What I’m Wearing: Military Vest

old navy canvas military vest

What I’m wearing: Old Navy canvas military vest (I have it in a cream color too!), Old Navy slub knit long sleeve tee, H&M scarf, LOFT curvy straight leg jeans, Sperry leopard flats

Minnesota is getting a beautiful fall this year! The leaves are amazing. I’m trying to take as many pictures as possible while the temps and backdrops cooperate.

This vest is probably one of my favorite purchases ever. I saw it a few years ago on several of my favorite fashion bloggers, but I was too cheap to buy it when it was available, then it sold out in my size. I was so mad at myself! Luckily Old Navy seems to bring back everything, so I was able to buy it last spring.

I’m pretty obsessed with vests, but this one is probably my favorite. It goes with almost everything I own. Here I am with Dig on a different day earlier this fall:

old navy canvas vest pink gingham

What I’m wearing: Same vest, Gap boyfriend pink gingham button down (old), loveable maltipoo

I think I’ve mentioned about 18 thousand times that I prefer my shirts on the longer side. What’s great about this vest is that if I have a shirt that’s too short to wear on its own, I can put this vest over it and I’m happy. I have quite a few shirts I’ve purchased that either started out longer and shrunk when they dried or were never long and I somehow bought them anyway. I actually have quite a few things I’ve purchased that a few weeks later caused me to question where my brain was. Anyway. This vest makes all those too-short-shirts wearable, which almost makes me feel like I have new clothes, which almost makes me think I can skip a weekend trip to the mall…but if I do end up going to the mall against my better judgment, I can wear this vest and leave my purse at home because the pockets are PERFECT for carrying the essentials.

Here’s Dig getting in on the fall-leaf-love. Mostly in a “I love eating fall leaves” more than “I love looking at fall leaves.”

old navy vest with dig

Here we are pretending to look at something important. Dig might have actually been looking at something important. I think he saw me looking and assumed I had spotted something really special, like another dog or more leaves to eat.

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What I’m Returning: LOFT Curvy Skinny Jeans

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What I’m returning: LOFT curvy skinny jeans

Last weekend I shopped ’til I dropped (due to blisters on the backs of my feet — ouch!) with my mom at the new outlet mall. The only store where I walked out with a shopping bag was LOFT. I bought the sweatshirt I posted about last week, along with two pairs of jeans (it was a buy-one-get-one-free sale). I had pretty good luck with LOFT jeans last fall (straight leg), but these definitely felt like a different kind of jean material. Last year’s jeans had some stretch, but they pretty much held their shape every time I wore them.

I wore these new skinny jeans around the house (read: sitting on the couch watching House Hunters on Netflix!) for a few hours. The waist¬† and crotch area (what’s a less offensive way of saying “crotch area”?) had totally stretched out. The pants weren’t falling off me, but there was quite a bit of saggy going on. The picture above makes the jeans look pretty well glued to your skin — mine never looked that skinny.

Since they weren’t necessarily cheap ($70 for two pairs, which is a decent deal if they both work), I’m taking them back. I would really like a good pair of skinny jeans, but these weren’t it. It looks like LOFT has two styles of skinny jeans: skinny and super skinny. I’m thinking that maybe the super skinny would be better…but I also don’t want something suffocatingly tight. A girl can’t win!

What I’m Doing: Canceling My Massage Membership

I signed up for one of those subscription massage clubs where you pay a monthly fee for theoretically one 60-minute massage every month. I did it because I get migraines, and my primary doctor thought massages might be good to help loosen my muscles. Initially I thought it was an awesome idea because it sounded luxurious and relaxing. Plus it would be awesome to get rid of my headaches.

Instead, the membership has been a headache itself.

When I started the membership, I was referred to a few different massage therapists who were supposedly “miracle workers” for people who get migraines. The first woman spent the entire hour telling me how horrible my muscles are as she launched her elbow into my back. I believe the word she used — more than once — was “gristly.” She was also really intense about making sure I scheduled my next appointment with her, and that I only see her going forward. I suppose these are sales people and the more people who visit them, the more money they make. But she wasn’t getting my repeat business. I went to the next person on the list for my second massage.

Somehow this woman was worse. 1) She was a close talker. 2) She was heavy on the sales pitch. 3) She held eye contact for WAY too long during our consultation and final wrap up.

After those experiences, I took a break from the massages for a few months. Eventually I figured I better get back to it since I was stuck paying for it. This time I was referred to a woman who was maybe 20. I told her what I was looking for and she did a great job. “Finally!” I thought, “Someone I can keep coming back to!” But after three or four visits, “Annette” mysteriously disappeared. I’m assuming she was fired. The receptionist was really awkward about it when she told me. Either she was fired or she quit in the most amazing fashion possible. It was clear the receptionist was specifically told she was not allowed to talk about it.

The next therapist I was referred to was great, but apparently everyone else thinks she’s great too, because it’s nearly impossible to find appointments with her. I needed an appointment this weekend (I’m about 6 months behind and am hoping to cancel my membership later this month — I need to use those massages like it’s my job), and my go-to was unavailable, so I went with the only person open during a time that worked for me.

Speaking of times that work for me, that’s a challenge in and of itself. 1) I’m super lazy and noncommittal, so it’s really hard for me to schedule appointments and stick to them. Have you heard of winter? And have you heard how comfortable sitting on a couch can be? 2) On top of that, the stars have to practically align for me to get a massage. I prefer week nights, because I can go straight from work to the appointment and then lay low at home the rest of the night. My hair, face and body are always greasy after a massage because of whatever oil they use. It would not be acceptable for me to see anyone I know other than Dan. Poor Dan. If it’s on a weekend, I prefer it to be in the morning so that I have plenty of time to shower and go about my day. 3) I never know what kind of massage I’m going to get, even when I say I want something relaxing — sometimes they give me relaxing, other times they decide to do deep tissue. If it’s deep tissue, I’m sore the entire evening and most of the next day. It’s like a massage hangover.

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If it’s on a week night, that’s fine because I very rarely have any exciting plans that start after 7. If it’s on a weekend, that can potentially ruin whatever plans I had for the rest of my two-day house-lounging-extravaganza.

The therapist I saw this weekend looked old enough to be barely out of 8th grade. She had really pointy teeth. I first thought that maybe she was getting in the spirit for Halloween, but that made no sense since the rest of the place wasn’t decorated, so….who knows. While my initial judgment of her was, “I don’t think this will be good,” I tried to tell myself, “Lindsey, she might be amazing. Stop being so judgmental!”

We started with a head and facial massage. It would have been good if she didn’t reek of cigarettes. I think she’s been smoking since third grade — the smell was seeping from her pores like it had been there from a very early age. Almost like her sweat had been replaced with cigarette stench.

But whatever, I can deal with it. I just won’t breathe as often.

After she finished the facial massage, she moved to my pectorals. I’m 100% confident that the pectorals are on my “do not massage” chart. I was incredibly uncomfortable, but too shy to say anything. So I suffered through it. Then she moved to my legs. I hate having my legs massaged because they are usually ticklish. But this time was worse because she did a lot of massaging of my knee cap.

(Am I the only one who hates knee caps? I have some paranoia that my knee cap can easily pop off. I know they are probably pretty securely fastened to whatever they’re fastened to, but yikes, it still freaks me out. And also, who massages knee caps?)

She eventually moved to my back. I don’t really know how to describe it. It was a technique I’ve never experienced before, massaging muscles that I’m not quite sure are even muscles. I think she was poking individual fingers into my back — is that a thing now? It didn’t hurt, but it felt weird. I kept involuntarily twitching because she seemed to have found spots whose automatic reflex was to twitch.

I was relieved when it was over. She walked me to the front desk to check-out, and after she left the lobby area, I asked if I could be scheduled with my favorite therapist for my next visit. “Not for three weeks.”

“WHAT?!”

It’s going to be impossible to use up all my massages. I’m going to have to visit a lot of crappy therapists over the next six weeks.

What I Want: My Ideal Bathroom

I’m really particular when it comes to bathrooms. I used to write about them a lot in my previous blog (how I hate automation, my thoughts on background noise, my awareness of rogue rolls of toilet paper, how gross people can be, etc.), but when I sort of quit posting in that blog, my bathroom observations didn’t really seem relevant. However, when I started my current job a year ago, I had all sorts of new bathroom observations that I was dying to share, but again, they just didn’t really fit into the genre of this blog. And then I started to ask myself: Lindsey, if you aren’t sharing your ridiculously stupid observations about bathrooms (among other things), what kind of service are you providing to your readers? Great question.

If I was going to describe my ideal bathroom, it would be a single stall bathroom that was heavily insulated so that no one could ever hear anything that anyone does in it. That’s first and foremost. I think we all experience enough embarrassing situations in our everyday lives, why do we have to add to that with bathroom situations? And when someone is having a somewhat embarrassing bathroom situation, it’s not like anyone else wants to be around for it. Ha, it’s like a bad public speaker — we’re all uncomfortable and hoping to get out of there as quickly as humanly possible.

Secondly, it would have an amazing air exchange system and air freshener system that would eliminate all the horrible odors that happen in bathrooms. Seriously, we all know nothing pleasant happens in there. When one person exits and the next person enters, there should be nothing remaining. There should be no sign that someone had just been in there.

If I were really dreaming big, it would have a self-cleaning floor (and while we’re at it, all surfaces) that was made of super anti-bacterial stuff that would kill all germs instantly. The germophobe in me is going to come out here. When I’m using the bathroom, it DISGUSTS me when my pant leg grazes the floor. I’m not entirely sure how long surface germs live, but I feel like it could be a long time, especially when the germs are moving from a bathroom floor to your fibrous pants. Oh my gosh, I’m gagging in my chair as I type this. The floor in my office’s bathroom always looks covered in germs. It’s like someone spilled something on the floor and the remnants are left there for the entire day. I try to tell myself that it was raining outside (trying to convince myself that it rains every day….it doesn’t) and someone’s pant legs were wet and therefore made the floor wet, then it was dragged around after they were getting up and flushing the toilet. Or I tell myself that the residue is actually from a super-soapy mop that the cleaning person had used and that what I was seeing was actually really clean, soapy gunk that wouldn’t give me an infection. If all surfaces in bathrooms were self-cleaning, there would be a lot less for me to worry about. Basically, I want those Scrubbing Bubbles guys to live in this bathroom.

scrubbing-bubbles

It would also have a floor-length mirror so I could look at my outfit. If I was shooting for the moon, I’d also ask for really good lighting so I could possibly take outfit pictures. The majority of my work outfits are not that amazing, but every so often I’m impressed with myself and would like to capture that moment. I’m rarely motivated enough to do it when I get home from work (or it’s too dark outside / I don’t have good lighting inside).

That’s it. That’s all I want. I didn’t even comment about automated things. That’s progress, right?

What I Pin: Fall Vests

fav-vests

One of my favorite things about fall is that I can start wearing vests again. Vests are awesome for a number of reasons. 1) You can put all your essentials (phone, credit cards, cash, ID, chapstick, keys) into your pockets and go purseless for the day. Purses are cute and all, but I love being totally hands free! 2) If you’re feeling a little pudgy around your midsection, and that’s most days for me, your vest is the perfect cover up! No visible lumps and bumps. Wearing jeans that cause a muffin top? No worries, it’s hidden! Ate too much the last several days and now your belly is hanging out over your jeans? Go ahead and have that extra cookie — your vest will zip right over it and no one is any the wiser! Vests are very forgiving, just like my beloved elastic waist pants.

Ha, OK, I’ve taken a turn here. This post should have been titled: What to wear after a holiday meal.

Moving on.

Vests, for me, are the perfect answer to feeling completely laid back while also looking put together. You can pair them with chambray and plaid button-downs, sweaters, striped tees — basically anything and everything.

I practically lived in vests last fall and early winter. Especially when I was meeting friends for dinner or going shopping. I absolutely HATE lugging my coat everywhere I go, and I despise carrying a coat while I’m shopping. Since I typically would only be outside for the short distance between my vehicle and the restaurant/mall, the vest provided just enough protection from the cold, but was also comfortable to wear inside. In some instances, like hardcore Black Friday shopping, the vest was almost too warm to wear while indoors. Since it was easy to fold up, I was able to toss it into a shopping bag and continue on my way. If I had a coat, I’d have to — ick — tie it around my waist. The horror! Just kidding. Well, not for me, but there are some people who can do that and somehow still look good. Good for you.

I have a decent collection of vests, but not in the array of colors I posted here. Most of mine are slightly poofier (better for hiding extra helpings of cookies or mashed potatoes, oh, and adding warmth), but Old Navy and J. Crew Factory have quite a few options for the thinner style vests. Once I get my next round of rewards coupons from Old Navy, I’ll probably consider getting one or two vests (maybe the red or green). I think those would be the most versatile for my wardrobe.

What I Bought: Tres Bien

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What I bought: Tres Bien striped sweatshirt from LOFT

What I paid: $25 (50% off at LOFT Outlet store)

Yesterday was a gorgeous fall day in Minnesota. My mom and I wanted to take advantage of the weather, but didn’t feel like being overly athletic, so we went where any lazy woman who wants credit for being outside would go: an outlet mall.

LOFT was our first stop. They were having a pretty decent sale: 50% off almost everything. Most of their jeans were buy-one-get-one-free, tees were buy-one-get-one-free, leggings were 30% off and this sweatshirt (and a few other embellished sweatshirts) was 50% off. There were lots of other sales, but these particular sales were the only ones I considered taking advantage of. I quickly rethought the purchase of leggings after witnessing the horror of what my body looks like in them during a trip to the dressing room. Yikes. I also tried on a pair of coated jeans, which I’ve always admired on my favorite fashion bloggers. Most of them, however, have much better hip-to-thigh ratios. They probably would have looked good in the leggings too. Me? Not so much.

On to the positives.

I saw this sweatshirt on the wall and loved it, but assumed it would fit oddly on me as it seems most LOFT shirts do lately. I was headed to the fitting room to try on a few pairs of jeans, and decided I might as well just try the sweatshirt on. I did, and loved it!

However, the checkout line was CRAZY long. I guess everyone else in the metro area concluded that outlet shopping on a beautiful fall day was a good idea and almost all of them were in line at LOFT. I didn’t want to spend that much time in line, so I hung the shirt at the back of the rack (because that somehow makes me think no one else will ever find it) and left the store in search of other deals with my mom.

After a few stops, we were empty-handed. My mom found a couple pairs of pants at Ann Taylor, but they weren’t exactly the color she was looking for. We walked around the Coach store, but with the exception of a pair of tennis shoes my mom tried on, we found nothing of interest. After striking out everywhere else and developing blisters on the back of my heels, we decided to throw in the towel. I hadn’t stopped thinking about the sweatshirt, though, so I made my mom go back to LOFT with me while I tried it on one last time. This is when I got sucked into some of the other sales throughout the store, so I tried on a couple pairs of jeans (LOFT curvy bootcut and LOFT curvy skinny) and the sweatshirt. The line was considerably shorter on this visit, so I took that as a sign that I was meant to have the sweatshirt. And now I do.

I loved the shirt so much I had to wear it today! And of course Dig had to get in on the pictures again. I promise I will eventually post pics that don’t include my dog.

tres-bien-full

I bought a small, and find it to be a little roomy (I considered trying on the petite style, but had a feeling it would be too short and probably too tight). I’m wearing a grey tank top (Merona from Target), plus a thin black t-shirt (Old Navy’s slub knit tee, to be exact) just to take up some of the extra space. It’s perfect for a sunny fall day like today. I’m wearing a necklace I bought from LOFT a couple years ago, and my LOFT modern straight cords in darkest cranberry. By the way, I love these pants! I bought them last fall and wore them all season and most of the winter. I got lucky and picked up a black pair for only $10 during a clearance event. They’d actually look great with this sweatshirt…how convenient. My ballet slippers are from Old Navy — they have a cream-colored umbrella print all over.

The shirt is SO comfortable. I could fall asleep in it. It hits slightly below my hips, although it seems to ride up as I move around.  The stripes are heather grey, while the Tres Bien is printed in thin black text. The sleeves have two-inch cuffs at the ends.

tres-bien-dig

I haven’t worn my new jeans yet, but I’ll do a wear test (and report back here) on both. The curvy straight leg jeans I bought last year have held up well overall, but one seems to stretch a little more than the other pair. The jeans I bought yesterday after definitely a different fabric, so we’ll see what happens.

What I Wore: Favorite Fall Scarf (and Digger)

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OOTD: black button-down shirt (Old Navy — ON SALE!!), red plaid scarf (Forever 21 — sold out, but other colors available), jeggings (Macy’s — old), black riding boots (Macy’s — old)

Once I start seeing red plaid, I know it’s fall. It makes me think of holing up in a cabin in some remote part of the woods with my lumberjack boyfriend. It makes me think of frolicking through heaps of red and orange leaves. It makes me think of roasting s’mores by a camp fire.

These are all things you would never catch me doing in real life, therefore I need the red plaid scarf to transport me. J. Crew had a really cute red plaid jacket last season and while part of me loved it, another part of me decided it would put me too far into the cabin-in-the-woods, leaf-frolicking, camp-fire-girl genre.

Instead, my idea of enjoying a beautiful fall day is to visit any of the awesome outdoor malls in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. Ha! That’s about as outdoorsy as this girl gets.

But with that red plaid scarf, I almost look like I could be rugged. The ombre curls really help my case.

this girl is rugged

The scarf is super soft against my skin, plus it’s pretty large. Not as large as a blanket scarf, but large enough that I can tie it multiple ways for whatever look I’m going for. The way I tied it here is my favorite — some people call it the muffler, some call it bandana. I call it a bib.

My maltipoo, Digger, would not leave me alone while I tried to get photos today. He can be totally oblivious to me when I want him to do something outside (like fetch a ball), but as soon as my attention is on something else, he is begging for my attention and wanting to know what it is I find so interesting.

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Back to my outfit. I love this shirt from Old Navy. It’s one of my recent purchases (I got it as a one-day sale for $10, but it’s apparently only $10 on their website right now too) and I’m so happy I got it. I ordered it in a tall because I wanted the extra length. You can see here how it covers my bum — the regular size was a few inches shorter. The sleeves are a little long, so I have to roll them on days like today. But if I wear a sweater/cardigan over the shirt, the sleeves end up being the perfect length.

These jeggings are from Macy’s INC brand. I bought them for dirt cheap a couple years ago in both dark denim and black. Overall, I like them, but they definitely stretch more than any of my regular jeans and are looking pretty sloppy after a few wears. They have an elastic waist though, which I LOVE! Does that make me sound old? I don’t care. They are just so comfortable.

The black riding boots also came from Macy’s. I think I bought them during an end-of-season clearance sale. They aren’t the absolute best quality, in my opinion, but they are perfect for me and I’ll get several more years out of them.

This outfit is probably one of my favorite fall outfits: It’s super easy to pull together and every piece is really comfortable. That’s probably my favorite thing about fall dressing — almost everything is comfortable and soft and easy to wear, and the weather is so mild. Summer in Minnesota is great, but I really hate sweat. Fall weather is perfect for being outside as much as possible, whether it’s frolicking through leaves or hitting up sales at outdoor malls. To each her own!

And one last pic of Dig!

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