29 December 2012

Beautiful gifts

I was completely spoiled this Christmas by my family and boyfriend and even my boss! I originally wanted so many things until I realized that I really didn't,but ended up getting thoughtful and useful gifts that were better than anything I could have anticipated. Must have been a very good girl this year, because Santa was very good to me.
On that note, how old were you when you still believed in Santa? I still do, in some ways. Not that an actual man rides around a sleigh but the spirit of giving without thought for something in return I completely believe in. Giving gifts can feel even more heartwarming than getting them.
Here are a few things by my little pipe-cleaner tree that I brought home to my apartment already
I'll tell you more about it later, but about halfway through the year I started running, and I completed my first 5K in October. My mom, as you know, runs marathons and was so proud of me that she bought me these beautiful new Nike Lunarglide's for Christmas. On a technical note, they are recommended for people who overpronate a bit like me (that's running on the outside of the foot!). Plus they're purple and I love them.
My mom also bought me these beautiful mismatch earrings from Catbird that I can't wait to wear on New Year's Eve.
My best gift came from Rich; A 35mm f/2 lens that I used for these photos. Paired with my new camera its pretty close to perfection.
A book on how to survive a garden gnome attack from Rich, a new Moleskine day planner from my mom because I can't get through a day without a plan, a book of short stories about New York City from my grandparents and the Harry Potter DVD collection from Rich. I have a lot of things to keep me busy on the couch this winter!
Every year I get a fairy or a gnome ornament from my grandma.*
The books again, and in the corner its a portable iPhone charger from my boss! It will come in handy in super long meetings or happy hour's.
*I collect gnomes! My collection has grown a lot recently.

Did you give or receive anything good this year?

28 December 2012

A slightly belated mix and some Christmas snapshots

I mentioned before that I was feeling pretty under the weather while I was at home for Christmas so I only took a few pictures with my phone. It worked out though because it was a lovely holiday in its own quiet way with nothing really important to note except the feelings of love and joy I felt. Hopefully I can carry that feeling around with me for awhile to come.
My mom and I chose all the red, glass or gold ornaments and hung them on the tree while we listened to her old records. We had wine and ooh'ed and ahh'ed at each one as we took them out of the boxes, especially all the ones from when I was a little girl.
Since I can't upload these vinyls for you, here is my slightly belated Christmas playlist. Its much much smaller than last year's, but no less cheerful. Right now I still can't get enough of Gayla Peevey's I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas, The Souldiers You've Got Balls, The Glee Cast version of We Need A Little Christmas and The School's Let Me Be The Fairy On Your Christmas Tree. I love pop Christmas songs, they are so fun I sometimes find myself dancing around my apartment while they play.


On Christmas Eve the only picture I took (besides a quick peek of my outfit) was this one of my festive legs. It was between two parties and I curled up in my favorite chair for a little while.
Fast forwarding to Christmas morning from the same chair; After the presents had been opened and all the bacon and toast gobbled up we watched A Christmas Carol and drank hot chocolate.
The rest of the day was spent with my grandparents who know me too well and got me some wonderful presents: A slow cooker, a book of stories about New York, tea and honey. There was the traditional Christmas goose dinner, an hour long Skype chat with family in Utah then orange cake and tea for dessert.
I hope you had a great holiday too! Did you do anything special?

27 December 2012

Golden Christmas Eve

My vacation has come and gone and all my plans for writing went out the window. I spent part of the week in Rich's apartment with him and the other part at home with my mom. Unfortunately I came down with some kind of mutant virus that seems to never want to go away. Despite feeling like a zombie, I managed to have a really great Christmas.
On Christmas Eve morning I woke up in my childhood bedroom and my mom and I had pumpkin pancakes with syrup while we watched Christmas movies on TV. Then we got dressed up for our day of holiday parties. I wore my favorite green skirt with a dainty lace top and glittery gold tights to add a little extra dash of holiday spirit. I spent the day visiting with friends and eating all of the hors d'oeuvres I could get my hands on (pigs in a blanket are my ultimate weakness) and drinking big cups of wine. In the evening there was dinner and gifts before heading home for a late night viewing of White Christmas, the epitome of a cheesy holiday spectacular, while wrapping the rest of the presents in glittering gold paper.
H&M lace top (similar from Topshop)
ASOS skirt
H&M tights (similar from Topshop)
Jeffrey Campbell oxfords

20 December 2012

Little Miss Santa

There weren't very many pictures of me taken during Santacon because drinking and passing a camera around aren't the best combination. However, Rich was nice enough to snap my photo before I went out. He wanted nothing to do with the roaming Santa's in Manhattan though. Photographer duty definitely counts for participation in my book though.
Everyone dressed as something Christmas-related in our group, like Frosty the Snowman, a reindeer or a gingerbread woman. I planned to be a sugar-plum fairy but couldn't get my tutu from my mom's house in time. Instead I went in more classic Santa garb like little Miss Santa Claus. Its kind of funny that I just had this perfectly Christmassy skirt just hanging out in my closet and its perfect for a Santa costume. I just love clothes that sort of resemble costumes. Must be my inner theater nerd.
H&M tee
Fornarina skirt (via Ebay a few years ago)
H&M 200 den tights (thickest, warmest ever)
Steve Madden booties
super authentic Santa hat

19 December 2012

Santacon Saturday

I really haven't felt much like blogging since Friday when someone stormed an elementary school and killed 26 people, mostly children. I spent a large part of the day weepy and anxious about what I would do if it happened at the school my mom works in. Watching the news and imagining the horrible scenario, alternating between tears and anger. I felt so guiltily relieved to not know anyone involved and to be able to turn off the TV and walk away, and so sad that some families will never be able to walk away. It seems strange to follow that up with a bunch of pictures, but I really felt like it needed to be acknowledged because I can't stop thinking about it for very long.

Saturday morning I nearly skipped Santacon, but I'm pretty happy that I went. It was really fun, silly as it sounds, to spend the day with a bunch of girls drinking in costumes. Reminded me to enjoy being alive.
Santacon is possibly the biggest, worst bar crawl to descend on New York City with teetering Santa's wandering the streets all day. I would hate it if I didn't have a red Santa hat and a drink in my hand.
There were Santa's everywhere. They were climbing out windows.
Santa's in all the streets, with everyone else looking thoroughly out of place.
Got to the bar to find all the girls in fantastic Christmas themed costumes and tutus.
Simultaneously drinking a Bloody Mary and a Mimosa.
Spontaneous dance party led by Antoinette.
Got caught eating the bacon off the carbonara.
Courteney, Lynn, Antoinette and me
Roving in packs spreading Christmas cheer. Look at those tutus!
We travelled downtown and laughed a whole lot when we instituted the buddy system so no one would be lost.
Courteney looking unamused, and also, "This Is..."
So we got downtown to the Lower East Side and it was a sea of Santa's. This bar was so crowded we couldn't even walk through it all the way. The afternoon ended a little while later when I headed home to go to out to dinner.

14 December 2012

12.12.12

Repetitive dates are such a cute little phenomenon that we experience in the beginning of a new century. Plus Christmas, which I can't stop talking about.
I'm now on vacation for, I don't even know, how many days. It feels real good. Here is a holiday themed outfit that I wore on our last repetitive date until the 22nd century.
vintage-thrifted sweater
BB Dakota brocade skirt (similar)
Target tights
Topshop shoes

12 December 2012

Backpack Graduate

In my school days I was always one of those girls with a tiny backpack for my pens and lip gloss and carried my books in my arms. My teeny Dickies canvas sac with little cloth roses pinned to it always slung over my drab school uniform.
Though as I got older and more acquainted with public transportation, the benefits of having my hands free became clear to me.
There was the practically obligatory-for-college-freshmen North Face backpack for ferrying huge text books from the dorms to the library, which gave way to the ubiquitous Longchamp nylon tote (a glorified backpack) for carrying sweaters and snacks to internships and my first jobs.
After years of lugging too small-purses with sometimes numerous tote bags, I have finally graduated from the actual and the glorified backpacks to a real, grown-up work bag. After agonizing for a very long time and buying and returning several very expensive bags (one from See by Chloe was cheaply made and a Foley+Corinna that could have moonlighted as a duffel bag), I finally found the Clare Vivier Messenger Tote.
It was THE bag I had been seeing in my dreams. Black leather, roomy enough for a laptop and bagged lunch, no large flashy hardware or frills and less expensive than what I had anticipated for this everyday staple. My favorite detail is the detachable pouch inside where I keep an array of chapsticks and lip colors.
A serious bout of buyer's remorse set in and was remedied when on day one the shoulder strap stitching separated and the bag slipped right off of me. Noticing how thin that strap was for a large bag, presumably carrying quite a lot and how it seemed smaller than the measurements and I freaked out. I immediately called Clare Vivier's customer service line and also sent an email describing my hesitation over keeping the bag if it couldn't stand up to what I needed it for. In response I got a great email from someone in customer service who personally owns the same bag and she described what she carried in it daily and that typically they can withstand a lot. She thought my bag may have been defective and offered to send me a brand new one.
Now I carry my messenger tote everyday, everywhere and would recommend the bag and the company to anyone. I really think its important to be choosy when investing in a something you use every day, and Clare Vivier's customer service really helped me out so you'll get what you pay for. I am so happy to finally be done searching for the perfect everyday bag...though I do have my eye on the red duffel for the summer.
Clare Vivier Messenger Bag

11 December 2012

Christmas Morning Wishes

These are a few (unrealistic) things I'd like to find in my stocking on Christmas morning.
Christmas wishlist 2012

Guerlain Terracotta to keep me from looking pale through the winter. The prettiest perfume in the world: Chanel Chance in Eau Tendre. B!te lip pencils in pink, poppy and purple; they use tannin from red wine in their formula.
A 35mm lens, I've been aching for one since I bought my new camera. A ridiculously expensive cat sweater in a pretty pale blue from Opening Ceremony. All of the Harry Potter DVD's so I can watch them again a million times.
New silver mary-janes for dancing. A new black beanie (I lost mine in Philly). Fancy moon and star earrings. A new moleskine planner for 2013.

What are you hoping to find on Christmas morning?

07 December 2012

The Winter List

As winter approaches I am thinking of cozy sweaters and thick tights and skirts.
I've also been thinking about buying clothes and the choices that go into it. When I moved I thinned out my wardrobe considerably by giving away or selling things from college or didn't wear anymore. Most of the things I no longer wanted were bought at inexpensive stores and usually without much thought behind it.
I don't want to be thoughtless about whats in my closet and what I wear because I love fashion. Being thoughtless about money is just plain irresponsible.
Call me a data nerd, but at the start of the fall I made a spreadsheet of all the things I really wanted. At first it was just things like, "oxblood sweater," or ,"black boots." Then it started to fill in as I found specific items and I added options and prices. The Super Important Autumn List was born and really kept me in line.
My little experiment was a huge success. Mixing things and layering is a breeze now. My closet doesn't feel like its filled with things I hate, and you'll never catch me saying, "I don't have a thing to wear." And all that money I saved is going towards an adventure in February.
Of course I do make exceptions when I fall head over heels in love with a pretty vintage dress...
What's on your winter style wishlist?
Free people sweater
JCrew blouse (similar)
Nixon watch
ASOS skirt
Steve Madden booties
Clare Vivier Messenger bag

05 December 2012

Cookies and wine and all things fine

The holiday season makes me rhyme constantly. Everything should be in Clement C. Moore poetry style as to alert you to the overabundance of Christmas Spirit.
Sunday afternoon at Courteney's was the first annual (because it was pre determined that this would happen every year) Cookie Baking and Wine Party.
Check out the cute Santa cap strawberries!
Antoinette liked my Rilakkuma bear iPhone case so much she bought a pink one.
My recipe: Nutella Cookies
1 cup all -purpose flour, 1 cup nutella, 1 whole egg. Blend dough. Roll into balls and smoosh down with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.
After the party I went home and with my Christmas spirits still high I decorated my first apartment for the first time with some warm and festive things.

04 December 2012

Tough Girl Shoes

For a long time I've been a fan of the tough shoe paired with a girly outfit. I just love the way treads and laces look with that attitude that can take on absolutely anything you put under them. Since I live in NY its also necessary. Last winter I fell head over heels in love with my shiraz Doc Marten's and wore them just about every single day. Until I started my new job where they were not really acceptable attire (which is another whole conversation we should have, because fuck business casual).
Lately I've been seeing shoes that are equal parts tough and pretty, much like the outfits that I would love to pair them with.
These gorgeous kicks have been in the forefront of my mind whenever I go shoe shopping lately.
Opening Ceremony. Chloe. Marni. Topshop.
One lucky Sunday in Topshop I found myself looking at my dream shoes, and even luckier that they were within my price range. Dark oxblood and slightly patent leather, they were exactly what I was looking for.
Juxtapose Oxblood Oxfords

03 December 2012

November-gram

Can you believe its December already? The month started out in the tail end of a devastating hurricane, and it feels like it passed in a blink. Things have slowly gotten a bit more normal around here and I was lucky enough to have quite a fun month. Here's a peek through my Instagram, @kallieish.
A quote I liked and some cookie art doodles.
Healthy lentil soup lunch and happy hour snacks.
Philadelphia to visit Juli.
A literary evening in Philly with Ashley and Hannah.
I ate way too much bacon on Thanksgiving and I got a pretty new dress that I've been wearing constantly.
I ate my first soup dumplings and enjoyed beautiful sunsets from my new desk at work.
Hopefully December will be good to me, and you too!
happy, honey & lark. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.