Playing dress up


(Steven Alan dress, Rennes clutch, Rachel Comey Hitch booties)

I'm not usually one for fancy dinners (I'm more of a brewpub/bistro food person) but we got a deal a few months ago for Rover's - purportedly one of Seattle's finest restaurants. We decided to belatedly celebrate our engagement there last night and I busted out one of the fancier dress I have. I won't go into details about how I found the farro oversalted and the portions painfully small but I will say that those Rachel Comey shoes are supremely comfortable now that I have them in the right size. In fact, I think they flatter my feet a little bit more than the Mars since the shaft is slightly lower - it doesn't make me look stunted! Also, Julia's handmade clutch is fantastic, it's buttery and soft and the perfect size for a cellphone, a card holder, lipbalm and keys. I'm in love.

And in other news, Happy Earth Day! I'm going to be hauling a bag of clothes to Goodwill, leaving the all lights turned off until 7pm and bringing the puppy out for a long walk in the realm of urban nature. What's your Earth Day resolution?

P/S: Thank you to the person who bought the Mars boots off me, I want to ultra hug you because you're a savior.

On scones and budgeting


If you haven't already, you should check out Renee of Montmartre's new shop. She stocks a great selection of hipster fashion and really nice home decor items, one of which is the Fog Linen tablecloth I recently acquired as pictured above.

So much for living simpler and buying less. My budget this month has been blown by purchasing the aforementioned tablecloth,  Hannah's dress and one of Julia's handmade pouches. I've renege on a promise I made a few weeks ago and that makes me feel really bad.

I think this spate of spending has been spurred on by two factors: (a) incessant browsing to fill a void and (b) a void created by tremendous stress. I'm under severe pressure to finish my doctoral work within the next 24 months because of the current state of funding for the sciences. I'm also stressed because I'm starting to feel so old that climbing out of bed at 7 in the morning is torture, my knees are grinding away and my back constantly hurts. I'm 29 by the way.

I've come to the realization that the whole notion of simplistic living requires serene self-discipline. It also requires a hobby, a certain disinterest in possessions and  a strong sense of priorities. On one hand I realize that blatant consumerism is the reason why many Americans are in debt and we're in this economic crisis, but on the other hand, I sometimes feel that if I could make that "one purchase", I would be more productive and live a happier life. The experts beg to differ, but isn't owning a $1700 YSL trench coat an experience in itself? I mean, sure, a week off the Amalfi Coast with endless supply of wine and fresh clams will make me ecstatic, but six months later, I'm probably going to start moaning about how work blows and how I wish I could take another vacation to the Mediterranean. And I'm still always going to want that YSL trench coat. So really, if you think about it, neither things nor experiences can really make you happy.

I'm always going to 'want' something because this is the culture we live in, one where I turn on the computer in the morning to find that Google Reader has 8 new posts about someone having found (or made) the perfect shoes or perfect organic blanket or perfect ceramic vase (this is amidst a post by Paul Krugman yelling about how the economy is going to tank because we're not pouring enough money into social programs). And why the heck do I need the perfect ceramic vase when I haven't had flowers on the table in over 5 years? I don't know, but maybe if I had it I would actually put flowers on the table. And so on.
Unless I completely swear off the internet, I think I'm never going to be able to avoid finding something to lust over. Finding the self-discipline to practice austerity is hard. Finding a list of priorities that can keep one from making impulse purchases while idling away time is even harder. I'm plugged into the computer and internet almost all my waking hours so it's only a matter time before I'm 30 pages into a book I'm reading that I'll be wondering about checking the email or checking the New Arrivals page on Totokaelo.

So dear reader, this brings me to beg the question: how do you avoid breaking your budget and how do you avoid the temptation to buy when you're actually reading blogs that espouse the notion of consumption (which I guess this blog is also guilty of)?

That being said, I made scones this morning from one of the best recipes ever. I used soy whipping cream and shortening in place of all the dairy products and added cranberries and orange zest as well. And I guess the experience of it actually did make me happy for a brief moment.

Being slightly girlish

Following Jennifer's post on Hetterson's new pieces, I took the plunge and ordered the Saturday dress. I'm a sucker for peter pan collars. Hannah was really nice about making sure that the dress would fit properly since I'm a little shorter than the usual demographic, but I'm excited about having the dress in time for summer. I like it particularly for the pockets and the fact that it would also work well into the cooler months with a pair of tights and a chunky sweater. I'm not usually very girly but there's something about the thought of a picnic blanket on green grass that brings out my feminine side! Also, as part of my attempts at living a little greener this year, I'm finally learning to grow my own vegetables which hopefully will not be eaten by the only dog I know who likes lettuce.

1. Hetterson Saturday dress; 2. Phillip Lim 3.1 Basketweave cropped sweater; 3. Garrett Leight Hampton sunglasses; 4. K. Jacques Marathon sandals; 5. J.W. Hulme Mackubin tote; 6. Madewell straw fedora; 7. Farm City by Novella Carpenter; 8. Satomi Kawakita necklace

Closet cleanout

I've been cleaning out my closet over the past week and decided to put some items up for sale here. While I don't want to promote wasteful consumption, I think that there are some items I own that would be better suited for another wardrobe. The items are all new or barely worn and are from stores/labels that many would find worthwhile to purchase from. The Closet Cleanout is likely to be a twice yearly fixture instead of a permanent one since I don't really own that much clothes anyway.

Learning a few new scarf tying moves

I've been wearing my scarves the same way for the past 5 years - I just wrap in three times round, tuck the ends in and go. But this lady takes it to a whole new level:

I might choke to death on "The Boa" and she does the infinity loop twice (so technically it's only 24 moves), but I think it's all pretty nifty.

The ultra perfect Wood Wood Abril Tee


The Wood Wood tee that I've been raving about so much and was sold out everywhere is now available on Totokaelo. The price is an insane markup from what I paid for at Creatures of Comfort and Frances May but I personally think it's worth it, given how much use I get out of it. A word of caution: the shirt runs really slim through the body. Garment measurements (in centimeters) are available here. I've worn them all through last summer and under a cardigan and wool pants for winter. The half sleeves and boatneck is universally flattering and the material is sturdy and soft, almost fleecelike. I've tried (and purchased) a good many breton tees, ranging from the ubiquitous to upscale and nothing matches the style and value of the Wood Wood breton tee.

Also, I don't know if it's serendipity but the winner of the vintage Coach leather satchel giveaway is Jennifer who has been following this blog from the start. A huge thank you to everyone who participated and I'm sorry I had only one bag to give away instead of eleven.

Edit: Thanks to Abby for mentioning that Mohawk General Store also carries the tee in addition to all the stores mentioned above.