Tunic Time II

If you cannot live like a white wine swilling wealthy housewife, why not dress like one? I have said it before: dress for the job you want.

Along with caftans, tunics are the ideal article of clothing to keep cool on a roasty toasty day. They are perfect over swimsuits in between daytime dips in the pool or with a pair of white denim while sweating it out on the sidewalks. White wine goblet optional.

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Mellow Yellow

Though we technically moved back to DC at the end of June, between finding an apartment (and within a mere two business days!), moving our stuff out of storage, unpacking, and going on vacation, we had not prioritized anything other than nesting the new flat. Last weekend before a trip to Bed, Bath, & Beyond, we made time for brunch. Any occasion is the right occasion for Farmers Fishers Bakers in Georgetown. Ironically, I have been on numerous occasions with different friends and family, but before Saturday, never my husband. It is a buffet brunch so an outfit without a static waistband is crucial. Never forget the time I wore skinny jeans to Farmers Fishers Bakers brunch.

I scored this fantastic vintage Lilly Pulitzer frock via eBay back in June. Thanks to the tag, I dated this dress to the 1960s. Vintage Lilly Pulitzer has been my style obsession of this past spring and current summer (see here and here and here and here) and though I am still attempting to decrease my shopping and keeping a discerning eye on my consumption, secondhand shopping is my weakness because with it comes a feeling of scarcity.

When I buy a vintage item, I cannot help but wonder about its provenance. Not whether or not it is actually vintage; I know my Lilly Pulitzer labels well enough to determine an item’s approximate age. Rather, I think about the woman or women who owned it before me. Who was she? Where did the former owner wear it? Did any formative events happen to her while wearing it? More importantly, did she accessorize it with a gin martini?

I love the a-line cut of this dress because these days, I am quite the pear shape. Elevating the comfort of this dress, especially during the dog days of summer, are the dual vents on either side. Not only do they make the dress roomier, but this feature of the design make it quite the ventilation system.

I linked several yellow vintage Lilly Pulitzer dresses below. As always, exercise diligence when it comes to sizing (I always ask for measurements, if they are not posted) and item condition.

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Shopping Moratorium 2019 | 209/156

last…

I obsessed about this dress last summer. Tragically, I missed out of purchasing it. By a miracle, I found that nearly an entire size run was restocked nearly a year later. I went up my normal size as this brand runs small, as many contemporary brands tend to do, and I think the frock would be flattering in a slightly larger fit.

I could not deal with pining for this dress for another year. Time to make a home for it in my closet.

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Summer Ratatouille // @2souschefs

I strive to find great quick summer meals for our weekday lunches. We were at the Cashiers Farmers Market when I got inspiration from the fresh summer vegetables surrounding us. Ratatouille utilizes all the vegetables that the summer has to offer. It also just so happens to make an amazing light lunch before work. I added a seared chicken breast on top of my ratatouille for our lunch last week to add a punch of protein. But you can really add any other protein to this dish to round it out.

The perfect large wood cutting board is essential for a recipe that includes dicing of vegetables. A nice quality cutting board will give you enough space and will last a lifetime.” -Andi

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion – medium diced

  • 1 garlic clove – sliced

  • 1 red bell pepper – medium diced

  • 1 yellow squash – medium diced

  • 1 green zucchini – medium diced

  • 1/2 eggplant – medium diced

  • 1 8 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes

Directions

  1. On a large cutting board, dice all the vegetables and keep them in small piles organized on the board.

  2. Put a large sauté pan on medium heat. When the pan is hot add a tablespoon of olive oil.

  3. Add the diced onions to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook the onions until translucent or for about eight minutes.

  4. Add the garlic. Sweat the garlic for three minutes.

  5. Add the red peppers and eggplant next. Season with salt and pepper. Cook the eggplant and pepper for about ten minutes.

  6. After the vegetables becomes soft, add the squash and zucchini. Cook the squash and zucchini for another ten minutes.

  7. Add the fire roasted tomatoes. Season with salt and cook for another five minutes.

  8. Plate.

Don’t Book Back // Melissa Explains It All by Melissa Joan Hart

last read…

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I read Melissa Explains It All over my Fourth of July vacation. I purchased this book along with Danielle Fishel’s and Lance Bass’s memoirs and, while I read those last summer, I wish it had not taken me so long to get around to this one. It is easily digestible; I read it in two sittings.

MJH (I feel like I can call her that. Can I call you that, Melissa?) has always been such an affable and charismatic celebrity. She never seemed to be too cool for school and that is something to be admired, especially since she really is. Who did not look up to Clarissa {radical idea of Nickelodeon to develop a television show around a young lady to whom both girls and guys could relate}? Her older alter-ego, Sabrina, was a treat to watch on TGIF and later, the WB. Did you know that MJH’s mom, Paula, did not love the quality of roles that her daughter was being offered {she was onto this unfortunate, misogynistic trend much sooner than another one of my heroes, Reese} and as such, licensed the iconic Archie comic character for a television movie and later television series? With that, their own production company, Hartbreak Films was formed.

My adolescent impressions of MJH via Clarissa Darling were consistent with the stories that she recounts in Melissa Explains It All. As I was reading her memoir, my impressions of grown up MJH reflecting upon her experiences were self deprecating and candid; I especially appreciate when celebrities do not hold back or paint their pasts with rose colored glasses when it comes to their autobiographies. MJH does not hold back when it comes to disclosing her more risky behavior, which makes her all the more relatable. We have all been there right?


Melissa Explains It All by Melissa Joan Hart

One Foot in the Wave

These are some of the last photos we took on a walk after our last brunch in Monterey. I cannot believe how quickly the time passed.

I felt beyond lucky to not only have spent three months out west with the husband, but also to have the privilege of taking a break from work so I could genuinely enjoy myself and our new town. Back in February, I was sharing our spring plans with a friend and her husband and he pointed out that having an expiration date to our time out west would probably be the only way that I would actually be able to relax – for the first time in twenty-three years, if we are being honest – and not put pressure on myself to find a job in my field.

In lieu of spending my time at work, I spent my time doing yoga and pilates. I looked at my studio attendance and was shocked to see that in two months, I took 41 yoga classes and nineteen reformer classes. I also started running again, a hobby that I used to enjoy. I am still working on liking it, even though I look forward to it everyday.

Lack of job equals lack of stress on the eight-to-five (more like six-to-six) front. A break could not have come at a better time. Last November through the middle of February was especially brutal. Sixty hour weeks were my norm in preparation for as submitting a project proposal. Three months later and after I left the east coast and my job, I received the best news that I had gotten in a long time. The business development director of my old company texted me to share that my old company was finally awarded the contract.

Now, I am as hungry as ever to get back to work.

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Lighter on the Wallet Lilly Pulitzer, Part II

for part I…

While bloggers everywhere are touting Nsale “must haves” (no shame, go one make that money girls), I found more marked down Lilly Pulitzer. Much more on brand for me, even though lately I am obsessed with vintage styles more than anything else. But we are talking After Party Sale prices and who can argue with that? Forty percent off frocks sound good, ladies?

I somehow republished part I this morning while under the influence of decongestants. I can confirm that there are several styles that have been restocked in the first post since it was originally published. Since then, three more styles have been marked down.

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The last post included Lilly Pulitzer home good markdowns and since then, there have been further markdowns and on an expanded selection of merchandise.

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Lighter on the Wallet Lilly Pulitzer, Part I

While I was researching longer length shorts, I uncovered marked down and promotional priced Lilly Pulitzer. Color me shocked! The After Party Sale is so frequently regarded as not only the holy grail of Lilly Pulitzer, but the sole way to score shirts, skorts, skirts, shifts, and shorts in sherbert shades. Granted that I have been favoring vintage Lilly Pulitzer as of late, there are certain frocks (ahem, this one) from the purveyor of privileged Palm Beach style that I love, no matter how many times they pop up in my Instagram newsfeed.

Perusing marked down Lilly Pulitzer clothing quickly broadened into a hot pursuit of clearance Lilly Pulitzer home and collaboration items. Strike at the right time and you might be able to score the below with a promotional percentage off the reduced price.

I regret missing out on the home goods during the Target x Lilly Pulitzer collaboration. My attention was pulled to the women’s department, followed by the girls’ department. Luckily my then-boyfriend / now-husband was living in California at the time and raided his local Target for the collaboration teacups that I just had to have. The new Lilly Pulitzer home goods collaboration is a bit more elevated than that of Target, rendering markdowns a score.

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The Goop collaboration was released just over a year ago. While I strongly suspect that Lilly Pulitzer is hoarding what is left of their supply for the next After Party Sale (set your timer for August, people), Goop is another story. Once in awhile, these collaboration items in select sizes are available. My theory is that the short dress did so well, that Lilly Pulitzer reissued the dress with lace down the center of the front, rather than the rear. I live for the short sleeves with the puff shoulders. Lucky for you, that dress is marked down too.

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In the words of Rihanna (or Nils Sjöberg or Taylor Swift), this is what you came for. Clicked for. Whatever. These dresses are forty percent off and sizes go in and out of stock. If you don’t see your size, check back frequently; check back obsessively.

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A Midsummer White Dream

The summer prior to getting married, I did not cash in on wearing the color white nearly as much as I should have. Going into the summer I had full intention on copying Natasha’s (Big’s second wife, also known as “the idiot stick figure with no soul” to Carrie and her girl gang) wardrobe from season three of Sex and the City and yet in a iconoclastic move, I recall wearing tons of punchy colors.

While the Bradshaw Boys and I agree that Natasha was an unjust casualty (“Now this tooth is a completely different color than this tooth.”), they are the only other people with whom I have discussed sympathy for the character. Even the costume designers communicated Natasha’s “vanilla” personality by always outfitting her in white, save for the scene in which she delivered the tooth comment in a tone so icy, Anna Wintour felt the chill somewhere in the Condé Nast offices. In that moment, Natasha was dressed in the chicest pink shift. A signal that the character took a turn? We will never know because that was her last appearance in Darren Star’s iconic series.

I subconsciously channeled Natasha when UK-based retailer Figleaves (last discussed here) gifted me a few items for the last holiday week. A long torso swimsuit was necessary, as I find going up in sizes is not a particularly great strategy for a six foot two inch frame. Past results have been tragic.

I do not think I own enough pajamas. That is actually a complete lie. I can count five sets and I am not even in my apartment, let alone my closet, right now. I stand by the fact that wearing a full pajama set just makes me feel like I have my life together.

It is just good manners to wear some sort of outfit (beyond the swimsuit) when food is being served. This cover up was perfect for jumping out of the pool for a sandwich or guacamole.

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Freedom of Beach

Our time in Monterey is coming to an end and we are making the most of our last three weeks on the peninsula. We are looking forward to next cross country road trip and our subsequent relocation to Washington DC. I spent the Obama years going to graduate school within the Beltway and subsequently working in the District. After growing up in the Deep South, that 2008 move was a welcomed change and I will always look back on that time, just being independent for the seemingly the first time in my life, ever so fondly. As stoked as I am for returning to the east coast, I will miss the mellow pace of the west coast.

My only regret is that we will be moving to the District just in time for peak humidity and heat, rivaled only by that on the Mississippi Gulf Coast but minus the sea breeze. {I distinctly remember the heat of the summer of 2013. I walked to and from work in Georgetown, including a hiking up Book Hill in the mornings. That August was as hot as the devil’s hole.} Until then, I will be making the most of our time on the Pacific and the associated temperate weather.

Previous generations of this particular polo style were too boxy for a 6′-2″ frame. I love that this version was long enough for my torso. The shorts are from the Vineyard Vines by Target collaboration and are unfortunately long gone from the online store, as of about twenty minutes after the collaboration went live. In addition to liking the stretch patchwork fabric (so much so, that I purchased the boy version of the shorts for three of my nephews), the higher rise and ever-so-slight longer inseam of the shorts is ideal for a taller gal.

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Stay Argyle Longer

Argyle is an underrated pattern but especially in comparison to its cousins, gingham in the summer and black watch and Stewart tartans in the winter. Ironically, argyle is actually the official tartan of the Campbell clan of Argyllshire. It was imported to the states from Great Britain in the early twentieth century and it picked up popularity with the country club set, specifically golfers. I can get on board with that approach to athleisure!

I stand by argyle being versatile in terms of seasonality, given appropriate colors and fibers; however as it is commonly reserved for the opposite of the seasonal cycle, argyle is not particularly available for the shopping right now. The bright side to the argyle famine? The majority of the pieces still available from last autumn and winter are marked down. Prime time for stocking up on argyle pieces.

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