Monday, July 6, 2020

Lavender Fields Forever

My mission each week this summer is to find at least one new place to visit so that I don't go crazy being stuck at home! This is challenging because most places have been shut down again here in California so most of the adventures I plan have to be outdoors and summers are pretty hot here. Luckily, Southern California has no shortage of amazing outdoor places to visit. For example, last week we visited the lavender fields in Cherry Valley. The fields are located at 123 Farm where they usually have a lavender festival this time of year. Although the pandemic prevented the festival from taking place, they still offered visitors the opportunity to wander around the fields and take pictures. In addition, they also sell many lavender themed items and foods. My husband sang a rendition of the Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever" and changed it to "Lavender Fields Forever", which was quite amusing. I wore this new striped dress that I thought would be the perfect complement for these gorgeous fields of purple!

While in many ways this was the perfect pandemic field trip, in other ways it was less than ideal. For one thing, there were a lot more people than I had anticipated in the lavender field, despite the fact that it was a weekday. The other thing that put a damper on the experience was a gigantic snake that slithered across the pathway into the lavender fields pictured below! I actually am not that afraid of snakes but this one was huge and I wasn't sure if it was poisonous or not. (After doing some research on snakes, I found out it probably was not.) It made me seriously question my choice of wearing sandals and going too far into the fields! Well, I must say that the snake, although frightening, did make for an interesting story and a memorable experience, which definitely beats sitting at home!

Dress: Boden here
Hat: H&M similar straw hat here
Sandals: similar gold sandals here
Bag: c/o Red Dress Boutique similar bamboo bag here
Earrings: c/o Zenzii here  (Save 25% off with code KATIE25)

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Thursday, July 2, 2020

Sunshine and Rainbows

This summer, we're not getting out nearly as much as we usually do during my summer vacation so something simple and mundane like a trip to the grocery store suddenly becomes an opportunity to get dressed up! While I normally just don a T-shirt and shorts to run errands in summertime, lately I'm willing to take any event as an excuse to put on normal clothes and do my hair and makeup. This colorful outfit with this rainbow skirt and sunny yellow ruffle blouse is what I wore on my most recent trip to pick up the essentials at the grocery store. I should also mention that we picked up lunch at In-N-Out burger on this outing, so I guess I can say that this was also an outfit for a lunch date with my husband!

I decided to top off my colorful outfit with my favorite accessory for summer, namely this Kate Spade wicker camera bag! As I mentioned in a previous post, the purse is the perfect size for my wallet, phone and, now, mask, which, let's face it, is really becoming the official accessory of the summer of 2020! My husband actually accidentally spilled a little water on my bag when we were in the car "dining" and having our burgers but, luckily, no damage was done to the bag. He tried to avoid some of the blame by mentioning how impractical it is to wear such an outfit and bring such a bag to eat fast food in a car and go to the grocery store but I simply responded that "being extra" is what I do and that I wouldn't want to be any other way!

Skirt: J. Crew almost identical version here
Top: Nordstrom here
Shoes: J. Crew similar silver wedges here
Bag: Kate Spade here, and here
Earrings: c/o Zenzii (Save 25% with code KATIE25) here

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Monday, June 29, 2020

Channeling the 60s

Like most of the world, I've been using the last few months to catch up on movies and TV shows that I didn't have time for in my pre-pandemic life. One such TV show that my husband and I are watching during this time is Mad Men. We started a tradition of having cocktail happy hour in the evening while watching an episode or two. With 92 episodes in total, it takes some time to get through the series but we are now almost done with only a few episodes left. Let me just say that it has been quite the wild ride through the 1960s! Well, I am now pretty much obsessed with not only the show but also the fashion of the 1960s. It's been interesting to watch the characters, culture and fashion trends change throughout the decade span of 1960-1970. Speaking of which, this matching jacket and skirt suit set reminds me of something that would be worn in the latter half of the decade. In fact, it could have even been a costume used by one of the extras of Mad Men if it wasn't from J. Crew!

This is definitely the type of outfit I would love to wear when I finally go back to work, which, unfortunately, isn't at Sterling Cooper. In this styling of the suit, I decided to add an extra dose of color by wearing a colorful striped tee underneath. In the future, I might pair it with just a plain white tee underneath for a more subdued look if such a thing is possible considering this is a suit that's bright orange and pink! I'd also love to wear the jacket with just a pair of jeans for a more casual look. The possibilities are definitely endless! Speaking of which, now that I'm almost done with Mad Men, any suggestions for what to watch next?

Jacket: J. Crew here
Skirt: J. Crew here
Tee: J. Crew here
Shoes: Christian Louboutin here
Earrings: c/o here (Save 25% with code KATIE25)

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Thursday, June 25, 2020

The Perfect Summer Dress

While I have claimed this about other dresses in the past, I really do think I have finally found the perfect summer dress, which would be this colorful rainbow stripe maxi dress! This dress has everything I look for when it comes to a summer dress: color, comfort and the ability to keep me cool! Last year, J. Crew came out with a similar style of maxi dress, which I also purchased but I think I like this one even better! (Come to think of it, I think the title of that post was also "The Perfect Summer Dress" or something along those lines!) Also, I think I finally got the fit right on this one thanks to reading the reviews and consulting a friend on Instagram with the same dress. These dresses seem to run a little big so I sized down to a size XS in this and the fit was perfect!

While this dress might be perfection, one thing that was less than perfect was this location, although you probably can't tell from the photos. When my first choice for a location failed due to less than ideal lighting, I opted for this one is in front of a building, probably from the 1920s, that I sometimes use for photos. On this occasion, someone had dumped several mattresses that looked very old and very dirty against the side of the building. Luckily, my husband was very careful not to get them in my photos! When we were driving away, a man was eyeing them and looked like he was thinking about taking them with him in his truck. I guess one man's trash is another man's treasure! I think I'll just stick to pretty dresses!

Dress: J. Crew here
Shoes: Target similar orange slides here
Bag: Louis Vuitton similar crossbody here
Earrings: Charming Charlie
Sunglasses: Celine similar white sunglasses here

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Monday, June 22, 2020

Summer Blues at the Newport Sculpture Park

I'm a couple of weeks into my summer vacation and while normally I am ecstatic about this time of the year and the freedom that it brings, there is something a little bit sad about this summer in comparison to summers past. Usually, summer is filled with concerts at the Hollywood Bowl under the stars, eating out, and exploring new neighborhoods but many of these things can't happen this year due to the pandemic. So, in order to get over my summer blues, I'm trying to find some off of the beaten path places that I haven't been to yet in order to pass the time. For example, last week we visited the Newport Beach Civic Center to look at the amazing sculpture garden they have on the premises!

One of the things that I noticed about the Newport Beach Civic Center Park before visiting is that they have these amazing blue, geometric bridges in several locations. Not being one to miss an opportunity to dress to match my location, I donned yet another Marimekko creation, this time a blue and white shirtdress. This shirtdress proved to be the perfect match, color-wise, for the bridge, not to mention it seemed like the type of "arty" thing one might wear for a stroll of the grounds of a sculpture garden!

Dress: Uniqlo/Marimekko here
Bag: Prada similar here, here
Shoes: Kate Spade
Earrings: c/o Zenzii (Save 25% with code KATIE25) here

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My favorite thing about the sculpture garden at the Newport Beach Civic Center was the numerous bunny sculptures that can be found in a couple of locations in the park. The most famous, or perhaps I should say infamous, scuplture is referred to as "Bunnyhenge" and it consists of 14 large white bunnies sitting around in a perfect circle. (Who knows what they are up to!) I mentioned that this sculpture is infamous, which is mainly due to the fact that my research about it uncovered that it was quite costly and many residents took issue with the money the city spent on it. While I think it was money well spent, I will admit that the bunnies are a little mysterious and creepy but since I love rabbits and I love odd art, it proved to be right up my alley!

(I think this singular bunny pictured below is a little bit more friendly and approachable!)

Below, you will find a handful of other sculptures that are located at the Newport Civic Center Sculpture Park. I thought the mirrored stop sign that, ironically, says, "START" instead of "STOP" would be a great place to start...haha! While my photos don't showcase all of the work that can be found in the sculpture garden, hopefully it will whet your appetite to explore this park on your own if you find yourself in Orange County or if you are in Los Angeles and, like me, are looking to get out and do something unique. It's a fun way to spend the day and take some spectacular photos!

For those of you who want to visit the Newport Civic Center Sculpture Park, feel free to check out the city's website here for more information! Between the fresh ocean air and views and lovely art, you won't be disapointed!

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Double Rainbow

When I saw this cute rainbow tote, which is under $10, I knew I had to get it to add to my collection of all things rainbow! One of the things I like about the bag, in addition to the price, is that it comes with a small pouch (also in the same rainbow print!) that you can stuff the tote in so that it's small and compact. This feature makes the bag great for shopping, beach trips, or travel. I plan on using it on rainy days (not that we get too many here in Southern California) and using it to protect my leather bags if I get caught in a downpour. This tote also turned out to be a perfect match for my rainbow earrings (double the rainbows!) and new mini skirt but, then again, what doesn't go with a rainbow bag?

I wore this outfit for a very small family birthday party. (Don't worry, it was under 10 people and everyone has been social distancing!) Even though it was just a lunchtime BBQ, I thought it would be fun to get a little dressed up, especially since I haven't really had the chance to do so in a while. At first, I was hesitant to wear this white ruffle blouse, fearing that it might be a prime target for a spilled condiment or grease, but it came out unscathed, thankfully! The bag is much better suited for BBQs, as it can easily be washed and cleaned, which is another thing I love about it!

Blouse: Nordstrom here
Skirt: J. Crew here, and also here
Bag: J. Crew here
Shoes: J. Crew similar gold sandals here
Earrings: Forever 21 similar here

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