weekend wonderfulness

I actually had all this on Wednesday, but what with the holiday and all I didn't have time to post it, so here you go.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend, dearies.


on the bookshelf

I've posted three days in a row, so I'm trying to make it a WHOLE WEEK with a post every day. Such goals, right?

Ok, so when I was traveling last weekend I had a lot of time to read, and I've been trying to carve out more time here and there. So here are a couple of books I've finished recently, and a few I'm working on.

Just finished Born Round by Frank Bruni, and it was fabulous. He's the former restaurant critic for the New York Times, and his memoir, although about food, is also about his very complicated relationship with it. This book really resonated with me, and his journey was intriguing. Five stars!

This is my current read, and I'm really enjoying it. So far I've only made it as far as her childhood, but it was a very interesting childhood (her dad was in the British Foreign Service, so she lived lots of exotic places), so I'm quite enthralled.

Manic was suggested by a coworker, and so far I'm only a few pages in. No thoughts yet.

Oh goodness. The Somnambulist was my plane read last weekend, and it is brilliant. Dark, creepy, fantastic, bizarre, and completely engrossing. I honestly cannot tell you the point of the book, just that I loved it.

I'm not a football fan at all, but A Few Seconds of Panic is quite engrossing nonetheless. Since the NFL controls media so tightly, it's interesting to get behind the scenes and learn a little about what makes the players tick and what sets them apart from the rest of us. (I really want to read his Word Freak, though. Elite Scrabble? Now THAT'S fascinating.)

What are your current favorite reads?


wednesday wonderfulness!

Wooo! Running (mostly) on time today, so here is some loveliness to start off your day.
Have a Happy Wednesday, all. I'll be scrambling like a crazy woman, as usual. But once I get past this weekend, things slow down just a smidge. So that's good.


building blocks of my style

Nubby made this post a couple of weeks ago, and it got me thinking about what those pieces are that I reach for constantly. I've always enjoyed hearing what items of clothing people hold most dear (Susie Bubble and Gala Darling did these a few years back) but I've never gotten around to doing them myself.

1. dark wash jeans
I've raved about this pair before, but I'm a jeans girl through and through. The pair may change, but perfect jeans are what I usually reach for first if I can.

2. Leather Jackets
I actually own at least three of these--this one, a black motorcycle style that my mom found, and a yellow leather car coat. Especially since we live in such a temperate climate, a jacket and a scarf last me through 90% of our winter. I love the fact that adding black leather to any of my vintage dresses adds a little bit of punk.

3. Mens Tuxedo Shirts
Always all cotton, always white. So far I have two, and I wear them with jeans, with leggings, under cardis, over wifebeaters, wrapped, pinned, belted, however. Love them.

4. Cardigans
Usually vintage, sometimes new (I prefer Jcrew for those), always natural fibers. I have a few in cotton, but mostly mine are merino. I like to wear mine pretty small, too: they pull layers together and give me shape.

5. Knit Dresses
These may seem counterintuitive for a girl with curves--they don't hide much--but a slip and tights hide a multitude of sins. And they're comfy, flattering, layerable and non-wrinkly. LOVE.

6: Vintage Slips
Worn under knit dresses or layered together as dresses, these are way more lovely than anything you can buy today, and make you feel immediately glamourous. The one pictured above is my favorite; the ruffle at the bottom flips in a most fetching manner

7. Statement Heels
I also refer to these as "bad hair day" shoes: when you're wearing fabulous shoes, no one notices your hair. This particular pair is my current favorite; it changes periodically, but the key is always to have one fabulous pair that goes with everything. These are quite comfy, but that's not required. Neither do they have to be expensive; they just have to be worn with much moxie.

8. Leopard Print Shoes
It's key that these are very good quality: cheap leopard print looks it. (Fact: a few weeks back I attended a "white trash" themed party, and no less than three people showed up wearing leopard print. QUALITY IS KEY HERE.) This pair is from Kenneth Cole, and I found them on Ebay for a song. I add them to jeans and a cashmere sweater to dress them up, or to a little black dress to add some pizazz.

9. Motorcycle Boots
This is my attempt to own a pair of practical shoes, and although I was initially worried about cankles, so far I'm loving these. I wear them with kneesocks and knit dresses, skinny jeans, minis. These are my alternative to Uggs, and having now tried this slouchy suede version, I want to get a pair of the Frye Engineer boots now.

10. uber-black mascara
This is Zoom Fast Black Mascara by MAC, and I love it. Makes my eyelashes look fake. No matter if I do a pale lip or bright red, mascara is my constant. And this is my favorite.

11. Lucite bangles
One is vintage, one is not. I'm working on acquiring more. I pile them together and wear them with vintage, modern, whatever.

12. Silver bling
The key is real, the locket doesn't have any photos in it yet. I'm loving piling silver necklaces together to the point that I jingle when I walk.

13. Chunky Rings
The apple one is vintage, and I wear it with gold. The star one I picked up recently, and I wear it with silver. I have a few more chunky rings, but these are my favorites.

So now you know the pieces I'm normally wearing at least one of. What are the building blocks of YOUR style?


welcome to monday

Found this image of my sister while going through some pics from a fundraiser I shot a couple of weeks back. Isn't she lovely?

Here is some monday morning inspiration:
Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It's not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; its when you had everything to do, and you've done it.
-Margaret Thatcher


on wide belts

I just spent entirely too long flicking through the Michelle Obama lookbook at NYmag, and her love of wide belts is quite evident. I'm wondering, though, if maybe she should lighten up on them just tiny bit? (Yes, I'm well aware of the inherent silliness of evaluating anyone's style on my blog. Nobody cares. Except me.)

Anyway, contrast this look:
Sleek, slimming, perfectly fitted, feminine.

And then there's this one:

It has a very similar, princess-seamed style, and a solid color, and it seems to me that wearing the belt that high just sort of emphasizes the width of her hips? Is it just me?

This, on the other hand, is a really good use of the wide belt. It lies quite smooth, the waistline of the dress of the dress gives it a natural place to lie, and the monochromatic scheme means that the belt doesn't break up the flow of her outfit.

I would submit that is a very BAD use of the wide belt. It might be monochromatic, but that's all that is going for it. I think I understand what she was going for--kind of a punk edge on the soccer mom look--but the shirts don't fit well enough, there are too many layers, and the wash on the jeans needs to be darker. I think.

I think she should try making her belts a little narrower, like below.

So what is your take on the wide belt phenomenon?



attack cat band, v2.0

So I don't know if I mentioned it on here or not, but earlier this year I did a photo shoot with Attack Cat Band, a project based out of Cleveland. Well, their new EP was released last week, and I downloaded my copy off iTunes today! At least head over there and give it a listen.


wake up!

So we have unavoidable proof that I've crap taste in music. But we knew that already. Anyway, I have this playlist of music that makes me jump around and shake my booty, and it's what I listen to in the morning when I'm putting on makeup; guaranteed to clear the cobwebs out of my brain.
Yep. Lots of drivel. But drivel that gets my booty shaking and therefore blood moving. What's on your wakeup list?


No wednesday wonderfulness this week; I've not had time to find anything good for you all. However, since I often get asked how much editing I do on the photos I shoot for my business, I thought you all might get a kick out of peeking inside my workflow for a second.

I do 99% of my editing in Lightroom, and I love it. I used to be a Photoshop girl, and I still love that program, but I save SO MUCH TIME it isn't even funny. Anyway, if you click on the image below it will get pretty big (actual size, I think) and you can see that I: Straightened it slightly. Increased blacks. Warmed up the color, increased clarity just a little. I really don't edit that much; I try to get as much as possible right in camera.


bits of randomness from my life

This is what I saw when I sat down at my computer when I got home from work today,

Yes, he's wonderful. I loves him.

In other news, my Atlanta wedding this past weekend was my second-to-last for the year. Can I just say how hard it's going to be to top it? So incredibly fabulous. Yes, the picture in Lightroom above is from that wedding.

So. With all those prospects of free time my brain has been fermenting, and I've promptly come up with a list about as long as my arm of all the things I'm doing. (Although honestly I don't have any free time: I'm months behind on the album design/paperwork/marketing side of the business.)

I'm not spilling all of them, but here are a few of my plans for the next few days/months:
  • Going to start training for this half-marathon. This will be motivation to keep working out through the holidays, so hopefully I won't get terribly chubby.
  • I'm driving up to DC tomorrow to do a photo shoot justfortheheckofit. Super-happy about that.
  • Planning on walking in one breast cancer 3-day and volunteering for another. (Dates have yet to be decided.)
  • I'm going to develop my networking skills.
  • I really want to give back to the community, so there are a couple of possibilities, but one thing that's really important to me is investing in other photographers. So many people invested in me that I want to pass that on. So I'm working on pulling together an informal sort of "point and shoot" where we all hang out, shoot, work on posing, learn to work with light, etc. I'm super-excited about this one, because you have no idea how much I love seeing people get excited when they master a skill.


what I wear while traveling

I flew down to Atlanta today; I'm shooting a wedding tomorrow. It's been a bit since I've flown (well, July I guess) and I'm a firm believer in always looking fabulous. Well, I wore my current favorite shoes--knockoffs of these--and I think it was 11 (I lost count) perfect strangers who stopped to comment on my shoes. Yes, that's what we call a smashing success, I think.

All these photos were taken in the bathroom mirror of the hotel where I'm staying, which explains a) why it's so clean. b)why things are backwards. 

tee: ann taylor
cardi: jcrew
jeans: ernest ami
leather jacket: thrifted
sunglasses: jil sander
belt: fender
ring: not sure of brand, got it at rugged wearhouse
necklace: key is real, chain is from bekahchaps
shoes: rugged wearhouse
Don't you love the green toes? :D 

I can't remember where I got these earrings, but they're my current favorites. 
Isn't this belt FABULOUS? I found it today at Marshalls, and it's my new favorite. I can't wait until I have it properly broken in. (I had to buy a new belt because le husband has stolen all my old ones. Which were boring anyway.) 

And just because I think this is my new favorite self-portrait:


Um, may I please have this room wall? (Click to enlarge the droolability. picture from coco.)

And, um, I want these. So. Freaking. Much. (from ebay.)

feeling a little bit zooey

The other day I found a vintage bowtie in the sock basket, and decided to try to wear it as a headband. I kind of liked it so I snapped a couple of pictures before I left for work. Enjoy!


halloween recap!

So I counted up Monday morning, and I ended up wearing five (!!!!) costumes last week. That seems a tiny bit excessive, and none of them were anything special, but I figured I'd throw them all up so you could all laugh.
Ok, so Wednesday I dressed up as a witch to read to the little children at the library. You've seen that one already, but here's a snap:

Friday night we went to a party with friends, and le husband doesn't really like dressing up, but he agreed to do it if he could dress like James Dean. Which was totally fine with me. So I was a sock hop girl of some sort. So here's yet another horrendous photo.

My skirt, sweater, and scarf are all thrifted, I think. His vintage leather jacket I found at a vintage store, his jeans and white tee are from Gap, and we're both wearing converse. After googling pictures of James Dean to try to do vintage hair (it didn't work), J is inspired to grow his hair out so he can try a little more of a retro look. I love this plan.

Then saturday at sbux I had somehow gotten wrangled into agreeing to wear spandex to work. Mainly because I hate it so much, I think. This isn't the greatest shot, but you get to see my jiggly bum. So there's that.
The whole thing was composed of stuff I had around the house, with the exception of the legwarmers (I found them for $2) and the grey shirt, which I thrifted and slashed. The black spanky pants are exercise (very) shorts that I picked up on clearance; I wore them over my leggings so my headset would have something to hang on to. Trust me: you don't want leggings falling off.

Friday night I went to a haunted trail/hung out with some friends, and for that I was a hell's angel, just because I had WINGS. Neither of these are super-good pictures, but they're what I have. This outfit started when I found a pair of black wings for fifty cents at a thrift store. Add a pair of motorcycle boots, jeans, and a motorcycle jacket, and we have a hell's angel. I liked how I ended up doing makeup on this one: smoky eye and black lip. Although I made the mistake of covering my lips with concealer before I put on lipstick. I was hoping for a truer color; instead it made it more pale. And I was too lazy to take it off and start over.
With me in this shot are a german beer maid and pippi longstocking. Yes, we're wearing jackets so we don't freeze to death. No, we're not into super-crazy costumes.
Oh, that's a gorilla on my left. He wore that outfit for his entire eight-hour shift at starbucks. So proud of him!

Finally, Sunday night we were invited to a white trash themed party. By this time I was getting tired, so I seriously considered not dressing up, but then I remembered this dress, hiding in the back of the closet, never worn. Well, it seemed like an awesome opportunity. (Before you judge: I HAD to buy this dress when I saw it at the thrift store. It was ZEBRA STRIPES. For FOUR DOLLARS.)

So: zebra print dress, thrifted. Lace patterned tights, I have no idea. Shiny plasticy shoes, borrowed. Exposed bra strap, mine. Jaws clip, pulled from back of closet.

And that was my week of much costumage. Next year I'm threatening to go as a Palm Beach Retiree with Le Husband as my pool boy. Awesome, no?

wednesday wonderfulness, late again

I know, I know. Bad blogger, no cookie. Yesterday was just crazy. But I have some fun stuff, I think, so I'm sharing.
For now that's it. I should really go clean the house or something; I visited my grandmother yesterday, and for the first time in my life she made me feel guilty. And that would be because: I am a crap housekeeper. (In my defense, I wasn't always? It's just since I've been working at least 60 hours a week.) But I still feel guilty.

Also: this weekend am being flown down to atlanta to shoot a wedding. Someone. Is flying. Me. YOU HAVE NO IDEA how exciting this is. Really. Also a packing nightmare. I think I'm going to have to break down and check a bag.


prettypretty pictures

So last night I finally got around to watching "the duchess." I've held off this long because I really don't like watching keira onscreen. She's lovely, but she pouts and flounces around in such a manner that I only made it through twenty minutes of Pride and Prejudice before I wanted to stab myself. I'm still not a fan of her acting, but she does manage to pick beautifully filmed projects. So I started screencapping for you all: I love these based on composition or light. Or both.

Except for the above. I grabbed this for the little neck collar thingy. I think I need one.

The film is incredibly sad. I have no idea how historically accurate it is, but I do know that watching it makes me so veryvery grateful for this thing called "women's rights."