Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My Favorite Everyday Fall (So Far)

With the end of the July, pre-fall and fall releases are cropping up everywhere. I don't know about the rest of the world, but here in southern California, summer weather will likely continue well through September, and possibly even into October, so I'm not in a huge hurry to stock up on cool-weather clothing. However, this doesn't mean I'm not cataloguing and keeping a mental list of things I want to pick up when the weather finally does turn.

And so far, the "fall collection" (I have that in quotation marks because I'm not entirely sure that a retailer's seasonal line can accurately be described as a "collection"...) that I'm loving the most belongs to...


Yep, Boden. J. Crew? Nice. Anthro? Okay. Madewell? Sure. But Boden?

That's where my money's headed. 

I know. It surprised me too. Because to be honest, while I love Boden's kids' lines, I haven't been all that enchanted with their women's line in quite a while. It's been sort of the same and well...kinda bordering on mumsy. *Ahem* But this fall line - it hits all the right notes. I really really like it.

Am I right?

So here are all the items I've earmarked in my very-much-thumbed-through copy of the Autumn 2012 Boden catalogue. (Yes, I did use the British spelling. I thought it was appropriate here. ^_-):

1. Toasty Heath Jacket (I'm always looking for the perfect San Diego-winter appropriate jacket. This one looks super promising!)
2. Marylebone Coat (It's like the coat Mary Poppins wore. Only...not as 19th century, right? Love.)
3. Moleskine Blazer (a great alternative to the J. Crew Schoolboy Blazer and costs about $70 less...)

4. Everyday Jumper (This is a great basic wool sweater in some not-so-basic colors. I love the pink and the yellow-striped versions.)
5. Casual Cable Cardigan (What a great basic! I want one in each color...)
6. Skye Jumper (The marled yarn and nubbier texture of this sweater takes me back to J. Crew from "days of yore." You know...back when the roll-neck sweater was still an annual staple. I still miss the sweaters from those days.)

7. Woven Crinkle Shirt (I think I'm definitely going to have to spring for the blue floral - it's just...perfect. *happy sigh*)
8. Essential Shirt (I love a good printed button-up. They're wonderful on their own or as a layering element.)
9. Wrap Jersey Top (I love the way this top fits the model - looks comfy but finished at the same time. And it's machine washable! Win!)
10. Peter Pan Top (Adorable!)
11. Autumn Breton (So, I love stripes, but am particular about them. I love the size and spacing of the stripes on this cotton basic.)

12. Printed A-Line Skirt (Are we tired of polka dots yet? Nope, still love 'em!)
13. Wool Midi Skirt (So, yes, I'll need to have this taken up a couple inches, but it looks like it'd be an amazing fall/winter staple for years and years to come.)
14. Swishy Jersey Skirt (Remember that thing I asked about dots, earlier? Mmhm.)
15. Flippy Cord Skirt (Just adorable. Which color do you choose???) 

16. Riviera Shirt Dress (I'm not entirely sure how this would fit me, but I love the way it almost looks like a coat in the product shot. Willing to give it a try...)
17. Placket Cord Dress (There's nothing quite as perfect for the fall as a corduroy dress - I love the way they styled this one on the model - tights, boots, and a scarf. I can practically smell the "crisp" in the air.) 
18. Scoop Tunic Dress (So, this is made of viscose, but it's machine washable - and it looks like a very easy dress to throw on and style. Definitely on my must-try list.)

19. Vintage Heeled Boots (This may be the year I need to replace my beloved Appepazza Martin Boots, and these might just fit the bill...)
20. Suede Brogues (I think I need a pair of oxfords brogues this year, don't you?)

I've never ordered from Boden, but if the quality of their adult clothing is anything like the quality of their children's clothing lines, I have no qualms placing an order. Fit will be another issue entirely, but I'll learn as I try. If you decide to order, be sure to use Ebates (2.5% cash back for Boden) and look for coupon codes - my catalog came with a code for 15% off + free shipping and returns.

What do you think? Which "fall collections" have you been loving? And have any of you ordered from Boden? Any advice on fit would be much appreciated!

Have a great last day of July!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Coming Up For Air (And a Little Valentino)

Hi everyone! Hope you're all having a great weekend. Apologies for the infrequent posts this week - I've been mired down in work this whole week with a hard deadline coming up this Monday morning. I've been exhausted but productive and I'm finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, which is a bit of a relief.

I did take a time-out from all this work to go to the Nordstrom Designer Preview for Fall 2012 with Kathryn, at the Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel this past Wednesday night. It was fantastic, even on just four hours of sleep over a 36-hour period, and we'll be putting up a nice big post sometime in the next few days on the entire event and all the beautiful fall fashions. But in the meantime, I thought I'd share some of the pretties I snapped on my iPhone - specifically, some seriously great designer accessories.

Valentino = *happy sighs*

(I just noticed that they seem to have been unlaced - I was too distracted by the amazing laser-cut lace-like detailing on the toe and heel of this shoe to have caught that. So gorgeous.)

(Oh my goodness, I want these so bad, it hurts a little. Note to self: buy some lotto tickets this weekend...)

(I swear...it's like they're just taunting me now. So beautiful. So insanely out of bounds, budget-wise.)

And this isn't mentioning the Valentino Rockstud Small Leather Tote (though the color was more like this than the brownish-red - you can get a peek at it in photo of the Ruffle Boot above - the bag is to the right of the boot) that I wanted desperately to bring home with me. You know...if I won the lottery or something.

Correction: Valentino = *wistful sighs*

And with the Olympics opening ceremony still fresh on my mind, I have to share this little bit of Alexander McQueen too:

And I already posted this photo of us on our Facebook page, but in case you missed it...

Kathryn's outfit details:

Carol's outfit details:
Dress: Ted Baker London Foxglove Silk Dress (via Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!)
Shoes: Miu Miu Suede Platform Pumps (similar here)
Watch: Michele CSX two-tone (similar face here; band here)

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Shop Good (Pop-Up Shop!)

Hi everyone! Hope you're all doing well this week. I'm still working on this proposal...and the clock keeps ticking towards my deadline, so I'm just coming up for a couple minutes of air to share this:

For those of you who are local to San Diego or will be in San Diego, there's a pop-up shop happening this weekend called, Shop Good - named so, because it features goods from eco-friendly and ethical companies. Our friends from Future:Standard will be there among others, so I hope you'll go check it out!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

All the Pretty Dresses (Wishlist Fantasies)

Hi everyone! Hope you're all having a good weekend. It's a scorcher here in Southern California - even in temperate San Diego, we're suffering temperatures in the high 80s and low 90s. All I have to say is, thank goodness for the beach, to which my family is planning to decamp, post-haste. I'm also aware that our forecast is laughably low compared to some other parts of the country (did you hear that 60% of the country is suffering from severe drought conditions???) so I hope you're also finding ways to keep cool through this brutal summer heat.

Moving on to the business at hand, I want to mention that these past few weeks have been seeing me wear a lot of (sadly, unblogged) dresses. Dresses are, as my long-time readers will know, one of my favorite types of clothing, particularly for their ease and general loveliness. For much of last year and definitely the year before that, dresses held real primacy in my wardrobe. However, I'd say the past 12 months saw me move away from dresses and more towards separates, which is fine - it's good to switch things up now and again. These past few weeks though, I've been relearning to appreciate the power of a good dress. With one garment, and maybe an accessory or two, I can go from nondescript or even frumpy, to feeling pulled-together and presentable.

A good dress practically has super powers.

So, with this in mind, I've been researching my favorite retailers for promising additions to my closet. Here's what I've come up with:

Nanette Asymmetric Dress, Anthropologie
(This dress is topping my list! But the petite version is backordered until October. =P Boooo!)

Any and all of these would be welcome additions to my dress collection too:

1. Knit Corners Dress, Anthropologie (Love the red and white stripes on this dress!)
2. Rauma Drop-Waist Dress, Anthropologie (The lace is so luxe but the shape is super versatile - this one would be great to dress up or dress down.)
3. Under and Over Dress, Anthropologie (Wonderful jersey dress - who couldn't use one or two of those in their arsenal?)
4. Crimson Ponte Dress, Anthropologie (Love the retro styling - so '60s!)
5. Polka-Dot Tie-Neck Dress, J. Crew (oh my goodness - this dress is killing me. I want, I want, I want!)
6. Classic Shirtdress, J. Crew (Please see above.)
7. Stripe Derby Dress, J. Crew (Another fun, stripy dress. With the right layers, I could see this dress working all year 'round.)
8. Workwear Shirtdress, J. Crew (My friend has this dress and it looks fantastic on her. It's a real wardrobe workhorse.)
9. Chambray Songbird Dress, Madewell (Such a great staple - fun and wearable silhouette and who doesn't look great in chambray?)
10. Plaid Songbird Dress, Madewell (You already know I love the cut of this dress and that I have a weakness for plaid...and it's on sale...)
11. Silk Dotty Dress, Madewell (Cute!)
12. Radiohour Shift Dress, Madewell (Surprisingly sophisticated - and looks fantastically comfy too.)

Now as the title of this post indicates, this list is a bit of a fantasy, so I'm definitely going to have to do some deliberating as to which, if any of these (Nanette! Nanette! Nanette! Polka Dot Tie-Neck! Classic Shirtdress!) will be able to join me. What do you think? Are any of these on your list? Or are there others you've got your eye on? 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Summer Layers (OOTD)

Hi everyone! Sorry for the silence over the last few days. I've been hard at work on yet another grant proposal and it's been a doozy. In fact, I'm not done yet. 

When I said as a kid, that I wanted to grow up to be a writer, grant proposals were not what I had in mind.

Anyway, all that proposal-ing (i.e. sitting in front of the computer for far too many hours at a time) means that 1) I don't have a ton of free time, and 2) I don't bother getting dressed. Well, no, let me correct that. Of course I get dressed. But I don't get dressed. Today was the first time in a few days that I actually took the time to ditch my frumpy proposal-ing attire and made myself presentable.

Sweater: Mossimo Boyfriend Cardigan, Target (similar here, here, and here)
Top: Elizabeth and James 'Brenna' Open-Backed Camisole (from the Anniversary Sale! Same fabric, different cuts here and here, and budget friendly here and here)
Shorts: Mossimo Cuffed Shorts, Target (similar herehere, and here)
Shoes: Lanvin Ankle Strap Sandal (similar here, here, and here)
Necklace: Kate Spade 'Hang in There' Necklace (similar here, here, and here)

The fact is, it was too hot to wear this cardigan for most of today. But it helped when going from overly warm outdoor environs to the always slightly too cool air conditioned indoors. 

And just in case you hadn't heard - today's the first day of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale that's open to the public! If you partake, let me know what you scored!

Hope you're all having a wonderful Friday! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Happy Marriage (Kate Spade & Nordstrom)

I was browsing Nordstrom's website, and as happens from time to time, there was a splash page with some pretty Kate Spade frocks. So, I clicked. And then, I was suddenly clicking through a lookbook that had me...well, I could try and capture the feelings I experienced as I clicked, but I think I'll just show you instead (what's that thing about pictures and words?):

Honestly, part of me wants to win the lottery just so I can fill my closet with these outfits. Lame? Maybe. Does that change anything? Nope.

I might need to save my pennies up and buy that green dress in number 6. And I'm just dying to recreate the outfit at the top of the post. I've got a skirt that will work...must find the right cardigan and blouse to complete the look. What about you? Which of these looks do you like best?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Last Time I Looked, It Was Still Summer (Piperlime Fall Sale)

I'm used to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. It's been going on for decades. My love for that sale is a well-documented thing. But in the past 5-10 years, I've noticed other retailers have also been jumping on the "sale before the season" trend, which is nice but also takes away the fun. Because do we really want to spend all of our summer shopping budget buying for the fall, months ahead of time?

No. No, we don't.

But still, there are some things that merit our extra attention, and I thought these shoe picks from Piperlime's The Fall Preview Event sale were worth noting (thanks to Chloe for bringing this sale to my attention):

(LOVE this color, but it comes in so many other great colors too!)

Others to consider...

1. Kate Spade 'Licorice' Pump (such a chic, sexy, classic shape - and so many great colors! That blue is fantastic...)
2. Kenneth Cole Reaction 'Slip on By' Flat (These shoes are so cute! I love the colors - and very Missoni-esque too.)
3. Kate Spade 'Karolina' Pump (Another classic pump. A great staple in any wardrobe.)
4. Frye 'Jackie' Button Short Boot (These are so fun - I don't own any boots quite like this...maybe I'll need to remedy that this fall...)
5. Lucky Brand 'Fanni' Boot (a very nice, flat, riding boot)
6. Frye 'Shirley' Riding Boot (same as above - but a little bit pricier. Lovely, though.)
7. Seychelles 'Dublin' Boot (always to be relied on for quirky, vintage styling. I love the top stitching. Not sure how well the "wrinkles" in the foot of the boot work though. Still...overall, probably a very comfy and pretty cute boot at a great price.)

This sale ends today so if you want to score these items at sale prices without waiting at least a couple more months (maybe longer), then you'll have to act fast. Happy shopping!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Just in Case... (Bergdorf Goodman Summer Sale)

...you're still jonesing for a little summer sale fun, department stores like Nordstrom, Cusp, and Bergdorf Goodman are offering up to 65% some lovely things.

I know, I'm a very good friend to keep sharing these fiendish temptations really great deals with you. You're welcome.

Some more pretties:

1. Rachel Zoe 'Amanda' Lace Dress (Did you miss all the variations on the lace dress at Anthro last year? This one could fit the bill...)
2. Diane Von Furstenberg 'Terrazzo' Wrap Dress (I love this soft coral color - and classic, timeless styling of course...)
3. Milly Shelly Keyhole Top (so pretty...I love yellow.)
4. Theory Taped Oversize Sweater (Did I mention I love yellow?)
5. Elizabeth and James 'Rosie' Silk Blouse (pretty yellow blouse! So simple - could be a real staple in any summer wardrobe.)
6. Marc by Marc Jacobs 'Flavin' Striped Skirt (I love the little birds sitting in a row along one of the stripes!)
7. Jason Wu Floral Print Skirt (because a lot of things about these lists are just the fantasy for me ^_-)
8. Rebecca Taylor Summer Bloom Dress (the ubiquitous tangerine hue that's so popular this year - and really - this dress is quintessentially summery)
9. Kelly Wearstler Numa Silk Dress (I keep eyeing this dress, every time I see it...)
10. Tucker Feather Print Shirt Dress (Someday I will own a Tucker dress. Sadly, this one is no longer available in my size...)

Hoping your weekend is going well! Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Geek Girl Reprised (OOTD)

It's that time of year again! Er...besides the Nordstrom Anniversary Pre-sale (*ahem* which I've been checking out daily...), that is. It's San Diego Comic-Con time!!!

I missed the first day because I had to work, but I'll be heading out there today after a stop at Nordy's to help some friends and the DH with their shopping. When I tell people I'm going to Comic-Con, inevitably I get the question, "Are you dressing up in a costume?"

Not as such...

Jacket: Kenna T Leather Biker Jacket, Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (not available online, check your local stores or call 1.888.282.6060. Sku# 429544238098. Similar here, here, and here)
Shirt: Wonder Woman Tee (similar here, here, and here)
Skirt: Anthropologie Apothecary Skirt (similar here, here, and here)
Shoes: Lanvin Ankle Strap Sandal (similar here and here)

I'm not actually wearing this jacket today. It's way too hot for it. I did want to share it with you, though, as it's one of the items I grabbed at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and it's not available online. Kelly, my Nordstrom Personal Stylist saw it and immediately grabbed it for me to try on during my appointment (I love her).

I am, however, a Wonder Woman, as we all (of the female persuasion, anyway) are. Yesterday, someone asked me if I believed him when he told me I'm an astonishing human being. I can honestly say that at that moment, I did not. I can also report that today, I'm working on owning it.

Hoping you all have a fantastic Friday and that you through every second of it, you claim the greatness that blooms in you! 


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Pssssst! (Nordstrom Anniversary Sale)

It's pre-sale time for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! My shopping ban has officially ended (but at the rate I'm going, will pick right back up in a bit). For those of you wondering, here are the details:

Pre-Sale is open to all Nordstrom Card and Nordstrom Debit Card holders (you don't actually have to charge to the card to access the presale. Purchases can be made using other forms of currency). It began yesterday and will continue until the day the sale opens to the public (July 20th). If you're not a cardholder and would still like to pre-sale, you can open an account anytime and access the pre-sale. Also, if you think credit cards are the devil (probably not too far off the mark), then you can open a Nordstrom Mod account, which allows you to draw from your bank account, but still provides you all the benefits of the Nordstrom Card rewards system.

Like last year, Pre-Sale purchases will be available immediately to take home. No waiting 'til July 20th to get your hands on your pretty finds!

Unlike last year, Pre-Sale can be conducted online!!! A note of caution, though - there are some items that are not listed online (such as Michele watches) which you will only be able to see in-stores, or order via an SA by phone.

Why Pre-Sale at all? Well, because the hot items will fly. Pre-sale opened yesterday and already there are several things that have sold out (*ahem* Chloe 'Marcie' handbag in dusty rose suede...).

And in case you were wondering, the Marc Jacobs Karlie handbag I got last year is available again this year!

Similar here, herehere, and wallet-friendlier here, here, and here

So, in summary, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale pre-sale is happening now and you must have a Nordstrom card (credit or debit) account to access it.

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale - which is the sale that puts fall and pre-fall merchandise on sale in advance of the season - is opening to the public on Friday, July 20th and will continue to Sunday, August 5th.

Brands on sale include Marc Jacobs, Rag & Bone, Kate Spade New York, Rebecca Minkoff, Theory, Vince, Free People, Michael Kors, Frye, La Mer, Philosophy, Khiel's, and many, many more.

The last word? This sale is the main reason I've been on a shopping ban on and off these past couple months. I needed to save up for it. And now?

Oh...now... (suffice it to say, a sale haul post will follow...)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Summer Olympics 2012!!! (Sophia & Matt + More)

I don't know about everyone else, but for some reason, summers seem more...summery to me when the Olympics (starting July 27th!!!) are taking place. So when my friend, June, told me about her adorable British-themed bags from Sophia & Matt, I immediately thought, "Oh! Perfect accessorizing for the Olympics!!!" (Haha, yes, that's where my brain goes, when we talk Olympics...). Anyway, June offered to write a post about her bags, so without further ado, here she is:

I am so excited about the bags I just bought from Sophia & Matt  in Greenwich, London that I asked Carol if I could be a guest blogger. She graciously said yes. First of all, Hello! My name is June and I’m lucky enough to hang with Carol in San Diego. Random trivia: her mother-in-law and my mother have been friends for over 50 years. We just learned Carol’s husband was at my wedding…thanks to a photo Carol’s father-in-law found.

Back to the amazing bags from London…sitting next to me on a flight from San Francisco to San Diego was a woman carrying a bag with this design:

 Union Jack Beach Bag

I had to ask where she got the bag. She answered, “London in a small shop in Greenwich. This design was in honor of the Jubilee celebration.” My heart sank…then she said the magic words, "They have a website and you can buy the bags online." Whoo Hooo. She told me the name of the website: Sophia & Matt. That night I went online but didn’t see the print of the Jubilee bag. I then found the contact page and sent an email. Then I went on facebook and wrote a message. I even tried calling the phone number, but they didn’t answer.

The next day I received a message from Sophia. She sent me pictures of the tote bags. I chose the small tote:

Small Tote Bags 
Specs: 10.24" long; 16" tall; 3" wide; £35.00 (approx. $54.25 USD); cotton lining, large internal zip pocket, and a main zip closure

And I couldn’t resist the beach bag: 

Queen Elizabeth II Beach Bag
Specs: 15.35" long; 12.6" tall; 6.3" wide; £45 (approx. $69 USD); large internal zip pocket, waterproof lining, and open top (no zip closure)

I got both bags and paid world postage at £9.95. The total I paid was £89.95, which when I got my credit card bill totaled $140US.

These bags are handmade in London and Sophia even wrote a sweet note to me:

I am so excited about these bags and just wanted to share. Enjoy!

Large Tote Bags
Specs: 16" long;  14" tall; 3" wide; £39.00 (approx.  $60.41); cotton lining large internal zip pocket and a main zip closure

Thanks so much for your recommendations, June! I LOVE the beach bag that June carried on an outing recently - it was large enough to fit her laptop, some files, a sweater, her make-up, her smaller purse, and snacks - without looking huge, if that makes sense. I'm torn between the Union Jack design and the Queen Elizabeth II stamps - as an Anglophile, how do I choose??? Anyway, in case you're cheering for your home team during this Olympics, here are some fun ways to wear your colors (just a handful of select countries - sorry, I couldn't research all 216 participating countries!):

1. Team USA! (here, here, here, and here)
2. Team Korea (Yay! Here, here, and here)
3. Team China (for the DH, Kathryn, and many of you: here, here, here, and here)
4. Team Canada (here, here, and not exactly summer-wear, but hey it's Canada, so...here, and here)
5. Team UK (here, here, here, and here)
6. Team Australia (here, here, and here)
7. Team Poland (here and here)
8. Team Russia (here, here, and here)
9. Team Brazil (here, here, and here)
10. Team Mexico (here, here, and here)

Last but not least, I should mention that June has a fun blog (Kids Dine Out) dedicated to fine dining for families - I highly recommend you check it out. ^_^ Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

I Want This Dress

(Kathryn here)

I guess that's a pretty straightforward title, hey?

A few weeks ago when I went to Las Vegas for the NHL Awards, I was wandering through the wide halls of the Wynn when I spotted a DVF dress in the window. So of course, I had to go in.

I ended up feasting my eyes on the beautiful blue Issa dress that Kate Middleton wore when she and Prince William announced their engagement:

I didn't know that this dress was still available for purchase...but there it was, right in front of me.

As I've mentioned previously, I'm a total sucker when it comes to celeb fashion. And Kate Middleton makes me really want things that are priced a little a LOT uncomfortably high for my shopping budget. Like how I wanted that L.K. Bennett coat she wore last November.

(which reminds me, does anybody know where I can find those red poppy pins? I've always wanted one of those!)

Anyway, it turns out that the Internet told me that the infamous Issa dress was, in fact, available for purchase online.

*Gollum voice* And I wants it.

I didn't want to make all my friends wait for me just so I could try it on, so I have no idea what size I would be in this dress. I guess I could always take a little trip back to Vegas, to see.

Priorities, right? *wink*

For me, wrap dresses belong in the same family as the shirt dress. In other words, I really like them. I haven't quite decided if this dress is really "bucket list"-worthy, but gosh I want it bad. I'd also consider getting it in red, since I really liked that version on Pippa.

Do you ever see something on a celebrity and feel like you have to have it? If so, who are some people who inspire you?

Welp...in closing, I don't have any recent outfit photos to share. But I thought I'd show an updated pic of my eyelashes, three and a half weeks after my initial appointment (sans makeup):

I've definitely shed at least two dozen extensions by now. But I have to say, I'm still pretty happy with my investment, so far.

Thanks so much for reading, and I hope to check back in soon!


Friday, July 6, 2012

Spotty (OOTD and a Proposition)

Okay, this is where I 'fess up.

I had a small lapse in my shopping ban. A wee hiccup. I bought the Tessa Top at my local J. Crew store, at a ridiculously low sale-on-sale price of $21 (give or take a couple quarters). It's a great top, if you're looking at a way to ease into the whole leopard-printed-garment thing. Let's face it, leopard prints are, generally speaking, pretty darn aggressive. And I know you may have missed it, but "pretty darn aggressive" isn't really part of my persona.

This top, with its gently gathered, scooped neckline, it's slightly poofy sleeves, and buttons on the shoulders is a lovely, easy, yes - even sweet way to wear leopard. And made from machine washable linen - it's also 1) simple to care for and 2) perfect for warmer summer temps.

So...am I forgiven?

Top: Tessa Top in Safari Cat, J. Crew (other cute leopard print tops here and here)
Shorts: 5" Chino Short, J. Crew (similar here, here, here, and here)
Necklace: Kate Spade 'Hang In There' Necklace (similar here, here, and here

On that note, I have a proposition for my local readers. I obviously love clothes, shopping, and putting together outfits. Is this something you struggle with? If so, would you like my help? I'm looking for just a few people, who live in San Diego or the surrounding area, who are trying to discern and define their personal style to reflect their own unique selves most effectively. I'm willing to meet with you one or more times to explore your personal style and do some shopping/styling around that. As this is a way for me to try my hand at this, there will be no charge. 

I'm nice (I promise) and I think we'll have a lot of fun. If you're interested, shoot me an email (carol.prettythings [at] gmail.com). 

Have a great Friday night!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Independence Day (OOTD)

I woke this morning, with plans to spend the day at the beach. This was going to include a picnic lunch,  the building of sand castles, the chasing of and running away from waves, gently lapping or otherwise. It would be done amidst hundreds or thousands of other people, out enjoying a rare mid-week holiday, with their families.

These plans were thwarted by a gray overcast sky and cool temperatures - temperatures that would be sure to skirt "uncomfortably chilly" on the coast. We decided to stay home; maybe catch a movie.

Both the weather and the unexpected "free time," contrived to provide me with an opportunity to actually think about the holiday - the Fourth of July, or Independence Day - in a way that I don't usually. What does it mean to me, to be an American? How has it shaped who I am and how I live my life?

Dress: Reed Shirtdress, Anthropologie (similar here, here, here, and super luxe version here)
Belt: Looping Lanes Belt, Anthropologie (similar here, here, and here)
Shoes: Jimmy Choo 'Cosmic' Pump (similar here, here, and here)
Necklace: Beaded Bib Necklace, Nordstrom (similar here, here, and here)

It's a pretty complex question, and not one to be answered in one blog post. But I think I can get a start on answering it here.

Being an American means that as a woman, I can have extraordinary expectations of myself, and strive to fulfill them. I am only limited by my own choices. This doesn't mean there aren't social pressures from family, community, and beyond to follow certain standards and toe pre-existing lines, but if I really want something, I have the right to chase after it. Whatever that looks like.

Being an American means that I have a voice and am encouraged to use it. I can have opinions as can my fellow countrymen and women, and we can all disagree vehemently - but despite that, we agree to respect each other's rights to those opinions. 

I'm privileged to be a member of pluralistic society. This means, that despite what pandering politicians may say and polarizing public figures may crow across media outlets, I live in a nation that has no official creed, language, or race. We are different colors, belong to different faiths, speak different languages, profess different political beliefs, and we live side by side and work together and it makes us stronger and better and brighter. 

Being an American means that I have hope that my children will grow up and live healthy, fulfilling lives, pursuing meaningful work. That they will continue to benefit from the freedoms and protections offered them by this great land and its body of citizens. It means that I have a responsibility to do my part and do what I can to support the development of active, participatory, productive, creative, critical, and compassionate people through our systems of education, and elsewhere.

I have the responsibility to be those things, myself.

The United States has been and continues to be one of humanity's greatest social experiments - one that's had its challenges and that's no surprise - but that has and continues to succeed against many odds and beyond many expectations. It means a lot to me to know that I and my family have and will continue to contribute towards that success.

Being an American means that I continue to live and uphold these ideals every day of the year and not just on Independence Day. All the same, I wish my country a happy birthday and express my gratitude to it and all the people in it that comprise it. Hoping everyone had a happy 4th of July and that your 5th of July is equally happy.