Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tattoo Tues...I mean Wednesday!

As most holiday celebrations in Bryan/College Station would have it, cocktail attire was not actually worn to the Christmas cocktail party we attended last Monday night. I wore a denim skirt and a black top, but with these shoes....
When in doubt, I just wear statement shoes to an event. It seems to always work regardless of the formality level. These Charles Davids did just that.

Bella Bawk suspiciously eying my project

While Tallulah avoids confrontation entirely.   

Since we gave Tuesday a miss, we'll move Fashionably Inked right on to today!

I love the delicacy and movement found in this design. The execution is youthful without any hint of immaturity, which I think will allow it to remain timeless.

Tomorrow evening, B and I will be traveling to Denton, and my schedule has "hold new nephew, Baby Caden, and coo and talk baby talk for a very long time" permanently inked into it. I'll do my best to stop by for Fashion Forum Friday, though.

Off to wrap more presents!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Oh yeah, the blog...

Thus far today has been a lazy one filled with catching up on sleep and a bit of exercise. Not being in my office and not anxiously awaiting the next student, whose life he or she will be convinced I am trying to destroy, has consequently led to blog neglectfulness. The next three weeks may continue on in this sporadic manner, as I'll be in Denton enjoying Christmas vacation with family. I'll do my best to keep you notified of any ground breaking fashion news, though.

In the mean time, can we discuss how wonderful my blog looks thanks to the design genius of Ms. Rachel Lacy? I am so pleased with the results of our collaboration, and by "collaboration", I mean Rachel translating my listless ramblings on personal blog aesthetics and turning them into something fantastic.

Thanks, Rachel!

I am off now to prepare for what may be the only Christmas party B and I will attend this year that requires cocktail attire. Should this be the case, I'll get some pics for your viewing pleasure and post them tomorrow.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fashion Forum Friday: Audience Participation Day!

 Yesterday, I was flipping through this month's Vogue and stumbled upon a pic of this dress in bright orange.
Why do I not own this? What hurts my heart most about not being able to acquire this dress is that it is available via H&M. Alber Elbaz of Lanvin has created this dramatic confection for the illustrious yet elusive chain, and....none exist in Bryan/College Station or Houston (sniff sniff).

My first meeting with H&M occurred the summer of 2001 when I was visiting Berlin. My friend Neysa and I decided it stood for Hoch & Moeglichkeit, which would literally translate as High & Possibility, and I think that is appropriate still.

Cut to the summer of 2006, and one would find me in NYC ransacking the 5th Avenue location.

Alas, the closest H&M appears to be in Atlanta, which is entirely irrational as far as I'm concerned.

Your assignment for today, faithful readers, is to let us all know what you are excited to wear (or wish you could wear) to a holiday party.

Gute Wochenende mit viel Hoch & Moeglichkeit!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Kimberly's Adventures in Burning Floors.

Mrs. Kimberly Wolfe is back from Tuesday night's production of Burn the Floor at the Hobby Center in Houston, and she brings along an arsenal of reasons why you should promptly acquire tickets to one of this weekend's performances. The costume descriptions are reason enough for me...

Shoes & Tattoos is elated to present (elongated drum roll meant to build anticipation).....(it's still rolling)......

Kimberly's Review!

 (At this point, readers are meant to stop reading in my voice and should, in fact, start reading in Kimberly's voice. If you are not entirely certain what our voices sound like, we grant temporary permission to feign two different female affectations. In the future, though, please have appropriate research prepared on Sarabeth vs. Kimberly accent, diction, and intonation.)

"I now know why the performance is called Burn the Floor—it's because the dancers are on fire! Upon leaving the theater, my first words to my friend who accompanied me were, 'That just makes me want to shake my bootie.' Everything about the show—the choreography, the precision, the music, the costumes—was remarkably impressive, and the dancers kept the audiences engaged with their fiery performances. A full percussion section and drum set on stage added to the dynamics.

My two favorite dances were the Samba from Act I and the Waltz/Tango/Paso Doble/Rumbo near the end of Act II. For the samba, the ladies wore the most incredible combination of encrusted jewels and flowing fringe that I have ever seen.

Photo Source
The picture shows the costume, but in the performance I saw, the entire brazier portion of the costume was covered in enormous jewels, sending light beams all the way beyond the back row of the theater. The long fringe of the costume moved with the ladies and they shook, shimmied, and spun across the stage. Like many dance costumes, it was cut extremely low in the back, which allowed for a hula skirt effect to take place with the slightest move of the bootie. The dancer in the picture, Giselle Peacock, is an incredible performer. She combined extreme energy with precise body control and I couldn't take my eyes off her, nor could I stop wishing she'd meet me afterwards to teach me some moves.

In the second act, a couple came out and began waltzing to Cher's "After All." I must admit, I began to roll my eyes, thinking it would be cheesy, but then, THEN, a screen was lowered, the dancers moved to the side of the stage, and as they danced back to the center, their graceful image was mirrored on the other side of the screen. But it wasn't an image at all! It was a separate couple performing in perfect synchronicity as they mirrored the performance of the original two dancers. It was absolutely beautiful. The number progressed with other dancers, and incorporated more modern dances.

The vocalists, including Peter Saul, Vonzell Solomon, and Mr. Hot Stepper himself Mark Ballas, were remarkable as well. Thank you Sarabeth for such a wonderful evening!"

(Now initiating Sarabeth voice)

Thank you, Kimberly, for providing such an engaging review! And many thanks to Art Meets Council of Houston for providing me with a pair of tickets to bestow upon one of my many fashion forward readers!

If you would like to get your very own, visit because more performances will be going on now through December 19th!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fashionably Inked: Tattoo Tuesday

Photo Source
I tend to gravitate toward tattoos with vivid colors, but every time I run across this image, my normal thirst for color is more than quenched by the amazing details involved. This design is anything but static; one can almost feel a breeze pass upon initial viewing.

This girl is a trooper because that was one long and painful sitting she endured!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Fashioned for Faithfulness: Special Monday Edition

All I can say is, "God is good."

My sister, Juliana, went into labor at roughly 7:30am this past Friday. By 3pm B and I were leaving work and packing up for a fast trip to Denton.

I had more or less resigned myself to the assumption that I would not be present to witness my newest nephew's first moments of life outside of his mommy. But God took care of all that, and I got to see this little miracle's very first breath:

Caden Michael Schul was born at approximately 11:50pm on 12/10/10.

One more miraculous piece of evidence that God is the ultimate fashion genius.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Burn the Floor Contest: Part 2 (There's Still A Prize!)

Hello Again!

As it turns out, both Theresa and Charity have scheduling conflicts and will not be able to attend the performance coming up this Tuesday.

So....the contest is reinstated!

The fist person to comment on this blog entry telling me what he or she is excited to wear this weekend will win two tickets to the opening night of Burn the Floor on Dec. 14th at 7:30pm at the Hobby Center in Houston, TX.

Hurry up if you want to go!

How Did I Get Tickets to Burn The Floor...

I'm so glad you asked! Ms. Rachel Lacy, of, put me in contact with Art Meets Commerce of Houston, Tx. They generously offered to provide tickets for a lucky reader of my choosing for the opening night of Burn the Floor direct from Broadway.

Because Ms. Theresa Brooks was the first to describe her fashion forward outfit designated for this weekend in my previous post, she gets to attend opening night!

I wish I had tickets to give to everyone, but you can still reserve your own at And you certainly should because you wouldn't want to miss out on an opportunity to see Mark Ballas from Dancing with the Stars and many more from So You Think You Can Dance! GO GET SOME TICKETS!

The show will be running from December 14th through the 19th.

Maybe we can solicite some details from Theresa next Wednesday after she gets back from the show.

I can't wait to view more of the costumes! Dancing fashion is some of the best fashion as far as I'm concerned.

Stay tuned....

Fashion Forum Friday: Clothes, Cupcakes, & A Contest (There's a prize!)

Happy Friday, everyone!

I wax joyful as we approach the last week before Christmas vacation!

I have a copious amount of pictures to share with you today, and therefore, I have decided to make this more of a picture entry and less of a "wordy" entry. Don't look so excited.

I also have a surprise for the first person in the B/CS/Houston area to tell me what they are excited about wearing today in the comment box below. See instructions at the bottom of this post.

First and foremost, I am a dork, and what's more, I am  impractical and don't learn from past shameful encounters. Regardless of last Friday's unfortunate incident, I remain hopelessly devoted to bringing my scads handful of readers breaking news and cutting edge media. My overall "look" for today is my Fashion Forum Friday submission:

Inner Dialogue: "How do you set this timer? Dang it!"

I'm too cool to look at the camera-Right Side

Still too cool to look at the camera and I don't care about things-Left Side
 Headband: Forever21
Blazer: Oxford & Regent
Shirt: The Gap
Skirt: American Eagle (it's ancient)
Leggings: Forever21
Boots: Nine West

So, per the usual schedule, tell me about what you are looking forward to wearing this weekend.

Fun Friday Edition:
 I made more cupcakes! I had a few girlfriends over last night to test them out, and I've not received any news that anyone is ill that's good!

The recipe I used for the cupcakes and icing can be found at and the recipe for the raspberry filling is at

The batter was actually pretty; almost luminescent

My first endeavor in making buttercream icing


My first endeavor in making raspberry filling. It was the easiest thing!

...and really made me wish I was making raspberry cobbler.

Getting ready to fill the cupcakes.

Cupcakes case you didn't notice.

Yeah, there's a bit of a learning curve...

...but icing helps in shrouding it!


Contest: Do you live near Houston or plan on being in the area this coming Tuesday, December 14th? Do you love dancing or live performances? Would you like tickets to this show
If so, you better hurry up and be the first to tell me what you're excited about wearing this weekend in the comment box below! I'll have tickets reserved for you at will call!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Fashioned for Faithfulness: Generosity, always in fashion

Photo Source
2 Corinthians 4:6
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.

As we enter a season designated as a time of giving, I find myself contemplating what generosity actually looks like. I'm not about to launch into a diatribe condemning materiel avarice induced by the commercialization of Christ's birth. It is good to give gifts, but I think we encounter a problem when we feel that the requisite for generosity has been fulfilled completely in doing so.

Why do we force ourselves and others to examine our collective motive more closely this time of year? Why do we stretch our pocket books but often not our hearts?

I think it is because generosity is often difficult. It requires sacrifice. Emphasis on "sacrifice". Sadly, I think we find monetary sacrifice less formidable than emotional sacrifice. I am the guiltiest so don't feel as though I'm placing anyone on trial.

So what does emotional sacrifice, or generosity, look like?

Perhaps it is suspending the judgment in which we live of others:
Luke 6:42
How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Perhaps it is sacrificing your time and giving your attention to someone else:
Hebrews 10:24-25
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Perhaps it is sacrificing the selfishness with which we often don't even realize we are living:
Philippians 2:3-4
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

We could claim that these are easy tasks, but let's face it, they're often more difficult than we would like to admit. All the more reason to rejoice in the perfect grace that covers us when we believe in Jesus Christ as Lord! But that saving grace does not exempt us from sacrifice. We attempt good deeds and selflessness as a result of being saved by the Lord, not in order to be saved by the Lord.

Let's take a few minutes to pray and consider how the Lord wants us to show generosity today. I'm sure it will look different for each individual, and yet, very much the same.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fashionably Inked: Tattoo Tuesday

Photo Source
If you still require proof that tattooing is a legitimate art form, you go. This is elegant, and I love the location on her lower forearm. There is a school of thought shared amongst many traditionalists that the current trend in tattoo realism will leave customers dissatisfied in the future. They are concerned that the design will not stand the test of time as effectively as a traditional tattoo. I say, if you love it, then do it. A good artist will cement the integrity of the design, and if you have to get it touched up in the future...and we're talking years and what? I've seen many traditional tattoos that are begging for a touch up.

Monday, December 6, 2010

So I'm not a pastry chef

I’ve always had an affinity for baking but never the time nor courage to attempt homemade recipes, save peanut butter cookies…but it’s not as if that is a particularly demanding culinary mêlée. B and I have been married for over a year now, though, and while it is clear that his epicurean energies are suited more for cooking, I believe it is time for me to master some form of edible art. Therefore, my baking ardor was refreshed this past week, as I made gooey chocolate drop cookies, the notorious Neiman Marcus (not the recipe found on their website) chocolate chip cookie, and sopapilla cheesecake (thanks, mom-in-law, for that idea!) all of which I took to the Maroon Weekly Christmas party this past Friday.

I find that rendering a baked good entirely from scratch is quite fulfilling (alright, alright…I did use crescent rolls in the cheesecake) and after receiving positive reviews from my fellow Maroon Weekly contributors, I set out this past Saturday to create the current most fashionable confection…the cupcake! Every time I watch Cupcake Wars there is some cute vintagey-looking girl whipping up cupcakes as fashionably appealing as her outfit. This is the culinary vocation for me!

As stated above, I’m not a pastry chef. I am a complete novice if not genuine ignoramus. Vast amounts of information regarding baking threaten to overwhelm me; therefore, my best strategy is to slowly learn basic recipes before attempting to get all fancy with personalized interpretations. Although, I will document my attempts at baking whenever the occasion arises, don’t anticipate any ground breaking revelations in the world of yeast and sugar….at least not quite yet.

So here you have it; my adventures in making red velvet cupcakes!

Recipe Used:
• 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
• 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
• 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
• 2 large eggs, room temperature
• 2 tablespoons red food coloring
• 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
• 1 pound cream cheese, softened
• 2 sticks butter, softened
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

Sift the dry ingredients together.
Gently beat the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and then thoroughly mix in the dry.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
Wait until entirely cooled to frost.

Personal tip: At first, I thought the icing was  bit too sweet and runny, BUT if you store the cupcakes in the fridge, they taste AMAZING after a few hours. Definitely chill once they're done.

I want one of those handy batter-squirter-into-cupcake-holder-thingys.

Preparing the icing: 1 lb. of cream cheese and 2 sticks of you know it's healthy.

Getting ready to ice the extremely RED cupcakes without a spatula for the first time ever!

Chopped walnuts come in handy to mask your icing learning curve.

They actually don't look horrible!


Now I have an actual reason to wear the apron, which I convinced B that I just had to have a few months ago...


Merry Christmas month and happy baking from Bella Bawk Ba Gawk and Tallulah Poodle Minkyboodle! Don't judge my dogs' names; they're eclectic.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Fashion Forum Friday: "Can today get more embarrassing?" Edition

I readily welcome the conclusion of a week packed with personal awkwardness and embarrassing scenarios. Those of you who keep up with me on Facebook are already aware of the infamous “air burp at a student” encounter, which was immediately followed by the “display my slip for all of Blinn to see” fashion faux pas. It’s only 9:30 in the a.m., and I’m ready to pack it up and go home, for today shows no promise of improvement.

Feeling quite confident and ambitious, I decided to advise an unfortunate student before my proper intake of morning caffeine. Poor, poor soul. I listened to myself speak, appalled by the listless ramblings falling from my mouth. My inner dialogue screamed, “Shut up! SHUT UP!” but my weary brain rapidly pushed nonsensical phrases out into the open air. It. Was. Bad.

I ushered the unlucky student out of my office and set my mind to recompose my manner of discourse and countenance…by chugging approximately 2 gallons of coffee.

Feeling slightly improved, I decided the time was appropriate to compile media for today’s Fashion Forum Friday post. My excitement over the subject matter proved greater than normal, as I chose to wear my Fashion Forum ensemble to work. Alas, I had forgotten to have B take a picture this morning before departing for work. Determination and good intentions led to my next star-crossed meeting with mortification…

Before I narrate my attempts to produce a photo for today’s blog post, allow me to explain how one HVAC Blinn employee wandered into my office most unexpectedly.

Last night, I made an over abundance of cookies for tonight’s Maroon Weekly Christmas party using the notorious (due to an inauthentic urban myth) Neiman Marcus recipe.

The recipe yielded roughly 90 (really really really delicious) cookies so both B and I took a bundle to work to share. I placed my bag of cookies in the Science Building break room, grabbed my much needed cup of coffee, and headed back down the hall to my office with complete resolve to obtain a picture of my outfit…at least the bottom half of my outfit.

I realize how insignificantly helpful this shot is.
  Imagine an academic advisor sitting in various awkward positions behind her desk with her smart phone angled down toward her feet. Got a good visual going? Well, now you know exactly what said HVAC Blinn employee witnessed as he entered my office to tell me how much he enjoyed the NM cookies. I didn’t even try to explain or recover any sense of respectability. At that point…it was what it was. HORRIFYING. I thanked him kindly and told him that I was very glad he had enjoyed one. We parted ways never having mentioned my bizarre behavior upon his entry.

There you have it, people, and that’s all I got. I achieved my goal, which was to find a vintage-style skirt/dress to pair with leggings and boho boots...

…not that you can see it very well. If I ever recover my sense of self-respect, I’ll post a better pic later on. For now, I think I’ll just keep my head down and try to make it through the day without any other mortifying run ins. Although, I still have the Maroon Weekly party to attend, tonight, so plenty of time for more social awkwardness is at my disposal.

What are you looking forward to wearing this weekend? Also, do you have any embarrassing stories to relate out of commiseration and solidarity?

Bon Weekend!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fashioned for Faithfulness


Back when I worked in merchandising at Tiffany & Co., the end of November and beginning of December initiated a baleful long haul into March (that's when alterations and returns of Christmas/Valentines Day gifts would begin to taper off). For lack of a more sophisticated word, it sucked. I spent more time with co-workers and thankless customers than my family, and I pined for the days of my undergraduate studies when my schedule actually promised a respite during the holidays.

Enter: Job as an academic advisor. Yay! In less than three weeks, I will be starting down the long end of a three week vacation!

So why the stress?

I have purchased approximately two Christmas gifts, and based on previous calculations, that should leave me with only about 537 more to go....

And, as many have experienced, my household income may have amounted to less during my single days, but I had A LOT more money!

Hence, today's motivational Bible passage:

Matthew 6: 25-29
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you?"

Modern day translation: God has it all in his capable hands. In the wise words of my mother-in-law, Sue Lacy, "Do your best, and God will do the rest."
So in fighting off my holiday stress, I will count my blessings:
1) I am married to the perfect husband, whom God hand picked for me.
2) I have a wonderful family on both sides.
3) I don't have the rear or thighs of a Victoria Secret model (as made glaringly clear during last night's fashion show), but I do have a darn good waistline.
4) Best of all...I still receive Tiffany & Co. gifts every now and then...BUT I DON"T WORK THERE ANYMORE!!!
Merry "non-Tiffany" Christmas!