Thursday, January 19, 2012

wool and flannel

sweater - borrowed, skirt - bb dakota, tights - mp, boots - thrifted

We're on the third day of this hair and the second day of this outfit (it was worn under my princess coat). I've been extremely lazy and just keep tucking strands back into the braids and adding bobby pins. This braided style is kind of my thing right now, although I do think I need to trim my bangs. I know a lot of people think I am crazy for wearing skirts in the winter, but these amazing cotton lined wool tights are warmer than any pants I own. They do pill a little, so they're not the best for a super sleek look, but they are warm. I also layer flannel shorts under all my skirts during the winter, which really adds a lot of warmth. 

I braved the snow and went to work, but we closed the store early, so I went home and drank hot cocoa with peppermint schnapps. I found this cute snowman in the parking lot, right in front of my car when I was jumpstarting it. The poor old thing doesn't like the cold. It started snowing again right when I got home, but snow when you're cozy at home, with a nice fire, well . . .  there's not much better than that, is there?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

vintage winter wonderland

coat - thrifted, lipstick - revlon really red

I bought this coat last year but never had a chance to wear it. Honestly, I doubt I'll wear it more than once a year but I just couldn't pass it up at the thrift store. How often do you find and floor length, soft pink, wool coat with fur collar and cuffs. Actually, it looks like the fur was added at home, but it's soft and warm and lovely. It reminds me of something a Russian princess would wear. Of course I had to wear red lipstick. Unfortunately, we were losing the light while taking these pictures and I didn't get a full length shot. It really is a fabulous coat.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

snow day

We finally got snow! And I proved I'm not a grownup yet by skipping work and having fun. Well, actually, I got stranded in Seattle and, knowing how everyone freaks out at the sight of snow in this town, elected to wait it out until it at least stopped coming down. Seriously, we don't handle snow well here. People get really stupid when they try to drive in it.

peacoat - old navy, scarf - gift, pants - gap, boots - thrifted

Here you see the mysterious and rarely seen Abominable Snow Rachel! This delightfully cozy scarf holds onto snow astonishingly (and chillingly!) well, so I looked ridiculous by the time I returned to my friend Shane's apartment. We thought it was pretty much done snowing and went out for a walk to check it out but it continued the entire time. The city looked absolutely beautiful, all soft and quiet. At least a couple inches accumulated while Shane and I were walking (the Abominable Snow Rachel was his idea, by the way) so when we got back to his apartment we found one of those cheesy fireplace videos on Netflix and made hot cocoa. Eventually, I got brave enough to drive home, which turned out to be not very scary. Still, I'm glad I didn't drive while it was actually snowing, and instead enjoyed it. This is the first snow we've had all winter, and I'm guessing after it clears up we won't get any more. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012


ok, so I know I've been a lazy bum and haven't really talked about Christmas yet. BUT I am, finally and I have a million pictures. Starting with our tree!

Every year I kind of sort of pick a theme for decorating, but I end up using most of the same stuff. Usually I just switch up some basic colored balls and buy a few new ornaments, but mostly use the same old ones year to year. I like things that are sentimental or meaningful or funny. These year I kind of focused on a folk-art/Nordic style. Plain white lights and lots of handmade ornaments. I bought more than I should have, but got some really pretty things.

We always do stockings and open presents at our house in the morning before we get dressed, so I usually wear something cute and Christmas-y. I got this cute shirt at Target a day or two before. We didn't go too all out with presents this year, instead just getting a few nice things each. I also made some really tasty french toast using a walnut bread. I don't eat breakfast most of the time (a habit I'm trying to change!) so breakfast is always kind of special, no matter what it is. The walnut bread definitely made this extra yum, adding nuttiness and texture.

And, if french toast isn't decadent enough, I had one of Amanda's delicious gingerbread man cookies. (And how cute is the polka dot decoration? Adorable!) She makes the best gingerbread. After our little family Christmas, we headed over to my stepdad's sister's, where we always do the big family thing. He has a big family so it's busy and crazy and so much fun. His other sister, the one who lives in Denmark now, even came, although she got stuck at the airport for a bit.

sweaterdress - yesstyle, wool tights - mp, shoes - jeffrey campbell, giant scarf - gift

I bought this sweater last year and absolutely love it. With thick tights or leggings, it's a dress. At work, with pants, it's a sweater. It's cozy and cute, and my beloved nordic pattern. Yeah, I might be a little obsessed. I also absolutely adore this giant knit scarf in brick red. My aunt gave it to my mom...the year before last? But she doesn't wear it much, so I've kind of adopted it.

Our power went out Christmas morning, after we opened presents and everything, and it was still out when we got home. Justina and I decided to drive/walk around the neighborhoods in town (where they had power) and look at Christmas lights because we skipped that usual before-Christmas tradition. It was pretty and nice, especially since I always get bored in the evening on holidays. It's like, after you do all the stuff you're supposed to do, you don't want to just do something boring like watch tv, you want something festive still! I took a lot of pictures, including of this cool light teepee, the cat we met, and weird long exposure experimental ones.

I bundled up pretty hardcore because it was real cold, and I also slipped a few mini bottles of whiskey in my coat pocket to sip while wandering around looking at the lights. A co-worker gave them to me as part of a present. She bought a whole bag full of mini liquor bottles to give out and when she bought them it was the FIRST time she'd ever been in a liquor store. Can you believe that?? She's not super young or anything, she has a granddaughter!

Christmas eve J and I thought about going to a FabDownBros show but decided to stick with our usual JAR hangout and gift exchange. Amanda and I both got each other perfume, which I thought was pretty funny. I guess it makes sense, since we try them out together, so we know what each other likes. She also got the cutest gnome lamp from J, who gave me an adorable tote bag with a print of the bookcover for A Clockwork Orange from Out of Print. (Totally want like all their shirts!) And how cute does A look?? She was dressed up for Christmas and I just love that dress.

Some of my favorite gifts this year! Lola by Marc Jacobs perfume, a sparkly star shaped clutch from Modcloth, the literary tote Justina gave me, some socks my mom knit me, nice soap (Andy always gives soap to everyone), and a handmade frame with a Edward S. Curtis photo. I also got a cute wool skirt and funky hamper sort of thing from Riley, a scarf from my grandma, and some other things I forget.

Well...Christmas is long over but I hope yours was just as fabulous as mine. It all seemed to go so fast this year, I must remember to slow down and enjoy it more next year.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

y'all wanna see my turkey?

So I realized I never posted about Thanksgiving and I really wanted to because I cooked a turkey! I need to brag, I cooked a whole turkey. I did a cider glaze and it was delicious. Mom and I spent all day cooking and drinking prosecco and we ended up with a huge amount of delicious food. Below, you can see on my plate the cider glazed turkey of course, mashed potatoes and gravy (pan drippings are yum), a mushroom-y stuffing, this bomb-ass cranberry walnut cranberry relish with maple syrup, brussel sprouts with bacon, and roast acorn squash and sweet potatoes. Yeah...yum. I'm kind of jealous of Amanda, who has a mini-thanksgiving every New Years Day, because I want to eat all this stuff again. Oh, and some of our homemade cider as well!

I'm pretty proud of how all our food turned out, as well as how our table looked. I bought my mom some new plates from Ikea because ours were all chipped and ugly. These are a nice simple style in a pretty light green color. I also found some nice green napkins at the thriftstore (just wash in hot water!) and even though they're not the same green I think they look nice. I bought a ton of them because they were super cheap and finding a nice big set is unusual. We paired that with crystal and silver from my grandma, some pretty flowers from Trader Joe's, and some seasonally appropriate orange tapers in my great grandmother's silver candle sticks. I kind of love the combination of modern/thrifted and antiques and heirloom pieces. And yes, the silver needs to be polished, especially the teapot holding the flowers but I reallly like tarnished silver so I let it go.

sweater - icelandica, dress - francesca's collections, tights - mp, clogs - jeffrey campbell

Even though we didn't have many people over for dinner and just a few friends came over drinks later that evening, I like dressing up for holidays, so I wore this new dress I got when I was shopping with Amanda. The pattern along the hem was what really made it for me, since it reminded me of city skyline. And the black and brown seemed perfect for fall! Of course, when A stopped by later, she was wearing her classic hand-turkey tshirt which I LOVE. Seriously, check that shit out. Maybe I need a guest post from her next year?

My new Thanksgiving tradition is having friends over for drinks and a movie after everyone's long done eating. I tend to get bored in the evenings of holidays where most of the action happens earlier in the day, so I like to do things with friends in the evening on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Anyways, last year my family was out of town, so after dinner at A's, Shane and Shiloh came over for some homemade hard cider. This year, I added Fantastic Mr. Fox to the evening, since I think it is the perfect Thanksgiving movie. So much food! I think that may become an annual tradition too. This year though, I invented a cocktail! It's called the Apple Snap and it's delicious. Inexact recipe after the picture!

Apple Snap
2 parts bourbon
1 part boiled cider (aka apple molasses)*
squeeze of lemon
dash bitters

Shake with ice and strain into ice filled glass and top with soda water. Garnish with a slice of apple.

*Boiled cider or apple molasses is an old fashioned sweetener made by boiled apple cider to one seventh the original volume. I made my own as a way to preserve some of our excess apple cider this year, but if you're on the east coast you may be able to find it. Out here on the west coast, you'll either have to order it online from the one or two places that will ship it, or make it yourself out of the freshest apple cider you can find. Don't use apple juice, but if you're limited to grocery store stuff, just try to find something unfiltered/as little processed as possible.

(I'll try to update this next time I make this drink and actually measure stuff.)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

holiday party - tacoma style

dress- target, boots - thrifted, fascinator - diy

We went to an extremely fun holiday party in Tacoma, thrown by our lovely friends Brady and Sid. Their apartment was so cute and they put up masses of lights and even had one of those cheesy fireplace videos projected onto their non-functional fireplace. And so much good food and drink! Eggnog, fondue, meatballs, ham, and an adorable cake J brought. We had a white elephant gift exchange, which ended up being a pretty funny mix of things. I think the hot item was a dog shaped cookie jar. I got the cutest little handmade, beaded ornament. Brady pulled out some classic Christmas records to keep the mood festive and it was just a really really fun party.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

xmas prep

sweatshirt - cairo via urban craft uprising, dress - thrifted, tights - target, boots - thrifted, purse - thrifted coach

These were taken back in December when I was getting ready for Christmas. Every year, J and I get gross seasonal drinks at Starbucks and then head to Molbaks to wander, look at pretty stuff, and buy a few overpriced ornaments. It's delightful. The holiday season really is one of my favorite times of year and every year I wish I had more time and did more things. This year was no exception, in fact, I think it's been the worst yet. Way too busy with work and stuff to do all the things I wanted. Half my decorations either never got put up or waited until Christmas eve and I only made a few things. Christ, I didn't even send out cards this year. But there's no point in whining about all that. I DID do and make some fun things, which I'll be posting on in the next few days. And I'm determined to make the rest of the winter a fun time too. Ice skating anyone?

I used to love getting fresh, real trees at Christmas but my mom's allergies make that kind of selfish now. Instead, this year I satisfied that urge by wandering through the trees at Molbaks for quite awhile and picking out my pretend tree. I liked this kind of funky one and hung up a little felt fox on it, just for fun.

The huge expanses of poinsettias are also rather fantastic. J liked these pink ones best but I think my favorite were the multi-colored ones. They have so many kinds! We spent quite a long time there, just kind of wandering.

A couple days before we went to Urban Craft Uprising in Seattle. That's where I got the sweatshirt. It was fun but I didn't find anything for anyone else. Still, Christmas shopping downtown is always delightful and the lights were fun and we had a good time.

This year, my winter style has been a slightly odd mix of grunge and holiday pretty. These two shopping days, layers for extra coziness were the big idea. Big sweatshirts, flannel, wool, tights, ugly hats, and weird prints.