not the earthquake or the hurricane. 

What’s been bothering me is knockoff apparel.

Gosh, I sound like such a bitch, don’t I? Lol. I’m joking. Okay, well somewhat.

You know that I have a passion for fashion (so cliché). I appreciate designers’ creativity and talent. So when I see their work knocked off at a lower price point it bothers me.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a deal, but I HATE that feeling of buying something at a higher price point just to walk into Forever 21 and see almost the same garment at 70% less than what you paid with crappy craftsmanship.

Then again, I must admit I’ve been sucked into it too. I bought this H&M dress (above, middle) earlier this year because I loved the color and shape, only to find out that Kate Spade (left) and Prada (right) were pushing almost the same thing.

Another struggle that I have is that I do fall victim to this myself. I mean, let’s call a spade a spade. I read waaaayyy too much and use other’s ideas for inspiration – on this blog all the time!

Then there is this Anthro dress (left) that I wore to a wedding earlier this year. I’m walking through Kohl’s and I ran into this Lauren Conrad (right) imitation for a huge fraction of the price. 

How about this Tiffany necklace. The counterfeit showed up on a wedding blog this week.

Another Anthro mishap – I purchased a sequin berllo from fall 2009 that showed up the following season at Charlotte Russe.

And yet ANOTHER Anthro copy - I don't have links for this, but one is from Anthro and the other is Forever 21 (aka Forever Stealing Designs!). 

What are your thoughts on knockoffs? Why buy the full priced piece when you can get the fake for less? Or buy the real thing because it’s better quality and genuine?

Note that most of the things that I’m talking about are counterfeits of non-luxury items. I know that this is a larger issue in the fashion world of high end things (i.e. LV purses, Chanel, Louboutins, etc.) 

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Booze Cruiser

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I’ve recently acquired a mild fixation for bar carts. I think this developed due to the fact that I’ve always wanted one and now I have space for this glorious vehicle of booze.

I decided that I would search some flea markets, garage sales and antique stores for my perfect cart, but then I found Society Social. This site is packed full of drool-worthy bar carts….but, there is a catch. They are uber pricey!

So I’ll still be looking for some alternatives, but at least I found a destination for window shopping inspiration.

Oh and if you stop by Society Social, please check out the “hostess gown.” This thing is an awesome, retro dress that is basically a glamified snuggie.

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Stick Up Your App

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Seriously. Why is it that food just looks more tempting on a stick?

Yeah, I know we flew right by the berry berry month of May, but the strawberries are still looking scrumptious. I LOVE this idea for an easy-to-eat strawberry shortcake on a stick. I spotted this idea via some blog that led to Lemonade Makin Mama. Basically you buy store-bough angel food cake, freeze it, then chop it up. Then put it on a stick with strawberries.

Loyal readers know that I love me some other foods on a stick. Like…
·         Salad – lettuce, tomatoes, mushrooms (you can always add cheese cubes, croutons, olives and some peppers too!)
·         French Toast – pieces of French toast, berries, bananas and syrup (also a shout out to mini cinnamon buns on a stick via this link too!)
·         Pizza on a Stick – not so sure about this guy.
·         Sandwich on a Stick – this is better. Cubes of lunch meat, cheese and bread. Say it with me – Yummmmm
·         Cupcakes (yes cakeSsssss) – this is FATtastic. 

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Simple Summer Sweet Sipper

Monday, August 22, 2011

Oh no. The end of August is slowly creeping up on us. That means the unofficial end of summer is coming.

I’m a dessert freak, but in the summer baking in a hot kitchen is the last thing that I feel like doing. So when I stumbled upon this recipe, I was like SOLD.

If you are planning an outdoor party, try this for a cool adult dessert – prosecco popsicles! The fruit pops add flavor to the bubbly and also make a sweet treat.

Idea via Southern Living

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Taking the Shitty Out of Iron City

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Iron City Beer is good.

Yes, those words just came out of my fingers. I like Iron City Beer.

Maybe I should clarify a few things. So for my “national” readers, Iron City is a local Pittsburgh brewery that is sometimes referred to as “Iron Shitty.” Regular Iron or IC Light is shitty. It’s not good. It kinda tasted like you are drinking the actual can. Like aluminum.

Oh and if you haven’t figured out the obvious, Iron City is a homage to Pittsburgh steel roots. While little to no steel is still (say that a few times – steel is still) produced here, Pittsburgh still loves to refer to itself as the Steel City and of course loves its Steelers.  

BUT, back to my new love. So a few weeks ago, I dabbled in a little of Iron City Light’s new flavor – MANGO Beer. Yes. MANGO!

This beer is great for summer. It’s refreshing, goes down quick, doesn’t leave a weird taste in your mouth. With flavored beers, it’s hard to drink them for a full night without switching things up, but I was able to drink Iron City Mango for a few hours! And, as a gal that has some stomach issues with beer, let's just say that I was fine the next day! 

I know what you're thinking still - Mango. Gross. But seriously, IC is an innovator! Some fun facts that I may have mentioned before,  according to Wikipedia, Iron City introduced the…
§  First snap-top can, produced in conjunction with Alcoa, 1962.
§  First twist-off resealable cap, 1963.
§  First brewery to print scenes honoring local sports teams and individuals.
§  First "draught" beer available in a can, Iron City.
§  First malt cooler, Hop-n-Gator (sued for trademark infringement by Gatorade and ceased production).
§  First brewer to use the aluminum beer bottle on a large scale, produced in conjunction with Alcoa, 2005. According to Alcoa, the bottle has three times the aluminum of typical cans, giving it better insulation. The maker claims the bottle keeps beer cold up to 50 minutes longer. It is also lighter than glass, unbreakable, resealable, and is coated to prevent the aluminum from affecting the taste.


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Fashion Friday: Color Blocking, Party Rockin

Friday, August 12, 2011

If I was some silly girl that didn’t know much about sports, I would maybe think that colorblocking was some silly football play where you block a player wearing the other color. Or maybe it involves some sort of colorful blocks like Legos?

Well Colorblocking is basically mixing two solid colors to make one outfit. For the summer, it’s typically bold colors like a hot pink and bright red. Let me give you a visual:

So how do you do this without looking like a clown? InStyle covered this trend it its August issue. The mag’s tips said:

·         Pick two solids, close to each other in the color spectrum

·         Think bright + neutral

·         Find things that complement each other, not complete

I really like the advice from the Accidental Chic blog.

And remember my new motto – be bold! Be brave!
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Perfectly Polished: So Mani Choices

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

At my jobby job, on occasion we have Manicure Monday. A lady comes in and gives us mini mani’s, typically just a polish change and file, for a few bucks.
Last time I was picking out a shade, I was reading all of the awesome names some cool people at Essie and OPI put on the polishes. It got me thinking…pairing a nail polish with a gift that matches the shade’s name is a totally cute idea. Yeah, a bottle of nail polish is a cute gift alone, but adding a theme to it makes it even more awesome.

Here are some gift thought starters.

Essie Walk Down the Aisle – perfect for a bridal shower gift!

·         The Essie bridal collection has some of the cutest names – Show Me The Ring, Happily Ever After, No Pre-Nup
·         I once saw nail polish as a favor at a shower and these shades would be perfect with a little bow tied around the top!

Imported Bubbly – how awesome would this shade be with a bottle of imported bubbly!? So cute to accompany a bottle of Champagne.

Sandy Beach – LOVE the idea of pairing this with a cute sand pail or a mani gift card for someone that is going on vacation

Strawberry Shortcake, Pink Lemonade, FiestaFruit Sangria and Peach Daiquiri – these next few colors would be perfect with a recipe pairing. Buy the ingredients to match the name of the polish. For instance, pair Fruit Sangria with a batch of pre-made sangria.

Bachelorette Bash – enough said, right?! Pair this with festive bachelorette goodies or a cute pair of undies.

Shop Till I Drop – LOVE the idea of matching this with a mall gift card.

Cute as a Button – Remember what I said about shower favors above? This would be adorable for a baby shower.

Clambake – my goal for the last two years was to attend or attempt to host a clambake. If I get that opportunity to do so, this color will sure be involved. On my hands or as a hostess gift!

Tiny Wine-ey – Love matching this with a bottle of vino.

After Sex – Woah risqué, right? However, another fun bachelorette party shade!

Wicked – a Halloween party mush have! Or how fun would this be with tickets to the Wicked show or book?

Clutch Me If You Can – I mean, so cute to place this inside a fun clutch!

Brownie Points – Seriously, how fun would this be with as a hostess gift with a fresh batch of brownies? Like wise with Chocolate Cakes.

Hot Coco – I mean, how awesome is this for a holiday gift with a mug, pack of hot chocolate and marshmallows?!

The OPI website was not as friendly to play with as Essie, but they also have some cute polish names, like:
·         Happy Anniversary
·         Chapel of Love
·         Mimosas for Mr. & Mrs.
·         Chicago Champagne Toast
·         Last Friday Night (Katy Perry Color)
·         Big Hair & Big Nails – 80’s party?
·         Red My Fortune Cookie – Chinese New Years
·         Big Apple Red – For a friend moving to NYC
·         20 Candles on my Cake – 20th birthday party
·         It’s a Girl – Baby Shower
·         Teenage Dream – Teen’s birthday 
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Bling! Music! Food! Obsessions!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

I’m going to spend a few hours in Chicago this week (quick work training). I know my tease with the Windy City will make me miss it bunches. But with this nifty Chicago Map bracelet, I can have a chic reminder of my old stomping grounds.

How ridiculously adorable are these ring pop favors from Dylan Lauren’s bridal shower. Such an inexpensive idea! It’s all about the presentation!

I mean, why do I not own this cookbook yet?? The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook. Do all recipes just include waving your wand and whola - you have dinner! 

Last week was a crazy week for musical milestones. MTV turned 30 and Lollapoloza turned 20. I’m not too disappointed about missing Lolla. I typically only attend one day (that’s all I can put up with – I hate crowds, people that are too cool for school and the smell) and this year I wasn’t too keen on the headliners. However, one bad that I’m currently obsessed with that I heard rocked it is Fitz and the Tantrums. Listen and love.

How yummy is this trend – Mason Jar Meals. I mean they may not taste good, but doesn’t anything in a mason jar just look good?!
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It's (almost) Gameday Bitches

Monday, August 08, 2011

I always thought Oriental Trading was cool. My mom would order some really rad stuff from there for her company’s annual picnic. You know, like water guns, plastic batons, candy. Okay, that’s stuff is really cool to a eight year old.

I’ve been a loyal Oriental Trading Company buyer throughout college and my 20’s (so sad they’ve past). It’s a great destination for party décor.

Well Oriental Trading, you just upped my love for you. BIG TIME.

Oriental Trading has added COLLEGE PARTY GOODS to its. And let’s just say that it’s super awesome stuff at super awesome prices.

This just pumped me so up for tailgating season. Let’s go Mountaineers! Let's Go Drink Some Beers! 
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All You Need is Glitter

Saturday, August 06, 2011

You wanna know what the coolest thing in the world to me is right now?

I don’t need to elaborate.

I’ll let you soak it in.

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Pudding Shots Shots Shots Shots Shots Shots! Everybody!

Thursday, August 04, 2011

This past weekend, I attended a bachelorette party that may have been a bit unconventional to some, but reminded me a lot of my own.

You see, I’m really close with my aunts and mom’s friends, so I extended my bachelorette party invitation to them as well. And they totally came – 32 women from ages 17 – 77. Yes, my grandma came out. 

While it was just a normal drinking night out for most of my friends, for the more seasoned women, it was a memorable girls night out. (Note: The pic of above is an awesome illustration of this party. Mother-in-law holding the penis cake, Mom's best friend pulling out her hand in fear that I'm going to fall over - while doing a jello shot, people still drinking). 

At the party that I attended last weekend, a friend from high school’s mom was on our party bus (she’s the mother of a bridesmaid in the upcoming wedding). While my family is known for delicious Jell-o Shots, Mrs. D upped the shot game with some awesome pudding shots. These things are to die for, so as I was downing a few of these on Saturday I thought – I MUST blog about this.

1 cup milk
1/2 cup Irish cream liqueur (eg. Bailey's®)
1/2 cup vodka (eg. Smirnoff®)
1 (4 serving size) package instant chocolate pudding mix

Whisk together the milk, Irish cream liqueur, vodka, and instant pudding mix in a bowl until combined. Continue whisking for 2 minutes.
Spoon the pudding mixture into shot glasses or disposable 'party shot' cups. Chill until set, about 30 minutes. The shots will have the consistency of mousse. 
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Moving Right Along

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

So the hubs and I spent last weekend moving. Back in college, I used to have the moving thing down. I mean I would move the majority of my stuff each fall and spring from home to college in Morgantown, so I learned some tips and tricks early on. But then in Chicago, I really only moved apartments in the same building. So let’s just say, I’ve now learned that moving post-marriage (meaning after a bridal shower), can be a bit more challenging. Here are some tips I learned over the weekend:

·  Hoard Boxes. Packing supplies can be expensive! Save as many boxes as you can from work. The boxes that paper comes in are awesome because they are sturdy and have handles!
·  Pack Early. We knew for about two months when we were moving. So we started packing early. This totally helped. I mean think about all those things that you don’t use on a regular basis and pack ‘em up. For instance, I boxes my winter clothes almost immediately.

·   Sweat the Small Stuff First: This is advice from my awesome movers from Two Men & a Truck (love the obvious name). Pack the small boxes into the truck first and then the large items (think couch, book shelves, etc.) It will be the large stuff that comes off the truck first and then unloading the small boxes will be smooth sailing.
·   Secret Code: So during one move a few years ago, I made color-coded stickers for the boxes. Each sticker corresponded to what room the box went in. This made that move go rather smooth. Let’s just say that with all of the possibilities to move things in my new place, my system didn’t work out to a tee. However, I did label the boxes, so that totally helped get everything into a place before we unpacked.  

·  Trash Bags: For things like towels, some clothes and blankets, trash bags are your best bet to haul your goods. I’m also a fan of keeping clothes on the hangers, but if you are a gal like me that has a lot of things that tend to fall off, it’s better to keep them bagged up than falling on the ground.  
·  Clean, Baby, Clean: Keep your cleaning supplies accessible at all times – for cleaning your old place and freshening up the new one.

Well that’s my top tips. Does anyone have any other good moving tips? 
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