30 August 2010

Perfect hats for autumn

Just because its fall doesn't mean you shouldn't still protect your face from the sun! Once upon a time I was a sun worshipping beach bum with a dark golden tan and a dusting of freckles (read: sun damage). But at my ripe old age of 23 I realized that this skin has to last a bit longer and I started wearing hats to supplement my SPF. Unfortunately for us, Mr. Golden Sun can wreck your face even if you are cozy in your cable knits and cardigans.
The hats from my new sponsor, 1001 Panama Hats are perfect for transitioning into fall with their beautiful colors and accents. The bright gold and pale straw hats remind me of the fall sun all on their own. Any one of them would look amazing with a bathing suit, and transition well into your fall wardrobe to be paired with denim jackets and brightly colored scarves.
Here are a few of my absolute favorites off of their online shop:

28 August 2010

Catching up

8.24.10
Here is a little re-do on my pictures from Tuesday and I've included a close-up shot of the collar detail. It was nearly impossible to take a decent one while wearing the dress for some reason, but here it is laying down. Its a sort of drape that connects to a high collar by two little buttons with just a tiny peek of skin at a keyhole opening on one side. Secretly secretary sexy is what this dress is.
Vintage dress, H&M sweater, Hanes tights, Nine West Outlet shoes
These are my shoes close up and you should know that I'm a complete sucker for "sensible" shoes. I bought them almost 4 years ago now for $15 at a Nine West Outlet store. Purchased with the specific intention of wearing them to a summer internship, not knowing of course that at the time that my summer internship would be doing production at Sirius/XM Radio and I'd be wearing jeans and old Converse everyday. Now I'm happy that they live in my closet because they are very comfy and oh so cute for my first grown-up job.
8.25.10
After watching I Capture the Castle 3 or 4 times it was bound to lead to a Cassandra inspired outfit for work. I accidentally got bangs when I got my haircut after spending a coon's age growing them out. I'm sure you're wondering how can anyone "accidentally" get bangs and the answer is simple, I brought in a picture of a woman with side bangs not realizing that they were straight across and just pulled over. Look carefully before you hand your hairdresser a picture and tell her you want exactly "that" and proceed to doze off. So now I've got Dutch-boy hair and I need to be careful of all my cowlicks and curls in the front especially when it rains.
Thank goodness for hats, and for Romola Garai wearing one so well in I Capture the Castle so I could copy the look and keep my bangs from looking like a hot fuzzy mess.
F21 hat, H&M dress, thrift store CK belt, Old Navy sweater, BP Flats
Here are the bangs looking as well as can be expected on a dreary wet day.
8.26.10
This outfit was inspired by two factors the night before. 1) Watching Umbrellas of Cherbourg for the first time and loving Catherine Deneuve's outfits, including one with a pleated skirt. This skirt has been hanging hopefully in my closet for months waiting to see daylight. 2)A post by Owl v. Dove that can be found here. I fell in love with how the peach looked near the dark blue and I had to try it. I would have added some coral but I wasn't sure if it would seem overdone. There is also the matter of shoes, which I won't bother to show you because the moment I had gotten to the end of my block, I looked down and my feet pedaling and thought "I look like I'm wearing some kind of costume," in regards to my vintage suede Bass Oxfords. They are not dainty or sweet and I felt like a deranged Catholic schoolgirl on the lam. Note to self:avoid looking costume-y when wearing vintage.
Jimmy'z shirt I found in a $2 bin, Goodwill skirt (yea, like I'd ever pay for that overpriced American Apparel one pssshh), Express necklace, Bass Oxfords not pictured because they looked stupid, and a thrifted belt

25 August 2010

I Capture the Castle

"I write this sitting in the kitchen sink," is the famous introduction to Cassandra Mortmain, the narrator of Dodie Smith's beloved I Capture the Castle. Cassandra, with a keen eye for observation captures the mouldering castle she lives in and her eccentric mouldering family in her own words. Her father was the successful author of one book, his only book, and they live on the dwindling revenue of that early genius. Though Cassandra's beautiful sister Rose, their stepmother Topaz, and brother Thomas believe in him he spends most of his days reading detective novels in the gatehouse of the castle. Rose will do almost anything to change their luck, and finally one night it does with the arrival of their handsome American landlords.
The relationships between siblings were one of the most interesting aspects, especially the contrast between the inseparable sisters raised by a distant father and an eccentric nudist stepmother and the brothers raised separately by their divorced parents. Even more interesting is that Smith seems to touch on these subjects without batting an eye. The development of friendship between Cassandra and her younger brother Thomas, and their growth from indifferent caring to a friendship amongst siblings was one of my favorite parts.
Of course there is plenty of romance to go around for all the characters, whether it is real or imagined.
I really don't want to spoil any more of it for you if you haven't read it! Cassandra became like a fictional friend to me, I laughed at her jokes and the ridiculous things her family did with her, I listened to her secrets about love and growing up. There's a comparison often made between this book and those of Jane Austen and I have to agree. The characters become friends to the reader, more than just someone you read on a page. The one up that Smith has on Austen are the vivid descriptions of the castle and the English countryside. You can almost see the castle rising on the middle of the page with the tower behind it surrounded by bluebells and two friendly swans.
The photos are screen shots from the movie, which I will probably go on and on about some other time.

24 August 2010

Making a good start

Tonight's picture is a perfect example of why I need to do outfit shots in the morning: to avoid lazy bedroom shots with tons of clutter in the background. Ah well... I went out last night and tonight. People say youth is wasted on the young and I plan to prove that one wrong.
This was the first vintage dress I ever bought for myself. I saw it on Ebay and knew I had to have it even though it was a little bit too big everywhere except the length. It didn't matter, this dress has the most amazing collar and navy with white polka dots! It was meant to be, really.
Vintage dress, H&M sweater, Nine West shoes

23 August 2010

Baked Salmon with cucumber & caper sauce

Are you like me? Not exactly a wizard in the kitchen, but you don't want to eat canned beans and macaroni and cheese out of a box every night? When I was away in college I discovered the simple deliciosity of baked salmon, and recently of a nice summery sauce to go on top with veggies fresh from the garden. It only took about 20 minutes to prepare, cook, and clean up too! I added red potatoes from the farmers market this weekend and voila, a nice home cooked meal.
Since the potatoes will take the longest to cook it is best to start here. Clean and chop the potatoes into quarters. The skin tastes good and is such a pretty color, why take it off? Place the potatoes in a large pot and fill with water until they are covered with water by about 2 inches. Cover the pot and let boil until they become tender.Line a baking dish (or in my case the tray from the toaster oven) with tinfoil. Brush the salmon pieces with olive oil and place in the tray. Do not use as much olive oil as I did, there was a moment of spacing out and I poured too much. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and dill over it and place to the side. I like to put the fish in for about 8 minutes at 350 degrees Farenheit (usually I just wing it depending on how thick the pieces are. Fish doesn't need to cook long to be done).Peel and slice a cucumber lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Dice the cucumber, and in my case I added some green peppers. (At this point, I put the fish in the oven so that the sauce and fish will be done at about the same time). Melt butter in a frying pan, and add the veggies. After a few minutes add as many capers as you like (I used about 2 spoonfuls) and 2 or 3 tables spoons of water and allow to simmer on medium heat. Stir in chopped parsley at the end and remove from the heat.By now the potatoes should be done. Drain them out into a large colander and return the pot to the stove with the heat on. Put in some butter (I like to use more than less) and enough to cover the bottom of the pot. Pour in the potatoes and sprinkle dill all over while stirring the butter all around. Once the butter has evaporated they are done. I sometimes will put the top of the pot on and leave them to sit at low heat for a minute or two so they aren't watery.
By now everything is done cooking and can be put together on the plate. Take the salmon off the foil using a fork or spatula and add the sauce and the potatoes.

21 August 2010

Embracing the casual Friday

On Friday I took a more comfortable approach to my work outfit. These shorts couldn't be paired with a tee shirt because that is just a little too casual for the office so it was the old standby light cotton tunic, the very same one from my first day at work. I tucked it in to keep my bottom half from looking like it was hiding in a circus tent. Then added some delicate silver accessories and dainty three-strap mary jane's, and called it a day.
It was lucky for me I was in clothes that let me move so freely because Friday was the day I worked up the courage to approach the NYC Jugglers in Bryant Park. I see them there sometimes and as an ex-circus addict I wanted to show off my own very rudimentary juggling skills. It was such a nice way to spend a few minutes during my lunch hour. Chatting with some new people and getting to move around and soak up the sunshine that filled the lawn. The man who runs the program told me I should come back and he would teach me to juggle clubs. Oh, what a hobby that would be! I promise to get a few pictures next week for you!
Hurley shorts, F21 tunic, Penny Loves Kenny shoes, vintage necklace, UO headband
I also wanted to share this video with you. I found it tonight, and I think it has an excellent message. Sometimes I worry that there is something wrong with me when I am lonely, and conversely when I crave alone time.

20 August 2010

Tell me about it...

If I have to hear that 3Oh3! song with Ke$ha in it again, I will scream. Then no one will want to kiss me.
I have been thinking a lot about kissing. The idea of kissing, not actually kissing a person. That would require leaving my desk and frankly I'm far to busy enjoying my side-projects and my job to do that right now.
What I've been floating around on the brain waves are first kisses. Any first kiss. The first time you ever kissed another person in your whole life, or the first time you kissed a particular someone. The anticipation of what it might be like, the pride that someone wants to put their mouth on yours, the nervous flip you do through your mind wondering if you brushed your teeth. Its a strange thing, kissing. It can make you feel connected to a person or even the place its happening. It can disconnect you from all that surrounds you, and it can tear away emotions you thought you may have felt toward someone.
My first ever kiss was hardly perfect and was under the pretenses that many an American teen has had: Around the bonfire at sleep away camp egged on by friends during a game of truth or dare. I remember that he was a year older than me, but looked a bit like an overgrown toddler with large blue eyes, pink cheeks, and brown curls. The moment before our mouths touched I could sense everyones eyes on us, there must have been hesitation on my part because he practically launched himself at me. I broke it off after a few seconds, laughing along with everyone else trying to play it cool. All I kept thinking was that I had someone else's spit inside my mouth, and if my mother would find out and then what would she think.
So readers...tell me about your first kiss. You can answer anonymously if you want to.

19 August 2010

Dragged through another week

Its terrible that I feel like I've "dragged" myself through another week. Hooray! More time has passed and nothing has been accomplished! I'm beyond exhausted and the past few weekends have been wild and fun (read:draining and over-the-top). I can barely remember what I've been doing in the hours that fill the space between sleep. While I am enjoying my job quite a lot, commuting makes me want to scream. This weekend I am changing this. I am going to have time to work on things I've been putting off and set projects up so that I can do them when I come home from work. The problem is that my brain is swirling with ideas that never see the light of day because there's no time to fully think them through.
On another note, here are the outfits I wore on Wednesday and Thursday that are neither original or interesting. Simple and neat for work.
Wednesday: My dress was a lucky find at Buffalo Exchange in Somerville last fall for about $7, belt from Goodwill, Steve Madden sandals.
Thursday: It just occurred to me that I haven't shown this dress at all on here which is odd because I've been wearing it almost once a week since I bought it in May. H&M dress, BP flats, Target sweater
In case you were wondering, I do have clothes for relaxing. I changed into this after work for a nice sunset bike ride over to the library. H&M top, Big Star cut-offs, sassy bike riding attitude

17 August 2010

Home Sweet Home

This is my beautiful house in all its pink glory. I've lived here since I was in 3rd grade, and when we moved in it was a drab gray with brown. My mom and I talked about color schemes, I insisted on something with yellow, and then I came home one day to our Victorian Painted Lady. Our house is over 120 years loved. Before I move out I will try to start making a weekly feature about my house and all its knick-knacks and quirks.

16 August 2010

In Which We Pour Our Own Drinks...

On Friday the 13th we went to the Irish Pub and strange things happened. Bulletproof played on repeat for the entire night and somehow we ended up behind the bar serving drinks.
Continuing a silly theme from last Friday, here is my daily outfit photo taken with beer.
Lark&Wolff jumper, H&M sweater, BP flats, vintage pin
LK, shocked to find herself behind the bar could not control her laughter. She requested a lesson in how to obtain beer from the tap and was given the most hilarious and inappropriate explanation possible.I am very pleased with my evening as you can see from this photograph. It continued to get so good that the camera had to be put away, and also I got lazy.On Sunday LK and I ventured to the North Shore to see Huntington Village and check out the house my mom's boyfriend lives in. He has a fluffy sweet little neighbor. I named him Otter and I hope we become friends. Then we went to Crumbs where I devoured enough sugar to kill an 8-year old. We wandered around the village and I picked up a few little things that I will show you soon (well, as soon as I take pictures). Next time I go I will bring my DSLR and show you around one of the sweetest little towns on Long Island.

15 August 2010

Elizabeth Bennet

I refer to this dress as the Elizabeth Bennet dress when I'm thinking of whats hanging in my closet. It reminds me of a Regency style dress with the empire waist, pale color, and soft fabric though obviously much more modern. This dress is no French muslin afternoon dress, nor is it very modest, but makes me feel very much like one of Ms. Austen's characters. Whenever I'm feeling blue I like to read my favorite book, Pride and Prejudice, and take comfort in its words and wit.
"The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of merit or sense."
I am only resolved to act in that manner, which will, in my own opinion, constitute my happiness, without reference to you, or to any person so wholly unconnected with me.
"I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine."
Vintage dress, Aerosoles sandals (I changed into my Steve Madden flats later), vintage belt, vintage locket

13 August 2010

8.11.10

On Wednesday I felt very girly and it called for wearing the prettiest shirt in my closet and a brilliantly colored skirt.
Marc Jacobs top, Gap skirt, Gap shoes
The triangle embroidery, and the stripes of stitching on the collar and sleeves is is wonderful.
happy, honey & lark. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.