Fashion Forward Fridays: 30x30x30 Finale!!

Oh my gosh. Why did I ever think this was a good idea!? If you didn't know, I was linked up with Sarah of Coming Unstitched to do the 30x30x30 wardrobe challenge and I cannot tell you how thankful I am to be done. Though it was nice to have a limited wardrobe just to guide me in the mornings and making picking things out easier, I am thankful that my closet space is back to normal and organized how it's supposed to be, rather than just these 30 pieces sticking out. I have to be honest, I hated and will never wear a good chunk of the outfits I put together during the past 30 days. But, that being said, I also came up with outfits that I loved and will certainly wear again, once I am no longer sick of these pieces of course. I have to say, the only thing that made this challenge really hard was that I did it during the middle of a Pittsburgh winter. Which, if you don't know, is the most unpredictable weather of all time. I like that my haircut came right in the middle of this challenge, but am sad that I didn't have a better way to photograph the journey. I'm also sad that I only got to wear my cheetah heels twice...total let down.

Some things I learned from this challenge though is that I really do rely on buying new things rather than remixing, which is a horrible habit. During the challenge, I also gave up shopping and that changed my perspective a good bit on other pieces that I have that weren't selected for 30x30x30. I have mentally come up with a nice mixture of outfits to wear in the future out of other pieces in my wardrobe. I also realized that I should start focusing on accessories, rather than actual clothes. I have plenty of clothes and while I thought I had plenty of accessories, I realized how little I actually like. So I will be donating some items and eventually getting some more quality pieces. Overall, not so bad. But I'll let you judge for yourself. Which outfit is your favorite? Which one do you think is worthy of a Fashion Forward Fridays mention?


Valentine Playlist & Snail Mail

Hoping all of you are able to send and receive your fill of love today, or this weekend if you are like me and MJ who are always far too busy to ever do anything on the actual day of Valentine's Day. Remember, we're the couple who didn't exchange Christmas gifts until mid-January. But honestly, as cheesy as it sounds, everyday is Valentine's Day with him - relationships with distance are not for the faint of heart, people!

If you know me well, then you know that I am obsessed with greeting cards. I love sending them, receiving them, making them...I am all about this business. Hire me, Hallmark. Sometimes when I'm bored I go to Rite Aid (mind you, I live in the city so Rite Aid is literally my neighbor) just to browse through the greeting cards. Which I realize makes me lame, but I want to have my own greeting card company eventually and am currently toying with the idea of opening an Etsy shop for cards and random design work so I need to look at my competition!

So, this year for Valentine's Day I wanted to send some love to everyone, though not a realistic goal, I at least sent some to 25 households through personally designed cards. And by personally, I mean I made them in Photoshop and InDesign and made six different designs. Each one was based on beautiful simplicity and song lyrics, because honestly what else do you need in a Valentine? I hope they all made it to your mailboxes by today. I loved making these. First, coming up with the design and what pictures (which were all taken by my friend Hannah) and then buying the special paper and envelopes from a little stationary shop downtown called Weldin's. Sigh. I just loved this process and I hope those of you lucky enough to get one love them too. But for everyone who doesn't receive a snail mail Valentine, I'm sorry and you're welcome to consider this post as your own special Valentine. Add the Elton John, Your Song, to the list if you so desire in that case...that's always a goodie. Happy Valentine's Day with infinite X's & O's from me!

1. For MJ (as pictured above)  - Ho Hey by The Lumineers
I belong with you. You belong with me. You're my sweetheart.
Home is wherever I'm with you. (Alabama, Arkansas, I sure love my Ma & Pa.)
Always remember there is nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name.
4. For my anti-Valentine's friends - What's Love Got to Do With It by Tina Turner
What's love got to do with it.
5. For my friends (part 1) - Everybody by Ingrid Michaelson
Everybody wants to love. Everybody wants to be loved.
6. For my friends (part 2) - Awake My Soul by Mumford & Sons
Where you invest your love, you invest your life.


Valentine's by Neighborhood

Wow. Have I been busy. Thank you to everyone who sent their well-wishes after my "blogiversary" post, I appreciate you sticking around even though for the past week I haven't really given you a reason to do so. Anyway, besides that back and forth temps, something else is in the air in Pittsburgh. Love. With tomorrow being Valentine's Day and this weekend practically dedicated to the colors red and pink, for you last minute planners, here's some idea for you. And since I will never be able to top the greatest Valentine's Day date ideas that I posted last year....so this year, lets do it by neighborhood, not love languages. (Though I still believe they are the key to knowing anyone in your life and how to love them properly.)

First up...as always, Downtown. I'm in love with downtown, you obviously already know this. But I want you to be able to fall in love more with your Valentine this weekend so I suggest coming down for one of the many shows going on. My top picks for Valentine's Day are You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up! and Moulin Rouge - The Ballet. You Say Tomato is going on at the CLO Cabaret and is about a couple, with 10 years of marriage under their belts, who have just come to that point in their love life. People Magazine called this show "laugh out loud funny" so I'm sure it'll be a treat for you and your love. Or also downtown, Moulin Rouge - The Ballet is going on at the Benedum Center, which is a beautiful, artistic twist to a classic love story. Make sure that if you attend either of these shows, you also get in a lovely meal. One of my personal favorites is Six Penn, it happens to be right between these two venues as well. I'd suggest the salmon, because it's to die for and also "lent-friendly" if that's your thing too.


Happy Birthday Blog & Fashion Forward Fridays

Today is Chels & the City's first birthday! Awe, little baby blog. This is also my 100th post, which actually is not impressive but I did plan it that way once I realized it could work out this way about midway through January. I just wanted to thank all of you for following along with me this past year and for supporting me through the blog, all the social media outlets, and your private messages, texts and conversations. I really appreciate that I have such a great and inspiring support group, who appreciates what I do and challenges me to do better.

But I know my readers, and you guys don't like missing Fashion Forward Fridays. So today I am featuring someone who I think is like so super cute...

All photos by Richelle Szypulski.

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