Friday, July 23, 2010

back in black

Picture-taking today started outside but I started melting pretty much right away so we moved the operation into my study room where I stood in front of the vent and mainlined iced tea.  I'd probably have done better to bathe in the stuff for how long it took me to cool off.  Actually all I had to do was go and change clothes, which I did, but first I wanted to document what I wore to go and politely ask the bank to reverse some recent overdraft charges to my account.  I wanted something simple and conservative but also that I really loved and felt comfortable and confident wearing.  P voted against this dress when I bought it, arguing that it just looked like a t-shirt, which he doesn't seem to realize is entirely the point.  Whatever.  My orange study-buddy gets it.  He's all about fashion.  And scholarship ~ here he's flipping through William Manchester's The Glory and the Dream.  He suggests you buy it used, or borrow it from your local library.  
(Joie silk dress, Frank Gehry for Tiffany ring and earrings, Movado watch, Marc by Marc Jacobs flats)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

puppy love

Just the one picture for today's post ~ one that perfectly depicts how we spent the morning: trip to the dog park, wander through the farmer's market, lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant and a stop-in at the used book store where I found one book for my dissertation and another entitled Fashion in History that deserves a post of its own.
More important, as far as P and I are concerned, is officially introducing our most beloved big dog, Tammy.  We adopted her from the Animal Defense League of Texas, a no-kill shelter here in San Antonio, in 2007 after we came back from England the last time.  My mother had started looking for a dog that summer and I was only too happy to spend my time searching Petfinder for her perfect pup instead of writing my dissertation (I found him, by the way).  Having spent a few months looking at adoptable dogs online (and knowing my parents planned to keep the cat I'd rescued in college), I begged P to let me adopt a dog, which he agreed to do after I submitted my dissertation.  Instead he broke his toe, ending our marathon training, and I suffered severe writer's block with barely a week to go before my deadline.  One morning after breakfast, I prevailed on him to take me over to ADL just to see about a dog I'd seen on the internet who had a huge, fluffy tail.  We went straight to the building she was meant to be in but she wasn't there ~ later we found out she had been moved to a more social building because she hadn't been eating.  The volunteer we asked about her said she was "crazy" and that we didn't want a crazy dog.  So we walked around a little longer looking at the other dogs and finally I agreed to leave if P would let me do one last pass through one of the buildings.  When we walked in we saw a big brown dog in one of the unmarked pens that had been empty before (we got there when they were cleaning) and I fell in love at first sight.  Our eyes met and she gave a little tail-flop at which point I dropped to the ground in front of the gate and told P to please go find someone who could show us this dog.  He hobbled off (he was walking with a cane at the time) and after what seemed like forever came back with the same volunteer who informed us that this was, in fact, Tammy ~ the very dog we had originally come to see!  The second he reached for the latch she bounced five feet into the air (she's nearly as tall as I am at full length) and wouldn't calm down.  He put the kennel leash on her, handed it to me and walked away saying he'd warned us.  Underweight at 52 lbs she was still incredibly strong and nearly jerked me off my feet (which she has done on other occasions) in her excitement to get out.  She dragged me around for a couple minutes until I found someone who would let me into a play-area where I let her off leash.  She ran around a few times then found an old tennis ball, and when P finally arrived I told him flat out, "This is the dog."  We met her on a Friday but weren't able to bring her home until Monday because they wanted the vet to check on why she wasn't eating so we went to visit her Saturday and Sunday morning, playing fetch for at least an hour each time.  
Monday morning she jumped right into the car for the ride to her forever home and we've been a family ever since. 

(Target hat and t-shirt, Vince shorts, Birkenstock sandals, Coach purse, Movado watch, Ten Thousand Things earrings)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

chop chop

Right, so, yesterday was Bastille Day and even though I'm late posting these pictures, you can rest assured that I did in fact dress up specifically for the occasion in tricolor (and a couple of my favorite French accessories).
I wish I could say we spent the day munching on baguettes and pâté while watching fireworks over the Seine but instead we ran errands in the 95ºF heat.  Hence I look like something of a melty mess ~ I'm working on it, I swear.  I just haven't found the solution yet. (Hey ~ if you have any great beat-the-heat-and-humidity tips, please, send them my way!)  In fairness, though, we had a lot of fun: got a haircut, popped into various random stores that we came across, and finally ended up drinking passion-tea lemonades outside Neiman Marcus (where we made some returns and took these slightly-over-exposed photos that I enjoy exaggerating)
The big deal in this outfit is obviously the skirt, and the big deal in the skirt is obviously the bow, of which I am inordinately proud (and probably not ever going to untie because I don't think I could do it as well again).  I would also like you to know that I probably spent as much or more time ironing this skirt as I spent actually wearing it.  It is also possible that my inexperience ironing exceeded the actual difficulty of the task (don't worry Dad ~ I took the plastic off the board first).
Now, I know I've gone a little bit overboard with the bag-on-table pictures lately (two is overboard as far as I'm concerned) but I wanted to explicitly highlight the incredible book I'm reading, A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel.  It's a novel of the French Revolution told through the friendships of Camille Desmoulins, Georges-Jacques Danton and Maximilien Robespierre and it is very, very good.  I started reading it just before we left London after having searched high and low for it on the Waterstone's 3-for-2 tables.  Seriously, we went to at least three Waterstone's locations before finding a single copy on special at the LSE location, which happens to have the tiniest fiction section ever.  (We also experienced our first-ever difficulty choosing a third book on that trip and ended up going with another pocket-size Moleskine just so we could get gone.  This has never happened before, nor will it every happen again.)  My obsession stemmed from just having finished her book Wolf Hall (also picked up on 3-for-2 by P the Camden outpost en route to a hair cut) which won the 2009 Man Booker prize and was so intensely intoxicating that I could not put it down ~ the best historical fiction I've read in ages.  Tudor England and revolutionary France (respectively) are two eras that I haven't studied in any particular detail, but these novels have so piqued my interest that I'm paralleling them with Jenny Uglow's A Gambling Man (yeah, okay, it's Restoration but still Cromwells so I'm counting it) and Simon Schama's Citizens (of which we have, like, a zillion copies, for whatever reason).  If you're into history, or books, or both, I highly recommend all of the above.  Besides, it's summer ~ what else are you going to do?
(Loft tee, Thakoon x Target skirt, Coach shoes, Movado watch, James Avery bracelet, grandmother's vintage costume necklace, Target scarf, Longchamp bag and Chanel sunglasses)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

deep in the [he]art of texas

Hard to believe we've been back for two weeks and this is only the first post from Texas!  Things have been such a whirlwind what with travel and moving and all, but as you may be able to tell from these pictures we are so incredibly happy to finally be back home (heat, humidity and all).  I returned from New Mexico on Saturday, we spent Sunday visiting my grandmother and yesterday running errands so today was really the first chance we had to do something fun.  Tuesday is late-opening at the San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) with free admission from 4 to 9 so we decided to head over and check out the Ancient Near-East Galleries (and take some pictures, naturally).  The Gary Sweeney piece above is actually out in the museum parking lot, and it's one of my favorite of their assorted installations (the other being a Chihuly ceiling of which I was unable to get a good picture) because it simultaneously spreads the museum beyond its physical limits and contextualizes it in the architectural era of the surrounding neighborhood.  Plus I just like it. 
I hope you won't mind the excessive goofiness of these pictures ~ like I said, I'm really happy to be home.  Ordinarily we're diametrically opposed to jumping pictures (as p has stated previously) but since I hit this heel-click I kind of have to share it.  My outfit came together a little unexpectedly right at the point where I was about to give up and call the night off; it's a reprise of what I wore to have dim sum last week with my mother (but didn't get a chance to photograph) and I threw it on this time just as a demonstration but P said go with it, so there you are.  The whole thing ~ dress, scarf and shoes ~ cost me less than $20 and I've worn each piece at least twice in the week I've had them, even though P dislikes the shoes (they're leopard print with gold-glitter polka-dots, go figure).  The scarf is a relative of the green and blue ones I've posted previously with same wonderful, saturated color (and it was on sale).  
Apparently people leave their entry stickers on the post of the pedestrian-crossing sign outside the museum.  I love how it's sort of a community-art-collaboration-replaces-trash-bin thing (people also leave their gum, among other things).
Anyhow, welcome [to our] home!

(Target dress, flats and scarf, Hobo clutch and heirloom jewelry) 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

modern love

All apologies for the absence of posts ~ in the past two weeks we've packed up our studio and moved from London back to San Antonio, whereupon I immediately skipped over to Albuquerque to attend the wedding of one of my dearest high school friends, leaving P behind to clean and tidy. Suffice it to say, outfits and photos haven't been all too much of a priority for either of us, at least until now, but a wedding is obviously something special and naturally should be treated as such. 
  The outfits in this post are actually out of order, as I wore this one to the Day-After-The-Wedding Brunch, but I was able to get more pictures of it so it goes first.  I threw this on in the fifteen minutes between waking up and leaving my parents' house to have a pre-brunch coffee with one of the bridesmaids ~ a timeline that included feeding my mother's dogs (that's Monty gazing adoringly at me) and cleaning up one of their overnight accidents.  It's the kind of outfit that I felt very glad to have pieces in place that I could just grab and go (two of which I acquired the day before the wedding after being stood up by said bridesmaid ~ thanks Amy!).
 Which two, you ask?  Why, the shoes above and the shirt below, of course!  (The key pieces, naturally.)  I cannot adequately communicate to you the limitations of shopping in Albuquerque, so I was more than a little nervous when I set out to find a top to go with one of the skirts I brought to potentially wear to the wedding.  I did find a top (though I ended up going with a different outfit) but I also found quite a bit more, largely due to the spectacular sale going on at Ann Taylor Loft (40% off regular priced merchandise and 50% off sale items ~ INSANE).  To be honest I haven't been inside an Ann Taylor in over ten years, and this was my first trip to Loft, but I ended up taking about a million things into the dressing room and having to rationally talk myself down on the number of things to purchase.  I've had my eye out for a summery wedge to help ease me back into the world of heels, and these shoes fit the bill perfectly (in more ways than one).  They're also a shoe that would never have made it out of the box if P had been there (partly because he doesn't like gladiator-styles and mostly because he hates gold) but his absence allowed me to indulge myself, which paid off in compliments from my friends at brunch.
 Between the beautiful print and folded neckline this top was a no-brainer.  The material is cotton and silk, and while I normally avoid the latter during summer for reasons of being a sweaty mess, the mix here is lightweight, slightly slinky and very breathable, plus the elasticized bubble hem keeps it breezy and comfortable for the high desert.  I'm a little less optimistic about wearing it in Texas' super-humid heat, but we'll see ~ I may have found my new summer fabric.
Now the accessories (please forgive my self-indulgent tableau ~ I have a lot of time on my hands here).  The sunglasses I wear pretty much all the time, and the bag I grabbed on sale in Heathrow because I had two suitcases as carry-ons for the flight home and wanted something to stash my book and lip balm in at my seat.  I'm liking it far more than I planned to, which doesn't bode well for future purchases.
Finally, a quick snap of what I wore to the wedding, taken in the bathroom at the reception.  Not ideal, I know, but I was kind of in a rush on the way out.  I had no idea ahead of time what I would end up wearing so I brought five pairs of shoes, two skirts, two dresses and a couple tops, then went out shopping for more when I landed, but this was actually the outfit I had in mind all along and I'm really glad I went with it.  Pretty and comfortable and great for a few hours of intense dancing with some of my favorite friends.  The wedding was amazing, the bride was beautiful (the norm for her) and so much palpable love you couldn't cut it with a knife.  Also the requisite wedding-party hook-up to make us all proud.  I'm not usually a wedding person, but this was far and away the best I've ever been to.  And I am so excited for the lovely couple (who should be off to Cancun any minute now).

(Outfit #1-Brunch: vintage Sunglasses, Loft tank, Seven stretch straight-leg jeans, Loft wedges, Longchamp bag, heirloom jewelry; Outfit #2-the Wedding: old Tahari top, Diane Von Furstenberg skirt, old Marc by Marc Jacobs flats, Hobo International clutch, pashmina from Istanbul, Frank Gehry for Tiffany Torque ring and earrings, James Avery bangle and Pianegonda ring)