Fall Fashion Favorites: Trendy Items and Forever Classics

I’m still loving all the colorful leaves and fall fashion, even though we started decorating for Christmas yesterday! I guess I have one foot in fall 🍂 and one foot in the holidays 🎄 Maybe I’ll call it “Fall-la-la” (See what I did there? 😉)

Perhaps it’s the cozy layers, soft textures, and warm colors, but there’s something really fun about fall fashion.

Some of the items in this post are examples of autumnal styles that have been around for many years (such as tweed dresses and camel coats). Others are a bit more trendy, but still fit within a casual chic aesthetic.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. See my full disclosure here.

Note that if an exact item is no longer available for purchase online, then I link similar options.

Faux Suede

Shop this look here.

Whether as a jacket, a skirt, or boots, faux suede is such a fabulous fabric choice for fall (yes, that alliteration was intentional 😉).

Over-the-knee boots have been extremely popular the last few years, and my faux suede pair from Goodnight Macaroon is a recent purchase (shown above). I’d heard great reviews from friends and fellow bloggers, and they’re absolutely worth the hype. They don’t slide down my legs and are very comfortable to walk in.

Shop this look here.

My faux suede jacket in this beautiful tan color has been a fall favorite of mine for the past few years. I feel like it complements the vibrant fall foliage so well.

Plaid

Shop for similar skirts here.

I know wearing plaid during the fall isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but it’s a tried and true favorite for a reason! Plus, with so many styles and color palettes to choose from, there’s truly something for everyone.

My H&M midi skirt (shown above) illustrates how plaid isn’t always a casual print! I personally love the length of midi skirts because they add a certain elegance to any outfit.

Shop for similar Burberry boots here.

Anything from Burberry is definitely an investment piece, yet this iconic plaid print has remained a fashion favorite for decades. I’ve had my Burberry wellies and scarves for about 7 or 8 years, and they’re items I look forward to wearing every fall and winter.

Shop for similar scarves here.

Tweed

Shop for this tweed dress here.

I know it’s something I’ve mentioned before, but tweed is one of my favorite fabrics! Whether as a dress, a matching set, or jacket, tweed has such a chic aesthetic that elevates any look.

Shop for similar styles here.

This matching set I purchased last year from Zara. These pieces can be worn together of course for more of a statement look, but they also can be styled separately. Similar options are linked above!

Turtlenecks

Shop this outfit here.

A turtleneck is one of my fall style staples because it’s perfect for layering, whether under a dress (as shown above) or paired with a simple denim jacket (below).

Layering a turtleneck under a dress is a trend that I’ve seen come and go several times since I was a kid, but the last few years it’s definitely resurfaced as a practical and stylish way to wear dresses even in the colder seasons.

Shop this outfit here.

Cozy Sweaters

Shop this outfit here.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t include cozy sweaters on a fall fashion list! I personally love the off-the-shoulder variety for its romantic charm, though puffy sleeved sweaters are also very on trend this season.

Classic Coats

Shop for similar trench coats here.

Whether a classic camel coat or a practical waterproof trench, versatile outerwear is a must as the weather shifts.

Both of these coats I’ve had for several years, and I’ve worn in a variety of settings—to work, on the weekends, and on trips abroad. While trends can be fun to incorporate into your seasonal style, I prefer to have classic staples as the foundation of my wardrobe.

Shop for similar coats here.

What do you love to wear during the fall?

Have a great week, loves! Stay safe and stay well ❤️

Dreaming of Paris: Books & Movies Inspired by the City of Love

Bonjour, mes amis!

Raise your hand if you’ve watched Netflix’s new series Emily in Paris! This show gave me such wanderlust for the City of Love that I put together this fun little blog post of some wonderful books and movies set in Paris—plus a few of my favorite spots from past trips there.

What to Read

  1. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain: this beautiful piece of historical fiction depicts the life of Ernest Hemingway and his first wife Hadley. This novel transports you to the City of Light in the 1920’s, with vivid imagery, evocative characters, and a perfect mix of Parisian romance and heartache. I’ve always had a fascination with Jazz Age Paris, and this book hits all the right notes.
  2. Paris for One & Other Stories by Jojo Moyes: this story collection is equal parts charming and poignant, which I feel is a particular specialty of the author (who also wrote Me Befofe You). The title story “Paris for One” (which, at around 150 pages, I would deem a novella) tells the tale of Nell, a 20-something British girl, who finds herself alone in Paris for the weekend after being stood up by her boyfriend. I read this story in one sitting and very much enjoyed the characters and the magical descriptions of Paris.
  3. The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George: this delightful novel is the perfect story for bookworms and romantics. The protagonist Monsieur Perdu, who owns a small book shop aboard his boat on the Seine, has this skill for “prescribing” the perfect book to heal peoples’ hearts—though ironically, his own heart has never healed, after his one great love left him suddenly many years ago.

What to Watch

Movie poster for the 1954 film Sabrina
(This photo is in the public domain. More info here).
  1. Sabrina: though I adore the 1954 version with Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart, I must admit I slightly prefer the 1995 version with Julia Ormond and Harrison Ford. One reason for this is because of the setting: many scenes were actually filmed on location in Paris, whereas the 1954 version used a sound stage to create Parisian backdrops (after all, nothing can substitute Paris for the real thing!). I also feel like you get a better sense of Sabrina’s experiences in Paris in the remake, and how the city changes her, makes her grow. Also, here’s a fun fact: though the popular quote “Paris is always a good idea” is often attributed to Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina, it was Julia Ormond who actually said it in the remake!
  2. Paris, Je T’aime: This movie is actually a series of vignettes (AKA short films). Some of the movie is in English and some of it’s in French, and each vignette has its own characters and unique stories. One’s first experience watching it can be a bit perplexing because it’s an unconventional form of storytelling, but I promise you that every time I see it, I truly enjoy it more and more. This film is not only a love letter to the city of Paris, it is a love letter to love in all its many forms.
  3. Midnight in Paris: Owen Wilson stars as an American writer on vacation in Paris with his fiancée (played by Rachel McAdams). His soon-to-be-wife doesn’t understand his fascination with Jazz Age Paris (honestly, she doesn’t seem to understand him at all). One night as he strolls through the city, he finds himself magically transported back to that era, mingling with famed authors like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, and Ernest Hemingway. His experiences with them end up dramatically changing his perspective and, in turn, his life.

A Few Favorite Spots in Paris

Shakespeare and Company

Shakespeare and Company is a small, iconic bookstore that’s been visited by world-renowned authors over its many years in business, so if you’re a book-enthusiast like me, this is a must stop while in Paris. It’s pretty cramped and crowded inside, and they don’t allow photos, but it’s definitely worth perusing this famous shop.

Monet’s Water Lilies

Of course museums like the Louvre and the D’Orsay are vast and impressive, but it is the Musée de l’Orangerie that will always have my heart. The reason for this is my love for Monet’s Water Lilies, which reside there in two oval-shaped rooms specifically designed for them. These immense works of art have such a dreamlike quality that I find to be so peaceful and inspiring.

Jardin des Tuileries

The Tuileries Garden is magnificent—or, as the French say, magnifique. Though it was once a palace garden, it became a public park after the French Revolution and is the perfect place for an afternoon stroll, or to simply enjoy the sunshine and people watch.

Though like many of you, I’m dreaming of traveling abroad again next year, there remain so many uncertainties because of Covid-19. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy my recommendations for ways to “visit” Paris via the pages of a book or a TV. The beret, of course, is optional 😉

Walk Among the Flowers: Two Portland Gardens to Visit This Summer

“Everything is made out of magic, leaves and trees, flowers and birds, badgers and foxes and squirrels and people. So it must be all around us. In this garden – in all the places.” —from The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Though this summer looks a lot different than years past, there are still things I’m looking forward to: more sunshine, outdoor adventures, and wearing some of my favorite sundresses.

As states have slowly opened up and eased restrictions, many of us are planning local summer getaways and outdoor pursuits. In this post, I’m highlighting two historic gardens in my hometown of Portland, Oregon. Both of these gardens I visited myself last week and are absolutely stunning this time of year. Keep in mind that there are some changes and safety precautions that have been made because of the current pandemic.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. See my full disclosure here.

Note that if an exact item is no longer available for purchase online, then I link similar styles.

Portland International Rose Test Garden

Up first is the Portland International Rose Test Garden, which opened over a century ago in 1917. It’s the oldest public rose test garden in the US and a lovely example of why Portland is often called the “City of Roses.” While it’s open year round, the best months to visit are May through September.

Outfit details (and similar styles) are linked here. These Cole Haan mules are a recent purchase, and they’re currently on sale on Nordstrom Rack’s website.

This garden has free admission, though keep in mind it can get quite crowded on sunny weekends. I visited on a weekday afternoon, and while there were other visitors there of course, it wasn’t hard to maintain social distance and keep at least six feet away from others.

Portland Japanese Garden

Just across the street from the Rose Test Garden is the Portland Japanese Garden. This majestic space, with its lush greenery and Japanese aesthetics, was designed back in 1963.

It re-opened a few weeks ago, and they’ve done a wonderful job with extra precautions and social distancing. To limit lines and capacity, they only allow a certain number of tickets for each time slot (which you can purchase in advance online).

Their website requests visitors to wear face coverings (we chose to wear our masks throughout the garden). However keep in mind that in accordance with the Governor of Oregon’s orders, face coverings are required in all indoor spaces. While the majority of the garden is outdoors, they do have some indoor areas.

We visited on an overcast, mild Sunday afternoon, and I was glad I wore jeans and a long-sleeved blouse. Though Oregon summers can be very warm and pleasant, we still have plenty of summer days that are cloudy and/or rainy.

Outfit details (and similar styles) are linked here. These black Topshop jeans are such a classic staple in my wardrobe!

2020 has been a difficult time in so many ways, yet visiting these gardens provided a much-needed dose of tranquility and splendor. And like The Secret Garden quote says at the beginning of this post, magic is “all around us. In this garden – in all the places.” We just have to remember to look for it.

Have a great weekend, loves! Stay safe and stay well ❤️

What to Read While in Quarantine

“Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.” —Mason Cooley

Our world has changed so much the past few months. To slow the spread of the coronavirus, we’ve been at home for over a month (the stay home order began here in Oregon on March 23rd). Depending what country you live in, perhaps you’ve been at home even longer than that.

I’m so grateful to all the healthcare professionals and essential workers here in the US and around the globe, as they work tirelessly to serve and protect others. It’s undoubtedly a difficult time for everyone, in ways we may not even realize. I’m truly thankful to be safe at home with my family.

Books have been an escape for me since I was a kid. No matter what was going on in my life, I could always get lost in a story. I majored in English in college and then went on to an MFA in Writing, so it’s safe to say I’ve read a lot over the years.

When I first started thinking about what to put on this list, I was unsure where to start. Do I choose something from every genre? Do I share only contemporary books or mix in a few classics? That led me down an endless rabbit hole, so then I simply asked myself: what have I been reading lately?

In this time of uncertainty, I’ve found myself primarily reaching for beloved books or favorite writers, the ones I knew I could count on—the ones who’d been there for me, in other times of turmoil throughout my life. In this time of much-needed escapism, these books transport me to other times and other places, and make me feel inspired even in the face of adversity.

Almost all of these are works of fiction—all but one. But that one feels so perfectly timed for the current state of our world that I simply had to add it.

On a slightly different note, I wanted to provide a link to our local independent bookstore here in Portland, Powell’s Books. I’m not sponsored by them or anything like that, I’ve just honestly been a customer of theirs since I was a kid. Their locations have been closed during this time, but their online store remains open for orders. This is such a tough season for local shops and small businesses, and, if you’re able, I encourage you to support local businesses in your communities.

Without further ado, “What to Read While in Quarantine: Hope, Love, Loss, and a Bit of Time Travel.”

There are two historical fiction novels on this list: The Nightingale and All the Light We Cannot See. Both are beautifully written stories set in World War II, so if you enjoy that era, I couldn’t recommend these two more.

Both novels have strong female protagonists and have overarching themes of love and loss. They do an incredible job with descriptive, elegant language that paints such vivid imagery. I particularly admire the way both novels discuss familial relationships, abandonment, and complex family dynamics during times of great hardship.

All the Light We Cannot See is also an exceptional example of finding light in times of darkness, something that feels especially relevant this year.


Up next is the only work of nonfiction on this list, Everything is F*cked: a Book About Hope. (I paired it with a bottle of whiskey as a quarantine-worthy gift for my best friend’s birthday). This book is from Mark Manson, the bestselling author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, and is written in the same candid, witty style.

Though I’ve just started reading this, I knew it had to make the list because of our current world crisis with the coronavirus. Manson does such a great job of questioning the anxieties and hopelessness we often feel in our modern world, with his signature curse words and straightforward manner. He’s one of those writers that literally makes me laugh out loud, and these days we all could use a little extra humor.


If you want to dip your toes back into some classics without committing to a giant tome, these two novels are on the shorter side (at least when compared to a lot of classic lit).

The Great Gatsby is something a lot of people only read once in a high school English class, and this great American novel is well worth revisiting as an adult. I try to re-read it every few years, and I honestly gain something new with each read through. This tale is such an iconic portrayal of disillusionment and longing that is just as relevant now as it was almost a century ago.

Pride and Prejudice is arguably Jane Austen’s most famous novel and is equal parts charm, wit, and poignancy. Even though the 19th century customs of the English social hierarchy might feel very foreign to a modern reader, the complex portrayal of relationships (both familial and romantic) feels ageless.


Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (AKA Sorcerer’s Stone here in the US) is, of course, the book that started the international phenomenon. I included it on this list because Harry Potter got me through some very dark days in my childhood and no matter how old I get, the Wizarding World has never lost its wonder or appeal.

The photo above is when we visited the Harry Potter Studio Tour at Warner Bros. in London, back in 2017. I’m standing in the Great Hall, where every single movie was filmed. I might be pushing 30 now, but my love for all things Harry Potter will never cease!

It’s been so fun to revisit the Harry Potter books and movies during this past month at home. After all, if there was ever a time for a bit of escapism and magic, then this would be it.


The final two books on the list are The Time Traveler’s Wife and Outlander. Though both of these novels have time travel as a pivotal element, they’re quite different in most other regards.

I’ve mentioned The Time Traveler’s Wife on the blog before, as it’s one of my all-time favorite novels. I’ve read it many times and, though I do love the star-crossed lovers Henry and Clare, something I’ve long admired is the novel’s structure.

Back in college when I was studying literature, my professors talked a lot about “form contributing to content.” This novel is a prime example of such a notion, as it doesn’t follow a typical chronological timeline. Instead, each section is labeled by its date and point-of-view because the story is told in first person from Henry and Clare’s unique perspectives.

Much in the same way that Henry skips around in time and has no control over what day or year he suddenly finds himself in, we the reader also bounce around in time. One section Clare may be a little girl, and in the next she might be in college or getting married. In this novel, the way that the story is told mirrors the concept of time travel.

As for Outlander, I’m the first to admit that I’m late to the party on this one, but after binging season one of the hit TV show on Stars, I knew I had to read the sensational novel that it’s based on.

Though this novel is quite long at over 800 pages, Diana Gabaldon’s writing is so elegant and descriptive that the page number becomes irrelevant. I love how this story defies genres, since it really has a bit of everything in it—historical fiction, romance, sci-fi, fantasy.

I also find the protagonist Claire Randall to be such a strong and compelling female lead (yes, another main character named Claire, though with a different spelling!). Though some might dismiss this book as “airport fiction,” I truly enjoy the genre-defying storyline, beautiful writing, and historic detail. (And who doesn’t like reading a good love triangle from time to time? 😉)

This list, of course, is personal—I wanted to share books that have been a source of comfort and inspiration to me recently and over the course of my life. If there are books or films that you love, that hold a special place in your heart or bring back happy memories, then that’s what I encourage you to enjoy during these weeks at home. On days when I’m feeling blue or unlike myself, these books have brought encouragement and joy.

And isn’t that part of why we as humans love stories? To find meaning, to connect, to be uplifted?

I’ve always been a bookworm, but I honestly haven’t read this much since grad school. I’ve revisited old “friends” like Elizabeth Bennett, Jay Gatsby, and Harry Potter and discovered a few new ones. I hope these stories provide some escape for you, as they have for me, along with some gems of wisdom and inspiration that—even in times of great darkness—there is always hope and light.

Perhaps Dumbledore said it best in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Stay safe and stay well ❤️

Dress Like Coco

In honor of Shakespeare Loves Chanel turning two this month, I’m doing a special themed blog post on Chanel-inspired looks! From quilted handbags to tweed outfits, I’m sharing ways to channel classic Chanel style at a variety of price points.

P.S. My lovely Chanel-themed cake was made by my sweet step-sister for my birthday last September! 🎂

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. See my full disclosure here.

Note that if an exact item is no longer available for purchase online, then I link similar styles.

Quilted Handbags

Quilted handbags are an iconic part of Chanel history. One of the most recognizable–and most coveted–is the Chanel classic flap. However with its steep price point, the classic flap is definitely an investment piece (and the price does vary depending on bag size and type of material).

Since Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel first designed the quilted flap bag back in 1955, this elegant and versatile purse has proven the test of time. It’s not a trendy bag that will go out of style next season or even next year–it’s one of those rare fashion pieces that truly embodies what it means to be timeless.

The interlocking CC logo wasn’t added until the 1980’s, under the late creative director Karl Lagerfeld, and is the classic flap that’s still produced today. There are also quilted flap bags called the 2.55, which are fashioned after Chanel’s original design and don’t have the CC lock.

In 2017 my husband and I visited Chanel’s flagship store on the Rue Cambon in Paris, which first opened in 1918. Being a longtime Chanel fan, it was a fashion dream come true to shop for my classic flap bag at this historic location.

Whether you’re on the hunt for a rare purse or are a fan of vintage styles, my favorite website to buy vintage or pre-loved handbags/accessories is The RealReal. I love their high standards of authentication, their wide selection of designer goods, and their excellent customer service.

I’d been eyeing the Chanel Medallion Tote for a long time but after Chanel discontinued them, I started looking on the RealReal and found one in great condition (pictured above). About five years have passed since then, and I’m still extremely pleased with my purchase; the bag has held up so well and is something I use often!

Shop similar quilted bags here.

However, if you’re looking for a brand new bag without the Chanel price tag, there are several contemporary designers I definitely recommend. Tory Burch, Marc Jacobs, Rebecca Minkoff, and Kate Spade all make lovely quilted handbags in a variety of sizes, colors, and styles. My Kate Spade mini quilted backpack pictured above is something I got a great deal on recently (under $60!), during one of the Kate Spade Surprise Sales.

Unlike Chanel (which never goes on sale), the aforementioned brands have sales throughout the year and are perfect opportunities to find a lovely quilted handbag (often for under $200). I also frequently check both Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack’s apps to see when these designers go on sale!

Tweed Outfits

Coco Chanel first started using tweed fabrics in her designs almost 100 years ago, after being inspired by the tweed menswear worn by the Duke of Westminster, whom she was in a relationship with at the time. In the century since then, tweed has been an integral part of the French fashion house.

I bought the red tweed dress pictured above from Shein last year. Unfortunately it’s no longer available, but I linked similar styles here. Details like the white collar and neck tie also evoke that classic Chanel aesthetic.

Shop similar tweed jackets here.

This tweed jacket from Nordstrom Rack is an elegant option that would be just as perfect for a professional setting as it’d be with jeans on the weekend. I particularly like the contrasting trim on this jacket and the subtle metallic gold threads.

My Chanel brooch pictured above is an upcycled piece from the Designer Jewelry Finds. They repurpose authentic vintage buttons and charms from luxury brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci and turn them into jewelry and accessories. Not only do they extend the life of vintage pieces by transforming them into wearable art, their price points are far more affordable, since most of their items cost under $150.

Shop similar styles here.

Though it’s on my fashion bucket list to one day own a Chanel tweed skirt suit, this matching set from Zara is such a chic alternative! Black and white color palettes always remind me of Coco herself, so as soon as I saw this set a few months ago, I knew it would be the perfect addition to my closet.

I love how versatile it is because I can wear the jacket and skirt together for more of a statement look, or easily mix and match with other items (more on that in a future post!).

Shakespeare Loves Chanel has been such a passion project for me the past two years, and I’m excited to keep growing it! I’ve truly loved connecting with so many inspiring individuals and businesses. Thank you all for your love and support! ❤️

Roses and Roller Coasters

Rose Bowl

Being a third generation Duck and a proud alumni, it was such a treat to kick off 2020 with my husband at the Rose Bowl and cheer on our Oregon Ducks to victory! It was such a close game between the Ducks and the Wisconsin Badgers, but the Ducks won by one point!

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. See my full disclosure here.

Note that if an exact item is no longer available for purchase online, then I link similar styles.

We flew into Burbank the day before the game on New Year’s Eve, and stayed at the Marriott Courtyard in old town Pasadena, which was an ideal location. It’s a short walk to the shuttles that can take you to the stadium on the day of the game, and it’s also only a couple blocks away from the famous Rose Bowl Parade.

It was really special to catch up with my aunt and my cousin at the game! They live in a different state so we don’t get to see them very often (my aunt is also an alumni of the University of Oregon and a lifelong football fan!).

Disneyland

We spent the day after the game at Disneyland. I hadn’t been since I was 14 and I’d never been during the holidays, when the whole park is decked out in holiday style.

However, I must admit that the thing my husband and I were most excited about seeing at Disneyland was Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. I have very fond memories of watching the original trilogy with my parents when I was a kid and building the Millennium Falcon out of Legos with my little brother.

So… was it worth all the hype?

YOU BET IT WAS!

*Cue Star Wars Theme Song*

Disney definitely knows a thing or two about bringing a fictional world to life, and the attention to detail at Galaxy’s Edge on both a large and small scale was truly astonishing. The full-size R2 droids (like the one above) would suddenly start beeping as if to say a cheerful hello, and Stormtroopers “patrolled” the area in full regalia, much to the delight of passersby.

We didn’t know about making reservations at Oga’s Cantina in advance, but luckily when we walked by the line wasn’t long and we waited less than 10 minutes before being taken to a shared table (when we walked by later on, the line was huge and we overheard that the wait was 45 minutes).

Keep in mind that the majority of the tables are bar counter height and are for standing (there are some seated booths, but definitely limited availability). The Cantina serves both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (and yes, minors are allowed. This is Disneyland, after all). My bright blue drink was called “Jedi Mind Trick” and was grapefruit-flavored and pleasantly tart.

Though we were lucky with a short wait time at the Cantina, we did not get so lucky with the Millenium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run ride. Though we purchased the MaxPass so we could reserve a time slot for rides in advance and not have to wait in the regular line, unfortunately MaxPass is not available for any attractions in Galaxy’s Edge.

So we waited. And waited. And then waited some more. In total, we waited almost two hours, which–albeit long–isn’t the worst Disneyland line I’ve ever heard of.

When you finally get inside the ride itself, you’re divided into groups of six before being taken into a small room that looks just like the Millennium Falcon’s cockpit. Each person has job responsibilities for operating the Falcon (pressing certain buttons when they light up, etc.). The flight simulator does not use 3D glasses, but the room does shake and move to make you feel as if you’re truly flying Han Solo’s famous spaceship.

As much as I love roller coasters, I do sometimes suffer from motion sickness. I’m particularly sensitive to 3D rides, virtual reality, and immersive flight simulators with TV screens.

Thankfully, I was only a little bit dizzy after this particular ride, and I personally think it helped that I sat in one of the back seats and not right up front, which would’ve put me closest to the screen.

All in all, it was quite the fun ride, with hands-on and immersive features. But was it worth the long wait? That’s debatable. Flight simulators are not my personal favorite due to the motion sickness factor, so I’m admittedly a bit biased.

My husband and I both preferred Hyperspace Mountain, which is a ride on an actual roller coaster. I always prefer a real roller coaster over a simulated one!

Sleeping Beauty’s castle is beautiful at night, especially with the icicles and holiday decor. The fireworks show at 9:30pm was definitely worth staying for (they also had artificial snow falling at the end!). ❄️

We ended up spending almost 13 hours at Disneyland, with our final ride of the evening being Indiana Jones (always a fan favorite!).

I will say that the park was extremely crowded that whole day, though we knew it would be because of winter break.

A few things I learned:

  • You can make dining reservations up to 60 days in advance, and if you’re going during a busy season, I would definitely recommend lunch and/or dinner reservations.
  • The MaxPass is soooooo worth it. The Disneyland app is super handy and makes it very convenient to reserve time slots for rides on your phone. It saved us SO MUCH time, and we actually got to go on all the rides that we had hoped to.
    Clothing Layers: Though it was sunny and comfortable during the day, in the evening I got pretty chilly with only a light jean jacket over my t-shirt. Granted I’m one of those people who always gets cold, but I wished I’d brought more layers, such as a sweatshirt and a beanie.

Universal Studios

Not gonna lie, the main reason we went to Universal Studios was to finally see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We visited Universal about six years ago, but at that time the Wizarding World was a few months from completion.

Not sure whatever happened to my Hogwarts letter, but I was like an excited little kid as we strolled through the village of Hogsmeade. Its cobblestone streets and familiar shops (like Ollivander’s and Honeydukes!) transported me to the magical times of my childhood when I would stay up all night reading the latest Harry Potter book.

We had purchased the Universal Express Pass in advance and got to skip the line and go on our first ride of the day with no wait time at all! It was the Flight of the Hippogriff ride, and–while it’s a fun little roller coaster with some sharp twists and turns–was extremely short in length.

We then rode Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, which is a motion simulator type ride inside Hogwarts castle, but with a bit of a twist. Some parts of the ride use screens and movement to mimic the feeling of flying, and other parts of the ride utilize real objects and various special effects.

I was a bit apprehensive about this particular ride because of the motion simulator aspect, but I found that the combination between screens and real objects actually made it easier for me to handle (as opposed to other rides where you’re staring at a screen the entire time). I was a little dizzy by the end, but the thrill of the ride itself far outweighed my slight discomfort.

Afterwards we stopped for a refreshing glass of Butterbeer (which actually has no alcohol in it and tastes like frothy cream soda).

After more rides in other areas of the park, we had lunch at the Three Broomsticks, which was a busy restaurant straight out of the pages of Harry Potter with the antique feel of an old British pub.

Though the waiting area to pick up your food was a bit chaotic, our meal was well worth the chaos. My husband loved the sauce on the ribs, and my beef roast was excellent!

Shop my outfit here.

And this wouldn’t be a style blog without a bit of outfit inspiration! I call this look: Hogwarts, but make it fashion. 😉 Being comfortable and casual was key for our busy day at Universal, but I also wanted to show my Ravenclaw spirit with a classic scarf.

Pro tip: I ordered my officially licensed Harry Potter scarf on Amazon the week before our trip! Definitely a more cost effective option than buying one there. #RavenclawForLife

Griffith Park

We began our last full day in Cali with a short hike at Griffith Park. I really wanted to see the sprawling views of Los Angeles and, of course, the iconic Hollywood sign.

After doing some research online, we decided to do the Mt. Hollywood Trail near the Griffith Observatory. We wanted something shorter and moderate, and this route fit our needs perfectly.

We parked on the street on Western Canyon Road (the Observatory parking lot was full and to park on the street the cost was $10 per hour). We walked about 15 minutes uphill from our car to the West Trail, which eventually merges with the Mt. Hollywood Trail. This part of the West Trail is fairly steep, but only took us about 10 minutes before it leveled out quite a bit.

When we reached the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Overlook (there’s a rectangular stone monument there with that name inscribed next to some stone benches), we stopped for photos. You can see the exact view from this spot in the photo below.

And look! To my right is the Hollywood sign!

*Cue that Miley Cyrus song*

Originally we’d planned to continue onward and hike to the top of Mt. Hollywood (which is about 2.5 miles round trip from the Griffith Observatory parking lot). However, based on our time frame for the day, we decided to head back down and check out the Observatory.

La La Land is one of my favorite movies so it was fun to see this memorable location from the film. It was a pretty busy day, but the entrance to the Observatory is free, so we perused a few of the exhibits and enjoyed more panoramic views of LA from the back deck.

In total, between our hike and our time at the Observatory, we were in Griffith Park for a little over two hours. Of course, one could spend an entire day exploring the longer trails, but for us, this was perfect.

Ladurée

Ladurée is a famous Parisian macaron shop, and if I’m in a city that has one, you bet I’m going to go there for afternoon tea! Their location in Beverly Hills is small but beautifully decorated, with pastel furniture and macarons to match.

It has a far smaller capacity than the Paris shop on the Champs-Élysées (you can read more about that location in my Paris post from our trip last year). It was still a lovely place to enjoy tea and macarons after our morning hike.

I highly recommend their signature tea, Thé Melange Ladurée. It’s a black tea and is one of my all-time favorites (I love the sweet spices, subtle rose flavor, and hint of vanilla). It pairs perfectly with their rose-flavored macarons!

All in all, we had an amazing week, and the weather was so sunny and beautiful (a welcome reprieve from the dreary winter rain for us Oregonians!). My husband and I love to travel together, and we’re always thankful for every opportunity that we get to do so. It was such a great way to start this new decade! ❤️

Wishing you all a happy and blessed new year!

Fall Fashion Favorites for Now and Later

“When clouds are seen, wise men put on their cloaks; when great leaves fall, then winter is at hand…” –William Shakespeare

It’s been awhile since I shared a Shakespeare quote on here, but this one felt appropriate for today’s topic. Though it is very much still fall in the Pacific Northwest (a mix of crisp, sunny days and long stretches of rain), winter is on the horizon.

As such, I’m sharing five fall fashion favorites that you can wear now but also transition into the colder months ahead.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. See my full disclosure here.

Note that if an exact item is no longer available for purchase online, then I link similar styles.

1. Camel Coat

Shop this look here.

First on this list is a classic camel coat. My Calvin Klein version is a soft wool blend that I purchased last year, and I’ve gotten so much use out of it. There’s a ton of options out there that vary in length, cut, and color–from light beige tones to warm shades of caramel.

I styled mine with a polka dot dress for my friend’s recent baby shower (shown above), which was perfect for the mild fall afternoon.

However, you can also effortlessly layer it with turtlenecks and knit sweaters for colder days (or even snow days!). It’s truly a chic, timeless staple that always elevates an outfit.

2. Wool Fedora

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Wool or felt fedoras have been really popular the last few years, and I think they’re a fun accessory for fall and winter (a great option to keep your head warm if you don’t feel like wearing a beanie!).

Shop this look here.

I personally prefer the more structured, less floppy versions. I also like ones with less embellishments and in neutral tones, that way they’re more versatile.

3. Turtlenecks in Neutral Colors

Shop this look here.

I’m one of those people who’s almost always cold, so turtlenecks are a must-have during the fall and winter months! They’re the perfect layering piece, whether you’re going with a sleeveless turtleneck for temperate days or a long-sleeved wool blend for cold winter nights.

Shop this look here.

Turtlenecks in neutral tones are especially versatile for layering–that way you have countless ways to mix and match with your favorite coats and scarves!

4. Faux Suede Jacket

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I’ve seen so many amazing faux suede jackets recently that feel soft and luxurious, but are at great price points. The faux suede trench pictured above I purchased a couple months ago at H&M, and the warm cinnamon color has been so perfect for fall.

Shop this look here.

I also love faux suede moto jackets (this one was a TJ Maxx find from last year, but I linked a ton of similar styles in a variety of colors). There’s something effortlessly cool about the moto style; it looks great with pants of course, but also works well with a dress or skirt.

5. Off-the-Shoulder Sweater

Shop this look here.

Last but certainly not least is the off-the-shoulder sweater. The exposed skin gives it a playful vibe, but also reminds me of elegant off-the-shoulder styles that ladies would wear in the 1800’s.

Both of these sweaters are from H&M; they’re actually the same sweater, just in different colors. 😉 Pro style tip: if I find an item I really like I often purchase it in more than one color!

This particular H&M sweater is super cozy, and because of the ribbed knit at the top, it’s very adjustable–it can be worn with just one shoulder showing or with both! It has a fall or winter feel, depending on what accessories you style it with.

What are your go-to items for fall and winter? Or are you still in search of that perfect camel coat or cozy sweater? Let me know in the comments below!

Have a great week, loves! Thank you for stopping by ❤️

All the Fall Things

“I can smell autumn dancing in the breeze. The sweet chill of pumpkin, and crisp sunburnt leaves.” —Ann Drake

I know, I know–pretty much everyone and their mother has been at the pumpkin patch lately 😉 (I, too, went with my mama last week on a glorious fall day, and we had a blast!)

Fall is in full swing, and that means shorter days, cozy scarves, and more pumpkin spice than one can possibly know what to do with.

But all jokes aside, fall in Portland is truly a beautiful time of year. Sure, there’s no shortage of rain, but that makes the colorful leaves and sunny days even more vibrant.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. See my full disclosure here.

Shop this outfit here.

Today I’m sharing a cozy chic fall outfit that’s perfect for picking pumpkins (or even just heading to a coffee shop for a PSL, if that’s more your thing ☕️).

Shades of rust and cinnamon are two of my favorite tones for fall. I styled this outfit around my rust-colored sweater, opting for accessories in neutral tones like my beige wool fedora and a classic Burberry scarf. I’ve had my Burberry scarf for many years, but it’s truly one of those investment pieces that can be worn year after year.

*If an exact item is no longer available, then I linked similar options in the LIKEtoKNOW.it app or through their website!

The wool fedora has been a really popular fall fashion accessory the past few years and is still going strong. I personally prefer the more structured styles, and though sometimes they give an Indiana Jones vibe, I dig it (pun intended 😉).

My mom and I visited Plumper Pumpkin Patch, which has some lovely views of the surrounding hills and is located about 20 minutes outside of Portland. 🎃 Some local pumpkin patches are only open weekends, but Plumper is open daily through October 31st from 9am to 5:30pm.

My mom wanted a variety of pumpkins to decorate the entryway of her house, and I helped her choose different sizes and colors for a fun, fall aesthetic. I always buy some mini ones for decor inside the home as well!

Another reason I love this time of year is because I LOVE horror movies, and I especially enjoy watching them throughout October in anticipation of Halloween! This year my husband and I have been on a Stephen King kick. These are the King film adaptations we’ve watched so far this month:

We watched Netflix’s recent film In the Tall Grass. There were some plot holes, but I liked the general premise: they took something commonplace like a field of grass and turned it into something eerie and strange. Patrick Wilson is one of the main characters (he’s awesome in The Conjuring movies, which I highly recommend).

We also watched Gerald’s Game, the story of a husband and wife who are trying to rekindle their marriage and travel to their vacation house for a getaway. Things go very awry when the husband has a sudden heart attack, leaving the wife handcuffed to the bed. This film has a lot of psychological elements, especially regarding the wife’s childhood, though I personally would categorize it as more of a thriller than a horror movie.

We re-watched King’s iconic horror story The Shining, in preparation for next month’s much-anticipated sequel, Doctor Sleep, which stars Ewan McGregor. This time I payed closer attention to the little boy Danny and his supernatural abilities, whose character will be the adult protagonist in the sequel.

Also, we did see It: Chapter 2 last month, but honestly found it to be less scary than the first installment. I thought they did a great job with casting and the characters’ backstories, but we found the first one to be far more terrifying (I still can’t get the simultaneously maniacal and hilarious image of Pennywise dancing in Chapter 1. If you’ve seen it, you’ll know what scene I’m talking about).

What’s your favorite horror film? Do you have certain traditions for fall or Halloween?

P.S. If you noticed that this blog post’s title is a play on words of the classic Blink-182 song “All the Small Things” then 10 points to Gryffindor! 😉

A Night Out in Portland

I’ve worked in downtown Portland for years, and I often get asked about recommendations for a night out. So in this week’s blog post, I’m sharing where we ate, drank, and were merry when an old college friend recently came to town.

There are so many amazing bars, restaurants, and local hot spots in Portland, and in future posts I’ll detail some of my favorites by category. But for the purposes of this post, I’m sharing our stops on a single night out in the downtown area near Pioneer Square–from happy hour drinks to late-night treats.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. See my full disclosure here.

Shop this look here.

One of my favorite little bars is Barlow, whose Jazz Age vibe appeals to my personal love for all things Gatsby. I enjoy the “Summers Ago” cocktail (pictured above) because it combines local marionberries with lemon and vodka to create a drink that’s the perfect mix of tart and sweet.

We started here for happy hour and then walked next door to Barlow’s sister restaurant The Picnic House.

Their meat and cheese boards are incredible and were such great options for sharing with our out-of-town guests.

I’m always a sucker for a great charcuterie board, and I love that theirs includes deviled eggs. When we first tried out this particular board months ago, we were a bit leery of the “edible duck fat candle” that is also included. This time around we knew what to expect, and it’s actually quite delicious to spread on the bread!

We also enjoyed the sausage trio, and each meat is sourced locally. Here in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest region, we pride ourselves on our local food!

My husband usually orders their fried chicken (shown above) and it’s soooooo good.

I’m a big fan of rosé, so we ordered the rosé flight and highly recommend it! Three of the wines are from the West Coast, and one is from France.

Shop this look here.

Our next stop was Departure, a rooftop bar on top of The Nines hotel just a few blocks from Picnic House. It’s a popular spot amongst tourists and locals, and for good reason: it has some of the best downtown views in the city.

Though definitely bring a light jacket or coat, especially in the evening. Even in the summer, it can get quite windy! (As illustrated above lol 😂)

My favorite time to go is just before sunset, which was when we arrived. We got lucky and snagged a corner table as a group was leaving. It was the perfect spot to hangout because we were on the corner of the balcony, which provided panoramic views of the Portland skyline.

Our last stop of the evening was for late night food at The Original, a “dinerant” once featured on the Food Network’s TV series Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. It’s located just a few blocks north of Departure on 6th and Oak.

Most of us ordered milkshakes or floats, and as you can see we definitely enjoyed them!

My friend ordered a crispy fried chicken sandwich. I had a bite, and it was excellent!

They also serve various pastries and desserts, if you’re in the mood for something sweet other than a shake or float.

One thing that was a priority when planning our route for the night was making sure everything was within walking distance of each other. From our starting point at Barlow to our final treats at The Original, the distance is only about nine blocks.

Cheers to a memorable summer evening, filled with old college stories, amazing views, and delicious food and drink! 🥂

Have you been to Portland? What’s your favorite spot for a night out?

Let me know in the comments! Thank you so much for stopping by ❤️

Let’s Go to San Francisco

“The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”

This quote is often attributed to Mark Twain (though the internet can’t seem to confirm that either way). Regardless, whoever said these words was well aware of San Francisco’s temperamental summer climate.

Having grown up in Portland, Oregon, I thought I was accustomed to unpredictable downpours and sudden shifts in temperature from one day to the next. But San Fran takes this to another level, and even during our quick weekend getaway, we discovered for ourselves how dramatically the weather can change from one hour to the next. Even different neighborhoods within the city often have remarkably different weather (more on that later).

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. See my full disclosure here.

Friday

Shop our matching tees here.

First of all: would it even be a girls’ weekend if matching tees weren’t involved? The best part is that when we ordered these from Etsy, there was never any discussion about whose shirt would belong to whom. When you’ve been BFFs for 13 years, you just know who the troublemaker is 😉 These fun tees are linked above, and we highly recommend the Etsy shop Lovemighty (our shirts are great quality and arrived so quickly!).

We flew out of PDX after work, and the flight to San Fran from Portland is short and sweet. We took an Uber straight to our hotel, the Westin St. Francis at Union Square.

This historic hotel has hosted multiple US presidents and even the Queen of England in 1983! We loved the location, with lots of restaurants and stores within a short walking distance.

After a yummy Italian dinner at Cesario’s, we perused the area around our hotel to get our bearings and see what was nearby. We then called it an early night, knowing that Saturday would be packed with sightseeing.

Saturday

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Though the weather might look sunny and warm, don’t be deceived by those blue skies in the photo. It was comfortable at times, but quite chilly when the wind picked up. I was certainly glad I’d layered a long-sleeved tee underneath my linen blazer, but to be quite honest, I should’ve brought along an additional jacket or scarf!

Our first stop that morning was to Mr. Holmes Bakehouse for pastries (and, of course, to take pics with their famous neon sign!). ✌️

Unfortunately they were sold out of their signature “cruffins” (a croissant/muffin pastry), so instead we purchased some of their croissants. I got the raspberry rose flavor, and it was as pretty as it was delicious!

Next up, we walked about one and a half miles to the Painted Ladies, the iconic Victorian homes made world-famous by the opening credits of Full House. I grew up watching Full House and was a huge fan of the Olsen twins as a kid, so I truly enjoyed getting to see this California landmark in real life.

But as any true Full House fan knows, the actual “Full House House” is not one of the Painted Ladies. Instead, the home that was used on the show for the exterior shots is actually located 1.2 miles away from the Painted Ladies at 1709 Broderick St.

On our way to the “Full House House,” we stopped for some lunch and sangria at the Spanish restaurant Barvale. We shared their amazing steak and eggs!

Afterwards, we decided to make the long trek to the Presidio of San Francisco and see the Golden Gate Bridge. Keep in mind we were walking everywhere, and the hills in San Fran are no joke!

This pic was taken shortly after we’d entered the Presidio, which is a 1500 acre National Park.

The Presidio still has over 400 historic buildings, from the nearly 150 years it served as a US Army Post.

As you can see, when we reached the beach, the fog nearly obscured our view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Even though we’d had plenty of sunshine as we journeyed through the city, the weather couldn’t have been more different by the bay!

I was a little disappointed to not get the Golden Gate views I’d hoped for, but as I’ve said on previous travel posts, c’est la vie! It was a lot windier by the water, so we decided to take an Uber over to Fisherman’s Wharf for some seafood.

And look! At Fisherman’s Wharf, there were blue skies. I’m not exaggerating about the weather varying greatly from one neighborhood to the next!

Fisherman’s Wharf is admittedly filled with tourists, but we still felt that it was definitely worth the visit! We perused several shops (and also bought a beanie because my ears were cold 🥶) before eating yummy clams and appetizers at Cioppino’s.

We also stopped at Ghirardelli Square. Once the headquarters of the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, the square now has a variety of shops and restaurants.

Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop had a veryyyy long line, so we instead stopped at the nearby Cheese School of San Francisco for a glass of rosé. Their charcuterie boards looked incredible, but we weren’t hungry again quite yet.

However, after perusing some more shops and working up our appetites, we decided we couldn’t pass up a burger at the only In-N-Out in San Fran!

The only locations in Oregon are about a 4 hours’ drive away from Portland, so pretty much every time I’m in Cali, a stop at In-N-Out is a must.

San Fran has a lot of really cool murals and street art, and these two were some of my favorites that we stumbled upon throughout the day.

After miles and miles of walking (and all the incredible food and wine along the way!), we headed back to our hotel for the night. We joked that we must be getting old since we passed on bar-hopping, but after exploring the city primarily on foot we were exhausted.

Sunday

Sunday morning greeted us with mist and fog, though I’ll admit that it looked pretty cool contrasted with the green copper of the historic Sentinel Building.

I’d learned my lesson from the day before and dressed in warmer layers, thankful I’d packed my wool moto jacket (and remembered to grab my beanie!).

We perused Chinatown on the way to our lunch destination and this bright blue dragon caught my eye.

Don Pistos came highly recommended, and it certainly did not disappoint! I looooove tacos, so I’ve eaten my fair share over the years, and these were among the best I’ve ever had.

I had the carnitas, and the pork was so flavorful and cooked to perfection.

Shop this outfit here.

After lunch, we walked to the Ferry Building, a busy place where you can catch a ferry (go figure 😉), but also buy a variety of goods and foods in a large, indoor marketplace.

We had some tea and pastries for an afternoon snack and ambled leisurely through the various shops.

And, as you can see, the weather had cleared to become a glorious afternoon! ☀️

It was such a pleasant stroll back to our hotel to pick up our bags, as it was just about time to head back to the airport.

After we arrived at the airport, we saw that our flight would be delayed by a couple hours. Not long after, we checked the departures monitor again to confirm our gate, only to discover that our flight had been cancelled!

Thankfully, we were able to get on the last available flight back to Portland that evening and still make it home Sunday night.

We had such a fun weekend, and it was so nice to have one-on-one time with my bestie. We’ve been friends since we were 15, were roommates in college, and were maids-of-honor at each other’s weddings.

I’m truly grateful for our friendship and all our adventures together ❤️ Cheers to more girls’ trips to come!