Monday, January 31, 2011

Nice Day for a Beach Wedding

Throwback to Billy Idol there (for those of us who remember who he is...ahhh youth).

On Saturday the Chef and I attended the wedding of one of my best friends.  We have seen each other through a lot the past 5 years, so to see her so happy is truly a joyous thing...and boy did she look gorgeous.  I teared up!  Now even though no one's looking at anyone other than the bride on the big day, far be it from me to muddy up her pictures with some whack outfit or a winter parka.  Just sayin'.  You know someone's going to get video of someone wiping out or something crazy like that - and with my luck I'll be standing right there, trip over them, and end up on YouTube (not okay).

So what to wear to a wedding on the sand?  January in SoCal means about 70 odd degrees during the day, but it cools down considerably as the sun begins to set.  I went all black with as many silver accents as I could pile on. This way if I ended up on my head all they'd remember is the jewelry and the shoes.  Always plan ahead.

Cute or what??

So I'm sure you're all thinking, "where's the pictures of the bride?!" - and of course the dress.  I planned to first ask Amy before putting her on blast on the internet.  And then when I got there and saw her in her dress and started crying...well let's just say I hope she'll agree to a post on the dress.  I've been to a lot of weddings and seen a lot of beautiful gowns, but there was something really special about hers.  And I do think it went beyond all the sentiment that was expressed in the ceremony and overall day because even the Chef commented.  So let's cross our fingers and hopefully she'll be willing to share some of her pics.  It was sigh worthy.   

Hope you guys had a great weekend!  I'll be sending out emails re:  the White Denim in Winter Challenge.  Woo hoo!!

Outfit details:  T-Luxury Apparel, Martin+Osa-Taffeta Bubble, Manolo Blahnik-Shoes, Cashmere Wrap, Melinda Maria-Bangles, Dyrberg & Kern-Rings, Tom Ford-Sunnies, Foley+Corinna-Mid-City Tote

Friday, January 28, 2011

White Denim in Winter Challenge

In late September I came across one of Jennine's posts on Eat, Sleep, Denim about wearing White Denim after Labor Day.  I'm always interested to hear and see what Jennine has to say on a subject and was so relieved to hear that she is down with white denim post the long weekend in September.  Who came up with that rule anyway?

I'd been meaning to do a post on it even prior to hearing her thoughts, but somehow haven't accomplished it yet (imagine that *cough cough*). Then the other day I was chatting with Daniela over at D, Etcetera on the very subject and asked if she wanted to do a joint white denim post...then tonight in the shower (I swear the best ideas come when warm water is beating down on my head or just as I'm nodding off to sleep) I got the idea to offer up a White Denim in Winter Challenge.

So here's what I'm thinking - let me know how many of you would be interested in doing an outfit post in white denim right now in the dead of winter.  Depending on how many people want to throw in we can schedule the posts all on one day or stagger them over a couple or few in order to see how different people are styling their looks.  Girls you know I love a pair of white denim - remember this post from waaaaay back in the day??

Anyway - now it's winter so I have a different pair to pull out and wear an entirely different way.  I think this could be a really cool post/set of posts!! So many of you are standing up to your knees in snow drifts while others of us are in sun or partial frost or even experiencing summer in Australia...white denim in winter can be just gorgeous and I think it would be so fun to see the different ways we can keep them relevant in the off season.

Let me know what you think and if you'd like to join in by leaving a note in the comments.  We could coordinate and do the posts beginning after next week (date tbd early next week depending on response) in order to give people time to get their pictures taken and posts completed.  I would be happy to post the schedule here of who is posting whether it's on one day or over a couple, so that each person's blog gets visited.  In the off chance you think I'm nuts - then Daniela and I will be a party of two in our winter whites, but I do hope you'll consider. 

And now I say to is weekend time.  Let the joyous events of free time commence!  I'm off to a wedding on the beach this weekend and hoping to find something suitable to wear while sporting the remnants of a sore throat.  Dear Christian Louboutin....

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pile It On

I think I see a light at the end of the tunnel, and I don't mean the light leading to the afterlife.  Thanks so much for all of your well wishes - my throat's still a bit on fire, but my head no longer feels like jagged edges are being poked into it.  Isn't that special?  Yesterday I even managed to sit up on the couch for more than an hour and carried on cohesive conversation.  Things are looking up!

While off lying about in couch land I managed to finagle the computer out of the Chef's claws in order to stop watching soap operas keep myself entertained.  One thing I'm looking forward to with the return of 70's style this spring is piling on the bracelets.  True, we could do it before - but now it just feels like my inner gypsy can go wild mixing leather, suede, gold, silver, wood and every color in between.  Here are some of the beauties I have my eye on:

 Brooklyn Thread's Trio of Wood Bracelets

Vanessa Mooney's Copper Nuggets on Red Faux Suede Bracelet
(personal new found favorite jewelry line)

 I mean really - look at her Fiesta Bangles
Sold out already at Free People

I love anything wrapped and this Earth Agate Leather Wrap
I found on Etsy is beautiful!

 Or how about this Peach Jade from
Brooklyn Thread?  The color is so pretty and will
look great against anything wood!

I would have pulled up some Chan Luu bracelets, but most of them run in the $200 range and the Fiesta Bangles kinda broke the bank.  That being said, I did see some Chan Luu on Gilt last night in the $150 range and they had little skulls on them.  Thankfully I exercised restraint aka the Chef apprehended the computer from my vulcan grip and I escaped an impulse purchase.  Whew!!

Winner of the Minnetonka Giveaway!

image via weheartit

The winner of the Minnetonka giveaway with 
Langston's Western Wear is Moosette!  
Congratulations and I'm sorry I don't know your real name.  
I'll email you with the details so you can claim your boots or shoes!! 
Thanks so much to everyone who entered.
If I hear of any other Langston's giveaways I'll most def let you know.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Notes From the Edge of the Couch

I spent yesterday sicker than sick in a semi-conscious state .  Confession:  I've been on the couch beneath the heaviest faux fur blanket for over 24 hours - only lifting my head to wander down the hall, take a shower, and gather tea and dark chocolate for sustenance.  It is a sad state of affairs this being sick as an adult thing.  It's at times like these - in the sheer, guiltless moments of just being - that I can't believe I've actually grown up and will never return to living beneath my parents' roof under their care.  Reality Bites (and not the movie, but it really was a great one now that we're on the subject).

It was my every intention to bring you an outfit post with the cutest short Minnetonka's in honor of the last day of the giveaway.  Planned was a pair of skinny denim rolled to just above the ankle, the fab fringe-y back zip boot, and up top a simple white pocket-T by AWang beneath a charcoal grey A&F belted sweater from days gone by (last seen here sans belt).  Instead I bring an unconventional inside look at the boots.  Don't mind the hair. I was saying.

This pair is also in the Langston's selection so if you win the giveaway you could totally scoop them up!  Or any of these.  I realized over the weekend that the blog has caused me to subconsciously gather almost every item from one of my fave polyvore'd outfit posts last year - a version of these booties was on there.  Woop woop!!  I'm about to pass out so it's time for another cup of tea, some orange slices and a brownie before nap time.  If you haven't put your deets in for the Minnetonaka giveaway just go here.  I'll announce the winner tomorrow.  Likely from the horizontal.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


It appears as though cavorting around in summer clothing in January has come 'round to bite me in the rear end.  My throat hurts, the skin on the left side of my face has sharp little pains shooting through it, and I actually quietly cried while driving home from class last night.  It was the last part that sealed the deal...although my cravings for dark chocolate and orange slices should have given it away earlier in the day (happens every time i'm getting sick).  Sigh.  Why did I move so far from home again?

Taylor from Things on Hangers tagged me to list seven things about myself.  Here goes:
  1. I'm all kinds of obsessed with Teen Mom.  In Caitlyn and Tyler's first season I seriously contemplated contacting MTV and extending an offer for the pair to live with me while attending a local college.  Thankfully the Chef pulled me off the ledge, but it was a close one.  
  2. This isn't exactly about me, but it is related.  One of my cats has been living in a bowl in the kitchen cupboard for over a week.  I've tried to discourage it, but she's learned how to open the door with her paw and sits in a massive bowl for hours on end. I'm hoping it's a temporary thing.
  3. My former upstairs neighbor was a VA nurse with a drinking problem.  She used to drive the government car around looped, smash into the garage door, do hit and runs in the Trader Joe's parking lot, and hide the car in the garage while sitting upstairs drinking Two Buck Chuck's and watching soap operas all day long.  How do I know?  She would call and leave play-by-play voicemails - the next day not remembering having told me anything.  This went on for 3 years - during which time she also wanted me to call her every morning at 5:30AM to make sure she was still alive.  Uh, no?
  4. While attending University my friend and I were waved down in traffic by a guy who asked us to follow him back to his parking garage so he could do a strip tease for us in order to make it into a fraternity.  We went into the underground garage and he proceeded to rip his clothing a security guard apprehended him and we sped off.  I remain scarred for life.  
  5. I have Bieber fever.  It's a new thing, but a true thing.  I hope it passes with this flu. Ba-by, ba-by, BAY-BEEE OOOOHHHHH.  Help me Lord.
  6. I fear never finding my purpose in life and want to live a more intentional and thoughtful life.  Time is going by so fast.
  7. Nancy Grace is my hero.  No joke.  I wish I could have her job and rip holes in criminals and weak lawyers for a few hours every day.  
I'm supposed to tag someone but I'm too delirious to even post more pictures let alone think.   If you wanna jump in and do this let me know.  I always get a kick out of reading the responses.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cast A Net

The Santa Ana winds are blowing and the weekend was sunny and warm, but somehow I just couldn't seem to get off the couch.  I guess days of sheer nothing are sometimes in order.  Thankfully Sunday remained bright and cheery, so I threw on a fave wide knit sweater over a simple tank dress to take in some rays (before returning back home to watch the first Sex and the City movie again).  The air is still a little brisk, but with a knee high boot I managed to take on the day successfully.  Now if I could just handle 5 days of work with the same optimistic attitude.

~Ever-Sweater, James Perse-Tank Dress, Free People-Pouchette & Fringe Leggings, 
Minnetonka-Hi Fringe Boots c/o Langston's, Anthropologie-Sunnies~
 ~Free People & Motif56 Bracelets, Melinda Maria-Link Oxidized Ring~
Is it me or does the knit on the sweater remind you of a fishing net?
 There was a point in time when I almost convinced myself 
I could live without it.
Thankfully common sense took over.
Same goes for the Fringe Leggings.  
By the time I snapped out of it I had to call 10 stores to locate them.
Frenzy much?
 Once again an early summer look peeks out of the closet.

I remain dutifully on wallet restriction 2011 and am rather enjoying it.  That being said I will make an exception for the odd item if it can be used for spring and summer, and/or if it is on steep sale.  I had watched this sweater since August or September.  I missed it at Shopbop and Bloomingdale's and tried to put it out of my mind.  Then a couple weeks ago took a chance and called Ever directly...they had one left in the warehouse and weren't even sure where it was.  It showed up two days later.  I guess some things are just meant to be and taking the risk to get them makes them all the more sweet. 

Here's to the week going by quickly and smoothly...Hope you had a great one!

p.s.-if you want a shot at winning a pair of those boots enter here!

Friday, January 21, 2011

From the Friday Front

Late post today, friends.  Yesterday was mayhem on the work and throbbing ankle front, so last night involved maximum amounts of doing nothing - something that is highly underrated.  I hope to do copious amounts of the same this weekend.  How about you?

Cut to this afternoon and you'll find me sitting in my office wearing one purple velvet Dany shoe:

true love on the healthy ankled foot

Staring idly at the remainder of the sour candies that survived the trip back from Canada (barely):

never really was a big fan of the yellow ones

Having just consumed half a dozen of my favorite home-baked chocolate chip cookies...

clearly it's Friday and the wheels are off the bus

The Ghirardelli recipe will never fail you - as evidenced above.  If you need the gluten-free version simply substitute the flour blend from this recipe cup for cup and they'll never know the difference.

Have a great weekend everyone!  Don't forget to enter the Minnetonka giveaway if you haven't already...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Revisiting the Past

Yesterday I walked into the bathroom, washed my face, turned around, walked out and mid-stride lost feeling in my left foot and eventually up my leg.  Yes dear friends - somehow in the comfort and safety of my own home, AND in bare feet, I twisted my ankle standing in the bathroom.  *shakes head as face turns red*

Of course this led to me taking an Advil (two and I'm down for the count aka lightweight), and then having to put my foot up as the Chef made dinner and shook his head.  I don't even blame him.  All I have to say is everything my dad told me about getting older is coming true and I don't like it one bit.  Creaky bones, twisted ankles, fine lines around the eyes, and lamenting the past.  Did your past include shades of pink?  Mine sure did.  At one point in high school I think pink was the predominant shade lining my closet in it's various hues.  It is, coincidentally, the color of my ankle right now, too. Sigh.

While I was laid up on the couch I decided to torture myself yet again and peruse Isabel Marant's spring line.  It appears as though I'll be renewing two past relationships - one with the color pink and the other with slouch boots.  Bonjour mes amis.  Il est bon de vous voir de nouveau. (hello my friends.  it is good to see you again)

Jacket and Pants?  High School.
The return of the bomber jacket.
Are those friendship bracelets strapped around the boots?
 The boho dream lives on.
 And, as always, completely dripping with class.
This is black and white chic done impeccably.

I've still not recovered from the sequined pants she created for Fall/Winter 2010/2011.  I scour sales hoping to include one piece from her runway collections.  So far no dice, but it sure is fun to watch from afar and look for ways to incorporate her styling vision into what I already own.  Enjoy!  It was hard not to post each and every look.

Okay I can't help it - I have to include one more:

The dress, the boots, the belt - perfection!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Carol Ann Reach for the Fringe (Minnetonka Giveaway)

My head is spinning with hilarious possibilities on how to word this post.  For some reason when we took the pictures I kept seeing myself flying off on a broom like Harry Potter (don't ask me why - I think it's the hat).  Then I spotted a neighbor's house with a castle type peaked roof and tried to get the pictures to turn out like I was sitting on the roof.  No dice. Shucks.

I guess I'll just have to settle for what it is - me trying to rescue my near dead plants while the Chef snaps away.  Hmmpf.  Not nearly as exciting.  Read on though...because there IS an exciting giveaway for a fabulous pair of Minnetonka Moccasins (boots or shoes of your choice) at the end of this post - courtesy of the wonderful people at Langston's Western Wear(And lemme tell ya - they have some pretty fantastic cowboy boots too if you're in the market.  I grew up on a farm and am a total expert on the matter...I own 3 pairs).

But first let us examine appropriate plant saving attire for mid-January.  Look for me wandering the streets in spring adorned in the same outfit - and all of its various pieces mixed in with other faves in upcoming posts.  As you know I'm a fool for anything with fringe and these boots are no exception...and we haven't even gotten to the top or the hat!

Hat Attack-Hat, Free People-Webs We Weave Top, Martin+Osa-Skinnies, 
Check out the swirly fringe on that boot 
(and the dead leaves fallen from my Plumeria tree...this is a red alert)
 Front about those little studs?!
Side view - I don't know how it is that I haven't invested
in more Minnetonka's.  The foot beds in their 
shoes are incredibly cushy and comfortable, 
and I love the overall boho vibe.  Kate Moss knows!
I call this one the watering can shuffle - the Chef finds it
rather amusing to catch me in these poses.  Not so much.

*This giveaway is for one pair of Minnetonka boots or shoes of your choice (men's or women's) from the selection offered on Langston's Western Wear.  The giveaway is open to all U.S. and Canadian readers (Overseas readers I'm sorry - they don't ship to you, but I will have another giveaway to include you soon).  The entry period will run through 11:59pm PST Wednesday, January 26, 2011 and the winner (selected via random drawing) will be announced on Thursday, January 27, 2011.

*For one entry just make sure you're a follower of this free bird via Google Reader.

*For additional entries: Like Langston's on Facebook and/or follow them on Twitter.  You can blog or tweet about the giveaway too, if you'd like, including links back in the comments. 

*From today through Thursday the 27th (the day after the giveaway ends) Langston's is offering free shipping to readers of this free bird (within the US).  So if you decide to place an order simply use coupon code:  freebird - at checkout.  Thanks for a fab giveaway Langston's - and good luck everyone!

And the Winner is....

image via we heart it

The winner of the $85 CSN Gift Code is Laura from just a girl and her stuff.
Congrats Laura - I'll be sending you an email with the details!

And thanks to everyone who entered!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Magic Pants

Last week I was waxing on over twitter regarding my search for the perfect pair of high-waisted jeans to add to the closet for summer's upcoming return-to-70's style extravaganza.  Coming in for the rescue was Nikki pronouncing her love for Gap's new trouser jeans...and mentioning the high-waist alternative.  Cut to Thursday and there I was, mid-afternoon, dancing with glee in the fitting room of my neighborhood Gap store - adorned in their Pintucked Wide Leg Trouser Jeans.  Truth be told two of the employees were jumping up and down with me.  One had been a little skeptical, but I came prepared with my arsenal of shoes aka platform clogs - and once I strolled out with those pants skimming the floor it was game over for all three of us.

Were you fans of Three's Company?  Remember Janet and Chrissy wearing those ridic-fantastic high-waisted denim trousers??  Well all I have to say is 'Come and Knock On Our Door' (the theme song - for all you young people) because there's been a rebirth.  Up next - conquering Mrs. Roper's's gonna be one amazing 70's-chic summer, ladies!

 They make me look curvy in places I'm not thanks to the high waist.
Sitting perfectly just over the belly button.
 Super comfortable to sit in, and long enough in the leg to accomodate
a nice platform clog.
I could fit my whole shoe in the leg - that's how wide it is - LOVE!
A little wrinkly because I'd been driving in the car all day, but 
you can still see the fab silhouette - and they held up well.

I wore them with one of my fave Tucker blouses, but am also imagining them with a hot pink t-shirt with the word LOVE stitched on it (currently stashed in the summer clothing containers in the garage) and a wild colored belt.  Can you imagine?  Or how about a full-on Janet and Chrissy throw back with a blouse tied in a knot at the waist?  Or maybe a fitted t type jersey - remember the ones with the numbers embossed on them?  The possibilities are endless and the search is over.  

Will you be venturing into high-waist territory this spring?

Outfit details:  Tucker for Target - Blouse, Gap-Pintucked Wide Leg Trouser Jeans, Dulce-Clogs, Foley&Corinna-Mid-City Tote, Melinda Maria-Bracelets and Margo Circle Ring, PANYC-Leather Bracelet, Dean Davidson-Turquoise Ring, Target-Sunnies

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Scenes From a SoCal Winter Weekend

It's been 80 degrees for 3 days and I can only say Mother Nature must be feeling very, very sorry for that deep freeze of a summer last year.  I swear we didn't see more than 4 or 5 truly nice days (as evidenced here, here and here).  As a result I do believe I may have lost me mind just a tad bit- getting up prior to 10am two days in a row, out of the house from sun up 'til sundown, and not even so much as washing my hair much less combing it (hipsters are actually smiling at me as we cross paths...i've crossed into the hipster acceptability zone!!).  Here are just some of the wonderfully warm things we've seen this weekend.

and last, but most definitely not least...
 Ridiculous red pony hair coat at the flea market
- and by ridiculous I mean amazing (but not my size-wah).

Tomorrow morning I might just get up and go to the beach when the Chef goes surfing.  And you might just hear shrieks of terror akin to a bat seeing the sun...those will be coming from my white legs.

Happy Monday everyone!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Spicy Noodle Bowl

Earlier this week when I woke up with a burning sore throat all I could think of was "can't swallow" and "want my mom".  Pathetic?  Yes - but also true.  When I was a kid and started to get those dreaded achy bones my mom always kept me home from school, bundled me up in a sleeping bag blanket (blankets folded in half so you feel like it's a sleeping bag - oh childhood) on the couch, and brought all kinds of warm things to drink while I snoozed the day away.  Now that I'm an adult pretty much the only thing that's remained consistent in the under-the-weather scenario is me snoozing the day away - deliriously hoping a cup of tea appears by my bedside

Thankfully the Chef came to the rescue this time and showed up in my doorway with a cup of tea.  Before I knew it there was rattling in the kitchen and, shortly thereafter, a wonderful smell wafted down the hallway and into my room.  Somewhere in my delusion I had croaked the words "noodle soup" when he asked if there was anything I wanted.  Something tells me I likely whined out "my mom", too.  Normally I would have expected chicken noodle, but in this case a spicy Asian-style soup appeared.  It did the trick, too - probably the combo of the spices and the new noodle bowls my mom got me for Christmas. 

Cool, huh?  I'm totally turning into a kitchen nerd.

And so I share the recipe with you - it's a total fave because it's gluten-free, super healthy, low-cal and easy to make.  You don't have to add the peppers if you prefer a milder version. 

Spicy Noodle Bowl
*Broth Ingredients

1/2 onion sliced
1   carrot sliced
1   stalk celery sliced
1   stalk lemongrass sliced
2oz. ginger sliced
6   clove garlic crushed
1   bunch cilantro stems only
3T Soy or Tamari (I use Tamari because it is gluten-free)
2t  Siracha (or more if you want spicy)
Water - to cover

 ~sliced broth ingredients~

Place all items in pot and cover with water. Bring to boil and simmer for 30 min.  Strain and hold warm.

~simmering for broth~

*Garnish Ingredients
1/2C bay shrimp defrosted
1/4C ea sliced fine: carrot, celery, scallion, radish
1ea  Serrano or 3 Thai bird chili sliced
1/4  bunch cilantro leaves
1/4C broccoli florets
1/2 C rice noodles (pre-cook to package directions)

 ~Let the assembling begin~

To Finish
 Place desired amount of each item in bowl -
beginning with noodles at the very bottom.
 Bring broth back up to boil, and pour over top.
 The heat of the broth will warm everything.
 ~Finished Product~

*Sub tofu, beef, or chicken for shrimp.
*Add basil, mint, napa cabbage, mushrooms, daikon, Bok-choy, soba noodles, or any other similar item you like.

All I have to say is yum-my!  I'm feeling much better and we ate this for lunch again today - you know, for safe measure - ha!  Let us know if you try it - it's always great to get your thoughts. And now everyone, the weekend is upon us (yahoo!!) - before I go I just want to remind you that:
Oh - and have a great weekend, too!!  Any plans? I'm hoping to take in The King's Speech - has anyone seen it?


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