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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Holiday outfits, family, food mash-up (plus Budz update)

My brother-in-law hugging the Budz

So Budz and I went back to the vet today, and it turns out that the antibiotics didn't help. In fact, the vet said that if anything, his condition seems worse. So we'll be taking him to some specialist pet surgeons. I'm at least grateful that we now have a plan, and it sounds like this type of surgery has a fairly good success rate. I can't wait to have Budz back at full health again.

This break Budz got a lotta love. Heck, we all had good times here with my husband's family in town.

We said goodbye to the old dishwasher that came with the house, and welcomed a new one from Evan's parents (which Evan then spent a day installing by himself, lol)

Dishwasher outfit
Anthropologie Pink (looks wine colored to me) Finessed Turtleneck sz XS (sale $30)
Club Monaco gold & beige striped skirt sz 0 (thrifted $4)
Grey belt
grey ribbed tights ($6)
Dollhouse slippers

There was much food preparation and consumption

followed by much merriment... some might say too much merriment ;)

Gift giving/opening was extra full of merriment

...and led the way to more food consumption... hmm... :) ooh personal pies!

Ah, good times!

Christmas Eve outfit:

Kensie Pretty silk shift dress sz XS (thrifted $4)
Adidas black skinny belt (thrifted 99 cents)
Hue bordeaux sueded tights (Ebay $6.50)
H&M multi-chain necklace ($12?)
Anne Klein Bangles (gifted)
Pink INC strappy heels (thrifted $6)

Christmas Day outfit:

Anthropologie Floreat Faceted skirt sz 0 (sale $22.50)
Banana Republic baby blue long-sleeved tee sz XS (thrifted $6)
black tights
Dollhouse Slippers
pearl and jade necklace (gifted)

Recovery Outfit:

Starling embellished hoodie sz XS (Nordy Rack sale $6.50)
Striped ruched H&M long sleeve tee by Divided sz 6 ($13)
Lisa Skinny Jeans by Fire Jeans sz 5 (thrifted $7)
Multi-strand red beaded necklace (thrifted $7)

Guess what? Evan surprised me for Christmas with a new camera body! He's been upgrading my camera piece by piece. Christmas came with a Rebel T1i (aka Canon 500D). He also surprised me with a Star Wars Garden Jawa (his contribution to our yard art), but I'm waaaaay more excited about the new camera... sorry hun! :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

backlogged OOTDs

Hey everyone. Thank you all so much for your encouraging and sympathetic words about Budz. It definitely caught me off guard when the vet told me Budz probably has tumors, but I'm still holding out hope that it's just an infection. I'll let y'all know next week whether the antibiotics helped or not when I take Buddie back to the vet.

Sorry I fell behind on OOTD picture taking last week. All I felt like doing was hugging all of my animals. So that's what I did. I seriously became Elmira from Animaniacs, and I couldn't stop hugging and kissing both my kitties (much to their dismay) and Budz. So for most of last week I forwent photo taking and blogging.

I do have two older outfits I wanted to share.

2nd time breakin' the rules

I wore this outfit almost two weeks ago! It was a second time trying to break my rule of wearing a skirt that falls past my knees. I don't think this was as successful as my first try at wearing too long of a skirt.

This skirt is a pleated vintage Woolworth's skirt that I haven't gotten around to hemming. I love the pleats, but I still think I'd like to hem it a few inches shorter, because the free swingy shape in combination with awkward length really stubbified me.

I thought it would look really neat to pair it with some brightly colored tights, so I chose these bright yellow-orange ones... but in the pics, I really just look super jaundiced! yikes! Perhaps I won't wear these ones again!

And here with a sweater for added warmth.

2nd time rule breakin' OOTD
Martin & Osa silk tie-neck cream button-up blouse sz 12
($15 sale)
J Crew grey v-neck sweater sz XS (thrifted $6)
Vintage black accordian pleated Woolworth's skirt ($4.80 thrifted)
Adidas black skinny belt (thrifted 99 cents)
Yellow-orange Hue tights ($7)
Kelsi Dagger black beaded flats ($30)

Buddie in blue
This is from the day after I found out about Buddie's potential tumors. So it was a little tougher to smile, but in the hopes of enjoying a little embodied cognition, I put on a smile.

My intention was to dress comfy, but I ended up throwing on these Nicole Miller pumps I'd picked up. They just almost give me enough height to wear these long pant legs uncuffed.

Well, ouch! Apparently, a whole day of wearing these was not fun. My feet hurt by the end. I still really like these pumps, but I'll probably save them for evenings out to dinner rather than a full work day.

Last Wednesday's OOTD
Anthropologie Finessed Turtleneck sz XS ($30 sale)
Anthropologie grey short-sleeved blazer by Elevenses sz 4 (thrifted $6)
Vintage pins (one came as a set with some wedding jewelry I bought for around $100, the other pin came off of a sweater I had)
Guess Jeans sz 27 (thrifted $10)
Nicole Miller New York t-strap pumps (thrifted $8)
Calvin Klein black belt

At least Budz seems pretty happy right now. He's been getting a lot of extra attention with my husband's family visiting us from out of town. Plus, Ev took the week off, and I'm wfh all week, so there's always someone there to rub his belly.

I'm going to try to keep posting a few times throughout the holidays, but besides having a nice time with Ev's parents and brother, and cuddling all my animals, I've also been working like crazy on a grant, papers, and data analysis. But, I've missed you all too! So I'll definitely pop in and say hi to y'all again soon!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

poor Budz

I just came back from the vet. He thinks Budz has large tumors in his anal sacs that will require some difficult surgery. Budz is on antibiotics for two weeks just in case the lumps are just infections, but the vet said they seemed more like tumors.

The vet also thinks that because of his age (nearly 13yrs...that's apparently like 82 human yrs), he's developed anxiety/fear responses to loud noises (even noises as simple as me chopping vegetables on the cutting board or the beeping noise played when someone swears on TV). On top of all that, Buddie's nerves have lost a lot of their myelin sheaths (the vet thinks), and this is why he has started trembling uncontrollably when he's scared of these noises.

Very disheartening. Poor Buddie. It's so tough to see him get older and have all these troubles. :( I'm bringing him back to the vet in two weeks to check to see if his swelling has gone down after the antibiotics. I know the vet isn't hopeful that it's an infection, but I'm still praying that it is (and not tumors).

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

breaking the rules for Elaine OOTD

First off, two announcements:


2) Today HauteLook has Eva Franco pieces that were carried at Anthropologie. I saw the Lincolnshire skirt for $50 and the
Higgledy-Piggledy Skirt in a maroon color for $56, A Fine Line Skirt for $56, and the Fluttering Pencil Skirt.

Ok, on to the OOTD. Today I'm breaking the rules for Elaine. She asked people what clothing rules they have and if they've ever broken them. I don't really have explicit clothing rules for the most part. Well, maybe I have one: I try not to wear skirts that fall between my knee and my ankles - despite the current trend to do so. I have short legs, and skirts that length just make them look shorter.

But I figured I might as well try it out anyway. I have a few skirts in my closet that I haven't decided to shorten yet, and one dress that I wouldn't shorten. They've been sitting around, twiddling their thumbs because I can't decide what to do with them.

Take today's MaxMara skirt. I thrifted this from Goodwill back in June for $6. It was too long on me, especially if I let it sit at my hips. This is actually my most winter appropriate skirt as it's made of very thick wool and lined (and it has thick warm pockets!).

Actually, when I first bought this skirt, I didn't like it - or I couldn't tell if I liked it. In part because of the length, in part because of the bulk of the thick wool. I think I was anti-bulky wool because I picked it up in the summer. I quite liked the bulky wool today. I just pinned it slightly smaller to fit at my waist so that it didn't go too far below my knees. Ok. so that's kinda cheating at breaking the rules. I'm cheating on what I'm supposed to be cheating.

But it definitely hits below the knee, forcing me to wear heels to make my legs look longer. I also kept to dark tights and dark heels so not to break up my legs into more visual pieces.

Maybe tomorrow I'll go for broke and really break the rules.

OOTD Specs
Forever 21 red plaid tunic dress worn as a shirt sz L ($12?)
H&M black divided tee sz 8 ($8)
MaxMara wool skirt no size tag but fits like a small ($6 thrifted)
TBJ Jeans cream hoodie (thrifted $6)
Black tights ($8)
black Fioni rosette pumps (thrifted $6)

Decorating and baking with Lorispeak for the holidays!

loridecorates: more holiday decoratin' with vintage finds

One of my favorite things to pick up at estate sales this summer was Christmas decor. I already mentioned the Shiny Brites I have on my Christmas tree. Why are Shiny Brites so neat?
"In 1937, Max Eckardt established "Shiny-Brite" ornaments, working with the Corning Glass Company to mass produce glass Christmas ornaments. Eckardt had been importing hand-blown glass balls from Germany since around 1907, but had the foresight to anticipate a disruption in his supply from the upcoming war. Corning adapted their process for making light bulbs to making clear glass ornaments, which were then shipped to Eckardt's factories to be decorated by hand. The fact that Shiny-Brite ornaments were an American-made product was stressed as a selling point during World War II."
(Wikipedia of course :) There's also a great section on dating your vintage Shiny Brites)

I love the various neat vintage glass ornaments like this box (not Shiny Brites) originally from Woolworth's:

Each box generally runs about $2 at an estate sale around here. You can also find boxes on ebay and etsy. And, I dunno, but I really like the idea of reusing something that has already had a history of celebration with another family.

Some of these are now hanging in my window (with some other vintage ornaments from my friend Jeanny)

I also picked up this little set of musical angels at a nearby estate sale. These little darlings are currently whippin' up a tune on my mantel.

Continuing with the theme of decorating with things of the past, I also pulled out all the old family photos that I could find from past Christmases. I want to sprinkle them throughout the house.

Like this one of my mom's family with that fabulous aluminum tree (my mom is on the right in blue, and I love my grandma's green dress with the leopard collar):

And my grandparents (I'm so amused at my grandpa's all-red outfit. I guess he wasn't afraid of color either):

Here's me and my cousins when I was 3 years old. Can you spot me? I'm almost sportin' my favorite pose/expression.

And here we are three years after that:

If you're looking for other fun/funny vintage Christmas decor ideas, check out Curly-Wurly's vintage magazine scans. These are just so neat to look at. Because, you know you've always wanted a troupe of marshmallow Santas to celebrate with:

lorieats: Buttermilk Pie with Cranberry Sauce

I didn't get enough of Thanksgiving food apparently (even though my waistline tells me that I did indeed get enough Thanksgiving food!). So when I came back last week, I decided to make a pie and some cranberry sauce to top it. It was so delicious that I thought I'd post the recipes here.

I'm not sure how many of you follow Joy the Baker, but her food photos and baking encourage me to be a better baker and inspire me to eat more baked goods (like I really needed more inspiration to eat such tastiness). Well, way back in August, she posted a recipe for Buttermilk Pie. What the heck is Buttermilk Pie? I had no idea. So of course I wanted to find out. And, I finally did.

Oh man. It. was. goodness.

You can find the original recipe here. Due to my own time constraints, I used a organic store-bought frozen pie crust. I also added cinnamon, because that's the kind of crazy baking chick I am. ha!

And, because I had a huge Costco-sized bag of cranberries in the fridge, and I didn't get enough Thanksgiving, I made a cranberry sauce to top it. The pairing was lovely. The cranberry sauce was sweet and tart and balanced the buttermilk pie wonderfully (IMO).

Buttermilk Pie

3 large eggs

1 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 stick melted butter, slightly cooled.

1 cup buttermilk

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

Beat eggs slightly. Mix sugar and flour well and add to the eggs. Mix until creamy. Add melted butter, mixing well. Add buttermilk and vanilla extract and cinnamon. I convection baked mine at 325 degrees F for 1 hr 15 minutes until the custard set. (Joy's Tip: the custard will still jiggle a bit in the oven even when it’s set). Just make sure that the middle does not jiggle a lot more than the sides. That means it needs more time.

Honey-and-Spice Cranberry sauce recipe

I used this Honey-and-spice cranberry sauce recipe from Epicurious with the addition of longer cooking time and a cheesecloth bag to keep my spices from hiding out in the sauce later...

1 12-ounce bag cranberries
1 3/4 cups apple juice
3/4 cup honey (I used mesquite honey)
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half (my cinnamon came in bark form and I just dumped a handful in :D )
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
6 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
Pinch of salt
cheesecloth and cotton string

Combine cranberries, juice, orange peel, salt, and honey in heavy large saucepan. Create a cheesecloth bag using by wrapping the cheese cloth around the bay leaf, cloves, and cinnamon and tying at the top with the cotton string. Place bag in saucepan. Bring contents to a boil over medium heat. Simmer until berries burst and sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. Remove cheesecloth bag. Refrigerate sauce until cold. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Skirts and patterned tights oh my! OOTDs

My bestie Clara would like me to be more on top of my outfit blogging, lol. She was so impatient for a pic of my outfit yesterday that she tried taking pics of me while I was in a meeting. So, Clara, I'm posting these, see! Only a day late this time.


It's 10 degrees warmer in Seattle this week than it was last week. That makes all the difference for me to feel comfy wearing skirts and tights! Hurray!

During Fall/Winter, and when it gets grey, Seattle peeps seem to like to disappear into the grey mist. Not so for me! I think people were a bit visually shocked by my bout of color yesterday.

I admit, it's a lot of color. But, I love color. Color and facial expressions - I'm never content with trying on just one...At least this way, cars can see me as I cross the street.

Monday OOTD
H&M graphic sweater dress sz XS ($20?)
H&M mustard yellow cardigan sz 6 ($20)
United Colors of Benetton long-sleeve black shirt sz S (had for about ten years!)
Adidas black skinny belt (thrifted 99 cents)
Trina Turk for Hue purple tights ($6)
Merona Madalena Suede Ballet Flats - purple (NWT at Goodwill $7.50)


Only one pic today. I only had a chance to take a few pics this morning, and in most of the pics, my camera decided that my coffee table was the more exciting object to focus on.

Wow this outfit looks horrible against this backdrop. My tights and my chair are fighting it out visually.

And, I swear to y'all that I steamed all the wrinkles out of this skirt before putting it on this morning! These very obvious wrinkles are from me sitting down to eat breakfast. sigh. Sometimes you can't win.

Tuesday OOTD
Anthropologie Blooming Lattice Cardigan by Field and Flower (ebay $40)
Anthropologie Lale Skirt sz 4 (pinned smaller; $20 on sale)
Vintage silk tuxedo-like shirt tags cut out (thrifted $6)
Anna Sui tights ($7)
Brown Kenneth Cole Reaction Mary Jane shoes ($20)

Monday, December 06, 2010

A series of OOTDs but not enough skirts

Things are still running full tilt over here, but I managed to snap a few OOTD pics throughout last week. Looking back at this past week, I can see I really worked the open-mouth jaw-drop again. hm.. I might need to mix it up this week :)

I've been really really wanting to wear skirts and tights these days. The temperatures in my office are perfect for it, and I picked up a few neat tights over Thanksgiving. But, my plans to wear skirts+tights goes completely out the window when I walk Buddie in the morning. I realize that if I'm freezing in jeans and a sweatshirt, then I'll probably be shivering out at the bus stop. I swear the bus stop is like 3 degrees cooler than anywhere else due to the extra wind chill from the cars running by.


The only day I succeeded in wearing tights and a skirt was Monday. And I insulated myself by wearing rain boots, a sweater under my dress, and a cape (and as I ran out the door I also grabbed a scarf and long gloves).

This dress has pockets built in! I had planned to wear this in early fall, sans tights and layered sweater, but I never got a chance. It worked ok, I think, as a jumper though.

We also had a chance to decorate a tad for the holidays. Instead of going with a large live tree as usual, I ended up picking up this small artificial tree for free this summer. It's worked quite well, no needles all over the house, no worries about mold or about the cats climbing up the tree and batting ornaments. And I still got to pull out my vintage ornaments (vintage shiny brites and other neat vintage glass ornaments).

I picked up this wool cape at Seattle Goodwill's annual Glitter Sale. It's a big sale where they corral all the higher end fashion items together and people go nuts. My friend Jeanny won pre-sale tickets (I think only 7 people got them), and she brought me as her plus one. There were amazing things there. I meant to blog it, but I ran out of time. I saw new Kate Spade shoes, Betsey Johnson, Nanette Lepore, BCBG, lots of vintage beauties, and furs.

There's also a lot of sequins (hence the 'glitter' sale. My friend Calvin sent me this funny news clip of the Glitter sale this year. Apparently someone went a bit swear-crazy for glitter).

I went crazy for vintage. This was one of the two vintage capes I brought home with me :)

Monday OOTD
Vintage grey wool hooded cape ($15 thrifted)
Navy Max Studio shift dress sz XS ($40)
Sarah Borghi Red Plaid Tights ($7.99)
Topshop red sweater sz 4 ($6 thrifted)
Navy Hunter Wellington boots ($40 at Costco 2009)
Forever 21 sparrow necklace ($6.50)


Here's a few more of our decorations: a vintage sled by the fireplace, more vintage ornaments in an apothecary, and little xmas knick knacks like this santa:

This fireplace has been keeping us extra cozy this Fall. Yes we have heat, but it's so nice to sit in front of the fire and do work.

Wednesday OOTD
F21 red/white striped turtleneck sz M($10)
Old Navy tweed jacket sz S ($4 thrifted)
Lisa Skinny Jeans by Fire Jeans sz 5 (thrifted $7)
Navy Hunter Wellington boots ($40 at Costco 2009)


See here's another day where I really wanted to wear a skirt. But I chickened out and went with jeans and flats. I appeased myself with two other items from the Glitter sale: this vintage wool coat and vintage feathered cloche. These items feel right out of Boardwalk Empire. I thought it would be appropriate to stand in front of Evan's liquor cabinet given that Boardwalk Empire is set during prohibition.

Showin' off some midcentury tumblers Evan thrifted. Oh no! I'm mixing my decades! It's like Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire collided!

Thursday OOTD
Vintage maroon wool coat ($30 thrifted)
Vintage feathered cloche ($8 thrifted)
Anthropologie Precious Materials Cardigan by Moth sz S ($60 sale)
Express X2 jeans sz 4 ($6 thrifted)
Loft striped 3/4 sleeve shirt ($4 thrifted)
Etienne Aigner shoes ($30)


Friday was another exercise in layering. I also threw on a large wool coat that you don't see here for bus stop weather :)

Friday OOTD
Field Game Cardi look-a-like from TJ Maxx sz M ($20)
Express X2 jeans sz 4 ($6 thrifted)
Banana Republic green/blue v-neck tee sz M ($10?)
Nicole Winchester Leather Riding Boots ($100 at DSW)
Jade butterfly necklace ($6 thrifted)
Turquoise scarf ($10)
Black Banana Republic blazer sz 6 (?)

phew! that's it! Hopefully this week I'll stay on top of everything - writing, analyzing, blogging :)!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Snippets from Cali!

There. Did you catch them all? All the food, all the fun with friends and family? It was epic. And yes, we also have Chinese food at our Thanksgiving. It's delicious and a tradition!

I've been writing like a mad scientist (a mad scientist who needs grant money and needs to publish papers, lol), so my pics from last week in California got somewhat backlogged.

In between bouts of writing (luckily my family goes to sleep earlier and wakes up later than I do), I had a jolly good time with people near and dear to me.

On Monday last week, my family headed up to Geyserville (where Ev and I got married). We specifically made a trip to Meeker winery. It's one of our favorite wineries and we had a lot of their wine at our wedding. Here I am with my mom and her mom (my grandma).

Their tasting room is in an old bank, and they actually keep all the wine in the big vault!

What the heck am I pointing at? I think I was just pointing for the sake of pointing :/

Wine tasting OOTD Specs
Calvin Klein red zip-up dress ($50)
Martin & Osa black seamless core turtleneck sz L/XL ($8 sale)
Xhilaration raspberry pumps (thrifted NWT $7)
Black tights ($8)

Later in the week, my fam exchanged some early Christmas gifts since Ev and I will be spending xmas with his family this year. My bro got this African mask from my Auntie and cousin. I proceeded to act normally with the mask. *ahem*

Ooh and look, I had heard there was a field game cardi look-a-like at TJ Maxx on various blogs, but I hadn't had a chance to visit one. There is one near my parent's house, and I found this one on sale for $20. My mom said I looked like a candy cane.

Ev also finally opened up his Kinect that work gave him. The whole family had fun playing with it. My favorite moment of Thanksgiving weekend was seeing my 90-year-old grandmother elated to play virtual ping pong on the Kinect. Priceless. I want to be like her when I'm 90.

And finally, my favorite pic of the week. You might be able to tell which side of the family I got my silliness from...

This blue and beige dress was my Thanksgiving outfit. It's a BCBG Paris dress I got at the outlets near my cousin's UC Davis wedding (I think it was about $50). It's got a great poofy skirt, a vintage vibe, and pockets!