I’m not your tiny dancer

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29 Palms Inn. Joshua Tree, CA. October 2014.

Lakeside accessories

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Who needs bangles or sandals when you can accessorize your cut offs with a fish cleaning knife?

Beauty and the boat

2014.Seattle.47A little pedicure on the deck of our boat ♥

Essie’s Clambake.  Seattle, WA. July 2014.

And the moon swam back

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One day the one you battle might be me

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On the balcony and I’m singing

2014.May.Barbeque

The tiniest of details

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When it comes to bracelets and necklaces, my preferences tend towards bold and chunky.  For earrings and rings, on the other hand, the more delicate and understated, the better.

I’ve had my eyes on Elephantine‘s Nova Trio for several years, and someone special gave them to me for Christmas this year.  This trio of tiny gold studs comes with white, champagne, and black stones, and they add just subtle touch of sparkle.  The champagne set is my favorite so far and I love that they are just a shade off from my skin color.  Check out Elephantine’s Etsy page for more of her gorgeous jewelry.

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Blazer weather, come back

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Winter this year has been all over the place in terms of weather.  We’ve alternated snow, warm drizzle, ice, sleet, pouring rain, biting wind, and our current bitterly cold polar vortex.  Also in that mix were a few unseasonably warm and sunny days, which we took advantage of to meet up for brunch outdoors with friends.

I usually love coat weather, but it was a nice change to throw a blazer over a cozy gray sweatshirt and enjoy brunch outdoors.  My friend showed up wearing the most gorgeous crystal earrings.  I couldn’t take my eyes off of them and I loved they way they contrasted with her black leather jacket.

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Boxing day sales

These calf hair flats have seen better days

These calf hair flats have seen better days

Though I have to head back to work today, later in the day I’m planning to take advantage of the Boxing Day sales to fill a couple of wardrobe holes.  My beloved leopard-print calf-hair flats have seen better days and I’m thinking of replacing them with these similar loafers from Madewell.  They look comfy, and leopard print seems to work like a neutral and pair with everything.  What sales are you planning to hit?

The Teddy Loafer from Madewell

The Teddy Loafer from Madewell

[Lower photo courtesy of Madewell]

Monk Shoes

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These monk strap flats from ASOS are my most beloved shoes.  Over the last three years, I’ve worn them weekly, traveled with them all over this country, and have taken them to three other countries.  They are comfortable for long days of walking and I love how soft the leather has gotten over the years.  I almost always wear dresses or skirts, and often try to pair them with borrowed-from-the-boys touches like blazers or these shoes.  It keeps my style from being too twee.

The unfortunate result of loving these shoes so much is that in three years, they’ve been to the shoe doctor at least four times.  I’ve worn through the soles and the heels multiple times, and last time, the leather of the toe cap separated from the sole.  So far my amazing shoe doctor has always been able to repair them, but realistically, I know they won’t last forever.

Monk shoes in women’s sizes can be very hard to find, but they seem to be having a moment right now, so I figured it was the perfect chance to look for a backup.  I found the shoes below at TopShop and I’m working on breaking them in.  They aren’t as great as the ones from ASOS, but I do like them, and I’m still on the lookout for something more like my original loves.

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Can’t wait for COS

The internet has abuzz for the last few weeks with excitement that COS is opening a store in New York and online shopping will finally be available for the US.

I first wandered into their Marais store when we were in Paris last year, and it was like walking into the store I’d always wanted to find.  Every piece was interesting and unique, yet still somehow simple and sophisticated.  It’s so hard to find clothes like this in the US and I hope they don’t change their offerings much to try to cater to the market here.  I’ve been browsing the COS website and can’t wait to be able to shop there regularly.

We went for a bike ride this weekend, and I wore this simple COS v-neck dress.  I love the stiff knit of the material and the elbow length sleeves.  At work I always get lots of comments on how simple and chic the dress is.  The COS grey scarf is very lightweight, yet long and wide, perfect for these mild fall days.

It’s all in the details

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Generally there are two things that draw my eye in terms of style. The general shape and fit of clothing on people, and the subtle details that you may only notice up close.  Lately, I love seeing the tiny pin dots of this Madewell button up peeking out from the cuffs and collar of a sweater.  Maybe only an inch or two of the shirt is showing at any given time, yet somehow the outfits feels a little more crisp and interesting.

[ Shirt – Madewell; Sweater – J. Crew]

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Vintage Tasseled Lariat

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I’ve always thought shifts and maxi dresses pair well with a long necklace.  They draw the eye in a way that lengthens a straight silhouette.

Recently, my mother and I were browsing around in an amazing, cluttered little jewelry shop, and this vintage tasseled lariat was the first thing that caught my eye when I walked through the door.  It has a nice weight to it, doesn’t seem prone to tarnish, and while interesting, is simple and versatile enough that I’ve already worn it three times.  I have a feeling it will be making a lot of appearances this winter.

Polkadot finds at the Madewell sale!

Madewell Shirred Dress in Dot

Madewell Shirred Dress in Dot

I love Madewell.  Their clothes transition so well from workday to weekend.  Today they are offering an additional 40% off sale items and free shipping on everything with the code BONUS40.  I picked up the Pindot Collar Boyshirt and the Shirred Silk Dress in Dot.  I’d tried both of them on the last time I visited a Madewell store, and had a really hard time not walking out with them at the time.  I’m so glad to get them now at such a great price, and to already know they fit.  What did you get?

[Photos from Madewell]

Pindot Collar Boyshirt

Pindot Collar Boyshirt

Fall favorites

Zara embroidered top

Zara embroidered top

One of the enjoyable parts of this time of year is the constantly changing temperatures.  A wide range of my wardrobe comes into play over the course of the week, which can be a lot of fun.  Lately, when its warmer, I’ve been loving this sheer embroidered top from Zara.

When it cools down in the evening, cozy sweaters have started to make appearances.  During the spring and summer, I usually stick to light, neutral-colored nail polishes, but now I’m loving red red nails peeking out of the sleeves of those cozy knits.  This color is Essie’s “a list.”

Red red polish

Red red polish

Wanderings: Last day in Monterey

Heading down for drinks and dinner

Heading down to the hotel bar for drinks and dinner

Outfit: Madewell sweater (similar) / J. Crew Skirt (similar)/ Madewell Shoes / Madewell bag (similar)

Today is my last day in Monterey.  Tonight I head south to attend a weekend wedding and hopefully do a little exploring.  I’ll share some photos from my time here next week, but for now, here are a few shots around our gorgeous, Spanish-style hotel.

Rose garden

Rose garden

Lounging in the old atrium

Lounging in the old atrium

Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea

Ready to wear

Taking up the hem on a maxi dress

Taking up the hem on a maxi dress

This weekend, we’re heading to Newport Beach for a wedding.  The dress code is black tie optional, so I decided to have a little fun and picked up this bright pink maxi dress from Ruche.

Cassidy One Shoulder Maxi Dress from Ruche

Cassidy One Shoulder Maxi Dress from Ruche

It’s light-weight, simple, and easy to dress up or down with the right accessories.  Not being very tall, maxi dresses are usually much too long and this one was no exception. Getting the hem professionally altered seemed silly considering how affordable the dress was, so I decided to tackle this one by hand.

I won’t go into too much detail about how to stitch a basic hem since there are lots of amazing tutorials online.  I used a simple backstitch, and was careful to use straight pins and a measuring tape to ensure a consistent length all the way around the bottom.  All together it took about an hour to do and now the dress is the perfect length.  I have a few other dresses I need to take in and am thinking of getting a small sewing machine.  If you are interested in altering your own clothes, I love Extra Petite‘s tutorials. Here are a few of my favorites one / two / three / four.

Extra length, pinned up

Extra length, pinned up

Measured and pinned

Measured and pinned

Carefully back stitching

Carefully back stitching

Inside out

Inside out

Newly stitched and ready to cut the extra length

Newly stitched and ready to cut the extra length

Perfect length and ready to wear

Perfect length and ready to wear

Shown with: Madewell shoes / JewelMint bracelet / J.Crew necklace / Ruche necklace

Bracelets, studs, and Jewelmint

Pyramid bracelet

Pyramid bracelet

Earlier this summer, I’d been on the lookout for a few pieces of bold, modern jewelry to add a touch of interest and polish to some of my more tailored and understated outfits.  Lot’s of what I was seeing was girly and colorful and not quite what I was looking for.

A couple of mentions in various blogs led me to JewelMint and exactly the sort of jewelry I was looking for.  I started with two bracelets and a pair of earrings.  All three have become work horses in my outfit rotation.  They work equally well for conservative business meetings or drinks with friends, and I get lots of compliments on them.

Above: Moto Chic Bracelet (worn with an old turquoise beaded bracelet and a woven bracelet I picked up in Southern Peru.

Gold bangle

Gold and bold

Above: Golden Arm Bracelet – Currently out of stock but I love this Cobra Cuff

Gold stud posts

Gold stud posts

Above: Gold Pyramid Studs.  Worn with a Madewell shirt.

Packing for California

Blues, whites and greys

Blues, whites and greys

Packing up for a two week trip to California.  I like to travel light and have tried to adhere to a great packing tip I read about on Cup of Jo a while back: stick to a simple color scheme.  This let’s you mix and match tops, bottoms, layers, jewelry and shoes, so that you can have lots of outfits without lugging around too much stuff.  I’ve packed one brightly colored dress, since I have a wedding to attend at the end of the trip.

I’ll be working from California for next two weeks, mostly in Monterey, but spending a little time in Santa Cruz and Los Angeles.  Any tips on great places to eat or things to do?

Mix and match shoes, a swimsuit, and one dress for a wedding

Mix and match shoes, a swimsuit, and one vibrant dress for a wedding

A quick trip to Madewell

Running my favorite kind of errand. I ❤ Madewell.

Madewell in my bike basket

Madewell in my bike basket

And her heart is full and hollow

Stucco Stripe Songbird Dress

Stucco Stripe Songbird Dress

Enjoying a few days at home before heading to California for a couple of weeks. This dress is from Madewell.

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