Sunday, July 31, 2011

Midi-Me (OOTD)

I admit it. I've been dubious about the midi skirt, ever since it made its appearance on the style scene. However, once I saw the On Air Skirt, I was intrigued. Could such a sweet, airy skirt really look as frumpy as I imagined it might on me? Well, I wasn't really willing to spend $200 to find out. But $25 at H&M? That I could do:

Skirt: H&M Mesh Skirt (similar here, here, and here)
Belt: Mossimo Studded Leather Skinny Belt, Target (similar here and here)

The mesh of the H&M skirt is super light, but densely layered, making the skirt seem heavy, when it's not, actually. It has great movement, swirling and swaying with every step or breeze, which I love, but it wrinkles super easily. Is the length frumpy on shorter me? Maybe. Did I like it anyway? Yes.

When I bought the d a c e Iris blouse from Future:Standard last winter, I did it, thinking it'd be an investment/work-horse piece for my closet. And I really have to tell you that it has totally lived up to all my hopes. I wear it all the time (as you'll know if you read this blog regularly at all) and it's just fantastic in every way. It's on sale right now, and while it's still a little pricey, I highly recommend it.

I've also received a lot of questions about the Jimmy Choo Phoenix Espadrilles I've been wearing a lot lately. I bought these from Nordstrom last year, but they're a perennial style, so if you like them, I'd suggest you keep an eye out for them. They usually don't go on sale - especially in this color - so it's just one of those things I bit the bullet and spent the $$$ for. I will say though, I get a million compliments on them, and they're just wonderful for lengthening the leg and adding a few inches, when wearing things like a midi skirt. ^_-

Super Simple Saturday (OOTD)

Hi everyone! How are you spending this last day of July? Not much going on here. Which is reflected in the outfit I wore Saturday:

Dress: H&M ensemble dress (similar herehere and here)
Shoes: Jaqui Sandals, Jessica Simpson 
Belt: Oh Hello Friend (bought at vendor fair; similar here and here)
Necklace: Ladybug Necklace, Miss November Studio

I picked up this little combo dress at H&M this past week. It has a very similar silhouette to the Readymade Dress, and is about a third of the cost (even on sale - whoo!) and the colors are more neutral, making it the more versatile choice. It's such an easy dress - easy to wear, comfy, super simple. I love it already.

And here's Kate's OOTD (no butterflies were harmed while taking this photo):

Top and Bottom: Ruffle Play Set, Mini Boden 
Shoes: Crocband

Hope you're all having a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Haul

Hi All!

It's me, Kathryn. Again. Hullo! I hope you're all doing well!

Well, as I'm sure you're all aware, Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale is well underway, and as I may have mentioned once or twice, I LOVE FALL FASHION.

So I thought I'd share my haul from this year's sale...

(...minus the YouTube video where I hold everything up one by one for you to see, complete with accompanying giggles. You'll just have to imagine my giggles as you read.)

These shorts were just delivered to my house (man I love being a Level 2 Rewards customer - free shipping, woo! [insert giggle here]), and it's love. These shorts are fully lined and the flannel is so soft it's like wearing a pair of sweat pants. You bet your bottom dollar I'm going to attempt to recreate this outfit when the temperatures get cooler.

It would appear that fall fashion seems to be all about capes. When I noticed all the capes in Nordstrom's preview catalog, I had Edna Mode's voice in my head. You know, from The Incredibles? "NO CAPES!" I guess that must've really stuck with me, since I failed to pick up any capes during the sale. I guess I just don't want to risk getting caught in a jet turbine, you know what I mean?

[possible giggle here]

However, I did pick up a couple of drapey things...

As of right now, I'm a little iffy on this ruana. (by the way, I just learned what a ruana is! Nordstrom sales are not only awesome for the wardrobe, they're educational too! [giggle]) I haven't decided yet if I plan on keeping it, kind of makes me think of a Jedi robe lined in Ewok fur. Or something that Padme might have worn in Episode II.

What do you think?

And I gotta love the Anniversary Sale for all the great deals on skivvies....

(YAY! This bra actually makes me look like I have breasts! [giggle])

And great deals on exercise wear...

I have to admit, I'm very conflicted when it comes to purchasing items by Zella. I've been a diehard lululemon fan ever since I discovered them several years ago while visiting Whistler in British Columbia. I've always loved their overall philosophy, their innovative designs, pretty colored sports bras and insanely flattering pants (hellooooo Groove Pants! ). And I really really love that they're a Canadian company that started out of Vancouver. So it's kind of weird to buy pieces from Zella, when I know that they're a line of fitness wear that is "inspired by lululemon." Some of the designs are almost exact copies of lulu designs (*ahem* "Booty Pants?") - utilizing flat seams, gusseted and reversible pants, hidden pockets, flattering cuts, you name it. While lululemon boasts their special "luon" material, Zella uses something they call "Zeltek." The similarities are impossible to ignore.

Now, I realize not everyone is going to have the same love for Canada that I do, and I know that Zella is significantly less expensive than lulu. (for example, Zella's "Live In" Capris are on sale right now for $28.90, compared to lulu's Wunder Under Crops which are regularly priced at $68) And I'm sure there are lots of things I buy that were inspired by other designers and I'm not even aware of it. I guess it kind of bothers me a little more in this case because I really love lululemon, and it feels weird whenever I hear someone say they prefer Zella to lululemon - to me, it's kind of like saying you prefer the knockoff to the real deal.

So that's why I kind of feel like I'm cheating by buying Zella things. Is that wrong?

Anyway, there's my haul. We'll see how much of it I actually end up keeping. How did you all do at the Anniversary Sale?

Thanks so much for reading, and I hope to hear all about your Anniversary Sale haul in the comments!

[insert giggle and little cutesie wave]

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Out of Touch (The Return of Kathryn)

Greetings, Readers!

It's been awhile.

Actually, I just checked - it's been over a month since I've posted. Yikes!

My apologies for my absence. Last you all heard, I was heading to Las Vegas with some friends and I was looking for some dresses to wear. Well, you know how busy things can get when you leave on vacation and you're tying up loose ends and whatnot. I had been so busy at work that, before I knew it, it was time to pack up to head to Las Vegas for the NHL Awards. (I was seriously at the office until it was time to leave for Vegas!) And not long after I got back from Vegas, I left the country to head up north to Destruct-o Central I mean, Riotville, I mean...Vancouver with my Canadian husband to get our little Canadian fix.

So, here's a summary of what I've been up to...

Went to Las Vegas with girlfriends. Met Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators...

Where am I? At the Palms Hotel, Las Vegas

What am I wearing? Bailey 44 "Indecent Behavior" Dress

Finns. Aren't they beautiful people?

Mr. Rinne was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy (trophy awarded at the end of the season to the league's best goalie), and...uh...while he was the goalie on the team that eliminated my Ducks from the playoffs, he is 6'5" of Finnish prettiness. And this is a blog about pretty things, so I say he counts.



Anyway, Las Vegas and the NHL Awards were a blast (congratulations on the Hart Trophy, Corey Perry!), and I had so much fun hanging out with my friends. I can't delve into great detail because...ya know...what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. *wink* But I will say you know you've had an epic night when you grab a cab to head back to your hotel and find yourself uttering the words, "Hey, is that the sun?"

After getting back from partying in 100-degree Las Vegas , it was time to pack up and head to...65-degree Vancouver.

It had been way, WAY too long since the husband and I had been to his homeland of the Great White North. We'd just kept making excuses not to go. But this year, Husband and I said, "Screw it, we're going on a vacation."

We happened to be there on Canada Day, so I trotted out my red Torsade Tee (red, for Canada's birthday!) and new Apothecary Skirt for my Canada Day OOTD. Which was okay, until a breeze would pick up and I would freeze my butt off. I must sound like such the Southern Californian, seeing as how I find it teeth-chatteringly cold when it's less than 70 degrees out. I did take care to carry a couple layers with me in case clouds rolled in (which they eventually did).

Can you find Kathryn amongst the Asians..?

Where am I now? Downtown Vancouver, in front of the Olympic Cauldron

What am I wearing?
Denim Jacket by blu sand (purchase in Italy circa 2001? similar here)
Superfluous Bellows Hoodie (Anthro, Winter 2010)
Torsade Tee (Anthro, Summer 2010, similar here)
Apothecary Skirt (Spring 2011, similar here)
(you can't see it, but I had a temporary tattoo of a maple leaf on my face)

Walking closer to Granville we could spot some boarded up windows, leftover from the aftermath of the Vancouver riots...

I love how downtown Vancouver sits right up against the water. So you can be downtown one moment...

Where am I? On the SeaBus, headed to North Vancouver

...and then be on top of a mountain in a matter of minutes...

Although in this case, I was on top of a mountain the next day. Still, you get the point. Everything's pretty closeby.

Where am I now? Grouse Mountain, North Vancouver

What am I wearing? lululemon Shape Up Jacket (no longer carried)
lululemon Reverse Groove Pants (now called simply "Groove Pants")
asics Gel-Kinetic Running Shoes (similar here, though mine are baby pink)

I loved breathing in the clean Canadian air!

Where am I now? Lighthouse Park, North Vancouver

And while in Vancouver, I tried to eat things I don't have in California...

Where am I now? Nando's Chicken
What am I eating? Peri-peri chicken pita sandwich, with rice

Where am I now? Japadog Cart at Burrard and Pender, Vancouver
What am I eating? The #1 Terimayo

Where am I now? Tim Hortons
What am I eating? A Boston Cream accompanied by a French Vanilla

So that's a little bit of what I've been up to. I hope to be back to posting a little more regularly now that I'm back. I'll leave off for now with my rather odd current obsession - Hall & Oates. I'm not really sure why, but I've been listening to them quite a bit lately. It might be because I find that I can't be unhappy whenever one of their songs is playing. And sometimes life throws you little lemons that make it hard to be happy. But Hall & Oates is largely very happy-sounding, and "You Make My Dreams" and "Kiss On My List" are a couple of my favorites. Maybe it's also because they made some of the most hysterical music videos of all time. And it's worth noting that two movies I love ("500 Days of Summer" and "She's Out of My League") include Hall & Oates songs.

So here's a Hall & Oates music video for you all. I have no idea what's happening in it, or what's up with the gigantic drum set, but it's hilarious.

And I'm outta my head when you're not around.

Thanks for reading, and hope you have a great rest of your weekend!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Geek Girl (OOTD)

Hey, is anyone else at Comic-Con this weekend? If you are, let me know! I'd love to meet you!

Here's what I'm wearing today:

Top: Captain America Tee (similar here and here)
Skirt: Cord Mini Skirt, Gap (2007? Similar here and here)
Bag: Belt Bag, Gucci (similar here, here, and here)
Shoes: One-Star Converse Slip-ons, Target (similar here and here)
Necklace: Space Ray Gun Necklace, Miss November Studio

This is outfit is all about con-comfort, and less about stylishness, so apologies for that. Here's what's going one with it:
  1. Comic book hero referencing t-shirt (Captain America, whoo!)
  2. Designer fanny-pack (I'll be wearing Kate in my Ergo carrier most of today, so I don't want to be lugging a handbag around too. I got this years ago, and now wish I'd bought the brown version, instead of the black, but oh well).
  3. Comfy shoes with Dr. Scholl's gel inserts (sooooo nice to my feet when I'm going to be on them all day)
  4. Space Ray-Gun necklace (do I have to explain this? I'm going to Comic-Con.)

S'all for now. More to come later. =D

Hoping your weekend is wonderful!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

An Anthro Primer, Vol. 2

Hi, everyone! Hoping you're all having a great week. I didn't have time today to snap an OOTD photo, so I decided to revisit my "An Anthro Primer" post from a couple months ago, and turn it into a recurring-ish feature. Only "-ish" because it's unlikely to be regular, but I found it so interesting to learn about what was behind all these strange names, I've decided to inflict these posts on you from time to time. I know. I'm an Anthro-geek. I'm not ashamed. ^_-

1. Crepuscule Shift

See this adorable little frock? Why on earth would they name such a pretty little dress after a festering flesh wound??? I know, I know, I didn't understand it either. At least, not until I looked up the word, "crepuscule," and realized that it actually means, "twilight." C'mon, gimme a break. Like you knew that.  Even better? The dictionary's usage example: "From the deck of our sloop we watched as the island slowly faded from sight in the golden crepuscule of a beautiful Caribbean day." Uh huh. 

2. Picacho Dress: picacho is Spanish for "big peak." There are lots of places that use this word as a name, including a state park in Arizona as well as the location of a battle during the Civil War, a defunct gold-mining town in California (now also a state park), and a couple mountains bearing the name "Picacho Peak" in New Mexico in the US, as well as in Mexico, and other locations in Central and South Americas.

3. Atrament Maxi - atrament or atramentum, generally refers to a very black substance, usually a liquid. Apparently, an octopus can emit a cloud of atrament. And if you atrament something, you're literally writing it down with ink (black ink, that is). Also, shares the same latin root as the English word, "atrocious" - atrare, meaning to make something black.

4. Talauma Tunic - the Talauma is a genus of the Magnoliaceae family. So, in other words, a pretty, flowering tree.

5. Cherimoya Caftan - the Cherimoya is a tree native to the Andean highlands of South America. It runs about 7 meters tall, and bears an oval-shaped fruit with a soft white flesh and many black seeds, which is also known as custard apples. Mark Twain apparently called the Cherimoya, "the most delicious fruit known to men."

6. Silesia Maxi - a historical region of central Europe, located mostly in Poland, with smaller parts in the bordering nations of Germany and the Czech Republic. Apparently, it's been around forever, (some enthusiastic Wikipedia author used the phrase, "time immemorial," to describe it), and has been subsumed many multiple times, having been part of Greater Moravia, Bohemia, and the Kingdom of Prussia, as well as having stood as its own territory, (Independent Duchies of Silesia) for a while.

7. Halcyon Blouse - halcyon is a term meaning calm, peaceful, or tranquil. Its roots, however, are much more picturesque and even dramatic, as it's also the name of a mythical bird (often identified as a kingfisher - which is an actual and real sort of bird, and not mythical at all) which supposedly bred in a floating nest on the sea, at winter solstice. It had the power to charm the winds and waves into calm. 

8. Bojagi Pullover - the bojagi is a Korean wrapping cloth, usually a large square of silk, used for wrapping gifts, bundles of food (my mother, to this day, will wrap a doshirak - boxed lunch - with a colorful scarf, to make it easier to carry), and other items. (And just between you and me, I don't really know that this little top fits the bill...but it's nice to see Korea represented in Anthro's repertoire of names and naming.)

9. Huipil Tank - a huipil is a type of Mayan tunic or blouse worn by indigenous Mayan, Zapotec, and other women, living in central to southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, and western Honduras. It's made by sewing together two or three panels of fabric, folding them in half, and then cutting a hole out of the center, for the head (very poncho-like). Usually embellished with decorative stitching and ribbon.

10. Nyanza Skirt - nyanza is a Bantu (one of 250 languages, of the Niger-Congo languages, including Swahili, Zulu, and Shona) word for "lake." It's also the name of a province in the southwest of Kenya, surrounding (appropriately) Lake Victoria. There's also a town called Nyanza in the Southern Province of Rwanda, where stands the old Royal Palace of the Rwandan Monarchy.

So there you have it! The latest installment of the Anthro Primer. Hope you enjoyed it, and as always, thanks for reading!

P.S. Just wanted to wish my DH a happy anniversary (should he be reading this). Love you, darling. ^_^

Monday, July 18, 2011

Pretty in Peach (OOTD)

Happy Monday, everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend. Mine was good. I did some work, did some play, did some housework, did some reading (currently reading Storm of Swords, book 3 in the Song of Ice and Fire series - otherwise known as the "Game of Thrones" series), and just otherwise enjoyed myself. 

Happy days. ^_^

So, today's OOTD was inspired by this outfit from the blog Keiko Lynn. I love the colors she used and sought to recreate it with things I already owned. The silhouette isn't quite the same, but I still liked the way this outfit turned out.

Skirt: Openwork Vines Skirt, Anthro (early 2010; similar here, here, and here)
Shoes: Jimmy Choo Phoenix Espadrilles (similar here, here, and here)
Necklace: Pearl Station Necklace, Nordstrom (similar here and here)

I've been on Pinterest for quite a while, but am not always active there. Lately, though, I've been getting better at pinning images of "outfit inspirations" when I see them online. I find it pretty helpful to keep track of and remember styles that I found intriguing or that caught my eye, when I'm putting together outfits - it's nice to be able to run my eye over all of them at once, and think, "Oh, that's a good one - that'll fit the bill today!" when I'm feeling a little low on creativity. It's also interesting, I think, as a way to document how my tastes are shifting and changing. Will something I found ravishing a year ago be something I'd care to wear today? And why or why not? It's an interesting exercise in understanding the influence of trends and marketing  and impulse on my style sensibilities. How much of it is really me and how much of it has to do with other social and environmental factors? I'll let you know a few months from now, how my choices are faring, over the long run. What about you? Are you on Pinterest?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Weekend Wear (OOTD)

Happy weekend, everyone!  Hoping this finds you all well. When I was getting dressed, I really wanted to wear something casual, but still put together, so, I pulled out this F21 t-shirt which I haven't worn in a long time, because 1) the neck doesn't hold its shape well (F21 quality, or lack thereof) and 2) because it always strikes me as a little too young for me. Still, I thought pairing it with the slim, dark wash jeans and finishing it off with a fab shoe and minimal accessories made it less "tween" and more "pulled-together cute."

But uh, maybe I'm just being fooled by my hair. (I swear, this Drybar hair is making everything I put on look better to me. What am I going to do after it goes away? Waaaaaaah!)

Top: Bow Tee, Forever 21 (summer 2010; similar here and luxe version here and how cute is this?)
Jeans: AG Stilt jeans (on sale here and at Nordstrom for Anniversary Sale here)
Shoes: Givenchy Platform Clog Sandals (similar here and here and here)
Bracelet: Until There's A Cure Silver Plated Cuff 

I recently heard a report on NPR about the HIV epidemic, and how there have been increases in the number of new infections in populations where we'd previously seen decreases, due to a general sense of complacency. With all the other woes our country faces - economy in recession, wars on multiple fronts, natural disasters, and other diseases on the rise (diabetes, cancer, and as ever, heart disease), it's easy to forget the terrible toll of this particular disease. Today, I'm wearing my "Until There's a Cure" bracelet, because...well, it just makes me sad to think that we'd ever become complacent about something like HIV/AIDS. Please be safe, everyone. Put yourself and your health first. You're worth it.

Friday, July 15, 2011

A [Really Super] Good Hair Day: Drybar Comes to San Diego

You know my penchant for throwing my hair into a ponytail. What you may not know is that I am severely blow-dryer challenged. Meaning, if I get my hair to end up at least slightly less frizzy with a blow-dryer, than it looks when it air dries, I count the day a massive success. And recently, I admit to having taken up with a flat iron, to get my slightly longer-than-usual locks in order.

So, as I mentioned in my last post, I was pretty darn excited when I made my appointment a week or so ago for a blow-out at Drybar, and once it hit this week, I was literally counting the days. 

I wasn't disappointed. ^_^

The new San Diego Drybar is located in the Del Mar Highlands Town Center, right next to the Jimbo's grocery store. (So convenient! Perfect hair + wholesome, organic foods! I can totally pretend to be Jennifer Anniston.)

The "menu" of service for the Drybar is pretty straightforward, and if you need help visualizing the looks, there are actually Look Books available (see photo below) as well, with photographs of the hair styles. I asked for a cross between a Mai Tai and a Cosmo - since my hair is usually pretty straight, I thought it'd be fun to see if I could get waves or loose curls. Of course, it's also really short too, so I assured the stylist, Kellie, that it'd be okay if it wasn't either, and just cute. ^_^ She said she'd see what she could do.

Each place at the "bar" (actually like a bar with its long counter) has a menu and Look Book for perusal. You're also offered your choice of beverages (it was 8 AM, so I had coffee - and it was good coffee too!) along with magazines for reading, while your hair is being styled. It was all really quite lovely.

The waiting area at the front of the facility. All the decor is so clean, cheerful, and pretty!

First, you're taken to get your hair washed in a secluded area at the back of the salon. I know it might seem silly, but Kellie literally gave me one of the most intentional hair washes I've ever had. Meaning, she seemed to be carefully shampooing every section of hair and gently scrubbing my scalp. It was lovely. She could have gone on doing that for another 15 or 20 minutes, and I wouldn't have protested at all. 

After being washed, we returned to the bar, and I got to settle in with my coffee and my iPhone, to catch up on emails and tweets, while Kellie went to work on my hair. 

After some discussion of my very Asian, short, fake-straight-hair (I say "fake straight," because it's only that straight when it's very wet, or has been blown out. When left to its own devices, it's frizzy and flippy at the ends and the hair on the right side of my head has a distinct wave in it, even though the hair on the left side of my head is much more straight and well-behaved. I kid you not. So lame.) the stylists decided that if I really wanted a loose curl, they'd need to use a curling iron. I was agreeable, and so they set to work on giving me the Mai Tai/Cosmo look I'd fantasized about.

I really loved the way it turned out! It's so different from my normal boring hair. And it totally inspires me to grow out my hair, so I can have a proper Mai Tai/Cosmo blow-out. Overall, I really enjoyed the whole experience, and felt pretty the whole day. Also, the Moroccan Oil hairspray they applied to my hair smelled very faintly of strawberries all day long, which I really love. 

If you have a special occasion or event to attend, or just want to treat yourself and feel pretty for a few days (I understand you can make one of these last for at least 2-3 days), I highly recommend Drybar. There are even memberships you can buy - basically, buying in bulk - to get a bit of a discount, if you develop a Drybar habit. ^_- You can bet that a "Bar Tab," (as the monthly membership is called) is on my list of "things I'll buy/get if I ever win the lottery." 

Thanks Drybar, for the great experience and fabulous hair! I'll definitely be back.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

July 15th!!! (Happenings)

Why all the exclamation points about this date? Well, first and foremost, it's Friday.

Phew! That's right, everyone. We've nearly made it through the week. Yay us!

My favorite Anniversary Sale 2011 Catalog outfit! SUPER cute!

Secondly, it's the first day of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! At midnight (Pacific), the website (which has been closed for the the better part of the evening, like many of the stores, in preparation for the first day of the sale) will open with Anniversary Sale items. Stores across the United States open at varying times - as early as 7 AM in Seattle, 8 AM here in San Diego, and some others at 9 AM. Check the website for your local store's opening time. Also, for you Twitter users, Nordstrom is using the hashtag #NSale, so you can track updates and announcements that way. It's a total madhouse at Nordstrom on the first day of the sale, I won't kid you. But for those of you who love the thrill of the hunt, or just have fantasies of living out a Becky Bloomwood moment, well...this might be where it could happen. Some stores, notably the Seattle store, have lines form outside before opening.

Thirdly, it's the opening day of the San Diego location for the Drybar! As someone who is blow dryer-challenged, I am beyond excited to be able to say I live within 15 minutes of one of a Drybar location. In fact, I have an appointment early tomorrow morning - 8 AM - and I'll be reporting back to you here, to tell you how it went. And just to back up a teeny bit, for those of you unfamiliar with Drybar, it's best described as a hair salon that does nothing but washes and blow-outs. No cuts, no color - just blowouts. I admit that I'm not totally sure that a fabulous blow-out won't just be wasted on my not-even-shoulder-length hair, but I'm still looking forward to seeing the Drybar staff work their magic and hopefully to having a really super good hair day.

And of course, last but not least, the final chapter of the Harry Potter film franchise, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, is being released. I'm sooooo sad that I don't have any way to go see it this weekend. We originally hoped to see it this weekend, while visiting OC (where there are grandparents who are willing to watch the kiddos for a couple hours whilst we slip out for a movie), but that trip has been cancelled because 1) apparently it's "Carmageddon" and while I'm not sure it'll impact the portion of the 405 that passes through Orange County, we've decided that even the possibility of the prospect of more than 1.5 hours in a car with two small-ish children is enough to deter us and 2) I received a work assignment with a really tight turnaround time, so will have to put in some hours over the weekend to complete it. We're definitely hoping to catch it sometime...just not sure when.

Will you be checking out any or all of the three things I mentioned above?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mocha (OOTD)

The last time I was in my local Anthro, I saw an outfit styling, that was basically the Atrament Maxi paired with the Hyperbole Pullover - and I loved the way it looked. Back at home, I remembered that I have a black maxi dress, and a couple crocheted sweaters, so decided to see if I could put something similar together. Here's what I came up with:

Sweater: Crocheted Cardigan, Banana Republic (old, similar here, here, and here)
Dress:   (similar here, here, and here)
Shoes: (unseen) Jacqui Sandals, Jessica Simpson 
Necklace: Zodiac Heirloom Pendant (similar here, here, and here)

Doesn't it make you think of coffee? Have I told you I love coffee? No? Well, I do. It is the sacred bean.

And when Kate saw me taking my OOTD photo, she wanted to get in on it too:

Top: Smocked shirt from Old Navy (winter 2010, similar here)
Dress: Next toddler's dress (similar here and here)

Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 11, 2011

I'd Rather Be a Comma Than a Full Stop (OOTD and a Little Extra)

Hi everyone! Hope your week is off to a good start. Mine definitely has. As usual, it's been packed full of activity - work, kids, home, plus yesterday, I went with the DH to his work's annual "kickoff" event, which was very interesting and surprisingly fun. It was held at the La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, CA - a really lovely place - and after a couple hours of talks by company execs and a motivational speaker (from whom I learned to think and say, "Glad to be here." Which, is true, by the way. ^_-), we walked out to a very tasty buffet dinner served al fresco, accompanied by live music. The last hour of the evening, the company's band played, rotating performers in and out - they were really good, which was a nice surprise!

Anyway, here's my OOTD, and what I wore to the event:

Dress: Two By Two Dana Dress, Kate Spade (now on sale!)
Shoes: Jimmy Choo Phoenix Espadrille, in nude patent (similar here, here, and here)

It was super simple, but I still felt pulled together and cute. Happy times!

And now, I have one more thing to share with you. Those of you who have been long-time readers of this blog may know that my younger brother is a singer/beatboxer. I've linked before to his music videos here (I love this one!) and here. He has a new one out - another Coldplay cover - and it's just lovely. Do take a look/listen, if you have a couple minutes:

And as always, thanks for reading!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Future:Standard Fitting Room Reviews

Hi everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend. Mine was pretty good - I got to hang out with the family, get a little work done, and see some friends. I'm trying to catch up with my backlog of posts, so here are the long overdue fitting room reviews from the Future:Standard trunk show. For those of you who are local to San Diego, and missed the trunk show last month, there's another smaller event that'll be taking place this coming weekend, on July 17th, at the Maida Salon in Little Italy (more info here). 

Before moving on to the following reviews, let me first explain that Future:Standard does not have a brick-and-mortar presence - it's an online store only, and the trunk show was held in the Blokhaus building, which isn't a retail clothing establishment. The "fitting rooms" were a series of four (happily clean) bathrooms outfitted with a simple full-length mirror propped up against the wall. I have a sneaking suspicion that the mirror makes me look slightly taller and slimmer than I actually am. The photos, therefore, aren't great, but I tried to take one or two in the full-length mirror to give you a sense of the overall shape and fit of the garments, and then one in the mirror over the sink (which didn't distort me), to show you some of the detail, such as color and print. 

The Sophia Dress was my favorite discovery of many happy discoveries at the Future:Standard trunk show. I'm wearing it in an XS in these photos. It has a fun, ruffly top (ruffled collar, ruffled cap sleeves, and ruffled bodice) and a functioning button placket down the front of the bodice. There's a self-tie belt at the waist, and the fabric (a cotton-poly blend) is a rich, chocolate-y brown, spotted with teeny white dots (love! See photo below). The skirt hit just above my knee, which I deem a perfect length. I absolutely love this dress and will definitely be saving my pennies for it. Wishlisted!

Detail shot of the bodice and print.

The Sarah Dress is a sweet, summery frock, with an elastic waist, ruffled, elasticized scoop-neck, and ruffled hem. I tried on the XS. I loved the ease of the dress and the polka-dotted navy print is just perfect. The skirt hit about an inch above the knee, making it a little too short for work, but great for any number of warm-weather social occasions. The top was a little too blousy on my petite, short-waisted frame, but will probably fit longer-waisted women well. Taller women should note that the skirt will probably be a bit shorter on them than on me, and factor that in, accordingly. Pass for me, but highly recommended for others.

Detail shot of the bodice and print.

I admit, I wasn't expecting to really like the Colette Dress. On the hanger, I thought the ruffles looked oddly placed and was dubious about the color. But once it was on me, I totally changed my mind. I'm wearing it in the XS, and it's a shift-style dress, that falls pretty straight down from the shoulders. But with details like the bateau neck, the shorter length (this dress hit about three inches above my knee), and the subtle hatch-mark print, it totally won me over. The organic cotton (grown in the USA) is light and airy without seeming flimsy, and I immediately could imagine that it'd be amazing belted and accessorized. If it weren't for the price (that American organic cotton doesn't come cheap), I'd already have this dress in my closet. As it is, it's totally wishlisted for sale-time. 

Detail shot of the bodice and print.

I have an odd fascination with shirt-like dresses. I can't get enough of them. This past year, I noticed lots of these "shirt" dresses (the kind that are cut more like oversized shirts and less like dresses) in various designer lines that were well out of reach for my budget. So, when I saw the Molly Dress from d a c e, I had to give it a try. I'm wearing it in the XS. While it wasn't awful, I didn't love it on me - mostly because I didn't think it did my narrow shoulders any favors. It really is a little more shapeless than I'd like, and the color was slightly on the drab side. I love d a c e, but this one will be a pass for me.

Detail shot of the bodice and color.

The Dolman:

The Dolman is possibly the coolest sweatshirt I've ever tried on. I'm wearing it here in an XS. Its cut is true to its name (a dolman sleeve style) and it has a great scoop neck (not too low) and a perfect slouchy shape that's fitted in the cuffs and at the lower hem, around the waist. I very nearly broke the shopping ban I was on at the time (as my lead-up to the Anniversary Sale) and bought this top. I can imagine it being terrific with jeans, shorts, and I even like the way it looked with the Apothecary Skirt I'm wearing in these photos. I'm back on my shopping ban (to recover from the Anniversary Sale) but I will definitely be stalking this top for sale-time. Wishlisted!

Detail shot of the top.

Often, when I look at "ethical" clothing sites and sellers, I notice that the items aren't very much in line with my personal style and aesthetic. They tend to be much more minimalist, or outdoors-y/active-wear-like, than I prefer for myself. And while I love the idea of purchasing and wearing ethical clothing (sustainable, fair trade, environmentally-friendly, etc), I've not been able to trade ethical for my idea of "pretty." At least, until now. I'm super excited that Future:Standard is finding and stocking brands like Shumaq and Koch, which let me both support ethical companies and find pretty things for my wardrobe. I'm definitely looking forward to adding more pieces from this company to my closet.  ^_^