Sunsets and Subtleties

Hello, all! Can you believe it’s December already?

In the midst of holiday decorating over the weekend, I took a break to dive into Mark Manson’s bestseller The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. I’ve heard rave reviews about this book from so many people that–even though I’m usually more of a fiction reader–I had to check it out.

First off, if profanity is not your thing, then this probably isn’t your cup of tea. However, I personally am loving his blunt, no-nonsense approach and life advice.

One of my favorite passages so far: “The person you marry is the person you fight with.  The house you buy is the house you repair.  The dream job you take is the job you stress over.  Everything comes with an inherent sacrifice—whatever makes us feel good will also inevitably make us feel bad… We like the idea that there’s some form of ultimate happiness that can be attained.  We like the idea that we can alleviate all of our suffering permanently.  We like the idea that we can feel fulfilled and satisfied with our lives forever.  But we cannot.”

Basically, life is a constant work-in-progress and nothing is sunshine and daisies all the time. I’ve noticed that people (myself included) often think things like, “oh once I get this degree or get this job or get married or buy a house or (fill in the blank here with whatever it might be for you), THEN I’ll be happy. Then I’ll be satisfied.”

But it doesn’t work like that. Even our partner or spouse, whom we may love and adore, will of course sometimes make us mad or drive us nuts. And even that job that we’ve been dreaming of for years will still cause us stress at times.

Just because we may attain a dream or goal doesn’t mean that our life just stops there in a permanent state of perfection. There will always be ups and downs, and Manson asserts that “True happiness occurs only when you find the problems you enjoy having and enjoy solving.”

There are many thought-provoking ideas in this self-help sensation, and I will definitely do a full review once I finish it!

I’ve been a big fan of this warm caramel shade of orange this fall. This faux suede moto jacket was a TJ Maxx find recently, and I love the vibrant color paired with classic neutrals.

I also got really lucky that my jacket coordinated so well with the beautiful autumn sunset (sometimes it’s the little things 😉)!

Faux Suede Moto Jacket: (similar here, here, and here) Cable-Knit Sweater: H&M Black Jeans: Topshop Boots: Blondo Waterproof Bag: Louis Vuitton (similar) Sunglasses: Ray-Ban Clubmaster

I’m wearing this jacket with a timeless cable-knit sweater from H&M, my favorite Topshop high-waist jeans, and pointed-toe boots from Blondo. My Louis Vuitton crossbody bag I’ve had for many years, and the vachetta leather trim of the bag accents the color of my jacket nicely.

I’m really enjoying all the different colors of moto jackets that I’ve been seeing lately from a variety of brands (I linked several options above in faux suede and suede, and also in the LIKEtoKNOW.it app).

I have lots of holiday-themed content planned for the coming weeks, including outfit inspiration and some festive activities if you’re local or visiting Portland! Do you have certain holiday traditions that you do every year?

Have a great week! Thank you for stopping by 🧡

Thankful Always

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

Oprah Winfrey

This is one of my favorite quotes about thankfulness and feels very fitting as we head into the week of Thanksgiving.

This time of year, it’s so easy to get swept up in shopping lists and party-planning: from Black Friday madness to decorating the tree to finding the perfect gifts for our loved ones.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a great sale just as much as the next person (I’m listing a few of my favorites at the bottom of this post). However, what I’m saying is this quote illustrates how thankfulness and contentment are all about perspective–we choose what to focus on, whether it’s all the things we do have, or the things we don’t.

The older I get, the more I truly cherish the time I have with my family, and I’m so grateful to spend the holidays with them. I’m also very thankful to call the great Pacific Northwest home (if you scroll through these pictures, you’ll get a glimpse of just how beautiful it is here).

Today, I’m also sharing more Thanksgiving outfit inspiration. This poncho I purchased last winter and wore it on a day trip up to Mt. Hood in January (pictured above). Ponchos feel like wearing cozy, fashionable blankets and, as such, would also be perfect for travels this holiday season.

Poncho: B.P. (similar here and here) Faux Leather Leggings: Spanx Boots: Blondo Waterproof Belt: Gucci

For Thanksgiving dinner, I like to dress casual chic. I definitely reach for items that aren’t constricting–my step-mom goes all out with the cooking, and my sister and I always make the pumpkin pie, so it is definitely not the day to wear something tight!

I wanted to dress up the poncho a bit, and the Gucci belt and faux-leather leggings elevated the overall look. The belt also helped give the poncho some definition and shape.

These particular leggings are really popular (I bought mine during the Nordstrom Anniversary sale last year!), and there’s a reason for that: they’re so stretchy and comfy, without compromising the least bit on style.

My brother Mikey takes the majority of my blog photos, and I appreciate him so much for taking the time out of his busy schedule to do this (he works two jobs and is also finishing up his last college credits!).

This is what happened when we were taking pics yesterday:

“Is that a cape you’re wearing?” Mikey asked.

“It’s a poncho, but yeah, pretty similar to a cape.”

“And you’ve got the belt and the tall boots with it.”

“Yes…” (By then I was wondering: where is he going with this?)

“So you’re basically dressed like a Jedi. Where’s your lightsaber?” He joked.

At that point, I burst out laughing. “I never would’ve thought of that!”

So there you have it. This is a great Thanksgiving outfit option, but also a modern-day Jedi look. 😂

I’m thankful for my brother, who always knows how to make me laugh (plus, we’re both big Star Wars fans, so this joke was not lost on me)!

A few notes on current and upcoming holiday sales:

  • The Kate Spade Surprise Sale is going on currently and ends on 11/24/18 at 11:59 PM (Pacific Time). All sales are final but the savings are HUGE (up to 75% off). If you or a loved one has a purse on their Christmas wish list, this is definitely the perfect sale to check out!
  • I love Target’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals–in my family, we always do matching pajamas on Christmas morning, and they have family pajamas starting as low as $10 (it is a Doorbuster deal, so it’s while supplies last). I’ve also gotten great savings on their cozy throw blankets in past years, so that’s something I often keep my eye out for.
  • The weekend of Black Friday/Cyber Monday, a lot of big shopping websites offer free shipping with no minimum purchase amount, so that is definitely something to watch out for.
  • My mom and I are obsessed with the 3-wick candles from Bath and Body Works (right now they’re discounted to $12.95 each, whereas full price they’re $24.50 each). I’ll probably wait ’til Friday to see if they add any further discounts or coupon codes.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! 🦃 I would love to hear what you’re thankful for in the comments below. ❤️

Knits and Neutrals

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” –Albert Camus

It has certainly felt like a second spring the last few days! We’ve had some beautiful sunny weather here in Portland, though it’s been crisp and cold. I’m grateful for the vibrant trees of yellow, orange, and red, though many of the leaves already cover the ground.

Today, I’m sharing two of my favorite things about cold-weather fashion: knits and neutrals. I have a slight obsession with cozy sweaters and classic peacoats, but I truly wear them nonstop during the fall and winter months so I feel like they are pieces worth investing in. In Oregon we wear coats for well over half the year, so I try to choose ones that are functional and fashionable.

Coat: Calvin Klein Sweater: TJ Maxx (similar styles here and here) Black Jeans: 7 for All Mankind Boots: Blondo Waterproof Purse: Chanel Medallion Tote (similar quilted styles here and here) Sunglasses: Ray-Ban Clubmaster

This Calvin Klein camel coat is a recent purchase from Amazon. I love its classic silhouette and the super soft cashmere-blend. It’s something I know I’ll be able to wear with a variety of outfits for years to come.

My gray wool sweater is from TJ Maxx and is so cozy and warm for these crisp fall days. This outfit would also be a great option for Thanksgiving because this sweater is more loose fitting–perfect for that extra slice of turkey or pumpkin pie!

My ankle boots are from Blondo Waterproof, which, as I’ve mentioned before, is one of my all-time favorite shoe brands. This pair has a comfortable block heel, which makes it possible for me to wear to work, even if I’ll be on my feet a lot that day.

On a different note, I’m very excited to announce that I’m now a part of RewardStyle, and you can easily shop my looks directly through their LIKEtoKNOW.it app! RewardStyle is such a great way for brands and bloggers to connect with their followers; it makes it so easy to purchase items and looks that you love! Simply download the LIKEtoKNOW.it app for free in the App Store and search for Shakespeare Loves Chanel (or click here!).

I’ll be sharing more Thanksgiving style ideas in the next post and some holiday gift ideas as we quickly approach Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Hope you all have a wonderful week! ❤️

Mix and Match: Fall Edition

Something I’ve really enjoyed sharing here on the blog is how to style the same item multiple ways–aka, how to mix and match! When I’m buying a piece of clothing, I always ask myself two questions: “What do I already own that this can be worn with? And can I wear it for work and play?” My go-to items are the ones that can be dressed up or down and can be styled for a variety of situations.

This faux suede vest from Bebe is honestly one of my fall wardrobe favorites because of its versatility. The olive color is perfect for the fall season, and the soft texture gives it a luxe feel. It’s also ideal for the transitional fall weather, when some days are sunny and others are chilly.

Vest: Bebe (similar silhouettes here, here, here) Top: Lush (similar) Jeans: Topshop Suede Boots: Sam Edelman (similar) Purse: Prada (similar here)

When I want to keep an outfit simple and chic, I accomplish that by pairing the statement piece with neutral items. In this case, I wore all black so that way the vest stands out more prominently. I could easily wear this look on a casual work day or while out-and-about on the weekend.

Striped Dress: One Clothing (similar here and here) Bag: Chanel Classic Flap (similar quilted styles here and here) Peep-Toe Boots: Qupid (similar)

I styled this vest in a previous post with the striped dress above. Earlier in the fall when those two photos were taken, an outfit like this would be perfect. For the Pacific Northwest weather, I would definitely need to wear a dress with tights by this time of year.

When I’m styling a long vest with a dress, I like the dress to be a bit shorter than the vest. Proportions are definitely something to be mindful of when layering.

Striped Top: Remy (similar here and here) Belt: Gucci Pointy-Toe Boots: Blondo Beanie: Kyi Kyi

Last but certainly not least, this third look is perfect for those crisp fall days!

I love it with this classic striped shirt, my favorite Topshop skinny jeans, and pointy-toed ankle boots from Blondo. I added two accessories to this look: the Gucci belt to accentuate the waist and the Kyi Kyi faux fur beanie for a little extra warmth. I adore the oversized pom-poms that Kyi Kyi does on their beanies!

I hope this gave you some inspiration for mixing and matching your own wardrobe. Which way do you think that I styled the vest the best? (Hey, that rhymes! 😉) Let me know your favorite in the comments below!

Have a wonderful week! Thank you for stopping by ❤️

Hey, Pumpkin

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“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” ― L.M. Montgomery

October is one of my favorite months of the year, and it’s not just because it’s officially pumpkin season. I do, of course, enjoy knit sweaters and colorful fall foliage, but I absolutely love scary movies and dressing up for Halloween! I’ll be starting this post off with a recent trip to a local Portland pumpkin patch and cozy fall attire. I’ll also be sharing some couples’ costumes inspiration, featuring some of my faves that my husband and I have worn over the years. Last but not least, I’ll be listing my picks for horror movies and spooky TV series.

Plumper Pumpkin Patch

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Last week my bestie, her husband, and I drove out to Plumper Pumpkin Patch and Tree Farm. It was sunny and about 70 degrees–we couldn’t have asked for more idyllic fall weather!

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Scarf: Kitson (similar here and here) Sweater: TJ Maxx (similar here and hereJeans: Topshop Boots: Blondo Sunglasses: Ray-Ban Clubmaster

We wandered through the pumpkin patch and apple orchard, and I was so glad I wore a trusty pair of Blondo boots. These are the Elvina booties, and, even with the stylish pointy-toe, they’re still super comfortable.

This is one of my favorite fall scarves–I love the red, gray, and cream-colored tones, which contrasts so well with a simple, off-white sweater. My scarf is several years old and was a purchase from Kitson (which is no longer in business), and my sweater is from TJ Maxx. I’ve linked several similar scarves and sweaters above. As much as I enjoy neutrals in my day-to-day life, I especially love red and orange tones in the fall. Scarves are a great way to add a fun accent to an otherwise neutral outfit.

My high-waisted black jeans are the Jamie style by Topshop. I’ve featured these in previous posts because I seriously wear them all the time! They are super flattering and have the perfect amount of stretch–which is ideal when you’re doing something a bit more active, such as searching for that perfect pumpkin! 🎃

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How adorable are the pastel colors of that sweet little farmhouse?!

Halloween Couples’ Costume Inspiration

From Gatsby to Cleopatra, my husband and I have drawn inspiration from history and pop culture for our Halloween costumes. What was great about our Gatsby-era costumes shown above was almost every item was something we already owned in our closet! The black fedora Mark is wearing we borrowed from my brother, and the feathered headband I ordered from Amazon.

Phantom of the Opera is one of our favorite musicals (we saw it in London last year!), so getting to dress up as the Phantom and Christine was a real treat. My off-the-shoulder lace dress I already owned (I love re-purposing items from my closet and using them for costumes!). Our masquerade-style masks and my husband’s cape were all purchased at a very reasonable price from Amazon (seriously, Amazon is one of the best places to find costume accessories or ready-to-wear costume sets!).

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Last year I dressed up as the Egyptian queen Cleopatra and my husband was the Roman general Mark Antony. I enjoyed practicing the elaborate eyeliner in the weeks leading up to Halloween (Elizabeth Taylor’s Cleopatra makeup was a big inspiration). My headpiece and necklace were awesome Amazon finds, which I wore with a high-neck maxi dress that I already owned. We purchased the Roman costume from Amazon as well, which is still available for purchase.

Sometimes just a few new accessories or costume jewelry can turn an item you already own into the perfect Halloween costume!

Scary Movies and TV Series

Something I have been a fan of since the very beginning is American Horror Story. This groundbreaking anthology series has a different theme every season, though most of the actors return from year to year to play new characters (or, sometimes to reprise the role of a character from a previous season). Though I miss the seasons with the incredible Jessica Lange, actors like Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters have such range and talent that they bring something new and exciting to each and every season.

This show is not for the faint of heart or for those easily spooked; also, it is quite violent at times, along with some graphic sex scenes and nudity. However, it does such an amazing job of weaving together myths, legends, and folklore with the creepy and the supernatural, and every season it never fails to surprise me in some way.

A new Netflix series I just started watching is The Haunting of Hill House. I’m halfway through and am really enjoying it. The first couple episodes were a bit slow in my opinion, but once I got to know each of the main characters I was definitely hooked. So far each episode focuses on one of the five siblings and jumps around in time between the past and the present. Gradually, a picture is emerging of the terrible event that occurred when they were kids, and the way it shaped all their lives.

In a way it’s a family drama, but so far what I find most interesting is the way it makes you question the characters’ realities. Are they truly haunted by ghosts or evil spirits? Or is it something else?

And if you’re not in the mood to invest in a TV series, here are a few of my horror film picks from the last several years: SinisterLights OutDon’t BreatheGet OutIt (the recent one, not the original), Annabelle (I like all the movies from The Conjuring universe). My husband and I watched Hereditary awhile back, and I’ll add it to this list just because it was so very strange and haunting (seriously, I couldn’t get certain images out of my head for days).

I would also add the films Split and A Quiet Place to this list, though some might argue they’re more of the thriller genre than true horror movies. A Quiet Place was particularly memorable–the premise was so intriguing, and John Krasinski and Emily Blunt had phenomenal performances. There are few words spoken aloud throughout the entire film, which further contributes to the film’s eerie tale.

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As much as I love scary movies, I’ve had so much fun soaking up the beautiful weather we’ve been having the last few weeks. Plumper Pumpkin Patch and Tree Farm was such a cute spot to visit, and it had tons of activities for kids and families as well (if you’re local, check them out!). Unlike some of the Portland-area pumpkin patches, they’re open daily from the last week of September through Halloween from 9:00am to 5:30pm. I really enjoyed spending the afternoon there and marveling at these gorgeous views of the Willamette Valley. I also want to thank my BFF for being my photographer for the day!

Are you dressing up for Halloween? Do you have a favorite scary movie? What do you love most about this time of year? 🎃👻

Have a great week everyone!

Classic Vs. Trendy

“Trendy is the last stage before tacky.” –Karl Lagerfeld

This famous quote by Chanel’s longtime creative director is something I think about when I see various trends floating around Pinterest and Instagram. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of current trends I’m 100% excited about (Jumpsuits? YES! Mules? Soooo cute and comfy! Leopard print? Eh not for me).

As I’ve gotten older and have come into my own personal style, I’ve realized that just because something is trendy or cool right now doesn’t mean I have to jump on that particular bandwagon. It also means I can admire a trend on someone else without necessarily wanting to wear it myself.

Gray coat: Zara Scarf: Burberry (similar) Bag: Prada (similar styles also here and here) Over-the-Knee Boots: Blondo

It’s no secret that I love classic pieces that transition effortlessly from season to season and can go from work to play (seriously, this gray Zara coat is on repeat!). I like to mix in trends too, but the classics are timeless for a reason.

This gray wool coat is one of those chic, versatile items that goes from work to weekend with ease. It functions as a long blazer, but also as the perfect lightweight coat. Above, I paired it with a Burberry scarf that I’ve had for several years (it’s a classic investment piece that always elevates a look!).

My over-the-knee boots are from Blondo (and are currently on sale at Nordstrom!).

Below my gray coat is styled for a business casual workday. I paired it with a simple white tee, black ankle jeans, and pointed-toe booties. The silver layered necklace adds an elegant finishing touch.

White Tee: Soprano (similar here and here) Jeans: Hudson (similar) Pointed-Toe Booties: Franco Sarto (similar)

For me, it’s about balance: having classic wardrobe staples that always look chic and transition from year to year, but also indulging in fun trends that I enjoy.

What do you think? Are you Team Trendy or Team Classic? Or a bit of both?

Hope you all have a wonderful week! Thank you for stopping by ❤️

Cozy Weekend

I kept my attire casual chic this weekend with a cozy cardigan and lace top. The soft cardi and elegant lace provided interesting contrasts in texture, while the cream color palette of both items coordinated well together.

Cardigan: Tahari (similar here and here) Lace Top: Love, Fire (exact style here in a variety of colors) Jeans: Topshop Sunglasses: Ray-Ban Clubmaster Ankle Boots: Franco Sarto (similar)

These high-waist Jamie jeans by Topshop have been my go-to lately. They’re super comfortable, flattering, and can be dressed up or down with ease.

I know there’s that old rule that “you can’t wear white after Labor Day,” but I personally think that’s an outdated notion. It’s all in how you style it, and cozy layers really give this particular ensemble a fall vibe. I think these pointy-toed ankle booties by Franco Sarto add the perfect finishing touch, and white boots have been very on trend this year.

Instead of discussing a book or poem this post, I wanted to share some thoughts on the recent remake of A Star Is Born, starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, which was just released in theaters.

The various movie trailers had me extremely excited about the film (the music sounded amazing, and I’m a longtime fan of both Gaga and Cooper).

I’d also heard the film was rating well with critics. Experts are also already predicting that it will receive multiple Oscar nominations.

Thus, I went in Friday night with high expectations. And honestly? I was blown away. This was hands down my favorite film that I’ve seen this year, and here’s why:

  1. The on-screen chemistry between Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. In so many films I feel like something falls a bit short between the main characters–either their romance feels too rushed or too forced, and I just don’t fully buy into it. In this case, however, there are so many small moments and little gestures between the pair that feels so real and authentic.
  2. The music was incredible. The duets with Gaga and Cooper were particularly emotional and pulled at the heartstrings. They were catchy without feeling cliched. I also loved the way certain songs are repeated throughout the film, and how they play such an important role in the story’s momentum and character development.
  3. It felt like an honest portrayal of alcoholism and battling with addiction. Bradley Cooper’s character is an alcoholic and drug addict, and the film shows so poignantly how it affects his own life and the lives of those close to him. A family member of mine has struggled with alcoholism for many years, and there were many scenes in the film that truly hit close to home.

I think that’s something that I’ve always loved about the power of storytelling. Whether or not we share anything in common with the plot or the setting, we see in the characters real human experiences and emotions–and those are the things that we can profoundly relate to.

Are you planning to see A Star Is Born? Or have you already seen it? Let me know in the comments below!

Hope you all have a wonderful week! ❤️