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Clothing, Style, Travel

Making Waves

ferry-ride-pink-jacket-5ferry-ride-pink-jacket-7ferry-ride-pink-jacket-10ferry-ride-pink-jacket-4ferry-ride-pink-jacket-1ferry-ride-pink-jacket-9ferry-ride-pink-jacket-8ferry-ride-pink-jacket-6Hat: J.Crew // Overcoat: Forever 21 (old, other great pink coat options here, here and here) // Moto jacket: Zara (sold out, similar here and here) // Shirt: J.Crew // Jeans: Old Navy // Scarf: J.Crew (old, similar) // Boots: Circus by Jeffrey Campbell (old, similar) // Bag: Zara // Gloves: Target (old, similar)

In light of my recent shopping moratorium, I spent the last couple months of 2016 haunting my favorite stores—J.Crew, Zara and, of course, Nordstrom—for anything I simply couldn’t live without for the next year. Among those items that I picked up on my last-ditch shopping spree was this playful and very pink pompom beanie that I scored for a song at J.Crew.

I’ve always loved wearing color and lots of it, but something about these grey Seattle days has me assembling super-saturated looks like the Space Needle depends on it. This new bubblegum toque offered the perfect excuse to pull all the pink items from my closet and wear them all at once. A trusty J.Crew striped shirt served as the soft, comfy base, a blush-hued moto jacket from Zara added extra warmth (perfect for shielding me from the wind on the deck of this Victoria, BC-bound ferry) and a vintage-inspired pink cocoon coat completed the layered look.

As Pacific Northwest natives and Grey’s Anatomy fans will know, ferries are quintessentially Seattle and to me, riding them never gets old. When I was young and lived in Gig Harbor, I used to take the ferry to Seattle every other Friday after school on the way to my dad’s house. Waiting in line in the car seemed endless and almost unbearable, but once we boarded and walked out onto the deck, sailing from dock to dock, my imagination was free to conjure images of orcas swimming alongside us, magical campsites on forgotten islands overgrown with fragrant evergreens and seagulls swooping down to offer me tokens of polished shell and glossy kelp, a la the helpful Snow White birds.

This was my first ferry ride in a few years, and it didn’t disappoint. We were sailing from Port Angeles to Victoria, BC, where my family and I were to spend our Christmas in cozy Canadian conviviality. The skies were blue, the waters calm and the light was soft and warm. My sister kindly ignored her frozen fingers to snap these pictures of me on the deck of the Coho before we ducked back inside to snack on soda and popcorn. As well pulled into port, snow started swirling all around us, providing the perfect start to our family getaway.

Style, Travel

Garfield Conservatory

floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-13floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-18floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-16floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-17floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-10floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-15 floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-9floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-11floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-8floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-12floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-3floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-2floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-4floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-14 floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-6floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-7 floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-5Vest: Topshop // Blouse: Banana Republic // Jeans: Express // Sunglasses: Karen Walker via DITTO // Earrings: old, similar // Bag: old, similar // Boots: Circus by Sam Edelman // Manicure: Nails by MEI

What to do when you’re more than ready for spring to come, but the bulbs are just starting to push through the ground? Put on your prettiest floral print silk top—layered with a luxuriously plush faux fur vest because it’s technically still winter—and head to that great Victorian invention of indoor botany: the conservatory. Although the stunning facade of the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco may be more appealing from the outside, the Garfield Conservatory just outside of Chicago boasts hidden lush gardens that are hard to beat.

We recently popped up to Chicago so I could cover an event for the Nordstrom blog, where I was treated to this bananas manicure by the great Mei, but once my job was done we had some time to explore Chicagoland a bit. We were originally planning on checking out the Van Gogh exhibit at the Art Institute but ran out of time, so we decided to explore the conservatory after we happened to drive past it, and I’m so glad we did.

In addition to the wealth of daffodils, hyacinths, orchids and succulents, the Garfield is currently home to the solarise exhibit, which the conservatory website describes as “a series of light and sculptural environments created by Luftwerk – Chicago artists Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero.” I especially loved the floral patchwork of red-and-blue lucite panels that were suspended over the Show Room, adding another layer of color to the already stunning setting. We spent over an hour wandering from greenhouse to greenhouse, snapping photos along the way, but I could have happily just moved on in like the kids in From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Being around that many flowers and all that beautiful color left me with a huge, dumb grin on my face, and I can’t wait to go back.

Style, Travel

A Gray Day in San Francisco

moto-vest-plaid-blanket-scarf-8moto-vest-plaid-blanket-scarf-2moto-vest-plaid-blanket-scarf-10moto-vest-plaid-blanket-scarf-3moto-vest-plaid-blanket-scarf-6moto-vest-plaid-blanket-scarf-11moto-vest-plaid-blanket-scarf-7moto-vest-plaid-blanket-scarf-4moto-vest-plaid-blanket-scarf-1moto-vest-plaid-blanket-scarf-5moto-vest-plaid-blanket-scarf-9Top: Necessary Clothing // Vest: Topshop // Pants: Express // Scarf: Zara // Bag: Kate Spade // Booties: Circus by Sam Edelman // Pompom: Amazon // Sunglasses: Karen Walker via DITTO // Bracelet: Julie Vos // Rings: BaubleBar

As I write this post, curled up on my couch in Iowa, my phone is telling me that it feels like -20 degrees outside. And so, when I look back at these pictures of what seemed like a chilly day in San Francisco, I laugh at my past self. The self that had been spoiled by a so-far extremely mild Midwestern winter. But I digress.

On this particular day during our recent trip to SF, Max and I stopped to admire the view of the bay from the top of Pac Heights. Although the day was mostly gray and rainy, we were treated to the appearance of a rainbow that arced softly down the hill and seemed to disappear into the water. Thanks to a cozy blanket scarf that I picked up at Zara on my trip, I stayed nice and bundled even atop the windy hill. My favorite moto vest—which I scored during the Nordstrom anniversary sale last summer—topped off the muted look.

After snapping a few photos, we hopped in the car to meet my lovely friend Kia at Craftsmen & Wolves in the Mission and warm up with a cup of sipping caramel. Come to this of it, that’s exactly what I need right now to keep my internal temperature above freezing. I wonder if Postmates delivers to Iowa City…


5 Places I Want to Visit in 2016

I see a visit to The City of Light in my not-so-distant future. A few girlfriends and I are planning a trip in June full of wine, cheese and pâtisserie. I’ve been to Paris once before, but I was young, the weather was bad and we only stayed for three days. I can’t wait to explore all Paris has to offer in the spring—suggestions on where to stay and what to see are very welcome!

parisparis2paris4paris32. ICELAND
My little brother Billy will be shipping off to grad school in Reykjavík this summer, and I’m so proud of him! I also can’t wait to visit. Colorful photo ops abound, as do beautiful hikes and natural hot springs, but most of all, I’d love to cross one major thing off my bucket list: see the Northern Lights.

Reykjavik1Reykjavik2Reykjavik3Reykjavik43. AUSTIN, TX
I grew up less than an hour south of Austin in the great city of San Antonio (go Spurs!), but I’ve spent surprisingly little time in the capital city, especially as an adult. Since I’m currently campaigning Max to consider Austin as a future home post-Iowa, I’d love to take a quick weekend trip up from SA to explore the delicious food, abundance of live music and, of course, world-class vintage shopping.
austin1austin4austin5THIS WILL BE THE COVER IMAGE (pls don't use inside) People wait in line for 4 to 5 hours to taste the food from Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas. Matthew Odam's Top 10 barbecue restaurants in Austin. 05.06 2014 LAURA SKELDING/AMERICAN-STATESMAN 052314 xl cover
Admittedly this one is a stretch, with at least one major international trip already on the books for 2016, but a girl can dream, right? I’ve long been enchanted by the rich history and classic literature of Russia and I’d love the chance to tour the country I find so fascinating. First on my wish list? A trip (or three) to see the Bolshoi, shopping for caviar and vodka at one of the resplendent food halls and touring the relatively new Fabergé Museum in Saint Petersburg.
Max and I will be attending the Miami wedding of one of his best friends this summer, and we’re hoping to make the quick jaunt down to Cuba after the nuptials. I’m dying to see the colorful colonial buildings, vintage American hot rods and storied cabarets. It’s unclear whether we’ll be able to get tourist visas by the time fall rolls around, so we may have to settle for mojitos and Cubanos in Little Havana instead.


Paris images via 1, 2, 3, 4 // Iceland images via 1, 2, 3, 4 // Austin images via 1, 2, 3, 4 // Russia images via 1, 2, 3, 4 // Cuba images via 1, 2, 3, 4

Style, Travel

Sunset on the Mississippi


Vest: Old Navy (old, similar) // Scarf: Old Navy // Shirt: Anthropologie (sold out) // Jeans: Old Navy // Boots: J.Crew (purchased on Poshmark, similar here) // Bag: Coach (sold out, similar) // Earrings: Kendra Scott // Rings: BaubleBar // Sunglasses: Karen Walker via DITTO

That tiny, colorful town down there on the banks of the Mississippi goes by the name of Bellevue, Iowa—and for good reason. If you’re willing to take a meandering little jaunt off the main road, you’ll find yourself atop densely wooded bluffs with views of the river that are, indeed, very beautiful. But the views themselves weren’t the destination.

In an effort to explore more of Iowa in our three years here, Max and I set off last weekend to check out a local place called Potter’s Mill. What we found was a blues and barbecue joint housed in a charming historic gristmill located just off the Mississippi. Since we had just spent some time taking pictures traipsing around in the snow and running from imagined bears, once the sun set we were very glad to shed our scarves and rosy cheeks in the warmth of the big red mill. An Irish coffee for the lady, a beer for gentleman and a plate of brisket and fries to share.

It was the kind of cold day when it’s easy to make friends with the bartender/owner and you almost manage convince yourself it’s a good idea to stay a few more hours until the band starts playing. Inviting twinkle lights and small-town charm aside, we were homebound well before bedtime with every intention of returning with friends once the weather warms up.