Told you it wouldn't be long until I got the shopping bug again! UO has had ups and downs for me... and I went a very long time before I even went in again. But I'd say around Fall 09 there was a turnaround and I rediscovered the joys of the store. One thing I've said before, and I'll say again (just in case there are some UO reps that read this, or something...) Please get some better styling on the site! Whenever I go in to the store, I'm always way more impressed with the items... they never look as good online as they do in person. The clothes seem to just hang on those models. Which is a shame, really. So please stop dressing those poor, scraggly haired gals with bandeau tops, acid washed denim jackets and high waisted shorts with socks and sandals. Really, not a good look.
(She looks great.)
(She looks not-so-great. Sad.)
Aaaaaaanywho, here's what I'm wishing was on sale for this holiday weekend. Sigh. A gal can dream! :)
Cheap Monday Mandy skirt ($38)-- that draping is fantastic and the futuristic tye-dye is so on point!
Dolce Vita romper ($185)-- a little pricey for a romper to me, but I like that pseudo-Ikat, tribal look!
Road trip! First, I gotta make it through most of the work day... hoping to hit the road by 3. We'll see how that works out. Just a quick outfit of the day... which I won't be wearing in the car, or else these pretty silk pants will end up looking like a crumpled napkin. Yipes. :)
After contemplating what I said in yesterday's post, I thought it might be fun to take a little departure from my normal goings-ons and post a little about where I'm heading this weekend. First thing to know about me is that I am in love with Texas. There is a romance about it that I just haven't found in any other state... and I should know, seeing as I've lived in so many. :) Second is that Dallas is not really where my heart is. I love living here, but there are two times per year I crave getting out: 1. Summer and 2. Fall. In the fall, nothing beats Texas wine country (which maybe I'll write about next time), but in the summer, nothing screams warm weather, beers and good times like Gruene, Texas. (Pronounced "Green") (and p.s., yes I am technically going to San Antonio, but were spending a day in Gruene, which is relatively close.)
First a little history, for those of you who like this kind of stuff: Gruene, Texas, was founded in the 1840s by a guy named Ernst Gruene, a German immigrant. He and his wife wanted to move to New Braunfels but had a hard time getting a piece of land. So they went just a tad down river and settled in the area of what's now Gruene. This guy was pretty cool, because he pretty much single handedly (with the help of his family) established this town, making it a pretty bustling place. His cash crop was cotton and lots of families moved there to prosper. Unfortunately, some stupid bugs (cursed boll weevil) started ruining his crops, and of course the Depression didn't really help, so Gruene essentially went by the way-side.
Fast-forward to the 70s: Pat Molak, a Texan sick of the city, decided to come to this little ghost town and reestablish it as the place to be... and the rest is history. One cool little tidbit is that Gruene Hall, one of the more famous landmarks in the city, never went under in all the years it's been standing, and Mr. Molak did slight renovations (I mean slight, ya'll... if you've ever been there, you'll know what I mean. It's pretty... historic.) to it to bring it back to bustling life. Gruene Hall is definitely the first and main stop to this town, and you can seriously feel the history in it when you walk in. Sigh. :)
(pictures all borrowed off Google images; please let me know if you would like this removed!)
Gruene Hall was built to be a salon and bar, which is quite obvious. It has never been anything else, ever. I love that! Plus, lots of great Texas bands come to play here, and the music just adds to the spirit of the town.
The whole town itself is fun, and most of the buildings are original, from the 1800s. For example, the Gruene Mansion Inn was Mr. Gruene's first home, and his workers' home was what is now Gruene Haus.
However, a must-visit is the kind-of-touristy Gristmill, which serves some srslydeeeeelicious Texas food and is on the site of the original Cotton Gin... what made this little town famous. (The original gin actually burned down, boo, so the Gristmill is a nice little replica.) Of course, there are tons of antique shops, little wine bars, restaurants and little landmarks to visit. (But you'll be hard pressed to leave Gruene Hall, methinks!)
I'll be sure to take some of my own pics and upload them next week. So, if you ever find yourself with a hankerin' for some Texas fun, definitely make your way to central Texas and visit Gruene. We're fixin' to welcome ya! :)
First thing's first: Thanks to a helpful reminder from Ms. EHayes, who knew I've been thinking about getting a pair of J Brand Lovestorys, I stalked the J Brand Gilt sale this morning and clicked CHECK OUT as soon as the size 27 in Falcon dark wash could make it in my cart. Done! I'm excited to try them, although I'm a tad worried since I've only ever owned the pencil leg in Ink (which I did not like because the denim was super stiff). But for the price ($59, woah), I had to get them while I could. I'll for sure do a review when they come, which is looking like it might be as much as one month from now (sucky sample sale turnaround). Yippee, hooray!
I've been really good about outfit posts lately, and I think it's partially because I don't have all that much else to blog about. I've done a lot of shopping recently, including uber-crazy house shopping, so wish-lists seem a bit excessive at the moment. I'm sure the shopping bug will hit full-force again soon, but right now I have a "content-ness" with my closet, which is a rare inner peace for me. Heh. So, if anyone would like to see something on my blog-- whether it be style requests, how-to's on trends, what have you-- shout it out now. Otherwise, I'm going to stay un-creative and post more pictures of me, me, me. Sorry. :)
Top: DvF silk blouse in Budding Roses (still available here)
Jacket: Zara basics blazer in blush
Jeans: Rich and Skinny Sleek jeans in black wash (same style here, on sale)
Necklace: Anthro's Stormy Seas necklace in amber colorway
Frankly? It's way to effin' hot in Dallas to seriously wear this, but my office is always way too cold (I have a space heater on daily), so it's ok for work. This pastel color combo is a little strange at first... the yellow, pink, teal and amber-orange I've got goin' on seems a bit much, but it then tends to blend together a bit to create a more cohesive look, probably because of the lightness of the palate. And I think I like it. I really think that necklace could go with just about every color because it tends to take on whatever is underneath it nicely. Plus, it's that blazer. I heart it and would wear it with a paper bag under it if I had to. :) Hey, I told you I would find a way to fit the sleeves of this blouse under it! Heh.
Hot, hot, hot! It's definitely gotten to be SUMMER here in The Big D, and I have to say I'm rather thrilled. I was never meant for the cold weather, as I'm sure I've mentioned before, and Texas is quite perfect for me in so many ways. So glad I found my way down here and definitely glad I'm staying put! I can't wait to head to San Antonio for the long weekend and I'm thinkin' I'll be packing outfits a lot like this one for the trip: casual and comfortable, with just a hint of pizazzzzzz (cue jazz hands here). My specialty. (well, no... actually, my specialty is head-to-toe dazzle... the sparklier the better, really. But whatevs.)
Top: F21 satin tee
Shorts: F21 cotton shorts
Shoes: Sam Edelman reptilian oxfords
Necklace: Charlotte Russe (my Fiona Paxton knock-off)
Thanks for bearing with me re: my post on LOST yesterday! I know, I got ranty for sure, but I had to get it all off my chest. Since I now have a little piece of the internet, I should be able to use it to voice my thoughts, no? (hehe, gotta love free blog privileges!)
[This post is going to be about the series finale of LOST. If you haven't seen it but plan to, please go away (for your sake!). If you don't care, you can also click the X at the top of the screen. I know not everyone cares about this show. I won't be offended. Also, commentary is welcome, and comments from those who disagree are also welcome! Just no mean jabs at me or my opinions. Thanks!]
I really didn't want to write a whole post (on a fashion blog, no less) about a TV show finale. Mostly because this really isn't the venue, but I've been working myself up for the past several hours after reading many (in my opinion) annoying comments about the show's ending. I think this show is important even though it's just television, because it dug deeper into our culture and society than most other shows ever do. It can teach us a lot if we want to learn. Also, I may not be the most credible source to talk here and I'll admit why right off the bat: I came into this show half-way through (season 4). Therefore, I may not have as many questions or emotional ties as many who begun at episode one. So take this as you will. :) That being said... I have some things I want to address. About how it all ended up, in my opinion, and in what I've gathered from watching and reading re-caps. You may disagree, and that's ok! But here's what I really think is going on and what our take-away is.
One: Some people are really not getting this, but the Island was NOT purgatory. I really think this is truth and not just opinion here, so I want to be clear that thinking the Island was "not real" or "afterlife" is a wrong understanding of the show. In fact, the flash-sideways can't even be said to have been purgatory. It was a sort of "resting place" between reality as we know it and whatever happens next. It was a place each member sort of unconsciously (through their interactions and meaningful relationships with one another) created together. Jack wasn't dead since the pilot; we saw him die, just like we saw Widmore die and Jacob die (to name a few). And the Island and it's magic were real-- all the interactions were real. In fact, more real than many other shows I've ever seen, ever. That's the beautiful thing about LOST, and this comment I read in a Salon post summarized it very well (barring one point with which I disagree, which I'll mention in a minute):
"I finally get it…and it’s brilliant.
Al those questions, the stupid minutiae of the lost-verse were there specifically to illustrate the truth of “none of this matters”.
The whole thing was, as I suspected, a faith/religion/spirituality allegory…but the allegory was on a more subtle level than I’d considered until this morning.
The story, like our spiritual lives, was about one thing and one thing only: LOVE. Community, compassion, right vs. wrong.
Religion is not about wine & wafers or burning bushes or “defense of marriage”. It’s about making us love one another. The Lost story wasn’t about numbers or three-toed statues or hieroglyphs…it was about LOVE."
Which leads me to, two: hate to break it to you, but JJ Abrams does not care that your (or my) hopes and dreams about his series did not come true. He can't make everyone happy. If you wanted there to be a happy ending with every bow tied up in a neat little knot, sorry. Was I sad that many things were unanswered? Yes, I was. Is it ok to talk about what questions were left unanswered? Of course (and I am)! But, am I letting that ruin what was a beautiful and amazingly moving series and finale? Hell no. I realize that maybe there is an even bigger lesson to be learned here in all this: as humans, we always get caught up in the minutiae of questions that sometimes just don't matter. And sometimes, we need a little something to remind us what really matters... which is love, and people, and relationships, and the meaning we make of all of it. I might be wrong, but I think that's what the producers wanted. They wanted us to look back at ourselves, blush a little, and wake up to the truth that sometimes, we overreact. We make things more important than they really are. Why did the island get there? Who was the mother that killed the twin's mother? What was up with the mystery of island baby births? What was Dharma really all about? To those questions, I must say: Whatever! (although I admittedly was hoping to understand the baby phenomenon...) It was plot, it was substance that was needed to keep the show going (sidenote: I do disagree a little with the commenter that the plot details meant "nothing"-- if the show taught us anything, it's that nothing is nothing. The details were a part of an important plot, though I can understand why some became slightly irritated... but we have to delve further). It was what life is made up of-- lots of intracacies and questions and some things we can never explain. In the end of it all, we don't need answers, we need meaning. (and personally, I believe the end of life doesn't give answers-- i.e., there is no enlightened sort of "death-to-new-life"-- but will hopefully bring meaning, if were lucky enough to see it.)
Sure, we want answers, but come one... ya'll knew we wouldn't know everything. That was specifically said by the producers a while ago... we won't have all the answers. They can't answer them all, and it is possible they wrote themselves into a few corners. (Let's give these people some credit here 'cuz they're human and can't create a flawless and complicated 6 seasons.) But please, don't allow your anger to cloud one of the most beautiful and moving series finales this generation has seen (hyperbolic? Maybe. I'll allow it). And look a little deeper than the surface questions. I say this because I think people are really robbing themselves of the joy of the show if they don't let go. The characters were tasked with "letting go." Now it's our turn.
I have received lots of requests in the past to link to this grey pearl necklace I wear a lot from Francesca's; however, it's never been available online (seen here, for example). But, it looks like the boutique has now re-stocked it online (and has redone their online store... looks great, guys)! This is the best pearl cluster necklace-- it goes with everything and feels a lot more expensive than it really is! Get it here.
There's really no other name for this weekend other than exhausting. It was insanely productive, though! As previously mentioned, our new house must be decorated (aka time to get rid of our college-past and embrace our "adult" future), so the hubs, MIL and I hit up some sales early to check some things off the list. I'd say we managed to save thousands on what we bought this weekend and got some really, really nice things. A gorgeous camel micro-suede couch... hand-tufted rug... 5-piece table and chair set... decorative foyer table, to just name a few... and my personal fave? A zebra-esque vase that everyone else seemed to hate at first and then really warmed to. Heh. Shows them for not having faith in my design-taste! (also on sale for 1/2 off! Nice)
(I've got the best spot for this, too... I plan on filling it with some curly branches and setting it in one of our little stairway alcoves. Perfect!)
We also managed to find some of the pieces to bring my master-bedroom ideas together, which I think I'll save reveal-wise until it starts to coalesce some more. I must say, it's morphing into something a little different than I had originally planned, but I'm loving it nonetheless. The inspiration-colors, though, played a big role in what it's starting to look like. Can't wait to share... eventually. :)
Here's an outfit of the weekend, perfect for some well-deserved champagne Sunday brunch at Kirby's Woodfire Grill (nom nom nom)...
Top: Robbi + Nikki crepe silk top (my pre-sale score! similar here)
Skirt: F21 ruffle skirt
Shoes: JS Cedary sandals
Necklace: Express multichain necklace
Wahoo, finally debuting the top I had been talking about for ages! I never could find this online and really never saw it any other place than at NM's pre-sale, but I snagged it for $50ish marked down from $180ish. A good deal in my opinion! The "shoulder pads" are a bit crazy but since the shirt is pretty simple, it's such a fun detail. The material, including the shoulder detail, is so soft and luxurious. A nice piece by the Robert Rodriguez family! Only sucky thing is you can't really wear a sweater or jacket with it since you'd lose its character, so it's a summer top only. Maybe I'll get creative, but we'll see. :)
Because here it is, Saturday, and my day is filled with not fashion, but home decor.
I've mentioned before how I used to have this crazy dream. It was a fairy tale... a world where I had design skillz' and would become the most richest-and-famousest interior decorator the world-over.
(the dream has now slightly shifted to the most richest-and-famousest-psychologist who will help Suri Cruise during her tumultous teenage years and possible "questioning-of-sexuality" phase.)
So this new townhouse thing is a good way for me to get back in the saddle... err.. learn how to ride, actually. The place is new-- 2007-- so no renovations are required. Just little touch-ups here and there. New paint, fixing drywall in certain places, etc. But once our stuff is in there, I have this teensey feeling that it's going to feel like the college-student-meets-real-world and totally need some TLC, design wise. So I'm trying my hand at this. I do best with inspirational photos, so I'm starting to really try and figure out my design sense, which is probably a lot like my fashion sense. A little but of everything. I like traditional, but not too traditional. I like modern, but not too contemporary. I like color, but I like neutrals, too. I love texture but don't always dig patterns (hate florals, don't do "busy"). Sigh. This is going to be tough.
Here are pics I've come up with so far. Plan of attack for today? Appliance shopping (new fridge and stove/oven), maybe some mattress shopping, and then hittin' up West Elm and Pottery Barn for some more inspiration (and possibly a duvet? let's not get ahead of ourselves. Baby steps. Ahem.)...
(This has been my main inspiration for the master bedroom. I love this blue color + the yellow. It's happening, folks.)
(Great colors and love the gold, but a tad on the "traditional" side.)
(I must have this pattern in my life, I love this! Buy it here.)
(So clean and pretty, I heart.)
(The neutral tones + fun patterns in accessories to spice it up are really attractive to me.)
So there you have it. I'm offically joining the dark side. I can't really say how this will morph (into a new obsession?) or how this will permeate my blog, but this serves as your warning. :)
(side note: THANK YOU to all of you who were sweet and supportive re: yesterday's post. Glad some of ya'll could relate and didn't get too annoyed at my ranty-rant. hehe)
(This post is going to get personal and reaaaaally ranty, so beware. Heh.)
Ok. There's been something I've been wanting to talk to ya'll about now for some time. It's always there, staring at me in the photos I take... glaring me down and mocking me, saying, "You'll never tame me. You'll never make me look how you want!"
Yep, you guessed it. My hair.
Some of you have asked me about my beauty routine, and I always have to admit that I am no beauty expert. It's not that I'm ignorant to the ways of beauty routines and "tricks of the trade" (I've tried it all, trust me), it's that I have this horrible and narcissistic belief that no one in the world can understand how annoying it is to have my skin tone/hair texture/etc, etc, and nothing the magazines or beauty experts ever recommend works for me.
I really wish I could be proven wrong here, but honestly? I've yet to find the "right" solution to make me happy.
Thankfully, my skin tone has improved over the past few years (I struggled with pretty bad cystic acne for most of my younger life and really, up until about 1 1/2 years ago.) Despite the clear-up, I still have rather blotchy, red skin that's pretty uneven and some scarring that makeup doesn't always hide. But the best thing about that is it's correctable. I plan on doing some treatments to even out my skin tone soon. And it's not near what I feared it would be. I'm lucky I didn't get more scarring!
The one thing I can't change? The one thing I really, really despise? My hair. It's coarse and wavy/curly, but not the kind you can just quickly blow dry with a diffuser and let it go. Or even the kind that holds a nice curl. It's the kind that needs some serious time and TLC to get it right. And then, it usually doesn't last. It will frizz back up, or the curl will fall, or something to make me angry. And, as you can tell, straightening works (and is frankly the easiest to do), but it's so incredibly thick that it usually looks poofy anyway because there so damn much of it. I've tried every hair cut known to man and every color... just to find something that might be what works for me. And I even went to a really, really expensive stylist for a long time, assuming experts could help me. But still, no perfect haircut, no perfect color. Still struggling with the same complaints.
And I detest the articles in magazines that give you THREE EASY STEPS TO BEACHY, SEXY HAIR! ANYONE CAN DO IT! LOOK AT HOW EEEEEEAAAAASY THIS IS!! because what they recommend would make me look like a crack-addicted Pomeranian who hasn't had a cut or brush in years. Faaaaantastic, beauty editors. Great.
I know this is one huge self-pity-party and I sound a little like an ungrateful bitch and I apologize for that, but having a blog and posting pictures of myself always makes me more aware of the things I like/don't like. Don't get me wrong, here: I don't hate how I look. I'm not saying I'm ugly and I'm not looking for reassurance. I'm just irritated because I would like to fix it but am totally. confused. as. to. how. to. do. that. Maybe I should just accept it for what it is, but it's hard for me (*coughPERFECTIONISTcough*) to just accept when I'm not happy with something. I always think there's an answer for everything, but I'm going to have to face the facts: sometimes, there is no "right" answer and we gotta work with what we got. And maybe even learn to love it, somehow... somehow... :)
Yesterday, I decided to play around with my curling iron to try waving it, again. And again, I really liked the initial results! :
... but then, I brushed my fingers through it, and wouldn't ya know? It was pretty much gone. Two seconds later and gone. And I had a fun little weird kink on the left side that stuck around, just to piss me off.
(bye-bye, waves. Sigh. And you should have seen it just 10 minutes later. It looked like I got in a fight with a rabid raccoon and lost. OK, hyperbolic, whatever :) )
I'm sure I'm not alone. We all have things we hate, and I've really yet to meet a girl who doesn't want different hair. And the trouble with falling curls is definitely not a new phenomenon (I'm sure many of you have the same problem, since it's pretty common.) But still, it's quite a frustrating matter! I'm trying to accept, really, truly I am. But just bare with me a little while, because it's a work in progress. :)
top: urban outfitters leopard tank
sweater: nordstrom BP cardi
jeans: hudson bootcuts
shoes: steve madden flat sandals and liliana bow pumps
Those of you who read yesterday heard that I found the easy pant I've been looking for! Yippee hooray! You'll remember the fit issues with the Lulu's pants and the resounding distaste for the RM Helmut pant (which, thank you for the honest feedback because it really looks like no one found them attractive on me!)... but I think I've done it. Yes-- found the properly-fitting, nicely tailored, comfy-womfy easy pant! Eeesssh... more like difficult-to-look-decent pant.
This pair really does look great with a large number of items in my closet. I was afraid because of it's slightly voluminous nature that it wouldn't work with looser tops, but I think it still works just fine. Needless to say, I totes recommend these pants. They're TTS, by the way.
I also styled them with my Zara blazer, another cardigan, some tanks, some silk blouses... doesn't matter. Looked great. I'll be sure and post some more ways to wear them at a later date in time. So what do you think? Have I finally found the pants to save me from my never-ending search? Can my soul finally rest in peace!? :)
First thing's first: I had a very good and productive day yesterday.
1. I finally found out about my financial aid, and looks like we're getting more than I thought, which is great. Especially with the whole house thing looming... no one wants a mortgage + a lack of funding. So, crisis averted!
2. As I mentioned yesterday, my new closet has shoe cubbies. That fact alone will probably put a smile on my face for some time to come. I'm definitely planning on being really organized and creative with my new closet and will make sure to do closet photos when we move in. (side note: for those of you asking for pics, I'll be sure and do those... eventually. I'm a little embarrassed by my poor decorating skillz, so although I'm exercising my design-bone, I'm a novice. And you have to bare with me. Merci.)
3. I was quite productive shopping yesterday! I got two new cardigans (here and here) and a fantastic new pair of pants. As you may know, I've been in the market for non-jean pants and finally found them. They are the Hinge silk pants, and as a quick review: they run TTS and are made of the softest and prettiest silk. Fabulous... I recommend for anyone in the market for the "soft/easy pant" look. (Outfits with them to come.) I've been so bad about getting staple-pieces recently, so these new additions will maximize my closet and hopefully even save me some moolah in the future.
4. I, like many of you, realized how underwhelming the Anthropologie sale really is, and saved myself some serious dough. :)
Anyway, on to an outfit. With PINK. MORE PINK.
(By the way, still not sure this all works together-- something about the blazer and shorts combo? I think I'm worried about the proportions. I think it's ok, but still not 100% positive... this is what these photos are for, lovies!)
(hahaha... that face! I was trying to be fierce, and then started to laugh...)
(Quick update: after some issues with the foundation and some in-depth discussions on the value of homeownership vs. mental sanity, we've decided to move along with the townhouse. Which means we'll be moving in about 1 month! Yay! I'm a little nervous about the whole thing, especially after hearing the foundation estimate--YIKES--but I think in the long run it's a good investment. And the bright side is my closet has shoe cubbies. SHOE CUBBIES, ya'll!! p.s. that's been a lifelong dream of mine, to own a closet with shoe cubbies. Anyway.)
Was not kidding about this pink thing, folks! (p.s.: the top's color IRL is more strawberry than it is coral... but I couldn't get the color just right on Photoshop without making my face look sallow. Nice.)
I really couldn't decide how I liked this top best, and I'm still not sure if I have a preference looking back at it now. I needed a little something to throw over it, since air conditioned buildings in Texas are frigid, but couldn't find the "right" thing. I do feel like anything over it covers up its prettiness, since the raw-looking ruffles make the top. But practicality must win, lovies. Hubs preferred look #2 with the cardigan... but I think that's mostly because he really does not like the Rodarte belt. Boo on him. :)
What say you, readers? Is there a perfect cardigan/jacket to throw over this ruffled tank?