Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Welcome to the Halloween edition of the outfit post! We had a costume party on Saturday with some of Josh's family, and boy did we have fun taking photos on the roof! Because I don't want to force a post with 16 photos on you (just be happy I cut it down from 250!), I'll give you my outfit/costume photos, and then you can click on "Read more" if you want to see any others!

And in case you couldn't figure it out, I was Abby Sciuto from NCIS.

Dress: from a garage sale
Lab coat: from the antiques show at the Expo Center
Shoes: Lulu's
Necklace: Bauble Bar

Friday, October 28, 2011

Easy autumn recipe: Chai tea

I don't know about you, but when it's cold outside I just can't get enough of hot drinks. I have tea or coffee almost every day, and the tea I usually turn to is chai. I have a great recipe for chai tea that I want to share with you. It's not a very precise recipe - it usually just involves me throwing a whole bunch of random spices into some milk and warming it up. But for your sake I tried to make it more accurate!

Chai tea
Ingredients (for one large mug of tea):

8-10 cardamom seeds
4 whole cloves
2-3 black peppercorns
1 allspice berry
2 coriander seeds
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup milk
1 cup water
2 black tea bags (English breakfast is what I use, but you could use almost any other black tea, although I wouldn't recommend Earl Gray)
Sugar, to taste

1. Place the spices (except for the cinnamon stick) in a plastic bag and crush with a heavy skillet. (I made the tea with the spices crushed one day, and un-crushed the next, and I can tell you that it tastes better if they're crushed.) You really don't have to use all the spices listed - the recipe I got this from didn't include the allspice berry or the coriander seeds.

2. Place the crushed spices in a medium saucepan, along with the cinnamon stick, milk, and water. Bring to a boil. (You may want to watch the pot, because when it starts to boil, it will boil over quickly.) Remove from heat, add the tea bags, cover, and let steep for 10 minutes.

3. Strain into a mug. Add 1-2 teaspoons sugar or more, to taste.


I'm taking a break from our Leverage marathon (filmed here in Portland!) to do this post. Do any of you watch Leverage? And if you do, does it make you want to become a con artist or a thief? Because every time we watch an episode, Josh and I always decide that we need to learn how to pick locks and crack safes. Anyone know where I can get a good lock-picking kit?

I don't have much to say about this outfit other than it was cute, comfy, and now no longer appropriate for the current chilly weather we're having. I guess I'll leave it at that :) Have a great weekend, everyone! (And make sure to stop by later in the afternoon for a chai tea recipe I'll be posting.)

Dress: vintage, from my dad
Jacket: thrifted from Rerun
Purse: thrifted from Salvation Army
Earrings: B. Lee Designs
Bracelet: won in a giveaway

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Natural inclinations

My natural inclination when I get home from work is to throw on a t-shirt and sweatpants, and flop on the couch with a bag of chips and watch TV. I end up doing this about half the time, but yesterday I wanted to feel good about myself, so I put on this outfit instead. Then I went to Trader Joe's, bought myself some munchies - and flopped onto the couch to watch NCIS. So basically, I did the same thing I always do, only in fancier clothes. Still, I consider that a win.

Sweater: H&M
Blouse under sweater: ModCloth
Blazer: thrifted
Jeans: Gap
Shoes: Sam Edelman from Nordstrom Rack
Hat: from my dad, from a shop in York, England
Necklace: vintage brooch hung on a chain, from my mom

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Transitioning a summer dress to fall

If you guys are anything like me, you hate to put away your summer clothes when the weather gets cooler. (Which it just started to do the last week or so! Goodbye bare legs, hello tights.) While I can't bring back the hot weather (I call dibs on that superpower if it's ever available!), I can give you a roundup of different ways you can transition a lightweight summer dress into fall. (If you haven't already put your summer dresses away for the year. If you have, dig them out! There's still life left in them!) The dress above is one I got at Target over the summer (and I think quite a few of you have it, too!), and it's such a pretty, happy dress that I couldn't bear to put it away once summer ended.

 1. Wear it as a top.

If you put a cardigan over your dress and tuck it into a skirt, it just looks like a top. I got the idea from this outfit.(Maybe wear some tights, though - I was freezing when I took these pictures!)


2. Add layers with a cardigan, tights, and boots.

This is the most basic way to wear it, but I stayed really warm in this outfit, and with a scarf (and maybe a thicker cardigan) I think I could wear this look in winter.


3. Layer a lace skirt, slip or tulle petticoat underneath.

I love the romantic feeling that this gave to the dress (though I think I would have liked it better if it was a blue lace skirt), but I especially love that it made this dress super warm.


4. Wear it as a skirt.

Put a shirt or sweater over the dress, and tuck the bottom of the top inside itself and belt it - it'll look like you're wearing a top tucked into a skirt. This will definitely add some extra bulk to your midsection, so I'd suggest wearing this look only if you have a jacket over it.


Of course, there are seemingly endless possibilities here - you can used different colored skirts to layer on top or underneath, different sweaters and cardigans, pattern mixing, etc. Do any of you have suggestions on how to make a summer dress work for fall?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Second verse, same as the first

It's very rare that I ever buy anything I see in a magazine. Sure, my copies of Lucky are littered with folded down pages and circles around beautiful clothes, but almost everything costs much more than I'm willing (or even able) to pay. So when I marked this red dress in last month's Lucky, of course I didn't think I'd be buying it - but then I won a $100 Lulu's gift card in a giveaway (!), and after literally looking at every item on the Lulu's website (I take my free clothes very seriously), I decided on this dress and these shoes. And then of course I paired them together. I didn't even realize until we were taking pictures that I wore the same jacket and boots in yesterday's post, but oh well. I'll try not to fall into a rut of wearing those two items together all the time, but they just feel like they belong together. They make me feel like a biker chick :) (Albeit a biker chick in a party dress!)

Dress: Lulu's
Jacket: Forever 21 brand, from Jen's closet sale
Boots: Lulu's
Sunglasses: Oscar de la Renta from TJ Maxx
Necklace: Bauble Bar
Watch: thrifted from Village Merchants

And because I feel like it's healthy to laugh at yourself now and then, here are some outtakes that I think are hilarious...

(Bonus points to whoever can come up with a great caption for this photo! I feel like there's a good boob joke in there somewhere.)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Black and white and autumn

Autumn is in full force here in Portland, and I am loving it! Everywhere I go I see trees on fire with brilliantly colored leaves. Spring is a time of lovely awakening, summer is full of lazy beauty - but autumn is when the world really comes alive.

This outfit started with the boots. Whenever I get something new I wear it to death for a while, and since I just got these boots last week, you'll be seeing them a lot for the next few weeks. So I knew I wanted to wear the boots, and I also started eyeing my new (used, fake) leather jacket. Since both of those are edgier pieces, I decided to go with something more ladylike for the rest of the outfit to get some contrast, so I went with my houndstooth skirt and my favorite oversized button-up.

Jacket: Forever 21 brand, from Jen's closet sale
Shirt: free from my dad
Skirt: Anthropologie
Boots: Lulu's
Necklaces: Forever 21 and Dress Barn
Belt: came with a dress
Ring: Scan Fair

Friday, October 21, 2011

High and wide

When I was in junior high, wide-legged pants were super popular, and I remember one girl had a pair that completely swamped her legs and reached all the way to the floor, showing not even so much as a peep of her shoes. I felt incredibly envious both that she owned those pants, and that she had the guts to wear them. A few months ago I was at Anthropologie and discovered these pants for only $30. While they may not be as voluminous as the pants that girl in junior high had, they're certainly a delight to wear.

Top: H&M
Pants: Anthropologie
Hat: gift from aunt
Necklace: Dress Barn
Bracelet: InPink
Clutch purse: craft fair in Lake Oswego

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I wore this on Sunday evening when Josh and I drove out to Costco for dinner. Yes, we really are that cool lame. We made a special trip to Costco just to eat their polish dogs. And I got all dressed up for it. (That must be why everyone at Costco stared at me. That, and we only bought one thing, which is apparently a horrendous thing to do when you're at Costco.)

Dress: thrifted from the antiques show at the Expo Center
Jacket: thrifted from Rerun
Shoes: Urban Outfitters
Hat: Asos
Necklace and purse: thrifted from Red, White and Blue Thrift Store
Belt: thrifted from Goodwill

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It's all in your head

These boots make me look a little bit like a dominatrix. Maybe it's all in my head, but there's just something about all those buckles that seems hardcore. So of course I tried very hard to make the rest of my outfit look un-dominatrix-ish. In every outfit I try to wear at least one really interesting, eye-catching piece, and in this case I felt like there were three: the boots, the skirt (also worn here and here), and the spider pendant.

I'm thrilled that Portland has been having 70 degree weather lately! Tuesday was magnificent outside - it was the kind of balmy weather everyone wanted back in June (but didn't get until August). I made sure to spend hours outside, on a run and then on a photo walk through the West Hills, because it may be the last warm day of the year. (And no, I didn't wear these shoes on my walk. I changed into them afterwards. I do love my heels, but there's no way I can hike for miles through the city in them!)

Top: Forever 21
Skirt: Forever 21 brand, thrifted from Crossroads Trading Co.
Shoes: Lulu's
Sunglasses: Oscar de la Renta from TJ Maxx
Necklace: Bauble Bar
Bracelets: H&M (bangles), InPink, and won in a giveaway
Bag: thrifted from The William Temple House

And here are some lovely fall photos from my walk yesterday:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Neon autumn

Sunday morning was just one of "those" days. Everything I did took longer than I thought it would, and before I knew it, we were supposed to be out the door on our way to a birthday lunch. And of course I wasn't dressed yet, so I spent a good fifteen minutes pulling clothes out of the closet, trying them on, hating them, and flinging them to the floor. Eventually I remembered (and yes, this is majorly dorky) that I had a notebook where I wrote down good outfit ideas for just such an occasion. I pulled out the notebook, chose the most appealing outfit from the list, and was finally out the door.

Sweater: Target
Skirt: Zara
Boots: Urban Outfitters
Sunglasses: Oscar de la Renta from TJ Maxx
Scarf and tights: Fred Meyer
Necklace: vintage, from my mom
Belt: Ann Taylor Loft, thrifted

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Pumpkin Patch

On Saturday morning Josh and I went out to The Pumpkin Patch on Sauvie Island north of Portland, and tramped out to the muddy field of pumpkins to get some for decorations. In retrospect I wish I had worn rainboots instead of my suede boots, but all the mud came off them eventually! This was a pretty simple outfit, so to add some interest I threw on my spider pendant that I wore last Thursday, and this cute new hat from Asos. When Josh saw this hat he started laughing and said it looked like someone's craft project. Personally I think it's adorable, but you of course are free to agree with him! I guess he just doesn't realize that scalloped edges are where it's at.

Sweater: free from aunt
Jeans: H&M
Hat: Asos
Sunglasses: Oscar de la Renta from TJ Maxx
Necklace: Bauble Bar
Bracelets: gifts, and In Pink
Belt: thrifted from Goodwill

And here are a few more pictures from The Pumpkin Patch!

(Yes, this is Josh! I think this may be the first picture of him I've ever posted on this blog. And no, we did not buy the giant zucchini.)

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