Something Cricket This Way Comes

I think anyone who has read Lucindervention for the past year or so knows that I cannot get enough of a good cricket sweater. I love a great rowing blazer as well. Put the two sports together and you get this sporty treat and I am here for it!

It is marked down, albeit no longer in a full size run. Buyer beware, it is final sale so check out the size chart before checking out. 

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Good Girl Gone Plaid

I am always baffled at how late Philadelphia restaurants open for brunch. Cut to nearly three years ago and our first Sunday in this city. My husband and I wandered our neighborhood during the 9 am hour, during which I opted to get a manicure as the nearby nail salon opened prior to any bruncheries.

Having lived in Washington DC proper for eight years, I was accustomed to restaurants opening extra early. Let’s blame it on the maximizing-your-time-Type-A District culture. Saturdays and Sundays during those years consisted of an early spin and/or yoga class – love a back-to-back – followed by eggs and mimosas.

All of this is to preface that I was shocked at how late the restaurant where we brunched  last Saturday opened. It was only second to how shocked I was in regards to how cold it was. So much so, that when we went shopping at CVS – mouthwash, shampoo, conditioner, makeup wipes, candle, you know the necessities – we waited until about three minutes until the restaurant was to open, only to arrive before it opened. Luckily there was a store next door that was opened. Unfortunately it was a sex shop. Desperate times.

A pair of tights would have been a good call. To break down the rest of the outfit, the coat came in tall, albeit eight years ago (linking a similar one, below). It has held up well and the style is a classic. I look forward to wearing it for years to come. The lace top (last seen here and here) is marked down with an additional percentage off and is available in tall and several colors.

This skirt is everything. It is tartan but does not scream holiday. Even though it is not available in tall, it does not have to be because the hemline is a modest one. Since there is so much fabric to the skirt, much like a pleated one I wore late last year and last week, going down a few sizes looks more flattering than my usual size.

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Pack a Bag: Lord Baltimore Hotel, Part II

read part I here…

While staying at the Lord Baltimore Hotel, there are two in-house options for breakfast. The LB Tavern is the ideal option for a sit-down meal, be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner. However, as a college sports team was in town and staying at the Lord Baltimore Hotel the same weekend we were, the restaurant was fully booked. Pro tip: make a reservation with the hotel ahead of time! Luckily there is another option: The LB Bakery is the resident to-go breakfast eatery and a great alternative in the case that one cannot get a table at the LB Tavern.

Waking up on morning one, I {kindly} requested that my husband fetch {black} coffee and a croissant – chocolate or almond, didn’t matter which one – from the bakery downstairs. He returned with three coffees and three croissants, as Jamie planned on popping in later for some Baltimore architecture peeping. Spoiler alert: Jamie already had his breakfast, so I ate two croissants.

Waking up on morning two, I bounced out of bed to run downstairs for more croissants and coffee. I was back in the room with provisions prior to my husband even stirring.

Sidebar: Can we talk about the guestroom real quick? My favorite part of the weekend may have been our Saturday post-brunch, post-tour-of-the-hotel nap. The blackout shades and the king size hotel bed made for a perfect and restful siesta. 

Despite scoring seven hours of sleep the night prior, my face was especially puffy, likely due to drinking (one!) beer the night prior. Though I felt rested – what is it about sleeping well in hotel beds – I just looked especially tired. Face, meet Wayfarers. In an effort to be more authentic, I actually did wake up like this. With the addition to sneakers, these pajamas are what I wore downstairs to pick up breakfast. No shower. No brush. No mascara.

Toothbrush and mouthwash? Yes. What kind of monster do you think I am?!

sdsc05208sdsc05210sdsc05220sdsc05222sdsc05229sdsc05250sdsc05260sdsc05278sdsc05279sdsc05189Sincerest thanks to the Lord Baltimore Hotel for sponsoring my stay.

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Shopping Moratorium 2019 | 28/337

read last week…

Y’all, I made it another week without shopping. What tempted me this week? How about that sixty percent off of J.Crew markdowns for one?

I did not buy any of it. Where is my trophy?

Sartorial Sustainability Sunday: Carla Arvie, @igotitforchic

last week…

This week, I am excited to introduce you to Carla Arvie. Her Instagram feed initially landed on my radar in early January. I immediately loved it, and consequently her blog. Carla’s content looks like nothing else out there; she is a master when it comes to the secondary market. Thrift shopping is one of the most best ways to be sustainable, as it falls in the “reuse” in the environmental trifecta. (Remember: reduce, reuse, recycle?)

Carla and I went back and forth over email discussing style this past few weeks…

Credit: Carla Arvie, http://www.igotitforchic.net

L – When did you start blogging?

C – After FINALLY giving in to the peer pressure of my friends telling me to do it, I started my blogging journey in late August 2017.

L – Where can people find your blog and you on social media?

C – People can find me at my website www.igotitforchic.net and on Instagram @igotitforchic.

Credit: Carla Arvie, http://www.igotitforchic.net

L – Was your blog brand always focused on shopping secondhand? If so, was that the inspiration behind the blog and if not, what inspired you to take that direction?

C – For the most part yes! I fell in love with thrifting in high school. Goodwill was right across the street from campus so it naturally became my favorite thing to do. My mom wasn’t able to do many outings with us because of her job schedule, so she would give me and my siblings each a reasonable allowance to do activities together or to do something we liked. I really enjoyed using my allowance budget at thrift stores. It forced me to get creative with my styling and still in a way that was trendy with what other kids were wearing.

L – While I picked up a love for a good bargain from my mom, it wasn’t until I started looking to digital secondary markets that I grew an interest in shopping secondhand. Does an interest in thrifting run in your family?

C – Only amongst the “ultimate shoppers” in my family. My mom, my grandma, and my auntie Charlena. I’ve learned everything I know about thrifting, bargaining, and garage sales through them!

The concept of thrifting and shopping on a limited budget followed into my college years and my life today. It has become my lifestyle. People are always amazed at what I find and often say, “I need to go shopping with you!” So my blog has become a way for me to make that happen for my friends, and as well for people who appreciate a good bargain.

Credit: Carla Arvie, http://www.igotitforchic.net

L – I love that you show how accessible it is and that it should not be intimidating. I am always so impressed with the looks you put together. In regards to your Instagram – and actually this extends to your blog as well – it looks like nobody else’s feed or site.

C – Thank you so much, it has been my goal to build something that represents my life and sets me a part from other bloggers.

L – Do you have a favorite brick-and-mortar thrift or vintage store?

C – Oh man, if only I could choose. I hadn’t truly experienced vintage/antique shops until my freshman year in college. One of my fave things to do when I’m traveling or passing through a small town is to explore a vintage shop. I find the most original and just the coolest stuff at those random spots. As far as my can’t live without shop, that would be Thrift Giant. I’m guaranteed to leave with a pile of wardrobe goodies there under $60.

L – Do you ever shop secondhand online? If so, where?

C – I haven’t given this a true shot yet. Not going to lie, I’ve been very skeptical about thrifting or buying used clothing online for the last few years. However, seeing people find great scores at stores like Poshmark and Ebay more recently have made me more open to it.

L – I am obsessed with finding items from contemporary lines, like Milly or Tibi, that Blair Waldorf wore circa 2008 on eBay, ThredUp, Poshmark, and TheRealReal. Last year I woke up with a red wine mustache and the judgey Netflix “Are You Still Watching?” screen from the preceding night’s Gossip Girl binge and found that I had made several bids across eBay on items that Blair and Lily had worn in season one and season two of the series.

C – That’s crazy and great at the same time!

L – Do you have any advice for those who might be intimidated by shopping vintage or thrifting?

C – Yes! Honestly just have fun with it. Thrifting/vintage shopping is all about trying out new things and getting creative. Something I always do to is look for some of the most ridiculous things in the store that most people would make fun of or think “No way I’m wearing THAT”! I try on the items and often times I end up really liking one or two of those items. Even more so they end up being a favorite part of my closet after I purchase it.

L – I am sure especially since the majority of people who had seen it, even the first time around, were intimidated by the given article, thus making your closet even more unique.

Who and / or what are your style influences?

C – Karla Deras from the blog Karla’s Closet was the first blogger I ever followed. I was in love with the way she styled her vintage finds and made them look luxurious! Today, I would say I gravitate towards Tracee Ellis Ross, Solange, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kate Bosworth, and Megan Markle for style inspiration. And I’m really into the street-chic-meets-athleisure look right now.

L – Can we talk about how underrated Solange is? Her wedding pictures are epic.

C – So underrated girl! You get me!

Credit: Carla Arvie, http://www.igotitforchic.net

I Tweed This Blazer

It happened yet again. For the third time within six weeks, a tweed herringbone to-die-for blazer became available in tall, despite the fact that I was under the impression that it was not even produced in my size. A customer review of the product dated September 27th gave away that it was in fact available in tall sizing when it was initially released last fall. Shame on me for missing out on this opportunity.

I typically have all of the intel in regards to what is on the tall market which is why it blew my mind that I was unaware of not only this blazer but also the lavender variation being available in my size all along. Part of me does not even believe it was posted in my size until the gang at the warehouse notified corporate of the excess tweed tall blazers inventory.

Yes it is difficult to fathom wearing these autumnal shades now that it is nearly spring, especially since that there is still a lavender version available. (It is nearly spring right?… Bueller… Bueller…) Granted that the lavender version is called out as herringbone yet zooming into the product images does not show the same rich tweedy pattern that both this blazer and the gray version do; rather it looks very similar to the green variation from last autumn in terms of texture.

I typically would have already purchased my very own Black Redwood Multi blazer by this point. (The lavender version too!) I nearly ordered it this morning when I discovered that it was available. Currently it is $189.99 with fifty percent off. Ninety dollars for an wool tweed blazer. Bargain. In a prime example of self discipline, I resisted the urge to throw it in my cart, apply the percent off promo code, and anxiously await its arrival.

Not this week.

blazer

Spiced Tomato Soup // @2souschefs

“For our second recipe in our soup series, we put together a variation on the classic tomato. Most would think tomato soup strictly as a summer dish served either warm or chilled (think gazpacho) and to be honest, we were of that persuasion as well until my stepmother introduced us to Italian canned tomatoes.

Tomatoes are at their best in the sweltering days of summer when the sun beats down on the green leafs forcing the plant to add natural sugars to the fruit. However improvements in technology in the world of canning have allowed canned and frozen vegetables arguably as delicious as their fresh counterparts. I would argue that tomato soup made with canned tomatoes in the winter is just as delectable as tomato soup made with fresh tomatoes in the summer.

When we say ‘spiced tomato soup’ we don’t mean to say it will knock your socks off, but that spices like cinnamon, black pepper, and coriander enhance and round out the beautiful flavors of tomatoes. We garnished the soup with a marinated cherry tomato salad; the added acidity from the salad adds another dimension to the whole dish.

This recipe yield enough soup for four dinners.

Hamilton Beach is a common name in the household small wears department. We used the handheld immersion blender in this recipe to smooth out our tomato soup. It is great for blending homemade soups to whipping eggs for your next Sunday brunch. Our models is a touch older (well loved…), whereas newer models will have new attachments and multiple speeds.” – Joe

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion – rough chopped
  • 3 clove garlic – rough chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon thyme – rough chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon oregano – rough chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin – ground
  • 1 Tablespoon Coriander – ground
  • 2 small cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon star anis – crushed
  • 0.5 cups red wine
  • 1 28 ounce can Italian crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups unsalted vegetable stock
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Directions

  1. Place a four quart stock pot on the stove with a tablespoon of organic olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and garlic. Cook until soft and translucent.
  3. Add the ground cumin and coriander.
  4. Place the cinnamon, allspice, star anis, and black peppercorns into either a cheese cloth (preferred) or into a coffee/tea filter tied closed with twine. Then add to the pot.
  5. Add the wine and allow to reduce by half.
  6. Add all the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer.
  7. Reduce heat to low and allow to cook for twenty minutes to enhance and deepen the flavor.
  8. Remove from the heat and remove the whole spices in the coffee filter bundle; blend smooth with an immersion blender.
  9. Add any additional seasoning and serve with a tablespoon of marinated tomatoes.

Marooned

My husband and I took a tour of the Lord Baltimore Hotel with the Director of Sales last week. I love any insight I can get into historic architecture and being granted the opportunity to look at elements that are not necessarily open to the public.

Did you know that this hotel is owned by Mera and Don Rubell? This couple are well-known art collectors and their passion shines via the art in the hotel. (Fun fact: Don Rubell is also the brother of the late iconic nightclub owner Steve Rubell. Yes, the very same Steve Rubell of Studio 54 notariety who was later portrayed on the big screen by Mike Myers.) Even though they own this Baltimore property, they split the majority of their time between New York City and Miami. The latter of which is home to the Rubell Family Collection / Contemporary Arts Foundation.

In the Lord Baltimore Hotel, a series of solid painted canvases in an array of colors were a standout. Initially I only noticed red and the yellow painted squares but as soon as they were on my radar, I started seeing them everywhere and in different colors and square dimensions.

This art inspired me to reflect upon my introductory graduate course in historic preservation. There is a debate within the field regarding objects within historic structures which are not necessarily original to the building. In an historic house museum, for example, should the stewards seek to replace original objects that were once part of the larger material culture experience? Or would it be confusing?

On that note, I appreciated that the paintings did not take away from the historic interiors. It was clear that the paintings were of the contemporary variety, so the context of the art within the architecture would not cause confusion. It was crystal clear that the paintings were not original to the Jazz Age hotel, and yet they were subtle enough not to disrupt the historic interior.

When Jamie and I found that we (the lining of his pants, my socks and shirt) matched the maroon square, we were clearly into it.

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Pleats on the Street

Last weekend was spent in Baltimore where my husband and I stayed at the Lord Baltimore Hotel. Regardless of the purpose, any trip to Charm City must include catch up time with my bestie from graduate school, Jamie. As is always the case, we indulged. This weekend it was copious craft cocktails, brunch, and Italian food. Also scampering around downtown and architecture-peeping.

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Have I already worn this sweater? Yes. Have I already worn this skirt? Of course. Although the marketing image showed them paired together, I had never worn them together before this day.

Sidebar: I typically do not recreate brand-envisioned outfits as I find it to be lazy and uncreative. This habit goes way back. Growing up, if my mom treated me to shopping, I always picked out something that could mix with copious items already in my closet. Low bill, high reward.

Expect to see both pieces make future appearances on the blog because they are phenomenal. My 2018 obsession for finding the perfect tennis sweater is no secret (I blame Charlotte York) and I just love a skirt in which I can go down two waist sizes.

As for Jamie’s ensemble, IDK. He is always the best dressed man in the room and this is one of my favorite outfits on him, down to the hot dog socks and tassel loafers.

dsc04574dsc04585sI am a sucker for a historic hotel and the Lord Baltimore Hotel was no exception. The pair of revolving doors on the side entrance are original to the 1928 hotel. Throughout the weekend, every time I passed through them, I reflected on how many people before me walked through them. The hotel has been open for over ninety years – it just celebrated its anniversary – and there were 700 guestrooms (now over 400). That is a lot of door rotations.

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Pack a Bag: Lord Baltimore Hotel, Part I

My husband and I spent this past long weekend in Baltimore. The final resting place for Edgar Allen Poe, it was fitting that we visit his grave on his birthday. Fun and often overlooked fact: did you know that the Baltimore NFL team, the Ravens, are a reference to the classic writer? I love that the local American League team, the Orioles, is a team with a bird mascot and by extension, it also reminds me of Edgar Allan Poe. In Baltimore, sports intertwine with culture.

Baltimore is underrated, especially in comparison to its 95 corridor neighbor, Washington DC. While the city has building stock from the 1800s, much in my favorite architectural style of Second Empire which is exemplified by mansard roofs and just enough ornamentation, Baltimore is also home to phenomenal midcentury modern architecture in the Brutalist style. Often overlooked are the city’s cultural institutions: the Walters Art Museam, Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore Museum of Industrial History, American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum, among many others.

Staying at a historic hotel was a nonnegotiable; consequently I researched accommodations via Historic Hotels of America which is how I found the Lord Baltimore Hotel. At the time of its construction in 1928, it was the largest hotel built in the state of Maryland and kept claim to that title for about fifty years thereafter; initial rates were three dollars per night for a single room and thirteen to seventeen dollars per night for a suite. Originally the building had 700 keys which eventually were renovated down to 440 keys, effectively nearly doubling the room size.

Tragically, the completion date of the Lord Baltimore Hotel in the year of 1928 coincided with The Great Depression. These days, guests of the hotel report a red ball rolling around the nineteenth floor. Hotel lore says that this ball was owned by one of the littlest guests, Molly. During the depression, Molly reportedly stayed at the hotel with her mother and father. Likely unbeknownst to the child, the trio had a dismal economic outlook and as such, leaped off of the nineteenth floor to their deaths as many other guests in precarious financial positions did. If the Plaza has Eloise, the Lord Baltimore Hotel has Molly.

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The last morning of our stay, I picked up freshly baked croissants and coffee at one of the resident eateries, LB Bakery. The gentlemen putting together my order insisted on giving me a drink holder and securing my coffee cups with the beverage plugs, “just in case I run into Molly,” to which I replied that I was disappointed that I had not even met her yet.

As my husband was packing up our car, the gentleman managing the valet told me about his history with the hotel. The lobby and the lower levels of the hotel are home to retail and commercial uses. In the latter quarter of the twentieth century, musical acts toured through the venue at the lower level of the Lord Baltimore Hotel and he had seen many a musical act in the hotel including girl-power divas Chaka Khan and Tina Turner. His enthusiasm for Baltimore and more specifically, the hotel, was evident.

Baltimore has heart and it beats through the Lord Baltimore Hotel.

Sincerest thanks to the Lord Baltimore Hotel for sponsoring my stay.

Shopping Moratorium 2019 | 21/344

last week…

I successfully refrained from shopping for the past week. Perhaps it was the stress brought with an impending deadline at work, but I was not in the mood to do anything but move the project forward, let alone shop.

Between minimal bathroom-set mental and emotional breakdown on Tuesday due to mounting deliverables and finding a mental health professional available for a session for the day after the project is due to the client, adding to my closet was the last thing I had in mind. Perhaps it was simply necessary to feel as though I had something under control. I did not have time to worry about what I was eating and how much I was exercising, so my health was not an option in this case. Shopping, or lack thereof, was something that I was able to manage.

Every cloud has its silver lining.

Sartorial Sustainability Sunday: A Decade Later

last week…

I recently realized that we were approaching the decade anniversary of former President Barrack Obama’s first inauguration. What a time. I have the distinct memory of everything that happened that day.

The night before the inauguration, I fell asleep to Frasier on Lifetime on my little television, a loaner from a graduate school roommate, Gail, which I don’t think I ever returned. (Texts Gail to verify…standby…okay can confirm that she does not remember.) The next day I woke up to the most bitterly cold day in Washington DC. It was so cold that I could not bring myself to move out of the house. My then-boyfriend brought me a Chipotle burrito after I woke up, went back to sleep, and woke back up. Spring classes had not commenced at that point and I vividly remember wanting to catch up on as much sleep as possible prior to classes starting.

Even though I voted for John McCain, I cannot say that I felt the everlasting dread, the pit in my stomach, that I have felt since the inauguration of 2017. Not even on that frigid day in 2009 did I feel like we were on the edge of a cliff. I felt at ease watching the inauguration on the little loaner television. Looking back on Facebook albums of friends who did make it down to the mall, I am certain nobody regrets spending the day out and about in the District. Do I regret not trying to make it to the mall? I never before considered that. Moot point though, because I did not have a ticket and even those with purple passes were stuck underground.

I never felt as though the Obamas or their administration were out of touch. Michelle Obama appeared on various late night talk shows wearing the same outfits that I wore that semester. Accessible and good taste to boot. And when Michelle and the girls showed up in J.Crew, I immediately logged on and tried to order my very own lady coat.

Malia and Sasha Obama in J. Crew
Credit: Chuck Kennedy / AP
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Credit: J.Crew

How does this relate to Sartorial Sustainability Sunday? A decade later and I still own that lady coat. I also still own that great polka dot metallic pencil skirt that Michelle and I (and many, many others) wore throughout 2008 and beyond. While none of the Obamas owned them, or at least were never photographed in them, I own many of the acid bright corduroys in both the matchstick and bootcut styles. There is something to wearing an item so many times that the price per wear is merely pennies.

It is quite sustainable when one is able to wear one thing over and over, rather than the item falling apart and thus having to consume more, more, and more.