Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Polyvore Style Challenge: City of Lights Dress

Alright, friends! A number of you expressed interest in doing the Polyvore challenge I suggested in my previous post. I'm so happy that it's something you all wanted to do! I picked up the City of Lights dress on sale at Anthropologie recently with the intent of wearing it on New Year's Eve, and hoped you might be willing to help me out with some ideas about how to style it.

Here's how this will work. All you need to do is put together a Polyvore outfit featuring the dress below. You can find a link to a clip of the dress on Polyvore below; just click on the name of the dress. Once you're finished, post a link to your Polyvore outfit in the comments. I'll try to keep up with submissions, and gradually add them to the body of this post.

I seriously can't wait to see what you all come up with! Happy Polyvoring!

Jenny, Sincerely,JennyEmm (Outfit details here)

Kassi, The Closet Intervention (Outfit details here)

Sarah, Coming Unstitched (Outfit details here)

Alex, Delayed Missives (Outfit details here)

1 by 8: Modcloth's Craving Curry Skirt

The trough-loads of holiday treats I've been consuming have apparently negatively influenced my creativity. The more chocolate I eat, the more I start to communicate (and think) in hoots and grunts. I share this because, quite frankly, I could not for the life of me come up with an idea about what to post today. I was literally scratching my head... which, incidentally, didn't help. I then tried stroking my chin thoughtfully in the hopes that it would somehow get the creativity juices pumping. It didn't. I thought maybe doing both at the same time would help, so I tried scratching my head and stroking my chin at the same time. Still nothing. Mr. CP ultimately took pity on me, and said, "Why don't you use that Omnivore thingy to put together a bunch of outfits using one item." GENIUS!

I've always loved blog posts that make good use of Polyvore (I'm looking at you, Kassi). It's actually a fantastic tool for imagining new outfits into being. I usually try to stay away from Polyvore because, inevitably, I end up putting an outfit together that includes one or more pieces that I don't own, and then I end up fantasizing about said pieces to the point of madness. I'm neurotic like that. So, in this case it seemed like a good idea to put together outfits using only items that are identical or similar to things I already have in my closet. =D

Not-so-random, but still kind of random question: I recently picked up this beauty for New Year's Eve. I'm considering setting up a friendly competition in which all of you help me decide how to style it by creating your own Polyvores that feature this dress. Is that something you might be interested in?

Mustard and Diamonds

Floral and Mustard

Mustard and Fox

Mustard and Blue

Mustard and Flowers

Black and Mustard

Mustard and Hearts

Mustard and Stripes

Monday, December 19, 2011



Dress: LOFT/ Christmas gift from Mr. CP
Tights: Hue/Macy's
Boots: Enzo Angiolini/Nordstrom Rack
Necklace: DIY/Birthday gift from Mama CP
Hair Clip: Thea Starr/Christmas gift from Mr. CP (here)

Sequins and I have a love/hate relationship. On the one hand, as a connoisseur of all things sparkly and shiny, I feel obliged to love them. I mean, they're basically giant pieces of glitter affixed to articles of clothing. And while I'm no Ke$ha (really? A dollar sign? ::shakes head::), I do love me some glitter. That being said, I tend to see a lot of be-sequined (um, yes, that's a word... why do you ask?) items of clothing that lead me to think, "That would look SO cute on someone else. It's just a bit much for me." I just don't feel comfortable in overtly sparkly things Yes. I know. I'm an enigma.

So, when I spotted this sweater dress at LOFT a month-ish ago, I was immediately smitten. It certainly has sequins, they're just subtle and understated. I dragged Mr. CP into LOFT, to only mild protests, and made him sit patiently (with my purse, of course... dur!) while I tried the dress on. Mr. CP's reaction when I walked out of the dressing room was both flattering and hilarious. His mouth dropped open, and he uttered those six little words that every woman longs to hear: that dress was made for you. In keeping with my self-imposed shopping ban in the lead-up to Christmas, however, I bid farewell to this beautiful dress and moseyed on out of the store, a lone tear trickling down my face. I may or may not have gone back and pawed sadly at the window on several different occasions. Maybe. Possibly. Perhaps.

Because we're going to be traveling to Kansas for Christmas, we decided to celebrate Fake Christmas today in order to avoid packing up our gifts to one another. Imagine my delight when I opened up one of my presents only to find this dress! Mr. CP insists that it's actually a gift for him (aw, shucks!), but I'm megalomaniacal and greedy. IT'S MINE!

In honor of Fake Christmas, and because I think it's hilarious, I thought I'd share with you all a photo of me "shaking it off," ostensibly before Mr. CP started taking pictures. Traitor.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Dress: Forever21+
Cardigan: August Silk/Nordstrom Rack
Tights: Hue/Macy's
Shoes: Mia/Nordstrom Rack
Head band: Target
Necklace: DIY (there's another photo of it here)
Brooch: Flea Market

I'm afraid I don't have very much to say today. I'm feeling a bit under the weather. Boo! Mr. CP and I went on an Afternoon Tea date a couple days ago, and this is what I wore. The tights came off as black in the photographs above, but they were actually a very rich blue color. Silly Seattle lighting... or lack thereof. =P

Don't forget to enter my Orange Box Jewelry giveaway. The winner gets to pick any necklace from Orange Box's etsy shop! Head on over here for details regarding how to enter. =)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Giveaway: Orange Box Jewelry Necklace

I am so excited about this giveaway! My wonderful friend Krissy from Orange Box Jewelry is offering a free necklace of the winner's choosing, to one lucky Charming Pumpkin reader. Hooray! Huzzah! (Just imagine me twirling around throwing confetti in the air) Krissy specializes in repurposing vintage jewelry and other antique curios into beautiful, one of a kind pieces of jewelry. From charm necklaces to key babies (made out of antique German bisque dolls and vintage keys!), you are sure to find something you love in her store. You will find the requirements for entry listed below. Just follow the instructions to enter the giveaway. Good luck, my lovely friends!


  1. This giveaway is open to anyone, so to my international readers: feel free to enter!
  2. This giveaway will be active for one week, so it will close next Monday (12/20/11) at 11:59 PM (EST).

Mandatory Requirements

  1. Subscribe to Charming Pumpkin on Google Friend Connect or Blog Lovin. 
  2. Like Orange Box Jewelry on Facebook here

Optional Requirements (one additional entry per requirement)

  1. Leave a comment on this post telling me which Orange Box Jewelry item you will pick if you win the contest. Make sure you include a name, and email address where I can reach you if you win!
  2. Like Charming Pumpkin on Facebook here.
  3. Follow Charming Pumpin on Twitter here.
  4. Tweet this message about the giveaway: "Check out this @Charmin_Pumpkin giveaway! Up for grabs: a free Orange Box Jewelry necklace of your choice!" Be sure to include your Twitter name in any comment you leave so that I know you have done this. =)
  5. Leave another blog post comment telling me the most hilarious joke you know. Limerick, pun, knock-knock joke, bar humor: all is fair game. Have at it, my friends!
This giveaway is now closed!

Readers, Meet My Repurposed Vintage Jewelry!

It's no secret that I love vintage accessories, particularly brooches. I also have a soft spot for repurposed vintage jewelry, though, and I thought I share a few pieces from my collection with you. There's something enchanting -- poetic, even -- about giving an old, unused vintage element new life by reworking it into something new.

Mama CP makes jewelry, and has her own business selling bits and bobs at various craft shows. This bracelet is made out of vintage buttons, antique watch faces, and old typewriter keys.

DIY! These stones were on an old, old necklace I found at an antique store in Nebraska. They were dusty and dirty, but a quick turn in my rock polisher (yes, I'm awesome, I have a rock polisher) cleaned them right up. The bangle itself isn't vintage; I picked it up at Michael's on sale for a couple bucks.

DIY! My mom had this broken clip on earring in a box at home. I just clipped off the back, filed down the pointy edges, and strung it on a chain with wire-wrapped vintage pearls.

DIY! Antique keys, a sparkly crystal ball taken from a broken vintage clip on earring, and some gunmetal and silver chain are all it took to put this little guy together.

DIY! I was inspired to make this necklace when I saw this beautiful necklace on Anthropologie's website. They were selling it for around $468. Psh. The focal piece is an antique pencil that my grandmother used in grade school. I wire-wrapped smoky quartz, labradorite, and hematite onto several different kinds of chain (some vintage, some not). I couldn't get a terribly good shot of this necklace (it's reeeeally long), but I will be wearing it in Wednesday's OOTD post. 

My wonderful friend Krissy, owner and designer of Orange Box Jewelry, refashions vintage items into beautiful one-of-a-kind necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. I originally saw this piece at a local market a couple months ago, and somehow managed to walk away from it. I was still thinking about it two weeks ago, though, and thankfully no one had bought it. SO, it came home with me!

There is a really exciting giveaway coming up, so be sure to check back tomorrow morning! 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Kelsey vs. The Cropped Cardigan

Disclaimer: The wind was making my hair do some creative things.

Dress: Flared and Cable Sweater Dress/Anthropologie (on sale here)
Cropped Cardigan: Anthropologie
Tights: Hue/Nordstrom Rack
Boots: Enzo Angiolini/Nordstrom Rack
Head Band: Target
Belt: Target
Earrings: Forever 21
Brooches: Thrifted

Until today, I was utterly convinced that I couldn't and shouldn't wear cropped cardigans. I was adamant in my belief that they did one thing and one thing only: drew attention to an area of my body that didn't need any more attention (read: the chestal area). When I saw this sweater on sale at Anthropologie a while back for a a mere $25 (plus an extra 25% off!), I figured I'd try it on and see what happened. I was surprised at how much I liked it. The sweater is soft, it's a beautiful color, and it's fuzzy. Plus, for that price, I just couldn't say no. Once I got it home, however, I stuck it in my closet and put off wearing it. I'd see it, think, "Meh... still not sure whether I can pull that off," and grab something else instead. I am, however, a firm believer in getting over myself, so I pulled this baby out to pair with this beautiful dress that Mama CP got me when she and Papa CP were out here visiting earlier this week. I'm actually quite pleased with how the outfit turned out. I had several women stop me today to ask where I got the sweater and dress, so I guess I did something right! =)

I'm thinking I might make this "Kelsey vs. [insert article of clothing here]" an ongoing series. It's a good way to force myself out of my comfort zone. Plus, I have a bit of a THING (that's right... all caps) about letting fear and/or self-consciousness rule my life, so such a series would also speak to that facet of my personality. What do you think? Is a "Kelsey vs..." series a good idea?

I've linked up to the Fashionista Friday series over at Fashion by Alicia, so be sure to check it out! There are some amaaazing outfits being featured this week. You can find the specific post here.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tweet Tweet!

Dress: Forever 21+/Forever 21
Cardigan: Halogen/Nordstrom
Tights: Hue/Macy's
Boots: Abound/Nordstrom Rack
Necklace: DIY
Brooch: Oh My Cavalier! (here)
Earrings: Marc Jacobs/Nordstrom Rack
Head band: H&M

Mama and Papa CP have officially left Seattle. We had a marvelous time while they were here, though, complete with lots of shopping and even more eating. Perhaps my favorite activity while they were here was the holiday Christmas cruise we went on. Playing host to a group of incredibly talented Christmas carolers, the boat we were on stopped by four different parks where the city of Seattle had lit bonfires, and broadcasted carols to the shore. Along the way, privately owned boats joined in the procession, all of them decorated with holiday lights. By the end of the cruise, there were nearly 20 boats following our own. The four of us bundled up, grabbed hot chocolate and spiced rum, and headed to the top deck in order to better appreciate the view. It was a beautifully clear night, a rarity in Seattle this time of year, so we had a perfect view of the stars and the festively decorated ships. Hooray!

The high point of the evening was a lengthy discussion Mr. CP and I had with the onboard Santa Clause (heretofore referred to as SC). He was marvelous. Mr. CP, SC, and I had an intense discussion regarding what I have dubbed the "Philosophy of Santy Clause Beards." SC informed us that while he had been an amateur Santa for many years, he had only been doing it professionally for three. After much deliberation, SC explained to us, he ultimately decided to be a "more modern Santa" (his words, not mine), and as such opted for a short, neatly manicured beard rather than a "scraggly, unwieldy" one. The conversation was surreal, but thoroughly amusing.

I asked SC for a pony for Christmas, but he informed me that everyone has been asking for one. He encouraged me to be more creative with my request. So, I asked for a unicorn. Though difficult to procure, SC assured me that he would do his utmost to find one by Christmas. I shall name my unicorn Justin, and he shall be glorious in all his, erm, glory.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Take Four: Winter Coats

 Coat: Bella Sisters

Guess what time it is?! If you guessed, "Take Four!" time, then you are absolutely, positively, 100% correct. Hooray for you! =D This week, Gracey, Bekah, Karla and I bring you our favorite winter coats. I was torn about which coat to feature; I have three, and I love them all equally. I ultimately decided to feature my newest acquisition, a beautiful coat by The Bella Sisters. Operating out of Portland, OR, they only sell their coats at shows; they don't currently have an online store. They do, however, take custom orders, and you can find them here.

Alas, today's post is going to be a bit shorter than usual; my parents are in town and I'm off to meet up with them. Hope you're having (or had!) a wonderful Monday!

As always, be sure to check out the other ladies' posts! I have absolutely no doubt that they will all look positively adorable. =)

Bekah at Matters of Merrymaking
Gracey at Fashion for Giants
Karla at Frugal Big Girl

Thursday, December 1, 2011

In Which I Go to an Exhibit Opening

Cardigan: Halogen/Nordstrom (similar)
Skirt: Banana Republic
Head band: Nordstrom
Bracelet: Kohl's (no longer available, but you can find other amazing jewelry here)
Tights: Target
Shoes: Naya/Nordstrom Rack (here)

One of my very best friends from college is a historian for the National Park Service, and is in town for an exhibit opening at a local museum. Her girlfriend was unable to make the trip out here with her, so she invited me to be her "plus one" at the event. Hooray! The exhibit focused on the experiences of a local Japanese/Nisei/Sansei family that weathered the many ups and downs of the pre- and post-WWII racial economy in the United States. The museum is easily one of my favorites in Seattle -- the Wing Luke is famous for its exquisite collection, and artful and intelligent displays -- so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to wander around the nearly empty space, and ruminate on some of the darker moments in America's past. I'll try not to geek out too much; suffice to say that in the many years I have been a student of history, I have never seen such a beautiful display of community. The Japanese American community in Seattle is very, very close knit, and so it was a truly touching experience to witness a group of people come together to celebrate an exhibit that many of them had contributed to in one way or another.

After the exhibit opening, we met up with Mr. CP and went to a wine bar downtown where he got to hear some of the more colorful stories about my college years. I don't remember the last time I laughed so much, or so hard. It was a lovely end to an even more lovely evening. =)