Friday, February 27, 2009

To Do: Dinner Party

One nice thing about this recession: it is much easier to find party guests. Now that no one goes out, my RSVP rate is way up.

Which is how I found myself plotting to cook 4 chickens for a low-key dinner on Saturday night. I may even have to buy another chair...how fun! Gathering around a crowded candlelit table with friends sounds so appealing.

I've barely started planning. The menu might include the famous Zuni roast chicken with bread salad. And maybe this creamed broccoli that the latest Gourmet promises is divine. Appetizers and dessert are still up in the air. Any easy suggestions?

What to Wear: London

Meg purchased a deluxe What to Wear for a trip her and her BF are taking in May:
Love your blog & your fashion advice. I have a What to Wear request for you....My boyfriend and I are planning a trip to London in early May. We'll be spending about a week visiting a friend of mine & her family. We'll also be doing the obligatory sight-seeing and nights out. Last time I was in London in Spring I was ill-prepared - when I wasn't freezing my bum off, I was schlepping around in every garment that I brought with me!

I'm short & curvy - 5'1" size 10P (though hopefully by then I'll be down to an 8P) with a large bust (36D/DD depending), fair skin, hazel eyes and dark brown hair. I love vintage-inspired looks. Also love dresses, but it's hard to find ones that fit. I'm a NYer so most of my wardrobe is black, gray, navy and dark brown, but I do like to add the occasional bright accessory (2 of my faves are a peacock feather barrette and these shoes which I recently bought in blue). I'd like to be as budget conscious as possible - I tend to shop mostly at Zara, H&M, Loft, and Macy's.

Also, I'll be packing for my man too....5'11" brown hair, gray eyes. Medium build. Essentially a blank canvass that lets me have free reign over his wardrobe for vacations. I tend to favor unique graphic T's w/oxfords underneath and "dress sneakers" with jeans.
Let's focus on a basic color palate of blue, black and gray for your trip. That will make it easier to pack light and have lots of options.



















Her:
Dress - This style of dress looks great on everyone. My twiggy frame is a fan. Rachel Ray and her curves are also a fan. Bring those blue heels to dress it up with.
Sweater - A classic in gray on sale from J.Crew. You can find one like this at H&M or Zara easily. Would look great with a layered tank - even one with a few delicate stripes for french flair - underneath. Check out this video of London from H&M for inspiration.
Jeans - A slim, but not skinny, pair in a dark wash. You might already have these.
Skirt - Not pictured. I have this and love it. Ideal with opaque tights and pretty much any top.
Coat - In blue and black from Target. If the cut of that doesn't work for your bust, try this blue trench instead.
Scarf - Perfect color combination from Forever21.
Sneakers - I also have these gray converse sneakers.
Flats - Me too makes the most versatile flats. I took a pair with me to Paris.
Boots - Comfortable, flat and on sale for only $69.

Him:
Tee - Doubleknit for warmth.
Jeans - From Old Navy. Rob's a fan.
Sweater - Striped hoodie sweater on sale for $19.
Jacket - I love this look from Old Navy as well.
Coat - Not pictured. In black wool on sale at Macy's. Men in Europe seem to love this kind of coat. It's dashing.
Shoes - They look really comfortable. With a unique style and on sale.
Add one pair of black slacks, a collared shirt and a few other tops...he's set.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bargain Finder: Earrings

I don't normally buy the things I've recommended for WTW's. But I fell for these earrings hook, line and sinker after Anne commented:

"These earrings are perhaps in the top 5 most beautiful things I've owned."

She wasn't lying, they're gorgeous. You can't really beat that for $30 on sale. Plus the are delivered in a lovely printed fabric bag. I think I might wear them for my dinner party on Saturday night. That, or to spin class.

To Do: Plant

Our last apartment was incredibly tiny, but with a huge garden. We even had a well of our own! Now I have one tiny pot with a few scented geraniums and impatients on the back stoop.

Spring has me itching for a few new plantings. I'm envisioning a window box outside the living room and a new pot on the back steps with cherry tomatoes, jasmine and tea roses.

What's your go-to garden plant?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wedding Wednesday: Gracias

How adorable would it be to take a few photos with this parasol at the wedding? Here are examples.

You could use the picture for your thank you notes. And, for yourself, it would be a nice reminder of gratitude for family, love and celebration to have in your wedding album.

Available through Etsy for $39.

Wedding Wednesday: Table Numbers

These Mexican house number tiles could be so pretty as wedding table numbers. And you could reuse them for something fun. Maybe make a mosaic patio table to use for many warm married summers ahead.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Book Report: Hotel Bemelmans

Speaking of fancy hotels and the 1940's elegance, have you read Ludwig Bemelmans' books? That was his illustration of the chef on the New Yorker cover in the last post.

Bemelmans is most famous for the Madeline books, but he also authored a lovely series of books about European travel complete with illustrations. I've read The Blue Danube and When you Lunch with the Emperor. Hotel Bemelmans seems like just the ticket for a little February day dreaming.

Inspired: An Evening at the Waldorf

I ran across this amazing article on the Gourmet Magazine archive last night. It makes me want to apply for a job at a fancy hotel right this second. Read all three pages immediately and have a handkerchief ready.

(ps: If you're looking for a decor-inspiring magazine to replace Domino, I highly recommend Gourmet. Their styling is incredible lately.)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Things I Love Today: Gene Kelly


What we need today - on this gray, rainy Monday - is some Gene Kelly in a suit...and roller skates...singing!...and tap dancing!...with french subtitles! Much better.

Congratulations!

Congratulations to Makenzie! Her comment was chosen by Random.org as the winner of the Longhorn Love print from Jennifer Moreman:
go 'horns! this print is fabulous!!! so colorful- yet so versatile!
Send me an email for your prize details. And for those of you who didn't win, you can get a print of your own for $15 here through this week only.

Weekend Round-Up: Family Time

Rob and I dashed down to San Luis Obispo to spend the weekend with my parents. We hit the road after a stop at to the climbing gym and picked up Margaret along the way. I drove all the way home, quick and uneventful.

On Saturday morning, we did the regular morning routine: a stop at farmer's market, a visit to the park and breakfast at their favorite diner. This photo is outside the market, with my mom clutching cash - she takes her veggies seriously!














In the afternoon, Rob and I took the tandem bike out for a 30 mile ride. We went to Avila Beach and then back over to Cuesta College. It was a great ride, full of ocean, hills and cows. We get to go so much faster in the country!














We picked up Margaret for dinner at the house - pork loin with mushrooms and new potatoes, yum! - and then all went together to Santa Maria to see at show at our favorite theater. PCPA is an amazing hidden gem if you ever have the fortune to be in the area for one of their shows. Even this tricky bollywood/cirque du soleil version of A Midsummer Night's Dream turned out well.

The next morning, we were spoiled with fresh waffles for breakfast. Mom and I went to church. It was nice to see all the old familiar faces and to debut my new last name. Back at home, we all voiciferously researched a trip to British Columbia coming up in June.

At 3:30, we picked up Margaret and drove back to the city. There was snow in the hills along Salinas, very unusual. Along the way, we listened to the lastest YouTube video from the president. Strange times all around.

Friday, February 20, 2009

To Do: Photo Project

The thing about birdwatching is that you spend a lot of time outside. So over the last weekend, I gave myself the photo assignment to find heart shapes in nature in between spotting woodpeckers. I read somewhere that this sort of "shape finding" is a great way to keep kids entertained in museums and on hikes. Worked for me!











































































Have a great weekend!

What to Wear: Napa Wedding

Amy is going to "take a Napa" later this year. She's got a big wedding weekend looming in the distance:
I was hoping you could give me some advice on what to wear to this wedding. I am an east coast gal who has no idea what is fashionable on the west coast. I heard people are a little more casual and do not want to mess this up.

The wedding is August 21-23. It is a three day event. Friday is a welcome dinner for all guests, Saturday is the wedding. It is outdoors at 4:00 PM followed by the reception. Sunday morning is a brunch.


It is going to be held at Beaulieu Gardens {ed: here's a real wedding held there] Rutherford, CA. 4:00 reception to follow.
Most California weddings run the complete fashion gamut. You'll have people in casual sundresses and skirts all the way up to fancy party dresses. It's a little awkward because there's not much of dress code to follow. Your best bet is to find a simple, timeless dress and wear it with confidence:

Dress - Beautiful blue silk dress from Anthropologie. On sale for $99.
Belt - In "port" (how appropriate) suede from Urban Outfitters. On sale for $20.
Shoes - I don't usually like to be this "matchy" but I think it works for this outfit. Plus, they're just very cute shoes in general. The thick heel will stop you from sinking into the lawn.
Bracelets - These egyptian gold tube bracelets are always my favorite choice for balancing out a bolder outfit.

You'll also want to bring some sort of light wrap or coat, it can get chilly at night up here in Northern California. Have a great time at the wedding!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Giveaway: Longhorn Print

Jennifer Moreman is a favorite EmilyStyle reader and a budding artist in Texas. And she's offered to give away a print from her collection this week!

Just enter a comment below before Sunday at midnight to be entered for a 8.5 x 11 print called "Longhorn Love." I think it would look amazing hanging in your hall entrance or kitchen.

To Do: Reorder Your Closet

Our 100 year old apartment comes with very small closets. Instead, we have 13 doors and 3 radiators in under 1,000 square feet. So, Rob and I share about four feet for all our clothes.

To make matters worse, I never set it up properly either. All the things I wore everyday were up on top where I couldn't reach them. Rob's clothes were in a huge pile. All the vertical space at the top of the closet was empty. And we just had way too much.

Now everything is in order! Click here to see the finished results. I stacked extra pillows and quilts up high on one side to use some of that extra space on the top. I moved Rob's clothes into the middle where he can grab them easily and my sweaters down to the bottom where I can reach them. Dumped all the unwieldy bathing suits and athletic clothes in a bin. Plus, we took four enormous bags to be sold at the consignment store. Everything is now in a place that makes sense. I love it!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ladies Activity Club: Beaded Jewelry

Our LAC last night was super fun and especially well suited for this tight economy! Susan hosted us all for a night of making DIY beaded earrings.

Food: Susan served cream cheese wontons, prosciutto-wrapped asparagus and crab salad on endive "spoons." For drinks, we had a choice of ginger ale or passion fruit sangria.

Activity: Loaded up with beads purchased locally and on Etsy.com, Susan gave us a quick tutorial on how to make earrings. We all dove in quickly. Choosing the beads was the hardest part (along with making the tiny wire loops). At the end of the evening, we each had two or three pairs finished and ready to wear. Everyone's jewelry came out so well!

You can see all the photos from last night's LAC party (including all our gorgeous earring creations) at the top of this photo set.

To Do: Mini Valentine's Day Letters

Inspired by the World's Smallest Postal Service, I created these tiny Valentines a few weeks ago. I kept them a secret so that the recipients would be surprised.

Each envelope was about the size of a postage stamp and came complete with a tiny stamp, seal and letter inside. I made them from scraps of old stationary. Each was attached to a ribbon so as not to get lost and put inside a larger envelope before mailing.

And even better...I got a tiny letter back in reply! My cousin sent me a mini envelope full of seeds for a butterfly garden. Rule: tiny things are adorable.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Things I Love Today: Target Shoes

All good city-dwellers know that a trip out of town translates to a stop at Target. Rob and I only go a couple times a year, so it's usually a bit of a spree.

On Sunday, we picked up everything from cold medicine to clearance picture frames. These red flats for $20 were my favorite find. Cute and comfortable. I can't wait to try them when it finally stops raining.

Weekend Round-Up: Country Life & City Life

Rob and I went to Sanger this weekend to spend some time with his family. We left on Friday and slogged through the traffic and rain on the way down there. On Saturday morning, we shared a big breakfast and got a good look at the two sets of quadruplet goat kids. They're so cute and goofy!













Rob and his dad worked on birdhouses for nesting wood ducks while I went off birdwatching with the women-folk. We spotted over 20 species throughout the day. Later that night we all went to a fancy Valentine's dinner at the Bear Club in Reedley.













Sunday, we drove over to Lost Lakes park for some more birdwatching. Ducks and woodpeckers this time. Luckily, we managed to avoid the rain both days! We shared a fancy lunch in Clovis before heading home. Unfortunately, we hit the storm again on our way home. It was pouring as we crossed the bridge and kept raining all night.

The next morning we got up very early and bundled up. Despite the pouring rain, we rode across the city to watch the Tour of California riders cross the bridge. Here's what I look like soaking wet at 8:30 in the morning with no make-up on. Awesome:













I was about a foot away from Lance Armstrong, as helpfully demonstrated in this blurry photo I accidentally took at the moment I pointed at him and yelled "hey, it's Lance Armstrong!" (so smooth).













Freezing, freezing cold and still pouring on the way home. I ditched my wet clothes and stayed in the the bath for about an hour warming back up. We spent the rest of the day cleaning out our closets, doing laundry and recuperating.

At 5:30, we walked over to visit with friends who are about a month away from becoming parents for the first time. We all went to dinner at Luna Park together at 6:30. Stuffed, I came home and cleaned house for tonight's LAC party!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Here's to a romantic Valentine's Day on Saturday. I hope your day is full of sprinkles, twinkle lights, pillow forts, chinese delivery, Audrey, handmade paper cards and kisses on the nose.

Love is grand! Talk to you Tuesday.

Things I Love Today: Trader Joe's


A quick Valentine to my favorite grocery store. So clever. Thanks to Lindsay for finding this gem!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Valentine's Day Mixtape

Cara and Liso's special Valentine's Day envelopes are off in the mail! Time to share my mixtape with everyone else.

I'm crazy about all these songs...the kind of nuts where you can't sleep because the song is too stuck in your head. I did my best to find a good clip of each, which was surprisingly not easy at all:

1. Honey Let Me Sing You a Song (Matt Hires) Apologies, this is the worst clip and the only I could fine. Matt Hires is not a friend of the internet.
2. L-O-V-E (Al Green)
3. I Was Made For You (She & Him)
4. She's Mine (Brett Dennen)
5. Die Alone (Ingrid Michaelson)
6. Curs in the Weeds (Horse Feathers)
7. Ain't No Sunshine (Bill Withers) Love the outfits in this classic video.
8. Hymn #101 (Joe Pug)
9. Brandy Alexander (Ron Sexsmith)
10. Move You (Anya Marina)
11. Don't Want to Die Lonely (Nick Pagliari)
12. Both Hands (Ani DiFranco)
13. I Love You, You Imbecile (Pelle Carlberg)
14. Night Time is the Right Time (Ray Charles) Of course that is the classic "Rudy" version.
15. Turn Me On (Norah Jones)
16. It's You (Pictures and Sound) Play track #4.
17. When I Go (Brett Dennen)
18. Three More Days (Ray LaMontagne)
19. Sweet Darlin' (She & Him)
20. Say Hey (Michael Franti)

To Do: Spin Class

Spin class is wild. I've been going for two weeks and discovered last night that I lost 10 pounds. Big surprise, since my weight never changes more than a pound or two. I haven't been this lean since college. And I've been eating plenty of pizza and valentine's candy.

Despite occasionally feeling that I might puke and shooting stink eyes at the instructor when we're doing uphill sprints, I like it!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wedding Wednesday: More Gocco Inspiration

My Ugly Kitty is another great resource for Gocco inspiration. Check out her fun Flickr set of custom invitations.

PS: Want to learn more about Gocco printing? Wedding Bee has a quick tutorial.

Wedding Wednesday: Gocco Inspiration

We're in the waiting game for Jean and Trent's wedding location and date. Until the chips fall, I need to be collecting inspiration for those Gocco wedding invitations I've signed up to make.

Yet another reason that Flickr is a great wedding planning tool! I love this all-Gocco portfolio from Heather Toupin. She's a screenprinting genius!










Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What to Wear: Valentine's Date

So maybe I can't throw out all my clothes and go pink for spring. But that doesn't mean I can't recommend it for others! April needs something to wear for a hot Valentine's Day date with her boyfriend:
I adore your blog and the amazing outfits you create! I am going to dinner (dressy but not formal) this Valentine’s Day with my boyfriend of 2.5 years. For the past 2 years, I’ve worn a black pencil skirt with different tops for this occasion. I’d like to do something different this year, but absolutely LOVE wearing a pencil skirt and heels. I’m 25 years old, 5’8”, size 0-2, blonde with blue eyes and would love your advice on a V-Day outfit. I live in Denver, Colorado and it’s notoriously snowy on Feb 14, but that never stops me from wearing a skirt and heels. I L.O.V.E. J. Crew and Banana Republic (usually too $$ for me, sad) and am open to anything you suggest.
Valentine's Day is a great reason to match pink and red together. Any other day of the year makes it is a lot trickier to pull off the color combo without looking too cutesy:






















Blazer - $39 is a crazy good price for this luxe velvet blazer. I have to admit...I cracked and bought this for myself last night.
Blouse - In pink with red flowers and a bow - doesn't get better than that! Oh wait, it does: it's also 50% off.
Skirt - A pencil skirt in dark gray (navy or black could work too). I'm assuming April already has one of these leftover from other years.
Shoes - A ridiculous pair of red satin pumps on sale from Nine West.
Earrings - These enamel flowers from Forever 21 are adorable.

A little flowery perfume...some nude fishnet tights...extra rouge...a heavy coat...you're ready for a romantic evening on the town.

Things I Love Today: Think Pink



After a winter of wearing lots of last year's tweed, black tights and dark sweaters, I'm feeling the siren call of spring.

Could I throw out my clothes and decide to wear all pink, ivory and gray for the next month? This clip is not helping. {skip to around 2:30 for the singing}

Monday, February 09, 2009

Congratulations to the Mix Tape Winners!

Thanks to Random.org for picking Cara and Liso from the 76 entries on Friday's giveaway post.

Send me your mailing addresses and I'll get your special Valentine's Day mix CD and other goodies out in the mail tomorrow.

And for all the runners up: I'll be posting the complete playlist soon. Stay tuned!

Campaign for Corsages

My campaign to bring back the corsage continues!

On Saturday, I had the flower shop down the street put together a gardenia with a few pink and white blossoms for the birthday girl. It smelled divine and stayed amazingly sharp the whole day.

Weekend Round-Up: Sampler

Crazy weekend! We managed to fit so much into this small, rainy break. And we didn't even do anything on Friday. Rob and I just hung out at home eating potstickers for dinner.

Saturday morning we had a quick oatmeal and coffee breakfast and then a round of errands in the neighborhood. Safeway and the florist. Birthday girl, Margaret, and a group of friends arrived at noon and we hit the road for Sonoma. A picnic of cheese, salami, crackers, dip and carrots in the car on the way to our first winery.













Isn't that ridiculous? We called it "aggressively majestic." A quick tasting course - I was the driver and abstained - before going to our second place. This was more low key but still over the top:













Back home through the vineyards. We parked in the neighborhood, dashed in to see the Chinese New Year parade being broadcast on TV and dashed back out to go see it in person. We took the train downtown and found a good spot right near Union Square to see the last 20 minutes. Lion dancers, dragons, fireworks, Miss Chinatown and our friend's marching band.













Back home again on the same transfer. We went for dinner at my favorite Ethiopian restaurant, now nearly 9pm. After dinner, everyone peeled off except Jackie. We stayed up for a while later, playing a movie trivia game.

Up pretty early the next morning. Delicious brunch at Tangerine down the street. Jackie had potato latkes with bacon, poached eggs and spicy hollandaise sauce (Rob had a version with zucchini and salmon). I had coconut pancakes with ginger syrup. Delish!

Being a cold and drizzly day, we immediately took the train to the Conservatory of Flowers. This lovely Victorian greenhouse is the city's favorite warm respite from the cold. The steamy lily pond room is the best:













From there, we dashed back to the Castro and picked up some goodies at Cliff's Variety. By now, the sun was starting to peek through the clouds. So we grabbed the bikes and pedaled down to the Ferry Building, past the ballpark, through the mission, up to Twin Peaks and back down. Only 14 miles, but pretty steep.













Well earned hot toddys back at home. The rain we'd been trying to avoid all day arrived right on time. Jackie headed back to Davis as the first drops hit.

















Pizza delivery and the very nice documentary Runner's High - about a marathon program for at-risk teens in Oakland - ended our night.

You can see all my photos from the weekend here.

Friday, February 06, 2009

What to Wear: Red Dress

Anne has a big night on the town coming up soon:
I am a stay-at-home mom who admires your sense of style! Your blog is a wonderful glimpse into a world where fashion is appreciated and not selected merely for its washability. :)

I have 3 kids ages 3, 2, and 6 months and have been simply overwhelmed by motherhood since my most recent son's birth. I am ready for a dress-up night on the town in February, when a college girlfriend of mine is getting married. My husband and I have booked a room at a swank hotel in town, and I want to look stunning for him and for me, not to mention the college gang. :)

I have the dress but am looking for some accessories and shoes that won't break the bank. I am rather short (5'5), so shoes with a heel that elongate my legs would be great. Also, I live in the tundra of Minnesota, so if it's not a bank-breaker, I would consider some type of elegant cover-up to add some warmth to this sleeveless dress.


If you have the time, could you offer some desperately needed guidance to a desperate housewife?
What a pretty dress! I love the feminine, vintage feel. Matching the red with gray and gold is an unexpected and elegant combination. A much better pairing than with black (too severe) or white (too santa):






















Dress - Grand Canal dress in deep red silk with a ruffle on the collar. Currently on sale for $80 $40.
Shoes - Arturo Chiang pump with gray patent leather and a gray suede bow on sale for $36, down from $120. The substantial heel is a good match with the vintage style of the dress and will make your ankles look thin. If they don't have your size, keep looking. These shoes are on sale everywhere.
Coat - Gray wool coat on sale for $50. This is something that you can definitely wear again and again.
Earrings - Statement earrings on sale from Anthropologie for $30
Clutch - In gold for $28.

Have a great time being swanky! PS: Hi Katy :)

Valentine's Day Giveaway

Valentine's Day. Despite not being a huge fan in general, I am fond of the glue, glitter and construction paper aspect of the holiday. My perfect version would include mailing lopsided cards to friends and eating Chinese delivery by candlelight.

Valentine's fan or not, everyone can appreciate a good mix CD of love songs. And not just your average everyday love songs, these are handpicked seriously good songs.

Comment below before Sunday at midnight for a chance to win one of two mix CD and Valentine's Day goody envelopes from yours truly.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Recipe: Tostadas

My new favorite dinner! Leftover pork loin was delicious in this easy little dish we had on Sunday night:

Tostadas for Two
1 can of black beans
1 cup of sliced pork loin (or chicken, etc)
1 avocado
2 tablespoons of shredded cheese
2 tostada shells
2 handfuls of mache lettuce (I love this stuff!)
Salsa verde

Heat up the beans and pork; I microwaved them separately. Top the tostada shell with beans, meet, salsa and cheese. Give it another quick microwave blast to melt the cheese. Top with lettuce and avocado slices. Sprinkle a little kosher salt on the avocados and dive in.

Book Report: Julie & Julia

So many food books recently! I guess they make for good and hearty winter reading.

A friend gave me her old copy of Julie & Julia a few weeks ago. You've probably already read it and heard that it is being turned into a movie as we speak.

If you haven't yet, I would recommend picking it up at the library. It's a quick read and an interesting look at the power of the internet combined with a good project. But watch out for "second hand anxiety" from the author's life qualms. Reading right before bed about stress over work, marriage, baby and blog choices isn't a particularly great recipe for a good night sleep.

One perk, though: I have a hankering to make coq au vin again. Mmm.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Wedding Wednesday: Shoe Challenge

I had a hard time finding wedding shoes and ended up dashing around the city like a crazy shoe-hummingbird every weekend before my wedding. Kiri wrote in with a similar dilemma for a rush order What to Wear request:
I am writing because I am exactly 32 days away from getting married with no shoes to wear, and I am at my whit's end! I will admit, what I envision in my head is very particular: floral pattern, spring colors, peep-toe, with a bow or flower embellishment at the toe.

Well, I feel like I have scoured the internet and my local stores, and nothing was quite right. Until J. Crew released their Spring collection! I saw the Avignon Patterned Peep Toe and fell immediately in love with its delicate floral pattern and spring colors, with a bow to boot! But alas, I simply cannot bring myself to spend over $300 on a pair of shoes. That is more than I spent on my dress! I was hoping to tap into your brilliance for some ideas of other floral patterned shoes in the under $200 range.


I am attaching a photo of my dress and my veil. I don't really have colors or bridesmaids (we had to move the wedding up several months at the last minute due to my brother's deployment overseas). My ring is a modern-looking brushed white gold band, and I am wearing pearl earrings.

I am planning to have a simple baby's breath bouquet and to wear a cardigan sweater to keep me warm on what will probably be a chilly, wet Portland day. The cardigan has yet to b
e bought as well. Eeeeek!

My shoe size is an 8.5 and I would like to keep the shoes under $150-$200. I tend to like jewel-tones or bright colors (I have darkish brown hair and pale skin) but am not opposed to Spring-y lighter colors (although pastels tend to wash me out).
This is a great chance to find a cheery pair of shoes and a investment cardigan that you could keep wearing for years. Here are a couple options:






















1. Syria - Not a floral pattern, but a peeptoe with a cute bow in a flattering color. $96. Paired with a cashmere papaya cardigan from J.Crew on sale for $96.

2. Christa - Floral patterned pumps with a moderate heel for $80. This pattern also comes in a peeptoe slingback, but I don't like the heel as well. Paired with a yellow ruffle cardigan from J.Crew for $39.

3. eBay - $20 shoes through eBay international is certainly a dubious proposition, but it might just work. These shoes, with a blue grossgrain bow sewed on the front could be super cute. Paired with a green jackie cardigan on sale at J.Crew for $99.

4. Darby - This is my favorite choice and also the cheapest. $17 on sale at Target. The colors are brighter, but somehow still "bridal" and I like the shape. It also comes in a brown and green pattern. Paired with a fuscia jackie cardigan for $64.

5. Carrie - The most "bridal" pattern I was able to find. $80. I wish the toe were rounded instead of pointed though. Pairing with a navy cardigan from Gap makes the look very "classic."

Other choices:

Shari - Peeptoe slingbacks with felt flowers in either red or blue from Macy's for $51.
Arial - Peeptoe pumps from BCBG for $80...the pattern is a little too bold for this wedding.
Gabrielle - Entirely not what Kiri is after, but these flats are super bridal and lovely and on sale.
eBay - Always a good place to look for this sort of obscure item.
Vintage - Another great place to look.