Thursday, March 23, 2017

Super Bloom!

If you live in Los Angeles, you know that we had a very rainy winter. Well, all of that rain paid off in the form of wonderful desert flowers that are popping up everywhere this spring. In fact, given these ideal conditions, the outcropping of flowers this year has now been dubbed as a "super bloom". Although these brilliant flowers can be seen along the freeways and in other areas of Los Angles, the best place to view them is in Anzo Borrego State Park, which is known for its gorgeous flowers this time of year. Not wanting to miss out on this experience, my husband and I ventured to the park to hike and take some photographs of the wild flowers and desert scenery.




Obviously, hiking around the desert calls for something more casual than what I normally wear, so I opted for this colorful t-shirt (it's actually a kid's size extra large from Target!) and my most comfortable jeans. In some ways we were lucky because although the weather was hot (it is the desert after all), the day we went proved to be more mild than most. Still, it was hard not to sweat so I may not be at my most glamorous in these photos, but that's real life!












My New Balance sneakers happened to match the scenery and the vivid floral colonies found throughout the park. Although I thought that wearing sneakers would be practical for hiking because they are very comfortable, hiking boots might have been a better option because I kept getting big pieces of cactus stuck to my shoes and, in one such instance, the cactus thorns were so long that they went through my shoes and socks and started poking me!



Speaking of thorns, the making of the picture below proved to be a painful experience! Before we took our trip to Anza Borrego, I came across an article in a newspaper about the super bloom that featured this exact tree with a couple sitting underneath it. It was such a lovely image that I wanted to recreate it, so when we drove past this site, I asked my husband to pull over. I promptly ran out to the tree to sit down, only to discover that I put my hands down on something that was very prickly and full of thorns! Well, my hand was covered in seemingly thousands of tiny thorns! This just shows the lengths I'll go to for a good picture!



The super bloom in Anza Borrego will still be going on for another week or so, although supposedly the peek occurred over the last couple weeks in mid-March. I highly recommend the experience, although be forewarned that it is crowded. We went on a Monday and the visitor center and some of the trails were swamped with people, so I can only imagine what it's like on the weekends. If you can't make it out there (it's about a three hour drive from Los Angles) or if you just don't want to deal with the crowds, then at least you can enjoy my pictures below! It was such a fun experience to walk around, take pictures, and enjoy the great outdoors. Even if I did get a hand full of thorns and stickers, it was a fair price to pay to experience a super bloom that only comes around once every 30 years or so.








 



Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A Stroll Through the Garden

Last weekend, my husband and I did several things that involved flowers. I thought this was appropriate because it is the first week of spring after all! The first flower-themed excursion of the weekend involved visiting the cherry blossoms at Descanso Gardens. While I will be posting more photos of the gorgeous cherry blossom trees and some of the flowers blooming in the garden at a later date on my blog, today I am sharing what I wore to take a leisurely stroll through these verdant gardens. (Actually, the stroll through the gardens ended up not being so leisurely due to heavy road traffic, scarce parking and long lines to get into the gardens, so we only had about an hour before the gates closed!)




First, this Kate Spade "Multi Cape" striped shirtdress was a piece I lusted after last spring, however I waited too long to purchase it and it eventually sold old. A couple months ago, however, I got a second shot at purchasing the dress when it popped up during a Kate Spade "Surprise Sale". If you also missed out on these opportunities, the good news is that it's back! You can find the dress here on the most recent Kate Spade surprise sale for only $129, which is a steal compared to the retail price of $400.




I paired the dress with a denim jacket for a more casual look. Even though I am definitely not in need of another denim jacket,  I justified this purchase with the rationale that this is my first embroidered denim jacket, so technically it's not something I already have hanging up in my closet. Plus, it was on sale at Old Navy for under $30, so why not? If you are considering this jacket, be forewarned that it does run a little small, however I actually purchased an extra small for a fitted feel. Below are some other embroidered denim options for those of you who also need an excuse to add another denim jacket to your closet!




Below you will see the rest of my photos featuring my picture perfect outfit for the beginning of spring. I had trouble choosing the images I wanted to use for this post because there were so many lovely backdrops for photos at Descanso Gardens and I am pretty much head over heels in love with this dress! It's almost like the dress was made for me, not to mention a stroll through a gorgeous garden, which I am sure is what Kate Spade had in mind when she designed it!



Dress: Kate Spade here at the surprise sale price of $129 and here
Jacket: Old Navy embroidered denim jacket here
Shoes: Target here
Bag: Coach similar here
Sunglasses: Celine
Pins: Target exact pins here, similar here





Sunday, March 19, 2017

Red and White in Redlands

My husband and I went to a lecture last week at the University of Redlands and I must say it felt good to be back in a collegiate setting. People always told me that college represents the best years of your life and while I think life right now is pretty great, if I could perpetually be a student and have the free time that I had in college, I wouldn't turn it down!



Even though college was sort of a laid back time in my life, the one thing that I was not lax about was my wardrobe. In fact, my husband, when we met in college, couldn't figure out why I was so dressed up all of the time at school. (I was not definitely not the wear your pajamas to class type!) Clearly, some things never change! Therefore, I wore this red and white fit and flare dress to the lecture, but with a denim jacket to make it more youthful and casual. This dress was actually only $20, which makes it something that any college student could afford!





The other great thing about college is the charm of college towns. The influx of students tends to bring a youthful element to the towns that surround the campus and this was definitely the case in Redlands. We found a great burger joint that not only had amazing food, but also an amazing Bourbon list, although I doubt they sell much of their $175 a glass Pappy Van Winkle 23 to college students! Redlands also had some cool vintage buildings and some great brick walls like this one that I opted to use for my photo shoot.


Dress: T.J. Maxx here
Jacket: Target similar here and here
Shoes: J. Crew similar here
Bag: Dolce & Gabbana "Sicily" here
Sunglasses: Celine




Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Stripes and Chambray for Spring

When J. Crew rolled out this pop stripe skirt last month it was love at first sight! I love a good pencil skirt (although this isn't quite as fitted as your average pencil skirt), anything with stripes, and anything with vibrant colors, so it was a win all around! In fact, I loved it so much, it ended up being one of the pieces I sprung for at close to full price for fear of missing out on it in the event of it selling out!




I pretty much stole the styling idea for the skirt from the J. Crew catalog. In the catalog, they paired the skirt with a chambray button down, just as I'm doing today. I'm not sure if this shirt counts as Chambray or just plain denim, but I went with Chambray in the title because it just sounds fancier! Also, as you can see, my tassel earring collection is growing by leaps and bounds! I joked with my husband that even though these particular tassel earrings are not heavy, for whatever reason they sort of threw off my equilibrium when I first put them on!




Last of all, I usually do a Saint Patrick's Day post with a green themed outfit, but I'm not sure I'm going to get to this year. I figured this post, in a pinch, could count for St. Patrick's Day because there is a green stripe in the skirt and also the door behind me is green. So, I'll just wish you an early "Happy St. Patrick's Day!" to all of my readers.



Skirt: J. Crew Pop Stripe skirt here and here
Shirt: Target similar Chambray style here
Bag: Coach similar here
Shoes: Christian Louboutin Simple pump
Earrings: J .Crew here and here
Sunglasses: Celine