Friday, April 30, 2010

back alley

This is my dark alley. Not-so-dark today.

Yowza, what a morning. It was bright and sunny but I overslept, so my 6 am run turned into a 6:45 am run, which did not give me nearly enough time to prepare myself for the day. (Twenty minutes to shower and shave and make myself up and blow-dry my infuriatingly long, water-logged locks?? Yeah, right.) I really need a haircut. I've been enviously eyeing Mel and Christina's shaggy, uncoincidentally twin trims, but I don't think I'm quite ready to part with my full fringe. I just don't like how heavily my hair hangs when it's at rest, which part of the reason I've been defaulting to the Wang braid lately (that, and I don't seem to have the energy for my usual daily teasing routine).

I'm not surprised I overslept, but I am rather surprised that my morning jog wasn't nearly as painful as it has been in the past. Maybe I'm actually getting somewhere! Mostly I'm surprised that I could even move after last night's overindulgences. I met up with my pals S&E and we headed to Tiny Thai in Winooski (stopping first to pick up a couple bottles of Portugese white wine -- it's BYOB), where I consumed an enormous plate of tofu Massaman curry and my fair share of our fried banana split.

Good thing I had these photos bubbling on the back burner (I'm such a cheater) from yesterday morning. All I can say is, thank you K for simply rolling your eyes and ignoring my raging, and thank goodness it is finally Friday (again). The weeks really do seem to fly these days.

Tonight, we feast (this time: Italian style)! K and I are meeting up with the family in Burlington to celebrate my mom's birthday at Trattoria Delia! This is like a fun game of "Round the World (of Food) in Eighty Days." Especially since I've been living off of $1.99 Indian food from Trader Joe's ever since I stocked up when I was in Boston.

(dress: goodwill; hat/scarf: thrifted; socks/shoes: Kohl's; bag: consignment)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

the old man and the sweater

I can't get enough of this hat.

Did you notice that I was MIA from the blogosphere yesterday? Don't answer that. Anyway, there was a quite logical explanation for my absence: I woke up, took one look at the raging blizzard outside my window, and went back to sleep. And then went to work. There was no way I was setting foot outside in the snow. I'm trying not to get too political about it, but winter, I boycott you.

Luckily, by the time I returned home that evening, the sun was shining (albeit setting) and the chill factor was down to a much more endurable level.

Melting snow did drip on me, so in case you were wondering what those weird discolorations on my jeans were... it's water. I promise. I'm not gross enough to take outfit photos with crusty leftover champagne on my pants.

I snatched up this sweater years ago when a good friend of mine was cleaning out her closet for donation, and I've never really worn it in public because it's so bulky. I like it paired with the skinny jeans, flat oxfords and hat because it's just the right balance of casual and classic and keeps it from looking too eighties-early-nineties.

Is it the weekend yet?? I'm really excited because a) I don't have any body-exhausting building projects planned and b) K and I are going to do some serious antiquing for our new apartment :) I love spending a long leisurely day driving through the countryside and dropping in at all of the quiet little shops on the back roads. I might also convince him to do a little bit of regular thrift shopping in town... I'm realizing that the reason I've been sticking to my menswear-inspired looks lately is that I don't have any spring skirts! All of my skirts are wool, which isn't particularly appropriate for eighty-degree weather... so I need to work on acquiring some flirty florals and airy ruffles for the spring and summer seasons.

Also, I must have these shorts:

(TopShop, via Cupcakes and Cashmere)

I may also was to drop in at the fabric store so I can actually start some sewing projects in my spare time! I really want to make this happen! Any tips for sewing satisfactory summer garments? I want these:

(Sally Scott S/S 2010, via Sally Jane Vintage)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

spring sprang sprung

So, this morning something happened that did not warm my heart (or any other part of me, for that matter):

Looks like Spring ran off with Mr. Sun under the cover of darkness. I blame the Groundhog--he always was a bad influence.

When I stepped outside to take photos this morning I might as well have stepped into a torrential downpour. Those big, fluffy flakes are seriously deceiving. Instead of the light, fragile flurries I was expecting, it was like I was standing (monkey-in-the-middle style) in the center of a supersized spitting contest... only the spit was also partially frozen. Those flakes hit my face like they had something to prove and nothing to lose.

At least the unexpected snowstorm gave this little jumper a chance at relevance. I bought it post-snow season (I thought) at the thrift store in Waterbury and wasn't planning to wear until next winter. It seemed appropriate.

Good thing I wasn't planning to go running this morning. This could be classified as weather-I-would-never-exercise-in-even-if-my-life-depended-on-it.

(sweater jumper: thrifted; shirt: Old Navy; tights: Goodwill; socks: Marshall's; boots: Aldo; necklace: UO)

This could also be classified as weather-that-makes-me-wish-I-lived-in-Southern-California. K, I know we just worked long and hard on home improvement this weekend, but what do you think? Am I just watching way too much Beverly Hills: 90210?

I still maintain that the Beverly Hills Beach Club looks a hell of a lot more appealing than any place that drops snow after April is already underway.

In memorium of Spring, and in a last attempt to keep my eye on the prize and keep thinking positively about the probability of warmth in the near future, it's finally time to post a few inspirational fashion photos that I've been holding hostage in my favorites folder until such time as... well, now.

(Kansas Couture)

I want that yellow dress! Wouldn't something like that be perfect for a spring wedding? Too bad nobody I know is getting married. Actually, too bad I don't have that dress.

(Kendi Everyday)

I went to Old Navy to buy that belt but they didn't have it in blue any more :( No matter, I got it in brown, but it's not the same. Also, love love the florals & stripes.

(A Thought is the Blossom)

This outfit inspires me in one hundred million ways. Love the hat, love the braid, love the belt, love the shoes, loooooove (and covet) the jumpsuit! Gah!

Also, I just have to ramble ramble ramble for a minute because this girl is such an inspiration in general. I absolutely loved this post she wrote about the perceived negative effect that some especially crafty-cool bloggers have on their audiences when, instead of inspiring, they foster feelings of inadequacy in their readers (just like fashion models have made women feel physically inferior for decades, these fabulous women can make us feel personally inferior, which is much worse). I definitely feel a twinge of envy when I see someone wearing something incredible and one-of-a-kind, or taking gorgeous photos in beautiful locations, or doing creative projects in their "free time" (which I never seem to have, but really am just not utilizing to its full potential), but I agree that these women are, first and foremost, an inspiration! They make me want to actually do the things that I talk about doing! Instead of sitting around whining about how everyone else has all the fun, they make me want to be more creative and experience the beauty in life as much as I possibly can. Anyway, I was very touched by the way she allowed her fantastical facade to fall and gave us a glimpse of her daily life (and dirty dishes). Not everyone is perfect and the blog world can sometimes make it seem like living a charmed life is possible, because these are our real lives, right?? That way of thinking doesn't take into account that blogs, like anything else on the internet, are made up of images hand-selected to cast a very particular part of our lives in the best possible light. Part of what drew me to blogging in the first place was the feeling that these were real people--that this variety of fashion-awareness and personal style was (and is) attainable. It definitely put everything in perspective, and if you don't read her blog this is a very good time to start.

In other news, can someone please explain to me how this is possible:

I'm not complaining about that forecast, but... seriously. It's snowing today. How can it possibly transition to eighty degrees by this weekend???

PS: Unrelated, but Awesome.

home improvement, part one

Yesterday I mentioned that K and I were super-productive this weekend, and I thought I would share our first little DIY project with you! K had already crafted an awesome desk and a really cool door-turned-bookcase, but I didn't really assist in those endeavors so I can't even begin to take credit for them (I'll just say I was his muse...). But don't take my word for it! It's time for a quick round of "Look What My Boyfriend Can Do!":

Anyway, we had originally intended to build three sets of bookcases for our living room, but after lots of complicated math and lumber research, we determined that the project was way too expensive for our weak wallets. Instead, we bought some bookcases on the cheap ($25 each), assembled them, and painted all day:

(Side note: these are my "painting pants." I've worn them every time I've painted anything, from spreading tar on the basement foundation of my parents' house in seventh grade to the bright-red walls of my post-college apartment in Boston, and now this... it's nice not to have to worry every time about which pair of pants I want to risk ruining :)

And I mean all day. We went to Home Depot for a gallon of mustard-gold paint (only now I realize I don't remember its cutesy color-name) and spent the better part of a beautiful Saturday afternoon putting the pieces together, sanding the surface to enhance the paint's sticking power, and painting into the evening hours. After applying a second coat to all three cases on Sunday morning, they were finally ready to move into position on Monday evening. The paint definitely turned out a much brighter yellow that we had planned on, but that's okay!

We then lovingly lined the canary-colored shelves with our paperback friends (and other favorites, like my new elephant bookends):

Our orange couch is awesome, although this particular angle and this particular light do not particularly flatter it. Now all we need is... more furniture! Ultimately we hope to have a large Oriental rug under/around the couch, a coffee table, more seating, a side table and lamp... and the list goes on. At some point we also intend to put plants on the tops & around the bookcases. I can't believe how much space we have! We've come a long way from this:

(slapdash panoramic photo approximately to scale)

And the icing on the apartment-cake? The lovely nightly treat of fantastic sunsets through our bedroom window:

Monday, April 26, 2010

hat hat hat hat hat

Yowza, what a weekend! K and I were incredibly productive, but didn't get a whole lot of rest. We were working on a little project, which I'll elaborate on tomorrow. We still have one last thing to do before it can be considered officially "finished."

One other awesome thing that came out of this weekend: this hat. K sent me to the post office on Saturday morning to drop off our Netflix because (for once) I was ready before he was. It was a lovely stroll, but I didn't get far before I was sucked in by the window display of the little thrift store on our street. This precious little straw hat was perched atop a dummy in a denim dress. I didn't have any cash, so I asked the woman working there to hold it for me until we finished our many errands.

The very best part: it was $3.50! That leaves enough left over for me to get another little straw hat in a different color :)

The only disappointment of the weekend was that the creemee stand was closed. I was seriously craving some rainbow-sprinkled soft-serve all weekend long (and deserved it, after all of my hard work!)

Because of that disappointment, however, I discovered something even better! There is a shop on the corner of Main Street that K kept talking up a storm about because it was a butcher shop. Assuming that it was a butcher shop and nothing else, I never gave it another thought. And then K suggested that we go there because they supposedly served creemees (they don't) and it was an awesome little hole-in-the-wall grocery store! With everything I love and crave in stock (an olive oil dispenser! Huge blocks of goat cheese! All of our favorite breads from local bakeries! Vegetarian samosas! Pie! Ben and Jerry's! Our beloved Green Mountain salsa! Fill-your-own spices! Ripe, ripe avocados! Fiddleheads! I love discovering little things that make me love our new town even more!

(boyfriend jeans: GAP; shirt: TJMaxx; scarf/hat: thrifted; shoes: Kohl's)

These are the closest thing I have to "boyfriend jeans." My actual boyfriend's jeans would never work in a million years because he's a foot taller than me... if I rolled them up it would look like I had enormous denim donuts around my shins.

One other fabulous thing that happened this weekend: I finally finished Infinite Jest! I was beginning to think that it would never happen and was exhausted by it--a brilliant and timeless book, but undeniably infinite. I rewarded myself by watching the Sex and the City movie. Again. (I'm realizing there is a pattern here... I sure like to reward myself for pretty much everything I do...)

Now, on to the next!

Friday, April 23, 2010

the francaise way

In honor of my parents' triumphant (albeit delayed) return from La Ville-Lumière (Paris!), I thought it would be à propos to dress in the French spirit.

It would be pretty impossible not to have heard about the Eyjafjallajökull (I just wanted to type it out...) volcanic eruption & subsequent ash-catastrophe, but if you haven't, a word of advice: come out from under your little rock, the weather is fine! My lucky parents got to spend an extra five days in France because of that Icelandic incident, and I just have to say that there is nowhere I would rather be "trapped." Usually when I got trapped in foreign countries *cough* Rome *cough* it was because someone stole my passport and all of my money and credit cards, which isn't really the way to go, in case you were wondering.

You can't see it, but this little UO necklace says " JE T'AIME QU'HIER MOINS QUE DEMAIN," which (according to Babelfish) loosely translates to "I like you yesterday less than tomorrow." That makes little sense. Having taken some French in HS and college, I know that "Je t'aime" means "I love you," which is why I bought the necklace in the first place (not bothering to translate the rest of the text). So it's either a forward-looking and optimistic statement about living in the future rather than the past, or it is addressing a person whom I supposedly liked yesterday more than I will tomorrow. Which would maybe explain the heart with the arrow through it. But that's dumb. Besides, whatever happened to living in the present?

(shirt/necklace/hat: UO; skirt: vintage; belt: thrifted; socks/sweet shoes: Kohl's)

I got these sweet little shoes for $20 (!!) at Kohl's, that magical place.

Speaking of nostalgia, I am still in love with the Wang braid. Did that trend end? Did I miss it? Oh well! Here's to being gloriously attached to the past!

PS: These legs may look innocent enough (more French orphan boy than I may have been going for), but they have been running pretty regularly along the rural roads that surround our new "urban" apartment. (By urban I mean that I don't have to drive for miles to buy some emergency milk. [By milk, I mean liquor.]) Anyway, I'm pretty proud of the fact that I've been sticking with this running thing, even though I sort of hate it and this morning I thought I was going to die because I'm so out of shape. I've officially passed the "woo-hoo I'm excited to be getting exercise--isn't the air fresh--look at that lovely sunrise!" stage and hit the "holy crap that wasn't as far away yesterday as it is today" stage. But I've been in shape before and I will get there again, dog gum it, if it's the last thing I do!

Have fabulous weekends, my fashionable friends! And oh, hey Friday, thanks for finally coming around again--je t'aime aujourd'hui plus que demain!

EDIT: Thanks so much to Erin of Tog & Trappings for clearing up my confusion re: the French necklace! Apparently, it roughly translates to "I love you more every day," which makes so much more sense! You guys are the best :) I'm constantly learning new things from you!