A couple weeks ago, I had the pleasure of showing my little sister around New York City. I bought tickets to Hamilton last summer, and since Genevieve had fallen in love with the musical in the meantime, my mom kindly offered to sponsor a sisters’ trip to the big city. Thanks, Mom!
Hat: 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.
Vest: 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.
Top: 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…
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!
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.
3. 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.
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.