31 December 2011

2011, A Year of Adventures

2011 was a year filled with adventures like traveling, exploring New York and falling in love. Here were my top 3 adventures in 2011.
3. In the summer my friend Robin and I went to a 1920's revival jazz festival on Governor's Island. Not only had I never been to the island, but I have never seen so many people simultaneously dressed in vintage fashions. From making friends on the subway and ferry because we were all similarly attired, to wandering through a field of hundreds of people all dressed up it was one of the most exciting afternoons I've ever had. It was made even better because I was there reconnecting with an old friend sipping St. Germaine cocktails, chatting with strangers and tapping our toes to the Charleston.
2. Traveling to Turkey with Dave.
This trip was the first vacation I had ever taken as an adult without a family member or school group to guide me. It was just me, Dave, and TimeOut Istanbul. We stayed in a hostel at the foot of the Blue Mosque and the Ayasofia in an ancient area of the city and every morning heard the call to prayer. In a sprawling city filled with ancient and modern structures side by side it is easy to see just how vast a history it has. I loved visiting the ancient sites, including a day trip out to the ruins at Troy.
My favorite place shown in the picture is the church of St. Savior In Chora. Like most churches it had been turned into a mosque, and outside has the telltale minarets, but inside the Christian art was merely covered up. The church was turned into a historical site, and you can view the most fully intact mosaics in the city. The bookended marble on the walls and the glittering gold mosaic gave me a feeling of what it must have been like all those hundreds of years ago to enter the church. It felt magical, and the mosaic figures were so lifelike that it looked as it they could have stepped off the wall into the room.
Then there was the food. I can't believe how much I ate while I was there. Cheese, meat and spinach plates, pastry from vendors on the street, lamb kebabs, rice and everything else that was put in front of me. And at the end of every meal or snack, a tiny cup of Turkish tea served in a clear glass cup with a spoonful of sugar.
Aside from the sites and tastes of Istanbul we made some great friends in the hostel. There was never a dull moment while we were there hanging out with everyone in the bar on the top floor. We did a pub crawl, played drinking games and stayed up late into the night talking to people from Brazil, Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Turkey and possibly quite a few other places.
1. Spending one entire year to the day with a person who I love completely. This has been one amazing, adventurous year and almost all of them include Rich. Last New Year's Eve we decided to make our relationship more serious by becoming Facebook official...no I'm just kidding, that wasn't until February. We did decide to be boyfriend and girlfriend, and as cheesy as that sounds it felt like a really big deal. Here is a photo of us after midnight on January 1, 2011.
Well, those were my favorite three adventures in 2011, and I hope 2012 is filled with even more. Thank you for reading my silly blog for another year, and a happy healthy New Year to all of you!
(Now go out and celebrate!)

30 December 2011

Noodles and New Friends

Yesterday I had a late lunch with Steffy of Steffy's Pros and Cons (and her posse) at the Noodle Shop. We talked about our favorite TV shows, and she suggested I watch Breaking Bad. Luckily for me she gave me the scoop on the gory bits so that I wouldn't be alarmed when I start watching. It was so wonderful to get to meet her.
Its crazy because I would really only share this with my readers because if I told anyone else I was hanging out with a person I only knew through the Internet they would probably lock me in my room. Isn't fashion blogging in particular funny like that? Anyone who posts daily pictures of their outfit already feels like a kindred spirit, but when you email back and forth and then eventually meet in person it is like connecting with an old friend.
Photo sneak attack! Seriously though, she should probably be a model (She actually is! Check out her store here.)
The perfect veggie noodles.
So IRL I'm actually really animated and make crazy faces all the time. Here's a good example.
Bloggerz.

Santa Baby

Santa was good to me this year, and I'm feeling quite spoiled. I'm so lucky to have all the people I love in my life, and on top of being wonderful people they are also generous. Here are some pictures of new things I was given for Christmas.
Richard gave me a Robot Tea Diffuser, which is adorable and makes me laugh because it looks like he is hanging out in a jacuzzi.
Cozy sweaters, a very 60's dress and some surprises from my mom.
A wonderful 5 year journal that asks a question everyday for a year to be used as a sort of time capsule of thoughts.
Pearl hair clips and a new Moleskien day planner.
My jewelry box from Rich, and the presents from inside. A bike pendant and a cat lovers pin from Etsy, and the Lapis Triangle Cut-Out Necklace that I've been wishing for from Garnett Jewelry.
A ring that reminds me of Turkey from my Grandparents.

So, what did Santa bring you this year?

28 December 2011

A Very Merry Christmas

This year Christmas was a beautiful day filled with so many different groups of people I love.
My day started with opening gifts. Rich bought me the most beautiful vintage jewelry box, and had a few surprise presents inside.
My reactions all looked something like this.
I got dressed up in my red velvet dress and a cozy cardigan.
Then it was off to Christmas dinner at my grandparent's house where we eat Christmas goose with potatoes, veggies, and homemade cheesecake. My grandma loves to take pictures.
The advent candles glowing.
Family portrait. Just after this I fell asleep in the living room near the fire for a few hours.
Then I was off to LK's birthday dinner at her house where she had her traditional sip of champagne from the bottle.
We got bundled up and headed out to celebrate.
Rich's house was crazy and in full on party mode, so instead of going to a bar we stayed here all night. It was almost impossible to find a place to stand in the kitchen it was so crowded.
Dave and LK as an American Gothic painting by Grant Wood
With Rich, Linds, AJ and Dave, the best people to hang out with.

27 December 2011

Christmas Eve Traditions

Christmas Eve this year was wonderful. Traditionally my mom and I ice skate early in the morning at Rockefeller Centre and then stroll down 5th Avenue to look at the window displays. In the morning we were both too tired to go, so instead of braving the cold for tradition's sake, my mom made breakfast while I DJ'd Christmas music. For the rest of the morning we hung out eating and watching It's a Wonderful Life.
In the afternoon we went to a party at my mom's friend's house for a little while before heading to my mom's boyfriend's house which has become a new tradition the past few years. He has a great family that cooks a delicious Christmas Eve meal, exchanges gifts from Santa after dinner and the kids even sing Christmas songs!
Its so comforting that traditions can joyfully transform into new ones. I used to be so scared of change and would be a wreck if holiday's didn't strictly follow tradition. This year the focus was on family and loved ones, as it should be.
My favorite part of the day was sitting in Rich's living room with his Christmas tree looking at the lights and ornaments. And of course, lots of half-sleepy kissing.
My mom and John
Singing Christmas carols
Playing basketball
With Babbo Natale!
Christmas tree gazing at Rich's house
I also managed to snap some outfit photos before collapsing into bed. It was a day for simplicity, but I couldn't resist a little vintage bauble on my sweater.
Christmas Eve outfit: BP cardigan, BB Dakota brocade skirt, cranberry Target tights, Dolce Vita boots, vintage brooch

25 December 2011

Happy Birthday Lindsay Kate

In 2003 Lindsay and I had met a couple of times because our boyfriends were friends, but I barely knew her. At the end of that summer our friend threw a party and since I couldn't drive, she offered to pick me up. In the car we talked about our mutual friends and people we knew and the usual awkward things you talk about when you don't know someone well. Then she put on a CD. Both of us were dancing and singing along and yelling, "This is my song!" every time a new one came on. We got completely lost on our way, but were having such a good time that we barely noticed that we were missing half of the party. When we got there we were attached at the hip, eating rummy bears and drinking super-sweet Schmirnoff Ices in our own little world. In the morning we both wanted to get home early, so we got in her car and drove home. That spurred about a million inside jokes that we still laugh about today.
I remember coming home and being SO EXCITED that I had made a new friend. That week we hung out and "got coffee" which to me at 16 seemed like a cool mature thing my new friend who was in college did. Just about every day until I graduated high school we would buy coffees and sit and hang out in her car after we were both done with school and work.
Lindsay (or LK as she is usually known around here) has been my best friend since the night of that party. We have had a million adventures together. There is nothing I can't tell her, even if I don't want to because I'm not one for getting emotional. When I needed an extra summer job she got me one at the JCC she worked at and where I ended up working on and off for 6 years. When I was going through a tough but necessary break-up in college she drove 300 miles to come and hang out with me and to drag me out to parties at my own school multiple times. She wasn't mad when I didn't call for weeks when I was at college because she knows I'm not a phone person. When I was on Accutane and she knew I was feeling really hideous she would reassure me that it wasn't going to be forever. She always has a book recommendation or a new song for me to listen to.She isn't afraid to tell me when I piss her off, and always apologizes if she does something that bothers me. She is always, ALWAYS ready for an adventure (as long as she has some sleeping pills if it involves airplanes).
Linds is without a doubt the most loyal, honest, funniest, smartest, weirdest, best friend a girl could ask for. Its so weird to think that we've only been friends for 8 years because I can't even really remember what it was like before we were friends. Its like she's always been there because we know one another's families, childhood stories and just about everything else. She's the sister I never had.
(I should tell you, I just took a break from writing this to text her a poop joke)
Instead of Merry Christmas today, Happy 27th Birthday Lindsay!!!

23 December 2011

Style File: Fall

Wearing a vintage dress with a sailor style twist when I met Callie(with her camera on my shoulder)
Classic threads for biking to work
Glinda gets modern
I skipped a Halloween costume and opted for vintage and velvet
My favorite outfit of 2011. I know that because I always want to wear it!
I bought a cuddly Bambi sweatshirt to wear instead of a typical knitted sweater
Everything in this outfit was bought secondhand, and the shirt is from the swap!
Chilly weather finally arrived, and with it a new winter coat!
So that was my year in style. There has been some good and some bad. My style drifts between the 60's and the 90's and will likely continue down that road in 2012. Last year my resolution was to get better at accessorizing, but I'm not sure it really happened, but there's always next year!

22 December 2011

Velvet nights

On Friday night I ventured into Manhattan with LK for drinks. When we reached 14th Street and the L was down, we didn't whine; instead we hiked from 8th to 1st Ave in our fancy dresses. As a teenager wandering aimlessly through the city streets was routine for us kids not old enough to drink and lacking the balls to try drugs. This particular night reminded me of that same exhilarated feeling of dolling up and wandering the streets with partner in crime at my side. We fawned over puppies out for their evening walks, lit up when we saw Christmas light displays, and chatted with other intrepid travelers deterred by the L making their way across the city.
For our night out I chose my vintage bright red velvet pleated dress with matching skinny belt paired with monochrome accessories to let the dress take center stage.
vintage dress and matching belt, H&M tights, boots and headband, vintage skates, BB Dakota faux-leather jacket, Wooden Ships scarf

21 December 2011

Red wine boots

Last week my new boots arrived and they brought the cold weather with them. To brave the chill and inevitable snowy slush I bought Doc Marten's in shiraz. Instead of the classic style I've tried before and had terrible luck with, I bought the Pascal which are made of a softer, more supple leather on top of classic slip-proof rubber soles. The vivid wine color stands out against grey skies and makes me feel bright and warm inside (and my toes are toasty too!).
The trouble I've had with them come down to sizing, since they don't come in half sizes. These seem to fit differently than the classic boots though, and after just a few wears are already broken in. They are a bit longer and the toe-box is thinner, so I bought a size down from my usual one and took out the inner sole to create a perfect fit.
On Saturday I bummed around the house gardening, watching movies and reading blogs without makeup in a cozy sweater and my new boots.
H&M blouse, AA sweater, BDG pants, Tiffany star necklace, Doc Marten Pascal's in Shiraz
happy, honey & lark. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.