well ok then

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This post is probably going to end up being one of those completely random thought collections that are more depressing than not, so just check below the cut if that works for you. If not, here's a video of one of my favorite songs from Moana (which you should definitely see).




2016 Top Ten

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This has been an...interesting year to say the least. Completely ignoring the political unrest over the entire world that I feel helpless to affect in any way that is at all meaningful, I'll try and keep it to fashion.

I feel like I did a good job of adding pieces that built upon what I already owned, and (especially with the move) purging a lot of pieces that no longer felt like "me". I don't feel like I did enough work on narrowing down what my style actually is, and there are still a lot of pieces that I've kept because I feel like I should. I don't need to be minimalist about my closet, but I do want to feel like my choices are deliberate (with the occasional fun) and that I'm creating an overall look that I love.

I'm going to try and challenge myself not to buy any new clothing items in January, to help things. I just don't want to be that person with a closet full of pieces they don't want to wear, lol. 

Also, in real life? I've noted a significantly decreased propensity for heels. I'm lazy yo, and walk a lot - no matter how many inserts you use there are some shoes that just don't jive with that lifestyle.


Go Big Or Go Home

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I'm very lucky in my friends, that they'll help me pose in slightly ridiculous locations and take the most perfect pictures (even going so far as to dig up antique tea sets). This year my holiday card photos were taken at the beautiful Belle Haven Country Club, and damn if the locale didn't just set the mood perfectly.

Top: Banana Republic (old, similar also from BR)~ Skirt: Lindy Bop Clothing* ~ Shoes: J.Crew (old, similar from Nine West) ~ Necklace: Banana Republic (old, some beautiful necklaces they have right now: one, two) ~ Ear Muffs: Nordstrom Rack


Fit Note: I'm wearing an XL and it's a tad big - I've got the waist pinned in these pictures. I'm also wearing it with a petticoat in these photos, but it's not really necessary (I just liked the extra drama).

Christmas in NY

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(on me)
Coat: Cole Haan (old, similar here, here, or here) ~ Sweater: G.H. Bass & Co ~ Shirt: Banana Republic ~ Leggings: Hue ~ Scarf: Banana Republic ~ Boots: Report ~ Gloves: Nordstrom Rack

In case you don't follow me on Instagram, I spent this past weekend in NY and it was freaking fabulous (it even snowed!). I focused less on pictures and more on video snippets, so I'll let you know when those are up :).

Oh and if you were wondering, I wore the exact same outfit both days, switching out the shirt I wore underneath my sweater to keep things fresh. Those leggings made 4+ hour bus rides much more pleasant.

Holiday Ready

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I bought this skirt last year during one of Banana Republic's Friends & Family sales. I think buying it was one of those "who I want to be rather than who I am" purchases, because you've all probably noticed by now that I don't really wear pencil skirts. I love them in theory (& on other people) but I've got weird stomach issues and they usually end up making me feel self-conscious.

I decided to say f*ck it on this post though, because this skirt was made for the holidays. Made for get togethers with coworkers or friends, where a fun texture and a pair of heels are the perfect amount of festive. 

Jacket: Marc New York (old, similar at Bloomingdale's, under $40 at Target) ~ Shirt: J.Crew Factory (old, this year's version) ~ Skirt: Banana Republic (old, similar feel at Eloquii) ~ Shoes: ASOS (old, similar) ~ Sunglasses: Kate Spade (old) ~ Tights: Target


when you wish

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In case you were wondering, today I decided to go with that "fashion rule" where if you wear the same color family in different textures then it doesn't have to match.

(That's the story anyway, and I'm sticking to it.)

Sweater: Anthropologie* ~ Boots: New York & Company ~ Jeans: ASOS ~ Clutch: Aldo (old) ~ Sunglasses: Kate Spade



*Fit Note: This sweater runs big so I recommend sizing down - I'm wearing a medium.

that unfamiliar feeling

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I had a very different post written here, to go up last week. But when the world pretty much turned upside down on Wednesday I wasn't sure if/when I even wanted to post again, because nothing feels normal - and it shouldn't. 

This year's presidential election wasn't just about different fiscal policies - it was a decision between someone campaigning on hate and someone campaigning on hope, and hate won. What is there even to say about that? Hate won, and people are even more afraid and in danger than they were before Tuesday - including those people who voted for that orange butt boil on humanity, even if they don't realize it yet.

I'm angry. I'm angry now and will be angry for the next 2-4 years as I desperately try to find a way to support the communities that are going to be marginalized even more. I don't feel like I have the tools yet, but I'm going to continue to work on getting them, and not being complacent in the face of discrimination. I don't always have the voice to tell people to fuck off when I get harassed, and haven't yet been in the situation where I'd need to speak up for someone else, but I'm going to find it, come hell or high water. 

Donald Trump is #NotMyPresident and never will be. While things on this blog might at some point get back to regularly scheduled programming, I am not apolitical. I have chosen a side and am #StillWithHer.

Jacket: Marc New York (old, similar at Bloomingdale's, under $40 at Target) ~ Sweater: Banana Republic (old, similar at H&M) ~ Jeans: Free People ~ Shoes: Nine West (old, similar at Zappos) ~ Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters


Friday Book Club #8

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I read some new books! Lets talk about them.

Read & Loved: 

Snow-Kissed & Sun-Kissed by Laura Florand

In a snow-kissed Christmas cabin, a heart-wrenching tale of love, loss, forgiveness–and new hope.

After the utter destruction of her marriage and her happiness, Kai knew it was better to shut herself away from the world than to hurt and be hurt.

Holed up in her mountain cabin, she plans to spend her Christmas alone. Until her not-quite-ex-husband shows up as the first flakes start to fall.

Now should she send him back out into the cold? Or can she be brave enough to let this winter snow bind them back together?


They called her the Ice Queen.

Anne Winters. Self-made billionaire. Household name. Divorced single mom. Convicted felon. She didn’t let anyone or anything get to her. No one was allowed to breach the walls around her heart except for her own son. She had only one trusted friend: her vacation house neighbor. They’d been walking the beach together for twenty years. Not that this gave him access to her heart, of course…
They called him a man who got what he wanted.

Mack Corey. Self-made billionaire. Dominant world player. Widowed father of the bride. No felony convictions yet, although his daughters had come close. He’d transformed his family company into one of the top 500 by the age of thirty. He’d raised two daughters who dumped him for idiot arrogant French chocolatiers and went off to live in Paris. Hell, he even managed to tolerate his dad. But that Ice Queen act Anne Winters had going was really starting to get to him…

They’d been friends for twenty years. Could they become lovers?

Could a frozen heart be kissed by the sun?

My Thoughts: I talked about my sick (and possibly unnatural) love for Laura Florand a few months ago, and after reading these two stories I can't say anything has changed. Her words just have a way of tugging on my heartstrings, especially in a story like Snow-Kissed. I made the unfortunate decision of reading some of it while I was at work and had to do that "tilt the head up and blink rapidly while trying not to cry thing". Sun-Kissed is another fantastic follow up, with older protagonists, which I just don't see as often in romance stories. It's also a lot of fun to read because it allows followers of her Chocolate series to catch up with some of their favorite chefs. Both are so, so good, and I highly recommend that you pick them up for yourself.

One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles) by Ilona Andrews

Gertrude Hunt, the nicest Bed and Breakfast in Red Deer, Texas, is glad to have you. We cater to particular kind of guests, the ones most people don’t know about. The older lady sipping her Mello Yello is called Caldenia, although she prefers Your Grace. She has a sizable bounty on her head, so if you hear kinetic or laser fire, try not to stand close to the target. Our chef is a Quillonian. The claws are a little unsettling, but he is a consummate professional and truly is the best chef in the Galaxy. If you see a dark shadow in the orchard late at night, don’t worry. Someone is patrolling the grounds. Do beware of our dog.

Your safety and comfort is our first priority. The inn and your host, Dina Demille, will defend you at all costs. We ask only that you mind other guests and conduct yourself in a polite manner.

My Thoughts: Have you read Clean Sweep and Sweep In Peace? If so then HOW COULD YOU NOT BE READING THIS SERIAL?! Ilona Andrews does it again with a fantastic story, an incredible cast of characters, and a way of getting you invested in both that very few authors can match (IMO obviously).

Cast in Flight by Michelle Sagara

Private Kaylin Neya already has Dragons and Barrani as roommates. Adding one injured, flightless Aerian to her household should be trivial. Sure, the Aerian is Sergeant Moran dar Carafel, but Kaylin's own sergeant is a Leontine, the definition of growly and fanged. She can handle one Aerian.

But when a walk to the Halls of Law becomes a street-shattering magical assassination attempt on the sergeant, Kaylin discovers that it's not the guest who's going to be the problem: it's all of the people who suddenly want Moran dar Carafel dead. And though Moran refuses to tell her why she's being targeted, Kaylin is determined to discover her secret and protect her at all costs—even if keeping Moran safe means dealing with Aerian politics, angry dragons and something far more sinister.

My Thoughts: I wonder about my reading preferences sometimes, and going from Florand to Sagara does make think I like authors with a more....wordy sensibility. Not always mind you, reading preferences are are not a place for absolutes, but both of these women write incredibly vivid worlds and characters, where you have to pay attention to grasp what's just happened (or what's going to happen next). It doesn't always make them casual reads, more of a binge so you don't forget the details when they're important in the climax, but they are invigorating to finish. All of that to say is that Sagara continues to take what could be a Mary Sue character and make her fallible and open to growth in a world where black and white are almost always subsumed into the gray.

I'm Looking Forward To:

...you know what? I don't have a lot on the docket for the rest of 2016. I'll continue to read (obviously) and hope that the book bloggers I follow suggest new authors to try, but my calendar is pretty empty. 2017 will hit with a vengeance, especially in the first half of the year, so I'll try and keep ya'll updated?

Flights of Fancy

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Since I do an unusual amount of costuming anyway, lol, I tried for the most part to put together my Halloween look with pieces I already owned. Initially I was aiming for steampunk Little Red Riding Hood, but ultimately ended up leaning more Airship Captain. And you know what? I'm ok with that.


Happy Halloween!

and it begins

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Fall has descended upon DC (yay!) and the wind on Saturday was not playing around. Trying to find a spot to take photos that was 1) secluded, and 2) out of the wind, proved to be impossible. In the end I just leaned into it and tried my best to keep my hair under control, lol.

Also, looking at these photos has left me with a question: are people actually belting overalls? Like for real? Because I can't imagine the awful things it would do to my proportions to even try.

Turtleneck: J.Crew ~ Overalls: Old Navy ~ Jacket: Anthropologie (runs large, I'm wearing a medium) ~ Sneakers: Converse ~ Watch: Ebay (similar) ~ Bracelet: Etsy ~ Sunglasses: Kate Spade (old)


old & new

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Another one of things I get to enjoy while I'm in Pennsylvania is the orchard (& its incredible fruit offerings) of the Historic Round Barn. I've never had a better apple than the ones I've had there, and if you find yourself in the area you have to grab some for yourself! It's family run and everyone is so knowledgeable that it's impossible to leave without something tasty.

 Sweater: French Connection (TJ Maxx, similar online) ~ Jeans: Joe's ~ Jacket: ASOS (old) ~ Booties: Steve Madden ~ Purse: J.Crew (old, available on Poshmark) ~ Sunglasses: Kate Spade ~ Watch: Ebay (similar) ~ Bracelet: Etsy

Traditions

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Visiting Pennsylvania during Apple Harvest Festival is one of my very favorite things. Even though I had to spend this trip resisting the urge to deface every Trump/Pence sign I saw (SIGH), hanging out with my friend Jessica and her family is totally worth it. 

Moving back to NC isn't really on my to-do list, and honestly the NC I lived in never looked like this, but there is something about being out in all that nature that makes me homesick for it anyway.


Short and sweet, but on Thursday (woot woot two posts!) I'll be back with a close up look at my outfit from day one.


decisions, decisions

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Have I spent any time here talking about the specifics of fit? Or at least how some of those fit decisions can be incredibly personal?

More often than not, I choose pieces that place me squarely in the traditionally flattering category. I know what I like to emphasize and what I don't, and I don't often stray from that. In my attempts to figure out this season though, I seem to be drawn more and more to those pieces that feel a little "wrong".  This dress from Lou & Grey/LOFT is a lovely weight, and feels much more expensive than it is. Add in sleeves and a skirt that stops just above the knee and I figure I've found a piece I can dress up or down, with sneakers or booties, for years to come. But it doesn't emphasize my waist. It fits in the shoulders and bust and then just kind of flows down the rest of the body. 

It's one of those pieces I bought because I feel great in it, even if it doesn't fit like so many of the pieces where I usually say those words. So...yeah. Sometimes you have to just buy the pieces that make you happy, even if they're not the ones you feel "fit the best".

Dress: LOFT (Lou & Grey) ~ Jacket: Anthropologie (old, similar, under $100, under $40) ~ Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters ~ Crossbody: Anthropologie (old, similar) ~ Sneakers: Converse ~ Necklace: Kate Spade ~ Watch: Ebay (similar) ~ Bracelet: Etsy

Black & Green

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Remember that post last week where I talked about all the things I was thinking about for Fall and I specifically said that I already had a lot of dresses?

Yeah, this still happened.

Fit thoughts: With the slight keyhole back and thinly strapped racer neckline, you should probably wear a strapless bra with this dress but I said f*ck it. My favorite racerback bras have a cute lace back and I just used a couple pins to make sure the straps didn't stray too far from the general outline the dress provided. Also, this dress isn't lined which I think is ridiculous for $200, so unless you're absolutely in love with it I kind of feel like this falls better into the "buy on sale" category.

Dress: Anthropologie (I'm wearing a size 12) ~ Jacket: Anthropologie (old, similar, under $100, under $40) ~ Purse: Anthropologie (old) ~ Shoes: Seychelles ~ Sunglasses: Kate Spade ~ Watch: Ebay (old, similar) ~ Bracelet: Etsy ~ Earrings: Lou Lou Boutiques (old)