Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wedding Wednesday: Shower Idea

I'm throwing a shower this August for a friend who is getting married a few weeks before us. This will be my first and I'm excited. The bride is outdoorsy and casual. I haven't planned out a full theme yet but that hasn't stopped me from brainstorming.

I loved that vintage French wedding invitation featuring orange blossoms, a classic bridal symbol. It inspired me to think about a citrus shower. I already have orange table runners and white linens. It would be so easy to get oranges and lemons to use as decorations.

There are some more citrus ideas here.

Wedding Wednesday: Invitation Wording

I worked on the invitation and RSVP card design last night. It's hard to get the wording just right. Traditional, but not too formal. Basic, but a little fun. Here's what I've got so far:
Together with their families
Emily Middle Last
Robert Middle Last
request the honour of your presence
at the celebration of their marriage

Saturday, the twentieth of September
two thousand and eight
at half past two o’clock

Sausalito Woman’s Club
120 Central Avenue
Sausalito, California

Reception and
show to follow
"Honour of your presence?" Does there need to be a comma after "parents?" Hmm. Here's what is on the RSVP card:
Please respond
_ Accepts with pleasure _ Declines with regrets
Kindly reply by the first of September

Wedding Wednesday: Engagement Photos!

I feel like an official bride! Rob and I had our engagement photo shoot last Sunday with Paul. He was so easy to work with; we finished the whole shoot in 40 minutes. He's a painter, not a photographer, but his artistic eye carried over easily. Here's a link to all the best shots. I have a different favorite each day!

The vintage suitcases turned out to be ideal props. I'll probably use one again for the gift table at the wedding along with a map of our honeymoon route. For now, we filled them with boardgames and stacked them in the dining room. Rob came up with the darling idea for the "Sausalito or Bust" sign.

Aside from the amazing photos, of course, the best result from last weekend was the comforting feeling that my harebrained wedding schemes are actually working out!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What to Wear: Bridesmaid

Ruth recently sent in a photo of a bridesmaid dress that needed accessorizing. I don't have a source for the dress. I think it would be best with minimal gold jewelry for a fresh, natural look:

Shoes - An adorable bow and ankle strap make these special occasion shoes more fun than usual.
Bracelet - Light bangles match the Greek feeling of the dress.
Earrings - Basic gold studs are so feminine.
Clutch - Vintage from Etsy.
Perfume - Night blooming lily from Jill Stuart. It's a bright floral scent that matches perfectly.

Have a great time being a bridesmaid!

What to Wear: Ted Baker

If you have a formal wedding to attend soon, consider this fun dress from Ted Baker. It is glam without being fussy or revealing. Just perfect for partying it up in style!

Things I Love Today: Rattan Glassware

I picked up a rattan-wrapped blown-glass pitcher at an import store in Napa about a year ago. I love making iced tea or serving wine in it. It feels so festive and Italian. And it doesn't matter that it has to be hand washed since we don't have a dishwasher anyway.

Smith and Hawken (via Domino) has this carafe set at pretty reasonable prices. Perfect for summer margaritas!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Sale Alert: Stylish Beach

When I was little, our family spent a week each summer at a funky beach hotel in Santa Barbara. Our love for the beach was only exceeded by our almost-translucent paleness.

So, a simple trip to the water was a production. No less than four beach umbrellas, five folding chairs, 7 towels, 4 sand-logged New Yorkers, 3 hats and two bottles of sunblock accompanied us back and forth to the sand each day. A sunburn was the ultimate vacation shame.

I haven't yet amassed my own beach collection. When Rob and I go, it is usually by bike and with a heavy sweater for those NorCal ocean winds. I think I should start with these beautiful beach towels from Martha and a big umbrella to match.

To Do: Maidenhair Fern

I'm craving the bright green delicacy of maidenhair ferns for spring. I've killed - let's say several - of these sensitive ferns in the past. I think if I keep this one in the bathroom where it is nice and steamy, it will survive longer than a few weeks.

Weekend Round-Up: Urban Warming

The weather this weekend was super warm, almost too hot for my taste. I do love the relaxed pace that the high temps bring to the city. We were so lazy this weekend.

On Friday, Rob and I walked home a bit off course, shopping for vintage suitcases along Mission and Valencia streets. No luck, but it was fun to be out and about. When we had a bad crosswalk encounter with an aggressive driver, we decided to call it a night. Salsa verde nachos for dinner.

Saturday was a lazy morning with the political news programs, coffee, oatmeal and turkey bacon. At noon, we finally motivated to take the train to Haight Street for the suitcase hunt. Decades of Fashion had a great selection and we bought three for around $60. We decided to walk back since it isn't that far. The suitcases got a lot of comments. Delicious subs from King Foot Sandwiches. Back at home, it was time to run around like mad doing hair, make-up and last minute outfit decisions for our engagement photo shoot.

We met Paul and Jordan at Sutro Park at 3:00 for the photos. Paul was great to work with and we blew through a bunch of photos in 40 minutes. They came out so well! I'll share them with you on Wednesday.

We returned home at 5:00, practiced music and tried to pick up from the remnants of closet digging for the shoot. A quick dinner before walking out to Mission Street for drinks at Bruno's to celebrate a friend's birthday. The Mission was packed with people enjoying the warm weather. This was a fun bar, with a good over-25 crowd and a fun D.J. After a couple fruity drinks and a lot of climbing talk, we walked back home and crashed into bed.

Sunday morning was another lazy one. This time with the paper, coffee and egg tacos. At 11:00, we threw on our bathing suits and drove over to Sausalito for some kayaking. We decided to paddle across to Belvedere Island (motto: "when San Francisco isn't quite expensive enough..") and oogle the waterfront mansions...something new! It was pretty fun evaluating the decor while floating along with cormorants.

Back on shore, we grabbed a strawberry milkshake and drove back over the bridge. Showers and then onto the tandem bike. We tried to spot my cousin's workshop at Dolores Park but there were 5,000+ San Franciscans picnicking, playing frisbee, hosting a children's health fair and having a hula hoop contest. Turns out the workshops are on Saturday anyways!

From there we biked downtown to go to the sale at Macy's. We're trying to buy Rob a suit for the ball and the wedding with not much luck. I don't like the way most of men's suits are'd think they'd be nicer for $500+ a pop. Lunch at Boudin's and then back home via Market Street.

The plan was to go back out to see Baby Mama, but we ran out of steam. A trip to the grocery store and some pick-up ended the weekend instead. Light dinner of carrots and broccoli with spicy hummus.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Urban Girl Almanac: Spring Ahead

Another busy week has flashed by! The weather has been getting steadily nice each day. We're in for a great day tomorrow. Here's what I learned this week:
  • "Your tickets to the ball arrived." How awesome is that sentence?
  • Bulgarians bring good strawberries.
  • Making the leftovers of a roast chicken into soup makes me feel so authentic.
  • I'm lucky to have a life that is full of friends on a near daily basis.
  • First watermelon of the summer! It was a good one too.
  • My sister is a really fast runner.
  • Everyone seems to like this dress.
  • Always have a stock of whole carrots, red cabbage and broccoli in the fridge. They keep well and are easy to add to dishes.
  • Mmm...I ate dinner at the El Tonayenese taco wagon twice this week.
  • Yay for 30 Rock! I loved the "corporate" theme.
  • Lancome will give you a wealth of samples and free shipping for entering MISSYOU6.
  • We have quick trips to New York and Idaho planned for the next few months.
  • Don't forget to buy Bay to Breakers tickets for May 18.
  • This vintage travel poster of San Francisco is for sale here.
  • I really love playing music with Rob.
The EmilyStyle Tag Sale ends tomorrow, don't forget to bid! Rob and I are going to the gym tonight and then shopping for a vintage suitcase. Engagement photos tomorrow and not much else planned. Should be a nice one.

Music: Avett Brothers

Our friends Matt and Amber saw the Avett Brothers live in San Francisco a couple weeks back. They fell hard for the group...and I'm jumping on the bandwagon too. It's a country band, but in that ironic-old-timey-modern sort of way like Old Crow Medicine Show.

My obsession is currently raging with Paranoia in Bb Major (the fourth song on the playlist). I've listened to it 15 times since downloading on Wednesday. The temptation to sing along at my desk is overwhelming!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

To Do: Stop Moths

I hate moths. I hate anti-moth products more. Chemical moth balls are gross. Lavender sachets are dusty. And I can't even count the number of times I have cursed after painfully stepping on a wayward cedar ball from the closet in the middle of the night.

Sandalwood soap is the best. You can buy bars of this Chinese soap for less than a dollar. And they stay fragrant in closets and drawers for years.

What to Wear: Work Prep

The EmilyStyle Tag Sale ends in 2 days. Three things have already sold. I've lowered prices and shipping estimates to get things moving! Start bidding or email me to snag something early.

I work in the design district, so I'm surrounded by great examples of preppy fashion most days. Here's an outfit I saw last on the street last week recreated with trouser jeans - like the pair I have on sale from Club Monaco!

Jeans - I love wearing trouser jeans to work. They look polished but are super comfortable.
Shirt - A classic blue shirt for summer. This one is only $39 from American Eagle.
Sweater - Only $19 from Gap. The light blue and heather gray is an unexpectedly nice combination.
Flats - I saw these Jeffrey Campbell flats in yellow at a boutique. Sadly, I can't seem to find that color online. Bright green is just as cute!
Bag - A statement bag in quality leather.

A perfect work look for spring!

To Do: Branch Rescue

A storm in the city means a lot of downed branches and trees. So sad. But there is a silver lining, I like to bring a bit of downed branch home to use as a modern centerpiece. The leaves do well with a bit of a cleaning from a damp cloth. And make sure you get the branches right after they've fallen for a multitude of reasons.

I especially like the eucalyptus with seed pods. A giant branch in a clear glass vase makes for a sharp, modern arrangement that easily lasts over a week. I picked up this branch after last weekend's windstorm. (And, yes, those are funfetti cupcakes. Astounded by my baking genius yet?)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wedding Wednesday: Bridal Party

Now that we've decided to go for navy bridesmaid dresses instead of yellow, that part is a lot easier. How to tie it all together for a unified look? Time to play paper-doll.

Dress - One option from J.Crew.
Dress - Another, this may be too "beachy."
Dress - This is my favorite, but it isn't very party oriented.
My Dress - This image is from Lulu's vintage. I think my great grandmother's dress is prettier than this, lucky me!
Suit - This is tricky! Navy?
Suit - Khaki? Nah, doesn't go well with the vintage lace.
Suit - Light brown? I think it would be better a little darker.
Ties - Yellow, I need to find exactly the right color.

Wedding Wednesday: Cabin of Love

A cozy cabin built for two in the woods of romantic for a honeymoon spot! These 1920's log cabins near Crested Butte come equipped with wood stoves, hammocks and campfire pits. And at just around $100 a night, they won't break your joint bank account.

Wedding Wednesday: Hair Inspiration

Here a scan of the hair style I mentioned from that Aussie Magazine. Lovely, romantic and just right for me. I can definitely work my natural curls with a low bun. And it will be nice that I won't have to worry about straightened hair going curly halfway through the night.

Wedding Wednesday: Wedding Style Guide

This Australian bridal magazine is my new favorite! Glossy pages filled with elegant ideas in a nice small size. In the issue I received, they've got fun bridesmaid outfit ideas, an amazing hair inspiration that I'll post later and pull out worksheets in the back that you actually want to use. I don't know if it is the relaxed down-under style or just good editing, but this mag is right in line with my sensibilities.

The ideas for a garden themed shower are particularly nice. Check out the downloadable templates for invitations and other details online. If only international shipping were cheaper!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day Tip: Dishtowels

Since everyone else is sharing their Earth Day eco tips today, I thought I would too. Rob and I try to be environmentally friendly and San Francisco makes it easy. We only drive once a week. Eat vegetarian mostly. Recycle. Drink tap water. Use reusable grocery bags. Special light bulbs. Buy organics. Yada, yada, yada. You've heard it before.

The one tip I love is using dishtowels instead of paper towels. There's a drawer full of dishtowels in the kitchen and the dirties get washed with our laundry each week. They're easy to grab anytime I'm cooking and last forever. I haven't bought a roll of paper towels in probably two years. Plus, they're pretty.

Need some motivation? Target has designer dishtowels by Dwell and Sur La Table has frenchie towels for $4.95.

PS: You know what is also good for the planet? Buying clothes from the EmilyStyle Tag Sale.

Must-Have: Spring Trench

Wearing a trench coat always makes me feel so put together. It doesn't matter if you're just wearing a tee, jeans and sneakers underneath, you'll still look sharp.

My new favorite trench is this navy blue version from Tulle. They carry it at Therapy here in the Bay Area, so my friend Margaret hooked me up with her employee discount. It has a fantastic mod tulip lining inside. Size small fit me perfectly (usually a size 2).

Things I Love Today: Moldy Peaches

That catchy little song from the last scene of Juno is our newest ukulele and bass mega-hit! Rob and I learned it on Sunday...super easy and fun for making up new lyrics as you go. It's Anything Else by the Moldy Peaches.

Monday, April 21, 2008

What to Wear: Ballerina Sweater

Have you checked out the EmilyStyle Tag Sale yet? I've already sold one of the dresses, so my first foray into eBay selling isn't a total wash. There are still some great items for sale.

One piece that I love is the pink ballerina sweater. It would be so easy to put together a stylish outfit with it as a topper.

Theory Cashmere Ballerina Sweater - Soft and pretty. This sweater comes from my friend Amber. I'm really tempted to buy it for myself.
Jeans - Dark wash from Seven.
Tank - A floaty white tank goes well with the fluid sweater.
Handbag - An easy spring bag from Urban Outfitters.
Shoes - Jeffrey Campbell flats are the best!
Earrings - Pearl studs from Forever 21.

Bidding hasn't started yet on that sweater so there's still time to email me and make a direct deal if you want it.

SOLD! To Charlotte in SoCal. Be sure to email me early if you want to snag something from the sale.

Way to Go Jean!

My sister is about to finish the Boston Marathon. She signed me up for an email tracker, so I've been watching her times all morning.

Running an average 8 minute mile for 26 miles? She's nuts! She'll be finishing in the next hour with a time around 3 hours and 30 minutes. I hope she gets a silver cup...that trophy would look great filled with peonies!

Update: Her final time was 3:37:18.

Weekend Round-Up: Blustery

The weather this weekend was the absolute pits. It looked sunny and warm but the temperatures never got above 55 degrees and we had 50 mph winds. Yuck. Apologies to Amy who is visiting this week.

On Friday, our friend picked us up from work at 5:30. Drinks at his apartment in Russian Hill before a dinner at Bar Johnny. Mmm...garlic truffle fries. After dinner we headed down to Fort Mason in the wind and cold for a Johnny Walker tasting event. I had registered for this free tasting a couple weeks ago. Unfortunately, the event was poorly planned and double booked. There was a line to get in so we left and had our own whiskey tasting at their apartment with Enhanced. Taxi home at 11:30.

Rob got up early on Saturday morning for the city Neighborhood Emergency Responder drill. Over 300 volunteers congregated in our neighborhood dressed in hard hats and vests. I stayed in bed reading the New Yorker for a bit and then spent the morning prepping items for the eBay Tag Sale. Rob came home for lunch and Margaret arrived shortly after.

Margaret and I decided to brave the cold briefly to shop for sofas on Valencia Street. Those brutal winds drove us back to the apartment in short order. We hung out for a while talking about wedding plans. At 6:30, we bundled up to walk up to Rotee for an inexpensive indian dinner. Even just a few blocks left us disheveled with runny noses. Back at home we warmed up by making cupcakes and watching Juno. We all tucked in around 11:30.

Coffee and cupcakes for breakfast along with the Sunday news programs. Margaret left for work at 10:30. I finished listing the rest of the eBay items and then we went downtown for a spell. We need something for Rob to wear to the Black & White Ball and for the wedding in September. Macy's is having a great suit sale right now. The weather drove us back inside at 3:30 for my favorite weekend treat, turkey bacon and cream cheese on jalepeno bagels.

We spent the rest of the afternoon practicing music. We have some great new songs. Then a quiet dinner of baked potatoes and a big salad with the movie Dan in Real Life.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sneak Peek: EmilyStyle Tag Sale

I'm holding my first ever tag sale online! All next week, I'll be highlighting pieces up for sale on eBay.

There's a DVF wrap dress, a cocktail dress perfect for a formal wedding, cashmere sweaters, Theory trousers and more! Both from my own collection and from a couple of my super-stylish friends. Sizes 0 through 6.

Click here to be the first to look at the sale as I add items. There are also some pieces not yet listed in my Flickr stream. If you want to buy something directly before the bidding begins, send me an email and we'll work out a deal.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Urban Girl Almanac: Halvsies

This week has been so disjointed. Although, I greatly like the concept of having Wednesdays off. Here's what I learned this week:
  • San Francisco heat waves can end suddenly.
  • I'm a really good walker. I love the satisfaction of walking to something that is far away and not being dependent on a car or train.
  • Yellow bridesmaid dresses are out. Navy bridesmaid dresses are in.
  • Nothing makes me grumpier than being out when it is really windy.
  • I have too many clothes and I don't want to wear any of them. Ah, spring!
  • I love cell phone tetris too much. I'll miss my stop to keep playing on the train.
  • 30 Rock!
  • Artichoke season is here just in time.
  • I paid $4.29/gallon for gas yesterday? Yikes.
  • Thank heaven for hair dye.
  • Rob and I had a great jam session at our lesson this week. I'm surprised that my singing voice has improved so much.
  • The blue and pink SF print featured is for sale on Etsy for $35. Adorable for a Bay Area baby's nursery.
  • The absolute best way to stop feeling sorry for yourself is to do something nice for someone else.
We have a relaxing weekend ahead. Rob has his NERT drill on Saturday and Margaret is coming up for a visit. I want to learn to play a Bowie song. Have a great weekend!

To Do: San Francisco

Amy wrote in with this question:
My husband and I are heading to SF this weekend for the web 2.0 conference. We've only been to San Francisco once (for our honeymoon - LOVED IT). This time we wanted to try some spots that aren't as "touristy". We're spending a few days in Sausalito to see Muir Woods, and wondered if you could help us with a restaurant recommendation? I've been looking at old posts of yours and the restaurants you have tried (and liked), but I'm having a hard time finding something in that specific area. The rest of the week we'll be in Union Square neighborhood. Any recommendations of things we must see? Thought about going to the Cherry Blossom parade on Sunday - worth it or not?
I love a weekend in the city (obviously!). There are so many things you can do.

One of my all time favorite places, and not just because we're having our wedding there. There's a lot to see and do in this sunny part of the Bay Area. You can't fit everything in, but here are a few of my favorites:
Kayaking - If it is sunny, which it doesn't look like it will be, rent a two person kayak and paddle up to downtown.
Seafood - Sit out by the marina with a margarita and a giant bowl of ceviche.
German Tourist Club - If you're hiking around in Marin, take the dipsea trail to this hidden gem. Bring a picnic and a love for german culture.
San Francisco
Way too many things to choose from! I would plan days that combine one museum or sight with one cute neighborhood followed by dinner. Here are a couple combos:
Golden Gate to Lower Haight - Go see the de Young and walk around the park before coming down Haight street all the way to Pierce. Have ethiopian food at Axum Cafe.

The Richmond and Legion - Start at Sutro park. Hike the lands end trail to the Legion of Honor. Dinner at Burma Superstar in the Richmond.

Downtown - Go to MOMA, shop Union Square, visit Gump's and admire the architecture. Dinner either at Boudin Bakery at Macy's (cheap clam chowder bowls) or at Oola (not so cheap but really good). Also a favorite, lunch at the Palace Hotel.

Civic Center and Hayes - Go to the Asian Art Museum and City Hall before walking up to Hayes Valley for stores and restaurants. Eat at Absinthe or Zuni.

Mission Foodie - Eat your way between Dolores Park (Bi-rite, Tartine Bakery) and Valencia Street (Truly Med, Bombay Ice Creamery). Good restaurants abound in this zip code. I really like Chez Spencer, a few blocks further north.

Marina Exploration - Walk Crissy Field and around Union Street and Chestnut Street. Shop for antiques at Past Perfect. I don't have a favorite restaurant in this neighborhood.

Japantown & Filmore - Go see the Cherry Blossom festival and eat from the street fair booths. Then walk up Filmore Street to look at the fancy shops and houses. Admire the bay view from the top of the hill. Dinner at Cafe Mediterranee.
And there are so many more you could do! North Beach, Embarcadero, Cole Valley, Noe Valley, Portrero Hill, Russian Hill....Have a great trip!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sale Alert: DVF

Blaire, an observant reader, alerted me to the DVF sale that started at noon today. 40% to 70% off some cute pieces!

This is a great chance to add a DVF dress to your wardrobe for the upcoming wedding season. This adorable wrap dress is only $104 and this classic navy shirt dress is $200. Sale ends Monday at noon.

Roman Holiday

I had such a nice day off yesterday! It was a perfect multicultural San Francisco vacation bundled into 12 hours. I feel like I went around the world:

Paris - First stop was breakfast at the French boulangerie down the street, Cafe du Soleil. A giant latte and a ham and cheese croissant along with a couple New Yorker articles.

My plan was to then go to the Wells Fargo History Museum downtown for an hour. It turned out to be a lot smaller than I expected. So I decided to keep on walking!

Italy - North Beach on an empty weekday morning is a far different experience than on crowded nights, as I'm used to. It's lovely! I walked through the quiet, sunny neighborhoods and felt just like I was in Europe. This culminated in a hike up to Coit Tower, which I had never seen. Great murals and an amazing view of the city. On the way back down, I sat in Washington Square park for a while.

Greece - Heading back downtown, I stopped into a Greek cafe on Montgomery street. There are three in a row, must be some mini Mediterranean neighborhood. A feta and spinach pie did the trick perfectly.

America - Shopping could be anywhere, but I'll count it for the good ol' US. I went to Forever 21 to exchange a skirt for a bunch of inexpensive necklaces. And visited Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom, Anthropologie and Neiman Marcus to look for bridesmaid dress options.

At 1:45, it was time for my spa treatments. La Belle was pretty nice. Great bathrobes and some little extras to help you feel pampered (hot foot wash, fireplaces, warm flax seed pillows for your neck). My facial and pedicure both went well and I took advantage of the hot steam showers.

Back on the subway at 4:30 to chill at home. At 5:30, my visiting friend from Salt Lake City called about dinner plans.

Japan - We agreed to meet at Blowfish at 6:15. I decided to walk, which is about a mile and a half. I think I over did it a bit, with this and all the walking from the morning. We enjoyed happy hour at the bar (tempura pistachios!) and then a sushi-filled feast.

Taxi back home at 9:30. My back was burning at this point so I just flopped on the sofa until bedtime. I slept really well after this big adventure!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wedding Wednesday: Wreath

Our wedding venue has a cute round door between the garden and main hall. It's a door that needs a wreath. I asked my florist about doing something with flowers, but even he said it would be wildly expensive. A dried wreath is much, much cheaper and it is something I can put up at home after the wedding.

This yarrow wreath from Sur La Table is my current favorite.

Wedding Wednesday: Engagement Photos

Rob and I are doing our engagement photo shoot on the 26th. I think I want to get a little more dressed up than the traditional sweater and jeans recipe. Maybe a cute dress for me, slacks and shirt for Rob? And some sort of prop...A vintage suitcase to go along with our honeymoon road trip?

And you know what I will not be doing? I will not be getting soaking wet in the ocean a la Deborah Kerr...crazy people!

Wedding Wednesday: The Day

Wedding Wednesday is early because I'm off on a spa day!

It's funny, of all the things I've planned for this wedding...the actual wedding timeline hasn't received that much thought. Ha ha....okay, now I going to freak out.

We had been planning on the ceremony starting at 2:30. But that time looks a little weird on the invitations instead of an even "o'clock." Plus, that's six hours of wedding and reception. A long time for guests to commit, even it if it is a super fabulous party.

Sooo....back to the drawing board? Let's see:
2:00 - Shuttle from parking area starts.
3:00 - Ceremony.
3:15 - Ceremony actually begins...stragglers!

3:40 - Ceremony ends. Cocktail hour.

5:00 - Dinner.
6:30 - Dinner ends. Cake and coffee are served.

7:00 - Variety show.
8:30 - Grand finale. Guests leave.
I'm such a detailed planner that just thinking about this nitty-gritty schedule for this day makes me stress out. Once I get this piece done, I can build it out for the morning of and day before and start doling out tasks to generous helpers.

What do you think? Does anyone have a timeline for their wedding that they loved?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What to Wear: Friday Night Wedding in LA

Figuring out the right thing to wear to a wedding can be quite a mystery. Especially when it is a non-traditional event in a town you don't know very well:
I live in WV, and will be attending a Friday evening wedding in LA on May 9. We will be in town for essentially a long weekend. I am not sure what to wear to a Fri evening wedding (in LA!!). I am slender, 5'6", sizable bust, and very short blonde pixie cut.

This is my problem... the wedding is kind of unconventional. Of course, it is on a Friday night. The bride is originally from Bulgaria. (Not sure what their customs are.) The groom is extremely nontraditional and casual. I don't think there will be any attendants. They even asked for no gifts. I can spend a couple hundred, not including shoes, accessories, etc.
Some outfits can fit in perfectly almost anywhere, I think a good DVF dress is one of the most versatile. Let's find something for Christi to wear in L.A.

Dress - I don't claim to be an expert when it comes to sizable busts, but it looks like this dress could handle a chest. $178 from Bloomingdale's. The color is versatile and it should be in balance with your short hair.
Sweater - A polka dot cardigan on sale from J.Crew is a good emergency cover-up.
Shoes - Gray satin pumps.
Necklace - Find something bold and artsy.
Clutch - From Target.

Have a great time in LA!

Masterpiece's A Room With a View

Note: If you've Tivo'd this and want to avoid a spoiler, don't read on.

I got so mad at the TV last night. I watched Masterpiece Theater's version of A Room with a View after getting home from the climbing gym. This one of my favorite books and I adore the Merchant Ivory movie.

I was just starting to overlook the film's faults and fall for George Emerson when they had the audacity to kill him off!? Unacceptable! And snooty screenwriter Andrew Davies is completely smug about this terrible choice. What was he thinking?

I'm adding the Merchant Ivory version to my movie queue ASAP, I need to wash the bad taste of this version out. Masterpiece Theater is officially on probation.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Bargain: Lace Tee

A little frilly detail makes this shirt from Forever21 super feminine for spring. For $11, the quality of the lace pieces around the collar is surprisingly good.

I bought it in ivory last weekend and wore it with a white cami and jeans (in that photo from the previous post, actually).

Weekend Round-Up: Heat Wave

I loved the heat wave we had the last few days. San Francisco is extra fun when the weather is above 70. There's no AC here, so the whole city slows down, gets happy, goes outdoors and puts on cute clothes.

On Friday, I had a dinner meeting after work to prep for the conference on Saturday. When I finally made it home, I was pretty beat. But thanks to stress and the heat, I only got a few good hours of sleep.

Up at 7:00 on Saturday to get ready. Rob was nice to drive me downtown so I didn't have to take the subway with my boxes. The conference went pretty well. Although, I discovered that I don't care much for motivational speakers. During one of the breaks, I ran to Forever 21 and picked up some flouncy spring blouses.

I made it home on the train in the heat at 6:00. Rob and I walked up to Randall Park. We sat on the rocks toasting the city for an hour with the last of the sun and a beer.

Back at home, I crashed. The city is so quiet when it is warm. I just flopped on the couch and listened to the birds for an hour. Pizza delivery from Goat Hill and to bed at 10.

Sleep! I didn't get out of bed until 10 the next morning. I was so tired that I had dreams about sleeping. It was already 73 degrees out so we motivated right after breakfast: coffee, oatmeal and the Mclaughlin Group (great parody).

We took the tandem bike out for a ride through the park to Ocean Beach. It was sunny and crowded at the beach, plenty of dogs, kids and surfers. Back at home at 12:30 to quickly shower and dress. I took the train out to Inner Sunset for the LAC party with Calie. Strawberry margaritas and mexican train.

Back at home, I zonked again. After a rest, Rob and I went for errands in the neighborhood. Leftover pizza for dinner at home. I motivated enough to put up all my winter tweeds and heavy sweaters and replace them with my spring brights and whites before going to be early.

Friday, April 11, 2008

What to Wear: Napa Wedding

Formal wear requests are my least favorite, I have to admit. But I'm here to help! Here is Kathryn:
I enjoy reading your great advice on what to wear, your glimpses into California life, and—of course--your Wedding Wednesday features. So…….This should be right up your alley! My husband and I are invited to a black tie wedding, dinner, and reception in mid-May in Napa Valley. We’re so looking forward to it, but I have no clue what to wear.

I’m willing to spend a bunch to look awesome head to toe. I don’t know, $500 + shoes? Only restrictions would be no yellow or orange because those colors make me look sick. Also, the wedding is at 4:00pm in the “Beaulieu Garden…” I don’t know if that’s inside or outdoors. I want a short dress. I’m petite, 5’3”, blonde. Help!
Kathryn sounds like a Reese-Witherspoon-type to me. Let's channel her petite, put together red carpet style for this event.

Dress - This emerald green color of this pleated chiffon dress is gorgeous! And perfect for a blonde and a garden event. The cut shouldn't overwhelm your frame. And it's something that you could wear again.
Shoes - Gray satin is an elegant match with emerald green.
Clutch - A vintage silver clutch stands out from the crowd.
Earrings - Delicate pearl drops from Anthropologie.

Have a great time in Napa!

To Do: Day Off

I really hate being jealous. My family is in Coronado this week enjoying the beach...lucky dogs. And I'm also wishing I didn't have to work this weekend since the weather is so nice.

I'm distracting myself by planning for my comp day next Wednesday. I think I'll have a nice breakfast, followed by a trip to MOMA and then a visit to LaBelle downtown. Thanks to Spa Week, I'm getting a 60-minute ginger wasabi pedicure and a 45-minute facial for a grand total of $100. And then in the evening, a friend is in town from Salt Lake City and wants to go for gourmet sushi. I can't wait!

First Margarita of the Summer!

The sun is shining. The weather is unseasonably warm. 30 Rock is back. Wedding planning isn't stressing me out too much. Rob and I toasted our good fortune last night with the first margarita of the summer. Hooray!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

What to Wear: Ireland

Laurie is going to Ireland for the summer and wants a sophisticated, artsy look:
I really enjoy your blog, and your "what to wear" advice is fabulous (which brings me to the purpose of this email)...I've just turned 22, and I'm about to move from Alabama to Cork, Ireland for at least 3 months this summer, and I have no idea what to buy/bring with me.

Now, Alabama is a pretty casual place (for the most part), and I've spent the last 4 years on a college campus (which gets even more casual). Last winter/spring, I studied abroad in Cork for 5 months, and I felt so fashionably out-of-place the entire time. Uhg. It was awful (the clothing, not the experience!). Everyone thought I was in high school. And when it comes to city living in the summer, I'm absolutely clueless!

I am on a bit of a budget. However, I would like to look stylish (maybe a little artsy), and yet still remain cool in the daytime and warmer at night (the nights are never warm there, really). I will be doing a *whole* lot of walking, but I am definitely open to heels. I am on the shorter side (5' 3"), slender, very* fair-skinned, and blond. If you could help me, it would be amazing!
Definitely buy a lot of clothes state-side, where the exchange rate isn't going to give you heartburn. Here's what I would love to wear on a spring day in Ireland.

Sweater Tunic - Okay, so this is a UK company, kind of a strange place to start. But I just adore this soft merino tunic. You could wear it with a long sleeved shirt underneath when it is cold. And the US prices are better than the UK prices for the same pieces.
Jeans - Dark wash is extra stylish.
Flats - Stock up on a lot of inexpensive, comfortable flats.
Bag - It came with the photo, I think it is this leather tote from Boden.
Sunglasses - I love aviators.
Picnic - Mmm...Hearty Irish brown bread, farm cheese and a pint. The Guiness in Ireland is really leagues better than the stuff you get outside the country.

Have a great time in Ireland!

When I'm an Old Woman I Shall Play Ping Pong

Old friends of my parents had Rob and I over to dinner earlier this week to celebrate our engagement. This couple has lived in San Francisco for over 40 years in a four story Edwardian house in the Inner Richmond.

Before I moved to the city, I thought their home was large. Now that I live here, it is positively palatial (For reference, this $6 million property listing is nearby). The best part is that they likely bought their house for something around $70,000.

This couple is definitely an inspiration, even with real estate aside. They take music lessons each week (so do we!) and have some funny hobbies (Rob and I are the king of funny hobbies!). The best of all is their habit of a daily ping pong match. Septegenerian ping pong is officially one of my life goals now!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Wedding Wednesday: Even More Bouquets

Two more from Martha Stewart. I like both of these because they are compact and really let the garden roses shine.

Wedding Wednesday: More Bouquets

Two more bouquet inspirations, this time from Martha Stewart. The yellow version is a little more "tropical" but you could replace the orchids with roses. I love the lightness.

The teal version is a little denser but I really like the ivory filler.

Wedding Wedneday: Bouquets

I have my appointment with the florist this afternoon. We're making our own centerpieces but I wanted to have a professional make the bouquets and boutonnieres.

The idea is to use garden roses that will coordinate with the other flowers. I want the bouquets to be fairly small and looser rather than tighter. I'll be posting bouquet inspiration all day in preparation for the meeting.

I really like the loose feel of this arrangement and the romantic roses.

Wedding Wednesday: Yellowstone

The boss signed off on our honeymoon vacation request for 30 days off! And thanks to all your tips, we have a pretty good itinerary planned out. I can't wait to unplug from work for a full 4 weeks.

Neither of us have ever been to Yellowstone and we have about a week to explore the area...any recommendations?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

What to Wear: New England

I'm so jealous of all the little vacation jaunts everyone has planned for spring. Too bad that we're stockpiling our vacation time for the big honeymoon trip this September. Sarah is off to Massachusetts:
I'm a flight attendant so about 90% of my time, I'm in my "fantastic" uniform. The other 10% of the time, I'm in comfy clothes (like jeans and sweats). Besides the uniform, there are some great benefits to being a flight attendant. Like all the travel benefits I get. This spring, I'm planning my first trip to New England. I'm really want to go to either Nantucket or Cape Code and I have no idea of what I should pack. I don't think jeans and sweats will get me through the week.

I'm 24 and I have a relaxed, easy going style. I'm curvy (hour glass figure) and about 5'6". I would love to come up with a few mix and match pieces that would be prefect for my trip. I love J.Crew but I don't have a huge budget to work with. Any suggestions?
Depending on when you go, the weather is still going to be pretty brisk. That shouldn't stop you from hiking the dunes and downing lobster rolls though!

Boots - Real wellies are about $100, these are close in style for $20 from Target.
Sweater - A few stripes are nautical and cute.
Jacket - A little canvas jacket will keep you warm.
Jeans - Find a pair that can be dressed up or down.
Tote - Another northeastern classic.
Scarf - For a little extra warmth.
Notebooks - These pocket sized notepads are great for jotting down the directions to your favorite chowder house.
Earrings - Simple studs.

Have a great time!

To Do: Spa Day

I have to work this weekend at a financial literacy conference for women (email me if you want more details). So I have a bit of comp time to use this week or next week. I'm thinking that a half day at the spa is just what I need.

A facial followed by some time in the japanese baths perhaps? Or maybe take advantage of the midweek special at this SOMA spa. I can't wait!

Update: Michelle alerted me to the fact that it is Spa Week April 14-20! $50 specials all across town.