Friday, December 30, 2016

Fresh Face Friday

       It's raining and I want to go outside.  There are so many projects on my to do list that I am beyond frustrated to be trapped indoors for even one day.  Then again....there's nothing like a comfy chair, a hot cuppa tea, and an old favorite like Sense & Sensibility.  And, let's face it, I'm home now and for the first time in my entire life I have no where to be.  So, let it rain while I get all caught up with the Miss Dashwoods, and while I'm at it, how about a Fresh Face Friday.
    Admittedly I didn't invent the idea; I'm borrowing it from Stacey London of Love, Lust, or Run fame.  I admire her style and her spirit.  It's pretty brave to be an A-List fashionista and appear with no make-up because the media and the world of social media can be devastatingly cruel.  While I'm not a brave fashion icon, I really support taking off the mask once in a while and saying "Hey, this is me."  So, hey, this is me.
    I've never done blog photos with no make-up.  The result was not as scary as I feared, not at all actually.  But I do have to admit that I've just had my hair trimmed and freshly colored which makes me feel like I'm all done up even though I'm not.  Funny how that works.  OK, rainy days, I give in.  I'll pull on my cozy sweater and comfy socks and let it rain.

Sweater is old from Forever 21 and purchased at ThredUp
Use my link to sign up and save $20 off your first order.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Get 'em while they last!

    ModCloth is running a year end clearance sale with an extra 30% off sale items! Which means you could get this Ace of Smarts Dress currently on sale for 62.99 for less than $45.  I purchased this dress and have already tried it on and love it.  Stay tuned for my upcoming dress review and outfit photos.  In the meantime use the code BYE2016 to save an extra 30% on sale items.  Happy Hunting!


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Winter Woods: Dress Review

    The creek that runs through our farm occasionally washes up treasures like old butter churn lids and civil war coins, and in the summer time it is full of crayfish and sun perch.  For now it's rather dry except for the odd pool of  water with an icy crust.  That's Ok, all the better to walk along on this beautiful day.  
    Although I love big city life, I can't describe how wonderful it is to be home with acres and acres separating me from my nearest neighbor.  My quiet time is something I value more than money or success.  I love being able to throw my shoes and jacket on and walk to my heart's content without ever running into another soul.  
    Today the sun was hiding, but it was so warm I didn't need a jacket and of course it's always warmer at the creek with the wind blocked by the banks.  I decided to wear by new Potluck Hostess skirt that I got at one of ModCloth's amazing holiday sales (btw they've got a pretty good sale going on right now with 30% off sale items using the code BYE2016)  and this adorable sweater from LindyBop.  The flats are also new.  All that time cooped up in a hotel room and it's easy to see how I spent it.  
    As far as reviews go, this skirt is really great, but much more snug that I generally wear...anything.  I think I should have sized up from XXS to XS.  The sweater is a size Medium because small was sold out.  It's a bit loose naturally, but I still love it and I'm looking forward to wearing it with these flats and some skinny jeans.  This is my first purchase from LindyBopUSA and I have no complaints.  Everything arrived very quickly and this sweater seems very well made.  The skirt is the same great ModCloth quality I've come to love and these Bell Flats by Report held up well for my first walk in them.  
    The main thing today was the walk and I enjoyed it thoroughly.  I don't know what it is about walking that always settles my soul and makes me that much gladder when I come home to hold my loved ones again, but there it is.  I'm reminded of the poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and I tend to agree with her that there's no place I'd rather be than "in the fields with God," or in the woods as the case may be, and even more so when they are the fields of home.


Shop the Look:
Potluck Hostess Skirt from ModCloth in Red
Poodle Sweater from LindyBopUSA
Report Bell Flats purchased locally


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Closet 911

    Travel means making due with what's available.  In the last few weeks I've gone from an enormous walk-in closet all to myself to a suitcase and now to tiny closet that I share with another person and a whole lot of memorabilia.  
    The frustration and closet claustrophobia are compounded by the fact that the rest of my extensive wardrobe will be arriving in a few days and I have no where to put it.  
Check this out: --> 
(My stuff is on the upper right and look at all that empty space on his side of the closet!!!)
    Not to worry, we won't be here forever and I'm well schooled at making due.  One day we'll build our own home and when that day finally comes I know a couple of things for certain:  
    A) That my closet, both for shoes and dresses, will be on a rotating rack so that nothing gets hidden or crammed at the back and B) It will also not be a walk-in closet; there's just not enough light or space in those.  I'd like it to open out into the room like a  miniature studio apartment for dresses and heels.
    In the mean time we're making some room in the attic for these boxed up memories and I'm trying like crazy to dust off my fourth grade Tetris skills to make everything fit so I don't have to downsize my wardrobe.   Sadly I may not be able to avoid downsizing (yes, I will post everything here first if I decided to part with anything), and if I do have to get rid of some things I found this very handy flow chart from MakeSpace.com to help keep me focused and centered during all the sorting and storing that's going to occur next week.   MakeSpace is a self storage company I came across!    
Wish me luck, once all those boxes arrive I'm going to need it.  And if you don't hear from me for a while, I may have been buried under a cardboard avalanche :)

In The Bleak Mid Winter

    "Home is the place where when you go there they have to take you in."  Robert Frost, that brilliant author of all things that warm the heart with winter days and nostalgia penned that sentiment and it has always brought me comfort on my travels both geographical and emotional.  So, I am home "in the bleak mid winter" as Miss Rossetti called this time of year.  In many ways it's not the same as when I left.  It never is.  
    But it is always the place where my dreams were born, where my loved ones or the memories of them live, and even though this is the bleakest part of winter, there is such warmth here in the arms of those I've been missing.  We arrived just before an arctic chill knocked temperatures down to single digits .  
    It's been so long since we've had to huddle around a fireplace to keep warm, but the instinct is still there to seek out that corner of the house and pull up a chair and a hot drink to spend an hour or two talking about nothing and everything.  It's good to be home.
    Beyond hugs and smiles and faces I love, there were so many boxes waiting on me, I can no longer deny that I have a shopping addiction.  Come to think of it, I've never denied it, but it's probably time to get it in check.  Given that most of my days will be spent cutting wood, fixing buildings, and planting a garden all while wearing heavy coveralls and work boots, it shouldn't be too hard to kick the fashion habit.  I don't want to lose it altogether because I really do enjoy it and my blog, but I may have to scale back quite a bit.  
    In the mean time, the temperature has warmed up to nearly 50 today, so I decided to brave the chill and don this lovely plaid from Unique-Vintage.  Also for the trek to this field, I felt I needed tights, but since I love little secret details that no one knows about but me, I wore my bear tights.  A lot of shops carry these tights for $7-$14.  I bought them factory direct for $2 including shipping and they're ever so sweet even if they won't last long.


Just a quick review for this dress.  The fit is absolutely stunning and perfectly perfect even though I'm not back to my ideal weight.  That may mean that it runs a little small, but I think it's meant to be very bombshell form fitting.
Shop the Look:
Plaid Dress From Unique Vintage
Bear Tights 

Friday, December 16, 2016

One Last French Connection: ootd

    One last post with photos from the old address and then it's all new material from here on out.  As promised this is the third and probably final installation in my French Connection tube dress series.  This dress  was worn by Kristen Stewart at some premier or other.  Given that she's standing next to Robert Patinson, I'm thinking Twilight.  At any rate it became the more popular of the two available prints.  You can see my post with the bright plaid version of this dress here.
    I love the brighter plaid version, but a plaid in all neutrals like this one leaves lots of room to be creative, the sky's the limit really.  However, for this first outfit with this dress, I decided to keep it simple and start with some burgundy tights and black heels.  While the top is neutral, the texture of the lace provides some great visual interest.  So, while I probably won't buy anymore of these French Connection Dresses, I'll definitely have future outfit posts with this particular plaid.



Shop the Look:
 Dress From ThredUp.com
Top is from Forever 21 and quite old
Tights purchased in Japan
Heels by Qupid

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Almost Home

Not so much smiling as grimacing at the cold.
    Well, we're finally on American soil after being away for several years, and upon reaching our hotel a couple of hours away from Seattle it snowed and gave the kids a much needed excuse to go outside and run wild.  I took a few pics, but sadly my laptop's ability to pick up wifi signals  died somewhere along the way and all the rooms with modems were booked.
    So, for now the snow has melted away and I'm stuck typing out posts on this silly iPhone which can no longer be used as a phone but hey at least it gets wifi.  And sadly, Blogger won't let me add photos from my non-phone-iPhone, so I can't even do that.  
    Also pretty bummed about not making it to Seattle one last time while we're in the PNW,  but being two hours away with no car and at least one of our traveling party sick with a nasty cold, it's probably best that we just snuggle up in our hotel room and enjoy being able to watch tv all day.  
    We'll be leaving here soon and I'm so excited to get started on all the posts I have buzzing in my brain and will hopefully be switching to to outdoor scenery instead indoors and digital backdrops.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Floral Swallow Dress

    I've always been an antique store junkie buying antique and vintage dresses that needed a little TLC. Years ago I found the most lovely floral cotton sundress from the 1930s.  With pink bouquets, delicate lace and pale blue ribbon trimming the neckline and cuffs.  Alas, I was only able to wear it once or twice before I started to worry about tearing it.  So, it has been lovingly stored away.
    On my very first visit to The Other Sparrows I saw this floral swallow dress and saw the striking similarity to my nearly antique dress, but this one comes without the worry of ripping the delicate fabric.  My Charter School Cardi in Rose was a perfect compliment to the darker pink in the print and these gorgeous genuine leather heels by Red V were only $10 at Thred Up.  I'm still on the road this week and loving getting reacquainted with America, but I am so excited to get home.  There are people and places I've been away from far too long and this change in scenery is going to be a wonderful backdrop for all the great outfits and reviews on the way.


Shop the Look:
Floral Swallow Dress
Charter School Cardi in Rose from ModCloth
Red V Heels from ThredUp.com

Monday, December 5, 2016

Sailing Ship Dress Review

Anchor Bunting, Nautical Print, Anchor Decor From Etsy.com
   
    Just when you think the nautical madness can't possibly go on......It Does!  Ok, so, if you've ever stopped by this blog before then it's no surprise that I love nautical themed clothes and sundresses in particular.  I also like to know what I'm getting which is why I go back to the shops I can trust over and over.  My little sailboat dress from The Other Sparrows is less Wow!  than some other prints I've purchased there, but I like a wall flower as much as eye-catcher.  
    If you've never read my review of a Sparrow dress, let me recap.  They're, cute and well made, but short and high waisted.  I have to wear shorts or tights under them no matter what the season.  I normally wear size XS, but I size up to Medium in these dresses to get more length and then take the dress in at the bodice for a better fit.  But, hey, the prints are so gorgeous I don't mind making a few adjustments.
     




Shop the Look:
Sailing Ship Dress
Cardi is old
Qupid Heels from ModCloth  <--Use this link to save $15 off your first order
Tights are old
Earrings from PeachTreeLane

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Up and Away! ootd

    Well, it's time for us to be on our merry way to spend a merry holiday season with family and friends.  These years in Japan have been memorable to say the least, but I'm ready to start this new chapter of life.  So, before we fly away from this island country to the next place we call home, a quick ThredUp outfit for today's post.
    We've had a couple of unseasonably warm days and I intended to make the most of them.  I still needed a jacket, but I was able to ditch the tights for this particular sunny day of last minute errands and sight seeing.  I spent about $50 on this entire outfit (Dress $18, Jacket $19, Shoes $10).
    Catch me Stateside for more thorough posts once I'm thoroughly rested and settled in, with maybe a few shots of the road trip portion of journey. 

Shop the Look:
Gap Dress, Moto Jacket, & Forever 21 Flats from ThredUp.  Use this link to save $20 off your first Thredup order.
Balloon Purse available from this amazon seller.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Whale of a Tale: Dress Review

    I loved this Whale Print Sundress right from the start, but it looked soooo short I couldn't bring myself to buy it.  Eventually it sold out and I was a bit sad.  Suddenly it was back and with added length, so I made it mine and I really love that The Other Sparrows listens to their customers.  They have such excellent customer service, they've really earned my loyalty.

Shop the Look:
Whale Prints Striped Sundress
Cardi From ModCloth
Wedges by Chase & Chloe

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Something From Target: ootd

    I don't shop at Target anymore.  It's not a form of protest, I'm just really tired of the high prices.  Every now and then something cute from a Target brand pops up on ThredUp for under $10 and that's very doable.  So, I grabbed up this simple black dress for about $8 and set about wearing it a few different ways.  I'm just posting a few pics of my favorite outfit so far.
    I love a sleeveless dress for cooler weather because it's easy to layer it with a cardigan without the awkwardness of bunched up sleeves ruining the lines.  I've worn this dress a couple of times and it is so easy to wear it with any color imaginable, the brighter the better.  So, for this outfit, I decided to add some yellow and teal to really wake it up.
   
Shop the Look:
Dress from ThredUp.  <--Use this link to save $20 off your first order.
Tights and Charter School Cardi from ModCloth.  <--Use this link to save $15 off your first order.