Looking Back and Moving Forward

I took a little break from the blog last week to celebrate Christmas with my family, but I’m back with some winter outfit inspiration and a few thoughts on the coming New Year! (FYI: My high-waist plaid skirt that I wore for Christmas Eve is still available on Zara’s website.)

Olive Coat: Trina Turk (similar here and here) Striped Top: TJ Maxx (similar here and here) Black Jeans: Topshop Pointed-Toe Boots: Blondo Waterproof Purse: Louis Vuitton

I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: I love outerwear that’s both functional and fashionable because of the climate here in the Pacific Northwest. Though, we don’t usually get as much ice and snow as other parts of the country, the chilly weather usually lasts from October through April.

This olive coat by Trina Turk was a Nordstrom Rack find from several months ago, and the oversized collar and asymmetrical zipper are details that initially caught my eye. The wool blend is cozy and warm (and definitely not itchy, which is something I always look out for when purchasing wool items!).

Since this coat is more of a statement piece, I paired it with classic staples like a striped tee, black skinny jeans, and pointed-toe boots. I’ve been wearing these Blondo Waterproof boots nonstop lately (they’re super comfortable and the stylish pointed-toe doesn’t pinch my toes at all!).

I linked coats in similar olive tones above, and also in the LIKEtoKNOW.it app.

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes… Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life…”

–British author Neil Gaiman

This time of year we look back on what we’ve accomplished and move forward to what’s next. It’s easy to get fixated on resolutions and goals and becoming some sort of ideal version of ourselves. And don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have goals and to grow and evolve, but we can’t obsess over perfection or be afraid to make mistakes.

In February of 2018, I finally started this blog, and it’s been a real joy to connect with other bloggers, bookworms, fashion-lovers, and brands. There are so many inspiring people out there, sharing their passions and working towards their dreams, and I’m just glad to play a small part in that here in my little corner of the internet.

I’m striving to grow Shakespeare Loves Chanel even more in 2019 and share more fashion and style, stories and poems, and travel and adventures.

What are your goals for 2019? What’s on your travel itinerary or reading list? (Sharing mine in next week’s post!)

From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for following along, and I wish you all a Happy New Year!

Festive Lights and Winter Ice

Happy Holidays, everyone! I absolutely love this time of year–from the beautiful lights to the festive attire to the special times with family and friends.

In this post, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite holiday activities in the Portland area and, of course, winter outfit ideas that keep you both warm and stylish! Pictured above is the giant tree at Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland at sunset.

When I was growing up, we went to Zoo Lights at the Oregon Zoo here in Portland almost every year during the holidays. It’s such a festive activity that is perfect for all ages, from families with kids to a romantic date night for two.

From left to right: my brother, my mom, my step-dad, me, and my husband ❤️

It was a crisp evening in the 30’s when we went to Zoo Lights, so I knew layers would be key to staying warm!

I love all the festive colors during the holidays, but I also love shades of gray for a classic winter look.

Gray Coat: Zara (similar here and here) Gray Sweater: TJ Maxx (similar here and here) Black Jeans: Topshop Leather Boots: (similar here and here) Purse: Marc by Marc Jacobs (very similar) Beanie: H&M (similar here)

My gray wool-blend coat I purchased at Zara last fall, but I linked two similar options both under $100. A great pair of leather riding boots is a timeless investment (I’ve had mine for several years), so I linked comparable styles above!

You can also shop this look on the LIKEtoKNOW.it app!

Another favorite activity of mine is skating at the outdoor rink at Winter Village, which is located at Orenco Station in Hillsboro (less than half hour’s drive from Portland). This is the fourth year this little rink is open during the holiday season. The above picture of my husband and me is from a few years ago, the first Christmas after we got married.

This particular activity is near and dear to my heart because I was a competitive figure skater for 11 years of my childhood (more on that in this post back from February). Unfortunately, I had to quit at age 15 due to injuries and health issues, but I do try to get back on the ice during the holidays every year!

Despite the many years I spent skating, this was also only the second time my mom came out on the ice with me! We had a blast, and I highly recommend going later in the evening if you can–we went to the last session at 8pm on a Sunday, and the last half hour we almost had the rink completely to ourselves.

Puffy Vest: Nike (similar here and here) Sherpa Pullover: Elodie (similar here and here) Legwarmers: TJ Maxx (similar) Earmuffs: J. Crew (similar here and here)

Leg-warmers, earmuffs, and a fuzzy sweater are the perfect athleisure look for nighttime skating! ⛸⛸ Cozy sherpa pullovers are really on trend this fall and winter, and I linked two similar styles above–both on sale for under $50. I love how fun and classic earmuffs are (this well loved pair from J. Crew I’ve had since college!), and I linked some comparable options above.

Whether you’re local or visiting Portland, here are a few more ideas for holiday fun:

  • Winter Wonderland lights show at Portland International Raceway (you get to stay in your car for this one and drive through to see all the light displays)
  • Holiday Lights at Peacock Lane (this one is pedestrian only on certain nights so be sure to check out their website for more details)
  • View the Christmas Ships from the Columbia River or Willamette River (be sure to check their website for exact locations, dates, and weather conditions)
  • Holiday river cruises on the Portland Spirit

In next week’s post, I’ll be sharing more holiday outfit attire–from festive workwear for the office, to Ugly Sweater Parties, to Christmas Eve glam!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend! ❤️

The Roads We Take, The Dreams We Make

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

 

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

 

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

 

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

 

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

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Once upon a time, I had big Olympic dreams of my own. For much of my childhood and adolescence, figure skating was my whole life. With each competition season came the excitement of new music and glittery, elegant dresses—though jumping and performing were probably my favorite things (I wasn’t only in it for the sparkle!).

With all this nostalgia brought on by the Winter Olympics these past couple weeks, the iconic Robert Frost poem, “The Road Not Taken,” kept coming to mind. Most people assume that the moral of this poem is to not be afraid to take the more difficult road, even if it’s not the popular one.

The oft-quoted lines are the final two: “I took the one less traveled by / And that has made all the difference.” However, an alternative interpretation has stuck with me since studying Frost in college, and it requires looking at the poem as a whole.

Frost is telling a story, where he was faced with two roads. He even admits that the road he ended up choosing was “just as fair” and that the two paths had “worn them really about the same.” After his choice, he says that he would likely never be in that exact place again—a metaphor, of course: in life, we aren’t usually presented with the same opportunities twice. We make a decision, we pick a route, and the course of our journey is changed forever.

Though eventual injuries and health issues took me off the ice at 15, the entire skating experience brought me such happiness. It taught me invaluable life lessons about self-confidence and perseverance. I learned that even when we fall, we must always get back up.

I chose to go down that road in the pursuit of a dream, and though it didn’t end where I hoped it would, I wouldn’t be who I am today without those 11 glorious years on the ice. In my opinion, that’s the point Frost was making—the roads we choose to go down shape us and our journey, whether it’s a rough path, a smooth one, or one that ends in a place different than we imagined. But it’s the choice, it’s the journey—that’s what makes “all the difference.”

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Sweater: H&M  Jeans: Hudson  Hat: Marc Jacobs (similar here and here)  Skates: custom SP-Teri

We’ve had some snow this week in the Portland area, and, feeling that Olympic fever, I headed to a local rink to dust off my skates! I love this cozy off-the-shoulder sweater I recently bought from H&M (comes in five colors and is under $30!). My Marc Jacobs beanie is a few years old, but I linked some similar gray options above. My Hudson jeans are super comfy and stretchy—perfect for an afternoon of skating (especially since I’m not throwing double axels these days!).

P.S. Was anyone else blown away by Mirai Nagasu’s historic triple axel in the Team Event?! And Nathan Chen’s record-breaking quads?! So excited for the Ladies’ Free Skate!!!