More Pinterest Shopping

You’ll probably see a lot of these posts over the coming weeks and months. I’ve been suffering from headache after headache for quite a few years, and over the last few months I’ve been visiting a chiropractor, and more recently, an acupuncturist. While I think we’ve pinpointed the main cause of my headaches, I probably have quite a few visits in my future. Unfortunately for my shopping hobby, the visits aren’t cheap, and have therefore cut deeply into my budget. So here I am, finding ways to wear the clothes I already have.

If I sound a bit over-dramatic and doom and gloom, it’s because I’m watching Downton Abbey and a major character JUST DIED. And I’m letting it influence my writing. Let’s move on.

military jacket | whatlindseylikes I’m a bit obsessed with anything that resembles military style. I bought at least four military jackets in my early 20s, the one pictured above included. The Pinterest image here caught my eye with its military jacket, but I’m also a fan of the navy and olive colors together.

My jacket came from Express (similar items here, here). I wish I could remember the year, but it was probably 2007ish-2009ish. I had originally gone into Express that day with the intentions of purchasing something else, but I fell in love with that jacket instantly and forgot all about whatever I planned to buy. I think I wore the jacket — which is made of what feels like sweatshirt material — nearly every day. It’s the perfect lightweight jacket. My only complaint is that the jacket is dry clean only! Ick! I find nothing more disappointing than coming across an item of clothing that I really, really want, only to find out it’s dry clean only. Maybe I’m young and naive, but I hate clothes that require dry cleaning. I do everything I can to avoid buying any of those things. Dry cleaning is just another action that cuts into my shopping budget!

navy military jacket and olive green pants | whatlindseylikes

I know the Pinterest image’s model is wearing black riding boots…while I have similar boots, I just can’t get over the old fashion rule that navy and black shouldn’t be mixed. I’m sure there are situations where I’d make an exception, but it’s not here. So instead, I chose a pair of snakeskin print flats. I’m not convinced these are perfect, but I like them better than the boots! The model is also wearing a scarf — I preferred my gold statement necklace (from Forever 21!).

navy military jacket and green pants | whatlindseylikes

I paired my navy military jacket with my cream chiffon top from Old Navy. This top is so versatile! I can basically wear it with everything I own. On bottom, I wore another pair of my favorite Levi’s pull-on pants — this time in olive green. While I love them overall (again, anything with an elastic waist is guaranteed to be on my love-it list), the lighter color isn’t necessarily the most flattering for my thighs. As long as I’m wearing a longer top, I’m comfortable with them.

I also wanted to try this look with a Forever 21 long navy open front cardigan I had.

forever21 navy sweater and olive green pants | whatlindseylikes

This outfit is definitely more casual and cozy. It’s something I’d wear to a friend’s house for an evening of red wine and gossip. Note to self: Schedule a girls’ night ASAP.

forever 21 open front navy cardigan and olive pants | whatlindseylikes

I haven’t worn my navy military jacket in awhile, but it might have to come out of hibernation once spring officially hits Minnesota. So, like, May.

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What I Love: Wavy Bob Haircut

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have already seen my new ‘do. I’m SO IN LOVE. My stylist is amazing and she did a great job. Normally when I’m taking the plunge and chopping my hair, I get really nervous about whether the stylist with the scissors will understand my vision. Most of this is my fault — I don’t take in enough pictures, or I’ll bring in photos of two styles that look the same to me, but are completely different to the trained eye of a hair stylist. With this cut, I did my homework and paid a little more attention to the details of the images I really loved.

It didn’t matter, because my stylist knew exactly what to do. She went over the different aspects of the cut that were important to me — long layers in the back as opposed to a stacked cut; using a razor to get more wispy ends; etc. She even pointed out a picture in the salon that was exactly what I had described and what was illustrated in the photos I brought with me. I felt so at ease!

OK, enough about the prep. Let’s get to the cut! These are the photos I shared on Instagram, along with one more.

wavy bob haircut | whatlindseylikes

wavy bob haircut | whatlindseylikes

wavy bob haircut | whatlindseylikes

To style this cut, my stylist added some mousse from Oribe (I think it was Grandiose) throughout my hair while it was wet. Then she blow dried my hair. Ha, then I’m a little fuzzy if she added another product…but then she curled my hair using a straightener. Most of the tutorials I linked to from my post about getting my hair cut had recommended clamping the straightener on your hair, then bending the straightener one time (or, in a way that might make more sense, rotate the straightener 180 degrees), then just pull the straightener through. That’s what my stylist did, which resulted in these adorable waves with ends that flicked in whatever direction they pleased. After adding the waves, my stylist used Oribe Thick Dry Finishing Spray.

My stylist had used this finishing spray on me before and I thought it was amazing, but didn’t want to pay the hefty price tag ($37-40!!!!). Almost all the reviews I’ve read are rave reviews — it appears to be a miracle product. It’s like a hair spray, dry shampoo and volumizer, all in one. My style held ALL DAY on the day of my cut (my cut was at 8:30 in the morning), and actually even looked OK when I woke up the next morning (just as my stylist had promised). If I had planned to go with second-day hair, I would have used my straightener to touch up a few pieces, then would have been good to go.

However, I think one of the most fun things about a new haircut is styling it yourself for the first time, so I got a quick workout in after I woke up, then showered and washed my hair.

I didn’t purchase the Oribe Grandiose mousse that my stylist used — I had read a few articles and reviews of Not Your Mother’s Whip It Up mousse, so I went with that (and saved a ton of money). I did end up buying the Oribe Thick Dry Finishing Spray, though…I couldn’t help myself! I just want to try it. If anyone knows how to get good deals on Oribe products, let me know. Amazon seemed to be only a few dollars cheaper.

Styling my hair myself went relatively smoothly. I have to get the hang of curling my hair with a straightener. I also have to remember that the best thing about this style is that it’s not supposed to be perfect, which means curls/waves don’t have to be symmetrical or even fully present. I seem to be able to get one side of my head to look awesome, but the other side looks totally different. That’s mostly my inability to use my left hand the same way as I can with my right hand. Hopefully it’ll get better with practice. But thanks to the Whip It Up mousse and Thick Dry Finishing spray, whatever wave I did have is still there. (I’ll do a full review of both products after I’ve had them a little longer — so far so good, but we’ll see what I’m saying two months from now.)

What I Did: Shopped My Closet with Pinterest

It’s possible that I might have gone a bit overboard with shopping this past holiday season. There were just too many good deals! But now I need to rein it in and enjoy shopping my existing closet. Enter: Pinterest.

If someone asked me to list a few of my favorite hobbies, Pinterest browsing would be near the top. I’m not sure Pinterest should be considered a hobby, but with the amount of time I spend on it, I have to call it a hobby otherwise I’ll look really lazy.

Because I love shopping, I love browsing the Womens Fashion Pinterest feed. I normally find looks that would look horrific on me, but sometimes I’ll find things that would work for my figure and even contain items I already own. Yet I’ve never spent much time recreating my pins with my wardrobe. Which makes no sense. I don’t overly enjoy cooking, but I’ve made tons of recipes I’ve pinned. You’d think that since I love clothes, recreating Pinterest looks would be the first thing I’d do.

But I don’t. Until now.

Here’s my first round of inspiration.

shopping my closet with Pinterest | whatlindseylikes

What I liked about this pin was its simplicity — black and white, seems easy enough. The jacket also reminded me of a lightweight jacket I had found at Forever 21 after Christmas. While it’s not an exact match for the Pinterest image, it’s close enough for me! I wish I could link you to the original source for the Pinterest pic, but the link takes me to Nordstrom, so I’m assuming the jacket is from Nordstrom… Sorry, I’m not much help. The Pinterest photo model is wearing what looks like a white sweater under her coat. Because my jacket is slightly on the dressy side, I opted for a lightweight chiffon top instead. The model’s scarf looks more texturized than mine is…but mine works. I have a thinner black scarf that I considered layering along with the one I’m wearing to try to match the photo a little more, but then I got lazy. Story of my life!

The model in the Pinterest image looks to be wearing black skinnies. I paired mine with a pair of faux leather leggings that I recently remembered I owned. Depending on the day and my level of confidence in my thighs, I’ll either say these were the best clearance purchase from Target ever or the absolute worst. Feel free to judge me. (Note: New haircut preview!)

shopping my closet with Pinterest | whatlindseylikes

One hard thing about this challenge is that a majority of the images I see on Pinterest are women whose bodies are perfectly proportioned. Since yesterday was a good day for light, I actually photographed quite a few Pinterest outfits. When I visualize the outfit on me in my head, I’m thinking it will look awesome. Then when I see it on my camera, I’m totally confused, “Yikes! Is that what I really look like in those pants?!” And then when I have to compare it, side by side, with the model from Pinterest, it’s a whole other thing.

Either way, perfect-Pinterest-model anxiety aside, I’m hoping that this challenge will help me create new looks with stuff I already own, plus help me save some money.

What I’m Doing: Getting My Hair Cut

Pinterest images of wavy bob hairstyles have finally worn me down. I’m chopping my hair! I’ve had long hair for a couple years now, but I’m no stranger to shorter hair. I go back and forth every few years, so I think it’s time for change. Here I am shortly after my last chop in 2012. Super grainy pictures…but that’s what happens when you have to pull photos from Facebook!

whatlindseylikes

My goal was to wait until February, for no logical reason, but I just can’t take it. There are SO. MANY. PICTURES. on Pinterest. Here are my pin-spiration photos:

wavy bob pinspiration | whatlindseylikesImages 1, 2, 3

wavy bob | whatlindseylikes

Image 1, 2, 3

My appointment is on Saturday — I’ll try to post pics on Saturday night (let’s be honest, I’m not that ambitious — this is a lazy-girl-lifestyle-blog, after all) or Sunday with pics. I’ve been watching these tutorials (1, 2) and reading these articles (1, 2) for styling tips and recommended products. I’m planning to buy Not Your Mother’s Whip It Up Mousse immediately after my haircut on Saturday (thanks to the perfectly timed 20% coupon from Ulta). I’m pretty confident I’ll be reading as many other articles as possible in case I decide to buy any other products. Let me know if you have any recommendations!

What I Bought: Canon EOS Rebel T5i DSLR Camera

Buying electronics can be super exciting and incredibly depressing all at the same time. It’s exciting because you think you’ll have this new, fun technology that will improve your life in some way. It’s depressing because you quickly learn that the budget you have set – which you consider a big investment – is actually not enough to buy all the awesome features you expected. I went through this experience when I bought my last laptop. I thought laptop technology had changed so drastically that I’d be able to get a pretty decent machine for dirt cheap. I was very, very wrong.

I started looking at digital SLR (single-lens reflex) cameras before I even considered buying one. I just wanted to know what my favorite bloggers were using and approximately how much they spent on those cameras. I discovered that most of my favorites were using pretty professional-level cameras. Which makes sense considering how much income those blogs bring in.

I knew I wasn’t ready for a camera of that magnitude. More importantly, I couldn’t afford a price tag of that magnitude.

While all my favorite bloggers were using mega expensive cameras, they also recommended entry-level cameras for beginners. Although I wasn’t really looking for a camera at the time, it definitely helped to set a realistic sense of what the numbers would be. It also helped me determine what kinds of cameras and lenses are good for different types of photos. Food bloggers love one lens, travel bloggers love another. (Although I will say that almost everyone recommended a 50mm lens, for one thing or another with their blogs.)

Since most of my photos would be of my outfits, food I’ve made from Pinterest recipes or other small things I could get up close to, I didn’t need to worry about lenses that were great for maximum zooming.

But before I could get too caught up in what lenses to buy, I needed to figure out which brand to buy. All of my favorite bloggers were using Nikons and Canons. I chose to go with Canon, only because I had used two other Canon cameras (an SLR and a digital point and shoot) in the past and really loved both of them.

I found the Canon that most of my fave bloggers had recommended for entry-level photographers, and then looked at the other models that were just above and just below it. I selected four cameras that I thought met my needs and were close to within my price range (some were under, some were over). My top four, in no particular order: Canon T3i, Canon T5, Canon T5i and Canon SL1.

That’s when I started my hardcore research. Google is amazing. I would type “Canon T5 v. Canon T3i” and get tons of articles that either directly compared those two cameras, or at least offered reviews on one or both of those cameras. I did that for all of the cameras to learn each of their pros and cons, and how important certain specs were to me. Some of my favorite websites were Which Camera Should I Buy?, 2 Camera Guys, Imaging Resource and Smashing Camera.

I’m basically a photography novice. Wait, there’s no “basically” about it — I am a full-on photography novice. It was so helpful reading reviews and doing all sorts of Google searches to figure out what things meant.

I also highly recommend going into a store so you can look at the cameras, pick them up and play with them. I had a really good experience at the Best Buy – Mall of America store the two times I went in. One guy spent an absurd amount of time helping me understand as many of the features he could get my tiny brain to comprehend, while another woman asked me lots of questions about my blog to help me think about which specs were mega important and which ones didn’t matter. Through that discussion, I realized that one non-negotiable was an articulating screen. The articulating/tilting screen allows you to bring the screen away from the camera and position it so that if you happen to be in front of the camera (like all of my outfit posts would require), you would be able to see where in the frame you show up. This means I’d know if I was cutting off my head or my feet, and how much of my background was getting in the way of my shot.

Unfortunately the T5 and the SL1 didn’t have the articulating screen, so they were eliminated.

The remaining cameras, the T5i and the T3i, weren’t too different. The T5i is a newer camera, so it had newer technology, which helps. And it had a touch screen. But it was also more expensive.

Since I was planning to purchase really close to the holidays, I checked the Black Friday ads religiously. The T3i was part of a really good bundle on Black Friday at Best Buy, so originally that was the route I was going to take…and then, the week of Black Friday (the Sunday through Wednesday right before Thanksgiving), Best Buy had an even more awesome deal for the T5i…so that’s what I bought!

Canon EOS Rebel T5i | whatlindseylikes

Canon T5i – from Canon USA

It was more expensive, but not by much. Both promotions were package deals, meaning I’d get the camera body, two lenses, a camera bag and a memory card for one bundled price. The two lenses that came with the T5i bundle were better quality lenses. The biggest difference was “image stabilization” – which basically means that even though I am shaky and can never hold still when I hold a camera to take a photo, this lens will adjust for that and make me look like I can hold it together.

Also, I’m incredibly impatient, so I was super excited to learn that I could buy the T5i right away instead of waiting for Black Friday and hoping that no one else bought it before I could get to the store. I was so happy to walk out of the store that day (a Sunday — as soon as I saw the ad for that week, I basically went directly to the store and bought the camera immediately), go home and start playing with my new toy.

I’ve had the camera for a couple months now and I LOVE it. It’s been so much fun learning how different settings can totally change the look of a photo. I’ve read SO MANY ARTICLES with awesome tips. I’ll share my favorite articles and websites in another post.

And because half the fun of buying electronics is buying accessories, I’ll share the extra items I’ve purchased to go along with my camera.

What I’ve Been Doing: Streaming

I’m sorry. I have a really good reason for why I haven’t written in an entire week. It’s called World War I. I’ve been doing tons of research on it lately because I realized I didn’t remember anything I might have learned about it in junior high or high school.

“So, Lindsey, you’ve been researching WW1 for an entire week? Wow, that sounds impressive,” you might be thinking.

It does sound impressive, doesn’t it? Unfortunately it’s not quite the truth. I have been researching WW1, but only in the last couple days. And the reason is actually pretty embarrassing.

It’s called Downton Abbey.

I realize I’m like four years late to the party. But the show is. so. good.

I signed up for Amazon Prime a few months ago so that I could order lots of stuff I don’t need and have it shipped to me crazy-fast for free. I knew the membership meant I had access to Amazon’s streaming service, but I just never used it…until last week. Dan was at a bachelor party so I had time to kill. And kill time I did. I finally looked into Amazon’s streaming service, found Downton Abbey. Two seasons later, I have accomplished nothing else during my time at home. I haven’t done laundry. I haven’t written in this blog. I haven’t gone grocery shopping. I haven’t made any meals.

I’m running out of clean clothes and Dan is starting to starve.

Because I’m so obsessed with the show, and season two takes place during WW1, I had to research some of the major points of the war so I knew how long it would be before Matthew was out of the military and he and Mary could figure their crap out and get together.

The madness has to stop. I need clean clothes to wear to work on Monday, and Dan needs food in order to function.

I’ll get back to regular blogging next week.

What I Have: Closet Misfits

I have a confession: Basically every time I say that I’m going to stop buying clothes, I don’t. When I say I’m going to stop buying clothes, what I actually mean is that I want to stop buying clothes and I want you to think I’m being super responsible by stopping the madness.

Last summer, I tried to limit myself to spending only what I had available in Old Navy rewards certificates. But then there would be a really good sale and I had no rewards certificates, so I decided that since I was spending so little, it was OK. That’s fine if it only happened once or twice…but it happened many more times than that. I remember having a phone chat with my best friend, and I was telling her about this amazing deal on dresses from Old Navy. When she asked how many I bought, I quickly calculated it in my head and it was like 12 or 15 dresses. That’s ridiculous!!! I ended up returning seven dresses, but still! Seriously, how could anyone possibly need to buy that many dresses?! (In my defense, they were only about $3-7 each — how was I supposed to resist a $3 dress?! And I knew I wasn’t going to keep all of them, but I bought several of the same color in different styles so I could figure out which style was best for me. OK, I’m done with my excuses now.)

Then the holidays came. Typically all rules about spending are ignored for the months of October through December.

Now that it’s a new year and I’m thinking about what I hope to accomplish financially in 2015, it’s time to set shopping goals again. I have a lot of clothes, but quite a few items are things that I never wear. I call them my closet misfits. I’m in the process of sorting through them to determine if they are truly horrible for me and therefore need to be donated, or if they are salvageable when paired with the right pieces.

First up is this striped sweater from The Limited.

limited striped sweater | whatlindseylikes.com

The Limited and I have a mostly negative history. I went through a phase where I bought LOTS of clothes from there, and realized after wearing each item once or twice that they didn’t really fit the way I wanted them to (or the way I remembered them in the dressing room). Somehow every shirt appeared to be the right length in the store, but after I’ve cut the tags off at home, I realize right away that it’s nowhere near the length I wanted.

limited striped sweater | whatlindseylikes.com

Does this sweater look absolutely horrific? No. But I really, really dislike the proportion of my hips/thighs with the rest of my body (yay for pears). So the place that this sweater hits bothers me. Maybe you think I’m delusional. You’re totally allowed to feel that way. Maybe a year from now I’ll be super proud of that particular part of my body and will think this sweater looks amazing. But that day is not today.

limited striped sweater | whatlindseylikes.com

One solution would be to add a longer top underneath. I have quite a few button-downs that are slightly longer in length, but the way the bottom of this sweater is sewn, the button-down would need to be considerably longer. My shorter button-downs would just get too bunched up with the way this sweater hits.

Luckily I have this light blue chambray button-down tunic from J. Crew that I bought a few years ago. I have a feeling this tunic will be in heavy rotation with the other closet misfits.

limited striped sweater, j crew chambray tunic | whatlindseylikes.com

I’m really happy with the way the tunic helps the sweater. The tunic is a super neutral color, so it doesn’t compete with the stripes at all. The length of the tunic will allow it to rise up a little if the sweater is pulling at it, but it’ll still be long enough to be more flattering for my shape (at least what I consider to be more flattering).

limited striped sweater, j crew chambray tunic | whatlindseylikes.com

I think I’ve saved this shirt from the donation pile (sorry, Goodwill). I’m wearing it here with black straight leg jeans from Loft, but it would easily work with black dress pants or blue jeans.