Long Story Short

One of my most traumatic experiences growing up was getting sent home from school for my shorts being deemed “too short.” These were the same American Eagle chino shorts that many a teenage girl had in her back to school wardrobe, but nobody else wearing the shorts was sent home from school. Nobody else shot up to nearly six feet tall between eighth grade and freshman year.

I still remember the teacher who sent me to the office (Mrs. Boatner, second block biology). Though I never cared to learn her name, I also remember the face of the teacher who used the classroom the block prior and advised Boatner (a new-to-our-school teacher) that my shorts were inappropriate and told her I had to be sent to the office. Now that I am older, I find it to be more inappropriate for middle aged teachers to be policing young women’s wardrobes.

Earlier this week, Lilly Pulitzer upped the ante in providing shift dresses and shorts for all of the heights. Oh my thirteen year old self would have loved to make a splash on the first day of school with a shift or shorts cut for a tall frame, alas options like these were few and far between. Upon hitting publish on the iPhone drafted in an app-in a car-on a road trip blog post featuring the items, my blog analytics went wild.

If you are one of the newer visitors, welcome and thank you for stopping by again. If you are a regular, can I get a round of high fives in honor of the queen of resort labels providing shifts long enough for our frames? We have been waiting on this for awhile!

Even though I included the five inch / seven inch / nine inch inseam shorts in the post, I was particularly excited for the longer dresses; ergo I was surprised to see that the link to the shorts received so many clicks. With that in mind, I rounded up shorts with five inch inseams and longer.

I have previously discussed how I no longer feel comfortable shopping shorts with a three inch inseam. While I stand by them being appropriate for my thirteen year old self on her way to third block English, it is just another style of which I feel that I have aged out. I rounded up shorts offering more coverage, meaning five inch inseams and longer, in stripes, solids, prints, denim, and Bermuda length. No danger of being sent to the principal’s office now!

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Baked Trout with Herbs de Provence Summer Vegetables // @2souschefs

“This week our inspiration came from the Twitter, of all sources. The original tweet from a popular food publication was for ‘baked white fish with potatoes’, which I am sure is a respectable recipe, but we wanted to trick it out.

Store shelves are filled with fresh squash, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes, and fresh trout is a mainstay on most fishmonger’s shelves up here in the mountains, so why not use those ingredients to our advantage? The idea may have come from the internet, but the dish itself came from the store shelves!

This recipe will serve enough for two for dinner.

Anchor Hocking has built a reputation for quality glass casserole dishes. We actually have multiple sizes for a variety of specialized dishes, but a standard, and all around great size is a ten inch by sixteen inch (or three quart) and we love using ours for this recipe.” – Joe

Ingredients

  • 1 pound trout, cut into two pieces
  • 1 yellow squash – cut in half and sliced
  • 1 zucchini – cut in half and sliced
  • 1 red onion – cut in half and sliced
  • 0.5 pound cherry tomatoes – cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons Herbs de Provence
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Place all the prepped vegetables into a bowl and season with salt, pepper, one tablespoon of Herbs de Provence, and olive oil.
  3. Place the vegetables into a casserole dish and place in the oven. Cook for ten minutes.
  4. Season the trout with salt, pepper and one tablespoon of the Herbs de Provence. 
  5. Add the two pieces of trout on top of the pre-roasted vegetables and place back into the oven for an additional fifteen minutes.
  6. Remove the casserole dish from the oven and allow to sit for five minutes before serving. 
  7. To plate, scoop some of the vegetables into the bottom and top with a trout filet.

Beach Therapy

The husband and I are making the most out of our last days on the Monterey. Between packing up our home (even though it was only for three months, anywhere feels like home when my husband is there), we have a bucket list of items to do prior to leaving the peninsula next week, including visits to the Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey Aquarium (we only live next door to it), more walks to the beach in Pacific Grove, and so many restaurants.

Pacific Grove has the qualities of which non-Monterey residents probably picture Monterey to be, at least by Big Little Lies standards. While Monterey is next level beautiful, Pacific Grove is just a few degrees more serene and less touristy. It also has the best beach which is very walkable from our house. It is on the top tip of the peninsula and kind of a peninsula of itself. As I was venturing out to Pacific Grove earlier this week, the sun over Monterey disappeared and a mist over PG emerged. Gone was the sun, replaced by the moodiest of midday clouds. It was the Wes Anderson of summer weather.

I already packed up a ton of my outfits in preparation for our cross country move. I decided that the vintage Lilly Pulitzer shifts should not be packed in my duffel bag; they are better off saved for my east coast antics later this summer anyways. Lately it has been polo shirts and chino shorts. The shirt is from the Vineyard Vines by Target collaboration and is long gone. The shorts are from J.Crew (last seen on the blog here). I recently retired all of my three inch inseam shorts. I think it is best to start covering up, as I am moving into my mid-thirties. To be honest, I probably should have been wearing the five inch inseam shorts all along. Lesson learned.

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THIS IS NOT A DRILL: Lilly Pulitzer for the Tall Girl

Lilly Pulitzer newly released long length shift dresses and shorts. This is a God send for the tall gal who previously may have felt a bit over exposed in the standard sizes shifts.

No longer!

The first shift is available in 34 inch length, 37 inch length, and 40 inch length. The other shift is available in 36 inch length, 39 inch length, and 43 inch length. Both shifts are available in size 00 through 16. Each come in a different print and have the signature white trim, albeit in different patterns. It is everything I love about the signature Lilly shift, albeit in sizing optimized for my frame.

The shorts are available in three, five, seven, and ten inch inseams from size 00 to 16. The shorts are available in two prints; they are the same ones as the shift dresses.

Lilly Pulitzer offers free shipping and free returns. Should you have reservations about your best size, try a few and send back what does not work.

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Frock On!

I broke the seersucker rule left and right this year. I think it is a consequence of moving to the west coast where rules are a little more relaxed and weather is a little warmer.

At 6′-2″, I was a bit concerned that this frock would not be long enough to wear without feeling self conscious about the lack of length of the dress. I found that as long as it is a touch roomier and pair with a flat pair of shoes (proportions are everything, people!), I felt great about the dress and about myself in the dress. I highly recommend going up a size in the style; while I wore a medium in the knit dresses, I required a large in the static fabric dresses. The shorter length will be especially great for keeping ventilated in the east coast city humidity – hint about our next move – this summer.

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Shopping Moratorium 2019 | 174/191

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I am nearly packed up for the move.

There is certain stress that comes with a move from one coast to another. Our initial move out to the west coast did not go as smoothly as I would have liked. Consequently, I am taking advantage of the fact that I am not working up to the day that we are leaving to assure a seamless transition.

In less than two weeks, I have to select what is to be packed to go along with us for our cross country road trip, pack up the remainder and get the boxes to the post office (and waiting in the inevitable line) to send to our friends’ house on the east coast, subsequent house hunting in the district within a very limited time frame, and pack and catch a plane out of National for our fourth of July vacation. This is going to be a marathon, not a sprint.

Ordering anything to our current home has not been an option since I cannot be sure of how long it will take to ship and arrive; however I caved and ordered a few items for myself and my husband and had them sent straight to our vacation destination. Knowing that I have clean clothing at our final destination alleviates inner tension.

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Chili Lime Corn // @2souschefs

“It is officially that time of the year when you get invited to an “on the fly” barbeque. What to bring on short notice is always the challenge. My go-to satiating option is grilled chili lime corn on the cob. It’s easy to transport and super quick to prepare in a pinch. Corn adds a complementary side option to the usual meat-laden dishes at every barbeque.

I recommend picking up a quality pastry brush for the recipe. A pastry brush, though sometimes overlooked thought of as an obscure kitchen utensil, is very versatile and needs to be in every kitchen to spread marinade on your next steak and corn on the cob dinner.” – Joe

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Ingredients

  • 6 ears of corn- shucked and rinsed with cold water
  • 3 tablespoons of butter, cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons scallions sliced

For the marinade:

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red chili flake
  • 1/2 teaspoon Slap Ya Mamma (or other chili powder seasoning mix)
  • 1 lime zested
  • 1/2 lime juiced

Directions

  1. Fire up the grill.

  2. Thoroughly mix all your ingredients for the marinade in a bowl.

  3. Tear six, 12 inch pieces of aluminum foil and set aside.

  4. Put aluminum foil down first. Place corn on foil. With a pastry brush, baste the corn with the marinade.

  5. Add a 1/2 table spoon of butter. Wrap up the corn.

  6. Repeat until corn is complete.

  7. Place on a hot grill for five minutes.

  8. Rotate and cook the corn for another five minutes.

  9. Unwrap the corn from the foil and place on a serving platter and garnish with the cut scallions.

Sideways

While Jamie and I were in Palm Springs, I found the most fantastic vintage store adjacent to the place we had Sunday brunch. The Frippery is a vintage lover’s gold mine.

Post-brunch, I dragged Jamie and my maid of honor who was also in Palm Springs, in the store. While Jamie went out on a mission for cold brew, Amanda graciously waited for me to seemingly try on dress after dress, giving me the honest feedback. In addition to scoring a dress, Amanda discovered several concert buttons circa the 1980s: Adam and the Ants, The Cars, The Clash, and the Stray Cats. (The latter reminded me of Bret Easton Ellis’ The Informers mom character wondering what a stray cat was.)

About the dress: I do not know the brand and I do not care. The acid color fever dream of the print was enough to sell me. I love that it is cut generously though the midsection. I know what you are thinking and before you say it: It is not a maternity dress. I carefully inspected the cut and can confirm that there is not extra fabric at the stomach; it is simply a trapeze cut dress.

After Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Atascadero, and Monterey, Jamie and I concluded our friendship roadtrip in Napa.

My husband and I are members of several wineries but our favorite is Gundlach Bundschu; we even celebrated our engagement weekend there. After the friendship roadship wine tasting, we wandered the grounds. Though my husband and I used to visit all the time, it occurred to me that we had only been there in the winter. Running from the car to the tasting room without considering walking the grounds was standard. This time, we walked the grounds and am kicking myself that we had not explored it sooner.

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Et tu, Boot?

Desert boots came onto my radar circa 1997 or 1998. So vividly I recall a style page on the front half of an autumn issue of ‘Teen magazine featuring desert boots of various styles, colors, and heel heights. The article advised winterizing a short skirt with tights and a pair of boots. I knew that my parents would never foot a bill for a pair of shoes with a price tag of 50 to 100 dollars for a seventh grader. The price point seemed too aggressive then, especially since my school shopping just happened only two months earlier. Over twenty years later, you could say that the page left an impression on me.

As an undergraduate, I purchased a pair of Clarks Wallabees from a local boutique. They were the first pair of shoes in which I invested after my Birkenstock Boston clogs, both of which I saved up and paid for my own dang self. With the exception of the days I was required to wear pin attire, if I was not wearing one pair, I was in the other pair. Even in the winter, the south does not bring weather that requires anything heavier. While Wallabees are not explicitly called out as desert boots, I stand by the high cut ankle version falling in the same category.

I have considered purchasing the wedge version of the desert boot since 2013. Back then, I had concerns about how comfortable they would be on my mile and a half uphill commute on foot. I distinctly recall nearly rolling my ankle several times while wearing the Wallabees and every time I had the wedges in my online shopping basket, my mind goes back to the numerous near-catastrophes. Perhaps I should stick to the flat soles; I can see them going perfectly with a rugby shirt and tweed miniskirt.

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Tanks a Lot

About three weeks ago, I was introduced to Figleaves. It seems that the online retailer also has a private label of which offers – drumroll s’il vous plaît – long torso tank suits. I am thirty-something and feel as though I have aged out of the two piece swimsuit market.

Sidebar: My husband and Jamie were making fun of Juicy sweatpants last week. I kept it to myself , but circa 2003, I had a Juicy Couture bikini with “Juicy” emblazoned on the bottom. Let’s file that under cringe worthy; however I stand by the principal that if you cannot laugh at yourself…(Also at the time, I did not pipe up about the swimsuit in question because I was sure they would mercilessly give me shit about my late teen swimsuit selection.)

UK based-Figleaves began as an underwear retailer and one of the first e-commerce retailers on the scene in 1998 in an effort to provide a more inclusive product selection. In the past twenty years, Figleaves has since expanded to pajamas, swimwear, and activewear, exclusively online. I was impressed with the range of styles for every woman: larger bust, mastectomy, maternity and nursing, longer length, plus size, shaping, and athletic.

Figleaves sent me a longer length tank suit. I loved that rather than a tie back neck, the suit has is an adjustable band. No poolside wardrobe malfunctions here! The regular price of the suit is 55 dollars, but I have found it to frequently be on promotion since it has been on my radar. In addition to this tank suit, the print / colorway is also available in another tank style, several swim separates, and caftan and coverup options, all of which are linked below.

My taste has thankfully evolved since the Juicy Couture bikini of 2003.

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Shopping Moratorium 2019 | 168/197

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With an impending move, I have not been in the shopping mood.

So far, I have packed a mere suitcase. One more suitcase, one duffel bag, a LL.Bean Boat Tote, a Lilly Pulitzer tote, a backpack and a laptop case to go! That does not include my husband’s luggage. We need to fit it in his sedan for the five day road trip back to the east coast, so buying more luggage for the excess is not an option.

I honestly should not have packed so much to bring out this way. To be honest, the clothing that has gotten the most usage has been my workout and yoga clothes and for good reason! In the three months I have been in Monterey, I have taken twenty pilates reformer classes and at least sixty yoga classes. Yes, some days have been two-a-days.

As it stands, I get the impression that we are going to have to ship some stuff to back to the east coast. Accumulating anything else is just not an option.

 

Heirloom Cherry Tomato Salad // @2souschefs

“Farm fresh heirloom vegetables are starting to come onto the market and they are absolutely gorgeous! Andi and I love seeing the bright colors and shapes of these veggies on our specialty markets shelves. In a restaurant they pose a unique challenge for chefs; we love their fresh taste but the inconsistent size is an obstacle. We want every guest to enjoy a consistent plate every time. With heirloom vegetables that is not always possible but for home cooks who care less about consistency and more about flavor, heirloom vegetables are a seasonal treat!

This past week we found an heirloom cherry tomato bar at our local grocer and the tiny multi-colored delicacies gave us the spark of inspiration. We were grilling that night and were still looking for an imaginative side. An heirloom tomato salad sounded perfect but we did not want to go strictly traditional and add simply basil to the mix. Instead we added chives and cilantro to drive up the flavor of the petite tomatoes. White balsamic vinegar and organic olive oil round out the ingredients for this side dish that will be a perfect addition to your next backyard barbeque. This recipe will make enough for four people as a side.

I bought our first Le Creuset casserole dish for Andi shortly after a friend invited us to a dinner party and served homemade crab cannelloni in a very cute miniature Le Creuset stoneware dishes. In our opinion the petite size makes it the perfect size to serve any side dish for any dinner situation.” – Joe

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds heirloom cherry tomatoes – cut in half

  • 1 tablespoon chives – finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon cilantro – finely chopped

  • 1 medium shallot – finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons organic olive oil

  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl and gently stir to incorporate.

  2. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.

  3. Transfer to serving plate.