A Skirt With Pockets

After a year of blogging on Atlanta Native (the first few months were on blogger before I moved here to wordpess), I’ve started a new blogging journey.  See, when I first had the idea to start a blog, I didn’t know exactly what direction it would go in.  I figured I’d write about whatever I fancied and a general theme would emerge.  While I have succeeded in discovering what I enjoy writing about, I am afraid that the title “Atlanta Native” doesn’t quite fit anymore.  So, I’ve moved back to blogger and started fresh.  You can now find me here:

A Skirt With Pockets

(www.askirtwithpockets.blogspot.com)

While I’ve never considered myself fashionable enough to dub myself a “fashion blogger,” I am fascinated with fashion and view my style as ever evolving.  Challenging myself to the 30 for 30 Remix this past summer made me view my wardrobe and my budget in a whole new way, and you may have noticed from recent posts that I’ve become slightly obsessed with thrift shopping.  Basically I really like playing with clothes, but going on extravagant shopping sprees simply isn’t one of my top financial priorities; I’d rather save for vacations and my future than for designer duds.  I’m on a mission to strike that balance of loving my wardrobe and growing a healthy savings account.  So from here on out, you can follow my style progress on a budget at A Skirt With Pockets!  I hope you’ll visit!

p.s.

I promise to post waaaaay more frequently than I have here.  I’ve already made it 5 straight days of posts!

She’s a Lady

A couple of weeks ago I posted about a thrifting haul that included this dress from Goodwill.

I finally wore it today.  Not bad for $4.59, eh?

Dress is Merona (from Target) - $4.59 at Goodwill, Necklace was free, thanks to the clothing swap, Shoes are Nine West (from Marshalls) - $20ish?

   Nothing makes me feel more ladylike than wearing a pretty dress or skirt ensemble.  My posture is a little straighter and I find it easier to smile when I’m sashaying around in a dress.  It’s a nice change of pace from my beloved denim.

The high temp today was in the low 80’s, which is the perfect weather for bare legs and short sleeves.  I didn’t even break a sweat on my walk to/from MARTA!  Since the forecast for the rest of the week promises similar weather, I’ve decided that today marks the first day of “Dress Fest 2011”.  Yessiree, I’m going to wear only dresses and skirts all week!  Huzzah!

A Dress Fit for Strutin’!

Dress - The Lucky Exchange, Necklace - Clothing Swap (FREE!), Belt - H&M, Shoes - Target (4 years ago)

I’ve been waiting for the perfect fall day to wear this dress, and today absolutely fits the bill.  With temps in the mid-70’s and the sun shining, I can get away with short sleeves and bare legs.  It’s quite dreamy.

I found this dress at The Lucky Exchange when I spent an entire Wednesday thrift shopping a few weeks ago.  It was originally $24, but the Scoutmob deal slashed the grand total to $12!  I have no idea what brand it is, as the tag has been cut out; maybe it’s vintage?  The colors and pattern whispered “autumn” in my ear and I swooned.  Thankfully it fit me perfectly.  Score!

I’m about to head to the East Atlanta Strut for the afternoon.  Palookaville, my favorite corndog food truck, is finally out of hibernation, so you can find me waiting in line if you happen to be at the festival.

Enjoy this beautiful day!

So Long, Mini!

Almost two years ago, I flew to NYC and bought a 2006 Mini Cooper S convertible from a very nice fellow I found on ebay.  I negotiated a killer deal since convertible season was quickly winding down in New England, and I avoided paying taxes since I purchased from a private seller.  All in all, it was a good purchase… except for the fact that I had to take on a loan to pay for it.

I lived without a car payment for the majority of my adult life, and I never really appreciated it until I had a shinier toy to cruise around in that cost a pretty penny.  For the first year, I just paid my car note without really thinking about it, but the expense of car ownership started weighing heavily on me several months ago.  Yeah, I take home enough money to easily make the monthly payments and maintain it, but I realized that owing the bank pretty much zapped all of the pleasure I derived from driving a “nice” car.  I started missing the crappy old Saturn that I drove into the ground through high school and college, which I had paid off by the time I was 18.

I considered kicking my installments into high gear and paying off the loan in record time, but the truth is that I didn’t particularly want to own it.  When I evaluate my priorities, owning a nice car simply isn’t one of them.  Even if I had a monstrous bank account, I wouldn’t purchase a fancy car (except, maybe, if I ever won the Mega Millions). There are so many other things I would rather do with my hard earned money than sinking it into a depreciating asset.

Now that I live with my BF in an area of town with access to a Marta train station, I don’t actually need a car.  So, as you’ve probably guessed from the title of this post, I sold my car today.  It hasn’t fully sunk in yet, but I can tell you that I feel considerably lighter without the $12k car loan on my shoulders!  Not to mention the burdens of insurance, trips to the gas station, and maintenance…

While I mentioned above that I don’t need a car right now, I am sure that I will want another one in the somewhat near future.  I’m guessing that I’ll tire of depending on others for rides and taking the train, but the next car will be something that I can pay for with cash.  And it won’t be so nice that my blood pressure spikes every time I spot a new dent or scratch.  A used Honda or Volvo will do me just fine.

For the time being, I’m living life as a pedestrian armed with pepper spray.  I’ve enrolled in the commuter program through work, which subsidizes the monthly MARTA transit card.  I plan on using MARTA through October and then deciding how badly I want a car.  My opinion of MARTA isn’t very high, so chances are I’ll be posting about my new used car here sooner than later.

I leave you on this fall-like Friday with the top 5 things about driving that I absolutely will not miss as I hoof it to MARTA:

#1. Traffic

  Not a big surprise.  Who likes sitting in Atlanta rush hour traffic?  Not me.  I particularly won’t miss the Freedom Parkway exit during my driving hiatus.

#2. Dodging Distracted Drivers

Please, get off your cell phones!   Now I have to depend on you to not hit me while I’m in the cross walk…

#3. Pot-holes

Most of the driving I did was in the city, and the roads suck.  ‘Nough said.

#4. Street Parking 

It’s been a way of life for the past few years, at my old apartment and here at the new place.  Parking on the street means leaving your car vulnerable to drunks walking on top of your car (happened to my neighbor) and having your window smashed in (happened to me).

#5. Gas Prices

Yeah, they’ve been on the decline recently, but you know that won’t last.  The Mini was a pampered car and took premium gas.  I’ll be happy to have something that is happy with regular ol’ gas.

I hope you all enjoy the fantastic weather in store over the weekend!  Until next time…

Remember Me?

Hello, friends!  It’s been quiet around here lately, but I’m still here!  I made only 5 measly posts in August, which seems like nothing compared to July’s 30 for 30 Remix shenanigans. September promises a lot of fun happenings and a few challenges for me, so except more frequent updates!

One major chore that I’m glad to have checked off my to-do list in August was moving.  I ditched my studio apartment in Inman Park and moved into my BF’s Grant Park town-home.  That’s right, we’re living in sin!  He asked me to officially move in when we celebrated our one year anniversary on August 3rd.  I had to give my apartment manager 60 days notice, so I was planning on moving things over a little at a time through the end of September.  My plans were expedited when a friend expressed interest in renting my apartment starting September 1st, which meant I needed to get out of there completely on the last weekend of August.  Moving sucks, even when you don’t have much to move.  I’m so happy it’s over, and now September can be spent getting settled in here.  The BF and I are both new to this whole living with a significant other thing, so the adjustment period may spur an entertaining story or two.  And I’m itching to try my hand at a few decorating ideas around here, which should be interesting!

I have quite a bit of free time on my hands this month: the long Labor Day weekend is upon us, and I’m taking a full week off of work in the middle of the month.  I don’t have any exciting travel plans, just a ton of vacation time that I need to use up.  I originally planned on using that week to complete the move, but now it’s simply free time that I’m going to make the most of.  I’m thinking a trip to the zoo, a hike or two, and maybe a couple museum visits are in order – a nice little stay-cation.  I’m definitely open to suggestions, so please comment away!  And let me know if you happen to be available for some fun the week of the 12th… I’d love some company!

I don’t think I’ll do another 30 for 30 Remix challenge again any time soon, but outfit posts are sure to make more appearances around here.  I’m so excited to wear the items in my fall wardrobe!  The 10 day forecast includes a couple of days with high temperatures in the 70’s, which has me all giddy and dreaming of layers…

Oh, and I mentioned a couple of challenges for September; the two biggest are selling my car and studying for/taking the GRE.  I’ve decided to sell my car for a couple of reasons.  One is financial: I don’t like having a car payment and insurance, maintenance and gas add up quickly.  Secondly, the stress of owning a “nice” car outweighs the enjoyment for me.  Almost all of the driving I do is in the city, which causes a lot of wear and tear on a vehicle, and I have to park on the street, which means a lot of bumps and dings.  I can’t help but feel a little tiffed every time I see a new scratch, and I hate that.  After a lot of thought, I’ve decided that I’ll be a happier person with a car that I don’t care as much about and can purchase outright.  I will not be in a huge rush to buy a new (to me) car right away since my new residence is within walking distance to a Marta train station.  I’m going to take advantage of that for a little while and see how it goes.  Is Marta really smarta?  I’ll find out (with pepper spray in hand) and report back!

And I decided to take the GRE on a lark a few days ago.  A new test format was introduced in August, and there is a promotion of half off the testing fee if you take it before Sept. 30.  I don’t have any immediate plans to go back to school, but hopefully I’ll figure out what it is I’m doing with my life before the score expires in 5 years – ha!

Since this post has turned into a complete ramble-fest, and blog posts with pictures are better than those without, here are a few pictures from my trip to Spain 2 years ago.  This time 2 years ago, I was wrapping up my first full day in Barcelona. *sigh*  I want to go back to there.  My friend and I started off in Barcelona, then flew to Sevilla, and ended up in Madrid.  It was wonderful.

Parc Guell in Barcelona

Sevilla

Fresh Churros!

Madrid

That’s all for now!  I’ll be back soon, I promise!

Cheap Dye Job

I’d been sporting highlighted locks since Spring, but I wasn’t particularly diligent with the upkeep.  The overgrown roots were becoming difficult to ignore, especially when I was posting pictures of myself everyday during the 30 for 30 Remix.

I started to consider taking matters into my own hands and dying my hair myself.  I was simply going darker, so how hard could it be?  And why not save a few bucks?  But then I remembered the less than successful at-home dye jobs of my past and resigned myself to shelling out the big bucks.  After all, you get what you pay for, right?

I was planning on having Tracy, the wonderful stylist who cut my hair a little while ago, revamp my color, but she had no open appointments that worked with my schedule in the foreseeable future.  She was very helpful in explaining what she would do to my hair:  use a semi permanent glaze that is a couple shades warmer than my natural hair color.  She explained that this would work for me even though my natural hair color has cool tones and my eyes are blue (a cool color), because I have warm tones in my skin.  With this information in mind, I took a gander over to the hair dye aisle at Target to see if there was anything that matched that description.  Turns out there was!

I found this semi-permanent gloss color by L’Oreal in medium-golden brown.  It seemed to fit the bill, but I had to weigh the pros and cons of taking such a risk.

Pros: Cost – $10 vs. $65 + tip; Convenience – no appointment necessary, and the box promised 10 minutes, which is way more appealing than sitting in a salon for an hour+; Semi-Permanent – equals less damaging and it’s NOT permanent!

Cons: I’m not a professional – I worried about the color being uneven, and had a scary vision of orange frazzled hair…

After standing in the aisle for a good 15 minutes, I took a deep breath and purchased the box. If it turned out to be a horrible mistake, I’d shamefully make an appointment right away and vow to never take such a risk again.  But, luckily, I have a positive outcome to report!

Before...

And after! (Please forgive the awful lighting and the blatant mirror self-portraits!)

It was a super easy process; I made sure all of my hair was drenched in the solution and waited 10 minutes.  After shampooing the dye out and conditioning my hair, I was anxious to get it dry to see the results as my hair didn’t appear to be much different while it was wet.

The dye did it’s job and looked pretty even to me (big sigh of relief!)  Some of the highlights show through as a lighter color, which was to be expected at home or at the salon.  It gives the overall look a “multifaceted” effect. I’ve had my hair dyed professionally many times, and I’d say that the results are comparable.  Lord knows I wouldn’t try bleaching my hair at home, but for a relatively subtle change like this, I would totally go this route again.

Got a self-dye success (or horror) story to share?  I’d love to hear it!  Leave a comment!

New Do!

Hairdo, that is!  You may have noticed during my 30 for 30 Remix that I frequently wore my hair in a pony tail with my bangs pinned back.  A pony tail makes sense for the season, but truth be known, I was growing fatigued with my long hair, not to mention the process of growing out my bangs.  I started seriously thinking about changing up my tresses a little over a month ago, as my bangs were getting to a length that could be blended into a new style, but the drastic change I was considering was a little scary.

Over the last year I’ve used Scoutmob deals (50% off!) to pick a salon, which was just fine when I simply needed a basic trim.  But I knew I’d have to pay full price for something a little more complicated, as the old saying “you get what you pay for” definitely applies to salon services.  Yesterday I put my locks in the capable hands of Tracy of Tracy B. Hair Studio in Buckhead.  She came highly recommended by several girlfriends, and I was not disappointed (thank goodness!)  Tracy’s approachable and professional demeanor allowed me to relax a  little bit while she cut off several inches of my hair and shaped it into a sassy bob.  I could tell that she knew what she was doing and the result was exactly what I requested.  I’ve never had a regular stylist, but I do believe I have found one!

Taken with Photobooth on my Mac... will have to get someone to take pictures of the back soon!

I was afraid I would instantly regret chopping off so much length, but that hasn’t been the case so far.   I think I’ve already gotten used to running my fingers through my hair and stopping short.

I really cannot say enough about how great Tracy is.  She owns a tiny salon (only her and one other gal), which means I had to book my appointment over a month in advance, but she’s well worth the wait.  Plus it gave me time to really figure out what I wanted and summon the courage.

Do you have a regular stylist, or do you play the Scoutmob game like I used to?  Have you taken a hair risk recently or are you thinking about taking one?  Feel free to share your thoughts!

Be Brutally Honest, Please!

My dilemma all started when I wandered over to Anthropologie.com for a little inspiration and this photo caught my eye:

I consider this to be a very daring outfit; the mixed patterns are so wrong that they’re (almost?) right.  Something about it speaks to me, but it may just be because it’s on the Anthropologie website (can they ever do wrong?).  Or maybe it’s because a model is wearing it on a beautifully styled set.  Nevertheless, it got me thinking about the blue floral skirt that was a part of my 30 for 30 Remix.  You may remember me mentioning that I feel in love with it when I saw the photo below on Fab’rik’s Facebook wall:

I didn’t buy the top above because I was worried I wouldn’t be confident enough to rock the two different patterns.  I’ve paired the skirt with two different solid colored tops so far, but tonight I was playing in my closet and put something together that I’m on the fence about.  I would seriously appreciate your opinion on whether or not this outfit should ever see the light of day.  Be a pal and tell me honestly what you think of this ensemble:

I was initially pleased with how this looked in the mirror.  Then I remembered the lesson I learned from the belted green shirt mistake: a picture never lies!  So I snapped these pictures and, quite frankly, I still kind of like it.  But it is way out of my comfort zone.  I may have been brainwashed by Anthropologie, so I ask, would you wear it?  Would you recommend I wear it in public?  Would you mock someone you saw wearing this out and about?  Let me know with a comment!

30 for 30 Remix: The End

top from Madewell, jeans from J Crew outlet, shoes from Anthropologie

necklace from Urban Outfitters, dress from Marshalls, shoes from Kohls

The above photos are from Thursday and Friday of last week and mark the end of my first 30 for 30 Remix!  It’s been fun, and I hope you’ve enjoyed following along.  I don’t know how I’ll cope with not having to awkwardly photograph my outfit come tomorrow morning.  🙂

Double Dose

Happy hump day, y’all!  This week is going by so quickly for me.  Only 3 more days left in my 30 for 30 challenge, and I need to get up to speed with yesterday’s and today’s outfit.  Here’s what I wore yesterday (Outfit #22):

I wanted to tuck the shirt in, but the pants are weird in that they do not have belt loops.  A tucked in shirt without a belt just doesn’t do it for me.  A great pair of slacks (with belt loops) is on my wish list for my August shopping trip.

And here’s what I’m wearing today (Outfit #23):


I had some trouble capturing my entire body this morning, but this is all about the clothes anyway, right?  I dig the yellow necklace with the hot pink blouse, and this was the first time I ever thought to wear them together.

Well, now that we’re all caught up, I’m off to enjoy an evening of free food and an outdoor screening of my favorite movie of all time, Singin’ in the Rain, courtesy of my awesome company.   Have a wonderful evening!