Thursday, September 30, 2010

The North Shore Blogger Consortium

When I set out to write Orchid Grey, I really only had two goals from what i wanted out of my blog: to stop spending so much money on clothes, and to explore my closet further than the two dresses I was rotating through my work wardrobe. I think it's safe to say "mission accomplished" (er, maybe only "mission made slightly better" in the case of my not spending money on clothes).

What I discovered about blogging is that there is so much more to it: I've discovered community, made lasting connections, and even landed a job based mostly off my blog. So far, the community aspect has been the most valuable to me, so when I was contacted by the North Shore Blogger Consortium I jumped at the chance to join. The NSBC is a group of North of Boston based bloggers who have come together as a kind of collective to post weekly happenings in and around the North Shore community.

While I know Orchid Grey does have a broader scope, I'm excited to be able to show my fellow New England bloggers what's up. Each Wednesday I will be posting my weekend picks with activities going on in the area and on Thursday I'll have a post like this, a round up of all the other member's choice activities.

I admit to being too freaking busy this week to get mine done, but below you'll find links to the other blogger's posts.

And we’re off…………..

Jane Ward writes fiction and is the author of Hunger (Forge, 2001) and The Mosaic Artist (to be released). She is currently at work on her third novel, The Welcome Home. She also writes about food – in a weekly blog called Food and Fiction, and as a contributing writer to the online regional food magazine, Local In Season – because she loves to cook and eat. And so does everyone she knows.

Click Here for Author Jane Ward’s Weekend Picks

As a painter and writer, Heather Atwood spent a lot of time waiting on tables in great restaurants. While struggling with color and line, she was also learning how to roast a great chicken, and what it means to balance textures in a dish. She’s been interested in good food ever since. Married, the mother of two daughters, Heather now lives in Rockport, Mass. and is the food columnist for the Gloucester Daily Times. She is featured regularly in Taste of the Times videos and her writing can also be seen in the Wednesday food section of the Times.

Click here for Heather Atwood’s Weekend Picks

Good Morning Gloucester brings you the best of Gloucester MA and surrounding communities. From the docks to the restaurants, the sporting fields to the art scene and anything in between, if it’s happening in Gloucester it’s generally covered on GMG.

Click here for Joey’s weekend picks

At its core, is a place to find out what’s happening in Lynn. It features an events calendar, local weather, arts and events coverage, photo galleries, complete City Council videos, letters to the editor and more.

Click here are for editor Seth Albaum’s picks for the weekend

North Shore Dish is your guide to restaurants and all things food related on the North Shore. Whether it’s gourmet dining or a hole-in-the-wall, if these gals have tasted it, they’ll dish up the inside scoop.

Click here for North Shore Dish weekend picks

The Two Palaverers are the husband and wife team of Rob and Laura Ciampa, two passionate New Englanders who have spent decades exploring the highways and byways of New England in search of regional character, culture and cuisine. Their goal is to recognize the people, places and things that exemplify the character of New England. Join them as they palaver about New England.

Click Here For The Weekend Picks From The Two Palaverers

Greater Newburyport Today is your online guide to the wide range of activities and events occurring within the Greater Newburyport region of coastal Massachusetts, including the surrounding New Hampshire seacoast and the Ipswich/Essex and Cape Ann regions of the North Shore.

Click here for Greater Newburyport today’s weekend picks

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Guest posting on JenLovesKev!

Hi friends! Today I'm guest blogging over at Jen's blog, JenLovesKev, as she and Kev take some well-deserved time to welcome miss Rowan into the world. I'm so, so, so excited for them, I know they're going to be the most amazing parents! Anyways, head on over to her blog to read my post!
(I miss my tan)
Posting has been really light this week, between work and Boston Fashion Week, I've barely had time to breathe. Everything will be back to normal next week, after a much needed breather this weekend!

Also, thank you SO MUCH to everyone who entered the Miss Antique giveaway! The winner was comment #3: Welcome To The Moon! Check your comments section, sister!

Monday, September 27, 2010

October Sponsorships Available

Autumn is upon us and I'm now accepting sponsorships for the month of October! I have a variety of small-business friendly rates available, if you would like to sponsor Orchid Grey, shoot me an email for current rates and stats. Be sure to include a link to your shop!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Events, Features, General Happenings, and Boston Fashion Week

This has definitely been one of those weeks where I've had almost too much to write about, a lot seems to be going on. I've definitely had a few "holy shit" moments, biggest of which was seeing my Heidi Braids post on Joanna's blog yesterday, I saw last week that she was looking for a tutorial which coincided nicely with my current Heidi Braid obsession.

Along with that, a little project that took place about a month ago towards the end of summer finally came to fruition! When Punky asked me to model for her collaboration with New Brahmin, I was thrilled! I love all these inspiring ladies and it was a great day spent on the coast of Maine, braving the winds, sand, and surf in the name of fashion. Of course, being from Maine originally made the shoot all that more special, I love being able to represent my home state! Go here to check out the photos, shot by the very talented Adam Towner.

Boston Fashion Week:
Did you know Boston has it's own Fashion week? It's certainly not as glamourous as NYFW, but it is a great chance to unite with other Boston based fashion aficionados for some events in the city. The event that I'm most excited for is this:
You can go to Punky's blog to read more about it!

More BFW events:
Tonight at 6 pm I'll be at Hotel Chocolat for Exposure: Couture & Chocolat "A toast to local couturiers in Boston’s favorite and undeniably fashion-forward chocolatier, Hotel Chocolat. Premiere of "Behind the Design" - a unique portrayal of New England's design professionals and some of their most fabulous fashion creations photographed in local settings, created and produced by Tracy Aiguier and Terri Mahn."

Hotel Chocolat

141A Newbury Street, Boston MA

Open to the public, space permitting.

Tonight at 9 pm I'll be at the Liberty Hotel for Industry 10 where "Ten local fashion aficionados have come together to host an evening celebrating Boston Fashion Week 2010"

Liberty Hotel

215 Charles Street, Boston MA

Doors open at 9PM

RSVP required. Chris Haynes at

Arrive early, space is limited.

On Wednesday September 29th I'll be at The Estate for

ABSOLUT FASHION presented by Rue La La and Salon Marc Harris "

This exciting evening of cutting-edge fashion features designs by Kelly Dempsey, Jeury Rosario, and Andy Jacques Couture. Special presentation by Anthony Ferrara, acclaimed for creating the $500,000 metal mesh dress featured in the Absolut vodka campaign that graced the pages of Vogue magazine in the 1990’s. Models provided by Model Club Fashion."

Doors: 9:30PM
Fashion show: 10:30PM
Complimentary admission before 10:30PM with VIP Invitation.
General Admission $10
The Estate
1 Boylston Place – The Alley, Boston MA

On Thursday September 30th I'll be at

The Swapaholics' Boston Fashion Week Sip & Swap! "

Swapping is the new shopping: Clean out your closets & make room for some new fall favorites -- possibly free -- by joining The Swapaholics at Boston Fashion Week's first clothing swap & wine tasting!"

Amy (Punky) Chase:
The Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Avenue, Somerville MA
$10, more info & registration link at (tickets go on sale 8/25)
7PM - 10PM

To read the whole BFW schedule, go here:

Have a great weekend (I cannot wait to sleep in!)!

PS- There's still time to enter the giveaway!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Giveaway: Miss Antique vintage 1950's earrings! (Closed)

This week's giveaway comes to us from Miss Antique, a sweet little Etsy shop featuring a wide range of vintage treasures. She's offering one lucky vintage loving reader this pretty pair of deep orange 1950's earrings. They could also be really cute shoe clips!

To enter: Visit Miss Antique and leave me a comment telling me about a favorite back-to-school outfit of yours from the past or present.

This contest is open to all, be sure to leave me an email address if you do not have a blog where I can easily reach you. Giveaway ends Monday September 27th at 10pm est. Winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator.
The winner of the Noble Town Vintage giveaway was #107: Diya! Congrats! Thank you so much to everyone who entered!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hair-Do How-to #5: Heidi Braids

Heidi braids have been my go-to style lately (as evidenced by yesterday's post). They're easy, keep my hair out of my face, and relatively painless. I did these kind of fast, they can be as messy or as sleek as you would like. For this style you will need: A comb, bobby pins, invisible hair bands, and some hairspray. Have fun and send me a link if you try this!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

She's 68 but she says she's 54

I have a lot of photos today, I always have a lot when Chris takes my pictures...
(Photos: Chris)
Sweater: Thrifted ($5)
Fur Stole: Great-Grandmother's
Velour Shirt: Thrifted ($1)
Skirt: UO ($20)
Belt: Gift from friend
Tights: AA
This outfit was one of those "start small and add, add, add to it until it works" kind of outfit's. Originally, I was wearing the yellow velour shirt as a dress, with just the tights and shoes, which felt kind of sparse. I added the skirt next, and then the sweater, and then the fur. In the end the result was exactly what I was going for, kind of "crazy old scandinavian woman". This sweater has become my solution to my lack of a fall jacket, I love how it looks with my Great-Grandmother's fur stole added to the collar, I was unsure on whether to get it when I came across it in the thrift store, but I'm glad I did. The colors are so versatile.

I've been wearing these Jeffrey Campbell clogs from ModCloth non-stop lately. Now that I'm working a job where I'm on my feet all day, I haven't been wearing heels and wedges very often. I had been looking for a pair of shoes for fall that had some height to them, but were still comfortable, these clogs were perfect. I know some people don't like the clog trend, but I love it. They're so functional and I'm loving anything that reminds me of my mom from the 70's lately. Have you been to the ModCloth site these days? I went on the other day and was stoked to find out they're offering pre-orders for the BB Dakota holiday line, there are so many things I have my eye on (like the Tularosa coat, le sigh)!
I'm also completely aware that I look like Maude lately:
I've been wearing my hair in Heidi braids non-stop these days. It's easy and keeps my hair out of my face while I work. Interested in knowing how to do this style? Stay tuned for a how-to tomorrow!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Todd Farm Sunday

Well, I'll admit to being a little bit of a liar when it comes to this past weekend: Chris and I unfortunately didn't make it to Worcester for stART on Sunday. Which was a bummer. September has been a particularly lean month for us, so we decided to keep things close to home (and cheap) and wander the local flea market, Todd Farm. I love TF, especially in the fall, the air is crisp and it's wonderful wandering around with a hot coffee looking at the things people are selling. I, of course saw about a million things I would have loved to take home with me, but we kept it cheap and just took photos. So, no outfit photos to share today, but lots of colorful pictures:

After the flea market we stopped by Russell Orchards, where we hastily sipped cider and made a quick exit from the crowd, which was a little too young for us. I enjoyed a Sunday nap and finished the day by making the best cheese crust apple pie, ever. Lately we've been having the best Sunday's ever.

I'll have an outfit post tomorrow for you, plus a new hair-do how-to post on Wednesday! How was your weekend?

Friday, September 17, 2010

You Asked, I Answered: Pt. 4

And the bad photos continue...
Circa 2004 with some of the worst hair and eyebrows ever

Is your whole family as stylish as you?
I'm sure they would say no, but I think they all have their own unique styles. My brother is probably the most obvious "yes", he's actually been on my blog a couple of times! He loves punk and wears some amazing things (some of which he stole from MY closet...I want that Exploited t-shirt back, John!), he even hand painted the Misfits "Horror Business" album cover on the back of his leather jacket. My mom is very outdoorsy and works in the deep woods as a surveyor, so her style is much more rugged. My dad and step-mom are both very casual (when they're not wearing their jumpsuits- they're both Chief Engineer Merchant Marines). And my sister is pretty casual too. I don't really know where I got the fashion gene, but my mom is really artistic.

What are your measurements? I feel like we have similar body types and I was wondering if it was difficult to find clothing that flatters your shape?
I'm 5' 5" 32-26-34, typically a size 2 or 4 in dresses and size 7 or 8 in pants. I used to have a hard time finding clothes, mainly because I didn't know what looked good on me. Over the years, I've learned what to look for in silhouettes: High waist skirts, shorts, and jeans look great on me, whereas skirts that hit at or below my belly button look terrible. Shirts and blouses (unless cropped) need to hit just below my hips or right at my pelvis. Short dresses and skirts look best, midi length is bad. Any clothing that accentuates my waist is awesome. This is part of the reason I wear a lot of older vintage and thrifted clothing, it's made for an hourglass silhouette.

I've also discovered stores over the years whose clothing is the most flattering, this is why you see a lot of J.Crew, ModCloth, and Urban Outfitters on my blog, I have a lot of luck at those places (especially J.Crew).

If you allow yourself to experiment with your silhouettes and play around with proportion, you'll slowly find what looks good. Don't pay attention to the size on the tag- I have pants in my closet that all fit me with a size range of 4 to 11 (!!!)- take a bunch of sizes into the dressing room with you and find what fits and feels best!

What college were you an admissions person for?
Montserrat College of Art (I also graduated from there)

What magazines do you read regularly/ have subscriptions for?
I subscribe to BUST (my all time favorite) and Teen Vogue. and I regularly buy regular Vogue. I also have been really enjoying Vanity Fair lately too. Occasionally I'll buy ReadyMade, Glamour, and Nylon. I can be a bit of a magazine junkie, but I'm trying to cut back because they're expensive!

How do you make time for working out? Is it usually a morning or evening routine?
I usually try and get there in the morning, because that's when I have the car (chris and I share our car), but sometimes I'll go with a friend in the evenings. I'll be honest, it's always a struggle and there are some weeks when I only make it once or twice, but i try to remind myself how how great I feel after my workouts. If you miss a workout, try not to beat yourself up about it, we're only human!

Have you ever had braces?
I've never had braces, there was talk of having to get them in the 4th grade, but my teeth straightened themselves out. My brother on the other hand, was not so lucky.

What was your major in college? and was it easy for you to find a job after graduation?
I majored in Photography in college, graduating with my BFA. After graduation, I moved home for about a year and worked some unrelated jobs, then found my job in Admissions. After working for admissions and also as a campus event photographer, I realized that I love photography but I didn't want a career as a photographer. I think the thing to keep in mind is that you may not immediately find a job that relates to your major, but if you choose to see the benefits of wherever it is that you're working you can still gain valuable experience that will carry with you when you DO find your dream job. So, no it wasn't easy finding a related job right after college, but I made the most of the positions I could find. Hope that helps!

How many cats do you have? do they get along well?
I have two cats, who are brothers. They get along really well, they hang out and play together a lot and I catch them snuggling on a daily basis. I'm not afraid to admit that I'm a little obsessed, they're so sweet!

What is your dream job?
I would love to be a wardrobe stylist. I think it would be a great way for me to mix my background in photography, with my love of working with clothes. Your outfit has the power to make you feel a certain way, I would love to help other women discover their own unique style and also help them with their confidence. I also think it would be extremely cool to work on movie sets in wardrobe!

Have a question? Ask me on Formspring!

I am SO happy it's Friday! Do you have any fun things planned? Chris and I are going to Worcester's stART on the Street on Sunday, and I'm pretty sure we'll go out to breakfast too which is one of my favorite weekend things. Have fun!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sweet and tender hooligan

It was 47*f degrees last night! brrr!
Cardigan: H&M ($16)
Thigh Highs: AA ($16)
Shoes: Charlotte Ronson via Ebay ($60)
Belt: Gap sale ($3)
Purple is one of my most favorite fall colors, I love how it pops when paired with grey and lighter colors, like in this Ruche dress on loan from Tieka. I had been admiring this dress all summer, but missed out on my chance to order it, luckily Tieka was faster and offered it up to the ladies of the Delightful Dozen to style up! The size was actually a little too big for me, so to make it seem smaller I belted it and added a cardigan. I bought this purple belt awhile ago, and love how it looks all twisted up in a knot. Also, thigh highs are such an awesome alternative to tights. The think I love most about this dress is actually covered up: the back has a heart cut out. It looked kind of funny because of how baggy it was so I had to cover it up. You can see how the other girls styled it on the Delightful Dozen facebook page!

Anyways, last week when I said I got a new job as a visual merchandiser, a lot of people asked me what it is I actually do. I don't plan on having my job play much of a part in this blog (I like keeping it separate), so I figured I would keep my explanation on the short side. I love working with clothes and dream of one day being some sort of stylist, buyer, or creative services type, which is why this job interested me. I also don't work weekends, so yay! Basically my day to day includes conceptualizing and setting up window displays, dressing and (awkwardly) undressing mannequins, and working with the other visual merchandisers to decide how best to display new styles to maximize selling potential. I don't do sales, and my interaction with customers is minimal. I get to move around a lot (good for someone who needs to be moving constantly), and have a lot of creative freedom (meaning we don't work out of pre-designed directive books). For right now, it's the perfect job for me and I'm really enjoying the change of pace. I'm also really excited to have a commute again, I can read books on the train! It has been hard getting used to working full-time again after having the summer off.
Don't you just love the print of this dress? I love the little honey-bees mixed in with the flowers.

Happy Thursday!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Workout style file and a review

Jacket: New Balance (TjMaxx)
Performance Leggings: Nike
T-Shirt: Target
Sneakers: Nike
(In case you were wondering...)
Also, Chris took these photos... sorry about the crazyface

I've received a lot of questions lately regarding my workout routine and gym schedule on my Formspring account. I also had the chance to test Dove Visibly Smooth deodorant. What goes together better than the gym and deodorant? Nothing! I thought I would combine the two subjects and do a "Gym Style File".

In the year since I started this blog, my life has seen quite a few mile stones: getting engaged, leaving my job, starting a new job. But to me, one of the most significant changes in my life this year has been the adoption of a regualr fitness routene. Some of you may see that as trivial, but maintaining an adequate amount of activity has been a constant battle for me since moving to Massachusetts three years ago. Growing up in Maine and New Hampshire, all I had to do was walk out the front door and I had fitness gold at my fingertips: there was a small mountain in my backyard to hike, three ski mountains all within 30 minutes, and snowmobiling trails to go running on. When we moved close to the city, all of that was gone and it became considerably more difficult to find fun and athletic things to do. And then that was made substantially more difficult when I discovered the I had arthritis in my knees last year, goodbye running in the great outdoors and hello low-impact gym time!

So, along with my Gym Style File I have a review: Up until recently I really only wore deodorant for special occasions (I know), but after buying my gym membership and working out regularly I realized that this product maybe had it's place in my beauty regimen. When Dove contacted me to try out their new Ultimate Visibly Smooth deodorant, I was curious to see how it would hold up and I admit that I was tempted by the free sample. I've used Dove products in the past, but not the deodorant, so I was curious to see how I liked it and if it really kept me "stubble free for longer", I've been searching for a deodorant that I like for awhile, so I figured I would give this a shot. It's supposed to minimize the look and feel of underarm stubble over time.

The Pros: The scent was nice, it did do it's job and kept me dry through out a week's worth of workouts, the moisturizers seemed to work and kept my skin soft.

The Cons: I didn't see a difference in "stubble" over the seven days that I used the product, after a week I became uncomfortable with using something that claimed to make my hair less noticeable and switched back to the all-natural deodorant I had used before.

In Conclusion: Smells good and kept me dry, in the end I just feel more comfortable using an all natural brand and dealing with the hassle of shaving. I'll take peace of mind over convenience, and if I wasn't such a natural products freak I would use this more often.

What beauty products- natural or otherwise- can you not live without?

Dove kindly provided the deodorant mentioned in this post

Over the Weekend / Daily Style...

I'll say it again, I love fall!
Shirt: Salvation Army ($2 old)
Pants: Swapaholics Swap (free!)
Belt: Thrift gift from Mom
Shoes: Matiko via LF sale ($40)
This weekend was the perfect fall weekend, with both Saturday and Sunday displaying my favorite kind of weather. Saturday was sunny and clear and the perfect temperature, the perfect day to break out my favorite flannel shirt! I wore this shirt both days, below you can see that I wore it with jeans on Saturday. Sunday was a bit cooler, so I paired it with a sunny pair of corduroys. Sunday was my other favorite kind of weather, cloudy and grey. A good excuse to stay inside and read. This shirt feels like pajamas, it's so old and worn in and has a huge rip in the elbow. I love it anyways!

It may seem like I'm obsessing over fall, but this is the first time in three years that I can actually enjoy the changing seasons. See, my former job at the college required me to be away from home for nearly three months straight from September through the end of November during the recruitment season. It left little time to relax, and little time to spend with Chris. I was also stressed out all the time and started to have anxiety attacks on a nearly daily basis. I remember last fall, Chris and I just wanted to go apple picking, we had a two hour window and as soon as we got to the orchard, it poured. Like, torrential downpours. It was depressing. So on this saturday, we decided to try our luck with the same orchard, success! We spent the afternoon at Russell Orchards in Ipswich:
Cider doughnuts are possibly my favorite thing ever. We got hot apple cider to go with the fresh doughnuts, and sat under a tree, away from all the families. Russell's also has a lot of farm animals, including a 1000 lb. pig named "Big Boy" and a bunch of crazy looking chickens. There was a folk band playing, which we avoided. And a ton of kids, which we also avoided. It was a lot of fun, but I still think I prefer the orchards back home (meaning Maine and New Hampshire) where you just pay by the pound and are let loose with a ladder and a picker into the orchard. We're planning on maybe another go next weekend, the cider doughnuts are calling my name!

How was your weekend?

ps- there's still time to enter the giveaway! I didn't realize this at the time, but the earrings you can win from Noble Town Vintage will be the same as the one's pictured, but sent directly from the shop. Which is why I'm wearing them in the photo above, i guess those were mine to keep! haha, whoops! Thank you! Let me know if that sounds confusing...