Monday, July 29, 2013

polka cats

Last week was all about the polka dots.
I wore my polka dot dress, and these same polka-dot loafers with a blue dress.

On Thursday I opted for more casual workday attire, and sported my fanciest cat top (I can say "fanciest" because I have more than one...) with my purple pants and the aforementioned polka-dot loafers.
This week will be a little different, because I lent out my camera to some friends who were having issues with theirs right on the brink of their departure for an Alaskan Cruise.
I gave in, acquiescing that their reasons for taking quality pictures were much better than mine.

Thus, my picture quality will be significantly lessened this week, as it shall be only my quick-fix iPhone on hand.
My nifty little device that serves as my camera, my social media connection and my pizza-orderer all in one.

Top: Ruche, Pants: Old Navy, Shoes: Gap, Ring: (similar on Etsy)

I love my back porch.
I take a lot of pictures back there because it's deceptively private, except in the winter when all the houses on the other side of the shallow forest become visible again.

It's a shared porch with countless other apartment tenants, but whenever I go out there it's a ghost town.
There was one time I walked out to take photos and was accosted by a tiny white yapping dog (which nearly caused me to scream-choke in fright), and one other time when a little boy was sitting on our patio furniture staring at me.
I simply backed away.

Despite those little bits of crazy, for the most part, it's just me. 
Enjoying the summertime with the weather, the patio furniture and my husband working at the grill.

Friday, July 26, 2013

royal blue

It's a week for the royal!
Royal baby George was born, and I wore a royal blue dress. It's all very, very important.

I must confess I haven't paid much attention to the royal family - other than to appreciate the fact that Kate Middleton is adorable, and is the definition of class. I also think her post-baby blue polka-dot dress was so sweet, I could cry. 

Image Source
She also looks so unbelievably fresh after having just delivered a baby. Tell us your secrets, Katie. 

Dress: J. Crew, Shoes: Gap, Watch: Fossil

I suppose it's a blue polka-dotty kind of week for all of us!

I mentioned a rather ridiculous (and providential) J. Crew outlet sale a while back, where I purchased two new dresses, a skirt and a scarf. This plaid dress was dress number 1, and this blue number is dress 2!

It fits like a royal dream and makes me want to work in a much more prestigious job than I do now.
Maybe as a famous author, or editor, or candlestick maker.
I'd love to do something that I love for a living - shopping? Blogging? Eating cheese?
I know it's possible to work toward something that I'm passionate about, and to build it up to be a career. Sometimes it can be daunting - do I need more school? More experience? How do I even know what I want to do?

I feel like I'm right on the cusp of figuring that out, but often get distracted by other things. Like shopping, blogging and eating cheese.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

contessa cat eye

Good news!
My absolute favorite pair of sunglasses is back in stock over at Ruche.

The Contessa Cat Eye sunglasses were a splurge right before our trip to Paris, and they ended up being my favorite accessory there.
They traveled with me along the Seine, in front of Napoleon's Tomb, beside Notre Dame. They filtered the bright snow and sunshine while I enjoyed the views from our balcony, and hung on my collar while we ate baguettes near the Eiffel Tower.

I know accessories don't have a life of their own, but I'll never wear this pair again without thinking of all the magical properties of Paris!

Pick up a pair if you're feeling adventurous. :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

dalmatian plantation

Sometimes I love an outfit enough to wear it more than once!
My husband and I went to Richmond a couple weekends ago for a mini vacation, and this was my last-day outfit. We went to a fancy Sunday brunch, shopped a little, and had a lovely drive back home.

I wore this ensemble because I knew it'd be kind of fun for a day date, but also extremely comfortable.
This polka-dot dress has the perfect amount of bounce to it, and is wrinkle resistant so obviously it's the best for travel (and just for my everyday life since I generally oppose ironing).
I've been staring at this dress hanging on my closet door this week, and I tried to avoid putting together the exact same outfit but I finally decided to just accept that I love it and reject any outfit repeat shame.
The only person who would judge me for the repeat is myself, and maybe some Richmond strangers who may stumble on my blog and be shocked that I would dare wear my mall strolling outfit to work in the same month.

Dress: LOFT (shop!), Top: Old Navy (shop! Only $5.97!), Boots: Urbanog, Earrings: Cookie Lee

I also wore this dress in a little remix series I did, called "5to5".
I mentioned that this dress reminds me of 101 Dalmatians, which it totally does.
The dots are a little hazy and smudgy, and while my husband likes to refer to this as my "cow dress" or "cowgirl" outfit, I tend to focus on the cute puppy dot comparison.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

plaid loves to read

Two Saturdays ago, my book club had the extraordinary idea of reading a book filled with life excerpts and recipes, so that we could have an excuse to all bring tasty treats for a brunch meeting!

In case you're scratching your head trying to figure out what that plate of yumminess is, it's bacon-wrapped dates filled with goat cheese, and thank you, you're welcome, they're delicious.

The culprit for this day of plaid-wearing, book-celebrating and treat-eating is Shauna Niequist's Bread & Wine which has already become a staple in my kitchen and my heart. (You can read my full review here!).

We had a wonderful morning, discussing the recipes and what we'd still like to make.
We also had a wonderful time stuffing our faces and drinking warm hazelnut creamed coffee while we discussed the book itself.

I haven't given much thought to reading and critiquing books, other than the analyzing I did as an English major in college. I rarely get the opportunity to really dive into the content of my pleasure reads, so being a part of a book club has been enlightening, as well as fun (and occasionally savory)!
Whenever I really love a book, I try and get all of my friends to read it so I can have someone to talk to about it. Bread & Wine has been one of those books. For some reason it was exactly what I needed to read this month, and I swallowed it up in a similar fashion to my bacon-wrapped dates.
My book club has been a great outlet for that kind of one-on-one discussion over a shared piece of writing. We choose a book, and then we can all love it (or hate it) together!

Dress: J. Crew, Belt: Ruche, Necklace: Barefoot Pathways (similar on Etsy)

In other great news, our local J. Crew outlet store decided to close down in order to expand their other location, so everything in the outlet store was an extra 75% off. 
Needless to say, I took a rather fabulous lunch break with a friend and spent $30 for two dresses, a skirt and a scarf.
This dress was included! To say it was love at first sight almost seems too casual.
It was the only one in the store. One of the only dresses in the store, actually, aside from wedding dresses - it was pretty cleared out by the time we got there and I can only thank the plaid-haters out there who passed on this beauty before I arrived.

It was such a treat, and seemed to be the perfect choice for our book club brunch event.
Everyone knows that plaid loves to read. :)
Plaid and books go together like librarians and denim skirts.

Since I'm only sort-of a librarian and have semi-vowed never to wear a denim skirt, this plaid dress seemed to be the perfect alternative.
It was a happy coincidence that left me grinning like an idiot in the dressing room.
Kind of like this:

Monday, July 1, 2013

the end: outfit 15!

This is the end!
15 items to 15 outfits.
Here's a quick review of the past 14 days!

And now, last but not least...outfit 15!
This last outfit features a buttoned-up cardigan underneath a vest, with a floral skirt and wedges.
Sunday ended up bursting into a rainy day in the evening, which was quite fitting since I was holed up in the apartment all day, sick and miserable.
Both my friend and I have a terrible cold/flu virus and have been completely lazy all weekend, which ended up being really great. We watched a lot of TV (I personally slept off and on until 3pm), and even pulled out an old childhood favorite, The Labyrinth. Don't judge.

I threw on the last outfit, what I would have worn if I wasn't dreary and pajama-clad all day long. While it may be cheating a little bit, because I only had it on for 15 minutes, I think it's the thought that counts.
Challenge complete!

My friend was impressed that I was able to un-sickify myself for these photos, but all it really took was a brush through my hair and a lot of blush and some lipstick. I definitely sank right back into my blanket pile on the couch as soon as this shoot was over!

I hope you all had a better weekend than I did, and I definitely can't wait to be back to 100% for the long holiday weekend!!
Thanks for joining me for this fun 15 day challenge. :)