Monthly Archives: August 2011

Uninspired Fashion (I Can’t Compete with a Fashionista)

I mentioned previously that I participated in a Little Black Dress (LBD) challenge against my good friend CAG.  I failed to blog about my 2nd challenge with her over the weekend (whoops!) so here’s my quick recap.

She totally kicked my ass both times.  And in looking at her outfits, I never stood a chance!  Her fashion sense is so much sassier than mine.  She informed me, however, that voting is open until Friday.  So – take pity on this tired mom.  Vote for me so I feel just a wee bit sassier.

I was looking in my closet on Saturday morning and noticed my white jeans.  I love these jeans.  They’re skinny jeans that are so cute and summery.  I wore them a lot 2 summers ago.  Last summer I wasn’t able to squeeze my growing belly into them and this summer?  I kind of forgot about them (but was also avoiding most things “white” since I’m prone to staining).

But we’re coming up on the end of summer and I really wanted to bust out these jeans (partly to see if they still fit).

I decided to convert my jersey cotton wrap dress into a top.  I did this with the magic of 8 safety pins (that I meticulously fastened along the hem of the waistband so you wouldn’t see the pins).  This was kind of complicated to do because the wrap dress bottom hem isn’t a straight hem.  The ends sort of arch upward so trying to pin this in a way so that the “top” would look even on the bottom wasn’t easy.

Initially I had paired this with one of my large gray belts.  But I wasn’t 100% happy with the look.  For a summery outfit, it felt so dull.  Don’t get me wrong, I love gray clothing & accessories but I needed a pop of color.

I love the color of this infinity scarf but wasn’t sure how I could wrap this around my waist without adding bulk.  I decided to say f it and went for it.

Jeremy’s opinion?  “I like the belt better.  The scarf just looks like a lot of fabric.”

I didn’t care.  I liked the pop of color but clearly it wasn’t a good look because I lost the challenge… AGAIN!

I even tried to use Annmarie and Petie to get votes.  Sheesh.

Petie was just wondering why I was posing like an idiot. 

Look – a cute baby!  Vote for me, please! 

The whole outfit was pretty much from Old Navy.  Who knew I loved that store so much?  The dress, jeans and shoes all came from Old Navy.  The infinity scarf that I never wear (mostly because I don’t know how to wear a summery scarf) came from Urban Chic.  The baby came from my uterus via my vagina.


Filed under Charm City Kim Rambles, Charm City Kim Shops

The LBD Challenge

As I mentioned previously, my good friend CAG is doing a challenge where she is wearing the same little black dress (LBD) for 100 days in a row (but reinvented so differently that you wouldn’t even know it was the same dress!).   Seriously – you have to go check out her page and her portfolio of outfits.  She managed to turn her LBD into a hooded jacket one day.  I still don’t know how.  She’s a fashion magician.

She’s challenged a few of her friends to a duel where she’ll have her readers (go over to her blog and vote!) choose who reinvented their LBD better.  If she wins, she’ll donate $10 to her charity.  If her oppenent wins, she’ll donate $20.  And because I’m not an a-hole, I’ll also donate.  If I win, I’ll donate $10.  If she wins, I’ll donate $20. 

I warned her that I wouldn’t be much of a challenge though.  I have a few things holding me back when it comes to reinventing an outfit.

  1. My boobs must still be easily accessible.  I’m still nursing and I can’t be dealing with a lot of layers or complicated pinning/draping/tying of fabric just to get my boob out.  This is actually one of the reasons I chose my challenge days against CAG to fall on the weekend.  My work attire stays simple these days.
  2. I can’t wear earrings or necklaces.  I’ve got a very grabby baby (just ask friends that have had their earrings pulled out!) and so for my own safety, I have let go of wearing these basic accessories for awhile.
  3. My hair is always pulled back.  I realize hair doesn’t necessarily go into “reinventing” an outfit but I think that it sort of does.  Hair is another accessory in my opinion.  Because my baby is Grabby McGrabberson, my hair is always pulled back these days.  It makes for some very un-exciting looks.

I also needed to be doing something.  I can’t just reinvent a dress only to sit on my tush at home.  I needed a place to go (that doesn’t include Target… despite how much I love that stupid store).  Today’s plan was to go to the pool.  For anyone that lives in the Baltimore area – you know that my plan fell to crap due to the horrible thunderstorms.  Stupid weather!

So here is my dress of choice (I actually own several black dresses but this is my weekend casual black dress):

It is a jersey cotton wrap dress from Old Navy.  I got it several years ago (I think about 4 years ago?).  It is just a comfortable and easy dress to wear.  It also is known as my flasher dress.  I have flashed many strangers in this dress because when the breeze hits me just right – the front of the skirt blows wide open. 

Here’s me when I normally wear the dress:

Let me break down this look for you:

  • Earrings and necklace – none. 
  • Ring – my wedding band.
  • Hair – pulled back by an elastic headband and a hair clip (hence the wear flippy piece hanging out).
  • Dog – Petie.
  • Boobs – courtesy of breastfeeding.  Can I count cleavage as an accessory?  I’ve never had it before.

I decided to use my dress as a bathing suit cover-up for when I had planned to go to the pool today (stupid weather!).  And this is what I got:

I realize this isn’t that different.  I told you I wasn’t very creative.  But here’s the breakdown:

  • Earrings and necklace – none. 
  • Ring – my wedding band.
  • Hair – scarf that I use to protect my scalp from the sun.  I’m a little crazy about skin cancer.  I wear SPFs that are over 30 and they’re usually the “natural” ones that leave a nice white sheen on my skin (from the zinc).  So I’m a little crazy about my scalp.  This is my beach head scarf.  Hot stuff, I know.  I also am wearing my hair braided to the side.  Annmarie grabbing a braid is much less painful than when she grabs the hair underneath a ponytail or bun.
  • Boobs – my bathing suit.  I purposely tied the dress a little looser so you could see my bathing suit for a pop of color.
  • Bag – my beach bag (that I got for $5 in the Outer Banks 2 years ago).
  • Shoes – Tory Burch!  I got these for $25 (they’re normally $200) because one of the grommets was missing.  I took it to a shoe repair shop and for less than $10, I got the shoe fixed.  Voila!  I usually put these one when I want to look snazzy (as opposed to wearing rubber flip flops).
  • Sunglasses – these are a risky accessory around Annmarie but I can’t go outdoors without my shades.  I got these somewhere in Hampden for $10 and they are my FAVORITE sunglasses.  I’ll probably have a memorial service for them if they ever break.
  • Dress “reinvention” – aside from tying it a little looser, I rolled the sleeves up because I didn’t want a sleeve tan.  This was all before I realized the sun would not be coming out to play today.

And just because…

Look at me!  I’m going to the pool!  Or it looks like I’m being held up by gunpoint.  Take your pick.


Filed under Charm City Kim Rambles

Playing dress up

My fabulous friend, CAG, recently challenged me to a Little Black Dress (LBD) duel.  She has taken on a challenge of wearing the same LBD for 100 days… but styled so differently that you would have NO CLUE that she was wearing the same dress.  And she’s doing this all in the name of charity.

CAG (aka Carmen) is one of my most stylish friends.  I envy her endless collection of shoes and sassy clothes (although she has told me about the difficulties in storing her clothes in her house!).  I definitely don’t have the creativity that she does so when she sent the e-mail with the challenge, I almost hit “delete”.  (sorry you had to find out this way, CAG)

But – Carmen is my friend, the charity that she is supporting is in the name of another one of my friends, so I couldn’t be a jerk.  I just had to warn CAG that it wouldn’t be much of a competition against me.  So not only did I agree to challenge her 1 day, I said I challenge her for 2 days.  I’ll post about today’s LBD reinvention in another post but I wanted to share some “dress up” time I had with Annmarie while I was trying to style my dress.

I’m not sure why I thought it would be a good idea to have Jeremy help me because his suggestion was, “I think you need a sash or something.”.  A what?  He meant scarf.  Sadly – I don’t own a lot of summery scarves but this is what happens when you try to get your husband involved in “dress up”:

Jeremy is so weird

Kim – I think this would make a really good mask if you were trying to rob a bank.”  I guess I could have gone all Lady Gaga on CAG for my LBD reinvention and just worn a scarf on my face like that.

Of course we had to then dress up Annmarie…
Playing dress up

Playing dress up

I just wanted to post this because Annmarie looks very “Brain” from “Pinky and the Brain” in this picture.  Seriously – check out her noggin.

Playing dress up


Filed under Charm City Kim Rambles

Everything is Fine (I’m Still Here!)

I really didn’t intend to go nearly 2 weeks without posting anything especially when my last post was a super serious post on my family. 

Quick update – my dad is a stubborn man who refuses to listen to reason.  He and my mom have repeatedly told me that he merely went to the ER about his hiccups and they’re gone now so everything is a-okay.  I’ve compared this situation to a car.  It is like they’ve taken their car to get an oil change but found out that the engine is on the verge of dying (or perhaps just has a lot of things wrong with it).  Instead of addressing the engine, they just got their oil changed and left.  That is my dad.  (And thank you everyone for your nice comments)


One of the other reasons for the long absence (even though I totally meant to blog during this time) was that we just returned from our first family vacation to the Outer Banks (Duck, NC to be exact).  Jeremy is hyper-paranoid about indicating that we’re out of town on any sort of social network so I just dropped off for a week.

We were a little nervous about traveling with a baby but took comfort in knowing that (1) we weren’t going anywhere that wouldn’t have the essentials if we needed them and (2) Jeremy’s parents were also going so we’d have help if necessary.

The drive down to the Outer Banks is about 6 hours from Baltimore.  I was concerned about the long car ride with an infant but I looked up travel advice on parenting blogs, asked parents I knew and decided that the best plan was to travel at night.  That was we wouldn’t have to worry about frequent stops and it wouldn’t throw off Annmarie’s sleep schedule too badly.  As for OUR sleep schedule?  Meh – we survived.

Overall we had a great time.  I won’t lie – I was a little nervous about vacationing with my in-laws but we really did have a good time.  Annmarie’s cousin was also there (he’s 3.5 years old) and he was really sweet with Annmarie.  I never understood families that all vacationed together (even though I’ve had a blast vacationing with one of my friend’s families to the Outer Banks… and have gone 2 years ina row with them!  But things are always different when it is your OWN family) but Jeremy and I really had a nice time.  We hope to do this again yearly!

I won’t bore you anymore with rambling.  Instead I’ll bombard you with the cutest little 6 month old on the beach pictures (we took a ton and I have had a really hard time narrowing down to just a few to share on Flickr).

Annmarie 004
She seemed to enjoy hanging in the pool in this floaty (she tried to chew on it though).

Nathan & Annmarie 2
She seemed fascinated by her cousin. It was cute to watch her watch him play.

Annmarie 047
She got a few naps in at the beach. Apparently the ocean makes for a great sound machine!

Annmarie 054
Snapping a photo of herself (okay, not really – she was just trying to grab the camera from Jeremy)

Annmarie 089
Playing with dad on the beach towel.

Annmarie 078
One of my favorite pictures from the beach.

Annmarie 136

Annmarie 127

Annmarie 143

Annmarie 140

Annmarie 179

Annmarie 175
We tried to have her pose in the sand without us and then she quickly grabbed a handful of sand and put it in her mouth.

Now this is what I call, “Trying to Get Annmarie to Pose on Things”:
Annmarie 190
She’s riding side saddle…

Annmarie 193
Now’s she’s riding a shark! She’s fearless.

Annmarie 194
She didn’t like pretending the be eaten by a shark. Party pooper.

Annmarie 198
And now she’s a pretty (albeit confused since we had just waken her up to do this) butterfly.

I have plenty more but I think I’ll stop while I’m ahead (before I bore you all to tears since they’re pretty much the SAME photos but with slightly different poses).


Filed under Charm City Kim Breeds, Charm City Kim Travels

Quick update on why I’ve been MIA

To my 4 readers out there – I’m giving you a quick update on why I’ve been MIA lately.  If you’re a reader that also happens to follow me on Twitter, this will probably be more of the follow-up you’re looking for.

Last week I tweeted that my dad had a heart attack.

Well, he didn’t.  All signs pointed to heart attack but it turned out that his heart medication had turned toxic and caused his heart rate to drop dangerously low.

The docs ran a series of tests to try to rule out other major issues because my dad was showing a lot of symptoms outside of the low heart rate.

The last hypothesis was that he had an obstruction in his esophagus that made eating/drinking very difficult (and reached a point where it was nearly impossible in the hospital).  He was severely dehydrated and his kidneys were starting to shut down.  His body wasn’t properly digesting his heart medication and that is why it turned toxic.

He spent several days in the hospital with NO food or drink.  He eventually got an IV nutrient line on Saturday night (after having NO food since Tuesday).

In that time, I learned what type of underwear my dad wears since I was requested to go buy him some.  Actually, my mom requested that I take him some of Jeremy’s underwear… and that was a line that I was not willing to cross.

He got an endoscopy yesterday to determine the cause of the obstruction.

And he checked himself out of the hospital last night against medical advice.  According to my dad – he was “fixed”.  They cleared the obstruction and, according to him, were just trying to bleed his insurance company dry. 

According to the nurses on duty, they hadn’t received the results of the endoscopy and my dad is in a fragile state.  He has an aneurysm in his heart (we’ve known about this) and given what his body has been through lately – he really should go to a hospital for monitoring. 

So – that’s what’s going on with me with now.

In the midst of all of this, I’ve noticed some early signs of Alzheimer’s in my dad that I truly hope were just related to being deliriously starved and rundown.  He seemed to forget how long he was in the hospital.  He asked the same questions repeatedly (and not because he was demanding answers that weren’t getting answered… because he truly forgot he asked in the first place).

Unrelated to my dad’s hospital stint – Petie now has a severe respitory infection and someone a-hole hit Jeremy’s parked car ($1300 worth of damage!). 

Sorry to get all Debbie Downer on you guys – but I didn’t want to leave people hanging.

I’m in desperate need of a good laugh or two – so please share some funny stories with me!


Filed under Charm City Kim Rambles