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Going Dutch

tulip-time-polka-dot-dress-7tulip-time-polka-dot-dress-5tulip-time-polka-dot-dress-11tulip-time-polka-dot-dress-3tulip-time-polka-dot-dress-16tulip-time-polka-dot-dress-4tulip-time-polka-dot-dress-13tulip-time-polka-dot-dress-1tulip-time-polka-dot-dress-17tulip-time-polka-dot-dress-8tulip-time-polka-dot-dress-6tulip-time-polka-dot-dress-14tulip-time-polka-dot-dress-2tulip-time-polka-dot-dress-18Dress: Asos // Hat: J.Crew // Shoes: Old Navy (old) // Sunglasses: Prada // Bag: Forever 21 // Watch: Michael Kors // Bracelets: Kate Spade (old, similar) and Julie Vos

On the first weekend in May, in a very small town in Iowa, tens of thousands of people converge in a town square lined with rows of Dutch-style buildings for a little something called Tulip Time. It’s a festival of Dutch heritage, complete with a parade, delicious Dutch pastries, wooden clogs and of course, lots of tulips.

Having heard all about the tulips as well as the Vermeer Mill (the country’s tallest working windmill) on Iowa Public Radio, I was determined to make the drive to Pella to take in the sights, and I’m so glad we did. With spring in full effect here in Iowa, the tulips were out in force—and they were stunning.

There were several large plots of blooming buds in the “downtown” area, but it seemed like everywhere you looked there were different varieties in a range of vibrant shades. I especially loved the super-saturated dark purple variety pictured at the beginning of this post—so exotic!

Long story short, I can’t wait to go back to Pella, and next time, I’m going to eat some stroopwafel.

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Clothing, Shopping, Uncategorized

Black + White Windowpane

black-and-white-windowpane-1 black-and-white-windowpane-6black-and-white-windowpane-4black-and-white-windowpane-2black-and-white-windowpane-5black-and-white-windowpane-8Hat: Target // Jacket: Forever 21 // Top: J.Crew // Jeans: Old Navy // Purse: Steve Madden (similar) // Shoes: Target // Necklace: Julie Vos // Sunglasses: Prada

I love a good windowpane print. There’s something about the shadowy interplay between black and white that is at once elegantly timeless and graphically modern. I practically wore out my favorite windowpane scarf this winter, so as temperatures finally started to warm up, I began the hunt for a more lightweight iteration.

After plenty of online window shopping, I finally found exactly what I was looking for in this printed silk tee from J.Crew. Not only do I love the small-scale windowpane print, but (almost) more importantly, I love the small design details. Supple silk inhabits an oversized t-shirt silhouette, mixing high and low aesthetics with signature Lyons aplomb. Slender black piping traces the shirttail hem, furthering the fun interplay between casual and luxe. I really could go on about this shirt for awhile…I think my day job is rubbing off on me.

But, in wrapping up this post, I suppose I should mention that since my #WearMoreHats campaign of 2015 began, I’ve been stocking up on headwear in earnest. My latest acquisition—this white straw Panama hat—is miraculous in that it both fits my very large head and cost a mere fifteen dollars. Win/win/windowpane.

Travel

Egypt: The Pyramids

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Cardigan: Target // Scarf: old // Top: Forever 21 // Pants: Forever 21 // Shoes: Target // Bag: Rebecca Minkoff // Necklace: Julie Vos // Bracelet: Julie Vos // Watch: Michael Kors

When you visit Cairo, you have to visit the pyramids. And although the tour seems almost routine from the start, the minute you drive up the hill and approach the massive necropoli, the atmosphere shifts. Yes, the pyramids are missing most of their outer layers, not to mention the maze of lush rivers, walkways and temples that once linked them, but the massive structures retain their pleasantly imposing air. It’s dizzying and wildly entertaining to imaging oneself smack dab in the middle of ancient Egypt, when the pyramids were in their element.

Now, they’re surrounded by hordes of ambitious camel and horse riders, who jockey loudly for the attention and money of tourists from all over the world. Having never ridden a camel, I decided to cross that very jarring activity off my bucket list and took a turn around the area on an old specimen name Michael Jordan. Post camel ride we did a little bit of illicit climbing (the temptation to ascend all the way to the top is strong), ate some fool and tameya sandwiches and then ambled down the hill to rest at the feet of the Great Sphinx of Giza.

The columns pictured above belong to the ancient temple that sits on a sunken terrace about eight feet below the base of the sphinx. Although the crumbling limestone stones of the temple lay in partial ruin now, they were once covered in pink granite with a floor paved entirely in pale, precious alabaster. What a sight that would have been.

Clothing, Lifestyle

Snowy Sunday

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Coat: Forever 21 // Scarf: Target // Cardigan: H&M (old) // T-Shirt: J.Crew // Leggings: American Apparel // Purse: Therapy // Boots: Sam & Libby // Ring: Julie Vos

Last Sunday, we woke up to birds chirping and a dreamy dusting of snow, so we shrugged on our coats and headed off to brunch. Two new breakfast spots have opened up in town over the past few months, effectively doubling our brunching options. Hooray!

We decided to check out Pullman, an upscale diner with an open kitchen and some beautiful red leather banquets. One bloody Mary, a bowl of cheesy grits and some delicious house-cured bacon later, we headed home via College Green and the scene was just too pretty not to snap some pictures. Next up on the brunch tour: Ride.

Accessories, Lifestyle, On the Cheapish

Panama Jackpot

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I’ve never been a hat person. Sure, I tried them on from time to time, but it was always an exercise in futility. Baseball hats, sun hats, and beanies all looked…not great. And then I realized that this failed head/hat relationship was due to the fact that I have an abnormally large head. After this revelation, I pretty much resigned myself to a hatless life. And I’ve been almost completely okay with this situation—with the exception of the Panama hat.

I can’t even count how many times I’ve tried on the classic J.Crew version. I actually almost bought it once. But even when I managed to find the L/XL size (yes, really), I couldn’t pull the trigger. It was a bit too pricey for a hat that still didn’t look quite right. And then, one fateful day in the not-too-distant past, I took a trip to Target. As I was rounding the final curve of my compulsory lap around the accessories section, I spied the telltale off-white woven palm and black ribbon of a Panama.

Like any insane person, I decided to once again try on a hat, fully expecting that, once again, it would look horrible. I barely even bothered to look in the mirror, so complete was my assurance that this attempt would be as unsuccessful as all the rest. And then…and then, for the first time maybe ever, a hat looked good on me! That this particular hat was only $16 to J.Crew’s $60 was just sweet, sweet icing on the cake.

Since I’ve finally found the hat for me, I’ve been making up for lost time and wearing it pretty much everywhere. Last weekend I whipped it out to take a trip to the farmers’ market, where in addition to these fragrant roses, I purchased the makings of some muy delicioso ceviche.

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Hat: Target // Top: Target // Cardigan: H&M (similar) // Shorts: Forever 21 // Purse: Forever 21 (similar) // Bag: Target (dollar section!) // Shoes: Old Navy // Nails: Essie in Lights

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