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)

Fall 2016: I Have No Idea What I'm Doing

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In a totally unsurprising turn of events, I am apparently a fickle human being. Just like everyone else.

It might have take me a month or so to notice, but my slow and steady closet purge pre-move was pretty immense. I'm not saying that I'm really lacking in anything (because that would be a lie), but trying to figure out what I want (or not) during all these Fall sales has been a huge pain in the butt. Not only am I having a hard time visualizing what I want to look like, I'm also not liking anything that's currently "in style", which wouldn't annoy me except that it's everywhere and making shopping hard.

(If you're interested, the things I don't want include: cold shoulder anything, culottes, cropped flare pants, skater skirts, embroidered jeans or bomber jackets - bomber jackets kind of in general, and crushed velvet. Velvet as a whole I'm also on the fence about, but I really don't like crushed velvet. I know, I know, such a negative Nancy, but I can't help it.)

I'm also having some weird body issues so that's not helping anything, but I'm hoping that if I take some time to think out what I want/what I have that I like, that with the help of Pinterest we can figure this out. Suggestion are always welcome :).

What I Have:

1) Sweaters - generally fitted in a variety of colors and patterns. I love a good sweater, so I'm going to have to fight my urge to buy more.

2) Black Jeans - I have a couple pairs that are officially staples in my wardrobe (I bought mine last year/two years ago, but these are similar ones available now in the same brands - Joe's and ASOS).

3) Booties - I have a love/hate relationship with booties. I love them on pretty much everyone but me, but I've stumbled on a few pairs that I'm not allowing my brain to talk me out of.

4) Twill Jacket - Year after year, despite how popular they were and how desperately I wanted one, I could not find a utility/twill jacket that I didn't hate on myself. They all just seemed overwhelmingly shapeless, which is why I was so surprised at how well this one from Anthropologie fit.

5) Dresses - Not typically something I have to worry about, my wardrobe is, as always, dress heavy, lol.

6) Some random extras, that include my overalls and low top Converse. I still really enjoy both of those, we'll see how often they pop up on the blog/in life, lol. Oh and plaid tops. I hunted down a few more options last year to round out my collection and I still feel really satisfied with what I have. Plus light jackets. That's another area of my wardrobe I was much more deliberate about, and I'm still happy with the results.

What I (think I) Want:

1) Oversized Toppers - I picked up this jacket after all and I'm going to see if my brain can handle it. I want to be that girl in oversized sweaters and jackets, maybe with a half tuck or two, that looks so effortlessly cool. The reality is I'm not that tall or that thin or just not shaped in way where I think this looks good on me, but I'll probably keep an eye out for potential successes.

2) Skirts - I think skirts is possibly the area in my closet I purged the most, and while there are some good spring and summer pieces that escaped unscathed, that's kind of it. I've given up on pencil skirts except for some very specific exceptions because I don't like my stomach or VBL. It's not very body acceptance-y of me, but I'm working on it. So what I really want are some midi length skirts that sit high on my waist and skim my hips, and despite my damnedest the only ones I really love are from Modcloth and expensive. (Top contenders include: one, two, and three. And four if it comes back in stock in my size.)

3) I have no idea. For realsies folks, I have no idea. I'm feeling very blah about the options and have no idea what I'm going to do to change that. I'm thinking that there's some sort of shift happening with parts of my personal style, but I'm finding it really hard to try and communicate what that's going to look like.

And while I'm not usually one to make mood boards, HEY LOOK, Autumnal mood board ahead!

Not particularly sexy or cool, but at least I can say that all the outifts/items/colors here really speak to me.

I'll try to keep you updated on how the hunt guys, but until then I'd recommend you check out Unfancy and her seasonal goals posts. I found the way she thinks our her directions very helpful, and I hope that one day I can be as realistic about how I want my closet to work with my life.

Friday Book Club #7

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I know it's the middle of the month, but you know what? I'm a rebel. Go with it.

Read & Loved:

Troublemaker by Linda Howard

A thrilling, fast-paced novel of romantic suspense from sensational New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Linda Howard.

For Morgan Yancy, an operative and team leader in a paramilitary group, nothing comes before his job. But when he’s ambushed and almost killed, his supervisor is determined to find out who’s after the members of his elite squad—and why. Due to worries that this unknown enemy will strike again, Morgan is sent to a remote location and told to lay low and stay vigilant. But between a tempting housemate he’s determined to protect and a deadly threat waiting in the shadows, keeping under the radar is proving to be his most dangerous mission yet.

The part-time police chief of a small West Virginian mountain town, Isabeau “Bo” Maran finally has her life figured out. She’s got friends, a dog, and a little money in the bank. Then Morgan Yancy shows up on her doorstep. Bo doesn’t need a mysterious man in her life—especially a troublemaker as enticing and secretive as Morgan.

The harder they fight the intense heat between them, the closer Morgan and Bo become, even though she knows he’s hiding from something. But discovering the truth could cost Bo more than she’s willing to give. And when Morgan’s cover is blown, it might just cost her life.

My Thoughts: This is A+ prime Linda Howard and I loved it. There's just something about her gruff alpha heroes that are so "caveman" and yet sexy to me. I also really enjoyed the relationship between Morgan and Bo, and how while it was brought on by crappy life circumstances for them both, they found a new beginning in each other.

Ravished by Amanda Quick

From the cozy confines of a tiny seaside village to the glittering crush of the a fashionable London soiree comes an enthralling tale of a thoroughly mismatched couple . . . poised to discover the rapture of love.

There was no doubt about it. What Miss Harriet Pomeroy needed was a man. Someone powerful and clever who could help her rout the unscrupulous thieves who were using her beloved caves to hide their loot. But when Harriet summoned Gideon Westbrook, Viscount St. Justin, to her aid, she could not know that she was summoning the devil himself. . . .

Dubbed the Beast of Blackthorne Hall for his scarred face and lecherous past, Gideon was strong and fierce and notoriously menacing. Yet Harriet could not find it in her heart to fear him. For in his tawny gaze she sensed a savage pain she longed to soothe . . . and a searing passion she yearned to answer. Now, caught up in the Beast’s clutches, Harriet must find a way to win his heart–and evade the deadly trap of a scheming villain who would see them parted for all time.

My Thoughts: I have no idea why this is called Ravished and not some play on Beauty and the Beast. Shrug. A quick read with Quick's typical characters, I still had a lot of fun reading this story. No Harriet's stubbornness or Gideon's "scarred past" weren't surprising but sometimes I just want a nice comfort read, where both main characters are thankful for the love they've found. This provided that in spades and I look forward to rereading it for years to come.

Wyvern by Grace Draven

Alaric has never forgotten nor stopped loving the human woman he left in a dusty village almost a decade earlier. So when he meets her again on the cliffs, wearing old dragon armor and playing her fiddle as if her heart would break, he is overjoyed.

But Elsbeth never knew the man to whom she had given herself was only an illusion for the wyvern. Alaric must convince her that the heart of the beast is no less devoted than the heart of the man, and that leaving her a second time will not last another decade.
Elsbeth Weaver, a talented fiddler, gave up the man she loved to care for her ailing grandfather. Now, eight years later, she must risk her life to save her grandfather from a lynching, by playing for the wyvern that has terrorized her village throughout the summer. When she comes face-to-face with the beast at the haunted cliffs of Maldoza, she is both terrified and fascinated. Something about the creature reminds her of her long-lost lover, something more than just a shared name.

My Thoughts: Even when you go into this story knowing what has to be true, that it's not a coincidence that the bard and wyvern share the same name, it still ended up being a really good read. Draven has a very compelling voice in my opinion, and a way of creating a world that grabs the reader almost immediately. I can't decide if I'd consider this one light on the romance or not now that I think about it. The HEA is the point and the culmination of the novella, but enough time is spent on other aspects of the story that it almost seemed to go by too quickly for my tastes. Something to think about I guess, but still highly recommended.

I'm Looking Forward To:

Once Broken Faith by Seanan McGuire

Politics have never been October “Toby” Daye’s strong suit. When she traveled to the Kingdom of Silences to prevent them from going to war with her home, the Kingdom of the Mists, she wasn’t expecting to return with a cure for elf-shot and a whole new set of political headaches.

Now the events she unwittingly set in motion could change the balance of modern Faerie forever, and she has been ordered to appear before a historic convocation of monarchs, hosted by Queen Windermere in the Mists and overseen by the High King and Queen themselves.

Naturally, things have barely gotten underway when the first dead body shows up. As the only changeling in attendance, Toby is already the target of suspicion and hostility. Now she needs to find a killer before they can strike again—and with the doors locked to keep the guilty from escaping, no one is safe.

As danger draws ever closer to her allies and the people she loves best, Toby will have to race against time to prevent the total political destabilization of the West Coast and to get the convocation back on track…and if she fails, the cure for elf-shot may be buried forever, along with the victims she was too slow to save.

Because there are worse fates than sleeping for a hundred years.

My Thoughts: I HAVE IT IN MY HANDS! Woohoo! I can't wait for a dedicated few hours so I can read this one. 

Cast in Flight by Michelle Sagara

New York Times bestselling author Michelle Sagara returns to the city of Elantra with a thrilling tale rife with ancient magic, assassination attempts and political intrigue.

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: Still one of my favorite fantasy series. I reread the ending of  Cast in Honor and was reminded of how heartbreaking her books can be. I'm still super invested in finding out what happens next though :D.

work on the weekends part 3

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Well hey there rooftop photos! Long time no see!

In the third installation of my "Work on the Weekends" series let's all take a moment and realize how terrible it's been in DC that I was dripping sweat after 20min at 9 IN THE MORNING.  In that last picture you can definitely see that the heat was starting to get to me and I'm sorry that I couldn't be all stoic and mysterious.

But I digress, as the point of this post is to spend some time talking about a dress I absolutely love but have never featured on the blog before. I picked this black and white beauty up a couple of years ago from Ann Taylor and it is probably the most well fitting dress I own. The length is perfect, I love the way it hugs right at the smallest part of my waist under the bust, but still flows over my hips so I don't feel constricted.

Do you have any dresses that you just know you look great in? I tend to "save" this one more often than I should, I guess because I know I can't replace it >.<.

Dress: Ann Taylor (old, similar (ish) here) ~ Purse: BP (old, similar) ~ Shoes: Stuart Weitzman (old, also worn here and here) ~ Necklace: Kate Spade ~ Sunglasses: New York & Co ~ Bracelet: Etsy ~ Watch: Ebay (old, similar)

I'm Alive! And DragonCon 2016 :)

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Hey Friends! Did you miss me?

Sorry I kind of disappeared there, but between Puerto Rico, moving, Maid of Honor duties, and DragonCon, it's been quite a hectic few weeks! I'm not going to say I'm completely back on my regular posting schedule, I'm still feeling my way when it comes to places I can take blog photos, but for now here's a look at some of what I've been up to!

(Oh, and in case you want a better explanation of what DragonCon is or some especially good costume photos, make sure to check out Epbot. You won't regret it :D). 

As always, click to embiggen.

Clockwise from the top left...ish? 
  1) Why yes that IS an 8ft long rainbow caterpillar. It's not mine but it's damn awesome. 2) The ever impressive DragonCon logo, with my slightly less impressive defiance of any dirt on the marble floor of the Hyatt. 3) Babs Tarr! Artist for the latest Batgirl series and all around awesome human being. 4) Friends in the mostly empty vendor mart - so cool! 5) Adulting like the adults we are, and grabbing dinner outside the con. 6) The "3 Musketeers" 7) Ms. Frizzle and Bill Nye the Science Guy! 8) Some super cool makeup and....9) Cerberus the oh-so-fluffy! Also known as Fluffy, Also Fluffy, and Fluffiest. 

 Click below for more of the Con-y goodness!