Friday, August 31, 2012

Color Me Rad & Friday Favorites


How do I sum up the Color Me Rad race other than to say...it was rad! For years I've been telling myself- and everyone else around me- that running was off the table because of my arthritis, but I've recently redefined what I believe possible for myself and have been running/jogging outside of the gym for the past few months. I won't be running any marathons any time soon, I'm just happy to get out of the gym and feel I've reached a happy medium of running outdoors (so nice after being inside at the office all day), and lifting weights at the gym, indoors. This race was the perfect introduction to 5k's- it was fun, I was surrounded by energetic and happy people, and it was a great gauge for my endurance...plus, there was the added bonus of being pelted with cornstarch pigment. So that was awesome. I'm really excited to run more, and would love to do Run for Your Lives, but it's tomorrow and I'm not sure I'm up for that tomorrow. Maybe next year. Have any of you ever done it?

Anyways, I don't have a ton of pictures because everyone I was with was on my team and running. I joined up with a few co-workers, and one thing we all learned was to take one car next year! The traffic was INSANE. Also, wear sunglasses. I'm so glad I wore sunglasses.

Are you excited for Labor Day weekend? I'm super stoked to have a whole two days off in a row with Chris, we're planning on going on a polka cruise (seriously), and maybe a longer hike somewhere as long as the weather holds up.

Here are a few things I'm loving from around the web this week:

These Chelsea boots from Lulu's. Lulu's is hosting 7 days of sale this week, with a new sale each day. Head over to the Lulu's Facebook page to find out what's on sale today!  

This bat top from Spotted Moth is so cute! It's the perfect alternative to the cutesy animal prints that are all over the place right now.

Ruche is also hosting a big labor day sale! Ruche is also hosting one of their largest giveaways yet: starting September 4th you can enter to win one dress a month- for a year! Stay tuned to the Ruche website for details!

This necklace from InfinEight is so unique, I love the contrast of stone and metal.

This knit mini-dress from Bluesville, USA is perfect for fall! Add some knit tights and knee-high 70's boots- perfection! Receive 15% off your order with the code "orchidgrey"!

A rap. About thrifting. (scroll down, there's a video) I can't stop listening to it, all I want to do is go thrifting now.

These spike earrings are insanely awesome.

This hooded cape would be perfect for an early fall walk through the woods.

Sweater love: One. Two. Three.

I will be making these this weekend.

Three more things that I will be adding to my food repertoire. (I love chia seeds!)

Have a great long weekend!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Daylight Fades

In this outfit:
Dress c/o Spotted Moth
Wedges c/o Lulu's
Necklace: Spotted Moth ($32 sale last year)
Bracelet: Vintage/Thrifted ($2)

Where I wore it: Out for drinks

Daylight is fading noticeably faster lately, it seems like we get home and all of a sudden dusk has fallen. I have a suspicion that this change in light is responsible for how I felt about Tuesday's pictures, the photo's themselves weren't all that bad, but I'm feeling frustrated at not having enough time to do everything I plan to in the evenings now- pictures, a run, drinks on the porch, a walk around the neighborhood. I'll soon need to rearrange my schedule even more as the days get continually shorter. I have this completely delusional idea that someday I'll get my schedule all worked out and perfect, when in reality I'm pretty sure that's impossible. If that ever actually happens, I'll probably just implode.

I've been enjoying the challenge of using all of my wardrobe lately, pulling out items that have either been on deck for something special or just pushed to the back in favor of old stand-bys on rushed mornings. I've has this dress in my closet for a month or so, and was thinking I would save it for something special, but...drinks can be special right? With such a statement-making silhouette, I went with minimal accessories, just a couple of all-time-favorites.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Reality Check

In this outfit:
Dress: Beacon's Closet ($12)
Cardigan: J.Crew Outlet ($25-ish)
Shoes c/o Haberdash Vintage (2011)
Bracelet c/o Lulu's 
Bag c/o Ruche

Where I wore it: To the office & for after-work drinks.

I'll be the first to tell you these aren't the best photos ever. And I almost didn't post them, but I chose to post them for a reason. Here it is: I've been really sick of my wardrobe lately. I'm ready for fall, like everyone else. Foolishly wishing away warm, sunny weather in favor of brisk days, cold weather I know I will be sick of in a couple of short months. As I stood in front of my closet this morning, hemming and hawing over what to wear, searching for something new and exciting, that little voice in the back of my head spoke up: "Look at all the things you have, that have gone unworn these past few months."

And it's true, I've been neglecting a good portion of my closet in favor of new styles. So, while the weather is warm, I'm making the effort to put these unworn pieces to work, dusting them off. And this rosy dress is one of those pieces. Much shorter than what I tend to gravitate towards lately, but with a cardigan and oxfords, I didn't feel too scandalous, or even worse, too young.

This isn't my all-time favorite outfit, and my hair is a mess (though I actually like it this way), but it's reality, and we all have these days. In other news, this past weekend was awesome, and I'll hopefully have some pictures to share with you from Saturday's race.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Favorites & Life Lately


Happy Friday everyone! Do you have fun weekend plans? It looks like Pittsburgh is going to have some beautiful weather, and I can't wait to get outside and enjoy it. This weekend I'll be running the Color Me Rad 5k (so excited!), volunteering on Saturday night to help with hair and make-up for the Gilda's Club Fashion Show hosted by ModCloth, and visiting Mandy at her yard sale. Between all that, I would love to get some thrifting in, and maybe go on a hike (or even just a walk through Frick Park).

August has been a stressful month, between going to the doctor for myself and having to bring both cats to the vet (Zeb had to go yesterday- he's fine), I feel a little wound up and touchy. I'm looking forward to September's cooler days, and maybe getting out of town again. I don't have any fashion week plans, every year I tell myself to stay home, but now I'm starting to think it might be nice to just go to New York for a couple of days to get away (and go to Beacon's Closet). With my stress level so high, I've been relishing the early mornings lately, getting up at six when it's still a little grey outside, making coffee, and watching the fog burn off with a cat close by.

So, this weekend will be all about getting centered, getting caught up on sleep, and just generally getting back to myself. Every Friday I feel as if I come to you sounding like a frazzled, insane person, and well, that's not entirely untrue.

Here are a few things I'm enjoying from my sponsors, and from around the web this week:

This dress from Spotted Moth has the perfect transitional colors in it, wear it now alone, and later with tights.

The perfect studded jeans. Don't forget to enter the Lulu's giveaway!

Loving this decades-inspired lookbook from Ruche!

After yesterday's post, I'm a little bit obsessed with kimono-style jackets. Loving this one from Bluesville, USA. Receive 15% off with the code orchidgrey at checkout!

Love this crystal dagger pendant from InfinEight!

I would love to have this salt bird in my kitchen to make me laugh every morning.

Sorry friends with babies and those-who-are-easily-offended-and maybe-don't-like-cats-as-much-as-me: Unbaby.me sounds pretty awesome.

Animal jewelry. Are those corgi cufflinks on...lima beans?

Sleep jumpsuit. This would probably be the worst to sleep in, but awesome just to wear.

Mandy started a plus-size clothing line! I'm so excited for her, and knowing her personal-style, the designs will be amazing.

Do you want to feel truly uncomfortable? Watch this.

Embrace criticism and be happy, even if things aren't perfect.

I want this tiger sweater.

Happy (almost) weekend!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

When I'm Old and Grey

In this outfit:
Caftan top c/o Lulu's
Tank: J.Crew ($7 sale- last year)
Jeans: J.Brand- Gabriel Bro's ($10)
Boots: Jeffrey Campbell "Rumi"
Earrings c/o InfinEight
Beaded bracelets: gift from Punky
Eagle cuff c/o Lulu's
Spiky bracelet: F21 (old)

Where I wore it: To the office!

If "Eccentric Grandma" were the first words to pop into your head just now, thank you, you've pleased me. That's exactly what I was going for. I like to think that when I'm old and grey, I'll still appreciate crazy prints, layers of jewelry, and fun- if slightly more orthopedic- shoes. While I do love a simple outfit, sometimes I just want to be jingly and loud and smell like patchouli and sandalwood. I blame these competing sides of my wardrobe/personality on growing up in New England, in the woods. Surrounded by ex-hippies who also happened to like sailing and the beach, I can't help but love simple, slightly outdoorsy style just as much as I love flowing layers, long skirts, and batik.

Now that my hair is shorter and a few pounds lighter (an exaggeration), I've been a bit more apt to play with it and try new styles. Usually when I do Heidi braids, I keep them relatively structured and sleek, but today I wanted to try a more undone approach.

Don't forget to enter the Lulu's giveaway!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Giveaway: $100 to Lulu's!

I'm very excited to bring you today's giveaway, sponsored by one of my favorite online shops: Lulu's! Lulu's is kindly offering one lucky winner a $100 gift certificate to spend in their shop, personally I love this dress, and this bag.

To Enter: Visit Lulu's and leave me a comment here with a link to your favorite item from the shop. Want an extra entry? Follow Lulu's on Twitter (and be sure to let me know if you do)!

Tiny print: Giveaway ends on Monday August 27th at 10pm. One entry per person, two if you follow Lulu's on Twitter. Winner will be chosen using a random number generator. Be sure to leave an email address in your comment if you do not have a blog where I can EASILY reach you. Winner will have a 24 hour grace period to respond to email notification before a replacement winner will be chosen. *This contest is open to international readers, however please be aware that international shipping rates apply- for more info, please see Lulu's International Shipping page*

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Thank you to all who entered the Bluesville, USA giveaway, the winner was comment #31, Laura:

And thank you to everyone who entered the Ruche giveaway, the winner was comment #30, Amanda:

  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Self Portrait with Braids

In this outfit:
Top: American Eagle ($25)
Skirt c/o Lulu's
Sandals c/o Blowfish (c. 2010) 
Earrings c/o Noble Town Vintage (c. 2011)
Bag c/o Ruche
Flower: from my garden

Where I wore it: To the office on Friday

After two days of working from home and watching Zephyr like a hawk, I really needed to feel like I looked nice when I went back into the office last Friday. My work from home outfits often consist of cut-off shorts, flip flops, and a ratty sweatshirt or tee-shirt, the farthest thing from pretty or put-together. This outfit fit the bill perfectly, and as an added bonus, it felt like I was wearing pajamas. I've been relishing this late-summer weather, deciding to fully embrace the warmth and not force fall to get here faster than it needs to. This time of year, I often find myself adding a sweater here and there, maybe even breaking out an unnecessary pair of boots in anticipation of the season ahead. I know soon enough that I'll be freezing and dreary, pining for these sunny warm days. I'd better bask in it while I can.

Thank you to everyone who left kind thoughts for Zephyr's recovery on Friday's post, it means so much to me, and I feel for those of you who have had similar experiences. It's so frustrating having an ill pet, they can't tell you how they feel- if they're feeling better or worse. Thankfully, Zephyr seems to be doing much better, and is even taking his medicine like a champ. We've had to make some adjustments to their food, namely taking away their dry food (to which there has been much cat-complaining).

And thank you also for those who wished us a happy anniversary! I sat for awhile yesterday morning, trying to find a picture to post to commemorate the day, and then I realized that I would rather just get-out and enjoy it. We went hiking on Sunday at Ohiopyle and out to an amazing dinner last night. I've been shooting a lot of our weekend trips on film and saving up the rolls, I have my fingers crossed they come out, and if they do, I'll be sure to post some.

And one more thank you, to the kind reader who said hello to me this weekend: I'm sorry I was awkward and caught off guard. My mind was thinking about my long walk home from where I was, thank you for saying hello!

PS- If you'd like to recreate this braided hairstyle, the instructions can be found here.  For more hairstyling tips, click here.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Favorites and Life Lately


The Good:
- Our one-year wedding anniversary is on Monday!

- I have finally stared to enjoy reading In One Person. It took about 50 pages, which I've heard (from where?) is what you should give a book before deciding one way or another that you love or hate it.

- I've been running a lot lately, now that the weather has cooled slightly it's easier to get out after work, which is something I never thought I would do. After I found out about the arthritis in my knees a few years ago, I pretty much gave up on running and just hit the gym, but I think because of all that strength training, I'm able to actually run much easier now. We have some huge hills in our area, and it feels amazing to run to the top- I'm not saying that I don't have to huff and puff to get to the top, because I do, it's a struggle- but I still get there. And when I get there, it feels really good to swear loudly and throw my arms up in the air like Rocky. Because if you can't do that at the top of a beast of a hill, where can you? I think it's a really good thing to be forced to redefine your limits, to set new goals.

- I also managed to wake up at 6:30am most days this week! I did not do this on my own however, I have Zebediah to thank, who comes in around 5:45 each morning and puts a paw on my face.

The Bad:
Migraine.

The Ugly:
I posted a couple of pictures to Instagram of the unexpected- and miserable- trip to the vet's office that Zephyr and I took. This was no vacation. He should be fine (fingers crossed) he has/d a UTI that I think we caught early enough (they can be incredibly dangerous in male cats), but man, cat drama. I realized on the way over, as he yowled loudly from his crate in the backseat, that he's never been separated from Zebediah before, they've always harrowed the vet together as a team. It didn't go smoothly. This cat was easily the loudest one in a waiting room filled with spastic dogs. And, my apologies if this is TMI, but- UTI be damned- he also peed in his crate on the way home, so adding insult to injury (for the both of us), this already sick cat earned himself a bath as soon as we got home. We have to watch him closely over the next few days, but he seems to be doing better.

The Beautiful:
It's official, I'm obsessed with fall. An inevitability about this time of year: no matter how hard I try, I get sick of all my summer clothes halfway through August. I'm looking forward to the transitional season around early September, when I can play around with layering, but it's still too hot for that. In the mean-time, I'm pinning lots of inspiration images, to keep in the back of mind mind for those cold-weather days.

I am so excited for slouchy sweaters, more maxi lengths, and lots of boots and loafers. I'm completely enamored with this midi-skirt from Ruche. I love these simple gold bat earrings from Spotted Moth. This polka-dotted sweater from Lulu's would be perfect with jeans.  Love this black and gold triangle necklace from InfinEight. This crochet cardigan from Bluesville, USA would be perfect for right this minute (get 15% off your order with the code "orchidgrey"). I am super obsessed with this jumpsuit. And these boots make me swoon.

Have a good Friday!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Manic Manic

In this outfit:
Dress: BB Dakota from ModCloth
Denim vest: Thrifted ($5-ish)
Bag: Vintage/Thrifted Coach ($14)
Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell "Rumi" from ModCloth
Skull/Crystal necklace: old
Hair color: Kevin Murphy Color Bug

Where I wore it: To the office!

You know, I think today is one of those days that I'm just not going to have much to say, so, list time:

- I like this outfit because it reminds me of Manic Panic/ Sally Beauty ads from the mid-90's. You know, the ones where the two rave-y looking male and female models both sported the same bright hair color and nail polish? In my early teens all I wanted was a boy who would wear my nail polish and maybe dye his hair with me (they were few and far between in Maine). I was largely unsuccessful in this search.

- That inspiration lead me to add a little faux-color to my own hair with the help of a Color Bug.

- On the subject of hair, Laura asked me last week if I've been doing something different with mine, and the answer is yes. I chopped off about eight inches while we were on vacation, and I feel so much better. I've never been one to really be attached to my hair- before I grew it out, I was happily the guinea pig for many a hair experiment when I worked at the salon- and lately I had grown uncomfortable with how long it was. So, yeah I know it's still long, but I feel a little freer with what I do to it now. It does feel really blunt though.

- I am well aware that this vest is the hardest working item in my closet these days.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Over the Weekend: Mega Post


Consider this post the offspring of my Friday Favorites, Life Lately, and Over the Weekend Posts. They all got together and had a baby. This post...

Anyway, this past weekend was fantastic, and I'm guilty of being a little bit of a slacker when it came to responsibilities. But, this was exactly was what a weekend should be: equal parts fun, relaxation, and full of inspiration.  Contrary to what these pictures tell you, I didn't spend all of it at Phipps. Chris and I celebrated the existence of Friday by going to see the Queers and Agent Orange, an experience that managed to make us feel both extremely old, and like teenagers all at the same time. The last time we saw them was...I can't even remember. I was in college, so it was a long time ago. Saturday, I met up with a couple of new friends for coffee and breakfast food, did some things on my own, and then met back up with everyone once Chris got out of work for more food and a visit to Unsmoke. Sunday was spent similarly: coffee with a friend, a quick lunch at home, and then a solo trip to Construction Junction and Phipps.

I've been making the effort to be more open and positive this month, and I feel like it's changing my perspective. Perhaps it's due to the weather cooling slightly- or even just due to having had some time off- but I've definitely felt more motivated and...happier. That's not to say I haven't also been stressed as usual, in fact I had a flare up of hypochondria last week- something that happens when I put a lot of pressure on myself. One thing leads to another and soon enough I've convinced myself that I have a life-threatening illness (I don't). I've been pushing myself to run- at least a short distance- every evening after work. This has helped me clear my head, and it's satisfying to get out of the gym and have a clear definition of accomplishment- conquering a certain hill (or hills, as far as Pittsburgh is concerned), or running a little farther than the day before. The gym doesn't offer that same satisfaction. 

While I'm savoring these last few weeks of summer, I can't help but look forward to the season ahead. I'm excited to break out the boxes that contain last year's fall wardrobe and reevaluate. There are definitely some styles I'm keeping an eye on for fall:

I'm really loving the mix of faux-leather and knit sleeves on this moto-jacket from Lulu's. I feel like it's the perfect mix if soft and structured, and would look perfect layered over summer maxi dresses.

These brown heels from Ruche would be perfect for transitioning into cooler weather. Wear then now alone, and with tights or knee-highs come October.

I've been noticing longer lengths on body-con dresses lately, which I love. I feel a longer length makes a tight dress that much more wearable, especially with contrasting tights and heels. This dress from Spotted Moth is perfect, I love the neckline.

I'm already thinking about sweaters. It was so nice and cool on Saturday that I got to wear my favorite combination: a sweater and shorts. I'm stocking up on patterned cardigans like this one from Bluesville, USA to belt over jeans and dresses. Save 15% off your order with the code "orchidgrey" at checkout!

And simple gold necklaces will always be a staple, for every season. I'm especially smitten with this one from InfinEight!

I know it's Tuesday, but how was your weekend?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sunsoaked

In this outfit:
Dress: MinkPink via Nasty Gal ($30 sale)
Denim vest: Thrifted ($5-ish)
Shoes c/o Lulu's
Bracelets: Vintage- gifts from parents when I was small
Necklaces: InfinEight (c/o) *and one that's old*

Where I wore it: To work on a Monday morning

We all have those days where we want to feel unencumbered, dressed, but not really. Those days are usually Mondays for me. By the end of the week, I've worked up to belts and fitted waists, but on a Monday the sheer thought of wrapping something around my middle is enough to send me back to bed, covers thrown over my head.

This is an outfit often repeated, a summer stand-by this year. The most comfortable dress, my go-to denim vest, and shoes that feel like flats, but aren't. Topped off with jewelry that has been in my possession since I was young, under-appreciated until the past couple of years. Thank god I kept it. A turtle bracelet was the farthest thing from my mind in my ticky-tacky college repertoire of leopard-print bandage skirts, torn fishnets, and plastic-y adornments.

The temperature has finally leveled off to where I can appreciate these days, especially now that these days are getting noticeably shorter. I want to gather them all up, hold onto them, bring them out in the depths of winter when I'm stuck inside on a miserable afternoon. Already there are hints of autumn- our favorite dives are starting to fill back up with college kids, not to mention that I've been writing fall coats and holiday dresses since June at work!