Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Belated Happy New Year!

     Yes, this is very late, but AFD (AKA me, Cher) wishes you all very happy, healthy, and prosperous new year. I decided to take a little bit of time and put the blog on the back-burner for a few weeks and try to re-evaluate a few things. And after taking the time, I realized that I do really love my blog (and the people that come along with it! :)) and I'm not ready to quite give it up yet. However, given my current priorities, I don't have the time to put as much effort into it as I'd like. It's still my baby though, and as long as I continue to feel the way I do about it, I'll continue to post. But right now there quite a few things on my "to do" list that need to come first, including a set of Barrister and Solicitor examinations that I need to write within the next six months. I don't imagine them to be as grueling as the New York State Bar, however, I'm going to attempt to study for them while concurrently working on a few temp projects to keep the income flowing. How I will balance my time between work, study, the blog, job-hunting, exercise, and everything else will be interesting to see, to say the least. AFD might become excruciatingly slow at times, but hopefully won't come to a full stop.

    One of the other things that I've decided to do for the first few months of the new year is to take on a Five-Item Challenge. I can only purchase five items of clothing, including accessories from January to the end of March (read more about it here). The first item I'm contemplating are these Rich & Skinny Wax Coated Legacy Jeggings in Red. I absolutely *adore* them. I already own the Tar (black) so I've been trying to decide if I *really* need another pair in red. The wax coating makes them look similar to leather. Not all wax-coated jeans are this shiny, so don't be surprised if you see a pair of wax-coated jeans and it looks a bit dull-looking. The Rich & Skinny Legacy denim, however, looks great--not too shiny so that they look like plastic, but enough to fool people from a distance into thinking they're real leather. They run a bit small. I can fit the 24, but they are quite uncomfortable and squish my butt down flat. Size 25 fits much better and more flattering. I would say they run about a half size to a full size small (I've been a little sick lately, please excuse the tired eyes): 

Blazer: T.Babaton by Aritzia Exeter Blazer (Black, size 0).
Blouse: Ann Taylor Silk Camp Shirt (Off-white, size 0P).
Denim: Rich & Skinny Wax-Coated Legacy Jeggings (Red, size 25).
Pumps: LAUREN by Ralph Lauren Amaya Pumps (Black leather, size 6).
Ring: Le Chateau.
Necklace: Forever21 Choker.

     They are surprisingly versatile. Super easy to dress them up (as seen above), but easy to dress them down by wearing a cozy layer or two on top (will see in an upcoming post). The best thing is that they add some edge to an outfit, which you all know I love.

     One thing to note is that the wax is pretty delicate. Don't be rolling around on the carpet or the wax will fade (don't ask me how I know this). Full price is $168, which is typical for HE denim, but also a quite pricey for girls who are not used to paying such a high price for any kind of denim (including myself who always buys HE denim at a discount). These things have been selling like hot cakes, particularly in the black. I managed to purchases these from Amazon for ~$85.

     What do you think? Should these red wax-coated jeggings be one of my 1 of 5 items for the next three months? I absolutely love them and I think that pretty much satisfies my criteria for 1 of 5. LOL.

    P.S. I got some new gear for my camera over the holidays (thank you *SO* much to you-know-who!).  So if the lighting in the photos seems a little wild at times during the next few months it's because I have no idea what I'm doing yet. :P

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Anita said...

I think its a good idea what you're doing with the 5 items for the three months, and I think the jeggings should be one of them. I think they flatter you, and you could definitely dress them up or down and not to mention you got them at a great deal!

Girlie Blogger said...

Very cool outfit, and such a good challenge. I need to do this.

e M i said...

Awww I hope you keep making fun updates when you have time!  I just started following.  :)  The new leggings are cool!  Good luck with the examinations and balancing act!

Petite LG said...

I haven't ventured into wax-coated denim yet. They're relatively new to me. These jeans are very versatile. The color looks great on you. I hope to hear updates from you here and there (of course, only when you have time). I am swamped with training materials and exams this week as well but I know it'll be over soon. 

Alterations Needed said...

I tried on these jeans but in brown at my local Nordstrom and they fit amazing! I didn't care for the brown, but made a mental note to keep an eye out for other colors. Thanks for reminding me about these! The red is so fun! I love them!

Ohh...what did you get? A lighting kit? If you look back a few months in my archives, you'll see the horrible lighting from my first set-up...lol. I've since *kinda* figured it out. Let me know if you need any help. =)

Cher said...

I'm glad to hear the brown isn't that great because I was beginning to think I needed those too. LOL.

Yes! I got a lighting kit. I may need some help, but first I need to get myself a flash trigger. The set up I have now isn't working out. The 'needs' for this camera never stops! :P

Alterations Needed said...

The brown wasn't for me b/c they really did look like medium brown leather pants, and I'm not quite a leather pant kind of girl. I am curious about the black though!

You need a flash in addition to your lights? What's your wattage? I'm using two umbrella lights with 500W bulbs I found on Amazon (~$7 a piece), and get the lights pretty close, without showing in the photo, at about a 45 degree angle pointing down. Then I push the ISO up a bit, usually 400-800. I still have to adjust exposure a little in post processing, but it gets the job done with pretty even light & good detail. Flash can be harsh on skintones, so I've avoided it since I got my first DSLR. My photos look pretty yellow and a bit underexposed out of the camera, but easy to fix in Photoshop.

Cher said...

Ah. My set up is a bit different. I have a hot shoe flash, no lights. I'm still trying to figure out how to use it properly, but the harshness of the light has really only been a problem when I take it off the camera and put it on it's own stand because then I have to use the on-camera flash on my camera to trigger it which means two flashes-->SUPER BRIGHT! So that's why I need a flash trigger, so I can trigger the light via remote rather than the on-camera flash. The lighting in the above photos isn't *so* terrible (although maybe my harsh critic will tell me otherwise), but there is a bit of shadow and it's brighter on top than the bottom. I wasn't using the umbrella though.  I'll have to set it up in the next few days after I get my trigger and see what I can do with it. You still have to push the ISO up to 800 with all two umbrella lights?

Alterations Needed said...

Ah, I see. I haven't tinkered with hot shoe flash...good luck! Un-even light is so frustrating! Trying to get a good balance between the colors and details in your outfit, and keeping your skin tone natural is tough!

I've been shooting at 400ISO mostly, with about 1/250 shutter speed. I think only once I had to bump up to 800ISO, but my outfit was really dark colored.

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