Thursday, September 29, 2011

Shadow of the Wind

Hurrah, I finally finished Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. It was a great book! And in celebration of it, I'm wearing a white outfit, echoing our first scene with Clara.
Hello Kitty leopard print scarf - Sanrio store in San Francisco, White blouse - Anthropologie, Cream cami (underneath) - I've had forever, White watch - Michele Watches, Brown zipper belt - New York & Company, White skirt - Charlotte Russe, Brown striped socks - Target, Boots - Naughty Monkey
I felt totally chic in this white outfit plus brown accessories.
Ignore that this picture doesn't include my watch--I forgot to put it on until after this was taken.
Red lips always help too!
Maybe the socks were a little overkill.
But what about the book? Shadow of the Wind was a gothic novel, which for me is overkill in the very best sense. Without looking up the definition of "gothic novel" Manager/Officemate/Friend and I came up a few criteria for the gothic novel:
  • Incest
  • Quick pregnancies (doesn't matter if you've only had sex once or twice, it's a bad, shameful thing and you will be punished, ha)
  • Family drama
  • Creepy, big houses
  • Abusive parents (emotionally and/or physically)

This list was pretty much put together after reading too many V.C. Andrews novels (too many? that can't be right...) and Shadow of the Wind. Just how many things from this list pop up in Shadow of the Wind?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Frilly ankle sock booties

Ahhhhhh, I love these booties.
Navy cardigan - Gap Outlet, Faux wrap dress - Ann Taylor Loft, Gray suede booties - Me Too (ignore Dog's bed in the background)
Boss/Officemate/Friend says they look like boots+frilly ankle socks, which is really such a perfect description of them.
Can you believe they're also super comfortable?
Thank goodness for comfort because it was a busy day--set the slow cooker, on to work, finished dinner, packed tomorrow's lunches, gym, and made some fudge (with some leftover Velveeta--amazing).
I'm grateful for my Wednesdays and Thursdays, though...
...they're busy, and that just makes them fly by! I'm already thinking about Friday and the weekend!

The more you know!

I'm continuing my celebration of fall by wearing different boots every day until I run out. Yesterday I pulled out these:
Rhinestone headband - Nordstrom, Purple cardigan - Express, Dress - H&M, White socks - Target, Boots - Sam Edelman
These are my flat, equestrian-style, complete with silver snap buttons boots. I don't wear them often because they're flat.
And I am so short.
Sometimes, though, I'm craving a flat boot, and need this perfect brown color with just a tip of black at the toes, these get pulled out.
They do pretty well in both casual and slightly more dressed up occasions.
Something else I did yesterday, besides wearing boots, was discovering the Anthroholic scandal. Truthfully, I'm reserving judgment. It makes me feel sick that somebody could do this, and I like to always give people the benefit of the doubt. I also appreciated this post from Little Girl, Big Closet, which I thought did a good job of giving a possible explanation and empathizing--it is easy to become addicted to shopping, to the point where you make some seriously bad mistakes.
I myself am trying to avoid making bad mistakes. Hence, the shopping ban.
Shopping is fun, yes, and I love my clothes and accessories (clearly I love me some boots), but we all need to recognize our limits and priorities. Falling into the world of style blogging, even as a reader, has sometimes made me think, Gee, I want that, I want what she has, what will it hurt if I get one more sweater/necklace/pair of shoes/expensive ass bag/etc.? But you can't keep going sometimes, or you realize that even if you can, you don't have to. My shopping ban started off kind of bumpy, but since then, I've unsubscribed from emails, stopped looking at catalogs, and haven't gone to the mall. I didn't even go to Target for the Missoni collection (I know, but I'm not a total saint. I heavily hinted at Husband that maybe he could take a peek for me). I'm actually really proud of myself! Anyway, I hope that's helpful for at least one person to read. I'm not a super powerful fashion blogger with tons of followers and endorsements, with designer clothes up the wazoo, so it might not mean as much, but I still think it's important to be honest.

Monday, September 26, 2011

It was definitely Monday

Ugh, Monday. All I really wanted to do all day was read my book. That's not what I do for a living, so the whole day just felt like a waste of my time. On the plus side? More boots!
Dress worn as top - Thakoon for Target, Skirt - Anthropologie, Boots - Miz Mooz
These boots are so lady-like, right? So I had to wear a lady-like skirt and shirt as well.
And red lips!
I managed to French braid my hair the other day, and went for that look again today. It's not perfect yet, but still practicing!
And now that the day is all wrapped up, I'm grabbing my book and some hot chocolate! Books and hot chocolate really make life worth living.

Bring on the boots

Please officially welcome to my blog my beloved boots. You will see this pair often:
Scarf in hair - Somewhere in New Orleans (there are fleur de lis on there), Olive cami - Express, Dress shrunken now to tunic - Pac Sun, Jeggings - American Eagle, Boots - Frye (specifically the Carmen 3 strap)
This pair of boots began my love affair with Frye.
Soooo comfortable.
The day was pretty uneventful. Errands at Target, catching up with the DVR, and starting Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I pretty much love any book about characters that also love books.
Other things I love? Simple hairstyles.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Yep, I'm skipping a Friday outfit. I had the day off from work (to make up for working a couple of weekends ago) so all I did was clean the house and practice braids on Child's hair. And celebrated fall (for real this time) by putting away my summer shoes (I kept some out that I thought could work with tights this fall), taking out the fall/winter shoes, and suede-protecting those that needed to be suede protected. Then maybe I sat in my closet for 20 quiet minutes and looked at the blacks, browns, and grays; soft leathers, durable leathers, and suedes; zippers, buckles, and laces; flats, heels, and wedges; ankle-length, calf-length, and knee-length, and just felt content.

Then I realized I really had packed all of the shoes that would go with this still-summer-looking outfit, except for one pair of shoes that I don't even think got touched all season:
Dress worn as top - Target, Blue jeans - J Brand, Pink wedges - Target
It's weird when you think you're intimately familiar with everything you own, and you're desperately searching for shoes not packed away in your closet, and discover, nope, you still have surprises creeping around.
Is this really then my final summer outfit hurrah?
On the plus side, at least they went with my top. And, look, look! I put my hair in a French braid! And yaddayadda, did a lot of adult things today, like make a pumpkin pie to celebrate fall with Husband's parents, aaaaand read three books!
Disquiet, a powerful novella about a disturbing family. Oh, and the cover's blue. Like my pants.
On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder. 3/5 rating. "...this is the reason (not Tolkien) that I want to live in a hill. With a charming creek outside. And I could skip around with my cow and my faithful dog Jack (and not my stick-in-the-mud sister Mary) and hope my crazy, adventure-loving parents don't kill us all." For other thoughts on scary parenting and other charming memories, read my full review here.
By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder. 3/5 rating. "...the family moves to follow the men who are building the railroad, and again, I'm worrying about the family because Laura and cousin Lena are allowed to run around like hooligans jumping on and falling off horses. Your first child is blind, are you at all worried your second one might break something? UGH." More worrying about the Ingalls' parenting style but relief that Laura is stepping up can be found here.
Disquiet by Julia Leigh. Also 3/5 rating. It has been a long time since I've read a novella. And I appreciated this one. In this small book, you get deeply immersed in these people's lives-- disturbing, distressing, depressing lives. Sophie, whose baby died during the birth, and grieves for the child by...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fave of the week: September 17-September 23

Whoa, is it me or did I have another good outfit week? And somehow, even when I'm not totally on board with an outfit during the actual day of wearing it, I see the pics and think, Actually, that was quite good. Also I realized that I almost had a theme going for the week of animals on my clothes--a ram, some fish, and bunnies. What other clothing do I own that has animals on it? I didn't even know I owned this many.

Back to the business at hand: For fave of the week, I'm going with Wednesday's outfit:
Once again, pattern mixing wins out. Can you believe when I first bought this skirt and its blue buddy that I thought I didn't have anything to go with them? It just goes to show you, you own enough stuff and something will work out! I work your imagination enough and commit to remixing, and you can find a fabulous combination without buying more clothes. Whew.

Also, I totally dig my socks.

Aaaand, if you noticed my hair looking especially straight and shiny, it's all due to Sister, who gifted me with a fabulous straightener. Thanks, Sister! Great hair is the perfect accessory to any outfit!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Elephant run

So I just finished Elephant Run by Roland Smith. What sort of clothes do you think about when I say, "Elephant Run"?
Olive top - Arden B., Necklace - Can't remember, somewhere Charlotte Russe-esque, Belt - Target, Gray maxi skirt - Express, Bracelet - I've had it forever, Green espadrilles - Franco Sarto
You think gray maxi skirt, don't you? Totally what I thought too. I actually thought, Completely gray outfit, but I only had a gray sweater dress and a gray dress with a way too short and swing skirt.
So, right, then I thought, Gray maxi skirt!
Do you also think, time to experiment and try the fishtail braid?
Man, we are psychically connected, aren't we?
The braid wasn't hard to do at all! But I also felt like it didn't look that crazy good. Am I missing something? Maybe it's just having really dark hair so you can't see it too well anyway. Or maybe it was too chunky and I should have done thinner strands? More experimentation then.
And how was the book, you ask?
I gave Elephant Run by Roland Smith a 3/5 rating. FYI, I have this year reached my quota on elephant books and books set in the jungle. I don't mean that in a bad way, it's just weird, right?, that this is my second elephant book in the past few months? And my previous book I was in the Amazon and now I'm in a Burmese jungle. Just a bit much. Bad timing on my part, like when I OD'ed on Charlaine Harris.

Anyhoodle, Burma was at least new for me. And any book set during WWII is usually A-OK with me. This novel begins with a boy, Nick, who moves from regularly-bombed London to his father's teak plantation in Burma. He's only just arrived, sees a couple of elephants, meets their trainers/keepers, the mahouts, when Japanese soldiers take over the plantation. He's a prisoner in his own home, while his father is sent to a camp. He works for months in the garden, picking up Japanese and, apparently, a tan so significant, that he is able to

Sock hop

So I was pretty certain Wednesday, September 21st, was the first day of fall. I usually pack away my sandals and most all open toe shoes and replace them with my beloved boots. The weather is getting better, but it's still definitely hot, so I decided not to celebrate with boots. But just open toe shoes seemed wrong.
Orange blouse - Banana Republic, White tank (underneath) - Target, Belt - Primark, Skirt - Anthropologie, Stocking socks - Charlotte Russe Outlet, Black bow heels - Target
I know. I got strange looks and zero comments. But I dug it anyway.
I've been wanting to bust out these babies since I bought them while in Arizona.
Then I found out fall doesn't even start until Friday, September 23rd. That probably explains the lack of calling I normally get for my boots.
How are you feeling about fall?
Have you reorganized your closet in anticipation of the new season? Changed out the shoes, brought out richer colors?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Baby bunns

I've recently had a few people ask when the baby thing is happening. I guess I've been married long enough for people to start asking. What makes me feel weird, though, is that for all those that are asking, I figure there are twice as many not asking. And are they looking at me from every angle trying to figure it out? Call me paranoid, but I do that to people so maybe they do it to me too.
Black transparent top - Arden B., Dress - Erin Fetherston for Target, Black patent leather shoes - BCBGirls
What is something I see a lot of pregnant ladies wear? Empire waist dresses. Not only do I have that sort of situation with my dress, but then I wore an empire top over it too.
And I did actually think to myself, Man, whenever I am pregnant, I am going for this outfit.
But I am most definitely not with child. So I overcompensate for any misconceptions by talking about how I had a beer with dinner the night before, or I drink more wine than anybody else at dinner.
Good plan, right?
Besides feeling paranoid about my outfit, I was actually pretty proud of it. This dress has spaghetti straps, so I need to wear something over it to make it work-friendly. Meanwhile, this top is obviously see-through, and it's hard to find a tank top to wear underneath it with a proper neckline, so it doesn't get worn much. Combining two non-work pieces to make a work-friendly outfit?
Makes me happy!

State of Wonder

When Husband saw me in this outfit, he said, "You look like the jungle." Perfect!
Blue striped shirt - Nordstrom, White tank (underneath) - Target, Skirt - vintage, from Mom, Black wedge boots - Gentle Souls from Kenneth Cole
He didn't even realize I wore this to go along with my review of State of Wonder by Ann Patchett! Which is of course set in the Amazon!
Black purse - Coach
Before I get all into it, though, just wanted to throw in my purse because I switched again. Also to express my sincere belief that Coach is like a gateway drug, except, you know, with purses. This is one of my favorite purses of all time, a surprise at Christmas, which got me hooked on really nice purses. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Back to books!
And swingy jungle skirts!
I gave State of Wonder a 3/5 rating. This is a solid novel. But I can't pretend like there's anything that jumped out to me that made me feel like, I love this book!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fave of the week: September 10-September 16

Friday's outfit was easily my fave of the week. I just wish I had better pictures of it!
There's something about wearing a dress that you feel a connection with because it was your mama's. I loved the whimsical pattern of fruit on the dress, with the very fall-time orange background. The gray shoes perfectly matched the gray on the dress, while the yellow purse and belt played off of each other. I felt pulled together and stylish, just what I needed for one last day of running around NYC (even the shoes were comfortable enough for that running around!).

Where's your Carolina blue?

Nothing makes me feel more at home than sleeping in, eating whatever food we can pull out of fridge, and slipping on the Carolina blue to visit with...
Rameses, also decked out in Carolina blue, looking adorable.
Husband and I went to the Carolina vs. Virginia football game. It was weird going from liking Virginia very much after visiting Charlottesville just last week to feeling like I wanted to deck the woman next to me for screaming, "Wahooooooooooos!" every two seconds.
Sweatshirt - Some store on Franklin St...., Belt - Target, Skinny jeans - 7 for All Mankind, Boots - Some store in Oxford (I know, it's amazing how much information I have in this noggin)
I mean, I look pretty fierce, right? The milk braids (probably the best I've ever gotten them) scream "Warrior!", right? Picture of a ram wearing a little hat is pretty darn dangerous looking.
Whatever, I don't need to be tough, the team needs to be tough.
How did the game go? We whipped them. 3 and 0, baby.

Lasting impression

For my last day of work in NYC, I wanted to leave a good lasting impression by wearing something still professional, but with even more of my own personality mixed in. (Apologies in advance for the terrible quality of these photos. Husband took my outfit pictures before my trip, and couldn't take anymore at this point, so I was relying on poor lighting and a timer.)
Black cami (underneath) - Express, Dress - Vintage, taken with many oohs and ahhs from Mom's closet, Belt - From a skirt bought at Primark, Yellow satchel - Kate Spade
I have wanted to wear this dress for the longest time, but it's never looked quite right. Now that midi-lengths are accepted, and even happily worn by those in fashion, this dress somehow looks right!
Mom, I wish you had more of your old stuff that I could now steal. And I'm sorry for ever making fun of your old clothes.
I actually had a black belt and shoes with this dress at first, but I had to switch those out once I decided on this purse.
Strappy wedges - Jeffrey Campbell
I thought to myself, Why have I not been doing more pattern mixing using belts?!
I need more patterned belts, right?
After work was done, I hauled all of my luggage to meet Best Friend (from college) during her lunch break. We had a quick catch-up of our lives at a cafe owned by Japanese people, which resulted in good food, barley tea, and a cozy, warm ambiance for us. There were several squeezing hugs that I cherished, then I was hailing a cab to the airport, and she went back to work.

Truthfully, I was feeling very sad about leaving, but I got back safe and sound, drove home, and left my bags in the car to rush in to see Husband. I was immediately hit with a wave of good food smells, saw a table set for two, and got more hugs before sitting down to a home-cooked meal. It was very sweet and made me very happy to be home!

No. 2 pencil skirt

For my big, big day of presentations and conversations, I had to go with J. Crew's No. 2 pencil skirt.
White button down - Petite Sophisticate, Black patent belt - Primark, Viridian green skirt - J. Crew, Green bracelet - J. Crew, Black heels - Target
How do you not feel professional in a pencil skirt and crisp white shirt? I even got a compliment from one of the toughest people I work with--the color of the skirt won him over.
Yellow satchel - Kate Spade
It was a relief when the day was through, mainly because the day felt like a success. A couple of coworkers and I changed once the day and evening were through (it was freezing!) and trotted on down to Milk Bar. I bought some cookies and truffles to bring home to Husband, and as a treat for myself, had a cereal milk soft serve.
We walked back in the cold, eating cold treats. Not too bright, but yummy!
The weather really had me thinking that fall's arrived. I can't wait to pair this skirt with bright sweaters and comfy boots.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Real life color blocking

I know other style bloggers have hit everybody lately with New York Fashion Week pics. I most certainly did not go to NYC for that, but for my actual job.
These are my planned outfits and accessories.
This is one of my biggest work events of the year, so I wanted to up my game, but also I wanted to plan my shoes and outfits better than Seattle's trip.
Black heels for serious outfits, flats to change into while walking, funky but comfortable sandals.
I was super happy with my traveling outfit and day in the NY office.
Yellow cardigan - Gap Outlet, Teal blouse - Express, Black patent belt - Primark, Purple pencil skirt - Nordstrom
The skirt has a lot of stretch to it so it was very comfortable for the amount of walking, bending, and eating that happened on the first day.
Color blocking...
The teal and purple combo got a sincere compliment, from somebody that read in Real Simple that it's the latest color combo to make, but they hadn't believed it would work in Real Life. real life.
The day ended at a wine and chocolate bar with two friends, so I was happy that it wasn't all work and no play!