Archive | October, 2012

Upcycling Sweaters

31 Oct

At the beginning of every fall/winter season, when you pull out your warm clothing, you’re likely to run across a sweater or two that either has holes, no longer fits or works for your style, or you look at and say, “What was I thinking when I bought this??”.   So we’re going to talk about what options you’ve got for re-using these items of clothing.

First, there’s the option of giving it away.  This is the one I often exercise when I run across those sweaters that are still wearable but just don’t work for me anymore, for whatever reason that may be.

There’s also consignment.  If that sweater is still in great shape, and it’s a brand for which other people would willingly overlook a few previous wearings, then by all means… consign away! It’s certainly a good way to recycle, and to alleviate some of that guilt you feel when you look at that sweater and realize it’s just no longer going to work for you. A little cash back always helps, too.

If that sweater has a hole, so donation or consignment aren’t realistic – or you’ve got the urge to do something creative – you’ve still got lots of options. So check out the possibilities, be inspired, and have fun with your upcycling!

Decorative candle covers – no sewing required!  Who knew that fabric and flame could mix so well?

Photo from dailydanny blog: http://www.dailydanny.com/?p=2503

Another nice idea: a cuff for your coffee.  WAY cuter & more environmentally-friendly than cardboard.  Personally, I think you can cut off a reasonable chunk of arm, slip it over your cup, and it’s still cute as heck.  If you want to get really creative, sew (or just hot-glue) on something decorative, like a button or other token.  But if you’d like to create something that’s more likely to last, here’s a nice, simple tutorial.  It will even tell you how to felt wool to make it more durable.

http://www.newgreenmama.com/2010/10/felted-wool-sweater-coffee-cozy.html

Photo from http://www.newgreenmama.com

A really lovely idea I’m seeing all over the place is to use the sweater to cover a throw pillow.  Very cozy, and perfect for cold weather.  Here’s a post from another blog on the process.  Minimal sewing skills are required for this one, too.   No machine is even necessary if you use a simple whip-stitch.  http://www.centsationalgirl.com/2011/11/sweater-pillows/.

Photo from http://www.centsationalgirl.com

(For those that aren’t familiar with whip-stitch, take heart – it’s super-simple, and looks like this):

Photo from http://www.holiday-crafts-and-creations.com

There are literally thousands more sources of inspiration online, so just do a Google search for “upcycled sweater” and prepare to be delightfully overwhelmed by the possible projects!  And for those of you who can’t sew a stitch – or have no interest in getting crafty – you can do that same search, and just purchase some beautiful items from someone else who’s already done the upcycling for you.

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Made in the USA Celebrity Styles – Jennifer Garner

26 Oct

Jennifer Garner has a very accessible style.   Her aura seems to be very natural.  I chose this look from Jennifer because it seems like a perfect fit for holiday parties, going on a date, out to movies with just a little bit of bling.

I added some options as I think this outfit would be great with flats, or heels depending on the occasion.

Take a look:

So here are the details for the Made in the USA items:

Essie – Really Red Made in the USA 😉 bonus! @ Beauty.com

Boots, flats, and heels from Piperlime  – not made in the USA ;-( but, we’ll keep looking!

TIP: Like these items, wanna buy now?? If you sign up to receive the MiUS newsletter you get a discount code for 10% off and free shipping on orders over $100.  Here is a link to subscribe:  http://eepurl.com/qCtlb

The Bullet Blues and MiUS photo shoot

25 Oct

The Bullet Blues and MiUS photo shoot.

Remember when Gabby looked like this?

25 Oct

OK, you might not want to admit that you watched Desperate Housewives.  For me…I totally admit that I watched it in the beginning.  Hell, I even dvr’d (that might be my own word) it. Then they did that stupid fast forward five years and the show started to get corny. Well…maybe the show was never very realistic but it got to the point in the series where you didn’t admit to watching it anymore.  Or if you got drawn into an episode, you quickly changed the channel when your husband (or significant other) walked in the room so you didn’t have to suffer the embarrassment of being caught watching something so stupid.  Or maybe that was just me?

The show did have some realistic parts.  Call me a desperate housewife if you will…but my friend/neighbor, Tina, and I have had coffee together in the mornings.  We have even stood outside with our coffee and “chatted” about other neighbors.  And while I didn’t look quite like Terry Hatcher when her towel fell off outside, I have walked my garbage to the curb in my pajamas (they are pretty sexy…an old work tshirt and owl PJ pants).  Anyway, as moms…weather you work in or out of the home…we have all been caught looking like Gabby after she had kids.

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I mean to me…add a bobby pin and a necklace and she is damn near dressed up!  At least that’s a phase I went thru at times with three kids all under 3.5 years.  But lately I have wanted to look more put together.  More like I made an effort…at least most days.  So I want to do a series of fun, comfortable, affordable, Made in the USA  (of course) outfits that we can throw on as quickly as Gabby’s outfit above but still look like we made an effort.  Or in my case like I have all my “stuff” (are you allowed to say bad words on a blog?) together.

Here is where you come in…we need a title for this series.  Ready to enter a contest?  Two things must be accomplished to enter.  Go to our collection and pick your favorite item under $50.  Come back to the blog and leave a comment.  In the comment tell us what you think the title of this series should be, and what your favorite MiUS item is.  We will pick a winner and you will receive a $10 gift card for your MiUS purchase AND free shipping!

Incidentally when searching for pics on line I found this picture of “frumpy mom Gabby”

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Is it wrong to me if she added a necklace and a ring I think she would look fine? Hmmm I might need fashion police!
OK…enter our contest so we can get this show rolling 🙂

What I Wore this Week

24 Oct

So, MiUS Collection’s blog manager, Carrie, challenged me to do weekly posts featuring outfits I wore throughout the week and this is our first post.  I have to admit it has been a quite a challenge, so pardon the rough pictures.  It was like pulling teeth to get my husband to take a picture of me any day.  I was able to coerce him to do it twice this past week.  But as you will see, I will have to determine a better way to get this assignment done 😉 LOL

Here is what I got 🙂

The outfit on the left, I wore on Sunday.   We pretty much lounged around the house and I ran some errands.   The top, scarf, and jeans are available at MiUS Collection.

The outfit on the right, I wore on Saturday.  I got new boots and I couldn’t wait to wear them!  In this outfit the skinny jeans, jewelry, and handbag are available at MiUS Collection.

I’ll provide the link to the items:

Black Tee with plaid sleeves – SUPER COMFY and soft! http://www.miuscollection.com/Multi-Fabric-Tee-Black_p_121.html

Black infinite Scarf, it has so many uses.  I love it! http://www.miuscollection.com/Black-Snood–Infinite-Scarf–Shawl–Hood-_p_143.html

Just USA Dark Denim Skinnies …so many uses for this style! http://www.miuscollection.com/Just-USA-Skinny-Jeans–Olive_p_49.html

OH…here’s a tip 😉 if you subscribe for the MiUS newsletter… you get a coupon for 10% off your purchase.  NICE!  Click here to join: http://eepurl.com/qCtlb

Things I love right now…

22 Oct

Fall. I love the colors and the weather. I love that it’s a time to clean up and get ready for a cozy winter ahead.

These little ones.  But I don’t just love them…they get lots and lots of love…and they love each other.

My three year old riding her bike with out training wheels.  I REALLY like that all it took was a little push and she was off!

A family photo shoot.

Highlighting one of my favorite M.i.U.S. items. This scarf is a must have for fall (And winter. And spring.) Super soft and made out of recycled t-shirts! Each one is unique…and affordable.  I think it would of looked great in my family photo shoot.  I am going to buy one now…

Want one of your own? Check out the collection here  For the next 24 hours you can get 10% off all M.i.U.S. scarves…plus free shipping on your scarf order…plus a free reUSAble bag.
Use code Lovescarves  at checkout!

Aside

There’s a Made in the USA Curvy Plus Line @ MiUS Collection

22 Oct

Our boutique launched on September 30, 2012.  www.miuscollection.com solely stocks American made women’s clothing, and our initial target included sizes 0 -14, but after our launch, well…we got quite a few (we really mean A LOT) of comments asking us to carry Curvy Plus sizes, after all many commented, “the average American woman is size 12!” Understanding that fact, I started searching for curvy USA made clothing.  OK…I have to be real –

Do you understand the task you gave me!?!?!?

It is hard enough to find Made in the USA clothing, and on top of that CUTE, boutique style women’s clothing, and NOW you all are asking me to add Curvy style clothing! I really thought IMPOSSIBLE….BUT…I guess, as the saying goes, impossible starts with “I’m possible!”

After months of researching, MiUS Collection is launching its first Curvy style pieces!!! LOVE them!  These are versatile and trendy and ooh so chic…and don’t forget Made in the United States ladies!!!

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Take a look at the rest of the collection here.

Don’t forget to share the good news with your friends that love USA made clothing!!  ;_)

Aside

Made in the USA Celebrity Styles!

19 Oct

I am a big fan of Jennifer Aniston’s style.  I find it fresh, classic with a hint of modern.  I love that she wears clothing that fit the American lifestyle and are wearable for us, the regular folk 🙂

So in today’s post, we are redoing one of Jennifer’s outfits into a complete Made in the USA style.

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If you like this styling…you are in luck!  This weekend MiUS Collection is running a sale on our entire inventory.  Take 10% off when you use code VoteUSA.    Plus Free shipping on all orders over $100.

Halloween Party Time

18 Oct

I married into a large family.  Well to me it is large.  My husband is the youngest of three boys.  Now some of you are laughing because this likely isn’t considered “large” -but I grew up as an only child most of my life.  I only lived with my sister for (almost) 4 years.  Yup…that story is for another time.  Anyway, my husband’s family grew by eight kids in the last nine years.  Now that is a really big family to me.  His middle brother and family live out-of-town and we are lucky that they drive in to see the rest of us as close to monthly as possible.

About four years ago we started a fall tradition.  When everyone was in town together we would go to a pumpkin patch and then have a costume/Halloween party that same weekend.  This is held at my sister- in- law’s house (because, God bless her, a crafty mess created by 8 kiddos doesn’t bother her).  This year we didn’t get to do the pumpkin patch because of the weather…but it was still some good old fashion Halloween fun!  Warning…lots of photos!

This is my food allergy kid.  You can tell because chips and salsa seem to excite her to no end.

 

Some festive décor, and some funny kids showing off their Halloween shirts.

 

Some more festive décor…sister- in- law is creative no?

 

We have done a few (age appropriate) crafts over the years.  Tie-dying was a fun one (thankfully it was nice enough to do outside).  This year it was pumpkin decorating…inside…in the kitchen…did I mention there are 8 kids doing this?  Yup, God bless her!

The kids were getting a little stir crazy, and because they are all old enough to “play” together now (ok…maybe not my baby but they all love him and include him the best they can) they went outside with a few uncles to play some football.

Oh look…is that a MiUS shirt I see??  Isn’t my husband a ham gem pointing out my MiUS collection clothing?

The pumpkin decorating begins…

My oldest, who is five, is the same age as the youngest cousins in the other two families.   The older cousins have gotten used to, and I think even look forward to, helping out my little ones.

And now it’s time to get into costume.  My middle child refused…luckily we are nice enough to still let her trick or treat.

Look at that cute monkey!  No…I am not biased…

They trick-or-treat in stations…grandma, their two aunts, and I make up the stations.  Here someone is happily showing off her loot!

Pumpkins are done…time for treats and to head home!  Another successful family Halloween party!

Yesterday’s promo is good until midnight! Use code voteusa at checkout for 10% off and a free reUSAble bag! And, as always, free shipping on orders over $100. You too can get that snazzy owl sweater…they are back in stock!
http://www.miuscollection.com

My MiUS Clutch’s Night at the Ball … and a special offer!

17 Oct

On October 13th my husband and I attended the Mayo Society Annual Charity Banquet and Ball as guests of our good friends
(and neighbors).  While the Cleveland area -especially the west side – has a heavy Irish population, this Ball is an event where everyone who attends becomes Irish!  And, as a stay at home mom…how often do I get the chance to dress up in something other than my “going out” jeans?

I hate dress shopping…well since I am no longer princess-looking status after having 3 kids in 3.5 years (OK…maybe I never looked like a princess…but this WAS a BALL so lets pretend…) I hate all shopping. The dressing room and I have a love/hate relationship. I love it because I can hide out; hate it because of the mirrors.  Anyway…I find myself very conscious of looking at labels now so I can buy “Made in the USA” products…but with my price range and “curvy” figure…I struggled and ended up with a dress made oversees. ( mind you…the beautiful dresses as M.I.U.S. were not yet in stock…boo! One if those would of been a top pick)

Sorry for the phone pics (and I have a nerdy android phone…not a cool iPhone) but you get the idea. Here we are all dressed up and ready to go.

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Hmmm see that little black clutch? How about a closer look:

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See it now? A little classy…a little edgy…especially next to my fake diamond bracelet…. That was my Made in the US product.  Here is a closer look:

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I loved this clutch.  While it has end edgy gold chain to use as a shoulder-strap, I used the small leather wristlet strap instead.  It was more than roomy enough to hold a larger compact, a few lipsticks, I.D. and such plus my large Droid razr phone. Oh…and of course breath mints because we DID get to meet the Prime Minister of Ireland, Mr. Enda Kenny.  Mr. Kenny was a motivating and engaging speaker.  He also liked to hug you tight while he had his photo taken with you. No joke. Wish I had a photo to prove it…I am quite sure the internet has one of us floating around somewhere.  Well since I can’t prove that I had a photo take with the Prime Minister…here’s a photo of my friend and I having a fun night out…sans jeans and kids!

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Want to get a clutch of your own? There are more styles to pick from…as well as a ton of other Made in the US products over at the M.I.U.S. Collection.
And for the next 24 hours you can get 10% off plus a free, reUSAble bag. And as always, free shipping on orders over $100!
Use code voteusa at checkout.

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