Thursday, April 17, 2014

Fifty Shades

A friend is repainting her new condo. She is painting many of her walls gray. She joked that it was fifty shades of gray. She recently bought the book Fifty Shades of Grey and allowed me to borrow it this spring break. I have some PG views on the book:
-I read the first 75 pages the first night, all of these pages are PG
-The rest of the book gets a little interesting
-There are several vocabulary words that I do not know or use in my vernacular though Mr. Grey and Anastasia do (I should look them up or maybe someone else has these words somewhere)



After reading book #1, I moved onto book #2 (Fifty Shades Darker). Here are the views on the new book:
We meet Leila. She is more screwed up than Mr. Grey.
-Anastasia impressed me and Mr. Grey by donating the money from the sale of her bug to charity
page 300, things get a little interesting

Sunday, December 8, 2013

December 2013 Plus Size Finds

I recently ordered a few items from Asos Curve for Black Friday. This is my first purchase from ASOS curve for clothing. I bought a few belts before, but no clothes as I was getting them from Eloquii or Lane Bryant. It was 20% off and many items were on sale. I bought this new cold shoulder top from Asos Curve - US 16, UK 20. it was about $9 on Black Friday and is now on sale for just under $13. It seemed a little big in some areas, but I like the beautiful blue color. This will be great to wear in the summer, but the tan lines would be interesting.
Asos Curve - blue


Asos Curve - dress, US 18, UK 22 -it is too  big
I also purchased this Asos Curve Cold shoulder dress for $19.96. They were out of my size, so I ordered one size larger. Unfortunately, the Cold Shoulder dress was way too big. I don't think it looks like the dress on the model as the bottom of the dress seems to flare and be too large.  I think if I had a staff, I would look like I am minding sheet. Possibly a skater dress would be more appropriate for my figure. I don't even think a belt will help with this dress. I tried :(







This ASOS CURVE Shift Dress In Sparkle Lace (Orange dress) with sparkles does not look appropriate. It is very see through at the chest and I just am not comfortable wearing something like this in public or at my job. Since I am looking for different dresses/outfit to wear to work, this will not work out.
Asos Curve - Orange dress, size US 16, UK 20 - just under $40


I put on my favorite dress. I seem to wear this monthly to work. It also works well with leggings when it is cold in Chicago.
My favorite dress - Macy's Style&Co, Spring 2013


Banana Republic headband (Spring 2013)
I went to Fado in downtown Chicago this weekend. Tried a new beer from Belgium. I loved it. The holder for the glass was very interesting. The waitress explained that you are supposed to drink the beer with some head in the glass. I had to drink the beer out of the holder since the glass has a round bottom and will topple over if it is out of the holder.
Kwak Beer - Fado Chicago

Monday, October 14, 2013

My new bathroom

I was inspired by Pinterest this summer to redo my bathroom. (My pinterest: iillini24). Every summer, since I am a teacher, I seem to  tackle another room in my house. I really wanted to incorporate Chevron (or zig zag) into a new bathroom.



It was great timing because in the summer of 2013, West Elm's catalog had a Chevron shower curtain in it for a reasonable price, $39. Luckily, I have a West Elm in Lincoln Park in Chicago that has parking so I would be able to check it out. I actually went twice until it actually came in stock.
West Elm Gray ZigZag

I was inspired by Pinterest and 320 Sycamore.

320 Sycamore Master Bathroom 

I found this inspiration also from Target, but decided that I wanted to go with more bold colors for accessories so that I could change them without changing the wall color. I did not want teal walls.
Target Shower Curtain


I found out that HGTV's Kevin Grace was going to be at West Elm Lincoln Park giving out some design advice. Yeah! Help!! 


I attended the morning session with my towels in hand that I found from Home Goods that was the same ones as 320 Sycamore. I had already bought the shelves at Home Depot.com and had them delivered. He confirmed my great choice with the towels. He also told me to go to my local Sherwin Williams on Halsted in Chicago as the manager John would be fantastic to help me. 
Kevin asked me what color I would want in the bathroom besides the gray. I told him that I did not want yellow (my childhood house for my first 9 years was yellow and the bathroom was a 60s yellow). He suggested teal such as one of the trays in the store. I asked him if I could go brighter, because I already purchased the Target teal lockers. He confirmed it was a great idea. 

Bathroom Before
This is my bathroom before I decided to do anything. I moved into my place in 2008 and purchased this lovely Crocill shower curtain from Bed Bath and Beyond. I did this because I had creme towels that would match.



Here is the bathroom in progress.
Bathroom Before
Some paint samples from Sherwin William's 40% off weekend meaning that they were still $5 per sample (At Home Depot, usually $3). I didn't like the color on the right. This is the area in back of the toilet that was  blank with no shelves. I had a picture up before on the right wall, but took it down to try some paint colors.
Choosing bathroom colors
Here is it up close, the color on the right that I did not like.
Bathroom color again
These were too dark for what I wanted. My mother said it looked like cement. This is above the toilet where I had to add the shelves. I put 3 pieces of tape to shower where I might want the three shelves to get an idea. 

French Gray by Sherwin Williams - too dark, looked like cement




Bathroom After




I bought the exact same exact shelves that 320 Sycamore bought along with the towels. Here are a list of items bought and their costs
-Sherwin Williams paint in Passive, brushes, supples, etc. about $100
-24" Floating Shelves from Home Depot $65 for all 3 ($19.99 each, but with Chicago Taxes..)
-Consultation with Kevin Grace from HGTV (free)
-West Elm gray ZigZag shower curtain $39 + 10% off coupon, + Chicago taxes
-Home Good Large Towels $7.99 X 4
-Home Good Hand Towels $5.99 X 2
-Marshall's Teal Bath Rug $12.99
-Target teal metal lockers, two for $7 (they were on clearance, no longer available)
-Home Goods Q-tip container $5
-Softsoap container (already had in my bathroom)
-Container store jars $8-$10each
-Puff Plus tissue box $1  (I bought a ton of them so that when they change the design, I will have plenty to spare.)


Update: December 2013
I found this rug at Target. Though it isn't appropriate for a wet environment like a bathroom, I am going to put it in the hallway outside the bathroom. It is 9 degrees here in Chicago, so I am keeping the old rug down also since the floor is so cold.
Target Rug, gray




British Inspired Living Room

My living room redone in the summer of 2010. Pillow from Nadeau and Telephone Cabinet from Home Decorators from Home Depot. Coffee table from Crate and Barrel, 2010.


FLOR British Invasion design



The SEI telephone booth is still available on Amazon.com. Currently, there is a wall British telephone cabinet on sale at Home Decorators.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

My Disney Trip

I took my annual Disney trip this August to prepare to go back to work.
One of the first things I did was take this awesome photo of my drink in front of my castle. 





One of the desserts at Boma - Animal Kingdom Lodge




Friday, March 1, 2013

I LOVE ELOQUII

I love Eloquii
In full disclosure, I worked for The Limited Brands at Bath and Body Works seasonally at Woodfield (Schaumburg, IL) from 2004-2007 while working as a teacher.
I love Eloquii and I am very upset about the news that they are closing up shop. I’ve bought several items from them online starting at about this time last year.  I’ve bought mainly sweaters, jewelry and other shirts as I feel that they are easier to buy online rather than pants, dresses and skirts. However, lately I have bought a few skirts and dresses and some fit and some do not.
What I love about Eloquii is The Limited style. I used to dress in The Limited all of the time. The Limited was my staple store for clothes. When I started gaining more weight, I was sad that I couldn’t fit into their style. I am in my early 30s and Torrid and Forever 21 just aren’t my style with bows, cat prints and more alternative wear. The only things I’ve bought at Forever 21 are cardigans because NOTHING else looks professional to me as a teacher. Asos is difficult for me to order online because I don’t know what size I would be and it also has that bows, cats, prints and more alternative wear that I don’t like. I like the geometric shapes and clean lines of The Limited. When I spoke to the owner of Blair Chic Boutique ( ), she mentioned that she opened the boutique because she was sick of going to events and parties where women had the same Lane Bryant dress on from the store that was in her closet (or she had on). Eloquii gives me a variety in my clothing as I don’t always have to go to Lane Bryant.
Eloquii opened a store at The Limited at Watertower in Chicago. I thought this would be great. I’ve been there a few times actually to return things from online and I’ve bought other items there.  I’ve gone into the Watertower store and tried to buy leggings and tights and they were sold out. My response, “Good, then they will continue to have this in the store.”  Though they added Eloquii to this Limited, I knew that they needed to add the line to Woodfield’s Limited to be truly successful (and before Xmas). A few months ago I was worried that they weren’t adding Eloquii to more stores. Woodfield in Schaumburg, IL is a bigger mall than Mall of America in the way of retail space. People venture there all of the time to go shopping. Oakbrook Mall also is a great mall for them to add themselves into.
Since Eloquii aren’t in the big malls here in the Chicagoland area, I know that they have had some poor marketing. I can tell because as I walk around downtown Chicago and other places, I see no one in their clothes. In fact, I wore an Eloquii shirt to Xmas. Most of the women in my family are plus size. They asked me where I got my shirt. I told them Eloquii and they never heard of the brand. These are women that like to shop at MALLS in the SUBURBS of CHICAGO. The fact that they don’t know about his brand is really bad taste. Possibly even The Limited could have had a sign out front saying, “Shop our Plus Size Brand at Eloquii.com.”
Eloquii can be unique.  I see very few people wearing Eloquii around town and this is something that I do like actually. I like that other people don’t have the clothes that I wear from Eloquii. I think one of the downfalls of the brand is that they made many of the same clothes and prints from The Limited to Eloquii and weren’t always very unique.  At times, I did not purchase items from Eloquii after looking at The Limited website. If they both had the same printed shirt or dress, I did not order it. So many women wear The Limited and I don’t want to be their clone.
One of the things I think hurt Eloquii was the lack of free shipping. When they had free shipping and good sales, I was ordering clothes at least monthly. My co-workers noticed. My students noticed.  I was able to add more splash of color to my wardrobe with a brand that I love, The Limited.  However, when free shipping went away (around the time Eloquii started in stores), I lacked the motivation to purchase items online. In fact, I rarely went into the store myself at Watertower.
One of the side effects of Eloquii and ordering new clothes is that I lost weight. When I started feeling better about myself and what I was wearing, it was motivation for me to lose more weight. Going from a 18/20 to a 14/16 in Eloquii clothes felt great. I actually have two button down sweaters from Eloquii in both of those sizes. Since I liked the sweater so much, I had to get it into the small size that I am now.  Possibly someday I will fit back into The Limited clothes.
My suggestion for The Limited and Eloquii is to keep plus size going. Instead, call it The Limited PLUS since you didn’t market Eloquii very well. If you had some extended sizes in ALL STORES, I think this would benefit the women of America that love your style of clothing.  

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Lane Bryant and Eloquii



Last weekend, I ordered several items from Lane Bryant and Eloquii online. Lane Bryant had a 75% off sale while Eloquii had 40% off many things already on sale and free shipping to my home.
I picked up the Lane Bryant order on Tuesday after an awful dinner at Gino's East in Chicago (Diversey and Lincoln/Racine) near my home. I haven't had time to check out the clothing until now


Reebox Tee- bought similar in blue but with swirl pattern, $9



The Reebox Tee that I bought was blue and had a swirl pattern (called Burnout swirl tee by Reebok) , but it was see through. I bought this to wear to the gym or outside. I guess I could get some interesting tan lines if I kept this shirt. However, it is too see through. As a teacher, I don't like anything that I could not wear to work even on a day without students. I will have to return this.

Buying the Sparkle denim pencil skirt from Lane Bryant. I was less than $15.



Asymmetric sparkle dress


Asymmetrical Dress - Lane Bryant  $18, size 16
Belt: From another dress



I also bought the Asymmetric sparkle dress from Lane Bryant. With 75% off, it was only $18. I like the dress with the belt. I tried it on earlier in the week without a belt and it had no shape. The sleeves are a little "batwingish". I don't know if I could wear this to work, but possibly to something a little fancier.

Disc earrings - Lane Bryant $3
These Rhinestone disc earrings by Lane Bryant  were bought to possibly match the dress or skirt above. However, they look pretty cheap. I think I could have found something better and clearer at Forever 21. The disc does have its own "wave" to it. 

Eloquii 

Cowl Neck Pattern Drape Dress

- $33, Size 16W





I thought that orange tights Zig zag wave tights were an apppropriate buy since I am an Illini and Bears fan. However, these seem more like a burnt orange than a Illini or Bears orange that I am looking for. 
Elqouii blue/torquise, brown and gray tights
New tights were in order from Eloquii in various colors. These are in size A/B. I did buy black ones previously from Eloquii. I don't know if these are too small as I already have a pair in black. 




Cat's eye teardrop - orange



Since I am always looking for orange, I found these earrings. They aren't the right orange though for my Illini and Bears.  



BTW, great article on Fatshion: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/02/13/the-plus-size-blogging-craze.html
Also, Curvy Fashionista http://thecurvyfashionista.mariedenee.com/2013/02/big-link-roundup-february-23/#utm_source=feed&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=feed