Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Greetings

Hello, friends! Can you believe it's the last day of October? Halloween? No, me neither. This whole month feels like it just slipped from beneath my fingertips somehow. In fact, the past few weeks flew by in such a blur of hectic activity, we didn't get our Halloween pumpkins until...well...last night.

(Seriously, it was one of those months where you keep thinking you'll have time to get to that later, and before you know it, later turns into four days ago, and oh crap, tomorrow's Halloween and we don't even have candy to give out to trick-or-treaters yet!)

Have you ever been to a pumpkin patch (not the real kind - more the "pop-up" type that appears in random deserted spaces and/or suburban parking lot) the night before Halloween? It's a little...surreal. Of course, when you get down to it, all of it's just downright kitschy and strange. But seriously, hanging out in a picked-over, empty-ish pumpkin patch in the late evening?  

Totally feels like you're in some kooky indie film. (Or a horror movie, but I vastly prefer the former to the latter, thank you. So, we're going with that one...)

 Carnival-like atmosphere...only not...

When you're 2 and 6, it doesn't matter whether the setting is strange. You're just super excited that you're finally getting pumpkins! Rowan spent the better part of a half-hour, examining every last pumpkin in the patch, before choosing the one he wanted. Kate...well, she spent that time, just being Kate.

Gratuitous and sort of requisite image of really weird gourds. Just out of curiosity, anyone know if these things are even edible?

I've got my fingers crossed that sooner than later, we'll be back to our more regular (frequent) posting habits. In the meantime, hope you all have a fun and safe Halloween! 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mommy

October 28, 2010

Just popping in to wish a very happy birthday to my beautiful mother.

I am so grateful she's here to spend it with us.

Treasure your loved ones, always.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

bbiab (Quick Snap OOTD)

Just wanted to drop by and say hey. opposed to "heyyyyy," which would indicate a significant amount of alcohol intake...which, at this point, I feel like I could really use because:

  • My husband and I were involved in a minor 3-car fender bender on the freeway
  • I experienced mild whiplash as a result
  • I've had a million meetings for work lately
  • I've been stressed out due to these meetings
As can be expected, I've been taking refuge from the daily grind Which is kind of funny, because hockey will only be a good refuge when my team is doing well.

So I guess it's a good thing they went and won four games in a row.

...yes, it's embarrassing to admit that I've had a fair amount of my days made or ruined based on how my team does.

Anyway, Saturday was "FaceOff Fest" event where fans (mostly season ticket holders) got to watch practice, tour the locker room, ice skate in the arena...and get autographs and take photos with the team.

This is what I decided to wear... (ugh, apologies for the poor quality photo)

James Perse off-the-shoulder top
(mine is SUPER old but it's held up well!, similar, modern version here)
Forever 21 Skinnies (similar-ish here)
H&M Necklace (similar here)
Matrushka Construction Earrings
Me Too "Paige" Flat (on sale! woo!)

These flats were something I had my eye on during the Anniversary Sale that I decided to pass on, and as soon as the sale was over I decided I wanted them after all. Oops. Well, good thing they eventually ended up going on sale again. Because these puppies are comfy for a pointy-toed shoe. And there's just something that feels so chic about a pointy-toed shoe, no? AND...(the best part) I had Nordstrom Notes from my Anniversary Sale purchases that went toward buying these shoes.

I love Nordstrom Notes and Nordstrom Notes love me.


The necklace was something I had spied on Rosa of Love at First Shop here. However, when I went to my local H&M, they only had two necklaces left and they were both broken. I politely asked the manager if I would be able to take parts of the two necklaces to make one non-broken necklace. She said to go ahead and give it my best shot and then basically gave me the necklace for pennies.

Woo! Pennies!'s the little things you have to treasure, when you're under a crap load of stress.

And, since no Kathryn-authored post that mentions hockey would be complete without some sort of hockey-related photo, here's one I snapped during practice today, of the Ducks' current backup goalie, Dan Ellis:

(you can't really tell from this sweaty photo, but he's actually rather handsome in person)

Okay...well, I'm hoping things will slow down a little bit soon and I can be back to my regular, irregular posting schedule. Until next time!

Thanks for reading!


Friday, October 21, 2011

It's Been Quite The Week...(checking in & an OOTD)

Hi everyone! So sorry to have been away for so long. Both Kathryn and I have been dealing with really very busy weeks at work.

In fact, we're not quite sure we're in the clear yet.

It doesn't rain, but it pours. (Apparently, even here in Southern California.)

I actually wore a handful of pretty fun outfits this past week, and Kathryn reported this was also the case for her. Sadly, neither of us had the time to snap photos of them. In fact, the outfit below is one I shot a few weeks back, but never posted, because I thought it was too boring.

Bear with us. We're hoping that in a week (or a month) or so, we'll be back to programming as usual.

Top: Cotton blouse, Colors of Benetton (super old; similar here and here)
Skirt: Anthropologie (similar here, here, and just for swoon's sake: here)
Belt: Looping Lanes Belt, Anthropologie (similar here and here)
Shoes: Platform Clog Sandals, Givency (similar here and here)

So, what about the rest of you? How was your week? Hopefully, less frantic than mine?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Working It: What's Your Type? (OOTD)

Hi everyone! Hope you're all having a great weekend. It was a light posting week for us here - work has been super busy for me, but I have to say, it's also been pretty exciting. I'm starting to feel recharged and excited about what I'm doing, which is a really great feeling.

For all of us, regardless of our chosen occupations - be it full-time professional, working mom, stay-at-home mom, part-timer, or student (haha, some of us are quite gifted at making an entire career of this ^_-) it matters that what you're doing resonates with you and aligns itself to 1) your goals and values, and 2) your temperament, talents, and other more intrinsic attributes. While neither of these things are particularly fixed or static, it helps to be able to get a snapshot of what they are to help us better assess what may or may not be working for us in finding satisfaction and meaning in our jobs.

There are a lot of tools out there that can help you do this, and I'll be mentioning at least a couple of them  in this series. The first - and one of the best known - is the Myers-Brigg Type Indicator (MBTI). Based on the work of Carl Jung, it seeks to measure and identify the psychological preferences of individuals that influence how they see the world and make decisions. The MBTI sorts these preferences into four dichotomous pairs (Extraversion or Introversion, Sensing or Intuition, Thinking or Feeling, and Judgment or Perception), resulting in a total of 16 possible types. These types aren't totally fixed, and in some people, can change over the years.

If you don't know your type yet, you can take a free online version of the test here. For more information about the different types and how they see/interact with the world, there's a pretty good website on it here. Also, if you want to read more in-depth on the Myers-Brigg types and how they interact with each other, I recommend David Kiersey's Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence. It's fascinating stuff (if you find this sort of thing fascinating. Clearly, I do). 

So my type? I'm an ENFP - extraversion, intuition, feeling, and perception. I love being around and with people. I'm pretty darn idealistic - and I'm usually pretty vocal about it. I'm fairly open-minded, and find interest in a variety of issues, ideas, and content areas. I'm also more messy than neat, more likely to be diplomatic or spare someone's feelings, than be blunt and (harshly) truthful, easily distracted (because everything is interesting!), impulsive, and goofy. I hate routine, repetitive tasks (housekeeping is anathema!) and love big ideas (hence my fangirl tendencies about TED). 

Top: Silk Blouse, Ports 1961 (similar here, here, and here)
Pants: Wide-leg denim trousers, Tory Burch 
Necklace: Hang In There Glasses Pendant, Kate Spade
Shoes: Platform Clog Sandals, Givenchy
Watch: Crystal Chronograph Watch, Michael Kors (and on sale here!)

So, what about you? What's your type? 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Art of Fashion: Timken Museum of Art

On the last weekend of September, I had the opportunity to attend the fourth annual Art of Fashion at the Timken Museum of Art, here in San Diego's Balboa Park. The Art of Fashion is a collaboration between the Timken and Fashion Careers College (FCC). Students from FCC are invited to use art from the Timken's permanent collection as inspiration for clothing designs. Their designs are then showcased, in front of the art that inspired them, at the Art of Fashion. Proceeds from the Art of Fashion benefited the Timken Museum's art education programs.

Here are some of the amazing pieces created by the designers, worn by models, and sometimes posed with the designers themselves (please note this is a very photo-heavy post):

Art: Bartolomeo Veneto, Portrait of a Lady in a Green Dress
Designer: Suzanne Lemasters
This ensemble is one of the six that were selected for exhibition at the Timken during the month of October.

Art: Philippe de Champaigne, Christ Healing the Blind
Designer: Sharlene Borromeo
The designer incorporated some very literal translations of imagery from the painting, into this dress. The bodice is made up of mountain peaks and aqueduct archways wrap around the waist.

Detail of hair and makeup; by Salon on 30th

The makeup on this model was so beautiful, I had to get a close-up of it, to share with you. Just amazing!

Art: Francois Clouet, Guy XVII, Comte de Laval
Designer: Charise Noelle Crawford
The designer of this outfit (somehow the word "outfit" seems inadequate, but I don't know what else I should be calling them) made the feathered headpiece herself. I loved the softness and texture it lent an otherwise simple and almost austere ensemble.

Art: Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, View of Volterra
Designer: Jasmine Johnson
I loved the back of this dress - it evoked the landscape featured in the painting perfectly, and the sheen of the fabrics really brought out the richness of foliage and rushing water beautifully.

Art: Benjamin West, Fidelia and Speranza
Designer: Camille Lim
There was something so elegant, simple, yet lush about this dress, that it caught my eye over and over again. Just beautiful!

Art: Raphael Peale, Cutlet and Vegetables
Designer: Jeffrey Parish
As weird as this dress is, it was definitely one of my favorites. The use of the red printed fabric to evoke the marbling of meat was just brilliant.

Art: Francois Boucher, Lovers in a Park
Designer: Hellen Magni Nitschke
This dress seemed to be a guest favorite, the night of the event, drawing lots of attention throughout the evening.

Art: Petrus Christus, Death of the Virgin
Designer: Heather Panetti
I thought this dress captured a playfulness in its shape and length that I really liked. And can I say I love how the designer coordinated her own outfit to the dress she created and the painting that inspired it?

Art: Frans Hals, Portrait of a Man
Designer: Ashley Tipton
This number grabbed a lot of attention with its dramatic "ruff" that was inspired by the stiff ruffled collar worn by the gentleman in the painting. There was something rather insect-like, about it, and I have to confess that I was seized with the desire to see what would happen should the dress be caught in a strong gale. Made me think of Theo Jansen's works (which I love).

Art: Kazan Mother of God
Designer: Arturo Mendez
This gown took up nearly the entire room that it was displayed in - the train was that long. I loved the colors here, and there was some really beautiful detailing at the high waist, with some sort of lace applique layered beneath the waistband. But my favorite thing about this was the shawl-like vest she's wearing over the dress. It was really gorgeous.

Tables in the galleries.
Along with the artwork and fashion, there was also a charity auction taking place, and lovely drinks and refreshments being served. I think this may be the only time I've ever eaten in an art know...nibbling on tasty hors d'oeuvres and sipping champagne while admiring paintings... (which leads me to this other sort of random thought - the Timken would probably be a fantastic venue for a smaller (but really nice) wedding).

Seating area on the patio. The Timken Museum opens in the back to the Lily Pond and other museums and buildings.

My own outfit for the evening.

Twilight over the Prado
Overall, it was a gorgeous event and I'm so glad I was able to attend. If you're local to San Diego or happen to be in town, I highly recommend you check out the Timken - it's a small, intimate sort of museum, and it has a really beautiful collection, which I am looking forward to perusing at leisure, sometime in the future. Admission to the museum is always free too, which is an added bonus, and as I mentioned before, some of the designs from Art of Fashion will be on exhibit during the month of October. 

Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Thread Show - A Quick Reminder

Hey everybody! I just wanted to give a quick reminder to all our San Diego and other SoCal locals that the Thread Show is this Sunday, from noon to 5 PM (starts at 11 AM for those holding VIP tickets, which are $25). The cost of attendance is $5, but I have two extra tickets, if you still want to attend. Please email me (carol.prettythings [at] ASAP to let me know, as I'm trying to finalize plans with everyone.

I have to say, the more I hear about this event, the more excited I am. An Anthropologie sweater designer, Lia Molly will be there, as will Jedidiah and of course, one of my favorites, Future:Standard. There are also supposed to be over one hundred other fashion, jewelry, and accessories designers in attendance, which is really exciting too. It was just covered in San Diego Magazine, and it sounds like it's going to be a serious blast.

Oh, and if you're coming, you might want to know there will also be a clothing swap, for those who want to trade their own clean, gently used clothes for those of others - that sounds like it could a really fun and budget-conscious way to get some fresh looks in your closet. The details for the clothing swap can be found at the bottom of this page.

Yay! I can't wait, and am looking forward to spending a fun afternoon shopping and hanging out with some of you. Hope to see you there! ^_^

Working It: What's In Me - and You (New Feature and an OOTD)

As you undoubtedly heard, Steve Jobs, founder and long-time leader of Apple, Inc. passed away earlier this week after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 56 years old. As we grieve the loss of this innovative, inspiring, and brilliant human being, I'm compelled to revisit his oft-quoted message urging people to find work they love that inspires their passion and allows them to create fulfilling lives.

What are the things in your life, that you get up for every morning? The things that you love to do - the stuff that feels like a win, just because you get to do it?

In my work, I have the opportunity to spend a lot of time reading, writing, thinking and talking about educational initiatives that help students prepare for careers. We're always asking kids, "Who do you want to be? What do you want to do?" But these are questions that adults should be asking each other - or themselves, as well. As Pamela asked the other day, "Have you thought about what else you might have in you?"

The fact is, it can be really hard to answer a question like that. Some of us know - have always known, and will always know, what it is we were born to do. The rest of us - well, if we're lucky, we figure it out, sooner than later. The thing is, as Steve Jobs so eloquently reminds us, we don't have a limitless amount of time to figure it out. And we shouldn't settle. As he put it, "The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you've found it."

What do you think? Are you still looking? Have you settled? Or have you found it?

I enjoy my work. It's good, it's meaningful,and it's even important. But I don't know if it's it for me. It may be that I just need to find the right angle on my current job - tweak it and nudge it into place, if you will. There are a couple of projects that are just launching, that may lead me there. Or it may be that I should be taking another direction entirely. I'm in my mid-30s, and I feel that while I have done some really strong work throughout my career, it hasn't always been great work. And with every month that passes, the sense that I need to find it - this amorphous, undefined passion - becomes stronger. If you, like me, are still trying to figure out what it is that may be your life's calling - what's inside you, if you will (thanks, Pamela, for such an apt bit of phrasing) - then, I'm hoping you'll find this new feature helpful and interesting. I'm going to be revisiting and trying out various tools and resources that might be able to help me (and maybe you) zero in on a fully realized version of myself (or yourself). And if you happen to already be there (so lucky!!!), I hope you'll chime in and share your experiences discovering that part of yourself. Here's a short video, that kind of gets to the crux of the matter for me:

Okay, here's what I wore last Sunday - due to unusual circumstances at work (I've just transitioned to a home office! And that's meant packing and moving and unpacking and organizing, and general craziness and chaos, on top of all my regular work...) I'm way behind on posting. But I got so many compliments on this outfit that day (and particularly on the dress), I wanted to share it. Apologies for the bad hair:

Dress: Unconditional Osier Dress, Anthropologie
Belt: Skinny Leather Belt, J. Crew
Necklace: Hang in There Glasses Pendant, Kate Spade

Hope you're all having a great Friday! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

In Memoriam: Steve Jobs (1955 - 2011)

A bright light was extinguished today. 
Your life altered the trajectory of so many of ours.
Our world is the richer for you having been in it.
And the poorer for your passing.

Rest in peace, Steve Jobs. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Nordstrom Finds (Quickie Fitting-Room Reviews)

Happy Tuesday, everyone! I wanted to write and post one of a few different posts, and even went so far as to start drafting them over the past weeks. However, life at work and home have been super busy and a little hectic (nothing bad - just lots of transitions taking place), so I've just got a quick little post for you.

During the week that Nordstrom's triple points promotion was going on, last month, I noticed these two items in the store. Last week, while there to get a pair of pants hemmed, I caved to temptation, and decided to try them on (just trying')...

Tory Burch "Roderick" Mock Two-Piece Dress:

I'm wearing the Tory Burch Roderick Dress in a size 0, and I'd say it was true to size. I know a lot of women don't like ensemble dresses, but I love them. They're so terribly efficient, yet also oddly quirky - not a skirt and top, not a single, normal dress - something in between - a cross of natures. Anyway, they make me happy, and this one, with it's trim silhouette, silk "dotted" print (actually a pattern of little squares) top, front pockets with button and loop closure, and wool skirt, makes me really happy. I really enjoy its interesting mix of colors - navy and beige on top and a navy trimmed gray on the bottom. It's got a side-zip, and a keyhole-drawstring tie at the neck. If it weren't for the fact that it's pretty much priced out of my budget, I'd have worn it home. Instead, I'm crossing my fingers that enough women dislike ensemble dresses enough to get at least one of these babies to sale in my size. Wishlisted for sale time!

Anthracite by Muse Plaid Capelet:

There have been a lot of capes out this season, but seeing as how I'm a small-boned, short-waisted woman with all of 5'2" to her name, capes aren't really an ideal look for me. (Think along the lines of a child wearing a large blanket, pretending to be a teepee...) I do, however, like the idea of them, and when I came across this Anthracite by Muse Capelet (indicating a cropped silhouette), I was intrigued. I'm wearing it in the Small size (no XS, sadly), and was pleased with it overall. Mind you - I'm wearing the absolute worst type of skirt for the cut of this coat, but I'd like you to picture a more streamlined look - let's say some fitted jeans - tucked into a pair of boots, with a turtleneck sweater layered under the coat. It's got potential, right? The proportions are still a bit bigger on me than on the model in the product shot, but I'm kind of okay with that. The plaid is cute, the colors are neutral, and it may be a more utilitarian buy than the comparably-priced Ascot Swing Coat. Wishlisted for further consideration.

That's it for now. By the way, this coming Sunday is the Thread Show, here in San Diego. Don't forget to RSVP for our shopping event - if you're local or planning to be in town this weekend, we'd love to meet up with you and do some fun shopping! There are still a couple of free tickets available (thanks to Natalie of The Bobby Pin), so email me - don't be shy! We'd love to see you. ^_^

As always, thanks for reading, and have a great day!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Who Wears Tablecloths to Hockey Games? This Girl! (OOTD)

Happy Sunday, Y'all!

Seems like everyone around me is sick lately, and as a result I've been spending an extended amount of time cuddled up in bed. And when I'm not cuddled under the covers, you might find me on the couch nuzzled up with my favorite stuffed anteater watching reruns of Law & Order. (the original is my personal preference...was there ever a hotter DA than Jack McCoy? I don't think so.)

Though I did manage to make my way off the couch when my phone jingled at me with the offer of free hockey tickets last week.

For the occasion, I decided to pull out my cowl neck poncho that I purchased back in...oh...July. A Nordstrom Anniversary Sale purchase I'd almost completely forgotten about.

As it turns out, I think my brain was on the same wavelength as Pamela's last Wednesday.

LinkHinge Cowl Neck Poncho (2011 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale purchase)
Forever 21 Skinnies
Frye "Jane" Boots
Oh, Hello Friend Pocketwatch Necklace
Francecsa's Collections Dazzling Diva Cuff (similar here)

Like others out in the blogosphere, I worry that wearing a poncho makes me look like I'm wearing a tablecloth or something. But I have to admit I liked the drapey, flowy comfort of it. I kept thinking that it appealed to my Star Wars something you'd see the ladies wearing on Tatooine, to protect themselves from the sun and wind. And stuff.

And so, tablecloths be darned. I like my poncho.

Me = #nerd

Thanks for putting up with my nerdy escapades, and I hope you have a great day!


Saturday, October 1, 2011

An Anthro Primer, Vol. 3

I knew it was time for another edition of the Anthro Primer posts, when I saw the name of the mysterious dress I'd purchased (rather impulsively) show up online a couple days later: "What is an 'osier'???" So, here we go friends, the third installment of the Anthro Primer. (For those who missed them, here are volumes 1 and 2):

1. Unconditional Osier Dress - osier refers to "any of various willows, whose pliable twigs are used for furniture and basketry," or "any of several American Dogwoods."1  I'm going to guess that the leaf-pattern of the lace on the dress is supposed to evoke the leaves of the willow or dogwood tree? Not sure what makes them unconditional though...thoughts?

2. Varvara Maxi Dress - So, the word "Varvara" is a variant of the name Barbara, and hence, there are all sort of interesting historical and contemporary figures to whom this dress may be referring to. There are also some locales named Varvara, mostly located in Europe (Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Finland, Bosnia, Russia, Republic of Macedonia). I'm going to guess that this dress references one of these locales, possibly the one located in Russia (I think they shot their September catalog there?).

Dame Nellie Melba
3. Melba Dress - We've all heard of melba toast and peach melba - but did you know that both of those items are named after a woman? An Australian soprano named Dame Nellie Melba (this was a stage name; she was born Helen Porter Mitchell), to be exact, who lived from 1861-1931. She was quite the star - practically an international household name during her lifetime (when she died, newspapers and billboards simply announced, "Melba Dead," and everyone knew to whom they were referring), but has diminished in fame since then, outside her native Australia, where she is noted as a historic figure and memorialized on the current Australian $100 note. And now, by Anthropologie shoppers everywhere, via a Leifsdottir dress.

4. Tangu Dress - "Tangu" is Swahili for "new beginning." It also refers to several culturally similar communities in the Bogia region of the Madang Province of Papua New Guinea. It's also a humanoid crow goblin creature from the Wang Kingdom, in the Epic Legends of the Heirarchs collectible card game (CCG). My bets are Anthro was referring to one of the first two meanings when naming this dress. What do you think? ^_-

5. Dalian Dress - At first I wondered if this was an allusion to Salvador Dali, the surrealist painter. But there really doesn't seem to be anything about this dress that evokes surrealist art. So, after a quick google search, I learned that there's a major seaport city in the Liaonning Province of northeastern China, called Dalian. The sleek column shape of the skirt (and I think there's a side slit in the skirt as well) might be referencing the cheongsam (a traditional Chinese dress for women).

6. Balkhash Shawl - Balkhash is the name of one of the largest lakes in Asia, and the 12th largest continental lake in the world. It's located in Kazakhstan, and I find it particularly interesting, because the western half of it is fresh water and the eastern half is salt water. Who knew that was even possible, in one body of water. You'd think it'd all eventually mix together and become a...well, diluted salt water lake. Apparently, the mineral make-up of the lake's two halves also impact the color of the water - on the western half, the fresh water is a cloudy yellow-gray and on the eastern half, the salt water is clearer, and blue to emerald blue in color.

Hypsometric tinting is used to indicate
elevation on this map of the Southern
Carpathian range, of which the Retezat
Mountains are a part.
7. Hypsometric Tint Cardi - Hypsometric tinting is the use of color on maps to denote changes in elevation. This cartographic convention was first introduced by Leonardo Da Vinci, but later popularized by the Scottish map company, John Bartholomew and Son, whose color usage became the standard we all know today: dark greens at low elevations which progresses to yellows, ochres, and browns as elevations get higher, and then to grays and white at the highest elevation.

8. Retezat Poncho - Retezat refers to the mountain range and national park bearing the same name in Romania. The Retezat mountains are part of the Southern Carpathians, or Transylvanian Alps, as they're also known. While they're smaller than the European Alps, they are classified as having an alpine landscape, and with their high peaks, are popular with both visitors and scientists. The highest peak in the Retezats is the Peleaga, which stands at 2,509 meters.

9. Chubu Caftan - The Chubu region of Japan is the central region of Honshu, Japan's main island. It stretches from the Pacific coast to the Sea of Japan coast, and contains the city of Nagoya as well as Mount Fuji.

10. Picholine Glimmer Tunic - The Picholine is a variety of French olive that is green and best known for its use in cocktails, though it's also used to make olive oil. It originated in Gard, in southern France, but is now grown all over the world. This top obviously gets its name due to its color.

So, there you have it: a round up of some of Anthro's more obscure item names from its current catalog.  Hope you enjoyed it and maybe even learned something (really, who is naming these things???).

Have a great weekend!