Tuesday, July 31, 2012

New bag

This was my Sunday afternoon outfit, worn for running errands (I bought thread and some extra bobbins, because dangit, I am going to make a dent in my sewing pile) and having afternoon coffee with my grandma and aunts.

This beautiful bag is my new purse, from the Portland company Ellington Handbags. I've been wanting one of their bags for years, but the cheapie in me just couldn't pay that much for a purse. But recently I was thinking that there's probably a reason why all my $30 purses have fallen apart so quickly over the years, and it's probably because the quality is proportionate to the price. So a week ago, after making some extra money at a side job, I bought this bag. Since I've only had it for a week I can't attest to its longevity, but I will say that the quality is superb, and boy does it feel nice. I know a lot of people think it's wasteful to spend that much on a bag, but I fully intend to get years of use out of it (and it will probably look even better with age since it's leather), and I think I've reached a point where I would much rather buy one expensive bag every five years than one cheap bag every year. How do you guys feel about pricey bags? Worth it, or wasteful?

[I feel compelled to include this side note: I hope no one thinks I sounded braggy talking about my expensive new bag. That was certainly not my intent. Since I probably won't buy anything that expensive for years to come, I felt like the anomalous nature of this purchase made it worth mentioning. I'm a budget shopper by nature - I really hate paying full price for anything - but sometimes it's worth it to splurge.]

Blue shirt: gift, from Macy's
Green skirt: thrifted from Crossroads Trading Co.
Brown sandals: Nordstrom Rack
Purse: Eva Messenger Bag from Ellington Handbags
Blue ear cuff: free from my aunt
Green earrings: B. Lee Designs, gift from my parents
Necklace: purchased in China
Silver bracelet: won in a giveaway

Monday, July 30, 2012

Polka dot pattern mixing

The last time I wore this dress was almost exactly a year ago (in this post). Obviously I'm not great at wearing all my clothes on a regular basis. I really shouldn't have neglected this piece, though, because it has such a fun pattern, plus that magic ingredient that every woman loves in a dress - pockets. I decided to go for a bit of a retro look with the white collared blouse and white wedges, and I borrowed the idea of pattern mixing with the belt from the last time I wore this dress.

When I was putting together this outfit I had on a layered pearl necklace that I tucked under the collar. Josh took one look at it and said, "You should take that off. It makes your outfit too busy." Every year when Project Runway returns, he goes all Tim Gunn on me for a few months and styles my outfits. I kind of love it. It took a lot of convincing to get him to watch that show with me, but now he loves all the drama, and it's taught him enough about fashion that quite often he knows what looks good better than I do.

We discovered this park yesterday and used it for these outfit photos. It's right in the middle of the city, but in this photo it looks like it's far out in the country....

Red polka dot dress: possibly vintage
White blouse: free from my aunt
White wedges: Sam Edelman (Kendall wedges) from Piperlime
Belt: thrifted
Red watch: thrifted from Village Merchants

Friday, July 27, 2012

Pink, black and gold

Portland has yet to reach 90 degrees this year. The highs this summer have been in the mid-80s, which is nice, because when the weather gets any hotter than that all I want to do is lay on the couch with the a/c on full blast. It was 85 degrees yesterday, which was just pleasant enough for an evening stroll to a nearby farmer's market to buy some pints of raspberries. I did try to wear as little as possible, though, because 85 degrees is still pretty toasty for us in the northwest. I liked this outfit despite its simplicity - the jewelry and the sandals made it interesting.

Pink shorts: Loft
Black tank top: Target
Gold sandals: Asos
Sunglasses: Oscar de la Renta from TJ Maxx
Gold necklace: Evidence Jewelry, won in a giveaway
Pink bracelet: H&M
Embroidered bracelet: thrifted from Village Merchants

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Crazy hat lady

This hat is almost comically huge, but I love it because it means I don't have to put sunblock on my face and neck when I'm out in the sun. (Okay, let's be honest here: I almost never wear sunblock anyway, so basically the hat just makes me feel better about that.) The gigantic hat plus the bold printed dress plus the bright shoes made for an outfit that felt on the verge of overkill, but it also felt very fun and summery. This is one of those dresses that would be improved upon if I hemmed it up about six inches, but I have so many dresses that I've been meaning to hem that I've been overwhelmed into procrastination.

Thank you all for your lovely comments on yesterday's post. You were very sympathetic, kind and flattering, and I appreciated it :)

Floral dress: vintage, from my mom
Blue and green wedges: Nine West from Nordstrom Rack
Gigantic hat: Columbia Sportswear
Blue belt: free from my aunt
Blue bracelet: B. Lee Designs, gift from my aunt

I looked too funny and horrible in this photo not to share it...this is what happens when someone whistles at me while we're taking outfit photos...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Musings on appearances

Wearing this maxi skirt was like wearing pajamas - it's soft and wonderfully stretchy. Over the past few weeks, due to a knee that gives out on me whenever I exercise and some medications that have left me bloated, I've packed on a few pounds in my belly, so I've been trying to wear clothes that make my midsection feel comfortable. And I have to admit, I've felt a little self-conscious about it. You can't really see any extra weight in my outfit photos from the past few weeks, but in person I look like I'm a few months pregnant. And I know it's pure vanity that it bugs me. I mean, who cares if I packed on a few pounds? And would it even matter if I had gained twenty pounds instead of five? No it would not, because my appearance really does not alter who I am inside - and that's the important part, right?

Yellow tank top: Gap
Black skirt: TJ Maxx
Black flats: Kathy flats from ShoeMint
Spider necklace: Bauble Bar
Yellow sash: came with a vintage dress
Hex nut bracelet: made by me

Monday, July 23, 2012

Four eyes

Every now and then I spend a day wearing my glasses instead of my contacts. I wore glasses for about five years before I got tired of how they looked on my face, and how they made my vision clear when looking straight ahead, but blurry when looking down, so I switched to contacts.

This was my church outfit for Sunday. I wasn't feeling great, so I decided to forgo heels in favor of sandals. Sickness is one of the few things in the world that makes me willing to wear sensible shoes.

White top: H&M
Gray cardigan: Gap
Floral skirt: thrifted from Village Merchants
Brown sandals: Nordstrom Rack
Pink necklace: vintage, gift from my grandma
Brown belt: thrifted
Pink bracelet: H&M

I'm linking this post up to Monday Mingle and Watch What I'm Wearing.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Four years

Every year around this time, Josh and I have a conversation that goes something like this:

Me: Hey, I think today might be our anniversary.
Josh: Cool.
Me: Wait, maybe it's tomorrow. What day were we married?
Josh: The 18th. No, the 19th.
Me: Maybe we should just ask my mom.

I actually have a fantastic memory for dates, but for some reason our wedding anniversary stumps me every year. But I definitely know it was yesterday, because my mom brought us flowers :) I wore this outfit to go on a short evening walk, and then eat pasta at home while watching Burn Notice. Yes, we do know how to live it up.

Yeesh, look at that vein on my hand. It's all I can see when I look at this photo now...

Gray dress: Anthropologie
White wedges: Sam Edelman (Kendall wedges) from Piperlime
Black necklace: Urban Outfitters
White bracelet: H&M
Ring: free from my aunt

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Black and white on a summer evening

Here's an outfit from yet another one of our evening strolls - we can't seem to stay indoors on these beautiful summer evenings, and we also can't stay away from Salt & Straw. (On this trip we shared scoops of double-fold vanilla and mixed berries - some of the more normal flavors there.)

Striped shirt: Target
Black and white shorts: Loft
Gold sandals: Asos
White purse: free from my aunt
White necklace: H&M

The other day I went to Pix Patisserie in SE Portland with my mom and brother. If you're in the area you really should stop by - the desserts may be expensive, but they're delicious little works of art. My mom got the Shazam, which is the wavy chocolate tower in the middle below, and I got the macarons pictured at the bottom (pistachio, blackcurrant, and salted caramel).

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A belated vacation recap

This post is going to be monstrously long (like forty photos - you've been warned), and part of me wants to apologize for that, but the other part of me went on an awesome vacation and wants to share some photos! I should have posted these a month ago - you know, when my vacation actually ended. But I'm a procrastinator.

In case you're new here, my husband and I went to the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas last month - it was our first vacation together, and it was amazing. (We've been married four years, but we've just never traveled anywhere until this year.) The Grand Canyon had never been on my "to visit" list - it was just a random suggestion that my husband made when we were talking about where to vacation earlier in the year, and the more we thought about it, the more appealing it sounded. It didn't disappoint. I've been to a lot of spectacular locations, but this was one of the best.

We flew into Vegas and drove five hours to get to the south rim of the canyon. There were closer airports - Flagstaff and Phoenix - but they were more expensive. Once there, we stayed at the Yavapai Lodge, which is about half a mile away from the rim. It was a decent place to stay, but I would have preferred one of the lodges directly on the rim. (That was my fault, though, for waiting until a month before our trip to book the hotel - Yavapai Lodge was the only one with any rooms left.)

After a few days on the south rim, we drove to the north rim for an afternoon. While the view from the north was pretty much the same as the south, the landscape of the actual rim itself was much prettier, with lots of tall trees. We stayed a night in Kanab, Utah, and the next day drove through Zion National Park on our way to Vegas. Personally, I wish we had skipped Vegas and stayed a few days in Zion. We didn't realize how amazing it was going to be, and once we got there were disappointed that we only had a few hours to look around.

Vegas was fun, though a bit overwhelming. (I suppose that's the point of Vegas, though!) We stayed at The Mirage, and even though they were late in getting our room ready, they did send us a complimentary bottle of champagne to make up for it, so we decided we liked our experience there!

Josh had never stayed in a hotel before this trip, so when we got to The Mirage and he saw the mini bar, he was super excited about all the free snacks, until I showed him this price list :)

That's right, our hotel had its own volcano.

The mall at Caesar's Palace...

The mall at The Venetian (above and below)...

This photo and the next few are from the conservatory at the Bellagio (the animals are covered in hundreds of flowers)...

The last thing you see at the airport before you board the plane...
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