Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Look of the Day: rose geranium

I've come to realize that I don't always write the most engaging blog posts. There's just never a lot to comment on or reply to. Mostly it's just my personality. I'm not a very conversational person, which mostly comes from shyness and a busy brain; I just can't put the words together in a coherent way. Of course, there's also my complete disregard for the rules of writing. Another part of it, though, is that I don't want to write too much about myself or my problems, because I'm afraid of coming off as self-centered or over-dramatic. The problem with that is that personal issues and life events are usually the most relatable topics. The trick is to find a balance.

On the other hand, it could just be that many readers are like me and love just looking! To all of you who visit my blog, whether you leave comments or not, THANK YOU! Thank you for giving me the time of day. I hope I inspire you the way I am inspired by this amazing community :)

I finally found the perfect pair of flats. I'm just so excited to have found these, I thought I should write a review.
I had nearly forgotten about the pair of Mia flats I owned a while ago. They were my favorite shoes. So comfortable, so flattering, and they went with everything. I wore them till they fell apart (and way past the time my friend Ellen started telling me to throw them away). Well, I was browsing Zappos a couple weeks ago and happened to see this pair, the Limited Edition Audrey Flats, in the sea of black flats in the search results.
They are the perfect black flats. Soft, flexible, real leather, they fit my custom orthotics, and are affordable! Actually, right now they're on sale! Zappos has two colors (black and tan), but I've seen them in other colors on Endless.com.

Sheer Forever21 dress (similar) - Mia Limited Edition Audrey Flats - J.Crew jersey cardigan (similar) - Vintage Coach purse

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Fall Favorites: 4 Different Looks

Right around this time of year, inexplicably and without fail, I start getting excited about dressing for Fall. Maybe it's that I'm tired of the heat (if you can call it that in Seattle) or maybe I'm just tired of sandals and shorts. Whatever the case may be, my mind starts wandering and I soon have my Autumn wish list. This year, my main focus is shoes! Now that my feet are starting to feel better, and with fancy new custom orthotics in hand (er, shoe) I have more options! At the moment, my favorite place to drool over shoes is on ASOS. They have a great collection of super stylish, super affordable women's shoes!

For Work
First and foremost: I want more classic flats! I like these ones because they add a bit of texture, but will still go with a lot. I don't really need another vintage Coach, or more stripes, but I am in desperate need of a cocoon coat! It's been on my list for years!

Weekend Getaway
weekend wear

I can't begin to tell you how badly I want a pair of Chelsea boots. ASOS has several different versions, all pretty well priced, considering they're made of leather. Here, I've paired them with a look I would wear on a weekend get away. Most people take their vacation in the summer, but our's is always in the Fall, on account of my husband's busy summer work schedule.

Blogging Event
blogger event

I always save my crazy pants and loud patterns for blogger meet-ups and girl's nights out. My husband doesn't "get it", but I know the ladies will :) These t-strap wedges are so fun and totally different from all the other shoes in my wardrobe.

Night Out

hot date

On date nights, I wear outfits my husband understands: shorter skirts, balanced with more coverage on top, in this case, a great motorcycle jacket from H&M. The leopard print pointed court shoes add another touch of "ooh la la," but the lighter shade of lipstick will keep the look from going too red-light district.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

DIY Beauty

Skincare doesn't have to be a science and I've learned, the simpler the better. Here are two of my favorite recipes. 
 This first recipe is from a magazine, maybe Bazaar, but now I can't remember. Anyway, it's not my original idea and I'm not claiming it as such.

I got the recipe for this great facial scrub from my lovely sister. It's soothing and softening, and has a gentle cleansing effect. It's perfect for all skin types.

1 tsp honey
1 tsp baking soda
1-2 drops lavender oil
2 drops warm water

Mix ingredients together in a small bowl. Massage gently into skin in a circular motion. Rinse with warm water.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Look of the Day: Wedding Guest

What a weekend! It was fun, but it was quite the whirlwind! Saturday, my cousin got married, then yesterday we had two baby showers for my cousins from out-of-town. You'd think I'd be sick of my family by now, but they're all pretty great, so it wasn't too bad ;)

My sister Beth is totally coppin' my hair style.

My gorgeous little sisters

summer, wedding, beach, seattle
Fantastic weather and a beach reception... bliss.

wading, beach, seattle, summer, dresses, boho

what to wear to a wedding, street style, summer fashion

floral, pattern mixing, summer, dress, wedges, seattle
On Friday, I asked people on my Facebook page to vote on which shoes to wear, since I couldn't decide. The winners were a pair of black wedges for the ceremony and a pair of green flats for the reception. As it turned out, though, my custom orthotics didn't fit in the green shoes and the wedges were a little too tall, so I ended up in the leopard print wedges and my brand new MIA Audrey flats. I'm so in love with the Audrey flats, I may write an entire blog post dedicated to them!

See, it was a real wedding! There's the bride and groom!

Sheer floral vintage cardigan (similar #1 and similar #2) - Forever21 Striped dress (similar color or similar style) - Thrifted cateye sunglasses - Vintage faux-croc bag - MIA Audrey flats - Thrifted Steve Madden wedges (similar)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Recipe: Summer Fruit Pie

 This pie is not one of my creations, but it is something I look forward to every summer. The recipe was given to me by a wonderful woman, affectionately referred to as Puma (it is what her grandchildren call her). 

The summer after high school, my sister and I spent 2 weeks in up-state New York, helping our former nanny with her 5 children and their farm. Their father was in the hospital recovering from a very bad injury, so the family needed all the help they could get.

We worked hard, had to sleep on the floor because the house was only half-way remodeled, and spent most of our time there dirty and hot, but it was quite an adventure and full of wonderful memories. Animals everywhere, the kitchen in the milking barn, and ladder up to our bedroom; it was like living back in Colonial times, only we had a Volvo with a Turbo engine.

Evenings were frequently spent at Puma's 300-year-old farm house, where we enjoyed delicious meals and a beautiful view of the valley. At one point during the trip, to our great surprise, we found ourselves at the house of a member of the Kennedy family! It's all quite a long story, but I'll write more about it if you are interested :)

My sister and I loved this pie so much, that we asked for the recipe. I still have the simple list of ingredients in a notebook somewhere, but mostly I just make it from memory. For the blog, I've written it out in a bit more detail, and the only changes I've made are subtle ones, like cooking  the crust longer and adding a bit of flavoring to the whip cream. Now on to the recipe!


-Pie Crust-
9 graham crackers, finally crushed
6 Tbsp butter or coconut butter, melted
¼ cup brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg

2 to 3 nectarines, sliced
½ cups berries, any kind
1 to 2 small apricots or plums, sliced

One 8 oz. container heavy whipping cream
1 tsp brandy or vanilla
1 Tbsp sugar

Preheat oven to 375º
1. Grind the graham crackers in a food processor or place them in a Ziploc bag and smash them with a rolling pin.

2. Place the crumbs in a mixing bowl and sprinkle with the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir.

3. Pour the melted butter over the crumb mix and stir to distribute evenly. 

4. Next, place the mixture in a 9 inch pie pan. Use your hands to press the crumb mix evenly into the pie pan .
5. Bake for 12 minutes.

6. Don't prep the fruit until the pie crust has cooled completely. You want it to be as fresh as possible!

7. When the crust is ready to be filled, it's time to make the whipped cream. In the bowl of an electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, combine the heavy whipping cream, the sugar, and the flavoring of your choice. Mix on medium speed until stiff peaks start to form. Don't mix too long or you'll get butter!

8. Spoon the whip cream over the fruit and gently stir to combine. Now spoon this mix, or as much as possible, into the pie crust.

9. Cut, serve, and enjoy!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Look of the Day: City Slicker

I am happy to say that the only thing in this outfit that I bought brand new is the flower pin. I've gotten some good use out of it, too!
Everything else is vintage, or at least thrifted. The sunglasses were found at a rare English yard sale on the way back from Bournemouth. They usually have huge boot sales out in fields, where everyone parks their cars and sell things out of their trunks (i.e. car boot), but this one was in someone's actual yard. These sunglasses were my favorite for quite sometime, but the lenses started falling out, so I retired them from regular use. Aviators seemed like the perfect style for this outfit, though.

After I had put the outfit all together, I realized that I looked like some city girl trying to fit in on the ranch. I’ve got the right combination or leather, denim, and gingham, but the accessories say something different. Heels in the barnyard? Ridiculous!

 This is a charm bracelet I've been working on for a while. It has a lot of vintage charms and ones found at garage sales; charms I bought in Scotland and at Stonehenge; one from my friend Tiana and a multitude from my dad. I'm pretty sure the Texas charm is a garage sale find. It's one of my favorites.

Friday Fashion Fact
Like the word "calico", the name for gingham was brought over from East Asia by English and Dutch traders. Read more about it here.

Diesel denim vest (similar) - Vintage gingham blouse (similar) - H&M flower pin - Belt by Bianchi for L.L. Bean - Vintage pleated skirt (similar)- Vintage Nine West heels (similar) - Vintage Wrangler sunglasses (similar)- Vintage leather satchel - Sterling charm bracelet

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

illustrated: summer favorites

I can't begin to tell you the trouble I've had scanning this painting. I tried 4 different times, and there was always some weird event or computer malfunction that would prevent me from scanning it. The scanner is in my office and is connected to my bosses computer, which is entirely in Mandarin. That may have something to do with it...

A month later, and half way through the summer, I can finally publish my summer wish list! So far, I've acquired the denim vest, and even though I don't have the neon pink shorts yet, I probably have enough neon for one summer wardrobe. I would still like to add a pair of Salt Water Sandals, though. They're definitely a summer staple that will last for years! Lastly, stripes are always on my list. I just can't get enough of them! When I painted this, it was still cool and cloudy here (Seattle summer doesn't usually start till July 5th), so a long sleeved top made sense. Now it's way too warm and muggy, so the Breton-style top has been moved to my Fall wish list. Surprisingly, I don't own one yet!

What pieces have been your favorites so far this summer? Do you have anything on your Fall wish list yet?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

3 ways to wear it

updos for short hair, romper, stripes, red lips, summer fashion
This is my favorite romper. I couldn't decide how to wear it, so I styled it 3 different ways.

1. girls' night in
updos for short hair, romper, stripes, red lips, summer fashion

Don't need to go too fancy, since I'm probably just going to spend the night drinking wine, chatting, and solving the World's problems. I went for a light sweater, a cute pair of flats, and used a little clutch to carry just the necessities.

2. girls' night out
updos for short hair, romper, stripes, red lips, summer fashion
For going out, I paired the romper with a thrifted white top. If it wasn't so warm, I'd go for a blazer or my moto jacket. When I go out, I like to bring a shoulder bag, as I'm less likely to set it down and forget it. Black wedges make the outfit a little dressier and are much easier to walk in than pumps.

 3. lazy sunday
weekend wear

I tried 3 different times to take photos of this version of the outfit and ended up with one usable photo! So instead I took the opportunity to make a set featuring similar items that are available in stores. This version of the outfit is perfect for lounging around the house, but still looks put-together enough to be worn to the farmer's market.

Look #1: Vintage chambray romper (similar) - American Apparel headband - H&M striped sweater (similar) - Sam Edelman flats (similar) - H&M clutch
Look #2: Thrifted top - Cooperative canvas wedges (similar) - Vintage Coach bag - Thrifted cateye sunglasses
Look #3: Thrifted top -Forever21 glasses - Harrod's tote bag - Vans Classic Sneakers

Friday, July 13, 2012

Jewelry Primer & Friday Fashion Facts

I don't know about you, but I love vintage jewelry. It usually has more character than brand new stuff and is, quite frequently, more affordable. The best places to find reasonably priced vintage jewelry is at garage and estates sales and thrift stores. Costume jewelry is just fine and dandy (the above pieces are nothing more than base metal and glass), but sometimes you want a higher-quality treasure. The trick is knowing what you're dealing with. 

I have the advantage of calling a coin and antique dealer "Father", but not everyone is so lucky to have a family member who will give them free appraisals (or free jewelry). So I've compiled a list of the basic jewelry marks you will find on finer pieces. You need a keen eye, since the markings are frequently very tiny and are usually punched in the metal in inconspicuous places

Silver (most common & most affordable)
"Sterling Silver"

Gold (In order of  highest to lowest quality)
24k or 999
22k or 916 or 917
18k or 750
14k or 585
10k or 417 or 16

I'm not as familiar with platinum and rarely see it at thrift stores or garage sales. If you want to learn about it, this article from eHow is very useful.

When you get into really old or really fine jewelry, you may start to see hallmarks and stamps alongside the codes. These vary widely depending on maker, country of origin, etc. I recommend getting a book of hallmarks if you're interested in learning about them or have some pieces that are hallmarked.

Update: My dad emailed me and said I should also recommend you bring a small magnet with you when you're shopping for vintage jewelry. Test any pieces you find, because sometimes even stamped pieces can be fake. If it sticks to the magnet, it's base metal. Just make sure to keep the magnet away from your bank cards!

Friday Fashion Facts
The numbers stamped on jewelry usually refer to the percentage of gold or silver they contain. For instance, sterling is marked "925" and is 92.5% pure silver.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

8 Summer Beauty Must-Haves

summer beauty

From left to right:

1. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 in Coral
Did you know your lips don't contain melanin? That said, I can't stress enough how important it is to wear lip balm with SPF! Try Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment to add a bit of color and hydration to your lips, while protecting them from the sun.

2. Clinique Lash Power Mascara Long-Wearing Formula
This long-lasting formula is pretty water resistant and can withstand rain, tears, humidity, and sweat. Perfect for any summer activity!

3. Alba Botanica Natural Hawaiian Sunscreen
Alba Botanica's Hawaiian line is one of my all-time favorites. All the products smell wonderful, are made from all-natural ingredients, and are reasonably priced.

4. NARS Nail Polish
I never really need an excuse to buy new nail polish, but if you're looking for one, here it is: It's summertime and you've got not only your fingernails to show off, but also your toenails. Paint 'em with a pretty color.

5. Clinique Redness Solutions Instant Relief Mineral Powder
Can't cool down? Well, with this powder, you can at least fake it. It provides instant relief for red, flushed cheeks, and continues to provide redness relief all day. Plus, it's a light neutral color that works on anyone and won't clog your pores.

6. Kiehl's Cucumber Herbal Alcohol-Free Toner
I like to put this toner in the fridge, then use it as a skin refresher on sticky-hot summer days. Swipe it on with a cotton pad. Great for sensitive or sunburned skin!

7. Kiehl's Deluxe Hand & Body Lotion in Coriander
This is one of my favorite scents. Herby yet clean, so it doesn't smell too hippy-dippy. I wear it a lot in the summer since it's pretty light and doesn't get too strong smelling when it's hot out. It's also lightweight and soaks in easily.

8. Apple Cider Vinegar
OK, so this one isn't shown, but I probably use it more than anything else! It's a great hair rinse and leaves your hair super soft, especially when rinsed with cold water. It's most important use, though, is sunburn soother! It calms and cools and the acidity stops the burning, which means it actually helps your sunburn heal faster!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Recipe: Veggie Wraps

recipe, vegetarian, veggie wrap, diy, cooking, lunch ideas
As promised, here is a recipe using the bean spread from the post published on July 1st. 

By omitting the cheese and using the right tortillas, this recipe can also very easily be made vegan. If you don't swing that way, it's at least vegetarian.

P.S. By now, you probably all think I'm a vegan. I am not. Nor am I a vegetarian. I do, however, live by the idea that humans don't need meat everyday. I also have a lot of vegetarian/vegan friends, and find it easier to start with a veg recipe and then add animal parts/products when desired.


burrito-sized whole wheat tortillas
1 large tomato, thinly sliced
1 medium bell pepper, thinly sliced
½ cup sliced olives
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 cups leafy greens, any kind you like
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 tsp balsamic vinegar
Red pepper flakes, to taste

Note: You don't need to follow this to a T. Use as much or as little of any ingredient as you like.

1. Start by spreading about 2 to 3 tablespoons of bean spread on a tortilla. 

2. Place 3 slices of tomato on top of the bean spread, followed by 4 to 5 slices of bell pepper.

recipe, vegetarian, veggie wrap, diy, cooking, lunch ideas

3. Next, add a layer of onion and sprinkle with red pepper flakes, some Parmesan, and 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar.

4. Add a 1/4 cup greens and the olives.

5. Roll and enjoy!

I made kale chips for the first time. They were so good! I used this recipe, with the addition of lemon juice and red pepper flakes.

I made a delicious discovery when making these wraps. My arugula went bad, so I decided to try beet greens in the wrap, and boy! are fresh beet greens delicious! They're really tender and kind of sweet. I highly recommend trying them in this wrap or in a salad.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Leopard-print sandals + striped mini dress

 There's nothing like a new outfit. The denim vest is Diesel, but I bought it at Buffalo Exchange. The dress is Forever21 and was under $14, so I bought two. The other dress has green stripes. I think they'll be great for layering come Fall.
 I think I'm most excited about the sandals, though. I bought them on the Chictopia Chic Shop. I rarely buy anything by mail order, mostly because I prefer going to stores and actually handling clothes before I buy them. I just think that experience is more enjoyable than waiting for something to come in the mail. Also, you never know if the thing you ordered is gonna be the right fit. The worst though is when the item looks very different from the picture online!
 These sandals, however, look even better up-close than they do online! I absolutely love them. They're comfortable, the perfect size, and have a great pony hair-like texture on the toe straps (it looks like real hide, but the site says it's fake). I bought the only pair on Chictopia, but you might be able to find a pair on Chicwish.com
 I hope you all have a great weekend!

Forever21 striped mini dress (similar) - Diesel denim vest (similar) - Vintage tote bag - FGYZ leopard print sandals (similar) - Forever21 sunglasses (similar) - Revlon nail polish duo in Hot Hue - Forever21 bracelet & vintage hammered cuff (similar)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

In Photos: Fourth of July

Hope all of my American readers had a lovely holiday. Here's a recap of my day.
My dog was freaked out all day.

I can't even begin to tell you how much fruit I have consumed this summer.

 Pool toys

 Grilled fruit always sounds like a good idea, and it looks pretty, but really it just gets mushy.

 My mom's homemade hot dog buns and Sweet-Hot Relish from Martha Stewart.

Summer Fruit Pie. Recipe coming soon :)

 We're number one!!

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