style, fashion, & other affairs of the heart

image via The Sartorialist
I love this picture. Her skirt/slightly baggy shirt combo & wedge heels are amazing (as are her legs!). He is incredibly handsome, also. I love his oxfords without socks. The hint of ankle showing creates a crisp look. Together, their style makes for an incredible photo. However, the part I love the most is the way she is looking at him. For me, that's what life is all about. 

Fact: I am a hopeless romantic. 


Organization & Beautification

Not so organized, clean, or pretty room
I think I will echo the sentiments of most women when I say that life is not always organized nor pretty. On my way to work this morning, I was thinking about how some weeks I am completely on my A-game. As a result my house, life, and career (and blog) stay 100% caught up and I still manage to both work out and watch TV with the hubbs while also going to bed early. Then there are the weeks when it feels like life is completely out of whack. The clothes that never seem to look right in the morning lay strung all over the house, dinner is never home cooked and never happens before 10 pm, and my husband and I neither watch TV nor go to bed early.  

Let me assure you that I'm by no means a Master at it, but I have learned that attaining some sort of balance in life is as much a mental game as it is anything else. As a result, part of my weekly ritual (usually Sunday nights) is aimed at organizing and beautifying some aspect of our life - laundry, email, finances, our house in general, etc. This week's focus: our bedroom. It's amazing how much a new lamp, a clear floor (sans shoes) and some clean sheets will do for your morale and mental ability to deal with the week ahead. 
*Side Note: the beautiful lamp you see on our bedside table cost me $50 at Tuesday Morning, originally $135! 

Chest & painting from my parents (sans laundry & shoes)
Clean bedding on a freshly made bed
Bedside table with newly purchased lamp
Lampshade beside bed


Culinary Bliss

Our evening Saturday night in downtown Kansas City was quite wonderful. What the rain before dinner prevented (shopping), dinner definitely made up for (hmmm... lots of chocolate!). Three fondue pots, two and half hours, 2 salads and one happy couple later made for a great date night. As promised on Friday, I did wear my single shoulder sun dress and loved every minute of it - especially the part where I ate way too much. Let me tell you that the very forgiving waistband came in handy afterwards. 

Side note: I need to find a way to wear this dress more often. I mean let's face it, we're busy and the hubby and I don't get many date nights. The single shoulder element of the dress makes it slightly hard to wear it to the office, so it has me a little stumped. Thoughts on this dress outside of date night?  How would you wear it?


Welcome BlogHer!

My apologies for not posting at my regularly scheduled time this morning.  I had some exciting news that I wanted to share, but needed to wait until lunch to do it. So without further adue, I'd like to welcome BlogHer to The Flip Side! I became familiar with BlogHer earlier this year as I was looking for a way to get more in touch with the wonderful dialogue that is happening in the blogging community. The great thing about this site however, is that it is centered around female bloggers (or, for my male blogging friends, blogs that target female audiences). I immediately joined and began enjoying reading what these amazing ladies (and gents) have to say. So, imagine my delight last week when I was invited to join their affiliate program!

Welcome BlogHer friends! The Flip Side is honored to wear your badge!


Grecian Holiday

Okay, first of all let me start by saying that I know the name of the movie is Roman Holiday, but that didn't really fit my post. Second, it might be somewhat of an understatement to say that I've lived in belted sun dresses this summer (evidence here, here, here, and here). However, there is one that I feel has been sorely under appreciated: the one shoulder sun dress. I have a cutie hanging in my closet that, since our wedding and honeymoon festivities, has gone unloved.  However, that will end this weekend.  The hubbie and I are going to enjoy a date night and some needed relaxation in Kansas City, and what do you think is going with me? My belted one shoulder sun dress. 

1. Modcloth, $84.99
2. Tropical Print Playsuit, Topshop $135.00
3. One Shoulder Ruffle Dress, Metropark $59.00
5. Tulip One Shoulder Dress, Oasis $31
6. Live It Up Dress, Modcloth $65.00


Going Gaga: The Wardrobe

Christian Siriano heels from his Spring '10 Runway Show

As promised, I finally took some time last night to work on my wardrobe pictures from this weekend. I must admit that getting dressed for this concert was probably the most fun I've had in a while. My BFF and I took great care in preparing our ensembles for the occasion. We methodically shopped and searched and created mood boards until we knew exactly what our outfits would look like. After several trips to my fav thrift store, I am pleased to say that the entire outfit cost me under $30! However, the icing on my sartorial cake came the night of the concert when, on more than one occasion, I heard the whisper, "OMG! Look at her shoes! I LOVE those!" Yes, I did love wearing those shoes...

Snake Ring

The Ensemble


Mama Monster!

Lady Gaga on the big screen during her opening monologue

Oh my goodness! To say that this weekend was a little bit of fun would be a huge understatement. We danced, sang, screamed, and savored every moment of the experience. Coming back to reality this week has been a little rough, but I did want to share a few pictures my BFF captured during the concert. 

I'll try to get some outfit pics cleaned up and ready for posting sometime this week. I was so consumed with the whole experience that I must admit that photo taking took a little bit of a backseat. There are times where some things are just more important :) 

One of many outrageously wonderful wardrobe changes

The beginning of Bad Romance


Etsy Find!

Forget Me Knot Bow Tie Ring by PaupersBounty, $10.99

It's been a while since I've posted some good finds from Etsy on the blog, so when I found this little sterling silver ring I knew exactly where it needed to go! I just love how adorable that little bow is, not to mention the price can't be beat! 


DIY: Flower Belt

The Inspiration:

My Version:

Oh, how I do love a belted cardigan!  I knew immediately when I saw the above picture from Ann Taylor Loft that I would need to recreate that flower belt somehow.  This little belt got me loads of compliments and was super easy to put together.  Literally, I got ready in minutes this morning and you can do it too (keep reading to find out how)! In fact, you probably already have everything you need in your own closet. If not, don't worry, flower accessories are big right now and can be found just about anywhere. I got my black flower pin on clearance at Kohl's for less than $3

Needed Essentials:
  • Belt that has openings to attach a pin, such as a braided belt (like what I'm wearing) 
  • Flower pin or hair bow, or fabric flower from an arts & crafts store
  • Safety pin (if using hair bow or fabric flower)
How To:
  1. After dressing, put on your belt the way you want to wear it for the day
  2. Adjust the belt buckle so that it is either to the right or left of the center of your body
  3. Secure your flower to your belt so that it is covering up the belt's buckle
  4. Wear all day and receive lots of compliments! 
Now, you know...  Happy Monday!

PS - Lady Gaga pics and concert details coming shortly. Still trying to recover from the most amazing weekend ever!


Going Gaga!

The weekend my BFF and I have been not-so-patiently waiting for has finally arrived!  We're leaving for the Lady Gaga concert in St. Louis tomorrow!  I will be back next week with lots of pictures and videos.  Have a great weekend, dear readers!



shopbop.com Version
Total Outfit Costs: over $1000

My Version
Total Outfit Costs: $135

I've found that inspiration literally strikes at any moment!  Last week, when I made this cents-ability post, I found the above picture on shopbop.com. After exactly two seconds of looking at it, I knew that I already had the pieces in my closet necessary to re-create the look.  And, you can too!  If you recall, earlier this week we dissected the Military Jacket.  Now that you have one just grab a floral dress, a black belt and throw on some black heels (bonus points for booties because they're transition great into Fall!).  Viola!  A great trend from now until Fall for a 1/10 of the retail price!


DIY: Wing Chair

  1. Chelsea Wing Chair in Large Scale Ikat, Cobblestone, Williams Sonoma Home
  2. Hibiscus Wing Chair, Pier 1
  3. Emery Wingback Armchair in Gabrielle Jacquard, Clementine Orange, Pottery Barn
  4. Paisley Loveseat, Pier 1
  5. Chelsea Wing Chair in Zebra Herringbone, Graphite, Williams Sonoma Home
  6. Josef Wingback Chair in Pink Shell, Anthropologie 

Okay, so I'm going to switch gears into domestic mode for a second! You know every now and then I get on a decorating kick... this one resulted in a beautiful green side table! Well, now I'm looking to add some additional seating to our living room and I am in love with the look of a wing chair in funky prints and/or bright colors. Number 4 shown above is particularly great because it could seat 2. In fact, I would be very content with any of the above in my living room, but since I'm not looking to spend $500-$1000 on a chair right now this is going to become a DIY project. Yes, ladies and gents, I'm going to try tackling an upholstery project. My inspiration came this weekend while at my fav local thrift store. I found the perfect wing chair (well, perfect except for the fabric) for $25. Stay tuned to see how it turns out...


Thrift Store Find: 1 Dress, 3 Ways

 The Elements:
All 3 Outfits:
Dress, Thrift Store $5
Outfit 1:
Blazer, Target $50
Gray Peep-Toe Pumps, Payless $25
Outfit 2:
Gray Cardigan, Old Navy $15
Black Belt & Striped Clutch, Payless samples
Cuffed Sandals, Dolce Vita $80
Outfit 3:
Teal Wedges, Payless $7
Shimmery Clutch, Payless sample

I think it's safe to say that we all live busy lives, so it's important to find clothes that can multi-task.  My BFF found this dress for me one day while perusing the aisles of our local thrift store.  It's safe to say that this has been one solid $5 investment! The flowy silhouette of the skirt pairs nicely with a cropped blazer for work as well as a cardigan for a lunch date with friends.  Of course, the dress always looks great by itself with fun accessories, perfect for a summer evening date with the hubby!  It thrills me to be able to say that all three of the outfits above are under $100.  In fact, the date night outfit on the far right is less than $20! Now, that's what I call multi-tasking!


Shop Your Closet: Military Jacket Outfits

Go Buy:
A Military Jacket - pictured: Old Navy, $12

What you already have in your closet:
A sun dress - pictured: Old Navy, $15
Pair of sandals - pictured: Payless sample
Cross body shoulder bag - Pictured: Payless sample

This blog is an ever growing and evolving extension of my own personal style.  That being said something dawned on me last week: for someone who doesn't spend too much money on her clothes and writes for readers who also do not spend much on their clothes, I've fallen into the trap of posting about really expensive clothes! I realized it had gone too far when my Mama commented that she loved the clothes I posted, but would love them more if she could afford them! 

With that being said, I'm happy to present you with the first installment of Shop Your Closet. I think I told you a while back that I love to play the game, "What is Gracie going to wear today?" in the mornings. I love shopping my own closet to mimic styles and trends I see on celebs and in magazines. The military-inspired jacket, for example, is a spring/summer item that has been very popular.  Celebs, models, and stylists have been pairing this go-to jacket with everything from jeans to dresses, heels and flats. Wearing the trend is not as difficult as it may seem and can be worn with items already available in your own closet. I managed to pull off the dress/military jacket combo for under $30. Just grab these pieces from your own wardrobe and you're set!



My Outfit (on left)       
1. Cardigan, Old Navy $15                  
2. Belted Floral Dress, Target $19
3. Wedge Peep-Toe Sandals, Piperlime $30
Total: $ 64

ShopBob.com (on right)
1. Belted Floral Dress, Shoshanna $395

I get a lot of questions regarding looking chic while shopping on a budget. There may be some out there who can spend as much as they want on the latest and greatest fashions, but that person is not me. While I do love buying shoes, I also understand the time value of money and know that saving and investing at my age will pay huge dividends when I get older. The concern I hear most women voice, however, is how to do both while still looking stylish and wearing clothes that fit. When I tell people how little I spend on most of my clothes, they are amazed. My tip: find a piece that you cannot live without and then buy it for less. I never buy the mannequin in a department store. Instead, I dissect the elements from the mannequin and then replicate the outfit for a fraction of the price.  Take for example, the above floral dress.  Earlier this spring I had to have one.  On the right you have a $400 Shoshanna Belted Strapless Dress. On the left, well... the dollars and cents speak for themselves ;) Are there some differences between the two dresses? Or course! But, I don't really care because I achieved the look I was going for and could still afford to stop by Starbucks a few times that week. I promise, it works every time!


Music Therapy

I have made no secret about the fact that I LOVE Lady Gaga (evidence here, here, here and here). While my love for Gaga isn't going anywhere anytime soon, there is a particular band with which I have a deep rooted emotional connection: Maroon 5

Besides the fact that I have a crazy, school girl crush on Adam Levine (insert blushing giggle here), I truly love this band's music.  I swear I could sing the entire Songs About Jane, Live Friday the 13th, and It Won't Be Soon Before Long albums in my sleep. It doesn't happen very often, but every once in a great while a band makes an album (or two or three) that isn't just music anymore, it becomes part of your life. The emotional connection to the lyrics conjure up feelings and memories you had forgotten you had or becomes your solace during rough times. So, imagine my happiness to see that my favorite band is back with a new album. I don't purchase many complete albums, but on September 21st I have a date with an old friend.  


Happy 4-Day Work Week!

Going back to work after a wonderful, three day weekend is never easy.  However, the wonderful memories I have from this weekend paired with the joy of knowing there are only four days this week instead of five, should help to ease the pain.  I hope everyone had a safe, and memorable, 4th of July 2010!


Summery Treat

My apologies for the delayed post. I had some Blogger scheduling issues last week, which resulted in this post (which was scheduled prior to the 4th) getting posted after realizing it was still sitting in my queue as a draft.  


A few weeks back, I shared some outfit photos that were taken in the kitchen right before preparing dinner. On the dinner menu that night: fresh guacamole. With grilling season among us, I thought it appropriate to share the recipe. Serve with your choice of chips and invite your closest friends and family to join you.  While the margaritas are optional, they are always a great compliment!  Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

The Essentials
2-3 Avocados
2 drops of lemon juice
3 drops of lime juice
1 diced tomato
salt and pepper to taste
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