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!

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! 😉

Twirling Through Tulip Fields

“A tulip doesn’t strive to impress anyone. It doesn’t struggle to be different than a rose. It doesn’t have to. It is different. And there’s room in the garden for every flower.” –Marianne Williamson

I recently visited the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in Woodburn, Oregon. I hadn’t been since I was a kid, and I was thrilled that my grandma, my mom, and my brother could come along as well (we also got so lucky that it didn’t rain on us!). 🌷

This gorgeous field of flowers is a local favorite spot of photographers and bloggers, but also a wonderful day trip for couples and families.

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.

We went on a weekday afternoon–which I highly recommend!–because the line to get in on the weekends can get super long. The Wooden Shoe Farm said on their Instagram page that if you do visit on a weekend, try to come closer to opening at 8am or later in the day towards closing time at 5pm (though as of May 5th, the festival has ended for the 2019 season).

Shop this look here.

I also recommend coming prepared with rubber wellies or a pair of old boots because the ground between the rows of tulips can get pretty muddy. It hadn’t even rained for a couple days before we went and the ground was still muddy in some areas.

My denim skirt is by Madewell and was a Nordstrom Rack find from earlier this year. I love the button details, the classic shade of blue denim, and the flattering length (not too short, not too long!). This exact style is unfortunately no longer available, but I included similar options for this entire outfit in the link above.

A floral dress and ankle boots are also great outfit options if you’re planning a photo op in a field of flowers, whether for engagement photos, family photos, etc.

Shop this look here.

Lavender has been a very popular color this spring, and I really liked the color palette of this particular floral print. I’m also a big fan of wrap dresses (as I mentioned in my previous post) because they tie at the waist and are usually adjustable.

I unfortunately couldn’t find this exact style online anywhere (the brand is Studio B by Bobeau) but I linked similar options above.

My Panama Hat is from J. Crew and has been a go-to of mine for years. It’s a versatile, classic style that looks great with so many outfits (denim, dresses, skirts, etc).

We also took some family photos at the Tulip Fest, and this one of my mom, my grandma, and me is a personal favorite. I’m really close with my family, and I truly cherish the time I get to spend with them.

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

Milestones and Mimosas

Last week my amazing mom turned 60–and can you guess where we’re headed later this spring to celebrate this milestone birthday? 😉

You guessed it! Paris!

A little back story: a large canvas print of the Eiffel Tower has been hanging in my mom’s office for over 10 years. It’s been on her bucket list to travel there since she was a little girl.

I’m so thrilled to soon experience this trip with her and show her some of my favorite places in the City of Light. She’s worked so hard to get to where she is in life and has the kindest heart. I’m truly proud to have her as my mom.

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.

In keeping with the Parisian theme, we celebrated my mom’s birthday lunch last week at one of our favorite local spots, La Provence. It’s a French-inspired bistro and bakery, with multiple locations in the Portland metro area.

We’re big fans of their brunch, but we also love the tuna melt for lunch (shown above). The colorful mimosa flights were perfect to toast the occasion (and you get to choose which flavors you want!). 🥂

For dessert, I definitely love their macarons, but I’m also obsessed with the tiramisu.

If you’re local to the Portland area, La Provence is definitely a popular choice for Mother’s Day brunch, which is coming up next month!

Shop this look here.

It was a comfortable spring day (one of the few sunny ones we’ve had so far in April!). I wore some of my go-to basics for weekend wear: a denim jacket, a sleeveless turtleneck, and high-waist black jeans. I especially love sleeveless turtlenecks this time of year because they’re so easy to layer under lightweight jackets for unpredictable spring weather.

My Louis Vuitton bag is the Phenix PM, but unfortunately is no longer sold on their website.

Hope you all are having a wonderful week! As always, thank you so much for stopping by! ❤️

P.S. What’s a travel destination on your bucket list? I would love to hear in the comments below!

Spring Style Staples

Spring Style Staples

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” –Charles Dickens

During the early days of spring, the weather is often unpredictable–or, as Dickens so rightfully pointed out, that we’re existing somewhere in between winter and summer, and it all depends whether we’re in the sun or the shade.

So how do we dress for such weather? By layering, of course!

In this post, I’m rounding up some of my favorite spring staples that are functional, fashionable, and easy to layer.

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.

Puffer Vests

Hat: Portland Gear

Shop the rest of this look here.

A puffer vest is one of those timeless staples that is such a perfect piece for transitional weather in both fall and spring. It keeps you cozy but not too warm and can be worn for casual weekend vibes (as shown above) or styled for an effortless athleisure look (as shown below).

Shop this look here.

Duster Cardigans and Kimonos

Shop this look here.

Duster cardigans are so versatile–something about the longer length makes them elegant and chic. They can be worn over dresses, but also look great with jeans and a classic white tee. I personally love J. Crew tees for their quality and fit (the J. Crew v-neck I’m wearing above I’ve had for several years, and it’s held up so well!).

Shop this look here.

Necklaces: 6th Borough Boutique

Floral kimonos are perfect for spring layering, whether worn more casually over jeans or over dresses and swimsuits in warmer weather (I also love packing them for vacations!). The one I’m wearing is a purchase from last year and is by the brand Band of Gypsies. I could no longer find this exact style online, but I’ve seen kimonos in so many lovely prints lately at a variety of price points (several options are linked above).

Leather Jackets

Leather Jacket: Rubbish (similar here and here) Slip Dress: Billabong (similar here and here) Heels: (similar)

Leather (or faux leather) jackets are definitely a cool option for lightweight outerwear during spring. I’ve had my leather jackets for years, and I think they’re the type of item that keeps getting better with age! I personally love wearing leather jackets for a fun night out, whether over a dress for dinner or over a concert tee to see my favorite band.

Above, the leather jacket provides a great contrast to the pink floral print. Below, it’s the classic finishing touch for a recent concert in downtown Portland (My bestie and I got to meet Andrew McMahon last weekend before his concert at the Roseland Theater! We grew up listening to him in the bands Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin, and we’ve seen him perform in concert 9 times over the years 😍).

Leather Jacket: Wyatt (similar here and here) Concert tee: Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness

Denim Jackets

Shop this look here.

Last but certainly not least, this is one of the most classic wardrobe items: the ever-versatile denim jacket. It’s a great layering piece at almost any time of the year, but especially practical for the temperate days of spring. I love throwing one on over a floral dress for effortless, chic style almost as much as I love pairing it with a casual athleisure look (as shown below).

Hat: Portland Gear

Shop the rest of this look here.

For this post I really wanted to show you pieces that are versatile, easy, and will help you transition from winter to spring. Most of these pieces are not only my spring go-to’s but are also true wardrobe staples that can be worn for many occasions throughout the year. Both leather jackets and denim jackets, for example, have that timeless appeal that won’t just last you one season, but will be items that you can wear for years to come.

As fun as trends can be, I personally love these classic staples that always make me feel great and can mix and match with so many items in my closet.

What’s an item in your wardrobe that you reach for again and again?

Hope you have a wonderful week! Thanks for stopping by! ❤️

From the Mountains to the Ocean

From the Mountains to the Ocean

One of the amazing things about living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest is that you can go from snowcapped mountains to the Pacific Ocean in just a few hours’ drive. In last week’s post, I shared a glimpse of Mt. Hood, and this week–you guessed it–I’m sharing one of my favorite spots on the Oregon Coast.

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.

Recently, my best friend and I took a day trip to Cannon Beach, which is only about 90 minutes from Portland by car.

We got so lucky with the weather! If you’ve ever been to the Oregon Coast, you’ll know it’s usually quite windy and chilly (even for summer visits, I always wear layers). But on this particular day, it was sunny and in the mid 50’s, with almost no wind! Considering we were there in the middle of winter, it was an absolutely perfect day.

If you visit Cannon Beach, Haystack Rock is a must-see landmark (shown above). It’s also within walking distance of a great local restaurant, Mo’s, whose famous clam chowder is one of my personal faves!

To shop this outfit, click here.

I wore casual layers for our day trip, with an olive green utility coat and my beloved high-waist jeans (both from Topshop). The coat is from a previous year, but I linked similar options above.

As for shoes and accessories:

My faux fur beanie is by Kyi Kyi, and I adore the fun, oversized pom pom and the overall quality and durability. My Blondo boots are such a go-to in my closet, and–as you can see demonstrated above–the waterproof leather makes them safe to wear even on the wet beach as the tide came in.

My nylon crossbody bag I’ve had for several years (from Marc by Marc Jacobs), and I found a super similar Marc Jacobs style on the Nordstrom Rack site (linked above and currently on sale for under $100!). My scarf is an old TJ Maxx find, but I found some similar black and white options. And of course, my classic Ray-ban Clubmaster sunglasses kept my eyes both safe and stylish.

Last year I read Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer Prize winner All the Light We Cannot See, and his precision of language and beautiful imagery were things I truly admired (for my more detailed review of this novel, click here). This passage from All the Light We Cannot See felt fitting for this week’s post:

“I have been feeling very clearheaded lately and what I want to write about today is the sea. It contains so many colors. Silver at dawn, green at noon, dark blue in the evening. Sometimes it looks almost red. Or it will turn the color of old coins. Right now the shadows of clouds are dragging across it, and patches of sunlight are touching down everywhere. White strings of gulls drag over it like beads.

It is my favorite thing, I think, that I have ever seen. Sometimes I catch myself staring at it and forget my duties. It seems big enough to contain everything anyone could ever feel.”

Doerr paints such a vivid image of the sea in this quote, from its various colors that change with the time of day to the more abstract idea that its sheer size could hold anything you could possibly feel. I love standing in the ocean as the tide comes in because it makes me feel like a kid again, and I think sometimes it’s good to feel that way. It keeps things in perspective when you stand next to something so vast and powerful, something that seems to go on forever.

What do you think? Do you prefer the mountains or the ocean?

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

Long Layers and Short Stories

In last week’s post, I had yet to choose a short story collection for my 2019 booklist. Turns out, I had the answer on my bookshelf the whole time! Great American Short Stories: from Hawthorne to Hemingway contains a range of renowned authors and stories. Some I’ve read before (“The Yellow Wallpaper” is a personal fave), but most are brand new to me.

Though I generally gravitate towards novels, one of the convenient things about short stories is that they’re not a huge time commitment. In this particular collection’s introduction, English professor Corinne Demas discusses advantages of the short story. She quotes the poignant words of Edgar Allen Poe: “In the brief tale, however, the author is enabled to carry out the fullness of his intention, be it what it may. During the hour of perusal the soul of the reader is at the writer’s control. There are no external or extrinsic influences–resulting from weariness or interruption.”

I love that notion of staying with a story and it’s characters from beginning to end. We remain fully immersed in the world the author has created and perhaps get as close as we can to the author’s true vision and intent.

I’m excited to share my thoughts on several of these short stories in upcoming posts!

Today I’m sharing how to layer this long wool vest, which was a fabulous find from the Zara sale (still going on in stores and online!). If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you know I enjoy versatile pieces that can be styled for a variety of settings and occasions. In this post, I’ll be showing two different ways to style this vest.

Up first is a more relaxed weekend vibe, as I paired the vest with distressed denim and a classic white button-up. This look was perfect for a casual family lunch.

Gray wool vest: Zara (similar here and here) White button-up: Gap Distressed denim: Vigoss (similar) Black sock boots: Mia (similar here and here)

It’s been very windy here the last few days, and I’m not going to lie–I was pretty darn cold when we were taking these photos!

Black turtleneck: J. Crew Faux leather leggings: Spanx Black sock boots: Mia (similar here and here) Patent leather purse: Louis Vuitton (similar patent leather styles here and here)

For a more polished look, I layered the vest over J. Crew’s tissue turtleneck (I’ve had mine for years, and it’s held up so well!) and the faux leather leggings by Spanx that everyone raves about.

Sleek black sock boots and a patent leather purse complete this neutral outfit. I think it’s cool that when the vest is zipped up, it looks like a dress!

Hope you’re having a great week! Thanks so much 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! ❤️

Birthday Girl, Part 2

From classic Shakespearean theatre to the great outdoors, my husband planned the perfect birthday weekend getaway!

We road tripped down to southern Oregon, stopping once at the In-N-Out in Grants Pass. It’s the closest location to Portland–about 4 hours away–and one of only two locations in the whole state. I mean, if it’s on the way, you gotta stop! This girl loves her burgers.

I snapped a pic of this road sign because it had both our destinations on it: the historic hotel where we would be staying at, and of course, the Festival itself.

My grandparents used to attend the Oregon Shakespeare Festival almost every year for their wedding anniversary (I always say they’re where my love for classic lit came from!). They both passed away when I was in my teens, but they weren’t far from my mind this weekend when we saw Romeo and Juliet.

We watched the famous play of star-crossed lovers performed underneath the stars in the Allen Elizabethan Theatre. It’s an outdoor theatre, and, though it was a chilly evening, it was such a treat.

Peacoat: H&M (similar) Striped Top: Adrianna Papell (similar here and here) Black Jeans: Topshop Clutch: Saint Laurent Shoes: Franco Sarto (similar)

I wore a wool coat over a long-sleeved blouse, but I was admittedly still a bit cold. Many playgoers brought blankets with them, which was definitely a good idea this time of year (the evening temperatures were in the mid 50’s). The play’s start time was 8pm and was almost three hours long (including an intermission in the middle).

As for the play itself, I very much enjoyed the set design, the Elizabethan-style costumes that had a modern edge, and the high quality caliber of the actors (we weren’t permitted to take photos inside the theatre itself due to copyright laws). Juliet’s performance was especially memorable–the actress balanced the character’s youthful innocence and fierce passion extremely well. My husband thought Friar Lawrence provided the perfect dose of humor and wit to the tragic nature of the play.

I first read this play in high school in my freshman English class, when I was 14 and quite near Juliet’s own age of 13. Like a lot of teenage girls, I was a bit fanciful then–the whole notion of love at first sight seemed romantic, and the idea of a secret elopement felt exciting and forbidden.

Now I’m 27 and–needless to say–have a bit more life experience under my belt. I studied the play several times in college, but something that struck me this time around was the fact that Romeo and Juliet share only four scenes together–technically five if you count the death scene at the end; however, they don’t speak with each other because at first Juliet is still asleep, and then by the time she wakes up, Romeo has already killed himself. This is one of the most iconic plays in English literature, and the title characters barely interact with each other!

And yet, four scenes is all it takes. The eloquence of Shakespeare’s writing, the immensity of what’s at stake, and the timeless romanticism of forbidden young love all make it the great tragedy that it is.

Before the play, we had dinner at Larks, a cozy local restaurant adjacent to the Ashland Springs Hotel. I had one of their daily specials (the salmon was excellent!), and I was grateful my husband had made reservations weeks prior to our visit because it was such a busy spot.

We’d also made our hotel reservations at Ashland Springs about 5 months prior (Ashland is a small town and the hotel is so conveniently located to the Festival–barely two blocks away!).

The next day, we headed out on Crater Lake Highway to–you guessed it!–Crater Lake National Park. I’ve lived in Oregon all my life, and yet I’ve never visited this famous site.

It was formed by the explosion of Mt. Mazuma over 7,000 years ago. The crater was filled in with water over time, gradually becoming what is now the deepest lake in the United States.

Hat: Portland Gear Jacket: Levi’s (color is Concrete Indigo) Hoodie: J. Crew (similar) Leggings: Nike (similar) Sneakers: Nike (similar here and here) Sunglasses: Ray-Ban Clubmaster

No filter needed for the incredible blue water of Crater Lake! It’s famous for its vibrant blue hue, and the intense sapphire color truly didn’t disappoint.

I’m no expert, but I learned that the remarkable blue color has to do with the lake’s depth and water purity. Since the water is so clear, sunlight is able to penetrate deep into the water and most of the colors on the light spectrum (red, orange, etc.) are absorbed. But the blue and violet light rays are reflected to the lake’s surface, creating that amazing blue.

We had planned a short hike at Crater Lake, but my husband was just getting over a cold and I was just starting to come down with one, so unfortunately neither of us were up to it. Next time!

I do recommend checking the weather and visibility before making the trek to Crater Lake. We had friends who went earlier in the summer, and they couldn’t see anything because of the smoke caused by the wildfires in Oregon and California.

All in all, it was the perfect birthday weekend! Thank you to my sweet husband for planning such a lovely trip with so many of my favorite activities. ❤️ I’m hoping we can take another visit down to Ashland next summer for some more plays! Is there ever such a thing as too much Shakespeare? 😉

Have a wonderful weekend, loves! Thank you for stopping by!

September Days

“By all these lovely tokens, September days are here. With summer’s best of weather and autumn’s best of cheer.” —from the poem “September” by Helen Hunt Jackson

We’re over a week into September and, though it’s not officially autumn quite yet, the nights have grown cooler, the colors of some trees are beginning to change, and the obsession for pumpkin-flavored things has once again returned. 😉

When it comes to fall fashion, transitioning your wardrobe from summer to fall means adding in versatile layers.

Dress: One Clothing (similar here, here, and here) Denim Jacket: Levi’s (color: concrete indigo) Shoes: Topshop (similar) Bag: Louis Vuitton Sunglasses: Ray-Ban Clubmaster

A striped dress is a staple in my closet, and in this post I’ll be showing two ways to style it for fall. This particular dress was a TJ Maxx find, so I linked some similar styles above.

My denim jacket from Levi’s is a classic and will transition effortlessly from season to season. I also think denim always pairs well with stripes.

Vest: Bebe (similar here and here) Bag: Chanel (similar quilted bags here and here) Booties: Qupid (similar)

I love olive tones in the fall and winter, and this faux suede vest from Bebe is perfect for those temperate September days. I purchased it last year, but linked similar silhouettes above. I’ll definitely be showing more ways to style this and other great vests in the coming weeks! I’m so excited because we are heading into my birthday week! This Chanel classic was last year’s birthday splurge when we were in Paris. Every time I carry it, I am reminded of that special trip.

We have lots of birthday festivities planned that I’ll be sharing in my next few posts. Hope you all have a wonderful week! ❤️