Saturday, April 30, 2016

A Star-Wars-Themed Wedding Event

Has anyone else planned a wedding? I'm less than two months out from mine, and am just starting to realize that there are actually things I need to be doing. Of course, I'm dealing with that realization by writing a post about the bridal luncheon my sister threw for me while I was in New York a few weeks ago. Technically, this is productive!

I was planning to wear my beloved tomato-print dress, but after realizing that it was going to be a family-style meal at an Italian place, I 86'd the fitted-waistband idea and went with a stretchy ivory dress. Everyone from my bachelorette party wore their fascinators, and tried to limit the number of "…because I'm fascinating!" comments to a reasonable number.
Fun fact: this coat belongs to my sister, but in the past 10 years or so, I'm the only one who has actually worn it.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Best Day of my Life

In case you couldn't tell, I tend to think in terms of narratives, anecdotes, and 'onion stories.' When it comes to my to-do list/practical tasks, my memory is like Swiss cheese, but for major moments from my past, minute details of Stuff that I Did, or the like, my mind is a steel trap. It's quite nice for the most part, because it means that I can remember the happiest moments of my life in high definition, so to speak.

I'll get to the Best Day Ever in a minute, but first: the skirt of my dreams! I waited for what felt like an age (e.g. about six months) for this skirt to restock, and as soon as I got the email notification that it was back in stock, I snapped it up. To my never-ending joy, it arrived last weekend!
pinup girl clothing doris top green

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Italian Landscape Bella Donna

Happy birthday to my best friend Jenny! I've already written about her lifelong love of red, but I figured that I should celebrate her actual birthday in an appropriately-colored dress, even though she isn't here in Chicago to see it. I just realized that this dress is doubly appropriate, as she's half-Italian, and this is the Italian Landscape print.
pinup girl clothing italian landscape dress

Monday, April 25, 2016

Purple Floral Heidi Dress

The weather is finally starting to turn into a consistent approximation of spring, and I'm chuffed as chips! I don't think I've ever appreciated a 70-degree day more than I do right now, after surviving a totally mild Chicago winter. For one thing, it's much more pleasant to take blog photos when going outside doesn't require a coat. For another, five-ish months of covering my head with a hat all the time has left an odd stripe in my hair.

Jeez, am I really talking about the weather?!? Enough of that; let's cut to the chase, shall we?
purple floral heidi dress

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Baton Rouge Birdie at Navy Pier

It's been a while since my last Chicago adventure post, but to make up for the long wait, today's post is a real doozy, in the best possible way! Jeff and I took a day during his spring break and visited Navy Pier. We'd been there once before, during our apartment-hunting trip to Chicago last August, but we were eager to go back and explore it without the stress of finding a place to live looming like a housing-related sword of Damocles over our heads. So we did!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Red! By Jenny.

In high school, my best friend had a line in her AIM profile (boy, I’m really dating myself here, eh?) that simply said “RED! By Jenny.” It always used to make me laugh, because it was just so unusual and I wasn’t sure what statement she was trying to make. I asked her about it last month, and apparently it was just because red is her favorite color and Jenny is her name.

I think of that whenever I put on a red garment: I hear the phrase “Red! By Jenny” in her voice, figuratively speaking. This particular red dress is another excellent new-to-me acquisition. I’d heard that the Lana dress from PUG was shorter than most of their other dresses, and thought it would make a cute knee-length dress for me, so I started looking around and found one that Bristol was selling. It came in a jiffy, during an oddly warm spell here in Chicago, and I really like it! I’m a little sad that this dress style was discontinued, but I guess tracking down other colors of this dress will give me a goal to work toward.

"Are you pondering what I'm pondering?"
"I think so, Brain, but if they called them Sad Meals, kids wouldn't buy them!"

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Tomato, To-mah-to

You might have noticed that the tomato-print Bernie Dexter dress was missing from my recent 'unicorn' wish list, and wondered how we could possibly live in a world where I didn't want it. Let me explain: it's because I recently managed to get my mitts on it!
Bernie Dexter tomato print dress
Look! It's the first blog post featuring photos from my new phone! The future is here, people.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Monochrome in Hell (Bunny)

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope all my American readers had a relatively pain-free Tax Day, and for all my international people, I hope you never experience the special hell that is navigating the American tax code. In happier news, three years ago today was a happy and eventful day for me: my now-fiancé and I got back together after a brief break, and I met one of my closest friend's daughter for the very first time!

This outfit is brought to you by "OMG We Have to Go to the Verizon Store, like Right Now!" I've had this Hell Bunny dress for a while, but had yet to blog about it, so here are a few pics I snapped as we were going back into our apartment. We just so happened to be outside during the golden hour, so poor Jeff got dragooned into photo-taking service. (Isn't 'dragooned' a fun word?)
hell bunny mimi
Lighting for the win!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Orange You Excited?

Fun fact: I am getting married in June! While I was in New York for my mother’s birthday/dress fitting, my friends organized a bachelorette party and my sister threw me a bridal luncheon, and I had a blast at both. My friends know me really well (slash I have a core group of activities and foods that I really love), so the bachelorette party was basically perfect.

All I knew when I woke up that morning was that we’d be leaving on a 10:55 train to Manhattan, and that I wouldn’t be doing too much walking, but this was the perfect level of information as I love surprise parties. A good friend of mine in LA threw me a surprise birthday party last summer (my first surprise party ever!) and I was so delighted by it! I’d recently gotten this Bernie Dexter dress, and decided to wear it even though (or perhaps because) it isn’t remotely bridal.
Don’t worry, my friends provided plenty of party swag for me to wear. I thought I was getting funny looks as I walked through Grand Central with them, but it turned out that we passed someone that knew one of my friends.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Wishlist Wednesday #11: Unicorn Edition

We've all got 'em: the one(s) that got away. The ones you didn't realize you loved until it was too late. The ones that sold out long before you discovered them. The unicorns. (Note: I realize that many people don't like this term, but it's one that many blog-readers know, so if you object to calling such items 'unicorns,' please give me a pass/don't hate me!)

Anyway, these are the ones that keep me up at night:

Bernie Dexter Victoria
I saw this dress on Lauren-Blair, as well as a few other lovely ladies on Instagram, and at first I thought 'Emily [because I pretty much always address myself by name when I'm internal-monologuing], you barely ever wear blue, but this dress looks great.' Then I realized that there are a zillion rich colors in this amazing print, which sort of reminds me of damask (which I love), and began to develop an insistent need for this dress. Then I thought about the red belt and now I can't stop searching eBay for one in my size. In fact, I stopped in the middle of writing that sentence to search again. No luck, unfortunately.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Today in Space-Race History: USSR 1, USA 0

Today is the the 55th anniversary of human spaceflight! On this day in 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first human being to fly in space, beating America's Alan Shepard by just under a month, and the Soviet Union took an early lead in the space race.

In case you haven't noticed, I'm a huge space-exploration aficionado, so I've been galactically excited to write this post! My outfit today is similarly on-theme: I'm wearing a my new-to-me space-themed skirt that I picked up from the incomparable Bristol. The photos below were taken while I was in New York, but I'm wearing the skirt again today because I feel like this is almost a holiday. On my Instagram, you can see how I styled this skirt today, with a super cool Atomic Lucite rocket brooch and sweater combo. I can't wait to show this skirt off to all my new coworkers!

rocket print skirt
Somehow I can't seem to make myself stop talking, even when I know I'm being photographed.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Car Show Girl

News flash: I’m a gearhead. I’ve been interested in cars since at least fifth grade, when I used to borrow my dad’s Car and Driver magazines and read them from cover to cover. My dad started taking me to the NY International Auto Show in 1997, and we went just about every year until I was well into college. Once I moved to LA, though, I wasn’t around during Auto Show week anymore, so it had been almost a decade since the last time we went together. Since I was home last week, though, we were finally able to go again, and I had a blast!
Fun fact: when I was a kid, my two dream cars were a Dodge Neon and a Porsche 911. Kids have no concept of money.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Restorative Recipes: Chicken Succotash

Today's recipe is an actual 30-minute meal! I enjoy spending all day cooking a giant multi-course meal as much as the next foodie, but sometimes I'm just not in the mood to spend forever on my feet and have a million dishes to do after I stuff my face. The beauty of this particular quick meal is that it's also a one-pot dish!

Thursday, April 7, 2016


Exciting things are afoot in Emily-land! I started a new job this week, and I'm super amped about it! It's my first "normal job," aka non-academic/non-freelance gig, so I was also a little nervous for the first day. So far, though, I'm really enjoying it. I do best when I'm pushing myself, and I push myself hardest when I believe in what I'm doing. I'm 100% a believer in the institutional mission and what I'm contributing to as one piece of the institution, so the job feels like a really good fit! So far, I've been quite busy trying to learn the ropes and set myself up with all the little things you need at a new job, which is actually kind of great. For me, there's nothing worse than the sort of job where you're just watching the clock because you have nothing to do.

That said, my schedule is a bit fuller and less flexible now, which, sadly, means a few changes to my blogging schedule. Since I started this blog, I've tried to post something every weekday, but I'm thinking that I'll roll it back slightly to three/four posts a week, see how that works, and adjust as needed. I'll likely do Wishlist Wednesday posts on a less-frequent basis, since I'll be spending less time trawling the Internet, but hopefully this will have a positive effect on my spending!

Since this ain't no disco, and it ain't no text-only Livejournal circa 2003 either, here are a few photos of things I adore!

Strange facial expressions ℅ the sunshine bearing down directly into my eyeballs.

This dress was born ready for its closeup. Photo credit: Ronnie!!
The above photo shows the detail in the print, but IRL, the colors are closer to how they appear in the other two pics.
Dress: Heart of Haute Amanda dress in hydrangea print, from Modcloth
Shoes: Lacoste outlet, from at least a decade ago

Hydrangeas remind me of the tiny island that my dad grew up on, which is one of my favorite places in the world. There are so many hydrangeas all over the island, and I remember seeing them in my grandparents' backyard when I was a kid, so they've been one of my favorite flowers for a long time. Thus, when I saw this dress, I knew I wanted it immediately, even though I don't often wear things with this much blue on them. I held back for a while because of the price, but finally scored it on super-sale from Modcloth last December! 

When it arrived, I was *so* glad I'd ordered it. Like my daisy-print Heart of Haute dress, the print is gorgeous and detailed in person, in a way that's not entirely captured by the photos above. The fit is also quite good. I'm wearing a Large, and there's a bit of give in the fabric, which meant that I was able to wear it comfortably when I was about 10 pounds heavier (which is a lot when you're 5'2"!) I'm not usually a fan of fabric belts, but for some reason, the one that came with this dress really tickles my fancy and works perfectly with the dress. Finally, I really like the unique shape of the neckline and bodice! I often don't like dresses that cut in at the shoulders, but this one keeps everything that should be covered under wraps, and also looks super cute and pretty unique. I also love the higher neckline, which is work- and family-function-friendly without being matronly. I'd like to get more of this dress style in different prints!

Another thing I adore: Grand Central Station! Grand Central has always been useful to me, since I grew up right near a Metro North station, but when I was visiting New York last month, I was struck by how beautiful the architecture is.

What do you typically wear to work? If you're a retro-loving gal, do you tone it down for your job? Inquiring minds want to know… <3!

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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Disneybounding in My Heart

I'm back in Chicago! I had such a nice time with my family and my friends from home. Expect a few posts on those shenanigans soon! It's always hard to leave after a nice trip home, but it's gotten a bit easier since Jeff and I started living together. I miss him so much when I'm in New York, and I often think of that line from the end of Return of the King, where Frodo tells Sam "You cannot always be torn in two." 

When I left New York after college, I didn't realize that living in LA would change my life so fundamentally. For the first 22 years of my life, everyone that was important to me lived within a two-hour radius of my parents' house. Now, some of the people I hold dearest live in LA, and I'm splitting the distance between my New York and California worlds in Chicago.

I seriously need someone to stand over my shoulder as I write blog posts and shout "DIGRESSION" at me, a la Catcher in the Rye. Anyway, one of the things I miss most about LA is going to Disneyland. I got this Snow White print skirt a while back, and decided to go all in on a Snow White outfit!

Monday, April 4, 2016

We'll Always Have Paris

The first time I saw Casablanca was during a summer of total-immersion German at Middlebury College, which my film-buff partner finds both funny and somehow unjust. I've seen it in English several times since then, and it's everything it's cracked up to be.

Wow. If you were wondering whether it was possible for me to go on a tangent BEFORE the post even began, now you know that you'd shouldn't underestimate me ;). I was racking my brain for the perfect Paris-related title for this post, and seized on the famous line from Casablanca. 

The Bernie Dexter Paris dress is a pretty popular cut, and comes in what feels like a zillion amazing prints that I desperately want. It's also a dress with a shelf bust, which made me a little wary about buying one of the aforementioned amazing prints in this cut. However, I saw this one on Miss Amy May, she of the inimitable fabulousness, and could not stop stalking the Bernie Dexter site until I finally caved and bought it.
Yellow dress + skin that hasn't seen sunlight in five months = thank goodness for this cardigan!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Everybunny Loves Dresses!

My family takes opportunities to eat a giant meal together very seriously, which means that Easter generally involves a truly staggering amount of food and quality time. This year was no exception: my mom made a twenty pound turkey, my aunt made a ham, and we all spent the day at my grandmother’s house.

I started the day in a new dress that I got during Pinup Girl Clothing’s most recent Online Yard Sale. This dress caught my eye last year, but I wasn’t entirely sure I’d get much wear out of it, so I hemmed and hawed until I saw that it was on sale, at which point I snapped it up. Turns out that this was the right decision – the dress fits like a dream and is so easy to wear! I was a little concerned that the cuffs would be tight on my arms, but they fit quite comfortably.