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.
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.
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 knitdresses, 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.
Color me jazzed when I found that this certain American brand carried not only tall pants and dresses and sweaters, but also tall torso swim and button down shirts. I initially found a fantastic color block cocktail shirt last month but upon finding out that there was a collaboration with Sophie Allport, I turned my attention to this bee-utiful printed button down care of the brand.
Based in rural Lincolnshire, country inspired homewares brand Sophie Allport, was founded in 2007 by designer Sophie and her brother Jem. The quintessentially British brand is famous for its fine bone china and kitchen fabrics, but you will also find a wide range of products for pets and children and a lovely collection of home fragrance, bags, accessories and picnicware. There are now over forty different designs to choose from in the Sophie Allport, range. The charming and unique designs are all inspired by Sophie’s love of nature and the countryside. Plenty of gifts for country loving friends and family that offer a quirky twist on classic country design.
Let us discuss the fit; it is a boyfriend fit. This may be one of the only shirts I own that end up in the dryer. I was gifted a medium and could have gone down to a small. Real talk: if (realistically, when) I procure the color block version, I will be going down to a size small.
Last weekend was the first in seemingly forever – real time: month and a half – that my husband and I were both in Philadelphia. Either he is out of town for work or we are both out of town because wedding season. However, we had a two philanthropic events scheduled for the weekend, so we each hit pause on whatever it was keeping us from spending our weekends in the city.
I was so stoked for a weekend without travel that I may have gotten overzealous with scheduling it. We knew that we had a Friday night event for the Pennsylvania Museum of Art Young Friends and a Sunday midday brunch for the Pennsylvania Ballet Young Friends. (Join both organizations! I will see you at the next event?) With Saturday free, I decided that to not schedule would be risking wasting it.
So I scheduled the ever living eff out of it. Starting with sleeping in until 9 am, at the husband’s request. I got us reservations for brunch, followed by tickets for a matinee of A Simple Favor (so many twists and turns! 10/10 recommend), afternoon snack of raw oysters and shrimp cocktail at Oyster House, picking up salads for dinner, and the dry cleaning that has been ready for pick up for the better half of a month.
I wore the solid version of this dress two weeks ago, while we were in Marblehead. I loved the dress itself, but not the sash. Specifically, I didn’t love how the loops for the sash were so high, effectively making the sash ride up. It was almost as if the designer carried over the measurements for the sash loopholes from the regular sizing to the tall sizing.
So I decided to experiment and cut the loopholes off this dress. It was a fantastic idea and I will be doing the same on my solid coral dress.
My husband and I spent Labor Day weekend in Marblehead, Massachusetts. It was the town where my mother-in-law and her four siblings grew up. While we were there for a wedding and I knew that it was going to be a blast, I had no idea how much I was going to love Marblehead itself.
Marblehead was the most idyllic place I have been in the longest time. It reminded me of Nantucket, fitting as it is so close in proximity. Rather than feeling like it was a tourist spot as Nantucket tends to do, Marblehead felt like it was a more local-oriented place. There was not a bad neighborhood in the town and it was so walkable. The weather was gorgeous to the point that I did not recognize any lack of central air conditioning. I loved every historic house more than the last. Even the hangover I had the day after the wedding was easier to deal with as we meandered through the town in hot pursuit of lobster rolls, french fries, and Bloody Mary’s.
I found myself wondering what is was like for the H5 (the family nickname for the five siblings, of which my mother-in-law is part of) to grow up in the magical town. Over the course of the weekend, I talked to each of them about their experiences growing up in the town, and the stories they shared made it sound every bit as magical as I imagined it would be.
My husband and I were invited back for Thanksgiving and I am certain we are going to make the trip.
Early last Sunday morning, I went jogging on the Delaware River Waterfront. Not out of the ordinary for me as I have done it many times before. I was in the midst of listening to my cool down playlist and enjoying my cool down walk after sweating it out for a few miles. Upon walking past the Pier Five Townhouses, I noticed something…
A man who could not have topped 5′-5″, wearing a blue and white gingham shirt and navy pants, seemingly clean cut, made an completely obscene gesture at me. At me. He was about fifteen feet in front of me when this happened. There was nobody else in our vicinity. I think he became cognizant that behind my sunglasses, I saw what he did. And then he did it again. I passed him and I turned around just as he did it with my back turned.
(At this point I would like to point out that I was dressed modestly. A pair of baggy Nike norts and a conservatively cut tank top over a sports bra.)
At this point I had decided that he was small enough that I was ready to fight, in case he encroached in my space. I started yelling at him, shaming him for his disgusting behavior. I pulled out my camera phone in the case that he repeated his actions, also as a deterrent. Meanwhile, I still had my earphones in and had no concept of what decibels I was hitting. He turned around and walked away from me, despite me screaming at him. By that time, there were two other (male) runners approaching us in either directions and I realized that I was the one who looked like the crazy.
I remained incensed by the time I returned home. After trying to pick out what I wanted to wear for the day I mentioned that I had reservations about wearing the dress I eventually did because of my experience earlier that day. Was it too short? Would I bring the wrong type of attention? My husband said no and then we both reflected on how fucked up it was that I had to consider that. In not so many words he told me to live my life and not let some creep keep me from doing me.
My resistance to shopping in August was consistent with that of July, in that I did not have the discipline that I did during June. Glass half full, at least from a sustainability perspective: I mostly shopped secondhand at eBay and Thredup.
Remember when I bought this dress in a size too small back in May? A refresher: I already have a similar dress to the long sleeve tee shirt dress, albeit navy with white stripes, boatneck, and 3/4-length sleeves. I wear it all the damn time. Every time this particular dress is restocked, it immediately sells out, at least in the tall sizes. I finally scored one at twenty percent off, but due to it running small, had to return.
Flash forward to the beginning of the month, I got over the zipper placement and added this dress to my fall queue.
Jack Rogers had a sale. We are talking eighty percent off prices, people! The bone sandals I have had my eye on? From $125 to $45. It is no surprise that the site repeatedly crashed during my many checkout attempts. This is the only color that I was hoping to add to my collection of ten and my will for a new pair of West Palm Beach sandals won.
I originally spied this DVF dress over a decade ago. How is that for a clothing obsession? I then purchased what I thought was the same dress via eBay in 2011, but I mistook the dress for a different DVF style (refer to the similar styles above). I finally found the dress in a size six but with my chubby phase I am going through, I do not exactly fit in it. Cut to planning for a wedding at the end of the month. I found this same dress from my 2008 obsession on eBay in a size ten and at a very competitive price. Now I have a one for my skinny version and my chubby version. Excessive? Or ingenius? You decide.
The red blouse is the same I purchased in a cream colorway several years ago and have already worn on the blog. I love the tonal print. I love the tie at the collar. I love the fabric; you cannot tell via photo but it has the slightest amount of stretch which offers enough give for someone with linebacker-esque shoulders. Speaking for a friend.
The cream and gold shirt is Vera Wang Lavender Label, a brand that was established just prior to the 2008 recession and shuttered circa 2011. Such a shame. The fabrics and the cuts were gorgeous. It was exactly what I imagined a Washingtonian version of Blair Waldorf wearing on Gossip Girl.
The new Red Fleece line is so damn good. Straight fire. Rather than indulge in the clothes of the season, I caught some stuff that I missed the last time the trees were bare and at prices that were easier to stomach.
Recently I have been mourning the time that I ended up returning a pair of Lena cap toe pumps – as lamented about here – because I thought the heel was too high for me. I have been kicking myself because I genuinely loved the cap toe and the colorway. This very morning I wandered online and found the block heel variation of the Lena pump and at a fraction of the original +$200 price tag.
The slingbacks were not particularly frugal, but they were 30% off. I don’t know what the detailing is going to look like in person, so best order a pair while taking advantage of the free shipping and try them on in person, in the comfort of home. I love the Colette style, as it is the same style as the shoes I wore for my husband’s and my engagement photos. I walked miles around the cobblestone streets of Georgetown in those heels and though I ended up barefoot on the sidewalk much later on that night, after the engagement shoot and after celebrating two friends who had just returned from abroad after eloping and after drinks with more friends who we had not seen in months, the situation could have been much worse.
Fourteen items. That is nearly a purchase every other day of August. Some might say I have a problem. Admitting you have a problem is the first step of getting clean right?
If anything, this blog has served as a great reminder to cease pulling the same dress out of the closet. Lucindervention, formerly Scouting Tall, is a great exercise in being mindful in not only what I choose to wear every day but also how I choose to allocate how I spend money on clothing. (Spoiler alert: not as frequently these days.)
While I bought the caftan from Calypso St. Barth (R.I.P.), it was actually a third party brand. I made the purchase in early 2017, I think? Needless to say, the caftan is no longer available for purchase via primary market, at least. However, I linked four similar options that are on my hypothetical resort wish list.
Last fall I got really into purchasing items from eBay (eBae) circa 2007 – 2009 from a few contemporary labels that I discovered upon working at Cusp during that timeframe. It was the first job I had after I moved to the District – as of last Sunday, that was TEN years ago – and I only worked there because I had interviewed over the phone and had a job offer, pending a clean drug test. I knew I wanted to make the move with time to spare in order to have time to adjust to the area before starting the academic year.
It is one of those times in my life that I look back with such nostalgia. Throwing everything that would fit in my Escape and making the solo seventeen hour / two day drive from the Gulf Coast to my rental in the beltway gave me time to reflect on how far I had come and where I was going next. It was the bravest thing I ever did up to that point. I even remember what I wore the day I left: a men’s Hanes white v-neck and mesh royal blue soccer shorts and Rainbow flip flops. My sunglasses were a horrible abomination: a Dolce & Gabanna aviator style. That time of my life is still so vivid in my memory.
All of this is to underscore the reasons behind why I believe I am attracted to the clothing released in this timeline. While I cannot say for certain that I saw this Tibi dress back then, the print is exemplary of the trippy Pucci-adjacent type that dominated Amy Smilovic’s designs from that era. I had no doubt about wearing it with gold sandals and my husband advised me to wear the gold shell necklace – and consequently against the aqua jewelry color story I had initially picked out – with it.
Last Saturday the husband and I went to brunch at Maison 208 and then to Ritz Five for Hotel Artemis. Over the course of the afternoon, we walked over five miles. And y’all, it was hot out. The temperature topped eighty-six degrees. We were sure to hydrate: myself with bubbly rose, the husband with beer, both with water.
We do not tend to dine in the gayborhood; that is going to change. We loved the restaurant. Along with the rose bubbles, I had the creme brulee French toast and applewood smoked bacon, extra crispy. The husband had the fried chicken. Neither of us shared with the other, which when you think about it, is the true sign of an amazing meal. With a 1980s soundtrack, I am already planning our next brunch at Maison 208.
I originally planned to wear a shirtdress. I did not run enough miles this week because my thighs just did not want to let the dress button the entire way. Jorts it was with a shirt that has been hanging in my closet since the last After Party sale with the tags still attached, done.
Also on the to-do list: three miles per day each day this week.
My husband and I have the tradition of visiting my family on the Gulf Coast for Independence Day. Dating back to 2014, it was the first time my then-boyfriend, now-husband met my parents. It is a holiday that I always look forward to and I am fairly certain that he does too.
We always have a few items on our agenda when we visit and most of them revolve around spending time around the pool and making the perfect margarita. (PSA: purchase your avocados a week prior to ensure ripeness for the inevitable guacamole.) Aside from the pool and the margs, roast beef po-boys from Pirate’s Cove, the Abita Brewery, and New Orleans (in general) are on the to-do list.
Judging by today’s accessories, I might be especially looking forward to our visit this year, particularly our New Orleans day. My sunglasses and necklace both came from NOLA-based companies. Growing up on the Gulf Coast, I did not see the influx of design-based companies coming. I don’t hate it!