Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 in Review

2016 is generally regarded as a pretty crap year, bordering on cursed. (Possibly.) And while I'm a pretty optimistic person, I'd say that this bad reputation is well earned. From the rise of actually terrifying far-right politics worldwide to the election of a president who seems more likely to start a nuclear war with each passing day, 2016 hasn't given me all that much to applaud on the current-events front. But as I said, I'm a naturally sunny person, so I'll look for the silver linings wherever I can, and draw strength from the good things to keep fighting for a better world in 2017.

In that spirit, I present my own personal highlights reel for 2016:

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Ready for Takeoff

Today I've got a hot date with a backscatter X-Ray and a very large machine. In other words, Jeff and I are flying back to Chicago this evening after a wonderful first Christmas together in New York. While I'm bummed to be leaving, I'm still so happy that he was able to be here for Christmas for the first time ever! (Christmas dinner post to follow soon, I promise!)

green dita cardigan
Heading back to the Land of Always Winter (pictured above)

Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Best Christmas Present Ever

Christmas presents are such a magical thing, aren't they? Nowadays, I'm much more excited about giving the gifts I've accumulated over the course of the year to their recipients than getting my own gifts, but it's still an enormous thrill to open my Christmas presents and see what's inside.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

How to Cook for a Hungry Crowd

Without question, my favorite thing about Christmas Day is preparing an epic feast for my entire family. I literally look forward to it for months. To me, feeding the most important people in your life is one of the truest acts of love. I've been in charge of Christmas Dinner for going on five years now, after the previous chef was deposed in a coup d'etat by a council of concerned Hallocks who wanted to eat Christmas Dinner on Christmas, rather than in the wee hours of Boxing Day. After cooking so many holiday dinners for fifteen people who eat enough for twenty, I've learned a thing or two about getting everything on the table and still having time to change into my Christmas frock. Without further ado, I am delighted to present some of my secrets to cooking for a crowd.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Our Honeymoon: A Venetian Vegas Vacation

When Jeff and I started talking about honeymoon destinations, there was really only one option that stood out: Vegas! We've been there together four times: once in 2014 for our first-ever vacation together, and three times in 2015. We even got engaged in Vegas on the day we left LA to move to Chicago. After we left Vegas in August 2015, Jeff would sometimes lament the fact that we wouldn't be driving to Vegas anymore, since it's not quite the easy drive from Chicago that it is from LA. So when the time came to plan our honeymoon, we knew Vegas was the perfect place for us!

pug erin swing venetian vegas

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Fleece Navidad

It might not surprise you to learn that I'm ridiculously excited for all things Christmas. By 'ridiculously excited,' I mean that I've literally been waiting since January to dress like a crazed escapee from Santa's workshop in Christmas Town. Well, never let it be said that I don't reach out and grab what I want with both hands! Today's outfit features my first ugly Christmas sweater of 2016, and it's an absolute gem.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Chicago Christkindlmarket

One of my favorite discoveries since moving to Chicago is the annual Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza. It's an open-air German market with tons of little shops selling cute traditional ornaments and gifts, amazing/carby/meaty German food vendors, and two biergarten-like tents. Last year, Jeff and I waited to go until right before we left to visit our respective families for the holidays, but this year, I was ready to go on Day 1.

christkindlmarket chicago

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Review: Nando's

In honor of our brand-new baby niece and her London-loving mama Tiffany, I'm finally reviewing a restaurant that Tiffany recommended to us. Tiffany loved spent a year studying abroad in London, so when she heard we were going to England, she had tons of advice, recommendations, and tips for us. I think she was most excited for us to try Nando's, a restaurant that she'd really loved. Once Jeff started planning our trip, he discovered that there's a Nando's right here in Chicago, so off we went to check it out!

nando's west loop

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Goodbye, Fall

It's been a fairly eventful weekend, what with my trip to the North Side for a long-overdue haircut, a bit of unpleasant drama involving a dead mouse, and the arrival of our newest baby niece! I've been sitting at the computer trying to focus on style-related topics for longer than I'd like to admit, but it's not working. All I can think of is how excited I am to finally meet our three-month-old nephew and newborn niece when we head out for our lightning-quick holiday trip to LA!

vivien of holloway tartan circle skirt

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Review: Twisted Scissors Chicago

Based on all the responses to my Instagram post this morning, it's safe to say that I'm not the only one who gets rather nervous whenever it's time for a haircut. I've had more than one haircut that ended in tears (which, thankfully, I've been able to hold back till I found some privacy!) I'd found a hairdresser I liked in LA, but after six years of relatively hair-drama-free bliss, we moved to Chicago and the process began all over again. I'm happy to say that after fifteen months in this city, I've finally completed my quest today at Twisted Scissors salon.

deadly dames hotrod honey

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Review: Collectif Dolores Bloom Dress

In my continuing quest to embrace body positivity and love the wiggle silhouette, the Collectif Dolores dress has been a major asset. After seeing how amazing one of my Instagram friends always looks in her Doloreses, I picked one up on super-sale over the summer, and was shocked by how confident I felt in it. Thus, when Collectif recently had a free international shipping promotion, I took advantage of the opportunity to order the half-sleeve Bloom pencil dress that I'd been eyeing, rather than one of the Autumn/Winter swing dresses I've also had on my wishlist.

collectif dolores bloom

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Just in Cases

If my recent trip to England has shown me anything, it's reminded me that I desperately need to make friends in Chicago who will watch Love Actually with me. Jeff is Not a Fan of that movie, to say the least, but it holds a very special place in my heart, and my customary annual viewing in New York is just not enough for me.

green velvet dress

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Review: Vixen Makeup Swing Skirt

Well, #WiggleWeek has come to a conclusion, and after a week of truly fabulous body positivity from lots of wonderful people, I'm feeling so much more comfortable in fitted dresses! There aren't enough words to express my gratitude to all of the amazing women who participated, but you can expect a wrap-up post where I use a lot of words trying ;). In the meantime, I've missed my petticoats and twirly skirts, and am so excited to debut my new Vixen makeup-print swing skirt today. I'd heard so many good things about the Vixen swings, and am happy to add another positive review to the chorus!

Vixen swing skirt

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I'm getting ready to do one of my favorite things in the world: cook a giant, elaborate holiday meal. There's something extra satisfying about holiday cooking: no matter what, the fact that somebody in the distant past arbitrarily decided to celebrate a certain day gets me in the party mood every single time.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

6 Reasons to Love the Wiggle Dress

Wiggle Week is off to a great start: I've worn some of my favorite non-cupcakey dresses and have many more to go! It's been so wonderful to see so many gorgeous ladies rocking their wiggles and sharing words of wisdom on Instagram and Facebook. I've said before that immersing myself in a body-positive community has helped me on my own body-acceptance journey, and seeing everyone in their wiggles really drives home the message that all bodies are perfect just the way they are.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

#WiggleWeek: Deadly Dames Courtesan Wiggle

While I'll always love a circle skirt with a massive petticoat or two, I'm really starting to get into the wiggle dress. It's taken me a while, since I've spent most of my life feeling self-conscious about my belly, but lately I've really been feeling the fitted look! They have a totally different vibe than my usual giant-skirt-and-novelty-print combo, but it's one I finally feel ready to embrace. Life is just too short to worry about whether strangers can clearly see that you have a stomach: hello, everybody has a stomach. Otherwise, we'd all die of starvation!

deadly dames courtesan wiggle dress victorian rose

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Don't Leaf Me!

Here in Chicago, fall seems all too brief. The leaves have barely started changing colors before it's time to bust out ye olde winter coat and adjust to bare trees and dark afternoons. I've tried to make the most of those few glorious weeks of autumn, though. This has mostly involved the following: 
  • trying out new and exciting foliage-heavy photoshoot locales
  • wearing blazers as coats and ballet flats with my tights 
  • pointing out every single gorgeous tree I see to Jeff and refusing to let up until he acknowledges how lovely they are.
pinup girl clothing green havana dress 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

On Odd Coping Habits

It's been a rough week, to say the least. If you saw my Election Day post, you probably know what it is that's been getting me down. I pride myself on being a positive, optimistic person, but I've really struggled in the face of everything that's been going on. Old anxieties and negative thought patterns that I'd thought were in the past have re-emerged with a vengeance, and I've had a difficult time figuring out how to address them.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Walking in a Winter Wonderland (Nicole)

News flash: I'm slightly Bernie Dexter-obsessed. (Well, this isn't so much a news flash as it is a confirmation of something that's probably pretty obvious from my love affair with the Kelly dress, the Chelsea cut, and this red gingham number.) I've had my eye on the Winter Wonderland print for ages, and had already decided that this was the year I'd finally nab it when Bernie released the Winter Wonderland Nicole dress. The timing couldn't have been more perfect: here in Chicago, the cooler weather seems to have finally settled in for the long haul, and I've been thinking about beefing up my winter wardrobe. I think we all know where this is going…

bernie dexter winter wonderland nicole

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Review: Leopard Vixen Wiggle Dress

Well, if you follow me on Instagram, you've already seen my election reaction. I don't really have all that much to add at the moment, so I'll register my feelings in a different way, with a body-positive dress review.

Slowly but surely, I'm getting over my fear of wiggle dresses, and it's all thanks to two things: Micheline Pitt and leopard print. (Well, one thing really: leopard-print wiggles designed by Micheline.) The dam began to crack when I got the leopard Vamp dress last spring, and discovered that it made me feel awesome! Still, when I saw sneak peeks of the stretchy leopard wiggle from Vixen by Micheline Pitt, I wasn't sure if I was ready. While I've made major progress in accepting my Kewpie-doll belly, stretchy spandex/ponte wiggles still felt like a bridge too far, as they're often particularly unforgiving.

vixen by micheline pitt leopard wiggle dress

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

It's Election Day: Go Out and Vote!

Well, our long national nightmare is almost over: it's Election Day! (At least I hope the nightmare's almost over. If this turns into a 2000-style, months-long odyssey of litigation and hanging chads, I swear I'm leaving. For the Moon.) To commemorate this momentous occasion, I'm wearing my Most Patriotic Outfit and (probably) hiding under my desk until someone tells me that Trump lost.

hearts and found review skirt

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Style vs. Fashion

Given that this is primarily a blog about retro-inspired style, you might not be *too* surprised to learn that I'm not much for keeping up with fashion trends. I know what I like (full skirts, the color red, anything and everything space-related, sparkly brooches) and I'm totally a creature of habit

bernie dexter white lipstick chelsea dress
This outfit includes many of my sartorial faves: red, full skirts, a fun print, sparkles, and more red!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Restaurant Review: Cafe El Tapatio

First things first: YOU GUYS THE CUBS WON THE WORLD SERIES! It was the most excruciatingly thrilling baseball game I've ever watched and I almost couldn't handle the tension, but they WON and life is good. I liveblogged the agony and the ecstasy on my Insta and stayed up way too late after the game ended.

Anyway. It is a truth universally acknowledged that the Mexican food in Southern California is damn near perfect, and after living in LA for eight years, my standards for Mexican food are ludicrously high. Alas, our new life in Chicago affords us far too few opportunities to have a proper taco and/or chile relleno. Before last week, I think I must've gone something like three months since my last proper taco. To clarify: a proper taco is a soft taco on a small tortilla, filled with nothing but meat and topped with onions, cilantro, and salsa.

Thankfully, as I discovered last Thursday, there's good Mexican food to be had in Chicago. I honestly don't remember how Jeff heard about Cafe El Tapatio, but I'm glad he put it on our ever-growing list of restaurants to try, because it was absolutely epic.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

My Charity-Shop Haul

Admittedly, my priorities for my trip to England last month were a bit unusual. Apart from having a proper English breakfast, eating Scotch eggs, and going to English chains like Primark and Marks and Spencer, I was most excited to try my luck in the charity shops. For my American friends: charity shops are secondhand stores whose proceeds go to a specific charity (i.e. Oxfam and the like.)

Happily, while Jeff was at his conference, I got to live the dream!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

A Very Star Wars Halloween

It's almost Halloween, which means it's finally time for me to reveal this year's Halloween costume! I've been ridiculously excited about dressing up this year, since this is a costume I've been dreaming of for at least five years! If you know one non-style-related thing about me, it's my abiding obsession with all things space, especially the original Star Wars trilogy.

What you might not know about, though, is my abiding love of mashups. (Brace yourself: it's digression time!) The seed was planted in my high school jazz band, we used to occasionally do something we'd refer to as 'jazz fusion:' half the room would play one song, while the other half played a different song. (This was not a bandleader-sanctioned activity.) In college, I was obsessed with the very first Girl Talk album, and devised a running route that was exactly the right length for listening to the entire album. In grad school, I bonded with one of my now-closest friends during trips to mashup night at the Echoplex. (Fun fact: I stood in the front row when Lady Gaga played Bootie LA, right before she got famous. That is my one and only 'I saw XYZ before they were big' story.)

Anyway (and here's where that digression starts to make sense), I decided to go the mashup route for Halloween 2016. Without further ado, feast your eyes on the Pinup X-Wing Pilot!

female x-wing pilot costume

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Witching Hour

October certainly has been a red-letter month for hanging out with blogger friends in real life. Last weekend, I was fortunate enough to spend some time with two of the most awesome petite bloggers in Chicago: Devinne of Mox and Socks, and Mariam of the Petite Bijou, and let me tell you, these ladies are awesome!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

One Skirt, Three Ways: Pumpkin Border-Print Jenny Skirt

2016 is officially the year that I fell headlong down the Halloween-print rabbit hole. Over the past few weeks, I've let my inner Jack Skellington freak flag fly, and it's been awesome. Sparkly pumpkin brooches? Check. Spiderweb-print everything? Yes please! Halloween Harlequin? I'll take the top and the skirt, please. But the petite pumpkin border-print Jenny skirt from Pinup Girl Clothing? This, my friends, is the One Novelty Print Skirt to Rule Them All.

pinup girl clothing pumpkin border-print skirt

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Orange You Happy?

The title of this post may be silly, but... well, I've never been able to resist a pun. It's less than ten days until Halloween, and I'm ready to fully embrace all things spooky, orange-and-black, and pumpkin-flavored. (Except for the Pumpkin Spice Latte. If I'm going to spend over $3 on a non-alcoholic beverage, it had better involve matcha!)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Cambridge Tiki Time

Looking back on our trip to Cambridge, I'm astounded by how much we crammed into each and every day. Jeff and I aren't really the lounging-on-a-beach types: as you may have guessed from my first Cambridge post, we go hard on vacation.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Pretty in Plaid

Far and away, the best part of blogging is the new friends I've made. Immersing myself in a community of fabulous, supportive fellow clotheshorses has brought so much positivity and happiness to my life, and reading blogs helped me to get out of that new-city funk when I first moved to Chicago. A little over a week ago, I got to meet one of the very bloggers that I've admired since the early days of Thoroughly Modern Emily: Devinne from Mox and Socks! Her blog is one of my favorites around because of her incredible photo skills, fantastic style, uniquely thoughtful perspective, and creative hair tutorials, and since we've also gotten to know each other over Instagram, I was over the moon when we finally got to meet in person!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

An American in Cambridge

For almost as long as I can remember, I've been a total Anglophile. (There's a brief period of my life before I knew what England was, and I'm pretty sure I have memories from then.) Growing up, I remember reading loads of books featuring plucky English children (my favorite will always be Ballet Shoes, closely followed by A Little Princess and The Secret Garden). Between those books and the Paddington Bear my father brought me on one of his work trips to London, a lifelong obsession was born, one which only grew stronger when I discovered John Stuart Mill.

If you follow me on Instagram, you might already know that I finally got to live the dream a couple weeks back, when I tagged along with Jeff for a conference in Cambridge! I generally make a point of trying to control my expectations, so as to avoid disappointment, but I was too excited to expect anything less than the most awesome trip ever. Luckily, this is exactly what I got!

World's most excited, unabashed tourist. Thanks to Devinne from Mox and Socks for giving me the most perfect dress to fly halfway around the world in!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Weekend Warrior

After getting home from my recent trip to England, the past week or so has been a total whirlwind. Between going straight back to work the next day and having an amazing weekend of celebrating Jeff's birthday and shooting with the wonderful Devinne of Mox and Socks, it's been a little hard to find the time to write up a post or two about my Cambridge adventure. I had such an incredible time visiting England for the first time that I want these posts to be perfect, which (for me) makes it harder to get started.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

How to Make an Awesome Wedding Playlist

Wedding planning is a very unusual task. Hopefully, you're planning a once-in-a-lifetime event, and yet you somehow need to accomplish a ton of tasks (negotiating vendor contracts, renting a tent, finding an officiant) that normal life gives you zero experience with.

Photo credit: the fabulous Marble Rye Photography.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

One Top Three Ways: Lavender Vamp Top

Sometimes my sister and I speak in TV-Tropes shorthand to each other, which confuses anyone we happen to be around. (If you've never visited TV Tropes…make sure you have a couple of hours to kill before you check it out! It's an endless link-clicking, new-tab-opening wormhole of Wikipedia-level  proportions.) The Vamp top from Pinup Girl Clothing, like its close relative the Vamp dress, is a prime sartorial example of Exactly What It Says on the Tin: putting the shirt on turns the wearer into Jessica Rabbit.

As someone who's only embraced pastels recently, I wasn't sure whether I'd be able to work this lovely lavender hue into my wardrobe, so I figured I'd give it the ol' One Piece, Three Ways treatment and see how it went. As it turns out, this shirt is super versatile!

lavender vamp top pinup girl tiki little jun orchid jenny

Monday, October 3, 2016

Day to Night: Tiki Little Jun

While I am lucky enough to work in a place with the most relaxed dress code on the planet, there are nevertheless a few things that just won't fly. Visible cleavage is one of those things. Being a rather busty lady, I've struggled with finding cute tops and dresses that don't accidentally become scandalous. Button-up shirts are usually a recipe for disaster: if they fit in the bust, they're usually baggy everywhere else. I've amassed a decent array of higher-necked jersey tops and sweaters, but most of my favorite dresses absolutely require a cardigan, and I'm not willing to wear crew neck sweaters when it's 90 degrees out.

While I've been slowly building up my stash of fun and work-appropriate dresses, I also love to wear outfits with pockets, and the pockets on my mint tiki Little Jun are outrageously good. Since getting this skirt, I've worn it to work more than any other piece in my closet. I've worn it with T-shirts, basic black, and my new white Sean top. The biggest styling challenges come on the days that 1) it's disgustingly hot out and 2) Jeff and I are going out right after work. Enter the Clark Kent-like outfit in this post!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

5 Reasons October is the Best Month

As soon as the temperature climbs over 75 degrees or so, I start pining for the fall. Seriously. In my book, summer is a sweaty, uncomfortable period that must needs be endured only because it's followed by the sweetest reward of all: autumn, and more precisely, October!

October has always been my favorite month of the year: the weather is finally comfortable again, the leaves are vibrant, and even sunlight looks prettier. I know plenty of you are fans of spring and summer, so I've put together my top five arguments for why October is the superior month of the year.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Big in Japan

By the time you read this, I will (hopefully) be in Cambridge, England, but for once in my life, I've tried planning this blog ahead, so I'm writing this when I really ought to be packing.

Believe it or not, this is not my first blog. Way back in the day, I had a Livejournal, in which I posted snippets of conversations, Pointedly Cryptic Thoughts, song lyrics, and a smattering of pretentious garbage. The other night, though, I remembered my other blog: the one I kept during my semester in Japan over a decade ago. On a whim, I decided to see whether it was still there, and miraculously, it was. Epic travels down Memory Lane ensued.

December 2005. Look at the size of that digital camera!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Review: Trashy Diva Venice Nights Day Dress

I have a confession to make: before I started typing this sentence, I was poring over the other styles available in this print on Trashy Diva's website. This dress is that good. Trashy Diva has been releasing amazing new prints nearly every two weeks for a couple of months now, and while I'm loving all my recent acquisitions (and, in fact, wearing one of my newer dresses right now!), the Venice Nights collection might just be my favorite of 2016.

trashy diva venice nights dress

Saturday, September 24, 2016

On Living One's Life as a Work of Art

One consequence of adopting a more retro/vintage-inspired manner of dress is a serious uptick in the amount of attention your clothing attracts. Thus far, I've been lucky enough to avoid any unkind, unpleasant remarks from total strangers, but even positive attention can be a bit overwhelming if you're shy or just not interested in dealing with comments from the general public. While I don't much mind occasionally being stared at, for some, this attention is enough to put them off dressing as they'd like, which makes me terribly sad.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Behind the Scenes

I'm back in Chicago after a fabulous weekend with some of the people I love, and I've got something special in store for today's post. If you've ever caught yourself thinking "these style-related posts are fine and all, but how does she write them?," then today is your lucky day! I'm taking you behind the scenes to my all-time favorite spot to work. A wholly unscientific study* of my nine-month blogging career shows that approximately 75% of my posts have been written at the cafe around the corner, and further, 50% of my photos were taken within a 100-yard radius of my favorite table.

*e.g. me estimating off the top of my head.

The top-left table is my favorite! It gives me a perfect view of all the aesthetically-pleasing red chairs!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Sci Fi Rockets

It's been a truly epic month for unicorn hunting: I've gotten my hands on some pieces I never thought would ever be mine, including my top two Trashy Diva must-haves. A sweet friend of mine decided to let both her French Quarter skirt and her Sci-Fi Rockets Rockette dress go, and offered to sell them to me, so perhaps 'unicorn hunting' isn't really the right phrase to use. It was more like 'unicorn oh my god yes please I would love to buy these from you *keyboard smash of maximum excitement!*'

trashy diva sci-fi rockets
I don't even care that my hair is all wonky here, because this photo perfectly captured the way this dress makes me feel.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

One Skirt Three Ways: Maois in Space

It is a truth universally acknowledged that if something is space-themed, I will eventually add it to my wardrobe. Such was the case with the Maois in Space skirt from the Oblong Box Shop. My friend Bristol decided to sell hers, and after holding out for quite a while, I decided to treat myself to a birthday present that perfectly fit the occasion.

This is my fourth Oblong Box Shop skirt and it's just as fun, well-made, and easy to wear with or without a petticoat as the rest. Unlike the others, though, this print has a lot of colors I don't often wear, so I had to think a bit harder to come up with outfits that do this fabulous skirt justice. I must say, it was a lot of fun!
maois in space skirt

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Getting My Just Desserts

Today I am full of sunshine because I'm heading to New York for a wedding this weekend, so I'm sharing a new-to-me dress that fits my mood. The Just Desserts dresses from Pinup Girl Clothing are super highly-sought-after discontinued styles, so I had honestly never believed one would ever grace my wardrobe. Honestly, I'm always convinced that my secondhand dress-hunting luck is about to run out! A couple of weeks ago, though, a friend messaged me that she was ready to let hers go, and I almost fell off of my chair. (Then I messaged her a vaguely-coherent, all-caps YES PLEASE.)

pink just desserts dress

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

On the Road

At this point, I probably don't even need to tell you how much I love the Kelly dress from Bernie Dexter. It may or may not be impossible for me to blog about this style without waxing poetic, but I'll try to keep a lid on my fulsome praise today, and instead focus on the important business: food!

Bernie dexter kelly on the road

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Saturday Night Fever

While my heart belongs to the Kelly dress forever, I do recognize the value of expanding my Bernie Dexter horizons. The Saturday Night dress intrigued me for a long time before I finally took the plunge. I liked the neckline and the way that the straps balanced perfectly on Bernie's shoulders in all her photos, but underbust seams and I haven't historically gotten along, so I held off. When the McCall's print popped on Zulily a while back, though, I threw it in my cart alongside the Antonella.

bernie dexter saturday night mccalls
Since I'm trying out a new style, I figured I'd also try out some new poses.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Review: Collectif Janie Dress

It's a little embarrassing to think about how long it took me to finally overcome my pathological objection to paying for shipping and order from Collectif. I follow a number of British gals on Instagram, and every time they post a lovely outfit from Collectif, I am overwhelmed by how perfect it is. When Collectif announced a massive end-of-summer sale, I knew that the time had finally come to take the plunge.
collectif janie dress

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

On the Prowl

We had about 30 seconds of fall-like weather last week, which means that I jumped at the opportunity to put together an outfit I've had in the back of my mind since May or so. Sadly, the temperature and humidity are both back in the 'too high to support Hallock life' range. While you're reading this, I'm probably either 1) thanking my lucky stars that the A/C at work is always set to Polar Freeze, or 2) lying on our ugly chairs in front of the fan with my tongue lolling out of my mouth, like some sort of miserable longhaired dachshund that's miraculously acquired the capacity to complain.

ANYWAY. Time to stop whining about the continued existence of summer. I'm a huge fan of leopard print, so when this Vivien of Holloway circle skirt popped up on the swap and sell Facebook group I'm in, I pounced. (Bad cat-related joke totally intended.) Circle skirts are basically the best thing known to humanity, at least if you like twirling madly about, and I was hugely impressed by my first Vivien of Holloway skirt.
If I'm not at work, I can usually be found doing this.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

60 Things That Make Me Happy

Ever since I was about 11 or so, I've kept a journal. In addition to documenting the mundane, one of the things I've always liked to do is to make lists. I'd make lists of favorite names and words, or of things I wanted to do before I turned 30, or my particular favorite: lists of things that make me happy.

In the spirit of my pen-and-paper journal habits, I thought I'd list my top 50 things that make me happy at this moment, and share my top 10 happy outfits.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

One Year in Chicago

One year ago today, Jeff and I arrived in Chicago. Over the past few days, I've spent quite a bit of time marveling over how much difference a year makes. When we left LA, I was terrified. All my earthly possessions (save the ones I jammed in Jeff's car) were on a truck, my parents had taken my car to New York to live with them indefinitely, I was moving to an entirely new city with no job and no firm plans, and after eight years on the academic track, I was preparing for a major career change. Seeing as I'm a major creature of habit, this move to the Midwest was a massive leap of faith.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wishlist Wednesday #15

Whew, I've really been falling down on the wish list-creating job. Between Eating All the Things, super-exciting blogger collaborations, and my tikitastic new dresses, I've just had so many things to blog about, and haven't quite been able to fit a wishlist post in. However, when I saw some of Bernie Dexter's new releases, I had to showcase my favorites in a wishlist post!

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Life Aquatic

My love for the Kelly dress from Bernie Dexter is intense. I've lavished it with fulsome praise here on the blog on several occasions, and showcased its magical powers of flattering literally everyone with some of my blogger/Facebook friends. In a word, I'm obsessed., to the point where I have to exercise extreme self-control not to buy it in every single print Bernie releases.

Sometimes, these apparent victories of self-control are just that: apparent. I'll pass on a new print, congratulate the hell out of myself for being prudent, and then BAM! Regret hits me like a ton of bricks once it's too late to just buy the darn thing. Such was almost the story of the Kelly in Blue Water print, but (spoiler alert), this tale has a happy ending!
bernie dexter blue water kelly

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Guest Post: One Tall Tiki Drink

Hey all! Today I have a very special guest for all of you: the fabulous Penny Snark of The Sconnie Sling and I have teamed up for a post exchange, to share our thoughts on the new tiki Little Jun. She's a fabulous lady and an excellent writer (so much joie de vivre!), has an excellent sense of humor, and her brow game is seriously amazing. I'm especially excited because her post on body positivity has been a huge inspiration to me, and really summed up a lot of my own thoughts and experiences on my own journey to a more body-positive existence. Thank you so much, Penny! -- Emily

Hello there! I’m Penny Snark of The Sconnie Sling, and I’m busting into Emily’s petite world today to bring you the view from up here. Emily and I have been Instagram buddies for a while now, so when I discovered that we both were ordering the mint tiki Little Jun, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to collaborate!

I’ll admit that I was a little nervous about ordering the Little Jun skirt from Pinup Girl Clothing. After all, “little” is right there in the name, and at a curvy 5’9”, that’s not a word that anyone would use to describe me! (Most people go right to Amazon…) But the mint tiki print was too beautiful for me to resist, so I finally took the leap…