Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bon Voyage!

I'm leaving tomorrow for a two week mini tour of Europe. I'll be visiting London, Amsterdam, and Paris. I hope to take many pictures. sorry there hasn't been much activity here lately but between being ill and preparing for this trip, I just having been taking any pictures or doing much else...

But I thought that while I'm here saying goodbye, i could share my packing tips. I have a history of being an obscene over-packer. Historically, I have taken about three times what I needed on any trip from one night at a friend's to a week in some foreign destination. Somewhere a long the way, I totally changed and now I take as little as reasonably possible.

So for two weeks I have just one tiny vintage suitcase with a carry on messenger bag/purse. And that is it!

So how do I do it?

Step one: Choose a color palette to ensure that everything matches, or nearly matches, everything else. This way you can create several outfits with just a few pieces. Try to limit colors and patterns. Feel free to go wild on accessories to liven things up a bit. The hardest part--you only gettwo pairs of shoes, one heels, one flats. Wear the flats on the plane.

These are my wrinkly clothes on my messy bed. I've chosen a color palette of grey (in its various forms), pink, and cream/off-white. I threw in a little mint green and denim to spice things up. Yes, i consider denim a color. I have another outfit not pictured as I will be wearing it on the flight. It all pretty much matches.

Step 2: Get a tiny suitcase. The bigger your case the more tempted you will be to fill it up.

This case is TINY. It's about 16 inches across and five inches tall.

Step3: Roll your clothes up tight and begin layering until case is full.

first layer...

second layer...

I actually managed to get two more layers after this of undergarments, socks, and two towels(hostels, just in case).

Step 4: Press very hard and get it all closed up. This step may be the most strenuous and time consuming but it can be done.

Step 5: Pack up a giant purse for everything else. Make sure you have passport, ID, credit/bank cards, confirmation papers, etc. Take along something to read on long layovers and overnight flights. a small "going out" purse can fit in here along with accessories, toiletries, and that extra pair of shoes.

That's it! Bon voyage!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Daily Wear: Heat Wave

So this is a weekend outfit. I took the plainest thing I own, a tea length white eyelet dress and added just a couple of tiny flourishes. You can do so much with this dress really but I liked keeping it simple. It was perfect for the current heat wave and I had a great Saturday that seemed really full and busy but somehow at a comfortable pace.

Husband and I went to our favorite brunch place of course and to a little local flea market ( I think I have some pics on that for another post, give me a sec). We ended up going shopping and I ended up getting nothing at all! The trip was really about getting husband some new shoes but he ended up with everything but. Then we went back to our little neighborhood cantina, where we always seem to be heading back to. This dress was so airy and comfortable and perfect to wear while sipping the most refreshing mojitos on earth.

I paired the dress with my navy blue polka dotted flats and a few of the handmade buttons I picked up at the flea market.

My flair...

I haven't been posting much as of late due in large part to the heat wave. I've officially have heat exhaustion and have been too nauseated and dizzy and head achey to do much more than feel like crap. But I'll be leaving on my vacation soon! So I better get well right now!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Can't Stop Won't Stop......Shopping

I really didn't think I bought very much clothing but I am several posts behind in showing off new purchases. Perhaps I'm buying more than usual in order to h ave something to say on days when I'm too brain dead or in too much pain (car accident residue)to post anything even a little interesting. Coupled with finding great bargains in the vintage store where I work and various other shops and yard sales... Maybe when all the flea markets around here go into hibernation for the weekend, I'll be able to rein it all in. A small part of it is also that since I've moved into his house that I'm renovating, I don't exactly have a closet and I haven't exactly unpacked, so my outfits are composed from scraps here and there. The solution being that on the weekends I buy what I'll wear the next weekend. Only I guess I'm buying too much. But i assure you it's all very cheap.

I still get so excited when I find a vintage dress that's not in a vintage store. I thought it would be too big but it actually fits quite well.

A close up on the neat black buttons and cutesy pattern.

I found this tea length dress at a yard sale. Even though I'm normally drawn to things with more color or pattern, this dress is the perfect backdrop to experiment with accessories.

A close up of the eyelet detail.

This empire waist dress is another vintage find. It's very tangerine but I'm hoping to rein it in with grey.

A close up to show the color detail on the trim. Lovely bell sleeves!

I bought this off the junior rack in a department store. Grey being my favorite color and any color being paired with grey.

...and a close up of the darling flower shaped buttons that really make it special.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. I need to get around to wearing more of these clothes so I can dress them up. I've been trying to slip in more daily wear posts, even the more boring ones. I never know what someone might want to look at, it's just me, ya know?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Daily Wear: Lazing About the House

I don't tend to make very frequent posts or at least frequent posts of a personal nature mostly because my life isn't that exciting and i don't have much to post about. My clothing isn't very interesting for my main job, because it isn't allowed and when i do get dressed up and go out I'm too busy living to take pictures. So when I post it's just me standing in my living room looking awkward and wishing i had something to do or say. I don't even know how to pose. And while I do wear lots of vintage dresses in my real life away from the internet, I often just throw any old thing on and laze about the house. So in the spirit of full disclosure this is me on a boring old Saturday afternoon. I'm dressed so fall like because this was the one sorta chilly day we've had in months so I was able to put away the pink sundresses and full out the brown trousers.

Being lazy on the sofa, not knowing how to pose....

Getting excited about showing off my morrissey t shirt...

Faking a nap......because I do so many self conscious leg shots?

My clothes were so comfy I could have napped for real in them. So what do you do for casual comfort?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Daily Wear: Girls Wear Pink

I'm having such a crab apple day today but I feel compelled to make regular posts so I'm sticking to it. I just stumbled across finding out that one of my reservations for my vacation was canceled. I didn't cancel and it and my credit card company didn't notify me of any deposit being refunded. Which probably means I won't be receiving my deposit back. I'm furious that I wasn't e-mailed about the cancellation and I'm super upset because I can't afford this trip to begin with and I won't be able to get the deal i had booked months ago with only a couple of weeks to go. Grrrrrrr.

So I'm trying to find my happy place before I have to force my mind to quiet at Yoga in an hour. A couple of weekends ago my husband and I decided to try out a new French place to try their crepes. Paris 66 is a family run restaurant who are real French people ooh-la-la. It was so warm and welcoming there and I got so homesick for Paris looking at the prints on the walls and listening to the accordion music. Maybe it was cliche and silly but I loved it and my crepes were yummy and it was so cheap for French food, even here. And I want to leave for Paris right now without even grabbing my toothbrush because I want to feel that relaxed, almost ethereal calm that I experienced last year and never have before or since. C'est la vie....

I'm wearing my pink dress from my dress-up:faeries. And then I layered over that with my white jacket, the one I think is Audrey Hepburn but my husband says chef's jacket.

And here's a picture of my chubby veiny legs so you can see the shoes.

I'm still in a crabby mood, but listen. What is your happy place?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

11 things I love @ Forever 21

One of my favorite ways to kill time is by fantasy shopping online. I like to fill up my cart and then whittle it down to what i really want and then...leave before buying. I'd be out on the street if I bought everything I wanted even at cheap stores. Forever 21 is one of my favorite because the price is right and the clothes often have a vintage feel to them or some other great potential. even if everything often fits terribly or is made cheaply. But here is my current fantasy list...

First up a light blue ruffled apron top. I like patterns including light plaids. And cute little button bibs!

A peach and orange floral tunic top. This one is so sweet with its pintuck ruffling and the belt tied in a bow.

Green and aqua drop waist dress. It's such a retro print and I love cap sleeves.

purple pintucked peasant dress. This is made special by the cute little pockets and the ruffle at the hem.

Pink and charcoal lace cardigan. I love this vintage color combination and the row of tiny black buttons.

Black bubble hem coat. I love how dress like this coat is but it's also practical because of the hood.

Black tiered tulle skirt. The black satin is what draws me to this piece. I'd probably wear it with the cardigan.

Black ballet slippers. I can't get enough of these especially with grosgrain bows and rhinestones.

Black peep toe slingbacks. Patent leather plus bow equals love.

Pink and ivory dove tote bag. This reminds me of Andy Warhol's early ink blot work.

Rhinestone bib necklace. I think has great potential to dress up basic tees.

So there it is. Hopefully this will tame my shopping impulse just a bit so that I might have the smallest amount of money to spend on my trip. well, I guess I can dream.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Daily Wear: The Happy Hour

Oh my, something I wore not on the weekend! I met a friend ( a boss? a friend?) for happy hour at a new place that just opened up. It's going to be a mexican cantina once the kitchen's open but for right now it's just a bar. I had met the owner briefly when he bought some vintage chairs for the place and he told me to come check it out. Well it took me a few weeks longer than I had promised him but he probably didn't remember meeting me anyway. They have mexican beer and south american wines and delightful signature cocktails. But for me, your margarita can make or break you. They were running a special on their house margarita so of course I tried it and it was....perfection. They use all fresh everything so it didn't taste like a sugary mess and I was sitting at the bar next to mint leaves, cinnamon, chili peppers. Truly a feast for the senses!

The best part was I recognized one of the bartenders from someplace else she worked at that i used to visit quite frequently. Well, I guess I visited everywhere more frequently before my best friend got all puffed up full of baby (she's due in 3 weeks! Hurry up, Claire, we all want to meet you!)It was fun have some girl fun. I think I put more care into my clothes when it's for a girl date than a boy date. Then her fiancee stopped by and then my husband stopped by and the last thing I remember was stumbling home on foot with hubby and eating fast food. Normally yucky, but this time it was the best sandwich I ever ate. Well, you know.

I'm wearing a vintage skirt with a grey t-shirt, purple tights, and silver flats. And my brightest bright-red lipstick!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Style Icons: Sporty Prepsters

I've been shamefully working on this post for over a month and I've still got nada. It all started when I saw a collection in some fashion magazine that featured a sporty style with vintage tinges. and while I've never been sporty, either physically or in fashion, I'm drawn to nearly anything vintage.

That fashion editorial got me to daydreaming about what Jordan Baker from The Great Gatsby would have worn on her golf outings. Then I thought about sunbathed preppy girls in the fifties, playing tennis at some exclusive country club. Then I began to realize that tennis dresses are dresses and boy do I love dresses.

And it kinda ended there. I didn't think I would ever get my hands on a vintage tennis dress. And there was no way I was going to invest in some terribly styleless nike version.

But then I did find a vintage tennis dress...and it fit! So I knew itwas fate and I had to do this post. But there have been other obstacles.

Firstly, I couldn't find many example online that I could use to showcase the style on this blog. I have gathered a few from etsy sellers but the trail was running cold. Google and flickr were no help to me as I searched for vintage photographs, particularly of starlets wearing this style.

But still, I must persevere on. This blog may be the only forum for which I can get away with wearing a tennis dress. They are quite short, you know.

So for total vanity I am posting this blog wherein I tout a sporty retro style so I can show off a couple of days later in another post. I'm sorry. But it is what it is.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Elements- part one

As I've mentioned here before, I work part time at a vintage clothing/decor shop in my neighborhood. It's where I get most of my vintage clothing/ accessories and my house is mostly furnished/decorated with things I got in the shop. Since I mention it so much I thought I'd post some pics so you can get an idea of how i spend a few hours of my life.

There is quite an abundance of kitchenwares: here is a sampling. Of course, the stock is almost completely different since I took these pictures last month. And that is part of what makes these places so fun.

Here's a good overall view of one of the rooms. The store takes up two floors, as big as a house, really. Everything is all thrown about here and there so you have to take your time and look at everything.

Here's a little corner near the front windows. This shop always has cute vintage furniture, in still quite good quality, at very cheap. Which is why I shopped here many many times before I worked here.

Really a bit of everything; including old makeup and beauty tools. Disclaimer:Yes of course I work here but the store hasn't even a website so there's no way I'm profiting from you looking at these pics. I guess I just like showing off the happy parts of my life.

An old sewing machine and vintage patterns/linens. If you're a clever girl (or boy...) you'll have noticed I haven't shown any clothing pics. Well, of course, i need you coming back for more...

Well, here's a peak at some baby clothes! They do seem to distract attention from the rows of barware. Stay tuned kiddos, the clothing pics will be posted soon enough. And do be a dear and forgive this lazy post. We can't all be stars!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Daily Wear: Wrong Side of the Tracks

I had another kind of Blah weekend and I guess it's my own fault. I'm usually pretty crabby during the week because of stuff at work but I try to make my personal time relaxing and special. But lately that week day crabbiness has been slipping into my 'real' life and I shouldn't let it affect me so.

Saturday morning I got up early and went to a million flea markets and yard sales and bought a couple things but nothing super special. and of course it kept threatening rain all weekend, always drizzling, blah londonseattlePITTSBURGH weather. And it seemed like the whole weekend was a pointless low volume struggle. Plans were made and canceled. Unexpected guests pop by when the sink is full of dishes. And the simplest of chores, installing a bedroom door, took forever and ever. Not to mention that my washing machine broke and I spent 5 hours Friday night at a friends and her dryer didn't work quite right and in the end I had to leave in the dark with my wet clothes still spinning around fruitlessly.

So yesterday, I hopped on my bike again and tried to pedal away my frustrations and luckily it didn't start to rain.

But then I only took a few pictures and before I could really set up a shot of myself, my camera's battery died. So I just have a few poor test shots. I took by bike down by the river again, this time exploring the train tracks and old industrial buildings.

I can't quite figure out if these buildings are still in use. It's such a quiet neighborhood and they're everywhere. But they have no trespassing signs and don't look too poorly looked after. I think a couple have been converted to lofts or studios or whatever it is they do in New York.

I tried not to go anywhere that really looked unwelcoming to curiosity seekers, but I can't imagine that it is too legal to play on train tracks and surrounding environs. I really love trains. I've always have. And I've never even been on one. Maybe it's the vagabond/ beatnik in me, that seeks escape and adventure. I find the sound of a train to be one of the most relaxing.

I returned home sweating and filthy. And so at peace. I'm imaginary planning a pretend trip, by rail, through Eastern Europe. My fake stops include Croatia, Lithuania, Romania, Hungary, Poland, and Ukraine. Someday...

Outfit details: Pink floral sundress; pink heels