Sunday, September 14, 2014

Walking, Shopping and Wine

I love rituals. For the last seven years or so, my husband and I always go to a wine walk near us that combines some of my favorite things: strolling though a quaint town, sipping wine, eating yummy food and of course shopping. My husband's interest in the event has waned over the years, especially as the price of the event and its popularity has increased, but it's a ritual that I still enjoy.

Since it was over 100 degrees today, I sported a cotton striped dress from Betsy Johnson to keep me cool. This dress is one of my favorites for hot weather and another plus is that it mimics a similar kate spade version that sold out last year. Stripes, bows, bold colors and a kate spade feel are some of my favorite things when it comes to wardrobe. Normally I would wear a clutch with this outfit, but I have to keep my hands free for wine and food; however, the wine glass also makes a perfect accessory!

I  did just a little bit of shopping while I was eating and drinking. For example, for $5 I picked up the Norton Critical Edition copies of Frankenstein and Hamlet from my favorite used book store.  I also stumbled upon a new vintage clothing store. The store features a western theme, which I thought was a little different from your regular vintage clothing boutique.

So on my way out of the store (and this was only after one tasting of wine) I spied these boots that I initially liked. Then I saw they were from J. Crew. Then I saw they were my size. Then I saw they were made in Italy and barely used. At $65 I was sold and they came home with me. Now if we could just get some cooler weather in which to wear them I would be all set. 

Below, me with the boots in the bag. Score! As you can see I am one happy camper.

 Now it's off to get some wine and grub!

One example of the grub shown above. A delicious seared pork belly lettuce cup with a peanut slaw.

Well, thanks for coming with me on this glimpse of my wine and shopping odyssey! As is the case with most rituals, I can't wait until next year. What wine, boots and food might I discover next year?

Dress: Betsy Johnson (a Marshall's find)
Shoes: Madewell
Belt: Anthropologie Crystallized Citrine Belt
Bag: J. Crew "Claremont" 
Watch: kate spade "Carlyle" bow watch
Bracelet: Forever 21
Sunglasses: Prada "Baroque" 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Let's Try This Again

At the beginning of summer I sprung for this Marimekko "Kivet" skirt from Banana Republic.  Since then I have worn the skirt numerous times and styled it just slightly different with every wearing. For example, in Me, Marimekko and New York I paired the skirt with a graphic tee and kate spade taxi flats. Well, now that it's the end of summer and the beginning of fall I am trying my hand at styling this skirt one more time. Come winter I can't wait to layer it up a little with sweaters and other cold weather accessories.

I think today's styling might have been inspired by my recent viewing of the Lifetime movie The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story. Yeah, it was a really bad movie, but it was so bad it was entertaining. I didn't even really watch Saved by the Bell in the 90s, but I saw the movie anyway. (Lifetime movies are one of my biggest guilty pleasures!) Getting back to the point, the late 80s and early 90s fashions featured in the movie/show somehow invaded my choice of color for this outfit. My husband told me I would probably identify most with Lisa's character on the show since she had a real addiction to shopping and fashion!

Linking Up With: Mix & Match Fashion: What I Wore to Work
Spotlight Weekly Link-Up
Passion For Fashion

Skirt: Banana Republic Marimekko "Kivet" Full Skirt
Tee: Forever 21
Shoes: J. Crew Mirror Ballet Flats
Bag: Chanel Jumbo Flap
Belt: kate spade
Sunglasses: Prada Baroque 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Loud and Soft

I tried to resist buying something in J. Crew's "gemstone floral" print all summer. At first I wanted the pattern in the dress version, but passed it by. Then I wanted the shirt, but by time I got around to buying it I discovered it was sold out. I let it pass, but after seeing it on a few blogs I tracked it down for a great price on eBay.

The print on this shirt is definitely loud, vibrant and bold, which if you know me, is right up my alley. I debated what to wear it with, at first contemplating a neon color to match its loudness. I had a moment of inspiration as I was flipping through my closet when I pulled this soft, subtle pleated skirt in a blush color. It subdued the loudness, in my opinion, to just the right level.

Linking up with: Trend Spin
Confident Twosday 

Shirt: J. Crew "Gemstone Floral" tee
Skirt: J. Crew "Sunburst" pleated skirt
Shoes: Forever 21
Bag: J.Crew "Edie" in Casablanca Blue
Watch: kate spade "Carlyle" bow watch
Necklace: Forever 21 
Sunglasses: Prada

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Bee's Knees

I'm keeping it pretty casual this weekend with shorts, but these shorts are a little special because of their cute bee print. The season to wear shorts is definitely coming to an end, but I think I'll still be in shorts for a while longer due to the eternal summer here in Southern California. So while other bloggers are starting to don sweaters and cold weather apparel, I'm still a season behind.

The good news is that the transition between seasons means great deals. While others might have to save their end of summer deals for next year, I can maybe get another month's worth of wear out of mine before packing them away. Speaking of deals, did I mention these shorts were on sale for $11 at the Banana Republic outlet? That makes them the "bee's knees" in my book!

Short: Banana Republic Outlet
Shirt: Old Navy
Bag: J. Crew "Sophie" Crossbody
Shoes: J.Crew "Evie" Metallic Midheel Sandal
Watch: kate spade "Carlyle" bow watch
Bracelets: J. Crew

Thursday, September 4, 2014

From Garden to Bowl

First a disclaimer: this is definitely not what I wear to tend my garden. I have wanted to do a post featuring my herb garden for a while now and I thought my outfit was a bit garden/farm inspired due to the floral print skirt and gingham shirt. So getting back to my herb garden, I planted it a few weeks ago in the hopes of having a supply of fresh herbs for cooking all year round. I am not sure that the end of August was the best time to plant the garden, but I don't exactly have a green thumb, so I am just kind of winging it and hoping for the best.

Of course I need some special Hello Katie Girl accessories to tend my garden. Lucky for me these Hello Kitty garden tools were on clearance this summer at Target. 

So far I am growing mint, basil and thyme in my herb garden. I'll just be honest, the mint is mostly for mint juleps and mojitos. The other two are for cooking. My wooden planter is from Etsy and it's handmade in Montana. I actually bought it a couple of years ago and it's been sitting in the garage all this time. I am glad I finally decided to whip it out and start my garden.

One of the first uses for my garden was to make sandwiches for my husband and me on our most recent trip to the Hollywood Bowl. I love to picnic before the concerts at the bowl, usually taking wine, cheese, bread and other snacks. Last weekend we decided on a Caprese sandwiches. Below you will see the journey of this sandwich from garden to bowl. It's insanely easy to make and insanely delicious when you use tomatoes and basil straight from your garden.

This sandwich starts with only four ingredients: fresh basil, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and french bread. (Plus salt, pepper and olive oil, so I guess that's technically seven.) The tomatoes are from my garden, but the plant was ravaged by unsightly hornworm caterpillars before I could photograph it! Homegrown tomatoes just have a taste that can't be replicated by store bought tomatoes.

Drizzle the bread on both sides with extra virgin olive oil and Balsamic vinaigrette.

Top bread with basil and a generous helping of sliced fresh mozzarella. Look how luscious and green my basil looks! Who says I can't have a green thumb?

Top the basil with sliced tomatoes. I like to add a little salt and pepper to really bring out the flavor of the tomato.

Now the sandwich is ready to go! It was almost too easy. I would recommend for a little extra flavor adding pesto or salami to the sandwich too. I decided to go simple to let the fresh ingredients really shine, but you can certainly get creative with your sandwich creation.

Now I'm ready to wrap it up.  It's off to the Hollywood Bowl!

So after arriving at the bowl and watching the sun go down over the Hollywood sign, it's time to chow down on my sandwich. (You might have guessed that we saw a concert featuring the music from Alfred Hitchcock films from the silhouette on the screen above.)

The Hollywood Bowl sort of looks like a mouth and in the pictures below I tried to capture that effect. Look out sandwich you're heading for gaping maw!

Now it's finally time to stuff my face with this delicious creation. Yum!

Thanks for reading through this epic journey of my sandwich! From garden to bowl, it's now complete! I think I can sit back, relax and enjoy a drink. Cheers!

Linking up with Treasure Tromp Treat Yo' Self Thursday

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Street Smart

My birthday coupon from Anthropologie was my impetus and excuse for buying this map skirt or, as they call it, "Carte" neoprene skirt a couple of weeks ago. A discount of 15% pretty much covers the tax for clothing in California, so it's not like it was some kind of substantial savings, but I figured it might sell out in my size, so I might as well pull the trigger.

Speaking of sizing, if you are looking for a review for this skirt, here's a word to the wise: this skirt does, as the reviews online point out, run small. I would get one size bigger no matter what, and two sizes bigger if you want a skirt that fits a little lower on the hips. I normally like to order "mini" skirts a little bigger so that the length isn't too short since I am on the tall side.

This is definitely a fun skirt with the neon hues and maps of Paris. It's something fun to wear on weekends when I can be a little more crazy in the way I dress. Oh, and my shoes were a steal. They are made in Italy of a soft buttery leather. You would think, given that description, that they cost me a hundred dollars or more for them, but actually I found them at Marshall's for only $35! While I might have overpaid for the skirt, the shoes made up for it.

Linking up with Mix and Match Fashion 
Passion for Fashion

Skirt: Anthropologie "Carte" Neoprene Skirt here
Tee: Forever 21
Bag: J. Crew Factory "Vero" Clutch
Shoes: Marshall's (Clearance Find)
Necklace: J. Crew Factory 
Sunglasses: Prada Baroque