Christmas list

Things I’d love to get for Christmas:
  1. American Apparel California Fleece Cape
  2. Turquoise Magnesite Necklace by Boutique Minimaliste
  3. Preludes, Airs and Yodels by Penguin Cafe Orchestra
  4. Golden Ponies Chloe Triple Strap Flats
  5. Canning Jar necklace by Yellow Owl Workshop
  6. A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans
  7. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 lens

(click on collage to view/visit sources)


We’re having a nice time visiting with family and friends-who-are-like-family this week. We made delicious turkey, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pecan pie, and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for our Thanksgiving feast.

This was my first time hosting – although I helped with the past two years’ meal preparations – and it was a bit overwhelming. I (mostly) forget that I’m an introvert until I’m surrounded by a handful of people for days on end. I become agitated and feel the need to flee, but I have to push through it, resist the urge to snap at people, and drink more coffee.

We’re likely spending tomorrow basking in glow of the coming Christmas season with local festivities instead of braving the ravenous crowds at retail chains. I’m morally opposed to Black Thursday/Friday in-store sales, but I love to peruse online sales (although I guess it may be just as bad for warehouse employees this weekend as it is for store employees). But as I always say, there’s no harm in window shopping. I am particularly drawn to the preppy basics American Eagle offers. All items are 40% off until November 25!

AE wishlist

AE wishlist

  1. Boyfriend Cardigan
  2. Leopard Print Belt
  3. Simple Striped Dress
  4. Bass Heeled Booties (way out of my price range)
  5. Purple Dress
  6. Patterned Bucket Bag
  7. BC Footwear Wedge

(click collage to view links)


(noun) : a person, as an artist or writer, who lives and acts free of regard for conventional rules and practices.

I’ve been attracted to the bohemian, Free People, aesthetic for many years now, but I never really believed I could pull it off. Maybe I like it because I am a Type A personality; I might be imaginative, but I certainly don’t live outside societal bounds or push the limits very far. I am a rule follower. But clothing allows for a little eccentricity without real risk, at least on your days off. My favorite thrift store in town occasionally carries clothing from Free People in my size and I’ve begun snatching it up when I can find it.



Moving allows for reinvention. I can be anything I want to be; I’m not barred by past assumptions. And I realize I never really was.

dorothy perkins

Dorothy Perkins is a UK based brand and women’s retailer. I suspect, unfortunately, that they’re a bit like the Forever 21 of England, but maybe their products are of higher quality. Their clothing appeals to my aesthetic to a greater degree than most American, mid-range designs do. That mixed print dress in the center would look great at a holiday party.


Sorry to bring you another set and no meaningful content, but I woke up with a cold and spent most of the day sleeping or clicking mindlessly through internet content. Since Frankenstorm is headed our way within hours, the sun hasn’t shone all day; it turned out to be the perfect day to relax and recover.

We attended a “Vintage Cocktail” themed Halloween party last night and I dressed up as a flapper. I prided myself in the historical accuracy of the overall look; unfortunately, I only have a headshot of my get-up. I wore vintage costume jewelry, a thrifted drop-waist dress, and richly hued makeup to complete the look. Daniel, on the other hand, was a Roadside Prophet; he wore a board with boldly etched, condemning verses on it around his neck. I was a symbol of debauchery and he was the radical, moral response to it.




This has been an exhausting week. The cool weather and today’s visit from the Dalai Lama brought hundreds of people into the coffee shop, where I worked for five solid days. We were at least a person down from where we needed to be to keep the shop running smoothly this morning. I didn’t even get a chance to finish my coffee! I did, however, get to partake in the consumption of a free sandwich due to an order mix up, so all’s well in the end.

I pinned that lovely bedroom photo weeks ago and constantly go back to it because I find it so comforting. I love the mix of mustard and coral hues with light and airy grays and creams. The light coming in from the picture window is ethereal, too (I placed our bed under a window for this effect in our old apartment, but the light always glared in from under the blinds and woke us up early, so we moved it after a time). The nights here have been chilly, so an extra blanket at the end of the bed would be a welcome addition.

I just purchased that elephant shirt (along with a dress and some leggings) from ModCloth with the gift card my mother-in-law gave me for my birthday. I used to have a fairly impressive collection of graphic tees, but my style went more feminine-classic-basic in the final years of college. I’m embracing all the styles that have influenced me in this new stage of my life and am enjoying a good graphic tee again.

*Click “live.wear” to be redirected to polyvore for product sources.

personal style

I have always had a lot of confidence in my taste and ability to mix and match patterns and colors to make visually interesting outfits and rooms. I think I have a good eye and know what suits my body type. But occasionally, I get stuck. In college, I had a fun time experimenting with style, color, and form. After graduating, however, my job as a framer required a lackluster uniform of khaki pants, brown closed-toe shoes, and modest tops (and an ill-fitting, blue vest emblazoned with the corporate logo). That paired with a professional need to look my age (I was often mistaken for a high schooler) took a toll on my daily style. I had a style blog the whole time, too, but I didn’t always feel that put together.

I recently asked a ModCloth ModStylist to take a look at my current comforts and help bring me out of my box of striped tops and plain, knit skirts. I had low expectations, so I was pleasantly surprised by the result. It helps to get an outside perspective on personal style in the same way it helps to talk out any other issue with a friend. I came out of the brief interchange with a more defined sense of my taste and renewed enjoyment of getting dressed in the mornings.

The polyvore set ModStylist Amy put together is below (click on the embedded set to view product information; you will be redirected to polyvore). I let her know that I am most drawn to floral and polka dot prints, have a pear-shaped figure, and admire Kate Bosworth’s style, as well as silhouettes from the 70s and 90s.

Looks for Leah

Looks for Leah

I don’t see myself wearing boyfriend jeans or platforms anytime soon, but I appreciate that my comfort zone has been stretched. I particularly love the polka dot-floral combo in the center and the dress on the right. Amy did a great job of choosing basics with visual interest, which is right up my alley.

After viewing her recommendations, I put together my own set of prints and styles I like:

personal style
Even if you don’t feel stuck, or don’t have a specific occasion to prepare for, you may want to take advantage of ModCloth’s free ModStylist program. It was a fun, quick, positive experience.

september moodboard

I really like the month of September, because of the season change and hopeful, back-to-school-and-the-holidays-are-coming feeling, but probably mostly because of my birthday (I hope you enjoyed that sentence). My birthday is September 26 (hint, hint). I’ll be 24 this year: my last year of frolicsome youth before I become a quarter-of-a-century old and start graying (hopefully my hair will hold off a bit longer than that). This is also birthday month for my family (and also everyone else in my homeland, since most U.S. babies are born in mid-September).



Things I intend to enjoy this month:

  • Hot espresso drinks
  • A Birthday outfit
  • Understated jewelry
  • A Birthday cupcake or two
  • Taking pictures of events and changing landscapes
  • Boots
  • Mums in full bloom
  • Snuggling in my hand knit blanket (thanks, Daniel’s mom!)
  • Printed bags

Daniel and I are heading over to a Local Artisans Festival in the next couple of hours. Masters of guitar making, banjo playing, and cobbling (to name a few) will be present along with their newly graduated apprentices. I love living in a place that publicly values local craft and culture.

wardrobe update

It’s tempting to go back-to-school shopping even though this is my second season out of school. I have purchased a handful of wardrobe builders lately, in part to add some interest to my wardrobe, and in part to prepare for the coming fall weather.



  1. Polka dot and floral tees, Urban Outfitters: great layering basics in fun yet understated prints.
  2. Taupe and black cardigan, Marshalls: I love over-sized cardigans (the one I purchased is drapey) and stripes.
  3. Zig-zag necklace, (of)matter on etsy: I purchased a store credit at a discount a couple of months ago and finally chose this necklace. I am a big fan of simple, brass jewelry.
  4. Gray boots, Target: these were on clearance. I had actually purchased the black version of these last season, but I bought a size too big and never found a replacement. These gray ones are casual and remind me a bit of Blowfish boots.
  5. BDG high-rise cigarette jeans, Urban Outfitters: I’ve been taking advantage of the proximity of Urban Outfitters to my workplace. These jeans are still on sale and they fit my pear-shape figure better than pretty much all other jeans.
  6. Cognac buckle boots, Target: I already had to replace the Madden Girl “Guesser” boots I wanted with a similar pair because the former are incredibly difficult to get over my heel. These were $10 less and allowed me to get the other boots without spending more money on boots.
  7. Worishofer sandals, Modcloth: these aren’t exactly a fall shoe, but they were on mega clearance on Modcloth and I could use some comfy, retro-inspired sandals.

It’s safe to say that my “back-to-school” shopping is complete. I’m sure once winter settles in, I’ll need to buy some layering pieces, but for now, I’m quite satisfied. I made a paper bag waist skirt out of stretch denim fabric yesterday, so I can add that to the list.