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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Reviews: Anthropologie Magellan Dress, Dotty Shorts

So I heard it was in the 90s on the East Coast of the US this past Memorial Day weekend.... Seattle on the other hand struggled to hit 60F. It was dang COLD! But I still used the weekend to do some planting and prep my yard for spending warm days out there working. I'm an optimist at heart.

I'm sure everyone has heard, but Anthro brought back free shipping until July 15th if you have an Anthro card. WOOHOO!!! Get your orders in now lovelies!

On to some belated reviews:
Magellan Dress by Maeve (Sale $80 sold out online, check in-store)

Tried on size 0
This dress hit sale last week! I grabbed it on the way to the dressing room. The size 0 was waaaaaay too small. I couldn't zip the bodice up over my huge rib cage :) My guess is that I'd need a 4 for this to fit well. I loved the beautiful print mixes in this piece (3 prints for the price of 1 LOL - or four prints if you count the pretty rope belt). The navy colors are a soothing take on the ethnic print dresses that we've been seeing. The material was surprisingly weighty in a wonderful rich kind of way.

I didn't realize until I looked this bugger up on the website that it is actually billed as a strapless dress. I love that the removable straps are not an after thought here. They're beautiful thick straps (great for hiding bra straps) in a matching patterned fabric. The straps are held on by buttons on the inside of the dress. The dress I brought into the dressing room with me was missing a button in back so I'm actually holding the strap up just for y'all. And BTW y'all, there's pockets!!!! SQUEEEEE!

Dotty Shorts by Plenty by Tracy Reese ($88)
Tried on a size 2

why do i look like I think someone is about to mug me?

ha. now that's embarrassing. I'm showing you my rear. All in the name of full disclosure, but like to know how pants fit me in back. These aren't hugely flattering in back (much cuter and shapely in front).

The size 2 fit perfectly here. While pleats in shorts aren't the first thing that come to mind for good fit (I usually think of pleated shorts as kind of ballooning out around the thigh area), these pleats (or perhaps darts is more accurate) help the front lay wonderfully flat and elegantly.

The fit is also helped by the fact that the closure isn't in front. You fasten the shorts on the side with five round metal buttons whose shape is reminiscent of the dot pattern covering the rest of the shorts.

The silk felt wonderfully light and airy on. But both the silky material and bold print make these an unlikely purchase for me. I rarely wear shorts unless I'm slumming it laying out on the deck reading for my dissertation. I wouldn't rub silk up against the rough wood of my deck. The bold color and pattern is great for a dress, but I'm not sure I would wear it as often when it's on a pair of shorts. Still, it's a beautiful pair of shorts that will look great on many folks.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Gearing up for summer and your local farmer's market

My neighborhood farmer's market started up again last week. Hooray!! Hubby and I were happy to see our favorite butcher/farmer, our favorite pasta guy (omg his wild boar plin is TDF), bakers, fruit and veggie peeps.

With farmer's market seasons starting up again (or perhaps yours never stopped, in which case I'm totally jealous), I thought I'd put together a few outfits perfect for strolling your way past the stalls of vendors and farmers. If you don't have a farmer's market near by, no worries. These outfits would be lovely for many a summer outing - picnics at the beach, reading in the sun.

Market Outfitting #1

Ok, I couldn't resist putting the caranday up here again. (There's a red one in size 4 on ebay here right now). But a floaty cotton dress meant for summer seems so picture perfect for the farmer's market. As you pick out your fruit and veggies, don't forget your sun hat!
farmer's market 1

Market Outfitting #2

How about going casual with a lovely floaty top and shorts? Keep it relaxed with your canvas slip-ons (kept interesting by the stripes). Don't forget your reusable tote to bring your farm-raised goodies home.
Farmer's Market 2

Market Outfitting #3

The last outfit captures some bohemian elegance by hopping aboard the maxi dress trend with a fab hippie vibe. Finish it off with a natural rope belt and some colorful earrings and shoes. If cooking isn't your thing, you can still hit up your farmer's market for goodies like local honey, artisan made soaps and jams, plants for your garden, or a wonderful crusty baguette and cheese to bring home for a light snack :)
farmer's market 3

Finally, with the advent of farmer's market adventures, I thought I'd leave y'all with some recipes we enjoyed this past weekend after visiting the farmer's market. I find the goodies at the farmer's markets always prompt me to try out new produce or meat varieties and new recipes. Steamed clams are a perennial favorite of ours, but the standout of the meal was the asparagus, avocado, pea vine and tomato salad my hubby whipped up. Hope you enjoy!

Steamed Clams
Adapted from Allrecipes Clams Italiano Recipe


1/4 cup butter
10 cloves garlic, minced
1 piece diced bacon
2 cups dry white wine (we use Trader Joe's Charles Shaw chardonnay)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried parsley
3 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional, vary according to taste)
salt and pepper
36 clams in shell, scrubbed (we just bought a big bag... maybe 3-4 lbs?)
1/2 lemon

1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook with diced bacon for a few minutes.
2. Add garlic and cook briefly.
3. Stir in wine, and season with oregano, parsley, and red pepper flakes.
4. Place clams in the wine mixture. Cover, and steam until all the clams have opened: discard any that do not open.
5. Serve family style in a big bowl. Squeeze a bit of lemon over the top for brightness.
6. Serve with slices of crusty baguette for dipping into the tasty broth! Or serve over linguine

Asparagus, Pea Vine, Tomato, & Avocado Salad
Recipe courtesy of my hubby - he's guessing on the amounts since he winged it

6 large spears of Asparagus, blanched and cut into small rounds
1 Avocado cut into cubes
3 cups Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 C parsley chopped
1 C chervil chopped
1/2 C pea vines chopped

Dressing ingredients
1 T Lemon juice
2-3 T red wine vinegar
1(ish) tsp mustard
black pepper to taste
3 T olive oil

1. Toss tomatoes with salt & some sugar to juice em out. let sit for a bit.
2. Toss in asparagus, pea vines, parsley, chervil, and dressing. Let sit for a bit.
3. Mix in avocado. Check salt, pepper to taste. Serve!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Care-free day Caranday!

Ok, so not so much a care-free day. I'm still (always) working in overdrive mode. But, Seattle is getting some sun, and man it makes me feel good.

This dress also made me really happy to wear. I think it was the poofy skirt, the light airy cotton, and beautiful color tones. It was wonderful skipping home in the sun in this dress. Didn't even let the drive by cat calls get to me this time :/ (normally they make me anxious and shy. Do other people get this way?)

This is that wonderful Corey Lynn Calter Caranday dress I picked up from Smashion. Shout out to FrontPageFashion as an amazing seller. She shipped quickly, provided me tracking, and even packed the most beautiful crocheted butterfly doily in with my order.

What I never realized from photos of this dress was the amazing color tone pairings. I LOVE that the belt is grey, not black. I love that the light stripes are cream, not white. It all gives a very vintage and relaxed air to the dress.

And here's my *wink*. I love adding some extra sillyness/playfulness to an outfit. I think especially when dressing up in a town where 'dressing up' means nice jeans rather than light jeans, adding a touch of whimsy keeps a dress from feeling too stuffy. Here, the surprise is the off-beat zebra glasses necklace. I'm really such a goofball.

OOTD Specs
Anthropologie Caranday dress by Corey Lynn Calter sz 4 ($45)
Forever 21 eyeglasses necklace ($3.50)
Merona Madalena Suede Ballet Flats ($7.50)

Hope you had a lovely Tuesday!

Friday, May 20, 2011

PSA: Anthro goodies on Smashion and a Corey Lynn Calter Caranday dress

So I've been meaning to tell y'all that I can now fully say that I love Smashion. After signing up for an account, I found the coveted Corey Lynn Calter Caranday dress in my size, and I picked it up for $45 on Smashion. No bidding wars. And, I love the dress!

Other Anthro goodies I spotted on Smashion:
this cute Sleeping on Snow shrug sz M ($25)

Some beautiful old school Anthro in the Calico Hills Sweater (from 2007) sz XS ($35)

But, on Ebay right now, I just spotted another Corey Lynn Calter Caranday Dress in green size 4 (currently at $29!). FYI since I know a lot of ladies are looking for this gem.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month ... got a few minutes?

I mentioned previously that May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. In honor of this month, Nordstrom is helping raise awareness about Hepatitis B.

One in ten Asian Americans is infected with hepatitis B—the leading cause of liver cancer.

For every person who completes a hepatitis B awareness quiz during the month of May, Nordstrom will donate $35 (up to $75,000) towards national Hep B Free efforts to end hepatitis B and liver cancer—including public awareness, clinician education, screening, vaccination and linkage to care. If you have a few minutes, take the quiz for a good cause.

Take Nordstrom's Hepatitis B Awareness Quiz

Budz says, "Learn about Hep B for a good cause!"

no doggles were injured in the course of this public announcement. However, there may have been some excessive drooling over my breakfast (by Buddie, not me... well ok, maybe me too. Duck eggs can do that to a girl)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Anthropologie Skirt Reviews Part 1: Goldfish Bowl Skirt, Sugar Work Skirt, Hamatreya Skirt

Since I hadn't been into Anthro in awhile, I grabbed skirts that are both old and new to try on (all were new to me!). Hopefully, even if you've seen a couple of these before, they can help y'all with decisions thoughts for the Tag Sale Anthro's now having.

Sugar Work Skirt ($118 now on sale for $60) by Girls from Savoy
tried size 2 (sold out online, call CS or check stores; web style #20025045; retail sku #20025052)

I love the bright yellow of this skirt, and it poofs just the right amount. I'll fess up. I used to be against elastic waistbands. I was worried it was a sign of being old - that I needed the extra room for my belly to expand. But heck who am I kidding? Now I appreciate that I'm too lazy to bother with a zipper, and I have no fear of an after lunch "food baby." I still don't love the look of elastic bands, but I've got so many belts, I got it covered (so to speak, hehe :D)

I love that this has pockets, and I could see this color pairing well with other summer brights for summer (whites, pinks, oranges, blues) or make it a bit more modern with a pretty grey tank. <3! The size 2 was too large on my 27" waist, but a size 0 would have worked well. Tried this on with the A-Bit-Unruly top ($48) by Deletta in green and the silk Annabel Lee Tank by Left of Center ($88) in the blue motif

Goldfish Bowl Skirt ($98) by We Love Vera
Size 2

Silk? check. Cute waterpainted fishies? check. Bright color perfect for summer? check. This skirt had all the makings of a skirt I'd love, but somehow... I didn't? I'm not exactly sure why. Perhaps the colors didn't work super well with my skin tone or I just didn't like it paired with the A-Bit-Unruly top. I'd give it another go later on another visit. I love that it has pockets and the coral banded detail at the hem gives the watercolor print some more definition. Although, now that I look at the band, I think it's that color pink in particular that isn't working with my leg skin tone. hm...

I found that this fit a bit snug relative to other We Love Vera skirts, so if you're between sizes, I would size up.

Hamatreya Skirt ($88) by Nathalie Lete
Tried on a size 0

Another elastic band skirt! But, what I loved about this skirt was that the elastic ruching is only in the back on the band. So I could wear this skirt without a belt if I wanted :D

The size 0 fit my waist perfectly. I was slightly worried this skirt might have been a bit to poofy. But, who am I kidding? I love a good poofy skirt. The colors and bright striking pattern worked for me. Plus, it has pockets for my to stow my hands in. I'm 5'5", and this skirt hit nicely about 1-2" above the knee. I'd think it's still work appropriate because somehow its fullness detracts from the shorter length (or at least that's what I would tell myself, lol). I would totes buy this on sale.

I tried this on with last year's navy Yoana Baraschi Akira Tank (which I happened to wear to Anthro for the trip).

Stay tuned for part 2 later this week :)


and on a completely random note... spurred by an email I just got, um... "flatform sandals"? These are just platforms! Why do we have to invent new words like jeggings and shacketts?

Monday, May 16, 2011

loving friendship bracelet trend

Maybe you've heard, but friendship bracelets are on the rise as a trend this year. I'm totes on board.

Traditionally, friendship bracelets are given from one person to another as a sign of the bond between the two individuals. Typically, this gift is especially meaningful because the giver has spent a lot of his/her time into crafting said bracelet.

Well, now you can just buy your friends bracelets. And they come in all sorts of fun mixed-media flavors.
Trend: Friendship Bracelets

1. Woven Bracelets ($3.80) at Forever 21
2. Ariel Gordon Silk Friendship Bracelets
3. Juicy Couture Embellished Friendship Bracelet Bracelet - Blue
4. Banana Republic Leather friendship chain bracelet
5. Dannijo Friendship Bracelets
6. Honestly WTF's DIY instructions on how to make your own chain friendship bracelet

I bought my four friendship bracelets at Forever 21 for $3.80. I don't see mine on the website, but you can find them in stores.

These remind me of the ones we made each other back in 3rd grade. They don't have all the fancy mixed media elements that are currently hot right now, so I mix them into my wardrobe with other arm candy: watches, rhinestone bracelets, gold bangles, leather wrap bracelets. I love the eclectic feel of it.

Friendship bracelets feel so wonderfully low key that pairing them with über lux items is a fun game of contrasts. Plus, the bracelets themselves add a wonderful punch of color that will be perfect for summer days (or for pretending it's summer already).

Here are some other ways I've worn these:

What about you? What do you think of the friendship bracelet trend? Would you wear them? How would you style them?


Friday, May 13, 2011

Happy Friday - a dose of doggy cuteness

Sleepy Budz is quite amenable to photo posing!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

EBEW - Florals!!

Last Everybody Everywear, I completely forgot about wearing a maxi dress. So this time when florals came up, I actually stuck it in my google calendar. And I set up reminders. Despite what you may think from this blog, I tend to pick out my outfits on the fly (and in a hurry) in the mornings... Well, maybe you can believe it, because here are definitely some duds. But I forgive me, lol.

That said, even though I knew I would be wearing florals, I didn't know what. When I picked up this Tracy Reese silk skirt at Goodwill, I knew it would be the 'floral' part of the ensemble. But I kinda threw together the other parts on a whim. In fact, looking back, I'm not even sure I like the Precious Materials Cardigan with the outfit. But maybe it's just that I like the green shirt underneath better.

Tungsten shows y'all his annoyed 'gimme some food' face

Not to be out done, Asha jumped on my tummy when taking shirt pics.. Whatcha sniffing Asha?

I wore my florals out for a pastry bloggy date with Sammie from Oui Sammie. She looked absolutely darling decked out in head-to-toe Anthro: Breezy Polkas Cardigan, De Chelley dress, and Spectator Espadrilles. Props to styling girlfriend! You looked so fab whereas I look... kinda like I have a mullet?! :D

See more pics from the meet up over here at Sammie's blog.

Tracy Reese silk beige floral skirt sz 6 altered to fit at the waist (thrifted $6) similar here, here
Anthro Dewpoint Blouse sz 0 ($20) similar here, here
Anthro Precious Materials Cardigan sz S ($60)
Brown Franco Sarto knee-high boots ($25) similar here
Anthro Three-beacons Belt sz S ($34) similar here

Florals | Everybody, Everywear

Monday, May 09, 2011

Anthropologie Reviews: Verdant Slip Dress, Summer Soufflé Dress, & Backswept Dress

and my dressing room pics with socks are BACK! Sorry for the blurrier pics! I was apparently in too much of a rush :/

Verdant Slip Dress by Moulinette Soeurs ($138)
tried on size 2

This dress has been getting so much love from the community, that I was worried I wouldn't be able to find it in my size. Luckily the two dresses my store had were two size 2's! I love the vintage flowery print. And who can resist silk? The dress feels as light as air on (which also makes me think I might need to wait to wear this in Seattle's non-Springy weather).

The length is great, hitting me about an inch above the knee (I'm 5'5"). So I could see myself wearing this pretty frock to work with a cardigan, out on a stroll about town, or to a party. Versatile and pocketed! I took this lovely home with me!

Backswept Dress by Corey Lynn Calter ($268)
tried on a size 2

I had no idea I'd find another green flowery frock on my trip to Anthro. But when I saw it hanging there, I had to grab it. My store got this just this past week. The colors and print are much more vibrant than on the Verdant Slip dress. I think those factors add a modern touch to the more vintage dress shape.

I grabbed a size 2, but my guess is that a size 0 would also work since when I moved I had slightly more movement at the armpits than I wanted. There are two front pockets with cute little ties on their fronts. The back echoes this feature with a cute tie at the top of the back of the back triangle opening. The bottom of the back window is lined in elastic to help the dress fit nicely at the waist and emphasize the full skirt on this dress.

The wider boatneck opening at the shoulders doesn't do my wide shoulders any favors. It's also slightly longer than I typically like - falling below my knees (a plus for taller girls). Also, although the triangle back opening is really cute, it will likely make wearing a normal bra a bit tough.

Still, the vibrancy of the colors, shape of the dress, and cute detailing made me love this dress a little more than the Verdant slip dress. But there were about two-hundred and sixty eight reasons ($) I didn't take this home with me instead.

Summer Soufflé Dress by Moulinette Soeurs ($198) & the Bright Bolts Sash by the Andrean Collection ($48)
Tried on:
Dress size 2 & 4
Belt size S/M

This was another dress that simply JUMPED out at me from the racks. I'm always on the look out for a lovely white summer dress (although I have yet to actually own one...). That paired with my current hunger for florals and my love of full skirts...well.. :)

The bodice has a flattering sweetheart neckline and is boned - which would probably help if you are planning to wear this dress strapless (I'm not a strapless kinda gal). The boning in the size 2 was digging into me, so I sized up to a four in this dress to be comfortable (photos are of me in the size 2). The dress was made of very light fabric, yet because of the full skirt, lined and with a layer of crinoline, the dress still feels weighty to move around in.

I had a lot of trouble getting this dress on. Because of my hips, even unzipped I had to pull the dress on over my head. There's a zipper cover for the back zipper, but the zipper kept getting caught on it (it also got caught on the way down so I had to call a SA to help me unzip O_o). There's elastic paneling at the back to provide some give in the bodice. The waistline actually hits at my real waistline, but I kinda wish it hit lower. Since the dress goes into a full skirt below the waistline, it visually raises my hips quite a bit. The length of the skirt is also quite long - midi(?) length? Not super flattering for me, but it's still inline with current trends.

Luckily, I brought a belt into the dressing room with me. A belt helped with my waistline on this dress. It toned down the 'poof' a bit and gave my waist visual (both in shape and color) definition.

Even with all the problems, I still somewhat liked this dress. It is bright and summery, has pockets, and has a lovely photographic flower print. But the dress' problems would keep me from buying this until maybe a second cut.

The belt is a lovely vibrant color that would go well with a bunch of the more 'ethnic' prints we're seeing all over. It also just brightens up any summer dress (as you can see here). My store had pink ones and these green ones, but there were only smalls left in the green ones. At the time I wasn't sure which way was supposed to be the front, but I thought with this dress, the ties in the front might be distracting. That said, there are two large bead things that hold the ribbon tie in place that might be uncomfortable if you had to lean back in a chair for a long while (although I didn't test this).

Happy Monday everyone!