Category Archives: bootcamp

>The Final Countdown



If I could assign a theme song to this post, it would definitely be this one.

I had grandiose ideas about how I would wrap up this challenge. Maybe I’d bake a cake, or throw a party (not really) or at least celebrate with a little confetti. But desperate times call for desperate measures. Like when you’re desperate to finish your Summer Style Bootcamp {which is nearing three weeks of being overdue} and you realize that your husband — your official blog photographer — is going to a baseball game tonight. Between the raging migraine you had yesterday and no photog today, you’re going to be another two days behind. And you panic.

So you precariously balance your little point-and-shoot camera on the ironing board in the bedroom, stand in the horribly-lit hallway, and smile for the 10-second timer — wearing three looks that you’ve put together throughout bootcamp that never made it on the blog. And you call it a day.

Sorry if this feels like a cop-out for the finale of my bootcamp. But I was starting to lose inspiration, so I imagine that you were starting to lose interest in seeing the same remixes, too. Plus, all of the other clothes in my closet need some serious love and attention after being neglected for the last 6 and a half weeks! I can’t afford therapy for all those dresses, jeans, and blouses.

There are some good things going on, though. Like the new Closet Clean-Out Giveaway that’s up through Friday. And, at the request of a few readers, APP is now on Facebook!

>Casual Friday – Stripes & Statements


Breton Stripe Tee (Beall’s Outlet)
LOFT Necklace
Express Cargos
Style&Co. Peep-Toes
Nine West Belt
Gianni Bini Bag

I don’t know what’s happening with my posture in these photos. I didn’t go to charm school or anything, but this is kind of dreadful. Maybe it’s the heat… I’m literally wilting. 

Happy Friday! Hope you all have fun weekend plans ahead. I’ll be waking up before the sun tomorrow to hawk some of my wares at a community yard sale at my parents’ house. I need funding for all of the cute office supplies I’ve been hoarding stocking up on for the new business!

>Remix Rebound


{Outtake: T-Rex pose?}
Express White Camp Shirt
Simply Vera Vera Wang Belt
LOFT Denim Pencil Skirt
Michael Kors Leopard Wedges
Liz Claiborne Necklace
Ring from La Vita Dolce (local boutique)

This bootcamp challenge has been full of surprises. For one, the things I thought I’d wear over and over (like this white camp shirt) have only made an appearance once or twice, and the pieces that I didn’t think I’d get much mileage from keep making their way into my remixes.

I thought this look was a good rebound from my so-so outfit yesterday. I felt like it had some serious sass with the classic tailored shirt, wide leather belt, and my favorite leopard wedges.

Pssst… I have a secret! I have a major obsession with Michael Kors [that’s not the secret]. If I could dress head-to-toe in one designer, MK would be my man. I’ve had my eye on this watch for the last year, but at $250, it’s a little steep. Last week I was in Wal-Mart to buy a new iron because our old one was leaking rusty water onto all of our clothes {and C did not see this as reasonable excuse to buy a new wardrobe}. I walked by the accessories section and found the one I’m wearing here for $12! I think it’s a pretty reasonable substitute. I’ll snap a photo to compare the two in another post.

>I Got the Blues


{I like this one. It looks like I’m up to no good.}

INC Denim Tunic
Express Denim Editors
Michael Kors Leopard Wedges
Gianni Bini Bag
Nine West Belt

This look is a whole lotta’ denim, friends. Probably more denim than I’ve ever worn at one time, ever. And I’m really not sure how I feel about it. 

I like the idea of long, flowy tunics paired with wide-leg trousers (a la’ Rachel Zoe) but I don’t know if I’m loving the denim-on-denim, Canadian tuxedo thing. I think I would like the denim-on-denim better if it was my favorite skinnies paired with my favorite chambray top. I think I’ll try a do-over when bootcamp ends. Which is in just 5 days!

Don’t forget to enter the first Closet Clean-Out Giveaway!



LOFT dress
Chambray button-up (Beall’s Outlet)
Thrifted belt
Style & Co. wedges
Bracelets (Beall’s Outlet)

I’m in the home stretch! And I’m really feeling the pressure to pull out some good head-to-toe looks and finish this thing with a bang… but I’m also kind of starting to lose my momentum and inspiration. 

Like senioritis when you’re in high school. 

Remember that feeling? You’re so close to graduating [from your Summer Style Bootcamp] and all you can think about are the great things the future holds [and all the new outfits you’re going to put together with the clothes that have waited patiently in your closet for the last 6 weeks]. So you kind of start to fall into the doldrums of the same old assignments [and a 27-item wardrobe] and lose your focus [and forget how to creatively remix].

I’m afraid there’s no cure for senioritis [both the high school and style bootcamp variety] except to tough it out until the end.

Hey 30/30 remixers, how’d you get through the last week?

P.S. Don’t forget to enter the first Closet Clean-Out Giveaway!

>24 down, 7 to go…


Target Tee (first appearance!)
A.N.A. Ankle Skinnies
LOFT Necklace
Madden Girl Flats
Gianni Bini Bag

Kendi gave me a super sweet shout-out in her Remix Round-up today, so if you’re new here, thanks for stopping by! And I hope you’ll come back and visit again :)

In case you were worried about my mathematical skills, if you’ve been reading for a while you know that my Summer Bootcamp was originally only supposed to run through July — 27 pieces, 31 outfits. I got behind and it’s creeped into August, but I’ll finish on #31.
It’s been one of those insanely humid days, and even though I prepped for it with mousse and a lacquering of Elnett {one of my new favorite products} mother nature totally won the battle and left me with a head full of fluff, which was not cute. Even pulled back into a pony, it’s still managing to somehow defy gravity today… which does not make for nice outfit shots. And we snapped them later than usual, after we got home from the movies (Inception — pretty good!)
If anyone has tips for winning the fight against summer humidity hair disasters please share!

>The atomic number of Vanadium (or 23)



Thank you, Wikipedia, for helping me with a title for today’s post. 
Let’s get right to the big stain on my skirt (which you can’t really see in these photos)…
After a lunch meeting, I went to a tasting event to support a friend who is the marketing director for a family-owned citrus juice company. I thought it would be casual and easy peasy, like a tasting panel with some snacks and networking, no big deal. When I got there, there was a camera in the corner, and a man was interviewing people as they tasted the juice. Oh my gawd, I am not good at this stuff, but I wanted to be a good sport for my friend. I’m in marketing. I understand the importance of good marketing research.
Here’s the scene:
I sit down to talk to the interviewer, and a massive light is shining in my face and I get these deer-in-the-headlights, forget-your-name-much-less-how-to-effectively-be-interviewed butterflies. I do a legitimately terrible job answering the first few questions; I’m not speaking loudly enough, I keep looking at the camera when I’m supposed to look at the interviewer… I’m a bumbling, fumbling mess.
Then it’s time to taste three different types of juice and give your honest reaction on film. The last sample is a blood orange juice, kind of similar in color and texture to V8. I take a sip, and suddenly it’s all down my blouse and puddling in my lap. Am I so freaked out and unable to function that I forgot how to drink from a glass? WTH just happened?!
I look at the cup, and there’s a quarter-size hole in it on the side that I just tipped to my lips. I’m literally the last person to be interviewed, and this cup has waited in the stack — through hours of taping — just for me. What luck! I should go to Vegas this weekend.

My immediate reaction: I’m really glad that it’s a faulty cup and not a faulty cup user! They stop the tape and people start handing me wads of napkins and offering Tide To Go pens (when I could really use a whole bottle), and all along in my head I stammer, “b-b-but, this skirt is vintage!”

The interviewer asks me if I want to stop, and I say no, we should at least finish. And a funny thing happens when they give me a new hole-free sample and start rolling the tape. First of all, the blood orange juice is amazing. Like, I’m probably going to pick up a case of this stuff on my next grocery trip. And second, all my butterflies go away. There’s nothing like a little public embarrassment to take the edge off. 
I finished the interview much better than I began. Not great, mind you… CBS probably won’t call me for any broadcast opportunities any time soon, and I’ll be surprised if the company even uses any of my footage. But everyone was incredibly nice and I left with a few bottles of juice, an offer to pay my dry cleaning bill, and a handful of free coupons (which I’ll be using to stock my refrigerator with said blood orange juice).

When life hands you gourmet blood oranges in the form of juice all in your lap and splashed across your Dalena Vintage skirt, make… lemonade? You get the point ;-)



Kristen Davis Silk Bow Tank
Nine West Belt
Style & Co. Wedges
*New favorite lipstick

Today was super productive. So much, in fact, that 2:00pm rolled around and I was still in my jammies glued to my office chair, where I’d been answering emails and working on projects all morning. My doorbell rang, and it was my neighbor dropping something off for C. I answered the door {hesitantly and shamefully} in my robe and PJs. 

I thought I might try to pull off the old, “oh, you caught me as I was just getting dressed and heading out!” But I was un-showered, hair all disastrous, without a stitch of makeup. Clearly I wasn’t going anywhere just then, and it was painfully evident that I was about 6 hours behind on the whole hygiene regimen. I can only imagine what was going through his mind… “kids these days; doesn’t this girl have a job?!”

{Un}fortunately, I did have to clean myself up eventually to go to a political rally and BBQ. So by 3:00 today, I managed to get my s$%t together and ended up looking like this. I was tempted to walk over to the neighbors to “drop something off” (sugar?) and show him that I wasn’t a totally haggard slob all day just three quarters of it. Maybe he saw us taking these photos out front on our way out.

When we were snapping away, C told me he liked my sunnies. I told him they were only $5, and a $5 footlong performance ensued, which he captured a peek of on film.


>21! Let’s Celebrate.


Express Cardigan (sale, $15)
LOFT denim pencil skirt (sale, $25)
NY&Co. skinny snakeskin belt (sale, $10)
Jessica Simpson Platforms
Nine West sunnies (Beall’s Outlet, $10)

Let’s toast to two things: my 21st post in Summer Style Bootcamp, and the fact that I finally have some new sunglasses! Two months ago, I had at least 5 pair of really cute sunnies, and one by one they disappeared or were damaged beyond repair by my negligence (throwing them willy-nilly into my handbag, sitting on them in the car, putting them on top of my head where they almost always take a precarious fall to the floor and then are often stepped on, etc.). My last pair of beloved cheap aviators succumbed to a similar fate last weekend. Moment of silence please…
While I’d really love to have a collection like The Glamourai or Sterling Style, I’m clearly not responsible enough for such fine eyewear. I also can’t get away with no sunnies at all, since I live in the sunshine state and have light eyes that are ridiculously sensitive to the rays. 
So I went to Beall’s Outlet this afternoon and splurged on five pair for $30 — including an aviator replacement. I know I’m not supposed to be shopping, but I feel like sunglasses don’t count. And technically, my shopping bootcamp ended in July. And {Rambles on excuses}

Recreate It:
The items here would all be great staples for fall!
LOFT Drapey Denim Pencil Skirt (I actually like this version better than mine) $49.50
EXPRESS Long Sleeve Rhinestone Button Cardi (a perfect layering piece for fall) $49.50
Jessica Simpson Landen Slingback Pump (on sale at Piperlime!) $59.99

>little miss sunshine


Floral cardigan (thrifted as a twinset)
Alfani Yellow Tank (Macy’s)
INC Shorts (Macy’s)

Apparently when I got dressed this morning, I decided I needed a little color in my life. I did not, however, have enough color on my lips… While my favorite nude pink may look great in real life, it doesn’t translate so well on film. Lesson learned.
Recreate it:
INC Linen Cuffed Shorts (Macy’s, on sale) $19.99
Payless cork wedges (on sale now!) $15.99
Gianni Bini Mia Hobo (on sale now!) $49.50

>a tee/shirt dress


Breton stripe tee (Beall’s Outlet)
Liz Claiborne denim shirt dress
Vintage Liz Claiborne clutch
Jessica Simpson platforms

Holy chicfaced, it’s August! 

I was supposed to be finished with this little bootcamp experiment by the end of July, and I still have a delightful dozen outfits to go. I wish I could pull off mid-day wardrobe changes to speed this thing along, but I’m pretty sure I don’t have the style clout to pull that off.

It’s not that I want bootcamp to end because I haven’t enjoyed it {besides a few snafus between laundry days when I found 20 of my 27 pieces in the hamper}. In fact, as I’ve said before, it’s made my life way simpler. 

I’ve realized that my closet is full of things that are already pretty and I’ve had fun remixing looks while trying to keep things fresh. I don’t even really miss shopping {gasp!}.

I’m just ready to get creative with all the other things in my closet, because if there’s one thing this experiment has taught me, it’s how to work your closet and work with what you’ve got.

This time tomorrow, I’ll be on number 20, and one day closer to wrapping up this challenge. In the meantime, I’ll be stalking Kendi everyday since she’s just a couple of posts ahead of me, soaking up inspiration from her mad remixing skills.

>18 and Legal



Express Camp Shirt
A.N.A. Ankle Skinnies
NY&Co. Grey Skinny Belt
Payless Studded Flats

I ran in to my favorite grocery store late this afternoon to grab dinner. Fried chicken from the deli. An awesome follow-up to the fast food chicken sandwich and fries I picked up for lunch. Terrible. I had my big carry-my-whole-life-with-me work bag, and didn’t want to lug it around inside. I took out my credit card and put it in my pocket, thinking I was so smart to lighten my load.

After picking up all of the necessities, including four pints of Ben and Jerry’s because they were buy-one-get-one, I thought a glass of cabernet sounded like heaven. I picked up a bottle or two and headed to the check-out. That’s when I remembered that I left my ID in the car. And even though I shop at this particular store at least weekly, and I purchase adult beverages nearly every trip, they card me. Every. Time.

At first I thought I’d try to be smooth. Put it at the end of the conveyer belt behind all of the {not} nutritious food, flash the 16-year old cashier my most charming southern smile, and hope he would overlook my lack of identification.

Then I thought honesty is the best policy, and put the two bottles of vino right up front, with the truthful explanation that I left my license in the car but would be more than happy to run out and get it. He certainly won’t expect me to leave this ten-deep line to retrieve my ID. He stared at me blankly, then shook his head… yes, he expected me to run out and get it. Seriously?

Just as I was about to tell him to put the wine aside and I’d come back for it, the man in line behind me said, “I have my ID.” That’s nice. I looked back at him and smiled politely, like I always do when people do/say random things that completely catch me off guard, then he said, “you can use mine.”

Now, it’s been a while since I’ve tried to use a fake ID, but I was pretty sure that I wasn’t going to pull that one off. For a second I was bewildered… is this stranger offering to buy my bottles of wine? Is he going to buy them and then I give him the cash in the parking lot like my friends did in high school? How is this going to work?

He hands the cashier his license. The cashier scans it. And sells me the wine. What?! You have such a stringent ID policy that you were going to make me walk back out to my car before you’d let me out of the store with alcohol, yet you’ll allow a total stranger’s ID as an acceptable substitute? 

That’s a head-scratcher. But my Cupcake cabernet is delicious.

>Romper Room


Grass Jeans Linen Romper (Macy’s sale, $20 or $25)
INC Denim Jacket (Macy’s sale, $50)
Thrifted scarf ($3)

I love rompers, in theory. They’re easy one-piece outfits like dresses, but more versatile because they’re shorts {there are some things you just can’t do in a skirt}.

Sadly, my search for perfect rompers is often a thankless task. When you’re petite and curvy with “junk in your trunk,” most romper styles are the opposite of flattering. I’ve been really drawn to vintage versions (Robyn usually has great ones over at Twitch) because I feel like they were cut for curvier ladies of yore, and have a little more room to move around in.

This particular romper is one of two that I currently own (the other is a black INC silk version that I bought right before bootcamp began and haven’t had an opportunity to wear). This is the first time it’s made it into a bootcamp post, because I kind of forgot it was one of the 27 pieces. As a matter of fact, I think this is the first appearance of the denim jacket, too…

It’s crazy to think that I have such a limited wardrobe for this challenge, and I still haven’t worn several of the pieces I allowed myself. Are there any pieces in your challenge stash that you haven’t used yet?

>short-and-sweet 16


Kristen Davis Silk Bow Tank (Belk sale, $20)
LOFT chinos, cut off
Random Grey Cardigan
Style & Co. Wedges (Macy’s sale)

I’m not really a shorts person. I think the only pairs I currently own were all formerly pants that I hacked into various lengths of cut-offs. I don’t know why, I’ve just never found them comfortable. I’d much rather wear a dress or breezy skirt on a hot summer day. 

There are a few pair out on the market right now that I’m coveting, though. As soon as my shopping ban is lifted, I want these: