Thursday, March 28, 2013

My Disappointing Modcloth Stylish Surprise: Review & Reveal

Every so often, Modcloth comes out with a "Stylish Surprise": you give them your size, fork over $15, and they send you an article of clothing that retails for $30-$120 dollars. I wanted to reward myself for surviving my awful midterms, so I decided to get myself a mystery "present".

Opening the 2013 Modcloth Stylish Surprise box to find a dress

I was really excited when I opened the box, to be honest. It felt like Christmas, except that I had basically bought the Modcloth stylish surprise for myself. (Oh god, I'm like that woman that sends roses to her office on Valentine's Day to make it look like she has a secret admirer.)

Modcloth Stylish Surprise 2013: review of the mystery grab box for $15

My first impression of the dress was "Wow, it's a great color!" Blue/teal has always looked good on me, and I wear dresses a lot, so Modcloth definitely seemed to be on my wavelength with this "stylish surprise".

But then I actually tried on the dress.

2013 Modcloth Stylish Surprise mystery grab box review: teal dress

Not only is the dress made out of viscose (I hate viscose; it looks really cheap, wrinkles, and looks old after one wash), but the dress fits like a potato sack. In the picture above, it looks like I gained 10 pounds. And it felt like I was wearing maternity clothing!

What I got from the Modcloth Stylish Surprise: after review, I would not recommend

In the end, I had to cover it up with a trench and wear some heeled sandals to make me feel more balanced. That's when I noticed that the dress was too short to wear under a trench coat. Now it looked like I was wearing nothing underneath a jacket, like one of those perverts that opens their jacket to flash everyone.

I decided that I liked the touches I had added to the outfit---my floral headband, my coat---better than the actual dress itself. And if I have to cover up the dress to make it look presentable, that's a problem.

Overall Score of the Modcloth "Stylish Surprise":
Quality: 1/5
Fit: 2/5
Color: 5/5
Verdict: Would not recommend

Everyone's "stylish surprise" is a different item, and I know some girls got great coats and shirts, but I personally was not very satisfied with my blind bag item. Next time, I'll be sure to spend money on a Modcloth item that I love, instead of trying out a mystery item. Because let's be real: they probably do these stylish surprises to get rid of inventory and items that no one wanted in the first place.

Here are some other options for a teal dress:

Teal and Coral

Have you ever been burned by a mystery grab bag promotion?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Weekly Procrastination 3/26/13

Today, I'm starting a new weekly column on this blog called "Weekly Procrastination". I'm really bad about starting essays on time, and I'll spend hours procrastinating on assignments while I explore the corners of the internet. I thought I might as well share what I find so that you guys can have a laugh or use this post as a study break!

  • Must-have product: I would be craving some serious sushi if I saw this car in front of me in traffic. Where can I get this sushi roll tire cover?

  • Have you ever played an online game just to burn some time, but ended up getting really into it? My boyfriend started playing a simple online game called "Fishy Game" and he ended up beating the whole thing, after about 2 hours. Here are some of the hilarious screenshots of the game.

You start off as a little fish and you have to eat your way up the food chain. As you eat more fish, you get bigger. And this is what happens when you finish the game:

I thought the ending was hilarious, especially how big the fish gets. Too bad that I always die before I get to the end of the game!

  • Mind-blowing fact of the week: Did you know that the small pocket in your jeans was designed to fit a pocket watch? I was always annoyed that such a useless pocket existed on my jeans!

  • Crave of the week: I'm loving these polka dot Keds sneakers---not only are Keds usually super comfortable, but the print is perfect for spring.
  • Why did I instagram a picture of my yogurt yesterday? Because it's literally the best I've ever had! It tastes so rich and creamy, almost like more Yoplait for me, it's Noosa yogurt all the way now!

  • And lastly, this holographic DIY clutch is super simple and super quick. I'm thinking about making one--holographic and silver accessories are really in this spring!

Did you enjoy this post? Or am I just enabling your procrastination habit? Let me know below!

Monday, March 25, 2013

I Survived!

After a hectic week of tests, performances, essays, and interviews, all I wanted to do this weekend was lay in the grass at Hermann park and enjoy the sunny spring weather. Thank you all so much for your encouragement on my last post; last week was truly the busiest week of of my student career, and I'm glad it's over!

You know what else is over? Winter! At least here in Houston. That's why I wore this outfit: it's everything "spring-y" thrown together! Chambray! Denim vest! Sandals! Not only does the white flower pattern on the front and sides of this chambray dress match the flowers in the grass, but this chambray is the perfect lightweight material for picnics and 70 degree weather.

The denim vest you see above used to be a denim jacket, but it was getting too small so I ripped off the sleeves and enlarged the openings. Actually, while I was cutting the sleeves off, I remember looking over at my roommate and noticing that she was also sewing something. We are so domestic!

For those transitional days, I can't think of a better combination than a chambray dress and a sturdy denim vest. I know some of you live up north and are still experiencing cold winds, but don't be too jealous: while you have a whole season of spring to look forward to, Houston only gets spring weather for about two weeks. You'll see me sweating next week in shorts and a tank top, I'm sure.

{Chambray dress: Polka dot version on sale for $29.50 // White denim vest for $19.80 // Nude strap sandals, for only $20 // Red crossbody bag (thrifted), cute version here for $25---has polka dots, bows and everything! // "LOVE" bracelet // Pearl swirl bracelet ($7.80) }

Think warm thoughts,

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Swinging '20's: Gatsby's Costume Party

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Did you ever read The Great Gatsby in high school? That book is so ingrained in my mind that I can picture the parties as though I had been there. I could just daydream on and on about the decadent dresses, the cars---and of course, the "blue gardens" where "men and girls came and went, like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars."

This weekend, the architecture students at Rice (some of the most Jay Gatsby-ish students on campus) (they always dress so well and look so cool)---put on a 1920's swing costume ball party for the rest of us. Of course, I jumped at the chance to dress up and pretend that I was attending one of Gatsby's glitzy and glamourous parties.

There was only one problem. I didn't know how to swing dance.

Well, my friend Tim and I decided to remedy that problem by teaching ourselves how to swing dance so we wouldn't embarrass ourselves at the party. Several Youtube tutorials, a lot of frustration, and four hours later, we had the basic steps down and we were ready to attend the bash. And what a bash it was!

This was definitely one of the most unusual parties that I've been to in a while: the music chosen was a mix of electro and swing, and there were light shows and even the DJ had on a vest and a boater hat. Turns out that Tim and I didn't have to worry about our dance steps: the upbeat music was more techno than 1920's swing, and you could do whatever dance steps you wanted!

About my look: To imitate the 1920's flapper look, I painstakingly pin-curled my hair (took me over an hour, and I have short hair!) Women in the 1920's seem to be fond of their hairpieces, so I MacGyver'ed a three-tiered pearl necklace as a hairband.

Of course, no 1920's flapper costume look would be complete without a dropwaist dress, and I had one on hand from Zara. A real flapper imitator would add some sequins and feathers to the ensemble, but this is a Rice party, and I didn't want to lose any feathers while I was twirling.

I wore low white heels, mainly because I'd be dancing all night, but also because fashionistas in the '20's weren't into high stilettos yet. This turned out to be the best decision of the night, because Rice guys are surprisingly good ballroom/swing dancers. I was twirled around and dipped and throw backward so much that my head started spinning. My dance partners were impressive!

The other Rice students also exceeded my expectations: most of them had heeded the costume call and dressed up in their sharpest suits, tallest hats, and headdresses. For a second, as I was on the dance floor, doing some variant of the swing step (which might have looked like the funky chicken for all I know), I felt that at any moment, I could look up and see Gatsby smiling at me......

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Designer Handbag Dupes

similar valentino, celine, michael kors and chanel bags for less

{ Image Source (Celine bag)Image Souce (Chanel backpack)Image Source (Valentino bag)Image Source (Michael Kors) }

cheaper dupes versions of valentino, celine trapeze, chanel, and michael kors bags
 From top, clockwise: 

Whenever I'm in need of a new handbag, I usually look to the runways and street style blogs for inspiration. Usually, I want something different from the typical Longchamp and Coach bags being carried by my fellow college girls (not that there's anything wrong with their style). Unfortunately, unique bags usually come with a steep price tag as well.

You know how makeup blogs often show you "dupes" for expensive products? Well, here are my "dupes" for expensive designer bags. If you're like me, and you want a unique silhouette for less, I've rounded up the bags most similar to the Valentino rockstud and Celine trapeze bags seen on your street style stars.

Of course, you're free to debate whether these bags become less unique if we are all carrying the same ones...but while you're doing so, I'll be ordering the JCPenney trapeze bag above, the sister to the coveted Celine trapeze. Come to me, baby!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

DIY Tiered Jewelry Stand + Tray

DIY two tiered cake stand for storing jewelry

Lately, I've been very interested in cake stands. Not because I bake often, but because I wanted to use one to display my jewelry! For instance, isn't this blue-and-white china stand just adorable?

diy your own cake stand and two tier jewelry holder

If you think about it, cake stands and cupcake stands are the perfect way to show off your baubles: they provide a double layer of space, and free up your jewelry counter. Plus, the elevated tiers make it easy to see your "shinies".

If you know anything about me, you know that I love to craft what I can't afford, so here's my super easy (and almost free) version of the two tiered jewelry cake stand!

How to DIY a tier jewelry stand

Yep, these are Fererro Rocher boxes. My family loves the chocolates, and we go through at least four boxes a year. I've always kept these boxes because I love their sturdiness, and the beveled tops. Pretty fancy for a plastic box, huh?

DIY cake jewelry stand with tiers

To glue your stand together, apply super glue around the bottom edge of the candleholder and firmly press the lower plastic tier to the glue for 30 seconds. Then, apply glue to the top of the candlestick and center the top tier on the candlestick. Let your jewelry stand dry overnight (and don't put anything on it yet).

(Note: You can glue the candlestick right side up, or like I did, upside down. My reason for doing so is because I didn't like the bulky base of the candlestick taking up so much of the storage room on the bottom tier. You can hardly tell that it's upside down once you add accessories.)

How to store jewelry on a DIY cake stand

And now you're done! Wow, this DIY was only one step long! *bows. There you have it, the easiest (and most eco-friendly) two tiered cake stand/jewelry organizer. Any old candlestick holder or plastic tray will work. And now you have my permission to buy some fancy chocolates (so you can use the boxes, of course).

Extra Credit:
I thought of this after my DIY, but instead of using candlestick holders, you can use a glass cup or a round container. Before gluing the top tier to the cup rim, fill the cup with pebbles, seashells, or small decorative marbles, to add a special touch to the supporting pillar of your cake stand.

If you don't have the materials to make your own DIY tiered jewelry stand, don't fret! I found some cool cake stand options for you to peruse at your pleasure.

1: Roseanna Cake Stand // 2: Wedgwood Set from Macy's // 3: The Cellar Stand

I hope you enjoyed this DIY!

Monday, March 4, 2013

San Antonio Photo Diary

For spring break, I didn't go anywhere fancy or exotic. Instead, I took a road trip to historic San Antonio, and there was so much to do that I wish I had stayed longer! My boyfriend and I are the type of people who like to poke around historic sites and parks, so the rich history and culture of the Riverwalk was more than enough for us.